Showing posts with label #TransformEdFreeGiveaway. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #TransformEdFreeGiveaway. Show all posts

Giveaway: The Art of Land-Based Early Learning

Tuesday, February 27, 2018




When a book is a true work of art, you cannot help but promote it to anyone and everyone that you meet!!!

That is how I feel about the new resources "The Art of Land-Based Learning."  Both volumes 1 and 2 have me feeling inspired and yearning to take more of my creative experiences outdoors!

Free Giveaway - Apple Music Subscription and More!

Thursday, January 4, 2018




Happy 2018 *Giveaway* !!! 

Win a free visit to my new TransformEd Creative Studio for you and a friend (two families or two educators - adult and kids welcome) with a private art session PLUS a one year Apple Music subscription (can be used with iPhone, iPad, laptop/desktop or Apple TV) to enjoy with your little ones while they play and create. 

#CTInquiry colour challenge!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017




#CTInquiry is pleased to announce a special launch to their 100 Languages photo challenges via Instagram.  If you don't already follow this account that @creative_explorations and I started click on @CTInquiry for weekly inspiration that is Reggio Emilia inspired!

Getting into the holiday spirit + unwrap a GIVEAWAY!

Friday, November 25, 2016




There is something about Christmas that has always made me feel like a child!  Now as a parent, I am re-living some of this excitement and holiday cheer through my son.  For this reason, I had my decor up a week before the Santa Clause Parade!  The way I see it is, why not enjoy it for two whole months?

Sweetlegs giveaway!!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016




Since this is my mini back-to-school fashion week, I had to share with you some of my comfy outfits too!!!  The moment that I get home from a busy day teaching, I immediately change into my Sweetlegs leggings!  They are so soft, and remain that way wash after wash!  I am seriously addicted to them and wore a pair (also have some in solid colours) almost every day of my pregnancy.  

What's even better is that they are made by a Canadian company from Kelowna, British Columbia!


Here are some photos of me wearing my Sweetlegs around the house:












Want to win your own pair of one size fits all leggings?

Here is how to enter:

1) Follow me @joannebabalis and @sweetlegs_ca on Instagram.
2) Leave a comment below with your name and email address sharing a special memory from your back to school!
3) Winner will be announced here within the comment section on Wednesday, October 5th, 2016.

Thank you also to @my_secret_photography for collaborating with me!  It was a fun photoshoot!




Find what makes you feel comfortable.

The confidence you wear your clothes in

is what's really going to shine.

                                                                                               -Hayley Hasselhoff


Early Literature

Saturday, September 24, 2016








Can you believe that we are already into the last week of September?  Fall is officially here and I am excited to announce that on the blog there will be many discounts and giveaways each day leading up to October.  I will be highlighting several back to school resources/materials and some fun fashion items too!

Have you ever heard of Early Literature?  I hadn't either until a beautiful box of books arrived at my doorstep!  Baby S couldn't wait to see what was inside, and he explored each title carefully! We are very fond of reading in our house.  Someone once told me that if children are surrounded by print material, that the research has shown an increase in their quest to lifelong learning.  In other words, the more books they are exposed to, the higher the chances and years that they will be in school. Interesting, don't you think?  I would love to find out more on this study...

In any event, we love to read!  Each day after our breakfast and songs, S and I go through about three books together.  I was amazed to see him begin reading on his own initiative within his crib and play pen the other day...  On a weekly basis we try to visit the public library or a bookstore of some kind.  I know that when I get busier with my full-time work, that this may become a little bit more challenging for us.  Therefore, I am almost certain that I will rely on online websites and book providers to help me out!

Early Literature is a book subscription by month.  The company selects high quality books on your behalf and sends them right to your doorstep or classroom!  It truly is an effortless way to grow your own personal or school library.























What I like about the books is that they have been hand-picked by a book specialist and that they are very current.  All of the titles in my gifted box were published in 2016!  As a classroom educator, when I am busy planning the learning environment and being responsive to students interests and needs, it's always helpful to have new books arrive to spark some rich discussions!   Subscribing means that I can remain up-to-date with what is becoming available, with regards to early literature, and perhaps what I might have missed with my busy day to day tasks.  

