Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Review

My hair is insane. That's putting it mildly...I am constantly throwing my hair up in a ponytail just because I get tired of having to control the frizz. As a mom of 2 small boys I just DO NOT have the time to primp my hair like I need to in order to gain back control.
I have found products that work but they are expensive (not to mention most are salon brand), and we have to be frugal. These times are hard, and the economy is still not at it's finest. Finances tend to get a bit strapped (mostly all the time) so spending ten dollars on one bottle of shampoo and another ten on a bottle of conditioner is just not ideal for me.
I was really excited when I was given the option to try out Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine shampoo & conditioner through BzzAgent. I have tried out the Garnier Fructis products before but never the Sleek and Shine line.

Before I go any further let me give you some of the info about the products to give you an idea::

Contains- Ultra smoothing Argan Oil from Morocco & Apricot Oil
Locks out frizz for a full 3 days even in 97% humidity
Gets hair 10X Smoother (when used with the Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine System)
Best used for Frizzy, Dry, Unmanageable Hair

::My Thoughts::
The shampoo lathers really well and leaves behind a fresh fruity scent. I was a little worried that it would make my hair feel greasy after use since the shampoo has the texture of a serum, but it actually smoothed my hair better than any shampoo I have used thus far. When used with the Sleek & Shine Conditioner my hair turned out soft, manageable, and smelling great. I noticed a huge difference in manageability within the first wash, and have had 95% less trouble with frizz. The shampoo has a stronger scent than the conditioner, but they are both easy to rinse out. When using the shampoo and conditioner it made a huge difference with my thick hair and I noticed it was much easier to brush. Not to even mention the fact that my hair was actually shiny for once when usually it's like a frizzy lion's mane. Both products work best when used together, and when you rub from the roots of your hair to the tips. That method certainly gave me the best results.
I do find that the shampoo goes very fast compared to the conditioner, but then this is something I usually always have a problem with due to the thickness of my hair. I always have to use more shampoo to cleanse than conditioner to condition. The conditioner seems to stretch out longer for some odd reason.

I will admit after reading about the Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine system I did give the Anti-Frizz Serum a try on my own which I did purchase, and which reinforced the NO frizz factor. I loved that fact, and after just one use my hair still did not take on that greasy feel you sometimes get when applying hair care products one after the other. Now I did notice a greasy feel by the next day, but as long as you wash your hair every day or every other day you shouldn't run into this problem (depending on the thickness, texture, and length of your hair of course).

All in all I would say my experience with the Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine System was a positive one. I got the salon effect without having the pay the salon price. I was impressed that the shampoo and conditioner actually did what it promised to do, and I would recommend it to all my readers who have frizzy, dry, unmanageable hair. Plus it's easy to find and is sold is mass retailers, grocery stores, drug stores, etc. Just take a gander around your hair care isle and your sure to find it there. The shampoo and conditioner is definitely one of my personal favorites, and I don't see myself using anything else to tame this mane in the near future. If it ain't broke don't fix it right? :)

For more info about Garnier Fructis Products check out their

 Disclaimer: As a BzzAgent I have been provided with a complimentary product shampoo and conditioner mentioned above for review purposes. All opinions expressed are solely my own, and I tried the serum on my own providing it to myself. Again all opinions expressed are solely my own.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A sleepless night...

you know the kind.
When you are ready for the kids to go to sleep so you can get some "me" time to yourself? But then nothing ever works out as you'd hoped, and everything begins to go wrong.
My night was going in a good pattern, and I was anticipating getting some reading done once the house was quiet and settled. Everything was done and put away, and our bellies were full from a good dinner.
The boys were bathed and squeaky clean, and I read them a story out of their big bedtime storybook, we said our prayers, and I got them settled into bed. Levi kept standing up in his bed and trying to get out so I figured once I left the room and turned the lights off he would settle. So that's what I did, and then stood around the corner peeking in to make sure all was going to be well and Levi settled in. After letting out a big sigh of relief I go to my bed where Josh is slumbering peacefully, and get under the covers with my book.
Snapping my book light on and opening my book I am more than prepared to get some reading in, but I am JUST SO EXHAUSTED my eyes don't want to stay open! I waited all day for this though! Oh well, I put the book down and went to sleep myself. It was 9:00pm.
But then in the midst of my slumber I hear: "MOMMY! MOMMY!" so I get up and go to the boys room to see what all the ruckus is about. Levi is standing up in his bed trying to climb out, and Lucas wants him to settle down so he can go to sleep. Lucas informs me:
"Bubby has been trying to climb out of his bed all night, I can't sleep"
So I try to get Levi settled in again, but every time I lay him down and say night night time he stands right back up and bounces in his bed. Oh no...
So I realize there's no way this child is going to sleep. I pick him up out of bed and try singing and walking with him. Sometimes this will have a positive effect even though my singing voice leaves some to be desired. He seems tired, and lays his head on my shoulder.

