Solving A Back To School Equation

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Simpler times: first day of school 2007 (3rd grade and Kindergarden, respectively)

I’m stressing out. It’s almost back to school and this year is a big one for our family. See, my daughter is entering 8th grade and my son is going into the 5th and in New York City, that means we are beginning the high school and middle school application process for each respective aforementioned offspring. “What’s the big deal?” some of you many be asking–particularly if you live away from this insane place where middle and high school placement isn’t treated like college admissions.

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Back to School Deals

20120901-182644.jpgI’m a sucker for a deal. As a mom, there are a few shopping tent poles that hit me the hardest: Holiday (Christmas and Chanukah), summer shopping and back to school — the latter being probably the biggest in our house because it’s replacing pretty much everything: supplies, clothes, shoes and accessories. Because it’s such a huge shopping extravaganza I look for as many sales as I possibly can find, so I thought I would share the love and let you in on the deals I found. Hope some help you out, and note there are some time sensitivities noted — deals listed in order of expiration.

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Gifts for Back to School II: Tech Gear

In my day I begged my mother for a Trapper Keeper…anyone else remember those? Mine had kittens on them — similar to the image below with the puppies but with, well kittens) — and I LOVED it. Today middle schoolers at my daughters school are encouraged to have laptops, that’s right laptops and both my kids are connected with phones, tablets and computers and we are in constant connection with them from the moment they leave the house until the moment we come home from work. So the real question was what cases should they get this year?

Trapper Keeper circa early ’80s
mine had kitties

As I was browsing the web in search of picks to surprise my own mini technophiles with, I made note of some of my faves to share with you…(yes, I know, some could work even for me).

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Gifts for Back to School

My husbands favorite commercial is that Staples Back to school spot where the Dad is dancing in the aisle to the holiday tune “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of The Year” and the kids look miserable drudging behind him. Every year he waits for that commercial to begin airing again because it makes him laugh out loud and it does mean school is almost back in session and normalcy can return to our home. But even will I miss the lazy days of letting them sleep late (so I get to sleep a bit late too), a later routine so dinner isn’t at 5:30 which means, as a working mom, I get a shot at eating with my family and the promise of a sun-kissed weekend.

I don’t believe in buying comfort or joy, but I think it’s always nice to kick off back to school with a thematic gift that the kids can use during the year. Oh, and for your viewing pleasure, that Staples commercial is at the bottom of all my picks… enjoy 🙂

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Giving Back: Operation Backpack

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I’m very lucky. I try to count my blessings often and every once in a while I am reminded of just how blessed my life truly is. For example, back to school shopping means accompanying my children and their 2-3 page lists of teacher-mandated items to Staples and Target, filling their carts and getting ready for the year ahead. This activity fills them with anticipation, excitement, probably some anxiety… and they get to exercise some control over the future (yes I want that pencil box, no not that book bag) and that’s cathartic in some way, I’m sure (ok, maybe it just is for me). It’s easy to take these things for granted: that I have the ability to provide for them, that they are happy, pretty well-adjusted kids living a safe, relatively normal life and that this is time we get to spend together.

It’s not like that for everyone.

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10 Must-Give Bags You’ll Want To Bogart

20120727-215924.jpgOk…don’t hate me… it’s more like twelve but ten is so much catchier, right? Truth be told I added a whole other category at the last minute. Moving on…

When it comes to accessories, it doesn’t matter who you are shopping for, women love their bags. Here’s why: you can gain 10 pounds, loose 15, get pregnant, go through a growth spurt, change your part, color, cut, twist your ankle and not be able to wear heels for a season…it does not matter your bags will never let you down. They are democratic, diplomatic and they will always hold your unmentionables and not complain. Below you will find for your consideration and perusing pleasure some hi/lo alternatives covering a variety of tastes, styles and prices. And like the title suggests, I guarantee some of these finds you’re going to snag for your own.

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