Category: Gear

Link Round-up: Cleaning Carpet, Apple Bubble Bake, an Inexpensive Backsplash, and More

Posted on Aug 26, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has a carpet de-greaser, an apple bubble bake, tips for making an inexpensive plank backsplash, and more.

Muslin and Merlot taught us how to make a huge plastic spiderweb.

One Good Thing by Jillee shared a tip for getting stains out of the carpet.

Life with the Crust Off shared a recipe for a caramel apple bake.

link ru salted caramel fudge

Annie’s Noms shared a recipe for salted caramel fudge.

A Beautiful Mess taught us how to make an inexpensive plank backsplash.

Create Craft Love showed us how to set up a game of hillbilly golf.

You Brew My Tea shared 25 DIY outdoor fun crafts and activities for kids.

Photo credit: Muslin and Merlot and Annie’s Noms

The Crosswords for Kids App Is a Great Way to Pass the Time

Posted on Aug 25, 2014 by No Comments

My daughter really doesn’t enjoy reading all that much, but give her a crossword puzzle and she will sit still and look at words for hours. The Crossword for Kids app, which is free, is one of my favorite apps for her.

Instead of written clues, there are pictures at the top or to the side of each set of boxes, and there’s a jumble of letters to drag into their appropriate spots.

There are five levels of difficulty. The first level has only two words to figure out, and the fifth has six. The smaller number allows more room for the jumbled letters, so they’re separated from one another and each answer has its own small group of letters to arrange in the correct order.

In the higher levels, there’s less room to separate the groups of letters, so the mix of letters from several different word may be in the same pile. That adds a little extra challenge to it, too.

I think this app could be good for kids between the ages of four (older four) and seven years old. I wish there were more levels with harder puzzles and maybe even some written clues to read, but this has kept my daughter entertained pretty well for the last several months.

It’s no substitute for reading a book, obviously, but I love that it’s keeping her mind engaged and encouraging her to spell out words she probably wouldn’t be spelling otherwise.

It’s free, so there’s really nothing to lose. I highly recommend it.

Photo credit: iTunes

Freetoes Toeless Socks Make Their US Debut

Posted on Aug 21, 2014 by No Comments

Have you ever wished you could wear your flip flops year round? The Freetoes toeless sock line was created by Katelyn Lohr, an 8-year-old Canadian girl who snipped the toes off her socks one winter so she could wear them with her favorite pair of flip flops.

Other people took notice of her unique sense of style and she began selling the socks, making $100 in just one week. With her Grandma’s help, she learned how to sew the frayed ends properly and soon sold another 10,000 pairs. Now, at 13, Katelyn and her family are taking her bright idea to customers in the US.

freetoes2I personally can’t see wearing socks with flip flops under any circumstances. But, as the product’s website points out, Freetoes come in handy for people who are interested in dance or yoga, since they keep your feet warm while still allowing your toes to to grip the floor.

I can also see teens being attracted to the different colors and patterns that are offered.

Visit to choose from the latest styles and colors. The socks sell for $6.99 a pair and are designed to fit ages seven through adult.

To give back to the community, Katelyn has established a non-profit organization, K8, which supports Project Aftershock. They have donated over 300 pairs of Freetoes to orphaned children from the Haiti Earthquake. Their unique sock design to assists in wound dressings for feet to help keep them secure and in place.

What do you think of Freetoes? Would you (or your daughter) wear a pair of these toeless socks?

Photo credit: Freetoes

Green ABCs Makes It Easy to Be Eco-Friendly at School

Posted on Aug 14, 2014 by No Comments

If you’re searching for eco-friendly school supplies for your kids, Green ABCs offers convenient kits for different age groups that offer everything you need in one handy box.

All of the supplies that are included are made from recycled materials, renewable resources, and biodegradable ingredients. Kits can be shipped to your home or directly to your child’s school.

Unfortunately, Green ABCs does not allow you to purchase items individually. I wish they offered this option in addition to the kit purchases, since I know the required supply lists vary widely from school to school.

About half the items on the Middle School (3rd to 5th grade) kit aren’t things my son needs to bring to class, although I can see how we’d use everything if we were a homeschooling family. There is also no option to choose the color of the notebooks or folders and I know several schools in my area require specific colors to be used for each subject the child takes.

Of the three kits that are offered, the High School (6th to 12th grade) kit is actually the one that looks the most universally appropriate. However, none of the kits include the weird items that some schools require — hand sanitizer, tissues, Ziploc bags, or paper plates. So, you may still end up doing some shopping to fill in the gaps.

If you’re a PTA mom, keep in mind that Green ABCs does offer fundraising opportunities where you can create customized supply kits for your school. Depending upon how eco-friendly the parents in your area are, I can see this being a great money-making opportunity. I wouldn’t buy a generic kit for my son, but one that was customized to fit his specific supply list would be a great time saver for me.

What do you think of Green ABCs? Do you like the idea of an all-in-one school supply kit or would you prefer to pick out items individually?

Photo credit: Green ABCs

Use to Save on Back to School Shopping

Posted on Aug 13, 2014 by No Comments

If you’re on a tight budget, can be used to purchase shoes, school uniforms, backpacks, lunch boxes, and whatever other necessities your child needs for back to school. has been featured in The Washington Post, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and on offers a full-service shopping experience that’s much like any other online shopping website. People who want to get rid of items send them to and the company does the rest. Items are in stock in’s Chicago office and will ship in one business day. Shipping is free for your first order.

