Tag Archives: back-to-school

Small Bathroom Refresh with Big Impact

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #DesignedMega #CollectiveBiasbathroom refresh

bathroom refresh

bathroom refresh

bathroom refresh

My youngest started school last week, and two days ago, one of his sisters went back to college. After a long hot summer with lots of people in the house, camping gear, masses of dirty clothes, sand and dust, the house was ready for a refresh. First, I cleaned out the guest room (I’m still not done in there), then I shifted my attention to the one and only bathroom in our house. When your home only has one bathroom, a big remodel can be very difficult. After all, we need a toilet and a place to shower. So instead of ripping out everything, we work with what we have.

bathroom refresh

Not only is there only one bathroom, it’s also very small. I try to keep it as bright and light as possible. Of course, it also has to be functional. For my refresh I started with a board and batten, which I installed behind the door.

board and batten

Installing a board and batten is inexpensive and fairly easy. However, it is time-consuming and involves lots of cutting, caulking and painting. But this labor-intensive project is well worth it. The sight of board and batten makes me happy. Instantly, the wall has character. My board and batten also functions as a towel holder. In a small bathroom space cannot be wasted.

bathroom refresh

After installing the board and batten, I painted the walls a lovely grey with leftover paint. This was quick and painless. One advantage to having a small bathroom, I guess. I also deep cleaned and got rid of any unnecessary clutter.

bathroom refresh

Next on my list was getting new bathroom items. Shopping at Target was a success. I found everything I needed and more. Target has the nicest bathroom essentials and accessories. I also found two shirts for my son.

bathroom refresh

New towels were much needed as was toilet paper. When you have five or more people use one bathroom, toilet paper disappears in no time.  I had always wanted a cute basket for my toilet paper.

bathroom refresh

I found this cute basket to store the Quilted Northern® which has 4x more sheets and is every bit as comfortable. Now I can forget refilling the roll for longer periods of time which means fewer store trips and one less thing to think about.  I am glad I can cut down on the constant overturn. Speaking of saving time, did you know Target has a Subscription Service that delivers staple items on a regular basis? This can certainly save time.

bathroom refresh

I never thought I’d say this about toilet paper but Quilted Northern® is a luxurious bath tissue – It’s super soft and strong.

bathroom refresh

bathroom refresh

If you’re heading to Target you need to stock up on bath tissue and make sure to add this Target Cartwheel offer to save 20% on your next purchase of Quilted Northern Ultra Soft & Strong Mega Rolls® ! Offer expires 8/20/2016.

bathroom refresh

Target has so many nice soap dispensers. At one point I had three in my cart because I couldn’t decide which one to get. I finally decided on this one with a matching tumbler and toothbrush holder.

bathroom refresh

bathroom refresh

I also brought home a new bath rug, a shower curtain and shower curtain hooks.

bathroom refresh

bathroom refresh

bathroom refresh

Although the changes were minor, the bathroom feels bright, clean and refreshed. Now I can focus on organizing and decorating the rest of the house.


#DesignedMega Bathroom Refresh Quilted Northern Sweepstakes

College Success Starts with Good Health

This post was sponsored by GOJO Industries, the makers of PURELL® Advanced Hand Sanitizer. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.purell6Back to college is right around the corner for my two college girls. Besides maintaining a good GPA, staying healthy is one of their main goals for the upcoming semester. After all, poor health can mean missing lectures and valuable information, which could lead to getting bad grades. Living in tight quarters can make it more difficult to stay germ free, but it’s actually easier than students might think, say my daughters (college sophomore and first year law student). These are the steps my daughters take to keep their college dorms/apartments germ-free and stay healthy.AldiReview2

  • Avoid sharing food, drinks, or beauty products. This can be difficult especially with your roommates, but it’s important to know that most common germs are spread this way. Don’t share chapsticks, toothbrushes and avoid drinking from a shared container – especially at parties. You never know whose germs you could be getting.
  • Wash your hands throughout the day. We often forget the many things we touch throughout the day. Washing your hands is the most effective way for you to prevent spreading your own germs as well as in taking others. Wash your hands with water and soap for 20 seconds.
  • Keep a hand sanitizer in your bag for when you’re on the go. Germs are everywhere, but water isn’t. Use an alcohol- based hand sanitizer like PURELL® Advanced Hand Sanitizer when water and soap are not available. A study showed absenteeism caused by illness was 20 percent lower in classrooms that used PURELL Hand Sanitizer regularly.purell1
  • Up your Vitamin C intake. Boost your immune system by adding more orange juice or a vitamin C supplement.
  • Wipe down often used surfaces at the end of each day. Sanitize study desks, counters, remote controls, door knobs, computer keyboards, phones, etc.
  • Exercise each day. Even just 15 minutes per day can make a huge difference on a student’s overall well-being. My girls run every day. Exercising boosts their immune system, gives more energy, tones their bodies, and helps them sleep better.
  • Eat healthy at least 80% of the time. Let’s be real here. College is not known for healthy eating. It’s ok to have a treat 20% of the time so you don’t feel deprived. But it’s better to choose brown rice and chicken over pepperoni pizza and soda the other 80%.
  • Take the PURELL® 30-Day Challenge.purell18The other day I bought a bunch of school supplies for the kids and while I was there I also stocked up on PURELL® Advanced Hand Sanitizer. We use PURELL®  year-long, but especially during the school year.

purell15We keep PURELL® Hand Sanitizing Wipes and Hand Sanitizer in the car, in our purses, backpacks, and next to our computers. On Sundays, I help out in a church nursery and I use PURELL® after each diaper change. I also use PURELL®after I pump gas or use the ATM.

purellcollageI haven’t had a cold in years and I do credit this to my hand sanitizer and my healthy lifestyle.

My kids have been pretty healthy too. They didn’t miss any class/lectures last school year. Staying healthy is extremely important to our household. As a single mom, I don’t have another parent to help us out if I get sick.  And that’s the reason we’re taking the PURELL® 30-Day Challengepurell3We have pledged to use PURELL® Advanced Hand Sanitizer for 30 days, 3 times per day to help control the spread of illness-causing germs. This is the perfect way to make sure your school and college kids start off the school year with healthy habits. Why don’t you join us?


You can connect with PURELL on Twitter/ Facebook/ Instagram.


Freezing Fruit for Smoothies

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


ziploc20Now that my son is in middle school, his appetite has gone through the roof. Schools here in Nashville already started a week ago and when he comes home he is *starving* and needs food right away. Since I am not always there when he gets home, I make sure my hungry youngster has an after-school snack that can tide him over until dinner time. To me, an after-school snack should be more than just a filler. Cookies and sweets won’t do it. Having healthy food selections available at home provides my son the opportunity to customize his own signature snack. This makes him happy because the snack becomes his creation.  This has helped my son become more confident and comfortable in the kitchen. 


With a bit of planning and food preparation on my part, I can be assured my pre-teen is alleviating those after-school hunger pangs with snacks that are both nutritious and creative. ziploc

My son LOVES smoothies. They are his favorite snack and we make them every day. Smoothies are nutritious, tasty and super-easy to whip up. I have bags of ready-to-blend fruit in the freezer so that all he has to do is toss it into the blender. Since everything is cut up and frozen beforehand, there’s really no prep work involved – and who doesn’t love that?ziploc23I usually stock up on fresh fruit when it goes on sale and freeze it in these Ziploc® brand Freezer bags. To make life easier, Ziploc® brand just introduced new Ziploc® brand Storage, Snack and Freezer bags with Easy Open Tabs.

ziploc15The added tab makes all the difference. They’re easy to grip and open which is important when you store food in the freezer.

The new Ziploc® brand bags with Easy Open Tabs can store fruits, meat, craft materials, school supplies and other household items.


ziploc21To make frozen fruit at home, start with washing, peeling and cutting up your fruit as you normally would. Then, line the fruit pieces in a single layer on a cookie sheet, and pop them in the freezer until frozen – around 1 or 2 hours. Make sure the fruit pieces are not touching each other so they don’t freeze together and create a giant, frozen, fruity mass.

ziploc22Once frozen, remove them from the cookie sheet and store in freezer bags. You can also use frozen fruits in your waffle batter, muffins, as toppings for oatmeal or yogurt. ziploc2I also freeze kale, which I add to smoothies. Kale is a power food and as long as my son doesn’t see or taste it, he doesn’t mind having kale in his smoothies. The same goes for spinach and avocado.ziploc6

When it’s time to make the smoothie, my son simply blends the fruit of his choice with orange juice, almond milk or milk. Sometimes he adds yogurt. If the fruit isn’t spinning in the blender, he knows to add a little more juice, water or milk. He blends until all the fruit chunks are gone. The thing I love about our blender is the spout on the front, which makes it super easy to serve.ziploc16If my son wants a snack to go with his smoothie, I have various bags of graham crackers, trail mix, cereals, etc. Once in a while, he makes his own popcorn. Did you know that you can make your own bags of microwave popcorn? Just take 1/3 cup of popcorn kernels and add them to a brown paper lunch bag. Use a plastic-only clip to hold the bag closed and then microwave it like normal. I prepare a couple of bags ahead of time so all my son has to do is stick the bag in the microwave.ziploc14

Here’s one more snack idea. In addition to smoothies, my child loves fruit parfaits. ziploc11I stock the fridge with these Ziploc® brand containers with One Press Seal, filled with yogurt, berries and granola.  These containers are extremely easy to open and close.
ziplockrogercollageBack-to-school time is a good time for me to stock up on storage bags and containers at my local Kroger, especially when they are on sale. Luckily, Ziploc® brand has the following product promotions going on between now and 8/30. $0.50 off regular retail price on:

Ziploc® brand Sandwich bags with Easy Open Tabs 40ct

Ziploc® brand Sandwich bags with Easy Open Tabs 90ct

Ziploc® brand Snack bags with Easy Open Tabs 90ct


I have shown you how Ziploc® brand products help me stay organized for back to school and throughout the year. How do you get organized and ready for back to school? I always love to hear your ideas!