Rise Up – Kids Night In Box Review

“Good is not a thing you are. Good is a thing you do.” – Ms. Marvel

              I will be referencing a bunch of Marvel superheroes, so my apologies in advance to the DC fans out there.

One of the biggest tasks I have taken on as a parent, in my opinion, is the responsibility of raising kind souls. As human beings it’s easy for us to default to a negative head space because of the many emotions we hold inside. I envision toddlers and preschoolers in this instance, as little Bruce Banners. They are pint-size people full of big emotions, and sometimes they don’t know where to harness that energy, just like Hulk.

While the vision of a green tiny human with purple shorts sounds cute and quite honestly like the perfect Halloween costume, I don’t want my kids hulking out due to frustration, hurt feelings, or anything in between. In the August 2019 Kids Night In Box – Rise Up, kids and parents are provided the tools needed to have fun and learn how to effectively approach the topic of bullying. I think about this often in regard to my kids. I don’t want them to be the victims of bullying and I especially do not want them to turn into the Thanos of their pre-school. With the support and knowledge from the Home Educators of American, Kids Night In Box, has provided another exceptional box to tackle this important topic.

SUPERHERO STYLE

Each Kids Night In Box comes with a special book themed specifically to that month’s box. In this month’s box, we were given a copy of How to Deal with Bullies Superhero Style, an insightful children’s book written by Wiley Blevins and illustrated by Debbie Palen. In this book, a young boy named Zach transforms into a superhero addressing situations of bullying amongst his peers. In an effort to stand up for what is right, Zach uses his words instead of his fists to better the situation.

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My oldest is currently in Pre-K, so Kindergarten is no longer a thought, it is quite honestly right around the corner. I know how sweet his soul is and how empathetic he is to other’s feelings but having conversations around bullying at this very moment is so important. This book has been the perfect introduction and reminder of what we can say when someone is bullying a friend or classmate. I certainly appreciate having this book in our personal library.

BECOME THE HERO

Our FAVORITE activity from this box was the creation of his superhero costume! In the box, your child is provided a superhero mask kit, superhero cape, and superhero ID badge. In an effort to be like Zach from the book, we started our costume making journey with the ID badge. On the badge there is a place to put your superhero name and superhero power. Now, my son went very unconventional during this part of the activity. As a lover of Pokemon, he became “I Love Pokemon” and his power is “Pokemon Blast.” I know what you’re thinking, and you’re right, he is so strong and mighty as “I Love Pokemon.” A true force to be reckoned with.

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After creating the ID badge, together, we followed the pictured instructions for the superhero mask kit. Carefully placing each foam piece, the end result was fantastic! As a lover of the color orange, his perfectly designed purple and orange face mask, gave him the confidence he needed to become the best superhero around.

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Watching my son run around the front yard with his cape, mask, and ID badge, was quite possibly the cutest thing I have ever seen. We plan to reenact How to Deal with Bullies Superhero Style dressed in his costume and practice how to address different situations he may face at school, swim practice, the park, or anywhere he may potentially encounter a bully.

BULLY VS. BUDDY

One thing I love about each Kids Night In Box, is that they provide critical thinking opportunities. With the Bully vs. Buddy chart, my son was able to identify instances of bullying. I read through a number of scenarios and he had to identify, by circling a happy face or frowny face, if they scenario was an example of someone being a bully. Alternatively, for the older kids, the back of the Bully vs. Buddy sheet allows older kids to right down characteristics of how an individual can be a buddy or how a person can be a buddy.

We work really hard to teach our boys how to be the best buddies they can be and approach each situation with kindness. This is a great tool to learn how different actions can help or harm the people around them.

A LITTLE EXTRA

Each Kids Night In Box comes with a few extra items, so the impact of the box can go above and beyond. In the Kids Night In Box – Rise Up, my son received a pair of bright orange sunglasses. If you know anything about my son, HIS color is orange, so these were perfect. Megan Pruitt, Founder of Kids Night In Box, has labelled these shades as “Bully Blockers” and we are obsessed. My son can put these on as a way to block out the bullies.

These were a few of our favorite activities, but there were so many more ways to have fun and learn how to address the important topic of bullying in children and adolescents with this month’s Kids Night In Box.

I say it each month, but we look forward to receiving our Kids Night In Box. It’s exciting, educational, and engaging! To get your box, CLICK HERE!

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Who is your favorite superhero? Let me know in the comments below.

