Enhancing the Education of Your Child

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Raising a child can be a very difficult thing to do. There are many responsibilities that you have. One of the biggest of those responsibilities if to give your child a path to succeed academically. An education is vitally important when it comes to your child’s ability to get a good job when he or she reaches adulthood. Therefore, you need to do everything in your power to ensure this happens. There are some things that you can do to enhance the education that your child is already receiving. Here are a few ideas for you to consider.

1. Invest in the latest technology that will enable your child to be a better student.

A classroom is not like it used to be 30 years ago. The technological boom that the world has experienced during the past couple of decades has made a huge impact when it comes to how students learn inside and outside of the classroom. This means that you need to make sure your child has the latest technology that will allow him or her to study more efficiently. Not having the right tablet or laptop will cause your child to be left behind. Do some research online to find out which device is the most ideal for your child to use for studying purposes. You should also get some input from your child on this decision since he or she will be using the tablet or laptop on a daily basis. Therefore, the device you buy needs to be something that your child is comfortable operating.

2. A college preparatory school would be a wonderful investment in your child’s future.

Colleges that have a very high ranking look favorably on applicants who have attended college preparatory schools. Therefore, you will be giving your child a better chance of being accepted into a great college if you send him or her to one of these academic institutions. A college prep school such as Landon School Landon School will begin to mold your child into an outstanding and disciplined student who is ready to take on the rigorous learning environment of a top college. A Landon School education Landon School education can help your child get prepared for the academic demands that await him or her in college. This can play a huge role in helping your child to achieve academic excellence at the college level.

3. Help your child with his or her studying every chance you get.

Becoming actively involved in your child’s studies can have a much bigger impact than you ever thought possible. You should not simply be a passive observer during your child’s school years. You should always take a close interest in what he or she is learning. Ask your child if he or she needs help studying. Volunteer to give your child a quiz on material that he or she needs to learn before a big test. Doing this will improve your child’s scores. However, it will also be a wonderful bonding experience that will make you and your child closer than before. Knowing that you will always be aware of what your child is studying will make him or her work harder to impress you. Having you as a study partner will also make it easier for your child to memorize material.

The Best Tote Bag I Have Ever Owned

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

I have to admit that I am a bag collector.  I have TONS of bags in all shapes and sizes.  I have bags from luxury brands and sports brands.  I have bags that are a HUGE range of sizes, styles, shapes, and colors.  The problem that I find is that I rarely get out of my bag funk and that I end up carrying the same bag all of the time.  Well, my newest obsession is with the Simply Vera Wang Catherine Tote in Buff Ruched.  This tote is amazing!  I am going to share with you why I love this tote so much by sharing with you the five places that this tote has traveled with me.

Simply Vera logo

5 Places the Catherine Tote Has Gone

#5 — To All of My Mom-Responsibilities

As a mom, I have 101 things that I have to do with my children.  I love that the Catherine Tote perfectly goes to all of them with style!  I can run to the PTO meetings, head to parent/teacher conferences, or on a field trip with the same tote.  The size of the tote allows for me to carry a notebook or folder with all of the information in it.  This is perfect since so many totes are not a good size for various activities.  I also love that this tote is structured so I can use it with a little or a lot!  You don’t notice when it is almost empty vs when it is stuffed full!

#4 — Up, Up and Away

That’s right, the Catherine Tote was the perfect bag for our vacation.  I was shocked that I could carry enough extras to surprise the kids and entertain them during our plane ride.  I was also excited that it had so much room that I could bring back the few small souvenirs that I picked up while traveling.  It really was a tote to maximize my vacation.  Plus when I emptied stuff out in the hotel room, it was still looking great when I carried very little in it.

#3 — To the Beach and Beyond

Everyone knows that you need a great tote when you head to the beach.  I loved that the Catherine tote was able to carry all of my beach essentials in one bag.  I could fit a beach towel, magazine, sunglasses, flip flops, and sunscreen all in there.  It was a great accompaniment to my outfit for beach day too.  I love that it still looked stylish and cute and that sand easily brushed right off of it.

#2 — To the Gym

Another place that the Catherine Tote has traveled with me is to the gym!  I love that I was able to carry it with a spare pair of shoes, extra clothes to change into, and make up that I needed for touch ups.  I was able to go to the gym and actually get ready for work afterwards without it being a question of how I was going to present myself.  (On a side note, I work mainly from home but part time from the gym’s childcare room!)

