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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Tools4Wisdom Planner - a 5 Star Review!


I am absolutely loving this planner. There are so many options to help you get organized, but the goal setting has been key for me. This Tools4Wisdom planner is helping me keep my goals in front of me so I can lead a more purposeful life. There are spots to track short term goals, long term goals, provide yourself with inspirational thoughts and quotes, and so much more. I've showed this to a few friends who were also so impressed they plan on purchasing their own. This is a great buy for a busy mom!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Baby Preferred Baby Carrier Pads - 5 Star Review & Give Away

Thanks Babypreferred for making this fabulous set of babywearing accessories!

I tried this set on my Lillebaby complete as well as on my Tula and the Lenny Lamb soft structured carrier we have. They are most functional on a carrier that allows for forward facing, but they look just as cute on the other types of carriers. The design is very gender neutral which makes this a nice set to purchase as a gift for someone or if you are part of a group that has a lending library. When using the Baby Preferred strap covers and bib cover, you are keeping your carrier in good condition because you can just remove and clean the accessories instead of trying to clean the entire carrier. If you're borrowing a carrier, you have piece of mind knowing your baby isn't sharing extra germs with whomever used the carrier previously and if you are lending your carrier out, you can also led these accessories so someone else's baby isn't gnawing on your expensive baby carrier.

These are made well, easy to wash, and super easy to install (but if you have questions, they come with comprehensive instructions).

Here's the Amazon Buy Link: ClicK Here

If you'd like to get in our giveaway for a free set just like this, please complete the Rafflecopter form below. The winner will be notified via email and will be provided a code they can redeem on Amazon.

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Sunday, December 18, 2016

Vitality and Creativity

2016 - what a year! There were so many amazing high points, but I'm ready to close this book and start a new one. My step-dad passed away a few weeks ago and that took me right back to 1994 when my dad died. That grief shit is no's a moving target and just when you think you've got it handled, it shifts around and you're left sobbing on the shower floor. This time, it's even harder than when I was a teenager. This time I have to pick myself up, wipe the tears away, and help my children navigate their own grief. I've held my mom's hand through this before and I've navigated my own way - but this parenting through grief is an entirely new territory for me. And in case you were wondering, it absolutely sucks!

A box was delivered yesterday. It was our family Christmas present from my mom and step dad - let's just call them Grandma and Grandpa since that's what they are called at our house. I needed to take some time before opening it. Today is Sunday and we opened the box today. I prepared for what I was going to say and how I was going to use this as a teachable moment. The presents had been carefully chosen when Grandpa thought he would be sitting with us watching as we opened each box. The thought brought me to tears and reminded me of so many feelings I had stuffed through the years.

As if he had known, Grandpa Lee chose the cardinal as the theme for this years gift(s). Each family would receive a large box and in it they would find 3 smaller boxes:

A Christmas cardinal thermometer and snow gauge

A set of 3 Christmas cardinal yard stakes

A Christmas cardinal magnetic cover for the dishwasher

The Cardinal symbolizes vitality and creativity and I can't think of a better reminder of Grandpa Lee. He could take someone else's junk and turn it into something amazing. His body had grown old the last few years, but his eyes would sparkle as he told stories about road trips with his children when they were young, teaching Sunday school and disciplining students in most unusual ways, and times he had found this deal or that deal while thrifting.

Grandpa Lee could make you feel special with just a few words. He would notice a new hair cut, make up technique, or my favorite was a few months ago when he said "you know what? your house never smells like a farm house". He had noticed how much pride I took in keeping the house clean and that was his way of letting me know. He didn't say much. He enjoyed listening to people. I'm pretty sure that's why he bought a bar. I'm confident he didn't do it to make money. I think the bar to him was like my kitchen is to me. A warm place where friends can gather and feel safe sharing their thoughts and feelings.

We carefully opened each box and talked about Grandpa Lee. Then we had icecream. Grandpa loved icecream and sweets - not nearly as much as he loved his friends and family, but it was right up there. Grandpa Lee loved his bi-weekly summer bonfires. He would close down the tavern and invite everyone and anyone out to "the land" for a meal, a drink, and a bonfire. The food was delicious and plentiful. The stories were endless. I wish I had appreciate this time more. When my 8 year old son talks about the bonfires you would think we had taken him to Disney. As a mom, I saw mosquitos, mud, and dirty laundry. As a little boy, he saw adventures, endless fun, and his smiling grandpa. This time was priceless.

As we move forward, I want the children to remember Grandpa's vitality and his creativity. How he would take a broken mirror and hang the pieces around the firepit to make a sparkly light show. How he saved and sorted junk into good junk, and great junk piles. How he always had a story to go along with whatever chaos you were struggling with in your personal or professional life. How he was never in a hurry - there were times I swore Grandma was going to leave without him because he was listening to one last story, sharing one last laugh, or having a few more sips of the really really hot coffee he enjoyed so much.

