Tuesday, August 30, 2016

WW: Hitchcock Nature Center {Linky}

First off a big Happy Birthday goes out to my husband that's 41 years old today!

Now on with the post...A few weeks ago we went to Hitchcock Nature Center in Iowa. It's only $2 to get into the park. There's a lot of explore. It's located on the Loess Hills.

The first thing we did was climb their observation tower.

Here's the view:



Here are 3 of the 4 of us. Isaak wasn't in the mood for getting his picture taken.


Looking down from the tower:


We went hiking on a trail and saw some pretty close-ups:


I could have take 500 photos of these poisonous berries:





A hungry little caterpillar:


A field of flowers:


The boys really enjoyed hiking. I on the other hand was lagging behind. I was fasting for a medial procedure (all is ok). I don't do well with fasting though. I just wanted to faint. I took my time by taking photos.




We got to one more spot with a really pretty view.







 Mica was the only one that would let me take his photo. He's my handsome knight.


Do you like to go hiking? Is there a place within driving distance to hike at from where you live?




Monday, August 29, 2016

Parenting in the Digital Age

One thing I love are events at Do Space. I recently went to Parenting in the Digital Age put on by Common Sense Media.

Thankfully my boys are at good ages to entertain themselves with computers. During this session there was no one that could watch the kids.

If it were up to the boys they would have played in the lobby the whole time. They had rockets on a screen that put their face in them, and followed them where ever they went.



While the kids did what they did, we got started talking about Parenting in the Digital Age.

First Common Sense Media talked about how they are active in creating laws. Kids can swipe their online presence to start over when they are 18.

This is when I felt a little guilty about blogging about my kids so much. I think of my blog as a recording device. A modern baby book that worked its way into when they are kids. Lucky for me they are good kids. When I blog it's not like I'm throwing them under the bus each post. We all act up, and go through phases in life at times.

A mom that was there doesn't put her kids on facebook at all. I felt like I was in the wrong. So my kids have an online presence. If I had to start my blog over again - knowing what I know now I'd give my boys nicknames that they have in real life. Isaak is Zeek and Mica is Moose at home, and Smarty at Grandma and Grandpa's. It's a little late for that now I feel.

My boys are leaders in their classes, they get good grades in school, and they crack me up on a daily basis. I don't think I've messed them up that much.

I respect those that choose to give their kids online privacy. It would be super hard for me to not share my kids with the world. They are a part of my life.

We had to make a word web of our kids that included our online concerns for them, and something positive they'll get from being online.

Here's Travis':


Here's mine:


Travis' was more artsy, but mine had more words on it.

I have different concerns from one child to the next. Mica doesn't know his online limits. Isaak gets his feelings hurt easily, which could result in being bullied online.

Common Sense Media works with teachers, parents and educators. In fact they work with my boy's school district. They are not just in Nebraska. Check to see if they work with schools around where you live. Please check out their website: commonsensemedia.org

Things Parents Should Talk to Their Kids About:

  • Having positive online decisions
  • No cyber bulling 
  • Data privacy 
  • They shouldn't violate copyright laws

Common Sense Media Has so Much on Their Site! Here are Links to a Few Things We Went Over:

  • You can see movie reviews here. I love that they have ages for movies. No longer will my husband try to get them to see something they aren't ready for. Can I say Sixth Sense? I had to say "NO!" to that one. They also have online discussions topics about movies. Families can have dialog about what they watched. How great is that?!
  • There digital glossary is here. It is a glossary of terms that older students use. So many of them I have heard, but didn't know what they meant. This covers their lingo. This I will use for my own students. 
  • They have media agreements here. It's a downloadable PDF that you can print out for your kid to fill out. I have to say that I don't know how much I'll use of that. We just discuss when they've had too much media. They get off at that time. 
There's a lot more on their site, so check it out!

We Talked About Apps:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Musical.ly
  • Vine
  • Kik Messenger
  • Snapchat
  • Tumblr

Some I knew a lot about, while others were new to me. While I've heard of Snapchat, I've never used it. Vine, Musical.ly, Kik Messenger I've never heard of. I brought up others like Pinterest, Google+ and LinkedIn. I guess LinkedIn is supposed to have a come back. I thought it was dying.

What app do you use the most? I'd have to say that I use Facebook the most. I control the school's Facebook page, as well as my blog one, and my personal one. Pinterest is helpful. Not just for recipes, but for holding onto things I want to talk about in class. I like Instagram, but am still newish to it. Twitter just seems like a spot to get the word out about things.

