Saturday, August 20, 2011

Back to Reality

As I said before, summer is my favorite season as we have less work, more play, and lots and lots of homegrown tomatoes! Unfortunately, summer is coming to an end, and we are getting back into our routine. That means packing lunches, synchronizing schedules, earlier bed and wake up times, less time, and more work.

But back-to-school (since hubby and I both work in education, it’s literally back-to-school for all of us) is also an exciting time, and I actually love the promise, excitement, and possibilities of a new academic year. And to make it as stress-free as possible, I have found that a little planning and preparing go a long way. So here is what I have done so far to plan for back-to-school:
  • Got new calendars and synchronized everyone’s schedule (a big, easy-to-read master calendar is a must for us)
  • Planned weekly meals on white board (I will get back to posting our weekly meals next week)
  • Organized closets and work space (we live in a small house, and I do most of my work from home so being organized is essential)
  • Made a list of “interesting lunches” – I consulted my lunch box basics post
I recently received a Back-To-School kit as part of the DailyBuzz Moms Tastemaker program in partnership with Clorox. There was a Brita portable water bottle, disinfectant wipes, and Glad food storage containers.

When I saw the Clorox Disinfectant Wipes, I was right away transported back a year when I dropped the teenager off in his college dorm room. One of the items I left with him were exactly these wipes. And after a few months he asked for more. I was impressed and thought to myself, “Wow. He really likes to keep things clean.” Only when he moved out of the dorms ten months later did I realize that the wipes were the only cleaning supplies he had ever touched, as everything else was still in its original packaging, never touched. I’m really glad he had the wipes as I’m not sure if he had ever cleaned anything otherwise… Scary. I know.

I’m really excited to try the Brita water bottle. It’s going to be quite convenient to be able to filter water anywhere.

I also love the storage containers. They are BPA free and microwave, dishwasher, and freezer safe. And they come with dressing/condiment cups that snap into the lid. I can’t wait to pack hubby interesting lunches in them. In addition to a green salad with dressing, I think they would be perfect for the following:
  • Pasta/veggie salad with peanut dressing
  • Fried rice with gochujang (Korean red pepper paste) or any other hot sauce
  • Veggies and hummus
  • Veggies and guacamole
  • Pita chips and dip
  • Roasted veggies and ketchup
  • Fruits and yogurt
  • Yogurt and granola
  • The list is really endless…
Questions: What’s your favorite season? Are you sad that summer is coming to an end? If you, or anyone in your household, are going back to school, what are some of your tips to make it go smoothly? What’s your favorite packed lunch?

Be well,


  1. I'll have to pick up some of those containers. I love knowing they're BPA free. I work for our local school district in their tech department - have for 20 years now. We work year around, but I remember the days when my kids would be returning to school. It always seemed like a fresh start on life. We loved it.

  2. I am sad that summer is almost over. My kids start next week. Although I do like more of a routine - and buying back to school stuff for them.

    I have 1 in high school, 1 in middle school and 1 in elementary school so besides keeping up with where they have to be (and where I have to be!) it's all good.

    And for the last few years, they have to make their own lunch the night before which helps a ton while getting kids out the door!

    Love your list of ideas!

  3. I love "back to school" season too, and I'm not even in school anymore ;) There is something about that time of year that I adore.
    Ok, I'm sure the teenager is a nice kid and all, but that story kind of makes me cringe! Thank goodness for those wipes, or....well....I don't want to think about it ;)

  4. Great ideas and great list. I just joined an education startup and its always interesting to see what is required. We do not have kids so I have to soak in this information as I get it.

  5. I love those disinfectant wipes!! I use them all the time, both at home and work. I try to use non-disposable wipes when I can, but those are just so convenient.
    I'll admit, fall is my favorite season, and I'm not too sad to see summer coming to a close. It's different for me though because things don't really change a whole lot from summer to fall. I don't have kids, plus I work throughout the summer!

  6. Gotta love disinfectant wipes. I use them all the time!
    I might have to say fall is my favorite. The weather starts to cool down in Vegas and I just love pumpkin!! :)

  7. I love the fall, but am a bit sad summer has flown by so quickly. I don't think we crossed off all our events on the "to do" list. Oh well....great list Andrea, thanks for sharing.

  8. I am sad summer will be ending, especially because this means snow will be coming soon. Have not lived somewhere with snow for about 7 years now, so this ought to be interesting. I love summer. I love warm/hot, so summer is always my favorite.

  9. Anonymous8/22/2011

    Summer is by far my favourite season. I'm sad too that it's coming to an end! I was just telling Jason last night that this coming Sunday I want to spend some quality time in the kitchen preparing freezer friendly meals b/c Sept is always so busy for us with school starting not to mention Sarah's dance and Noah's hockey/soccer. Having something I can pull out of the freezer for dinner is a huge stress reliever!
    Krista @ Krista's Kraving's