For Kids

Flexo Takes Brick Play To A Whole New Level

Although samples of Flexo were provided to us, all comments, opinions and photos are strictly mine.

We’ve had a lot of rainy days here lately and haven’t been able to enjoy the warmer weather as much as we’d like.  Rainy days can sometimes mean a lot of “I’m bored” comments if I kick the boy off screen time.

The boy has always been the creative type and loves to use his imagination with his brick building toys but now with Flexo, he can take that creativity to a whole new level.

Compatible with the bricks that he already has, Flexo, takes the rigidness away and gives you complete Flexo-bility.  These silicon bendable bricks and flexible tendons allows you make things you never thought were possible with your original bricks.  Instead of rigid square corners, your creations can bend, curve and curl.

Flexo playing

Currently available are their FreePlay series where you can use your imagination to create anything you can dream up, their Ocean Life series where you are able to bring a turtle, crab and other sea creatures to life and as well  as their foil packs where you can create keychains, bracelets, etc.

Flexo sets

I know in the past when the boy had asked me to play bricks with him in the past, I felt  limited a bit in my creativity.  Flexo allowed me the freedom to make all kinds of thing and let my imagination run while.

Flexo bracelet

I am not asking for any more rainy days, but I know that the boy won’t be giving me many “I’m bored” comments now that he has Flexo to keep him occupied for hours.

Parenting/Life

The Social Media Break I Needed

It was not the first time I had taken a social media break and it won’t be the last.  But after taking a much needed social media break this past weekend, I definitely learned a lot about myself and the bad habits I have created in the past few years.

It wasn’t even something I had planned ahead of time.  However, when on Saturday by 8:30am, I had already rolled my eyes several times and was actually frustrated on what I had seen on Instagram and Facebook, I knew right there and then I needed to unplug.

And I knew that “saying” I was going to take a break wasn’t good enough.  I needed to actually delete the apps from my phone.  Having them on there would make it way to easy to just have a peak.

Social Media Break

So there I was, no apps on my phone to distract me and promise to myself there would be no social media over the weekend.  And here a few things that I learned about myself.

  1. 1.  Reaching for my phone is a TERRIBLE habit that I have formed.  Even after deleting the apps from my phone, I must have reached for it 10x to “check” for something that wasn’t there and without any sort of thought put in to it.  It was just a bad habit.  Luckily by the end of the weekend, I was only reaching for it if I heard it ding that a text message had come in.
  2. 2. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is real.  For the first little bit, I worried yes, literally was worried I was missing something.  But the whole reason I was taking the social media break was because it wasn’t a happy place for me anymore, it was becoming a place of frustration.  So why did I worry so much about what was going on?  But by the end of the weekend, I totally understood what JOMO (Joy of Missing Out) meant.   Everything would still be there when I got back.  I didn’t need to see everything as it was posted.  And nobody was going to miss my postings.
  3. 3. I waste a LOT of time just scrolling.  After deleting the apps, I proceeded to make a “To Do” list of things that I wanted to do that weekend with my son and in general.  And even though we didn’t accomplish everything on our list, we had a lot of fun crossing the things off that we did get done.
  4. 4. I am a much more focused and attentive parent without the apps on my phone.  This is obviously a given.  In addition to myself being on the break, my son was also made to be on a break as well.  I did allow him some video game time with his friends but limited and that was it.    Instead of playing games on his phone or on the TV, we enjoyed a ton of time outside enjoying the almost summer like weather, we played Lego together and he made a few art projects. And best of all, we had full on attentive conversations.  We talked about where we wanted to go this summer, people we wanted to see and things we wanted to do together.

Social Media break outside

I know that none of these items are earth shattering revelations, but for me it was a real eye opener and some that actually brought me to tears.  I felt like I was not only failing my son in certain respects but also myself.   My son and I have made a pact that during the summer weekends that he is with me, we will take a social media breather.  I will delete the apps from my phone and he will turn off his phone completely.  During the week, he can watch YouTube and play his games – within reason.  We want to be present to each other and really enjoy all that the summer has to offer us.

But what I have also come to realize is that I really need to focus on the causes within social media that are frustrating me to a point that I want to unplug.  I need to look at what and who causes the frustration and clean up my account so that I am not subjecting myself to these feelings.  Someone once told me about how they had cleaned up all the “noise” on their accounts and it made things so much better for them.  I need to do a complete Marie Kondo and get rid of those that do not bring me joy.

