Category Archives: Product Reviews

Plastic Free July Challenge

I read about this Plastic-Free Challenge earlier this week but haven’t had a chance to post about it until now… If you’ve been following the blog you’ll know that I’ve mentioned that we’ve been extraordinarily busy this past couple of months and hopefully we’ll be able to share what we’ve been up to sometime later this month… it’s really exciting!

Back to the post though… part of my New Year’s goal was to start using less plastic and disposable items in our house. I know we probably won’t be a zero waste household anytime soon but I know that we can have really cut back on single-use plastic items in our home.

Just the other day I realized that our plastic storage containers have been disappearing. Where have they gone? Well, that’s a question that may never be answered but I do know that I really need to replace them. I’ve been looking at a few Plastic-Free options on Amazon and Walmart but haven’t decided what to get yet but I will need to find something soon.

I know that some things will not be replaced soon like our favorite lunch boxes but I have found some replacements for some time in the future. I have also been looking for non-plastic/non-glass replacements to the kids’ water bottles that they use at home. We do try our best to use reusable shopping bags when we go for groceries. I’ve even been suggesting that they need to add an option for using your own bags to the Walmart Grocery Pickup service but I don’t know if that will happen anytime soon.

Here are a few ideas of things we’ve replaced recently:

I know that there are some items that might hard to replace but there are new solutions coming out every day. Making these changes one at a time will make a difference and you may find that it saves you money as well!

Join the Plastic Free Challenge Today!

So many places around us are putting bans on plastics as well so this is something that everyone really needs to adjust to. It’s crazy to see the numbers on the plastic pollution crisis and our family wants to do our part to help out with this. With the Plastic Free Challenge, you can choose where you will be going plastic free, what you choose to refuse, and how long you choose to go plastic free.

This week I got an email from Life Without Plastic about their Plastic-Free Tooth Tabs which can replace those plastic toothpaste tubes and are packaged in a paper box. They also talked about their new Plastic-Free Lunch Boxes which were funded on Kickstarter. They also have a wide variety of Plastic-Free Containers for packing those delicious lunches in.

Take the Plastic Free July Challenge with www.goingzerowaste.com

Take the Plastic Free July Challenge with www.goingzerowaste.com

Here are a few more interesting articles I’ve found about this topic:

 

It’s not too late to join the Plastic Free Challenge Today!


**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission.

 –Thank you!

Cover Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

Celebrate National Anti-Boredom Month with help from Samko & Miko!

Did you know that July is National Anti-Boredom Month?

I didn’t know this until a few days ago as I saw it mentioned in an article as I was skimming through my facebook at a super fast rate. Then I was reminded of it again yesterday when going through my numerous emails…  the number of emails I get is crazy!

I can see why this would be a great month for finding ways to beat boredom as I’m sure there are a lot of parents hearing those famous words “I’m so bored…. there’s nothing to do!”. My eyes seem to do an automatic eye roll when I hear it from my kiddos. There’s always something you can do, right?

Here’s a couple of articles with some great Anti-Boredom suggestions for you to check out:

Also, don’t forget to check out the great variety of toys and games that are available at Samko & Miko Toys:

 

National Geographic 8x21 Compact Roof-Prism BinocularsUltimate BoomerangDisney pixar Cars 5 Pieces Gardening Set

Discovery HD Camera

You can also check out my post, July Holidays, for more fun and unusual holiday ideas to celebrate. This post hasn’t been updated so a couple of the dates may be a little different for this year.


 

**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission.

 –Thank you!

Cover Image by Pexels from Pixabay

THIS may be the GREATEST health discovery of this century!

The GREATEST health discovery of this century may ALREADY be inside your body…

And, it’s one of the MOST SEARCHED words on the internet today, for good reason.

“KETO.” Ketones. Keto diet. Ketogenic lifestyle.

Ketones help you burn fat for energy, powerfully reduce inflammation and show promise in preventing and eradicating diabetes, cancer, autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and many, many other health concerns.

—>>Learn to leverage the mighty power of KETONES to return to health (and thrive in life!) when you register today!

WHY ATTEND?
Dr. David Jockers overcame skin cancer in part by switching to a ketogenic diet. Within 6 months of diagnosis, his cancerous nodule had vanished — and, he gained significantly more energy and mental clarity.

Now, he teaches patients how a ketogenic lifestyle can give them the edge to conquer disease, return to health and upgrade the quality of life.

He’s here to help YOU by sharing that wisdom.

During this health summit, you’ll discover:
+ What is ketosis (and how does it work)?
+ Myths, and how to separate fact from fiction!
+ How to overcome the challenges of being “keto-adapted.”
+ Whether you should start a keto diet (or not!).
+ How to shop, live and eat on a ketogenic lifestyle.
+ And more!

