The Traveling Sisterhood: August 2015

Monday, August 31

A Lucy Unboxing: #PoochPerks Dog Box! #Giveaway

Special thanks to PoochPerks for providing Lucy with this box to review!  All opinions are honest and our own.
Our Lucy was so excited to unbox her very own PoochPerks Box!  She has tried 4 different boxes and this has been are all-time fave!  It was packed so full of high-quality toys, treats, and puppy care items that I was just as impressed as my pooch!   Lucy unboxed 2 squeekie toys which instantly became her newest babies, a big huge peanut butter doggie bar (her favorite), a bag full of doggie jerky (her other favorite), a heavy-duty chewing toy, some natural ear wax cleaner (I really needed this--dogs with ear hair and ear wax, well, it's not a pretty picture...), some gourmet dog treats, some apple cinnamon bone-shaped dog treats, and a bag of little doggie sausages!  Once we went inside, she took her new babies right to her bed.  She also grabbed that peanut butter dog cookie bar thing and rushed to hide with it... with the wrapping still on!

Mom, Mom, it's for me!
Going inside, just like the dog on the box!
This smells good... and this.... and this!!!  I want to try them all, Mom!

Sit.  Sit.  Good dog! 

Happy puppy loves her PoochPerks!

One thing that is especially cool about PoochPerks is that their treats are all made in the U.S.A. and I believe they were all natural and organic, good for my pooch.  That is awesome and something I love to support!   Their plans always have free shipping and start at $20 and go on up depending on your pooch's needs and mommy's budget.  ;)  

You can win a Perfect PoochPerks box for your pooch filled with toys and treats! Enter below by 8/31 at 11 pm anyone's time. I'll choose a winner the next day!

You Can Find PoochPerks On

Saturday, August 22

Free! "God Made Kittens" Stickerbook and Bunny Stickers

Tyndale Rewards has a ton of new stuff for littles--my kiddos are going to love this one!  It's only 15 pts from Tyndale Rewards and if you're new to their free rewards program, you get 25 points just for signing up!  The "It's Spring" bunny stickers are only 10 pts, so you can get both--shipping is free, too!  Grab these one before they're all gone. :)

Friday, August 21

Dog Park Etiquette with Bil-Jac #Giveaway!

We love to take Lucy to the park when it's nice! We haven't taken her to a "dog park" yet but it sounds like a great way for our four-legged friend to get some much-needed exercise and socialize! Here are some dog park etiquette tips for those of you who are first-timers like us:

1. Clean up - Don't forget to pick up any messes left by your dog! The other pet-lovers at the park will appreciate it.

2. Leave your little puppy at home - Puppies under the age of four months should wait to go to a dog park.

3. Put the phone down - Make sure you are properly supervising your dog.

4. Learn some commands – Your dog should know a few basic commands before you visit a dog park. Most important might be 'come.' Bil-Jac treats are great for teaching! Visit to find the best variety for you!

Lucy is super picky about dog treats, it turns out, but she loves these ones that look like little sausages!  They're sold at Petsmart, Petco, or you can find them near you at

You can win some Bil-Jac Grain Free Dog treats for your pooch! Enter below by 8/31 at 11 pm anyone's time. I'll choose a winner the next day!

Special thanks to the wonderful people at Bil-Jac for this opportunity!  All opinions are honest and our own. 

Thursday, August 20

Tiny Soles Kids Shoes $50 Gift Card #Giveaway!

My daughter received a pair of Stride Rite Racer Lights from Tiny Soles to review and she was so excited b/c these shoes really are awesome!  The Stride Rite Racer Lights Starpower shoe features first of its kind Racer lights technology that challenges her to have fast feet! When she makes as many rapid steps within a 20 second time frame as she can, the lights change from a chase sequence to a strobe effect. A step counter within the shoe tracks her steps and activates the strobe when she goes “turbo”.  Now how cool is that?! 

She was so excited they sent her a lollipop along with her shoes!

