Mommy Katie

Monday, August 21, 2017

Sweese Porcelain Butter Keeper Crock


With the summer coming to an end and the fall season of baking quickly approaching in my home, I find that along with the baking that I enjoy doing, I like to entertain as well. I also find that when I have guests over, I like to have the tableware that is easy to use and that can go with the spread as well at the table. And like many who enjoy the baking and entertaining, I know that having the soft butter on hand is a must. So when we were sent the Porcelain Butter Keeper Crock from the selection of products that I adore from Sweese, I was excited to begin using it and also add it to my list of must haves for the table and kitchen when it comes to ensuring we always have soft butter on hand!


For me personally, I have never used a butter bell in the home, so I was very pleased to find the directions on how to use one on the Amazon product page as shown in the photo above. I also like that when it comes to the care of my butter bell, that I can wash it in the dishwasher if needed, and I can appreciate that it is made from pro-grade porcelain that is durable and made to last.

After finding out how to use and care for the butter bell properly, I was excited to begin using it in my kitchen. I mean, it is perfect for being able to have the perfectly soft spreadable butter for both everyday kitchen use as well as when we have guests over. I also like that with the design, that it fits right into my kitchen and allows me to have a piece that others notice and ask about.


Then when it comes to the amount of butter that I can keep in this crock, I like that it holds just the right amount for that everyday use in my home. I also like that we can access the butter without the issue of it drying out or attracting any pests. Which for me makes the Porcelain Butter Keeper Crock from the selection of Sweese products, a great addition for any kitchen and also a great product to have on hand this fall baking season!



Product received, thank you to Sweese as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

Head Outdoors with the Primary Science Outdoor Discovery Set

When it comes to the older kids heading back to school, I find that with my preschooler, that he enjoys the time at home to go on adventures with me. This is a time that we head to the park, go for walks on some of our favorite trails, and when we head out we like to have tools with us that we can use when exploring. So when we were sent the Primary Science Outdoor Discovery Set along with the Primary Science Binoculars to review from Learning Resources, I was excited to share the set with my preschooler as we set out for one of our adventures!



With this set, I found that it is not only great for having my preschooler use while his older siblings are at school, but also a great set that the older kids can explore with as well. Set includes a sprouting jar with 2 lids, watering can, 3 plant pots, 3 plant markers, Big View Bug Jar, Handy Scooper™, and Activity Guide. Giving us plenty of tools to use and explore with as we go on those walks on some of our favorite trails or even as we venture out in our yard to explore all we can find!

I really like the activity guide that is included, giving us some fun things to do on our walks and also giving my preschooler a guide that he can go by as he uses some of the other tools in his kit. Along with the kit, he found that the binoculars were also a great must have when it comes to that outdoor exploration. Allowing him to see ahead on the walk, so he can scout out which way we can go and even what he might find of interest. Making the choice to add the Primary Science Outdoor Discovery Set and the Primary Science Binoculars from Learning Resources a great selection to go with as you head outdoors with your kids!



Product received, thank you to Learning Resources as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

Stay Away Spiders: the Safe & Effective Spider Repellents from EarthKind


Like many, when it comes to my home, I like to think that there are not any pests or bugs lurking around. I mean, this is a nice idea, but the truth of the matter is, I know that there are bugs and pests that can be found in just about any home, including my own. And like many, when I see a spider in a corner or running across a floor, I scream and find my skin crawling for days. The thing is, with having kids and pets in the home, I do not want to use products to get rid of those spiders I see and the ones I can not see, that can be toxic and harmful to my family. So for me, I turn to the safe and effective products like the Stay Away Spiders from EarthKind to keep those creepy crawly spiders away.



See when I go with the products from the EarthKind line up that include not just the Stay Away Spiders but also a line up of other safe and natural repellents, I am not only getting a product that is family friendly to use in my home, but also a line of products from a company that changes lives! And I like that with the products that we use in the home, that I can place them in ideal spots that we find spiderwebs in. The pouches are effective and with the essential oils that are used in them, they not only work to rid my home of spiders but they also smell good too! Making the choice to add the Stay Away Spiders to the home as those spiders find their way indoors when the weather starts to cool down, a choice that is not only effective but also a safe one to use around the family!



Product received, thank you to EarthKind as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

Back to School with Books and Calendars from Quarto Group

As the kids head back to school, like many, I find that I like to seek out the items and activities that they can enjoy during the school year at home on the weekends. These include those fun coloring books, stickers, and calendars, which are great for having on those rainy day weekends that we get here in the PNW. So when we were sent a selection of some of the new coloring books and calendars from Quarto Group, I was excited to check them out and add them to our selection of rainy day must haves!


