Sunday, April 30, 2017

Teach My Yoga Mat Set-Fish & Learn Giveaway


Welcome to the Teach My Fish & Learn Yoga Mat Set Giveaway!

This contest is hosted by the Social Media Gurus Network! Below is a list of all the bloggers involved in the gift guide.

Michigan Saving and More

Deliciously Savvy

Tales From A Southern Mom

Heartbeats ~ Soul Stains

Welcome To My Kitchen

Life in a House of Testosterone

Here We Go Again ready

My Silly Little Gang

Everyday Gizmos Sweeps & Views

Mami’s 3 Little Monkeys


PaulaMS’ Giveaways, Reviews, & Freebies

Central Bargains and Giveaways

Eclectic Evelyn

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Now let’s get to the sponsor!

Teach My


Teach My Yoga Mat Set – Fish & Learn

$24.99 RV See review HERE. This giveaway is in no way endorsed, affiliated, or associated with Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Media Networking Site.You are not eligible if you have won a prize from the sponsor in the last 12 month. This giveaway is US, 18 or older. Only one entrant per household. Giveaway ends on 5/18 11:59 PM EST . Winner will be notified by email and has 24 hours to respond. If there is no response during that time a new winner will be chosen. If you take an entry you must stay following for the entire contest or you will be disqualified.

Also we all “love it if you like us” on Facebook! If you like our blogs on social media it helps us bring you only the best giveaways and more of them!


Saturday, April 29, 2017

Learning Resources Cash Register & Smart Market Giveaway

The Learning Resources Giveaway! The Fun Way To Teach Kids About Money! (Ends 5/20) @LearningHandsOn


Deliciously Savvy is hosting a giveaway in which one lucky winner will receive 2 fabulous toys that make learning fun from Learning Resources

Sponsored By:


Erica Sandberg the author of Expecting Money

Hosted By:

Deliciously Savvy

Co-Hosted By:

Amy & Aron's Real Life Reviews //Bit O' Everything // Love, Mrs. Mommy // Missy's Views and Savings Clues // My Silly Little Gang // Oh My Heartsie Girl // Southbound Mom // Michigan Saving and More // Heartbeats ~ Soul Stains // Capri's Coupons // PaulaMS Giveaways, Reviews, & Freebies

Plus a Big Thank You To All Of The Fabulous Bloggers Helping To Promote This Fun Learning Giveaway!

The Details:

Learning Resources and the author of Expecting Money: The Essential Financial Plan for New and Growing Families have come together for this giveaway! Thank you to them both!

1 Lucky Winner Will Win

Pretend & Play Calculator Cash Register ($40 RV)

Plus the Smart Market ($30 RV)


And Now To The Giveaway!

Giveaway Dates: 04/29/2017 10AM EST until 05/20/2017 11:59PM EST
Entrants must be 18 years old to enter and giveaway is open to US residents Only
Any Questions Email Me At mcushing7 (at) hotmail (dot) com.
This giveaway is in no way endorsed, affiliated or associated with Facebook,
Twitter or any other Social Media Networking Site. This giveaway is valid only
in the United States. Entrants must be 18+ years of age to enter.
This giveaway will end at 11:59PM (EST) on 05/20/2017.

Good Luck! Enter Below

Also we all “love it if you like us” on Facebook!

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

Deliciously Savvy did not receive any form of compensation for this giveaway. Once winners are selected via the Giveaway Tools process, the product will be shipped. Winner has 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. No other blog associated with this giveaway is responsible for the product shipment. Learning Resources will be providing the prizes above to the winner and can take 6 to 8 weeks for delivery. Thank You for stopping by! Any Questions or Concerns email me at mcushing7 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Get Ready for a New Thriller from Jeff Gunhus! (Review)

             Hey folks! It's been quite some time since I've done a book review that wasn't for a children's book, so bear with me. While they are nice to read from other people, I'm not one of those that can write the eloquent-sounding book reviews. I stay home with 2 kids. My brain is half-fried most of the time. I'm guessing if you're reading this, yours probably is too! With that being said, I'm going to try a new format out for this review, so be sure to let me know what you think!

