Halloween History

Posted Oct 11, 2018

Halloween didn’t start out like how it is celebrated today with trick or treating, yards full of decorations, and spooky movies to celebrate all month long. Halloween originally started with the Celtic Irish celebration of Samhain (pronounced Sow-in and translates to “end of summer”). Those who celebrated believed the dead could come to life one day a year where life meets death as summer is ending and winter is nearing.

In order to repel and distract the lurking spirits, Celts would light great bonfires and disguise themselves in masks. In an attempt to distract from the celebration of Pagan holidays like this, Pope Gregory III of the Roman Catholic Church established All Saint’s Day/All Hallows Day/All Souls Day on November 1st to honor any saints who did not have their own day of celebration. Although the new holiday was accepted, people did not see a reason as to why they should stop celebrating this traditional holiday which was soon known as All Hallows Eve, the evening before All Hallows Day (Hallow is an old English word for holy person). Not long after the name went through multiple transitions, eventually becoming Halloween as we know it today.

Although many religions did not originally celebrate Halloween or All Saints Day, the Catholic and Protestant populations gathered and aggressively campaigned for these holidays to be recognized on calendars before they died out. There was a push for Halloween to be focused on community gatherings like town wide parties and parades and as soon as these dates showed up on calendars everyone knew about them. Anoka, Minnesota hosted the first official citywide Halloween celebration in 1920, and later became the Halloween capital of the world in 1937.

The history of trick or treating is especially unclear, as some believe it is based on the Catholic/Protestant holiday “souling,” where children would go door to door on All Souls Day, begging for “soul cakes.” For each cake given, children were to pray for the dead relatives of those giving the cake to them, in order to release them from purgatory. Another story of origination goes back to the Celtic and Medieval times where it was believed that fairies would roam the town disguised as beggars. Those who gave them food were rewarded and those who did not were subject to mischievous pranks and unpleasantness.

Although there is much more we could share about the haunted history of Halloween, we will let you uncover more on your own. Don’t forget to check out a variety of our Halloween notebooks, all 30% off during the month of October using code SCARE30!

All information found using History.com and pumpkinpatchesandmore.org

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Activities for Fall

Posted Sep 27, 2018

Fall seems to be the season that everyone can happily agree is a great time of the year. It’s the time of year when we can start to layer up our fall fashion and settle into the school year. Its tailgating time and pumpkin spice season all in one. We could go on and on about the joys of fall, but we won’t. Instead, here’s a list of activities for you to enjoy this fall with your family and friends.

1.  Go to an apple orchard
At the orchard you can pick the perfect apples for making homemade caramel apples and pick the best pumpkins to carve before Halloween.

2.  Go to a corn maze
Big or small, you’re sure to have fun finding your way through one of these.

3.  Make homemade caramel apples
With your perfectly picked apples, add gooey caramel and lots of toppings for a tasty treat.

4.  DIY Fall craft
Make your own wreath of fall leaves and pine cones while you let the kids be messy and create their own tissue paper wreath.

5.  Have a bonfire
The weather is getting cooler, so it’s a great time to enjoy the last few good nights outside by the fire, with s’mores of course!

6.  Make a warm fall soup or apple cider
Throw some ingredients in a slow cooker and let it sit and warm your house. Here’s a recipe for a Butternut Squash Soup. If you’re looking for something sweeter, try this homemade apple cider recipe.

7.  Attend a Fall festival
Do some research to find a local fall festival near you if you aren’t sure of any nearby. There’s sure to be something, even if it’s not in your town. Depending on the festival, these could be small or include a large variety of activities to enjoy.

8.  Take your Christmas photo now
Now is the time to take your family Christmas card photo when the weather is cool and the leaves are changing. If you don’t do it now, thing might get too hectic and before you know it, winter will be here.

9.  Go on a hayride
Hayrides are already fun enjoying the beautiful fall weather and scenery, but even better with more people, so gather up your loved ones and enjoy the ride. Don’t forget the snacks!