The Keto Edge Summit is online and free from August 5-11, 2019!

I’ll see you online at this educational summit when you register today!

P.S. You definitely don’t want to miss what may be the most important health discovery of this century! Register for The Keto Edge Summit today!


**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission.

 –Thank you!

Emergency Preparedness: Water Purification with Berkey

As many of you know we have entered Hurricane Season where we live. (The season officially began on June 1, 2019, and will end on November 30, 2019.) Hurricanes and other natural disasters can wreak havoc all around us and cause many serious issues so it is important to always be prepared.

One of the most important things you need in the event of a natural disaster is clean drinking water. Boy, do I know how fast water flies off the shelves and how hard it is to get if you wait until the last minute. (The last time that happened we had no choice but to wait to the last minute as we had no transportation at the time.) I try my best to stay stocked up but in this little house, there is only so much water we can hide under beds and such.

We have been washing out milk jugs and filling them with water. These have been placed in the bottom of a big chest freezer we have out in a shed. If an emergency hits they will help to keep the freezer cold and can provide us with water for drinking and cooking so I feel pretty comfortable that we would be okay if we had a power outage of a few days but more than 4 or 5 days would be pushing it.

We do have a generator that we can, and have, hooked up to run the water pump but you never know when something like that will fail or if we were to run out of fuel it may be hard to get out to get more for a time as the roads around us are frequently flooded after major storms. We needed a better plan, or at least I thought we did.

Use Code KIRBY5 for a 5% discount on your order TODAY!

I have been looking at the Berkey Water Systems for quite a while now and really began to take an interest in them again recently. After debating and thinking about it I finally decided to go ahead and take the plunge… yes, they can be a bit expensive but they do have some great ways to save money with the Berkey Filter Scratch & Dent Sale which I had planned to take advantage of and may take advantage of in the future as I can see that these would make wonderful gifts too!

However recently we have been having some water issues here. We have hard water and we have a system for that but the system has been malfunctioning. The water has a slight smell and taste which they have assured us is nothing bad… they aren’t the ones drinking it though. It also has an orange color to it that has been discoloring EVERYTHING from the toilet bowl to the water bottles. YUCK! It made me sick just to look at it.

After waiting patiently for the system to begin functioning properly again, which it is working better but doesn’t quite seem to be at 100% yet, I decided ENOUGH was ENOUGH. I can’t let my family drink this water any longer! I mean the investment in the system is for our health and well being. The cost when compared to the smaller units you can buy for your faucet will be an even better value in the long run. (I believe the estimate the cost to be less than $0.02 a gallon! Now that’s a great value!)

Well, I still wanted to check out the facts and make sure that this was what we really needed. After checking out all the information they have on the website and reading about the different purification reports they have listed on the filter pages I was convinced that this would be the best thing for us.

Click here to learn about why the Berkey Water Filters are so good!

They have a variety of sizes and I believe we have the largest size available (the Crown Berkey) as I know we go through a lot of water. The way this filtered water tastes makes me think I need to invest in some more black filters too so it can be ready faster as we are sure to be drinking even more water from now on! It is a very noticeable difference in both the look and taste of the water. The more filters the faster we can have purified water. Yes, there is a difference between filtered and purified water and boy does it show!

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Not to mention that you can use it to clean virtually any kind of water. I’ve read reviews about people using stream water, pond water, etc. I know they do have suggestions for treating this kind of water before filtering just to be safe so you would probably want to check that out beforehand. This is really good to know though as things can get quite desperate in emergency situations.  Berkey filters can remove 200+ contaminants from water and they have the certified lab results to prove it too!

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They also have several bundles right now that can help you to save even more money! Not only do they have systems for your drinking water but they have a shower filter that is getting rave reviews! They are currently sold out but you can have your name added to the list to be notified when they are back in stock. I did this and I can’t wait to be able to order mine!

They shipped our order super fast too and it was so easy to set up. I had the system set up in less than 20 minutes! Yep, it was that fast. Getting the first batch of water run through the system did take a bit longer though but this morning we had clean, fresh water to drink. The kids were happy that it was clear and I am happy knowing that it is so much healthier for everyone! I really can’t wait to start making some of my Trim Healthy Mama drinks with this!

Don’t forget to use Code

KIRBY5 for a 5% discount on your order TODAY!

Here’s a few pics of our system as it arrived and was set up. I was so excited to see it out on the porch when we came home from a dance I stayed up after midnight to set it up!


