Back to School 2018, Fashion, Kids, Reviews by Anthony, Video Reviews by Anthony

Brooklyn Cloth Co. Surf and Skate Clothing Brand

I have partnered with Brooklyn Cloth for feature. Product was sent and opinions are my own

Brooklyn Cloth Co. Surf and Skate Clothing Brand

Recently Anthony received a few pieces of clothing from Brooklyn Cloth Co. and he fell in love with the styles. He is all sports and typically only wears shorts and sports brands tops, socks and hoodies. He loves basketball and loves the basketball style all year. So, it was a gamble to agree for clothing from a surf and skate clothing brand. To my surprise (and perhaps his) the pieces really excited him.

The very next day he grabbed the pair of Brooklyn cloth shorts and the Sherpa-lined jacket to wear to school. Even on warm days, he grabs hoodies and coats to school because his classroom gets chilly. I warned him he may be too warm in the sherpa-lined coat, but there was no talking him out of it even on a 70 degree day.

I think this may be my favorite top. The New York cotton hoodie has the sporty look he typically wears. It is called the Boy’s New York Fleece Hockey Jersey Hoodie. We visited NYC last summer and Anthony fell in love with the city. We will be going back again this summer for a conference and he is so excited. Having these New York branded clothing brings back those memories for him. Such as visiting the Statue of Liberty when we were there.

The top above is called the Boys’ White New York State of Mind Long Sleeved Tee. It looks so sharp on him and with print on the front, back and each sleeve there is something happening on this entire shirt.

The cloth shorts at Brooklyn Cloth Co. fit long like board shorts. I ordered Anthony medium shorts in boys as a 10/12 size he normally wears and they hung long like board shorts should. You can see each piece from the shorts and jackets and how they fit in his video below….

Connect with Brooklyn Cloth Co. on their website and follow on Facebook. You can find clothing for men and women too!

Back to School 2017, Education, Parenting

Are You First Day Ready For School?

There is no mistaking that if your kids aren’t headed back to school now, they will be soon – the stores are filled with supplies and sales and ads for back-to-school. The beginning of a new school year can be an especially challenging time for parents and children both, although for totally different reasons. For parents, making sure that kids are equipped with the supplies and everything they need to get organized and have a good year is usually the first challenge. Then meeting the teachers, checking out the classrooms, and assessing the curriculum for the year is next on the list.


We just completed our school shopping this week. We also moved to a new town this summer so yesterday I dropped off all papers to register my son in 4th grade at his brand new school. He is excited but also nervous too. The next step for us is to wait for the call on what teacher he gets and if it is the same of some new friends he has met in our neighborhood and on his soccer team.

For kids, the stress of the new school year can be a little different than what we experience as parents. Did you know that one in five children in the U.S. have learning and attention issues, like ADHD and dyslexia? Children with these types of challenges – many of whom have never been formally diagnosed – can feel especially stressed during the back-to-school season as they face new subjects, teachers and schools.

As the new school year approaches, we were excited to get personalized tips from the First-Day Ready Guide to help our kids make a great start. The Ad Council and have partnered to promote ways children and their families can be First-Day Ready. is offering a free First-Day Ready Guide to help parents with students at every age successfully manage back-to-school transitions. is a free, easy-to-use online resource and community designed to support parents and caregivers of children with learning and attention issues.

Having a guide is so helpful. My stepsons are 19 and 24 so it’s been some time since I have sent a fourth grader off to school.


These back-to-school tips from the website are an invaluable resource for getting on track and starting the year of on the right foot.  They helped my family; hopefully they can help yours too.


  • Planning early is important to help relieve stress.  Creating structure and routine around the start of the new school year—with checklists, calendars and other organization systems— helps prepare kids for class expectations. I loved browsing the Printable Back-to-School Downloads. I am a paper person so this helps me a lot. I also enjoyed the 9 Apps to Help Kids Manage Back-to-School Challenges so we can use them to have mini discussions at bedtime leading up to the first day of school.


You can also take your child on a school tour to help ease fears by showing them how to find their classroom, nearby bathrooms, the cafeteria and other important places the first week of school.  This can be a huge stress relief whether the child is new to the school or not. Just knowing where to go can help them feel more comfortable.  


  • Connecting with your child’s teacher early on benefits everyone and creates a great starting point for the new year.  This will give you an opportunity to share your child’s needs or learning style while expressing your support for the teacher and the challenges he/she may be facing with a new classroom full of students.  You will help create an atmosphere of cooperation while speaking up for your child and his or her challenges.


