Category Archives: Reviews

Slideshop: Blow Any Presentation Out of the Water @slide_shop

Slideshop can has just the right templates for you! School, work, home and more: you’re covered!

Slideshop: Blow Any Presentation Out of the Water!

Not gonna lie, the first time I saw Slideshop I got crazy excited. When working on presentations I’m not a fan of the creative aspects for some reason. I cannot express enough how I wish I’d had it in college!

Slideshop has so many different presentation templates that will take lesson planning, reports, pitches and business meetings to the next level! I love that they even have personal templates, like the family tree (which I’m looking forward to doing soon!). With over 15k to choose from, they’ve got you covered!

 

For Teachers

Make Life Easy with Slideshop!

Teachers, there are so many useful resources on Slideshop that are perfect for you! Templates of charts, diagrams, maps, and even planning are just the beginning of the vast collection! My favorite planning templates are the itineraries! Perfect for school trips or even just to help keep substitutes on track! They’ve even got a ton of calendars that makes life so much easier!

For Students

Presentations for Every Class Projects!Whether you are doing a presentation for class or your favorite club/organization Slideshop has you covered. You’ll spend less time making the slideshow so that you can spend more time making sure you have the best information to present! Definitely A+ presentations that your fellow students will admire and your professors will enjoy!

For Businesses: Corporations, Small Businesses & Wherever

Build Your Career with Slideshop Business Templates!

Easily create strategies, projects, agendas, business plans and so much more in minutes. You’ll work harder on collecting your information than putting together the slideshow! Not to mention how beneficial the professional and innovative slides will be to your company and your career!

For My Fellow Bloggers:

Build Your Blog with Slideshop Templates!This one has me, as you can imagine. I have so many plans to put Slideshop to work for My Crafty Zoo! I love that they have templates for infographics (no more hours on PicMonkey!)! My infographics will take so much less time! I’ll also be doing my own calendars with some of their templates (officially done buying $25+ planners, I can customize one that is perfect for my needs! They’ve even got some fantastic marketing templates!

If you read the section that applies to you above, you can definitely see how fantastic Slideshop is! I’ve got so many projects on my to-do list now that I have this site! So many companies rave about them and I’m certainly getting why!

I highly suggest checking them out, they even have Free Powerpoint Slide Templates! I’m loving the one they have this week! I’m not sure how often they put new ones out, but I do know that just in case I’m downloading the now!

~ Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram ~ InLinkz ~

Mock Welch’s Strawberry #IcePop Recipe

IceWabanga Ice Pop Molds Review by My Crafty ZooBefore summer is officially over, I thought I’d share this amazing recipe with you!  When I was a kid my Mom would buy Welch’s all fruit popsicles as a special treat from time to time.  This recipe tastes JUST like them.  First bite took me back years!  A quick check in the mirror revealed it was only in my head though.

The Popsicle molds pictured are IceWabanga Fill and Freeze Ice Pop Molds.  There are many reasons I’m loving these!  We’ll start with the thing I look for first: they are dishwasher safe!  I have plenty of items that can’t go in the dishwasher so I like to have the option of popping them in if I’m busy or have a houseful.  I also love that you can take each Mold out of the holder one at a time, so you don’t have to run water over the all the popsicles to get one out, you can make just a couple of ice pops if you like and you can wash them as you use them as opposed to having the top part ready to wash and waiting for the bottom.  I’m always worries about losing them!

They also came with a bonus of 2 silicone ice pop molds.  I think these are going to be great for a push pop type popsicle!  If you are on the market or just hate your current ones, you should definitely check these out.  There aren’t a ton of products like these that I feel like I must have, but these are on that list!

Now, on to the recipe!

Mock Welchs Strawberry PopsIngredients:

4 cups chopped, hulled strawberries

3 Tbsp corn syrup

3 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp lemon juice

Directions:

  1.  Puree in blender or food processor all ingredients.
  2. Pour into molds, you don’t need to leave much space as this particular recipe does not expand when it freezes.
  3. Freeze until frozen (like you would have never thought that was next!  LOL)

Please Note: This will yield about 10 pops!

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Originally posted 2016-08-24 21:40:00.

36 Uses for Lavender Oil

I have a few friends who have been swearing by the use of essential oils for years.  I always knew that they had a ton of uses, I just never bothered trying to learn what those uses were.  So, having the opportunity to try out Aviner Lavender Essential Oil has inspired me to start learning.  One of my favorite uses is the helping with concentration, I’m excited to play with that one!  Lord knows I need it!  You can read an article about it and 9 other oils that help with concentration on Aviner’s blog.  I had some lavender oil from a friend and had been using it for bug bits and to help with sleep.  When I compared the two (the one I had from a large box store and the Avenir), I realized that the Avenir smells stronger and is more effective, which is interesting since both say that they are 100% pure.  The Avenir, however, also says it’s 100% pure.  That seems to be the only obvious difference, but the subtle difference in smell is also noticeable.  Overall, I really am loving the lavender oil from Aviner!!!  Thier prices are quite reasonable and their selection is outstanding!

