Shopkick Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

September 15 marked the start of Hispanic Heritage Month, which lasts until October 15. Here at Shopkick, we are proud to celebrate our employees and partners across diverse backgrounds and foster an inclusive culture both internally and within our app for our Shopkick Community. We are invested in learning about different cultures, as this is what makes each of us unique. We are thrilled to share some stories from our team members, Shopkick community, and partners on their favorite Hispanic traditions, foods, brands, and more!


Question: What is your favorite Hispanic food or dish that you made with your family growing up?

Sam Alvarez (Marketing Associate): My favorite Cuban dish is arroz con bistec (rice with steak). Cuban steak is very thin and marinated with garlic and topped with onions. My Abuelo was a chef from Cuba so having any of his dishes was delicious and authentic!

Stella Araya-Weil (Senior Account Director): Adobo! Adobo is actually the national dish of the Philippines with Spanish roots coming from the word adobar, meaning marinade, sauce or seasoning. The dish is either pork or chicken (or both!) and it is marinated in soy sauce and vinegar. The history of the dish goes back to Spain and Portugal, as the Spaniards occupied the PI Islands for 300 years.

Kimberly Ruiz Beck (Chairman, Ruiz Foods): My Grandmother Rosie was an amazing cook and as kids, we loved any time we knew we were going to her house, especially when she was preparing a meal.   She could tell what a dish needed just by taking a small taste. “Add a pinch of cumin,” she would say.  And she’d be right. It was fun to be side-by-side with her in the kitchen, learning as much as I could.

Her enchiladas, tamales, chile rellenos … and so much more … were such family and friend favorites that her recipes became the flavor profiles for our El Monterey frozen Mexican food line. Grandma Rosie believed in quality and great taste, a commitment my father, Fred, and his father, Louis, embraced when they formed Ruiz Foods. I am proud to say it is a commitment we have also made as we continue the tradition of offering our consumer a wide variety of Mexican food products.

Araceli Castaneda (Senior Marketing Associate): Making tamales with my family growing up will forever be one of my favorite foods. While these can be exhausting to make, especially when cooking for the whole family, I’ve always enjoyed helping my mom and aunts in the kitchen. Plus, I get to learn the recipe that I can continue to pass on!

Eric Batista (Shopkick Community Member): Hands down picadillo. It’s such a simple meal, but with a ton of flavor. This was the go-to for big family get-togethers growing up and brings back such great memories.


Question: What is your favorite Hispanic tradition or activities?

Sam: Making cascarones. These are similar to Easter eggs, but we decorate the outside of the eggs and fill them with confetti. It is a tradition to “crack” the confetti eggs on each other’s heads during Easter egg hunts.

Stella: Celebrating Dia de los Muertos, Day of the Dead – a Mexican custom after Halloween that is celebrated November 1-2. Ornate costumes with makeup are worn, and families gather and decorate gravesites to commemorate loved ones who have passed on. It is a day of festivities and remembrance and honoring those who have passed. Every few years we try to celebrate the Holiday in Mexico as a family – coincidentally my daughter was born on November 1 so there are so many reasons to celebrate.

Kimberly: There’s nothing better than family gatherings. When I was young, it was always my favorite time to get together with my siblings and the rest of the family.

Now that we are all grown with families of our own, our gatherings may not be as frequent, but when we get together it can seem what I like to call ‘controlled chaos’. With four generations, family gatherings can be quite large but when my children’s grandmother says it’s time to eat, the chaos magically quiets and everyone sits down in anticipation of her chile verde, enchiladas, or mole.

It’s the getting together over great food, sharing, laughing, and catching up on what everyone is doing that is the most enjoyable and memorable.

Araceli: My favorite tradition continues to be celebrating Noche Buena aka Christmas Eve with my family. We all gather to enjoy delicious foods, play games, dance (or sing karaoke) and open our gifts at midnight.

Eric: If we’re talking holidays, definitely New Year’s, my family roasts’ a whole pig – a common tradition in Cuba – and we all gather for a full day of celebrating, eating, and a few too many cocktails (if there is such a thing ). Though the majority of my family now lives in the US, we love to keep a lot of our Cuban Heritage traditions going, especially those that involve family and food.


Question: Is there anything you would want others to know about Hispanic Heritage Month?

Sam: A lot of people are confused about why Hispanic Heritage Month starts on September 15 and ends on October 15! It’s because many countries celebrate Independence Day on September 15 – 16 and Mexico celebrates Race Day on October 12!

Stella: I am originally from the Philippines, which culturally is a combination of Asian + Hispanic influences. I love and support Hispanic Heritage month as an ally and homage to my Spanish background… my maiden name is Araya and my mother’s maiden name is Espinosa – both my mother and father’s sides have Spanish ancestors.

