Super Simple Learning {Review & Giveaway}

Win a copy of Super Simple Songs DVD

Win a copy of Super Simple Songs DVD

Boy you guys are spoiled! Right on the heels of the Einkorn Berries giveaway from Tropical Traditions, I have another awesome little gift for one lucky reader.

Today it’s a copy of the “Super Simple Songs” DVD from the folks over at Super Simple Learning, a great company with some wonderful resources for anyone working in early childhood education… or any mom of littles. 

Learning with Songs

My class of 2- and 3-year-olds got to review this gem of a DVD during our weekly Friday morning “movie” time, and they thoroughly enjoyed it. The songs are easy to sing along with and engaging, which can sometimes be quite the feat for children this age. What’s more, I found the graphics and videography to be very professional and well-done, a refreshing sight in a world full of cheap and (let’s be honest) crappy children’s videos.

Trust me, children know when a video is of less than stellar quality, and it won’t hold their attention for very long at all. You’ll have no such problems with this DVD, which was designed to match the pace and attention span of preschool-aged viewers. I think any child 18 months to 3 years of age will have fun watching and singing along with all the short clips found on Super Simple Songs.

Sample Super Simple Learning’s work by checking out their YouTube channelI particularly love the phonetic alphabet song, which introduces the letters by their sound rather than their name. My phonics-teaching heart thrills a little at the thought! Watch it right here:

If you’d like to purchase the DVD for yourself (ahem, I mean for your children), you can get a digital download for $13.99 or order a hard copy for $16.99. Whether or not you’ve embarked on formal preschool education for your sweet little one, the songs on this DVD will help them learn the basics of their age range: letters, numbers, days, months, etc. Plus, they’ll get a chance to work on their motor skills as well by mimicking the actions shown on the video. All of that put to music means a well-rounded mini-education in 30 minutes at a time! 

Super Simple Learning also has some great resources for moms and teachers on their website, including printables, flash cards, crafts, and more.

Win a copy of Super Simple Songs

If you’d like a chance to win this DVD, enter below. Please note this giveaway is only open to US residents aged 18 or older. The giveaway will end on Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at midnight, at which time a winner will be chosen randomly by Giveaway Tools. This giveaway is sponsored and fulfilled by Super Simple Learning, and I am not responsible for ensuring that you receive your prize. The winner will be contacted and will have 48 hours to respond with their information in order to receive their prize, or another winner will be selected.

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Einkorn, the Ancient Grain {Giveaway, Too!}

Win Einkorn Berries from Tropical Traditions #giveaway #ancientgrains #traditionalfoodAre you concerned about the effects of modern wheat on your health? There is certainly reason to be! Modern wheat has been blamed on a large number of health issues, and the rising numbers of people who simply cannot tolerate it seem to provide evidence that there is truth to the accusations. 

The Trouble With Wheat

My opinion, though, is that the issue is not with wheat in and of itself, because mankind has been enjoying wheat since the beginning of time (by which I mean Adam and Eve), and all of these health issues have only cropped up since the beginning of the Industrial Age. I’m thinking that the problem lies with all the changes modern science has forced on the ancient grain, turning it into a mere shadow of its former wholesome self. It’s now easy to grow and easy to harvest, and therefore very inexpensive… but at what cost? The cost of our health, it seems.

Now I haven’t turned my back on wheat entirely, but I have switched the bulk of my cooking and baking over to two ancient grains that are cousins (or forerunners) of modern wheat. These two grains - spelt and einkorn – have remain unchanged over history, unlike wheat, which has been tinkered with since the ’40s. As such, they retain a nutritional integrity missing from modern wheat.

wheatTry Einkorn Instead

Note: If you order by clicking on any of my links and have never ordered from Tropical Traditions in the past, you will receive a free book on Virgin Coconut Oil, and I will receive a discount coupon for referring you.

Today, Tropical Traditions: The Best Place to Get Virgin Coconut Oil, is generously offering one of my readers the chance to win a 5lb. bag of whole Einkorn berries that you can grind to make your own ancient flour! 

I had a chance to use these Einkorn berries myself, and I was very impressed! The flour I made with them worked much like regular ol’ wheat flour, and I didn’t have to make any adjustments to my recipes. The taste and texture were just as good – if not better – than those I made with wheat flour, as well.

The only thing that was different about the einkorn is the texture of the raw dough: for lack of a better word, it was significantly “stretchier” than the dough or batter made with wheat. I’m guessing it has something to do with the quantity or quality of gluten in einkorn, but it doesn’t affect the final product. Once baked, the texture was just like something made with wheat.

If you’re not sure where to start with Einkorn berries, here’s a great recipe from Tropical Traditions’ recipe site.

