Gift Guide For The Homeschooling Mom

Inevitably the question always arises. “What do you want for____(Birthday, Christmas, Mother’s Day…) and you struggle to find a good answer. So I decided to put together a gift guide for the homeschooling mom to give you ideas! You could even just email your husband this blog post to give him ideas and he could surprise you this Christmas!

Some women want all practical gifts, and others love a little splurge when it comes time for gifts. I’m a combination of both, so you will see that on this gift guide!

Gift Guide For the Homeschooling Mom! You might be difficult to buy for, but never fear, send this blog post to your husband for ideas!

 

  1. Comb Binding Machine– Let’s just jump in with a super practical gift! My friend recently gave me something she had printed off and bound, and I was surprised that I had never even thought of getting one of these. Now it’s high on my wish list! I can see how practical it would be for printing off workbooks for the children, and ebooks for myself.

2. Scotch Laminator – I received this two years ago and love it! I’ve laminated a lot of printables for school, or flashcards that come in a set that I want to keep nice. Every homeschooling mom should get one!

3. Pencil Sharpener – You know how frustrating it is to not find pencils, or not find any that are sharpened! I’ve been through several pencil sharpeners during our school years, and so far the one that has lasted the longest is the manual Carl-Angel Pencil Sharpener. My mother in law gave it to me a few years ago and it’s still going strong!

4. Instant Pot – these are all the rage and for good reasons! I love cooking frozen chicken breast from Zaycon in this, and baked potatoes are so moist and yummy. Brown rice also turns out nicely in here. I need to try more recipes, but for what I currently use it for I’m really happy. I have a 6 quart and it works ok, but would love to get an 8 quart one day. These are even better than crock pots for homeschooling moms in my opinion. How many times do you forget to set out the meat and it’s still frozen at 5:00, or you just don’t know what you are going to make? But if you want to use a crock pot, this will function as one!

5. Teaching From Rest Book – You have to stay encouraged as a homeschooling mom. The days can be so long and difficult! This book will bring you immense encouragement and it’s an easy, shorter read. A must have book!

6. Essential Oil Diffuser – I pulled my diffuser out from the box when we moved and it didn’t work anymore. I just purchased a new one from Amazon so we will see what I think. I’m thinking about joining Young Living again under one of my best friend’s to get their starter kit, as I’m out of some of my favorite oils (Thieves, Peppermint, Lavender, Peace and Calming) and that’s another great gift idea! Essential oils could help calm you down on a frustrating homeschooling day!

7. The Homeschool Planner – Do you need a new planner, or want to try something different for 2018? Grab this PDF homeschool planner that we created and then have it printed out and bound as a gift!

8. Lilla Rose Hair Products – It’s hard to get up in the morning and look put together. Some days homeschooling moms are tempted to stay in their pajamas, but I always encourage moms who read this blog to try and get up and get dressed! It can really help you be more productive. A Lilla Rose Flexi Clip is a super easy way to fix your hair in a minute or two and make it look nice! If you need Sizing or Styling ideas, watch this video.

9. Homeschool Mama Shirt – Why not go ahead and share at the grocery store that you are a homeschooling mom with this t-shirt? You know they are wondering when you come in at 10:00 AM with your five school age children with you! HA! I think this is a sweet shirt!

10. Diffuser Necklace – this is another gift high on my list this year. I love how this one looks and I’ve been really wanting to try it! Put a few drops of essential oil in the necklace and you can smell it for several hours. This would be great for soothing oils, or essential oils for headaches.

Reversable Tote Bag

11. Reversable Faux Leather Tote bag – Homeschooling mom’s need good bags. Whether you want a larger purse to hold the diaper and wipes for that toddler, or you want to stash a few books and a planner in your purse, I’ve found I prefer carrying a little bit larger purse. This reversible tote bag looks classic and super nice, and it should hold up well! Another item on my wish list (I’ve seen a blogger use this tote for a few years now!).

12. The Life Giving Table – This isn’t a homeschooling book, but I think Sally Clarkson is an amazing author, and mentor from afar. This is her latest book and I have it on my nightstand to read! Bring some life back into your mealtime and home through the inspiration and guidance found in this book.

13. Paper Cutter – Homeschooling moms have a lot of paper projects, and this paper cutter will be a big help! I recently had a friend help me with a project and she used this paper cutter. It made the job so much quicker!

Some other ideas I thought of are an Amazon Prime membership, or a Stitch Fix gift card! Homeschooling moms don’t spend a lot of time pampering themselves or going out shopping for clothes, so this is a fun way to have clothes delivered at home from a stylist.

I’d love to know what is on your wish list this year? I love hearing what others are wanting to get! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Top 5 Baby Essentials

Sophia is now 2 years old and even though we still call her baby she is officially a toddler. Life with her has been a crazy wild ride! She is still our most difficult toddler yet, she also has turned into being really sweet and funny as well.

