Cool Whip & Easter Eggs

Posted Apr 03, 2017

A couple of kids under the age of 5 and cups of food coloring dye spells D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R in my house! Coloring eggs is a traditional part of the Easter season and a must do. So this year, we are trying something different, cool whip and food coloring! Shaving cream is another option but since my 20 month old is at the point in her life where EVERYTHING goes into her mouth, I thought I would do her a favor and use cool whip—at least it will taste good.


What you will need: hard boiled eggs, food coloring, whip cream or shaving cream, vinegar, and a pan. We used cupcake tins, an attempt at containing the mess (which didn’t really work).

After you boil the eggs and they are cool you can soak them in vinegar for 2 minutes to help brighten the colors. While the eggs are soaking in vinegar fill the chosen pan with cool whip and add drops of food coloring and swirl together. Be careful not to overdo the swirling to maintain each color. Much easier said than done—the kids loved mixing the colors.

Once the colors are mixed it’s time to get rollin’! Let the kids roll each egg through the color of choice. When the kids are done having fun or have made too big of a mess, take the eggs out of the cool whip and place on a pan to put in the refrigerator. Make sure to keep those eggs covered in the cool whip. We kept the eggs in the refrigerator for a half hour. I would recommend a little longer, some of the coloring washed off while we were rinsing the eggs.

We had blast dying eggs this year but I will tell you if you are looking for something less messy, this is not for you! The cool whip method is no less of a mess than traditional egg dying.

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The True Meaning of Emojis

Posted Mar 23, 2017

Emojis are everywhere and a perfect way to express a lot of emotion on a small screen. There are so many options to choose from and endless combinations that can be made but do you know where they come from? The Unicode Consortium- a nonprofit that coordinates the development of the Unicode Standard- is what makes it possible for your device to read the code and translate your emojis across multiple platforms.

What about their meaning? Some are easy to translate, 😀 the happy face, 😢 the crying face and 😗 the kissing face are pretty straight forward but some leave nothing but confusion. What is truly the purpose of a smiling pile of poo? Some say it’s not poo at all but instead soft served chocolate ice cream. To that I say, bring on the smiling pile of swirl ice cream! Truthfully, the ice cream theory believers are incorrect. The poo emoji is, in fact, a poo emoji. Depending on your operating device (Apple, Android, etc.) your pile of poo will look different. Some have smiling faces while others actually look like a stinky pile of poo.

Emjois have integrated into our online written language adding an extra layer to our words. Endless emotions can be expressed through the use of emojis- love, sadness, discontent, joy, sarcasm and much more. We send these simple graphics out to the world loaded with meaning in hopes that our intended recipient will find the same meaning in the message.

To help navigate through the massive emoji diction Mashable defined 10 emojis that might surprise you and Kenny Thopoung gives us a solid list on 20 emojis that are typically used wrong. Looking for a specific emoji description, can help you with that. 

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Happy Pi Day!

Posted Mar 14, 2017

Whether you are a math lover or a pie lover today is your day. International Pi Day is a great way to introduce young children to basic math concepts (while having pie of course). Looking for a simple and fun activity to do with your young child in celebration of Pi Day? Here are some suggestions.

Use colored pencils, markers, paint and your imagination to draw circles, color circles and create circle masterpieces.

Get outside and play a game. Draw big and little circles all over the sidewalk, number the circles (or not) and jump from circle to circle. Is the weather bad? No worries, check out this list of 10 indoor ball games by Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls.

Read a book! There is no better way to celebrate International Pi Day than with a good book and a delicious pie. Marjoire Priceman’s bestselling book “How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World” will surely be a hit.

And of course my pie! The Food Network has a great list of 50 different pie recipes. You are sure to find one you will enjoy.

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Women's History Month

Posted Mar 02, 2017

“You are extraordinary within your limits
but your limits are extraordinary”
       -Gertrude Stein


Extraordinary women are all around. They are changing the world today, will change the world tomorrow and have already changed the world. March is a month were we look back and remember the women who have paved the way for change. These renowned women made an impact in what truly mattered to them. If we learn anything, it should be to follow our passions and in that is where we will make a difference!

Clara Barton

Civil war nurse/founder of the American Red Cross

Clara was a teacher, a patent clerk and a nurse. She served as a hospital nurse during the Civil War. After the war, Clara, ran the Office of Missing Soldiers.  The office worked to find or identify soldiers killed or missing in action. Her and her assistant wrote 41,855 replies to inquiries and helped locate more than 22,000 men. During a trip to Geneva, Switzerland Clara was introduced to the Red Cross. After witnessing firsthand the need for support and supplies to those in distress she knew an American branch of the organization was needed. In her return the US she advocated for the American Red Cross.  During her time as President of the American Red Cross, the organization provided aid during natural disasters, famines and epidemics. 