Mixed Bag Mama was not compensated for this post. I received an ARC through Tomoson in exchange for my honest opinion.

             I recently had the honor of reviewing Jeff Gunhus' soon-to-be released (June 5th) title Resurrection America. If you're new around here, I just love Mr.Gunhus' work. In fact, I think I've reviewed all of his adult titles thus far. (He also writes The Jack Templar Chronicles, a series that came to fruition when his own son was a reluctant reader.) If you're not familiar with his work, a lot of readers, myself included, compare his work to that of Dean Koontz. Right up my alley as I used to love reading his books as well!
             So, what is Resurrection America all about, in a nutshell?

             When helicopters and armored vehicles filled with soldiers in hazmat suits quarantine the small mountain town of Resurrection, Colorado, Sheriff Rick Johnson feels like the Jihadi wars have followed him home. But while the town follows martial law out of fear of a virus released into the air, Rick isn't buying the official version of events. As he investigates, the cover story unravels and he discovers the military's presence and the salvation they offer isn't what it seems.

             Sounds good, right? I promise you, the whole story is just as good. More so, in fact! What did I like about the book?

*Like all of his books, Resurrection America jumps right into the action. It's very easy to get sucked into the story quickly. I suppose I am somewhat of an impatient reader. If a story doesn't have my interest after the first few chapters, I'm probably not going to continue.

*It's an easy read...In the sense that it's not overly wordy and descriptive and “keeps you on the edge of your seat” so you keep on reading. Furthermore, again, I stay home with the kids. My reading time is precious (as I'm sure it is for most of you too!). I like a good, entertaining story that isn't going to take me ages to read. Or, even worse, I put down for several months, by which point I feel like I should just start over!

*While it never gives a date, I thought it was interesting that this is set in the not-so-distant future. It poses a scenario that could very likely be possible some day soon...Which makes the story that much more frightening!

*I liked that it is set in a small town as I feel like many people can identify with that, whether it be from their upbringing or current life. I'm just weird, and while they're entertaining, I have a hard time relating to stories set in big cities like L.A., Chicago, etc.

*The ending (which I won't go into because I don't want to spoil the book, of course!) brings up a lot of moral issues pertaining to the military, government, human race in general that are kind of scary to think about, especially because I could definitely see it playing out in real life how it did in the book!

             Overall, I highly recommend Resurrection America if you're looking for a good thriller. You won't be disappointed! You can pre-order the Kindle edition now on Amazon for only $3.99. Be sure to check out all of Jeff Gunhus' titles on Goodreads as well and give him a shout on Facebook and Twitter.

Thinking Outside The Pot

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Make Your House Smell Yummy With Lit Candles! (Review)

Mixed Bag Mama was not compensated for this post. I received a product in return for my honest opinion. All opinions are my own.

             Hey folks! Like many of you, I love “smelly good stuff”: candles, incense, Scentsy. To be honest, I usually prefer incense because it's so much stronger than most candles I have ever tried and the scent lasts longer after it's done burning too. However, it is nice burning good ole candles sometimes, so I decided to give Lit Candles a try when I was approached about doing a review for them. Here is a little product information to get you acquainted with their products:
             Lit Candles are hand-poured and made of a soy wax blend for a strong throw.
Each candle uses 100% soy wax produced from US grown soybeans. Natural flat cotton threads mixed with paper threads create the natural wick of these candles ensuring an eco-friendly and even burn. With a clear glass jar and jar cap for all our candles, these candles are dedicated to providing you with the best and strongest scents consistently. Handcrafted with a simple but fun look and appealing colors, styles & scents, these candles will compliment any style of home.

             Now that you have some background info, let's check out this Hazelnut Latte candle I received for my review. First of all, how fun is this, that it's actually designed to look like a latte?! We're not really into whether things match decor-wise in our house, but if you are, I feel like this would go with a lot of different types of d├ęcor themes.
             As for the scent, it really does smell like a delicious latte! A lot of candles I've tried seem to miss the mark with whatever scent they're going for, especially once lit, and that can be disappointing. The Lit Candles Hazelnut Latte candle smells good whether it is lit or not! We have ours in our living room, and, once lit, it fills the room with smelly goodness within minutes, even for being in a larger room. I am actually still surprised by how strong it is for a candle! It was definitely a pleasant surprise.

