A huge thank you to Ecocentric Mom for your contribution to this post! As a proud Ecocentric Mom affiliate and subscriber I am happy to share these products with you! This post does contain my affiliate links so if you happen to make a purchase through one of the provided links I will receive a small commission. Thank you for your support!
I was really excited when this months Ecocentric Mom box came in the mail! (Don't mind my totally mismatched jammy pants...I was cold! O_o ) We got so many cool things in the pregnancy box and I was instantly reminded of why I love this subscription box so much.
This will be my third box so far and I can honestly say I have enjoyed every single one of them. The other two past boxes did have a product or two I wasn't necessarily blown away by but again, that's to be expected with pretty much any subscription box. But THIS month I didn't receive anything I'm not at least excited to try! So, without further adieu, let's jump right into it!
About the Box
I noticed that this month the description card didn't include the product values and details. I was mildly disappointed only because I actually enjoyed reading them. However, the information has been made available on the Ecocentric Mom website so it's not that big of a deal.
About the Products
First up is the Organics Happy Mama Prenatal soft-baked oat bar! I'm somewhat familiar with the Organics brand and had no idea they had a prenatal bar! I got the flavor carrot, raisin + cinnamon. This bar packs 7g of fiber, 50 mg of DHA, 55 mg of choline, and 20% of the daily value for calcium. Plus, it's gluten-free! The back of the packaging says it's great for breastfeeding moms as well =)
My Thoughts: I'll admit that a big part of me was hoping it tasted like carrot cake (I mean carrot...raisin...cinnamon...hello?! Carrot Cake!)...it doesn't taste like carrot cake =/...So even though my exceedingly high expectations left something to be desired, it's actually not bad for a health bar. It's definitely..."healthy" tasting but not in a "this tastes like cardboard" kind of way. I could definitely see myself carrying these in my purse as an out-and-about snack for when I'm out running errands and things. And I know it has good things for the baby so that, of course, is a huge plus. I'm always looking for new healthy snacks for the fam so overall, I'm glad I got the opportunity to try it out.
I am super excited about this next product...the St. Tropica organic coconut hot oil hair mask! I have always been a stickler about my hair for some reason. I don't like getting it cut so I do what I can to keep it healthy in between trims. I have never used a hot oil hair mask before so I'm really excited to try this! It says it's proven to reduce hair damage and increase hair strength. The ingredients include Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, Organic Coconut Butter, Organic Coconut Fruit Extract, Organic Biotin, Organic Horsetail, Organic Amla, Organic Hibiscus, and Organic Green Tea. There are no chemicals, sulfate, or paraben and they don't test on animals!
My Thought: I will update after I try it out with a before and after shot! Check back soon!
Next up is the Zahler Prenatal + DHA. This is a sample pack of prenatal vitamins and it includes 10 softgels. It says to take 1 softgel twice daily with meals, or as directed by a health care practitioner. It includes 25 vitamins and nutrients, as well as, 300mg of DHA.
My Thoughts: I think it's cool that Ecocentric Mom included prenatal vitamins as a product to try. Being through 5 pregnancies I can say that finding the right prenatal can be an absolute chore. You buy multiple different brands trying to find the right one for you and it can be downright spendy. I did try these and I don't have anything bad to say about them. One thing I'm happy to say is that they are certified Kosher! No Gelatin! I have had to purchase my prenatals at a healthfood store just to avoid the gelatin which most prenatals seem to have in them. These don't have a nasty aftertaste which is nice! Also, I didn't experience any nausea after taking them. I believe taking them with food is key, as with any prenatal. I also like that they're not to big. They are kind of long but they're relatively slim so I had no issues swallowing them. Overall, I'd say this is a pretty good prenatal.
Next up are some bar soaps by South of France Natural Body Care. I received 2 bars in the scents Almond Gourmande and Climbing Wild Rose. The listed ingredients are Saponified Mass Balance Sustainable Palm Oil, Saponified Coconut Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Organic Shea Butter, Natural Colorants, Blends of Natural and Essential Oils, and Fragrance. I am a big fan of natural body products, especially if they smell good! So, whenever I receive any kind of body products, I'm always excited to try them.
My Thoughts: Admittedly, I'm more of a body wash type girl but every now and then I'll find a good bar soap that I like to use. I do like the way they smell. The scent is very light and pretty. Some soaps can lean pretty heavy on the fragrance but these ones are very nicely balanced. As far as their cleansing ability, I haven't actually used them yet but I will share the results and my final thought as soon as I do!
