Join Fitspiration for Moms for their first Hangout on Air Live Event all about Healthy Back to School Lunches and Snacks. We will be chatting about healthy lunches and snacks to help you with easing into the back to school process. Healthy Back to School…
Disclosure: As a member of (Madame Deals Media) I was supplied $25 via Paypal to purchase the items discussed in this post. by Campus Book Rentals. The experience and ideas expressed are my own.
The term, "Paying it Forward" is such an important moral idea that I feel everyone should learn and use. Have you ever had someone do something nice for you? Sure..we ALL have! Why not take that feeling and "Pay it Forward." Do the same thing for someone else.
As an educator, I do not make the most fabulous salary in the world. There have been times that I was worried about how groceries were going to fit into our budget. However, through prayer and the good grace of others, I have always made it by. It seemed like when I was at my lowest, there was always that surprise of a nice act, someone just "paying it forward" that has literally saved the day.
Now that things have been improving for my family and I, when possible for us to Pay it Forward, we do it.
A family that is very near and dear to our heart has been going through some major family struggles. The father of four children, who is only in his young 40s, had to have his second open heart surgery in as many years. Sepsis from kidney dialysis(that he has done for over 10 years), affected his heart and he had to have all of his valves replaced. This required him to spend a lengthy amount of time in a hospital far from home. His wife had to miss a lot of work and I can only imagine how tight their finances must be.
When learning about this campaign for a second year, and then learning I was accepted, I KNEW who the supplies had to go to. Their youngest is heading into 5th grade and they had been unable to get his school supplies.
Now, I know we were only supplied with $25, but we wanted to "Pay it Forward" and just bought everything that was on his school list.
As we did last year, we took our 5 year old daughter with us to help pick out the items. We want her to KNOW that, even though we don't have everything we may WANT, that we have everything we NEED, whereas some people don't have the means to even have that! We want her to have a giving heart and feel those goosebumps as you see your actions bring a smile to someone's face. It's such a great experience that I wish I could give even more! We want our daughter to be as dedicated to service as we are.
Here is a picture of all of the supplies we purchased for a wonderful kid! He even LOVED the backpack we took out, who knew that plaid was his favorite?! Awesome!
The entire backpack was packed full by the time I got through putting everything in it! He was now all set to start 5th grade!
Here is my receipt! As I stated, I bought his entire list so I didn't just budget $25. Campus Book Rentals was fantastic and ALMOST got it all, but I put an extra 12.39 with it and finished off his list! So awesome!
This could not have been possible if it wasn't four our sponsor! Campus Book Rentals is a company that offers students up to 90% off their textbooks! It not only allows students to save money, it helps students make money by providing services for students to rent out their textbooks to other students. Campus Book Rentals has been around since 2007, and continues to help students live a more affordable life. Campus Book Rentals is proud to sponsor such an amazing pay it forward event!
Have a great school year! I'm leaving you with a picture of my little girl's first day of Kindergarten! So Sweet!!
This year, as the "Back-to-School" commercials begin and the school supplies flood the aisles of the department stores, my normal feeling of being excited has been missing from the typical. Okay, Okay. Maybe I am a little excited..but I am also sad. This is SO Bittersweet!
This year, my baby, my little one, Ms. Gigi is starting school. She will officially be a Kindergartener. No more dropping her off at daycare, instead it will be dropping her off at her school. No more part time daycare days, it's all day, 5 days a week. No more being home sick from work and having my little cuddle bug to snuggle with Mommy and make me feel better...she will be in school.
When a child is a baby and toddler, we often feel like we just want then to hurry up and grow so they can do more for themselves, but as I am now witnessing displays of knowledge of a five year old, I wish I would have relished in that even younger mind.
My daughter has such a thirst for knowledge, I just can't slow her down. She is reading so well for a young 5, can do math extremely well, and her social skills are awesome. I know I might just sound biased, but as a child development teacher, I am really concerned that Kindergarten will be too easy for her. I already plan on discussing her learning path with her teacher to encourage that Gigi be challenged. They do offer a test which can gauge if a child can "test out" of Kindergarten, but I don't want to do that to her. I want her to stay in the same age group with her peers.
I have had a jillion parents ask me suggestions on what I think the best path is for their child, but I find it so much harder to make the decisions for my own child.