Kimberly: For me, Hispanic Heritage month is a reminder of what my Grandparents experienced when they were growing up. They were born in Mexico, emigrated to America, and believed if they worked hard and remain dedicated, they could see their American Dream come true. In 1964, my dad and grandfather did just that when they co-founded Ruiz Foods. Over 50 years later, we employ over 4,000 Team Members in five manufacturing facilities in the United States. We remain committed to provide our consumer with great tasting food and I am proud to say our El Monterey frozen Mexican food is #1 in the marketplace.

Araceli: Hispanic Heritage Month gives everyone the opportunity to celebrate the importance of Hispanic and Latinx cultural and leadership contributions to communities throughout the United States.

Eric: Hispanic Heritage Month is such an amazing time to share with others about Hispanic culture and history. I love the teaching aspect of the month – if you are ever unsure why we celebrate, just ask, I can’t speak for everyone, but I know for me, my family and friends, love using Hispanic Heritage Month as a moment to teach others and spread the knowledge.


Question: What is your dream Hispanic brand to be featured in-app?

Sam: Jumex! They have lots of juices that I drank growing up as a kid! My favorite is Mango.

Stella: It would be a dream to have Hispanic destinations/countries/states with high Hispanic population featured in the app. As far as brands are concerned, I think our shoppers would also love cerveza, chips and salsa brands!

Araceli: My dream Hispanic brand to be featured in-app would have to be Jarritos. The fruit-flavored sodas from Mexico pair great with any dish, especially tacos!

Eric: Café Bustelo! It’s our go-to k-cup brand of coffee. My mom might think I’m crazy for choosing Café Bustelo in the morning over traditional Cuban Coffee, but it packs a punch. Bring them in the app, please.


We are so proud to have a diverse group of employees, users, and partners here at Shopkick. We celebrate all cultures and differences, and we are thrilled to be celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month! The Shopkick app has been a great place to showcase and celebrate Latinx brands and foods like Siete Foods, El Monterey, Tyson tortillas, Ulta Beauty’s Latin-founded brands, Walmart’s Hispanic-focused books, and many more. No matter your tradition or heritage, at Shopkick, we celebrate your authentic background and look forward to many more celebrations.


Celebration of Pride

On Thursday, June 9th Shopkick attended the Brand Innovators Pride & Inclusivity Summit hosted by LVMH luxury brands and The Bar, an LVMH Employee Resource Group (ERG) with members who self-identify as part of the queer community along with allies. The ERG meets regularly to promote awareness, empowerment, and career advancement. As part of their support, The Bar will march together in the upcoming NYC Pride parade this Sunday. 

The summit audience was inspired by dozens of companies including Clarks, Dove, and the event hosts, LVMH, sharing how they are promoting inclusivity and awareness in their organizations. After having the privilege of attending the event, we wanted to document a few of our key takeaways. 

Reach Out

For Tara McRae, Clarks CMO, inclusivity is about community outreach. The moderator posed the question, “how does a 200+-year-old shoe brand founded in the UK maintain relevancy?” Clarks weighed in that they remain fresh and relevant with several initiatives, spotlighting their ambassador program. Recently, Clarks held a contest where the winning shoe design was produced and sold to key retailers. Clarks also hosts a mentor/mentee program where both parties support each other and share their own extensive knowledge regarding inclusivity.  

In a separate conversation, Esther Whalte Cisneros of the Estee Lauder Company shared the advice: “Start small.” “Our products must look like our consumers, so we started with our skin tones.” ELC also added initiatives such as recruiting at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s). 

Tune In

Revry is a streaming network that highlights LGBTQ-first TV. Paul Kontonis, Chief Marketing Officer, shared that Revry is a “free, queer TV that you just might lean into more than just during the month of June! Marketers like Lexus and McDonalds share their messages all year long.” On Revry, you’ll find movies, series, and live TV. You can tune in on Roku, AppleTV, DirectTV, Samsung, and more! 

End Hair Discrimination 

Studies found that some children as young as 5 years old have experienced negative comments and discrimination about their hair. Erin Goldson, brand manager at Unilever and Dove Hair, is helping to change lives by promoting legislation (the CROWN Act Petition) on the state level with 500,000 signatures. Help make a change for our children by signing the CROWN act petition here.  

Shopkick Pride Month 2022

To continue standing as members and allies of the LGBTQIA+ community, Shopkick and Trax launched the first Employee Resource Group, the LGBTQIA+ ERG! What month could be more fitting than June, the month we raise the rainbow flag up high and celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community for its historic accomplishments and collective efforts to continue to advocate for a more inclusive world. This year, to show support, banners were created, virtual meeting backdrops were implemented, company-wide guest speakers were invited, pride-related offers were in-app, and donations to LGBTQ+ organizations were made.  

Katrina Kibben, one of our guest speakers and CEO/founder of Three Ears Media, spoke about how to build belonging in the workplace, especially regarding the proper pronoun usage. A critical part of helping people thrive at work is creating a safe space to collaborate and connect. Building belonging at work starts with the employee experiences, taking small steps that lead to more inclusive communication, and taking notice of the gendered language that is intertwined into everyday speech. 

