Back to School Organization

Back to school organization

Back to school pensIt’s the most wonderful time of the year!!!!

Not Christmas.

Back to school!

Actually, I love summer with the kids. But, this year, the last couple weeks have been tough. Arguments galore between the kids! So, I’m ready to send them back.

Sorry teachers.

This year, I am determined to be organized and dedicate equal time to each kid.

When you’ve finished laughing, come back and read how I’m going to do that.

I’ve realized that when they get home, they are starving. My middle schooler gets on the bus at 7am and isn’t home unti

Back to school snacksl close to 4pm. Rather than tell them to wait a couple hours while I cook dinner, I have a snack ready for them as soon as they get off the bus.

Just like June Cleaver. Ready on a plate. What have we had so far?

  • Bagel Bites
  • PB&J cut into cute little squares
  • Cheese, lettuce and mayo hoagies cut into fourths
  • Cheese and pepperoni crackers

Anything that is bite sized works great.

Today I cut up donuts and my middle schooler ate every last one…even after I told him “Save some for your brother and sister!” So, maybe dividing them up among the kids works better.

Back to school boardWhile they are chowing down, I grab my home made dry erase board, dry erase marker and all 3 backpacks.

I go through each backpack, throwing out old papers and saving important ones. I write all 3 kids’ names on the board and record any homework, or papers that I need to sign, under their name. This includes reading time. That makes it more concrete…it’s easy to say, oh you have to read for 20 minutes, and then forget…but, if it’s written on the board, it’s a visual reminder and more often is complete.

I am sure to call each child over and say “Here is your homework for the night. Do you understand?”

Then they can play a little. We start homework right before dinner and finish it after, if needed.

I’ve also been using my color coded markers to record spelling words, test dates and other important class information in my etsy Purple Plum Planner.

So far, barring any giant projects, this system has worked.

Fingers crossed and check back with me in November!

What systems work for you?

Nerium: Product Review

NeriumLast month I had the opportunity to try a product that I have been curious about for quite a while…Nerium.

Nerium offers a day cream, night cream and firming cream that promises to turn back the hands of time and make you look years younger.

Of course, who doesn’t want this?  And, as I have passed the 40 year mark, I’m always on the look out for anything that’s going to beat Father Time with a stick.

So, when I had the chance to try this miracle product, I was on it!

I tried Nerium AD (Age Defying) Night Cream for 30 days.  Nerium side by side

Every night I washed my face, splashed a tiny bit of water on my clean skin, and put about 4 pumps of the cream on my fingers and rubbed it into my face.

I did this religiously, like I have done with no other beauty treatment.  I was determined to see big results.

I had seen awesome before and after pictures of ladies and men with sagging necks and wrinkles whose skin looked so much more firm and tight after their treatment!

At the end of about a week, I noticed my skin tone was more even and smooth.

At the end of my 30 days, I could tell that my skin was tighter as well.  My pores were smaller, and my biggest take away was that my acne had cleared up considerably.

Check out my before and after.

The cream goes on smooth, with the help of a little water to make it more pliable.  It smells a little like cucumbers and dries to a thin coating on your skin.

Nerium bottlesIt did take a little time to get used to that thin coating on my face at night, but eventually I forgot it was there.  I did also have to get used to the idea of not applying moisturizer every night.  I found that the Nerium did the moisturizing for me, which was an added bonus of the product.nerium 2

The great thing about Nerium is that you can try it for 30 days and if you don’t like it, you can send it back.  Even if the bottle is empty.  How great is that? There is a money back guarantee!

What makes the product so awesome?  It contains a plant called Nerium Oleander.  This flowering shrub provides the anti-aging properties of Nerium. There are two types of oleander, one of which is poisonous.  Of course, this is not the one used in Nerium!  Check out this video to learn more.

I just tried the night cream, but you can enhance your results by using both the day and night cream, for 24 hour treatment. Nerium claims to reduce the size of pores, brighten and tone skin and make wrinkles and fine lines less noticeable.

