Adventure, Review

Sunnie Press Review

You know me always on the look out for all sorts of neat and fun things; preferably something I can do with my boys that is both engaging and fun. I will start by saying that this is a review I am doing on my own and am not being paid and do not have an affiliation with this company.
I have been seeing these ads on Facebook for Sunnie Press for some time now and I thought it was a pretty neat idea but wasn’t sure if I wanted to try it out but after some debating I went for it. Stick around for my review down below but first I want to share what Sunnie Press is and what exactly they sell.


What is Sunnie Press?

Sunnie Press is a unique service that was based around the idea of providing a fun activity for kids without the need for TV or Video Games but still engaged them in something well fun! Every month a fun and exciting map is sent out to you; this map is huge and is meant to be colored and played with. Every month there is a different theme and something different to learn about on them by including fun facts about each design/theme. Maps feature map like designs that can be used for more than coloring. As long as your kids have big imaginations then the sky is the limit. (Map size is 20″ x 26″ and will be folded down to a 7″ x 10″ for mailing) with free shipping for all subscription rates.

How does it work?

  1. Just head on over to Sunnie Press.
  2. Click Subscribe.
  3. Then choose you subscription rate which starts at $8/per month, $7/per month for 6 months at a time, & $6/per month for 12 months at a time.
  4. Be sure to check out their social media pages for discounts on you first order. Here’s their Facebook & Instagram.
  5. Enjoy the Fun!

Speaking of Fun: Here’s a Review Over Sunnie Press

(This is not sponsored at all!)

Sunnie Press Fun Facts

  • You can order past maps when available. (Sometimes there are extra maps printed up and that means that you may be able to get a previous map ordered if you missed it before signing up! Keep an eye out.)
  • During checkout you can add your child’s name to the shipping address for some added fun; nothing like getting something special in the mail as a kid!

Our Thoughts

Color Explosion!

Seems pretty clear from the picture above that my kids loved this fun activity. They are still working on it and probably will for a while and even when they are done they can use their cars and other toys by playing a whole new adventure with the map. They are anxiously awaiting Octobers map to come in the mail, I have to keep reminding them that it is not October yet.

I think that for the uniquely low price just for the map and for the fact that shipping is free due to its size this is a great deal for the price and it is a fun activity for kids to work on and keep them busy with hours of fun.

I love that each map is different and that they have different scenery/designs on them. The fun facts on the maps are neat too. This one was for the month of September which features a Zoo print theme; on one side it is a map of a Zoo and on the other it has all sorts of fun facts on the different Zoo animals/creatures as well as some fun activities.

Sunnie Press is affordable and also very fun at least it was fun for our family. I do recommend trying this out and I have not had any issues or complaints to note. Be on the look out for a update post for the Halloween map coming in October. I am loving this awesome company and their unique product! So check them out at Sunnie Press.

Meal Time, Review

Misfits Market

Imagine strolling through the grocery store your filling your shopping cart up. You start by getting the pantry items first, then you make your way to the colder items, & finally finish in the produce aisle. Time to gather fruits and veggies for your family so you pick and choose which fruit or vegetable is right for you. Thinking to yourself that one looks a bit funny so you grab a different one; after all they all need to be perfect, right? You leave the ugly fruits and veggies where they are you don’t want any part of them. You’ve become a produce snob; if it ain’t perfect and blemish free you don’t want it and that is that.
Now the question is what will happen to that ugly produce the answer it will more than likely be thrown away rather than donated if it has made it to an actual store due to that stores policies. Now some stores in the bigger cities have unique programs worked out to be able to donate ugly produce and old product; but not all have this option and that is just sad!

Did you know that the United States of America is one of the most wasteful countries in the world?

We as a people have the mind set that we can just get more, we can get something better because of the United States and their over production of product. A long time ago way back in my youth one of my major passions was to try to salvage unused products thrown away from grocery stores; so I happen to know a thing or two about this particular subject. Even though I don’t participate in dumpster diving anymore, I still feel very passionate about not wasting and trying to get every possible use out of something before I try to up-cycle it into something else.

When I discovered that there are companies on the rise to help with the waste of produce I thought well are they available in my area because this is great! One of those I was anxiously awaiting to come to my area was Misfits Market. A lot of the companies were not in my area but just so happened that I heard this one company was trying to come to Iowa, I just didn’t know how soon that was. Apparently sooner than I thought!

