#ShopWSS for the Best Deals for Back to School

Disclosure: I was provided with a gift card to facilitate my review. However, as always all opinions are 100% mine.

When back to school time comes around I start shopping little by little. I pick up a couple items of clothes here and there and back to school supplies a few at a time. The one thing that I always save until last is shoes. Shoes are important and a personal part of their style. But, as their mother I always have to make sure they don't just choose the cutest shoes, but the cutest shoes that will last longer than the first month of school. This year we headed to WSS for our new shoes and I was so excited to find some of our favorite brand shoes for such a great deal. 

There are so many options of all of your favorite brands at a great price. Aisles and rows of shoes for your little ones to pick from and from you to ultimately decide on.  

I have to admit I was in heaven when I saw the wall of sandals. Sandals are my favorite, did you know that? Well there are plenty to choose from at WSS. Shoes of all types, brands and styles. You can also find backpacks, socks, and some very stylish athletic clothes. 

Just in time for Back to School, WSS will be hosting awesome Back to School “Fresh Cuts,” free haircuts for kids from noon – 7pm! There will be a pop-up barbershop in-store.

8/29 Saturday – Store 65 (2541 E Anaheim Street, Long Beach) 

8/29 Saturday – Store 68 (3000 W. Century Blvd., Inglewood) 

8/30 Sunday – Store 67 (1422 E. 1st St. Santa Ana) 

9/5 Saturday – Store 22 (460 Mission Blvd. San Fernando)

Filling Backpacks to Donate to the Casa Hogar Estrella Orphanage in Baja

There are a lot of perks of being a blogger. I am constantly reminding my daughters that all the fun things we get to do are because Mommy is blessed to have a fun job. When my girls were babies, my husband and I talked about taking them to a shelter to feed the homeless and helping to build homes with Habitat for Humanity and hopefully we will be able to do that very soon. We've driven them through Skid Row in Downtown LA, but I still don't think they quite understand that there are a lot of children in our world who are a lot less fortunate than them. 

This year thanks to my amazing friend Lala of SparklingLala we were lucky enough to learn about an incredible organization called Casa Hogar Estrella- an all girls orphanage in Rosarito, Baja. Back to school shopping is such a fun time for me, and my kids of course, but it really is my favorite season, next to Halloween. This year as we shopped and my girls looked at all of the shiny new folders and pencil boxes they did not pick out anything for themselves, they picked out school supplies for a two very special little girls. They picked out a bright pink backpack and one with Minnie Mouse, one picked out an aqua folder for each girl and the other picked out a pink and purple polka dot pencil box. I picked out the yellow polka dot notebook and we decided on some pens, pencils and crayons together. I know it's not much, and to be honest, I can't afford much more. But with this small donation, I hope that my girls and I helped to brighten the day of a couple of little girls that are in need of some extra love. 

This weekend Lala, my friend Catherine and Denisse of The Orphaned Earring will be heading down to Baja to deliver backpacks, school supplies and clothes to the young ladies in the orphanage. Also, thanks to the hard work and donations of so many, the girls will get to enjoy a fun day out at a local water park. 

This was the little bit that I got to do for these little girls and I only wish I could do more. If you feel as though you would like to support this orphanage and these beautiful young girls, please feel free to learn more information about the orphanage and the Orphaned Earring, by contacting Denisse Montalvan by emailing donation@theorphanedearring.com. 

Getting Lunch Time #SchoolYearReady

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

I love the excitement that comes along with the new school year. I am so hopeful for the year ahead, it's like starting fresh. The kids get new clothes, notebooks, backpacks and lunch bags. As for me, I get new office supplies, calendars, note cards, Post-it® and all that fun stuff. I can spend all day in the Back-to-School section of

Walmart

. This school year has new possibilities because I picked up the Scotch™ Thermal Laminator, so basically I'm laminating everything in sight. 

