Lists of Common & Not-So-Common Items to Label for Back-to-School This Year

What items you should label for back-to-school  |
Thank you to Kidecals for providing sample personalized dishwasher-safe and washing machine-safe labels for our back-to-school checklists.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Our children began school today!  I spent the last two weeks trying to be as prepared as possible for this day.  With three children, that means we have 3 classroom supplies lists, 3 classroom wishlists, and basically 3 times as much of everything to buy and label.  No matter how prepared I think I am, I always forget something!  For example, I almost sent my youngest son to school today without his eyeglasses, which he would need to see the white board.  Luckily, my husband remembered right as he was walking out the door.  Phew!

For me, the last step in preparing for back-to-school is labeling everything.  I've spent all this money buying school supplies, new clothes, new shoes, and more, so it would be silly for me not to take this extra step to ensure that the items are not lost or stolen.  I used to have different kinds of labels for different items.  Some labels would be dishwasher-safe for things like water bottles and such.  Other labels would be washing machine-safe for labeling shoes, hoodies, and the like.  This year, I used customized school labels from  What I love about these labels is that each label is both dishwasher-safe and washing machine and dryer-safe.  No more having separate labels for different types of items!

My children were able to choose the label designs they liked best from a vast selection and customized the text and sometimes the color to reflect their individual personalities.  My oldest son's labels say his name and ". . . student by day, ninja by night!" underneath it instead of the phone number shown on the website.  I thought that was pretty darn cool that he could say what he wanted on his labels!

I opted for an Everyday Set of labels for each child.  For $21, this set includes 36 labels (12 two inch and 24 one inch).  That's enough labels to last each child at least two years, which is a great value.  Also, everything ships free on!

Label everything for back-to-school  |

While it was fresh in my mind, I compiled two lists to share . . . one of all the basic things you should label for your child for back-to-school and one of all the things you may never have thought to label.

Common items that should be labeled for back-to-school . . . 
  • Backpacks and lunch bags
  • Notebooks, binders, folders
  • Pencil boxes or pouches
  • Boxes of crayons, markers, colored pencils, glue sticks, pencil sharpeners, etc . . . 
  • Coats, hoodies, snow pants
  • Shoes and snow boots
  • Gloves, hats, and caps
  • Water bottles
  • Brown bag lunches
  • Medications or medical supplies
  • Nap or rest time items (pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, etc . . . )

Less common items that should be labeled for school . . . 
  • Tech devices (MP3 players, mobile phones, tablets, handheld gaming systems, etc . . . )
  • Calculators
  • Thumb drives
  • Eyeglass or contact lens cases
  • Musical instruments (case, accessories, etc . . . )
  • Travel packs of wet wipes or tissues
  • Reusable cold packs
  • Show and tell items
  • Costumes for Halloween festivities
  • Boxes of flashcards
  • Index card cases
  • Mechanical pencils
  • Balls, Frisbees, or other toys brought for outdoor recess
  • Board games and other toys brought for indoor recess
  • Pullovers or other clothing used for layering
  • Individual lunch or snack containers (both lids and bottoms)
  • Wallets, coin purses, and handbags
  • Hairbrushes, cosmetics, and other beauty items
  • Sunscreen
What items would you add to these two lists?

Devising a Plan of Attack Against My Adult Acne with the Help of Silk’n Blue At-Home Acne Treatment! #SilknProducts

Silk'n Blue At-Home Acne Treatment #SilknProducts
I participated in an Influencer Program on behalf of Mom Central for Silk'n Blue. I received a product sample to facilitate my review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Next month I'll be turning 41 years old.  I think I am experiencing more anxiety about this birthday than I did about my 40th.  I am suddenly aware of how many gray hairs I have, extra wrinkles, etc . . .   The only thing that made turning 40 slightly traumatic for me was suddenly noticing an increase in acne right around that time.  Now at almost 41, I am not only self-conscious about those gray hairs and fine lines, but I am painfully aware of how terrible my complexion looks.

So, here is a photo of me, with no makeup, no filter, and no air brushing.  Eeeeek!!!  I can actually live with the wrinkles, but the bumpy skin, enlarged pores, and scarring, I'd much rather do without.  That's why I agreed to try the at-home acne treatment, Silk'n Blue.  I've tried a variety of different over-the-counter acne treatments this past year, including various cleansers, toners, brushes, and more.  Nothing seemed to make a difference.  That's why the Silk'n Blue drug-free treatment appealed to me so much.  It was different than anything else I've tried in the past.

