Sunday, December 31, 2017

January 2018 Holidays {Free Printable}

Tomorrow is the start of not just a new year, but also a new month. I thought it would be fun to share some of the holidays that January has to offer.

During my research i found out, January has some pretty wacky holidays (measure your feet day, umm what?!), but it also has some pretty cool holidays as well (chocolate cake day, yes please!).

I went through all the crazy wacky holidays January has to offer and wrote up a list of what i think are the best, not so crazy, holidays that you and your family can enjoy this January.

I know my family and i are going to partake in a lot of these holidays that are on the list.

You can download my January 2018 Holiday List for free, HERE 

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

My Top 8 Free Christmas Movies {on Amazon and Netflix}

Hi Guys!

I thought i would share some of my favorite Christmas movies that are available to watch for free* on Amazon and Netflix right now. (FYI:This is totally not a sponsored post)

On Amazon:

Christmas with the Kranks - "Fed up with the commercial aspects of Christmas, particularly all the money spent, and alone for the holiday for the first time in decades, as their daughter has just joined the Peace Corps, grumpy Luther Krank and his sweet wife, Nora, decide to skip Christmas this year and forgo the gifts, the tree, the decorations, the cards, the parties, and to spend the dollars saved on a 10-day Caribbean cruise." 

The Holiday - "From writer/director Nancy Meyers comes a romantic comedy about two women on opposite sides of the globe who swap houses only to discover that a change of address can really change their lives."  

The Miracle on 34th St - "In this charming TV adaption of the 1947 film classic, a kindly old gentleman (Thomas Mitchell) working as a Macy's department store Santa causes a commotion when he claims to be the real St. Nick."

I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown - "Furry fun and friendship are unleashed in this yuletide Peanuts perennial. Also included is another holiday tale - Happy New Year, Charlie Brown - where Charlie Brown must complete a book report on War and Peace over the holiday break."

On Netflix:

How the Grinch Stole Christmas - "He's a crabby Christmas hater (for some silly reason). Can this green-tinted meanie steal everyone's holiday season?"

Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas - "Who stuffs your stocking with tales of holiday cheer? The one and only mouse with the big, round ears!"

White Christmas - "These song and dance men bring some holiday cheer to sunny Florida. And woo a couple of lovely ladies in the process."

Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas - " Santa Claus. Christmas carols. And the family of an extremely wealthy duck. Happy holidays everyone."

*Just to clarify these movies are free with your paid subscriptions to Amazon Prime and Netflix.*

If you are wanting to watch any of these movies this holiday season, don't wait, Amazon and Netflix change frequently what is available.

What's your favorite Christmas movie?

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Monday, October 9, 2017

Last Chance {Genius Bloggers Toolkit 2017}

Hi Guys!

Just wanted to let you know there is only a few more hours left to get The Genius Bloggers Toolkit!

Remember it's 91 resources, like eBooks, eCourses, templates, and workbooks.  And these resources includes over $5,800 of blogging tips, strategies, tutorials, and amazingly practical information and ideas.

But that's not everything.

You can also get free bonus offers worth $1,193.

Best part of all, they are selling it for a crazy 98% off of regular price!

I ordered mine the other day and i'm blown away by all the awesome resources they have put into this bundle.

I think so far my favorite resource is the eBook Creative Sparks For Your Business - 31 Business Ideas for Bloggers. Not only is it beautifully designed, it has some great ideas, which i can't wait to try out.

But like i said, there are only a few more hours left, so don't wait to buy your bundle...

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Saturday, October 7, 2017

Heart of Dakota {Curriculum Review}

Hi Guys!

Back in August i did a review on MFW curriculum, which i'm using with my 2 oldest boys this year.

I thought now would be a good time to do a review on the curriculum i'm using with my daughter.

This year i decided to go with Heart of Dakota's - Little Heart's for His Glory curriculum.

I bought the "Economy Package (1st Grade level)" and i added on their science program "Our Father's World - 1st Grade". I believe i ended up paying about $120.

Things that weren't included, but i could have bought as an extra on their website, were... Math, Handwriting, Phonics, and Bible.

Why didn't i choose to order those extras?

 Well for Math, Heart of Dakota is linked up with Singapore Math, and if you've been reading my blog for any length of time now, you know how much i love Math-U-See.

For phonics, i already had All About Reading on hand. I bought it when i first started homeschooling and never really used it, but this year i decided to give it a go.

And for handwriting and a Bible, i already had a handwriting book for her and we already have several children's Bibles.

Here is everything that came in my box...

