Monday, August 1, 2016

My new favorite find for my kids

With Moose starting transitional kindergarten soon, I wanted to get him a workbook to help refresh everything he learned in preschool last year, to help him with some of the newer things we have started working on over the summer, and even some new things we haven't thought about working on yet.
I've been looking for the right book for a few months now, but haven't been able to find one that met my requirements at the price point I wanted.
Then one day after checking all of the kindergarten books that our local Target store had to offer, I decided to go look at Sam's Club and see if they had anything better.
After walking through the book isle for a few minutes and looking through every educational book they had, including a few 1st grade ones, I came across the Get Ready for School Kindergarten book. 
To say that I was impressed is an understatement.
At $12.95 it was priced a little more than I was originally looking to spend, but it is completely worth every penny. Honestly, it is probably worth the $17.95 MSRP with the amount of material you receive.
It is put together similar to a binder with very easy to flip pages that I'm not worried my 4 year old will accidentally rip out if he flips them a little too hard. 

When you open the cover, you are greeted with a very easy to read table of contents that not only gives you the pages that each section begins on, but the color coding for that section to make for easy navigation between the different lessons.






There are so many different activities for kids to help them not only learn but retain the information the book supplies. It goes above and beyond what I had expected from a educational activity book. For example: In the alphabet section, there are 2-4 pages dedicated to each letter with different activities to help kids not only learn to write and identify each letter, but to know what sound it makes and identify words that start with that letter. 

               

Moose has enjoyed working on his book a little each day. He has gotten through several letters and their activities, worked on some sight words, and numbers. 
I can't wait to see how much more he is able to learn as we get through more and more, and to get into some of the suggested reading.
Watching him finish each page makes my heart swell as he celebrates his accomplishments and knowing that with each day and every page that he works on, he is getting more and more ready for kindergarten to begin.


Sunday, July 31, 2016

School is coming

As August gets closer and closer, 
I am reminded how little time is left until Moose starts big kid school.

He starts a program called "transitional kindergarten" this year, which is supposed to be in between preschool and kindergarten for kids who won't be 5 years old by the state deadline.

The cool thing about the program is that teachers will be watching and evaluating the kids to see which are ready for kindergarten and which need the extra year. 

The kids who are ready can get moved up to the one year kinder program with their parents' permission or they can stay in the two year program.

It is crazy to think that my little boy is growing up so fast and not only is going to be in a regular school, rather a school with just preschoolers, but he may be moved up to a traditional kindergarten class sooner than we had expected.

It's really exciting that he is getting to move on to bigger and better things, but a bit sad that my little boy is growing up.

He isn't my little baby anymore, my crazy toddler, he is a big kid.
And in two weeks, he'll be a big, elementary school attending kid.

I can't wait to post about his first day and updates on how he is doing. 
I'm so proud of him.

Now if only the school would get the information out with who his teacher is, which classroom he'll be in, and what supplies he'll need we'll be set!


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

InStyler BLU Turbo Ionic Dryer review

I have never been a fan of hair dryers. I didn't even buy one for myself until a few years ago and I only used it on the rare occasion that I needed my hair dried fairly quickly before going somewhere. My hair always felt dry and unhealthy after blow drying, it was such a turn off. 
Then one day I was contacted to try out and write a review for the InStyler BLU Turbo Iconic Dryer and i decided to give it a try. 
I'll never buy another hair dryer again after trying this one out. It has changed my whole view on how a hair dryer should work and how it should make your hair feel.

The InStyler BLU Turbo Iconic Dryer comes neatly packaged with all of it's awesome accessories including the dryer, concentrator attachment, diffuser attachment, and instructions.

One of the best things about this dryer is there are a lot of different options for you to choose so you can customize your drying experience to best match your hair type, amount of frizz control you need, and to help you achieve maximum shine in minimum time.

 

It is truly amazing how many different combinations you can do for if you want to dry and eliminate frizz, dry and enhance curls, dry and straighten, add texture, add shine, etc. 
And to get such a great product in a hair dryer that is so incredibly light just makes me more of a fan.

I'll admit, the $89.99 price tag from Amazon can be a bit of a turn off at first, especially if you are on a budget, but this is one of those products where you get what you pay for.
Rather than spend a lot of money buying cheap hair dryers that leave hair more damaged, that end up costing you even more money in hair products for repairing that damage, spend the extra and get a top quality hair dryer that will help your hair be healthier and look it's absolute best.
I've never been more happy to own a hair dryer until now.


If you want to buy one of these guys for yourself, you can find them on Amazon for $89.99

or directly from InStyler, which comes with a mini dryer too for one payment of $119.85 (plus tax)
or one payment of $14.95, then 3 monthly payments of $39.95








I received this product for free to try and review. Regardless all opinions written here are 100% my own.

Monday, July 25, 2016

It's been a while

Looks like life got away from me again and it has taken getting some reviews to write to bring me back here. 
The last year and a half has been an adventure.
The last time I posted about family, Squirrel was only 6 months old.
So much has happened since then.

Squirrel started walking just shy of his first birthday and we celebrated with a small Winnie The Pooh shindig at our old house.

In the middle of 2015 we moved again.
(I know, I know, we move way too much)

And in September we got Joey a new friend named Hagrid

Who is now a moose
       
(can't forget how big Joey got)

Moose turned 4 in October and we celebrated with a Nightmare Before Christmas themed party complete with a DIY hanging Zero, Oogie Boogie cupcakes and Jack chocolate apples!
           


