Monday, February 8, 2016

I Am Helen Keller #OrdinaryPeopleChangeTheWorld







 Last week I shared I am Abraham Lincoln from the Ordinary People Change the World series and this week I have another book in the series to share with you.  I am Helen Keller by Brad Meltzer. This is another awesome book and leads greatly to Unit Studies. Naturally, the first thing we did was read this fantastic book. I have to admit I was curious about Helen and how she was able to overcome her disabilities. The book shared that she was pretty extraordinary from a little tot. Perhaps that is why she had such success in life after losing her sight and hearing.  Did you know Helen learned to speak? Knew several languages? Went to college? Her life story is truly remarkable and inspiring! I love this book and so did my 5 year old. He was fascinated by  Helen's life.



Activities: 


After reading the book I had my son cover his ears and asked him questions to see if he could hear me. Then I had him shut his eyes and asked what he could see. Finally I had him cover his ears and shut his eyes and try to walk across the room. This little activity really helped him to see the obstacles in Helen's life.

Another thing we did was look at Braille. The book - I am Helen Keller has a page with braille letters in it and we had a book mark from our field trip. We also looked for braille out in our world and noticed it on the elevators by all the buttons. 

We also took a field trip to meet some future seeing eye dogs. Our local homeschool group hosted TheSeeingEye.org in an informative outing. There were several puppies that were in the puppy-stage of training. Eventually these pups will go onto the formal training and testing to see if they are capable of being seeing eye dogs. It was such a cool field trip with lots of information.



As you can see we had a lot of fun with this book. Be sure to visit OrdinaryPeopleChangeTheWorld.com for additional information. Also, don't forget to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a set of the books!  




 
ARupLife.com received product, press or compensation to facilitate this review. This post may contain affiliate links. 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.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

A Son's Vow by Shelley Shepard Gray #bookreview




 Shelley Shepard Gray has a new series out The Charmed Amish Life. I recently was sent A Son's Vow - the first book in this series to review. I love how Gray weaves several character's lives into a story. In this book Darla Kurtz's father passes in a terrible accident that claims several other lives. The whole town is still mourning and often taking it out on Darla even though it has been several months. Darla takes the world on her own shoulders and has no one to count on. She is strong and independent but is missing out because she keeps all her troubles to herself.  Enter long time friend Lukas who burst back into her life at possibly the best moment. He manages to save the day and gain her trust. 

This book has an adorable love story of childhood sweethearts but it also deals with death, coping and healing from loss. Another subtle theme is physical abuse which added an interesting aspect to the story. While I found it odd that no cops were called for any of the abusive incidents - I had to remind myself that it is written from a closed community (Amish) perspective so really outsiders wouldn't be called. The Amish would handle the situation themselves and in the book that is the case. So while I don't agree with that in real life, I understand it as it pertains to this particular story within the Amish Community.  I'm truly looking forward to the next book in this series and I hope some of the characters pop back up. Shelley Shepard Gray sets the scene for several characters to be featured in the next book. 

 about:



Shelley Shepard Gray's first book in her Charmed Amish Life series is set in the quaint Amish village of Charm, Ohio, and tells the stories of the Kinsinger siblings who are each struggling to find both forgiveness and love in the face of tragedy.
Three months ago, everything changed for Darla Kurtz and her family. Darla's father was responsible for a terrible fire at Charm's lumber mill which killed five Amish men. And though he, too, lost his life, the town of Charm hasn't looked at her family the same since. Even Lukas Kinsinger---with whom Darla used to have a close friendship.
Now her brother's anger at the town is spilling over onto Darla, and she has the bruises to prove it. The accident already cost five lives, but if something doesn't change soon, Darla fears it will cost her---and her family---even more.
Lukas Kinsinger wants to mourn the loss of his father, but he can hardly find the time to breathe. Suddenly the head of his father's lumber mill and responsible for taking care of his three siblings, he's feeling the pressure. He has also never felt more alone---especially with the new tension between he and Darla. But when he learns of her troubles at home, Lukas knows he can't simply stand by and watch. Someone has to help her before another tragedy occurs.
As Lukas and Darla attempt to repair their families, they discover something deeper than friendship growing between them. But will Lukas and Darla's love be accepted after so much loss? Or will the pain of the past overcome any chance of future happiness?

