April Awareness

Posted Apr 04, 2019

April is Stress Awareness Month because stress and the effects it can have on your body influence your day to day life in many ways! Stress is defined as a state of mental or emotional tension due to demanding circumstances. Not only can this be physically demanding, but long-term stress can lead to a wide range of illnesses. Diving deeper into your understanding of stress and how it can be managed can improve your health and your well-being!

Stress happens regardless of the places you choose to work, the activities you choose to participate in, and sometimes with the people you surround yourself with. Sometimes, it can be unavoidable. That’s why it is so important to take time for yourself to relax and unwind -  it’s even healthy to let yourself rejuvenate!

Some of the best ways to combat stress in your life is to simply be flexible! Taking different approaches to conflicts and problems can sometimes alleviate the stress from a situation all together. Developing a vision for healthy living and personal growth can help you to reach some of your realistic goals to avoid stressing out.

The best way to beat stress is to always relax and recharge. Making time for yourself each day is proven to help you get a handle on life’s stressors. Since everyone relaxes in their own way, here are some ideas to jump start your recharge:

  1.        Meditate or practice yoga.
  2.        Spend time with a friend or loved one.
  3.        Exercise! This can include walking a dog, going for a run/jog, bike riding, or even going for a light stroll around the block.
  4.        Read a book.
  5.        Separate work-time and home-time.
  6.        Listen to your favorite music.
  7.        Start a planner, organizer, or journal! Shop some adorable ones from GotchaCovered here!
  8.        Take a warm bath and light a scented candle.
  9.        Take a break from screen-time and break out a coloring book!
  10.    Organize your living space - this can greatly improve your mood and provide physical evidence of taking control of your life.
  11.    Take a short nap! 20-minute naps are shown to leave you feeling more refreshed and alert.
  12.    Stretch for 5-6 minutes.
  13.    Breathe in some fresh air, it does wonders to the mind!

While you can’t completely avoid stress, you can definitely make it manageable by changing how you choose to respond to it! We hope these ideas get you started towards a healthy and balanced life.

Leave a comment

Women's History

Posted Mar 15, 2019

International Women’s Day has been observed all across the world since the early 1900’s, but it wasn’t until 2011 that former President Barack Obama declared March Women’s History Month in the United States. However, March 2-8 was National Women’s History week as of 1980, declared by former President Jimmy Carter.

Every March, the United States, as well as other places around the world, celebrates the achievements of all the women who have paved the way for social, economic, cultural and political gain for women. This month is also a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

Here are some great quotes from women throughout history to celebrate all those before us who fought for women’s rights, and to inspire you!

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”

-          Maya Angelou, civil rights activist


“Like anything learned, bravery needs to be practiced.”

-          Caroline Paul, author


“Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.”

-          Oprah Winfrey, entrepreneur


“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”

-          Mother Teresa, Saint and Nobel Peace Prize winner


“The best way to change the society and the underlying issues is to channelize the power of woman in every walk of life.”

-          Tanya Sharma, actress


“A woman is like a tea bag – you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.”

-          Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady and humanitarian

Here’s to strong women! May know them, may we be them and may we raise them.


Source: Women’s Day, International Women’s Day

Leave a comment

Vacation Getaway

Posted Mar 02, 2019

Although vacations are relaxing, planning them can be a hassle. We have some basic tips to give you when you’re planning a vacation, especially since March seems to be a month full of travel with college spring breaks happening across the country, and others looking to escape the cold weather. Whatever your reason, we’re here to help ease the stress of traveling.

