Kidecals – My Review of their labels!

Let me start off by saying that I was given a free sheet of Kidecals labels to try in return for my review. All opinions are completely my own and I am not being compensated in any other way.Kidecals

Having four kids you can imagine that keeping each of their items straight (because heaven forbid they have to share their favorite cup) can be difficult. Add in that they all are going to school, then the reality sets in that we loose their things, often. I’ve always tried to stick to assigning a color to each kid but what happens with the four pack of tooth brushes comes with 1 blue, 1 green, and 2 pinks…well the youngest ends up with a pink but more importantly he spends every morning and evening fighting with this sister about which tooth brush is his. So when I was approached to try the Kidecals labels I was more than eager for all of these reasons!

I decided to have a sheet of labels made with my youngest son’s name. He just started preschool so he has to take an extra set of clothes, sippy cup, shoes, lunch and backpack every day. Since we were supposed to label all of those items I quickly found many items to use the labels on. Like his tooth brush…that matches his sisters.

Sippy cup

I used the labels on every single thing of his for school. I must say I am very happy with the labels!! His sippy cup has been through at least three dishwashing cycles and the Kidecals label is still holding on strong. Last week he had a potty accident at school so they put him in his extra set of clothes. I washed those clothes at the end of the day completely forgetting I had Kidecals labels on them. They went through the washer and the dryer and came out completely attached to the clothing and looking just as new as the day I put them on the clothes. (Side note: He can’t read yet but he recognizes his label which is helping him identify his name!)

Shoes   Lunch box    Ready for school

Their website was easy to navigate. I was able to choose the label I wanted, customize it, and put in my order all in less than 10 minutes (would have been quicker if I wouldn’t have had such a hard time deciding which design to choose)! Actually I am so pleased with these labels I am going to put in an order for each of my kids a sheet of their own labels!! The OCD side of me is in heaven! 😉

Kidecals has so many great labels to choose from. You can check out their Instagram  and Twitter OR search the hashtags #kidecals and #labelitdontloseit to see lots of different ways to use their lables. They offer free shipping! My order was processed and shipped very quickly! I highly suggest checking them out if you haven’t already!
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Helping to Center our Active Children

**Guest Post**

Park Playing

When you have a child with a lot of energy it can be hard to know what to do with them. They always seem to be moving and going, bouncing off the walls. The ability to control that energy for useful tasks or even structured play is important for active children to learn at a young age.

Active children need much more scheduled activity than do other children. Often you will see an active child with too much free time getting out of hand or noticeably stressed. Because of their energy and constant activity at times they need to be reeled in and there needs to be definite boundaries in place for these children.

As parents or caregivers we need to pay close attention to the specific dispositions of each child. All children need some structure in their lives because it gives them security; active children need structure all the more because they have difficulty keeping themselves from spiraling out of control.

There need to be carefully adhered to bed times and nap times, regular times for meals, and scheduled play with other children and close supervision. Another very important activity to schedule is quiet time for reading or playing alone or one on one with a parent or other adult. They need to experience being able to do things quietly and calmly and get practice in doing this daily. It will serve them well as they become adults and it will help them realize that not everything they do that gives them pleasure requires strenuous activity.

On observing adult behavior in office situations or structured work environments you can often spot out an adult that has difficulty keeping focused on the task at hand. This is more than likely due to the fact that they were not trained as a child to be able to have quiet downtime that did not involve sleeping. We are doing a disservice to our children if we do not give them the tools to function in any environment.

When an active child is channeled properly and their energy used for specific scheduled and goal oriented events they can achieve great things. But when this energy is allowed to flow willy-nilly throughout their lives, driving them here and there with no purpose they become self involved and have great difficulty staying on task.

My own son was an active child and is not an active young adult. We were very careful to keep him in predominantly structured activities. And I do not mean structured as putting him in classes or other events outside the home. But at home he had very definite times for naps, eating, and quiet activities. Everyday as a family we would have a bike ride to the park or take a walk to the bayou to check out the tadpoles. He spent time outside with free play but we always made sure he had something constructive to do. He loved to build things and to use a hammer and nails and someone was always there with him supervising when he was young. We encouraged him to play ball with the neighbor children or to climb safe trees with his siblings.

We also scheduled study time. It helped our son to sit down with his sister and do their homework together. She could do her homework anywhere and if it was a project we of course allowed her to do it on her own. But most nights she would sit with him and encourage him in his studies. I would be on hand in the kitchen to assist and was always involved as well. He had difficulty sitting for long periods of time when he was very young so we made sure that study time did not go on too long and perhaps if there was too much work we would take a break.

Craft time was something he loved and he could stay focused for thirty or more minutes when given a craft he liked. He especially liked working with craft sticks and hot glue guns but was very carefully supervised of course. He also enjoyed making houses out of sugar cubes using cake icing as the glue. We would often color the icing with food coloring to make it even more interesting for him. We had an Easy Bake oven and a Queasy Bake oven and both our children loved to spend time baking up treats or creating yucky bugs and creatures.

