Monday, November 28, 2016

Benefits of Practicing Yoga with Kids

             Hey folks! Let me ask you yoga lovers out there a crazy question: Have you ever thought about practicing yoga with your kids? I know what you're thinking. “Um, no. My kid would NOT stay still long enough for that!” or “No way. That's my time.” I get it, I do, but hear me out. What if you don't have the time and/or money to make it to a yoga class outside the home? Or, have you ever even thought that maybe, just maybe, your tot could benefit from yoga as well?
             I'm not a seasoned yoga practitioner by any means. I started doing yoga around this time last year when I was pregnant with my second daughter and have done it sporadically since she was born. Try as I might to distract her, my older daughter, who is 4 now, has always shown an interest whenever I pop the yoga video in. Sometimes she pays attention for most of the routine, sometimes she only lasts for 5 or 10 minutes before devolving into a crazy person trying to climb underneath me during downward facing dog. But, I have noticed a few positive, reoccurring things when she does yoga with me, which I have included in my list below, and I'm hoping after reading this post you might give practicing yoga with your kids a chance too!

Can NOT for the life of me remember what this "pose" is referred to as right now! It's on my beloved prenatal yoga video; the one where you bend over one leg with your arms outstretched, lift up in the center, then bend over the other leg, repeat...Help me out, here! ;)

*You both get to relax. Ok. So depending on your child's age and attention span, you may not be able to relax as fully as you would by yourself, but desperate times call for desperate measures, amiright? Plus, if your kid is a little bit of a spaz like mine, it will do him/her some good to have some down time and it should...

*Help kids to focus. Every kid is different and no, if you have younger children, they will most likely not pay attention the whole time, but I have been amazed by how much Myka focuses when we do yoga together. She gets really into it sometimes. And some days, it's like she's a completely different child!

*You get to spend quality time together. I know, I know. Yoga is supposed to be about being still and focusing inward, but, no matter how “intuned” your kid is, chances are they will talk at some point. Take this opportunity to help them with their positions/postures and talk about what's been going on in your and his/her day.

I love the idea of doing yoga together as spending quality time especially if you have other kids and may not otherwise get a chance to spend as much time with the one you are doing yoga with. This can be especially true of siblings that have younger or older siblings. Having a special time set aside for just them when either the baby is napping or the older kids are at school is important!

(Butterfly Pose-Baddha Konasana)

*You can make it fun and somewhat educational by incorporating animal poses. Chances are if you have a child that you are trying to do yoga with, they are too young to be going to school yet or you're planning on homeschooling etc. If they're a bit reluctant about the whole yoga thing or you just need/want to make it more interesting one day, including animal poses is always fun! What little one doesn't love animals? We use a nature-based, homeschool preschool curriculum sometimes and I have noticed that at least a few units use animal yoga poses and Myka always loves doing them!

*You and your little one get to learn something new together. In today's society, I feel like this is something rare. However, in my opinion, I feel like learning together will provide a bonding experience that you are both more likely to remember AND that you will likely remember more of what you are learning together!

*You are promoting good habits in both yourself and your child. Practicing yoga together provides the perfect opportunity to teach your children why it's important (and ok, contrary to popular belief by some!) to take “quiet, personal time” out of the day for themselves. This is especially true if you or your children happen to be introverts. We need time to recharge! Yoga may be just the thing you and/or your child need to get through the day without becoming grouchy!

             Do you do/have you done yoga with your children? Did I leave any important benefits out in my list? I'd love to hear your stories and suggestions in the comments below! 

Thinking Outside The Pot
This Is How We Roll Thursday Party

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Kidtasticly Awesome Giveaway

Sponsored By:  

Safety TatPlayMonsterPeek Bags, The Memory Thief by Bryce Moore, PoGO Potty PandaMood-Lights, Nature's Bakery, FodeezeKylie's Crochet CornerABC Questions by Christine CruzLogic Products, and Simply Merino 

Hosted By: 

Love, Mrs. Mommy

Co-Hosted By: InezbyDesign and Heartfully Heather

1 Lucky Winner Will Receive Over $363 worth of goodies!!

Plus, 6 out of the 12 prizes are Winner's Choice! Details are listed under the descriptions...

Safety Tat

For nearly a decade, Safety Tat has been America’s leading choice for ensuring safe returns. Their proven, award-winning temp-tattoo and labeling solutions not only provide a fun level of security for your little ones, but peace of mind for Moms and Dads as well. And SafetyTat offers a wide range of flexible products to fit your needs for literally any occasion. Winner can choose any 6-pack of write-on tats, a $10.99 RV!


PlayMonster is a toy and game company, championing the power of play by creating quality toys and games for children, adults and families. They are the perfect combination of playful and professional, and true play experts, because they understand play for all ages! Winner will receive a Glow To Sleep Musical Soother, a $49.99 RV! Check out my review here!

Peek Bags

Peek Bags are designed and made by a mom who has two kids of her own. Peek Bags are quality bags that have an adorable “peek” section in the front, so that you know exactly what’s inside without having to open it. These bags come in three sizes; Small, Medium, and Large and have fourteen colors to chose from! Wonderful for mixing and matching to create the perfect storage set for your home. Winner will receive an Assorted Peek Pack in their choice of either girl or boy colors, a $18.00 RV! Check out my review here!

