Tuesday, December 10, 2019

HUGE Holiday Book Giveaway from Abrams Books!!!




Another amazing Giveaway here for the holidays!What a wonderful way to stock up on presents for the children in your life or to build your own home library. This giveaway includes wonderful books for all ages to enjoy. My kids have loved reading them all. In face that Star Wars Books was taken by the teens the moment it came to the house. My littlest has been busy with the train book and the Marvel Alphabet books! These are wonderful additions to your collection!!



Monday, December 9, 2019

Holiday Giveaway!!! 6-book Pavilion Children's Library!!!







 Who doesn't love new books? I know I certainly do! I actually love reading on Christmas Day. I think I've done that for at least 15 out of the last 20 years. Sitting by the Christmas tree with a cup of tea and a good book is just about my favorite thing to do. I personally love seeing my kids do the same. Today I have 6 new books to share with you. One lucky reader will win a copy of all 6 books to add to their home library!

Friday, November 29, 2019

What Moms Really Want For Christmas!!!





 Can we be honest about what Mothers really want for Christmas. Here's a hint!! It isn't bath bombs or perfume! We have enough smelly stuff to last for at least five years from now. Seriously, I have a drawer full of things to make me smell better (is someone trying to tell me something??) My Mother-in-law asked me a few weeks ago what I wanted and I had to chuckle internally. She doesn't want to get me what I want. I want bills paid, the house cleaned, my car fixed... you know the stuff I can't afford myself!! So I got to thinking about my 'grown up Christmas list' and here is what I came up with!

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Homeschool Review: 7 Sisters Homeschool: MLA Research Paper Writing Guide




 I think one of the biggest things homeschooling Moms worry about is English. Once students reach high school writing research papers becomes a big deal. How do you teach this skill? I know myself, I looked all over the internet for something particular. My criteria was that it be an independent course (I didn't want a full year of grammar, writing and literature because we already had something else for that) just the research paper. I wanted something that was easy for me as the parent to understand and easy for my student to comprehend. It had to take a reasonable amount of time (not a full year) and it couldn't cost an arm and a leg. Most curriculum I found was either incorporated in the entire English year or it cost quite a lot of money. 

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Along the way I kept coming back to 7 Sisters Homeschool. It is a group of women who have homeschooled children for many years and even high school. They created their curriculum with specific needs in mind. They kept it simple (no busy work), easy and cost effective. I reached out to them to see if they would like to partner on a review because I hadn't really seen any hype about their curriculum. Having reviewed many different companies I'm always interested to try new things and I have found some of my best loved curriculum has been from independent companies. 

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Zblog Squad Christmas Book Spotlight! & Giveaway!




I love sharing my love of Christmas with my children. One of my favorite traditions is reading a new Christmas book each day in December. I started doing a book advent a few years ago and it was so much fun. Have you done one? The idea is to wrap up 24 Christmas books and then open one each day of the year leading up to Christmas Eve. We put them under our tree and it is a lot of fun. I have quite a collection of Christmas books - some we read each year and I like to add a few new ones each year.

Trolls The Beat Goes On Season 8 on Netflix 11/22/2019!!!


 




 The adorable, happy Trolls are back in a fantastical season of DreamWorks Trolls: the Beat Goes On! The adventure is unstoppable as Guy Diamond participates in an epic sing-off, Biggie and Mr. Dinkle prepare for the ultimate “Funsgiving” feast, and Poppy and Branch get caught in the biggest switcheroo of all time!
Executive produced by Matthew Beans (Robot Chicken), DreamWorks Trolls: The Beat Goes On! includes the voice talent of Skylar Astin (Pitch Perfect) as “Branch," and Amanda Leighton (The Fosters, This Is Us) as “Poppy.” Guest stars include Gary Cole (Veep) as “Sky Toronto,” Rachel Bloom (​Crazy Ex-Girlfriend)​ as “Cybil” and Vanessa Bayer (Saturday Night Live​) as “Baha.”










