Sunday, October 11, 2015

When Thou Art At Home, Do As They Do At Home

Ever since I found a pin on Pinterest that another blogger shared, of a mason jar craft that was simply gluing some pretty doilies onto the jar and placing an LED tea light inside, I have been buying mason jars and paints by the case. I even have my youngest daughter coming up with ideas on a daily basis for what to do with all of our jars and how to make them pretty!

We went on a shopping spree for art supplies mainly paints, brushes, sponges,, and oh yeah, LOTS of glitter! Genevive had a few spools of glitter ribbon left from another project so, we made a totally posh night light for her bedroom. (The total girly jar on the far right with the sparkly ribbon!) 

We are still testing out different kinds of paints, in search of doilies at a reasonable price, and are currently in the market for different types of LED tea lights, frosted spray paint, glow in the dark spray paint, and anything else that will help us make tons of one of a kind jars! (Please leave comments or find me on Twitter or Instagram, where I most often spend my time if you have any ideas!!)

We try to teach our children how to be self sufficient and sustainable and we enjoy doing activities that don't require a screen of any kind. The kids enjoy craft nights, we have DIY sleepover parties, invite neighborhood kids over to learn to make anything from cheese to granola to bubble gum to their very own and very chic, bedroom decorations. I'm a sucker for saving money and learning and that time consuming social media network, Pinterest! So, I have lists upon lists of projects I am anxious to try with the little ones and on my own. I hope to get to a point where we make at least 50% of our own snack foods, convenience foods, beauty, bath, and body products, home decor, and even flashlights. (Yes, we are just a tad bit away from our goal but I must admit, even though we have such a fun time making our ow cheese, I will buy some cheese at the store. But, cheddar and mozzarella are almost all homemade.) 

Genevive helped to make this adorable butter jar that we painted with chalkboard paint and she used chalkboard markers to make these fancy letters. It was fairly easy to get the chalkboard paint to look even after a few coats and a sponge brush and the markers worked quite well! (We even made some cute, chalkboard planters that we baked in the oven for about 30 minutes.) But... after our first butter churning, (ok, we don't churn it, we shake it very vigorously.), the chalkboard marker started to rub off and ended up more on us then the jar. I am guessing maybe this was due to a combination of not waiting long enough for this to dry, condensation, temperature, and repeated rubbing on the jar. While I wish so much that there was a way to erase the chalkboard markers sometimes, it was a fun project and we learned from it. The chalkboard markers did last and are still as fresh looking as the day we did the planters, and chalkboard markers are just way to addicting to just trade in for chalk!! (So, yeah we'll stick with these babies!) 

We would be delighted to hear from you! We need suggestions for good paints, the best nail files or sandpaper to file the jars down before and after paint, erasable chalk markers?? Maybe an eraser designed just for chalkboard markers!? If you have a blog post, a pin, anything you would like to share about your own projects or ideas for some mason jar projects, please leave your links! 

Monday, October 5, 2015

World Teachers' Day

** I received a donation to the charity of my choice (Teachers Without Borders or Teach For America), in return for sharing this post originally written on Grammerly. **

World Teacher Day

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Enter To Win A Mutts Comics Prize Pack!!

** I received compensation in return for my review, promoting, and hosting this giveaway. All opinions are my own. **

Not to long ago, I received an extra special package in the mail. At the time, we didn't realize just how extra special this package would become, but, we were still thrilled to open up the carefully packed box and Genevive was giggling and shrieking because she just loves ribbons! We didn't want to untie it right away because it looked so pretty!!

Both of us were totally tickled pink over the Mutts nightshirt! I had to break down and share the nightshirt with her, even though, it is a little big, but, she looks so darn cute. I couldn't help it!

To coincide with the release of the new book, The Mutts Winter Diaries, Richard Leeds International has designed a cozy nightshirt to give you the sweetest of dreams.

As you can see, it is a super comfy nightshirt and it will be hard to sneak it from her but, like I said, it is really, really soft and perfect for this chilly weather! 