  1. Use an app like Hopper to guesstimate the prices of travel in advance of when they’re posted. When booking flights, check with the individual websites for prices, as some don’t post their flights to Expedia/Orbitz etc.
  2. Book each flight separately, as a one-way flight. This often will save you anywhere from $40-80 per flight, versus booking as a round-trip flight. Don’t be afraid to check multiple websites and use different airlines for each flight; just be sure of the baggage policies of each.
  3. Use AirBnB or VRBO instead of hotels when possible, even if it’s just for part of the trip. You’ll save tons and get to experience a new home away from home, often with much more space than what a hotel room provides.
  4. Plan out each day of your trip with what you’ll do. By purchasing tickets for museums, park attractions etc. you’ll often save a little when booking in advance. Be sure not to plan too much in one day though and to have some free time dedicated to lounging on the beach/freely exploring the area.
  5. Buy travel insurance for trips that cost more than what you’re willing to lose without paying for the insurance. If you’re going anywhere overseas this is a good idea, considering flights are often the most expensive part of the trip.
  6. Be strategic in your packing and start your packing list well in advance. Stick to this list and try to bring clothes that you can mix and match, so you can create more outfits with fewer items. Roll your clothes instead of folding them and pack socks and undergarments in shoes to save room.
  7. Take a photo of your luggage, the tag, and also photos of your passport, just in case it gets lost.
  8. Put important and expensive items like electronics, medications, and some small basic toiletries in your carry-on bag; again, just in case your luggage is lost.
  9. Ask locals about the best places to eat and check out. You can do this in advance by befriending local bloggers as well. After all, they live there, so they’ll know best.
  10. Alert your credit/debit card companies that you are travelling in advance, so you don’t run into issues of paying for something because your card has surprisingly been shut off.
  11. Travel safely. Wear sunscreen and bring aloe. It’s never fun to ruin part of your vacay over being too burnt to go outside. Also, bring a small first-aid kit and sewing kit with stain remover for small inevitable accidents.
  12. HAVE FUN!! Go with the flow and enjoy the time you spend simply relaxing – those are often our favorite days of travelling.

We hope this list of travel tips help you during planning a vacation. Most importantly, have fun and document your adventures – wherever they lead you. You never hear anyone complain that they took too many photos while traveling.

Leave a comment

Get Ready for Game Day

Posted Feb 02, 2019

The biggest Game Day of the year is a fun day for families everywhere. Even if you’re not into football, it’s a day often filled with tons of food and friends. The Super Bowl has taken place since 1967 and has sold out ever since. The televised event is the most watched in the United States and there is also more pizza sold this day than any other day of the year. Despite pizza being awesome, this blog is dedicated to helping you get ready for this day with awesome apps and detailed decorations.

We know it can be tough making food for a large group, but making a self-serve food bar of some sort will help keep the work for you minimal. Try doing a taco or nacho bar, or even a baked potato bar where guests can load up their potatoes as they see fit. People will love the personalization, and picky eaters will be especially pleased.

We think we’re pretty sure everyone loves a good dip, and while everyone’s hanging out and watching the game, it’s great to just snack on chips and crackers with dips of all sorts. It’s much easier than preparing a meal and you can keep it warm (or cool) the whole time so that guests can eat when they want. We’re dying to try this jalapeno popper dip and hot taco dip, but also know you can’t go wrong with a good layered dip – especially a football themed one.

As far as decorations go, you can get pretty creative with these, depending on your budget and the time you have to dedicate towards decorating. Keep it simple with free printable water bottle logos for the kids (and adults if they want) and yellow napkins in a bucket labeled as “penalty flags.” You can turn so many items into footballs like brown solo drinking cups, as well as silverware containers. There are tons of food items you can also do this with like brownies or a cheese ball.

You can’t forget the games! We found some free printables like this generic football bingo card, a Super Bowl trivia game, and a Super Bowl commercial bingo game.

Leave a comment

Crazy for Pizza

Posted Jan 15, 2019

To celebrate National Pizza Week we gathered some fun facts about pizza as well as some of the best pizza places in the United States. We hope you’ll enjoy some pizza this week – maybe even every day; cause we know how good it is and how many varieties there are to indulge in.

Fun Facts

- The word “pizza” was first documented in 997 AD in parts of Italy.

- The margherita pizza was created in 1889 by Rafaelle Esposito to honor the Queen consort of Italy, Margherita of Savoy. The red       sauce, green basil, and white mozzarella were said to represent the colors of the Italian flag.

- Pizza made its first appearance in the U.S. with Italian immigrants, but was not popularized until after WWII when American troops     took their appreciation for the food back home.

