Posted in Giveaways

Giveaways 8/30

Enter to Win a Highland Peak 3 Person Tent & 64oz Growler Package {$197}

Enter to Win A Ninja Coffee Bar Maker ($175 Value)

Win a FREE Dog Care Package. $150 Value! 9/1
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Posted in Giveaways

Giveaways 8/29

Enter now to win a sample pack and a t-shirt! A $50 value! 9/1

#Win this awesome GoPro Hero 5 from @TrepicEpictrips @travelwitbender

#GetJimmyOffTheCouch #Sweepstakes to win an #AppleWatch, #AppleTV and a $50 Amazon Gift card! @GoPlay1pal 9/17
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Posted in Uncategorized

Summer Firsts For My ‘Year Of Firsts’

The Year of Firsts continues as I make a concentrated effort to try new things. Some of the summer’s firsts did involve me directly. Some were occasions of me having to let go for the first time in new ways.
For the first time, we allowed our youngest to go to camp. He attended an out-of-state Youth For Christ Camp for a whole week. A whole week. I let my baby get on a bus and go with non-family members for a whole week. You may have gathered that it was not easy. It wasn’t. It was a whole week.

But, he did well. In fact, due to it being a technology-free week, I wasn’t able to hear from him. He zip-lined, went tubing and swam. For a whole week. The husband took a vacation week during this time. He was home. For a whole week.

We had a catastrophic event when Buster got hurt. For the first time, I had to confront the fact that Buster is mortal and we may lose him. We went to an emergency vet for the first time and I found myself thrown back 14 years as he had to be cared for as if he was a human newborn.

However, two weeks later, I fulfilled a ‘bucket list’ item when we took Buster on the boat. He did a fantastic job and I adored every, taxing minute of it!

Speaking of boating, I got to go night fishing for the first time. There’s something eerie yet pleasant about being in a boat, in the middle of a lake, at night with no one around. Sounds are amplified. Where you swore there were no fish, fish splashed. We saw an otter and a snapping turtle which aren’t frequently noticed during the day. The sunset was beyond words. The glistening water was indescribable. It wasn’t even about fishing for me. It was so darn peaceful. Local rules say that boats must be out of the water by 10:30. We docked tn minutes prior. It was fantastic & I’d do it again.

In a vanity related first, I’ve had black hair for the last 20+ years. For the first time, ever, I have let it go au natural. It is 3/4 of the way gray now. I’ve been thinking about changing hair color though my husband had always been against it. When he brought it up, I thought, why not? So I consulted a cosmetologist, friend of mine who advised me to let it go gray before changing up. That is what I’m doing.

When it’s suitable to change, I will decided which color route to explore. But, this was a big first for me. I didn’t think I had the courage to go all out gray. I never even go to the Dollar Store without make-up. I never thought of myself as vain until I realized I didn’t want to look old. However, it’s been liberating!

As fall approaches, we’re preparing to enter 9th grade here at home. We have a high school student again. But, for this child, it’s his first time. Wish us luck!

Posted in Beauty, Product Reviews

On The Move With Beauty Box 5

August is only here for a few more days before we are all consumed with school, work, and activities that come with Autumn. Our theme of ‘Globetrotting’ fits because that’s all we seem to do in September. Before the leaves change and the school buses roll, we get a shot at one more beauty box.
Straight from our favorite subscription service, we get 5 great beauty finds. If you haven’t tried BB5 yet, the first question is why haven’t you? Seriously, it’s a fantastic, monthly delivery of 5 new, new-to-you, or perhaps oldies but goodies. Each month USPS delivers the coveted green box directly to your mailbox. Apparently, we’ve had some shipping issues this month. I believe it to be on my carrier’s shoulders. But, for the most part, you’ll receive the box by the 20th of the month. Never boring, the subscriptions start at $12 a month. No doubt, there will always be at least one item you will love and you can’t beat the price! Many times, the box contains full-sized products. This month we have 3 full-sized items.
Let’s get on the move! First up, we all want our tresses to move beautifully. No one wants a helmet or potato chip hair! To help us achieve this, Luseta Beauty sends along its ‘Argan Oil Hair Masque’. Argan oil is a plant oil from the kernels of the argan tree usually found in Morocco. It also sports wheat protein. Shampoo hair as usually. Generously apply. Leave it on for 5 minutes. Rinse. Easy, peasy. Unlike other, similar masques, it definitely rinsed out smoothly and easily. I’ve tried a few that either felt like a headful of oatmeal or just wouldn’t rinse out, leaving no choice but to re-shampoo. As soon as my hair dried, I noticed it to be much softer and smoother. I look forward to using it again. It’s a weekly product. I love every thing about it except its price. The MSRP is $29 and while it wasn’t supplied in the box full-sized, it’s a bit too rich for my blood at this time despite its size. If you can swing it, it’s a great product.
Our second item was from another, new-to-me company. Seraphine Botanicals generously provided its ‘Quince + Crimson Crayon’. Although it is plugged as a double-duty, cheek + lip crayon. Be advised. This product smears and stains like you wouldn’t believe. I skipped using it as a cheek product. I decided that it was never going to be flattering on my super-fair skin. However, I did use it for lips. Drinking water and giving the hubs a kiss didn’t budge the color. It ended up being a somewhat flattering lip shade for me. However, it definitely smudged and definitely smeared over the course of wearing it. Perhaps for a night out or special occasion. Take care when applying. One goof will cause you to redo most of your make-up. A second ouch comes from its $24 MSRP. It isn’t something I’d buy again. Manna Kadar Cosmetics has popped in frequently in our BB5 boxes. Their ‘Glo Illuminator’ is a highlighter to be used with foundation or to be dabbed wherever you’d like. Honestly, I could barely see it. I use a foundation that promises illuminating ingredients so perhaps that was the issue. I’m not sure, but, again no matter its actual size, a $29 MSRP is a bit much.
Nanacoco isn’t new to me or BB5. Each time they’ve sent along a full-sized polish, I’ve loved the color. Their ‘Rio II Nailpolish Collection’ is fabulous. I find it tp be long-lasting and always a bright, vibrant shade. With an MSRP of $3.95, I appreciate that we get a lot of bang for the buck!
Finally, we have our 3rd full-sized product. ‘Styli-Style’ is new-to-me. Their ‘Line & Seal Eye Liner’ came to me in a shade I like. It was a dark, black shade. Promising a gel type formula and smooth gliding, it failed to deliver. I experienced the direct opposite. When applying it without any additional eye make-up, I found it pulled and skipped. After applying eyeshadow, the result was somewhat similar and pulled- a lot. Perhaps I’m used to liquid liner or it was just me, I’m not so sure. I’ve been wearing make-up for well over 20 years, so I think I can honestly say it isn’t a smooth, glide. Although the price is a dandy $6.50, the product wasn’t a winner in my book.

