Back to School Beginning Hints

Make Life Easier!

Pack lunches the night before and refrigerate!

Make sure backpacks are packed and ready to go the night before.

Create a homework center. Stock with extra crayons and supplies needed to complete homework. Make sure it’s not near a t.v.

Lay out clothes the night before.

Remember kids need to make as many decisions as possible. Avoid power struggles by letting them make small decisions.

Create a special hamper in the laundry room for uniforms and other rush items.

Fold T-shirts so that the design is recognizable without unfolding.

Each evening have a 30 minute family clean up time to get everything back in place.

Back To School Shopping!

Buy smaller glue and crayons. Space is limited and teachers stress children sometimes lose these items easily.

Remember school dress rules when buying clothing. Some schools have rules about the verbage appearing on t-shirts.

Don’t buy plastic scissors for your school aged children as they just don’t perform up to standards.

Consider the new velcro straps for books as some schools require backpacks be stored upon arrival at school.

Buy socks that are all the same for easy matching at laundry time.

Make sure to buy lots of extras before school starts. Take advantage of the lower prices.

Again when possible let kids choose their own items or at least the color or design.

Buy a good backpack and lunch box as these are probably the most abused. Save on the trendy stuff.

Make sure you buy a lunch box or backpack that your small child can open easily.

When buying shoes buy extra shoe strings and polish if necessary.

If you have trouble telling your kids’ socks and underwear apart; Buy different brands as they usually have a different colored stripe, or band on them.

Back To School Prep!

About 2 weeks before school starts: Begin going to bed and getting up on a school schedule.

The weekend before school starts: Don’t make any stressful plans for big events or trips.

Don’t forget to check out that bus schedule!

Call your school or organization and get the facts about fall sports teams and social clubs. Don’t be late or miss something!

Make sure to get all immunizations and physical completed.

Make a master list of Mom and Dads phone numbers along with doctors and emergency numbers. You are sure to need these several times.

If you have medical concerns make sure to meet with the school nurse prior to the first day. Especially if medicine must be given at school.

Get a couple of rolls of quarters and dimes. Put them in the cabinet so you don’t have to hunt for change at the last minute.

Make a check list of items easily forgotten at the last minute and hang it in an obvious place.

Put up several hooks for backpacks, jackets, and lunch boxes. Don’t hang them too High!

Make up some freezeable lunch and breakfast items for those crazy days. Thaw and nuke!

Label, Label, Label; All items that will be taken to school or worn and taken off at school!

Make a list of rules and adjustments for school days: Homework schedule, tv schedule, bath time, bed time etc…

Make sure to arrange afterschool daycare!

Save 35 mm film canisters for change in lunchbox.

Try to set up a time to meet the teacher; some schools provide this occasion.

Go over school rules with your child.

Make a calendar to place in a visible spot; fill in events and school vacation days.

Make a special box for your children to place forms from school which need special attention.

By Cynthia – Organized Home

Gifts For any Occasion

Help! I need a gift!



“What can I get for….”? Well if you have run out of ideas or need to get a jump start, I have some solutions for you.

First of all let me just mention that GIFTS do not have to be expensive or big. Great gifts come from knowing that the person and giving them something that they will appreciate you thinking of them. Gifts also need to come from the heart; something new or created.

Here are a few gift suggestions:

 Holiday Mugs

-Fill with cocoa mix and a candy cane. Wrap with a holiday napkin or tissue paper and tie with an ornament or ribbon.

Brag Books

-take your photos and get them printed. Put them in a photo book. Scrap or decorate the inside pages. Wrap and give.

Offer a Subscription

-Pay for a specific magazine subscription and tuck your card inside.

Go Green

-Make a homemade solution for a cleaning product or beauty product with essential oils and scents. (For ideas and recipes, see “Homemade Solutions.”)

Pack a Jar

-Fill a jar with the ingredients for chocolate chip cookies or a soup. Write the recipe on a decorated card with a ribbon.

Recipe Book

-Hand-write your favorite recipes on colored or decorated index cards. Punch a hole in the corner of each one and tie together with a festive ribbon. Offer a dessert sample with the book.

Dip Pretzels

– Melt store bought chocolate and dip the pretzels in them. Lay to cool on wax paper. Decorate with red and green sugar crystals etc…then package them in holiday-themed cellophane bags with a tie.

Coupon Book

-Create pages that include a back rub, babysitting, dinner, mow the lawn, breakfast in bed, or any other items that the person in mind would love. Insert book in a holiday gift bag and tie off with a ribbon.

Honor Gift

-You can send a donation to a favorite charity, with your persons name on it-what an honor to think of someone else and give some one else the credit.

Basket/Box Gift

-These are great! Take a medium size holiday basket or box and fill it with items that are their favorites. It could be from ART-to-Zoo. Use specifics and even write a short message about why you made the basket/box especially for them.


American Spirit-Red, white and blue candy, flags, Books on American History, gift card to Museum of History.

· Art-Craft items, paints, brushes, assorted paper, play do, and tickets to an Art Museum.

·Baby-Blanket, diapers, wipes, photo book, bibs, outfit, and CD-lullabies.

