Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The night before the first day...

It's all happening too fast....the first day of school is coming and it's almost here!!!!  I know many of you have already started, but we have not and I am holding onto summer as long as I can right now.  We have been trying to suck out every last bit of long sunny days, swimming, eating lunch at non-lunch hours and staying up way too late.  

I have to say that we are desperately in need of the schedule and routine that a new school year brings, but until next week I am resisting a bit longer.   We have all of our school supply shopping done.  We've done our back to school shoe shopping (which I have to say I still don't understand because their feet don't necessarily change so much that they can't fit into last year's shoes, but I fall victim to this custom too).  We have done a bit of back to school clothing shopping and thought about our first day fashion.  And...I have thought a lot about what I will do to make the night before the first day FUN!

Here are some great ideas I have found to welcome back this year of school.   First, let's talk about a back to school celebration either with your own family or with your children's friends.  Check out these great ideas!

This party has the CUTEST table decor ever.  My kids would flip for this.  And...check out the adorable menu.  What a great way to celebrate the night before the first day!


And this little "sweets" soiree would be so much fun with some school buddies.
Complete with apple shaped Rice Krispie cake...

Gumball "pencils"
And the cutest table decor!

Or this adorable party has the cutest ideas as well...who wouldn't want to hang out at this table?
These water bottles are so fun...
And the centerpiece....I love the scrabble pieces!
Now maybe a lavish party to celebrate is a little overboard for you, how about just a special breakfast for your little ones to start their first day off right?  Here's some inspiration...

With simple Dollar Store finds, this mom added some fun to their everyday breakfast table.

This table would make any child excited about their first day.

How fun are these?

And who can forget the ever important First Day of School pictures.  I love the idea of including either a fun blackboard announcing the new grade or a sign.   Here are some ideas...

Here's a few free printables to use for your pictures.  Just click on the "source" link below each picture to take you to them.

Last but not least...does the Back to School fairy come to your house?  We have never had one visit in prior years, but these cute ideas make me think she may need to this year.

And these next few ideas included a few "back to school" goodies.

Regardless of whether your night before the first day is big or small, I hope it's special.  This can be a time filled with nervous butterflies for all of us both big and small and sometimes just a reassuring hug is enough!!!

Poshed Up

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

More back to school shopping...of the fashion kind

Personally, I love back to school shopping with the kids.  Even more than that, I love scoring a great deal.   I do a great deal of online "window shopping" prior to leaving the house so that I know what I'm looking for at each store and I know what to expect in terms of prices.  Inevitably, one or both of my children always find something not in the plan (like my son's new flip flops this year...very practical for late August, but on sale nonetheless).

I think we have mastered the art of saving on back to school shopping and last year I shared with you my list of MUST HAVES for back to school (click HERE to check out last year's post).    I have paired down my list a bit this year and focused really on things to start off the school year and cover the transition from summer wear to fall wear and that's it.   Of course, we have found shoes as well since flip flops just won't do for school.  We LIVE in flip flops all summer long...it's a sad day when the socks come out around here.

I hear many people saying they don't believe in back to school shopping yet and I totally understand that sentiment.  However, I have learned from years past that if you wait for the weather to change and hope to find some fall clothes, you may very well miss out.  Maybe you'll score a few sale deals, but more than likely you'll be faced with winter clothing.  Retail is soooo far ahead of where we are mentally that I start early.  In fact, I saw Halloween costumes already.  Crazy right?   Although, I too join that club and have listed my Halloween trick or treating bags in the shop and filled quite a few orders already.  Click HERE to see them.

I have a few tips to help you save on clothing this year and to help you make the most of your time.   

1.  Go through all of your children's fall/winter clothing NOW and try it ALL ON.  This is a very painful and long process around here, but well worth it.  Not only does it give me a chance to see what fits, but it also helps me see what styles they still like.  My daughter tastes changes faster than the wind so this is crucial with her.  Last year...all leggings.  This year...all skirts.   