I am not being sponsored for this review over Misfits Market, I just wanted to share this company with you. I hope to be able to share other companies similar to this one some day and then have something to compare it to but lets just start with this one first!

Misfits Market

What is Misfits Market?

Misfits Market is a company that offers a flexible scheduled box of rescued fresh organic fruits and vegetables that can be delivered weekly or bi-weekly with the option to pause scheduled deliveries whenever you feel like it! They currently offer two sizes; The Mischief (their smallest box at approximately 10-13 lbs that according to the website will feed 2 people for one week). The Madness (their largest box at approximately 18-22 lbs that should feed up to 5 people for a week). Now you may wonder what I meant when I said they rescue this produce. Misfits Market sources out all sorts of fresh produce that is deemed ugly in the eyes of the people of the US and essentially rescues it from becoming compost or worse. They have taken that ugly produce and given it a new purpose. It’s kind of funny how something that is frowned upon by all sorts of people just because it is different can be taken in by the right people and be put to good use. I guess you can say its kind of cool to be ugly! All of the produce they source is organic and fresh. The price for the amount that you get it is a pretty great deal in my opinion.

How much does it cost?

I mentioned the two sizes of boxes that they offer earlier; but how much do they cost per box for each of the different sizes? The Mischief box; the smallest box starts at $22 plus taxes and shipping. If you were to buy this amount of fresh organic produce in the store it would cost you about $35. The Madness box; the largest box starts at $35 plus taxes and shipping. And if you bought this amount of fresh organic produce in the store it would be about $65. Plus with your very first box you get a 25% discount (COOKWME-JP3VPP) which saves you even more.

How to get started?

  1. Go to Misfits Market; Click Order Today!
  2. Then Choose Your Box.
  3. Enter Your Zip Code.
  4. Select Your Preferred Delivery Day.
  5. Select The Delivery Frequency.
  6. Then Proceed to Checkout.
  7. Enter this promo code for 25% off your first box (COOKWME-JP3VPP)
    (this is my referral code; it gives you 25% off your first box and helps me out in the future and helps me bring more fun unboxings to the blog!)
  8. Note: You can always change the frequency of your subscription and you can even pause it for a while even after you have received any amount of boxes. (This is great if you can’t necessarily do month to month payments or even weekly; it gives you some control of your subscription!)

Do they offer any extras?

Misfits Market has a neat add on program that to my understanding has just opened up to new customers so not just long time customers anymore. This means that you can choose to customize your order and get exactly what you want to get when that window of opportunity opens. You can also add on extra food items that could be paired with the produce such as “fresh herbs, spices, specialty produce, beans, soup mixes, and coffee” (according to their website). You can only do this when the literal window is open meaning that they will notify you by email when this shop is open and it is only open for a limited amount of time and with a limited stock on everything in it! You must also have an active account so if your subscription is on pause you won’t get this deal.


Unboxing/Review

(This is not a paid or sponsored review)

The Packaging

I didn’t go crazy with pictures because its pretty much opening the box but I do have a comment on how they packaged everything. In my box (I assume every box is the same) anyways my box upon opening had a fun recycled insulation wrapped in plastic I assume they did this to help keep condensation from absorbing into it thus ruining the insulating properties. In my opinion I would guess this insulation serves as an insulator as well as a buffer to the outside of the box to help during shipping to keep the produce from bruising. I thought this was neat; I will be looking for some sort of use for this insulation as it is cloth and kind of fluffy almost as if it was recycled clothing or fabric of some sort. Next upon opening the box you find the produce and two ice/cool packs that are sink safe it also says garden safe but I only saw the instructions for dumping contents down the drain safely and would be curious to do more research on these as this company seems to take into consideration the packaging used instead of just slapping it all together.

The Produce

Quite a lot of produce for just the one box.

