Five {5} Things That You’ll Need for Back-to-School This Year

The close to the summer is almost here.  Kids in some parts of the country have already started back to school.  We still have one more week before we meet the teachers, and then just a handful of days following that when the first day of school will begin.

I have put together a list of essentials to make sure that you have everything that you need for the big day.

1. Back packs

Back packs are a must!  Whether you’re going with plain or patterned, gold or glitter (make sure that it’s not against your school’s policies), Justice or Pottery Barn – every child will need a back pack.  There are some places, like Pottery Barn that actually offer back packs in a variety of sizes, based on ages & grade level.  Check with what your school or teacher recommends and then go and get the back pack that is right for you!

2. Lunch boxes

Every child wants a nice lunch box.  If possible, I say to personalize it.  There are lots of places (like Etsy or monogram shops) that will personalize lunch bags for you.   I’m not so keen on having a name on the outside of a backpack, but lunch boxes in my opinion are a must, if you can.  Depending on where you get your box from; many shops on Etsy will offer personalization of the bag when you purchase.  If you walk inside to a brick & mortar facility, it will all depend on what they offer.  Some require that you buy the item from them before they’ll personalize.  Other’s will charge an additional fee if you bring in an item from the outside.  Go with what will work best, and get your child’s lunch box, with their name or initials on it.

3. Lunch containers

There are a lot of different types of lunch containers out there.  Everything from individual & separatable compartments, to bento-style boxes, to ones that just fit a sandwich and no more.

Go with a lunch container that is dishwasher safe, that can be used every day (get more than one for a back-up just in case something happens to the one you have), and one that fits into the lunch bag that you picked out.  You can have the lunch container personalized with waterproof vinyl or with the next item on this list.

4. Kid Labels

Labels, labels, labels.  I could only imagine the frustration that faculty and teachers go through when they’re trying to figure out, “Who in the world, this xyz belongs to…?!”  In the past, we’ve used sharpie markers but this year, we are all about the labels.  What we cannot use sharpie marker on, I have found some wonderful multi-surface & waterproof labels to label all of our kids items with.  One of these days I will break into the world of diy-printable vinyl.   Until then, I’ll be ordering them pre-designed by the experts!

5. {Printed} First Day of School Signs

Are you that mom that wakes up, gets her child up for school, gets them dressed, gives them a good breakfast, a kiss and a hug and then sends them on their way to school.  Only to find out later, after logging in to social media, that everyone else in the cyber-world has a picture of their child smiling with a handy-dandy ready to go “First Day of School” sign?

Now, it’s not that you need to have that sign so that you can be like everyone else.  But if you would like to be able to look back, even if for your knowing or even a picture to send to family or place in a scrapbook, you’ll want to have that sign printed possibly even the day or week before.  Just go ahead and print your’s off now.  There are a ton of options out there from printed to physical hand-held chalk-boards.

You can do this.

Just don’t wait until the last minute….

Chemeeka 

 

Five Things That You Can Do for Summer – Checklist

So here’s my 5 Things that You Can do to Stay Ahead of the Game this Summer checklist:

Print this off & put it up on your fridge, and begin getting your supplies now, one thing at a time.

I would recommend taking on a project per week and putting the completed tasks into one central bin.

Also, you’ll notice that I have added handmade Christmas ornaments to the list.  This one’s a bonus as you may want to save ornament making for the holiday season.  However, if your holiday season is as busy as mine seems to feel, then you make want to get these done this summer and then put those also away into a box with the rest of the Christmas decorations.

I know that I will feel relieved to pull out everything that I will need for the tree and have all of my handmade ornaments already done!

I hope that this checklist helps manage your productivity over the summer:

 

 

Five Things You Can Do to Stay Ahead of the Game this Summer

Summer is here!  And we are easily relieved of not having the restrictions the morning routine and school’s schedule (whether you homeschool or not), and at the same time burdened to keep your child’s boredom levels at bay.  It’s an odd mix.  We’re crux between, “let’s do nothing & go no-where” to we need “something” to do.

This is my list to fill in the gaps.  My list, the list, of things that I had wished when the school year started back, I or the kids, had done during our free, no-pressure time.

1. Grandparents Day Gifts

I always, always, always forget about the Grandparent’s Day Cards and gifts.  I mean, during the summer, or earlier in the year, I will have these just fabulous ideas.  Or I will see something and say, “Yes, I am going to get that or have the kids make that this Grandparent’s Day.  The grandparents are going to love it!”  And when the time comes, we’re usually two weeks in of school starting back.  The dust has just settled between their new schedules, all of the varying information, making sure that I’ve got all of the (right) uniforms that we’ll need.  (*Parents: You know that there can be a slight descrepancy between the uniforms that you bought over the summer online & thought they’d work & the ones that actually “work” for them.), and information about their first fundraisers.

Before I know it, it’s the week of Grandparent’s Day & I don’t have a gift, but I will have one, handcrafted by me or the kids and it will be mailed out with hand-picked or handmade cards by Tuesday.  Eventhough, I am having the thoughts on Monday – the day before – and I didn’t factor in homework time, and meal time & promising that they’ll be play time or a fun story before bed.

It’s Friday of the week OF Grandparent’s Day & unless I am going to magically come up with the list of supplies that I’ll need for that cute idea that I just saw online & make everyone’s focus cooperate AND get it out in the mail in the next 12 hours – you guessed it.  My great idea & or gift is not making it to the grandparents in time.

