Category Archives: Back to School

Country Chic Charm with LaBella Flora

Growing up in North Carolina, I know a little about what it’s like to live in the country. From the joys of having a big yard, to having to drive 30+ minutes for fast food, right down to having homemade dresses fill my closet. But since moving, this has all been a thing of the past.

I’ve always thought I’d make my daughter dresses just like my mom made me, but times have changed and so has fashion. That doesn’t mean I’ve completely left my country ways behind, though. And while I may not have the time (or patience) to sit and sew cute clothes for my daughter, LaBella Flora has all the brands I need to give my daughter a taste of the country chic life.

Country Chic Charm with Labella Flora | #countrychic #LaBellaFlora #childrensboutique #Serendipity

~I received a sample to help facilitate this review. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~

LaBella Flora is a dream come true for mom’s like me, who want their daughter’s to look cute and show a little sass. It’s a children’s boutique with sizes ranging from newborn to 14. And with brands like Serendipity, DollBaby, Mustard Pie and Haute Baby, just to name a few, there are so many designs, patterns and styles to choose from.

Country Chic Charm with Labella Flora | #countrychic #LaBellaFlora #childrensboutique #SerendipitySince it’s back to school season and the weather is getting crisper, I thought this Girls Back to School Outfit by Serendipity would be the perfect addition to my daughter’s fall wardrobe. It just screams country chic charm to me!

I love the ruffle detail around the neck and pant bottoms, the beautiful vintage print with its perfect fall colors, and the different patterns compliment each other so well. Florals, stripes, polka dots – I never would have thought to pair these patterns if I had made this myself.

It’s just so cute and has an overwhelming amount of southern sass and country chic charm to it. And it even comes with a coordinating headband. You can tell a lot of love, time and detail went into making the outfit.

Country Chic Charm with Labella Flora | #countrychic #LaBellaFlora #childrensboutique #Serendipity

Country Chic Charm with Labella Flora | #countrychic #LaBellaFlora #childrensboutique #Serendipity

We walked my son to school this morning and it was kind of chilly, making it the perfect time for my daughter to wear her new outfit. She wasn’t in the mood to wear the headband today, so I didn’t force it, but she was still just too stinking cute.

Daddy wasn’t feeling the outfit AT ALL, but once she put it on I think he changed his mind. I mean, just look at how adorable. The outfit reminds me of the dresses my mom used to make me, so I feel like I’m sharing a little piece of my childhood with my daughter. Somebody’s got to show her a little southern sass!

Do you like country chic/southern sass outfits like this?

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*I received a sample to help facilitate this review. As always, my opinions are still 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand. Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Early Learning with LeapFrog Academy

Whether you’re sending your kids back to school, are trying to give them a head start on learning, or are looking for a tool to supplement their education, LeapFrog Academy is one you should definitely consider. I’ve tried my fair share of educational tools for young kids and LeapFrog Academy has quickly become my go-to.

Early Learning with LeapFrog Academy | #LeapFrog #LeapFrogAcademy #earlylearning #supplementaleducation #monthlysubscription

~I received a complimentary subscription to help facilitate this post. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~

My son has been working with LeapFrog Academy for a few weeks now and it’s safe to say he’s a big fan too. As if we couldn’t get enough of everything LeapFrog already has to offer, we now have something to add to the list. And this one is pretty epic.

LeapFrog Academy is a monthly learning subscription designed for kids ages 3-6. It’s an interactive program that guides them through preschool, pre-K, and kindergarten activities, where they’ll not only learn school related topics, but life skills as well. Core skills include reading and writing, math, problem solving, science and the world, creativity, feelings and health.

 

With over 1,000 activities including books, games, puzzles, videos, music, and art, there’s a possibility your child won’t want to leave their Learning Adventure. The activities themselves are pretty fun and along the adventure your child will earn bonus opportunities and rewards as motivation to continue.

Some rewards include accessories to change their avatar appearance and collection pieces to build all kinds of fun stuff (castles, dinosaurs, etc.) When asked to step away from the program, my son has said many times, “But mom, I have to get a reward.” He’d play and learn all day if the device didn’t need charging.

Early Learning with LeapFrog Academy | #LeapFrog #LeapFrogAcademy #earlylearning #supplementaleducation #monthlysubscription

Early Learning with LeapFrog Academy | #LeapFrog #LeapFrogAcademy #earlylearning #supplementaleducation #monthlysubscription

And speaking of, device compatibility happens to be one of my favorite features. In the past you’ve always been required to use a LeapFrog product for anything LeapFrog related, but LeapFrog Academy is available on the computer (both Windows and macOS), iOS and Android devices (tablets and phones), as well as LeapFrog Epic and Epic Academy Edition.

Early Learning with LeapFrog Academy | #LeapFrog #LeapFrogAcademy #earlylearning #supplementaleducation #monthlysubscription

My son started out on my Windows computer and after discovering the LeapFrog Academy app automatically uploads to the Epic after it’s added to your LeapFrog account, he quickly switched over to the Epic. If you purchase the Epic Academy Edition, the LeapFrog Academy app is already installed.

But can we rejoice for a minute that it’s available on iOS and Android devices?! If you don’t already own a LeapFrog Epic tablet, there’s no need to go out and get one. Just download the app on your existing device and you’re all set.