  • Little Hearts For His Glory (Teacher's guide)
  • History Stories for Children
  • History for Little Pilgrims
  • Our Father's World
  • Going on Eagerly
  • Just Thinking and Choosing
  • 8 Children's Thrift Classics books 

We are 11 weeks into using this curriculum and so far i have to say, i love it.

I feel like the lessons are short, fun, and engaging. 

My daughter really loves the "Rhymes in Motion" activity we do every day. What it is, is every week she learns a new rhyme which she also acts out/does some physical movement to as well. 

For example, week 5 she was learning a ten plagues. So she would hold up one finger, two fingers, etc. all the way to ten fingers, then she would reach up high and then touch her toes. 

My favorite part of this curriculum is probably Storytime. These 8 classic books are so fun to read and i feel like they each teach a new lesson (loving yourself the way you are, don't try to be someone you are not, etc.). 

So far we have been sticking to the lesson plans, but i think from here on out, we might switch things up a bit. 

They have it broken up into units, for example unit 1-day 1, would be your first week and your first day. And so far we have been doing it like that. 

But i think i'm going to try to do 2 units a week. 

And my only reasons for that is; these lessons are short (we are able to get done in less than an hour) and i feel like this is more kindergarten work (and my daughter is in 1st grade). So i want to get done with this quickly and move on to their next level. I feel like my daughter is ready for that. 

Have you used Heart of Dakota before? Leave me a comment and let me know what your thoughts on it are.

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Monday, October 2, 2017

October Reading List

Hey guys,

It's a new month, so that means, I'm back with another one of my monthly reading lists...

Samuel (12 years old, 7th Grade)

Bruchko - He is reading this as part of his school work.

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, book 3 The Ship of the Dead - He has been dying for this book to be released ever since he finished book 2 earlier in the year.

Dasean (9 years old, 4th Grade)

Charlotte's Web - Samuel read this back when he was in 4th grade and loved it, i'm hoping Dasean will love it just as much!

Goosebumps book - He really loves Goosebumps book's, so this month he gets to pick whatever one he wants to read.

Karina (6 years old, 1st Grade)

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

BOB Books set 1

Veronica (That's Me)

The Lying Game

That's what Our Family is reading this month. What book(s) are you reading this month?
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The Genius Blogger's Toolkit 2017

You’ve got big plans and dreams for your blog.

And with good reason. I love blogging and feel so fortunate to do what I do, connecting with this community, sharing what I’m passionate about, and even earning an income.

But that doesn’t make blogging easy — in fact, sometimes it’s downright hard.

For all of your big dreams, maybe you’ve felt frustrated, confused, or stuck at times, trying to figure out how to grow your blog, get more traffic, overcome hurdles, find smart strategies, and earn more money.

Truthfully, one of the best ways I know to improve in blogging is to learn from other brilliant bloggers.

Don’t you wish you could just call up your favorite bloggers, ask them out for coffee, and soak up the wisdom as they share their most effective tips and tricks?

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This toolkit has 31 more tools than last year’s version. (And I thought it couldn’t get any better.)

You’ll get 91 resources, like eBooks, eCourses, templates, and workbooks, so you’ll find everything you need to propel your blog to the next step and far beyond.

These resources includes over $5,800 of blogging tips, strategies, tutorials and amazingly practical information and ideas. For real.

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You can also get free bonus offers worth $1193, with 10 tools and services to help you run your blog better.

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Even better, they’re all about making sure you LOVE the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit. There’s a full 30-day happiness guarantee, so there’s really no risk in trying it out.

The most important detail, though, is that this toolkit is available for just 6 days.

After Monday night, October 9th, the sale ends and you’d have to buy all of these products individually.

I’d hate for you to miss out, so click HERE to learn more or buy the bundle.

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Hurry, Sale Ends:

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Free Blogging Webinars {Hurry, limited time}

Hello fellow bloggers!

Good news! I wanted to tell you about a series of free blogging webinars coming up that just might match up with the challenges you’re currently facing.

