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About the author  ⁄ Jenna

Jenna Greenspoon is a mom to Jonah and Addison, aged 4 and 2. She loves staying up to date on all things kids and makes sure she is on point with the latest childhood trends! She is the Savvy Moms to the Savvy Sassy duo and manages a team of creative contributors that work hard to keep moms up to date on the latest trends. Jenna loves social media and works on a variety of social media campaigns with brands big and small. Connect with Savvy Sassy Moms on Instagram

2017 is here and you want this year to be different… we all do, don’t we?! We say we will remember every moment, every fun thing we do with the kids and funny thing they say, but while your intentions are good, we all know it’s next to impossible to remember it all. One of my resolutions is to take more photos of the kids this year, but not just a few more, 365 more… per kid!

When kids are small, they change so much, so fast and you really see those changes through photos. Sometimes, I don’t notice the little changes in the way they’re growing and changing because I’m with them every day of their lives. To try to capture every little moment, change and memory in 2017, I will be taking a picture a day of my kids! It sounds crazy, right? It’s not! I’ve done it before and while it takes a bit of work, you will never regret doing it, especially having Chatbooks on your team.

Documenting 2017 with Chatbooks
Step 1: Decide on how to save the pictures you take daily

Pick one place to store them digitally — make a file on your computer (this will be the hardest part), start an album on your phone (this is easier since we always use our phones to snap a pic), or start an Instagram account and post them there (this is my number one choice). You don’t need to be fancy… take the pictures with your phone and keep it simple, or take them with your camera, but remember, the goal isn’t to have a professional looking picture everyday, but rather to take a photo everyday.

Picture a day project
Step 2: Start taking pictures

It will be a transition at the beginning. You will be all excited about it at the beginning of the year, but as time goes on, you may begin to forget. Put a daily reminder in your phone to make sure you don’t miss a day.

Documenting 2017
Step 3: Include a caption

This step is the reason why I prefer to use Instagram to store my daily photos. The more information you have for each picture, the better. When you post your photos, you can write a caption about what they were doing in the picture or add a funny quote that your child said that day. Help yourself to remember what the picture means to you each day when you’re looking at them a year from now, five years from now or 10 years from now.

Step 4: Get creative, when necessary

Now, you may be asking yourself, what about the days your child is sick? Or what do you do if you are traveling and you aren’t with the kids? If your child isn’t feeling well, get creative and take a picture of their feet and add a caption like “Snuggled under the covers and feeling a bit under the weather.” If you are away or you don’t see your kids some days, get someone else on board to take a picture and send it to you! Share with your family what you are doing and they will be happy to help.

365 days of chatbooks
Step 5: Print your pictures

This is where the fun really begins! If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to download the Chatbooks App. Chatbooks is an app that lets you create photo books using your Instagram account or photos from your phone. You are already doing all of the work by taking the pictures each day, so let Chatbooks make it easy to get them printed. Instead of printing loose photos (which you can do through Chatbooks as well), you will get a beautiful 6×6 photo book with your pictures printed in order. Each book contains 60 pictures and once you sign up, they will print these books automatically, so you don’t have to wait until the end of the year to see your pictures come to life! 

Use code SAVVYSASSY for your first book free in a series and 10% off custom books and prints!

How to use chatbooks
  • Download the app from iTunes.
  • Select the Most Popular Photo Book Series, which begins at only $8
  • Add your source: You can link your Instagram account, Facebook page or your iPhone favorites. Enter your information and authorize Chatbooks to access your photos and then begin exploring the options.
  • Decide whether or not the date and location show up.
  • Change the cover photos and remove any photos you don’t want included in the book. They are completely customizable!
  • Print a custom book, print your entire Instagram feed or print loose photos.

I am challenging you to take the daily picture challenge by taking a picture a day of your kids. At the end of the year, you will thank me! You can follow along with me as I post daily photos of my kids on our Instagram account, @365daysofjonahandaddi

Good luck!

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Tips for Kids Winter Travel Safety

With the holiday season in full swing, we have booked our trip and are ready for quality time together as a family. As our trip drew closer, it was time to start thinking about what travel with my children would look like. Would we take a cab from the airport or rent a car? Without kids, we didn’t think too long and hard about it, but with two kids under five, our transportation needs are at the top of the list!

