Little Passports #3

***This post contains affiliate and/or referral links and I may be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking them.***

Well, this will be our last installment of Little Passports, at least for now. I considered extending the subscription, but we’re gonna be trying out a couple other kid subscription boxes this summer, and I don’t want to be on overload! Maybe by the time school starts back in August I can do a post comparing them all and share our favorites. That said, this one has been awesome. We’ve been doing Little Passports Early Explorers subscription, which is geared toward children aged 3-5, for 3 months now and have really enjoyed it! (You can see box one and two here and here!)

This month’s box was themed ‘Passport to World Music’. (Box 1 was Intro to Continents and box 2 was Landmarks.) This box included an activity book full of fun things for Enzo and Roman, like matching instruments to continents, learning about less and more with musical notes, search and find maracas, identifying identical didgeridoos, to name a few. The boys always have fun with the activity books, and we rotate who’s working in the book and who’s playing with the other fun stuff in the box.

Little Passports - 3-2

We also got a CD with fun songs from around the world (La Cucaracha, Waltzing Matilda, Ah Sailor, etc), stickers to add to our map, instrument flash cards, a post card from Max & Mia, a hang tag and sticker for our suitcase from Box 1, and another flash light activity (a favorite in Box 2). The CD was a crowd favorite, but we don’t own an actual CD player… had to take a little road trip around town to listen to it, but I think that made it all the more fun for them! They always fight over the stickers and flashlight card. I love that they’re having fun and learning something. Makes this a perfect indoor summer activity.

Little Passports - 3-1

We were awake all night listening to booming thunder and the occasional tornado siren, and lots of places in our town lost power, including the schools. You know what that means… 2 extra kids ‘helping’ us open our box today. The Early Explorer boxes are definitely geared toward the younger kids, but my 6 and 7 year old love it too!

Little Passports - 3-3

When I have a chance to revisit Little Passports, I may go for their USA edition that caters more to them (kids aged 7-12). If you’re on the fence about trying Little Passports, I really encourage you to visit their website and see what all they have to offer. There are lots of options, and a single box is only $21 shipped. That’s cheaper than a trip to McDonald’s for us!

Continue Reading

Three Things Thursday

Whoa, it’s already Thursday again! I thought about not posting since I posted twice yesterday and figured nobody remembered that I’d decided to make this a weekly thing… but on the way to bed last night, Micah says, ‘tomorrow is Three Things Thursday!’ He remembered! I couldn’t not do it after that! So here we go…

1. Enzo is ELEVEN weeks seizure free!

He asked me tonight why he had to take medicine. I told him to keep the seizures away. I asked if he knew what I was talking about and he said, ‘I member those doctors hurted my head. No more now.’ And he rubbed his forehead. Three sets of stitches in the last year, and the scar is creeping its way to its hiding place under his hairline. The joy and butterflies that fill my stomach when I see him the way he is right now is such a blessing. Yes, the medicine is helping. Yes, the doctors are helping. Yes, even the essential oils have helped him… but we have zero doubt that the only reason he’s doing as well as he is right now is because it’s part of God’s plan for his life. We still don’t know what to expect next, and it’s still super scary. But I know God is in control, and I know we have an army of prayer warriors working over time on his behalf… and for that I can never say thank you enough.

3things - puppies
No, the boys haven’t morphed into canines… we joined Snapchat! Add us @sheenastewart27

2. My OCD is showing.

It started when Winter left us (for the first time, it’s since decided to make a comeback, ugh.) All of the sudden, all 3 boys’ ankles were exposed in their pants. Either they grew or my laundering skills disappeared. Could honestly be either one, but whatever happened it prompted closet clean-outs. And once I start, I can’t stop myself. I’ve cleaned out all of the kitchen cabinets, the closets, the fridge, the pantry, the bathrooms… and then today spent more time than I’ll admit cleaning out the dresser in my closet. Garage Sale Mountain is growing, and I have no idea when I’ll be able to have one. Soon, hopefully!

