Borax Review and Giveaway

I’m fairly a newbie to world of Borax. I first discovered it uses when I began writing Becoming Homegrown and was just beginning to become more natural and self sufficient.  Borax was introduced to me as multi-use tool that can do almost anything.

My first foray into Borax usage was making homemade laundry detergent.  I had no idea what it actually was, so it was a challenge finding it at the grocery store.  Now, almost two years later, I always keep Borax on hand for cleaning as well as laundry detergent.

Here are a few links to fellow bloggers that have a Borax recipes found on Pinterest:

Valentines day Borax crystal craft – at Club Chica Circle

Borax bouncy ball – on Ehow

Purex is now providing you the chance to try making your own things with Borax. I am giving 1 FREE coupon for a box of 20 Mule Team Borax to three different winners.  (This is a great deal. One box is 4lbs and will last!!)

Enter through Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was not paid for this review. Purex provided me with a sample box of Borax and three coupons for a giveaway. All opinions are my own.

GM & Star Wars Giveaway – These are not the Cheerios you are looking for

I am a huge General Mills fan. I love Cheerios and it is practically the only cereal my children eat.  So when MyBlogSpark offered me the chance to host a giveaway for two General Mills cereal AND Star Wars goodies, I was quick to accept.

As most of you know, Lucas has decided to add to his gravy train by re-releasing the Phantom Menace in 3D.  I adore Star Wars and with two boys and a husband in the house one of the movies is on at least once a week.  I know almost all of the words in most of the movies and I don’t need to be watching the screen to know exactly what is going on….We all have movies like that, don’t we?  Phantom Menace is no different.  In fact, if I am not mistaken, my husband has already made plans for a family date night……Darth Maul is probably even worse looking in 3D.  Those lumps on his head will be much more prominent.

To celebrate Star Wars: The Phantom Menace re-entering theaters in all of its 3D glory MyBlogSpark is sponsoring this giveaway:

Star Wars PrizepackTwo boxes of a General Mills cereal

4 Star Wars Character Pens

Star Wars Sticker Sheet

Star Wars Magnets

My boys went crazy for the pens.  They divided them equally with an agreement to share.  It was like the Treaty of Versailles on a smaller scale…  The cereals have already been devoured.  I wasn’t kidding when I said I loved General Mills cereals.

Now you have the opportunity to win prize pack for your family or just yourself.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck and May the Force be with you.

“Disclosure: Prize pack, information, and giveaway have been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark.”

Hexbug Review and Giveaway

I don’t like bugs of any kind.  Bugs and me, we are on the outs.  In fact, just last week, I had the pest man come out and drop a proverbial napalm on the bugs that were trying to invade my home.  It is like a cricket morgue on my front porch and I feel no sympathy for them.

It was during this week of death for real bugs that I happily open my home and played with a different species of bugs.  HEXBUG nanos, Larva, and Zombie bugs. The Hexbug variety is my type of bug.  They are micro robotic creatures that turn on and off with a flick of a switch and provide endless hours of entertainment for my kids.

MommyParties and Innovation First Labs sent me a box of bug goodies. We received Glow in the dark Hexbug Nano Galielo Collection, Hexbug Larva, Limited edition Hexbug Nano Zombie bugs, and Glow in the dark Nano Habitat Set and the Elevated Habitat Set.  The moment the box was unpacked we went to work constructing the Habitats.

Hexbug Nano Habitat and Elevation Habitat set

The tracks you see above include two Nano habitat sets and one Elevated Habitat set. PhotobucketConstructing the set was incredibly easy and the hexagon arenas allowed for many options for new pathways. The ramp was a huge hit in the creation process because everyone wanted to be able to have a clear view of “their” bug climbing to the top.  It wasn’t long after the habitat was finished that all the bugs needed to test their skills.

My boys chose to open their bugs before their friends came over. They wanted to test drive the sets as well as the larva. I had never seen larva in person and I can still say, I don’t want to. These larva are really impressive and my kids LOVE them but there is something about them that just grosses me out.

In order for you to get a better idea of what the larva look like in action I made a video for you.

After a few days of trial runs and finding larva in the strangest of places, (My boys thought it would be hilarious to scare the crap out of me by putting their larva in my bed while they were ON) we finally had some friends come over to share in the wealth and the fun.

Cue pictures:

Hexbug Halloween Zombie Bug

Hexbug Nano Vials

Caution Hexbug excitement may cause bugged eyed children

Party Hexbug Nano style

 I have always been a big fan of the Hexbugs and after experiencing them like this I now believe they are one of the best toys on the market.  That is why I am going to extend the fun to you.

