Back to School Prep

Here in Atlanta, we have just a few week’s left until the kids head back to school, which brings me a little sadness and a lot of joy!! It also means that it is time to pull out my infamous lists and get ready.  As with anything else Back to School Prep is a process.  Here are  my FAIL PROOF STEPS.

PURGE –

If your kids are anything like mine, they love to hold on to things.  So step one for us is ALWAYS THE PURGE.  This part generally just applies to clothing and where clothes are concerned, a fashion show is in order.  I have the kids pull out all their things and try them on to see what fits and what needs to be sent to Goodwill.  For the most part,  all the short sleeve and warmer weather clothes are generally getting too small but a lot of the fall things can still fit. We normally purchase school clothes twice a year, when school starts and then again before Christmas to take us through the colder months.  You can also use this time to get rid of half used notebooks, old binders, pens and pencils that have seen better days, and ultimately anything that you really don’t need anymore.

MAKE A LIST –

By now, most schools should have provided you with a general list of what your little ones will need for this school year.  Once, you have gotten the Supply List set aside, it’s time to tackle School Clothes. Only you will know just how much your child will need to make it through the year, but as a rule, I always try to do no less than 8 pairs of pants  and 10-12 tops.  My girls haven’t really been interested in dresses or skirts up until now, but this year my middle “schooler” has informed me that she wants to change up her style a little so I will be allotting some money for that, as well as some accessories.  Can I just say that she is growing up .. way too fast?  Speaking of Accessories, I find that it is so easy to forget to add these to the list, but undoubtedly you will need them.  I mean you always need new socks and new under things to start out a new year.. or just always.. am I right?

SHOP –

This year in Georgia, we are not having a Tax Free Weekend, as we have grown accustomed to before the new school year starts.  And, although I am one of the people that found this disappointing, life goes on. Whether you are on a strict budget or not, there is never a good excuse to pass up a good sale.  If you start early enough, you can get pretty much all your School Supplies at severely discounted rates.  Now, keep in mind you may have to hit up a few stores to pull it off.  But, trust me it is worth it.  We always like to buy a little more than is needed to take us through the School Year, and maybe even into the next.   Where clothing is concerned, the hunt maybe a little more intense depending on how picky your little dresser is.  But, generally I have found back to school shopping to be the perfect time to stock up on jeans and tees for great prices.

MENTAL PREP –

My oldest daughter is the most sensitive of my brood.  Transitions tend to be more traumatic for her, even though the older she gets the easier it gets.  But, at my house mental prep starts with readjusting bed times.  Creating new schedules for the upcoming year, discussing expectations and pre-planning as much as we can for the first week.  We also start pulling out our books, going over some of what we learned last year as a refresher and making sure any Summer Projects have been completed.  Don’t be deceived, even though Mommy’s are often the most excited of the bunch, they also need to get their minds right. Especially if you have been at home with the kids all summer , you too have to get used to early drop offs and fitting all that you have to do within that tight time frame, before pick ups occur.  I learned this the hard way, because every year I get so caught up in the joy of my alone time, that I take weeks to get back on track.  This was the first summer that I managed get a lot done, simply because I prepared for what was to come.

What is your process for getting your little one’s ready for the start of a new year?  I would love to hear all about it.  Be sure to share your tips in the comment section below.

Friday Favorites – Week 377 – Pretty and Practical Bookcases

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Friday Favorites Week 373 – Mini Moist Banana Muffins

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It’s Teacher Appreciation Week!!

Teacher Appreciation Week - Free Printable Teacher Gift Tags

It’s National Teacher Appreciation Week!!  A week to celebrate one of the most noble professions out there.  I have always been in awe of teachers.  It truly takes a special kind of person to invest in the lives of  children, who are not their own over and over again.  That is exactly why I always try to make a big deal out of this week.  For their time dedication and devotion to my babies, I am extremely grateful.  There are so many great ideas all over Pinterest for Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas.   If you are looking for some ideas, be sure to check out our Pinterest Board.  No matter what you choose as your gift,  these Super Cute Gift Tags are a sweet addition.  Grab yours today!!

