Wednesday, December 30, 2015

This Week in Photos-12/30/15

            Hey folks! Since I haven't done one of these posts for a week or two, it's more like a "half a month in photos" post! (Don't worry. I tried not to go too crazy since I have a lot of pictures from the past couple of weeks and made them into collages. :D )

            Since we won't be able to do anything fun like this for much longer with baby sister coming, we went to see the lights at the zoo after one of my doctor's appointments since we were already in Indianapolis. She was really excited to ride on the train. Can you tell?

            We also attempted a Christmas festival in a nearby town one Saturday, but I think we got there too late for all of the kids stuff. She still had fun going on a wagon ride pulled by horses. She actually did not get her face painted there: John did that when we got home. (More on that in a second.)

            THIS is why we happened to have face paint! Baby Starfish, as we've been calling her and hence the picture on the right, has kind of gotten the shaft since we already have a girl, so we thought it would be fun to still do the whole belly painting thing with her. We painted a pumpkin with Myka since she was born in October. ;)
            Btw, Myka has been totally obsessed with having kitty cat faces since John painted her face the first time. She's always asking for it now!

            We made our first Yule log this year. Unfortunately, the weather's been so crappy and we don't have a fireplace or wood burning stove inside, so we haven't even been able to burn it yet. :/

            Myka had fun with Christmas this year since she's old enough to be excited about presents. We only bought her a couple of things since I feel like the random things we buy her throughout the year is enough, but she got plenty from family. We actually stayed at my parents house for Christmas, but I will admit it was fun to see her face when she was the presents under the tree. :)

            How was your holiday? Do you celebrate a holiday other than Christmas this time of year? I'd love to hear about your traditions!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

FREE Arctic Animals Handwriting Practice Sheets from Educents

 This post contains affiliate links.

What do adorable arctic animals and the alphabet have in common? They’re both part of the hottest freebie currently on - a marketplace for educational products! The Arctic Animals Handwriting Practice Manuscript is available to download FOR FREE right now.

 You may have seen me post about these on Twitter last week. If not, read on below to find out more about them! After all, it's the perfect time of year to learn about Arctic animals and why not make handwriting practice more fun with this freebie? I'm excited to get it myself as we are getting ready to start on Arctic animals soon and have been dabbling with learning how to write letters as well. :)

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These adorable arctic animals are sure to get your kiddos excited about practicing the alphabet! This one is our most popular freebie right now.

What is it?

For parents and educators who are looking to help their children with handwriting, look no further than the Arctic animals handwriting practice manuscript. The free download features handwriting lessons accompanied by cute cartoons of the most adorable arctic animals around. Polar bears, moose, narwhals, and more are all represented. The sheets, which are perfect for children age 5-9, features over 30 downloadable pages of exercises covering the full alphabet, both upper and lower case, as well as the animals themselves. Instructions for kids are simple and clear, and can be re-printed for multiple lessons or children.

Looking to further educate your kids about the arctic animals? This video showcases some of the cooler land and sea animals in the arctic, like the penguin or the seal. This video might be the perfect companion piece for children working on the manuscript. Educents offers more than 400 freebies, many like these ABC worksheets, as well as other great educational items. Check it out and you're sure to find something you'll love.


What people are saying about the worksheets:

  • "These are cute. My kids get bored copying just the letters, but I bet they'll have fun writing the animal names.” - Mary J. via Facebook
  • "A very creative and helpful way for students to practice their handwriting!" - Maria  P. via Educents
So, what are you waiting for? Even if your child(ren) may not be ready for them quite yet, grab them now while they are free! You can always use them next year. :)

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Ozeri Green Earth Pan Review

             Hey folks! It's hard to believe Christmas is just a few days away. Are you still looking for a last minute gift for someone or already planning what to spend with a gift card you might have received as a gift? Even if you're trying to find something for that person who has everything, I think this ceramic pan from Ozeri will fit the bill!

             The Green Earth Pan by Ozeri has lots of unique and awesome features:
  • Durable, scratch-resistant ceramic
  • No harmful metals or chemicals
  • Ceramic coating is derived from nature
  • Patterned cooking surface helps prevent food from sticking
  • Pattern also makes for more even cooking
  • Easy to clean
  • Silicone handle
  • Safe for use with induction stoves
             We have a set of ceramic pots and pans that we received for Christmas last year from a different brand that we absolutely love. AND, we also had the chance to review a set of Instavac storage containers from Ozeri a couple of years ago and love those as well, so needless to say, we were excited to try out the Green Earth Pan! 