Trying Silk'n Blue At-Home Acne Treatment on Adult Acne #SilknProducts

How the Silk'n Blue works is extremely simple.  Once charged, you remove the device from its cradle, turn it on, and place it on the problem areas  for 3 or 4 minutes.  The natural blue light heats the surface and destroys the acne-causing bacteria that's under your skin.  Although the blue-light area of the device becomes hot, it was never too hot for me to keep against my skin.  The spot that was being treated sometimes reddened, but the redness went away in about 10 seconds or so.
Trying Silk'n Blue At-Home Acne Treatment #SilknProducts

I experienced no adverse effects from using the Silk'n Blue acne treating device.  That being said, it did not work as well for me as I had hoped it would.  At times it seemed like I could notice a slightly smoother complexion and finer pores.  Then we would have 2 or 3 days of horribly humid weather and my skin seemed to go right back where I had started.  In addition to the sticky climate, there are a few other factors to consider . . . I only had about 4 to 5 weeks to test the product, I was not always able to complete the treatment twice in one day, and my stress level has been through the roof this summer.  That is why I have not given up on this acne treatment.

Like with many other types of treatments, sometimes one method is not as effective as combining two different methods.  My plan for overcoming my adult acne is to pair the Silk'n Blue with a type of complexion correction pads I had never tried before, one containing both Glycolic Acid and Salicylic Acid.  At the moment, I am testing out these pads alone.  When I'm certain there are no adverse effects from these pads, I will try using them in conjunction with the Silk'n Blue acne treatment.

Hopefully, my plan of attack will work as I envision, especially with the less humid fall weather approaching.  I'm not sure what I can do about my stress levels, but maybe those other few changes will be enough to give me a healthier looking complexion?  Cross your fingers for me!

Want to learn more about FDA-approved Silk'n Blue?  Visit, where you can save 20% off your purchase when you checkout using the Silk'n promo code EXTRATWENTY through 9/30/14.

Find On-Trend Back-to-School Fashions, Sizes for Tweens, a Way to Help Local Kids & More at OshKosh! #OshKoshFirstDay

OshKosh back-to-school fashions for boys and girls #OshKoshFirstDay |
This post was written as part of a sponsored campaign for The Motherhood and their client OshKosh B'gosh, featuring back-to-school fashions for boys and girls.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Like with all my other shopping, I start my back-to-school shopping early.  I usually have 90% of the school supplies purchased from the lists sent home on the last day of school by mid-summer.  I also pick up clothing in the next size up throughout the year if I find something that's stylish for a great price.  I take a quick inventory 3 to 4 weeks before school resumes to see what's missing from my 3 children's fall wardrobes.  Then I make it my mission to fill in those gaps before school begins.

Now that my children are 7, 7, and 10, shopping isn't as easy as it used to be.  My children seemed to have developed stronger opinions about what styles and colors they want to wear.  Luckily for me, had more than enough on-trend and age-appropriate children's fashions to please me, my two 2nd graders, and my 5th grader.  In fact, when I asked each of them to pick out one outfit each, they tried to convince me that they couldn't narrow it down, so I would just have to purchase 3 or 4 outfits . . . each.  Their efforts were commendable, but I stood my ground . . .

OshKosh back-to-school fashions for tweens #OshKoshFirstDay |

Layered OshKosh Original Graphic Tees + OshKosh Classic Denim:

Our 10 year old son lives in graphic tees and jeans.  Like with many boys, comfort is almost more important than style for him.  With the selection of clothes for tweens at OshKosh in sizes up to a 12, our son can have both.  Here he is in the Glow-in-the-Dark Space Tee layered on top of an OshKosh Originals Graphic Tee paired with the Mellow Medium Wash OshKosh Straight Jeans.  OshKosh is name synonymous with quality, especially in denim.  This is important to me, especially when it comes to clothing for my oldest son.  Nearly everything I purchase for him will get passed down to his younger brother, so it needs to last.
OshKosh back-to-school fashions for big boys and girls #OshKoshFirstDay |

When it comes to clothing, our 7 year old daughter wants it all.  She demands style, comfort, functionality, and . . . sparkle!  Her clothes need to be cute, girly, but also playground-friendly.
OshKosh back-to-school inspiring messages activewear for girls #OshKoshFirstDay |

Bold Graphic Tee + "Awesome" Neon Hoodie + OshKosh Jeggings:

Our daughter wanted glitter and she found it!  She fell in love immediately with this bold floral text-free OshKosh Originals sugar glitter graphic tee.  When she saw the Girl Power Hoodie with the glittery text in neon coral that coordinated with the graphic tee so well, she just had to have that too.  We both very much liked the inspirational, yet fun messages on these OshKosh yoga-inspired hoodies. Our daughter loves the look of denim, but prefers the comfort of leggings.  It was no surprise to me when she opted for the Shoreline Blue OshKosh Jeggings.  Finally, she always likes to finish off her outfits with a coordinating hair accessory or some type of jewelry (or both).  She ended up putting one of the bows from the 3-Pack Sparkle Bow Pony Holders in her hair and used the other two for bracelets!  Smart, huh?
OshKosh back-to-school glitter graphic tees for girls #OshKoshFirstDay |

