Time Saving Art Projects For the Busy Teacher …(or Homeschooling Parent)

art projects

art projectsWhether you are a teacher of K-6 in a traditional school setting, or a homeschooling parent in an at-home classroom, teaching art to children has never been this quick and easy. Time Saving Art Projects for the Busy Teacher contains more than 20 fun art activities for kids in grades K – 6.

After teaching for almost 40 years, Diane Robbins continues to share her passion for art, teaching and children with the release of this fun and easy-to-use book.

“I want to inspire teachers to be resourceful, creative and passionate in teaching art to the young ones with this new set of basic art patterns,” Robbins said.

This book aims to assist teachers in teaching art skills with a minimum amount of work, time and resources needed for grades K-6 children.

Time Saving Art Projects for the Busy Teacher offers an efficient teaching tool to smoothly facilitate art projects in the classroom because it’s simple and easy to follow. The projects can also be used to reinforce many skills including following directions, measurement, matching, sorting and eye-hand coordination.

art projects



I received a free copy of this book for review purposes, but I have not been paid to write this post. 

This post contains affiliate links, which may earn me a few cents if clicked, paid by the advertiser, at no cost to you. Thanks for your support.

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Fall Reading List – Cozy Up With These 7 Great Books


From post-apocalyptic fiction, to an exercise guide for your brain, a book written by a dog (say what?!), and everything in between… this Fall reading list has a little something for everyone! These great books will make you want to grab a blanket, pour yourself a glass of wine, and cozy up by the fire. I can’t think of anything more relaxing than doing exactly that on a cold Fall evening, when the sun sets early and there’s a chill in the air.

Cozy up with a good book!


Interested in buying any of these great reads? Just click on the title!

1. The Complete Brain Exercise Book by Dr. Fraser Smith

The Complete Brain Exercise Book features 100 entertaining and engaging brain exercises and puzzles. There are also interactive questionnaires that enable the reader to assess brain health followed by expert counsel on growth and ultimately, positive progress working through the book.


2. Ask Anna by Dean Koontz

With her superior intellect, sharp wit, a warm and fuzzy heart, Anna Koontz debuts her talent as an advice columnist in her seminal work ASK ANNA: ADVICE FOR THE FURRY AND FORLORN. Some of her best advice: take time daily for ball-chasing and belly rubs – the keys (along with sausages) to true canine joy.


3. Cats Don’t Bark by Shane Hipps

At some point in life everyone is compelled to ask the primordial question–Why am I here? How we answer that question determines whether or not we will discover our true calling in life and harness our full professional, personal, and spiritual potential.


4. The Alligator Man by James Sheehan

Kevin Wylie’s crooked boss wants to run him out of town, and Kevin’s long-time girlfriend is ready to take a hike. He decides to leave Miami and visit his father, who he hasn’t seen in 28 years. Heading back to his hometown, Kevin doesn’t realize that he and his dad will become embroiled in a murder case.


5. The Casualties by Nick Holder

In Nick Holdstock’s The Casualties, a man recounts the final weeks of his neighborhood before the apocalyptic event that only a few of the eccentric residents will survive.


6. Still Time by Jean Hegland

From the author of Into the Forest, a moving novel about memory, Shakespeare’s green worlds, and the power of reconciliation.


7. A Lesson in Hope by Philip Gulley

Sam Gardner has been pastor of Hope Friends Meeting for just four months when ninety-eight-year-old member Olive Charles passes away. What’s more shocking news is that Olive has left her entire estate–worth nearly one million dollars–to the meeting. At first the gift sounds to Sam like a like a godsend. Yet as word of the unexpected windfall spreads, it stirs up a storm of conflicting opinions amongst the church members as to how the money would best be used.


 Enjoy these great titles this Fall!


This post contains affiliate links, which if clicked, may earn me a few cents, paid by the advertiser, at no cost to you. Thanks for your support!

