Books Reviews, Education, Gift Guides, Home, Spring 2017

DIY Book Gift Ideas for the Easter Basket

Sample copies sent on some titles

DIY Book

With Easter coming or better yet-as summer comes and families are changing routines and spring cleaning these DIY books make great gifts. I have 2 of these titles and have been having fun browsing them. I have Home Decor Cheat Sheets and Smart Mom’s Guide to Essential Oils. Below are small previews of some DIY book favorites from Ulysses Press.

Home Decor Cheat Sheets: Need-To-Know Stuff For Stylish Living: you will finally feel confident that you’re making the right decisions when selecting a sofa style, determining curtain length, arranging pictures on their walls, picking the right size rug for a room, choosing a tile pattern, and so much more.


Busy Bags Kids Will Love: The book’s 52 ideas are the perfect indoor and outdoor treat for birthdays, holidays, and everyday playtime come rain or shine.

DIY Industrial Pipe Furniture & Decor: the standard plumbing pipe has burst onto the industrial furniture scene as the coolest thing in modern decor. Featuring 25 step-by-step tutorials and 400 full-color photos

Smart Mom’s Guide to Essential Oils: an indispensable reference for moms looking to get the most from their oils.


Crafting with Wood Pallets: Projects for Rustic Furniture, Decor, Art, Gifts and More with helpful tips for working with salvaged wood, like how to choose the best pallets, use the necessary tools, and master the art of disassembly

The Modern Salads: Innovative New American and International Recipes Inspired by Burma’s Iconic Tea Leaf Salad.

Apps, Education, Kids, Parenting, STEM Learning

Use the Game of Minecraft to Build Your Own Computer with Piper

Sample sent for feature


If you have a child, chances are Minecraft has made it into your home. We have 3 boys ages 8-24. When the 2 older boys were young the games were simple, mind numbing or combative and we had strict rules on when they could play or not play and time limits. As our youngest grew into gaming age he wasn’t as engaged or interested until Minecraft. Piper saw that too and has developed a DIY STEM learning kit that uses the game of Minecraft to build your own computer.

piper minecraft 5

I immediately went into time limits and rules until……

I realized that Minecraft was genius in every possible way. This is more than a game, it is a step into an engineering and mathematical world that is brilliantly instilling these skills in our youngest children as they play, or build. My son knows rock types, building matter, stone types and properties. He can calculate building with height, weight and durability. He knows what withstands storms, fire and keeps intruders out. He has built rooms that would blow a standard home blueprint out of the water. He even build an elaborate Goosebumps Mansion in his game of Minecraft world. Now this STEM activity has turned into a passion to learn coding.

Piper mineraft3

I have all boys so I only know boy stuff. His school offers fun after school programs and the last set offered a coding class. He did not win the lottery to be in that class but other kids did and the amount of girls volunteering was amazing. They know and love Minecraft too. Nothing excites me better then when a common love for science and math between both boys and girls develops and gaming and schools have encouraged this genuine passion for building. Piper obviously sees the passion growing as well with the DIY computer.

Piper Minecraft

Inside the Piper box:

  • Raspberry Pi 3
  • laser-cut case
  • wires
  • buttons
  • lights
  • switches
  • sensors
  • breadboards
  • everything else needed to start exploring DIY electronics

Piper Monecraft2

In order to successfully complete Piper, users must build components and circuits to advance through Minecraft which rewards the user with power ups and special abilities throughout the game. Piper gives real-time feedback to ensure each component is built correctly and is completely safe since there is no dangerous soldering.  It is a start for this world of building and inventing. Once built they will proudly have fun with Piper using the contents from their build to perhaps invent home devices or power and charge things around the home. The possibilities are there.

