Friday, November 29, 2013

Type-A Conference here I come!!

OH-MY-GOSH-OH-MY-GOSH-OH-MY-GOSH. I am SO excited. I JUST bought my ticket to go to Type-A Conference next year in Atlanta.  I wanted to go to BlogHer, but it is just too faraway.  I heard about Type-A through a friend and it looks AWESOME.

I just bought my ticket.  SQUEE!!!   The Type-A Parent website was started in 2007 and was the world’s first social network for mom and dad bloggers.  It is specifically for mom and dad bloggers...aka...me.

So some friends and myself are trekking down to Atlanta next September for learning, mingling, and yeah...hitting up Coke World.

I just scored a Super Early Bird Pass!  Only a few hours left for that!  If you want to check it out the conference, click HERE.  FYI, that is my referral link, so I do get a commission on the ticket sale. Just a tiny bit. But hey, I will take it!

So for the next 10 months be warned....I am going to be chatting about it.  :)  YAY FOR BLOGGING CONFERENCES!!!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Saying Thanks with Merci

I got an email saying "Would you be interested in reviewing merci chocolate and a festive fall bowl?"  Ummmm....that was a silly question.  Cut to a couple weeks later a box arrived. Inside was this.


How cute do these look in the bowl?  Seriously. I ALMOST don't want to eat them.

 Weird picture to show you the size.  Each one is about the size of my index finger.


Being the season it is, I have decided to share these.  I mean, what better way to say thank you to your loved ones?    So I will be sharing "The Joy of Thank You by sharing merci" with Eric and my mom. The chocolates are more "grownup" flavors so the kids aren't too excited about stealing them.  That makes me excited.

I have tried the coffee cream chocolate.  That is the one on my finger up there. It was SO good.  The chocolate has a real creamy feel to it. Also, there is a "break" in the center so you can easily eat it in two pieces/share it.  Each box has 8 flavors.  You get two of each for a total of 16 pieces.

The adorable bowl is from Crate and Barrel.   It is the Miller Amber Bowl.

So. Chocolate is good and all,but you know what is better?  FREE chocolate.  Merci Chocolate has a "Thank You Maker" on Facebook.  What is that you ask? A Facebook app that you can send a meaningful thank you to a friend and in return get a BOGO coupon! So check it out HERE!

Even MORE exciting is that I get to give away a set of chocolate and a bowl to a reader!!! SCORE!!!!  So enter my contest below! Good luck!!


  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Gobble Gobble!

