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25 Halloween Costumes w/Your LBD

The easiest way to create a last-minute or inexpensive Halloween costume is to start with things you already have. I do it every year, because I get so frustrated with how expensive yet poorly-made most Halloween costumes are. I'd rather use what is already in my closet, or spend a little extra on accessories or a new dress that I can wear anytime of the year. A little black dress is the easiest way to use what you have to create a Halloween costume with a few inexpensive accessories and other accessories you probably already have in your closet.Pictured Above: Halloween Black Mesh Dress

1. Black Cat - This is the easiest way to use your little black dress on Halloween. I know it's pretty much the most generic costume in history, but for good reason - it's just so easy and affordable. It's the perfect last-minute costume for women, because you could really use any black outfit even if you don't have a little black dress. Pair it with your black flats or heels and a…

Top Tips on Getting Organized for Back to School

Clothes, lunches, backpacks, home work; getting your child organized for school can be hectic. All of those things combined can also eat up your evenings during the week, or worse, get you in a frenzy the morning of school. Start this year off right with a plan to keep your house organized, on time, and flustered-free.

1. Lunch. I like to have everything ready for the week. If you peeked in my fridge during the school year, you'd see stacks of sandwiches, small containers holding applesauce, and reusable snack bags filled with pretzels or crackers. Spend just half an hour on Sunday getting lunches ready for the week. If your children are old enough to help, get them involved. They can make sandwiches while you portion out yogurt, applesauce or cracker snacks. That way all you (or your children) have to do in the morning is grab their lunchboxes and fill them with one of each of those things. You can also plan ahead like this with pre-portioned single serving snacks, yogurst and juice boxes; but stop and think about how much extra waste that creates. And I know sometimes you'll want to pack your child a hot lunch that has to be made that morning, but on weeks that you know you'll be extra busy, just prep some sandwiches and sides in advance to save yourself some time and unecessary frustration.

2. Gear. You should have a specific place for your child's backpack at home. Children learn organizational skills at school with cubbies. They each have their own place for their own stuff. Period. If one teacher can get 20+ children to keep track of their stuff, I promise you can achieve the same thing at home. Carve out space in a mud room, entryway closet or laundry room for a coat hook and an extra hook that will be designated for the backpack. And stick to it. If you implement chores in your home, this should be part of those chores - that instead of waltzing in after school and throwing their stuff on the floor, they put their things exactly where they are supposed to go. My children aren't always great at it, so I designate a chore once a week for them to straighten up the entryway, including organizing any messes that accumulated during the week.

3. Coats, Mittens, and Scarves. My daughters lose their mittens as often as they lose socks. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to rush out the door on a cold morning and not being able to find a matching pair of mittens. I implemented a new rule regarding her umbella, scarves, hat, etc. If it isn't on her, it goes in her backpack. I have an extra bin in her cubby at home for extra scarves, but the ones she uses everyday, even whenever she is at home, they go in her backpack. That way all she has to do is take them out in the morning as she gets her backpack. No more scrambling around in the closet or wondering if she left her gloves at school or in the car. It did take time though. Weeks after I started this rule, she still lost several pairs of mittens, but not long after that, it became a habit to keep all of those things in her backpack. It's also nice to have the mittens, scarf and umbrella in her backpack at all times in case the weather changes abruptly before recess. No more having to check the weather to see what she needs; I know that she already has it all just in case.

4. Homework & School Papers. Children come home from school with neverending piles of paper. This year I've started an Inbox-Outbox system. I found some wall-mounting paper trays like this Multipurpose Organizer. I bought two, one for the "Inbox" and one for the "Outbox". The inbox will be for mail, papers, permission slips, and anything that either needs to be filed or filled out and sent back. The outbox will be for outgoing mail, Netflix returns, permission slips and report cards that need to go back to school, etc. No more searching through piles of clutter at the last minute.

5. What to Wear. If your children are picky about what they wear, let them help with this one. Either way, it's always best to pick out their clothes the night before, or by the week if you have a Day of the Week hanging closet organizer. I love how this one has additional pockets on the back for shoes and more pockets on the side. If only it came in pink!

Most children have various dress codes by day depending on when they have gym, so keep that schedule in their closet as a handy reminder.

6. Sports & Events. If you have children in sports, or simply want to keep track of PTA meetings and recitals, you need a wall calendar placed in a high-traffic area to serve as a constant reminder of important upcoming events. I like combining my calender with an additional chart for keeping track of everyone's chores. I like to keep mine near the phone and all of my household info, so whenever I'm trying to schedule something new, I know which days are available.

Hopefully all these things combined will give you a smooth and stress-free school year.


  1. Hey - collect the award I gave you over at my blog today ;D X


  2. Awesome post! I've started the inbox-outbox system this year too! Now instead of just two at school, we've got three, so the papers just seemed to be all over the place! I think the box system will work (keeping my fingers crossed, at least).


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