Piper Mineraft7

Once you construct the actual box and complete the blueprint instructions, you will power on the computer to a version of the game of Minecraft. We had no issues as it turned right on and it will walk your child through a set up of the remaining items and a bit of education so they know what they are and why they are connecting such pieces. We had a blast and I believer every classroom needs this for STEM learning. My son stayed thoroughly engaged through every screw he turned. Visit to learn more

Kids, Parenting, Recipes, Valentines 2017

Pokemon Valentine’s Day Card Pokeball and Card

Pokemon cards

Hello Pokefans! My 8 year old son was on the hunt for Pokemon cards so we took a peek as we were out and about last weekend. We found a lot of fun cards but no Pokemon. So I told him we may need to make our own. So for 2 days my brain turned until I came up with this idea.

All you need is red, white and black construction paper (you can get 2 cards from one sheet of each color), scissors and a glue gun. We actually found pokemon cards at the dollar store but you get 3 to a pack for a dollar so you can buy several there or purchase pokemon cards at a bulk price and save in the end.


I found a small planting pot that became the perfect size for the card. You want the card to end up at almost double the width of a pokemon card that will slide in the pocket you create.


I cut enough red circles out at the full size (we need 26 cards for his class). I then cut 13 white circles then cut each circle in half to be the bottom of the pokeball.


I measured out a good width of black papers in the correct length using the red balls I cut as a size guide. Then cut 26 black circles (I actually used the lid of an Excedrin bottle for center black circle-hey! it worked). Then cut my own smaller 26 white circles. Now I have all I need to start glueing.


[bctt tweet=”Make your own Pokemon Valentine’s Day cards for the class! ” username=”3sonshavei”]

I simply lined the inner curved edge of the white half-circle with hot glue in thin line, leaving the straight edge free of glue (this is your pocket for the pokemon card). I then glued the black strip to the white paper of the pokeball by lining lower edge only so that the top edge is free with the pocket. Then I glued the black circle in the center and smaller white circle on top in layers so you get what is pictured.



Stuff a Pokemon card in the open pocket between large red circle and white half circle and you have a Pokemon Pokeball Valentine card that is sure to be a hit. We wrote ‘I CHOOSE YOU’ with a fine tip sharpie, but you can get creative there. He added his ‘From:…’ on the back of the card.

2016 Holidays, Home

Organize Your Garage Space with Rubbermaid Fast Track

Sample sent for feature

Organize your garage
Photo Source: Rubbermaid

If you were to open your garage door to a potential home buyer or your landlord, would you be embarrassed? If you are like most households, your garage is unorganized chaos. Perhaps it started out organized with items neatly in totes on shelves, but then you accumulated ‘stuff’. Now you can organize your garage with Rubbermaid’s FastTrack Garage Organization System.



I am featuring the FastTrack 6-pice Kit. It takes items off the ground and away from leaning in corners and hangs them up on 32″ rails. Also available in a 5-piece kit, 8-piece kit and individual add-ons and hooks.


It is easy to install and hooks fit lose so you can position them how you need whether you are hanging the handles of lawn accessories and tools or bikes and chairs. It is a steel construction and can hold 1,750 pounds. This is great because you can get that large ladder, lawn trimmer and other heavy items up and out of the way with ease.


Visit Rubbermaid FastTrack to get your garage organized and locate these products near you or order online from retailers like Amazon and others ad of course at

2016 Holidays, Giveaways, Healthy Living, Home, Natural Products

Simply Earth Essential Oil Recipe Box Bonus and Giveaway

Sample box sent for feature

Holiday Gift Guide Feature: Simply Earth Essential Oil Subscrition

Simply Earth Subscription

When you hear someone mention subscription boxes, what comes to mind? Is it cost? Try adding up the value of the contents inside the box. They should always exceed the actual price. Most times these boxes ship free. This makes a subscription box a great value especially to gift someone. By the time you shop for gifts and pay to ship them they can have a unique box of goodies delivered that they’ll love such as the subscription boxes at Simply Earth.

Simply Earth is an essential oil subscription service where you can get a recipe box a month, pay per box or choose to get one 4 times a year. It is not just a box of oils, but a recipe box with all contents and a theme.

