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General Inspiration Tips and Advice

Back To School

Summer has ended and school is in full swing again. We’ve come up with some ideas that you can use to decorate dorm rooms, or any student’s room, to make them feel more at home, comfortable, and to make their space more inductive to learning.
1.  Add potted plants around to make the room less sterile and to add some life into the room.  It also help students to relax from schoolwork by seeing green and to be in touch with nature.
2. You can add floor cushions to add extra seating and color without making any major modifications in the room.
3. There are places where you can buy removable wallpaper sheets, you can use it to have an accent wall which help create character in your “new” room.
4. You can also add blinds that are functional, without breaking the bank. If you are the type of student who stays up late finishing reports or projects, you can have the Blackout shades so you can sleep in a little bit more the next day.  Just make sure that you always have your alarm on, we don’t want you missing out on your classes. Other types are the Horizontal blinds that are only room darkening so it only darkens enough and you will still see a glimpse of light when the sun is up. You can also turn the slats on any angle depends on how much light you will need to wake yourself up.
5. We all know that dorm rooms are also not too spacious so if you want to make the room feel a little bigger, the smartest thing you can of course do is to decorate the room with multifunctional furnitures. Storage ottomans and futons are just a few examples.
And finally, to give a cozy feel to the room, you can also add rugs, and of course your favorite photos; and don’t  forget your favorite blanket to snuggle up with on those cool Autumn nights!

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DIY Tips and Advice

Decorating + Back To School

As the summer draws to an end, the unfortunate reality sets in that school is right around the corner. If you are disappointed, imagine how your kids are feeling! From our personal experience, it always seems to help to do some fun projects together before the kids get back to school. To get in the spirit of school, there are a few around the home projects that can be both fun and helpful to get everyone in the swing of things.

  • Creating/Updating a “Family Communication Center.” It always proves to be useful (even with all of the technology available) to have one central area in the house with a central calendar, areas for notes to be left for other members of the family, and a place to put any flyers that come home from school. Useful tip – when recording things on the calendar color code things for each person, so at a quick glance you know what is going on that day. Using one central calendar can help to not double book as well! Get your kids involved by letting them help you to design the space – generally a section of the kitchen or mudroom work best so everyone has to pass by them! In my house, we painted a wall in the mudroom an accent color, with six months of whiteboard calendars (which allows them to be re-used but have things marked in advance), a cork board to hang up all notices/flyers, and a plain whiteboard where we can leave notes for each other. It’s also a great place to use chalkboard paint – but that does tend to require a little more up keep!
  • Create a backpack/coat organization area. Create a space where each child has their own space to put their stuff when they get home from school – ensuring they know where it is before getting on the bus in the morning! Depending on how old your kids are will dictate how much/what type of storage you need – but a hook for a backpack, jacket, a bin for gloves and a hat, a place to put paperwork, and perhaps some shelves to leave books. The best part, aside from knowing where everything is in the morning, is that having this separate area tends to cut down on the mess of things thrown throughout the rest of the house. Make it fun for the kids by allowing them to decorate “their space” however they want!
  • Create a homework station. Get together with your kids and create a list of all of the items they will need for homework – from paperclips to pencils to crayons to colored paper to markers to folders to scissors. After you have compiled the list search the house for the items you have, and shop for whatever else they may need. Stop by the dollar store and purchase different size/shape containers that you can store the different items in. Find a place in the house you know the items will stay (this will hopefully give your kids a sense of accountability too – at least for a little while!).

Whatever project you decide to do with your kids, make it fun and let them personalize it!!

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Tips and Advice

And Now They’re Off!

The stores are buzzing with parents scrambling around to find everything on their childrens back to school lists. It’s the time with the kids are sad because summer is over and the parents are happy to finally get their sanity back. Unless you like me, a mom to little ones.
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Tips and Advice

Tis’ The Season..

Before having kids of my own, I worked as a swim instructor and in daycare. I was working with children, ages from six months all the way till fifteen years old. The swim lessons I would try to keep it entertaining by having little treats for the different holidays. One year I got everyone cute little pool/bath toys for Halloween,. They had to swim to the toy, as it floated in the pool. Older kids, I would hide the toys at the bottom of the pool, so they would have to dive under to get it.  In the classroom, we would have the kids make seasonal decorations, as well as the teachers.
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DIY Tips and Advice

Back to “College”

Back to “College”

The first year of going to college can raise of mixture of emotions for the students.  There is excitement, happiness, nerves, fear, and anticipation. Generally the best thing to do as parents, is try to make the whole experience as enjoyable as possible, so that there’s not as much time to get wrapped up in the anticipation. A great way to do this is to focus on what you will need for a dorm!

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Inspiration Tips and Advice

Back to School Shopping

Back to School Shopping

 

When I was growing up, I always looked forward to back to school shopping. What kid doesn’t love new clothes and new shoes? But, it’s important to make the experience fun, practical, and affordable.

Especially in the Northeast, the seasons aren’t necessarily defined as clearly as they used to be, with 80 degree days lasting through October last year, no matter how cute the new sweatshirts you bought are, you can’t wear them! So make smart decisions. The month of August is not only full of back to school sales, it is full of summer clearance.

So make sure to look out for coupons, or special savings days, but also take some time when you go shopping to dig through the summer clearance racks. There are a lot of cute summer clothes that can be paired with a new sweater, sweatshirt, or jean jacket – and look like they were made for fall. Most layering pieces are universal throughout the year, so imagine your kids wardrobe to be similar to yours, rather than falling for the marketing in the stores where the “fall” clothes are put out front in the department. Coupons are often overlooked as well, but most of the time, the more you buy, the more you save. If you set aside a few hours to go to the store, and make your haul worth it, you can often end up using a higher value coupon and get more for your dollar.

Also make sure to take advantage if your state has a tax free week or weekend. It might not seem like you are saving a ton of money, but if you take a look at buying coats, boots, shoes, and school supplies you can end up saving a good chunk of change!

If there are bigger/more expensive items you need – whether it be a certain brand of clothes, or an electronic (tablet, laptop, etc), make sure to do your research. Shop around online before heading out to the store so you don’t fall into a trap of getting a “Daily Deal” at one store, but getting home to see a commercial on TV that the same item was cheaper at a different store.

 

Like anything in life, the more fun you make the experience, the more fun it will be. And always get your kids involved in the shopping with you – not only will it make it more fun, it will be a great learning experience for them too!

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Inspiration Tips and Advice

Homework AREA

Homework Area

 

There are a lot of adjustments to make when kids go back to school for the fall, but one of the big ones is getting used to homework. Especially a large adjustment when it’s still nice outside, and there’s a lot more fun options!

 

A good way to get your child involved in making homework “fun”, or as painless as possible is to give them a project that they can take ownership of. A great way to do this is to create a “homework space” in your house. Even if there is a room that is designated for work (such as an office), you can create a separate space just for homework – and the best part of doing it yourself is that it keeps the cost down. Depending on how old the child is would determine what exactly you need.

 

For younger kids, it can be as simple as setting up a table, and allowing them to pick out pens, pencils, crayons, or whatever else they will need to use, and decorate the space as their own. Having this be an end of summer project will get them used to doing more structured projects before school starts up again as well. You can have them make a sign with their name on it, or hang up a board they can post notes, or graded papers on. Cork boards and whiteboards are a great way to separate the space fairly easily.

 

For older kids, setting up a desk with any supplies that they might need is also a good start. You might also want to hang up a calender they can post important dates on, and get them whatever electronics they might need for homework – calculators, etc. They also tend to have a lot more paperwork they need to keep track of, so mounting file holders on the wall is a great way to keep them organized without having to spend a lot of money.

 

The most important thing is, to designate an area that they will know is where they need to do homework – this allows you to keep track of them, and set them up at the beginning of the year in an area that will not distract them too much. And making it fun, and decorating it in a way they choose will hopefully make them want to use that area for the whole year!

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