Tools4Wisdom Weekly Planner Review

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

The Tools4Wisdom Weekly Planner is more than a daily or monthly organization tool. This g0al-oriented planner begins by inviting the user to focus on professional and personal goals and then prioritize those goals. The Tools4Wisdom Reviewplanner has space to create yearly goals, prioritize them, and add concrete steps to reaching these goals. Each month then begins with an area to focus more directly on the goals of that month, desired outcomes, and steps to achieving these goals. The same system is then implemented into your weekly schedule. If you are looking to organize your life beyond dates and times with goal setting, then this is a planner worth exploring.

Tools4Wisdom sent me a Weekly Planner to review and try for myself. I will admit that I found the detailed goal setting a bit daunting for the entire year, but I might feel differently if I’d started the calendar during a winter holiday before  a new year, rather then at the conclusion of our school year. I do appreciate the monthly goals, however, and like having a visual of what I’d like to accomplish for achTools4Widsom Weekly Planner Review month and week. As I am trying to simplify my life right now and do a bit more enjoying of play time and leisurely time, I find that the Weekly Planner allows me to prioritize these goals and see how I need to adjust my schedule accordingly.

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Replace Plastic Easter Egg Hunts with a Clued In Kids Treasure Hunt!

Easter Treasure Hunt

We decided to ditch the candy filled plastic Easter eggs this year in exchange for a fun, interactive Clued in Kids Treasure Hunt. We used a handy Easter Treasure Hunt Clue Pad, so all I had to do was prepare a treasure and hide the pre-made clues. The treasure hunts are designed for children ages 4 and up, so you can adapt the hiding of clues to meet their abilities and needs. Since our children range in ages from 2 to 7, we decided to hide our clues in a fairly visible way. When a clue said “coat” or “pantry,” we placed the paper where it could be found at a glance.  Older children might enjoy a bigger challenge with clues stuffed in pockets and cereal boxes, though.

easter-hunt-resize-concept-copy-300x300Preparing for the treasure hunt proved simple and fun:

1. Occupy the kids so you can hide clues in secret.

2. Write names on alternating clues to prevent any arguing about turns.Treasure Found

3. Hide clues, but keep the first clue and reference sheet.

4. Hide the treasure – we hid $1 books for each child and some dums dums, but it could be stickers, a day at the park, or a trip to the zoo.

5. Grab a pencil for clue solving and invite the kids to join in the fun!

Our youngest mostly enjoyed chasing after the older kids, who worked together to find and decode the clues. The clues invited kids to problem solve using reading, math, and puzzle solving. They dove right into each clue card, running to find the next clue once they determined the location. Rather than the traditional fighting over eggs and gorging on candy, this activity invited team work and became a fun family activity!

If you would like to try an Easter Treasure Hunt for yourself, you can purchase a printable Clued In Kids Hunt today. Easter hunts can be purchased as
religioust-themed or more spring themed. You can also plan ahead for birthday parties or future holidays by buying the treasure hunt pads in advance, a special event kit, or printable. We are looking ahead to using one for Earth Day.

And Then One Day She Realized that Facebook was an Artificial World

And Then One Day She Realized that Facebook was an Artificial World

You won’t see one of those Facebook break-up posts from me anytime soon. My original love of Facebook came from the connection it gave me to friends and family at a distance. We could share glimpses of our everyday, funny photos, and even a morning’s frustration without picking up the phone or sending an email.

I adore many of my internet friends who’ve become Facebook friends, taking our friendship a bit farther than the standard blog friends. I enjoy interacting with readers on my Facebook blog page, connecting with groups of like-minded individuals, and even participating in some online social activism.

Sometimes, though, Facebook can cause us to believe in a somewhat distorted reality. It’s a place where we interact behind a computer, sometimes showing our artificial best selves, other times letting loose the ugliness we generally hide behind facades of politeness. We post a meme, like an outrageous post, tell an offensive joke, or post about a pretend life and this begins to color our reality.

