Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Fuel Snacks from Foodie Fuel ~ a review

Foodie Fuel, nutrient dense snacks, organic snacks, coconut sugar snacks


My favorite snacks are ones that taste delicious while still being good for you. Often I find myself short on time and long on hunger, so I need to keep a supply of nutritious snacks at hand, both at home and in my car. Snacks for at home are simple, I can grab a handful of nuts or a piece of fruit as I stroll through the kitchen. Snacks for my car can be a real challenge. I cannot just leave a bunch of bananas on the backseat until I am hungry for them, and it can get messy trying to eat from a package of mixed nuts while driving down the highway. What's an active girl to do? I must eat, otherwise my mommy attitude gets replaced by one that more resembles a monster. I found a great solution: Foodie Fuel snacks!

Back in October I was introduced to the Foodie Fuel company and their oh-so-delicious snacks at the MomsMeet WOW Summit. Besides being a great organic, gluten-free, and paleo-friendly snacks to bridge that time in the afternoon when you're craving something a little sweet, these fuel snacks come in four flavors. Why is that important you're wondering? I'll tell you: as much as I like chocolate, I cannot be eating it every time I need a healthy car-snack. Too often I have found health-food companies focusing on everything chocolate, and not having enough alternative flavors. 

Foodie Fuel, nutrient dense snacks, organic snacks


I was pleasantly surprised to find the Fuel Snacks from Foodie Fuel come in four unique flavors: Butter Toffee, Cinnamon Ginger, Coconut Vanilla, and Swiss Chocolate. Then - I tasted them - oh my! Deliciousness! I'll readily admit I went back by their booth a second, and then a third time to try the snacks all over again. Each flavor is distinctly unique, and the texture is somewhat crunchy, yet lightly chewy. It looks like a cracker, but tastes more like a cookie. Butter Toffee tastes the sweetest to me, but with only 8 grams of sugar per serving while still providing 2 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein  it is satisfying while not actually being that sweet. All of these flavors are made with low-glycemic, slow-burning carbs, healthy fats, and complete proteins. 

Cinnamon Ginger scored high with my husband on flavor, as he agreed that it was good, but knowing my tendency to not-share while hungry, his consumption of Fuel Snacks was limited. :) Arlene said this flavor reminded her of walking into a country store, with spices, candles, and pie.

Swiss Chocolate is actually lower in sugar, with only 4 grams of sugar per serving, while still being quite tasty! One of the reasons these remain so good-for-you while tasting divine is the use of organic coconut sugar as the sweetener. The different flavors are all made with various combinations of nutrient dense food sources like: pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, coconut sugar, golden flax seeds, sea salt, and natural flavors.

My absolute favorite flavor is the Coconut Vanilla Fuel Snack! Sadly, this bag was gone all too soon. I will need to order some more right away. Thankfully, the awesome folks at Foodie Fuel who provided me with this box of goodness filled with Fuel Snacks for this review also provided me with a discount code for all of you, our readers, to use to order your own Fuel Snacks. From today through December 31st, 2017, you can enter the promo code Homesweetlife at checkout to receive 25% off your order. That means you too can enjoy these delicious snacks, at home or on the go. By clicking on the pictures on the Shop page of their website, you can see the nutrition label and the ingredients list for each flavor.

Foodie Fuel, nutrient dense snacks, organic snacks


Fuel Snacks from Foodie Fuel come in two sizes: 2 oz (2 servings) or 4 oz (4 servings). The smaller bags are great for throwing in your purse, backpack, or gym bag, The larger ones are great for sharing, for using at home, for recipes like those found on their blog, and for gifting! Need any ideas for a foodie, athlete, or outdoorsman on your Christmas list? These would be superb! You can order in individual quantities of each flavor, or by the case. The 2 oz size comes in a case of 12 pouches, the 4 oz size in cases of 6 pouches.

Foodie Fuel's Fuel Snacks can be found in over 1200 stores nationwide, and their website has a handy store locator feature.

