We’re Giving Away a Grain Mill!

Oh boy, am I excited about the giveaway that I have for you this week!

I have had an electric grain mill for just about a year and a half now, and it is one of the most used appliances in my kitchen. I love it!

Read this post about when I got my grain mill, and see my top four reasons for owning one.

And now I get to give one away!

I am part of a group of bloggers called Positively Real Media. (This is an awesome group of like-minded natural Christian bloggers. Check it out here if you are interested!) Together as a group, we are giving away a Wondermill Grain Mill to one lucky reader!

We are so excited to offer this chance to win the world’s #1 rated electric grain mill! Watch this video to learn more about the grain mill and why it’s the perfect accessory for every kitchen!

Enter the giveaway via the Rafflecopter below. The mandatory entry is super simple – just hit Enter! Then you can earn additional entries for following your favorite blogs via Facebook. Increase your chances by liking them all!

This giveaway is only available in the United States and Canada.

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Kindle Fire Giveaway! {Including an eLibrary of Awesome eBooks!)

PRM Kindle Fire Giveaway

It’s been very quiet around here lately.  I was able to enjoy a wonderful Christmas with my family, and was actually without internet (unexpectedly) for several days.  It was actually quite nice!

I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas also.

And although Christmas is officially over, the gifts are still coming! A group of bloggers from the Positively Real Media Network (for like-minded “natural” Christian bloggers) has worked together to bring you a chance to win your very own Kindle Fire!

Not only that, the Kindle Fire comes with a package of carefully selected eBooks worth a combined value of more than $300 to get you started with your own digital library. Each eBook is filled with reliable information to help you live more naturally and healthfully in every area of life.

Here are the books the winner will receive with the Kindle Fire (if you already own one or more of the books, you can re-gift them to someone else who would enjoy them!):

Recipes & Whole Foods Cooking

Have Your Fruits… and Veggies, Too! by Laura Coppinger @ Heavenly Homemakers ($5.95)

Real {Fast} Food by Trina Holden @ Trina Holden ($6)

20 Minute Meals by Leigh Ann Dutton @ Intentional by Grace ($4.99)

Real Food… Real Easy by various bloggers @ The Humbled Homemaker ($9.95)

Smart Sweets by Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship ($8.95)

Healthy Snacks To Go by Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship ($8.95)

Sourdough A to Z by Wardee Harmon @ GNOWFGLINS ($20)

Restocking the Pantry by Kresha Faber @ Nourishing Joy ($7.99)

Easy. Homemade. by Mandi Ehman @ Life Your Way ($3.99)

Grain Free Meal Plan Cookbook by Cara Faus @ Health, Home & Happiness ($18)

Toadally Primal Smoothies by Todd @ Primal Toad ($9.95)

Simple Food {for spring} by Shannon @ Nourishing Days ($10)

Simple Food {for winter} by Shannon @ Nourishing Days ($10)

Well Fed (Paleo Recipes) by Melissa Joulwan @ The Clothes Make The Girl ($14.95)

Crock On by Stacy Walker Myers @Stacy Makes Cents ($5)

Real Food Budgeting

Real Food on a Real Budget by Stephanie Langford @ Keeper of the Home ($18.99)

Plan It, Don’t Panic by Stephanie Langford @ Keeper of the Home ($4.99)

Don’t Compost It, Cook It by April Patel @ An Apple a Day Wisdom ($2.99)

Your Grocery Budget Toolbox by Anne Simpson @Authentic Simplicity ($4.99)

From Debtor to Better by Barry Myers ($10)

Skincare and Beauty

My Buttered Life (Baby edition) by Renee Harris @ Hard Lotion ($5)

My Buttered Life (Gift edition) by Renee Harris @ Hard Lotion ($5)

My Buttered Life (Summer edition) by Renee Harris @ Hard Lotion ($5)

Simple Scrubs to Make and Give by Stacy Karen @ A Delightful Home ($3.99)

Food on Your Face for Acne and Oily Skin by Leslie @ Crunchy Betty ($7.99)

