Monday, March 31, 2014

 Cook 'n Grow BBQ Grill Sweepstakes

hosted by: Mom to Bed by 8 & Budget Earth





Frugal Mommy Christine has teamed up with several other amazing bloggers to bring you a new giveaway.  I know my own kids would LOVE this Little Tikes , so enter below to win one of your own.   
The Little Tikes Cook 'n Grow™ BBQ Grill has two stages to grow with your child from toddler to preschooler. Anytime is grillin' time with this toy grill barbeque set. Kids can have fun grilling indoors or take the set outside and grill just like Mom and Dad!
  • Grill can be adjusted for 2 different age grades
  • Stage 1 introduces preschoolers at a height that’s just right, and Stage 2 provides growing kids with added cooking role play
  • Just like a real gas grill with dual pretend grill, lid, sink and side burners
  • Everything fits inside grill base for easy storage
  • Clicking grill and burner knobs
Accessories Include:
  • 1-Pair of tongs
  • 1-Spatula
  • 1-Hamburger & Bun
  • 1-Hot Dog and Bun
  • 1-Bottle of Ketchup
  • 2-Plates

One lucky winner will receive a Cook 'n Grow BBQ Grill.

Giveaway ends April 14th at 11:59 pm, open to US residents, ages 18+. Please, only one entrant per household1, per mailing address. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Enter using the giveaway form below.



1:39 PM Christine D

 Cook 'n Grow BBQ Grill Sweepstakes

hosted by: Mom to Bed by 8 & Budget Earth





Frugal Mommy Christine has teamed up with several other amazing bloggers to bring you a new giveaway.  I know my own kids would LOVE this Little Tikes , so enter below to win one of your own.   
The Little Tikes Cook 'n Grow™ BBQ Grill has two stages to grow with your child from toddler to preschooler. Anytime is grillin' time with this toy grill barbeque set. Kids can have fun grilling indoors or take the set outside and grill just like Mom and Dad!
  • Grill can be adjusted for 2 different age grades
  • Stage 1 introduces preschoolers at a height that’s just right, and Stage 2 provides growing kids with added cooking role play
  • Just like a real gas grill with dual pretend grill, lid, sink and side burners
  • Everything fits inside grill base for easy storage
  • Clicking grill and burner knobs
Accessories Include:
  • 1-Pair of tongs
  • 1-Spatula
  • 1-Hamburger & Bun
  • 1-Hot Dog and Bun
  • 1-Bottle of Ketchup
  • 2-Plates

One lucky winner will receive a Cook 'n Grow BBQ Grill.

Giveaway ends April 14th at 11:59 pm, open to US residents, ages 18+. Please, only one entrant per household1, per mailing address. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Enter using the giveaway form below.



Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Check Clean House off Your To Do List with Home Joy


About Homejoy


In July 2012, after a search for a convenient and affordable cleaning service for their own home turned up empty, brother and sister Aaron and Adora Cheung founded Homejoy.  Since then, Homejoy has grown to over 30 cities across the Us and Canada.  Orlando is the closest city to me that they have listed, and is a little over an hour away.  When I typed in my zip code, I found out that they serviced my area!  

Homejoy is an easy way for homeowners to book cleanings with trusted professional service providers at the affordable rate of twenty dollars per hour.  This is a real bargain, as I'm sure you know if you have ever looked into professional home cleaning.  Additionally, I found a Groupon deal for Homejoy that would save you even more, so keep your eyes peeled!  

All cleaners must pass multiple background and reference checks before being screened and certified in person.  All cleanings are bonded, insured and have a 100% guarantee.  They are also checked frequently for quality, ensuring an amazing professional cleaning every time. 

Booking with Homejoy


You can check clean house off your to do list in less than two minutes, because booking at Homejoy is easy.  You simply go to the Homejoy website, and enter your zip code.  Then you will be able to customize your clean by entering some simple information about your home, such as how many bedrooms, bathrooms, square feet, etc. your home has.  On this same screen you can also add additional tasks that go above and beyond the normal cleanings, such as washing and drying laundry, cleaning inside your fridge, cabinets, and/or oven, and cleaning interior walls and windows.

After you have entered all of your information, it will tell you how many hours they recommend you book for.  For my house and cleaning the interior walls (there are two sets of hands constantly making smudges at our house), it was recommended I book for 5.5 hours.  

