Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample of the product for review purposes. The opinions are my own, based on my personal experience with the product.

pettreater

We love our pets!  Our two cats, dog and even our chickens are part of the family.  The kids really enjoy our animals and we all like to dote on them.  Pet Treater, a new monthly subscription service just for dogs, allows us to easily give our Lucy some cool goodies!  Each box is customized for your dog and is filled with wholesome treats, toys, and accessories.  The kids were excited to help me open up the April box.

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One thing that’s really neat about Pet Treater is that they include a letter for your dog each month!  The cute letter tells what the theme for the month is and is written from the perspective of Pita the dog :)  Thetheme for April was “Wet & Wild”.  It was filled with so many neat items!

First were two types of treats.

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I had never seen the Yak Puffs before but they sounded really neat.  They are made from yak and cow milk and are super light.  The bag of biscuits was really big (19 oz) and I liked that they contain no soy, corn or artificial preservatives.  Little Miss couldn’t wait to give Lucy one.

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Next we took Lucy outside to try out her new platypus toys.

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The pink one is heavy duty and looks like it will withstand a lot of chewing!  Lucy especially loved the plush toy.  It has a neat crinkle tail and Little Miss had fun throwing it for Lucy.

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We also received a bottle of Sentry Petrodex Dental Spray and Omega 3 Bacon Flavored Dog Food Spray.

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The Dental Spray helps clean teeth and gums and also helps reduce plaque and tartar.  I was excited about this spray because I will admit we don’t brush Lucy’s teeth like we should.  This spray is a quick and easy way to help keep her teeth in good shape.  Plus she didn’t mind it at all!

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The Bacon flavored spray will be a neat way to add some yumminess to her food.

We received two bath related items, both of which I was really excited about!

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The I Love Pet Head Cushioned Kneeler will make bathing Lucy so much easier and more comfortable!  It is so soft and I plan to use it when bathing Little Miss too!

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The Wags and Wiggles massaging bath mitt will make it easy to get Lucy really clean plus she’ll enjoy bath time more!  I think it will really help remove all those shedding hairs as well.

Pet Treater Boxes always include a treat for the pet owner as well.  This month it was a four pack of fun, neon colored knee hi socks.  These will really come in handy to wear with my boots.

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So here’s a breakdown of the values of what I received.  All prices came from Amazon unless otherwise noted.

-Nature’s Recipe Oven Baked Biscuits $9.98

-Yaky Puff Treats $4.49

-Sentry Petrodex Dental Spray $8.69

-Omega 3 Bacon Flavored Dog Food Spray $6.99

-I Love Pet Head Cushioned Kneeler $14.99

-Wags and Wiggles Massaging Bath Mitt $3

-ASPCA Plush Platypus Toy $13.99

-Platypus Chew Toy (couldn’t find this exact one but similar ones were around $8)

-Neon Knee High Socks. Similar ones were $12.39

That’s a value of $82.52!!  A month to month auto shipment is only $24.99 so that is a HUGE savings!  If you go with a 3, 6, or 12 month subscription, it’s even cheaper ($19.99 for the 12 month!).  Plus, for every Pet Treater box that is shipped, a toy, bag of treats, blanket etc is donated to a shelter in need.  We are big shelter advocates (all of our pets came from one) so this is a big plus for me!  You get to help animals in need while giving your own dog so great treats!

To get more info or sign up for a subscription, head over to PetTreater.com.  You can use the code LUCY-PT5 to get $5 off your first box OR PT-BED to receive a free dog bed with your first order. These are not stackable and you must choose one or the other.

I am truly blown away by the value and quality of the items I have received.  Pet Treater is a great service and your dog will love it!  One reader will receive a Pet Treater box for their pet!