You can purchase A Son's Vow at your local book retailer or at online stores like Amazon

 


ARupLife.com received product, press or compensation to facilitate this review. This post may contain affiliate links. 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.

Friday, February 5, 2016

INDIE LEE - Pregnancy Safe Beauty





 Pregnancy really makes you aware of everything that goes into your body but what about the things that go ON your body? That question was what sparked Indie Lee to create a new line of beauty products with awesome ingredients - safe for pregnancy!  Indie Lee products are for the body and face - the complete line includes- cleansers, oils, toners and more.

I was recently sent a few samples to try out the line. The Brightening Cleanser worked wonderfully in cleaning my face - making it feel clean and fresh. I loved the citrus smell as well.  I also tried the Squalane Facial Oil.  This was a love of mine because I love facial oils and this one was light and pleasant on the skin. 


Be sure to check out Indie Lee's website for additional information including the founder's (also named Indie Lee)  personal story to why ingredients in beauty matter.



ARupLife.com received product, press or compensation to facilitate this review. This post may contain affiliate links. 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.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Ordinary People Change the World - I Am Abraham Lincoln



I'm going to be sharing some books with you over the next few weeks from an awesome series - Ordinary People Change The World. There are currently 8 books in the series and today I'll share some thoughts on I am Abraham Lincoln by Brad Meltzer.



First off this is a cute book. As homeschoolers we love books we can turn into unit studies and this one was PERFECT for that! So first off we read the book. My 5 year old learned lots of facts about good ole' Abe!  The book teaches us about how Lincoln really had strong convictions and stood up for right. His strong moral character as a youth shaped who he because as an adult.

Overall this was an adorable book, the illustrations by Christopher Elliopoulos were a lot of fun. Little Abe was adorable to look at.  After reading the book we set off on a project (remember Unit Study!)  We tried to replicate Ab's hat but I didn't have big enough construction paper so we had to scrape that idea. So what did we do? We built a log cabin!

Here are some pictures of that




Our supplies















You can pick up your copy of I Am Abraham Lincoln at your local book retailer or online at stores like Amazon! Be sure to enter to win a set of Ordinary People Change the World books using the widget below!!



 
ARupLife.com received product, press or compensation to facilitate this review. This post may contain affiliate links. 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.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Best of 2015 - A Few of My Favorite things Series - TOP 5!


As we come to the last post in this series I wanted to highlight a few of my favorite things that don't quite fit into any category!  Just what I'm still loving from last year!


1. Organic Coconut Oil


This product is amazing! I use it for so many things. The most amazing use I've just started with it for little baby Logan! I put it on his baby acne and it cleared it up. I'm using it on his cradle cap with a soft brush to deflake him. It worked wonders on his diaper rash! I keep a little thing of it on the changing table!

2. Plant Therapy Essential Oils


This is truly my favorite brand. First because essential oils are wonderful and amazing! They help me on a daily basis whether for a headache or just to relax. Secondly, this brand is awesome because they give out true/safe information concerning oils. They are not just trying to say things to sell oils but tell you the truth in usage. Lastly, they are very affordable. If you want to get started try one of the kidsafe rollons. They are AWESOME!

3. Truly's Natural Deodorant


No chemicals! This deodorant WORKS! It is something every crunchy mommy needs to get. I have yet to find another that works as well as Truly's! It last a very long time too - you only need a little pea size amount.

4. Chicco Car Seat & Britax Frontier with ClickTight


I've always used Graco with my other kids but this time I wanted to try out Chicco to see what the fuss was about.  You know what - I love it! The fabric washes beautifully. It fits Mr. Chunky-pants wonderfully.

The Britax Frontier with ClickTight is Ahhhhhmazing! This sucker is HEAVY but so easy to move from seat to seat. You won't need to carseats because you can easily move this one. When we go the the convertible for Logan it will be a Britax with ClickTight.



5.  EmilyNoel83 on YouTube


Emily is my favorite YouTube beauty vlogger. She gives some of the best information on the newest and most popular beauty products. Almost always if she recommends it, I love it! If you have time check her videos out because she will teach you how to apply fake lashes, do beauty looks and if it is worth spending money on some new beauty products!


