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Tuesday, March 23, 2010


 
About the product/service:  As part of the TOS Homeschool Crew I received a free downloads of Olde World Style United States and World Maps from Homeschool in the Woods.  (The US and World are two different products.)

Olde World Style Modern And Ancient Maps:  World Maps is a black and white set which includes over 130 maps. It will also come with a bonus of over 40 Notebooking pages!

From the website: 

Maps are offered in a variety of ways, such as with and without labels, with and without particular borders, and with a blank title frame for you to fill in for specific projects! Create your own title such as the Crusades, The Silk Route, Barbarian Invasions, weather patterns, and much more! Modern maps contain political lines while the ancient maps are presented in physical map format.

Olde World Style Modern And Historical Maps:  United States is a black and white set which includes over 180 maps, including a map of every state,  and comes with bonus Notebooking pages for each one!  From the website:

The state maps are offered three ways for your convenience: with labels, without labels, and in outline form. Use the labeled version for simply coloring, or have your student do their own labeling! Or, get more specific by designating areas of agriculture, locations of historic landmarks, displaying reservations, and much more!

What are the pros of these products?  These are a great supplement to your geography curriculum if you are not using another curriculum that already contains printable maps.  Or, you could use this as a base,and build a curriculum around it.  There are so many maps included, I couldn't think of anything I would want or need that wasn't there! 



What's not to like? Nothing negative jumps out at me.  :)

The Crazy Mom take:  I have to say right off that I was not really in the market for something like this, so I wasn't all that excited about it.  Then I checked it out and was impressed!  I still am not doing geography this year, so I wasn't able to use a ton of the pages, but I did look it over and think it looks great for someone who is currently studying geography or history.  As a matter of fact, our co-op is offering geography next year that several of my kids will be taking and I'm going to let the gal who is teaching it know about this resource. 

I did find a few pages that I could fit into our school day here.  Well, it's more of a fun thing, but I just count it as school.  Two years ago we did a cross country trip and traveled through several states.  We've also done several other trips.  We've never actually taken the time to add up all the states we've visited.  I printed each of the younger kids a US map so they could label it and color all the states we've been to.  Also, we did learn about the continents and oceans and such last year, so I printed out a worksheet so they could fill in all that info.  I'm just glad there was a teacher's copy with all the answers filled in!  ;)

Anyway, this is a great product.  I like the ability to just print off what I need.  I think it will also come in totally handy next year when the kiddos are taking geography.  I was pleasantly surprised.  I liked it, I really liked it!  :)

Happy mapping! 


 
 What's the bottom line? You can order these sets individually in a download for $18.95 each or you can order them together in a Combo-Pak download for $28.95.

And they are now available CD! Each set on CD is $19.95 or you can get both sets on one CD as a combo for $29.95

I am going to give Olde World Style United States and World Maps 4 out of 5 smileys!!!

Check it out! 

http://www.homeschoolinthewoods.com/HTTA/OldeWorldMaps.htm



See what my fellow TOS Crew members have to say @
http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/HomeschoolCrew/772219/





*The Smiley System: 


I can't really recommend this product.
 I doubt this product would be helpful to many people.
 This is a good product, but isn't right for everyone.
 Most homeschool moms will find this useful.
 This is great, and I would recommend it to anyone!!!

Disclaimer!!!  I reviewed this product because I am a member of The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew.  I was given the product by the vendor to use and evaluate in my home so that I might share my insights with others.  Other than receiving the product, which I kinda have to to be able to assess the product, I am not compensated for my reviews in any way.  I am in no way obligated to give a positive review.  I do try to point out negatives when I see them, though I am admittedly a pretty easy going gal!  What you read are my honest assessments of the products I receive. 

As with all products, you must do the research before buying.  Please visit the the other crew members' blogs, the vendor websites, and any other review sites you might find before buying.  I can't guarantee that a product will work for you.  You must decide what will fit with your teaching style, and your child(ren)'s learning style(s).  I do not judge anything other than the educational value of the products I review.  I am not qualified to make judgements as to the safely of any product, and I make no guarantee that the products I review are safe for you, your family, or anyone else.  I am simply giving my opinion; only you know what is best for you and your family.