The Memory Thief by Bryce Moore

After witnessing another one of their parents’ public fights, twin brother and sister Benji and Kelly wander off at the local county fair. Benji runs into a group of bullies and escapes into a tent called The Memory Emporium, where he meets a strange old man inside named Louis. The old man shows him a magically vivid memory of a fighter pilot, in the hopes of getting Benji to pay to see other memories Louis has collected from people over the years. Benji quickly realizes the ability to take memories could help his parents stop fighting with each other, and he asks Louis to teach him how to become a Memory Thief. But Louis isn’t the only person with the ability to show and manipulate memories. There’s also the mysterious Genevieve, a Memory Thief with much more nefarious motives. Benji learns how to manipulate memories himself, but having that power comes at a cost to his family, and possibly to his own mind as well. Genevieve’s powers get out of control, as she steals more and more memories from people in town – including Benji’s sister, Kelly. Benji must learn to use this newfound power, as he is the only one able to stop Genevieve. Winner will receive a hardcopy of the book, a $16.99 RV!

PoGO Potty Panda

PoGO’s Positive Potty Training System has three parts: PoGO Panda, PoGO Potty Panda Children’s Book, PoGO’s Potty Stickers. All three were designed to be incorporated into a comprehensive potty training approach, “Positive Potty Training,” that Dr. Maria utilized successfully with her own children. Positive Potty Training centers around the principle of positive reinforcement aimed at fostering a child’s self-esteem and self-efficacy. Positive Potty Training is also designed to minimize the occurrence of power struggles in the potty training experience. Winner will receive a PoGO Potty Panda Training System, a $39.99 RV!


See your room in a new Light! Hand-painted Mood-Lights cast the painted image and colors onto surrounding surfaces! Each is an original one-of-a-kind, which projects its unique painting in Light onto whatever the Light hits. Winner will receive a $55.00 credit to their Etsy shop to pick out any item of their choosing!

Nature's Bakery 

​Nature’s Bakery is a snacks and food brand that supports health conscious living and active lifestyles, with their 4 pinnacles of achieving balance - nature, activity, nutrition and community. They lead with delicious, thoughtfully crafted ingredients that are perfect for on-the-go snacks that people can feel better about eating. They take that extra step to create foods that are Non-GMO Project Verified, Vegan and Kosher Certified, because they care. Proudly, they offer a delicious family of Stone Ground Whole Wheat Fig Bars, Gluten Free Ancient Grains Fig Bars and Double Chocolate Brownie bars that everyone can enjoy and benefit from. Winner will receive Six 6-packs of Fig Bars (flavors of their choosing), a Nature’s Bakery Big Truck Hat, Camelbak Waterbottle, and Lanyard! A $64 RV!
Fodeez offers high value products at affordable prices to keep you organized, on time and remind you what's important. In 2006, Fodeez creator upgraded her refrigerator and found that the prime place to display her kids' photos and artwork, as well as the area she used to keep track of their busy schedules, was gone. Magnets won't stick, tape will damage the surface, and she found herself on a quest. That's how Fodeez® Frames came to be. Winner will receive 2 sets of 3 4x6 Colorable Adhesive Frames / Dry Erase Boards with Markers, a $29.98 TRV! 
Kylie is a creative mama who loves to make and design new items for the entire family. She specializes in unique, boutique baby photo props, but she can't resist trying to make something for everyone, whether it be your sports fan dad, comic book loving brother, princess sister, or your fashionable mother. She is always open to custom requests, and there is a little love in every stitch! Winner will receive their choice of size and style, custom-made hat, a $30 RV!
In ABC Questions, Beverly is starting her first year of school. One of Beverly’s first lessons is the alphabet, and she has lots of amusing questions about the ABCs. Readers can join Beverly as she asks her ABC questions, and learn along the way. ABC Questions is intended for early learners ages 3-6 years old. Winner will receive a copy of ABC Questions, a $12.99 RV! Check out my review here!
Logic Products is now a mom-approved lifestyle brand that fully discloses all ingredients in every product. Logic Products are made in the U.S.A. using plant and mineral derived ingredients. Their eco-friendly product lines include; Natural HomeLogic, TotLogic, BarkLogic and LiceLogic and are available nationwide. They guarantee their products to be safe and effective so you can focus on what’s really important, your family. Winner will receive any one product of their choice up to a $16.95 RV!
They are a small family who is passionate about educating others about the amazing qualities of Merino wool. They wanted to dress their children in the best possible fabric, and therefore Simply Merino was started. Their range is very simple, as they wanted the natural qualities of the Merino wool to speak for themselves. The gowns and sleepers are wonderfully comfortable for infants and babies. And the two-piece sets they've designed can easily be worn as pajamas, thermal wear, or even as separates. It's an easy material to care for; simply wash and dry. Winner will receive a Merino Wool Hat in their choice of size and color, a $19.00 RV!

Open To US - Must be 18+ to enter 
Giveaway Dates ~ 11/26 12:01 AM EST through 12/15 11:59 PM EST Good Luck!