·Bread/Cheese/Wine-Assorted breads or crackers, varieties of cheese, bottle of wine and wine stopper.

·Candles-Assorted sizes and scents of candles, lighter, and candle holders.

·Candy-Chocolates, mints, hard candy, and gum.

·Desserts-A variety of baking boxes with an apron.

·Exercise/Workout-Warm-ups, hand weights, water bottle, towel, and gym bag.

·Fruit-Assorted fruit in sealed containers.

·Garden-Watering can, gloves, garden tools, seeds, insulated cup, and kneeling pad.

·Gentleman/New Dad-Use a top hat for special effect: luxury coffee mug or insulated cup, cigars, cookies, ritzy treats, tickets to a game or a guy’s night out coupon.

·Get Well-Chicken noodle soup, soup bowel, crackers, puzzle book, nice pen, herbal teas, tea mug and saucer.

·Handy Man (house warming for him)-Work gloves, leveler, flashlight, notepad with pen, tape measurer, gift card to Home Depot.

·Home-Cleaning products, paper goods, and baking goods. Gift card to Kroger.

·Igloo-Assorted coolers from cups to coolers.

·Just for her (house warming for her)-Calendar, shopping list, picture frames, Tylenol and gift card to Bath and Body!

·Kids-Theme related toys or special items for hobbies or extra curricular activities, gift card to Toys R Us.

·Laughter-Movies, Books, and Music that are funny and full of comedy!

·Mommy-Lotions, bath, lotions, salts and shower gels, encouraging reading material, parenting magazines, and maid services.

·Nails-Variety of nail polish, polish remover, manicure set, pumice stone, lotion, nail trimmers and a gift card for a pedicure and manicure.

·On the job-Pens, calculator, sticky notes, daytimer/planner, and desk accessories.

·Pretty Women-Flowers, potpourri, chocolate, back massager, and gift card to Victory Secrets.

·Quilt/Sewing-Push pins, material cutting tools, assorted needles, variety of thread colors, and gift card to Hobby Lobby.

·Romantic-Cd of Harp/Instrumental Love songs, wine-cheese and cracker, candles, eatable body frosting, bath fizzers, lingerie, and handmade certificates for indulgences.

·Scrap Book-Variety of scrapbook papers, assorted stickers, assorted embellishments, photo books, refills and page protectors for the photos books, and gift card to Hobby Lobby or Michaels.

·Tea-Assorted teas, tea cup and saucer, treats to go with teas, mini books, and journal.

·Universal/Go Green-magazines, book about Going Green. In a all natural basket with all natural items.

·Vineyard/Cook-Pastas, sauces, serving bowl and platter, breads, wine and wine stopper.

·Wind-Kites, airplanes, balloons, yard flags and wind chimes.

·Xerox-Printing paper, ink cartridges, and gift card to Stapes.

·Youth-Volleyball, soccer ball, basketball, football, gift card to Academy.

·Zoo-Favorite stuffed animal, T-shirt with zoo animals, animal cracker, disposable camera, and tickets to zoo.

Hopes this helps or at least gets you started!

Enjoy and God Bless!

Grocery Shopping Tips

Grocery shopping can be overwhelming at best! Here are just a few tips that will help your approach to grocery shopping, and make it an enjoyable experience!

·Clean out your pantry and refrigerator. It’s important to make sure your pantry and your refrigerator are completely cleaned out so you can see what you need and what you already have multiples of before you head to the store.

·Plan ahead. Decide on Saturday morning what your menu for the week will look like. Determine which ingredients you will need for that week, and hit the grocery store as early as possible to get the best deals possible. If you do not like the Saturday morning crowds, plan to go on Sunday or Tuesday evenings, when the crowds are smaller and the best deals are made available.

·Make an ingredient list. Using your pre-planned menu, make a list of all ingredients you will need to complete your menu. Make sure to stick to your list when wandering through the store. It’s easy to stray when your kids are begging for certain types of cereal, or your eyes are drawn to the fresh, yummy-smelling, box of doughnuts placed in front of you! Stay focused and stick to your list.

·Eat before you go! It may seem a little silly, but a curbed appetite will keep you from buying things that you do not intend to buy, but sound good to you while perusing the grocery aisles. An apple or a banana will give you enough energy to shop, are low in calories, and will dull your appetite enough to keep you from buying your favorite treat.

·Use coupons to save money. Most weekend newspapers will carry coupons for your local markets. If you are price-conscious, the coupons will enable you to purchase your favorite items at a lower cost.

·Bring your calculator. Especially if you are on a budget, using your calculator with each purchase will help ensure you stay within your budget. You will also avoid purchasing items you don’t need because you will keep track of what you are spending as you go.

Tips & Warnings

·Only buy what you need for that week–anything else will either go bad or will sit unused for months on the back of the shelf.

·Plan your menu with foods you know you will eat–and ingredients that can be used for different things. For example, if you buy 2 pounds of ground beef, use one pound for chili and one pound for hamburgers. Two meals out of one ingredient!

·Stick to your food budget!

HAVE FUN…You are making amazing choices for you and your family!