Thursday, September 06, 2012

Back to School for You

The special Back-to-School dinner I made for my teenager and nephews. The menu was fish sticks, baked beans, cheddar broccoli rice, strawberries and corn; with tiny samplers of sparkling apple juice and limeade to wash it down.

Now that September has begun, most kids in my area are back in school. I live right next to an elementary school, and every morning I hear their excited little voices as they are being dropped off. My young nephew now attends the school next door to me as well. I'm looking forward to treating him once a week or so to being picked up by his Aunt Carrie for dinner and homework help.

I'm so jealous. I want to go school supply shopping for myself; take notes in a fresh notebook; pore over a syllabus of upcoming readings. I want to sit in a classroom soaking up interesting knowledge. I might even look forward to a teensy bit of homework (as long as it doesn't involve math!)

If you can at all make room in your life, see if you can fit in an enriching class you will enjoy. Be a lifelong learner, and continue to explore your interests. Whether you take classes at a cooking store, community college, karate school, yoga center, or online, give yourself the gift of knowledge. Maybe all you can fit in is a weekend workshop this fall, or an online course you do at night when your kids are in bed.

You may have to trade babysitting with another mom, arrange to leave your children with your partner one night each week, or barricade yourself in your room for an hour per night to finish an online course. You might have to give up TV two nights a week, or limit your daily computer time until the class is over. If it's important to you, you'll find and make the time for yourself.

I know it's hard if you're a working mom, to find time for yourself after you get home tired every weeknight. But you do still have weekends!


  • When's the last time you personally visited a library?

  • Wipe down kitchen sink and counters; fill or empty dishwasher as needed

  • Take out trash if needed, or make someone in your household help you. Take out recycling so it doesn't take over your kitchen counters.

  • Declutter and vacuum living room really quickly so you have a nice fresh home to come home to tomorrow.

  • Take a quick inventory of your baking cupboard. Do you have fall goodies on hand, like buttermilk biscuit mix, scone mixes, flour, sugar, muffin mixes, apple crisp topping, cake mixes and cookie ingredients? Add anything missing to your shopping list.

TODAY'S PROJECT: Sign Up for a Class

So You Want to Take a Class Online, for Kindle, on Amazon

If you can carve out the time in your life and you're interested, see what kind of class you can sign up for. Your class might be a one-shot cooking class at your local cooking store or health food market; or you might have one night a week to take a writing class at the local community college. Maybe you have a small child at home, so you'll barely have time to take one quick online course or watch an online free lecture from Yale.

I have four kids in four different schools right now, so I'll be taking an online writing class and giving up television on weeknights in order to make time for the homework and readings.

Whatever you sign up for, give yourself time and energy to learn something for yourself. We shouldn't stop learning just because we're done with high school or college.

LOVELY BLOGS: The Domestic Rebel

"Cupcakes and delectable confections." Currently blogging about sugar crumb pizza; skinny pumpkin pie dip; and Golden Oreo peanut butter moon pies.


500 Free Online Courses from Top Universities (

Harvard and MIT Team Up to Offer Free Online Courses (NY Times)

Harvard Open Courses for Free (

Open Yale Courses (

Stanford's Next Lesson: Free Online Courses (NPR)

10 Universities Offering Free Writing Courses (Education Portal)

Williams-Sonoma Store Events and Classes

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