A Silly String + S’mores Party!

This post was sponsored by WaterWipes as part of an Ambassador Program for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.

I’ve been wanting to host this party for weeks, but sickness, travel, and busy schedules have prevented it from happening…until now! I’m so excited to finally share!

Believe it or not, when my oldest kids were younger, they did NOT like to get messy. Finger painting was not fun to them and any messy food made them uneasy. They outgrew this disdain for messes, then little brother came along who doesn’t mind messes at all, so I can either resist or embrace this new kind of fun. I’m choosing the latter!

I can’t say that I’m going to miss summer, but I do want to take advantage of these nice days as we transition into fall. A silly string + s’mores party is the perfect way to have some messy fun with those elementary age kids on a late summer/early fall day!

silly-string-and-smores

You don’t need much to pull off this super fun playdate – just silly string and s’mores supplies!

suppliestravel-wipes-silly-string

There is one other key to success when hosting a silly, sticky, chocolatey, marshmallowy party. You MUST have WaterWipes on hand! We even had some travel packs to send home with our guests! More about the wipes in a bit, but first back to the fun!

silly-string-standoff sill-string-start girls-silly-string-fight

We went with the silly string fight first so the kids could burn off some energy and work up an appetite.

little-j-silly-string e-silly-string boys-throw-silly-string post-silly-string-fight

One great tip for clean-up – tell the kids to make the biggest silly string ball possible! It can be a competition or they can make one huge ball together. This was fun for them AND helpful for me!

silly-string-ball

The kids (and adults) were definitely ready to chow down on some s’mores by the time all the silly string was gone! First, we had to get rid of the silly string from everyone’s hands – WaterWipes to the rescue! Having older kids is awesome because they can use the wipes to clean up after themselves!

j-wipe-hands j-waterwipes

Now to the yummy stuff – I always thought s’mores had to be an evening activity, but why put limits on devouring this delicious gooey treat? With school nights and busy schedules, we opted for afternoon s’mores and enjoyed every single bite!

roasting-marshmallows i-eating-smores smores jj-eating-smores

We had an awesome mess with the warm temps, gooey marshmallows, and melted chocolate everywhere! FYI: peanut butter cup s’mores are where it’s at.

j-messy-face e-wiping-face

I choose WaterWipes even though I don’t have babies anymore because chemical-free wipes are ALWAYS a good idea, no matter what the age of your children! WaterWipes are made with 99.9% pure Irish water and 0.1% grapefruit seed extract. I wasn’t sure how much I would like them after using traditional baby wipes for so many years, but they are the best, most durable wipes I’ve ever used.

supplies-up-close

WaterWipes can even stand up to the mess of silly string and s’mores on a bunch of elementary kids! They had so much fun with this party and clean-up was a breeze thanks to WaterWipes! As I’ve said many times before, I may never stop using wipes in our house because they are so handy for messes of all kinds!

Would your kids enjoy a silly string and s’mores party?

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

The Ethically-Made Tunic

I am an Elegantees ambassador. I received this tunic at a discounted price and receive a commission when you purchase with my discount code at no extra cost to you!

Tunics are a wardrobe staple for me. I can pair them with leggings, skinny pants, or jeans. A tunic can be dressed up or down easily with the right accessories and shoes. And tunics are oh-so-comfy!

Yes, I love tunics, but I’ve discovered one stands above the rest for an important reason: it is ethically-made and provides meaningful employment for women rescued from sex trafficking in Nepal!

Elegantees is a favorite shop of mine because of their mission AND gorgeous designs. Elegantees designs are what I would consider “basics with a flair.” Their tops and dresses can be worn so many ways. I was so excited when they asked me to share one of their latest designs which just launched today!

Ethically-Made Tunic

The Madeline is a fabulous dropped shoulder, a-line tunic. It is both comfortable and classic. The navy will transition so well into all the fall outfits I have planned, particularly with boots and skinny pants!

Elegantees Navy Tunic 3

One of my favorite things about the Madeline is the length. Some “tunics” these days are not quite long enough to cover my behind, but the Madeline does so quite well. I am 5’6″ and wearing an XS, so I think you’ll be quite happy with the length no matter your size!

Elegantees Navy Tunic 2

It may seem weird to be excited about this, but the Madeline tunic is also MACHINE WASHABLE! As a busy mom, I do not do well with “hand-wash only” items. I just can’t do it. I need pieces I can wear and wash and wear over and over again!

The Madeline tunic also comes in beech (olive green) and marsala (soft rose/pink). I am seriously considering adding both to my fall wardrobe because I LOVE THIS TUNIC.

