My family is doing a food challenge. Sometimes I love it. Sometimes I hate it. I really, really like my sugar. A lot. And I've learned that my body uses is a bit differently than most people do. I know that I need to make some permanent changes in my life so it can be ling and healthy, but sometimes the sheer amount of preparation it takes to eat better is so overwhelming. One thing that is making it easier is my new toy!! I shouldn't say toy because it's WAY too sharp to be a toy.
Check out my new mandolin!
I even made a video using this! I did not get this for free, but did get it at a discount.
I wanted my first post of the new year to be the amazing bedrooms the kids got for Christmas, but, it's not. Because they are not done. Because mommy forgot to incorporate the cost of hardware and time to hang everything up. I feel like my whole house is in shambles at the moment. Anywho- I am back to reviewing.
Today's review is for this book called Lightning Fast French.I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review. Juliana made a video explaining how it's different than other programs she's used:
Here's a still shot of the cover:
You can click on the picture or HERE to purchase it from Amazon. It's fun to see Juliana excited again. I was worried that our French days were done. I know they have a few other languages as well.
For Juliana's birthday, she got these 3D pens. I thought she would use them a TON since she does lots of craft projects, but after the first couple of days, she didn't seem excited about it. Not sure why. Maybe I'll have to sit down and play with her so I can get a better feel, too. Maybe it was because she only followed the instructions and didn't realize how much she could do on her own. I hope she'll give it another try, because this girl can do amazing things!! #ido3d
So now that themes have been established, work has started! Thrift stores have been visited! Art projects have begun!
Here's what I've purchased so far-
Girls Room- Dolphin Pillow Pet, Candelabra (for the fork, knife, and spoon), metal whale decoration, tray to display seashells (and I traded some work for some GORGEOUS seashells)
Boys Room- Apothecary Display case, "Magic" journal, some Hogwarts House coat of arms I found at ComicCon, and the beginnings of the owl cage.
Projects that have been started and/or finished-
Girls Room- Temple Mermaid Painting
And, in progress, the giant mermaid. This started as the idea to do the stained glass mermaid from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, but those colors were BORING! So now..... here is where we stand
I'm currently using these Art Chest round paintbrushes that I'm reviewing. I got them at a discount in exchange for my honest review. They are absolutely fabulous!!! I love how close and detailed I can get the edges! It is still supposed to look "stained glass-y". #theartchestbrushes
Boys room- Ok, I'll be honest, I have not entirely sure I've started anything for the boys room aside from Xander's afghan. I'm not using a pattern at all, so I really can't show you much. I have LOTS of ideas, but haven't started in them. Terrible, I know!
Can I just tell you how much I love the company "Think Fun?!" I've been trying to incorporate logic games and thinking games into my kids' school day for a while, but they can only play so many Sudoku games, you know?
I have previously reviewed games from this company. Both Balance Beans and Clue Master were immediate favorites of my kids!
I applied to review the game Shape Logic, but the company accidentally sent me Brick Master. They were SO professional about the mixup and even agreed to let me keep the extra game. Tonight I'll be reviewing Shape Logic. Brick Master will be in a video sometime in the future. (I did receive these for free in exchange for my honest review)
In this game, you have to make the shape it tells you to by stacking and turning other shapes. I know that doesn't make a ton of sense, so here is a video of my kids explaining it.
My dad, who loves logic puzzles said that at the very beginning, he wasn't too impressed because the puzzles were easy. He was pleasantly surprised, however, when they quickly got MUCH harder and made even HIM think!
My kids don't love this one as much as they love Balance Beans, but it's a great way to get them to think and be quiet during the day.
I'm sick of having a house that is a big giant dump because I can't afford to buy stuff to make it look cute or organize it and the wall unit I've wanted built in for the last 10 years is barely closer at all. So I found this review...... (I got this for free in exchange for my honest review).
These are for Toys and Storage, but that's not necessarily the coolest thing. The coolest thing is that outside, it looks like fancy jute. Inside, though, is plastic lined!!! WHY is this cool? Well, how many times has your kid spilled something in the toy box? Or a leaky sippy been thrown in and forgotten? Or crumbs and dust from laundry piled up at the bottom of a basket that yo could never get out?
This was the official review I gave it. In finding storage for baby toys and the like generally has two problems. You can get super cute baskets that look nice and hold your things, but what happens when cute kiddo decides to pour his juice over his toys? Yick! They are generally hard to clean. So you could go the opposite direction and stuff everything in totes. But then you either look like an uber-organized neat freak or.... just very utilitarian. This is the perfect balance. These are lined with washable plastic on the inside, but look like they are fancy jute totes on the outside! They hold a whole mini library of baby books, or a baby, or the baby's toys.
This may sound stupid. But there are times in my life when I look around and go, "Hey, I guess I am really a grown up." I had one of those moments recently. Was it because I have 5 kids and my 12 year old goes off to Young Men's each week? No (well, not after the first few times). Is it because I have a mortgage payment and a car payment? No. Is it because there are home improvement projects that need my attention? No. Is it because I got REAL GROWN UP steak knives? Yes!!!! I had the opportunity to review these #slitzer knives for free in exchange for my honest review and they are SO COOL! They are like, twice the size of my cheap-o knives I got as a wedding gift and definitely sharper!! Aren't they pretty?
This year for Christmas, Santa is going to do something a little unusual. Instead of toys or Thanksgiving Point Passes, Santa will be redecorating the kids' rooms!! The boys will be moving to the large square room so they can have a triple bunk bed and the girls will be getting a daybed in the rectangle room.
I've picked themes for the rooms-
The boys will have a Harry Potter room. We were given 2 bedspreads that were lovely shades of brown. I need to decide if Vaughn should have a matching one or a coordinating one. I have an entire Pinboard dedicated to room decorating, but I'm totally excited about this review I am doing because it'll fit right into my plans. They are for Oak Leaf Copper lights. #oakleaf If it goes the way I want, I'll paint a Hogwarts mural on the wall and these lights will be the stars above. If the idea gets nixed, I'll be using these lights to make a cool lamp! I got the lights for free in exchange for my honest review, but I love them SO much. If I absolutely HAD to say something not perfect, it would be- why C batteries? But all in all, these are really lovely!! Get them here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B019DOYN9W
The girls will have a MERMAID room!!! I'm trying to put in it everything a little girl DREAMS of having in a bedroom. One of those things is a fishnet with lights and starfish in it. I haven't decided WHERE I want it, but I got my lights, also to review. These ones are by #ANNT and they are solar powered. The lights are colored and they have an option for blinking, which I will NEVER use, but hey, to each his own! Buy them here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B016NRS8HK
My kids go through cups like CRAZY!!! I don't like using glass because- hi, 5 kids. I feel like my house is being overrun by plastic. Interesting since there are suspicions and probably even some evidence to link plastic to behavioral issues.
In any case, I decided these Stainless Steel tumblers by #Maxam would be a cool thing to review, so I did! They are small, so perfect for my kids. They sound like steel. There were some concerns on the reviews on Amazon, but I don't know if they actually bother me or not.
In any case, here are the tumblers. I made a YouTube video where you can see them closer and hear them.
Please remember that I did receive these for free in exchange for my honest review. I wish I'd had more TIME to give you a fuller, more in depth review, but there were some shipping issues, lol.
Are you sick of me talking about our camping trip yet? Too bad!!! I told you that we are newbies to this whole thing- I'm so grateful for friends who have been helping us prepare. I'm also grateful for the product reviews I've been able to do that will help us on our trip. Of all the practical things we've gotten, this is totally the most fun!!!
Check out this lantern!!! It's by a company called Mitaki-Japan. Look at it, it's STEAMPUNK!!!! #mitakijapan
It's got 12 LED bulbs in it, copper plating, a dimmer knob, a hanging loop, and a carrying handle. The batteries I put in it were cast-offs that didn't have enough strength to handle my camera flash, but they have been working really well for this lantern. We didn't put this with the camping stuff because it's just too cool! I've used it several times when checking on kids in the middle of the night or getting medicine for sick kids. Once we finally have my downstairs finished and the shelving built, it'll fit in perfectly with my steampunk decor!!