This next product is really cool! It's Essential Wipes 8"x10" Essential Oil Bamboo Towelette. The listed ingredients are therapeutic grade essential oils of copaiba, lavender, niaouli, ylang ylang, and palo santo on bamboo. It says they are naturally sanitizing, biodegradable, and chemical free! The tube comes with 10 bamboo wipes and what's cool is that these little wipes are compressed into tiny tablets. They kind of remind me of tums a little bit. I can't really think of any other way to describe them. But if you have ever seen those little kiddie wash cloths that expand when you add water to them, these wipes essentially work the same way. You add less than 1oz of water and then just unroll it and you have a wipe!
My Thoughts: I really like these wipes! Not only are they conveniently packaged but they work and smell great! My hands felt super soft after using it as well. The wipe itself is strong and seems durable enough to handle pretty much any wiping needs I might have. I will definitely be storing these in my purse for those moments when I am out with the kids and need a wipe ASAP!
Next up is the Para'Kito Mosquito Repellent Gel Unidose. This product couldn't have come at a better time for me. I don't know if it's just in this area but the mosquitos have been out of control here lately. Of course, I'm the type of person that seems to attract every mosquito within a 50 mile radius so, maybe it's just me. Anywho, this particular repellent is deet free...honestly I have no idea what deet is but it doesn't have any of it in it! It looks like the major deterrent here is the essential oils. I have always heard that mosquitos HATE citronella which citronella oil just so happens to be a listed ingredient! Ingredients also include rosemary oil, geranium oil, mint oil, clove, oil, peppermint oil, water, glycerin, glyceryl stearate, lecithin, sodium benzoate, gum tragacanth, guar gum, citric acid, and sodium citrate. It says to apply on neck, arms, legs, or other exposed areas as shown. Apply sufficient quantities , reapply as needed, and at least every 5 hours or after swimming. You simply snap the packaging open and squeeze to apply the product!
My Thoughts: Though I haven't had the chance to try it out yet (stuck inside from rainy weather), I am looking forward to trying it out and seeing how effective it is. I don't generally use bug repellents because of the smell so I'm actually really hoping this works as a more natural alternative. I'll let you know once I try it! ;-)
Here is another product I'm excited about! It's Dr. Brite Cleansing Mouth Rinse with Vitamin C and Activated Charcoal. It's a mint flavored mouth wash that claims to improve gum health, freshen breath, and naturally whiten teeth. I've been looking for a good natural mouthwash that the whole family can use so I was extra stoked when I saw this in this month's box. The listed ingredients are Purified Water, Organic Vegetable Glycerin, Organic Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Vitamin C, Activated Charcoal, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Spearmint Leaf Extract, Organic Menthol, Xylitol, and Organic Stevia. It says to place a small amount (15ml/3 tsp) of mouthwash in mouth. Swish vigorously and throughout for 30 to 60 seconds. Gargle and express.
My Thoughts: So far, I really like it! My mouth definitely feels refreshed after using it and I like that the taste isn't to overwhelming. I can't really verify the whitening effect as I haven't been using it for very long. But even at that, I am already sold on this mouthwash. I'm even considering trying out the toothpaste (Yes, I like my toothpaste and mouthwash to match!)
Lastly is the Itzy Ritzy Snack Happens Reusable Snack & Everything Bag. I happen to be a big fan of reusable bags such as this one. I actually have one similar that I use as a wet bag for our cloth diapers. But this one can be used for pretty much anything...food, toys, baby products, beauty products, electronics...anything! The bag measures 7" x 7" and has a zipper closure. It is water resistant and washable as well.
My Thoughts: This is probably one of my favorite products from this month's box! It seems to be extremely durable and I love that I can wash a reuse it for different things. With 4 kids, I see it serving multiple uses and it will most definitely be getting plenty of use. I just don't think one is going to be enough!
April's pregnancy box was an overall win for me! There wasn't one product that I didn't feel was necessary or at least useful to my family. I'm really enjoying finding all these new products that I've never heard of and I feel like the quality of the products makes it all worth it. I heard the Mom Boxes got mascara this month!...not gonna lie I was little jelly but I think it's awesome that they offer products like this for us moms to try out.
So, that's it for this months review! If you're interested in trying out one of the Ecocentric Mom boxes, go ahead and click here...You won't be disappointed! ;-)
Until Next Time, Shalom...
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In case you missed my last post, I recently found out that I am expecting baby #5...that's right...baby #5! As excited as hubby and I are about our newest addition, I would love to say things have been all cupcakes and rainbows. (Let me apologize in advance for any Trolls references...it's taking over my life.) The truth is that I have been pretty much incapacitated the past 8 weeks. But thanks to Ecocentric Mom, this aching momma-to-be got a little eco-friendly reprieve!