Elegantees has so many great fall pieces in their line right now – you MUST get to shopping. I even have a discount for you – use “homewiththeboys” to get 10% off your entire order! Please let me know if you have questions about sizing, etc. I’m happy to help because I am happy, regular Elegantees customer! It’s pretty amazing to know the clothes you love to wear are also employing women who have been freed from the sex trade. When you get your first piece with this tag, you’ll know how I feel:

Elegantees Tag

Which Elegantees items will you be adding to your wardrobe?

What are your favorite ways to wear tunics?

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

Why We’re Still Using Wipes In a Diaper-Less House

This post was sponsored by WaterWipes as part of an Ambassador Program for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.

I really wish I would have know about WaterWipes when we had babies in diapers. With all three babies, we used wipes and detergent with no added fragrances because sensitive skin runs in our family. Our middle son still struggles with sensitive skin and eczema, so we’ve kept to fragrance-free as much as possible.

We’ve been done with diapers in our house for over a year now – HALLELUJAH! We had a bunch of wipes left over and, even without bottoms to wipe, I found myself still using those wipes for everything. Over the baby years, I didn’t even realize how handy and convenient they had become to me for all kinds of messes. Ice cream cones, sticky suckers, marker-covered hands, and more were no match for my stash of wipes!

WaterWipes Car

Fast forward to several months ago and my introduction to WaterWipes – the timing could not have been better as I was running out of my previous fragrance-free wipes and needed to restock. I’m so glad I didn’t buy more because WaterWipes were just the thing I had been hoping to find over all these years!

WaterWipes are a chemical free baby wipe with just two ingredients: 99.9% pure Irish water and 0.1% grapefruit seed extract. I feel great about using these for all sorts of messes with my family because there are no harmful chemicals! All of the usefulness of baby wipes with none of the extras – what’s not to love?!

Why we're still using wipes in aDiaper-less house

Why do I keep using wipes even though we are diaper-less? One word: convenience. My three boys are always getting dirty and I’ve been known to make a few messes, too. I keep a pack of WaterWipes in the minivan, in the bathroom, in the kitchen, and in my purse, so I am always ready when a mess pops up!

IMG_4907

I’m pretty sure our latest road trip to Colorado would have been a whole lot messier without WaterWipes! We used them on the car ride, for picnic lunches, and on our hikes. It was so handy to have them in my backpack to clean off hands before a mid-hike snack or clean up extra mud.

One more reason to love WaterWipesthis beautiful video on the importance of skin-to-skin contact between mom and baby!

My boys may be growing up fast, but this video has me fondly remembering those newborn skin-to-skin snuggles. Such a sweet time in motherhood! I love the emphasis on purity by WaterWipes, both in love and in the product!

How are you using wipes in your home?

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

At The Cross (and a $5 Flash Sale)

I received this cross to review from Dayspring. This post contains affiliate links.

I need you to know I am not a chalkboard artist. I love to write and I was a teacher, but writing on chalkboards was never my favorite. If someone wants to find a few extra hours a week for me and come over to give me chalkboard art lessons, I would be a willing student because I LOVE the look of chalkboards of all kinds.

You also need to know that I have a hard time letting things go. I’m not talking about forgiving people or holding grudges. I struggle with giving my worries and fears and disappointments to God and leaving them in His hands. I need to take this advice that I give to my kids about handling disappointment, but I’m still a work-in-progress myself.

When this chalkboard cross from Dayspring arrived at my doorstep, I thought about all the cute designs I could put on it if I was a better chalk artist, but God put just one simple reminder in my head:

“at the cross, at the cross, I surrender my life”

Cross Close

I knew right away what He was telling me. I need to surrender those hurt, negative feelings and LEAVE them there at the cross. My sin nature leads me to try to pick them up and carry them on my own, but He wants them LEFT AT THE CROSS.

Cross Tall

It’s just a chalkboard cross, but in the hands of God it became so much more. The art isn’t beautiful, but to me, it is a powerful visual reminder of His promise to carry my burdens.

Cross Wide

The cross means different things to different people and that is the beauty of this blank chalkboard cross – you can use it as you need and as God leads to speak life, freedom, hope into your home!

I would love for each of you to have one, so I partnered with Dayspring to give you an amazing discount! From now until Monday, August 8, use the code ERIN5 to get your own small chalkboard cross for only $5!

Want to get free shipping on your order? Grab several of these $5 small chalkboard crosses to use as gifts and add some faith-inspired school supplies to put your order over $50 and shipping will be free! There is also an awesome $5 flash sale featuring 28 more items going on right now, so stock up on these great deals while you’re getting your $5 cross!

