Thursday, December 27, 2012

Melted Snowman Ornaments

Now that Christmas is over, I was able to see the look on all of my families faces when I gave them their presents. This year I made all of them by hand and created a "basket" for them. If you're thinking of doing this, the best way is to hit up all of the local Goodwills and purchase tins for usually around $1. Much cheaper then actual baskets and they still look cute! And face it, whether you use baskets or tins, they'll most likely end up back at the Goodwill anyways. LOL.

Melted snowman ornament

One gift in particular that I created was melted snowman ornaments. I'm not sure if you've seen these before but my friend Sheila and I, came across these at the Victorian Country Christmas event that they do here in Tacoma every year. It's basically a large vendor fair where everyone is in Victorian clothing. It's fun to go look at all of the Christmas goods and this is usually where I try and find our personalized ornaments. I actually found really cute pirate boys and girls, and with my son being obsessed with pirates, this is what I settled on. We all have a different color hat and have our names and year written on them. They're adorable, but I digress...

So I found these ornaments and thought they were super cute and would be super easy to make. Whoever had made these ones in particular used plain old salt, but Sheila wanted to try and use glitter, so we did that. I also happened to already have a bunch of clear ball ornaments so we really didn't need to purchase too much to make these. If you plan on making these next year, you'll want to order/buy the clear ornaments early, they tend to sell out quickly.

Off to our local craft store, Michaels, to look for what we'd need. Glitter in the scrapbooking section is actually kind of expensive especially when you need a bunch and we were making 14 of them. We ended up hitting the children's section where you can purchase a large plastic bottle of it for like $5.99. Pair that with one of their 40% or 50% off coupons and it's not too bad. We also found some orange clay that we decided to use to make our snowman's noses. We attempted to find small plastic top hats but was unable to so no hats for our snowmen :/ As for the scarves, fleece would be really nice but I had a bunch of felt at home so we used that; you only need a little bit. You also will need to collect some small twigs from outside. I actually thought this was going to be hard to do but it wasn't. We have a large pine tree in our yard that had lost some of it's branches from the wind so I just pulled off a couple twigs from that. Now depending on where you live, this might be harder. I luckily live in the Pacific Northwest, so no issues with trees here. Just improvise for whatever you can find that looks like Snowman arms. Last but not least, the peppercorns for the eyes and buttons. That's it!

They clay we used

First off, you need to make your carrot noses since you need to bake them to set them. I think it was like 11 minutes or so? It says on the packaging how long. I added an extra minute or so because I didn't think they felt done because they were still quite soft but they still felt the same even then. However, once they cool down for a minute or two, they get nice and hard and solid.

You need to roll the dough into a a long rope, or worm as my son would say. Then cut off a small amount and make it into the shape of a carrot. You also need to add the carrot ridges. We tried a butter knife at first but I honestly like the corn on the cob holders that I tried the best.

Adding ridges to the carrot noses
Our cute carrot noses once they were done!

While those are baking, start filling up your ornaments with a little glitter. It helps, if you have a funnel.

 Add in 5 peppercorns for the eyes and buttons, a few twigs, and the carrot noses.

After that, you need your scarves. Take whatever fabric you have and just slice/cut into small rectangles and give a little fringe on each end. Sorry, I forgot to take pics of this. Add to the ornaments. You're done!

The only issue we've had with these is trying to keep all of the snowman parts on top of the glitter. For the most part you can just shake it up and down and everything will float to the top. The nose apparently weighs a little too much though those so that's a little harder to keep on top. 

But there you go! An easy and fun but cute, little craft!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Wordless Wednesdays

I keep seeing all of these blogs doing Wordless Wednesdays. I take a ton of pictures on a normal basis so I thought it would be a cute idea to start on Kinda Crunchy Mama as well! So here's my week in pictures, enjoy!

Gideon playing with his new tool set with his Uncles

Playing Rock 'em Sock 'em with Auntie

Opening presents, Christmas morning

Lots of wrapping paper

"Speed Shoes! Like a Cheetah!"

