BRICKFEST LIVE IS COMING!! Save $3 off the ticket price!

Do you have kids that love LEGO?  My son is almost 10 and he loves anything and everything LEGO.  That’s why when I spotted that Brick Fest Live LEGO Fan Experience is coming to Portland I knew I had to take him!  But guess what?  If you want to take your kids, you can save some money using the promo code I have listed below.

Are you in the Portland area check this out:  August 19-20 LEGO lovers rejoice! The Brick Fest Live LEGO Fan Experience is filled with hands-on attractions and activities built to inspire, educate, and entertain.


Sat, Aug 19, 2017, 9:00 AM –
Sun, Aug 20, 2017, 6:00 PM

Portland Expo Center
2060 N Marine Dr
Portland, OR 97217

MY READERS SAVE! Save $3 off tickets with promo code USFGTHREE

Enjoy an amazing LEGO world where you can marvel at giant creations and even build some of your own.

The Brick Fest Live LEGO Fan Experience provides a venue for LEGO lovers of all sizes to celebrate, build new creations, and see some truly mind-blowing LEGO sculptures to help set the imagination free.

Attractions Include:

The Brick Show Experience: Meet popular YouTube LEGO show hosts from The Brick Show and be featured on in an upcoming video.

Brick Fest Derby: Build and race your custom built LEGO derby car down one of our 35-foot long timed tracks!

Collaborative Building Activities: Contribute to large-scale mystery floor mosaic.

Inspiration Stations: Add to existing LEGO cities and make them your own by building custom creations.

Video Game Arena: Have a favorite LEGO video game? Come challenge your family or make new friends in the Brick Fest Gaming Arena playing your favorite LEGO title head to head.

Mini Golf: A miniature golf course built to inspire! Take your game to the next level on the Brick-Links.

Brick Fest Theater Trivia & Entertainment: Participate in LEGO trivia all while taking a break from what will be an overwhelming amount of awesome!

Mosaics: Using a colorful variety of LEGO bricks, build a piece of art to proudly display for other attendees.

Shopping: Find new, vintage, rare, and custom LEGO sets and merchandise from one of the many merchants in attendance.

MY READERS SAVE! Save $3 off tickets with promo code USFGTHREE

More Info and tickets here

My First Reiki Experience….I Loved It!


For years now I have been a big believer in alternative treatments.  I suffer from horrible migraines and have visited countless chiropractors and naturopathic doctors to help.  I have experienced pretty decent results from those treatments, but over the weekend was suffering from a horrible migraine and spent a majority of my day Saturday in bed.

My husband’s family often gets together to make a trip to the cemetery on Memorial Day and I didn’t want to miss that, so I decided I was going to suck it up and deal with the headache.  While at the get together, my uncle-in-law could see that I wasn’t feeling well and offered to perform a “Reiki Massage” on me.  I had no idea what that was so I politely declined.  He pushed on and explained to me what it was and frankly at this point I was desperate and ready to go home, so I conceded.  I have absolutely no regrets that I let him show me what Reiki was all about!

I finished the massage feeling more relaxed then I have ever felt in my life and honestly  my headache was almost gone.  The relaxation continued well into the night and I woke up completely refreshed.  I am now very intrigued and plan to study up on Reiki and teach myself some meditative tricks!  I loved it!

Do you have any experience with Reiki or other alternative treatments?


(This was several years ago, but I have only learned to love Reiki even more since then)  Have you tried it out?

Giveaway: “Dogs are Family” Print

Do you have a dog at home that you consider part of your family?  We have two dogs here that we love love love!  Both of our canine kids are Staffordshire Terriers (also known as the “Nanny Dog”) and they love our children beyond we could have ever imagined.  Because of our family connection to our pups, this Dogs are Family print from Charlie’s Mercantile really caught my attention and I knew we needed it in our home!  Because I love it so much, I decided to offer one to one lucky ready as well!

Oh…and p.s. if you love dogs and you love personalized gifts, go follow Charlie’s Mercantile on Facebook!! You are going to love her creations!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A little bit about the creator:

Amy Atkins from Charlie’s Mercantile “Charlie’s Mercantile wants to inspire you to add some color to your home decor. Each print is inspired by the love of colors and simple shapes and designed in Durham, North Carolina. Charlie’s Mercantile story is a positive one. In 2013, I moved across the country, lost my brother to cancer, and got a new puppy within a 2 week period. My new puppy, Fonda, really saved me in my new life. She reminded me to live outdoors and take time to play. Soon I became a dog sitter and I began to process my grief creativity and started enjoying the brighter side of life again. Dogs are truly a wonderful gift. My journey on Etsy started with a shop called ‘Siblings Matter’ in 2013 and has evolved into Charlie’s Mercantile. My other dog, Charlie, was Mrs. Charlie at the rescue. Charlie is also my brother’s middle name. Seems like you don’t have to look too far to find a Charlie somewhere:) Charlie’s Mercantile offers personalized gifts for your home, dog prints, and house warming gifts. We all deserve a personalized gift in our home. Let me know what I can create for you. “