Early Learning with LeapFrog Academy | #LeapFrog #LeapFrogAcademy #earlylearning #supplementaleducation #monthlysubscription

Early Learning with LeapFrog Academy | #LeapFrog #LeapFrogAcademy #earlylearning #supplementaleducation #monthlysubscription

And wait, it gets even better! And you may want to sit down for this. —– LeapFrog Academy does NOT require Wi-Fi. Well, at least not all features. Woohoo! Road trips and airplane rides, here we come!

To clarify a little, not every feature of LeapFrog Academy works offline, but as your child is going through their Learning Adventure they have the ability to choose their favorite activities (games, books) and make them favorites. If ever in an offline situation, those games and books identified as favorites (up to 24) will be available for use without a Wi-Fi connection.

In true LeapFrog fashion, you also have the ability to track your child’s progress. Just sign into the Parent Dashboard where you can choose and change your child’s Learning Adventure, see what your child has completed, along with their score and what they learned in the activity, and this is also where you manage the account and your child’s profile.

Early Learning with LeapFrog Academy | #LeapFrog #LeapFrogAcademy #earlylearning #supplementaleducation #monthlysubscription
These are the Learning Adventures my son has already completed and it also shows me which adventure he’s working on now. I can click on any of these he’s completed to check his scores.

 

Early Learning with LeapFrog Academy | #LeapFrog #LeapFrogAcademy #earlylearning #supplementaleducation #monthlysubscription
This is one of the activities my son has already completed. If I want him to go back and try it again, I can adjust his Learning Adventure so he can do that.

 

Early Learning with LeapFrog Academy | #LeapFrog #LeapFrogAcademy #earlylearning #supplementaleducation #monthlysubscription
This is the Learning Adventure currently being worked on. I can see that my son is just starting this one and hasn’t completed any activities yet, but I know the types of activities he’ll be working on.

 

In just the few weeks my son has been using LeapFrog Academy, he has really been surprising me. Since he’s starting kindergarten next week, I started him with the Introduction to Kindergarten adventure, which he’s already completed and has moved on to other things.

Early Learning with LeapFrog Academy | #LeapFrog #LeapFrogAcademy #earlylearning #supplementaleducation #monthlysubscription

Yesterday he was telling me about the body’s intestines, and lungs, and the skull and brain, and biceps, and ribs, and heart, and oh. my. goodness. The boy is only 5 years old! I’ve overheard him doing multiple “Human Body” activities the past few weeks, each one a little different than the last, and he was really taking away some info from them.

I’ve also seen him doing alphabet, counting, math, feelings, expressions, and life cycle activities. Many of which I’m sure I’d have a hard time teaching myself. I can’t wait to see what else LeapFrog Academy throws at him and for my toddler to get to an age where she can start using it too.

Ready to leap into learning? Sign up today for a free 1 month trial. The subscription is $7.99/mth after that and if you decide you want to cancel, you can do so at any time.

And by the way, I’m sure many of you have more than one child who would love to use LeapFrog Academy. One subscription allows up to 5 child profiles to be created!

What is your favorite feature of LeapFrog Academy?

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*I received a complimentary subscription to help facilitate this post. As always, my opinions are still 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand. Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.


Back to School Technology Savers

Whether you have a child in high school, or one heading off to college, technology is likely a big part of their back to school shopping list. Back to school tech doesn’t just include the primary product itself, like laptops and cell phones, but backup and protection accessories are necessary too. Through my own experience, I know that back to school technology savers should be on every techie students supply list.

Back to School Technology Savers | #OWC #NewerTech #backtoschool #technology #laptop #cellphone #keyboardcover #drivedock

~I received samples to help facilitate this post. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~

I know first hand how important it is to protecting back to school technology. When I left for college I was gifted my very first personal laptop and successfully made it through class after class. But at some point my laptop completely crashed. I’m talking it got to the point  that I couldn’t even turn it on. Agh!

I mean, how was I going to finish major projects I had started? I didn’t have access to anything I had saved on my computer and being the typical college kid, didn’t think it was necessary to back anything up because ya know, this would never happen to me, right?  It was bad enough I had to fork up money for a new computer, so losing all my data on top of that was just a bigger kick in the pants.

And I hate to admit it, but this wasn’t the only time this has happened to me. Just a few years ago I had another laptop do the same thing and I lost tons of work, photos, everything. I certainly don’t wish this on anyone, college student or working adult, but sometimes it’s just an inevitable experience. However, it doesn’t have to mean you lose everything you’ve worked on.

Back to School Technology Savers | #OWC #NewerTech #backtoschool #technology #laptop #cellphone #keyboardcover #drivedock

With the OWC Drive Dock, simply remove the hard drive from the crashed computer and instantly gain access to everything that was contained on it, on another computer. Talk about a lifesaver! No kidding, this is a product I don’t think I will ever again be able to live without, especially considering my track record. Knock on wood, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before my current laptop takes a turn and I absolutely CANNOT lose all the data I have on it.

The same goes for those students who are working hard to achieve a higher education. If this same computer catastrophe were to happen, the OWC Drive Dock helps students work smarter, not harder. I’m all about that even today!

