Tuesday, May 23, 2017

New Octonauts VD - 12 Rescue Missions Review & Giveaway! #ad

 Octonauts have been a family favorite for the last 5 years. My 6 year old still watches them but now his 1 year old brother is equally obsessed. He shouts Octonauts, Kwazii's Yeow and hums the theme song! It is adorable to see him do that. He really loves watching. This dvd - 12 Rescue Missions - has some of my favorite episodes on it. I love Artificial Reef and learning about fish camouflaging. I also love the learning about the Midnight Zone in the episode Yeti Crab. This is a beautifully sweet show that also teaches children all about the creatures under the sea. It is educational but also enjoyable to watch!

Monday, May 22, 2017

#PRHPartner Girling Up by Mayim Bialik, PhD Review & Giveaway!

When I was offered this book- Girling Up: How To Be Strong, Smart and Spectacular - to review I was hesitant. I wasn't sure it would align with my beliefs on the subject of puberty and sex. You see I come from a very conservative upbringing and we hold a lot of those standards in our home. I shared a post some time ago on resources I used to talk birds and bees with my sons but I didn't really have any recommendations for just girls. I guess that might have something to do with being a all-boy mom.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Announcement - Mickey and the Roadster Racers: Start Your Engines on DVD August 15th


 Mickey and the Roadster Racers are back with more fast-paced adventures on wheels!

Join your favorite characters – Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy and Goofy  – and their high-speed transforming Roadsters as they compete in thrilling races stretching from Hot Dog Hills to Hawaii…and all the way to London, England!  You’ll meet the world’s greatest spy, zoom through the skies in a revved up hot-air balloon race, and even return the Queen’s stolen Royal Ruby!  It’s all about great friendship, teamwork, a little competition and humorous high-spirited adventures!

Mandisa #OutoftheDark CD Review & Giveaway #flyby

Dark times can happen unexpectedly. I haven't really talked much about it on my blog but after my 4th son, I suffered from terrible postpartum depression. I had never gone through anything like that before. What should have been a joyful time in my life was overshadowed by this dark cloud. It affected my whole family. Thankfully my husband was my rock and support through it all. He helped pull me through. God never left my side - I'm thankful for that too!

Friday, May 19, 2017

May Pipsticks Review

I'm so excited to share another month of Pipsticks with you. As you know I love stickers - in fact if you follow me on Instagram you will see I often post the stickers I'm using each day in our homeschool. 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

ZBlog Squad Review: The Bible Explorer's Guide

As summer comes along I'm always on the look out for fun ways to incorporate learning into our daily life without doing a full on day's worth of actual school/ curriculum. I was so excited to receive The Bible Explorer's Guide: 1000 Amazing Facts and Photos because I knew it would be a perfect addition to our reading time.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Teen Reading Spotlight: Toward a Secret Sky #ad

 I'm so excited to share with you a new young adult book - perfect for summer reading. This genre is fantasy and has a great new world woven in. I love when stories can take us to another place - if it is done well you will want to visit and  Heather Maclean has done a fantastic job of accomplishing that in Toward a Secret Sky: Trust Not Your Eyes.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

April Favorites!

 I'm a little late I supposed with my favorites but I think I have some good ones to share! I have been obsessed with three of these things and I use all of them daily! 

COSRX - Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence -

I've been all into the 10 Step Korean Beauty regimes. One of the steps is essence. The idea is that this serum type product helps all of the layers soak in better. Honestly I wasn't so sure at first by I was suffering from really dry skin and just managing it. Since adding my Essence (and ampule) I haven't had any dry patches. I've added this in after cleansing and in addition to the other creams/oils used. I am amazed at how soft my skin feels.

