September 2014 - xoxo Rebecca

Make Your Own Scratch Board

I wanted to share a craft that we did for an art project recently for school. How many of you know what a scratch board is? And how many of you have done one? Being an artist, I have done several of these. We had many assignments back in art school on scratch board. 

You can find them everywhere for pretty cheap. But I wanted to make the project with my daughter more fun and have her create her own scratch board, instead of buying one and then using it. 

For those that don't know what scratch boards are, click here for some examples that have been done. Scratch boards are fun because you are using the negative space in an interesting way.

The basics of it is that you scratch away at the back to show the underneath color through. Traditionally, it's silver or white underneath. But I have seen some with gold and multi-colors as well. And by scratching, you create a picture. It's pretty neat.

So here is what we used to create our own....

After you have gathered your materials, you start to color on the illustration board. It can be one solid color, or a variety of colors. As you can see, my daughter decided to create a stripe pattern. Also, make sure you use paper or something underneath to protect the surface you are working on. It can get a bit messy.

Once she was done, it looked like this

Once the coloring is done, cover the illustration board with the India Ink. I did a test before hand to see how to make this work properly. Just use a think coat but make sure it is opaque. I tried doing a really hard coat of ink and it was impossible to scratch off on my test run. So make sure you are using just enough ink to cover the surface.

Let that dry. Once it's dry, then you can go ahead and begin to scratch away a picture or design. Just let your creativity flow. Typically, you would use a scratch board pen but I couldn't find mine {and I have a thousand floating around here somewhere}. So we had to improvise. My daughter first tried to use a nail and scratch the ink with. But she would using a mechanical pencil worked a lot better. So we just rolled with that.

It was fun to see all the different colors start to pop through as she scratched at the dried ink. I reminded her not to scratch through too hard otherwise she would start scratching away the crayon as well.

The final outcome of her drawing looked like this....

So the project was super easy and she had a blast making this. And the best part too is you can make mistakes. It's ok. You can fix them. Wonder how? Just take a little bit of your India ink and make a dab over the oppsie. Let it dry and you are now ready to scratch again.
And no matter what, each piece of art is beautiful. So you can't go wrong! 

Have you tried scratch board before? Have you made your own? Did you use India ink or another way? I know there are a few ways to go about this. But since I had these supplies just laying around, it was the perfect blend.

Beautiful Bouqs Company Bouquet

Hello lovelies! I hope you are all having a fabulous evening. I recently was introduced to a site that was right up my! What girl doesn't love to receive flowers? I know I love them. They are great for many reasons. Perfect for any occasion, makes any room beautiful and more colorful, and not to mention, they smell fabulous!

Tell me there isn't a better gift to just make you smile for no reason. I'm one of those people that loves to stop and smell the flowers. And now I could, without leaving my living room.
So I have to say, when I placed an order with The Bouqs Company, it was fast, easy, and everything was simple to use the website. I was able to explore the site easily because all their flower bouquets were perfectly shown with big enough photos, that I didn't have to click through each and every one to see if I would like them.
This is just an example of a few from the site. They have so many more gorgeous bouquets.

I also liked that The Bouqs Company had an amazing selection of flowers to choose from. I mean, it was amazing the selection. They had so many different flowers and varieties that it was great to look through. I had a hard time choosing one. I wanted them all! But I found one that screamed "perfect" to me. I chose the Recognize bouquet. I loved the beautiful orange colors shown. I'm usually a rose flower type of girl. But these beautiful lilies were calling my name.

So what is so special about these flowers? Why are they so much better than just going to the store and buying some? Here's a few cool reason why The Bouqs Company is a better than the rest:

So I was instantly hooked on the cool background of where the flowers actually come from. Once I placed my order, I got to choose the delivery date. The first available date was one week from the day I placed the order. I think that is pretty fast considering other flowers delivery services I've used it took a few weeks.

Upon it's arrival, I was given a nice long box that they were in. The box looked like it had gotten a bit dented during shipping but it wasn't anything major and the flowers were not affected by this at all.
Opening up the box, the flowers were wrapped nicely in brown paper and secured with a nylon strip so they wouldn't move around. This was my first time ever getting flowers delivered in a box and I was curious as to how it would work. But I was happy to see they take all measures to make sure the flowers are safe and sound.
So I cut the nylon strap and took the wrapped flowers out of the box.
The flowers were tied tightly with rubber bands and cellophane. After I got all the wrappings off, I saw that there was a pack of plant food attached as well. This way the flowers would get some minerals while in the vase. The flowers were mostly still buds. But the instructions said that it would take a few hours once in water to start to bloom and spread out. I was very anxious t see how they would look once they were fully bloomed.

