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Monday, 27 August 2012

Back-to-School with #CookiesKids

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As a kid, my favorite part of “Back to School season” was the hours of shopping my mom would allow my sisters and I to do just so that we have brand new everything to start off the school year.  I wanted to treat my kids to the same excitement, but being the frugal mama that I am, I opted to allow them to shop for a “First Day” outfit, as opposed to a whole new wardrobe, as well as a few favorite new pieces to pair with something else from their already-overflowing closets full of clothes.

I set myself a budget for each of them, and thanks to Cookies Kids, I was able to stretch my dollars further than I thought possible!  Turns out, Cookies Kids is a fabulous little treasure of a kids department store online that offers everything from clothing to school uniforms to outwear and even shoes!  They offer clothing from the biggest name brands including: Akademiks, Apple Bottoms, Coogi, Ed Hardy, Nautica, Levi’s, LRG, Hello Kitty, The North Face, Rocawear & more!

Miss Mac quickly learned how fun it is to online shop (I may have created a little monster!) and as her and I browsed the pages of adorable girls sets, she helped me put together her first day outfit (you can see more about our online shopping adventure here):

With a budget of roughly $30 to shop online at for a few new pieces for her Back-to-School wardrobe, I decided to pick up the adorable two-piece set that she wants to wear on the first day, as well as a pair of new black leggings which can easily transform this early-September outfit to a Fall staple.  Here is a look at everything we picked up for Miss Mac to add to her Back-to-School wardrobe:

Does your little one have a strong sense of style like my little diva?  Have you introduced her to the world of online shopping?  I must say, I’m totally impressed with the quality of the clothing we ordered, and the fashion styles offered for girls my daughters age was exactly the look she was going for!  And for the price, you can let your little diva pick out a few pieces she likes without breaking your Back-to-School budget!

Cookies Kids is celebrating 40 years in Business!  Here’s a little history about the company:

In 1972, a young man named Cookie and his brother Marvin went into business together. They rented a 1600 square foot store in Jamaica, Queens, fixed it up, bought inventory and Summer and Fall, and opened a day after Thanksgiving with a full stock of holiday toys. The toys were a success and they put the extra money toward buying children’s clothing for the next season. When that did well, they bought more clothing. The business was on it’s way. As the brothers Cookie, Marvin and Sonny, who had come in as a third partner in the business, began to open new stores in new locations, inventory expanded. Besides the latest fashions, our customers wanted shoes, toys, backpacks and accessories and we were prepared to deliver. By the late 1990′s there were six superstores throughout the NYC area, and though they previously had different names, by that time they were all named Cookie’s Kids. Also in the late ’90s came an important addition to Cookie’s Kids’ inventory: school uniforms. It was the steady success in uniform sales that paved the way for founding in 2007, which originally sold uniforms and soon after the entire Cookie’s Kids Inventory.


Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Back to School with #BagItForward Simple Service Project

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Teachers in my area are forced to spend so much of their hard-earned money on supplies for the classroom.  I wanted to make sure that my children’s teachers weren’t burdened with this extra expense at the start of the school year.  I chose to encourage my friends to Bag it Forward by putting together small care packages to help their child’s teacher stock up for the school year.  Teachers are under-appreciated, underpaid and under-supported, in my opinion. This mission was a way to invite others to show them how much we value their time spent educating our children.

The idea was easy–care packages filled with classroom essentials like hand sanitizer, boxes of tissues, and quality school supplies.  Elmer’s made it affordable to stock their teachers up with enough glue sticks for their whole class, and bottles of glue, too.  The kids and I roamed the aisles of our local Walmart to stop up on these essentials and check out Elmer’s full line of back to school products. {Check out pictures from our shopping trip here.}

My kids took the time to design greeting cards for their new teachers as I helped them package together the goodies complete with ribbons in their school colors. They enjoyed practicing their printing and drawing their new teachers a special picture.

While inside Walmart, I discovered the Elmer’s 1st Day app – a FREE mobile app that enables parents to capture those priceless “1st day” moments year after year. It also provides teachers with a unique platform to share photos of their classrooms, school projects, and more with family and friends.  I decided to use the app to start documenting this years back to school milestone starting with our #BagItForward simple service project right on site at Walmart.  I plan to use the app to capture moments like my daughter stepping onto the schoolbus for the first time ever, and my son returning home from his first day of 3rd grade, and share them with my family and friends who could be there to see the memories happening right before their eyes. The app is available for download directly at the iTunes store, on Google Play, or

Need another reason to download the app?  

Elmer’s is committed to the education of children and innovation of educators who inspire them to learn.  With that in mind, the company is a proud sponsor of The Kids in Need Foundation.  For every photo uploaded, Elmer’s will donate one product to The Kids in Need Foundation (up to 200,000 products.)

What You Can Do to #BagItForward

I would love to see my friends and family join in this simple service project and #BagItForward by putting together a school supply basket of their own!  My kids rode their bikes from friends house to friends house, passing out some information about this blog post and the #BagItForward program in hopes that as their friends parents took them school shopping, that they may consider picking up a few essentials for their classroom teachers as well!  It’s a great way to get your kids excited about going back to school, and a simple and affordable way for your family to contribute to those educators who make huge differences in their little lives.  Another option would be to host a Simple Service Party of your own!  Put together a quick e-vite encouraging your friends and family to donate things like gently used or new backpacks, school supplies, and classroom essentials!  Every little thing that you can do to help will go a long way!

For more information on Elmer’s and the Bag It Forward mission, visit:
Elmer’s on Facebook – Elmer’s on Twitter – Bag It – Bag It Forward on Pinterest


Saturday, 18 August 2012

#Snacks4WimpyKid Dog Days of Summer

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We are in the midst of the dog days of summer – shuffling back to school preparations with sneaking in every last thing we wanted to check off our summer fun list, and we can all use a break around here! The kids and I took advantage of a rainy morning to do just that – we curled up to a movie to relax our minds and enjoyed a healthy snack to get our nutritious eating back on track in time for the Fall!

I treated the kids to a copy of A Diary of a Wimpy Kid during a recent “Back to School Shopping” trip to Walmart. During the school year, I’m a huge fan of tossing Del Monte Fruit Cups into their lunchboxes because these all natural, perfectly proportioned fruit cups are a great way for me to know I’ve put something healthy into their bodies during their school day. And at just $2.00 for a pack of 4 at Walmart, they are very affordable.

I recently discovered that Del Monte was hosting a Diary of a Wimpy Kid Dog Days of Summer contest on their Facebook page where your kids can use their app “Wimp Yourself” to draw their own version of themselves in true “DOAWK” fashion!

The grand prize winner will actually receive a hand-drawn sketch of a family portrait by Jeff Kinney, valued at $250, and they will also award 25 first place winners with free Del Monte Fruit Cups for a year!

Buckaroo took his time testing out Wimp Yourself and came up with these two fabulous Diary of a Wimpy Kid versions of himself…which do YOU like best?

After carefully illustrating himself and entering into the contest, we all sat down with our Del Monte fruit cups and enjoyed some much needed family time.  And because we are still in summer mode, a trip to the ice cream store followed!  Hey–we tried!  We will all slowly return to our healthy back to school selves in about three weeks!

For more information on you can enter the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Dog Days contest, visit Del Monte on Facebook and Twitter.