Friday, May 12, 2017

#ad Book Review: Making Faces: A First Book of Emotions

I have been looking for Making Faces: A First Book of Emotions - all my life! Well, maybe not all my life but over the years when I've had babies I've wanted a book just like this. I'm so excited to have it in hand and read it with my 1 year old. He is all about listening to books and I like that he will learn all the different emotions through a fun interactive story. The book shows the baby's face with an emotion -happy- then the next page has them look for that 'happy' baby in a group of baby faces. Super cute! At the end there is a mirror which he loves. What kid doesn't like looking at themselves!!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Local NJ Event! Cherry Hill Mall - CARS 3! This weekend! #ad

ARupLife.com received product, press or compensation to facilitate this review. This post may contain affiliate links, which means that by clicking on an affiliate link I may receive a small amount of money. We only give our honest opinions of products. This post is in accordance with the FTC 10 CFR, Part 255 concerning the use, endorsements or testimonials in advertising.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Boxycharm April Review

photo credit: Boxycharm site

 Another month another Boxycharm! This month had some highs and a few lows. We received five products - all full sized which is always a big plus. I feel like some of the products are a bit odd. For example we received another highlighter. I feel like we've been getting those a lot lately. If it was eyeshadow I wouldn't care but really how many highlighters can one girl have? Ok let's get into what I received.

Monday, May 8, 2017

#PRHpartner ABC Pasta: An Entertaining Alphabet - Book Review

 ABC Pasta: An Entertaining Alphabet
by Juana Medina

When the cirucs meets noodles - you get ABC Pasta: An Entertaining Alphabet. This book speaks to me in ways that only an Italian pasta loving girl can know. My dad has always been a macaroni lover and he even nicknamed me Noodle!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Disney Pixar’s CARS 3 Trailer!!

 I know my boys (even the big ones) are excited about this movie! 

Saturday, May 6, 2017

*BOOK* We Are The Dinosaurs by Laurie Berkner Review & Giveaway #ad

We Are The Dinosaurs
 by Laurie Berkner
Illustrated by Ben Clanton

You probably know by now that I love Laurie Berkner's music. I've mentioned many times that we've been fans since my oldest - who is almost 17 - was little. Her songs have been a staple in our home, both my husband and myself have sang those songs acapella around our home whenever the song fits the situation. ( An example is if my kid was putting on snowboots we inevitably sang BOOTS!)

Friday, May 5, 2017

Pipsticks Subscription Review!

 If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know I love stickers! I often share the neat stickers we are using in our homeschool on there. I have fond memories of collecting stickers from my childhood. My Aunt would take my cousins and I to the mall and there were two stores that had big sticker racks filled with rolls and rolls of stickers. She would buy a whole bunch then we would go home and fill our sticker books.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

For Love & Honor #bookreview #ad

For Love & Honor
by Jody Hedlund

One of my favorite times of year is summer. I love the long, late nights staying up reading a good book. That is exactly what happened the night I read this book. I started For Love & Honor, during the morning not thinking I would be so drawn in and ended up staying up late reading the whole thing! This young-adult book had a wonderful storyline and well developed characters. I truly loved how each of the main stars were not flawed. They were strong and independent. That is rare in a book and much appreciated.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

$25 PayPal Cash Mother's Day Giveaway!!

I haven't done a giveaway in a long time for my readers so in honor of Mother's Day I decided to give away $25 via paypal! I am so thankful for all of you - your comments, entries and interactions mean the world to me. This is just a little something I can do to show my appreciation.

What's With All Those Hashtags?

 You may have noticed lately that titles have changed on my blog. I've been adding things like #ad or #sponsored or even sometimes more specific hashtags to the front of the post. Why? The FTC or Federal Trade Commission is cracking down on disclosure on social media. They want to be clear that - you- the reader know when we've had a partnership or relationship with a brand we've recommended. It was once okay to write a disclaimer at the bottom of the post (like I have) but many brands have been requesting that it goes at the beginning or even at the top of the title.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

#PRHPARTNER ~ Baby-Boo, I Love You Book Review, Paper Doll Printable & Giveaway

Written by Sheryl Haft
Illustrated by Jane Massey

 All my life I knew I wanted to be a Mommy. I remember playing with my dolls and even some of our pets. Dressing them up, feeding them, just loving on them. When I was a little bit older I babysat as often as I could (I still do because I just love tiny babies and I am happy to get an opportunity to cuddle them for an afternoon!) Reading Baby-Boo, I Love You, reminded me of those moments when I was little. I can just see my little girl cousins rocking their baby-dolls and acting like little mommies! This book is so sweet from the illustrations to the soft rhyme that flows on the pages. It is a delight.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Let's Go Pocoyo Playtime! Review & Giveaway #ad

