October 31, 2012

Swap that Candy for A Sweet Treat That's Good To Eat!

If you're like me then you're fighting an uphill battle against the ever present world of treats that surround your child.  I feel like everywhere we go there is someone just doling them out.  At the bank, at the grocery store and especially on Halloween.

So what's a parent to do? In the past it was easier to pull a fast one on Kayla and get rid of most of her candy because she was so young.  These days at 4 I'll have to call on my negotiating skills.  A while back the awesome crew over at Plum Organics sent me some of their newer products to try out.

how to swap out Halloween Candy, Plum Organics Teensy fruits, Plum Organics teensy fruits review,

My little niece Lily dove right into their squeeze pouches that now have greek yogurt.  Never one to be left out, Kayla was in love with their new Teensy Fruits.

What are Teensy Fruits?  They are almost like fruit snacks but unlike most of the fruit snacks you'll find in stores they are made without all the added "stuff" that takes a perfectly good thing like fruit and turns it into junk.

The packaging they come in also looks like candy packaging if you ask me.  So much so that I think you could easily offer to swap your child for the treats in their Halloween loot that you find the most offensive.

how to swap out Halloween Candy, Plum Organics Teensy fruits, Plum Organics teensy fruits review,

And how do Teensy Fruits taste?  Pretty uh-mazing if you ask me. Will this really work?  We came home from Kayla's school Halloween carnival last night and when she spied my stash of these Teensy Fruits she dropped her bag of loot on the floor and asked if she could pleeeeeeeze have one of these.

You can find Teensy Fruits at lots of places.  I've seen them at Target, Babies R Us and even online here:  Get My Teensy Fruits!

October 29, 2012

Do you have a kid friendly first aid kit?

When it comes to being prepared I'm usually your girl.  At 6 months pregnant we had a fully painted, furnished and accessorized nursery.  No joke!  When we are dining out I always have a bag full of stickers, crayons and toys on hand.  That's just the way I am and can't really imagine being any other way.

So recently, when my husband took a nice chunk of skin out of his hand while we were working in the backyard I realized that Little Miss Prepared was embarrassingly unprepared when it came to first aid.  Sure, we have some bandages and a tube of Neosporin but somehow I completely overlooked putting together a real first aid kit.

If you know me then by now you can imagine that anything I do comes with a dose of kiddie perspective.  Therefore, making a first aid kit that focused on keeping kids as calm and distracted as possible was important.  I headed to Sam's Club to start assembling our first ever first aid kit because Kayla LOVES bandages and while I don't buy lots of items in bulk I was hoping to find a giant package of them so I could let her play with some and not feel guilty about giving her "really expensive stickers."
Shopping at Sam's club for #HealthyValue Band-Aid brand bandages
Sure enough, I found the largest box of BAND-AID® bandages known to man (or at least this woman) at a great price. Around the corner in Target they were $2.79 for 30 while at Sam's club they were $9.98 for 160 which is over a 30% savings.  I personally prefer to buy the BAND-AID® brand bandages because of their quality.  The new QUILTVENT® Technology is designed to wick away away fluid and keep air flowing to help heal cuts...makes sense right?

Some child friendly choices and BAND-AID® bandages #HealthyValue

After my #HealthyValue shopping trip at Sam's Club I picked up a few smaller sized child friendly items to add in like this new Neosporin sting free wound cleaner, a Disney Princess Boo Boo Buddy cold pack and some party blowers because they are one thing that Kayla goes absolutely bonkers for.

my kid friendly first aid kit #HealthyValue

So what ultimately went into my kid friendly first aid kit?

-Tweezers for splinters
-Alcohol swabs for the grown ups
-BAND-AID® tough strips for the grown ups
-BAND-AID® Winnie the Pooh bandages for Kayla
-Neosporin wound cleanser for Kayla
-Neosporin to help make those cuts heal a little faster
-Q-Tips for applying the wound cleanser
-Party blowers as a distraction while cleaning up a cut (you can sub out whatever inexpensive item your child would get a thrill out of)
-Lollipops because a little sugar goes a long way at erasing tears!

my kid friendly first aid kit #HealthyValue

In our home fever reducing medication and thermometers live in the kitchen cabinet, but they could easily be a part of your kit as well.  If you're more qualified than I am to administer first aid you can go for the gauze, medical tape and scissors as well.  Since I have no formal medical training my rule is that if it can't be fixed with a simple bandage we're probably going to call on an expert and head to our local urgent care.