The Mutts Winter Diaries, is such a cool book and Genevive especially loved the illustrations and the characters, Mooch and Earl. We couldn't help but giggle hysterically at the adorable way they say things like, "schnacky schnacks!" We had a lot of fun reading this out loud and taking turns reading to my youngest! He loves to read as well and he enjoys sitting in the middle and also taking a turn or 2! Of course, I have now been asked several times, "Mom! What are we having for schnacky schnacks tonight?!". 

We turned this into a "girl's night out" sort of thing. Which is especially nice since we don't get away from the boys to often these days. Since our oldest moved out and got married, we are down to 2 girls and 3 boys here so, anytime we can runaway is super important. So, we decided that we are going to ask Santa Claus for some more of the Mutts Comics and we will run downstairs to our hideaway, our 2nd kitchen, SHHHHH! (Yes, we actually have one of those. It comes in handy for holiday meals, parties, birthday parties, making cheese, candles, and now, our secret book club.) We have some fancy hot tea, homemade cookies, and we wear our pajamas and read together. (Until somebody notices we are missing!) This book review has been a blessing for us because us girls need to have some me time sometimes and now we have made this into a regular habit! All thanks to Mooch and Earl!

Mooch and Earl are just having the time of their lives, preparing for winter and making sure the rest of their buddies are loving the winter season. (We're anxious for snow too!) There is never a dull moment with these 2 and the comic strips are clever. The kind of wit that a grown up even enjoys! Remember back when all of the good cartoons would be fun for mom and dad and the kids? That's how The Mutts comics are. 

One of our favorite parts of this book, is the section at the end, More to Explore. This is a very entertaining section about how to help our animal friends during the cold, snowy, winter months. For instance, they explain that it is best for cats to stay indoors where it is safe from the hazards and harms of the bustling outside world. Because, not every cat has an Earl to keep them out of trouble. 

You and your little ones can read about different animals and how they survive winter time and how you can help! We are hoping to build a winter bird restaurant so that we can help feed them while we are covered in snow. (Yes, I am a bit of a weather nerd and I have been keeping a close eye on what our section of Pennsylvania can expect this coming winter and I am afraid there is a ton of snow on the way!) Something I thought I would never say, we are even contemplating building a bat house. (I know what some of you may be thinking but I can't help it. They really are cute, little things and we weren't so happy to learn that bats have recently been having a hard time finding natural homes in the wild.) 

There are a few pages of tips and even a link for you to visit if you want to learn more about these sweet, furry, animal friends. Mooch and Earl would very much appreciate it if we all pitched in and helped to make sure their friends are safe and their bellies are full!

You can find Mooch and Earl on their very own website! 

Tweet them on Twitter!

"Like" them on Facebook!

and of course, you have to follow them on Instagram!

Oh yeah! I almost forgot! You should really, really, really, enter our giveaway that Mooch and Earl are so generously sponsoring! You could win a Mutts Comic's Prize Pack and even stash it away for a gift this holiday season! We highly recommend their book and we are very eager to read more of their comics. Just enter through the Rafflecopter below!

Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, September 25, 2015

Little Laundry Lifehacks Giveaway

I'm teaming up with some great brands and bloggers to share some of my favorite laundry hacks, plus a chance to win a Little Laundry Lifehacks Giveaway (including a $150 Walmart gift card.)

Four Fabulous Laundry Hacks

1. Sick of ironing? Put your iron away and use Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus instead. Just spray, smooth and tug and watch those wrinkles disappear! Click here to download a coupon. DWR to the rescue

2. Have a stain while you're out and about? Use the Dreft Stain Stick to remove the stain ASAP. Click here to download a coupon.


3. Keep forgetting those wet towels in the wash? Febreze In-Wash Odor Eliminator to the rescue. Add some to your next load of laundry, and #SinktheStink. Click here to download a coupon. the-key-to-fresh-laundry

Image courtesy of Kids Activities Blog.

4. Trying to get your clothes as soft as possible - and don't have an HE washer? Don't forget about the Downy Ball! Click here to download a coupon. e6229570761b33d88fed43c79a69b24e

Enter to Win

Complete the form below to enter to win a Laundry Lifehack prize pack - full of product from Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus, Febreze In-Wash Odor Eliminator, Dreft Home and Downy Ball. Plus a $150 Walmart Gift Card.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Mediasafe Meds and Pill Reminder App Review

I received compensation for my work on this campaign. This post was made possible by Mom Spark Media. Thoughts are my own.

