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FAMILY/ Kids/Family/ Simplifying

A Deal On Glasses From JCPenny & Back-To-School Shopping Tips


Back-to-school shopping can be something that most Moms dread, but it doesn’t have to be. I’ve learned some things throughout the years, so keep reading for some tips and a great deal on glasses from JCPenney. (60% OFF 1 PAIR! GOOD THROUGH 9/9)


Focus In On One

Something I have loved doing the last few years is to take each of my 3 girls back-to-school shopping separately. I take them to buy clothes, school supplies, glasses and shoes. This creates a lovely opportunity to spend quality time with them before school starts. It is so much easier for me to focus in on one of my girls, AND it keeps my sanity. I know they appreciate not having to listen to unsolicited opinions and advice on what to buy from each other. I make sure I have a good chunk of time to spend with each of them, and remind myself to slow down and take in the moments. We usually take a nice shopping break by going out for lunch, which really makes it feel special. Who knew that back to school shopping could end up being great memory-making with my girls?


Not Too Many New Clothes

I saw a Mom that I admire post on Instagram recently that her kids just get one new outfit for back-to-school. They have fresh new outfit for the first day of school, but don’t end up breaking the bank and going overboard with unneeded clothes. I love this idea! Our seasons change a month or so after school starts, so really my girls can continue wearing their summer clothes for a while, and then start to layer their clothes as fall hits. This would free up the budget to buy back- to- school items other than clothes.




Everyone in our family wears glasses, except my youngest, and I’m sure one of these days she will need them. Affordable glasses are a MUST for our family, and I use back-to-school time as a great time to evaluate and see who is ready for an exam or new pair of frames, including Mom! With teenage girls, their faces grow and change almost as much as their fashion  tastes, and JCPenney Optical is a great place to keep up with it all. They have fashion forward eyewear at a great value. especially right now with their Labor Day sale going on! 60% off 1 pair, offer good through 9/9!

Do you have multiple people in your family wearing glasses? Not only do we have 4 different people wearing prescription glasses, but 3 of us love our prescription sunglasses, too. They used to be an adult-only thing in our home, but then my Teagan started driving, so it became a safety necessity to have prescription sunglasses. She was a lifeguard this summer so again, it was necessity for her to be able to see and save lives!

If you are a Mom of kids or teens who wear glasses,you can probably relate to finding pairs of glasses lying around the house. This used to stress me out and I often  get into lecture mode. Not anymore. Now I designate one place in our home as the place for everyone to find their glasses (aka the place that Mom places them after picking up after everyone!) Gather them on a platter that is centrally located (ours is in our living room) where glasses are easy to grab on the way out the door.


Specific Shoes

We usually plan on getting each of my girls one new pair of PE shoes, especially my runner girl who runs cross-country. She wears out her running shoes within a few months with all of the miles she runs. We also get them one pair of fall boots. They fill in with summer sandals and flip-flops until the cool months hit, and then they pull out the boots.


Lunch Boxes

I wrote a post about the containers we use to keep us from buying plastic baggies, which saves us quite a bit. My girls pack a lunch almost daily so we usually end up buying new lunch bags for them every school year. I make sure I have enough ice packs and a thermos for each girl, and stock up on napkins and disposable spoons for the days I send a thermos full of hot soup.



School Supplies

Lists are key here. I have each of my girls make a list, and then I am mindful of what we already might have sitting around here at home. Oftentimes I have notebooks, folders, erasers and extra pencils in our home office that I can distribute to my girls. I also shop for their school supplies at the same time I take them individually to shop for back- to- school clothes, shoes and glasses. It always feels so good to get home and know they have everything they need.




Back-to-school is a great time to get all trimmed & styled up, especially as school pictures are usually taken shortly after school resumes in the fall. I am a licensed cosmetologist, so I do all of the haircuts, trims & highlights in the family. We did not get this done before school started this year, and just this morning my oldest asked me if she could please, PLEASE get her hair trimmed. They usually think it is pretty handy that their Mom can do hair, but I’m sure waiting around until I have time can be a drag — or a lesson in patience!


My girls went back-to-school prepared for whatever the school year brings. I sigh with a bit of relief  and a bit of sadness as I watch them go. Another year down! Now to figure out how to keep them from growing up any further!


What are your best back to school tips?

