Sunday, July 27, 2014

2013-2014 Field Trip Review

Wow! Looking back I can't believe how many field trips we took this past year, but hey, it's all a part of this homeschooling thing, right? The year prior I had taken the kids on field trips during the work week with other moms and my children's friends. This year, we tried to have more family focused field trips and I found the experiences to be so much richer! From Northern Virginia, to DC, all the way to Pennsylvania, our school year was full! Maybe this next year we will focus on local venues, or, maybe not!!

An uphill battle. Worth every step, but unless you know the shuttle schedule and plan accordingly, it is quite the hike. The kids loved the lions, monkeys, snakes and the prairie dog play area in the middle of the park!

Politics isn't reserved for high school in this school. We start them out young!

An inspirational experience, that was needed on so many levels.

Who says you can't make visiting family an educational field trip opportunity?

My favorite experience of the year, by far. Planning on returning in the near future!

If you have any field trip suggestions within a day's drive from Southwestern Virginia, clue us in, we just might go for it!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

5 Online Back-To-School Resources

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Thanks!

Whether you are looking for a cute backpack for your little girl this school year or a fun lunch bag for your growing boy, consider shopping online before attempting to face the crowds in the stores this August! I was out and about the other day and heard a mom talking to her son while scrolling her smartphone, "well, looks like your backpack will be arriving on Wednesday!" Listening to that conversation made me realize, that wow, I am old! When I was a kid, we would head out to the store at the end of summer, trying to beat the crowds, hoping to find a decent book bag still on the shelves! My, how things have changed! 

So before you head to the stores consider online shopping.

5 Online Back-To-School Resources

5- Dick Blick If you need colored pencils, stamps, or markers, Dick Blick's online clearance section has you covered! 

4- Crayola Store Save 50% off storewide at Enter code SUMMER50 at checkout. Offer ends 8/31/14. *Excludes sale items. 

3- Alpha and Omega And, For you homeschool shoppers, here's a summer deal for you!
Purchase Alpha and Omega homeschool resources and receive 10% off with coupon code SAVEBIG!

2- Rainbow Resources
If you are looking for NEW homeschool materials for a discounted price, I've been pleased with Rainbow Resources in the past. They have an extremely large selection of materials!

1- Amazon
Need I say more? Books are a no brainer with this one. I recently bought Farmer Boy for only a penny. And of course, Amazon is so much more than books. Whether you are looking for new or used products, I would suggest checking here first, and if you are an Amazon Prime member then you'll receive FREE shipping on all eligible items!

Monday, July 21, 2014


Have you ever tried selling children's clothes online? I have. Yikes. Unless it is an amazingly popular brand name, most of the time there wouldn't be a single bite! Well, how cool would it be to have someone do the work for you and YOU receive 60% of the profits? I'm liking the sound of this. Less work, less clutter in my house, lets get started! Loteda is a brand NEW site dedicated to selling children's clothes by the LOT. 

What if I said you could pocket 90% of the funds? No problem! All you have to do is take the pics yourself, upload them and you'll receive an envelope in the mail to ship it to the buyer! It is simple. Check out the video below to see how it works!

First: Organize your gently worn Newborn- 5T clothes into lots. By gender and season.

Second: Take a pic of each item, fill out a form and upload your lot.

Third: Once your LOT sells, you'll receive a prepaid shipping bag for your items.

Finally: Drop it in the mail and receive a check for 90% of the sale price!!!

Now, the fun part, buying the clothing! I'm excited to know there is another online option for buying children's clothing by the LOT, by the season! 

Coupon Code
20% off your total purchase. 
Use code: SAVE20
Expires 8/31/14

Disclaimer: I will receive a gift card in exchange for this post. All opinions stated are my own.

Coobie Seamless Bra {Review}

I have an issue with bra straps. I don't know about you, but I feel like they are constantly falling down my shoulder. I'm always trying to fix them. Sometimes I'll see photos of myself and say, "Hey! Why didn't someone tell me my crazy strap was showing, geesh!" So, recently, I finally found a bra that doesn't pose this problem! Coobie Seemless Bras stay snug and fit no matter how active I may be! 

The scoop neck pictured above is extremely comfortable! I received two of them and was extremely impressed with both the quality and the comfort. A wide array of colors and designs are available including tie dye, jade, hot pink or deep teal. 

~ What I Loved About This Product ~

The Comfort: This product is extremely comfortable, you can barely tell it is there. It is a one size fits all deal or you can order a full size for only a couple dollars more. 

Washing Machine Friendly: I've had this product for several months now and have had no problem just tossing them in the wash with the rest of my laundry! Easy! No wires, no issues with the shape getting messed, no problems!

Variety of Uses: For one, it can be used as a sports bra. It also can be worn discreetly under a swim suit for added comfort. Also, it can be used as a camisole for those shirts that run, well, a little low. Instead of finding a tank top or cami, a solid color black or ivory Coobie Seamless could be worn under your shirt to provide extra covering in a way that no one could tell it was a bra!

The Price: Easily affordable at only $20. A surprisingly low price for such a durable bra.

I would encourage you to check out the Coobie Store or request a catalog! Both are filled with not only bras but legwear, pants, wraps and more. 

