Saturday, January 28, 2017

REVIEW: Kwik Stix Thin Stix 12-Pk by The Pencil Grip

Thin Stix 12 pk picture

Disclaimer:  This is a sponsored post, and all opinions are mine.  I received a 12-pk of Thin Stix to try in exchange for my honest review.

You may remember that we had the pleasure of reviewing the original Kwik Stix last year.  First, we tried out the basic colors.  Then near the holidays, we tried out the Metalix and Neon colors.

Since then, though, The Pencil Grip released the awesome new Thin Stix!  They sent us the super cool Thin Stix 12 Pk., which comes in 12 basic colors.  It’s available for just $11.99!

Thin Stix 12 pk picture

Look at all of these beautiful, bright colors!

In case you’re not familiar with them already or perhaps you missed my previous reviews of them, they are unique tempera paints that come in a solid form that kids can draw and “paint” with like soft crayons, only no brushes or water are required, and therefore, there’s no mess!  Your kids’ creations will dry completely in just 90 seconds!

My 12-year old daughter, Haylee, has thoroughly enjoyed her Kwik Stix and draws with the all the time.  Since she’s older, though, she was really hoping they’d come up with some that had a narrower tip to allow for finer detail in her designs.  That’s where Thin Stix come in!  I can’t tell you how excited she was when she saw they’d released this wonderful new version.  She jumped at the chance to try them out, and she’s had fun creating with them ever since! 


First, she drew lines with all of the colors just to show you how narrow of a line you can draw with the Thin Stix.  It also shows off how vibrant the colors are!

DSCF4778 DSCF4779

Then she drew some pictures with smaller details.


Here, she wanted to demonstrate that you can still use Thin Stix to fill in larger designs as you would with the regular Kwik Stix, but in doing so, you can use a series of smaller lines to add texture to a large surface area.


And here, she demonstrated how you can make a more advanced drawing, taking advantage of the smaller tips.

Clearly, you can see that these new Thin Stix are very versatile and provide a fun and creative tool that even older kids can appreciate and enjoy!  We highly recommend you try them out, and Haylee looks forward to collecting more Thin Stix in the coming months, which are available in Metalix and Neons, as well as in an all-encompassing Creativity Pack that combines all 3 sets into one box!

Even if you already have the regular Kwik Stix, you’ll definitely want to add Thin Stix to your collection.  They take creativity to a whole new level!

Monday, January 23, 2017

7-Eleven Freebies for Rewards App Users

Image result for 7-eleven rewards

If you have the 7-Eleven Rewards app, then there are two great freebies in store for you right now!

#1:  Every Wednesday in January, scan your app to get a FREE cup of coffee, any size.  No purchase required.


#2:  Every Saturday in January and February, scan your app to get a FREE small Slurpee, any flavor.  No purchase required.


So swing by your local 7-Eleven store, use your app, and take advantage of these awesome freebies!


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Holden’s 9th Birthday Party!!!

After being postponed due to a blizzard last weekend, Holden finally got to DSCF4767have his party on Saturday!  He just had the two little neighbor girls over, all of the adults from church, and a couple of adult family friends.  Everyone had a great time, though!

His little neighbor friends stayed over from noon until 7 PM, and they played and played all day.  They had such a good time playing hide and seek in the house.

I ordered a chicken tender platter from Wal-mart and picked up cheese, veggie, and fruit trays.  I set out some snacks like salami, crackers, little turkey cocktail sausages, and different kinds of chips and pretzels and called it done! 

Preparing was pretty stress-free, so I made a very special, fancy cake as his birthday cake.  I made a Cherry Cheesecake Chocolate Bundt Cake!  Wow…it was fabulous!  I didn’t have room to put it in the fridge, so I opted to bake it the morning before the party started.  It ended up needing to bake for an hour and half before the cheesecake in the middle finally set, so there was no way it was going to cool in time to chill it before we had to eat it!  It was still good, but when we refrigerated the remainder and had it the next day, it was amazing!  It totally changed the texture to be like a brownie with cherry cheesecake inside.  Yum!


It was so nice spending the day with our closest family friends.  And with only a couple of kids, it remained fairly calm and orderly.  Holden really enjoyed himself.  He was so excited because he knew someone had gotten him a couple of Xbox 360 games that he was dying to play, so right after he opened the gifts, he actually disappeared for a bit while he went to play them!  LOL.  He’s so funny.

Many to thanks to all of our friends who came out to celebrate with us!  You all made it a special day for Holden, and we appreciate it.



Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Hubby’s 45th Birthday…and a Blizzard!