             We received the 8” pan to review, but you can also get it in 10” and 12” diameters. The 8” is the perfect size for small things, such as cooking eggs, a grilled cheese sandwich, sauteing veggies, etc. It comes in handy for us as a family of three and it would definitely be good for a single person or couple, but I would love to have one of the bigger ones too!
             Like I said, we love the ceramic pots and pans we already have, but we especially like this one because it's even easier to clean. The ones we already have don't have coating on the rivets which makes cleaning them a pain in the butt, especially with eggs. The Green Earth Pan has EVERYTHING coated, including the rivets, so that's why cleaning it is even easier! 

 It also comes with this nifty cover to protect it while storing!

             The patterned cooking surface also makes cleaning super easy. Depending on what you cooked in it, you almost don't even need to wash it. You could easily use a cloth or paper towel to wipe out any leftovers, kind of like with cast iron pans.
             I also like that this pan doesn't have any nasty chemicals in the coating like most “non-stick” pots and pans. I know I won't have to worry in years to come about nasty bits coming off and mixing in with my food, let alone dangerous fumes. Ew! Who wants nasty black bits in their food?!
             I have noticed it seems to take a little longer to cook with this pan. However, I attribute that to still getting used to it since it's new to me and because it cooks everything more evenly because of the textured cooking surface. In other words, not necessarily a bad thing!
             You can order your own Ozeri Green Earth Pan on Amazon. (Don't forget: There are three different sizes to choose from!) If you like, you can also learn more about Ozeri on their website or stay up-to-date with them on Facebook.

Disclaimer: I received this product through Moderna Housewares in return for an honest review. Regardless, all opinions are my own and may differ from your own.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Simply Earth Peppermint Essential Oil Review

            Hey folks! By now most of you probably know how much I like and try to use essential oils. We mostly use them in our homemade bath and body products, but I've been trying to get better about using them for other things as well, like getting rid of colds quicker, helping with headaches, etc.
             Naturally, I was excited to try out a new brand that I hadn't used before: Simply Earth.
Simply Earth specializes in essential oils, as well as deodorizers and air and fabric fresheners. (All at affordable prices too!) “Simply Earth is a small, eco-friendly, purpose-driven, family company. We donate 13% of the profit from every product purchased to organizations that are rehabilitating trafficking victims because the average age of these beautiful woman is 13 years old.” Pretty awesome, right? Not only are you helping support a small business and purchasing something you need at an affordable price, but you're helping others out too!

            I recently had the chance to try out Simply Earth's Peppermint essential oil. Now, truth be told, I'm usually not a fan of peppermint, but I had some plans for trying it out. And, now that I've been using it, the smell is actually kind of growing on me!
            First of all, peppermint seems to remind a lot of people of Christmas-time, so it was the perfect scent to try out in our liquid soap for this time of year! Although I was leery to try peppermint soap out myself since, again, it's not my fave, it was kind of a nice change. We usually alternate between our jasmine, cedarwood-patchouli, and lemongrass soap, which are all nice and earthy, so the “in your face” scent of peppermint was invigorating. I definitely recommend it for helping to wake you up in the morning!

            I took my husband's idea of having cotton pads with essential oils on the air vents to make the house smell better to our bathroom. On top of our house sitting vacant for over a year before we moved in, the bathroom off of our bedroom has terrible ventilation. So, it gets a little musty smelling in there still and quite frankly grosses me out because I'm pregnant and I smell EVERYTHING. Anyways...
            I put a few drops of the Simply Earth peppermint essential oil on a cotton pad and put it on top of the towel storage thing to help the bathroom smell better. It definitely smells a LOT better and I only have to put a few drops on the pad every few days. It's pretty potent and lasts awhile! (I actually went a little overboard the first time and you could smell it as soon as you walked in the house...The door is on the opposite side of the house from our bathroom. O.o)
            I also meant to try this out on spiders, but haven't gotten around to it yet. Huh? That's right. It's said that peppermint essential oil is supposed to help rid and keep away spiders. Funny story: I was at my mom's house sitting in a recliner and a big spider crawled down one of the arms and disappeared inside of the chair. (How many of you have the heebie jeebies already?) My husband put her peppermint EO on a cotton ball and through it under the chair (with the foot rest up) and I swear to you that sucker came running out less than five seconds later! Lol
            So, whether you're looking for a festive, clean smell for your house or trying to keep spiders away, I definitely recommend Simply Earth's Peppermint essential oil! Many essential oils are super pricey (some for good reason), and that's another thing I love about Simply Earth: you can't beat the price to quality ratio! Plus, I feel like more people will be willing to try them out that want to because they're not $40 a bottle!
            To see all of the essential oils Simply Earth offers, be sure to visit their website. You can stay up-to-date with them on a multitude of social media websites as well: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Disclaimer: I received this product through Tomoson in return for my honest review. No other compensation was received and my opinions may differ from your own.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Maze Runner-The Scorch Trials Giveaway


Hosted by: Queen of Reviews
Sponsor: Fox Home Entertainment Group
Prize: Maze Runners: The Scorch Trials BluRay+DVD=Digital HD

The Maze was just the beginning. After the harrowing adventure of escaping the maze, the Gladers find themselves right in the center of an epic mystery in MAZE RUNNER: THE SCORCH TRIALS.  There’s more action, more excitement and more spectacular effects in this thrilling new chapter of the epic Maze Runner saga by James Dashner. 
Dates: 12/19-1/2
Open to: US Residents 18+
Enter to win using the widget below. Good luck!

