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Why the Baby Genius Ultimate Children’s Library is a Smart Buy – #DealsofTheDay

These are definitely the days for deals, right? The big day is quickly approaching, and it’s time to wrap up all of that holiday shopping before it’s too late! {And of course, make sure to grab a few gifts for yourself too. I wrap ’em up and put ’em under the tree, with a note to me from Santa… Lol.} And, to help you find some of the sweetest savings this week, from now until Thursday, I’ll be sharing the newest Deal of the Day from Sears with you!

Sears’ Deal of the Day offers exclusive one day promotions on different products at amazing prices. Check back daily for the best deals on products. Sears is your online destination for last-minute gift ideas at super affordable price-points. And, these deals will be pulled from every category Sears carries – like jewelry, electronics, tools, clothing, toys, furniture, and more. That means there’s something for everyone! Get ready for today’s rockin’ deal –

Baby Genius DVD set [Read more…]


10 Creative Ways to Give Your Child an Academic Advantage

“A child educated only at school is an uneducated child.” – George Santayana… As moms, we all want what’s best for our kids. We put aside so many of our own needs and wants, to make sure they have the very best. We invest in their future financially – things like life insurance, savings accounts, college plans – but it’s also super important to be investing in their future lives in a different way too… The adventures you take them on, the books you encourage them to read, the projects you complete together – those activities will have a huge impact on what type of person that they grow up to be. For more info and tips, check out this super helpful infographic that I am seriously in love with….

Give Your Child An Academic Advantage
Academic Advantage Infographic by

What do you think?

The ideas here are so worth pinning and remembering – I definitely need to get the kids more involved with volunteering, since that’s something that has always been incredibly important to me. And I’m loving the apps and links it mentions here for additional resources. And – I’d love to hear from you guys… Did you find an idea here that’s super helpful for you? Or do you have a great tip to share? Leave me some comments below – I love to learn from you smart ladies too!

“Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.” – Malcolm S. Forbes



The Cutest Kids Kitchen Playsets

Play Kitchen for Girls

“Having a two-year-old is like having a blender that you don’t have the top for.” – Jerry Seinfeld

While searching for amazing gift ideas to share with you guys – I came across a really great site filled with the cutest educational toys for kids – CP Toys! I am just in love with their selection – and this little girl’s play kitchen is at the top of my “Wish List” for Abby!! Ohmyheck – this is the cutest thing, right? And there are a ton of additional pieces you can purchase, like a baking set with a little mixer and cupcake tins. Of course, there are tons of other great toys to choose from – and they make it super simple to find the perfect gift. You can search by category, by age, by price, and more!

Special Deals:

Visit their site to get some fun free savings offers –

They’ll also send you out periodic emails or mailers with great discount codes, sale event notices, and cool coupons exclusively for mailing list members.

More High-Quality Play Kitchens at Great Deals

When shopping for kids toys, gear, and accessories, it’s tough to find things that blend in with the look and style of our home. I don’t want my house to look like a daycare when you walk in the door – But I don’t want to hide away all of the fun toys and playsets either. Here are a couple more great choices that would be a perfectly chic fit in any families kitchen:

  1. KidKraft Vintage Kitchen – This is so sleek and modern – it doesn’t scream “kids!!”, so it’s right at home in any kitchen. Love the details, and the clean and stylish all-white look.
  2. Red Retro Kitchen – This kids play kitchen is SO fun! Again, it’s very modern, and totally cool. I love kids toys – but I love to find things that look great, so that I can make them a part of our home’s decor, instead of just hiding them away in a playroom.
  3. KidKraft Tasty Treats Pretend Food Play – Such a great value! 125 pieces of fun play foods and accessories, for under $20 bucks – perfect.
  4. Mom and Me Cookbook – This is so adorable. Abby and I have matching aprons that we use when we cook together, and love trying recipes from this book. {Did you see that one of our recipes is featured in the new Baby Brezza Cookbook ? I was so excited to see our pictures in there!}

I’d love to hear from you guys – what’s your favorite play kitchen for kids? Do you struggle with finding great kids toys that blend into with your home design too, or do you keep things out of sight in a playroom? Do you have any great product suggestions for me to check out?? Leave me some comments!

