>U Mom Knows Best: June 2019

Monday, June 24, 2019

Easy Cold Brew Coffee For One

The no-mess, no-fuss way to cold brew coffee for one.


      I received samples from Steeped Coffe to facilitate this post.

  I love cold brew coffee as it has a sweeter rich taste that is also less acidic when compared to regular coffee. Cold brew coffee is not just coffee poured over ice but it is a cup of delicious coffee that has been slowly brewed for 12-24 hours in cold water. That may seem like a long time for a cup of coffee but once you try cold brew coffee, you will understand the need for a slow brew. Slow brewing coffee in cold water produces a sweeter rich coffee that is less bitter with less acid. So if you have problems with acid and coffee, you need to try cold brew coffee. You don't even need any fancy coffee makers to make cold brew coffee. All you need is coffee, a container and a way to strain the coffee grounds. You can make a large batch of cold brew coffee concentrate and store it in your fridge or you can make one delicious cup at a time so you can have fresh cold brew coffee every day.



Making cold brew coffee the easy way


 The one part of making cold brew coffee that I do not like is having to strain the coffee grounds after the coffee has brewed. This can take a while and require several coffee filters or a special mesh filter. This coffee straining can be slow and mess with coffee grounds sometimes ending up in the coffee. So that requires a second straining. I discovered a wonderful coffee that comes in a guilt-free packaging that is great for making a no-mess, no-fuss, cup of cold brew coffee. You simply place the fresh roasted, pre-portioned coffee in a container of cold water and let it brew overnight on your counter. You then wake up to a delicious cup of cold brew coffee. All you have to do is remove the customized coffee filter from the water and drink. I love that I don't have to wait forever for the coffee to strain through a messy filter. I do give the bag of coffee a squeeze to get all the coffee flavor into my cup. You can add milk and sweetener if you like but I think you will discover that this rich flavorful coffee has a sweet taste and may not need any sugar.

Enjoy cold brew coffee when traveling



 I love taking Steeped Coffee with me when I travel to blog conferences. The single serve coffee packs can be packed in my carry on as they have no liquid in them. just fresh premium coffee in Nitro Sealed bags, that keeps the oxygen out so the coffee stays fresh. Once I get to the hotel, I place the single serve coffee pouch into a container of cold water and then I get to wake up to fresh cold brew coffee. The coffee only needs to slow brew in the cold water for 12-24 hours. If you want a cup of rich delicious coffee sooner, simply steep the Steeped Bag in hot water for about five minutes. There is no machine, no noise, no cleanup, no destructive waste.



Check out my favorite must-have travel product that I always pack: 

Click HERE and save 10% with my code MOMKNOBEST10




 Features of Steeped Coffee include:
100% Specialty Coffee: quality coffee ethically sourced directly from farmers
Nitro Sealed: removes oxygen, stopping the clock on freshly ground beans
Ultrasonic Edges: no glue, staples, or wasted materials for max steeping
Full Immersion Filter: non-GMO filters that regulate ideal water-in and maximum flavor-out
Guilt-Free Packaging: made using plant-based renewable and compostable materials
Micro Batching: roasted locally in small batches
Precision Ground: consistent water-cooled grinding to the micron
Pre-Portioned: consistent SCA recommended water-to-coffee ratios
Just Add Water: single-serve convenience with no machines required
Barista Approved: tested by multiple independent specialty coffee Q-graders for freshness, quality, and taste

How to make cold brew coffee for one



  Fill a container with 6-8 ounces cold water. I love using a small Mason jar. When traveling, I use a plastic protein shaker jar or travel coffee mug.

Place the bag of fresh premium Steeped coffee into the cold water. The tough part is choosing which coffee blend you want, there are five blends of Steep coffee roasts to choose from, even decaf!

Dunk the coffee bag a couple of times so the coffee gets fully soaked, I like to place a spoon on top of the coffee bag for while to help the soaking.

Place a lid over the container and let it brew on your counter for 12 -24 hours, the longer it brews the more flavor.

After the Steeped coffee has brewed, remove the bag and squeeze all the water out of it, getting all that flavorful coffee into the container.

Add milk and sweetener to taste. You can also add some ice if you want the coffee cold or heat it up for a cup of warm, cold brew coffee.

+Repeat the above steps daily so you can enjoy cold brew coffee every day.



Want to make a large batch of cold brew coffee? 

       Click HERE For Details





How To Make Cold Brew Coffee


Cold brew coffee is so delicious and so easy to make. Once you discover how easy it is to make cold brew coffee, you will skip the coffee shops. You can store the cold brew coffee in the fridge and then use it to make a coffee drink over ice or heat it up for a delicious latte.



 There is something about the warmer weather that makes me want a glass of cold-brew coffee. I then remember how easy it is to make cold-brew coffee and wonder why I waited until summer to enjoy the best-tasting coffee. Cold-brew coffee is popular right now in the coffee shops as it makes the best ice lattes and other summer coffee drinks. This popular coffee concentrate is so easy to make so save your money and make your own cold-brew coffee at home. You don't need any fancy coffee beans or machines to make this delicious coffee. If you are a coffee lover, you probably have everything that you need to make a pitcher of cold-brew coffee.



COLD BREW VS. ICED COFFEE

 Cold brew is different from iced coffee. Iced coffee is simply brewed coffee that has been cooled and then poured over ice. Cold brew coffee is coffee that has brewed in cold water, which results in a smoother cup of coffee that is sweeter and less acidic. Cold-brew coffee will stay fresher longer, up to a week in the fridge while hot brew coffee gets stale rather quickly.


COLD BREW VS. ICED COFFEE FACTS:

+ Cold Brew is slowly brewed in cold or room temperature water, rather than being quickly brewed with hot water.

+ Cold brew is higher in caffeine – cold brew contains 100-200 mg of caffeine, compared to about 95 mg of caffeine in a traditional cup of coffee.

Regular coffee only tastes fresh on the day it’s made, whereas cold brew coffee stays fresh for 5-7 days when refrigerated.

+ Cold brew coffee has less acid so does not have a bitter taste.



 I love cold brew coffee as it has a way better less bitter taste than traditional coffee. Cold brew coffee also has a rich sweet smooth taste that can only be achieved by soaking the coffee grounds in cold water for 12-24 hours. You see, the bitter taste that traditional coffee can have is caused by brewing the coffee grounds in hot water and that can also cause the coffee to have more acidity. When I drink cold brew coffee, I add way less sugar too my cup as it has a sweet delicious taste.



HOW TO MAKE COLD BREW COFFEE

 There are many ways to make cold-brew coffee. You can use special cold brew filters, a Mason jar, or even special cold brew K-cups. There are many products for sale for making cold brew coffee but all you really need is a jar, coffee, water, and a way to filter the coffee. Those paper coffee filters work just fine to strain the coffee but if you are going to be making cold brew coffee often, I would invest in a mesh filter or nut milk bag to make straining easier. You can also buy a pitcher that is made for cold brew coffee and these come with the mesh filters. Cold brew coffee can be stored in the fridge for up to a week so I like to make enough concentrate to last for a couple of days. The below recipe makes enough cold brew concentrate to make 6 or more cups of coffee.

MASON JAR COLD BREW METHOD:



  My favorite way to make cold brew coffee is with a Mason jar. I simply add the coffee grounds to a  Mason jar and then cold water. I then let the coffee brew at room temperature for 24 hours. If you are short on time 12 hours will make a nice cold brew coffee but 24 hours will yield more flavor. Most of the time I just make enough coffee to drink every day, but in the summertime, I will make more cold brew coffee so I have plenty to share with my husband. Sure it seems like you are using more coffee when making cold brew coffee but you are making a concentrate. Make sure to use the right amount of coffee. If you have a kitchen scale weighing the coffee will give you better results. Using a coarse coffee will also provide better results so using whole bean coffee is recommended. You can use ground coffee also but use a coarse blend of coffee like ones made for drip coffee makers.


Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate
3 cups of water
3 ounces coarse ground coffee, about 3/4 cup
a large glass mason jar with a lid
1 paper coffee filter or fine mesh cloth bag
strainer or single serve coffee filter
a pitcher or glass mason jar to store the coffee concentrate in

 Combine the filtered water and coffee in the large mason jar. Stir the water and grounds well so they are thoroughly wet.  Place the lid on the jar and place in the fridge or on the countertop for 12-24 hours. Place the paper coffee filter in the strainer or filter. Then place the filter on top of the other empty mason jar. Pour the coffee concentrate through the filter to strain out all the coffee grounds. A mesh cloth nut milk bag makes straining the coffee so easy. If you are using a coffee filter, I recommend using the mason jar lid to hold back the coffee grounds so they don't clog the paper coffee filter.

Store the coffee concentrate in the fridge for 7-10 days. To enjoy the coffee cold, use 1 part coffee concentrate to 1-3 parts to water, milk or nut milk. To enjoy hot, combine the coffee concentrate with 1-3 parts hot water. The amount of water that you add to the concentrate depends on how strong you prefer your coffee. Add your sugar, if desired and enjoy. This makes 3 cups coffee concentrate which then makes 6 or more cups depending on how much you use per serving. 




Make sure to weigh your coffee grounds as I discovered that 3 ounces of my coffee equaled a 3/4 dry measure cup. 



Want to make cold brew coffee for one?

Click HERE to learn about a unique product that allows you to brew a delicious one cup of cold brew coffee at a time.  This coffee product is ao simple to use and is great for home and travel. With this coffee product, you can have a cup of cold brew coffee in as little as 12 hours.



Friday, June 21, 2019

Sandbox Fun With Playmobil Sand Toys

                                                 I received toys from Playmobil to facilitate this post.

  My daughter and her husband have purchased their first home and will be moving in soon. Their new home has a nice size backyard so their will be plenty of room for backyard toys. My granddaughter is a lucky kid as she will get all my boy's old backyard toys. It will be sad to see the play toys leave my yard as that means my boys are getting old but at the same time, I now have a whole yard to decorate with new items. I have been working hard to get all the weeds out of my yard with some new natural weed prevention methods as I will not spray my yard with toxic weed sprays made by Monsanto, the maker of Roundup. So my granddaughter will get many outdoor toys like a slide and sandbox. So I am thinking that my grandchild needs so new sandbox toys


Did you know that the PLAYMOBIL brand has sand toys?



 My boys grew up with Playmobil toys and they were so much fun. My boys had some great imaginative play with the Playmobil sets. So when I saw that Playmobil has a line of sand toys, I knew that I had to check them out. These sand toys would be perfect for the sandbox once the baby gets bigger. Last time we took the baby to the park she decided to taste the sand but being that she will have her first birthday soon that is typical for her age. My grandbaby will be getting some other toys for her first birthday and the Playmobil toys will be put aside until she is older. The Playmobile Sand line toys are recommended for ages 2 and up.

 Ice Cream Shop Bucket 




 The Ice Cream Bucket sand toy is so cute and I can't wait to play in the sandbox with my granddaughter. This grandma will have so much fun scooping ice cream cones with my grandbaby. I love that the sand toys store inside a cute bucket that looks like an ice cream shop. The colors of this set are my favorite colors. The sand play elements include a sieve, spoon, ice cream cones, and ice cream scoops. The sand toy comes with two Playmobile people and those are the only small parts to the toy so my daughter can put those pieces aside until the baby is two years old. This adorable ice cream sand toy could also be used for water play so I am thinking the sandbox could be used as a pool. Then the baby can start playing ice cream shop with me this summer.


Water Tank Truck



 Every child needs a truck or two and the Playmobile Water Tank Truck is perfect for both sand play and pushing around the backyard. This durable sandbox toy has a removable tank that can be filled with water so it can also be used as a watering can. I love that the sand truck comes with ramps that store on the truck. The truck also comes with a person. The wheels on the backyard truck can drive over sand with no problem. My granddaughter has a cousin that is close in age so this truck will be perfect for backyard playtime. This sandbox truck will be perfect in the sandbox and driving in the grass. I can't wait to see her dad teaching her how to make truck sounds on the imaginative beach construction site. It is so exciting to think about my boys having fun playing with their niece with their old favorite outdoor toys and the new Playmobile Sand toys.

Which Playmobile sand toy is your favorite?



FREE Runa Clean Energy Drink


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Although 06/21/2019 is the only day that you can load the coupon, the coupon offer is redeemable through 07/07/2019


What is the Free Friday Download?
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Visit this page on Fridays.
Download the digital coupon for the product between 12am-11:59pm PT. You can view your coupon under the "My Coupons" section of your digital account or the Mobile App.

Redeem your coupon in-store within 2 weeks.
Your coupon will automatically be applied at checkout when you use your Shopper's Card.
Remember to check back the next Friday for a new offer!

Don't forget to save even more money with other great coupons under the Savings & Rewards Tab!

Thursday, June 20, 2019

The Best Camp Essentials For Kids

  I received samples from several companies to facilitate this post.

My youngest boys went to overnight camp for the first time this year. They had the opportunity last year to go to church camp but they were not ready as we had recently joined this church and they did not know any of the other kids yet. I think also they were not ready to be so far away from home. My boys went to several day camps in the past but the thought of not knowing anyone and sleeping in a strange place without mom was more than they could handle. So this year I was able to convince the boys they would have a blast at camp and I signed them up. I had no trouble convincing the older of the two boys but the youngest was a different story. My youngest did not like the fact that his older brother was going to the church camp at a separate time. Separation can be hard for some kids but once he found out that his best friend was going all was well. 

What to pack for camp


The church gave my boys a packing list of items that they would need for camp and that list had all the necessary gear that my boys would need but I included some unique camping items that were not on the list. My rule of thumb when packing for kids overnight camp is to not overpack and make sure that they can carry everything that they packed. At most overnight camps the cabins are not near the parking lots so kids are responsible to carry their own items to the cabins. You will not be there to help them lug all their stuff and there are no luggage carts. So make sure that your kid can carry everything that they bring. I like to have my kids pack their camping items in a backpack and a duffle bag. The backpack is great for the items that they will need during the day and the duffle bag is great for their clothes. Since your child will be using the backpack during the day make sure to select one that is unique so, your child can easily identify theirs. Also, make sure the backpack is roomy enough to hold a rain jacket so they are prepared for the weather. 

Unique backpacks for kids
 The backpack that you select also has to be cool looking as kids and that cartoon/superhero backpack may no longer work. A place that I like to shop for unique backpacks for kids is Fenrici. This place has backpacks and lunch bags with kid-friendly designs that appeal to even older kids. So kids no longer have to carry a plain solid color bag that looks the same as all the other bags. Fenrici has bags that appeal to both boys and girls and does not have an overwhelming selection so it will not take them all day to select the perfect backpack. My older son can be quite picky and shopping with him can be an all-day affair so I like when places only have less than 20 items to choose from. The bags that my boys selected from Fenrici had cool designs on them that they liked and the bags were big enough so they could carry a sweatshirt and rain jacket in it. My boys liked that they had a water bottle pouch and comfortable straps. I like that the backpacks had plenty of pockets in them so my boys could easily find what they need. These cool backpacks are available on Amazon and with my coupon code Fenrici15 you can save 15%. Click HERE to check out all the kid-approved backpacks. The code expires 7/15/2019


Thirteen top items to pack for camp

 1. sleeping bag
 2. backpack
 3. clothes like shorts, t-shirts, sweats
 4. PJs
 5. DEET-free bug spray
 6. sunscreen
 7. flashlight and batteries
 8. water bottle
 9. hat
10. bathroom items like toothbrush, toothpaste and soap
11. swimsuit
12. towel
13. tummy drops

Kid friendly upset tummy relief
When kids are away from home they tend to not eat right and they can get an upset stomach. Tummydrops are great for kids to pack in their camping bag. These all-natural lozenges combat nausea and motion sickness and are made with natural plant-based ingredients. The drops are drug-free and delicious so when kids feel sick they can naturally stop an upset stomach. The Tummydrops are made with ingredients like ginger and have a cute look to them so kids don't have to be embarrassed about needing a Tummydrop. My boys loved the taste of these non-drowsy, certified gluten-free, USDA organic, Kosher certified and Non-GMO Verified lozenges. Their favorite flavor was the sweet blackberry ginger. The cool looking tins are easy to carry in their backpack for on-the-go relief of tummy problems. These yummy drops are sold at www.tummydrops.com, Amazon, Walmart.com, and Whole Foods stores. Tummydrops are also great for pregnancy nausea.


The safe bug spray
 Camping and bugs seem to go together and no one likes bug bites. So make sure to pack a safe kid-friendly DEET-free insect repellent in their camping backpack. My boys love wearing BugBand Bands when they are camping in the woods as these bands can be worn on the wrist or ankle for up to 120 hours of protection from bugs like mosquitoes, flies, gnats, no-see-ums (aka biting gnats, midges or sandflies) and fleas. The BugBand is great for kids as they don't have to remember to spray themselves with insect repellant. When my boys go camping with their dad, I always send them off with a bottle of BugBand spray lotion. This lotion is also DEET-free and keeps the bugs from biting without any nasty chemical smell. BugBand also sells DEET-free insect repellant towelettes. The towelettes and sprays offer 2 to 4 hours of protection. These products are available at Amazon, Walmart.com, Target.com, and in Walmart, Bass Pro and Cabela’s stores, and everywhere else outdoor supplies are sold.


  So whether your kid is heading off to overnight camp or day camp, these unique items are must-haves for kids to take to camp. The backpacks will be great for back to school and the safe bug spray is great for the backyard. I am going to keep a container of the Tummydrops in my purse so I can be prepared for those times when my kid says "mom, my tummy hurts." These flavorful drops are also a must-have for summer road trips. If your travels this summer include taking the train, make sure to check out these posts about my trip that my family took on the train this year. The post has great information on what to pack for the train and how to keep kids entertained.


Seven tips for taking the Amtrak train
https://www.momknowsbest.net/2019/05/seven-tips-for-taking-amtrak-train-with.html

Riding On The Amtrak Train With My Family

https://www.momknowsbest.net/2019/06/riding-on-amtrak-train-with-my-family.html


What items would you add to the camping list?



Monday, June 17, 2019

Gramma In A Box Emojis And Minions Cookie Box

Check out this month of goodies in the Gramma in a Box


             I received a Gramma in a Box to facilitate this post.

 This month has been a busy one. We started the month with a train ride to visit my mom. That was a fun trip and we enjoyed taking the train instead of the long car ride. Then when we got back, my son went to overnight camp. The next week my middle child came home from the Merchant Marine Academy for summer break. Next week I am headed off to California for a mini vacation, without the kids, to a fitness conference.  When I come back, my daughter and her husband will be moving into their first home so we will be helping them move. My boys have also been busy doing some yard work for the neighbors. So finding time to relax and have fun has not happened much this month.




Check out Seven Tips For Taking The Amtrak Train With Kids

We love when a box from Gramma comes in the mail



 When we came home from our trip, our favorite craft box subscription was waiting for us in our stack of mail. My boys were so excited and wanted to make the delicious treats and cookies right away. I looked at the pile of dirty clothes from our trip and told them not today. The next day was super busy as I was getting my son packed for camp. So I placed the Gramma in a Box in the fridge and told the boys we frost the cookies and make the treats in a week after my son got back from camp. I am so glad that the ingredients in the cookie decorating box stay fresh for some time and only needed to be placed in the fridge so the chocolate did not melt.

use code 10off to save $10 off your first box 

Emoji's and Minions



 The theme this month for our Gramma in a Box was Emoji's and Minions and the boys thought that was awesome. The boys were excited to frost cookies that looked like those cute Minions and they loved the cool candy eyes. As usual, the youngest went to town with the frosting and put way too much on his cookies. My older son took his time decorating his cookies with the stars and mustache sprinkles. I like that this treat making box has plenty of frosting and sprinkles in it.

Emoji Pops



 The next food craft was chocolate dipped marshmallows that looked like Emojis. My son melted the yellow chocolate melts in the microwave and dipped the marshmallows into that. Then both boys had fun creating faces on the marshmallow pops.

Minion Bites

 My boys always remember to save some of the melted chocolate for the final treat project as this kid recipe is always a great way to use up the leftover melted chocolate. Blue sprinkles and cocoa crisp cereal made a delicious treat that resembled Minions.


So much fun in a box


 The monthly Gramma in a Box always includes baked cookies with frosting and sprinkles as well as two easy candy crafts to make. The monthly subscription box is always packed with enough ingredients to make up to 20 finished products. So there is always plenty of treats for the boys to share with mom and dad. I love the Step-by-step instructions with illustrations are included in the treat craft box as that makes it so easy for my boys to create the recipes without any help from mom. The box comes with almost everything that kids need to have fun cooking. The only supplies that the boys need to gather from the kitchen are usually spoons, plastic knives, and a bowl to melt the chocolate in. These boxes are so fun for everyone in the family. Gramma really puts a lot of love into these fun sweet craft boxes. These cookie craft boxes are a fun monthly activity for kids. Check out  "How it Works" for more information.



 My boys and I had always have fun creating with the Gramma In A Box! This fun box had some delicious food crafts that were all so fun to make. Every Gramma food craft box always has unique treats in it. This monthly box was so fun and we enjoyed eating the treats. I think the boys both agree that their favorite box was the Beach Party Treats one from last year. My boys always look forward to discovering the theme of the month. Last month the theme was Easter treats and the month before that was for Saint Patrick's day. The month before that it was Valentine's day treats

use code 10off to save $10 off your first box 

ORDER BY June 4th TO RECEIVE THE NEXT BOX

 The Gramma in a Box subscription cookie craft boxes is so much fun. They are always a great craft activity for my boys. Each month I look forward to this special food craft time with my boys. My boys enjoy making and eating all the sweet treats. The cookies are always my favorite part of the craft boxes. The price of the subscription boxes are amazing and you can try out one box before committing to a monthly subscription. 

Receive your first Gramma in a Box for only $10 when you sign up for the auto-debit program.


Make sure to order your Gramma in a Box by June 27th to get in by July 4th!


Natural Ways To Control The Weeds


  I am not a fan of all the weeds that grow like crazy year round. When it rains here, we get even more weeds. I live in the desert of Albuquerque New Mexico and we don’t get much rain here but this year we had an abundance of rain this past spring, way more than usual. I think we have even set records for the rain. So all that rain has meant more than the usual amount of weeds. So that has left me looking for a new way to control the weeds. I so want my summer yard cleanup day not to be an all-day project. A new way that does not involve any nasty toxic chemical products like Roundup as I do not want these cancer-causing chemicals in my yard.


Killing the weeds without toxic chemicals

 I usually spray the weeds that grow in my yard with a non-toxic homemade weed spray and that does a good job of killing the weeds quickly. This year has been different for weed control as the rain has left me with way too many weeds. I had sprayed the weeds with my DIY weed spray at the beginning of May and pulled way too many weeds, but more weeds grew. I think the windy spring planted more seeds than usual this year and the rain caused them to grow.  So I am tired of pulling weeds and I am trying something different this year with my weed prevention to see if I can prevent the weeds from growing in the first place. I am looking at natural ways beyond pulling the weeds, to kill the weeds. I don’t want to use harmful chemicals on my yard like the stuff Monsanto produces. I have known for years that the weed sprays like Roundup have been linked to diseases like cancer so I have avoided using them in my yards for a long time. I love that the recent lawsuits against Monsanto have made people aware of the dangers of glyphosate.


Using black plastic to prevent weeds from growing

  My yard is made for the desert, so I do not have grass in my yard. My yard is xeriscaped with drought-resistant plants and rocks. I have a big yard that is loaded with rocks and weeds. One would think that weeds could not grow on the rocks, but they do. The weeds here have long roots that push their way through the rocks. So, I decided to see if laying thick black plastic on the ground could kill the existing weeds and prevent the weed seeds from growing. I discovered this technique online as this is a popular way to prepare the soil for growing a garden. The thick 2ml black plastic is supposed to keep the seeds from getting the sunlight that they need to grow. While the black plastic is supposed to heat things up to basically kill the weeds. You do have to leave the plastic cover over the ground for two months for all this to happen.  This method works best when the weather is warm, so summer is the ideal time. This technique is good for large spaces and it will kill everything growing underneath it so don’t lay the plastic over your grass unless you want to kill your grass. If you have a concrete patio that has weeds over it, this plastic would be great for laying over. Sure, laying down plastic means my yard looks ugly for a couple of months but if this works then I will have a nice yard the rest of the year. This black plastic method would be ideal for a space that you want to grow a garden. You can find this black plastic in the paint section at hardware stores and stores like Walmart. The plastic comes in rolls of different length. The plastic was easy to lay on the ground and I used bricks and rocks to hold it down. I mostly laid the plastic over the problem areas of my yard. I used big rocks and bricks to hold the plastic in place as it can get windy here.




Non-toxic homemade weed spray

 Another way that I kill the weeds is with a natural non-toxic weed spray that uses three ingredients. Most people even have these ingredients in their pantry. This safe weed spray does a great job of killing the weeds without chemicals. It is a safe weed spray that kills most any plant that you spray it on. This safe homemade weed killer works in 24 hours. So, make sure to not spray it on your grass or it will kill it. I am able to use this spray in my yard as I spray it on the weeds that grow on my rocks. This DIY safe weed spray is great for the weeds that grow on the sidewalk, driveway, or patio.



Pulling the weeds

 The most natural way to control the weeds is to pull them. This may work for the big weeds, but it really does not work for the ones with the long hard to pull root or those tiny pain in the but weeds. If you are one of the lucky people who only have a few weeds in their yard than pulling the weeds method works. My yard has way too many weeds for me to pull them all at once, but I will pull some of the weeds and then use the above methods also to control my weeds.

 These are some of the natural ways that I control the weeds in my yard. This is the first year that I am trying the black plastic method and I am hoping that it works to prevent the weeds from growing. I am not a fan of yard work and I really hate pulling weeds every year. I want to be able to enjoy my yard in the summer so I will do anything to control the weeds as long as it does not involve toxic chemicals. My yard is my place to relax and a place for my kids to play. My favorite place to relax in my yard is under my pergola on my purple Adirondack chairs that I restored myself a couple of years ago.


How do you control the weeds in your yard?



Thursday, June 13, 2019

Cosmic Cubs Teach Kids About The Solar System And Ecology

“This post has been sponsored by Cosmic Cubs.  All thoughts and opinions are my own"


 My family recently took an overnight train trip and it was a great trip. Traveling by train was way better than a long car ride. My husband liked that he could relax instead of driving and I liked that we could move around on the train. My boys liked that they could spend their time playing games and watching movies. Since they brought with their tablets, I loaded them with some fun educational apps so they could learn while playing games. I made sure that I selected kid-safe apps that taught my boys yet were fun to play. My boys have been into space and the solar system lately as they had recently learned them at school. So when I looked into some apps for kids, I came across Cosmic Cubs and I loved that this safe app for kids made learning about space with fun puzzles. As I was downloading the Cosmic Cubs Space Puzzles app on my Android device, (also available for iPhone), I notice that Cosmic Cubs also had an Eco Puzzler app that could teach my kids about the 3Rs – reduce, reuse and recycle. I am all about saving the earth so I also downloaded that app onto my boy's tablet. Cosmic Cubs also has a cute Cosmic Cubs Dress Up app that kids could play dress-up with the space cubs and I added that one to my list of apps for my granddaughter when she gets older.




Learning Apps For Ages 3 and Up
 I really loved that these fun educational apps could make device time learning time. I am the mom who wants to help children succeed in school and I know that learning apps can enhance their knowledge. The learning games on the educational apps were great for kids as early as three years old but since they have different levels that ranged from easy to hard, I knew that they would keep my boys entertained. The kid-safe apps had my boys learning about the solar system and ecology through different fun puzzles. My boys had to solve the puzzles to reveal pictures and facts about the planets and tips about the 3Rs. The best part was some of the games were free to play so you can check it out before you purchase the app.



Color your favorite Cosmic Cub while learning more about our universe.
Download and print educational coloring pages HERE


The Games Lead To Great Discussions
 Since we were on the train, I had fun helping my boys solve the puzzles. The boys and I had fun seeing who could solve the puzzles the quickest and with the least moves. Once we solved the puzzle, we took turns reading the facts. I loved that the Cosmic Cubs Space solar system games taught my boys about the different planets and stars. My boys learned that the surface of Venus has no water or oxygen and many volcanos. The games even rewarded us with beautiful images from NASA. The Eco Puzzler games lead to the boys and I discussing of ways we could do better on reducing and recycling around the house, like using bringing our reusable cloth bags to the store so we would not need a plastic bag for our groceries.


Great Fun For Younger Kids
 My boys even had fun passing the time on the train playing with the Cosmic Cubs Dress Up app. This fun app is geared more towards the younger preschool age kids but my boys had fun dressing up the space cubs and selecting different items for the cubs to play with. Once my boys were done creating the Cosmic Cubs danced for them. If we were at home, we could even print some Cosmic Cubs coloring pages. My boys still enjoy coloring and I wished I had thought about bringing with crayons and coloring pages.

Check Out The Three Cosmic Cubs Apps

Cosmic Cubs Eco Puzzler • Ages 3+ • Free or $1.99
Join the Cosmic Cubs to learn about the 3 R's-Reduce, Reuse,
Recycle -- while playing a slide puzzle. Kids quickly figure out which puzzle pieces move in position to recreate an image. This app helps raise awareness and offers suggestions for children to save the earth resources. 


Cosmic Cubs Dress Up • Ages 3+ • Free or $1.99
Clothes make the man and the cub! Choose from hundreds of different items to dress the various Cosmic Cubs as they step out into space. Look for enchanting themes from Princess to Spy.
Outerwear, helmets, scenery and more make this a delightful way to spend downtime with family or as solo play in the backseat of the car.


Cosmic Cubs Space Puzzles • Ages 3+ • Free or $1.99
The Cosmic Cubs are exploring the Solar System and you can travel along. Learn about the solar system, with NASA images and fun facts about the universe. Download the free version that
provides access to 17 images of the inner solar system, from the
Earth and the Moon inward to the Sun. You can also purchase all
54 of the puzzles of the outer planets and entire the Universe.
Children will be exposed to beautiful images from NASA and
can learn about Planets, stars and other fun facts about space.


Cosmic Cubs apps are fun and engaging while teaching children 3 and older about the solar system and the 3 Rs, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Each small step can become a giant leap in learning! Blast off to a Cosmic Cubs galaxy of learning fun! Explore the universe with the Cosmic Cubs! Cosmic Cubs is KIDSAFE certified.

  Download Cosmic Cubs apps at the iTunes App store and Google Play. 


To learn more about these educational apps click HERE





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Mom knows best