Free Printable Back-to-School Checklist

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Handle back-to-school with no stress thanks to this handy back-to-school free printable checklist for moms and parents!

No more pencils, no more books... wait... wrong season. It's BACK to school time, my friends! Whether you're sad to see summer end or think this is the most wonderful time of the year, being prepared ahead of time makes the transition much smoother. I've found checking off a few to-do's each week from this back-to-school printable checklist means no stress during what can be a hectic season. We're ready to go 3 weeks ahead of schedule, actually, thanks to this handy list! Which means a little … [Read more...]

Make a DIY No-Sew Kids’ Play Canopy Tent… in an hour!

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Check out how she made this DIY kids' no-sew play canopy tent in under an hour-- I can't believe what she used!

"Give me two shower curtains, a hula hoop, and a drill!" I yelled, channeling my inner MacGyver.  But under an hour later, we had a DIY Kids' Canopy Play Tent and my kids went bananas!  This isn't some crazy feat of mad DIY skillz, the truth is I'll do anything to avoid sewing or spending a lot of time (and money) on a DIY project.  While making the play canopy is easy, your kids will love the outcome and you'll feel like a superhero for pulling it off so quickly-- and on budget for wayyyyy … [Read more...]

12 Proven Ways to Survive Back to School LIKE A BOSS

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Love these 12 helpful back-to-school tips and ideas for starting off the school year with a smooth and budget-friendly transition! these 12 proven back-to-school tips and ideas!

August is like one long Sunday night, isn't it? Technically it's still summer, but the former teacher in me still feels the Back to School season creeping up and infringing on these wonderful sunny, ice-cream filled days! Apparently some of your kids have already gone back to school in July- wow! Regardless of WHEN school starts for your family, you can handle it like a boss. No need to panic or stress, here's some tools and tips to help you transition from lazy days to the more full school year … [Read more...]

School’s Out, Play is IN: Summer Playtime On-The-Go!

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Love this solution for on-the-go play! These LEGO toys will go everywhere your kids do: the pool, roadtrips, vacations, restaurants, picnics-- plus they store easily in a carrying case. BRILLIANT.

We are full-on, all-out LEGO maniacs over here in the Lemonade house lately. LEGO is a brand in which I don't hesitate to invest because I know this isn’t a short-lived stage. It’s a screen-free activity that promotes imagination, sharing, and creativity that BOTH my kids (girl and boy) adore. LEGO bricks are classics! The routine this summer has been that the kids wake up and head downstairs and play quietly with their LEGO sets for a good hour before we make them get ready for the day. … [Read more...]

20 End of Year Teacher Gifts (That They’ll Use and Love!)

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20 End of Year Teacher Gifts (That They'll Actually Use!)

Today marked the last day of school for my youngest kiddo, a bittersweet day for sure. My mom always sent in a plant for the teacher on the last day of school, and I've handed down the tradition to my kids too. My friend B. gave me the great idea of using an Anthropologie mug and filling it with goodies (she does personalized M&Ms, genius!) So I purchased mugs for the teachers and had my kids pick out the flowers to place inside. This simple idea was a hit, so I thought I'd share 20 other … [Read more...]

DIY LEGO Minifigure Jars

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Check out these DIY LEGO minifigure jars-- SUCH a cute idea for LEGO party decorations, favors, or toy storage! Love these!

We are in full-on end of school year overdrive around here... birthdays, graduations, teacher gifts, sports, picnics like WOAH!  This super busy time of year also happens to be my son's birthday so he tends to get the Pinterest-inspired-birthday-party-shaft. I usually throw a few trains in a bowl and call it a day. But he loves little details like choosing party favors and such, so I wanted a few special touches for his LEGO birthday party. Walking through Target, I picked up a box of Ball … [Read more...]

Should you Splurge on an Excursion? {Traveling with Kids}

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Turks and Caicos Snorkeling Catamaran Trip through Beaches Island Routes- looks incredible! Love the crystal clear blue water and DOLPHINS!

