Guiding my children’s learning with ZooBean Expert

Education is so important to my husband and I. Having grown up in a home where both parents were educators was a huge blessing in my life. We were taught to read early in life and that helped so much for down times in my life while we were traveling, camping, or just lying at home in bed. Books were a way to escape and get away, so when I had my first baby, I knew I wanted him to learn to read quickly too. We read and read together and he learned to really read about 5 years old. My second learned to read at the same time…around 3. It was such an exciting time, and now I have my third child learning to read. She started really understanding and loving it when she was 4 and starts school here in the fall. Every one of them was different in the way I approached teaching them to read because they all learn a little different, but I was so excited to check out ZooBean’s Expert Service to see how it all worked..and I can tell you now just how awesome it is.

Have you heard of Zoobean before? ZooBean Expert is a service that curates apps, books, and education resources for your child. It finds out all the details from you, from just a short sign up and then you build your child’s profile. From there you can sign in to your dashboard (or SmartGuide) where you are given recommendations and reading guides to keep your child reading..and LOVING it! I am loving being exposed to so many new books. We tend to read from our home library and order a ton from Amazon, so this whole idea of getting new recommendations all of the time is priceless!

Two things I really love about ZooBean Expert are this:

1-You are given a Personal Expert to help you. They find out more about your child’s interests and reading levels and can give you help on different strategies and resources to help if any problems arise. Each week they will give you a recommendation for your child to try out. How awesome is that..a personal helper to guide your kids learning!

2- I LOVE their Kits. And they are unlimited with ZooBean Expert. Some of the topics include “Fascination with Transportation,” “Exploring Egypt,” “Manners” and more! Zoobean experts add Kits weekly for kids ages 0-8. My daughter and I checked out the Princess Kit, which includes suggestions for books, movies, and songs to further explore “princesses” (My 5 year old was in heaven). It also included crafts, recipes and facts about real princesses as well as fun field trip ideas to look out for. They have tons of these kits to use in conjunction with your kids reading so that their reading becomes an adventure.

I am taking a leap into home schooling this year (I know, I might be crazy!) ;) , so learning about ZooBean has been amazing. I will be integrating books that I am recommended and a lot of these kits into our curriculum this year. However, I have already found them helpful for my kids this summer as well. I’m sure you all know how important summer learning is to keep their minds fresh and ready for school, so this is a perfect fit to help you (so you don’t have to do all the work researching it).

I hope you will run on over and check it out. It really is an amazing service, one that I know I will use a TON this year in my kids education!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of ZooBean. The opinions and text are all mine.

 

A little about ME: Q&A Blog Hop

Today is a fun day for me. I, along with the other Contributors at Or So She Says have teamed up for a Blog Hop to get to know us better and then  next week we have an amazing giveaway for you!

What inspired you to start your blog (or shop?) I was looking for a way to be a mom, be creative, and connect with other women! In between my 3rd and 4th child, there was a 3 year gap and I decided to go back to school to take some refresher courses. I took Illustrator and fell in love with it. I started making prints and they started selling and I was hooked. Blogging has been a fun way to share a piece of my creativity and meet incredible friends along the way.

What’s your favorite and least favorite thing about blogging?My favorite thing for sure are the friends I’ve made. My least favorite is the large amount of time it takes! I didn’t know 4 years ago when I started my blog that it would turn into such a time commitment, so I have tried all different things (waking up at 3 am, staying up until 2 am,etc.) to keep it going. I just wish I had an extra 3 hours every day (just like I’m sure everyone does!). :)

Tell me with only 20 words, 20 things you love. 

Being a Mother,Wife,Friend and Sister

God

my Faith

Family Time

Creating

Baking

Sewing

Reading

Running

Smiles

Clean house

Being Caught Up

Travelling

Early Mornings

Decorating

 

What is the one recipe you are most often asked to share?  Please share it with us!

This pasta is one I get asked to share all of the time.I got it from a church cookbook, so all the credit goes to the amazing Laurie Andrews!

Super Yummy Garlic Chicken Pasta

16 oz. Farfalle pasta

1 cup heavy whipping cream

4-6 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)

2 to 3 cloves garlic, crushed OR garlic salt

1 T pepper

1/2 cup butter

1 lb. bacon (baked in the oven 400) crumbled (I cut with kitchen scissors)

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1 (12 oz) Lawry’s mesquite marinade with lime juice

 

Crock pot chicken and bottle of marinade on low for 6 hours.

Boil pasta. Cut chicken (I do with kitchen scissors)

Melt butter; add garlic, whipping cream, pepper, parmesan cheese, and bacon.

Whisk together on low heat for 3-4 minutes.