- In 1962, the "Hawaiian" pizza, a pizza topped with pineapple and ham, was invented in Canada.

- In 2012, the world's largest pizza was made in Rome, and was measured to be 1261.65 square meters.

Best Pizza Places in the U.S.

Pizzzeria Lola – Minneapolis, MN

Naked City Pizza Shop – Las Vegas, NV

Pizzeria Luigi – San Diego, CA

Lou Malnati’s – Chicago, IL

Joe Squared Pizza – Balitimore, MD

Post Office Pies – Birmingham, AL

Damgoode Pies – Little Rock, AK

Frank Pepe’s – New Haven, CT

Harry’s Pizzeria – Miami, FL

Antico Pizza – Atlanta, GA

Gusto Pizza Co. – Des Moines, IA

Wichita Pizza Co. – Wichita, KS

Otto Pizza – Portland, ME

Buddy’s Pizza – Detroit, MI

Roberta’s – Brooklyn, NY

Pizza Brain – Philadelphia, PA

Al Forno – Providence, RI

The Pie – Salt Lake City, UT

Pies & Pints – Charleston, WV

These are just some of the best pizza places in the United States, but we know there’s SO many more! Use our recipe paper to write down your favorite homemade pizza recipes and comment below to let us know your favorite pizza place and where it’s at!

Leave a comment

How to actually achieve your Resolutions

Posted Jan 04, 2019

Want to make those New Year’s resolutions stick but aren’t sure how? Gotcha Covered Notebooks are here to give you the best tips and tricks to keep you on track throughout all of 2019. What’s even better is we have the perfect notebooks to help you do it! Here are a few that will surely help you meet your goals:

  • Soft or hardcover weekly planners – you can get these with dates or without for even more personalization. Planners include  weekly priority and to-do list sections.
  • Bullet journals
  • Fitness tracking journals

Step One: Reflect on 2018

The first step in creating a New Year’s resolution is to sit back and reflect on 2018. What went well for you, and what would you really like to improve in your day-to-day life. Decide what is going to make you happier and healthier in 2019.

Step Two: Set Your Goal(s)

Now it’s time to set your goal(s). You want to set one major goal that you can accomplish by December, but you don’t want to have this big, scary goal hanging over your head. So, set multiple small goals throughout the year that are more achievable and will get you to your end goal in December.

Step Three: Don’t Overload January

Be sure you don’t burn yourself out in January. Start your goals small, and work your way up to bigger and better goals. By starting out small, you will build your confidence as you go along achieving those smaller goals.

Step Four: Make Yourself Accountable

Find a way to make yourself accountable. There are a couple of ways you can do this. One way you can do this is by talking to all your friends and family and making it known that you are setting these goals and how you are going to achieve them. Or, grab a friend and make goals together. This will make you not only more accountable, but also help you have more fun while achieving your goals!

Step Five: Track Your Progress

Track your day-to-day progress in a planner or notebook. By doing this you’ll be able to keep your goals in the forefront of your mind as well as see your progress as you go. How fun will it be to look back on your progress notes after you’ve achieved your goal in December!

Step Six: Don’t Give Up

If you feel yourself falling behind don’t give up on yourself! Re-evaluate your smaller goals and adjust to meet your final December goal. Even a little bit of progress brings you to a better place than you were in 2018.

Leave a comment

Winter Bucket List

Posted Dec 03, 2018

December is such a fun month filled with Christmas spirit, fun decorations and great get-togethers with family and friends. To help you make the most of this wonderful season we’ve put together the ultimate December bucket list! What’s even better is that Gotcha Covered has the perfect checklist paper to help you complete our Winter Wonderland bucket list!

  1. Take a drive through your neighborhood and look at all the lit up houses. This is a favorite during the holiday season. Go out, and find the neighborhood that goes all-out on decorations and lights.
  2. Have a holiday movie marathon. Take a night to watch all the Christmas classics!

