Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Preschool Goals for Miss O

We have a list on the wall right now that is basically copied from Mud Hut Mama with minor changes, and it's a great list, but I wanted to update and share it. I really love her categories, though I left off play, because that happens....pretty much all of the rest of the time haha.

Literacy and Language Arts:
Read and discuss stories; who, what, why, how...
Create books
Recognize rhyming words
Identify a few common words
Writing letters, upper and lowercase
Syllable recognition

Cognitive Skills and Math:
Count objects one at a time (goal to 20)
Counting numbers 14-19 and transitioning to the next 10 (30, 40, 50..)
Identify more complex shapes (hexagon, octagon...)
Work with calendar and clock
Number sequencing

Science and Nature Studies:
Keep an eye on our growing garden, discuss plant parts, what keeps them healthy
Keep a field journal for science experiments and discoveries
Discuss the seasonal/environmental reasons for [most] holidays we celebrate

Art and Music:
Draw people with body parts
Draw shapes with defined corners
Crafts that make use of fine motor skills
Identify and create instruments
Sing, dance, listen to, and create music

Life Skills:
Independence getting dressed and undressing, putting on shoes, washing in the bath, and properly brushing teeth
Recycling and care of environment
Simple chores, including cleaning up after self and putting away clothes in drawers
Help prepare meals and snacks and clean up
Street safety

Computer Skills:
Type name
Open and close a program

Simple maps and land forms
Postcard exchange?

Monday, April 28, 2014

Ash's Menu Plan Monday April 29 - May 5

Well, my not having a couple meals planned worked out in my favor (or jinxed me?) because I did not feel up to cooking much of this week. I don't know if I got hit hard by allergies or if it was a cold...but ugh it was rough. Little better today. Soccer is over until fall. The little is going to be 1 on Sunday! Ridiculous. I'm also supposed to receive some sort of award on Saturday. From a school I haven't attended in a over year...? Strange. Well, on with the food...

I try to keep it pretty Clean.

On the Menu this week:

Tuesday - Baked Ziti (make-up from last week)
Wednesday - Pan fried chicken stips
Thursday - Turkey burgers
Friday - Healthy pizza
Saturday - Sandwich/Leftovers
Sunday - Baked egg rolls
Monday - Lemon chicken/shrimp (vary per family member) pasta

If there are recipes for the week, I will have them pinned here.
And then I will move them here with a review after I've tried them.
See more MPM at OrgJunkie

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Monster Calendar

I know I haven't been posting preschool things. It's not that we haven't been doing them, it's just nothing picture worthy, and honestly kind of boring. Miss O has trouble with fine motor. That's what we're focusing on. Mostly writing or tracing letter and numbers, some coloring in the lines. We've also had some gross motor practice with soccer over the past month. I had intended to go on a nature walk for Earth Day, but wasn't feeling great so we stayed in and discussed recycling instead. It's almost Beltane though so hopefully we'll do some fun spring outdoor things for that.

Anyway, that's not the point of this post. I've mostly finished our calendar/weather chart. There will be a few more additions (and maybe another board at some point), but for right now this is it! I do still need to cut out the weather cards though.

Monster Weather Chart by The Teaching Treehouse (I printed this 2 pgs per sheet -- it is originally about the size of the board)
(Actually, had I seen this set as a whole first, I probably would have also gotten the calendar that matches, but I did not...oh well! The Kinder Craze ones are super cute)

Thursday, April 24, 2014


Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.
Title: A Stranger Magic (Book 1) and Revenge of the Viper (Book 2)
Series: Haven
Author:  D.C. Akers
Age Group:  Young Adult
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy
Haven: A Stranger Magic is currently available for free in Amazom Kindle format or multiple formats on Smashwords
Haven: Revenge of the Viper is currently available for $3.99 in Amazon Kindle format.

"HAVEN SERIES: Known as a place of refuge, Haven is a sanctuary for those with supernatural abilities. Decades of peace between the Witches, Vampires, Goblins, Elves, and Orcs is coming to an end. Now the once tranquil world is shrouded in deception and corruption. Dark secrets tear at the very fabric of their alliance, giving way to an evil that stirs in the shadows. Exhilarating and utterly gripping, the HAVEN series is an action-packed journey full of suspense, magic, mystery, and intrigue."

The start of the A Stranger Magic immediately caught my interest and I had quite high hopes for what would come. The introductions to this seemingly ordinary family in a small town dragged on a bit, though. A hard-working, widowed mother, Alise, and her two adolescent children--an angsty boy and a snotty popular girl. That was my first impression of Sam and Sarah Dalcome, at least. The two did grow on me as the story went on. Namely, after the very long, detailed first day. I was having some difficulty staying focused at that point, but once I got through, it certainly picked back up again. I found that while they really do have those qualities, but they also have more depth that makes them likable. In the end I was left wondering where this story was going?! What's a Keeper? What happened to Mr. Dalcome? Does Alise remember everything or has she long since suppressed it? What role would Travis, Sam's best friend, have in this? I really have to think of this novella as a preamble to appreciate it as there isn't much actual story to it. Obviously, it was intended to introduce the characters and a base level of what Haven is, and as such it did a fair job. Not fantastic, but not a waste if you have immediate access to the second.

