Making School Uniforms Uniquely Their Own

Bummed about school uniforms this year? In collaboration with JCPenney, Kaitlyn & Sebastian took a unique shopping trip to prove there are plenty of options to style original back-to-school uniform looks WITHOUT breaking any rules. Back to School Uniform looks JCPENNEY accessories

I was a little worried this year might be a challenging one. Not because we will officially have two tweens in middle school but because this is the year we are starting over. Starting completely from scratch in a new city, new campus, making all new friends, and new uniforms. We’re the kind of parents that have always allowed our children their own personal style and expression. While this wouldn’t be the first school for our children to have worn uniforms, it was the first time they would have flexibility in what styles of uniform they could wear. In an effort to make uniform shopping lighthearted and fun we took a Friday afternoon and headed over to JCPenney. We gave each child a budget and reviewed the parameters of their new school dress code carefully before letting them shop. They were actually excited to pick out school uniforms!!!

I have to tell you, we REALLY did have a lot of fun together and I was pretty impressed with the unique uniform choices they came up with. They also have a few tips for making a school uniform look your very own without breaking the rules. Their number one school tips for styling your school uniform is to accessorize! Backpacks, jackets, and shoes are all great ways to make a look your own. Switching it up from ballet flats to sneakers can completely change a look. Read on for a few more tips and examples of how Kaitlyn and Sebastian styled beyond the basic uniform and each developed unique looks they loved.

Back To School Uniform Looks For Girls at JCPenney

Kaitlyn discovered a black jumper paired with a white button up uniform shirt that she spun around in like it was a princess dress. She also picked out an IZOD khaki Skater Skirt and paired it with a perfectly fitting blazer. Going a little more casual, she choose a fitted red polo with a pair of casual slim fit khakis rolled the hem and for a little flair choose a pair of floral sneakers to personalize this look.

JCPenney Back To School Uniform trends

Girls Back to School Uniforms JCPenney

Girls Back To School Uniforms Prep JCPenney

Back To School Uniform Looks For Boys at JCPenney

Sebastian is always a wild card. He’s a pretty easy-going, athletic kid but his new school dress code doesn’t allow for athletic clothing to be worn during school hours. He chose to embrace it full on and his first look was dress shirt and tie. He even found a perfect belt. his second look was more comfortable and casual: Red polo and khakis. I noted he did find a pair of high-top Converse sneakers to give the look a little more of his own style.

Back to School looks Boys JCPenney

JCPeney Back to School Boys Casual

JCPenney has all the Shoes and Backpacks For Back To School

After we were done in the dressing room we headed over to the shoe department because new shoes are always one of the best parts of back to school shopping. Sebastian admired the bright white Adidas on display but was torn between these and a few others pair we had seen online. Asa professional boy mom, I know we’ll be going through several pairs this year so I assured him we’d be getting a few pairs to put into the school year rotation. Just don’t grow too fast, okay son?

JCPenney Back To School shoes

JCPenney Back to School Shoes Girls

Are you done with your back-to-school shopping yet? No? Just stop in at JCPenney to find all your children’s needs in one stop for boys and girls, from the latest trends to a classic uniforms. You can also check the great deals and see what everyone is wearing by following the #SoWorthIt in all the social spaces.

But wait there’s more!!! Did you know you can also check the Back to School haircut off your list while at JCPenney? From now through 9/9 kids K-6th can schedule an appointment at your JCPenney salon for just $10!

JCPenney Haircuts 2017

Keep Inspiring Your Kids to Be Great #GearUpforSchool

Certain brands know how tough back to school time can be  (probably because they see us A LOT this time of year) & keep encouraging us to inspire our kids to be great. Thanks to Office Depot® OfficeMax® for sponsoring today’s post and giveaway below (as always all thoughts and opinions are 100% our own!) When our kids were tiny being their hero was a pretty simple job. As they grow into older children and teens, our super hero status feels a little more questionable from year to year. With another school year fast approaching and a couple of the kids heading to college, we are caught in this place of reminiscing over how much we’ve learned together and how much there is to be learned.

Gear up for college

As parents we attempt to teach our children to not only be smart but to also develop their character as well. We want them to learn to be loving, caring, independent individuals. Teaching them to be independent thinkers required us to be willing to let them contemplate ideas, think outside the box, and take the road less traveled. Sometimes we have let them make mistakes and while we would always be there to catch them if they fell too hard, we also had to let them stumble to understand in order for them to develop a solid foundation of their own in life.

