The Traveling Sisterhood

Friday, September 22

Win a Box of Historical Romance Books! Winner's Choice


I'll be sending one of my readers 3 books of their choice from any of the books above! I've read and loved them all. But first, I want to tell you about My Readers Rewards Club, a totally free club that sends you complimentary books just for being a member and taking part in their surveys. You can sign up here and check it out! That way, even if you don't win the box of books, you'll still get 1 for free.
Enter below by Thursday, September 28. Just comment below with which 3 books you would like most along with your e-mail address. Each comment will be deleted after the giveaway ends for security purposes. Best of luck!

Thursday, September 21

Llama Llama Red Pajama, Art and Music You Have to See! Penguin Books Brought to Life


**I was compensated for this post. This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.
Watching this clever music video/picture book rendition will start your day off with a smile! When I saw it, I realized I had also recently seen an art print for the book Llama Llama Red Pajama.
Framebridge has teamed up with Penguin to create 10 limited-edition framed prints from beloved children’s books, old and new. The Animals' Vacation, Max and Marla, Wonder Bear, Dragons Love Tacos, My ABC Book, Llama Llama Red Pajama, Mitford at the Fashion Zoo, The Not So Quiet Library, and Corduroy are all included.
Each of the Penguin Young Readers prints is a limited edition of only 100, with a Certificate of Authenticity included in a custom pocket on the back of the frame. Each work of art brings something so enchanting to your child's room.
While Framebridge does sell art prints, they specialize in custom framing. It's very simple, costs $39-199, and shipping is free. You can mail your art (or ballet slippers!) to their studio (they send prepaid packaging) or upload an image. You use their simple preview tools to view your art in their framing selections. Their design team crafts and assembles your frame from the highest quality products. It's the simplest way to custom frame everything you love.

You can get $20 off your first order of $175 or more when you use the promo code: TWENTY175 at Framebridge.com. Frame your heart out!



Wednesday, September 20

Meet the Newest, Little Additions to our Family!

Who is peaking out of her new Carnival Play Barn? It's our sweet, little mouse, Peanut Butter!

And here is her sister, Cupcake! Named for the sprinkle on her head. We bought our fancy mice at Petsmart a couple of weeks ago. We had mice before and we loved them, but they passed away when we had them for about 3 years. Mice are the most wonderful pets. They are sweet, easy to take care of, and have fun little personalities. During my childhood, and while taking care of mice with my own children, never once has a pet mouse bitten me. They are sweet, charming little pets.

While we anticipated adopting our mice, I ordered this Small Animal Play Barn from Chewy.com. We didn't want white feeder mice (you know, the kind you often see in stores) so I called around until we found a place that sold Fancy Mice, which "fancy" as they may be, only cost about $5 each. Girl mice are best, as they live longer and don't have the odor boys do.

Cupcake and Peanut Butter's new Play Barn is great for any small animals and came so stuffed with hay that I had to take 2/3 of it out and save for later. They love their barn, running and playing in it for hours! And it only costs about $7! The mice can't wait til I order them some more goodies from Chewy.com!

Lucy's Chewy Picks for September!


Special thanks to the wonderful people at Chewy.com for providing us with these goodies to review and giveaway! All opinions are honest and our own.
Lucy knows there's something in there for her! She looks forward to every single box from Chewy.com. They have the best of everything she loves to enjoy and the best prices, too!

She's so excited about her first surprise, she's smiling! "Mom, please may I have a treat?" What nice manners! Of course you may have a treat, Lucy!

What's in the bag (and in Lucy's mouth)? True Chews Premium Jerky Cuts with Duck! This big bag of 100% natural treats costs $6 less at Chewy.com than at our local, big box pet store. Lucy gets 1 treat a day based on her size, and this bag lasts us almost 2 months with around 50 treats in the bag! For $17, that's a gonga deal!

Maybe you saw the other box within the box. On top, that one said "Chewy.com Canned Goodies". A dozen cans of Stewlicious Grain-Free Chunky Chicken Stew by Dave's Pet Food. Dave's is known for delivering healthy food at a great value, and this recipe combines mouthwatering (or so Lucy tells me) chicken with sweet potatoes, carrots and peas to create a nutritious dinner cooked just for your pooch. The stew is robust with a rich chicken broth andh chunks of chicken and veggies you can actually see. There are no grains, which means this wholesome meal is lower in carbs with more tasty meat for our pups to enjoy. Okay, I've convinced myself! I'm going to feed her another bowl, or should I let my daughter feed her in the high chair?

You guys, is there anything cuter than a dog licking her lips in a highchair after a satisfying meal?! And have you ever shopped at Chewy.com? What's your dog or cat's favorite treat?

Tuesday, September 19

Cute Cupcake Spiders, A Fun Halloween Recipe



I have to admit, I have SO MUCH FUN around Halloween and what's not to love about cupcakes?!  Donsuemor's minis are the cutest! Well, they were the cutest until we made them into the cutest little spiders ever!  They're also incredibly delicious... we played with them for a little while and then we ate them up. Check out our super fun recipe, get some Cute Cakes (the most delicious packaged mini-cupcakes) to try it for yourself, or simply turn store bought cupcake mix into adorableness.
 

