Thursday, August 29, 2013

5 Important Conversations to Have Before Back to School

The back to school season is now in full swing.

We are hustling to the store to get those few last minute items, going through drawers to make sure we have all the needed clothing, and piling into the grocery stores in order to make the best school lunches in the district.

Our minds are scattered, our patience runs thin (which really isn't any different than what we've been feeling all summer), and we can't seem to keep a bottle of wine in the fridge...oh? Is that just me?

We are awesome parents! Our children are all sorts of prepared!

But are they?

During all the hustle and bustle of the season, one area we as parents tend to drop the ball is with talking to our kids about the upcoming school year. Going back to school is a big step in the life of a child no matter what age they are.

And there are certain things that, as parents, we need to make sure we talk to our children about.

1. Bullies As a mother there are few things that terrify me more than knowing someone is out there wanting to hurt my child emotionally and/or physically. Even if that person is a fellow elementary school child. So it's important to me (and I'm sure to most parents) that my son know what to do should he be the victim of a bully. A. Loudly tell the bully to stop and leave him alone B. Find an adult and tell them; whether it's me, a teacher, or another trusted adult in his life.

On the same token, I feel the need to reiterate to my child that if he chooses to bully it will not be tolerated. I don't like bullies and I refuse to allow my child to be one. He knows this and will hopefully adhere to it.

2. Peer Pressure I know kids hear these things all the time at school and other programs they are involved in. But in my opinion, they can't hear it enough: They don't have to do what all their friends are doing and anyone who is pressuring them to, isn't truly a friend. A friend would respect that you don't want to do something.  

Unfortunately, this is one of the hardest ones for kids to deal with. So one thing I always did (and was encouraged to do) was to blame my parents. Even if they had nothing to do with a decision; if I felt uncomfortable with what my friends were going to do I would blame my Mom as to why I couldn't go.

Because, you know, parents are so lame.

3. Good Touch/ Bad touch & Sex Unfortunately, we now live in a world where these things are everywhere. And as much as we try to hide our children from them, they will eventually be faced with the topics. And I, personally, would rather my child know they can come talk to me about these topics than to fear my reaction.

Though, of course. I do believe these things need to be spoken about in an age appropriate manner.

For young children: Good touch, bad touch. No one touches you without your permission and what to do if they try. (Tip, Scream). Older kids: What sex is, why its not ok for them and continue the good touch, bad touch. Preteens: Time to have the sex talk. All of it, good and bad. (And for goodness sakes use the correct terms).

By the time a child is 11 these days they are being faced with sex and the pressure to have it.

Don't believe me? Google it.

4. Drugs Again, another topic that seems to be everywhere. And again, unfortunately, even our youngest of children don't seem to be exempt. You hear on the news daily how children as young as 6 are being asked to both use and sell drugs within their schools.


Really, it sickens me. And in a world that all this is happening, keeping the lines of communication open in completely vital. Tell them what to do if they see drugs at school, who to tell if they are asked to do drugs, etc.

And finally,

5.Their worries Are they afraid of their first day? Worried their teacher will not like them? Scared that they wont be able to do the work they are supposed to? Is it a new school? Will they know anyone? Talking about all of these things with your child before  the school year starts will make  it easier on the both of you.

Reassurance can be everything to a child.

If you are anything like me you are scared to death every single time fall rolls around. Not being with him every second of the day terrifies me; I'm his mom. It's my job to protect him!

But knowing that I've armed him the best I can with the knowledge that I'm always here to talk, but also informing him of what to do when I'm not there and something happens, helps put me (slightly) at ease.

Are there any other things that you like to discuss with your child before the school year starts? Things that you find important?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

10 After School Down-time Activities

Going back to school can be difficult.

It's actually a very tiring experience even if you've done everything humanly possible to prepare for it.

So it only makes sense that when your kids come home from a long day of overwhelming socialization, learning, and self preservation they will need some time to decompress and unwind from the day.

But as a parent, what you don't want is your child plopping down in front of the television set for the next 3 hours and wasting away until supper.

At least, not every day.

And to keep that from happening in my house, I put together a list (yes, another one. I love my lists) of some great down-time activities for kids that will use their brains and help them chill after spending the day fighting for their lives and their grade point average.

