Monday, July 17, 2017

Your Back-to-School Countdown Checklist!

The Back-to-School catalogs are arriving and "Welcome Back" letters from schools will be popping up in mailboxes everywhere SOON! No matter how much we would like to deny it…school is almost here!! AH!!

So to help us start getting back in the groove, we put together a fun little School Countdown Checklist of all the things we want to accomplish in the next few weeks before heading back to school. Both my daughter and my niece contributed to this list {see "family trip" and "play dates with friends"} and I think we've covered some of the most important reminders.


2 Weeks Before School Starts

If your school is like ours, you've had your school supply lists since the beginning of summer, so now is the time to pull those out and start watching sale ads. Because most of us don't do all of our school shopping in one place, it may be helpful to break up your shopping lists by store. To help you out, our first back-to-school Free Printable is this handy School Shopping List:


These lists print two-to-a-page and you will want to cut them down the middle to make two lists {we recommend printing borderless if you can}. They are blank so you can use these lists throughout the year! Just write the store name at the top and jot down your items.

As you start collecting all of your school paperwork and lists, you may notice that your planner or family calendar needs some refreshing. Our  Printable shop has a lot of fantastic options right now for planners, calendar pages, student planners and more. We also still offer our Free Home Management printables in 3 sizes, and if you are looking for a new way to organize your week, our second back-to-school freebie is this great List Organizer!


If sticky notes and Post-its tend to pile up in your house, our new Weekly List Organizer is a great way to keep them all together. Just print this organizer once, laminate it for durability, write your lists for the week, stick them on and stay on task!! You can put this page in your Home Management binder, your planner, or even stick it to your fridge or family bulletin board.

After your lists are made and your calendar is in order, it's time to start working on another schedule.

BEDTIME!

Did you know that our Kids Chore/Reward Charts can be used as a Routine Chart too? With tasks such as Brush Teeth, Read Book and Take a Bath…you can set up your chart for morning and bedtime routines! A few fun stickers may make the process go a little more smoothly for everyone :) And adults…don't forget about your routine as well! With so many tasks and responsibilities to juggle each day, it's only fair that we have our own Chore/Reward cart too! You can download this free printable {HERE}.



Saying farewell to summer is hard, but having an end-of-the-summer trip, outing or special day gives us all something to look forward to. Even if you can't get to the beach or travel, planning a backyard campout or trip to the zoo is a great way to end a fun summer {Thanks for this reminder Addie & Nia}.

1 Week Before School Starts

For some of you, school is only a week away at this point, which means it's time to reconnect with school friends and start getting our home in order!! The hustle and bustle of school days starts right away, so it helps to be organized from the beginning. This is a great time to clean out closets and start assessing which school clothes and shoes fit…and which do not. It's also helpful to find a place for backpacks, lunch bags and other gear. 

And speaking of lunches…

Your homework assignment for the day is to search the keywords LUNCH PACKING STATION in Pinterest and then carve out a good two hours to browse all of the amazing images. Organizational eye candy, I'm telling you!!

Getting your lunch packing supplies together in one place is such a smart idea, especially when it makes things easy enough so that your kids can help you pack the lunches (or do it themselves!!). It also helps when it comes time to grocery shop. You can better assess what you have and what you need to stock up on. One thing you will find in almost every Lunch Packing Station is a space for some fun Lunch Box Notes. Last school year, we shared a free set of Lunch Box notes each month and you can download all of them HERE!!


Print these babies early so that they are ready to go! We hope to share some fun new ones throughout the year :)

And while you are on Pinterest, be sure to also search the key words HOMEWORK STATION and READING NOOK. We may not all have the space or the money to create those beautiful work stations that we see in the Pottery Barn Kids catalog, but even something as simple as setting up a desk in your kids bedroom or putting together a caddy of supplies and other homework/reading essentials can be helpful. Professional organizers always claim that having these dedicated spaces keeps away distraction and gets kids excited about doing their work. I don't know if "excited" is the right word…but anything is worth a try, right?!

Depending on your school's schedule of events, you may have the opportunity to attend a "Find Your Way" day or a "Meet the Teacher Day" before the first day. You will be coming home with a lot of information about important phone numbers, schedules and events for the upcoming year and if you want a more centralized place to keep the important stuff, here is a School Information Sheet you can use in your planner, home management binder or on your family bulletin board. You can download it X-SmallSmall & Large {Please note that the X-Small/Personal size may look blurry in the download preview, but will not print this way}.


Now, if you would also like to gather some additional information about your teacher to make the whole gift-giving process easier this year, be sure to print and send in this Favorite Things list! They can fill it out and you can keep it on hand all year to help you with the holidays, teacher appreciation, classroom donation and more! You can download it {HERE}.



The Day Before School Starts

This can be such an emotional day! On one hand, we are a little sad that summer is officially over, but on the other, we are excited for a brand new school year full of possibilities and memories to be made! Staying positive and excited will get your kids excited too. Before bed, talk about the first day, read some "back-to-school" books and plan a special treat or activity for when they get home from school. 

After all that, make sure EVERYONE gets to bed early (you too, parents!) but before you do, make sure your camera is out and you have your First Day of School signs printed and ready to go for the morning. Our Printable Chalkboard First Day of School signs were a big hit last year, and we've updated all of them for this school year!



The First Day


It's here!!! The first day of school. You've already done all the prep work and you are organized and ready to rock-n-roll!! Now smile, take lots of pictures and get excited for a GREAT YEAR!!!!!!

