Amazon Prime Day Deals I Love!

Prime Day is here! I have already been online shopping, looking for deals for our family and I wanted to share some of the cool things I have found, as well as sharing some of the things we already own and love! With the cost of living right now, I thought this would be a good time to purchase homeschool items and things we might need, because, sale!! **UPDATE: These sales are now over**

**This post does contain Amazon Affiliate links. If you were to purchase an item from one of these links I would make a small commission at no extra cost to you! But please, do not feel like you need to even look at them or make a purchase! Also Amazon changes deals often – I will try to keep these updated**

This is sort of a hodgepodge of things, with more of an emphasis on stuff for kids, but I do have some of my favorite things at the end!

Guess in 10 – Animal Planet: We love playing this game together. Sometimes we play it as a game, other times we just use the cards as reference for different animal studies.

Guess in 10 – States of America: This is in my cart! We love the animal version so much that I am getting this United States version since we will be starting to study the states this upcoming school year.

Dauber Dawgs – Oh my gosh does Wyatt love dot markers. We have been using them forever and ever, like since he was 2 or 3 and he still loves them. You can use them for creating artistic masterpieces, building fine motor skills, and learning activities. They are so cool and easy for kids to use!

National Geographic Rock, Mineral, and Fossil Kit: I bought this for Wyatt at the beginning of last year and we are still exploring it! It’s really neat and has inspired us to become rock hounds and hopefully get a rock tumbler this fall.

National Geographic Activity Journal Set: This is another thing in my cart. It is half off and would be a great stocking stuffer. (yep, I start early)

The Julia Rothman Collection: We LOVE these books and use them all the time. I even enjoy using them as a resource for my own knowledge – and the illustrations are wonderful. This is an amazing deal!

Sum Swamp: We are big game players over here and this is another thing in my cart. Anything to make Wyatt like math a bit more! I don’t think this is even a prime day deal, but it was on sale and looked cool. Ooops.

Sight Word Game: We have a slightly different version but it is in essence the same. Wyatt loves this and makes learning sight words a bit more exciting.

Life Cycle Kit Toy: We are all about life cycles over here. Both Wyatt and my niece love learning about them and this kit contains the life cycles of six different animals.

Butterfly Garden: This is the item that got us started on raising butterflies and learning life cycles.

Ok – now for some of my faves!

Overalls: I have a confession – I could live in overalls. I have these in this army green color and in black and I love them!

Woodland wooden measuring spoons: Wyatt always steals my measuring spoons for play, and I got tired of not being able to find them when I needed them. So, I bought these super cute ones and keep them in a jar on my counter and get him plastic dollar store versions. Win-win for everyone! I’ve had them at least a year and they have kept their designs even after going through the dishwasher.

Echo Dot: Ok – so I have a small house, like under 1000 feet. And we have four of these. One in the den, one in our room, one in my office, and one in the basement office. I love being able to just say, “Echo, play (insert musician of choice here) everywhere” and music fills our house. I also love being able to drop in and make announcements to Billy when he is in the office. We use them constantly, to ask questions, to get the weather, the time, to set alarms – they are super useful. And right now $20 bucks each when they are usually $50! I pair mine with an Amazon Music Unlimited membership.

Star Tea Strainer: This is in my cart. For me. Because I want to feel magical when I am making tea.

And phew! We made it to the end!! What are some of your favorite purchases from Amazon?


In Pursuit of the Perfect Shampoo Bar

Last summer, our family made the decision to reduce our plastic use. It has been a slow transition, but one we work at and think about every time we make a purchase. The one change that has been the hardest for me is finding that perfect shampoo bar! I made the switch to bar soap for the rest of me fairly easily – I have found a few companies that I really like. But the shampoo bar is elusive. There are some I have liked, but none have been quite perfect.

I have thick, wavy hair, that has a tendency to frizz big time in humidity (yay for Michigan summers!) I am looking for something that will not leave my hair feeling like I haven’t rinsed it well enough, and that helps control my hair’s tendency to become a giant poufball. I am also pretty much a wash and go woman – I don’t spend a lot of time styling my hair (I’m not very good at it), and I don’t wear makeup unless it’s a special occasion. So, the shampoo I use has to do a good job because I really rely on it to help control my mane. So, hence my search.

