Friday, October 24, 2014

Start your Morning with a Routine: Your Guide to get your Kids to School and make it to Work on Time

If you’re like the majority of us, your days are planned out even before your head’s off your pillow. Soccer practice, PTA meetings, hitting the gym - the life pie-chart tends to have some pretty small, yet crucial pieces. And, nothing can unravel a day before it even begins better than a rocky, disorganized, frantic morning.

This one seems like a no-brainer, but it’s imperative. How many times are we tempted to hit the snooze button over and over? Sleep is wonderful, but that last half hour lounging in bed next to a chirping alarm clock won’t make a huge difference. Use that time to get up, make a cup of coffee or catch the morning news before the kids are awake. You’ll be more alert and ready to tackle the day!

Take a moment the night before to help your kids set out clothes for the next day. Prepare food and pack lunches too - that way, it’s just a simple grab-and-go.  Breakfast  can work this way too; consider oatmeal or hard-boiled eggs. Organize backpacks and make sure everything is in there. These little things won’t take you long during the evening, but they can make a huge difference during a busy morning.  

It’s always easier to stay organized when you know what you need to do. Keep a calendar in a central location and keep it updated with appointments and deadlines. Create an age-appropriate chores/responsibilities checklist for the refrigerator to ensure everything you need gets done. And, review these with your kids in the morning. Having all the things you need to know, right in front of you, sets the table for a well-organized day.

We asked a mom of two young children to shed some light on successful morning routines. She says she likes to talk with her kids about what they want to accomplish that day, and help them set realistic, enjoyable goals. Nothing like starting the day with a positive, constructive spirit!

Finally, don’t sweat it if things don’t do exactly as planned. Sooner or later, your alarm clock will not go off. Your kids will change their minds about outfits set out the night before. Dogs knock over garbage cans, and folders of homework will mysteriously disappear. By having your routine locked into place, you’ll condition yourself to be calm and collected - and folks with those qualities can handle curveballs!

These are a few simple ideas we drummed up. Got any morning stress-busters or your own? Comment below!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

How to Choose a Fundraising Company Perfect for YOU!

When it comes to school fundraising companies, what starts as a simple web search will quickly net hundreds of options.
So, how do you sift through this seemingly endless list of options and hone in on the one perfect for you?

Now, as a fundraising company, we’re clearly a little biased, but we’ve got good reason to be; we’ve got the products, the experience and the expertise to help you make your fundraiser soar.

Here are a few things we recommend you keep in mind as you choose that right company.


Customer Satisfaction
A good fundraising company does not expect you to know everything right out of the gate; that’s what trained professionals are here for. The Chip Shoppe provides top notch customer service with a focus on the most important facet of fundraising - the needs of our customers.  Not much more we can say about this here...the stories of our clientele speak for themselves.

In order to get the most out of your fundraiser, it’s crucial to choose a tried and true organization. We’ve been in the fundraising business for about 15 years - our staff is knowledgeable, passionate, and dedicated to getting and keeping you on the right track!

Low Cost. High Profits.
Let’s face it; a lot of people shy away from fundraising companies out of fear that the company will take more than their fair share of your hard-earned profits. To start, our Chip Shoppe customers pay nothing up front - Our FREE sales kit contains everything you need to start selling. This includes order cards, brochures, collection envelopes and a pre-paid envelope to submit your order. And, you’ll get what you came for - generous profits with no hidden costs.

Quality Fundraising Products with value.
So, getting started shouldn’t be hard - and keeping your clientele should be even easier. During our tenure, the high quality and in-demand products in our fundraising catalogs have retained a great deal of business. Many of them are one-of-a-kind items that you will find only at The Chip Shoppe. Top-quality products year after year mean loyalty and profits for your school every year.
Unexpected Extras
With the Chip Shoppe, you’re not just seeing profit - your hard work will be rewarded with a host of prizes! These will vary from school to school, but you can count on fun options every time.

So, that’s a short list of some things to look for when choosing your fundraising group. Now, we hope you’ll consider us in your short list - and we can’t wait to answer any questions, and get you started on the fast track to fundraising success!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Lake/Cabin Safety

Ask a random person in the Midwest what they love about summer, and you’re pretty likely to get an answer involving lakes, cabins and camping. Here in our part of the world, it’s pretty convenient to plan an escape from urban living for a while in favor of peaceful, relaxing bonding time with the family at a nearby cabin, campground or resort.
But, even in nature’s playground, there are certain precautions that must be taken to stay safe - especially with kids around.