We found that having a nightly schedule of taking a nice warm bath and then spending fifteen or twenty minutes reading or telling stories before bed was a wonderful way to get our active child relaxed and ready for bed. He could easily spend an hour in the bath tub if we allowed it. He had a pirate ship and other bath toys that kept him interested and soaking until we told him he was turning into a prune and had to get out. This seemed to relax him so much and then bundling him up and getting him into his pajamas for story time kept that relaxation going. Good sleep habits really help active children a great deal.

We also made a point of keeping him occupied during his free time on more than just video games and television. He could sit for hours at the computer if we allowed it. A little computer is fine and a television show here or there also but we thought it important to not let those things become the predominate forms of entertainment in his life. We played games together as a family, did chores together as a family, and spent time talking about our days especially at dinner time. Staying well connected with what your active child is thinking and feeling as well as making them feel connected to your thoughts and feelings can really help to build strong relationships. Because of their level of activity relational attachments are sometimes hard for them and they need these types of bonds to keep them focused on others.

Keeping your active child on a schedule and keeping them well balanced physically, emotionally, and mentally will give them the tools they need as they grow into adulthood. We need to help them to channel their energy and in so doing show them how they can be very successful using this gift of energy that God has blessed them with.

Ken Myers is a father of three and passionate about great childcare. He’s always looking for ways to help families find the support they need to live fuller, richer lives. Find out more about expert childcare by checking out @go_nannies on Twitter.

Easy Canvas Prints Review & GIVEAWAY

My Easy Canvas Print

I was given the opportunity to review Easy Canvas Prints. *Disclaimer: I was given a free 10×30 canvas print in exchange for this review and advertisement on my blog. All views are 100% mine and genuine!

I had a little trouble finding just one print to have put on the canvas. I wanted one of each of my kids, family and hubby and I. Alas I decided since hubby and I never had our wedding photos printed I would surprise him with a canvas of one of our wedding photos.

The first one I chose was a copy of a copy making it low resolution but Easy Canvas Prints contacted me about changing it so I uploaded a new photo. Within a week I received my canvas. I LOVE IT!!

Easy Canvas Print

It hangs over our bed now! I truly couldn’t be more happy with this canvas. It is exactly what I was hoping for. Every time I see the canvas I smile. Hubby was pleasantly surprised and lives the canvas print too!!

I would highly recommend using Easy Canvas Prints, Build a Sign and Allied Shirts for printing gifts for family and friends this holiday season! I know many grandparents that would love to receive a canvas with their adorable grand-kids faces on it! 

How would you like to win your own 8 x 10 canvas print?! Here is your chance…Enter the giveaway here!!
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Giveaway! Farm Fun Pack to Devine Acres Farm!

Fall Fun

It’s officially fall which means it is time for some festive family fun! One way my family enjoys celebrating fall is by visiting local farms. Being new to San Antonio I wasn’t sure where we should visit until I found out about Devine Acres Farm….I realized this is exactly what we are looking for. Disclaimer: My family and I were invited to visit Devine Acres Farm for free in return for a post and a giveaway for my readers!

Here is some info about them: “We’re a family-owned agri-tourism destination in Devine, Texas. Open Spring, Fall and Christmas for wholesome family entertainment. 30+ attractions and activities for “kids” of all ages! This fall, local families will return to Devine Acres Farm September 28th to unplug from modern technology and enjoy good, old-fashioned family-centric fun! Enjoy a long list of activities that include picking and painting pumpkins, riding the scenic hayrides, fishing in the Old Watering Hole, mining gemstones, playing tin bucket golf, riding the barrel-train, feeding farm animals – goats, rabbits, llamas, chickens and pigs, oh my! – and much, much more!”

This weekend, Sept. 28 & 29 is opening weekend!
Their hours of operation this fall are……
Saturdays from 10am to 5pm.
Sundays they are open 12pm to 5pm
Columbus Day, Oct. 14, 10am to 2pm
(Monday – Friday: field trips and private groups by reservation only)

Devine Acres Farm is located at 944 FM 2200 W, Devine, TX 78016. Admission is $8 per person (2 & under free), Senior citizens age 65+ are $6, AND Military discount of $6 per person. If you need more info contact them at 830-665-9730 or visit their website at www.devineacresfarm.com or Facebook page.

Now for the fun part!! I am giving away a Farm Fun Pack** to Devine Acres Farm to one lucky person! This includes: two barrel train ride tickets, one catch-n-release fishing wristband (includes one fishing pole and bucket that can be shared among family members), and two sacks of animal feed.

**Note:All of these activities require additional costs of the entry ticket fee ($8 per person; children ages 2 and under are free; senior citizens ages 65+ are $6 and we offer a military discount, also a $6 ticket).

This giveaway will run for one week.  A winner will be randomly chosen by Rafflecopter on 10/3!
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My Kids Review of Pleygo!

Pleygo creation finished. Lots of fun!Have you heard of Pleygo? It is like Net-flix for Legos! You can read more about it here. My boys got to try it this week…they LOVED it! **Disclaimer: We were given a 3 month free trial to Pleygo in exchange for my blog posts/review of the product. All opinions are 100% our own!

