Volcano Science Experiment for Kids on Sale Now! #Educents

» 25 August, 2015 » Education » 5 comments

*This is an affiliate post; all opinions are my own.* There’s nothing quite as exciting as something natural that can (literally) erupt into chaos at any second. Does that make me a little morbid to admit?? I grew up loving disaster movies, and some of my favorites had to do with volcanoes. Dante’s Peak starring Pierce Brosnan being the most notable example; I think I was pretty head over heels in love with his character, and I still cry every time the grandma saves everyone by jumping out of the boat (even if her logic is questionable). Serenity is still a little young to understand volcanoes, but she’s definitely old enough to be impressed by them! While the old stand-by of baking soda and vinegar from your own cupboards will always be a fun one, here’s a great new science kit for making volcanoes at home with the kids, this year. […]

In The Beginning, There Were Minions… #Giveaway

» 18 August, 2015 » Food + Drink, Fun + Games, Giveaways, Our Stories » 17 comments

In The Beginning, There Were Minions… #Giveaway

*This is a sponsored post; all opinions are my own.* “The Minions are coming, the Minions are coming!!” Serenity screams, running through the house, her little arms waving wildly in the air, curly red hair reminding me forcibly of the crazy purple Minions from Despicable Me 2 (and she’s only slightly less likely to eat you, some days). It’s early June, and we’re about to walk out the door for our first family date since last fall. Thanks to General Mills, we’re being treated to free movie passes to see the new Minions movie in theaters. The highly-anticipated Minions movie from Universal Studios hit theaters on July 10th, and we were thrilled to see it two weeks later, when Nick came home from camp (stay tuned). We love both Despicable Me movies, and Serenity gave me a run for my money, watching them over and over again for two weeks, in anticipation. We weren’t disappointed! […]

Aquasana Reinvents On-the-Go Hydration

» 14 May, 2015 » Health + Home » 0 comments

Aquasana Reinvents On-the-Go Hydration

There’s a new game in town for healthy hydration, and for once it’s actually a good solution. How about your very own heavy-duty water filtration system, burly enough to replace 600 disposable water bottles with a single filter, but small enough to carry everywhere you go? Austin, Texas-based Aquasana, leaders in water filtration, announce the launch of a new Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a revolutionary water filtration bottle. Offering on-the-go hydration with the best bottle filter on the market, this bottle will change the way people stay healthy and hydrated. The Aquasana Filter Bottle pairs smart design with high performance filtration never before available in a bottle. The Aquasana Filter Bottle outperforms the competition delivering professional grade water filtration right at your fingertips. It reduced lead and chlorine, plus over 99% of bacteria, virus, and cysts from drinking water. Designed to be the longest lasting on the market, the […]

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

» 5 May, 2015 » Education » 8 comments

*Happy Teacher Appreciate Week! This post contains an affiliate link.* I was home schooled until middle school. Thanks to my mother’s hard work, I scored at a graduate level in reading comprehension in the fifth grade, and have commanded a powerful love and understanding of the written word for as long as I can remember. I value my mother’s contributions to my education, and while I ended up falling through the cracks with math and science thanks to her limited resources, she’s the reason I have loved learning my entire life. The teachers who left the strongest impression on me came later, first in 8th grade, then in 9th, and later in college. I’ve forgotten most of their names, but never the lessons they taught me. Mr. English and Ms. Social Studies, who gave me space to share my story publicly for the first time, in 8th grade. Reading my […]

I’m Taking The Meltdown Challenge

» 4 May, 2015 » Health + Home, Our Stories » 7 comments

I’m Taking The Meltdown Challenge

Here it is. My first ever “before” picture. I’d say you have no idea how hard it is to put this out there, but in all likelihood, you probably do. Big or small, we all seem to have at least one thing about our physical selves that makes us feel self-conscious. For me…well, I could write a whole post, critiquing these images, but I’m not going to. I’m simply going to put it out there, and say, “Hey, this is me. I’m 5’8″ tall, and currently weight 310lbs. I’m not okay with this, and I’m ready to change. Want to join me?” So there you go. This is me. You may have heard of something called a “diet bet” (and there’s actually a program by that name, apparently), but if you’re like me, you were too busy worrying about things like actually cooking a meal instead of buying something microwaveable, and didn’t bother taking […]

Top Things Women Should Know About Car Care

» 23 April, 2015 » Travel + Adventure » 27 comments

Top Things Women Should Know About Car Care

We just sold our 1998 Cadillac Deville (great car, but it had over 225,000 miles on it!!), and bought our first car made in the current century (I’ll tell you about it in an upcoming post). We’ve always done our best to take good care of our vehicles, but to be honest, we just don’t know that much about car care. I grew up around cars until I was 12, but I only know enough to be dangerous, and Nick has just never really been interested in mechanics. Since I am, I figured learning a bit more about what women should know about car car would be smart. *This is a guest post, featuring Barbara Terry of Cars.com* Heading into spring cleaning season, there is no better time to consider tuning up your car by making sure you are equipped with everything you need to drive safely and maintain your vehicle’s […]

This Isn’t About Free-Range Parenting Anymore

» 17 April, 2015 » Family + Parenting, Legal » 8 comments

This Isn’t About Free-Range Parenting Anymore

I grew up in an abusive home. And while my mom did her best to give us a good childhood for the first decade of my life, no one will argue that we were safe – the bogey man ate at our table. But I remember moments of independence, and so called free-range childhood. I remember taking my little sister and brother, ages seven and five, down to the drainage ditch well out of sight of our house when I was only nine – and fishing my brother out when he fell in (repeatedly), pulling leaches off his back and legs, and wringing out his sopping wet clothing so he could put it back on to keep playing. And I remember riding my bike up and down the main street in sleepy Corvallis, Montana when I was ten and eleven, steering with a jerry-rigged jump rope getup, nose stuck in […]

How Dare You Talk About Your New Baby?? New Mom Gets Hate Mail.

» 15 April, 2015 » Everything Else » 31 comments

How Dare You Talk About Your New Baby?? New Mom Gets Hate Mail.

You just had your first baby. She’s adorable – you can’t get enough of her big beautiful eyes, her adorable chubby cheeks, and her fascination with the world. So of course you share pictures, stories about her first this and that, and the random, “I just love this little thing so, so much!!” gushy, mushy status updates. Then you find this abomination in your mailbox. Because, friendship, DUH. Perth mom Jade Ruthven woke up from her delicious baby coma one fine morning to discover that some of her “friends” not only don’t enjoy hearing about her daughter day in and day out, but they care so much that instead of simply hiding her updates from their Facebook feeds (or just quietly walking away from the friendship completely), they felt the need to gossip about her behind her back, then leave what basically amounts to hate mail at her house. Bullying isn’t limited to playgrounds […]