Sunday, August 10, 2014

Back-to-School Shopping Time

Old Navy Plaid Flannel Dress

It's time to get the kids ready to start school again! Perhaps you're both sad at the prospect of less time with them, and delighted to once again have some free time to yourself while they're at school (am I right, stay at home moms?)


  • Make time this week for a quiet evening at home. Summers can be just as busy as the school year, with rushing around from activity to activity. However, if you often have been at home in the evenings lately, try to plan one fun evening out this week.
  • Do you have any fruit or veggies in the house that will be going bad soon? Especially avocados, something I struggle to eat when it's just the right texture? Slice up the fruit and eat it today. Make a plan to use the veggies at dinner, and check your bread to see if it's moldy. (If you have a lot of kids, likely a loaf of bread will never last long enough to mold in your house!) While you're at it, do you need to check the expiration dates on the milk and eggs in your fridge?
  • Make meal plans for the week ahead.
  • Do you know what you're doing next weekend? Make plans with friends and family ahead of time if possible.
  • Fridge and freezer cleanout: Clean one drawer, one shelf, or two door shelves in your fridge or freezer today. Doing this makes sure your entire fridge gets cleaned out once a month!


I'm not ready for fall, but I do love the back-to-school season. It makes me nostalgic for my elementary school and college years. (High school, well, there are some bad memories to skip over!) My nephews have moved away, so I no longer have kids to go back-to-school shopping with. Still, I found myself lingering at Target yesterday, checking out the inviting notebooks waiting to be filled up and the array of lunchboxes!

If you haven't yet done your school shopping, it's time to get started! Target and just about every department store and office supply store have huge sales right now. It's can be very crowded in the school supply aisles right now. You might want to try going in the morning, rather than the afternoon if possible; or later at night after dinner. I've noticed those times have been easier, in past years.

If you have a close friend or relative who multiple school-age children, you can offer to babysit one or some of the children while the parent takes the others out shopping. That gives the parent a chance to focus special attention and time on one child during the back-to-school shopping ritual. This may be especially helpful for single parents with more than one kid.

Owl Notebook, from Becky and Lolo

In past years, I've gone "school supply" shopping for myself - I stocked up my home office with glittery notebooks, fun colored pens, and portfolios with pretty designs to keep my torn-out recipes in. This year, however, I'm sorting out office supplies and trying to give them away, so I can't indulge in any school supply shopping.

You might not particularly have time to shop today, but make a plan. Get organized, take a quick inventory of your children's clothing and existing school supplies, and check everything against the teachers' supply lists.

Besides clothing, crayons and pencils, does your child need a backpack? My nephews were so rough on their things, they went through two backpacks a year each. My guys ate at school, but do your kids need lunch boxes or lunch sacks, and snacks to send in with their backpacks? Don't forget to stock up on breakfast cereals for morning, too. Is there any sports-related clothing and equipment your child will need for PE or after-school activities?

Your child will need a backpack if last year's is worn out or filthy; lunch box or lunch sacks; snacks for their lunches and afternoons, and breakfast cereal for the mornings. Your child may have some sports-related clothing and equipment they will need for their extracurricular activities.

Eurocolor Pencils, from The Pencil Pusher on Etsy

What about your older children? Do your teenagers drive themselves to school? If so, they might need new tires, a gas card, a lube job for their car, and other car-related things. Your college student could need their dorm room furnished or updated.

Before school starts, does your child need a haircut? There might be enough time before school for their "new haircut" look to grow out. What other appointments do you need to make while it's still summer and your child's time is more flexible. Doctor appointments? Vaccinations? Dentist visits?

If you don't have children (or nieces and nephews) use today's project time to organize your home office or computer area.

LOVELY BATH & BODY: Frisson Verbena at L'Occitane

It was verbena that first drew me in and got me addicted to L'Occitane products, well over 20 years ago when I first discovered the brand on a shopping trip to Harrod's. I buy and use their verbena products in the summertime, switching to other scents in fall and winter. I'm excited to try their new Frisson Verbena line, which includes weird gels I probably won't rub on my legs, a shower gel, bath salts, and of course a hand lotion. I'll skip their mist and eau de toilette since I already own enough perfumes.

L'Occitane's Frisson Verbena Products

LOVELY BLOGS: Baking in Pyjamas

Laura cooks and blogs from her home in England. She prefers baking to cooking, and shares delicious looking recipes such as Dark Orange and Ginger Brownies, Peanut Butter Crispy Treats, and Skinny Vegan Peach Coffee Cake. She also lets you take a peek at her cookbook treasure trove!

LOVELY FOOD: Flowers Pasta

I have a huge weakness for interestingly shaped pastas. (I eat way too much pasta in general, too, sigh). When I saw this at Cost Plus World Market last week (while shopping for my upcoming Arabian Nights party) I couldn't resist. I think I will cook myself up a bowl of this for my Sunday Evening Laundry-And-True-Blood-Viewing ritual!

Torino Flowers Pasta, at Cost Plus World Market

LOVELY KIDS: GloFish Aquariums

I had three aquariums in my bedroom when I was a young girl. One for my most beautiful, hardiest guppies; one for the uglier or sicker ones; and one for the babies. My mom had an aquarium in our living room too. I guess we were an aquarium loving family! I would have lost my everlasting mind back then if GloFish had existed. They have a special protein in their genes that makes them fluoresce. The tanks come with LED lights (not UV or blacklight) that help showcase their glow, and you can buy glow-in-the-dark type gravel, fake plants and accessories to make the tank even more awesome. If my nephews hadn't moved away, I would be tempted to set one of these up in my house for them to admire.

GloFish Aquarium supplies on Amazon


Almond Granita with Strawberry and Basil Puree (Apron and Sneakers)

Avocado Toast with Heirloom Tomatoes (Southern Boy Dishes)

Chilled Radish Soup (Paleo Fondue)

No Time to Think (NY Times)

People Who Feel They Have a Purpose in Life Live Longer (NPR)

Slushy Negronis for the Ultimate Chill (CHOW)

Will Free Online Courses Ever Replace a College Education? (The Atlantic)

To Work Better, Work Less (The Atlantic)

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