All my friends, well a lot of them, did the month of "thanks".  I know myself (from trying it before) and I stink at it. So here is my thankful list all together.
  1.  I am thankful for my husband.  He is truly the most wonderful guy, even if his beard is driving me insane. Without him a lot of things on this list wouldn't be here.
  2. I am thankful for Aidan. (He is only first due to birth order, not the actual amount I am thankful for him...wait...that sounded bad.) Aidan made me realize how much I can love a person.  I know this sounds bad, but I was scared I would love my dogs more.  I had my dogs first and loved them.  I never realized how much you can love until you have a child.
  3. I am thankful for Nate.  True, he is bananas, but he is also the most LOVING child you can imagine.  A day doesn't go by that he doesn't come up and just hug me.  He is 99% happy.
  4. I am thankful for my princess V.  Actually, I take that back. She is NOT a princess.  Mommy is a princess. True, she is an opinionated tiny ball of terror some days, but I still love her.
  5. My mom. Awww...who knows if she reads this.But I am thankful for her. After having kids I realize how much crap I put her though and I am still here. So I am thankful for her patience and not killing me. 
  6. My sister, Janae.  We have our ups and downs, mostly ups lately. I do know that if I need her she is there.
  7. I am thankful for my friends in no particular order.  First...I am thankful for Morgan. I know if I am having a crappy ass day I can call her, go crazy for a few minutes, she will curse about whatever is making me mad,and then I can say "talk to you later!" and hang up and know that she doesn't think I am insane.
  8. I am thankful for my bud Lora. Not only is she the godmother to V, but she really does have a heart of gold.  I don't see her NEARLY as much as I want to since she now homeschools and has her photography business. I am hoping me calling her out here will change that.
  9. I am thankful for my friend Ginger.  She was one of my first, nondorm roommates.  We lost touch for a few years, but have reconnected. She told me once that a true friend you can not talk to for a long time, see each other, and pick right backup like nothing happened. We have that.
  10. I am thankful for Aimee.  We weren't "super" close in high school, but the power of Facebook made her one of my great friends now.  I can totally geek out with her over crafty stuff AND critique grammar and incorrect spellings with her on Facebook. (She also doesn't pick on me about my typos...to my face that is)
  11. This one goes back to Aidan.  He teaches me every day about tolerance and patience.  I have realized that he is a mini-me.  I must have been ANNOYING as a kiddo.  (This number refers back to #5)
  12. Coffee. I really am thankful for coffee.  Having three kiddos I NEED caffeine. I hate to say it, but I am a caffeine junkie. I get headaches without it.  LONG LIVE COFFEE!
  13. I am thankful for my "mommy" friends on Facebook.  I met these lovely ladies when I was pregnant with V.  They helped me through the pregnancy and after.  There are about 50 or so of them. Crazy right?  We have been through births, deaths, surgeries, divorces, marriages...
  14. I am thankful for my online turned real life friends. (In no particular order.  Also, sorry if you aren't personally mentioned. If I did everyone this would never end.  Love you all.)  Vic....I haven't met you yet, but we talk enough on the phone.  My online sister.  Seriously....I love you like my family...even if that DOES involve Erik. I kid....he is cool too.  ;)
  15. Renee, You are the bees knees.  I love you humor and I will steal G.  He loves me.  He told me.
  16. Jaime.  I LOVED going to Disney with you. I will ALWAYS remember hanging out with you and how you just said "Here...take my kid Eric" and went walking off with me to go shop 5 minutes after you "met" me. You are an amazing person.
  17. Holli, we get each other so hard.  I loved having you to my house.  I really LOVE the random phone calls.  Nothing is better than a "I was just driving and thought I would say hi" call.
  18.  Kristin....me and you.  We have our paralel lives.  The only thing is I knit, you crochet.  I love you dorky side and glad I have someone to occasionally dork out with.  (I aspired to be as nerdy as you one day)
  19. Melinda, we haven't chatted on the phone enough. I can't wait to meet you in person next year!  I know you are always around when I need you....I mean...you have two infant boys....so you are always feeding them.  lol
  20. Jess the crazy Canadian.  GOSH I wish I could have hung out with you longer.  We need to get together again.  I am thankful for you teaching me the ways of Canada and teaching me how to spell cheque.  (even though spellcheck just told me that was incorrect) You make me laugh on a daily basis.
  21. I am thankful for my blogger friend Amber.  Without her helping me out and pushing me in the correct directions I would not be where I am today.  She has helped me SO much growing this tiny blog. She is also a pretty rad person to chat with during the day.
  22. I am thankful for my house.  Really.  My house is rad. I am not thankful for my garage though.  I hate that.  I want to park my car in it.
  23. I am thankful for Facebook.  It has helped me forge amazing friendships!
  24. I am thankful for 8pm.  8pm equals the kids bedtime.  I like bedtime.
  25. I am thankful for tv. Yes, I said it. I like tv after the kids go to sleep.  I like The Walking Dead, I like American Horror Story, I like grownup shows I get to watch after dark and not think about.
  26. I like tv again. I like it for the kids. I like to have a break every now and again.  Cartoons are awesome.
  27. I am thankful for my online/real world business.  I LOVE selling stuff to people.  I love knowing that I am making peoples holidays/birthdays/every day a bit more awesome.
  28. I am thankful for this blog and the companies I work with.  Without this blog I wouldn't have met some of the companies that I have had the pleasure to review.  There are some amazing items out there!  I also LOVE having the opportunity to do giveaways.  I LOVE making people happy.  If I could give stuff away all day long I would.
  29. I am thankful for my life.  I think I have an amazing life.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

November 24th,2011

Yep, sure thing, the title is correct.  November 24th, 2011 was Thanksgiving Day.  Know how I know that?  That was the day I pulled the turkey out of the oven, sat down to eat, and heard a weird clicking sound from the living room.  What was that? Nate having a seizure.  It was his tongue clicking.  He was asleep on the couch when that happened.

