Back to School With Style and Organization

Disclaimer: the links below may be affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on one I will make a commission. This is at no extra cost to you and I appreciate the support. Thank you!

A bit overexcited here for the kids to start school in a couple of weeks. I take this time of year seriously, have to get everyone off on the right foot and start strong with excitement. A happy blouse helps!

Wearing this Brighter Days Puff Sleeve Blouse from ModCloth. It has cute cats all over. How adorable is this yellow bag? I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it, damn the price. It is the Seeing Summer In Shapes bag. The skirt is thrifted Ann Taylor, the loafers are Dr. Scholls from Nordstrom (no longer available but I love these Dr. Scholls Generation Loafer icon) and the sunglasses are from Target years ago.

To help with back to school organization I ordered all three kids new bento boxes for their lunches. Our boxes are quite old and didn’t really fit in our newer lunch bags. We needed an upgrade to enhance the joy in making lunch every day. Hey, whatever works right?

These are the ones we got: Bentgo Classic

One new thing I’m doing for organizing in the kitchen to help with those lunches, a bin for each kid in the pantry. I bought a set of three from T.J.Maxx a few months ago to use as “crap boxes” to put on the stairs heading to the bedrooms, one for each kid’s crap to bring up. I haven’t really needed to use them! We are moving them to the pantry so each kid can meal prep their lunches for the week, putting nonperishables in the bin for easy grabbing. I’ll share more of that on Instagram, be sure to follow me!

Instead of buying millions of folders for each class I was given the inside scoop from other moms that accordion folders to keep organized were cool. Hopped on that train!

Also from Amazon: Amazon Basics Organizing File Folder

We always do a least a couple of practice back to school mornings before the actual day. Getting use to getting up early again is always helpful. I don’t do this on the very last day of summer vacation. Have to let them have one last day of no alarms to enjoy 🙂 Our vacation to California ends only a few days before school starts and now I’m thinking that wasn’t good planning. Three hour time change is no joke, never mind also waking up early for school. The high school bus comes at about 6:35 a.m. Yikes! My high schooler will not be happy with me when I say we are doing a practice early wake up. Rolling with it is always key.

Any great back to school tips from your household? Best of luck to all of you with kids heading back to school!

Cool Mom’s Guide To Long Road Trips with Teens and Tweens

I’m going to start by saying my kids are fifteen, thirteen and ten and tend to be in an anti-Mom mood most of the time. If you are reading this and you have teens, you know, if your kids are younger, hang onto your britches and enjoy how easily they are distracted by something new, like a box of crayons and singing songs.

In April we drove 15 hours to South Carolina, not our first rodeo, but I still learned a thing or two and wanted to share.

Pre-trip:

  • Make them pack their own “car” bags- water bottle, snacks, book, headphones, etc. Each kid having his/her own music to listen to saved all our sanities.
  • You yourself pack a kid’s car bag with extra snacks 🙂
  • Buy/unearth your neck and or travel pillows- teens don’t nap you say…or do they?! They do on long road trips.
  • Make sure any autistic kid you have with hearing sensitivities has noise canceling headphones.
  • Shove a few plastic bags in the car door for trash and/or upset stomachs from motion sickness and bring the Dramamine.
  • Travel wipes too!

During trip:

  • Leave early, as in when the kids can still get in some sleeping hours before sunrise. We left at 3 a.m.
  • Have a sense of humor! They will moan and groan sometimes and smiling at them or cracking jokes helped a lot. Joking about our creative stories involving the cars and people around us was a life saver during traffic times.
  • Involve them. Obviously if they are under 16 they can’t drive, but let them be involved in some of the route choices, where to stop and give them a heads up about what’s coming up along the route.
  • Have a clipboard, pencil and some worksheets printed out. This is something I use to do when they were little, but now I just change up what I print. I found on Pinterest some activities, such as a list of states to circle when we found the license plate for that state (found a ton!), a map of the U.S. so they could highlight the states they have been to (especially helpful when crossing lots of borders) and fun facts about the location hot spots we were headed to.

Trip home: this was harder since we were all a bit overtired and not nearly as excited because we were ending our vacation:

  • Save some of their favorite fast food restaurants for the way home, something to look forward to.
  • If returning to school after the trip, count down the days until the next vacation and/or end of the school year. If it’s summer, talk about the fun stuff planned in the week or two ahead.
  • Expect at least one tantrum per person, adults included :/
  • Make sure everyone is well hydrated, even if it means more potty breaks. I always find after a trip we tend to be dehydrated, combat it before even getting home. Everyone feels better.
  • Don’t plan anything for the rest of the day upon getting home, even the day after depending on when you get home and how long the drive was. Learn from me here please. It never goes well.

Hope these lists are helpful! What would you add?