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Back To School Tips To Help You Organize Yourselves

This post was shared last year, some links may have expired though…but I thought I’d bring it back anyway :)


Schools back in session for some; for us we still have another month left! :(
Switching from a laid-back fun in the sun summer; to RULES, HOMEWORK, and ROUTINES can be challenging.
Make it easy for yourselves mom- with a little preparation, the right attitude and some good organizing techniques, it can be fun.

Take advantage of this opportunity to help your kids start building skills they will need in life as adults.

Organize Yourselves CHECKLIST

I’ve created a BASIC BACK TO SCHOOL checklist + included LINKS on great deals that will help you prepare for the start of this NEW school year.


__ Find out what day school starts and what time your child should arrive

__ Have your child memorize your home address and home, cell, and work phone numbers

__ Fill out emergency contact sheets and any other required forms

__ Don’t forget to get their physicals and checkups

__ Talk with your child about their daily school schedule


__ Establish a firm bedtime BEFORE school starts

__ Showers ought to be taken before bed

__ Have your child set their own alarm clocks 15 minutes before they need to get up

__ Lay out clothes the night before

__ Have backpacks and lunches packed and ready to go

__ Shoes and socks SHOULD be next to door, for easy access

__ Lively music playing in background helps with staying awake :)

__ Determine where and when your child will do homework

__ Figure out a plan for balancing homework and playtime

__ Set rules for the time spent on TV, video games, and computer use for non-school projects

__ Consider making a chore chart so your child will know what he has to do everyday…brush teeth, clean bathroom, take out trash, clean room, etc. Check out these free chore charts, they have princess ones, and one for your little Ninja


__ Have nutritious food on hand for breakfast and after-school snacks (we’ll have some articles to help you out soon)

__ Laptop Lunch boxes ( are American-style bento boxes designed to help you pack nutritious, environmentally friendly, healthy school lunches

__ Here’s a link to a good article on healthy foods and nutrition to help you decide what to put in your kids’ school lunch to make it both nutritious and appealing

__ Interview your Child’s Healthy Nutrition Adviser on How to Pack a Healthy Lunch for School

__ See more healthy school lunch ideas and don’t forget you can always get great recipes and ideas here on Fit Moms Fit Kids Club

__ Make some freezer lunches, check out Once A Month Mom for monthly ideas.  In fact Tricia has a great ebook called Survive Before 5: Toddler Meals for Your Busy Days. (affiliate link)  It’s not just for toddlers!  It has recipes for homemade spagetti O’s, apple chicken nuggets, and more, who wouldn’t like that for lunch.


__ Unclutter your child’s closet and get rid of clothes that are to small (donate them) or to worn

__ Wash a weeks worth of all acceptable clothing; have them pressed and ready in ADVANCE

__ Check out back to school sales and separate WANTS from NEEDS

__ Get Back To School Clothes At 50% Off


__ Go over shopping list together. This teaches them how to get organized. (A skill that applies to more than shopping)

__ Set a budget for supplies. It will help your child set priorities & learn how to manage money

__ Check the school website or call for a list of required supplies

__ Find out whether students will store supplies at school or bring them home each day

__ Set up a supply shelf or storage container in your home that you can use all year long

__ Place supplies near the place your child will do homework, you’ll be modeling good organizational skills and they’ll have what they need close by

__ Stock up on the basics at The Dollar Store. Pencils, notebooks, glue sticks and other inexpensive school supplies

__ Buy a backpack or bag to carry daily items.  TJMaxx has $7 Jansport Backpacks

Here’s To An Awesome School Year!

Mother of 2, CEO and Master Organizer of "Organize Yourselves" a home organization company

If you need help organizing your home you can find me at Organize Yourselves and email me at ani @

Posted in Organizing Your Home & Life0 Comments

Quick Guide to Container Gardening

Quick Guide to Container Gardening

Fire escape garden

These days more and more people are taking an interest in knowing where their food
comes from. Whether you’re concerned about your health, your food budget or the
planet – container gardening is a simple way to bring healthy, whole unprocessed food
back to your kitchen.

garden tools I recommend:

• trowel – use to dig

• soil scoop – use to transfer soil from bag to container

• pruners – use to trim leaves and dead flowers

• watering can w/rosettes – use to water plants evenly and gently

• 18in containers

• garden soil – use organic vegetable potting soil or a self-made mix of equal parts

peat moss, peat humus, compost and builder’s sand

• bedding plants – choose the right plant based on climate, growing habits, and

finally – food preference

quick tips to get started:

1. Choose your container

There are many options for gardening containers such as ceramic, wood & plastic.
Containers meet your aesthetic needs, as well as, be big enough to support full
grown plants, have drainage holes in the bottom and made without toxic chemicals
coatings.  You don’t have to spend a lot on pots. Check thrift stores for sturdy, gently
used pots.

2. Create proper drainage

Put holes in the bottom of your container for drainage so your plant roots do not stand
in water – which can lead to root rot. Many pots have indentations for holes that you can
punch through with a screwdriver.

3. Select healthy plants

Here’s the fun part! Bedding plants typically come 1 per pack or 4-6 per “tear-
apart” pack. Select plants carefully and choose healthy vibrant plants. Look for
plants with healthy white or pale yellow roots. Avoid the urge to buy blooming plants
– bushy compact plants will root better. Check the plant’s growing conditions – sun,
water, temp, and spacing to ensure it will thrive where you live.