Simply Earth contents

The box I just got has the scents of the holidays and DIY recipes for home uses. In this box are 4 oils (just the 4 bottles of oils are a $40 value alone), a roller, 2 empty oil vials, a jar and spray bottle with accents for the DIY recipes with recipe cards on a ring so you can add other recipe cards from future boxes and keep them together. All this for as low as $39.99 a box.

Want to give it a try? Follow these steps to get a free diffuser with your first box order:

  1. Choose a box to order HERE
  2. Add the diffuser to your cart HERE
  3. Use my code: Parentinghealthy at checkout and the discount will apply.

Simply Earth promo

I was able to make a room spray, air freshener and scented ornaments. It came with all I needed except water and some baking soda. The recipe box like this is a fantastic idea and would make a fun gift to a dorm as finals near and your student can use some relaxing DIY or to families who want a more natural clean in their home.

Simply Earth room

Simply Earth uses the best oils which means GMO-free plants grown in the right conditions are ideal for optimal-quality oils. The oils are farmed responsibly and they take pride in providing 100% pure product.

Simply Earth freshner

The Giveaway

1 lucky reader will win a Simply Earth Essential Oil box. Enter below. Open to US and ends on 11/17. Good luck!

Simply Earth Giveaway

Healthy Living, Infant Toddler Products, Parenting

DIY Baby toy cleaners

Boy biting toy

Has your world changed since you had your baby? This is just the beginning of it. It won’t stop changing soon. Having a baby makes more people aware of their surroundings and environment. For example, many people change what they eat and start preparing more healthy food for their families, and same people start thinking about what they clean at home with.

Especially when there is a baby in the picture that also has things that need regular cleaning. You can’t just use all of your old chemical cleaning products to clean your baby’s teether, right? Of course you can’t. But do not worry, there is a very simple and efficient alternative to making yourself a home-made baby toys cleaning product.

Plus once you made yourself an all-natural cleaning product for your baby’s toys, you can actually use it to clean your home as well, and have a peace of mind that your entire home environment is perfectly safe for your family and baby.

There are some very simple recipes which you can DIY for a perfectly safe baby toy cleaner. Your baby toys mostly sit on the ground or in various places When the baby starts putting everything in their mouth the toys also get covered in saliva. That is why you should always have a cleaner handy.

1) The easiest one is to mix equal parts of distilled white vinegar and water in a spray bottle, add 6-7 drops of essential tea tree oil, and shake well. You can spray it directly on the toys and wipe them with a cloth. This will not only clean the toys but also disinfect them, thanks to the antiseptic qualities of the tea tree oil.  And you can use this spray to clean the toys that have batteries or any other mechanics, and cannot be soaked in water.

2) A disinfectant is also easy to make. All you are going to need is some rubbing alcohol, water and an essential oil of your choice. Mix equal parts of water and rubbing alcohol, again in a spray bottle, you can add a few drops of an essential oil of your choice, to give it a nice scent, or not. Spray the toys and let them sit for a few minutes. Then simply rinse them and let them dry. The rubbing alcohol will kill all germs and bacteria, leaving your baby’s toys safe.

3) For wooden toys it will be safe to simply use a cloth soaked with white vinegar and wipe them down from time to time, to keep them clean.

4) And of course the stuffed animals – they collect dust, dust mites, and all kinds of bad things. Most of them you can simply put into your washing machine, if the label says it’s okay. But make sure you use a baby laundry detergent, or just add a cup of white vinegar to the rinsing cycle. CarpetCleaningPrice Islington guarantees this will clean and disinfect your baby’s stuffed toys.

You can also use a mild dish soap to soak some of the plastic toys your baby has in a bucket with water, and scrub them with a toothbrush or a sponge. Rinse and you are done.

Whichever of these baby toys cleaners you decide to DIY, you can use in your everyday cleaning routing for the rest of your house too.

Go ahead and make yourself these DIY baby toy cleaners and be sure that your baby’s toys are safe. All new parents have the same struggles, so remember that you are not alone in this. When it comes to our babies health we can never be too careful.


-Emma Hamilton