Smithsonian Channel is Available on Paramount+

I did a post a little while back about Paramount+ offering a 30 day free trial. I’m gonna be honest, I jumped on the free trial just to see what it was like and so my kids could watch the new SpongeBob movie Sponge On The Run. I really thought I’d cancel after the 30 day free trial but, I didn’t.

My kids and I love watching nature shows and animal related shows. We discovered the Smithsonian Channel on Paramount+ and we’re hooked. Our first taste was the Strange Creatures series. I was so excited to see the Corpse flower featured. See I’ve been wanting to visit Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh just to see the Corpse flower in real life. I can’t be sure but it looks like the video footage could have been from Phipps.

Smithsonian Channel hit series are streaming exclusively on Paramount+. Try it FREE!

As we scrolled through the shows on the Smithsonian channel we saw other animal shoes that caught our interest like Africa’s Piranhas, Baby Animals, The Living Beach, Top 10 Deadliest Beasts, and so many more. My husband saw things on there that interested him too like Drinks, Crime, and Prohibition, World of Weapons, American’s Hangar, and more.

Paramount+ is still offering the 30 day free trial if you’d like to check it out. The Smithsonian Channel isn’t the only thing though. There’s tons of kids’ shows, Comedy Central, BET, MTV, Nickelodeon, movie, tons of shows, and more.

After the 30 day free trial it’s just $5.99/mo with commercials or $9.99/mo without commercials.

Have you tried Paramount+ yet? If so what are your favorite things to watch? We’re still exploring.

This post does contain affiliate links. Any opinions expressed are my own.

VIP Pets S1 Mousse Bottle Surprise – Fun Basket Filler Idea

My daughter loves all those encapsulated toys and miniature toys. Things like L.O.L. Surprise, My Little Pet Shop, etc etc. Reading the description for the VIP Pets S1 Mousse Bottle Surprise, I know my daughter would love it. I’m thinking this will be a fun addition to her Easter basket this year. For reference, my daughter will be 8 in a couple weeks. She’s been playing with these types of toys for about 3 years now.

Just take a look at these! Aren’t they fun and cute?

The VIP Pets are the most fashionable pets around. There are 6 characters with 2 different looks, all with their own personalities and hobbies. However there is something that connects them all… their passion for all things hair! These fabulous pets come with 9 surprises to unbox and 12 inches of super long hair to style .

The VIP Pets like to wear their hair in different styles depending on the occasion but they need your help to create the perfect look. Unbox 6 unique and personalized accessories! My daughter enjoys that part. Of course, she loves to see what character she gets but the accessories add to the fun.

Once you’ve washed her hair you will discover her unique style! PLUS, there is a special water reveal on their face to showcase a special face design! 12 different dolls to collect in Series 1! Become a professional hair stylist just like Fabio and Fabia! My daughter thinks it’s absolute magic when things color change. She gets so excited.

Shop for VIP Pets S1 Mousse Bottle Surprise Hair Reveal Doll at Target, Walmart and Amazon.

This post does contain affiliate links. I will earn a small commission from actions taken through my links. Any opinions expressed are my own.

Paramount Plus Free Trial

Paramount Plus is offering a 1 month free trial for new subscribers. If you decide to stay it’s only $9.99 a month for commercial-free viewing or $5.99 a month with commercials.

See Paramount+ Peak Originals like Star Trek Picard, Star Trek Discovery, The Stand, and more. See SpongeBob Sponge on the Run and other kids friendly favorites like The Loud House, Paw Patrol, Dora the Explorer, the list goes on.

Tons of stuff for the grown ups to stream too. Popular shows like NCIS: Los Angeles, The Good Wife, The Young and the Restless, and so many more. Even stuff for the teens like Avatar the Last Air Bender, ICarly, etc.

Watch live tv with Peak News, Premier League, NFL, Master’s Tournament, …well you get the idea.

My kids really want to see the SpongeBob: Sponge on the Run. What are you looking forward to watching?

Sign up for your 1 month free trial of Paramount+ today!

This offer ends 3/31/21 so grab it while you can!!

This post does contain affiliate links. I will earn a commission from actions taken through my links.

Why I Get My Middle Schoolers Mobile Phones

I want to start this off by saying I’m not judging anyone for giving or not giving a cell phone at any particular age. This post is strictly the reasons I decided to and my tips, as a mom of 4, who has given their children cell phones with another one coming up here in a few months.

Initially, I had it in my head that my kids weren’t getting cell phones until they were in high school. I figured they’d be more responsible, they’d need it when they started driving, for work, etc, etc. Little did I know how fast my mind would change with 1 incident in middle school.

