My amazing Old Navy deals!

I got SUCH deals the other day!

 

 

And I was so excited about them.  I had to share them with you!

 

So, the story:

…was that I had to return a baseball shirt that I’d gotten Jackson that was too small for him.  While he and hubs did some shopping at a tech store, they dropped me off at Old Navy to do the return.

And of COURSE I did a little browsing after I’d returned the shirt, since they weren’t back yet….

Plus, I had a $10 off coupon.

 

And the deals!

Everything in the picture above was already on sale…some for gasp-worthy prices.  And after they applied my coupon, here’s the listing of what I spent:

  • Leopard cardigan sweater:  $5.82
  • Flannel pajama pants:  $2.70
  • Leopard fleece infinity scarf:  $0.77
  • 3-pack ankle socks:  $1.94
  • Stevie camel sueded pants:  $4.25

And my grand total:  $15.48!  (Clearly there is a kitty theme going on here, I realize that!)

 

Finch’s and my mom is usually the one who finds deals like this.  But this was so exciting, I had to share them with you!

Have a great weekend, friends.

Enjoy!  –Wren

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A “Merry Christmas from FINCHNWREN to You” Giveaway #2 (Ends 12/27/17)

Hello again, friends!

Welcome back to another “Merry Christmas from FINCHNWREN to You” giveaway!  My sister Finch and I are so excited to share some fun giveaways with you all.  Today, we have something  Christmas-y and something for the New Year for one special reader!

 

 

First, something Christmas-y!

I love Christmas ornaments.  And I love bunnies!  So when I saw this little Lauren Conrad wool and sparkly bunny ornament, my heart was smitten.  (She even has a crown!)

 

And then, something for the New Year!

Bless the Lord, O My Soul is the title of this combination Bible journal, coloring book, and daily devotional.  It is a softcover book with gold-edged pages.  The pages have psalms printed out (one for each day of the year) with coloring pages tucked in here and there.  Each page also has lines for journaling and reflection, where the reader can jot down thoughts about the psalm and what it has meant to him or her that day.

The title is taken from one of my most favorite psalms; Psalm 103, which begins like this:

“Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;
Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.”  (Psalm 103:1-5, NASB)

And to enter the giveaway…

just click on the pink Enter here! link below, which will take you to the Giveaway Tools entry form.  Giveaway closes 12/27/17.  One winner will be selected from all entries.  Best wishes, and Merry Christmas!

Enter here!

Enjoy!  –Wren

Merry Christmas from FINCHNWREN to you! ~Giveaway #1 (ends 12/20/17)

Merry Christmas a little early!

My sister Finch and I so appreciate each and every one of you.  Thank you for reading our posts, entering our giveaways, commenting, and following us here on the blog and on social media.  We know that there are lots of life activities and responsibilities that require your time.  So when you take a few moments to visit us we don’t take it lightly!

Because we appreciate you so much, we’re hosting a Merry Christmas series of giveaways this month where we’ll be giving away a cool bag, neat makeup, books and other goodies.  Here is today’s!

 

 

 

One winner will receive this Henri Bendel tote bag.  It’s sturdy, sewn plastic with the Henri Bendel logo and stripes featured prominently on the front of the bag.  It comes with its own paper shopping bag.

Just click on the pink “Enter here!” link below, which will take you to the Giveaway Tools entry form.  You can enter in a variety of ways.  Giveaway closes on 12/20/17, and one winner will be selected then.  Best wishes!

Enter here!

 

Enjoy!  –Wren

The Family Honor Plate…A Fun New Way to Connect with Your Family (A Review)

Are you looking for enjoyable, meaningful ways to connect with your children and family…in a manner that will impact them positively?  I know that family life can get so busy with life, school, activities, and chores that chances to connect on a deeper, personal level can sweep by.  FlyBy/Propeller Promotions and the Family Honor Plate company were kind enough to send us the Family Honor Plate and Table Thyme Discussion Cards to review.  We’ve had a wonderful experience using these…and they truly have provided some neat new ways for our family to connect with each other!