Our 7 year old son is extremely easy going when it comes to his clothes.  As long as it's comfortable and fits, he's good with it.  That being said, when he is asked to choose his own clothes, he definitely has his own style.  In fact, his picks for his outfit from OshKosh were right in line with the top back-to-school trends for boys this season . . .
OshKosh back-to-school trends for boys #OshKoshFirstDay |

The first item our son chose was a pair of Camo 5-Pocket Pull-On Cargo Pants.  How did he know camouflage is a major trend this season?  His whole outfit revolved around these must-have pants.  Something else we're seeing a lot of is dino-themed graphic tees.  Well, our little man happened to pick the OshKosh Originals Dinosaur Hunter Graphic Tee to go with his camo bottoms.  His next pick truly surprised me.  I predicted that our little boy would have opted for a hoodie to go with his outfit, but he chose the Fleece Letter Jacket.  Our son loves this soft comfy jacket so much that he puts it on first thing when he gets up in the morning, even if it's 75 degrees outside!
OshKosh back-to-school dino graphic tees and camo cargo pants for boys #OshKoshFirstDay |

Will your children be trendsetters this year at school?  Well, there are more ways than one to lead by example.  Your children could participate in the B'gosh Jeanius Campaign to help give local children a 'Leg Up!' this back-to-school season . . .

Worthy cause! OshKosh Jeanius Campaign - Give Kids a Leg Up! #OshKoshFirstDay

How can your family get involved?  Simply make a donation in the form of a pair of OshKosh blue jeans or a cash donation of $1, $3, $5, or $10 at your local OshKosh store.  Denim donations will be given to children in need in yours or a nearby community via K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers.  Cash donations will go to local schools in need who are signed up with  When your child tells his or her friends how they gave back to their community, maybe they'll inspire someone else to do the same!  Encourage your child to be a trendsetter this year!
OshKosh back-to-school fashions for boys and girls #OshKoshFirstDay |

Will you be heading to OshKosh to do some back-to-school shopping?  Be sure to print this OshKosh coupon to save 25% off your purchase of $40 or more through 9/13/14.  Shopping online?  You can save with OshKosh promo code SAVEON40 at

TO PRINT:  Make sure your printer is on and ready to to go.  Click on the image to enlarge.  Then right-click on the enlarged image and select print.  Use your browsers back arrow to return to this page.

Checkout the cool #OshKoshFirstDay back-to-school ideas below . . . 

Follow Karen Coutu's board Back-to-School with Oshkosh & More! on Pinterest.

Is It Too Early to Think Stocking Stuffers? New Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putties are Here!

Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putty  |
Thank you to Crazy Aaron's Putty World for providing samples of Thinking Putty for us to base this review upon.  All opinions are our own.

Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty has long been a favorite nontoxic tactile fidget activity in our home. Our first Thinking Putty was a small tin of it and both my kids love the way it felt and how strong and flexible it was. We’ve owned other kinds of Thinking Putty since our first, and we’ve always loved them. When I was offered a review of Crazy Aaron’s newest Thinking Putties, I was excited and knew my kiddos would be as well. We received the Phantom and Super Magnetic putties and think they’re both really fun.

Crazy Aaron's Phantom Foxfire Thinking Putty  |

The Phantom putty comes in two kinds, Foxfire and Arctic Flare, and both react to a  blacklight  (included). We received Foxfire Thinking Putty and it’s green in color until it meets the blacklight when it then becomes blue. This Thinking Putty is really fun and the kids have loved writing messages to each other and decorating their creations with faces, eyeballs, etc. The Phantom putty is really cool and provided my children with hours of entertainment.
Crazy Aaron's Phantom Foxfire Thinking Putty  |

The Super Magnetic Thinking Putty comes in four varieties: Tidal Wave, Strange Attractor, Reactive Razz, and Quicksilver. We received the Quicksilver and were instantly captivated by this unique Thinking Putty. This putty comes with a ceramic magnet that you can use to “charge” the putty and make it magnetic. From there, the possibilities are endless!
Crazy Aaron's Super Magnetic Quicksilver Thinking Putty  |

You can pick up small metal objects, such as paperclips, make it levitate with the help of the magnet, and more. This putty is really cool and my kids started experimenting with what kinds of things they could pick up with the magnetic putty.
Crazy Aaron's Super Magnetic Quicksilver Thinking Putty  |

All of Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty products are very well made and come in their own storage tin.  They retail for about $14.95 each on their website, You can learn more about Crazy’s Aaron’s products there or on their Facebook and Twitter pages.  These little tins of fun would most certainly make a unique stocking stuffer or Easter basket toys!

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