Back to School Technology Savers | #OWC #NewerTech #backtoschool #technology #laptop #cellphone #keyboardcover #drivedock

OWC Drive Dock Highlights ($69.75)

  • 2 drive bays for 2.5″ and 3.5″ hard drives or SSDs
  • USB 3.1 Gen 1 connectivity
  • Up to 434 MB/s speeds
  • Independent power switches, and simultaneous operation (access 2 hard drives at once)
  • Internal power supply with universal compatibility
  • Mac and PC compatible
  • OWC 2 year limited warranty

Back to School Technology Savers | #OWC #NewerTech #backtoschool #technology #laptop #cellphone #keyboardcover #drivedock

Continuing with the discussion of laptop protection, I also want to mention NewerTech NuGuard Keyboard Covers. Compatible with Macbook, NuGuard Keyboard Covers are a fun and colorful way to protect the actual keyboard. There are 13 color options to choose from so the cover adds a little uniqueness to the laptop, but it’s also effective, as it protects against key wear, food, dust, and more.

Back to School Technology Savers | #OWC #NewerTech #backtoschool #technology #laptop #cellphone #keyboardcover #drivedockI don’t personally own a Macbook, but my boyfriend does and over the years he’s lost is “B” button, and as is typical with any keyboard, the key faces are starting to fade. Not to mention, keyboards can get really messy. I don’t think I know anyone who doesn’t eat or drink while on their computer and that sometimes means dirty, crumby keyboards. Not only is this an eye sore, but it can also affect the functionality of the keyboard as well. NuGuard Keyboard Covers protect against all of this!

NuGuard Keyboard Cover Highlights ($19.99)

  • Silky smooth surface texture for fast touch typing
  • Protects against key wear, food, dust, and more
  • Easy to clean – just rinse with water and dry
  • 13 color options to choose from

Back to School Technology Savers | #OWC #NewerTech #backtoschool #technology #laptop #cellphone #keyboardcover #drivedockNot only do students need to protect their ever expensive laptops, but cell phones fit right into that category too. This day and age, it’s rare to see a teen or adult without a cell phone on them somewhere. Besides, if you’re sending a child off to college, I’m willing to bet you’re a bit worried (just like when they started kindergarten) and want to be able to communicate with them whenever you want.

And let’s face it, cell phones get dropped and sometimes put through the ringer (no pun in intended), so they need to be protected. NewerTech NuGuard KX Protective Case is the ultimate protective case and built to survive life, even college life. And guess what? It’s now available for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

NuGuard KX Protective Case Highlights ($49.99)

  • Revolutionary X-Orbing gel technology absorbs and evenly distributes kinetic energy
  • One piece design – hard shell integrated with soft interior core
  • Exceptional protection without being bulky
  • Fast and simple install takes only seconds
  • Easy access to all ports and buttons
  • Lightweight
  • Cross hatch texture design offers secure hand grip, yet easy pocket/purse removel
  • Backed by a best-in-class replacement NewerTech NuGuard KX lifetime limited warranty

Back to School Technology Savers | #OWC #NewerTech #backtoschool #technology #laptop #cellphone #keyboardcover #drivedockI’ve found that my favorite feature is the drop protection and actually tested it against a previous protective case. The test case didn’t appear to really protect against impact absorportion when hitting the ground, but the NuGuard KX actually has a bounce to it, absorbing the impact and protecting the phone.

And you might as well protect the phone screen too, with NewerTech NuGuard KXs Screen Armor ($19.99). Featuring triple layer X-Orbiting protection – protection layer, absorption layer, and adhesion layer – NuGuard KXs Screen Armor will keep the screen looking and functioning like new.

I can only hope that our children won’t destroy the technology we purchase for them, but I’m also going to be giving them the tools and accessories they need to help protect those investments. And I highly suggest you do the same with these back to school technology savers.

Do you have any technology loss horror stories? I’d love to hear them.

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*I received samples to help facilitate this post. My opinions are still 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brands. Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brands.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

AquaBall’s Sugarless Back to School Sweepstakes

AquaBall's Sugarless Back to School Sweepstakes | #AquaBall #BacktoSchool #sugarfree #BTS #sweepstakes #entertowin

~Thank you to AquaBall for providing samples to facilitate this post.~

What better way to start the school year, than with a fun, kid-friendly sweepstakes win?! AquaBall is giving 16 people that very chance! AquaBall is the only naturally flavored, zero-calorie, sugar-free, and preservative-free children’s beverage currently on the market.

AquaBall is available in four flavors – Berry Frost, Fruit Punch, Grape, and Strawberry Lemonade; and the bottles feature fan favorite characters from Disney’s “Frozen,” Disney Princesses, Marvel’s “Avengers,” and Disney Classic Characters. AquaBall is a drink your kids will love and you’ll feel good about giving them. Plus, they’re perfect for packing in lunch boxes or enjoying with an after school snack!

AquaBall's Sugarless Back to School Sweepstakes | #AquaBall #BacktoSchool #sugarfree #BTS #sweepstakes #entertowin

Sweepstakes Prize

  • 6 lucky participants will win a one month’s supply of AquaBall (one 6-pack of each flavor). Winners will be drawn every Monday, between August 14th and September 18th.
  • 10 winners will receive a one year supply (twelve 24-count packs). Winners will be drawn Monday, September 18th.

How to Enter

Entering is super easy! Simply visit AquaBall and complete the entry form, including a photo of your child with their favorite AquaBall – don’t forget to tag #Sugarlessbacktoschool and @aquaballdrink. Complete rules and regulations can be found here.