Lucas is almost fast asleep, and as I look at Levi his eyes are closed and his breathing even.
I place him back in bed where he stays sound asleep, and head back to my own room after giving them each a kiss on the head. My sweet baby angels. It's 1:00am.
After falling back asleep I hear some whining from Levi. He does this often and generally goes right back to sleep so I lay in bed just listening and the sound stops. I close my eyes. Then sounds the high pitched crying. It's 2:00am.
I get back out of bed and go in there where Levi is sitting up in his bed crying. I speak soothingly (and groggily) and check him out. Diaper is dry, I offer him some water, he takes a sip and lays back down to snuggle in. Finally sleep time...
Then at I hear Levi whining some more and go back in there. It's 3:00am. He is standing in his bed again trying to get out of it. Lucas is up and awake by this time, the crying breaking through his slumber as well.
Lucas: "Is it a great day?" (something he always says when it's morning and the sun is shining)
Me: "No my love, it is a great night. Let's go back to sleep."
Lucas: "I can't sleep, bubby keeps waking me up. He doesn't like his bed."
Me: "Well, he has slept in it every other time so he needs to sleep in it tonight."
Lucas: "Alright but I don't think he will"
I look over at Levi who is now wide awake and bouncing happily in his bed. I look at Lucas who is staring at some of his toys like he wants to get up and play. It's time for bed! I have been doing this every hour! They need to sleep.
I go warm up some milk for Levi and hope this will do the trick, when I offer it to him he refuses it and throws it over the side of his bed.
And then I hear the thunder and I see lightning light up the windows. Lucas is out of bed in a flash over to my side, and Levi starts to pout. Just what we need is a thunderstorm tonight!
Finally it's decided.
"Who wants to sleep in mommy's bed?" I ask, I was desperate!
"I do!" shouts Lucas gripping my pajama's in his little fists.
I scoop up Levi and we all go into mommy and daddy's room. I put them in the middle, and lay down to sleep. Luckily we have a king size bed.
It takes a whole other story for Lucas, some more walking around with Levi and singing, and finally they are out of it and fast asleep. It's now 4:30am. Only problem is hubby gets up at 5:00AM to leave for work which always wakes me up. Grrr....
So eventually after hubby has ate a quick bowl of cereal, gets dressed, grabs his lunch bag, and heads out the door I'm ready for sleep. It's now 5:45am.
The kids are still slumbering peacefully so I snuggle in for my much needed rest.
It feels like I have only closed my eyes for a matter of minutes even though the clock is telling me that it's 8:00am. (it's lying obviously)
"Mommy, it's a great day. The sun is out behind the window see..." says Lucas shaking my shoulder.
Then Levi begins to stir so I know it's time for everyone to get up.
"I want eggs and pancakes for breakfast! Can we have sprinkles on our eggs? I don't want milk poured in my eggs, let's eat candy instead" says Lucas.
Levi is awake and all smiles which I almost can't believe since he didn't get much sleep either.
And thus began our day...

But what I don't understand is the fact that we all pretty much got the same amount of sleep, and yet the kids are fully energized and I am dragging like a slug.
And when hubby called while he was on his lunch break I explained the events of the night to him which he didn't hear a bit, or pretended not to anyway, his response was:
"But if you start putting them in our bed all the time, they will will expect it and will quit sleeping in their own rooms"
To which I responded
"Okay, well next time I will be the one who stays asleep, and we'll see how YOU handle it"


Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Homemaker Monday #8

~Happy Homemaker Monday~

First and foremost before we get started with today's edition of Happy Homemaker Monday i would like to say:

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women's groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, "Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping" by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication "To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead" (Source: Duke University's Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). For more on the background of memorial day you can CLICK HERE

::The weather in my part of the world::
The weather has been crazy, and I think I may be catching a cold. The boys haven't been at their best themselves with the constant changing temperatures and whether hot or cold I just wish the temps would settle and stay that way awhile. It goes from cold to hot, and hot to cold.

::On my reading pile::
Flames of Resistance by: Tracy Groot
The Fault in our Stars by: John Green (I have been wanting to read this book forever! Just haven't been able to fit it in, and I have heard only amazing things about it)
A few other books on my Kindle
~You can always keep up with what I'm reading by visiting my Goodreads pages HERE~

::On my TV::
Not really watching much of anything this week on TV. Probably I'll just catch a few episodes of House Hunters, and watch whatever the kids and hubby are watching.

::On the menu for this week’s dinner::
Monday- BLT's, sliced apples, french fries
Tuesday- chili cheese dogs, lays potato chips
Wednesday- Tater Tot casserole
Thursday- shopping day

::Recipe I tried or want to try soon::
~Want To Try~

::Looking around the home::
Hubby actually temporarily fixed my laptop. (Thank goodness) So I am at home. It still is not functioning correctly, and you can't move it what-so-ever, but at least it gets the job done as far as blogging and checking my social networks now and again. I am afraid to do too much on it lest it decides to go kerplunk again, but for now I'm counting my lucky stars and giving a huge thanks to my hubster Josh. LOL
Boys are playing hot wheels and dinosaurs, lunch is in the oven, and breakfast dishes need washed.
It's too hot to open  up the windows, and I'm getting ready to make some homemade Blueberry Muffins.