I thought it would be fun to share what my top 5 baby essential items have been the past few years. After six children my list has been tested and tried, and I don’t have a lot of extra items included in the list.

Baby Carrier

Outside of diapers and wipes and clothes, this is my most essential item. I use my carrier a lot, and still use it with Sophia!

I’ve thought about getting a Toddler carrier now that she is 2, but for now we make the regular Tula carrier work. I’ve also used the Ergo baby carrier. I’m honestly not the best at using a baby wrap where I tie, but I’ve tried a few like the Happy Baby wrap before.

A Pack N Play

We haven’t used a crib for a few years because of the small house we live in. With 4 girls in one bedroom, having the baby sleep in a pack n play is essential. It’s actually worked out really well! It’s nice that they offer sheets for pack n play beds now!

A Teething Necklace

I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t know if a teething necklace helps or not. Ha! But it’s the one thing I don’t mind trying that is “extra” and it honestly looks so cute on babies! We used one with the last two babies, and I’ll keep using a teething necklace if we have more babies.

Aden & Anais Swaddle Blankets

I’ve put off buying these swaddle blankets with my first 5 babies. I finally kept hearing everyone talk so highly of them that I purchased a set, and I can’t believe what I was missing! I absolutely love how soft and snuggly these blankets are. They are lightweight, yet extremely good quality. We actually used these blankets for a full two years, and I think one is still not packed up. I bought a cheaper swaddle blanket at a children’s consignment sale and it wasn’t soft at all so we never used it.

Car Seats

Car seats are another essential item, and after using them quite a few times I have my favorites! With an infant I love using the Chicco Infant seat. The ratings on it are excellent, the quality is great, and I love the classic, clean lines.

Once they outgrow the infant seat we buy the Diono Radian Car Seat. These are one of the smallest seats on the market so they worked well when we had our mini van. The ratings are also extremely high on these seats, and they last forever! We currently have two of these that we are using with our 5 and 2 year old.

While there are other items I use with a baby, these are the top items that stand out to me! I recently found a new baby company to shop from online, and since I love supporting smaller companies I wanted to share it with you!

The Baby Cubby offers some of the well known items that I shared about in this post, as well as hundreds of other items! The store is made up of parents who have first hand experience with what is needed. What really stood out to me is that they price match, even with Amazon! So if you find something cheaper elsewhere, you can email them and they will match that price!

While we are slowly packing away baby gear, I look forward to using it all again at some point, if the Lord blesses us! If you are expecting, drop a comment and let me know! I’d love to know how many readers are going to be having a baby soon!

*This post was sponsored by The Baby Cubby. All thoughts are strictly my own.

 

 

Using Airbnb for your vacation lodging!

When we started going to homeschool conventions this spring, I was really unsure of how it was going to work to book hotels everywhere. We already knew that we didn’t really want to stay at the hotel connected the convention, as they normally are higher priced hotels at really nice convention centers. If we were just going to one convention as homeschool parents, it’s a fun splurge. But when you start traveling quite a bit, the extra cost really adds up.

Right before we went to our first convention, an online friend told me about Airbnb. I had never heard of it, but I’ve since heard it’s super popular! I might be the only one out there that was unfamiliar with it, but if you haven’t heard of it either, read on to find more about this amazing website!

Using Airbnb for your vacation lodging needs! It's perfect for a large family wanting to travel on a budget!

Traveling with a large family is difficult. Trying to find a hotel room that will accommodate a family to stay together requires extra work, and sometimes you can’t even get it to work. Then you have the expense of two rooms, when you can often make one room work. Our children are still young enough that we can fit into one room, if it’s suite. However, we have found a better solution!

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Airbnb is a website where people offer homes, apartments, or just a room in their house for rent, for a day, two days, a week, or longer. This service is offered all over the USA, and you can find little houses, big houses, plain houses or fancy houses!

So…what did we think?

We have used Airbnb three times now. The first time we took our two oldest boys, went to Nashville and got an apartment for $62.00 a night. It was actually basement apartment at someone’s house, but it was a separate entrance with no way to get upstairs from the apartment. It was not fancy, but we were able to save money on food by bringing along food and using the fridge and freezer, and I even brought my instant pot along and had dinner waiting for us in the evenings! For a business trip, it was perfect.

We used Airbnb on our Florida trip and absolutely loved the houses we rented!

A house we rented in Florida from the Airbnb website! It was the perfect vacation home!

The first house was a 4 bedroom, 3 bath house with a pool behind it that was just for us to use in Orlando! We were pleasantly surprised that the dining room table even fit our family (our current table is a really tight squeeze now). The house was clean, and had the basics we needed. It was in a gated neighborhood, and we felt totally safe there! We paid around $150 a night for this house, which I thought was an awesome price!

