Sunday, June 21, 2015

Keeping My Summer Sane!

This year, I vowed to keep an organized and scheduled summer.  This is what I say EVERY year and it never gets done.  Except, this year, it actually did get done!  I was proactive and created chore charts, daily responsibility charts, bought workbooks for the kids and created a Consequence jar, a Get Along jar, and a Rewards jar.

The boys daily responsibility/chore chart is a blank template I pulled from this website, then altered to add more lines for the older two boys. It includes things the kids need to do all the time, every day.  Things that they will not get paid for, but just do because they live in the house. These things include: brushing teeth, bathing, brushing hair (you would think that those first three are just a given, but not with my boys..I have to remind them every day or it won't get done, hence putting it in their chart), making their beds, putting dirty clothes in the hamper, picking up their toys, picking up their bedrooms, putting away clean laundry (I fold and they put away), putting dirty dishes in sink, wiping table down after every meal, sweeping kitchen at the end of the day, and picking up the backyard.    


Their paid chores are chores that they get to pick one of, every day.  Things like vacuuming upstairs/downstairs (they can pick which level), dusting their room plus one,
dusting baseboards upstairs/downstairs (they can pick which level), taking bathroom trash out, cleaning the bathroom, dusting the blinds (I stick an old sock on their hand and they dust that way), mop the tile, mop the hardwood.  My littlest bean doesn't do a lot of these, I give him just a couple of age appropriate options from this list. Our house is always neat and orderly now!  I love it!!!


For behavior, we have behavior cards. a Consequence jar, and a Get Along jar.  The behavior cards are green, yellow and red.  I cut these out of cardstock I had lying around. These cards are just like the ones they use in school.  Green mean their good, yellow is a warning and red is grounds for pulling a stick out of the Consequence jar.  This has been pretty effective.  They definitely don't like changing their card to yellow or red. As soon as they do something nice or do the thing they were supposed to do, they get to change their card back to green.


The Consequence jar is only used if their card is turned to RED.  They pull a stick and have to perform the task on the stick.  The only exception is my little Bean.  Some of the things he can't do yet, so he'll get to pick something else that he can actually finish.  I got this idea from this site.  I added a few things that were more applicable to our family. Here's what I have for our jar: 


The stick that has 'Write 25 times, "I will not leave my things out", I'll change up a bit for whatever the crime that's been committed.  My middle Turkey hit his younger brother and had to write, "I will not hit." 25 times.  

The Get Along jar is another brilliant idea that I got from this site and it's used when the boys are fighting and can't resolve their differences on their own.  I give them one warning and try to help them out with a resolution.  I don't tell them directly what to do, I try to guide them to do something else.  If they can't get along and they are still fighting, they have to choose a stick from the Get Along jar.  Here's a pic of what I did:


The Rewards jar is a good behavior jar.  They get to pick a stick out of this jar when I see them doing something nice without being told.  It's little things that can be redeemed quickly. 


I also tried to incorporate journal time and reading time in our day.  Here's our daily schedule.  It's not set in stone, but we do most things every day.


Get up
brush teeth
make bed
get dressed
put dirty clothes in hamper
put away dirty dishes
wipe table
2 worksheets and handwriting practice/sight word practice
1 chore (can't be the same as brothers choosing or the one they did the previous day)
free time
put away dirty dishes
wipe table
free time
reading for 20 minutes (usually when I'm making dinner)
put away dirty dishes
wipe table
sweep kitchen
pick up toys/backyard/bedroom
put dirty clothes in hamper
journal time (10 year old writes 5 sentences on his day, 6 year old writes 2 sentences on his day and 4 year old draws a picture of his day)
free time

If the boys have plans and are at a friends house, they do their worksheet and journal writing when they get home or the next morning.

It's been 2 weeks of us doing this and so far, it's been great!  Our house is picked up, the boys are {{s l o w l y}} figuring out what things they need to do every day and I'm not getting too upset with them for their behavior.  It's a win/win!

I'm hoping this lasts the whole summer and throughout the school year...I'll keep you updated!  

Monday, June 15, 2015

Father's Day Gift Ideas

I always struggle with ideas for Father's Day.  My husband generally likes gifts that are way too pricey or way too techy (or both) for me to get him.  So I usually end  up making him some sort of art piece from the boys and myself.  This year is no different.  I'm making him something from the boys and from myself.  

I recently found this awesome print on Etsy and thought it would be a great idea for the hubs from the boys.  It's an image of a soundwave of the boys saying, "Happy Father's Day. We love you, Daddy!"  The price tag was a little steep for me so I decided to re-create it on my own.  My version is not on canvas and is not as large, but I'm pleased with it!

Here's the Etsy, huh?

Here's the one I made.