A huge thank you to Ecocentric Mom for supplying the subscription box to help me write this post today! Affiliate links are included in this post. If you make a purchase through one of these links, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only endorse products I use and enjoy! Thank you for your support!
Let me just say that I am a huge sucker for subscription boxes! I mean, it's like having a birthday every month (YES!) I was super excited when I came across the Ecocentric Mom subscription box. Before I get to my review, let's take a look at a few of the details shall we?
My thoughts on the box...
Even though I received a box for review, I didn't hesitate to subscribe after receiving my first box. I did receive a product I wasn't necessarily..."blown away" by but even at that I still felt the box was worth it.
Like most subscription boxes, this one comes with a nifty card the lists all the products included in the box. It gives the description, retail price, and where you can purchase each product. Some of them even come with a discount code!
I really love that the products are made with all natural ingredients and free of any nasty chemicals. The Pregnancy Box I received was neatly packed with eco-friendly packaging and came with 7 products.
My thoughts on the products...
The first product I pulled out of the box was the Hunkola Nutterly Awesome Cran Jam (retails at $2.99 for 2 oz.) I would describe it as a soft granola bite. It has a lot of the ingredients you would typically find in granola like oats, nuts, cranberries...stuff like that.
This was the one product I was a little iffy on. Now, to be fair, I am pregnant and my taste buds have been really wonky lately so I can't necessarily say it was the product itself. I feel like I can't really give a fair review for this reason. However, my kids loved them! My daughter said "It's really good, it tastes like oatmeal!" My husband even said he liked it so, I'm not going to say it was a flop. I personally just wasn't feeling it in that moment.
The next product I pulled out was a sample of Maty's All Natural Acid Indigestion Relief (retails at $11.99 for 4 oz.) I haven't actually used this product yet but what drew my attention was that it's not only safe for pregnant women but for kiddos 1-years-old and above (it has honey in it). It can be hard to find products like this that are safe for kids so I'll be holding on to this incase one of my kids ever needs it.
Next up was the Simply Earth Peace and Quiet (retails at $8.95 for 10 ml.) This is probably one of my favorite products that I received. It's a blend of 100% pure essential oils packaged in a 10 ml roll on bottle. The bottle I received has sweet orange, frankincense, cedarwood, and lime essential oil. These are all diluted in fractionated coconut oil.
Let me just say, it smells Uh-mazing! My husband calls it the baby tranquilizer. We used it on all the kids one night and they slept like babies! So any time they are having a tough time settling in for the night my husband says "Tranq em!" lol
I have used it myself as well and I will say it definitely does encourage a calm and relaxed mind...and I can't get over how good it smells! I'm really enjoying it and I will most likely purchase more once this bottle runs out. As an added bonus, 13% goes to help end human trafficking! Way to go Simply Earth!
The next product I noticed was the TeaThyme Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizer (Retails at $5.49 for 8 ml.) This product is really neat because it comes in a convenient travel friendly spray bottle. According to the description, each bottle contains 80 sprays and only requires one spray per use.
I like that it doesn't contain alcohol (especially with little ones that like to taste...everything.) Hand sanitizer is one of those things I'm leery about using on my littlest ones because they try to eat it off their hands. I definitely feel more comfortable using this hand sanitizer as opposed to say germ-x. I will definitely be keeping this in my purse for when we are on the go. I am even considering purchasing more for around the house.
I also like that it isn't heavily scented. It does have a pleasant but ever so slight scent to it. I'm guessing it's the thyme essential oil. The ingredients listed are Organic Aloe Vera Gel, Organic Witch Hazel, Organic Tea Tree Essential Oil, Organic Thyme Essential Oil, Glycerin, and Vitamin E Oil. Needless to say, I really liked this product and I'm definitely putting it to good use.
I was really excited about this next product because I am a sugar scrub-aholic! It is the Live-INSPIRED Organics LOVE Strawberry Essence Sugar Scrub (say that 5 times fast....go!) This product retails at $16.95 for 4.3 oz. I am particularly fond of scrubs made with coconut oil (which this one is!) And it smells....Uh-mazing! I was literally sniffing it for a good 5 minutes.
I don't know how to describe the scent...I can definitely smell the strawberry but not like in an obnoxiously overbearing way if that makes sense. They did a really good job at balancing all the scents. The ingredients include: Coconut Oil, Pure Cane Sugar, Sunflower Oil, 100% Pure Sweet Almond Oil, Rose Petals, Orange Peel, Damiana Leaf, Cacao Nibs, Cinnamon Chips, Vanilla Beans, Kosher Lecithin Powder, Kosher Certified Soy and NonGMO mixed Tocopherols, Strawberry Flavor Oil, Sweet Orange Essential Oil, and Peppermint Chocolate Essential Oil.