Holden’s 9th birthday party was supposed to happen on Saturday, but the weather had other plans.  We got a blizzard instead!  So I had to reschedule the party to next Saturday instead.

It just so happened that Saturday was my husband’s actual birthday, as well.  He said that growing up in Michigan, he often had snow on his birthday that kept him from going to school, even if it wasn’t forecasted.  So I told him it was his fault we got socked with a blizzard, which is a rare occurrence here in sunny Virginia Beach!

It was fun watching the storm come through.  It snowed overnight and all day Saturday until late evening.  It was beautiful!  We had sleet first, and it stayed below freezing for several days afterwards, so the neighborhood roads have remained a sheet of ice.  My senior has been out of public school for 3 days now!  With warmer temps today and rain, it’s all turning to slush and melting away, so he should be able to get back to school tomorrow, without a doubt.  It was fun while it lasted! 

I had no desire to go out in the burning cold, but my kids enjoyed sledding on a hill nearby over the weekend with some of the neighborhood kids.  Haylee’s little face was so wind-burned!  She went outside every chance she got in her new snowsuit that we picked up at the thrift store in anticipation of winter.

So without Holden’s party, I was able to make a really nice cake for Steve.  He likes carrot cake best, so I found a recipe on Pinterest for a lovely Carrot Bundt Cake.  It was so good!  It had a cream cheese filling and also a cream cheese frosting drizzled over the top with crumbled pecans.  Yum!


Hubby was a good sport in letting us sing to him, and the kids snuck some sparkler candles on the cake that were nearly impossible to blow out because they kept re-lighting!  What fun would it be without some trick candles?!?


It has been wicked trying to get the kids focused on their school work with Hayden home this week.  They are so distracted just by his presence in the house!  ARGH!  And the snow has been a constant draw for Haylee’s attention.  At least it’s going away now!  LOL

The new Crew year has begun on the Homeschool Review Crew this week, as well, so we’ll be getting assigned to new reviews over the next few days.  Then reviews will get posted in the next month or so, so stay tuned!  I’ll keep the Upcoming Reviews section updated in the right margin of my blog as I get assigned to products, so keep your eye on that for what’s to come!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Birthdays Abound!

Let me start by saying Happy New Year  to all of you!  I hope you have a safe and blessed year ahead of you.

The holidays have been so busy, as they usually are for us.  Holden turned 9 on December 28th.  I can hardly believe this is his last birthday before he hits the double digits!  All of my babies are growing up on me.  Here’s his requested jumbo pineapple upside down cupcake, and here is a video of him as we sung happy birthday.


Today is my 45th birthday!  I dedicated my efforts in 2016 to getting fit and healthy again.  I lost about 19 pounds, and I’m happy to say that I exercise every day and eat right, and I’m feeling pretty good to be this old!  I’m much happier with myself at the turn of this new year than I was on my birthday last year, that’s for sure. 

My kids usually cook for me and do all of the dishes on my birthday, but this year, I volunteered to do all of the regular cooking if they would just bake me a special cupcake for my birthday and clean up afterwards, so that’s what they did!  I was actually hunting for a special cupcake to make for Holden’s upcoming birthday party when I ran across this recipe on Pinterest for Apple Pie Cupcakes.  I love ALL things apple cinnamon, so I immediately knew that this was what I wanted for my own birthday.  I was so happy when everyone agreed to this idea, so I picked up all of the ingredients, printed out the recipe, offered my tidbits of advice, and went to do my workout while Steve and Haylee set to work making magic happen in the kitchen.  I happened to have a Pillsbury Cinnamon Bun cake mix in the house, so I suggested they use that instead of yellow cake to make it even more cinnamon-y.  Man, were they ever delicious!  I want these every year…


I started out the day by going out for a lovely breakfast with my husband, Steve, at Denny’s.  This is a traditional thing we do every year on my birthday.  We don’t get out too much together without the kids, so this is something special we really look forward to.  We had a nice leisurely morning together and then headed off with the kids for church.  I had made a special dinner for everyone the night before with leftovers for tonight, so we got to enjoy my made-from-scratch calzones for my birthday dinner.  Yum!  I really should have taken a photo of them after they were baked, but they weren’t around too long once they came out of the oven!  LOL


Now I have to get busy planning for Holden’s birthday party next Saturday, which also happens to be Steve’s actual 46th birthday!  As I said, this stretch of holidays is a busy time for my family with three birthdays to celebrate thrown into the mix of Christmas and New Year’s.  I had a great weekend, and one of my oldest and dearest friends, Roslyn, came over on Friday night to watch a movie with me and hang out.  We had such a good time.  You can never spend enough time with good friends!

I hope you all have a wonderful New Year in 2017!