Creating a safe workspace also starts with understanding that pronouns mean something different to everyone. Pronouns are a special and unique way people identify how they feel in this world. To build an inclusive workplace, it’s important to understand what pronouns are and why they are important. If you want to learn more about building belonging in the workplace, check out Katrinas site here. 

For the pride-related in-app offers, Shopkick collaborated with brands and retailers like Ulta Beauty, QVC & HSN,, and Walmart for pride gift guides, apparel, and book lists. 

 Shopkick is also thrilled to announce we have donated to The Trevor Project in honor of Pride Month. The Trevor Project is an American nonprofit organization that focuses on suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and question youth. To donate or learn more about The Trevor Project, follow this link. 

By: Stella Araya-Weil 


Shopkick and Moburst Win Award for Most Effective Video Campaign

We’re excited to share that Shopkick’s TikTok campaign with Moburst, an award-winning mobile success agency, took the win for “Most Effective Video Campaign” at this year’s Mobile Marketing Magazine Awards!

The Mobile Marketing Magazine Awards celebrate the accomplishments of digital marketing teams across the world that are making an impact through the power of mobile. 

During the pandemic, Moburst and Shopkick worked together to accelerate Shopkick’s mission to make everyday shopping fun, rewarding, and meaningful. When the launch of our first TikTok awareness campaign didn’t resonate the way we’d hoped, the team quickly pivoted to create more authentic and informative content, rather than traditional ads that mobile users often scroll past. This new strategy was a major success and helped us share just how fun and easy Shopkicking can be with consumers across the country!

Thank you and congrats to our partners at Moburst – we look forward to exploring new opportunities together and creating awesome content for Shopkickers everywhere!

Shopkick and Moburst Win Award for Most Effective Video Campaign

We’re excited to share that Shopkick’s TikTok campaign with Moburst, an award-winning mobile success agency, took the win for “Most Effective Video Campaign” at this year’s Mobile Marketing Magazine Awards.

The Mobile Marketing Magazine Awards celebrate the accomplishments of digital marketing teams across the world that are making an impact through the power of mobile. Winners are selected by independent, global, and North American juries of renowned senior mobile marketers.

During the pandemic, Moburst and Shopkick worked together to push for mobile growth and accelerate Shopkick’s mission to drive meaningful digital engagement. When the launch of our first TikTok user acquisition campaign didn’t resonate the way we’d hoped, the team quickly pivoted to create more authentic content, rather than traditional ads that often oversaturate the mobile space. This new strategy successfully boosted engagement and retention while also unlocking a highly-coveted new generation of users.

Thank you and congrats to our partners at Moburst – it’s an exciting time in the digital world and we look forward to exploring new mobile opportunities together!

5 Simple Ways to Celebrate Mother’s Day

We love moms, grandmas, aunts, cousins, girlfriends, and chosen moms! So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that we cannot wait to celebrate Mother’s Day in less than two weeks on Sunday, May 9. This year, we’re imagining many more (safe) gatherings and time spent together after a year mostly spent apart. And, we think you might feel the same way. This year, more than ever, we want your favorite gal to feel loved and celebrated. Below, you’ll find five easy ways to spread the Mother’s Day love!

Get Cooking:

Whether mom typically creates meals in the kitchen or she’s a foodie at heart, think about cooking breakfast, lunch, and dinner for her! For breakfast, we’re eying a little something indulgent, like this French toast casserole. For lunch, why not make one of these savory toast recipes? Once dinner rolls around, think about whipping up a family-style favorite, like burgers, taco, or pizza.

Frame Kids’ Art:

Kids are only little once, and we have a feeling mom has a favorite piece of art made by the littles she adores! So, frame it! You can purchase a frame at Target or Walmart, opt for custom framing at a craft store, like Michaels, or send off the piece to become an heirloom with Framebridge. For an added surprise, create a new art piece for mom. Anything with hand or footprints is always a great idea!

Create an At-Home Retreat:

Moms love family time, but sometimes they crave a little time and space away from the chaos. So, create an at-home retreat that encourages mom to step away to read a book or magazine, indulge in a bubble bath, sip on wine or coffee, or catch up with a friend. She’ll come back feeling refreshed and grateful!

Pick Flowers:

Rather than picking up flowers from the grocery store or a florist, think about visiting a you-pick farm and cutting your own flowers for mom. This would be a great outdoor activity for a warm spring day. Plus, you’ll likely capture a few great shots for Instagram too! Quality family time + flowers? It sounds ideal to us!

Send Her to the Spa:

Similar to our suggestion to create an at-home retreat for mom, present her with a gift card to visit a spa or nail salon on Mother’s Day. Many of us have missed our pampering sessions throughout the past year, and Mother’s Day is a great day to resume self-care.

