National Geographic Kids Books Giveaway: Birds #NationalLibraryDay

Several years ago, we took the family to the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, PA. We created wonderful memories that my family still talks about today. My husband loved the SOAR! program they had at that time. It was on the rooftop and featured birds of prey.

My kids and I loved the opportunity to feed the Lorakeets. It’s such an immersive experience being able to walk through the habitats and get up close to some of the beautiful birds.

This trip created a new appreciation for our bird feeder we have outside. The kids and I love seeing new birds coming to the feeder. We’ll try to figure out what they are and if they’re male or female.

We have some of the same bird types come back to our feeder each year. It also seems we get one or two new ones. We’ve had both the male and female cardinal at our feeder, chickadees, woodpeckers, Tufted titmouse, American Goldfinch, and a few others.

We get a great view out our front kitchen window of the birds at the feeder.

Fun fact, did you know that April 16 is National Library Day? For National Library Day, my kids and I were excited to review a National Geographic Kids Books bundle that’s all about birds.

Book In This Bundle

Little Kids First Board Book: Birds (board book, ages Baby-3)Designed to be the stepping stone to the best-selling National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book series, the Little Kids First Board Book series takes similar big subjects and distills them down to the simplest nonfiction concepts for the youngest audience. Not only will readers learn about a variety of birds, they can also find recurring shapes and patterns in the art, while adults can keep their eyes open for occasional funny commentary from the animals. With their bright and playful design, awesome photography, clear text, and cues to encourage interactive learning, the Little Kids First Board Books take a fresh new approach to make learning about nature and science fun.


Little Kids First Big Book of Birds(hardcover, ages 4-8)“Parents, teachers, and curious children will be fascinated by this excellent introduction to birds. VERDICT Lush nature photography, concise language, a large print size, and a browsable layout: this offering is ideal for home, school, and library use” – School Library Journal 

This adorable reference introduces young readers to birds of all kinds: big and small, flyers and swimmers, colorful and plain. They’ll find backyard favorites, such as robins and cardinals and be introduced to more unique species that inhabit rain forests and deserts around the world. Bird behaviors kids can relate to, including singing, dancing, building, swimming, and diving, reveal fascinating insights into the avian world. More than 100 colorful photos are paired with profiles of each bird, along with facts about the creatures’ sizes, diets, homes, and more. This charming book will quickly become a favorite at storytime, bedtime, and any other time.

Fly With Me: A Celebration of Birds Through Pictures, Poems and Stories(hardcover, ages 4-8) by Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple

“…a lavishly illustrated compendium of facts, photographs, and poetry…As is characteristic of National Geographic publications, the plentiful photographs are well-chosen and beautifully reproduced. A treasure for browsers and bird lovers everywhere.” — Kirkus Starred Review

“With text that never talks down to its audience, this makes an ideal choice for family sharing or classroom browsing.” — Booklist

This thoughtful and beautifully curated collection of our flying, feathery friends highlights the role birds play in human life from centuries ago to present day. While it’s beautiful and contains many original poems, it’s also full of valuable real science about these wondrous creatures. From history and behavior to spotting and photographing, there’s something for every bird fan in the flock. Young birders will learn all about migration and the importance of habitat conservation. They’ll find stories about bird rescues and fun facts about the fastest, strongest, and tiniest fliers. They’ll also discover the best bird nests, sweet songs to sing, ways to listen for and identify the birds around them, and more. 

NG Kids Bird Guide of North America 2nd ed (paperback, ages 8-12)Fly into the world of birds in the most complete guide for kids to North America’s birds, featuring range maps, cool facts, interactive activities and crafts, and detailed descriptions and drawings by Jonathan Alderfer, one of the country’s top avian experts and artists.The guide features profiles of 50 of North America’s most popular birds–including how and where they live and tips about how to spot, hear, and attract them–as well as mini-profiles of another 100 birds, for coverage of 150 bird species in all.


Everything Birds of Prey(paperback, ages 8-12)From eagles to falcons and talons to beaks, Everything Birds of Prey introduces readers to the world’s most ferocious fliers. With stunning visuals and energetic, impactful design, readers won’t stop until they’ve learned everything there is to know about birds of prey.

Where Can I Find Out More?

You can find more information on Birds from Nat Geo Kids by visiting the National Geographic Kids website.

On Nat Geo Kids you can also find more information on birds, pictures, and even games.

GIVEAWAY

1 US winner will win a the National Geographic Kids Birds bundle for themself AND the same bundle for their favorite library.

**The winners prize will be sent directly to them. The library prize will be sent to the winner’s library of choice. So be prepared to with the name and address of your library if you win**

Nat Geo Kids Books: All About Birds #NationalLibraryDay

I received a book bundle at no cost to facilitate this post. Any opinions expressed are my own.

Smile Brilliant Night Guard Review + Giveaway

You might have seen my review of the cariPRO Ultrasonic Toothbrush from Smile Brilliant in the past. I’m still using that same toothbrush today. I do keep a supply of new brush heads on hand. My dentist was impressed with how well it keeps my teeth clean. She actually asked for the name of the toothbrush. But a newer issued came along at one of my dentist appointments a few years ago.