Where in the world is Making Lemonade? Sometimes I'm not even sure where I am myself, I've been on three trips this month alone! March kicked off travel season 2015 with a surprise birthday trip back to one of my favorite places in the world, Turks & Caicos. My husband planned the entire thing as a gift for my recent BIG birthday (cough-40th-cough), proving that I want to turn 40 every year from here on out if I get to go back to one of the most amazing islands of the Caribbean! One of … [Read more...]

Easter Baskets for Skylanders Fans

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Skylanders fans will LOVE these Easter basket ideas!

If you've spent any time around elementary aged boys lately, you've likely heard of Skylanders. In fact, you may hear of nothing else BESIDES Skylanders! As part of my quest for a candy-free Easter basket, I looked for toys my kids would love without any sugar content. BINGO. Skylanders it is, especially with three fun new Easter themed toys to stuff in Easter baskets! I'll admit I was in the dark about what exactly Skylanders are, but quickly got an education thanks to questioning a few … [Read more...]

50 Candy-Free Easter Basket Ideas

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50 Candy-Free Easter Basket Ideas for Kids-- clever and easy ideas that you (and your kids) will love, MINUS the sugar high!

Easter time is here, and truth be told, we're still making our way through the Valentine's Day candy. In an attempt to not add more fuel to the fire (or sugar to the kiddos), I decided to go candy-free in our Easter baskets this year. Plus so much of the commercial candy out there is full of artificial flavors and colors, yuck. Once I started brainstorming ideas, they were endless. Who knew there were so many great way to stuff a basket (without stuffing yourself, too?) Looking for candy-free … [Read more...]

Toy Organization 101: Taming the Toys

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How to Organize and Tame Toys! Practical steps and clever ideas for organizing ALL types of toys to help you declutter and simplify your life!

It's time to get real about toy organization, because this is a topic that comes up often and gives many parents a large amount of angst. Let's face this organizational issue head-on today, with tips to help you declutter, organize, and SIMPLIFY your toy and playroom situation! But first, a Pop Quiz: visualize the room where your kids play with most of their toys. Do you see: A: a neatly organized space where each toy has been lovingly placed in it's correct spot B: a grand total of 5 … [Read more...]

The {Top Secret} Stinky Shoe Solution

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shhhh... here's the secret to getting rid of bad odors with this all natural stinky shoe solution!

Come in closer and make sure no one else is listening, because I'm about to let you in on a little secret that I like to call the stinky shoe solution. Not that YOU have stinky shoes. But let's be honest-- there are certain brands of shoes that tend to smell terrible after awhile (hello, UGGS and Keens), and certain occupants of shoes that don't help that cause either (teenage boys, anyone?) Don't worry though, no matter the source if you want to get rid of stinky shoe odors naturally I've got … [Read more...]

So Much More

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Tips on why bathtime for kids is about so much more than getting clean-- must read facts about brain boosting through play and scent!

I'm not sure there's a daily ritual I love more than bathtime.  Since the beginning of  my kids' lives, it's been part of our nightly routine-- a way to signal that the day is done, a soft landing from the chaos of day to the calm of night. A way to play and interact and learn, and oh yes, also a way to keep my 'babies' clean after a day of hard work and play. Even now at ages 4 and 6, my kids adore bathtime and would spend hours splashing in the warm water and weaving tales of adventure if I … [Read more...]

Organizing for Homework Success {or, the “I Hate Homework” Solution!}

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This simple organizing tip turns "I HATE HOMEWORK!" into a peaceful, hassle free routine. Here's how to set up an organized mobile homework station that fits everyone's needs and makes homework time a breeze.

