Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Summer Sweeping Giveaway Hop

Summer is coming to a close, but it's still HOT, HOT, HOT outside.  Stay cool and keep Summer Sweeping with this Giveaway Hop, hosted by the Blogging Mamas Network!
Each blogger linking up has a Giveaway for you worth at least $25, so be sure to hop around to them all!
Summer is a great time to hang out in the cool evening weather and snack on great healthy treats!

I have 2 sponsors for this event
Check out this Yummy Giveaway!
Way Better Snacks
(Read My Review HERE)
6 Bags of Snacks ~Variety

Golden Island Jerky 
(Read my Review HERE)
6 Bags of Jerky in the following flavors
  • Kettle Cooked Hickory Black Pepper Beef Jerky
  • Kettle Cooked Chili Lime 
  • Kettle Cooked Mandarin Orange 
  • Flame Grilled Teriyaki
  • Flame Grilled Korean Barbecue
  • Flame Grilled Barbecue
Be sure to check out the Giveaway links for extra entries when commenting on my review post of these great snacks!

US only Ends Aug 15th

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According to Jenny, So Easy Being Green, the Blogging Mamas Network, and the Summer Fluffing participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.

Golden Island Jerky *Review

I would like to think our family is quite the connoisseur of jerky. We have been making our own beef and venison jerky for years and have dabbled here and there with the recipe. My family was super excited to be involved in reviewing Golden Island Jerky and it's unique flavors in both beef and pork.
The Golden Island Jerky is not like any we have made before. I am so used to jerky that you rip your teeth out on when you eat it; Golden Island Jerky is moist and flavorful, and no teeth pulling.
Taking the best cuts of meat, Golden Island Jerky Kettle cooks and Flame Grills the meat in small batches.
My daughter has had some dental work done and can not eat our homemade jerky anymore. No problem with the soft, easy to chew jerky we reviewed!

Another difference is that many of the flavors we tried were sweet rather than dry and salty. Even the Pepper flavor wasn't spicy really. I preferred the pork jerky to the beef, I think because it retained a little more of that hard consistency that I have gotten used to with jerky. The beef almost seemed to melt in my mouth, and though flavorful was just a bit too different for me.

Golden Island Jerky has all natural ingredients with no fillers. No preservatives like MSG, nitrates or nitrates.

Golden Island Jerky on Facebook
Twitter @GIJerky

Way Better Snacks- *Review

Have you ever really sat and looked at those snacks you are plunging into your mouth while you sit and watch TV at night? Have you checked out the ingredients to see what types of preservatives and chemicals you are putting into your body?

Way Better Snacks gives you a healthy alternative to those other snacks you have been choosing, and they taste great!

Seeds, grains and beans have outstanding nutritional value, but they are also hard for our bodies to digest in their seed like form. Germinating or Sprouting the seed before using it, helps our bodies to absorb the nutritional value in the seeds and grains rather than it just passing through.
Sprouted seeds can provide additional vitamins and minerals than unsprouted ones, making the Way Better Snacks definitely way better!

So if  I am going to eat healthier, then I would like the food to taste good right? Not a problem with Way Better Snacks!. My entire family enjoyed them, and not a single one of them is a health nut. They are great snack chips to use with salsa and dips, and taste fantastic on their own as well. I really liked the Sweet Potato snacks best.
They are a nice, solid chip that doesn't break when you get a healthy dose of dip on it.

Way Better Snacks include 6 varieties of Tortilla Chips.

Way Better Snacks on Facebook
Twitter @WayBetterSnacks

Baby BanZ Sunglasses

Have Fun in the Sun with Baby BanZ, Inc.

Baby BanZ sunglasses are more than just a fashion statement! Their tiny, award-winning designs with total UVA and UVB protection create functional infant and kids sunglasses with added style! Perfect for back to school or anywhere you and your little one play under the sun, Baby BanZ are a must have accessory for children on to go! 
Teach your children the importance of sun safety with the new addition to the Baby BanZ sunglasses collection, Junior BanZ. Made for boys and girls from ages 4-10, JBanZ offers the same quality lenses and polycarbonate frames as their original Baby BanZ but without the concept of the permanent band around the back of the head. Since children’s eyes have less protective pigment than adults, they absorb more ultraviolet radiation which is extremely harmful. Clinically tested by one of the world's leading authorities on UV protection, Baby BanZ has passed the most stringent protection standards in the world!