Opening it up!  Feels like Christmas!
Testing out the lights! They work!  She can't wait to run in them and see the turbo strobe effect.
What first impressed me about TinySoles was their variety.  They're dedicated to providing the most complete selection of stylish, comfortable shoes for babies, infants, toddlers and kids and it shows!  They also have socks and clothing and great sales!  Whoever wins the gift card could certainly pick out more than just a pair of shoes, considering ours were $34 on sale, they're awesome, and the shipping is free.

You Can Follow TinySoles On

One winner will receive a $50 gift card! Enter below by 8/31 at 11 pm anyone's time.
What will you buy your kiddo if you win?!

Special thanks to the wonderful people at TinySoles for this review opportunity.  All opinions are honest and our own.

Saturday, August 15

Nick’s Sticks: Wholesome Snacks! #Giveaway

Nick's Sticks beef and turkey jerky sounded delicious, like the perfect snack for my kiddos who graze all day and my hubby whose lunch I pack every morning.  Well, the jerky sticks arrived yesterday and my family loves them!  Our favorite is the spicy beef--it's not too spicy, similar to a pepperoni-style spiciness.  These jerky sticks are healthier than what you find in stores--they don't have nearly as much salt as what you usually find in stores, and the salt they do have is organic seasoned salt.  

It's snack time!

All of Nick's snack sticks are made with the Midwest’s finest grass-fed beef or free-range turkey. They combine those with organic seasoned salt to bring you and your family one of the cleanest snacks you can find!

One of my readers will receive a delicious 12 pack of Nick's Sticks!  Enter below by 8/21 at 11 pm anyone's time.

You Can Follow Nick's Sticks On
For my most recent posts and extra entries, head to The Traveling Sisterhood Homepage!
Special thanks to the wonderful people at Nick's Sticks for providing us with these snacks to review and giveaway!

Friday, August 14

The Lost Art of Letter Writing

We all have those Facebook friends who are little more than acquaintances we see every once in awhile.  About three years ago, one of mine wrote a status update asking if anyone wanted to be pen pals.  I knew she was looking for an out-of-state pen pal, but even though we live in the same zip code, I commented "I'll be your pen pal!"  It sounded fun, and she took me up on it.  What started as something silly turned out to be one of the greatest blessings in my life!

We began to write letters.  We went all out--wax seals, stationary, and all.  We wrote about our favorite things, our past, our families.  It turned out we had so much more in common than we ever imagined.  We discovered the kinds of things you rarely discover with even your best friends and we became best friends not only through letter, but in real life.  Last year, something happened that devastated me.  It was something I could talk to very few people about.  But I could talk to her.  In real life, she prayed with me.  By mail, she encouraged me.  I trusted her with my deepest secrets, we can tell each other anything, and I don't think we could ever have been so close if we had not become pen pals.

Letter to my pen pal

Since then, I've begun writing letters to a couple other friends--one who lives a couple states away and one who lives here.  In every circumstance, it's drawn us closer together.  It's exciting to get a text saying "Celena, I mailed you a letter today!" and to eagerly wait for it. It's wonderful to sit down and thoughtfully write a letter, and to receive the same in return. 

So if you write a status update requesting a pen pal, or if you decide to just start writing letters to one of your good friends who happens to live in the same town, your life will be richer for it.  Promise!

Wednesday, August 12

Honest Kitchen, Pet Cookies #Giveaway

Special thanks to the wonderful people at Honest Kitchen for providing us with this review and giveaway opportunity!  All opinions are honest and our own.

Hm... what is this box of goodies that arrived in the mail for Lucy from Honest Kitchen?

Mommy opens the box so she can dig in!

Mm!  She likes it!

Apparently people can eat Honest Kitchen Pet Food, too... if they really want to--it's not only natural, it's human grade. Not that I would try it... but it's good to know my pooch is getting the best!  And she loves this stuff!  This morning, when she saw me get her packet of chicken, she danced around the kitchen and wagged her tail as I prepared it.  Once you add the water, you have to wait 3 minutes... pretty sure that was the longest 3 minutes of her young life.  But she thought it was worth the wait! 

Lucy's smiling about the prospect of  getting another 1 or 2 Smooches!  You can find them at Whole Foods and Sprouts.

