Coats for Kids by Anton’s Cleaners and Jordan’s Furniture

Do some good. Clean out your closet and help keep a kid warm by donating the coats to Coats for Kids. It’s easy and there are so many donations spots – any of Anton’s Cleaners locations (there are 42) and any of the Jordan’s Furniture locations (there are five). Since 1985, Anton’s Cleaners has collected, cleaned and distributed nearly 800,000 coats. Let’s give them a shout out and a little help meeting their goal of 60,000 coats for kids this winter.

So while you’re changing over your closet from summer to winter, earmark a couple of coats for Coats to Kids. You’ll be glad you did, and more importantly, so will the children who get the much needed coats. Need more info?

What: Collecting Warm Winter Coats for Children & Adults

When: October 12th, 2015- January 8, 2016

Where: Warm winter coats will be accepted at all Anton’s Cleaners and Jordan’s Furniture locations

In these hard economic times there are thousands of individuals in our very own community that are without a warm winter coat. Donated coats will be cleaned free of charge by Anton’s Cleaners. Once collected and cleaned, coats will be distributed through the Coats for Kids Distribution Partners network, which includes organizations such as Massachusetts Community Action Programs (MASSCAP), Salvation Army, Middlesex Human Service Agency, BU Medical Center Outreach Van Project, Wish Project, Community Giving Tree, Mental Health Association of Greater Lowell, Strafford County Community Action, Catholic Charities, to name just a few

You can become a partner, sign up your school, or make a monetary donation online, or just drop off a coat or two. It all helps. And thank you.

For more information go to Coats For Kids.

Follow on them on Twitter for updates.

Mabel’s Labels and More

Mabel’s Labels and More

Or How I got my ducks in a row.

Yes, I do find September challenging, thank you for asking. It’s not as crazy as June for the sheer number of events and activities, but it makes up for it in the way it ramps up, making me pull it together and getting the family on board with a whole new schedule. Yeah, I don’t love September.

What I do love is the preparation, which interestingly enough, one of the ways I mentally prepare for the change and challenges the new school year brings. Remember back to school shopping? It used to be all corduroys and sweaters, not sure why (global warming?) but it’s still summer weather here so those clothes can wait. What can’t wait is the back to school supplies. Sometimes you get an assist from the school in a list but sometimes it’s just you and your children in an office supply store. Overwhelming.

It’s helpful for me to make lists, get organized and label things! It gives us me a sense of order and the planning makes us me, at least, relax a little. I’ve found that things get lost less often when they are labeled – sometimes kindly people return the items (soccer balls, jackets), and somehow, sometimes, kids remember the stuff when it has their name on it. Not always, but more often than not and I like the odds.

Since I would label everything if I could, it’s great to have so many choices that are durable and colorful. The site is easy to navigate and to see all the lovely choices (the tough part is deciding) and to preview your choice.

We went with the Stylish Scholars and loved the choices like quatrefoil, chevron, faux bois and peony, and check out all of the color choices, too.


screenshot from mabel's labels
screenshot from Mabel’s Labels


We labeled everything, well, almost everything – like the ipad mini, the phone, the clear plastic shoe boxes that I got on sale for storing all sorts of stuff (in school and at home), the backpacks (with the sweet metal tags that clip right on), folders, binders, notebooks, water bottles and my favorite back to school item, the pencil case. I stopped just shy of labeling the pencils because my kids are older but I would definitely label them for little ones. Let them put the stickers on- it;s a great school readiness activity.

We do tend to misplace things around here so this is one of my strategies for holding on to the stuff we I care about. These Back to School labels are available until September 30th – so go check out Mabel’s Labels on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram or here on their website.

Started in 2003 by four super smart moms who were frustrated with their children losing items (aren’t we all) that they sent to school or camp. Read the about page here.

Disclaimer: I received a package of labels from Mabel’s Labels for this review. All opinions are, as always, my own.




Free Open House at Lookout Farm

Hosts FREE Open House
We’ve been going to Lookout Farm since my children were little – it’s always been a great place to pick apples, have a picnic lunch (there’s a great market there,too). I’m happy to share their Open House this weekend.

Saturday, May 4 and Sunday, May 5

This Saturday and Sunday, Belkin Family Lookout Farm opens the gates for a Farm Open House with free admission for the entire family – Celebrate May’s arrival and take a ride through the orchards, visit the Children’s Play Area, take a turn in the moon bounce, and find your way through the burlap maze. PLUS there’ll be face painting and caterpillar rides for the kids. Chips, snacks and beverages will be available at the Snack Shack. Located less than 20 miles from Boston, Belkin Family Lookout Farm is the perfect day trip for the entire family.

WHEN: Saturday, May 4th and Sunday, May 5th
Open from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.


Belkin Family Lookout Farm
89 Pleasant Street South
South Natick, MA 01760


Established as a farm in 1651, Belkin Family Lookout Farm in South Natick is recognized as one of the oldest continuously-working farms in the country. Steve and Joan Belkin of Weston, Massachusetts purchased the 180-acre Lookout Farm in 2005, and the Belkin family is dedicated to continuing 350 years of farm tradition for future generations. Steve and Joan strive to provide healthy, outdoor, family fun activity while maintaining the farm’s long-rooted history and importance within the community for years to come. Visit us at

SPECIAL DISCOUNT OFFER: When you visit the farm during the FREE Open House on May 4th or May 5th, Lookout Farm season passes will be available for purchase at a discounted price of $69. You save $30 if you buy during the free open houses. A season pass is valid for a family of four and allows free admission to the farm for the entire 2013 season. If you are unable to make it to the farm during the Open House weekend you can still purchase the specially priced 2013 season pass over the phone. Just call the farm at (508) 653 – 0653 between May 5th and May 10th to get your season passes for $69. Lookout Farm will be open every weekend beginning May 11th.

Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad from Jumpstart and Read for the Record

jumpstart read for the record ladybug girl and the bug squadYou know I love to read so this is an easy ask for me… What? You have to do something? Relax. You have to read. A children’s book. To a child (or two or three). I think you can handle it.

Join me in reading to a child tomorrow with Jumpstart’s Read for the Record®, presented in partnership with the Pearson Foundation. It is one day of the year when millions of individuals come together to celebrate literacy in an effort to jump start a child’s future.

It’s super easy, fun and for a good reason – childhood literacy.

On October 4, 2012, (tomorrow) adults and children across the country will be encouraged to read Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad by David Soman and Jacky Davis, in support of Jumpstart’s mission: to work toward the day every child in America enters school prepared to succeed.

Thanks to Jumpstart, we are giving away two (2)  of theses lovely books. Join this wonderful program and read to a child tomorrow. Reading this book is the idea – Don’t have it? Not a problem – You can find a free digital version at  – Can’t do it? Not to worry. Read another book but go to the site – lots of great resources and links on the site.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Learn more at About Jumpstart: Jumpstart is a national early education organization working toward the day every child in America enters school prepared to succeed. Jumpstart delivers a research-based and cost-effective program by training college students and community volunteers to serve preschool-age children in low-income neighborhoods. Through a proven curriculum, these children develop the language and literacy skills they need to be ready for school, setting them on a path for lifelong success. Jumpstart is a proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network. Learn more at

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