Autumn Organization Ideas: Home Office to Home School

Summer is on its way out. Fall is on its way in. Vacations are pretty much in the rearview and school is back in session. Families are starting to swap sunny days at the waterpark with after-school activities. Afternoons are accompanied by homework assignments and bed time starts sneaking up toward twilight. Parents need organization more than ever in the fall season. Whether it’s for the home office or preparing your kids’ study space, we’ve assembled some of our autumn organization ideas to simplify your summer-to-fall transition.

Home Office Favorites for Fall

chic-file-organizersinternet-address-and-password-logbook

Keep all your important documents sorted in the Chic File Organizer. With a sturdy construction and a faux-leather design, it features a bold color with contrasting top-stitching and double handles for easy carrying.

The Internet Address & Password Logbook gives you a place to record all your important info from the web. The spiral-bound hardcover notebook includes tabbed alphabetical pages and an elastic band closure.

computer-monitor-organizer5-compartment-desktop-file-organizer

Turn your home work area into an efficient office space with the Computer Monitor Organizer. It raises your computer monitor 4-inches for comfortable viewing while adding great storage on all sides and underneath.

The 5-Compartment Desktop File Organizer keeps your documents and office supplies in order. It has five compartments for sorting files and a sleek metal design that doesn’t take up too much space on your desk.

Home School Classroom Creativity

classroom-project-idea-bookamelia-bedelia-or-flat-stanley-chapter-book-set

Get your home-schooling calendar organized with the Classroom Project Idea Book. With adorable crafts, activities and ready-to-use templates for Pre-K through 3rd grade, it’s the perfect complement to curriculum.

The Amelia Bedelia or Flat Stanley Chapter Book Set introduces your new, independent reader to fantastic characters and funny situations. Short, fast-paced chapters and illustrations are perfect for young readers.

3-in-1-deluxe-easel-with-accessories52-piece-gel-pens-with-case

Your little artist will love drawing, painting and creating with the 3-In-1 Deluxe Easel with Accessories. It has a blackboard, magnetic white board, a roll of paper, magnetic math blocks and a handy tray for art supplies.

The 52-Pc. Gel Pens with Case is great for drawing, scrap-booking and so much more. The metal carrying case has a slot for each pen. The nontoxic gel ink flows and glides with ease while adding beautiful color.

Back-to-School Tips from Studying to Sports

If your kids aren’t already waiting at bus stops and stressing over early homework assignments then the time is very near when they will be. Transitioning back to studying, sports and school activities can be tough after a long, relaxing summer. From first graders to college kids, it can take a few weeks to settle into the reality of the new semester. As parents, it always helps to have a few new tricks up your sleeve to make sure kids are adapting to school and its responsibilities. Get started with these back-to-school tips from studying to sports.

back-to-school-tips-for-getting-the-most-out-of-reading

Back to School: Tips for Getting the Most Out of Reading
For the last few months, the kids have been reading young-adult novels and flipping through picture books, but school is back in session and their reading experience is about to change. Kids look at school books a little differently than the ones they read for pleasure. Here are some tips to make sure they’re reading right.

dorm-decor-lighting-tips-for-better-study-sessions

Dorm Decor: Lighting Tips for Better Study Sessions
Sometimes the library is packed with students, the weather isn’t ideal for working outside, or you just don’t feel like making the trip to your favorite study spot. In many cases, the dorm room is the premier place for getting your schoolwork done. Optimize your space with these dorm lighting tips for better study sessions.

back-to-school-choosing-the-right-sports-for-your-kids

Back to School: Choosing the Right Sports for Your Kids
Participating in a sport is great for team building, staying active, and teaching resilience, and this interest should be encouraged. It can be a challenge figuring out the best sport for your child, and the first sports they pick may not be winners. Here are some ideas to help children explore the variety of sports out there.

5 Easy Recipes for Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day

lak-pizzaThe kids are back at school and we now return to our regular schedules — that means meal planning — breakfast, lunch and dinner — for the whole family rather than letting the kids eat at their leisure with their relaxed summer hours. But this week you don’t have to do all of the work! September 13 is Kids Take Over The Kitchen Day. It’s a day to let your kids get in some culinary practice and give you a break from cooking. In honor of the day, we selected a few recipes easy enough for the kids to make and delicious enough for everyone to eat. Here are 5 easy recipes for Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day.