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 items at no cost to facilitate the above-mentioned reviews. 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. The 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.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Ultimate Gift Guide for Builders

What kid doesn't love building, at least at some point in their childhood? Whether it be blocks of some sort, natural materials outdoors, such as branches and leaves to build makeshift forts, or complicated erector sets, it seems most children, boys and girls alike, are drawn to creating things with their own two hands. And no wonder: It's enjoyable and many children (and adults!) learn by "doing" and interacting with items. 
If you're looking for the perfect gift for the young builder in your life this holiday season, be sure to check out this gift guide from Educents! 

 Finding the right holiday gift can be a struggle. Rather than leaving you to a google rabbit hole or a bunch of recommendations to sift through, I've pulled together a one-stop shop filled with meaningful gifts for the tinkerers in your life...Whether they're 3 or 83. In this gift guide, you'll find:
  • classic blocks reinvigorated
  • gifts for mechanical tinkerers
  • super cool robot kits
  • gifts for computer savvy kids

Building Blocks 2.0


Tiny builders, start here! These soft tactile blocks are great for truly little littles to learn on. Made of natural rubber foam, they are squishy but perfect for building. They’re colorful and durable and fit together easily. Children can create a variety of shapes and structures! Using imagination and coordination, young children work on spatial, fine and gross motor skills. For kids who need sensory input, the tactile stimulation provided by this toy is fantastic. And while we're thinking about giving, it's also important to think about responsible buying. This is a green product, made in India at a fair trade factory using premium quality, child-safe materials. The surface is 100% nylon and wipes clean, making it perfect for little chewers! “My husband is quite the handyman. I purchased these for my son (and a different set for my daughter), to encourage their interest in making/building things and in fixing things. So far, I have a new a bird feeder and a bat house. Yah!” ~ Gail R - Teacher

Magformers Challenger Set

The unmatched magnetic building set. Talk about STEAM! Perfect for large families and ambitious builders, the Challenger set encourages kids to explore magnetic construction through modular play. Magformers believes it is vital for children to develop through creativity and constructional play. This set does not disappoint. You'll find a variety of magnetic shapes in this set, both Rainbow and XL cruiser pieces so that children can design and build ideas from both lines including the ‘magic ball’ and super fast XL roadster. This set makes a great addition to a math or art curriculum, that's super hands - on. Children of all ages can build and create together making it a great social gift set.

Tegu Blocks: 40-Piece Magnetic Wooden Set

Building blocks 2.0! Tegu blocks are finely crafted with magnets embedded so kids can build multiple structures form various shapes. Like Rubbablox,Tegu is made from eco-friendly material (in this case wood) and comes in a variety of color schemes to suit preference and mood. Honduras and named after the capital city Tegucigalpa. Kids defy gravity and push their imagination in previously unseen ways. No instruction manuals or electronics; just toys that demand imagination and inspire limitless creativity across all ages. Tegu Blocks are bringing back open, creative play with style - right in time! This makes a great gift because it unlocks a child’s mind through innovative play. The pieces are small enough to be portable. “I believe this is an AMAZING product. Something amazing happens when kids use their hands and imagination to create.” ~ Harvey S “Bought these for my 6 year old grandson for Christmas and we now call his creations ‘the work of a City Planner.’ The different shapes and structures take on the look of city skylines with random items like trees, bridges, etc. Geometry was never so much fun.” ~Deborah F - Homeschooler, Teacher “My first reaction was "these are pricey!" but they were highly recommended to me so I gave it a go. Now I can tell they will be loved for years. My 3 year old loves stacking them and clicking them together and a part. I even have fun playing with these and I'm an adult. They are high quality and the colors are great. ~ Summer H - Homeschooler, Parent, Teacher

The LEGO Christmas Ornaments Book

 Packed with step-by-step instructions for 15 charming builds, The LEGO Christmas Ornaments Book is the perfect family activity this holiday season! It's one part coffee table for adults, and two parts instruction book kids of all ages. With The LEGO Christmas Ornaments Book as their guide, kids make classic globe and barrel ornaments, all out of LEGO! Other possible creations include original gingerbread houses, a merry Santa, arcade cabinets, and so much more! This makes a perfect gift for the child who already owns tons of LEGO blocks but is always looking for inspirational building ideas.

Magformers Math Activity Set

 Math comes to life with this awesome set! Put some STEAM in your holiday plans! This math activity set stimulates learning through magnetic construction and creation. Activities in the set utilize the always attracting magnets to solve math problems such as patterns, addition and subtraction, and 2D nets to 3D structures. Perfect for the visual-spatial learner who loves math puzzles. Use the 50 page math book included to layout Magformers shapes and complete the mathematical challenges! The set contains 12 different geometric shapes including squares and triangles, rectangles and trapezoids through to the super squares and triangles.

Mechanical Masterminds

Tool Set 10-Piece Child Size

Realistic building for young builders! This set makes a great gift for children who love to help parents and grandparents in the workshop. Encourage children to spend valuable imagination time learning new skills with this 10-piece set tool set. It includes screwdrivers, hammer, handsaw, bar clamp, file, tape measure, ruler, safety goggles, and tool belt. Work and play are intertwined with building activities that are challenging, educational, and - most importantly, fun! The tool designs are authentic so children can make-believe they are true woodworkers.