Check out these great topics:

  • Crystal Paine is presenting on “3 Strategies to Start the Blog You’ve Been Dreaming Of” so if you consider yourself a beginning blogger, you’ll definitely want to register for her webinar (Monday at 8pm ET) here:

    • Or maybe you’ve struggled with work-life balance (haven’t we all)? Ryan and Stephanie Langford want to share their story, struggles and solutions in their webinar: “5 Ways to Improve Your Blog/Life Balance (and What We’ve Learned from 10 Years, 5 Kids and 4 Businesses).” Register here for this one (Wednesday at 7pm ET):

      • If you’re ready to start making better money for the time you put into your blog, you’ll want to check out Rosemarie Groner’s webinar on “Chasing ROI: How To Maximize Your Blogging Income When You’re Tight on Time.” This webinar (Thursday at 7pm ET) will show you where to spend your time to have the greatest impact on your revenue:

        • Amy Lynn Andrews likes to make blogging as easy and painless as possible. Join her for this super helpful webinar “10 Ways to Make Your Life Easier as a Blogger” (awesome, right?). This webinar (Tuesday at 7pm ET) will be applicable to you, no matter where you are in your blogging journey:

        • It’s not every day you have a chance to learn from bloggers with a collective 35+ years of blogging experience between them (and for free!).

          Choose the one (or maybe even two) that sound most relevant to where you’re at and go sign up now so you don’t miss out!

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          P.S. These are one-time only webinars, so don’t miss your chance to ask questions – register today!

          Sunday, September 10, 2017

          Albertson's Grocery Haul (with sales & coupons)

          Hi there!

          About 5 or 6 years ago i was really big into couponing. You can read some of my previous coupon posts HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.

          I stopped couponing because i was buying a lot of stuff we didn't really use, just because it was just a great deal.

          However, this week i was looking at Albertson's weekly flyer and there were so many great deals i couldn't pass them up. I clipped some coupons from the paper and printed some coupons from and headed to the store.

          Here is what i got....

          • 2 blocks of Tillamook Cheddar Cheese (32 oz. each) - With in ad coupon they were $4.88 each
          • 12 bags of Halloween candy - They were on sale for 4 for $9, with 4 coupons from the paper i ended up paying $1.58 per bag.
          • 12 Yoplait Yogurts - On sale for $3.96, i used 2 coupons in the paper, which made my total $2.96 for all 12 of them.
          • 2 Cottonelle Toilet Paper 12 rolls each - On sale for $4.99 when you buy 2, i used 2 coupons from the paper and paid $3.99 per package. 
          • 48 cans of Campbell's Condensed Soup - On sale for $33.12, i used 12 coupons from the paper and paid only $27.52. 
          • 4 cans of Ortega diced green chilies - On sale 10 for $10 (you don't have to buy 10 to get the deal), i used 2 coupons found online and ended up paying $2.00 for all 4 cans
          • 2 bags of Pampers diapers - On sale for $7.98 each when you buy 2. I used 2 coupons found online and paid $6.98 for each package.
          • 4 boxes of General Mills cereal - On sale for $1.99 each when you buy 4. I used 2 coupons found online and paid $1.49 per box. 
          • 3 bags of chips - With in ad coupon they were $1.99 each

          Those were all the coupon deals i got, the rest of the products were just on sale...

          • 12 bags of American Beauty pasta - They were on sale for $0.69 each when you buy 12
          • 12 cans of Langers Frozen juice - They were on sale for $0.88 each when you buy 12
          • 12 cups of Maruchan Instant Lunch Noodle Soup - They were on sale for $0.24 each when you buy 12
          • 12 jars of Skippy Peanut Butter - They were on sale for $1.99 each when you buy 12
          • 12 cans of S&W beans - On sale for $0.59 each when you buy 12
          • 24 cans of Nalley Chili - On sale for $0.89 each when you buy 24
          • 12 boxes of Betty Crocker cake mix - On sale for $0.89 each when you buy 12
          • 12 cans of Rosarita Refried Beans - On sale for $0.79 each when you buy 12
          • 15 Powerade Sports Drinks - On sale for $0.49 each when you buy 15
          • 4 jugs of Juicy Juice 64 oz. each - On sale for $0.99 each when you buy 4
          • 12 cans of Signature Kitchens Green Beans - On sale for $0.49 each when you buy 12
          • 3 packs of soda 12 cans in each - On sale for $2.99 each when you buy 3.

          Had all these items not been on sale and had i not used coupons my total would have been around $487 before tax!

          Because of the amazing sales and great coupons i only spent.....

          *drumroll please*

          $224 before taxes!!!

          That's a huge savings!!

          The candy is for Halloween, and some of the other items (like the soda, cake mixes, and some of the canned veggies) will be for the upcoming holidays.

          I hope you enjoyed my Albertson's grocery haul.

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          Monday, September 4, 2017

          September Reading List

          Hi there!

          I'm back again with another monthly reading list.

          This is what Our Family is reading for the month of September...

          Samuel (12 years old, 7th Grade)

          The Map to Everywhere

          Kisses from Katie 

          Dasean (9 years old, 4th Grade)

          Goosebumps You Can't Scare Me!