Now remember, you can get that 25% discount for your online order through 12/31/17 by entering Homesweetlife at checkout!

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I received free Fuel Snacks from Foodie Fuel in exchange for this honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions are my own, or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.



Monday, November 20, 2017

Books With Bean ~ The Eye of Minds


Books With Bean, book reviews by teens, Eye of Minds, James Dashner



Title: The Eye of Minds 

Author: James Dashner 

Published: 2013

Genre: Young Adult/ Science Fiction 

Summary: Michael and his friends Bryson and Sarah are gamers. They spend most of their time in the VirtNet, a full immersion virtual reality gaming world that is the place to be. Michael and his friends are among the top hackers and gamers who love playing games and having fun in the VirtNet, but their safety and the safety of the VirtNet is in trouble. A new gamer named Kaine is a name floating around the VirtNet and it doesn't mean anything good. So now the VNS (VirtNet Security) has asked Michael and his friends to follow the clues and stop Kaine and bring safety back to the VirtNet. After following the first clues they find themselves on the Path. A place deep in the VirtNet and now they have to survive the Path and find Kaine and bring him down.

What I liked about it: You probably recognize the name James Dashner as the writer of the extremely popular Maze Runner series. This is very interesting but very different. I read the first Maze Runner book and it wasn't really my thing, so I honestly do not even know why I picked this up in this first place, not having really liked his other books, but I did and I don’t regret it. The world is super interesting and I found myself liking Michael and his friends, the mystery of who Kaine is and what he is trying to do is interesting and it kept me interested throughout all three books.

Language: There is some mild swearing.

Romance: There isn't romance in the first book, however they do go to a dance club during the beginning of the book to find out how to get to Kaine and it does mention that the woman are in kind of skimpy clothing but it is in passing and small sentence. Also Bryson does make a few  mildly dirty jokes. 

Violence: One of the games they have to go through is a war game and the people get really mauled up which he describes in moderate detail.

Magic: In virtual reality a person can do anything and they mention that there are magic games in the VirtNet but they don’t go through them in the book.


Recommended Age: 13-14 and up is a good age.




Books With Bean, book reviews by teens, Eye of Minds, James Dashner




Thursday, November 16, 2017

Thankful Thursdays ~ Graciousness



graciousness, thankfulness, thankful Thursdays



Graciousness - n. courteousness, kindness, pleasantness

I am so thankful for the graciousness of attitude I have encountered so much in recent weeks. So many times I have found myself thankful for a kind cashier at the store, a well-spoken word from a friend, or the overwhelming grace of our Lord.

As I sat thinking yesterday about it being 40 days until Christmas, I was overwhelmed by how gracious God has been to me. It made me pause and think about how much I want to celebrate the goodness of God this season. All day today, little things kept reminding me of His faithfulness and provision.

When you find someone being gracious, notice it, remember it, and try to do likewise. 

If we all spent our time showing graciousness, instead of trying to be "right" all the time, the world would be a much nicer place.

What are you thankful for today?


SchoolhouseTeachers.com flash sale ending soon!

Just in case you've missed hearing about it, I wanted to let you know that one of our favorite online resources, SchoolhouseTeachers.com is having a flash sale through this Friday 11/17/17. Purchase an annual membership, get the second year free, and you'll receive a cool SchoolhouseTeachers.com tote bag. I use my tote a lot. It's sturdy and roomy. 

So remember - the sale is only through Friday. If you'd like to read more about some of the resources available on SchoolhouseTeachers.com, head over and read our past reviews, or this one from January of this year, or this one from last year focused on High School resources.





This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for helping support our blog.

Rock of Ages




hand lettered songs





Wednesday, November 15, 2017

40 Days of Christmas ~ Seeking Jesus in our everyday lives




40 days of Christmas, seeking Jesus, celebrating Christ


Today marks 40 days until Christmas

Instead of letting that news send you into a mad rush to buy, decorate, and give before December 25th, let's try something a little different this year. 