This is our photo entry!

AquaBall's Sugarless Back to School Sweepstakes | #AquaBall #BacktoSchool #sugarfree #BTS #sweepstakes #entertowin

The sweepstakes has already started and will continue through September, so there’s still plenty of time to get your entries in. Start sharing AquaBall with your kids today and good luck!

Which AquaBall flavor(s) do you think your kids will love?

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*I received AquaBall samples to help facilitate this post. My opinions are still 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand. Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Making Time is in no way responsible for sweepstakes management or prize fulfillment. Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

9 Reasons to Visit Seabreeze Amusement Park

9 Reasons to Visit Seabreeze Amusement Park | #Seabreeze #SeabreezeAmusementPark #summerfun #backtoschool #BTS

~Thank you to Seabreeze Amusement Park for providing complimentary passes to the Making Time family. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~




You may already know that my family was on vacation last week. It was our last trip of the summer, as my son starts school in just a few short weeks. So this trip was a bit of a summer send off and last hoorah.

We were visiting family in Rochester, NY and while everyone else was working, we spent a day at Seabreeze Amusement Park. It could not have been a better way to say goodbye to summer! It is most definitely safe to say we will be going back next summer, and I’m hoping to make it a true family affair, getting our extended family to go. Each and every one of us had an amazing, fun-filled day and it’s one we’ll always remember.

9 Reasons to Visit Seabreeze Amusement Park | #Seabreeze #SeabreezeAmusementPark #summerfun #backtoschool #BTS #Rochester #NY

9 Reasons to Visit Seabreeze Amusement Park | #Seabreeze #SeabreezeAmusementPark #summerfun #backtoschool #BTS #Rochester #NY

There are so many reasons to visit Seabreeze Amusement Park and I’ve put together my top nine reasons to share today.

1. Two Parks in One

Seabreeze Amusement Park is like getting two for the price of one. Not only are there fun rides, but there’s also a waterpark. A single admission gets you access to it all. Spend a few adventurous hours on the roller coasters, and the next few hours in the wave pool or slip sliding down the huge water slides. It’s up to you how you spend your day!

9 Reasons to Visit Seabreeze Amusement Park | #Seabreeze #SeabreezeAmusementPark #summerfun #backtoschool #BTS #Rochester #NY

9 Reasons to Visit Seabreeze Amusement Park | #Seabreeze #SeabreezeAmusementPark #summerfun #backtoschool #BTS #Rochester #NY

9 Reasons to Visit Seabreeze Amusement Park | #Seabreeze #SeabreezeAmusementPark #summerfun #backtoschool #BTS #Rochester #NY

2. There’s Something for Everyone

No matter your age, there is something for everyone to do. We were visiting mostly for the kids to have fun, so we spent quite a bit of time on the kiddie rides, but that’s not to say I didn’t sneak away for a bit to have some thrills of my own.

 

Boats, bumper cars, a carousel, tea cups, roller coasters, a small train, spaceships, swings, Tilt-A-Whirl, water slides, lazy river, wave pool, there’s lots to do and enjoy. There’s even a fun shaded arcade area, complete with tickets and prizes; and we came across a hut for getting a spray on tattoo. It should be no surprise our son loves soccer, so he got a soccer ball “tattoo” on his arm.

9 Reasons to Visit Seabreeze Amusement Park | #Seabreeze #SeabreezeAmusementPark #summerfun #backtoschool #BTS #Rochester #NY

9 Reasons to Visit Seabreeze Amusement Park | #Seabreeze #SeabreezeAmusementPark #summerfun #backtoschool #BTS #Rochester #NY

9 Reasons to Visit Seabreeze Amusement Park | #Seabreeze #SeabreezeAmusementPark #summerfun #backtoschool #BTS #Rochester #NY

9 Reasons to Visit Seabreeze Amusement Park | #Seabreeze #SeabreezeAmusementPark #summerfun #backtoschool #BTS #Rochester #NY

There are also a bunch of different game stations. We stopped twice at “Frog Fishin'” to let the kids test out their fishing skills. They really enjoyed catching a fish and getting a prize. We ended up going home with three blow up hammers that they’ve been beating each other up with ever since, haha.

3. No Long Wait Times

No matter what you want to ride or play, the wait time is almost non-existent. The day we were at the park there seemed to be a lot of people there, but for many rides we only had to wait for one ride cycle. Others we didn’t have to wait at all. This was pretty surprising to me considering how many people were in the park and definitely made the day more easy going.

9 Reasons to Visit Seabreeze Amusement Park | #Seabreeze #SeabreezeAmusementPark #summerfun #backtoschool #BTS #Rochester #NY

9 Reasons to Visit Seabreeze Amusement Park | #Seabreeze #SeabreezeAmusementPark #summerfun #backtoschool #BTS #Rochester #NY

4. Never Far from Food

Wherever you wander to in the park, you’re never far from food. Whether you want a burger, hot dog, chicken, salad, pizza, ice cream cone, or need a refreshing drink, it won’t be a long walk to get it. In the midway of the park is Seabreeze Grill where we ordered lunch of burgers and fries.

Closer to the waterpark is California Grill, and throughout the park you’ll find two Dippin’ Dots locations, Sprinkles, Pizza & More,  Expressway, Chicken & Fries, Walk-Away Tacos & Subs, Summertime Treats, and Waffle Stand.