In addition, every monthly subscription comes with ideas to extend the learning of each book that is included.  It contains a book summary, learning activity suggestions, and a materials list. Of course your students/children will lead the direction of learning, but it is definitely a place that you might like to begin!

Finally, they are packaged so professionally in rectangular reusable boxes.  When you finish reading each month's theme, you can stack them away neatly into your cupboards!






Early Literature has kindly offered us a special giveaway of their "September Back to School" box.  If you enter you will get the chance to receive four free books (the same as the images in this blog post).  The first 25 blog followers to purchase a box also get a $10.00 discount with the code TransformEd16.  Since they already have a $5.00 off deal this month, that's a total savings of $15.00 off your first box!!!

How can you win?

  • follow me @joannebabalis on instagram
  • follow Early Literature on instgram
  • leave a comment below (with your name and email address clearly stated) highlighting a favourite reading memory of your own, your students, or your family members that will either inspire or warm someone's heart when they see it
  • for extra chances tag your friends on my instagram post

One lucky contestant will be selected by Early Literature and mailed their very own box!  The contest closes on October 1st.  I will also announce the winner on this blog post (at the bottom) within the comment section.

Good luck!









Partners and photoshoot details:


Photographer - @my_secret_photography

Location - My baby's "young artist dream" nursery




Thank you Jasmine Ansah-Mensah for finding my blog and for your kindness.  Baby S and I have been really loving your books!!!

Thank you also to the photographer, Alessandra Caparelli that I collaborated with to bring this blog post to life: @my_secret_photography.  Without her help, I wouldn't have been in any of the images with my little boy!  I will treasure them for years to come, as I know in a few short months our special time together (during the work day) will come to an end... Alessandra photographs many children and families from the point where they are expecting, to newborn images, birthday celebrations, and portraits for special occasions.  My whole family loved her, including my dog Ruby!  Her sweet and bubbly personality will have everyone smiling and laughing throughout the experience! 


Please stay tuned for a full week of blogging ahead! I am challenging myself to write each day.  Do you think that I can do it?  I promise to try my best!!!  This Fall my personal goal is to blog at least twice per week, if not every other day like when I first started back in 2011.  If I can do this until the end of my maternity leave, then perhaps you can forgive me when my full-time teaching resumes and I become busier!

Happy last week of September!  Remember to slow down and enjoy all the miraculous changes found in nature.  




You can find magic

wherever you look.

Sit back and relax,

all you need is a book.

                                                                                                      -Dr. Seuss


Blog bonanza - a special celebration!

Sunday, July 10, 2016





Welcome to the #TransformEdFreeGiveaway!  

This is a special contest and blog post, as it celebrates my blog exceeding over 2 million views!  I have been planning a blog bonanza since our big milestone in February, however, had more to coordinate than I realized!

It began as an effort to highlight the work of my favourite bloggers, while also giving away some freebies that I knew educators would love. Contacting all of these amazing individuals and organizing their information became a little tricky (especially with my baby's sleeping schedule and my course load), so I decided to write it from my own perspective instead.  Hopefully they don't mind!

I will therefore, be featuring my favourite blogs and of course explaining how to win the giveaway!



What is included in this summer giveaway?

  • Bouquet of flowers for your classroom donated by Lolo Floral
  • Gift certificate for a professional learning workshop donated by ECCDC ($50.00 value)



How can you win?

  1. Follow me on instagram and like the contest giveaway picture @joannebabalis
  2. Leave a comment here (below) sharing with our online community the blogs that you recommend and why you appreciate their content.    

Winners will be notified within the blog comment section on Monday, July 18th, 2016.  Since there are 6 prizes, there will be 6 lucky contestants!  Everyone who leaves a comment of their blog suggestions will be entered into this random draw and mailed their item(s).  

Don't forget to spread the word about this giveaway to any educators or parents!

Good luck!





What blogs do I feel inspired by?

There are so many bloggers that I love and admire!  I decided that the best way for me to introduce you to them, is by genre. In case I miss someone, please add their amazing link to the comment section below.  I am sure that there are many blogs out there that I haven't even had the chance to read.  My hope is that this post can be a space for us to refer back to together, as a resource!

