Monday, October 31, 2016

Fall 2016 Green Scene Mom Award Winners Giveaway

            We are very excited to bring you another awesome giveaway and help announce the 2016 Fall Green Scene Mom Award Winners, hosted by Mommy Scene and celebrating Eco-friendly product design and creative innovation. Award winning products include natural body products, universal baby gear, essentials for moms, and items for solving problems and making family life with kids easier. Enter to win a fabulous collection of prizes! Open to US entries and ends 11/20/16.

Green Scene Mom Awards Giveaway - Mommy Scene 

Green Scene Mom Award Prize Collection

Organic Manuka Skin Soothing Cream - Green Scene Mom Award Winner
Yoro Naturals (2) Organic Manuka Skin Soothing Cream - 2 oz. jars
You'll love this natural, creamy balm by YoRo Naturals. It's incredibly soothing and healing for eczema, diaper rash, chapped skin, bug bites, cuts and scrapes. Use it anywhere your skin ails you. Gentle and safe for little ones. Soothing and effective for adults too. Full Award Details »

Back Buddy Maternity and Nursing Support Pillow - Green Scene Mom Award Winner

Back Buddy All-In-One Support Pillow
Back Buddy is an award-winning maternity and feeding support pillow, designed by a Chiropractor and a nursing mother. It alleviates common back pain, provides comfort and support for holding or feeding baby, and encourages proper position for breastfeeding. Made in the USA from high-quality structural foam that is certified to be made without harmful flame retardants, phthalates, CFC's, mercury, lead and other heavy metals. Full Award Details »

Bebe Bamboo zZippy Sleepsuit - Green Scene Mom Award Winner

Bebe Bamboo zZippy Sleepsuit - Pear
Bebe Bamboo specially designed zZippy sleepsuit makes change time quick and easy. The 2 way zipper unzips from the bottom for quicker changing without having to expose the chest, and top to bottom to undress your baby as usual. Extremely soft, delicate and smooth, and promotes comfortable and restful sleep. Full Award Details »

Andy Pandy Bamboo Disposable Diapers - Green Scene Mom Award Winner

Andy Pandy Diapers 2 packs of bamboo diapers
These eco-friendly bamboo diapers are made from the highest quality premium materials. Naturally hypoallergenic and antibacterial, making them ideal for babies with sensitive skin. Made from biodegradable bamboo, these diapers are extremely soft and silky to the touch, yet strong and absorbent. Moisture wicking and thermal regulating capabilities keep your baby's skin dry and comfortable in hot or cold temperatures. Natural aloe liner nourishes your baby's skin and a wetness indicator lets you know when baby needs to be changed. Does not contain chlorine, alcohol, preservatives, phthalates, latex, PVC, TBT, or antioxidants. Full Award Details »

Revelae Kids Cozy Sleeper and Blanket Pouch - Green Scene Mom Awards

Revelae Kids Cozy Sleeper and Blanket Pouch
Revelae Kids Cozy Baby Sleepers create a secure sleeping environment that helps babies sleep through the night, thanks to the fully enclosed baby sleep sack design that resembles the womb and keeps hands and feet tucked inside. One-of-a-kind Cozy Blanket Pouches keep baby cozy from the waist down and are hard to kick off, secured by a soft elastic waistband. The fuzzy polyester material is comforting and can't be pulled up near the face, providing a cozy and safe sleep space. Full Award Details »

Baby Care by e-cloth Chemical-free Cleaning - Green Scene Mom Awards

Baby Care by e-cloth chemical-free cleaning
Stroller & Car Seat Cloth
Toy & Nursery Cloth
Table & High Chair Cloth

Baby Care by e-cloth products clean with just water, 100% eliminating the risk of chemical sensitivities, allergic reactions, rashes and asthma attacks associated with the use of chemical additives, fragrances and dyes. Baby Care by e-cloth is the safe cleaning choice for thoughtful moms who want to protect their babies and kids by eliminating exposure to toxic chemicals without sacrificing performance. Full Award Details »

Cube Cool Mist Humidifier - Green Scene Mom Awards

Crane Cube Cool Mist Humidifier
Here at Crane, we put "Design for Better Living" into everything that we do. We started with a few designs in 2005 and continue to grow each year working towards solving your indoor needs. Crane products are designed with efficiency, function and style in mind. We love to be creative with colors, designs and we know our products will bring comfort and smiles to your home! Full Award Details »

Active Essentials Natural Baby Products - Green Scene Mom Awards

Active Essentials
Egyptian Calendula & Aloe Baby Body Wash & Shampoo
Egyptian Calendula Calming Baby Bath, Body & Massage Oil
Egyptian Calendula & Comfrey Healing Baby Balm
Active Essentials is a luxury organic skincare company offering safe products for babies, kids and adults that are made using ONLY fruits, vegetables, plants and flowers. Active Essentials products are free of any harsh chemicals and chemical preservatives, synthetic fragrances, GMOs, parabens, sulfates or phthalates and are cruelty-free, gluten-free, color-safe, vegan, biodegradable, hypoallergenic, and naturally non-toxic. Full Award Details »