#1 — Everywhere I Have Needed to Go

Rarely do I find a bag that can really go everywhere with me.  This one has honestly been the perfect tote.  I have taken it to church, to the beach, to plays, to activities, board meetings, shows, and more.  I have never found a place where it was not too dressy or just too casual.  I have also been able to use it as a laptop bag when traveling or heading to the coffee shop to work.

Catherine Tote

So I have to admit that I LOVE The Simply Vera Wang Catherine Tote and think that you will love it too!  The best part is that is a great price and a bag that truly is a great value!

Make Personalized Gift Giving Simple with Zazzle

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

If you have been around Simply Shawn N Jenn since I have been here then you have probably seen some of the amazing gifts that I have been able to create with Zazzle.  This year is no different.  I LOVE Zazzle and have been obsessed with everything that I have purchased.  The quality is the best, the products look amazing, and you really get what you are looking for.  Plus when they have sales the prices simply can’t be beat!!  Recently I was looking for some personalized gifts for our upcoming holiday gift guide, so of course I reached out to Zazzle to see if they would be willing to work with me for a review again.  I was so excited to be able to find gifts for those hard to shop for people that you have on your list.

The Best Gifts for Your Hard to Shop for Family Members

A Great Fun Personalized Gift for a Child that You Love


The Perfect Gift for Your Kids to Give to Grandma


The Gift Every Mom Wants This Year


Augmented Reality for Kids — Watch Cards Come Alive

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Children are sure to love the new and exciting Augmented Reality (AR) flashcards!  These exciting cards allow your child to use your smartphone or tablet to bring the cards to life.  For parents to really understand just how cool these cards are, they need to first understand a few things.

A Quick Look at Augmented Reality

AR is a unique way to take part in the world around you.  It is something that children are going to love being a part of and something that they might not have heard of before.  It is a live view of your world with special computer generated images.  This means that it is like fantasy within reality.

This means that your child gets to explore the real world around them with some fun additions that are computer generated.

How Can Your Child Use AR Cards?

The way that AR cards works is that your child puts the cards behind the camera on your phone or tablet.  Then the picture is going to come to life.  Your child will be able to touch it, move it around, and use the character in games and more.  There is so much fun to be had for your little one with their new AR cards.

What Will AR Cards Do For Your Child?

The following are all of the things that your child will be able to do with AR cards:


You are going to be able to see these with any smartphone or tablet easily.


Your child is going to have so much fun when they take pictures with 3D cartoon characters.  They are actually able to share them on a special “acebook” account.


Children are able to learn easier with AR flashcards and the interactive characters then they would be able to learn with traditional flash cards.


There are multiple fun and interesting AR games that are offered.  You can use double card playing and word hunting.  This is a great way to enjoy a lot of fun with your family.


There is no toy that is quite like AR cards.  With these you can add special 3D characters into the reality around you.  Can imagine a toy that is cooler than this?


The cards are beautiful and come in a nice box so they are a great gift for any child in your life.

Quick Facts You Should Know

How Can I Get My Cards?

Right now there is a IndieGoGo campaign.  Here are the different contribution levels and what you can get from it.

**$29 — 1 x Wonder the Dino Doll

**$39 — 1 x AR Magic Cards II (SPECIAL EARLY BIRD PRICE)

**$49 — 1 x AR Magic Cards II

**$69 — 1 x AR Magic Cards I & II  (SPECIAL EARLY BIRD PRICE)

**$89 — 1 x AR Magic Cards I & II

**$195 — 5 x AR Magic Cards II & 1 x Doll

**$3800 — 100 x AR Magic Cards II & 20 x Doll

**$345 — 5 x AR Magic Cards I & II & 2 x Doll

**$6700 — 100 x AR Magic I & II & 40 x Doll

Safest Materials for Safe Cards

AR Magic Cards are cards that you do not have to worry about your child playing with.  They are made from environmentally materials with environmentally safe ink.  These cards have passed all quality testing and certifications.

You can read more about AR cards here.

**This is a sponsored post and offers you information about the cards.  I have not yet received my copy for review but will offer my own personal review once I receive them.


Summer Camp Music Festival Guide — Ten Things Huxley Says You Should Pack in Your Child’s Backpack @SummerCampFest #SCamp15

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

So Huxley is my five year old and one spunky little guy.  Today I got to sit down and talk with him about the top ten things that he says that you need to have in your child’s backpack when going to Summer Camp.


A shout out to the lovely Sara Lynch from Sara Mathre Photography for this amazing shot of my little man!

First off Huxley has a few favorite backpacks that he really loves.  He wanted me to tell you all about them and what we love about them.