While scouring the back-to-school section in

Walmart

, I naturally picked up a pack of assorted Post-it® because, you can never have enough of those. Then I spotted the Scotch™ Thermal Laminator and immediately the wheels start turning. I already love packing fun lunches for the kids and now they have started to expect a note in their lunch. The note is the first thing my daughter mentions when I ask her about her day. 

To add fun notes to your kids lunches, all you need is:

Post-it® Products (in assorted colors and sizes)

Scotch™ Thermal Laminator

Scotch™ Thermal Pouches Letter size 20 or 50 pack

and a Pen or Marker

Write something, anything really. My little one can't read yet, so I try to make them simple for her. If your little ones are too little to read you could always draw pictures or add stickers. My oldest daughter can read so I thought this would be the perfect time opportunity to put some fun quotes. I used one of the large lined Post-it® notes and wrote down one of my favorite Dr. Seuss quotes: 

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.

-The Lorax,

The first step is to write down your favorite quotes or doodles. 

Next, get one of the Scotch™ Thermal Pouches, open it up and place your Post-it® so that as many can fit, with at least 1/8 in border around. 

The Scotch™ Thermal Laminator is really easy to use. After plugging it in, turning it on and waiting for it to heat up all you have to do is feed the pouch through the back of the Laminator and in less than a minute the Post-it® notes will be laminated and ready to be put in to your child's lunch. 

The best part of Laminating the lunch notes, is that it keeps them from getting damaged. If you maintain the notes, then you can switch them around every few days and stick them in different places as time goes on. Oh yeah, I can't wait to sneak one of these notes into the backpack of my future teenager. 

I love packing lunches for my girls. Even though I'm exhausted after dinner, bath time and all of the end of the day stuff I have a good time packing their lunches and trying to make them fun and different each day. I have different snack options in a container and I pick some out and split them between my two girls. Even though I know it would be easy to just throw it all in a bag, I like to chop their apples for them and cut their sandwiches in fun shapes. It's like sending them to school with a little bit of home. 

Do you pack your kids lunches? What are your favorite tips and tricks to make each day a little bit different? Which quote would you like to send to school with your little one? 

You can find some ideas

here

, but I'd love to hear some of your ideas too. 

Back to School Shopping For Mom at Don Roberto Jewelers

The opinions in this article are my own. I do not work for, or with, any brand mentioned in this article, nor do I have any official relationship with them. I have a relationship with Gigasavvy, for whom I create original editorial content.

The kids are back to school now and I don't know about you, but I feel like I deserve some sort of award. I survived the heat, Summer activities and the kids at home for two whole months and honestly, sometimes I just feel like I deserve a treat. If I worked out of the home, it would be very normal for an employee to receive a bonus after working extra hard and long hours, so I'm ready for my bonus.  

I get that most of the time you only walk into a jewelry store when you are sending hints to your husband for an anniversary gift. But, that doesn't need to be the case.

Don Roberto Jewelers

carries the perfect gifts that are just right for you, for any day. So, yes, this Momma could definitely use a new pair of sunglasses! You know, for those days when you knock out early and wake up late and rush your kids to school, those are the days that sunglasses are a must! 

If you are a social media lover like me, then you can totally appreciate this. How cool would it be to have your handle in gold, around your neck. Ugh! I LOVE THIS SO MUCH! When I go to events, a lot of time people only know me by my handle, so this would be perfect. Of course, you can always get your name too, it's pretty cool that

Don Roberto Jewelers

offers this custom option.

Okay, so watches are kinda becoming outdated now that everyone uses their phone to check the time. But when you find a rose gold Hello Kitty watch like this, you kinda need it right? I have a Hello Kitty watch that I picked up from Don Roberto too and I get a lot of compliments on it. I mean, who doesn't love Hello Kitty?  

Here are some more of my favorite pieces that you can stop in to Don Roberto Jewelers to pick up for yourself. You deserve a treat, an award, a reward, whatever you want to call it. A lot of these pieces are affordable and easily accessible and perfect to add to your personal jewelry collection. Personally, I love the monogrammed necklace and cross ring and necklace as a good luck, back to school gift for a teenage girl.