For Kids

Ritzy Rollerz – Wheels with Bling

Disclaimer:  Although Ritzy Rollerz were provided to us to review, all comments, opinions and photos are strictly mine.

When I am asked review toys, the first thing I always do is ask my son if it is something he his interested in playing with. I tend to think I have a pretty good idea of the types of toys my son will like and what really isn’t his cup of tea. But this time, he proved me wrong.

He first saw Tomy’s Ritzy Rollerz at a preview event we had attended and was surprisingly drawn to them. What are Ritzy Rollerz?  They are basically toy cars that are in the shape of different animals that have charms to decorate their wheels.  Each Ritzy Roller comes with additional surprise  charms in their booty box (trunk).

Ritzy Rollers

Each of the characters come with a cute name like Groovy Gabi or Cheery Cherry.  Available at ToysRUs in Canada, you can buy individual Rollerz, a Besties 2 pack or a 4Ever Friends 4 pack.

Ritzy Rollers Individual

Ritzy Roller Besties

Ritzy Rollers Sprinklez on Wheelz

There are also playsets you can use with the cars and also have areas within them to hold all your extra charms.  For a Mom that doesn’t want to be constantly picking up the charms or getting them sucked up in the vacuum, this is a great feature for them to have.

Ritzy Roller Bootie

Rityz Roller storage

My son has always been an animal lover so the incorporation of the animal characters into the cars was definitely something that drew him to Ritzy Rollerz and having the collectible wheel charms was also something he enjoyed.  What this Mom enjoyed was listening to him making up stories and voices for each of his characters.  Even when he had a friend come over, they instantly started up a whole little story line and played with them for quite a long time.

Having toys that are video games or based on video games and just involving pure imaginative play was such a nice thing to see. And when I said earlier, I didn’t think it was something he would be excited about is because of as of late, he’s been very hooked on video games, anything based off video games and building bricks.  This was such a nice change of pace.

DIY

Scrunchies Hair, Don’t Care

It seems every where I go these days in the mall, it’s a total flashback to the 90’s and scrunchies are a part of that.   I swear I had a scrunchies in almost every color and pattern back then.  This was mostly because they were so easy to make.  My Mom has always been an amazing seamstress, so she always had extra scraps of fabric lying around that I could use.

I am always wanting to pull my hair up after a swim or on any hot summer day, so this was the perfect time to make a few new scrunchies for the summer.

scrunchies in hair

To make these scrunchies, it only takes a few different materials and under 30 minutes to put together.

Supplies:

  1. 1. Fabric of choice –  I found this cute fabric sample at Michael’s but you could use an old tshirt or any sort of fabric.  It just needs to be larger than 6 inches x 12 inches.
  2. 2. 1/2 inch elastic
  3. 3. Sewing Machine
  4. 4. Needle and Thread
  5. 5. Scissors
  6. 6. Cricut Maker (optional)

Scrunchies supplies

Step 1

Cut a piece of fabric in a rectangle shape 6 inches x 12 inches.  I can’t cut a straight line to save my life, so I cut the fabric out using my Cricut Maker but you can measure and cut out with scissors easily.

Scrunchies cut material

Step 2

Cut a piece of elastic 7 inches in length.

Step 3

After you have cut the fabric, fold it in half lengthwise with the printed sides together.  Sew a seam along the length of the fabric to make a tube. If you don’t have a sewing machine you could sew this seam by hand. Turn the fabric right side out so that the seam is now on the inside.

Scrunchie sewing tube

Step 4

Feed the elastic band through the tube holding on to each edge.

Scrunchie elastic

Step 5

Now sew the 2 ends of the elastic together to form a loop.

Scrunchie elastic

Step 6

Fold the raw edges inward and sew the two edges together with a needle and thread.

Scrunchies hand sewing

Step 7

Enjoy wearing your new scrunchies.

Scrunchies done

“Something to Wear” was the theme of this month’s Inspire My Creativity link-up party and I can’t wait to see what the other hosts have come up with.

Meg  |  See The Happy
Candice  |  She’s Crafty
Julia  |  The Quiet Grove
Brooke  |  My Beautiful Mess
Heather  |  Glitter On A Dime
Cathy  |  A Boy and His Mom
Sarah  |  The Strawberry Nest
Adree  |  The Keele Deal
Alexandra  |  EyeLoveKnots
Be sure to check out our link up party for all our “something to wear” inspired crafts to make for yourself!  Do you have craft for something to wear that you would like to share?  Be sure to add it to our party for everyone to enjoy!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

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For Kids · Parenting/Life

Mini Movie Makers with Stikbots

Disclosure:  Although Stikbots were provided to us, all comments, opinions and photos are strictly mine.

My child is your typical tween and totally obsessed with electronics and always wanting more screen time.  It’s the mindless, unproductive games that I have the most problem with.  But if he’s actually using his screen time for something educational or creative, I am a little more willing to let him use his electronics.  That is why I am a big fan of Stikbots.

Stikbots are poseable figures with suction cup hands and feet that you can stick to almost anything.  They come in an array of colors and can be used with the downloadable app on both iOs and Android to make your very own stop motion movies.

Stikbot character

Kids can use the figures to make their own movies anywhere they want or they can use the Stikbot Zanimation studio complete with green screen and tripod and incorporate some of the backdrops within the app to make their movies even more creative.

StikBot Zanimation Studio

In addition to the “human” characters, there are also pet/animal characters that the kids can incorporate into their story line.  My son was a big fan of having the animals available.  I really enjoyed watching him create his own videos and bringing his own creative style into them.

Stikbot posing

Stikbot in motion

stikbot gang

In addition to the backdrops, there are also sound effects and music that they can add to their movies.  Because they use the Stikbots in stop motion, it can definitely keep them busy for a long time.  If you child is like mine and wants to make a “real” movie, it will hold their attention for hours.

Stikbot backdrop

I loved watching him put together all the elements into his movies.  He’s often spoken about wanting to get into some sort of video game/video creative field when he grows up and this has really given him a glimpse into the work that even the most basic of videos take.  It’s been not only fun for him but a learning experience as well.

stikbot movie

It’s a perfect middle ground between parents and kids.  Parents get them away from mindless gaming but the kids get their desired screen time.  And with the app being free and all it takes is one individual character to get the kids started, it’s an inexpensive learning tool that is perfect for all the rainy days we’ve having lately when the kids are able to get outside.

Parenting/Life

Finally Learning About Essential Oils

I sometimes feel like I am the only person on the planet that doesn’t use essential oils in their daily life.  Up until now, the only thing I really knew was that a peppermint roller I received as a gift, actually helped me when I have headaches.  Other than that, I was pretty much clueless.  I often found that there were so many different ones, that is was somewhat overwhelming.

So when Simply Earth approached me about reviewing their subscription box, I was intrigued to learn more.  Being a subscription box, I felt like it wouldn’t be too much at once and I could start learning about the benefits of using essential oils.

Simply Earth essential oil me with box

 

With so many different essential oil companies out there, I wasn’t sure what made Simply Earth different from the rest.  Aside from the fact that every batch of oils is tested to ensure 100% purity and has a 365 day satisfaction guarantee, one of the first things that caught my eye was that Simply Earth donates a portion of their profits to help stop human trafficking.

“As a company who supplies products to enhance the beauty of our customers, we at Simply Earth believe it to be our responsibility to help people whose beauty has been abused. The average age of an individual forced into human trafficking is 13. That is why when you shop Simply Earth, 13% of our profits go to help fight human trafficking.”

Each month the box has a theme and recipes and essential oils are sent based on the theme.  For example, the May theme teaches us what essential oils are safe to use around pets and comes with 5 recipe and 4 oils that can create pet friendly balms, sprays, and blends.    I was able to make a balm to rub on your pets feet when cracked or sore it’s walks, a pet odor eliminator spray as well as a fur and skin conditioner.  There was also a recipe to make an Anti-Anxiety diffuser oil.  I know it is supposed be more for pets, but I have been diffusing it in my room the past week before I go to bed and I have noticed that I am falling to sleep easier. It’s just that fact alone that is making me want to learn more about making my home more natural with essential oils.

Simply Earth essential oil box contents

With your first subscription box, you will also receive the Big Bonus Box which includes items such as coconut oil, beeswax and additional bottles that you’ll be able to use with future month’s recipes.

Simply Earth essential oil bonus box contents

Learning a little bit more each month is definitely something that won’t make me feel overwhelmed but with the recipe subscription box, it will also show me ways to use essential oils in ways I never thought about before.

Simply Earth essential oil box done

 

Are you interested in learning more about essential oils or simply add to your collection? Subscribe now with with the code ABOYANDHISMOMFREE and you will receive a Big Bonus Box, an Essential Oil Recipe box, and a $40 egift card towards future purchases.

Simply Earth essential oil diffuser

Disclosure:  Although items were provided to us by Simply Earth, all comments, opinions and photos are strictly mine. This post contains affiliate links to products.  We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.