36 Uses for Lavender Oil

Please note that I received this product in exchange for a review and my honest opinion.  My Crafty Zoo with never misrepresent their feelings on any product, promotional or otherwise.

I’d Love to Know….

How do you use lavender oil?

Anything I missed?  What’s your favorite?

Originally posted 2016-08-21 18:22:25.

#HomeXpertsStorageBags Review

Storage BagsInitially, I was over the moon for these vacuum storage bags. They seemed to work perfectly and I was thinking I’d need a ton more so I could condense so many blankets and clothing. After a little while, I looked in the top of the closet where I had placed one of the suctioned bags and realized that one of the bags had began to gain a little bit of air. I think perhaps a little thicker plastic would make these perfect. I do love the simplicity and my old vacuum suctioned it closed very well. I think these are great for short term storage but I suspect that if you want something sealed for years then a thicker bag would be better.  These are perfect for dorms though!  I think my niece needs a couple to keep her closet from being packed!  Using them is easy and only takes a minute or so.

 

Originally posted 2016-08-18 23:42:32.

32G #CustomUSBDepot Turbo Charger Review

 

CustomUSBDepot Turbo Charger Review I don’t know about you, but waiting for my phone to charge when I want to do something is the absolute worst for me!  I have very little patience, and while I recognize fully that patience is a very good trait I don’t seem to have gotten it down yet.  I’m a work in progress, my patience has improved but is not yet perfected.  That being said, any product that lessens my need for patience is a friend to me.  Speed chargers are the bomb, I love them.  I love that in half (or sometimes less) of the time I can have my phone or device back up and running.  Doesn’t matter if I don’t need it, it matters if I can’t have it.  LOL.  I know, another problem I have is being a spoiled brat.  Keep your judgements to yourself please.  haha.

I recently got to try out the Custom USB Depot Turbo Charger.  It has a switch on the side so that it will work with either Android or Apple devices so that is fabulous.  At the Zoo, we prefer multi-tasking tools!  I have a Samsung Galaxy S3 and due probably to both the age and the amount of things I had downloaded, it goes dead a lot and takes what I feel like is an eternity to charge.  The Turbo Charger plugs into my existing wall charger as a USB portal and sped up the charging process by about half the time.  This is awesome!  Since I’ve had the charger, I gave in and updated my phone.  I purchased a Samsung Note 5 which comes with a turbo charger.  However, I use my USB Depot Turbo Charger with an old USB cable on my computer so I have been using the Turbo Charger on it and it works great here too!

The charger comes in a silicone case that you can attach to your key chain.  Now let’s all take a moment an acknowledge my awesome keychains, I just got the stone sea turtle and I am always a supporter of speaking out against domestic violence.  I also have a charm keeper on it, but I couldn’t figure out how to get that in there too.  LOL.  I’m a little in love with my keychains.  Anyway, having the USB Turbo Charger on my keychain is awesome for many reasons, but my favorite is that it makes it easy to keep up with.  No matter where I go, I have it and since it is super light it doesn’t make much difference in weight on my key chain.  Even if I don’t have the USB device in the case, it’s not a pain to have on my key chain.  Overall, I really enjoy the speed and convenience that the Custom USB Charger has brought.  Easy, lightweight, convenient.  All a busy woman’s friend!

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Some important details:

3-5 year warranty

Rush shipping available on most items

Price Beat Guarantee

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Custom Depot 32g Turbo USB Drive Giveaway US/CAN Ends 9/1

The awesome folks over at Custom USB Depot is gonna gave one lucky reader a Lightning fast 32 G USB Drive!

Congratulations to Jessica N!

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Originally posted 2016-08-18 06:11:35.

Sleep Mask #EyeCover Review

eyecoverHello all!  Just wanted to drop a quick line and tell you all about the eye cover I just had the chance to review.  A dear friend and I recently took a road trip that was a 10 hour drive.  We had an awesome time but with my narcolepsy, I had to take a nap or two on the drive.  Don’t get me wrong, with narcolepsy you will sleep anywhere, however it’s nice to have some comfort when you do so.  I always take my road neck thing that another dear friend bought for me, but man I wish I’d had this for the drive!