Amongst my group of friends, the conversation always goes the same way… what will you do when you get to your destination? Will you bring a car seat or rent one? Can you take a car seat on the airplane? This year, we decided to travel with our Britax car seat, using the Britax Car Seat Travel Cart and Britax Travel Bag, which made it so easy. The travel cart made it a breeze to pull the car seat through the airport, while the travel bag kept it safe and clean when we checked it during the flight. Check out the video on our Facebook page to see just how easy it was to travel with our Britax in tow. 

Whether you are traveling somewhere near, far or simply staying in the city, it’s always important to make sure that you are keeping your kids as safe as possible in their car seats. Living in a city with very cold winters, the question that’s always at the top of my mind is whether or not my children can be in their car seats with their jackets on. The Britax website has a great post on winter travel safety tips to answer this question and so many more. The first and most important part of car seat safety is the straps, no matter what the season. When buckling your child in the carseat, you must ensure that you cannot pinch the straps at the collarbone. If you are able to pinch the slack, you need to tighten the straps until you are unable to pinch any of the strap. Once you know what a secure strap looks like, then you can determine if your child’s jacket is safe to wear in the car seat. 

What should my child's car seat straps look like?

Place your child in the car seat with their jacket on and tighten the straps appropriately, as discussed above. Once that is done without any slack, open the car seat and remove your child without loosening the straps. Take off your child’s jacket and place them back in the car seat. Do up the buckle without tightening the straps. If the straps are snug and you cannot pinch them, then the jacket they were in is appropriate for the car seat, but if there is slack and you can pinch the straps, your child is not safe in the car seat in that jacket. 

If your jacket is too thick for the carseat, here are some tips to try from Britax to keep your kids warm during car travel:
– Preheat your vehicle
– Place your child in the car seat and then put the jacket on your child backwards
– Cover your child in the car seat with a blanket
– Try a coat made out of thin, but warm, material

When going in the car with my kids in cold weather, I start the car a few minutes before we leave and I put them in thin coats. Before they get out of the car, they change into their thick winter coats to keep them toasty in the cold winter weather! While it takes some additional planning and preparation, I know that I am making the best decision for my children’s safety when we head out on the icy roads. 

There are so many fun activities to this winter and while travelling with a car seat may seem overwhelming, I can tell you that it was no big deal! My son loved being pulled in the car seat as well! Stay tuned for clips on Instagram and Facebook as our trip continues! 

We did receive product to review and photograph for this post. This post is not otherwise sponsored.

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I’ll never forget our prenatal class when I was pregnant with my first child. My husband and I went together and one of the classes focused on breastfeeding. I listened to what it should and shouldn’t feel like, how it was easy for some and hard for others, and at the end of the class, I looked at my husband and I said to him, “No matter what happens, don’t let me give up!” I always knew that I wanted to breastfeed and hoped that I would be able to. I had some concerns that it would be difficult for me and I held my breath until my baby arrived to see what it would actually be like.

Pregnancy Photos

Just a few short months after our prenatal classes, my son Jonah was born. As soon as he was born, the nurse gave him to me and immediately “helped” me to begin breastfeeding him. At the time, everything seemed fine. He looked like he had latched, the nurse said he was fine and while I enjoyed holding my new baby, I felt so much pride as I watched him nurse.

Well, as every first night goes in the hospital, I nursed all night long with very little support. Morning came, and my mom came to visit me and the baby. When it was time to feed him again, I just began to cry. Something didn’t feel right. I was in pain every time he latched and I just couldn’t put him on again. I felt completely deflated. Jonah wasn’t even 24-hours-old and I was failing. I was in pain, but all I could think about was the fact that he was less than a day old and I was already asking for a bottle, for a break.

At 10 a.m., I walked over to the nursing class that the hospital held each morning. I voiced my concerns about the difficulty and the pain and with one quick look, the lactation consultant sent me back to my room and said she would come see me for a one-on-one session. When she arrived, she told me that Jonah had been latching incorrectly since birth and as a result, I was left with an abrasion, which was extremely painful and getting worse by the minute. That was the moment that I was introduced to a nipple shield. At the time, I was so grateful. The shield did exactly that. It shielded me from direct contact making breastfeeding less painful for me and more successful for him. I felt at ease.