 

Belinda is a wife, mom, blogger, and Brand Ambassador. She has six children including 5 boys and 1 girl. Belinda enjoys reading, photography, crafts and DIY projects, and watching her boys play soccer. You may contact Belinda at mudpiesand tiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Belinda

The kids have wanted chickens for years.  I love animals and my husband grew up on a farm so we liked the idea as well.  However, the timing just never seemed right.  Last December, we stumbled across a good deal online for a chicken coop and we finally decided to go for it.  I did a TON of research on chicken breeds.  My husband said I was just a tad obsessed but I wanted to make sure we got ones that would be a good match for our family.  I searched for gentle breeds that were good with kids but also decent egg layers.  A friend of mine had ordered chicks from chickensforbackyards.com and had had a great experience plus they let you order as few as 3 chicks which was a huge plus!  We ended up ordering a Buff Orpington, a Barred Plymouth Rock, an Ameraucana (Easter Egger), and a Light Brahma.   I placed the order in late December and eagerly awaited the February hatch date.  We got the call from the post office on February 24th that they had arrived and I immediately went to pick them up.  I knew there as a slight possibility that one may have died in transit so I was a little nervous to open the box.  However, when I opened the box, I found not 4 but 6 happy, peeping 2 day old chicks!  The company had sent a couple extras :)

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They were absolutely adorable!!  Just little fluffy balls of cuteness!  The kids were so excited and so was I.  My husband thought i was crazy but I insisted on keeping their bin in our master bathroom tub at first.  My maternal side was worried about them and wanted them were I could keep an eye on them.  I knew keeping them warm was super important and I became the temp natzi.  I must have check the temp in their box 6-7 times a day!  Thanks to my friend. I also knew we had to watch for “pasty butt”.  It’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like and can be deadly if left alone.  I washed several chicken rears in those first couple of weeks!

I was amazed at how fast they grew and within a couple of weeks, their fuzz was disappearing and feathers were taking it’s place.  I thought of this as their awkward teenage period.  Here are Ginger, Pepper, Nova, Tangen (name after a pet rooster my oldest had at my parents’ house when he was three), Purple Sofia (named by Little Miss after Sofia the First), and No Name (we purposely didn’t name it just in case Purple Sofia ends up being a rooster! They are both Light Brahmas so we can switch them out 😉 )

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This is Ginger, the Buff Orpington.  She’s super friendly and has always been the first to come running when I put my hand in the cage :)

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As the chicks grew, we knew it was time to get the coop ready.  Since we had ended up with 2 extra, we decided to build a larger run and put the coop inside of it.  Plus, our friends had recently lost their entire flock to a fox or coyote so I was paranoid and wanted to build something as predator proof as possible.

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N loves helping his dad so he jumped at the chance to help build the run :)  Our yard isn’t the most level so it took some work but we finally got it done.

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I have to brag on my hubby.  He is great at building things!  He put a metal roof on the run and buried the hardware mesh underground.  For added protection, he placed flat concrete blocks on top of the mesh before filling it back in with dirt.

At 5 weeks old, we moved the chickens to the garage.  The were outgrowing the rubbermaid bin so we moved them to our old metal dog crate.  This is also when we started giving them table scraps.  You can see the head of cabbage I gave them in the background.

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The kids have been really good about helping take care of the chickens.  Little Miss is absolutely in love with them and tells Purple Sofia goodbye every time we leave the house.  We paid a little extra to have the chicks sexed since we only wanted hens but there is a slight chance we could end up with a rooster.  None of them have tried crowing yet so that’s a good sign!  It’s fun to see their personalities come out.  Pepper (Barred Rock), Ginger, and the 2 Easter Eggers, Nova and Tangen are the most outgoing and friendly.  Pepper and Nova seem to be the most curious and the first ones to try new foods.  Sofia and No Name are more cautious and shy but are still super gentle when they are being held.

Next week, they will move out to the coop.  We’ve put them out there a few times to get them used to it and they seemed to really like it.  I’m ready to have them out there (chickens do have a somewhat stinky smell!) but I know I’ll worry at first.  I’ve gotten pretty attached to my feathered babies!

