Back to School Organization + Giveaway!

Disclosure: I was sent products from Martha Stewart Home Office™ with Avery™to review. This post, my experience and opinions are 100% my own.

It's that time of year again for us, back to school, which means 10x more events, scheduling, planning and organization required on my end. I've said it before but I'll say it again. I am NOT the world's most organized person (not even close) but I've learned that in order to maintain some sort of sanity during the school year, some organization is critical!

Martha Stewart Home Office™ with Avery™ sent me some items to try out and see if they'd help me get a little more organized so I got right to work. I LOVE great looking organizational supplies even if I'm not the most organized.

The center of my life right now is my planner so I was really excited about all the options with the Discbound notebook and accessories. The best part is being able to pick and choose what goes into the notebook and it's easy to take things in and out.

I love the month in review, all the notebook paper, and the little task pad you can stick in anywhere you want! Versatility is big for me and that's what I love the most about this planner!

I've shared my office before but I added in this magazine file with the vertical file folders. I LOVE the vertical file folders! I've never used them before but it's SO much easier to pull out what you need with the files this way. They are sealed on one side too so your papers don't come falling out when you pull out the folder you need.

Chalkboard is still very much on trend and I love these chalkboard decals. I stuck one to the garage door (the last door we exit when leaving for school) as a reminder for the boys.

I also had these smaller labels that worked PERFECTLY in my kitchen. With myself and 1 kiddo being gluten free we have lots of labeling needs.

Chalk label tip - use a pencil sharpener (the larger part) to sharpen your chalk for a thinner point - perfect for marking labels.

I added a message board to our backpack organization wall for smaller papers that get lost in backpacks or the wall file.

And for all those things that get forever lost in the lost and found I used these no-iron clothing labels to label hoodies, lunchboxes and all those things that can get lost at school. You can even put them through the wash and they'll stay on.

One other thing we added was a storage box for extra chargers and other electronic pieces that regularly go missing. This little table sits right at the entryway of the house and is available for the boys' electronics or guests who might need to use one! (I love these boxes for school papers too!)

That's a LOT of organizing for someone who isn't very organized! Now it's your turn!

In case you're already shopping Staples has some deals going on now or very soon!


  • Week of August 25 – 50% off Spiral Notebooks and 40% off File Folders & Accordion Files (in store temporary price reduction)
  • Week of September 1 – 40% off all Message Boards & Decals (online weekly ad)



Martha Stewart Home Office™ with Avery™ wants to help you get back to school organized and is giving away a $50 Staples gift card to one of my readers!

Follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter widget below to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Scrapbooks Etc

You may notice a new button over on the side ——————————->

Yes! I have a project in this months Scrapbook etc. and this issue just hit newstands today. When you get a chance go pick one up! You may see a familiar name (or two if you look closely) on page 112!

Here’s a quick preview I snapped with my phone when I got my copy


It’s that time of year again. The time of year where I have deadlines of paperwork to turn in or I will officially be labeled worst mother ever. The time of year when piles of paperwork fill the house. The time of year when I go to Walmart at midnight since it’s the only store open and I just remembered that I don’t have the snack for tomorrow that I promised I’d bring.

School time.

I’ve been researching ways to organize the boys’ stuff better this year. I really want to catch up on their school albums. I always have good intentions.

I love the ideas of binders for the things I really can’t give up

from Real Simple

Maybe add some of these to put the work in until I file it away? I can hang them in our command central

from Better Homes and Gardens

Becky Higgins is coming out with a new school system soon. Maybe that will work?

How do you organize incoming school work?


I shared tons of pictures of all the fun things we did and ate at our Harry Potter party last weekend over at my ther blog All for the Boys. We like to have a fun celebration with our family and close family friends as well. As they’ve gotten older the boys cherish their family SO much, but they are just kids and when their school friends are around, they want to play with their school friends. This gives family a chance to see the birthday boy and him a chance to see them.

We went swimming and ate together and then of course the obligatory birthday cake! I just HAD to share the amazing job my Mother in Law did on this Harry Potter cake

Amazing right?! Here are a few more Lego, Paul Frank, Army, Scientist. She’s done a dirtbike and rabbit coming out of a hat as well but I don’t see those anywhere right now. I’ll have to find them and share them!


