Author: mustardseedmommy (page 1 of 219)

Family Night – Simple, Easy Pizza Dough

If you hadn’t already noticed, we posted a new video on our YouTube page featuring one of our favorite family activities. You can watch that below:

So, every Friday afternoon I start preparing for our evening by making homemade pizza dough. It took a long time to find a dough we liked, but this one is so easy and delicious to make! I’ll share the recipe at the bottom of this post. Sometimes I split a dough ball into four so that each kid can make their own personal pan pizzas, or like this night, we made one large pizza and the kids all topped their sections. J and I like to make all different types of pizzas, but the kids are pretty simple and prefer just cheese and pepperoni!

When J gets home we make our pizzas, and then we pull out some board games or pick out a movie to watch together. It’s a great way to unwind at the end of the week and spend some quality time with the kids. We chose to split up with the kids and play some age appropriate games with them.

J took the older two (Boogie & Bubby) and played Monopoly Junior (I couldn’t find the exact version to link, but that one is pretty close to our older version). I took the younger two (Bird & Bear) and we played Hoot Owl Hoot! and The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game. Both are super cute – Hoot Owl Hoot! Is a cooperative game where you and your friends have to get all the owls to the next before the sun rises. You have to know your colors to play this game. The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel game is great for fine motor skills as you have to pick up the colored acorns with the Squirrel “tongs” and place them in the spots on your tree trunk. Color identification, counting to 2 are important for this game!

When we all finished up we played a pretty hysterical game of Twister, I think it made J very aware that he is not a limber young man anymore! Ha!

If you don’t already, set some time aside each week for family fun. Doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but making time to spend together is so important. Our lives get so busy and life is too short to not make time together!

Don’t forget to try out the pizza dough recipe below, and you can click the links to the games in the paragraphs above – they are listed at great prices on Amazon right now!

Simple, Easy Pizza Dough
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 slices
This is a super simple and delicious pizza dough.
  • ½ Tbsp Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 cup water, lukewarm (I heat in the microwave for 1 minute and let cool)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  1. In a large bowl combine your lukewarm water, yeast and sugar. Mix until dissolved and allow to bloom for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Add 1 cup of bread flour and mix until combined.
  3. Add salt. Mix.
  4. Add remaining cup of bread flour and mix until combined.
  5. Dump cup of all purpose flour onto counter (I do this directly on my counter, but you can use a kneading board, a cutting board, or mat). and knead the dough into that until your dough is soft and elastic. You don't want it sticky!
  6. Wash and dry your bowl, pour olive oil into bottom.
  7. Coat your dough in the olive oil, cover with a damp towel and allow to sit in a warm place for a minimum of 45 minutes (I let it rise for a full 2 hours).
  8. Once dough has risen, preheat your oven to 500F.
  9. Now you can prepare your dough however you wish!
  10. Cook for 10-15 minutes.
  11. Enjoy!




NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Book for Girls Review and GIVEAWAY!

I love using creativity and art to help me study the Word, so this bible is absolutely perfect for that purpose. This bible was created with girls 8-12 in mind, but I promise you, it’s not just for kids or teens!

This bible is beautiful, in every sense of the word. Girls (or you!) can get creative with the gorgeous coloring pages and art that are throughout the pages of this bible. This bible contains hundreds of verses ready to color, thick paper that can endure heavy note-taking, lined sections for notes and doodles, ribbon marker and MORE! This bible lays flat, which is awesome in my opinion, it also comes in NIV (New International Version). NIV is great for younger readers and adults alike, as it’s an easy, more understandable version of the Word.

This Beautiful Word Coloring Bible for Girls comes in a thin cardboard sleeve, it’s so pretty with an illustration on the front – it’s a great example of how you can color your pages!

The cover and binding are a fantastic pink leather, it’s very durable and sturdy and I love the metallic silver polka dots!

I chose to use my thin ink pens for my first dive into this beautiful bible, but I’m hoping to try out some different things like water color pencils, maybe some pastels? I’d love to hear your favorite art tools to use for your bible journaling!

As you can see above, there are sections with illustrations along the side, but below you can see that there are also full spreads to color!

There are also half pages (see above), and then I also love the journaling sections found throughout this Bible (see below).

I just love how versatile and beautiful this entire Bible is, I’ll be keeping this copy for myself, but I will definitely be getting one for Boogie (who turns 9 this month!). The coloring pages are absolutely gorgeous and there is just so much you can do with this during your bible study!

Today is the last day to enter to win a copy for yourself (or the favorite girl in your life!). Enter below for your chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received a copy of the NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible for Girls from Zondervan (HarperCollins Christian Publishing) for this review. This post is sponsored by Zondervan.

Our Top 10 Favorite UBAM Books for Back to School

What better time to share our favorite Usborne Books & More books than the beginning of a school year?! It’s no secret that we are big fans of UBAM and I love sharing our books with all of you!

So, buckle your seat belts! We’re going to share our top 10 favorite UBAM books for back to school!

  1. Key Skills Wipe-Clean Pack: Introduction : There are actually three packs of these, and they go up in difficulty levels. Each pack includes 4 books, a wipe-clean marker (we love UBAM markers!) and the high quality zippered plastic pouch to store them in. As a homeschool family, we use these often for extra practice, review and busy work in the van when we are on the go! Your public school kids would benefit from these as well, these are fantastic for extra practice for them and perfect for summer, winter and holiday breaks!
  2. Lift-the-Flap Questions and Answers About Weather : This is just one out of many Lift-the-Flap books I would recommend for back to school! We have so many great ones to read and explore, they’re packed full of information and my kids LOVE these! This particular one is about weather, and as we are starting a weather science unit I thought it was a good one to share!
  3. Look Inside Space : Similar to the Lift-the-Flap books, these Look Inside books also have flaps and such to explore and read. These are also packed full of information and we have so much fun looking through these. This one about space is our favorite, though we have several! What I really love about these is that they are great for all ages! My youngest, who is 2, enjoys them (with supervision) and this mama (I’m 31!) enjoys looking at them as well! So fun!
  4. Human Body Reference Book : Reference books! This is one of our regular reference books about the human body, so many amazing illustrations and details, but we also have beginner reference books as well! You’ll be SO impressed with the details in the illustrations, my 8 year old has always been fascinated by how her body works, and this was perfect for her!
  5. My First Reference Book About Nature : This is more of a beginner reference book, my littles LOVE pouring over the pictures and illustrations in this book! The pictures and illustrations are not as detailed as the regular reference books, but still beautifully done.
  6. Secrets of the Rain Forest – Shine-a-Light : Shine-a-Light books are SO fun! Your child learns so much in these books while thinking they’re just reading a story, and using a flashlight to peek through to see the pictures on the next page is super cool! We have several of these, but this is one of our favorites! These are also exclusive to Usborne Books & More!
  7. Seasons : This is one of our Young Beginner Reader books, I love incorporating these into our homeschool lessons. Seasons in particular as we just started talking about the weather and the seasons for Science! This one fit in perfectly with what we have been discussing. There are lots more to choose from including Seashore, Bug, Dinosaurs, etc.
  8. 50 Science Things to Make and Do : Science experiments are fun to do whether you’re utilizing them for a homeschool class or for extra fun at home. This is just one book we have that has fun experiments to try, but I love this one because it’s small and more compact. It also has a great binding that allows the book to lie flat!
  9. Learning Wrap-Ups Addition : I know… this isn’t technically a book, HOWEVER, these are fantastic if your child needs some extra help with their math! We have addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and even ones with states and capitals! It’s a hands-on approach and we love utilizing these when we can.
  10. Lifesize : This is one of my personal favorites, this book came out earlier this year and it’s AMAZING! Compare your hand size to that of a polar bear, go eye to eye with a squid! You get to see what lifesize animals are like up CLOSE up! So fun, educational and the illustrations are gorgeous.

So there you have it… our top 10 favorite UBAM books for back to school! Do you have some personal favorites you love for this time of year! This is only a small glimpse of all the amazing books Usborne Books & More has to offer. Feel free to contact me for more information, or check out my shopping page HERE! Book a party with me by contacting me on my Facebook page HERE and tell me this secret phrase (BACKTOSCHOOL) to get an extra $20 in FREE books with a qualifying party!


Two Weeks Into Our School Year!

I both look forward to and dread those first few weeks of school. Getting back into routine, introducing a new school year, finding out groove… it’s all hard and exciting! This year we have a 3rd grader, 1st grader, Pre-Kinder and I’m not sure whether to call Bear a tot-schooler or a distraction! Ha!

So far things have gone pretty well, the kids enjoy their curriculum (which I’ll post about each kid individually in the next few weeks) and we’ve only had a few temper tantrums (from the 1st grader) about getting our work done!

We’ve had several outings to our local library, we even did a day of school there! We’ve been blueberry picking, made some new videos for our YouTube channel, created playdough Stonehenge replicas, painted masterpieces and more!

I think my absolute favorite aspect of homeschooling is the freedom and flexibility to complete our work when and wherever we want. I’m looking forward to the temperatures getting cooler so we can take advantage of doing our work outside!

Something new we are trying this year is Reading Eggs. I was a little hesitant, I tend to steer away from using the computer or phone/tablet for school work. I do use Starfall for the littles when we need some quiet time for the big kids, and we utilize YouTube for videos, etc. I’m sold on the Reading Eggs program though! We’ve been trying the trial for about a week now and Bird is growing leaps and bounds with her letter and letter sound recognition. It’s such a fun way for them to learn their letters, she’s enjoying it and the older two have also enjoyed checking out some of the other work it offers as well!

I am looking forward to seeing what this year brings, I’m already impressed with how well the kids are doing. I also have a few fun and exciting things up my sleeve for this year!

Thank you for stopping by, don’t forget to check out my Facebook and Instagram pages, as well as our YouTube channel – you can find the links under my photo in the right column of this blog! God Bless!

Hands On Homeschooling with a Sensory Kid

Since we are talking about homeschooling sensory kids, this topic is also a great one to hit on! Most kids do really well with hands on learning, but sensory kids most definitely benefit from it.

I’ve realized over the past year, Bubby’s first “official” school year, that finding hands on activities, where your child can work with their hands or do physical activities are the best fit for him. Not only is he a sensory seeker, but he is a kinesthetic learner. This means that he needs a tactile learning style, one where he has to carry out physical activities instead of just sitting and listening or doing worksheets.

I struggled with how to incorporate activities like these into all of our subjects, but have learned some pretty fun ways to utilize tactile activities for Bubby. Sonlight offers some pretty cool lap books and history project kits that fit these guidelines.

History was one I thought would be pretty difficult, but taking the time to create some of the things we are learning about can be so beneficial and FUN!

Bubby loves using LEGOs to recreate some of the monuments and places we talk about. For instance, during a world history lesson we were talking about Egyptian pyramids. He set out to create one with LEGOs! I wish I had snapped a picture of it that day, but we were having so much fun learning that I didn’t even touch my phone to grab a shot!

The Sonlight Hands-On History boxes are full of activities to incorporate into your lessons. Since we just finished up studying about Egyptians, I thought the Senet game board was perfect to put together.

It’s amazing how calm he becomes when he has something to keep his hands busy, he and Boogie put together the game pieces with the clay. We baked those and painted the sticks so they could play this game that Ancient Egyptians played.

Anytime you can incorporate hands-on activities with your children, you should! My sensory kid is not the only one that benefits from it, and it’s so fun to do something different from book work and reading. Hands-on activities can be calming, physically moving around, putting things together… all of that helps Bubby learn and absorb the information we are discussing.

You can learn more about Sonlight and their hands-on history boxes HERE or by clicking the image below.

You have an opportunity to win a Sonlight Hands-On History box for your kids! I can’t recommend these kits enough, they have everything you need for each project!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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