If there is one thing I desire more than anything as a busy mom, it's anything that will help organize and make my hectic life just a little bit easier. The Medisafe Meds and Pill Reminder app is exactly that! Especially with children.

Medisafe is a fabulous app for people who have any health concerns, medications, any illnesses, people who take care of others who have health concerns, whether they are parents, spouses, children, and for anybody who could use some help with reminders for their regular family dentist and doctor appointments, or medication reminders.

We have 6 in our family, (5 at home since our oldest daughter grew up and has a family of her own.), so, we have lots of doctor appointments, dentist appointments, 3 of us with regular medications that need to be taken on time, and 4 of us with specialist appointments. I usually have at least 3 day planners going at once. One for blogging, one for appointments, and one for school, after school activities, and a typical mom agenda to do list. So, I am very relieved to have the chance to review this app! It has proven to be very reliable, easy to use, and I can keep track of all of our appointments, medications, I can even keep track of measurements if I had a Google Fit! (Now on my want list!)

There are currently 2 million people using the Medisafe Meds and Pill Reminder app, which tells me that there are more than 2 million people who rely on this app for their loved ones to be reminded of crucial things like, when to take their next pill and to be content in knowing that the grueling question, "Did I just take a pill?", is now a thing of the past. This app will learn about you as you use it and be able to notify you of refills, upcoming appointments, even personalized health benefits, discounts, and you can even email your measurements to a caregiver or your doctor!

This app is very simple to use. It runs very smoothly, navigates perfect, and would be a wise choice for an older relative since it is so easy to use. My neighbor, Helga, is 84 years old and as long as the screen is big enough, (I had her test this out on my Sony Xperia,), she was able to figure out which screen does what and how to input her information.

I hope that there are doctor's offices and pharmacies who are referring their patients to Medisafe. Since I can often be found in pain management, neurology, rhuematology, orthopedics, bone and joint, cleft palate clinics, and our family doctor's office, I have been chatting away in the waiting room and would love to see some business cards we can hand out or leave behind! People like my neighbor and best friend, Helga, absolutely can not miss a dose of their medicine. If she misses a dose, she ends up very sick and could end up in the hospital. She is living on her own since her husband passed away a year ago and as much as we check on her each day, she still needs an app like this to keep track of her extremely important medicines, doses, and appointments. Not to mention, she can also have a "Med friend".

I love the option of adding a Med Friend on Medisafe. You can add their email and phone number and share all of your meds with this person. They can help you remember to take your medicine and to update your profile. I have myself down as Helga's Med Friend since we live right across the street. Oh, one more thing I almost forgot to add! One of the neatest things about this app is the way you can add your medicines and not just by name and dose but by shape and color of the pill! I find that this comes in handy for people who are taking multiple prescriptions. This app could end up saving lives in more ways then one.

The family story behind Medisafe:

The 2 co founder brothers decided to create Medisafe to help their diabetic father manage his health and medications better. Their mission is to make Medisafe the app that helps you stay on top of your health and medications and be our health companion.

You can find Medisafe at The App Store, or Google Play.

Medisafe's user story in the LA Times!
Medisafe's user story on their blog!

I received compensation for my work on this campaign. This post was made possible by Mom Spark Media. Thoughts are my own.

Monday, September 14, 2015

My Favorite Jewelry Website

** I received products of my choice in return for my honest review, via Inspired Silver and Diamond Bloggers. All statements are my own. **

I am not a real big jewelry person but I do collect rings. Silver rings to be exact. I never was into gold but I will buy up as many pretty, silver rings as I can possibly attain! Yes, I do sometimes try to wear one on each finger but, I mostly try and swap them out from time to time so they each get a turn!

