About Ashley

Ashley is very happily married and the mother to a beautiful little girl and handsome little boy. She is the main voice behind Embracing Homemaking.

Lilla Rose Flexi Clip Review and Giveaway

This post contains the review of a Lilla Rose product given to me in exchange for sharing my opinion.

There I was, minding my own business, half-heartedly browsing a Facebook group for homeschooling parents.  I was trying to plan what extra “fun” things I’m going to try and add into this year’s curriculum when there it is.  It hit me like a pretty piece of metal. Umm,  Like a flexi clip.  Okay, I don’t have the words but it hit me.  And in a good way.  There it is, a beautiful head of hair pulled back with a single metal clip and a note that said something to the effect of, “I opened the doors this morning and I closed them late this afternoon and this hair clip hasn’t needed adjusted.”

Lilla Rose Flexi Clip Review

Boom! Right?  That would grab any woman’s attention.  Especially, this mom who (let’s be real) lives in a ponytail or twist up do with a boring black plastic clip most days.

I needed that secure clip in my life even if it was a little more glamorous than would naturally appear in my life.  I inquired to know more and found out that she has a Help for Hair facebook group (you can join it here if you’d like).  Brilliant name for her group, right?  It turned out that the group was very helpful.  Once accepted into the group I asked a lot of questions, found the correct size for my hair, and quickly added $70 in hair clips to my cart.  I loved the clips and had to have them in my life.  I wanted some for my daughter too, not all $70 worth was for myself (don’t worry, they aren’t that expensive!).

I saved these items to my cart and went about my day waiting for my daughter to wake up so I could ask her which of the clips I had saved were her favorites.  I’m usually good about guessing these things but she’s getting older now and it’s always best to double check.  While I was waiting, I noticed the stylist who shared this rescuer of my hair had requested to join my Live With Less Facebook group (you’re welcome to join here too!).  What a coincidence, I thought!  A little while later we were chatting and she suggested giving me a hair clip in exchange for hosting a giveaway on my site.  Now, normally I don’t do those but as I just told you, I had added quite a large list of items to my shopping cart and I thought why not save a little money….besides, I love to support small businesses and talk about what I’m passionate about and I was sure I would love these.  And I do.  I LOVE them!  Truly, truly.

Celtic Knot Hair Clip

Here I’m wearing the celtic knot in a large flexi clip.  It’s the one I chose to try out because it’s simple but fancy at the same time so it will go with a wide selection of clothing styles.  Plus, I just love celtic knots, don’t you?

This hairstyle was the first of many attempts to try new things.  I’m excited for the wide world of Lilla Rose hair style video tutorials.  The stylist I mentioned earlier, Kristi Bothur, has several great video tutorials in her Facebook group.

Mini Flexi Hair Clip

I bought my daughter a mini flexi hair clip and she loves it.

She was so proud that she wore a hair clip like her mommy.

Flexi Clip for Kids

Each month, Lilla Rose has a special they promote and this month is a free bobby with a $40 order and two with a $50 order.

Lilla Rose August Sale

 

Click here to shop and see what beautiful flexi clips and bobbies they have!

This pineapple is a new flexi clip (and messy bun pins) will only be available in August while supplies last.   The monthly clips usually sell fast (from what I’ve read in groups- I tell ya, I’m a hard core Lilla Rose flexi clip user now!).

Lilla Rose Hair
Okay, now for the giveaway.  You can win a free flexi clip from sizes XXS-Medium (Value up to $16).
Here’s the link to the giveaway —> Enter Giveaway Here!
The main giveaway entry is a simple form with optional other means, like commenting on this post for example and checking out Kristi on social media.  By entering the giveaway you’ll be signing up to get monthly specials and can unsubscribe at any time.  The giveaway will end August, 14, 2018.  Good luck!

Ocean Slime Recipe

This post contains affiliate links.

Blue Glitter Slime DIY

This ocean slime is a perfect way to cute your kid’s boredom this summer.  I’ve made slime for years!  We love it in our household.  My son needs the sensory exposure and my daughter just thinks it’s fun to play with and to create new concoctions.