Made of 100% silk, the Fitglam Natural Silk Sleep Mask is seriously soft, you’ll want to rub it across your skin just to feel it longer!  It has an adjustable clip on the back that doesn’t get caught in your hair but does make it easy  to ensure your comfort.  There was minimal light allowed in, as the only place it could creep in was around the lower part of the nose, and I have yet to find any kind of eye mask that was able to do that one.  If you travel or just have issues with your spouse wanting to read when you are ready to sleep, you’ll love this mask.  It enables you to sleep in peace whether the lights are on, the sun is shining, or what have you!

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Originally posted 2016-08-17 10:38:37.

#Watchitude: 10 Ways Time Management Can Lead Children to Success

10 Ways Time Management Can Lead Children to Success & a Review by My Crafty Zoo

Time management is a very important skill to have.  Being successful in life is quite difficult for those who are always late or miss appointments.  I’m pleased to introduce you to Watchitude so we can get those Monkeys on the road to success!

Watchitude is a company that sells slap watches with a twist.  They are designed by, well, anyone!  Since the designs can be submitted by anyone, there are some really special one of a kind bands!  They have a huge variety of different designs that I honestly haven’t seen anywhere else.  You can get watches with some really cool designs such as animals, sports, foods (I have a love hate feeling for the pepperoni pizza watch), nature, and so much more.  I had the privilege of getting the #145 Lightening watch, which was designed by Chris S from Texas!   The slap watch band is plastic and, of course, slaps right in place.  For those of us (especially the kiddos) who hate getting ready in the morning, that certainly helps with the getting ready time!  The watch face is printed rather large, making it easy for kids to learn to tell time and for everyone to tell the time with a quick glance!  They are the perfect gift for any kid!

Want Your Design on Watchitude?WatchitudeArm

Yes, you read that right!  You can get your design made by going to Watchitude and uploading your photos.  You can upload one for the watch band and another for the watch face.  Then you share your design and get votes via your special link.  Designs with the most votes will be put into production and if yours is one of them, you’ll get your design for free with your name on the back for design credit!  How cool is that!?!10 Ways Time Management Can Lead Children to Success Featuring Watchitude

  1. It prepares them for the future. When school starts, they’ll need to be up on time and in class on time.  When they get older, they’ll need to be on time for work and meetings for the rest of their lives.  Good habits start early.
  2. It can help with patience, which cuts down on whining and other bad behaviors. We’ve all experienced the ‘is it time for *insert whatever here* yet?’ times and those moments where we tell them that we’ll be doing something in ten minutes.  Problem is, until we teach them they have no concept of ten minutes so they keep asking.  So, as a great solution, we can get a clock and show them that when the minute hand hits here then it will be time.  Just make sure that when that time hits, you are on it so they’ll get it quickly!
  3. It helps them learn their numbers faster as they become familiar with the numbers in a functional way while learning to tell time.
  4. They are able to more easily able to learn skip counting when the time comes as they’ve already been doing it!
  5. According to parents.com, children start being taught problems with elapsed time by third grade. Why not help them have a strong grasp on the concept long before the challenge starts!
  6. Many of the self-help books and articles on how to be successful emphasize the importance of time, being on time, time management, etc. Perhaps learning to tell time and be good about being on time early will help our babies succeed!
  7. They’ll learn that everything has a place and a time. It ensures they know what is expected of them and they learn how to manage their time properly. A dear friend, who contributed this benefit, pointed out that her children have a schedule and they are able to make decisions regarding activities, responsibilities, etc that are reasonable to their schedule.  Having watched her children and their interactions, I have to give her props because even her 7 year old was reasonable with these types of things!
  8. Studies show that routine and schedules gives children a sense of security and structure. This leads to confidence which will reflect in all areas of their life.
  9. Children on set schedules tend to be less grumpy as they know what is expected of them and what they need to do so there is no attitude (most of the time, haha)
  10. Having a schedule helps make it known that no one person’s life is more important so they learn to be more selflessness by thinking and considering other’s schedules and commitments when they want to do something.

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Originally posted 2016-08-16 00:27:04.

Steam Lab for Kids: Hands On Learning!

Steam Lab for Kids: Looking for great ways to make science blast off in your child’s life?  Hands On Learning!

Steam Lab for Kids: Hands On Learning!

If so you need to check out STEAM Lab For kids! Its an amazing book filled with incredible at home experiments, activities, art projects and much more all geared toward making science and math so fun that your kids don’t even realize they are learning! With step by step guides, material lists, and side notes to help parents educate and become more involved, this book has everything you need to make a huge impact on how even parents view learning! We have all heard or have at least been told by someone that learning through play is the best way. There is a lot of, you guessed it, science backing up that old saying!

Steam Lab Learning!

Hands On Learning with Steam Lab for Kids!

Having a hands on experience is more meaningful and memorable which makes the lessons learned unforgettable.

