Inspirational Target Gift Card Giveaway


This post is sponsored by Grace Hill Media. Be sure to check out the Target gift card giveaway at the end.

The second season of the heartwarming hit series BORN THIS WAY premieres this Tuesday, July 26 on A&E Network. BORN THIS WAY is a reality television series, featuring seven adults with Down Syndrome who work hard to achieve goals and overcome obstacles. The cast pursue their passions while defying society’s expectations. The series also follows their parents who share their own journey of joy, sacrifice, and unconditional love.

Below, please find a clip that shares the heart and depth of this show. In this clip you will meet Rachel, one of the cast members. Rachel, like the rest of the young adults featured in this series is an inspiration – facing the challenges and obstacles of life with courage, grace, determination and love.

Set your DVRs or tune in live to watch BORN THIS WAY on July 26 at 10:00 pm ET. Get inspired by reading the biographies of cast members Steven, Sean, Rachel, Cristina, John, Elena, and Megan, on A&E’s website.

Enter the giveaway below for a chance to win your own $25 gift card to Target. There are four ways to win. Complete only one, or do them all.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links.

Minecraft Freebies

Free Minecraft Calendar and Planner Pages for Kids 2016-17

Minecraft Calendar & Planner Pages For Kids

August 2016 – December 2017  …  34 pages of Minecraft planning fun!

For each month, there is a blank calendar and a blank check sheet where you can list all your subjects on the left.


Minecraft Story Cubes

Minecraft Story Cubes

The story cubes will provide hours of entertainment for any Minecraft fan. Incorporate them into your language arts curriculum and see creative writing and storytelling soar.

Included are 8 printable cubes: actions, friends, enemies, goals, objects (2), and situations (2).


Easy and Inexpensive Minecraft Party Gift Bags - $5.15 per bag!

The Ultimate Minecraft Birthday Party Gift Bag

Total cost: $5.15 per gift bag.

Includes instructions and/or free printables for cube invitations, chocolate bar wrappers, licorice TNT bunches, cups, t-shirts, and bags to keep everything in.


Minecraft Math Cubes

Minecraft Math Cubes

There are 3 cubes and the goal is to use them to practice addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

Throw the cubes into the air, see whatever topic appears, and then let your imagination take over.


*Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links.

Ten Ways to Teach With Star Trek

Ten Ways to Teach With Star Trek

I think Star Trek is hands down one of the greatest shows ever made. No other show in history has had such a positive impact on so many people, young and old. Thousands of successful engineers and scientists proudly proclaim that their career choices were influenced by Star Trek. How many TV shows can claim that kind of success and influence?

Parents who value the education of their children will always be looking for ways to turn interests into teachable moments, and when we find a show like this, a show so powerful, we must take advantage of the opportunities to use it to inspire and educate.

If you are a Netflix subscriber, you can watch all the episodes from all 5 series (the Original, Next Generation, Voyager, Deep Space Nine, and Enterprise) online via instant watch. That is 28 seasons, 695 episodes of sci-fi goodness. They even have the (horrible) animated series from 1973 available.

1. Real life scientists

Share with your children the stories of those scientists who are where they are today because they were inspired by Trek. The big wigs at NASA, for many decades, have been Star Trek fans. NASA’s first shuttle was actually named the Enterprise, in honor of Star Trek’s quintessential Starship Enterprise. Star Trek even influenced astronauts. Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman in space, was a huge fan! The creators of the cell phone, personal computer, MRI scanner, tablet, automatic sliding doors, and Bluetooth were all inspired by Star Trek. Martin Cooper, the inventor of the cell phone, developed it after watching Star Trek and thinking to himself, “We need to communicate the way they do on Star Trek.”

2. Fiction meets reality

Tell your children the stories of the real-life items that began as fiction in the Star Trek universe and eventually became a reality.

  • Warp Drive a Reality?  The fictional system that enables starships to go faster than light is currently being investigated by a group of physicists. Even if this system never does become a reality, it has helped to spark a world-wide interest in physics.
  • Medical Tricorders? This is closer to becoming a reality than warp drive. The US government is close to creating a handheld tool that can provide instant patient vital stats from 40 feet away.
  • Hyposprays? Even closer to becoming a reality to the public is the painless, needle-less injections used by every doctor on Star Trek. The “Jet Injector” is used for vaccinations by governments and other agencies around the world.
  • Cloaking?? For real?? Researchers at the University of California used a mixture of several materials including Teflon, ceramic, and fiber to deflect light waves around an object. This deflection of light truly cloaked the object from sight. It is a start!
  • Tractor Beams? Physicists in Australia have developed a device that can actually transport small super small particles over 5 feet. Transport. As in not touching them with any object other than light beams.
  • Universal Translator? A German professor has created the world’s first automatic language translator. This software will allow students all over the world to listen to lectures in any language.
  • And the coolest thing yet…a full-functioning Enterprise. An engineer and Star Trek buff has an entire website devoted to the claim that within 20 years we could build a starship that would not only make it to Mars in only 90 days, but house up to 1000 people in a comfortable indoor-Earth like atmosphere. The thoroughly researched specs, plans and schedules can be found at


3. Language arts

Increase your language skills by learning the vocabulary of Star Trek. I’ve created a Trekkie vocabulary list for you, as well as a special printable to help your kids learn each word.

