Pink Lemonade Handmade

Hello, everyone!

Today we are excited to share these gorgeous tassel necklaces with you!  When Paige from Pink Lemonade Handmade asked Kayla and I to try out her necklaces and share what we thought with our audience.  We thought the necklaces were gorgeous and totally our style so we agreed!  The hardest part was choosing which one to try.  There were SO many choices of colors, lengths, designs, and should we go bracelet, earrings, or necklace?Pink Lemonade Handmade Essential Oil Diffuser Necklace

 

 In the end, I picked the medium medallion tassel diffuser and Kayla purchased the long tassel diffuser.  Both were gorgeous!

Not only were the styles fantastic but you could also add your favorite essential oil to the leather tassels.    My all time favorite essential oil is peppermint, whether for a headache, stomach ache, or just a quick pick me up, I absolutely love peppermint.  I added some peppermint oil to my tassel necklace and enjoyed my minty scent throughout the day. 

oil diffuser necklace

  The style of the necklaces work great with so many different outfits, which we love.    We highly recommend Pink Lemonade Handmade’s jewelry and because Paige is so awesome, she is offering a discount of 25% off to our readers!!  

Just type in the code Thankyou25.

Pink Lemonade Handmade Essential Oil Leather Diffuser NecklacePink Lemonade Handmade necklace

Tid bit from Kayla:  I absolutely LOVE the necklace that I chose, and I have to admit that I want another one already!  It is a great way to dress up a casual outfit.  And the best part, you can personalize it with a couple drops of essential oils to smell all day long.  I love to add an energy boosting oil to mine for a little extra pick me up.  My baby also loves to smell it, and tries to stick it in everyone’s noses at church while saying, “mell it, hmmmm!”  Oh did I mention that I get asked where I got this quite often?!  Thanks Paige for reaching out to us.  It was right up our alley with our love for essential oils and cute accessories!

8 valentine’s day activities for kids

I love planning lessons around holidays to break up our routine and add some fun to the mix and Valentine’s Day offers a perfect opportunity to add an assortment of fun activities and projects!  My kids love experiments but they also love crafts so I put together a fun selection of both!    The majority of my children are under 7, but I do have a 12-year-old so I added a few fun things for her as well.  I hope you find something that you can enjoy with your family!

This is a fun experiment to do with all those candy hearts hanging around.  I personally don’t like candy hearts so I feel like dissolving them is a perfect use!  Plus the kids love experiments like this. 

Check it out here!

 

 If you have vinegar and baking soda hanging around at your house then you are ready to do this art project!  I love simple activities that use things around the house!  

 

We have a million pipe cleaners bouncing around at our house so this art activity will be the perfect use!

 

 

It has been suggested to me that bird feeders are a great asset in keeping your kids occupied and learning during the long winter.  Put out a bird feeder,  make some hot chocolate, and watch the birds come and go!  So I will definitely be making these with the kids.

 

 

 

This will be a HUGE hit for my 1st grader!  Oh, my goodness, does he love to build things and I know that my 2 and 4-year-old will enjoy this activity as well.  It’s sure to be a hit!

 

 

Here’s a fun Valentine math activity that will be perfect for your younger grades like kindergarten through 2nd.  You can adapt it for preschoolers to enjoy as well!

 

 

This adorable bouquet is something my 7th grader would love to make for her friends!  

 

 

How fun is this idea!  Valentine delivery ZIP LINES!  My kids will be all over this idea!  

 

I hope you found one or two things to do with your kids this Valentine’s day.  Any one of these ideas is sure to be a hit!  

 

How to fly with a toddler

I was recently talking with a friend who was getting ready to fly across the country with her one-year-old.  I have been on many flights with a toddler or two and she was asking me for my tips on how to fly with a toddler.   After I gave her my list of ideas and what worked and what didn’t I thought  “Hey! This could be a blog post! “.  

My first flight with a toddler was 11 years ago with our oldest child and she was my easy going, easy to please, but still 18 months old and a prone to tantrums if she was tired or hungry- like any 18- month- old.  She also loved movies and cartoons.  So I packed a portable DVD player, some snacks and we were on our way.  She did well the first three hours before we switched flights for the last leg of our journey.  That’s when she had a complete come apart.  It was way past her bedtime and she was just tired so it was a battle to try and get her to sleep.  So lesson learned- try to fly during happy hours- not night time!  