                -   Elf

                -   Home Alone

                -   National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

                -   How The Grinch Stole Christmas

                -   The Polar Express

                -   The Holiday

  1. Build a snowman or make snow angels
  2. Go ice skating or sledding
  3. Make a DIY gift. This one’s options are endless! You could make anything from a watercolor planter for mom to a personalized notebook for your friends!
  4. Make homemade hot cocoa
  5. Create a Christmas playlist. Pick your favorite streaming website and add all your favorite holiday music to decorate the tree or bake cookies to!
  6. Volunteer your time

                -   Go caroling at local hospitals or retirement homes

                -   Help distribute food bank donations

                -   Contact your local United Way or Red Cross

                -   Visit VolunteerMatch to see other holiday volunteer opportunities near you!

  1. Bake Christmas cookies. This one is a fun way to spend the day with your family or friends. You can make cookies just for you, or extras to bring to loved ones.
  2. Organize a secret Santa or white elephant exchange with your friends and family.
  3. Build a gingerbread house.
  4. Donate to local toy drives. Have any old toys from your childhood or ones your kids don’t use anymore? Donate to your local Salvation Army, so those in need can get more affordable toys. Or, you can always donate brand new toys to the Salvation Army as well!
  5. Donate old, gently used coats, mittens or hats to your local Salvation Army or coat drive. You can visit One Warm Coat to see if there are any places for you to donate old coats!
  6. Do a random act of kindness. Make someone’s day by dropping off some of those cookies you made, shoveling their walkway or just stopping by to chat with an old friend!

Leave a comment

Black Friday Tips

Posted Nov 13, 2018

  1. Use Raise.com for discounted gift cards before you start any shopping. This is one of the best secrets to save up to 30% off and all gift cards are covered under a 1-year-warranty.
  2. Sign up for emails with the stores you love. Yes, we all know junk mail can be a pain to go through, but you can always unsubscribe after Black Friday. Just be sure to sign up far enough in advance to make sure you’re hearing about all of the pre-sales.
  3. Shop with a partner or two. This makes the shopping more fun, but also easier as you can both be in different places to get a variety of items at once. One person can also wait in line as the other is still shopping too.
  4. Plan your shopping trip. This will help you prioritize the things you really want and save you time and the headache of store hopping when the store might not have anything you really want or need.
  5. Shop for other holidays and events. Look ahead on your calendar. Any upcoming birthdays or weddings you could shop for now and save big? Don’t forget the gift receipts for these ones!
  6. Use reusable shopping bags instead of a cart. This will save you the time and hassle of trying to squeeze through the crowds and maneuver a heavy cart you probably don’t need.
  7. Visit Blackfriday.com to scope out deals. Do this well in advance to know which retailers have deals on the brands and items you want. This website also has ads for all of the popular stores you know and love.
  8. Use social media to save more. Sometimes retailers offer special discounts on their pages to those following during Black Friday. It’s also a great way to hear about deals that may have not been advertised well elsewhere.
  9. Look ahead to see when to shop. Sometimes Black Friday deals aren’t the best. It might be a better deal to either shop earlier on Wednesday when some of the same (or better) deals are offered or later on Cyber Monday (saving you the hassle of leaving home).
  10. Research store hours. Some stores are opened Thanksgiving Day, while others not until midnight or even in the early morning on Friday. Call ahead to make sure you’re aware of the hours, as the website will most likely not list these special holiday hours.

We hope these tips help make your Black Friday shopping experience fun and easy this year! Check out our checklist paper, which can be featured in any notebook, to help plan your shopping this holiday.

Leave a comment

Crock Pot Favorites

Posted Nov 10, 2018

It’s that time of year again, where the weather gets chilly and coming home to a crock pot of hot soup sounds absolutely perfect! We’re huge fans of the Crock Pot with the ease of making dinner and wanted to share some of the love with our customers by giving you our favorite soup recipes. Give these a try and let us know how they turned out!

1.  Chicken Tortilla 

This is seriously the easiest soup there is, and not a ton of ingredients, although you can definitely add your own twist with more! The best part about this soup is that no matter what amounts you make it with, it always turns out great. We’ll give you a general recipe to follow, but feel free to adapt as you’d like and need.