Every review I have read about Homejoy has been very positive about the company, and I have yet to find one negative review, even though I have searched on several review sites.  







9:05 AM Christine D

Check Clean House off Your To Do List with Home Joy


About Homejoy


In July 2012, after a search for a convenient and affordable cleaning service for their own home turned up empty, brother and sister Aaron and Adora Cheung founded Homejoy.  Since then, Homejoy has grown to over 30 cities across the Us and Canada.  Orlando is the closest city to me that they have listed, and is a little over an hour away.  When I typed in my zip code, I found out that they serviced my area!  

Homejoy is an easy way for homeowners to book cleanings with trusted professional service providers at the affordable rate of twenty dollars per hour.  This is a real bargain, as I'm sure you know if you have ever looked into professional home cleaning.  Additionally, I found a Groupon deal for Homejoy that would save you even more, so keep your eyes peeled!  

All cleaners must pass multiple background and reference checks before being screened and certified in person.  All cleanings are bonded, insured and have a 100% guarantee.  They are also checked frequently for quality, ensuring an amazing professional cleaning every time. 

Booking with Homejoy


You can check clean house off your to do list in less than two minutes, because booking at Homejoy is easy.  You simply go to the Homejoy website, and enter your zip code.  Then you will be able to customize your clean by entering some simple information about your home, such as how many bedrooms, bathrooms, square feet, etc. your home has.  On this same screen you can also add additional tasks that go above and beyond the normal cleanings, such as washing and drying laundry, cleaning inside your fridge, cabinets, and/or oven, and cleaning interior walls and windows.

After you have entered all of your information, it will tell you how many hours they recommend you book for.  For my house and cleaning the interior walls (there are two sets of hands constantly making smudges at our house), it was recommended I book for 5.5 hours.  

Every review I have read about Homejoy has been very positive about the company, and I have yet to find one negative review, even though I have searched on several review sites.  







Monday, March 24, 2014

Welcome to the Pillowtex Triple Core White Duck Down 
& Feather Pillow Giveaway!

Sponsored By: Pillows.com

Giveaway Ends April 7th, 2014 11:59 EST


 The Pillowtex Triple Core White Duck Down & Feather Pillow is a luxurious, high-quality down pillow that features a unique design to insure a superior support for a great night's rest. 

The Pillowtex Triple Core Pillow is made up of 3 chambers to provide excellent support combined with comfort. The inner core is filled with 5% White Duck Down and 95% White Duck Feather, and the two outer cores are filled with 25% White Duck Down and 75% White Duck Feather. The three cores are then covered with two plush layers of 230 thread-count fabric made of 100% cotton, with double-stitched seams to insure the durability of each pillow.

Want to know more about this wonderfully comfortable pillow? If so you can check out the reveiew at Simply So Stephanie Pillowtex Triple Core White Duck Down & Feather Pillow Review.

You can purchase the Pillowtex Triple Core White Duck Down & Feather Pillow or browse through their luxurious and impressive line of pillows, comforters, feather beds and more at Pillows.com

Now, time for the giveaway! 

Want to win a Pillowtex Triple Core White Duck Down & Feather Pillow?
Here's your chance! Enter to win via the Rafflecopter below. 
Be sure to come back daily for additional entries!

Giveaway Ends April 7th, 2014 at 11:59 pm EST

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Void where prohibited. Open to US residents only. Must be of legal age to enter.  Odds of winning depend on number of entries. This blog has not been compensated to promote this giveaway and is not responsible for prize shipment. One (1) winner will be randomly chosen via the Rafflecopter widget below and will be notified via the email listed on their Rafflecopter contact info. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to the email with shipping information or a new winner will be chosen. Winner's name may also be published on SoSimplyStephanie.com and applicable social media sites to congratulate and help with winning notification. Winner's information will be shared with a Pillows.com representative to facilitate shipment. Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and other social media sites are not affiliated with, do not endorse, and are in no way responsible for this giveaway. 

If you have any questions regarding this giveaway please contact Stephanie, owner & editor of So Simply Stephanie at sosimplystephanie@gmail.com





1:00 AM Christine D
Welcome to the Pillowtex Triple Core White Duck Down 
& Feather Pillow Giveaway!

Sponsored By: Pillows.com

Giveaway Ends April 7th, 2014 11:59 EST


 The Pillowtex Triple Core White Duck Down & Feather Pillow is a luxurious, high-quality down pillow that features a unique design to insure a superior support for a great night's rest. 

