Chocolate Pen from Candy Craft {Review}

We love chocolate! I mean, who doesn’t?! We couldn’t resist testing out the Chocolate Pen from Candy Craft. This fun and tasty project attracted all of my kiddos, especially when it came to tasting the end result!

The Chocolate Pen - A Review

I’m sure you are wondering what exactly is a chocolate pen, right? Well, the Chocolate Pen is a motorized toy (sort of in the same vein as an Easy Bake Oven) available at Walmart that is used to create colorful chocolatey treats. It is sure to be a hot item this Holiday season, so get your hands on one now before they sell out!

The Chocolate Pen - What's Included

The kit includes everything you need to make several treats: a half pound of premium confectioners chocolate in multiple colors, 4 pen tips, as well as 50 candy molds (3 trays). The set even comes with gift bags specially made to share your custom candy creations.

First off, know that the process to make these tasty treats takes a bit of adult supervision and help. None of my kiddos were able to set everything up on their own, but happily used the pen once everything was ready.

It is quite a process – batteries must be put in to the pen (not included), the chocolate is then melted in hot water, the tip must be placed on top of open chocolate package (quite difficult for even myself), and placed in to the pen.

Once the pen is ready to go, it really is as easy to use as pushing a button to dispense the chocolate to create colorful pieces of goodness.

The Chocolate Pen Creations

You can get your Candy Craft Chocolate Pen at Walmart for just $29.93. It is a fun little kit that would make a great gift for any little chocolate lover!

As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

May The Force Be With You

We all know and love Han Solo, Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, R2-D2, Jabba the Hutt, Chewbacca, Darth Vader (in a love/hate sorta way, right?) and the unforgettable Yoda, among many others. Well, in celebration of the highly anticipated new Star Wars release this December, Walmart is stocked with all the cool new Star Wars toys and merchandise featuring our favorite characters. And some new ones!

Star Wars at Walmart

There are some crazy cool new toys and I was so excited to get a sneak peak last month in Dallas. My favorites are Legendary Jedi Master Yoda and the Remote Control Ultimate Millennium Falcon Quad.

Jedi Master Yoda will train you to be a become a Jedi!

Small in size but wise and powerful, Yoda has trained Jedi like Luke Skywalker for over 800 years. Now it’s your turn as Legendary Yoda guides you on the path to becoming a Jedi Master. Standing an impressive 16 inches tall, Yoda’s dynamic motorized body movement and full voice recognition make him the most realistic Star Wars toy ever. He speaks 115 phrases that will lead you to Jedi wisdom and lightsaber mastery. And with dynamic 360-degree movement, Yoda comes to life with never-before-seen lightsaber action!

Star Wars Yoda

Make the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs with the Flying Star Wars Ultimate Millennium Falcon!

Fly the most iconic ship in the Star Wars universe right in your own home! The Ultimate Millennium Falcon takes flight with the power of 4 rotors concealed in the body of the ship. Its authentic lights and sounds bring the Millennium Falcon to life as you fly. Activate Hyperspace mode on the remote control and hold on for a fully loaded hyperspace journey. If your deflector shields go down, you’re still in good shape; the Millennium Falcon is constructed from durable high density foam making it resilient to a few photon torpedo hits. With 2.4GHz communication, you can control the Millennium Falcon up to 200 feet away! Join the rebellion and bring Star Wars home with the Millennium Falcon Quad from Air Hogs! Star Wars products are produced by Spin Master under license from Lucasfilm Ltd.

Star Wars Remote Control Ultimate Millennium Falcon Quad

While those are super cool and will certainly be on the top of your kids wish lists this Holiday season, I am picking up a Chewbacca Pillowbuddy for myself! (He’s only $15.96!!) Isn’t he cute???

Chewbacca Pillowbuddy

As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Girls’ Weekend in the Texas Wine Country

What do you get when you gather 10 women in Texas Wine Country who all love wine, but have yet to really get to know each other?

An amazing weekend to recharge and the making of several new best friends!

Marti said it best when she summed up our weekend together:

It was a fun and memorable weekend. We got to leave our worries at home. If I think of everyone who was there and what made it so special, I think of how we all shared one thing in common – we needed to get away for our own personal reasons. It was time for us to focus on ourselves and let loose for a bit. No family responsibilities for a weekend, which was good. We opened ourselves up to others to allow for the bonding, compassion, and understanding that only women can give. The grass may seem greener on the other side, but it really isn’t. We have to embrace our struggles and keep our heads high, and know that not only have we developed a friendship from this wine weekend, we have also developed a life long support group. Thanks again to each and every one one of you for being there, not just for me, but for each other.

What did we do? Well, we did a whole lot of chatting and hanging out at the lake, but we began our weekend with lunch, wine tasting, and a tour of a lovely winery in the Texas hill country.

After a short drive from Austin, we pulled in to Flat Creek Estate in Marble Falls. The beautiful vineyard and luscious grapes on the vines brought huge smiles to our faces. This was just what we all needed!

Flat Creek Winery

wine grapes

Flat Creek Winery

Lunch was amazing. We had a prix fixe meal prepared for us, due to the size of our group. Salad, pizza, and plenty of wine, graced our table and filled our bellies, but the company and conversation was the icing on the cake.