10.  Can your own foods
This is a great way to preserve foods from your garden, or just for fun. If you’ve never canned food before, here’s a guide for beginners to get you started.

We hope you’ll have some fun with family and friends this fall doing some of these activities. Please feel free to comment and share what you like to do or let us know if you try any of our ideas and have comments or photos to share. Don’t forget to check out all of our fall notebook designs!

Thank you for shopping Gotcha Covered!

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Facts about Football

Posted Sep 14, 2018

American football is a huge sport in the United States, even given its short season among other major sports. Fans gather for tailgating outside stadiums, at their local bars and restaurants, and with friends and family in the comfort of their homes. We did some investigating to find some of the coolest and FUN football facts we could find for you, from the history of the game to the popular celebrated Super Bowl.

1.  American football grew out of English sports like rugby and soccer and became popular on college campuses in the late 1800s.

The American Professional Football Association was formed in 1920 and just two years later changed their name to the now familiar National Football League (NFL).

3.  There are six teams in the NFL that do not employ cheerleaders – Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Green Bay Packers.

4.  The oldest stadium still in use is Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois.

The Dallas Cowboys are the wealthiest team in the NFL with a value of $2.1 billion and generate almost $269 million in annual revenue.

6.  The Miami Dolphins are the only team to complete an undefeated season, which took place in 1972.

The last scoreless game was held in 1943 where the Detroit Lions and New York Giants played.

The first use of the penalty flag by NFL officials was in 1948.

The first use of instant replay on a regular basis was in 1986.

The first Super Bowl was held in 1967 and is the only Super Bowl to not sell out.

11.  Approximately 80% of Super Bowl tickets go to corporate sponsors.

The Super Bowl is the most watched television event in the United States and there is more pizza sold this day than any other day of the year.

We hope you enjoyed reading our FUN football facts blog! To celebrate football season, we’re giving you 10% off all Gotcha Covered Notebooks with code BLITZ10. Don’t forget to check out all of our football designs right
here. We also created a Totally Awesome Tailgating Tips Pinterest Board you should definitely check out! Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Facts gathered from factretriever.com, profootballhof.com, and facts.net

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Endless Paper Choices

Posted Aug 20, 2018

If you’re wondering “What’s so different about Gotcha Covered Notebooks?” then keep on reading. At Gotcha Covered we try our best to think of your daily needs and want to add organization and ease to your life by providing a variety of paper types to fit all of those needs. Today we are dedicating the blog to highlight all of the different types of paper offered to you when you order a personalized notebook from us.

  1.    Wide Ruled

This type of paper is perfect for kids in elementary school who may still be new to writing out full sentences.

  1.   College Ruled

This type of paper is perfect for older kids in middle school and high school who may be taking notes and writing rough drafts.

  1.   Practice Lined

For kids still practicing writing out single letters or words, this paper is great for letter formation or even great practice for new cursive writers.

  1.   Sketch

For the artists in your family sketch paper provides blank sheets to create your own unique works of art on each page.

  1.   Sketch/Lined or Practice

If anyone you know likes writing stories and drawing pictures to go with them then the half sketch and half lined/practice paper is perfect, no matter what age you are.

  1.   Graph

Math class is made easier with graph paper for all ages in all types of math classes.

  1.   Password

If you’re sick of resetting your password in all of your online accounts because you forgot your password, this is the paper for you. Easily tab the notebook to share with everyone in your family.

  1.   Recipe

Create your own recipes and write down all of your old favorites with the recipe paper.

  1.   Checklist

If you’re constantly creating to-do lists between house chores or groceries to purchase the checklist paper will be a lifesaver for you.

  1.   Fitness Tracker

Whether you’re a health nut or you’re trying to get back into an exercise routine, the fitness tracker paper can help you reach those goals.

  1.   Planner

If you like to stay organized throughout the year, whether you’re a teacher, student, or just need some extra space for daily notes – the weekly planner with weekly and monthly pages is a helpful addition to your life.