Check out more fun stuff – Playroom Organization & Storage Ideas and Super Cool Kids Toys – on Pinterest!


Rafflecopter: JumpStart Games Review and Giveaway!

Award Winning Games!

JumpStart games have already won many awards – like the National Parenting Seal of Approval – and now they are nominated for another one! Every year, the SheKnows Parenting Awards program selects the leading products available to parents in a multitude of categories – from baby gear to eco-friendly gadgets, and everything in between. This year has been honored as a nominee for the top “Website for Kids” in their entertainment category!

Want to learn why people LOVE

Well, I can tell you why WE love it – it is a perfect mixture of fun, learning, and “cool” – meaning, the kids ask to play it all the time! And while we’ve only been exploring the games on the site for about a week now, I can tell that this is something the boys can enjoy for a long time without getting bored – there is SO much to do in this online world. I’m incredibly impressed. And, the more that they explore, and the more activities they complete, the more points they get – which then unlocks even MORE great stuff. This gives them a fun incentive to keep playing and learning!

Some of our Favorite Features:

Little Guy: He just turned 5, and started kindergarten this year, and has some trouble figuring out how to play a lot of the educational games we’ve tried out – even when they’re targeted towards his age bracket. JumpStarts online world has a few areas for him – StoryLand, aimed at 3-5 year olds, plus AdventureLand and MarineLand, designed for kids in kindergarten to second grade. They are just perfect! He can play alone without help, doesn’t get stuck or frustrated – and giggles away like crazy while he explores around! One of his favorites right away was the silly monkeys – The activity gives you a number. Then the monkeys swing out of the trees with different numbers, and he clicks on the one that matches. He LOVES these types of games, and they are really helping to reinforce what he is learning in the classroom.

Big Guy: He is 8 years old, and a bit harder to impress, lol. He is a total video game junkie, and it is tough for me to drag him away from his beloved XBOX Live most afternoons. But – I was really surprised to find that he totally loves the JumpStart world of games too!! He plays the Enchanted Sanctuary land {3rd to 5th grades} where he gets to train his own dragon. I feel quite sneaky, knowing that he’s doing something educational, while he thinks he’s just playing a cool game. There is also a feature on that you can set up, so that the kids can play with their friends – when you log into your account, you get a “Buddy Code” that you can share with your friends – and then they can add it to their own accounts, and the kids can do live chat and play together! {And I feel MUCH better about this, then when he asks to chat live on the XBOX, that is for SURE!}

What I Love:

  • I set up the JumpStart Connect, which connects the games with my Facebook page, and lets me stay updated on what the kids are up to while playing.
  • There are some really great printable worksheets, organized by age group, and categories like math or reading, and you have access to them all right from your site!
  • The combination of a very fun, upbeat learning environment, and cool features for older kids to enjoy – plus loads of cool app’s and extras. A subscription to this awesome online world is SO worth it for any family! Check it out, and try some of the games for free – I guarantee YOUR family will fall in love too!

Win a FREE 3-Month Membership for YOUR Family!

The regular subscription costs are:

  • $7.99 per month.
  • $74.99 for a full year.
  • $149.00 for a LIFETIME membership!

You can add up to 6 kids on each account, so the whole family can play for one low price. And you get access to the printable worksheets, the whole online world of games, access to the site too, PLUS a bonus of 4 downloadable games! Awesome, right? And one lucky Sunshine and Sippy Cups fan will WIN a full 3-month subscription to all of this!!

Enter to Win:

Use the easy peasy Rafflecopter form to enter – and Good Luck! {DisclosureI was provided with a JumpStart membership at no cost by Knowledge Adventure in order to test the products’ abilities and give my own personal opinions on it. The opinions I have given are mine and may differ from others but were not influenced by the company or the free product provided.}

[Read more…]


Rafflecopter Giveaway- Win The Homeschool Planner! #educational #homeschool

The Printable Homeschool Planner, by Heather Bixler

I have two little guys in my house that are in school- my youngest nephew just started Kindergarten, and the older one is in Second Grade this year- Gosh I cannot even believe that they’ve gotten so big!