My involvement in some recent activism, something deeply personal to me, reminded me how Facebook can never replace real-world interaction, face to face conversations, and grassroots work in our communities. I was buoyed by the larger community of like-minded, passionate individuals I found on Facebook, but wary of participating in an echo-chamber. When I ventured beyond that group, however, the judgment, spite, contempt, condescension, and downright meanness pierced me.

I bemoaned these interactions to my husband one afternoon and he replied that there are always small, loud minorities in any group – this didn’t mean they represented the whole. And he was right – Facebook is a microcosm of a much larger world, a garbled version of reality. It’s a great addition to my life, but should play no central role in my life beyond connections that enhance my everyday.

I made a commitment this week to simplify my life and to pick up a book or choose another activity when Facebook came calling. It was a simple goal, but it made a big difference. I felt lighter, more in control of my time, less distracted, and less irritated. I maximized my Facebook time to scroll past the irritants and focus on the connections.

And then one day she realized that Facebook was an artificial world. A good place to share photos, stay connected, and sometimes know you’re not alone in your views. But just one small world within a much larger, living, breathing, vibrant world. She didn’t need to disconnect always, but just to make it one piece of her world; a distorted reflection, rather than a mirror image.

Living La Vida Eco Launch Giveaway!

Living La Vida Eco Launch Giveaway!
Welcome to the Living La Vida Eco New Review Page Launch Giveaway!
To celebrate the launch of a new menstrual cup review page, Living La Vida Eco is giving away three prizes!
Prize #1:
One (1) clear Lunette cup. This prize is available to Canadian and US residents only
Prize #2:
$50 USD gift certificate to one of the sponsor cloth pad stores. 
Prize #3:
$20 USD gift certificate to one of the sponsor cloth pad stores.

Living La Vida Eco is able to bring you this awesome giveaway thanks to the following sponsors. 

Living La Vida Eco Launch Giveaway!

Homestead Emporium
Jordan’s Eco Alternatives
Lady Days Cloth Pads
Mama Kloth
Mimi’s Dreams
Pretty Eco Intimates
Tree Hugger Cloth Pads
Trojacek Farms

Menstrual Cup Maker:

The giveaway ends May 5th, 2014 and is open Worldwide, 18+. Note that the Lunette menstrual cup can be shipped to Canada and the United States only. To enter, please use the Rafflecopter form below. Please note that the winning entry will be verified.


Disclaimer: This blog is not responsible for prize fulfillment. No purchase necessary to enter the giveaway. Void where prohibited by law. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest.

Three winners will be chosen at random via Rafflecopter. The winners will be sent an email and will have 48 hours to respond. If no response is received within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen.

Bum Genius 4.0 Giveaway – Win Your Choice of 3!

Welcome to the bum Genius 4.0 Giveaway Event Hosted by Conservamom
Could your cloth diaper stash use a splash of color this spring? Here’s your chance to add more fun to that stash! One lucky winner will get a 3 pack of bumGenius diapers retail $59.85 in their choice colors!

Don’t miss out on your opportunity to win this fantastic prize! Enter below! Giveaway ends on 4/30 at 11:59pm. This is open to US & Canada!
Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: This Blog is not responsible for the fulfillment of prize. This giveaway is in no way associated with, sponsored, administered, or endorsed by Facebook, Twitter, Google, Pinterest or any other social media network. All opinions and experiences are my own. Open to the US & Canada and must be 18+. Confirmed Winner(s) will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner will be drawn. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. The sponsor will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of the giveaway. Conservamom will be responsible for prize fulfillment. The disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. For questions, you can contact Elia At Conservamom.

The 2nd Annual Great Spring Cloth Giveaway – Over $400 in Prizes!

2nd Annual Great Spring Cloth Giveaway. Over $400 in Prizes!

2nd Annual Great Spring Cloth Giveaway. Over $400 in Prizes!

It is finally spring! Our neighborhood is pulling out shorts a bit prematurely, but who can help themselves, now that the sun is finally out? It’s bike riding, swing flying, going for daily walks kind of weather.

Let’s celebrate by launching our 2nd Annual Great Spring Cloth Giveaway.

This year, we are back – even bigger and better than last year! From April 14 – May 5th you can enter to win an amazing cloth diaper prize pack with everything you need to start cloth diapering or just expand your stash.
Prize includes 20 pocket style cloth diapers, wipe cubes, Goodmama wipe cloths, Bumble multi-use zip up bags, an amber teeth necklace/anklet set and some other fabulous cloth diaper goodies.

When I said the prize pack would include everything you will need to start cloth diapering – I meant it.

2nd Annual Great Spring Cloth Giveaway. Over $400 in Prizes!

A quick thank you goes out to the amazing businesses and bloggers who helped sponsor the event.

Great Spring Cloth Giveaway is hosted by Thinking Outside The Sandbox: Family, Flip Size Canada and From The Stash.

Special thanks to the following businesses/bloggers for helping with shipping costs (this prize box is going to be HUGE!) – A Mother’s Design, The Inquisitive Mom, Creative Kids, Surviving Chaos, Your Modern Family, Zephyr Hill, Cloth Diaper Contests, The Anti June Cleaver, More Than A Mom of Three, The Parenting Patch, Jen’s Butterfly Bowtique, Thinking About Cloth Diapers, Livin’ La Vida Eco and Housewife Mama.

How do I enter this amazing giveaway?
Enter using the Gleam widget below. One lucky winner will win everything. Enter as many (or as few) times as you would like.

Good Luck!

The Great Spring Cloth giveaway is open to both USA and Canada.

The Great Spring Cloth Diaper Giveaway

I Want to Dance!

I looked at the mess around me, knowing I had to really tackle deep cleaning today. But I didn’t want to dread the work, resent the mess, or feel overwhelmed by the task ahead. I decided to turn

I Want to Dance

on an upbeat song on Spotify and my sons instantly responded to the change music brought to the scene.

Kai joined me in the dining room, moving his body to the music, while Ezra swayed in his chair and clapped. I felt my melancholy fade away as my feet stepped to the music and I clasped my baby’s hands in mine, lifting him and listening to him laugh along the way. We played Matchbox Twenty’s Our Song repeatedly, not wanting to let go of that feeling, clicking play yet again to recreate the joy of letting go and simply enjoying now.

A short way into our dance marathon, I noticed the blinds were open for anyone to see my off-beat steps and enthusiastic singing-along with Rob Thomas. I considered closing them, remembering the time when I first really understood that the way something makes us feel doesn’t always translate into the visual we create in our minds.

I was maybe 11 or 12, babysitting the neighbor’s kids across the street. The kids loved dancing crazily to upbeat music and it provided a great afternoon’s amusement. I remember turning up the music, opening the blinds, and letting it all go. I felt emboldened by the music, carried by the joy of the moment, somehow imagining that joy translating for the world outside.

I arrived home that day to queries about the dancing from my family, laughter behind their questions. They saw the dancing from across the street and felt embarrassed for me. Why hadn’t I closed the blinds? Did I know people could see us? Perhaps I should think those things over next time.

They meant well and I’m certain I looked ridiculous from the outside looking in.  The sting of that embarrassment, feelings of shame diminishing the honesty of a sincere moment stuck with me. I began to understand the courage it takes to be transparent, to present our hearts, to live authentically in spite of appearances.

Just Dance

Today, I stopped letting that memory inform the moment. So what if the neighbor’s saw us dancing, our joyful movements less than graceful from their view? What if we sang off tune, surrounded by the mess, unabashedly ourselves?

I’ve spent too much of my life concerned about people peering into the window, misinterpreting my thoughts, ideas, beliefs, hopes, and expectations. I want to be independent, thoughtful, even radical, but I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes or be misunderstood.

I’ve opened the curtains more recently, drawing up the blinds all of the way. Authenticity, growth, spiritual awakening, revelation, change can only come when I let people see me dance without filters – the beauty, the joy, the awkwardness, the missteps, the new found rhythm, and the stubbed toes.

Tapping my feet, swaying, clapping to the beat, standing as a frustrated wall flower along the wall doesn’t satisfy me anymore. I want to dance through life unabashedly, my heart on my sleeve, my mind open, my ears seeking new music, my feet discovering a joyful rhythm.

I want to dance.

A Rare Cloth Diaper Find – To Keep or Not to Keep?

I had a few minutes to myself (!)_last week and decided to pop into a local consignment store to peek at maternity clothes. This particular shop carries used cloth diapers, so I decided to just take a peek. I don’t really need new diapers, but sometimes it’s fun just to look, especially since I would love to transition to more AIOS/AI2s with my next baby.

While searching through the bins, I mainly came uncross unfamiliar brands, odd pricing, and shot aplix. While browsing, a couple of familiar colors caught my eye – were these Bum Genius diapers? I pulled a blue, then a yellow, diaper from the stash and peered at the tags. Sure enough, these were Bum Genius in good condition, with minor staining.

I have only owned Freetimes, 3.0s, and 4.0s, so I wasn’t what version I was looking at. They were clearly AIOs, but the lining was completely attached, unlike my Freetimes with their wing-like attached insert. The tags said $5 a piece, so I decided to take a chance and bought them, thinking this was a great price for used Bum Genius diapers in good condition, no matter the style.

The diapers came home with me and I decided to defer to Bum Genius experts on my Facebook page, posting this:

A Rare Cloth Diaper Find - To Keep or Not to Keep?
It wasn’t long before I realized that I’d made an “elemental” typo – adding Freetime instead of Elemental, when the inside tag clearly said Organic Cotton and I recognized the difference.
Readers responded with enthusiasm – first kindly correcting my error, then confirming that they are indeed OBGEs in good condition and I’d scored! Apparently, these are beloved in the cloth diapering community and you haven’t lived until you’ve tried them. I am inclined to save them to try with baby #4 coming in October. When I told my husband that they could potentially sell for a much better price, he asked Are you keeping them?

So, my friends, once again I turn to you. Love them? Overrated? Did I get a good deal? Should I keep them (at least for a little while) or sell? What say you?

Conquering Homework Battles on the Iowa City Moms Blog

Today, I’m talking about how to conquer homework battles on the Iowa City Moms Blog! I’d love it if you would head over and share any tips you have! Here’s a quote:

Some evenings, homework time feels like a battle zone at our house. We are two years into the elementary school homework routine and still struggle with a simple, stress-free routine. The issue isn’t homework content, but sitting down to finish it without distractions or complaining. After another frustrating night of reminders, lost books, and resistance, I decided there must be another way.

Cloth Reviews Grand Opening Giveaway Event – Prize 5 – 5 Winners!

Cloth Reviews Giveaway Event: Day 5 Prizes

Today is the LAST DAY of the Cloth Reviews Grand Opening Giveaway Event and I want to express my sincere thanks to Cloth Reviews for including The Inquisitive Mom in this awesome event! Together with 20+ bloggers and 10 cloth diaper retailers, we have hosted 5 days of cloth diaper giveaways to celebrate the launch of a brand new website,! A long-awaited and much-needed resource, Cloth Reviews serves the whole cloth diaper community by featuring user-submitted reviews of cloth diapers!

To kick start the launch of this awesome new resource for cloth diaper users, we are giving away $700 of cloth diapers and accessories this week! Today is our LAST giveaway and it will only last 24 hours, so make sure you hurry to enter! The best part is, there will be 5 WINNERS today so your odds are really good!

Today’s 5 Prizes Are:

SoftBums Omni Pocket AI2 One-Size Cloth Diaper and SoftBums One-Size Dry-Touch SuperPod
Sponsored by Dream Diapers
Rumparooz Pocket One-Size Cloth Diaper
Sponsored by Kebbie’s Diaper Bag
Smart Bottoms Smart One 3.1 AIO One-Size Cloth Diaper
Sponsored by Kissed By The Moon
$25 My Sweet Pickles Gift Certificate
Sponsored by My Sweet Pickles
Best Bottom AI2 Cloth Diaper and 2 Best Bottom Stay-Dry Inserts
Sponsored by Squishy Tushy
One winner will be drawn for each prize (for a total of 5 winners). Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. The more entries you submit, the better odds you have of winning. This giveaway is open to USA and Canada!

Promoa Rafflecopter giveaway