**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission. This means that we can keep bringing you great recipes, ideas, and tips for FREE! Click HERE for a full disclaimer.

 –Thank you!

Meet Our New Berkey!

Oh my gosh! I was so excited last night when we got home from the dance. I had a couple of big boxes sitting on my recently cleaned off porch… another story for another day as we’ve been doing a lot of changes around here and may have even more to come.

Ya’ll know that we’ve really been trying to make some healthier choices around here and one of those is to drink more water. Now we did drink our fair share but I know that I need to increase my water intake a bit because water is so vital to being healthy and I want to set a good example for my kiddos. I just had a harder time with it for a couple of reason.

Our water is hard water and even with the water system, it has had a kind of smell and taste. Well, to me it does. There are a few people who don’t seem to notice it at all but I grew up on spring water from the mountains and this water is not spring water! On top of the smell and taste, it has had a bit of an orangey color to it… GROSS! TRIPLE GROSS!

Related image Continue reading Meet Our New Berkey!

On The Banks Of Plum Creek Adventure Weekly Guide Links

Click Here for On The Banks Of Plum Creek Adventure Weekly Lesson Plan Links Only.

How we use these lesson plans:

Our school week is usually completed in 4 days. We use a Loop Schedule where we work for a designated amount of time on each subject before moving on to the next. After their work is completed for the day the kids are allowed to have independent studies were they can study whatever their little hearts desired.

Our 5th day is an optional day that we use to complete unfinished work or for other activities as we choose.


Please click HERE for a list of resources that we have purchased from Amazon and other suppliers.

Click on the links below for the series you would like to view/use. I will update these links as we get them finished.

Tip: If you want to go to a certain week/chapter or topic simply push the ‘ctrl’ and the ‘F’ button down together and a small bar will pop up. Type in the week number or chapter number you want and it will take you to it.


1. On the Banks of Plum Creek Week 1 Lesson Plans

Continue reading On The Banks Of Plum Creek Adventure Weekly Guide Links

Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Bugs Bunny Day Specials, and Cinco de Mayo Specials at UnitStudy.com

We love using Unit Studies here in our homeschool but sometimes life gets the best of me and I just don’t have time to gather the materials and activities together. Instead of beating myself up and feeling bad about it I know I can trust the folks over at UnitStudy.com to have something already made up that I can use for whatever adventure we are leaning towards.

This week they are having some great specials on the Mother’s Day unit studies as well as Father’s Day, and Bugs Bunny Day which I know my kids will be wanting to celebrate. They will also be having a Cinco de Mayo special from May 3-5 so be sure to check out that deal too!

Check out the specials below and then make sure to head over and enter into the giveaway! Good Luck!

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Mother’s & Father’s Day Set 40% Off!

The package includes the following two unit studies:

 

Mother's Day

Mother’s Day 26% Off

 

“The mother’s heart is the child’s schoolroom.” – Henry Ward Beecher

Mother’s Day is a fun day for children of all ages—from the excitement of making and giving gifts to planning special surprises for Mom. Why not enjoy a week-long Mother’s Day celebration? Really!

  • Quest 1: What Is Mother’s Day
  • Quest 2: The History of Mother’s Day
  • Quest 3: Celebrating Mother’s Day
  • Quest 4: Preparations for Mother’s Day
  • Quest 5: Goodies for Mother’s Day

Mere, Madre, Moeder, Mother—whatever language you say it in, love abounds. A mother’s nature is to nurture . . .

Use this opportunity to help your children understand more about your special relationship with them, learn a little Mother’s Day history, and help them prepare for a fun celebration in honor of the mothers who enrich their lives, whether that’s their own mother or grandmother or another special woman. It’s worth the extra effort to make Mother’s Day a special adventure—an exciting week that everyone will remember for many years to come!

Father's Day

Father’s Day 26% Off!

 

“Honor your father and your mother,
so that you may live long in the land
the LORD your God is giving you.”
Exodus 20:12

Dads are so important to families, and Father’s Day provides a chance for children to learn more about their dad and recognize all that he does for them.

From some of the fathers in the Bible to the history of Father’s Day, this study is rich with lessons in character, appreciation, and love.

  • Quest 1: What Is Father’s Day?
  • Quest 2: The History of Father’s Day
  • Quest 3: Celebrating Father’s Day
  • Quest 4: Preparing for Father’s Day
  • Quest 5: Goodies for Father’s Day

Celebrate Dad with this memory-making study!

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Today Only! Crazy Cartoons 62% Off!

“If you can dream it, you can do it.”  – Walt Disney
Do you have a doodler in the house or a budding artist that loves to create? An obsessed designer of construction blocks? Help bring out their creativity with Crazy Cartoons, and watch their eyes light up as they learn!

  • Quest 1: What Is a Cartoon?
  • Quest 2: The Story of Cartoons
  • Quest 3: Science Secrets of Cartoons
  • Quest 4: Cool Things About Cartoons
  • Quest 5: Goodies and Gadgets of Cartoons

I just grabbed my copy of the Crazy Cartoons and the Mother’s & Father’s Day Set …

the kids are gonna love these!

Don’t forget to check back during May 3-5 for this special:

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Expedition Mexico

Are you ready for an education vacation? Not a vacation from education, but an educational vacation, without ever leaving home!

Which country boasts jungles, volcanoes, and Mayan pyramids?

Studying a country is a great way to discover amazing animals and geographical features with your children. Here are a few of the things that they will explore with this study:

  • Quest 1: Where on Earth Is Mexico?
  • Quest 2: Some of the Special Places in Mexico
  • Quest 3: A Bit of History
  • Quest 4: Cool Things to Know About Mexico
  • Quest 5: Fun and Games in Mexico

Mariachi bands often bring Mexico to mind, but what are they?
Exciting dances can be incredibly fun, and you may already know some of them.
X marks the place on the map—some you will have heard about . . . others will be new finds!
Iguanas are often green, but how long are they?
Cinco de Mayo is a holiday in Mexico, but do you know why?
Old pyramids remain after the Mayan civilization—no need to go all the way to Egypt!

**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission. Thank you!

 

 

 

 

Google Home: The Ultimate Homeschool Helper

We have often shared things that we love and use on a daily basis. We’ve been sharing about our Kirby’s Kids Academic Adventures as we read through the Little House on the Prairie stories. (More lessons to come soon, I promise.) We’ve also done our share of ‘free schooling’ and schooling-on-the-fly lately as life can often times get very crazy at the drop of the hat.

You know we’ve had our own share of struggles with special needs, speech issues, and learning disabilities too. We’ve shared a lot of the great programs we use like ABC Mouse, Mystery Science, Kids Cook Real Food, and Character Concepts, plus many great resources like NotebookPages.com, Skill Trek, UnitStudy.com, Kiwi Co, Green Kid Crafts, and Positive Parenting Solutions that have really helped us out with our homeschooling journey.

One of our favorite resources lately has been our Google Home device that we received last year through a product testing opportunity. This thing is AMAZING! Not only has it helped to relieve some of my stressors as I have been able to integrate our Cozi calendar into the system, look up recipes in a pinch but it has also helped out in so many other ways.

Google is a talking encyclopedia!

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Mr. Joey (7) asks approximately 31,252,374 questions a day! I may be on the low side of that estimate though… lol. Mr. Jacob (5) asks at least half that many questions too. This means my mind is constantly in a whirlwind trying to remember how many teeth a timber has or how big a blue whale baby is when it’s born. They are so inquisitive and curious about everything which is where Google has helped out. Now they can just ask Google!

Since I have my Cozi calendar integrated into it, Google can even tell the kids what we are having for dinner. Okay, sometimes I do feel a little bit sorry for Google and tell the kids that Google needs a break.

Google is a speech therapist!

Not only has this feature helped the kids learn some amazing facts it has also helped them with some of their speech issues. Yep, that’s right. If they don’t say something correctly then Google doesn’t recognize it. This means they must slow down and practice speaking more clearly. Continue reading Google Home: The Ultimate Homeschool Helper

Save Energy And Earn Money With OhmConnect

Have you heard of this site? I just learned about it today and it seems like such an amazing idea and with Earth day just passed this is one more way we can focus on helping out. It’s free to sign up and use and even if your utility company isn’t on their list, like mine, you can still earn money by helping to spread the word.

When I first read about it I really didn’t know what it was. I had been on Pinterest last night and you know how that goes… Well, this morning I got up early and went back to look over a few tabs I had left open on my laptop. The one for OhmConnect was one of the first that I decided to check out. (I’ve also done a little research to make sure this isn’t a scam and from what I’ve seen they aren’t and I’ll post links to some of the articles at the end of this post.)

Here’s a screenshot of just how easy it is:

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They have a revolutionary way of helping us to avoid using ‘dirty’ energy and help us to maximize our ‘clean’ energy. Many families use these times to unplug and reconnect, what a great idea! Don’t just take my word for it, go ahead and check it out today!

And here’s those links I promised to other articles that talk about OhmConnect:

**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission. Thank you!

Celebrate Earth Day With Grove!

Happy Saturday! You guys know how much I love shopping with Grove and all the fantastic products I get from there, so I wanted to let you all know that with Earth Day just days away Grove is featuring a free gift bundle ($30 value) for New Customers!