Pros and Cons of Homeschooling




Have you ever considered homeschooling your family?  We are currently in a family discussion to whether or not the foothills kids should be home-schooled. For clarification, we have 3 kids, two in school (grades 6 and 9) and our daughter has some pretty extreme anxiety issues that have us considering homeschooling. This was not my first choice, as I felt it was necessary to try and get her comfortable with people, but now I’m just not so sure.  Why should she have to deal with such issues?

We have been researching and discussing reasons why we should or should not home school, but since we are a family that works together, we decided to ask the kids why they thought they should or shouldn’t be homeschooled.

Here are some pros that the kids came up with:

Grow Closer Together With Your Family

You can grow so much closer together just by homeschooling your kids. This is because you are spending up to 24 hours per day together, instead of just the time outside of school.

Flexible Schedule

Yes, you still need a schedule of some sort for productive days, however, when your kids are homeschooled, it’s not nearly as big of an issue to change your schedule, or plan a trip, or take them to appointments.

Emotional Stability

Remember that anxiety-filled child I was telling you about?  Homeschooling her would relieve her of the stresses that she deals with each and every day.  I like the idea of her feeling more comfortable and confident.


Less Worry About Sickness

If your kids are home-schooled, you don’t have to worry about driving to the school in the middle of the school day picking up a sick kid. It sucks when kids are sick, but it’s better if they’re with you to start with. Plus, being around countless other kids carrying germs day in and day out is a great way to get sick to start with.


You Have More Control Over What and How Your Kids Learn

Some teachers have their own ways of teaching, which is fine, but that specific way of teaching might not be very effective for your child. With homeschooling, it is individualized so you can teach your child as they need to learn.  Also, at public schools, they don’t often have a ton of class options, so if you want your kids to learn something that the schools don’t offer, you can teach your kids that stuff on your own!


Those are just a few of the pros, but I’m gonna move to the cons of homeschooling your children that the kids thought of:

Be Around Your Children All Day Long

I mean, this is a pro and a con all in one, right?  For some people, being around their kids all day long can get old, and sometimes they need a break. This is especially true when the kids are cooped up in the house for too long. There is no shame here, I get it.  


Kids Might Struggle With Learning

Unless you are a trained teacher, you probably don’t have loads of experience dealing with struggling students.  Parents may sometimes have a hard time with this and think it’s best for your child to be taught by a professional and that’s ok.


Homeschooling can get quite expensive.  From all of the materials you need to buy to outings you take for field trips, etc., you may be surprised to learn that homeschooling often costs families hundreds of dollars per month.

Explain Why You Chose to Home School Your Children

This is an ugly one, but it is true.  There will likely be times when relatives, or really anybody, asks you why you choose to home school your kids. Keep in mind not everybody will support your decision to home school your kids.


As you can tell, homeschooling your children is definitely a commitment, but it looks to me like there are a lot of pros to make up for all the work it takes to successfully home school your kids.  What do you think?

This entry was posted in family.

Fun, Family Winter Activities


Does the cold weather have you hunkered in at home?  Are you getting the non-stop “I’m bored” whining coming from your kids?  I know that whine all too well, so in recent winter’s passed I decided to do something about it.  I gathered a group of ideas and my family and I try to implement them each and every year to stave off the boredom, while having fun as a family.  My favorite part though, is that we are creating life-long memories that we are all going to cherish.

Here are some of our favorite winter activities:


Christmas lights tour – It is the holidays after all, and what would the holidays be without some glorious Christmas lights?  We live in Oregon and have some really great Christmas light displays available to us within an hour’s drive or so (I created a list of my favorite Oregon Christmas light displays here).  We like to fill up two thermos’ one with coffee for myself (hubby doesn’t drink coffee so it’s all for me!!) and one filled with hot cocoa for the kids and drive around enjoying the beautiful, colorful displays.  We actually do this several times throughout December as it’s just not possible to hit them all in even one or two nights.

Family Gingerbread House Contest – Last year we got together with my husbands family, which includes my husband’s dad and his brother and sister and their families’.  Each family had their own Gingerbread House Kit and decorated it in competition with the other families.  There was no big prizes and no it wasn’t a heated competition, just great fun!  My favorite part was watching all of the kids working so hard to make their houses perfect.

Craft Time – Arts and crafts are always a fun way to spend time when you can’t go out in the cold.  Even if you are not super creative (that’s me), there are lots of fun things to do!  My kids really like doing this Word Search and coloring in Christmas coloring books.