After I put our child friendly first aid kit together I decided to make one for Kayla's dolls too. I figure that if she helps clean up and fix boo boos for her dolls she'll be less freaked out when we have to do it to her.

First aid kit for dolls with BAND-AID® bandages #healthyvalue

I included an empty spray bottle to mimic the wound cleanser, some BAND-AID® tough strips and some left over I.V. Sponges from a hospital visit years ago.  I also threw in a lollipop which will almost certainly be consumed by the presiding physician rather than the patient and a little stuffed animal version of a Boo Boo Buddy that comes from an awesome product I promise to show you soon!

What's in your first aid kit?  Do you have a  kid friendly product that you love or a trick up your sleeve?  If you do I would love to hear it!

Just so you know, I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. I have been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and BAND-AID® Brand #CBias #SocialFabric everything you see is my own picky opinion

October 24, 2012

Flashcards Come to Life with #CypherKidsClub

You've seen me write about lots of toys on Mommy Testers, but one thing I haven't touched on are flashcards.  Some people don't believe in them but I beg to differ.  We used flash cards back before Kayla could talk and she did actually learn to do the things on them like clap, wave, raise her arms etc.   It was similar to learning baby sign language.

Some of our friends tried doing the same thing and it didn't work for them, so it goes to show how every child is different.  Now that Kayla is a few years older we still reference those flashcards every once in a while for word recognition and context but I get the feeling that her interest would be held better if there was another element to the cards.

Using the Cypher Kids letter cards from Target with iPad #CypherKidsClub

Enter Cypher Kids Club.  They make cards that interact with your iPad or iPhone and turn a normal flashcard into a 3D experience.

On the first rainy weekend in a while I rounded up our family and headed for Target to replenish our depleted supply of everyday needs and grab some Halloween candy.  While perusing the iPad accessory department for an upcoming trip back to NY I found the Cypher Kids cards.  There were a few different types, letters, numbers and wild animals.
Cypher Kids Wild Animal cards at Target #CypherKidsClub
I was torn on which set to get because the wild animal cards looked pretty great but Kayla is obsessed with learning letters right now so we decided on the letters cards.  I liked that they showed both uppercase and lowercase letters because we really need to work on teaching her the lowercase letters.

Each Cypher Kids letter card has the upper and lower case letters on the front and an object that starts with that letter as well as a trigger point for the card on the back.  In order to use them you just need to do a simple and free download from the iTunes store.  Once you have that download you are ready to go!
Cypher kids letter augmented reality card front and back #CypherKidsClub
I always like to test out a product myself before handing it over to Kayla so there is minimal frustration as she figures out how it works.  I was glad I did because I realized that the Cypher Kids cards were pretty great but holding the iPad or iPhone at the proper distance and angle was important.

holding the iPad incorrectly while using Cypher Kids Cards troubleshooting #CypherKidsClub

At first I was holding the iPad too close and not at enough of an angle from the card so I couldn't see all the neat action going on.  I quickly figured out that I needed to hold the iPad almost vertically while looking at the image and suddenly things came to life.

First the W's danced around and explained what sounds they made and put on a little performance.  Then the w's turned into a swimming orca whale like the one on the card and I was encouraged to play with the whale and touch its spout on the screen.

