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Summer Fun with Crayola!

 

Summer

SUMMER!!!! It’s almost officially here (one more day – June 20th).

This is the last week of school where I work. My son, who is in high school, was done with his finals last week. His summer vacation from school has officially started already. As of Friday, June 24th, I officially start summer vacation too since I follow the school schedule. That is unless I can find a summer job or a full time job.

Summer is not the same when you are an adult. It was so much more fun when I was a child.

I grew up with my cousins, so we spent every summer together – building forts, fishing, going on adventures, bike riding, camping, swimming… we did it all.

A favorite activity of mine to do in the summer months was to draw with chalk on the road and the sidewalk around our house (we didn’t have a paved driveway). We lived on a rural dead end street so seeing a car on the road was rare. I don’t recommend drawing in the road with chalk these days.

Chalk is fun to use and play with because you can stop and start all over again. It’s not permanent.

Chalk

When you draw with chalk you can also draw things that are larger than life.

My morning co-worker wants to draw buildings with chalk and then have our student like above the building (one at a time) in a position that makes it look like they are flying over the buildings. We’d then have someone stand on something high up to take their photo so that it looks like they are flying over the building like a super hero.

The idea is great. We have yet to figure out what we can stand on that is high enough – and safe – to take the pictures. With one week left of school I don’t know if we’ll have a chance to do that or not.

Crayola, makers of the worlds best crayons (I only use Crayola crayons in my home), also makes fun chalk products that children can enjoy all summer long.

Crayola also released several new outdoor products, including chalks and paints, that will inspire children to be creative and explore with color all summer long.

The new product include:

  1. Neon 3D Chalk Set: Crayola’s new spin on ordinary chalk provides kids a whole new way to experience chalk with 3D glasses featuring special lenses that  make chalk colors “float” above the ground at different level
  2. Neon Glitter Sidewalk Chalk: Bright, neon chalk with fluorescent pigments are even brighter in sunshine and glitter catches every ray of sunlight; makes the perfect outdoor art tool for any kid looking to add some pizazz to their original creations
  3. Squeeze N’ Paint Tool Set: Kids can amp up their paint game by quickly turning compatible Crayola sidewalk paint bottles into tools, making it simple to squirt, brush, and roll creative designs onto the pavement
  4. Licensed Sidewalk Chalk: Available in Captain America, The Incredible Hulk, Frozen, and Finding Dory, each pack has a specific palette of sidewalk chalk that matches the character so kids can color outside using just the right color to recreate their heroes.

Crayola was kind enough to send me some product samples to try out with the kids I work with. They sent me a fun assortment of their Licensed Sidewalk Chalk. The color of the chalks that come in each set are inspired by the characters or movies.

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Avengers

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Frozen

These chalk sticks are big and chunky – ideal for little hands (and not so little hands). They also last a long time and won’t break as easily as traditional chalk.

I love the wonderful assortment of colors. They even have flesh colored chalk so children can draw their favorite characters.

My morning kids loved them. BUT… like a dork I didn’t remember to take photos of their drawings. I am not allowed to take their pictures (they are not my kids). I had intended to take photos of their drawings before I left work, but I forgot. It rained later on that day too so most of the drawings were washed away.

Chalk 1

Chalk 2

Chalk 3

I don’t agree with drawing on the wall but the school allows it (as per the custodian).

I think someone was trying to draw a person on the wall (as you can see in the photos). I wonder if it was one of the characters featured on the chalk?

In the bottom photo you can notice the flesh colored chalk (at least it appears to be).

When the kids get to use the chalk again this week I’ll up date this post with better photos.

Crayola also sent me the Neon 3D Chalk Set and Squeeze N’ Pain Tool Set. I am saving these for the older kids that I work with in the afternoon.

Neon

Paint

We didn’t get a chance to go outside much in the afternoon due to the weather. This coming week we have half days which means we are with the afternoon kids from noon to 6:30 PM. I know we’ll be going outside a lot this week. When the kids use the cool Neon 3D Chalk Set I’ll be sure to take photos of their designs.

This set comes with special glasses you can wear to see the neon designs “pop,” as if they were three dimensional. That is pretty awesome. I would never think you could do something like hat with chalk when I was a child.

The colors are AWESOME! They look like the colors you would see pop from black light posters.

The only reason why I opted to give the afternoon kids the 3D chalk is because they are older and they would use it to make fun designs. The little kids I have in the morning just like to scribble and rub the chalk on the ground without making shapes or designs. I figured the older kids would appreciate it more.

