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 Boot & Scarf Combo Sale is Better Than Ever!

This post contains affiliate links.

This is my very favorite sale from Cents of Style every year, but I think this year is the best yet!

On this fourth anniversary of Fashion Friday, Cents of Style is celebrating by offering the boot and scarf combo with the pieces every woman needs this fall: ankle boots and a blanket scarf! When you use the code FOURYEAR, you’ll get the boots AND scarf for only $29.95 with free shipping! CRAZY GOOD DEAL!

cos-combo-sale

I wasn’t sure how I felt about ankle boots for a long time, but last year, I fell in love with them.

IMG_0057

Skinny jeans, wide leg jeans, even a dress pairs perfectly with ankle boots! The ankle boots in this sale come in four great colors: black, tan, taupe, and burgundy.

cos-ankle-boot

After you’ve picked out your favorite ankle boot, just pick out your favorite of the six blanket scarves offered in this deal, enter the code FOURYEAR at checkout, and you’ll get everything for $29.95 shipped! I ADORE my Cents of Style blanket scarves!

cos-blanket-scarf

I am just dying over these fabulous combos for fall:

cos-boot-blanket-combocos-combo-2 cos-combo-3 cos-combo-4

I really need to pick quickly, and you should, too, because this deal always sells out FAST! You can use the code FOURYEAR to get the ankle boot/blanket scarf for only $29.95 shipped through Sunday, September 18th!

Grab your combo, then tell me what you picked in the comments!

 

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

Think About Their Eyes!

This post was sponsored by Think About Your Eyes as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. All thoughts and opinions are completely my own.

I remember our oldest son mentioning a few times here and there that he couldn’t see a clock that was far away, but he didn’t talk about it that much, so I didn’t do anything about it. As someone who has never had vision problems, it didn’t occur to me that he might be having trouble beyond what he said.

At his first yearly checkup at our pediatrician after the first mention of difficulty seeing, he was still able to pass the vision test, so I thought we were all good. We were also homeschooling at the time, so he wasn’t sitting in a classroom struggling to see things written on the board. As the next year went on, however, I heard him say, “I can’t see that,” more and more often. By the next year’s physical, it was confirmed that we needed to see an eye doctor.

As I said, I don’t wear glasses or contacts, so this was new territory for me. Thankfully, my husband has worn glasses since childhood, so he has been able to give Big J advice and support from another glasses-wearer. He was nine-years-old when he had his first eye doctor appointment and we found out he was quite far-sighted. A prescription was given and glasses were ordered.

I will never forget our oldest son’s reaction when he first put on those glasses. He could suddenly see so many things he had never seen before – the individual leaves on a tree, our kitchen clock from far away, and much more. He was so excited and I was so emotional! I thought glasses might bum him out a little, but it was the exact opposite – it was all joy!

Big J Glasses

All of this happened right before he started going to school and I am so grateful for that timing! As we’re starting a new school year, I know that he is not impeded by poor vision in the classroom. No child should worry about their education suffering because they cannot see. And eye doctor appointments are not only for kids with glasses or contacts as 50% of parents believe. That’s why this new program, Think About Your Eyes, is so important!

August is Eye Exam Awareness Month, so now is the time to prioritize your child’s eye health. I’m partnering with Think About Your Eyes this month because 25% of school-age children have vision problems and I don’t want you to miss them in your child like I almost did with my son! 24% of parents are like me and wait for their child to complain about vision trouble before getting an exam. He didn’t know what “normal” vision was, but one comprehensive eye exam showed us that he needed help. I really wish we would have had his vision checked sooner.

80% of what children learn comes through vision, so getting those eyes checked as school starts up this fall is crucial. You will help ensure there are no visual obstacles to learning and you could prevent more serious complications that could occur from untreated problems.

Check out this video from Think About Your Eyes:

Need some help scheduling those exams? Check out this doctor locator from Think About Your Eyes! They’ve got you covered for making this important task easy on you!