Disclaimer: Mixed Bag Mama was not compensated for this post or responsible for prize fulfillment. This giveaway is not affiliated with any social media platform, including, but not limited to Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram. 

I'm an Educents Blogger!

This post contains affiliate links.

             Hey folks! I am super excited to share with you today that I am now an Educents blogger and affiliate member! Homeschooling has been something that I've been interested in for quite some time and I'm even more excited about all of the possibilities now that we are starting to do some schooling this year. With that being said, I was intrigued when I came across Educents and think they will be a great company to work with!
             What is Educents? In a nutshell, it's a central hub where parents, homeschoolers, and teachers can find a wide variety of educational materials, from supplemental materials to full curriculums. You can shop by grade, which includes everything from pre-school to college, and, the best part is that everything is discounted! On top of that there are daily deals, freebies, giveaways, and more!
             So, what does being an Educents blogger and affiliate mean for Mixed Bag Mama? Since I've already been trying to share some of our homeschooling fun and struggles with you, you can also expect occasional updates on freebies and deals, hot products, product reviews, and more from Educents. (I will probably be sharing a lot of those through my social media channels, so be sure to follow me on them, which you can find in the upper right corner of the blog!) I will receive a percentage of any sales that are made through my links, but I don't sign up for programs like these unless I think they're a quality company that's a good fit for you guys!
             Let's go ahead and get started with some freebies, shall we?

-Peekapak social-emotional curriculum freebies (Pre-K): Teaches kindness, gratitude, and more. Includes 6 lessons.

-Ukloo's Early Reader freebie is a seek-and-find literacy game for ages 4 and up! Available on iPhone and iPad.

-One year of free math lessons (multiple grades)

-Christmas Literacy & Math Pack (1st-3rd grade): Holiday themed morning work

-And, if you're still looking for more freebies, search through over 500 items HERE.

             Not a bad deal, right? Have you used Educents for any of your learning needs?

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Real Kids Shades Giveaway

Welcome to the Real Kids Shades Giveaway!

Sponsored By: Real Kids Shades

Hosted By: Mixed Bag Mama 

             Hey folks! Eye protection may be the furthest thing from your mind right now if you have gloomy weather like us during the winter, but it's still important! Harmful UVA and UVB rays still pass through clouds. That's why they recommend you wear sunscreen even on cloudy days during the warm months. But what about protection for our eyes, especially our children's eyes? That's where Real Kids Shades comes in!
             Real Kids Shades offers high quality sunglasses for kids from birth to teen. Not only do they come in five different sizes and numerous styles, so you are sure to find the right fit, but they provide protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Their flexible frames are perfect for even the most active kids and, if you have a really active kid, there are some styles that include straps as well! You can find out more about Real Kids Shades by visiting their website and reading Mixed Bag Mama's review
            One lucky reader will win a pair of their own sunglasses from Real Kids Shades. Winner will be able to choose what size, style, and color of glasses they would like. This giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian residents 18+. Only your email is mandatory to enter (used only to contact the winner), but the more entries you have, the better your chances of winning. Good luck! 
Mixed Bag Mama and all participating blogs were not compensated for this post or responsible for prize shipment. This giveaway is not affiliated with any social media platform, including, but not limited to, Facebook Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Real Kids Shades Review

             Hey folks! I don't know about where you live, but it gets pretty gloomy here in Indiana this time of year, so eye protection from the sun isn't exactly in the forefront of my mind. As parents, most of us probably tend to forget or don't realize we're not protecting our children's eyes as well as we think either. Even if we do get sunglasses for our kids, it's easy to get caught up in the cheap, cutesy ones at stores that, more often than not, don't provide all, if any, of the protection your child's eyes need. The folks at Real Kids Shades saw a problem with this and thus “the leading innovator of children's 100% UVA/UVB eye protection” was born!