I am also saving the “paint” set for the older kids because I feel like they won’t waste it like the little ones will.

Look for these and other Crayola products were ever Crayola products are sold (many retail locations).

If you would to learn more about Crayola, visit them online at Crayola.com. On the website you can learn about products, receive special offers, download coloring pages, find fun craft projects and so much more. They even have some adult coloring pages.

Crayola can also be found on social media. All of their links are found at the bottom of their website.

What do you think about these new products? Do you think your child/grandchild would love them?

Crayola Logo

Kimberly

*I received free product samples to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

Check out this fun idea for a Summer project (or a cool Father’s Day gift idea)

 

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Now that summer is here many children are already out of school celebrating their “freedom” for the next 8-10+ weeks.

Usually the first week or two if fun and exciting, but after that many children tend to get bored and whine those infamous words most parents hate to hear “I’m bored. There is nothing to do.” I whined those very same words when I was a child. In hindsight I should have savored all those free moments. Now that I am an adult and work all the time, I dream of a day when I can do nothing at all.

What children need is a project or activity they can do that will provide them with some entertainment. It’s a bonus if that activity/project is also educational.

Here is one idea that I came up with at work. I work with children doing before/after school care with the local school district.

Some of my afternoon kids and I were outside on the playground equipment. I took a glance at the app I have on my phone to see how many steps I have done that day. I have a goal of 10,000 steps Monday through Friday. So far this week I have done four out of five days over 10,000 steps.

One of the kids asked me what I was doing and I told him. I went on to tell him (and a few other kids) that getting 10,000+ steps in daily is good for you. One of the kid was wearing a pedometer on his sock and had already done 14,000+ steps that day.

Not only did this open up a discussion about health and exercise, but the kids also wanted to take my phone and walk around to see how many steps between places.

I think giving a pedometer to a child and challenge them to get 10,000+ steps in would be a fun and educational activity for children. You could even reward them when they reach over 10,000 steps.

Another fun idea that is also educational is to plant something. Not only would the child have the fun experience of planting something, but they also get to learn about the plant and watch it grow. In addition they would need to tend to the plant, which is also an activity they can do over the summer and beyond.

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One plan suggestion would be a Venus Fly Trap.

I know some people will think that is an odd choice, but the plants are actually fascinating.

Venus Fly Traps are carnivorous plants, which mean they eat meat. Yes, that’s right – MEAT! They don’t for for steaks and hamburgers, but rather spiders, flies and other insects.

When an insect comes in contact with the Venus Fly Traps mouth it triggers something which causes the mouth to shut down on the insect, trapping it inside. Digestive enzymes then break down the victim so that the plant can consume it and it’s nutrients.

It sounds disgusting, but it really is fascinating to watch.

The website Calendars.com has a Venus Fly Trap kit you can purchase. It’s called the Venus Fly Trap Cube. It come with everything you need to grow you own Venus Fly Trap plants.

Calendars.com sent me one to review.

Kit

The kit come with the following;

  • Planting cube and lid
  • Potting soil
  • Seeds
  • Planter stick
  • Directions

Set up is easy. Simply place the potting soil disc into the planting cup and add 2 cup of distilled water (I used tap water). Once the disc dissolves you are left with very web potting soil.

Soil

Carefully remove the seeds from the packaging (the seeds are incredibly tiny!). Stick them into the oil about 1/8″ down and cover with soil.

Pop the lid on and place the container in a sunny window sill (ours is outside on a table – we don’t have a window sill).

The container helps to keep the plants warm and the humidity inside helps to keep thing moist. You can add extra water only when needed.

In about 8 weeks you’ll start to see the plants.

Venus Fly Trap

Venus Fly Traps do go dormant. The directions provide you with complete care instructions.

I wish I had known about this kit months ago. I would have suggested it for a fun summer activity a long time ago. None the less kids can still enjoy it if you purchase it now. The kit is just $16.99 on Calendars.com.

This would also make a fun gift for Father’s Day. The kids can help dad to get the seeds planted, then dad can take it to work with him and grow it on his desk or office window. Dad can have fun watching the plants feed while he’s at work. It’s certainly a more creative gift idea than a tie or mug.

Calendars.com has plenty of other gift ideas for dads and grads too (don’t forget the graduates!). The also have plenty of products that would be fun to enjoy this summer.

Here are just a few ideas.