With this selection we were sent we found the Color for Calm All Year Round 2018 by Carrie Stephens, desk calendar to be a great choice to not only have in the house but also one that will make for a fun gift to give this coming holiday season. It comes with 314 pages that are ready to be colored, and are geared towards the adult coloring to help relax you as you go about your day. Along with the coloring pages there are also 5 double sided coloring pencils included that are attached to the back of the stand.


Another fun calendar that came in our selection is the Busy Family Calendar by Allison Cole. We found this calendar to be a great one to put up on the kids desk that they enjoy sitting at when doing homework or when they want to do arts and crafts. The calendar comes with a large grid for writing in, fun reminder stickers, and a large storage pocket that we can add reminders to for the kids to look over and add to if needed. I also like that the Busy Family Calendar is made to allow us to keep track of up to 5 family members which is perfect for using in my home!


When it comes to adding some drawing, coloring and stickers to the fun, we found the Draw, Color, and Sticker Creative Lettering Sketchbook by Marissa Giambrone to be a favorite in our house. This is one that I had thought would be more geared at my older kids since they enjoy drawing and creating, but we found it to be a book that the whole family can enjoy, even giving my preschooler some fun practice. With this book, we get a variety of themes we can go with when it comes to drawing letters, allowing us to practice drawing, which includes pages of blank paper to practice on and stickers that the kids can color.


Then when it comes to having a book that is engaging for the family, and that really gets the mind working, we found the book, Brain Bend by Mister Mourao, to be a great choice to go with. This coloring book is one that is different from others we have enjoyed in the past, giving us 25 wild, vibrant, architecturally themed mazes, along with black-and-white versions of the same artwork for coloring in. The images are very interesting and definitely grab your attention, and give those who enjoy mazes, fun stimulating challenges that you color in! Making the choice to add these new additions from the selection that can be found at Quarto Knows, a great choice to add to your weekend fun or even give as gifts this coming holiday season!





Product received, thank you to Quarto Group as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

#Giveaway Save Water in Your Home with Niagara Conservation UHET™ Water-Saving Kit

This post is sponsored and written by me on behalf of Niagara Conservation through a campaign managed by Bloggin' Mamas. All opinions are my own.



When it comes to the home and the items and even the rooms we use everyday, we find that water plays a huge role in it. From doing the dishes and cooking in the kitchen, to taking showers and using the restroom, we find that in our homes we use a lot of water in our day to day lives. And like many who have a full house, I know that when it comes to our water use that there are ways to conserve that use. But I also know that when it comes to the uses such as flushing a toilet, taking showers, and even doing the dishes, that we can end up using more water than I would like to. This use can be seen on those monthly water bills, and even when we show the kids how to cut down on shower times, and watch our water usage while doing dishes, I know that there we are still using too much. So when we were given the chance to update our bathroom and even kitchen with the Niagara Conservation UHET™ Water-Saving Kit, I was excited to install the products and watch as we not only saved water but also as that water bill went down!


When our UHET™ Water-Saving Kit arrived, I was excited. I mean, it is not everyday that we go to replace a toilet and update the shower heads and faucet in the kitchen. It is also not everyday that when you go to replace your toilet that you replace that old toilet with a toilet that has a motor on the inside! Or that you know that by making these little upgrades, that you and your family will not only be saving water but also saving money. I also know that when it comes to which bathroom gets the most use in my home, that our kids/guest bathroom is the one with the most water use. So when it came down to preparing to remodel the bathroom, I found that along with my excitement that my kids were also very excited to be getting a upgrade!
To get started with the replacing of the toilet we had to first shut off the water to the toilet by turning off the valve in the back of the toilet, from there we opened up the tank to the old toilet, disconnected the refill tube and flushed until all of the water in the tank was mostly gone then used a towel to sop up the remaining water. After that was done, we had to disconnect the water supply valve from the old toilet by disconnecting the chain from the flapper, and using pliers to unscrew the bolts that are in the tank, which in hand disconnected the tank from the bowl. We removed the tank and continued the process by taking the caps off of the bolts that sit at the bottom of the toilet so that we could use a wrench to unscrew the nuts. Once we had both sides off, we then began to break the seal that connects the toilet to the pipes in the floor by rocking the toilet back and forth, and when it came loose we were able to remove the rest of the toilet from the floor, remove the wax ring that was on the floor and clean the area where the old toilet had sat. 

From there, we then went backwards in the removal steps to put the new toilet in by first using the wax ring that came in the kit and placing it over the drain hole on the floor with the rounded side up. Which for us, made the replacing of the old toilet with our new Stealth® dual flush toilet, a very simple process. 


