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

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! 


First Day Back to School 2014

Kaitlyn Back to SchoolThe first day of school for the Chase Family has finally arrived! Prepped with healthy lunches, new shoes, encouraging words and smiles all around Mom and Dad sent the kiddos off for not just a new year of school but completely new schools for everyone too! I am excited to hear all about their new experiences tonight at dinner.

With all that has been going on over the last few weeks, it kind of snuck up on us.  We visited a new church yesterday and one of the ladies asked the children if they were ready for their first day tomorrow….Well, they practically looked shocked and responded “Wait the first day is tomorrow???” We all laughed a little since we had just met their teachers on Friday. Needless to say the summer was a whirlwind. We are looking forward to a little more routine around here, not that life for the Chase’s is actually ever “routine”.

Here are a few of our traditional 1st Day of School Pics for 2014:

We have a 3rd grader and 5th grader this year.

back to school k & sSydney will be a sophomore.Sydney Back To SchoolJonathan will be in his junior year of High School. I felt pretty lucky that these two would still appease me with our first day pics 🙂Jonathan Back to schoolBack to school J&SNow its just me and the Celia the Cat, wondering what we are going to do with our quite house. I’m sure I still have a few boxes to unpack from our recent move . Ok, so maybe more than a few. lol. Back to school Celia


How did the first day back to school go for your kiddos this year?