3things - drawer

3. I’m boycotting public restrooms.

And not for the reason you think. We went to an Orioles game last weekend on our little trip to Sherra’s house. Crab dip cheese fries landed me in – you guessed it – the public bathroom. I’d just sat down and someone comes into the stall next to me. I should add that this place has a bazillion stalls, like at least 20 or 30, and only a couple people in there. There really was no need to be so close, but whatever floats your boat. Next thing I know, I look down and see this giant foot sliding into my stall! If I hadn’t slid my foot out of the way, I promise you we would’ve tapped toes. I took a picture, of course. Because, you know, I needed proof of this ridiculousness.

3things - bathroom

I do not mind handling my business next to a woman, a man, a kid, but for the love of privacy – please keep your giant appendages in your own stall. If you recognize this intruding foot, please share my plea with its owner…

Continue Reading

Tonttu Baby Box Review #1

First night back from our trip to Sherra’s house, Micah and I are sitting in the living room recapping our days apart… He says, ‘oh, did you grab that box off the porch?’ Um, no. You didn’t tell me there was a box on the porch! From half-asleep-Netflix-ready-couch-warmer to Olympic sprinter in 2.3 seconds! I love my boxes and couldn’t wait to see what it was, and (lucky me!) it’s a new one!

Tonttu - 6

Tonttu Box is a monthly subscription box designed for expecting parents and parents with young children. The box includes 5-7 baby, toddler, and mommy items, many of which come from small, local businesses. You can choose a one month ($40), a three month ($117), or a twelve month ($420) subscription. When subscribing, you can specify if you are pregnant or the age and gender of your children so that the box is personalized just for you and your family! You also have the option to order a subscription as a gift! These would be such a fun, unique baby shower/congrats on your pregnancy/new baby gift!

Ok, I know you’re on the edge of your seat, so let’s get to it! Here’s what we got…

ZigZagRags Bandana Bib (RV $6.50) and Pumpkins Playthings Wooden Baby Rattle (RV $10)

Tonttu - 3

These are both items we can’t really use, but they’ll make great gifts for a friend. I did try the bib on Dylan just to see how it lays and it’s super cute! I love the pattern, and there are many more to choose from in ZigZagRags’ etsy shop! The material is thick and soft and would work great for catching baby drool! The rattle is very unique, and can be purchased in many different colors in Pumpkins Playthings’ etsy shop! I’ve never seen one like it!

Felt Lion Toy (RV unknown)

Tonttu - 2

This one is a little odd for me. It’s a small felt lion, and, while cute, I’m not sure of its purpose. There’s no card or tag offering an explanation. I’m assuming it’s a baby toy, but the eyes and nose are small beads… I’d be nervous to hand this one over to my baby, worried they’d be able to bite off those tiny pieces and swallow them.

Nature’s Purity Bath Oatmeal Milk & Honey Fizzing Foot Soak (RV $4), Bella Baby Wipes (RV $5), Bella B Tummy Honey Butter (RV $5.50)

Tonttu - 4

I am most excited about this foot soak! It smells like play dough on a beach. That may not be for everybody, but I love. I couldn’t find this exact soak on their website, but I’m sure this Lavender Lemon Foot Soak is just as nice if you’d like to try one. They’re made in Moses Lake, WA! The Bella B wipes have a strange smell. The package says they’re lavender scented, but it’s definitely not that… maybe aloe vera? Anyway, they’re hypoallergenic, alcohol and paraben free, so they’ll get used at our house for sure! You can buy a 3-pack here on Amazon! The Tummy Honey Butter smells nice, like cocoa butter. It’s a little oily, but I’ll definitely give it a go and see if it evens out my mommy skin! You can buy some on Amazon here!

Pink & Purple Teething Bracelet (RV unknown)

Tonttu - 1 Tonttu - 5

We loved this bracelet! Dylan has become obsessed with jewelry, and she loves all things girly and pink. I’m not sure she’ll actually use it to teethe, but that’s A-Okay! This was the second item in the box with no tag or description, so I’m not sure of the retail value or where you could purchase. I did find similar ones here on Amazon for $9.

So, if you’re keeping track, the total retail value of the items I was able to find is $31. If you add $9 (estimated) for the bracelet, you’re at the $40 cost of a single box, without adding any value for the lion! I’d call that a decent deal. And it gets better… YOU can get $10 off your next Tonttu Box using code MAMA at checkout! If you decide to give them a try, I’d love for you to come back and tell me all about it!