After opening the box here is the produce I found: 1 Bunch of Green Leaf Lettuce (live for replanting), 4 Large White Onions, 1 Ginger Root, 1 Jicama, 6 Pears (I believe they are Bartlett), 6 Gala Apples, 6 Lemons, 6 Potatoes, 1 Bunch of Celery, 4 Zucchini, 2 Mangoes, and 6 Roma Tomatoes. I went to my local grocery store (Hy-Vee) to add up how much this would have cost me to buy there, I found all but the Jicama. My total came to $41.48. I researched around my area that a single Jicama costs $1.33 on average. So if I added that in to my previous in store total my new total came to $42.81; that is roughly what I would pay to purchase all of this produce in person versus ordering through Misfits Market where I paid $31.75 for my first box. If I would have not had a discount my total would have been $40.10.

My Thoughts

If your only going to be purchasing the one first box you do save quite a lot of money so it is worth it however I don’t think that it is worth it in the long haul unless you are home bound or don’t like to visit the stores with everything going on. You would be saving a little money even paying full price but to me I wouldn’t think it is 100% worth it in the end but it does have its perks. I have done some shopping around to hopefully compare this box to another similar service I haven’t found any with a lower price. I looked into Imperfect Foods where you are required to pick a non produce option along side the produce option in order to become a subscriber that is not a fair thing in my opinion as I was only looking for a produce box and didn’t want to buy any extra junk plus this hiked the price total way up from the $16-$27 produce box price range depending on the size of your family. I definitely won’t be ordering from them as I feel it should remain optional for extra items. If they allowed you to only purchase produce they would have had the lowest priced boxes, but having to add an extra on still making the lowest priced item added only $34 before shipping/Taxes which wouldn’t be that bad but I don’t like being forced to buy something I don’t even want in the first place. Then you don’t get to even choose how often you want it until after that first box. Then I looked at Farmbox Direct and i’ll just say wow, super pricey compared to both Imperfect Foods and Misfits Market. I believe the lowest priced box was $43.95 per delivery. That price even comes above what I added up for my own grocery store list above when this is all you get in a box see pic below according to their website. This makes me wonder which one of these are made of solid gold!

Farmbox Direct Picture for Comparison

My Conclusion

Even though the amount of produce in the box I received was about two dollars lower in price compared to my local store I myself may not buy another box however from what I have researched for other similar boxes (unless I missed a box) I feel that Misfits Market is worth it compared to other boxes if you are looking for a produce box with the optional extras for a fair and decent price without being gouged! I recommend trying Misfits Market because they do have a great product in my opinion. I was able to try some fruits and veggies I wouldn’t have normally have purchased at my local stores. The quality was also pretty good in my opinion even if a couple of my zucchini were broken but that is just how companies like this one work. They take those unwanted produce and give them new life! I will probably buy them from here on out again as my family and I discovered that we enjoyed a lot of the newer (to us) produce that we hadn’t tried before. So yes check them out even if it’s just once. I may not purchase the large box again but I am curious what the small box consists of so look out for that one in a future post because I just need to know! It has been a neat experience.

Have you tried this company before?
Have you tried similar companies like this one?
What was your experience like?
Do you have any similar box recommendations that I missed?


Check Misfits Market out by using this code exactly as typed (COOKWME-JP3VPP). This will give you 25% off of your first box.

I do plan on purchasing the smaller box for doing a comparison of the two sizes of boxes and who know I may change my mind and fall in love with this company, I mean it is super nice that I don’t have to go to a store to get my produce!


Thank you for reading my post and review over Misfits Market. I hope you do check them out. I love what they do and what they stand for.
Drop a like below and follow my blog. Don’t forget to check out some of my other posts, just look around my site there is so much to see! Stay tuned in for more fun posts coming soon.

Adventure, homeschooling, Review

Keep Calm and Read On!

