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Friday, November 30, 2012

Attention Homeschoolers - Great deals ahead!

For all you homeschoolers, and educators out there in blog land I just wanted to take a quick minute and let you know about a great deal. For us as homeschoolers we can never seem to have enough books and my boys LOVE to read!

About a year or so ago I was told by a friend about the Scholastic BookFairs Warehouse sales, and I must say it was an instant hit! I can get my children's favorite books for up to 80% off the original retail prices! Even better, is that they use volunteers for the sale! That's right, volunteers like you and me! I take the opportunity to volunteer my time at these sales, and in exchange Scholastic offers the volunteers vouchers for free books!

Sure I know we homeschooling mama's don't have much spare time, but for me I just love being surrounded by so many books and it's a great chance for me to get a little mama time and do something great for my kiddos at the same time!

So go ahead over and check them out see if there's a location in your area and check out the great deals! So tell me what are your favorite books for your children?

Birbitt Thinks loves a great deal, and I hope you do too!

Birbitt Thinks was not provided any compensation for this post, and all opinions are strictly my own.  

Thursday, November 29, 2012

MailPix - Personalized Photo Gifts review and giveaway

I don't know about you, but I just LOVE a nice Photo Gift!  Not just to give to others, but also for me!  I love looking around my home and seeing memories of my family!

That's where MailPix comes in.  I was given a chance to review several items from their store, and I chose a nice variety that I'd like to tell you about here. 

First I will say that I got Christmas Cards from them, and while I can't seem to get a good pic of them they truly are beautiful!  The photo portion is just beautiful and the colors are spot on!  The greeting card portion is so pretty, and looks exactly like it did on the website.  They have cards for all occasions at reasonable prices!  

I also got photo prints from MailPix as well, and again I don't have pictures of them but they are good quality prints, on Kodak paper, and the colors are just right.  If there was any issue with the photo at all, it was on the part of me the photographer!  I was very pleased with the quality of their prints, and the price is just right for my budget! 

Ok, now for the part you are all waiting for, the photo gifts!  The first gift item that I chose was a calendar for both myself and my Dad.  I chose the transparent 12 month 2013 calendar and selecting my photos couldn't have been easier! The images came out very clearly,  and look on the calendar exactly as they did on the preview, so if something wasn't right it was fully my fault! 

The next gift item I chose for review was the keepsake box with photo tile.  Now this one, the tile is beautiful and looks exactly as my image did, however there is a small gap between the tile and the wooden box.  It's a beautiful gift, but that gap sticks out to me and bugs me a little.   But the inside is very well done and it would be a great gift!

I also chose two beautiful snowflake ornaments.  These ornaments are ceramic, with a round photo in the center of the snowflake, the photos are super cute and well printed onto the ornament.  The ornament itself is not so heavy as to weigh down the tree branches, but it is heavier than a standard ornament.

I also chose several picture magnets for my refrigerator, to hold up all their great artwork, and they are beautiful!  I got the smaller wallet size magnets and the image is the full size of the magnet and it has a glossy finish.  These are just the right size for mailing in a Christmas card to family and friends as a small gift!

Next is a photo puzzle, which I chose as a Christmas Gift for my children to assemble together.  The puzzle comes in a tin, with puzzle pieces around the side and the top is the image on the puzzle.  I have seen photo puzzles before and been disappointed with the quality of the puzzle pieces or the image printed on the puzzle.  I did not assemble this puzzle, however the pieces are more durable than I've seen in the past, and they are slightly glossy, and it appears as though the image is going to be nice and clear on the puzzle.

The last item is probably my favorite item of all, a photo blanket!  This item is just beautiful!  The image came out very clearly, it does not have that strange pixelated look that happens sometimes when you blow up an image too far, the colors are natural and look just like the original picture, and the image covers the whole blanket!  I was expecting a blanket with a white border, not sure why but I was, and when this arrived I was so much more pleased that I thought I would be!  The Fleece blanket is a very thin blanket, which for me living in the desert is perfect, so do keep that in mind if you are giving it as a gift.  My favorite part of this blanket is being able to sit on the sofa after the boys have gone to bed and still be able to snuggle with them, even if it is just their picture! 

