It’s back to school time, and I’m loving these fun products that help make learning fun! With homeschooling multiple grades it’s super busy at times, but also so much fun to see my kids learning!
I am loving this rug from KC Cubs! I set it out in our school area for my 4yr old and eventually gave up on taking a picture of it with no toys on it. It’s his favorite place to play!
I love how he’ll play with toys and then we’ll discuss a few letters and then he’ll go back to playing. The seasons have been a favorite topic of conversation with his older siblings. They know the seasons, but seeing them laid out by month has been super interesting to them.
This rug is comfortable and doesn’t slide around on my floor. Basically, everyone loves it! It’s the preferred toy and game area in my house suddenly. And I’m loving that we can naturally have conversations about letters, seasons, and days of the week while the kids play.
And, what’s a school day without good snacks? I’m loving these fun cookies from Dick & Jane!
Not only are they tasty, they’re terrific conversation starters! We even had to look a couple presidents up because none of us remembered what they did.
I think we spend more time playing with these than eating them. Which really isn’t all that bad. It’s definitely a fun way to start or finish our school day!
And, last but not least, this super easy cookbook from America’s Test Kitchen. Because a school day isn’t successful without a tasty dinner! And I don’t always have time to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.
Each of these recipes really is only 5 ingredients, which makes them all super easy to make. I’m loving the addition of all these tasty and easy recipes to the end of our school day.
With only 5 ingredients, even my older kids can make us dinner! It’s a win win. Good food, and they’re learning how to cook!
*This post contains sponsored content and affiliate links*
For me, August is the month of Birthdays. Throw in some Back to School and end of Summer stuff and it’s just pure insanity! So, in honor of having my first official teenager this year, I put together a fun gift guide for my Girl.
Skincare is super important for every teen girl. And what better way to kick off her teen beauty routine than with these awesome natural, vegan, cruelty-free, eco-friendly products from Soo’AE!
The face wash, face cream, and face masks are gentle and made with clean & green ingredients. So, they’re good for my daughter’s skin and good for the environment as well. I especially love that the masks are 95% natural!
We had a fun at home spa night with the masks and enjoyed hanging out with each other for a little while.
My kids LOVE ghost stories! Just as much as they love s’mores around a campfire. And while I have no issues with them hearing / reading ghost stories, I do my best to make sure that these stories are age appropriate for them.
My daughter doesn’t know yet that there are 32 of these books and not just 2 – as soon as she figures that out, her Christmas list will be 30 books long…
My girls actually swiped these the minute they arrived and I had to go hunt them down just to photograph them (while the girls supervised so I didn’t “loose” any in my bedroom).
They told me that the stories aren’t really scary, but they’re very fun. And they want more of them. They’re also unwilling to let me borrow their books because they’re afraid I’ll keep them for myself!
These are definitely on my “need to buy the whole series” list!
I may or may not have been more excited about this cookbook than my daughter was. Though, my kids have been all about Harry Potter this summer! They had a friend at summer camp ask them about it and they all realized that they’ve never seen it.
So, our Summer family movie nights were all about Harry Potter. She was super excited about her new cookbook and has handed me a grocery shopping list a mile long!
So far, we’ve tried one of the sandwich recipes and everyone was thrilled with it.
My daughter was given an Amazon gift card for her birthday and guess what she rushed to buy? Fidgets! I had not idea that these things could come in this many different shapes, but there really is a lot of variety here.
And these days, when in doubt, a fidget for someone’s Birthday is the way to go!
Looking for a fun Mother’s Day gift? Or, maybe you forgot a gift and want to give something after the day? Snap some pictures and give your mom some Mixtiles!
You simply upload your pictures, select your frame preference, and they show up all ready to hang a couple days later.
What I really love about these, is they have a sticky back, so you can just stick them to the wall – no nails needed! Which I will say my entire household appreciates because I can never get it right with the first nail! If you don’t like the way they look, want to rearrange, or want to swap in some new ones, they just pull right off the wall without damaging your wall and can be restuck in a different place.
So, pull out some favorite pics or snap a couple new pics with your mom and get her something fun and memorable!
I’d seen ads for Color my Cookie so I was super excited when offered the opportunity to try them out. And, they’re way better than I expected! I thought they were cool, but really, these are super cool and so fun!
Your cookies arrive in this little box. The box has your cookies, your paint pallet cookie, your paintbrush, sprinkles, and any extras. My box had this extra gold glitter that is super cool!
I highly recommend scanning the QR code and watching their super short how-to video before you start decorating. It answered all my questions about how to “paint” my cookies, how to get the sprinkles to stay on, etc.