So there you have the BEST of 2015!!!  Hope you enjoyed this series!

ARupLife.com DID NOT receive product, press or compensation to facilitate this review. This post may contain affiliate links. 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, February 2, 2016

LOVE by Laurie Berkner #WIN



 Valentine's Day is right around the corner. We always try to do some fun things with the kids to celebrate. Laurie Berkner's newest album LOVE is the perfect soundtrack for the holiday.  This album is being released as a digital copy only and features songs picked from various albums all with the love theme.  Some of my favorites are on here like I Love My Rooster and Blow A Kiss. Goodnight is one of my all time favorites from Laurie.  This is a sweet album and a great sampling of songs.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Jesus Today Devotions For Kids Review : #JesusTodayKids #FlyBy




We have been reviewing the Jesus Today Devotions For Kids by Sarah Young, these past few weeks. Since we are homeschoolers we've been using this book during our school devotional time. (Which is the three older kids and I - ages - 15, 13, 5.)  I really like how simple to use this book is. It is open and go which is exactly what I need with a infant in the mix. The topics are simple but they lend to great discussions. Each  devotion is numbered so it is easy to keep track of where you are. Each day is a short read with bible verses to go along with it.  We use the KJV bible in our home so I just have that along with this book to cross reference the verses (if you are a KJV family as well.) The first day devotional is My Kind of Hope - had a pretty awesome impact on my 5 year old and he asked Jesus to be his Savior! I'm not sure he quite understands it but the bible talks about childlike faith and I think this is exactly that!


Sunday, January 31, 2016

Beyond the Silence Book Review



 I have really started to love a good mystery. I don't know maybe it is the fact that my brain likes putting things together or that I don't know exactly how it will end (mysteries often have plot twist.)  I have really enjoyed Beyond The Silence by Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Save 50% on SchoolHouseTeachers.com Subscriptions! Ends 1/31


SchoolhouseTeachers.com


This is an incredible value. Often times people ask what is a good but inexpensive curriculum out there. I will mention SchoolHouseTeachers.com for anyone on a tight budget because you get access to all grade levels! Preschool- High School!  At $139 a year that is a steal but for just a little while longer you can get it for 1/2 off using the code: CREWFOLLOWER!!! 

Why SchoolHouseTeachers.com?


This is an online subscription to literally hundreds of courses. You will find all the necessary subjects for each grade (Math, English, Science) as well as tons of electives. I've used it for preschool work and for elective courses to fill in the gap in areas we were missing. Guess what you will recognize some of these teachers/courses because SCT hires the best of the best to write the curriculum.

New this year is over 10,000 videos to help supplement your schooling. 

Seriously this is a must have resource!


Need more convincing?  Watch this brief video to show you more!




ARupLife.com received product, press or compensation to facilitate this review. This post may contain affiliate links. 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.

Best of 2015 - A Few of My Favorite things Series - Hair





 This week's edition is all about hair. I don't have to many favorites in this category because I change up often when it comes to shampoo/conditioner. I'm only including things I use daily and have re-purchased.


Monday, January 25, 2016

Alex & The Kaleidoscope's Get On Board #WIN



 - William Shakespeare

Music really does make the heart merry. I've been trying to expand my older boy's knowledge of some of my favorite musicians. As little kids, they have been exposed them to some of the most amazing children's music around. This week's album is Alex & The Kaleidoscope's newest Get On Board. This album has songs to encourage learning like - Leading The Way and Tell Me A Story mixed with songs that are just pure fun for kids! I loved Choo Choo! as we have had 3 big train fans and I anticipate a 4th coming in a year or so. 

I love the hypnotic sounds of Alex's voice. He is a master of melody for sure!  This whole album brings us bit of a pop mixed with island sounds - a perfect feast for the ears! For those of you that enjoy lighter sounds, this album is for you. We've had it on during our homeschool hours because it is not rocky but has a softer more subtle feel. Perfect for playtime!

About:


Alex & The Kaleidoscope's songs unfold like storybooks, captivating young minds and stirring their imaginations.  Get On Board! invites children to observe and celebrate the world around them.  Associating the pleasure of a sweet tune with an interesting insect or the color and shape of a shark, singing along to a song about delicious garden vegetables, or dancing to a funky rhythm while hearing a list of recycled materials -- all of these make connections in a child's mind that will last a lifetime.