The ordering process was very easy, I simply created an album and uploaded all my imaged to that one album, then when I was ready to order an item I simply click on the image I want, drag it over to the work space, set it how I want it to appear, and add it to my cart!  Easy as Pie!  Once my order was complete all I did was check out and wait, and the items appeared very quickly in my mailbox!  I think from the time I ordered to the time the last package arrived was exactly one week, not bad at all during the Christmas Rush! Overall I say great job MailPix for delivering great quality items at affordable prices, and making the process easy to accomplish! 

Birbitt Thinks if you are looking for a great photo gift at an affordable price, with a simple ordering process...then MailPix is the place for you!  And just to prove it to you MailPix is giving one lucky reader the opportunity to try it out for themselves!  One lucky Birbitt Thinks fan will get their choice of photo gift item from MailPix!  All you have to do is enter below, and sit back and wait to see if you've won!

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Birbitt Thinks was provided products in exchange for this review, however I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are strictly my own!  MailPix and NOT Birbitt Thinks is responsible for fulfillment of the prize, and Birbitt Thinks is not responsible in the event your opinions are different from my own. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

SavvyK Guest Review - Goat Milk Stuff

Everyone please welcome back SavvyK!  She's bringing us her review of an awesome product, that we here at Birbitt Thinks also enjoy! 

Goat Milk Stuff Soap Review!

I had the wonderful chance to share with my savvy readers this amazing experiance using Goat Milk Stuff soap, lip balm and lotion stick! Personally, I love goat milk soap! It makes your body feel amazingly nurished and does not leave that dried out feeling that other soaps do!
Goat Milk Stuff is a company that specializes in goat milk bath and body products. Goat milk soap is specially made to help nurish your skin better than soap made from water. "Many people are still washing their skin with soap made with water. Switching to soap made with goat milk can truly benefit your skin’s health. Goat milk soap is wonderful for people with dry or sensitive skin, or conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. It is also perfect for healthy skin that wants to stay that way. Unprocessed goat milk fresh from the farm contains many benefits such as alpha hydroxy acids, vitamins and minerals.
Goat Milk Stuff has also been featured on so many different news and media outlets! You can go HERE to see the video clips and read many other articles about Goat Milk Stuff and it's benefits.
I had the chance to review four Goat Milk Stuff bar soaps, one lip balm, and one lotion stick.
The Goat Milk Stuff bar soaps were truley amazing. The four frangrances that I chose were Fiji Island, Sandalwood, Luv Spell, and Oatmeal Milk and Honey. I decided to try out Luv Spell because it is a familiar smell to me. The Luv Spell soap smells almost identical to the Luv Spell fragrance by Victoria's Secret, which is a floral and citrus scent. I really loved this soap! It was a nice, gentle and femimine scent that doesn't overpower you! Actually, I was expecting the soap to smell a little stronger and bolder to match the perfume. The light scent was very refreshing and it lasts quite a while after you get out of the shower! I would have to say this one was my favorite out of all four! My next favorite was the Oatmeal Milk and Honey. This soap is not as fragrant as the other three, but it does smell very warm and inviting! It also as a hint of sweetness you can smell from the honey. I really liked this soap and used it when I didn't want an over powering smell. I usually used this soap when I used the Lavendar lotion stick so the soap and lotion smells would not mix together.
Fiji Island also was a big hit with not only me, but my six year old step daughter! She loved the scent of citus and tropical island smells! She even referred to it as "the smell of the beach when we went to florida". This scent is just that, a nice beachy scent. It has a lot of citrus fruits smells like coconut, lime, and lemon verbena. I used this bar usually with my night time baths when I wanted to relax with a little "beach getaway". Now if only I could train my fiance to make me one of those fruity, tropical drinks with the umbrella and wear the cabana boy costume! (haha)
The last soap that I had the chance to review was the Sandalwood soap. My fiance loved this soap and I loved this soap on him! (lol) This soap has a hint of cedarwood that made this soap smell a little masculine, but not enough where you wouldn't be able to wear it as a woman.I love the way Goat Milk Soap described this scent as a James Bond movie. This soap truley captures their description . If I could describe this soap in two words, I would say it is "sexy and mysterious".
The lotion stick I decided to try out was the Lavendar scented lotion stick. The stick itself smells just like a lavendar scented candle. It is a light scent that isn't overpowering. This lotion stick is the perfect size to fit in your purse, car or travel carry ons. I love that it is a solid lotion. A lot of my lotions in the past has squirted or spilled all over the inside of my belongings and it was a total mess. Just be sure not to leave this in your car as it may melt with the heat. I also had the chance to try out the Peppermint lip balm which I where almost every single day! It lasts a long time and the scent is just what it sounds like, peppermint! The lip balms are made with out any harsh chemicals so they moisturize your lips with out any harm!
Overall I give Goat Milk Stuff an A+ for all of the products that I was able to review. These would be perfect gifts or stocking stuffers for the holidays coming up! I even have a few on my Christmas wish list!
Disclosure: SavvyK recieved the products in exchange for an honest review. Regardless, all opinions are her own and may or may not differ from your own. Birbitt Thinks has also tried and loved these products.