Eric rushed over, checked him out, I called 911.  Eric held him until the paramedics got here.  I cried hysterically on the phone.

I rode in the ambulance to the hospital with him.  It was probably the most heart wrenching thing to do, ever. Before we left, after he was strapped in on the stretcher, he started crying.  I asked him what was wrong.  He started crying and saying "Don't leave me mommy. Don't leave me."  UGH.  Just writing that makes me cry.  I told him I never will and I won't.  When he gets married one day THAT will be interesting.  I don't care.  I was here first.  lol

TODAY, November 24th 2013 marks TWO YEARS since his last seizure.  TWO years!!!  We have had countless appointments, EEG's (sleeping and 24 hours), psychologist appointments, IQ tests, medication changes, and basically me being a nutball over EVERYTHING.

We still have a long way to go.  In January we have a sleep deprived EEG and if we pass that a 24 hour EEG. If we pass that....we start weaning from the meds!!  We tried that earlier this year and Nate failed the sleep deprived test.  You know what though?   I am ok with this. So far his seizures are controlled by his medication.  If we get OFF the meds he has a FIFTY percent chance of having a seizure within the first 6 months.  I am totally not ready to handle that.

So today I celebrate my Natey Naters and his past two years.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY NATE!!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Holiday Specs...A Holiday Gift Guide review!

I live VERY close to Christmas Town, USA. What is that, you ask?  McAdneville, NC.  When I was about 20years old, I lived so close that the only way to EASILY get to the interstate is to drive straight through it. Most of the year that was fine.  Come November....let's just say you can't just "cut through" the center of town.  The entire area becomes one way and it will take you about an hour to drive through on a busy night.  For the past 58 years the entire town gets lit up for the season.

I remember one year, I was maybe 8, we drove down from Hickory to see the lights.   I fell asleep in the car and my mom woke me up.  I remember thinking that it was the most BEAUTIFUL town I have ever seen.  Every house, and I mean EVERY house, is lit up.  The city pays for the power that month (or so I have been told). The city decorates the entire town.

I absolutely LOVE driving around and looking at the lights.  I MAY or may not have started the kids screaming "CHRISTMAS LIIIIIIGHTS!!!" every time they see them.  You can't prove I did.  

I have never been able to sucker convince Eric to go to McAdenville. I think this is the year though...I have FINALLY convinced him AND I got something to keep the kids excited the entire car ride....Holiday Specs.

Now. I know what you are thinking. "Hey Sarah. Those look like 3-D glasses!" You are spot on. They are.  But they aren't "traditional" 3-D glasses. More on that in a minute. I have to keep the suspense going!

Something that I find awesome about these glasses is that they come in the traditional form AND they come on a stick.  What is that good for you ask? Have you ever tried to wear 3-D glasses when you wear normal glasses?  No?  Let me tell you, it is NOT fun. I don't wear glasses, but my favorite men in my life do. (Eric and both boys)  With the glasses on a stick they can just hold them up to their faces and they don't have to worry about them staying on over their glasses!!

You can see V modeling that here:
 

 She is always fully accessorized.  lol


Now, I mentioned before that these aren't "traditional" 3-D glasses.  Here is why.  Here you see your light on a string.  (I haven't pulled our Christmas lights down yet. You get purple Halloween lights)

Normal, everyday lights.



Now, let's hold a pair of rainbow glasses up to it. The next pictures are taken with my camera with the glasses held up against the camera lens.  In real life this looks about 100 times more amazing.
 

INSANE, right?  What's that? You like snowflakes?



 How about some snowmen?