Using the Cypher Kids letter cards from Target with iPad #CypherKidsClub

Naturally, Kayla could not wait to get her hands on the letter cards and I was more than happy to let her dive in.  She couldn't decide which letter to start with and we spent a good 10 minutes first just going through the different letters and coordinating pictures.

preschooler playing with the Cypher Kids letter cards #CypherKidsClub

Kayla initially made the same mistake that I had made with the positioning of the iPad but we quickly worked it out and she had so much fun!  She played with them so long that we were almost late for school.  Since we have a couple of cross country flights coming up I'm seriously considering going back to Target for the wild animal cards.

preschooler playing with the Cypher Kids letter cards on iPad #CypherKidsClub

Interested in getting a set of #CypherKidsClub cards for someone you know?  I happen to think they are a great option for kids who aren't engaged by conventional flash cards.  They're available at select Target stores around the US.

Just so you know, am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and  Cypher Kids Club #CBias #SocialFabric as always everything you see is my personal and very picky opinion.

October 23, 2012

Reclaiming the Master Retreat and Getting Cozy

A few months back we decided to refinance our mortgage and take advantage of a very low interest rate.  Part of doing so required having our home appraised and I nearly laughed out loud when the appraiser referred to our master bedroom area as the "master retreat."  While I'd like to think of it as a retreat, this is generally what's going on in there while I'm conscious.

My master bedroom before a makeover #CBias

Does this look familiar to you?  Some dog trampling, bed jumping insanity has been going on in my "retreat" on a regular basis.  On the very night I took this picture my husband had headed out of town on business, it had very abruptly become fall here in San Diego and I felt a nice cold coming on.  Awesome.

Basically, all signs pointed to my needing to reclaim the master bedroom, make it a place to find sanity and get it ready for the cold nights and mornings to come.  Plus, I thought it would be neat to surprise my husband with a relaxing environment when he came home.

Nothing says "honey let's relax" like a big fat American Express bill...not!  So, while I've had my eye on one of the gorgeous beds at Crate & Barrel I decided to work with some things we already had and add a few inexpensive upgrades like some warmer sheets and accent items.

Creating a headboard with pillows #CBias

I headed to Bed Bath & Beyond to shop for some cozy sheets and see if anything else caught my eye.  Sheet shopping is a tricky thing.  There are so many terms thrown at you like thread count, ply, fabric content and breathability.  I took a few textiles classes in college and spent a lot of time poring over fabric choices and these factors.  

When I'm shopping for sheets I will pay a premium for a superior product that will stand the test of time or for a brand I believe in.  I don't like buying the bargain brand sheets.  I made that mistake once with flannel sheets while having a moment of cheapness and had to wash them about 7 times before they stopped shedding like crazy.  It also seems crazy to spring for the fancy labels that cost $500 or more a set since after all, they're sheets and those ones usually require a ridiculous amount of ironing to look good.  

Sheex fleece sheets from Bed Bath and Beyond #CBias

One thing I had never seen was a fleece sheet set, which I found while shopping.  They were from a brand called Sheex, which I had never heard of but was intrigued by.  When you think of breathable sheets I'm willing to bet your mind immediately goes to cotton.  I know mine does.  We've all worn a fleece jacket or used a fleece blanket before and usually they aren't very stretchy and get hot with no way to let that heat escape.  Not exactly ideal for sleeping in, right?  

But this fleece was different.  I could tell as soon as I touched it and pulled on it.  It stretched and when I held it for a minute in Bed Bath & Beyond where they were blasting the heat, my hand didn't heat up and get all sweaty....this stuff actually breathed!  

his and hers sitting areas #CBias

I put those cozy yet breathable fleece sheets on the bed and used some Standard pillowcases I had found on sale a while back to create a look of a headboard.  I then spruced up a little sitting area for each of us on our sides of the bed.  My husband got a sleek magazine tote for all his financial periodicals and I got a little basket to hold a few of the books I zip through like crazy.  I also added a little graphic cutout trashcan on my side for the pile of tissues I knew I would soon be using.