I shared a picture of this slime recently on my personal facebook page and I had so many moms message me how I did it that I decided to write a blog post about it.  I love slime and I love precise recipes but slime isn’t an exact science.  (Well, it is science and that’s a whole fun science lesson in and of itself!)  Because it’s not an exact formula I can share I’ve hesitated to share my slime creations.  I’m afraid someone’s won’t turn out and I’ll feel awful.  If it doesn’t turn out please message me and we’ll work through what went wrong and help you fix it.  Just don’t leave a nasty comment please. 🙂

How to make ocean slime:

Basically, start slow, mix in the starch, add a little more, mix again, and keep doing that till it’s no longer sticky.  Toward the end of mixing you may have to knead it with your hands instead of a spoon.  There we go, now that my disclaimer is out of the way, let’s begin!

This ocean slime needs a few specific ingredients, so let’s talk about that first. 

Elmers Glitter Glue

In fact, here’s a bundle pack of Elmer’s Glitter Glue to save you money and allow you to make a rainbow of slime options.

I’m a liquid starch slime fan but usually more glitter will show through when you use a contact lens solution plus baking soda instead.  This is because contact lens solution is clear and liquid starch has a kind of white-ish blue tinge.  However, because this glue was already blue I felt it was okay to use starch.  Both of these options will make a great activator.
This one is a glitter glue so be prepared for it takes way more starch than a white glue would.  We used around 3/4ths of a cup but always add 1/4 a cup at a time and mix it in well.  When you get a consistency that no longer sticks to you and feels like you want it too you’re done.  Again, it’s not an exact science.
Let’s begin!
Glitter Glue
Here’s the glue.
Glitter Glue Slime
Squeeze it all out into your bowl or cup.  I prefer bowls but I have friends that love red solo cups.
Blue Glitter Glue
Isn’t it pretty?
Mixing Glitter Slime
It looks almost good enough to eat, doesn’t it?  But don’t!  This isn’t an edible slime.
Liquid Starch Slime
Next add roughly 1/4 cup of liquid starch and stir.  Repeat a time or two based on the consistency.  If it’s still sticky, keep adding and mixing.
Making Glitter Slime
When it gets close to the consistency you want you have to knead it and play with it by hand.
Sticky Glue SlimeIf it’s still stick pour some liquid starch into the bowl and dip the slime into the starch and knead it some more until it’s not. (*insert it’s snot joke here*….or at least my husband would lol)
Blue Glitter SlimeWhen you get the consistency you want you’ll know it!  It will be fun, slimy, and not sticking to your hands and everything in an annoying way. 🙂  You like how technical I am?
Stretchy Slime
A good consistency will be smooth and stretchy.
Blue Glitter Slime DIYIsn’t it so pretty!?
Ocean Waves Slime
Ocean waves!
Ocean Wave Slime
A big ocean wave!
Stretchy Ocean Slime
There you have it folks!  Pretty easy, right?  Well, remember if you have any problems feel free to message me and together we can work through your slime troubles.  Have fun with your kiddos!

Prime Day Deals – Gorgeous Lace Teepee for Kids 37% Off!

This post contains affiliate links.

Lace Kids Teepee

This gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous teepee by Little Dove is on sale today for Amazon Prime members.  37% off!

List Price: $139.99
Sale Price: $109.99
With Deal: $87.99 & FREE Shipping.
You Save: $52.00 (37%)

This certainly isn’t a NEED item but it sure is a WANT items.  I adore this!  If you know a princess who would enjoy this girlie teepee you can click here to save $52 on it!

If you haven’t joined yet, sign up for a free trial of Amazon Prime to take advantage of this Prime Day Deal and get free 2-day shipping!

Click here to see all the Amazon Prime Deals I’ve shared.

Amazon Prime Teacher Deals

Click here for back to school deals for teachers!

Prime Day Deal- 23andMe DNA Testing Kit for just $99.99!

23andMe DNA

Prime members can get this 23andMe DNA Testing Kit for just $99.99 right now!

This is a crazy LOW price for this!! The lowest before this was $125 and it’s currently $199 for non-Prime members!

If you haven’t joined yet, sign up for a free trial of Amazon Prime to take advantage of this Prime Day Deal and get free 2-day shipping!

Click here to see all the Amazon Prime Deals I’ve shared.

Prime Day – Teacher Deals – Back to School

Amazon Prime Teacher Deals

I LOVE school supplies.  With all my heart.  Shopping for back to school supplies is probably one of my favorite yearly activities.  Here’s a round up of the best deals for teachers (or parents who like to stock up on supplies) that I’ve found.  If you like this list please share with those you know.  Affiliate links are included in this post.

These deals are for Amazon Prime members.  If you haven’t joined yet, sign up for a free trial of Amazon Prime to take advantage of this Prime Day Deal and get free 2-day shipping!  You can cancel before the 30 days are up and not pay anything.

Use code “PRIMEBOOKS18” for $5 off your book purchase of $20 or more!

Elmers Disappearing Purple Glue Sticks

This is one of the deals I got for myself and plan on using about ten of those for my kids and donating the rest to a local church drive that hands them out to kids in need.  60 glue sticks for $15.49!  Man, I love Amazon Prime Day!

List Price: $37.77
Sale Price: $15.49 & FREE Shipping with Amazon Prime

Click here to get this deal on Elmers Disappearing Glue Sticks.

 

Ticonderoga Pencil Deal

This Ticonderoga pencil pack includes 96 pencils for only $10.99!  Isn’t that great?  It was originally $32.49.  Click here to score this pencil deal.

 

Dixon Pencil Deal

A teacher messaged me to say that this Dixon pencil deal is even better.  Aren’t teachers the best?  Always, sharing and helping each other.  She could have easily gone on her way but she didn’t. 🙂  Amazon has 144 No. 2 Dixon pencils for only $8.90!  That is a crazy good deal! Click here to snag these up.

 

Expo

This is the first deal I snagged today! 36 Expo markers for $16.61.  Unheard of!!  Usually dry erase markers start at $1 a piece.  My friend asked what I was going to do with that many at home.  I told her I was actually going to let my children have some to draw and practice writing with and not be so stingy. 🙂 Click here to grab this great Expo marker deal!

 

Sharpie Highlighter Deal

This Sharpie highlighter deal gives you 36 chisel tip highlighters for only $14.96.  I’m not sure if this is a Prime Day deal or not but it’s a mighty good price any way you look at it!  Click here for Sharpie highlighter savings.

 

Sharpie Highlighter Assortment

If you’re like me and don’t love the yellow but prefer more pinks and purples, you’ll love this highlighter deal.  I personally love the smaller barrel highlighters too!  You can get a 12 count for $4.98 (originally $12.86) or get a 24 pack for $10.93.  If you like the bigger barrel ones (see two pictures up) but want the assorted colors, you can pick up this 12 pack for only $4.92!

 

 

Amazon Laminator

This Amazon Basics Thermal Laminator is a steal at only $11.99 (originally $21.99).  I need to get this one because the other one I had (which I thought I found at a steal for $25) was recalled recently for catching on fire. No, thank you!  I love that Amazon always sticks behind their products so if they were to ever recall this one they would refund me or replace it.  I love Amazon!  Click here to get this laminator deal!

 

Elmers School Glue Deal

Every teacher goes through the glue and with these prices you can afford to stock up on them!  Grab 12 bottles of Elmer’s School Glue for only $9.61 (originally $27.60!).  Click here to buy these.

 

Elmer's School Glue Gallon

If you’re a teacher who likes to refill or make slime experiments with your kids (or yourself at home! #noshame) here is the gallon of glue for you!  This gallon of Elmer’s School Glue is only $12.99 (originally $20.49).

Blue Glitter Slime DIY

Related: Click here for my Ocean Slime Recipe.

