Family Time – Importance of Slowing down

It feels like we are always on the go. Constantly going from one activity to the next. Whether it’s the kids sports practices, games, or a family event, we rarely have a moment of downtime. While I love that my kids play sports and I enjoy watching them play (well…except for when it’s freezing or raining…I don’t really like those days), I do sometimes wonder what life would be like if they didn’t play sports and we had more time to do other things. However, those are just little passing thoughts, the reality is, our kids are very involved in travel sports and that’s OK! With that said, when we have those days (or weekends…weekends are glorious) when we have nothing scheduled, but family time, I get very excited!

*This post may contain affiliate links. I received a copy of the movie for the purpose of this review. All opinions are 100% my own.*

Why Family Time is Important

In this day and age, where everyone is always on the run, it is so important to remember to take whatever time we have to slow down and enjoy family time. What you do with that time is solely up to you. In our house, when we have a free moment, we like to do the following:

  • Play board games and card games

Fundex Phase 10 Card GameFundex Phase 10 Card GameKing of Tokyo: New Edition Board GameKing of Tokyo: New Edition Board GameDeer in the HeadlightsDeer in the Headlights

  • Watch movies
  • Watch HGTV (my daughter is literally obsessed with this channel…she’s 11!)
  • Play outside

This Weekend’s Family Time

This weekend was one of those rare weekends when we didn’t have much of anything going on. It was truly lovely! Sunday afternoon, we all piled up on the couches and watched Woody Woodpecker. Remember that show?!? I watched the cartoon all the time when I was a kid! The fun thing about this new Woody Woodpeckerfamily time movie is that it seamlessly blends live action and CGI animation.

Family time
About Woody Woodpecker

Woody Woodpecker is back with his signature laugh, wacky antics and wisecracks in his first ever live-action/animated film. Woody must protect his forest home from Lance Walters (Omundson), who starts building his dream mansion in the forest with his son Tommy (Verchere), and fiancée, Vanessa (Ayala). To make matters worse, Woody must avoid the clutches of two grizzly poachers. With a series of crazy hijinks to sabotage their plans, Woody proves he’ll stop at nothing to defend his turf. Get ready for laughs in this hilarious comedy about everyone’s favorite woodpecker!

My kids, especially my daughter, really enjoyed this movie. She found it rather funny that I used to watch Woody Woodpecker when I was a kid. Interestingly enough, the legendary icon was created in 1940 and appeared in theaters until it debuted on television in 1957!


You can pick (or preorderfamily time now) your copy of Woody Woodpecker on February 6, 2018! However, if you’re feeling pretty lucky, you can enter to win a copy of the movie right here! The giveaway will run from today through February 9, 2018. Please allow the giveaway tool to load below. In the event that it does not load, click on the Rafflecopter link and it will take you to the giveaway widget!

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Unique Prints with Photowall

Finding the right piece of art to hang on your wall can be frustrating. Especially if you are indecisive like me. When we redid our family room, I knew what I wanted the wall over the couch to look like, but finding the right pieces and then making the decision to buy those pieces, took some time. For some people (me included, in some regards), they may be looking for unique prints or a way to print their own images on a canvas or even as a wall mural! I have a picture that I took when I was in Northern Michigan at Sleeping Bear Dunes that would be gorgeous printed as a canvas! No matter what you are looking to do when it comes to the wall art for your home, Photowall has you covered!

*I received a canvas of my choosing for the purpose of this review. All opinions are 100% my own*

When I was approached by Photowall to receive a canvas print or wall mural of my choice, I got really excited! We had just finished our family room remodel, but had one small wall that needed something. After searching store after store, I couldn’t find that piece that screamed out to me that it just had to be on my wall. Being indecisive, it was a bit overwhelming to look through the Photowall site and choose just one image. I knew I was looking for unique prints; something I couldn’t find at the store, but what exactly, I wasn’t sure. Then I started thinking about the things that I liked. The style that we were going for in our home. As we remodel different area’s of our home, we are taking on a more rustic, farmhouse look with our home. My husband really likes pictures of barns. So I did a search for barns on the Photowall site and found the perfect picture for our family room!

unique prints

The picture is absolutely stunning! As you can see in the next  picture, it looks amazing next to the wood wall we did in our family room. As much as I hate to say it, my husband was right about the barn photo being the picture we needed for that wall!

unique prints

About Photowall and their Unique Prints

Photowall is a Swedish company that has a passion for both design and quality. Each of their prints are environmentally friendly, fire retardant (in accordance with Swedish standards), and they do not fade in sunlight. All of their prints carry a 100% guarantee. They offer worldwide shipping with free delivery in EU and free 2-3 day shipping in the U.S. I ordered my print a couple days before Christmas. I fully expected to receive my print after Christmas. However, I received in three days later…before Christmas!