Here is the giveaway:
Hexbug Prizes1 larva, 1 Limited Edition Zombie Hexbug, 1 Glow in the Dark Hexbug Nano, and a package of batteries to giveaway!

To win this awesome pack here are the rules

1. Follow Becoming Homegrown

2. Like Hexbug Nano on Facebook

3. Follow Hexbug on Twitter

4. Tweet about this giveaway with @BecomingHome and link back!

Four ways to win – Remember to leave a comment for each.

Ends: November 9, 8:00 PST

 This is a truly great toy.  Boys and girls will have fun with them and I do believe that they will make a great Christmas gift.  I don’t think my children and their friends could have had a better time with these bugs and I take great pleasure in the fact that I don’t have to kill them at the end of the day.

**I received Hexbug party pack through MomSelect and Innovation First Labs, INC but all the opinions are my own**

Initials Inc Purse Review

I was given the opportunity to review a purse from Initials Inc. In order for me to give a review that would truly show how much I love this bag I had to create a Vlog review.

Initials Inc has a catalog full of things that have left me pining for weeks. The bag that I recieved to review was only the tip of the iceberg. After going through page after page of cute things I suddenly have the urge to entertain guests, organize my home, and take long trips just so I have an excuse to buy EVERYTHING.

I don’t think my husband would notice.

The experience with the Gift on the Go was surprisingly fast. The purse was ready to be shipped and the personalization took no added time and it is always free.   Which made the wait time at my front door minimal and the fright of seeing a grown woman peeking out the window for the FedEx man was only slightly traumatic(for him).

I am going to encourage you to check out the link. Initials Inc through Kyra Barnes (an Independent Creative Partner with Initials Inc.) is now my first official sponsor so their lovely link is featured conviently on the right hand side.  If you are looking for more proof about what a great company Initials Inc is go and check out the latest Women’s Day magazine or just click HERE.  They have been featured!

Bottom line.  Great Purse. Great Value. Go Shopping

Heelys; The Ultimate Shoe

Heelys have quite a reputation. Everyone seems to have an opinion about these shoes and most of them are negative. I used to be in the Heely hater group however after giving these shoes more than a passing glance or an evil eye my personal opinion has changed. Heelys are pretty cool.

A few months ago I was given the opportunity to choose a pair of Heelys for either myself or someone in my family.  Already being the proud owner of hot pink Converse, I felt that my maturity may be questioned if I choose Pink Heelys for myself so I decided it best that my six year old be the test subject.  As I scanned through the pages of skate shoes I  had visions of my son being one of those kids skating through the grocery store staring at his DS (even though he doesn’t have one) and being the cause of evil glares from every other shopper. I was nervous but he was already in love and I was curious.

It was a happy day when the black and red box arrived. My son audibly held his breath as he pulled the new Black and Green skate shoes from the box.  He was in love.  They were everything he was wishing for in new shoes and they had skates?! How could a six year old resist?!  He couldn’t….

Heely Shoes

Heely shoes with wheelsAfter prying them away, I was able to check out the shoes for myself.  I was really impressed. They are extremely nice shoes that look like regular skate shoes but these are ACTUALLY skate shoes.  One feature that I really like was the fact the wheels are removable and come with a hard plastic piece to seal the hole when the wheel is not in place.  This is great if you are going to the store and don’t want to be killed with the death rays shooting from other peoples eyes as they watch your kid roll along.

I am a safety nut so I made my son learn to walk and skate in these shoes at home with a helmet.  He has never had skates on and I knew throwing them on and pushing him out the door would prove disastrous.  They are a little difficult to get a handle on but he is getting the hang of it and after about 10 falls in a row I went to Heelys online for more instructions.  There are videos.  No kidding!  We took notes.

Heely Shoes inside

Heely shoes inside with help Practice Heely Shoes

He is smiling in the picture because he successfully made it back to me without a tumble! His ultimate goal is to be this guy…The Ultimate Heely Skater

A few weeks ago I did a quick survey on my Facebook page to find out what my followers opinions towards Heelys.  Most of the responses were negative and I will admit I was leaning towards the hate side myself.  The only experience I had ever had with the shoes were through other peoples obnoxious children. Now that I actually have them in my house I am a convert. These shoes are great fun for the kiddos!  They look cool and they are fairly versatile. I also love the fact that Heelys does not recommend wearing these shoes in highly populated areas and I can still hate the parents that allow their kids to wear them in the store.

My son adores they shoes and frankly so do I.  I will definitely be getting another pair for my younger son as soon as he grows into their sizing.  They encourage kiddos to get outside to play and in our home they have convinced my son that he too can be the Ultimate Heely Skater.