Our second flight with a toddler occurred when we took our three children to get their new baby sister that we were adopting.  The flight was 2- 2-hour flights with a layover in between.  We had a nine-year-old, a four-year-old, and a 16-month-old.  The flight there went beautifully and all my tricks worked.  Even the flight attendants commented on my amazing snack trays each of the kids had.  On the flight home, we also had our new baby who was 2 months old.  We were a crazy lot traveling through the airport and all the people there were giving us crazy looks because I think most people with that many kids and those ages just stay home!  But we managed to get all our car seats, two strollers, and baggage checked in and all 6 of us through security.  Oh man, it was exhausting.  Once on the flight, we were doing pretty good until my 16-month-old lost it.  He was tired and it was at night, and unfortunately we had to have the later flight home.  He screamed for what seemed like an hour while my husband tried to quiet him.  As soon as the seatbelt sign went off he stood up and walked him down the aisle where the flight attendants gave him some candy and a kind passenger rubbed Lavender oil on his back.   I am not sure if it was the candy or the Lavender oil, but he was happy and quiet after that!  

We have since flown with our youngest baby when she was 14  months old and here’s our list of what has worked and what hasn’t.  

A variety of snacks, some old favorites, and some exciting new ones.  Have salty, and sweet.  You never know if a child will be motion sick and salty snacks tend to help nausea.   We put a variety of snacks in these craft boxes that you can buy pretty much anywhere, this one is from amazon and I love the handle!  I packed fruit snacks, crackers, pretzels, cereal, dried fruit, granola bars and some candy.  You can have a variety of old favorite treats and some fun new snacks. 

 

They each got a water bottle or a sippy cup (depending on age) which you can go through security with if it’s empty and the lid is off.   Baby bottles can go through full, but they will test it.  Also, do not use the soft form ice pack, use a hard pack.  They gave us an exception on this but they almost took away my ice pack for my bottle of milk.  

 

                                                  

 

New toys!  This one is a hit at our house and was perfect for long hours on the plane.  

 

These last two tips were a serious favorite!  If I could only pick three things that you should bring, it would be the snack case and these games below! 

You just take a cheap container cut a small hole in it that is big enough for buttons to go through.  This provided long term entertainment for my toddlers.   When you’re done, you just store the buttons in the container and if you want you can add tape to the hole but our hole was just the perfect size that nothing fell out. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take an old spice bottle with the large holes in the lid and cut pipe cleaners to fit.  My 16 month old loved this!  I was surprised at how long it kept his attention.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have a layover, find a quiet place open place for them to run around and get their wiggles out.  Some airports have kid zones and even mother’s lounges with changing stations and rocking chairs.  Bring favorite blankets and get a window seat so that they can’t easily escape and the window shade makes for great entertainment.  

Homemade Slime

This our homeschool week off where we take the week to do tons of projects and use a more “hands-on” approach to our homeschool days.  It is a much-needed break from textbooks and the demands on mom.   Each child plans some crafts or projects they want to work on and this homemade slime was what my 1st grader picked to make with the family.  I have to say that I am impressed at how easy it is to make homemade slime and it wasn’t nearly as messy as I thought it would be.  My two-year-old and four- year -old tested it out by dropping it on the carpet and it came right up!  So yay!  Another exciting aspect of this project is that I had all of the ingredients!  I love it when I don’t have to go to the store to buy more items for some of these crazy projects.  

how to make homemade slide 

What you will need:

Solution A

1 cup of water

1 cup of glue

food coloring

Solution B

1 1/3 cup warm water

4 tsp. Borax laundry booster

Mix ingredients of solution A together in a medium bowl.  In a second medium bowl mix the ingredients in solution B together until Borax is completely dissolved.  Slowly pour solution A into solution B but DO NOT MIX!  Roll the solution around 4-5 times.  Lift solution A out of B and knead for 2-3 minutes.  Throw away solution B and store the slime in an airtight container or ziploc bag.  

 

 

Grain Mill Comparison NutriMill vs. WonderMill

 

VS.

Grain  Mill Comparison:

I love to make my own bread and using fresh ground wheat.  My first experience with making bread was when I was twelve years old and my mom gave me the assignment of making our family’s bread.  I have to admit that I hated it at first.  My mom had this old wheat grinder that would spray flour dust into the air and it was so loud!  I had to take it outside and grind the wheat.  Then I had to mix the bread by hand, which I didn’t love either.  My mom eventually bought a Bosch mixer and that was amazing!  

