Category Archives: Reviews

Review: We Choose Virtues

Review: We Choose Virtues
Review: We Choose Virtues

Update: Want more opinions and get more information about the different versions available for this product? Please check out all the Mosaic reviews published!

Do you have problems with your kids not listening to you? Do you wish you had a simple way to review basic life-skills that help create a well rounded person, along with a happier family and home?

This product might be for you.

When something arrives in cute packaging, it’s always a good sign that the product inside is going to be cute and fun, too!

A small but cute touch to what normally would be a boring envelope.

Inside were these little goodies:

How cute are these flashcards from We Choose Virtues?

I love these cards. They are simple, bright, and colorful: perfect for younger children. Evelyn, even though she isn’t quite old enough to understand these cards, liked looking at the pictures.

Each card has a character (Oboe Joe), virtue (like obedience)  on one side.

On the back, you have an easy-to-remember saying on what the trait is, another statement saying what it is NOT, and a scripture to match. (I chose to have KJV, as that what I use and am familiar with, but they have NIV and Secular cards if that’s how you roll!)

Now, as a former English teacher who used to try to do meaningful vocabulary activities with my students, this is a perfect flashcard because of the multiple ways each trait is is explained. There is actual research backing up the effectiveness of teaching vocabulary in this way- or helping your children understand what these virtues are/mean. (You can take the teacher out of the classroom, but can’t take the teacher out of the girl!)

Now, there are several traits, and to meaningfully incorporate them into your family’s lifestyle, there are different ways to jump in. The cards and lessons are designed in a way that if your family is struggling as a whole on a particular virtue, you could focus on that for a week as a family group. When I was able to participate in a conference call with Heather, the creator of We Choose Virtues, she suggested that as a family, you start with the foundation traits: Obedient, Kind, and Helpful. If you have these traits down, the ability to work together as a family for the remaining traits should be easier. (These are also three great ones to focus on for younger children who would be overwhelmed with all the other traits.)

Another “plan of attack” is to let each family member sit down and decide what trait they need to work on first, after focusing on a family one the “first” three traits. (Personally, this mommy could use some more “self control” when it comes to sugary treats… hmmm.) This could work especially well with older children who could reason out their different strengths and weaknesses.

For older children, there are some ways to turn the flashcards into a family game, along with activities like coloring pages and lessons that you can use when you get the flashcards. I didn’t utilize those as much as I would like, as Evelyn is only 9 months old now, but I can imagine that for Pre-K and Elementary aged children, these could be a lot of fun!

Now, are you worried about your older, teenager kids scoffing at these kiddy cards? Don’t worry- Heather informed us that they have been working hard on releasing a Virtues curriculum aimed directly for teenagers! Many of us here at Mosaic Reviews were excited to learn more about that product when it is closer to a completed state. Check out the We Choose Virtue Blog for more updates on when that should be released.

Now, here’s the best news yet: I have discounts for you if you decide to look into these cards for you! (And who doesn’t love a deal? Seriously, who?)

For those of you who home school, there is this fabulous code for 20% off that is good through the end of April: home20 

Not into home schooling, but still like a good deal? Try the code virtue15 -Best yet, this coupon DOES NOT EXPIRE. So there’s no rush if you need a little more time to make up your mind on what you want.

Mosaic Review: FREE Blog Planner!

Mosaic Review: FREE Blog Planner!
Mosaic Review: FREE Blog Planner!

As part of my first review, I got to select a free blog planner to look over and share with y’all. I was actually pretty nervous about this at first, since I am now the “Stay at home mom without a definite schedule”, so what do I need a planner for? Turns out this was pretty awesome for me. While there were several good picks to choose from, one in particular stood out.

World, meet Mama Jenn’s FREE Blog Planner for 2013. Colorful, fun, free, and user-friendly!

(By the way, “free” is one of my new favorite words now that we are on a stricter budget.)

I choose this blog in part because while it is specifically geared towards planning blogs, you can use it as a general calendar as well. There are over 50 pages you can print for this daisy themed planner, which you can either bind or hole punch and put in a notebook, like what I did, since I have so many binders left from my teaching days!


As you can see, there is the Month-At-A-Glance for each month where you can fill in various posts that you would like to do, the type, and if you are the planning ahead type (which I wish I were, but sadly am not!) you could even mark them as written and scheduled and ready to post on those said days. I also like this feature because I can write other events that are going on in my day/week/month and it keeps me organized, plus giving me the extra reminder to try and post a little more frequently than I might otherwise do.

Next you can see the “Major Blog Posts to Write” and To-Do’s associated with the posts, another thing to help with ideas. (I have moments of brilliance, and then I forget to write it down, and then you never get to see how brilliant I really am because I forget what I wanted to write about. Sorry. Having a baby really does do that to you.)

After that, there’s the “Giveaways and Reviews” section. This will be good for me as I go through the process of doing more reviews- I do NOT want to forget that I am reviewing a product. And who knows, maybe I will start doing some giveaways soon. Keep your fingers crossed!

Some other useful aspects of this planner are features like the Year at a Glance page, the Monthly Blog Statistics page, extra Notes pages, and even a page at the end for “Future blog posts” for the next year.

The file only has the Notes page as the last two pages. When I printed it out, I decided to print those last two pages of the file enough times to put it at the end of every month to have extra pages to write extra ideas, reminders, and miscellaneous thoughts that come out of my head at weird times. Or, if you don’t want to waste printer paper, you could always put loose leaf paper in those spots, too. 🙂

Year at a glance:

Blog statistics page (Something I needed help with!):

Extra handy dandy tabs I added to keep track of where things were:

So, overall, I am quite pleased with this planner. It wasn’t over-kill to print out with its simple, pleasant design with a touch of color from the daisies. I can use all the features easily and reorder pages to fit my specific needs.

If you are in the market for a new planner, particularly one to keep you more involved in the blogosphere, check out this choice. It might be the planner for you!


A fun opportunity

A fun opportunity

A little while back,  I came across a fun opportunity to apply for reviewing products on my blog through Mosaic Reviews. I applied, thinking “What the heck?” Then I promptly forgot about it with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and visiting family members. (Like you’ve never done something like that before? Be honest, now.)

Well, excitingly enough, I recently heard back from them that I was accepted as a team member and will soon be able to be receiving products and sharing reviews from time-to-time with you all. I am looking forward to this opportunity, as I have been interested in expanding my writing on my blog, and I wanted to give you all a heads up about it, too.

If it sounds like something you would be interested in checking out for yourself, they are still looking for more people to add to their team. They are looking for ALL sorts of people, so check it out!  You can find out more information for yourself here.