The Kelty Minnow Backpack

Kelty backpack

This one is not as much fun as some of the other choices for a kids backpack.  What I like about this backpack is the quality.  I love that after an entire year of use it is still like new.  The zippers work great, there are no thin spots in the canvas material.  All in all this backpack features all of the quality that you expect from the Kelty brand just in a size that is comfortable for little ones to wear.

The Trunki Paddlepak

Trunki backpack

The Trunki Paddlepak is one of those backpacks that has a cute and fun design.  These backpacks come in different colors and different sea life themes.  They are fun for little ones and they are “splashproof.”

Huxley’s Top 10 Items to Bring to Summer Camp Music Festival


huxley fruit roll ups

The first thing that came out of Huxley’s mouth when I asked him what he would put in his backpack was food.  I asked for specifics and it was determined that by food he meant snacks.  His personal top choices for snacks are fruit roll ups and donuts.  I guess I know what is on his wish list for food at summer camp.

Glow Sticks


Huxley really loves playing with glow sticks.  I know that I already shared this picture but I have to share again that glow sticks really become a whole lot more when you are at Summer Camp.  In fact his glow sticks helped him transform his shoes into “rocket shoes” last year.



This is not the flashlight that we have but Huxley definitely was focused on having a flashlight in his backpack so that he could “see in the dark.”

Mini Fan

huxley fan

Huxley has been to his fare share of festivals in his young five years.  He understands the importance of being able to stay cool when he is at those festivals.  So one of the first things that he said he wanted in his backpack was a “little fan.”  We have used a wide range of these and we have some that are really small and some that are bigger.  He loves being able to have his fan blowing on him while we are sitting in the sun enjoying a show.

Card Game

huxley card game

There are so many great card games out there for kids.  Tonight when we were talking about packing for Summer Camp he picked up Herding Cats as his choice for a “card game” so I guess that this is one of their popular games right now.

Board Game

Huxley board game

We are a board game type of family…not to be confused with bored games.  (I am such a dork but sometimes I seriously can not help myself!!)  Anyways Huxley was showing me a few of his board games that he wanted to take to Summer Camp with us.  It was cute and made mommy think that we need a small tote full of toys and games so that we can shut them up and make sure that if it rains nothing gets damaged.

VTech Kidizoom Smart Watch

Huxley watch

This has been one of Huxley’s favorite toys since he got it from grandma and grandpa last year for his birthday.  It is 7 months later and he is still playing with it every time.  The watch does some cool things and he loves to take pictures and play around on it.  So he thought that this would be a great toy to take with him.  (This might be because he was told that some of his electronics were not an option!)

Water Bottle

Huxley water bottle

When we travel to festivals we typically take two water bottles.  One of these the kids get Gatorade or Poweraid in the other is strictly for water.  I am not sure what two water bottles we are taking this year or if we will need two because we are going to have Camelbaks for them!


Huxley books

There are many times when books are great at a festival.  You can read to your child before bed.  They can quietly look at books in the morning when everyone else is still sleeping.  Plus books are a great resource in between shows when kids get bored.  I would highly recommend having plenty of books to read with your child at Summer Camp.

Special Toy

Huxley special toy

Finally a few special toys are something that the kids really enjoy having.  Huxley says that this is the special toy that he wants to take with us.  I have no idea why this is suddenly the toy of choice since it certainly seems like something that is made for younger children.  However it is the toy that he has come to love so it is the toy that he will be bringing along.


Kids Clothes That Make Your Life Easier from Nanotex

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

One of the things that I hate more than anything else is when my kids have messy clothes.  I hate it when things get stained and when my kids do not look great.  This can be so frustrating.  Another thing that is frustrating is when their dad lets them play outside and they ruin their nice clothes.  So what is a mom to do?

Nanotex logo

Well a mom is to go, not walk but seriously ladies RUN, to Gymboree right now!!!  You need to go to Gymboree because they offer an amazing line of clothes that I just have to share with you.

Gymboree logo

I was lucky enough to get to check out a few pieces of clothing that have Nanotex technology in them.  If you are wondering how clothing can have technology, then keep reading after you check out the cute clothes that we received.  I am going to share all of the details with you about Nanotex…what it is, where you can find it, and why you will want it for your kids’ clothes.

I received the Boys Twill Shorts which retail for $24.99.  If you are a fan of these then you might want to consider picking them up now because they are on sale for just $9.99!