Don't use your blow dryer while you sleep or take a bath.  Don't read my reviews in the tub either, and please do not read them when you are asleep, though I do not guarantee that you won't fall asleep reading them!
Copyright 2010 Ramblings from the Crazy House

Friday, March 12, 2010

How About Chocolate Cheerios, Some Recipes, and a SPEED Contest? :)

Mmmmm....  Did you Know that Cheerios now come in CHOCOLATE ???  Well, I didn't until I was sent some from General Mills through MyBlogSpark!  Now, I admit, I'm not the cereal eater in my house.  My kids are.  They love chocolate flavored cereal, so they were really excited to try it.  It got thumbs up all around!!!


Here's some info I got about the Chocolate Cheerios from MyBlogSpark:

Chocolate Cheerios is low in fat, heart healthy, has 100 calories per serving, contains at least 8 grams of whole grain per serving (at least 48 grams recommended daily), and is a good source of calcium and vitamin D. Made with real cocoa, Chocolate Cheerios can help your family start the day off right with a delicious and nutritious breakfast that is sure to make you smile!

In addition, check out these great recipes using Chocolate Cheerios!

Chocolate Cheerios® Marshmallow Hearts

Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Start to Finish: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

Crust
1 cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1 cup Chocolate Cheerios® cereal, crushed
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups miniature marshmallows
Topping
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 bag (11.5 ounces) milk chocolate chips
4 cups Chocolate Cheerios® cereal
Candy sprinkles, if desired

Heat oven to 350°F. Line bottom and sides of 13x9-inch pan with foil. In large bowl, mix all crust ingredients except marshmallows with electric mixer on low speed until crumbly. Press firmly into bottom of pan.

Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from oven. Immediately sprinkle with marshmallows. Return to oven; bake an additional 1 to 2 minutes or until marshmallows just begin to puff. Cool while preparing topping.

In large saucepan, place all topping ingredients except cereal and sprinkles. Heat over medium-low heat just until chips are melted and mixture is smooth, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in 4 cups cereal. Immediately spoon warm topping over marshmallows; spread to cover. Sprinkle with candy sprinkles. Cool completely, at least 1 hour.

Using foil to lift, remove mixture from pan; remove foil. With deep 2 1/2-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out 18 hearts. Store loosely covered.



  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Chocolate Hazelnut Marshmallow Balls

Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Start to Finish: 15 Minutes
1/2 cup hazelnut spread with cocoa
1/4 cup milk chocolate chips
14 large marshmallows
Toothpicks
3 cups Chocolate Cheerios® cereal
Round wooden sticks with one pointed end or craft sticks
(flat wooden sticks with round ends)

In medium microwavable bowl, microwave hazelnut spread and chocolate chips on high 30 seconds; stir until smooth. Place cereal in shallow dish.

Insert toothpick into marshmallow; dip in chocolate mixture. Roll in cereal to coat completely. Place on large plate; remove toothpick. Repeat with remaining marshmallows. If desired, insert round wooden sticks into each for pops.

Refrigerate 30 minutes or until chocolate is set.
14 servings

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Strawberry-Chocolate Cheerios® Parfaits

Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Start to Finish: 15 Minutes
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
4 containers (6 oz each) Yoplait® Light Fat Free strawberry yogurt
2 cups Chocolate Cheerios® cereal
In 4 parfait glasses or clear drinking glasses, layer half of the strawberries, half of the yogurt and half of the cereal. Repeat layers.

Serve immediately



Now for the contest!!!  If you win this contest, you will receive a gift pack that includes a box of Chocolate Cheerios for you to try as well as a chocolate scented spa kit, and a ceramic cereal bowl.  It's easy to enter.  Just leave a comment telling me your favorite cereal.  Also, I'll give you extra entries for:

~Suscribling to Feedburner (THIS IS A DOUBLE BONUS ENTRY, LEAVE TWO COMMENTS!)
~Following me publically
~Becoming a Facebook Fan
~Following me on Twitter
~Taking my poll
~Following me in any other way (other than stalking, of course!)

If you have already done the above, don't fret, just let me know in the comments.  PLEASE COMMENT ONCE FOR EACH THING YOU'VE DONE.  FOR EXAMPLE,  IF YOU'RE A FACEBOOK FAN AND A TWITTER FAN, LEAVE TWO COMMENTS. 