 

 

The Family Honor Plate…

was created by Michelle Weber.  As a mom herself, she realized that she wanted to focus on blessing her family and modeling a positive attitude and spirit with her children.  She developed the Family Honor Plate and the Table Thyme Discussion Cards to provide opportunities and jumping-off points for moms and dads to use with their children…to recognize them, encourage them, and talk about topics and ideas that might not come up in normal conversation but are keys to understanding our kids and how they think and feel.  First, the plate is a cool craft that parents and kids can create and design together.  Then, both the plate and discussion cards (more on those in a bit!) can be used at meals in ways that will bless the whole family.

Weber’s thought process on developing this neat family activity is threefold:

  1.  That Mom and Dad are the examples their children follow and we’re to be their role models
  2.  We can notice when your kids and spouse do amazing things, and link them back to great character traits
  3.  Third, that we can celebrate them by serving a meal on the Family Honor Plate.  And we don’t just stop there, we can use the moments to talk about why their behavior was amazing and how it made others feel.

 

What we received…

was everything we needed to decorate and make our own Family Honor Plate.  The kit includes:

  • A white Family Honor Plate, which has the fruit of the Spirit qualities printed around the inside rim (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control)
  • A paint palette to mix colors on
  • A plate stand for displaying the plate in a special place in the home
  • 3 paintbrushes (and they’re wonderful, high-quality ones)
  • A paint set of 8 colors to decorate and personalize the plate
  • Simple instructions to follow
  • We also received the Table Thyme Discussion Cards, which are set up like a perpetual calendar and provide an interesting conversation starter on each page

 

Creating our own family plate

Jackson and I love doing art together.  Yet as he has gotten older–in high school–it seems like we have more to do in homeschool and less time for art in a day’s work!  So we both really valued and appreciated the opportunity to a) paint together and b) create such a wonderful tool that we can use as a family in our home.  We selected a design (you could paint ANYthing, really, but we chose one that was pictured in the company photos) and began to paint.

The paint colors are rich and the plate itself is a great canvas for them.  The paintbrushes are soft and apply color beautifully.  They were so fun to paint with!  And when we were finished painting, we followed the instructions to bake the plate in a conventional oven to set the paint.  It worked perfectly.  I’m hand-washing the plate just to keep the paint on and the plate in stellar condition, but the paint seems perfectly applied and set.

 

 

 

Table Thyme Discussion Cards

I’m sure we’ve all read the statistics on how good it is for families to eat dinner (and/or other meals) together on a regular basis.  Here are some of the reasons that underline how important meals together can be.  Children and teens who eat together with their parents are more likely to:

  • Eat more healthily overall
  • Be less likely to skip school (yes, there really is a meals together/truancy connection!)
  • Have higher GPAs
  • Have better vocabularies (really!)
  • Helps kids (both younger and older) feel closer to their family
  • and more!

 

Both the Family Honor Plate and the Table Thyme Discussion Cards can provide more ways for parents and kids to connect with each other at mealtimes.  Using the plate to recognize and honor different family members is one way.  But what if you’re looking for some interesting conversation starters?  Table Thyme to the rescue!

This perpetual calendar-ish set of cards (meaning that you can flip the cards over one at a time and get tons of ideas for questions to ask your kids…then flip the whole set over and start again) has questions that are fun, meaningful, and guaranteed to generate interesting conversations.  Here are just a few of the 170+ questions or directions you’ll find there:

  • Look at someone at the table and say something nice about them.
  • Describe a time when you were scared.
  • What is something that made you laugh recently?  Why?
  • If you could create your dream pet, what would it be like?

Tons of great–and sometimes deep–conversation starters!

Using the plate and the cards at mealtimes

We had an opportunity right away to use our plate to bless and encourage a member of our family.  Our son, Jackson, just had his wisdom teeth out so as you can imagine, his mouth is on the sore and swollen side just a couple of days after surgery.  So here is a shot of his breakfast this morning on the Family Honor Plate; poached eggs (nice and soft!).  He isn’t feeling great overall but loved having his breakfast on this special plate.

 

 

But, you don’t have to wait to use the plate for someone who’s ill or just had surgery!  Pull the plate out when someone has done something amazing that you want to recognize.  Or has exemplified some excellent character qualities or done something kind, or is living out the fruit of the Spirit that is written on the center of the Family Honor Plate.