Nanotex clothes 2

To be 100% honest, Huxley has not worn these yet.  For one we have not had a ton of short weather yet and for another we have not went anywhere nice.   He is going to be wearing these and the Boys Long Sleeve Oxford Shirt (which we also received), which retails for $29.95 but is also currently on sale for $9.99, for his preschool graduation next week.  He will look adorable and I can’t wait!!

Nanotex clothes 1

Apologies for using the stock photo on this one.  I had a picture but I didn’t love it.  The kiddos are asleep and the shirt is hanging in their closet so I went with a stock one instead of taking a chance on waking them up!!!

My girls also received a few adorable goodies as well.  Adeline got the Polo Dress which I absolutely adore!  Sadly I was unable to currently find it on Gymboree’s website so I don’t know if that means that they will no longer carry it or if they are going to have it in the future.

Nanotex clothes 4

Apparently whatever was happening in that direction was far more interesting than mom!!!

Althea got the adorable Girls Twill Shorts which usually $24.95 but are now on sale for $9.99.  There are a few things that I really like about these.  For one I LOVE the bermuda length.  I find that so many little girl shorts are really short and something about that does not sit right with me.  For another I love that they have the adorable butterfly print belt with them.

Nanotex clothes 3

And sister twirling is definitely more interesting than mom!!

Now to fill you in on this great new technology that is featured in these pieces of clothing.  Nanotex features a great nanotechnology that actually changes the fibers in the clothing.  This helps to create clothes that are going to last longer, will not stain, and are going to keep smelling great!  The best thing for me is that it means that I am not going to have to buy as many items of clothing because their clothes are actually going to last all summer long.

Of course you get Nanotex clothing from Gymboree but you can also pick it up at the Gap, Target, Kohls, Adidas, Lands End, and more.  Check out the Nanotex website to learn more about the technology and where you can pick it up.


Summer Camp Music Festival Guide — Top 10 Things That Come in Handy with Kids @SummerCampFest #SCamp15

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Since I have been attending Summer Camp Music Festivals since 2004 with a little one in hand I have learned some great packing tricks that make life so much easier with kids.  I have been to Summer Camp with anywhere from 1 to 4 children of mine so there have been years that were definitely more difficult than others.

Top 10 Things That Come in Handy at Summer Camp

Here are my top ten things that I think every parent needs to pack along.

1.  Bogs Boots


If you have ever tried to climb through mud that was up way past your ankles you will understand just how important these are.  Now I know that many people shy away from spending this much money on a pair of boots or shoes for their kids but this is one thing that I will make sure that my children are never without again.  There are so many reasons that I love Bogs but one of these is that they are so comfortable.  Here are some more….your child will not have wet feet, your child will not have cold feet, your child will be able to walk through mud without problems, your child will be able to play in puddles without issues, and finally they come in all colors and sizes so your children are going to love them.

2.  Water Bottles/Water Guns

water bottle with fan

It is very likely that your child is going to get hot while they are at Summer Camp.  One thing that I would remember to take along is a squirt gum or a spray bottle.  If you are worried about your child bothering other people then a spray bottle might be a better option.  There are even some great spray bottles that you can find with small battery operated fans on them.  These work great for Summer Camp!

3.  Camelbaks


I love that Camelbak makes kids sized packs.  These are so convenient and they seriously are going to last you forever.  My oldest got his Camelbak Skeeter when he was just 3 years old.  He is going to be 12 this summer and it still works without leaking.  I don’t know many other things that are made for children that are going to last 9 years!  Another great thing about Camelbaks is that my children LOVE drinking out of them so they are always excited to drink water which means they end up drinking a lot more water than they would if they were just drinking out of water bottles.

4.  Keen Sandals

keen sandals

Another product that our entire family loves is Keen sandals.  There are a few different reasons for this.  One of these is that Keens are very comfortable.  They are also okay if they get wet.  (I used to love Birkenstocks but after ruining one too many pairs at festivals I started wearing Keens!)  They are closed toe so your child is less likely to injure themselves.  They also come in a wide range of colors and patterns so that your child can pick the one that they like best.

5.  Glow Sticks

glow sticks

Go to the Dollar Tree and spend a little bit of money stocking up on glow sticks and glow toys.  This is one item that I honestly feel you can never have enough of when you have children and are at Summer Camp.  Plus if you put enough glow sticks on your kiddo and they run off in the crowd, they are really easy to catch up with.  Your children might also enjoy coming up with their own unique things to do with the glow sticks and creations to build.