Holistic Mama’s Guide to Homemade Skincare by Roxanne King @ The Holistic Mama ($19)

Homesteading, Gardening and Preserving

Your Custom Homestead by Jill Winger @ The Prairie Homestead ($4.99)

Guide to Gardening and Preserving by Laura Coppinger @ Heavenly Homemakers ($7.95)

Apartment Gardening by Jami Leigh @ Young Wife’s Guide ($2.99)

Lifestyle

Simple Living by Lorilee Lippincott @ Loving Simple Living ($2.99)

Herbal Nurturing by Michele Augur @ Frugal Granola ($8.95)

Simple Natural Health by Nina Nelson @ Shalom Mama ($17)

Healthy Homemaking by Stephanie Langford @ Keeper of the Home ($12.95)

Music: An Essential Ingredient for Life by Resound School of Music ($6.99)

Breast to Bib by Kate Tietje @ Modern Alternative Pregnancy ($8.95)

First Bites by Hilary Kimes Bernstein @Accidentally Green ($9.99)

Healthy Pregnancy Super Foods by Kate Tietje @ Modern Alternative Pregnancy ($8.95)

Unbound Birth by Jenny Yarborough @ The Southern Institute ($4.99)

The Bootstrap VA by Lisa Morosky @The Home Life and Me ($12.99)

Honoring the Rhythm of Rest by Daniele Evans @Domestic Serenity ($0.99)

Special Deals!

And just in case you don’t happen to win, some of the authors have generously offered discounts on their eBooks for the duration of the contest:

Your Grocery Budget Toolbox is 25% off, making it only $3.75. Use this link to purchase at the discounted price (PDF only).

The Bootstrap VA is also 25% off. Get the PDF version via this link for only $9.74 using the code NEWYEAR. The Kindle and Nook versions will be discounted automatically.

Enter the giveaway via the Rafflecopter below. The mandatory entry is super simple – just hit Enter! Then you can earn additional entries for following your favorite blogs via Facebook or email subscription. Increase your chances by liking and subscribing to them all!

This giveaway is only available in the United States and Canada.

*This giveaway is being sponsored by Positively Real Media. A member of the network purchased these books to give away.

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Crock On! A Review and Giveaway of an Awesome Slow Cooker Cookbook

I am so excited about this week here at Creating Naturally. It’s “Fall in Love with Your Slow Cooker” week!  And to kick the week off, I get to share with you about a new eBook that is full of healthy and wholesome slow cooker recipes!

I’ve always loved my slow cooker, but haven’t really used it to its maximum potential until recently. My eyes have now been opened to how wonderful a slow cooker really can be by Stacy of Stacy Makes Cents and her new eBook, Crock On!

Stacy is the queen of the slow cooker. Every Friday, she shares a new slow cooker recipe on her blog.  All of her recipes are awesome, so you definitely want to check it out.

I’ve recently had the privilege of reviewing her new eBook, Crock On, which includes 40 different wholesome and healthy recipes for the slow cooker, and I am smitten by it.

What types of recipes are in this book?

  • Soups
  • Sandwiches and Wraps
  • Main Dishes
  • Sides
  • Desserts

I’ve already been able to try several of the recipes from the book (like the Cheeseburger Pie and the Pumpkin Apple Cake) and all of them have turned out great.

I’m excited to work my way through the rest of the recipes in the book!  I’ve went through and picked out one recipe from each category that I want to try next.

  • Creamy Chicken Chili (Soups) – what doesn’t sound good about that?!
  • Buffalo Joes (Sandwiches and Wraps) – I’m in love with anything spicy buffalo flavored, and these sandwiches sound so good.
  • Italian Pot Roast with Noodles (Main Dishes) – ‘Tis the season for comfort food! I don’t know how much more comforting you can get than this dish.
  • Coconut Sweet Potatoes (Sides) – Coconut and Sweet Potatoes? Yes, please!
  • Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Lava Cake (Desserts) – Enough said!