9 Reasons to Visit Seabreeze Amusement Park | #Seabreeze #SeabreezeAmusementPark #summerfun #backtoschool #BTS #Rochester #NY

From the locals I heard Waffle Stand was a must if we were going to Seabreeze, so right before leaving we grabbed some to go! I would describe them as a twist on traditional funnel cakes, featuring a thick honeycomb shape and crispy texture.

5. Shaded Fun

Temperatures in the summer can get a little out of control, but at Seabreeze that doesn’t mean the fun has to stop. I already mentioned the arcade area is shaded, but so is the carousel and the midway. The midway doesn’t only feature food locations, but also houses quite a few game stands. So as temperatures rise, the fun can continue in the shade if you need a break from the heat.

9 Reasons to Visit Seabreeze Amusement Park | #Seabreeze #SeabreezeAmusementPark #summerfun #backtoschool #BTS #Rochester #NY

9 Reasons to Visit Seabreeze Amusement Park | #Seabreeze #SeabreezeAmusementPark #summerfun #backtoschool #BTS #Rochester #NY

6. Lockers

One thing I hate about most amusement parks is carrying everything around. At Seabreeze you can rent a locker for the day and just go into it as you need. The first thing we did when we arrived was locate the lockers and get one rented. We immediately stored our belongings and went on our way. After the kids racked up some game and arcade prizes, we simply put it all in our locker and kept the fun going.

9 Reasons to Visit Seabreeze Amusement Park | #Seabreeze #SeabreezeAmusementPark #summerfun #backtoschool #BTS #Rochester #NY

9 Reasons to Visit Seabreeze Amusement Park | #Seabreeze #SeabreezeAmusementPark #summerfun #backtoschool #BTS #Rochester #NY

9 Reasons to Visit Seabreeze Amusement Park | #Seabreeze #SeabreezeAmusementPark #summerfun #backtoschool #BTS #Rochester #NY

The lockers are also great if you want to go between the amusement park rides and the waterpark. After finishing with the waterpark we changed into dry clothes, put the wet ones in the locker, and went back for more amusement park rides.

7. Seating All Over the Park

I have never seen an amusement park with so many seating options. There are benches throughout the park, tables and seating for dining by the midway, lounge chairs in the waterpark, and more.

8. Picnic Area

As if there wasn’t enough seating already, there is what looks like a picnic area in the waterpark. We saw many people who had brought their own coolers full of food and drinks, prepared to spend the entire day there. Which I’ll add, isn’t something other amusement parks typically allow. This is actually what gave me the idea to make it a family affair the next time we go.

9. Friendly Staff

Not once did we have an issue with any of the staff. Everyone we encountered was super friendly. In fact, when we stopped to get an ice cream cone, we were so excited about it that I walked off without getting my debit card back. The lady who took care of us came and tapped on my shoulder, and returned my card. Thank goodness! I didn’t even realize I had left it until she came to find me.

9 Reasons to Visit Seabreeze Amusement Park | #Seabreeze #SeabreezeAmusementPark #summerfun #backtoschool #BTS #Rochester #NY

When were ordering our ice cream she must have overheard my son say he wanted Kool-Aid. I told him they didn’t have Kool-Aid, but when she came to find me not only did she have my debit card in hand, but a strawberry smoothie for my son. That was as close to Kool-Aid as he was going to get at the moment and it made my day that she thought of that and him.

9 Reasons to Visit Seabreeze Amusement Park | #Seabreeze #SeabreezeAmusementPark #summerfun #backtoschool #BTS #Rochester #NY

So if you’re ever in the Rochester, NY area in the summer time, I definitely recommend spending a day at Seabreeze Amusement Park. I honestly can’t give you one reason not to!

What’s your favorite aspect of Seabreeze Amusement Park?

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*Complimentary Seabreeze Amusement Park passes were provided for purposes of facilitating this blog post. My opinions are still 100% my own and in no way influenced by the park. Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the park.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Back to School: Embracing Our Differences

Back to School: Embracing Our Differences | #SonyaSahniandtheFirstGrade #diversity #culture #backtoschool #BTS
~I received a complimentary copy of this book for review. This post contains affiliate links, in which I will receive a small commission for your purchase. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~

Growing up, the children in the schools I attended were predominantly Caucasian, as am I. When I moved to Florida in high school that changed drastically. I attended a predominantly African American school, that was located in what was considered the “ghetto” of the city, but I am forever grateful for having that opportunity. It opened my eyes to new cultures, new styles, new food, new everything.

And it doesn’t stop there. After going to college and moving to various different places after that, I realized just how much of a melting pot the U.S. really is. Today my family lives in a neighborhood in which we are the minority. Both of our children are biracial and we are raising them to embrace their differences and uniqueness, as well as to recognize and welcome other peoples differences and uniqueness.




It’s okay to ask questions about others, especially as kids, because that’s how we all learn. When we see something or someone different, I love when my son asks a question. Whether it’s music, someone’s style, different food, anything. When he asks us a question about whatever it may be, I realize that he recognizes that difference, and acknowledges it, and wants to learn more about it.