6.  Picnic Blankets

picnic blanket

If you have a picnic blanket that is great.  If you do not have one and cannot afford one pick up a Booginhead Splat Mat for each of your kiddos.  We have three picnic blankets that go with us to every show that we go to.  We throw them on the ground and it becomes a nice little spot for us to sit and dance with the kids where they can kick their shoes off without worry of stepping on something.  It also becomes a safe zone because people in the crowd rarely step on your blankets.

7.  Rain Jackets and Umbrellas

rain jacket

I will admit that it does not rain every single year at Summer Camp.  However it does rain almost every year.  If you are concerned about it raining then I would be inclined to pack a rain jacket.  Another great thing about rain jackets is that with a long sleeve shirt on under them they become very warm.

8.  Sunscreen


When choosing a sunscreen for Summer Camp make sure that you pick up one that has a high SPF.  Children who get sunburns are not happy campers.  In fact, they are often grumpy and intolerable.  So make sure that you pick out a sunscreen that has a very high SPF and if you are using sunscreen from last year make sure that it has not expired.  You want your children to be protected all day long.  (When speaking about sunscreen I would like to state that I am in love with SuperGoop!!  They have the best sunscreen on the market and their CC Cream is wonderful for moms who want some light coverage all summer long!!)

9.  Ear Protection

ear protection

Concerts are loud, especially if you want to get close enough to see the band with your child.  Make sure that your child’s ears are protected with some great ear protection.  This year I purchased all new ear protection for my children for Summer Camp and it was way more affordable than I thought that it was going to be.  In fact the ear protection that I purchased can be found on Amazon for less than $15 per pair.  (These are Snug Safe brand and they come in a wide range of colors…enough colors in fact that each kiddo go to pick out their favorite!)

10.  Wagon


If you are coming through the gates and do not have an RV pass and are traveling with children the wagon is going to be your saving grace.  Many people do not realize until they get to the gates at Summer Camp that you actually have to carry all of your gear and all of your stuff through the gates.  If you are camping alone with your kids this can be a struggle to get everything.  Just remembering to pack light and making sure that you have a wagon is a great idea.  As a bonus the wagon can be used throughout the weekend to let your kids hang out and take naps during shows and to ride around in between shows.  Our children LOVE being able to jump in the wagon for rides and we love that the wagon helps us to get everything that we need where we are going.  (We have used a few different wagons and I would highly recommend one that has very sturdy wheels that are bigger!)

Summer Camp Music Festival Guide — 10 Bands to Take the Kiddos To @SummerCampFest #SCamp15

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

I love getting to share live music experiences with my kids.  There are definitely some bands at the 2015 Summer Camp Music Festival that you will want to take your kiddos to.  Here are some of the top bands to check out with the kids:

Family Groove Company

family groove company

Picture was taken from the Family Groove Company website.

Family Groove Company plays music that is a blend of jazz/funk and so much fun for the kids to dance to.  Their groove is infectious and you can’t help but dance when they are playing.  You can catch them at 6:30 pm as part of the pre-party on Thursday March 21 at the Starshine Stage or at the Starshine Stage at noon on Saturday March 23.  I am sure that this will be one of the few shows that I personally catch on Thursday night as I have to head back to take my daughter on her field trip Friday.  This will be their 12th straight performance at Summer Camp.  They currently are based out of Chicago although they met and formed in California.  Plus Janis Wallin is a mom so you rest assured that she is really going to enjoy seeing your children grooving along.

Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe


I couldn’t help but post this awesome sefly that I took with the man himself.  This has seriously been one of my highlights of my career since it was such an amazing experience.

Karl Denson is an amazing man and when you get to sit down and talk with him, as I got to at Phases of the Moon last year, you realize that he is a down to earth family man as well.  For someone who has such an impressive music career and has played with some of the best in the business (like The Rolling Stones) it is refreshing to hear him talk to you like you are old friends.  I will admit that at first I was a little starstruck but he quickly made me feel right at ease.  His love for children combined with my children’s love for his makes him a must see at every festival where he is at.   So I say that Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe is a must for every parent attending Summer Camp this year.  Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe plays the Starshine Stage at 11:00 pm.  While I will admit that this is late for kids, mine are going to take a very late evening time nap and we are going to have some snacks for them to enjoy the show right before bed.

Keller Williams and Grateful Grass

Keller Williams

Picture was taken from the official Keller Williams website.