This eco-friendly and sustainable bundle features innovative Grove products that your family is sure to love such as the Grove concentrated solutions. These solutions feature a reusable glass spray bottle that will allow your audience to do their part in reducing the amount of plastic that enters the ecosystem. I love the glass bottles and concentrates!

In addition, you can shop the wide variety of Grove sustainable products from reusable straws and plastic bags to eco-friendly hand soap, dish soap, and laundry detergentWe’ve just switched to the Grove Collaborative – Ultra-Concentrated Liquid Laundry Detergent in the Citrus & Woods scent as it comes in refill packages for less waste!

Please see below for the full details of the Earth Day bundle contents:

Grove Earth Day Bundle Contents: 
✦ Grove Concentrates (3 pack)
✦ Grove Glass Spray Bottle
✦ Grove Cleaning Caddy
✦ Grove Walnut Scrubber Sponges

So what are you waiting for?  Shop with Grove for all of your cleaning and laundry supplies while doing your part to help our planet!

Earth Day Exclusive: Receive an Earth-Friendly Cleaning Kit

for FREE with your 1st purchase of $20+ 

 

**This post does contain affiliate links to products that we use. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission. Thank you!

Celebrate Earth Month With Green Kid Crafts!

We all know that April 22nd is Earth Day and just in case it has slipped up on you I have some great ideas for celebrating Earth Day in this post HERE. Why celebrate just one day when Green Kids Crafts is having an Earth Month Special?

With the summer vacation coming up on us fast many of us will be going crazy trying to keep the kids out of our hair! Trust me, I know! These kits will help to keep your kids busy and give them a healthy alternative to all of that screen time. Pssst… grandparents… these would make awesome gifts for birthdays, special events, or just because.

CELEBRATE EARTH MONTH WITH GREEN KID CRAFTS!

Get your green on this Earth Month and get 3 FREE STEAM boxes (a $60 value!) on any Green Kid Crafts subscription! Act fast to lock in savings on a longer-term subscription and get Discovery Boxes year-round for less than $15.00 / month. Use offer code PLANET12 at checkout to get $60 off any 12-month subscription. Go here to start shopping! Green Kid Crafts’ award-winning Discovery Boxes pack a lot of fun and learning into affordable and convenient packages. Each box contains up to 6 STEAM science and craft kits, extension activities, and a free STEAM magazine. Junior boxes are designed for ages 2-4 and Discovery boxes are great for ages 5-10+. Offer excludes sibling add-on options. Go here to start shopping!

**This post contains affiliate links to products that we use and love here at our home. We may earn a teeny weeny little commission if a purchase happens to be made through one of our links. Thank you so much for supporting our family, our homeschooling mission, and our blog!

Pine Tree or Palmetto Bug?

When I first tried Grove products I was on a mission to try to use healthier products in our home. I believe one of the first scents I tried was the Iowa Pine… I was in love! It reminded me of fresh cut pine trees in the mountains. It had been a while since I had ordered this scent and I decided to try it out again because I loved it so much.

Image result for pine trees in the mountains

I cleaned the house one day and was again amazed at the fresh scent and felt good knowing that these products are better for us than a lot of others out there. Well, Mr. Awesome happened to come by about then and he kind of crinkled up his nose. He asked what happened? I told him I had just finished cleaning and he said it smelled like I had crushed a giant Palmetto bug in the house… Ewwww. Not the reaction I was hoping for.

Yuck… just seeing this picture gives me the Heevy Jeevies… I really do despise these little pests and they are abundant here in Florida. Now that Mr. Awesome has made this connection I won’t ever think about Pine Scent the same way… sniffle. That doesn’t change the fact that I have an ample amount of pine scented cleaner already so I’ll have to use it up or find somewhere else to use it… maybe I can donate it somewhere?

**This post may contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. If a  purchase is made through one of these links we may make a small commission which  costs you nothing extra and blesses our family so we thank you! For full affiliate disclosure please click HERE

His favorite scent so far has been the Gernamium… crazy huh? My favorite scent that I use most often is the Lavender… oh how I love my Lavender! Best thing is that these are all great and they all meet the Grove Standard which means everything available at Grove has met their standards for non-toxicity, efficacy, and sustainability, and is cruelty-free. What more can you ask for?

My next scent to try is Mrs. Meyers Rain Water… it sounds so refreshing, doesn’t it? Have you tried out Grove products yet? If so what is your favorite scent and/or product. If not why don’t you give them a try right now and get a little something special too when you use my referral link.

Click Here To Try Out Grove Today!