And with Back to School season in full swing, everyone’s children are probably learning that they have classmates who are different from themselves, or maybe they’re even feeling like they are the different one. This is exactly what Dr. Soma Mandal helps children understand in her book, Sonya Sahni and the First Grade: It’s International Day!  Dr. Mandal has created a world where kids feel different, and that’s perfectly okay.

With this book, Dr. Mandal provides children with a new resource:

  • To be more open minded and develop friendships without preconceived notions.
  • To encourage our children to foster relationships with others based on acceptance.
  • To realize that everyone has their own unique set of struggles.
  • To provide support to those who feel left out or discouraged.
  • To offer guidance to children embracing their backgrounds who feel bullied.
  • And much more!

Back to School: Embracing Our Differences | #SonyaSahniandtheFirstGrade #diversity #culture #backtoschool #BTS

Sonya Sahni, a first grader, feels torn between her Indian culture and wanting to fit in as an American. Of course, her parents want her to embrace her Indian culture, but the kids at school tease her. In one instance, her classmates make fun at the lunch Sonya’s mother has packed her because it’s traditional Indian cuisine and is different from the food they’re used to.

Back to School: Embracing Our Differences | #SonyaSahniandtheFirstGrade #diversity #culture #backtoschool #BTS

Sonya’s parents are concerned and make a visit to Sonya’s teacher. The meeting results in something amazing, an International Day at school, where everyone in the class learns that each and every one of them are different and unique in their own ways, but they also have a lot in common. And in the end, Sonya realizes that she’s perfect just the way she is, embracing both her Indian and American cultures.

In this unique story, a little girl is the main protagonist who struggles with issues to grasp both sides of her culture. I hope to inspire children to accept their backgrounds and embrace their cultures. I want to live in a society where all children can live and welcome differences instead of tearing them down.

-Dr. Soma Mandal

Back to School: Embracing Our Differences | #SonyaSahniandtheFirstGrade #diversity #culture #backtoschool #BTS

Since getting a copy of this book, my son has wanted me to read it over and over. He loves to see the different cultures represented with flags bordering many of the book’s pages. It’s nice to see him recognizing each child’s difference in the story, and I can only hope that he’ll accept and encourage his classmates to embrace their own uniqueness, and that he’ll embrace his own, when he starts school in a few weeks.

Purchase Sonya Sahni and the First Grade: It’s International Day! on Amazon for $12.99!

Do you have any tips for teaching children to embrace different cultures, as well as their own?

Connect with Sonya Sahni and the First Grade: Website | Facebook | Twitter

*I received a complimentary copy of this book for review. This post contains affiliate links, in which I will receive a small commission for your purchase. As always, opinions are still 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand.  Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Help a Child Prepare for Back to School with a Single Click

Help a Child Prepare for Back to School with a Single Click | #backtoschool #BTS #KidsinNeedFoundation #Target #Yoobi #schoolsupplies

One thing I always see across social media during Back to School season, is how ridiculous school supply lists are and how expensive it all can be. I wish those parents would look at this cost as an investment in their child’s future. Is it really that bad of an expense to help your child succeed in life?

No! No, it is not.

On the flip side, how about the families who just literally can’t afford to buy school supplies? As a parent, I feel for those children and know that many teachers foot the bill out of their own pockets, because they want those children to have the same opportunity to succeed as everyone else in their classrooms.

 

Well, guess what? With a simple like and/or share of this Facebook video, you can make a difference in those children’s lives too. For every like or share of the video, Target will provide a backpack filled with school supplies to a child who needs it.

It’s a small gesture on your part and takes just a second to do, but will provide a major impact on the future of our children’s generation.

And I also want to give a big shout out to Yoobi for helping fill these backpacks and to the Kids in Need Foundation for making sure the supplies reach the children who need them. This initiative would not be possible without them.

Need to register your child to participate in this program? Visit the Kids in Need Foundation for more info!

Connect with : Website | Facebook | Twitter

*Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand. Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Entertainment That Educates + #NCircleEntertainment Giveaway

Entertainment That Educates + Giveaway | #NCircleEntertainment #education #learning #giveaway #entertowin
~Thank you to NCircle Entertainment for providing DVDs for review. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~

Children’s minds take in more than we can ever imagine. They watch everything we do. They copy how their friends act, as their energy feeds off of each other. They learn through play, fun, and adventure. The world and every little thing in it is educating our children in some way or another, and the shows and movies they watch are no different.

As school nears, and for many has already started, formal learning and education is soon to be in full swing. Whether you have kids in lower elementary school, are homeschooling, or even have toddlers and pre-K aged kids at home, the NCircle Entertainment August DVD releases will help keep the fun and learning going at home too.

Check out the new fun, adventurous, and educational releases I’ve added to my own kids’ collection this month.




What to expect!

All of these entertainment options get those little gears moving, get your kids asking questions, learning new things, and taking adventures in lands they’ve never experienced before.

Your children will learn things like why the moon only comes out at night, how a whale stays under water for so long, what makes a car go fast, and many more of the world’s mysteries (at least the one’s that children haven’t figured out yet).

They’ll also learn some of life’s greatest lessons, like when and how to ask for help, how to say you’re sorry, why it’s good to tell the truth, and the true meaning and happiness of friendship.

My kids absolutely love Molang and The Little Prince, so I knew these would be instant hits (they watched the entire season of Molang as soon as they got their new goodies). Lily’s Driftwood Bay and The Day Henry Met __ ? are both new to us, but the kids are loving them so far.

