Category Archives: Reviews

Exploring Our Solar System with Rachel and the Treeschoolers (a review)

We love everything Two Little Hands around here, so when I got a chance to get a sneak peek at the new episode of Rachel and the Treeschoolers, Our Solar System, I was super excited! I knew my kids would be too. For sure.

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With a new baby in the house, I figured it was the perfect time to pull out our new DVD. Learning, fun, and a few minutes of entertainment while mommy tends to the baby? Yes, please! And unlike most shows for children now, this series is highly educational, based on Ph.D researched curriculum. and actively engages the kids in learning with fun songs and ASL (American Sign Language). My 5 year old often talks of wanting to be an astronaut, so I was especially excited to watch the DVD with him. Once again, Rachel Coleman and her Treeschooler friends did not disappoint!

Episode 9, Our Solar System, revolves around “The Mystery of the Missing Moon.” Simon is very concerned when he sees the moon slowly disappearing! Is someone stealing the moon?  Rachel and the Treeschoolers work together to solve their mystery, and in the process they also learn about the sun, moon, stars, planets, and some scientists whose questions led to discoveries about our universe.

The first time we watched it, I was very impressed by all the vocabulary included. I was so excited about all the things it introduced to my little ones that I hadn’t even thought of teaching them right now. We’ve had some great discussions about gravity, phases of the moon, Milky Way and other galaxies and more. My favorite song in this episode, ABCs of Astronomy, is amazing. It is fun and an easy way of remembering some great foundational vocabulary of astronomy. We have a set of outer space flash cards my boys have been asking to get out. As we went through them one day last week, I was impressed with how much my five year old knew. Every time I asked how he knew something, he said he learned it from, “The Signing Time movie!” Also included in this episode, are more than 50 ASL signs. We’ve had a lot of fun practicing those! Anytime learning can be hands-on is a good thing! It really helps to sink things into the memory around here.

It was definitely another win for Rachel and the Treeschoolers with my bunch. A tv show that was called “just too educational for children’s television,” yet my children, and many others, love it. I think that speaks volumes about the quality of this series!

If you would like your own copy of this and/or any of the other fun episodes of Rachel and the Treeschoolers,head on over to their web site. While you’re there, be sure to request a fun activity guide to go along with whichever DVDs you purchase. These include crafts, games, printables, activity ideas, and more to bring the topics and discussions from the DVD right into your classroom (or to your dining room table for many of us homeschoolers:-) ).

 

 

*I was provided a copy of this product for review purposes. Of course, all opinions are strictly my own. 🙂

 

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Filed under homeschooling, Product review, Reviews

Merry Kissmas and Peanut Butter Blossoms

I love chocolate. (Is there a girl that doesn’t?) Last week I was super excited to receive a Hershey’s Kissmas VoxBox from Influenster. (They send out fun new products to testers like me to try out and give feedback.)

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Free chocolate? Who would turn that down?! Not me.

I hid the box in an upper kitchen cabinet for a few days, trying to decide if I should just eat them all, bake something, or get crafty.

I had just been given one of these Kisses Christmas trees at a recent moms’ group meeting.

I thought these bigger trees were cute too.

Plus, they looked easy enough for my not-so-crafty self, but who am I kidding? I really wanted to eat them, not put a decorative, chocolate time bomb on my table for the toddler to enjoy at 4 a.m. without me.

Then I remembered my husband’s company Christmas party. Ah ha!

Peanut butter blossoms! When I was a kid we had a cookie day every year at my great-aunt’s house with my cousins and aunts. Peanut butter blossoms were one of my favorites we made. I’m sure you can guess why. 😄 The Hershey’s Kisses of course!

This recipe is super easy, yummy, and gluten free as a bonus, so they were the perfect use for my Hershey’s Kisses. That little pyramid of chocolate on top totally makes the cookie.

The cookies were gobbled up at the party, so I’m assuming everyone else enjoyed them as much as I do. However, I was sure to make extra dough for myself to have naptime treats the rest of the week.

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Which is exactly what I’m doing right now. Yum!

