Back-to-School Shopping Deals and Tips!

Kohl’s

The store is currently holding their Biggest Gold Clearance Event with 60-80% off back-to-school clothing and shoes. Kohl’s also has a Uniform Shop for private school children and a Campus Living 101 collection for college students.

Walmart

If you are going to Walmart for your supplies and accesories shopping, make sure you check out their best-in-class bundles. Some of these include a school supplies bundle with notebook paper, binder, glue, crayons, etc. for $12.65, as well as a backpack bundle that comes with a backpack and shoes for just $19.97.

Aéropostale

Receive 30% off your entire purchase when you use the online code FRIENDS30 or in-store when you use THIS coupon. This offer is only redeemable through August 11th!

Macy’s

In addition to their 50-75% Fashion Clearance sale, Macy’s is also offering a back-to-school sale with up to 25-50% off in savings on backpacks, clothes, shoes, and beauty products.

JcPenney

You can save 30-40% on select backpacks, as well as 25-40% on Arizona brand jeans and clothing. Throughout the month of August, you can also choose to round up your purchases to the nearest dollar which will be donated to AdoptAClassroom.org.

Staples

For all your back-to-school supplies shopping, you can find notebook paper for just $0.01 each, notebooks for $0.75, mechanical pencils for $0.25, FREE ballpoint pens, and more.

Check out Coupons.com for even more back-to-school deals!

Sports Keepsakes

My son’s tenure with the his

football team of 6 years has come to an end. Next year, High School…. Is that possible?
To commemorate his time in little league football, I rallied the moms to come together to create their son’s shadow box of football memories. We had everyone bring photos and supplied the shadow boxes. The only guidance was to bring your son’s jersey signed to mount in the box.
We surprised the team at the end of the year banquet and they LOVED it. To make it more special, we had the moms stand behind their sons shadow box when we unveiled the gifts.


The boys loved them and the moms had a fabulous time creating their memories.

Get Your Kids out of Bed with these Back to School Breakfast Recipes!

Crunchy Bran French Toast

Ingredients

  • 8 slices whole-grain bread
  • Picture of Crunchy Bran French Toast Recipe4 tablespoons light cream cheese
  • 4 teaspoons low-sugar orange marmalade
  • 2 large eggs plus 2 egg whites
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups bran flakes cereal
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar (optional)

Directions

Spread 4 bread slices with 1 tablespoon cream cheese each; spread the other 4 slices with 1 teaspoon marmalade each. Combine to make 4 sandwiches.

Whisk the whole eggs, egg whites, orange zest and juice, and vanilla in a shallow bowl. Place the bran flakes in a resealable plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin or your hands. Pour the crumbs onto a plate. Dip both sides of each sandwich in the egg mixture, then in the crumbs, gently pressing the crumbs onto the bread.

Heat 1 tablespoon each oil and butter in a skillet or griddle over medium heat. Add the sandwiches in batches and cook until the outsides are golden and the insides are melted, 3 to 4 minutes per side. (Add more oil and butter, if needed.)

Slice the French toast sandwiches into triangles. Let cool before serving to little ones, as the cream cheese can get quite hot. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, if desired, and the kids won’t even ask for syrup!

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/melissa-darabian/crunchy-bran-french-toast-recipe/index.html

Spiced Apple Cider Muffins

Ingredients

Streusel:

  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Picture of Spiced Apple Cider Muffins Recipe1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts (optional)

Muffins:

  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple butter, such as Smucker’s
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup apple cider
  • 1/3 cup low-fat plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup canola oil

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat 12 muffin cups with cooking spray.

To prepare streusel: Mix brown sugar, whole-wheat flour and cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in walnuts, if using.

To prepare muffins: Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl.

Whisk egg and brown sugar in a medium bowl until smooth. Whisk in apple butter, syrup, cider, yogurt and oil. Make a well in the dry ingredients; add the wet ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups (they’ll be quite full). Sprinkle with the streusel.