2.  Lay out the items that do fit and assess what you might need to find to coordinate with these items.  For instance, maybe your child's favorite pants still fit, but they grew out of all tops from last year.  It's good to know what you need prior to leaving the house or you might come home with 10 shirts and have only 1 pair of pants.  This would equal a great deal of laundry to keep up!

3.  For the items that do not fit, consider consigning them.  This has been so profitable for us.   In fact, I just picked up a check for $70+ for summer clothing that was sold through my friend's consignment store.  And that was JUST summer clothing!!!  The clothes were of no use to use since they didn't fit, but they gave us money that we now can put towards new things.  It's a win-win for everyone.   

4.  Subscribe to your favorite store's email lists.  I have gotten so many coupons already this year from our favorites.  Just this morning I got 30% for 24 hours only.  I have seen free shipping, 25% your total order, $25 off $75 or more, BOGO...you name it, the coupons are everywhere right now.   Clip them before leaving for the store.

I thought I'd share a few of my "window shopping" and real-life finds with you in case you loathe shopping.  They are at all different price points and shops too!

There's always online shopping which has its own set of perks too if you like to do it from your own home.
I am shopping for a tween girl and a soon-to-be 6 year old boy so my finds are primarily centered around these ages.  I did add a few other favs that I would loved too!

(I have listed the store you can find each item and you can click on them to take you there!)

For Big Girls

Some trends I noticed for this year include:

All things that shimmer- I love a little bling especially on a little girl.  How cute are these sparkly things?

Animal Print - By now you probably know that I have a zebra lover in my house.  All things zebra that is...bedding, school supplies, hair accessories, even her desk chair....BUT and a big BUT, I draw the line at clothing.  I just can't seem to find a love for zebra clothing.  We did have a cute t-shirt last year with a zebra on it, but that's all I can stomach.  Some of the other animal prints I think are cute though.  Check these out:

Dolman sleeves and 3/4 Length Sleeve Tops - I think these are so darn cute...especially layered with a camisole.  My daughter has already stated that she can only wear them until coat season starts because she hates the feeling of her shirt in her coat when it's a 3/4 length sleeve shirt.  She's so my daughter...I feel the same exact way, but I love the look just the same.

Colored Jeans - These are EVERYWHERE this year...girls, women, boys and even for men.  I love the trend, but you wouldn't catch me in them.  I'm way too plain Jane, but I still think they are so great.  Here are a few colors I adore.

Moccasins and Sperry's -All I can say is that if you hold onto things long enough (which I never do), it all comes back in style.  I had both a great pair of moccasins and a pair of Sperry's back in the day, but neither were quite as fun as the ones around today.  My moccasins had little beading on them...anyone else remember those?

I think I might have someone in my house that would go CRAZY for these!

For Little Girls - For some reason, when I think of the little girls I automatically think of sweet little dresses.  I am so far past this phase now and I know they are not the most practical thing weather wise, but they are so darn cute just the same.

And of course colored jeans for little girls...so great!

For Little Boys

I know I said this last year and I still stand by it, I like to dress my son like a little man and as long as he'll let me, I will continue to do so.

You can't tell me that isn't handsome?  Anyway, I am all for "dressing down" too and prefer the sporty, preppy look!

Layered shirts-  These continue to be "in" and we love them because my son is a peanut so it adds a little extra weight to him.

Preppy - I've always had a thing for the preppy boys.   I think this is a look that even when it's casual...it's still put together.   I'm all about it!

Graphic Tees - I think my love of graphics in classic themes comes from my childhood.  As a kid, we didn't wear much logo wear and my kids really don't either.  But....I had a Ziggy (if you remember him) nightgown that I LOVED!!!!     What I love most though is that the humor and nostalgia is as much for the parents as anyone else.

That wraps up my Back to School shopping ideas and ways to save yourself some money.   Isn't it all about getting the most for what you have?   I hope you will find all that you and your children are in search of this year and that you will have few arguments over taste.  I wish this for myself as well...ha ha.

I have some fun ideas to get your children excited about back to school and some fun ways to celebrate for those of you who have not yet gone back over the next week.  Stay tuned!

Poshed Up