Toobeez Building 57 Piece Connector Set


Ages 7 to 10 Build big connections! Kids work together to literally make bridges, obstacle courses - anything they imagine. Start fun-filled construction with just three simple steps: connect, twist, and create. Toobeez Original Building Kit is a life-sized construction toy. Unlike regular blocks, this kit comes with interlocking tubes and spheres that can be linked to create structures right out of kids' imagination. They can construct anything from a doll house, a helicopter, lemonade stand or a pirate ship. Just connect and twist the tube into the connector spheres. It’s a great set to be used indoors for forts as well as outdoors for lawn activities. This set makes a lasting gift because it promotes creativity and inspires imagination with unlimited building possibilities. Adults won’t be able to resist creating with their kids!


14-in-1 Educational Solar Robot Kit

 The 14-in-1 Educational Solar Robot kit is the recipient of the "Best Green Products Award 2013" from Dr Toy and Creative Child Magazine has anointed it with "Top Toy of the Year Award" and "Kids Product of the Year Award." It's the coolest and greenest robot on the planet! This robot can be transformed into 14 different robot modes which include a multitude of comical and functional movements. The user can easily change from a Wagging-Tail Dog to Running Beetle to Walking Crab to Surfer to Speedster to Zombie Chaser! It's super versatile, too - there are parts that make the robot move on land and water. Like an amphibian! This a great gift for more advanced robot aficionados. “Excellent resource for my Middle School STEAM students. Anything robotic is extremely appealing and interesting to them so this was a big set!!! Great resource, highly recommend it.” ~ Faith B., Teacher “We purchased this for our just-turned-9 year old's birthday. He loves it! It's a nice size and there are so many things you can do with it! It comes with about 200 pieces and a thick instruction manual on how to make 14 different bots. Of course, the limit is your imagination and I'm excited to see how many things my son can come up with!” ~ Celena M “Fun and educational. I like the snap together concept and the ability to take apart and reassemble multiple times. A very good price for all that you get.” ~ Martha M

Magformers Walking Robot Set

 Build a 3D bot! This makes a creative and thinking gift for the child fascinated by robots. Young innovators will click, connect, and create with the NEW Magformers 45 piece Walking Robot set! Kids will love following along with the step-by-step idea booklet to discover the possibilities of the colorful Walking Robot Set. Eight walking characters are built using the STEAM engine block and walking accessories! Building with Magformers encourages children to use their imagination and show their creativity while developing skills and knowledge critical to their development success. Magformers uses high quality “always attracting” magnetic technology that provides endless constructional play.  

Mand Labs KIT-1: The Coolest DIY Kit for Fun Learning in Electronics

An electrifying gift! This kit is perfect for the budding electrician looking to be stimulated by simple but intriguing experiments. Mand Labs KIT-1 is one of the coolest Educational Electronics Kit that you will ever find. With their powerful step by step visual instructions, teens can create a variety of fascinating electricity and electronic projects. They will be able to understand how real world electronic component works, test laws of physics, gain technical skills and have fun. Watch out, Nobel! The best part is that the kit is all-in-one. It comes with all requisite parts and tools for making 50+ projects and venturing further into electronics, books for theoretical reference, learning and making videos, troubleshooting guide, and an award winning package design that opens up into a personalized workstation. Note: This is a safe kit.


Beginning Architecture eCourse 1-3

Audio visual meets real world building. This is an online e-course of Beginning Architecture with 25+ architecture lessons providing the early fundamentals of structures, home design, and zoo design. Kids use things laying around the house like paper, popsicle sticks, straws, paper plates, and pipe cleaners along with learned methods to design their own homes! Each lesson concentrates on designing and personalizing a specific room of their homes, structures or zoos. By the end of the course, students will have designed a home specific to their personal tastes and will have built various designs. This course provides more specific architectural challenges for students who are interested in playing with and learning about architecture and some interior design, making it a great holiday gift!

Build Your Own Website: A Comic Guide to HTML, CSS, and Wordpress

Teens will have a blast learning how to make their own website with the help of this fun, illustrated introduction to the basics of website-building. Mix creativity with real world empowerment. The awesome cartoon guide will help teens learn the basics and pretty soon, they'll have a website all their own to show off to all their friends. Readers learn how to use HTML tags, make their own site shine with CSS, customize Wordpress to fit their needs, and choose a company to host the site. They also get advice on things like how to pick a good domain name - and those of you in the blogging sphere know that's no joke! Help kids stop dreaming of their perfect website and start making it!  

Monday, November 21, 2016

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway!


            Can you believe it's almost the holidays? We are excited to share some super fun, educational, and problem solving gift ideas for families and bring you another amazing giveaway! Enter to win one of these 12 fabulous prize collections as part of Mommy Scene's 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway! 12 winners (one per gift collection) will be selected December 12th, 2016!

