Friday, June 5, 2015

Need Ideas for Kid Fun this Summer?

magazine cover

If you are in need of ideas for fun things to do with your kids over the summer and throughout the year, Family Fun magazine is always a great resource. You can get a free, no-strings attached, subscription for it right now by clicking HERE.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Celebrate National Donut Day with These Printables

Who doesn't love donuts? My personal favorite, outside the ones I make, are the chocolate covered, cream filled (not custard, ick!) donuts. Yummy!

I found these cute donut box printables over at In the Playroom and fell in love with them. With National Donut Day this Friday, isn't this a sweet way to give someone a treat? Trust me, they will love you forever!

Monday, June 1, 2015

A Surprise Visitor #birds #birdwatching

Bird watching has long been a pastime of mine. Their songs always let me know spring is here, even though it may not feel like it. It is also fun to watch how the birds interact at the feeders and with each other. I have seen birds courting each other with elaborate dances. I have learned that some birds are nest robbers and bad parents--dropping their eggs and flying off into the sunset. One thing that thrills any bird watcher is spying a new bird, especially in their backyard.

Over the past couple weeks I have spied an Indigo Bunting in my past yard, and today, managed to get a decent photo. Although this is not my first sighting of this bird, seeing one in my backyard is quite unusual, and needless to say, I am thrilled to have this beautiful bird visit and hope he stays all summer.

Indigo Bunting

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

One Thing You Can Do to Make Parenting Easier

Parenting is difficult. There really isn't an instruction manual. We aren't required to get a license. We don't always know what to do. My advice when it comes to parenting is to read and learn all you can from others. Then decide what approach is best for you and be flexible. One great resource for parents is Parents magazine. Right now, you can get a free subscription--NO STRINGS ATTACHED--compliments of  Click HERE to get your subscription.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Gym Bag Necessities

Disclosure: I received sample products so that I could share my unbiased opinions. Links contained in this post may be affiliate links.

Spring is flying by and before you know it, summer will be here. I know for many women, they are hitting the gym hard to get their workouts in before bathing suit season. I have reviewed must have necessities for your gym bag.

The first, and my favorite, is Burt's Bees Brightening Daily Facial Cleanser with Daisy Extract. I am a huge fan of Burt's Bees skin care products, and there are no exceptions with this one. I admit, I am lazy when it comes to removing make up. I hate having multi-steps to clean my face. By the end of the day, I want to wash it and go to bed, so using a makeup remover before washing is out of the question. This product allows me to skip that step and just wash. It easily removes makeup along with dirt and oil. It is soft and silky to use and my face feels great afterwards. It claims to even skin tone (when used as part of a regimen with other Burt's Bees products) and create a brighter, more luminous complexion.

Scunci Everyday and Active Reversible Stretch Headwrap is cute and functional. And not only can it be worn to the gym, but for every day. It's unique design includes a back braid. I also love that it is reversible, making it two headbands in one. This headband also did not slip on my hair like so many do. Completely adorable!

 KMS California HairPlay Makeover Spray is a must-have! Don't have time to wash your hair? Use the HairPlay Makeover Spray to dry clean for a quick fix. My hair felt fresh and clean. Or did you just wash and hair is to silky to hold your style? Use the spray all over to increase texture and bulk. Kms California Hair Play Makeover Spray is great for all hair types, especially fine or limp hair. I can't live without dry shampoo (especially when camping).

Rimmel Wonderful Wonderlash Waterproof Mascara is a must-have for the summer months.  Love the fine brush on the wand--it really separates your lashes for a nice, thickening coverage.  Formulated with Argan Oil, this waterproof mascara is clump free. I do still prefer my department store mascara a bit better, however, it is not waterproof. Retails for $5-$10.

NYC Smooth Skin BB Cream Instant Matte refines your skin instantly. This long-wearing creme has a matte finish. I like BB cremes over traditional foundations because they generally feel much lighter on your skin. the NYC BB creme has great coverage and reduces shine. It feels a bit heavier than my current BB creme, but does a nice job. Retails on Amazon for $17.46 for a 3 pack!

You definitely want a spot for Ban Total Refresh Cooling Body Cloths in your gym bag. There are days that I need to make a quick stop at the grocery before I go home and shower. The Ban cloths are perfect to freshen up with. I also love to carry these when I am out an about, say at a festival or other outdoor activity when it is hot and sweaty out. A quick wipe with a cloth and you feel cool and refreshed. They are even safe to use on your face.

You know what is in my gym bag. Now, what is in yours?

Disclosure: I received sample products so that I could share my unbiased opinions. Links contained in this post may be affiliate links.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Amazing Hike at the Arc of Appalachia, Ohio #hiking #ohio

We recently made a camping trip to Paint Creek State Park in Ohio.  This is a beautiful area with rolling farm lands with the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains as the backdrop.  We spent one morning hiking in the Arc of Appalachia area, a preserve system.  We hiked at the Highlands Nature Sanctuary. There is a small museum there, which is really more of an information center.  Hiking around the center is free, but the area does have trails that require a $35 membership decal.  We just hiked the free trails this trip, which were fairly easy, but did have some steps that wind into the Rocky Fork Gorge.

We saw small caves on our hike, a small waterfall, many wild flowers, numerous species of birds, geese, fish and a water snake.  Here are some photos of our hike and we definitely plan to go back and do more hiking in the area.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

You Can't Sit with Us--Mean Girl Makeover #bullying #Book

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  Links in this post may  contain affiliate links.

Mean girls.  Unfortunately, they are out there.  We may think our daughters are okay because they don't say anything, but many times, children won't say anything for a multitude of reasons.  They may think telling will make it worse for them.  They may feel that nothing can be done.  Or they may simply be embarrassed to tell what is going on.

Unfortunately, mean girls don't very often change.  And even if they do, there might be another girl down the line.  Even as an adult, I have had to deal with mean "girls" (who are now grown women).  So it is vital that girls learn how to best deal with mean girls.

The book You Can't Sit with Us--Mean Girl Makeover by Nancy Rue is a young adult fictional book that follows the story of Ginger Hollingberry as a new student in the 6th grade.  Kylie has it in for Ginger and even though there is a strict new anti-bullying code, Kylie manages to sneak under the radar and the bullying continues, in part via social media.  Ginger is alienated from her friends and fears telling others what is going on because of threats from Kylie.  It takes a serious situation for Ginger to finally let her father know what is happening.  With the support of her friends, father and mentor, Ginger learns ways to cope with bullying and to feel more confident about herself.

This book, although fictional, covers the topic of bullying in a very accurate light.  From fears victims may have from telling to sly ways bullies operate, the readers gain a better understanding of the topic.  Most importantly, readers are presented with ways to not only cope with bullying, but ways to feel better about themselves.  The book does bring in Christian elements, but is not so heavy that it would be a turn off to the reader.  As this follows a 6th grade girl, I think the book is most appropriate for 5th-8th grade students.  I would also suggest parents read this book.  Reading the book together could be a springboard into conversations about real life situations.

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  Links in this post may  contain affiliate links.

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