  1.   Shark

As an extra bonus to our already awesome shark bite notebooks, each page is lined with a shark fin on your choice of either lined or sketch paper.

As Back to School approaches you’re going to want to check out all of the fun notebooks and planners available from Gotcha Covered.  We’d love to hear from you on what your favorite  paper types are and how you use each one! Feel free to comment with any ideas you may have for new paper types as well; and as always, thank you for choosing Gotcha Covered!

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Tips for Camping

Posted Aug 06, 2018

It’s nearing the end of the summer and you and your kids want to savor it with one last fun in the sun event. What better thing to do than to go camping? Now you may have never done this, as the idea of camping with your kids makes you incredibly nervous. You might be asking yourself; what kind of food are we going to make? What do we need to bring? What kinds of activities will we do? Well, we’ve “gotcha covered!” We’ve made a simple list of tips to the best camping experience for you and your kids to enjoy during your last memories of summer.

  1.        Plan and prepare all of your meals ahead of time.

It may seem obvious to plan your meals ahead of time, but there are so many meals you can prep before you actually leave your house. This makes for less mess and cleanup while camping and more time dedicated to camping activities. Are your kids picky? Prepare a homemade favorite like macaroni and cheese  or pizza (who doesn’t love pizza?!) ahead of time so all you have to do is heat over the grill (or fire) and serve.

  1.        Bring all of the essentials, even if you think you won’t need them.

Again, seems like an obvious thing to do – especially with kids. But these are the things people forget to bring. Making a list ahead of time can help you remember everything. Camping must-haves: sunscreen, bug spray, first aid kid kit, and medications and ointments for illness and injury (in case they happen). Create an easy on the go container for medications so you don’t have pill bottles floating around and taking up space.

  1.        Have plenty of activities and games for the kids to do.

As we all know, kids get bored easily and their attention spans are short. You’ll want to have plenty of day and night activities and games you and your kids will have fun doing. During the day you can go on a nature scavenger hunt and at night you can play a glow in the dark ring toss. Be creative with games that your kids already know and love like a gunny sack race, but try in sleeping bags, or even tic tac toe with rocks and twigs.

  1.        Stay organized. I repeat:  stay ORGANIZED.

There’s nothing that drives me crazier when I’m scrambling to find something I know I have. With limited space when you’re camping, it’s especially important to stay organized in order to save space in your vehicle, tent, and cooler. Organize your cooler in layers to keep certain things dry and away from ice. Skip the hassle of digging through your bag and plan an outfit for each day and place each in a gallon size Ziploc bag.

Check out our Pinterest board Family Camping Hacks & Ideas for more great inspiration for your family’s next camping trip.

P.S. Our checklist paper notebooks are a great option to make sure you have everything you need for a smooth camping trip. Shop now to find your favorite customizable notebooks for planning.

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“Fin” Facts About Sharks

Posted Jul 25, 2018

Sharks are fascinating animals that have played a huge role in our world history and pop culture scene. It’s no wonder that Discovery Channel dedicates an entire week to highlighting this amazing species! We explored Discovery Channel’s Sharkopedia to get the most interesting “fin” facts about sharks.

  1. Sharks first appeared at last 420 million years ago – that’s nearly 200 million years before dinosaurs!
  2. Many prehistoric sharks survived a mass extinction – due to the traits they had and swimming deeper into oceans.
  3. Some of the very first sharks were quite small, despite their sizes now – many were less than a foot long!
  4. Most of what we know about ancient sharks comes from their fossilized teeth, since sharks don’t have bones to be fossilized.
  5. Not all prehistoric sharks are extinct – the Frilled shark and the Goblin shark are still alive today. Traits including 300 teeth have helped maintain their livelihood.
  6. The Megalodon is the largest known shark – now extinct,  estimated to be measuring at 40 feet minimum, up to 59 feet maximum, almost 3 times as long as the longest Great White!
  7. Prehistoric shark species are still being discovered – the most recent being released by an international team of scientists in September 2015.
  8. Not all sharks are carnivores; some are vegetarians just like the dinosaur species had a variety of carnivores and herbivores.
  9. The year 2015 saw a record number of shark attacks at 98 – most likely due to climate change and increased ocean temperatures along coastlines.
  10. Sharks have played an important role in Hawaiian and Greek mythology. In Hawaii they have been worshipped, cared for, protected, and fed by those who believed deceased ancestors took the form of animals – commonly believed to be sharks.