 Pocoyo is just about the cutest thing I've ever seen. If you haven't seen it then both you and your toddler are missing out! There is a sweet narrator that talks to both the audience and Pocoyo, sharing what is going on in the episode. Pocoyo is a little toddler/baby boy who has some sweet friends - a bird, duck, elephant and puppy. In this collection we learning all about playing. When I received this DVD for review, I had anticipated that my 18 month old would be the primary audience but my six year old was equally enthralled! The simple sweet stories are engaging and entertaining - we really enjoy them.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Introducing Kwik Stix Thin Stix Review & Giveaway #WIN #ad

 We love art. We love art supplies. Most of all we love Kwik Stix. They are an easy, mess free way to make painting super easy for this tired homeschooling Mom. We have quite the collection of colors from classics, neon and metallics. Now Kwik Stix has created new Thin Stix. These are the same formula but in a thinner stick which allows for more control when creating.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

No More Perfect Marriages by Mark & Jill Savage Review & Giveaway #ad

 Let's be honest. No marriage is perfect. Marriage takes work from both spouses to achieve a solid, fulfilled and respectfully loving relationship. We often come to married life with a long list of expectations and sometimes even some baggage. Just plowing along can lead to serious problems if needs and expectations are not meet or maybe are impossible goals.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017


 I love to color. There is something so therapeutic about taking the time to sit and mix colors on a page. I love the process of choosing what goes together and what the end product looks like. I don't get as much time to create intricate crafts or to scrapbook, I have found coloring to be a nice replacement. It is easy and you don't need much more than a pack of colored pencils and a book with some great pictures to fill in.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

#ad Dino Dan Trek's Adventures - Dino Go Seek Review & Giveaway!

 My six year old has been obsessed with dinosaurs lately. One of the reasons is the newest dvd from NCircle Entertainment - Dino Dan Trek's Adventures - Dino Go Seek.  If you're not familiar with the series originally if featured Dan the older brother in the Henderson family. He has passed the torch to his younger brother and Trek is not continuing the adventures.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Life Update!

 It has been a long while since I've done a life update. Things have been crazy busy at our house. Since having our littlest our world has truly gone upside down. He has brought us such delight but is a very challenging little one. For some time now I've been suffering with postpartum depression. I've never experienced this in the past (I may write more on this in the future.) To say it is rough is somewhat of an understatement.

We've continued to homeschool and I have to say this past year was our best yet. I think as I've settled into my roll as a homeschooling mom and the kids have gotten into a routine, we've finally found our groove. We are on schedule to finish in June and looking forward to a real summer break!!

Next year is Austin's senior year. I'm amazed at how fast that time has flown by. I'm so thankful for our homeschooling because it gave me some extra time to enjoy him. He is about to take flight and that is both fascinating and frightening. He hasn't made any hard plans for life after high school but that is fast approaching and he is mixing up some ideas in his head on what he would like to do.

We will celebrate J-Man's kindergarten graduation in a few weeks! He did amazing. He is reading well and rocking Math. Xander is finishing up 9th grade and about to celebrate a birthday. Boy - life just flies.

John has been on nightwork for almost  a year and a half. This one of the hardest things we've done as adults. I know that might sound silly but it changes our whole schedule. We don't get to see him like we use to because of sleep times and him being gone from 2pm-2am. Weekends are hard because our sleep times are so out wack. It is looking like that job is coming to an end soon and we will have Daddy back! I can't wait, he can't wait, the kids can't wait! It will be an adjustment as we've all become night owls but I think the benefits will be amazing!

Now for the blog - things have been a bit sporadic lately because of that night schedule. I used to have early mornings to write before all the kids got going for school but I don't have that time anymore. Late nights works okay but my brain doesn't function when I'm tired. I have a feeling that will all work itself out soon too. I have lots of things in the mix - reviews, giveaways, field trips and so much more I can't wait to share with you all.

If you read this far... Thank You for your continued support! I appreciate those of you that follow my blog, comment and enter the giveaways. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!! 