I took a little break for lunch and thought it was odd that our dog was not at the table looking sad and hungry while I ate and when I returned to our room I realized why.  Clearly he was feeling the tranquility of our upgraded room!

a comfy cozy bed with Sheex Fleece sheets #CBias

By the time I finished my mini makeover on the bedroom my cold was in full swing and boy was I glad to have a serene and cozy bed to kick back in for a couple of hours before picking Kayla up from school.  I snuggled up and indulged in guilty pleasure #1, the Bravo network with an episode of Flipping Out.  Jeff Lewis has the most amazing design sense and I hope one day he shows up at my front door. Until then I'm loving my little upgrades and our bedroom sure is feeling a lot more like a retreat!

relaxing in my new Sheex fleece sheets #CBias

Just so you know, I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ #CBias #SocialFabric as always, everything you see is my own personal and quite picky opinion.

October 22, 2012

Paint without the chemicals? Glob it on!

Last summer I had the brilliant idea to buy this Crayola paint.  My logic was that they make great crayons, we all grew up with Crayola, yada yada yada...it was a disaster!

I'm not one to say things that aren't nice about a company or its products but while I still think Crayola is the king of crayons this paint was one of stinkiest, overpowering odor filled products I have ever bought for Kayla and I immediately regretted my decision.   This year since my head is permanently stuffed in a box of kid stuff at all times I discovered Glob through my friends over at Little Pnuts

Sounds messy right?  Contrary to their name, Glob makes water soluble pigment paints from fruits, vegetables, flowers and spices.  You know, like how things were done forever ago...before people started putting chemicals into everything under the sun.

The folks over at Glob sent me one of their paint packs to try out with Kayla and I found myself feeling a bit jealous of her because from the start they looked awesome.   Don't you just want to frame those packets?

You do have to mix these up with water, so there is an extra step versus conventional paints you find in stores but I think it was fun to do and as you can see above, very simple.  For Kayla it was like a cooking project and a painting project all in one.  Glob gives some suggestions for use which include homemade play dough (will have to try that) and painting easter eggs.

Now if this isn't an impatient child, I don't know what is.  As soon as I put the different powders in the bowls they could not be mixed fast enough.  Kayla could not wait to paint with these and I have to admit I was taking my sweet time mixing them up because they actually smell sweet and terrific, very much the opposite of the paints we had tried and thrown out last year.  Once mixed we headed outside and Kayla got to work.

The Glob paint packets mix up to be like watercolors.  Normally I'd buy these watercolor paints which are a cheap, compact setup and can easily go to Grandma's.  One thing I liked about the Glob paints was that I could just dump the bowls out in the sink when we were done and not have to worry about trying salvage and clean the whole paint palette which I would normally have to do.

One more big difference?  The paint brushes are amazing.  Kayla immediately grabbed them and refused to put them down.  She kept saying "mommy these are very soft."  The brushes also hold paint better than those thick plastic bristles you find on traditional kiddie paint brushes.

Think Glob paints might be for you?  Obviously I'm in that camp.  You can check out their entire line of products right here:  Glob it on!

What Comes After Swim Class? Ever heard of PADI?

You may have heard me mention before that I have a little fish on my hands.  Kayla has been going to swim class twice a week since she was about 6 months old.  This Summer at 3 and a half she has been diving in and swimming the length of our pool, retrieving toys from the bottom and learned to pull herself out of the pool.  Here she is at just 20 months old!

PADI, PADI certification, PADI sea camp contest, PADI sea camp giveaway, PADI Family Dive Contest

I grew up back on the East Coast dreading swim class at Summer camp and pretty much being terrified of the water until I was 9.   Like most parents, I wanted better for Kayla.   Since we have a pool at our home and live just a few minutes from the beach its very important to my husband and I that our child becomes an proficient swimmer and feels confident in the water.  That got me thinking, what comes next?

I'm excited that Kayla loves to swim but over a dinner conversation the other night my husband brought up that question of what happens in the future to keep Kayla from getting bored with swimming and abandoning the skill like so many kids tend to do as they get older.  We talked about her learning to get up on a boogie board at the beach next year and then I remembered that a few weeks back I had wound up learning about PADI diver certification.

PADI, PADI certification, PADI sea camp contest, PADI sea camp giveaway, PADI Family Dive Contest

Yep, I mean scuba diving!  No, I'm not sending my preschooler off to scuba dive - she's a little too young for that.  However I did recently learn that you can start your child at 8 years old through the PADI Bubblemaker course.