When I was older and started my own family I decided that I wanted to continue to make our own bread.  For my birthday my husband bought me Bosch mixer and I also received a Wondermill grain mill.  I make bread every 1-2 weeks and would freeze the loafs in the freezer to last.    My Bosch mixer handles that amount of dough with no problems and it is SO much better than mixing by hand.  Ha ha.  No surprise there.   I really loved my Wondermill as well and it lasted about 8 years.   I have since bought the Nutrimill and I have enjoyed that as well.  

Now that I have tried and tested both grain mills here’s a list of pros and cons to each:

 

WonderMill Grain Mill Pros:

It’s quiet and mess free.

It’s compacity of wheat to grind is about 8 cups, and the flour bowl capacity is 16 cups. 

I love the detachable flour bowl that comes with a lid for storage.

It’s fast.

Cons:

The machine HAS to be on before you fill it with grain.  I accidentally poured the grain into the hopper before the machine was on and broke it.  My husband took it apart and fixed it, but I didn’t love that it was so easy to break.  

 

NutriMill Classic Pros:

Large capacity at 20 cups of flour and the hopper and flour bowl match so you only have to fill it once. 

You can fill the bowl before turning it on or after.  You won’t break the machine.  Even if you stop during grinding.  

It’s quiet and mess free.

Cons:

It’s not as fast as the Wondermill.

The lid on the flour container is somewhat difficult to put on.  Although I have found adding cornstarch to the rubber rim helps tremendously.  

 

All in all my favorite has been the Nutrimill.  I love that I can’t break it by accidentally pouring in the wheat before it is turned on.  And I love the extra flour capacity of the Nutrimill. 

Here’s my whole wheat bread recipe.

 

Here’s my soaked whole wheat bread recipe.

 

Sanity Saving Chore System

sanity saving chore systemI am not going lie, teaching the kids to be responsible human beings that clean up after themselves is HARD.   I have been using just a rotation schedule for my two oldest.  The downfall to it is that it is usually me nagging them to finish their chores and it is my responsibility to check their work and tell them if something isn’t quite up to par.  I was becoming the enemy in my home and the parent that nobody wanted to be around. I was tired of it and my kids were tired of it.   I was talking to a friend about my dilemma and she told me how she does chores with her kids.  I tried her methods and oh my goodness!  The results were incredible!  My kids finished chores quickly and efficiently and I didn’t even have to check in and make sure things were done correctly.  So without further delay, this is what I like to call the Sanity Saving Chore System.   

To start you will need the following:

Either a Dry erase board, chalkboard, or Paper – anything to write your list on.

Dry erase markers, chalk, or pencil – to write with.

Easy Peasy right?!

We use a dry erase board at our house and I proceed to write down all the things that need to be done in the house.  I add easy things to the list for the younger kids that are just starting to learn chores and for the other kids I break up the chores into manageable chunks that won’t overwhelm them.  

Today my list looked like this:

Living room floor

Dining room floor

Kitchen table

Mudroom

Office floor

 Desk

Sweep kitchen

Half-bath toilet

Hallway

Empty garbage in kids bathroom

 

The little kids’ list would look something like this:

Pick grapes up off the floor

Pick up your dirty clothes and put in clothes hamper

Pick up dirty towels in the bathroom

I then ask the kids to come in and pick a chore from the list.  The first person to complete the chore gets to pick their next chore. I pick a few chores as well and it feels like a family event.  It is then a race to see who can get finished first so that they can do the easier chores.  I have never had the chores finished so quickly.  When everything is complete the kids then go through the list and check each other’s work.  They pick someone to check and go through and tell the other sibling what they may have missed and ask politely for them to finish the task properly.  So now I am completely out of the fray so to speak.  

Sometimes I will pay them for certain chores and add the $$ amount that I am willing to pay for certain items on the list.  It’s a great way for them to earn extra money and it’s easy for me too!

This has seriously changed our chore attitude around the house.  When asked if they liked our new chore system the kids responded with an astounding yes!  So fellow parents, if you are struggling with chores around your house, give this a try!

