Sunday, November 20, 2016

3D Pens Review

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

Here's a link to her review video:

Purchase the 3D pens HERE or HERE.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Christmas Plans pt 2

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
Mini Paintings

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!

Ok, so that's all for now!!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Logic Games!!

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)

First up- Shape Logic! You can purchase this on Amazon.

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.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Gettin' My Storage On

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?

You should totally order your own #ziggybaby

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.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Adulting for the win!!!

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?

And here is a video I made about them: 

Monday, September 5, 2016

Christmas Plans- So it begins

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:

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: 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Stainless Steel

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.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Steampunk Camping

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!!

Want to purchase one yourself? Get it HERE!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

When Reviews and Homeschool COLLIDE!

You guys!! I just reviewed the COOLEST educational game!! My kids love it, even though it's math!! It's called Balance Beans.  Here's a video of the kids playing it.

Want to see how we play and how I plan on using it my homeschool? CHECK OUT MY HOMESCHOOL BLOG.

I received this for free in exchange for my honest review, but I honestly think you should go buy this. You can get it by clicking HERE. #ThinkFun

Really, though, go read my homeschool blog. Go..... go.....

Friday, July 29, 2016

Better than Expected!!

The reason I chose to review these makeup brushes was because I love makeup. I received them in the mail, got excited about them, and then had to Mom and Adult for days. I realized today that I still hadn't reviewed them, so I pulled them out again and realized..... I didn't know what half of these brushes are for. I've never really used makeup on my whole face or anything, so this was new to me. So, I called my friend, Hilary, who is an AMAZING  makeup artists!! What was supposed to be a simple review turned into a full on tutorial.

Here is our video for  Beauty Lally and the link to purchase it. We were pretty darn impressed! Please remember that I got these for free in exchange for my honest review. I figure there is nothing more honest than watching a product being used!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Help me!!! I need some input!

It's time to get GEEKY, my friends!! 

I received a SunShade for my car from #AlphaShades to review. (I think I got it for free, but it would have been totally worth it if I had to pay for it!). It works fantastically for keeping my car cooler than a million degrees in the summer. My steering wheel doesn't try to ignite my hands on fire anymore, so that is pretty stellar! The shade fits very well in the Yukon and stays up really well (unless you have the windows open, in which case, all bets are off. It comes with a little baggie thing you can fold it up into, but I'm not quite smart enough to figure it out. 
That doesn't really bother me, though, because I don't know how well acrylic paint would hold up and THIS IS WHERE YOU COME IN!!!

Here is a shot of my SunShade in action:

Totally exciting, right? Yeah, it's a little..... silver..... for my taste, but that will soon change. I mean, the thing works like a boss, so I'll DEFINITELY keep using it, but it needs some GEEKING!!!

I had a few thoughts- one- I had drawn out a "COEXIST" in all geeky symbols, originally intending for that to be a sticker at the back of my car, but it was way too complicated and needed a lot more color than I could get with car sticker vinyl. It would be HUGE here, though, so I'm really thinking it would be a good fit.

Another option is if I do a pattern, say, a paisley pattern and in the big part of the paislies, put little geeky symbols- the Deathly Hallows, a Vader Mask, a Starfleet insignia, Mr. Pointy, etc......

Or do I just straight up GEEK IT and just put random geeky symbols and words all over it?

Please, please, leave a comment and give me your opinion!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Sleepy Sounds and Measuring Spoons

Hey folks! I've got a couple reviews for you today. I should note that I do not get paid to review these, nor do I get paid for the affiliate links, but I am kind of thinking I should sign up for that program.... Please leave comments if you have anything to say about that.

I got BOTH products today for free in exchange for my honest review.

First one is this Lullaby Sleep Sounds CD. It is a CD of beautiful music mixed with nature sounds. We tried this last night for me. There had been a fire in our small town and I had been up super late trying to see if there was anything I could do to help. My stress level was high, body exhaustion was through the roof, and (I think due to my meds) my body has been feeling very tense lately. I put this on just as Abraham came into our bed. We didn't even finish one song before we were out cold.
I am excited to take this with us on our trip. One thing I was really nervous about was rambunctious kids in a public camp. We'll probably put this on in the evenings when it's time to calm down and go to bed. I'm actually listening to it right now as I type and my grumpy boys (8 and 12) have both calmed down immensely since putting it on. This is definitely a treasure. GO BUY IT HERE. #WeDreamBabySleepCD

Second up- there is a story to these. They are measuring spoons. Did I NEED measuring spoons? No. Then why did I want to review them? My mom has this really cute set, very similar to these. Everytime we are at her house, I comment on how cute they are. She always asks me, "Didn't you get a set for Christmas from us?" and I chuckle because we have had this conversation a few times. My parents are AMAZING and they do a lot to help me and my family out. Sometimes I think they are trying to make up for the fact that my kids only get to enjoy one set of grandparents. I hope that in some way, I am helping them, too.

