The Wayfair Heart Home conference was a wonderful combination of speaker, panels, brands, and hands-on sessions. On Friday there were great keynote speakers, Maxwell Ryan of one of my favorite sites, Apartment Therapy, and Christiane Lemieux, of Wayfair and another fave site, DwellStudio. Great breakout sessions, sponsors and people!
The breakout sessions Saturday were all hands-on and all were informative and fun. My first session was iPhone food photography with noted photographer Brian Samuels (@MyFoodThoughts). And while I take pics of food all the time (my family is used to it by now), I was happy for some instruction. Best part about it? Our subject was pie from the incomparable Rosebud Kitchen. And, yes, we got to eat the pie after the class. Best class ever!
The other two sessions were also wonderful, Google Analytics and SEO. There was no pie, though, so as wonderful as they were in terms of information and presentation (fantastic, by the way), I am easily swayed by sweets. Because the sessions were so well-presented and comfortable, we had a few side topic conversations and I learned that you can shred chicken with a Kitchen Aid mixer! Seriously! Can’t wait to try this! Thank you, Wayfair, for an all around wonderful experience.
The answer in our house is always decidedly not! I love summer (crazy carpool schedules notwithstanding), the slower paced days, the fun activities and the family time and since everyone’s schedule is more relaxed, we get to see more of our cousins and grandparents and that is always good.
But I also love the crisp air of autumn, the spring in your step it gives you and knowing that another year of school (I know my children agree) is around the corner. Plus, it is really, really fun to go Back to School shopping (I know my husband does not agree)!
How do you get it together – exchange sandals for shoes, beach reads for textbooks and beach bags for backpacks? How do you cope with first day excitement/nerves?
Transition can be tough and here are some ways to make it easier.
Visit the school
For the young ones, make the school a familiar place. If possible, visit it several times before school starts – go to the orientation, use the playground, visit an older friend who already goes to the school, even just walking by it and talking about it makes it a more familiar place.
Read all about it
There is no shortage of great books about Back to School for all ages. Pragmatic Mom is my go to for this and she kindly added some books to my Pinterest Board. Personal Fave –
The Kissing Hand
by Audrey Penn
Talk about what a typical day will be like. I still remember being told I could read all day in Kindergarten – I was on board with that! My mom did not tell me that she would be leaving (Lasting visual – looking up to see my pretty pregnant mom sprinting by the window and my sister almost flying out behind her. Seriously Mom, I remember that. You were wearing that lavender maternity dress), and that there would be other activities and, this was another surprise, children I did not know. I’m over it, though. Really.
Go to school with a friend or two, meet them and walk in together. The bustle of the first day can be overwhelming.
This is where your back to school shopping pays off. The shiny new lunch box, the pretty pens, the new backpack and you don’t have to spend a lot – and crayons are the best and least expensive back to school item.
Most backpacks and lunch boxes are washable (I do it all the time), but check the label first.
Spruce up and personalize a backpack with add on decorations (key chains and buttons are a cute inexpensive way to change up the look).
Let your child help with lunch choices and add when they aren’t looking add a little note and for older kids I add a word of the day – it is a win-win. You get to write a note, they learn a word.
Make it special! Have a family dinner the night before with a reasonably early bedtime – this is admittedly tough to do – everyone is so excited!
A good breakfast is key but it doesn’t have to be fancy or huge or made to order if that is not your thing. Unhurried is best. Cut up fruit, whole wheat toast (peanut butter or avocado for protein) or granola bars and yogurt.
I’m all about the food (yes, healthy food, too). Check out 10 Get Healthy Tips from Massachusetts General Hospital for Children for some great ideas.
Take pictures – You’ll love looking back on all the first days of school memories.
Relax and Have Fun
We had a great Wayfair Back to School Twitter Chat #HomemakerHappyHr – with Wayfair giving away a $25 gift card every ten minutes! Here are some great tips from our super mom friends:
Transition by moving bedtime earlier a few weeks ahead of school start date. Get into a routine to help settle back to school nerves.
Take a picture at the beginning of the first day of school and the end of the day! Expand that to the first and last day of school – really have a record of how they have grown!
Have a special snack together and get the details of the day – Keep communication lines open. (Pizza, anyone?)
Keep their artwork and papers in bins and display them on a pin board or in inexpensive frames. Send “older” works of art to family and friends to make room for the new.
Healthy favorite foods: Peanut butter and jelly, the classic (soy nut butter is a great alternative if you have a nut-free classroom) and hand’s down fave, followed closely by turkey or ham and cheese. For snacks – granola bars, fruit, veggies, yogurt, cheese and crackers.
Set a routine and keep it up – it helps everyone! Set up a quiet place to do homework (I like mine close to the kitchen for those homework questions that inevitably come up while I’m making dinner).
Thank you to everyone who participated in the Twitter Chat – Great suggestions and ideas! Many thanks to Wayfair for making this happen and giving away great gift cards – Time to shop for Back to School!
Wayfair is kindly giving away a $50 gift card as part of this post. Enter by liking Wayfair’s Facebook Page. What is Wayfair? Check out them out (their tagline is a zillion things home), and they do have almost everything you need for back to school (just maybe not the PB & J, but I think you’ve got that).