Tuesday’s Giveaway Link Up- December 9th, 2014

Tots and Me
Welcome to Tuesday’s Giveaway Link Up with your hosts Karen @ Tots and Me and Emily @ Emily Reviews

So glad you could join us as we share our giveaways on  Tuesday’s Giveaway Link Ups. 

Our co-hosts this week are Mellissa from Something Like Life and Danelle from Our Wolves Den

This link up will be posted Monday at 7 PM est. and run all week long! Make sure you stop in as often as you can to list your latest giveaways.

Here is how to use the Giveaway Link Up

1. Post your reviews and/or giveaways, as many as you have, be sure to add the end date (family friendly please)

2. Help spread the word about the giveaway link up by grabbing our button, Tweeting or posting on Facebook. (Not mandatory- but it helps get more exposure to your giveaways as well!)

3. Take a moment to enter any giveaway that strikes an interest to you!

If you would  like to follow the  hostesses, we will gladly follow you back! Simply leave us a message to do so.

Featured Giveaways
Cardiff Booster Seat Headrest US only Ends 12/20

Safety 1st Carseat {Winner’s Choice} US only Ends 12/10

Penwizard Peppa Pig Personalized Book {8 Winners} US/Canada only Ends 12/9

Thank you for linking up with Karen @ Tots and Me & Emily @ Emily Reviews along with Mellissa from Something Like Life and Danelle from Our Wolves Den.

Comfort and Support For Your Child’s Head and Neck with the Cardiff Booster Seat Headrest {A Review and Giveaway}

It is important to me that my children are not only safe, but comfortable as well. This is true when we head out in the van, whether for a short trip or a long one. When they are younger, they are securely fastened into a carseat. However, the older girls have graduated into booster seats and this has presented a problem. Unlike a carseat, there is no where for their heads to rest if they were to fall asleep. They tend to slump over, which is not only uncomfortable, it is also unsafe as they are no longer being held properly by the seat belt. This is why I was excited when I was offered the opportunity to review the Booster Seat Headrest from Cardiff Products. 
The Booster Seat Headrest come with a base, two padded arms with removable, washable sleeves, two universal hooks and knobs, and an instruction guide. 

I always tend to read the instruction guide to make sure I am assembling products properly, and I did with this as well. However, it is so simple to put together, I probably didn’t really need it.
As you can see, there are little buttons on the side of the padded arm. These buttons are what help you or your child adjust the arms. The instructions clearly state that these are to face out when attaching the arm to the base. The sturdy tabs fit into the hole on the base.

As you can see here, the arm is now attached.

Or wait, is it? When we first put our headrest together, it seemed secure, it was “in” as far as I could push it. However, after Tabitha would lay against it, the arm would fall off. Um, oops, not good at all. When we looked at it again, after I contacted the company and was sent a replacement because they assumed I had been sent a discontinued model, I realized I just didn’t have the strength to fit the tab all the way through. My husband was able to push it through and we could now tell it was tightly secure.

Once both arms are on the headrest, I needed to secure it to the seat in the van. As you can see, there is a long hole running down the center of the base.

There are also two of these hook and knob combinations. 

In order to attach the base of the headrest to your vehicles headrest, you probably will have to lift the van’s headrest to get to the posts, as I did. The hook wraps around the post and then comes through the hole of the base. The knob is then twisted securely on the hook.
Important note: If you vehicle does not have accessible headrest posts, you will not be able to use this product. 

Simple as that, my daughter now has a place to rest her head if she falls asleep when we are on the road.

Here she is trying it out. We are just sitting in the parking lot, so she didn’t put her seat belt on.