My Breastfeeding Story

A day later, I was discharged from the hospital feeling great! Jonah was feeding every 3-4 hours, he was wetting his diapers and everything seemed good. Two days later, when I went to his paediatrician, I learned that he wasn’t gaining weight. That was when the countless trips to the doctor for weigh-ins began and the trips back and forth to the hospital to the lactation consultants to continue working on my breastfeeding. I thought back to my prenatal classes remembering that she said it might be hard and that there might be some pain, but I didn’t think it would be this hard.

As the weeks went on, he was gaining little by little, and each time we went for a weigh-in or to the consultants, I felt more and more let down. I felt like I wasn’t succeeding at the most important job in the world. I began topping him up at the end of each feed and pumping while he was being topped up for the next feed. It was exhausting! All the while, I was still using the nipple shield. I had tried to take him off of it a few times, but he just couldn’t latch without it. I had to take it with me every time I left the house, and I had to sterilize it before each use! I was breastfeeding, but I had to treat myself like a human bottle, but it was “working,” so I kept on going. 

By the time Jonah was 2-months-old, I was more than ready to give up. I had thought about asking for help, but I kept hearing that breastfeeding was natural and that there wasn’t a wrong way to do it. I kept hearing that I would figure it out and it was ok if it hurt a little. I felt like I was being shamed, so I just kept going as I had since day one. Every time I nursed him, my toes would curl from the pain. Just as I was ready to throw in the towel, my own voice came at me from my husband reminding me that I had told him not to let me give up and he suggested I call the lactation consultant that had spoken with us all those months before. He was right. I had had enough of people telling me it was natural and that this is what it was supposed to be like. So I picked up the phone and asked her to come over to help. 

2 months old

Within a few short minutes of the lactation consultant arriving to my house, she had taken to nipple shield and told me that I was never to use it again! She was in my home for less than 30 minutes and told me that I was holding him the wrong way while nursing, which was making it difficult for him to latch. She also shared with me, that the nipple shield was making Jonah a lazy nurser. He didn’t need to latch correctly because the shield was making it easy for him. Once she showed me how to get him to latch correctly, I could immediately feel a difference. There was no toe curling, no wincing, just nursing.

I was finally able to look at him while I nursed instead of closing my eyes in pain with each latch. She had changed my life and his in that moment and then supported me if I slipped into old habits over the next few weeks. She made me feel successful and changed my entire nursing experience. For that, I am eternally grateful. I continued to nurse Jonah for an additional 16 months after that and only stopped because I no longer had enough milk for him… he was a hungry growing boy and I was sad when it ended, but grateful for everyday I nursed him.

When I had my daughter, I made sure to prepare myself for what nursing would be like with her. I had always wished that I prepared myself better before Jonah was born, so this time around I read the Honest Feeding Page to learn more about feeding options. I told myself that I would call for help right away if I needed it. The first thing I said when I went into labor was that I wanted to do skin-to-skin with my baby right after birth, but that I would nurse her later to ensure I was in the right environment with the right people there to ensure her first latch was correct. That was the best decision I ever made and I believe made a huge difference. I was able to breastfeed her right from the beginning and did so until she was 18 months old, as well. 

I exclusively breastfed both of my kids and wouldn’t change it for the world, other than eliminating those first few months of pain! My advice to new moms would be to trust your instincts and don’t let others put you down. I wish that I had trusted my mom-gut that wanted to ask for help earlier than I did, because in the end, your mom instincts are always right!

What’s your breastfeeding story?
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It feels like just yesterday that I was having my first child. I listened to everything everyone told me — within reason — when I was a first time mom and one of the tips I remember most was to switch my baby’s position in the bassinet after each feed. And, I took this advice very seriously.

Preventing Flat Head

I would put Jonah to sleep with his head on one side of the bassinet and then, after the first feed, I put his head at the other side of the bassinet, and all night long I would continue switching! I also always made sure to take him out of the car seat whenever he was awake so that he wasn’t in the same position for too long. I knew that all of this was important to prevent plagiocephaly, also know as flat head syndrome, and it appeared that what I was doing was working. I never had concerns about the shape of his head. 

When Addison came along, I figured if I did the same things all would be good! Well, as is true for everything else in parenting, doing the same thing I did for my first child and for my second child didn’t work as I thought it would! I flipped Addison in the middle of the night and I took her out of the car seat when she was awake, just like with Jonah. But, life with two was different and I didn’t have as much time to think about every move I made as I did with my first baby.