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. Lisa Rupertus/ A Rup LIfe is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Holiday Gift Guide: Adagio Teas Advent Calendar #giveaway



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 Part of holiday shopping, probably the hardest part is finding that perfect gift for everyone. My    step-mom was the tea drinker and each year I tried to find a unique gift to give her. Sometimes it was tea and other times decor for her tea themed dining room. Now that I've inherited that tea room, tea has become my sort of 'thing'. I've always enjoyed a cup of hot tea on a cold morning or an iced tea on a hot afternoon. I guess you could say I grew up with tea. One of my favorite traditions is on Christmas morning we don't start our festivities until I have a cup of tea in hand. I remember my mother doing that when I was a young child and I keep that tradition as well.

Adagio Teas has some wonderful selections for gift giving. From their Advent Calendar to tinsel teas to gift sets there is something wonderful to choose from for your tea lover!


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 My Advent Calendar came wrapped in paper. There is a packet with the tea list and ingredients as well. The list is in alphabetical order so if you have allergies and have to look you can still be surprised daily.


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 The box has 24 teas, one for each day. It is decorated perfectly for Christmas.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Amber Vale Home Holiday Sampler Giveaway!!! #AmberValeHomeL3






 I feel like fall is holiday season. To me it begins in September with apples and cooler weather, then we have Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. I love creating a warm inviting place in my home and scent is a big part of that. When you walk into my home I want it to feel cozy and smell amazing. I love burning candles as they provide both the atmosphere and the aroma.



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I was recently sent Amber Vale Home's Holiday Sampler. This included three unique 4 oz candles with a wooden wick. I've never used a wooden wick candle but it is truly an experience! The candle makes the sweetest crackling sound (think fireplace but on a much lighter scale. These candles burned beautifully and looked farmhouse perfect in their cute amber jars. The three scents were amazing. Like I can't help wanting to sniff them - ALL.THE.TIME!!! 

Holiday Titles From NCircle Entertainment! #Giveaway








 We have a family tradition of Christmas movies. We typically start sometime in November and work all the way into the first week of January. Honestly we own a wide collection from little kids to adults. The kids have quite the pile to work through and they love doing it! Each night we pick a new movie to watch - sometimes it is a new to us movie like Merry Christmas Llama Llama and Christmas with Molang but we also watch some family favorites (Caillou and Octonauts!!) We were happy to add the two new movies to our watch list this season! 




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Merry Christmas Llama Llama!
  
Llama Llama Springs to life in these heart-warming tales based on the award-winning book series by author and illustrator Anna Dewdney. Celebrate the holidays with Llama Llama, Nelly Gnu, Luna Giraffe, Euclid Sheep, and Gilroy Goat as they give gifts, sing songs, and build snow sculptures. It's a very Merry Christmas indeed!


 



Christmas With Molang
  
The magic of Christmas is all around! Join our best friends, Molang and Piu Piu, on their adventures during this idyllic season. It's the perfect time to build a snowman, go ice-skating with friends, find the most beautiful Christmas tree and of course, meet Santa! Merry Christmas from Molang and Piu Piu!



 WIN WIN WIN
One lucky reader will win Christmas with Molang and Merry Christmas Llama, Llama! 






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. Lisa Rupertus/ A Rup LIfe is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Holiday Gift Guide: The Magic Christmas Ornament Collection Review & Giveaway!








I love creating memories for my children. We have several traditions for Christmas, such as reading the Christmas Story from the Bible on Christmas morning and our special ELF Magic Elf comes to visit each December. The kids talk about these traditions and look forward to them each year. The Magic Christmas Ornament Collection is a new concept to our home but one my kids will thoroughly enjoy! My plan is to read this book to them on Christmas Eve and give them the ornament to hang that night. Perhaps they will have their own magical Christmas adventure!


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Saturday, November 9, 2019

10 Thanksgiving Books You MUST Read!!



 Before we get to caught up in Christmas there is still one more holiday to celebrate! Thanksgiving. I feel like while traditionally this is about the Pilgrims and Native Americans it has morphed for my family to be a season we set aside to look at what we are thankful for. We've picked up some fall crafts to work on at Dollar Tree. They seriously have the best stuff for crafting! Plus I had gotten this thankful wreath which we worked on this week.



One of my friends puts up a paper tree and she has the kids add leaves throughout the month with what they are thankful written on. I love this but I've yet to have the wall space to be able to do this so the wreath was a perfect alternative.