Rosa Parks

Civil rights advocate

Rosa Parks is known as the women who refused to give her seat to a white passenger while on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. She disobeyed the bus driver but stood up for what she believed in. It was her actions that inspired Martin Luther King Jr. to organize the Montgomery bus boycott. This boycott was the first of many similar boycotts throughout the South which ultimately lead to the Supreme Court voting to end segregated busing. After the boycott she moved to Detroit where she began working for John Conyers, an African-American US Representative. Rosa stayed highly active in her pursuit of equality, supporting the Black Power movement and helping political prisoners.  The United States Congress dubbed her the first lady of civil rights.

Hattie McDaniel


Actress and radio personality, Hattie, was the first African American to win an Oscar for her role was Mammy in ‘Gone with the Wind.’ She was also one of the first black women on the radio. During World War II, Hattie served as a chairman on the Negro Division of the Hollywood Victory Committee. She provided entertainment for soldiers stationed at military bases and also helped raise funds for the Red Cross relief programs. She has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a member of the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame.

Eleanor Roosevelt

First Lady/ champion of human rights

As the longest serving First Lady of United States, Eleanor, used her role to stand up for a multitude of human rights issues.  She was considered one of the most active first ladies in history- working tirelessly to support the civil rights movement, women, the young and the poor. During World War II she continued fighting for women inclusion in male-dominated industry, she worked to boost soldiers’ morale and encouraged volunteerism on the home front.  After leaving the White House she stayed deeply connected in her social and political passions working alongside the government as a private citizen and serving on the board of many different organizations.

Admiral Grace Hopper

Naval Officer/programmer

Admiral Hopper was one of the first computer programmers. She served in the Navy developing the first complier for computer langue. This complier led to the development of Common Business Oriented language (COBOL) a widely adapted language that is used around the world. Admiral Hopper’s legacy also includes encouraging young people to learn programming. She was the first individual female to be awarded the National Medal of technology (1991) and in 2016 she was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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Random Acts of Kindness

Posted Feb 16, 2017

30 Day Challenge: Random Acts of Kindness

A Random Act of Kindness (RAoK) is defined as a selfless act performed by kind people to either help or cheer up a random stranger, for no reason other than to make people happier.  I bet you go through your day and perform at least one RAoK.  Something as simple as holding the door open for someone can make anyone’s day easier.  So I say let’s challenge ourselves to preform 30 intentional acts of kindness over the next 30 days!  Here are some great ideas to get you started.

  •          Write a letter to a friend or family member and mail it
  •          Volunteer to read to children at an afterschool program
  •          Give someone a compliment
  •          Leave exact change for a snack in the vending machine
  •          Leave an extra tip for a server or delivery person
  •          Tell your sibling(s) how much you appreciate them
  •          Plant a tree
  •          Make a care package for someone going through a tough time
  •          Text an old friend
  •          Bring your co-workers coffee
  •          Welcome a new neighbor to your community
  •          Smile at someone, just because
  •          Put your phone away at dinner
  •          Let the person in line behind you at the supermarket go ahead of you
  •          Give someone a book you think they would like
  •          Help a stranger pick up spilled items
  •          Offer to buy a friend lunch
  •          Give someone a hug
  •          Send anonymous flowers
  •          Babysit for free
  •          Say thank you to a janitor
  •          Send dessert to another table
  •          Say thank you to someone who has made a difference
  •          Donate your talents
  •          Bake a cake for someone celebrating a special occasion
  •          Donate used items to charity
  •          Let someone know you are thinking about them
  •          Help a friend pack for a move
  •          Wash someone’s car
  •          Be encouraging!

Some say kindness is directly related to happiness.  Let’s make the world a happy place by sharing some kindness!

We would love to hear how your RAoK challenge is going, share some of your stories below.

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Win a Notebook Prize Pack

Posted Jan 31, 2017

Do you have someone special in your life that makes you smile every day? Someone who brings out the best in you even when you feel at your worst? Maybe it’s a spouse, maybe it’s your child or possibly an entire classroom of children! Valentine’s Day is about recognizing the love you have surrounding you and the love you are giving to others. That love can be life-changing and we want to hear about it.

Over the next three days we want to hear why your Valentine rules! Share pictures and stories on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using #myvalentinerules and you could be one of two winners to receive a special Valentine’s Day Prize Pack*! 

We can’t wait to see why your valentine rules.

Thanks for sharing!

*Each prize pack will include one large notebook and one heart shaped notebook customized by the winner (a $32.98 value). Winners will be selected and notified on Friday, February 3, 2017. 

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Valentines DIY

Posted Jan 26, 2017

It’s almost Valentine’s Day and you it’s time to start thinking about the valentine your child will be taking to their class party. Well, here are two great DIY options that your children will enjoy creating with you! The Like You-A-Bot valentine and the Caterpillar Pencil valentine are sure to be a big hit with your kid and their entire class!

To ensure perfection on the valentines, we recruited a pretty awesome 4-year old to help us put them together. Both the bot and the bug were simple to put together and customizable to fit the taste of your child and/or dietary restrictions.

Like You A-Bot Valentine

These little bots are a crowd favorite and lots of fun to put together!

Supplies: Juice box, candy hearts, conversation hearts, arms (long wrapped candy), top buttons (small roundish candy), feet, fruit cup, double sided tape and a marker (permeate works best).

Get creative on the pieces you use for the robot! With some guidance, my little helper picked out the type of candy to create each part of the robot.

Once you have all the pieces it’s time to assemble the bot!

Step 1: Assemble the head. Using the double sided take secure the eyes & hat into place. Use the marker to draw on the smile.

Step 2: Secure the arms and heart onto the body of the bot.

Step 3: Add the feet.

Step 4: finish off the bot by securing the head to the body.

Voila, your bot is ready to compute!

Just a side note, a hot glue gun would have made the robot sturdier but the double sided tape made these DIY valentine kid-friendly.

Caterpillar Pencil Valentine

These buggers are simple and sweet. A great non-candy treat to share with the class.

Supplies: construction/scrapbook paper, pencil, straws, pomp pomps, marker and hole punch

Step 1: Divide and cut the paper into pieces 1 inch wide.

Step 2: Accordion fold the 1 inch wide piece.

Step 3: Minus the first fold, punch a hole through pieces. Depending on the width of the pencil you may need to double punch the hole.

Step 4: Trim the first fold of the caterpillar, rounding it off to give it a face shape.

Step 5: Give the caterpillar eyes and a mouth.

Step 6: Attach the pomp pomps to the top of the straw antennas then attach to the back of the caterpillar’s head.

And there you have it, a sweet little love bug!

Do you have a great Valentine idea for the class? We would love to hear about, comment below!

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Get Organized for Back to School

Posted Jul 25, 2016

We've Gotcha Covered for Back to School with tips and tricks for getting you organized and prepared! Over the next few weeks, we’re hoping to help make the transition seamless with tips and tricks for organizing, shopping and getting into a routine. This week, we’re including 
a FREE printable – just print and go! There’s about a month left before most students are back in school and we hope this helps you to start thinking about how you’re going to prepare!

One Month Before:
Check on all paperwork required before the first day. This is also a great time for adults to make sure they are up to date on everything. Create a homework / paperwork station to make sure everything has a place.

Three Weeks Before:
Do a fall cleaning – pick a new room each day and do a thorough cleaning. Though this isn’t school related, it helps give parents peace of mind and de-clutters the home. Create a small storage tub for each room with items that you can’t part with yet: if you don’t use it by the following spring – toss it! Make a list as you go through and note what you need to stock up on.

Two Weeks Before:
Open those drawers! Before you shop for new clothes (for both kids and parents), go through what you currently have and consign or donate anything that doesn’t fit. Make a list of clothes that are definitely needed and decide where to go and what to spend. Shop for school supplies according to teacher’s lists or what you know your child will need for school.

One Week to One Day Before:
Begin a routine. Have children get up when they would normally get up for school, and go to bed earlier. Adjust your lunch schedule and shop for groceries and snacks. Pack backpacks and ensure your after-school schedule is set up. 

Happy First Day!

Download our Back to School Organization and Preparation Checklist Here:



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Summer Family Fun!

Posted Jul 05, 2016

Summer is supposed to be a relaxed time, but with so many activities going on for both kids and families, it can often be very busy! We’ve compiled a list of a few things we think families would enjoy doing together to wind down and relax!

Read Together: Pick an entertaining book that you can all take turns reading aloud together; even better if it’s outside around a camp fire with s’mores!

Play Together:
Pick one night a week to play together, whether it’s a board game around the kitchen table or a game of kickball in the yard.

Eat Together:
Pack a picnic basket and blanket, and have a picnic right in your yard for dinner one evening!

Learn Together:
Pick an evening each week to learn something new about nature – summer is the best time to be outside, after all! Get a book about birds, insects, animals or plants, and see what everyone can identify.

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Shop Shark-Bite for Shark Week!

Posted Jun 20, 2016

Last year we launched what’s now become a favorite product of both GCN staff and customers alike – the Shark-Bite Shaped Notebook! We launched last year just in time for Discovery Channel’s popular Shark Week, and we’ve seen excitement for the product ever since. We’ve created a few additional designs and we still offer a create your own shark-bite option – upload a family picture from a trip to the beach for a fun surprise gift!

All shark-bite notebooks are 8.5” x 8.5” and include 120 sheets of custom lined or sketch internal paper with a shark fin design. As with all standard Gotcha Covered notebooks, use our design studio to fully customize the front and back cover with a name and message, and choose any spiral color you wish! Check out more info about our shark-bite notebooks, and even create your own from scratch!

What do you think of our shark-bite notebooks? Are they FIN-tastic?

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