4 ways To Help Eliminate Eczema

I have been meaning to write this post for some time now, and the time has come.  I have had great talks with two different people just this week about how I was able to manage, deal with, and eventually get rid of eczema on my body.  As I prepared for this post, I did some digging thru my external drive to find images to share with you.  When I see these images it makes me a little emotional, to be honest.  It makes me wonder what people thought when they would see my body covered in red rashes.  Well actually, I know what some thought on my trip to Mexico……the locals laughed at and said I got attacked by mosquitos!  My heart weeps when I see others struggle with what I had once really struggled with.  And because I know the feelings, pain, and the struggle, I want to share this with everyone in hopes that they may find answers to helping, maintaining, or even getting rid of eczema that affects them.  4 ways that I eliminated eczema

So, as to avoid all of my stories of scratching, weeping, bleeding, and wrapping my arms and legs so I wouldn’t scratch or to help maintain the weeping of eczema that I dealt with, I will now share with you things that I believe helped me to continually to get better and to maintain clear skin now for 11 years.  I do believe that it is a process, and everything that I tried helped my progression.  Now these things may not work for you, but if it feels right, give them a try.  Many things that I tried worked for quite some time and then it seemed like my body became immune to it. I was never able to get it completely gone with just one product or trick.  So definitely give things a try, don’t give up.  You can find relief.

  1. Freederm HC.  I often forget to tell people about this amazing cream when I begin to tell them of things that have helped me.  I probably forget because it was 2006 when I used it!  Here is a before and after picture of my legs when I began to use Freederm HC.  This is possibly after a week or two of using it.  I used this cream until it seemed to do all that it could for me, and it was time to try something else.  After using the cream, things did stay improved and eliminated the weeping of the rash.  Freederm HC is highly recommended!4 ways to help eliminate eczema

2. Hazelwood Necklace.   I stumbled on to this site after my sister-in-law told me about their teething necklaces.  I began to read all of the testimonials on the site and came across the testimonials for eczema.  WOW.  I couldn’t wait to get these necklaces for me and my family to try out.  My first order I got a necklace for me and for my oldest son who has eczema as well.  (His just isn’t as extreme as mine was.)  My son noticed how much it helped, that whenever he has a breakout, he goes and gets his necklace on.  The hazelwood necklace helped me out a lot as well and I feel like it was the last step that my body needed to eliminate the majority of eczema that I had.  (Side note: after I saw a change for my son and I.  I got a hazelwood + amber beads necklace for my baby when he was 6 months old.  He has been a dream as far as teething goes, compared to my other three kids.  If he doesn’t have his necklace on for 3 to 4 weeks, eczema starts to breakout on him.)  I absolutely love these necklaces.  Read the testimonials for yourself!!  Oh, and when you click on the Hazelwood Necklace link, you should receive a 10% off coupon.  If not, let me know…  Hazelwood necklace for eczema

(Here is what the necklace with the amber beads looks like.  Just needed to get a cute picture in this post somehow of my little guy.)

3. O’Keeffe’s Hand Cream.  While visiting family in Utah, my husband and I went into a grocery store and I caught this cream out of the corner of my eye.  I figured it was worth a shot.  My hands had massive cracks in them and looked similar to the picture on the packaging.  Oh, how it HURT the first few times that I put on this cream!  But pretty much everything at that point hurt, even water.  I decided to faithfully try this cream, and it helped immensely.  With this cream, the canyons on my fingers and palms were gone!  I keep this cream on hand if and when my hands begin to crack, what a lifesaver!Amazing cream for eczema

4. I eliminated harsh chemicals in my everyday.  Ok, follow me here.  I had come to the conclusion that I needed to minimize my everyday products with chemicals, and limit my hands in water.  My hands have been the hardest to clear up, but they are 90% clear!  

     – I changed my deodorant to Arm & Hammer Deodorant.  By doing this, it eliminated aluminum and antiperspirant.  Now get this, when I changed to this deodorant not only did I feel like I was eliminating chemicals BUT I got all new white shirts to see if the myth that my darling husband told me was true, and it is!  I can honestly say that I no longer have armpit stains in my t-shirts and undershirts.  Fist bump….I’m not kidding!  Can you believe that my husband didn’t tell me why he preferred deodorant over antiperspirant/deodorant until 2 years ago.  When he told me that the antiperspirant is what causes armpit stains, I realized that in the 14 years that we have been married, he has NEVER had armpit stains!  Yes, I admit, my husband schooled me on this and I am pleased. 

     – I know this may sound gross, but I noticed a difference.  I shampoo and condition my hair once a week.  On other days of the week, I wash my hair with baking soda.  That reminds me, I need to refill my baking soda container in my shower!  Check out this post at Hello Giggles, she explains it well.

     – I went from taking a wet washcloth and cleaning my counter tops, to spraying them with tough and tender from Melaleuca and wiping them off.  This keeps my hands out of the water which seems to agitate eczema.  And it smells great!  Win-win in my book.  I also use many other Melaleuca products that due to the fact that they have eliminated the harsh chemicals! 

These are the top 4 things that I can think of right off of my head that have helped me.  What are some things that you have tried and saw improvements on eczema?

 

 

Hands-on ant lesson

For our science this year we are learning about arthropods.  Currently, we are on the unit of ants.   My first grader is full of energy and likes to be creative.  He is definitely more of a hands-on learner and our lesson was missing some of that.   So I added the “hands on” part to our science lesson.  We watched a few youtube videos about ants. I love how awesome youtube is for teaching your kids.  Always use adult supervision of course but there are some great resources there.  

 

 

 

This one was SO interesting.  I have never seen the inside of an ant hill but this gives you an amazing visual:

 

 

 

This video showed us how ants are used for medicine and research:

 

 

This video showed us how ants survive in a swamp:

 

 

 

We had a few more pieces to our lesson but in the end, he really wanted to make something.  So we tried a new playdough recipe with only 3 ingredients!  

 

oatmeal clay recipe

 

Oatmeal Clay

1 cup of oatmeal

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup water

Mix ingredients and add more flour if it is too sticky.  

That’s it!  Super simple and quick to pull together.  

Vanilla Snow Ice Cream

easy to make vanilla snow ice cream

We are on our Christmas break and good heavens we have SO much snow!  The kids go out and play in it every afternoon when it finally warms up to a slightly warmer temperature.  But all this snow makes for the perfect treat-  vanilla snow ice cream!  It is so easy and if you have snow then your set!  Most of the ingredients for this recipe are usually in your fridge or pantry.   If you are expecting ice cream texture you may be disappointed.  It is more of like thick milkshake in texture and just as delicious!  

Vanilla Snow Ice Cream

Vanilla Snow Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of snow
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients together and enjoy!
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Circle by Disney

I first learned about the Circle by Disney with one of their ads, a video with a mom trying to control all of the devices and internet activity at her house.  Something that every mom goes through these days unless she just doesn’t have the internet or tablets or smart phones or iPods or kindles, etc.  

meet the circle

BTW- this is not a sponsored post, just my own opinion about something that made my life easier.  

In our home, I was constantly finding kids on our iPad and or computer when it was time for chores or do homework.    They would sneak off into their room and watch Netflix or play some game.  It was so hard to keep on top of it.  So after seeing the Circle ad and researching it a bit more I decided I wanted one.  My husband purchased it for me on mother’s day and I have absolutely loved it!  

Here’s how it works:

You set it up to your wireless network and basically it becomes your new wireless network.  You download the app and sync up all the devices that are in your home.  I have all my computers, smart phones, IPads, and ROKU’s on my circle app and I can CONTROL all of them!  It is literally amazing.  

Step 1- Follow the directions for the Circle to set it up to your wireless network. We had some technical difficulties but customer service was super helpful.

Step 2- Find the devices in your home and give them a profile.  You can do this two different ways.  If your child has their OWN device then you can make a profile for your child and give it the settings you want.  If your child does not have their own device then you can make a profile for that device.  Our family does not have their own devices, therefore I gave our devices profiles with appropriate settings.  For instance, our iPad is used for all the kids at various times of the day, so I gave it it’s own profile.  

 

meet the circle- how to use

 

Step 3- You set up each profile and what filters and settings you want for that profile.  It comes with 4 preset settings, Pre-K, Kids, Teen, and Adult.

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You can block or filter any website or app you want, all from your phone.

screen-shot-2016-12-20-at-6-57-12-am

 

 

Step 4- Set up time limits for those profiles.

 

screen-shot-2016-12-20-at-6-56-36-am

 

It will show you what sites your child has been on and how much time was spent on those sites.  You can set time limits for those as well.  

screen-shot-2016-12-20-at-6-56-47-am

 

   If I know that my son is using a device for school for 30 minutes, I can give it a time limit of 30 minutes.  At the 30 minute mark, it will give you a time limit notice and will no longer connect to the internet

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And you can add a bedtime so no worries about your child being on a device all night long!

 

Circle time limits and bedtime

 

I have LOVED my Circle and now they have Circle go with will work with your mobile devices.  Seriously it’s a parent’s dream come true.