This year let's choose to celebrate Jesus every day for the next 40 days. Let's turn this into a season of celebration. Let's choose to look around us and look for Jesus and His work in our everyday lives. If we want to spend November being thankful, what better way than to be thankful for all Christ has done for us. If we want to focus our hearts in December, let's spend Advent not just thinking about the birth of Christ and preparing for His arrival, but also, asking Him to have all of our year, all of our lives, and to work on making us more like Him.

For the next 40 days, let us spend time daily reading God's word, let us commit to pray for those around us, and let us think past the material presents that may or may not be given this year, and instead focus on the eternal present of forgiveness offered through Christ's death and resurrection.

May you be drawn into a closer relationship with Christ this Christmas season.



Looking for more encouragement? Hop over to the Homeschool Blog Link Up every Friday!

Mark 3:24-25



Scripture Writing, Mark 3:24-25





Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Read with Liberty

American history, Rush Revere, Liberty, American patriots


Do your children enjoy learning about history? Have you read any of the Rush Revere books? Right now is a great time to get your children interested in history if they are not already, because the Rush Revere series of books offers the chance to learn about early American history, with the fun of a few special characters, especially Liberty, the talking horse.

If you are not familiar with the Rush Revere books, take a look at our review of the series from back in June. Arlene has read all of them over the years, but the review was her first chance to own a complete set of her own. 

American history, Rush Revere, Liberty, American patriots


I have known for quite a while that Rush and Kathryn Adams Limbaugh were generous people, and the opportunity we had to review the book set earlier this year confirmed that. Right now they are hosting a Read with Liberty campaign that ends on January 31, 2018. There are two separate categories, one for individuals, one for groups. So whether you read the books at home, in your classroom, or at a homeschool co-op, there is a fun way for you to enter. Read from your favorite book, with your plush Liberty by your side, or on your lap, and then write a letter to Liberty telling about your adventures. You could win treasures from Liberty's treasure chest, cool gadgets (from Apple - thanks Rush!) or a pizza party for your group.

If you don't already have a plush Liberty of your own, you can pick one up at the All American store for $25.99 plus shipping. Arlene has a Liberty, and they frequently read books together. No, it's not just for little kids, at 17, Arlene and Liberty still read together...and most afternoons they listen to Rush's show as well. :)

So, if you're thinking about gifts for the holidays, or if someone special has an upcoming birthday, why not bless them with a stuffed Liberty, and a few good history books to read as well? Liberty has frequently kept me company when I'm writing, but I'm pretty sure Liberty prefers spending time with Arlene, because she shares her licorice! ;)

American history, Rush Revere, Liberty, American patriots



Thin Stix Creativity Pack Giveaway!


The Pencil Grip, Thin Stix, mess free art


Our friends over at The Pencil Grip, Inc. have generously offered a Thin Stix Creativity Pack prize for one of our readers. How awesome is that?! These mess-free art supplies are fun for ages five through 95! If you can use a glue stick, you can have fun with Thin Stix!

We recently reviewed the 24 colors available in the Thin Stix Creativity Pack and found a wide assortment of fun uses for them. Click on over if you have not yet read our review. We will wait right here for you to get back. :)

We were first introduced to the original Kwik Stix about a year ago when we received them as a prize and gave them to my nephew for Christmas. He still has them today. The original ones are shorter and fatter, perfect for smaller hands, ages 3 and up to about 8. These newer Thin Stix are longer and thinner, giving greater control to older users while still retaining the fun of painting with only a 90 second drying time.

Back in May of this year Arlene and I reviewed the original Thin Stix 6 pk of Classic Colors and found then great for a variety of surfaces, including scrapbooking paper and canvas boards. You can check out those projects here.

Now would be a great time to own your own set of Thin Stik, especially with the variety of colors offered in the 24 pack. They work well for painting pictures, as well as Holiday cards or ornaments.

Click on the Giveaway Tools widget below and get entered! Share the giveaway with your friends far and wide for more chances to win! Limited to US addresses only. A huge Thank You to The Pencil Grip, Inc. for sponsoring this giveaway!