About 2 years ago, while at my dentist appointment, my dentists commented about my gums receding. She says there’s a few reasons it could happen but one reasons is from teeth clenching or grinding my teeth. I had a coworker that had a similar problem. She ended up having to have cadaver gums to fix her receding gum line. The idea of that just doesn’t appeal to me. They did give me some hope that there has been advances with injecting collagen into the gums and seeing results with that treatment. Unfortunately it was just starting on the west coast and hadn’t made it’s way to the east coast yet. It’s obviously something that dentists will need to be trained to do as well.

I started to pay more attention. I noticed I did clench my teeth when working out. I sometimes grind my teeth when I’m bored. It’s possible I clench or grind my teeth at night. I don’t personally know that I do and my husband has never said anything to that effect.

So, what do I do? I ask my dentist. She suggested a night guard. Unfortunately she says it’s not covered by my insurance. They could do a custom one but it would cost around $500 or I could buy a pre-fab one somewhere like Walmart. So I went with that option. The pre-fab one I bought only cost about $20. Unfortunately you get what you pay for. It didn’t fit my mouth right. I had to cut the ends so it fit in my mouth without feeling like it was gagging me. In the end it didn’t work out.

I was starting to seriously consider shelling out the $500 to avoid cadaver gums. But then Smile Brilliant entered my life. It was exactly the solution I needed.

Smile Brilliant offers custom night guards you can get in the convenience of your own home. Smile Brilliant Custom Night Guard costs a fraction of what i would have paid my dentist but still getting the custom fit I need. They send you a kit in the mail to create your own custom dental guard at your convenience. They have an easy to follow step by step guide.

You kit comes with a mold and stuff that reminds me of silly putty that you have to mix together. They give you enough for two tries just in case you mess up on the first one. I’ve used the same method for their teeth whitening trays. I usually get it on the first try but did end up having to use the 2nd set this time. No worries if you still need more, you just have to contact them.

The whole process really only take about 10 min start to finish. The instructions have high resolution, color pics. They are are truly step by step. I personally suggest reading through the entire directions so you can anticipate what you need to do next. It’s not a hard process but you do only have so much time to work with the molding solution before it starts to harden.

Smile Brilliant also provides an envelope, postage paid, to send your impression back for your bite guard to be created.

It took close to three weeks for me to get my bite guard in the mail but when I received it, it was a perfect fit. It’s a nice flexible material. It’s comfortable in my mouth.

When your finished bite guard is sent to you, you also receive a convenient, vented storage container to keep your bite guard in.

bite guard case
finished bite guard
How Much Is Teeth Whitening

Smile Brilliant offers several high quality and custom oral care products including the cariPro Ultrasonic toothbrush, Water flosser, custom teeth whitening kits, and more.

Save 20% off your order when you use my code: 20angiewith2

GIVEAWAY

Choice of T3 Sensitive or Light Custom Night Guard Giveaway link:
https://www.smilebrilliant.com/g/angiewith2

Just for entering you get an additional discount at Smile Brilliant!

*Eligible countries: US, UK, Australia, & Canada

**This post is in collaboration with Smile Brilliant. I was compensated with free product for this post. This post does contain affiliate links and I can earn from sales made through my links. Any opinions expressed are my own***

Dirt Devil Endura Max XL Review

I received the Dirt Devil Endura Max XL at no cost review through Bzzagent. I decided to write a review on my blog about this particular vacuum because I really have a lot to say about it.

I want to start by saying, I’ve gone through over my fair share of vacuums. I’ve tried everything from higher end pricier vacuums like Dyson to budget friendly Walmart specials. I’ve mostly bought brand new vacuums but I did roll the dice on a few refurbs. Vacuums never seem to last more than a year or 2 for us no matter the style, price, or brand. We are a family of 6 with 3 cats. I run a robot vacuum daily and run an upright vacuum at least twice a week, sometime more. I do that because the robot vacuum just doesn’t get all the tighter areas and corners. I’ve also tried two different brands robot vacuums for the record. So I feel like I have a good comparison and can give a fair judgment on a vacuum.

So I received the Dirt Devil Endura Max XL in the mail. I unbox the vacuum and find my owner’s manual and set up info. I’ve set up quite a few vacuums. I found this one to be just a little confusing. Instead of the hose being one piece it’s actually two pieces. The written instructions for setup are minimal and the pictures are black and white and not very detailed. The pictures make it seem like the hose is all one piece but of course it’s not. I tried looking up youtube videos but to no avail. I finally figured out where it should go and I was ready to use the vacuum.

After the slight confusion with the set up, I also noticed that the materials used for the suction tube, hose, and suction tube release button were a pretty cheap plastic. It does not seem like it will be very durable. Especially in my house which is apparently hard on vacuums.

So I turn the vacuum on and, oh my goodness, it is absolutely the loudest vacuum I’ve ever owned. Even my husband was complaining about the noise. This vacuum also vibrates much more than I’m used to with other vacuums I’ve owned. I found myself not wanting to run the vacuum after the kids go to bed (which is usually the time I like to do it. I’m a night owl.) I also don’t want to run this vacuum in the mornings because my husband works night shift and I don’t want to wake him up.