 I tried and tried to get a picture of the Santa ones.  My camera was not allowing it.  It did not want to focus properly.  

Holiday Specs are INCREDIBLY priced. The paper ones you get 4 in a package.   You get one of each: Snowflake, Santa, Snowman, and Reindeer.  You can order them here for $22.47.  That is three packs of 4, so 12 pairs total.  It breaks down to $1.87 each. 

The more sturdy plastic ones are $4 each and can be ordered here. If you, or your family members, wear prescription glasses I really do recommend these.  It makes life SO much easier.

So, this holiday season grab yourself a pair of Holiday Specs and see the lights in an entirely new way!!!


Breaking News!! Come back here November 29th for a GIVEAWAY!!!! 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was given these Holiday Specs in order to facilitate the review. All pictures and thoughts are my own. Ho ho ho!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

My toddler might be trying to kill me...photo evidence inside....V was here.

We have known for a while that V is a hoarder of food.  You have to keep an eye on her pretty darn close some days.  She hides left over food in odd places.  Her main place is the back compartments in her ride on toys and her tricycle.  

We have had this tricycle for about 6 years now.  My grandma bought it for Aidan at his first birthday and all the kids have ridden it.
Much to Eric's dismay I plan on keeping it FOREVER and forcing grandchildren to ride it one day.

I felt like writing a nostalgia post about this bike, how all my kids have learned to ride on it, yadda yadda yadda.

V's favorite thing to do is to take the handles off. So this morning I went on a hunt for the handle covers and found them.


I grabbed the naked bike...


And V ran over and jumped on it.
 

I coaxed her off and this happened...


 Huh...interesting.  I looked inside....What is that?


Well....lookie what I found....


V is OBSESSED with these little screw drivers. She is always trying to "fix"her toys.  Apparently she now hides them.


I might need to sleep with one eye open.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Slowcooker Chicken recipe, aka this post will make me your new best friend.

When I was pregnant with V, I had gestational diabetes.  This meant that I had diabetes due to being pregnant.  ONLY pregnant people get this kind.  Fortunately I was one of the lucky ones that could control it with diet and exercise.  (well...diet.  I didn't exercise. That is another post.)

Anyway, I ran across this recipe on All Recipes and it sounded great.  The idea of using my oven for that long was not appealing though.   I don't like leaving the house with the oven on.  So I turned it into a slow cooker recipe and tweaked it a bit to make it my own.  I also ALWAYS forgot to let it sit in the fridge over night. I find it is fine without it.
 
FYI. This recipe is INSANELY good and incredibly messy when finished.  If bones in food gross you out it is NOT for you.  The chicken will literally fall apart when you try to take it out of the slow cooker.  I typically end up with three bowls next to the pot when I am taking it out.  One for veggies, one for chicken, and one for bones and skin.  I have never tried it with boneless/skinless chicken.  If you try it, let me know!

Hope you enjoy it!

Ingredients:
  • 1 whole chicken. average size that you would buy for your family
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher Salt
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons crushed black pepper (I grind my own)
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste)
  •  3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 3 onions
  • a bunch of carrots (I eyeball it.  You want to cover the bottom of the slow cooker and make a base with carrots and onions)
Directions :
1.  Mix together the seasonings (salt, paprika, onion powder, black pepper, cayenne 
     pepper, and garlic salt) in a small bowl and set aside.  I like to use the Snack Cups  
     from Tupperware. They are the perfect size for mixing seasoning in! 


2.  Peel and quarter the onions. Throw them in the slow cooker.  FYI.  I have an 8 quart
      cooker.  I prefer to use liners, but I ran out.  I will be hating life tonight. Use a 
      liner if you have one!
3.  Wash and peel the carrots.  I just picked these from the garden.  Most are rather 
      small.  If you have larger carrots, you might want to cut them a bit. I typically
     don't due to laziness.  Also, they will get soft, so don't cut too small!  
4.  Throw them in the slow cooker with the onions.  Mix them around a bit.

