Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Product Review - Australian Tea Tree Oil

Every now & then, I get a chance to review a product. They don't aways have a variety of uses, but this one? Tons. From skin cleansers to bathroom disinfectant; shampoo to detergents. It's tea tree oil.

Apothecary Extracts Tee Tree Oil can be used for a multitude of uses, over 50 of which are provided in an e-book that comes with each purchase. It's sold in a 4 ounce bottle, which is more than most essential oils (usually one ounce).

Since I was in the process of making myself some bath salts, I went ahead and added the tea tree oil to my recipe. I would say, it is stronger than I was expecting. It completely overtook the cedarwood I had originally planned for and I ended up adding a bit more bath salt mixture than I had planned to make to tone it down.  I did enjoy the bath, though it turned out to be shorter than I planned. Darn kids. There was a nice aroma and my skin felt great afterwards.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Meadow Kids Review

A few weeks ago, we received a package from the UK. I had been in contact with a rep from Meadow Kids and we received a couple toys to try out and review.

The Meadow Kids Way: Learn and Play
All of our creations are designed to enhance family interaction and stimulate cognitive development. All products are designed in the UK.

Meadow Kids is committed through our products to contribute positively to the lives of our end customers, the child and their family. Our products are designed to be played whilst interacting and communicating at home. We believe some of the best education can be had whilst playing and this is our core value: ‘Learn and Play’!

Thanks to having bouts of ickiness in our house, we weren't able to give them a go right away. The first we tried was the Horse Riding Wooden Stamp Set. 

"Piece together and design your own show horse and riding event, create and play again and again. This craft set is great for imaginative play. Pick from a variety of chunky wooden stamps, print the outlines and add in any colours you like. Design your own show horses and competitions however you like"

The set comes with 10 stamps, 3 colored pencils, and an inkpad.

 Keira couldn't wait to get started and went right for the big horse stamp.

 She was not too pleased about having gotten ink on her fingers.

We tried out each of the stamps several times. Our only real gripe is that the inkpad is too small. The horse, rider, and fence stamps were slightly bigger than the pad. In order to get enough ink to leave a good impression, we had to ink one side, then the other, and ended up with ink blotches

Next came time to color in the pictures. Leave it to Keira. She loudly voiced her complaint that the colored pencils did not match the colors the jockey on the stamp was wearing.

I told her to color anyways.

She was having trouble getting good impressions, so I did a bunch for her to color in. You can see all the ink blotches to the right of the horse. I'm not big into stamping so I'm not sure if maybe the rubber wasn't cut deep enough or it was just me not knowing what I was doing. Probably me.

The other item we received was the Pet Pals: Stencil Book with Pencils. It includes 7 stencils, 4 colored pencils, and a small package of appropriately sized paper. 

Keira decided to start with the turtle stencil. I really liked that the book had a page that separates the stencils. It made it really easy to use.

We decided to color in the openings completely, each taking turns.

Even Doug was ordered into doing a bit. It came out pretty good.

Next up was a bird. This time I wanted to see how she did just outlining the stencil, but she didn't seem to care for that much.

Overall, I'd say these were a big hit. Considering that she asks me to do stamps all the time now. Sadly, she can't yet be trusted with an inkpad without full supervision and that's fairly difficult with the duo on the loose. She has to settle for only using them occasionally.

DISCLAIMER: I received these products for free in exchange for honest feedback, no other compensation was received. All opinions are my own and are based on my personal experiences trying the products.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Helping around the House

I'm not sure when we started exactly, but for a while now, Keira has been helping us around the house. One of her favorite things to do is help us make a cup of coffee. Which we do plenty of around here. 

She has certain chores that are hers, though there are plenty of days that I end up doing them. Like picking up her toys. Those terrible toddler years are not conducive to picking up the vast array of little people, tea cups and building blocks that seem to breed like mold across my living room floor. But she does help out in lots of other ways, like with her brothers. When we were using the rockers, she's was charge of putting the toy bars on their rockers.

She helped to rock them and still sings to them when they fuss. 

