Education, Kids, School

Stocking Up On Crayola Take Note! for Back to School

It’s like clockwork each year- school ends, we plan a fun day for the 4th of July and just like that, the store shelves are stocking school supplies. After many years of shopping for the boys school supplies I think I sneak shopping in earlier and earlier each year. In fact, I already have the homework bin and my son’s back to school shoes bought due to sales I came upon. Last year I realized something that changed when I shop for school supplies.

Last summer my son was 10 and heading into 5th grade. I got his class list close to school starting and went to fulfill the last I needed for that list. I came home and dropped the markers and colored pencils on the counter as my son came downstairs from his video games he’s addicted to. I have art supplies around (somewhere) that hardly get used, but he saw the Crayola Take Note! gel pens and asked if he can open them. I wasn’t going to say no to drawing. That night he was deep into a sketch pad drawing. I should have brought home drawing supplies sooner in the summer if it pulled him from video games.

Thanks to Crayola and the Take Note! supplies I am stocked and ready for another year! My Mom is a second grade Teacher so I even have dry erase markers and permanent markers from the Take Note! sets that are priced very well to donate to her for the year. The Crayola Take Note! line makes thin and thick dry erase pens which are great Teacher and classroom gifts!

Look at this! Just this morning, my son grabbed a few packages of our pens and highlighters and started some more drawing. No Fortnite, no Discord with buddies but freestyle drawing. He loves Stranger Things and that has been his art of choice lately of drawing Season 3 scenes. He saw the red and tore the package apart to finish the logo on his drawing. Once again, you set out new pens and supplies and they gravitate to them before school begins.

Find Crayola Take Note! at national retailers and

Education, Reviews, School

The League Laptop Backpack from Solo New York Review

Anthony starts middle school this year (sniff, sniff). No more character backpacks and sports ball pencil cases. He needs a quality backpack that is safe on his back and protects his school laptops and books. He will carry heavy binders as the school year moves along and the weight of the bag is very important. This year he is starting school with The League Laptop Backpack from Solo New York.

He loved the colors – a deep burgundy with a city-cool black and gray. It has all the compartments he needs, just watch in our video below….

Solo New York has affordable, lightweight, and stylish backpacks that are great for any student. It should help keep him organized, but really he has to help his own self on that one! Their backpacks are all available in cool styles like these!

Visit Solo-NY to see all of the bags they offer for school street and travel!

Back to School 2018, Fashion, Kids, Reviews by Anthony, Video Reviews by Anthony

Brooklyn Cloth Co. Surf and Skate Clothing Brand

I have partnered with Brooklyn Cloth for feature. Product was sent and opinions are my own

Brooklyn Cloth Co. Surf and Skate Clothing Brand

Recently Anthony received a few pieces of clothing from Brooklyn Cloth Co. and he fell in love with the styles. He is all sports and typically only wears shorts and sports brands tops, socks and hoodies. He loves basketball and loves the basketball style all year. So, it was a gamble to agree for clothing from a surf and skate clothing brand. To my surprise (and perhaps his) the pieces really excited him.

The very next day he grabbed the pair of Brooklyn cloth shorts and the Sherpa-lined jacket to wear to school. Even on warm days, he grabs hoodies and coats to school because his classroom gets chilly. I warned him he may be too warm in the sherpa-lined coat, but there was no talking him out of it even on a 70 degree day.

I think this may be my favorite top. The New York cotton hoodie has the sporty look he typically wears. It is called the Boy’s New York Fleece Hockey Jersey Hoodie. We visited NYC last summer and Anthony fell in love with the city. We will be going back again this summer for a conference and he is so excited. Having these New York branded clothing brings back those memories for him. Such as visiting the Statue of Liberty when we were there.

The top above is called the Boys’ White New York State of Mind Long Sleeved Tee. It looks so sharp on him and with print on the front, back and each sleeve there is something happening on this entire shirt.

The cloth shorts at Brooklyn Cloth Co. fit long like board shorts. I ordered Anthony medium shorts in boys as a 10/12 size he normally wears and they hung long like board shorts should. You can see each piece from the shorts and jackets and how they fit in his video below….

Connect with Brooklyn Cloth Co. on their website and follow on Facebook. You can find clothing for men and women too!

Back to School 2017, Education, Parenting

Are You First Day Ready For School?

There is no mistaking that if your kids aren’t headed back to school now, they will be soon – the stores are filled with supplies and sales and ads for back-to-school. The beginning of a new school year can be an especially challenging time for parents and children both, although for totally different reasons. For parents, making sure that kids are equipped with the supplies and everything they need to get organized and have a good year is usually the first challenge. Then meeting the teachers, checking out the classrooms, and assessing the curriculum for the year is next on the list.


We just completed our school shopping this week. We also moved to a new town this summer so yesterday I dropped off all papers to register my son in 4th grade at his brand new school. He is excited but also nervous too. The next step for us is to wait for the call on what teacher he gets and if it is the same of some new friends he has met in our neighborhood and on his soccer team.

For kids, the stress of the new school year can be a little different than what we experience as parents. Did you know that one in five children in the U.S. have learning and attention issues, like ADHD and dyslexia? Children with these types of challenges – many of whom have never been formally diagnosed – can feel especially stressed during the back-to-school season as they face new subjects, teachers and schools.

As the new school year approaches, we were excited to get personalized tips from the First-Day Ready Guide to help our kids make a great start. The Ad Council and have partnered to promote ways children and their families can be First-Day Ready. is offering a free First-Day Ready Guide to help parents with students at every age successfully manage back-to-school transitions. is a free, easy-to-use online resource and community designed to support parents and caregivers of children with learning and attention issues.

Having a guide is so helpful. My stepsons are 19 and 24 so it’s been some time since I have sent a fourth grader off to school.


These back-to-school tips from the website are an invaluable resource for getting on track and starting the year of on the right foot.  They helped my family; hopefully they can help yours too.


  • Planning early is important to help relieve stress.  Creating structure and routine around the start of the new school year—with checklists, calendars and other organization systems— helps prepare kids for class expectations. I loved browsing the Printable Back-to-School Downloads. I am a paper person so this helps me a lot. I also enjoyed the 9 Apps to Help Kids Manage Back-to-School Challenges so we can use them to have mini discussions at bedtime leading up to the first day of school.


You can also take your child on a school tour to help ease fears by showing them how to find their classroom, nearby bathrooms, the cafeteria and other important places the first week of school.  This can be a huge stress relief whether the child is new to the school or not. Just knowing where to go can help them feel more comfortable.  


  • Connecting with your child’s teacher early on benefits everyone and creates a great starting point for the new year.  This will give you an opportunity to share your child’s needs or learning style while expressing your support for the teacher and the challenges he/she may be facing with a new classroom full of students.  You will help create an atmosphere of cooperation while speaking up for your child and his or her challenges.


  • Finally, get support!  Many parents and students are going through the same experience. and Understood’s Facebook page connect parents across the country to share information and learn from each other. You can also ask around your community and school to find other parents you can connect with.

So, no matter your child’s age or needs, this Back-to-School season can be a seamless transition and positive experience for both you and your children!  

If you could use some help getting started on the right foot this school year, is a great place to start.  

All kids learn in different ways and at different paces. With the right support, all kids can thrive in school and in life.