...what we wouldn't give for one last story...

Thanks for the good times Grandpa Lee - the candybars, the smiles, the laughter, and thanks for sharing your vitality and creativity.

All Our Love!

Crystal is a church musician, babywearing mama (aka crunchy mama), business owner, active journaler, writer and blogger, Blog Tour Manager with WOW! Women on Writing, Publicist with Dream of Things Publishing, Press Corp teammate for the DairyGirl Network, as well as a dairy farmer. She lives in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin with her husband, four young children (Carmen 9, Andre 8, Breccan 3, and Delphine 1), two dogs, two rabbits, four little piggies, a handful of cats and kittens, and over 230 Holsteins.

You can find Crystal riding unicorns, taking the ordinary and giving it a little extra (making it extraordinary), blogging and reviewing books, baby carriers, cloth diapers, and all sorts of other stuff  here and at:

Friday, December 16, 2016

Hip Peas Detangling Spray - 5 Star Review

Do you ever see a cute little girl with adorable piggy tails and wonder what sort of magic potion her mom is drinking, spraying, or using to make that magic happen? Maybe you just assume her mom is a unicorn as you look at your daughter who is currently wearing a cap because you couldn't find the strength to go through yet another screaming match so you opted to skip hair brushing again today? I've been fact, with my oldest daughter, I just had the beautician chop her hair off because I couldn't wrestle with her each and every morning. I'm so much wiser now (that or I really am a rainbow pooping unicorn) - and I use Hip Peas detangler on my littlest daughter and she has the cutest hair each and every day WITHOUT TEARS! Seriously - if you haven't tried these products, you need to. They smell great and make life so much easier - whether you are or are not a unicorn mom. #MusesOfInfluenster #UnicornMom

Click Here to learn more about Hip Peas and the full line of fabulous products!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Tortuga Life Bath Bombs Gift Set with Bubble Bath Soap 5 Star Review

What's the perfect gift for a birthday, christmas, or just because? A Tortuga Life bath bombs gift set with bubble bath of course!!! The packaging is fabulous, and even if you or the gift recipient isn't into taking a bath, they can enjoy a foot soak. Who doesn't love being pampered for a few minutes? This is a great company and they've put a lot of thought into everything from their ingredients to their packaging. Order two today - one for a friend and one for yourself! You won't be disappointed.

In the picture you see here, I am enjoying a foot soak with one of my littles - such an awesome mommy moment and a great way to enjoy a story and some together time!


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Cherish - Baby Multi-Purpose Diaper Bag ; Review

I'm excited to report that after using this diaper bag for several weeks, it has exceeded my expectations. It's canvas and my fear was it would show dirt easily. This is not the case. It'a held up quite nicely to every day use. It's been thrown on the floor of the minivan and stepped on by toddlers. It's been hanging off my pinky while balancing 2 toddlers and an infant in a carseat. It's been to church, the grocery store, grandma's house, and everywhere in between. This isn't a super huge diaper bag and since there are days we cloth diaper 3 children, I can say this would not be a good fit for a "gone from home" day for us. However, it's great for a 2-4 hour adventure, trip to the store, etc... Ultimately, it's perfect for every day chasing around, errands, picking kids up from school, etc...

I really appreciate the fact it doesn't look like a traditional diaper bag. I don't feel silly if I happen to run errands by myself. This could totally double as a pool bag, large purse, or even a laptop case. I love that there are so many pockets and another nice feature are the little feet on the bottom that keep the bottom of the bag from actually resting on the floor. Super value and I love the look!!


Chefs Limited Tea Kettle Product Review

This tea pot is super cute and I love the design. Unfortunately, mine must have been used or at least unboxed before being sent to me. There is a ding in the side of the tea pot (about the size of a quarter). I was planning on giving it as a gift and now had to keep it for myself because of the blemish. Other than that, the design is attractive and functional.


Saturday, December 3, 2016

Long Sleeve Knit Sweater Pink Front Pocket Long

This sweater is pretty, it's a very pale pink. It fits my 9 year old daughter and looks great with her leggings. I thought when I ordered that it would be for an adult - but either it's a very small adult sweater or it's truly intended for a child.


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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Product Review: Easy@Home 8 Ovulation +2 Pregnancy test sticks Campaign

There's a few things I really like about these tests:
1) They are nice and large so you don't have to deal with tiny test strips that may be hard to handle
2) The instructions are very clear and easy to read as well as understand
3) The packages are color coded so you can quickly tell the difference between the ovulation tests and the pregnancy tests
4) The tests "develop" quickly and are very vibrant in color so there's no guesswork on the results

A suggestion to make this a 5 star product instead of a 4 star:
I suggest color coding the tips of the tests to easily differentiate between a pregnancy test and an ovulation test. Once you unwrap the tests, the only difference between the two types of tests is some small writing just to the side of the results window

Overall this is an awesome product I'll likely purchase again.