Fresh Wave Laundry Booster - Green Scene Mom Awards

Fresh Wave Works Laundry Booster
Loads of happiness is within reach. Fresh Wave Laundry Booster removes odors using natural ingredients. No harsh chemicals. No harmful ingredients. Give your laundry detergent a boost and remove difficult, set-in odors. Add 2 to 4 capfuls during the wash or rinse cycle. To remove washer odors, wet a soft cloth with Laundry Booster. Wipe the rubber gasket, the door and any other visible seals. Full Award Details »

Buttons Diapers Muslin Burp Cloth Bibs - Green Scene Mom Awards

Buttons Diapers Muslin Burp Cloth Bibs
Buttons Diapers 100% cotton muslin burp cloths and bibs are the perfect baby essential. They work as a contoured over-the-shoulder burp cloth for baby, an large coverage bib during meals, and a handy cloth to wipe up messes. These cute muslin bibs are soft, breathable, absorbent, and made from natural material that gets even softer & fluffier each time you wash it. The burp cloth easily converts to a bib by using the sewn-in snap. Full Award Details »

Better Life Natural Cleaning Products - Green Scene Mom Awards

Better Life New Baby Essentials Kit
All-Purpose Cleaner (32oz)
Nursery Cleaner, Lavender & Chamomile (16oz)
Dish Soap (22oz)
Hand and Body Soap (12oz)
Hand and Body Lotion (12oz)
Six-Compartment Cleaning Caddy
(2) General Purpose Microfiber Cloths - green
Safe for bottles, binkies, bibs and even your baby's bum. Better Life was born by two dads who set out to create a line of plant-derived, non-toxic, environmentally friendly cleaners that would be the perfect marriage of safety and performance. The result is a line of cleaners that work better and are safe enough for everything in your home and sink. Even baby. The Better Life New Baby Essentials Kit has everything you need to prep for baby and makes clean up a snap after your bundle of joy arrives! Full Award Details »

Pacific baby Natural Bamboo Feeding Apple Plate - Green Scene Mom Awards
Pacific Baby Natural Bamboo Feeding Apple Plate - cream
Made from natural bamboo, this modern apple plate is completely plastic-free. Strong, durable and safe, Pacific Baby bamboo feeding products are machine washable, top rack. Full Award Details »

Enter to Win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is coordinated by Mommy Scene, sponsored by the participating brands, and is open to US entries ages 18 and older. No purchase required to enter. One winner will be randomly chosen and contacted through e-mail, and their name displayed on the giveaway widget after the giveaway ends on Nov. 20, 2016. Mommy Scene and participating blogs are not responsible for fulfilling brand-sponsored prizes. Prizes will be shipped directly from each brand. Have fun and good luck!

2016 Fall Green Scene Mom Awards

2016 Fall Green Scene Mom Awards - Mommy Scene

ALL 2016 Fall Green Scene Mom Award Winners

Active Essentials Calendula & Aloe Baby Body Wash & Shampoo + Calming Baby Massage Oil + Healing Baby Balm
Andy Pandy Bamboo Disposable Diapers
Back Buddy Support Pillow
Bebe Bamboo zZippy Sleepsuit
Better Life's Stain and Odor Eliminator
Buttons Diapers Muslin Burp Cloth Bibs
Crane Personal Cube Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier
e-cloth Chemical Free Baby Care Cleaning Cloths + Hand & Face Cleaning Kit
Fresh Wave Laundry Booster
iBaby Air Smart Air Quality Monitor
Organic Manuka Skin Soothing Cream
Pacific Baby Natural Bamboo Plate
Philips AVENT Innovative Baby Products
Revelae Kids Cozy Blanket Pouches + Cozy Sleepers
Yookidoo Intl. Fill & Flow Spout + Submarine Station
Yummi Pouch Cloth Snack Bags

Giving in to Dance Class...

