Posts May Contain Affiliate Links. See Disclosure. All opinions my own.

American Home Shield Summer of Giveaways

You might remember that we remodeled in 2012.  We ripped up carpet, installed hardwood throughout the house, save the laundry room and two bathrooms.  We removed half a wall in our kitchen, and reconfigured the kitchen.  Sadly, when we put it all back together, we had to put all our old appliances back in because we had maxed out what we’d saved.  We’re saving to replace the stove, dishwasher, refrigerator, etc, with ones that match as we need to.  I’d LOVE to  be able to replace them all at once.  Hubs just mentioned last night, though, that we’ll likely have to shop for new windows next…. matching appliances may have to wait.  So, I’m entering the American Home Shield Summer of Giveaways Sweepstakes! 

$25,000 kitchen makeover sweepstakes

AHS is the owner of brands like Terminex,  ServiceMaster and Merry Maids, and they are giving consumers a chance to win a bunch of amazing rewards such as new appliances, gift cards and the grand prize- a $25,000 home kitchen makeover. So many prizes, it’s pretty sweet.  They are giving away  literally $10,000 in prizes each week weekly prizes until September 30th!  And entering is super easy.

You can enter the Summer of Giveaways, too.

AHS knows that there’s no place like home … until something goes wrong or breaks down, leaving you with hundreds if not thousands of dollars in unwanted expenses. There are many benefits to owning your own home, but every homeowner also knows that a lot can go wrong, and when it does – it can be costly.

Now I’m dreaming of brushed steel appliances… how about you?

Posts may contain affiliate links. See Disclosure. All Opinions are My Own
Posts May Contain Affiliate Links. See Disclosure. All opinions my own.

MagnaMini Review

By a show of hands, how many parents out there are CONSTANTLY looking for good outerwear for their kids?  I have three girls, so one would think that cute, girlie outerwear would not be anything that we would be running short on.  I mean, by rights, I should have at least one winter coat in each size, along with gobs of sweaters, hoodies, and mid-weight jackets…but I don’t.  I might’ve given some away, and just can’t remember, and I know some got ruined (I literally had to cut a jacket off of one of my girls after the zipper refused to budge), but I thought I was set on the clothing front when Ms. A came along.  Wrong.

MagnaMini approached me and asked if I would be interested in reviewing one of their products for them, which was actually pretty perfect timing considering I had just been tearing through the clothing bins in my basement in search of elusive fall and winter coats, fingers crossed that I wouldn’t have to drop $40+ on a new one for Ms. A (I never found the 24 month coat I thought I had, by the way).  Anyway, as I browsed through the company’s products in search of one that I liked, I was struck by the simplicity of these products’ concept: instead of an annoying zipper that my toddler can’t pull up on her own, all of MagnaMini’s products boast several magnets in place of a zipper making them super simple for little, uncoordinated hands to put on and close up!  I LOVE this idea!  Seriously- why didn’t someone think of it sooner?  It’s genius!


Beyond the simplicity of the product, I love the weight of the winter vest that I got for Ms. A!  It’s not fluffy, by any means, which I love (because nothing is worse than carrying a baby who’s wearing a bulky winter coat!).  Also, the stitching looks to be quality (you know how sometimes you buy a piece of cheap clothing and you can tell a seam is going to pull out with the first wear…), and it seems very sturdy!  I love this addition to Ms. A’s fall and winter wardrobe!  Oh, and please excuse the fact that the vest looks like a dress on my kid…she’s ridiculously tiny!

Posts may contain affiliate links. See Disclosure. All Opinions are My Own
Posts May Contain Affiliate Links. See Disclosure. All opinions my own.

Dolphin Tale 2 Homeschool Curriculum

As I mentioned in an earlier post, we started our new homeschool curriculum earlier this month.  One of the things that we’re adding to our curriculum this year is the newest curriculum created exclusively by Homeschool Movie Club for Dolphin Tale 2.  My oldest two absolutely love anything dolphin or shark related, so I am excited to start using this.

dolphin tale 2

What I love about it is that it spans grade levels K through High School, and makes it easy for you to figure out which activities are appropriate for your kidlet by labeling them with a dolphin or a sea turtle.

dolphin tale 2 curriculum spans grade K-HS

I also love that it talks about dolphins in the wild AND dolphins in aquarium, and explains that some dolphins are unable to survive in the wild, whether from injury or illness, and when that happens, the aquarium can provide a long term home.

My favorite part of the free Dolphin Tale 2 curriculum available on Homeschool Movie Club is the Dolphin Tale 2 Curriculum by Classical Conversations.  It is a 77 page PDF that includes biology, physical science, geography, language, math, literature, art, history, and Bible!  I love that it includes what the Bible tells us about dolphins!

We’re really excited to be able to use this curriculum, and I love that it’s free, too!

Did you know that HOMESCHOOL DAY is Friday September 12, 2014? It’s no coincidence that Dolphin Tale 2 is being released that day.

About the movie:

Inspired by true events, Dolphin Tale 2  continues the story of the brave dolphin Winter, whose miraculous rescue and recovery—thanks to a groundbreaking prosthetic tail—made her a symbol of hope and perseverance to people around the world and inspired the 2011 family hit movie “Dolphin Tale.” This film reunites the entire main cast, led by Harry Connick Jr., Oscar winner Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Kris Kristofferson, and of course, the remarkable dolphin Winter as herself. Champion surfer Bethany Hamilton, who has been an example of courage, also appears in the film.