You can see the rest of the recipes included with the eBook here (click on “The Recipes” in the center orange box). Also, if you want to check out a sample recipe, Stacy is sharing a page from the book for Cheesy Sausage Potatoes here – yum!

Why I like this book:

  • All of the recipes use whole food ingredients.
  • There are NO cream-of soups found within the pages of this book. That’s one thing that has kept me from utilizing my slow cooker too often in the past. There are a lot of luscious looking slow cooker recipes that rely on cream-of-this or cream-of-that to bring it all together. Not these recipes!
  • Cooking with your slow cooker saves you both time and money. Couldn’t we all use a little more of both of those?
  • Stacy’s recipes rock. I’ve made many of her recipes from her blog, and I’ve never made one that didn’t turn out great. I trust her recipes completely so I don’t have to worry about dinner being a flop when I cook something from this book.

Is this book for you?

If you are looking for recipes to add to your dinner rotation that are delicious, wholesome, and don’t take up a lot of time in the kitchen, then I would say that this book is for you.

If you are like me and don’t put your slow cooker to work nearly enough, then I would also say that this book is for you. I haven’t been so excited about using my slow cooker in a long time, but now that I have 40 different healthy recipes to try out I know that’s it’s going to be put to good use!

A Special Discount and a Giveaway!

This eBook normally sells for $5.00 (which is as steal!), but for this week only, Stacy is generously offereing Crock On! for 15% off to all Creating Naturally readers. Just enter code Creating15 at the checkout to get the book for 15% off. This coupon code is good until December 7.

Click here to buy Crock On!
at this special discounted rate!

Stacy is also offering to give away a copy of her eBook to one lucky reader. Simply enter using the Rafflecopter form below for a chance to win. (If you purchase a copy and then win the giveaway, Stacy will refund your money.  Or you could just give away your extra copy to a friend!)

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Lilla Rose Winner and a Huge Ebook Sale

Thank you to everyone who entered the Lilla Rose Flexi-clip giveawayThe winner was comment #9, Gayl!  Congratulations, Gayl, and I hope you enjoy your Flexi-clip as much as I enjoy mine!

For those who entered, but did not win, I am hosting a Flexi-clip party, if you are interested in ordering anything from Lilla Rose.  Feel free to register for the party here and place an order.  The party will last until Friday, April 20.

Simplify Your Family Life eBook Sale

In other news, there is an ebook sale going on right now that I just had to share with you!

Corey from Simple Marriage and Mandi from Life…Your Way have brought together some of the top authors in the family life space with 38 ebooks covering a variety of topics related to family life.

When purchased separately, these ebooks are worth $375, but for four days only, you can purchase the entire collection for just $29!

I bought this package for myself Monday evening, and I can tell you that this is an amazing deal.  There are so many great books in here, and all for $29 - you just can’t beat that price!

Click here to purchase your collection today!

When you purchase the Simplify Family Life collection, you get instant access to each of the 38 ebooks listed below:

(I put asterisks by the books that I’m especially excited about or have already read and highly recommend!  It’s quite a few of them. :))

Entrepreneurship & Blogging

Blogger Behave by Laura @ 10 Million Miles ($4.99)

How to Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too by Mandi @ Life Your Way ($12.00)*

Make Money Blogging by Tara @ Feels Like Home ($4.99)

Tap Into Your Unique Creativity and Self Expression Webinar by Lisa @ WellGrounded Life ($39.00)*

Tell Your Time by Amy @ Blogging with Amy ($4.99)*

Your Blogging Business: Tax Talk & Tips from a Bookkeeper Turned Blogger by Nikki @ Christian Mommy Blogger ($4.99)*

Food & Cooking

Get Lean Recipe for Success by Nisha @ Healthy Mom’s Kitchen ($37.00)

Got Dinner? by Susan @ The Confident Mom ($4.00)

How To Cook For Yourself: A Complete Beginner’s Guide by Rachael @ Kitchen Courses ($35.00)