             Well...I finally gave in. I enrolled Myka in a dance class...Ok, ok, it's not like she was begging me, but....I feel like some sort of structured social interaction would do her good. Does that make any sense? Regardless of your answer, I hope you read on!
             Now, I'm definitely not and don't want to be one of those parents that feels the need to have every waking moment of their child's day filled with some sort of activity. That just seems stressful for everyone doing all of that running around. Plus, we just can't afford it! However, since we're homeschooling, I feel like SOME “extracurriculars” will do Myka some good. Social interaction with kids her age is obviously a bonus, but I'm really hoping it will help her with paying attention and following directions, especially since it's coming from someone other than me!
             I've been putting off enrolling her in dance class for awhile, if I really admit it. We use to go to a free story time/music and movement class back in the spring and quite frankly, she didn't pay attention very well. Which was kind of ok since it was free, but...It also took us like 40 minutes to get there. (It's in the next biggest town over.) I know, I know. She had fun. That's all that matters. Blah blah blah. Needless to say, though, even though the dance teacher said she thought Myka was ready for a “regular” class, I did not. And again, we don't exactly have a lot of disposable income with me being a sahm.
             Other than that, if you know me at all, I'm really not into girly stuff. I don't even enjoy painting Myka's nails, if that says anything. I did drill team in high school for one year and ended up switching back to band (which is way more of my jam anyway) because I didn't like the dancing part (I just wanted to twirl flags, man) and there was WAY too much stupid girl drama. No thanks. I'll go back and hang out with my perverted band nerd friends. But I'm getting off topic...
             So, I've been trying to see if she would be interested in literally, like, anything else. I even took her ice skating recently since I wasn't able to last year. (As if your balance isn't bad enough being pregnant, amiright?) It went about as well (read: bad) as I figured it would, even though she was initially really excited about it. As far as other things she could participate in at her young age, I don't think she would like soccer, t-ball would be a hit or miss (pun intended), and I don't have the money at the moment to pay for swim lessons. :/ So, dance class it is. (For now.)

             The program director at the Y was nice and let us enroll late since evidently the class is supposed to last 9 months (during regular school) and they just have monthly enrollment to make payment easier for parents. Anyways, it was kind of awkward (for me at least and a little for Myka too, I think) since everyone already knew each other, but she actually did really well! She paid attention the whole time and kept up/did everything the other kids and teachers were doing. And of course, most importantly, she seemed to like it. (I'm still half convinced she just likes any excuse to wear the slippers.)
             I'm sure this will sound terrible, but I'm hoping she doesn't make friends with the little girls who were acting bad. It may have been a fluke and we just happened to join in on a bad day, but two in particular, like, didn't participate at all. I get that they're little kids, but...If I knew my kids were acting like that (neither of their parents were there), 1) I would not be very happy with them for not listening and 2) Would not bother wasting my money on something they were clearly not into by running around, acting a fool, and distracting the kids who were paying attention. That's just me. I know. I'm a little harsh. But this is coming from the mom who has made her kid leave free story time at the library because she wouldn't stop talking and distracting the kids who WERE trying to pay attention.
             I'll still (somewhat grudgingly) let her keep going to dance class if she likes it and actually participates. Not gonna lie, though: I'm still secretly holding out hope that I can get her interested in karate or something when she's older. ;) (Maybe Ripley will be my tomboy? One can dream...)

             What activities do your kids participate in? Did they show interest in it first or did you enroll them in it to see if they would like it?
Thinking Outside The Pot
This Is How We Roll Thursday Party

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Scattergories Categories & Brainspin Game Giveaway

Scattergories Categories & BRAINSPIN Giveaway
Sponsor: Winning Moves
Prize: Scattergories Categories & BRAINSPIN RV$28

We've been on a game kick around here lately. Scattergories is one of my favorite games, so I'm excited to learn there is a new version!-MBM
If you love The Game of SCATTERGORIES, then SCATTERGORIES CATEGORIES is the next game you will want to play! It's a great twist on your favorite. Keep the fun coming with this fast-thinking categories game.
BRAINSPIN - A great ice-breaker and creativity game. Players open up their minds and write down everything they see based on the card in play. No answer is too crazy as long as you can convince your opponents of what you see. Let your creativity explode!

Dates: 10/29-11/12
Open to: US Residents 18+
Enter to win using the widget below. Good luck!

Disclosure: Mixed Bag Mama did not receive compensation for this post and is not responsible for prize fulfillment.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Easy Tie Dye Craft

             Hey, parent, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and guardians! (Did I miss anyone?) Do you have/know kids that love arts and crafts projects? I happened to stumble on today's by accident, truth be told. (It was a “happy little accident”, as the late and great Bob Ross would say. :) ) If so, read on for a super simple, but cool looking art project you can do with them the next time you're bored or not sure what to do to keep them entertained! (Also be sure to check out my other recent post on how to make a DIY Scratch Pad.)

What You'll Need:

-plain or printer paper
-washable markers
-coffee filters
-spray bottle of some sort (doesn't matter how big or small as long as you can spray water with it!)

*Place coffee filter on plain sheet of paper.

*Color coffee filter however you like with markers.

*Spray several times with water spray bottle. Enough to wet all colored areas.

*Remove and let your coffee filters dry for another project. (Such as apples, pumpkins, etc.)

*Repeat entire process with one or more different coffee filters.

*Again, place all coffee filters to the side to dry for other projects, if you wish. (More details below.) Wait for plain white sheet of paper to dry fully and....

*Voila! You have an interesting, tie dye looking piece of art!

             Do you (and/or your kids) love simple, easy craft/art projects? If this wasn't enough, check out this Fall/Halloween coffee filter craftround-up, where we got our inspiration to make the original apple and pumpkin coffee filter crafts.

This Is How We Roll Thursday Party
Thinking Outside The Pot

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 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 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