The main drawback to einkorn is the price. Gulp! It’s almost twice the cost of either wheat or spelt! If you can afford it, I say go for it! But if not… enter the giveaway below. 

Win Einkorn Berries to Try For Yourself

This giveaway is only for residents of the United States aged 18 and older. It will end on Tuesday, March 11, at midnight. Winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond or will forfeit the prize.

Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

Curious about coconut oil? Click here for more information on its many uses!
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Oxygen Bleach, My New Favorite Household Cleaner {PLUS Giveaway!}

Oxygen Bleach has recently become my most favorite household cleaning ingredient. When I first started using oxygen bleach, I bought the cheap stuff at the dollar store; and while it was effective, I quickly realized that it was not pure oxygen bleach. Since I couldn’t figure out exactly what was added to it, I opted to be safe rather than sorry, and go for the good stuff.

Thankfully, around that time, Tropical Traditions offered to send me a big container of their oxygen bleach. I jumped at the chance, of course! And I am so glad I did! Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to try another natural brand of oxygen bleach, and I have to say the Tropical Traditions Oxygen Bleach was of significantly higher quality. It cleaned better and left less residue behind.

What do I do with my oxgyen bleach? The better question is, what don’t I do!? But here are a few of the household uses I have found for my bucket of oxygen bleach: 

Clean carpets quickly and easily with oxygen bleach. Oxygen bleach has become just as essential to me as vinegar and baking soda in my selection of household cleaning supplies, and that’s saying something! To compete with those workhorses means a product has to be multi-purpose, effective, inexpensive, and easy to use, and oxygen bleach is all of those things. To be fair, it does cost more to purchase than either vinegar or baking soda, BUT you typically only need to use a tablespoon or less at a time, so it lasts forever. My big container from Tropical Traditions probably lasted a good six months. 

Tropical Traditions Oxygen Bleach Giveaway

So you have the opportunity to win your own container of Tropical Traditions’ Oxygen Bleach! Lucky Ducky You! Please fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter the contest. This contest is only available in the US. This contest ends at midnight, Sunday, July  14, 2013.

And now for some legalese before the giveaway begins:

  • If you order by clicking on any of my links and have never ordered from Tropical Traditions in the past, you will receive a free book on Virgin Coconut Oil, and I will receive a discount coupon for referring you.
  •  Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

If you are not familiar with Tropical Traditions, here’s some info about this great company that provides high-quality food and household goods for those seeking to avoid chemicals and other additives:

Note: If you’re having trouble accessing the giveaway below, try entering via my Facebook page.

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Is There Such a Thing as Affordable Essential Oils?

Everyday Oils1 Why Essential Oils?

I am thankful that my mom raised me to be wary of conventional medicine: she wasn’t afraid to use it when necessary, but she much preferred to treat our common childhood ailments with her well-stocked arsenal of home remedies and basic natural treatments, only trotting us off to the doctor when absolutely necessary. I recall phases where she gave us all garlic supplements to ward off colds and flu, which were apparently running rampant at the time. And I recall one instance when she tried to make us all drink carrot garlic juice in an effort to rid our family of some respiratory illnesses that were plaguing us for months (thankfully, since I had finally personally recovered from the flu myself, I got a pass on that particular treatment).

This wariness of conventional medicine, and this leaning towards natural remedies followed me into my adulthood, where I kind of floundered for a while in a rather nebulous state of healthcare. I wasn’t interested in either embracing or outright refusing regular medical care (i.e., medical doctors), but I wasn’t sure what – if any – of the seemingly endless natural care options was the most effective. Some things in the natural medicine world struck me as being downright odd and even a little freaky, frankly. But I wasn’t willing to succumb to Tylenol and antibiotics for every little ache or illness, either. So  I really didn’t do anything but the most basic of natural remedies, resorting to visits to the Urgent Care when I couldn’t recover from an illness on my own.

Then I had kids. To be specific, I had kids with health issues like food allergies, asthma, and eczema. I was happy for conventional medical care that helped me and my Certain Little Someone through the terrible first year or two of his life, when we struggled with multiple allergic episodes, wheezing, and itchy itchy eczema that kept him (and me!) up all night. There was a time when I was simply trying to stay afloat, and frankly, trying to keep my child alive and my sanity intact at the same time. I didn’t care what it took, I just wanted my child to live and breathe without scratching his skin off.

But things settled down, and I began to consider more seriously the different options available for treating his various conditions. That’s when I learned about chiropractic care for allergy & asthma patients, and began taking him to get regular adjustments. One of these days, I’ll tell you more about my experience in that realm, but for now, let’s just say it was the first step on my journey towards intentional natural healing. It’s one thing to merely avoid medical care unless absolutely necessary; it’s another thing to seek out alternatives. 