JBanZ come with their own color coordinated neoprene carrying case complete with zipper clasp as well as a removable neoprene strap for active kiddos! Cleverly designed at an affordable cost, these sunglasses are designed for the wear and tear of playground and after school activities. Not only are JBanZ sunglasses fun, but they provide 100% UVA/UVB protection, letting parents rest assured that their kid’s eyes are completely protected! Merging form and function, JbanZ flexible temples resist breakage and the wrap around design adds extra protection from wind and debris for kids on the run while protecting delicate eyes from the sun's harmful rays. For your little fashionistas, the new range of Jay BanZ with Jimmy Crystal of NYC with swarovski elements and custom designs will also be available soon for the new school year!

In 2001, Baby Banz, Inc. found its start in "the land down under," one of the harshest UV climates in the world. One Australian’s fruitless search for a proper pair of baby sunglasses for his infant son forced him to take action, leading to the development of the Original Baby Banz sunglasses. Baby Banz are the keystone for the expanding Baby Banz Protection Collection that includes: adjustable baby and toddler sun hats, UPF 50 swimwear and flap hats, modern shaped Retro Banz, hearing protection earmuffs, and for winter, helmet friendly and fog resistant Ski Banz.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Veggie Tales Summer Movie Night *Review

Disclosure: I received the following product from Big Idea free of charge to better facilitate a fair and accurate review. No monitory compensation was received for this review. I was not required to write a positive review.

MacLarry and the Stinky Cheese Battle
The movie released today 7/30 and it is a fantastic movie for the entire family!

We had a blast getting ready to surprise our family with a new Veggie Tales Movie! The older brothers were gone for much of the day helping a church family move, and while they were away the rest of us got ready for a surprise Veggie Tales Movie event!

First thing was to hand out invitations! We got a box full of great supplies from Big Idea to help facilitate our party.Big Idea sent along plates, cups, and balloons as well as the MacLarry movie. 

We brought up a smaller table to host our assortment of activities to go along with our party. We had coloring pages, word finds, jokes, and even sing a long pages to go with the silly songs from the movie. 

The balloons were used in the movie for a water fight. We watched our movie for dinner so we decided to decorate with some, and to do a fun parachute activity with the others. We loved how Bob and Larry were printed right on the balloons!

We got out our big parachute to shoot Larry and Bob balloons all over the room. Then Dad had the idea to grab the leaf blower and make our parachute inflate like a dome. It was super fun being in side and throwing balloons around. 

We had a little bit of time to work on our coloring sheets while the pizza was cooking. You can download all of the activities HERE

One of the activities included a popcorn cone you could fold for a special snack while you watched the movie!

Prepped, ready for the movie!

MacLarry just doesn't seem to fit in with his clan, even with his father Clog being the head Barbar-Barian. He is much more interested in reading and inventing, not finding the sense in trying to pull a better prank on the Romans, and waiting for their next attack.
MacLarry gets frustrated and leaves his home, ending up in enemy hands. The Romans however find value in his inventions and pump up MacLarry to feel better about himself, and like he belongs.

This is a great movie on realizing the gifts God gives to you, knowing that he doesn't give the same gifts to everyone. This applies to the kids and adults in the room. We talked afterward about our gifts and how God utilizes each one. There is no small gift or person.
Two thumbs up from each one of us!

Visit Veggie Tales on line to purchase your copy.

pediped Schools Initiative

pediped® will give back to schools as part of its pediped® ’s Schools initiative this fall

Enrolled schools will receive 10% back on all attributed purchases giving parents another reason to shop the award-winning brand

HENDERSON, Nev. (July 2013)— Schools everywhere will have yet another reason to celebrate the start of a new school year. On July 24, 2013, pediped® launched ‘pediped ‘s Schools’, a new, one-of-a-kind, giving campaign where participating schools will receive a check for 10% back on their total attributed purchases of pediped® Footwear. Each school can earn up to $10,000 per year. 