***I received this box at no cost to me for review purposes, but the thoughts and opinions shared here are all my own!***

Continue Reading

Flying Spirit Airlines: How to save money and not lose your… spirit!

Let me start by saying I am in no way affiliated with Spirit Airlines. I won’t make money or be compensated in any way for anything written in this post.

Sherra, my sister, was graduating college this past weekend. I had to be there to support her and wanted to bring Jaylin and Zander with me. Budget is always a top priority for us, so I started hunting a good deal on flights several months ago. We had accumulated enough Delta miles for one ticket, but it turned out to be about $400 cheaper to buy 3 Spirit tickets than 2 Delta ones. I’d heard Spirit’s reputation was questionable, so I took to Facebook to see if my friends had personal experiences. The answers were split, some good and some bad… and in the end we decided to roll the dice and give them a try.

Our experience was nothing but positive, but I do have a few tips to share to make the most out of traveling with Spirit…

Spirit - 3

  • Print boarding passes ahead of time. They’ll charge you to print your passes at the gate. A major complaint I’ve heard over and over with Spirit is that they’ll ‘nickel and dime’ you to death. Listen, they save money by not having to pay someone to print your passes, and they pass the savings to YOU if you do it yourself. That’s just logical.
  • Pay for bags ahead of time. Spirit charges for bags, checked and carry-on. You save some by paying for them online before you get to the airport. They do allow one personal item per passenger. We paid for one large checked bag and each were allowed a full-size backpack at no charge.
  • Pack Snacks. Yes, they charge for food on the plane. Yes, it’s expensive. ($4 for a bag of chips and little cup of salsa) Just pack your own snacks, no big deal.
  • Don’t worry about picking seats. At checkout, they’ll give an option to pick your seat assignment. I almost went for it because I was afraid I’d be separated from the kids. Micah talked me out of it, thankfully. (That would’ve cost $17 per person!) If you check in together, it’s very likely that you’ll sit together; we did for all 3 flights, and I’m pretty certain other passengers would’ve traded me spots if we’d needed to.
  • Be ready to laugh. The flight attendants could moonlight as comedians. Cheesy comedians, but still. “Ladies and Gentlemen, sorry about the rough landing. I assure you it was not the pilot’s fault, nor the co-pilot’s fault, but surely the asphalt!” “If you’re traveling with more than one child, we’re sorry. Now’s a good time to pick your favorite so you know who to help first if the oxygen masks are released.” “Please put your devices on airplane mode. If you don’t know how, there’s a 6 year old nearby who can help you.”

Spirit - 2

We did have a short delay on our layover flight returning home. Frequent delays were another complaint I’d heard some about, but ours was very short. We were given frequent status updates over the loud speakers and via email. I’ve had much worse delay-cancellation-poor communication with other airlines (American/United – cough, cough). I did overhear passengers from an earlier Spirit flight say they’d been delayed for hours, but they were given food vouchers and seemed satisfied with that… and it was a weather delay, so nothing more Spirit could’ve done.

I won’t hesitate to fly with Spirit again, and would most certainly recommend them to my friends and family.

Spirit -1

On a side note, we flew out of DFW… It’s a very large, overwhelming airport. This was the second time I’ve used Westin Hotel’s park and fly. You show up at the hotel, park your car, and their shuttle will drop you off at your gate and return to pick you up when you land. It’s super easy, convenient, and affordable ($8/day). I highly recommend traveling to and from the airport this way. Many airport hotels offer this service, so shop around if it’s something you’re interested in doing!

Happy travels!

Continue Reading

Three Things Thursday

I posted my first Three Things Thursday post eight weeks ago. (You can read it here if you like!) I decided yesterday that I might want to make this a regular weekly post. I’ve seen other bloggers do it, and I enjoy reading theirs… and they’re fun to write because they’re random – like me!

ONE: Enzo is ten weeks seizure free today!