Piece of Pizzazz Just about every kid loves pizza, but with all of the yeast-rising and dough-tossing it’s not the easiest thing to make.  Crafty Morning  has a solution — Texas Toast Pizza! Basically, you bake the toast just a little bit, slather it with pizza sauce and top it with shredded mozzarella and pepperoni before baking it a little bit more until it’s all melty. It’s so easy, your kids just might want to make dinner every night!lak-potato-soup

Soup’s On! Now that it’s chilly out, you might be leaning toward making soup to warm you up. But rather than opening a can of split pea soup, recruit the kids to whip up something in the slow-cooker. Recipes That Crock has a perfect recipe for potato soup. It has a lot of ingredients to keep the kids busy all afternoon chopping and dicing, but the cooking part is pretty simple: lightly brown the onion and garlic with flour, then throw all of the rest of the ingredients in the slow-cooker and let it go for four hours or so. It’s not quite that simple, but pretty close and you’ll be pleased with the results.lak-enchilada

Cinchiladas To add a little spice to your options, we wanted to include enchiladas that are a cinch to prepare. This recipe might be best for older kids, but it’s still pretty easy if you use Gimme Some Oven’s pre-cooked chicken option. There’s a little bit of chopping and sauteing, but most of your kids’ energy is spent assembling the enchiladas, baking them, serving them, and cleaning up!spinach

Italian-American Of course we had to include our recipe for Cheesy Spinach Roll-ups. It’s an American twist on the Italian favorite, lasagna, only there’s no tomato sauce and instead of meat, we threw in some spinach. What makes this easier than lasagna is you don’t have to layer and layer your ingredients before you bake them — all you have to do is cook your lasagna noodles and spread your cheese and spinach mixture on each noodle, roll it up, top it with sauce and cheese and bake! It’s a one-dish-wonder your kids will want to make again and again.lak-chocolate-ice-cream

Last But Not Least… Since summer isn’t quite over yet and we have to include a dessert, we chose chocolate ice cream to end your meal on a sweet note. But don’t worry — this recipe from Best Recipe Box is neither difficult nor messy! And the best part is that it has only three ingredients! Basically, you have to make a slightly thicker version of whipped cream and freeze it. The kids won’t be able to make enough of it before it gets cold, but by the summer rolls back around, they’ll have an idea for a summer sweet treat to keep them cool when they’re on break.

Every holiday is worth celebrating at The Lakeside Collection! From easy recipes for Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day to Halloween decorations to make your Halloween party haunting, look to Lakeside for great ideas and even better products.

Ideas for your Labor Day Staycation

staycationWe’re just a few weeks away from Labor Day — with school starting, this may be a good holiday to take it easy and stay home. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun! Here are 5 ideas to make your Labor Day staycation memorable.

Garden Gala Make the last weekend of summer magical for your kids with a backyard carnival! For their friends who are in town, it gives them one last hurrah before they have to hit the books. Get their parents involved to rent a bouncy house, and put together stations for face painting, crafts or cookie decorating. Setup or cleanup aren’t tough tasks if you keep it simple.

Outdoor Observations Stargazing is dazzling any time of the year, but Labor Day weekend happens to be the weekend of International Observe the Moon Night. Events are set up across the country to stargaze and look at the moon while it’s still warm enough to be outside at night. Though the moon is the focus on Saturday, September 6, Mars and Saturn should be visible, too.

campfire-cookoutA Convenient Campfire Forget camping and forget a barbecue — fuze the two into a campfire cookout! It’s much more fun than a barbecue and much more convenient than actually going camping. Put together a fire pit similar to a campfire and make all the things you would on a camping trip — only when you’re done with your hobo meals, hot dogs and s’mores, retire to your bedroom rather than a tent! You’ll probably still smell like campfire, but it’s worth the temporary odious odors for a good time.

Open-Air Morning Munchies Soon, mornings will be too dark to enjoy outdoors; to make sure you take advantage of them while you can, have a picnic breakfast in the park on this last weekend of summer! It doesn’t have to be elaborate — juice, a thermos of coffee, muffins — just enough to get you out of the house to enjoy the beauty of a summer morning.drive-in

Alfresco Flicks Many communities host movies in the park, but not many communities still have a drive-in theater. If you live in one of those fortunate communities, go on an outdoor adventure to see a movie from the comfort of your car with the convenience of theater concession stands! Even if there’s not a drive-in theater in your city or town, there may be one nearby. A little bit of driving takes you to a whole lot of fun!

The Lakeside Collection has everything you need for every vacation and every season. Whether you need blankets to snuggle in while you’re stargazing or you’re looking for kitchen gadgets to perfect your Christmas dinner side dishes, shop Lakeside for great products at discount prices.