  • Finally, get support!  Many parents and students are going through the same experience. and Understood’s Facebook page connect parents across the country to share information and learn from each other. You can also ask around your community and school to find other parents you can connect with.

So, no matter your child’s age or needs, this Back-to-School season can be a seamless transition and positive experience for both you and your children!  

If you could use some help getting started on the right foot this school year, is a great place to start.  

All kids learn in different ways and at different paces. With the right support, all kids can thrive in school and in life.

Back to School 2017, Food, Healthy Living, Kids, Parenting

Simple Tips To Get Organized And Make Fixing Lunches Easier

If you find yourself short on time in the mornings and end up buying school lunch because packing it seems like too much of a hassle, take a look at the tips below. They will help you get organized so fixing lunches becomes quick and easy.


Photo Source: Pixababay


Start With A List And Go Shopping


Start by sitting down with your kids and come up with a list of lunches they like. This could include sandwiches and wraps, or even homemade lunch-able, but it doesn’t have to stop there. If you add a thermos to the mix, you can suddenly pack reheated leftovers, homemade soup and the likes. The key is to find lunch foods and snacks that your kids will eat that are also easy to pack.


Make sure you have appropriate containers, and then head to the grocery store to pick up everything you need for the week. Don’t forget about snacks and drinks as needed. The list should make this much easier. Once you have several different lunch ideas your kids like and will actually eat, you can simply rotate through them and make the ingredients part of your weekly shopping trips.


Prep What You Can As Soon As You Get Home


When you get home from the store, keep lunch foods out and see what you can do to prep things ahead of time. Instead of putting that bag of grapes away, go ahead and wash and store them in little bags you can grab and toss in the lunch box. The same goes for things like carrots and even salads. Slice cheese as needed and just thing about what you can prep as soon as you get home.


Pack Lunches The Night Before


Mornings are busy and not always the perfect time to have to worry about packing lunches. Try making them the night before. Try packing them after dinner at night. Get the kids involved and have them help with lunch prep and clean-up after. You can store cold items in the fridge and have everything else sitting in the lunch box ready to go. It won’t take you long to get into a rhythm of preparing lunches while you’re cleaning up after dinner. You’ll appreciate this new habit in the mornings when all you need to do is grab a couple of things from the fridge and toss them in the lunch boxes.


Get In The Habit Of Cleaning Lunch Boxes As Soon As The Kids Get Home


To make lunch prep even easier, get the kids into the habit of cleaning out their lunch box as soon as they get back from school. Even the youngest can help with this. Have them toss any uneaten food and bring the containers to the sink to be washed. Older children can easily clean their own containers, while you’ll probably have to do the washing for your youngest. Having everything clean and ready to go will make it easier to pack the new lunches later on in the day.


Stick to these tips and it won’t take you long to get into an efficient lunch packing routine that will make it a snap. Don’t forget to get the kids involved and put them in charge of much of the preparations. Not only will this make your live easier in the long run, it will give them a sense of ownership over their lunch.


Back to School 2017, Education, Gift Guides, Kids

Technology Learning with Marbotic Letters and Numbers

This feature is in partnership of Marbotics. Product sent for feature

Technology Learning with Marbotic Letters and Numbers

It is almost that bittersweet time. You looked ahead and wondered about the days your child will start school and here you are dreading those hours of sending them off with a backpack and lunchbox to learn all day. Will they be ok without naps in their own bed? Will they make friends? Will they meltdown at drop off? Will they adjust from their daycare to preschool and kindergarten ok? It is such a fun memory to make as they start school but that first attempt at letting them go as Mom and Dad. Let’s make sure they are prepared to learn! Let’s give them one less stressor to deal with and we can do that with Marbotic.

All you need is an iPad or a compatible Samsung Tablet and some free apps to download to make this learning at home start now. There are 3 sets to choose from – the full kit, letters or numbers. I have the Marbotic Smart Letters set. It comes with 26 letters and there are 3 letter games I can download for multiple ways to learn with letters and at all learning levels.

Includes 26 wooden letters and 3 different ‘Smart Letters’ educational apps`(available for free download). It is made to educate given that it was designed by education experts and teachers, crafted with quality materials, and inspired by the Montessori method. They will take traditional wood blocks and combine them with technology for play that teaches. 

I’d love for you to see it in action so here is the product video below. I have a 3 year old nephew who will get this set and he can learn all year before next years preschool days hit him. It is fun, even my 9 year old was caught sitting at the iPad placing letters on the screen and watching characters come move and teach.

The Marbotic sets are available in the US now on Amazon. Get yours today and start learning so they can start school prepared and with confidence. It’s a hard day for them too so let’s send them off ready to learn more!