In each section I have intentionally chosen only one blogger to place the spotlight on their commitment to the blogsphere. These blogs are updated on a weekly/monthly basis and each of these 10 incredible people are committed to posting rich content for their audiences.  Some blogs have been around for years, while others are newer to this online platform.  Regardless, it inspires me to see their dedication, especially since most of them have full-time careers and young families.  For those of who are writing blogs, you can very well testify that they are almost like a job in themselves!  To me, however, it will always be an enjoyable hobby!!! 


So here goes...


Please note that there is no specific order and that many of these bloggers can be represented in multiple genres.  For the purposes of this post, I have selected one area that they specialize in!



Early Learning Blog
  • Technology Rich Inquiry Based Research - I appreciate this blog, as it engages my passion for the early years.  Diane has a way of sharing important topics that many of us in the field are wondering about!  She grounds her posts in current research, and communicates her thinking in a way that is clearly understood by the readers.  If you are an early childhood educator you will discover a lot of information here.
- Posts I adore - 


- A quote that remained with me -
"To think critically is to examine reality beyond the surface - to see and think more deeply.  When you think critically, you ponder questions of who, what, where, when, how, and, most importantly, why.  Everyone has the ability to use the power of their mind to integrate thinking and practice... It is your professional responsibility to think deeply and be a disrupter of the status quo!"






Photography Blog
  • Anna with love - Each photo truly tells a story and I love how real Anna is with her writing!  She will captivate you and take you to dreamy destinations on a weekly basis!  Not to mention that every image is filled with creativity and flair! This blog always brightens up my day and sends positive vibes my way!  I hope that her genuine personality and design details make you smile too.
- Posts I adore - 

- A quote that remained with me -
"The world is filled with beautiful, kind people if you're looking for them! Smile at a stranger, wish someone a good day or simply hold the door open for someone else... I want to focus more on sprinkling on the kindness in the little moments each day and incorporating it into the blog.  Bringing light to all the wonderful people in this world and focusing on them! Kindness is contagious...pass it on!"





Education Blog
  • Living Avivaloca: My many musings on life and learning - I love this blog's energy and consistent content.  Sometimes it boggles my mind how Aviva finds the time to share her sincere journey with others.  If you are an educator you will find plenty of food for thought here!  I also appreciate that each post has links for further readings and research.
- Posts I adore - 

- A quote that remained with me -
"For documentation today, we decided to spend more time watching individual and/or small groups of students. We are working on interrupting less and watching/listening more.  This is an area that we continue to focus on, but by really spending time with different groups today, we noticed interests from before re-emerging, and students building on prior learning to create new learning."






Art and Creativity Blog
  • Handmade Charlotte - If you enjoy diy projects, crafts and recipes, then you are in for a real treat with this creative blog! I don't know where Rachel finds the time with five children, but she certainly makes it look effortless!  Once you visit her blog, I am sure that you will feel motivated to make something fun with your family!
- Posts I adore - 

- A quote that remained with me -
"Can you imagine letting your kids decorate their own room? And the whole house? ... [They will] find creative and original solutions and [they will] turn [a] home into a unique space."






Leadership Blog
  • The Higher Education Revolution - Debbie Donsky - Whenever I am in need of some updates around educational issues, I know where to go!  The quality of writing and thinking within this blog always leaves me reflecting about learning, leadership, innovation, and creativity.  As a fellow academic, her journey inspires me not to give up on my own, and I love how she has incorporated her own visual representations within many of the posts!  
- Posts I adore - 

- A quote that remained with me -
"Innovation happens when people take risks with their creativity, problem solving, and actions.  If innovation is encouraged in schools, then the leader's job is to create the conditions where it can happen... It is wonderful to have opportunities for inspiration with colleagues but in the end, an idea is nothing but ether if it is not tied to action within your organization."