4. Give ’em space

Don’t overcrowd plants. Look to the plant’s label tag to find out how much space is
needed between plants for optimal growth. Completely cover roots and plant base with
organic potting soil and a light layer of mulch..

5. Water, but don’t flood

Water your plants regularly. But don’t over water. Check the weather and don’t water on
rainy days. Nature’s water is better than tap!

6.  Take pictures

Take a photo of your garden on the day of planting. Use your photos to chronicle
growing conditions everyday so next time around you’ll know which things worked well
and which ones didn’t.

7. Cook and eat

The whole point of your garden is to eat it! Plan meals around the fruits and vegetables you are
growing. Nothing tastes better than a fresh summer tomato garnished with ribbons of basil from
your own garden. Search sites like for quick ways to cook and eat your
fresh fare.

Look at your garden every day. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to grow your own food – full
of nutrients and free of chemicals!!! Enjoy your growing experience and start planning for next
year’s garden!

Tonya Peele is the author of Quick Wins for Healthy Eating: Easy Changes You and Your
Family Can Make Now! She blogs at

Photo Credit:
Fire Escape Garden by By Saucy Salad

Posted in Guest Posts, News0 Comments

Good Luck Fit Mom Michelle!

Today I just wanted to write a quick post to wish one of our writer’s Michelle Kyman well as she competes in her second fitness competition!

If you haven’t read any of Michelle’s posts, you should!  She is the owner of Embody Fitness in Orange County, California. Michelle is a mom of 2. With each pregnancy she gained 75 lbs!! She lost the weight, and in the process decided to become a trainer to help other women lose the weight, and lose the excuses.  A couple of years ago Michelle decided to challenge herself, and compete in a fitness competition!

Michelle's First Fitness Competition...2010

Today on St Patrick’s Day Michelle is spray tanned up, she’s eaten her chicken and almonds for breakfast (I saw that on her Facebook status) and is ready to rock!  Thanks for inspiring us Michelle to get fit!  You’ve taught us that at almost 40, with 2 kids, and a ton of discipline we can reach our fitness goals!

Here’s a video interview of Michelle that I posted in January during A Better Me Challenge.  Check it out! She gives great tips for moms who want to lose their “baby weight.”

Good Luck today!  We can’t wait to hear about your workouts and what you ate this time around.  And, we can’t wait to see your pictures from today’s competition!!!

Annett Davis

Annett Davis, Olympian & Founder of Fit Moms Fit Kids

Posted in Post Pregnancy Weight Loss0 Comments

This Fit Mom’s No Muscle

Wanna know what this Fit Mom has been up to lately? A lot. A full schedule and a lot of saying no. Just ask Annett :) I said no to her “Better Me Challenge.” Because right now being a better me required me using my no muscle. It was a great challenge with a lot of great ideas and wonderful encouragement. But it was one of at least 15 Opportunities/requests I had gotten over the last few months – I started counting because I was preparing to teach a workshop at a conference about saying no. All the requests were good things – from blogging requests, to school volunteering and fundraising requests, to speaking requests, to two different fitness challenges . . . NO!

In January and February when all these other requests/opportunities rolled in, I was already leading and team teaching Bible Study at my church on Wednesday mornings (and sometimes Wednesday nights) and hosting a weekly college/young adult life group at my house. And then there is always the everyday life stuff like THREE CHILDREN, a sweet husband, cooking, cleaning, exercising, nurturing my relationship with God, and squirrel watching. Being overscheduled and overcommitted leads to mama meltdowns which benefits no one so I had to say no to a lot of good things.

And despite all my no muscle usage, I still had one solid MBD (mental breakdown day) in there with all the stuff I had previously said yes to. I am a work in process.

So I am here to encourage you overcommitters of the world to feel free to say no. No one will hate you unless he/she is a jerk in which case, who cares? The world will continue to spin and life will go on even if you say no!

After you have evaluated your schedule and made sure your priorities are in line and you have room in your schedule then . . .

Here are five questions that can help you to decide if you should say yes to that opportunity:

1. Does it fit your personality?

2. Does it fit your passions?

3. Does it fit your giftings?

(Chapters in the Bible that talk about spiritual gifts – I Corinth. 12, Romans 12, Ephesians 4, I Peter 4)

4. What does the sane and spiritual person in your life say about it?

(In my world, that’s my husband.)

5. Is God calling you to it?

(If you don’t believe in God, you’ll have to make up your own #5 :))

And with that, I am signing off from being a writer for Fit Moms Fit Kids. While it fits my personality, passions, and giftings . . . right now it doesn’t fit into my schedule. I will be devoting more time to speaking (with more traveling) in addition to trying to keep up on my own blog. Please come visit me in the blogosphere or facebooksphere. And please check out my speaking schedule to see if I will be speaking in your area – maybe we can meet in real life and do some push-ups or something.

Thanks to Annett for allowing to take up space here and for her passion for Fit Moms and Fit Kids!

Wendy Hagen

Wendy Hagen, Author "Totally Desperate Mom: Keeping It Real In The Motherhood"

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Posted in News, Totally Desperate Moms0 Comments

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