I was having so much fun I even painted my paint pallet! Maybe get a couple kits so you can decorate with your mom, and so she doesn’t have to share her cookies with you, because not only do they look terrific, they also taste good and everyone is going to want one!
This box is packed full of fun activities! They have a monthly subscription or just get one for your Mom. There are enough activities in a single box that I was able to share activities with my kids and keep a couple of my favorites (like the puzzle) for myself!
There’s more than just crafts. There’s also a home workout sheet with daily exercises – scan the QR code to access how to videos for these! There’s a free 15 minute session with a life coach. And they even included a brochure with a hotline for mental health assistance if you just need someone to talk to.
So far, the coloring sheets and pencils have been a favorite in my house. We’re still coloring. There were several fun pictures to color! I’ve been waiting for a non-rainy day to do the resin kit outside – and in the spring dry days are few and far between around here but I can’t wait to make my coasters! Scan the QR code for project instructions, they’re super easy to follow!
And I’m saving the puzzle for a post end of school year treat for myself. We’re in the middle of recitals and presentations and tests so there’s no puzzling time this week, but I’m looking forward to working it when summer gets here.
There’s so much fun stuff in this box and plenty to share so Mom can choose to do a fun activity with you or choose to do it on her own.
With 2 grams of sugar and 90 calories I was worried that they wouldn’t taste very candy like. I was pleasantly surprised. I actually love the Astro Blasters (yellow bag), they’re sour, sweet, and chewy. And with less sugar than in my usual gummy snacks I feel a little better about eating them.
Pink Panda is cute, fun, and tasty. A terrific Valentine gift for anyone.
These street map etched glasses are amazing! They sent me a mug and a pint glass to review with a map of one of my favorite cities. It’s so much fun to be able to look at the map and remember the fun things my Hubby and I experienced in this City all while drinking my morning coffee or enjoying an evening beverage.
I have a sister who collects coffee cups and this mug is the perfect Valentine gift for her! Honestly, these maps are so cool! You can give these to any Valentine.
I enjoy a good mystery, and Escape Mail is super fun! The map and clues are so cool! And it took me a good amount of time to solve my envelope. It makes for a fun and unique Valentine gift for that person who is just so hard to find something unique for. And for anyone who loves a little mystery!
This is a great gift to just randomly mail directly to a friend and just let them have fun figuring it out!
I received these products free for purposes of my review. All opinions are my own.
I LOVE reviewing products for moms, because that means I discover some cool stuff for myself while I’m at it. Here’s 3 items for that mom or female friend on your gift list that is just impossible to shop for! They’re all unique, fun, and probably something that she doesn’t have yet!
Moxie Malas is Crystal Healing and Aromatherapy jewelry. Each piece is hand crafted in the United States using semi-precious gemstones and crystals.
Moxie Malas sent me this beautiful “I Just Can’t Even” bracelet to review.It’s a 7 inch bracelet on a stretchy band. It seems appropriate considering how difficult it is to keep my cool with the mixture of work stress, educating my children, and unusual holidays this year.
This bracelet has amethyst, aquamarine, moonstone, rose quartz, prehnite, and howlite for a mixture of courage and calming semi-precious gemstones and crystals.
The porous purple stones on this bracelet are lava stones. And, aside from being the perfect addition to this bracelet, they can be used for essential oils if I want to add a little scent to my bracelet.
A lot of Moxie Malas jewelry items have these porous lava stones for adding your favorite aromatherapy to your crystals bracelet.
They even have a monthly bracelet club if you want something new every month but are just overwhelmed by all the great options like I am, and can’t make up your mind!
I love playing with my hair, but I hate owning 50 different curling wands (well, I don’t think I actually own 50 – but I definitely own at least 10). All those power cords, sizes, etc.
So, I was excited to receive this 5 in 1 Curling Wand to Review. Basically, I have 5 curling wands, and only 1 power cord. That’s just awesome! This set comes with a rest for setting my hot curling wand on and two hair clips for helping me keep my hair where I want it while I’m curling.
This wand heats up super fast. Yay! That’s really important to me because with 4 kids, when I sit down to work on my hair, I don’t have 10 minutes to wait on my curling wand to heat up. Full disclosure here – with the exception of a couple wands that I’ve purchased for my daughters, I’m still using my curling irons from the 90s and those things take almost a decade to heat up. I think I was way overdue for an upgrade.
The different sizes are super easy to swap out, and there’s a lock switch so you can’t accidentally twist your wand off the base while you’re curling – because that would be a problem. Just make sure that your wand is completely cool before swapping ends. – which is the only down side of a 5 in 1. You can’t use multiple sizes at the same time.