If you are ordering a canvas, you have the ability to choose whether you want it to include the DIY frame or just the canvas. I chose the DIY frame. With assembly videos that Photowall provides on their website and the directions included in the shipment, it was very easy to get this canvas put together and up on the wall.

Take a look at the Photowall website. There are definitely prints there for everyone and every room in your house! If you are a U.S. customer, then you will need to order from this site. Enjoy!

Play K-6 Math Games with Zapzapmath

Math is not my strong suit. It never has been. Thankfully, both of my kids do well with math and they enjoy it (no joke…they really do). With great apps out there that allow kids to practice their math skills while playing math games, getting kids to do their math skills each night becomes less of a chore. And trust me, as a parent, I am all about finding the easiest way possible to get my kids to study. Zapzapmath is our go to app for math practice. Not only is it fun, but it challenges my daughter too. If Bella isn’t challenged, she will get bored quickly.

*This is a partnered post. All opinions are 100% my own. This post may also contain affiliate links*

math games

About Zapzapmath

Zapzapmath initially launched in 2015. Since then, the app has grown tremendously! With over 180 math games and 900 difficulty levels, there is a math game for everyone! Not only are there math games for everyone, but Zapzapmath is ranked in the top 10 of the education category in 58 countries…the U.S. and China are two of those 58 countries!

math games

Apple iPad 2 MC769LL/A 9.7-Inch 16GB (Black) 1395 - (Certified Refurbished)Apple iPad 2 MC769LL/A 9.7-Inch 16GB (Black) 1395 – (Certified Refurbished)Dragon Touch V10 10 inch GPS Android Tablet Android 7.0 Nougat MTK Quad Core 1GB RAM 16GB Storage, 800x1280 IPS Display with Bluetooth 4.0 and Mini HDMIDragon Touch V10 10 inch GPS Android Tablet Android 7.0 Nougat MTK Quad Core 1GB RAM 16GB Storage, 800×1280 IPS Display with Bluetooth 4.0 and Mini HDMI2017 Acer Flagship CB3-532 15.62017 Acer Flagship CB3-532 15.6

New Features

Like I mentioned above, Zapzapmath has significantly improved since the launch in 2015. Those changes include:

  • Login system – new and improved to help young players
  • Web browser version – you can play on your desktop or Chromebook by going to http://play.zapzapmath.com/
  • Multiplayer mode – play math games with a friend
  • Adaptive learning with percentile scoring – games increase and decrease according to the child’s mastery of the level
  • Improved web dashboard – you can sign in as a parent or teacher to get a detailed report on your child’s progress
  • Enhanced user interface – enhance for more user friendly experience
  • Pretest and posttest – this feature is for teachers and students. You can measure how you’ve improved and compare your starting point with the end point
  • Download and play for free – 20 games for free for grades K-6. For more games, there is a yearly subscription (scroll to the end fo the post for a giveaway!)
  • Multilingual – Play in English or Spanish

math games

Where to find Zapzapmath

You can find Zapzapmath online at the following locations:

Sounds pretty great, right?!? Well then you need to definitely try your hand at winning a one year subscription! Simply follow the directions below. Allow the Rafflecopter widget to load. If, for some reason it does not, then click on the link below and it will take you to the giveaway. Three winners will be chosen at random. They will be sent an email that they must respond to within 48 hours or a new winner will be determined.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck! I hope you enjoy the Zapzapmath math games!

“Show my Photos” on your Amazon Fire TV

What if I told you that you can use your Amazon Fire TV for so much more than just watching your favorite Netflix show (side note, I’m currently watching Friends From College, a Netflix original show and it is hilarious)? When you have friends and family over, unless you’re there to watch a sports game, your TV typically just sits there. Why not use the biggest screen in the house to showcase your beautiful photos? With Prime Photos and your Amazon Fire TV, you can do just that!