By the time Addison was a month-and-a-half old, I started to notice that the back of her head wasn’t looking as round as it should. I became a bit concerned about it, so I reached out for help. I spoke to Dr. Marla Shapiro who explained what plagiocephaly was. Simply put, this is when “the skull can be somewhat uneven or asymmetrical, often based on positioning.” She told me that it was important to make sure my baby’s head did not stay in the same position all of the time as a newborns bones are quite soft and thin. As I asked more questions, I was happy to learn that there would be no effect on the development of the brain and that as she gained improved head control, between the ages of 4 and 6 months, that the shape of her skull would begin to improve. 

How to Prevent Flat Head Syndrome in Babies

In the meantime, I knew I had to be proactive before it got worse. I began doing a bit of research and I found the Babymoov Lovenest. The Lovenest is an ergonomical headrest for a well-rounded head. Just like a little pillow, the Lovenest is soft and padded, making it comfortable to place behind Baby’s head. Its unique design guarantees an even distribution of pressure across Baby’s skull, thereby preventing the risk of flat head. While it is not recommend to place in your baby’s crib, I placed the Lovenest behind her head when she was in the car seat, in the stroller, on the playmate and really anywhere else she was stationary. Without the Lovenest, all of the weight rested on the back of her head, changing the shape of her head. 

From that point on, I used the Lovenest until Addison was old enough to hold up her own head and I no longer had to worry about the pressure weighing on the back of her head. Until that time came, knowing that I was doing everything I could by using the Lovenest and keeping her off the back of head as often as possible, gave me the peace of mind that I was doing everything right. My advice to any new mom would be to use the Lovenest, right from birth! 

The Babymoov Lovenest is available on Amazon.

Win a Babymoov Lovenest on Instagram

You can win a Babymoov Lovenest for you and a friend on the Savvy Sassy Moms Instagram account! Five winners and the friend they tag will win.

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The leaves are falling and, before we know it, winter will be here and we’ll be spending much more time indoors. We have been making sure that we spend as much time outside as possible lately, knowing that winter is on its way. Even on those colder fall days we have been throwing on a scarf and mittens and heading deep into the ravine by our house to see nature at its finest. While, in theory, it sounds wonderful, I always remind myself that I need to have realistic expectations of my kids when we’re exploring outside. Typically, taking a walk in the beautiful fall weather isn’t enough, on its own, to get them excited. Are your kids the same?

Driving with Hello Kitty Car

Outside adventures made exciting with the Hello Kitty car

Thanks to the Dynacraft Hello Kitty 6V Car, our outdoor excursions have become much more enjoyable for the kids (and for us, too!). While I had no doubt that this car would be amazing for the kids, I was worried about what would be involved in the assembly. I am overjoyed to say that it was simple to put together — in just a few snaps and clicks, the car was fully assembled!

Once assembled, we were ready for our outside time.  As we followed the path into the heart of the ravine, heads were turning all around us. The car itself is shaped like Hello Kitty, which had the girls’ heads turning. And the fact that it is a powered car had the boys drooling.

Addison is always concerned about safety, but while safety is towards top of the list, it still doesn’t exceed fashion, which is why she chose a Hello Kitty Bell Helmet to match her ride. When she climbs into the car, she knows she can’t go anywhere until her seat belt is clipped and secure!

Hello Kitty Car Review

Say hello to these cool features

The features of the car are unlike any other ride-on we have tried before. With just the touch of the pedal, the car drives at 2.5 mph and rides easily both up and down hill. The Hello Kitty steering wheel and horn let her tell others she is coming by as she drives — a feature everyone who was walking nearby appreciated!

Her favorite feature, by far, is the mp3-input and loud speakers that play her favorite songs from my smartphone. Since I keep all of her music on my phone, she gets the same musical entertainment in her car and in mine! Not only does the Hello Kitty car play music when you plug in your smartphone, but with the flip of a switch, Hello Kitty’s bow lights up, too.

Driving the Hello Kitty 6V Car

All in the details

The detailing on the car — from the speedometer to the Hello Kitty bows — make the car every child’s dream. The Hello Kitty 6V Car drives both forwards and backwards, making it easy for kids to maneuver, and it has a park switch for when it’s not in use. When she’s not riding it, it serves as the perfect place to sit while watching the neighbors play on the street… any excuse to be close to Hello Kitty is good enough for her! We are all looking forward to many years of Hello Kitty driving ahead of us. 