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Please feel free to share the link to our shop blog with all of our back-to-school goodies, but PLEASE do not link to the downloads directly. These printables are free to download and use for personal use, but they MAY NOT BE EDITED, SOLD OR PRINTED FOR RESALE in any way. If you have questions about these printables and how they may be used, please contact us in our shop. If you like the beautiful cliparts used in some of these printables, they can be purchased from some of our favorite Etsy shops, including: 
© Erin Bradley Designs | erinbradleydesigns.etsy.com
© Sugar Studios | www.etsy.com/shop/sugarstudio
© Goodness & Fun | www.etsy.com/shop/goodnessandfun


Monday, May 29, 2017

FREE Summer Printables to Help You Get Organized

For kids, Summer Break = FREEDOM!!!
For parents, Summer Break = What am I going to do with these kids all day??!

In the beginning of summer, I am so thankful for slow mornings with no alarm clocks or frantic where-are-my-shoes-the-bus-is-almost-here panic attacks. I appreciate lunches in the park, afternoons at the beach and weekends at the campground. Most of all…I LOVE not having a schedule.

For about a week.

After that, I find that ALL of us need at least a little schedule. I realize that using the words "Schedule" and "Summer" in the same sentence is frowned upon, but for the sake of this post, let's go with it. 

To me, having a Summer Schedule isn't about giving up those lazy mornings or lunches in the park. It's not even about scheduling every minute of your day with activities and projects. 

To me, having a Summer Schedule = Sanity

It may be Summer Break for our kids, but we still have a house to take care of and errands to run. We still have dinner to cook every night. We still have activities, parties and events to plan for. We still have work and other professional responsibilities. And…we still have kids who have their own responsibilities, practices to get to, summer reading minutes to log, etc. 

If we want to keep our summer chaos-free and still have time for FUN…it's a good idea to have a simple schedule to follow. Last summer, we created a Weekly Docket to help you do just that and this year, we are adding two fun printables to go with it!!



The Weekly Docket can be your go-to planner page (in addition to your monthly calendar). Use the daily squares for meal planning, activities & appointments, etc., the To Do & Errands lists for your weekly tasks and the "Activity or Project of the Week" box for any home project, vacation, party, etc. that you have planned. This printable would work great on your fridge or family bulletin board to keep everyone informed of the week ahead :)

The next printable that was a HUGE hit last year is the Summer Bucket List!


I always like to make a list at the beginning of the summer of the books I want to read, the movies my family and I would like to see and all the things we would like to Make & Do {like plant a fairy garden, re-stain/paint the swing set, plant an herb garden, etc.}

And, because my family LOVES camping, I've added an "Adventures to Take" list. This list is for writing down anywhere you want to go and explore this summer. It can be visiting family in another state, or visiting the museum, or going hiking...any adventure you'd like to have at home or far away. The reason we added the bucket list this year is because we don't want to forget about the FUN of summer!!! We've waited all year for these 3 months…we need to make the most of them :)

Speaking of fun…the next printable in our set is a Summer Holidays Schedule. This list includes your typical summer holidays like Father's Day, 4th of July, etc., but it also covers the SUPER fun holidays like National Ice Cream Day and the Great American Campout Day. We've done our best to track some of the most popular ones we could find online, but be sure to comment on this post if you know of any we left out :)



Our family is going to try our best to follow one very important "rule" this summer. We came up with it together in the hopes of actually sticking to it. At the top of our Bucket List, we wrote:

This summer is all about family, friends and FUN!!

We can't avoid work or the daily chores & responsibilities that go along with being a grown-up (boo!!!) but we CAN vow to be more present and enjoy all the things that make life worth living. 

So, friends, what is your summer "rule" this year??!!

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To download these printables and get started with your Summer planning, click on the following links:

Monday, May 15, 2017

FREE Printable Last Day of School Signs!

WHERE has this school year gone? It feels like only yesterday that we were posting our First Day of School signs, and now we are just weeks away from summer break! So before the end-of-the-year craziness really hits home, be sure to download your Last Day of School signs now! As always, we have Preschool - Senior Year and all signs are dated for 2016-2017.


Be sure to stop by our blog again this week for some updated summer FREEBIES and we will be back in July with some back-to-school organization printables and the new 2017-2018 First Day Signs!!

We hope you all have a wonderful summer!!!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Free Printable Valentine's Day Cards for Bubbles

For years I have had my eye on these sweet little heart bubble tubes that are in stores during Valentine's Day, but haven't ever found just the right card to use them with. Because my kids will both use them for their entire class, I wanted the cards to be gender neutral and focus on friendship, rather than love {I mean...we don't want to embarrass anyone, right? Ha!}

Well, thanks to a special little crab and his catchy song, we figured out a card saying that would fit the bill. "Life is the bubbles with a friend like you!"


We realize that buying Valentine's Day cards can get quite pricey, so we wanted to offer this printable FREE so that you can purchase the bubbles and not break the bank. We found our adorable bubble tubes at Target for $3 a pack, but they are also available at Amazon, Party City and Oriental Trading {if you know of another store that sells mini bubble tubes, please feel free to leave a comment}.

To download your Free Bubble Valentine Cards, click {HERE}.

The cards will print 4-to-a-sheet and we recommend printing on cardstock or thick paper for durability. Then just cut, have your child sign their name on the front or back and tape the bubbles to the card! Easy Peasy!

I hope your kids like these bubble cards as much as mine do! Happy Valentine's Day!

A FRIENDLY REMINDER

Please feel free to share the link to our shop blog with all of our Thanksgiving goodies, but PLEASE do not link to the downloads directly. These printables are free to download and use for personal use, but they MAY NOT BE EDITED, SOLD OR PRINTED FOR RESALE in any way. If you have questions about these printables and how they may be used, please contact us in our shop. If you like the beautiful cliparts used in this printable, they can be purchased from one of our favorite Etsy shops: https://www.etsy.com/shop/JWIllustrations.