School officials and leaders of the PTO or PTA are encouraged to enroll their school to best spread the word. Parents and teachers may also enroll their school into the program.  Each school will receive a unique code upon enrollment. Members of the school and community should use this code at checkout when making a purchase on or in any pediped® owned boutique (located in Las Vegas). pediped® will compile and track the purchases attributed to each school’s code and each school will receive 10% back on their total combined purchases. Purchases will be tracked now until May 15, 2014 and schools will receive their checks in June 2014. Any purchases made after May 15 will roll over to the next school year. Schools will be able to track their earnings on

“I’m excited to celebrate the start of a new school year with kids everywhere, said Angela Edgeworth, founder of pediped® Footwear. “Schools need our help now more than ever and it’s essential for them to have the things they need. We are receiving heavy support from parents and teachers alike who see the value in creating awareness on the importance of providing schools with adequate resources. Giving back always has and will continue to be a core value of pediped®.”

Since its founding in 2005, pediped® has been dedicated to enriching the lives of children. pediped® established the pediped® Foundation in 2010 to work directly with charities that are devoted to the health, education and basic needs of children around the world. Since its inception, the pediped® Foundation has donated nearly two million dollars in product and monetary support. pediped® ‘s Schools is yet another commitment to the continuing philanthropic efforts of pediped® Footwear.

Please visit to enroll your school today.

About pediped®
Exceptional quality, unsurpassed comfort and distinctive styling have made the award-winning company the fastest growing children's footwear brand in the United States. pediped® footwear has been awarded the American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance for the promotion of healthy foot development, and preeminent orthopedic medical professionals, Dr. Mininder S. Kocher and Dr. Thomas W. Vorderer, deem pediped® shoes an excellent choice for parents/caregivers who want their children’s feet to develop naturally and healthily. In 2011 Earnshaw’s, the premier media resource serving the children’s market recognized pediped® with Earnshaw’s Earnie Award for Company of the Year and Best Footwear. In 2012, Earnshaw’s recognized pediped® for their philanthropy efforts of nearly $2 million, and pediped® was awarded the Earnie Award for Company for Good.

pediped® footwear is sold in over 2,500 stores in the United States and 40 countries worldwide with an offering of more than 140 designs for boys and girls between their three lines, Originals®, Grip ‘n’ Go™ and Flex®. Originals®, Grip ‘n’ Go™ and Flex® are available in EU sizes ranging from 17 to 33. For more information, visit or call 1-702-567-0311.

Follow pediped on:
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Monday, July 29, 2013

Out of Print Clothing *Review

I am a big reader and my oldest has taken on that love of reading as well. Nothing suits him better than an Out of Print Clothing tee shirt. They take some of the great books of old, along with the classic art work and create a beautiful, literary product. 

Some of the great classics and even out of print book covers are brought into the spotlight with these fantastic quality shirts.
Dakota has always been a fan of Sherlock Holmes and The Hound of the Baskervilles Tshirt was a great fit for him. This shirt is 100 percent cotton and of a very high quality thickness. Dakota wore it for his graduation party he loves it so much!

I have seen fantastic shirts at Out of Print Clothing for my whole family and hope to order more soon. They offer Mens, Womens, Baby, Kids, Long Sleeve as well as accessories, all with book covers on them. This is the perfect find for a book lover like my son and I!

Out of Print Clothing works closely with the artists, authors and publishers to license the prints that they use. There is nothing more exciting than for a bookworm to wear a shirt like he would a well loved book.

In addition, for each item sold, a book is sent to a community in need through various partners. This title specifically works through Books for Africa.

Great spot to shop for your back to school clothes! Help your student look even smarter :)

Social Media Links
Facebook Out of Print
Twitter @OutofPrintTees
Instagram outofprint

Preschoolers and Peace ~Circle Time *Review

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Circle Time Book Logo photo CircleTimeLogo_zps63dd95c9.jpg

Circle Time from Preschoolers and Peace is a tool to help you plan the best part of your day!

When I first saw this I wasn't sure how helpful it would be for my older children, as they have outgrown what I have always thought of 'Circle Time', as a sitting on the carpet in Kindergarten listening to the teacher read a story. I was pretty sure my teens wouldn't go for that! Kendra even mentions that the name "Circle Time" may be a deterrent for teens, so call it something else.

