Thursday, August 22, 2013

:: Family Happenings

Well, with school starting, summer has officially ended.
And we're working on getting back into a routine.
Kindergarten (Ava), dance lessons (Ava and Reese), violin lessons (Ava), 
drooling (Anson) and continuing to enjoy our SoCal weather.

 Still daydreaming about our trip to Lake Powell, though.

Monday, August 19, 2013

:: Back to School - dinner and family theme 2013

So, my "back to school" pinterest board has been filling up for the past few years.
And this was finally the year that I could start these fun traditions since
 Ava has now started kindergarten . . . sniff, sniff.

I'd seen the "back to school dinner and family theme" on multiple blogs.
I was able to incorporate ideas from Nie Nie Dialogues and Ericas Blogity Blog.

We told the girls that they needed to get their Easter dresses on and that we were going to go somewhere special.  Ava immediately asked me, "So which restaurant are we going to?"  Ha!
They closed their eyes and we lead them outside.

So we had breakfast for dinner (on my china - yikes! . . . but figure that I should
 start using it for special occasions), made some last-minute "back to school" crowns,
 and Tommy and I came up with a family theme that we'll use throughout the school-year.

We were trying to think about a virtue that our family could work on,
 especially with Ava now in school and making new friends.
And we decided on this virtue as our family theme:  BE KIND
The quote that goes along with it (that we're having them memorize)
is "Kindness is the essence of greatness."
(which comes from a talk given by Joseph B. Wirthlin that can be seen or read here).
We also watched this short video here and had the girls point out the 
acts of kindness that were in the video.
Then I told them about our "Kind Jar".
Whenever they do or say something kind, we'll fill it up with cotton balls.
And when the jar is filled, they get a special treat.

I hope that throughout this next year, they learn that "Kindness is a passport that opens doors and fashions friends.  It softens hearts and molds relationships that can last lifetimes.  
Kindness is the essence of greatness."

It was such a fun evening.  
When we finished dinner, Ava gave me a big hug, told me that it was so much fun
and asked if we could do this again next year.
Definitely worth it.

Do you have a "back to school" dinner and theme?

{I'll be linking to these parties here}

Friday, August 16, 2013

:: Back to School - teacher welcome gift

So, I was at Target, in the dollar spot section, a few weeks ago
and found the CUTEST zipped, fabric bags.  
They were only $3 and I thought they'd be perfect to hold all of our toothbrushes/toothpaste in for an upcoming trip.

And then I saw this "teacher welcome gift" and went back to Target and bought a few more.
What a cute idea!
We filled ours with pens, markers, glue, and a twix for Ava's teacher.
Go to the link below to get the free printable tag.

{Laura Winslow Photography}

Lately, I've found the cutest items in that dollar spot.
So, go there . . . NOW!

And come back Monday to see our "Back to School" dinner and our family school-year theme.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

:: Back to School - where I shop

And . . . I'm back.
Back from a blogger's rut, back from a week long vacation and back from basically, just summer.
But now, my little one starts kindergarten on Friday and
we have to get back into a routine of things . . . if that's possible.

 I'm really not ready for her to be going to kindergarten.
I haven't mentally accepted it.
Maybe because it means she's getting old, I'm getting old and I'm not ready for any of that.
But I guess that's what life is all about.


So, for the past 4 months, I've been slowly buying her new school clothes.
And these are where I've bought them all (on clearance, of course, well, most of them) . . .

{I only shop in their clearance section - - and ONLY when they are having an additional 30-40% off of the clearance items, sign up for their e-mails. Shipping is free for sale items.}

{usually only shop their clearance items, with an exception of one outfit for this year.  
And if you have an Old Navy card, the discounts are even better.}

{and I just heard of this company, where have I been? . . . in their clearance section, I found a cute pencil skirt for $3.99.  Shipping is $7}

{I usually stalk target's clearance sections and have found some awesome deals here}

I didn't make it to H&M
 (but it's probably a good thing I didn't since their children's clothing is to die for)

Where do you shop for back to school fashions?