A true family Christmas!

If you have children you know their excitement over Christmas, the lights, the decorations, the family, the fun, and the presents.  As a mom I want my boys to know there's more to Christmas than just lights and presents.  I want my boys to know the real reason for Christmas, I want them to keep their eyes focused on Him during this busy season, and to remember their spirit of giving rather than getting. 

We are homeschoolers, and as such we have great flexibility in our school scheduling so I like to fill the month of December with activities and mini lessons that will do exactly that!  I thought there might be others out there that would like these activities as well so I'm going to link you all to some great sites full of awesome inexpensive and free materials, as well as give some ideas we've seen or used over the years.  I hope it will be a blessing to you and your family.

One of my favorite resources for preschoolers is Hubbard's Cupboard, and she has an entire month of Advent activities for you to enjoy, complete with a paper chain so children can remove one link each day to reveal a Bible verse, and activity to complete.

My favorite places for mini lessons, and unit studies is currclick and they have some great resources for children of all ages in their Christmas section!  If you like them on Facebook or sign up for their newsletter you can find out when all the sales and specials are, which will save you money.  Of course all their resources are so inexpensive anyway that even if you miss a sale you'll still find a great deal!

If lapbooks and ebooks are more your style check out Knowledge Box Central for some great Christmas theme projects!  Their downloads and E-Books are mostly $5.00 and $10.00, and you'll find some great stuff over there.  If you prefer you can pay a bit more and get the printed kits that you only need to assemble. 

If inexpensive crafts are your goal well I have got the place for you!  Oriental Trading has some amazingly cute and remarkably simple Christmas Crafts for great prices!  They have crafts, decorations, party supplies, candy, ornaments, costumes and MORE!  We have made lots of Oriental Trading crafts over the years, and this year even Twiggles got in on some of it!  Their crafts really are simple, and they come with all you need to complete them!  The only downfall, if there is one, is that everything is sold in sets of 12 or more. With crafts though that's rarely a problem, we just invite others over to craft with us!

Here are some other great Christmas Ideas:

Set up your family's nativity set, and each night while your children are asleep hide the baby Jesus, then when they wake up it's a game to see who can find him. - The lesson here is to teach littles to keep their eyes on Jesus, to stay focused on Him! 

Do an advent calendar, you can find many online to make and they don't need to be expensive, but instead of candy each one can hold something to remind them of the real meaning of Christmas (like a cross, a star, a manger, three wise men, etc.). 

Help your children learn to help others, choose an angel from the angel tree and let them do the shopping, if you know a family who is struggling this year take your children shopping for that family, let them put a dollar in the big red salvation army buckets, have them choose a toy and then donate it to toys for tots, volunteer at a soup kitchen, buy donuts and pass them out Christmas morning to the homeless, the possibilities are endless.  The lesson here is to teach your children to be thankful for their blessings, but also to learn to bless others, this is not something children will learn on their own it needs to be taught. 

