Why I’m Canceling BirchBox!

I’m overly amazed at how small and teeny tiny all the items in my Birch Box subscription were! That’s why I’m canceling because I personally don’t think it’s worth the money each month. Last month I got the same mini purse mirror and the same sample of Real Chemistry Body peel. I’m even less impressed with the tiny sample of sunscreen. The small lipgloss sample is kinda ok because lipgloss last so long anyway but it’s still very small. Even though the 3 Minute body peel sample appears large because of the packaging it’s hard to cover your entire body with what’s in the package. My final thoughts is that this is the equivalent of what you’d be given free when shopping at a dept. store makeup counter or free samples you’d get when shopping at Ulta or Sephora! Sorry if my post sounds like negative Nancy but I thought I should let everyone know. In my opinion is NOT worth $10 a month!

A monthly box of fun toys, healthy treats, and other goodies for your cat!

Free Coal Kit For Teachers or Home Schooling

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Free Coal kit for teachers or home schoolers! CLICK HERE to request your free kit. The website says your first kit is free.

Did you know you could save money using your smart phone? Yup! I do it all the time!

piggyWant to save money in the grocery store but not interested in clipping coupons or would like to find a way to save even more?  It’s almost like double dipping in the coupon world! Did you know you could save money using your smart phone?! Yup, and it’s one of my favorite ways to save! No paper to clip, nothing to print and pretty hassle free! All you do is snap a picture of your receipt using these apps. If you are a coupon shopper a lot of times you can find a coupon for an item your buying plus you may even find an instant rebate for that same item using a cell phone app! How nice is that?! It’s kind of like using 2 coupons on the same item. Even better if the product happens to be on sale too! Here’s a list of my favorite and most used smart phone apps!
Checkout 51 Offers

  • Checkout51 – A rebate app! You get money in your account for grocery shopping. There’s normally rebates on things like fruit, veggies, milk, meats & more!
  • Ibotta – Oh, how I love this app! In a way it’s like using a 2nd coupon on your grocery purchase yet it’s not a coupon at all. Instead it’s rebates! Yes, that’s correct! MONEY back in your account!!! You use the app to snap a photo of your receipt and it gets sent to Ibotta. The funds are usually credited into your account in about 2 hours. Depending on what time it is maybe as late as the next day. That’s pretty darn fast! Oh, and how could I forget to point out, YOU ACTUALLY EARN $5 JUST FOR JOINING!
  • ShopKicks – You earn points called “kicks” for walking through the door of select stores. Once you earn enough kicks you cash your credits out for actual gift cards at places like Starbucks, Macy’s, TJ Max, & more! I’ve cashed out my points for gift cards quite a few times.
  • GoodRX – This app has saved me hundreds in the pharmacy! Lets you compare prices at all the different pharmacies for generic & branded so you can choose the lowest price. You can download a coupon for just about any prescription. Just show the discount coupon at checkout. If you or someone in your household has a few prescriptions to pick up each month this app is a must have on your phone. GoodRX also has a website for those who aren’t into smartphones.

ABC Mouse is having a sale! 68% off and get 2 Months for only $5 !

ABCmouse.com

I subscribe to ABC Mouse myself and I love it! The little one’s can use it on the computer, an iPad, Droid pad or your smart phone! It’s well worth the small investment! I was amazed watching my 2 year old with it.

Get 2 Months of ABCmouse.com for only $5! or or take advantage of 38% Off an Annual ABCmouse.com Membership! Receive 12-Months for Only $59.95!

20 #Meals From #Costco For Less Thank $150 #saving #dinner

20 Meals from Costco for $150 - The Summer EditionDo you struggle with meal planning? Or shopping at the warehouse stores and end up with ingredients sitting in the pantry, or even worse…having to through out produce when it goes bad?

I’ve got just the solution for you with this original (first ever!) 20 meals for $150 plan. For months I found myself playing this game of “mix and match” with ingredients from Costco and would cook some, freeze some…and it dawned on me that I can’t be the only one with this “use it all up before it goes bad” problem, so I pulled together a list of recipes and ingredients where you can make 20 meals for $150!

Let’s get to it, shall we?!?

Ingredients & Price List

  • 1 big package of chicken breasts (contains 6 – 1 lb packages) ~ $19
  • 1 big package of ground beef (about 5 1/2 to 6 lb) ~$17
  • 1 package of beef for stew (about 4 lbs) ~$14
  • 1 – 5 lb bag of baby carrots $4.99
  • 1 – 15 lb bag of gold potatoes $9.99
  • 1 – 6 ct package of avocados $5.49
  • 8-9 mangoes or 1 box $5.99
  • 1 – 40 ct bag of 6″ tortillas $3.19
  • 1 – 36 ct bag of Costco bakery dinner rolls $4.49
  • 1 – 4 lb package of frozen broccoli $5.89
  • 1 – 18 ct package of eggs $1.99
  • 1 – 6 lb package of spaghetti noodles $6.59
  • 2 pack Prego pasta sauce $7.49 (MINUS $2.30 coupon!)
  • 2 pack Kirkland salsa $7.49
  • 1 – 24 oz. container Parmesan cheese $7.99
  • 1 – 4 lb bag of quinoa $10.99
  • 1 – 8 ct package of canned corn $7.89
  • 1 – 8 ct package of canned black beans $5.79
  • 1 – 8 ct package of canned tomatoes $5.99

Optional – a 6 pack fresh peppers $6.49

Total – $149.94

(or $156.43 if you get the peppers too!)

Leftovers – you will have lots leftover too…including a jar of spaghetti sauce, lots of quinoa, jar of salsa, several pounds of potatoes, a ton of Parmesan cheese, and smaller quantities of other ingredients. I did not reflect these “leftovers” in the total cost, so it would really be $10-$15 less than $150!!! To get the meal plans head on over to $5 Dinners by clicking the banner below or CLICK HERE.

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Black Friday and #Meaningful #Gifting #blackfriday

I can’t believe it, but the holiday shopping season is upon us, it’s already BLACK FRIDAY!!! A lot of you might agree that holiday gift giving has lost some of what made it special in the past, and the expectation of material goods has gotten out of hand. Just google Walmart + Black Friday + injury for some of the worst.

But despite negative news, there is something really special about getting together and giving loved ones gifts that have meaning. So before you get anything to just check someone off your to-do list, take a moment to model thoughtful giving for your children, family and community. Give them a gift that will last.

Mother and daughter baking cookies

Experiences create the memories that bond us. Consider taking loved ones on a local adventure, a music show, committing to an exercise routine or honing cooking skills together. Or even just setting up time for a special day with just the two of you. This can be inexpensive for your pocketbook, and rich in meaning.

Education is also a gift that lasts a lifetime. For youngsters in your life, how about a set of blocks that get their creative juices flowing, science experiments they can do with friends, or Peter and the Wolf, the Nutcracker and other classical pieces you loved as a child?

Whatever their passion as a young learner, stoke those coals. Your gift to them will not only last a lifetime, but positively influence their community!

Make sure you don’t overpay – if you’re new to Educents.com you can get $10 off your first order with my referral. 🙂 CLICK HERE to visit the site.

This years hottest educational toys for Christmas shopping made easy!

Attention builder families! If you’re looking for some great educational ideas for your Christmas shopping for the little ones in your life well you’re in the right place! Here’s a pre-compiled list of the highest rated and hottest learning toys this year! Blocks are so educational and have so many benefits to your child in so many ways!  Use discount code: GIVETHANKS to save 10% and get free shipping.

Finding the right holiday gift can be a struggle. Rather than leaving you to a google rabbit hole or a bunch of recommendations to sift through, I’ve pulled together a one-stop shop filled with meaningful gifts for the tinkerers in your life…Whether they’re 3 or 83.

In this gift guide, you’ll find:

  • classic blocks reinvigorated
  • gifts for mechanical tinkerers
  • super cool robot kits
  • gifts for computer savvy kids

Building Blocks 2.0

Rubbablox

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Tiny builders, start here!

These soft tactile blocks are great for truly little ones to learn on. Made of natural rubber foam, they are squishy but perfect for building. They’re colorful and durable and fit together easily. Children can create a variety of shapes and structures!

