Tuesday, October 25, 2016

What's New on Educents

From fixes for fidgeters to DIY electronics, check out these awesome innovations to teach our next generation, body, mind and manner.  
Tip: At Educents use the code CANDYCORN through 10/31 for Free Shipping. A sweet treat worthy of indulging. 
Lots of great educational items on Educents! I'm loving these items in today's post, especially the fall yoga book right below. It combines some of our favorite things: yoga, nature, and fall! 
Math games and electronics kits are still aways off for us, but I love anything that makes learning fun...Plus Myka already likes figuring out how things work, so I'm pretty sure she's going to be a tinkerer like her dad! 

Health & Beauty...For Kids


This adorable fall yoga book encourages kiddos to explore signs of fall outside, while stretching into the shapes they discover out and about.         
What's better than a walk on a crisp fall day, photography, and getting moving? Maybe some Pumpkin Spice coffee but that's about it. Best of all, the book includes a list of yoga poses for kids and a parent-teacher guide, so you can get your stretches in while encouraging health and learning.

A Fix for Fidgeters


 I wish they had these when I was in school with fidgeters, and I'm so grateful they have them now that I'm a parent. This clever tool provides fidgeters with a quiet, non-disruptive way to keep their feet moving while their eyes, ears, and hands stay focused. And it's not just for learning time - if you have a family occasion or a dinner out, this tool can be your saving grace.

Lights, Motors, Action: DIY Electronics Kit 

diy electronics

Imagine a world where your curious builder doesn't break open your cell phone or radio, but has all of the "let me figure this out" experiments right at their fingertips. From simple experiments to advanced, this DIY Electronics kit has all the experiments for your tinkerer:
  • glowing LEDs,
  • beeping buzzers,
  • controlling lights & motors
  • using a Multimeter
  • automatic night lamp set up
  • robotics motor-driver
I've listed more than most can handle and that's just the tip of the iceberg in this amazing kit. There are more than 50 different activities with step-by-step instructions waiting to be prototyped, tested, and built. Next up, teleporter!

Math Games for ALL the Rainy Days

Who doesn't love a game? Research shows that play increases creativity AND smarts - as well as longevity. Since math can become a struggle, removing some of the heft of this "serious" subject by making it a game works wonders! These math games encourage play and math learning in one fell swoop!         
Give your kiddos the gift of having fun with math to build up their confidence! Whether your child is learning about fractions, perimeter, multiplication or division, this awesome Seller on Educents has a game for every level of math learning. The games are colorful, and plenty of fun for the entire family.

Not a Lost Art: Handwriting Visual Workbooks

Watching your child learn to write is so fun - from the charming shapes to the fully fledged sentences. It's one of the most important ways they'll communicate - and believe it or not, handwriting still matters!         
No matter what your child's level of handwriting - the art can use practice, practice, practice. Channie's Visual Handwriting Workbooks are super cute, and all cost less than $10! Great prep for Thank You notes for Santa, for birthdays and all the wonderful occasions to come. :)

Monday, October 24, 2016

Homesteading Update: Clear All the Things!

             Hey folks! It's been a few weeks since I've had any homesteading posts, but that definitely doesn't mean we haven't been busy around here! Besides having a lot more interest and obligations towards parenting-related posts and reviews lately, we've been so busy with outdoor stuff that I just haven't had time to write about our exploits!

Go home, tractor! You're drunk!

             One of John's co-workers is letting us borrow his old tractor and bush hog kind of indefinitely, so we've been slowly but surely clearing some areas we want cleared for expanding our “grow op” in the future. (Significantly more fruit trees, berry bushes, pumpkin patch, etc.) Clear all the things! J/k. We won't even be clearing that much relative to how much property we have. We like our woods too much...plus clearing that much by ourselves would take for-ev-er.

Future pumpkin patch and ???

 Big area cleared on the hill by the house. Future home of more fruit trees!

             Other than that, we are finally getting trails cleared too! I finally got to see the end of our property...now that we've been living here for over a year. Lol Better late than never, right?

This is actually our "neighbor's" field, but it's a pretty view, right?

             In other homesteading news, we cleared out the rest of our squash patch (and black beans) yesterday. We've been trying to sell our extra butternuts, eggs, and pickles! 