Once our Stealth® dual flush toilet was ready, the kids were excited to see how it worked. I showed them how to use it properly by pressing on each flush side. Explaining that unless they need that extra power and water added to their flush that they just press on the green button for a half flush, otherwise for when they need to flush for a #2, then they can press on the silver button which creates a full flush system!



Then when it came to the installation of the aerators both in the kitchen and bathroom, I was able to do so by simply taking off the old aerators and gaskets and placing the new aerators and heads that came in our kit on! Giving us not just a upgrade when we flush so we can save water and money, but also upgrades when we shower in both bathrooms and when we do dishes! Making the choice to upgrade the home in both the bathroom and kitchen with the Niagara Conservation UHET™ Water-Saving Kit, a choice that saves both water and money!


So if you are ready to make some upgrades that will not only save your home on water use but also save you money on the water bill, be sure to make those upgrades with the Niagara Conservation UHET™ Water-Saving Kit. Also enter below for a chance to win your own Niagara Conservation UHET™ Water-Saving Kit, comment on this blog post with what you'd do with all the money you'd save if you won the world’s most efficient toilet





-Visit our water calculator page (at the end that page will serve up an annual and a lifetime number) https://niagaracorp.com/calculator/


Giveaway begins August 21st, 2017 at 12:01 am and ends August 30th, 2017 at 11:59 pm EST. Open to US residents age 18 and older. One (1) UHET™ Water-Saving Kit containing the Niagara Stealth toilet, along with three high-efficiency showerheads and aerators will be awarded to one (1) winner. Total ARV of $300 per prize pack. Winners will be selected by Random.org and be notified by email. Winners have until 9/2/16 at 11:59am EST to respond or forfeit their prize. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube, and Google are in no way associated with this giveaway. By providing your information in this form, you are providing your information to Heather Lopez Enterprises LLC. We do not share or sell information and will use any information only for the purpose of contacting the winner.




Sunday, August 20, 2017

Is Roof Inspection Important?


When buying a home, most of us will remember to check the electrical installations, the water mains and the structural stability of the house. However, not many people wouldn’t think to wonder about the state of the roof.

Despite this obscurity in the lists to check before buying, roof inspections are important. They can tell you a lot about the state of the roof, and the house in general. If you are still unsure why this might be important, consult this brief overview of what roof inspection entails https://theinspectorscompany.com/roofing-inspection/.

Roof Types

Before the roof can be inspected, you must know what kind of roof the house has. Each roof type has its own advantages and flaws, as well as potential problems.

·         Flat roofs – these roofs tend to promote water pooling since there is no slope to naturally drain water. Another problem which is likely in these roofs is weather damage. The sun, snow, and rain can all wear down the roof and create damage. Finally, as a related issue, these roofs are more prone to mold infestation. The stagnant water creates a suitable environment for mold to grow.

·         Sloped roofs – When it comes to sloped roofs, there is much more variety. Depending on the material that roof tiles are made of, there are different issues which may arise, and that you should pay attention to.

o   Asphalt shingles – with this material, it’s important to see if the shingles are showing signs of curling or bending. This indicates that they are in need of replacement fairly soon. If there are any breaks or cracks, a professional needs to assess the extent of the damage. If left untended, this kind of damage can spread and
o   Wooden shingles – seeing how wood is not the most durable of materials, wooden roofs should be inspected more often. Potential problems include mold, mildew, and rot, as well as potential warping.
o   Metal roofs – even though they are the most durable, these roofs still need to be inspected and checked for flaws such as corrosion and bent tiles. Additionally, they need to be checked for water tightness, to ensure they do not let any water through to the inner parts of the roof.

·         Mixed roofs – When you combine flat roofs with sloped ones, you can get an amazing architectural gem. But in terms of roof inspection, you are only complicating things, since both kinds of inspections need to be performed.

What Is Inspected?

There are three important things which need to be inspected.

Visible Damage

Most people would be able to identify the problems of this first type. Things like broken tiles, various debris, and damaged constructions can be ascertained visually.

External Structure

This is the part where roof inspection experts show their prowess. The external structure includes everything from tiles and gutters, to chimneys, vents and everything else up there. Inspectors need to be able to find any and all potential problems including rot, rust, and mold.
A good inspector knows where to look for individual problems, as well as how to judge the overall state of the roof. If the roof includes many additional elements such as chimneys, skylights, and vents, the inspection is going to take longer and needs to be more detailed.

Internal Structure

Most people haven’t even seen the interior structure of their roofs, let alone know how to assess if everything is ok with it. That’s why inspectors are important. If your roof hasn’t been inspected in a while, some damage may have occurred in the internal structure of your roof.
The first sign of trouble is a water leak, but if it persists without being repaired, the inside rafters and other carpentry may become infested with mold and mildew, thus compromising the structural integrity of the whole roof.