Wow! Talk about a "scent"sory overload! But let me tell you...it works! Somehow, someway, they brought these scents together into one harmonious union that will grace your nostrils with a sweet and delicate aroma!...ok, I may have been overly dramatic but you get the picture.
And no I don't just smell it, I have actually used it and I love it. It is gentle while still exfoliating and my skin feels amazing after using it. This is definitely something I would purchase again.
This last product is really neat. It is the Grainbow Hot Packs Lavendar Hot/Cold Pack (Retails at $12.00 for 6" square.) The first thing I noticed about this particular product is that it is handmade. I am a huge supporter and advocate for small businesses that offer handmade products. Having a small business myself, I know the time and love that is put into making each product you create. This hot pack seems to be sturdy and very well put together.
Another thing I like is that it can also be used as a cold pack. I have something similar that I received a few years back. I used it a lot my past pregnancies but it's filled with corn and has a funny smell when heated in the microwave. (Pregnancy+Bad Smells=Nothing Good) This particular hot pack doesn't say what it's filled with but it feels like it MIGHT be rice. Either way, the lavender smells much better than corn and it's not to over-the-top.
This would make a great addition to a care package for a momma-to-be! I know I definitely see it getting a lot of use in the next 6 months.
Of course let me not forget to mention these little doodads. Live-INSPIRED Organics included "A little cup of love tea" sample. There is also a business card for Good Common Sense Naturals and a $25 gift card towards an ivory clasp subscription!
My Final Thoughts...
So far, I'm really enjoying the Ecocentric mom subscription box. I'm currently expecting my second box in the mail any day now and I'm super excited to see what's in it! Be on the look out for my next review!
Overall, I feel like the products offered are worth the price. Just the full size products in this box alone are valued at over $40. This is not including the sample sizes and the gift card that is included.
Obviously, as with any subscription box, you will probably receive a product at some point that you don't like but that's to be expected. I like the idea of getting new and potentially undiscovered products in the mail every month. It must be the suppressed adventurous side of me coming out...I know...I'm wild!
I also think this box is a great option for people who may be on a budget but are interested in finding eco-friendly products for themselves and their family. All-natural products can be...on the luxurious side of the pricing scale. This box can give you exposure to some great products at a fixed price.
This subscription box would also make a great gift. I'm secretly hoping someone I know gets pregnant so I can give it as a gift!...is that weird? I don't know, I feel like giving a subscription box as a gift is kind of unique. What better way pamper mom-to-be? And you can feel good knowing the products she's receiving are good for her. Ha! You can pamper her green! Get it? Green...eco-friendly...no? Ok, I'm done...
Not a subscriber yet? I highly suggest you check it out! I don't think you'll be disappointed (in the off chance that you are, you can unsubscribe at any time) what have you got to lose?!
If you enjoyed this Ecocentric Mom box review please comment and share! Already a subscriber? Let me know what you think of your subscription so far!
Until Next Time,
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This post contains affiliate links. If you happen to make a purchase through one of the links I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!
Wow, first let me start off by saying that the last couple weeks have been C-Uh-RAYZYYY! It seems like I have had so much going on that I haven't even had time to stop and think. We have been busy, but the reality is that I have felt like...well, crap for lack of a better word.
I mean, I literally feel like I've been hit by a truck! It started a couple weeks ago. Out of no where I started sweating profusely...even when I was cold! I'm talking dripping sweat. Which is extremely unusual for me because I'm usually always cold and don't really sweat much. As my husband puts it, I keep it "a couple degrees above hell" in the house.
So, I'm sweating, I'm not eating, and I can't sleep. And as I mentioned, my body feels like it was run over by a truck, then put in reverse and run over again. What is going on with me?!
That's right...Hubby and I found out we are expecting baby #5! And yes you read that right, baby #5! We are absolutely elated and super stoked about our new addition!
So, for any of you who have been wondering what I've been up to. That's it. I haven't done...anything in the past 3-4 weeks. I've basically been living in my robe for the past month and getting by with the absolute bare necessities.
Now that I am 9 weeks, my symptoms have definitely calmed down and I'm starting to feel somewhat human enough to rejoin society. I actually did my hair the other day, got dressed, and left the house! Yahoo! (It was a big win for me)
For the time being, I'm working on restoring order to my home after my impromptu hiatus.
A huge shout out to my hubby for picking up my slack the past couple weeks. You are wonderful!
I am really excited to be sharing this season with you guys and I'm looking forward to seeing what the Father has in store for us. I know we have some big changes coming our way before the baby comes in September. So, please keep us in your prayers!
