Product Review Blog

You know, sometimes it helps to hear from someone who has actually used something...some-"REAL"-one who has used it! That's right, I mean cooking, cleaning, chasing, showering kids, washing dishes, playing in the woods, running at the store, building forts, playing with baby dolls, reading books, crawling between stacks at library, napping, WHATEVER! It is just a real "ahhhhh" moment to hear from folks who REALLY live and REALLY use *stuff* on a daily basis. Well, I have posted a few of our favorite things below that we use with my opinion as to how they work and measure up to real life wifehood and motherhood. If you should find yourself interested in any, please use the affiliate links below to purchase them. It will not cost you one penny xtra, but our family will get a small percentage when you do. If you don't, no biggie! Have fun reading and planning on what you may or may not really need for your brood. 

Simpler is Better

I always say "simpler is better". So, I try to keep purchases small. Then there are just those few things that we need to (or would like to) purchase that would be great to have some insight on ;-).

Tonka Trucks

posted Feb 6, 2018, 7:00 AM by Schere K   [ updated Feb 6, 2018, 7:16 AM ]

When I was a child, little boys in school played with Tonka Trucks. I remember the cling clanking sounds of their play yard games. Now I have a family that includes many little boys. Initially, I had not bothered with those more expensive Tonka trucks because there were so many knockoff versions that were way less expensive. Well, one birthday, someone gave one of my sons a 
Tonka dumptruck. This dump truck has lasted for about 3+ years, despited being thrown down steps, played with in dirt, on concrete, on a hilly driveway, and even brought back indoors afterwards! My sons would take turns playing with it, and enjoyed it so much. My husband recently bought three more of the Tonka trucks (the cement mixer, another dumptruck and a smaller dumptruck). The children have loved playing games with them and the durability of the framework withstands rough play...even from my older children (8-10 y.o.)! I highly recommend these trucks. You'll spend more up front, but it will be well worth the purchase in the long run; when you don't have to replace the weaker models so frequently.

Fitbit Tracker Review

posted Oct 31, 2016, 5:48 AM by Schere K   [ updated Nov 3, 2016, 3:56 AM ]

FitBit Charge HR
*Fitbit Tracker* You know, I really don't like spending a lot of money on myself. It may not be right to feel that way, but it is pretty hard to justify over $100 for a watch. OK, ok, so it is more than a watch. It counts my steps, counts the flights of stairs I climb in a day, measures my heart rate, counts the calories I have burned by my movements, keeps the date on the screen (this is HUGE for me), and counts the miles I have walked each day - yeah, it is not just a watch! However, it is still hard for me to purchase something like this. However, it is really easy for me to open up a small box on my birthday and find out that my dear hubby has purchased this tracker for my as a surprise - ahhhh!! I was so excited :-D! 

This Fitbit Charge HR has been great to own, but I did have a skin issue with it at first (argh!)*.  I have been using Fitbit for about 7 months now. I liked it so much that I went and bought a second Fitbit, too: the Fitbit One. The reason I bought the second one was because I liked to have another tracker that I could use when I was going to be doing a lot of work with my hands that involved water. OK, I do a lot of work with my hands that involves water EVERY day (dishes, laundry, showering kids who had diaper blowouts, etc.), but I am talking about immersion in water - those are the times I use my FitBit One because is clips onto my skirt band and I can immerse my arms into water if I am soaking something, for example and I want to keep my Charge HR clean & dry. The Charge HR does fine with splashing, it just cannot be immersed in water. 

*The Skin Issue One thing I do want to point out is this: When I first got my Charge HR my wrist broke out in a terrible rash that looked like I had been burned. I was quite disappointed because it is so expensive (for a family of TEN, yes anything over $100 is expensive!) and I wanted to wear it and keep up with my steps. So, I had to take it off for a while and just wear the Fitbit One on my waistband clipped on. This was just fine, as I was able to have both devices attached to my account. I would just select which one I was using at that time and sync it up for the day. Keep in mind, if you have two Fitbit Trackers, you  must move one far away from your syncing device if you are working with the other one. This is because the computer, cell phone, iPad, whatever you are using to sync will indeed pick up both trackers if they are both within range. So, I would always toss one tracker into the closet while I synced the other tracker. This was very useful. 

So, about that rash - I realized I was wearing the Fitbit Charge HR too tightly (whoops!). If you wear it too tightly, your skin cannot breathe and it creates a bad reaction. The wristband is rubber, so your skin has to have some wiggle room to prevent continual sweating without any air circulating onto he skin and around the watch band. I did not wear the Charge HR on that wrist again until the rash had completely healed up. So, I wore the Fitbit One a lot during that time. Once the rash was just about clear, I started back with wearing my Charge HR. I began by wearing it on my other arm. You can change which arm you are using your tracker on in the settings. This is because the tracker responds differently based on whether you are wearing the tracker on your dominant arm or on your non-dominant arm. This means that if you are right handed (like I am), 'right' would be your dominant arm. I had been wearing my tracker on my left arm (non-dominant) when the rash broke out. So, I just changed and wore it on my right arm (dominant) when the rash started healing (I waited until I could figure out why the rash had happened). 

Since then, I have had no issues. I am excited to say that I have lost a whopping 38lbs in one year. It was a combination of dieting and exercise. Since getting the Fitbit for my birthday, I have lost 29 of those pounds. I find that it really jump started my diet regime. I recommend the Fitbit tracker. There are several to choose from, and you can see them here. There are several styles and colors.

Moms need to take care of ourselves. Exercise is both fun and rewarding!

Croc Boots Review

posted Oct 30, 2016, 4:52 PM by Schere K   [ updated Nov 3, 2016, 3:56 AM ]

Croc Boots
*Crocs* OK, when I was a kid this word symbolized reptiles that you would rather not come in contact with on a trip to Orlando. However, the Croc company has completely revolutionized what we think of when we hear "Go put your sandals on kids!" Yep, you guessed it: Those rubbery little shoes that your grandmother would have NEVER approved of as a real "shoe". When I first came into contact with the Croc shoe about 10 years ago, I thought, "Aww, a cute little slipper for kiddy play." However, I quickly learned that this shoe is a work of genius! Now, every summer, I make sure that my 8 children have Croc sandals WAY before the really hot weather begins here on the east coast. In April this year, we loaded up our whole family and drove to Williamsburg, VA to the Croc outlet and geared everyone up with a fresh pair of Croc sandals (all different colors of course to keep the confusion down) and drove home ready to tackle the summer months. Ahh, it was so nice to enjoy the reduced sock usage and the increased flexibility for the children to revel in an "indoor/outdoor" experience (as my NZ Kiwi friend Maree calls it...check out her blog here if you have a second).

OK, so we had our Crocs for summer. Kids frolicked and rumbled all over the gardens, parks, pools and towns in those little sandals. As we are packing them up for the colder climates, I was on my next hunt to beat the frigid weather by getting my boot orders in play. Well, to my very glad surprise, Croc manufactures a boot! Whaaaa??? My hubby goes ahead and orders one pair so that we can give it a "what for" with one of our kids. Well, well,'s a great shoe! So far, my second son has romped and rolled through the creek and through the woods and been waterproof and comfortable. He doesn't want to take them off. Hubby found that the website suggestions for sizing was very accurate. It was a great fit. We went ahead and ordered several pairs for more children. We are waiting to see what they think of them when they arrive this week. So far so good, and I would have to say they are really cute and easy to wipe clean. Trademark Croc benefit!

These get a Schoolingmom thumbs up! Take a look at them here.

We just received the wee ones for my 18 month old today (after posting the above review a day ago). I do want to point out: the tall part of the boot is a bit snug on his little "cankles" (i.e.: calves + ankels). The foot part fits, but up the leg is a big snug. So, we had to be sure he was wearing socks...even just for the trying on. We are thinking that with continued wear that the leg portion will loosen up. But I wanted to point that out in case you have the same issue with the smaller sizes ;-).

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