             Real Kids Shades takes protecting your children's eyes very seriously. Besides providing both UVA and UVB protection, their sunglasses contain shatterproof and impact-resistant polycarbonate lenses and they offer flexible and wrap around frames to help prevent your child from breaking them and to block out peripheral sunlight. (They also offer polarized glasses as well.) Sun damage is permanent and cumulative, so that's why they take their product so seriously!
             All of that is fine and dandy, but who's to say your kids will even wear them, right? Real Kids Shades strives to make their sunglasses appealing to children as well as parents by offering them in different sizes for different age ranges as well as different styles and colors for each group as well! You can find their shades in five different sizes, ranging from birth to teenager, a range of colors, and different styles for any lifestyle, whether they be sporty wrap-arounds or cute, girly square-framed ones like the ones we reviewed below.
             We actually reviewed a pair of the baby size Real Kids Shades when Myka was very young and really liked them. (You can read that review HERE.) Needless to say, I was happy to try out another pair for her now because she could really use some quality sunglasses. Since she has had a big noggin since she was born (I can thank my hubby for that), I decided to go with the Child 4+ size instead of the Toddler 2+. (She just turned 3 in October.) Sadly, but to be totally upfront, they did not fit correctly. 

             I don't think it's the glasses themselves to blame (the Breeze style, by the way), but if you have a kid with a large head, you may want to order a size or two up and check out the sizing diagram for whichever pair you're thinking about purchasing. In our case, the glasses seem too small, like the arms, while flexible, will not bend out far enough and essentially push themselves off her face. (For the record, I know I probably should have sent them back to try to get ones that fit, but I didn't want to be a nuisance and we can just save them for baby #2 when she's older.) Perhaps a different style with the adjustable band to help keep them on would have worked better, but I didn't think Myka would stand for it.
             Other than that, they ARE well-made. (Even my husband said so upon inspecting them. Trust me. If he says they're high quality, they are.) They are very flexible, which is great for young kids. For being a girl, I joke that Myka acts more like a boy as active as she is and as much as she likes playing outdoors and rough housing. So, flexible is good. I love the color combination we received and she did too. (Despite my better efforts, she likes pink stuff. ;) ) And for the record, I do think she would wear them if they fit. She was pretty excited about getting new sunglasses. :)
            I liked the nifty carrying case too. We have a tendency of leaving her other pair of sunglasses in one of the cars, so I like that I can put this pair in the case and remember where they are better! (And protect them from the heat and cold some if you do happen to leave them in the car, of course.)
             So, I hope I haven't put you off from checking out Real Kids Shades' products. They really are good quality and it's hard to find sunglasses that protect from both UVA and UVB rays. Hubby and I honestly just think our kid has a giant head! Also, be sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube to stay up-to-date with important information and special promotions.
            Speaking of promotions, Real Kids Shades is also generously giving away a pair of their sunglasses to one of my readers as well, so be sure to head over to the giveaway page for a chance to win. Winner chooses size, style, color, and all that fun stuff. :)

Disclaimer: I received product in return for my honest review. No other compensation was received. My opinions may differ from your own. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

KidSafe Germ Destroyer Roll-On Giveaway

Welcome to the KidSafe Germ Destroyer Roll-On Giveaway!

Sponsored By: Plant Therapy

Hosted By: Mixed Bag Mama

             It's that lovely time of year when everyone (hopefully) gets to spend extra time with friends and family, whether it be from celebrating holidays together or being stuck indoors due to nasty weather. Unfortunately, germs also seem to run rampant this time of year! This year, however, Plant Therapy has you and your children covered!
             Plant Therapy offers a wide variety of pure essential oils, synergies, and accessories, such as diffusers. They even offer a KidSafe line to take the guessing game out of which essential oils are safe for use with children and what ones aren't good to use with them. Be sure to visit their website to view all of their products to keep your family healthy and happy the natural way.
             Alicia from Mixed Bag Mama recently had the chance to review the KidSafe Germ Destroyer Roll-On (Intended for children age 2-10). Plant Therapy would generously like to give one away to one lucky reader as well! Simply enter the Giveaway Tools form below for your chance to win. Only your email is mandatory to enter (only used to contact you if you are the winner), but the more entries you have, the better your chances are of winning! Good Luck!

Disclaimer: All participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. (Mixed Bag Mama did receive a product sample in return for her honest review.) The sponsor is responsible for prize shipment, not the participating bloggers. Opinions expressed here may differ from your own. This giveaway is not affiliated with any social media platforms, including, but not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Plant Therapy KidSafe Germ Destroyer Review


             Hey folks! It's that time of year that everyone is visiting friends and family more or out battling the crowds, shopping for gifts. That also means it's the time of year that germs and illness seem to spread like wildfire! Luckily, especially if you have young children, I've got a great product to share with you to help keep the germs at bay this year!
             Plant Therapy offers all kinds of essential oils (singles and synergies), for adults and children, as well as accessories, such as diffusers and carrier oils. What caught my attention about Plant Therapy is that they have their own line of kid-friendly essential oil blends which are aptly named KidSafe.
             As some of you may know, some essential oils are not safe to use with young children, which is a big part of why this line was created: to take the guessing game out of which oils are safe for what ages of children, etc. (What parent couldn't use less things to worry about?) KidSafe oils were created for children aged 2-10 and common ailments for that age group, such as colds, attention issues, sleeping troubles, and much more. You can find them in their pure form and dilute them yourself, use them in a diffuser, etc., or pre-diluted roll-ons, if you prefer.