            We finally decided to get rid of Plucky. He's been picking on Myka and she's too much of a weeny to be mean back to him most of the time to show him SHE'S the boss. Plus, we just had way too many roosters-3 of them to only 10 hens. O.O AND, he would never shut up, so he drew the short straw by default. As it turns out, we didn't care for the meat from our meat birds, so we just gave him away for free to a lady I know in our local online Facebook farmer's market group.

             Seriously...SOOO many freaking pumpkins, all from the volunteers! I think the final count was around 16? We've only carved 6 so far...

             We've decided to keep Mr.Bruce as he's doing a better job of rooting now. (We thought about selling him awhile ago, if I didn't mention that anywhere.) He's pouting here because we finally put his harness on him. What's with the dog harness? While he is in an electric fenced in area, he's been stuck in a pen we made with some kind of panels we found in the garage (chicken wire panels?) after the Great Pig Escape of July. So we'd like to be able to take him out soon and roam around more.

             What has been going on around your place? Do you have any plants left in your garden?

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Count Your Chickens! Board Game Review

             Hey folks! I don't know about you, but I have always loved playing board games. (Unfortunately for me, I was an only child and had to talk my parents into playing with me!) Not surprisingly, John and I didn't play nearly as many games as we used to after we had Myka. It's not that we didn't have time to, but...It's a little hard, to say the least, trying to play a board game with a baby/toddler trying to move all of your pieces or steal cards. I'm not gonna lie: I was kind of sad that we wouldn't get to play games again for several years, and even longer for Myka to actually be able to play any with us.
             With that being said, I was excited to learn in the last year or so that there are companies out there that actually make board games for little kids! Peaceable Kingdom is one such company, specializing in cooperative games. What are cooperative kids games, you ask? Instead of competing against other players, you all work together towards a goal. I think this is such a great idea for young kids because 1) Losing can be a tough thing for kids to understand and process and 2) It helps teach them how to work as a group. 

 She was very excited about getting a game!

             Peaceable Kingdom has a wide variety of games, such as The Fairy Game, Engineering Ants, Dinosaur Escape, and so much more! You're sure to find a game you're child will be interested in and love. We recently had the opportunity to try out Count Your Chickens. In this game, the goal is to work together to get all of the baby chicks back into the coop before mama hen makes it back. You simply spin the spinner and move your mama hen to the closest corresponding picture on the board. Count how many spaces you move and that's how many chicks you get to put in the coop for that turn! Here are mine and Myka's thoughts on the game:

Straight forward, easy to understand game board and simple instructions.

*This was a great choice for us because, if you've read any of my homesteading posts, you'll know that chickens are a big part of life around here! In fact, Myka figured out the premise to the game without even realizing it and before I explained further just by me telling her that the baby chicks had escaped from the coop. “Oh no! We have to put them back!” ha ha!

*Count Your Chickens is geared towards children aged 3+, so I like that this was easy for her to catch on to with minimal explaining.

*I'm sure if you're reading this, you're aware of how short little one's attention spans can be. Count Your Chickens takes roughly 15 minutes to play, give or take. This seems to be just the right amount of time to keep them engaged without getting bored!

She was making that face because we landed on the fox. That means we have to take a chick back out of the coop. ;)  (She knows they're not good for chickens in real life too! ha ha)

*Again, kids can be sore losers. (Who am I kidding? So can adults!) That's why I like this cooperative game. Besides not having to deal with a temper tantrum over losing (Yes, technically, you can “lose” Count Your Chickens, but it seems very difficult to do so. We haven't yet!), they are learning important life skills too, such as working together, taking turns, following directions, and more. I like things that make learning fun!

*Count Your Chickens also helps with learning numbers and counting in a fun way.

*It's not just fun for kids either. It's been enjoyable for all of us (well, except Ripley ;) ) to play together. It's not mind-numbingly boring or, well, dumb, like you might expect a game for very young kids.

Nice little storage envelope to keep all of your pieces in one spot!

*I also thought it was neat to learn that the game board and pieces are 100% green, printed with soy-based inks and parts made with corn-based plastic and FSC wood.

*I would definitely recommend (and have already!) and buy other games from Peaceable Kingdom. They make for great learning and family fun and are affordable. You can purchase your own Count Your Chickens game for just $15.99.

             Be sure to check out all of Peaceable Kingdom's games (and stickers, tattoos, and greeting cards!) and stay up-to-date with them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube.
This Is How We Roll Thursday Party
Thinking Outside The Pot

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Family Game Night Giveaway

The Family Game Night Giveaway from Winning Moves Games! Ends 11/09


Deliciously Savvy is Hosting a Family Night Giveaway for 1 Lucky Winner! Winner Will Get To Choose Any 2 Games From The New 2016 Games Lineup @ Winning Moves Games! There are lots of fabulous choices & They make great gifts! Enter Today and Good Luck!