1. Read a Book Ok, I know this is one that you read everywhere, all the time. It's shoved down our throats as parents from the day they are born. But, in all honesty, it is a really good one. As a person who loves to cuddle up with a good book I can tell you, reading can be one of the most relaxing things you can do. You escape to a different place and time and can just let the stress of the day go.

2. Let them Color For kids this is a great way to keep their brains moving (which apparently TV doesn't) but let them calm down and relax after a full filled day of school stress. And bonus, you get to hang all that pretty art work on your fridge!

3. Legos Again, a quiet activity that most parents already have sitting around their house. The kids can be together or separate (depending on their rivalry level), their brains are engaged, but they are chilling out and adjusting to the calmer pace of home.

4. A Sensory Bucket You can find ideas for this activity all over pinterest. They play, they learn, and its something new to them. What I like about this is that it can easily be changed up with new toys, colors, and even themed after the holiday/season. So it's never the same twice.

5. Playing Outside Another old classic that, unfortunately, isn't used as much as it should be. There is no better therapy for a kid than running, playing, yelling, laughing, and everything else that comes with being outside. And an added bonus is that they get a great night's sleep from all that fresh air.

6. Playing a Game Doesn't matter the game. With a parent, each other, or by themselves. It can be a board game, card game, hide and seek, or color matching, etc. Games are a great way to decompress and use some of the skills they've learned at school. Just don't use an app for that. We are trying to keep them away from the electronics for a bit.

7. Doing a Craft This one is a little more involved for the parent. But what kid doesn't like craft time. Cutting, pasting, glitter, and cereal...It's a mess in the making but what a great way to transition them from school to home and allow them the time to breathe while still keeping them engaged and thinking.

8. A Busy Book or Quiet Book I'm new to the concept of a busy book. But essentially, it's a book that you can either buy or put together yourself that is full of activities, games, color pages, writing pages, etc. that your kids can do quietly when they get home. You can print it all out and change it up day to day or use pages from other color/activity books that you find just about anywhere.

A quiet book is usually put together but I've seen ones you can buy at craft stores, fairs, and even some nice children's book stores. It's usually felt and every page is full of activities that they can do. And sometimes, for older kids, it has games like tic tac toe. My mother made some for my kids and I LOVE them. We use them weekly.

9. Quiet time boxes/bags These are a nice way to change things up from day to day with your kids (especially if they get bored playing with the same thing day after day). You have 5 separate bags or boxes, fill them with different things for your child to do or play with (like learning games, blocks they don't usually play with, etc) and keep them out of reach. When your baby comes home from that long day of school, you get one box/bag down for them and let them have at it.

10. Some Good Old Fashioned Play Time There is nothing as simple, as decompressing, and as entertaining to a child as some good old fashion play time. Them with their toys; there isn't anything better. I try to separate my kids when I want them to play quietly, but they have separate rooms so it's easy for me.

Sometimes your kids don't need structure, they just need to be a kid. Let them.

Being a kid in school can be hard work. And coming home from those long days of learning and social interaction can be equally as overwhelming if kids don't have a chance to relax a bit.

We as adults need this (not that we usually get it, but it's nice to think about) so it's not hard for us to get that our children may need this too.

And having a list like this makes it easy when we too have had a long day and don't really want to think.

Is there anything that you do to help your children relax when they get home from their busy days? Let me know, I'd love to try them for myself!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

20 Easy, Healthy, & Yummy Cold Lunch Ideas

For my children there is nothing in this world more exciting than food.

I don't know if they get it from me (because, I admit, food is my downfall) or if it's because they are growing boys, but when my kids hear that there is food involved in anything they are all over it.

So, as it would seem, when it comes to going back to school food is a really big deal. Especially in a world where you have to have the "good stuff" in your cold lunch to be the "cool kid".

Last year for my son, that was not the case. He usually got a peanut butter and jelly or ham and cheese sandwhich with whatever was on sale at meijer and a fruit of some sort. And he was expected to be happy about it. Which he wasn't (and really, can you blame him).

But this year I made a promise to my all grown up, I have to be cool, 1st grader that his lunches would be different and fun.

But for me, since I am determined to be the "cool mom", they also need to be fairly easy.

So whats a Mom to do when her baby big boy has such high expectations? She hits up Pinterest of course!

And through that I have compiled a list of 20 great, easy, healthy, and ubber yummy cold lunch ideas for the lunch boxes of my house and yours.