3things - enzosmiling

I hope that this is number one on my list for forever. It’s still hard to believe how far down and then back up he’s come in the last year and a half. This morning his teacher texted me that he wrote his name on his paper all by himself for the first time! He’s our little walking miracle! Please keep the prayers coming!

3things - enzoname

TWO: I’m a situation.

I have to give a little background on this one. This past weekend was so super busy. Thursday night we had the boys’ preschool program, followed by a t-ball game. Friday I was with Jaylin all day on her field trip to the zoo. Saturday we had an early morning soccer game, followed by two t-ball games. Sunday we had church, Mother’s Day, another t-ball game. Monday I was with Jaylin and Zander at field day, followed by another t-ball game, and then another on Tuesday night. My in-laws were here to help (and we couldn’t have made it without them!), but that meant we spent two nights before the crazy schedule started staying up late finishing the bathroom remodel so they wouldn’t have to poop in buckets. Throw in also having to feed, bathe and clothe 5 kids, and to say I was exhausted would be a major understatement. Yesterday Micah had agreed to help out with the youth at church. By the time he got home, my emotions had introduced themselves to my exhaustion, and I was hysterical. He had to phone a friend and let them know there was a ‘situation’ at home that he had to take care of and he wouldn’t make it to church. Me. I’m a situation. Don’t worry, I made it to bed early and feel much better this morning!

THREE: My sister is graduating college!

3things - sherra andme

My sister and I have been best friends since she was born, a short 13 months after me. We shared a car, a bedroom, even a bed, until the day I married Micah. Now we live 1,370 miles apart… but I get to go see her this weekend! And we’re celebrating! After mountains of hard work she is graduating college and fulfilling her childhood dream of becoming a teacher! I could not be more proud. Jaylin, Zander and I are leaving on a jet plane tomorrow afternoon to go watch her walk across the stage! Now, I better quit procrastinating and get to packing…

Continue Reading

Potty Training with help from Pull-ups!

Oh potty training, how I loathe you. I can think of about 372 BILLION things I’m better at than potty training.

Jaylin trained herself at age 2. If they were all that easy, the world would stink a lot less, literally. I started pushing Zander at age 2, and that was a no-go. He was just past 3 before he was trained. I was frustrated with him for an entire year… After that, any time anyone asked my advice on potty training, I’d say, ‘Oh just wait, when they’re ready it’s easy.’ Ha. Enzo was 3.5 when I finally decided the wait was over and I NEEDED him to be trained. His seizures started shortly after his introduction to the potty. It was not a fun time in his life, or mine. I decided to give up the potty training battle; we had bigger fish to fry.

Unfortunately, when Roman’s 3rd birthday rolled around, Enzo still wasn’t anywhere close to being trained. I felt weird training them out of order, so I just didn’t train either of them. Now, here we are, seizures under control (finally!), with a 3 and 4 year old still in diapers. We try on and off, but it’s an overwhelming task.

We recently took the Pull-Ups Potty Training Personality Quiz and discovered that both Enzo and Roman are slow and steady little turtles. The quiz was developed by Pull-Ups and child psychologist, Dr. Heather Wittenberg. They provide tips and suggestions of the easiest, most effective ways to train your child based on their results. I need all the tips and suggestions I can get! For our turtles, giving them a sense of control while maintaining consistency is key. These are two things we haven’t done very well before now, so probably good advice.

Pull-ups4Pull-ups

We’re taking are new nuggets of wisdom and jumping back in the potty training fight full force. Earlier today I took both boys with me to buy Pull-Ups at Dollar General (crazy, I know). Why Dollar General? For one, if I’m taking these two boys to the store with me I need to be in and out QUICK! I’m also trying out Dollar General digital coupons, and there’s currently a $2 off Pull-ups coupon!

To redeem Digital Coupons:
1. Sign up here or Text JOIN to 34898
2. Create an account and load your coupons
3. Visit your local Dollar General to redeem coupons at checkout

Seriously, it couldn’t be any easier to save money. I used a $5/$25 purchase and a tide coupon as well! Then, I used my savings to buy some potty training prizes like footballs and hot wheels! I’m a firm believer in bribery.

The boys really enjoyed helping me find the Pull-ups in the store. Enzo even insisted on holding his bag on the way home.