Let’s celebrate Eye Exam Awareness Month by scheduling eye exams for our kids!

Have you had your child’s vision checked lately?

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

It’s a Sister Thing

This post contains affiliate links.

My sister and I have not lived in the same place during our adult years. Despite the miles between us, we are closer than ever. Marriage and motherhood have given my sister and I so much to bond over. She is a wonderful aunt to our boys, and her two daughters and my three boys just adore each other! We only live less than three hours apart, so I’m thankful we get to see each other in person several times a year. And phone calls are a must, when we can find a few minutes of quiet!

13582173_10157139625880626_3799308655495628003_o

Now we’re adding another bonding experience. This fall, my sister and I will do something we’ve never done before: take a sisters-only trip! The trip is about sister time and being able to chat for hours without kids interrupting us (YAY!), but it’s also about another shared interest: running!

Sisters First Half

My sister ran my first 5K with me and I had the fun privilege of running with her for her first half marathon last fall. Next up is our sisters trip to run another half marathon together! We’ll also get some fun shopping and relaxing time before and after the race and I CANNOT WAIT!

Sis, if you’re reading this, I am super thankful for you and for the way our relationship has grown better and better over the years. I have a little present for you to celebrate our trip and our friendship. (I just borrowed it for a few minutes for this photo shoot, but it’s all yours!)

Sister Necklace Up CloseSister Necklace Full Outfit

I like to wear reminders of the things that are important to me and I like to give gifts that do the same. This rose gold “Sister” necklace is both meaningful and fashionable – does it get any better?! I know it will look perfect on my gorgeous sister!

Sister Necklace

Cents of Style has so many great necklaces to celebrate the things important to us in their Tribe collection and they are just $11.99 each with free shipping when you use the code TRIBE4 at checkout! Just look at all the amazing choices in this collection:

Tribe Circle Tribe Long

At this price, I think I need go order a few more for myself (since the sister one is for my sister!) and as gifts!

What Tribe necklace will you be ordering during this sale? Don’t forget to use the code TRIBE4 and order before this sale ends!

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 31 Day Pattern of Giving Challenge!

I didn’t know I could love socks so much until I learned about Mitscoots socks. Yep, these socks make me happy for two reasons: the BEST patterns AND the awesome mission of the company.

I first shared about Mitscoots two years ago and my collection has grown quite a bit since then!

IMG_5980

These are the latest Mitscoots socks to enter our home – three pairs on the left for The Hubby and the rocking patriotic ones on the right for me! These were the first pairs for him and I think I have him hooked – exactly as I planned!

Socks aren’t the only reason to love Mitscoots. They are all about spreading goodness around the world, so I’m excited to tell you about the 31 Day Pattern of Giving Challenge!

Blog_Title_Hands_Illustrations

The challenge officially kicked off yesterday, but we’re not too late to join in! Just take a look at the daily kindness challenges listed below. Take photos and share your kindness on social media. When posting your pictures, please tag #PatternOfGiving and three friends, so Mitscoots can also share your kindness!

Each day, Mitscoots will select one winner to receive a $20 Mitscoots gift card and at the end of the month, one lucky follower, that has participated in the majority of the event will receive SOCKS FOR A YEAR and be influential in helping us give SOCKS FOR A YEAR to someone in need as well. I LOVE ALL OF THIS!

Here are the daily challenges:

POG 31-Day Calendar_FINAL_2

Let’s make this month one of giving and kindness and spread it all over our communities, social media, and the world! Who is up for the challenge?!

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

A “Be Brave” Update & Sale!

I received the featured product to review from Cents of Style. All opinions are 100% my own. This post contains affiliate links.

It’s been two months since I first wrote these words…

I feel just about everything except brave today.

I felt brave seven months ago when I decided I would train for my first marathon the following spring.

I felt brave when I filled out my registration for the Fargo Marathon and sent it in.

I felt brave as I started my marathon training plan in February with my eyes set on conquering my next running goal.