Keep Calm & Read On, 20% off

Now seems like a great day to start a new adventure. In our house we tend to have a lot of different adventures that kind of just happen all around us. My boys are always full of energy and looking for some kind of adventure to go on or get into. We have been home for almost half a year now not going anywhere except to those occasional doctors appointments or if mom/dad need to run to the store. After a while being home all of the time starts to wear on you emotionally and physically. You get interactions through the computer or TV for the outside world but not like it was. My kids need to have things switched up to make things feel like they aren’t always the same because that is…. So boring! (as my 4 year old would say) He’s right it get’s boring after you do the same things over and over. To combat this we have started to change out toys switching between different sets and of course reading more books. Especially since school just started back for us just a couple of weeks ago. Reading has become something we do a lot of everyday. I read to my boys during their homeschooling as well as afterwards, if they are not tired of hearing my voice that is! My 6 year old is just now starting to read and is getting pretty great at it too. Just today he read through an entire book by himself with very minimal help.
I would say that reading has become a staple for fun in our household and that may be a weird thing to say for most people who might have already had a reading time implemented in their households. For our family books were a once in while thing like a super special time that we tried to do and that was if no one ripped, ate, or threw a book that day. My boys went through various stages of each of those…I as their mom was kind of in shock and wondered why they did those things. In my mind maybe they just weren’t ready for books. That might have been true then but today they are totally different for the most part about books. They have become more excited about them and believe me that didn’t just happen. I had to start over and over with book for my kids until I came up with a solution. We would create a library of sorts. If you wanted a book you would have to check it out and then return it if you wanted another or just a plain old toy. It seems to be working as its so far so good.
With that they have learned to take care of their books more during school and when school is over with. I also have started to feel more connected with them through books and learning. Every time I open a book they get so excited and we enjoy that time together.
According to The American Academy of Pediatricians “Shared reading promotes children’s language development, literacy and bonding with parents,” lead author Tiffany Munzer, M.D., said in a news release. “… We found that when parents and children read print books, they talked more frequently and the quality of their interactions were better.” I would definitely agree with that statement as I already mentioned earlier I feel closer to my kids being able to read books together. And I am loving the adventures and new memories we create together.
With schools starting back now during all the chaos whether you are homeschooling like my family or sending your kids back to physical school buildings I encourage you to make time for reading. Go on your own adventures to keep your minds busy and focused on fun things. Just remember to Keep Calm and Read On!


Keep Calm & Read On, 20% off

Recently I wrote a review for Bookroo HERE; check that post out to learn more in detail about Bookroo and their company. When I first learned about their awesome company I knew I wanted to be able to share them with you! Bookroo is a monthly box subscription service that sends books for children neatly wrapped up like presents in the mail every month. You have a few choices between types of boxes offered; there are three to choose from: The Board Book, The Picture Book, & The Chapter Book Box. Each for a specific age group (0-10 yrs). Each book sent out is individually wrapped in wrapping paper like little gifts I know that my kids were so excited to open the previous box they felt special when they got to unwrap their book. I think that wrapping them up give it a unique personal touch to this monthly box. It helps them stand out from the crowd! For the entire month of September Bookroo is offering a special promotion check it out below and follow the links provided to get the deal! Don’t forget to use the special code at checkout.

Bookroo has a very special promotion going on through the entire month of September 2020. Get 20% off any 3 month subscription with code KEEPCALM! Monthly or Gift included. (Code cannot be combined with any other offers or used more than once per household. Valid Sept. 1, (12:01 am ET) – Sept. 30 (11:59 pm PT).)

This month we were very fortunate to receive a second box from Bookroo to unbox for you! I am happy that I get to share this one with you as well. Bookroo offers three different types of boxes this one is the chapter book box. If you are more interested in seeing what the picture book box is like click HERE for my previous review/post.
Everyday for our homeschooling we have read aloud times where I grab a book usually a chapter book as they tend to last longer than a single day read and I read a chapter or two to both of my older boys. While they listen they usually have something to keep their little hands busy such as play dough or drawing in their reading journals over what I am reading about currently. I love being able to read to them and just share all sorts of adventures with them in every book that we read!
The chapter books came very nicely packaged just like the picture books came! Both were wrapped in different wrapping paper and I love that they are always wrapped in different kinds/designs of wrapping paper instead of it just being plain. My middle son helped with this unboxing he loved opening up “his presents”… I believe today was also his birthday party as he always says! He tends to have a birthday party every day. This made his day for sure.
Our first book is by Cornelia Funke; Lilly and Fin: A Mermaid Tale. This book looks like a great read for our home school read aloud’s. We are looking forward to going on another adventure, this one looks like it will take us “Under the Sea”. After we venture down to the deepest depths of the sea we will journey back to the surface for our next adventure!
For our last book it looks like we will set out for an adventure in the stars on a magical journey with The Star Thief by Lindsey Becker. This one looks like it is going to be a fun magical adventure for our school year. It is a bit on the thicker side so it will definitely last us a great while longer for our read aloud’s. Longer books also mean bigger adventures for our minds to escape into!
Again I encourage you to check out Bookroo so you can go out on your own adventures too! Grab a book and escape from today’s reality, set your mind on something great! Remember to Keep Calm & Read On!


