How to Survive the Start of the New School Year – Home School Edition

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #NourishWhatsNext #CollectiveBias

It’s no secret that we are homeschooling our children, it’s also no secret that we just found out that I’m expecting our fourth child! Needless to say, both of these are exhausting on top of the every day “mom tasks”. We just started our school year, Boogie is starting Kindergarten and Bubby is starting Pre-Kindergarten.

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Starting a new school year is intimidating and exciting all at the same time. You have a huge weight on your shoulders to offer an education to your children and the sense of excitement from you and your children about the upcoming school year brings so much joy! So here are 5 tips on how I survive the beginning of the new school year!

  1. Prepare ahead of time. I like to put together about 2-3 weeks of lessons to get us started, then I can see what works for us and what doesn’t. It also allows us time to be flexible and I can move things around until we find the right fit.
  2. Don’t rush into it, you may not like the curriculum or topics you originally chose. So take your time going over the materials with your children and have fun with it!
  3. Don’t limit yourself to schooling inside! Go to the library, the park, the zoo, the museum, or even your own backyard! One of the best things about homeschooling is the immense flexibility you have to school wherever you wish!
  4. Find a support system. Whether this be your family, friends, or even a home school group. While we haven’t joined a local co-op in our new city yet, I have connected with a group of local home school families on Facebook. Having that place to vent, swap ideas, and plan meet ups is so very helpful.
  5. Start every day with a good protein filled breakfast. I discovered Special K protein shakes and bars, pair these with a good fruit and you are set to start your day. Special K helps fortify you for what’s ahead!

 

I knew I needed to find something to fill my queasy tummy in the mornings and that would also sustain me through our morning chores and then our 2 hour school day. (This is a huge plus in my book for homeschooling!) Even though I’m 16 weeks pregnant, I am still suffering through “morning” sickness, it’s a plague that will not relinquish it’s hold! If I can get a good protein into my system I’m usually good to go, but most end up making me feel more sick.

I was excited for the opportunity to try some of the protein bars and shakes that Kellogg’s® Special K® offer, so I headed over to our local Kroger grocery store to hunt some down. You can find Special K products all over the store, if you head to the breakfast cereal aisle you can find granola bars, brownies and cereals. You can head to the breakfast freezer section to find crustless quiche and healthy breakfast sandwiches. However, I headed to the pharmacy department, you can find the protein shakes and protein bars in the aisle with protein powders, shakes and other miscellaneous items meant for enhancing your health. Special K products were easy to spot with their bright colors and brand labels.

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There are many flavors to choose from, I’m a chocolate girl so I chose a box of Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Meal Bars and a case of Rich Chocolate Protein Shakes. I would have loved to try the Chocolate Mocha flavor (because what’s better than chocolate AND coffee flavors?) but they were out of that particular flavor.

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The protein bars are delicious, it’s really like a candy bar! The inside is a crispy rice bar with peanut butter and then it’s coated in a smooth chocolate. I was so worried about feeling sick after eating one, because normally sweets are not good for my tummy in the mornings. However, after eating this I felt satisfied and ready to start the day. I still felt slightly queasy (but let’s get real, it never really goes away!) but I was able to function. I cleaned my entire kitchen this morning without getting sick!

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The shake was good as well, I like to mix mine with ice to make a more smoothie consistency. The shake is a little thick straight out of the bottle for me, but the taste is really good.

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Don’t forget to enter the sweepstakes below for a chance to win a Kroger gift card and head over to Special K Fortify to learn more about their amazing products!

#NourishWhatsNext Special K at Kroger

My Mother’s Quilts Devotional Review and Contest

Quilts have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I’ve always had some type of homemade quilt on my bed. My mom is an amazing quilter, I have quilts she made me as a child and now my children have received quilts made by her as well. She creates these beautiful blankets with bright colors and designs, and I love that she hand quilts them, she puts so much love and devotion into her craft.

Because of this love of quilting from my mom, and my love of her beautiful quilts, I was very excited to have the opportunity to review this new devotional by Ramona RichardsMy Mother’s Quilts: Devotions of Love, Legacy, Family and Faith

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Richards, an award-winning editor, author, speaker and devotional contributer, took the stories of the family quilts her mother owned and documented them to create this beautiful devotional. This book has short little devotions with bible verses and prayer starters to go along with each story/lesson and gorgeous photos of the quilts that these stories are about. One of my favorite things about this devotional is seeing these beautiful quilts that I’m reading about.

This devotional would be a great gift for the quilter or quilt-lover in your life, you can purchase it HERE for $11! Continue reading to learn about a contest to win a beautiful quilt and more!

CONTEST OFFER!
Win one of the quilts featured in #MyMothersQuilts by Ramona Richards. Also up for grabs: loads of other prizes including quilting hand warmers, coloring books, and 25 signed copies of Ramona’s book. Winners will be emailed after the contest ends on June 30, 2016. Click the image to get started!

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Disclaimer: I received this book free in return for an honest and unbiased review. All opinions and statements are my own.

MSM April Giveaway Bash!

It’s finally here! I started blogging in April of 2008, J and I were embarking on a new journey just a few months after we married. I never imagined that my blogging hobby would turn into what it is today. Mustard Seed Mommy has changed and evolved to be an outlet for me to share my life, try out some pretty amazing products, share some of those same products, and make a little money to contribute to our family finances. Thank you, thank you for being here, thank you for reading and commenting and sharing my posts. You, my readers, are the only way I can keep this blog going.

So, because I love you all so much for being my readers, I am throwing a huge April Giveaway Bash! Get excited y’all! These are some phenomenal products and ONE lucky lady will be winning EVERYTHING! Please check out all the products included and don’t forget to fill out the giveaway widget for your chance to win!

Mustard Seed MommyAprilGiveawayBash!

There are over $400 worth of products being given away, I’ve tried to pull together some of our favorite products as well as some new ones that were recommended to me and have fallen in love with. So, let’s not waste anymore time! Here are the amazing products/sponsors being offered up this month!

Beau and Belle LittlesSwim Diaper Review

 Beau and Belle Littles – See my full review HERE

Winner will receive a set of swim diapers and washcloths.

Love U Sew MuchNewborn Cloth Diaper Review

Love U Sew Much Etsy Shop – See my full review HERE

Winner will receive two newborn diapers with inserts.

Freshly Picked MoccasinsReview

Freshly Picked Moccasins – See my full review HERE

Winner will receive one pair of moccasins in their choice of size and color.

Mandelin Naturals Review

Mandelin Naturals – See my full review HERE

Winner will receive the same products in the above photo.

The Vintage HoneyTeething Necklace Review (1)

The Vintage Honey Shop – See my full review HERE

Winner will receive a teething necklace.

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Jammies – See my full review HERE

Winner will receive a Jammies sleep sack.

I See Me! Personalized Book Review

I See Me! – See my full review HERE

Winner will receive a personalized 15th anniversary addition of My Very Own Name.

Baby Banana Brush Review

Baby Banana Brush – See my full review HERE

Winner will receive an age appropriate tooth brush.

Glow Bug Cloth DiaperReview

Glow Bug Cloth Diapers – See my full review HERE

Winner will receive a cloth diaper with inserts.

Tiny Atlas DesignsReview

Tiny Atlas Designs – See my full review HERE

Winner will receive one stuffed animal of their choice.

PinkBlush Clothing Review

PinkBlush – See my full review HERE

Winner will receive a $50 gift certificate.

Baby Steps Scratch Off Pregnancy Calendar Review

Splash Brands – See my full review HERE

Winner will receive a Baby Steps Scratch Off Pregnancy Calendar.

Mint 2 SewReview

Mint 2 Sew (Clothees) – See my full review HERE

Winner will receive a $20 gift certificate.

The Coral CottageReview

The Coral Cottage – See my full review HERE

Winner will receive a set of burp cloths.

Lularoe Review & Giveaway (1)

LuLaRoe Okleshens VIP – See my full review HERE

Winner will receive a set of mommy and me leggings.

Lucky Stars Review

Lucky Stars – Full review coming SOON!

Winner will receive $25 gift certificate.

Other prizes: Nursing Shawl ($49.95) and Bamboo Angelicware Cloth Diaper w/Insert ($15).

What do you think? Pretty amazing right?! It’s super easy to enter, just complete as many or as few tasks as you want in the widget below. The more you complete the better chance you have to win! The contact information task is mandatory – your information will NOT be shared unless you are the winner of the giveaway, and then it will only be shared with the sponsors and used to contact you and send you your gifts! Good luck and thank you for being a MSM reader!

Tiny Atlas Designs Review

Tiny Atlas Designs is another small business that was recommended to me by a friend, and even better is that she is local to Western NC where we live. I love supporting small businesses, especially when they’re from our beautiful mountains of NC. Kristy is a mom to a beautiful little girl, she’s a wife and and a full time student, and she has started this amazing business making embroidered items, felt toys, dolls, finger puppets, stuffed animals, key chains and much much more!

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The plan was for me to choose one of her creations to review for the blog… but I ended up buying several more to give to my children for Easter. You CANNOT just choose one, she has so many adorable toys to choose from!

For Boogie I chose the mermaid doll, she is SO cute.

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For Bubby, a Batman bunny… he’s seriously going to flip out. That boy of mine loves his super heroes!

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For Bird I chose a baby doll and an owl plush toy.

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Kristy also sent me an adorable little fox, I’m going to put that one away for when we have Baby#4 someday!

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These are wonderfully made, and the fabrics Kristy uses are so soft and adorable, you can definitely tell she puts a lot of love in every one that she makes.

Kristy has graciously offered to giveaway one stuffed animal of the winner’s choice for my big giveaway in April! So be on the lookout, I’ll have the information for that posted on April 2! Be sure to check out Kristy’s group, Tiny Atlas Chatter & Exclusives for updates  – after Easter she will be offering 2 custom orders per week and stocking new items weekly. She also has a pretty awesome giveaway going for the next 10 day, so hurry over and enter! There are lots of really neat prizes included, you don’t want to miss out!

LuLaRoe Review & Giveaway!

Lularoe Review & Giveaway (1)

I have not always been fond of shopping for clothes, I’m a size 16 which means when shopping for clothing sometimes I’m in the “regular” women’s clothing and sometimes I’m in the “plus size” clothing. It’s entirely frustrating! So you can bet that shopping online is even worse, because you can’t try on the clothes! I was a little skeptical about this company called LuLaRoe that I had seen on another blog, but when I spotted a pair of saxophone leggings I knew I had to at least try one pair of these so called “Buttah Pants”.

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Love. True love. It went downhill from here y’all, I signed up to host a party (earned 6 free pieces!), purchased more leggings and tops. But before all of that I won a pair of leggings from a LuLaRoe consultant in her group, LuLaRoe Okleshens VIP, who doesn’t love free clothes? I joined the group shortly before entering that giveaway and came across a post asking for bloggers to review some clothes. Yes! Yes, please! I contacted Travis and Chris (the couple who run the Okleshens VIP page) and Chris asked a little about me and my clothing preferences and sent me some pieces she thought I would like and find flattering.

The first two were an Irma top and a pair of solid colored leggings. This is not something I would have ever picked for myself, I play it pretty safe when it comes to prints and colors. Take note that this print and color are tame for LuLaRoe, and I realize that you may be thinking…. she bought those saxophone pants! But believe me, that was crazy for me too!

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Okay, this is not the most flattering picture. I had these big plans to take great photos with my husband’s help, but instead we ended up with cell pictures from my 5 year old daughter. So, keep an eye out for an additional post with more pieces and photos with my nice camera as well! So this is a medium Irma and TC (tall & curvy) leggings. Like I said before, I wear a size 16 and an XL or sometimes a 2X top depending on style and brand. The TC leggings fit sizes 10-22 and the Irmas need to be sized down 1-2 sizes. I love the fit of this Irma but I prefer a large Irma to pair with my leggings, as the length is a little more flattering. But I love the fit of the medium Irma for jeans or skirts! It’s pretty awesome that you can choose different sizes for different purposes, it also allows you to snag more of the prints you love! I’m looking forward to trying an XL Irma with a belt! (Also pictured is a cardigan from Old Navy and boots from Shoe Show). After seeing this picture, I also chose to pair this outfit with a longer tank, you can see that in the very top photo in this post.

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You can get a good idea of sizing in the image above – I’ve found that it runs pretty true to size with this chart. I have sized up for a few items to be safe, like the Randy and the Nicole. If you have larger breasts I would suggest sizing up in the dresses.

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This one I was entirely unsure about. This is the Cassie skirt, it’s a stretchy pencil skirt that can be worn as a skirt, top or scarf. I was scared! I don’t do pencil skirts, however when I slipped this polka-dotted beauty on I fell in love. I had a little trouble styling it at first, I even bought a Perfect Tee to pair with it, but it just wasn’t a good luck for my body type. So after asking some style-forward friends they suggested a white tee and a black cardigan. SCORE! This is so comfortable, I can see myself chasing after the kids in this on outtings, being comfortable toting my kids to church, looking amazing for a date night with my love without feeling uncomfortable in a fancy outfit. This skirt is AMAZING. And I LOVE the print! (also pictured – Old Navy tee and cardigan).

LuLaRoe is an amazing company, you can find thousands of consultants on Facebook with groups to sell their clothing, you’ll find a great selection with Chris in her group HERE – she offers flat rate shipping for $6 and you can exchange within 2 weeks of purchasing (with tags attached and unworn) if you find that something doesn’t fit just right. The thing to remember about this company is that they only make a small number of pieces in each print, so if you see something you like and it’s in your size, SNAG it! And if you want to earn FREE clothing, contact Christ or Travis to host a party! For every 10 pieces that are sold, you earn 1 piece of clothing! Until then, how about trying for a chance to win a FREE Cassie?! Chris has graciously offered up a free Cassie in your preferred size to one of my readers, print will be a surprise! AND, if you come back to enter the big giveaway I’m hosting in April, there will be a mommy & me legging set there as well! Woo!

Just enter below for your chance to win a Cassie skirt, all entries will be confirmed.

LuLaRoe Cassie Skirt Giveaway