This post is part of the Pinterest Party 2016 Winter Blog Hop. The Pinterest Party is a group that helps people grow their Pinterest following. Find other posts in this blog hop below:

1. Steampunkary – Steampunk Christmas Ornaments & Decorations Gift Guide
2. Grammie Knows How – Winter Essentials for Safety on the Road
3. Determined to Shine – Inspired by Angels: A Holiday Art Journal Project Using Coloring Book Pages
4. Deal Finding Family – (That’s me!!)
5. Unique-Christmas-Decorations – Winter Wonderland Christmas Decorating Ideas
6. Kids Fun Reviewed – Grinch Printable Whoville Cupcakes Topper
7.  Little Blog in the Country – Peppermint Herb Bath Bombs
9. Birthstone Magic – Winter Colored Birthstones: Beautiful Blue and White Birthstones for Winter Celebrate the Season
10. Olives-N-Okra – Christmas Granny Square Dish Cloths – Free Crochet Pattern
12. Housewives Hobbies – Christmas Free Knitting Patterns
13. Essential Oils for Guide – 20 Ways to Stay Healthy & Stress-Free During the Holidays
14. Best Gifts for Happy Living – How To Decorate Your Dining Table For Christmas
15. Pennies & Playdough – 25 Christmas Books Your Child Will Love
17. Stephanie Grams – Products and Tips for Protecting Your Skin this Winter




Free Printable Thanksgiving Word Search


My kids have a lot of time off in the coming months and I am determined to keep them busy!  Are you looking for something for your kids to do during their time off?

We have this great FREE Thanksgiving Themed printable word search just for you!  I have printed mine out already and it’s in the stack of crafts and activities that my kids will be working on during their time off.

Just click on the link below to print yours now.

Thanksgiving Word Search


If you are looking for other fun Thanksgiving activities for your kids, you can find some super fun activity books at Amazon:

First Thanksgiving Sticker Activity Book ($1.99)

Tom Turkey Sticker Paper Doll ($1.50)

How to Preserve Your Zucchini Bounty

The Best Ways to Preserve Zucchini What is the goal of every gardener?  That’s right, a successful bountiful harvest!  The next question is what on earth are you going to do with that harvest?  

Squash and specifically zucchini is often a successful crop, with many gardeners begging people to take it away because there is just too much left over. Zucchini is awesome because it really just grows and grows and if you don’t pick it at just the right time, you are going to have some GIANT zucs on your hands!  If you are like many garden enthusiasts, you have tried out just about every way you can think of to So what can you do?  You don’t want it to go to waste do you?  How about preserving it?

That’s right, you can preserve your zucchini for use later in the year! Here are a few of my favorite ways to preserve zucchini:

Zucchini Bread.  Zucchini bread is hands down one of the yummiest ways to eat zucchini!  I love making lots of zucchini bread and freezing it to eat later!  I make both regular zucchini bread as well as chocolate zucchini bread and it’s always a popular treat!  You can freeze the whole cooked loaf of zucchini bread, or you can freeze just the prepared batter.  Pour them into large freezer bags and store them in your freezer to be baked later!

Pickle it.  If you like pickles, one really good way to preserve your zucchini is to pickle it!  Just use your favorite pickle recipe and use zucchini in place of cucumbers and voila’ you have pickles! 

Dry it.  Did you know that you can put zucchini in your food dehydrator?  Seriously, just slice your zucchini up into thin slices and dry it in your dehydrator.  Use the dried zucchini later in recipes, cook in oil or season then and eat like chips!

Freeze it.  Did you know that you can freeze zucchini?  It may seem impossible due to how watery zucchinis are.  If you were to freeze the zucchini whole, it would not work well.  Likely the water would expand and damage the cells of the fruit.  Luckily, there are ways around this.  

  • Use a shredder.  Break out your favorite cheese shredder and go to town shredding the zucchini!  Use a paper towel to pat  some of the excess moisture and then store flat in freezer bags.  It can be used later for use in zucchini bread recipes, pasta sauces or soups and salads.
  • Blanch then bread.  First slice the zucchini, then blanch it to prevent mushiness.   Coat the slices in your favorite breading recipe then freeze.  You can fry these up later.

Mother’s Day Idea: 20% off Any Local Groupon Deal!

massage deal

Are you looking for the perfect Mother’s Day idea?

Don’t miss this opportunity to get mom an awesome deal for Mother’s Day!  Head on over to Groupon and get 20% off of any Groupon Local Deal!  In my Groupon Local I have found massage deals as low as $19 after discount!

Mom will love this!

Be sure and use promo code GREENMAN at checkout to get your discount, but don’t forget, this deal ends tonight!