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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Peace of Mind Comes in Small Packages With Tchipie

As a Mom, I have had those moments of cold-sweat fear when I hear choking or other not-normal sounds coming from the backseat. Those moments when you want to swerve across several lanes of travel as quickly as possible to make sure the baby in the back isn't dying. It is rough! Thankfully, there are ways to avoid this. The most obvious is to not feed the kids in the car. But that isn't always practical when you are on a long road ride. So the next best thing is... baby car mirrors to the rescue! Like the ones that come from companies like Tchipie

*Disclaimer: Tchipie reached out to me and sent the funds for me to order their product for the sole purpose of writing a review on it. I was not otherwise paid or endorsed. All opinions are strictly my own.*

Tchipie reached out to me and asked if I wanted to do a review of their baby car mirror that is sold on Amazon. You know me, I don't turn down the opportunity to try out helpful products and share my reviews with you all! I purchased this mirror from Amazon. They are sold for $8.99 (price drop since I purchased it!). If you have a Prime account, they ship from the Amazon warehouses within a couple days. They are also eligible for free shipping if you order other eligible products totaling over $25 through Amazon. 
This mirror has several great aspects to be aware of!
  1. Easy to install. There are 2 sets of straps. You clip the first set, pull to tighten. Then clip the second set, pull to tighten. Adjust for the perfect angle and - voila! - you can see whatever is going on in the backseat.
  2. Large size to allow you to see more! The dimensions on this mirror are 11.6" x 7.7".
  3. Adorable stickers to doll the mirror up. Kids love looking in the direction of pretty and colorful things. As soon as my toddler saw the stickers, she was SO excited. These are all her favorite fruits. So naming them made her happy while giving her something to do.
  4. Amazing swivel capabilities. Mirrors need to move. They also need to be easy to move. So that you can adjust them for the perfect angle. And that is what this one offered. A 360 degree rotating pivot.
  5. Last, but not least, it comes with a soft cleaning cloth. Keep this in the car and always have it on hand to clean the mirror and give you a clear view of your kiddo. 
So check out my video below and let me know what you think!
What other things are important to you when choosing a car mirror?

Monday, July 15, 2019

14 Date Night Ideas for Any Budget

Before this summer, it had been a while since my husband and I had had a date night. A real one. Without kids. Without tasks and errands that take all our free time. That did not mean just playing a video game (although that isn't always a bad thing).  Something that let us unwind and actually talk to each other. For starters, we are still keeping to a strict budget. And secondly, we didn't live near someone who could take all 4 of the kids from time to time. I've been reading a book that had plenty of ideas for budget-friendly dates. And I decided that it was high time to make a list of things that would work for my husband and I. Here is to hoping that you might get inspired.


Date night ideas:
  1. Take a drive. Sounds boring to some, but this is how you get closer together. Play your favorite music, sing along together and check out your city. 
  2. Walk around, taking pictures. Take turns passing the camera back and forth while you each snap photos. Then compare to see who got the best shots. 
  3. Go to the movies. This is something my husband and I finally did on our most recent date night. He had a coupon from when he worked for Target for 2 free movie tickets. Since there was no expiration date, we were able to see the new Godzilla movie. LOVED it! And yes, I believe there will be a sequel!
  4. Play Just Dance for 2. See who racks up the most points as you both shake and jive. Do dances meant for two and really get close! Though my husband claims he can't dance, this is one game he beats me at often.
  5. Have a Wii tournament. There are some great sports games that you can play together. Get moving while having fun together. 
  6. Watch the sunset. While we don't live in the mountains or near the beach (where my favorite sunsets and sunrises happen), we can still get up early and head to a park. Maybe make a simple snack or bring a warm drink along. Cuddle up and watch the beauty unfold. 
  7. Make a dessert together. There is something magical about cooking and baking with someone you love. Plus you get to enjoy something delicious when you are done. (We made these healthier cookies.)
  8. Go for a hike. Don't forget to bring along water and be careful. Take the time to talk and really bond. 
  9. Play a board game together. No TV in the background! Put on your favorite tunes instead. Not only do you bond, but you can see who has the skills to dominate the board! 
  10. Try out a new restaurant. Even if it isn't new to the area, it might just be new to you guys. See if it is what it claims to be! 
  11. Paint a canvas together. Doesn't matter what it is. Just put both of your ideas into one. The Dollar Tree carries some in the crafting section.
  12. Have a movie night together at home. Grab snacks and snuggle on the couch. Do a marathon even! We have been working on Stranger Things, Season 3. Absolutely one of our favorites!
  13. Check out a local flea market or thrift store. Walmart and Target will be there, selling whatever is in. But sometimes it can be fun to check out a place selling used and unusual things. So deviate and do something new! 
  14. This last one is a favorite of mine. Check out the stars together! Set up an inflatable pool, filled with pillows and blankets in the backyard. Bring a snack. Set up the telescope (if you have one) and then relax together under the stars! 
Be spontaneous! 
 
