National Geographic Kids

For the adventurer.


I don’t know how you got here but here you are. You stumbled upon my blog.

My name is Julie. My family nickname is Bug, if you’re curious where the “Bug” came from in “Bug Bytes.” And “bytes,” well – it’s a decision I regret. I don’t know what a byte is but it has something to do with computers.

Bug on the computer.

I’m married to Scott. There’s a lot I could say about Scott but for now, all you need to know is he’s my husband.

I have a daughter, Emma. She is 11 years old and in 6th grade. It’s called middle school now, not jr. high. Just so you know.

I have another daughter, Kate. She’s 8 years old and in 3rd grade. She’s a good kid other than she refuses to “fake smile” for pictures.

There they are. My family. We live in the Kansas City area. No, we don’t live on a farm. This is at Home Depot. We have Home Depots in Kansas.


There’s nothing special about us or this blog. It’s just a place for me to write about my life as it happens.

I write for a Kansas City magazine – Simply KC magazine.  I am a contributing author to the New York Times Bestselling “I Just Want to Pee Alone” series, a parenting anthology titled, “But Did You Die? Setting the Parenting Bar Low” by a Bunch of Know-It-Alls. and you can find my words sprinkled around the Internet.


I am a humor writer.

There you go. Sometimes you need a re-cap on who I am and what you’re reading. I am a writer, wife, mother.


You would think I have a handle on parenting after 12 years of being a parent – but no, I don’t. The rules keep changing. You know – the rules:

“Jarred baby food is bad. It’s best to make your own baby food.” – Whoops.

“Keep your children on a consistent bed time.” – But how will they catch the lightening bugs at 10 p.m. in the summer?

“Don’t read your kids’ notes they pass to friends in class. Respect their privacy.” – But that’s the highlight of my day – opening a backpack stuffed full of post-it notes. ‘Can I borrow some duck tape?’ – ‘Well aren’t you fancy.’ I just want to make sure my kids are funny in the written form.

“Limit screen time.” – Limit screen time. I agree with that. Adults should limit their screen time too – ah hem, Kardashians. It’s not good for your eyes or your butt.

I don’t limit my kids screen time.

Computers, iPads, iPhones – or Androids! Sorry! Shoutout to the Androids – texting, social media. We’re raising kids in a digital era. I want my kids to be proficient in technology. They need to know how to open a website. They need to be able to speak the digital language if they’re going to be successful as adults. They need to know how to be safe on the Internet too. I’m not saying I give them full access.

I am also an ambassador for National Geographic Kids. I let you know what’s going on inside those big National Geographic Kids offices in Washington, D.C.

National Geographic Kids partnered with Pleyboxes are a monthly subscription box for kids. Each Pleybox takes kids on an adventure to a different part of the world. The amazon, the arctic, the virunga. The virunga is the home of gorillas – didn’t know that, did ya? That’s National Geographic Kids. 

This is the Great Barrier Reef Pleybox. I believe this is month two in the series.


And this is what you get inside: A National Geographic Kids Great Barrier Reef t-shirt, a National Geographic Kids book, a sticker sheet, a cloth bracelet, two small figurine animals from the Great Barrier Reef, an activity booklet, a certificate of achievement, and access to a online digital games that features the Great Barrier Reef – because kids in this generation still need to learn from a computer. National Geographic Kids knows this. We all know this.


These two figurines are pretty small, hence the 5-11 age group recommendation.


National Geographic Kids books are magical unicorn books that get kids to read. And even I still learn something new from them – hello, virunga gorilla land.


You like that trick, don’t ya. That’s the power of the digital age. Watch, I’ll do it again – the activity booklet.


If you’re looking for a Christmas present that keeps on giving to the kids – check out There are also pleyboxes focused towards younger kids, without the small toys and chapter books. You can choose just one box or six boxes or subscribe all year.

Here are some deals I’m passing along, if you order before December 19th. All orders placed before Dec. 19 at 12 p.m. EST are guaranteed to be delivered for Christmas.

  • Get your 1st Disney Princess Pleybox for $10 (+shipping), when signing up for a subscription (CODE: DP10)
  • Get your 1st National Geographic Kids Pleybox for $10 (+shipping) when signing up for a subscription (CODE: NG10) — This is ours.
  • Get your 1st Hot Wheels Pleybox for $10 (+shipping) when signing up for a subscription (CODE: HOT10)

One more thing! Oh my gosh, how can I forget?

You remember my daughter, Kate? The one that is a good kid but doesn’t “fake smile” for pictures?

This is Kate after exploring the contents of the Pleybox, playing the Great Barrier Reef computer games, and wearing her new National Geographic Kids t-shirt.

She smiled for a picture.


And there’s your review from the most brutally honest kid, behind-the-scenes at National Geographic Kids.


Link: National Geographic Kids

Link: The Virunga


Wait, don’t go! Find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

And don’t forget to buy my book, “But Did You Die?”