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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Verilux SmartLight Review and Giveaway!

As a blogger, I frequently check to see if there any products available for review that I think you might find interesting.  When I saw the Verilux SmartLight, it intrigued me to say the least.  A desk lamp with patented Natural Spectrum® Daylight that claims to help you read faster with stronger comprehension, study longer without eyestrain while improving productivity and focus.  Sign me up!

I get headaches when the light around me is too harsh so the idea of a lamp that mimics natural light really appealed to me.  When we received our SmartLight, I was very happy with the light it gives out.  It is a nice, bright, white light that really helps the words pop on whatever you are reading.  The day we set up the lamp she sat at her desk for quite awhile working on various things.  First, she pulled out a match game.  Later, she colored and did art for a bit.  I was truly surprised later in the day when she completed a word search and didn't give up until she found every word!  That was a first.  Now, I can't necessarily contribute that to the lamp but I did feel like her focus was improved.

 I asked my husband to try the lamp out while he was studying so I could get his opinion.  He wasn't as impressed as C and I were.  Specifically, he wished the light from the lamp covered a larger area.  He felt that the book he was working out of was well lit but his writing space beyond it wasn't.  He did appreciate the crisp light as he was reading though.

The lamp comes in your choice of white or graphite.  The bulb is quite large and unfortunately it is pretty pricey to replace.  The good news is that it should last for 10,000 hours! I love the flexible neck, it is perfect for getting the light right where I need it.  Overall, I am really happy with the lamp and I recommend it.  One of you will get to try the Verilux SmartLight for yourselves because Verilux is going to give one lucky Joy Focused Learning reader their very own SmartLight!  Enter to win using the widget below and good luck!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Disclosure: Joy Focused Learning receives products in order to conduct reviews. No monetary compensation was provided unless noted otherwise. All opinions are 100% my own. Some posts may contain affiliate links that I receive commission for payment from in exchange for referrals. In the event of a giveaway, the sponsor is responsible for delivery of the prize, unless otherwise noted in the posting. Giveaways are not sponsored by Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or any other social media site. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I personally believe will be a good fit for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Get Kids in the Kitchen with Curious Chef!

I recieved the Medium Nylon Plastic Knife free of charge from Curious Chef to facilitate this review.  I was not compensated in any other way and all opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Getting kids involved in the cooking process is a wonderful way to get your little ones to try foods they might not be willing to try otherwise.  Sometimes it can be a little stressful for mommy though, at least for this mommy!  The mess, the hot stove and the sharp knives are enough to make cooking with kids a little overwhelming for me.  I decided to make myself try harder to get C exploring in the kitchen with me.  Messes can be cleaned, she is old enough to be careful around a hot stove and as for the sharp knives?  That is no longer a problem with Curious Chef

Curious Chef has an amazing line of real cooking products for kids.  One of the first products to catch my eye was the plastic knife.  I thought it would be the perfect tool teach knife safety without risking her little fingers.   We were both excited to open up the package when it arrived and get cooking!

For the first day, I let her help chop up the veggies for our dinner.  It was a little difficult for her at first but she got the hang of it.  A few days later I decided to let her make her own snack, all by herself.  She was thrilled!  I originally go the idea for this snack from Reboot With Joe.  We simplified it a little though.  Here are the ingredients we used:
  • Gala Apple
  • Peanut Butter
  • Unsweetened Shredded Coconut

First she sliced the apple into circles.  This was a bit hard for her because she is still working on her chopping motion.  I sliced the apple with this knife without much trouble.  Of course, it wasn't exactly like slicing with my personal knives but I didn't expect that. 

Then we used a cute veggie cutter(we have these) to get the core out.  

Next, she spread the peanut butter onto the apple.  A butter knife would be better for spreading than a fork, but all of ours seem to have disappeared. 


Finally, we topped them with the unsweetened coconut.  I almost cleaned up the cutting board before taking the picture but I wanted to keep it real for you.  This post is about cooking with kids after all!

Yum!  She was so happy to dig into her snack.  She said, "I made it myself!"