I have this far off dream that one day my family will cash in the bazillion Starwood points I've been accumulating over the years and head to _______(insert remote tropical locale here) where we will scuba dive and see ocean life I've never seen outside of an aquarium.

Do you have that same dream too?  If you do and you're curious about getting scuba certified (or know a brave child who is 8+) then you should check out the PADI Sea Camp Contest.  You can win a family trip to Palau - tropical amazingness!

October 21, 2012

Fall Sangria and Spiked Squash Spread with Arbor Mist

About a month ago my husband handed me a pre-dinner glass of wine and after consuming about 1/3 of it I realized I had a nice little buzz going...yikes.  Clearly somewhere between working my tail off, running Kayla to her endless activities and you know, doing all the things you probably do I had forgotten all about cocktails, relaxation and the fabulous feeling of having a glass of wine to wind down from the joy that is a very loquacious preschooler.

Arbort Mist Frozen Wine sangria in a pumpkin #CBias

This realization came at a time when I needed to step up my game, as I would be attending a destination wedding on the beach in Cabo with a group of people who can hold their liquor.  So "Project Happy Hour" commenced in our home and I began my career as a novice mixologist in an effort to build up to a socially acceptable tolerance on our trip.

Over the course of a few weeks I created several drinks including my favorites - a great strawberry rosemary spiked lemonade and a last-of-Summer sangria.  I stumbled upon lots of beverage choices in my "research" including these Arbor Mist Frozen Wine Cocktails.  They aren't the easiest to find, but I headed to Walmart to look for this Blackberry Merlot flavor.  What I really liked about them was the ability to drink them as a cold beverage or as a frosty treat in San Diego's erratic weather, which could be 86 degrees one day and 65 degrees the next.

Arbort Mist Frozen Wine sangria in a pumpkin #CBias

Since things are finally cooling down here in San Diego, I started thinking about a nice transitional Fall drink and came up with this Sangria served in a pumpkin to fit the season.   I also decided to make some bar snacks to go with it like toasted cinnamon pumpkin seeds and a spiked butternut squash spread.

I started by scooping out a pumpkin and putting the seeds aside to make the toasted pumpkin seed bar snack with.  I tried to make sure the pumpkin was cleaner inside than I would have normally when carving a pumpkin since the sangria would be sitting in it.

Toasted pumpkin seeds and butternut squash with Arbor Mist #CBIas

I cubed some butternut squash, brushed it with a little melted butter and sprinkled it with cinnamon.  I took the pumpkin seeds and sprinkled them with some sea salt and cinnamon.  I baked them at 325 degrees for about 15 minutes for the seeds and 25 minutes for the squash.

making my Arbor Mist sangria #CBias

While those were baking I used the Frozen Wine Cocktail in its partially frozen state and mixed in some pomegranate seeds and small cantaloupe chunks to make the sangria.  I let it sit in the fridge for a few hours to allow the flavors to mix.  If time had allowed I would have let the sangria sit overnight.

making spiked butternut squash spread with Arbor Mist Frozen Wine Cocktails

When the squash was done I mashed it up, added a little bit of sea salt and a couple tablespoons of the Arbor Mist Frozen Wine Cocktail.  The Blackberry Merlot was the right flavor to work with the squash and add some extra acid for a yummy spread.

Happy Hour at home with Arbor Mist Frozen Wine Cocktails #CBias

I set everything out on our coffee table - the Fall sangria filled pumpkin, some baguette slices, the toasted cinnamon pumpkin seeds and the spiked butternut squash spread.  I'm not going to lie, I had a proud wife moment.  It was Friday afternoon and I knew my husband would be grateful when he came home to this as the start to our weekend.