Once we got past the fact that the arm wasn’t all the way into the base, this headrest worked a lot better. When we got the replacement, we attached it on the headrest where Amelia sits, however, I wasn’t able to get a picture as it was too dark in the back seat. It stays secure and helps to support my daughter’s head when she falls asleep. Now, if she were to fall asleep with her head bobbing forward, this wouldn’t help, of course. However, as long as she is leaning against it when she falls asleep, it appears to do the job.
It is reassuring to know that she can now sleep comfortably and safely. 
I have noted the concern of making sure the arm is all the way into the hole in the base earlier in the review. I also need to mention that, even though it is simple to put together, it is not actually that easy. You have to have the strength the push that tab through that hole. I tried different angles, holding it differently, even adjusting the headrest to a different position but there is no give to the sturdy tab. My husband offered to help, but I wanted to see if I would be able to put it together independently. Finally, I was able to get the right leverage and angle to get it to go in. My husband didn’t have as much trouble putting the second one together as he is stronger. I did try myself, but between the time we tried out the first headrest and receiving the second, I had injured my wrist somehow. 
As long as you have the strength and don’t have an injured wrist, this headrest is easy to install. Attaching it to the headrest can be done by one person, but it is helpful to have a second set of hands to help steady the base while the hook is screwed on. It is simple to adjust to different positions, though it says there are 14 and it only actually clicks into 4 positions. To me, if it only actually clicks in to four positions, it would seem there really are only four positions. When not in use, it can be positioned all the way up to keep it out of the way.
Important note: While this product can help with comfort and support, it is NOT meant to be a safety device. and will not prevent injuries in a crash.
Even though we did have a couple of issues, I would still recommend the Cardiff Booster Seat Headrest. My daughter said it is definitely more comfortable to have somewhere to rest her head. She is safer because she is not slouched away from the seat belt. 
The Cardiff Booster Seat Headrest sells for $49.99 and is recommended for ages 4 and up.
You can find Cardiff Products on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Now for the wonderful news. I have been given the opportunity to offer a giveaway to you, my readers! One winner will win their very own Cardiff Booster Seat Headrest.
All you need to do is enter in the Rafflecopter form below. There are only 3 simple mandatory entries, with the remainder of the entries being optional. Remember, you do not have to do the extra entries, but they will increase your odds of winning. 
This giveaway is open to US residents 18 and over. 
The giveaway runs December 8th through December 20th.

Thanks for stopping by and good luck!

Disclosure: I received the Cardiff Booster Seat Headrest in exchange for my honest review. I received no further compensation. This did not in any way influence my review. I only recommend products I use personally and feel will be a good products for my readers.

Scavenger Hunt Sunday: December 7, 2014

Time for some Scavenger Hunt Sunday!

Joy, White, Stripes, Tree, Shapes

This house spreads the Christmas joy each year with its synchronized musical lights that is broadcast over the radio. 

 The librarian gave the children marshmallows at story time yesterday and it made me think that a pile of them could represent white snowballs, seeing as our snow is all gone and we are having rain instead.

The beginning of a failed wreath using striped candy canes.

We don’t put up a tree of our own, so I thought a picture of the Christmas tree at the library would be perfect. I love the books in the background.

I saw the cups of crayons at story time and thought this would be a great subject for my shapes prompt. Circles within a circle.

Time for a New Blog Button

Well, I have been updating a few things on my blog and decided I needed to update my button. What do you think?

Tots and Me

Our Week in Review: December 6, 2014

This week we have been working on finishing the unit we started the week before Thanksgiving. At first I was going to move on to Week 17, but I realized we hadn’t quite done everything I wanted to accomplish. I am very glad we took the extra week as we did a few more hands on activities and I feel like we got a lot more out of the lessons.

Our focus for the weeks of November 17th and December 1st:
(We took Thanksgiving week off.)
Tabitha and Amelia- Week 16 MFW 1st, Science unit- Rainbows
Hannah and Harold – were tagging along

We haven’t been having a story time every day, though I would like to go back to that schedule. I think we are a bit off schedule because we have been spending time with Melk the Christmas Monkey, doing his activities before putting him back to bed (as he is a nocturnal animal). I think next week we will read our books with Melk before putting him to bed.

Though our schedule hasn’t been the same, we have read some of the books I took out for the rainbow unit.  We read A Rainbow of My Own by Don Freeman, The Rainbow and You by E.C. Krupp, All the Colors of the Rainbow by Allan Fowler, The Magic School Bus Makes a Rainbow: A Book About Color by Joanna Cole, and Fox Walked Alone by Barbara Reid (about Noah’s Ark).

The older girls are doing a wonderful job remembering the order of the books of the Bible. I love learning about one each day and writing it on a slip of cardstock to add to the envelopes. Once a week, the children take them out and we put them in order. On the other days, I just have them recite them. We have made it to Proverbs.

Here is Hannah writing “Job.” 

We have sort of neglected the timeline pictures, mainly because I misplaced them. They weren’t in my folder or in the files. I found them yesterday in the back of my teacher manual (go figure). Guess we will be doing some catching up next week.

Our Proverb of the Week was Proverbs 30:5- “Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.” Our character trait from Little Lads and Ladies of Virtue was Helpfulness. Though we have now put that aside until after Christmas so we can focus on the characteristics of God that Melk is teaching us. This week we learned that God Gives Good Gifts, God Keeps His Promises, God Cares For Us, God’s Word is Sweet, and God is Light.

Melk brought the children gifts and taught us that God blesses us whether we are good or bad. 

We made paper countdown chains in anticipation of celebrating the birth of Jesus. Melk taught us that Scripture teaches us to watch and wait.