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Anybody else have chickens?  Any tips?

Belinda is a wife, mom, blogger, and Brand Ambassador. She has six children including 5 boys and 1 girl. Belinda enjoys reading, photography, crafts and DIY projects, and watching her boys play soccer. You may contact Belinda at mudpiesand tiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Belinda

Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample of the product for review purposes. The opinions are my own, based on my personal experience with the product.

brickloot We recently had a cold snap and even got a dusting of snow!  So the kids weren’t to keen on the idea of playing outside.  Thankfully, I had the March Brick Loot box to occupy them.  Brick Loot is a monthly subscription service which provides boxes filled with fun, unique building sets.  The theme for the month was “Shiver Me Bricks!” and the kids were excited to find neat pirate type sets and accessories.

Brick Loot LEGOS

-Exclusive 100% LEGO Custom Pirate Ship Kit

-Pirates Hideout

-M-FIGZ Case

-James Brickster- Custom 100% LEGO Minifigure

-Bonus Item- Rugged Rigs

The boys got right to work on the kits!

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These sets seemed to be a little bit more labor intense than others we’ve received.  My 10-year-old was still able to do them completely on his own, it just took him a little longer. My 8-year old needed a little help from me with one of the kits.  The sets kept them occupied for about an hour and the end results were pretty cool!

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The fort, cannon and treasure chest were really neat!  The kids loved the details.

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The cannon actually shoots!  You just pull the little plunger piece back and let it go to send the cannonball flying.  The boys also liked that the cannon had wheels so they could roll it around.

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The treasure chest even had “gems” inside it.

20160409_140104 The pirate ship had a rotatable mast and a place for the pirate to stand.

When the boys were done with the figures, they could put them in the case for safe keeping!

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The bonus tank was a hit as well.  They liked that it rolled just like the cannon.

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The kids have loved all the Brick Loot boxes we’ve received but this one really kept their attention.  My 10, 8 and 5-year olds all had fun acting out battles and such with their creations.  I loved seeing them use their imaginations!

Brick Loot is a fantastic service for all lovers of building sets. Subscriptions range in price from $23 to $27 a month. Mudpies and Tiaras readers will get 10% off one and three month subscriptions when you use the code mudpies. You can also purchase individual pieces at BrickLoot.com (at great prices!) and add some new, fun pieces to your kids’ collection. One lucky reader will win the May Brick Loot Box!

 

Belinda is a wife, mom, blogger, and Brand Ambassador. She has six children including 5 boys and 1 girl. Belinda enjoys reading, photography, crafts and DIY projects, and watching her boys play soccer. You may contact Belinda at mudpiesand tiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Belinda

Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample of the product for review purposes. The opinions are my own, based on my personal experience with the product.
Peaches and Petals

I recently received my March Peaches and Petals Beauty box and I’m excited to share it with you!    In case you aren’t familiar with it, Peaches and Petals in a monthly subscription service that delivers beauty/lifestyle boxes each month right to your door.  The theme of the March box was “Live life in color”.  The first thing I saw was the Stress Relieving Mandala Coloring Book and Colored Pencils.

20160326_084702 20160326_083109 I loved to color as a kid and I often color along with my kiddos.  There is something relaxing about it.  This neat coloring book is filled with intricate, pretty designs and the colored pencils came in a storage case with a built in sharpener on top.

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The next thing I saw was the Splatter Paint Bath Bomb.

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I’m excited to try this one out!  It has a fizzy water coloring effect and it smells really good too.  It has a soft sweet scent that’s not too overpowering.

Next was the Eye Magic Eye shadow kit.

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These pads have pre-applied eyeshadow that you can press onto your eyelid.  It’s a really neat concept and I’m looking forward to trying it out.  There are only two sets in the box so I want to save it for a night out.  I figure if I don’t like how it looks, I can just wash it off or blend my own shadow with it.

I also received the “Color Me Inspired” Coffee Mug with Spoon.