Fall sangria, toasted pumpkin seeds and spiked butternut squash spread with Arbor Mist #CBias

Since keeping Kayla happy is truly the key to the two of us getting a few minutes to talk in peace I wanted to make sure that she had a fun little project to do while we enjoyed some unwinding time so I put out some crayons to let her decorate a little pumpkin with.

pumpkin decorating for my daughter during happy hour #CBias

Have you tried the Arbor Mist Frozen Wine Cocktails before?  There are a few different flavors and I haven't tried them all yet.  Do you have any favorite Fall drinks or snacks?  I would love to hear some ideas to add to my happy hour at home repertoire!

Just so you know, I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ #CBias #SocialFabric as always everything you see is my own picky opinion and who doesn't love making a fun seasonal happy hour?

Lazy Cooking Night? Support #Strengthof1CA

Here at Mommy Testers HQ dad is out of town again which means I am in lazy mode.  Well not really, but it means that all of my efforts are focused on having a grand old time with Kayla and if that means pretending to eat sand cookies and hopping across the living room floor while ribbiting for the 47th time this week then so be it.

Much like our indoor camping trip that means I'll be slacking on my cooking duties and focusing on having fun with my little monkey.  Which almost certainly means a pizza will be involved in our dinner plan.

#Strengthof1CA, Freschetta pizza, Freschetta Strength of 1, Vons, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Vons Flowers,

I had heard about the Strength of 1 offer going on at Vons in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  If you buy 2 Freschetta Pizzas or Artisan Crusts you'll get $5 off of a flower purchase.

The concept behind the Strength of 1 campaign is that each and every one of us has the power to make a difference through small steps or changes.  All of those small changes add up to create a big impact and in this case fight breast cancer.

I happen to like that Freschetta is also pledging $25,000 this month to the Bright Pink foundation which aims to empower women to help themselves stand up to Breast Cancer through education, early detection and prevention.

#Strengthof1CA, Freschetta pizza, Freschetta Strength of 1, Vons, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Vons Flowers,

I checked out the floral department at Vons and there were some pretty choices, many honoring this very important cause.  I wanted to know what that $5 would get me and I was pleasantly surprised.  It could have been a large discount on this pretty mixed bouquet or a free rose bouquet.

#Strengthof1CA, Freschetta pizza, Freschetta Strength of 1, Vons, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Vons Flowers,

I'll be the first to say that I'm not a true "flower girl" we don't frequently have them in the house but my husband will occasionally surprise me with some and it's such a nice feeling.

I love the idea of bringing some flowers to a woman in your life who is special, just because.   It's a reminder to celebrate just having the health of someone who matters to you or to send some extra love to someone who is fighting their own battle.

#Strengthof1CA, Freschetta pizza, Freschetta Strength of 1, Vons, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Vons Flowers,

So how can you take advantage of this offer and give back while you save?   You'll need a Vons card which is a total must have if you shop there even once!  I can't even tabulate the amount I have saved with mine...trust me it's significant.  

You can sign up for one here or right at checkout.  You'll also need the digital coupon from the Vons Just for You program which tailors deals to your shopping preferences.  You can find that right here.

Just so you know, this shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group, everything you see here is my own personal and picky opinion and I was honored to participate in spreading the word about this great cause! http://cmp.ly/3/KqtZiE

October 19, 2012

Change Your Lightbulbs and Save for College!

Saving for college...just writing those words elicits a big old sigh from me.  In my observations there seem to be two schools of thought on this:

1) Ignore it and pray it goes away/ your child gets some massive scholarship
2) Look that ever ballooning cost in the face and start hacking away at it.

I can still remember getting hysterical about saving for college when Kayla was about 7 months old.  My husband who is a pretty financially conservative guy didn't seem to think we had to be saving so soon and I thoroughly disagreed.

Kayla was born in early 2009 and the world was a very scary place financially speaking.  I knew that even if we weren't saving hundreds of dollars a month that getting in the habit of saving for college was important.  I also assumed that as soon as we saw the savings growing and starting to feel significant it would motivate us to save even more.  For once I'm happy to say that I was right and I'm glad we opted for choice #2.

I think the most common reason that people go the #1 route is that saving for college can feel like an impossible task.  You hear this HUGE number that you will need to save and it's a turnoff.  Trust me, I've been there!  But recently I was called upon to look into energy savings for Champions For Kids  and flex my crafty #GluenGlitter muscles with a creative project.