Don’t miss out on this exclusive flash sale – the $5 chalkboard cross with code ERIN5 expires Monday, August 8th!

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

The Good Kind of Pain and Managing It Naturally

This is a sponsored post with Savings.com and LivRelief. Affiliate links included.

Training for a marathon pushed me to what I thought was the very end of my physical limits and then showed me I could go even further. Along the way, I experienced all new kinds of muscle soreness and went on the hunt for ways to help manage that good kind of pain in natural ways. I found a few successful things and managed to keep healthy through training and the race.

I have now switched my training focus from distance to speed, aiming for a 5K PR this summer! While the mileage is shorter, the pain is still there, just in different ways. The good kind of pain from training has shifted to my calves and glutes. Some of my favorite remedies for soreness are still in use, but I learned about a new pain relief product and had the chance to try it recently with great results!

FullSizeRender 55

LivRelief is an over-the-counter topical pain relief treatment made of more than 90% natural ingredients. The active ingredient, capsaicin, is found in hot peppers and known for its antioxidant, anti-viral, antiallergenic, anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties. LivRelief is also paraben-free, petroleum-free, gluten-free, and free of SLS and propylene glycol.

Most natural pain relief remedies come with strong smells or strange tingling, so I was surprised that LivRelief had neither of these. I was a little worried about whether I would feel the effects from this mild topical cream. I tried it on my sore legs after a tough speed workout the other day and realized a few hours later that I wasn’t uncomfortable as I had been after speed work in previous weeks! I’ve only had a few weeks of experience with LivRelief, but I’m a happy customer so far! Combined with foam rolling, proper nutrition, and good rest, I plan on staying healthy for these new speed challenges this summer!LivRelief Box

LivRelief is now available on Amazon! Buy LivRelief now and receive $2 off your purchase when you use promo code ONU56TLN during checkout on Amazon!

If you or a loved one have the good kind of pain from working out OR the not-so-good kind from chronic pain, LivRelief is worth a try! With the natural ingredients and no-greasy-mess, no-smell formula, I think you’ll be pleased!

How do you manage muscle soreness after a hard workout?

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

American Dreamers + a Free Tee for You!

I received this tank for review from Cents of Style. This post contains affiliate links.

I’ve written a few times on here about the American dream. It is a concept which makes me both a little bit uncomfortable and a little bit hopeful all at the same time. I suppose it has to do with the perspective with which you view the phrase “American dream.”

It started out all hopeful so many years ago – people coming to the United States to freely pursue their dreams. Most of these people just dreamed of providing for their families. Some had bigger dreams. All associated the American dream with hope, joy, freedom.

Somewhere along the way, the American dream became something to chase. Instead of holding on to our own hopes or pursuing our own dreams, we started to compete and compare. This is the world we live in right now.

The American dream has drove many of us to despair, but I want to be a different kind of American dreamer.

American Dreamer Square

Hope. Faith. Generosity. This is my dream.

American Dreamer Tee Outfit

I don’t want to earn more money to get ahead. I want to bless others out of God’s abundance.

I don’t want to cram my calendar full with things that make me look “good.” I want to leave time and space in my schedule to love others well.

I want to care more about people than stuff, more about service than recognition, more about Kingdom than earthly treasures.

The typical American dream floating around out there leaves me with anxiety and pressure, but the dream God has placed in my American heart fills me with joy and freedom. That’s what the American dream was all about in the first place, right?

American Dreamer Tee Square

This American Dreamer tee from Cents of Style has me all fired up about living out this dream again and I love getting to share a sale on it today! It is the perfect tee to wear for the Fourth of July and spark some discussion about living out a new American dream.

Today only, get this tee FREE when you make a $30 more purchase from Cents of Style! How fun! The Fashion Friday collection is FULL of great pieces to share your American pride, so buy $30 worth from that collection (or anywhere else on the site) and get your American Dreamer tee FREE! The tee comes in navy v-neck or white crewneck! Did I mention shipping is always free, too?!

Just place a Cents of Style order of $30 or more today and the American Dreamer tee is yours for free!

The FREE shirt will be offered with a pop-up upon checkout with any purchase that is $30 or more. This offer is not valid with any other coupon code or promotion. Limit one shirt per order/customer.

Now, please tell me about YOUR American dream!

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

Sweet Meets Spicy with the New TAZO® Chai Latte K-Cup® Pods!

This post was sponsored by Starbucks as part of an Influencer Activation. I received compensation and complimentary products to facilitate my review.