Gift Collection 1

Ah Goo Baby Plush Pad Memory Foam Changing Pad
Revelae Kids Cozy Sleeper
Loopy Gear Loopy Rattle Holder
Blue Baby Bum Multi-Purpose Car Seat Canopy

Mommy Scene Holiday Gift Guide Prize Collection 1

Gift Collection 2

Milkies Milk-Saver
Snuggle Me Organic Original Co-Sleeping Baby Bed
Goochie Goo Garb Blankets
LullaBelay Car Seat Strap

Mommy Scene Holiday Gift Guide Prize Collection 2

Gift Collection 3

Aqua Vault Packable Pails
The Minkey by The Olie
Ubbi Snack Tweat Container
Star Kids Products Snack & Play Travel Tray 2.0

Mommy Scene Holiday Gift Guide Prize Collection 3

Gift Collection 4

Revelae Kids Cozy Blanket Pouch
Toofeze Natural Baby Teether
Handsocks Baby Mittens
Active Essentials Egyptian Calendula & Aloe Baby Body Wash & Shampoo, Egyptian Calendula Calming Baby Bath, Body & Massage Oil, Egyptian Calendula & Comfrey Healing Baby Balm (3 products)

Mommy Scene Holiday Gift Guide Prize Collection 4

Gift Collection 5

Wellie Wishers American Girl Doll Emerson
EarZings Pierce-Free Earrings
Yummi Pouch Cloth Snack Bags
Livie & Luca Mulberry Pepper Boot

Mommy Scene Holiday Gift Guide Prize Collection 5

Gift Collection 6

timi & leslie Rachel 7-Piece Designer Diaper Bag Set
Kindred Bravely Davy Maternity & Nursing Pajamas Pants Set
Rachel's Remedy Breastfeeding Relief Packs
Beyond The Tiger Mom: East-West Parenting for the Global Age

Mommy Scene Holiday Gift Guide Prize Collection 6

Gift Collection 7

Earth Mama Angel Baby Sleep Little One Gift Set
Buttons Diapers Muslin Burp Cloth Bib Combo
Jack N Jill Kids Natural Care Bunny Gift Kit
PaigeLauren Classic Layette Footie Romper

Mommy Scene Holiday Gift Guide Prize Collection 7

Gift Collection 8

Wristy Buddy Moose Teething Wristband
Bazzle Baby Banda Bib Drool Bib
QuickZip Zip-On Crib Sheet 3 PK: Starter Pack + 2 Zip-On Sheets
Thinkbaby All-In-One Bottle Set

Mommy Scene Holiday Gift Guide Prize Collection 8

Gift Collection 9

Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen SPF 50+
Star Kids Products Play-n-Go two sided educational activity mat
Catchie 3-In-1 Car Seat Protector
Sudsy Dough Moldable Soap

Mommy Scene Holiday Gift Guide Prize Collection 9

Gift Collection 10

Pacific Baby Natural Bamboo Feeding Plate
I See Me - It's Fancy to Be Me Personalized Book
Surprise Ride Leonardo da Vinci Activity Kit

Mommy Scene Holiday Gift Guide Prize Collection 10

Gift Collection 11

YoRo Naturals Organic Manuka Skin Soothing Cream
The Shrunks Bouncer Pool
Tottigo Pack 'n Potty
Aqua Vault FlexSafe + Waterproof Phone Case

Mommy Scene Holiday Gift Guide Prize Collection 11

Gift Collection 12

Purl Lamb Hoodie & Pants Set
SmartNoggin NogginSeek Peek & Seek Rattle
Breganwood Organics Hooded Towel for Babies & Toddlers
Yummi Pouch Reusable Food Pouches

Mommy Scene Holiday Gift Guide Prize Collection 12

This giveaway is sponsored by Mommy Scene and is open to US entries ages 18 and older. No purchase required to enter. 12 winners (one per gift collection) will be randomly chosen and displayed on the giveaway widget after the giveaway ends on December 12th, 2016. Mommy Scene and participating blogs are not responsible for fulfilling brand-sponsored prizes. Prizes will be shipped directly from each brand.

Mommy Scene Blog Street Team
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Easy, Creamy Butternut Soup

            Hey folks! Even though I cook a LOT more than I used to, it's still not my favorite thing in the world. So, when I actually created my own soup without using a recipe at all the other night AND it actually turned out, I was excited enough I had to share it with you all! The only problem is...I didn't use exact measurements. :/ Normally when I cook, I'm very anal about using recipes with exact measurements, so I hope you guys aren't like me and not having exact measurements is a deal breaker. (Btw, I know soups aren't really hard to make, but you don't understand. This is literally the first thing I've ever made without a recipe! It's a big deal, even if it was easy!) Without further ado, here's what you need...

-2 large butternut squash, cubed
-roughly 1/4-1/2 C. milk
-2 T. butter (I used about 4 with the batch I made, but thought it was a little much.)
-parika, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice, adding it to your liking (I realize cinnamon is in pumpkin pie spice. I just really like cinnamon. Also, use the paprika sparingly. It's more to bring flavors out.)
-immersion blender/stick blender/whatever you want to call it

*Dump your cubed butternut into a large pot. Fill it with just enough water to cover the squash.

*Cook on medium high/high until butternut is nice and tender.

*For mine, I dumped out about 1/3-1/2 of the water. This part is kind of up to you as to how much you want to dump out based on how thick you would like your soup. Mine was really thick.

*Next, use your stick blender to puree the butternut. Careful! You don't want hot soup splashing on you!

*Once your butternut is a nice, smooth consistency, blend your milk in.

*When that is incorporated, mix your butter in. (It should melt quickly since your soup is still nice and hot! But, you can always melt the butter first and then pour it in, if you like.)