I even felt brave as I finished my 20-miler a month ago, the longest run I would do during my marathon training.

Today, the day before my first marathon, those brave feelings escape me, so I’m writing this now to remind myself of the brave moments that led me to this one.

I’m also writing this to remember that I am not brave on my own. I am brave because my God looks at me and says, “You can be brave because I am with You.”…

Be Brave 1

I’m wearing my Be Brave shirt from Cents of Style today as we drive north to Fargo for my first marathon. It is just the encouragement I need running through my head as the time to run (a REALLY long way) draws closer. Be brave – embrace it with me (and maybe pray for an extra does of it for me?!) today!

Just a few days later, I completed my first marathon and it was incredible. You can read all about the race here, but you should know that running those 26.2 miles made me feel like I could do just about anything. Two months later and I’m still feeling that bravery. I even signed up for my second marathon!

Do you need a reminder to be brave? Or be still? Or be kind or bold or true?

Be Series tees

The whole line of “Be Series” tees from Cents of Style is on sale today only for just $15.95 each + free shipping with the code BRAVE1 at checkout!

Pick your word and grab your tee during this great sale – I know you will be inspired wearing your reminder!

Which of these words do you want to BE?

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

Cleaning is Better with FREE Caldrea Products!

This post contains affiliate links.

TRUE OR FALSE: Cleaning is a necessary evil in my life.

Most of the time I would say TRUE. I’m not the best at keeping a clean home and I can’t really say I love it. However, since cleaning is a necessity (yes, with three boys, but also just cleaning up after my messy self), I have to decide whether it is going to be a burden or a blessing for my family home. Sometimes, you just need the right perspective to change chores into happy, productive work. Maybe a spoonful of sugar would help, too?

I also think having the right cleaning products – ones that work well and smell good – can make any chore better. And when those amazing products are FREE?! Well, you know it will be a good cleaning day!

orange_countertop_1200X800 (2)

Have you joined Grove Collaborative yet? It is this amazing subscription service for all things natural and healthy for your home and family. Cleaning supplies, personal hygiene, hair care, and much more are offered in this easy to use and affordable program! I love the ease of use and the great variety of fabulous products they offer, but my favorite thing is when they offer FREE STUFF!

Pear Blossom Agave

Today, you have the chance to try out Grove Collaborative and get a gorgeous set of Caldrea products, including:

  • Free Caldrea dish soap
  • Free Caldrea countertop spray
  • Free Grove Collaborative dish brush
  • Free shipping

This set is valued at $30 and is yours free as a new Grove Collaborative customer!

Want to get your Caldrea set and see for yourself why I love Grove? Here’s how it works:

  1. Sign up for Grove Collaborative here and you will receive the Caldrea offer for free!
  2. Answer 4 quick questions about your home that Grove Collaborative will then use to customize your products — this takes under 30 seconds!
  3. Once you’ve answered the questions, you can finalize your basket of products to suit your household needs by adding or removing items.
  4. To receive this offer, your order needs to be a minimum of $20. Choose the combination of products and scents you love and receive in your first box. I’m a big fan of Method hand soap and I’m giving Dr. Bronner’s organic hand sanitizer spray a try this month!
  5. You made it! Click Finish & Pay and place your order. Don’t forget this special offer is only available until July 24 or while supplies last.

Bonus savings tip: Don’t forget to sign up for Grove Collaborative’s free 60 day VIP trial after you complete your first order! I love being a VIP ­­ it saves me time and makes shopping with Grove even more affordable. For 60 days, you can save too, with free gifts and shipping, price matching, exclusive sales, and personal service.

If you are already using and loving Grove, you can still get free stuff! Just click here to get a beautiful free wooden scrub brush with your next order!

This offer is only good through July 24, 2016 or while supplies last, so claim your free Caldrea gift now! Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll help you out!

Please note that Grove Collaborative currently does not ship to Canada, Hawaii, or Alaska.

Which yummy scent will you be choosing for your free gift?

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook