Category Archives: 2nd grade

Try A New Book! Amazon GC & Children’s Chapter Book Giveaway

The weather’s been a bit wonky this winter, hasn’t it?

Being snowbound with little ones who have a hard time putting down that electronic gizmo can be a bit trying, so I’ve decided to hold a giveaway!

Recently, we found that one of our girls (while still reading) has been reading below grade level in school.  So we made the decision to box up all under-grade-level books and comic books and stow them away until things have improved.

To help our girls gain confidence in their reading, and to ensure it was an enjoyable experience, we chose several series of 2nd-grade-level chapter books that featured some of their interests, for them to try out!

We got Scooby Doo, Puppy Place, Rainbow Magic Fairies, Black Lagoon Adventures, Cam Jansen, Magic Tree House, Bailey School Kids, Thea Stilton and Charming Ponies.

Imagine my joy when the timer ‘dinged’ on their mandatory 20 minutes and they still wanted to keep on reading longer!

To help give you a boost in finding something new to tempt your little one’s literary tastebuds, I’m offering a $5 Amazon gift card and a new paperback copy of “Goldie” the first book in The Puppy Place chapter book series (both my 7-year-old girls LOVED this one!).

puppyplaceprizepic amazongc

Just enter in the rafflecopter form below!

Happy Reading!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

BubbleBum comes to the rescue! Review & Giveaway

Have you heard of BubbleBum yet?

If you’ve got kids who still need booster seats and you’ve ever had to lug those around with you on vacation for the rental cars, or had to swap them from one parent’s car to another, believe it or not there IS an end to the pain!

We usually use convertible carseats and now that the girls are 7, we use them as “booster seats”.  I remember well when we brought these along with us on vacation:


Pure. Unmitigated. Hell.

My husband is the lucky one who gets to regularly lug those seats from my car to his anytime we split up the kids for one-on-one time, or when I need my car and he needs the boosters in his car.  Judging by the look on his face when he’s lugging our clunky carseats, he is not a happy camper!

And then came along a very nice company called BubbleBum with the answer to our carseat woes!

bubblebum hi res images prup_newpackaging_fullkit_flat copybubblebum hi res images happy kids2

See those nifty things up there?  Those are the travel booster seats that BubbleBum let me try out on my kids.

These boosters are great!  They inflate and install so easily!  I could literally do it one-handed!  Behold the awkwardly filmed (with the other hand) video!


Since we’ve installed them, my husband can take the kids on unplanned outings, even if our lunky, clunky carseats are still in my MomMobile and I’m miles away!  He just pops these babies into his car and less than a minute later, they’re ready to go!

This makes him very happy!


And when we go on vacation to visit out-of-state relatives, the BubbleBum boosters deflate and roll up into these neat little carrysacks so we can take them with us without bulking up our luggage!


BubbleBum has a variety of colors and styles and is covered in a soft fabric.  My two girls say they are very comfy and leave a lot more room in the back seat for their books and car toys. (You could also fit a third BubbleBum in that middle space if you have a shoulder seat belt.)

BubbleBum meets and exceeds all US Federal Motor Vehicle Standards FMVSS213 and the European Regulations EU R44/o4 and can be used for children over the age of 4 who are between 40 ~ 100 lbs in weight.

You can buy BubbleBum boosters at Walmart and Target for avg. retail price of $29.99. Find the store closest to you here.

Trust me, it’s SO worth it!

Or if you feel lucky, you can enter our giveaway for a new BubbleBum booster of your own!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


*I was provided with BubbleBum booster seats to facilitate my review.  I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the manufacturer.

#ginnybakes Good Things To Eat!


A couple of years ago, I found out that some relatives had put their kids on a gluten-free diet.  This meant, unfortunately, that my girls couldn’t share their EasyBake oven treats with these cousins.  Undaunted, I researched and bought quite a few gluten-free bake mixes that my girls could use instead to treat their gluten-free friends and relatives.

We mixed and baked with high hopes. Then came the taste test…

If you could imagine what cement mixed with stale chocolate chips would taste like then you’d be on the mark.

There was no way in h-e-doublematchsticks I was going to feed that to anyone!  I tried a few other brands of gluten-free “treats” and was likewise disappointed.  Never mind trying to persuade my kids that gluten-free = good, I’d have a mutiny on my hands!

So when Moms Meet™ told me that they had some actually scrumptious gluten-free bake mixes and cookies from ginnybakes for me to try out, I was equal parts relieved and eager.  I’d been hearing a lot from other moms on the playground about how putting their kids on a gluten-free diet had helped with a number of health issues!  And even better, all ginnybakes products are organic and Non-GMO!! 😀

First we delved into the many flavors of cookies:

Chocolate Chip Love * Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bliss * Coconut Oatmeal Bliss – (This one was my favorite!) Butter Crisp Love – (Halle liked this one best!)



The Chocolate Chip Love cookies were pretty good.  Not too sweet, firm, not mealy at all.  They had a bit of a wholegrain cereal taste, but were still very very edible!  And the chocolate actually tasted like chocolate!  The Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bliss were also very tasty.  Halle really enjoyed the Butter Crisp Love.  I’d say they were extra firm, but she prefers her cookies that way.  They had a distinct rich buttery flavor that I think would go well as a nice tea biscuit.  The Coconut Oatmeal Bliss – Oh. My. Goodness!!  This one was crispy, and the oatmeal and coconut flavors were blended perfectly  with chewy bits of raisins and a nice buttery aftertaste, just like a homemade cookie!

And then we forayed into the selection of baking mixes:


* Peace, Love & Crumble Muffin Bake Mix  – (My husband raved about this and couldn’t believe it was gluten-free!) * Lovely Brownie Bliss Bake Mix – (Zanna thanked me for this one and said I was ‘the best mommy in the world’ for baking this!) * Chocolate Chip Love Cookies * Naked Love Butter Crisp Cookies * Coconut Oatmeal Bliss Cookies

The girls had their heart set on baking the Peace, Love & Crumble Muffins with me, and we had some fun doing it!  The directions are very easy, no exotic, costly ingredients to add.  The girls were able to do pretty much everything except greasing the muffin pan and dealing with the oven.  The topping amount that is supplied with the mix is very generous, and the extra got added into the next day’s pancake batter!  The muffins were very soft and airy with a very nice flavor and lovely chewy bits of fruit in them, and the topping was SO scrumptious!  I fed one to my husband and as he was making “Mmm” noises, I told him it was gluten-free.  His eyes popped a little at that and he asked “Really?” a few times, so I showed him the box to assure him I wasn’t pulling his leg.  “Wow! These are really good!” was his conclusion.


For our anniversary (#19) the girls helped me bake the Lovely Brownie Bliss brownies. (They’re my husband’s favorite kind of cake/cookie.)  Again, it was so easy to follow all the steps.  However, instead of coconut oil, we used sunflower seed oil, but everything still turned out just fine. (My kids aren’t fans of coconut oil.)  The brownies had the shiny crispy layer on top, and were SO chocolatey!  They were very chewy and moist and practically melted in your mouth!  We fought over who got the final brownie (I won!).



They also have boxes of mini-packs, perfect for school lunchbags!

* Chocolate Chip Love * Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bliss


Halle is looking forward to showing off her very Non-GMO cookies to her classmates when school starts up again in a couple of weeks!

And for on-the-go hunger pangs, they also have a line of ginnybar fruit & nut bars!

* Love & Nuts * Karma, Love & Apricot * Happy Chocolate Bliss (This was my favorite! SO GOOD!!!) * Peace, Love & Apple


Somehow I managed to miss breakfast one day, so I grabbed some of these to try them out while I went to the laundromat.

Love & Nuts and Peace, Love & Apple tasted natural and were jam-packed with chewiness, Karma, Love & Apricot (LOVE these names, by the way :D) had a definite apricot flavor and was quite good, but if you’re as chocolate-addicted as I am then you’re going to absolutely love Happy Chocolate Bliss!  They sure didn’t skimp on the chocolate with this one! Yum!!!

All in all, when our cousins get back from their vacation next week, we’ll be prepared to wow their taste-buds with gluten-free yummy ‘welcome home’s!  😀


ginnybakes is a family-owned company, whose passion
is to create outrageously delicious and nutritious treats
that everyone can enjoy. The founder, Ginny, is a holistic
nutritionist, who believes that your body deserves only
the finest ingredients, so she’s made sure that’s the only
thing they put in each of their products. Members of their
team work tirelessly to deliver a wide range of outrageously
delicious cookies.

  • ginnybakes offers a line of scrumptious chocolate chip cookies made with tempting dark chocolate.
  • ginnybakes’ coconut oatmeal bliss line is made with organic coconut blended with dark, organic raisins, crispy whole walnuts, and gluten-free rolled oats to make the perfect oatmeal cookie with a tropical twist.
  • You won’t find any artificial ingredients in ginnybakes cookies.
  • Every product from ginnybakes is gluten-free, organic, non-GMO and kosher.  They also offer a line of totally vegan treats.
  • ginnybakes produces cookies, bars, crumble snacks, and baking mixes – to fit each and every one of your cravings.
  • The retail price for a 5.5 oz box of ginnybakes is $5.99, the price is the same for a case of their mini boxes.
  • ginnybakes products are sold at Costco stores in the San Francisco Bay Area, Whole Food Market stores, and Fresh Market.  They recently found their way into Stop & Shop, Giant, Martin’s, Big Y stores and Peapod for those who live in the New York and New England region!  Use the store locator on to find even more ginnybakes locations.

 Connect with ginnybakes on social media:

Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Pinterest * Google+


*Text in italics was provided by MomsMeetSM

**I received this product for free from the sponsor of the
Moms MeetSM program, May Media Group LLC, who
received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms
MeetsSM blogger, I agreed to use this product and post
my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily
reflect the opinions of May Medai Group LLC or the
manufacturer of the product.

Water Water Everywhere (and not a drop to drink!)

Morton Salt Girl

Well, it’s been fun times over here at casa TwiceBlessedLife!  First we had a leak in the basement, which still hasn’t been fixed two weeks later and things are taking on a decidedly ripe odor down there, that I’m worried will start wafting in to our floor of the building.  Next, Masa started taking a shower and funnily enough, water started pouring though the ceiling light fixture in the living room!

Despite the complex manager sending over someone who took a few half-hearted pokes at the fixture, run the shower (which of course wouldn’t leak while he was there!) and pronouce everything just fine, the next day, the light fixture shorted out.

We’ve been told we’re in the queue for maintenance work orders, along with the a/c we wanted installed in the kids’ room.  But now we’ve got stuff safely tucked away (just in case someone decided to unleash another flood of Biblical proportions upon us) that we can’t use!

Woe is me! Woe! Woe! Woe!

Okay, pity party is over!

Just a few more weeks until school begins!  The girls are a little nervous about 2nd grade, and with Kindergarten and 1st grade being so homework-intensive, I’m a little worried, myself!

Hopefully this year though, both the girls will have actual teachers.  Last year, Zanna had a real teacher and Halle got stuck with a newbie who just kept teaching the same 5 lessons or so the entire year.  She called it “circling around”.  I was not impressed.  Especially after attending parent/teacher conferences and listening to her doublespeak all her answers and “circle around” with the same recycled rote phrases.  Then in extreme contrast, Zanna’s teacher, Mrs. K gave very direct answers to my concerns and showed me all the standard learning aids her students were using, like writing journals, poetry journals, 3 & 5 page history reports, etc.

Wanna guess if Halle’s teacher, Mrs. G had been using any of those?

If you guessed “NO!” then you’d be correct!

Wanna guess my opinion of Mrs. G’s “circling around” method?

If you guessed something like this:  crazy-sign-smiley-emoticon

you’d be correct once again.

So now when the girls study or do summer homework, I have to do it separately, so Halle won’t feel bad that Zanna is so much ahead of her in writing and other subjects.  She is catching up in reading, though, after we caught on that she would willingly read Scooby Doo comic books, so we bought a few of those and that helped a bit.

Then I noticed that if I left the closed-captioning on my kindle, that Halle didn’t turn it off when she watched a video.  I asked her and she confirmed that she’d read along with what the characters said!  Her reading improved a lot after that.

And her school has assured me that they’ve built a 40-minute “extra classes” into each school day this year, so those who need extra tutoring can go to that class and those who are in other activity programs can go to those, with no-one singled out.

Now we just have to get through the twins’ final summer swim classes and we’re all set for school!

(I won’t go into what I went through to get the girls their requested Disney Frozen backpack and Doc McStuffins backpack!)

Hope everyone is having a happy, healthy and safe summer! 😀

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