So, in light of summer camping season, here are some tips we’ve gathered that will help keep you and your family safe in the great outdoors.

Maintain Supervision.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about ten people die from unintentional drowning around the country every day - two of which are children ages 14 or younger. More specifically, children between the ages of 1 and 4 have the highest drowning rates. Now, we’re certainly not trying to scare you with these stats; it’s just important to remember these facts, and remember that drowning is very preventable. Make sure a responsible adult is in place to watch out for the kids. Ideally, this person will be familiar with CPR and other life-saving techniques. Always have those life jackets handy; most boating injuries and deaths can be prevented with readily available flotation devices.
Sun Protection.
Mother nature can be pretty unforgiving when it comes to solar rays, so don’t forget about sunscreen and protective clothing like hats and sunglasses. Sunscreens with higher SPF ratings block slightly more UVB rays, but you’re pretty covered with consistent applications of an SPF 30 sunblock. Make sure the products you choose are water resistant and apply at least 1 hour before you expose yourself to the sun, and reapply every two hours - especially if you’re sweating or swimming.
Bug Protection.
It’s Minnesota; when the sun sets, get ready to swap the sunblock for bug spray. In addition to being obnoxious, mosquitoes and other biting flies can carry a whole range of vacation-ruining diseases. So, make sure you’re armed. Choose a repellent with active ingredients like DEET and picaridin; these are highly effective and can ward off pests for anywhere from four to ten hours. Also, much like with sunscreen, make sure you read product labels for time estimates and reapply when necessary.
Keep Distance. One of the great things about being out in nature is the potential for experiencing the wonder of rural wildlife. Now, while it’s great to spot a bear, raccoon, coyote or other critter, don’t go out of your way to lure them.  Keep food waste, garbage bags and other temptations out of reach. And, if one of these wild creatures does approach your home base, keep your distance. Most of them are far more afraid of you than you of them, and will run off at the first sign of you, but when it comes to wildlife, it’s always better safe than sorry.
Stay hydrated.
With all this fun in the sun, it can be easy to forget to drink lots of water. Don’t overlook this; dehydration can come on quickly and lead to all kinds of problems - especially in very active kids. And, most of the time, you won’t even realize you’re  dehydrated until it's already set in. So, head it off by drinking a consistent amount of water, and pay attention to symptoms like extreme thirst, excessive sleepiness in infants and children, irritability and confusion in adults and sunken eyes; these are signs that a person is suffering from dehydration.

Remember - prevention is always the best solution, so keep these tips in mind - and enjoy every minute of your well-earned vacation!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Five Fun Fourth of July Kids' Projects

The sun is shining, the sounds of boat motors and smells of BBQ grills are filling the air...and folks all around the country are getting ready to wave the flag in celebration of our nation’s birthday.

It was on this day, in 1776, that our founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, setting the table for our annual celebrations with our family, friends and communities!

If your gathering include some little ones, take a note - we’ve compiled a fun collection of crafts and food that will make the holiday extra fun and creative for them!

1. One thing we can count on on the Fourth of July - hot weather. This cool, layered drink recipe is refreshing, easy to make, and as you can see, very patriotic. Thanks to In Katrina’s Kitchen for the cool idea.

Show your spirit! This nifty guide for creating all kinds of red, white and blue apparel and accessories for the holiday was found on shelterness.

No Fourth of July celebration is complete without food...and no summer is complete without marshmallows! This guide for creating your own red, white and blue treats is part of a larger project we really liked, found on

Keep the kids busy and creative with a host of fun crafts - we found a lot we really like on the website Spoonful.

Temporary tattoos are a smash hit with kids of all ages, and this idea from Alex Toys is ultra simple and completely fun.

Do you have a fun craft project or food you’re whipping up for the fourth? Leave us a comment and tell us about it!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

It's Warehouse Sale Season!

It only comes around once in a’ve been asking about it...and now it’s here - The Chip Shoppe Warehouse Sale! 

This beloved semi-annual event will feature, front and center, all of your favorite Chip Shoppe products at wonderful prices; this includes cookie dough, cheesecake, breads, pies, chocolates, soups, along with gift wrap, gift bags, jewelry, candles, calendars, household kitchen items, and much, much more. 

We’ll be open for 12 hours on Thursdays and Fridays, with shorter Saturday times. As per usual, all food items will be priced at $6.00 and all gift items will be 75% off! What’s more - if you visit our Facebook page, you can print off a coupon for 1 FREE gift item with a purchase.

The semi-annual warehouse sale kicks off this week; here’s when and where you’ll find us:

N169 W21177 Tower Drive
Jackson, WI 53037
Thursday, May 16th - 7am to 7pm 
Friday, May 17th - 7am to 7pm 
Saturday, May 18th - 8am to 2pm 
4759 Heatherwood Road
St. Cloud, MN 56301
Thursday, May 22 - 7am to 7pm
Friday, May 23 - 7am to 7pm
Saturday, May 24 - 8am to 2pm

Visit us on Facebook for warehouse sale details, updates and deals! We can’t wait to see you!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Thank a Teacher

The school year is coming to a close, teachers everywhere are preparing for a much-deserved summer break - and the national chapter of the Parent Teacher Association isn’t letting them go without a big, collective thank you.

From May 5-9, communities everywhere are encouraged to honor the challenging work of our educators through Teacher Appreciation Week; here are a few thoughtful, personalized ways to do this.


This is, of course, a timeless and sweet way to thank a teacher, and demonstrates gratitude simply because you took the time to make it! If you’d like to include a little something extra, (like a gift card to a favorite business) check out this template we discovered on Pinterest.


Goody baskets are just a fun, free-spirited way to give a variety of different things to your child’s teacher. Some basket ideas we like? Coffee/tea, candy, gum, candles, books, coffee mugs, a plant...well, it’s totally up to you. Here’s one idea we found pretty charming!


Many households have no shortage of books. If this sounds like you, consider making a donation of books your children may have outgrown to a teacher’s classroom.


The PTA suggests saying thank you by giving a little of your time to experience a day in the life of a teacher. Set a time to volunteer in your child’s classroom - reading books, helping with homework, or just kid wranglin’ before lunch or recess. It’s a gesture that certainly won’t go unappreciated by a busy teacher.

Have an idea you’d like to share? Leave us a comment! Still wondering what you should do for Teacher Appreciation Week? Enter our Facebook short essay contest telling us why you appreciate your teacher, and you will have the chance to win him or her a massage card! Enter here.

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Joy of Gifts and Teaching Students, The Lil' Shoppers Way

No cost to the school and students learning valuable skills about inventory, budgeting and purchase planning? Sounds great! This describes the gift giving opportunity that is The Lil' Shoppers Shoppe brought to you by The Chip Shoppe.
For over 37 years, The Lil' Shoppers Shoppe has assisted thousands of schools by offering a convenient, educational, and safe way for students to experience a program that is like no other.

The Lil' Shoppers Shoppe is available year-round for schools to participate, and was developed with the PTA and PTO to help students of all ages. It features over 100 quality gifts that change each year and over 85% of the items are $5 or less, and 50 cents is provided to students who don't have money! All necessary supplies and services are given to the school including: 
  • Colorful Parent Letters (also available in Spanish)
  • Budget Envelopes
  • Decorated Tablecloths
  • 3 Different Sizes of Gift Bags
  • Colorful "Coming Soon!" Event Posters
  • Chairperson Planning Guide
  • Guaranteed Pre-Holiday Delivery on Every Reorder Item
  • Pre-Coded Merchandise For Easy Checkout
  • Pre-Priced Tent Cards (with images of items)
  • UPS Next Day Delivery on All Re-Orders
  • Complete 24/7 online chairperson website
We even have a handy app that allows for smooth transactions. All the Shoppe needs to run is volunteers and then it's time to have fun. Students enjoy the fun of gift giving for the family. Teachers enjoy introducing store management in a fun way, and the school administration gets to provide this excellent service for their school. With The Lil' Shoppers Shoppe everyone wins! Visit the The Lil' Shoppers Shop to check out the gifts, the 100% satisfaction guarantee, and to signup.