Keira has always been pretty good about putting things in the hamper, whether her own clothes or dish towels from the kitchen. Lately, she's even been coming downstairs to help with the laundry

She loves, LOVES, going to the grocery store. It may have something to do with their really cool carts that look like fire trucks and police cars. 

Once we get home, she helps to unpack the bags and is starting to help to put things where they belong. Or build towers with them.

We don't wash too much by hand anymore, but when we do, she's right there, ready to help. 

And she loves to help with loading and unloading the dishwasher. She'll put plates and bottles in the sink. 

She's learning where things go and putting them away as well as taking them out. Well, as she can reach them. 

We even tried a Pinterest painters tape trick to help keep her play food near her kitchen. It worked great for about a week before the tape was just too much to resist.

Her office skills leave something to be desired. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Marshmallow Snowmen

Spring is (hopefully) just around the corner, despite the actual 'Spring Begins' on the calendar. With all the snow we've had this winter, we spent a good (way, waaay, too much) time indoors. One of the little activities my sister did with Keira was making marshmallow snowmen. She had a ball. A bag of marshmallows, soem toothpicks & some food pens.

I think this will definitely be annual winter fun. Look how cute. And then you can put them in your hot cocoa.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Toddler Yoga

Every now and then, I get the chance to do a bit of yoga. Keira wanted not only to join me, but to lead. She did pretty good.

In fact, she did great.

Then she blew right past me. Don't take her class unless you're ready for the expert level.

Silliness included with no extra fee.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Keira's 3rd Birthday: The Party

She's 3.

And I'm pretty ok with it. I'm looking forward to all the cool things that we're going to be able to start doing. Don't get me wrong, I'm always going to miss that little cutie who insisted the cow said "rah", but the diapers and all that? Ready to say so long forever.

We had her party a couple weeks ago and it was tons of fun. Since we have such a big family, we had it at a clubhouse where my dad is a member. It was a lot easier than trying to figure out how to fit everyone in our house. After asking Keira on several occasions and getting the same answer, it was decided that she was getting a Special Agent Oso party. (Don't worry, we'd never heard of him before she started watching it either.)

We started planning early and my family and I made the decorations. The day before the party, a bunch of us got together to make the food and have fun.

Our lunch break.


As we left for her party the next morning, I gave her the stuffed Oso bear that I made for her (cause the price for those is insane. He'll get his own post later) and she loves him. He was instantly added to the bedtime crew.

The boys slept for not only the ride there, but for a good portion of the set-up. Next time, we're putting them to work. ;)

And of course, we brought their chairs with us.

The food. We made brown sugar chicken (in the crockpots), roasted veggies, potato wedges, lasagna, & spinach & mushroom rigatoni. There was also chicken salad & ham salad for sandwiches and a salad bar.

And because I forgot to take a picture after set-up, pre-guests, here's what our tags & Thank You's looked like.

All decorated!

My mom made the centerpieces (got extra uses out of those formula cans..ssh) and balloon weights. My dad & sister blew up and placed balloons while the rest of us set up the food.

Such a cute ballon weight at this table.

Time to eat!

The boys actually slept through a large portion of the portion of the party. Which was totally fine. There was a lot of time in the Ergo's. (I'll be praising those in a later post.)

The log walls did make hanging the banner I made a bit of a challenge, but we managed it thanks to a well placed window.

The cake was another joint venture with my mom and sisters all putting in some of the work. Is it not amazing?

Gotta start teaching her how to cut her cake sometime, right?

While everyone was having their dessert, Keira got to open presents. Is that tutu not fantastic? Courtesy of Auntie Melanie.

We had little goodies bags for the kids, with some stickers, frogs/bracelets, and (thanks to my friend, Sarah, over at The House of Boys...& A Girl) some paw print crayons that I made (another pic I forgot to take at the party).

Would you believe that kiddie pool was the biggest hit?

All the littles ended up in there.

Even Lucian got in on the fun. look at that smile. He was laughing up a storm.

 You know it was a good party when she asks to have it again at least a half dozen times in the following two weeks. Sadly, she'll have to wait for July when her brothers have theirs.

Happy Birthday, my crazy little girl.