(Yep, those are all carrots with the onions. They are kaleidoscope carrots.)
5.  On top of this place the chicken.  Grab your seasoning that is mixed together in the 
     cup and start sprinkling it on the chicken. You want to get it all over the top and
     bottom.  Try to cover it all over and sprinkle some in the cavity. 
6.  Place the thyme on top of the chicken.
 

7.  Place the lid on the top and turn it on high.  I set mine for 6 hours. Walk away!  See 
     see you in 6 hours or so!  Do NOT open the lid to peek.  It will smell incredibly good,
     but they say every time you do that you have to add about 15 minutes of cook time.
     
8.  Six hours later come back and open it up!  I don't find cooked chicken pretty.  I took 
     the picture so you could see the juice that formed. Not sure if it is from the chicken,
     the onion, or all of the above. All I can say is that this chicken is super juicy and
     yummy now.
 



9. Grab your three bowls and get separating!  Everything kind of gets a brownish hue 
    from the juices.  I am guessing that comes from the spices, but it is SOOO good. The
    onions melt in your mouth, the carrots are rather tender.  They don't get "mushy", but
    if you cut them too small they will. The larger ones were perfect!

DELISH!  Enjoy!




Wednesday, November 13, 2013

eBeanstalk makes toy shopping a breeze!

With three kiddos and the holidays quickly approaching, I have been browsing the internet a LOT trying to find some good toys.

I ran across the site eBeanstalk.com and it is pretty darn awesome.  Not only do they have a TON of items, but they are SO well organized.  They have tabs across the top and SIDE organizing it! I know when I just had the boys, I had no clue what to get little girls.  This site makes it not scary!

Here are a few examples of the organization.  Are you looking for New toys for 2 year olds?   How about Top Selling toys for 2 year olds?  Or you know, my favorite...  Arts & crafts.

V's birthday is at the beginning of December and then Christmas comes.  That is a LOT of shopping to do. I refuse to join the two days with joint gifts.  

I am THINKING that she needs this:


http://www.ebeanstalk.com/My-Princess-Academy/toy-product-detail/Shoe-AND-Tiara-Dress-Up-Collection.html#dQELdlHfWKmtIcFz.01

 It says this is geared towards a 4 year old, but HOW cute is this.  My question is, would this be Christmas or birthday?  I am thinking birthday.   I am PRETTY sure the birthday theme will be princesses.

So  there you have it!  Head over there and check it out for your holiday shopping!

Oh!  Come back here for a GIVEAWAY starting on November 29th.  You do NOT want to miss it!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

I have received a product in exchange for this review. All thoughts and impressions are my own though!  Oh...and don't tell V about the shoes.  ;)

Little Passports...Month Five... Pssttt....and a Giveaway!

Working with Little Passports  as an affiliate has been awesome. (affiliate links in post) I really enjoy the learning experience it provides to my children.  What other way do you get to travel to other countries EVERY month?  When we got this month's package in the mail and I saw it was from Egypt I might have become irrationally giddy...especially when I peeked and saw this inside the envelope:

 What is that you ask? JUST A PYRAMID EXCAVATION KIT. GAH!

So. I put my excitement aside and we did the rest of the packet first.


 This month was really great! Lots of involvement from the kiddos. I really like when the map is utilized.


 We had to find Egypt.


 Then they had a "unscramble the word" activity. All the words were cities/bodies of water in or around Egypt. So lots of map usage.  With the invention of the internet, I really think that maps rarely get used. I love that with Little Passports they don't have a choice.  They HAVE to study the map!  

After the map work there was a "mystery word" challenge when you had to match the hieroglyph to a letter. There were two letters that had the same hieroglyph.  Luckily I was there and figured it out. Mom to the RESCUE!


Nate did the "which camel is different" puzzle.  It was very thought provoking as seen by the photo. 


Worksheet done!  Now it was PYRAMID TIME!!!!!  


Inside the pyramid you get one of two statues.  The pyramid is made of plaster. We took our little tools and started chiseling....

...and chiseling....