My oldest son was in 6th grade so, he was about 11 years old. We found out when we moved to our new house that he would have to walk to the middle school which was 1.8 miles away. I worried about that, especially with these Pennsylvania winters. BUT, it was a straight shot on a main road in town. Other kids would be walking too. He would find friends to walk with, I was sure of it. I even walked it with him over the summer before classes started to see how long it would take. On a nice summer day with no heavy backpack it took us 20 minutes! 20 minutes! I worried about what it would be like when he had to trudge through unshoveled snow covered side walks with ice on the ground.

I worried about him a lot. I took him to school sometimes but I was working full-time at the time so it wasn’t always possible. Then my son found a walking buddy and I felt a little better about it.

Then my son starts telling me about these high school kids that would harass him and his friend on the way home. They would call them names, and even threw rocks at them. One day my son and his friend burst through our front door, eyes wide as saucers and out of breath. I knew something was wrong. It turns out, the high school kids that had been harassing them on the way home most of the year surrounded them and pulled a knife on them. They were able to get away but had to run nearly a mile home to get help. There are no pay phones anymore and people just aren’t as open to opening their doors to high school kids. I called the school immediately and we went through a process there.

Well that’s the day I decided my son needed a cell phone. Through trial and error I’ve learned these tips with giving kids cell phones. I also realized how much they’d be staying after school in middle school for sports practices, clubs, or just to hang out with friends.

  • Do NOT start them off with an expensive phone. Pick a free or low cost phone to start with until they learn how to take care of it.
  • Consider getting the insurance. Most insurance is only a couple dollars a month per phone. Though not all insurance plans are worth the investment so be sure to read the fine print.
  • When you get your child’s phone, whether you buy it in store or order online, get a phone case immediately! Don’t even give your child the phone until there is a case on it. There are tons out there that range from a few dollars to over $100. Shockproof, waterproof, glitter, name brand, and designers like Karl Lagerfeld phone case You can usually find something that fits your budget and your child’s personality.
  • Get screen protectors if the case you choose doesn’t have screen protection. I usually buy a budget friendly screen protector on Amazon.
  • Put restrictions on your child’s phone and lay ground rules. If passwords/passcodes are used, make sure you know what they are. Check your child’s phone often. Until the learn how to properly use texts, phone calls, social media etc.

Another thing I’ll add is to shop around for cell phone providers. Not all of them are created equal when you have family plans. We suffered with AT&T for too long. I had the mentality that I was with them for 16 years and never had an issue so why change (other than the exorbitant amount of money we were paying). We finally switched to Consumer Cellular and our bill was literally cut in half. I wish we wouldn’t have waited so long.

I know buying those things for your kids phone seem “extra” but trust me when I say a $15 phone case and $8 screen protector can save you a lot of money in the long run!

I’ve also found more benefits to them having a cell phone over the years. It makes it easier for them to check in with me and for me to check on them. They can get updates from the school’s automated announcements for school closings, delays, etc. When they started driving I’d have them call me when they got to their destination. There’s also tracking apps so I can see where they ACTUALLY are.

This post is sponsored by Diamond Bloggers. Any opinions expressed are my own. This post does contain affiliate links. I will earn a small commission from sales made through my links.

NEW Snail Mail For Kids: Kids Get Personalized Letters in the Mail!

Kids love getting stuff in the mail. I know mine do. Snail Mail for Kids is a new opportunity for them to get something fun and personalized through the mail.

Snail Mail for kids will send your kids a personalized letter once a week. You can choose monthly, 3 month or 6 month plans. You kids or grand kids will receive letters personalized to them with fun things included like stickers, trading cards, souvenirs, and more.

I know my kids would be coming home from school going “Did my snail mail come in yet?” Everyone likes getting something fun in the mail right? Hmm maybe they should make this for adults too lol

I was surprised to see how affordable it was to get weekly mailings. You can get your first box for 50% off!

My question personally was, ok I have 2 kids that would enjoy this I guess I’d have to pay for 2 subscriptions. NOPE it actually says that if you have 2 children it says they can include 2 kids and 2 enclosures at no additional cost. I think that’s awesome. If you have more than 2 kids you can have the letters addressed to the entire family. IE The Smith Family. That’s awesome. As a mom of 4, so often I’ve had to pass on things because I just couldn’t afford to do it for everyone. It’s hard to get a subscription box for one kid then another kids going “Can I get one too?”

While some subscription services can get pretty expensive this one is much more affordable especially for families with multiple children!

I think this could be an interesting way to encourage reading in kids. My youngest is 6 years old and learning to read. She’s doing pretty well but, anything I can do to encourage a love of reading, I’ll try it.

Snail Mail for Kids is also giftable. Just choose the gift option.

This post does contain affiliate links. I will get a small commission from sales made through my links.