Lifestyle Blog
  • Bonjour Bliss - When I find myself in search of ideas for any/every area of my life, I visit Roxanne's blog!  She writes about her home decor projects, recipes, fashion, beauty tips, travel, events around Toronto, and experiences with her two adorable children.  I love her visual layout, relatable content, and how each of her posts has you craving for more! 
- Posts I adore - 

- A quote that remained with me -
"On the family front we are all doing well, the kids are growing like weeds and to be honest it's fulfilling yet heart wrenching..."






Fashion Blog
  • Bijuleni - If you love fashion and colour, then you have come to the right place!  I love this bloggers fun style and well planned posts.  From her cute accessories to the stylish backdrops, she will have you curious for more!  Eleni is super sweet and makes her audience feel as though they know her. Overall I love her fresh perspective and honest advice!
- Posts I adore - 

- A quote that remained with me -
"The only person that will give you exactly what you want is yourself.  You know what you want, you know what you need, you know what will make you happy and what will not. Romantic love will embellish your life, but you do not need romantic love to bloom.  Let's learn to love what is within first.  Be kind to your inner core, understanding to your needs, give your wants a little joy, be forgiving to the mistakes you have made, be loving towards the image you see in the mirror."





Food Blog
  • Dine and Fash - This foodie's blog makes the simple act of eating always look like a gourmet experience.  My mouth literally waters every time that I read her posts!  I love how thoughtfully Krystle captures each moment that she highlights from her dining experiences, outfits, or travels.  If you are ever looking for a new restaurant to visit in the TDot, she has written several reviews with photographs of both her meal and the ambiance.
- Posts I adore - 

- A quote that remained with me -
"We are constantly being bombarded with information and there is so much to filter through from various channels, so the few minutes it can take to read (or scroll through) a blog post alone can be a lot.  Admittedly, I never really paid attention to anyone's blog until I started my own.  Now, I find myself actively seeking blogs out, since I can really appreciate all of the hard work that goes on in the background to put together even a short post."






Technology Blog
  • The Spicy Learning Blog - This is more than a techie blog, even though I must admit that it's why I first started following it!  Royan provides an interesting perspective of our changing times from the point of view of an educator and father.  I am currently loving his #MyWorkflow series where various educators who are active creators on social media are featured to share how they do their work.  I recommend that you join in on the conversation!
- Posts I adore - 

- A quote that remained with me -
"Should our schools and systems leverage their own students as actual teachers of the adults? If education in this age demands a learner's stance from all stakeholders, then when will we actually formally (not just through poetic observation) learn from the students? Are they not capable? Are there not certain things they are inherently better at teaching us than our middle aged peers and colleagues?"







Parenting Blog
  • The Sweeter Side of Mommyhood - The writer of this blog, Jacquie is an artsy mama to three precious girls! I absolutely love how she posts about her family, art/design ideas, recipes and photography so seamlessly together.  It is obvious when you visit her online space, that blogging has become her creative outlet.  I feel so grateful that she is willing to share her projects online!
- Posts I adore - 

- A quote that remained with me -
"I posted a photo on instagram of the empty bookshelf, hoping my friends and family would want to give me a few books to fill it up.  The response I got from that photo was astounding. Everyone wanted to donate books!  Thus was born Gracie's Gift of Words in honour of my kids, but mostly as a way for me to personally say thank you to the hospital, the doctor's and the nurses who have given us incredible care."






* * * * *




Collectively all of these bloggers have inspired me in some way and I have certainly learned a lot from them.  I continue to admire their commitment to blogging and enjoy reading about their passion.  

Sending a whole lot of blog LOVE their way today, and always!!!


What blogs are currently inspiring you?  

Are you reading a variety across genres, or focusing solely upon education?  


Before ending this post, I would like to extend a HUGE THANK YOU for your ongoing support and readership to my blog!  As many of you know, I started off writing about my early learning and kindergarten journey.  Now I would like to think the blog is a space for passion for the early years, creativity, and a piece of documentation from my own life.

Without you, we would have never made this incredible milestone!  THANKS 2 million + times over!!!  I promise to continue to blog as much as possible!

Enjoy the contest and of course your very well-deserved summer vacation!



A flower does not think of competing with

the other flower next to it.

It just blooms.

                                                                                                 -Unknown author

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