*Add your spices and you're done! If I had to guess, I probably used about 1-2 teaspoons of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice, and half a teaspoon, if that, of paprika. Don't be afraid to experiment with the spices! Really, I feel like this is just a good base recipe since it's so simple. Don't get me wrong, I think it's good by itself, but you can still totally play around with other ingredients.

             Since I wasn't able to give exact measurements, feel free to comment below with any questions you have. (That's also my way of saying that I feel like I left something out. Ha ha) What's your favorite kind of soup?
Thinking Outside The Pot

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Merry ClothMas Giveaway

Ho Ho Ho, It's the Merry ClothMas giveaway! 

            Cloth diapers and Christmas are a perfect pair. Why? Cloth diapers make great gifts for baby, toddler and even parents. Plus, reusable diapers are a gift to Mother Earth 365 days a year! It's the perfect time to add that special print to your collection, boost an existing stash, receive gifts from friends and family and add great accessories that really make cloth diapering a joy!
            Merry ClothMas features high quality items that any cloth diapering family would love to have under their tree! Longing for hybrid fitteds or a sprayer? There's always room on Santa's sleigh for fluffy Christmas presents! Take a look at the prizes included below and the great companies providing them. Post contains affiliate links.


Saturday, November 19, 2016

Cool Beans Kids Boots Giveaway

Cool Beans Boots Giveaway
 Prize: 2 Winners will receive their choice of style from the 4 pictured above, based on availability.

            Looking for the perfect gift for the toddler in your life? Surprise them with Cool Beans Boots: warm, comfortable, adorable sheepskin footwear that both baby and you will love. CoolBeans Offers Adorable and Trendy Footwear that Both Baby and You Will Love. So Soft and Comfortable – Kids Will Want to Wear Their Shoes All Day!
            A thick layer of wool guarantees to keep little feet warm and toasty! Enter to win a pair of sheepskin boots, a great addition to your holiday gift list! Cool Beans Footwear Offers Exceptional Quality Genuine Leather Boots and Slippers for Babies, Toddlers and Little Kids at Affordable Prices. It is Important for Children to Have Comfortable Shoes. Footwear Made of Real Leather Naturally Stretches and Flexes, Providing Better Movement for Little Feet, it is Also “Breathable” and Keeps the Feet Dry and Cozy.

Dates: 11/19-12/3
Open to: US Residents 18+

**Please note the sponsor has requested to receive the email address of each entrant so they can share a 20% off coupon code with you. By entering this giveaway you are granting me permission to share your email address with the sponsor.
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.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Snuggle Pod Giveaway

Winner's Choice of Chibebe Snuggle Pod Giveaway! $99 RV!

Sponsored By: Chibebe

Hosted By: Love, Mrs. Mommy

Winner Will Receive: 

Their choice of Snuggle Pod and Seat Cover! A $99 RV (beans not included)

Chibebe is the world’s #1 baby beanbag! The Chibebe Snuggle Pod was originally designed to help prevent reflux and flathead symptoms, but that’s not all! These adorable snuggle pods grow with your baby for many years down the road (great for all ages) and come in a variety of stylish, exclusive designs. They not only look amazing, but so is their quality! Chibebe has high standards of safety, so much so that they are laboratory tested to not only meet, but exceed USA and Australian standards! 

Open To US and must be 18+ to enter
Giveaway Dates ~ 11/16 9:00 AM EST through 11/30 11:59 PM EST Good luck!
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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Art Lovers Gift Guide From Educents

Art is a broad and important part of life, and fostering artistic expression in kids sets them on a positive path, whether it's hobbyist, professional, as an outlet or pure aesthetic expression. The common thread is that it is creative, expressive, it can inspire us, and lead to that wonderful thing called "flow." So this holiday season, why not give a gift that fosters that gift of a lifetime. Rather than leave you to a google rabbit hole, I thought I'd share some inspiring gifts for budding artists in your life. Find 12 winners broken down in the following categories:
  • Hands-on visual art
  • Music - appreciation and musicianship
  • Art history - giving context to culture
  • Digital art & design - for our "digital natives"
Each section is geared toward an age range, but let's be honest - there are plenty of adults in your life that will like these, too!

I'm a bit biased as I've always loved art, but I think it is so important to introduce young children to different art processes as well as continuing art education in K-12 studies. I hope you enjoy this gift guide of unique products Educents has put together for art lovers!-MBM

*This post contains affiliate links. That's just a fancy way of saying that if you purchase something from a link you click on, I will get a little bit of credit in my own Educents account to help buy my own kids school supplies. :) 

Hands -On Art Activities

What a Color World Poster from Pirasta

It's a wonderful world. And this giant coloring poster is just what the doctor ordered for quiet creative time this winter. The huge poster map (63" x 36") gives scale and context to our globe. Details include a delightful celebration of cultural diversity, from traditional dress and historical landmarks to iconic foods and natural wonders. It's definitely a conversation starter. You can lay it on the ground and invite friends to join in, hang it on the wall with painter’s tape, or even tape it to the ceiling or under a table to unleash your child’s inner Michelangelo. Mom point - these posters are made in the USA and are printed with vegetable ink on recycled content paper! “Grandkids age 3-15 all coloring together! Asked each to color the [places] they live/lived in or have visited. Great conversations as they learn and share while coloring together.” – Grandma Z.