The Pillowtex Triple Core Pillow is made up of 3 chambers to provide excellent support combined with comfort. The inner core is filled with 5% White Duck Down and 95% White Duck Feather, and the two outer cores are filled with 25% White Duck Down and 75% White Duck Feather. The three cores are then covered with two plush layers of 230 thread-count fabric made of 100% cotton, with double-stitched seams to insure the durability of each pillow.

Want to know more about this wonderfully comfortable pillow? If so you can check out the reveiew at Simply So Stephanie Pillowtex Triple Core White Duck Down & Feather Pillow Review.

You can purchase the Pillowtex Triple Core White Duck Down & Feather Pillow or browse through their luxurious and impressive line of pillows, comforters, feather beds and more at Pillows.com

Now, time for the giveaway! 

Want to win a Pillowtex Triple Core White Duck Down & Feather Pillow?
Here's your chance! Enter to win via the Rafflecopter below. 
Be sure to come back daily for additional entries!

Giveaway Ends April 7th, 2014 at 11:59 pm EST

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Void where prohibited. Open to US residents only. Must be of legal age to enter.  Odds of winning depend on number of entries. This blog has not been compensated to promote this giveaway and is not responsible for prize shipment. One (1) winner will be randomly chosen via the Rafflecopter widget below and will be notified via the email listed on their Rafflecopter contact info. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to the email with shipping information or a new winner will be chosen. Winner's name may also be published on SoSimplyStephanie.com and applicable social media sites to congratulate and help with winning notification. Winner's information will be shared with a Pillows.com representative to facilitate shipment. Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and other social media sites are not affiliated with, do not endorse, and are in no way responsible for this giveaway. 

If you have any questions regarding this giveaway please contact Stephanie, owner & editor of So Simply Stephanie at sosimplystephanie@gmail.com





Friday, March 21, 2014



Disney's Frozen has just come out, and I pre-ordered a copy for myself and a copy for one of you!

After the kingdom of Arendelle is cast into eternal winter by the powerful Snow Queen Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel), her sprightly sister Anna (Kristen Bell) teams up with a rough-hewn mountaineer named Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and his trusty reindeer Sven to break the icy spell. Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee co-directed this Walt Disney Animation Studios production based on Hans Christian Andersen's beloved fairy tale The Snow Queen

Use the Rafflecopter below to enter! 

Good Luck!



a Rafflecopter giveaway
11:59 AM Christine D


Disney's Frozen has just come out, and I pre-ordered a copy for myself and a copy for one of you!

After the kingdom of Arendelle is cast into eternal winter by the powerful Snow Queen Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel), her sprightly sister Anna (Kristen Bell) teams up with a rough-hewn mountaineer named Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and his trusty reindeer Sven to break the icy spell. Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee co-directed this Walt Disney Animation Studios production based on Hans Christian Andersen's beloved fairy tale The Snow Queen

Use the Rafflecopter below to enter! 

Good Luck!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Today is the first official day of Spring, and that means it is time to start thinking about Spring cleaning.  This deep clean that goes above and beyond your normal cleaning routine can help to improve air quality in your home.  Organizing as you clean will help you to have more time later for all those warm weather activities that will soon be beginning.  Here is my personal Spring Cleaning List.  Feel free to use it as a guideline when doing your own Spring cleaning list.




Dust Thoroughly

Start with the celing fan blades, then work your way down in each room. Remove all items from shelves, and dust each item individually.  Wipe down the surfaces of the shelves before returning the items to their places.   Finish with the baseboards.  

Wash Windows and Doors

Washing windows is never a fun job, but doing so will help to improve the natural light you home has.  Start by removing the dust on the inside with a duster, soft brush, etc.  Wash the windows with a solution of vinegar and water.  To avoid streaking, use a microfiber cloth.  Don't forget to open the windows and clean out the tracks.  When you have finished the insides, head outside and brush away the dirt on the outside of the windows.  Wash the windows using a rag and warm soapy water, followed by the vinegar and water solution applied with a micrfiber cloth.  Give your doors (inside and outside) a good wash using warm soapy water or a mild cleaner.  Don't forget to do the handles, seals, and door jams.  

Clean Window Treatments

Our curtains get just as much dust and dirt on them as the rest of  our homes, yet they rarely get cleaned.  Launder fabric curtains according to care instructions.  Be especially sure to check drying instructions.  If there are non, look up the care of the type of fabric from which they are made.  You don't want your perfect length curtains to end up shrinking.  While curtains are washing, clean the blinds with warm soapy water or mild cleaner.  Clean the window sills well.

Deep Clean Appliances

Most of us only do a surface clean on our kitchen appliances as part of our normal routine.  However, they should occasionally be deep cleaned to help them stay in good working order.  First, run the cleaning cycle on any appliances that have them.  If your dishwasher and clothes washer do not have cleaning cycles, you can purchase cleaners for them and follow manufacturer directions.  Next, clean the exterior including handles, seals, and any other nooks and crannies you find.  Pull them out away from the wall and clean behind them.  Clean out the dryer vent and remove lint.  This will help your dryer be more efficient as well as being much safer.  Clean out the fridge and freezer and wipe down well.  Don't forget to do the top of the fridge!

Clean Rugs and Carpets

Vacuuming only cleans the surface of rugs and carpets, and they can collect a LOT of dust and dirt.  If you have ever helped or been around when someone was removing old carpet, you know what I mean!  Throw smaller rugs into the washing machine on a gentle cycle and then air dry.  For larger rugs and carpets, you should use a steam cleaner, whether you rent one or have one of your own.  Move furniture out of the area you are cleaning and follow the machine's instructions.  Instead of buying the expensive cleaner that goes with the machine, add 1 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup shout to 2 1/2 gallons of warm water.  Stir thoroughly.  Let the carpets dry completely before putting all of the furniture back.  This is when I like to rearrange my furniture a little bit.  

Wash Bedding

Most of us wash our sheets regularly, but we might neglect the rest of the bedding.  Most pillows can be washed in the washing machine using hot water.  Dry them in the dryer on a low heat cycle with a tennis ball.  The tennis ball helps to fluff the pillows back up as they dry.  Wash any comforters, blankets, bedskirts, mattress covers, etc.  Vacuum your mattress thoroughly and rotate or flip.

Furniture

Clean all solid-surfaced furniture thoroughly.  Remove couch cushions and vacuum.  Vacuum arms, backs, sides, and all nooks and crannies.  Spot clean the stains.  A good cleaner I use for my couch is 1 part water and one part laundry detergent in a spray bottle.  Be sure that any cleaner will not harm the fabric on your couch.  Spot test in an inconspicuous area if your couch is made of a sensitive material.


De-Clutter and Organize


Magazines-  Magazines can stack up quickly!  Recycle or pass along magazines you don't want to keep.  If you have any books you have already read and don't want to keep, pass them along to friends or sell them.  Many used book stores will allow you to trade them in for a credit to use on other books you haven't read yet.  

Pantry-  Clear out all the food in your pantry and thoroughly wipe down the inside.  Donate unwanted items, discard expired products, and organize as you put the rest back into the pantry.

Bathroom Cabinets-  Clean out and organize all of your bathroom cabinets, including your medicine cabinets.  If throwing away any medication (over the counter or prescription) and you have children in the house, please be careful of how you dispose of them.

Closets-  Go through everyone's closets.  Pull out clothes you no longer wear, and clothes your kids have outgrown.  Donate them or put into a yard sale.  Clothes your kids have outgrown can be taken to a children's consignment sale.  You'd be surprised how much you will get for them.  Consignment sales can be found by doing a google search for sales in your area.

Keep It Clean!

The following things should be done during your spring cleaning, them monthly thereafter as part of a maintenance routine.

  • Change air filters in your AC unit
  • Clean all of your drains by pouring 1/4 cup baking soda into the drain, then slowly pouring vinegar in afterwards.  Let it fizz for a few minutes.  Pour 1 gallon of boiling water in after about 5 minutes has passed.  
  • Take trash cans outside and spray with cleaner or pure vinegar.  Wipe out thoroughly and let dry before bringing them back inside.
  • Wipe down all surfaces of your computer, including the mouse and keyboard.
  • Spot clean the walls.  If you have young children like I do, then this one is a biggy.  It seems like my walls always have tiny hand prints and smudges on them.

Do you have something you normally do as part of your spring cleaning that I don't have listed here?  Please share in the comments below!

9:29 AM Christine D
Today is the first official day of Spring, and that means it is time to start thinking about Spring cleaning.  This deep clean that goes above and beyond your normal cleaning routine can help to improve air quality in your home.  Organizing as you clean will help you to have more time later for all those warm weather activities that will soon be beginning.  Here is my personal Spring Cleaning List.  Feel free to use it as a guideline when doing your own Spring cleaning list.