If you are interested in receiving updates on our little blessing and joining us on this journey be sure to subscribe below!
Until next time, blessing to you and yours!
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I cannot wait to share this sponsored post with you! When Dr. Stephanie O'Leary asked me to share my thoughts on her new book Parenting in the Real World, I was excited because I knew it would be a great addition to your own personal library! You will also find affiliate links in this post. If you make a purchase through one of these links, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you! Thank you for your support!
Let me start by saying that I am what one would call a book (shall I say) hoarder?...How about fanatic?...Let's just say lover. I am a book lover. I have my own personal library in my home that consists of anything from spiritual books, to autobiographies, to DIY. I love all kinds of books. But some of my all time favorite books are my books on parenting.
Why? Because I am a parent. And an imperfect one at that. I don't have all the answers and, like most parents, I am constantly looking for ways to improve myself as a mother. It's something I am very passionate about. So, when I came across the opportunity to review Parenting in the Real World, I was all on it!
I'll be honest, I was a little concerned because it IS written by a psychologist. I mean, don't get me wrong, psychologists are very valuable, but sometimes their approach can turn people off. Who wants to open the pages to a bunch of psychological jargon they can't readily identify, am I wrong? Let me just say, there is none of that here! Anywho, lets jump right into it!
The book is called Parenting in the Real World: The Rules Have Changed. Drop the Guilt. Handle Any Parenting Situation in 7 Simple Steps. And Yes, as far as I know that is the full title!
It is written by Dr. Stephanie O'Leary, Psy. D. who, as I mentioned before, is a psychologist. A clinical psychologist to be precise. You can read more about her in the about author section towards to end of this post or here.
I think it is safe to say this is categorized as a parenting book though it doesn't specifically say on the back (you know how some books show the category in the lower right hand corner?) Just for those of us who don't pick up on the "PARENTING" in large bold font on the front ;-)
The title is pretty clear about the gist of what the book offers...7 simple steps to handle any parenting situation!
One thing that I noticed right away upon flipping through the book is that the lines are double-spaced making it extremely easy to read. I personally was very appreciative of this. It definitely made my reading experience more enjoyable! Call me nit-picky but these simple things make a BIG difference, especially since I love to read so much.
This book claims to help you handle any parenting situation by teaching you to:
So, did this book really come through with all these wonderful things it claims to offer? To put it simply...yes. But I got much more out of it than these points covered!
The first thing I will say is that I really enjoyed that this book is written from one parent to another. I have only had the privilege of interacting with Dr. O'Leary on a few occasions, but I do know that she was extended the offer to have her book reviewed by professionals. But she wanted to know what you and I think...those who are actually going to be reading it for the purpose it was written. And I really respect that.
I didn't feel like I was reading a book written by a psychologist. It was more like "I'm getting sound advice from a really good friend and she gets what I'm going through." I love how personable and relatable her writing style is. It's almost as if your not actually reading but in fact having a one-on-one conversation (but not like laid back in a reclined chair in a dark office one-on-one). This made such a big difference!
This book takes a non-judgmental approach while still addressing the real world issues that most of us don't like to face, like being accountable for our words and our actions. It will challenge you to set your pride aside, but lets be honest, pride has no place in a child-parent relationship (or any relationship for that matter!)
Another thing I liked is that you are given PRACTICAL steps and examples to help you through. I happen to be a visual a person so having real world examples to relate to really put each step into perspective for me.
There are also short videos of the author introducing the chapter and what you can expect. These are easily accessed through QR Codes or you can type in the URL to access the videos. I have never seen this before in any of the books I have read and found I really enjoyed them. It helps you to connect with the author and her voice and I think this really aids in grasping the message as well!
Honestly, I loved the book and I got so much out of it that I was a little sad when the book ended. Not because the author leaves you hanging but because, as I mentioned, it was like talking to a close friend who understands my parenting struggles on a personal level. And I'm always in the mindset that I can use all the advice I can get!
So, essentially it was like ending a much needed deep conversation with your bestie and you really just want to keep talking!
As for the content itself, I can honestly say I don't have anything negative to say. I mean, I'm reading the book for the second time in 2 weeks if that tells you anything...
Dr. Stephanie O'Leary is a Clinical Psychologist specializing in Neuropsychology, and a mom of two. For over a decade she has been providing parents with a no-nonsense approach to navigating the daily grind while preparing kids for the challenges they'll face in the real world. (Yes, I did get this from the back of the book.) =)
Honestly, I got so much out of this book that covering everything would have you reading for days (you may as well just read the book yourself)...plus it would give everything away. So, I decided to pick out a quote from each chapter that stuck out to me.