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 Of course we usher in all holidays with books. I have quite the collection at this point of all holidays and Thanksgiving is no exception! That is why I composed this list of 10 Must Read Thanksgiving Books!





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I'm joining in with the Timberdoodle Blog Hop to celebrate Thankfulness!




You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter






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. Lisa Rupertus/ A Rup LIfe is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Holiday Gift Guide: Junior Rainbow Pebbles Activity Set from Timberdoodle!






Before I started on my path of homeschooling I didn't really understand all the ins and outs of children's development and learning. I had gotten super lucky with my oldest two. Learning comes effortlessly for both of them. They seem to have photographic memories on top of their above average intelligence. I'm not boasting I'm actually trying to explain how the process changed me when we get to kids 3 and 4. My oldest children could learn any which way. They didn't like hands on activities and they preferred to read material or watch. So I could give them a book and they would absorb it all. Then came my third son. He loves hands on activities. He is arty and creative. He showed me so many ways we could really expand our learning ideas. My youngest threw another curve-ball. He isn't as fast of a learner as the other kids. What they did at 2 he is doing at just 4. And that's OKAY, he is academically on time and on level but I had to change my approach again. 

I read somewhere that doing a letter of the week with little kids isn't ideal anymore. So I went with that concept with my youngest and boy do I regret it. Once I started back with each letter getting lots of love through activities and worksheets - basically tons of exposure all week, things started sticking. This is wonderful I finally have a plan after six months of little success. However I need OTHER things to do with him as we will not be flying through curriculum like I had originally thought. We will be taking this preschool year to really cement letters but I needed more fun activities to round out his school day (which is about 20 minutes.)

When Timberdoodle offered up Junior Rainbow Pebbles Activity Set for review, I knew he would love it! It was the perfect tool to bring out every week and work on colors, sorting, counting and patterns.

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 about the product:

Junior Rainbow Pebbles Activity Set
Odd as it sounds, research indicates that early math skills are a better predictor of academic success than early reading skills. Junior Rainbow Pebbles Activity Set makes math accessible to toddlers as young as 18 months. Sort, stack, and sequence by size with these tactile-pleasing smooth, rubbery pebbles. Perfect for developing fine motor skills and creative design, Junior Rainbow Pebbles Activity Set comes with large activity cards to create toddler-friendly building structures, patterns, and pictures.

An outstanding early mathematics manipulative, Junior Rainbow Pebbles Activity Set includes 36 pebbles in 3 shapes and six colors, with eight double-sided laminated activity cards.

Features
Includes:


  • 36 pebbles in 3 shapes and 6 bright colors
  • 8 double-sided laminated activity cards

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     How We Used It:

    First we pulled out the activity mats and used the different pebbles to complete the pages. The mats range in difficulty and are double sided and sturdy. The pebbles are lightweight (not rock material.) I would ask him to pick certain colors and the different shapes. The next way we played was working on sequences. This was an area we were struggling with but Junior Rainbow Pebbles was the exact tool we needed to help my son visual patterns. Just simply saying the order of the colors and asking him what comes next was exactly what he needed. Counting was a natural companion to working on patterns. Lastly, I gave him some time with free play just stacking and building. He really enjoyed all the different ways we used this set.



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     My Thoughts:

    I really liked the quality of this product. I expected the pebbles to be hard but was pleasantly surprised by the rubbery texture. I think it made them very pleasing to touch especially with the weight of them. It came with enough planned activity mats to get you started and then there is enough free-play activities you can easily add. My son really liked playing with them and the added bonus of seeing patterns for the first time makes this a winner for me. We will continue adding this activity into our rotation of hands on toys. Junior Rainbow Pebbles Activity Set is part of the 2019 Tiny Tots Curriculum Kit.

     “As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”






    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. Lisa Rupertus/ A Rup LIfe is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

    Sunday, November 3, 2019

    Blog Tour: Before Christmas




    Before Christmas BannerChristmas is such important time of year for my family. We like to take the season to really reflect on Jesus, His life (both birth and death) and what it all means to us as Christians. Before Christmas takes a different look at Jesus because it looks into when Jesus is first mentioned and how he shows up across scripture prior to his coming. It is a fascinating study and while I've been taught a little of this over the years I've never taken the time to really study it out. This holiday season is the perfect time to do that. By learning about the path to the manger we learn more of who God is and his heart.
     