2 medium sized chicken breasts

1 package frozen corn

1 can of black beans drained

1 packet of taco seasoning

1 can of chunky salsa

5 cups of chicken broth

1/2 small red onion chopped

& fresh cilantro chopped for garnish

Add all ingredients in crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 3-4. Take out chicken to shred (should easily pull apart when it is done) and return to pot. Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips.

2.  Creamy White Chicken Chili

This is soon to be a hearty family favorite! Again, super easy, as the Crock Pot does the work for you while you’re out and about during the day. You deserve to come home to this creamy chicken-y goodness!

1 pound of chicken breast

1 yellow onion chopped

2 cloves garlic minced

24 oz chicken broth

2 cans Great Northern beans drained

2 4 oz cans of diced green chiles (1 hot, 1 mild is what we do)

1 can corn drained

1 tsp cumin

¾ tsp regano

½ tsp chili powder

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

4 oz reduced fat cream cheese softened

¼ cup half and half

& small handful of fresh cilantro

Add chicken and seasoning to bottom of crock pot. Top with all remaining ingredients and stir. Let the soup cook on low for 8 hours or 3-4 hours on high. Serve with sliced jalapenos, sliced avocado, shredded cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips.

3.  Zuppa Toscana

This is our take on a classic Olive Garden favorite. But we think this one’s better, plus it’s much less expensive and you can eat it at home in your pjs! You’ll want to make a big batch of this once you’ve had a taste! Don’t forget the breadsticks for dipping!

1 pound Italian sausage (hot or mild)

1 bag Simply Potatoes diced potatoes and onions (or substitute with 1 chopped onion and peeled and cubed Russet potatoes)

2 large cloves garlic minced

½ bunch of kale (a few handfuls) stemmed and torn into bite sized pieces

32 oz chicken stock

1 cup heavy cream

2 tbsp flour

Salt & pepper to taste

Brown sausage with garlic, then add to bottom of crock pot. Add bag of potatoes and onions. Add chicken stock (and water if necessary) to cover potatoes and sausage. Cook on low for 5-6 or high for 4. Whisk together heavy cream and flour, add to crock pot, along with kale. Cook for an additional 30 minutes until thickened.

We hope you’ll love these soup recipes as much as we do! We’re all about the experimenting here at Gotcha Covered, so please feel free to adapt and add new ingredients, but just be sure to send us pics and let us know how yummy it turned out. Our recipe paper is the perfect paper to write down all your new favorite recipes! (& if you experiment with Pinterest recipes, this paper type notebook is a must have!)

Leave a comment

A Safe Halloween

Posted Oct 22, 2018

Normally, when we think of Halloween, we don’t tend to think of this time of year being particularly safe or healthy, but despite the possible dangers of trick or treating and the endless amounts of candy given out, we’re offering up some tips to keep your kiddos safe and be a little healthier by offering alternatives to candy. If you’re adamant about the healthy part, spread the word to your neighbors and share some healthy alternatives to candy with them.

1.   Have an adult supervise the trick or treating or, if kids are older, make sure they’re traveling in groups and use the buddy system

Map out a trick or treating route ahead of time before it gets dark out

Decide on a time when your kids will start and finish trick or treating

Bring a flashlight and watch or phone to tell the time

Use sidewalks and crosswalks whenever possible

Use reflective tape on dark costumes to make sure drivers see you

Make sure costumes are comfortable and appropriate for the weather

Never enter homes and only visit well-lit houses

Have a parent or adult check through all candy before it is eaten

Dispose of anything that is homemade, missing a wrapper,  looks like it has been tampered with, or that your child does not like

Make sure kids have a clear pathway to your house that is free from candles and anything that kids might trip over, if you’re offering candy.

Offer alternatives to candy like juice boxes, packaged snacks like animal crackers, mini boxes of cereal, or even stickers, small toys, or toothbrushes.

Monitor candy amounts eaten and tooth brushing habits the night of and until candy is gone

We hope these tips offer you a safe and health(ier) Halloween with your kids this year. Comment and let us know the things you do to make sure your kids stay safe and healthy during this fun and exciting time of year! Also, don’t forget to check out our Halloween notebooks which are on sale through the end of this month.

Leave a comment