Back to School 2017, College Bound, Gift Guides

School Supplies – Back to School with Bic

Thank you Bic for partnering and offering feature samples

School Supplies - Back to School with Bic

Aisles and aisles of pens and pencils. How do you choose? Your back to school list could be narrowed down by a school supply list sent for your child’s class or printed off college websites as a tool. But when it says pens and pencils there seems like so many of them. I am featuring Bic because I want to take just one brand and highlight some popular product so you can pick up the supplies that will be right for you before you even get to the store. Hopefully, this makes school supply shopping day go a bit quicker for you.

My son is heading into grade 4 and his supply list has common items like pens, pencils, glue sticks, scissors and I noticed that for the glue sticks and scissors they listed specific brands. In parentheses it said that these were ‘preferred’ brands because they are known to hold together and work best. The brand can mean all the difference. If I choose a generic brand I am buying the item again and sometimes a few times over in one school year so it really doesn’t save me in the end.

Bic is a trusted name and we have a son in college who specifically requests the Bic mechanical pencils. He has requested these since the middle of High School because he says they write better and last longer than other brands so Bic is always my brand I go to first. Above is the Bic Velocity Max Mechanical Pencils. These pencils have a wider eraser and a smoother, darker writing than the standard series.

Our youngest has had the Bic Marking set for well over a year now and they are still all together and write great. I love that this packaging doubles as a holding case. The color choices are great too. We are never left unable to find a shade we need. This set comes in fine point or ultra fine point.

Bic Gel-ocity pens. That is fun to say! These are retractable gel pens that dry extra fast and with minimal to no smearing. I love the fun colors too.

These Bic Intensity fine point pens are great for school projects. The ones I have are the Fineliner set. They work great for drafting and marking.

They write so smooth and with one child heading back to College these are great for him to have.

How convenient is the Bic 4 color Pen + Pencil? I attend blog conferences and meetings for the school and having 1 writing device that is a pencil + all 3 pen colors I would need is so fantastic to have on hand. It gives you a pencil with extra lead, eraser, red pen, black pen and blue pen all with a simple click to choose.

Another option for pens is the Bic Soft Feel varieties. These have such a comfortable and smooth grip. This makes writing much easier when you have to take a lot of notes. If your child will write essays or a lot at once, these are a fantastic item for their comfort.

So head on out and look for the yellow Bic packs for the pencils, pens and markers that you need for the back to school shopping chore you have. Follow Bic Pens on Facebook and Twitter to keep yourself updated o what is new and what is on promotion.

College Bound, Education

How to Find a Good College Prep School

College Prep

Education is the greatest gift you can give your child. The education that he or she will receive at a private school is far superior to that of a public school. However, private schools are not free like public schools. Private school will require you to make a financial investment in your child’s education and future. It has been proven that children who attend private school have a much better chance of getting into a prestigious college if they have been educated in a private school. Here are some tips that will help you in going about finding an outstanding college prep school to send your child to.

  1. Take a close look at the programs that are offered by the college prep school

Do not be fooled into thinking that the education offered by all private schools is basically the same. This is definitely not the case. Private schools can differ quite dramatically in terms of the quality of the staff they employ and the various programs that are offered to students. Therefore, parents should take the time to thoroughly research all of the private schools they are considering sending their children to. Your child might have a certain career that he or she is interested in pursuing. If this is the case, there are certain private schools that will offer programs that will help the child prepare for that specific career major when they eventually attend college. You should investigate all of the programs that the school offers to see which one is the best fit for your child’s educational needs.

  1. Does the school have a great reputation and a high ranking?

You will be able to tell a lot about the quality of education offered by various private schools based on their overall reputation and ranking. This information can be found by performing a search for the school online. It is important to understand that the private schools that cost the most are not necessarily the best. It all depends on what your child is interested in studying. However, private schools that have an outstanding reputation and a high ranking did not achieve these things by accident. These schools have consistently provided their students with an education that gets them prepared for the rigorous academics that await them once they enter college. Landon School is known for having a great reputation in the academic world. Landon has helped its students achieve academic excellence for many decades.

  1. Schedule a tour of the school with your child.

You should never make the final decision regarding which college prep school to send your child to without taking a tour of the facility. It is very important that you allow your child to have a say in where he or she goes to school. After all, the school that your child goes to will be helping them get focused on a career path. In only makes sense that your child should have the final say. You will obviously have some opinions on this issue. Sit down with your child and discuss all of the pros and cons of each school after you complete all of your tours. Make sure that you talk to the staff of each school and take a look at the living quarters where your child will be staying.