Getting lazy with opening

Figuring out his 'puter

Playing with Legos

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Elf on the shelf and Santa pics & iCaughtSanta review

If you're like me, you've been looking for a site to add a Santa pic to your final Elf on the Shelf picture. If you don't know what i'm talking about, check out my Elf on the Shelf post that I did awhile back. Towards the bottom there is a list of different sites that have great ideas! One of the ideas, thanks to Less Cake More Frosting, was on the final night that your elf was at your home. Because your elf is leaving back to the North Pole that night, he leaves a picture sitting in front of the tree with Santa before he's headed home, as a sort of goodbye present. I think it's a great idea but the way the original poster did it, is not something i'm capable of. I've been trying to find a way to do this for awhile but I don't have photoshop like the original poster had. I originally recommended picmonkey to use because it's a great site when you're layering like that but that wasn't working for me either. I tried to find some images online to add but you have to be able to cut out Santa to add to your pic and that is just not in my list of things I can do. After trying to figure something out I basically gave up and decided it wasn't going to happen which was disappointing because I really do think it's a great idea.

In comes the opportunity to review iCaughtSanta and I jumped at the chance! I hadn't heard of the site before or else I probably would have used it already. The site is fairly easy to use. You upload a picture of your choosing and then get to add Santa. The site states it has 20 Santa poses but in reality it's a few repeats of the same pose with a different looking Santa. They do have a Hispanic and black Santa as well. I did have a little trouble switching between poses but finally figured it out. You're able to scroll through on the main screen of their program, which worked fine, but then to actually change it on your picture is where I had the issue. They have a button that says "insert this pose". I'm assuming they're meaning the Santa pose you picked as it's right underneath the scroll bar. Every time I clicked it though, nothing would change. The way I was able to get it to work was by clicking the "show all" button to see all of the poses and when I would pick one on there, it would then change on my picture. Hopefully this is just a bug that will be fixed soon.

My iCaughtSanta photo

After you add your Santa, you can make him bigger or smaller, rotate him, or even change his brightness and coloring to match your main picture better. This gives you quite a bit of customization. Then you proceed with your picture, pay for it ($9.99), and then you have free access to it. There's also the option to pay an extra $10 to have access to the other caught characters that the site has which is a great deal if you want to do this again. They have cupid, Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy.

You can save it to your computer and print it at home or send it straight off to Walgreens through their program to have it printed. You also have the option to create mugs, t-shirts, coasters, etc. This is now your order screen which you can come back to at any time. There are also social media buttons plugged into the site so that you can post it to Facebook right away or email it to as many people as you'd like.

Now as a special bonus to YOU, my readers, iCaughtSanta is giving away 5 free photo codes to the first 5 readers who post  a comment on this page. Please include your email address and first name so that I can have them e-mail the e-gift certificate to you. For everyone else, if you click the link to iCaughtSanta you will be directed to their contest page, where you can enter to win a free iPad and also have the option of paying only $7.50 for a photo instead of the normal $9.99. You can also purchase gift cards for family members while on the site, if you're interested.

Merry Christmas!

This is my final photo that Gideon will find on Christmas morning.
I went to Picmonkey and added in the text to give it that extra touch.

*Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. All opinions are my own.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The ultimate list of board games

I saw someone on facebook asking what everyone's favorite board games were. After looking at what everyone was posting, I noticed that some of my favorites were missing! Well we can't have that! So I thought i'd put together a list of what my favorite games are and maybe you'll be able to add something new to your game closet.

My game closet

1. The Settlers of Catan - This is seriously one of my favorite games. It requires 3-4 players however my husband and I have played it several times with just the two of us, so it can work with two. They also have a few different types of expansion packs which will allow you to play 5-6 players but that's the most. This game is for ages 10 +. The goal of the game is to earn points by building roads and settlements/cities. You do this by collecting different resources; lumber, ore, brick, wool and grain. One of the aspects of this game that makes it fun is that the game is always changing. The directions has an initial way of setting up the game but once you've done that a few times you can mix and match the game anyway that you want to. This opens it up to a ton of different possibilities which guarantees the game will never be the same. This game is seriously addicting and seems to have it's own following. Their Facebook page has pictures of peoples birthday cakes, stuffed animals, and even life size models of the game.

2. Quelf Board Game - One of my favorite party games so far. It requires 3-8 players or you can play teams and have even more. This game is for ages 12 +. There is also a Quelf Jr that is for ages 6+ but I haven't played that. I'd assume the game would be relatively the same just easier things to do. The only rule to this game is to Obey the Card! Whatever the card says, is what you or everyone has to do. This could mean finding something to be a helmet to wear, keeping your elbows on the table, or repeating a random phrase every time someone looks at you. All of these challenges last the entire game or until a new card is played that will replace the original. Definitely not a game to play with super shy people unless you're hoping to get them to open up a bit.