Decorate the tree together, let your children choose special ornaments to put on the tree each year, if your child has made an ornament let them choose where to put it make this time a special family time.  It doesn't matter is your tree is perfect, or if there are two red bulbs next to each other, or if there's a small blank spot, what matters is you did it together.  If it bothers you, you can always move ornaments around later or add to it after they are in bed, but be sure not to move their special ornaments! 

Get a collection of Christmas and Winter themed books, you can often pick these up at thrift stores for just a dollar or two each. Be sure you have 25 of them!  Then wrap them, and place them under the tree.  Each day beginning on December 1st let your children choose one book to unwrap and then read it together, you could read the whole thing to them, or take turns reading whatever just do it together!  We even read one on Christmas morning before we open presents! 

Make decorations, you can make snowflakes from paper, paint Christmas trees from hand prints, wrap picture frames into presents on the walls, whatever strikes your fancy but do it together as a family.  Make Pinterest your best friend for Christmas crafts with kids - you can view my pinboard for some ideas too! Make gingerbread men from felt, or Stockings from paper, use window paint to decorate your windows. 

Build puzzles, for most people it's too Cold in December to go outside and play so instead why not spend the time building puzzles which can be glued together and hung throughout the house to remember for years to come!  Sure for little ones you'll have to start small, but as your children get older you can get bigger and bigger puzzles! 

Bake cookies!  I have such fond memories from my childhood of Mommy pulling out the baking supplies the day after Thanksgiving and bringing out her recipe file of Christmas cookies and each day we'd make 2 or 3 or 5 or 6 batches of cookies!  We ended up with popcorn tins full of cookies which we could keep in the garage since it was so cold!  We'd give cookies to my teachers for Christmas, leave a tin in the mailbox for our mailman, hand them out to Sunday School teachers and friends and family, no one came to our home during the holidays and left without a tin of cookies! 

Get a plain wreath or small tabletop Christmas tree, and just place one thing on it maybe a ribbon, or a star, whatever you find meaningful.  Display it proudly, and take it down and save it at the end of Christmas.  Then next year, pull it out and put on that ribbon or star, and add one more thing, maybe some garland, or a holly branch.  Then put it away at the end of Christmas.  Do this each and every year your children are home with you, and by the time they grow up and start families of their own you will have a beautiful wreath or tabletop tree full of memories!  Your grown children might just come home and see it and say "hey Mom remember when we put that figure skate on the tree, right after Suzie learned her first jump"!

Make memories to last a lifetime, take lots of pictures, make a scrapbook just of Christmas each year!  Make it a tradition to look over past years, before beginning your Christmas time celebrations each year, let your children help decorate the pages.  It may not be what you had in mind, but you made memories, you taught important lessons, and you made a lasting impression on your children!  Those are the things that matter!  You could even make a scrapbook of the Christmas story, starting with Mary and Joseph as they go to be counted, and continuing through Jesus' birth, and the wise men as they come to bring gifts, etc.  The possibilities are ENDLESS! 

Whatever you choose to do, make it meaningful, do it with joy and love in your heart, and share the true reason for the season with your children!  As you decorate your home to celebrate all things Christmas, don't loose sight of what's important and don't forget that your children are watching you and learning from you how to be adults! 

Birbitt Thinks Christmas can be lots of fun, and a great time for learning!  Let's keep our eyes on the Lord this Christmas season, and make our days meaningful!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Food Savers That Really Work

I don't know about you, but the most difficult item for me to store in our home is Onions.  They can't stay in the plastic bags from the grocery store, and keeping them cool, dry and dark is a challenge.  I only have a few cabinets low enough for onion storage, and onions are round and roll and fall onto the floor bruising them and then the spot gets soft and the onion spoils.  It is such a waste, so much so that I waste time buying just two or three onions at a time for the sake of not wasting food.

Well, now I don't have to worry anymore!  I have found my Food Savers!  For the purpose of this review I was sent an Orka by Mastrad Vegetable Keep Sack, and I chose the onion sack.  This is the most perfect onion saver I have ever seen!  It hangs just about anywhere, and I can easily hold 6-8 onions.  The sack itself is very durable, and well constructed, and the loop for hanging is sturdy.

