One cold summer

one_cold_summerIn case there was any doubt, here's proof from a local retailer that this has been one cold summer!


Back to school tip 8: picture day

While you're going through your child's back to school wardrobe, make sure you've got something that could pass for picture day. Some schools have picture day as early as the second week!

Typically, photographers ask the children to wear a top of a solid colour. (Which can be more difficult then it sounds. It seems all shirts have big designs on them now!) The last thing you want to do in September is go back to the malls to get more clothes!


Back to school tip 7: get an extra pair of shoes

While you are doing your back to school shopping, don't forget to pick-up an extra pair of shoes. Most daycares and schools ask for children to have a pair of "indoor" shoes, so the kids don't track the mud and leaves and snow into the classroom.

Don't forget to put your child's name in them too! (There are only so many styles that come in preschooler sizes!)


Back to school tip 6: give some thought to lunch

Whether it's obtaining a laptop lunch system so you can make adorable bento box style litterless lunches or it's finding a favourite recipe for homemade granola bars, one really needs to give the lunch routine some serious thought.


Aside from wanting to give your kids something yummy and nutritious to look forward to, you definitely don't want some of your 15 minutes of fame coming from being featured in an article like this one: "Grossest Lunches."

According to Nadine's research, lunchtime no-nos include:

  • frozen sandwiches
  • liverwurst and
  • dog food!


Back to school tip 5: first day jitters

Nadine Silverthorn over at Sweetmama.ca has some terrific tips for little helping little ones overcome the anxiety associated with the First Day of School Milestone. These include deep breathing, visualizations, art therapy and acting out the fear. (She describes these things in a way that you can implement them with your child!)

For older kids, Catherine Wakelin (Sweetmama.ca) and Christine Carter (Science For Raising Happy Kids) share some tips for transitioning back to school.




The code for this doodle and other doodles you can use on your blog can be found at Doodles.


If only everything in life were like this

ring_for_serviceSaw this at a restaurant.

If only everything in life were this clearly signed and set-up for our convenience!


Back to school tip 4: read Ask Moxie cont

Go back to Moxie's place and read her Back to school post. She and her wise readers have some interesting, experience tested thoughts about back to school.


Back to school tip 3: read Ask Moxie

Go over to Moxie's place and read Making Life Good For Your Kids' Teachers.


  • If you want to have an extended conversation with your child's teacher, please make an appointment so your child's teacher can schedule his time and plan accordingly.
  • Please, please, please thank the teachers who take the time to meet with you for extended conferences.
  • Teaching is a lonely profession with few extrinsic rewards. A quick email saying, "Hey, that was such a cool project! My son really enjoyed it!!!!" takes 2 minutes to write and will be remembered by your son's teacher for years.
  • Tell your child's principal when your child's teacher does great work.

And especially:
  • Your child's teacher is a partner with you in caring about your child's learning. Treat them as a partner, not a boss or a servant.


Show me the moolah!

Mabel MoolahMabel Moolah™ is back!

Spend $80 or more on your next order and collect $25 in Mabel Moolah to use towards your next purchase!* It’s as easy as that. (Canadian and American orders placed between August 15 - September 15, 2009.)

* Read all the fine print at Mabel’s Labels – Labels for the stuff kids lose!®!

Disclosure: I'm a Mabel's Labels Buzzmama and I receive free products for my involvement in the program. I'm also a Mabel's Labels web affiliate and I earn a commission if you use the following link to purchase your Mabel’s Labels – Labels for the stuff kids lose!®



Back to school tip 2: listen to Ann Douglas

Ann Douglas has put together a fabulous post titled "Back to School Guide: A Parent's Guide to Surviving the Season of Shopping for Hot Gadgets, Cool Clothes, and School Supplies."

Topics of her post:

  1. Rethink school-year routines.
  2. Get your kids back on a school-year sleeping routine before it's time to head back to school.
  3. Establish the shopping ground rules before you hit the mall.
  4. Keep your schedule as free as possible during the first week back at school.
  5. Keep things simple on the mealtime front.
  6. Take time for yourself.
  7. Set some goals for yourself as a parent.


Back to school tip 1: label everything

What do I need to label for back to school?