*Thanks to Amazon for sponsoring this post. Amazon, Prime Photos, Fire, Amazon Fire TV and the associated logos are trademarks of Amazon.com, Ic. or its affiliates*

amazon fire tv

First of all, if you are not familiar with Prime Photos, then you need to be! Your Prime membership not only gives you that super fast 2-day shipping, but you also get free unlimited photo storage with Prime Photos. In the US, all Amazon.com customers receive 5 GB of FREE digital storage for your photos, videos, and files. This is huge you guys! If you are a Prime member and you are not taking advantage of this amazing deal, then you need to hop on it!

Now, with the Alexa Voice Remote that has launched just in the United States right now and the Prime Photos app, you can view and search for your favorite photos and albums on your Amazon Fire TV! With simple phrases like, “show my photos from last summer” you can share your summer vacation pictures quickly and easily!

So not only does Prime Photos give you a place to store your memories and keep them safe, but it works hand in hand with your Amazon Fire TV to help display those pictures too! I just received my Amazon Fire Stick and I have to tell you, I really like this thing! Not only can I watch my favorite shows, but I’m already thinking ahead to when my son and daughter graduate. Using Prime Photos, I can set up different albums to play a slide show at their graduation party! Now I can stop stressing about those scrapbooks that seem to be stuck on age 4 (they are 11 and 13)!

GIVEAWAY!

How would you like a chance to win an Amazon gift card?!? First prize is a $500 Amazon gift card and second prize is a $100 Amazon gift card (5 winners). Use the giveaway widget below to enter.

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Have you used Prime Photos yet?

I’m Bored Free Summer Printable

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BlueLizardSummer #CollectiveBias

My kids are finishing up their last week of school before summer vacation starts. I have to say, I am pretty excited to be done with this school year. The break from waking up at 6 am and making school lunches will be nice. I’m not looking forward to, however, the “I’m bored” comments from my kids. Thankfully, we have an extremely busy summer ahead filled with lots of weekend getaways for my son’s lacrosse tournaments. One thing I will be making sure to pack is my Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen. Protecting mine and my families skin is very important to me.

I'm bored

Whether we are going to a lacrosse tournament, soccer tournament, or just hanging around outside, this bag is always with me in the summer packed full of all the things I need like this Blue Lizard® sunscreen. If you aren’t familiar with Blue Lizard® products, then you need to be! Their products contain a unique zinc oxide formulation and provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection (SPF30+). I personally like it because I can easily find it at Walmart Stores and it is a brand trusted by dermatologists (for over 15 years!!), pediatricians and moms! Head to your local Walmart to pick up a bottle of the Blue Lizard® Sensitive, Baby, Face, or Sport! I picked up the Sensitive version, but all varieties were located in a center aisle display near the toiletry section of the store!

*For children under 6 months of age, please consult your pediatrician before using any sunscreen. For children older than 6 months, Blue Lizard® Baby or Sensitive products are recommended to minimize risk of skin sensitivity.

I'm bored

While we will be having our extremely busy moments this summer, we will have some down time too. The one thing I do NOT want to hear is, “I’m bored”. Those two words drive me crazy! Especially in the summer! There is so much kids can be doing to keep themselves occupied. I put together this great (and FREE) I’m Bored printable for you to print out and hang on the fridge.

I'm bored

Print Your FREE I’m Bored Printable HERE

Once you print this off, hang it on your fridge, and when your kids utter those two words you don’t want to hear, simply point to the list. If your kids are like my son, and a long list of items may be too hard for them to choose something to do, you can either pick for them or make an I’m Bored jar and have them randomly pick a slip of paper. What they pick, they do! Use the printable as a checklist…sort of like a summer bucket list…with a few chores thrown in between. Don’t worry, I have your back!

I'm bored

Remember…any activities you do outside this summer, make sure you put on Blue Lizard® sunscreen! Protect that skin! If you are heading out to your local Walmart to pick up the Blue Lizard® Sensitive sunscreen, be sure to join iBotta and earn $4.00 when you purchase Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen – Sensitive, 5 oz. bottle only.

I'm bored

Blue Lizard® sunscreen has a patented Smart Bottle™ technology. What does this mean? When the bottle is exposed to harmful UV sunlight, it changes from white to blue! This is a great teaching tool for your kids on when to re-apply sunscreen!

Pick up Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen today and enjoy the wonderful summer outdoors!!