Pull-ups2Pull-ups3

Next up we’ll be downloading Pull-ups Time to Potty app! You can find it here! The boys love to play on my phone and the iPad, and the app reminds them when it’s time to go and rewards them for going with mini-games! I think that might be the perfect motivation for my sweet little slow and steady turtles! We’ll keep you updated on our progress!

Continue Reading

Stitch Fix #13

***This post contains affiliate and/or referral links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking them.***

So, it’s that time of the month again! Wait, not that. It’s Stitch Fix time! I have to admit, this box was pretty disappointing, but we’ll get to that in a minute. First, for all the newbies that are discovering Stitch Fix for the first time, let me give you the basics. Stitch fix is a clothing subscription service. You can sign up to receive boxes every 3 weeks, monthly, quarterly, pretty much as frequently as you’d like. You fill out a style profile and link your style Pinterest board (Here’s mine!) so that your stylist can get a sense of what you’re looking for. When your box ships, they’ll charge your credit card a $20 styling fee. It’s applied to purchases if you decide to keep any of the 5 clothing and accessory items they send. When you receive your box, try everything on, keep what you like, and send the rest back in the bag provided. It’s super easy, and their customer service is great if you have any questions or concerns. If you’d like to try your first box risk free, go read my post (here) from last Thursday, and you can enter to win a $25 gift card!

Ok, so on to the clothes! This month I was hoping for a dress to wear to my sister’s graduation. I also mentioned that I’d love a neutral pair of sandals and that I really liked a red blazer I’d seen others receive in the Facebook BST group. (You can join the group here!)  Here’s what I got…

Skies are Blue Trinka Blazer ($74)

Stitch Fix Skies are Blue Trinka Blazer

If this had been a bright, spring color I might’ve gone for it… but it was a denim blue, and I wasn’t really sure how to style it. It was also kind of thick for Spring and Summer Oklahoma weather. My stylist, Julie, suggested that I roll the sleeves, so I tried that. It just wasn’t working for me. It also seemed to run kinda small… or maybe I’m getting bigger? Either way, it had to go.

Colette Dafney Mesh Overlay Knit Top($54)

Stitch Fix Colette Dafney Mesh Overlay Knit Top

A black tank with a top layer of fish net. No thanks. I did NOT like this at all.

The pants I’m wearing in both of the above pics came in a Hanger to Home box last fall and are ON SALE for $33 on Amazon here if you’re interested. I paid a LOT more for them than that (sigh). I do love them though.

London Times Bobby Jersey Dress ($98)

Stitch Fix London Times Bobby Jersey Dress

This was a weird one for me. I liked the colors and the pattern, and the length was perfect. But the top had these wing things that I just really couldn’t get past. They made me feel like a big rectangle. I think next time I’m requesting solid color sheath dresses. That’s what I was wanting this time, but I don’t think I was specific enough in my note.

Gilli Reilly Printed Maxi Skirt ($54)

Stitch Fix Gilli Reilly Printed Maxi Skirt

I loved the colors of this one. I’ve really been gravitating toward purple lately. And I actually really like this skirt in the picture, BUT it’s a really slinky material and I hated the way it clung to my rear, almost like a mermaid fit. It’s also just a little too short for me to be able to wear wedges with it. I have a Flying Tomato skirt that has a really similar pattern – but much better fabric – that I like a whole lot better.

Franco Sarto Grip Thong Sandal ($69)

Stitch Fix Franco Sarto Grip Thong Sandal

I really like this style of shoe… so much so that I already have 3 pairs of very similar ones that I paid a whole lot less for. Also, when I tried these on I didn’t love the way they fit. I think they may be a little too wide for my narrow foot.

This will only be the second time I’ve sent back an entire box. I tried to talk myself in to keeping something to keep from losing the styling fee, but I just couldn’t do it. I knew if I kept any of this stuff it’d never get worn, so back it all goes. Hopefully I’ll have better luck in the next box, already scheduled to arrive at the end of the month! If you’re ready to sign up, you can do that here, and don’t forget to enter the $25 gift card giveaway here!


Continue Reading