So far we have beat the rush and bought all of her school supplies, (which cost around $75!) and have been practicing more and more sight words. In order to give her some separation, she attended a VBS all last week and did perfectly.
So for the next 2 1/2 weeks until school starts, We will be enjoying time with each other and having fun.
She will also be starting her new bedtime routine, which will be a bit earlier than she is used to, and no more naps(which she loves...)
How did you prepare your little one for the start of school?
How are you going to spend these last few weeks before school starts? When does school start for you?
Disclosure: I was provided two boxes of Crunchmaster Crisps in exchange for a review of the product! The thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own!
Gluten Free snacks are becoming more and more necessary in today's society. It seems that given the way crops are being grown as well as just today's various exposures, kids are becoming more and more allergic wheat gluten.
I run a preschool learning lab and have more and more students each year that must be fed gluten free snacks. This can be quite difficult because I like to feed all of my students the SAME snack. I don't want the students to feel "different." Crunchmaster makes gluten free snacks at an affordable price so I can feed them to all of my students and they enjoy them just the same!
Although undiagnosed, my husband has all of the symptoms of a classic celiac condition. Stocking the food with things that are gluten free is a must. I haven't gotten him converted 100% to gluten-free eating, but thanks to Crunchmaster, his late night snack raids are now gluten free!
The two boxes of Crunchmaster Crisps I was sent from the company were the Cheezy Crisps and the Grammy Crisps. Let me just tell you, they were super yummy! The texture was very smooth and not gritty or filmy at all. They were just like any other cheddar crisps or cinnamon and sugar crisps. My family ate the Cheddar Crisps in one setting! They were husband AND child approved! That equals a winner in my book!!
The Grammy Crisps were taken to my preschool learning lap and fed to the children in the class. Again, they were well received and the children all made "happy plates!"
Crunchmaster products can easily be found at your local Wal-Mart! They are very affordable and an overall great product!
You can find out more information about Crunchmaster Crisps as well as their other new product lines at the Crunchmaster Website.
You can also engage in social media with them on Facebook and Twitter!
A little birdie even told me you can find a nice coupon on their website to try out your first taste of Crunchmaster Crisps!
Happy (gluten-free) Snacking!!
Disclosure: I was provided a free 12 month plan via the eMeals blogger network. Thoughts and opinions are completely my own.
Father's Day is ALMOST HERE! It's hard to believe we have jumped head first into June and before we know it, the 16th of June will be here and it will be time to celebrate all things DAD!
My husband and my own father are excellent dad's! They deserve to have a big celebration for all of their hard work and dedication to their respective families throughout the year.
For me, one of the hardest things to decide is always what I am going to get for or do for my father and my husband. This year, eMeals has made it an EASY decision! I will cook an AWESOME meal and have the whole family together. Meal planning for me can get very difficult as I am indecisive.
Being indecisive is definitely one of my weaknesses, and this is exactly why I had sought out a partnership with eMeals.
When I logged into my eMeals account, I saw that they had an AWESOME deal going on right now! With a new or existing subscription, you can download the perfect Father's Day meal plan! SIX, count 'em, SIX great recipes to make the perfect meal from start to finish!
I HIGHLY recommend taking advantage of this freebie and signing up today!
ALSO, to sweeten the deal just a lil' bit more, use the code DADS at checkout to save 15% off your meal plan!
CLICK HERE TO JOIN eMeals TODAY!
Check it out!
Disclosure: I was provided a copy of the Beyond the Science Lab book by Jason Lindsey a.k.a. Mr. Science in return for a review. The opinions expressed in this post are my own! But it's an awesome book..so no negative nancy's here! :)
Each year, our local library has various shows and presentations for children in partnership with the summer reading program. At least twice, we have had the pleasure of seeing "Mr. Science, Jason Lindsey, present his awesome, kid- friendly science experiments in person.
My personal favorite experiment that I have seen is the Mentos/Diet Coke experiment. How awesome is it to shoot soda higher than the roof of the building!? Thank goodness we did it outside! :)
Jason has created a book that not only spoke to me, but especially spoke to my daughter. Beyond the Science Lab: A Celebration of God and Science is a book that not only shows you some excellent science experiments and how to do them, it also relates every science experiment to a bible scripture to help illustrate the pure GREATNESS of our God!
My daughter is now 5 years old and has a really big interest in learning about God. But as we all know, God is very abstract for young children because it is believing in what we can't always physically see. Only God knows what she pictures when she thinks of God, prays, or learns a multitude of valuable lessons within the bible.