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The SH!T No One Tells You About Toddlers

The SH!T No One Tells You About Toddlers
The SH!T No One Tells You About Toddlers
The SH!T No One Tells You About Toddlers

They’re getting bigger. And you’re not getting any more sleep.

Second in the Sh!t No One Tells You series, in The Sh!t No One Tells You About Toddlers Dawn Dais tells it like it is – again – offering real advice for parents of growing children. Filled with tips, encouragement, and a strong dose of humor, The Sh!t No One Tells You About Toddlers is a survival handbook for parents on the edge.

Chapters include:

You Suck at This. It’s not just your imagination.
Walking Is Hard. Bruising is considerably less difficult.
Remember When You Judged Other Parents? Prepare to eat your words, with a side of karma’s a bitch.
Restaurants Are Battle Zones. Spoiler Alert: You are not the victor.
Kids Get Sick. Then everyone gets sick.
This Childhood Will Be Televised. Hello, camera phones.
Your TV Has Been Hijacked. By things with very high-pitched voices.

Coming from one empathetic parent to another, the tips in this book are real, clever, honest, and designed to make life with a terrible two- or three-year-old a little bit more manageable. Hilarious, helpful, and handy, this book will be appreciated by any parent who has asked: “Why didn’t anybody warn me that unconditional love would be so much work?”


I received a free copy of this book to review. However, any opinions conveyed in this post are my own, and I received no additional payment for my services.

This post contains affiliate links, which, if clicked, may earn me a few cents at no cost to you, paid by the advertiser. Thanks for your support!

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Kidz Bop Comes to Cedar Rapids IA Saturday, September 19!


KIDZBOP2015KIDZ BOP, the #1 music brand for kids, is bringing the “Make Some Noise” tour to CEDAR RAPIDS! The KIDZ BOP Kids will take the stage to perform family-friendly versions of today’s biggest hits in this energetic and interactive live show. The “Make Some Noise” tour is the ultimate family concert experience that guarantees to get everyone singing and dancing along!

The KIDZ BOP Kids have been named Billboard Magazine’s “#1 Kids’ Artists” for the fifth consecutive year. In 2014, KIDZ BOP released the “#1 Kids’ Album,” KIDZ BOP 25, and outsold some of the year’s biggest artists, including Pharrell Williams, Ariana Grande, and Iggy Azalea. The latest album in the best-selling series, KIDZ BOP 27, was released in January and debuted at #3 on the Billboard Top 200 and #1 on the Kid Albums chart.

CLICK HERE to buy tickets to the KIDZ BOP “Make Some Noise” tour!

The Kidz Bop Kids!
The Kidz Bop Kids!

Disclaimer: I generously received free tickets to this fun show in exchange for promotional support. Thank you!

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The Look Cookers – A Children’s Book to Help Kids Overcome Fears

The Look Cookers by Jim Malloy
The Look Cookers by Jim Malloy
The Look Cookers by Jim Malloy

We LOVE books in our home, and I love children’s books that not only entertain, but also teach valuable lessons along the way. That’s why we loved The Look Cookers by Jim Malloy, a book that helps children deal with the common issue of shyness!

Matthew is a normal boy in every way but one. He’s a secret agent. But not just any kind of secret agent. Matthew is an eye spy!

The enemy: The Look Cookers! The mission: The first day of school! The goal: Make it to school without being ‘cooked’!

In fact, Matthew is shy. He does not like eye contact. In his lively imagination, he envisions that anyone who looks at him has special powers – they are the Look Cookers. And he has a name for each type of Look Cooker: Peek Seekers, Glance Dancers, Blink Drinkers, Stare Darers, Gawk Stalkers, Gape Scrapers and Sight Biters (the worst of the bunch!).

Join Matthew on his mission, experience the Look Cookers first hand and discover how he overcomes his fear of eye contact and succeeds in the end.

This is the first in a series of adventures penned by this new team of Jim Malloy and Hannah Stephey. It will inspire children ages 6-10 to overcome their fears – and delight children of all ages with its message and imaginative style.

Awards: Honorable Mention Children’s Literature CNW/FFWA Writing Competition.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book to review. However, the thoughts expressed in this post are my own and I have not received any additional payment for my services.

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Boppy Announces Fabulous Promotion with Shutterfly & Tiny Prints!

Boppy: A must-have for new parents!

Hey parents & parents-to-be! If there’s one thing that I just KNOW is on your baby registry list, it’s a Boppy pillow. This is one essential that I just couldn’t live without after my little ones arrived. Now, Boppy has announced an EVEN BETTER deal that you can’t live without!

Boppy: A must-have for new parents!
Boppy: A must-have for new parents!

Boppy® understands that every little moment with your baby is precious.  From first smiles to first steps, they are all picture-worthy!  Boppy has teamed up with Shutterfly and Tiny Prints to make sure every stage, occasion and achievement is captured.  Now through December 1st, 2015, inside specially marked  award-winning Original Boppy Pillow (Bare Naked, Slipcovered, Heirloom and Luxe versions) will include a coupon for a FREE $29.99 Shutterfly photo book and a coupon for $20.00 towards your next order at Tiny Prints ($50 value).

With this amazing offer, moms and dads can upload their pictures to Shutterfly and select pictures from baby’s first year of life, first birthday party, or other special moments and capture them in a beautiful photo book! Also, parents can go to Tiny Prints and select from their hundreds of adorable invitation and announcement styles, to create a stunning birth announcement, meaningful baptism invitation, or whimsical first birthday invitation. With just one purchase, baby gets an award-winning pillow and parents get memories that last a lifetime!


The Boppy pillow is a must-have for any new parent. Soft, gentle, but durable, Boppy pillows lift baby to an ergonomic position for more comfortable feedings and transition into the perfect spot for propping, tummy time and learning to sit. From the Bare Naked version with its plethora of fun slip covers to the adorably decorated Heirloom Pillow, Boppy takes baby through all the important stages in comfort and style.

For more information please visit the Boppy website!

*I was provided with free merchandise from Boppy for review.

*This post contains affiliate links. 

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5 Must-Haves for Your College-Bound Kiddo

Card Ninja

With back-to-school time here, and most college coeds already into the thick of classes and busy schedules, now is a good time to start putting together that first college care package! Here are five great ideas that will have your student thinking that Mom and Dad are actually pretty darn cool! 🙂

1. CardNinja
Card Ninja
My 18 year old was so excited when I showed him this slick little product, because he hates carrying a wallet. Moms, think Christmas stocking stuffers & college care packages! 😉
With CardNinja, they’ll never forget their student ID again! As millions of students head back to school this fall, there’s no doubt their hands will be full of books and papers as they rush off to class. Take some of that weight off with the CardNinja… the simple solution to heavy wallet woes! The CardNinja is incredibly convenient with its ultra-slim design and can hold cash and up to eight cards in one compact, convenient spot—on the back of your smartphone. CardNinja comes in lots of colors, it retails for $9.99 and is available online and nationwide in 7,000 locations including CVS stores, Amazon Prime and select Verizon stores.
Card Ninja








2. ShowaFlops Antimicrobial Shower Sandals
My son has these and they’re so great! They’re the first – and most stylish – flip flops designed to protect your feet from all those places that germs might lurk (aka, dorm showers, ew!)

3. Rapid Ramen Cooker

The PERFECT addition to your student’s kitchenette, they’ll never cook instant ramen without it again! MUST HAVE for any ramen noodle lover, college student, or busy parent. HEAT and EAT – cook perfect ramen noodles in the microwave in just 3 minutes. Works with most instant ramen including Maruchan Nissin and Top Ramen.

Rapid Ramen Cooker

4. Travel Flex Book Light Clip

For those all night study sessions in bed, while their roommate snoozes just a few feet away!

Book Light

5. Mini Keurig One Cup Coffee Maker

I don’t know if anything says college study sessions more than COFFEE! Since space is tight in your student’s dorm, this mini Keurig Brewer is JUST the right size!





Best wishes for a great school year, everyone!







Disclaimer: I was provided with free products from the CardNinja company for review purposes. Thank you, Card Ninja!

This post contains affiliate links.

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Baby’s Brilliant – An Awesome New App For Toddlers!

Baby's Brillaint
Baby's Brilliant
Baby’s Brilliant App For Babies & Toddlers!

I recently had the pleasure of reviewing some amazing books and a “brilliant” new app for babies and toddlers…called Baby’s Brilliant!

Do you know parents who are looking for a new and unique way to entertain their babies? The Baby’s Brilliant App offers a variety of educational and entertaining videos and music for the parent on the go. Created by a busy mother of three, the App introduces babies to the world around them in an enriching and playful way, teaching them concepts like letters, numbers, colors and relaxing them at nap time and bedtime.

Baby's Brillaint

Baby’s Brilliant features:

Free app includes 3 free downloads.

Additional video and music downloads cost only 99 cents each.

Available for iPhone, iPad and iPod.

Categories include: Educational, Entertaining, Lullabies, Nature, Classical, Night Lights, Popular Children’s Songs, and more.

Some videos and songs are featured in Chinese, French, German and Spanish.

Create playlists so that videos and songs play automatically for young children in the order of your choice.

Parental controls prevent children from making in-app purchases.

Baby's Brilliant

My kids, ages 3 and 21 months, absolutely love Baby’s Brilliant! When I sit down with them at the iPad for some Baby’s Brilliant time, they give the app their undivided attention. They pay close attention to the little videos, they repeat words, colors, and I just know they’re learning great things! I can’t turn this app off without both boys asking for, “MORE?!” 🙂

I love Baby’s Brilliant because it’s very different from any other baby app I’ve seen. It is very calming, relaxing, and has a very peaceful vibe. When we’ve had a crazy day and the kids seem over-stimulated, Baby’s Brilliant seems to calm them, while still promoting learning at the same time.

Baby's Brilliant
Adam reading Nigel The Pug, one of many Baby’s Brilliant books!

As if the amazing app wasn’t enough, there are wonderful books that go along with the online stories! My son’s favorite book in the Baby’s Brilliant series is Nigel The Pug. They are just so cute!

Baby's Brilliant
Baby’s Brilliant Books
Baby's Brilliant
Baby’s Brilliant Books

Visit Baby’s Brilliant for more info and download their FREE app in the iTunes Store!

*I was provided with free products by Baby’s Brilliant for review purposes.

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Frugal Splurge: Ipsy Glam Bag August 2015

Ipsy Glam Bag August 2015
Ipsy Glam Bag August 2015
Ipsy Glam Bag August 2015

As you know, I’m pretty frugal. After all, it’s the subject of this blog! I love looking and feeling good, but I just don’t delegate much of our monthly budget to that. However, at only $10 a month, my Ipsy Glam Bag is one of my favorite little mini splurges.
I’ve been subscribing to Ipsy for about 2 years now, and I just love the products I get every month. I’ve tried many different box subscriptions over the years, but Ipsy is now my one & only, because I feel it’s the best value.
I’d say that my beauty routine is made up mostly of Ipsy products. Since I don’t wear makeup often, my Ipsy products last me a really long time, so I get my money’s worth.

Each month Ipsy sends 5 great, generously-sized products, all packaged in a cute makeup bag. The shipping package is even cute and makes opening the mailbox a fun experience!

Ipsy Glam Bag August 2015
Ipsy Glam Bag August 2015

My August 2015 Ipsy Glam Bag contained the following items:

1. Bella Pierre Cosmetics Lipstick – “P.I.N.K.”
2. Glamour Dolls Eyeshadow – “Sorcery”
3. Marc Anthony Nourishing Argan Oil of Morocco
4. Ofra Lipliner – “Wine”
5. Eco-Beauty Good Night Night Cream

Ipsy is just $10 a month, and contains 5 generously sized health and beauty products in each Glam Bag. Interested in signing up? CLICK HERE!

@ipsy #ipsy #AugustGlamBag

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