Organization Tips for the New School Year

8 Organization Tips for the New School YearThere are certain times that just beg for some organizing and cleaning up of clutter around the house. The New Year, spring cleaning, and back to school are perfect times to get some order going! I’ve rounded up some great ideas that are not only practical for the new school year, but are sure to keep you organized in all areas of your life!

Organization Tips for the New School YearI think I NEED something just like this wall file folder to keep our paper clutter organized. Right now we have a tray on our entry table that works well, but I love the neat and clear way everything is categorized. See more at Simple Stylings.

Organization Tips for the New School YearI love the idea of having a cute basket to keep the library books separate from our books. Any basket will do the trick, but Blue I Style has a great tutorial on how she made this leather and wire basket.

Organization Tips for the New School YearCan I use this next idea from Here Comes the Sun for myself, as well as for my kids? This will solve so many problems in the morning when I’m getting dressed! And my 4 year old, who loves to do everything “by myself!” will most definitely approve.

Organization Tips for the New School YearKids bring home lots of artwork and papers throughout the school year, these School File Boxes from Simple as That are perfect for keeping the most precious of memories safe.

Organization Tips for the New School YearI would like someone to come and prepare all my meals just like Fabulessly Frugal has done for her family. I am currently accepting applications for the position of Meal Organizer in my household.

Organization Tips for the New School YearA backpack station like this one from Goodbye, House. Hello, Home. can help tame some of the mess and chaos on those busy school mornings!

Organization Tips for the New School YearTake note of this next project from A Bowl Full of Lemons. When it comes time to find supplies for homework or crafts keeping everything organized and together will help your kid’s creative minds flourish! These over the door holders are great for organizing everything from pens and pencils to cleaners and beauty products!

Wondering how to keep track of everyone’s schedules, to do lists, and the weekly menu plan? How about a dry erase calendar and menu planner to keep you organized?! You can place this calendar and menu planner in your favorite frames and write directly on the glass with dry erase markers. Then simply erase the markers off the glass to use the set again and again, month after month. Use different color markers for each member of the family to really stay on top of everything! I could not function without our calendar and I use it multiple times a day. It hangs on the wall with our menu planner right in the kitchen and serves as a great command center for all our comings and going!

I have several different styles of these calendars and menu planners in my Etsy shop and guess what…? I’m hosting a GIVEAWAY right now on Instagram for your choice of any Printed Calendar and Menu Planner set! Head over now and enter to win!

Hopefully these tips and tricks will help you have the most organized school year yet!


Visiting San Francisco with Toddlers

Whether it is a quick weekend away or a cross country road trip, traveling and going on adventures is one of our family’s favorite activities and is a big priority for us! In fact, we have a dedicated savings account just for family vacations and even if some months we only put in $10, we always put some money in. Then when we have saved up enough we plan our next adventure! This summer we went to San Francisco! Neither of us had ever been before and it was a wonderful week long vacation with our two sweet kids in tow. They did awesome with the long car rides, busy days, and tons of walking. It was such a fun time and no one wanted to come home! Why can’t vacations last forever?

Visiting San Francisco with Toddlers

Here’s what we did:

  • Union Square
  • Trolley Cable Cars
  • Seafood at Fisherman’s Warf
  • Pier 39
  • Play on the beach
  • Ferry ride to Sausalito
  • Explore Sausalito
  • Muir Woods
  • Ghiradelli Square
  • Painted Ladies
  • Full House house
  • Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
  • Lombard Street
  • China Town

The highlights for me? I loved the Muir Woods. Walking around those beautiful, tall, ancient trees I felt so small and in complete wonder of God’s creations. The ferry ride was also a lot of fun! It was calm, the water was gorgeous, we got to sit and rest our feet, and went right by Alcatraz and had great views of the city and the Golden Gate Bridge.

In such a big and diverse city there is tons to see and I know we didn’t even come close to seeing it all but we did try to hit the major highlights! When planning our activities we kept our kids in mind and allowed plenty of time to stop and rest if their little legs needed it.