             I like that these candles are Earth-friendly too, being made from soybeans and having minimal packaging. They do seem to last longer too, so that's a plus!
             If you're looking for a quality candle for your own home or a gift for someone who has everything, definitely be sure to check out all of Lit Candles products. You're sure to find something you will like! As an added bonus, I have a special promo code below for your purchase!

Amazon Promo Code: ZVXT-XVLSWC-GT2QW2
Buy 1 Lit Candle get 20% off. Buy 2 and get 25% off.

Thinking Outside The Pot

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Monthly Crafting Book Club: The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Hey folks! It's that time again! Welcome to April's Monthly Crafting Book Club post!

the very hungry caterpillar book

             This month we are covering a book that you are probably all familiar with: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Unless maybe you don't have kids, if you haven't heard of this title, you've been living under a rock for awhile. ;) It is a great book for spring and introducing a butterfly lesson to young kids.
kids with book
             In a nutshell, the caterpillar eats, and eats, and EATS some more...until he finally turns into a beautiful butterfly! Since there is so much food involved in this book and the treats situation has gotten out of hand in our house, I thought this presented the perfect opportunity for a little nutrition activity. So, like last month, I apologize this isn't actually a craft. I'm better at coming up with activities! (Truth be told I usually steal craft ideas off of Pinterest. Ha ha)

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Nutrition Activity
Suggested for: Ages 3+

TVHC nutrition activity

What You'll Need:

-craft foam sheets or felt in various colors
-pen or marker
-felt boards or other objects for sorting purposes
-glue or hot glue

*Cut out pieces to assemble your foods. I like to roughly draw mine out first before cutting. I realize it would have made more sense to use felt on felt for this, but I felt (ha ha) like using something different this month since I used felt last month...And also thought foam would be easier to cut small pieces from than felt. Ha ha

healthy foods
*Glue your pieces together to form your foods. (I used hot glue. I don't have the patience for Elmer's. :/) I decided to do an even number of healthy foods and treats, which included the following, starting at the top: apple, pear, strawberry, orange, plum, lollipop, chocolate cake, ice cream cone, cupcake, and a piece of cherry pie.

embellished treats
*Embellish some of your food items as needed/wanted.

*Label your foam boards or whatever you're using to sort with with two labels: One with “Healthy Foods” and one for “Treats”.

*Ask your child to sort the food items into the appropriate category. This is a good opportunity to talk with your child about the different types of food you chose (Again, we chose ones from the book. You could include some others that are not.): What they are, why they're good for you or why you shouldn't eat too many of them, what are your child's favorite foods?, why does your child think the caterpillar got a belly ache?, etc.

             Thanks for stopping by for this month's Book Club activity! Be sure to visit the other bloggers below for more craft and activity ideas to go along with The Very Hungry Caterpillar. :)
Come join us for the Monthly Crafting Book Club. Each month we focus on a different book and encourage early literacy by pairing it with a craft.          

Monthly Crafting Book Club for May

Interested in joining us next month? Join the Facebook group for updates HERE and feel free to participate whenever you can.
Next month we are doing Camping Themed books.
Thinking Outside The Pot

Monday, April 24, 2017

Teleflora Mother's Day Giveaway

Welcome to the Teleflora Mother's Day Bouquet Giveaway!

1 winner receives a $75 Gift Code To Use at Teleflora!!!
This contest is hosted by the Social Media Gurus Network!
Below is a list of all the bloggers involved in the gift guide.

Michigan Saving and More

Deliciously Savvy

Tales From A Southern Mom

Heartbeats ~ Soul Stains

Welcome To My Kitchen

Life in a House of Testosterone

Here We Go Again ready

My Silly Little Gang

Everyday Gizmos Sweeps & Views


PaulaMS’ Giveaways, Reviews, & Freebies

Central Bargains and Giveaways

Eclectic Evelyn

Mami’s 3 Little Monkeys


Now let’s get to the sponsor!