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A fun football game dad can enjoy at the office or just about anywhere.
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My afternoon kids have this game and they LOVE it. It’s a lot of fun. They laugh a lot when they play this too. This is a game kids and parents can both enjoy.

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This is another creative gift idea for dad. I just recommend that you DON’T give it to him at work. LOL!

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Another fun game the whole family can enjoy.

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Nothing beats the classics like a Yo-Yo. If your dad is a big kid at heart he would probably enjoy this too. 201500012524

This is another fun game that could also work well for a Father’s Day gift.

If you would like to learn more about these or other great gifts ideas visit Calendars.com. You can also connect with them on social media. All of their links are found on the bottom of their website.

What do you think about these ideas? Would any of them make a great gift idea for your dad?

What about something fun to do for the summer? Would the Venus Fly Trap make a good activity for your child?

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Kimberly

*I received a free product sample to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

Regal Entertainment Group Announces $1 Movies for 2016 Summer Movie Express

 

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I’m not one to post press releases, however occasionally something comes along that I think would be of great interest to many readers.

This one announces $1.00 movies from the Regal Entertainment Group for summer of 2016. I think many readers would enjoy this news. Going to see a great movie in an air conditioned theater is a great way to beat the summer heat.

Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE: RGC), a leading motion picture exhibitor owning and operating the largest theatre circuit in the United States, today announces the celebration of the 25th year of the Summer Movie Express and its impressive lineup of family friendly films. The Summer Movie Express continues its rich tradition of offering these films for only a dollar at over 330 Regal Cinemas across the country. 

“The Summer Movie Express is an institution to so many and one that signifies the unofficial start of summer,” said Ken Thewes, Chief Marketing Officer at Regal Entertainment Group. “Many families make this a summer tradition and we are excited to offer them a great selection of movies this year. And for Regal, this helps us instill that love of moviegoing in another generation.”

The nine-week film festival takes place at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.  The start dates for Summer Movie Express vary based on local school schedules. A portion of each $1 admission goes to assist the Will Rogers Institute.

“With a wide variety of films this summer starting with The Lego Movie and ending with The Lorax, we know families will be boarding the Summer Movie Express at Regal,” said Ken Foreman, Vice President of Film Marketing at Regal Entertainment Group. “This annual program provides an excellent opportunity for families to enjoy the movies together week after week.”

Each week, there will be two featured films at the early morning matinee show time of 10:00 am. The titles for this year’s Summer Movie Express are:

Regal Movies

For a full list of participating locations, local festival dates and for more information, please visit www.REGmovies.com/Movies/Summer-Movie-Express.

What do you think about the movie offerings? They are ideal for families.

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Kimberly

*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this for the enjoyment of my site readers. 

Summer fun and safety with your new pet

 

Our son (who is almost 16 now) with our eldest cat as a kitten, Velcro.

Our son (who is almost 16 now) with our eldest cat as a kitten, Velcro.

If you read my blog on a regular basis you are more than familiar with our “mini zoo,” with could consist of our five cats, dog and Goldfish.

I love our pets. They are very much a part of our family. I cannot imagine a life without them.

The last new family member we adopted was our foster kitten Bella. She’s the one with a variety of health issues. To this day I feel in my heart she was meant to be with us. Had someone else adopted her she might have been put down due to her health issues, or end up living out her life in a cage because she would be considered “un-adoptable” due to her health issues.

If you follow me on Instagram you’ll see plenty of pictures of Bella (she’s the black and white cat). Needless to say I think she has a wonderful life with us. Sure, her vet visits and medications are astronomical, but we love her (and all our pets) and will do anything we can to keep them all happy and healthy.

It’s always exciting to add a new member to your family whether it’s a furry friend like a dog or a cat, or one not so fluffy like a fish or reptile. I adore my fish and care about him but it’s not the same as having a dog or cat (puppy or kitten) who will cuddle up with you, play with you and provide you with many hours of “fuzz therapy.” Fuzz Therapy is how stroking a pet or playing with a pet can make any bad day a lot better. It’s hard to be in a grumpy or sad mood when you are interacting with a pet.

Summertime is a great time to introduce a new pet to your family. Children are home from school which means they can be more “hands on” when it comes to training a pet and acclimating a pet to a new home. Parents are also able to take vacation time to help get a pet adjusted too.

Our now 4 year old cat Bella when she was 1 month old (we had her since she was 1 day old).

Our now 4 year old cat Bella when she was 1 month old (we had her since she was 1 day old).