CUTECAKE SPIDERS

Ingredients

Mini Cupcakes 
(or big ones will work, too, but they are not as cute)
Powdered Sugar
Pretzel Sticks
Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
*Small tube of black icing (optional)

Making the Spider's Legs

1. Heat a bowl of 1 cup of chocolate chips in the microwave for 45 seconds.
2. Stir the chocolate until it's well mixed and melted.
3. Bite tips off the pretzels so they'll poke into cupcakes easily. Coat the pretzels in the chocolate.
4. Lay the chocolate covered pretzels on a baking sheet covered in wax paper.
5. Stick them in the freezer for about 5 minutes to quickly dry them.

In the meantime...

1. Mix 1 cup of powdered sugar with 2 tbsp. water. This is going to be "glue."
2. Dab 2 spots of "glue" onto each cupcake where the spiders' faces will be.
3. Stick one chocolate chip onto each spot of glue to make the eyes.

Then...

1. Stick the pretzel legs into the cupcakes. Everyone knows spiders have 8 legs but 6 legs fit much better around a cupcake. Don't worry. They'll be just as cute & just as delicious!
Note: Don't stick the pretzels in too far or the cupcakes will split in the center.
2. Draw little mouths on the spiders with the black icing if it suits your fancy.
3. Eat them up... if you don't think they're too adorable for eating!

Monday, September 18

The Kids Who Learned Their Times Tables in 1 Hour! 2 Years After Times Tales


Two years ago, my twin daughters were in 5th grade when I stuck Times Tales in the DVD player for the 1st time. An hour later, they were playing the game that came with it and another 10 minutes later, they were acing their test! I had heard things like, "My kids learned their times tables in an  hour with Times Tales" but I was wary. Still, for just about $15, it was worth a try. When it actually worked, I was blown away! Now it's 2 years later, we did one review of Times Tales about 6 months after the 1st time watching, and it's still sticking! I had noticed that my now-7th graders were having a hard time recalling their 8 facts, but that's the only issue. Plus, my son was only in 2nd grade at the time we watched the show so I needed something for him... and he isn't fond of learning by watching TV. It turns out there's a new product offered by Times Tales and it is equally amazing!

Times Tales offers a brand new workbook set which comes with a 104 page workbook that includes memory stories, crossword puzzles, the dice game (video of us playing below), quizzes, and even a division section. It's very fun as you can see here--my son suddenly enjoys his math time which is amazing in itself! The workbook incorporates math, reading, writing, and art so that one lesson can triple for three different subjects. The set is only $16.50!

When I first purchased the Times Tales DVD, I didn't realize it also incorporated division! Of course, division is the opposite of multiplication so it's perfect. The math facts gained from learning the times tables totally work with division, too. The program simply teaches kiddos how the two go hand in hand so that they can apply their memory stories to division. Since my twins needed brushing up on their 8 facts and division, I made copies of those sections out of my son's book. They had fun with it and now they're right where they need to be, now that they're doing pre-algebra and this is stuff they need to have at the ready!
  

There are a variety of ways you could use Times Tables:
  • In a homeschool setting, like we did.
  • After school with kiddos who are having trouble memorizing their times tables (I really wish we'd had this when I was a kid!)
  • For kiddos with learning disabilities.  There are so many succeess stories of this working for kids when other programs have failed.
  • In an elementary school classroom.  I can't even imagine how many less papers my 5th grade teacher would have had to grade!  We did multiplication drills every single day during our 2nd semester!  This really beats that.
The best deal on Times Tales is at Educents. I price-checked both products and they cost significantly less there than Amazon! I highly recommend not only this set, but the DVD program as well. If you can't afford both, I'd purchase the workbook set. After trying each of them, I like this better. However, as a pair it would make for the best possible comprehension and the fastest learning. You can find the workbook set here and the DVD set here. If you'd like to save a couple dollars, you can buy the downloadable DVD set here. Happy Math!
Note to my Canadian and International readers: Educents' shipping is high outside the U.S. BUT they offer a downloadable version of Times Tales which includes everything the hard copy does. You can find it here.

Saturday, September 16

Make Lunchtime Fun with Dinosaur Nugget Kabobs!


My kiddos and I had so much fun with lunch the other day! Introducing something simple but different... Dinosaur Nugget Kabobs!
The Ingredients: You'll need 1 package of Tyson® Nuggets (original or dinosaur), 2 cups of grapes, and 1 can of refrigerated biscuit dough.  I conveniently found all the goodies at Wal-Mart.
The Recipe: Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Place chicken nuggets in pan. Roll biscuit dough into balls about 1 inch in diameter.  Cook with nuggets for 12 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown on top.  Wash your grapes and prepare your skewers while they cook.
The Finishing Touches: Arrange cooked chicken nuggets, grapes, and biscuits on 12 (9-inch) wooden skewers. Voila! Super cute and easy protein powered snacking!
What's your favorite way to make lunchtime fun for your kids? I'd love to hear your ideas!