             I recently had the opportunity to review Plant Therapy's KidSafe Germ Destroyer roll-on. Although designed to help your kids feel better and get well when already sick, I have been using it as a preventative measure. Try as I might not to be a germophobe, I am a little bit, especially this time of year. Plus, we have been out and about a lot for play dates and doctor's visits lately. You know. Like the worst possibly places to spread germs!
             It's still early and we've only been using it for a few weeks, but, knock on wood, we haven't caught anything yet. (I've been using it as well because nothing is worse than being sick when you're pregnant!) Although I'm sure it will catch up to us eventually, I like that I have a natural way to help Myka feel better when she does! And, as you can see below, she enjoys putting it on herself. ;)

             There are a couple things I especially like about the Germ Destroyer roll-on. I like that it is convenient. Besides being pre-diluted, it's the perfect size to stick in your purse or pocket on the go. It smells good too. You might think the smell of some of the essential oils would clash, but it's a nice blend of trees and flowers with the spruce and lavender. (It also contains marjoram, rosalina, and lemon.)
             Be sure to get your own Germ Destroyer roll-on or regular, undiluted bottle by visiting Plant Therapy's website. You can stay up-to-date with them and watch for special sales and promotions by following them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Oh. And if you're feeling extra lucky, be sure to stop by the giveaway page to enter for a chance to win your own KidSafe Germ Destroyer Roll-On!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

KidCuteTure GC Giveaway

Welcome to the KidCuteTure $100 Gift Certificate Giveaway!

Hosted by mama pure and sponsored by KidCuteTure

            KidCuteTure is a designer line of whimsical girls clothing brought to you from a mother-daughter team. Babies to age 14 years old can enjoy playful and sophisticated ensembles that feature bright colors and unique cuts. To learn more about KidCuteTure, read the full review over at mama pure.
            One lucky fan is going to win a $100 Gift Certificate to choose their choice of outfit for their favorite little girl. This giveaway is open to US residents, age 18 and older. Void where prohibited. Enter using the rafflecopter below. Winner will be contacted via email and has 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. Prize fulfillment is the responsibility of KidCuteTure and not mama pure or other participating bloggers. Good Luck!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Disclosure: I did not receive any compensation for this post. KidCuteTure is responsible for prize fulfillment and shipment. mama pure and other participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment or shipment. This giveaway is not associated with or endorsed by Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or any other social media platform. If you have any questions regarding this giveaway please contact Laura at mama pure.

Friday, December 11, 2015

DIY Christmas Ornament Round-Up for Young Kids

            Hey folks! We went a little overboard on the homemade ornaments, so I'm excited to share with you what we made so you can get some ideas too! I was both a little bummed and happy when we had to throw the majority of our old ornaments away due to a broken snow globe in the same box. Bummed because a lot of them were SUPER old, but happy I had an excuse to make new ones! Let's just say we have more than enough now!

Pour Paint-I can't remember if someone sent this to me on Facebook or if I came across it on Pinterest myself, but regardless, you can click on the title and it will take you to the pin on my Pinterest account. We all love anything to do with paint and I thought these looked neat and would be easy for a 3 year old, and they were. You made need to help them swirl the paint and let it drip out. I made the red, green, and white one and Myka made the colorful one. Hubby made a couple as well, but they didn't turn out how he wanted so he rinsed them out to start over. I think Myka's actually turned out the best!

Assorted Clear Balls-Your imagination is about your only limit when it comes to decorating the clear plastic or glass balls you can find in craft stores or craft sections at stores such as Walmart. Naturally, my 3 year old loves glitter, so we mixed a little water and glue together, poured and swirled it around the inside of the ball like the paint ones above, then added glitter. It turned out ok, but I think I either added too much water or should have used paint and glitter instead of glue and water.

The one on the right was super easy and, bonus, wasn't messy so we were able to do it while sitting on the couch watching a movie together. Myka tore up the green tissue paper and stuffed the bits in while I alternated adding red tinsel. You can obviously let your kids do the tinsel too, but I will admit it was a little tricky for me!

Beads, Beads, Beads!-Myka enjoys beading now, but has a seemingly short attention span for it, so these little candy canes were perfect. I cut a pipe cleaner in half to make two. Put one bead on and fold the end over it. Continue beading and repeat with the other end, attempting to get the pipe cleaner end inside of the second to last bead so they don't start falling off. These are quick and easy and you can bend them in whatever shape you want!

Sparkly Stars-I have a box hoarding problem on the very off chance we get an Etsy store order. Needless to say, I have plenty of cardboard hanging about. I hate the way my hand-drawn stars look, so I printed a template and traced it onto either side of a box. You can either use a sharp knife or scissors (I tried both and preferred the scissors) to cut them out. I used a hole punch for the string hole at the top.

