Thursday, November 30, 2017

Adored: 365-day Devotional Review & Giveaway

I want to tell you about a 365-day devotional book, Adored: 365 Devotions for Young Women.  This book has no specific author and is intended for girls 13 and older.  Each day features an easy-to-read devotion, scripture verse and journaling space to reflect on each day's message.  This journal brings up some hefty topics like bullying, social media, friendship, and dating to name a few and provides real-world applications to find God in their hearts and lives.  The book emphasizes how precious the reader is in God's sight.

 I love the beautiful artwork on the cover.

Here is a side view, the pages are nice and sturdy.

B with her new journal!

When I received this journal I knew that both A and B would probably enjoy it.  I asked B if she would like it first and she immediately responded yes.  She has been enjoying this devotional journal ever since.  The devotions and entries are short so they don't necessarily need a lot of time to complete but that doesn't mean they aren't impactful.  B told me that she really likes this devotional journal because it reminds her of what is truly important - I love that!

Here is Day 1 blank

 And this is Day 1 after B completed it.

 B's completed Day 4

You can check out more about this book here and you can get a free 7-day download while you are there.  Adored is also available for purchase here - this would make a great gift.

Ready for a giveaway?  One of you will win your own copy of Adored: 365 Devotions for Young Women (US only).  Just enter below and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure:  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  I received my own copy in exchange for this review and post.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and not influenced by monetary compensation.  Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Hormel Gatherings Party Trays

Disclosure:  Thanks so much to Social Insiders and Hormel for choosing me to be a part of this campaign.  As such, I received Hormel Gatherings Trays in exchange for my honest review.

Have you seen Hormel Gatherings Party Trays?  They are an easy way to grab your family and friends and enjoy each other's company while munching on delicious food.  Whether it's a holiday, birthday, or game day - Hormel's Gatherings trays are super convenient, easy to put together, and enjoyable for all.  They make hosting so much easier!

We picked out 1 Hard Salami and Pepperoni tray and 2 Honey Ham and Turkey trays.

Hormel Gatherings Party Trays are available at Walmart and come in three varieties: Hard Salami and Pepperoni, Honey Ham and Turkey, and Supreme.  Our Walmart only had the first two varieties in stock so we decided to try both.

At $12.98/tray that's a great deal.  The Hormel Gatherings Party Trays at our Walmart even had $3 coupons available right on the trays.

Our trays

You just cannot beat the convenience of these trays.  You can choose to use the provided packaging or use your own trays or dishes - your choice.  We decided to set up 2 of our Hormel Gatherings Party Trays in their original packaging and put one of our trays on a serving dish.

The Hard Salami and Pepperoni tray is on the left and the other trays are both Honey Ham and Turkey.


My kids loved having friends over to hang out and snack with, food helps bring people together.

Somebody was just a bit excited about the food.

Enjoying our Hormel Gatherings Party Trays

I loved watching the different ways that everyone enjoyed these trays.  Some made simple cracker sandwiches, some ate the pieces individually and some made more elaborate creations to devour.

Baby G was a huge fan of eating the items individually, mostly the crackers.

Another individual fan...

Meat and cheese kabob

Many people liked making different sandwiches.

A side sandwich

 A Disney inspired creation!

 D was really into the construction of her masterpiece.

Whether you are celebrating a birthday, getting together with neighbors, throwing a potluck, or watching the big game - Hormel Gatherings Party Trays are sure to be a hit.  The price is great, the food is delicious and you just cannot beat the convenience.  Try them for yourself and let me know what you think!

You can find out more about Hormel and these trays on their website, facebook, pinterest, and youtube!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving

Every year I name our turkey, the one we eat for our Thanksgiving meal.  This year out turkey's name is Gidget.  I also made a simple thankful turkey for some of those that I am thankful for in my life - God, my husband, my kids and our dog.  I hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving - gobble, gobble!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Timberdoodle Ozobot Review

Have you heard of Timberdoodle?  Timberdoodle is a family-owned company that has been finding "crazy-smart" homeschooling supplies since 1985.  They offer unique and innovative homeschooling items that are great for both kids and parents at great prices.

I am so thankful that I have been chosen to be a Timberdoodle Blogger.  What does this mean?  Well, it basically means that I will be reviewing some of their homeschooling supplies first-hand and sharing them with you.  Whoop - Whoop!

First up for review, the Ozobot.

Can you spot our Ozobot?

I want to tell you guys about a fun robot from Timberdoodle that the kids and I have been programming and having tons of fun with, the Ozobot!  We have spent hours with our Ozobot and it is super fun for all!  What is an Ozobot?  It is basically a small robot that teaches kids programming.  The thick, clear plastic shell lets you see the circuitry inside.

Schematics of an Ozobot

How does it work?  The Ozobot is trained to follow patterns on the surfaces that it rolls over including paper and Ipads.  Ozobot recognizes and follows lines, sees colors and detect intersections.  Depending on your code it will speed up, spin, U-turn, etc.  Your lines need to be a certain thickness and consistency in order for Ozobot to read them - not too thin, not too thick, and not inconsistent.  The twin micro-motors deliver precise movements while the sensors scan the surface for variance in color.  This is how the Ozobot interprets the codes that you create.

It is also important to not space your lines too close together or to take your turns too sharply.  Coding placement is a key part.  You should not place codes on turns or corners nor on intersections.  Different codes should not be placed too close together.  Basically keep your codes on straight lines.  It might seem like a lot but it really isn't bad.  C had some trouble with the line thickness at first because the Ozobot needs precise lines but after the kids practiced a bit they were pretty good at figuring out what Ozobot could read and what wouldn't work.  We also found that Ozobot needs to be calibrated often - sometimes a color code sequence that wasn't working at all would work just fine after calibrating.  Calibrating doesn't fix everything; the Ozobot is picky about the lines being the right size.  Get the sizing down and you are golden!