::On my to-do list::
Fold and put away laundry
Daily cleaning
Patio needs a good sweeping
Make some moving lists and plans (I function better this way with my lists especially when there's lots of planning to be done)

::Blog of the week::
Sweet Jeanette
I actually stumbled across her blog by finding her recipe for Pecan Pie cake on pinterest. It was hard to leave her blog once I looked around for awhile. My mouth was watering as I perused through her posts. She posts all these delicious recipes that I can't wait to give a try to. If you love cooking, or even sweets, I urge you to check her blog out.

::My projects::
Currently I'm not working on any projects, but I am looking forward to starting on some sun-catcher's made from beads! (see what I'm talking about in the Something Fun To Share section below) The tutorial is so amazingly simple that I can't wait to give it a try. I can tell it's going to be a fun craft.
My fingers have been itching to crochet, but I'm not sure what I would like to crochet at the moment. Still giving it some thought. :)

::From the camera::
Josh and I, went to go see Foreigner live Saturday night. It was amazing! I have always loved Foreigner, and they are even better live! It's a concert that you don't want to miss out on so if they are ever touring in your area, and you like Foreigner I urge you to try to go. It was classic. The lead singer did a stunt where he climbed up one of the metal towers and scared everyone breathless. Especially when he slipped and was holding on with just two hands! Whether this was on purpose or for show everyone is still unclear, but it was certainly amazing and it captured our attentions. They really put their all into the show, and I am so glad we were able to attend.
forgive the pictures, wasn't sure if they would allow me to have my actual camera so I smuggled in with my cell phone and made due with that they are a bit blurry...
the lead singer- kelly hansen climbing up on the tower

the band in all their glory :)

::Something fun to share::
These suncatchers are made from melted beads! How awesome is this! I can't wait to make them, it is SO simple! It's as easy as baking in the oven!

::Bible Verse/Devotional::

Philippians 1:3-11 (NIV)

 I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Messenger book review

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers; Original edition (March 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764207962
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764207969

::From the back of the book::

Hannah Sunderland felt content in her embrace of the Quaker faith...until her twin brother joined the Colonial cause and ended up in jail. She longs to bring some measure of comfort to him in the squalid prison, but her faith forbids it. The Friends believe that they are not to take sides, not to take up arms. She is not allowed to visit him, even if she were able to secure a pass.

Jeremiah Jones, a Colonial spy, needs access to the jail to help rescue men important to the cause. Upon meeting Hannah, a plan begins to develop. Who would suspect a pious Quaker visiting a loved one?

But Jeremiah is unprepared for Hannah, for her determination to do right, to not lie. How can one be a spy and not lie? Hannah, in turn, is surprised by Jeremiah...for the way he forces her to confront her own beliefs, for the sensitivity and concern that he shows her despite the wounds he still carries.

In a time of war, can two unlikely heroes find the courage to act?

::My Thoughts::
I love historical novels, and the fact that this novel is set during the Revolutionary War intrigued me that much more. Revolutionary War novels in Christian fiction is a rarity indeed, and the message of God was felt throughout the story as well. This book will definitely make you take a ride on an emotional roller coaster and that's putting it mildly. There is a new twist and turn with every chapter, and the characters are as real as can be. I was held in utter suspense holding my breath at times to find out what would happen next.
This novel is told in first person from each of the main character's viewpoints, Hannah and Jeremiah. This gives you a very clear insight to each of the characters personal viewpoints and thoughts which was actually refreshing.
Hannah is very admirable, and even though she finds herself questioning her Quaker upbringing later in the novel she holds fast to her beliefs in God no matter what. Although she has to go against her rules of being a Friend she doesn't waver in her honesty, strength, or faith even just when you think she surely can't take anymore without breaking. I think Hannah is easy for many to relate to, as we all have found ourselves questioning different aspects of our upbringing. Ultimately we have to follow our hearts while keeping rooted in our faith, and that is the challenge.
Jeremiah is a very bitter angry man. Although it appears time and again that he cares for no one, least of all himself, his kind heart shows through here and there. I greatly sympathized with him, having been through a previous war he lost an arm because of his birth, and was always thought less of a man because he wasn't born British. This makes him extremely angry and sullen in life.
What I loved the most about this novel is the fact that the two characters, when brought together, ended up bringing out the best in each other. Even though they were definitely not fond of each other time and again, the ultimate result was heart-warming and I found myself in tears at the end of the novel. Another great factor was this novel bared all- the good and bad.
It is definitely a MUST-READ for all you historical fiction fans out there. Everything is researched well, and there's no character large or small that is un-believable. They are all brought to life in this novel.
This was my first novel by Siri Mitchell, but I can't wait to read more. This is going on my favorites shelf no question about that. This book definitely captured my attention, as well as my heart.

