Autumn Is In the Air With #FebrezeFall

This is a sponsored post written on behalf of SheSpeaks and Febreze.
All opinions expressed are 100% honest and my own.

Fall isn’t officially here for another week, but I’ve already started decorating our home for the autumn season. I put up a harvest wreath on the door, dotted the house with decorative pumpkins and even draped our fireplace mantle with a leaf garland. This weekend I’ll make a run to a local farm and get some mums, a hay bale and scarecrows to stick in the yard.

I was going to add some fall scented candles when this little gem arrived!

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Nothing sets a mood or tone faster for me like scents and fall has so many delicious ones — pumpkin, vanilla, fruits and toasted nuts. Febreze has literally bottled (canned???) those scents to create their Home Harvest Collection.

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Kid Lit: Animal Adventures

It doesn’t matter what type – dog, cat, fish, hermit crab (a recent addition to our home) , giraffe, elephant or dinosaur – my kidlets love to read stories about animals.  This month’s Kit Lit review features two stories about animals that take place in very different settings — one living in the urban jungle of the city and the other out in the country on a farm.

THM-KidLit-LittleElliot-BigCity-BookJacketLittle Elliot, Big City By Mike Curato (Macmillan)

Little Elliot is an adorable little polka-dotted elephant living in the wilds of New York City circa 1940.  Amid the hustle and bustle of life in the big city with big crowds and even bigger buildings, Little Elliot leads a happy and quiet, but solitary life.

In spite of the daily challenges he faces for being little, Elliot finds many wonderful things to enjoy—like cupcakes! And when his problems seem insurmountable, Elliot discovers something even sweeter, a new friend.

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In the Cross Hairs – SoCozy Children’s Haircare Product Review

Thank you to SoCozy for sending us these children’s haircare products for review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own, based on personal experiences with the product. #SoCozyBTS

It’s no secret that I can’t do hair. I’ve had the same bob-style haircut for over a decade because it is simple to do and I can’t mess it up. When it comes to my daughter’s “do” – it really is a hair-raising experience.

It’s taken a lot of time and a lot of pTHM-SoCozy-Daughters-Hairractice, but I have gotten better with my daughter’s hair. At least I can tame her locks enough that she doesn’t look like she’s got a rat’s nest on top of her head!

I’m also working on stepping up my very limited styling game, especially now that school has started again. All the rage in my daughter’s preschool class is to have braids like Anna and Elsa from Disney’s “Frozen” and she constantly begs me to do her hair that way. I always try my best, but my braids usually turn out lopsided with lots of wisps of hair that just don’t seem to make it into the braid while I’m plaiting.

But I’m not giving up!

I’ve quickly learned that a key element to styling my daughter’s hair – and for that matter my son’s – is that it all starts in the bath, with their haircare products.

We just started using SoCozy products and I have to say, I’m impressed. SoCozy is a salon level quality of hair care products that don’t contain any “nasties,”– you know harmful chemicals, toxins and parabens. Their products are made using extracts and natural ingredients such as hops, rosemary, arnica flower and aloe. They’re also gluten, wheat and nut free – which is super important to many families with sensitive skin or food allergies.Continue reading ⇒

Go Grocery Shopping & Earn Points To Get FREE Stuff For Your School With #Labels4Edu {#cbias}

This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser.
All opinions are mine alone. #Labels4Edu

Did you know that just by doing your weekly grocery shopping, you can be helping out your local schools?  Though I’ve seen them for years, but I never paid much attention to those education labels on the packages of products I bought. That was until my own kidlets started school and I learned about Labels for Education and realized that I was literally throwing away valuable points that could benefit my local school and community!

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Labels for Education is a great program where you can help your school earn FREE educational merchandise such as computers, software, sports equipment, musical instruments, library books and many other supplies. You can find out if your school participates by going here.  America’s schools and organizations have earned more than $114 million in merchandise over the Labels for Education program’s 40 year history. Who knew?!

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It’s A Chore!

This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser.
All opinions are mine alone.

It’s one of the most dreaded words in our home.  It’s worse than “homework,” “bedtime,” “dentist,” or even “broccoli!” What word is it? It’s C-H-O-R-E-S.