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Keep Calm & Read On, 20% off

Review

Hello Bible

Thanks for stopping by and checking this post out. Today I wanted to share a new company with you. Hello Bible. Hello Bible is a company that offers a monthly box completely different each month based around different Bible stories. I am glad that I have an opportunity to share this unique company and their product with you. I am not being paid or anything to write up this post. Instead I have been given a special link to share with you! I will get to that in just a bit first let share what they offer and how it all works!

What is Hello Bible?

Hello Bible is a monthly curated box for children based around different stories in the bible. Each box contains a story book, a guide for parents, & a craft project that follows the Bible story in that box. There are two age groups to choose from the “Junior” for ages 3-5 and the “Explorer” for ages 5-10 each one is tailored to that age group. Another neat nugget of information about each box group is that for the “Junior” box there is enough material in each box for 2 children. In the “Explorer” box you have the option to add on up to 4 children at once. This means that you can have multiple subscriptions for multiple children without having to have separate transactions for each. As a mom of multiple kids this is great because it would make things so much easier. Having it all coming out on one charge versus multiple charges. Each category has a drop down menu and depending which one or how many kids each is a little different but check out the pics below to give you an idea.

Why Hello Bible?

Why should you check out this company? Connie the founder of Hello Bible is a mother as well as a thinker and creator. She had sort of an epiphany of sorts when she realized that a need for a Bible based subscription box was a need. There are tons of different kinds of monthly boxes out there but not a whole lot based around Christianity for kids. She saw a need for her own kids to have more of a spiritual foundation and created Hello Bible not only for her own kids but for other kids in need of that connection as well. Each month your kids can connect with the Bible in a new way. They will learn the stories of the Bible and have a memory that links them to that knowledge. As a visual learner I do my best learning by being able to see how or what something is about to better understand it. It stores in my memory just a little better that way rather than hearing it or reading it. Most kids learn the same way so having a creative side to learning about the Bible is great in my opinion.

What else does Hello Bible do?

Each Hello Bible box helps make a difference in Kenya. Kilgoris, Kenya to be more precise. For every 50 boxes sold one child is sent to school for 1 year. 100 boxes pays a teachers salary for 1 month. Hello Bible donate to The Kilgoris Project to help make school a reality for children in this area. Check them out in the link above and in the picture below. I love seeing those selfless acts of kindness to help out our fellow man no matter how big or small.

How do you get started?

If your still here I have something to share with you so you too can check out Hello Bible for yourself. All you have to do is click this LINK and you can learn all about Hello Bible!


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Motherhood, Review

Bookroo

(My name is Jenifer Smalley author of this blog. I was sent a box by Bookroo to give an honest review over their product and to share it with you my readers)

Recently I was chosen to participate in giving an honest review over a product; Bookroo. I thought how neat it would be to share this awesome company with you my readers and my family so I reached out to them to participate in a collaboration. I am excited to be able to share this company and my thoughts about them with you. Before my unboxing of the product and my review below here is a little background about the company and how the monthly boxes work.

Bookroo is a monthly book box service for kids of all ages. There are a few different book boxes or book clubs to choose from.

  1. Board Book Club: is for ages 0-3 years old. Each box comes with 3 sturdy board books for curious little minds who are still learning about books. At this age group those little ones need sturdy pages with all of the excitement and energy they have built up.
  2. Picture Book Club: is for ages 3-6 years old. Each box comes with 2 hardcover picture books. These picture books are great for beginners or for a read aloud story time. Let your young reader find wonder in each new book!
  3. Chapter Book Club: is for ages 7-10 years old. Each box comes with 2 chapter books. Each book has exciting content for advanced readers jump into each story for an exciting new adventure!

What makes Bookroo stand out from the rest?

  • Each book in every box received are specially gift wrapped for an added surprise! Who doesn’t get excited when opening presents? Exactly!
  • For parents each box also includes an insert that shows what books have been included with a little information about each book as well as author & illustrators.
  • The option to alternate between board books & picture books. Alternating Subscription

How does it work?

  • First select your Box.
  • Second select you subscription Plan.
  • Lastly set up your account & billing information.

Gift Bookroo

Give the gift of Bookroo. You can give a Gift subscription to someone who loves reading just as much as you do. Maybe your a grandparent or just trying to find that special gift for a young reader who loves books! Gifting Bookroo is the perfect solution. The subscription for gift boxes work just a little differently. You will buy a single box, 3 month, 6 month, or 12 month subscription up front. It is a one time payment that does not renew. The recipient of the gift will receive the boxes for every month you pre-purchased ahead of time until the amount of months purchased is fulfilled.


Questions?

Bookroo’s frequently asked question page covers topics such as How do you decide on which books to send? When does the subscriptions renew? or the unfortunate How do I cancel my subscription box?
FAQs

If you have any other concerns you can always contact the company through their Help Desk.


Reviewing Bookroo

Every box comes like so with the Bookroo companies standard packaging that includes their logo and some cute inspirational sayings on the sides of each box! I thought that was a neat touch instead of just a regular brown cardboard box.

After getting into the box I found the two books for this month both wrapped in fun colorful wrapping paper. Both of my older boys loved that they each got a little present to unwrap! There was also the insert that comes with each box telling about the books that are wrapped up. The little insert tells about the author as well and even though I only got the picture books it tells about the little board books for the month as well.

Now for the fun part; (I opted to just take pictures of the unboxing as I didn’t want to film my kids opening everything up on video then putting it on the internet.) Anyways they loved that they could open up a special present with a surprise book inside. It was a very special experience for them for sure! They each chose which one they wanted to open then went to town.

The two books that we received are: Bertie Wings It. Author Leslie Gorin. Illustrator Brendan Kearney. And Good Night Truck. Author Sally Odgers. Illustrator Heath McKenzie. We love both of them! They spent quite a long time switching back and forth taking turns to flip through the books themselves.

I think that the unique twist of each book being a little gift is a great way to get kids excited about reading and about books in general. Most kids love to open presents and they typically love to look at books at least mine do. That in itself would be worth the price especially if you just wanted to just buy a one box monthly subscription. Everything would be pre-wrapped for you. In my opinion for the price of a single box for the picture books box which rings in at $19.95 plus $4.99 for shipping. Bringing a monthly month to month subscription to $24.94 per month (this month to month box is cheaper than the single purchase gift option(something I noticed; probably because you would not be a repeat customer. Meaning that you get a bit of a discount by buying the month to month renewable option rather than just the gift option). If you would rather opt for the single month gift option you are still getting a good deal as that option is $24.95 plus $4.99 shipping making the total $29.94. It’s a good deal because you get great quality books which in reality would cost a lot more versus the prices that the two options cost.

The two books that we received are priced on each book as seen in the picture below and as follows:

  • Good Night Truck – $16.99 US ($19.50 CAN)
  • Bertie Wings It – $14.95 US ($16.95 CAN)

When you add the two totals up (the US total for me);
$16.99
+ $14.95
————–
$31.94
You end up saving money, especially if you were to order these books from another place you may also need to factor in shipping on top of the total price and taxes. The total will be much higher than the $31.94.
$24.94 or $29.94 isn’t such a bad price after you do some research on what it would cost to buy these titles brand new somewhere else. Both Hardcovers.

I enjoyed this subscription box if I had one thing to say is that I wish they included an option for three books like they do for the board books in the other box choices maybe a paper-back book box. Perhaps a cheaper box even just one book because I know that there’s a lot of people out there can’t afford a monthly box every single month. We are a once in a while splurge kind of family. I will add that you are not locked into this monthly box as you can cancel at anytime. On that note I would suggest that if you are interested to try it out! I am looking at getting one of the gift boxes as a Christmas gift this December for a special treat for my kiddos. Even if I probably won’t do a current subscription box. I love that they have the two different options to choose from. Gift or Subscription Box! I enjoyed working with Bookroo to bring you this review over their subscription box service; I encourage you to try this box out if it’s something you are thinking about and if you live in the US as they only currently offer shipping in the US at this time!


Visit: Bookroo.com
Get 15% off Personal & Gift Subscriptions Using Code: SOWINGSONS (Expires September 31, 2020)


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