Bottom line: The masque and polish are big winners. But, this is the fantastic thing about BB5. We get to try all these products in the comfort of our homes, having never left the house to shop. No lines, no hassles, no traffic. Just take it out of the mailbox and enjoy. Many months, you’ll love every single product. Regardless, the service offers us a wide range of products to try. This month alone, compared to buying each of these products individually, you save, $80.45! Holy cow! That’s a pretty close estimate considering 3 of the 5 are actually full-sized!
Start Fall off the right way. Sign-up for Beauty Box 5 today. You can find full product info and ordering info by visiting . Until next month…………….

Posted in Giveaways

Giveaways 8/25

Enter @IONTV’s #GiveBacktoSchoolSweeps for your chance to win an ION Television prize pack!

🎁⭐❤ #WIN All-New Kindle Fire HD 8 Tablet 🎁⭐❤ #HistoricalRomance #Outlander #Regency via @JoanneWadsworth 11/4

Win A #Note8 With @caseology and #Android Headlines @androidheadline 9/23 1x
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Posted in Homeschooling

EASY Ways to Encourage Your Teen To Read

It’s hard to compete with Snap Chat, Instagram & Facebook. Written word has taken a far backseat. But, with school having started or starting soon, apps and electronics need to be shelved. It used to be that public figures sang the praises of reading, but we don’t hear much anymore. Ben Carson has applauded his mother for making him read- a lot- and even demanding he write a book report for every book he read. It’s hard to argue with a neurosurgeon’s logic!

If you’re the parent of a teen or preteen, you know the struggle is real. Once in a blue moon, you find a child who loves to read. Otherwise, it’s like pulling teeth. How do we encourage without being a nag? Here are a few simple ways to do it.

Do you read? Lead by example. When is the last time your son or daughter saw you read? In our house, my youngest knows that bedtime for Mom means she’s reading. My Kindle is never far. He physically sees me reading.

What are you reading? If you’ve read something lately that really excited you, whether it was a newspaper article, digital magazine or book, tell them about it! Recently, I thought my favorite book series was ending. I was legitimately upset. During lunch, I told our son about it. This launched into an entire conversation over what the series was about, why I liked it, and so on. Impart onto them why you prefer a specific genre. If possible, let them see some of the book. Share it.

What is their favorite movie? Chances are, it was a book first. I purposely watch the ending credits of movies just to see if it says ‘based on a book by’. Kids are often blown away to learn movies like ‘Jaws’, ‘Jurassic Park’ and more all started as written word. If they like the movies, perhaps they’ll want to discover its origins. Maybe you’ll be surprised too. Do a Goggle search of a show or movie you love to see if it was a book first, too.

Never assume you already know what they’ll like. Having 3 sons has taught me that I never knew nearly as much as I ever thought I did! I never thought our youngest would like non-fiction. To me, non-fiction is a research tool or read specifically for a reason. However, he seems to prefer actual events and knowledge gained from true stories and books that teach him things. Since he has decided to go into ministry as a profession, he has chosen to read books targeted to ministry and Christ. Recently, a youth leader suggested that the kids read a specific book about being a youth leader. He read it straight through! I was amazed. Now, I have a better understanding of what he wants to read.

Behold the power of peers! What are their friends reading? One of the reasons book series such as Harry Potter and Diary of a Wimpy Kid are so popular is word of mouth. Find out what other students frequently check out of the library (ask the librarian!) or ask your kids. We all know how powerful peer influence can be. Use it for the good!

What are they into? Have a computer/tech fanatic? Do a search for biographies of people like Steve Jobs. Sports books are easy to find. There seems to be a different one daily. Don’t limit it to just fiction. A budding basketball star may be encouraged by books about Christian players. Remember Tim Tebow? He was homeschooled AND he has had a number of books written about him.

Never give up! If you find it frustrating and nothing seems to help them want to read, stick with subtle hints and leave books in plain sight. Sometimes seeing a book that might interest them is enough to pick it up. Keep encouraging them. If you care about it, they will too.