Using the discussion cards are interesting, fun, and just plain wonderful.  Imagine the creativity that could be initiated from these—or learning cool stuff about your kiddos that they didn’t know!  We’re big storytellers in our house, meaning that we love to share details about favorite experiences.  Honestly, though, there were so many questions in Table Thyme that I’d never even thought of asking my child.  And I was captivated to discover his (and my husband’s) answers!

Some of the interesting questions we discussed recently were, 1) Which of your friends are you the most grateful for? and 2) Which Halloween costume that you’ve worn over the years was your favorite?  I loved hearing Jackson’s answers and thoughts on that.  (I can only remember a couple of my own childhood costumes!)

 

So who would enjoy the Family Honor Plate?

And the Table Thyme Discussion Cards?  People who’d like to…

  • bless their kids
  • hear more about their thoughts and ideas
  • create fun mealtimes
  • model great character qualities
  • help their families get even closer

If any of these sounds amazing to you, visit Family Honor Plate and learn more!

Enjoy!  –Wren

Social Corner for Family Honor Plate

Family Honor Plate website

More about Michelle, owner of the Family Honor Plate

Buy the Family Honor Plate kit here

 

 

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this product.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

 

Wonderful Gospel Tools ~ Let The Little Children Come (A Review)

Recently, Let The Little Children Come and FlyBy/Propeller Promotions sent me a wonderful collection of gospel-sharing tools to use and review, all for sharing the gospel with little ones! I received the Gospel Tracts and Evangelism Tools Sample Pack, full of 10 different booklets, bracelets, and tools.

 

 

Do you ever have the opportunity to share the gospel with little ones?

I do–at least twice per year.  In our homeschool coop, which is run from a Christian perspective, teachers share the gospel with their students each semester. And while I’m a former missionary and do have some experience sharing the gospel, I always want to be sure that I’m being as clear as possible, not overcomplicating the message, and covering all the basics. This is especially important with children, who may not have as much experience with the Bible or the teachings of Christ. I’m always looking for vivid, kid-friendly materials to use…and I really love the products Let The Little Children Come sent! They are clear, beautiful, and filled with eye-catching and memorable illustrations while staying faithful to the Biblical gospel message.

 

The Gospel Tracts and Evangelism Tools Sample Pack has ten colorful, bright booklets, folding images, and bracelets, all of which can be used to illustrate the gospel presentation to children.  There are “animated” booklets, pop-up booklets, “magic” folding cards, and Wordless books and bracelets.  You could use these one at a time when sharing with one child, or you could order more of the individual tools if you were sharing with a group.  Let me tell you more about each tool I received!

 

 

Animated Tracts

These Animated Tracts are small shiny booklets which tell a particular story related to the gospel.  After the story, each booklet ends with an explanation of how we can receive salvation through God’s gift of His son, Jesus, and a sample prayer which anyone could pray to receive Christ.  The added bonus in the animated tracts is a striped clear and black card which readers hold over the booklet pages.  When the reader slides the card back and forth, the images seem to move!

The three booklets are:

  • The True Story of Christmas, which tells the story of Jesus’ birth
  • Where’s Everybody Going, which tells about the God who made the earth and everything in it, including us; and about the sin that separates us from Him
  • John 3:16, which works its way through this pivotal verse with captivating “moving” illustrations

 

 

I really liked all three of these little booklets!  The stories and verses are simply, beautifully, and clearly brought to life.  The gospel, and humanity’s need for a Savior, are plainly and gracefully explained in ways that anyone—even a child—can understand.  The card which makes the illustrations “move” is fascinating!  Even my teenaged son, who’s very into art and illustrations, thought it was amazing, even though these products are designed for a younger audience.

 

 

Gospel Buttons Flip About

We received two of these Flip About cards (Gospel Buttons).  They are sort of like a little magic trick.  The square cards fold shut then open but consecutively display 4 different pages or sides.

  • One has images only; a heavenly kingdom, a darkened heart of sin, the cross of Christ, and a redeemed and cleansed heart.
  • The second contains a phrase-by-phrase and image presentation of John 3:16.

The Gospel Buttons are very cool little gadgets.  They will really keep the listener’s attention as the gospel is presented.  The only caveat I’d add is that the user should practice a couple of times before the presentation is made, so that the folding and unfolding of the various pages is done in order.  But they’re colorful, fun, and interesting.