Overall I really enjoyed Parenting in the Digital Age.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Cooling Base Layer Tank Top by Homaste Review

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. I received the product mentioned in exchange for this review. All opinions are mine.

I'm always on the lookout for shirts that fit my oldest. He's now in men sizes. Yikes! How did that happen? He's not too picky with clothes yet. He certainly has his favorite shirts. He's into sporty shirts, with fabric that stretches. I'm so happy that I found him a tank top that has the same type of material as the shirts he loves so much.

Cooling Base Layer Tank Top by Homaste has the best material. 



It's a tank that is meant to be worn in layers. It keeps his temperature cool where the tank is worn. He can wear it to do anything boys and men like to do: 

  • To the gym
  • To the beach
  • To school (for boys)/work (for men)
  • To do yard work
  • To amusement parks
and more...


If you have a boy/man in your life that's picky with the way clothes feel, this is the perfect tank for them. It's tag-free, seams can not be felt, and the material stretches as one moves. The material allows moister to be wicking. Meaning sweat and water dry fast on it. It's odor free.

It's made of cotton, polyester/lycra blend. It's cool with a silky soft touch.

The tank will not ride up, bunch up, or untuck its self. It's a fitted tank that has a material that breathes.

Sizes:

  • Small
  • Medium
  • Large
  • Extra Large
It's a little big on Mica, but he'll grow into it. I've been buying him small adult sizes for shirts.

One thing I did notice on pictures of other reviews on Amazon was that the armpit area is pretty tight. Mica doesn't have the problem, but as he grows he might.


If I could change things about this tank they would be:

  • To give more room in the armpit area.
  • To make it a little shorter. How it is now it brings attention to the gut. 
  • To offer more colors to choose from. It's only offered in white. I think this tank would look great in black and charcoal grey as well!


Cost: 

$19.95, but on sale for $14.95 with Prime as an option. 


Do you or anyone you love wear tanks alone, or under your shirt?

Friday, August 26, 2016

Random Tid Bits

  1. Isaak and I got our first head cold in the school year. My head feels fuzzy - like bees are flying around in it, and I'm stuffy. Isaak has been snotty big time, has no appetite, and feels feverish at night.

    I can tell fall is on it's way, plus school started, which is all breeding ground for sickness.

  2. I figured out what I want to do for the big blow up project this year. Every year I find an image, or shoot my own image. My boss prints it out on the large format printer. I cut it up in squares, or rectangles. Then each student gets a square from each poster to recreate larger. I don't tell them what it is. They don't get to see it until the end when it's hung up. This year I had a hard time deciding. This year I didn't use my own photos. I found images that were so great by the Illustrator Tom Whalen. I love his work. The images below belong to Tom Whalen. When my students do a little piece they are not recreating the whole thing, nor are they selling the work.


  3. I got the book Wonder By R.J. Palacio for Mica to read. Normally he reads the books I pick out with kind of an annoyed look. Like he's thinking, Geez Mom! Let me pick out my own books! This one I kept seeing displayed at Barnes and Noble, and the library. He can't put the book down. Travis once said, "Ok you're not doing the tasks you ask us to do! Stop reading!" I know...every parent wishes that they had this problem. If you're looking for a good book to read...Wonder might be it.

     
  4. Isaak watched The Boxcar Children movie at school. He came home, and was super excited to read the 1 The Boxcar Children book that he has. Maybe I'll have to check out more of those. Typically he's not one that likes to read.

  5. I printed out a coupon for Michael's. It's a 50% off one. I feel the need to use it. What would you buy at a craft store?

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

WW: Trumpet {Linky}

Mica told us last week, "I want to play the baritone in band. We need the instrument by Friday." The band form had no date on it whatsoever. I was kind of annoyed because he could have given strings a try last year. We have plenty of those instruments. Travis' boss gave him like 5 string instruments. Mica never told us about that. I got on him to be more informative, and to try new things. When I looked at the prices on renting an instrument I was like, "Whoa we need to make a choice here: Band or Martial Arts. I can't afford both!" Mica said, "You did tell me to try new things." So he had me there.

I looked at pawn shops, but they really only had old trumpets that looked dinged up.

Someone on facebook said they had a trumpet they wanted to sell. I said, "Sold!" It turned out that her Dad sold it without her knowing.

We gave up on the baritone at this point. Mica's like, "I want a trumpet."

I checked out Amazon, and boom they had new trumpets for about the same price as the old ones in pawn shops. They could get it to us in 2 days, we read ratings, and it came with a case, gloves, and a few other things.



Mica: Is this how I blow my trumpet?


Travis: Ya but you have to blow with your cheeks in.