1 Lucky Winner Will a $75 Gift Card To Use For Their Next Bouquet Gift from Teleflora!

See My Review Here!




This giveaway is in no way endorsed, affiliated, or associated with Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Media Networking Site.This Giveaway is valid in the United States Only and Entrants must be 18+ years of age to enter. This giveaway event will end at 11:59 PM (EST) 5/12/17. The winner will have 24 hours to email their information back to mcushing7 at hotmail dot com or a new winner will be drawn, you may want to put this email address as safe as it could go to spam. The sponsors are each responsible for shipping of the above prizes. No blog associated with this contests are responsible for prize fulfillment. If you would like to be a sponsor in a giveaway like this please email Melissa Cushing at mcushing7 (at)hotmail (dot) com. If you take an entry you must stay following for the entire contest or you will be disqualified.

Also we all “love it if you like us” on Facebook! If you like our blogs on social media it helps us bring you only the best giveaways and more of them!

Enter below and Good Luck!

Homesteading Update: Planting, Projects, & More!

             Hey folks! Spring seems to be in full swing here in south central Indiana, so we've been busy beavers! Now, just keep your fingers crossed it's here to stay and old man Winter doesn't pop up unexpectedly!

             Have I ever mentioned how much our in-laws help out with, well, just about everything, around here? If I haven't, I am now! We got a lot accomplished over Easter weekend, including rearranging some chickens. The little peepers got moved to fresh grass for the first time, so that's always exciting. They have a lot more space now too in the old “baby pig pen”.
             We also had 2 of our own chicks hatch from letting our broody Silkie Bantam take care of them! We actually had one hatch the week before, but the big girls got it and killed it. :( Lesson learned. I'm still mad about that! So, we had to lock Francine and her babies up in a cat carrier until we were able to move them into the “baby pen” inside the chicken coop. Oh. And one of the chicks didn't make it. It looked like it tried to hatch, but wasn't strong enough to break through the shell. :( But, I think 3 out of 4 is pretty good!

             These two crazy kids look like they could use a kiddie pool to cool off in, amiright? XD It's been in the 70's and even 80's here this week, so these guys have been cooling off in their impromptu mud pit. So. Ridiculously. Muddy. Seriously, though, I do plan on purchasing a little plastic kiddie pool from the store this week and see if they enjoy that.

             My in-laws and hubby have been hard at work in the garden. Doesn't it look nice?! Planting is my least favorite part of gardening, ironically enough, so I was glad to find excuses to not help. Lol Kids are great scapegoats sometimes, aren't they? I contributed by hanging CD's up in hopes of keeping the birds away, planting marigold seeds around the perimeter to keep rabbits and other critters out, and weeded around the peas. I am still worried they are planting too early, but hey, I'm not the one doing the planting!

             We also got the squash garden set up over Easter weekend. Let me tell you, I did most of our squash patch by myself last year and it is SO much faster and easier to set up with 4 people!...And much more pleasant since it's not the beginning of July and blistering hot! :/

             So I started on this nonsense too. This is one of those projects I've had in the back of my mind for awhile, but it wasn't exactly pressing. I've been wanting to rip this crappy looking walkway up for awhile. We don't use it. Then, when I was trying to think of where to plant some herbs, I thought this would make a great spot! It's close to the house so if we need some for cooking we can grab them easily AND it gives me an excuse to finally tear this area up!
             I was so glad it was easier to get that evil black plastic crap up than I thought it would be...But then there was the surprise of MORE pavers underneath! Seriously!? Rocks along the edge, pavers, TWO layers of plastic, and more pavers under that. Unamused. But, in theory, the worst part should be hauling the “trash” off and removing any roots that are in the way. (What is up with all of the roots around this place? It's like someone played Jumanji here or something!)

             Last, but not least, I had to share these just because. Even though I could do without the grass and weeds going berserk already, there is no denying how pretty some of the blooms are, like this dogwood tree and lilac flowers. :)

             What spring projects are you up to?