We have to quiet down and just listen to what our kids have to say without judgement (p.28)
With our busy schedules, it's so easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle and at the same time rushing along those important conversations that need extra attention. Reading this was a much needed reminder that, no matter how busy and crazy things get, these little people NEED me to stop. They NEED me to listen...truly listen. And they NEED me to listen without interjecting my two-cents every 2 seconds.
Big picture, it's not always about the outcome, it's about the process. (p.42)
We as parents are always looking at the end game. Unfortunately, we often ignore the path we take to get there. This quote stuck out to me because I don't want to get so caught up in my vision for my kids future that I lose sight of the now. I don't want my children to lose out on the joy of childhood while I pursue MY ideals for their future. "At any cost" is not my M.O. This quote is a reminder that I need to be more present in the moment to guide and support them through their emotions! I want to enjoy every second I have with my babies =)
Respect is not about doing more or less, but about going through your day differently. Thoughtfully. (p.58)
I truly believe that the premise of respect has been so skewed (particularly here in America) that people don't even know what respect really looks like anymore. We are so quick to demand respect without giving it. Parents are no exception. Unfortunately, respect isn't a habit many of us possess these days. So, to presume respect will just happen...well it's not likely. Especially if you've spent much of your time being disrespectful. I have a habit of speaking words in haste, especially when I'm flustered. I really like this quote because it is a reminder that my words need to be calculated and well thought out particularly in those moments when I have a strong urge to speak out.
The stakes at that point will also be much higher, so taking steps to prepare your child for the future of limits is important. (p.87)
As with most parents, I would love to be able to give my children every one of their hearts desires. Unfortunately, that isn't realistic and it is a gross misinterpretation of what they can expect in the real world. In the real world, you have to work for the things you want. And even then, it's not a guarantee. I don't want my children to have a rude awaking when they realize that the world is not going to serve their wants or even their needs on a silver platter. This quote is a reminder to me that though we should enjoy our children, we have a responsibility as well. And we are doing them a disservice if we don't take these responsibilities seriously.
Let's be clear, your child does not make you do anything. There is nothing he or she can say, do, or be that makes you respond in a way you are not proud of. (p.117)
Wow! I know a lot people won't like this one but hey! there's no point in fighting facts. This quote is probably my favorite out of them all. Mainly because it has had such a significant effect on me. It was a brutal but much needed reminder that I am the adult...I am the one who is responsible for controlling MYSELF. It is juvenile to hold my children responsible fore MY actions. So, yes, their whining may drive me batty and their seeming lack of consideration for my hours of house cleaning may upset me, but I, and only I, can make me act out on these feelings.
"Wake up every morning and decide to love your husband. Decide to be in love with him,, to stay in love with him, and to fall in love with him again and again. If things ever get off track, come back to this." (p.126-127)
I love this quote because I recently posted something on my Instagram and this reminded me of it =) Plus, I wholeheartedly agree with it and, like the author, I realize that it can be applied to my children as well! Loving your kids comes so naturally that you wouldn't automatically think this applies but the truth is that every single one of us has "unlovable" moments. It is in those moments that we have to choose to love.
No pressure, but you are one of the most powerful influences in your child's life-perhaps the most powerful. (p.141)
Ok, though there is definitely some pressure in this statement, it is so powerful! To think that I have the "power" to either build my children up or completely tear them down is incredibly empowering and terrifying at the same time. Keeping this at the forefront on my mind will help me to be more mindful of the things I say and how I respond to my children.
I absolutely do! If you are a parent who is committed to being the best you can be for your children, then this book is for you.
If you are willing to face the not-so-pretty things about being a parent in order to have a solid child-parent relationship built on a foundation of trust and strong communication, then this book is for you.
In fact, I am so convinced that this book will help you that I reached out to the author and asked her permission to do a giveaway! Not only did she say yes, but she is going to send the winner a personalized signed copy of her book!
To Dr. Stephanie O'Leary, your words have blessed me immensely and I am extremely grateful for having had the opportunity to read and review your book. Please know that your words are having a lasting impact and I pray that other families will have the opportunity to receive this wealth of information as well. A huge thank you from the Marshall family for imparting your wisdom and sharing your expertise with the world. We will forever be grateful for the impact you have had on our family! <3
I really hope you enjoyed this review and that it encourages you to check out Parenting in the Real World. Remember to enter the giveaway for your chance to win a signed copy and share the giveaway with others!
Until next time, Blessings to you & yours,
This post is NOT sponsored. I purchased the items myself and all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links which means if you make a purchase through one of the links I will receive a small compensation at no extra cost to you, the buyer. Thank you for your support!
