Getting Ready for Fall and Back To School

Summer ends before you know it and it's time to get ready for Back To School. I have stepped away from the "school shopping bandwagon" and organized all my kid's clothes last week. I found out that they had enough clothes for this year - minus a few odds and ends.

There really is no reason to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe. Even shoes. Since kids grow so quickly, it makes sense to buy new shoes as their feet grow or the pair gets so worn that it can't pass as support any longer. So our school shopping was super easy.

But taking care of those clothes so they last is part of the deal. We implemented a "nothing on the floor" rule and their rooms looks fantastic because of it. Stains are taken care of right away, clothes get folded and put away immediately, and anything that needs attention is pulled out. I hate to iron clothes, but I've found steaming to be so much more enjoyable.


I received this great steamer for review and I used it to peel the wallpaper off of my daughter's wall (a new tween update to her room decor). I used it to press a few dresses (way better than an iron) and I even used it to clean the shower. Steam cleaning can't be beat. It's great - portable - convenient. I only wish it had a longer cord since some of my projects span walls (like the wall paper) or across the bathroom.

We reused our backpacks and lunch boxes but I had the worst time with water bottles last year! Either they leaked or they made the water taste bad. I decided at the end of the year, that we would never again drink from plastic bottles. We have a few stainless bottles that are amazing but not very portable. Lucky for us, we had the chance to review the hydaway collapsible silicone water bottle.

This little bottle collapses down to the size of a coaster. It is made of silicone so it doesn't have the same BPA or ishy taste problems as plastic. The bottles look a little weird - alien even. My kids thought that made them cool. They do leak if you don't put the cap on perfectly. Just check before packing them in their lunch and remind them to screw them on well on the way home. Or better yet, finish all your water at lunch and collapse that baby back down! Those backpacks get full and any space you can save is gold! These are also pretty awesome for a hiking pack or emergency kit. I kid you not, they are the size of a coaster and could fit in any purse or even your pocket.

When we head into fall, we start to lose daylight - and fast! It's hard to imagine now. It feels like the day goes on and on. We walk around outside during the night and it's still bright. But soon it will be dark by 6pm. So we are going to be wearing some pretty cool personal lighting gear from 4id.

They have light up arm bands called PowerArmz, lights for the heels of your shoes called PowerSpurz and my favorite - PowerSteps (for your laces.)

They are so easy (and intuitive) to use and they look great. Plus they keep you safe.  We live in an urban area so there are cars everywhere. When we head out into the night, it's nice to know they have a better chance of seeing us so we are less likely to be hit.

Don't forget to take time to go for family walks and bike rides. Fall is cooler but it's not frigid. That will come soon enough! And before you know it you'll be side tracked with sports and work and....

When that happens, try to rememember how important it is to take time to just "be" together and to try and eat as healthy as possible. Cereal for dinner is okay once in a while, but it shouldn't be your routine. Stock the freezer with healthy frozen meals to make your life easier. We tried out these organic burritos from Reds.

I had absolutely no complaints on the ingredients! They were stellar. The price was inline with purchasing single serve burritos but I had a hard time finding them in the store. They were in their own little organic burrito area. Who knew there was a specific organic burrito section?

They were good and hearty. My only beef - I would have liked a little more spice. But with kids in the house, mild is always the way to go. You can always add sauces.

Speaking of mild treats - we also had the opportunity to try out Earth Best's Stuffed bites. They are like giant pizza rolls. The ingredients, once again, were awesome. No weird things. Nothing unnatural. Nothing toxic. But... they were so mildly flavored. For kids, right? I get it, and my kids thought they were fine. But they didn't love them.

I thought they needed some spice - more basil, some crushed red pepper, some garlic butter for the crusts. They were okay though and they were super convenient. Did I mention the stellar ingredients? I would buy them again if they had a bit more flavor or pizzazz.

We are just about set for the next year of school and the garden is just about ready to call it quits. Before you put the garden to bed for the season, consider adding minerals back into the soil. Fertilizers will just leach away. I usually mix up a batch of minerals including gypsum, bone meal, and sea kelp. I received a small sample of BioFlora Seaweed Cream. Just enough for my blueberry bushes. So instead of the usual mix, I gave them the seaweed cream (mixed with water.) They are done producing for the year, but I'll be able to gauge their performance when they start growing again next spring.

I personally believe that it's important to put minerals back into the soil. It results in healthier plants and healthier produce. Seaweed is one of the best natural mineral sources and I use it whenever possible.

Well, that's about it for our fall round up. We are ready for the leaves to turn, the raspberries to ripen, and school to start!

I received complimentary products for review purposes. No compensation was received. This article may contain affiliate links/ads.

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Thank you for your comments! I appreciate all your tips, advice, and well wishes!

Angela

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