Check them out on Facebook, Twitter, and their Homepage.  They also have sale going on right now in addition to Free Shipping if you put in the coupon code  HeelysLovesBloggers.  The code lasts  12am on Friday September 2 – 11:59 Monday September 5

Episencial Review- Healthy skincare/haircare for the kiddos

I am not big on review writing.  I typically stick with reviews that included a giveaway but when MommyParties invited me to review and then write my results on an organic skincare line for kids I jumped for the chance.

Episencial is a new skincare line that is made organically and for your kiddos.  Kim Walls, the creator behind the line, ditched the harsh chemicals found in most skincare lines and added in the organic elements. The makers of Episencial focused gentle, “newborn safe” formulas that help boost the skins immune functions.

They actually sent me their entire skincare line to test out and all the items I have used, I have really enjoyed. My kids were the test subjects of the Playful Foaming Wash, Sweet Dreams Bubble Bath, Better Body Butter, and Soothing Cream.  The bubble bath worked just like every bubble bath formula – LOTS of bubbles, but I really enjoyed knowing that my boys weren’t stewing in a pot of ingredients that I can’t pronounce…

The Playful Foaming Wash actually doubles as a shampoo and this is the product that I ADORE.  My three year olds hair was gorgeous after it dried! He is pretty shaggy in the hair department because he has wonderfully thick wavy hair and usually it looks a little frizzy and damaged.  Not anymore.  I promise you!  He is hair looks like a commercial, shiny and healthy!  My husband even commented about how good it had been looking lately. I LOVE IT!

The lotions are perfect and keep them moisturized as it should!  Honestly, it is a pet peeve of mine when my kiddos have really dry skin and I don’t like using my lotion on their little bodies but I don’t have to use much and they are good for the rest of the day!

One of the best parts of the Episencial package is that they have partnered up with Eric Carle so all the bottles are adorable.  My boys call it the caterpillar soaps.

So, I have distributed this products amongst my friends with little kids and am waiting the results. I wasn’t going to make them wash their children in my tubs to see how the products worked for them, that would be creepy. Now I would like to encourage you to check out the website and maybe try out a bottle or two for yourself.  I would say it is worth it!

Book Review: Shades of Morning

I was recently given the opportunity to review the latest book of Marlo Schalesky, Shades of Morning.  I have never read a Christian novel and I honestly had my doubts….

Marnie Wittier, the main character, is a women that has spent the majority of the her adult life running from her decisions.  She is a Christian woman and obviously loves God but is unsure about His love for her.  It is when Marnie’s sitter dies in a very odd accident that she is faced with her past and is  forced into a new reality.  She suddenly finds herself as a mother of a boy with Down-Syndrome and back in contact with her one and only love, Taylor Cole.

It is through this reality that God works and shows Marnie that her past transgressions are indeed in the past and He loves her regardless.

This book is typically not my “cup of tea.”  I took me a long time to actually get involved with the characters.  Each one, except Emmit, was lost in their own world of regrets.  They were constantly playing the coulda, woulda, shoulda, game and the flashbacks were almost overwhelming.  I do understand the need to describe the past situations however every time a character entered into a flashback I cringed when they returned to reality.  Marlo would spend pages describing the feelings of regret and loss associated with the these “memories.”

It seemed that every character, except Emmit, felt as if they had let someone down and they were swimming in a pool of shame which was really disappointing because the overall concept of the plot was pretty good. Marnie and Taylor have a past that can resonate with almost every reader and Marlo added some twists that actually kept me guessing in the end….but that was the problem, it was the END.  I do believe that she could have added some intriguing questions to the real reason why Marnie and Taylor were running so hard from each other instead of plopping it all down at the end.

Overall, I would say this is an average read.  Marlo did a great job at describing the love and grace that God has for us.  The Lord does show Himself in some extremely hard trials and it is through those times that we are forced to let go and truly trust in Him.  Spiritually I believe he is right on but the characters were driving me crazy.

Shades of Morning on Amazon

Check her out

No – not me. Even though my eighties outfit would have made you look twice…

I am a Christ follower. I may not blog about it often but it is a true hardcore fact about me. I love Christ with every fiber of my being and it is Him that gets me through my day when I think that I can’t handle it anymore.  He is the guiding light for our family and it is only through Him that we are who we are today.

That being said, I occasionally recommend other blogs that I find to be wonderful, inspirational, funny, or just pretty much awesome.  Today it is:

Transforming Together.

Ele Parrott is the author of this wonderful blog.  She is inspiring, compassionate, insightful, and helpful.  Check her out.

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