1 & 2. Home-made lunchable - Whole wheat crackers, sliced "chunk" cheese, and some sliced low sodium ham or turkey. Something even I love to eat! Top it all off with some fresh fruit and 100% juice. Bam!

You can also make those cool little pizzas. (This one my mother used to do ALL the time and they were amazing!) Turkey pepperoni, marinara sauce, your favorite flat bread (I will be using whole wheat).

3.. Burritos - Whole wheat tortilla, freshly shredded cheese & turkey, beans, lettace....basically this one is whatever you like on your burritos (and whatever your kids like). Make 2 for it to be more filling.

3. Subs - This one is a new take on the old sandwhich. You can get the traditional whole wheat mini-sub bun or you can step it up with a pretzel bun or something else fun. Then of course lettace, lunch meat, cheese, etc. Top it off with baked chips or some whole wheat cheese its and fruit.

4. Pasta Salad - Any noodle works but for fun use wagon wheel or colorful ones, chunks of cheese, pepperoni or sausage, fresh veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, whatever your kids like), mix together with Italian dressing, and Parmesan cheese.

5. Turkey and Cheese Melt - Kind of like the traditional grilled cheese but with sliced turkey added (or ham). Partner with carrots and ranch.

6. Ham and Cheese Rolls - So basic it scares me! Take your sliced ham and cheese and roll them together. Bam! Done. This could be pared with just about any healthy snack you could possibly want! And who doesn't do this anyway.

7. Fruit pizza bagel - take some whole wheat mini bagels, cover them with mixed cream cheese and honey, and top with fruit (any your kids will eat). Sprinkle with coconut (optional).

8. Walking Taco - Now this one isn't usually considered healthy but is so easy to make that way! Put all the ingredients into separate container and let your child mix them. Cold shredded chicken or turkey cooked with taco seasoning, shredded cheese, lettace, cream cheese, salsa, and a bag of chips or 2 (you can use teh traditional fritos, doritos, or tortilla chips or you can use the healthier whole wheat or baked versions).

9. BLTS - Who doesn't like a good BLT?! No one I know. And what sounds better than having one for your lunch? Make the usual way, pair with chips or crackers and fruit.

10. Egg Salad Sandwiches - These can be so basic or played up. Add lettace and tomato, onions, and even lunch meat and you have a really filling sandwich that tastes great! Again, paired with chips, crackers, or fruit. Or even greek yogurt if that tickles your fancy.

11. Chicken Quesadillas - My husband would be proud! Take a tortilla, cheese, and practically anything else you want to. Toast on the stove (but serve cold for the lunch). Serve with sour cream.

12. Grilled Chicken Salad Sandwich - Make your favorite chicken salad, spread between bread and add cheese. Grill and serve cold.

13. Fruit Salad - Amazingly, even though they have a HUGE sweet tooth my kids LOVE fruit salad. Any fruit works and they will eat it by the gallon. So why not let them for lunch? Serve it with greek yogurt and cheese.

14. Home-made Corn Dogs - My kids eat these both hot and cold at home anyway so I will be adding it to the menu for school lunches this year. Mix together any corn bread you like and pour into a muffin tin, slice a hot dog and stick it into the middle of the mix in each section of the tin. Cook according to bread directions. Serve cold in lunch with ketchup.

15. Pizza Crescent Rolls - Take crescent rolls, pepperoni, and cheese sticks. Bake according to directions for the rolls. Serve cold with Marinara sauce.

16. Basic Sandwich in fun shapes -  You can see these all over the place when you look and for younger kids it makes sense. Just seeing your blah sandwhich in a new way is enough to make it good! Buy cookie cutters and have at it!

17. Veggie Pizza - Flat bread, cream cheese, topped with every veggie you want. This is something you can make at home or they can make at school.

And since we can't forget to mention a few thermos inspired meals...

18. Spaghetti - It can be freshly made or leftovers. Serve with garlic bread slice and shredded parmesan cheese.

19. Macaroni and Cheese - Because, hello. These are kids we are talking about.

20. Soup - Home-made or canned, kids love soup. I'm horrible at making it myself but I know that the store I like to shop at sells some great natural and organic versions of my boys' favorites.

Hopefully you'll find these ideas as great as I do. I actually cannot wait to start making his lunches! (and I hate to cook so that should say something!)