::My rating of this book:: 

This book is available in     ::Paperback::    or    ::Kindle::   or    ::Nook::
(if you would like a different format please search under your device)

DISCLAIMER: I was provided this book for free through Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my unbiased review. Opinions expressed are mine alone.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Momaholic Book Review

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (May 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0849947367
  • ISBN-13: 978-0849947360

::From the back of the book::
Every mom has felt the need to be perfect.
MOMAHOLIC is one woman's private, dramatic, and often comical invitation to peek inside a time in her life where everything fell apart and she had to take an honest look at what she was doing right and what she'd been doing terribly wrong. With this simple discovery, her whacky family's season of becoming unraveled found a new glue (other than her blood, sweat and tears) that would re-bond her family and unite them in a deeper and more functional way than ever before.  
 The real life characters:
  • A MOM who is literally the head writer of a network soap opera… at work and at home
  • A HUSBAND who expects perfection from his kids and his wife, but who has the wisdom to know he's being unrealistic and yet, can't help but scratch his head in frustration as his family's troubles seem to spiral out of his control
  • An autistic SON
  • A popular DAUGHTER who is suddenly pregnant
  • An ADOPTED DAUGHTER pulled from the jungles of Vietnam with no leg below the right knee and fingers fused together
  • An ADOPTED SON from Ethiopia, rescued from the streets at the age of 9.
 This is a story showing the speed with which a "normal" family can fall apart.  No one dies.  No one gets kidnapped.  They just have to deal with each of their own issues….and then one unwanted and unplanned pregnancy.   This was a church-going family whose kids were taught abstinence until marriage. With the family running around as the tornado sirens roared warnings to take cover, mother, Miss Drama, becomes the biggest mess of all and ends up finding a whole new freedom for her soul.

::My thoughts::
I was drawn to this book because it said: "Crazy Confessions of a Helicopter Mom" on the front cover. As a mom myself I always like to learn about other moms, and there's just that connection as well that plays a huge factor. What I really enjoyed about this book is it isn't an ordinary self-help book. I wouldn't even really categorize it as a self-help book at all really, but the author does give some meaningful advice in tidbits throughout the novel. Mainly this is just the author telling her story about how her life spiraled out of control, and how she took back control. It's not a lecture, it's not a self-help, it's just confessions of a mom that got a bit overwhelmed. 
Head writer of Days of Our Lives Dina soon finds out that her daughter is pregnant and engaged! Did I mention the daughter just barely started her college journey? She also has an adopted daughter that has to be carried everywhere due to a surgery, an adopted son who is very active, and a biological son with autism. Of course it would be easy for her to get overwhelmed! I can't believe she held it together as long as she did to be honest! But of course things began to unravel eventually. I will let you read the story yourself to see how things unfold, and how she copes. I would recommend it to all moms out there who feel that we have to constantly be perfect. I learned a lot from this book, but mainly I learned that by trying to be a "perfect" mom and a "perfect" wife is highly impractical. We can only do our very best. And sometimes we just have to relinquish control for our health and our families.
This book is told from a Christian perspective, but in no way preaches. As a matter of fact the author points out that many of their close friends come from all types of backgrounds and beliefs.
The only thing I did not like about this book is the fact that it seemed as if the author was a bit harsh when mentioning her son Conner, with autism, at times. Of course maybe it's just my perspective of things. But of course her love for all of her children shows throughout the novel so I don't want it to sound as if I'm bashing in any way.
I still think this book is a fantastic read for all mother's, it is easy to relate to and you can snatch some snippets of wisdom here and there. After all who doesn't get stressed out a bit from juggling the world of being a wife, mommy, homemaker, employee, whatever your occupation? There's even a neat quiz at the end of the book that helps you discover if your a helicopter mom (one who hovers over her children and feels the need to do everything) or not.
(Incase your wondering I took the quiz, and I guess I'm a bit of a helicopter mom)

This book is available in~    ::Paperback::    and     ::Kindle::

Check out my review on Goodreads...I rated this book:

DISCLAIMER: I was provided this book for free through Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for my unbiased review. Opinions expressed are mine alone.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Creation Children's book review

  • Hardcover: 24 pages
  • Publisher: Honeycomb Adventures Press (September 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0983680809
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983680802

  • The Creation is a retelling of earth's creation from the book of Genesis. It's a children's book retold by Janice D. Green made easy for children to understand.
The illustrations are in quilt fashion and are fun, original, and colorful. It was a nice change of pace for a children's books illustrations.
Janice D. Green does a spectacular job of re-telling Genesis. Not only is it easy for children to understand but each page is followed by a corresponding Bible verse or discussion question.
My oldest son is four years old and in preschool. He not only listened with rapt attention, but enthusiastically answered all the discussion questions as we came to them. I felt this drew him in to understand the creation of things much more clearly. It caused him to think about the questions and come up with his answers, or even other questions if he wanted to delve into the matter more deeply.
It was a really enjoyable read, and I think children ages 4-10 would best enjoy this book. This book would compliment any Christian home either to be used during story time, or in a homeschool setting. It would also make a great addition to a Sunday school class.
Another wonderful aspect about this book is the back of the book holds a letter to parents remind us to hold fast in our teaching our children about God, and to keep them rooted in their faith. In an ever-changing world where answers are demanded for everything we must unite together and hold fast to our faith.
There is a Bible Quilt family activity in the back of the book as well which I can't wait to try. It explains how to make a Bible quilt with Bible pictures for the blocks. It even explains how the Bible pictures can be traced and how your child can color them with crayons and take a part in the quilt making.
There are much more details in the book, and the author includes a website that has directions for making Bible quilts and a coloring book download @

To purchase this book on  Amazon CLICK HERE

::About the Author::

Janice D. Green has a passion to see healthy, happy, Christ-loving families and to that end writes and illustrates Bible storybooks for children with a goal of stimulating families to read the Bible together. The illustrations in her books are hand appliqued quilt blocks. Janice Green hopes families will be encouraged to create Bible quilts to further stimulate Bible reading at bedtime. Future Bible storybooks and quilt-able Bible coloring books are in developmental stages.
Janice Green has also written family oriented books to preserve many anecdotal memories for her parents' offspring. She feels strongly that families should write and preserve the slice of life stories from their pasts in this world that is changing so fast. These books are available at

Disclosure of Material: I received this book free from the publisher through book review program, which requires an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR Title 16, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

How We Love Our Kids Book Review

Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: WaterBrook Press (March 15, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0307729249
ISBN-13: 978-0307729248

::Book Description::
One Small Change in How You Love One Big Change in your Kids

Having problems with your kids? What if you are the problem and you just can’t see it? How We Love Our Kids offers a unique approach, to help you as a parent transform your kids by making specific changes in how you love. It’s the only book specifically for parents that reveals the unseen forces that shape every interaction with your kids.

• Identify which of the five love styles you have.
• Discover the surprising dynamics that shape your parenting.
• Get rid of your “buttons” so your kids can’t push them.
• Create a close connection with your kids that will last a lifetime.
• Learn the seven gifts every child needs.

Based on years of research in the area of attachment and bonding, How We Love Our Kids shows parents how to overcome the predictable challenges that arise out of the five love styles and helps parents cultivate a secure, deep connection with a child of any age. Retool your reactions and refocus on how you love. Start today. Watch your kids flourish and thrive as they receive what was missing in your love.
With four self-assessments and powerful application tools to use with children of all ages.

::My Thoughts::
I am always intrigued by parenting books because there really are so many different love styles. As parents we all have our individual methods of raising our children. One thing we don't really focus on is the fact that our children's behavior may not be due to them but rather due to us. Not to say that we come from dysfunctional families, but rather pointing out that no matter how we realize it our past sometimes repeats in our future. A great example is how when we are young we may tell ourselves we aren't going to be like our mother or father and as we become parents we catch ourselves doing the same things.
I love how this book truly helps the parent and instead of focusing on changing the child, it focuses on changing the parent.
One thing I have instituted into my household from the book is a list of emotions. Towards the beginning of the book Milan's son is upset due to a school incident so Milan has him go to the refrigerator where there is a list of emotions and choose what emotions he is feeling so they can talk about it. Since my oldest child is 4 I have a list of "emotion faces", which are drawings of various happy, mad, sad, frustrated, silly, etc. faces with the words underneath. When tantrum time rolls around we visit this list, he chooses his emotions and we talk through it. It doesn't always work right away, but it has had a positive effect for him.
I also loved the fact that it didn't seem as if this book was "lecturing" but
it felt as if the authors were actually speaking to you. There were many personal experiences throughout the book that made it more personal, and easy to relate to. There are discussion questions at the end of each chapter which would make this a great book for any group gatherings. I think this is a good book for any parent who wants to better their parenting styles or to learn better ways to communicate with your child, and ways to make it easy for them to talk to you.

This book is available in:    PRINT  or   eBOOK

Check out my review on Goodreads

Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

Monday, May 21, 2012

My First Crayola Review/Giveaway

I love Crayola products. It's, in my opinion, the most trusted brand among moms and schools everywhere. Not to say that there aren't other great products out there, but Crayola® is our family's favorite.

So of course I was excited when I received the opportunity to try out the My First Crayola™ product line.

I have 2 sons ages 14 months, and 4 years old. Creative time is a very important staple in our house. I believe in encouraging children to create, and let their imaginations soar. I love to praise them for all that they do, and their little faces just light up with joy. But encouraging our children to be creative is not only important for the creative aspect or for esteem building, but it also helps them develop large and fine motor skills!

Did you know? Your child's first art experiences help develop very important large and fine motor skills like hand-eye coordination, self-confidence, and early literacy skills.

I love my children's creations. I am one of those moms that saves every little drawing whether it is actually something or is a scribble. To me they are all wonderful. I have frames filled with them, binders full of them, and my fridge is overflowing with pictures.
Here's some tips from Cheri Sterman (Crayola's child development expert) on how to encourage a child's development and sense of discovery:

  • Build their vocabulary. Not sure what to say about the page of dots or dashes your child created?  Describe the colors and shapes you see to help your child add new words to their vocabulary.
  • Tell me about your picture? Children’s drawings are their first communication well before they can read and write. Ask your child to tell you about the drawing they create. That blue blob you’re looking at may be a puppy, an elephant or a tiger.  It’s OK for the same blue blob to mean something different tomorrow. Resist the urge to tell your child what you see and listen to their interpretation.
  • Focus on the process.  Pudding paintings and rhythmically dotting colors on paper are part of the important journey to eventually creating more recognizable drawings. Emphasize the enjoyment of the process more than the end result.  The actual work is not as important as the joy your child felt when creating it.
  • Creative confidence. As your child grows into the toddler years, and their scribbles take shape creative confidence begins to bloom.  One of the best responses to your child’s artwork is, “Let’s hang it on the refrigerator together.”

Here's a look at some of the products I got to try and my thoughts on them:

::My First Crayola Washable Crayons, Markers, and Stampers (for ages 12 mos +)::

For me, these were probably the easiest markers and stamps I've ever had the pleasure to wash off our skin. My sons got marks on their skin and I simply had to use a baby wipe to get the marker and stamps off. No harsh scrubbing necessary. The design of the crayons, markers, and stampers fit easily into my kids small hands and they come in different animals and colors which makes it that much more fun. The base simply removes from the crayons and markers and goes back on with ease. This makes it easier for really small hands who have a tendency to break crayons easily. And on the stampers there was no base to remove at all. They are all in one, and they just simply flip down as you press down.

::My First Crayola Mess-Free Marker & Paper (12 mos +)::
The animal for this was the Panda bear and it was wonderful for my 14 month old. He LOVES to scribble around and can get a bit wacky in his excitement. Since this marker ONLY works on the Crayola mess-free paper I didn't have to worry about marker colors showing up everywhere. And it made colorful designs on the paper almost like a rainbow which he quite enjoyed.

::My First Crayola Mess-Free Fingerpaint & Paper (24 mos +)::
Just like the mess-free marker and paper the fingerpaint was the same. There's no mess since it only works on Crayola's magic mess-free paper and it reveals a combination of colorful design patterns which makes it fun and amusing for your young one. I used this mostly with Lucas (4 yrs) since Levi (14 mos) kept trying to eat the paint, but all in all we did do some fingerpainting with it.

::My First Crayola Washable Dry-Erase Activity Mat (24 mos +)::
This was by far our favorite and was so easy for on-the-go trips such as errand days. It comes with 12 activites and coloring pages that just slide into place and you can print more coloring pages and activies online to insert. Your child simply uses the dry-erase crayons to color, create, erase, and start all over again. It even has a little pouch on the back that holds the dry-erase crayons, and folds easily. It comes equipped with a little handle which makes it easy to carry while on-the-go. The dry-erase crayons are in a triangular shape which I noticed seems easier for little hands to grip.

Also available is My First Crayola Bath Crayons and Canvas which I can't wait to give a try. I'm going to get it as a surprise for Lucas. :)

A video peek at My First Crayola::

Special Offer
Crayola and Cheerios® cereal are offering up to $5.00 in coupon savings on My First Crayola™ products, so you can enjoy a little colorful fun at the breakfast table!  Look for My First Crayola™ on original Cheerios cereal boxes.
My kids love Cheerios, and we never are without them on trips or anything. It was one of the first dry snack foods I ever offered to either of my children.

Learn more about the tools from Crayola that make it easy for parents to help children develop their creativity, by visiting and liking Crayola on Facebook!

Like Crayola on FACEBOOK or TWITTER

Now you can win your very own Crayola Prize Pack for your little ones. Just follow the instructions on the rafflecopter form to enter. Only one winner will be chosen to win the below prizes as listed on the rafflecopter form which will together make up your prize pack. I always keep my entries simple with extra entries always available. :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure:  The information, products, coupon, video and additional My First Crayola™ gift pack was provided by Crayola® and Cheerios through MyBlogSpark.

Happy Homemaker Monday #7

Sorry I'm late with today's post, but I had to come to my public library to write this. For some reason it is exceptionally hard to write a blog post from my kindle...or maybe I'm just not as tech savvy as I thought. For whatever reason, here is today's Happy Homemaker post, and I will also be scheduling some book reviews and a fantastic giveaway for a Crayola Prize Pack this week so make sure you stay tuned since as you all know I like to keep my giveaways simple and to the point.

Happy Homemaker Monday

::The weather::
Has actually been pretty comfortable even though we've been having some muggy days. But I can't complain, I would rather have that than extreme cold or heat. LOL

::On my reading pile::
I am almost done with Momaholic: Confessions of a Helicopter Mom by Dina Higley. I have mixed feelings about this book, and my review will be posted sometime this week.
I just finished The Messenger by Siri Mitchell, and I was so sad to see the book end! Needless to say I got swept up in the story, and it was an emotional roller coaster. Definitely one of the best books I have read all year long thus far!
I have some more books that I'm reading for review, and I am still waiting to read The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. I can't wait to see what all the fuss is about and if it's one of those truly fantastic books. So far I've heard nothing but good about it. :)

::On my TV::
I'm not planning on watching too much television this week. Mainly I will just be catching up on some of my favorite television shows, and since I have all the seasons of The Gilmore Girls on DVD I think I'm going to re-watch those. It's been awhile, and it's definitely my top favorite TV series. 
Other than that it will probably just be cartoons with the boys when they watch them, and the nightly news.


::On the menu for this week::
Monday- baked spaghetti, garlic bread
Tuesday- Baked steak, fried potatoes, peas
Wednesday- Chicken and noodles, mashed potatoes, rolls, and corn on the cob
Thursday- carry out somewhere
Friday- shopping day


::On my to-do list::
I actually have gotten more accomplished NOT having a laptop around at home so I am pretty much caught up on all of my chores.
Aside from the usual ones such as laundry and dishes and the daily cleanings.
I will still be going through all of our belongings we've stored away in totes and such. With only 2 months left to move I am trying desperately to downsize so we don't end up taking a bunch of things we don't use! I found 2 packs of pencil erasers, never opened, that I think I've had since my college courses like 5 years ago! Seriously...gotta get the stuff thinned out a bit. LOL

::My projects::
I'm going to be making some crafts with the boys this week. Nothing definite, but I'll be perusing the Pinterest site off and on for some great ideas.

::Looking around the house::
Not at home, I'm at the public library where there are people on computers, perusing books, doing assignments, etc. I haven't been on a computer here in years. In other news, Josh (my husband) is having 2 teeth pulled Friday that he has been having major trouble with. He's been on antibiotics for the last 2 weeks because they are lined up with his sinuses so it has been causing infections. He is nervous and will basically sleep most of the weekend so it will mainly be just me and the boys hanging out.

::From the camera::
I, silly me, forgot my usb cord so I can't upload any pictures this week. I will try to have something for Wordless Wednesday but I can't guarantee anything. It may be something from my phone since my laptop is gone.

::Something fun to share::
50 Summer Crafts for Kids

::Blog of the week::
My Dishwasher's Possessed

::Bible verse/devotional::
Deuteronomy 7:9
Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Bad Week

This has not been a good week for me. Firstly…my laptop crashed. Yikes! I have no back-ups since it was our only computer. I kinda knew it was going to happen but I was hoping to squeeze a little more life out of it.
Secondly, I can tell I am coming down with some kind of icky spring cold. I have just not felt like myself lately. I have been so tired, tunny nose, sore throat (which is the worst if you ask me), and kinda groggy headed. It could be allergies but I am all out of medicine.

The good news is we found a great apartment. I am so glad we know now where we will be. Makes me feel much more settled. I am so eager for these couple months to fly by so we can get into our new place. I have to keep reminding myself to slow down and enjoy this time while its here. Moving time will come soon enough and while I am eager to get into our new place, I am also dreading the whole moving process itself. Haha

So please bear with me as I make due with blog posts using my kindle fire. I am thankful for it at least and its Internet capabilities.
Until then I am on the lookout for a new AFFORDABLE laptop.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Happy Homemaker Monday #6

Happy Homemaker Monday

My, the weeks are just flying by aren't they? Only 3 more weeks of school left where we are and then we'll be done for the summer. We also move soon in just 2 1/2 months so it will be time to pack everything up before I know it. We did hit a bit of a roadblock on our apartment search. The apartment complex where we wanted to originally move in won't have anything available (that fits our needs space-wise) until November, and we just do not want to wait that long. We are going to look around some more, and if nothing comes available we are just going to upgrade to a bigger apartment in our current complex.  I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day. Mine was relaxing and filled with family and fun. The weather was just right, and it turned out to be such a wonderful day.

The weather in my part of the world::
The weather has been really nice as of late, although the nights are awfully cool. I have had to run the A/C a few times, but haven't had to run the heat in awhile which has been a blessing on my electric bill. haha
In our town all the pools open on Memorial Day so swimming is definitely coming up soon after that. I am so ready to get the summer started.