So we were at the mall the other day we walked by a hurricane simulator that they had seen many times and I finally gave in and let them give it a whirl. It’s basically a wind tunnel and says that it blows wind at 78mph. They laughed quite a bit and thought it was pretty fun. Quite a few people stopped to smile or laugh at the boys in the simulator. I love my little men!

We went on a nature walk over at ALL FOR THE BOYS


I’ve been wanting to do this for a while but have always been waiting for the right “something”. The right scanner, the right time, the right album company, but when it comes down to it just doing it was more important in the end. I actually scanned these a while ago (the scans aren’t perfect becuase I have a very, very basic scanner) and finally got around to ordering the actual book.

I’m sure like every other new Kindergarten mom out there I saved SO many papers that he brought home. I weeded through and picked out the ones I thought were just genius or plain adorable. That still left me with a huge stack so instead of trying to hoard boxes of papers I thought I’d weed through again and scan a bunch of the papers that would get ruined over time, that weren’t unique enough to hang on to, or that just took up too much space. Then I VERY simply layed them out into an album and had it printed by MyPublisher . I love it and he loves it so it was a win - win!

I just love their fun packaging, makes getting mail that much more special :)

Little bit of a difference in the amount of space it takes up huh?!


What happens when you try to ride your scooter and skateboard at the same time


And don’t you sometimes wish you could clean out the “ugliness” of your neighborhood with Photoshop? I mean I guess I could but I wish there was an action for it. Hey boys - can you repeat that over here where the big ugly van and the truck aren’t in my shot?


I wasn’t feeling too well today so when the boys wanted to play this morning I remembered this post from The Artful Parent I did this once for school I think but never thought about it again until that post. So I got out the marshmallows and toothpicks and let them go to town. They had fun and even managed to save a few of the marshmallows for building ;)


I’ve said it before but I LOVE Christmas. We did lots of talking about what Christmas means to us and that we are giving and loving in celebration of Jesus’ birth. We also did lots of the fun traditions and gift giving that Christmas brings.

It actually snowed in Phoenix! Well, these pictures aren’t from the real weather we got but it did actually snow. These are from an outdoor shopping center that makes it snow each evening.

On Christmas Eve we have Sushi with my side of the family. After they left we got ready for Santa! The baby had to label the carrots for all the reindeer. He found some red labels that I had used for our cards last year (which reminds me I need to share our cards from this year) and wrote all their names on them before they threw them in the front yard.

Christmas morning was so perfect and relaxed. The boys woke up at 7:40 and brought their stockings to our room to open. Then we went up front to see what Santa brought and open up the rest of their gifts. Lots of Legos of course! Breakfast was homemade cinnamon rolls (with Legos). We spent the rest of the day with Jared’s side of the family and ended it with a trip to the movies!


Just a quick Happy New Year to all of you out there.  I’m working on a collage of our Holiday pictures since I missed posting so many of them.  I’ll try to get that up tomorrow.  I’m also working on some changes for the blog (this will still be my craft/scrapping blog but will also include all my personal photos and photo a day posts as well) 


On Saturday morning we found Melvin sailing the 7 seas, but he did look a little confused about the lack of water.

On Sunday morning Melvin must have gotten in the mood for some music after all of our lip synching and dancing to the Christmas music the day before because we caught him strumming some notes to Rock Band (Lego Rockband of course).

And today he must have been thinking about trying out for the Cirque De Soleil because we caught him doing a pretty crazy trick on the fan pull.


We had a GREAT weekend!  Jared was out golfing all day on Saturday so the boys and I spent some time together.  We saw a play (Christmas in Oz) on Sat morning and then came home to decorate our Christmas tree!


They love going through and finding their favorite ornaments from previous years.  They even had to make sure the dogs saw their ornaments.


My favorite find from last year (at Cost Plus World Market) and the boys seeing what the tree looked like from underneath.

Somehow Christmas tree decorating turned into lip syncing complete with vacuum cleaner microphone.

We were attempting to take a photo in front of the tree

Which turned into an impromptu dance lesson from the baby (he had already danced with me earlier) because the Christmas music playing in the background was just making him feel like he needed to groove.

During the silliness the baby caught a glimpse of something he feared

It was the wasp thing that came in with the Christmas tree.  It sure did make him stop in his tracks. There is no longer a wasp in the house - all we are left with is this reminder of the fear we felt when we first saw him.