With the holidays right around the corner, the Hello Kitty Car will make your little ones smile from ear to ear. The Dynacraft Hello Kitty 6V Car ($300) is available at Walmart. Stay tuned for a chance to win one in our Holiday 2016 Guide! 

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Fall is my absolute favorite season to shop for. I personally own more boots than any person should and I love to layer more than anything else. When it comes to shopping for my kids, I feel the same way about fall. I can’t wait to pull out our cute affordable fall fashion finds — from leather coats to boots to flannel. Luckily, I get to shop for both a girl and a boy so the fun goes on and on! 

Affordable Fall Fashion for Girls

Affordable fall fashion for girls

There is nothing cuter than casual fall dress with tights and cute runners… especially in fall. When I shop for my kids, I always buy affordable clothes because before you know it, they have grown out of everything you’ve just bought! My best tip is to always buy bigger. I like to roll up the sleeves on a sweatshirt or a denim shirt so that it will last longer — there is nothing I hate more than when my kids tops are too short!

I love this Denim Shirt Dress (H&M, $18), which is also available in a version that is cream with hearts. On those cooler days, pair it with fun patterned tights (H&M, $13 for a 2-pack). Changing the tights can create a whole look for have fun with. If your little girl is anything like mine, shoes are the way to her heart! These Moccasin Fringe Sneakers (Gap, $50) are everything. Before committing to a winter jacket, buy a lightweight jacket like the Light Warm Padded Parka (Uniqlo, $40). It’s perfect for both fall and spring weather and is extra-thin for the car seat. Don’t forget to accessorize on those colder fall days with a cozy Cable Knit Headband (Spring, $10) and some sweet Cable Knit Mittens (Gap, $20).

If you’re looking for an edgier look, you’ll want to go with layers. Start with a Denim Shirt (Joe Fresh, $20) and layer it with a sweater. The subtle detailing on this Beaded Sweater (Joe Fresh, $26) is beautiful. For the pants, I love pairing so many fall looks with jeggings — for both her and me — and the 1969 High-Stretch Skinny Jeans (Gap, $35) are a favorite. Top it off with a Quilted Moto Jacket (Target, $22),  Hunter Boots (Nordstrom, $85) and this adorable Pom Pom Beanie (Gap, $25) and she’s set!

Affordable Fall Fashion Picks for Boys

Affordable fall fashion for boys

The casual look of Reinforced Jeans (H&M, $35) with a Printed Hooded Sweatshirt (H&M, $20) goes a long way for both a school and the weekend. Add a hint of superhero and you’re all set for a look that he’ll love. I’ve been doing my best to add in the superheroes in a subtle way, which isn’t always easy. The Junk Food Batman Puffer Jacket (Gap, $88) pleases both me and him and the matching Printed Jersey Hat (H&M, $7) gives him the obvious superhero look he is going for. I can’t help but love these Skull Gloves (H&M, $6) that add a bit of rough look. I love a cool pair of shoes, just as does he (it must run in the family), and the color blocking in the Converse High-Street Sneakers (Nordstrom, $35) are perfect for this look.

Step it up a notch with a Disney Collection Flannel Shirt (Uniqlo, $15) and Khaki Joggers (Old Navy, $23). I love these joggers — they are as comfy as anything else he loves to wear, but they look like they are a big step up from sweatpants. Since they are a jogging pant, pair them with a pair of retro-style New Balance Sneakers (Nordstrom, $70) and let him run wild. This look is paired with a Faux-Fur Hooded Jacket (Old Navy, $45) and a Dino Fold-Over Beanie (Gap, $25), because every boy loves dinos!

What will you buy first for fall?
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This post is sponsored by Ergo for BabyCenter.

There is nothing sweeter than having a baby. Once your newborn has arrived, you tell yourself that you are never going to put her down and you take in every breath of your new baby, loving her scent and having her so close to you. But as they days and weeks go on, you begin to think about what you’re missing… your arms! They used to be able to do so much and with a new baby, you need them back more than ever to do all the laundry, make meals and everything in between!

A few short weeks after my son was born, I knew that it was time to investigate carriers. At the beginning, I just wanted to write some thank you cards while he slept on me. I didn’t want to lose having him so close to me all the time because I knew that I would blink and he wouldn’t be a baby anymore. Finding a carrier that didn’t leave me recovering with back pain for days after wearing it was a challenge… until I tried on an Ergo carrier.

