November 25, 2015

How To Make an Incredibly Easy Elegant Christmas Gift

Christmas is coming!  I am super excited about Christmas, and just realized TODAY that Christmastime starts in 2 days!

Gifts are a fun part of Christmas, but some people are easier to shop for than others!  Children always have lists a mile long, but adults tend to buy they things they want or need throughout the year.  Thanks to Pinterest, people are really into DIY projects.  Oftentimes those don't turn out exactly how you picture them though (seriously, you should check out Pinterest Fail).

I have a quick and easy solution for you!

(In the interest of full disclosure, I was given a free sample of this product in order to write this review.  However this has no impact on my opinion of the product.  I strive for honesty in all I do, even reviews!)

Melinda Wood Designs (when you subscribe you get a free artwork download!).

All of her designs are $5, and you get the JPEG file when you purchase it.  You can then print it yourself, or for a super high quality look, get it printed out on photo paper.

After you get the artwork printed, you simply put it in a frame that you like (or that your recipient will like), matted with a color that fits their house, and voila!  You have a sophisticated present for the hard to shop for person!  And it didn't cost you an arm and a leg (unless you went after some rare antique frame or something...)
This is NOT a high quality assembly job, but I REALLY wanted to get this post written so my readers can use the coupon code before it expires!  I will do a better job later and share some more pictures!

The available designs range from abstract paintings to animals, geometric shapes to Bible verses.  There really is something for everyone, no matter your taste.

All of her products can be purchased at her Etsy Store and cost $5 each.  The $5 gives you files for sizes 4x6, 5x7, and 8x10.  Some items are available in larger sizes, up to 18x24.

From now until the end of November, you can use the code HOLIDAY70 to get 70% off!  That means you can get a print for only $1.50!!!

November 15, 2015

Funny Phonics

Little Guy is pretty smart.  He picked up on all his letters really quickly, learning the first few on his own, which I of course ran with.  Once I knew he was capable of learning them, I started to work on teaching them to him.  He knows them all now, although he struggles a little with lowercase letters.

Knowing your letters is a fun "parlor trick" but doesn't really help much on the path to reading and literacy.  I have read that you should NOT teach your children their letters, but rather teach them the sounds that they make FIRST and then the letters later.  I forgot to do this, so we are working the other way.

He has a Star Wars Pre-School Workbook, (He calls it his 3PO book - C3PO is on the cover) and instead of saying capital A and lowercase a I have been saying capital aaaaa (imagine the sound not repeatedly saying "a") and lowercase aaaaa.  Since he is not slow on the uptake, it only confused him for a little bit.  He was like "This not "a"?  Its aaaa?"  I tried to explain that it was an "a" but that wasn't important.  I don't know if he got it, but he stopped saying the letters and started saying the sounds.

By the way, this workbook is PERFECT for little tiny kids.  He is a smart kid, but he doesn't have great fine motor skills (probably my fault, I am not good at doing those sorts of activities on a regular basis), so he can't really write his letters.  At all.  That means that most workbooks are much to difficult for him.  This one starts out with just coloring in the matching letters, so he can do it!  He gets them right 90% of the time, but the j/i threw him off a little.  But I digress.

This morning he was at the table waiting for breakfast and he said "There is "cuh*" on the floor.  You pick it up?"

I was like "What is on the floor?"

"Cuh on the floor!"

We have some alphabet magnets, and the "c" had fallen on the floor under the table, and he though I might want to pick it up.

*He didn't say it precisely "cuh" rather he said the sound, but for the purpose of typing out letter sounds, "cuh" is the closest I can get.

November 10, 2015


Everyone wants silky soft, smooth skin right?  Well maybe not everyone, but at least a good majority of women.  Today I am going to tell you about a new product that will help you get super soft skin in seconds a day!

I was able to review (free of charge) CX 35 Vitamin C Complex Plus Retinol by Michael Todd Skincare.  It is a serum, which I prefer over moisturizer. The fact that I received it free has no bearing on my opinion of the product, because that would be super lame and dishonest.

Michael Todd Skincare  seems like a pretty cool company.  They don't add water to their products, they use organic ingredients, they don't test on animals (it literally says on their about us page that they test on their chairman, so they have a sense of humor too!), don't use artificial scents or fragrances (or other nasty stuff), AND they are made right here in the USA!  

I was honestly surprised when I got this in the mail, because there is usually a back and forth regarding the product before it is sent, and with this they just sent it ASAP.  It came in a pretty purple bubble wrapper, and as a sucker for girly packaging, this was a bonus in my opinion.  

When I opened it up, I was impatient and tried it right away, despite the fact that you are supposed to use it directly after washing your face.  It feels really smooth going on, and doesn't stink or smell like anything really.  It is a clear gel, and it absorbs in pretty quickly.  I looked in the mirror after a few minutes or hours or some amount of time, and realized that my skin looked better already!  Maybe it was a placebo effect, but since I was genuinely not expecting any change, I don't think it was.

I continued to use it once a day (you are supposed to twice, but let's just be honest, I don't wash my face very often, even once a day is about 10x more often than usual) for the next week or so.  My skin feels softer than it EVER has (I have also been using apricot scrub, but I had been using that and another brand serum for a couple weeks BEFORE I got this product and didn't notice any change).  When I look in the mirror I swear my skin looks smoother and prettier than it did when I was a teenager!  It says to use it before moisturizer and SPF, but I don't use those things, and even my dry skin looks great.

So, is this product perfect?  Alas, no, it is not.  It is a wonderful product, but like most wonderful products it comes at a cost.  This is not the $7 moisturizer that you get from ShopKo.  This serum is spendy.  How much?  $37!!!!  So while I highly recommend this to people that are accustomed to spending that kind of money on skin care, I know that there are many out there like me, that are more used to their entire personal care budget being less than that for everything!  

What is your favorite skin care product?  Anything that you have seen make a visible difference?

November 06, 2015

Three Times I Love to Dance

- When I am playing Just Dance.  Yes its absurd, and I look like an idiot because the part of your brain that allows your arms to move opposite your legs is not fully developed in me, and I am pretty sure it never will be.  So I flail a bit.  Luckily it mostly tracks you right arm, so I can still get decent scores.

- When the music is cranked up and the kids and I are all dancing around like crazy.  I did this a lot more when the girls I baby-sat were little than I do now.  My foster daughters are to old (6,9,10) to be super amused by it, and didn't grow up doing it so they would probably laugh with me.  My son isn't big on doing what you want him to do, when you want him to do it, even if it is fun like dancing around like a maniac, so I think I would be dancing by myself.  I might try it again and see what he does, but I don't count on it being fun like it was with the girls.

- When a slow song comes on while my son and I are listening to music and I stop what I am doing and pick him up and snuggle him while we dance.  Little Guy is two, so he isn't as cuddly as he used to be.  Most of the time the only way he is cuddly for very long is after he has gotten in trouble.  But most of the time, if we are listening to music and I stop to dance with him, he is happy to snuggle the whole song.