Just Add Milk Science & Art Carton

Create art using materials from the fridge! This low-cost art experiment is the ideal stocking stuffer or small gift for extended family members. Just Add Milk is a kit for all children - boys and girls - and mom and dad, to express themselves in an educational way. Create your own natural science experiments with some at home ingredients. Just add the milk! Learn a brief introduction to surface tension and experiment with other ingredients around the house such as food coloring, soda pop, vinegar, and glue! Kids love watching what might happen when you add food coloring to milk. Once their creations are complete, they will have a fun story to explain how to create milk art.

Coloring Book Set

Bring coloring to the next level with these beautiful intricate designs! Coloring isn't just for kids anymore, it's for everyone! Let this package of 6 coloring books serve as a generous gift to one artistic child, or as 6 gifts to kids and adults in your family or community. While coloring can be a wonderful form of artistic expression, it’s also a great way to exercise brains - coloring requires focus, logic, and coordination. Much better than hours of television, as much as we like our stories - and far more meditative. Kids and families who love to color will rise to the challenge of turning these intricate, black and white sheets of paisleys, mandalas, and zen designs into blooming pages of colorful artworks. The pages are perforated so that each one can be removed, easily be colored, and even framed! So inspire your child to explore their creative side, and discover the fun and relaxing benefits of coloring!

The Art (and Sound) of Music

Maestro Classics Complete Set

Dive into the depths of music appreciation and storytelling with the Maestro Classics 12 CD Music Collection. The high-quality collection includes 12 CDs, each with a 24-page activity book, that feature classic musical tales such as The Nutcracker, Peter & the Wolf, the Story of Swan Lake, and the Tortoise & the Hare. In the activity books, your child have fun solving musical puzzles and games while learning important musical concepts and vocabulary. Good practice for parents, too! Pair listening to classics with the coloring above, and you have cozy, enriching plans for the whole family for months - and an appreciation for the arts that will last a lifetime. Plus, get over 50% off on Educents! “The Maestro Classics are so much better than having some kiddie movie soundtrack while we drive. We can have a mini music appreciation class while we're on the road and the colored booklets that it comes with are perfect to follow along since it gives some background to the composer. Some run for about 45 minutes to an hour so this classical collection ensures there are no repeats per car ride!” -Sarah

Sounds Like Fun Shake Rattle Roll

Let the festivities begin with this handcrafted set of musical instruments to your family’s quality time. Whether you’re a seasoned musician, or there is a spark of musical interest in your family - this set of musical instruments is guaranteed fun for the whole family. The wooden set includes seven pieces: A bucket drum with a natural skin head, a pair of drum sticks, a single jingle stick, a handled castanet and a pair of mini maracas. It also includes a parent-friendly activity guide with fun ideas on how to use the instruments to encourage child development.

eMedia Play Piano Deluxe


For beginner pianists wanting to become more skilled and confident players, the eMedia Play Piano Pack Deluxe is an amazing value! This package not only includes a high-quality, full-size keyboard, but it also comes with two full piano courses containing over 450 lessons taught by instructors from the Juilliard School of Music. The piano course software contains videos and interactive feedback technologies to help your child learn quickly and understand lessons more easily. Before your teen knows it, they’ll be proficient at playing piano chords, reading sheet music, and performing solos! “My daughter and I decided to learn the piano together, and we love this! The keyboard is a good size, with good sound. The software is very extensive. It provides a full curriculum of over 300 lessons, end-of-chapter tests, and lots of videos. Someday we might try lessons, but this is a great way to start!” –Leslie

Violin Starter Set

It’s easy for anyone ages 5 and up to learn how to play the violin! Truly becoming a master of music takes years and hours of practice, but kids can’t always start out that way. Many kids have very short attention spans. Luckily, the computer-based violin lessons included in this Violin Starter Set is just a few minutes long, which is perfect for those days your family is in a time crunch or the kids just can’t sit still. In the lessons, an animated character named Val the Violin guides students through lessons by New York City Ballet violinist Sabina Skalar. eMedia My Violin guides you through the core elements of violin playing in over 160 lessons. It covers such basics as proper violin, hand and finger position, the elements of correct bowing technique, how to tune the instrument, and play rhythmic tunes. Games make learning fun, and your child will learn songs that they can share with friends! “My daughter wants to learn the violin but I didn't want to shell out a fortune to pay a teacher or purchase an instrument--this is perfect for the price. It's beautiful, comes with extra strings, and comes with everything you need to learn to play and take good care of it. Really like the case and the presentation. My daughter was thrilled when she opened it and excited to start using it!” -Celena

eMedia Teach Yourself Acoustic Guitar

Empower kids to create music! Does your child dream of taking center stage to share their art with the world? Gift the tools of artistic expression for the holidays. This Guitar Starter Set has everything your child needs to start learning the very musical instrument that played by visionaries like Santana, Taylor Swift, and Jimi Hendrix. In the Guitar Starter Set, kids get a quality beginner acoustic guitar with a resonant, bold sound. The computer lessons allow kids to learn at their own pace. The lessons use video instruction to illustrate proper technique and guide your child through how to tune a guitar, how to play simple guitar chords, and all the guitar basics. Guitar lessons are fun when kids practice with the 70 songs across a multitude of styles with hits made famous by Bob Dylan, Steve Miller, the Rolling Stones, and others.Perfect for beginners. My daughter has been wanting to learn to play the guitar but unfortunately, we're unable to afford lessons. So, I purchased this Teach Yourself Guitar pack and it's great! My daughter has had it for a few weeks now and is really starting to pick it up....all by herself! The included DVD and other helpful media are awesome.” -Kristen