My oldest child is 20 years old, so , I have see my share of teachers over the years, enough to know that having a good teacher in your child’s life is a blessing.  My middle child has some auditory processing challenges and having an amazing team has made all the difference in her progress through out the years.  My baby girl is just in the 1st grade but we’ve been  pretty lucky there, as well.  I tend to hold my little ones a little tight.  So it makes me breathe a little easier just knowing that these kind of teachers still exist.

Teacher Appreciation Week Tag Supplies Free Printable

To Download your Own Copy of the Printable Teacher Gift Tags Click Here.

“IT IS THE SUPREME ART OF THE TEACHER TO AWAKEN JOY IN CREATIVE EXPRESSION AND KNOWLEDGE.” -ALBERT EINSTEIN

Friday Favorites – Week 369 – Terracotta Painted Pots

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Friday Favorites – Week 360 – Indoor Winter Picnic Basket

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Setting the Stage for an Event to Remember

Setting the Stage Hero Image 1

When did you first know that event planning was your passion and what made you want to do this as a business?

When my first daughter was born her birthdays were not normal or typical, they were a show. Everyone looked forward to the next year and it became a holiday of its own. It was a few years after her first birthdays that I finally said to myself that I really enjoy creating events for people and the joy it brought gave me delight.

When was your company started?

Although I had been doing events since childhood and really got into it when my daughter was born in 2002, C&R Promotions officially started in 2007. My then boyfriend, now husband, and I both felt like all the details that I put into my events were evidence that I needed to plan for others.

What has been your favorite event to plan to date and why? 

Choosing a favorite event is hard, but I think it was obvious. I have done so many events for close family and small events for friends and I even did my own wedding, but the event that I chose as my favorite was for my brother-in-law in May 2016. It was an all white affair with a rustic, country feel. There were accents of gold and burlap. I chose this as my favorite because one, I had complete control basically and my visions are sometimes hard to explain. Secondly, is was the most put together event thus far. I finished way before the event start time and did not feel rushed or like something was missing. Moreover, people outside of close friends and family finally could see first hand what C & R Promotions was capable of.

Setting the Stage for an Event to Remember: Guest Blog Roberta Isom

All White Party Event Styled by C& R Promotions

Give your philosophy on party planning.

My philosophy of planning is not like others, I don’t believe. In 2004, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). It took a toll on how I processed information and remembered information. I began to make list of things to remember on a daily basis, I was in school and had to have things in order or the information would be lost, and everyday tasks were documented in order to stay organized. So, when I decided to start event planning, the order of things needed to stay the same. I believe that with well planned buying schedules and organization, anyone can afford the event of their dreams on a minimum budget. I have yet to feel that I cannot handle any budget and make a customer’s dream come true. Everyone has the choice to choose to party!

What are some tips you can give on how to do more with less?

To do more with less takes preparation. If you take time to find deals and set up a realistic plan for you event you can always save money and have everything that you want.

How do you balance your home and work life?

Never really figured out how to successfully balance home and work since I work from home, but having the ability to start and stop work throughout the day makes life a lot easier for me.

Causes you support, hobbies, favorite pass times?

I am a proud supporter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society and have done numerous events to contribute to finding a cure. My most recent cause is autism. I have a small cousin that was diagnosed at three and have seen his progress and hope that one day we both can say we have overcome a disease. I do not have many hobbies. In my spare time I am usually finding ways to promote my business or how to make something great for an event.

Getting A Little Personal..
Being diagnosed in 2004, with MS has changed my life. For most of the beginning years I was in denial, I was depressed, and I just could not deal. However, I took the diagnosis and began to help others manage and found an inner strength that only God knows where it came from. Everything was different and I had to either accept it or stop living. I chose to live. I chose to take my illness and become someone that people could look up to. My family and friends were supportive and their passion to help me made me want to help myself. Having MS is the reason I plan the events in the manner that I do.  MS helped me become a planner, a manager, an entrepreneur. I wish there was a cure, but under the circumstances, I would not be who I am without MS.