...and more chiseling... Then..we struck gold! Literally!!!


...and we chiseled more.


It was at this point I thought...huh....water washes away plaster...and I ran to the sink and started rinsing it off.

SNAP went the plaster and thankfully it did. My fingers were TIRED.  I seriously worked for what had to be 30 minutes before remembering this.  If you get this set remember WATER.

I managed to wiggle the head out and rinsed it off!!!  EXCITEMENT!!! The boys were fighting over it, so into the suitcase it goes so they can BOTH enjoy it!


Little Passports  did NOT disappoint this month.  AH-MAZING.  

It is not to late to head over to the website and get an order in for Christmas!  There are many different packages to choose from!  Being a mom of three I HIGHLY recommend this.  A gift that teaches, inspires, lasts for months, and WON'T get lost under a tree.

Oh yeah...I mentioned a giveaway, huh?  Well....thanks to the AMAZING people over at Little Passports they are offering a FREE three month subscription to one lucky reader. You can choose either the World Edition (what I receive and review) or the USA Edition. The USA Edition is good for kids aged 7 and up.  You can read more about it HERE and enter the giveaway down below!   GREAT NEWS!!!! This is open to US AND CANADA!!! YAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Disclaimer: Little Passports provided me with this box free of charge to review.  I was under no obligation to write a positive review.  All pictures and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Halloween letters and Shop Local!

I really have no clue where to start with this or even what title to give the post. One of my FAVORITE things about holidays is the after holiday sales.    I live for it. Especially Halloween. I am a Halloween JUNKIE, but being a mom of three and a one income household, I try to not go crazy and I just buy decorations after the season. Well...I at least TRY to.

So last week I go to Target with the shortest in tow and we hit up Starbucks.  While there I decide to checkout the after Halloween sale and pickup stuff super cheap. Then I get home and see this article linked on Facebook.  I will wait while you read.  It might take a while.  COME BACK HERE THOUGH!!!

If you clicked over, saw the length, and said "WHATEVER!!!  I am not reading that!" let me give you the Cliff Notes version.  Lady goes to K-Mart in 2011.  Buys cheap styrofoam graves for about $30.  Opens package.  A letter from a CHINESE WORK CAMP falls out and life is changed.

The letter goes on and discusses life in the work camp, the horrible conditions, etc.  It takes the guy up to THREE DAYS to write out each letter. He has to hide the pen in the hollow part of his bed and write it every night on stolen paper after people go to sleep.  He mailed out 20.  Only one, that we know of, made it out.  Seriously.  Now go read it.

So this got me thinking.  Like REALLY thinking.  It hurts my heart to think this is going on.  Apparently that camp is being shut down, but how many are there?  How many poor people are imprisoned and working so I can have a skeleton hanging outside. Or so I can have a plastic turkey?

Being a small business owner myself, BumbleFly~N~ButterBees, I try to make or shop local for gifts.  I like giving back to the local artists, or just other artists in general.  

I know this isn't feasable for EVERYTHING.  Some stuff, you buy.    I mean, I REALLY love to shop.  I love browsing.  I especially love gift shopping. Last year I bought ALL of the kids gifts and gifts for my husband from my own money from sales in my shop.

I think this article just put into perspective for me that some things just aren't worth it.  I think I am going to be making more decorations in the future.  I think I am going to be really looking at items and thinking things through a bit more before they go in my buggy. I think I need to be more socially responsible.

(And I am FULLY aware that I review things on my page.  The items I review though are my choice.  I would not ever review anything that I did not think was worth it.  Everything I review is used and loved. )  

Monday, November 11, 2013

Clairol Root Touch Up!

Through Vocalpoint I was given the opportunity to review Clairol Root Touch up.  Unfortunately (fortunately?) I wasn't in need of a touch up at the time, so I went to Facebook to find someone who was!

Enter my friend from highschool Amy.

For the purpose of this review I snail-mailed the coupon to Amy and away she went. She was nice enough to email me these pictures!