Monday, November 13, 2017

Where We Belong ~ a Bethany House Book Review


Historical Fiction, Christian authors, Lynn Austin


Lynn Austin has long been entertaining and challenging her readers through her various historical fiction books. Her newest release: Where We Belong is another gem in the treasure trove of her writing. It left me guessing the entire time, and the ending was not what I expected, but oh, so much better! 

I received a copy of Where We Belong to review from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Bethany House is one of those names I have come to trust when choosing a book to read in my limited free time. Wanting more than just another story, over the years I have found their selection of authors those who both inspire and challenge me in my own Christian life as I read along and become immersed in the lives of the book's characters.

Where We Belong is the story of two sisters, Rebecca and Flora, beginning when they were just teenagers in 1860 and following their lives through the end of 1890. This 30 year long story unfolds as the reader is taken back and forth from the sister's present adventure in the Sinai Dessert in 1890 through their growing up years and early adulthood. I appreciated how the story wove their current struggles and triumphs into their past adventures and mishaps. 

Lynn Austin once again writes fictional  characters whom you come to love because they are so achingly human, and flawed, that you wish they were real so they could be your friends. Rebecca and Flora share a special deep bond forged partially because of their close ages, and partially because their mother died when they were quite young. Their father raised them in a loving, but businesslike, home. The one point he always reminded the girls was that God had a plan for their lives, and it was up to them, with his guidance, to figure out what that purpose was and to pursue it.

As I read through the exploits of Rebecca and Flora, I was reminded again how close two sisters can become, even when they are vastly different in personality. My own daughters have often finished each others sentences or communicated a whole paragraph of meaning in one or two words when talking with each other. Rebecca and Flora are that kind of a sister duo.

I thoroughly enjoyed Where We Belong and would recommend it for anyone ages 16 and up who is interested in Biblical Archaeology, finding God's purpose for their lives, or who is an avid reader of Historical Fiction.

Now, the spoiler alert!


If you want to be caught completely unaware the first time you read Where We Belong, then stop reading now, click here to get your own copy of the book, and then close out this tab. For the rest of you - carry on!


Rebecca is the studious, academic type, and Flora is the beauty with a huge heart. Sisters are often written as foils of one another, and this pair is no exception to that. What you learn throughout the book is that while they each have strengths, they both most definitely have weaknesses as well - areas where God is still refining them. This made them both lovable in their own way. Where We Belong begins with Rebecca and Flora enduring a sandstorm in the Sinai Dessert. This trip, with their young butler Soren and new ladies' maid Kate is just one of many overseas adventures these sisters from Chicago have made over the past 30 years. We find out that Rebecca and Flora are well off, due to the methodical investments their father made during his lifetime, but desire to use their wealth to further God's purposes, not just their own. Their father first took them abroad during the summer of 1860 and it fueled Rebecca's desire to learn more about foreign places, the ancient world, and the still-young field of Biblical Archaeology. Flora is involved helping the poor and less fortunate in and around Chicago through various charities, but has joined Rebecca on this trip because of her love of her sister, and a desire that Rebecca find what she considers the missing piece of a puzzle that she has long been searching for.

Fans of Lynn Austin will find her trademark attention to detail prevalent throughout the book, without becoming bogged down. Mrs. Austin paints a vivid picture of the characters and settings, while still keeping the plot engaging. This 470 page paperback book would make a delightful read for anyone with a yearning to travel abroad, and would also make a lovely gift both to those who already know Christ, and those who are still searching.

You can connect with Lynn Austin on her website

Connect with Bethany House on Pinterest and Facebook



I received a free copy of this book from Baker Publishing group in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write na honest review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions are my own. I and disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.


Books With Bean ~ Murder on the Orient Express

Books With Bean, book reviews by teens, Agatha Christie, Murder on the Orient Express


Title: Murder on the Orient Express.

Author: Agatha Christie 

Published: First English printing: 1 January 1934. 
First United States publishing: February 28, 1934.