I don’t homeschool the boys; they both attend the public elementary school around the corner from our home. But, since I’m the one who is here each day when they get home from school, I dedicate afternoons to helping them with their homework, and hearing about what they’re learning in class. On the days that they don’t have homework, I like to have fun activities lined up, to help reinforce the skills they’re learning.

“Heather Bixler has been homeschooling since January 2006 and knows that organization is key to a successful homeschooling experience.”

When I heard that the amazing Heather from was looking for people to review her Printable Homeschool Planner, I knew right away that this was just what I was looking for! And I was not disappointed- it is SO incredibly helpful to have this binder-  I can have our activities, games, and worksheets all organized in one spot.

What Makes The Printable Homeschool Planner so Great:

You all know that I am a BIG fan of printables- from crafty goodies, to calendars and to-do lists, I use printables almost every single day. I put together both my blogging binder, and my “Mommy Central” binder {which you’ll learn more about soon!} from printables, and I love the way that using them allows you to fully customize your planner.

When you purchase pre-made planners, there are almost always sections that you don’t need, or sections you need more of. When you purchase The Printable Homeschool Planner from Heather Bixler, you get access to download ALL of the printable sections, so that you can add and subtract pages as needed! Plus, you’re set for years- since you just print more as needed.

The The Printable Homeschool Planner is available for only $4.99 – what an amazing value for everything that is included!

Putting it together:

If you have a sturdy 3-ring binder, ink in your printer, and some dividers to get organized, the Printable Homeschool Planner will supply everything else you need!

  • The Cover Page – PDF Printable
  • Art Project Planner – PDF Printable
  • Attendance Record Keeper – PDF Printable
  • Book Report Worksheet – PDF Printable
  • Field Trip Planner – PDF Printable
  • Project Planner – PDF Printable
  • Science Experiment Planner – PDF Printable
  • Scripture Verse Planner – PDF Printable
  • Student Project Notes Worksheet – PDF Printable
  • Thematic Unit Planner – PDF Printable
  • Lesson Planner – PDF Printable
  • Password for unlimited access to our current and future homeschool printables in our exclusive member download page.

Win a Copy for Your Family!

This is a great tool if you’re currently homeschooling, but it can also be a great help to anyone- if you’re like me, and do after school activities, this can help you stay organized and on top of things!

Use the easy peasy Rafflecopter entry form to enter to WIN your own copy today!

[Read more…]


Rafflecopter Giveaway: Winners Choice from Rock ‘N Learn!!

Rock ‘N Learn – Rocks our Socks!

About a month ago, our family got the chance to review the new “Sight Words” DVD from Rock ‘N Learn. I was super excited to share it with the kids- The youngest little guy in my house just started Kindergarten, and is really struggling. I figured that this had the potential to be a BIG help!

A little about Sight Words:

Sight words are the most popular words in the English language- words like come and go, in and out, up and down, and you and me. The idea is that kids should learn to recognize these words on sight – helping to build a great base for their beginning reading skills!

The DVD is from the great people at– where you can find tons of other great DVD Videos, Audio CDs and iPad apps to “Capture Kids’ Attention and Get Results.”

I’d read great things about them, but this is the first time we’ve gotten to experience it for ourselves. I’m very happy to tell you- this video totally lived up to the positive reviews that I’ve read!