The focus of this book is to show children that God is the ultimate scientist.
Each experiment starts out with a "Bible Truth" and a Bible Passage. Then following these is the science experiment that will illustrate the passage.
All of the experiments are broken down in easy-to-follow steps with pictures and safety warnings.
Following each experiment is an explanation as well as a summary of the bible connection. Following that is an explanation of some science terms and a science quiz.
For example, one of the experiments is called "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit" It references bible verse Matthew 28:19. This experiment involves starting with water, freezing it, and then also boiling it to make a gas. It shows you the three states of water(Solid, Liquid, Gas) and explains the correlation between the three states of God.
Something as simple of this can really make a connection for a child, or even an adult who is still searching and learning the way.
I highly recommend this book for all to read and to even catch "Mr. Science" on TV as often as you can! You can catch his Beyond the Science Lab Segment on your local TCT Television Station each Saturday Morning!
His Facebook page is very active, with consistent postings of fun science snippets!
Mr. Science was gracious enough to give all of my readers the chance to win a copy of the book, too! Contest runs from Saturday, June 1st, 2013 and a winner will be picked on Saturday, June 9th, 2013.
Happy Summer, Happy Science!
Disclosure: I was provided a copy of the Beyond the Science Lab book by Jason Lindsey a.k.a. Mr. Science in return for a review. The opinions expressed in this post are my own! Prize fulfillment is the responsibility of the sponsor. Winner has 48 hours to provide contact information before a new winner is picked.
Disclosure: I was given a free-three month trial of Weight Watchers Online as a member of Fitspiration for Moms in exchange for a review of my experiences while participating in the program. “People following the Weight Watchers plan can expect to lose 1-2 pounds per week.”
Well, three months have come and gone, and I have learned a lot during these last three months.
The first thing that I have learned is that unless my mind is set to do something, I won't succeed. The Weight Watchers program is essentially SUCCESS in a single package. It is up to the user to open it up and use it.
Unfortunately, with the previous three months being the most busy and eventful three months of each year, I often left that little package, tucked neatly inside of a cave, rarely letting it see the light of day.
With that said, I do feel like I have learned a lot about myself and about how to eat in the past three months. Knowledge that I am beginning to implement since I am on Summer Break and will have more time to focus on ME.
Some of the things I have learned is first and foremost, that fruits and veggies are good. With weight watchers, most fruits and veggies are 0 points. They do have natural calories and sugars, but natural are sure better than added. With it being summer, I enjoy lighter and fresh foods, so I currently have my fridge stocked with lots of fresh veggies. I used some of them to make a Cucumber-Blueberry Slaw to top some Brats! It was a definite hit!
Secondly, I learned that planning out food is important! When one has a busy schedule, having a meal plan would be very beneficial. Planning out meals and allotting my points before even eating the food, would be a much better choice than totaling them up while eating or at the end of the day.
Thirdly, my environment is just as important as the food that goes into my mouth. If my environment isn't set up in a way to help me stay focused, I can easily get off track. Keeping only healthy snack options and being organized in my home is so extremely important for me! I am currently organizing my planning binder in between blog posts!
I want to thank Weight Watchers for this opportunity and for helping me learn more about myself and what it takes to be successful!
I highly recommend the product to anyone who is ready to be dedicated and make a permanent change for the better!
Even though the date on the calendar isn't quite June 22nd, It sure feels like Summertime outside!
I don't know about you, but when the heat goes up, my want for food goes down. I don't feel like cooking rich, thick, saucy foods during the summertime. I love light, fresh tasting foods.
When browsing through the June 2013 issue of Better Homes and Gardens magazine, I ran across this a recipe for Cucumber Blueberry Slaw with Brats.
I had never, in my life, considered adding blueberries to anything similar to a cole slaw. It sounded odd, and foreign to me. But it's summertime, and I felt like trying something new! I don't work in the summer and it gives me more time at home to experiment with food.
As you can see on the Better Homes and Gardens Website, the recipe is very simple and it takes a very short time to prepare.
The only things I changed was that I used beer brats and boiled them in apple juice, and then I seared them on a hot griddle on the stove, rather than heating up the propane grill. I also added a little extra mayo and buttermilk to the recipe to make it a little more moist.
What are some of your summer favorites? Sound off in the comments below!