 

YumEarth Organic Pops

I put these on the list because my family loves them and I love that they’re not full of artificial ingredients and colors….and because of that they are the best suckers in the world!  Seriously, all other suckers will pale in comparison.  These might make a great reward or just a little bit of happiness to brighten your day.  This 30 ounce container is only $12.38 and that’s a much better bargain than the smaller packs I usually get from Whole Foods.  Plus, it comes in a cute container.  Come on, tell me the truth, you were already thinking of ways to reuse it, weren’t you?  That’s okay, I am too! Click here for the yummiest YumEarth Organic Pops!

 

Linking Cube Set

Linking Cube Set of 100 for only $5.53!  I’m sure this deal won’t last long.  Click here to score a set or three.

 

Candy Pop Felt Tip Pens

I love Paper Mate’s Flair Felt Tip Pens!  They’re great for adding a punch of color to an otherwise boring planner.  Now you can grab a pack of their Candy Pop colors for only $8.39 (originally $22.50).  Click here to grab these colorful beauties.

 

Student Stools
Norwood Commercial Furniture Plastic Stack Stools come in a set of 5 for only $50.83 (originally $59.99).  Plus, you can save an extra %5 when you click the coupon before you check out.  These have 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon and I personally know a good handful of teachers who love these and highly recommend them.  You can’t beat the fun colors they come in either!  Click here to grab some fun seating for your kiddos.

 

Goldfish Snack Packs

Goldfish Snack Packs are a great no dye food to have on hand!  Now you can grab a pack of 30 for only $9.98 (originally $12.07).  Click here to get some little golden fishies.

 

Fluorescent Light Filters

Harsh lights cramping your style?  These fluorescent light filters will help soothe your tired eye.  They’re on sale for $15.95 (originally $19.99).  Click here for this two pack of light filters.

Learning Resources Magnetic Wand Set

 

Magnetic wands from Learning Resources is having a sale today.  You can get 6 of these magnetic wands for $11.69 (originally $14.99).  These are perfect for physical science learning centers, science fairs, and primary science labs.  Click here to snag this deal.

 

Metallic Sharpie Set

I love Sharpies!  They write on almost everything and the writing stays put.  I love metallic colors.  These Sharpies bring you the best of both!  Grab a pack of 36 for only $25.10.  These were originally $84.60 for a whopping savings of 70% off!  You can’t beat this price.  Click here to get your Sharpie on.

Purell Hand Sanitizing Wipes Set

Purell Hand Sanitizer Wipes Refill Packs are so nice to have for cleaning desks, hands, and anywhere else germs may lie.  Their Amazon listing says, “These wipes sanitize hands and clean surfaces while doing no harm. They contain benzalkonium chloride, which is strong enough to effectively kill germs and food-borne pathogens, and a plant derived cleanser that does not harm vinyl, plastic, metal or rubber surfaces.”  These wipes are usually $92.86, they’re on sale for $85.06, and Prime members get them for $68.05 today!  What a deal for this 2 pack refill set.  Click here to score this deal.

 

Purell Hand Sanitizing Wipes Dispenser

If you don’t already have a Purell Hand Sanitizing Dispenser but the refill deal above has you convinced you need this in your life, here you go.  The dispenser is on sale also!  Today is is $32.11 (originally $56.60).  Click here to grab this deal.

Keep coming back as I’ll be adding to this post all day.  Remember to share it with teacher friends of yours if you found any helpful deals!

Click here to see all the Amazon Prime Deals I’ve shared

Prime Day Deals – Blackstone Griddle Sale 30% Off!

This post contains affiliate links.

Blackstone Griddle Grill

This Blackstone Griddle is incredible!  We own the first generation model and got it on clearance before this one rolled out. It was my husband’s Father’s Day gift this year.  He loves it and we’ve used it to make bacon, pancakes, cheese steaks, hamburgers, and so far everything has turned out fabulous. I can’t wait to try some stir fry type meals.  This new fancy griddle is even better with extra accessories and features that ours doesn’t have.  Plus, it’s 30% off today when you shop here on Amazon.  Don’t you just love Prime Day?  I do!  If you haven’t joined yet, sign up for a free trial of Amazon Prime to take advantage of this Prime Day Deal and get free 2-day shipping!

Original Price: $299.00
With Deal: $209.30 & FREE shipping for Prime members
You Save: $89.70!! (30%)

Click here to see all the Amazon Prime Deals I’ve shared.  Maybe later when I’m not in deal sharing mode I’ll share pics of the Blackstone in action.  It’s truly a great cooking tool to have on hand and we love ours!

Prime Day Deal – Echo Dot (2nd Generation) only $29.99!

This post contains affiliate links.

 

Echo DotPrime members can get this Echo Dot (2nd Generation) for just $29.99 shipped! Choose from black or white at this price.

This is the LOWEST price on record and the only other time we’ve seen this price was during Black Friday!

Want something a little bigger with a bigger sound? You can also click here to get the regular Echo for just $69.99 shipped right now!

Sign up for a free trial of Amazon Prime to take advantage of this Prime Day Deal and get free 2-day shipping!

Prime Day Deal – Lowest Prices on Fire Tablets!

This post contains affiliate links.

Fire Tablet

If you’ve been wanting to buy a Fire Tablet, (or yours just fell down cement steps like ours did) you won’t want to miss these exciting and exclusive Prime Day Deals that are happening right now! Prime Day is Amazon’s biggest discount day so these are the absolute LOWEST price you’ll see on these tablets!

Choose from the following deals:

There are also several bundle deals you can choose from, if you’re looking to buy more than one tablet at a time!

Sign up for a free trial of Amazon Prime to take advantage of this Prime Day Deal and get free 2-day shipping!

Are Plastic Straws Out? Plus, Alternatives!

This post contains affiliate links.

10 Plastic Straw Alternatives

Plastic straws may very well be a thing of the past before we know it.  Big companies are taking a hard look at these cheap but harmful beverage tools.  Starbucks said in a press release that they are working on removing all plastic straws by 2020.  This will effect all of their stores (roughly 28,000 from what I’ve read) and that alone will eliminate 1 billion straws a year.  1 BILLION!  That’s crazy to think about.  My son’s favorite color is green and that’s his favorite part of the Starbucks experience so I’ll have to work to find him a green reusable straws.  Starbucks isn’t the only ones making a change.  McDonald’s has mentioned a desire to go that direction.  Even bigger than those two giants, Seattle, Miami Beach and Malibu, California have already passed bans on plastic straws in its bars and restaurants, with Seattle being the first to completely eliminate them.  With the straw landscape changing course I’ve hit to the internet to find plastic straw alternatives.  Here are the 10 best reusable straw options I’ve found!  (You can go here to read more about how the straw industry is changing.)

Stainless Steel Straws

  • 1.  Stainless steel – We already use stainless steel straws in our home for cold beverages I’ve never taken them out…yet.  You can buy my favorite ones here for $6.89 for 4 on Amazon (note, the price could change at any time).  It even comes with a handy brush for easy cleaning.

Rose Gold Straws

  • 2.  Rose gold straws – Okay, so this is the same as the stainless steel straws above but they’re straight and half of them are rose gold!! Who doesn’t love rose gold?  Now you can feel a little fancier while helping save the planet. This set is available here on Amazon for $14.95 and comes with a cleaning brush and convenient carrying case for on the go sipping.

Lolistraws

  • 3.  If you’re Shark Tank lovers like myself you’ll remember an edible cup and plate company.  That company is Loliware.  Well, they are in the process of making edible straws.  You can preorder yours here for a discount through Indiegogo.   Lolistraw by Loliware – It’s the world’s first edible and hyper-compostable straw.  The Lolistraw is made from seaweed and its coloring and flavor comes from fruit and vegetable pigments.  How cool?!

Hay Straws

  • 4. Hay straws!  Sounds crazy but fun, right?  Hay straws are made from wheat stems, which would other wise go to waste.  You can find them here on Amazon and get a pack of 100 for $10.

Glass Straws

  • 5.  Glass straws.  These aren’t your plain Jane glass straws, these come in six beautiful colors and are shatter-resistant.  This might be the set I need to get for my son to take with us to restaurants!  It’s not quite the vibrant Starbucks green but I think he’ll like it.  You can find this set here on Amazon for $10.29.

Aardvark Paper Straws

  • 6.  Aardvark paper straws. These paper straws are made right here in the U.S. using only materials that are non-toxic, BPA free, and elemental chlorine free.  This sounds like a great change from plastic straws anyway, don’t you think?  You can find these here on Amazon.  I’m not giving a price for these because they come in a variety of colors and sizes so the price varies greatly.

Biodegradable Straws

  • 7.  Plant based straws.  Their Amazon listing says, “Straws are awful for the environment but not these, these straws are made of plant-based and other non-toxic materials, they are even compostable! There is no petroleum and they are completely food-safe.”  That sounds good to me.  A friend of mine just found out that her work uses these.  She has used them for months and never realized it wasn’t a “regular” old plastic straw.  You can get a pack of 200 here on Amazon for $11.50.

Simply Straws

  • 8.  Simply straws.  This party pack of straws comes wit a heftier price tag but comes with a lifetime guarantee.  The blue straw is especially vibrant and lovely!  You can get this set here on Amazon for $44.43.

Bamboo Drinking Straws

  • 9.  Bamboo drinking straws.  This eco-friendly product boasts, “100% ORGANIC, PESTICIDE FREE, FERTILIZER FREE, AND GMO FREE are all top priority factors for a premium product.”  This set of 12 sells here on Amazon for $12.21.

Silicone Reusable Straws

  • 10.  Silicone reusable straws.  This rainbow set of angled straws will be great for on the go drinking.  This set sells here on Amazon for $8.99. An affordable option that is also kid-friendly and dishwasher safe.

Hard Plastic Reusable Straws

  • 11. Hard plastic reusable straws.  These straws are colorful and will bring a little pep to an otherwise boring meal.  This 18 straw set comes with a cleaning brush and is available here on Amazon for $6.99.

Oops, I actually gave 11!  Oh well, the rose gold stainless steel and the stainless steel one were pretty much the same one anyway, right? haha

Those are the best reusable straw options I could find but I would love to hear if you know of another one.  I heard of a really cool ice mold you could use to make an ice straw.  Obviously, this wouldn’t be great for travel but super fun on a summer day.  Unfortunately, it isn’t still in production.

Plastic Straw Alternatives

Ways to Practice Kindness as a Busy Adult

Once we become an adult life gets a little trickier. We often have children and spouses to think about and tend to. We have a job and often times we opt to homeschool our children which just adds to our plate of things to do. Every adult is a busy adult in this world, and with technological advances, it seems adults are able to do even more at once without blinking an eye. While it’s great that we can remain busy as adults, it’s also important to remember that we should be kind to others. Practicing kindness as a busy adult helps reduce stress and forces us to slow down from our day to day life. Here are a few ways you can practice kindness no matter how busy you are:

Ways to Practice Kindness as a Busy Adult

Give up Your Seat

If you’re on public transportation and see a passenger get on without a place to sit, stand up and let them have your seat. This small gesture of kindness could make that person’s day and in turn, inspire them to do the same next time around.

Hold the Door

Nothing beats that feeling when a stranger holds the door for you. All too often we’ve seen a stranger ahead of us in line or leaving a store when we’re about to go inside and they don’t hold the door. Holding the door for the next person entering or exiting is a simple act of kindness anyone can do.

Use your Manners

Tell the cashier to have a great day. Consider leaving a thank you note on a small piece of paper for anyone who’s done something kind that day for you. Always say please and thank you when being served in a restaurant or at a local store.

Give up an Hour

Take one hour out of your day to reach out to friends. If someone needs to vent about something or needs your advice with a situation, give them your undivided attention for at least an hour. This will help them feel calmer and in turn, make you feel good that you helped them out.

Forgive a Debt

Sure we all need money but one unique act of kindness is to forgive one debt every year. If someone owes you money, consider forgiving their debt. Be sure to forgive a debt that you can afford to forgive and feel confident this is the right act of kindness for you and that friend.

With World Kindness Day quickly approaching, it’s important that we all aspire to be more kind to our fellow human beings. When you practice an act of kindness you are doing your part to help make this world a more positive, happier place.