Here is how it worked for us. September 10th I signed us up and put 10 Lego sets on our want to try list. By Thursday the 12th we had received our first set in the mail. Friday after school I brought the boys home, opened the package, went over the Pleygo instructions, then let them have fun creating. A couple hours later they emerged with a fully built Lego set. They have been playing with it ever since…even opting out of ‘free screen time’ to play Legos!Pleygo start to finish!

This is the first Lego set they have assembled all by themselves. I am very proud of them. They followed the directions to create a masterpiece!

I would recommend Pleygo to parents with children that enjoy Legos. My boys are 6, 7, and 8…they along with their younger siblings love Legos and love the idea that they can “check out” a different set of Legos as often as they would like, trying lots of sets and not getting bored with the same ones we already own.

"We Like Pleygo!"

Here are my kids reviews straight from their mouths… “I like that I can try a new set of Lego’s without having to buy it every time.” “This is great because if we don’t like a set we haven’t wasted any money on buying it!” “I like playing Legos a LOT so this is perfect!”

Pleygo has different price options for their monthly membership. Check out their website at www.pleygo.com for more details. (They also offer the option to buy the set which would be great if your children loved the set and didn’t want to return it for a different set.) For my kids trading sets every couple weeks is perfect! It also gives us the option to include some sets for their sister so she can explore and build from time to time too! 

Don’t just take our word for it…go try Pleygo for yourself! I bet you’ll love it just as much as we do! Receive your First Month FREE at  http://www.usfamilycoupons.com/coupon.php?bid=11329&dealid=1389®ionid=75 or directly at www.Pleygo.com to register!

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Are your kids avid LEGO fans? Must read if so!

My boys literally spent the entire day on Sunday playing Legos in their bedroom. They constructed castles, cars, Batmobiles, armies and so much more! This is one toy that I LOVE…it uses their brain and imagination while giving endless constructing fun! Win, win! If your kids love Legos as much as my kids do you’ll be excited to hear about the newest Net-Flix like service but for Legos called Pleygo!!

Pleygo

Here is how it works… Subscribe, rent, play, and exchange sets of LEGOs unlimited times per month.  Shipping is always free both ways and sets are sanitized when returned.  We offer a convenient, quick, and inexpensive solution that relieves clutter and saves space at home while saving money.  Co-Founded by influential parenting blogger and creator of A-List mom Elina Furman, Plegyo is the perfect way to supply your child with endless developmental tools and allow for that much needed quiet time at home!

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Three levels of subscription starting at just $15 allow you to find the plan that best suits you.  They offer credit towards your account for sets and mixed bricks that you donate to them, AND they provide the shipping label too!  Pleygo is a perfect gift for a family friend, loved one, or birthday party.  Purchase a gift subscription and send it with a special message from you!  We are constantly expanding our inventory with more sets!

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Receive your First Month FREE at  http://www.usfamilycoupons.com/coupon.php?bid=11329&dealid=1389®ionid=75 or directly at www.Pleygo.com to register!

Disclaimer: I was offered a 3 month free trial to Pleygo in exchange for my blog posts/review of the product. All opinions are 100% my own!

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Jamberry Nails Review & GIVEAWAY

Jamberry Nail Shields

If you follow me on Instagram you know that I have worn Jamberry Nails several times over the last few months and posted a picture. Well my friend Heather, a Jamberry Nails Consultant, sent me a free sheet of nail shields (see picture below of the shields she sent me) to do a review here along with a giveaway. I have never been to a Jamberry Nails house party, I just happened to see Heather wearing Jamberry Nails when I lived in west Texas (and before she was a consultant) and she gave me a sample she had on hand to try. After I moved away she became an independent consultant for Jamberry Nails because she loved them so much.

review & giveaway

Instructions Jamberry

First things first…applying the shields to my nails. I grab the Jamberry Nail shields, tweezers, a file, my hair dryer and a small pair of scissors. Then I follow the simple ‘how to’ instructions on the back of the shields package. Being a perfectionist so it takes me about 40 minutes to apply the shields to both hands. I am nail polish challenged when it comes to painting my finger nails, but with Jamberry Nails I am easily able to apply them without any help.

 

 

 

The reasons I have fallen in love with Jamberry Nails are… I get compliments everywhere I go on my nails. Women and men everywhere want to know how I can have these amazing designs on my finger nails. I am impressed with there durability. They last a couple weeks withstanding my wear and tear of mommy/wife life (they last even longer on my toe nails). They are beautiful, giving me designer looking nails for a small fraction of the price I would pay to go to a salon.

I honestly can’t give you any negative feedback for these nail shields. With so many designs to choose from, different options for different nails including shields for little girls nails (which my daughter loves them), they appeal to ladies of all walks of life! For me I can use one entire sheet of shields at least two times on my hands OR both my hands and feet…that is a great deal for the low cost of $15 for one sheet!!Jamberry

How many of you want to try Jamberry Nails now? Here is your chance to win a shield to try! Plus with a great promotion of Buy 3 get 1 shield FREE you can put in your order today for an extra 10 entries in this giveaway!

Use this simple Rafflecopter to enter!
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