Plan It, Don’t Panic by Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home ($4.99)*

Real Food Basics by Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama ($6.95)*

Real Food, Real Easy by Erin @ The Humbled Homemaker ($9.95)*

Smart Sweets by Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship ($9.95)*

The Everything Beans Book by Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship ($9.95)*

Homemaking

2012 Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner by Susan @ The Confident Mom ($9.00)*

Clean Start: Your Guide to Natural Home Cleaning by Michelle @ Open Eye Health ($4.95)*

Complete Printables Download Pack by Mandi @ Life Your Way ($7.00)*

Food on Your Face for Acne & Oily Skin by Leslie @ Crunchy Betty ($7.99)*

From Debtor to Better by Barry @ Debtor to Better ($15.00)*

My Buttered Life {Summer + Gift Giving Editions} by Renee @ MadeOn Hard Lotion ($10.00)*

Not a DIY Diva by Melissa @ The Inspired Room ($3.99)

One Bite at a Time by Tsh @ Simple Mom ($5.00)*

That Works for Me by Kristen @ We Are THAT Family ($8.00)

Marriage & Relationships

A Simple Marriage by Corey @ Simple Marriage ($4.99)*

Buck Naked Marriage by Corey @ Simple Marriage ($2.99)*

Entangled by Amy @ Permission to Peruse ($4.99)

The A to Z Guide: 26 Ways in 26 Days to a Happier, Healthier Marriage by The Dating Divas ($9.97)*

Minimalism for Families

101 Ways to Simplify Your Life by Laura @ Journey to a Simple Life ($9.95)

321-Stop by Lori @ Loving Simple Living ($9.97)*

Inside Out Simplicity by Joshua @ Becoming Minimalist ($11.99)

Simple Ways to Be More with Less by Courtney @ Be More with Less ($9.97)*

The Minimalist Mom’s Guide to Baby’s First Year by Rachel @ The Minimalist Mom ($9.95)

Parenting & Kids

4 Moms of 35+ Kids Answer Your Parenting Questions by the Moms @ 4 Moms, 35+ Kids ($7.99)*

Flourishing Spring by Michele @ Frugal Granola ($5.95)

Mindset for Moms by Jamie @ Steady Mom ($4.99)*

Nurturing Creativity by Renee @ FIMBY ($3.00)*

Parenting with Positive Guidance by Amanda @ Not Just Cute ($9.00)*

Truth in the Tinsel by Amanda @ Impress Your Kids ($6.99)

The Simplify Your Family Life Sale is brought to you in part by Plan to Eat, an online meal planner that makes eating at home simple. Receive an exclusive coupon code on a one-year membership with your purchase!

Click here to purchase your collection today!

The sale ends at 9 a.m. ET on April 20th, and there will be no late sales offered, so don’t wait.

New Hair Clip, Anyone? {A Flexi-Clip Review and Giveaway}

When I first started seeing Lilla Rose Flexi-Clips popping up on different blogs about a year or so ago, I’ve got to be 100% honest with you…I didn’t want one! I didn’t think I really would use it, and I was perfectly happy with just my regular old pony tail holders.

So when Sue Ellen contacted me a few months ago about reviewing a Flexi-Clip for her, I thought, “Sure, why not?”.  But I didn’t have high hope that I would exactly fall in love with the thing. ;)

Fast forward several months, and I’ve done exactly that…I’ve fallen in love with it!

This is the clip I chose. It's called "Simple Band"

Why I Didn’t Think I Would Like the Flexi-Clip

  • I thought it was just a glorified barrette.
  • I thought it would sit in my drawer never to be used.
  • I didn’t think they were my style.
  • I thought they would be hard to use.
  • Why do I need one, when I have several pony tail holders that do the job just fine?
  • I thought they looked uncomfortable.

