Monday, July 28, 2014

Max Axiom Books: Good science taught through a graphic novel

I don't really like graphic novels (aka comic books).  I would rather my children read what I deem good literature.  But my son is drawn to graphic novels, and I don't want to completely forbid them because I want him to love reading all types of books.

We recently stumbled upon a series of graphic novels that we both enjoy.  They are all about Max Axiom: Super Scientist.  And while they are science fiction, they do teach some real science in a fun way for kids.  There are a ton of books in the series and you can find them on for 7-8 dollars each, although we have just checked our out at the library.

If you have a kid who enjoys graphic novels and science, check out these books!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Emery Street Designs Etsy Shop Giveaway!

So you have a little one and you want a beautiful/classy/sleek/simple way to highlight/showcase/display the information of your little one's arrival.  What do you do?  Take a look at the beautiful designs created by Emery Street Designs, a new etsy shop owned by my little sister, Michelle!

Emery Street Designs features simple designs to celebrate and inspire. Everything is digital, so that means you'll get instant downloads of prints. If you want something customized, the file will be in your email within 2 business days.

To get the word out about Emery Street Designs we are hosting a giveaway to one lucky reader who will win a customized baby subway art to print and use however you'd like.  How awesome is that!  And if you love something else in her shop (which you probably will!) you can use coupon code HELLO by August 16th to get 50% off your order of digital prints!

Enter the giveaway with the Rafflecopter below.  Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Sunscreen daily!

Since having kids I have become more diligent about putting sunscreen on myself and my children.  I just don't want their little bodies to get sun burned!

We recently got to try out Coppertine's Clearly Sheer sunscreen and we love it.  My kids were not sure about the spray version at first, but I love that it makes putting sunscreen on so quick!  Mostly we us the lotion version because everyone can agree on it.

I love that it is lightweight and does not make my skin feel greasy. It also absorbs quickly and feels like lotion.

I am a buz agent and received free samples and coupons from Coppertone. All opinions are my own.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Book Review: Lessons for Absent Children

I recently received a copy of Lessons for Absent Children by Richard S. Levick to review.  The cover looks like this:

The book has a short message for each day of the year; little life lessons that are geared for teenagers.  I found the cover and title to be a bit misleading. When I see a picture of a small child and the title Lessons for Absent Children I think of children who are gone.  The rain on the window makes me think of refugees or something.  I think a better title would be something that reflects the true audience (which is not children, but teens or tweens) as well as the daily calendar format of the book, something like "Daily Life Lessons for Teens" or "A Year of Tried and True Advice". 

Some of examples of the lessons include thoughts on such topics as relationships, generosity, creativity, and personal development.

I haven't finished reading through all of the days, but so far the lessons I have read are ones I agree with, although many seem to assume that the reader is feeling down and depressed and has recently broken up with a boyfriend or girlfriend or wants to get someone to like them.  I'm not sure a teen would turn to this book in their time of need, but I suppose if they did they would find some good advice.

Overall, I think the idea of the book has promise, but I'm wouldn't purchase the book for my own children. One possible way for families to use the book would be to read and discuss together each day the life lesson.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Homemade Gak

This is a simple thing to make and great for fine motor practice and a sensory experience!  My kids like it better than playdough! 

Homemade Gak
-2 (4 oz) bottles of Elmer's glue
-1 teaspoon Borax (found in the laundry detergent aisle)
-Food coloring
You can find the super easy recipe here.

We just made half of a batch (only using one bottle of glue) and it has been a perfect amount for my two oldest to play with while the younger ones are napping.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

How do store brands stack up? (And a Giveaway!)

A few weeks ago a package arrived at my doorstep filled with baby food:

  •         1 container of store brand formula
  •         9 assorted Puree Pouches
  •         5 assorted Puffs
  •         4 assorted Yogurt Bites

  • It was a very exciting event for my children!  Even though these things are more suited for my infant, the 2, 4, and 6 year old all wanted to try them!  (And they loved sampling the puree pouches.  They are like squeezable applesauce or baby food.) 

    The fun thing was that every item was a different store brand.  We had Meijer Baby, Target Up and Up, Kroger Comforts, and Walmart Parent's Choice brands represented.  Did you know that all of these store brands are made by the same company?  Perrigo Nutritionals is the company behind many store brands.

    About Perrigo Nutritionals
    ·         Many moms are not aware that they can save up to 50 percent on infant formula by choosing a store brand over a national brand
    ·         Store Brand Formula is nutritionally comparable to the national brands, yet are typically up to half the price, and can save you about $600 a year
    ·         Perrigo Nutritionals is the largest supplier of Store Brand Infant Formula and nutrition products in the world and one of only four companies recognized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for meeting the strict FDA requirements for safety, nutrition and quality for infant formula-manufacturing in the United States
    ·         Same standards and expertise used to develop infant formula applied to toddler foods
    ·         Toddler foods are appropriately developed for variety of stages of growth and motor skills with quality, nutritional ingredients to create foundation of good nutrition

    Fascinating, huh?!

    I also received a copy of “Say Goodbye to Survival Mode: 9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More, and Restore Your  Passion for Life” by Crystal Paine.  I had read about this book on Crystal's blog,, and so I was excited to read it.  It tells her story and gives concrete tips on how to streamline your life.

    To give you a flavor of what you'll find in the book:

    Crystal Paine’s 5 Money Saving Tips for Families
    Create a Budget
    A budget gives you parameters and purpose, it gives you boundaries, and it gives you freedom to live creatively within those boundaries.

    Shop With Cash
    When you shop with a credit card (or even a debit card, for that matter!) you can have your budget in your head and you can do the best to stick with it when you check out, but it’s so much easier to go just a little bit over here and there when you’re swiping!
    Plan a Menu
    When you have a plan in place for what you’re supposed to be eating each meal and you’ve already purchased the ingredients for those recipes, it’s a lot harder to justify chucking the plan for takeout.

    Use Coupons
    Coupons are a great way to save a lot of money on your grocery bill, but they can be hard to keep up with. Clipping, sorting, and organizing coupons takes time — so enter a coupon database! You’ll have access to printable and other coupons currently available and it’s one of the most effective and efficient ways to save money on groceries.
    Buy Store Brands
    One way to save a great deal of money on your grocery budget is to learn to like and use a variety of brands. The sooner you can get over being a brand-snob, the more your pocketbook will thank you.
    For example, while I breast fed my children, moms who choose to formula feed can save up to 50 percent by switching to store brand formula, which meets the same FDA quality standards as expensive name brands. There are also coupons available at a website - (  This one simple change can save moms about $600 a year. 

    I've been reading through the book, and while nothing is earth shattering, I appreciate the real examples and experiences Crystal shares, as well as methods to overcome the challenges that we all face, like too many things on our to do lists!

    I am so excited that one of you will get the chance to try out Perrigo Nutritionals and read Crystals's book!  One luck winner will receive a prize pack just like the package I was shipped.  Good luck!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway
    The Perrigo Nutritionals product, information and two gift packs have been provided by Perrigo Nutritionals.  All opinions are my own.