You can find a Don Roberto closest to you or visit 

Main Place Mall 2800 N Main Street Space 2064 Santa Ana CA 92701.

And just for being my readers, you can get a

25% discount

if you order online at

http://www.donrobertojewelers.com/

. Just enter

BP25FP

!

 *Discount is only valid online and must be be entered at checkout when purchasing online.

Back to School Recipe for the Whole Familia with Smart & Final

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

Trying to make life easier for myself is a personal daily goal of mine. It's sounds selfish when I say it that way, but let's be honest, being the Mom and Wife requires a lot of hard work. Yes, I love being the Mom and Wife, but why not try to make things as easy as possible, for myself? To me, that means picking out clothes for the entire week on Sunday, leaving backpacks by the front door so we don't forget them, and meal prepping as many meals as possible ahead of time. Prep day is always pretty busy, but I always start at the market.

Smart & Final is rebranding and if you check out thecommercial, you will see that they aim to highlight the company's heritage and remind everyone that they serve as both a warehouse & market so everyone in the neighborhood can have a one stop shopping experience. I love being able to pick up everything on my list and then some. On this day I was really happy to see an inclusion of a new Organic brand, Sun Harvest. Sun Harvest items range from organic items to products that are all-natural with no hormones added, to natural cleaning products that are earth-friendly and biodegradable.

Today I'm sharing my whole family lunch recipe. Yup, I used the same few Sun Harvest ingredients to create a make ahead lunch for me, my husband and the kids. Now that the kids are heading back to school, I have got to get back on track with eating healthier and because I make his lunch, my husband does too. Keep reading to see how I got my entire family to eat Kale!

 For this recipe you will need:

Sun Harvest Organic Chicken Breast (cooked and sliced)

Sun Harvest Organic Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Kale

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper

Parmesean Cheese

Wheat tortillas

Wheat bread

and any other lunch items you might have on hand.

For my Husband's lunch I made a

Kale-Chicken-Ranch Wrap

 Here's what you do:

Step 1: Brown the Sun Harvest organic chicken in a pan with some Extra Virgin Olive Oil, salt and pepper to taste. The chicken will cook through in about 2-3 minutes on each side.

Step 2: While the chicken cooks, wash and chop the Kale then add 3-4 tablespoons of Sun Harvest organic buttermilk ranch dressing and sprinkle in 2 tablespoons of Parmesean cheese, toss to dress.

Step 3: Once the chicken is cooked, remove from pan and slice into pieces.

Step 4: Flatten out a wheat tortilla and place a heaping amount of Kale mix down the center and add chicken.

Step 5: Wrap like a burrito, slice in half and place it in an airtight container in the fridge.

 For my lunch, I made a mason jar Kale-Chicken-Ranch salad

It really is very simple.

Step 1: Pour about 2 tablespoons of Sun Harvest organic buttermilk ranch dressing on the bottom of the mason jar.

Step 2: Add about 2 cups of Kale. I think the Kale is pretty strong and can withstand being near the dressing.

Step 3: Add chopped chicken and Parmesean cheese and close with the lid.

Refrigerate overnight and when it's time for lunch mix it or shake it up and enjoy.

 I have to brag that I got my kids to eat Kale, for my kids lunch I made them a Kale-Chicken-Ranch Salad Sandwich.

For this recipe all you need to do is mix the Kale, Sun Harvest organic buttermilk ranch dressing, parmesean cheese and diced chicken all together and then put it in a sandwich. I used wheat bread and cut it into triangles. As you can see below, if you place them just right and add a slightly split string cheese, you get a lovely butterfly that my kids excitedly ate. To round out their lunch, I added some Sun Harvest organic baby carrots and First Street pretzel thins.

Could it get any easier than this? I will be making our lunches like this as often as possible and I am just so glad that I don't hear any complaints. Oh, I added some chips to my husband's lunch. His wraps are good and hearty with the Kale, but let's be honest, the man needs a little bit more lunch than that.