Now for the fun part! Let your kids paint the stars and, making sure to do so before the paint dries, add the glitter. (We use acrylic paint for everything, so you shouldn't have to worry about the paint drying quickly if you're using tempera or some other type of paint.) Again, super easy and I think they're pretty!

Salt Dough-I tried salt dough a few months ago and wasn't crazy about the recipe. It seemed kind of hard to work with, even though I'd heard from everyone that salt dough is usually easy to deal with. I came across the one in the title link recently and decided to give it a try!

As you can see, it makes quite a lot if you decide to be lazy and use cookie cutters like us. All three of us had fun painting them, though, and, if you don't want that many, you can always give some as gifts to family!

Lacing-We actually made this apple several months ago when we were doing apples for “school”, but I thought it would make a cute ornament, so I hung on to it. You could totally make more “seasonally appropriate” shapes, like Christmas trees, snowmen, mittens, etc. Simply cut out 2 of whatever object/shape you want, line them up, use a hole punch (preferably) to punch holes along the edge, let your child “sew” it up (leave a little room to stuff it), and finish it off by sewing a few knots at the end. It sounds more difficult than it is!

            Do you and your kids make homemade ornaments or other holiday decorations?

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Cozy Cover Giveaway

Welcome to the Cozy Cover Giveaway!

Sponsored By: Cozy Cover

Hosted By: Mixed Bag Mama

             It's that time of year, for some of us, when temperatures start falling and the heavy winter coats start making their way out of the back of the closet. For adults, bundling up is easy. But what do you do if you have a small baby? Due to car seat safety, you can't pile on the coats and snowsuits like we can. So, what's a new parent to do? That's where Cozy Cover comes in!
             Cozy Cover offers several different types of car seat covers to keep your baby safe and happy. Whether you are trying to keep the sun and bugs off your little one or keep them warm and toasty from the house to the car and everywhere in-between, you are sure to find the car seat cover that is right for you and your baby's needs. If you would like to learn more, you can read Alicia's review from Mixed Bag Mama.
             Are you or a friend expecting a new baby this winter? One lucky winner will receive an original Cozy Cover in his/her choice of color. Simple enter the Giveaway Tools form below for a chance to win. (Open to U.S. Only.) Only your email is mandatory to enter (to contact you if you are the winner), but the more entries you have, the better your chances of winning! Good luck!

Participating blogs are not responsible for prize shipment nor were they compensated for this post. This giveaway is not affiliated with any social media platform, including, but not limited to, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or Instagram.

Cozy Cover Review

            Hey folks! It's that time of year when it starts getting yucky and cold out for many parts of the country. Unfortunately for new parents, that doesn't keep us from having to go places: the grocery store, doctor's appointments, etc. However, if you're expecting or already have a new baby this winter, I have a great product to share with you that will make it easier to keep your little one warm while you're on the go!
             Cozy Cover offers several different infant car seat cover options, including their original one which is great for cold weather. It has a weatherproof microfiber shell and nylon on the outside, so whether it's raining, snowing, windy, etc., your baby is sure to stay warm and dry! The inside of the Cozy Cover is lined with fleece, which adds an extra element of coziness.
             This cover is super convenient too. (And what parent doesn't like convenience?) The outside edge is completely elasticized, so it should fit most, if not all, brands and styles of infant car seats. The dual zippers make for easy access to your baby and safety harnesses. Plus, there is a breathable flap with velcro that simply attaches down to cover baby's face while outside or back behind whenever you want baby's face exposed. Cozy Covers are also machine washable, so you can just throw it in with your normal laundry! 

Extra tab for when you want baby's face exposed so it's not flapping around all over the place!

             I was super excited to try out the Cozy Cover for several reasons. For starters, Myka was a baby when we lived in Arkansas, so we had no need for something like this. I am no stranger to Midwestern winters, however, so I knew we would need something for girlie #2 now that we live in Indiana again. Two, after perusing car seat covers in general on the internet, I like the design of Cozy Covers. While there are a lot of cute ones on Etsy, I wasn't crazy about the blanket/canopy style covers. I wanted something that would fit snugly around the seat so that no air, snow, sleet, etc. would be able to penetrate it. Third, you can't beat the price! Most, if not all, of the other car seat covers I came across were WAY more expensive! Like, at least 2-3 times as much. At $18.99, I think Cozy Cover is more than reasonably priced.
             Now, what would a good review post be without a bunch of pictures?! I even have a short video demonstrating just how quick and easy the Cozy Cover is to put on. (In case you're wondering, we have a Baby Trend infant car seat.)

Straight out of the box. You can tell from the pictures below it stretches quite a bit!

Super easy to put on. It only took me a few seconds.

I love the double zippers and they are easy enough for my 3 year old to do. Who likes fighting with zippers? Not me!