Kitchen and Dining room in a house we rented in Florida. It was the perfect vacation home, and we found it through Airbnb!

The second house was a block away from a beach a few hours away from Orlando. It was a smaller house than the previous one, officially it was just a 2 bedroom, 2 bath house, but they had a couch bed in a little room off the living room that we used. Even though this house was smaller, it was probably my favorite because the decorating style was exactly what I love!

A lovely distressed looking desk that worked as an office, or to put makeup on in the morning!

Everything was shabby chic looking, in whites, grays, and vintage style. It was so adorable!

Simple but clean bedroom with throw pillows, a nice coordinating bedspread and curtains.

This was the master bedroom, I spent as much quiet time in here as I could, just relaxing after the convention. The guys watched a sports game together, and I think I came in here one night and watched a movie by myself. It was wonderful. 🙂

Kitchen tools kept in one spot, and organized!

Part of the kitchen! It obviously had plenty of kitchen tools provided!

Grilling dinner at the vacation house in Florida!

The boys found these hats in the shed, so they thought it was great fun to wear them while grilling dinner. 🙂

We loved our Airbnb experiences, and definitely plan on using them over and over again when we travel! If you have a larger family, it especially makes sense to check into this, or if you just want more privacy, the enjoyment of an actual house over a hotel room.

Here are some things you should know before going to an Airbnb house. 

  1. Normally the host communicates with you really well on how to get into the house, check in and check out times. We only saw our host at the apartment we stayed at, a lot of the people that own these homes don’t live locally. I prefer to just be left alone, but I had to email the owner a few times and she always got back with me quickly, to answer my questions.
  2. Every house we stayed at had dishes provided to eat on, and silverware. The kitchen in Orlando had quite a lot of kitchen items provided (pots and pans, a blender, toaster, etc). However, only the basics are normally provided. I would suggest bringing along a can opener if you are planning on cooking, as 2 different times I really needed one, and it wasn’t there, or it wasn’t working well.
  3. You are responsible for providing your own toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent, dishwashing detergent, and trash bags. I suggest bringing your own from your house, instead of going out on the trip just to purchase these things. One of the houses provided trash bags, the other house did not. It’s just easiest to bring these things along, because you never know exactly what will be provided. All of the houses had an iron and ironing board, so I could have left my iron at home. Yes, I travel with my iron!
  4. While you have to leave the house in a clean and orderly fashion, a cleaning person is always hired to come in and clean after you leave. You don’t have to wash sheets and towels, or scrub floors before leaving.
  5. Make sure and read all the reviews before booking a house! Even if it’s a 5 star review with no negative feedback, you might find out helpful information about the house or area.

When you join Airbnb through this link, you automatically get a $25 credit to use towards your first trip! If you are traveling this summer, it’s a great option! We are already looking forward to the next Airbnb house we stay at!

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Trades of Hope Review and Giveaway!

I have heard about Trades of Hope over the years, but never really looked at the actual website before. When I was contacted about doing a review for them, I jumped at the chance!

*Disclaimer ~ This is a sponsored post for a consultant with Trades of Hope. All thoughts are strictly my own, and I was not paid to write a positive review. I was pleasantly surprised with how much I liked the products I received, and it was a joy to write these thoughts!

I love companies that are created to help women in need. Trades of Hope is a perfect example! Not sure what they are doing to actually help women? Read what they have to say:

We work with the artisans themselves and organizations that are helping women in difficult circumstances. Some women have been rescued from sex slavery. Others are raising handicapped children alone. Some are in war torn countries and others have AIDS. These women have never had the chances we’ve had, yet they are just like us in so many ways. They love their families and hope and dream of a better life for them.

Trades of Hope necklace

I received this beautiful jeweled necklace that was handcrafted! It was pretty online, but in person it’s even more beautiful! I love thinking about who might have put it together, and feel gratefulness when I know that one woman is receiving a new life as she makes these products.

Trade of Hope necklace. Support women trying to build a good life for themselves through purchasing from Trades of Hope!

Trades of Hope Necklace

The colors go with almost any outfit!

Trades of Hope Necklace

Trades of Hope Earrings

I also received these lovely Crystal Spring earrings. They are dainty and ladylike, and beautifully made!

Trades of Hope sells Jewelry, Scarves, Handbags, Home Decor, and Stationary! I was surprised when I saw so many different categories, I only thought they sold jewelry.

If you want to help support a good cause, consider shopping through Trades of Hope the next time you need a new gift, or just something special for yourself! Amber is a Trades of Hope consultant, and she will be happy to help you!

Amber is giving away a lovely Haiti bracelet made by cereal boxes.  I never would have guessed that this lovely bracelet was created from cereal boxes! You can send empty boxes to be made into jewelry, which creates many jobs for women! Find out more info here.

Enter to win below! (Giveaway is for USA only)
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