                           


In December, Moose started preschool and quickly shot to the top of his class.
He gets to start pre-kindergarten in the fall with the hopes he will move up to regular kindergarten in October when his birthday rolls around.

We lost my grandma unexpectedly in May and it reminded me of just how precious life is and how we need to let those we care about know that we love them as often as we can since we never know what day will be their last. 




Squirrel turned two this past May with a Lion King birthday and is such a crazy, smart kid.
Just like his brother, only in completely different ways.
It is amazing how different siblings can be.

It only took two years, but we are finally getting schedules built and I am slowly finding time here and there to do things for myself. 
I'm hoping to finally be able to set some time aside every couple of days to come and write updates and product reviews as I have them.

I do have a few products I'll be writing about over the next few days, so keep an eye out.

That's about it for now, so I'll just leave you all with some updated pictures of Moose and Squirrel from the last month or so. They are huge!

                                                              





Saturday, June 11, 2016

Wrapy stretchy baby wrap review and apology


I have a review for a great, affordable stretchy baby wrap to share with you, but first I need to apologize.
In April I received confirmation from the Wrapy company that I would be receiving a Wrapy stretchy wrap in the mail to try in return for my review. 
I was able to read all of the instructions and put Squirrel into the Wrapy once to test it out in our house before separating my shoulder and causing a delay in my ability to effectively test out my Wrapy more.
I was able to wear it a couple of times when Squirrel fell asleep on our way to pick up his brother from school, but trying to get a sleeping toddler into a stretchy wrap is no easy feat, it is made even harder when you can not lift one arm very high.
The end of April and the month of May brought several deaths to the family, including my grandmother's stroke, death, and finally burial last weekend.
To say that my mind has been somewhere else is very much an understatement and for that I apologize.


However, without further ado, here is what you came here for! 
Wrapy, a stretchy wrap review.

In April I received a blue Wrapy stretchy wrap to try. I wasn't sure what to expect since this would be the first wrap that I had ever used. I prided myself in being knowledgeable in soft structured/ buckle carriers and proficient in ring slings, but wraps had always intimidated me a bit. 
When I was offered the chance to try one free of charge, I couldn't say no.
Let me just say, the Wrapy has been my gateway drug into wraps and has left me wanting to try them all. Despite having a limited budget.

The Wrapy is rated to be used from birth until 35lbs, and while it is comfortable to use with my 30lb two year old once it is on, I found myself having to readjust as the wrap stretched under his weight the longer he was in it and it was a bit difficult to get him in the wrap while following the directions that were included in the Wrapy.
I tried for allow him to forward face, but felt that there was not enough support for his size at the time and removed him immediately.
I wish that I had known about Wrapy when my children were younger because this would have been an amazing tool for them when they were smaller babies, especially during the newborn phase.

The Wrapy can be a bit intimidating when you first take it out of the storage bag.
There is something about staring down a long piece of cloth and the directions that left me wondering how people managed to do it every day and how all that fabric wasn't going to swallow me alive.
Thankfully, after practicing on getting it wrapped as close to the pictures in the instructions, I felt confident that it would be able to withstand Squirrel's weight without dropping on his bottom.
While it wasn't perfect, I was able to walk around the house with him comfortably and he seemed to love it more than he does out Lillebaby carriers sometimes.


I managed to get him up in the Wrapy a few more times in May during the 3 week long wait while my shoulder separation healed. 
Thankfully, the wide shoulder panels helped to distribute the weight over a greater area without putting too much pressure on my lower back, something that neither my soft structures carriers nor ring sling could do at the time, causing me far less pain when I needed help holding Squirrel.

While I don't reach for my Wrapy as much as I would like to, it has become a staple in our house. It lives in the diaper bag for days when I don't want to lug a bulky buckle carrier or stroller around and has held up well to being washed and dryed.

My only complaint is that I wish they had an affordable option of woven wrap that had a higher weight limit since Squirrel is now almost 32lbs and will quickly outgrow our Wrapy.


All in all, the Wrapy is a great wrap for those who are looking for an affordable option. The blue is a beautiful color, between navy and royal blue. And once you get a handle on it, it is not only user friend;y, but holds up well to toddler weight.

Two thumbs up!

If you are interested in buying a Wrapy of your own, you can find them on Amazon right here: http://www.amazon.com/Baby-Wrap-Wrapy-Lifetime-Guarantee/dp/B013VAZ398/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top?ie=UTF8


You can also check them out on their website: http://wrapy.net/



I received this product to try for free in exchange for my review. Regardless, all opinions stated are mine and mine alone.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The jury is in...

...and Squirel is growing like he should be now!

His 6 month appointment went as awesome as I was expecting with him weighing in at 15 pounds 13 ounces and measuring in at 25.5 inches in length. 

He is about the 18th percentile for weight and 10th percentile for length so he is on the smaller side of the charts, but he is on the charts and has been slowly coming back up. 

There are no words to describe the amount of joy that I have over the news, the knowledge that out fight with his weight gain is over. 

He is healthy!

He is finally healthy.

It didn't seem like I was ever going to be able to say that.

Here are a few pictures of my happy boy at his appointment today


Meet Joey!

Meet the newest member of your family, Joey!

He is a 3 month old aussie/queensland mix that joined our family on Novmber 23rd. 

He is a super sweet, smart little puppy who has decided his best friends are the boys. He loves to be at Moose's side where ever he happens to be.

And if Squirrel is close by, you can bet he is getting some baby lovin' too.

The cats aren't too sure of him still. Simon growls when every he sees him and Sergeant stays in the master bed to avoid being around him.
It has definitely been a bit of a life style change, but he is worth it.