But wow, was I proved wrong…

Why I DO Indeed Like the Flexi-Clip

  • You can do SO many different hairstyles with this one simple clip.
  • I find myself using it ALL the time!
  • After looking through the online catalog, I realized that they actually have several clips that are just my style.  They really are beautiful!
  • They are so easy to use.  For real.  If I can use them effortlessly, than anyone can!
  • They make a simple “pony-tail” look so pretty!
  • They’re actually more comfortable that a pony tail holder.  They really do “flex” around you’re hair and don’t pull or pinch at all.  I find myself wearing mine even on days when I’m just cleaning and working around the house because it is SO comfortable to wear.

My hair in my beloved Flexi-Clip. (By the way, it's not the easiest thing to take a picture of the back of your own head! Haha! Try it sometime!)

So, all that to say that I would recommend Flexi-Clips to anyone.  Even if you don’t think that it’s you’re thing, I bet that you will be surprised how much you end up using it and loving it!  I wear mine all the time and can’t wait to purchase some more!

Some More Cute Flexi-Clip Hairstyles

Here are some pictures of some other hairstyles that you can do with the Flexi-Clip.  To learn how to do these hairstyles, watch the styling videos here.

Low Ponytail

Half Up

Up and Down

Messy (but cute!) Bun

Another Half Up

Win a Flexi-Clip!

Sue Ellen has offered to give away a Flexi-Clip to a lucky reader – how exciting!

To enter the giveaway, please visit Sue Ellen’s Lilla Rose website, then simply leave a comment on this blog post stating which style of Flexi-Clip you would choose.  While you’re there be sure to look around at all of the gorgeous hair accessories that are offered by Lilla Rose!

If you would like an additional entry, you may “like” Sue Ellen’s Lilla Rose facebook page and leave an additional comment stating that you did so.

This giveaway will end at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, April 14, 2012.  Open to US residents age 18 and older.

The winner will be chosen by random.org and will be contacted by email.  The winner must respond with a shipping address within 48 hours.  If the winner does not respond, another winner will be chosen.

(Psst!  Be sure to watch this sizing video also to determine what size of Flexi-Clip your cute new hairstyle will need!)

Winner of Simple Scrubs, a Discount Code, and an Announcement

Simple Scrubs Giveaway Winner

Thank you to everybody who entered the giveaway for Simple Scrubs to Make and Give!

The winner of this wonderful ebook is Chelsea who left comment #16. Congratulations, Chelsea!  I hope that you will get a lot of use out of this book :)

A Discount Code

For those of you who did not win the book, Stacy has graciously offered a 20% off discount if you are interested in purchasing a copy for yourselfClick here to buy the book and use the discount code HEART20, until January 21, to get 20% off at checkout.  This makes the price of the book only $3.19!  I think that you will find the book is worth well more than that, and I believe that you will get a lot of use out of the book.  I know that I have! :)

An Announcement

I am very excited to announce that  I have some lovely ladies who are going to be joining me in writing here at The Purposed Heart! Each new contributor has something unique that they will be able to share with us, and I believe that we will learn so much from them. You can expect to here from each of them about once a month.

Over the next week or so, I will be introducing them to you one by one.  These ladies are very special, and I want you to have a chance to get to know them just a little bit. Look for the first introduction to take place tomorrow!

Like I said, I am very excited about this new venture.  I’m grateful, honored, humbled, and thrilled that these amazing ladies would be willing to write here and share their wisdom, knowledge, and hearts with us.  Thank you!!!

Simple Scrubs to Make and Give: A Review and a Giveaway

imageWhen I found out that my friend, Stacy from A Delightful Home, was coming out with an ebook about making your own luxurious body scrubs, I must say…I was EXCITED!

If you’ve never visited Stacy’s blog before then you really should go take a look around.  She is a sweet and wise woman who obviously loves her God and her family very much.  She is practically an expert on homemade, natural body care.  Plus, she makes GOOD food!  Any recipe I’ve ever made of hers always turns out great.  These Chocolate Coconut Oat Bars on her site are one of our favorite treats – they are amazing!