Electric Guitar and Lessons

This electric guitar starter kit is the complete package designed to let first-time musicians start rocking. At some point in their life, no matter how briefly, everyone dreams of being a rockstar. Performing in front of thousands, selling out huge stadiums and touring the world are just a few of the draws. But even the biggest names in music started somewhere. Lesson plans and music tutors can cost a ton of money, time, and energy and might not even work, but there is a solution that does. The Alfred Music Electric Guitar starter set is the perfect place for any aspiring rock legends to start their journey. For one reasonable price, your child will get a high-quality 3/4-size Firebrand™ electric guitar, portable amplifier, gig bag carrying case with straps, Firebrand™ portable electronic tuner with batteries included, a set of Firebrand™ guitar picks, and the Alfred's Kid's Guitar Course (Book, CD, DVD and Software). There isn't a better value out there. You get the book, CD, DVD, Software, beautiful 3/4 size electric guitar for kids, padded carrying case, amp, tuner with batteries included, guitar picks: everything.

Art History Buffs

Welcome Box + 1 Month History Unboxed

A great way for kids to live history, and bring context to modern life. History Unboxed is perfect for any family that wants to get kids more involved in studying history. Recipes, crafts, art, myths, and relatable details enable students to experience history with many of their senses and form a lasting and meaningful bond with the past. And the best part? Everything ships right to your door. All you have to do is open the box and start learning. The adventure begins when the first box arrives to your doorstep. As your child completes the art activities in the box, they will be time traveling with brother and sister duo Zane and Ava. Zane and Ava magically travel through time, and their adventures will present the time period to your child through the activities in the box. Each month will feature a different time and place with hands on crafts, activities, and art so that your child can learn about history in a memorable and exciting way.Comprehensive and perfect! Our favorite thing in the box was truly amazing. We filled the terracotta bird with water, blew into it, and the song was as lovely as any songbird! I wish I could have all of their past boxes!” -Celena

Artists of the World Kit

Add history to art projects for hands-on learning! This complete ‘experiential’ enrichment learning kit for children offers 10+ hours of hands-on learning. The kit contains all resources and materials required for the program - making it easy for parents to get kids started with limited hand-holding. This kit is introduces kids to 6 world famous artists through activities, multimedia interaction, games and puzzles. Through this program, your child will appreciate art, recognize the work of top artists, recreate his/her own masterpieces and enjoy the fun lessons. The kit covers Van Gogh, Da Vinci, Monet, Michelangelo, Picasso and Warhol. “I've seen other art programs teach things like lines and composition while others take more of an art history approach. This does a little of both! I would say it leans more toward the history side of things but with real hands-on application.” -Amanda “I'm using this with my 4 children whose ages range from 8-11. We love it! The workbooks are nice and colorful, the lesson plans are incredibly easy to follow, and the durable box came packed with absolutely everything we need, down to the glue and pencil sharpeners. The variety of artists (6 different ones) and mediums is great. Highly recommend it!” - Celena

Famous Artists Study

 Help your young artist "de-code DaVinci" and different kinds of visual expression from the greats. In this online course, art students will study 10 renowned artists and discover 10 art movements in history. The Famous Artist Online Unit Study is all tied together by creating art exhibits about each artist in a virtual art gallery. Watch videos and visit websites to learn about the artists’ lives and styles and create masterpieces inspired by each artist. No downloads, books or papers are needed. Everything is just a click away. “Not only have we been introduced to some great ideas and discussion, we've also learned to use some new digital/on-line tools! Beth has put a tremendous amount of time and love into this course and it is well worth the cost to enjoy this experience with your kiddos!” -Lynna Brooke “These unit studies are phenomenal. Beth has perfectly blended technology and the much loved unit studies together to make a hard hitting learning tool.” -Forest

Photography & Design

Design Your Own Fashion Portfolio

Fashion-forward kids will love this Fashion Design course, and you will love that your child is learning a unique and applicable skill! While your child creates their own fashion collection, they’ll be learning important graphic design skills that can be used in a variety of careers, gaining fashion business knowledge, and working within a professional design program. Plus, parents love that this is a safe learning environment where kids design age-appropriate garments. It's $100 off, too. “What a unique, fun, and educational course! My daughter loved everything about this course. She is so proud of her fashion portfolio! More importantly, she learned how to use professional software - a skill she can use in the future.” –Annie

Shutter Teacher Photography Lessons

Photography is a great way for students who lack the ability to draw or paint explore their creative side. From the great outdoors, to food, to machines - no matter what your child is interested in, there is a way for them to explore it through photography. This downloadable lesson is great for students who want to be able to work on their own time at their own pace. Included in this package is 15 downloadable pages of lessons covering the history of photography, the photographer's toolkit, exposure, camera settings, lighting, composition, and careers in photography, lesson plans & instructor notes - explains how to structure the class/course, a printable card game - laminate and use as a learning game, a printable sheet of photographer badges and much more. Plus, it's over 60% off. Awesome!