I quickly fell in love with the Ergo360 and have never turned back. I am not the kind of person who likes to stay home — I am always on the go and having two kids has made me even busier. What started as a sweet boy who wanted to be held all the time, turned into a sweet busy boy who wanted to be in the middle of the action (just like his mom) and be on my hip all the time. Now he has a sister who is exactly the same! We love to travel and my separation anxiety is worse than the kids, so I like to bring them with me! Here are some of my favorite places to wear my Ergo.

Ergo-Plane

In the air

A screaming baby on a plane is no fun for anyone. Some babies hate the airplane, while others love it. Both of my kids loved being in the Ergo on the plane. I always try to book my travel around nap times because, let’s be honest, the more time you knock out on the plane by sleeping, the better!  Before I get on the plane, I put my daughter in the carrier in the front-inward carry and before I know it she is out like a light, making the boarding process easy. The support of the carrier ensures that my back is supported and that she is support as well so that we are both as comfortable as can be. Not to mention, there are times when I have traveled alone with one or both kids. Travelling alone, with a stroller, luggage, diaper bag, toys, car seat — you get the picture — is no easy feat! Less is more, and I need my hands, so the Ergo is a must.

Of course, the Ergo is not approved for use during take-off and landing, so make sure you are getting your sleepy little ones out of their carriers during those times to be as safe as possible when you travel.

Ergo-Land

On the land

From Florida to Arizona to Boston or to Mexico, wherever my travels take me, my daughter is right there with me getting the best view around! Instead of pushing her in the stroller, both she and I like it when she is worn in the front-outward carry to take it all in. One of my favorite places to wear her is on a beach in the hot sand. Walking with her with the sun on my face and the smell of the ocean is a feeling to cherish forever!

Ergo-Water

On the water

I look forward to summer trips to the cottage country every year. Parking the car and travelling by boat gives you that feeling of being detached from the rest of the world for a bit! While I love the wind blowing my hair all over the place, I always make sure Addison is comfortable and snug in the carrier at we board the boat. I put the hood up to keep her head in place and protect her from sun and blowing wind.

Ergo-Everywhere

EVERYWHERE

Wherever life takes us, my carrier is just a reach away. Whether it be to the mall, apple picking in the fall, walks through the ravine in the winter or to an amusement park in the summer, one of my kids are bound to be in the carrier! As they get bigger, I wear them in the hip carry just as I would without the carrier.

Where do you baby wear?

This post is sponsored by Ergo in partnership with BabyCenter. All opinions are my own.

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Minecraft
Play Minecraft in a movie theater with Super League

If this isn’t your Minecraft-obsessed kid’s dream come true, we don’t know what is!

Super League Gaming is returning to a theater near you! The world’s first in-theater recreational video game league allows gamers of all ages to play Minecraft with all of the action broadcast on the big screen. It’s a fun, social, and in-person experience unlike any other.

From September 20 to October 1, gamers can take part in Minecraft Adventure. Every Tuesday and Saturday of the week, participants will explore custom built worlds and play a variety of games in Super League’s one-of-a-kind Minecraft mods. Each event will feature its own theme, ranging from superheroes to outer space.

Super League events empower gamers to use their creativity and imagination, fostering sociability and team-building as they play on teams of 4-7 members. While all of the games are rooted in having fun, they’re also designed to help gamers develop reading, organization, and S.T.E.M. skills.

Tickets cost $20 — come to one event, or come for them all! Parents, friends, and family can attend for free and are encouraged to cheer the gamers on.

Use promotion code SAVVYSASSY5 to save 25% on your ticket purchase!

For a full list of locations and to buy tickets, visit superleague.com.

Find a Los Angeles location nearest to you

Cinemark Playa Vista and XD, 12746 W. Jefferson Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90094

iPic Westwood, 10840 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90024

Century Huntington Beach and XD, 7777 Bella Terra, Huntington Beach, CA 92647

iPic Pasadena, 42 Miller Alley, Pasadena, CA 91103

This post is sponsored by Super League. All opinions are our own.