Dust Thoroughly

Start with the celing fan blades, then work your way down in each room. Remove all items from shelves, and dust each item individually.  Wipe down the surfaces of the shelves before returning the items to their places.   Finish with the baseboards.  

Wash Windows and Doors

Washing windows is never a fun job, but doing so will help to improve the natural light you home has.  Start by removing the dust on the inside with a duster, soft brush, etc.  Wash the windows with a solution of vinegar and water.  To avoid streaking, use a microfiber cloth.  Don't forget to open the windows and clean out the tracks.  When you have finished the insides, head outside and brush away the dirt on the outside of the windows.  Wash the windows using a rag and warm soapy water, followed by the vinegar and water solution applied with a micrfiber cloth.  Give your doors (inside and outside) a good wash using warm soapy water or a mild cleaner.  Don't forget to do the handles, seals, and door jams.  

Clean Window Treatments

Our curtains get just as much dust and dirt on them as the rest of  our homes, yet they rarely get cleaned.  Launder fabric curtains according to care instructions.  Be especially sure to check drying instructions.  If there are non, look up the care of the type of fabric from which they are made.  You don't want your perfect length curtains to end up shrinking.  While curtains are washing, clean the blinds with warm soapy water or mild cleaner.  Clean the window sills well.

Deep Clean Appliances

Most of us only do a surface clean on our kitchen appliances as part of our normal routine.  However, they should occasionally be deep cleaned to help them stay in good working order.  First, run the cleaning cycle on any appliances that have them.  If your dishwasher and clothes washer do not have cleaning cycles, you can purchase cleaners for them and follow manufacturer directions.  Next, clean the exterior including handles, seals, and any other nooks and crannies you find.  Pull them out away from the wall and clean behind them.  Clean out the dryer vent and remove lint.  This will help your dryer be more efficient as well as being much safer.  Clean out the fridge and freezer and wipe down well.  Don't forget to do the top of the fridge!

Clean Rugs and Carpets

Vacuuming only cleans the surface of rugs and carpets, and they can collect a LOT of dust and dirt.  If you have ever helped or been around when someone was removing old carpet, you know what I mean!  Throw smaller rugs into the washing machine on a gentle cycle and then air dry.  For larger rugs and carpets, you should use a steam cleaner, whether you rent one or have one of your own.  Move furniture out of the area you are cleaning and follow the machine's instructions.  Instead of buying the expensive cleaner that goes with the machine, add 1 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup shout to 2 1/2 gallons of warm water.  Stir thoroughly.  Let the carpets dry completely before putting all of the furniture back.  This is when I like to rearrange my furniture a little bit.  

Wash Bedding

Most of us wash our sheets regularly, but we might neglect the rest of the bedding.  Most pillows can be washed in the washing machine using hot water.  Dry them in the dryer on a low heat cycle with a tennis ball.  The tennis ball helps to fluff the pillows back up as they dry.  Wash any comforters, blankets, bedskirts, mattress covers, etc.  Vacuum your mattress thoroughly and rotate or flip.

Furniture

Clean all solid-surfaced furniture thoroughly.  Remove couch cushions and vacuum.  Vacuum arms, backs, sides, and all nooks and crannies.  Spot clean the stains.  A good cleaner I use for my couch is 1 part water and one part laundry detergent in a spray bottle.  Be sure that any cleaner will not harm the fabric on your couch.  Spot test in an inconspicuous area if your couch is made of a sensitive material.


De-Clutter and Organize


Magazines-  Magazines can stack up quickly!  Recycle or pass along magazines you don't want to keep.  If you have any books you have already read and don't want to keep, pass them along to friends or sell them.  Many used book stores will allow you to trade them in for a credit to use on other books you haven't read yet.  

Pantry-  Clear out all the food in your pantry and thoroughly wipe down the inside.  Donate unwanted items, discard expired products, and organize as you put the rest back into the pantry.

Bathroom Cabinets-  Clean out and organize all of your bathroom cabinets, including your medicine cabinets.  If throwing away any medication (over the counter or prescription) and you have children in the house, please be careful of how you dispose of them.