Lunch at Flat Creek Winery

We moved to the tasting room to sample some of Flat Creek Wineries best bottles. My favorite was a 2013 sangiovese blend – the Super Texan. I purchased a couple of bottles to bring back to Ray.

wine tasting goodies

Tasting Choices

Wine at Flat Creek Winery

Last, but not least, was the winery tour, with rows and rows of barrels. Barrels full of sweet grape juice ripening in to wonderful red wine.

Wine Fermentation Process

Wine Barrels

Flat Creek Estate made for a great girls’ day and the highlight of a weekend away to recharge and create a bond with other women. We will definitely be back. I can see this winery becoming a clear favorite!

Flat Creek Winery

Create a Quiet Homework Station

We have six kiddos in school this year who are required to do homework after school and, in some cases, even on the weekend. I have to admit that it is pretty difficult for all of them to find a quiet place to work, if they are not completing their assignments at the same time (which hardly ever happens!). Latin, algebra and geometry, art history, and biology are subjects that call for a special atmosphere to encourage concentration. Add 20 minutes of reading aloud for each of my third graders and we could have ourselves a mess of confusion!

But, no matter how many kiddos you have, homework time can be difficult. It’s important to create a quiet space, with everything needed to complete assignments available at your fingertips. To help create this quiet space for my kids, we have dedicated a corner of our loft as our Homework Station.

Homework Station at Home

What makes a great Homework Station?

A Desk
My kids go to a classical school, so most research is done using old documents and books, and a majority of work is to be hand-written. Hand-written papers needs to be done neatly, so sitting at a desk makes this easier and tends to help create superior and more well-thought out work. Occasionally one of my older kids will have to do some online research or type up an essay, so the laptop is brought to the desk, so as to create a working environment free of distractions. The Mainstays writing desk, available at Walmart, is a great option for a small space.

Comfy Chairs
My kiddos have a lot of reading assignments. In fact, Zach read more than half of Homer’s Odyssey over this last weekend. He moved from his bed in his room to the porch out front to our beanbag chair in the loft, but he got it all done and was ready for his test today. Being comfortable while doing schoolwork makes a huge difference. (It helped that he enjoyed what he was reading!)

Big Joe comfy beanbag chair

Plenty of Extra Supplies
It’s smart to have lined paper, extra pens, and even extra binders on hand, just in case. You never know when a project or homework assignment will require something more than what is currently being used, or kept in backpacks and lockers. Now is a great time to stock up, since everything from crayons and glue sticks to those notebooks are on sale at Walmart.

Cubbies or Shelves
And, of course, you need an organized way to keep everything handy. These storage crates I found at my local Walmart (only available in stores) are perfect for organizing all of your extra supplies, books, and learning aids. A 3-drawer cart (on sale for only $16.86!) to store extra goodies would be a great idea, as well.

Storage Crates keeps supplies organized

Creating a quiet homework station has solved a lot of concentration problems for us. Let me know if you create one similar!

As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Dyson V6 Slim {Review}

I have always been a huge fan of Dyson vacuum cleaners. We’ve had the opportunity to review several Dysons over the years and I am always very eager to pass them on to friends and family when a new one was shipped to me. This last one we had was broken beyond repair and we had to toss it, so I had been drooling over the latest models when I was asked to review the V6 Slim for Walmart. Of course I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to give it a try and tell y’all about it!

This newest model is a Walmart exclusive and is available on Rollback for only $259, during their Labor Day promotion, now through September 12th.

Dyson V6 Slim review

It was pretty easy to get set up in the charging dock. Once the light on the side of the unit went off, indicating it was fully charged, I was ready to use my new vacuum for the first time. Initially I was incredibly impressed. I was able to vacuum my entire hardwood covered first floor. We later tried it out on the stairs, in our vehicles, and in tight spaces throughout our house.

Here is what we love about the Dyson V6 Slim:

The V6 Slim is cordless, making it lightweight and extremely versatile. We have used it mostly on our stairs as a handheld, and in our vehicles, but can also use it on our hardwood, tile, and anywhere else in the house. The charging dock is pretty convenient and keeps the unit out of the way and charging when not in use.

Not many other brands can beat Dyson’s suction power. This little model does not disappoint with it’s fade-free suction. When I am not using the motorized cleaner head, the included click-fit cleaning tools make vacuuming hard to reach places, especially in our cars, pretty easy.

Dyson V6 Slim on hardwood

Dyson V6 Slim on stairs

Like all Dyson vacuums, the V6 Slim comes with a 2 year warranty. If at any time the unit stops working properly, this warranty will cover parts and labor to repair it. With our luck we will probably be taking advantage of this warranty.

What we didn’t love:

I do wish that a full charge lasted longer than 20 minutes as a handheld and more than 15 minutes or so on my hardwood floors. We can barely get our stairs done in that amount of time, and most certainly need a couple of charges to vacuum out the entire Yukon.

I also do not like that I have to hold the power button down while using the unit. This makes it hard for me to use the vacuum for very long, due to my carpel tunnel, and my younger kids have a hard time using it, as well. Maybe it’s good that we can only vacuum with the V6 Slim for short periods of time, but it would be nice to click the power on and be able to leave it on until the charge dies.

The pros far outweigh the cons, in my opinion, making the Dyson V6 Slim a great vacuum for quick cleaning jobs.

Don’t miss the Dyson V6 Slim on Rollback at Walmart if you want to give it a try!

As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.