Using imagination and coordination, young children work on spatial, fine and gross motor skills. For kids who need sensory input, the tactile stimulation provided by this toy is fantastic.

And while we’re thinking about giving, it’s also important to think about responsible buying. This is a green product, made in India at a fair trade factory using premium quality, child-safe materials. The surface is 100% nylon and wipes clean, making it perfect for little chewers!

“My husband is quite the handyman. I purchased these for my son (and a different set for my daughter), to encourage their interest in making/building things and in fixing things. So far, I have a new a bird feeder and a bat house. Yah!” ~ Gail R – Teacher

Magformers Challenger Set

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The unmatched magnetic building set. Talk about STEAM!

Perfect for large families and ambitious builders, the Challenger set encourages kids to explore magnetic construction through modular play. Magformers believes it is vital for children to develop through creativity and constructional play. This set does not disappoint.

You’ll find a variety of magnetic shapes in this set, both Rainbow and XL cruiser pieces so that children can design and build ideas from both lines including the ‘magic ball’ and super fast XL roadster.

This set makes a great addition to a math or art curriculum, that’s super hands – on. Children of all ages can build and create together making it a great social gift set.

Tegu Blocks: 40-Piece Magnetic Wooden Set

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Building blocks 2.0!

Tegu blocks are finely crafted with magnets embedded so kids can build multiple structures form various shapes. Like Rubbablox,Tegu is made from eco-friendly material (in this case wood) and comes in a variety of color schemes to suit preference and mood. Honduras and named after the capital city Tegucigalpa.

Kids defy gravity and push their imagination in previously unseen ways. No instruction manuals or electronics; just toys that demand imagination and inspire limitless creativity across all ages.

Tegu Blocks are bringing back open, creative play with style – right in time!

This makes a great gift because it unlocks a child’s mind through innovative play. The pieces are small enough to be portable.

“I believe this is an AMAZING product. Something amazing happens when kids use their hands and imagination to create.” ~ Harvey S

“Bought these for my 6 year old grandson for Christmas and we now call his creations ‘the work of a City Planner.’ The different shapes and structures take on the look of city skylines with random items like trees, bridges, etc. Geometry was never so much fun.” ~Deborah F – Homeschooler, Teacher

“My first reaction was “these are pricey!” but they were highly recommended to me so I gave it a go. Now I can tell they will be loved for years. My 3 year old loves stacking them and clicking them together and a part. I even have fun playing with these and I’m an adult. They are high quality and the colors are great. ~ Summer H – Homeschooler, Parent, Teacher

The LEGO Christmas Ornaments Book

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Packed with step-by-step instructions for 15 charming builds, The LEGO Christmas Ornaments Book is the perfect family activity this holiday season! It’s one part coffee table for adults, and two parts instruction book kids of all ages.

With The LEGO Christmas Ornaments Book as their guide, kids make classic globe and barrel ornaments, all out of LEGO! Other possible creations include original gingerbread houses, a merry Santa, arcade cabinets, and so much more!

This makes a perfect gift for the child who already owns tons of LEGO blocks but is always looking for inspirational building ideas.

Magformers Math Activity Set

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Math comes to life with this awesome set!

Put some STEAM in your holiday plans! This math activity set stimulates learning through magnetic construction and creation. Activities in the set utilize the always attracting magnets to solve math problems such as patterns, addition and subtraction, and 2D nets to 3D structures.

Perfect for the visual-spatial learner who loves math puzzles.

Use the 50 page math book included to layout Magformers shapes and complete the mathematical challenges! The set contains 12 different geometric shapes including squares and triangles, rectangles and trapezoids through to the super squares and triangles.

Mechanical Masterminds

Tool Set 10-Piece Child Size

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Realistic building for young builders! This set makes a great gift for children who love to help parents and grandparents in the workshop.

Encourage children to spend valuable imagination time learning new skills with this 10-piece set tool set. It includes screwdrivers, hammer, handsaw, bar clamp, file, tape measure, ruler, safety goggles, and tool belt.

Work and play are intertwined with building activities that are challenging, educational, and – most importantly, fun! The tool designs are authentic so children can make-believe they are true woodworkers.

Toobeez Building 57 Piece Connector Settoobeez-building-57-piece-connector-set-lr1474-1460408785-7373-3088

Ages 7 to 10

Build big connections! Kids work together to literally make bridges, obstacle courses – anything they imagine.

Start fun-filled construction with just three simple steps: connect, twist, and create. Toobeez Original Building Kit is a life-sized construction toy. Unlike regular blocks, this kit comes with interlocking tubes and spheres that can be linked to create structures right out of kids’ imagination. They can construct anything from a doll house, a helicopter, lemonade stand or a pirate ship.

Just connect and twist the tube into the connector spheres. It’s a great set to be used indoors for forts as well as outdoors for lawn activities.

This set makes a lasting gift because it promotes creativity and inspires imagination with unlimited building possibilities. Adults won’t be able to resist creating with their kids!

ROBOTIC PROFESSORS

14-in-1 Educational Solar Robot Kit

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The 14-in-1 Educational Solar Robot kit is the recipient of the “Best Green Products Award 2013” from Dr Toy and Creative Child Magazine has anointed it with “Top Toy of the Year Award” and “Kids Product of the Year Award.”

It’s the coolest and greenest robot on the planet!

This robot can be transformed into 14 different robot modes which include a multitude of comical and functional movements. The user can easily change from a Wagging-Tail Dog to Running Beetle to Walking Crab to Surfer to Speedster to Zombie Chaser!

It’s super versatile, too – there are parts that make the robot move on land and water. Like an amphibian! This a great gift for more advanced robot aficionados.

“Excellent resource for my Middle School STEAM students. Anything robotic is extremely appealing and interesting to them so this was a big set!!! Great resource, highly recommend it.” ~ Faith B., Teacher

“We purchased this for our just-turned-9 year old’s birthday. He loves it! It’s a nice size and there are so many things you can do with it! It comes with about 200 pieces and a thick instruction manual on how to make 14 different bots. Of course, the limit is your imagination and I’m excited to see how many things my son can come up with!” ~ Celena M

“Fun and educational. I like the snap together concept and the ability to take apart and reassemble multiple times. A very good price for all that you get.” ~ Martha M

Magformers Walking Robot Set

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Build a 3D bot! This makes a creative and thinking gift for the child fascinated by robots.

Young innovators will click, connect, and create with the NEW Magformers 45 piece Walking Robot set! Kids will love following along with the step-by-step idea booklet to discover the possibilities of the colorful Walking Robot Set. Eight walking characters are built using the STEAM engine block and walking accessories!

Building with Magformers encourages children to use their imagination and show their creativity while developing skills and knowledge critical to their development success. Magformers uses high quality “always attracting” magnetic technology that provides endless constructional play.

Mand Labs KIT-1: The Coolest DIY Kit for Fun Learning in Electronics

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An electrifying gift! This kit is perfect for the budding electrician looking to be stimulated by simple but intriguing experiments.

Mand Labs KIT-1 is one of the coolest Educational Electronics Kit that you will ever find. With their powerful step by step visual instructions, teens can create a variety of fascinating electricity and electronic projects. They will be able to understand how real world electronic component works, test laws of physics, gain technical skills and have fun. Watch out, Nobel!

The best part is that the kit is all-in-one. It comes with all requisite parts and tools for making 50+ projects and venturing further into electronics, books for theoretical reference, learning and making videos, troubleshooting guide, and an award winning package design that opens up into a personalized workstation. Note: This is a safe kit.

Computer-Meets-Builder

Beginning Architecture eCourse 1-3

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Audio visual meets real world building.

This is an online e-course of Beginning Architecture with 25+ architecture lessons providing the early fundamentals of structures, home design, and zoo design.

Kids use things laying around the house like paper, popsicle sticks, straws, paper plates, and pipe cleaners along with learned methods to design their own homes! Each lesson concentrates on designing and personalizing a specific room of their homes, structures or zoos. By the end of the course, students will have designed a home specific to their personal tastes and will have built various designs.

This course provides more specific architectural challenges for students who are interested in playing with and learning about architecture and some interior design, making it a great holiday gift!