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Primal Essence Giveaway

Winners choice of 3 Super Teas and 3 Coconut Oils from Primal Essence RV $60

Sponsor: Primal Essence
Prize: Winners choice of 3 Super Teas and 3 Coconut Oils RV $60

Primal Essence has been supplying superior-quality, water-soluble and oil-soluble botanical extracts to the food and beverage industries for over 18 years. Their excellent reputation in the industry has been earned not only from our personal and professional integrity and excellent customer service, but also because Primal Essence fulfills the consumer-driven demand for truly natural ingredients in our food. Their process and products also succeed in contributing to reduce our earth’s carbon foot print which is an imminent necessity and they also contribute with donations to their social responsibility of service and compassion.

Dates: 4/22-5/6
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, April 20, 2017

The Library Snob-Part 2 (And More New Library Fun!)

            Hey folks! Thanks for coming back for Part 2 of "The Library Snob"! In case you missed last week's post, you can catch up HERE.

The Children's Section

             It was snack time after prizes and that was pretty much it since we got there so late. We had to stick around and play some more in the children's section afterwards, of course. For being a smaller library (Linton's population is roughly 5,200), I thought they had a good selection of toys for kids to play with. (This is something I always look for. How many toys/activities are there? What kinds of toys do they have? Are both of my kids going to be entertained and for how long? Lol)

kids playing with toys at library

As you can see, they both found things to keep them entertained. :) They both loved that alphabet thing in the middle.

kid in treehouse
Myka really wanted to get in this little playhouse/treehouse thing, but was scared to climb in it at first. Only took her half an hour once more kids started playing in it to go in there! ;) She still had to have help to get out. :/ And to think she wants John to build her a treehouse at home!

kid and Very Hungry Caterpillar
We even had a Very Hungry Caterpillar sighting, which was cool because that's what book we are covering in the Monthly Crafting Book Club this month! (Check back on the 25th this month for that post!)

books by theme
And this, right here, almost made me weep with tears of joy: They have a lot of their books categorized by theme! The nerd in me cannot completely convey how awesome and exciting this is! But I'll sure try. ;)
First of all, most of the time when we go to the library, it's to get books pertaining to whatever we're learning about for school. Since we're doing preschool and usually focus on one theme at a time, it's pretty specific subjects. It didn't take me long to discovery that our library in Spencer is not very helpful. I prefer to look for things myself when I can, but half the time I can't find the books I'm looking for there, even when the computer says they're checked in. Occasionally, I will ask the librarians if they can locate it if it's something I'm really wanting to check out, but every time they just “look it up” on their computer and say “Oh, it must be in the Book Mobile.” Um, you wanna bother looking for it there at all? Because, you know. You guys are SO BUSY! (For the record, I've had ONE girl offer to look for something in the Book Mobile for me...And it was still an unfruitful search, but at least she made an effort!)
Two: I have two kids. Unfortunately, I do not have chameleon eyes. It is harder than hell trying to look for books and keep an eye on two kids, especially the little monster now that she can walk! Time is of the essence when searching for books, whether they're for school or just for fun!
Three: I started writing this post a few days ago and forget exactly what 3 was, but basically this makes my life so much easier! The themes they had seemed to be perfect for us and preschoolers in general, with categories such as weather, birds, cats, etc. I can just grab and go and be done with it, leaving me more time to play with the kids...
Which is great because that's another struggle of the library. There usually aren't many, if any kids, when we go, so Myka bugs me constantly, wanting to play toys with her. Which is fine, but I like to get books first to get it out of the way and since it takes me so long, I'm usually frazzled and ready to leave by that point. :(

The Verdict

             Needless to say, we will definitely be coming back here! Again, for being a small library, I was impressed. The majority of the employees we encountered were friendly and HELPFUL. The moms and grandmas there for the preschool party were actually friendly too. When there actually ARE other people with their kids at the library in Spencer, they're usually very standoffish, for some reason. They have alternating preschool programs every Thursday morning, story time and Little Movers. Plenty of things (other than books) to keep the kids entertained. And, the cherry on top, the books being sorted by themes! 
            I also saw they have backpacks full of goodies you can rent as well that I believe are for early literacy and cover different themes. I didn't get a good look at them, but they seemed neat! Maybe we'll check one out next time since we were able to get a “reciprocal” library card there. I've never heard of these, but basically, since we are in good standing at our own library, we were able to get a library card for the one in Linton as well, even though we live in a different county. Awesome, right?!