How are you planning to celebrate Mother’s Day? Let us know on Facebook!

Graduation Crafts for Kids of All Ages

Happy Graduation, Shopkickers!

With an introduction like that, we think you likely have a great idea about Mrs. Lamb’s topic from today’s Facebook Live. Yes, graduation! But, rather than simply talking about what it’s like to graduate from preschool, kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, high school, college, or even graduate school and beyond, Mrs. Lamb chose to share unique and fun crafts you or you and your graduate can make together. Below are all of her suggestions!

Graduation Lollipop Craft:

This craft is fun and simple! Mrs. Lamb also shared a great idea if you’re celebrating a high school graduate – make a lollipop for each year they spent in school, then present all of the lollipops together in a bouquet.

You will need:

  • Rainbow Lollipop
  • School Picture
  • Graduation Cap Sticker (or DIY)

How to make:

  1. If necessary, cut the photo down so it can fit onto the front of the lollipop. It does help if you cut the photo into a circle.
  2. Glue the photo onto the lollipop wrapper. Mrs. Lamb used a glue stick.
  3. Add a graduation cap to the top of your graduate’s head in the photo.
  4. Enjoy!

Graduation Label the Graduate Craft:

As Mrs. Lamb notes, this craft is perfect for kindergarten graduates. They will be able to color their graduate, and they will also practice cutting and pasting. They’re all great fine motor skills for young learners!

You will need:

  • This PDF
  • Markers, Crayons, or Colored Pencils
  • Scissors
  • Glue Stick

How to make:

  1. Print out the PDF.
  2. Ask your student to color it in.
  3. Ask your student to cut out the labels.
  4. Match each label to the correct item, and glue it on.
  5. Hang up your graduate’s art!

Graduation Make a Graduate Craft:

This craft will allow your graduate to create a self-portrait. It’s a wonderful choice for a preschool or kindergarten graduate if you would like to help your student. We also think it’s perfect for older kids who have fine tuned their skills, especially a high school or college student who is majoring in art.

You will need:

  • Computer, Sketch, or Construction Paper
  • Pencil, Markers, Crayons, and/or Colored Pencils
  • Lined Paper
  • Glue

How to make:

  1. Create a self-portrait on a piece of sketch or construction paper.
  2. Add a cap! Mrs. Lamb created the one in her son’s piece by cutting out a black square from construction paper and adding a tassel she made with thread.
  3. Ask your student to describe their favorite thing they learned and why they enjoyed school.
  4. Enjoy your graduate’s art!

Graduation Smarties Craft:

Smarties are fun and delicious, and they are also sold as oversized candy, which means they look like a diploma! If you’re celebrating a graduate who is getting ready to leave for college, this would be a wonderful way to present them with cash in a creative fashion.

You will need:

  • Oversized Smarties – Mrs. Lamb found hers at Walmart.
  • Tassel
  • Tape
  • Cash

How to make:

  1. Wrap your bill around the Smarties. We found it’s best to tape it into place to make sure it stays put.
  2. Tie on a tassel.
  3. Present your graduate with candy and cash!

Graduation Memory Jar:

For students who are leaving for college (hopefully!) in the fall, Mrs. Lamb shared an excellent idea. Create a memory jar filled with pieces of paper that are either rolled up or folded. On each one, share things that will make your graduate smile, like quotes, drawings, song lyrics, short notes, and obviously memories you have shared with them.

You will need:

  • Paper
  • Pen, Pencil, or Marker
  • Mason Jar

How to make:

  1. Write your memories onto small sheets of paper.
  2. Roll up your completed sheets and add them to your jar.
  3. Seal and decorate the outside of the jar (if you want to!).
  4. Gift the jar to your graduate!

Graduation Water Bottle Craft:

We are all trying to stay hydrated, and a custom water bottle makes hydration more fun! Decorate a water bottle, and fill it with something that’s meaningful to them. Cash and quarters are definitely a welcome surprise for high school seniors heading to college!

You will need:

  • Water Bottle
  • Permanent Markers
  • Graduation Cap (feel free to make one or purchase a sticker!)
  • Interior Items (cash, change, candy, etc)

How to make:

  1. Decorate the exterior of the water bottle using permanent markers. Think about adding the graduate’s next school or their name onto the bottle!
  2. Drop anything you want to gift inside.
  3. Top with a graduation cap.
  4. Gift to your graduate!

To all who are graduating, we are celebrating with you! Stay tuned until next Thursday to watch Mrs. Lamb’s next segment on Facebook Live.

8 Ways to Celebrate Graduation While Quarantined

We have celebrated birthdays and even a few holidays as the quarantine continues throughout the United States. But, many of us have remained hopeful that students, especially high school and college seniors, would be able to return to school in time to finish their years surrounded by friends. Instead, graduations are being postponed or cancelled entirely. But, graduates should still celebrate and feel hopeful about their futures. To inspire your graduation festivities while in quarantine, we’ve come up with eight ideas below! This might not be the graduation you or your student had planned, but it will certainly be memorable for everyone.