Build Your Own Website: A Comic Guide to HTML, CSS, and WordPress

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Teens will have a blast learning how to make their own website with the help of this fun, illustrated introduction to the basics of website-building. Mix creativity with real world empowerment. The awesome cartoon guide will help teens learn the basics and pretty soon, they’ll have a website all their own to show off to all their friends.

Readers learn how to use HTML tags, make their own site shine with CSS, customize WordPress to fit their needs, and choose a company to host the site. They also get advice on things like how to pick a good domain name – and those of you in the blogging sphere know that’s no joke!

Help kids stop dreaming of their perfect website and start making it!

Totally #FREE Animals Handwriting Practice Manuscript #Educents @educents #homeschool #learning #teacher

Attention Mom’s and Dad’s!! Here’s a freebie for your little ones to help them learn to write their letters! The animals are so cute and it’s a totally free download from the Educents website! All you have to do is add it to your shopping card then click check out and it will allow you to download it free so you can print it from your home computer. This is a wonderful freebie for home schooling parents, teachers or just parents looking to teach their children at home. You can download it HERE!

 

FREE Seasonal and Holiday Children’s Activities

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I know moms are always on the look out for activities to keep their little ones busy so when I saw this I wanted to be sure to share it with you all. A big thank you to the Gee Whiz Educational site for sharing it free.

FREE Pumpkin Activity booklet that contains activities for all ages. To get your copy, simply click the link below OR go to our website, www.geewhizeducation.com and look under the “Seasonal and Holiday Activities” tab under “Our Product.”

CLICK HERE for your free copy.

REVIEW Sleeping with Your Baby: A Parent’s Guide to Cosleeping

1If you’ve ever wondered to yourself how it’s possible that babies around the world have survived billions of years of history sleeping with their parents when it’s supposedly so dangerous, then this book is defiantly for you! If your family and friends are always telling you your wrong, your doing it wrong or it’s dangerous, this book is for you! Personally I highly recommend co-sleeping. I didn’t realize how healthy it is for your child’s mental development until I came home from the hospital with my very first child! Your baby needs and craves that closeness and requires those oh so important snuggles because it helps reduce night time anxiety and night terrors in young babies & children resulting in a confident child. It actually keeps them relaxed, calm and comforted. That’s why when your try to put your infant down after they have fallen asleep in your arms they tend to wake up immediately. When they are very young they’re extremely aware of their surroundings. It’s simple nature because mom is their life line for food, warmth, and meeting their needs. This idea of putting your infant down in a beautifully decorated nursery across or down the hall from you is actually a new concept that started in the last 100 years or so. If you think about it you’ll notice that it’s natural to co-sleep and bed share with your baby. Just abot every animal you can think of sleeps with their young. Think about a dog that just had a litter of puppies or a lion, bear, monkey, etc. They all sleep with their young. Why is that? If you are stumbling through the early days of parenting wondering why your baby screams bloody murder every time you lay him in his crib, think about why that is. My little Helena certainly told me right away! This book is an incredibly easy read and isn’t overly long and hard to read. The author offers many different options and leaves it to each family to decide what works best for them. For each option, he also offers information about when it would not be safe. Also, Dr. McKenna goes on to explain, how the Juvenile Products Commission is actually lobbyists for the crib-makers (sounds like a few mixed interest there right). Dr. McKenna’s credentials are impeccable. He also has some really great information about SIDS. Did you know that when a baby sleeps in their own crib they are more likely to go into what’s called stage 3 and 4 sleep meaning they’re in a much deeper sleep and the baby who sleeps in the bed with their parents go into a stage 1 or 2 sleep which reduces the chances of SIDS by about 50%!!! The babies that are in a deeper sleep (stage 3 or 4) have a much harder time waking themselves up resulting in SIDS. This is especially true for breastfeeding babies who are co-sleeping/bed sharing and nursing during the night. It’s the same theory as babies sleeping with a pacifier.

Basically this book explains the “proper” way to bed share!

You Can Find Sleeping With Your Baby BY James McKenna, PhD on Amazon for only $12.78 (soft cover) and the kindle version is listed for $10.49.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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