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6 Fall Must-Haves for Moms On-the-Go

Sweater weather will be here before we know it (does a happy dance- jazz hands and all). As the south is currently experiencing a heat wave, I am eagerly looking forward to my season. The crisp autumn air, bonfires, hayrides, pumpkin patches, and of course my favorite holiday, HALLOWEEN! Do you know the song Where are you Christmas that Cindy Lou Who sings while looking out the window in the Grinch, that’s me, but I’m singing “Where are you faaa-all! Why can’t I find you?” 

Fall is also the busiest time of the year (in my opinion) for moms. We are constantly on the go between kids, family outings, work, sports, school, etc., you name it, and we are probably artfully trying to balance all of life’s happenings. As a working mom with two kids and in grad school, I am always perfecting my juggling act. Flexibility and versatility are key! With this said, here are my 6 fall must-haves for the moms on-the-go. 

1) A transformational sweater: When there is a chill in the air, a chic, quality sweater is a necessity. I don’t know about you, but I need something I can dress up and dress down with ease. I want to go from a work function to a sports function with just a quick change of my pants/skirt. Wooden Ships has beautifully and ethically constructed sweaters that are perfect for the fall season. They are so soft and stylish – I want to wear my sweater 24/7. Each sweater is made to order, which means zero waste. This eco-conscious mama could not be more delighted with their commitment to the environment, their employees, as well as the customer.  They give back to many wonderful causes and consider their carbon footprint. I mean…it’s the obvious choice for your sweaters this fall season. 

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This camo knit, can pair nicely with jeans, as seen here, with a nice pair of dress pants, over a long dress, or a skirt with tights. Is it OK to wear the same sweater every single day? Make sure you head over to Wooden Ships to stock up and support this wonderful family-owned/family-run business. 

Visit https://www.wooden-ships.com/

2) Keeping it warm: I am consistently fueled by the likes of black coffee and black tea. I have a cup on the way to work, midday at the office, and once I get home. I have to stay perky. While on the go from swim lessons to soccer practice, a good thermos is my best friend. 1) I don’t want to drop a pretty penny at a franchised coffee shop 2) I often don’t have time to make a pit stop and 3) there is always a little extra coffee left in case of an emergency. There are so many wonderful options out there. 

3) Pucker up: I LOVE a dark lip. The fall season is the perfect time for a berry or wine lipstick. I have found a vegan, cruelty-free, and eco-conscious lipstick that lasts all day. ALL DAY! Scouts honor, this lipstick is amazing and is perfect for any occasion, it also pairs lovely with the camo sweater from Wooden Ships. Folly Fire lipstick in Full House is a must-have for your fall cosmetic collection. 

4) Back it up: You never know when you are going to make an abrupt stop at a pumpkin patch or apple orchard. What happens if your phone battery or camera battery dies? The horror!!! Take a backup battery or portable charger just in case. You don’t want to miss the magical fall moment. You can grab a few portable charger for $3 to $5 in the Bulleye’s section of Target (a.k.a. The Mothership). 

5) Bundle up: It’s as simple as keeping blankets and jackets in the trunk. On the east coast, fall is often accompanied by cooler temps (we like to go from heat wave to arctic blizzard). We have a hard time finding a happy medium. It’s handy to have a blanket/jacket or two in the car, just in case there is a serious chill in the air. 

6) Crock it and pot it: A good crockpot recipe is an on-the-go mom’s favorite thing! I love to make a hearty stew or chili during the fall and winter months. Do you have a favorite crockpot recipe? Let me know in the comments below. I am looking to expand my recipe repertoire.  

What do you include in your fall must-haves? Drop me a comment below! 

 

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3 Easy Ways to Use Fresh Eucalyptus

When I mention the word eucalyptus, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Most individuals would associate it with feelings of ease and calmness. A vision of relaxing in a spa-like setting where the cares of the world are washed away. The capture of a woman meditating with fluid likeness of serenity also comes to mind. Now, if you ask my four-year-old what he thinks of when he sees or smells eucalyptus, he just aggressively screams “KOALA!” in my face. It’s such a zen-like moment (she said with sarcasm). 

 

Eucalyptus is more than something we see in a spa setting or while taking a walkabout in Australia (because that’s something we all do, right?); it’s a powerful and versatile plant full of healing properties. Incorporating it into your everyday life, especially in the home, can reap positive benefits for you and your family. 