1. Car Parade:

Although we cannot gather together, we can most certainly still celebrate. So, plan a car parade to surprise your graduate! Consider inviting family and friends, and ask them to decorate their cars. Ask your senior to wait outside, and enjoy as they see their own personal parade arriving car-by-car. The great perk of these parades is we’re able to see and shout a few words back and forth with our favorite people who many of us haven’t seen face-to-face in weeks.

2. Send Flowers:

Flowers are still able to be shipped and delivered, so think about sending a bouquet and a card with a note to your graduating senior. Everyone loves getting mail and packages, especially now! If you’re looking for a flower source, consider

3. Watch a Commencement Speech:

The great thing about YouTube is you can find just about any video online, so watch a commencement speech (or a complete series!) together. John Krasinski recently released an episode of Some Good News, his weekly show, in honor of graduating seniors, and well-known figures, like Steven Spielberg, Martha Stewart, Oprah Winfrey, and more shared plenty of inspiration.

4. Zoom Cocktail Hour:

If you know a student celebrating a college graduation, plan a Zoom cocktail party! Before the call, think about dropping off champagne on the graduate’s doorstep or having some shipped right to them. Then encourage everyone joining to sip their favorite drink while you catch up for an hour or more. A bonus would be if attendees shared a favorite memory of the graduate or offered their best advice. 

5. Ship a Gift:

Consider sending a high school or college graduate a gift they can enjoy now under quarantine or when they begin their next steps in their collegiate or professional career. Apple AirPods, a backpack that can transition into a briefcase, a gift card for Uber Eats, or any other tech are all great ideas that can be enjoyed now and later.

6. Yard Decorations & Signs:

We have seen houses in our communities decorated to celebrate birthdays, and the same companies are offering to decorate for graduations! Another option is to purchase a sign for your front yard or window to celebrate the college your student will attend or the school where they should have been graduating from. 

7. Share a Meal:

Many graduation parties are celebrated over lunch or dinner, so consider calling a restaurant you know the graduate loves and placing an order to surprise them with takeout. Another idea is to have dessert from a favorite bakery shipped or honor the place where the student plans to move next with food from that area. 

8. Capture Photos:

Although this might not be the graduation experience anyone expected, it should still be documented. Capture pictures of your family together, and encourage your student to put on their cap and gown. You can also search #PorchPhotographer or #PorchPortrait on social media in order to uncover local photographers who are capturing pictures for families on their porches or front lawns. It’s a fun way to have family photos taken while also ensuring everyone remains at a safe distance apart.

How are you celebrating graduation? Share your plans with us and our Shopkick community on Facebook!

4 Mother’s Day Crafts for Kids

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 10, so we are a little more than a week away from celebrating our favorite ladies. With that in mind, first grade teacher Mrs. Lamb was back on Facebook Live today to share four fun and sweet crafts your kids can make for any and all ladies who are impacting their lives. Let’s take a closer look at Mrs. Lamb’s ideas below! 

4 Mother’s Day Crafts for Kids:


Mrs. Lamb’s first suggestion is one of the easiest! Ask each of your kids a series of questions about each of their favorite ladies. You can either type their responses or ask them to write down their answers. Once the interview is complete, ask them to draw a portrait of the subject of their interview! Make sure to frame the final piece before mailing it or dropping it off on their favorite lady’s front porch.

I Wished for You Fingerprint Art:

This art project looks like a dandelion blowing in the wind, and kids will love adding their fingerprints. Mrs. Lamb said she and her kids dipped their thumbs in watercolor paint to create the piece they made, but any water based paint will do the trick. This is another craft you can easily frame and ship to a happy recipient. 

Simile Poem:

A simile poem is a great idea for older kids! Talk about similes. Then ask them to make comparisons. Your kids can also create patterns when coloring in the border, and they can also draw a portrait of their recipient. This is another piece you can frame and keep or drop into the mail.  

Heart Photo:

Mrs. Lamb’s final Mother’s Day craft suggestion is her favorite, and we love it too! Start by cutting hearts out of construction paper. Mrs. Lamb’s kids used red, but any color or a collection of colors will look wonderful. Once you have a group of hearts in various sizes, tape them onto your wall. You will want to place them slightly higher than your kids, and you will want them to start at a point and float either out or up. Finally, capture a photo of your kids “blowing” the hearts out of their hands. The result is a photo that looks like they’re making a loving wish for their favorite ladies. This is a great project to text or email to friends and family, or you can print the photo and send hard copies in the mail.

What will your kids make for their most-loved ladies in honor of Mother’s Day? Let us know! Make sure to watch the full Facebook Live, and tune in next week for more fun learning tips from Mrs. Lamb.