             Be sure to stay up-to-date with Cozy Cover on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. You can purchase your own Cozy Cover on their website or, if you're feeling lucky, head over to the giveaway page for a chance to WIN your own in your choice of color!

Disclaimer: I received this product in order to facilitate this review. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own and may differ from yours. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Tip Toe Terrariums Giveaway

            Are you missing the sunshine, beautiful flowers, fresh cut lawns and warm summer breeze yet? Try brightening your winter days by filling your home with air purifying indoor plants. Tip Toe Terrariums is a small home-based business that offers crafty (but simple) kits to help you bring nature indoors. If you are a fan of low maintenance plants, they sell DIY Air Plant Terrarium Kits "for the not so green" thumb. Each kit comes with a one-of-a-kind air plant; round or teardrop glass container; unique decor including moss, stick or bark, accent rock and colored gravel; twine to hang it up, assembly instructions, and plant care instructions. Visit Mommy & Love for the full review.
            One lucky winner will be selected to receive their very own Air Plant Terrarium Kit in the glass shape and gravel rock color of their choice! It’s highly recommended to fulfill the blog comment giveaway entry and comment with your glass and rock preferences to speed up delivery, but of course, it’s not required. Giveaway is open to US residents only and ends 12/18/15 at 11:59PM. Enter using the form below and best of luck to all!

DIY Air Plant Terrarium Kit Giveaway 
*Disclosure: Mommy & Love and all other participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who are not willing to fulfill their prize. 1 US winner will be selected randomly and will have 24 hours to respond before another winner is selected. Please email any questions to monica.geglio at mommyandlove dot com .

Week in Photos-12/9/15

             Hey folks! Not that I think many of you would have cared, but there almost wasn't a Week in Photos post this week! I have been desperately trying to catch up on reviews and giveaways this past week. Leave it to me to get piled up only weeks before baby #2 is due when I have hardly done any reviews and giveaways this entire year! But, at least you know you have several giveaways to look forward to soon. :)
             As much as I enjoy doing reviews and giveaways, I'm hoping to get around to at least a couple of regular posts before Christmas. As you'll see in one of the pictures below, we have been busy Christmas ornament making beavers, so I thought a pre-schooler-friendly DIY ornament round-up post might be fun. I'd also like to share how to make pine cone bird feeders because it's a fun indoor activity to do with the kiddies this time of year too.

             We actually got our tree up the weekend after Thanksgiving. :O It truly is a Christmas miracle. Lol However, I told my husband if this baby isn't here by the day after Christmas, we are taking that sucker down asap otherwise it'll never get done! Lol

             There aren't a whole lot of holiday movies that I feel the absolute need to see, but I was very excited when I found Scrooged for $5 at Walmart the other day. Love it!

             I don't know about those of you with little girls, but my 3 year old is obsessed with having her nails painted. (Not my fault. Up until yesterday, I hadn't painted mine since I got married over 6 years ago. Seriously.) So we were both festive and painted our nails red and green. I'm glad she doesn't know better because I did a terrible job. Lol
             We've also been making lots of ornaments this week. As I may have mentioned in a recent post, a vast majority of our Christmas tree ornaments got ruined by a snow globe busting in the same box. (Again, not sure why there was a sole snow globe in there.) But, it was a good excuse to get rid of some ones I didn't have the heart to throw away anyways and make new ones. Like I mentioned above, I'll be working on getting a post together of easy, toddler/pre-schooler friendly ornaments soon!
Wordless Wednesday Hop

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Upcoming Blogger Opps

Hey, fellow bloggers! I could use some help promoting these upcoming giveaways! If you have any questions, please let me know. :)
Readers, stay tuned for these giveaways to start in the next week or two!

Cozy Cover Giveaway
One winner will receive an original Cozy Cover (infant car seat cover) in his/her choice of color.
Open to U.S. Only
Runs from 12/10/15-12/24/15
One free link for promoting (Facebook visit, Pinterest, Twitter, or Instagram. Paid links available as well.)
More info and sign-ups HERE

KidSafe Germ Destroyer Roll-On Giveaway
Open everywhere
One free link for promoting (Facebook visit, Pinterest, Twitter, or Instagram. Paid links available as well for $1 each.)
More info and sign-ups HERE

Real Kids Shades Giveaway
One winner will receive a pair of sunglasses in his/her choice of size, style, and color.
Open to U.S. And Canada
One free link for promoting (Facebook visit, Pinterest, Twitter, or Instagram. Paid links available as well.)
More info and sign-ups HERE

Nature's Pure Beauty Giveaway
4 Winners? Unless something has changed, I believe the sponsor is wanting to do 4 separate gift boxes: one for baby, one for women, one for men, and one for facial care products. (All natural bath and body procuts.)
Open to U.S. Only
Dates TBD. Still waiting on sponsor for details and pictures of each box.
One free link for promoting (Facebook visit, Pinterest, Twitter, or Instagram. Paid links available as well.)
For more info and sign-ups, click HERE

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Sleeping Baby Giveaway

Sleeping Baby Giveaway
One Lucky US Winner will receive their choice of a Sleeping Baby Product.

