Back to School Must-Haves for Mom!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #LetsGoLALA #CollectiveBias

The kids are heading back to school, and you've probably got their backpacks all packed up with essentials. But what about you, mom? What are YOUR back to school essentials for yourself? Here are mine... #LetsGoLALA [ad]

I cannot believe that it’s time for back to school shopping already, but it is. School is just around the corner, and I have to admit, I’m so not prepared. I mean, as moms, we can go through the supply checklist and make sure we have everything, we can get all of the super cute back to school clothes for our kiddos, and we can even input all of the important dates into our digital calendars, but really, there’s always this certain degree of “I’m SO not ready” that I feel when it comes to back to school… can you relate? So, when shopping for back to school supplies, I had to make sure that I was ready for back-to-school, too.

When it comes time for back to school shopping, we have to look out for our own needs as moms, too. After all, we don’t come with a back-to-school supply list, do we? So, grab your favorite mom bag (I dig a backpack), and let’s get packing!
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Backyard Obstacle Course– Using ONLY Chalk!

Getting kids to play outside is a must-- only 31% of kids play outside today, compared to the 70% of moms who played outside during their childhood. Get them moving with this outdoor obstacle course-- all you need is a piece of chalk! #CLIFKid [ad]

Hey, mom… remember playing outside as a kid? Hours spent enjoying the grass or the swingset or making crowns out of flowers or playing at the park… it’s crazy how many memories I have of outdoor play. That’s because as kids, most of us played outside– 70% of us did, actually. Compare that to today, when only 31% of kids are spending any kind of significant time outside at all. Busy schedules, cuts in recess time, and just all-around love for all things electronic could be to blame, but it could be that we just aren’t focused on outdoor play like we used to be. Today, I’ve got the absolute easiest way to get kids moving outside with an obstacle course– all you need is a piece of chalk!

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DIY Hidden Cord Charging Station

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BTSwithHP #CollectiveBias

Back to school is such an exciting time... but it can mean an extra need to stay organized and powered up. Here's a simple way to make a DIY charging station for your desk that clears up those crazy cords, too! Plus, I share a few ways we use computers in our homeschool lessons! #BTSwithHP [ad]

I’m seriously having the hardest time handling the fact that summer is pretty much over… we’re in the last few days of the pool being open for the summer, back to school sales are in full swing, and the curriculum has arrived, which means it’s pretty much time to get back in the swing of homeschooling… and that means a major need for organization and staying powered up. Today, I’m showing you an impossibly easy DIY charging station for YOUR desk!

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DIY Sensory Calming Board

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #RestEasySolutions #CollectiveBias

When your child is very sensory seeking, you can stimulate their senses with this visual, textural board! Great for sensory-seeking Sensory Processing Disorder or Autism Spectrum Disorder. #RestEasySolutions [ad]

When you have a sensory-seeking child, bedtime can be rough. Some of the things that help a sensory-seeker sleep seem so counter-intuitive as a parent! It has taken me so long to find some things that have set Zack, my son who has a sensory processing disorder, up for success in sleeping. From sensory tricks to GoodNites products, it’s taken trial and error to figure out what worked, and today, I want to share what’s worked for us to help you get your sensory-seeker to bed!

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Why My Son and I Play PokemonGo

Love it or hate it, there's a lot of great reasons to get your kids interested in playing PokemonGo! From exercise to family bonding, here are the reasons my son and I play this cell phone app video game together.

Love it or hate it, there are so many reasons to start playing PokemonGo with your kids. I was a skeptic at first, thinking it was just another timewaster of an app, but after playing with my son a few times, it became clear that it was a must-have app for us to enjoy together!

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Cinnamon Apple Bake

Looking for the perfect breakfast or dessert? You'll love this cinnamon apple bake-- using storebought ingredients and fresh apples, it takes no time at all to throw together and serve at your next get together, or for a nice breakfast with the family!

I love a good hearty breakfast. I also love a great dessert. And best of all, I love those dishes that can taste great no matter when you make them! This cinnamon apple bake is the perfect dessert or breakfast dish, and it’s so easy to throw together that your family will be begging for you to make it again and again.

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End Of Summer Road Trips from Kansas City

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #RoadTripOil #CollectiveBias

Summer may be almost over, but there's still plenty of time to sneak in a little last-minute road trip. If you're from the Kansas City area, there are a ton of nearby options for places to travel, so you can sneak in that family bonding time before back to school hits. #RoadTripOil [ad]

I cannot even handle the fact that we’re over halfway through summer. I mean, I looked at the calendar, and we have like… 3 weeks left of the pool being open for the year. As much as I’m looking forward to my fall favorites returning in just a few short weeks, I also know that I want to squeeze out every last drop of summer I can. It’s about this time of year every year that I itch to take a little road trip, a short end-of-summer vacation, a last hurrah before the fall returns and we remember that school is just around the corner… and when you’re from the Kansas City area, you’re incredibly blessed with tons of nearby places that are really awesome to visit, without having to go too horribly far for a last-minute road trip. That means it’s not too late to visit them now… just hop in the car and enjoy!