For more “fin” facts on sharks, check out Discovery Channel’s website, or buy the Sharkopedia book for all there is to know about sharks right at your fingertips. Don’t forget to tune into Shark week, all week long July 22 – July 29 on Discovery Channel for its 30th anniversary and celebrate with 50% off all Shark bite notebooks from Gotcha Covered with code SHARK18.

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Back To School Tips

Posted Jul 17, 2018

The first day of school comes up fast and with the buzz of summer we can forget how important it is to start preparing for this time of year well in advance. To avoid more un-needed nerves during the already nerve-filled first day, we’ve created this list of tips to prepare you and your kids for this busy and exciting time of year.

  1.        Plan Ahead

Whether its lunches or transportation for your kids to and from school, these are small things to plan for that make big differences. Is your child going to pack a lunch every day, buy a lunch every day, or a combination of the two depending on the day? Will they get to school by bus, a carpool ride, or walking? Make sure your child is aware of these details to avoid nerves and confusion.

  1.        Stay Organized

It all starts with back to school shopping. During this time it is easy to find an assortment of colors and patterns of notebooks and folders to match for each and every subject. We suggest stocking up to make sure your child has enough for the entire school year, since it can be hard to find these items later and they’re often pricey. Use a label maker and planner for optimized organization.

Visit Gotcha Covered and use code EARLYB2S to save 50% on personalized planners and notebooks with standard writing paper or checklists to create those daily and weekly to-do lists.

  1.        Create A Schedule

Between sleep, homework, play time, and athletics the school year can get to be hectic and we lose track of who’s doing what and when. Having a color coded calendar of everyone’s schedules is helpful so no one misses a practice or game. It can be especially helpful to set up specific times for homework and a set bed time to help keep kids on a routine track to adopt into their adolescence.

We hope this list helps ease you and your kids into the school year comfortably. We know it can be a stressful time and we’d like to help keep you and your kids organized through the school year. Gotcha Covered is offering 50% off for an early back to school sale with code EARLYB2S. Don’t forget to let us know the tips and tricks your family uses during this busy time. We’d love to hear more great ideas!

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A Fun Family Summer Staycation

Posted Jun 25, 2018

Does your family have some time off from work and school? Are you looking for some affordable family fun during your time off, but not wanting to travel? Look no further, because we’ve “Gotcha Covered!” We’ve created a list of fun things to do both at home and close to home that will keep you busy for a week, or spread out the following ideas over a few weekends.

  1.       Create Your Own Mini Backyard Waterpark

Whether it’s simply a mini pool and sprinkler, or a homemade slip ‘n’ slide and obstacle course, you’re sure to stay cool in the summer sun with this one.

  1.       Go Camping in Your Backyard

Pitch a tent, gather some firewood, and buy the s’mores supplies. Even if you’re not going far, you can still get the full camping experience close to home. Set up a sheet and projector for an outdoor movie for even more fun and don’t forget the bug spray!

  1.       Explore Your Neighborhood

Whether walking or biking, you can travel local trails, visit local parks, and even participate in a real life treasure hunt by geocaching. If you’re not familiar with this and want to learn more, visit the geocaching website .

  1.       Do Something New

Check out local tourist spots, go to a dinner theater, or race against time at an escape room. If you’re looking to get out of your comfort zone try something like canoeing or rock climbing – you may just find a new favorite hobby with this one!