Where Can You Be Found Across the Internet? (clickable links)

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Roberta Isom and Family

Roberta Isom, Owner/Proprietor of C& R Promotions

Roberta, the sixth child of eight, was raised in a single parent home with her three brothers and and four sisters. Throughout her childhood and beyond she managed to stay a star student and earn an associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degree in various fields. Although being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2004, she has managed to stay active and has a progressing business as an event planner. She is a mother of two girls, 2 and 14, and a wife and looks forward to reaching new heights in the future.

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When I asked Roberta to do this Guest Interview, I truly wasn’t sure what her answer would be.  But, I was very pleased when she said yes.  I knew that not only would I be asking her about her passion for Event Planning, but I would be asking her to share some truly personal parts of her life with my readers.  But, she rolled with it and held nothing back.  If you reside in Birmingham, Metro Atlanta and or Eufaula, Alabama her services are available to you.  Be sure to follow her on her Social Media Channels listed above to keep up with her ever growing Event Planning company. Roberta has a birthday coming up.  Help her celebrate by donating to her cause here.

Friday Favorites – Week 355 – 9 Low Carb Cauliflower Recipes

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Create Your Own – One Little Word

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Want to start your New Year with Intention? Join the movement and pick the one little word that you want to be the foundation on which your year is built.  I really had a difficult time picking one word.  But, I finally decided on the word conquer.  If I am totally honest with you there were a lot of things and opportunities that I bypassed last year, because I didn’t know what the outcome would be.  That being said this year there are many things I want to conquer, starting with the voice in my own head. There are so many areas of my life where this can apply.  I listed just a few that quickly came to mind.  Over the course of the year, I plan to add more to my list, and share it here.  Progress, Success and Failures Alike. Want to pick your own word and share it?  Download your own blank, editable copy right here.

You Can Conquer Anything

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Maintaining Order

maintaining-order-host-image When Sheree reached out to me to be a guest blogger, I was excited because I love to talk about organization and can talk about it for hours. I hope that the tips I provide for you today resonate with you enough to make real change within your space or home and most importantly to be intentional behind the act.

Recently, I completed an Instagram organizing challenge to motivate individuals to let go of items so that they could organize specific areas for 15 minutes. But Instagram only provides a limited amount of space to share content so I thought this would be the perfect time to expound on those tips plus more. Now you may be thinking, that it’s not possible to get organized within 15 minutes but it is! After you purge items, you feel lighter and motivated to continue organizing and that was the ultimate goal of the 15 minute organizing challenge. The challenge also shed light on the areas that tend to be overlooked when it comes to organizing and items that no longer serve a purpose.

I totally understand that we are busy, busy people who are juggling a lot – work, school, family, personal relationships and most importantly the relationship with ourselves. But through it all we have to maintain order to make it through our daily routines. So, I wanted to share four items and spaces that you can purge and then organize – restoring order to your home or space that will make you feel lighter and serve as motivation to organize more thoroughly.

Purging

About two weeks ago, I was helping my client purge through their items which isn’t the most favorite thing to do when it comes to organizing but it’s so necessary. It doesn’t make sense to continue to throw items from one box to the next and call it organizing because it isn’t. Purging and letting go of items an essential step that must be done before organizing. So, as we’re sorting through their personal items, I could notice a shift in their movement because they started to quickly identify items that they no longer needed and deemed suitable to purge. Afterwards, they said, “I feel so much lighter – like I was shedding so many layers” and that right there was music to my ears. I try to teach my clients that they have the power over their belongings and not the other way around. It’s ok to purge items that are no longer purposeful. But then the million dollar statement arises, “but this was a gift!” Well, I’m sure the person who gifted you the item intended for you to find the item purposeful and not have the gift collect dust in a box or a closet. This is why it’s important to purge and purging for 15 minutes is a great way to build up momentum and then prompt you to organize because you feel lighter and motivated afterwards.