Genre: Mystery 

Summary: World famous detective Hercule Poirot is in the Middle East and has been called back to Europe to consult on a case. He takes the next train back to Europe, although he has a hard time getting a ticket as the train is all filled up, a very strange thing for the time of year. Its passengers are varied, a rich American and his valet and secretary, a Russian Princess and her ladies' maid, an American woman, a Swedish missionary, an Italian car salesman, a British Governess, a Hungarian Diplomat and his wife, and more. It is an eclectic group with little in common. As the train moves forward its progress is suddenly halted because the tracks are snowed over. The next morning it is found that the rich American was killed during the night but no one knows who did it, everyone has an alibi but no one could have come into the sleeping car from the outside so it had to be one of the passengers. Implored by the director of the train compony who is traveling on the train, Hercule Poirot is asked to use his detective skills to solve the case.

What I liked about it: This book is so good! I finished it and then started over again from the beginning. The characters are all unique and they are all interesting. The plot is so confusing and as you follow Hercule Poirot as he works on the case you can't possibly guess the end. Which is good because I have guessed a few of the ending to her books before. The setting is so cool and I love it all. 

Language: This is an adult book and it has some language but not a lot. 

Romance: There is no romance in the book, however it does mention a small passing sentence in a scene when Hercule Poirot and his help are sitting down to think and you go into the mind of one of the other men who has a brief thought about a girl he likes that is not his wife.

Violence: it is a Murder Mystery and it says that the man was stabbed many times but it is not too graphic. 

Magic: None 

Recommended Age: 14-15+

So, I find it kind of funny that this will be posting around the time the movie comes out. Anyway I’m looking forward to it and can't wait to see it.




Books With Bean, book reviews by teens, Agatha Christie, Murder on the Orient Express




Saturday, November 11, 2017

Veteran's Day 2017



Veteran's Day tribute, Colored troops flags, thankfulness

May we remember those who have served our country on this Veterans Day.

May we be thankful for all they and their families have given in order that we could live as one nation, and may we once again act as one nation, working for the good of the whole, knowing that we hold a treasure here in the United States that is in rare supply: freedom!

For so many years, countless servicemen and women from all walks of life have given generously of their time and talents to keep our nation safe, and free. May we take a moment to realize and appreciate their sacrifices that have shaped our country. Each time we see an American flag, may it remind us of how blessed we are to live here.

To all of you who have served : Thank you!

To all of you who are serving, or are the families at home waiting for your loved ones to come home from their tour of duty: Thank you! You are in our prayers.

Today, may we once again be One Nation, under God. Serving others before ourselves.




Mark 2:17



Mark 2:17, Scripture Writing




Friday, November 10, 2017

Silence



five minute friday writing prompt, silence



Do you crave silence? If you find it, what do you do with it? When the girls were little it felt like the only time the house was silent was when we were all asleep. That was not a bad thing, I enjoyed the laughter and fun we had together, but there were times when I craved some silence.

Today the girls are grown, and often not at home. I find I have a different outlook when it is silent now then I did back then, because I better understand that it will not be too many more years until they will probably both move out and then it will be silent more often.

I guess the question I am pondering is what do we do with silence when we get it? Are we appreciating the fifteen minutes of silence when all the little kids are napping, or the five minutes of silence before our alarm goes off in the morning? What do we do with that time, and is it even possible to shut off the noise in our own brains?! 

I am what is termed a mild introvert. I do not mind being around people and going to events, but there is a small part of me that craves alone time, quiet, silence. 

Even when the world (or at least the house) around me is silent I still have this internal noise going on...what am I thinking of writing next, did I pay that bill yet, what's for supper? It seems like I cannot stop thinking long enough to be silent myself. I've been praying that God would help me understand when He meant when He said "Be still and know that I am God." Perhaps that silence in my brain is possible, and silence that contemplates God would be the best kind.



This post is my five minutes of thoughts on Kate's word of the week. Hop on over and see what everyone else thought about silence.