Relaxation Day: 5 Ways to Relax Before School Starts

August 15 is Relaxation Day — and with the start of the school year, this day couldn’t come at a better time! It’s a great reminder to take a little bit of time to take it easy. In honor of the day, we put together a list of ways to relax before school starts.mom-daughter-play

Play Time Play time is the obvious relaxation solution for kids, but it can be just as relaxing for you — and there’s research to prove it! Researchers at Kansas State University did a study on how mothers interact with their children. They found the more mothers engaged with their children, the less overwhelmed they felt. Keep that in mind the next time you have a pile of dishes to do and a stack of bills to pay with no time to do it all — just a few minutes with the kids and your problems won’t seem like big problems.massage-ball

Gentle Hugs Taking time to relax doesn’t mean you have to stop what you’re doing to meditate (though it can be very relaxing) — just getting or giving a hug can ease a lot of tension and aggression you may be experiencing as the school year nears. Hugs and general touching releases the hormone oxytocin — the “cuddle hormone.” Researchers at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences found that getting a dose of oxytocin lowers blood pressure as well as lowers stress hormones. A good hug isn’t such a bad way to introduce relaxation into your schedule. If you want to take it a step further with a massage, there’s analysis to back that up as a stress-reliever, too. Australian researchers found massage reduces stress and anxiety almost immediately. If you don’t have time to go to a spa, neck massagers or massage balls are reasonable substitutions.

foodA Good Nosh There are a few ways eating can be relaxing — shoving a handful of cereal in your mouth on your way out the door is not one of them. Try planning out a sit down meal for the family to get everyone in one place, be present and shut out all external distractions. For one hour, ignore work and electronics to eat and enjoy a meal with the family. If that doesn’t help you relax, end the meal with chocolate! Dark chocolate in particular helps you relax. Dark chocolate contains the essential amino acid Tryptophan which aids in the production of serotonin. Serotonin is responsible for boosting your mood and improving your sleep. If chocolate isn’t a favorite, Tryptophan is found in other foods like honey, duck and eggs.

exercise-outfitGet Active Some people like to exercise more than others. If you’re one of the others, relaxation may be an incentive to get start a workout routine. Aerobic exercise lowers stress hormone levels and releases the feel-good chemical endorphins. Not only does it release endorphins but, researchers from Princeton University found aerobic exercise restructures your brain to protect it from stress. It seems toning up is just a bonus to being more relaxed.

The Lakeside Collection has your back as the school year approaches. Whether you need ideas on how to relax or you need supplies to make the transition a little easier, look to The Lakeside Collection for inspiring products at affordable prices.

5 Ways to Be Lazy and Still be Productive on Lazy Day

lazyAugust 10 is Lazy Day! Not only does it land in the summer when we want to do nothing but sit around the pool drinking tropical cocktails with umbrellas, but this year it falls on a Monday — the day we dread doing work the most. While it’s easy to be lazy, it makes getting things done later very difficult. But there are ways around that. Here are 5 ways to be lazy and still be productive on Lazy Day.

Listen to a Podcast There are hundreds of podcasts to download and listen to when you don’t feel like doing much. A lot of them are fun as well as informative. Check out 99% Invisible, Radio Lab or Dinner Party Download — they always have fascinating stories that involve history, science and even etiquette. It’s impossible to listen to any of them without learning something new.

napTake a Nap Naps can recharge you to be more productive. However, you have to nap the right way. According to the Mayo Clinic, the best time for napping is mid-afternoon because you regain the energy the morning sapped from you and it’s a time that is least likely to affect nighttime sleep. So don’t feel guilty if you go out to your car for an afternoon nap — it improves your mood, alertness and performance.

Delegate If there’s something you need to get done, you can ask someone to help you with it. If there’s something you need done at work, ask a fellow team member to help you with it. You don’t have to be coy, just let them know you need to share the load for the day. Chances are, they’ll need to share their load in the very near future.

smartphoneDownload a Few Apps There are dozens of apps to help us be more productive. From tracking our exercise performance to paying our bills and grocery shopping, there’s no end to what apps can help us with. It takes no more energy than pushing a button — and it can be entertaining to explore all the different ways our smartphones help us navigate our lives.

christmas-shoppingStart Your Christmas Shopping Online Sitting in front of your computer scrolling through Facebook and Twitter is our default distraction, but it’s seldom productive. Instead of checking out what other people are doing, start your Christmas shopping online. You get to shop! Not only do you get to indulge in one of your favorite leisure activities, but if you’re doing your Christmas shopping, you’re reducing potential stress around the holidays. That means no scrambling for last minute ideas or hoping packages arrive in time to wrap.