Going into Revenge of the Viper, I was looking forward to discovering more about the world of Haven and the Dalcome family history.  In contrast to the first book, a lot happened. It was quite an emotional chain of events in a short time frame. Maybe a little too much? I'm not sure. There were many unexpected turns. Sam and Sarah's character development was more compelling than before. Sam learned a very important lesson as the Dalcomes' world turned upside down. Like the first, this book is filled with fantastic descriptive words. That is really the most enjoyable aspect of the Haven series. It's difficult to say much more without giving key details of the plot. I enjoyed reading this book a lot more than the first and I do plan to see how things turn out!

The story is written in a way that is appropriate for the Young Adult category and is easy to follow. It's a pretty good fantasy/sci fi read once the story gets rolling. While I really love the descriptions Akers gives, I could have live without the spiders' details ;]

I have also been given the opportunity to SHARE this book with you!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

What are GMOs? Infographic

I saw this infrographic published on another blog and wanted to share. It originally comes from Nature's Path Organic Foods. I would like to note as I've heard some comments regarding hybrid/cross pollinated plants as GMO that those are not at all GMO. A GMO product is something that cannot occur on its own in nature.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Ash's Menu Plan Monday April 22-28

I received a book I'm going to reviewing in the mail today. Super excited! Have another one or two to finish first though. At least the birthday party is over, maybe I can get some reading done now. Also put the (kiddie) pool up yesterday! Not sure it's going to be warm enough to get in this week, but it's up! At least when it is warm enough the water won't be straight-from-the-hose cold.

I try to keep it pretty Clean.

On the Menu this week:

Tuesday - Chicken soup
Wednesday - meatloaf
Thursday - sandwich/leftovers - Soccer night
Friday - tuna patties
Saturday - Baked Ziti
Sunday - ??
Monday - ?? (I'll update these later, I'm not sure yet.)

If there are recipes for the week, I will have them pinned here.

And then I will move them here with a review after I've tried them.

See more MPM at OrgJunkie

Sunday, April 20, 2014

REVIEW: Mystelic's Nature's Best Vitamin C Serum

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.
I was given an opportunity to try Mystelic's Nature's Best Vitamin C Serum. I have been using it for roughly 3 weeks.

Product Description (Pulled directly from Amazon.com)
The Secret to Reverse Signs of Ageing, Making You Look & Feel Younger!

This is The Highest Quality, Most Potent & Effective Vitamin C Serum on The Market

Are You Looking Older than You Feel? Natures Best Vitamin C Serum is Clinically Proven and tested to:

- Works for all skin types, dry, oily, sensitive as its made from Pure Natural Organic Ingredients.
- Reduces acne by removing toxins & creating collagen for firmer, plumper, healthier skin.
- Minimizes Redness of scars and acne by lightening pigment showing a more youthful you.
- is the perfect consistency for applying, not to watery.

Amazing Benefits to Your Skin are:

- Instantly gain a smoother complexion and tighter skin for a more radiant beautiful you.
- Antioxidants reduce skin damage caused by years of aging, uv rays & pollution.
- Reverses the effects of aging, reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
- Stimulate the synthesis of collagen making your skin look years younger, firmer, & more vibrant.

The directions say to apply twice a day, after toning and before moisturizing. I didn't apply it quite so religiously, mostly after showers. The serum doesn't feel oily or sticky at all when put on the skin. I had this weird red line close to my hairline that it seemed to help clear up. I thought I'd try it on my belly to see if it made any difference on stretch marks. I'm not sure that it did...maybe a little. I wasn't expecting too much though because I know once skin is stretched, there's nothing you can really do. I can see a slight difference in the redness of my face. Haven't had any major acne flare ups, even at the time I expected to.

Maybe if I used the Vitamin C serum as directed I would see more of a difference, but I have a hard enough time remembering to eat let alone keep a morning AND night routine ;] It's one of those products I'm not sure is great for me, but would be great for somebody. I would recommend it if you have skin trouble that you want to treat. It certainly can't hurt!

You can buy Mystelic's Vitamin C Serum here

My before and afters (I don't know why the one flipped, but I didn't feel like fixing). These are cell phone pictures, so they are not particularly clear, I apologize:

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Birthday Girls

Miss O just turned 4, and Miss Em is about to be 1. We had their birthday party this weekend. Ladybug Pirate was the theme :]

I made a pirate hat of a browned sugar cake...not a huge fan of the flavor. 