4. Physics

Read The Physics of Star Trek together. What warps when you’re traveling at warp speed? What is the difference between a wormhole and a black hole? Anyone who has ever wondered “could this really happen?” will gain useful insights into the Star Trek universe (and, incidentally, the real world of physics) in this charming and accessible guide.

5. For the littles

If you have littles, read the Star Trek Book of Opposites. Your olders will love reading this to their younger siblings.

Trouble with Tribbles

from the episode “The Trouble With Tribbles”

6. Calculate math with Tribbles

For the math whizzes, you could try calculating how many Tribbles you would have after so many days of multiplying. One Tribble gives birth to 10 baby Tribbles every 12 hours!

7. Use Star Trek episodes to teach history

While it’s not exactly famous for its historical accuracy, there are certain episodes that challenge our thinking about historical events. They make for great conversation starters and can even lead to more research and debate. Best of all, some episodes are just plain fun and make great introductions into periods or events.

8. Delve even deeper in history

Star Trek and History is a fantastic book that explores the REAL history on which the stories are rooted

9. Starfleet Academy

Starfleet Academy is a branch of the International Star Trek Fan Association. Many of the classes are entertainment based, but even more are legit educational, such as Baroque Artists & Art, Politics and Government: US Presidents, WWI: An Overview, Basic Emergency Care , History of Microorganisms, William Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Introduction to Thermodynamics. View a course catalog here.

10. Learn literature with Star Trek

In addition to the many historical figures that are portrayed in Star Trek, there are many fictional characters that incorporated. Data in The Next Generation had an obsession with Sherlock Holmes. Robin Hood also appears in an episode of The Next Generation. On Voyager, there is a holodeck program, based on Beowulf. Rumpelstiltskin appeared in Deep Space Nine. Watching these episodes may be enough to spark an interest and encourage your child to read the real stories.

*Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links.

3D Star Trek Bookmark

Star Trek Borg Cube Bookmark

Did you all realize that this year marks the 50th anniversary of Star Trek? The first episode of the original series with Kirk and Spock aired on September 8, 1966.

I am planning a big celebration week for my family, complete with lots of Star Trek food, top 10 favorite episodes, and a couple of movies.

With all of the articles popping up in my feed reader relating to the anniversary, it has inspired me to do more Star Trek crafts. And then this showed up on my doorstep.

Star Trek Big Ideas Book

The Star Trek Book, part of the widely popular Big Ideas Simply Explained series.

I may have squealed when opening the box. This is definitely a coffee table type book, the kind that fans will never be able to read in a week, yet the kind that you will never want to put down. It is best to leave it out, someplace handy, where you can pick it up every time you need to look up a fact about your favorite show. I can’t imagine a more perfect book to be released during the year of the big anniversary.

Here is a peek at one of the pages dedicated to Spock (click to make it bigger.)


Which brings me to my craft of the day.

We never seem to have enough bookmarks. I make them often (you can download my Doctor Who bookmarks, DC superhero bookmarks, and Marvel superhero bookmarks for free) because we all tend to read several books at once and we need lots of bookmarks to keep our places. We have even reverted to using the Bob Ross and Lord of the Rings BINGO cards as bookmarks.

Star Trek Borg Cube Bookmark



The supplies:

  • one-inch wood cube
  • Mod Podge
  • small paint brush
  • very strong E6000 glue
  • 6 one-inch printouts of the Borg Cube design
  • the bookmarks I designed in Photoshop


For the paper part of the bookmark, I glued the back and front (both are the same design) together and then coated the whole thing with Mod Podge.

After Mod Podging the printouts onto the wooden cube (and letting it dry thoroughly), my husband sawed off a small portion of one of the corners so that the cube would look more 3D when I glued it to the bookmark.

Star Trek Borg Cube Bookmark

*Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links.

Happy Trees and Bob Ross BINGO

Bob Ross fan? Watch and play along with these FUN & free BINGO cards.

I cannot believe that anyone in their right mind doesn’t love Bob Ross and if anyone tells me that they don’t even know who Bob Ross is, I think they’ve been living under a rock. Even people in the 20’s must know who he is and if they truly don’t, it is a travesty.

Bob Ross giphyYes, a travesty, I tell you.

Happy trees and happy squirrels.

When I was a kid, my mom bought me an official Bob Ross paint kit that contained all his special paint colors and brushes. It certainly makes it look easy, but my mom loved my paintings and hung them all over our kitchen.

I introduced my son to his show about 2 years ago on YouTube. For a long time we would watch him every day at lunch time and we would crack up every time he would speak the iconic lines that he is famous for.

After realizing that there are at least a dozen quirky sayings that he repeats in almost every episode, we decided to make Bob Ross BINGO cards. Mini marshmallows serve as place holders and an after-lunch treat.

And now Bob Ross is even on Netflix! He and his happy trees are taking the world by storm once again!

Download Your Bob Ross BINGO Cards

Bob Ross fan? Watch and play along with these FUN & free BINGO cards.

*Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links.