I had my first chai latte in college. There was a place just off campus that started making them in the fall. Several of us music majors stopped in their one day between classes and saw a chai latte on the menu. I think I remember the barista raving about it, so we all decided to give it a try. Oh my goodness. It was heavenly. We called it “Christmas in a cup.” Any rough day could be cured by a chai latte with its perfect blend of sweet and spicy deliciousness. Cinnamon, cardamom, ginger…ahhh…

I’m sure there are many coffee shops that still make them, but I hadn’t had a chai latte in years. The memories of that first chai latte are still fresh in my mind (many, many years later!), so I was absolutely delighted to learn I could make one at home with my Keurig® and the new TAZO® Chai Latte K-Cup® Pods!

TAZO Packaging

Have you ever tried chai? Chai is a black tea blend known for its combination of sweet and spicy tones that originated in India. Mix that with the creaminess of milk and you have a drink that satisfies all your tastebuds!

TAZO Packets

How do you make this delightful drink for yourself at home? It’s an easy two-step process with the TAZO® Chai Latte K-Cup® Pods:

TAZO Step 1

STEP 1: Pour the powdered milk packet into your favorite mug. You can choose from classic or vanilla caramel. Both are delicious!

TAZO Second Step

STEP 2: Place the mug under your Keurig® and brew theTAZO® Chai Latte K-Cup® pod into your mug.

TAZO Mug

STEP 3: (Ok, yes, there is a third step) Stir well and enjoy!

I know you will enjoy the creamy, spicy, sweet taste of this made-at-home chai latte! It may be the middle of summer, but with the first sip I was thinking “Christmas in a cup” all over again. There were lots of happy sighs coming from this mama!

Adding to your wonderful chai latte experience,TAZO® has partnered with New York Times Bestselling author and host Padma Lakshmi to bring us some amazing recipes to pair with this delicious drink! Padma grew up with the flavors of tea and chai, so her recipes come from a lifetime of experience and memories and they are fabulous. The cinnamon tea cookies are my pick for an afternoon chai latte date with girlfriends!

TAZO® Chai Latte K-Cup® pods are popping up in stores now and you can find out what stores are carrying them by clicking here! Grab some and enjoy your own sweet, spicy, creamy, wonderful chai latte in the comfort of your home!

Which of Padma’s recipes would you love to try with your chai latte?

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

SoCozy Hair Care for Kids is at CVS!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of SoCozy. All opinions are my own and not edited by the sponsor.

As a boy mom, I don’t have to think a whole lot about their hair care. We don’t struggle with tangled hair, and with their short haircuts, they don’t even need to comb their hair! Just in the past year, we’ve entered the world of hair gel with our oldest, but that is the extent of the work that needs to be done to get ready for the day!

Even though our hair care needs are minimal with boys, I want to make sure what we do use on their hair is safe and effective. I’ve recently been introduced to SoCozy and it checks all the boxes for our needs – and they will do the same for your family!

SoCozy at CVS

SoCozy products are non-toxic and made without parabens, formaldehyde, sulfates, phthalates, synthetic color, propylene glycol. Free of alcohol, gluten, wheat, peanuts and tree nuts. SoCozy is committed to providing easy-to-use, safe hair care for all kids’ hair types, as well as well-researched tips and advice for parents!

We recently visited CVS to pick up some SoCozy products for our own family! CVS just started carrying the SoCozy line, so it’s convenient for your family to grab at your local store – we found it in the baby aisle at our CVS!

We don’t have much need for these items, but I loved seeing that the SoCozy line includes a detangler and styling cream – I know a detangler was a necessity for my hair as a little girl, and even sometimes now!

SoCozy at the Pool

For our boys, I bought the 3-in-1 shampoo-conditioner-wash to take along on our trips to the gym or swimming pool. I love multi-use products because they cut down on the number items we have to remember when we pack up! The mango smell is super yummy, too! It feels like the perfect product to take with use everywhere this summer, including on vacation.

I also grabbed two of the “boo!” products, which are intended to help prevent lice – and every mom said, “Amen!” We don’t have need for these right now, but I wish I would have had it during those winter months at school when lice was going around! We avoided it this year, but I’m happy to be prepared the next time a note comes home that someone in their class has lice.

Make sure to visit your local CVS to pick up these wonderful, safe, fun hair care products for your kiddos!

Which SoCozy products sound like the best fit for your family?

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

Get It, Girl: How I Wear Activewear and a Sale for You!

I received complimentary product to review from Cents of Style and all opinions are 100% my own. This post also contains affiliate links.

I’m currently training for my first marathon. I shared some of that story here, but I have to tell you that as the days have sped by and my marathon is only three weeks away, a little bit of fear has started to creep in.

I’ve been a runner for four years now. I hated running before that, but now it is so many things to me. Running is about a healthy body AND a healthy mind for me. I run because it helps clear my head. Running used to disgust me, now it makes me happy.

Running also provides a way to challenge myself and this is where fear can factor in. I never enter a race thinking I might win, but I always have goals and sometimes those goals are scary. Like this marathon.

If I let my mind wander for too long, I start to think, “I’ve never run longer than 20 miles – how will I make it 26.2?!” or “What if feel sick or get hurt or can’t finish the race?” It’s enough to make me want to back off, but I’m not going to be that person. I don’t ever want to be the person who backs away from challenge.

Since quitting is not an option and I won’t let fear get me down, I find ways to keep myself motivated, like fun activewear with great patterns and sayings that make me want to crush the run and reach that goal!

Cents of Style Activewear Sale

I love the phrase, “Get it, girl,” and I often use it to cheer on my friends in their healthy pursuits. I love that I have that phrase to encourage myself now, thanks to this awesome tank from Cents of Style! I have a half marathon coming up tomorrow and I’m planning to bust out a new PR, so I threw on this sweet tank with a pair of heathered yoga capris (also from Cents of Style) for my easy run yesterday. I felt pretty darn good and a little invincible – ready for the challenge of pushing myself to a new best this weekend! Go ahead – tell me to “get it, girl!”

Cents of Style Activewear

Here’s the fun part for you: the fun activewear collection from Cents of Style is 50% off today with the code ACTIVELOVE at checkout! This includes great tanks and capris like mine for $14.98 each, as well as more yoga pants and sports bras. There are some GREAT sayings on these tanks – I know you’ll find one that gets your motivated or puts a smile on your face!

COS Activewear Tanks

Whether you wear activewear to run, lift weights, or go to the grocery store, grab this fun deal before it’s gone! Use the code ACTIVELOVE to get 50% off AND free shipping today only!

I have to know: which tank is your favorite?

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

The Perfect Spring Travel Dress

I received complimentary product from Orvis for this review.

Long road trips and weekend getaways, with family or friends, to a different city or state or country – I just love traveling. Seeing new places and meeting new people is a fun adventure, and we might do it a lot more often if not for the responsibilities and logistics of school, work, and activities.

Even with our schedules getting busier as the kids get older, we’ve managed to schedule quite a few fun trips for this spring and summer! It has become my mission to pack wisely for these trips, so finding versatile wardrobe pieces that pack well is a top priority. I just found a dress that meets all of the above criteria (and has a whole lot of awesome extra features) making it the perfect spring travel dress.

Have you ever shopped with Orvis? I will admit I had not heard of Orvis before a few months ago, but their new spring line for women has won me over with pieces that are both feminine and functional for an active lifestyle!

The Florence Travel Dress is a part of the lovely Orvis spring line.

Orvis Dress 1

This classic popover-style dress is absolutely divine for travel for so many reasons. Let’s start with these functional details: wrinkle-resistant, quick-drying, and moisture-wicking. The fabric is SPF 50 and and the sleeves can be long or rolled up. There’s a zipped pocket on one hip to keep important things close and safe. So. Much. Function.

Orvis Dress 1A

Function is one side and fashion is the other. I love the versatility of this dress. You can never go wrong with black, especially for someone like me who is likely to spill while traveling, but also for anyone going for a classic look. The Florence Travel Dress worked perfectly for church with some bold red jewelry and tan wedges, but for travel, I’ve paired it with these great, comfortable Merrell Around-Town sandals. I can just imagine wearing this exact ensemble on those trips when you’ll be walking for miles a day to sightsee and find new adventures!

Orvis Dress 3

The length of the Florence Travel Dress is modest and flattering and it has just the right cut where I’m not worried about the whole skirt flying up when the Nebraska wind rears its ugly head…which is happening every single day right now!

Orvis Dress 2

Can you tell I really love this dress? I may even wear it when I hop on a plane to head to Nashville this weekend (with a great pair of cowboy boots) because it will take me from plane to day to night effortlessly! And I will pack it for many trips to come for these same reasons – and to keep my packing simple and streamlined!

Now is the perfect time to shop the fabulous Orvis spring collection for women! Use the code ICSPRING to get $25 off your order of $50 or more through September 30, 2016!

One more thing…

You could win one of ten $100 Orvis gift cards! Just enter the giveaway below through May 2, 2016!

Orvis
Refresh Your Wardrobe Giveaway

I-C will randomly select 10 winners from all program entries and will handle fulfillment of the winning prizes.

What items are you loving from the Orvis spring line? How would you style this dress?

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook