Saturday, June 12, 2010

Balloonatiks : The Collector's Set Review & GIVEAWAY!

Recently I was sent a DVD copy of Balloonatiks : The Collector's Set to review so when it came in the mail I gathered up all the kids and we set out on our mission! My youngest (18 months) thought it was hysterical for some reason, loved all the colors and action, kept pointing to the screen and laughing, it was super cute!
As for my oldest two (8 yrs & 4 yrs) they really enjoyed it too! It was able to hold their attention the entire time which is an accomplishment because they often become bored or uninterested with a lot of movies and leave to go play before its half way done, but not this time! They actually didn't make a peep (except when laughing) and really seemed to be entertained by the Balloonatiks and all their antics and adventures! The episodes are exciting and pretty fast paced so that helps to keep the kiddos focused.

Please take a moment to visit the website and check out the Balloonatiks for yourself @  Introduce your kids to the Balloonatiks characters : Floater, Squeeker, Airbrain, Sparky, Bouncer and Leaky, 5 teens mysteriously transformed into rubbery shape stretching (think BALLOONS!) super heroes that take on the villains that threaten Hot Air City!

Some tidbits of info that I personally found interesting (on the grown up side of the fence!) is that actor Mark Hamill & Debi Derryberry (the voice of Jimmy Neutron), and Billy West (best known for several characters from Futurama) worked on the collectors set DVD. Also the Balloonatiks theme song is performed by Ray Parker Jr., who is most known for writing the Ghostbusters theme song (man I used to love those movies when I was younger!).

Balloonatiks : The Collector's Set will be available for purchase on, and and is set to release on July, 15th and so far has a suggested retail price of 14.95.

Until can enter for a chance to WIN your very own copy!!!

                                                       Do one or all of the following to enter...

1. Become a follower of my blog via Google friend connect and leave a comment telling me you did, if you already follow me that's OK too, just let me know you do!

2. Follow me via twitter (just follow the twitter button in my sidebar) and comment to let me know you did

3. Tweet this contest and leave me a link to your tweet, 1 tweet per day!

4. Post about this giveaway on your facebook page or blog and leave me a link! This is worth 5 extra entries!!!!!

****YOU MUST LEAVE ME YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS ON ALL YOUR ENTRIES SO THAT I HAVE A MEANS TO CONTACT YOU IF YOU WIN, IF YOU DO NOT DO THIS YOU ENTRIES WILL BE VOID**** (Don't mean to "yell" just want to be sure this is nice and visible to everyone!)

Giveaway will run for 1 week, 1 winner will be chosen randomly on Sat. June 19th @ 10pm EST. Winner will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen.

I was not offered, nor did I accept any type of monetary payment for this review. A copy of the DVD was supplied to me to facilitate my honest review. All opinions expressed are solely my own (or my children's).

Friday, June 11, 2010

Friday Feature ~ Dilly Dally And Flitter Blog

I have become rather addicted to reading other blogs and finding those diamonds in the rough that are so fun to read and full of great content that I think everyone should subscribe to and/or follow and today I came across a fantastic blog that I am LOVING! DillyDally And Flitter is the perfect blog to check out if you are a crafty type person, you like reusing and repurposing things into cute and super useful new items, of if you aspire to be crafty and just need fresh new ideas (this is me!) this is definitely the blog for you!
Some of my favorite projects featured on this blog are...this really cool use for your used water bottles
and how she changed these every day household containers into cute and fashionable storage containers, you cant even tell what they once were!
Also while you are visiting Dilly Dally And Flitter be sure to take a look at these extremely useful and fashionable Dangle Bangles that the blog owner sells in her shop...they are so pretty, I want a few to coordinate with different outfits :)
So lets all show this blog some love, stop by and check out all her wonderful craft projects and ideas and if you like it as much as I do, be sure to become a follower!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Another Year Older

Today is my 29th birthday, the last year of my 20's. I am actually excited to be on the downward slope towards 30! The older I get the closer I am to the point in my life where I will be able to enjoy more freedom, more time to spend with my hubby and doing things that I've not been able to do my entire 20's because I've been having & raising my kids.
I had my 1st child pretty young, I met my hubby at 19 years old, got married at 20 and had our first child at 21. She was our "honeymoon" (if you can call an evening at the San Antonio HoJo a honeymoon) baby, and it definitely wasn't planned that way but sometimes things happen no matter what we may do to prevent them!
I went on to have my 2nd child at 25 years old and I was 27 when I had my 3rd (and FINAL!) baby who is now 18 months old. SO, I've been pretty busy my entire 20's being pregnant, having babies, and doing the "mommy" thing. Now, I love my kiddos SO very much! They are my world and as much as they may aggravated me and drive me up the walls at times, id not trade them for anything. I have sacrificed a lot for my children and I do it willingly because I love them so very very much! But I cant lie...I really do look forward to when they are a bit older and my husband and I can go out more, enjoy evenings not filled with diaper changes, wet beds, nightmares and tummy aches. It will be a bit nice when they are more self sufficient and don't need me for every little thing from pouring drinks to wiping behinds.

I say these things now huh? But I'm sure when they are older I will look back on these days with such fondness and such sadness that they are over. I will look back on the times that made me feel completely crazy and laugh at them, the times that made me angry and be happy for the experience and the lessons I learned and person I've become.

Well, here is to 29 great years! They haven't always been sunshine & roses, I've had good times & bad but all in all, I've had a pretty darn good life, I've been blessed more than I deserve,  and I look forward to many, many, MANY more happy years with my family and friends!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Coming Soon ~ CSN Product Review!

I am beyond thrilled to be working with CSN to do a product review of one of their many wonderful products. Have you ever heard of CSN or visited any of their sites? If not, you are truly missing out!
They have everything you can think of, seriously. If you are doing any home renovations this summer,
especially bathroom renovations (which usually gain you great returns on your investment when you sell
your home!) be sure to check out these amazing bathroom vanities , my personal favorite if I were redoing
one of my baths would be this one, would be perfect in my guest bath.
There will be more information to come soon on my CSN review so be sure to visit the blog often so you don't miss out!

Adding Tabs & Other Changes!

If my blog looks wonky or functions wonky for the rest of this month, its because I'm going to be making lots of changes to the way Menagerie looks and feels! I'm excited about it, and just wanted you all to know that its a work in progress so please excuse the "mess" as I work out all the kinks and hopefully bring you all a much better, new & improved Menagerie experience! I will be adding page tabs, but they probably wont be functioning for a bit so you will still need to scroll down the page to read other posts, a pain I know, that's why I'm trying to get specific pages set up so there is less scrolling. I may even change my page theme and layout, who knows!

And I want to send out a HUGE thank you to all my followers & readers! Menagerie has only been "open for business" so to speak since the middle of May and I now have over 100 google friend connect followers! I'm new to the world of blogging and still learning as I go and I'm just so thrilled that anyone would even want to read the ramblings of little ole me :)  I appreciate you all and hope you will continue to stick around during these growing stages, for there are great things to come!

I look forward to bringing you lots more product reviews and giveaways as well so be sure to check back often, I will still be reviewing and hosting giveaways while improving the site, so be sure not to miss out!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Evaluating Our Choice To Homeschool

I have been homeschooling my oldest daughter B since Christmas break of this current school year and looking back, I have come to a few conclusions about our choice to homeschool and what direction we are going to go in the future.

A few pros

I really loved the freedom that homeschooling afforded us all. We could make our own schedule and work our schooling around our life. If we had a doctors appointment or some other place we needed to be in the morning, then we just did most of our schooling in the evening, and vice versa.

Portability~ B could read in the car, do worksheets in the car or in the waiting room of the dentist. Despite all the running around I feel I'm always doing, B never really has to miss out on much, she can either take work along with her or we do it later on that day.

Flexability ~ Not only did we have flexability with our schedule but also with our curriculum's and methods of teaching and learning. I was able to recognize the way my daughter learns best and then use that as a tool to help her learn better. I was able to see what worked and what didn't work and then change things accordingly. I wasn't tied down to strict rules and timelines.

Freedom (my favorite!) ~ I have been able to use so many different avenues and tools to teach my daughter. I have been able to learn what subjects she enjoys the most, how she learns it the best and then have the freedom to teach her in ANY way that I see fit! If I think letting her watch Myth Busters on Discovery Channel is the best way to teach her a certain concept, then we sit down and we watch! If I think going out in our back yard exploring nature is the best way to teach her a science lesson, then we adventure outside. Ive had the freedom to choose from so many different curriculum's and methods that it has been hard to choose just one, and actually, I haven't...Ive picked and pulled from several and find that works best for us.

Now, on to a few cons...

Full Plate ~ I have 3 kids, in addition to B, I have a 4 1/2 year old boy and an 18 month old boy, both are very active, both are mischievous, and the baby is a tad on the clingy side (I'm also still nursing)...this makes for a constant struggle on my part trying to find the time to actually sit down with B and make sure I am fully explaining new concepts to her and making sure she is staying on task when we are at home and she is supposed to be having school time.

Attitude ~ B is full of it! and we butt heads, a lot. Maybe this is just a phase but when B gets frustrated about something she doesn't exactly get, she gets moody, lashes out with back talk and attitude and eventually dissolves into tears. Its hard to deal with sometimes because I get snippy and frustrated with her and it ends up a vicious cycle...she upsets me, I upset her, so on and so forth.

Self Doubt ~ Although I know B is super bright, truly a smart smart girl, sometimes I wonder if I'm doing right by her with my teaching. Sometimes I feel I'm not creative enough, not challenging her enough, not being strict enough, not being lenient enough. I guess its human nature to doubt yourself from time to time, but this is a big deal, this is my child's education and I would hate to think I'm responsible for hindering her learning in ANY way. We will be testing soon so hopefully that will ease my fears and show me that all my doubting was unnecessary...we shall see!

Over all, I have enjoyed our experience most of the time, and have had moments where I'm ready to send her straight back into the public school system. When contemplating that choice I try to ask myself, "What exactly is it that I'm trying to keep B away from by homeschooling her". Ive asked myself this question many times and I can now say, I know exactly what it is. The kids. Now, I have no problem with my child playing and socializing with all sorts of children from diverse backgrounds. I want my kids to have friends of all colors and creeds...BUT, I want to have some control over how and when my children interact with other kids. When you send your child off to school, you are sending them into a building filled with kids of all with manners who have been taught well how to behave and how to properly interact with others and kids who have not been taught manners, who have no respect for themselves or others and who have no idea how to properly interact with others. You have no control over how many of each type of child your child is exposed to, how they are exposed to each other and how these interactions play out, you have to hope and pray every day that all goes well for your child and please God don't let MY child be the one that has the unfortunate run in with the playground bully today.

I like being able to get to know the kids B will be interacting with, getting to know their parents, getting to actually see them interact with each other, being able to participate in the activities with the children, being able to TEACH them and watch them learn! I like knowing that when B participates in a homeschool group or activity, that all the parents are of mostly the same mind, we have the same goals and generally believe the same things when it comes to our children's education. It is refreshing to be in the company of other homeschoolers, folks who "get it" and understand the choice to keep your kid at home and teach them yourself! I enjoy it and would miss it if we decided not to homeschool going into this next school year.

Oh, the choices to be made. At first they seem so easy....but nothing for me is every truly easy. Wish me luck! I just want to do whats best for my child. In my heart I believe I know whats best...but it has to work for everyone, I have to consider myself, my other kids and my husband. Nothing is ever, "easy".
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