Friday, October 31, 2014

Fall Lip Fix

I received a free product from Smiley360 for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own. 

My Native American and my Indiana Jones are all ready to go.

It's REALLY cold here (for us) so mama is not quite as ready. I would actually prefer to curl up with some hot cocoa and watch some movies tonight but there's no way they are agreeing to that! So instead the 4 of us will walk around the neighborhood and collect some candy.

At least I can keep my lips in good condition with new ChapStick Hydration Lock Moisturize & Renew. This new dual ended ChapStick has twice the lip saving salve. The moisturize end is great for a quick dab of moisture (like when the wind is drying your lips right off of your face). The renew end is for long term renewal of dry lips. Both will increase your lip health.

Now is the time to take care of those lips! The cold weather and wind will just continue to increase in the coming months. Find the newest ChapStick at your local retailer!

Want to try products for free too? Check out Smiley360!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

No Subs

Today I just haven't felt up to par. Nothing major just a headache and lack of sleep. However on days like today even my beloved coffee doesn't cut it. I see lots of *newbie* questions about how homeschool works when one of the kids or worse the teacher is under the weather.  Tis the season for "feel bads" so here are several solutions:

*Take a sick day. Even if you don't have those built into your schedule you can always double up on another day or do school on a weekend or holiday. Some families even tack on a day or two at the end of the year to make up. If this is needed you shouldn't feel pressured by it. We can't control sickness and sometimes our minds and bodies just need a break.

*Call in a sub. This isn't realistic most of the time. Thus the title of my post but occasionally Dad or a grandparent can step in to guide the kids through some lessons. This is especially important if it is the teacher that is sick or if it is a longer illness. Hubby has jumped in for me a time or two even if I just needed a break.

*Just do what you can. This is our usual approach to a sick day. You're already stuck at home. My kids usually get bored just lying around if they don't feel well so we have worked slowly through some of our work in those cases. Today I wasn't horribly ill so we took it slow and got through all of our lessons. I took several breaks while they worked independently. It isn't ideal but it does keep us on track and I didn't feel any guilt about laying around on the couch when they were finished.

Today I'm thankful I was able to stay at home and that my sweet kiddos talked Hubby into getting Chinese take out for dinner. They know a bowl of Hot and Sour soup is my sick day comfort food.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Homeschool Resources as Your Children Get Older

As my kids get a little older and we continue to homeschool, I'm finding that I need different types of resources. In the beginning homeschool classrooms need lots of manipulatives and flash cards. Now that we are doing 2nd and 5th grade we need a different caliber of resources. Don't worry we still have plenty of puzzles, crayons, markers, and such!

Earlier this year I had to invest in a good dictionary. Apple had been using an old dictionary that Hubby & I had along with a cheap small dictionary I picked up somewhere along the way to supplement the other one. We found that many of the words the kids needed to look up were not included in either dictionary. Apple has an extensive dictionary on her Kindle but she prefers a book in her hand. I found a highly recommended dictionary on Amazon and it has made a huge difference in our school time. She also has a decent thesaurus for the all important synonyms and antonyms. Our history curriculum uses a lot of maps and so I purchased the kids a Biblical Map Atlas. These resources are certainly more mature than our happy little flash cards.

I received a free copy of this Bible dictionary from BookLook in exchange for my honest review. 

I've found that we also need a good Bible dictionary. I've never owned a Bible dictionary before but I'm really glad that we have one now. The Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary is HUGE y'all. Like really big and really heavy. I feel like you should know that because I was very surprised by the size and heft. It contains over 1,200 pages of information.

Let me give you an overview of what all is included:

*Definitions of many, many Biblical words along with descriptions of notable people and places

*Full color illustrations on most pages {Want to know what a ziggurat looked like? There's a pic on page 1217.}

*Several maps in the back of the book

*Teaching Outlines for people of the Bible like Amos and Esther

*Teaching Outlines for books of the Bible


*Table of Contents for all the charts, outlines, maps, etc.

*A multitude of charts like "Pagan Gods Mentioned in the Bible"

This is so much more than just a Bible dictionary. I got it for the kids to look up words during Bible study but now I'm excited to have it as a resource in my own study time. This Bible dictionary would be an amazing gift or resource from any minister or Sunday School teacher. It contains so much information that it will be a valuable tool for years to come.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Doggy Treats #Stackerz

I received this product free from Influenster. All opinions are my own.

Our doggy is a big girl. She's an Italian Mastiff and she's HUGE. We've moved to this small town and most people here find out where we live and say, "Oh you're the one with the GIANT dog." Yep that's us.

See how well trained she is though?
She's a good girl and she's not a puppy by any means. We love to give her treats but we try to manage her weight to a degree. So since she's a big 'un we need bigger treats for her. If they are too small then we have to give her TONS of them. That isn't good for her weight or for our wallet. If they are too big she swallows them quickly and that's even harder on our wallet.

Pedigree has a new snack called Stackerz. They are made with real meat and they are a good medium sized snack. The bag we tried was Filet Mignon & Bacon Flavor. As soon as doggy saw the treat she was sitting at attention! 

I really expected there to be a very strong, pungent odor when I opened the bag. They definitely have a pet food smell but it isn't horribly overwhelming.