Keller Williams is a name that my kids know very well.  Thanks to his Kids album I no longer dread having to listen to music that my kids beg for.  Many times there are kids albums that are just annoying but thankfully Keller does the kids album the right way.  It features fun lighthearted songs that are perfect for kids but seriously has great music so that even the parents will love it too.  My children also listen to other albums of Keller’s since I have about 10 of his albums on my iPhone.  In fact I have more music of Keller Williams than anything else.  Plus you can tell when he is recording with his kids and spending as much time as possible during this down time with his family, that he really is a great dad which makes me want to support the music even more.  (If you are a parent and you have not checked out the Kids album I highly suggest you follow this link and pick up a copy.  It is one album that you will NEVER regret purchasing…I promise!)  Keller Williams and Grateful Grass play Friday March 22 at 5:00 pm on the Moonshine Stage.  This is a great time for a show to enjoy with your family.  If you have someone to watch your kids, Keller Williams plays a solo set at 2:00 am at the intimate Campfire Stage (this is one of my favorite places to see bands because the stage is so intimate and personal, you almost feel like it is a private show just for you!).  I am sure that my hubby and I will be fighting about who gets to attend that show!

Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers

Bruce Hornsby

Picture was taken from the Bruce Hornsby website.

I have to admit that I think of Bruce Hornsby as a creative genius.  I LOVE watching him play and find it amazing that he is so talented.  He is one performer attending Summer Camp 2015 that I am ecstatic to see.  In fact I even tried to talk my oldest son’s dad into letting me pick him up that day so that he can enjoy this experience with us all.  It is going to be amazing to see Bruce Hornsby gracing the Summer Camp stages.  He is performing with moe. at 1:15 pm on the Moonshine Stage and with the Noisemakers at 3:30 pm on the same stage on Sunday May 24, 2015.  It is going to be an amazing time that you do not want to miss.

Steve Miller Band

Steve Miller Band

Picture was taken from the Steve Miller Band website.

Taking your kids to see the Steve Miller Band is like taking them to see a legend.  This is one legend that I listen to that I have not yet seen live.  My kids do appreciate his music too which makes it easier for us to plan a family day of listening to great music.  The Steve Miller Band plays at 5:30 pm on the Moonshine Stage.

Yonder Mountain String Band

yonder mountain string band

Picture taken from the Yonder Mountain String Band website.

Yonder Mountain String Band has always been a fun one for us to take our kids to.  We are also HUGE fans of Allie Kral so I love that she is now touring with the band.  I am so excited to see them playing together and am hopeful that maybe I will run into Allie in the crowds and get to chat with her a bit (I have been a HUGE fan of hers for over 10 years!).  So you can be certain that I am going to be at the Sunshine Stage at 2:45 on Sunday May 24th.

Old Shoe

Old Shoe

Photo from the after party shows for Phish last summer at the Hard Rock in Chicago, my picture.

Old Shoe is a regional act based out of Chicago.  They are so much fun to see and they really love children.  I could tell this personally last year when I took my youngest to see them play in Peoria.  In fact Adeline loves their music and was dancing so much that several people approached me saying how cute she was.  I am excited to share another Old Shoe experience with my kids, this just all of them instead of one.  Old Shoe plays at 2 pm at the Campfire Stage on Saturday May 23rd.

Chicago Farmer

Chicago Farmer

Photo taken from the Chicago Farmer website.

I have to admit that I might be slightly partial here.  I love Chicago Farmer and I LOVE getting to see him live.  His 1000th show is happening in Bloomington IL this weekend and we are debating going.  (It’s Mother’s Day and the whole family is coming to our house the next day is the debate…lol…otherwise there would be no debate!)  My kid really love his music and love seeing him play so they are going to enjoy seeing him this year at Summer Camp.  He is playing on the Campfire Stage at 3:30 pm.  Make sure to check out his merch table too for some of his wife’s handmade jewelry that is crafted from old guitar and bass strings from regional artists.

Widespread Panic

Widespread Panic

Picture taken from the Widespread Panic website.

I have to admit that my kids are probably bigger fans of Widespread Panic than my husband and I.  They LOVE the band and LOVE their music.  In fact if my kids are all fighting and screaming in the car I can start playing “Ribs and Whiskey” (my personal favorite Panic song) and they all stop and start singing along.  It is like a magical little piece of music that has probably saved our lives at times when I am tired and driving home and really tired of hearing them all fight!  You can check out Widespread Panic at both 7 pm and 9 pm on the Sunshine Stage.

Joe Russo’s Almost Dead

joe russo

Photo taken from nyctaper.com

Joe Russo’s Almost Dead is a band that really offers a fun and lively show.  Their energy is something that my kids really enjoy.  Plus they like their music which helps to keep them engaged the entire show.  Personally if my kids do not love what you play, it is unlikely that it is going to be a great experience for me to be in your audience.  Thankfully they have good taste and are Joe Russo fans like their mama.  Joe Russo’s Almost Dead plays Saturday May 23 at 5:30 pm on the Moonshine Stage.