The first one I tried was Terra Mia Organics Raw Goat Milk Lime and Coconut bar. One thing I really love about shampoo bars is their longevity! This bar lasted me three months, two of them summer months. We also went on vacation after I started using shampoo bars, and it was so much easier to pack my toiletries! This particular shampoo bar was pretty good – it smelled nice, controlled my frizz nicely during summer, but it never felt like I rinsed it out well enough to me. It always felt like there was a bit of a film left even after I rinsed my hair thoroughly. My husband thought this one was ok – he missed the thick lather you get from regular shampoo. I learned recently though that the lather is from sulfates, which are actually not good for you, as they disrupt your personal biome. (This switch has been a whole new journey for me, learning all new things!)

Which brings me to my next bar – the Lush Copperhead shampoo bar. I slipped this bar from the brown, recyclable packaging, and was overcome by the smell of marijuana, weirdly. It wasn’t of course, but yeah, it was weird smell at first. It had a weird smell on arrival, but it soon dissipated and smelled wonderful. For a while, I thought this was my clear winner. Thick lather, rinsed easily, left my hair soft, controlled the frizz, and smelled divine. But then to my sadness, I learned that the lather we loved was from the sulfates. And I figured I am all in now, might as well be all natural too, right? So I moved on – although I am reserving the right to go back to this bar if I can’t find another that works as well.

Yesterday I just received my third attempt. It is the Starry Night bar from Skipping Stones, and so far, I am in love. It is absolutely beautiful, smells amazing, and came in all recyclable packaging. However, I haven’t used it yet. I don’t wash my hair everyday, but tonight is the night. I will update here once I have used it. I have high hopes though, from the reviews! UPDATE: I used this and while the lather is pretty minimal as I expected, my hair feels soft and dried really nicely, with no filmy feeling on it. My husband actually commented on how nice my hair looked!

To recap:

Terra Mia – Smelled great, controlled the frizz, but didn’t leave my hair feeling like it was totally rinsed out, was sulfate free though however

Lush Copperhead – Smelled great, left my hair soft, controlled the frizz – but had sulfates.

Starry Night – Smells great, no sulfates, not a ton of lather, but did leave my hair soft and wavy. A definite keeper!

If you are considering the switch, I say go for it! Keep those plastic bottles out of our landfills and oceans! You also end up saving money, as these bars last a long time if you treat them right, by storing them on a soap dish that allows for drainage, or out of the spray of water. I made the switch and have been happy despite my search for “the one”.

Perfect Pairings – A Book and Toy Holiday Gift Guide!

It’s the holiday season! And if you are anything like me, you are not the shopping type! Lol. I don’t like to go shopping, and so I do 99.9% of my shopping for the holidays online. I don’t even Black Friday shop – that sounds terrifying! However, my husband and sister-in-law go every year together, early in the morning – my brother and I usually meet up for breakfast later in the morning. This year, I have more kiddos than ever to shop for – and isn’t that the best part of Christmas? The joy on kids’ faces is what makes Christmas, whether it is from the sheer wonder of the season, the decorations, the excitement, the family get togethers, and of course, for kids, no matter what we think or teach, it is in part, the presents. I mean, they are kids. It’s fine. I teach minimalism and mindfulness and all that to Wyatt but he is still 3, and toys are awesome. And that is fine too. There is always a balance! 

I love a good theme. I can’t help it. I like when my presents all match a central idea I have. And I thought I would share some of my ideas with you! I of course, always give a book. My cousin’s two children, the oldest in our family of kids, know without a doubt that their gift from me will contain a book. But I also love to pair the book with another gift, a toy or something else that goes with the book (gloves and Little Women for example, for older kids!) to kind of round it out. This year, I have my son, my three little nieces, two nephews, and a few of my cousin’s children to buy for. And I have had a great time compiling some ideas! Most of these are items I have bought for Wyatt or have on my list for another kiddo! 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links for Usborne Books, a company I completely stand behind and love their products. If you buy something through one of these links, you won’t pay any more, but I will receive a small commission. I put an * next to the affiliate links. All other links are not affiliate. Thanks!!