If you have ever potty trained a puppy you know that they have to go out at all hours of the day and night. I still remember taking our dog Espn out at 2 or 3 in the morning to do his business while he was learning to do his business outside. We did it during the winter months and let me tell you it was cold! In hinesight the spring/summer months would have been better. We were not planning on adopting a puppy when we did. It just happened.

Another great reason to adopt a pet in the summer months is that you can spend plenty of time outside playing with you pet. You don’t have to worry about your little furry friend getting cold.

On the flip side there can be some dangers during the summer months which you would need to teach you pet about. Take for example the swimming pool. Don’t assume your pet will know how to swim should they accidentally fall into the pool. A puppy might be able to doggie paddle but they might not be able to figure out how to get out of the pool. You’ll need to teach your pup how to get out of the pool.

Another concern would be poisonous plants. Make sure your yard is free from plants and flowers that could be poisonous to a cat or dog if ingested. Lilies, Tulips, Azaleas, Oleander, Chrysanthemum and English Ivy are just a few plants/flowers you might have in your yard that can be toxic (and deadly) to your pet if ingested. As a pet parent you need to be diligent to make sure your pet doesn’t have access to these plants/flowers and/or teach them not to chew on them or eat them.

Our dog Espn as a puppy (3 months old) dressed in a Build-a-Bear costume for Halloween.

Our dog Espn as a puppy (3 months old) dressed in a Build-a-Bear costume for Halloween.

These are just a few tips for new pet parents. You can find additional tips and resources on a special page PetSmart has on their website. You can find those tips and resources HERE.

For more information about PetSmart or to find a location near you visit PetSmart.com. You can also find the brand on social media (all the links are found on their website).

To see what others have to say, or if you would like to share your tips and experiences, use the hashtag #NewPetPartner.

Having a pet is a wonderful experience. I truly believe that pets can add more value to our lives. For me they are also a source of happiness and love.

Do you remember when you adopted you pet/pets?

Are you considering adopting a pet?

What other tips would you like to share with readers?

PetSmart Logo

Kimberly

*I have partnered with PetSmart to bring you this information. Although compensated (gift card, goodies), the opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

Combat daily challenges and summer boredom with Intel powered tablets (giveaway ends 7/26/15)

 

Summer

It’s officially the start of summer. That means most kids are off from school.

There is plenty to do during the summer months – camping, the beach, county fairs, backyard barbecues, swimming in the pool, vacations and so much more. There can also be plenty of downtime, which is fine, that is until the kids start uttering those dreaded words “Mom, I’m bored. What can I do?” Ugh! That’s the worse.

Just because it’s summer time doesn’t mean that parents don’t have to still try and balance their schedules – not only their own schedules but also those of their kids. Parents still have to coordinate play dates, activities, birthday parties, barbecues, car pools, movie dates and so forth. School may be out, but planning and organizing a family’s schedule is something that takes place year round.

Intel recognizes these school-free months can be some of the most challenging for busy moms and dads. They created an interesting infographic (below) that shows how an Intel-powered tablet can help busy parents throughout their day.

Intel Infographic

I especially like the part about “decompressing.” I feel that its very important for any parent. I personally enjoy catching up on my favorite blogs and websites, looking for awesome things on Pinterest and checking out the latest viral videos on YouTube. That is how I like to unwind and have a little “me time” before going to bed and starting the same stuff over again the next day.

I have an Intel tablet that I keep in my bag and take with me so I can catch up on things when I’m on the go. It’s great to have while you are waiting around some where. It also helps to keep the kids busy.

A tablet is a must have for me. I feel more productive when I have it handy.

Do you have an Intel-tablet? If so, how do you use it throughout the day? Do you use it to help you schedule activities and play dates? Do you use it to keep up with work? Feel free to share your thoughts.

If you are interested in learning more about all of the latest Intel-powered devices, Intel’s recent spring tech guide is a great resource. Intel is system processor – not a specific brand. You can find Intel in tablets (and other devices) from HP, Lenovo, Dell, Acer and Toshiba, to name a few. All of the devices we own (tablets, laptops, desktop) all have Intel inside.

For more information about Inetl visit Intel.com. You can also find them on the various social media sites (all the links are found at the bottom right of their home page).

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Intel would like to give a lucky reader a tablet with Intel-inside so that their families can use it to stay productive as well as entertain themselves. Thank you Intel!

Intel is giving a lucky She Scribes reader an E Fun Netbook 8.1. 