My favorite is the second from the left (in the picture) that has the smaller base and larger end. I start at the scalp and wind my hair around so the end of my hair is at the end of the wand. I have long hair and it’s always frustrating when my ends curl but the top doesn’t, so being able to curl tighter where it’s more difficult and looser where it holds better makes my curls come out so much more even.
These gifts are amazing for that white elephant gift exchange, or for the impossible to purchase for person on your gift list.
I’m actually re-gifting these because I have a couple people on my gift list that just need a gag gift.
These call of nature mugs are funnier the longer you look at them, and the gift cards are perfect for that person who is always telling you how much they love gift cards – or the person who insists on giving everyone gift cards every year. No matter which side of the gift card fence you fall all, these are awesome!
You can actually go to the web address on the gift card (Prank-o owns those domains) and it will give you all the details about how you’ve been pranked.
Prank-o also has prank gift boxes, prank greeting cards, prank flyers, and more. All perfect for bring out the laughs however you choose to exchange gifts this holiday season.
I know we’re all staying home for the holidays, but I still want my surfaces clean for all the fun family activities we’re doing. So, before we get started, these hard surface wipes from Elyptol are perfect for wiping down the table or counter.
With natural ingredients and a Eucalyptus clean scent, these wipes are perfect for any solid household surfaces.
Elyptol has hand sanitizer, sprays, wipes, and liquid soap. Even if I wasn’t being extra cautious about germs this year, my 3yr old son is still struggling to accurately hit the inside of the toilet, so, I’m doing a LOT of bathroom cleaning. It’s nice to do it with a product that doesn’t dry out my skin and that leaves my bathroom smelling amazing!
Use code: germ free for a 20% discount when you order.
Now that we have a clean work surface, the first thing my kids wanted to try out was this Adventure Challenge book.
There’s a plethora of fun family activities, you scratch off one, and have to accomplish it before you can pick another one. We just finished the one where you create a sculpture out of something from your fridge. It was so much fun!
There’s tape strips by each challenge for sticking on a photo of your adventures. When we’re all done it’s going to be an awesome book full of fun memories!
It’s hard to beat having fun AND being able to look back easily and remember it.
I’m loving the randomness of the activities, this makes them so fun and unique. And I love that I have a fun activity literally at my fingertips for those days when we just can’t think of anything to do.
So this game arrived all wrapped up, with this cool note. I liked the game before I even played it! Obviously, the creators of this game are super creative, which is everything I could hope for in a get to know you trivia game!
This game works as a couples game, a group party game, and even as a family game. It’s funny how my questions my husband and I did’t know the answers to for each other!
The kids thought it was so fun to learn random information about everyone, and there really are so hilarious questions/answers that happened while we were playing.
This is another game that is perfect for family or friend zoom calls as well as family game night.
With all these awesome activities, my kids are well entertained this holiday season, while still learning about each other, and staying safe!
*I received free samples of these items for purposes of my review*
Tweens start getting more complicated to shop for. They want fewer toys and more personal care items. My tween loves games, beauty products, and baking! So, I’ve rounded up a few items that I know she’ll love.
My daughter loves to bake! And this cookbooks is perfect for her. From making your own sprinkles, to sweet and sour dip, to ketchup, to butter, to milkshakes, to really anything you can imagine. The instructions are easy to follow. There’s lots of pictures. And everything in here is simple enough that my daughter can do it on her own – though sometimes I just can’t resist joining her.
This is the perfect gift for that kid who just loves to experiment in the kitchen!
I feel like the 80’s are back! Well, the part I loved about the 80’s is. Scrunchies!!! And, they’re better than ever, they smell like cotton candy, cupcakes, and bubble gum. Honestly, my girls are obsessed with scrunchies. And I can’t blame them, they’re so easy and comfortable for fixing long hair, and what’s not to like about smelling like cotton candy while you’re at it.
Out of this set, the bubblegum hair bands are the favorite. We’ve been using those over and over and they smell like bubblegum every single time. It’s so much fun! Plus the little tag on them is just so cute, and honestly makes it just a little bit easier to grab onto the rubberband without grabbing my child’s hair.
And, if you really want to be all fun and 2020, they have face masks, with velcro loops that you attach the scented bands to. So you can wear a cute face mask AND sport your favorite scent at the same time. How cool is that?
My daughter has requested one of everything for Christmas!
I remember this being a thing when I was a kid. So I was super excited to check out this toy for my daughter.
