Kids, Mom Life, My Life, parenting, Product Review, things that work

How To Limit Screen Time with Tweens and Teens

This post contains affiliate links.

I have a love-hate relationship with technology and screens in general! It’s great because it offers so much information right at our fingertips. I HATE it because how much it sucks my kids in! Let’s be honest with video games, new YouTubers popping up every day, and a variety of other ways to suck our kids in if we aren’t careful they will be “hooked up” to technology from the time they get home from school until bedtime, excluding the 5 minute break that they take coming down for “family dinner” to scarf down some food! And we haven’t even begun to talk about what they could possibly find on the internet!

I Have Tried to Limit Technology

I have tried so many things with the boys trying to get them to not spend so much time using technology, but each method has failed. Mostly because I hate being the bad guy! I don’t want to listen to their whining when I take electronics away so I end up giving in and giving it back to them. I am also inconsistent because it is so hard to monitor how much time each person has spent on technology! And on top of that, you can’t really chase Tweens and Teens around asking them if they are on their devices without being the “most overprotective mom” in the entire world.

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I knew Chase would be getting a phone for Christmas and part of me was scared to death as to how much MORE he would be on the internet, so I started searching for different ways to limit the amount of wifi that each child used as well as have some sort of internet security in place to protect them from a lot of inappropriate stuff out there and that is when I heard about Circle with Disney.

What is Circle With Disney?

Circle with Disney is a device that you hook up with your router that controls each device individually on your wifi network, that is all controlled through an app on your phone, so it’s super convenient.  It allows you to place time limits as well as security limits on devices and individuals that are hooked up to your network. Circle with Disney allows me to set wake up and bedtimes, off times throughout the day, filter content, as well as look at the history of where each person has been on the internet. I can also pause each person’s wifi or give rewards for good behavior with a click of a button on the app on my phone! I don’t even have to be home to do this!

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How Does Circle Work For Our Family?

We have had Circle with Disney for almost 2 months and it has worked fantastic for our family! At first, the boys were using their entire wifi allotment within hours of waking up and they, of course, would come begging for more, but now they have learned to use their wifi when they really want to play a game or watch something on YouTube. Very rarely are they using all their wifi on their personal devices in a day. They have discovered the outdoors and other activities that they really enjoy, they are no longer getting up at 6am on Saturday (because they know the wifi is off) and family dinners are now longer than 5 minutes!

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I love knowing exactly where my kids have been on the internet and how much time they are spending there. No longer do I have to worry about inappropriate content. I have also discovered how much time I waste in a day on the internet and limited myself as well so that I too can be productive!

Circle with Disney

Circle with Disney is $99.00 and has been worth every penny because the wifi is no longer a battle I have to fight every day with the kids! If you want to limit wifi and have struggled to do that I can guarantee this will work for you! They also have a monthly plan that protects devices when they are off the wifi network as well if your kids decide to start using data when they run out of wifi for the day (mine haven’t tried this yet because they know they will lose their phones for a very long time if we go over our data plan!)

If you struggle with screen time like we did, Circle with Disney can really help solve your screen time problems! Click here to purchase Circle with Disney at Amazon!

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Kids, Product Review

Helping Kids Discover Journaling

I love this time a year… A time of new beginnings and fresh starts. Of course we don’t always have to wait for the New Year to do this. Although, it seems for the most of us we always do… For me, it usually is an excuse to still continue to eat chocolate! 🙂

One of my FAVORITE things about the New Year is taking the time to start a journal! Many people wonder why they should keep a journal. Journaling allows me to really discover who I am. It allows my children and grandchildren to one day understand my trials and struggles and exactly how to get through them (when I give them all to them when I get older). It allows me the opportunity for personal growth and self discovery. So many times I have turned back to my journal for answers that I am seeking. Journaling offers us the ability to spill our guts and really reflect on the things that are bothering us. It really helps us improve our understanding and insight on situations that are occurring around us. 

As a mom I want to have my kids discover these same benefits of journaling, but I always have felt like journals are a little above their head until now!

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My Gratitude and Dream Journal

I love the My Gratitude and Dream journal because it is not like any other journal that I have written in. This colorful journal is sprinkled with quotes that are not only meaningful, but inspiring as well. It also allows plenty of room for you to write your thoughts, feelings, and ideas on what you are thankful for. What I love about this journal is the fact that I don’t feel the need that I have to write in it every day, but I certainly can!

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Perfect for Kids and Teens

If you are trying to inspire your kids or teens to write in journals this is the perfect one for them to get started with! It allows them room to color, write, and truly express themselves on each page. The variety of colors and is truly inviting. It is never too early to introduce journaling and expressing gratitude to your kids, and this is the perfect book to do it!

If you are looking for a journal for your kids that offers more self-reflection and personal growth the My Happy Place journal is just what you are looking for.

My Happy Place

This journal allows them to grow as they discover themselves through self-reflection, school and hobbies, family and friends, and helping the world.

It will help your child:

*express themselves through writing, pictures, and drawing

* Unlock their feelings, hopes, and dreams

* Discover who they are and what they want to become

* Build Confidence and strengthen relationships

* Give them awareness that they can make a difference in the world in which we live.

 

These journals were created by a mom and a daughter who had a dream to make and create products that inspire, educate, and entertain the young and the young at heart and My Gratitude and Dream Journal and My Happy Place certainly does just that!