So these are my top ten shows that I am going to be catching with my kids during Summer Camp.  If you have kids maybe you will see us hanging out and stop by to say hi.  The kid really do love making new friends to hang out with.



Summer Camp Music Festival Guide — Festival Time is Near So It Is Time For Parents to Start Thinking @SummerCampFest #SCamp15

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Summer Camp Music Festival is just around the corner.  If you are a parent and you love music then there is a good chance that you will be taking your kids along with you to the festival.  Well this is where I come in.  I am a parent and I have been attending Summer Camp for 12 years with children in tow.  That’s right for nearly all of the past 12 years of Summer Camps I have had at least one child with me.  There are a few things that I have picked up along the way and lots of information that I would have loved to have at my finger tips before I attended the festival for the first time.

Summer Camp logo

First things first, taking kids to Summer Camp is more work than traveling alone.  However if you prepare yourself right you are going to have a much better time and a time that is not nearly as stressful.  I am going to try and compile a great guide for all of you parents out there that are looking to go to Summer Camp with their children.


(My daughter Althea and I @ Summer camp 2014)

I feel honored to be included among the media team at the festival.  I am excited to be able to share some of my favorite Summer Camp memories with my own children with you.  I am also excited to help you have a fun experience so that you will continue coming back to Summer Camp!


(Me with Adeline even though she was too tired to walk, she was still having fun! @ Summer Camp 2014)

Here are some of the blogs that I will be writing in the near future:

A Comprehensive Guide to Summer Camp with Children


(Althea loves everything about being in Kids Camp @ Summer Camp 2014)

Bands to Take the Kiddos To

Special Activities for Families and Children


(My girls, Adeline and Althea, having fun at Kids Camp @ Summer Camp 2014)

Emergency Information Every Parent Needs to Know

Special Considerations for Those with Disabilities

The Ultimate Summer Camp Packing List — Packing with Kids


(Adeline hanging out in the wagon — hint: the wagon is a must! @ Summer Camp 2014)

Things That Come In Handy at Summer Camp with Kids


(Adeline hanging out with her stroller @ Summer Camp 2014)

What to Talk to Your Kids About Before Attending Summer Camp

Some Questions Your Kids Might Ask While Attending Summer Camp

The Top Ten Things to Do at Kids Camp

Ten Things You Must Remember When Attending Summer Camp with Kids


(Daddy relaxing with Huxley and Adeline while they drink some water and wait for some music to start @ Summer Camp 2014)

Ten Things Althea Says You Should Pack in Your Child’s Backpack (That’s right my 6 year old is going to help me tell you what other little kids her age should be packing.)

Ten Things Huxley Says You Should Pack in Your Child’s Backpack (Huxley will be giving you his picks for what to include in your child’s backpack.)

Weather Precautions to Take at Summer Camp

What to Leave at Home — A Look at the Items You Will Not Be Getting Through the Gates

Cloth Diapers and Festivals — What You Need to Know

Feeding your Kids at Summer Camp

Babywearing Vs Strollers — The Good and the Bad That You Should Know


??  Please feel free to let me know questions that you have about Summer Camp.

Plus you will get to check out some awesome highlights and features about some of my favorite bands that are going to be at Summer Camp.

Another exciting thing about the Summer Camp Music Festival is that my husband will be joining me and will be writing as well.  He is going to offer you a few preview posts including:

A Dad’s Favorite Summer Camp Memories with His Kids

Dad’s Ultimate Guide to Summer Camp


Everything Dad Needs in His Backpack When Attending Summer Camp with Kids

So what do I want to start with?

Well, I will tell you some basic information about Summer Camp Music Festival.

The When and Where

Summer Camp Music Festival takes place in Chillicothe, IL on May 22, 23, and 24, 2015.

The Music Basics

During the three days of music more than 100 bands will grace the stages.  Bands range from regional artists to bands that are known around the world.  In my many years of Summer Camp attendance I have never been disappointed with the line up or bands that I was able to see.


(Althea got to dance the night away at Trey @ Summer Camp 2014)

Get Your Tickets

You can pick up tickets for the festival now before the price goes up again.  Right now they are at the 3rd level price point which is $224.50.  The total price with fees is $247.  Do keep in mind that once the tickets allotted for this level have sold out that they will go up in price so it is a good idea to buy your tickets now if you have not already purchased them.