It’s way more fun than I expected! This re-release of a classic toy is so well done! It’s quite sturdy and works way better than I was anticipating! All of my kids are having fun with it.
They built some ramps out of cardboard boxes and set up their own stunts in the driveway. They’re so cool! The toy is super easy to wind and use, and it balances well. We’re still working on mastering the wheelie – sometimes we can get it and sometimes we can’t. But, we’re close to figuring it out.
This toy has provided hours of fun and creative play and everyone is super excited every time we pull it out. We can’t wait to figure out what stunt Evel Knievel can do next!
I know it’s a different back to school than we’re all used to. So, this year I’ve been focusing on how I can make it fun for the kids and inspire their interests! I’ve got a few essentials on my list, but mostly, it’s important for them to engage and find something that they’re excited about or interested in doing every day.
First up, let’s talk about these cute masks from SwaddleDesigns. Typically, SwaddleDesigns makes swaddlers, blankets, and bedding for babies. These things are super cute and look so soft, but my littlest isn’t a baby any more. I was super excited to try out their masks! They sent 3 masks. 1 Adult and 2 Child masks.
The matching rose masks are both cotton masks. They are 100% cotton, 180 thread count, 3 layer cloth masks. There’s a pocket for a filter, the ear elastic is nice and soft, and even though this mask is 3 layers it’s still quite lightweight. My favorite part is the chin gusset. It’s a little tab shaped to go around your chin, this keeps the mask from riding up into my eyes and it keeps the bottom part of the mask from being super tight under my chin (like the straight rectangle masks seem to do). This is pretty much the only cotton mask that I’m comfortable in.
The child cotton mask is designed for kids 2 to preteen. It fits my 12 yr old daughter really well. So, if you’re concerned about sizing, it does actually fit a preteen. Depending on the actual cut, sometimes she needs the adult size and sometimes she needs the kid sizes, with these swaddle design masks, the kid size is perfect.
The polkadot mask is a 2 layer cotton mask of premium flannel. Because flannel is a little thicker the 2 layers work great. There’s no pocket in this one. The ear elastic is the same as the cotton masks so super soft and comfortable. Flannel is just a little bit warmer than the 180 count cotton so it’s super cute and fits great, and I can see her using it a lot more in about a month when the weather gets a little cooler. Right now, it’s just really hot on her face. They do have some super cute designs available in the flannel.
Between the 2, the 3 layer cotton is my favorite, but they’re both soft and comfortable, and cute.
Since I started with practical items, I’ll save the fun stuff for later. With all this everyone at home I’ve been teaching the girls how to do their laundry. And some new detergent doesn’t hurt! I do prefer the Biz Stain & Odor Eliminator Liquid to the powder. Mainly because with a HE washing machine, the liquid is just easier to use. My kids are a bit sensitive to detergents but they don’t have any trouble with Biz. Plus, with it’s odor eliminator it really helps reduce that odd smell that front load washers can tend to get.
I’m loving the OxiClean on the Go sticks. I keep one in my purse and they’re super handy with the reduced access to restrooms and such these days. Instead of having to wash something out of the kids clothes, I can just use my stain stick to go and take care of it.
And, I don’t know about you, but I very much dislike going to the drycleaner. So, unless it’s stained and I really have to have a professional, these Dryel at Home Dry Cleaner are awesome! It makes keeping up with my dry clean only clothing so much easier!
My last practical item here. This InnoGear Diffuser. With 4 timer settings and a color changing LED, my girls have been using it as a nightlight/room refresher at night. They also sent a set of 6 OnePure essential oils to go with the diffuser. I appreciate that these oils aren’t’ super strong. The girls are enjoying their nightlight and picking their evening scent.
I will say, Peppermint is my favorite scent for their room. It just smells so refreshing and almost clean. And my girls need all the help they can get with a clean room!
This diffuser is super easy to use, shuts off automatically if the water runs out, and with 3 diffusing settings you can pretty easily control how strong or mild your scent is just by turning it up or down. Plus, I’ve always loved the color changing night lights! I find the right scents super soothing, and this collection of scents is awesome!
My kids were so excited about this “A Family Guide to Terrariums for Kids“. I have the brownest thumb ever but my daughter wants to grow everything and I don’t know where to begin. This book has easy to follow instructions and suggestions for where to find the items to build your selected terrarium.
There are lots of awesome looking terrarium ideas to pick from, and lots of helpful hints including things like how to pick the right container, the best plants, and how to care for your terrarium. There’s a section on the different types of growing mixes and care instructions for individual plants.
This is a terrific project for homeschooling or just encouraging your kids to explore some different plants.
We’ve been using this “Kitchen Explorers” cookbook from America’s Test Kitchen for the baking segment of our homeschool this year. With all this extra time at home, and my kids already love cooking, we’ve been branching out and trying new recipes. The recipes in this book are tasty and easy enough for the kids to make.
I love how we can get some science, math, and tasty treats all at the same time! If you get this book, you definitely need to make the cake in a cup. It’s amazing!
My kids were super excited when their CrunchCup arrived! With no group snacks at events this year, we’re getting plenty of use out of these cups! You put the milk in the outside, the cereal in the inside, and then when you tip the cup they both come out at the same time, so you can have your cereal and milk (or snack and beverage) at the same time without needing a spoon!
The first thing I was worried about was leaking, but there’s a little seal between the color and the clear plastics that seals well. So far, we haven’t had any leaking. It did take everyone a few tries to get the hang of how far to tip the cup. None of us had any experience trying to drink a beverage and a snack at the same time so it does take a little practice to get milk and cereal without getting too much at once. Once they got the hang of it though, they now want cereal on the go all the time!
With the different color lids we always know who’s cup is who’s. Check out their youtub video for a demonstration!
And last but not least. Hasty Baker card game. We love baking so much, we’re even playing a card game about it! Actually, this game is pretty simple to play and it has some bonus/powerup cards that keep the game interesting and different every time we play. I can see why it won the 2020 Tillywig Best Family Fun Award. It’s simple enough for my 7yr old to play and fun enough that I even enjoy playing with the kids. A fun game that the entire family can enjoy.
I have a love hate relationship with styling services. I try, but there’s one critical time of year that none of them can figure out. I have yet to find a styling service that can nail clothing for the summer in the south. I think they all live somewhere where it never gets up to 90 degrees and they have no idea (despite my efforts on many styling sites to explain this baffling phenomena) of the importance of sending outfits that do not require any sort of jacket ever.
So, while I am sharing my favorite styling services, I actually do not recommend any of these if you require clothing for 90 to 100 degree summers. Despite repeated attempts to explain that even at 2 am a jacket of any kind might kill me, they all insist on sending me jackets for “those chilly nights”. I’m not sure what’s chilly about a low of 89 at night.
Summer is my favorite season, and I absolutely love the heat and I love not needing a jacket. None of these services get that.
If you’re looking for the perfect holiday outfit, or something to wear to the office, these styling services are all terrific. So, that’s what I use them for.
This is the first clothing subscription box that I tried and sometimes I love it and sometimes I hate it. I used to love my fixes, and then they changed stylists on me and she just didn’t get me. I haven’t ordered anything for a couple of months and I’m focusing on updating my style profile – if you go in every day you can like or dislike different clothing pieces to help your stylist out.
I’ll also request a new stylist next time and hope things go better. I’ve had good success in the past and when I look on their site, they have cute clothing. They’re just not sending any of it.
They do carry a few things in talls, which is nice, because I’m tall and even though things like crop tops are super cute, they just don’t work for my height, so it’s nice to have a company that can send me things just a little bit longer.
I find that most of their styles are fairly practical and have gotten many of my basic pieces from them. I keep encouraging my stylists to send me something crazy, but so far, no one has.
With 4 kids, I’ve tried out quite a few kid subscription boxes. So far, KidBox is the only on I’ve found that consistently sends me high quality clothing that fit my kids and that my kids want to wear. I liked to get the seasonal boxes for my kids because it helps me keep up with having clothing for them in their correct sizes as new seasons arise (lets just say that my son was not excited about none of his pants fitting at the beginning of winter last year – and we would all like to avoid that incident again).
At $100 for a minimum of 3 outfits (or 8 pieces) with seasonal add ons (like socks, jackets, swimwear, etc.) it’s a great price for the convenience of having high quality clothing shipped to my door without having to spend hours shopping online. If I don’t need a box for any or all kids for a specific season, I just skip.
Currently, this is my favorite clothing subscription box. First off, they send you a LOT of clothing! Enough that you know they probably don’t ever intend for you to keep it all, but they definitely want you to find something that you like.
This clothing is used, but still in great condition, and so much cheaper than other clothing subscription options. I like to shop their site as well, so I’ll add things to my favorites, and often, when I’m just not sure I want to commit to something without trying it on, I’ll request a favorites box. This is where they send you a box filled with clothing that I’ve favorited. I’ve had some things really not fit and some things that were amazing using this method and it’s such an easy way to try on and only pay for what I want.
You can also request seasonal, themed, or just a box of whatever you’re looking for. It’s fun to try thing and I always find a few things that I love.