5 #Organizing Tips for #BackToSchool #BTS

Organizing BTS Pin

I did not receive any compensation for this post. I received the Wall Pops White Board Monthly Calendar in my swag bag at the Momtrends Back-to-School Event.

1.  Family Calendar


Organizing Post

Place a big dry erase calendar in a central location, such as the kitchen or family room.  Our favorite is the White Board Monthly Calendar ($14.99) from Wall Pops. This calendar is re-useable peel and stick, so you can put it on the wall.  It’s on our refrigerator now and I just started using it. It comes with a dry erase pen that can be stuck to any surface with velcro.  It’s the biggest calendar I’ve been able to find, which is an important feature for fitting the schedules of all family members.

2.  Homework Command Station

Organizing Pic Drawer

My oldest is 6, so I still want to be in close proximity when he’s doing his homework. Therefore, his homework spot is the dining room table. This can be tricky because the mess can get out of hand, and then the dining room becomes a catch-all for everyone’s paperwork. So, my son has a drawer in the dining room hutch for his often-used supplies.  When he’s not using them, the pile goes right in the drawer.

3.  Lunch Box Command Station

I reserve a shelf in the fridge for my son’s lunch items (juice boxes, cut up carrots, cheese. Not only does this make lunch items easy to grab, it becomes a visual reminder when times are running low.

4.  Permission Slip Inbox

Wall Pockets from The Container Store, $12.99 for a set of two

Set up an inbox for important notices from the school, like permission slips and other forms. The spot should be in a centralized location close to the door, because important papers have a greater chance of disappearing if they have to travel too far in the house.  I’m going to try a hanging inbox from The Container Store this year because I want to keep our tiny desk free of clutter.

5. Purge the Closet

Go through the closet and purge outgrown clothes.  Make a list of what you’re low on (e.g., socks, jeans, headbands, etc.) for your back-to-school clothes shopping. You will surely gather enough outgrown clothes for a generous donation!

What are your top back to school organizing tips?

Back to School with Mabel’s Labels. #BTS #BackToSchool @mabelhood

I received the following product for the purpose of review.  All opinions are my own.

Back-to-School preparation is in full-swing!  I attended the Momtrends back-to-school event and had a fantastic time. You can check out my post about the event at Raising Three Savvy Ladies. One of my favorite back-to-school products from the event is Mabel’s Labels, “Labels for the stuff kids lose!”

Part of the Ultimate Back-to-School Combo
Part of the Ultimate Back-to-School Combo

In my experience, Mabel’s Labels are the best for identifying kids’ supplies, personal items and clothes. You will  need to label items whether your children are in school or day care, and you’ll need a lot of them. I’ve tried masking tape, Sharpie marker, stickers, and other labeling products, but Mabel’s Labels is heads above the rest. I will use them for my son who is in the 1st grade and for my daughter in nursery school.

The Ultimate BTS Combo includes two of these key ring tags too. Great for the lunch box!
The Ultimate BTS Combo includes two of these key ring tags too. Great for the lunch box!

The labels come in multiple sizes, they are resilient to everyday wear-and-tear, and the back-to-school package is plentiful. You’ll need them for pencils and scissors, lunch boxes, clothes, accessories, and more.

They stick on everything! Seen here: Pottery Barn Kids lunch box and water bottle, Crayola crayons and glue stick, Lands End Perfectly Packable Bag, and Spbang snack bag
They stick on everything! Seen here: Pottery Barn Kids lunch box and water bottle, Fiskars Non-Stick scissors, Crayola crayons and glue stick, Lands End Perfectly Packable Bag, and Spbang snack bag.

Now you also can find Mabel’s Labels Write Away Labels (self-laminating, writable sticky labels) at Walmart and Amazon.com. These are so versatile. They’re great to have around the house for those random, must-label moments.

Mabel’s Labels sent me the Back-to-School Combo for my son and daughter and I already started labeling their school supplies.  I’ve used them in the past, and I was so pleased with how well they endured the school year and beyond.

Mabels Labels Collage
This is the girl’s version of Write Away Labels. Look at all the cute icons that are included!

Go to Mabel’s Labels to see the different products available for students of all ages in a wide range of stylish designs. I’m guessing you’ll also want to buy some for yourself, like I do.  You’ll think of endless uses for their new line of household labels, too!

What will you be labeling this back-to-school season?

Warning Signs of Suicide in Young People

Suicide is the third leading cause of death in individuals ages 15 to 24. Suicide is most often the result of depression or mental illness, but lately we have heard tragic stories of teenagers resorting to suicide after chronic bullying.

Loved ones of suicide victims are left to wonder what they could have done to prevent it. Survivors should not be blamed for suicide, because it is difficult to predict when and if it will occur. Warning signs can be easy to miss or ignore and attribute to normal teen angst. Loved ones, especially parents, can only do their best to learn the warning signs of depression and suicide and connect with a mental health professional.

  • Loss of interest in activities he/she used to enjoy like school, work, sports, hobbies
  • Withdrawal from friends
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Changes sleep habits
  • Changes in behavior
  • Engaging in risky behavior
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Having recently experienced a loss (e.g., death of a loved one, broken relationship, divorce)
  • Preoccupation with death or dying
  • Self-injurious behavior (cutting oneself)
  • Talks about committing suicide
  • Has attempted suicide before

If you are concerned about a loved one, seek the help of your physician, your pediatrician, your school psychologist, or other qualified mental health provider. You also can visit the American Psychological Association for help finding a psychologist.

If someone you know expresses intent to hurt or kill oneself, call 911 immediately or take him or her to your nearest emergency room.

If you are feeling suicidal, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7 at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to be connected to a trained counselor at a crisis center in your area.

Be ready for #BackToSchool! #Win Lice Treatment/Prevention Products from @Vamousselice! #Giveaway #BTS


I received the following products for the purpose of review and giveaway. All opinions are my own.

Have you received the dreaded “lice letter” before? It’s the one notifying you of a lice outbreak in your child’s school. Immediately your skin crawls and your head starts to itch. What do you do next?!

If your family has the misfortune of a lice infestation, Vamousse makes an easy-to-apply mousse that works in 15 minutes to kill 100% percent of lice and their eggs. Instead of synthetic pesticides, Vamousse uses a non-toxic, pesticide free product with scientific support for its effectiveness in killing lice and eggs. Sounds good to me!

Vamousse Treatment Mousse
Vamousse Treatment Mousse

Now, what if your family doesn’t have lice, but you think it’s only a matter of time if your kids are exposed at school? Or perhaps you’re sending your child to camp or to a sleepover and you know the chances of getting lice is greater than normal. You and your child may never get it but you want to do something to prevent it!

Vamousse makes a lice prevention shampoo for this scenario. It’s free of chemicals so you don’t have to worry about harming your children when they have been exposed to lice but might not be infected.

Vamousse Shampoo
Vamousse Preventative Shampoo

I received a bottle of the Treatment Mousse and a travel-size Prevention Shampoo at the Momtrends Back-To-School-Event. (See my post about the event at Raising Three Savvy Ladies!) They say that the best time to purchase Lice treatment is BEFORE they arrive, so I feel peace of mind having Vamousse in the house just in case. I don’t know what it’s like to use on my head, but it smells pretty good – like eucalyptus.

Vamousse can be purchased over-the-counter in stores, pharmacies, and online, including Walmart and Amazon.com.

Or, WIN a FREE full-size set of both products worth over $40! Enter below…


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Summer with Kids #summerwithkids #parenting


I have a love/hate relationship with summer.

I’m so grateful to have two children who can’t get enough of the sun and the water. I feel fortunate to be members at a beach club with endless activities on the sand, in the ocean, and in the pool. I also feel lucky to live on a block with a bunch of kids who play until we drag them inside for bed. But I’m so stinking exhausted!

PicMonkey Collage.jpgEvery day is different, so a routine is non-existent. Boredom isn’t possible…ok, that’s good.  But it’s also the worst part, because I get anxious without a routine.

Plus, I’m the stay-at-home parent, so I’m the cruise director on this long vacation. (Ironically, I’m not doing a lot of “staying at home”). MUST.  PLAN.  ACTIVITY.  That’s my mantra.   If the weather is nice, I must take the opportunity and get them outside.  Well, the weather has been perfect for almost the entire summer!  Can I get a rainy day around here?!

Then I look at my pictures from the last couple of months.

And then I love summer.

It took forever to put all her “gear” on; but I had to take a moment to enjoy it.




Am I the only one who finds herself regretfully wishing the summer away?



Celebrate National Friendship Day with Strawberry Shortcake! #BerryBestFriend @berrybestbits #win


Sunday August 3rd is National Friendship Day and Strawberry Shortcake wants to help kids celebrate! Share a picture of your favorite girl with her BFF on the Strawberry Shortcake Facebook page– facebook.com/StrawberryShortcake  OR @berrybestbits on Instagram or Twitter, and Hashtag with #BerryBestFriend. Five sets of BFFs will be chosen at random and will win a new Strawberry Shortcake doll coming out this Fall!


My daughter has a BFF and, hands down, it’s her brother.  They love and support each other in their own kid-way.  Even though Strawberry Shortcake isn’t his thing, I know he would take the time to play with her when she has her own Strawberry Shortcake dolls. I hope their bond never changes.