 

 

 

Pop-up Tracts

Children love pop-up books.  And these little Pop-up Tracts carry on that fun tradition!  The Lost Easter Egg is a story about an Easter egg hunt woven together with the Bible’s Luke 15 parable of the lost sheep and the shepherd who went to find it.  The Most Amazing House talks about the heavenly home God is preparing for us…but how our own sin keeps up from getting there.  Both these tracts close with prayers we can pray to accept Jesus’ death as payment for that sin and to enter into a relationship with God.

 

 

The Wordless Tools

I’m sure you’ve seen something from the Wordless family of products.  These tools are just as simple as can be, yet they still powerfully communicate the gospel message.  Each color represents a part of the gospel (yellow/heaven; dark/sin; red/the shed blood of Jesus; white/belief and cleansing; green/growth in relationship with God).

The Wordless tools are available as the Wordless Book, a small laminated book with no words, just the colors I mentioned above.  There is also a Silicone Salvation Bracelet, which has the 5 Wordless colors printed around the loop of the bracelet.  Finally, there’s a Wordless Bracelet Kit, which includes the beads, a leather bracelet to thread the beads on, and a small flyer explaining the steps to salvation.  There’s even a sample prayer printed on the other side.

 

Where you can find these awesome tools

This Gospel Tracts and Evangelism Tools Sample Pack I’ve just told you about is available at the Let The Little Children Come website.  There, you can also find these tools for sale individually, as well as lots of other cool evangelism products!  (Follow this link to purchase:  https://www.letthelittlechildrencome.com/child-evangelism-tools/gospel-tracts-and-evangelism-tools-sampler-pack)

In addition, Let The Little Children Come has a Resources page which is full of ideas on how to make your own Wordless evangelism tools, tips on sharing the gospel, devotions, Bible verses, and even a New Believer Follow-Up Book for Children.  So many good tools, available to you for free!

I can definitely recommend these effective–yet still very kind and loving–tools to help you share the gospel clearly.  They are wonderful, and I’m looking forward to using them myself!

 

Enjoy!  –Wren

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this product.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

 

 

Brand New Magic Stix & Kwik Stix to Up Your Art Game! (And Giveaway!)

We have been fans of The Pencil Grip, Inc. for several years, ever since we tried out their amazing Kwik Stix tempera paint sticks. So when we discovered that they’d created a brand new marker–the Magic Stix–we couldn’t wait to get our hands on it! The Pencil Grip, Inc. sent us a set of the Magic Stix 12PK and the Kwik Stix Metalix 6PK to review and share with you. (Plus at the end of the post, you’ll find a giveaway to enter to win your own Kwik Stix Metalix 6PK!)

 

 

What are Kwik Stix?

Kwik Stix are amazing little tempera paint sticks that work a lot like glue sticks.  They are in a plastic capped container and you can roll the paint sticks up and down.  The colors are vivid and marvelous and work on tons of different media; everything from canvas, to paper, to cardboard, to wood, to rocks, and more…just pick an art surface and the Kwik Stix will probably work beautifully on it!

Kwik Stix are ideal for any artist (whether child or adult) and are safe for little ones aged 3 and up.  The tempera paint sticks are non-toxic, dry in 90 seconds (no more getting paint on the side of your hand as you work on your art!), and there is no need for water cups or paintbrushes (or paint shirts).  They’re even ideal for travel since they are so mess-free.  All you need are Kwik Stix and paper!

The Kwik Stix originally came in chubby 3 1/2″ long tubes (and they still do), 3/4″ wide.  Later, The Pencil Grip, Inc. developed Thin Stix, which are basically the same tempera paint sticks in a longer and thinner version (5 1/2″ long and 1/2″ wide).  We love both of these.  The Kwik Stix are available in assorted colors as well as in Neon and Metalix color palettes.  (You can see the Metalix paint sticks that The Pencil Grip, Inc. sent us to try out above!)

They are just a joy to work with.  They impart gorgeous, vivid colors, they are absolutely mess-free, and they don’t have any odor at all!  We have used them in fine art, in fun art, in free drawing, and we come back to our Kwik Stix collection over and over again because of the ease, enjoyment, and results of these amazing paint sticks.

 

What are Magic Stix?