In large bowl pour over pasta and chicken and stir through.

 

5 favorite beauty products, right now… what are they?

You all will laugh, I am not a beauty product queen and rarely get the same thing when I do go shopping, and don’t have a set beauty routine,  but these are a few I actually do LOVE!

Cera-Ve- This lotion is SO great. It is not greasy and is a great moisturizer. (It is a bit pricey though)

and

Cover Girl Lash Blast Volume Mascara-Love this mascara.

 

What’s your personal mantra(s)?  Something you tell yourself on a regular basis? 

“I can do hard things.” We are all asked to do them, they are hard and taxing sometimes to see through, but the lessons and experiences I have gained from doing hard things has taught me that nothing that has worth, will be easy.

 

What movie made you laugh more than any other?

I love The Proposal. I giggled at so many parts and just thought it was a fun movie to watch with my husband.

 

If you could recommend one family vacation, what would it be?

There are two vacations that I would go on at any time: A beach vacation to Southern California and a stay at Seabrook, Washington.

I LOVE the beach. We love Southern California because of the warm weather. A perfect day would be spent playing in the water, exploring the tide pools, seeing the seals and kayaking in the water. I have LOVED those vacations we took there.

I also love Seabrook, which is a small beach town in Washington. They have these amazing houses to rent and their beaches are treasure lands for kids! We love to get up early to hunt for sand dollars and other treasures the tide brought in, build sand castles and play in the inlets. (My older kids like playing in the water, but it is MUCH cooler here!) The inlets are warmer and calmer and my kids love having adventures there!

 

What goals are you currently working on?

I am working on getting my 2nd book out..An LDS baptism book, to record that special day. I am also working on some special projects for the upcoming fall and christmas season. And for myself, I am on my 7th month of no desserts as part of a competition with one of my friends. There have been a few days where that has been hard, but it has been incredibly motivating to me in other areas of my life as well!

3 of my favorite items I sell are:

The Big Story of Little Me Baby Book

This baby book is SO fun to fill out..and it is beautifully and simply designed with simple patterns and fresh colors.

In Everything Give Thanks print

If there is one thing I love, it is a good reminder to be grateful. I love when it is fall so I can hang this print as a reminder of the good life I have.

For Unto You Christmas Print

This is one of those prints that is a showstopper at Christmas Time! I love the sweet feeling of reverence it brings into our home to remember the REAL reason for the season.

 

3 of my favorite blog posts ever:

Master Bedroom Makeover for $70.

This post is really one that gave me a lot of confidence in the blogging world. I remember finding out that Apartment Therapy had featured it and was in heaven!

A dream dollhouse:

This was one of my all-time favorite projects I have done. I loved every second that I worked on it!

DIY Frozen Elsa Dress:

Making my kids smile ranks in my top 2 favorite things. This dress brought one of the biggest to my girls face..and it is SO easy to make!

Thanks for playing along today and staying to read a bit more about me. You can find TONS of free printables by typing in “FREE PRINTABLES” over in my search bar, or simply browse through..there are so many fun and colorful projects here..and I always love making a new friend! :)

 

Get to know my fellow contributor friends too! They have fantastic blogs that will keep you pinning all day. (There are just a couple that couldn’t participate in the blog hop, but pay them a visit anyway. You’ll be glad you did! :) )

Packed with Fun

What’s Cooking with Ruthie?

Blissful Roots

Darling Darleen

Prepared Housewives

Lemon Tree Dwelling

Tips for Family Trips

Five Heart Home

Double the Deliciousness

Nine a Plenty

Kleinworth & Co.

Creative Carmella

So Festive

Blahnik Baker

Family Volley

Shopgirl

The Connection We Share

Bits of Everything

Kiki and Company

Or so she says…

Brownie Surprise Cakes {recipe}

I love making fun treats for our family nights each week. This last week, I made a fun new cupcake and it had a fun surprise inside:

 

Start by mixing up your favorite brownie mix. Place a cupcake liner in each cup. Twist an oreo apart and place cookie side down (make sure you put the half with the cream on it) Fill cup up halfway with brownie mix and bake according to instructions. Finish by using a buttercream frosting with broken oreo tops (use the other half of the cookies). Pipe buttercream on cupcake and add a dusting of oreo crumbs on top.

My husband doesn’t love frosting, but said this whole combination was incredibly delicious (and rich enough to only eat one!)

…..

Now if you want to grab some free Summer Toppers to go on your cupcakes, head over to I heart naptime where I am sharing these toppers for Jamielyn’s Hello Summer series:

Hope your summer has been great.

 

For more summer fun:

DIY Frozen Elsa Dress  /  Summertime Activity House  /  Summertime Cube

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