    I recently went to a women's conference and the theme was "Be Still, And Know, I am God..." (Psalm 46:10.) The verse was broken up into three parts taking each part of the verse and breaking it down to applications. Powerful testimonies were given for each part. In Before Christmas, Crowder references how Christ WAS, IS and WILL BE - it just made me stand still and remember "And Know" - I've been applying Psalm 46:10 to the way I study lately and it just makes certain things stand out when your looking at things with this particular verse in mind. Knowing Jesus has existed from the beginning is such an amazing thought! This book was unique as it isn't a devotional (no questions to answer at the end) but rather an informational text that has you digging through scripture to see the whole story of Jesus up until His birth. I've quite enjoyed the way it is written as it included stories which rounded out the story nicely.   



    About the Book


    Before Christmas




    Book: Before Christmas
    Author: Bill Crowder
    Genre: RELIGION / Holidays/Christmas & Advent
    Release Date: October, 2019

    Embrace the majesty of the Messiah

    Bill Crowder invites you to explore the backstory of the first advent. He brings you on a journey into the very heart of God, to a greater understanding of what it means that “the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world” (1 John 4:14).

     Walk through Scripture to see and know Jesus in a richer way. Examine His character as God, His relationship with the Father, His appearances in the Old Testament, and more. Understand how these pre-Bethlehem truths lead into the Savior’s birth and the events of that first Christmas—and, most importantly, how it all comes together in God’s great story of redemption and rescue.

    You’ll embrace the majesty of the Messiah and celebrate Christ’s birth with renewed joy and wonder.

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    Click here to get your copy.

    About the Author


     Bill Crowder


    Bill Crowder, who spent over twenty years in the pastorate, is vice president of ministry content at Our Daily Bread Ministries. He is a contributor to Our Daily Bread and the author of nine books, including My Hope Is in You, Seeing the Heart of Christ, and For This He Came. He and his wife, Marlene, have five children.
     

    More from Bill

    During my years as a pastor, I found Christmas and Easter to be challenging. Certainly I love those seasons (for very different reasons), but finding creative ways to retell these important stories was often difficult. But, at one such season I realized that the story we tell at Christmas is not really the whole story. By entering the story at Nazareth or Bethlehem, we enter too late. We can’t simply start with the Baby in the manger—we need to go back. Before time began. To the eternal Christ. Unless we seek to understand Him, we’ll never fully appreciate who He was and why He came. That is the Christmas story.  – Bill Crowder

    Blog Stops:

     

    Giveaway



    To celebrate his tour, Bill is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of the book, Starbucks Holiday Blend Coffee, and $10 Amazon card!!
    Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


































    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. Lisa Rupertus/ A Rup LIfe is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

    Friday, November 1, 2019

    Holiday Gift Guide: 25th Anniversary The Swan Princess!!


     The Swan Princess: 25th Anniversary [Blu Ray] [Blu-ray]



     New on DVD for the 25th Anniversary - The Swan Princess!! A perfect gift for your own princess this holiday season!


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     Additional Information:



    In honor of the 25th anniversary of THE SWAN PRINCESS, the animated classic will be available in brilliant high definition for the first time ever, with a collectible anniversary edition Blu-ray and in 4K HDR on digital from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on October 29th.  To celebrate the new release of this fan-favorite, creator and producer Seldon Young is bringing the film back to the big screen for a special Pink Carpet Premiere event showcasing the new, fully remastered version at the famed ArcLight Cinemas - Hollywood on October 24th.

    One of the last major theatrically-released films in the US to utilize a hand drawn, hand painted CEL animation style, THE SWAN PRINCESS opened to critical acclaim. The film went on to receive a 1995 Golden Globe®-nomination and become the number one selling home video title in the United States when first released.  As the franchise creator and owner for the last 25 years, Seldon Young has helped spread the story of THE SWAN PRINCESS across more than 119 countries and out to millions of fans worldwide, through the franchise’s ongoing distribution partnership with what is now Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (Columbia TriStar Home Video at the time), which has seen the series grow to nine full-length feature films and a vast social media following.








    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. Lisa Rupertus/ A Rup LIfe is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.