Kids’ organizing week continues (I just made that up, it wasn’t intentional but all this week’s posts happen to be about organizing kid’s stuff so let’s go with it). When I was a teacher, I encouraged my students to have a ‘homework spot’ to make their homework routine easier. When I became a parent myself, I knew I needed to walk the walk—both because it helps to corral all the needed supplies and because having a designated routine helps my kids focus and get more done in less … [Read more...]

Timesaving Tricks for Organizing Kids’ Clothes

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Great tips for organizing kids' clothes that I wish I knew sooner! Huge timesavers and they make staying organized a cinch!

For years these two EASY tips for organizing kids' clothing have saved us tons of time and kept my sanity intact. If you only read two tips this month in our organizing and decluttering challenge, and you have young kids, I hope it's these! We are a busy, lively household so anything we can do to simplify our lives, such as these two tricks, is a win in my book. Tip #1: Roll Your Clothes I've used this tip since my kids were babies, and my daughter is a youth size 6 now and it STILL … [Read more...]

DIY All-Natural Hair Detangling Spray {Chemical Free!}

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This easy natural homemade detangling spray works WAY better than the chemical version and smells wonderful! Plus, it repels lice thanks to an infusion of essential oils.

Thank you for all the comments and emails about my Day in the Life of an Oily Family post. This isn't the lifestyle I ever imagined embracing, which makes it scary to put out there, but I'm so thankful I did! Hearing YOUR stories about getting started with essential oils and changing lives makes my heart full. One question I've been getting is about the homemade hair detangling spray I use for my daughter. YOU GUYS. It works ten times better than the store-bought spray without the nasty … [Read more...]

Free Printable Chalkboard Labels for Toy Organization

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Free printable chalkboard labels that will have your toys organized in no time flat! Check out the 31 Day Organization Challenge for more great ideas!

Hey hey! Whew, I was knee-deep in LEGOs and trains this week BUT we've made such progress in our playroom! I'll share our toy organization tips very soon, but first I wanted to give you these FREE printable chalkboard labels for your toy organizing endeavors. Simply print, cut, and laminate. I took them to the copy center at Staples for laminating.  They actually used these cool lamination 'pockets' which make the end product laminated on one side and when you peel back the yellow backing it's … [Read more...]

25 Brilliant Ways to Organize Toys

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25 Brilliant Ways to Organize Toys

Still plugging away in our 31 Day Organizing Challenge? Our organizing focus this week has been the playroom, and we're starting to see the other side of it, hooray! Since there's different strokes for different folks-- and different solutions for different types of toys-- I've rounded up 25 clever ways to organize toys, games, stuffed animals, bath toys, and all the wonderful detritus life with kids may bring. NOTE: for more information on each idea, be sure to visit the link above each … [Read more...]

How We Drastically Changed Our Christmas Mornings {for the better}

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Tips for minimizing the mess on Christmas morning and keeping the focus on the real meaning of the season

Is there anything MORE FUN than Christmas morning? The chaos of unwrapping gifts, squeals of delight, my husband and I sitting bleary-eyed watching it all unfold... it truly is the most wonderful day of the year. HOWEVER, I've learned a few things over the years about making the morning go smoothly, minimizing the mess while not interrupting the fun, and also teaching my kids it's not about what you GET, but what you GIVE too. Here's what's in our Christmas Morning Survival Kit, which I tuck in … [Read more...]

As Ever, Ideas for the Last Minute Christmas Card Sender

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A Christmas Home Tour OVERFLOWING with easy and beautiful ideas for holiday decorations. Love these simple & glam Christmas ideas that are perfect for stylish families!

I wish I had a legitimate excuse for always ordering my Christmas cards late, but I don't. I mean, EVERYONE is busy. But even my busy friends still seem to get their cards in the mail on time. Let's face it, I'll probably always be a last minute Christmas card sender. It's not that I love my friends and family any less (in fact, I probably love them more than they know), but I'm always waiting for the 'perfect' photo. And the 'perfect' stamps. And the 'perfect' time to sit down and put them … [Read more...]