Okay, so now that you know how much I adore Stacy and her blog, I must also tell you that I absolutely adore her new book as well!  Simple Scrubs to Make and Give has thorough yet easy instructions for making over 30 different body scrubs.  The book is 59 pages long and is a wealth of information on making your own body scrubs with simple ingredients. 

I’ve tried several of the recipes in Simple Scrubs, and they left my skin feeling so soft and smooth.  The Brown Sugar Vanilla Body Scrub has been my absolute favorite so far.  It only has four ingredients, and it. smells. heavenly. 

Some of the other scrub recipes that you will find in the book include:

  • Invigorating Foot Scrub
  • Morning Coffee Body Scrub
  • Lemon-Lime Sugar Scrub
  • Lavender-Peppermint Facial Smoother

I can’t wait to try them all!  They would truly make great gifts, and Stacy also includes a whole section on packaging ideas.  I love it!

image

Another section included in Simple Scrubs is a very informative run-down of the ingredients used in this book.  This is actually one of my favorite parts of the book.  Not only does Stacy include awesome recipes that she has created, but she also teaches you and gives you the knowledge you need to come up with your own unique recipes as well.

If you are interested in learning how to make your own body scrubs to use yourself and to give as lovely gifts, you can purchase the book for only $3.99!  Click here to see an entire list of the table of contents, read more about the book, and purchase a copy for yourself.

Stacy has also generously offered to give away a copy of her book to one of you! 

To enter to win a copy of Simple Scrubs, simply leave a comment below telling me what scrub you would like to try from the book!

This giveaway will close on Monday January 16, 2012 at 10 pm EST.

The winner of this giveaway will be contacted by email.

Don’t forget to leave a comment below to enter to win a copy of Simple Scrubs to Make and Give!

Peeled Snacks: A Review and a Giveaway

image

Last week when I was at the grocery store, I saw a big box of gummy fruit snacks in a brightly colored fun-looking box.  On the box were three different “health claims” telling you why they were a great snack for your kid.  They were gluten free, fat free, and had Vitamin A & C in them. 

I always cringe when I see snacks that are essentially made out of nothing but sugar and corn syrup being touted as a “healthy” snack choice for children.  This particular brand of fruit snacks also had in big letters on the front of the box, “MADE WITH REAL FRUIT!”.  

Well, I decided to check the ingredients of these “fruit” snacks and this is what I found.  Corn syrup, sugar, water, apple juice concentrate, and then a list of artificial flavors and colors.  Made with real fruit? Really?  If that is not deceitful packaging than I don’t know what is!

Despite the fact that most fruit snacks sold in the grocery store are mostly made out of pure sugar, they still remain a popular snack choice among kids.  They’re sweet, chewy, colorful and just fun to eat.  But what if there was a better alternative?  What if there was something that actually was made with real fruit? 

Well it turns out there is a better alternative that is not only made with real fruit, it is real fruit.  Real, organic, dried fruit.  Yep, that’s all it is.  Nothing added, nothing taken away.  Just plain dried fruit that tastes amazing – Peeled Snacks.

Peeled Snacks doesn’t use sulfites or add any sugar to their dried fruit.  It is the best tasting dried fruit that I have ever had!  This quote from their website pretty much sums up what their company is all about.

Our goal at Peeled Snacks is simple: to make you feel good about snacking. We strive to bring you the highest quality organic and natural ingredients from sustainable farms. Our snacks provide a great source of vitamins, minerals and a full serving of fruit with no added sugar. Learn more about our Real Food Philosophy.

Today, Peeled Snacks is graciously offering an Organic Fruit Picks Variety Pack to one reader.  This variety pack includes 12 single serving snacks: 2 each of pine-4-Pineapple, much-ado-about-Mango, Banan-a-peel, Apricot-a-lot, Cherry-go-round & Apple-2-the-core. 

I have tried each of these varieties and they are all delicious!  Our favorite was the pineapple, but the mango was a close second!  My son absolutely loved all of them, and couldn’t get enough.  He kept asking for “more, more”!   

Peeled Snacks also offers a variety of mixed fruit that I can’t wait to try – especially this Paradise Found!  Yum!