That print will be from the boys to daddy.  The prints below are ones I created for our office space for him.  The hubs is starting to work from home more often and I wanted to have some inspirational pieces of art to make him smile and focus.  They make me laugh!
This is an 8x10 on a white background, so it's hard to see where the edges are.

Same with this image....8x10 on white.

What are y'all doing for Father's Day?  I'd love to see some more inspiration!

Mother's Day Gift

In my previous post, I posted some ideas for Mother's Day that we wanted to do in my son's fourth grade class.  Here they are!  I think they turned out great!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Mother's Day Projects for the Classroom

Today is my youngest son's birthday.  This reminds me that there are only 2 more weeks until my oldest son's birthday and then only another week till Mother's Day!

I was tasked this year to come up with an easy Mother's Day craft that my son's 4th grade class can do.  I searched Pinterest and came up with just 2 ideas that I thought would be easy, cute and something the Mom's would like.

The first one, will be a photo of each child sitting in front of a sign that says, 'I love you because...' while holding an iPad with the reason typed out.  This idea is from another blog.  You can visit it here.

Each child will have their pic taken and I'll print and frame it out for each parent.

The other idea was something easy and useful.  Well, at least for me. :)  It's a painted wine glass.  I'm still contemplating whether or not this is appropriate.  Maybe instead of a wine glass, we could paint a coffee mug...I don't know.  I'd get more use out of the wine glass!

Here is the website for this idea.  It's super cute and I can get these stemless wine glasses (or coffee mugs) at the dollar store.  

Super cute, right?

These are the 2 ideas that I thought would be easy and cute.  Is anyone else doing something like this for their class?  If so, please share your ideas!  I would love to see them!!!

Happy birthday to my little Bean!!

I can't believe this little stinker is 4!  Where does the time go??

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

SweetLeaf Cola Drops

OK, y'all.  I'm super pysched to tell you that I was chosen by Moms Meet to review SweetLeaf Liquid Stevia Sweet Drops Cola!  I know a ton of blogs review products and some of you bloggers out there are like, "Who cares?" But when I opened up my email and found my acceptance letter, I was like, "What the What?!"

You may be wondering why I'm so excited, so let me tell you.  First of all, I already use one of their other products, SweetLeaf Liquid Stevia Drops Clear, for pretty much everything and it's by far the best stevia brand I've found. Don't be fooled by other stevia products, some are as bad as the pink and blue stuff! It has no bitter aftertaste like other brands I have tasted. I LOVE IT!  When I got the opportunity to review the Sweet Leaf Cola Drops, I was on board!  Secondly, I don't drink soda.  Like, ever. I used to a loooong time ago, but realized how horrible it is for you, so I stopped.  Cold turkey.  It was one of the hardest things I've done.  I can proudly say now that I haven't had a soda in about 6 or 7 years.

Now just because I don't drink soda that doesn't mean that I don't crave it every now and again.  That's why SweetLeaf Cola Drops is such a GENIUS idea! You can have your soda, but without all the harmful chemicals, HFCS, and major guilt.  This is an all natural, organic product.  You just put a few drops into some sparkling water and viola!  Soda!  It's also incredibly economical.  Much cheaper than buying soda.  And did I mention much healthier, too?  I'm so impressed with these drops!  It's something that you'll want to keep in your purse or backpack.

So how does it taste?  Well, the flavor is mild. Not mild like watered-down, but more like a less intense Coke.  I actually prefer the mild taste. And despite it's mildness, it is still very flavorful.  I can taste vanilla and caramel notes, which I absolutely love, so it was all good!  This product definitely has a "diet" taste to it, though.  It's not going to taste like a straight up sugary soda.  But, I don't mind the taste of diet sodas, so, again, I'm good.  It also does not dye your drink a weird brown color.  It stays clear.  The drops are brown, but that is because of the vanilla extract.  It will not change the color of your sparkling water.  This is a WAY better substitution than say, any other diet soda with aspartame or sucralose.  With all the food fiascoes happening in the world today, it's nice to have a company that produces quality products for their consumers.

All in all, I really like this product.  I will definitely purchase these in the future, and to top it off I actually feel comfortable giving it to my boys.

So, to recap,  here are some FACTS about SweetLeaf Cola Drops:

• SweetLeaf® Liquid Stevia Sweet Drops™ Cola is a healthy alternative to traditional diet sodas!

• How does it work? Simply add two drops of Cola Sweet Drops to your glass for every ounce of sparkling   water (or to taste), and you get delicious cola taste without the bitterness.

• Cola Sweet Drops are portable, convenient, and a great value at just 5¢ per serving.

• SweetLeaf Sweet Drops contain no carbohydrates, calories, sugar alcohols, methanol, aspartame or             sucralose. They are all natural and gluten-free.

• Like all SweetLeaf products, Cola Sweet Drops is made with USDA certified organic stevia.