Kendra has eight children from teens to babies, so surely the Circle Time concept would be beneficial for my six children. I have always desired to have family devotions time, and with Dad leaving early in the am, I just never worked toward that goal. I would have devotions with the younger ones, and the older ones typically would do their own. I have always desired to start our day in prayer together, and yet that had never come to fruition either. Circle Time was able to give me some great ideas on starting now, right where we are at!

The Circle Time Wish List gave me ideas for what we could use for Circle Time. I wanted to focus primarily on scripture to start but the list gives some other great ideas especially if you have students close in age.
The beauty of it is you can utilize Circle Time simply for your morning prayer, devotions, Bible reading, and memorization tools, or you can utilize it also for the homeschooling subjects you work together on like read alouds, history and science.

With it being summer we chose to use it for the core Biblical studies. I found that if we didn't meet together first thing in the morning, it was very hard to gather everyone later in the day. The evenings found everyone tired and not focused. We chose to meet together in the living room, with coffee or hot cocoa for the older ones. As our school year approaches I would like to add in a weekly hymn to learn together along with a missionary of the week or month.

We took the Memory Box idea and turned it more into a binder of memory verses we want to work on and the daily work. Just a little bit of scripture work a day over time will allow us to all hide the Word in our hearts. Kendra used the same idea and had suggestions for different binder tabs. I need to be organized ahead of time or things won't happen. This is an excellent tool for me to grab prior to Circle Time and have all of our information right on hand.

I loved the idea of a Prayer box where you file each family picture according to their name, and utilize the opportunity to write down prayers for our loved ones.

 There are lots of ideas in the book on how to make Circle Time fun for babies and little ones. Ways to keep them focused and entertained. My youngest is 5 and is a pretty laid back guy so we didn't have to utilize any of them, but I just wanted to know there is a lot of great information on it if you need it!

 Once we start school we will utilize the idea of splitting Circle Time into a couple different times of the day as I utilize it for my three youngest to join together for science, geography and literature.

This book is excellent for getting the brain storm going on how you can utilize Circle Time for your own family!

The book is available in pdf format for $4.99 and is 33 pages long.

Circle Time Board on Pinterest
Preschoolers and Peace on Facebook
Twitter @KendraEFletcher

See what the other Crew member thought of Circle Time by clicking on the banner below.


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Lakeshore Learning Educational Materials *Review

A method I love to incorporate into our school day is hands on learning fun!
Lakeshore Learning is a fantastic place to find educational, yet fun tools for your school age kids. They make great after school games as well. This is your one stop shop for school supplies
These didn't feel like 'school' to the kids at all this summer as we explored some of Lakeshore Learning products.

Count and Write Math Mats were perfect for my 5 year old. He has some of his numbers mastered, but not through 20 which is what these mats go to. They come with counters to put on the gumballs on each mat, then they can write the number using a dry erase marker directly on the mat. They are getting the hands on kinetic approach of counting out the discs, and getting the fine motor skills of writing the number. Perfect tool for preschool and K students. $29.99

Linking Number Monkeys were a huge asset to our learning to count. The four colored monkeys each have a nice bold number on their belly. Maverick learned early on that there was a color pattern to the number order and that helped him a lot with some of the higher numbered monkeys. They go up to 30 which is excellent! He sorted them into their own color and then lined them up by number. He had a great time with the Number Monkeys. I love how they utilize fine motor skills for linking the monkey's hands together. These are excellent counters that we will be able to utilize with our math skills this coming Kindergarten year.
The monkeys are nice and thick plastic, durable and adorable! $29.99

Lakeshore Learning has tools for all aged groups and you can shop specifically by age or category you are looking for.
My daughter continues to struggle with Sight Words and I wanted to make the learning more fun that just reading the words again and again. Sight-Word Tower of Language Game was a great solution for her!
Similar Jenga or other wooden block building games, this one has the student say the word to be able to remove it from the tower. Watch that the tower doesn't come tumbling down! This game can be played alone or with others. It worked great for her to play alone and see if she could better her score each time.
I loved that it got her excited about reading the harder words, and she was able to memorize them in a fun way. $24.99

 (Always a photo bomber in the mix :) )

As you are planning for your kids to go off to school, extra after school learning, and homeschooling be sure to check out Lakeshore Learning Materials!
Find them on these Social Media outlets
Twitter @LakeShoreLM
Pinterest Lakeshorelm