Choose a Suitable Printing Method for Your Packaging


When it comes to printing on product boxes, there are two types of printing methods: direct printing and litho printing. Both of these methods have their advantages and flaws, as well as products which are typically packaged in them.

If you are just starting out and are still looking for your brand’s image, creating the perfect packaging is a great place to start. Not only do you need to pick out the suitable box style, but also what is going to be printed on in and how. This is a big responsibility, so if you are not a designer yourself, perhaps you should consult someone with ample experience in the field.

Direct Printing

This printing method is typically used for mass produced boxes because it is faster of the two methods. Like its name says, this method applies the ink directly onto the cardboard box. This is done by using a printing plate. This method is cheaper and simpler than litho printing.

There are some drawbacks, however. Primarily, if you want to use more than one color, you will need to run the box through the machine multiple times. The graphical capabilities of this form of printing are limited, so if you are looking to use this method keep your minimalist and simple. With these kinds of printing solutions, negative space is a very useful and powerful tool.

The direct printing method is great if you don’t have too much money to spend on packaging, or if you believe that this kind of packaging will appeal more to your customers.

Litho Printing

On the other hand, there is the litho printing. It gives the package a high-end feel with magazine paper quality. This printing method offers a wide specter of colors. The reason it has this high-end feel is that the printing is not done directly onto the box. Instead, the printing plates transfer the design onto a special sheet of material which is then laminated onto your box. The colors are vibrant and sharp, as opposed to direct printing.

It is typically used when you want to print a photographic quality image onto the box. Thanks to the advanced technology available today, this printing method are not as expensive as it used to be, but it is still more expensive than direct printing. If you have plenty of money to spend on packaging, or if you want to impress the potential customers with high-end packaging, litho printing is the best option for you.

Finishes

Apart from printing itself, there are other ways to bring that X-factor to your packaging. Things like UV finishes as described here https://www.boxcoop.com/packaging-university/uv-finishes/ are fairly popular and create an eye-catching reflexive surface.

Apart from the UV finish, you can also choose to use glossy or matte finishes for your product, as well as a combination of these. In the recent years, the matte finish has become very popular with high-end brands, whereas the glossy finish has been seen as less impressive.


These are just some guidelines when picking a printing method for your product. It is derived from previous experience and observation. If you have a fixed idea about what your packaging should look like, follow your idea. If, however, you are a bit lost in the box design world, try to follow these guidelines to ensure that your product packaging sends the right message about your product.



Friday, August 18, 2017

DIY Your Back to School with Westcott® Products

This post is sponsored and written by me on behalf of Westcott® Products through a campaign managed by their PR. All opinions are my own.


With the kids in the back to school swing of things, along with ensuring that they have all that they might need for this new school year, my kids and I also enjoy making those basic supplies a little more personal. We do this by doing our own DIY decor to the products and even creating new products. So when we were sent a large selection of the Westcott® Glue Guns and art tools to do a DIY video with, Estrella and I were very excited to begin creating! You can watch our DIY video below on how to make a pencil bag using a gallon sized zipper food storage bag, 2 pieces of felt, the Westcott® Low Heat Glue Gun, the Westcott® Non-Stick Scissors, and some embellishments that we picked up at our local Michaes craft supply store.



As you can see from the video above, along with the pencil bag we made, we also used other products from the Westcott® line up that we were sent to decorate a pencil box and add small pockets to our binders. For these other projects we used the Westcott® 12" CarboTitanium Narrow Body Trimmer, the Westcott® Scissors, the Westcott® Premium Hot Glue Pen, and the Westcott® Mini Hot Glue Gun High Temp.


We also found some fun glitter covered paper and ribbon to use for these at our local craft supply store as well. The paper was simple to first cut into the correct sizes using the trimmer, then shaped to fit using the scissors. From there we used the mini hot glue gun to attach the pieces of the paper that we cut out to first the top of the pencil box, then the second piece to the inside of our binder to use a reminder pocket. After we had done that, Estrella wanted to decorate her pencil box even more by adding ribbon to the edge of the outside of the box, and she was able to easily attach this ribbon using the hot glue pen!


When when it was all said and done, we found the Westcott® product selection that we were sent helped us to create more of a personalized look to Estrella's products for school. Which in all makes the choice to add the products like the ones we were sent from the Westcott® line up, a great choice to go with as you DIY your back to school when it comes to the school supplies the kids will be using!