3. Killer Bunnies Quest Blue Starter Card Game -The most addicting game that will cause you to want to physically hurt everyone else. haha. Technically this isn't a board game, it's a card game but it should still be included. This game requires 2-8 players however with the addition of expansion packs, you can play more. The more people the more fun it is. This game is for ages 12 + but can be a little challenging. I've never played the card game Magic but this is a similar premise, I believe. The goal of the game is to have the winning carrot when the game ends. To collect carrots you have to have bunnies and to win the game you have to have at least one bunny alive. This can be challenging at times as others try to kill your bunnies with random weapons such as gelatin with evil pineapple chunks or an ice pick. The instructions can be a bit challenging to understand but i'm under the impression that the makers have rewritten them. You can also go to their website and download the full directions that includes every card from every expansion deck which would be worthwhile to print and set aside in a binder for play. Now while this game takes skill to keep your bunny alive and to kill everyone elses, actually winning the game is complete luck. You can have every carrot while the person you're playing against has one and that one could end up being the winning carrot. You just never know till the game ends. In regards to the expansion packs, you do want to purchase them for even more fun. Each pack builds on the previous pack and opens up even more options and different styles of play. At one point you can even have military bunnies. If you have one of the Officer bunnies you automatically get an extra turn, because Officer's are better you know. lol. If you are at any way affiliated with the military you understand and probably think its as hilarious as I do.

4. Electronic Catch Phrase - Really easy but fun game to play with a group. You need two teams to play, regardless of how many people are on each team, it doesn't matter. You would need an even amount for team 1 and team 2 though. This is for ages 18 + but i'm not sure why someone younger couldn't play? I would guess at least 12 but who knows. This is a very simple game. One person sees the word and has to give clues to the other person to guess the word. When the word is guessed it gets passed to the next couple to guess. It goes around the circle of couples until the timer goes off then the other team gets a point. Basically like Hot Potato.

5. Cranium -A fun party game that will get everyone involved. This game requires 4 or more players, ages 16 +. In order to win this game you need to get to the end of the board first. To do this you need to act out wacky stunts, draw pictures or even sculpt with clay. There are a variety of different cards and if you play it so often that you start reusing the cards, you can purchase the expansion packs with more. I really enjoy this game but sometimes wish it would last a little longer... But that always means you can play again!

6. Clue - A classic game that I really don't have to write much about. This game requires 3-6 players ages 8 and up. Your goal is to find out who killed Mr. Boddy, with what weapon and in what room. I remember playing this as a child a couple of times but that's about it. I recently played this with some friends, and I just hadn't realized how much fun it was. Sometimes it's good to go back to the classics. You may never realize what you're missing out on if you don't.

7. Monopoly -Do I need to say anything about Monopoly? This game requires 2-8 players ages 8 and up. The goal of the game is to make everyone else go broke and to own as many properties as you can. One of the fun things about this game is that there is a version for everyone. We have the Marine Corp version seeing as my husband was in the Marine Corp at the time he purchased this. He may be in the Army now, but he is still, a hardcore Marine. lol.

8. Sequence Game -Another fun game that I only recently played for the first time. This game requires 2-3 players or 2-3 teams of players. It's recommended for ages 8 and up. This game is like a board game and card game in one. You have a hand of cards that match to the board that also has all of the cards listed. Your goal is to acquire 2 sets, or sequences, of 5 cards in a row but also on the board. It's a game of skill but it is also relatively easy to play. A fun game to play when you're lounging around the house with nothing to do.

While there are many other games out there that are fun and i'm sure plenty that I haven't played, these are my top games. I will pretty  much always go back to these in any situation. Please feel free to add any comments with any games that you love to play and the reason why. If you are like me, and love to have a new game to play, check some of these out!

Have fun!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Kidorable giveaway

Kidorable transforms everyday, functional kids accessories into objects that excite their imaginations and enrich their lives at play! That is why they have made Baby Costcutters 2012 Holiday Gift Guide!
We all like to be fashionable including our children. From rain-wear to backpacks to knitwear and towels, Kidorable helps to keep your child's individuality alive. My favorite are their scarves and gloves!
This is the perfect Holiday Gift so check them out! After you enter this giveaway make sure to head over to the Kidorable Facebook Page. They are having 12 Days of Christmas Giveaways... get in before it's over!

One lucky reader will win their choice of style of a Knitwear Set {knit hat, scarf, and gloves} and a Backpack!