Feel free to Pin these to Pinterest for lunch inspiration. And for my California peeps, did you know that  Smart & Final offers Instacart? When you sign up online you'll get free delivery AND Smart & Final is providing you a $5 off coupon! Enter SMART5 to get $5 off at checkout. You'll shop online and enjoy your groceries being delivered to you!

If you LOVE Sweepstakes, I got one for you!

Sun Harvest Sweepstakes.

Show us your favorite Sun Harvest item on Twitter and Instagram with #SFSunHarvestSweeps for your chance to win! You could win a $100 SmartCash card, 20 winners will be chosen. Contest runs August 26 - September 1

FYI: Smart & Final is scheduled to open 16 additional Smart & Final Extra! stores including three store conversions throughout the year, is one near you? Make sure to follow Smart & Final on FacebookTwitter and online for more contests, deals and recipes!

I'd love to hear what you think! Let me know in the comment section below! 

We are Back to School with #NoMoreTangles and a fun #Sweepstakes

This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with JOHNSON’S® NO MORE TANGLES® and Latina Bloggers Connect.

Are you back yet? We are about to end Week 2 of this school year and I am proud to say, we are getting back into the swing of things around here. For us, morning time can get a little hectic, but our morning routine, goes something like this:
First, I wake everyone up as gently as possible, hoping for good moods.
Second, we brush our teeth and use the restroom. They are finally old enough to do this on their own.  
Third, it's time to get dressed. This has gotten easier since I started picking out their clothes the night before. 
Fourth, we have a small snack to help get us going. Usually, half a pop tart and some milk, oatmeal, or toast. 
Fifth and last before we leave the house is the brushing and styling of the hair.
A few weeks ago as we prepared for back to school, our family hairdresser Aunty Tricia cut about 10 inches off of this soon to be kindergartner's hair. She agreed to a "big girl" haircut, but for me, I was happy it would be less hair for me to manage. 
We are a #NoMoreTangles family and use the 3 step regimen every day to help their hair stay healthy and manageable. 
The three-step regimen is essential for maintaining healthy-looking and nourished hair.
● Step 1: JOHNSON’S® NO MORE TANGLES® Shampoo & Conditioner leaves hair beautiful and easy to manage.
● Step 2: JOHNSON’S® NO MORE TANGLES® Leave In Conditioner controls wild frizz and tangles for silky, shiny hair.
● Step 3: JOHNSON’S® NO MORE TANGLES® Detangling Spray instantly unlocks stubborn knots in wet or dry hair.
Now let me share with you one of our favorite easy hair styles for back to school. Back to school hair has to be quick and easy but of course, stylish right?
  1. I part her hair from both sides of her temple, back and across the back of her head. I like to tie back the rest of her hair to keep it out of the way.
  2. Part a section from the top of her head and tie with a rubber band. 
  3. Part another section and grab that and the previous little pony tale and tie with another rubber band. 
  4. Grab the last section of hair and the previous pony tale and tie with the last rubber band. Let loose the rest of the hair and that's it! An easy and cute way to style your hair for back to school. 

I love this hairdo and it can be dressed up with rubber bands to match the outfit of the day or add a bow! 
What are your favorite back to school hairdos? I know you took pictures of your little ones on their 1st day of school, everyone does! So why not share their hair back to school hairstyles?

Enter #NoMoreTangles sweepstakes for a chance to win $5,000! Share their hair! Take a picture of your littles back-to-school hair style and share it via Instagram using the hashtags #NoMoreTangles and #Sweepstakes. One lucky winner will win $5,000, you have until September 15th to enter. Fun! 

Back to waking up early.. I mean Back to School!

This happened this week. We are back to school, back to waking up at 6 a.m., back to yelling "Brush your teeth!" across the house, back to the hustle! Last year they were at two different preschools and this year they are going to the same school, starting at the same time, but getting out at different times. 

