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Monday, March 27, 2017

Update on My Hoarder Challenge

At the risk of boring you to tears, here's my latest update:

So, I've been sick and my knee has been giving out a lot. I also have other excuse if you need them, but that should suffice. LOL  Anyway, I have not been doing a whole ton of organizing. I did, however, buy a couple of wire shelves to put under my kitchen sink. That has made all the difference in the world! It is now all clean and tidy under there. I am so happy. (The joys of adulthood.)

So, what I'm thinking is that I need to write out some very specific goals and work to attain them. Maybe I should just pick out one area in each room and rotate through the rooms. If there's one thing I've learned about myself, it's that I do much better when I break down things into small tasks. I actually like organizing things like drawers, but if I say I'm going to tackle a room I get overwhelmed and don't know where to start. What about you? What's your cleaning style?

I think today's goal is just going to be creating a short list of five tasks. That's one task for each of the rooms on the main floor: kitchen, dining room, bedroom, bathroom, living room. I should also clean out my purse.

Happy Cleaning, ya'll!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Book Review! Bessie's Pillow: A Young Immigrant's Journey

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Review Crew

Strong Learning, Inc.

Bessie's Pillow

About the product/service: 
As part of the Homeschool Review Crew, I received a free copy of the book Bessie's Pillow: A Young Immigrant's Journey by Linda B. Silbert from Strong Learning, Inc. This is the story of a young girl named Bessie who travels to America from Lithuania during a time when being a Jew was very dangerous. It is biographical and follows her through her entire life. This book is a real, hold-in-you-hand paperback book, though it can also be purchased as a Kindle e-book. It is available in both English and Spanish. 

I gave this book to my daughter, Bear, who is 15 (almost 16!) and who is currently my most avid reader. She loved it. As a matter of fact, she read the whole book in just one day! She even posted about it on her Instagram account. 

First, I love these kinds of books. I love history, but not just facts and dates; I love the people. That's why I have used a lot of biographies and historical fiction in my homeschool. This book was fantastic. Immigration is a huge topic right now, and it's great to be able to let my daughter delve into the topic in a way that was so interesting. She loved following the life story of Bessie, a young Jewish woman from Lithuania who came over to America in 1906, on her own, when she was just 18 years old. 

Here's a quick plug from Bear:

"I loved the book, and couldn't put it down. It was so interesting to me to learn about the struggles the Jews went through, not just in Lituania, but here in the United States. Although I didn't feel anything in it was inappropriate for younger children, I would say it's most appropriate for kids in junior high and high school and adults. I would highly recommend it!"

Another really cool thing is that even though the book easily stands alone, there is a ton of really cool information on the Strong Learning website that really brings the book to life. There are photos of Bessie's family and other related photos, there is information on topics such as health concerns of the time, what music and movies were popular, the common foods eaten, and so much more. I could easily see someone using this book as a foundation for a unit study. It has been very thoroughly researched and documented. I really am impressed. Check it out at Bessie's America. 

Price: $15.00 paperback (Discounts available for bulk purchases.)/ $3.99 Kindle

Twitter:  @BessiesPillow

Click below to see what my fellow reviewers had to say:

Bessie's Pillow {Strong Learning, Inc. Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Monday, March 20, 2017

New Review! Creating a Masterpiece

Well, hello there!!! I'm so glad you stopped by! :) I bet you'd like to get my posts delivered right to your inbox, now wouldn't you? So why not sign up for Feedburner? Check it out, it's right there in my sidebar! Thanks!!  :)

Review Crew

 photo CAM-Logo-Final horizontal_zpsevw9craw.jpg

Creating a Masterpiece

About the product/service: 
As part of the Homeschool Review Crew I received a free monthly subscription to Creating a Masterpiece. Creating a masterpiece is a really cool online art curriculum that has something for every age and skill level. 

What are the pros of this product? 
There is literally something for everyone. There are projects for all levels and even the beginner projects look fantastic when they are completed. There are also many types of projects, so there is something for every taste. There are projects using colored pencils, watercolors, oils and more. There are even things like sculpture, copper tooling, and mosaics. Truly an amazing course! 

The teacher, Sharon Hofer, is very easy to follow and is also very pleasant. She has that "grandmotherly" type of personality that makes you like her right away. Her philosophy is thathe teaching must be simple enough for a child to follow. She has definitely succeeded in making art simple, even for the beginner.

What's not to like? 
I thoroughly enjoyed this course. Thoroughly. I have zero complaints. The only thing I didn't enjoy was not having all the supplies when I was anxious to get started! :) It's also a tad out of my price range as I know I don't have the time to put towards it that I would like to. If I had the time, I would love to use this every day!

The Crazy Mom take:
I really enjoyed this subscription. I love art and so does my daughter, but I admit it gets put on the back burner because we are always stressing about getting the math, science, English, etc. done. I loved doing this review because I was forced to make time for these projects. It was not only fun to do, but it was great bonding time for us.

The first project we did was the sailboat in the storm using charcoal. It wasn't very difficult at all, yet the results were rather good. I would say it only took us maybe an hour. Another project was the clown fish which also took just about an hour. This was a project using colored pencils. What I liked about it was the fact that even though we were just following along, we learned some technique as far as shading and using colored pencils in a such a way that we were actually layering the color to produce a professional look.

Sharon is great about telling you to be creative within the structure of what she's doing. This is great for me and my daughter because both of us are the kind of people who have a hard time coming up with ideas on our own, but are good at copying. The fact that she encouraged us to tweak of projects just a bit to make it our own really helped us to feel confident in our abilities to think outside the box. We really enjoyed these projects and our time together. I would highly recommend this site to anyone. Even kids who say they have no talent will be surprised at what they can do with a little guidance. I'm very glad I got this review. I was reluctant due to the time element, but I am glad we made the time, made the memories, and made the art!

What's the bottom line? $39.99 per month/$349 per year Other options are available. Please see the website.

I am going to give Creating a Masterpiece 5 out of 5 smileys!!! :) :) :) :) :)

Check it out!


See what my fellow TOS Crew members have to say @  

Creating Beautiful Art at Home {Creating A Masterpiece Reviews}

*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!!!

Crew Disclaimer

Friday, March 17, 2017

Hoarder Challenge Update

Well, I have somewhat successfully organized my art supplies. I have a file box that I put them all in. However, I just got a bunch more, so I need to organize them some more. At least they are all in one place. :) I keep the file box right next to "my spot" on the couch, so it's great to just be able to grab them when I feel inspired.

How about you? Have you done any organizing? I hope so! Let me know about your progress!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Want to Join My Hoarder Challenge?

I'm working on some spring cleaning, otherwise known as a "Hoarder Challenge." Okay, I'm not exactly a hoarder, though my family likes to call me one, but I'm also not exactly a clean freak. I live with eight other people in a very small old house with just about zero built in storage. It's quite a challenge to be sure. Anyway, I am always trying to find a way to motivate myself, and blogging about it has worked in the past. Always love it when others join in, so hoping you'll join me!

I have already decided that my next challenge is to gather and organize my art supplies. I'm working on hand lettering and I really need to find a way to keep my stuff from gravitating all over the house.
Is there anything you need to organize. Tell me about it in the comments! 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

A Little Accountability: My Jewelry Organizer

I finally got around to posting my beautifully organized jewelry. :) I sort of dropped the ball on my organizing kick because I got sick for about a week. I'm back on track, though, and I think the next thing I'm going to tackle is my art supplies. I'm excited because I've been learning to do hand lettering using scripture. When I produce something post-worthy, I'll post!

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