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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Thinking Like an Architect ~ A Crew Review

Finding a science course for a kinesthetic learner who does not particularly like math can be a challenge at any age, but especially at the high school level when you know they need a solid course for their transcript. That is the main reason I was interested in the opportunity to have Arlene use Thinking Like an Architect, one of two courses currently available from Innovators Tribe. We received this awesome opportunity from the Homeschool Review Crew, and now that Arlene is getting into using the CAD (computer aided design) software for designing her dream house... well, frankly, it is hard to get her off the computer! I had to remind her that I needed to tell everyone about this gem of a course - and soon!

Architect, STEM, Hands On


Thinking Like an Architect is the brainchild of Mr. K, who teaches the course through online videos. He shares his love of hands-on learning, and reminds parents that their children need T.E.E. (technology and engineering education.) One of the reasons he created this course, and the Thinking Like an Engineer course, is because there was not a solid T.E.E. course available online for homeschoolers and private school teachers to use to teach the basic skills that used to be taught in Industrial Arts and shop classes.

Thinking Like an Architect combines online, self-paced video lessons, hands on-projects, and the use of an amazing CAD software program to teach student what an Architect is and what they do. It gives them opportunities to learn: terminology, how to read blueprints, and how to make their own scale drawings. At the end of the course, students will have designed their own dream house using the software and can print out the scale paper model pieces and assemble it. How cool is that?!

Architect, STEM, Hands On

In the pictures above you can see: Arlene drawing her outside house walls (top right) while watching the instructional video on how to use the software as she learns where to find the various tools on the toolbar. Bottom left is the blueprint version of her kitchen windows and the bottom middle is the dollhouse view of her kitchen. The top left is after she had added some paint to the kitchen wall, and chosen floor coverings.

This course is designed for grades 6-12, but I think it would be best for grades 8 and up, as they might better appreciate the opportunities the CAD software provides. If you are using it with a student under 10th grade, there may be a few exercises where they come to you for help understanding the math behind architecture. It is only an overview of the math, with a heavier emphasis on the terminology and the designing, but when it comes time to measure the height of their own house, they may need a little help with the equation and how to enter it into a scientific calculator. (Fear not - you can use the calculator app on your phone for this one!) The materials needed include a T-square, and Architect's rule, some printer paper for the daily activities, and about 40 more pages of printer paper for the scale model. If you don't have access to the T-square, there is a tutorial in the program on how to make one, and a temporary architect ruler you can print out and use. Arlene borrowed a T-square from Grandma, and I bought her an architect's rule for about $5. If your favorite craft and hobby store is the same as ours - you can find both items there and use your 40% off coupon. :)

STEM, architecture, hands on learning


Before she began the course, I printed out the course outline/checklist for Arlene and she put it in a 3 ring binder. As she has completed the other activities that lead up to using the CAD software, she has added them to her binder. Near the beginning of the course she was assigned to do research on a famous architect. When I checked in with her that afternoon, she had created a nice powerpoint presentation about Sir Joseph Paxton and his most famous works.

Architect, STEM, Hands On

There are couple of points to remember when your student is using this course. First - make sure you click on all of the videos as they appear and watch them all the way through before moving on. Most of them are short, but the information in them is vital to understanding the assignments the student will complete. This course is designed to take about 30 hours, but may take your student longer if they decide to get very detailed with the CAD software and their dream home. If you are wanting to use the course for a semester's worth of credit for high school you can add in extra work on studying architecture, writing reports on famous architects, or perhaps your student can job shadow a local architect in your community to get the required hours.

The second point is this - do not rush your student! When they get to the CAD software it is imperative that they watch each section of the learning the software videos. The first time Arlene tried to use it she missed an important video. Once we re-watched the videos together she understood how the software menu works, and she was off to design.

Overall, Arlene and I both agree that Thinking Like an Architect is a good value for the cost. I am sure if I tried to purchase the CAD design software on my own for her to use it would cost more than the course does, and the course it a valuable asset in her learning.

From Arlene (age 17)
I really liked the Thinking Like an Architect program because it was interactive and had lots of fun things to do. I learned a lot about different kinds of architecture and architects and all the possibilities of things to do once you become an architect. I learned about the different tools they use, some different architects from history, how they make blueprints blue, how to make my own blueprints,  and how to use the software that the pros use to design houses and buildings. 