Perhaps if Lazy Day were every day — we’d all be a little more productive. Since it’s not, look to The Lakeside Collection for ideas and products to make every day productive.

Back to School: Tips to Simplify the First Week of School

Back-to-schoolIt’s time to start thinking about the coming school year! There’s a lot to get done and it’s going to be hectic, but there are ways to get off to a smooth start. Here are 6 tips to simplify the first week of school.

Start Early It sounds so obvious and we tell ourselves to do it, but sometimes we need reminders to start early. If we get just a few things out of the way now — doctor’s appointments, back to school shopping, going through registration forms — we won’t have to scramble when we start counting down the days rather than the weeks until school starts.

Create a Calendar Make a list of all the activities and chores you’ll be facing when the school year starts. Put them in a calendar where everyone can see it so they know what to expect for each day, week and month. If you’re ambitious, create a chalkboard wall and make a calendar to change up every week so every can keep up with their activities.Back-to-school

Set Up Study Nooks Now You want your kids to be the best students they can be and having a good place to study at home supports that. However, no one is going to have the time or patience to throw something together once school starts. If you do it now, there won’t be a risk of the idea falling through the cracks and having to put it off until next fall.

Start Thinking About Menus If you start planning what you’re going to eat ahead of time, you won’t have to rush to put together dinners and lunches as you go. It makes grocery shopping easier, and you’ll have less to worry about when you’re driving from work to soccer practice and back home. You don’t have to fill out detailed plans, but write out good ideas for what you’ll need and how it can get done well-in advance so you feel less frazzled.

tooth-fairy-pillowBedtime Routines Start thinking about when to ease your kids into their school bedtime routines. After a summer with no schedules, getting up and getting to school on time is hard on them and hard on you. Don’t start too early — you want them to enjoy the last days of summer — but if you wait too long, getting back into the groove of school may be harder than it should be.

Your Kids’ Well Being Don’t forget to talk to your kids about what they expect going into the school year. There may be some excitement and some fear — address the issues now so you have less to deal with later.

Problems almost always arise, but when you’re prepared for everything else it’ll make the unexpected easier to handle. The Lakeside Collection has all sorts of ideas and products to help you prepare for the school year. Keep checking back for tips and items you need to survive!

The Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Favorite Items of the Week for Back to School

We wish it weren’t so, but the new school is right around the corner. That means the coming weeks are going to be hectic while we try to cram in a few extra trips and hours at the pool we have to get all of our back to school obligations in order. We’re going to make it a little easier on you — we’ve put together a list of items we think your family might need this fall. Here is this week’s The Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Favorite Items of the Week for Back to School.batman-shirt

First Impressions Dress your little one up like his favorite comic book hero with this Boys’ Licensed Superhero Cape T-Shirt. It has his hero’s emblem screenprinted on the front and a removable cape with the emblem on the back. Cape attaches with fabric-magic strips. lunch-tote

Convenient Carryall The Oversized Insulated Cooler Backpack is an essential addition to your next picnic, camping trip or tailgating party. Its fully insulated interior can hold up to 24 beverage cans, snacks or whatever else you need to stay cool. Two cinched side pockets and a zip pocket on the front add space for other items. Adjustable straps provide a comfortable fit, or carry it by the handles.to-do-notebook

Organization Aids The Stuff I Need To Do Notepad Case easily organizes your daily life in style. Make organizing your thoughts easy with the 600 sticky sheets in the Stuff I Need To Do Notepad Case. 12 Sticky styles come together in a classic red hardcover jacket. Lap-desk

Dorm Room-Ready Computer Lap Desk with 2 Fans keeps you and your computer cooler to work more comfortably and efficiently almost anywhere. Its fans prevent your computer from overheating and the foldable table is adjustable so you can work flat or tilt the tray to any comfortable angle. Adjust the legs to the height you desire. Sets up in seconds and opens at the press of a button. Features a built-in mouse pad, cup and pen holder on the right side, as well as a 29″ USB cable to power the fans. portable-hamper

Lighten the Load This Portable Rolling Hamper makes laundry less of a chore with its easy-to-use, all-in-one design. Its adjustable handle and 2 wheels make taking clothing to the laundromat or even to the next room much easier. The lid of the hamper secures with a zipper. A zippered pocket on the front and two mesh pockets on the side let you bring along supplies such as detergent, softener or dryer sheets.

We want you to be ready for every event in any season! Shop The Lakeside Collection for all your back to school and fall essentials.