To Pre-Party or Not to Pre-Party?  — That is the Question

There are some additional ticket add ons that you might want to take advantage of as well.  If you are interested in getting into the campground earlier than Friday morning than you can pick up a Thursday pre-party ticket for just $35 (it is required that you have a 3 day pass before you can use the pre-party ticket).  This year’s Thursday pre-party includes performances by the following:  The Infamous Stringdusters, Manic Science (Manic Focus and Break Science), Floodwood, Future Rock, Dopapod, The Werks, The Nth Power, Turbo Suit (previously known as Cosby Sweater), Sun Stereo, DJ NODJ, Horseshoes and Hand Grenades, Family Groove Company, Artifakts, Blake Gardner & the Farmers, Business as Usual, Chicago Funk Mafia, Dead Language, DJ Amplifi, Earphoric, Fanny Pack, Fox Valley Harvest, Hog Magundy, Home Stretch Ride, Hyryder, Ifdakar, Little Pizza, Moontang, The Dawn, and Yojimbo.

VIP Basics

As with all festivals there are VIP upgrades available.  I have attended Summer Camp as both VIP and general admission and I will stand behind the VIP experience here.  It is pretty amazing.  The check in procedure and the fact that you are parked so close to the camping area are the two big selling points for me.  If you have the extra $200 for the basic VIP upgrade per person then I would highly recommend it.  In addition to the special parking and camping there are special seating areas at the bigger stages, Thursday pre-party access, a VIP bar in the campground and at a few of the stages, your own special VIP poster, and entrance to one of the late night shows (more about this in a minute).  For $300 you also get deluxe parking, 2 late night shows, a case of Goose Island beer, and an official event t-shirt.  The $420 upgrade also includes all 3 late night shows, Super Deluxe parking (yes this means a whole lot less walking!!), and an official event sweatshirt.  For $1000 you can live the experience of being a rock star during the entire event with rockstar parking, and an all access backstage pass which allows you to get into the green room where you can rub elbows with the artists and enjoy some free beer and snacks.


If you love Umphrey’s McGee there are also some amazing Umphrey’s VIP packages available.  These include a picnic with the band, complete with food and beverages; a private Umphrey’s set in the church; special access to the Golden Ticket Merch Event, free downloads of all of the UM shows for the weekend, a commemorative laminate, special dedicated staff available to you throughout the weekend, and an exclusive umVIP merchandise item.  You can view these special packages to learn all of the details and additional information.

More Options

Not a tent camper??  Well if you purchase the VIP access you can take advantage of these special hotel and shuttle packages.  You can also pick up tickets for RVs but hurry only primitive and VIP upgrades are available now.

One Day

Plus if you can not attend the whole weekend you can grab a Sunday one day pass for just $75, so there is really no reason to not attend at least the one day of fun.


(You don’t want to miss out on the fun!  Where else could Huxley have found the inspiration needed to make his own rocket shoes out of glow sticks? @ Summer Camp 2014)


Keep in mind that if money is an issue that there are still volunteer opportunities that are available for you to be able to work and get your price of admission refunded to you.  Just check out the ticketing page for more details.


Things Blaze and the Monster Machines Can Teach Your Sons

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Blaze and the Monster Machines are a new television series that I honestly was not previously familiar with.  We watch a lot of Nickelodeon in our house when we watch TV but that is not really very often.  We actually prefer to not watch TV most of the time or just to have it on for background noise.  However I sat down with Huxley when we got this video because he was very excited.  I wanted to know what he was so excited about.

blaze 1

Blaze and the Monster Machines — Blaze of Glory is a new DVD that was first available on February 17th, 2015.  This DVD features Blaze and his monster truck friends.

blaze 2

The most exciting thing about this series for me is that it really does teach your children a lot.  In fact there is actually a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum built into the series.  Let me share a little bit with you on the types of things that your child is going to learn when watching this series.

What Your Child Can Learn From Blaze and His Driver, AJ


Yes, your child is really going to be getting a physics lesson in when they are watching this charming series.  They will learn about the physics of mechanics and how things move.


There are a few different science lessons that your child will learn with this fun series.  They are going to learn about scientific inquiry and how to solve problems.  These are both things that they can actually start using in their day to day life to make things easier for themselves.


They will be solving basic equations and problems as part of their problem solving skills.


They are also going to learn  about different types of technology and how they work.


Thanks to the funny things going on in the series, your child is really going to be entertained.  Also since there are original songs it can turn into fun for the whole family.  This is one series that is sure to entertain and will surely not disappoint you!