Four Kids Crafts for Earth Day

It’s Tuesday, which means we welcomed first grade teacher, Mrs. Lamb, back to Facebook Live! Mrs. Lamb shared one of her favorite holidays is tomorrow – Earth Day. And, she’s still planning to celebrate at home with her kids and over Zoom with her students. Below, we’re detailing the four simple crafts and experiments you can do from home with materials you likely already have on hand.

Bug Hotel:

The bug hotel is exactly like it sounds – a fun spot where bugs will want to inhabit (outside, of course!). Here’s how to make one:

  1. Cut off the top and bottom of a plastic bottle. A soda or water bottle is perfect!
  2. Go on a nature walk and pick up items like sticks, flowers, leaves, and moss.
  3. Thread your items into your bottle until it’s full.
  4. Poke two holes in your bottle, thread twine through the holes, and hang your habitat outside on a tree.

For extra learning, ask your student to journal about the experience, make a hypothesis about the varieties of bugs that will like the hotel you’re creating, and take photos of your hotel in progress. 

Earth Day Headband: 

Mrs. Lamb and her students love creating Earth Day headbands to wear throughout the day! It’s a fun way to kick off the day with a craft and plenty of meaningful conversation about reducing, reusing, and recycling. Here’s how to make one: 

  1. Download the PDF from Smitten with First.
  2. Color your earth, glue all necessary pieces, and complete the prompt about how you reduce, reuse, and recycle.
  3. Glue all pieces to a headband and wear it throughout the day!

For extra learning, talk with your student about the areas of the earth they’re coloring and why they’re choosing specific colors. See if you can think of new ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Chat with friends about Earth Day!

Crayon Planter:  

If you have old crayons hiding in drawers, this project is a great way for you to reuse and recycle your materials. Plus, you will have a unique and fun planter once it’s complete. Here’s how to make one:

  1. Gather old crayons and remove all of the paper on the outside.
  2. Rinse out a can.
  3. With a hairdryer on high heat, hold a crayon on the outside of the can and watch as the wax melts onto the can. Repeat until the can is covered.
  4. Add soil and seeds – your planter is complete!

For extra learning, explore why crayons melt when a hairdryer is used and talk about what you might grow in your planter. Mrs. Lamb shared she’s growing strawberries!


Mrs. Lamb’s final Earth Day project is one of her favorites – an ecosystem! This project is simple, but the results can be seen for days and weeks on end as your seeds continue to grow. Here’s how to make your own ecosystem: 

  1. Collect two soda bottles (you may want to have three ready just in case)
  2. Cut off the top of one bottle and the bottom of another
  3. Flip one bottle upside down and nest it inside the other (the top of the bottle where the cap would normally be should now be inside of the other bottle)
  4. Fill the top bottle with a layer of rocks followed by layers of soil. Mrs. Lamb’s kids added moss in between their rocks and soil.
  5. Plant seeds in the soil.
  6. Water your seeds and watch as any additional water trickles through the top bottle and lands in the bottom bottle. Your ecosystem is ready to thrive!

For extra learning, continue to water your ecosystem and track its progress. You will notice the seeds beginning to sprout, and overtime the roots will poke through the bottle’s opening and flow into the bottom bottle where the water is collecting. You will find you will need to water your ecosystem less and less because the roots will be able to collect their own water.

Make sure to catch Mrs. Lamb’s Earth Day Facebook Live, and have fun celebrating the 50th anniversary of this great holiday. We’ll see you back on Facebook for Mrs. Lamb’s next session on Thursday!

Family Fun Themed Easter Basket

This weekend, we’re welcoming a chance to celebrate because Sunday is Easter! Since families are spending more time together than ever before, we thought we would curate an Easter basket with a family fun theme. From LED Easter eggs for a fun nighttime egg hunt to corn hole, a book, and even something for your pup, all of the items we’ve included below are budget-friendly (for the most part!), wonderful to enjoy together, perfect for many ages, and completely available online so you can shop with your Shopkick app and earn kicks. Let’s fill your Easter basket! 

Family Fun Easter Basket |

1. DIY Birdhouse

If you and your kids are looking for a new activity to enjoy together, consider building a birdhouse. The Home Depot has a complete tutorial available online, and their stores are still open for you to purchase all of your supplies. Once complete, your family will be able to enjoy the new animals that stop by to visit your birdhouse!

2. Corn Hole

Corn hole is a classic outdoor game, and it’s perfect for all ages to enjoy. This set from Dick’s Sporting Goods arrives with two boards and eight beanbags – four for each team – ready for you to play. Corn hole is a game you will enjoy long after our quarantine ends, and it’s the perfect addition to barbecues if you’re looking to up your gathering (once we can gather again!) with a little friendly competition.

3. Giant Jenga

Like corn hole, Jenga is another great family game! This Jenga set from Dick’s Sporting Goods takes the fun of the classic game to the next level thanks to its giant size. Add this set to your backyard collection to encourage you and your family to spend more time outside together on Easter and beyond.