Closets-  Go through everyone's closets.  Pull out clothes you no longer wear, and clothes your kids have outgrown.  Donate them or put into a yard sale.  Clothes your kids have outgrown can be taken to a children's consignment sale.  You'd be surprised how much you will get for them.  Consignment sales can be found by doing a google search for sales in your area.

Keep It Clean!

The following things should be done during your spring cleaning, them monthly thereafter as part of a maintenance routine.

  • Change air filters in your AC unit
  • Clean all of your drains by pouring 1/4 cup baking soda into the drain, then slowly pouring vinegar in afterwards.  Let it fizz for a few minutes.  Pour 1 gallon of boiling water in after about 5 minutes has passed.  
  • Take trash cans outside and spray with cleaner or pure vinegar.  Wipe out thoroughly and let dry before bringing them back inside.
  • Wipe down all surfaces of your computer, including the mouse and keyboard.
  • Spot clean the walls.  If you have young children like I do, then this one is a biggy.  It seems like my walls always have tiny hand prints and smudges on them.

Do you have something you normally do as part of your spring cleaning that I don't have listed here?  Please share in the comments below!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Okay, so sticking with the St. Patty's theme (sort of) I decided to make rainbow cupcakes with Laura!  All you need is a box of white cake mix, some frosting,  and some food coloring.

First, prepare the cake batter according to package directions.  Divide the batter among 6 glasses or small bowls.  Mix each of the colors of the rainbow- red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple (unless you are super good with food color mixing and want to try for indigo and violet).


Next, using a small spoon, put one spoonful of each color in order into the center of a paper lined muffin tin cup. I tried this with 1/2 of them lined and 1/2 of them unlined and the unlined ones did not rise properly for some reason.  The colors will layer very pretty if you just put each color right on top of the next, without worrying about getting a solid layer all the way across.


Bake at 350 degrees until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.



Top with icing and decorate as desired!  Laura added a rainbow Lucky Charms marshmallow on top of this one.  I thought it was a cute touch, especially for a 3 year old to come up with!


Happy baking!





9:22 PM Christine D
Okay, so sticking with the St. Patty's theme (sort of) I decided to make rainbow cupcakes with Laura!  All you need is a box of white cake mix, some frosting,  and some food coloring.

First, prepare the cake batter according to package directions.  Divide the batter among 6 glasses or small bowls.  Mix each of the colors of the rainbow- red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple (unless you are super good with food color mixing and want to try for indigo and violet).


Next, using a small spoon, put one spoonful of each color in order into the center of a paper lined muffin tin cup. I tried this with 1/2 of them lined and 1/2 of them unlined and the unlined ones did not rise properly for some reason.  The colors will layer very pretty if you just put each color right on top of the next, without worrying about getting a solid layer all the way across.


Bake at 350 degrees until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.



Top with icing and decorate as desired!  Laura added a rainbow Lucky Charms marshmallow on top of this one.  I thought it was a cute touch, especially for a 3 year old to come up with!


Happy baking!






This St Patrick's Day craft is super easy to do with the kiddos. All you need is construction paper- one strip for each color of the rainbow, some black, and a bit of extra yellow, a glue stick, some string, and some staples.  

Start by prepping the pieces.  Since Laura is only 3, I had the pot and yellow sheet with the gold pieces drawn on, and the color strips for the chain all ready for her.

Start by gluing the gold pieces onto the back of the pot.  Then make the paper chain.  Laura loves getting to use the stapler for this part.  

Last, you put it together by punching two holes in the pot of gold and tying the string in a knot through the bottom chain.  

We make at least one craft and one holiday specific recipe for every holiday.  Do you and your kiddos have something special you do to celebrate St. Patrick's Day?

5:17 AM Christine D

This St Patrick's Day craft is super easy to do with the kiddos. All you need is construction paper- one strip for each color of the rainbow, some black, and a bit of extra yellow, a glue stick, some string, and some staples.  

Start by prepping the pieces.  Since Laura is only 3, I had the pot and yellow sheet with the gold pieces drawn on, and the color strips for the chain all ready for her.

Start by gluing the gold pieces onto the back of the pot.  Then make the paper chain.  Laura loves getting to use the stapler for this part.  

Last, you put it together by punching two holes in the pot of gold and tying the string in a knot through the bottom chain.  