And the Smooches dog treats are not only natural and high-grade, but super cute and shaped like heart cookies.  There are also tiny little treats called Quickies which are also shaped like hearts and are quick-to-serve training treats.  Believe me when I say they are perfect for teaching a dog to jump through hoops! 

The Honest Kitchen provides natural human-grade pet food products for both dogs and cats. Their gourmet recipes are 100% natural and gently dehydrated. Humans actually taste them to ensure every product is just right - and their recipes are made in a human food facility in the U.S. that makes the very same foods you probably eat! 

One of my readers will win a box of Smoochies Treats for her pooch!  Enter below by August 14th at 11 pm anyone's time.  U.S. only.  Good luck! 

How cool is that?!  These cookies seem to be "made out of love" by another Lucy!

You Can Find Back to Nature On

For my most recent posts and extra entries, head to The Traveling Sisterhood Homepage!

My Super Easy and Totally Giftable Truffles! #Recipe

These are so worth re-blogging every once in awhile--by far the most delicious things I have ever made all by myself and the recipe is soooo easy!  And when you make a batch, you end up with so many more than you (or your family) could possibly eat yourself so that you're absolutely compelled to give them away to unsuspecting people who will eat them and instantly love you more than they did before. 

In all honesty, these make some great budget-friendly Christmas gifts.  Everyone I give them to loves me more after they eat them!

  • 36 Oreo Cookies (do not use Tuxedos or another off-brand--they won't taste nearly as good.  Believe me.  I tried it and my tastebuds were not happy with me.)
  • Package of Instant Chocolate Pudding
  • 1/2 cup of whole milk
  • Package of Chocolate Chips (dark, white, and milk are equally delicious depending on your preference)


1. Put the Oreos (the whole bag!) in the biggest mixing bowl you have.  Crunch them up with whatever kitchen utensil you deem worthy enough for the task.

2. Measure 1/2 cup of milk into a measuring cup.  Pour in the pudding mix.  Stir real quick, just until the mixture is wet.  Scoop into the Oreo cookies and stir it up as evenly as possible. Stick in the fridge for 1/2 hour.

3. Get out of the fridge.  With a spoon, scoop up how much you need for about a 1 inch ball.  Roll into a ball.  (This is messy.  That's ok.  You're allowed to get messy.)  Place the balls on a wax-paper lined cookie sheet.  Keep doing this until your sheet is full.  Stick these in the freezer for 1/2 an hour.  (You can't chocolate-coat them if they're not pretty frozen).

4.  Pour half a bag of chocolate chips into a microwave safe dish.  Follow the directions for melting.  I put my chocolate in for about a minute but your microwave and chocolate brand may vary.

5.  Take the chocolate out. Stir it with a spoon. Get your truffles out of the freezer.  Put them in the chocolate, coat them, get them out with the spoon, and put them back where they were.

6. Freeze again.  Get them out later to top them with sprinkles, or a different type of chocolate, or nuts, or whatever your little creative heart desires.  Or just eat them.  They're already amazing!

Sunday, August 9

Modarri: An Amazing Building Toy to Rival Legos!! #Giveaway

Special thanks to the wonderful people at KidStuff PR and Thoughtful Toys for providing us with this review and giveaway opportunity! All opinions are honest and our own.

Rival Legos?  How 'bout just bring 'em along for the ride!
Emmet loves the new car my little guy custom built just for him!
"Hey there, Wild Style!"  "Hey there, Emmet!  I dig your new wheels!"

Modarri's customizeable cars are so amazing (which pretty much goes without saying once you see the pics!) and my kids loves them--they are officially my son's toys but his sisters love to play with them, too!  They're 8, 9, and 10 years old and are master builders at redesigning the Modarri cars, tightening the screws on them, and racing them!  Each car comes with a chassis, hood/windshield, seat pan, seat, fenders and frame, hex tool, four wheels, front and rear suspensions and a hex tool for taking them all apart and putting them back together or mixing them up. My kiddos love to build, break, and put together new creations with his toys which is why these cars are so perfect for him!

This one's for Lego Batman!