4. Easter Book

Get ready to read along as Pete the Cat helps the Easter Bunny in “Pet the Cat: Big Easter Adventure”! Pete the Cat is already beloved by many kids, so whether your kids are fans or you’re hoping to find a new book for them to enjoy, this New York Times Bestseller is definitely the way to go. Find it online with Walmart.

5. Rainbow Kite

Bright colors are such a source of fun and joy, especially now when we’re all looking to find happy details. Fly this kite into the sky on Easter in your backyard and make sure to save it for summer beach trips that will start happening soon. You can add this rainbow kite to your Easter basket when you shop online with Walmart!

6. LED Easter Eggs

One of the highlights of any Easter holiday is an egg hunt with family, and these LED Easter Eggs from Walmart are about to make your hunt even more interesting! You can definitely still enjoy a classic egg hunt during the day, but make your Easter evening more fun when you hide this set of eggs in the dark. The glow is sure to make sure kids smile!

7. Disney Theme Park Edition Candyland Game

If you were supposed to spend your spring break at Disney World or Disneyland, you can still pay the parks a virtual visit. We found Candyland online with shopDisney, and this version might be even more fun than the original. It’s based off of Walt Disney World’s theme parks!

8. “Frozen II”

Once your Easter evening is underway, gather your family together for a movie night. It’s always more fun when you’re watching a new-to-you movie, so add the newly released “Frozen II” to your family fun Easter basket. You can shop this movie and many more on shopDisney’s website!

9. Pet Ball Thrower

It’s safe to say our pets are enjoying having us home the most! If you’ve been playing more fetch than ever before, make your job as Official Thrower even easier with this Hyper Pet Throw-N-Go Tennis Ball Launcher Dog Toy from Pet Care Supplies. There’s room for two tennis balls – one to toss and an extra, just in case – so you will be set for a long game of fetch.

10. Bunny Dog Toy

Your pup needs to join in on the festivities, so purchase a bunny dog toy from Pet Care Supplies! Available in three sizes, this Kong Wubba Ballistic Friends Dog Toy is durable and ready for play.

How are you and your family celebrating Easter? What items are you thinking about adding to your own family-fun themed Easter basket? Let’s keep the conversation going on Facebook!

3 holly, jolly Christmas shopping hacks for last-minute shoppers

One of the things I’ve always loved about shopping is the challenge. Most of the year, when I say challenge, I’m talking about hunting for the best possible deal, whether that’s in person or online. When it comes to Christmas shopping, however, there is an entirely different set of challenges. There’s making the list of friends and family you need to shop for; making sure you actually find something for everyone on your list; and, of course, making sure you get everything on your list in time for the actual holiday.

There’s no bigger challenge than overcoming the odds to check everything off your Christmas list at the very last minute. Waiting until the last minute is risky, of course, but when you find yourself in that position year after year, you start to develop some very useful hacks. I know I’ve certainly learned some great Christmas shopping hacks over the years, so much so that I am absolutely confident in my ability to finish my list, even if I’m still out there at the last minute.

3 Christmas Shopping Hacks 

3 Christmas shopping hacksSince Christmas is the season of giving, today I’d like to share some of my most useful tips with all of you. Waiting until the last minute can mean that you inadvertently put yourself at risk of not finishing your list, but with these three super helpful Christmas shopping hacks for last-minute shoppers, you can rest assured that it will be a very merry Christmas for all of your friends and family!

1. Ask About Price Matching

This first Christmas shopping hack is for anyone out there who likes to shop at online retailers that are a bit off the beaten path and might not offer free next-day shipping like Amazon. I know in recent years I’ve found great last-minute gifts at obscure online retailers. The problem, however, can be that their shipping window is either too long to get the gift to you in time for the holiday, or that expedited shipping costs so much that you might as well drive to wherever they’re located and get it yourself, which for obvious reasons isn’t an option.

The good thing, though, is that in order to compete with online stores, almost all brick-and-mortar retailers these days offer price matching. You just have to ask. If you find something for a cheaper price online, simply ask a brick-and-mortar retailer that sells the same item if they’ll match the price. In this day and age, I would be shocked if they didn’t. That one simple question could potentially save you both valuable time and money at the end of the Christmas shopping season.

Here is a quick list of some retailers that may price match:

  • Bass Pro Shop / Cabela’s
  • Bed Bath & Beyond
  • Best Buy
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods
  • Fry’s Electronics
  • The Home Depot
  • JCPenney
  • Kohl’s
  • Lowe’s
  • Michael’s
  • Office Depot
  • Petco
  • Staples
  • Target

Holly, Jolly Score: 3/5 Hollies

2. Use Customer Loyalty Apps 

The next item on my Christmas shopping hacks list is also primarily for shopping at brick-and-mortar retailers, but don’t worry, we’ll get to one of the best Christmas shopping savings tips for in-person and online shopping in a moment. 