Sponsored By:


Hosted By: Deliciously Savvy

Co:Hosted By:

A Mom's Perspective // Babushka's Baile // The Worthier Part // My Silly Little Gang // Heartbeats ~ Soul Stains // Life of a Busy Mommy // A Wandering Vine // God's Growing Garden // Michigan Saving and More // PaulaMS' Giveaways, Reviews, & Freebies

Plus a Big Thank You To All Blogs Helping To Promote! I Can Never Do It Without Each and Every One of You! Thank You!

And Now The Giveaway!



1 Lucky Winner Will Receive:

2 Games from the New 2016 Games Lineup at Winning Moves Games! Winners Choice! Check Them Out HERE. My Personal favorite... the Scrabble To Go! My Family Loves It!
Giveaway Dates ~ Starts 10/18 10PM EST & Ends 11/09 11:59PM EST
Entrants must be 18 years old to enter and giveaway is open to US residents only
Any Questions Email Me At mcushing7 (at) hotmail (dot) com.
This giveaway is in no way endorsed, affiliated or associated with Facebook,
Twitter or any other Social Media Networking Site. This giveaway is valid only
in the United States. Entrants must be 18+ years of age to enter.
This giveaway will end at 11:59PM (EST) on 11/09/2016.

Good Luck! Enter Below

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By Supporting Our Blogs Via Social Media You Are Helping Us To Provide Fabulous Prizes For Amazing Future Giveaways! Good Luck & Thank You!

Monday, October 17, 2016

DIY Scratch Pad Craft

             Hey folks! I've always loved art and am so glad Myka enjoys it too! Hubby and I were recently talking about those rainbow scratch pads (not sure if that's what they're called, but these things) and we both remembered making our own in art class in school. We had slightly different ways of making them, but mine sounded slightly easier and less time consuming, so we tried it out again the other day for funsies. (Plus we figured Myka might like making them with us!)

What You'll Need:

-printer paper
-crayons (the bright, basic colors seem to work best)
-black tempera or acrylic paint
-a pencil or other pointed implement to scratch with (I used scissors)

*First you'll need to color your entire sheet of paper. You can do this however you like, of course, but we thought it looked neater with the basic, bright colors in diagonal lines. The first one we tried (the birthday one below) we used Myka's big box of crayons with all the crazy colors going every which way and some of them just didn't show up that well. I think you'll find your design is more colorful by doing diagonals too.

*Once you're finished coloring, paint your entire page with black tempera or acrylic paint. Make sure you get a nice, even coating, but don't use too much! We used acrylic for ours because we don't believe in tempera paints in this household (I've never liked them, for whatever reason. Ha ha), but I think we probably used tempera paints to make these in school. (Hey, elementary school was a LONG time ago!) Acrylics seem to work ok as far as the scratching goes, but tempera might be easier. They just take longer to dry than acrylics. (FYI if you have impatient kids!)

I did mess with the color saturation on this picture so you could see the difference better.

*Let the paint dry completely and scratch away! (I used scissors to scratch with for these examples, but I'm sure you can find something safer for kids! ha!)

             Myka hasn't really wanted to scratch any drawings on the finished products for whatever reason, but this is a fun art project even for little kids since they can help make it too. :) Plus, the worst part is waiting for the paint to dry. Other than that, it's relative quick and easy to make!
Thinking Outside The Pot
This Is How We Roll Thursday Party

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Littlebeam Nursing Pillow & More Giveaway

Mommy & Me Giveaway! 
Win a Nursing Pillow, Toddler Pillow & Book!

Sponsored By: littlebeam

Hosted By: Love, Mrs. Mommy

Littlebeam makes beautiful nursing pillows for the breastfeeding mama and are designed by a Lactation Consultant. Littlebeam started out due to a mother’s desire for a comfortable fitting nursing pillow. The product has evolved over the years and with her daughter’s help in creating the final product, they named it littlebeam!

Winner Will Receive The Following Prize Pack

a littlebeam nursing pillow (winner's choice) a babybeam toddler pillow (winner's choice) & a Just Like Mommy board book!

Open To US entries and must be 18+ to enter Giveaway Dates ~ 10/16 9:00 AM EST through 10/31 11:59 PM EST
Disclosure: Love, Mrs. Mommy and all participating bloggers are not held responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize obligations. Love, Mrs. Mommy received a toddler pillow and board book at no cost to facilitate the above-mentioned review. This giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by Facebook or any other social media site. The winner will be randomly drawn by Giveaway Tools and will be notified by email. Winner has 48 hours to reply before a replacement winner will be drawn. If you would like to participate in an event like this please contact LoveMrsMommy (at) gmail (dot) com.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Home Renovation Made Easier with Renovationexperts.com

             Deciding to remodel or add on to your house can be stressful, no matter how big or small the job may be. Even more scary are the horror stories you see on tv shows, like Holmes on Homes, where bad contractors leave people's houses even worse than they were to begin with or just outright rip them off! Home renovation doesn't have to be scary, though, with the proper planning and reputable company for whatever job you're working on.

This is a sponsored post on behalf of renovationexperts.com.

            Taking on a home or office renovation project is no small thing. In order for a remodel to come off successfully, a lot of planning is called for, as well as the services of a licensed contractor.

Planning Ahead

            The most important things to consider when remodeling is what your goals are for your dream home, and what kind of budget you can realistically work with. It’s great to dream big, but some remodels (like a redo of the kitchen or the bathroom) are much more involved than others. The kitchen and bathroom both (obviously) involve plumbing, so remodels in those areas will require the services of a general contractor as well as a plumber to take care of the plumbing mechanics and installing the fixtures.

Creating a Detailed Design Scheme

            One of the smartest things you can do when planning a remodel is to get a design scheme down, in detail, in advance. Proceeding with the work without a firm idea of what’s involved can lead to very costly mistakes. Take some time to study some of the many online design resources available to check on color schemes for walls, furniture, fixtures, doors and accent pieces like crown moulding. There are also great resources at paint stores for getting color samples and seeing what combinations will work well in your space. Time spent on advance planning is time well spent, to be sure.

            Once you have a good idea of what you want to achieve in your remodel (with solid ideas about an overall plan and color schemes) you should start looking for contractors. You may be asking, “How do I find general contractors near me?” but the good news is that now there’s an excellent online resource available for finding general contractors in your area, called renovationexperts.com.

            This online site provides detailed listings of local contractors, along with references and a listing of the services they provide. When you’ve found some choices whose experience suits your project, you can give them a call to arrange for a consultation. Generally this type of meeting is free, and serves as a “get-acquainted” meeting that allows you to ask questions of the contractor and tell them your ideas about the scope of your project. Once you’ve decided on the person you want to hire, you can begin planning the project in detail.

            From there, you and the contractor can develop detailed plans to work from once construction begins. The beauty of having a solid plan is that you can make changes before any construction begins.

            Yes, a remodel job is a big task, but with the right contractor, it can flow smoothly and stay on budget, too.

Mixed Bag Mama was compensated monetarily for this post. Regardless, I only post things I think might be useful to my readers.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Cute & Cuddly Sock T. Pus (Review)

            Hey folks! Do any of you have kids that are obsessed with stuffed animals? Myka has been for awhile and Ripley seems to have an affinity for them already too...I blame both cases on my husband since he also had a stuffed animal obsession as a kid. Anyhow, I was excited when offered the chance to review and share about one of the new items in the exclusive Babies R Us line from Baby Aspen: Mrs. Sock T. Pus. Let's get right to it on some general info and what we thought of our Sock T. Pus!

-There is a “Mr.” and “Mrs”; one in blue, one in purple.

-Each comes with 4 pairs of baby socks in size 0-6 months. I'm sure you can guess that the blue one includes “boy” socks and the purple one “girls”.

-Sock T. Pus is surface washable.

-Mr. or Mrs. Sock T. Pus would make a great baby shower gift. It's kind of the perfect gift, if you think about it. You still get to fulfill your desire to buy something cute, but the parents also get something useful with the socks! (Not that the octopus itself isn't “useful” in its own right when baby is older. ;) )

-The girls and I all love Mrs. Sock T. Pus! Myka (who just turned 4) got to play with it first because sister was napping when it came and I'm surprised she relinquished it once Ripley was awake. She was actually really excited to give it to her and kept saying “I think sister's awake” when she really wasn't because Myka wanted to give it to her so bad. Ha ha She's not nice to sister a whole lot, so Mrs. Sock T. Pus for the win!