Modarri just came out with some new items--the new accessories to create 3 more car styles which were used to build Wild Style and Emmet's cards, plus a Camo Car, and a girl's Beach Cruzer.  We chose to review the new styles but one of you will win one of the brand new cars for your little girl or little guy!

The new beach cruzer and camo cars!  Which is your favorite?

You Can Find Modarri On


One of my readers will win one of the 2 cars in the pic above--your choice of purple Beach Cruzer or green Camo car.   Enter below by 8/20 at 11 pm anyone's time.  I'll choose a winner the next morning. 

What's your kiddos favorite thing to build?  Which car would they like best?

#PrettyInPinkBlush ♥ The Hashtag Says it All!

The bell sleeves of my new linen blouse from PinkBlush Boutique have an enchanting feel that I wanted to capture on film.   
This picture turned out just how I hoped it would, complete with the perfect lighting!  I love when that happens.  My garden is in full bloom and I think it made for a pretty backdrop. PinkBlush is a women's online boutique where you can find a variety of beautiful styles you won't find anywhere else, including tops like mine and cute dresses for women

I've tried so many trendy boutiques online - this one is at the top of my list!

Sitting in my garden in PinkBlush's Bell Sleeve Linen Blouse.  You can get it for $23 via their 20% off coupon by signing up for their newsletter.

For nearly a decade PinkBlush has proudly provided women with confident, feminine styles that celebrate life's transitions. They also offer a maternity line that is gorgeous and is how I first heard about them. As a family business, they understand the pressures of having and raising a family and, as such, they've earned customer confidence by providing both quality products and service. We offer free exchanges and free US shipping over $50 to ensure their customers find the right look and fit!

You Can Find Them On
Special thanks to the wonderful people at PinkBlush for providing me with this outfit to review!

Thursday, August 6

Homeschooling at the Grand Canyon: National Parks As Classrooms!

A trip to the Grand Canyon with the kiddos seemed like the perfect opportunity to teach them so much about Geology, southwest history and archaeology, as well as plant and animal biology! We also visited another nearby national park, Montezuma's Castle.  I found a variety of free resources so we focused our homeschool lessons on those topics the entire week before the trip.  Each National Park also has a free Ranger Program.  When you first arrive, head to the visitor's center to let the desk clerk know you'd like to sign your kids up.  There's a short and really cool little ceremony where the kids raise their hands and take a Junior Ranger pledge.  They receive a coloring book/activity guide and the family receives a schedule of the talks that will take place at the park throughout the day.  We attended one on deer and moose that everyone found so interesting!  All in all, our vacation was the perfect opportunity for our kiddos to experience everything they'd been learning firsthand. 

Little guy in the wilderness!  Pic by Daddy.

Montezuma's Castle, Cliff Dwelling in Northern Arizona

Free National Park Educational Resources
The Grand Canyon offers many educational resources--videos, lesson plans, and free printables for a variety of age groups.  You can find those here.  But the Grand Canyon isn't the only national park that offers these kinds of tools.  Google for the national park website you want to visit or browse them by state to discover amazing places you may never even have known existed.  At each park's website, you'll find a column to the left with various links.  Click on Learn about the Park and then on Education, and then on Parks as Classrooms.  You'll find a variety of resources!  

Wednesday, August 5

August Victoria's Secret Giveaway!

One of you will receive a Victoria's Secret gift card good for any cotton panty of your choice up to a $10.50 value.   Enter below by August 31st at 11 pm anyone's time.  I'll choose a winner the next morning.  Good luck! 

For my most recent posts and extra entries, head to The Traveling Sisterhood Homepage!  
You get one entry each time you comment on a different blog post!

Special thanks to Victoria's Secret for this giveaway opportunity!

A Recipe for Slime and This Amazing Thing Called Borax!


Borax is a natural mineral and an eco-friendly cleaning product. It's most often used for cleaning but it does a million things... er, almost a million. When you add it to your detergent, it softens the water to clean your laundry better, it cleans the calcium deposits off your sinks, really it cleans just about anything, and you can make slime with it. And there is this awesome bible verse that illustrates it wonderfully:

He is before all things,
and in Him all things hold together.
Colossians 1:17

Because, as you will soon see, as sticky as the polymers of glue are, they need the Borax (just like we need Jesus) to hold everything together in order to form something truly amazing (in our case: us; in this case: slime).

