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Now that my children are all graduated from high school, and this year, no one is even in college I feel a certain freedom as I watch everyone who still is in the midst of the back to school rush. I am not even substitute teaching anymore, so I have no "getting ready for school to start" worries at all! I wouldn't be telling the truth if I said that I don't miss it a bit. So, I am going to share some economical ways to finish getting your kids ready to go back to school by revamping a post that I did a couple of years ago. Consider this my homework and my way to get the back to school bug out of my system. I hope that it helps those of you still scrambling to get the last minute things that you need.
In AZ, school starts much earlier than in many other parts of the country. It seems strange because it is so much hotter here, you would think we could allow kids to enjoy their swimming pools just a little bit longer. On the upside, we do get out at the end of May, which is always nice.
Even though school has already started for many of you Arizonans, I know usually there are always a few little things that kids need that we forgot to pick up before school started. DollarTree was always my go to store for those last minute needs. Here are a few of the top items I love for back to school:
Now that DollarTree has their Jot brand of supplies, they are getting cuter and cuter! Like these composition books! Yes, they still have the regular black and white ones, but these are so darn cute! I would have loved these as a student!
A 4 pack of pocket folders for $1.00! These come in handy for students and teachers throughout the year. Keep notes in them, turn in reports, use them as homework folders or unfinished work folders in desks. The list goes on and on! If you want to make a donation to your child's classroom, these folders would really be appreciated. Teachers need them for so many things! When you order them online, they come 30 units in a pack. That is 120 folders for only $30.00!
For younger grades, look at these adorable animal folders! They come 2 in a pack! I love the owl and I know some kids who would love the unicorn!
Don't forget to have a study place for your children at home! Pencil holders can help keep things in order and help eliminate the search for pencils everyday at homework time!
For your little one's desk at home, you could try this idea:
I always liked students to have a hand pencil sharpener at their desk for colored pencils and so that they aren't always up sharpening at the noisy sharpener. These little owl sharpeners are my choice of course, but there are many other choices at DollarTree as well. They come in a 2 pack.
Flash Cards are a great thing to have at home to help your children hone their basic facts and skills. There are multiple kinds available at DollarTree. Make it a game to use them with your kids and learning becomes more fun and you will help them be more successful at school.
I could go on and on telling you about the myriad of useful things you can find at Dollar Tree.
There, that is my back to school work done! But, seriously, enjoy these days with your kids because they go by very quickly! Do all that you can to help them be successful and you will be so glad that you did when they are older, and so will they.
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I was raised in a cowboy town. Clovis, CA was a great place to grow up. The schools were (and as far as I know still are), some of the best in the state. It had a tradition of conservative, good values, agriculture and yes, cowboys! Every year in April we celebrated Rodeo Days. That Friday at school, we could dress up in western garb. On Saturday, there was the Rodeo Day parades. The high school band and the bands from neighboring Fresno marched in it. There were floats and Shriner clowns and lots and lots of horses. Then, Saturday through Sunday was the Clovis Rodeo. I grew up there in the 1960s-1970s, but the traditions carry on today. The Rodeo in 2018 was the 104th Clovis Rodeo! I lived out in the country, but I was never a part of the cowboy culture. I've only ridden a horse a handful of times and as a child, my one claim to fame was being bucked from a donkey as my brother and I rode it down our driveway. But, I sure loved the cowboy traditions that surrounded me and I was proud to be a part of a town that was rich in tradition.
My husband has better cowboy roots than I do. His great uncle was Billy Bonnell, a fairly famous rodeo cowboy!
I am giving you all of this information because today is actually National Cowboy Day! Having been raised with the traditions and stories and movies that romanticized the American Cowboy, we thought we would join in the celebration today. For Friday Faves, we are sharing some of our favorite cowboy themed things!
My husband isn't a cowboy, but he loves westerns! I have to admit, I am pretty fond of old westerns movies myself. Here are some of our faves:
I actually have a couple of sons who grew up loving hard rock music who have converted to Country Western.
Other Cowboy Finds
So, that is our nod to our cowboy heritage! Do we have any cowboy or girl readers out there? Or, were any of your ancestors cowboys? That family history is fascinating to learn about! We would love to hear from you.
Enjoy your weekend!
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I went back to work a few months ago, and it has truly been the worst thing ever. I don't get to see my baby all day, then when I do see her I am exhausted. This working mom gig is no joke and I am not cut out for it. My student loans dictate that it must continue, unfortunately. We've grown too accustomed to having a house to live in, food to eat, and a bed to sleep in.
So, while I suffer through this really hard thing I have to do and absolutely hate, I am always trying to find ways to save time on other projects so I can devote the little free time I have to spending time with my baby girl when I have the chance.
As you know, I'm always trying to find ways to incorporate more veggies into our meals, and have shared recipes where I have substituted veggies for pasta. I did it here with my zucchini lasagna, here with my zoodle date night recipe, and here the most recently with my spaghetti squash spaghetti recipe.
Well, wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles, as I was grocery shopping last week I found bags of pre-spiralized veggie s in the frozen foods section! I bought spiralized zucchini, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, and I think a few others.
Pre-spiralized veggie saves me so much time! On days where I don't have to work I don't mind using my spiralizer to create my own veggie pasta, but when I get home dead tired after work and just want to spend time with my baby, these pre-made zoodle (and other veggie noodle) bags are a life saver!
Now you may also remember this post from awhile back where my mom shared with you how to make this chicken cacciatore in the crock pot, with a little help from Panna!
Well, with my powers combined, I took the pre-made zoodles, and made the Crock Pot Chicken Cacciatore. When I put them together, I had a culinary masterpiece!!
This is such a great dinner options for when you're on the go. You don't need chicken nuggets from McDonalds, or anywhere else! Just pull a bag of pre-spiralized zoodles, or any other time of veggie noodle from your freezer, and follow the directions. In less than ten minutes your zoodles are ready! Just like pasta you can top them with anything, and I would highly suggest the Chicken Cacciatore!
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I mean really, who doesn't want Michelin starred chefs teaching you how to make food? Who needs Ina Garten?? (No offense to her). The videos do a great job of going through the entire process with you so you don't need to feel overwhelmed at all!
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Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to ten and counting! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, and my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Then, one more daughter, with her technical and science skills, plus creativity has joined in to round us out! Read more about us here!
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