If you are a parent or grandparent wanting to teach your children the beauty of journaling these are the perfect journals to get them started! I am so excited for my 10-year-old daughter to open both of these journals on Christmas morning so that she can begin to understand the beauty of journaling. You can find both journals on Amazon here and here.

 

*These opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. For a full disclosure please see my disclosure statement.

Product Review

Sophie La Giraffe “Pinterest in a box” Review

I have a love-hate relationship with Pinterest. I love the fact that I can find the perfect birthday party ideas, but I hate Pinterest (or myself) that I can never seem to find the right decorations to pull the party together. On top of the that I spend hours trying to find everything I need for the “Perfect Party.”

When Sophie La Giraffe reached out to me and said they had a “Pinterest Party in a Box” I had to try it out and see if it was what it was all cracked up to be. For $24.23 Sophie La Giraffe sends you a complete birthday kit. 

Kit Includes:

1 x Crown

12 x Plates

16 x Napkins

La Sophie Birthday Party Package

12 x Cups

12 x Straws

16 x Napkins

12 x Cupcake cases

12 x Cupcake toppers

1 x Cake decoration

12 x Invitation cards

12 x Envelopes

1 x Happy Birthday banner (2 parts)

6 x Balloons

All made from recycled paper.

 

Party Planning and Party

Sophie La Giraffe was voted 2017 Family Choice Award winner for this innovative idea! When my birthday kit arrived I was impressed by the initial overall quality of the product! It was so convenient that I could get the invitations sent out straightaway because everything was included.  

After sending the invites out, we planned what we would do at the party and waited for the big day to arrive! The night before, we put up the banners and I baked the cupcakes in the cute cupcake liners, after frosting them I topped them with the cupcake toppers. Easy peasy! And so cute!

Next, we blew up the provided balloons, which were a total disappointment. First of all,they didn’t match anything and second, the purple one appeared to be patched with a blue balloon patch. I quickly hid these in the laundry room so no one would see them.

 

La Sophie Birthday Party

The next morning we set the table for the party, with the cups, plates, and napkins and we were ready to go! Our friends arrived, and we played outside and then came in for cupcakes and to sing Happy Birthday. The moms loved the cute themed and thought it was perfect! I loved how the straws did not get soggy like some paper straws do! Our guests left and we cleaned up. This was by far the easiest party we have ever thrown because there was very little prep work involved! It was perfect for not wanting to spend a ton of time trying to pull together the perfect birthday party!

Disappointments

With all things, there are usually some disappointments. I wish there was some sort of table covering provided that matched the theme for even easier cleanup. I also wish the balloons matched the colors. Yes, they had the characters of the plates on them, but the colors were all wrong and a major distraction that I hid so no one saw them. I also wish after you buy the original kit that you are able to buy additional pieces of some of the things a la carte. With 12 of everything, it doesn’t really allow you to plan for siblings and more than one guest per invitation without going to the store to find paper products that coordinate! Lastly, the invitations were specific to a 1st birthday party; I wish this was more generic so you could use for other events or birthday years!

Overall

Overall, Sophie La Giraffe helps you throw a fantastic birthday party and saves you a ton of time at a great price! For more information or to order yours click here.

You can find Sophie La Giraffe on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest

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Sophie La Giraffe Birthday in a box was provided to me in an exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own honest opinion. For more information please visit my disclosure

baby, Kids, parenting, Product Review

What Babies Really Need the First Three Months

When we found out TJ was joining our family we knew he would be the very last baby joining our family! We didn’t want to spend a lot of money on things we would just be getting rid of or selling after he was done using them. Babies don’t need a lot, just the basic things!

What do Babies Really need the First Three Months?  It’s simple…Not Much! 🙂

Continue reading “What Babies Really Need the First Three Months”

Mom Life, My Life, Product Review

Fall is Here! What are you Wearing?

Fall is here and if you are like me you are searching your closet desperately for something to wear! Some of us are lucky and find exactly what we are looking for, others like me, run into the problem of clothes that don’t fit, others that are stained, and some that are just plain worn out! When this occurs, I have visions of replacing everything with a brand new wardrobe, but reality then sets in as I realize I don’t have thousands of dollars to spend on clothes each season.

Online #Secondhandfirst

In recent years, a new trend has hit the internet which is secondhand clothing sites. I will be honest that I have always been 100% a skeptic when it comes to buying second-hand clothes, especially online! This fall I teamed up with ThredUP! To see what all the hype was about when it comes to #secondhandfirst to see if the quality and wear was how they stated it was online and to see if I could really save up to 90% off regular prices!

History of ThredUP!

In 2008 the vision of ThredUP! Was born when co-founder James Reinhart had nothing to wear. In 2009 it became a pilot program with the online sharing of men’s shirts and has now turned into the largest online marketplace to buy and sell women’s and kids’ second-hand clothes.

Shopping Experience

I put my shopping skills to the ultimate test as I embarked on an adventure on the ThredUP! Website to find some new looks for this fall season! ThredUP prides themselves on triple checking items for signs of wear such as fading, pilling and stains. They also ensure that the zippers are all working and there are no missing buttons. Lastly, they pride themselves on the fact that you will be able to find in-season, on-trend styles from some of your favorite brands!

With that in mind, I headed to the jeans section of their website and searched from Joe Jeans as well as Paige Denim, my two favorite jean brands. Continue reading “Fall is Here! What are you Wearing?”