Another month on Weight Watchers and come and gone. I was given a free three month membership to the Weight Watchers Online Tools via Fitspiration For Moms.
“People following the Weight Watchers plan can expect to lose 1-2 pounds per week.”
This is, by far, the busiest time of the work year for me. I have field trip after field trip and late nights after late nights.
Honestly, I have not been able to sit down and plan my meals and track points as I should. The ONLY thing that has helped me log and keep track of some of my points is the various apps that are available via Weight Watchers to have it on the go as well as at home.
The two Weight Watchers apps that I have are Weight Watchers Mobile and the Weight Watchers Scanner. I have included links for the iTunes app store, but you can find them available on the Android market as well.
Weight Watchers Mobile is basically the same online tools, in a very visual and easy to use mobile app version. This is perfect for the meals that you eat away from home. You can log the points immediately without having to remember and add them in later. Let's be honest, we are all much too busy to remember to add all of our points in at the end of the day.
I also find it useful because you can log them in as you go throughout the day and you know how many points you have left to consume. There is nothing more frustrating than entering points after the fact, and then find that you have miscalculated and ate more than your allotted amount.
You can also check in with your spaces, routines, weight, and other healthy checks. It is also great because you can look up information about restaurant food immediately and have the points right at your fingertips before making that final menu choice.
The second app that I mentioned was the Weight Watchers Scanner app. What I love about this is the ease of scanning a barcode and knowing the points associated with the food. I eat a lot of Microwavable Dinners for lunch at work. It was super easy to scan the bottom of the package and then import the points straight over to the Weight Watchers Mobile App. The fact that these two tie in together is fantastic. Did the item you scan not register? That's okay..it gives you a simple option to add the label information right then and there and then it calculates your points.
These two apps combined with a focused mind make for much success. I have lost a few pounds in the last month and feel that Weight Watchers is definitely helping me become more focused and make better decisions!
I hope to report even bigger numbers and more focus next month! Until then, we are slowly but surely inching towards Summer Vacation!
As a member of Fitspiration For Moms, I was given a free three month membership to Weight Watchers eTools in exchange for my thoughts and feelings about the program. My thoughts and opinions are my own. I was not given any monetary compensation for this post.
Going Green for Spring with Eco-Foil and EnduroShield -Fitspiration for Moms - Earth Day Giveaway Hop!
The first product that I am highlighting to giveaway on my blog for this awesome, Earth-Loving Event is Eco-Foil by Handi Foil!
Eco-Foil pans are extremely earth friendly because they are made from 100% Recycled Aluminum! ONE-HUNDRED-PERCENT! Yay for Recycling!
I have been using Eco-Foil Pans for a while now and I absolutely love them! This past Thanksgiving, we used the largest sized, "King Roaster" Eco-Foil pan for our large turkey!
How many of you absolutely LOVE how long it takes to clean the shower or tile in your kitchen and bathroom??? I know I sure don't! Anything that can reduce my overall cleaning time certainly grabs my attention. EnduroShield boasts about it's wonderful, earth-friendly, time-saving products! They can easily reduce your cleaning time by up to 90% Sounds totally awesome, right?! I think so, too!
According to their website and product packaging, EnduroShield is a revolutionary, simple to apply, invisible coating that repels water, soap scum & grime, allowing you easier cleaning, less often!
Their products do the following:
The folks at EnduroShield were so wonderful and have sent me a sample kit of their EnduroShield Home for Glass Shower Doors and also EnduroShield Home for Ceramic Tiles and Grout. I have literally moved into a new home within the past 6 days, and have not had a chance to try them out, but rest assured I will be posting a review in the near future! So definitely stay tuned!
How would you like some Eco-Foil Pans and a Sample Kit of EnduroShield of your own?! The folks at Eco-Foil and EnduroShield have each donated an awesome gift pack for readers of The Introspective Teacher as well as those hopping through from the Fitspiration for Moms Earth Day Giveaway Hop!
Disclosure: I was supplied a sample kit of Eco-Foil Pans as well as EnduroShield Sample Kits in exchange for my honest opinion as a member of Fitspiration for Moms and blogger of Introspective Teacher. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own. Prize Fulfillment of the Eco-Foil Prize Pack is the responsibility of Eco-Foil by Handi Foil. Prize Fulfillment of the EnduroShield Sample Kit is the responsibility of EnduroShield.