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Chocolate Caramel Molten Lava Cakes

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #WhatMattersToU #CollectiveBias

Give into your chocolate cravings with these molten lava cakes... chocolate, caramel, more chocolate, it's sure to make you feel better anytime you need a chocolate fix (especially that time of the month!) #WhatMattersToU [ad]

Real talk… that time of the month SUCKS, doesn’t it? I mean, we’re basically walking around trying to pretend life is totally normal, taking care of the kids, spending time with friends, doing all of the normal life stuff, all the while our body is screaming at us, cramping, and generally making us feel sucky. It’s like the main event isn’t enough, we have to throw in soreness, crabbiness, and bloating… ughhhh.

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Upside Down Mini Ice Cream Cakes

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SoHoppinGood #TopYourSummer #CollectiveBias

Ahh, summertime. There's nothing better than beating the heat with ice cream! But if you want to make your ice cream something extra special, you'll want to make these delicious upside down mini ice cream cakes! They're perfect for any summer soiree! | dessert | party food | #sohoppingood | #topyoursummer | ad | @walmart | @blue_bunny

Ahh, summertime. There’s nothing like ice cream to beat the heat in the summer, is there? Growing up, I looked forward to summer solely for the ice cream… for us, it was just a part of tradition. My great grandmother wouldn’t let an evening go by without a bowl of ice cream, and that’s a standard that I love to live up to, especially in the heat of summer… with heat indexes reaching 104 around here, you have to cool off somehow! And with these mini ice cream cakes that are upside down, you’ll have the whole family ready to cool off in no time!

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Simple Sweet Sun Tea

Nothing refreshes quite like sweet sun tea in the summer. It's SO easy to make-- with just 2 ingredients and some water! Make summer a little bit sweeter with this refreshing beverage.

One of my favorite things about summer in college was driving down south to visit my gram. While spending time with her is a treat in itself, I have fond memories of dinner and talks on the back patio with sweet sun tea. It’s simple to make– there’s only two ingredients!– and absolutely delicious.

Nothing refreshes quite like sweet sun tea in the summer. It's SO easy to make-- with just 2 ingredients and some water! Make summer a little bit sweeter with this refreshing beverage.

Start with a large pitcher that will hold at least a gallon. A glass pitcher works best, but if you don’t have one on hand (I didn’t!), you can use your favorite covered pitcher.

Place 5 bags of black tea in your pitcher. I use a little piece of tape to secure the bags so they don’t just go nuts in the container. Then, pour in 2 cups of sugar.

Fill the pitcher with a gallon of water.

Nothing refreshes quite like sweet sun tea in the summer. It's SO easy to make-- with just 2 ingredients and some water! Make summer a little bit sweeter with this refreshing beverage.

Then, place the pitcher outside in a sunny spot and let it steep for a few hours– I like to leave mine for 6 or so hours just to be sure it’s nice and steeped for some nice, rich flavor. The sunlight will help the sugar truly dissolve– it’ll heat up the water a bit and really help push it towards being nice and sweet without any gritty flavor you’d usually get from an iced sweet tea that didn’t get a chance to sit in the sun a bit.

Nothing refreshes quite like sweet sun tea in the summer. It's SO easy to make-- with just 2 ingredients and some water! Make summer a little bit sweeter with this refreshing beverage.

Once you’ve got a nice, rich amber color, it’s time to pop your pitcher of sun sweet tea into the fridge until it’s chilled– I like to make mine the day before I’d like to serve it, but really, if you’re serving over ice it doesn’t matter too much! For me, it wasn’t a summer holiday without a little bit of sweet sun tea, and even now, I’ll enjoy some on the regular. It’s just simply so perfect– that little touch of summer charm that every family gathering needs.

Simple Sweet Sun Tea
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Prep Time
3 min
Cook Time
6 hr
Prep Time
3 min
Cook Time
6 hr
Ingredients
  1. 5 black tea bags
  2. 2 cups sugar
  3. 1 gallon water
Instructions
  1. Place tea bags into glass pitcher (or any pitcher you have on hand).
  2. Add sugar, then fill with water.
  3. Stir, then set outside, covered, in sunlight for several hours.
  4. Serve chilled.
Notes
  1. Consider muddling in some mint or other herbs in it for a new twist on the flavor.
Mama Plus One http://www.mamaplusone.com/
Nothing refreshes quite like sweet sun tea in the summer. It's SO easy to make-- with just 2 ingredients and some water! Make summer a little bit sweeter with this refreshing beverage.

Cheers and have a great 4th of July, everyone! What’s your go-to summer drink? Let me know in the comments below!