I digress. Spoons. Measuring spoons. We bake a LOT here! We make most of our own bread. We make all of our buns and rolls and marshmallows and graham crackers and cakes and cookies and brownies and everything else all from scratch. We have been having weekly bake sales to earn money for our trip and so we go through a LOT of dishes. I have 4 sets of measuring spoons. One set I got at the Dollar Store. Will you be surprised to know that they are fading and falling apart? One set, hubby got me for my birthday last year. They are super cute and colorful and even have a 2 TBS measuring spot. I LOVE them, but the numbers are fading. This makes me so sad. So for Christmas last year, Roger got me this REALLY cool set- its' my favorite. The spoons are individual, but they are double sided, one round, one oblong. The words will not ever rub off. They are metal. AND! They are magnetic so they can stack. AND they have flat bottoms so they can sit on the counter. SO COOL!!
This set is that I am reviewing is super cute! And they are heavy, very durable. The words won't ever rub off, as they are etched in. I love these ones. Not quite as much as my magnetic stand alone ones, but a close second for sure. #lnkitchen BUY THEM HERE

Friday, July 15, 2016

Lauryn Janae Shot Glasses

I bought these for my son who has to take a powder medicine every day. He mixes it up with coconut milk so it's easy to digest. These have been so nice because then he's not getting too much and he can swallow it quickly. I like them because let's face it, they're pretty. :D I'm very happy with these and I hope to use them often for more exciting reasons than just medicine.

 I did receive these for free in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Keeva Body Wash and Conditioner Review

This review has been... interesting.... to say the least. As most of you know, my family is very aware of what goes into and on our bodies. So when I saw these two products, I was CRAZY excited!!! Reading the description, you are under the impression that these are going to be SO good for you and totally natural. However, reading the reviews and the ingredients are a little bit disconcerting. What the company says doesn't exactly match what their label says.

Here's a photo of the product- (they are linked to the item on Amazon for purchasing) #keeva

I decided to dig a little deeper.
First, let's talk about the body wash.

When you see that bottle, you think WOOHOO!! I'm going to get a great dose of those three fabulous oils, right?
Here is a list of the ingredients:
Water, lauric acid, palmitic acid, potassium hydroxide, glycol distearate, lauryl,, alcohol, Cocoamidopropyl DEA, menthol, sodium chloride alcohol, vegetable oils, xanthan gum, citric acid, NMF50, essence, tocopherol acetate, salt
So, which of those ingredients mean Argan Oil, Tea Tree Oil, or Coconut Oil? Probably only in the "essence" which is super frustrating.

That aside, let's talk about how it works. My husband is greatly relieved that it doesn't smell like tea tree. It is a very gentle soap and we have been using it for the whole family. The smell is very pleasant and the foaming is fabulous. I don't know that I'd pay full price for it just because the differentiation between Claim and Ingredient. 

Alright, now the conditioner.
I feel like this is a game of Good/Better/Best
Before this, I was using Herbal Essence.
Ingredients for Herbal Essence: 
Water/Eau, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycol Distearate, Fragrance/Parfum, Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Extract, Sambucus Nigra Flower Extract, Sodium Citrate, Cocamide Mea, Sodium Xylenesulfonate, Dimethicone, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Polyquaternium-76, Sodium Chloride, Tetrasodium Edta, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Red 33, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Blue 1
Right off the top of the bat, the colors really bother me. As does the Fragrance, esp since it's so high up on the list.

Then I reviewed a shampoo

It was fabulous and here are the ingredients:
Distilled water, Argan (Moroccan) Oil, Avocado Oil, Jojoba Oil, Camellia Seed Oil, Botanical Keratin, and Almond Oil,Coconut oil, acyl sarcosine, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium lauroyl sarcosine, GRECAT BTMS-350
There is no doubt whatsoever that the main ingredient, Argan Oil, is IN the product. It's ingredient #2 and clearly labeled. I SO love and appreciate this!!!
Now back to the product we're reviewing today.
Water, cetearyl alcohol, glycerin, isohexadecane, Isododecane, stearamidopropyl, dimethylamine, fragrance, dicetyldimonium chloride, panthenol, argania spinosa, Kernel oil, hydrolyzed keratin, cyclopentasiloxane, dimethicone, Quaternium-91, cetrimonium, methosulfate, benzophenone-4, NMF50, citric acid, diazolidinyl urea, lodopropynyl
Nowhere are the words "coconut oil," "argan oil," or "tea tree oil." Legally, I'm sure they are present somewhere in the "fragrance" or something, but this really bugs me. I feel like labels should be clear and honest. The Keeva conditioner IS by far, better than the Herbal Essence. It leaves my hair crazy smooth and very healthy feeling. It smells great and works well. But honesty means a lot to me.....

I won't say whether you should or shouldn't buy these products. They work well. They smell good. Those are great things.