#GluenGlitter GE Energy Savings from GE Facebook

I decided to create something that showed just how simple it is to save by doing something you would probably never connect with college savings - changing lightbulbs!  This is one of those moments where you realize that small changes really can add up to big things - similar to the Champions For Kids premise that taking small actions as an individual can create a huge impact for children when combined with the work of others.

I counted light bulbs throughout our home and was astonished to find that we have 59 lightbulbs!  I thank the previous owners for some of their lovely selections in light fixtures which I have yet to replace.

#GluenGlitter checking out my light bulbs at home

I did some calculations through a tool on the GE Facebook page which featured The Lorax and I was able to calculate that if we switched our lightbulbs to more energy efficient ones we would save around $393.15 annually!  Obviously my husband and I will be having another savings conversation.

#GluenGlitter simple savings calculator to show energy savings for college savings

I then took that number, divided it out into a monthly savings of $32.76 and added up what it would be worth if we had taken just that energy savings, put it in an account for Kayla when she was born and let it grow at 7% a year which is less than the annual growth we have experienced so far in her college savings account.

I was beyond shocked to learn that my savings from swapping out lightbulbs could easily add up to $13,792.66 over the 18 years before college without adding any additional savings!!  Makes you think twice about those light bulbs, huh?  With my new exciting info in hand I headed off to Walmart to shop for some supplies to make my project which was designed to show my "visual learner" of a husband just how much more we could save.
#GluenGlitter Elmer's Glitter Glue and Craft Bond Products at Walmart

I was also going to give us a jump start on change by buying some more energy efficient GE lightbulbs and some school supplies to donate to Kayla's school because that's part of what I love about Champions for Kids, they remind you to keep on giving through small SIMPLE Service Projects that anyone can do.

I spent a lot of time in the craft section and saw some neat products I didn't know existed like the Elmer's Craft Bond glue dots, some snazzy Designer Series X-Acto knives with comfy grips on them and these sparkly bottles of Elmer's Glitter Glue that Kayla would go nuts over.
Elmer's  Craft Bond products at Walmart and X-Acto

I also checked out a bunch of different energy efficient lightbulbs including the GE Energy Smart ones.  Can you believe that one 50/100/150 watt bulb can save $66 in energy costs over it's lifetime? You can take a look at my entire shop if you like.

Back at home I got to work crafting my savings display.  I used an Elmer's Tri-Fold Display Board, construction paper, an X-Acto knife, some Washable School Glue, a few foam flower stickers we had laying around the house and my all time favorite Disappearing Purple School Glue Stick.  

I printed some Lorax pictures right off the GE Facebook page since he's just so darn cute.   I backed them with colored construction paper to make them stand out.  I covered most of the display board with bright construction paper that I glued on to make it eye catching.

#GluenGlitter crafting with Elmer's Glue and X-Acto knife

I also added some printed headers and outlined them with a black marker to make them bubbly and fun.   I drew some lightbulbs by hand and stuck them on with a glue stick.  At the end I added the flower stickers and my savings calculation project was complete.  

My husband was shocked when he saw the calculated savings and insisted I explain further.  Kayla being a typical preschooler just wanted to hug the Lorax and glue more things to the board.

#GluenGlitter Elmers Project to Show GE Energy savings

After I finished making up my project display board I put together a little donation as part of my Champions For Kids SIMPLE Service Project for Kayla's preschool teacher with construction paper, some Crayola markers and Elmer's glue.  I tied it all together with a stink on ruler tape which made it look pretty cute and ready for school and left it for Kayla's teacher during morning drop off.

#GluenGlitter Champions For Kids School Supply donation

Want more creative projects you can do?  Check out GluenGlitter on Facebook  and Twitter and Elmer's Craft It! on Facebook

Just so you know, I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Elmer’s #CBias #SocialFabric everything you see here is my own incredibly picky opinion and I was honored to participate in paying it forward with information and supplies!
Pin It button on image hover