THM-SparklySavings-Responsibility-Chart-Dishwasher Cleaner-Finish

It wasn’t always this way. When my kidlets were toddlers they were always very eager and happy to help mom or dad out.  Upon completion they would beam proudly and openly brag that they were “helpful.”  As they’ve gotten older though, that enthusiasm has morphed into sulky and whiny replies whenever they are asked to do something.

But teaching kids to do chores is important. Just like their father and I, each of my kidlets need to contribute in order to help run and keep up this household.  Yeah, sure, it’s great for mom and dad to have some extra hands helping out around the house, but it’s also a valuable learning lesson for kids.  Kids doing chores teaches them about responsibility, teamwork and helps to build their self-esteem.

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Making A New Disney Animated Classic – “Frozen” TV Special

My daughter is a “Frozen” fanatic!  She’s seen the movie too many times to keep count and sings along with the soundtrack at the top of her lungs.  Her room is covered in “Frozen” posters, she has all the dolls and is has an entire back to school wardrobe of t-shirts, underwear, socks and sweatshirts featuring the smiling faces of Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf.  She also has a new light up backpack to take to pre-k that makes me a little dizzy when I look at it!   Her latest acquisition?  “Frozen” bed sheets and blanket so she can dream all night of her favorite Disney film — so sorry, “Cinderella” you’ve officially been bumped to #2!

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As for me, I am amazed at the stunning beauty of “Frozen.”  It is like no other animation I’ve seen before.  I was blown away by the scene where Elsa built her Ice Palace, it felt and looked so real.  You could see the incredible details of the snowflakes in that scene, from the ones on Elsa’s cape to the floor of the palace she builds – to the columns, the staircase and even the chandelier.  Apparently it took more than 50 animators to create that scene alone!Continue reading ⇒

Kid Lit: Back To School Books #BTS

Whether your children are going to preschool for the first time, entering kindergarten or another elementary school grade, going back to school (BTS) can be both an exciting and daunting experience for children. Reading books about BTS can help ease children’s nerves and reassure them about starting school, going to a brand new school or even entering a new grade.

Here are few of our family favs:

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The Pout Pout Fish Goes To School (Macmillian)

Mr. Fish is nervously awaiting his first day of school, and he flub-flubs, blub-blubs and counts off his troubles of not knowing how to write his name, how to draw shapes and how to do math.Continue reading ⇒

Tick “Tech” Tock – Vtech Kidzoom® Smartwatch Review & Giveaway

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Are your kids like mine, tech-savvy?

At age seven and just a smidge under five, I believe my son and daughter’s brains were  pre-wired in the womb to figure out today’s technology.

More and more they are the ones who teach this mom how to use my smartphone and other devices. They’re also my greatest resource in finding out about the newest apps and games to download!Continue reading ⇒

What I Learned This Summer….

End-Of-SummerIn just a few short days Labor Day will upon us and bring with it the (sad) unofficial end to summer.  In exactly one week from today the pressures of back-to-school, including new teachers, new friends and homework along with hectic schedules of kids’ activities will once again begin in our household.

 

The kidlets are enjoying their last few days of summer by jamming in as much carefree fun time as possible – hanging with friends, playing sports, swimming and sleeping in!

I’m also getting ready by taking a few deep breaths to help find my “happy place” before the insanity of the school year begins. Part of that is taking a look back at all the fun and adventures we had as a family this summer.

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Kid Lit: Comic Books For Kids

Recently my kidlets discovered the wonderful world of comic books. I think comic books are a great way for children to get interested and excited about reading as well as helping to develop and stimulate their imaginations. The illustrations, the exaggerated characters and the way panels are arranged in comic books help to pique a child’s interest.

THM-comic-book-kidsHowever, I quickly learned how important it is to be sure that my kidlets are reading age appropriate material. See if you, or your child, base reading choices  solely on the comic book cover art, you can easily be deceived and accidentally expose your children to themes they may not be ready for.

See comic books have a reputation for being “for kids,” but quite the opposite is true. Walk into a comic book store – yes they actually do still exist – and who do you see hanging out in the aisles and checking out the latest releases? It’s not kids, but rather adults.

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