Are there any sure fire, go to meals that you like to make for you children's school lunches? How about snacks?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Back to School Organization: Backpacks & Lockers

Today's post is one that's near and dear to my heart:


There's just something special about seeing an organized space, no matter where it's located, that gets my heart a-pumpin'. It's a beautiful thing.

And when it comes to going Back to School nothing makes the day go by faster (and with much less stress) than having a great organization system in place.

For moms, this could be in the house, the office, the car, etc. But for kids this usually means having an organized backpack or locker.

So when my son started school last year I sat down and created a list of tips and tricks on how to organize our school supplies and their containers that will make my life (and his) so much easier.

And I thought I share them with you.

Organizing A Backpack:

Organizing a backpack is really the easiest thing in the world to do. Its maintaining it that can be a beast if your don't stay on top of it throughout the year.

And as the mom of any 1st grader (and middle schooler, and high school student...ok, any mother) can tell you it's pretty essential to keep this item organized; for it is the keeper of the supplies, information, and communication.

So here are my tips to organizing (and keeping up with) your child's backpack:

1. Get a backpack with pockets. Lots of them. I know many people think that having more pockets means you're more likely to lose things or forget where you put them. But I've found that the more pockets a backpack has, the more organized I'm able to keep it.

2. Designate those pockets. I give every pocket a specific job. (His glasses case goes in this one, the lunch box here. The tiny one here is for a spare house key, the binder and pencil box here. etc).

I also teach my son what each pocket does (which does take a week or 2) and once he's got it down, we are both better able to find what we need and when we need it. (And as an added bonus, he teaches the teacher!)

3. Assign a spot in your home for the back pack that isn't out of sight. This is something I find important because it helps to establish a decent routine.

You and your child know where the backpack is when you need it. And (even better) they know where to put it when they come home. No more backpacks on the floor!!! But try not to choose a closet or the mudroom in the garage if you can help it; as the saying goes, when it's out of sight its out of mind.

4. Create an evening routine which involves cleaning out the backpack. For me this was easy. While he does his homework, I go through the backpack; clean out the trash, enter important things in my day planner, and put things back in their places if they had been moved.

Organizing A Locker:

Now, unfortunately, I never really got the chance to enjoy organizing a locker.

I only had one for my senior year of high school and because I was clueless to all the "coolness" you could put in one, I never got to use some of the those things they have on the market; but I did use various bags, folders, and labels. Which worked great but wasn't eye popping by any means.

So to help me show you some great ways to do this without making this post much longer, I thought I'd recruit a post from I Heart Organizing (again, just because I love her blog).

Back to School Organization: Pimp My Locker

How cool was that locker?! (And how awesome that she doesn't mind embarrassing her son (because y'all know I'd do the same thing).

But really.

As you can see, it doesn't take much to create a great, organized locker. Just a few quick items and BAM!

But the best part has to be the fact that you can add rhinestones and change colors to "girl-i-fy" this set-up or make it specific to your child and/or the school they attend.

What are some great ways you've found to become and stay organized through out the school year? Are your kids good at helping out or making a mess? 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Shopping Smart for Back to School

One thing as a parent that I have complete mixed feelings about every year is shopping for Back to School.

On the one hand I'm exciting because, hello, shopping.

On the other hand I'm dreading it because, well, shopping.

I love buying clothes for my kids. And I love when I can send them off to school looking their best in every way...

But the thought of having to drop my entire life's savings on my kid once a year just to get them everything they are going to need before I send them off to a world where having the coolest pencil box determines his worth, scares me senseless.

And leaves my wallet in pain.

Which leads me to the same question that Moms all over the country (and probably the world) are crying, "Why do clothes and supplies have to be so expensive?"

My answer to that?

It doesn't.

You just have to know how to shop smart.

 One of the best ways I've found to shop smart during the back to school season is Coupons.

I know, I know. These days when you hear the word coupon you automatically imagine those ladies (and gentlemen) who coupon for 40+ hours a week, go to the store, and are able to get $1,000 worth of groceries for $20.

And, I don't know about you all, but my math skills (and dedication) are sorely lacking when it comes to something like that.

But I have found that coupons can be a wonderful tool for saving money on your shopping bills and I use them weekly. has become my go to site. They always seem to have just the coupon I need when planning a grocery shopping trip. And right now they are offering some great ones for Back to School; to places like Payless shoes, Kohls,, JC Penney, Kmart, and many more.

And like the extreme couponers always claim, when you are able to add those coupons onto sales those stores are already having, it makes the savings that much more!

Another great way I've found to shop smart is to check the local gently used clothing stores.

In my opinion, why would I want to go to walmart and spend $15 to $20 on a single pair of blue jeans for my son when I can go to some place like Jammies to Jeans, Goodwill, or any other local gently used children's clothing store and spend $7 to $10? That just makes no sense to me.

I always make stores like this my first stop.

And (here's a little tip from my Momma) try locating the stores that are closer to "high income" neighborhoods. They usually have better kept clothes, name brands, and there really isn't much of a difference in pricing for them.

I've also found that an easy way to shop smart for Back to School is to check your local school district for a school supply fair.

This one can be kind of tricky because most of the time these school supply give aways are for families who fall into a certain income bracket. But occasionally, you'll find one in your area that offers the needed supplies at cost if not for free to all students in that district.

Even if you find you don't qualify for these fairs, it never hurts to check.

And, last but not least, probably the best way I've found to be a Back to School smart shopper is to wait until after you've met with your child's teacher before you buy any supplies for that first day.

Last year, I was a good and prepared mother. I downloaded the school's "Needed Item List" and went shopping for everything I was told to get on that list before I even met with the teacher.

I walked into that meeting all sorts of proud of myself for being on top of it and starting the year off on the right foot. You could almost say I strutted into that meeting; and do you know what the first thing the teacher said to me was? "Don't worry about buying anything from the school's needed list, I'll be providing that for you."

Excuse me?!

Yep, so I drove an hour to get to the store and dropped who knows how much money on supplies that my child didn't even need.

So, instead of driving all the way back to the store to return EVERYTHING I'd bought, I just donated it to the class.

So please, take it from my experience, don't buy supplies (other than a backpack and lunch box) until you've had that meeting.

You may end up spending money you don't need to spend.

You may end up having to shop with the crazy last-minute moms, but you'll also know you only need 6 items on that list instead of 36.

**Do you have any things you like to do to be a smart Back to School shopper?**

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Developing A Back to School Sleep Schedule & Bedtime Routine

One of the biggest parts of getting ready for Back to School in the Larios house has to do with getting my boys back on a sleep schedule.

I've always been a stickler for any type of schedule for my kids; otherwise the days are just pure chaos. But as my kids have gotten older I've slowly come to my senses and let up a bit during the summer months.

Which have made for some great summer memories.

But with the school year looming, its only a matter of time before my 8:30am wake up call becomes a 6:30am one and we all have to be up, dressed, and semi-functioning before the sun.

(Just saying it makes me feel grumpy and tired.)

So with that in mind there are a few things I like to do in advance to ensure that our lazy summer mornings make a smooth transition into busy, routined ones; and getting back onto a sleep schedule that fits our school day routine is one of them.

About a month before school starts (like right now) I begin this transition by moving the boys' bed times up by an hour.

Since Tyler has been going to bed around 10:00 lately...(at least that is what he's been telling me. What he doesn't realize is that Mommy is a good spy and knows he's been staying up playing his gameboy until at least 11:00)...which would now makes his new bedtime 9:00.

And next week I'll be moving bedtime up another hour, reaching our final bedtime of 8:00.

By doing this a few weeks in advance it gives him some time to get used to the new schedule making it more of a habit for him by the time school comes around (and making my life that much simpler when I have to force myself out of my warm bed far too soon).

However, this is only the first step to ensuring a good night's sleep for the long, stressful days of school ahead. I also like to reinstate a simple and easy bedtime routine.

A few years ago I came across a simple little blog called I Heart Organizing where I not only learned this easy way of developing a sleep schedule change for the kids (What? You thought I came up with it on my own? I wish I was that smart) but I also discovered an easy to follow bedtime routine for the boys.

The routine consisted of 6 things for the boys to do in a specific order every night before bed:

1. Put on Jammies
2. Brush their teeth
3. Get a drink of water
4. Go potty
5. Read a bedtime story
6. Have lights out!

That's it. We start it about 30-45 minutes before we want the boys in bed and have adapted it for our toddler to use as well.

And the best part? She made a free printable that I have framed and hung on my fridge so we can all know what we are supposed to be doing next.