 

Lily likes to take adventures on Driftwood Bay, an imaginary island. Each day Lily’s imagination is sparked by something that washes up from the sea, and she’s taken away to Driftwood Bay, where she and her friends have fun exploring and learning new things.

Entertainment That Educates + Giveaway | #NCircleEntertainment #education #learning #giveaway #entertowin

Then there’s Henry, a knowledge seeking 4 year old, who loves to ask questions of anything and everything. Do you ever find yourself talking to objects, like asking the car why it keeps running out of gas? No? Maybe that’s just me. Talking to objects is exactly the way Henry learns how and why things work the way they do.

When school is over for the day, or my daughter wants something fun to watch while her brother’s at school, all I have to do is pull out one these fun and educational DVDs for a little entertainment. Want the same for your kids? Enter to win all four NCircle Entertainment August releases (plus a cute book) using the giveaway form below.

Which new release would your kids like?

Connect with In this new DVD, Autumn Journey: Guess How Much I Love You, your children will follow Little Nutbrown Hare and his friends on 6 autumn adventures. Enter now for a chance to win your very own copy! #giveawayWebsite / Facebook / Twitter


Enter to win all 4 new educational DVD releases from NCircle Entertainment! | #giveaway #NCircleEntertainment #entertowin #DVD #learning #education

One lucky Making Time reader will win a copy of all four August releases (shown in photo), as well as a Molang book! GOOD LUCK!

This giveaway is open to US Residents, ages 18+ and ends on August 31, 2017 at 11:59 pm est.  Random winner will be notified via email and must respond within 24 hours or prize will be forfeited. Sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment.

 

 

*I received samples free of charge from NCircle Entertainment as part of their Brand Ambassadorship. My opinions are 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand. Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand. Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.


Crate Space = Easy Savings on Household Essentials

Crate Space is an easy way to save on personal and household essentials, without clipping coupons and tracking down sales! #CrateSpace #savingmoney #household #essentials #smartshopper #deliveryservice #homedelivery
~Thank you to Crate Space for providing a free box for review. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~

Allow me to introduce you to my newest way of saving time and money – Crate Space. Simply put, Crate Space is a way to get personal and household essentials delivered to my door within a matter of a day or two, and save on those essentials without clipping coupons and tracking down sales. Do you know how much time it takes me to coupon and match up sales?!

How does Crate Space work?

It is super easy, otherwise I probably wouldn’t bother. You know me, trying to make time wherever I can!

Crate Space is an easy way to save on personal and household essentials, without clipping coupons and tracking down sales! #CrateSpace #savingmoney #household #essentials #smartshopper #deliveryservice #homedelivery

Simply head over to Crate Space and add any 5 items on the website to your cart. No matter what their retail price is (which isn’t shown when shopping, by the way), you only pay $29.99 and shipping in the U.S. is absolutely free! Like I said earlier, no clipping coupons, no tracking down sales, and there’s no worry about tax or shipping prices. Just $29.99 and all 5 items are yours!

When you check out, just so you know you’re getting a good deal, Crate Space calculates how much you’re saving based on the manufacturer’s suggested retail price of each product you’re ordering. At this point, you see each items retail price.

Crate Space is an easy way to save on personal and household essentials, without clipping coupons and tracking down sales! #CrateSpace #savingmoney #household #essentials #smartshopper #deliveryservice #homedelivery

What products does Crate Space offer?

Crate Space has a wide variety of essentials, from household and cleaning products, to bath and body, skin care, everyday health, and even essentials for kids. Baby wipes, anyone?

Crate Space is an easy way to save on personal and household essentials, without clipping coupons and tracking down sales! #CrateSpace #savingmoney #household #essentials #smartshopper #deliveryservice #homedelivery

Why is Crate Space better than its competitors?

Amazon: First and foremost there are no membership fees or third-party sellers like with Amazon. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Amazon Prime! But with Crate Space, shipping to the U.S. is always free and I don’t have to pay $99/yr for it to be free.

Jet: Jet has dynamic pricing, meaning prices change from time to time based on demand for a given product. With Crate Space, the pricing NEVER changes.

Boxed: You have to spend $49 with Boxed to get free shipping and the site only offers huge sizes, sometimes making storage an issue at home. Crate Space? I’ve said it already and I’ll say it again – $29.99 plus free shipping! No questions asked.

And last, but not least, Crate Space stocks only the products people really want and in the sizes that are most popular. Have you ever gone to Amazon for paper towels, just to find there’s 25 types/sizes of the same brand? Who has time to look through all of that? I’m trying to make more time in my life for the things that really matter, and that does not include shopping for paper towels. With Crate Space, I can pick the product and keep it moving.

How did I do with my Crate Space box?

Let’s take a closer look at the Crate Space box I just ordered. All 5 products I ordered are ones that I’m currently in need of, or I know I will be soon. I ordered shaving cream (summer’s not quite over yet, so my beary hairy legs have to wait a couple more months), face wash, deodorant (yea, summer again), dishwasher tabs, and batteries (with the upcoming holidays and kids toys, we’ll go through these in no time).