The Clairol Root Touch Up comes in 21 different shades, so you can HOPEFULLY find one that matches your color!  It takes just 10 minutes and covers grey for up to 3 weeks. Of course to extend color, and for the health of your hair, you shouldn't shampoo every day.

So here is the before. Hey there Amy!  You can notice that the new growth is a bit lighter than the rest.

During the application process.  I just love the smell of hair color.  I guess that was from working in a salon for years. lol
 





And after:
I really love this color.  I miss my red hair!

So there you have it!  Quick and painless root touch up from Clairol!

I have TWO coupons left!  If you would like one, head over to my Facebook page and let me know!  First come, first served.  I will link this post for you to comment on.

I received coupons from Vocalpoint in exchange for my review.  Even though this coloration had great results I can not guarantee you will have the same results.  Color your hair at your own risk. :)


Sunday, November 10, 2013

FlattenMe: ABC & 123 Book review

Growing up I had all the personalized things.  I had the pencils with my name, license plate for my bike, coffee mugs, shirts....you name it and I probably had it.  It isn't hard to find stuff with my name on it.  Sarah is pretty darn common.

Then you have my sister, Janae.

She got the "daughter" cups and stuff like that.  You can't find anything with her name.

So when I had kids I thought about that.  Then I spelled Aidan with an "a". You can only find stuff with an "e". (Aiden)  You would think that "Nate" would be easy to find, right?  WRONG.  You can find Nathaniel (we spell it Nathanial).  You can find Nathan.  We don't call him that.  He has never been, and will never be, Nathan.   Then we had V.  Lots of the time you can't even find stuff with the letter on it!

I have seen these books popping up around social media sites and I had to check them out.

http://www.flattenme.com/us/

FlattenMe is an AWESOME site that lets you personalize books, water bottles, shirts, cards, and wall art!

They have two different types of books. Books that require pictures and books that you just personalize it with their name. I have seen lots of reviews of "Owl Always Love You" and I was actually going to get this one. I think it is adorable and since you just personalize the name,it can be a timeless book to treasure.  Then I saw, ABC & 123 and I KNEW that was the one I needed.  It has fantastic graphics!

I had an adorable picture of V, she was actually SMILING so I sent in that one. 

I was a bit hesitant to send in this picture, because of all the stuff around her and she has some goo on her face. I crossed my fingers and sent it in.

While I was waiting on the order, I could easily track it on their site.  I knew exactly where it was in the process. It was very quick to ship!  I was super impressed with it.

When it came in the mail and I took it out of the box I LITERALLY squealed.  Then I hid the book from V.  She actually hasn't seen it yet.  Her birthday is in a few weeks and I am going to save it for that. I had every intention of giving it to her when it came in, but this is so adorable, it needs to be a special gift. Plus, with how fantastic it is I am scared the boys will get crazy jealous.  If it is a "birthday gift" they can't get mad.

As I said, I was nervous about the goo and stuff behind her, but they did an AMAZING job.  I guess her little face was airbrushed a bit.  It was nice and flawless.  They even did a great job of retaining her curls!

I pretty much picked out this book for this page.  She LOVES horses.



I also really love how they personalize the book in not only the inclusion of the picture, but also in the writing.

Poor sad Unicorn!  I am glad V is showing him the way!  Way to save the unicorn, V!
 

ADORABLE!!!!

The book I got starts at $29.95 for a paperback and $39.95 for a Keepsake Hardcover (that is what is pictured here)

Shipping is $3.99 for flat shipping and when you go on the site to order it gives you an estimated arrival day. I am writing this on November 10th, and it is telling me that if I order now I can expect my book on the 19th!

Right now FlattenMe is hosting a giveaway on Facebook.  You can enter HERE. There are going to be 33 winners.  Yes.  You read that right...THIRTY THREE WINNERS.  3 gift certificates,10 water bottles, 10 t-shirts, and 10 sets of cards!  So head over there and enter! The contest is over at the end of November!

I received this book in compensation for my review.  Even though, all opinions are my own.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Having kids is like....