The Onion Sack is easy to use, just put the onions in the top, and when you need one take it out the bottom.  The sack protects the onions from light, thus preventing them from going to sprout, plus it keeps them safely contained in a way that won't cause damage to the onion from falling onto the floor, and it prevents waste by keeping all your onions in one place so they don't roll to the back of the cabinet and get lost.  This truly is a food saver and a money saver since there's no more waste!  This Food Saver comes in shallot/garlic size, onion size, and potato size. 

Birbitt Thinks that this product is a great addition to any kitchen!

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.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Boz The Bear review and Giveaway

For the Display of His Splendor and Birbitt Thinks are pleased to bring you this fantastic Christian kids DVD series and giveaway! Please share and send your friends!

Exclaim Entertainment recently sent DaLynn some of their fantastic BOZ the Bear dvd's for the purpose of review. What a fun little series this is! Having never heard of BOZ before, we were intrigued and excited to find such a fun new friend. I think we've found our new favorite character for the preschool kids!  

I'll tell you what I love about BOZ the Bear: my little twiggles, who doesn't like preschool stuff, LOVES BOZ!  Normally when I put on preschool stuff Twiggles watches a few moments, and then decides that drawing or building with blocks is better than the program.  Well, that's just not so with BOZ, and so I'm so happy to be partnering with For The Display of His Splendor to bring you this amazing giveaway!
BOZ the Bear is a Christian kids dvd series aimed mostly at preschoolers, with videos on shapes, numbers, colors, and more. BOZ lives in the backyard treehouse of a wonderful family. Drew and Gracie, Mom and Dad Baxter, and Grammie and Grampie B are a kind and likable family. I'm thrilled to see traditional values highlighted and a kids series that takes education and braids it with faith in Jesus Christ unashamedly.

That's just what this series does. Think big purple dinosaur here; in fact, one of the creators of BOZ was also a co-creator of that well-known series. If you are familiar with that, you'll recognize many elements in BOZ, but one thing that show never did and that was acknowledge Christ as Lord! It's got all the music, all the educational value, all the fun - only with the BOZ videos you don't have unsupervised children, or any of the other questionable content you'll find readily available to the preschool set these days.

We watched A WowieBOZowee Christmas, and have continued to watch it multiple times daily since. My twins are 2 years old and have actively asked to watch BOZ many times since receiving the movies! I know that they have found a new friend, and I'm happy to let them watch because I know it is of educational value, is wholesome entertainment, and will point them to Christ with everything they learn. Each dvd ends with a prayer, setting the perfect example to my children, and really wraps it all into a neat little package for them in conclusion of whatever they've learned.

Besides movies, the BOZ series of products includes music, books, and adorable plush toys. In fact, Exclaim sent us Thank You God for B-O-Z's and 1-2-3's! and Thank You God for Colors and Shapes! as well as 9" plushes that I'm looking forward to giving to the twins for Christmas! I know that they will be excited to have more BOZ to view, and with their own BOZ the Bear to love. I am so excited to find this new series and know that my kids love it, and I'm sure we'll come back to BOZ for more!

My kids always enjoy the special features on any video, and BOZ videos are no exception. There are some fun songs and activities to be had, and more if you place the dvd in your computer drive. The website offers a lot of fun activities as well, including watching clips, coloring pages, online games, ecards, screensavers, and wallpapers. There's even a spot for online book reading! BOZ reads the book on a video, and there's even some simple animation; just right to set for a preschooler and let them enjoy!

The folks at BOZ the Bear have offered the chance for you to win your own copies of all three of these movies as well! There will be 5 winners who will all receive all three movies, and 2 winners will also receive a 9" plush BOZ the Bear of their own! Just enter using the rafflecopter below. Please note that the first entries are mandatory, and as all entries will be verified, entering without doing those actions will disqualify you from winning.

Disclaimer: For the Display of His Splendor was sent products in hopes of posting a review and giveaway, but was not obligated in any way to post a positive review nor was compensated in any other way. All opinions expressed or implied belong to DaLynn McCoy of For the Display of His Splendor, and of the blogs and blog owners which are partnering with her for the giveaway.
  a Rafflecopter giveaway

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