Tracks:


  1. Alex & The Kaleidoscope Theme Song
  2. Get On Board
  3. Insect Tourist
  4. Vegetable Garden Town
  5. Outside
  6. Mama's In The Kitchen
  7. Dino Rangers
  8. Shark Tank
  9. Tell Me A Story
  10. Peach Tree
  11. Marshmellow
  12. Recycle
  13. Oh, Won't You Sit Down
  14. Leading The Way
  15. Choo Choo! 
*Social Connection*

Visit
Alex & The Kaleidoscope's website HERE.

  Alex & The Kaleidoscope on Twitter.

  Alex & The Kaleidoscope on YouTube.

Additional Information:


Full episodes of the award-winning Alex & The Kaleidoscope TV show can be seen on YouTube, Kidoodle.TV, AmebaTV, Toon Goggles, and Battery Pop.

Get On Board! is available at iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby, and on the Alex & The Kaleidoscope website, HERE. WIN WIN WINOne lucky reader will win a copy of Alex & The Kaleidoscope's CD Get On Board!   

ARupLife.com received product, press or compensation to facilitate this review. This post may contain affiliate links. 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.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Celebrate Colleen Coble’s ‘Mermaid Moon’ with a Mystery e-Reader Prize Pack #BOOKREVIEW



Collen Coble is perhaps one of my favorite mystery writers. She really spins a tale, managing to have the past become relevant to the present in the most fantastic stories. I loved how this novel was set in Sunset Cove - which allowed some of our favorite characters from past books to make appearances. This novel flowed beautifully and the story was giving enough time to unfold, something I truly appreciate. Our main character Mallory is a strong, independent woman who needs to learn to let go of the past and move onto a new future. For her that means dealing with the past and opening herself up for forgiveness.

Friday, January 22, 2016

HALO SwaddleSure #HALOSafeSleep



 Every new mom's dream is a baby that sleeps peacefully through the night. Once baby is sleeping Mom tends to do the checking. You know checking on them periodically to see if they are okay.  Making sure babies are sleeping safe is Halo's thing!  They have been making  safe sleeping products for quite awhile starting with their famous SleepSack - which is perfect for those cold nights!  And now the new SwaddleSure and Bassinest!


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Best of 2015 - A Few of My Favorite things Series - Body Products




This week I'm going to share with you some of my favorite products for the body. Soaps, lotions and one spray! Some of these products have been almost life savers for the help they have given my skin. Once again in no particular order...

Friday, January 15, 2016

Milk Nursingwear Review #breastfeeding






 photo B2AA9F38-1473-41F7-96A8-2DC5E6C3181F_zpskz4a477j.jpgMy little guy is already 2 1/2 months old! Where has the time gone! We had a rocky nursing start but at around 8 weeks everything healed (I had a milk blister!!) and things just clicked.  Now we are having those beautiful nursing sessions that I remember with my older boys. Sitting sniffing their little heads, little milk-drunk bodies passing out with full bellies. Yep the good stuff.


So, now that everything is established it was time to really start to think about my wardrobe. I prefer a modest look when nursing. I'm not super comfortable with showing off my 'girls' so sometimes clothing can be tricky. I've done the layers thing in the past but honestly it gets hot with that warm baby combined with layers and layers of clothing. That is why I was so excited to try Milk Nursingwear.  They sent me their Contemporary Knot top in dusty violet.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Best of 2015 - A Few of My Favorite things Series - Face Products





 This isn't going to be my favorite make-up products but rather face skin care since I have quite a routine of FAVS that are my must haves. Like I stated before, I get asked about this often. I will say this I have always had pretty decent skin but I have worn moisturizer, sun screen and foundation almost forever! Not in any specific order but all highly recommended:

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Super Baby Food Cookbook #WIN






We are already 2 months along with our new addition Logan.  Before I know it we will be introducing foods to this little guy.  It is very important to me that his diet is as healthy and nutritious as possible. I am so excited to be reading Super Baby Cookbook by Ruth Yaron.  She has put together a great collection of fabulous and healthy recipes from beginning foods on up for baby. Most are easy, and fairly fast to make.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Zootopia Trailer featuring Shakira! #DISNEY





Are your kids getting excited about Zootopia? They saw a trailer when they went to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens and came home telling me all about it.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS Becomes Highest Grossing Domestic Film of All-Time!