Em's smash cake was a ladybug made of a banana cake with a vanilla almond bark eyepatch. 

And finally, an ice cream cake because Miss O doesn't like cake. This started out with blue icing that I tried to take off and cover up ;] It's not beautiful, but it works. 

The birthday girls:

Monday, April 14, 2014

Ash's Menu Plan Monday Apr 15-22

I planted my sprouts a few days ago....and then found out it's going to freeze tomorrow night. Lovely. Well, here's hoping everything survives.
The girls' 4th and 1st birthday party is this weekend. Oi....I don't think I'm ready.

Anywho, here's what we've got going on for dinner this week. I try to keep it pretty Clean.

On the Menu this week:

Tuesday - wing it
Wednesday - potluck/playdate
Thursday - sandwich/leftovers - Soccer night
Friday - chicken and spinach pasta bake
Saturday - slow cooker chicken cheesesteaks - party day
Sunday - super stuffed potatoes
Monday - crispy fish sticks & green beans

If there are recipes for the week, I will have them pinned here.

And then I will move them here with a review after I've tried them.

See more MPM at OrgJunkie

Monday, April 7, 2014

What "Clean Eating" means for me

I am putting this up so I can link back to it as a reference for anyone who my be interested when I menu plan.  Anywho, ever since I found out about my first pregnancy, I've made a serious effort to eat better. I went from being a major couponer to a health freak. Granted, I'm still cheap, so sometimes the numbers are pretty painful. Still, I figure feeding my family well is worth it.

What is Clean Eating?

Honestly, it depends who you ask. Essentially though, it's avoiding anything processed (white flour, refined sugar, most pre-packaged food..).  Buy organic whenever possible, especially the Dirty Dozen and meats. Shop the primarily the outer aisles of the grocery store. If buying pre-packaged foods I make sure the ingredient list is short and pronounceable. Stick to whole grains.

But why?

I don't want chemicals and frankenfoods in my kids' diet. GMOs are scary. I don't care what the FDA has to say about it....if the stuff you're putting on my food requires a mask in the process, why on earth would it be ok to eat??

 I do want my girls eating nutrient dense, healthy things. Real food.

So why did I choose to eat clean rather than paleo? I like dairy and grains. A LOT. I also hate bananas and coconut. So....paleo just isn't for me. Not that a lot of the recipes aren't fantastic, just that I need real pasta....and butter....and cheese. Mmm cheese...PIZZA! Sorry, but paleo and pizza just don't work. Not an honest to goodness pizza, at least. Got on a tangent, sorry, where was I?

Oh yes, well, I do cheat a little. I use sugar. Not a whole lot....we don't have a lot of sweets. When we do, I definitely use real sugar, though. I also am not a fan of brown rice.

I do let them (well, Miss O, at least... Miss Em isn't quite there yet) have a little "junk" when we are at a party or something. I try not to buy it myself, though.

Alright... that's why I do what I do. How about you?

Ash's Menu Plan Monday April 8-14

I need to take it easy on the budget this week...with the girls' birthdays and party coming up. So...lots of chicken, rice, and pasta.

Highlights from the last week coming soon.....

On the Menu this week:

Tuesday - chick stir fry
Wednesday - lasagna
Thursday - sandwich/leftovers - Soccer night
Friday - chicken & broc tetrazini bake
Saturday - pantry meal
Sunday - tacos
Monday - pan fried chicken, sauteed veg, rice or noodles

If there are recipes for the week, I will have them pinned here.

And then I will move them here with a review after I've tried them.

See more MPM at OrgJunkie

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Wordless Wednesday 4/2

Linked up at Two of a Kind...

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Menu Plan Monday Apr 1- 7

...I had this all typed up yesterday, I just haven't taken the pictures of my camera yet so I never posted. I'll just edit later.

There was a mishap....with the potatoes for the tots, sooooo the burgers and tots has been moved to this week :]

Last Week Highlights:

Excuse my poor, beat up slow cooker with some special touches.... it's had a rough life. The rotisserie style chicken...oh my goodness. When it was warm, it was amazing. I made the mistake of letting it cool in the juices, though and it became rather dry and very citrus-y. I still ate it anyway :p mmmm....

On the Menu this week:

Tuesday - April Fools Special
Wednesday - burgers & cheddar tater tots
Thursday - sandwich/leftover night
Friday - Tomato Basil Pasta
Saturday - Chicken Milanese with Arugula Salad
Sunday - Tender-crisp spring braise
Monday - Vegetable-Polenta Lasagna

If there are recipes for the week, I will have them pinned here.

And then I will move them here with a review after I've tried them.

See more MPM at OrgJunkie