The Traveling Sisterhood: December 2014

Friday, December 26

Painted Earth SkinCare and Cosmetics, trés Magnifique!

I am so in love with my new makeup and skincare products from Painted Earth!  Their ingredients are natural and formulated to be absorbed by the skin more effectively than any other anti-aging skin care on the market.  In the photo below, I'm wearing their Mint Victorian Charm lipgloss, Baked Blush in "petal", LashLuxe in "onyx", Mineral Powder Foundation in "blonde", Superwear Gel Liner, and (my fave) their Baked Mineral Eye Fusion in Bronze.  Before applying their makeup, I used their skin cleanser and moisturizer for sensitive and acne prone skin, which is absolutely perfect--my skin is quite sensitive and if I don't use the best of the best, it will definitely break out.  I've been using this for weeks now and I can tell you it's perfect!

It makes me feel so pretty.  Love!

Preparing my makeup regimen.

Painted Earth Baked Mineral Eye Fusion. Isn't it lovely? It definitely looks like a "painted" planet, though I'd go with Mercury over Earth for this one. ;)

My Painted Earth assortment.  I love it all!

In ending my review, I want to leave you with a quote that impressed me:  "At Painted Earth we believe that it is not necessary to sacrifice health for the sake of beauty, and that pure, natural beauty nourishes the body, mind, and soul." 

You can find Painted Earth on:

Special thanks to the wonderful people at Painted Earth for providing me with this review opportunity!  All opinions are expressly my own.


Saturday, December 20

"Imaginative University" Super Fun & Educational Kits Delivered Monthly! #Giveaway

Congrats to Maureen, the winner of this giveaway!

Our Thankfulness Tree: Part of our November Imaginative U Kit

I was so impressed with each of our 3 Imaginative U kits!  I can not say enough about how great they are!  Hopefully the pics will speak for them.  Each box was stuffed full of everything we needed for about 5 projects.  And I mean everything... right down to glue, supplies, and markers for each of my 4 kiddos along with enough ingredients to continue to get creative with more of our own ideas that were inspired by the kits.  For the projects that require measuring, everything was already measured out (i.e. Borax for the slime was in little baggies of the perfect amount).  

All of the fun... none of the hassle!
Imaginative U would be such a great present for the homeschooling or crafting mama in your life, or would be a wonderful way to add excitement to the monotony for anyone.  They'd also be especially great for school breaks to keep the kiddos busy. My littles love these kits and, after we did the first one, my youngest daughter (who is usually the least easy to impress) exclaimed, "Mom, this was the funnest school day ever!" Imaginative U makes learning so fun, so hands on, and I absolutely love it!  I've been having a greater time doing school with my kids than any time I can remember in the past.  Every month is different so I'm looking forward to seeing what they come up with next! 

The TREES Kit
The SCIENCE Kit

More about the Imaginative U Kits
The kits are assembled by hand and the supplies are sorted in Ziploc or lunch bags. The kits often contain simple items such as paint, flour, baking soda or sticks. They're divided by age so that children ages 4 and 5 receive a slightly different kit than those ages 6 -10.  I received the 6-10 year old kits and was so impressed!  The directions were super easy to follow and involved no preparation minus the time it took me to skim over the topic for the day.   



Giveaway
One of my readers will win a 3 month subscription of Imaginative U Kits, a $60 value! Enter by 12/15 at 11 pm anyone's time.  I'll choose a winner the next morning.


You Can Find Imaginative U On

What's your favorite thing to do with your kiddo/s?

Special thanks to the wonderful people at Imaginative University for providing us with this review and giveaway opportunity!

Friday, December 19

Bubble Shack Hawaii! Oh. My. Goodness. I love this stuff! #Giveaway

Bubble Shack Hawaiian Soap Co

Congrats to Janet, the winner of this giveaway!

I never imagined I'd get so excited about a soap before but, I promise you, Bubble Shack Hawaii's Handmade Loofah Soaps are pretty much the most heavenly thing ever.  I sigh with pleasure and think maybe I need to take three showers in a 24 hour period as opposed to the 2 I already took... one of which I didn't need... but I'm not going to lie to you: I needed a relaxing something and that loofah.  Sigh.  Heavenly.  The scent I received was Pikake Lei, and it's a natural loofah filled with soap which makes for the super most wonderful bathing experience.  It feels so amazing, and smells nice, too. 

While the loofah soap is my most favorite thing I've had the pleasure to review in recent memory, I also reviewed the rest of the Pikake Lei Tropical Trio which comes with their All in 1 Ultimate Kukui and Shea Wash (perfect to use as shampoo, body wash, handsoap, even dog wash!) , their Kukui and Shea Hawaiian Silky Lotion, and the Handmade Loofah Soap I already went on and on about. ;) 

Bubble Shack Hawaii also sells Dog Wash tailor made for my pooch.  Our darling poochie smells marvelous and her fur feels so soft after always using this!  She smells like a little Hawaiian darling. The best thing, though, about all of their products is that they're totally natural and ocean-friendly.  Love!  Oh, and you also get free samples with every order!  I discovered that when I went to order my bestie some of that loofah soap!

Pikake Lei Coconu Shell Soy Candle
Giveaway
One of my readers will receive this Coconut Shell Soy Candle in the Hawaiian scent Pikake Lei.  Enter below by January 16th at 11 pm anyone's time.  I'll choose a winner the next morning via Random.org.  In the meantime I hope you are having a wonderful new year!
      





 
 
You Can Find Bubble Shack Hawaii On
Our pretty pooch, nice and clean and smelling amazing!
 

Which scent or product would you most like to try?

 

Special thanks to the wonderful people at Bubble Shack Hawaii for providing me with this opportunity!

Tuesday, December 16

Easy & Delicious Crispy Chicken Parmesan! #FosterFarms #Giveaway

This makes a quick and easy Christmas-week dinner!  My family loved it.  We received a few bags of Foster Farms new 100% all natural Crispy Chicken Strips to try and they were marvelous.  I knew they'd make perfect Chicken Parmesan (one of my favorite dishes) and I was right.  Let me know if you decide to try it!  Five of my readers will win free product vouchers to do just that.  Just scroll down to the bottom of this post for the giveaway form.




Ingredients
Foster Farms Crispy Chicken Strips
Bertolli Tomato Sauce
Pasta of choice
8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Prepare Foster Farms Crispy Chicken Strips according to package directions on a foil-lined baking pan.
3. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
4. When Crispy Chicken Strips are cooked, remove from oven and leave on same baking pan. 
5.  Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over each Chicken Strip and cover with ¼ cup of tomato sauce. Return to the oven and heat for 5-7 minutes or until cheese has melted.
6. Serve over prepared pasta.

Foster Farms chicken comes in a few other varieties, too, and makes a perfect Saturday or Sunday lunch, or mid-week meal when you feel to busy to actually cook.  They're crispy and cook quickly and are yummy!  You can get them at pretty much any chain supermarket--just look for the yellow bag.  Easy to spot!


GIVEAWAY
Enter below by 12/23 at 11 pm anyone's time. I'll choose a winner on Christmas Eve. Have a wonderful week!


Sunday, December 14

Auntie Anne’s Pretzel & Cinnamon Roll Baking Mixes! #HolidayDeliciousness



The holidays are a time for keeping friends and family close and enjoying the aroma of fresh baked treats wafting from the kitchen. Mm!  We had so much fun baking pretzels and cinnamon rolls "from scratch"... if using Auntie Anne’s Pretzels & More Homemade Baking Mixes counts as scratch. 
Of course, these kits made it super convenient--everything premeasured and included, even the yeast.  The kiddos love rolling the dough out and watching it rise.  We had a blast, and they were delicious! 



You can get the kits just about anywhere.  Today, we saw them at Joann Fabrics--where you can use one of those great 50% off coupons and get the kits for about $3.  Each kit also features different holiday recipes.  These would make a pretty great gift exchange idea (I think I might get one of the baking mixes for my upcoming White Elephant Gift Exchange).  Walmart, Michael’s, and several regional grocery chains. Similarly, the Cinnabon Baking Mix makes eight cinnamon rolls, along with other delectable treats made with the same irresistible ingredients, such as monkey bread, cupcakes or even ham and cheese pinwheels. Let me know if you decide to check them out!

Special thanks to the wonderful people at Auntie Anne's for providing us with these products to review!

Wednesday, December 10

Winter Camping and Snacking Defined With Green Wagon! #Giveaway

Yep, we went winter camping on the day after Thanksgiving.  No Black Friday Shopping for us!  We had so much fun, and I brought along our box of Green Wagon snacks.  I was surprised that the subscription box was so big, and stuffed full!  My favorites were the Dark Chocolate Covered Coconuts and the Chocolate Covered Almonds.  I took those ones in my room and ate them with a good book before we went camping.  They were amazing!  I really liked the Brazil nuts, but I did take those ones camping to share.

Camping with my girls.
 
My kiddos' favorites were the almond cookie bites.  There was a very wide variety which ranged from sweet to spicy--something for everyone.  There were dried other fruits like papaya and goji berries, other chocolate covered items, mixed fruits and nuts, and exotic delicacies none of us had ever heard of before like "dried jackfruit".  Everyone had fun trying the different snacks, and it felt good to be snacking on such healthy stuff after all those hotdogs and S'mores of the night before.  ;)


PROMO CODE
Every month, Green Wagon will send you a big, huge box of snacks in resealable pouches or you can buy specific packages on Amazon.  All of the snacks are 100% organic, gluten free, and vegan.  The box does cost $40 a month, but we all know real organic food isn't cheap and you do get 10 bags of curated snacks.  Plus, you get 15% off if you use the code NOMNOM. 
 