I am very excited for my daughter to start Kindergarten this year. She is a very sensitive, cautious and smart young lady, and I worry about her being at school all day long (and I miss her). It's strange thinking that she has to take care of herself now. Of course there are teachers around, but she's my baby and I want to be there to answer every question and concern that she has. Actually, I did have a sense of relief when I found out that not only is she in a classroom with 1st graders, but her teacher is a friend of mine. The fun part for me is asking her what she learned and what she did and if she liked her lunch and seeing her face light up as she fills me in on her day.

My littlest started big girl preschool and honestly, I don't worry about her one bit. She is the kind of kid that is up for anything, without hesitation. I am probably more comfortable with her going to school because she has the same wonderful teacher that my oldest had last year. My littlest loves school, she's smart but loves to play more than learn. I know this about her and I love it about her. She's my baby and I am excited that she's excited. 

At the end of the week my oldest already learned to READ! She came home and excitedly read a few sentences of high frequency words to me. I cried. I can't wait for her to enter the world of reading! My littlest also learned how to sign apple, and can't stop talking about a boy named David. Haha! I know I'm in trouble. 
It's going to be a fun year!!!

Fun Back to School Lunch Recipe #ChooseSmart

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

I am exhausted! Our first day is behind us now and I am just trying to readjust back into school mode. My favorite part of back to school this year is packing lunches for my daughter and coming up with fun, different

recipes

to keep it exciting for her (and me). It is no secret that I love to find a good deal and for this shopping trip I went to

Smart & Final

to stock up on groceries. I am so glad to say my daughter has been trying new foods this past summer and one recipe she loved was this pasta salad.

For this recipe I bought First Street ingredients from Smart & Final and saved tons of money on great quality.

You will need:

First Street Macaroni & Cheese Dinner (1 box)

First Street Italian Dressing (2 TSP or to flavor)

First Street Colby Jack Cheese (1 slice lengthwise)

and Broccoli (1/2 cup)

Step 1: 

Boil a pot of water to prepare for the Macaroni & Cheese. 

Once the Macaroni is tender, remove a cup of Macaroni and set aside. 

You can continue following the instructions on the box to make the rest of the Macaroni & Cheese. 

Step 2: 

Slice the Colby Jack cheese lengthwise and either cube or use a small cookie cutter for fun shapes.

Step 3:

Chop the broccoli to desired size

Step 4:

Toss all ingredients together with 2 tsp of Italian dressing. 

Step 5: 

Add the pasta salad to your child's lunch box and refrigerate. Ta-da!

I love this recipe because I get to sneak in some vegetables into her lunch without her protesting.

Technically, you can put the dressing separate from the salad and have your child mix it in at lunch time, but for me, this salad is the best the next day after the dressing has saturated into the pasta and broccoli over night. 

How delicious does this lunch look? What a lucky kid! Yogurt, Apple slices, a few Vanilla cookies and a marshmallow bear (that I cut with a cookie cutter) and a delicious Italian pasta salad! 

I love First Street ingredients at Smart & Final. When you are on a budget like me, you can get much more fresh groceries at a better price and with the savings you make at the grocery store it helps make it easier to put in the extra effort for fun lunches. 

Just a few fresh First Street ingredients from Smart & Final and you have a delicious lunch! 

Oh and in case this hasn't crossed your mind yet, you know that you can double the portions and have the same lunch for you, your other kiddos and the husband. Just an idea! 

Oh and in case you were wondering what I did with the leftover First Street Macaroni & Cheese, I just added it to another lunch! I also made a wrap with wheat tortillas, lunch meat and First Street String Cheese that I picked up at Smart & Final and sliced it into 3 portions for a lunch side along with chopped apples and a Juicy Juice wrapped in a happy note from Mom. 

I save so much money on the grocery bill when I do my shopping at Smart & Final and their prices on their First Street products are just undeniable, you can also find other fun recipes on the

Smart & Final Social Circular

You can also follow them on

Twitter

and

Facebook

to get the latest on their promotions and deals. Right now Smart & Final has a Back to School sweepstakes going on their Facebook!

Go check it out!

What's the most fun recipe you've added to your child's lunch lately?