Disclaimer: I received (2) Coobie Seamless Products for the purpose of this review through the US Family Guide Blogger Program. All opinions stated are my own. 

$1.99 Custom Card (FREE Postage)

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links. Thanks!

Friendship Day is August 3rd!

Affiliate Exclusive! $1.99 5x7 Folded Cards Sitewide + FREE Stamp when we mail it for you at Cardsto

Get ready to connect with friends near and far, plus create cards for birthdays and other events too! Now through 7/28/14, create a $1.99 5x7 folded card and have it mailed for FREE! 

Use Code: CAJ4106. Valid through 7/28/14. Shop Now!

Affiliate Exclusive! $1.99 5x7 Folded Cards Sitewide + FREE Stamp when we mail it for you at Cardsto

And even better, you can get organized and schedule cards for up 1 year in advance with their easy-to-use Future Send tool. Simply select your card, customize it with your recipient's name, load photos from your computer, Facebook, practically anywhere you store them, then decide when you want the card sent to your recipient.

So, start making your personalized cards today at Cardstore!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

2014-2015 Curriculum Choices

Crazy as it may sound, a majority of the materials for my oldest are Abeka this year! He thrives off of it actually. I know it sounds structured for me, but I just use it as a framework and flow from there!

My first grader is all over the board this year since he does well with plenty of hands-on activities! And, my pre-schooler will have a blast with the letter of the week lessons that her older brothers did when they were her age!

Aaron: Grade 3

Bible: Scripture Memory System/Veritas Press
Science: Abeka 3
History: Abeka/Veritas Press
Language: Abeka 3
Writing: Writeshop
Spelling: Abeka 3/Spelling You See
Reading: Abeka 3
Piano: Hoffman Acadamy Online
Math: Abeka 3

Michael: Grade 1

Bible: Scripture Memory System/Children's Bible Read Aloud w/Notebooking

Science: Bob Jones 1
History: Golden Prairie Press
Phonics/Reading/Spelling: Abeka 1
Writing: Abeka 1/Writeshop
Piano: Hoffman Acadamy Online
Math: Abeka 1

Tirzah: Pre-K 

Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool: Getting Ready 1
Letter of the Week Activities
Abeka K4 ABC/123

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Office Max Perks


It's not as good as it sounds. So, when we first heard about the fact that you can receive $2 for every used ink cartridge you bring in we were thrilled! We have piles of old ink cartridges and basically thought that we could recycle them to receive some store credit.


That's how it is pitched, but you have to read the fine print. First of all, you can only cash in 10 cartridges a month. (yeah, we had a lot more than that.... long story). So, we arrive at the store, were told we could only cash in 10 for that month, which we did. 

Then... once you bring in the 10, you have to wait a whole month for your Max Perks card to be credited. 

THEN.....the only way to redeem the store credit is to print out your rewards from online and bring it into the store with you. Which is fine and dandy, but when we went to print it out (a month later), we noticed that the credit is "locked" until you spend money at the store on an unrelated purchase! Soooo the more you spend, the more your store credit is "released." 

In all my bargain shopping days I have never seen so many hoops to jump through, just for a deal. It's worse than a rebate! So, that's my rant of the day. Stay away from the Max Perks cartridge return, it's not worth it!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

If in Doubt, WAIT!

I know when I see other homeschool families pins on Pinterest and photos on their blog I get excited. "Wow, that looks fun," "I could do that!" " That would fit perfectly in our homeschool!" Then, reality hits. The price tag. It doesn't matter how "cheap" and "frugal" the craft or activity is, most of the time you will need to BUY something to make it work. And the little things add up. A can of spray paint here, some glitter glue there, before you know it you've completely spent what you normally spend in a single grocery trip buying materials for your homeschool!

The way I look at it, is, if I feel like I NEED it NOW, then I probably shouldn't buy it! It's like when I take my kids to the store. They see a shiny new something or other and just HAVE to have it. Of course, I nipped that in the bud immediately and say, we are just looking, if you want something just add it so your wishlist. And believe it or not, it works!!

I've learned to simply take a mental note of what I want and then wait. And wait. And wait. 

When I go "back to school" shopping for our homeschool I have a mental note of what I need. Supplies, storage units, etc. Then, I choose to be creative. For example, today I was looking for a decent white erase board. Rather than going to Office Max and buying the top of the line model, (Even though I wanted to, I mean a white board IS kind of essential!) instead I hit second hand shops. I didn't find a state of the art new board, but I DID find an easel in good condition with a white board on it. And, get this, for only $1.95!!

Perfect! Now, not all my great finds come so quickly. Often times I do have to wait. But it usually is for things that I don't need right away anyways. I would have loved to decorate our space with nice curtains the day we started homeschooling. But curtain rods add up. We have close to 30 windows in our house. Buying rods and curtains adds up and fast! So, the homeschool room windows have kind of been put on hold. Fortunately, today, I found roads at 95 cents a piece. And just enough for the homeschool room and stairway windows leading to the room. A much brighter price tag than $6 a piece for new ones. 

Remember, I am a THRIFT schooling mom here. If I think I can find it at a lower price, I am willing to wait! My advice to help you avoid paying full price is to wait it out. Be patient and keep your eyes open for used or clearance items!!