Bake the muffins until the tops are golden brown and spring back when touched lightly, 15 to 25 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Loosen edges and turn muffins out onto a wire rack to cool slightly before serving.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/eating-well/spiced-apple-cider-muffins-recipe/index.html

Breakfast in a Cup

Ingredients

For the grits:

  • 2 cups water
  • Picture of Breakfast in a Cup RecipeSalt
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking grits
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Half-and-half

For the scrambled eggs:

  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream

For the poached eggs:

  • 1 egg
  • Salt
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar, see Cook’s Note*

For the crumbled sausage:

  • 1 pound ground bulk country sausage
  • Grated cheese, for topping
  • Chopped parsley leaves, for garnish

For the grits:

Directions

Bring 2 cups of salted water to a boil. Slowly stir in 1/2 cup quick grits, stir immediately and reduce the heat, then bring back to boil. Add butter and stir. Reduce the heat and simmer. Let cook approximately 4 minutes, then stir in half-and-half to desired creaminess. Cook grits to taste, up to 30 minutes.

For the scrambled eggs:

Have pan heating on stovetop over medium-high heat. Crack 2 eggs into a bowl. Add salt and pepper, water and 1 tablespoon sour cream. Whisk together. Add butter to pan. Pour in egg mixture and use spoon to scramble.

For the poached eggs:

Have water boiling in a large pot on stove. Add a sprinkle of salt and 1 tablespoon of vinegar to water. Use spoon to swirl water and drop egg into the middle. Cook for approximately 3 minutes for an over-medium egg. Remove from water. Allow water to drain off the egg before serving.

*Vinegar helps the egg to hold its shape by causing the outer layer of the egg white to congeal faster.

For the crumbled sausage:

Prepare according to package instructions.

To assemble:

Spoon grits into mug, about 2/3 full. Spoon sausage on top of grits. Add poached or scrambled egg. Sprinkle cheese on top then garnish with parsley.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/breakfast-in-a-cup-recipe/index.html

A Fun Craft that will get your Kids Ready to go Back to School!

Kids Desktop Supply Box

What you’ll need:

  • Child size shoe box 
  • 3 sheets yellow construction paper
  • 2 sheet green construction paper
  • Acrylic paint (blue, red, green, brown, orange, yellow, black)
  • 3” square box with lid
  • Plastic water bottle (12-16 oz)
  • School-themed foam stamps (school bus, apple, star, crayons)
  • 1” x 7” strip of orange felt
  • Paintbrush
  • White craft glue
  • Glue stick
  • Clear tape
  • Scissors
  • Black marker

How to make it:

  1. Check corners of shoe box and use tape to close any gaps, rips, or tears.
  2. Cover shoe box with yellow construction paper using a glue stick to attach to sides, and tape to close at ends and corners.
  3. Cover lid with green construction paper using glue stick and tape as in step 2.
  4. Paint the sides and inside of small box blue and the lid red. Set aside to dry.
  5. Cut bottom off of plastic bottle about 3” up. (NOTE: Get a parent to help–the edge of the bottle can be sharp.) Recycle remaining portion of bottle.
  6. Glue orange felt strip around the top of the opening of the plastic bottle. Felt should overlap on inside and outside of bottle opening to cover cut edges.
  7. Cut a piece of green construction paper in a circle to fit the bottom of the bottle and glue in place. Set aside to dry.
  8. Decorate the outside of the box with school-themed stamps. We used an apple, crayons, and star. Paint each foam stamp and press firmly on to the construction paper. Lift directly up to remove. Let dry.
  9. Use school bus stamp to add a bus to the lid.
  10. Use white craft glue to attach the red lid, blue box and bottle bottom to the lid of your school supply box. Allow to dry completely.
  11. Use black marker to add a simple math equation to the side of the box.
  12. Use black marker to write “school” on the side of the bus. Dot on red paint for the tail light using the handle end of a paintbrush or a toothpick.
  13. When everything is dry, fill box with supplies. When you are using the supplies, fill the bottle with crayons, lids with glue, scissors, eraser, and pencil sharpener–whatever you need to have on hand.

Tips:

  • Use clear tape to secure any edges that won’t stick down with glue.
  • Careful not to overload the top of your box by piling too many items inside.
  • If any of your organizers come loose, simply secure with glue.

http://crafts.kaboose.com/desktop-supply-box.html

Take a Break From Summer Reading to Make Bookmarks!