How many people in your family wear prescription glasses? How do you keep track of them all?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

FAMILY/ Kids/Family/ Simplifying

10 Awesome Back-To-School Hacks For Moms



These 10 back-to-school hacks are to help Moms survive the back-to-school whirlwind that is taking place in many of our homes right now! You will find a few specifically for Moms of teens, as that is the season I am in right now. If you don’t have teens, you will before you know it–don’t blink!


Ice Cold Water Bottles

My girls love taking water bottles to school and like them ice-cold. To keep them cold until lunchtime,  fill half way with water and place the water bottle  on its side in the freezer over-night, then fill the rest with tap water in the morning.


Snapshot School Schedule & Locker Combo

Learning a new schedule can be easy if you keep it front and center on the first day. Have your teens take a snapshot of it and use it as their phone or screen saver. Have them take one of  their locker combination, too.


Use Google In A Unique Way

Google is amazing, but to research information for school essays, try using for more relevant information. When your kids are finished with an essay, have them copy and paste it into Google Translate, and listen to it. This is an easy way to find mistakes.




Refrigerator Chia Oats To-Go Breakfast

If you have not ever had chia oats, back-to-school is the perfect time to try them. They are filling, healthy–and if made in a mason jar–portable!


Keep School ID Or Library Books In Back Pack

Encourage your high schoolers to put their student ID right into a side pocket of their backpack when that take it off. It is usually in the care when they discover they forgot it, and it will be right there in their backpack, ready to put on. The same trick will work for those library books. If they are always stored in the back pack after reading, they will always be ready to be returned!




Protein After School Snack

Hard boiled eggs are a great way to get some protein into your kids as part of their after-school snack. They would also make a great addition to an easy breakfast. Have you ever tried to bake your hard-boiled eggs? I have not but I keep seeing that it is a thing!


Freeze a Wet Sponge

Sponges are an inexpensive way to keep those lunch boxes nice and cool. Icepacks can produce quite a bit of condensation, which can leave things soggy. Instead, freeze a wet sponge. Because the sponge absorbs liquids, it won’t leak while in the lunch box.


The Good Sandwich Guide

Tired of overlapping lunch meats with edges hanging off the sides of the bread? Use this trick to reduce overlapping and allow for a good bite even in the corners! Cut 2 slices of circular lunch meat and cheese and cheese in half. Lay on top of a piece of bread with rounded side facing in, so the straight edges fill the bread. Top with another piece of bread and slice down the center.  I personally don’t buy circular lunch meat, as most of those have nitrates in them, but we do buy circular cheese, so I like this hack!




Pomodoro Method For Studying

Help your older kids take the most of those studying sessions. Encourage them to follow this guide.

~25 minutes hard work

~5 minute break

~Every 3rd break = 15 minutes long



Use PayPal App

If you need to pay a tutor on the spot, want to school supply shop while laying in bed, and donate to your favorite charities with a click, you must use PayPal.

We use the PayPal app all the time, and I truly don’t know what I’d do without the convenience it brings! We use it to pay our tutor, with just a push of a button I can hear her phone ding right when I send it, which makes us both smile, knowing she is getting her payment before she even leaves our home.

PayPal One Touch:

When Back-to-School shopping on an app or website that allows you to pay with PayPal, there is no need to type in credit card information or re-enter usernames an passwords. Personally, the fewer passwords I need the better life is, and I am always relieved when I see a website allows you to pay with PayPal, which I find on many sites! You can log in and then are given the choice to opt-in to “stay logged in” for the same device and browser combo, across eligible PayPal merchants. Easy shopping, paid with a click, while lying in my bed? Yes, I will take that.

Charitable Giving

I just learned that with the same easy click of a button, PayPal helps support our favorite causes with the in-app donation feature called the PayPal Giving Fund.  100% of the proceeds go to selected partnering charity organizations, such as Let Girls LearnYMCA, and Boys & Girls Clubs of America. My Todd works for a non-profit charitable organization, so I know how amazing this feature is both for the charity and for the giver.

You can donate to your favorite charities, whether responding on the spot to a natural disaster or simply supporting a local cause, in-app donations is a quick and secure way to discover and donate to certified charities around the world with just a click using PayPal.

During back-to-school season, and donations made through the Pay Pal Giving Fund will receive a 1% match from PayPal! Pay Pal is partnering with select charities dedicated to providing access to education and extracurricular enrichment to children from August 12-August 31, 2016. Learn more about the PayPal Giving Fund & how to donate by going to


Are YOUR kids back-to-school yet? Do you have teens?

Do you shop for school supplies online? Are you familiar with the PayPal App?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.