  1.       See Something New

Go visit your local museum, zoo, or aquarium to see awesome artifacts and animals. Don’t have any nearby? No problem. Thanks to virtual tours you can visit museums in other cities like the Boston Children’s Museum and the Miami Children’s Museum.

  1.       Host A Family Game Tournament

With a variety of card games, board games and outdoor games that can be played individually or on a team– this could get interesting. For even more fun, come up with a brand new game together as a family.

  1.       Host a Family Film Festival

Pick a theme as a family and have each family member pick a movie that fits the theme. Don’t forget the snacks either- you can let everyone pick one of these too. Use a Gotcha Covered Notebooks to take notes as you watch to discuss and rate with your family afterwards.

We hope you enjoy these fun and affordable staycation ideas with your family this summer. Comment below to let us know how your family enjoys their summer staycation!

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15 Ways to Save I Love You Dad

Posted Jun 06, 2018

Dads are important figures in a person’s life. They can teach you so many important things like how to do your taxes or how to ride a bike. Father’s Day is a time to celebrate your father figure and appreciate him. We gotcha covered with 15 different ways to show him how much you care!

  1.     Wash his car
  2.     Go for a bike ride together
  3.     Ask him if he needs help around the house
  4.     Play catch with him
  5.     Challenge him to a game of 1-on-1 basketball
  6.     Go for a walk with him
  7.     Make him his favorite dessert
  8.     Write him a heartfelt thank you note
  9.     Read a book together
  10.   Play cards together
  11.   Cook a meal together
  12.   Go run some of his errands for him
  13.   Take him to a game/concert of his choosing
  14.   Put a puzzle together
  15.   Go through the family photo album and reminisce all the good times

BONUS: Give your Dad a call on Father’s Day!

Don’t forget that Father’s Day is June 17th! If you do not have a Dad or they are no longer with us, it is important to remember them on Father’s Day and know that there are many other men who deserve some appreciation-- Grandpas, Uncles, Brothers, Cousins and Best Friends.

Looking for the perfect gift for your father figure? Check out these Father’s Day inspired notebooks surely to please any dad on Father’s Day.

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Class of 2018

Posted May 18, 2018

Whether it is a high school, undergrad, or Master’s degree, graduations are a huge milestone in one’s life! There are a lot of changes that happen after graduation, whether it be going off to college, entering into the “real world,” or even getting that big promotion. It’s important to celebrate such an accomplishment. We’ve gotcha covered with some really fun graduation party activity ideas to help celebrate your grad!

High School Graduation Party Activity Ideas:

1.  Backyard BBQ 

-       Inviting the entire graduating class, family and friends for a fun afternoon of food, outside games and laughter may seem like the “traditional” party, but they’re always a hit. Check out our Pinterest board for some great ideas for your backyard BBQ!

2.   Family Vacation

-       This is a really fun way to be together as a family to help celebrate your grad’s big day. It could also be a time to enjoy each other’s company all together one last bittersweet time before your grad goes off to college. (P.S- a trip is a great incentive for your grad to push through those final exams!)

3.   Tickets to Amusement

-       Take an unconventional approach to the graduation party and pack up the family for a road trip to an amusement park. Check out this guide for the top 10 amusement parks according to the Travel Channel.

College Graduation Party Activity Ideas:

1.  Trip to the brewery/winery

-       Once the graduation ceremony is over, travel out to the local winery/brewery for nice gathering with family and close friends in a beautiful setting.

2.   Tickets to Concert Series

-       With summer coming up, there are many concert series happening around the country. Instead of a traditional graduation party, gift your grad with some gas cards and concert tickets for a weekend of fun with friends. 

3.    Take a trip to a foreign land

-       Before your college grad takes that giant step from being in school to the “real world,” head out on an adventure of a lifetime to a place they have never been to before. Whether you stay within the United States or head out to another country, trips are always very fun!

Graduation time can always be very bittersweet. One chapter ends and another begins. Make sure to check out our new graduation themed notebooks as shown above. Hats off to all the Grads from all of us at Gotcha Covered!

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