This netbook features;

  • Powerful, sleek and lightweight tablet that you can take on the go
  • 8-inch screen with a 16:10 aspect ratio for great picture quality
  • 16GB of internal storage with a MicroSD port for up to 64GB additional storage and a 16GB MicroSD card included
  • Front facing webcam and 2.0 MP back camera
  • One year subscription to Office 365™ Personal with 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage
  • Preloaded applications including Nook and Skype
  • Intel® Atom™ Z3735G processor
  • OS: Windows 8.1

It is available for $139.00 at Walmart and Walmart.com.

*The original prize was changed by the sponsor. The size went from 10″ to 8″ and the price dropped from $179 to $139. Sorry for any inconvenience.

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on July 26, 2015. The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via email and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and tell me in what ways would you use this Intel-inside tablet if you were the lucky winner?

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries won’t qualify.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kimberly

*I was not compensated for this post, nor did I receive anything in exchange. I posted this for the enjoyment of my site readers. The opinions expressed are my own unless otherwise noted. 

Stock up on summer essentials at BJ’s Wholesale Club

 

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Summer is finally officially here. The temperature didn’t wait too long to catch up with the season either. It’s as if the moment it was officially summer the heat and humidity swooped in immediately. Blah! I hate heat and humidity.

This is the time of year that most people look forward to, especially when it comes to vacation. For many people that means traveling far away. For others, like my family, we go on “staycations” – meaning we stay home but find things to do that are somewhat local to where we live (day trips). That usually means the beach, visiting state parks and the county fair.

None the less there are things we like to stock up on for the summer including paper goods (cups, plates…) for barbecues (we barbecue at my father’s house since we are not allowed barbecues in our condo complex) and sunscreen.

I’m not exaggerating when I say we stock up on sunscreen. We almost always have many bottles/tubes on hand at any given time – most especially in the summer months. I get sunburned just thinking about sun (ha ha). Seriously though, I burn very easily. I have very light skin. I’m part Norwegian, Welsh and Irish –  nationalities not exactly known for their tanned skin. My husband is 100% Italian and always gets golden brown skin during the summer (with sunscreen no less). Sadly my kids take after me more so than my husband when it comes to skin color/tone.

I strongly recommend stocking up on sunscreen. BJ’s has a lot of sunscreen packages available. They have different brands and different packaging options.

BJ's Sunscreen

My husband and I took a trip to our local BJ’s to stock up on some summer supplies including sunscreen and paper goods.

I love these patriotic paper goods and cups. These are perfect for the Fourth of July.

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July

Keeping kids entertaining during the dog days of summer is not always an easy task. BJ’s has plenty of awesome activities and toys that will keep kids entertained all summer long. Some of the products I wish I could use with my kids. I wish we had a yard and/or pool. We do have a pool but the condo complex doesn’t allow pool toys or games.

Check out these adorable water friendly toys. Too cute!

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I wish we had a home with our own pool. I may be an adult but I would love to play with these water toys, especially the “Lil’ Fishys.”

Check out these other great water toys. One a hot and humid day nothing is more fun (or refreshing) than a toy that will get you wet and help you cool off.

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BJ’s is also a great place to stock up on the food and other supplies that you’ll need for backyard barbecues and get togethers with friends. I LOVE the S’mores kit. I was so tempted to pick that up but I don’t know when we’ll be barbecuing again in order to use it. Plus my father bought a new grill and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t want melted marshmallow all over it.

I find the 34 pounds of charcoal interesting too. That is A LOT of charcoal! That is for someone who truly loves to barbecue every chance they can get.

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Smores

Watermelon

For the adventurous people and those who love to get in touch with nature during the summer months (camping, hiking, boating…) don’t forget to check out what BJ’s has for you including things like lanterns and fishing poles. To be honest with you I was very surprised to see fishing poles there. That was a nice surprise.

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lantern

Most people enjoy the summer months. I DO enjoy doing things with my family, but I’m not always a fan of being out in the heat and humidity. I enjoy doing indoor activities (museums, movies…) where it’s air conditioned and out of the sun.

If you prefer to stay indoors during the dog days of summer be sure to check out what else BJ’s has to offer including indoor fans.

My father has a LASKO fan and it works great. I was tempted to pick this one up when I saw it.

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To find a BJ’s location near you visit BJs.com. You can also find the brand on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. The links are found at the bottom of their website.

What summer essentials do you like to stock up on?

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Kimberly

*I received a BJ’s gift card in exchange for this post. There was no other compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.