Visiting San Francisco with Toddlers Visiting San Francisco with ToddlersThe famous trolley cable cars were a huge hit! The kids felt just like Daniel Tiger, so pretty much their dreams coming true.  :)

Visiting San Francisco with ToddlersOur small umbrella stroller was perfect. It folds up easy for getting on buses and subways, or tucking in the corner of a restaurant. The streets are crowded and it didn’t get in the way and both kids slept in it at different points during the day.

Visiting San Francisco with ToddlersVisiting San Francisco with ToddlersVisiting San Francisco with ToddlersVisiting San Francisco with Toddlers

When people say that San Francisco is known for its hilly streets, they weren’t kidding. Some of the streets are very, very steep. Wear comfortable shoes because you will be walking a lot, and take advantage of the  public transportation. From the trolleys to the buses to the subways, we did not have a hard time finding our way around the city.

Visiting San Francisco with ToddlersVisiting San Francisco with ToddlersVisiting San Francisco with ToddlersVisiting San Francisco with ToddlersVisiting San Francisco with ToddlersVisiting San Francisco with ToddlersVisiting San Francisco with ToddlersVisiting San Francisco with Toddlers

Thank you for a wonderful week San Fran! You’ll forever have a piece of our heart!

What are some of your favorite family vacations? Where should we save up for next?

Back to School Mantle Decorating Ideas

There is always that time of year between the 4th of July and the start of fall/Halloween where I am never quite sure how to decorate. There aren’t really any holidays that require decorations but I don’t like leaving my piano bare. So I figured, why not decorate for Back to School? There are lots of cute items associated with school (apples, globes, books, etc.) and I knew I could make a fun Back to School Mantle with some creative shopping around my house.

Back to School Mantle DecorationsBack to School Mantle Decorations

I am pretty happy about this arrangement and the fact that I didn’t have to buy a single thing for it! I left up my $3 thrift store deal from the 4th of July display I stole decorations from my son’s room (he’s two, he won’t care) and off the bookshelf in our living room.

Back to School Mantle DecorationsDon’t you just love old books? There is something so charming about their faded covers and worn pages. I don’t know if you can describe a book as cozy, but that is the word that comes to my mind. Old books are cozy!

And speaking of old books, I love this large leather dictionary I found at a thrift store several years ago. It is from the late 1800s and the inside has so many beautiful illustrations to go along with the definitions. It is definitely in some rough shape so I try not to handle it too much, but it is perfect for this back to school mantle.

Back to School Mantle Decorations

And any back to school display wouldn’t be complete without a jar full of shiny, new pencils and bright red apples!

Back to School Mantle DecorationsThe globe is one of the stolen pieces from my son’s room, I think it originally came from Ross? The board behind is a scrap piece of wood that I just spray painted to use as a backdrop and as a place to hang the fabric bunting.

Back to School Mantle DecorationsBack to School Mantle DecorationsI also created the A is for Apple print which I’m sharing with you all today! Download the PDF or save the JPEG to your computer for easy printing!


So what do you think? Will you decorate for back to school?


August 2017 Visiting Teaching Handout

The message for August 2017 Visiting Teaching is called Living a Consecrated Life, and I really appreciated the chance to ponder on this topic a little more. You can read the entire message here on

Whenever I think of the word consecration I usually think of sharing earthly goods but this quote from Elder Neal A. Maxwell gave me a whole new perspective. “We tend to think of consecration only as yielding up, when divinely directed, our material possessions. But ultimate consecration is the yielding up of oneself to God.”

The whole message is really great, and I think it is full of wonderful inspiration to share with your sisters as you visit them this month. Here is the VT Handout for the month to take along on your visit, mail in a card, or send it over in an email or text!


August 2017 Visiting Teaching Handout August 2017 Visiting Teaching Handout


Printable First Day of School Signs

I can’t believe that it is time to start talking about Back to School! We were just barely enjoying fireworks and parades and now all of sudden it is time for new pencils, backpacks, and first day of school outfits. The schools here start in two weeks so I know there is a lot of to do as everyone prepares. (And celebrates if you’re a parent!) I’ve created some new printables to help you out in at least one part of back to school. The traditional First Day of School Signs for your pictures!