As I began to research alternatives to conventional medical care, I began to seriously consider for the first time exactly what I wanted that to look like. I wanted any remedies I employed to work with the body’s natural processes and not against them. I wanted options that nourished and healed without delivering unwanted – and unhelpful – side effects. I wanted care that was holistic in the sense that it took into consideration the involvement of mind and spirit in the body’s healing, but did not dismiss the One Who created the body. I also wanted options that would be easy for me to use in my own home and did not necessarily require the oversight of a doctor (although I am very interested in working with a naturopath or herbalist when the occasion warrants). And of course, I wanted reliable remedies that actually worked!

Not Exactly Affordable

Over and over again, the option that continually represented itself as meeting all these qualifications was… essential oils. Easy to use, effective, no side effects, holistic… and expensive! I admit to getting frustrated by the fact that I could not afford any oils except the occasional bottle from the health food store. And I never felt comfortable actually using those oils on or in my body, so I mostly employed them as cleaning agents around the house.

I knew that high quality essential oils would be the most effective – and the safest – to use, but I was discouraged by the fact that I could barely afford the health-store variety, let alone the incredibly expensive high-quality brands. Of course, I understood there was a reason for their high cost – you get what you pay for, after all! This is one of those things where the extra investment is definitely worth it. But if you don’t have the money, you don’t have the money. I wasn’t about to go into debt to purchase essential oils!

Or Maybe… There IS Such a Thing as Affordable Essential Oils!

And then, in one of those divinely ordained encounters, I learned from Jodi of Granola Mom 4 God and Naturally His  that becoming a distributor of Young Living Essential Oils was easy to do, and, what’s better, made them considerably more affordable! I had considered it off and on prior to our conversation, but never pursued it, thinking it would require too much investment of both time and money to make it worthwhile. When Jodi told me the only monetary requirement for keeping your distributor account active was $50 a year… I was sold! I can handle $50 a year! And I can invest as much or as little time into it as I am able to afford, which of course will change with the changing seasons of my life.

So I am now officially an independent distributor of Young Living Essential Oils, which enables  me to purchase their oils at wholesale prices!  I have already used up a couple of the bottles from my starter kit, and just the other day made my very first order. I am so excited to be able to afford these oils for the benefit of my family and their health.

I’ve been using my oils like crazy the past month or so:

  • putting a drop or two of Thieves oil in the humidifier in The Boys’ room to help ward off sickness during the cold and flu season
  • rubbing peppermint oil (diluted in jojoba oil) on their chests and backs and feet when they had a cold
  • rubbing diluted Thieves oil onto the soles of their feet to help keep their immune system strong against sickness when we go out
  • adding lemon oil to the dishwasher for sparkling clean dishes
  • adding lemon oil to the washer to help keep linens clean and white
  • rubbing PanAway on Tiger Cub’s big toe after he dropped a pumpkin on it (OUCH!)
  • … and lots more!

I’m still exploring and learning all about the possibilities, and I can’t wait to share what I learn with you!

How You Can Afford Essential Oils

And now, let me be perfectly frank with you for just a second. (OK, I’m always frank, but whatever.) I know from speaking with many of you that you don’t have a lot of spare cash hanging around either. That’s one reason why you follow my blog in the first place, because misery loves company, err… I mean… birds of a feather flock together. We are all in this frugal boat together, learning how to make do with what we’ve been given, even if it isn’t much. 

And since I know that many of you are like me, you don’t have any interest in spending what seems to be excessive amounts of money on little bottles of oils that you’re not even sure will work for their intended purpose. I understand, because I’m the same way. And that’s why I’m so excited to tell you about the possibilities of becoming an independent distributor of Young Living Essential Oils – it can make something valuable and financially unattainable become a reality for you.

An independent distributor of YLEO (I’m sort of tired of typing all that out, so let’s just go with the acronym, shall we?), you would be able to:

  • purchase the oils at the wholesale price
  • sell the oils (potentially, you could cover the costs for your own oils by the sales you make!)
  • get significantly discounted shipping and pricing by enrolling in Essential Rewards (a monthly auto-ship program)
  • earn credits towards purchases via the Essential Rewards program
  • earn commissions and bonuses depending on your sales and other factors

Your initial investment to get started as a distributor of YLEO can be as little as $40, which, in my opinion, is a great deal and very affordable for most people. That will get you started with  the two most popular oils with very broad applications – lavender and peppermint, plus it will provide you with all the information you need to start using YLEO.

If you are interested, you can check out my YLEO website for more information, or contact me here.

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