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First Day of School Photo Ideas
No matter what grade your child is entering, the first day of school is a big deal. If your friends are like ours, your social media channels will be full of first day of school photos. We have put together some idea to document the first day of school in new and unique ways to make you stand out from the crowd! Depending on what grade your child is in, you can begin taking the same first day of school photo every year. Whether it be on your front lawn beside a big tree, on your front steps, or standing in front of the school, it’s fun to see the same photo every year in the same place!

DIY frames

Each year in my house, I engage in a little DIY by making photo frames for back to school. While he has clearly grown from year to year, I like the idea of a special photo that states what class he’s are going into. I also like that the frame is the same size each year, so it gives you an idea of how much they have grown. This year, I will be making a new kindergarten one for Jonah and Addison will get to use the pre-nursery sign.

To create this frame, I used a simple wood frame, scrapbooking paper, and wood letters, but there are so many ways to customize these frames to make them your own. You can make them out of Bristol board, bulletin borders from a teacher resource store, and even construction paper. The possibilities are endless!

First Day of School Chalkboard Sign

Chalk it up

Pick up some chalk and go wild! Write your child’s grade on the sidewalk or your driveway and encourage them to help to make it a special and memorable tradition, which will make it more exciting for them when you take their picture. They can look back at it and remember the experience and creating their back to school photo backdrop with you! If you have a chalkboard at home, write some school days information down on a chalkboard and take a picture of your child sitting next to it. Include them in the fun by having them write their name or grade themselves… it will be fun to see how their handwriting changes over the years.

Back to School Bio Boards

Plan ahead to go custom

Bio Boards are the perfect way document any milestone. At Addison’s baby naming, I displayed a bio board From Baby Bio Boards with all of her birth information including her weight, length, and time of birth. This year, I am using them to document her first day back to school! Bio Boards are completely customizable you so you can include any information you want to make their first day of school photos special. Make them fun by adding in what they want to be when they grow up or what their favorite song is. The more specific, the more fun they will be to look at years from now!

First Day of Kindergarten Photos

A special side for each kid

If you were part of our #SavvySassySchoolDays Twitter Party, then you know how much we love the Little Partners Tri-Side Learn and Play Art Center. Not only do we love it for playtime, but it inspired us to create some fun first day of school pictures. With three different sides, you can create multiple photo backgrounds for multiple kids — use a different side of the easel for each photo — paint a sign with your child, write it on the chalk board, or use magnetic letters it spell it out. Your child can grow with the easel and each side can be adjusted individually so children of different heights can use it at the same time. And, the best part? You can use it year after year to announce their return to school!

First Day of School Balloons

Say it with a pop!

Keep it simple yet fun with a balloon for first day of school pictures. This idea is especially great for your littlest ones, since holding a balloon in their hand will keep them distracted long enough to get a few photographs before they are over it and ready to move on. Add letters or numbers to a helium-filled balloon is quite easy… just make sure you blow up the balloon first!

Back to School cards

Make the memories last

Once you’ve taken all of the photos you desire to document that first day of school, what do you do with them? Do you post one on social media and then upload the rest to your computer? That’s typically the routine around here! They sit on my computer until they make it into a photo book months later (if I’m lucky).

This year, I made back-to-school cards with Mpix and sent them to all of our family and friends. Not only do they have a picture of my kids on them, but you can add in all of the additional information such as their school, grade, and teachers name. With so many options to choose from, I found myself creating cards for both of my kids both together and separately as well as one with my daughter and her best friend! Mpix offers cards for all occasions, as well as photobooks and photo gifts, making it easy to make use of all of your pictures!

How will you document your child’s first day of school?
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We have been all about back-to-school over here at Savvy Sassy Moms and how could we not be with so many kids to get ready? Starting the year off right is best for everyone involved. So while summer isn’t over yet, we can’t help but start to prepare for what’s ahead.

As a teacher myself, I know how essential it is to have the right back-to-school gear. I remember when Jonah was just 18-months-old, he picked up his Skip Hop backpack for the first time and put it on. The look on his face was priceless. You could see the pride in his eyes and the smile on his face. He instantly felt like a big boy! Carrying his own backpack gave him a sense of control and ownership over his belongings and since then, he has chosen each one of his backpacks.