Ingredients & Instructions

Elmer’s Glue, 8 oz bottle


Food coloring


  • Mix 1 cup (8 oz) glue and 1 cup water in a bowl. Add food coloring if you want colored slime.
  • In another bowl, mix 1 Tbsp borax with 1 cup water until the borax is dissolved.
  • Add the glue mixture to the borax solution, stirring slowly.
  • The slime will begin to form immediately; stir as much as you can, then dig in and knead it with your hands until it gets less sticky. (No one makes slime without getting a little messy!) Don't worry about any leftover water in the bowl; just pour it out.
What's happening?
The glue has an ingredient called polyvinyl acetate, which is a liquid polymer. The borax links the polyvinyl acetate molecules to each other, creating one large, flexible polymer. This kind of slime will get stiffer and more like putty the more you play with it!
The polymers in Silly Putty have covalent bonds within the molecules, but hydrogen bonds between the molecules. These hydrogen bonds are easily broken. When low amounts of energy are slowly applied to the putty by twisting or pulling it, only a few bonds are broken and the putty stretches or “flows.” When higher amounts of energy are applied by yanking quickly and hard, there are many hydrogen bonds that break, causing the putty to break or tear.
Yes, your child or someone elses may leave the slime in his mother's purse or drop it on the carpet of the church or (insert your own little worry here)... but never fear!
Just soak it in soap and water, run it through the laundry if that's possible or, if in carpet, simply wait for it to dry out and scape it right off. Voila! The polymers are unbonded as easily as they were bonded in the first place.

Tuesday, August 4

#BackToSchool Photo Op Ideas and Goodies to Make the Day a Blast!

It’s that time of year again – time to go back to school!  Whether you're sending your kiddos off to a brick and mortar school or you're a homeschooling mom, it can actually be very easy to make that first day of school something special.  While using my Google-fu skills and pinning photos to my Back to School Board on Pinterest, I became so inspired!  I love taking a first day of school photo, and I really like the idea of making some special little gifts for my kiddos that they can discover throughout the day.  At the bottom of the post, you'll see a collage of some of my favorite ideas for those.  But first, the back to school photos!

DIY Chalkboard Photos
We've all seen the chalkboard photos, and here's ours: simple and sweet.  These aren't real chalkboards, they're simply printed cardstock we got from the Hallmark store.  My handwriting is little more than chicken scratch but if yours isn't, you could easily make these yourself by writing on black construction paper mounted on cardboard.  My littles were so cute and so excited to start the school year!  This year, we'll be starting late--we're moving into our dreamhouse in August.  Woohoo! And we'll even have a classroom!  Once we do start back up after Labor Day, I'm going to let the kiddos each choose what style they'd like for their Back to School Photo Shoot from the other great ideas in this post.  That way, each photo will be totally unique and totally them!

Vintage Photos
I really like the old-fashioned feel of these photos.  These photographers have some amazing skills, but I know we could do something just as awesome!  I'm crossing my fingers that one of my daughters will choose this style of back-to-school photo.  As far as props go, if you don't have these kinds of things around the house I've actually seen a lot of similar items from the dollar store and thrift stores--especially the antique looking frames, floral items, and decor.
First day of school photo ideas - Educents Blog

Traditional Photos
These just magnify "Back to School", don't they?  They remind me of my own first day of school photos, standing on the front porch or walking up to the school bus.  It makes me want to dig out the old photo albums and get some inspiration from yesteryear.
First day of school photo ideas - Educents Blog

Artsy Photos
Personally, I want my kiddos faces in their back-to-school pics but these photos are super cute and I think I'd especially like to use them if I was making a collage, combining them with photos of my student's smiling face.

First day of school photo ideas - Educents Blog

Lunch Box Goodies and Gift Ideas
Before I started searching for Back-to-School photo ideas, I never even imagined making my kiddos these type of goodies.  But now that I see there are so many that exist and now that my own creative juices are flowing, I am so excited to fill their desks with some of these on the first day of school!

First day of school gift ideas - Educents Blog