You can order your Peeled Snacks online, but they are also available in some stores including Whole Foods and Starbucks.  So if your ever out and about and need a quick healthy snack, keep that in mind!

To Enter the Giveaway:

Simply leave a comment below telling me what variety of fruit you would choose if you won the giveaway.  Visit the Peeled Snacks website to see all the different varieties that they offer.

For additional entries, do any of the following and leave a separate comment for each.

  • Like Peeled Snacks on Facebook
  • Follow Peeled Snacks on Twitter
  • Tweet about this giveaway.
  • Share about this giveaway on Facebook.
  • Like The Purposed Heart on Facebook
  • Follow The Purposed Heart on Twitter
  • Subscribe to The Purposed Heart

This giveaway is open to US Residents only.

This giveaway will close on Sunday November 20, 2011 at 10 pm EST.

The winner of this giveaway will be contacted by email and must respond with a shipping address within 48 hours. If the winner does not respond, another winner will be chosen.

Don’t forget to leave a comment below for each entry!

Disclaimer: I received Peeled Snacks from this company for the sake of this review.  All opinions are my own and my opinion is that these dried fruit snacks are yummy!

Flowering Baby: A Curriculum and a Giveaway

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. -Proverbs 22:6

New Picture (3)

Children are an awesome gift, given to us by God above. With this awesome gift, he also gives us an awesome responsibility – the responsibility to “train up the child in the way he should go”. 

I believe that the responsibility to train our children begins at birth.  No, I am not going to assign a newborn chores to teach him diligence, sit down and have a math lesson with him, or expect him to memorize a Scripture.  All of these things will come later in life, but from the time that a baby is born into this world, you can begin pointing them in the right direction by showing them consistency, security, and love. 

During a child’s first few years, my husband and I believe it is important to lay a foundation that will support a lifetime of not only learning but also a lifetime of loving to learn

As you may know, our son recently turned one year old.  He loves to play and explore!  He is probable learning more quickly at this time in his life than he ever will, and I want to be intentional about helping him learn all that he wants to know!  Babies learn through interacting and playing – how fun!  So, I feel that if I am intentional about interacting and playing with my son at this age, then I am being intentional in helping him to learn.

I feel blessed that I happened to stumble upon an early childhood curriculum called Flowering Baby that has really helped me to purposefully spend quality learning time with my son.  Flowering Baby is a whole child developmental approach for birth to five years old which is designed by year and broken up into months. I love that it is broken up like this because you can start it at any time.  They also offer the curriculum in it’s entirety or just by the year. 

I only discovered Flowering Baby right before my son’s first birthday, so I have only used the “One to Two” curriculum so far, and I LOVE it! 

Here is an excerpt from the Flowering Baby website describing their curriculum.

We have developed a program where you will work with your child approximately twenty to forty minutes a day on various skills, depending on his age. This curriculum is designed for easy use but don’t let the simplicity fool you. Each activity has a purpose. The goal of the Flowering Baby Curriculum is to develop a solid and full foundation. The curriculum includes twenty, or more, activities each month.
Up until age three there are activities based on age alone.  However, beginning with age three you will find we have a Monthly section (organized by calendar month) which includes math, language, science, etc. and the Theme sections.  Theme sections are like mini-unit studies, you will select two themes to complete each month.  These are a more focused schedule of books, activities and work based around one central theme.

Here is a sample day that my son and I have already done together.

Day 4:
Play “hide and seek” today. Using a toy that your child is currently playing with is best for this exercise. Place the toy under a wash cloth or dish towel and ask him “Where did it go?” If he has trouble locating the toy, then move the towel so that about 90% is covered. This will give him a helpful hint. Repeat with different toys and maybe even using two towels for added fun. Remember, keep the game fun and cheer him on when he succeeds at finding the hidden object.

Recite “Baa, Baa Black Sheep”.

Read Gingerbread Baby.

Some of the other things that we have learned about together are facial features, knocking, stacking, and animal sounds.  We have also listened to some great music and read some great books together! 