Laminated Kids Crafts Bookmarks

What you’ll need:

  • White construction paper 
  • Crayons and colored pencils
  • Scissors
  • Peel & stick laminating film
  • Yarn & feathers (optional)

How to make it:

  1. Fold and crease a piece of construction paper to the size you would like your bookmark to be. Standard bookmarks are approximately 2” x 7”, but you can make them any size you like.
  2. Have child draw a picture on the construction paper using colored pencils of crayons.
  3. Use scissors to cut bookmark out.
  4. To add yarn, use a piece of clear tap to attach yarn strips to the back of your bookmark. Do the same for feathers.
  5. Peel backing off of a piece of laminating film and firmly press bookmark onto it. Fold laminating film over to cover opposite side of bookmark and press down firmly to make sure there are no bubbles.
  6. Use scissors to trim edges, leave a small border of laminating film so that it stays secure.

Tips:

  • Use markers for a bolder bookmark.
  • Have children practice their drawing or letter writing on a separate sheet of paper before drawing on the construction paper.
  • Use photos of pets and family members to make a collage bookmark.
  • For a more professional finish to your bookmark, use a laminating machine (such as the Xyron Creative Station) or visit your local copy shop and have them laminate the artwork for you.

http://crafts.kaboose.com/laminated-art-bookmarks.html

Go Back to School in Style!

Fluffy Puffy Feather Pens

Materials:

  • regular pen with no handle or fancy bits to it (it needs to be a basic pen so you can wrap the ribbon around it)
  • ribbon in a favorite color or pattern (about 2 feet… though the wider the ribbon the less you’ll need)
  • feathers
    • to get a really poofy pen, we used an old feather boa and just snipped off a couple of inch long pieces of it.  You can find these at craft stores, costume stores and sometimes even the dollar store.  They’re also fairly common at garage sales (old halloween costumes).  A brand new one from the craft store costs about $8 and will give enough pieces for about 15 pens.
    • you can also use a few plain feathers… just keep adding them until you’re happy with the look (about 5 or 6 feathers is nice)
  • hot glue gun
  • scissors
  • a friend (an adult could do it solo)

Directions:

  • This project is best done with a friend — one does the glue and the other does the wrapping.
  • put a dab of hot glue at the end of the pen and attach your ribbon at an angle
  • wrap the ribbon around the pen once
  • Put another dab of hot glue on the pen and wrap again
  • continue dabbing and wrapping until the pen is covered in ribbon
  • Snip off the ribbon
  • Put a bit of extra glue and use a popsicle stick or the back of another pen to secure the ribbon really well.
  • put a dab of glue at the end of the pen and attach a feather or a feather boa piece.
  • flip the pen over and attach another feather boa pin (or another feather).
  • if using feathers, continue to rotate the pen and glue feathers on until the end is covered on fluffy (4 to 6 feathers)

http://www.dltk-kids.com/crafts/birthday/mpens.htm

Back-to-School Crafts for Kids

Laminated Art Bookmarks

350x255_lambookmarks1_rdax_65

What you’ll need:

  • White construction paper
  • Crayons and colored pencils
  • Scissors
  • Peel & stick laminating film
  • Yarn & feathers (optional)

How to make it:

  1. Fold and crease a piece of construction paper to the size you would like your bookmark to be. Standard bookmarks are approximately 2” x 7”, but you can make them any size you like.
  2. Have child draw a picture on the construction paper using colored pencils of crayons.
  3. Use scissors to cut bookmark out.
  4. To add yarn, use a piece of clear tap to attach yarn strips to the back of your bookmark. Do the same for feathers.
  5. Peel backing off of a piece of laminating film and firmly press bookmark onto it. Fold laminating film over to cover opposite side of bookmark and press down firmly to make sure there are no bubbles.
  6. Use scissors to trim edges, leave a small border of laminating film so that it stays secure.

Tips:

  • Use markers for a bolder bookmark.
  • Have children practice their drawing or letter writing on a separate sheet of paper before drawing on the construction paper.
  • Use photos of pets and family members to make a collage bookmark.
  • For a more professional finish to your bookmark, use a laminating machine (such as the Xyron Creative Station) or visit your local copy shop and have them laminate the artwork for you.

(Craft courtesy of Kaboose.com)