See it in action:

The Reaction in My House:

  • Abby: Abby is 14 month months, which is a bit too young for this video {it’s meant for Pre-K and up}- but she LOVES her Baby Signing Time videos, so I thought she might like these too. I was SO right! She giggles and claps, and dances along to the songs. It’s never too early to start learning to recognize words, right?
  • Little Guy: He’s the perfect age for this, and since he’s struggling with school so far, I was really hoping he’d like these. He was totally engaged with the video the whole time! And, even after a month of watching this a few times a week- he still loves it! He says, “Reading is ROCK AND ROLL!!” {Translation- his dad is in a rock band. He thinks that rock music is the coolest thing ever. So, if he says that something is rock and roll, that’s his highest compliment.} He seems to be really starting to grasp the words and their meanings, and is getting better with his skills when doing schoolwork too. So grateful that Rock ‘N Learn contacted us to try this out!
  • Big Guy: The older little guy in my house is 8, and is starting to become “too cool” for some of the things that interest his brother- making it a challenge to keep them both entertained. But- he really enjoys this video too! He is a really advanced reader, so he doesn’t really need to learn these sight words- he knows them. But he gets a big kick out of helping his brother learn them- and I think it really helps reinforce the meanings of words that he already knows. I love the way the words are taught in context- the character goes up when showing the word UP, then back down to show the word DOWN.
  • Me: These don’t drive me crazy, like many kids video’s do – which means that I love them! They’re really cute, the songs are catchy, and the educational value of them is very obvious. They keep all three kids entertained and engaged after school, they’re teaching the kids some wonderful reading skills, and they’re totally pleasant to listen to- I give Rock ‘N Learn – Sight Words a rating of 5 Suns out of 5!! {Remember, I don’t do “star” ratings, I do suns :)}

You can purchase your own copy of Sight Words on Rock ‘N Learn for $19.99. And bonus- use this special coupon code- JQ7711 – at check out, to save an additional 25% off of any purchase at Rock ‘N Learn!!

Win It!

One lucky Sunshine and Sippy CupsA fan is going to WIN their choice of DVD or CD from Rock ‘N Learn!! Use the easy peasy Rafflecopter form to enter to win! Good luck!!

[Read more…]


Find Amazing, Fun, & Free Resources at School Sparks!

All Children Can Start School Prepared to Succeed!

That’s the goal behind a totally amazing website I found today, School Sparks, where you’ll find a ton of really great resources for your child.

School Sparks is targeted towards parents of preschool kids, who are preparing them for school, and wanting to know if their child has the needed skills and development to start kindergarten. It has an assessment you can use to see how your little one is doing, and loads of great resources and activites! It’s also great for those with kiddo’s who have already started school, with fun activities to reinforce the skills that they’re learning each day.

Read More:

This site is run by Renee, who is a preschool and kindergarten teacher, now retired after decades of educating young children. Heather is her daughter, mother of two young boys. This blog is their collective scrapbook, passing wisdom from one generation to the next.

Free eBook:

Get the Free eBook, Stepping Stones for Early Readers, that will help prepare your little one for school, as well as help develop reading skills in kids who are already learning words at school.

Free Worksheets:

Printable preschool and kindergarten worksheets

This site has over 100 different Kindergarten worksheets that you can access and print! There are sections for developing gross and fine motor skills, social and emotional awareness, and fun pages like Alphabet Parade. I love, love, LOVE these printable worksheets! We put some of them into page protectors, so that my little guy can use dry-erase markers to do activities several times.

Free Assessment Test:

This site also has a Kindergarten Readiness Testthat is really easy to use. It asks a few questions in each of the major categories, and you simply click a box for “yes or no”, then get an evaluation of what your kiddo might want to work on to get ready for school. My littlest guy is starting Kindergarten this year, so this was a really cool tool to see where he still needs some help!

Understand How Early Child Development in 8 Areas is Critical to School Success:

Letter and Word AwarenessGet information on Early Childhood Development, including what will be expected of your little one during preschool and kindergarten.

This covers the 8 areas of that are most important:

  • Gross Motor Development
  • Fine Motor Development
  • Auditory Processing
  • Visual Discrimination
  • Letter and Word Awareness
  • Phonemic Awareness
  • Math and Number Awareness
  • Social and Emotional Development

This is just one of the coolest sites, with SO much helpful information and tools, and it’s all presented in such a bright, fun, easy to find layout.

You can find them anywhere you’re hanging out on the web:

{More great kids activites: Sign up for free, educational, safe gaming accounts just for kids: Time Island, and Kabongo, two of our families favorites!}