-Ripley really likes it too. She immediately started snuggling it as you can see in the picture. She's 8 months old, so pretty much everything goes in the mouth. You would think she would know by now that Sock T. Pus doesn't taste very good, but she still goes for one of the tentacles every time she gets ahold of it. ;)

-It's SUPER soft! I kinda wanted to snuggle it myself...And may have rubbed it against my face at least once. That's not weird, right?

She immediately tried to take them off. lol

-The socks are cute too! (I think so, anyways.) Also, even though they're labeled as being for 0-6 months, my 8 month old can wear them just fine. (We all know how baby sock sizes can vary, right?) I'm not usually a fan of baby socks unless absolutely necessary because I can never seem to find any that don't dig into my kids' baby cankles, but these don't seem to do that, so that's a major plus too!

-Mrs. Sock T. Pus also has “crinklies” in the upper part of her tentacles, so that's added fun for baby and sensory development.

             Believe it or not, I actually don't have any negative things to say about Mrs. Sock T. Pus. She's been a big hit with all of us. They're affordable too for just $19.99 on Babies R Us. Also exclusive to Babies R Us are Baby Aspen's Shark Gown and Cap Gift Sets, Shark Bib and Burp Cloth Gift Set, and Octopus Bib and Burp Cloth Gift Set, which are available now! Check out all of Baby Aspen's boutique-quality baby gifts on their main website and stay up-to-date with them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. (Be sure to check out their parent site too, Kate Aspen, for goodies for your next celebration, whether it be a bridal shower, birthday, or holiday party!)

             One more thing before you go! Be sure to head over to the giveaway page for a chance to win your own Sock T. Pus! One winner will receive a Mr. Sock T. Pus and one winner will receive a Mrs. Sock T. Pus!
This Is How We Roll Thursday Party

Sock T. Pus Giveaway

Welcome to the Sock T. Pus Giveaway!

Hosted By: Mixed Bag Mama

Sponsored By: Baby Aspen

            Looking for the perfect baby gift, whether it's for your own little one or a friend's? Look no further! Mr. and Mrs. Sock T. Pus have you covered. They are super soft and cuddly for baby AND they come with 4 pairs of socks, so you can fulfill your desire to get something cute and still feel good about getting new parents something functional as well! 
            Mixed Bag Mama and her girls loved their Mrs. Sock T. Pus they reviewed. You can purchase your own Mr. or Mrs. Sock T. Pus exclusively on Babies R Us for $19.99. Be sure to check out Baby Aspen's other exclusive Babies R Us items while you're there too, including the Shark Gown and Cap gift sets and Octopus Bib and Burp Cloth gift set
            Now for the fun part! One winner will receive a Mr. Sock T. Pus and one winner will receive a Mrs. Sock T. Pus. (The first name drawn gets their choice of Mr. or Mrs.) For your chance to win, simply enter the Giveaway Tools form below. Only your email address is required to enter (only used to contact the winner), but the more entries you have, the better your chance of winning. Good luck!

Mixed Bag Mama and all participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. This giveaway is not affiliated with any social media platform, including, but not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Mixed Bag Mama will never sell or distribute your information in any way. Your email is only used if you are the winner so that Mixed Bag Mama may contact you.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Vive Health Forehead Thermometer Giveaway

Welcome to the Vive Health Giveaway!

Vive Health specializes in home medical supplies and durable equipment, offering customers a direct source and affordable way to fulfill their medical needs. Mommy & Love has partnered with Vive Health to provide one lucky winner an extremely accurate and up-to-date forehead thermometer just in time for the cold and flu season! This is especially exciting for mothers with small children... Children are NOT known to sit still for 10+ seconds with a thermometer under their tongue... or other unmentionable places! This forehead thermometer requires NO skin contact & works in 1 second to obtain an extremely accurate temperature reading. It's truly perfect for anyone looking for a hygienic, accurate way to diagnose fevers.

Forehead Thermometer Features

  • Guaranteed Accuracy
  • Memory Recall - Stores up to 20 readings
  • 1 Second Readings
  • Interchangeable between °C and °F
  • Ultrabright Display
  • Out of the Box Ready
Read the Full Review at Mommy & Love to learn more information and see cute baby modeling images!

Enter to Win

This giveaway is open to US residents. Ends 10/21 at midnight.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
*Disclosure: Sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment. Giveaway is not associated with Facebook or any other social media network.