You can see there are many Stackerz in the bag. That makes us happy because she gets at least a treat a day. We need a bag that will last us more than a couple of days at a time. She actually catches the Stackerz in her mouth, bites it in half, and then eats the two pieces. She's a little particular so this has been her pattern each time we've given her one. 

As you can see our fur baby has a new favorite treat! Look for the soft Stackerz treats at your favorite retailer.

Be sure to check out all our current giveaways.

Hay Hay Harvest Time

While we don't actually participate in harvesting anything this time of year we do love fall. I always hope to take the kids apple picking but it hasn't happened yet. We usually take a field trip to our favorite local farm but we've voted to skip it this year. While we are still looking for a fun, inexpensive field trip to replace that one, we have had some special harvest fun already.

The kids went to a fun birthday party with a pumpkin scavenger hunt. They got to take their pumpkins home after the party and of course we gutted them, roasted the seeds, and they (daddy & kids) carved them.

We had a special crafty women's ministry night at our church and made some really awesome wreaths for fall!

Our fearless leader and her wreath.

Speedy finished up his fall ball season and Apple is down to one game in her soccer schedule. Apple also tried out for a play with the local children's theater and is excited to have a role in the choir of the play.

We've just finished our "fall break" week. The kids enjoyed some time off of school and I got some items checked off my to-do list. 

All in all it's turning out to be an enjoyable fall. I keep ignoring the "so many days until Christmas" posts on social media. Last year I had my Christmas tree up in October. This year I feel like enjoying the cool weather, falling leaves, and pumpkin everything a little longer. 

We have some special books and movies we enjoy this time of year (Great Pumpkin anyone?). The kids are always thrilled when it is time for our holiday movie stash. They've already started working through the fall themed ones. 

If your family enjoys special books during particular season then you may be interested in the current Harvest Sale. You can find some special children's selections at great prices.

Find books like this one:

And many more.

To celebrate this Harvest Sale, Tommy Nelson has given me a bundle of 3 books to giveaway to one of you! 1 winner will be randomly selected to receive The Pumpkin Patch Parable, A Pumpkin Prayer, and Good Night Little Pumpkin. These books are also part of the sale! Enter today via the Giveaway Tools widget.


I am giving these books away on behalf of Tommy Nelson.

Be sure to enter all of our current giveaways!

Essential Oil Crystals #Giveaway

I received these Purex Crystals free in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

All of the uses and benefits of essential oils are really becoming evident to the general population. Naturalists have long known their positive affects but regular folks like me are just learning about all the things they can do. We use essential oils for disinfectant, headaches, muscle pain, skin issues, and so much more.

Y'all know I love Purex Crystals so I was THRILLED when I found out about the new Purex Crystals Aromatherapy.

I got out my Purex Detergent and my new Purex Crystals Aromatherapy Energy and I was ready to do my laundry.

These Crystals smell AMAZING. All Purex Crystals have a pleasant scent but the orange scent definitely gives a me a small burst of energy.

In went the towels, detergent, and Crystals. I decided my towels were the perfect test subject because who doesn't want a little extra energy after their morning shower? The towels smelled fantastic after they were washed and dried. Now my whole linen closet has a pleasant citrus-y smell! 

Purex Crystals Aromatherapy comes in 3 scents (Energy, Well-Being, and Serenity) and they all help eliminate odors. They are great for other odor elimination as well. Our doggy sleeps in the basement at night. She's a large dog who HATES baths so she can be a little.....odoriferous at times. I poured some of the Purex Crystals Aromatherapy in a small bowl and set it out of reach in the basement. I couldn't believe how fresh it smelled by morning! 

Thank you for another fantastic product Purex! 

Who wants to win their own bottle of Purex Crystals Aromatherapy? I have 3 coupons to giveaway. 3 winners will be randomly selected to receive one coupon each. Enter via the Giveaway Tools widget.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Deep Cleaning the Sofa #leathernova

I received a free product from Tomoson for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own. 

Y'all know I like to clean right? New cleaning tools make me happy. One item that I haven't been able to clean to my satisfaction is our very large, leather sectional sofa. We purchased it used (like bought, put in their house in a spare room, and never sat on) from some friends several years ago. We have 2 kids who were young when we bought it and we moved it earlier this year when we changed residences. The best I've ever done is wipe it down and vacuum out the hide-a-bed. Well and an unfortunate incident with some alcohol that faded out a spot.......

So when I had the opportunity to try Leather Nova Leather Cleaner I was super excited. Now I can finally really deep clean my sofa. Here's a before:

To use the Leather Nova you simply spray it on (be sure to test a spot first- I tested on the back of the couch).

Wipe in a circular motion with the included microfiber cloth.

Then do a final wipe with a dry, clean cloth.

I was amazed at the grime just off of one seat!

I was also so excited at the difference in the seat I cleaned and the dirty one next to it. Ewww. I'm not sure the pictures do it justice. Trust me. Eww.

You can follow up with a leather conditioner if desired.

Hubby wanted in on all the clean so he tackled his duty belt. He was very pleased with the results too.

Leather Nova comes in an easy to use 18 oz spray bottle. It is suitable for leather and vinyl (always test before using). Not for use on suede, nubuck, or microfiber. Try it on your belts, shoes, furniture, purses, wallets, car seats, and more!

Well now I have to go clean the 6 other seats on my couch. Then it will be good as new! Except for that unfortunate faded spot from before......

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Be sure to enter all of our current giveaways.