GIVEAWAY
One of my readers will win a box of Green Wagon Foods!  Enter below by 12/17 at 11 pm anyone's time.  I'll choose a winner the next morning.

You Can Find Green Wagon Foods On

 
Special thanks to the wonderful people at Green Wagon Foods for this review and giveaway opportunity!

Saturday, December 6

No Cook Glitter Snow-doh Recipe... only 3 ingredients!

We made this recipe tonight and the kiddos absolutely loved it!  I loved it, too, b/c it was the easiest playdoh I've ever made of the 3 recipes I've tried so far.  It is simply glitter, corn starch, and lotion all mixed together.  Use one container of corn starch and about 14 oz. lotion--add a large squirt of lotion at a time, stir, and then gauge how much more you need.  As far as that goes, I had way too much lotion.  This was an excuse to use up a bottle of it that had been sitting under my bathroom counter for too long!  This playdoh is super soft--soft to play with and leaves your hands very soft.  It's also very moldable.  My kiddos made some super cute creations!






What kind of creations do your kiddos like to make with playdoh?

Tuesday, December 2

Super Duper Games: Fun and Educational Christmas Gifts! #Discount #HolidayGiftGuide

We love Super Duper's games!  Every time we get a new one in the mail, the kiddos and I are so excited to open it up and play! 

The whimsical lyrics of The Twelve Days Of Christmas can get a little dizzying with pipers piping, maids a milking and a partridge in a pear tree! If you have a child who struggles a little with language, vocabulary or speech, December 25 is the perfect day to unwrap Word Joggers, Go For The Dough or Turtle Talk!    Plus Super Duper Publications has so many other educational games for practicing just about any topic you could imagine.  Here is our list of our 4 tried and true favorites: 

Magnetic Mealtime Game
My kiddos kept getting their food groups mixed up!  I needed something like this.  The game is fun and simple, needing no help from mommy (except to check it quickly at the end).  They had fun learning their food groups with it and now they're pros.


Magnetic Telling Time Game
Like the Food Group Game, this one is also magnetic.  My children have also been practicing telling time.  They play this game and quiz each other.  It's fun and simple!  And there's just something about magnets that kids love. 



Hopping Frogs Board Game
My 6 year old son's favorite!  He practices those hard P, B, T, K, G, and F sounds when he plays.


Story Prediction Fun Deck
This one would be a wonderful stocking stuffer! My daughters especially like it, and it comes with this really cool "super secret decoder"--shine the light on the card and it will light up the correct answer.  I love the self-checking aspect here, and my daughters love seeing if they can predict the right answer. 

 
Each game or activity lists right on the website what skills it improves, so you’re sure to get the item that works on the specific skill you would be hoping to target with your child.  I chose some products that were meant for kiddos from K-3rd grade.  All of them were perfect for my 1st and 3rd graders!  We reviewed  Grammar Gumballs Board Game, Ask & Answer "Wh" Bingo, and MagneTalk Match-up Adventure Kit.  

We've been having so much fun with all of them but our favorite is the "Wh" Bingo.  It's really, really fun!  It's a Who, What, When, Where, and Why Bingo Game!  The parent or teacher asks a "Wh" question and kiddos have to quickly decide what the answer is and find the picture on their game board.  

Our first winner!
We also had a lot of fun playing Grammar Gumballs.  Grammar Gumballs is a sweet game for teaching and reinforcing basic grammar skills in young children. It targets nine of the early morphemes and grammatical structures. Children with language and learning difficulties often leave these structures out of their speech. Grammar Gumballs includes five levels of difficulty for each illustration. The game was pretty easy for my kiddos but it was good practice using correct grammar.  What I especially liked about it is that there are 6 levels so you choose which question is right for the child's level. 

Excited to play

Choose wisely!

You don't eat them, silly!
Last up, we played with The MagneTalk Match-up Adventures Kit The first time we used it, we opened it up while we were babysitting.  The 2 year old I was sitting especially liked it.  This game is perfect for following directions, giving directions, storytelling, improving vocabulary, and a whole lot more.  It does say it's recommended for pre-K through 5th grade but my own children lost interest in it pretty fast.  It seems much better for preschoolers or perhaps Kindergarteners.  Children can either play games with it or can create scenes and "go" camping, swimming through the ocean, visiting the grocery store, taking a picnic, and traveling to outer space. 

What I really like about all of these games is that they included a reproducible workbook with a CD-ROM to make homework and group activities a breeze.  That way, you can combine homework with the games.  It's great! 

 
 
DISCOUNT
15% off everything!  Use code DDV8NE33 until Dec. 20th. 
Plus, shipping is always free on all orders of $20 or more for anywhere in the US and Canada!
 
Which game do you think sounds best?

Special thanks to Super Duper for providing us with this review opportunity!