Overall, I was very satisfied with this product.  I loved the smoother feeling of my face and how it looked brighter.  If you’d like to try a bottle, you can check out my consultant, Jessi Danison, here at her Nerium Website.


Better yet, would you like to win a free bottle of Nerium AD night cream? Click the link above to Jessi’s site and be entered into a giveaway for a free bottle of NeriumAD night cream. Drawing will be on Monday May 11th, on her site.  Good luck!!


Brain Health

One more thing…now that Nerium has your skin health covered, they are going to ‘defy aging of the brain’ with their new product, EHT.  Learn more about this supplement in this video. This supplement is derived from coffee and is botanically based.


Disclaimer:  I was given a 30 day supply of Nerium AD to try in exchange for this review.  All opinions are my own.


Thank You for Helping with myNKY!

myNKY Next Steps

For the past six months I have been a proud ambassador for myNKY, a campaign started to help shape the strategic vision for Northern Kentucky.

As a reader, you have also played an active part in this campaign.  By sharing your thoughts and your ‘bubble’, playing the online game to spend a million virtual dollars and taking part in weekly polls, you have helped the myNKY committee to understand what citizens want in their community.

THANK YOU!  Thank you for sharing your posts.  Thank you for sharing my posts!  Thank you for Tweeting, Facebooking and Instagramming.   By spreading the word about this initiative and sharing your thoughts, you have influenced the strategic plan and next steps for Northern Kentucky.

Check out this video to see exactly how you’ve helped!

My kids even helped.  Granted, they may not get less homework out of this, but it’s worth a shot.

mynky Marcus homeworkmynky Ewan Karate

I had readers share that they wanted more small businesses, no toll bridges, lower costs for health insurance and more farmers markets.

Now that we’ve all shared our thoughts, what’s next?  The myNKY committee will now start strategic planning with the more than 11,000 responses received over the six month period.

Here is the detail about next steps:

The myNKY community visioning outreach effort has selected the members of a leadership team that will help to create and lead the plan for the future of Northern Kentucky.

The 27 team members represent a variety of generations, geographies, organizations, industries, and beliefs to ensure the next vision for Northern Kentucky is as representative of the population’s wants and needs as possible. The team will be co-led by Sharmili Reddy, a senior planner with the Northern Kentucky Area Planning Commission and Geoff Mearns, President of Northern Kentucky University.

The members will be empowered to work with the community—both individuals and partner organizations—to craft the next strategic plan for Northern Kentucky. Over the course of the upcoming months the team will develop a partner-led working groups structure designed to ensure local expertise is properly tapped throughout the data gathering and idea generation phase of the community planning process.

To stay up to date about next steps, make sure you tune in on the following social media:

Twitter: @my_nky
YouTube channel:
: #mynky.

Disclosure:  I have been an ambassador for myNKY and have enjoyed every minute of it! All opinions are 100% my own.

Floor & Decor: Grand Opening

Floor & Decor Grand Opening

Floor Decor 4Once upon a time there was a frazzled mom of two boys.  She and her husband decided to remodel their kitchen and shopped endlessly for ceramic tile for their floor.  They searched high and low, day and night, with no professional advice.

Did I mention that the mom was also pregnant with baby #3?

Finally, they found some discount tile that was beautiful.  But, if only there was a place that was family friendly, had low prices and focused on hard surface flooring options…their search would have been so much easier!  And, shorter!

Lucky for you home remodeling folks and “Do-It-Yourself-ers” Floor & Decor now exists and is opening in Norwood, Ohio!

Floor & Decor will open their 80,000 square foot show room in Norwood at 3430 Highland Avenueon Thursday June 5th with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 8:30am.  The ‘real grand opening’ will take place on Saturday June 7th with life-sized games, face painting and a visit by Mr. Redlegs! This is sure to be a super fun family event, complete with a giveaway for a half a million dollars!