Free Printable Back to School Signs- Preschool thru Senior Year

This is such a fun tradition to do every year with your kids. It is so special to be able to look back and see how they have changed and grown over the years.

**Okay, I’ve got to take a break and be honest for a second. If you were sitting next to me on the couch while I am typing this blog post you’d see me sitting here trying really hard to hold back the tears. Whhyyyy are my kids growing up so fast?! I just watched a video where a dad interviewed his daughter after every first day of school and whew, that one really brought on the tears. So taking these pictures is important, you won’t ever get another chance to capture this time in your child’s life again.**

Free Printable Back to School Signs- Preschool thru Senior YearI’ve made signs for every year of school from Preschool to Senior Year. And while yes, you may have to resort to some good natured mom guilt or bribing to get your teenagers to cooperate, go ahead and take their picture too! They’ll appreciate it when they’re older. At least that is what we moms tell ourselves as we are knee deep in laundry and dirty dishes.  :)

The First Day of School Signs are all formatted to fit on standard 8.5×11 paper so you can print right from your home computer. You can frame them, laminate them, or simply have your children hold the paper while you snap away. Easy peasy! I’ve broken the signs up into two PDF sets due to the file size so make sure you download both sets!

First Day of School Signs – Preschool thru 5th Grade

First Day of School Signs – 6th Grade thru Senior Year

Free Printable Back to School Signs- Preschool thru Senior Year

Travel Busy Book and Road Trip Printables

I recently heard the saying that once you start travelling with kids you no longer go on vacations, you go on trips. And while that made me laugh it is also kind of true in a way. The stress of travelling with kids can sometimes take away the relaxing vacation aspect parents so desperately need! But yet we travel with our kids anyway! Because there is nothing better than a family trip that creates memories, brings you closer together, and allows us to explore the world around us! I absolutely LOVE to travel and hope to go on as many family vacations as we possibly can! In preparation for our upcoming trip (which I’ll blog about later) I created a Travel Busy Book for each of my sweet kiddos to pass the time during our very long car ride.

Create a Travel Busy Book to bring more adventure to your next family vacation!

Each child receives their own binder with a few fun surprises inside! The Dollar Tree is a great place to find goodies for a road trip. You don’t want to spend a ton of money and they actually have some really fun items. Stickers, coloring books, short story books, and I even found these really cute dry erase bingo games! Heck, Sam and I might even play them on our own as we drive down the road!

Create a Travel Busy Book to bring more adventure to your next family vacation!My four year old loves hidden pictures! So when I found some online I knew I had to include them in our travel busy books too. My two year old is still a little young for them, but I printed the hidden pictures for his book anyway. He can enjoy looking at the images and scribbling on the pages so it is still great entertainment! You can find lots of free hidden picture printables at All Kids Network.

Create a Travel Busy Book to bring more adventure to your next family vacation!

Paper and  color pencils or crayons are a must! I put them in a zipper pouch rather than leaving them in their boxes to try to minimize the mess and spills. And of course a folder to hold any treasured artwork that is created along the way.

Create a Travel Busy Book to bring more adventure to your next family vacation!I also found this really cute free printable race track at Free Time Frolics, and it is perfect to include in the book for my car loving boy. A couple of hot wheels are all he needs to get lots of fun time out of this page!

Create a Travel Busy Book to bring more adventure to your next family vacation!I love these free alphabet and picture tracing printables from Tot Schooling. We have been working really hard on writing our letters and I love giving my daughter a fun way to practice as we drive.

Create a Travel Busy Book to bring more adventure to your next family vacation!And I am sharing the Adventure Awaits covers I created for our travel busy books! There are three different colors to choose from and they are made to be printed on a regular 8.5 x 11 piece of paper. Perfect for printing at home and slipping into the cover of your binder!


I hope this gives you some good ideas as you get ready to hit the road! Now go make those memories!


  • You may also be interested in: