Tuesday, July 28

Way Out West! Wranglers & Rodeos #BackToSchool


Ever since my hubby and I starred in a play called "The Good, the Bad, and the Gospel" four years ago, our kids have loved the wild west theme!   There's just something so exciting about the history of the gold rush, wild horses, and the untamed west of the mid to late 1800's that kids love.  And I'm quite smitten with it myself... and not just because of the wonderful clothing styles, though I did love those costumes!



Turns out, today's Jitterbugs Funshine Express Theme was an old west theme titled "Wranglers and Rodeos".  The kiddos made some really cool horses and cowboys out of spring-type clothespins, feathers, ivory horse patterns, striped tissue paper, and doll clothespins--all of which came in the kit.  All of the kids loved making and playing with their own cowpoke riding a horse!  The directions were easy enough for them to follow themselves, which definitely was a plus for mommy.  

The lesson plan also came with a variety of extra fun ideas like:
  • Sack Races
  • Rocks in My Boot Game
  • Wild West Baked Beans Recipe
  • Bicycle Barrel Racing
  • Hot Sand Races
  • Western Words
  • Pass the Corn
  • Cattle Branding on paper

 



We give Funshine Express two thumbs up! 
For our other reviews and more inspiring crafty pictures, head over yonder to our dedicated Funshine Express tab.




Monday, July 27

Goodnite TruFit and my #ConfidentKids

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ConfidentKids #CollectiveBias


My little guy is 7 and still has bedwetting challenges. He is quite embarrassed (especially when it comes to spending the night with his buddies) so I was excited to be chosen to try out the new Goodnite TruFit undies and to learn more about impacting his confidence!   



I printed out the $4 off coupon, then we headed to begin our little adventure to find this magical underwear.

This CVS is our newest in town. 
It's really nice and actually makes you want to be there! 
I have to admit, a store's ambiance is important to me.
There they are, the TruFits in both girls and boys styles, right next to the more traditional GoodNites.

They're marked at $22.99, but CVS combined my coupon and the CVS card coupon to save me a total of $7 which was a great deal at $15.99 for 2 pairs of underwear and a package of the inserts you need!  
The TruFits are the ones in the middle and the right. 
As you can see, they look just like any other cotton underwear!  They're machine-washable just like anything else.  Pretty cool!


Confidence and self-esteem are important qualities to instill in children. Unfortunately, bedwetting struggles often hinder a child's confidence--they definitely did for my little guy.  That's why TruFits are so awesome, plus it helps to know he's not the only one struggling with this issue.  He's had the daytime routine down since he was three, but these are still so perfect for this heavy sleeper who has a hard time waking up in the night, especially when I'm not there to remind him.


How do you encourage self-esteem and confidence in your kids? 

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Sunday, July 26

Bodacious Bugs with Funshine Express! #BackToSchool

Today's Jitterbugs Funshine Express Theme was "Bodacious Bugs".  The kiddos made some cool bugs and painted the absorbent paper with food coloring and water.  The kit came with the bug shapes, pipettes, and yarn (in case you chose to hang them); all we had to do was add the coloring.  My little guy loved it!  The girls went for the hatching butterflies which were so neat!  They were made from tissue paper, twist ties, bug bodies, and brown paper.  All we had to supply were markers to color their wings, scissors and tape.  What I like best about the Funshine Express kits is that they come with most everything you need and each project is so easy to follow.  Plus, each theme comes with a variety of extra ideas.  For example, there were "more fun and game" ideas like caterpillar crawlers, butterfly toss, photos, sipping straw races, and a silly song about caterpillars.   

Making some bodacious bugs!

After they went through many color changes and experiments, they were ready to fly to the window!

Making a beautiful butterfly!
Isn't she the most gorgeous butterfly!?  So lovely!
Hatching out of its cocoon in its natural habitat.


Another gorgeous butterfly!

The kiddos love these kits and we're so happy we get to review them all and recommend them to you guys!   For our other reviews and more inspiring crafty pictures, head over to our dedicated Funshine Express tab.

As far as Back-to-School goes, Funshine Express also offers a range of curriculum kits and supplements for preschool aged kiddos that are available year round.  They create enthusiasm for learning and build school readiness skills. Start exploring to find the perfect curriculum for your children, your daycare, or your preschool!



 
Discount: Get $20 off!
Click the picture link in our left sidebar for that special discount!  They'll be shipping the August kits soon!

Special thanks to the wonderful people at Funshine Express for providing us with these kits to review!

Saturday, July 25

LockerLookz Gift Card Giveaway! Must See! #BackToSchool

We are buying a new home! We're so excited--it's pretty much our dream house in our dream area and I could not be feeling more blessed.  It's huge, lotsa bathrooms (3 of our kiddos will be teenagers soon!), the view of the mountains from the upstairs windows is breathtaking (and I'm going to get to see it everyday!) and best of all, I'll have a homeschool classroom!  I've started planning it out in my imagination and when I saw the lockers they have at The Container Store, I thought that would be so awesome!  The classroom d├ęcor will be a surprise for my kiddos but the girls are going to love the  LockerLookz items inside.   

I had a blast designing the girls locker on the website and then I simply clicked "Purchase This Design" and it was all added to my cart.  All of the items are magnetic--the flower, white board, mirror, gems, and photo frame--even the LED chandelier that turns on whenever the locker is opened!  I so wish they had this stuff when I was in middle and high school!  Back in those days, all we imagined having were mirrors and now you can have so much more!  I really love it.   

An empty locker just waiting to be filled....

Gorgeous and ready to order!

Our goodies have arrived!

LockerLookz come in a wide variety of styles and colors so there's really a theme for anyone's taste.  The Container Store actually sells these items, too, and decorates their lockers in them for display.  You can also purchase them on-line, at Jo-Ann Fabrics, Meijer, Staples, and Barnes & Noble, too.  This would be a really awesome back to school gift for your kiddo, or something to take them shopping for to get them more excited for that first day.

Container Store lockers filled with Locker Lookz

GIVEAWAY
One reader will receive $69.99 (one wallpaper and 3 accessories of your choice) of LockerLookz products to style your fridge, your gym locker, or your kiddo's locker.  Enter below by August 3rd at 11 pm anyone's time.  I'll choose a winner the next morning.  Check out our other giveaways, too--we have a lot of goodies this week!   

Head on over and design a locker! Better yet, let your kiddo design it with you. What style will you go with if you win?
 
You can find LockerLookz on

Special thanks to the wonderful people at KidStuffPR and LockerLookz for this review and giveaway opportunity!


Organic, Fruity Teas 4 Kids #Giveaway!

If you've been following my blog very long, you'll know I love tea!  My kids are pickier when it comes to it, though, so I was eager to try something made just for kids.  Teas4Kids is packed full of fruit and caffeine-free flowers like marigold blossoms--it's all natural, filled with a variety of fruits, and it has no sugar added.  It doesn't need it, after all, the fruit already gives it that natural sweetness.  We tried the Mango Sweetie and Bubby Blueberry varieties.  The Mango was our favorite, but I would love to try the Kiwi varieties.  They all sound delicious!  You can see the complete line-up in the pic below.



The Mango Sweetie tea was so sweet, even the butterflies wanted to try it!  If you look closely, you can see the orange butterfly in our photo.  We liked the Mango tea iced and it was a refreshing drink for the hot summer day.  Check out the list of 9 ingredients for this one:
  • pineapple cubes
  • mango cubes
  • pineapple flakes
  • orange slices
  • mango flakes
  • tangerine pieces
  • safflower
  • marigold blossoms
  • strawberry slices
Even the butterfly wished she could try some!

Tea4Kids Bubby Blueberry just before brewing.
 
I have to admit, I almost wanted to pick out a couple pieces of fruit and just eat them... but I resisted.  I wanted to make sure nothing was left out of the tea.  I love that Teas4Kids is an alternative to sugary juices and sodas that actually tastes good and is good for you, too.  It's great for tiny tots to big kiddos (do I count as a big kiddo?! Cause I like it, too!) Started by Tea Gallerie, their goal is to make a difference in this world one cup and one kiddo at a time. They even do school fundraisers, too, which is really cool.

Giveaway

One of my readers will receive 2 bags of Tea4Kids in your choice of flavor.  Enter below by 8/3 at 11 pm anyone's time.  I'll choose a winner the next morning.  Check out our other giveaways, too--we have a lot of goodies this week!    
 
 Which Tea 4 Kids flavors would your littles like best?

 
You Can Find Tea4Kids On
 
Special thanks to the wonderful people at  Tea4Kids for providing me with this tea to review!

Friday, July 24

Pretzel Bread! Delicious #Giveaway from Pretzilla

Congrats to Amy, the winner of this giveaway!

Pretzilla Bites!  Delicious!!

Pretzilla is a creation of Miller Baking Company, who took a 12th century invention-the pretzel-and turned it into the most delicious bun.  And I am telling you, these are so good!  We tried the burger buns, mini buns, sub buns, and bite size prezel bites.  My kids, hubby, and I all loved them.  You can get them at Whole Foods or check out their store locator to find out where else you can get them locally... plus you can always get them on-line.  At $3-4 a package, these are definitely affordable.  This had to be the best cold cut sandwich I ever made my hubby!
 
A Mini Sandwich with Pretzilla Bread
 
A Giant Sandwich on Pretzilla Bread
 
A Wide Variety of Pretzel Bread--
and these are only some of the selections!
Giveaway
One of my readers will receive a box filled with Pretzilla Buns and Bites! Enter below by 7/23 at 11 pm anyone's time.  I'll choose a winner the next morning.  Check out our other giveaways, too--we have a lot of goodies this week!    
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Special thanks to Pretzilla for this review and giveaway opportunity!  

Thursday, July 23

Organic India Tea #Giveaway: Delicious and Such Variety!

This evening, I am enjoying a cup of Organic India's raspberry tea on ice.  I added some frozen berries and it is so delicious!  It's ironic because just before I received this tea in the mail, my friend was telling me about using basil in tea--it turns out Organic India's teas all include Tulsi Basil, which is said to be a natural way to decrease stress and anxiety.  The tea is grown by farmers in northern India.

Perfect Iced...

I've lately been trying a variety of quality teas--they're so good for you, high in antioxidants, boost metabolism, help your immune system, and all that good stuff.  My Organic India favorites are their Green Tea and Raspberry, but their boxed teas come in 18 flavors!  I combine these 2 and make iced tea and I love it.  I add a bit of sugar but not much since the raspberry already makes it quite sweet. 

... Or Perfect Hot
GIVEAWAY
One of my readers will receive a  variety pack of Organic India Teas!  Ends 7/31.  U.S. only.  Check out our other giveaways, too--we've got lots of goodies this week!

You Can Find Organic India On
Which flavor of Organic India would you most like to try?  

Special thanks to the wonderful people at Organic India for providing me with this tea to review!

Wednesday, July 22

My Super Easy and Totally Giftable Truffles! #Recipe


These are so worth re-blogging every once in awhile--by far the most delicious things I have ever made all by myself and the recipe is soooo easy!  And when you make a batch, you end up with so many more than you (or your family) could possibly eat yourself so that you're absolutely compelled to give them away to unsuspecting people who will eat them and instantly love you more than they did before.  The coolest thing is, by adding Milksplash to the mix, you can totally customize it for a wide variety of tastes like

In all honesty, these make some great budget-friendly Christmas gifts.  Everyone I give them to loves me more after they eat them!

Ingredients
  • 36 Oreo Cookies (do not use Tuxedos or another off-brand--they won't taste nearly as good.  Believe me.  I tried it and my tastebuds were not happy with me.)
  • Package of Instant Chocolate Pudding
  • Package of Milksplash*
  • 1/2 cup of whole milk
  • Package of Chocolate Chips (dark, white, and milk are equally delicious depending on your preference)

Directions 

1. Put the Oreos (the whole bag!) in the biggest mixing bowl you have.  Crunch them up with whatever kitchen utensil you deem worthy enough for the task.


2. Measure 1/2 cup of milk into a measuring cup.  Pour in the pudding mix.  Stir real quick, just until the mixture is wet.  Scoop into the Oreo cookies and stir it up as evenly as possible. Stick in the fridge for 1/2 hour.

3. Get out of the fridge.  With a spoon, scoop up how much you need for about a 1 inch ball.  Roll into a ball.  (This is messy.  That's ok.  You're allowed to get messy.)  Place the balls on a wax-paper lined cookie sheet.  Keep doing this until your sheet is full.  Stick these in the freezer for 1/2 an hour.  (You can't chocolate-coat them if they're not pretty frozen).


4.  Pour half a bag of chocolate chips into a microwave safe dish.  Follow the directions for melting.  I put my chocolate in for about a minute but your microwave and chocolate brand may vary.


5.  Take the chocolate out. Stir it with a spoon. Get your truffles out of the freezer.  Put them in the chocolate, coat them, get them out with the spoon, and put them back where they were.

6. Freeze again.  Get them out later to top them with sprinkles, or a different type of chocolate, or nuts, or whatever your little creative heart desires.  Or just eat them.  They're already amazing.





Tuesday, July 21

Milton's Chips and Cookies! Giveway of Healthy, Yummy, Gluten Free Snacks

Milton’s Craft Bakers makes food that taste great and you can feel good about eating! I didn't think twice about letting my kiddos have 3 cookies each for a snack b/c their chocolate chip cookies are so much healthier than your average cookie! And my hubby loves the Multi-Grain chips which is really saying something--he is especially picky about my blog review items. My favorite chips are the Cheddar Cheese with the Everything chips in a close second place... but they're all good!



Milton's started as a local bakery-restaurant in San Diego, California but quickly became known as a little company with big ideas about baking. They don't believe healthy food has to be bland & boring, instead they deliver nutritious baked goods that are artisan crafted for surprisingly delicious taste. So why not try them out for yourself? They never have any high fructose corn syrup or preservatives and you'll be surprised how Milton's makes healthy taste oh, so good. ;)



Giveaway
One of my readers will receive a box filled with Milton's Cookies and Crackers! Enter below by 7/28 at 11 pm anyone's time.  I'll choose a winner the next morning.  Check out our other giveaways, too--we have a lot of goodies this week!    
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Special thanks to Milton's for this review and giveaway opportunity!