Trust me, this is one Arlene will continue to use long after the review is over. She is currently hovering nearby waiting for me to finish typing this review so she can get back to designing her house. :)


You can learn all about Thinking Like an Architect and Thinking Like an Engineer on the Innovators Tribe website.



Thinking Like an Architect or Engineer {Innovators Tribe Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer



Monday, November 6, 2017

Thin Stix Creativity Pack ~ A Crew Review




Kwik Stix, creativity, no mess kids art


What do you do when you are feeling the urge to be creative, but you do not have a lot of time? Try using the new Thin Stix Creativity Pack from The Pencil Grip, Inc.! We have used the Original Thin Stix before, but wanted to try a wider array of colors, so we were thrilled to be selected to review this 24 pack of colors which includes neons and metallics for the Homeschool Review Crew.



Kwik Stix, creativity, no mess kids art




Once again we found that the Thin Stix offer a simple way to use tempera paint in your art projects without all the mess of traditional paints. Just uncap the color you desire, paint, and then put the cap back on. This version of tempera paint dries in 90 seconds, the ease of use still amazes me since I grew up with powdered tempera paint that the art teacher mixed for us.

Arlene used these for several projects during the review period, and then we worked together on some early Christmas cards. We both noticed that the metallic color Thin Stix are a little softer than the traditional colors, and thus they leave a thinner layer of paint. The terrific part is, with only a 90 second dry time, it is easy to go back and layer the colors for a more intense look. We had needed to do this with the black in the original Thin Stix, and found it worked well for both the metallic and neon colors in the Creativity Pack.

While trying the new colors the first time, Arlene did some layering of the metallic and neon colors over the original colors in a simple picture of flowers around a trellis. It is difficult to see in this picture, but she layered gold over the brown and the metallic red/violet over the flowers. It gave a nice effect to her painting.


Kwik Stix, creativity, no mess kids art


Then she decided to make some price signs for her upcoming Artisan Fair. We both agreed that for painting words and numbers, the original colors that are slightly thicker work better than the metallics, and the neon ones just were not intense enough to use by themselves. That's ok, she has price signs, and the Thin Stix were quick and easy to use, even the ones that needed multiple layers.

One day I came home and Arlene said "You need to see my frog!" I was wondering what she meant until she showed me her lovely frog painting based upon the frog on the cover of her biology book. :)


Kwik Stix, creativity, no mess kids art


Our most recent project using the Thin Stix Creativity Pack was making some early Christmas cards. We gathered up our supplies and the box of Thin Stix and got to work. If you are planning to use yours for cards on colored paper, remember the layering technique I mentioned earlier. I wanted my snow to be white, so I layered the snowflakes with white two layers thick, and the snowdrifts with silver under the white to give it a little sparkle.

Kwik Stix, creativity, no mess kids art

Overall we were both happy with the versatility offered by the Thin Stix Creativity Pack and the assortment of 24 colors. I made us a color palette reference chart on a canvas board we had left from when we reviewed the Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors.  If you love to do art, but don't love cleaning up the mess, Thin Stix would make a great option. They paint on a wide variety of surfaces, and I can imagine them being great for painting Christmas tree ornaments with the children in your life. 

If you remember to re-cap your Kwik Stix each and every time you use them, they will last a long time. We were recently visiting family, and I noticed my nephew still had his Kwik Stix 12 pack we got him for Christmas a year ago. 

Arlene and I especially enjoyed the wide range of colors available in the 24 pack, including the white and orange in the original colors, and the way the metallic and neon colors layered well over the original colors. Just take your time layering, because if you push too hard on the metallic Thin Stix, you sometimes get little tiny paint balls on your project.

To see more great ideas and connect with The Pencil Grip, Inc. visit them on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.


Thin Stix Creativity Pack {The Pencil Grip, Inc. Reviews}


Crew Disclaimer