 

Honestly, there is nothing quite like the uplifting potency of freshly cut eucalyptus. My heart just smiles thinking about it. If you’re like me and you don’t have immediate access to eucalyptus, there are services that can provide you with the benefits of freshly cut greenery. My friends at Eucalyptus Farms have a subscription service that brings fragrant happiness right to your front door. Their naturally grown, Californian eucalyptus is cut, bundled, and boxed the same day to ensure you receive fresh product every time. Each bouquet comes with sixteen to eighteen 20-inch stalks for $12 a month, plus shipping. Founded in 1973, these lovely souls know exactly what they are doing. Head on over to www.eucalyptusfarms.com to order your bundle today.  

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You can start the eucalyptus journey right now! Here are three easy ways to use fresh eucalyptus in your home. 

 

Smells Fresh

 

Eucalyptus is a naturally fragrant plant. Bringing freshly cut sprigs into the home transforms the space. Not only does it look great, the smell helps with the reduction of stress and anxiety. When I went through a dark phase of anxiety, eucalyptus played an integral part in positively boosting my mood. I had it EVERYWHERE! I guess this is where I publicly thank eucalyptus for helping me through that period of life. 

 

The fragrance from your eucalyptus bouquet doesn’t have to start and stop there. By drying your eucalyptus plant, you can utilize the leaves in other ways. It’s nature’s potpourri! Keep that smell floating around for months, by creating your own homemade air freshener or sachets. 

 

With scraps of fabric or mesh bags from your local craft store, you can keep your clothes smelling fresh, your mind clear, and the bugs on the outside. There are few ways to make your sachets, but in my experience, adding other dried materials, such as lemon peels (my favorite), keeps them smelling fresher, longer. 

 

Breath It In

 

Eucalyptus has properties that can help with congestion, asthma, and/or upper respiratory concerns. Like a good vapor rub, using freshly cut eucalyptus can help breakdown the mucus and open airways. If you plan on creating sachets, set aside some of the mesh bags for the tub. Place fresh eucalyptus leaves in the mesh bag and hang it underneath the bathtub faucet while you’re running your hot/warm bath water. This will release natural vapors you can breath in to open the passageways. It will also create a calming, spa-like experience in your own home. My self care comes in the form of hot baths, and eucalyptus is part of that process. Self care is the best care, am I right? 

 

Similarly, by boiling freshly cut eucalyptus leaves in a pot, and gently wafting in the vapors, you can tackle the congestion that comes on from colds and allergies. This is a lifesaver for our family. With two kids in preschool, ALL the germs make their way into our home. I swear, I think my husband and I get sick more than the kids. So, breathing in these natural vapors helps us get back on our feet, because let’s be honest, mom and dad don’t get a sick day. 

 

Lastly, hanging sprigs of freshly cut eucalyptus in the shower can emit the medicinal goodness of the plant. It’s important to hang the bundle behind the shower head and not in front. By hanging it behind the shower head, you will get all the benefits of the vapors, but you can keep your eucalyptus hanging up for about one to two weeks. 

 

Spill the Tea

 

Disclaimer – before consuming any eucalyptus tea, consult your primary physician. Safety first folks! 

 

Who doesn’t love a good cup of tea? When making eucalyptus tea, it is best to use fresh eucalyptus leaves versus essential oils. Eucalyptus essential oils are awesome for so many other things, especially when it comes to wound care, bug bites, hair health, pain relief, etc., but when it comes to the tea, use the leaves (unintentional rhyming right there). 

 

Place one (tablespoon) dried eucalyptus leaf, crushed, at the base of your 8 to 10 ounce tea/coffee cup. Bring your pot or tea kettle to a full boil. Once your water is boiled, gently pour (roughly 6 ounces) it over the top of the crushed eucalyptus leaf. Let the blend steep for no more than 8 to 10 minutes. I tend to steep my tea for 8 minutes. Once it is done steeping, strain out all of the crushed leaves from the cup. Do not directly consume eucalyptus leaves. You can add sugar or honey to sweeten the tea to your liking. This is a great way to tackle colds and congestion. The tea has similar properties to the eucalyptus bath, so enjoy those vapors as your sip on your relaxing cup of tea. 

 

Please remember to consult your primary physician before consuming any eucalyptus tea. 

 

This is just a brief introduction to the power of EUCALYPTUS! What more do you want to learn about eucalyptus? Let me know in the comments and I will share additional benefits and uses of this plant. 

 

If you’ve never used eucalyptus before, consider starting with sprigs of freshly cut eucalyptus in the home and go from there. Eucalyptus Farms can help you start your journey. Get $5 off today by visiting their site >> www.ecualyptusfarms.com << 

 

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