On my reading pile::
And a couple other books for review
I also have a couple reviews I will be posting this week of books I've finished. :)

On my TV::
The local news
Hart of Dixie
House Hunters

On the menu for this week’s dinner::
Monday- hamburger/potatoe casserole & cornbread
Tuesday- slow cooked BBQ chicken legs, mac and cheese, white rice
Wednesday- Tomato baked Porkchops, mashed potatoes, applesauce
Thursday- shopping day

Recipe I tried or want to try soon::
We are big on water in our household, and this looks SO refreshing! I really cannot wait to give this a try. It looks so refreshing. It's going to be perfect and fun for those hot scorching days that are soon to make an appearance.

Looking around the home::
Laundry is folded and waiting to be put away
TV is off and windows are open letting in a slight breeze
Breakfast and lunch dishes need washed and put away

On my to-do list::
Put away laundry
Re-organize bathroom (I have a bathroom shelf and it just takes up way too much space. Apartment bathrooms are rather small, and I would love to open it up a bit more. Plus the shelf is so old it’s practically falling apart. Time to get rid of it)

My projects::
Family handprints (see below on the something fun to share section)
Other than that I really need to make a trip to the hobby store.

Interesting Blog::
Reduce Footprints
I love this blog. There is a meet and greet Monday, a Change The World Wednesday (where there are challenges to partake in that will save the earth one step at a time)
*If you would like me to check out your blog feel free to link up below, it doesn't have to be a Happy Homemaker link up. I am always interested in finding new and interesting blogs.

From the camera::
Nothing to share from the camera this week. I’ve slacked a little the last couple weeks on taking pictures. I’m sure you’ve heard me mention it’s been such a hectic crazy month to work with. Needless to say it's all I can do to leave the apartment with my purse and not forget it. LOL. I will get some pics soon though, I promise. I’ve been missing my camera. ;)

Something fun to share::
Family Handprints
We are going to be making these sometime this week. I'm excited to see how ours will turn out, and I will definitely be posting pictures on next Monday's Happy Homemaker Monday so stay tuned!

Bible Verse/Devotional::
Colossians 3:12-14
Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wordless Wednesday #3

credit: my mother in law took this picture on her trip to arizona, and I just
thought it so beautiful I think the rest of the world to see. 

If you want to participate in wordless wednesdays feel free to use Mister Linky below. I would love to see your Wordless Wednesday post. :)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Children's Claritin® Grape Chewables Review

In my household we all suffer from allergies. Since me and my husband are both sufferers it was bound that our children would inherit this. And as it happened they both did. They have allergies so bad they often have what is called “allergy shiners” which is dark circles under the eyes.
Not to even mention that this comes along with itchy watery eyes, runny/stuffy noses, and sometimes even sore throats. Due to our allergies we often get sinusitis during the most active allergie months.
Josh (my husband) and I generally buy over the counter Claritin® for ourselves which always seems to do the trick. Unfortunately my oldest son whom suffers the worst from allergies hasn’t reacted well to allergy medications we’ve tried. They have either made him tired and groggy, or they just do not work. He is 4 years old so to be honest I am highly hesitant to try allergy medications. Add to the fact that he despises taking medicine, and that even compounds things.
Imagine my excitement to find out there was Children's Claritin® Grape Chewables! They come in grape flavor and look like little vitamins. Being a BzzAgent I got the opportunity to try a pack of these out and after clearing it with my son’s pediatrician and getting the okay I was more than excited to give this medicine a go. Especially since, it being spring, his allergies have been worse than ever before. He sneezes indoors and outdoors, and we keep a box of tissues in every room.

temporarily relieves these symptoms due to hay fever or other upper respiratory allergies:

  • runny nose
  • sneezing
  • itchy, watery eyes
  • itching of the nose or throat

Here’s some of the features Children's Claritin® Grape Chewables offers:

  • #1 Pediatrician-Recommended Non-Drowsy Brand
  • Powerful 24-hour relief that won"t cause drowsiness
  • Effective for indoor and outdoor allergies
  • Safe and effective for kids ages 2 years and older1
  • Easy to take
  • Great grape taste

I will attest that this medicine proved to be completely non-drowsy. My son took it in the mornings, and he was his usual self. This was such a relief for me. Not only is it non-drowsy, but it provides 24 hour relief so he only had to take one once a day. Kinda like a vitamin, and he loved the taste. He said it tasted great, and asked me when he could have another one. He was actually disappointed that I told him we can only take one once a day. LOL
It's so easy to take, and there is a dotted line to rip a tablet off if you need to be on the go. You just peel the paper off, and pop out the tablet. Ready to go. They are so small there's hardly anything to them. So simple, and definitely great for children ages 2 and over. It didn't work right away for us, so don't expect IMMEDIATE results, but I noticed a difference in my 4 year old after just a couple of days. His runny nose, watery eyes, and itchy throat was gone after a couple of days. His sneezing did stop the first day he took it. I was so impressed, and so thankful that it had no drowsy side effects.

See the back of the box:

You can print awesome money saving COUPONS on Claritin's® website:

Disclaimer: As a BzzAgent I have been provided with a complimentary product mentioned above for review purposes. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Search This Blog