After a few hours, they started to open up and bloom into some beautiful, bold and bright lilies. 
They looked stunning! I was super excited to see how they just brought so much color to the room. But I couldn't wait for them to fully bloom and give off even more radiance.
Here is a collage of how beautiful these flowers really are. I couldn't stop taking photo after photo. I was in love with these flowers for sure!

Aren't the colors just amazing? Super beautiful. Brought a smile to my face each time I sat at the dining room table, which is where I placed them. So if you are looking for something beautiful to celebrate an occasion, brighten up someone's day {or your own for that matter}, then check out The Bouqs Company for one special gift that won't disappoint!

Disclaimer: I received a sample of this product to review and discuss.
Although this was a sponsored post, all opinions are my own.


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Rodan + Fields Dermatology Review + Giveaway

Skin care is always improving. Every day, there are new advances in the way we are being able to take care of our skin for a healthier, younger, more glowing self. So when I got together with one of my most favorite and personal friends, Crystal, she gave me the opportunity to try out something new.

Rodan & Fields has been a pretty popular name lately. Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields, the creators of Proactiv® Solution, launched Rodan + Fields to extend their vision of bringing dermatology based skincare solutions to everyone. Together, Dr. Rodan and Dr. Fields received the coveted Cosmetic Executive Women’s Award in 2003 for “Changing the direction of the industry” with their creation of Proactiv® Solution. 

They started their own line and put it in high end retail only like Norstromes....then they became the #1 clinical skin care line sold! They started to notice that their product was only selling so good because of word of mouth due to the great results; so they broke free from the counters and decided to do direct selling so they could reward the people passing on the product by word of mouth. They just launched into Canada in August and will soon be launching into Asia and Europe! You can read more about the doctors here.

Easy to use systems to transform your skin

The skin care philosophy:
To see real changes in your skin, you must use real ingredients. Our product development strategy is to combine OTC (over-the-counter) ingredients and active cosmetic ingredients to create safe and effective formulations. We take safety and efficacy very seriously, and we know that it takes the right concentration of an OTC drug or active cosmetic to achieve the desired result without adverse effects. This understanding and expertise comes from Dr. Rodan and Dr. Fields’ years of experience in treating their patients, and they are the inspiration for the products we create.

After going through the website, I found out there is so much great skin care products offered and available. It seems like everyone can find something that would fit their problem areas perfect. 

I was able to try out the ENHANCEMENTS Micro-Dermabrasion PasteREDEFINE Night Renewing Serum, and the REDEFINE Lip Renewing Serum. Crystal warned me that once I try it, I will fall in love with it. And you know what? She was right! And of course I will tell you why....

I received my sample kit in the cutest little bag. Inside was the listed products above as well as a sheet on instructions for using each of them and a list of ingredients.
 So the first step is the actual micro-dermabrasion paste. It's a pretty thick, white paste that feels very course. It really feels like it can deep clean. The Micro-Dermabrasion Paste is a high-glide, oil-free formula designed to promote maximum gentle exfoliation. Use intermittently to enhance cell turnover and improve skin tone and texture.
While applying this, I used my fingers and yes, the texture was very course on my skin. But I didn't mind. In fact, it made it feel more fresher and smoother than other micro-dermabrasion products I have used in the past. The smell was very pleasant. It didn't have a "chemical" smell to it. It also left my skin feeling incredibly soft, smooth, and very moisturized. You could feel the softness on the skin's surface. It wasn't overbearing either. And my skin felt and looked tighter immediately.

The second step was using the night renewing serum. It is a clear, light feeling serum that is applied all over the face. The Night Renewing Serum capsule contains a potent, proprietary blend of peptides and retinol to visibly improve skin texture and firmness and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Retinol, favored by dermatologists for decades, improves skin texture and minimizes the appearance of pores. Patented time-release technology increases skin’s receptivity throughout the night while reducing potential irritancy.
I was told that this will feel like silk on your face. And boy does it. It felt AMAZING!!! It made my face feel like soft butter and as funny as that sounds, it felt great. So silky and smooth indeed. I was totally loving this product. It is addicting.

The final product was the lip renewing serum. It is a clear serum and a little goes a long way. Just apply to your lips for kissably soft lips. The smooth, naturally full, defined lips that nature gives us will, over time, become thinner, flatter, less rosy and more lined. Reclaim or maintain the lips of youth with REDEFINE Lip Renewing Serum. Each peptide and antioxidant-rich capsule helps lips retain natural moisturizing factors, smooths lip texture and reduces the appearance of lip wrinkles.
I really loved the way my lips felt after this. They were smooth and felt moisturized without the need to use anything else on my lips such as a lip balm. And the best part is, it lasted for hours. I went to bed and still woke up with smooth feeling lips.

So after trying out these products, I must say, I totally love them. They really made a difference just after one use. So I rarely ever show a photo of myself without makeup. And if I do, it is almost always retouched a bit because of some skin issues I am embarrassed about. But I am going to be brave and show a snapshot of an untouched, unedited, no makeup photo of myself right after using these three products.

So I felt a little more confident to post this photo because some of the flaws had vanished. My skin felt immediately tighter which is something I really have an issue with since I have a bit of scaring on my face.

And because of the scars, I have the appearance of very uneven skin tone, which this seemed to have brightened up my appearance. And the fact my face constantly feels rough and this made it feel much more smooth. I wish I would have taken a "before" photo. But I didn't think about it until afterwards. But if you want to see some more real life photo results of people who have tried this, click the video below.

A fast breakdown of what Rodan + Fields have to offer
Basic lines:
REDEFINE - (anti age) firmness, wrinkles, enlarged pores, fine lines
REVERSE - sun damage, brown spots, dullness
UNBLEMISH - adult acne, post acne marks
SOOTHE - redness, inflammation, roseacea

Then there are the ESSENTIALS AND ENHANCEMENTS - sun screen, lip shield, microdermabrasion paste, body microdermabrasion bar, sunless tanner, ect.

Two tools:
MACRO EXFOLIATOR- it is an at home Microdermabrasion tool! It has a tip made from crushed sucks like a vacuum and you pull it across your face and it takes 5 million dead skin cells off your face! Do it once a week!
AMP MD ROLLER - this is a derma roller (Jennifer Anniston just came out saying that's her secret to looking young) it has 192 tiny acupuncture needles on it, you roll it on your face and it helps the cream and serums get deep in there and it stimulates your collagen to pump up!! Use daily!

And one of the best things is all products come with a 60 day money back guarantee even if the bottles are empty! Now how cool is that?

So now an awesome offer from Crystal for some of my lucky readers. Here is your chance to try out your own mini facial kit from Rodan + Fields. Now how cool is that? And how awesome of her to offer such a great gift.

Want to know how to score your own mini facial? It's super easy.... just enter the Rafflecopter giveaway entry below. To check out the Solution Tool and see which products would be the best fit for you. Answer a few simple skin care questions and then you will be recommended a type of regimen you would need. Once you find out which one, post yours below in the comments. If your result comes up with "we recommend REVERSE" and then comment below saying "REVERSE". It is open to those in the USA and Canada.

But remember, do this through the Rafflecopter widget to get your entries in. Several people will win one. Click the link below to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I took the quiz for fun and it said that I would most be likely a great fit for the Redefine products. I think that's great since skin care isn't always a "one size fits all" type of thing. It's great to have something a bit more personalized that goes with more of a focus on your needs and wants for your face.

If you are interested in anymore information on the products, Crystal would be ever so willing to assist you in any way. She is a sweetheart so don't be shy :) I love this girl. She's really awesome. Here is her contact info:::

Check out the website by clicking HERE
Contact Crystal by phone : 314-541-4341
Contact Crystal by email

Interested in the business side of things? Click HERE to learn more.

And let her know that you heard about these amazing products through my blog. She would love to know how you found her site!


Happy hopping everyone! Thanks for joining us again for That Friday Blog Hop which goes live every Thursday evening at 8pm EST. So join us each week & link up your blogs, social media outlets, or anything you'd love to share. 

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- Grab the button and/or tweet about the blog hop as well
- Come back every Thursday evening to join in the party
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Finding A Plan

We are now officially into week five of home school for second grade. I started out 100% clueless as to anything and everything that had to do with this topic. But now, five weeks later....maybe it may be coming together....sort of.

The first four weeks I was so hardcore to the books. I was being a very mean and strict teacher. We were doing sit down school work for eight hours a day. The first week, my daughter was excited. The second week, she got a bit more antsy. By the third and fourth week, I think we were both about to kill each other. LOL

Seriously though, I needed to wake up to reality. My husband told me why it wasn't working as I had planned in my head. My daughter is normally a good, focused seen year old. She always does what she is told and really loved school.

By the third week, she was hating school. Telling me she hated me as a teacher. I was so mean. I didn't want to listen. I felt like if we didn't get in eight hours a day, she wouldn't be smart. I wanted to cram as much knowledge as I could into her little brain. I just wanted what was best for her. But my husband opened my eyes. I wasn't teaching her second grade. I was teaching her college. And doing eight hours a day, with each subject lasting from 2-3 hours each was making her go crazy. And I see that now. I guess just because I can sit there and teach it, she can't sit there and remember everything.
I would get frustrated when I would go over a lesson and ask her questions about what we just read and she would just say "I don't know".

So now I know, it wasn't her, it was me. I was going in on this a tad too fast. So this week, for week five....I stepped back. I regrouped my ideas, my lesson plans, my schedule....everything. I needed to make it a bit more simple and do baby steps. I felt like I had so much to teach her that I didn't know how I would fit it all into just one year. But the fact is, I don't have to. She has the rest of her life to learn and I just need to teach her little by little til we get it all. Trying to teach 12 years of one subject into one week was a crazy idea. I don't even know how I thought I could possibly do it with a seven year old. But see now I can't. No one can.

So I broke down my schedule. Got it a bit more organized and cut down the time for the entire day, as well as the time per subject tremendously. This is what the new schedule looks like:
Of course, it may get shifted around some more as I start to using this schedule. But I think it will be a good start. It went a lot better today...I must say.

Home school varies from state to state. The laws are so different for each and every state in the USA. As home schoolers know, this is a critical thing you have to look into and get all the facts so you know and understand how to do it right and by the books.
In my state, the law states that you must have an accounted 1000 hours per school year. 600 of those are to be core based hours and the other 400 are non-core based hours. And also I believe there has to be a minimum of 180 days present during "school" hours.

Core subjects being Math, Science, History, Language Arts, etc....
While non-core subjects are P.E., Music, Art, Field Trips, Sports, etc....

So how I keep track is by a chart I made and write down what subject abbreviation it is, what the material is for that day, and the time it took to do each one. At the end of the week, I add up the core and non-core hours separately and then add them altogether. This way I can see our progress. I will be able to see as we get closer to the end of the year, how we are doing with our hours better.
So of course, I keep everything in binders {one for me and one for my daughter} and everything is labeled and organized nice and neat and everything has a place.

And I wish I had a room to have a classroom set up in. But that's not really able to happen just yet. So for now, we use the dining room for our school studies. I can't wait to have our own space to hang up things and make it more "classroom" like. It makes it hard also with an 8 month old and a 22 month old running around while I'm trying to teach her too. So the room setting is not so high on the priority list because we have access to everything we need in the dining room. I have a computer and printer set up, all of our books and lesson plans, and access to the living room to watch the little ones while we learn.

So here is our setting. It works for now. One day, I may get my really cool class setup.

And I finally figured out the most perfect reward system to get my daughter to want to pay attention, even when a subject is boring or not interesting. When she was attending public school, the teachers always had the kids names on a board and they had a clip attached to the name. If you had to move your clip down, it meant you had gotten in trouble. If you got to move your clip up, it meant you were doing something good and behaving well.

I knew the clip thing probably wouldn't work at home too well seeing is she seems to know how to walk on me sometimes and I let her get away with stuff too easily. So i started to think about what we did when I was little in school. For the record, I attended public school my entire life, except college. Then I attended a private college.

I remember in elementary school, the teacher gave us a checkbook and each week, we would get money deposited into our accounts. If we were good, turned in our homework on time, or aced a test....we would get money deposited into our accounts. If we misbehaved, didn't listen or follow instructions, etc......we had to withdrawal the money and write a check to the teacher for our behavior. At the end of each week, we were allowed to use our money on prizes in the classroom. 

So I decided that this would be the way to run our behavior method. So today, she got her own checkbook. I was going to design my own checks, but decided it would just be easier to scope the internet for some to use and save a bit of time instead of opening up Photoshop and Illustrator and play around for a while.

I found a very helpful site that basically was using the exact same method I remember using so it worked out perfect. And the best part....there was a tutorial for how to put the checkbook together to make it look and feel like the real deal. So now I had a plan to help teach her some math skills as well as get her to behave the entire day.

Here is how our checkbook turned out. I also created a cover for my daughter to color and apply. She had a lot of fun doing this. Of course, she only wanted to use her very favorite Monster High character, Lagoona Blue as the subject matter.
To see how to make your own checkbook, check out Cathe's Blog Just Something I Made. She has a tutorial as well as a PDF downloadable file. I took the file into Photoshop and just whited out over the information I wanted to change {such as the check numbers so I could print multiple with different numbers} and saved them. I'm so glad someone else also thought about this because it really is a cute idea. I loved it when I was little and my daughter seemed to love this reward system today as well. She was excited to pay attention and learn LOL

So far in the first five weeks, we have covered a lot of topics and issues. And I have been trying to throw in a lot of fun things in there. Such as exploring bat caves, hiking, making our own paper, painting, watching educational videos, etc....

So here are a few fun things we have began to do. I wish I would have taken photos of more of the things, but that's ok. I know my winter break, my photos will be bombarded with craft photos.
So this has begun a new adventure for us. But even with the few struggles in the beginning, I think it will work itself out as well get to find a plan through this. I have been told by so many that the first year is the hardest. So there is light at the end of the tunnel. It hasn't been horrible, just a new and different experience for us both.