Floor & Decor Grand Opening Schedule for Saturday

Floor Decor 2

11am – 3pm: Family friendly entertainment including life-sized board games (Operation, Checkers, Jenga, Connect Four, and Kerplunk), face painting by Rainbow Faces, and more

 11:30am – 1:30pm: Visit with Cincinnati Reds mascot, Mr. Redlegs

 Noon: Roll the Dice for a chance to win $500,000

PrintFollow them on Facebook to get  Tuesday Tips, Thursday Trends, Love or Leave it polls or Sustainable Sunday ideas.  I learned that there is a great beeswax rub to be used on butcher block counters and cutting boards.  Who knew?  You can also follow them on Twitter @FloorandDecor or check out videos on Youtube

Floor & Decor is a fantastic place for DIYers.  They have an incredibly large selection, the best prices in town because of their relationships with distributors and have an in-house design team to which customers have access.

Disclaimer:  This is a sponsored post. I was compensated by Floor & Decor to help spread the word about its new Cincinnati location. 

Youthletic: Find the Right Sports Organization for Your Child

Youthletic Helps Parents Find Sports Organizations

When I am looking for a particular sport or team for my kids to join, I usually rely on the advice of other parents.  This typically works out great because they are looking for the same things as me…a sport that helps my child develop, learn and have fun.  And a team or organization that is close, professional and fair.  Although I trust my friends’ judgement, it sure would be nice if I could just use a search engine to help me find more selections.

Enter “Youthletic”


Youthletic is an online database that allows you to search for sports organizations for your child by neighborhood and/or type of sport.  You can also click the ‘advice’ tab and read on line articles that may offer advice or just fun reading.

One article that caught my eye?  “10 Ways to Pass Time While Sitting Through Your Child’s Practice”  Of course, one of them is to watch your child!  But, let’s be honest, some of us bring a book, our phone or talk to a friend during practice.  This article offers some practical advice on passing the time, enjoying practice and maintaining your sanity.

If you sign up for a FREE Youthletic account, you can get free personal reminders, connect with other parents and more.  You can also have a chance to win $500 toward lessons, leagues, camps or equipment.  Youthletic knows that sports are expensive and they’d like to give three lucky winners $500 to help minimize those expenses.  Register now for a chance to win!

The three winners will be randomly drawn from all those who registered for a free Youthletic account between May 1, 2014 and June 30th, 2014. No purchase is necessary. Registration only takes a few seconds and you also get access to some incredible benefits including registration reminders, reviews, and personalized content.

I signed up and noticed right away a new league that I did not know existed…Blessed Sacrament Youth Golf.  I had know idea!  But, thanks to Youthletic, we can sign up if we want.

Sign up today and start investigating summer sports for your kids!  And, good luck!

Disclaimer:  I received compensation from Youthletic in exchange for a review post.  All opinions are my own.  I truly thought this site was very helpful and easy to use!



myNKY: Share Your Picture and Your Vision!

MyNKY_BlogArt-Ambassador-2The last several months, I’ve been working on a campaign with to help prepare the five year strategic vision for Northern Kentucky.

You can read that first post HERE and learn about the details.

Every week has posted a question for readers to share their input.  Topics have included healthcare, education, traffic, quality of life, and more.  There has been a fantastic response from the community, sharing their thoughts via poll questions, challenge questions, the on-line game, the traveling myNKY wall and social media venues.  It’s been awesome reading everyone’s thoughts and input!

But, we are not finished yet!  There is another way you can share what you want in Northern Kentucky…

Share your vision of myNKY!

See this ‘bubble’?

MyNKY bubble in post


Print it by clinking here—> myNKY BUBBLE

Fill in the blank with what you want in myNKY.

Now…it gets tricky!

Not really!

Hold it in front of you and take a selfie!

Or, have someone else take a picture of you!

Post it to Instagram!  Twitter!  Facebook!  Make sure you use this hashtag:  #myNKY

Email it to your friends and ask them to do the same!  Get your friends and family involved!  My kids loved sharing their vision…of course, it included more pizza and less homework, but you get the idea!

mynky collage

Check out more of my pictures on Instagram.

Don’t forget to head over to to answer the latest poll question and check out previous poll results.  You can also play the online game and spend $1 million in virtual cash!  Here’s a quick peak at a few of the poll results:


mynky poll collage

Take your picture and post it!  myNKY wants to hear from you!