So is there any good news Ang?

Yes, I can’t say I should just throw the whole vacuum away. The suction does appear to be pretty good. I had no issue vacuuming up popcorn, getting crumbs out of corners in the kitchen or vacuuming up cat hair. It’s really light weight for the size of the vacuum so it’s not a burden to carry it upstairs.

It’s multi-surface with different surface settings. I had no issues using it on my tile floors in my kitchen, hardwood floors in the living room, or carpeting in the bedrooms. It came with a couple attachments which were easy to apply and use on my furniture.

The canister works much like any other canister vacuum I’ve owned. Easy to open and empty the contents of the canister. Easy to replace the filter when needed.

The power cord length, I would say, is sufficient. I’ve had vacuums with longer cords, I’ve had vacuums with shorter cords. If I was wishing, I’d have the cord be another 3 feet longer or so but this part isn’t a deal breaker for me.

In Summary

If the noise isn’t an issue for you, you need a light-weight vacuum, and you’re not hard on vacuums like my family is then this would probably work out for you. It does the job.

Depending on the site, this vacuum is being listed with a retail price of $90 – $96. Had I paid that price out of pocket for this vacuum I would have been very disappointed. I don’t see myself using this vacuum much in my house especially since I have other options available. I think this will be one that I send off with one of my older boys to college or to their first place to get them started.

I Bought it, I Tried it: Gelo Hand Soap

This year, I bought a few different products that I kept seeing ads for. I’ll be honest, most of them I was pleasantly surprised with. All of these products I bought with my own money (they are not comped products). I figured if I kept seeing the ad on Facebook and Instagram then maybe other people have been curious too.

The first product I wanted to feature, was one of the first products I bought this year via a facebook ad. I kept seeing the ad, I liked the idea, when I saw the price I thought, what the heck I’ll give it a try. It also came at a time where we had just gotten through having a hard time finding hand soap during the pandemic. Not knowing if it would happen again and always needing a supply of hand soap on hand, I thought this might be a good way to stock up.

Gelo is hand soap with a unique approach. Biodegradable pods you can use to refill your hand soap bottles (or one of theirs) using just water. The scent choices were choices I liked. I also released I was spending anywhere between $1-$3 on bottles of soap at the store and throwing them away when they were done. Yo! I keep hand soap in the kitchen, downstairs bathroom, upstairs bathroom, and the laundry room!

Gelo products reduce the amount of waste of regular disposable hand soaps. If you have a reusable soap pump at home, you can even use the one year already have.

I did an instagram reel so you can get an idea of how it works:

The Gelo refill pods are made with plant based materials: shea, oat, and essential oils. Their pods are completely made up of biodegradable materials including the pod film. There are no sulfates, parabens, or fillers. When you order the refill bag it has enough for 4 refills. So I can literally refill all the soap dispensers I used in my house with one bag. Instead of throwing out 4 soap dispensers I’m only throwing out one bag.

They offer foaming hand soap or gel hand soap options for your preference or for the type of soap dispenser you already have at home. So one of my fave parts? It’s super affordable. I ordered two starter kits for our bathrooms a couple months ago and I’m just now getting to where I needed to order refills. So I ordered a starter kit for our kitchen and 2 more refill bags. $21 shipped and I have enough to refill 12 times. Even with shipping that breaks down to only $1.75/bottle!

Now I’m not an affiliate, ambassador, or anything else with them but I do have a referral link (that anyone can get when you order). It will save you $2 off your first order and give me 10% off my next order. Just go through my Gelo referral link here.

If you like this post let me know if you’d like to see more of them in the comments.

Earth Day Feature: NOVICA

I’ve been a fan of NOVICA for a long time. They find true artisans, skilled in their crafts to hand make products and purchase them at fair trade. If you use my search bar on the upper right side of my page and search the term NOVICA you’ll find other posts. There’s a reason I keep agreeing to work with NOVICA and have made several purchase from them on my own.

NOVICA seeks out artists from around the world. They are skilled artisans often using natural materials. There are artists from all over the world such as Mexico, Thailand, India, Argentina, West Africa, etc. Finding jewelry makers, glass blowers, wood carvers, and more.

Each piece is unique. I’m absolutely in love with the NOVICA glassware that Javier and Efron create in Mexico. Each and every piece is just a little different, even if you buy a set. You can see the tiny bubble marks that are almost a hallmark of hand blown glass.

These glasses are a thick smooth glass. I has a beautiful turquoise color. When you pick it up you can feel that it has just a little more weight than a juice glass you’d buy in a store.

I have 2 other sets of glasses from NOVICA. When people come to visit and we use them I usually get compliments on them.

Another thing I like about NOVICA is that the artisans hand craft these items, NOVICA does not mass produce products in factories so it cuts down on the environmental impact.

I encourage you to check out Novica.com and see all the beautiful and unique handmade pieces there are. Jewelry, baskets, decor, clean beauty, and more.

I’d love to know one piece that catches your eye on NOVICA.com

I did received these glasses to review at no cost from Novica in order to complete this post. Any opinions expressed are my own.