Let's Make Lunch Fun for Back To School! #MyGoodLife

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

I thought I had an extra day before the Back to School madness, but I was wrong. My girls start school TOMORROW! I am so glad I called to ask because, we would've been a day late. With my oldest daughter going into all day kindergarten, I am very excited to start packing lunches for her. I knew I wanted to do something fun and different and hopefully make the transition into kindergarten nice and easy. It's all about balance in our lunches, I love for my girls to drink in the goodness with NESTLÉ® JUICY JUICE® and to add a little surprise I thought it would be nice to serve up smiles with a snack size BUTTERFINGER® or NESTLE® CRUNCH®! This is #MyGoodLife!

So here are some of my fun lunch ideas! First of all, I wanted to write my daughter a note. She can't read much yet, so the notes are simple but special. I thought what a better way to surprise her than to wrap the note around her 

NESTLÉ® JUICY JUICE®

 box. (This way, I know she'll see it for sure!)

I also wanted to add variety. Not just a sandwich and chips. I took a cookie cutter to a slice of cheese and made fun shapes for her to look at before she eats them. Of course, a serving of fruit is a must! Luckily my daughter isn't very picky when it comes to lunches which means I have room to experiment! Stay tuned for more ideas in another post. 

I think it's a great idea to add a little treat like a snack size BUTTERFINGER® or NESTLE® CRUNCH®! I know when my girls are at home, I always give them a little sugary snack to help give them a little energy boost. This works for us, hopefully, it'll help with her teacher. 

These snack containers are AMAZING! The possibilities are endless! 

How fun is this right? Although, I may have set myself up for trouble, because I know if one day I forget a note, I will never hear the end of it.

Of course, I found all of these ingredients at my local

Walmart

with great deals. 

Tell me: What kinds of fun stuff do you do to make the first day of school special? 

Learning Fun with Disney Junior! #Ready4Preschool #CollectiveBias

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

What better way to get my littlest #Ready4Preschool than with some friendly familiar faces from Disney Junior? While visiting Walmart the other day I found some super fun learning activities and with the help of Sofia the First, Disney Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Doc Mcstuffins and Jake and the Neverland Pirates (not pictured) my daughters have started to get ready for back to school. 

Once I saw the Learning Easel Activity Center, I knew we had to have it. This is such a fun tool to have at home to help make learning fun. The easel features one of our favorites, Sofia the First and has pockets to hold letters, numbers, words, pictures, and number sentences. In my house, my daughters love to learn but can get very distracted or bored right away while being at home. This Learning Easel Activity Center helps give them more structured learning, it's like being in a classroom. 

I also found these Learning activity packets for under $5. Each pack has a different focus: letters, numbers or first words and fun ways to learn and practice them. For us, learning continues from the moment I pick them up from preschool and walk home. It must be the teacher's spirit that lives deep down inside of me. As we walk home, we talk about what they learned in school, about the nature we see around us, spell the names of the streets and sing songs. 

 Once we get home it's time for preschool homework, and now we can have fun reinforcing what they are learning in school with the new easel. My girls can have hours of learning fun with the easel and all of the cards it comes with. I am all for anything that makes my job easier, as a parent, that's all I can ask for. 

 What's your favorite number? My littlest is still trying to get the hang of her numbers, 1-10 she's got, but she could use some help with numbers 11-20, and those little number sentences are perfect for my oldest who is just going into kindergarten. 

Oh and for added fun and practice, flip the easel over and find a white board ready for the kids to practice their writing skills. This may be the most fun part for my girls, they love the dry erase boards. 

Look at all the fun Disney Junior back to school stuff you can find at Walmart and for such a great price! 

  • Learning Easel Activity Center
  • Learning Schoolhouse Activity
  • Counting Learning Activity
  • First Words Learning Activity
  • Rhyming Learning Activity
  • Alphabet Learning Activity
  • Numbers Learning Activity
  • Colors & Shapes Learning Activity

We are heading back to school in 2 weeks, so as our Summer break winds down, we have some fun stuff to help us stay sharp and ready for the first day of school.