If you’re not satisfied with your purchase for some reason, also offers hassle free returns.

Browsing through, I noticed that their prices seemed very reasonable – especially on school uniforms. The size selection for clothing is a little hit and miss, however.  There are also twice as many items listed for girls as there are for boys. I didn’t see a lot that would work for my tall, thin nine-year-old, but I saw lots of cute Gymboree items for his younger female cousins.

If you want to earn a little extra cash for the items your child has outgrown or no longer needs, you can send your stuff to to be sold online.

You can also choose to use the items you send to as a “currency” for your future purchases. This is a great idea if you don’t have siblings who need hand-me-downs or you simply don’t have the storage space to be keeping extra items until another child needs them. Visit’s Seller section to learn more.

Photo credit:

Link Round-up: DIY Air Freshener, Mozzarella Bubble Biscuits, Mason Jar French Toast, and More

Posted on Aug 12, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has a DIY air freshener, mozzarella bubble biscuits, a wave bottle for kids, a pillow craft, and more.

The Tip Toe Fairy shared a mason jar chocolate peanut butter toffee French toast recipe.

Mind Body Green has a DIY all natural air freshener DIY project.

Five Heart Home shared a recipe for mozzarella bubble biscuits.

Kleinworth & Co. shared a recipe for caramel macchiato pudding pops.

link ru stenciled freezer paper pillow

Lovely Etc. showed us how to make a cute freezer paper stenciled pillow.

Crazy Little Projects taught us how to make cookie dough pizza.

A Girl and a Glue Gun showed us how to make a wave bottle for kids.

Photo credit: The Tip Toe Fairy and Lovely Etc.

Link Round-up: Furniture Makeovers, Being Happier, Back to School, and More

Posted on Aug 7, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has tips for being happier, a fun app, furniture makeovers, and more.

Fynes Designs shared a coral painted dresser makeover.

Mind Body Green shared 50 habits for a happy life.

Written Reality shared some ways to save on back to school shopping.

link ru party party app

A Beautiful Mess told us all about their new Party Party app.

Joy in Our Home showed us how to make a board and batten headboard.

Find It Make It Love It taught us how to make a water balloon station.

Simply 123 Allergy Free shared a summer strawberry soup recipe.

Photo credit: Fynes Designs and A Beautiful Mess

Yoobi Lets You Help Others As You Prepare for Back to School Season

Posted on Aug 4, 2014 by No Comments

As you’re shopping for back to school supplies for your children, I urge you to check out Yoobi at Target. This new school supply brand features brightly colored basics like folders, notebooks, binders, crayons, watercolors, and pencils.

For each item that is purchased, Yoobi donates an additional item to a US classroom in need through a partnership with the Kids In Need Foundation.

By 2015, Yoobi hopes to reach 30,000 classrooms and 750,000 kids. This will lessen the burden for some of the 99.5% of teachers who spend their own money on classroom materials and the parents who are struggling to cover the average $635.00 back to school shopping bill.

The Yoobi brand was founded by Ido Leffler. Leffler also founded Yes To, a natural health and beauty brand that’s part of the Made to Matter – Handpicked by Target collection.

During my last trip to Target, I had a chance to check out some of the items in the Yoobi back to school collection. Everything seems to be high quality and I love the idea that you’re helping those in need by picking up items you’d be buying for your child anyway.

I picked up a few blue items for my son and a pack of mini highlighters for myself. I was pleased with my purchases, although I wish Yoobi items came in a wider range of colors.

We would have purchased more for my son if Yoobi products came in slightly darker or more traditionally masculine colors. When my nine-year-old looked at the display, he automatically labeled most of it as “too girly” for a fourth grade boy. Even though the Yoobi items aren’t decorated with any images, the abundance of bright pink and purple does make much of the line seem quite feminine.

Yoobi items are available exclusively at Target. Everything is priced at $10 or less. Visit the Target website to see what’s available.

Photo credit: Yoobi

ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape Is Good for More Than Just Painting Your Walls

Posted on Jul 30, 2014 by No Comments

When we moved into our home, I was very excited to be able to paint and decorate. Unfortunately, in my eagerness to paint, I failed to realize that masking tape and painter’s tape are not the same thing.

When I removed the tape from my first freshly painted wall, I realized the paint had bled undernearth the masking tape and that the masking tape had gotten stuck to the wall in places.

If you’re planning any painting projects, ScotchBlue painter’s tape is definitely worth the investment. My husband and I both agree that it produces a cleaner line than other brands of painter’s tape. It also seems to be easier to remove, although I’d recommend visiting the ScotchBlue website for some painting tips if you’re a newbie to the home improvement game.

Even if you don’t plan on painting the walls anytime soon, there are plenty of other uses for painter’s tape in your home. Since it can be safely removed from most surfaces, painter’s tape is a handy addition to any mom’s toolkit.

For example:

  • Use it in place of a chip clip to tightly seal bags of potato chips, crackers, pretzels, or other snacks for your kids.
  • If your labelmaker is broken, use painter’s tape to make easily removable labels for school supplies and other household items.
  • Entertain kids by letting them design painter’s tape race tracks for toy cars or an indoor hopscotch grid.
  • If you have pets, use painter’s tape to pick up stray pet hair from your clothing or upholstered furniture.

Disclaimer: Product samples were provided by the manufacturer for the purpose of preparing this review.

Photo credit: ScotchBlue