I especially love the prices on and even more, I am ecstatic to see the variety of rings for all styles and tastes. I was given a credit code to use for anything I wanted off of the site, it took me a couple of hours, literally, to narrow it down to a couple of choices! (I already have a wish list for my holiday, anniversary, and birthday ideas for my husband lol!) You can also treat yourself without feeling guilty! I was able to choose 2 gorgeous pieces of jewelry and to be honest, I don't usually spend a large amount on jewelry so, these 2 pieces are up there with my, "total dress up" and "best pieces" collection. My "best pieces" collection consists of a few rings my husband purchased for me, several Anne Klein watches he bought me over the years, (all in need of batteries but no way to change them without running to a fancy jewelry store.), and my Inspired Silver Jackie's Oval Sapphire CZ ring and my RSD awareness ribbon bracelet. 

I am adding, Inspired Silver to our gift guide this year because the prices are great, the selections are lovely, and there is something here for everybody. Shipping is fast unless you order something that may require a slightly longer time frame, which is what my RSD awareness ribbon bracelet needed, but I still received my order in a timely fashion and what was expected.

Inspired Silver also offers free shipping on orders $60+ and as if their already discounted prices weren't awesome enough, they do run deals from time to time! Oh, I almost forgot, all of your jewelry will come in some super cute, drawstring bags!

Periscope Addiction

So, I have this new addiction and I can't even begin to imagine life without this new app.
I was only recently made aware of this app and immediately just had to grab a new Android, so I could grab it. Yes, I had an Android but it is a very old one. (Maybe 4 years or more.) It had a pull out keyboard and I tried to hang onto it as much as I could. I am just not that great at this new touchscreen stuff. Although, I guess I will be texting a lot less.

A couple of weeks ago, I received an invite for a webinar, all about Periscope. I was still a bit confused but figured I should try this out. You know, at least claim my blog name and try and make a few "Periscopes". So, I got this nifty, Sony Xperia, activated it, installed Periscope, and that's where I have been since.

I met a cool guy from New Zealand, who makes grilled cheese sandwiches on a George Foreman type grill, with butter, "American Style" mayo, cheese, and bread. He also drinks tea while he waits for his morning grilled cheese sandwiches and he says he is, "from the future" lol. (Once, he said it was Tuesday and somebody couldn't believe that, since it was still, Monday, in Vegas.)So, he very cleverly, explained that he is from the future and not to worry because the future looks bright :)

This morning I met, Isaac, a young gentleman from Ghana. He holds daily Periscopes, called, "Learn everything about Ghana". He told us that there are 24 million people in Ghana, they have 14 regions, (some countries call them, states.), and he has a cool, 2 bedroom apartment and for fun, he goes to the beach and likes to hang out with his friends.

When you install, Periscope, it will tie in with your Twitter if you have one, and takes your profile picture and description right from your Twitter account. From there, it will take you to a list of about 100 people that you already follow on Twitter. Hurry up because, after that, you will see a map of the world with little red circles all around. Some circles will have numbers which will show how many people are on, broadcasting live, right now. Some won't have a number. This just means that there is only 1 broadcaster on at the moment.

No worries if you miss a Periscope! You will be able to replay them. (Unless the broadcaster decided to delete the replay.) But, you can find recent broadcasts on their channels. You won't be able to "talk" and it won't be live, but you can still leave some hearts for the videos that you do like.

Usually, a common thing to do when you first connect with a live broadcast, is to say, hello and maybe let them know where you are from. The broadcaster can read your chat messages and will often reply and answer any questions you might have. The cool thing is that you get to see the world through other people's eyes.

I have always been very fascinated with The Netherlands, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Russia. So, whenever I see a red circle pop up in any of these places, I click to see who's on. Periscope doesn't get to full just yet but I am figuring on this being a fairly big social network in the very near future. But, for now, it is easy to connect and you can chat unless the broadcaster limited the feature to only people they are following.

I have been putting Instagram as my favorite social network but Periscope is really climbing high up there and is quite possibly at a tie for first, next to Instagram. I love both networks for different reasons. I also believe that Periscope will end up helping a ton of brands and bloggers with their businesses. I would advise to at least claim your name and start a account if you can.

If you happen to get on Periscope, please come visit my page and follow me :) I will follow back and would love to chat with you!