Our oldest just recently moved to his first apartment, and while it was difficult to let go it was also confirmation that we had succeeded in our goal. As we offered help, he let us know, “Mom, Dad, I’ve got this.” Being a parent isn’t easy, being a parent who teaches their child to become a good adult is even harder.  Success comes everyday when you see your children  make the right decisions based on their ideas becoming reality.

We have certainly learned a few things from having a few years of parenting under our belt but that doesn’t mean we don’t still question EVERYTHING we do as parents. Each child is different and parenting them best requires different techniques. If we are honest, we ask ourselves all the time if we are getting it right. As a parent, you always wonder whether you’re doing your job right. Parenting is a massive responsibility that’s ever evolving as your children age.

Sometimes the best feedback comes directly from our kids. Ever wonder what your kids really think of your parenting? These parents got the chance to find out in this video.

Children of all ages rely heavily on their parents to prepare them for whatever upcoming challenges they may face. That’s why Office Depot OfficeMax offers all of the back to school supplies your children need to succeed in the classroom and beyond. Every little thing you do for your children is noticed and appreciated. Help them grow up to be just like the parents they admire.

Gear up for school

Office Depot® OfficeMax® wants to encourage everyone to have a great back to school time by giving one of you a $25 Office Depot® OfficeMax® gift card! Be sure to watch the video above and leave a comment here telling me what thing you do to inspire your kids to be great.

12 Trendy Boy Hairstyles for Back to School and Beyond

Thanks so much to SoCozy for sponsoring today’s post.  Their brand values are something we believe are so smart. Genius is more like it. They believe knowledge is power, which is why education is at the core of what they do- Advice, solutions, tips, trends – SoCozy is serving as an extensive resource for moms, kids, stylists and salon owners. We hope this post will serve as a resource for you and your boys to find the perfect hairstyle for this season and many to come.

Trendy Boy hairstyles

Back to school, picture day, holidays all require a fresh haircut for members of our crew. Our boys have always been as serious about their look as the girls in our family so a basic crew cut just won’t do. Unfortunately, there aren’t as many style outlets for boys to scroll through as there are for girls so we are constantly searching the web for just the right look. Because of this I have put together a go-to guide that hopefully will save both you and I several hours at the salon. ( feel free to pin this- you will need this in the months to come, PROMISE!)

SoCozy Hair Products for kids

No matter what style you and your child choose to go with make sure you have some great styling products on hand to help guide those locks in the proper direction.  It will save both you and your child a lot of time in front of the mirror.  We have been using a great line from HEB called SoCozy.  SoCozy is a line of salon formulas for the unique hair needs of kids between the ages of 2 and 12 years old. SoCozy products are non-toxic and made without parabens, formaldehyde, sulfates, phthalates, synthetic color, propylene glycol. Free of alcohol, gluten, wheat, peanuts and tree nuts. This allows us to share our products with friends or cousins without worry.

SoCozy best hair products for kids

Just like adults kids will do better and be more outgoing when they feel good about their appearance. Let them have some ownership and fun over the looks during the school year. As long as it meets the school’s dress code requirements, remember it’s just kid hair and learning to style it themselves teaches them independence.

12 Trendy Boy Hairstyles for Back to School and Beyond

Long Styles

1 Long Layered Haircut


2 Long Hairstyle With Side Parted Bangs


3 Longer Side Parted Boys Hairstyle




Medium Styles

5 Medium Length Hair


6 Longer Side Swept Bang


7 Medium Hairstyle With Bangs


Short Styles

8 Classy Short Hairstyle With Choppy Layers


9 Crew Cut with a Twist


10 Slicked Hairstyle Side Parted


11 Undercut Boys Hairstyle With Longer Layers At The Top


12 Fade with Slick Hair


Right now you can pick up SoCozy products at HEB and other retailers (click here to find a store near you) with a great discount (8/7 – 8/21 Get $4 Off!)!!

SoCozy HEB

What’s on your Back to School Playlist? Best Buy and Insignia Speakers

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card &/or product
insignia speakers bts

Did you know studies and researchers have found that music can actually help students study to get better grades?? Simply adding familiar music as ambient noise can help you focus and be able to better retain information.  Well…. Say No More. We are on it! Top priority is creating that playlist (or 10).

These days it’s easier than ever to bring your music with you as it ways to listen have become inherently portable. It is a huge part of our lives. Help your kiddos rock their school year with these 2 very affordable Insignia speaker options from Best Buy.

DEAL ALERT!! Right now you can get 30% off any Insignia Portable Bluetooth Speaker.  (Thru 9/5 Eligible skus include: 3812136, 3812085, 3812076, 3812145, 3812109, 3812127, 3812094, 3812118, 417024)

Insignia™ portable speaker

Insignia™ portable speaker

Kids can listen to their music at home or on the go with this Insignia™ portable speaker. The silicone strap and lightweight design allows it to be clipped virtually anywhere- think backpack, bike, purse, or belt loop! Kaitlyn is planning to take hers along this way as she walks to school this year. It is so much safer than wearing headphones because you can still hear cars and noises.  It features Bluetooth technology for easy wireless audio streaming.