Here are some expert opinions on why hands on learning is the most effective style, and why parents should get more involved with their childrens playful learning.

 

  • Busy Hands, Busy Brains
    As students put projects together, create crafts, or use familiar materials in new ways, they’re constructing meaning. “Kids learn through all their senses,” says Ben Mardell, PhD, a researcher with Project Zero at Harvard University, “and they like to touch and manipulate things.”

 

When you combine activities that require movement, talking, and listening, it activates multiple areas of the brain. “The more parts of your brain you use, the more likely you are to retain information,” says Judy Dodge, author of 25 Quick Formative Assessments for a Differentiated Classroom (Scholastic, 2009). “If you’re only listening, you’re only activating one part of the brain,” she says, “but if you’re drawing and explaining to a peer, then you’re making connections in the brain.”

You can check out more on this by visiting http://www.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=3751901

Learning through Play is the BEST Way!

  • Students who physically experience scientific concepts understand them more deeply and score better on science tests, according to a new UChicago-led study.

This study went even deeper into what it means to have hands on learning by using brain scans to back up their theories. Check out these brainiacks have to say about it:

https://news.uchicago.edu/story/learning-doing-helps-students-perform-better-science

  • Experts believe that by involving students in a total learning experience (i.e. learning by doing), their ability to think critically is significantly enhanced. It teaches them to rely more on evidence (observed data), encourages them to think independently, and reduces their dependence on authority.

There is a lot of information available to back up this once “fad” I education styles. Read more about it here, and decide for yourself if hands on is beneficial for your little ones:

https://info.gbiosciences.com/blog/hands-on-science-as-a-teaching-advantage

  • Research consistently shows that children who have opportunities to actively investigate natural settings and engage in problem-based learning greatly benefit from the experiences. They gain skills, interests, knowledge, aspirations and motivation to learn more.  

https://www.paesta.psu.edu/article/science-nation-hands-learning-research-benefits-economy-environment

Getting interested yet? I certainly am!  So, come on parents! Let’s jump in and get our hands dirty with our kids! We can all agree that their education holds precedence to most other values, and its equal is your involvement with your kids and the memories they will have to look back on. so if you are looking for fun ways to make lasting memories that build your child’s knowledge of the world around them, or if you are just looking for ways to have some fun all year long; check out this book for some amazingly fun and educational ideas!

STEAM LAB for Kids…get your learning fun on!

Steam lab for kids, make science fun, hands on activities for families, fun learning activities

Learning through Play is the BEST Way!

Video Watermarker Review #VIDEOWATERMARKER70OFF

videowatermarkerRecently I had the opportunity to review some software meant to put a watermark on videos.  I downloaded Video Watermarker by PCWinSoft.  I was very excited as I really want to start doing reviews on youtube and such but was quickly disappointed.  Three efforts resulted in the same error message, which was always prompted by the software shutting down.  While the idea sounds great, obviously there is an issue with execution.  Another issues I had with the software is that immediately after installing it another program needed to be installed, an Mp4 decoder.  I was not pleased with adding an additional software.  Needless to say, both software’s were immediately uninstalled.  I would definitely not suggest downloading this software, much less purchasing it.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to scan my computer for spyware.

If you’d like to check them out, here are some links for a discount and a trial download.

Their website is: Video Watermarker by PCWinSoft

Product Discount Link:  Video Watermarker by PCWinSoft

Trial download Link: Video Watermarker by PCWinSoft

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Originally posted 2016-07-13 12:24:25.

#un-ashamed Healing Our Brokenness & Finding Freedom From Shame

UnashamedI don’t know if it’s true or not, but I’ve read that women are taught from a young age to be ashamed.  Don’t get me wrong, I believe that a certain amount of shame is very necessary and is actually a good thing, but at some point I, personally, developed way more shame than I need.  To the point that it interferes with my life and my happiness.  Unashamed is meant to help us let go of those negative feelings and find the joy and peace that God intends for us.  I had that once but have lost it, not necessarily from shame but as it turns out that isn’t really the important part.

About the book:

Unashamed: Healing Our Brokenness and Finding Freedom from Shame offers hope to

those struggling under the burden of shame. This book shines the life-giving light of the

gospel on the things that leave us feeling worthless and rejected, directing our attention

to the God who promises to forgive and restore us—no matter what.

authorAbout the author:#

Heather Davis Nelson (MA, Westminster Theological Seminary) is a writer, counselor,

and speaker. Heather writes regularly at HeatherDavisNelson.com and has been a

featured writer at the Gospel Coalition, as well as a contributing author to the Journal of

Biblical Counseling. She and her husband are parents to twin daughters and live in

southeastern Virginia.

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Originally posted 2016-06-29 08:00:03.