I'm not one bit surprised! My kids (except the baby) have all seen it and my husband has gone twice!

Friday, January 8, 2016

The Plans I Have For You Devotional & Journal Review & Giveaway #PlansIHave #FLYBY




 New year usually means people are searching for a new 'you'.  One thing I've noticed people asking about it devotionals because a new 'you' should start with new spiritual goals. I have a neat devotional and planner for kids.

About The Plans I Have For You Devotional
The devotional is an illustrated 90-day devotional written by bestselling children's book author Amy Parker and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton, teaching and inspiring kids to dream about their future, to focus on faith, love, and joy, and recognize that God has a plan and purpose for each and every one of us.  

Thursday, January 7, 2016

What Pro-Life Really Means | Evangelicals for Life

EFL Button

Even if you're not heading to Washington, D.C., January 21–22 for the March for Life event, block out some time those two days because you'll be able to attend some of the events in the comfort of your own home. Focus on the Family and The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission will host Evangelicals for Life, a major pro-life conference held in conjunction with the March for Life event.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Best of 2015 - A Few of My Favorite things Series - TOP 5 BOOKS





I hadn't intended to start out with my top 5 books I read last year but that's exactly how I am starting. I chose these books because they were the ones I didn't want to put down. A few I read from cover to cover in almost one sitting!  I hope you enjoy the list!



Thursday, December 31, 2015

1 Word Resolution: Picking a Theme for 2016 #NewYearsResolutions




 I'm not big on New Years Resolutions. They tend to be short lived and lead to feeling like a failure. Yes, I do plan on exercising more, eating better and generally taking better care of myself in 2016 - but honestly I tend to think that every day not just because it is suddenly January 1st.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Luvs Momoji Keyboard


Moms know that life is crazy with babies (and new mom's find out). Between diaper changes, feeding around the clock and trying to fit in life around all that... it is a intense time. So if you are a new mom like me or a seasoned mom of littles, you might find that your chatting time with friends or your spouse revolves around pregnancy, diaper changing and your tiny people.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Regina Jennings’ ‘At Love’s Bidding’ Cozy Winter Night Giveaway & Review








 This is the first time reading a Regina Jennings novel and the plot drew me in. At Love's Bidding features auction house and a missing painting - very intriguing. Our main character Miranda has a bit of a coming to age story as she finds her voice and starts to figure out how to live the life she wants. Then we have Wyatt who has a painful history. He has to decided to find out who he truly is and if he is willing to accept what that means.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

RawSpiceBar Review & Giveaway! #WIN








I love subscription services. The chance to try something new monthly it just too much fun. On top of that you get it in the mail - I LOVE mail!  I was excited to see what RAWSPICEBAR had to offer.

Coming Soon! Best of 2015 - A Few of My Favorite things Series!






 I often get asked what my favorite moisturizer or foundation is. I decided to do a series featuring all my favorite products. I'm not sure how long it will last - I know I will be doing Skin Care, Beauty, Hair, Homeschool and a General.  I'll see if I get motivated to do a Baby or kid one too!

I hope you will join me starting on January 6th to see which products get a shout out!



Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Shaun The Sheep Movie Review & Printables!




If your looking for a fun and unique movie for the kids this holiday - then check out Shaun the Sheep  Movie.  Join Shaun as he tries to save the farm and bring farmer back home. My kids cracked up while watching this movie. It is unique because there is no words spoken but you can easily follow along.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Gift Guide: Hillsong OPEN HEAVEN / River Wild





We've been enjoying Hillsong's new album OPEN HEAVEN/ River Wild the past few weeks.  It is 12 songs that the worship team at Hillsong beautifully sing - engaging your soul to lift up the Jesus! The music is hauntingly beautiful with a modern feel. Simply gorgeous.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Lego® Star Wars: The New Yoda Chronicles DVD



 With the release of The Force Awakens today - how do you entertain your kids until you can get to the movie?  How about with a great DVD - Lego® Star Wars: The New Yoda Chronicles!