ARupLife.com received product, press or compensation to facilitate this review. This post may contain affiliate links, which means that by clicking on an affiliate link I may receive a small amount of money. We only give our honest opinions of products. This post is in accordance with the FTC 10 CFR, Part 255 concerning the use, endorsements or testimonials in advertising.

Monday, April 17, 2017


 My teens have officially declared that Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is their most looked forward to movie for Summer 2017. (I know May is technically early but it is Summer time for us!!).

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Sports Illustrated Kids - My First Book of Soccer #review #WIN

 If you ever wanted to know anything about soccer than I have the perfect beginner book for you. Sports Illustrated Kids: My First Book of Soccer: Mostly Everything Explained About the Game is a wonderful book that covers the sport in detail for kids to really understand the ins and outs of the game.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Limited Edition Color Correcting Line with Hard Candy! #HCCOLORCORRECT #ad

 Hard Candy has done it again. They have been watching the high end trends and bringing us some wonderful drugstore options at very affordable prices. The new limited edition Color Correcting line includes primers, creme wands, palettes, sticks and powders. Basically your going to find a configuration that works well with your skin needs and type.

Monday, April 10, 2017

EVENT!!! Laurie Berkner - Friday, April 28 at Barnes & Nobles/Marketfair in Princeton, NJ

Laurie Berkner solo photo credit Jayme Thornton 72dpi

FRIDAY, APRIL 28, 2017

FRIDAY, APRIL 28, 2017 - 6:00 P.M.
Kids' music superstar Laurie Berkner will celebrate the release of her new picture book, "We Are the Dinosaurs," with a performance of her beloved "We Are the Dinosaurs" song, author reading, and book signing/meet-and-greet on Friday, April 28.
# # #
WHO: Legendary children's musician Laurie Berkner
WHAT: Princeton, NJ native Laurie Berkner will sing her beloved "We Are the Dinosaurs" song and "These Are My Glasses," read her new We Are the Dinosaurs book aloud, and sign books at a meet-and-greet for fans.
WHEN: Friday, April 28, 6:00 p.m. EDT.
WHERE: Barnes & Noble, MarketFair, 3535 US Highway 1, Princeton, NJ 08540
MORE: Photo and interview opportunities are available
This free event not only celebrates Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers’ publication of We Are the Dinosaurs, it is also part of Laurie Berkner’s celebration of the 20th anniversary of her first album, Whaddaya Think of That?, on which her song, “We Are the Dinosaurs,” first appeared.
# # #
About Laurie Berkner
Princeton, NJ native Laurie Berkner is a singer, songwriter, lyricist, author, and founder of Two Tomatoes Records, LLC. We Are the Dinosaurs is Laurie’s first picture book with Simon & Schuster. Laurie has released eleven best-selling, award-winning albums, including Laurie Berkner's Favorite Classic Kids' Songs (2015), Laurie Berkner Lullabies (2014), The Ultimate Laurie Berkner Band Collection (2014), A Laurie Berkner Christmas (2012), and most recently Superhero (2016). She was the first recording artist ever to perform in music videos on Nick Jr., appeared regularly on the network's Jack's Big Music Show, and helped develop the short-form animated musical preschool series Sing It, Laurie! on Sprout TV. Laurie has written the music and lyrics for two Off-Broadway children's musicals, Wanda's Monster and The Amazing Adventures of Harvey and the Princess, produced by New York City Children's Theater. She is currently working on a third NYCCT musical, Interstellar Cinderella, set to open in fall 2017. Laurie also tours nationwide, performing both solo and with The Laurie Berkner Band. Learn more at LaurieBerkner.com.

ARupLife.com received product, press or compensation to facilitate this review. This post may contain affiliate links, which means that by clicking on an affiliate link I may receive a small amount of money. We only give our honest opinions of products. This post is in accordance with the FTC 10 CFR, Part 255 concerning the use, endorsements or testimonials in advertising.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Hello Kitty Storybook Collection #Review

I have the sweetest set of books to share with you today. Abrams Appleseed sent me four titles in the new Hello Kitty Storybook Collection. These books all feature Hello Kitty and friends in retellings of classic tales.