             Do you visit the library often? What kind of programs does yours offer for kids? Are you a “library snob” like me? ;)
Thinking Outside The Pot

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Celebrate Earth Day Everyday!

             Hey folks! Earth Day will be upon us in a few short days. (Saturday, April 22nd) To be honest, we've never really done anything special to celebrate this particular day, but I feel like we do a lot of stuff year-round to honor the Earth. I am a fervent believer in celebrating Earth Day all year long and believe it is especially important to instill a respect of our planet in our children. But, let's be honest: It can be tricky trying to teach little ones about something that's mostly intangible with long-lasting effects, amiright? With that being said, I have compiled this list of ideas from the interwebs and our own regular activities on how we can teach our children to respect our planet all the year long and for decades to come!

*Recycle-This is probably the most obvious one. Anyone can recycle. If you are rural, it may take a little more effort on your part, but I personally feel like it is totally worth it! Recycling in our town is free, but we do have to take it to the facility ourselves since we live in the boonies. However, it reduces our amount of trash which actually saves us money!

*Gardening-There is something very inspiring about growing your own food! Even our 4 year old has gotten excited about growing whatever fruits or veggies she wants to pick out this year. You are more likely to eat something you've grown yourself and not let it go to waste. If you live in a city, be sure to see if there are plots at a local park you can rent out. This seems to be becoming a more and more popular option over the past few years!

*Composting-There are going to be times, especially with kids, where you have food waste. If you are able, composting is a great way to reduce waste. You can compost just about anything so long as it doesn't contain oils. (This is a generality. You can look up composting specifics in an online search for optimum conditions.) Bonus, of course, is that you can use your compost for your gardening endeavors!

*Plant Flowers for Wildlife-We're probably all aware by now that certain critters are on the decline due to habitat loss. It may not seem like it, but we can make a big difference just by planting certain things that they like, such as milkweed for Monarch butterflies. This has been a bit of a hot topic in recent years due to milkweed not being a native species to North America. If this concerns you, there are always other butterfly bushes you can grow easily or other plants you can grow to attract honeybees, birds, etc. This can be a great way to start a discussion on why we need certain critters, especially honeybees.

*Make Bird Feeders-This can be an especially fun project during the winter, when birds will benefit from the feeders the most. Pine cone, peanut butter, and bird seed feeders are a popular option for little ones.

*Leave Nature How You Found It-I'm kind of in the middle when it comes to this subject. I don't think the world will end if you take a few sticks, stones, pine cones, acorns, whatever. However, I feel like we should set some boundaries. We don't want an area to look totally decimated after playing there, do we? And we certainly want to teach our kids the dangers of clear-cutting areas of forests, grasslands, etc....But perhaps that's a lesson best taught when they're older?

*Put Wildlife Back-This kind of goes along with the previous point. I think it's a great idea to let kids study things found in nature. Otherwise they'll be like, “Who cares?!”, right? We took our bug-viewing container with us to the creek recently and got to check out a crawdad and darter fish up-close. Not that we were planning to keep them, but our 4 year old insisted we put them back after we were finished checking them out.

*Don't Squish Bugs-I'm not sure why I'm so weird about this, but I try to make it a point to reiterate to our 4 year old that bugs don't belong inside the house, but to leave them alone outside. John even trapped a bee that was in the house earlier and let it go outside. Lol If you really think about it, though, a lot of bugs serve a purpose (outside), so we should just leave them alone!

*Don't Litter-This can be a hard subject for young kids to comprehend, but it's worth mentioning. There have been several times when our 4 year old has wanted to throw something on the ground and we've had to explain why it's not ok. Pollution is still bad enough. Who wants to live somewhere covered in paper bags, cigarette butts, etc.?

             I hope you have found some inspiration from this post (and it hasn't come off to preachy lol). What do you do to celebrate Earth Day year-round?
Thinking Outside The Pot