I love the curious chef knife for introducing knife safety without having to worry about her cutting herself.  I think it it is the perfect beginner knife.  Like I mentioned before, it isn't sharp so it won't cut like a standard knife but I think it does a pretty good job.  

Do your kids enjoy cooking?  I'd love to hear your tips for getting kids involved in the cooking process, leave me a comment! 

Thanks so much for visiting Joy Focused Learning!


Monday, June 30, 2014

Outdoor Fun with Step Gently Out by Helen Frost & Rick Lieder!

June was a perfect for this month's Poppins Book Nook theme: The Great Outdoors! We had some great weather to get out and explore nature.  The book we chose was Step Gently Out by Helen Frost and Rick Lieder.  I loved this poetic book.  The photographs are stunning!  C enjoyed the book as well, particularly the closeup images of God's amazing creation.

Of course we stepped gently out with a camera in tow to allow C to snap her own pictures of nature.  She loves observing creatures so she really enjoyed this project!  C was especially thrilled to spy a worm on our walk.  After a quick photo she saved the warm by throwing him in the grass to escape the sun.  Here are a few photos from our walk:

For this theme we focused on getting outdoors and enjoying God's creation!  So we kept the activity pretty simple.  I made a simple scavenger hunt for you that features the insects found in Step Gently Out. If you would like to check out the book you can do so here. (affiliate link)  To download the scavenger hunt, click on the image below.  

This month's theme was so much fun!  Be sure to check out the other participating bloggers to see what they were up to this month. 

Make sure to visit the main Poppins Book Nook page at Enchanted Homeschooling Mom!  For more literacy fun follow along on Facebook and Pinterest!  If you didn't already grab the free lapbook for this month's theme, click on the image below to check it out.

Poppins Book Nook The Great Outdoors Theme Introduction - Enchanted Homeschooling Mom

Poppins Book Nook clipart by: Melon Headz

Poppins Book Nook Great Outdoors Bundle Giveaway!

Every month the ~Poppins Book Nook group will be offering readers a chance to win a brand new storybook or product that ties in with our theme for the month. This month one lucky entrant will win a copy of the classic storybook Amelia Bedelia Goes Camping as no one brings that certain flair and fun to the great outdoors like Amelia Bedelia. The winner will also win an Uncle Milton Nat Geo Starry Night Lantern so whether you live in the countryside or in the city your child can experience some of the great outdoors while reading your storybook.

Entrants must be 18 years or older and reside in a country that receives U.S. Postal mail. This giveaway is brought to you by the company Enchanted Homeschooling Mom who is owner and founder of the Poppins Book Nook. By entering this giveaway you are also acknowledging that you have read and agree to all of the Rafflecopter terms & conditions as well as Enchanted Homeschooling Mom's disclosures found here.  Just enter the Rafflecopter below to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks so much for visiting Joy Focused Learning!


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Anything Goes Link-up #31

 Welcome to the Anything Goes link-up hosted by:


Good Morning!  I hope you all had a wonderful week.  Let's get this party started with a few of my favorite posts from last week.

Munchkins and Moms wanted to have a train table for her little ones but didn't have the space.  I love her solution, check it here. 

Los Gringos Locos shared about her family cleaning day.  I love the idea of all the family working together to get the work done quickly. 

If you were featured, feel free to grab a button!

Joy Focused Learning
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Link up to 3 family friendly posts from the following categories:

  • Homeschool
  • Homemaking
  • Parenting
  • Recipes
  • Crafts
  • Reviews
  • Giveaways
  • Fitness

Joy Focused Learning
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I have a few simple requests:
  1. Link back to the linky within your posts.  You can use the button above or a simple text link.
  2. Visit atleast two other links and leave a comment.  I would love if you mention you found the post through the Anything Goes link-up but that isn't required!
  3. Share the link-up in some way to help it grow.  You can share it through whichever social media platform you choose.  The more people visit the linky, the more traffic it will generate for all of you! :) 
Link up using the tool below!  Thanks so much for visiting Joy Focused Learning!