This tip involves using your smartphone to download the shopping apps offered by your favorite retailers. These are apps that have a wide range of features, from rewarding loyal customers with points to offering push alerts about new sales.

Here’s how these apps can save you time or money:

  • push notifications for sales
  • rewards programs
  • exclusive deals for users
  • in-store pickup after ordering on the app

The great thing is that there are just so many stores out there these days that have apps designed to help their loyal customers, which can really save you time, money, and sanity at the last minute during Christmas shopping. I know I’ve used my Starbucks app to purchase things like gift cards and mugs at the last minute. I’ve also used it to order coffee when I need a second wind to finish my last-minute shopping. So check around! Chances are, almost all of your favorite stores have apps of their own.

Holly Jolly Score: 4/5 Hollies

3. Use a Mobile Rewards Shopping App 

The last of my absolute favorite Christmas shopping hacks is an app called Shopkick, which you can use to make both your online and your brick-and-mortar shopping more fun! Simply put, Shopkick is one of the best Christmas shopping apps, if not the best. See, the way Shopkick works is that it rewards you with points, called “kicks,” for things you already do while shopping like walking into the store, scanning items, and making purchases. It’s also a level better than any of the usual free apps that give you gift cards because you can also get kicks when shopping online by watching videos, browsing through lookbooks, and of course, making purchases.

Then, you can redeem your kicks for cash back or free gift cards. Shopkick is my favorite Christmas shopping hack for a few reasons. I just love that I can use it to save even more at big online retailers from the comfort of my home. At the same time, it also gives my last-minute shopping a bit of a scavenger hunt vibe, which is really helpful when I’ve been out shopping hard for weeks and on the brink of being overwhelmed. 

What’s also great is that you can use Shopkick alongside the retail apps we mentioned earlier, doubling the opportunities to bolster your budget! Finally, getting my kicks is the absolute best way to take a little bit of the sting out of the pain that your budget suffers during the holidays. Plus, the Discover Tab in the app even has a handy gift guide, if you run out of ideas. Using Shopkick to help with your last-minute Christmas shopping is really a win-win situation!

Holly Jolly Score: 5/5 Hollies!!!

Earn Rewards During Your Last-Minute Shopping Trip

So there you have it—my gift to you. There are plenty of other hacks out there, too, but these have become my favorites over the years. I know I’ve used all three more than a few times to save myself time, money, and energy at the last minute.

There are plenty of other hacks out there, too, but these have become my favorites over the years.

I know that of those three, Shopkick is my absolute favorite. It’s such a versatile app, and I love that I can use it both online and when shopping in-store. I also love how much fun it brings to the holiday shopping process, and I truly hope you enjoy using it just as much as I do!

Christmas is almost here, but there’s still time to get your kicks! Shopkick makes shopping a rewarding experience. Download the app today and start getting your kicks as you finish all of your last-minute holiday shopping! 

Image courtesy of izzzy71

5 Cheap April Fools’ Day Pranks You Can Pick Up at the Grocery Store

For better or for worse, April Fools’ Day is upon us. If you’ve always wanted to get in on the fun, but can’t plot out a prank, we’ve got you covered. We asked our users and rounded up our 5 favorite fun and cheap pranks to pull on April 1 with just a few supplies from your local grocery store!


Breakfast Is Served

On April Fools’ Eve prepare a bowl of cereal for your significant other, friend, roomie, or kids and pop it in the freezer — spoon and all. In the morning, set the table for breakfast and enjoy watching their confused reaction when they go for the spoon. (You could also add gelatin to their juice or milk for a jiggly surprise!)

You’ll Need: Favorite cereal, milk, gelatin

target april fools


Invisible Door

Stretch plastic wrap across a door frame (as tight as possible) and use duct tape to fasten to the sides of the door. Stand by as unsuspecting  people try to walk through!

You’ll Need: Plastic wrap, duct tape

target april fools


Eye Gotcha!

Attach googly eyes to everything in your kids’ lunchboxes, everything in the family fridge, or everything in your friend’s closet for an innocent laugh.

You’ll Need: Googly eyes, glue

target april fools


Color Wheel

Dip a q-tip in the food coloring of your choice, and run it around the inside of the bathroom or kitchen faucet. When the water is turned on, they’re in for a colorful surprise!

You’ll Need: Gel food coloring, q-tips

target april fools


Sweet Surprise

Swap out the ice cubes in your freezer ice machine for some colorful colorful candy. Make sure you are close by to witness their reaction!

You’ll Need: M&Ms, Skittles, Reeses Piece’s or another favorite treat

target april fools



Before you head to the store to pick up your prank supplies and more, download the FREE Shopkick app to earn rewards in the form of kicks for not only walking into the store, but also for scanning items and making purchases. Kicks are redeemed for free gift cards to your favorite stores — including Target, Walmart and more!