As a homeschooling mom of 4, I am always looking for innovative ways to teach my lessons. My attention is pulled chaotically between the dictatorial demands of a 1-year-old and..well yeah she pretty much takes the bulk of it, but I digress. Anything that is going to make the lesson smoother and inject a little fun in the mix has my vote!
So I recently ordered some games to help Khadija practice her math skills. I am so glad I did because we actually really enjoyed them! They weren't those painstakingly boring games that make you want to pull your hair out. You know what I mean?! No I actually enjoyed playing along and I will say that they did aid in her learning.
The first game we played was Money Bags- A crazy coin counting game by Learning Resources. I was really excited about this one because I knew it was created to encourage counting varying amounts with varying combinations. I have been a huge fan of Learning Resources for a while now and as usual they did not disappoint!
The box that the game comes in is very sturdy. Thank you Learning Resources! I can't tell you how many game boxes we have that have been split at the corners from first use. UGH! *eye twitching* But I won't indulge you with my OCD tendencies...today.
The board itself is also nice and sturdy. Again, thank you! If your kids tend to go into hulk mode in the face of competative play like *ahem* some kids I know...then you will be happy to know that this one is hulk friendly. =) It also has a fun design that the kiddos enjoyed looking at.
Fill each of the money bags (which are just yellow markers on the board with a $ sign) ...they probably could've been more creative here but hey...
You start the game by rolling the dice to see who goes first. Highest roll wins!
Now these are some interesting looking character markers that come with the game. Maybe it's just because I'm such a visual person that I seem to be nit-picking here but, I don't know, they could've been cuter. Then again I'm sure the kids did not care one iota what the characters looked like so...moving on. Place them on start and you're ready to go!
Who ever rolled the highest number goes first. In this case it was muah! So you roll and move that number of spaces on the board. I rolled a 1 so I landed on .17 cents (how does my keyboard not have a cents sign?!) Anyway, you then spin the spinner. If it lands on no quarters, then you have to count out the amount you landed on without using quarters (or nickels or dimes, whichever the spinner lands on.) If you land on any coins, well...you can use any coins!!!
If you are fortunate enough to land on the money bags, like I was, you get to take the money from the money bag. Then you just replenish it from the bank (reserved money on the side not being used by any of the players.)
Just collecting my winnings!
She is into it! Here Khadija is counting out her amount in her head.
Executing her well thought out plan! Khloe is in the corner evading the camera but she eventually bailed on us for an impromptu trip to the store with daddy (she had no idea she was winning!)
If you happen to land on a "CHANGE IT UP!" space, this is your opportunity to exchange your coins for bills or larger coins. I love that this aspect is included because it helped her to count out her coins to 100 and it varied each time so she got lots of practice!
Here, I am breaking the news to her...
Can you guess who won?!
This calls for a victory dance!!!
We had a lot of fun with this game! Yes, even I had fun with it! I think it was a great choice for my 1st grader who is learning about money value and combining coins this year. We were even able to include my 4-year-old who was able to count out the pennies. If you are looking for an educational game for the kiddos that won't bore you to tears, I definitely suggest taking a look at this one! I will definitely be using this as a teaching aid in the classroom. Because why shouldn't learning be fun?! Am I Right?
So, what do you think? Has your family tried out this game before? Have you had success with another educational game? Share with me below!
Until next time, Blessings to you & yours,
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James 4:8 says "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." Typically, when we think of drawing near to God, we think of reading our Bibles, praying, doing devotionals, and the like. These things are important in our walk with God. But I started thinking of other ways to draw near to God. I wanted to step outside of the box and learn to enjoy God's presence in areas where I may not typically think to. I want to acknowledge His presence in everything I do. So, here are 5 "unconventional" ways that we can draw near to God. And don't forget to stick around to the end for a free printable!
"If anyone thinks that he knows somewhat, he does not yet know as he should know." 1 Corinthians 8:2
Take on a Leadership Position
"Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life, but he who rejects reproof leads others astray." Proverbs 10:17
Leadership may not be your thing long term, but at least you walk away with a greater appreciation for those who are called to leadership and a better understanding of what it means to truly be a leader. Plus when you allow the Father to renew your mind, heart, and body, you walk out a better person than you were when you walked in!
Start a Garden
"For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently." Romans 8:24-25
"On the glorious splendor of Your majesty and on Your wonderful works, I will meditate." Psalm 145:5
Turn Off Your Electronics!