We make at least one craft and one holiday specific recipe for every holiday.  Do you and your kiddos have something special you do to celebrate St. Patrick's Day?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014



My daughter, Laura,  loves learning anything and everything she can, so every day we have "preschool playtime".  We do crafts, explore outside, do workbook pages, flash cards, and practice basic skills using hands on methods.  So naturally, I was excited to be given the opportunity to review the School Zone  Preschool 2 Pack On-Track Software, which includes 2 programs- Thinking Skills  and  Same or Different.




Thinking Skills

  • Sequencing
  • Matching
  • Classifying
  • Context Clues
  • Size Discrimination

Same or Different

  • Comparing
  • Categorizing
  • Problem Solving
  • Following Directions
  • Hand-Eye Coordination

When our software arrived, Laura was so excited that we put Thinking Skills in and got started right away. It was very simple to install and only took a minute or two, even on my slow computer.  I registered my product and received a free gift for taking the time to do so! I won't spoil the surprise, but I will say that Laura liked it a lot.

After the download was complete, a screen came up with a main menu and instructions that are read out loud.  After hearing the directions, she started playing right away, without needing any extra instruction from me.

The questions are presented in much the same way as those in the workbooks, with the added bonus of helping her develop basic computer skills. After finishing each activity, she received either a star for correct answers or a red check mark for wrong answers.  She loved counting her stars on each page, and let out several excited "Woo Hoo!"s when she got all stars and no checkmarks!




Between the more structured educational pages there are cute little animations, or fun games to play.  Kids can play the games for as long as they want before moving on to the next page.  I thought this was a great idea, since it helps keep kids interested.

When your child has finished the program, they get a printable award.  This was by far Laura's favorite part.


I love this product and would recommend if for anyone with a preschooler, whether you are planning to teach preschool at home or to supplement what your child has learned at preschool.  This would also be a great product for preschool teachers to do with their students.  It is amazing to me how well she did and it held her typically short attention span.

School Zone is also giving one of you the chance to try this with their giveaway, which you can register for Here

Check out their other products (for Pre-K- Grade 6), including their new kids learning tablet- the next thing I want to try from School Zone!

Be sure to join their monthly mailing list to stay up to date with new products, reviews, giveaways, etc.

Disclaimer:  I received this product free to facilitate my review.  All opinions are strictly my own.
11:22 AM Christine D


My daughter, Laura,  loves learning anything and everything she can, so every day we have "preschool playtime".  We do crafts, explore outside, do workbook pages, flash cards, and practice basic skills using hands on methods.  So naturally, I was excited to be given the opportunity to review the School Zone  Preschool 2 Pack On-Track Software, which includes 2 programs- Thinking Skills  and  Same or Different.




Thinking Skills

  • Sequencing
  • Matching
  • Classifying
  • Context Clues
  • Size Discrimination

Same or Different

  • Comparing
  • Categorizing
  • Problem Solving
  • Following Directions
  • Hand-Eye Coordination

When our software arrived, Laura was so excited that we put Thinking Skills in and got started right away. It was very simple to install and only took a minute or two, even on my slow computer.  I registered my product and received a free gift for taking the time to do so! I won't spoil the surprise, but I will say that Laura liked it a lot.

After the download was complete, a screen came up with a main menu and instructions that are read out loud.  After hearing the directions, she started playing right away, without needing any extra instruction from me.

The questions are presented in much the same way as those in the workbooks, with the added bonus of helping her develop basic computer skills. After finishing each activity, she received either a star for correct answers or a red check mark for wrong answers.  She loved counting her stars on each page, and let out several excited "Woo Hoo!"s when she got all stars and no checkmarks!




Between the more structured educational pages there are cute little animations, or fun games to play.  Kids can play the games for as long as they want before moving on to the next page.  I thought this was a great idea, since it helps keep kids interested.

When your child has finished the program, they get a printable award.  This was by far Laura's favorite part.


I love this product and would recommend if for anyone with a preschooler, whether you are planning to teach preschool at home or to supplement what your child has learned at preschool.  This would also be a great product for preschool teachers to do with their students.  It is amazing to me how well she did and it held her typically short attention span.

School Zone is also giving one of you the chance to try this with their giveaway, which you can register for Here

Check out their other products (for Pre-K- Grade 6), including their new kids learning tablet- the next thing I want to try from School Zone!

Be sure to join their monthly mailing list to stay up to date with new products, reviews, giveaways, etc.

Disclaimer:  I received this product free to facilitate my review.  All opinions are strictly my own.

Monday, March 3, 2014


With all the electronic forms of entertainment for kids that don't require anything more than a spot on the couch and possibly some finger action (think tablets, viedeo games, etc.), it is no wonder that so many kids today are lacking in fitness.  How does one get a kid to exercise though, especially during the winter when the weather is bad?  By making it fun of course!   AdventuretoFitness.com has done that!

Adventure to Fitness is the #1 award-winning and teacher trusted educational fitness program. Animated and live action episodes- streamed online or by purchasing one of their DVDs-  get them exercising, learning, and laughing!



The program was developed with input from leading educational, medical, and parenting experts and it is used and trusted by over 80,000 teachers.

Last week, Miss Laura ( my daughter) had the opportunity to try it out.  The site was easy to navigate and we were all signed up and logged in within a few short minutes.  There are nine 30 minute 'adventures' to chose from.  Laura wanted to try the Serengeti Stampede first.  

Right from the start, the video gets you moving, explains the different speeds and moves you may need to help you make it to the end of the adventure, and tells about the importance of hydration.  Laura was instantly captivated by the video.  It held her attention for the entire 30 minutes, and she had a ton of fun dodging water buffalo during the stampede.  

During the course of the Adventure, kids walk/run in place at several different speeds, always staying in some kind of motion.  Laura loved going top speed!  

What impressed me more than anything was that during the course of the adventure, not only was she staying physically active, but she was learning!  The Serengeti Stampede taught a lot about the Serengeti and the animals that live there.  At the end of the episode, I quizzed her on some of the facts that were said during the show and to my surprised, she remembered almost all of them!  I thought she would be too distracted by the physical instructions to retain any of the lesson hidden inside, but this was absolutely not the case.

What did Laura do at the end of the episode???  Begged to go on another Adventure!  So we drank a glass of water and started another one.

I would recommend this program for kids aged 4-12.  

Adventures to Fitness is giving one of my readers a chance to win a 6 month subscription to Adventures to Fitness!  The giveaway is open to US and Canada only.  To enter, just use the Rafflecopter below.  Good Luck everyone!
 a Rafflecopter giveaway
*disclaimer* I received a free 3 month subscription to facilitate this review.  All opinions are those of my daughter and I.  
6:51 AM Christine D

With all the electronic forms of entertainment for kids that don't require anything more than a spot on the couch and possibly some finger action (think tablets, viedeo games, etc.), it is no wonder that so many kids today are lacking in fitness.  How does one get a kid to exercise though, especially during the winter when the weather is bad?  By making it fun of course!   AdventuretoFitness.com has done that!

Adventure to Fitness is the #1 award-winning and teacher trusted educational fitness program. Animated and live action episodes- streamed online or by purchasing one of their DVDs-  get them exercising, learning, and laughing!



The program was developed with input from leading educational, medical, and parenting experts and it is used and trusted by over 80,000 teachers.

Last week, Miss Laura ( my daughter) had the opportunity to try it out.  The site was easy to navigate and we were all signed up and logged in within a few short minutes.  There are nine 30 minute 'adventures' to chose from.  Laura wanted to try the Serengeti Stampede first.  

Right from the start, the video gets you moving, explains the different speeds and moves you may need to help you make it to the end of the adventure, and tells about the importance of hydration.  Laura was instantly captivated by the video.  It held her attention for the entire 30 minutes, and she had a ton of fun dodging water buffalo during the stampede.  

During the course of the Adventure, kids walk/run in place at several different speeds, always staying in some kind of motion.  Laura loved going top speed!  

What impressed me more than anything was that during the course of the adventure, not only was she staying physically active, but she was learning!  The Serengeti Stampede taught a lot about the Serengeti and the animals that live there.  At the end of the episode, I quizzed her on some of the facts that were said during the show and to my surprised, she remembered almost all of them!  I thought she would be too distracted by the physical instructions to retain any of the lesson hidden inside, but this was absolutely not the case.

What did Laura do at the end of the episode???  Begged to go on another Adventure!  So we drank a glass of water and started another one.

I would recommend this program for kids aged 4-12.  

Adventures to Fitness is giving one of my readers a chance to win a 6 month subscription to Adventures to Fitness!  The giveaway is open to US and Canada only.  To enter, just use the Rafflecopter below.  Good Luck everyone!
 a Rafflecopter giveaway
*disclaimer* I received a free 3 month subscription to facilitate this review.  All opinions are those of my daughter and I.