Good question. It's always a good idea to have labels / bag tags / teeny tags for:
  • backpacks / book bags
  • pencil cases
  • lunch bags / boxes
  • water bottles
  • pencils / pens / markers
  • outerwear (jackets / hats / mittens / gloves)
  • sports equipment
  • gym clothes
  • shoes / boots
For preschoolers:
  • Teachers and daycare staff alike typically recommend that you label EVERYTHING you want to come back home with your child. That includes shoes, shirts, socks and underwear. Apparently it's not uncommon for a preschooler to have no idea what their underwear looks like.
Bonus tip:
  • Have your child try on their clothing for size BEFORE you label their clothes. The last thing you want to do is spend time (and labels) labeling everything all up, only to find the shoes you bought last week don't fit anymore!
Double your iron-ons! shoe labels mabel's icon on a Klean Kanteen Tag-Mates™ Skinny-Minis™ Skinny-Minis™


Where grape juice intersects toddler


The code for this doodle and other doodles you can use on your blog can be found at Doodles.


People can be good!

dont_waitI am thankful that I live in a place where a sign can be put up that reads:

Don't wait.
Back shortly.
Please pay your fare and go.
Sorry for the inconvenience.
Thank you!
And (although I didn't capture a photo of it), people actually paid their fares!


Today is the tomorrow you were worried about yesterday

Was it worth it?

(That is, was the worry worth it?)


The code for this doodle and other doodles you can use on your blog can be found at Doodles.


In a child's mind


The code for this doodle and other doodles you can use on your blog can be found at Doodles.


Mabel's Labels: iParenting Media Outstanding Product in 2009

Skinny-Minis™Mabel’s LabelsSkinny Minis were recently announced as an iParenting Media Awards 2009 Outstanding Product!

We already knew that this mini version of Mabels' Sticky Labels (dishwasher/microwave-safe and UV resistant) is perfect for small toys, toothbrushes, tupperware, pencils and more. It's nice to see them getting the recognition they deserve!


Power vs time

Gretchen Rubin wrote:

Studies show that dwelling on negative thoughts amplifies their power in your mind. In fact, some researchers suggest that a reason that more women suffer depression than men is that women are more likely to “overthink,” while men are better at distracting themselves from negative thoughts.

Which reminded me of these words of wisdom posted by Jen Lawrence:
The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same. - Carlos Castaneda


The code for this doodle and other doodles you can use on your blog can be found at Doodles.


Easiest cake ever: ice cream sandwich cake

ice_cream_cake_08This recipe is based on one by Stephanie Gallagher published at About.com


  • baking dish approx 7" x 12" x 2" (Any shallower than this and the cake will rise above the edges of the pan.)

  • 16 ice cream sandwiches
  • approx 200mL chocolate syrup
  • approx 200mL Cool Whip, thawed
  • approx 2 cups chocolate frozen yogurt (softened in the fridge for an hour or so)
  • decorations for cake (sprinkles, icing etc)

  1. Line bottom of baking dish with ice cream sandwiches (you may need to get creative and cut one up to get complete coverage).

  2. Drizzle chocolate sauce on this layer.

  3. Add softened frozen yogurt. (Be mindful of the depth of your pan. If you add too much here, the final product may extend over the top of the pan.)

  4. Cover with a layer of ice cream sandwiches. (Cut as required for complete coverage.)


  5. Top with whipped topping.


  6. Freeze, uncovered for 2 hours.

  7. Cover with foil and freeze at least another hour. (I left it in the freezer overnight.)

  8. Decorate as desire. (Should you want to decorate it well ahead of when you're going to serve it, you may wish to take a small amount of the whipped topping and put some of your decorations on it and leave it in the freezer to see if the colours will run into the whipped topping.)

Makes 16 servings.

  • The sandwich wafers were a little dry in the final product. The more you let the ice cream melt while making it, the less dry the wafers will be.
  • Alternately, putting cool whip between the layers may help to soften the wafers.
  • Of course, after being served the ice cream does melt and the wafers don't stay dry for long!

[Cross-posted at please remember these.]


10% off Mabel's Labels purchases made in August 2009

Edited to add:

This offer has expired. I will post future promotions, coupons and give-aways on this blog.

I'm a Mabel's Labels Buzzmama and I receive free products for my involvement in the program. I'm also a Mabel's Labels web affiliate and I earn a commission if you use the following link to purchase your Mabel’s Labels – Labels for the stuff kids lose!®

- clothing labels for camp and school
- return address labels for you
- Ultimate Back-to-School Combo(now with Teeny Tags™!)
- stationery kits
- child ID wristbands and more!

E-mail MabelsAgent at NSCcards dot com
with a subject of "coupon"
to receive your coupon code for
10% off your next Mabel's Labels purchase!#

# By sending your e-mail address you agree to receive periodic newsletters from your Mabel's Labels agent. You may unsubscribe from these newsletters at any time.
Coupon code expires at the end of August 2009.