The first is because our society's, shall I say, "addiction" with technology is becoming a major distraction. And if we don't control it, it WILL control us. It is distracting us from the things that truly matter. Family...friends...and especially God. It is very difficult to hear His voice when we are distracted. We have to cut down on the distractions in order to hear Him clearly. Does this mean unplugging for good? In most cases, no. But it does mean having a healthy balance. Which leads me to reason 2.
We have to make sure that our priorities are in order. God should always be your first priority. Sadly, He is more often than not inconveniently "squeezed" in. This should not be so. If your electronics are getting more attention than God and your family, you may want to reevaluate your priorities. Because the truth is, the entire technelogical world could come crashing down tomorrow. Would you survive? Are you prepared to survive a world unplugged? If the answer is no...well...that is a scary place to be in.
"In everything you do, put God first, and He will direct you and crown your efforts with success." Proverbs 3:6
I don't want to take that for granted. God deserves all of me and He deserves my very best. Everything else is just a fringe benefit of His unconditional love. So, in an effort to make God my first priority, I will be scheduling in my electronics...not scheduling in God!
Thank you! You your printables are on their way!
Thank you for stopping by and spending a few moments with me.
Until Next Time, Blessings to You and Yours,
If you are trying for a V.B.A.C. and are looking for some encouragement, feel free to contact me! I look forward to hearing from you!
Until next time, blessings to you and yours,
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Now that the weather has decided to be agreeable to the season, I thought I would put together a winter planner printable for you! I really do love winter. Second only to fall, it is one of my favorite seasons! There is nothing like snuggling up on the couch with my hubby and our littles, enjoying a nice hot cup of cocoa, and a movie in front of the fireplace. Ahh...yes... And of course it wouldn't be complete without PJ's! This printable is my little modge podge tribute to winter. All you have to do is sign up to get this planner printable and a BONUS straight to your inbox!
What you get:
1- BONUS PDF file (Winter Washi Tape)
Thank you! You're printable is on it's way!
Until next time, blessings to you and yours,
Unfortunately, not everyone was as enthusiastic as we were. There are a lot of misconceptions that people have about homeschooling. I will cover 3 major myths and why they didn't hold any water in our decision to homeschool our children.
It has been 10+ years since my husband and I have been in school. We both remember all too well what school was like back when we were children. We also remember being exposed to things WAY sooner than we should have been.
Unfortunately, things have only gotten worse in the 10-15 years since we have been in school. Our children are being exposed to thing much earlier now...and not just by their peers! This is something we work diligently to protect our children from. Many people will argue that we are sheltering our children from the real world...
Do not be deceived: Bad company ruins good morals.
1 Corinthians 15:33
The educational system has become an advocate for sin and the immoral indoctrination of our children under the guise of being "politically correct". In other words, our children are being forced to accept things that are abominable in God's sight to avoid "offending" people.
Don't let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.
Colossians 2:8 (NLT)
It is no coincidence that they can take God out of schools to avoid "offending" people and yet, openly opposing transgenderism or homosexuality could quickly land you on America's top terrorist list.
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Isaiah 5:20
As believers, there is no wisdom in delegating the education and training of our children to a perverse society. And now they are deliberately bringing satan into schools. Educatin with satan?...I rest my case.
Consider this, "proper education" or "adequate education" are relative terms. Determining what is proper or adequate in this case has been delegated to man BY man. The only thing that is absolute are the parameters sanctioned by God.
Unfortunately, people have been deceived into thinking that you have to have a degree to teach your own child. Don't get me wrong, I have the utmost respect for teachers. I mean the time and commitment it takes...that's no easy feat. But for some reason lacking credentials has become a sort of social stigma, as though the absence of credentials equates a lack of intelligence.
The Truth: God's word equips me with everything I need to be a successful educator.
Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become "fools" so that you may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight.
1 Corinthians 3:18-19 (NIV)
And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. Deuteronomy 6:6-7
This is also commonly referred to as socialization. Many people feel that children that are homeschooled will lack basic social skills like being able to talk to people, developing relationships, developing self-identity, or understanding healthy competition.
My Husband and I are very selective about the people and places that we expose our children to. Why? Because putting them before the wrong people or forcing them into the wrong environment will inevitably subject them to things they are not yet prepared to handle. Granted, they will have to face the world at some point but not before we develop and prepare them.
Now is the time, before their little hearts and minds are tainted, to prepare and strengthen our children in the knowledge and might of the Father. We must prepare them for the battles they face in today's society.
Be sober, watch, because your enemy the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8
The Truth: Guidelines for our children's social development will not be delegated to a society that lacks moral standards.
The Bottom Line
Thank you for taking the time to stop by and for allowing me to share my passions with you!
Until next time, Blessing to you and yours,
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