Because as we know, kids thrive on routines and schedules. They like to know what's happening next and the pictures are great for that and I love that it forces me to have story time to them each night (as a stay at home mom, this can be hard for me because there is always something I need to get done before I can sit down and relax for the evening).

If you haven't checked out I Heart Organizing I really suggest that you do.

I'm addicted to the site and could spend hours on it. She has some great ideas and as the mother of three boys herself, has helped me immensely with getting organized for my children and setting up daily schedules and routines.

As moms everywhere know, getting kids ready for Back-to-School is hard enough without the pressure of making sure they get a good night's sleep. Using these simple tools that has become one thing I don't really have to sweat. I can now focus on whether I'd like him to wear the angry birds shirt on his first day or the polo.

Or maybe the blue on with the stripe....

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

5 Tasks to Help You Prepare for Back to School

In the mind of my oldest son the summer is still in full swing. He sees nothing in his future outside of playing, eating ice-cream, and his new bicycle.

For me, unfortunately, the end of summer and start of school is coming closer and closer everyday.

Now that August has made it's presence known (with some chilly and fall feeling weather I might add) I am officially in the "Plan-For-Back-To-School" mode.

And I'm not the only one.

If any of you have been to a department store within the last few weeks, you'll see that Back-To-School is in full swing for them too!

Making this the perfect time for Mommy, In Demand to dedicate an entire month to helping you (and, honestly, myself) become better prepared for the beginning of the school year.

Who doesn't like a little team work?!

So, to start off this months theme, I thought we'd talk about some basic things I'm doing to prepare myself, my son, and my wallet for that first day back.

1. Go Through Your Child's Clothes
My son is growing like a weed these days. It will often happen that I'll buy him a new outfit only to have it not fit him a month later.

By going through his clothes and making him try things on for me, I'm able to get a better understanding for what he'll need to look his best for his first day of school. I can then make a list of what he needs (and some things I really just want to get him) for when we go shopping.

2. Shop At Home For School Supplies

We always have things left over from the last school year that can be used or reused for the new one; Pencils that I can resharpen and replace the eraser on, pencil boxes and (sometimes) back-packs that look as good as new when washed, Notebooks that only have a page or two used...

If I can find anything in my home to use that I don't have to re-buy, it takes a great weight off of my shoulders. I can then make a list of only what's needed.

***Side Note: Don't buy school supplies until you get a list from your child's teacher. I did last year and ended up spending my money on things he really didn't need and having to spend more on the thing he did.

3. Make Lists, A Shopping Plan, & A Budget

For me there is nothing more painful than going shopping and forgetting what I need and in what size, color, etc. By writing it all down ahead of time I'm able to eliminate that pain altogether and think much more clearly when I'm in the crowded store with other panicky Moms. 

It's also helpful in the month prior to the new school year to create a shopping plan and a budget. I like to sit down with my husband, a cup of coffee, and my planner and talk about when we want to go shopping, what that specific shopping trip will be for (clothes, supplies, shoes, etc.), and how much we have to spend on those things.

I find that breaking the trips down helps to eliminate stress. You aren't gone for long periods of time. You can keep to your budget. And you're able to get a better sense of what stores to visit for better deals on the things you need, since there aren't 100 of them all at once.

4. Start a Sleep Schedule

It's an already known truth that children need to be well rested for school in order to function and learn at their full potential. This is even more needed at the beginning of the school year when you're child is learning the classroom rules, schedule, and basically giving their teacher a first impression as to what type of student they'll be.

And don't forget that all important school photo that comes way too quickly.

The last thing you want is to have the grumpiest child in the room while all this is happening. By getting your child prepared for the new sleep schedule ahead of time; whether it's a month or a week, they'll be much more prepared for those first days.

5. Get Your Car Ready

Until this past weekend, I wouldn't have thought to do this. But I learned this here little tip by visiting the Mothering From Scratch blog and it makes complete sense!

Car maintenance is a big part of being a parent; for all those trips to and from school, all those soccer practices, and karate competitions, your car is one of the biggest parts of running you family smoothly. So what better time is there to make sure your car is up to date on it's maintenance than the beginning of the school year?

Schedule an oil change, put air in your tires, check fluids, and even vacuum it out. Your taking your time preparing your children, why not prepare your car too?!

Back to school can be so stressful for a family if you let it and I don't handle stress well.

But a little preparation goes a long way to ensure that my family has smooth transition and I'm sure it'll work for you too!