Giveaway Ends Dec 21, 2012, at 11:59pm est. Must be 18+ years of age to enter. Open to US Only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received no compensation for this publication. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. Kinda Crunchy Mama is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Chai Tea Latte Recipe

It's that time of year. Christmas. That time to celebrate the birth of Jesus but also to find worthwhile and meaningful presents for your family that they wont return on Dec 26th. This year I'm attempting to make gift baskets for everyone in my family. I have kind of an eclectic mix of things to put in it, but I'm trying to find stuff that people will use. Now if you're in my family, stop reading now! Or at least not till after Christmas. Lol.

My  chai

Today I made Chai Tea Latte mix. While this is definitely not all natural or crunchy, it sure tastes good. I'm pretty particular about Chai Tea and only really like the liquid Tazo Chai brand that Starbucks carries. I used to drink the Oregon Chai brand but once I got used to the Tazo I can't drink the Oregon anymore. I think it's because the Tazo has a spicier flavor? I also don't like the tea bags kind of chai, even when I add milk. I have had a couple powder mixtures though that I liked. This is what I attempted to make today.

There are a lot of different recipes online but for the most part they're all the same. The instant Chai Latte mix recipe that I chose to use was from The Cheeky Kitchen. Now let me warn you. Before you decide to try and be all smart like I was and double the recipe because you need a lot, make sure you have enough ingredients first. I looked at the beginning of the recipe which  called for 1 cp each of all the creamers. I easily had 2 cps so that was fine. I didn't realize till I got to the middle of the recipe that it called for 2 1/2 cps of the instant tea! Which means I needed 5 cps! That's a lot of tea! Of course the store only had one size and brand of this and it really wasn't that big, definetly not that much. All of the creamers I was able to find the generic store brand in a larger container, but not the tea. So half way through I had to quit and run back to the store. Lame. Times like this I really miss having my hubby home to run out for me.

Another thing to mention if you do double it. Make sure you have a LARGE bowl. I originally started using a large pyrex bowl that I had and it ended up not being large enough. I switched to my KitchenAid 5-Quart Mixer which in all actuality I should have used from the beginning. This worked just barely however I did have a lot of power spray even with the plastic shield on top. Also be careful breathing right above it cause that's a lot of dust spray that you don't want to inhale.


Mixing up! You can see all the powder that floated up

First thing you do is mix all of the ingredients together. Next you want to grind it up really fine in either a food processor or a blender. The original recipe says to do one cup at a time but I found that in my blender anyways, it didn't mix very well. Once I started doing almost 3 cups at a time, it blended much easier.


The final product

After that, you're done! Not too difficult. Put it in a container for yourself or into smaller jars to give away. I found some canning jars at my local Goodwill but I sill need some more so for now I just put mine in a large tub. I've also had a hard time keeping out of it so I may end up making one more batch. Oops!

Now if you look at my ingredients and you look at the original recipe, you'll notice that I did change the ingredients some. I personally like a spicier tea as I mentioned so I added in more white pepper, cardamom, and nutmeg. I also added in a little extra brown sugar for sweetness. I like me some sweet and spicy tea.

When you go to purchase your spices if you don't have them already, the cardamom is super pricey. That is the one thing I did not have and it was killing me to buy it. The cheapest jar I could find was $10 for one! Yikes! So be aware of that if you decide to make this.

  •  1 cup nonfat dry milk powder
  • 1 cup powdered non-dairy creamer
  • 1 cup French vanilla flavored powdered non-dairy creamer
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 ½ cups unsweetened instant tea
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp allspire
  • 1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp white pepper

1. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients thouroughly.
2. Take mixed spices and grind together in a food processor or blender. 2-3 cups is an easier amount to grind in my experience.
3. Transfer to appropriate containers as gifts or for keeps.
4. Add approximately 2 tbls to a mug of hot water and enjoy!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Top Pinterest Pins

Here's my top Pinterest pins for the week. I thought i'd share them with you!

Vintage painted signs from Diddle Dumpling
Toilet paper cars from kiflieslevendula
Jesus and Elf on the Shelf from A Small Snippet
100 Photos to Inspire your Holiday Cards from Harvard Homemaker
Emergency Drinking Water Storage from Pinterest
Elf on the Shelf 350+ ideas from Busy Kids Happy Mom
Baklava from Leave Room for Dessert
Mr. Potato head Quiet Book from Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows
Medicinal Sweets from Mad Mad Me
Criss Cross Pocket Card from Stampin' Pretty
Updos with Height from Style of Baileys

If you liked all of these pins or even some of them, you should follow me on Pinterest so you don't miss out on any more!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A little about me

I know that I have an About Me page on my blog, but with all of my new fans, I thought I would expand a little bit. I hope that you might want to get to know me a little bit, and I would love to know you too! Hopefully we have some things in common which will make this whole blog thing easier.

*First off, i'm a mommy. My son, Gideon, is 4, will be 5 in January. He is a bundle of energy but at the same time can just veg out and watch cartoons (which is nice in the morning). He's also super imaginative and tends to get distracted on whatever is going through his mind at the time. He is my everything, and he is just about perfect. I try not compete in the mommy wars and all that, but he was the perfect baby. He always slept when he was supposed to, never cried inconsolably. He never threw tantrums. Seriously, the best kid ever. His only "issue" for sake of a better word, is he has some issues picking up things. I don't mean, cleaning up his room; although that doesn't really happen either... But more so his learning skills. He has a hard time grasping letters, numbers, etc. He's also struggling with cutting, writing, and the like as well. For whatever reason, it's just taking him a little longer to pick it up. He does attend our local school districts special education preschool program which has helped a lot. If you have a child with any issues, I definitely recommend it. I'm pretty sure most school districts have some form of it. Maybe it's just that he's a boy, and hopefully he'll start getting things here soon, but it does worry me. I don't want him to struggle in school and I hope that ends up not being a problem but only time will tell.

*I'm an Army Wife :) I actually wrote a guest article for a friend's blog, My Life to Army Wife, where I wrote about my Army wife story. By all means check it out, and tell Shantee hi. We're currently stationed at Joint Base Lewis McChord or Ft. Lewis as most people would know it. A few years back they combined the Army and Air Force base however not a lot has changed. The bases are right next to each other but aren't even connected. You have to leave one to get to the other. It's kind of funny actually.

*Currently my husband is deployed, so it's just the kiddo and me. I don't have a job but I do babysit a 2 yr old little boy. I would love to have a "real" job but I'm having a hard time finding one that works with Gideon's school schedule and all that :/ Oh well. I'm sure i'll find on right before it's time to PCS again! That's how things work, right?

*I believe in God. I would call myself a Christian but I don't want to get caught up in the religiosity of it. I'm not perfect and I don't study my bible like I know I should, and I don't go to church as much as I should. I feel bad about it and I try, but it just doesn't always happen.

*I'm a procrastinator. This is my biggest flaw that I never want to admit to. I have things that I want to do, that interest me, and I still procrastinate it. I need people to hold me accountable. I wish I wasn't this way, and I try to change it but it's unfortunately me. It drives my husband crazy. It makes me a little bit of a slob. My husband has OCD so mix that with me who wont do the dishes till I run out of clean ones, it's not a good mixture. I can't get away with that when he's here but when he's not, I'll admit I do it sometimes. Or don't do it... lol.

*I love to craft. I have no creativity whatsoever but I still love it. My preference is papercrafting but I'm slowly starting to sew too. I pretty much have to copy everything but as long as I have something to start with, I can usually replicate. It doesn't always look the same, but I try. My ideal house would have a huge craft room, with lots of table space, shelving to organize and of course everything would be full of product. Preferably Stampin' Up! stuff.

*I'm an avid reader. I can easily get lost in a book and will quit doing everything to finish it. My recent obsession is Paperback Swap. I keep trying to find more books that I don't mind getting rid of so that I can get more credits for the books I do want. If I find a series that I'm really interested in, I want to collect them all and I wont get rid of them. I've started getting Kindle books which is nice because I do like the instant gratification of it but I still love a real book. I have a series that I LOVE; the Fever Series. I have them on my Kindle but I'm trying to collect them in paperback too. So far, I have one! lol.

*I'm kinda crunchy. I say kinda crunchy because I'm not on every hippy, crunchy bandwagon out there. For the most part I practice AP. Of course when I don't have a baby anymore, that's kind of hard. I've started using vinegar to clean with instead of buying harsh chemicals. If I had another baby I would cloth diaper. I wont however, use family TP. Just couldn't do it. But I do want to make some unpaper towels. I try to do things natural if possible and eat healthier. But I do love frozen chicken nuggets and egg rolls. Some of the things I do or believe in now, I wouldn't have even considered a year ago. So who knows what I'll be doing in another year.

*I'm an Internet/Facebook junkie. Another thing that irritates my husband.

Well that's me, among other things. Now that you know a little bit more, I would love to hear about you! Do we have anything in common or something maybe that we are complete opposites in. They do say opposites attract.

Me and Gideon at the fair this summer

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Win a cloth diaper stash!

It's time to win again! We're ready to giveaway another stash of cloth diapers with Kerrific and Kinda Crunchy Mama.

This month one lucky winner will receive 6 Kawaii diapers and a wet bag. 

These are one size diapers that fit from 8-36 lbs
Each comes with two microfiber inserts
Wet bag holds approximately 12 diapers
Total Value: $55 +

To enter, please fill out the form below. 
Make sure you stop by and visit all the participating blogs to tell them thank you for the wonderful giveaway!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

$200 Cloth Diaper giveaway!

Welcome to the annual giveaway frenzy known as Merry Fluffy Christmas!!! This event runs one week. Be sure to come back every day for extra entries. Follow the linky below to find other great giveaways.

This giveaway is made possible by the wonderful and generous sponsors below, who will make someone's cloth diaper dreams come true. Package includes 8 cloth diapers, 6 wool dryer balls, cloth wipes and wipes solution, enough to get you started on the road to saving the planet and your baby's bottom :) This is a great cloth diaper starter kit! Click HERE to read all product reviews.

Enter on the Rafflecopter form below. Be honest and only click 'done' on those entries you have fully completed. GOOD LUCK and Merry Fluffy Christmas.

a Rafflecopter giveaway >

Disclaimer. Kinda Crunchy Mama is not responsible for sponsor prize fulfillment.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Interested in helping some single soldiers?

In case you didn't know, my husband is deployed. They will be returning shortly and I have to say, I can't wait :-) Of course that's probably not a surprise to any of you out there. Now that the time is coming soon, we're trying to get things together to make it easy on all of the soldiers returning. This includes creating welcome home baskets for all of the single soldiers who might not have family here waiting. The actual date of their return is confidential and can't be released which makes it next to impossible for even extended family to make travel arrangements to be here. Could you imagine coming home from an overseas deployment, spending probably the last 72 hours on a plane and countless months away from family, only to return to an empty barracks room? Most likely in the middle of the night where they can't even go to a store to pick any immediate items up? We don't want our heroes to come home to this.

The USO is kindly donating toiletries but we're still in need of many items. The majority of businesses in the area are completely tapped out to be able to donate due to being located near a mega base (Joint Base Lewis McChord) with constant soldiers coming in and out. Because of this, I'm reaching out to you, my followers.

Ideas for donations:
Welcome home letters/card
Bottled Water
Ramen or cup o'noodles
Easy mac
Coffee and Creamer
Small laundry soap
Dryer sheets
Dish soap
Toilet paper
Paper towels
Bed sheets
Anything that will make a house a home

The day my husband left

 Thank you for any and all donations. You are all amazing and I am always astounded at the support out there. If you're interested in donating (and every little bit helps), here are the addresses of where you can mail them:

If mailing though the post office (USPS):

13712 F St
Box 339500, MS 118
JBLM, WA 98433-9500

If mailing though UPS or FedEx:

5-3 Field Artillery Regiment
ATTN: Charlie Battery Rear Detachment
BLDG 13712 F St
Lewis-North, WA 98433

And please make checks payable to: CHARLIE 5-3 FRG (and send to above address depending on carrier)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Powerball dreams

Have you heard about the Powerball drawing tonight? It's up to $550 MILLION DOLLARS! I don't know about you but I rarely if ever buy lotto tickets of any kind. I purchased a couple when we moved back here from Korea (no lotto there,  lol) and other then that I might pick up a random scratch ticket here and there. But even that is rare and few between. But when the winning amount is THAT high, I have to have at least one shot. As miniscule the possibility is of winning, I have no possibility if I don't have any tickets. 

Image from:
Secret confession time. When i'm laying in bed, trying to fall asleep, I daydream about something specifically. At some point in time in my childhood, someone told me that whatever you were thinking about before you fell asleep, you would dream about it. That's when I started daydreaming at night. I have elaborate fantasies (not like that, dirty bird!) of having kids, buying houses, and when I was younger; my wedding day. With the powerball ticket being in play, my fantasy has turned into what I would do if I won...

I debated this last night, on whether I would tell my husband while he was deployed, or wait till he got home. I'm sure the money gets deposited into your account (a shame, no suitcases of cash to go to the bank with) so then maybe I would just wait and see if he checked the account and freaked out? Or perhaps tell him not to check it until he gets home because I was working on a surprise. I would take my SUV and my hubbies car in for all maintenance, repairs and tires replaced. I bought some tires on black friday that are just a tad too small for my SUV but for the price, i'm going to deal. Well now that i'm rich, I wont need to, so I even think about who to donate the tires to. I take my sister shopping, deposit money into my moms bank account anonymously so she can pay off her house, and I don't tell anyone else that I won. I told you, my dreams are fairly elaborate sometimes. I fell asleep at that point, so we'll see where my mind goes tonight, but what would you do with that kind of money? When you spend it elaborately? Share with friends? Keep it a secret? Buy houses on every continent? Or maybe travel to Africa and help AIDS orphans? 

What would you do?

Woolino Sleep Bag Giveaway Event

Baby blankets don't belong in our babies' beds, so how do we keep them warm? There is no better way than a cozy baby sleep sack. Unfortunately so many of those on the market are made of synthetic materials that can cause the baby to overheat and actually increase the risk factor for SIDS. Woolino comes to the rescue by creating all natural 100% Australian merino wool baby sleep bags that keep baby warm at night in any season.  

Woolino merino baby sleep bags have a host of amazing features, from being super easy to clean to having a convenient harness slot to use during travel. It is compact and warm, perfect at home or on the go. Snaps on both shoulders and an inverted zipper make dressing and diaper changes easier. Underarm snaps make it adjustable to fit small babies. Your baby will be comfortable in a Woolino 4 Season baby sleep bag in temperatures ranging from 63 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit. It comes with a travel bag, room thermometer, and it is in a plastic-free, ready-to-gift package which makes it perfect for a baby shower or Christmas!

Our Favorite Features: 
  • Fits babies 3 to 24 months
  • Seat belt slot for easy transfer from car to crib
  • Naturally anti-microbial, anti-fungal
  • Naturally fire resistant without the use of harsh chemicals
  • Regulates temperature
  • Made with sustainable and 100% natural Australian merino wool
  • GOTS certified organic cotton outer
  • Machine washable
  • Super soft on baby's skin
Purchase: The 2013 Collection Woolino 4 Season Baby Sleep Bags retail for $119.99 each, you can purchase it on the Woolino website. They also make toddler sleep sacks for kids 2 to 4 years old! The Woolino sleep bags are also available on Amazon

Win One! Woolino is blessing two of you with a 2013 Collection Woolino 4 Season Baby Sleep Bag in size 3 to 24 months, one reader will win Sage and another Spring (both gender neutral).

Special thanks to AnaB Social for hosting this giveaway. Huge thanks to all participating bloggers as well! Giveaway ends December 27th at 12:01 am, open to US and Canadian residents, ages 18+. To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below. Thank you!

Disclaimer: Kinda Crunchy Mama is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

World Vision Charity Giveaway

Whether it’s for the tax deduction or the warm fuzzy feeling giving to others generates, most Americans plan to make a charitable donation over the holiday season. In fact, nearly 60 percent of Americans say they’ll donate between Thanksgiving and Christmas, according to a survey reported in the Chronicle of Philanthropy.
With so many worthy causes, it is difficult to know where the gift can best be used. Gifts to the WorldVision Gift Catalog Maximum Impact Fund are used where resources are most desperately needed, to help children and families in struggling communities around the world. With a financial contribution, the gift giver can select one of 36 Maximum Impact items (a few are listed below) that can be given to a loved one and at the same time help a person in need.

Please consider the unique, life-changing items from World Vision’s Gift Catalog as you start, continue or even complete of your holiday shopping. Here are a few suggestions we would like to offer you:
  • Artisan Beaded Necklace: This glass-bead necklace is handmade in Thailand and can be worn several different ways — even as a multi-strand bracelet.
  • Eco Cold Cup: This popular 16 oz. BPA-free tumbler comes in handy when on the run. Every sip is a reminder of those who’ve been helped.
  • Veggie Tales "Incredible Vegetables" DVD: Heroic adventures and veggie fun for the family movie night! This newest Veggie Tale DVD is an action adventure that teaches kids how to conquer fear through a faith-based message.
  • Plush toys - Gertie Goat, Chuma Chick and Pallu Pig: Gertie, Chuma and Pallu are available exclusively through World Vision and represent farm animals that are donated to children and families around the world and provide a steady supply of nutritious food and the surplus can be sold for extra income.
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.
They serve close to 100 million people in nearly 100 countries around the world. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender.

Eight lucky readers will receive one of the following: Artisan Beaded Necklace, Eco Cold Cups, Veggie Tales Incredible Vegetables DVD or a set of plush toys (Gertie Goat, Chuma Chick and Pallu Pig)!

Giveaway ends December 9th at 11:59pm, open to US residents, ages 18+. To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!

Special thank you to Mom Powered Media bloggers for putting this event together.
Disclosure: I received no compensation for this publication. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. Kinda Crunchy Mama is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment.  

An educational and fun Christmas list

I have seen a lot of different Christmas lists on different blog sites recently and I thought i'd share my two cents. My son is 4 and will be turning 5 in January and tends to be a little behind the learning curve. Don't get my wrong, my son is smart but he seems to need a little extra time grasping certain concepts and ideas sometimes. He does go to the special needs preschool in our local school district which, on a side note, I can't say enough for. So when it comes time to Christmas and then his birthday, I try to find him items that are educational but something he'll enjoy as well. I also try to find things that hopefully wont end up spread out all over or stuffed into his toy box. I have started putting a lot of his items into either shoebox totes or even gallon size totes, depending on what it is and how many he has. They stay stacked in his closet and all he has to do is go grab one and bring it down to his kids table in the living room, and then he can play with it. When he's done, he puts it away and grabs another one. This has helped tremendously in keeping all of the little parts together and letting them actually get played with.

This is my list of top items to purchase including a few items that he already has and plays with often.

Items we have:
1) Playskool Mr. Potato Head Silly Suitcase (35pcs.) - He loves putting this guy together. We purchased the Silly Suitcase set last Christmas but he has just recently started really playing with it. I actually lucked out and found a Potato Head lot on Craigslist that has 4 potatoes and a ton of pieces including a bunch of Disney character pieces. His only request this year was lots of little presents so I will be wrapping these up into smaller pieces so he has a bunch of presents to open.

2) Melissa & Doug Joey Magnetic Dress-Up He's a boy (obviously) so I got him the Joey set to play with. I don't have an issue with him playing with girl dolls, it just makes it easier for him to relate to since he is a boy after all. I then found a lot of two more girl sets at a local thrift sale and added those to his collection too. He has a lot of fun playing with these. He dresses them up, talks to them, has them talk to each other. It's cute to watch. Did I mention he has a very wild and creative imagination?

3) Melissa & Doug 100-Piece Wood Blocks SetEvery kid needs blocks to play with. These ones are great because they're colored too so you can match up colors with them as well. Adds an extra dimension to play. We did have some issue with my dogs trying to eat them so these really have to stay in their respective tote. lol. 100 blocks easily fits into a shoebox tote.

4) Hexbug - Nano and Hexbug Nano Habitat Set Gideon has one of these but but still needs a habitat. This little bug guy is so much fun to watch run around. He really enjoys it.

Top Items that we don't have but want:
1) K'NEX Lincoln Logs Double T Ranch This is like the blocks above. Every kid needs Lincoln Logs. While they are more expensive then I would like to spend, they're one of those things that last for ever. And nowadays, what doesn't cost more then it should? A great toy for creation and imagination.

2) LEGO Bricks & More I think a lot of things on my list this year are classics. But then again, doesn't that mean that they're the best toys? Gideon has a huge tote of Megabloks and a small container of DUPLO but now that he's getting older, I think it's time to start investing in real legos. There are so may collections out there to purchase but he's not quite to the point of creating a star wars ship or anything crazy. He's more of making cars, ships, and houses. Just the basic stuff.

3) MindWare Imaginets There are a lot of different styles of these out there so find what fits your budget and child but these are great for improving fine motor and visual skills. Gideon has these in his classroom at school and likes to play with them.

4) Marble Run Gideon was recently at a friend's house and his friend had a set of these. He LOVED them. The child figures out how to put them together and then gets to watch his hard work pay off and see the marble travel down. Helps with reasoning skills as the child manipulates his project and learns about basic physics.

5) Gears! Gears! Gears! Super Set Like the marble set above, the child manipulates the gears to create a working project. Uses imagination and creativity for some wholesome fun that I bet even mom & dad will be interested in.

6) Haba Dancing Eggs Game You've probably never heard of this game. I'll have to admit i've never actually seen it played. I came across it while searching for kid games that adults would find fun too and it sounds like a blast. Some of the reviews I read did say it might be a good idea to get two sets though, especially if you have a lot of family members.

7) The Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game A really cute game about some squirrels. What else do you need to know? LOL. In case you're wondering though, it helps to develop matching, counting, and fine motor skills.

I do have a few other gifts, specific to my son (he's obsessed with pirates). But that is the majority of his Christmas list. I hope this helps you in finding some great gifts for the kiddos in your life and maybe introduces you to something you hadn't heard of before!