We made paper plate angels to remind us of God’s care for us.

Melk was found stuck in the bag of candy because he had been getting some out to put in a jar to share with us to remind us that God’s word is sweet.

Yesterday, Melk was all excited about putting up Christmas lights because we had driven around the night before to look at some lovely lit up houses. Of course, he taught us the God is Light.

Now onto our MFW activities:

Yesterday, I made a Rainbow/Noah’s Ark Muffin Tin. The children made the Fruity Ringer Rainbows to go in the muffin tins.

In addition to the rainbows I added the foods in the colors of the rainbow: red grape tomatoes, orange carrots, yellow pineapple, green broccoli, blue Jello, and purple yogurt. Then I cut a Noah’s Ark shape out of their peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
We also made boats out of foil and floated them in our kitchen sink. Each child took a turn to see how many pennies it would take to sink their boat.
We also discovered how long Noah’s Ark would have been. First we measured our forearms to see how long they were. We discussed that a cubit is the length from the tip of the finger to the bend of the elbow. The children have already heard of the term “non-standard unit of measure,” so I explained that a cubit would fit in this category as everyone has a slightly different arm length. We used daddy’s arm to measure for Noah’s Ark, seeing his was the closest to the 18 inch mark.
I cut a piece of yarn that was 10 cubits long. Then we headed over to the park to measure 300 cubits. 

I took a picture from the spot we ended measuring, all the way through to where we started at the entrance to the park.
The children were a bit surprised at how long Noah’s Ark would have been, especially when you take into account how tiny the typical ark is pictured as being. If it hadn’t been so cold we may have measured the width too. 

I have to admit, the individual lessons have been neglected these last few weeks. The older girls have still been working on copy work though. They have their proverb once a week, plus they have been working on Advent Bible verses from our Celebrate Jesus book.

They are also supposed to be recording what Melk teaches us about God’s character.

Besides the daily math with number of the day and learning about measuring cubits with Noah’s Ark, we have been playing a math card game called “I Knew That!” which we are reviewing.

This review won’t be shared on my blog. It is one of two products I am reviewing for the Old Schoolhouse Magazine. Their website has a whole section for reviews of homeschool related products, which I only just recently learned about. You can check them out here
I also have several reviews upcoming on my blog:
Farfaria app
Cardiff Booster Seat Headrest
Inspirational Christmas CD
Animal Trackers Club
Linking up at:

I am linking to:

Classified: Mom

The Weekly Kid's Co-op

And a couple of new linkies:
Crafty Kids Link Up


Preschool Powol Packets

More the Merrier Monday

The Sunday Showcase Party at Under the Table and Dreaming
Monday Funday at C.R.A.F.T
Masterpiece Monday at Boogieboard Cottage
Sharing Saturday at Crafty Moms Share
Think Pink Sunday at Flamingo Toes
Make the Scene Monday at Alderberry Hill
Inspiration Monday Party at Twelve O Eight
Inspire Me Monday at Create With Joy
Krafty Inspiration Thursday at Krafty Cards, etc
Craft-O-Maniac Monday Link Up
My Week in Review at Home to 4 Kiddos

Kids and a Mom in the Kitchen #102: Pumpkin Pie

Time for Kids and a Mom Dad in the Kitchen
(A weekly linky to share what you and your children have created in the kitchen.)


The linky is at the bottom.

A few weeks ago, daddy was desperate for a pumpkin pie. So, he gathered the children together and they had Kids and a Dad in the Kitchen time. We usually use the Libby’s Pumpkin Pie recipe, which can be found on their can and on this site.

Of course, we double the recipe. 
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cloves
4 eggs
1 large can pumpkin puree
2 (12 oz) cans Evaporated Milk
2 unbaked pie crusts
First they mixed the sugar with the salt and spices.

Then it was time to help crack the eggs into our big bowl and beat them up.

They added the sugar spice mixture, the pumpkin, and the evaporated milk. Then they stirred.

It was then put in the pie plates that had been lined with the refrigerated pie crusts.

1- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2- Mix sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and cloves in a small bowl.
3- Beat eggs in a large bowl and add sugar/spice mixture, pumpkin, and evaporated milk.
4- Line pie plates with pie crust.
5- Pour pumpkin filling into pie crusts.
6- Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes. Check to see if it is done by using a knife inserted in the center. It should come out clean.

Do you have your children help you in the kitchen?  What lessons do they learn? Do you have any kid friendly recipes to share?
I’d love to see your posts, whether you have done something this week or some time in the past. Just link up below. This is a weekly linky.

I am linking up to:

PhotobucketMore the Merrier MondayFull Time Mama

Melt in Your Mouth Monday
Try a New Recipe Tuesday at Home to Four Kiddos
The Gathering Spot at Mamal Diane
Friday Food Frenzy at Close to Home
Fantastic Thursday at Five Little Chefs
Foodie Friends Friday at Robyn’sView
Family Fun Friday at Happy and Blessed Home
Find a New Recipe Friday at Almost Supermom

And here is my Kids and a Mom in the Kitchen linky

5 on the Fifth- Looking Back at November

I am joining in once again with Marcy over at Ben and Me as she shares her monthly link up called 5 on the Fifth. I will be sharing 5 blog posts I have come across as I have read blogs that have linked up with me in the past. See, when I head on over to visit other blogs that link up, I like to follow them and take a look around at what else they have to share.  I will be pinning these to the 5 on the Fifth Pinterest board that Marcy has set up as well. I hope the blog posts I share below will inspire, encourage or other wise enlighten you. Don’t forget to stop by Ben and Me to see the other posts that have been linked up, there are quite a few bloggers participating.

1- Joanna from Clark and Luci Learn shared Germs and the Importance of Handwashing.
2- Erika from Raising Leafs shared her Tasty Tuesday post: Crock Pot Granola.
3- Koogle’s Korner shared the recipe for Anzac Biscuits, which are a sweet biscuit popular in Australia.
4- Jennifer from Home Grown Hearts Academy shared some great Reindeer Study Resources that includes a printable activity pack.
5- Finchwren shared a very yummy sounding healthy smoothie recipe for a Chia Fruit Smoothie.
Stop by Ben and Me to check out more 5 on the Fifth posts.
5 on the Fifth

Throwback Thursday Blog-Style #25: December 4, 2014

Welcome back to… 

I know, I know, Throwback Thursday seems to be all about sharing pictures from the past, great memories that mean something to you, that you would like to share with others. At least that is how it appears to me. Throwback Thursday wasn’t something I was participating in, and then I came up with an idea.
I thought it would be great fun and a help to my blog to share old content, but not just any old content. Each week I will share an old blog post from a previous year, any year, BUT it has to be from the current week (for example, something I’ve posted around December 4th, from any previous year)  I will go in, edit the post if needed, add a pinnable image if I don’t already have one, and share it on Facebook. 
Would you like to join in? You do not need to edit your past post in any way, you don’t need to create a pinnable image, though it couldn’t hurt, in fact it will help your blog traffic to add quality pinnable images to your posts.

Just go into your archives, choose a favorite post from this current week from any previous year, and link it up below. I’m thinking I may be seeing lots of Thanksgiving posts, but I could be wrong.

I will be pinning posts to my appropriate Pinterest boards and will be randomly selecting a Featured Throwback Thursday post to share next week. Just a note, I will be sharing a picture from your post if you are selected as the featured post, but I will link back to your post. I will ALWAYS give credit and link back. By linking up you are giving me permission to use your picture in the post. 

Here is my Throwback Thursday post:
Here is this week’s randomly selected
Featured Throwback Thursday:
Christianity Cove shared:
To participate, link up below. It would be great if you could visit several of the other posts that have linked up. Stop by, comment, and pin images so we can help each other.

If you would like to help spread the news:

Tots and Me
Happy Throwback Thursday!

Workbox Wednesday- December 3, 2014

Welcome to Workbox Wednesday! 

We took last week off of school to get ready for Thanksgiving. You know, it is hard getting back in the swing of things after a week long break. Anyhow, the girls have a couple of new papers in their workboxes this month. They are working on some Advent copywork, using the Celebrate Jesus: Light of the World book from Amy Blevins of Homeschool Encouragement. This is a book we reviewed last year. You can check out my review here.

They are also completing a journal page from Melk the Christmas Monkey. They will write down the character of God that we learn each day in our lessons.

If you use workboxes, tot trays, or anything similar, feel free to post a link to your blog post or a picture (pictures can be from facebook, but please make sure they are PUBLIC so we can see them, or use a host like photobucket.com to get a URL for your photo) that shows WHAT IS IN YOUR BOXES!

Please don’t forget to visit my co-hosts at Chestnut Grove Academy and Line Upon Line Learning.

Visit others that link up, leave comments, follow, etc. The favors will be returned! Feel free to grab a button too, so others can find the link up and join in the fun!

What is in your workboxes?
Chestnut Grove Academy

Wordless Wednesday: December 3, 2014 (w/linky)- Bed…Er….Reading Time!

Bedtime for one sleepy girl at least.

Looking forward to seeing your Wordless (or not so wordless) Wednesday posts this week.