Additionally, the chances of my plan to contact the local nursery & or florist and get someone on the phone that could set up plant delivery or pick up with a special note (without paying a fortune -through a florist at least) in that short amount of time, are slim.

So, what is my solution?

My solution is, in the middle of the summer, when it seems like there’s nothing to do – get on Pinterest, collect your list of great gift ideas, and get to crafting or buying what you need.

I find that grandparents LOVE all of those cute fish-on-the-hook grandparent’s pictures:

Hooked on Papa Footprint {Fish} Paint Craft by Mom Evny

       Or the little cute cards, where the shape of your child’s hand pops out:

Sending Big Hugs Card by Audrey at Monofore

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

However, if you wait, you’re likely going to run out of time to get your crafting done, or other things that are attached to the school year are going to take precedence.  And there you’ll be, grabbing a pre-made card from the supermarket and signing it from all the kids – and getting it there a day or two late.

Another option, would be to put together one of those nice photo books. Again, something that takes thought and time AND you and I both know that the coupons will be in favor of those that think ahead.  Those that, um, I don’t know, maybe have the book(s) already cued up and ready to go two weeks prior to the holiday on their site..? (*P.S.   That is never me, but if you & I will think ahead then it will be!)

Be intentional & let the grandparent’s day gifts be the FIRST thing on your list of Summer to-do’s!

2. Back-to-school teacher gifts

Okay, this one is priceless for me.  Why?  Because I distinctly remember sitting there with the mason jar and the lid, and the craft brush, and the paint…

Apple Mason Jar by Mason Jar Crafts Love

I did not have a realistic expectation of the amount of time or supplies it would take me to get my finished product to turn out like the one in the picture.

First of all, I grabbed the matte paint & not the glossy paint.  And then I remembered that I actually needed to be there an hour before I was originally thinking.  And I needed a printable to go with it – and – I just ran out of time & my child walked into the open house WITHOUT a gift for her teacher.

Are these gifts required?  No.  A necessity?  No, not that either, but you want or at least, I want my child to walk in the door, letting the teacher know that they’re there to be a gift.  There with a sense of appreciation of all of the effort for things that he/she will be putting forth during the school year.

Secondly, if I or my child can walk in the door with something that can help the teacher: like a gift card or some pencils, crayons, hand sanitizer – something.  Something, will be much better than nothing.  And something well-thought out & well-intended would be best.  That is why, your back-to-school teacher gift has made it second on my list.

3. First Day of School Signs

Are you the mom that it hits just moments before your kid walks out the door, that you’ve got no first day of school sign for them to take their picture with before the head back to school for their very first day back?  Are you that mom?  Have you ever been that mom?

*Nervously bites nails.*

“No, me neither.”  Lol!

Let’s not be “that mom” and let’s find & print and frame, the sign of our choice.  That’s right, frame it now, baby.  Just go ahead and print it AND frame in and drop it in a drawer with all of your other back to school stuff.

The night before back-to-school, have your glass-less “First Day of School” sign somewhere near the door they’ll be leaving out of.  I say glass-less frame because the chances are, with the best laid efforts, the door will slam, the book bag will brush the sign and somehow, by some weird, freak, I-just-want-everything-to-turn-out-right chance, the glass in the frame will get broken.

Even better, if you can, have the frame in a large ziplock bag to keep it from getting wet & now you’re good.

Ah……I feel relieved already  😉

4 & 5. Handmade Thanksgiving and/or Christmas  cards (for everyone from the bus driver to the mail man & everyone in between).

You mean well.  And you do actually appreciate everything that your bus driver does, or the mail carrier does, and you want to show them your appreciation, but it ends up being the last thing on your list.  Or that thing that just adds to “one more thing to have to do before the holidays.”  You don’t want to permanently be in “wishing that it was over” mode, right before Christmas or Thanksgiving, but it can get that way.

You want to thank everyone.  You want them to feel that Christmas-love, but in spite of best efforts during that time of year, you’re really just trying to keep up.

That is why the summertime is the PERFECT time to, put this on your check list and say, “If there’s any five things that I can do?  This is what I am going to do to stay  ahead of the game this summer.

The kids can complete one project per week.  Print out the list.  Leave it on the fridge, and let everyone know: if we get bored or having any downtime, this is what we’re going to do.  You’ll feel so accomplished from having done so!

 

 

 

FREE {printable) Spring Stickers for your Happy Planner

I’m so excited about my VERY FIRST set of FREE Spring Happy Planner Stickers!

(This post contains affiliate links).

I have long been a fan of the Michael’s brand Happy Planners & now I (and you do too) get to decorate them for the seasons with my new free printable stickers.

If you’re not familiar with the Happy Planner, you can find them at Michael’s, sometimes Walmart, at Joann’s and of course on Amazon.com.

I prefer to get mine from Michael’s and actually did get the one that I have from there because I like using my coupons.

I designed these printables with spring in mind: pale pinks, greys and some green, sure to brighten any day.

I also wanted to use some inspirational quotes like, “Seize the Day” and “Now faith”; things to remind you to remember you, “Why” and to help, give you that push and sense of meaning to get you through the day or week.

I have used these in my actual planner.  So I wanted to make sure and pick and theme with colors that I actually loved.

To adorn your planner with these happy stickers, just click on the files below, and save them to your pc or flashdrive.  You can either print on to regular paper and use a double-sided adhesive tape or a light glue, OR you have it printed directly on to full label sticker paper and then cut each sticker to size as needed.

I hope that you enjoy these fun printable stickers as much as I do.

Download your free stickers here now:

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and Page 2:

 

Happy Planning!

~Chemeeka