Riggs Raccoon Skip Hop

Meet all the Skip Hop back-to-school friends

Skip Hop’s Zoo Collection is popular line — one that has been around in my house almost since the day Jonah was born, over four years ago! We have welcomed many of the Zoo Collection Backpacks into our life including the Marshall Monkey, Dakota Dinosaur, Livie Ladybug and Floyd Frog. Every child has a favorite animal and if they don’t, after seeing all of the animals available, there is no doubt that one will call their name. After all, there are 25 animal friends to choose from! This year, SkipHop has added four new friends to the crew: Cody Chameleon, Riggs Raccoon, Peyton Pig and Brett Bunny!

Skip Hop Back To School

Tips for prepping for back-to-school

My two little ones will both be starting at new schools this year. With new schools come new transitions, and with new transitions comes excitement… and some anxiety. As both a teacher and a mom, I find that one of the best ways to ease the anxiety and prepare for a smooth transition is to include your child in preparing for what’s to come. Here are some tips for preparing for back-to-school:

  1. Talk to your child about the school year beginning. Share with them any information you have, such as their teacher’s name, which friends will be in their class, and some of the fun activities that they will get to do at school.
  2. Encourage them to voice any concerns they may have so that you can try and tackle them ahead of time.
  3. Read a variety of books about starting school to help with the transition.
  4. If you have little ones entering preschool or kindergarten, make a little photo book with them of pictures of everyone in the family that they can keep in their backpack.
  5. Include your child in their back-to-school shopping, from their first day of school outfits to their backpack.
  6. Come up with fun lunch ideas with your kids before school starts and then include them in their own lunch preparation.
From home to school and back again

No matter what grade and stage your kids are in, they will be coming home from school with activities and work to share with you. They work hard all day long and take pride in their work, so you must make sure that you are sending your child to school with a backpack that can hold all their work, but not be too big and heavy for them to carry. Skip Hop backpacks are the perfect size for your preschoolers to carry! The adjustable pocket on the side is perfect for their matching straw bottles to ensure easy access. Keep important notes for the teacher or anything else you need to access quickly in the front zipper compartment. To avoid losing their belongings, write your child’s name on their backpacks in the space provided.

Riggs Raccoon and Eureka Unicorn Skip Hop Zoo Collection

If you child is a lover of all animals, welcome another zoo friend into their school day with a Skip Hop Lunchie and Straw Bottle. If they like to commit, like mine does, keep the theme the same and bring the whole animal family to school! But if your child can’t decide which animal to love, mix-and-match their Zoo Collection style.

The Skip Hop Zoo Lunchies have lots of room for their favorite main course and snacks. The insulated bag keeps their food and drinks cold — there is one large compartment that is big enough for main course, snack and drink. The interior mesh pocket is the perfect place to put their cutlery, napkin, and even a note to make your little ones smile! If their Zoo Backpack is full on the way to school, use the top handle clip to attach it to the outside instead of their backpack instead. We can’t help but love the write-on name tag that inside the lunch and zoo pack… they really thought of everything!

Skip Hop Zoo Collection

Learning independence, one school day at a time

As both of my kids start school, I am teaching them to become independent. We are all guilty of putting on our children’s coats and shoes to hurry them out the door, but it is important to give them time to dress themselves so that they are independent when we aren’t at school to help them. Zipping zippers is no easy task for their small little fingers, which is why I love the tags attached to the zippers on the Zoo Packs and Lunchies. The big tags are perfect for their little hands and help them get the grip to zip and unzip their zippers independently. This gives me peace of mind that while they are at the snack table during those first few weeks of school, they will be able to open their lunch boxes on their own.

The straw bottles are easy to flip open and closed to ensure they stay clean. The Velcro hand grab-strap attaches to anything or can be kept in the side pocket of the Zoo Pack so they have easy access to it at all times. Throw it in the dishwasher at the end of the day so it’s ready to go the next morning. Mom tip: Before school starts, show them how to open and close the bottles and they will be good to go. With the cute zoo character on their straw bottle, they won’t want to put them down.

Back to school with Skip Hop

This year, my kids will be off to school with their favorite zoo friends, Riggs Raccoon and Eureka Unicorn. They both can’t wait to show them off to their friends, but until school begins, they will settle for showing their back-to-school gear off to the neighbors!

Enter the giveaway to win

Don’t forget to enter the Savvy Sassy School Days Giveaway for your chance to win over $1250 in prizes, including Skip Hop Raccoon and Unicorn Backpacks and Lunchie and Straw Bottle Sets ($80 value). See our original post for all the details.

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