It turns out that after all this Mica didn't need his instrument for a few weeks. He's super excited to have it. He watched the DVD that came with his music book, and now blows with his cheeks in. 

Mica has big plans! He wants to learn to play Peter Gabriel's Sledgehammer. He said, "Dad can be Peter Gabriel, and you can be a background singer Mom." I said, "Why don't you start with Twinkle Twinkle Little Star as your goal?"


Isaak on the other hand is living in a box. He's living in a cardboard box.


Did you play an instrument when you were a kid, or do you still play an instrument now?

Monday, August 22, 2016

Save on Items at #Groupon #ad

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are mine.

When I first got my phone I had a screen protector on it. It started peeling up on the sides, and the screen protector broke. It apparently was not a very good screen protector. Travis said, "I don't know why you have that thing on there. It's harder to click on anything." I took it off, and didn't replace it. Guess what happened...


Can't quite see it...


The screen broke right in my pocket. That's right I didn't even drop it. Now it stays on my cart that I use through work, or in my purse.

I should have checked out Groupon Goods. They have a ton of stuff on clearance. One of the things they have is a Otterbox Case for $9.99. That's marked down from $59.99!!!


I love the fact that with Groupon you don't have to pay a monthly fee to use them. I was paying a monthly fee in case I dropped my phone. They were going to charge me more to fix my screen than it would be if I took it to other places. Needless to say I don't like monthly fees. Groupon is my best bud! 

Categories for Groupon's Goods:
  • For the home
  • Jewelry and Watches
  • Women's Fashion
  • Health and Beauty
  • Electronics
  • Baby, Kids and Toys
  • Sports and Outdoors
  • Men's Fashion
  • Entertainment
  • Auto and Home Improvement
  • Grocery, Household and Pets
  • Collectibles

There's a lot in each category! What category do you think you'd want to check out?

Check out Groupon on facebook and twitter.

Organic Laundry Stain Remover Review

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. I received the product mentioned in exchange for this review. All opinions are mine.

This weekend I cleaned a lot!

We celebrated August and September birthdays at my house. We had a brunch party, so it was different and fun.

After everyone left we cleaned up again.

I decided to dust in places we don't see like ceiling fan, and the crown molding on our cove ceiling.

I realized that it had been awhile since I've washed the drapes, so we did that.

I noticed that there were stains on Isaak's drapes, so I used my new Organic Laundry Stain Remover to help get the stains out. I fully anticipated that the stains wouldn't come out. I had no idea what was on them, and how long it had been there. It did work. 



About Tangie Stain Remover Bar:

It comes in a plastic bag. This is great because the bar is fairly soft. The bar its self is wrapped in a paper. I'm leaving the paper on, and using the ends of it.

You just need to wet the fabric, rub the stain with the stick, launder, and smile :). I'm going to try some really old stains as I launder more. I'll see if it gets old stains out. It certainly did a great job on Isaak's drapes.

Cost:

The cost is: $12.52. It's kind of pricy, but considering that it works it's worth it to me. Just think if you had to buy clothing, drapes and sheets again because of stains.


It Gets Out all Kinds of Stains:

  • Collar Stains
  • Pit Stains
  • Juices
  • Grease
  • Blood
  • Grass
And much more.

It's Made With: 

  • Coconut Oil
  • Grapeseed Oil Soap Base
  • Soap Nuts Liquid (Solar Oven Processed)
  • Oxalic acid (Whitening)
  • Salt (Fabric Softener)
  • Citric Acid (Stain Lifting)
  • Lemongrass Essential Oil (Preserve/Scent)
It's not tested on animals. I love that all the ingredients are ones I've heard of.



Once the drapes were clean thanks to Tangie stain remover. I ironed, and ironed. I hardly iron, so when I do it's like an added event in my life. I swear ironing is a lost art. Drapes and bed skirts never come out wrinkle free for me.


Travis decided to start a task I wasn't ready for that day. It's a task I've talked about doing, but wasn't prepared for doing. It was taking our dressers apart, vacuuming them, dusting them, trying on the clothes to see what needed to be given away, and so on. He told Mica to clean his closet, so that was another thing I helped with.

Our house is certainly much cleaner, but we had dust stirred up for sure.

What do you use to remove stains from fabric? 

Disclaimer

The opinions on this blog are my personal take on products and topics relating to motherhood. This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me.

I am not compensated to provide opinions on a variety of topics. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are my own. If I claim to show knowledge of certain topic or product I will only endorse products or services that I feel, based on my expertise, are worthy of such endorsement.

If you have any questions about this blog, or want to get in contact with me please email me at: anapeladay@gmail.com