I tested ours out over the weekend at the pool. To my surprise this little speaker packs a powerful sound and is splash proof, so I didn’t have to worry about water ruining it for later. I also discovered it is great in the car as a hands-free, Bluetooth speaker phone.

Product Features:
•Compatible with most Bluetooth-enabled devices for wireless audio streaming.
•Splash-proof design
•1.5W total system power (2W peak power), produces quality sonic output
• USB charging port keeps electronic devices powered, so you can continue enjoying your favorite songs.
• Rechargeable lithium battery provides up to 6 hours of playback time on a full charge.

Insignia plug in wireless speaker

Insignia Plug In Bluetooth Speaker

This speaker is my top choice for group study sessions. Designed as a wireless audio solution for your home, it plugs directly into your wall outlets – no wires, shelf space or expensive receiver needed. Wirelessly stream your favorite audio in any room of your home with this Insignia plug-in Bluetooth speaker. The speaker features a built-in power adapter and rechargeable battery, allowing over 2 hours of playback.

Unlike some other higher priced plug-in Bluetooth speakers, this Insignia speaker does not need to be plugged in at all times to work. It’s sleek, white design blends in to your home and its portability makes it perfect for taking it with you while you’re outside or on the go.

Product Features:
• Compatible with most Bluetooth-enabled devices for wireless audio streaming.
• Auxiliary audio input jack connects your non-Bluetooth devices for more listening options.
• Built-in power adapter allows the speaker to stay plugged into a wall outlet to maintain a full charge.
• USB charging port keeps electronic devices powered, so you can continue enjoying your favorite songs.
• Built-in rechargeable battery enables over 2 hours of playback when taking your speaker on the go

We will be publishing our favorite Back to School playlist soon! What songs do you think we should add? 

Back To School Car Care Kit for Your New Driver

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #1stImpressionsCount #CollectiveBias

Pencils, pens, graphing calculator, notebooks, flash drives, library card….. and change for parking?? Having two teen drivers in the house makes back to school shopping look a little different this year. We will still be shopping for just the right first day of school outfit to make a great first impression. We have also added a few more things to the list to help them be responsible with taking care of the car this year too.

While they focus on navigating the roads, my husband and I are exploring the most useful guidance we can offer them as they go into the world. Teaching them to maintain and care for their car was at the top of the list.

Back to school Car Care Kit Armor All Outlast

If you have teen drivers heading off to school this year, consider creating a Back to School Car Care Kit with useful supplies that help encourage a clean, organized car. I know studying for exams, dates, and jobs will weigh heavily on their schedule. My goal is to help our teen drivers create a weekly care care routine that can be accomplished in under 10-20 minutes.

Back to School Car Care Kit Checklist

Back To School Car Care Kit

While I was at Walmart this week shopping for the traditional school supplies, I stopped over in the automotive section picked up some great Armor All products to add to the kit.
Armor All Walmart

I also picked up a shower caddy ( just $1 !) to keep everything together & tidy. 
Armor All Back to School Car Care kit

Lastly, I added a few essentials in case of emergency. I included extra phone chargers for the car, a pre-paid gift card for gas emergencies, and a tire pressure gauge.
Back to School Car Kit

As our children grow and become more independent, my hope is that we have prepared them with all the tools necessary to be responsible and always make a great first impression. Since we are also teaching them to be financially responsible,  it was great to be able to use this coupon for $2.50 off our Armor All Outlast products.  You can get one too!

Sydney was pretty excited about the kit we created for her. She even did a run through with it immediately after we gave it to her. I think it really made her feel supported knowing we had thought of ways to help her manage her schedule and giving her the tools to do it on her own. On top of that we were all so impressed with how well the Armor All Outlast product worked to spiff up the vehicle. My husband even asked if I would make a kit for each car!

Armor All Outlast Teen Driver

To help you and your driver create the best Back to School Car Care Kit ever I want to share this awesome giveaway! One lucky person will win a $1000 gift card! 4 other winners will receive a $500 gift card. (Giveaway starts at 5:00pm EST on 8/7/2015) 
Armor All Outlast #1stImpressionsCount Sweepstakes

Keep up with all these great products and more on the Armor All website, Facebook, and twitter.

Do you have a favorite memory about your first car or a funny high school or college story about your car? I’d love to hear it!