The Pencil Grip, Inc. has created some fabulous new products for people who love to make art.  Now, they’ve introduced their own beautiful color markers, which come in 12- and 24-packs.  The 12-pack we received contained the following colors; red, orange, pink, yellow, light green, green, dark blue, light blue, violet, purple, brown, and black.  They’re housed in a sturdy, clear plastic slipcase.  And have you ever had a marker dry out because someone forgot to put the cap back on?  You’ll never have that problem again with Magic Stix 12PK…because they are guaranteed NOT to dry out for up to 7 days with the cap off!  Isn’t that amazing?  Like their Kwik Stix cousins, they’re also non-toxic and have no odor.  They’re also washable, so you don’t have to worry about colors not washing out of clothes.

 

All the art we did with them!

And now…the fun with Kwik Stix!

We already knew that we’d be able to use our Kwik Stix paint sticks for fine art, art journals and Bible journaling, and art study in our homeschool.  But, with the holidays approaching, we thought we’d also try them out on Christmas ornaments and decorations.

First, Jackson painted a Christmas ornament with the Kwik Stix Metalix blue stick.  You can see it has sort of a “Starry Night” feel to it.  That would be an incredible art lesson, by the way; reproducing famous artworks on Christmas ornaments.  The ornament took the paint well, but we recommend that if you try  this project at home that you use either ceramic, glass, or plastic ornaments that are designed for painting.

 

I found some darling wooden wall hangings at Hobby Lobby and painted them fun girly colors (for the girly corner of my husband’s and my bedroom).  The Kwik Stix Metalix laid down beautifully on the wood; I started with the Metalix fuschia polka dots, then used our older (yet still amazing) Neon green for the background.

 

I used the Metalix fuschia again for “Blessed” and the Metalix gold for “Thankful.” I love the finished product!

 

 

Last, we found some fun ceramic snowman ornaments.

 

 

We colored one with the Metalix blue with a silver overlay (choosing Hanukkah theme colors), and used the regular Kwik Stix colors on the other.  Both the Kwik Stix Metalix 6PK and the Magic Stix applied nicely onto the ornaments, but we decided to go with the Kwik Stix.  They go on so smoothly, they’re just a pleasure to use!

 

And…the brand-new Magic Stix!

Jackson and I LOVE the Magic Stix.  They produce great color on lots of different materials.  Just like their Kwik Stix cousins, the Magic Stix apply beautifully on canvas.  Jackson used them on canvas to paint one of his all-time faves; the LEGO Minifigure.

 

Are you, or your kiddos, people who like to color?  I personally love the adult coloring books that are so popular right now.  I have several, including a Pusheen Coloring Book that has huge, full drawings to color in.  Look how vivid and colorful everything looks with the Magic Stix!

 

 

Jackson and I also decided to try out the Magic Stix on serving plates.  Have you ever made or painted a plate or serving tray?  It is so easy to do.  We simply got some white plates at the dollar store.  Jackson used one to paint the logo of one of his favorite games:

 

Together, he and I free-handed a Hanukkiah (Hanukkah menorah) on a second plate.  We baked both of these in the oven to set the paint and it worked beautifully!  Just be aware that the vivid colors do lighten up a bit, so if you want darker colors you might want to go over them a second time.

 

 

So…what ideas do YOU have to create with Kwik Stix Metalix 6PK and Magic Stix?  They are just amazing.  If you’ve never tried them before, we so recommend them.  Non-toxic, beautiful colors, easy to apply…and wonderfully safe for kids 3 and up.  You’ll run out of Kwik Stix before you run out of ideas of art projects with them!

 

You could even win a set!

The Pencil Grip, Inc. is going to bless one of our readers with a set of Kwik Stix Metalix 6PK paint sticks!  All you have to do is click on the pink “Enter Here” link below.  That will take you to the Giveaway Tools entry form.  Giveaway closes on December 10, 2017.  Best wishes!

Enter here!

 

Enjoy!  –Wren

 

DISCLAIMER:  From time to time, finchnwren may receive a free product or service in exchange for our honest opinions expressed in our blog. We are not required to write a positive or glowing review, nor are we additionally compensated for these reviews. We share our own opinions, and our family’s opinion, of these products. We’re disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.