I love that Flowering Baby is designed to use everyday household items that I already have.  We haven’t had to buy anything to use this curriculum.  The books that are listed to read in this curriculum should be available at your public library or you could just use books that you already have in place of the ones listed.  For the music, you could buy CD’s to listen to, but we have just been listening to free music on the internet instead (usually on YouTube).

As you can see, this curriculum is not anything hard. It simply gives you ideas and guidelines for nurturing your child’s growing curiosity and learning capacity.  With all of the hustle and bustle of everyday life, using Flowering Baby has made me purposefully spend one on one time with my son each day playing, learning, and loving! 

Now, obviously doing the activities in Flowering Baby is not the only interactive time I have with my son each day.  We usually get to spend all day together, and we have so many opportunities throughout the day to learn and play together.  My son LOVES to be read to, so we usually end up reading tons of books everday.  We work on and learn manners each day at meal times.  We use basic sign language to help our son communicate with us.  These are just a few examples of learning that takes place outside of the Flowering Baby curriculum.  So, while there would still definitely be learning going on without us using Flowering Baby, I feel that this curriculum is wonderful for having scheduled and planned learning activities everyday, which is what I absolutely LOVE about using this curriculum!

A Giveaway and a Discount!

Today we would like to offer a special giveaway!  We are offering a one year curriculum of choice to one of our readers.

To Enter the Giveaway:

Simply leave a comment below telling me which curriculum you would choose if you won the giveaway.  Visit the Flowering Baby website to see the different curriculums that they offer. 

In addition to the giveaway Flowering Baby is also offering a 10% discount to all of The Purposed Heart’s readers!  Just enter the code Blog10 at checkout for a 10% discount off of any order!

This giveaway is open to US Residents only.

This giveaway will close on Wednesday September 21, 2011 at 10 pm EST.

The winner of this giveaway will be contacted by email and must respond with a shipping address within 48 hours. If the winner does not respond, another winner will be chosen.

Don’t forget to leave a comment below to be entered to win a one year Flowering Baby curriculum!

Giveaway: Handmade Ceramic Sponge Holder

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

Congratulations to Diane G, winner of the beautiful sponge holder!

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Today, I am so pleased to be giving away a beautiful, handmade ceramic sponge holder! 

Mossy Rock Pottery is a family run business that sells their beautiful handmade pottery on Etsy.  David is the craftsman behind these beautiful pieces, and I can tell that he takes great pride and ownership in each item that he makes.  He has made pottery since 1992 and has made it his living since 2003.  His pieces are absolutely stunning to look at and are of the utmost quality also!

Some of the gorgeous pieces from Mossy Rock Pottery.

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Soap and/or Lotion Dispensers

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Bowls (LOVE!)

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Mugs

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Candle Holders

This is just a small sample of the beautiful pottery offered at Mossy Rock Pottery.  Go check out their shop to see for yourself all of the other items that they have to offer!

One of my favorite pieces from Mossy Rock Pottery is this pretty sponge holder.  What I love about it is how beautiful and functional it is!  It gives your sponge a beautiful place to live and dry out between uses, instead of just lying in the sink where it only keeps getting wet and dirty. This makes your sponge last longer, keeps it cleaner, and prevents it from getting smelly!  And did I mention how beautiful it is also?  It’s a win-win!

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David has graciously offered to give away one of his handmade Sage Sponge Holders to one of The Purposed Heart’s readers today! 

All you have to do to enter the contest is leave a comment below.  If you would like, tell me what other item you would like from David’s shop, Mossy Rock Pottery.

This giveaway is open to US Residents only.

This giveaway will close on Friday July 22, 2011 at 10 pm EST.

The winner of this giveaway will be contacted by email and must respond with a shipping address within 48 hours. If the winner does not respond, another winner will be chosen.

Don’t forget to leave a comment below to be entered to win this beautiful, functional, and handmade sponge holder!

This post has been shared with Things I Love Thursday.