• The retail price for SweetLeaf Sweet Drops Cola is $4.39 for 37 servings, or $14.99 for 100 servings.      Pricing may vary based on retailer.

I can honestly say that I am sold! I love the fact that I can now have a guilt free soda.  And thanks to the lovely people at SweetLeaf, now you can too!!!  

SweetLeaf is offering y'all an AWESOME deal!  Just use the code “ColaMD” at checkout to take 30 percent off your online purchase!

If you'd like more information on this product, find them here.  They also have a FB, Pinterest and Twitter page.

Try it and let me know what you think!  You won't be disappointed!!

I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms MeetSM program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms MeetsSM blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Younique Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lash Mascara Review

Hello all of my beautiful readers!  Today we are going to discuss Younique Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes. I'm sure you've all seen this product by now. It is BLOWING UP on all of your social media feeds. Well, I was given an opportunity to test this product out and give my honest opinion about it.  First of all, I'm no stranger to products that claim to make your lashes longer, thicker, fuller, etc.  I've had eyelash extensions. I've tried lash building serums.  I've worn fake eyelashes and I've tried several brands of lash lengthening mascaras.  Some of them worked and some of them didn't.  The ones that did work, only worked for a period of time.  Mostly because of price and the fact that I didn't want to continue with the financial aspect of it all.  Well let me tell you that I have just tried my very last mascara! No, really...I have found THE one.  I will never, ever have to search for that ONE PERFECT mascara EVER again.  

At first, I was a little dubious as to how well this actually worked.  Yes, I've seen all the before and after pictures.  But, everyone is different and everyone has different length natural lashes.  Mine are soooo short and sparse.  It's the Asian in me. But this mascara worked wonders.  It lived up to its claim to fame.  Not only did it lengthen my lashes, but it thickened them too.  

Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes comes in a pretty, quilted black case.  It's very fancy!  There are two tubes inside.  One tube is a Transplanting Gel and the other tube is a Natural Fiber.  The instructions for this product are very easy to follow.  First, you apply a thin coat of your own mascara, then let that dry.  Next, you apply a coat of the Transplanting Gel.  This gel looks like mascara to me. It's dark in color.  I can't tell if it's brown or black.  Then, before your Transplanting Gel dries, you apply a coat of the Natural Fiber. Finally, you apply your last coat of Transplanting Gel.  Then, BOOM!  Your lashes will look like you've just had eyelash extensions put on.  It's crazy how long they get!  If you want them even longer,  you can continue to put on the gel and fibers until they are the length you want.  I stopped at one application, because I thought they looked great at that point.

Oh, I did use a eyelash curler before I got started and I used an eyelash comb to separate some of the lashes that got a little clumped together.  The clumpiness did not happen on both eyes.  My lashes are weird on one eye, so I have to use an eyelash comb just for that eye.  It's the way my eyelashes grow, not a comment on how the mascara applies.  

If you are not used to using a two step mascara, it may take you a few times to get it just right.  So, don't give up!  Make use of all of your beauty tools.  I didn't start using my eyelash comb until I used products that made my lashes longer.  Now it's something I use every day.  

Oh, and in case you were wondering, Younique offers mostly natural and/or organic products, which I truly appreciate. If you want more info on this subject, read about it here.  The 3D Fiber lash is water resistant, NOT waterproof.  It comes off easily with soap and water but stays put on super sweaty days.  I used my regular facial wash to get it off.   

I have not tried any other Younique product....yet.  Now that I know how awesome the mascara is, I'll definitely be checking out the rest of their line.  

OHHH...I forgot to mention price.  It's $29 for the 3D Fiber Lashes.  Some of you may think that it's a little pricey.  It is more expensive than your typical Cover Girl nonsense, that doesn't do jack for your lashes. But, I've purchased Lancome mascara before that was right at that price point, and it still did nothing for me. So, $29 for a 3 month (give or take) supply is OK by me.  And it's cheaper and way better for your lashes than eyelash extensions.

SOOOO....Are you ready for some pictures????

Here I am with NO makeup.

This is the mascara I used before applying the 3D Fiber Lash.

Here I am with a coat of my mascara.

Here's the Younique Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lash set.
See how pretty it looks!

One eye done with the 3D Fiber Lash. Can you tell the difference?

and BOOM!  Amaze-balls!
(My husband and my Mom asked if I was wearing fake lashes!)

If you've never heard of or checked out this product before, PLEASE do so!  It's FAN-FREAKIN-TASTIC! My friend Cristi is a Younique Independent Presenter, she introduced me to this product.  You can check out her website here if you want to have amazing lashes!  She also has a Facebook page.  Check it out here and here.  Seriously, check it out!  You will not be disappointed. 

It's crazy how one product can take you from blah to BOOM!  Thank you Cristi for introducing me to this product!!

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