Do you have a favorite craft or recipe using Hershey’s Kisses?

*I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions are my own.*

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Filed under Food & Drink, holidays, Product review, recipe, Uncategorized

A few good books

It’s probably no secret, I love to read. I definitely didn’t do enough of it last year though. I think I finished 2, maybe 3, books? Maybe it was 4. I’m not really sure, but I know the last several weeks, I’ve been glued to a book most nights while I waited to win the war with my children over bedtime. I’ve shared a few quotes from some of them on Twitter and Instagram and had several ask what books they came from, so I decided to compile a short list of some of the most recent books I have read or am currently reading. One of the books I started a couple of years ago (and sadly still haven’t finished!) suggested moms could benefit from, as often as possible, choosing books that were both interesting, but also encouraging or educating. While I do enjoy reading fiction, I’ve found that over the last few years, my heart hasn’t been in it as much. So, without further explanation, here are a few reading recommendations for those looking to start out the new year with a new book.

Tender Mercy for a Mother’s Soul: Inspiration to Renew Your Spirit
book cover  By Angela Thomas
  This was given to me by a good friend, and I’ve read it in full twice and also read bits and pieces here and there just because I love it that much. Lots of helpful insight and encouragement all in one little book. I’m beginning to think the best books by moms for moms are the shorter ones. Those are the moms/authors that get it, and understand that I do not have time to read a lengthy book in a short amount of time anymore, and I will get annoyed and discouraged by that fact if I try.

 

Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches
book cover for Loving the Little YearsBy Rachel Jankovic
Another book that was gifted to me that I am oh, so thankful for! As a mama of three tinys and one on the way, this one was very encouraging. It’s also another short book that packs the good stuff in without taking up lots of extra pages a mom of little kids doesn’t have time to read.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Decades of Fertility
By: Natalie Klewja, Carmon Friedrich, et al.
I came across this ebook through the blog of onebook cover of the authors and it immediately piqued my interest. I finally bought the Kindle version of it just a couple of weeks ago, and I am really enjoying it so far. Each of the authors does a good job of being very real about life and pregnancy as a mother of many and how God has blessed them and taught them amazing things through letting HIM have control over every aspect of their lives, even the very private part that our culture tells us to take control of.

 

Life Interrupted
By Priscilla Shirer
9781433670459_cvr_web-1  Another one that I am currently reading. This was also a gift from a friend. Really, my friend Heather magically finds way more reading time than I have and she has awesome taste in reading material. I adore this book for so many reasons. I’ve already gifted a copy to someone else, and I haven’t even finished it. This is a great book for anyone dealing with big or small “interruptions” in their life.

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Filed under book review, books, Christian Living, parenting, Reviews

Colgate SlimSoft {review}

Being pregnant, my gums are pretty sensitive. WHen I brush my teeth, I usually can expect it to hurt a bit and make my gums bleed (tmi, sorry). That’s why I was really  excited to finally find my Colgate Slimsoft VoxBox in the mail yesterday!
I tried it out, and my old toothbrush found itself in the trashcan immediately!

The first thing I noticed was the easy-to-open packaging. I’m a photographer, but my degree is in Digital Media & Design. Packaging design is important to me. This was super easy to open, so that made me happy.

easy open package for toothbrush

The next thing I noticed was the nice design of the brush handle. Really large toothbrushes kind of annoy me, so I like this smaller one.

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Then the best part, the super soft bristles that clean really well! Those little blue-tipped bristles gently get down below the gum line to remove all that nasty plaque, and the thin shape of the brush allows it to get in all those hard to reach places of your mouth.

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My silly pregnancy gum problems are no longer an issue, and my teeth are clean! Are you looking for a new toothbrush? If so, I recommend then Colgate SlimSoft. 🙂

 

 

 

 

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Disclosure: The reviews and or opinions on this blog are my own opinions . I received a tooth brush to facilitate this review through Influenster.com. No monitory compensation was received. I was not required to write a positive review. Your experience may differ.

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Filed under Product review, Reviews