          September Sneakers (Calendar Mysteries)

          Karina (6 years old, 1st Grade)

          The Adventures of Peter Cottontail 

          BOB Books (Set 1)

          Veronica (That's me)

          Wool - I blame this book choice on the TV show "The 100". My husband and i have been watching it and so i'm in this sci-fi phase, which is not normal for me.

          That's what Our Family is reading this month. What book(s) are you reading this month?
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          Monday, August 21, 2017

          14th Wedding Anniversary

          On this day, 14 years ago, I married my best friend.

          We got married at the court house with a judge performing the ceremony and my parents there as our witnesses. Afterwards, we went to my aunt & uncle's house for a small reception.

          It was honestly the best day of my life. I wouldn't change a thing about it.

          One of the best things about it (besides marrying the man i love), was my grandma was able to be there. About 10 months before my wedding she was diagnosed with Leukemia. And, although it's not the best picture, i'm so thankful i have this picture of her there, with me, on my wedding day.

          5 months later, at 71 years old, she lost her long hard fought battle with Leukemia.

          These pictures aren't the best quality at all, but i love them.

          And i'm not sure who's idea it was for the white girl to stand in front of the white fence in her white dress... but yikes! I totally look like a ghost. At this point i had only been out of Alaska for a year, so i'm going to blame my ghostly complexion on that.

          Anyways, i hope you enjoyed this look back at our wedding day. And to my husband, Happy Anniversary babe, i love you!

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          Friday, August 18, 2017

          My Father's World {Curriculum Review}

          Hi there!!

          This year we are using My Father's World (MFW) curriculum for my 4th & 7th grader. This curriculum is new to us, so i thought i would share what we are liking about it and not really liking about it (also known as, a pro/con list).

          Before i begin, i just want to say i am not affiliated with MFW, and that this is not a sponsored post. 

          Now that we got that out of the way, lets move on.

          We are using the Exploring Countries and Cultures curriculum. (Picture below from MFW website)

           I ordered the deluxe package and i also ordered extra student sheets.

          *The curriculum itself only comes with enough student sheets for 1 student, so you have to order extra for each additional student.* 

          For my 7th grader i had to also order the 7th-8th grade required supplement. I also decided to go with their general science for him as well.

          My total for all this was $681.83

          Now that you know what curriculum we ordered, lets get into the pros & cons of it all.

          I'll start with the Pros first....

          #1. We love all the hands on activities & that there isn't much paperwork. Most of the student sheets have just been coloring pages so far.

          Here Samuel mastered using only 4 colors to color the entire USA and not have the same color touching. He loved this brain game!

          This was my version of a Coup Stick we did in art one day. You draw something major that happened over the past year (the birth of Lincoln was mine) and hang it on a stick (our stick was a ruler... work with what you got right?).

          Here is Dasean with his Coup Stick...

          Here are the passport's each kid gets, along with some Mexican pesos for our "trip" to Mexico.

          #2. Lessons are short and simple. We can very easily get done with all this work in about 1 to 2 hours tops. Which is great for kids who don't like to sit still for very long.

          #3. It all flows together. For example if you are studying Mexico for geography, then your science will be covering deserts, because Mexico has a large desert area. Then you will make some Mexican arts/crafts, and cook some tortillas, etc. etc. It all just flows well together.

          Now i'll share with you my Cons...

          #1. No/lacking teacher answer key.  I'm working towards having my children be more independent with their work. However, with this curriculum i pretty much have to be there with them when they do student sheets, because they have not included a teacher answer key.

          #2. Price. Honestly, i knew what i was getting before i bought it, but i still feel like for that price (almost $700) it should have included EVERYTHING. I still had to buy separately for both my boys; Spelling, Math, Language Arts, and Vocabulary. (Not to mention extras like foreign language, piano, etc.)

          #3. Labeling of sheets. Or should that say lack of labeling sheets. For example, on week 5 in my teacher's manual it said "Prepare Geography Game (see notes)". So i read the notes and they tell me the North America game board is included in the student sheets. That's great, i look through all the student sheets and i had the hardest time finding this magical game board. Why? Because it wasn't labeled. Now, up until this point they had everything in order, for example at the beginning of the student sheets was week 1's paperwork and then week 2's after that, and so on and so on. This game board was at the back of the student sheets, and it's just a map. No where on it does it say North America game board or anything like that. So for me this is a con, because it was frustrating and took awhile to figure it all out.

          So, those are my Pros/Cons for MFW. If you are using MFW, leave me a comment and let me know what you like/dislike about them.

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