Some days having kids for me is like a big kick in the crotch.  Sorry to be so blunt, but well...it is.  The other day the boys got ready for school early and drew these:

 Adorable right?  The boys love me.  Nate wrote his name on the picture and had to edit it per Aidan.  WOO!  Glad he did!  lol.

So I was flying high for a few days.  Then I went to Nate's class to volunteer.  I am the "Thursday Communicator" stuffer.  Basically I stuff flyers into folders every Thursday.  While I was leaving his classroom I checked out the classroom bulletin board in the hall. I found Nate's turkey.  Here it is:

 He is thankful for:
  • His video games
  • his friends
  • his baby sister
  • his dad
  • his brother
That's all.

I know it is irrationally stupid for me to take offence by what a 5 year old wrote, but DANG IT, I wanted to be on a feather.

One of my friends wrote this on my wall on Facebook and it made me feel better, but it is amazing how much the short people can make you feel.  ALL THE FEELS!!  

" I'm going with you being the turkey that's holding it all together....and I call you a turkey in the nicest way possible."

Sometimes you get to be the turkey and other times the feather I suppose.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Zingo! Sight Words Review

The boys are HUGE board game fans. I am a fan of learning!  We just had parent/teacher conferences this past week and I learned that Mr. Nate is the HIGHEST placed reader in his class!  Amazing, huh?

I want to keep him that way so when I can, we try to learn. When I was younger I MIGHT have had a Bingo obsession (read this as I owned my own Bingo game complete with the big round ball that dropped out the numbers).  When I ran across this game, I might have done a wiggle dance in my chair.

http://www.thinkfun.com/zingosightwords

 Zingo! Sight Words is an interactive word game that helps the players learn, recognize, and read sight words.  If your kids aren't in Kindergarten yet, sight words are where it is at.  These are the basic fundamental words that all kids need to know.  Sight words end up making up about 50-75% of all written material.  So, if you haven't experienced them yet with your kiddos, be prepared.

Since the game is about sight words it is geared to kids in Pre-K to first grade.  Aidan is in second and still loved playing.



In the box you get this:


• 1 Zingo! Zinger (that red thing that dispenses the tiles)
• 72 Word Tiles
• 6 Double-sided Zingo! Cards
• Instructions and Learning Guide


There are two sides to the cards.  There is a green side and a red side. The red side they say is more competitive. I am guessing there are more cards with similar words/placement.  We played the green.


 I really loved the graphics on the cards.  They are very eye catching and colorful.

When I read that it came with tiles, I was a bit nervous. When I saw them though I breathed a sigh of relief.  They are plastic. I was so scared they would be cardboard and get torn up. Cardboard and kids don't always mix well.


 To play Zingo! Sight Words you decide which side of the board you want to play and everyone chooses their own board.  You MUST play the same colored side.

I decided to be the referee and Zinger controller.  I saw that the boys had some of the same words on their playing board.  Nate does NOT read as fast as Aidan and having an ADHD kid lose all the time would not be fun.  Since this is a game primarily for him, I wanted him to have a fair shot.  It suppose to be, first to grab the tile gets it.  Yeah...no

So these are the rules I made up.

In the event that Nate and Aidan each have the same word that comes up, they play rock-paper-scissors to see who gets the tile.    

What if one kid has both words on the tiles and the other just has the one shared one?  I figured that out to.

Look at the image below.

Let's imagine that Aidan has both of the words "went" and "and".  Nate just has "and". In this case Nate would get the "and" tile and Aidan gets the "went". They both decided that was fair.  I really love having kids that understand fairness.

If one child had both words on the tiles and the other had neither word, the kiddo with both words got both tiles.

It got to be very heated during the games. Some of them were super close....

Magically in the end BOTH boys won one time.  I decided to stop at that point for the day.  It was an awesome day.


So if you are looking for an awesome game to help with reading while having fun Zingo! Sight Words might be right up your alley.

The game retails for $19.99 and you can go over HERE to learn more and order your own copy!

I received this game in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own though.