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I’m not a coffee drinker but I do love hot chocolate.  This mug is so cute and I love how the little spoon fits into the handle.

This cute little mini pouch will definitely come in handy!

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I love the colors on it and it will be perfect for holding all those little items in my purse like my eye drops, chapstick, hair ties, etc.

Each box contained a “Colorful Surprise”.  Mine was a Pretty in Pink Ultra-Slim  Portable Power Bank.

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This will get a lot of use!  I like knowing that I will have a back up if my phone battery dies while I’m out and about.  I try to remember to keep it plugged into my usb charger in our van so it’s always ready to go.

So here’s the value breakdown (all prices come from Amazon unless otherwise noted):

Coloring Book- $7.99

Coloring Pencils- $2.99 (was unable to fins exact ones so used price for comparable ones)

Bath Bomb- $6 (from shopsassyfras.com)

Mug with Spoon- I was unable to find this exact mug but similar ones were around $10

Eye Majic eyeshadw- $7.99

Pouch- $3 for similar ones

Power Bank- $13.99 for similar ones

Total: $51.96

Each box is $19.99 shipped, so it was definitely a great value!  With each month’s box, you receive a little spoiler alert card with a picture of the following month’s guaranteed item. April’s box will be this 5-in-1 facial cleansing brush!

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If you love surprises, Peaches and Petals is for you!  I absolutely love opening each month’s box to see what goodies I’ve received.  I’ve been able to try out some great products that I normally wouldn’t have.

When you sign up for Peaches and Petals, you will receive 50% off your first box by using code PEACHTIARA. That means you only pay $9.99 for the first month!

 

 

Belinda is a wife, mom, blogger, and Brand Ambassador. She has six children including 5 boys and 1 girl. Belinda enjoys reading, photography, crafts and DIY projects, and watching her boys play soccer. You may contact Belinda at mudpiesand tiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Belinda

I absolutely love the look of barn doors.  However, when I starting looking at them and saw how much they cost, I was pretty discouraged.  They averaged $300-$400 and that is definitely not in the budget, especially when we would still need to buy the track for it!  So I dragged my hubby to Home Depot and we looked for materials to build our own.  We considered just using 1x 6’s but then a Home Depot associate suggested using 1×6 8 ft. Tongue and Groove boards since they were a few dollars cheaper.  He helped us pull some down and put them together and we really liked the look it gave, plus my hubby liked the fact that they locked together and would provide more stability for the door.  We also bought some 1×4’s to hold them together and give the barn door look.  We ended up spending about $55 on the wood.  We picked up two black iron gate handles(one for each side of the door) at $10 a piece.

We cut the boards to the length we needed and attached the tongue and groove panels together.  I stained them along with the 1×4’s with Minwax Special Walnut.  We then screwed the cut 1×4’s to the panels, attached the handles and voila!  We had our custom barn door for about $75!  We then turned our attention to the metal track for the door.  Again, I was shocked at the prices!  Home Depot had them for $179.  Way more than we wanted to pay.  So I turned to eBay.  I was happy to find dozens of vendors and styles there to choose from.  We found one we loved for $66.59, less than half of the one in Home Depot!  The only downside, which we knew from reading the reviews, was that the tracks use metric measurements so we had to modify the installation a little.  But for such a huge savings, it was well worth it!

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I am so so happy with how it turned out! It transformed the look of whole area since this doorway is seen as soon a s you walk in our front door.  The door itself was a pretty easy project.  It took about 2 hours total with sanding, cutting, staining and assembly.  The track installation took about an hour and a half due to the modifications we had to make.  Now I want my hubby to make one for our master bedroom closet :)

Belinda is a wife, mom, blogger, and Brand Ambassador. She has six children including 5 boys and 1 girl. Belinda enjoys reading, photography, crafts and DIY projects, and watching her boys play soccer. You may contact Belinda at mudpiesand tiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Belinda