The reason I am calling this a speed contest is that you only have a few days to enter, so do it quickly!!!  All entries must be received by Monday, March 15, 2010 at 11:59 PM Eastern Time.  You must leave your e-mail address or some other way for me to contact you , or your entry or entries will be VOID.  You must be at least 18 years old and unrelated to me to enter!

The information and Chocolate Cheerios gift packs were all provided by Cheerios through MyBlogSpark.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

New Review!!! Graphics Toolbox!

 Check out my welcome post here.


 

About the product/service:  As part of the TOS Homeschool Crew I received a free download of Graphics Toolbox for the purposes of this review.  According to their website, "Graphics-Toolbox® is a powerful, multi-purpose graphic software program used by people of all ages. Students, hobbyists and professionals alike enjoy using the fast and easy tools to create expert results for their daily graphics needs."
Here are just some of the things Graphics Toolbox can do:

  • personalized cards and invitations
  • science diagrams
  • photo editing
  • posters and business flyers
  • photo cartoons
  • scrapbook pages
  • blog headers and buttons


What are the pros of this product?  This is a very versatile program and does a TON of cool things.  I can't think of anything it can't do graphics wise.  Take photo editing, for example.  If you don't like the color of your shirt in a picture, you can change it.  (Or maybe get rid of those crows feet! LOL) Want to add a frame or text to a photo?  You can.  Would you like to take a pic of your family and then make it look like you are in Egypt in front of the pyramids or on a glacier in Alaska?  No problem! 

Also, if you get overwhelmed, you can get personal one-on-one online training for $65 per hour.  If you don't need (or can't afford) the one-on-one training, you can also watch tutorials on the Graphics Toolbox website. 


What's not to like?  It's very detailed, and there is so much you can do.  You might become overwhelmed, especially if you're over 30!  LOL 
Also, I have to say, the cost is a bit much.  I honestly don't have the money for things like this, and since most homeschoolers are single income families, money tends to be tight.  However, for a family that is into art or graphics, this could well be worth the money. 

The Crazy Mom take:  I think I'm really slowing down with age.  I worked my little heart out on this and learned a lot, but I never got the point where I could pull it all together to make something worthy of posting here on my blog.  (I still have high hopes of creating a new blog header.)  I would have had my kids figure it out, but they are already familiar with several other programs, many of them free, that do much the same thing.  They just were not motivated to want to learn a new program.

One of my sons, Ren, does a lot of graphic work for our church.  Another, Woggit, loves to manipulate photographs.  He's done all kinds of cool stuff with other programs.  All of the software they use is free.  I honestly have to say that when looking at this, I didn't see anything Graphics Toolbox could do that they weren't already doing.  This doesn't mean that it doesn't have features other programs don't, it just means that I don't know of any features it has that we don't already have here as part of another program.  (Wow, that was a long sentence.  Sorry!)  I'm just not familiar enough with these kinds of programs to make an honest comparison. 

I guess for us, this is not something I would lay the money out for.  Like I said, I have a son who is really into graphic design and he uses other programs he has downloaded off the Internet for free that serves his purposes just fine.  However, I'm no expert, and to be honest neither is he.  So, for our family, it might not be something we really need, but for another family, it just might be perfect.  The only way to know is to check it out yourself!


 
What's the bottom line? $149 - 1 User License Discount for 2+ users

I am going to give Graphics Toolbox 3 out of 5 smileys!!!

Check it out! http://www.greatsoftwaretools.com/

See what my fellow TOS Crew members have to say @
http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/HomeschoolCrew/769911/  



*The Smiley System: 
I can't really recommend this product.
 I doubt this product would be helpful to many people.
 This is a good product, but isn't right for everyone.
 Most homeschool moms will find this useful.
 This is great, and I would recommend it to anyone!!!

Disclaimer!!!  I reviewed this product because I am a member of The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew.  I was given the product by the vendor to use and evaluate in my home so that I might share my insights with others.  Other than receiving the product, which I kinda have to to be able to assess the product, I am not compensated for my reviews in any way.  I am in no way obligated to give a positive review.  I do try to point out negatives when I see them, though I am admittedly a pretty easy going gal!  What you read are my honest assessments of the products I receive. 