Westcott® has been providing crafting products since 1872. They understand and listen to the needs of their customers.  Here are some current crafting suggestions: www.westcottbrand.com/craft- projects.html.  You’ll find additional craft ideas at WestcottCreativators.com.

Top Considerations Before Purchasing A Log Cabin


There seems to be a popular idea that a log cabin is something people build when they want to live a more self-sufficient life out in the country. Certainly, a beautifully built log cabin is a sight to behold, but before you jump right into buying a cabin, here are a few things you ought to consider.

Why Should You Buy a Log Cabin?

These cabins evoke a feeling of country-style and class, or even just going back to the basics. But, here are a few advantages to owning one:

·         Aesthetics – Of course, looks alone are not the only reason to buy log cabins in the UK or in your local area, it is still an important element for many people. A well-crafted cabin is a piece of art that should complement your home and be enjoyed for years to come.

·         Energy efficiency – What are you going to use your cabin for? The nature of logs certainly offers energy efficiency, and the cabins tend to stay cooler in summer and warmer in winter, making it super-cosy as little garden getaways, hobby rooms, or offices.

·         Longevity – You’re going to want your cabin to last a long time. The longevity of logs, fortunately, speaks for itself.

·         Weather resistance – A properly sealed and looked after log cabin will be able to withstand horrible storms and other inclement weather. In fact, it’s not uncommon to hear of cabins still standing after earthquakes or harsh wind storms. If you live somewhere that gets the brunt of the weather, a log cabin is perfect for your garden.

A Few More Things to Consider

·         Maintenance – Just like any building, the cabins require regular maintenance to ensure that they remain structurally sound. Typically, you will need to reseal the exterior every three to five years. You will also need to insulate against the logs settling and they tend to shrink over time.

·         Susceptible to pestsTraditional log cabins are susceptible to insect damage if prevention is not taken.

·         Electrical considerations – Traditional framing is not typically used with log construction, so setting up electricity to the cabin may be tricky. You may want to hire an electrician to do this for you.

·         Insulation – Cabins tend to lack natural insulation, so be sure to discuss your concerns and the build of the cabin before buying it.

Log cabins are certainly a dream for many homeowners. Just like any construction, it is important to consider the pros and cons before you buy one and ensure it is the right fit for your garden and your lifestyle.


Thursday, August 17, 2017

#Giveaway Fuel up this Back to School Shopping Season with Charleys Philly Steaks


As we head out to the stores and the mall, we notice those back to school sales, the deals to be had and check off our lists as we shop. For me and my family this means not just shopping for those school supplies, but also heading to the mall to shop for all of those must have looks that include the clothing and shoes that my kids will be needing for the fall. Like many, I find that this time can be tiring, going from store to store as my kids try on this and that. So I find that as we head to the mall for a day of back to school shopping that I like to fuel up by going to Charleys Philly Steaks for both the good food and their signature lemonades!


See, when we choose to take a break from shopping to fuel up at Charleys Philly Steaks, my family and I can pick from a variety of sandwiches which include those signature Philly Steaks. This allows us to choose from the Philly Steaks, the chicken varieties which include the new Kickin' Honey Chicken Philly which is only available for a limited time, or any of the deli selections, salads and the kids meal!

We can even add on those mouth watering gourmet fries that the whole family looks forward to getting when we go to Charleys Philly Steaks. Giving us a variety of fries to go with that include the cheese fries or the ultimate fries which have the cheese sauce, bacon and ranch!

Then when it comes to quenching our thirst while we grab lunch at Charleys Philly Steaks, we look forward to adding any one of the signature lemonades that are made with real fruit to our meals! Making the choice to fuel up this back to school shopping season at Charleys Philly Steaks a choice that the whole family enjoys going with! And to help with fueling up your crew while you do some of that back to school shopping, the wonderful people from Charleys Philly Steaks would like to give one of my readers a $25 gift card!





Product received, thank you to Charleys Philly Steaks as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

Fun with Fidget Spinners: 50 Super Cool Tricks and Activities



When it comes to finding those books that the kids enjoy reading, just like with the books I enjoy, I like to seek out the books that offer the topics and tips on some of their favorite toys and hobbies. And like many kids, mind have found a fascination with not just the fidget spinners but also the tricks they can do and watch others do. So when we were sent the new book, Fun with Fidget Spinners: 50 Super Cool Tricks and Activities by David King, I was excited to share it with my kids.

With this book, the kids can get a guide to some of the most popular spinners that are out there, and check off their lists of the ones they have and the ones they want. They can then take that fascination to the next level by learning from the over 50 tips and tricks that they can do with those fidget spinners. This includes the tricks that beginners can learn from all the way up to the more advanced tricks that can be mastered. Then when it comes to other things that they can get from this book, they can learn how to care for their fidget spinners properly and even track the tricks using the workbook. Making the book, Fun with Fidget Spinners: 50 Super Cool Tricks and Activities by David King a great book to get your kids if they enjoy those fidget spinners and doing tricks with them!



Product received, thank you to Fox Chapel Publishing as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

#Giveaway Family Night with Night Night Books and Ovation Brands


When it comes to those evenings when we head out for dinner with the family, I like to head to the places that offer both the family friendly menu options as well as a family friendly environment. Luckily for us, we do not have to go far when we head to our local Old Country Buffet that offers both a large selection of food that the whole family can enjoy as well as a family night on Thursday nights! So when we were told about the newest line up of family nights that includes the selection of Night Night books at the Ovation Brands Restaurant and Furrs Buffets, we were excited to head to our local Old Country Buffet and join in on the fun!


See right now through August 31st, when we head to our local Old Country Buffet or any of the other restaurants participating in the family night fun on Thursdays from 5-8 pm, we can read along with the series of Night Night books! These books are part of the series authored by Amy Parker, and with each book, the kids can enjoy a great story as we sit down for dinner together! I also like that aside from the family fun time we have on Thursday nights, that when we bring our kids, their meal is just $1.99, which makes the choice even easier since the price is set to fit in those family budgets! Making the choice to head out every Thursday night with the family to your local Ovation Brands or Furrs Buffet, a choice that everyone can agree on and enjoy! And to help with that next family night out, the wonderful people from Ovation Brands would like to give one of my amazing readers their own prize pack that includes a complete set of the Night Night books along with 4 dining passes to use at their local Ovation Brands restaurant!





Product received, thank you to Ovation Brands as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

Back to School with Oriental Trading


With the summer coming to an end and those back to school schedules being made, like many I find that I like to ensure that the kids have all that they will be needing for the new school year ahead. I know that aside from those supply lists that we get from the new teachers that we also need the supplies for the home as well, and if you home school, there is even a bigger need for stocking up on the supplies needed for the year ahead. I also know that when I go to get the kids school supplies that I want to find the products we need at family friendly prices. So like many, I like to head to Oriental Trading where I can find those supplies we need, at family friendly prices, and stock up for the school year ahead!


See when we do that back to school shopping at Oriental Trading, we can find both the basic supplies for getting that homework done with for the home, as well as the teaching supplies that I know many home schoolers and teachers seek out. I can also get those supplies and get amazing discounts right now from the back to school deals to the storage solutions and more that can be found at Oriental Trading.

Then when it comes to the various teaching supplies that both teachers and home schoolers can use for students this year, I like that they have the supplies for various subjects for school grades preschool up to 6th grade. Giving both parents, teachers and the parents who are also teachers options for the teaching and learning adventures that lay ahead of us! Making the choice to do that back to school shopping at Oriental Trading, one that is not just a great one for stocking up on those basic school supplies, but also a great choice when it comes to the supplies needed for stocking up the classroom as well.




Product received, thank you to Oriental Trading as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

Endless Summer Fun with the PLAYMOBIL Cruise ship


It is hard to believe that our summer will be coming to an end soon and that for many, the new school year has already started up. But it is true, and like many kids, mine are taking in every bit of their final days of summer that they can by heading out for those days at the beach, taking advantage of the adventures they can go on with their friends, and finding ways to keep the fun going. So when we were sent the PLAYMOBIL Cruise Ship to review, I was excited to share it with my kids so they can enjoy endless summer fun taking a cruise over and over again!


With the PLAYMOBIL Cruise Ship, my kids can put it together then take sail on the high seas, extending that fun that had over the summer into their imaginative play. The ship includes all pieces the kids need to set up the guest quarters while the characters are on board, that also includes a sitting room and bathroom. They can then take the stairs to the upper deck to enjoy sun bathing on the lounge chairs and watching the seas ahead.



Then when it comes to the playtime on the ship, they can have their characters slide down from the sun deck to the pool, enjoy a lunch in the lounge, and captain the ship with the captain and his bird! Along with the characters and room pieces there is also a life boat that attaches to the back, life vests and so much more! Making the PLAYMOBIL Cruise Ship a great choice to go with when you are seeking out ways to keep the summer fun going even after the summer is over and provide your kids with endless summer fun!





Product received, thank you to PLAYMOBIL as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

Monthly Play Subscription Box Delivered with Pley.com


When it comes to play time, in my house, that can be anytime of the day or even night if you ask my preschooler. With that said, I find that when I seek out the toys and activities for my kids to engage with, I like to seek out their favorite characters and the products that they enjoy playing with. The thing is, like many, when it comes to seeking out those items, I might not have the time to run around to find those items that are great for adding to my kids collection of toys. So when we were introduced to the play time box that comes with a monthly subscription service from Pley.com, we were all very curious to see what would arrive and I was curious to see what the kids thought of what was inside.


When our box arrived, we saw that it arrived in Disney Princess style, which is right up mine and my daughter's alley! This particular box is part of the Disney Princess subscription service that they offer, and with our box we were excited to see that it was all about Tangled! The selection included a fun Tangled wand, a set of the Tangled collectible figures like the ones my kids enjoy collecting and playing with, a Tangled art binder with activities and colors inside, a Tangled activity book, and even a cardboard castle that the kids can put together and color to put their Tangled figures in as they play!

Then when it comes to what we all thought of this subscription box after checking all of the goodies out, I have to say from a parent's perspective, I like the assortment. It offers a variety of activities and toys that can help to keep those imaginations going and keep play time fun for the kids. From a kid's perspective, well first off, toys with their favorite characters and activities delivered each month is a huge plus. Second, even after they color the castle and go through the various activities, they can continue to play with the toys and even the castle. Which in my opinion, makes the choice to get the monthly play subscription boxes from Pley.com a great choice to go with when seeking out a ways to mix up the fun each month!



Product received, thank you to Pley.com as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

#Giveaway Fall Preparation Prize Pack

With the fall season coming up and the back to school season upon us, I find that along with ensuring that we are prepared for school that it is also time to prepare for the fall season ahead. For me this means ensuring we have the products that the kids might need for those school lunches, the fall gatherings, and also the storage solutions I might need for packing away our summer wardrobes. And having the selection of products from Stor-All Solutions, Twisted Wares, and dbest Products like the ones we were sent for review, make for a great choice to go with as we enter into the months ahead!

With the dbest Smart Cart, I can take it with me when I head to the store to carry the groceries in or take it along with as we head to those fall football parties and tailgating. The cart is very light weight and can hold up to 110 lbs in it, then when I not using it, it easily folds up for storage. Along with the dbest Smart Cart, I found the selection of products from the Stor-All collection that we were sent to also be very handy. I can use the Press N' Click Lunch Box that comes with the reusable fork and spoon for those school lunches that my kids take. Allowing me to have a simple to use food storage container that clicks close and opens up easily when I pack lunches.
To go along with the Press N' Click, I can also pack the On The Go Grip N' Go Colors Water Bottle in the lunches as well, making the back to school season a little easier when it comes to packing lunches. And when it comes to the home and packing away those summer wardrobes, I found the Stor-All Heavy Duty Storage Bags to be a great solution. The bags offer me a lot of space that I can pack things away in without worrying about mildew or dirt getting in. Once packed, I can then place the bags in my closet, under my bed, or even in the garage until we need to use them again.




Then when it comes to the kitchen and the fall entertaining for those gatherings we enjoy hosting, I found the towels and napkins from the Twisted Wares line to be a fun selection to add to any kitchen and or party. Both the kitchen towels and napkins have fun and quirky sayings on them, and with the selection I can use the towels when whipping up those dishes then start the conversation with the napkins! Which all together, makes the choice to add the products from these selections we were sent a choice that is sure to help bring your fall together! And to help with the shopping, school lunches, storage solutions and entertaining I will be giving one of my amazing readers their own prize pack with some of the products mentioned!





Product received, thank you to sponsors as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

Disney's Descendants 2 on DVD


As we plan out our family movie nights, my kids find that they like to add some of their favorites to the line up. For my daughter, this means seeking out both those shows and movies she likes, and choosing the ones that she wants to share with the rest of the family. So when we were sent Disney's Descendants 2 on DVD to review, my daughter was excited to check it out and add it to our family movie night collection!



In this sequel to the Disney Channel Original Movie, "Descendants" you find the story continues with the daughters and sons of the Disney villains as they try to find where they fit in. Mal finds that she is just not royal material and goes back to her home of Isle of the Lost, where she is not just trying to find her roots but also faces her enemy Uma. Uma is the daughter of the sea witch Ursula, and has taken the throne as the self proclaimed queen of the very run down town. Aside from being her own queen, she has a gang of pirates and finds that she is bitter after not being selected to attend Auradon Prep with the other villain kids. With her pirates which include the kids of Captain Hook and Gaston, they decide that it is time to free all of the villains who have been imprisoned and break the barrier between the school and their Isle of the Lost!

We found this movie to be a great sequel to Descendants, and also a must watch for any Disney's Descendants fans out there. Disney's Descendants 2 is available now to bring home and share with your family on DVD!





Product received, thank you to Disney Home Movies as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

PJ MASKS: TIME TO BE A HERO on DVD


Finding those shows and movies to add to family movie night is something that my kids and I enjoy doing. We like to seek out the shows that they enjoy, and add them to the line up. Like many little ones, my preschooler loves those young super heroes in pajamas from the PJ Masks series. So when we were sent the new DVD, PJ Masks: Time to be a Hero, I was excited to share it with my preschooler so he could add it to our next family movie night.

With this DVD we get 6 fun episodes that feature those heroes who by day are your average 6 year old kids who play and go to school and by night are super heroes going on adventures together in their pajamas! Along with the fun filled episodes we also get the "Feeling Great" music video, activity sheets and in specially marked packaging, some PJ Mask stickers! Making the new DVD, PJ Masks: Time to be a Hero a great choice to go with for any PJ Masks fans out there and a great addition to add to your next family movie night!


 Product received, thank you to EntertainmentOne as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

Treasure Hounds on DVD


When it comes to finding those movies that my kids enjoy watching and sharing on family movie night, I find that we enjoy seeking out a variety of titles to share. Like many kids, mine enjoy the movies that include adventures, cute animals, and even more so the animals that can talk. So when we were sent the new DVD, Treasure Hounds to review, we were excited to add it to our family movie night line up!



In this movie you get an adventure that starts when a young boy has to move from his home with his family and move into his late grandfathers house. Aside from getting the house, he also inherits his grandfathers dog, a dog like no other. I say this because unlike other dogs, this one can talk and is ready to take on the adventure ahead as the boy finds out that his grandpa left a treasure for him as well! The boy, his new dog and some kids from the neighborhood team up to find this treasure and take on the adventure ahead. Making Treasure Hounds a great movie to add for the kids who love adventure and a great movie to add to your next family movie night!




Product received, thank you to Lionsgate as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

#Giveaway My Little Pony Equestria Girls – Magical Movie Night (2 Winners!)


Family movie night is a night we look forward to in our house. The kids enjoy seeking out those movies and shows that they like or want to see that we can share and watch together. And like many who have enjoyed the My Little Pony Equestria Girls series, my daughter likes adding the new titles to family movie night. So when we were sent the new DVD, My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Magical Movie Night to review, we were excited to add it to the mix.



In this DVD you get a triple feature which has those pony characters that we all know and love who have stepped through a magical mirror to be transformed into teenagers at Canterlot High. Even though they are part time magical pony girls who are also students, the girls find that they can always come together to save the day through the magic of their friendship! The features include the following:

Dance Magic
With the Camp Everfree fundraising deadline looming, the Equestria Girls realize they need a new plan to raise more money and are ready to try new things. Rarity finds out about a music video competition,with a huge cash prize, and she’s eager to convince her friends at Canterlot High to enter the contest. However, the girls soon learn that Crystal Prep Academy is also interested in participating in the contest. The students at CPA have many more resources and are better dancers! The girls learn that sometimes coming together instead of competing is the best plan of all!

Movie Magic
The Equestria Girls have been specially invited by A.K. Yearling to go on the set of the upcoming Daring Do movie and they are overjoyed. For super-fan Rainbow Dash, watching behind the scenes as her favorite heroine comes to life is a dream come true. However, when a rare and important prop from the set goes missing, putting the movie on hold, Rainbow Dash’s dream becomes a nightmare. The Equestria Girls take it upon themselves to track down the missing prop and end up trotting into a real-life Daring Do adventure!

Mirror Magic
As the pages in her journal run out, there’s only one thing for Sunset Shimmer to do: return to Equestria as a pony to get a new journal! There, she meets new pony Starlight Glimmer and agrees to bring her back through the mirror portal to experience life as a human girl at Canterlot High. However, while Sunset Shimmer is away, a revenge‐seeking Juniper Montage finds a beautiful hand mirror enchanted with Equestrian magic. Not only can it provide a window into another land, but if you push the right button, It can also make things disappear into limbo, trapped between the two realms! Sunset Shimmer and Starlight Glimmer return to find the Mane 6 missing and Juniper Montage acting extremely suspicious. Will Sunset Shimmer and Starlight Glimmer save the girls, or are the Mane 6 lost in limbo for good?

Bonus Feature:
Sing-Alongs

We found this DVD to be a great addition to my daughters My Little Pony collection and also a great choice to add to any family movie night. You can learn more about this movie and other My Little Pony titles by heading to Shout Kids and get your free downloadable coloring sheets by going here. And to help with bringing some of that magic home, the wonderful people from Shout Kids would like to give two of my amazing readers their own copy of My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Magical Movie Night on DVD!





Product received, thank you to Shout Factory as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.