Cottage in the Woods Co Peppermint 3-in-1 Liquid Soap Giveaway

Welcome to the Cottage in the Woods Co

Peppermint 3-in-1 Liquid Soap Giveaway!

Hosted By: Mixed Bag Mama

             Hey everyone! Alicia, the owner of both Cottage in the Woods Co shop on Etsy and the blog Mixed Bag Mama, wants to help you feel fresh and energized this holiday season with a Peppermint 3-in-1 Liquid Soap! What are the three things it can be used for? Glad you asked!
             Cottage in the Woods Co's 3-in-1 Liquid Soaps can be used as hand soap, body wash, and shampoo. They believe less is more and as such only offer products containing natural ingredients. You can rest assured that there are no nasty chemicals or unnecessary fillers. Their products are even scented with essential oils as opposed to fragrances, which can sometimes cause side effects in certain individuals.
            Cottage in the Woods Co offers a variety of other natural bath and body products, such as bath and body bars, bath fizzies, and their new diy face mask kits. They are striving to add new products more often, so be sure to check their site occasionally. Wood crafts are in the works, such as coasters, chalkboards, garden signs, and more, as well as seasonal/holiday kids craft kits, so don't miss out on those this holiday season either!
             Now for the fun part! One lucky winner will receive a Peppermint 3-in-1 Liquid Soap from Cottage in the Woods Co. Simply enter the Giveaway Tools form below. Only your email is mandatory (to contact you if you are the winner), but the more entries you have, the more likely you are to win! Good luck!

Disclaimer: Participating blogs were not compensated for this post nor responsible for prize shipment. This giveaway is not affiliated with any social media platform, including, but not limited to, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram.

Baby Comfy Care Giveaway

Baby Comfy Care - Essential Baby Shower Pack Giveaway!

Sponsored By: Baby Comfy Care

Hosted By: Love, Mrs. Mommy

Co-Hosted By: Lil' Blog and More

A big "Thank You!" to my sponsor, amazing co-host, and all the wonderful bloggers who are participating in this giveaway! Thanks for all that you do!

*~*~*~  Check out Love, Mrs. Mommy's Baby Comfy Care Review, HERE! *~*~*

Love, Mrs. Mommy received the Essential Baby Shower Pack at no cost to facilitate this review.

1 Lucky Winner Will Receive a: 

Baby Comfy Care Essential Baby Shower Pack! {$37 RV}

Items Included In The Shower Pack Are: Safety Nail Clipper, Teething Jewelry & Nasal Aspirator
Open To US and must be 18+ to enter Giveaway Dates ~ 12/4 12AM EST through 12/18 11:59PM EST
Good Luck!
We love it if you "Like" us on Facebook!
Disclosure: Love, Mrs. Mommy and all participating bloggers are not held responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize obligations. This giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by Facebook or any other social media site. Winner will be randomly drawn by Giveaway Tools and will be notified by email. Winner has 48 hours to reply before a new winner will be drawn. If you would like to participate in an event like this please contact LoveMrsMommy (at) gmail (dot) com. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Week in Photos-12/2/15

            Hey folks! Last week was interesting. We finally had a laid back week for the most part, but we had some sadness too. Monday, when Myka and I got home from a playdate, we found our mama cat dead in the front yard. We're guessing she probably got into a fight with some sort of critter. Friday morning I found one of our kittens, Frodo, dead in front of our main garage. :( My husband thinks he may have accidentally ran over him when he left for work, so that just makes it even worse because now he feels extra bad.

            Other than that, we had a nice, relaxed Thanksgiving dinner at our house. It was just the three of us and my parents. Here are some cute little place holder turkeys Myka and I made. I'm so glad we have a library card now because I found this idea in a craft book in the kids section!

            I am normally a major grinch when it comes to Christmas, but I've gotten a lot better since having Myka. I finally got around to making her a felt tree she can redecorate over and over. She really liked it! We actually got our real tree up this week too, but I'm not ready to take any pictures of it yet. It's kind of sad looking, in my opinion, because we had a snow globe (why it was with the ornaments I don't know) break and ruined the majority of ornaments. So, now I at least have an excuse to make more!

            Myka talked me into going for a walk down to the creek one day last week. We had just started on the trail when we came across this guy below. I was not pleased. It was 50 degrees out, fgs. I thought it was dead at first. Needless to say, we walked elsewhere because I am still not a fan of snakes, no matter how big or small, dangerous or not they are!

Wordless Wednesday Hop