Crate Space is an easy way to save on personal and household essentials, without clipping coupons and tracking down sales! #CrateSpace #savingmoney #household #essentials #smartshopper #deliveryservice #homedelivery

The retail cost of these 5 products is $47.95 plus whatever I would pay in taxes. But with Crate Space I’d pay only $29.99, saving me 38%, and I received my box within 2 days! I’d call that a win. And I didn’t have to clip coupons or shop around for sales.

With it being back to school time, I’m sure there are plenty of things we all need to stock up on. To make it easy, on the Crate Space homepage, there are packages already built. You simply have to click “Add All” and you’re ready for checkout just like that! Sending a child to college? Just think, Crate Space is a perfect way to send them a care package.

Crate Space is an easy way to save on personal and household essentials, without clipping coupons and tracking down sales! #CrateSpace #savingmoney #household #essentials #smartshopper #deliveryservice #homedelivery

Crate Space is an easy way to save on personal and household essentials, without clipping coupons and tracking down sales! #CrateSpace #savingmoney #household #essentials #smartshopper #deliveryservice #homedelivery

What will you put in your first Crate Space box?

Connect with : Shop | Facebook | Instagram

*Thank you to Crate Space for providing a free box for review. My opinions are still 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand.  Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

6 Tips for Teaching Kids Oral Hygiene

6 Tips for Teaching Kids Oral Hygiene #MouthWatchers #oralhygiene
~Thank you to Mouth Watchers® for providing product to the Making Time family and to Dr. Ronald Plotka for these amazing tips.~

With it being back to school season and all, it’s a good time to think and talk about routines. One thing that should be in everyone’s daily routine is oral hygiene. As adults, we know the importance of oral hygiene, but getting our kids on board can be a little difficult to say the least.

Dr. Ronald Plotka, the founder of Mouth Watchers®, has a few tips for us parents on how to teach our children that good oral hygiene is essential to their health and well-being.

1. Stay away from sugar.

Okay, I’ll be the first to admit this one is hard. While sugar is an awesome treat for the taste buds, it’s definitely not a treat for teeth. So keep candies, cakes, ice cream, and pastries limited to special occasions.

6 Tips for Teaching Kids Oral Hygiene #MouthWatchers #oralhygiene

2. Skip soda.

For some this may be hard, but for my family it’s actually not. My kids are ages 2 and 5, and to this day neither one of them has had soda. On the other hand, I do enjoy a nice fizzy soda every now and then, but right now my kids recognize it as mommy’s drink and know they can’t sip from my cup. If your kids want something with a little flavor, try offering them flavored water or juices that are low in sugar.

3. Fill up on fluoride.

Fluoride is good for little pearly whites. In fact, fluoride toothpastes reduce cavities in kids from 15% to 30%. Even the fluoride in public water supply reduces cavity rates by up to 40%. Good thing we drink the filtered water from our fridge!

4. Set up a schedule.

Oral hygiene should be part of any good routine. Try making it a family affair and have everyone brush their teeth at the same time. I’m not saying get the whole family in the bathroom at once because hey, that just ain’t happening, especially in this house. But while you’re brushing your teeth, have your kiddo practice brushing his. All it takes is a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on his Mouth Watchers® Youth Manual Toothbrush.

6 Tips for Teaching Kids Oral Hygiene #MouthWatchers #oralhygiene

My son is so used to me brushing his teeth that he doesn’t even want to try it himself, and that is not going to fly anymore. He needs to learn how to properly clean his own teeth and take control of his own oral hygiene.

5. Make it fun to floss.

Let’s take a poll. How many of you actually floss on a daily basis? Or even floss at all? I’ll admit that I am definitely slacking in the floss department. Make flossing fun by creating a fun flossing activities or a reward chart.

One activity I saw not too long ago, that peaked my interest, was using a Mega Block and putting some peanut butter between the pegs. Then give your child a string of yarn to floss the peanut butter out from between the pegs. It’s just like flossing teeth, but on a bigger and obviously more fun scale! If you want to make it more challenging, try using a LEGO and letting them use actual floss.

6. Say goodbye to pacifiers.

Now, I’m not one to judge the way other parents do their parenting. We’re all different and I respect that, but I will say that when I see kids who have to be at least three years old still with a pacifier in their mouth, I start to question things. The presence of a pacifier can harm the development and growth of the mouth and teeth. Prolonged use can cause changes in the shape of the roof of the mouth and create problems with tooth alignment.

6 Tips for Teaching Kids Oral Hygiene #MouthWatchers #oralhygiene

So get rid of that pacifier as soon as possible! Luckily, my son was done with his by about 15 months and my daughter never even took to a pacifier, so we never had a problem there.

Start teaching good oral care at an early age. Encourage your kids by practicing healthy hygiene habits at home and with help from Mouth Watchers®! With the antimicrobial and flossing bristles that make up Mouth Watchers® toothbrushes, the whole family will feel like they just visited the dentist.

How are you teaching your kids good oral hygiene habits?

Connect with : Website | Facebook | Twitter

6 Tips for Teaching Kids Oral Hygiene #MouthWatchers #oralhygiene

Shop Mouth Watchers®: Travel Toothbrush $5.99 | Youth Manual Toothbrush $4.99 | Power Toothbrush $24.99 | Year Supply Adult Toothbrush $20.99

*Thank you to Mouth Watchers® for providing product to the Making Time family and to Dr. Ronald Plotka for these amazing tips. My opinions are still 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand.  Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.