National Blueberry Month: Blueberry Recipes

BlueberriesJuly is National Blueberry Month — though you can buy blueberries at supermarkets year-round, they’re plentiful and taste best during summer months. These little fruits are tasty in just about any form — even if they’ve been frozen. But we want to eat them fresh while we can, so we’ve selected some of the most interesting blueberry recipes we’ve come across. Here are 5 recipes to celebrate National Blueberry Month.

 blueberry-cheesecake-ice-creamBlueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream Not only is July National Blueberry Month, but it’s also National Ice Cream Month, so we thought it fitting to include a recipe that combines the two: Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream! La Famille Noire made this for a family gathering and, as ice cream lovers, they know a little bit about making a frozen treat that wins! If you wait to make this until July 30 you can have a trifecta treat as that is National Cheesecake Day!

blueberry-lemon-soft-fudgeBlueberry Lemon Soft Fudge Here’s something special out of Trinity’s Kitchen — it’s Blueberry Lemon Soft Fudge. It’s such a wild idea, we had to include it for those bakers and cooks who want to try something unusual that’s also simple. It only has four ingredients and it’s also gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan so most people with dietary restrictions can indulge in a sweet treat!

blueberry-fruit-rollupsBlueberry Fruit Rollups It’s almost back to school time, so with that in mind we had to include this recipe for Blueberry Fruit Rollups from Sugar Free Mom. This recipe only requires three ingredients! It takes a bit of time to bake it, but it’s a naturally tasty fruit snack you can make ahead for school lunches. These snacks are only 32 calories each and contain no fat, so mom can sneak a few guilt-free bites while she’s packing the lunch totes.

blueberry-velvet-cakeBlueberry Velvet Cake For experienced bakers who want to try something out of the ordinary, The Cooking Bug has a recipe for you! We’ve all been spoiled by the richness of a red velvet cake, but this one is even more decadent — Blueberry Velvet Cake. What makes this recipe better than your run-of-the-mill red velvet cake is that red velvet gets all of its coloring from food coloring, and the color for the Blueberry Velvet cake comes from blueberry juice and cocoa powder.

blueberry-gallettesMini Blueberry Galettes Of course, we couldn’t leave out a recipe for blueberry pie! But this recipe is unique in that, not only is it for galettes, but they’re mini-galettes! In case you don’t know what a galette is, it’s a free-form pie. Free-form pies are fantastic because you don’t have to worry about a pie plate and making perfect crimps — you basically place your dough on a cookie sheet, spread out the filling on top of the dough and sort of fold in the edges. But this recipe is for single-serving-sized pies — perfect for dinner parties or small barbecues. Check out how Completely Delicious puts it all together

The Lakeside Collection is celebrating all things summer! From products to put together an unforgettable backyard party to blueberry recipes for National Blueberry Month, look to Lakeside to make your summer more fun.

4 Benefits of Getting Kids Involved in Scouting

scoutsKids are back at school! Not every kid is into after school sports, but they all need something to do between the last bell and when you get home from work. A scouting group may be an alternative activity for your child. Here are 4 benefits of getting kids involved in scouting.

Self-confidence  Joining scouting clubs typically requires learning new outdoor and indoor skills. Demonstrating these skills translate into merit badges.  Learning new skills gives children a sense of accomplishment. While in adult life, new skills and accomplishments sometimes means an increase in salary or a promotion, in scouting, children receive a badge to acknowledge that they’ve mastered a skill; mastery of one skill gives them courage to pursue more difficult challenges.

craftingTeamwork In scouting, kids are involved in troops. Activities – crafting, camping or cooking — are planned around working with other kids, communication and building skills as a group. Unlike working in the classroom where children do individual assignments, kids have to talk to each other, share equipment and supplies – even teach others new skills. Teamwork also allows for socialization and developing friendships they may not have the opportunity to bloom in their regular classrooms.

Value of Volunteering Scouting emphasizes service work. Exposing kids to service or volunteer work early on teaches them the value of giving back to the community and that helping others feels good. Getting involved in community service work also introduces children to the working world before they have to earn a wage. It gives them a jump start on developing a work ethic and helps them learn time management without the pressure of a paying job.  These are skills kids can also apply to school work as well as sports.

scoutsAdvancing Education and Career Development It’s never too early to help your kids with their careers. By getting kids involved in scouting, they can explore interests and activities outside of academics that they don’t have the opportunity to look at in the classroom. The more exposure they have to a variety of activities, the more likely they are to find their own path to higher learning and, subsequently, a career.

There are many after school activities for kids to participate in – whether your child joins scouting, a sports team or dance class, after school activities help mold children into contributing members of society – and it prevents them from spending too much time in front of the television.