You don't have to have money to have a great time and get closer to the one you love. You can be creative and just see what happens. A lesson I learned on a recent date was that not everything goes as planned. I'm a huge planner. But sometimes I need to lay off the planning and just go with it. Then things can flow and the fun comes naturally. What date night ideas do you have? 

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Light and Fluffy Cookies that Won't Kill Your Diet!

I've been working hard on cutting out sweets and eating less. My goal before Christmas this year is to lose 40 pounds. Not easy to say the least. I love sweets! I've been reading the Eat This, Not That books lately. Trying to get ideas of what I need to switch to. What foods are better to eat. The latest one I got from the library was Cook This, Not That: Kitchen Survival Guide. It had an amazing assortment of recipes. The first one we decided to try was cookies. Of course. In my defense, I've been jonesing for one. The recipe makes about a dozen cookies. 190 calories, 8g fat, 16g sugars. 

Enjoy! 

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ingredients:

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups flour
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Make it!
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • In a mixing bowl, thoroughly mix the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until creamy. Stir in eggs and vanilla until well incorporated. Add the baking soda, salt and flour and mix until the dough comes together, being careful not to overmix. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  • Drop the dough onto a baking sheet in balls about 3 tablespoons in size, leaving at least 3 inches between cookies. 
  • Bake until the edges are golden and the middles are just barely set. Remove from the sheet and cool on a wire rack. You can sprinkle with a bit of flaky sea salt if you like as well. This draws out the flavor.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Summer is Halfway Over!

We are midway through summer break. And I am trying to keep the fun going! We still have dentist appointments and then a doctors appointment left. Can't tell you how much I look forward to those being over, but also dreading them... 

One of my favorite parts has been the reading! I read books to the kids often. So far, we are working through our I Survived books by Lauren Tarshis. I take one with us to appointments and even when we run errands. I've also been reading through books that were stored away for so many years. Just finished reading the Lizzy and Diesel series. Really loved them! My younger son has found a series that he can't put down with the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. The other two have been difficult. My oldest is not a fan of reading no matter what I try. And my daughter... well, she likes something at first and then gets bored halfway through it. Right now, we are testing out The Boxcar Children series. In order to promote their desire to read more, we are all participating in the library reading program. We are all earning prizes through it. They really loved the ice cream they got from it so far. The only thing I've been disappointed with as far as the library goes is their lack of the passes that can be checked out. I have been checking daily, but they are never in. Still hoping to take my family to see the space exhibit before it ends in September though.
I finally did the in the dark treasure hunt. My sister-in-law helped me print out the instructions, which I taped up around the house. The kids loved it! And I have decided that glow sticks are always the perfect prize to have on hand. What's more, there are never enough! 

We went skating with my sister-in-law. Wasn't such a great idea for myself. I'm still recovering... But the kids had a blast! We even played a round of laser tag there.
We had one Nerf gun battle this past week. Talk about awesome! Kids are already asking about when we will do it again. 
They also want us to take out the drones. So we need to head to a park or perhaps they can use them at my mother-in-laws house while we are helping to renovate a bathroom. 

The bake off is next on my list. Can't get it out of my head. Boys versus girls. We have one month left and I need to pack in some more memories! And some more learning... For the next month, my younger son is participating in something called bitWise Academy. He is learning to program and code with Scratch. And he loves it! They are currently having a summer promotion on subscriptions. I highly suggest them if you are wanting to get your kid(s) into STEM learning outside of school. They learn to program and create and also have art lessons for graphic design type programs that are kid friendly.

Speaking of school, don't forget to check the dates and lists on your kids' school website. I have been keeping track of when enrollment happens. And I noticed the supply lists had been posted. So I got a head start on seeing what we are lacking. 
And lastly, I have a birthday party to plan. My oldest daughter is turning 7. SEVEN! Already... I began prepping for a tea party. That was what she had been saying she wanted. I was making dainty invitations with doilies and planning to have a DIY photo booth with glamorous antique purses my Mom had sent her. Then, as I'm going through ideas with her, she suddenly has other theme ideas. No longer does she want a tea party. Oh no. Now she wants a cat themed party. Cats! *shaking my head* What is wrong with my kids? Gone was my sons love for a Minecraft Party. And now my daughter has left tea parties in the past for cats. Well, I'm going to throw her a fantastic cat party. Pinterest will be my go-to! Doesn't mean I'm thrilled about it....

So keep making those memories! Have you tried geocaching? I still want to go hunt out some other ones. Triple digits or not. We just need to get going early in the morning. We also need to visit the book store soon so that I can trade in some of my old ones. And with my younger son wanting to study space, I think my husband needs to pull out that telescope soon... What do you have left on your wish list?