Prevent Summer Melt with Brain Chase!

2014 winner with map

Summer vacation is a great time for kids to relax and unwind. But sometimes there’s a little too much relaxing and unwinding, which can result in some of the hard work they did during the school year going down the drain. In fact, a 2011 RAND study found that by the end of summer, students perform, on average, one to two months behind where they left off in the spring.

That’s a depressing thing to hear… and I can only imagine how I’d feel about that statistic if I were an elementary school teacher, working hard day in and day out to feed knowledge into those little minds!

One way to reduce some of the Summer Brain Melt (that’s the technical term) experienced by kids everywhere is to participate in enriching activities over the summer. And a fun way to do that is by participating in Brain Chase.

Brain Chase logo

Brain Chase, a five-week online summer learning challenge for second through eighth graders, is a massive global treasure hunt powered by reading, writing and math. The prize? A golden mechanical treasure – and a $10,000 college scholarship.

Here’s a video that shows how it works:

Pretty cool, huh?

Brain Chase includes:
- 5 weeks of structured challenges on external reading and math websites

- Weekly writing exercises with feedback from credentialed teachers

- Weekly progress reports emailed to parents

- Exclusive access to an original animated adventure series loaded with hidden puzzles and clues

- 3 adventure tools mailed to your home to help solve special bonus challenges

- Participation in a massive global treasure hunt for a golden trophy containing the key to a safe deposit box holding $10,000.

We’ve got a special offer for Mommin’ It Up readers! Brain Chase would like to give you all 15% off your total purchase. Just use code MOMMINITUP15. Visit BrainChase.com for more information!

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This post was written in partnership with Brain Chase and The Motherhood.

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RSVP…

As I mentioned yesterday, April, or as we call it in our house BirthMonth, is nearly upon us. My kids will be 7 and 11 in a few weeks, and I’m not sure how to even process that.

Sam’s celebrating his day by taking a couple friends to a bounce place, but Kate’s having a full-on party. She and her BFF Rachel have close birthdays and they share the same friends, so they’re having a combined pool party together. And, because they are extremely great kids, they are asking the attendees to forgo gifts and instead bring a donation to the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation, in memory of both of their maternal grandmothers.

I’m going to be incapacitated in recovery (from surgery, not from drugs) at the time of their party and won’t be able to contribute a whole lot to the day itself, so I offered to handle the invitations.

It just so happened that minted. emailed and asked me to take a look at their designs and share them with you!

minted. has a whole section devoted to birthday party invitations, and there’s a filter function that helps narrow down the choices based on size, theme, price, gender, and age range.

Here are a few that caught my eye:

minted owl

The bookworm owl has zero to do with a pool party theme, but it immediately jumped out at me because it is perfect for Kate and Rachel – they are both total bookworms and for some reason have a thing for owls at the moment! So cute.

minted hooray

I like that this is pretty neutral in the theme department and that it just looks fun!

minted skate

This would have been perfect for either of Kate’s last two parties at the skating rink! And they’re slightly nicer than my lame attempts at photoshop.

minted sleepover

Until Rachel’s mom came up with the brilliant idea of a combo party, I thought this was in my future. Shudder!

minted pool party

I love this one – it might be a winner!

While I was browsing, I couldn’t help but notice a few invitations that would be perfect for Sam…

minted super hero

minted baseball

Next time you’re looking for party invitations, thank you cards, stationary, decor, or gifts, head over to minted. But beware – everything is so cute that it’s impossible to choose!

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This post was sponsored by minted.com. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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The General Pressure of Being Alive or 10 Things That Will Absolutely Kill the Ones You Love

I have a problem.

I work on Facebook, but I am about to the point where I want to quit Facebook.

On Facebook I am always sharing stuff from my work page, and it’s 99% positive, encouraging, or funny. I share it because if I don’t, pretty much no one sees it due to the way Facebook distributes statuses from brand pages now. But that is really neither here nor there.

This may make me sound terrible. I know life is not all about fun. But I miss when Facebook was fun! When I went there to be a goof and find out what my friends are up to.

But now there is just so much negativity hitting me every time I scroll through my feed. And I am not talking about just news stories, because hello – I realize there is a lot of not-fun stuff going on in our world that we can’t ignore.

I’m talking about the “eat this, not that, feed your kids this, not that, homebirth, don’t homebirth, bento box lunches, Splenda will kill you, breastfeed, formula, vaccinate, vote for this, politicians are the devil, you are the devil, everyone’s an idiot STUFF.”

I am sure I’ve  been guilty of some of this in the past. I know my memory is probably flawed. But boy I don’t want to do that again.

It’s exhausting. I’m doing my best. Like, for real. I am really doing my best to be a good mom and a good friend and a good human being and not shorten anyone’s life.

I guess I need to start doing my best to just not look anymore. I know I have to take the good with the bad, but man, I need a break. It’s just exhausting.

AND SO MUCH PRESSURE.

I really don’t need anymore pressure because Jenny, Party of One pretty much has that handled.

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