How To Easily Book Spa & Salon Services In The Chicago Area With The Groupon App

Thanks to Groupon for sponsoring this post.

In the past when I’ve wanted to get my nails done I’ve had two options. I could call during business hours and try to book the appointment or I could walk in and hope the wait wasn’t too long. Neither of these options is very convenient for me because when I’m thinking about doing something for myself it’s either early in the morning or late at night (when salons or spas are closed) or when I have a bit of downtime and want to head out right away (which generally results in waiting around for an open chair).

Luckily I’ve discovered that I can book salon and spa appointments right in the Groupon app which means I can request my appointment any time that’s convenient for me and Groupon will do all the work of scheduling it. (Available only in Chicago and the Chicago suburbs at the moment.)

It was super easy to set up my appointment. I went into the Groupon app (available for both Android and iPhone) and clicked “salon and spa booking”.

Then I chose the service I wanted and searched all locations near me using my current location.

I found a nail place that looked nice and had reasonable prices and chose my service and picked the appointment time that worked for me.

All the terms of service are clear in the Groupon app before you book the service, like the cancellation policy if you need to cancel ahead of time if you can’t make it.

When you book your service you provide your credit card number but payment is not collected until after your service is complete. It’s nice to arrange everything, including the tip, ahead of time! My favorite part of using Groupon to book my spa and salon services though, other than the convenience factor, is that I know exactly how much I’m going to spend before I get there. In the past I’ve been surprised at the upcharges for nail services after my nails are done, so I really like that.

Once you click “request appointment” Groupon goes to work scheduling your appointment for you. The other day I requested an appointment for myself before the salon opened at 11am and half an hour later I had a text confirmation that my appointment was set.

Do you like to get your nails or hair done? Or maybe you need to relax with a massage or a facial. Whatever salon or spa service you need, if you are located in the Chicago area, book it on Groupon to save time! If you have the Groupon app on your phone, click here to go straight to the experience. Use code “MTFM10” and receive $10 off your first booked service.

Enter to win a $600 Groupon gift card below!
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Attention All Puzzle Loving Families

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post but all thoughts are my own.

I have a hard time sitting still and doing nothing so years ago I’d relax in the evenings by doing a puzzle while watching tv. Once I had children though, aka beings with tiny hands that like to get into everything, my relaxing puzzle evenings happened less and less because I couldn’t leave my puzzles out on the table. I’d given up on this hobby until I discovered Magic Jigsaw Puzzles, an app available in all major app stores and on Facebook. With more than 20,000 family-friendly puzzles that are perfect for all ages and skill levels, there are plenty of puzzles to choose from. Now I can still put together puzzles without my children (or my cats) messing with the pieces.

Lucas, my youngest, loves puzzles as well so this app is great for him, too. He’ll be even more excited to see some of his favorite movies have come to the app because ZiMAD, the game developer, has partnered with Sony Pictures to launch its first film-based puzzle collections within the Magic Jigsaw Puzzles mobile game. Now he can put together puzzles featuring scenes from The Smurfs, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and Hotel Transylvania. Other current and new release films will be included in the game at a later date.

This app is fun for the whole family, whether you are sitting in the waiting room or your kids need something to keep them busy on a long road trip. I really like that it’s easy to switch from “beginner” to “advanced” so that both my boys and I can enjoy playing the app together. Sometimes I’ll even put together a beginner puzzle just to take a break during my work day. {Confession…I may have stopped writing this post for five minutes or so to put together a puzzle of a river I wish I was sitting by….}

If you love puzzles, or have just been looking for a new app to occupy your time, download Magic Jigsaw Puzzles today and see for yourself how much fun it is!

Help Kids Learn Phonics & Spelling With The Wonster Words App

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post but all thoughts are my own.

We love discovering new smartphone apps for the kids and the best ones, in my opinion, are ones that have a learning aspect to them. I feel like children are more likely to want to learn if learning is fun. Wonster Words, a free iOS and Android app, is definitely one of those games that kids enjoy playing and parents love because they see their kids learning.

In Wonster Words, kids will have a blast playing with animated letters to put together words through interactive spelling puzzles, letter hide-and-seek, and other engaging mini-games. The animated letters sound out the phonics, gliding vowels, and consonant blends as they are being played. Once the words are complete, then short animations and mini-games tells the story of the words via a group of adorable Wonster characters!

You can see the game in action in this video below:

I think this game is a great way to help children learn to sound out words and learn basic word families. Since children learn in a variety of ways, I think the addition of fun clips about the words just reinforce what the children are learning. The fact that the clips are silly and make children laugh is great.

Another thing I like is that the app encourages kids to engage and explore, with no scoring, quizzing, or limits. My youngest, who is on the Autism Spectrum, stresses out when he feels rushed through learning activities so the fact that he can just play without worrying about losing or running out of time is perfect. Though this game is for ages 3-6 typically, I think it’s also an app that’s useful and fun for older children on the Spectrum (or with other special needs) who are still learning to read. Lucas is seven and I saw an online review from someone with a nine year old on the Spectrum saying he enjoyed it as well.

Wonster Words has won numerous awards, including Children’s Technology Review, Parent’s Choice, NAPPA, and others. It comes with many free words, along with free daily “words of the day”. More words are available through in-app purchases (but don’t worry because the purchases are parent-gated so your child can’t make any purchases). The app updates monthly with more words so your child can continue learning and having fun.

Want to try Wonster Words? Download it for free using the following links:

Also, though the app is free, there is a “pro” version available with all the words unlocked. This “all access pass” is discounted on Google Play right now! You can get it for $9.99 until 1/6/2017 (the regular price of the “all access” app is $14.99.)