As with all products, you must do the research before buying.  Please visit the the other crew members' blogs, the vendor websites, and any other review sites you might find before buying.  I can't guarantee that a product will work for you.  You must decide what will fit with your teaching style, and your child(ren)'s learning style(s).  I do not judge anything other than the educational value of the products I review.  I am not qualified to make judgements as to the safely of any product, and I make no guarantee that the products I review are safe for you, your family, or anyone else.  I am simply giving my opinion; only you know what is best for you and your family.

Don't use your blow dryer while you sleep or take a bath.  Don't read my reviews in the tub either, and please do not read them when you are asleep, though I do not guarantee that you won't fall asleep reading them!

Copyright 2010 Ramblings from the Crazy House

I Have a Winner of the Fiber One Bars Contest!!!

Drum roll please!!!

Da da da da da da da da!

It is none other than...

MY DEAR FRIEND IN REAL LIFE...


BARB!!!!!

Congratulations, Barb! 

It's so fitting that she won because she's the one that first introduced me to Fiber One bars.  Also, she has done just an AWESOME job of losing weight, and keeping it off. 

I'm proud of you Barbie, and so glad you won!!!  Enjoy, my friend.  Enjoy!!!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Five Question Friday ~ March 5. 2010

Here's another edition of Five Question Friday.  To participate or read more Five Question Friday entries, check out

My Little Life

1. What's your guilty pleasure?
Probably checking e-mail, Facebook, etc.


2. What is your favorite TV series?
I love MONK.


3. Can you speak any foreign languages?

Some Spanish, and now I'm learning to sign!  :)



4. How many pairs of shoes do you own?
Probably less than whoever's reading this.  I have two pairs of tennis shoes, my new ones, and the old ones I can't seem to throw out.  I have two pairs of boots, same situation.  I have a pair of casual shoes and a pair of dress shoes. 

I also have two other pairs of dress shoes my sister gave me, but I tried to wear a pair to church last Sunday and could barely walk.  I'll need a handicap permit before I can wear them again, because I seriously thought I would not makeit to my van which was parked pretty far back in the parking lot.

I also have a few pairs of sandals that are falling apart and some old shoes I've not worn in years that I really need to get rid of. 
So actually, I have quite a few pairs, I guess, but I really only wear my tennis shoes, my boots, my sandals and my casual shoes when none of the others will do. 
Now, if that wasn't the most boring thing you've ever read, you need to get a life!  LOL




5. What's your favorite kind of M&M's...peanut, almond, straight up regular, etc.?
Good old regular chocolate M&Ms.

Fit Mommy Friday ~ March 5, 2010 ~ More Sly Moves

Well, the whole Rocky thing works for me, so I'm sticking to it.  If you didn't read my post last week, I got the idea to exercise to the theme from Rocky because you can hardly listen to it without feeling some sort of compulsion to work out. 

So Wednesday and Thursday of this week, I put in fifteen minutes of exercise.  Yes, that is fifteen minutes EACH day, or thirty minutes total.  I know, I know, I still have to do another day.  (Though, to be technical, I only promised three days for ten minutes, for a total of thirty minutes, which I've done.)  The plan is to do it some time today, though it might be difficult as we have to go to my in-laws' for a birthday party tonight.

****
Okay, I'm back from the party.  It's after 11:00 PM and I have not exercised, though I did have cake and ice cream!  LOL  I will try to remember to at least do some stretches and crunches before I got to bed.  Not aerobic stuff.  Don't want to get all energized before going to be.  (Like that ever happens!)

Anyway, I am very happy to report that doing 15 minutes actually seemed a bit easier than when I was only doing ten.  I must be doing a little better.  It's going to be a long, long road, but I am determined to walk down it.  I'll be turning 47 soon, and while I'm not exactly a spring chicken, I am not so old that I should be feeling the way I do.  I'll never be a physical trainer, but that doesn't mean I can't feel better than I do now.  The fam needs me!  :)

Are you ready to join in and become a Fit Mommy? Do you wonder how the rest of the girls are doing?  Then come on over to Chai Mommy's blog and read all about it! 

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Winner of the Progresso Soup Prize Pack is...

Debbie from The Artist and the Architect.  Congrats Debbie!!!
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