The Ozobot has a LiPo battery that you charge with a micro USB cable that is included with it.  A full charge supports over an hour of continuous playtime.

Our Ozobot came with a few OzoSkins.

Our set also included washable Ozobot markers.

Ozobot with colored markers

E with our Ozobot in an OzoSkin.

Do you have to use Ozobot markers in order for Ozobot to work?  No, you can also use classic Crayola markers or Sharpies with wide chisel tips.  You will need to use the same colors as the Ozobot markers - black, blue, red and green as those are the colors that the Ozobot can read and differentiate.  If using Sharpies, the pastel shades of blue and green work the best.  Dry erase markers will not work.

C made a path for Ozobot to make his name.

Another view...

Watching Ozobot to see how it works

Another basic path for Ozobot

Once you have your Ozobot and markers you can begin making OzoCodes.  OzoCodes are simply color codes you draw with markers that tell your Ozobot what to do.  If you have a black line path, the Ozobot will simply follow your path.  Make the same black line path and make some of the lines with color and the Ozobot will follow it and change light colors depending on the color of the path.

Here you can see our OzoBot's light is red while on the red marker path.

And here, you can see the OzoBot's light is green when it is on the green marker path.

A simple path created by the kids.

A making a colored line path.

It works!

Our Ozobot completing the path.

After playing with our Ozobot with basic black and colored paths, the kids were ready to try out some specific OzoCodes.

Here is an example of an activity page with 3 different Ozobot color codes (slow, fast and U-turn).

D testing our Ozobot on her newly created path with OzoCodes.

This was a fun path created by A.

We had a long roll of white paper around the house and the kids had a great time using it for different paths for our Ozobot.  Occasionally one of the younger kids would add crazy lines or pictures but this was a great way to enjoy our Ozobot.

Even Baby G loved watching.

Go Ozobot Go!

  Crazy Fun

Another cool way to program your Ozobot is by using OzoBlockly, an on-line block-based programming editor that uses sequential programming to teach children the fundamental understanding of computational thinking.  The OzoBot Bit, OzoBot Starter Pack and OzoBot Evo are all compatible with OzoBlockly (only the OzoBot 1.0 is not compatible).  The OzoBlockly website can be used on tablets or computers with internet access.  OzoBlockly allows you to control your Ozobot's movement and behavior with programming.  It has five modes from Novice (with icon based blocks) to Master.  I like that it really has something for everyone and it is super user friendly.  A, B, C and D all had fun with OzoBlockly.

Ozobot made this awesome video on getting started with OzoBlockly.  Check it out to gain a better understanding.

Creating a program using OzoBlockly.  You can see near the top left that this is on Beginner mode.

When you are uploading your program to your Ozobot, the Ozobot will blink green throughout the process.  Notice that there is room for uploading to 3 Ozobots at a time.

The kids working together on OzoBlockly.

B using OzoBlockly and F watching intensely.

B uploading one of her programs.

C creating a program and F holding our Ozobot.

C excited to see Ozobot run his program.

D creating a program.

Ozobots are recommended for kids ages 6 and older and can be used for grades K-12.  I love that it has such a broad range.  Timberdoodle has upgraded their Ozobot to the Ozobot Evo which has even more capabilities than our Ozobot including crash detection, remote control mode, expressive sounds, web download activities and OzoChat to name a few.  I'm super excited about the addition of sounds!  Instead of a single, top LED light, the Evo has multiple, multicolored LED lights which is another sweet upgrade.  You can find out more about the Ozobot Evo including purchasing one on Timberdoodle's website.  The Ozobot Evo is currently a part of Timberdoodle's 3rd grade curriculum kit.  Check it out and let me know what you think.  Oh, and if you are looking for a unique gift idea for a special birthday or Christmas gift, this would be a great choice.

Free OzoBot Apps

I want to share with you a few free Ozobot Apps that we have been enjoying on our Ipad:  OzoDraw, and OzoGroove.  Ozobot Evo is also available but you really need the Ozobot Evo for this.

Remember way back at the beginning of this post when I shared that the Ozobot is trained to follow patterns on the surfaces that it rolls over including Ipads, this is where OzoDraw comes into play.

In OzoDraw you can freedraw, choose a playground or pick a challenge.

Here is an example of a freedraw with just different colored lines.

And in this freedraw you can see that we added a turbo code.

Here are a few challenges you can choose from.

This is an example of an Ozobot playground.

Another playground

As you can see this is an App version of playing with your Ozobot and it's a lot of fun.  Remember if your Ozobot doesn't seem to be recognizing the codes or working properly it probably needs calibration.  You need to calibrate your Ozobot when using the Apps.

 Calibrate your OzoBot when needed


OzoGroove is an App that allows you to upload dances to your Ozobot and watch it dance

 Here our Ozobot is performing the OzoChaCha.

The Ozobot Apps work for both iOS and Android devices.  Personally I think these Apps are more ideal for tablets and larger screen devices as it adds to the possibilities and entertainment.

I hope you can see that there are so many ways to have fun with Ozobots.  I also think it would be fun to add more than one to the mix.  Remember to check out the Ozobot Evo and let me know your thoughts.

Disclosure:  Huge shout out to Timberdoodle for selecting me as a Timberdoodle Blogger.  Timberdoodle sent my family the Ozobot in exchange for our honest review.  All opinions are my own.