Here are items and areas that I suggest purging for 15 minutes:

Car Trunk

Many times we throw items inside the trunk of our car only to say, “I will come back and get that later” and unfortunately, later turns into never. Have you ever opened your trunk only to say, “oh that’s where that was – I’ve been looking for that” or have had to push things out of the way to make room for what really belongs in the trunk? Then a purge is needed. I suggest going through the trunk of your car and identify items that truly belong in the trunk, items that need to be discarded and items that need to be stored in another designated space. Once you purge then I suggest, getting a trunk organizer which can prevent clutter from forming again because there are spaces to store items. I purchased mine from The Container Store and I never have to worry about a junky car trunk. The trunk should have items that you need to access for emergencies like:

-jumper cables

-blanket and water

-first aid kit

-tools

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Photo Source: The Container Store

Pens & Markers

I recently purged a cup that I was using to store pens and markers. When I was watching television and relaxing, I took a blank piece of paper and dribbled on the paper with each pen and marker. This task literally took me anywhere between 7-10 minutes to determine which ones were still functional and which ones were not – threw away the dried up pens and markers and kept the ones that still worked. Simple! I felt lighter and didn’t miss a beat of relaxing and watching television. A simple purging task like this one, can leave you feeling accomplished. Remember purging doesn’t always have to be viewed as being overwhelming because as you can see, even the smallest of items like a cup holding writing tools can build up. I encourage you to go through those pens and markers and purge! And let’s be honest, how many times have you experiences reaching for a pen or marker only to discover that it has dried up and then you have to search through for one that works? You just wasted a solid 5 minutes right there so purging and then organizing those pens and markers will save you time in the end. Save yourself the hassle.

Make Up /Nail Polish

As a woman, I absolutely love dressing up and going out with my friends for a girls night out. We all know that presentation is everything so besides selecting an outfit adorning your face with makeup is also a part of completing the look. But just like the cup of pens and markers, you can experience make-up clutter as well. Have you ever been dressed up and ready to head out and went to put on your favorite lipstick but only to discover that it’s barely any left? Now, I don’t mean to be dramatic but that’s a disappointing feeling to look forward to using something and it not be there. This could have easily been resolved if the make-up was purged, allowing you to take inventory of what you need to re-stock up on and what needs to be thrown out. So go through your make-up and determine what’s essential to hold onto and what can be discarded. Our make-up can definitely accumulate at a quick pace and get out of control and I also believe it’s overlooked when it comes to organizing. Once you have purged and organized the make-up you intend to keep then consider using acrylic organizers. I have one for my make-up and one for my nail polish. It’s a great way to contain your items in a chic but organized manner and your make-up is easily accessible.

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Photo Source: Target

Photo Source: Target

 

Photo Credit: SoleOrganizer

Kids Play Room

The playroom for the kids is just that a room for the kids to let loose and have fun. But as time goes on, the toys begin to overflow from the safety of the storage bins which is a clear indicator that a purge must take place. So, take time to purge through the toys and determine if there are toys that are broken, toys that the kids don’t play with as much and which toys they still find enjoyable. Now it may be hard to let go because of sentimental value but consider donating to other children who aren’t as fortunate. We have to do away with the mentality of holding onto items that aren’t useful and kids are always on to the next best thing.

These purging tasks are meant to de-clutter your space and restore order. But you will also “shed layers” as my client said which will make you feel lighter. You’re letting go of unnecessary items to make room for things that are purposeful and needed. When you purge and then organize, you are creating a foundation which should be solid and should last which is why 15 minutes of purging then organizing to is a great reminder.

I would love to hear about it how lighter you feel after purging! If you need some guidance, I have created a purging checklist to guide you through the purging process which can be downloaded here. Be sure to head to the website to get access to the “Soleful Resource Library” which contains printables + checklists to help you stay on task and organized. Remember that, “being organized is a lifestyle and not a chore”.

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A LITTLE MORE ABOUT SOLEORGANIZER

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SoleOrganizer offers a functional and creative approach to organizing for individuals who are ready to get organized but most importantly stay organized. Nowadays it has become more frequent. to not be able to enjoy the things we once did or even just have the time to relax because our spaces are consumed by clutter.

SoleOrganizer teaches individuals how to restore order back to their lives by educating individuals on letting go of the non-essential items and implement functional systems that will acquire simplicity.