For the Stargazer:

  1. GeoSafari Jr. My First Telescope   2. What Are Stars? book by Usborne* 3. Moon by Britta Teckentrup   4. Phases of the Moon Peg Dolls   5. Uncle Goose Constellation Blocks   6. Lottie Stargazer Doll 

For the Artist:

  1. Faber Castell Beeswax Crayons   2. The Day the Crayons Quit   3. Paint Me a Picture* by Usborne  4.  U.S. Paint Supply No Spill Cups  5.  The Usborne Big Book of Colors*   6.  Melissa and Doug Tabletop Easel

For the Dinosaur Lover

  1. Fossil Hunter Lottie Doll    2.  Harry and the Bucketful of Dinosaurs  3. Dinosuar Party by Melissa and Doug  4. Melissa and Doug Dinosaur Play Rug  5. Dinosaurs Before Dark  6. Usborne Dinosaur Activity Pack*

For the Little Naturalist

  1. Melissa and Doug Binoculars   2.  An Extraordinary Ordinary Moth  3. Bug Hotel by Usborne*   4.  Melissa and Doug Bag of Bugs   5.  Melissa and Doug Bug C (just remember to free them!)  6.  Birdhouse by Usborne*

And there you have it! There are of course so many themes and options and books out there to choose from, these are just a few of mine. Have fun avoiding the crowds! 

A Few Quick Posh Product Reviews

I am sure all of us know someone who sells something, from 31 bags to Rodan and Fields to Jamberry to Perfectly Posh to the multitudes of healthy living products, like Thrive, doTerra, etc. I try my best to support them any way that I can, and while I can’t always buy their products, I do feel one thing I can do is promote them! I think we need to build our friends up, and this is an easy way to do it. So when my friend Jennifer signed up as a Perfectly Posh consultant, offering samples in return for fair and honest reviews, I volunteered. I figured I would get to try some fun new things and help a friend all at the same time!
A few quick and awesome facts about the company:
Perfectly Posh is made in the USA, not tested on animals, and is made from natural ingredients with many vegan options. There are just so many wins there!!
The first thing I tried was the Enchant Tress Hair Serum. I have crazy hair – it likes to do its own thing, poofing out when it wants to (or when it is humid), and basically living its own best life, most of the time. I don’t have a ton of time, caring for my 1.5 year old special needs son. It seems we are always out the door to therapy or some doctor’s appointment, and I am not organized enough to get us BOTH ready in the morning. So I focus on him and figure he’s so cute no one will pay much attention to me. But back to the product:
I loved it! I loved it so much, that I bought it. It is perfect for my thick, wavy hair. I can shower, throw some of this in my hair, dry it, and bam, I’m done and my hair looks great! Super easy. Just be careful – this is definitely one of those things where a little goes a long way. Too much and you will look like an oil slick spilled all over your hair. 
This name makes me giggle! 
I use masks occasionally from time to time, but not a ton – I’m pretty sure this product changed my mind on that! I looked like a crazy person with it on, and did manage not to scare my kid while wearing it, so yay for that! It felt good, tingly and like it was doing stuff to my face, but not in a bad way. My face didn’t feel super tight or itchy, and when I removed it, it felt so smooth and looked so.. fresh! It was a great pick me up for my skin and my ego. It is kind of a gross mess when you remove it, but that could just be my own user error. 
Another delicious product. I love love loved the scent of this lotion – mmm who knew pomegranate and bergamot could smell so good together! My hands are perennially dry, so bad that lately they have been cracking and bleeding!! Yuck. This lotion does a fabulicious job of not feeling greasy but taking care of the problem, while smelling amazing. Again, another product I ended up buying.
Sadly, this was not a favorite of mine. It just didn’t wow me, and felt sort of slick and thin feeling. It wasn’t too bad, but not really anything to write home (or a blog post) about. It also could just be that it was the wrong formula for me and my skin.
I was so excited for this one! Peppermint is my favorite in winter, and hello, this has caffeine in it too! Bonus! Unfortunately, this was another bummer. Probably my least favorite product, and this was actually one I bought without trying first. I don’t find it very moisturizing at all, just kind of clumpy and dry, and it is so very skinny in size, it’s just weird. 
The same in quality of product as the Happy Dance Hand Creme, but just in a different scent. It was very pleasant as well, but I just personally preferred the scent of Happy Dance more.
Overall, I was pleased with what I tried, to the point that I bought a few items for myself before Christmas, which I rarely do, and plan on scheduling a party for February. If you are interested, you can check out their line here!

*Please note – I received free product samples in exchange for honest and fair reviews. Post also includes referral links.