It has been several years since young Sawyer Nelson and the dedicated team at the Clearwater Marine Hospital, headed by Dr. Clay Haskett, rescued Winter. With the help of Dr. Cameron McCarthy, who developed a unique prosthetic tail for the injured dolphin, they were able to save her life. Yet their fight is not over. Winter’s surrogate mother, the very elderly dolphin Panama, has passed away, leaving Winter without the only pool mate she has ever known. However, the loss of Panama may have greater repercussions for Winter, who, according to USDA regulations, cannot be housed alone, as dolphins’ social behavior requires them to be paired with other dolphins. Time is running out to find a companion for her before the team at Clearwater loses their beloved Winter to another aquarium.

Learn more by visiting Homeschool Movie Club, liking Dolphin Tale Movie on Facebook, and following @dolphintale on Twitter.

Will you be seeing it?

Posts may contain affiliate links. See Disclosure. All Opinions are My Own
Posts May Contain Affiliate Links. See Disclosure. All opinions my own.

Two Weeks Evaporated

I feel like the last two weeks evaporated! As in poof… gone.  Things flew by so quickly, that were it not for pictures, and the record of my planner, I doubt I would recollect much of it at all!

We went to Kansas City to see Hubs family.  While there, we visited their community pool, and Sister practiced her Ninja Warrior skills…

When we returned, we started our curriculum for the new homeschool year.  Though he is technically a first grader, Mister is doing Abeka’s second grade curriculum.  Sister is doing Abeka’s kindergarten curriculum.  I’ll do “first day of school” photos on the the first day of homeschool co-op, like I did last year.

Abeka Writing with Phonics

Little Miss accidentally got her fingers caught in the door as Sister was closing it, necessitating an emergency trip to the Ortho office and first x-rays.  Praise God, her fingers and hands are still mostly cartilaginous, so no fractures! The Ortho said in another six months, it could have broken that finger.  :(

little fingers are no match for big doors

Sister participated in a Hello Kitty Fashion Show.


She rocked the catwalk with the fastest runway walk ever!  I’ll share more about the fashion show in another post.

Hello Kitty School Style

Though he wasn’t IN the fashion show, Mister had a blast blowin up balloons!

blowin up balloons

Someone decided she wanted to be a late night rock star…

late night smiles

and played her Fisher Price piano until 2:30 A.M.  <–that’s a long time to listen to “green, green, green, green…”!

I wanna rock and roll all night, and party every day!

Someone lost her first tooth and was tickled pink by her visit from the tooth fairy…

first tooth lost

We went to the zoo, where someone lost a shoe…

at the zoo, I lost a shoe

Fortunately for us, since it was midweek and during the day, it was uncrowded and I was able to retrace our steps right back to the shoe!  She also had her first carousel ride!

first carousel ride

Add to that thrice weekly trips to the gym, multiple meetings for me, and…

Two weeks evaporated. As in poof… gone.

Have you had any days or weeks that just evaporated lately?


Posts may contain affiliate links. See Disclosure. All Opinions are My Own
Posts May Contain Affiliate Links. See Disclosure. All opinions my own.

A Fun Car Personality Quiz #edmundsquiz (and Six Tips for Buying a New Car)

This post made possible by   All opinions are my own.

Many families are planning last minute road trips, to enjoy a little family bonding time before the kids head back to school.  We’re planning a road trip ourselves.  We’ll be going to Colorado in the near future, with all three kidlets.  With that in mind, I thought it’d be fun to take the Edmunds car personality quiz.

If YOU were a CAR, what would you look like?

planning a road trip

My key car-acteristics are: practical, conventional, reliable, simple, leisurely, thrifty, versatile, sporty, and indulgent.

my car personality

Yup, pretty much nailed that one!

In addition to being a prime time for last minute road trips, it is also one of the most popular times of the year to look for a new vehicle.  Whether you are looking for something to stand up to the winter roads around you, or are expanding your family and need something to accommodate everyone, here are a six tips for buying your new car…

  1. Do your research.  There are reliable sites (like that supply a wealth of information on rebates and incentives, car reviews, pricing, and car makes and models in addition to negotiating techniques.
  2. Take your time when shopping for a car. Don’t rush into anything.  Unless you hitchhiked to the car lot, chances are, you have time to go home and think about it.  Do that.
  3. Shop multiple dealers BEFORE you make a purchase.  Don’t be afraid to let the dealers you’re shopping from know that you have just been to the dealership down the street and are going to the next one when you leave there.  Make them compete for your business.
  4. Get an online price quote!  Many dealers offer them (though they may take 2-3 days) and you can use them as leverage when you stop by the dealerships.
  5. If you have a trade-in, know the value of it and what several dealers are willing to offer you for it.
  6. Know what your new insurance rate will be BEFORE you sign on the dotted line.  A quick call to your insurance agent will let you know what your new rate should be and whether or not you’ll need gap insurance. You may drop $50 off your monthly car payment, but if your insurance goes up $100, is it still within your budget?

Check out on Facebook and follow @edmunds on Twitter for more travel and car buying tips!

Posts may contain affiliate links. See Disclosure. All Opinions are My Own