A Back to School Checklist

Be Ready for Back to School!

The start of the school year is just around the corner make sure you’re ready and organized with these simple tips!

A Back to School Checklist

Printable Back to School Checklist by Bird’s Party

  1. Get Organized – make sure you have all of the paperwork in order like enrollment papers, medical and emergency forms, bus schedule… Check if school received everything on time or if there are still forms you need to submit to them like medical, dental or vision forms.
  2. Reduce, Reuse & Recycle – go trough your child’s closets, toys, books and see what needs to be donated, thrown out or sold. Make sure that your child reuses (or someone in the family) school supplies from last year that are still good like notebooks, folders, pencils and so on.
  3. Shop for School Supplies and Clothing – take time to go with your child and get all the necessary school supplies, new clothing for the school year, backpack and lunch items. Shop only for stuff they need and if they already have something at home they can reuse only add to that if needed.
  4. Create a Homework Station – decide on the best spot in your home to set up homework station. Take into consideration how involved you need to be with homework and your child’s style. Does he/she focus better with people around or when working on his/her own? Is he/she better suited to sit at a table or curled up on the couch? Once you know what your child needs it will be easier to make this space perfect.
  5. Have Space for School Papers – make a tray or a special folder you can put important papers from school. Things that need to be signed, read, returned and so on.
  6. Make a Calendar for Activities – a separate calendar where you can track your child’s school activities and those after like sports and games.
  7. Ease Back Into Scheduled Days – on vacation kids are used to running around outside until dark each night, shifting to the early morning school bus rush can be a real shock to the system. To ease the transition, about a week before the first day of school, start their bedtime routine about 10 minutes earlier each night and wake them up 10 minutes earlier each morning, every day, until they’re back on track.
  8. Plan Healthy Meals – your child will need energy and good nutrition so sit down with your child and together plan healthy breakfast and school lunch options. When involved kids are more likely to eat better and what you send with them to school.
  9. Help Your Child Prepare for School – discuss how your child feels about starting school. Set goals together for the coming school year. Talk about changes that will happen doing this year. Discuss proper behavior in school, around the school and at home. Have your child memorize your mobile number, home number and address.
  10. Spend One on One With Your Child – just because school is starting doesn’t mean you shouldn’t schedule some one on one time with your kids. The time together will be beneficial to both you and them.

Share with us Your tips for back to school!

Book of the Month: The Selection & The Elite & The One

The Selection & The Elite & The One by Kiera Cass

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime.

The Selection & The Elite & The One

The Selection (Book 1)

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

Harper Teen – March 26, 2013 – 352 pages – $11.55

The Elite (Book 2)

Kiera Cass’s #1 New York Times bestseller The Elite is a must-read for fans of dystopian fiction, fairy tales, and reality TV. This second book in the bestselling Selection series will enchant teens who love Divergent and The Bachelor. The paperback also includes a sneak peek at The One—the thrilling third novel in the Selection series!

In America Singer’s world, a bride is chosen for the prince through an elaborate, televised competition. In The Elite, America is one of only six girls left in the running. But is it Prince Maxon—and life as the queen—that she wants? Or is it Aspen, her first love?

The Elite delivers the adventure, glamour, political intrigue, and romance that readers of The Selection expect, and continues the love triangle that captivated them.

Harper Teen – May 6, 2014 – 352 pages – $10.90

The One (Book 3)

The highly anticipated third book in Kiera Cass’s #1 New York Times bestselling Selection series, The One will captivate readers who love dystopian YA fiction and fairy tales. The One is perfect for the fans who have followed America’s whirlwind romance since it began—and a swoon-worthy read for teens who have devoured Veronica Roth’s Divergent, Ally Condie’s Matched, or Lauren Oliver’s Delirium.

The Selection changed America Singer’s life in ways she never could have imagined. Since she entered the competition to become the next princess of Illéa, America has struggled with her feelings for her first love, Aspen—and her growing attraction to Prince Maxon. Now she’s made her choice . . . and she’s prepared to fight for the future she wants.

Find out who America will choose in The One, the enchanting, beautifully romantic third book in the Selection series!

Harper Teen – May 6, 2014 – 336 pages – $10.78

Around the Web: 4th of July Recipes

Delicious 4Th of July Recipes

Are you ready for fun and fireworks? How about friend and family gatherings and food? To help you plan and get even more excited, check out our favorite 4Th of July Recipes form Around the Web!!!

Grilled Pork Tenderloin With Corn on the Cob by Food Network

Barbecued Baby Back Ribs by The Comfort of Cooking

Cherry Bomb Chicken by Food Wishes

Loaded Lobster Roll by Food Network

Grilled Potatoes by Skinnytaste

American Macaroni Salad by Food Network

It’s NOT Just A Dog! Book Review & Giveaway

It’s NOT Just A Dog! by Pam Torres – Blog Tour

Disclosure – SCM (SocialCafe Magazine) was provided FREE product(s) to complete this review.

School’s out for the summer and straight-talking Madison and her friend Cooper have big plans for the summer: working at the kennel, training service dogs and creating a dog-walking business—besides writing her dog-blog. Her stepdad has agreed to make Lilly, Madison’s foster puppy, a permanent member of the Morgan family, and Madison wants to make the adoption special.

It's NOT Just A Dog! by Pam Torres - Blog Tour

When an injured dog is abandoned, Madison’s determined to discover the truth about the orphaned dog. To crack this crime she’ll have to sneak around some shady characters. It’ll be tricky since her dad isn’t happy about her animal detective activities. Her promise not to get into trouble won’t be easy. Madison convinces Cooper to strike out on their own, but Lilly is dognapped and Madison finds herself locked in a shed with no way out. She regrets her crime-fighting obsession and realizes her snooping has endangered everyone she cares about. Cooper rallies an unlikely group of rescuers to bust her out.

It's NOT Just A Dog!

In the end Madison learns she can depend on her friends and her stepfather. And when it comes to people and dogs, relationships are never simple, and a dog is never—JUST a dog!

We recently got a chance to read this book and loved every part of it. This book is easy to read with great plot, characters and a strong message. We recommend this book as a must read for all middle graders and dog lovers.

Pam Torres

About the Author: Pam Torres was born in Logan, Utah and did most of her growing up in Prairie Village, Kansas. Besides playing Dorothy during tornado weather and digging Peter Pan-like underground forts she also played piano and ran cross-country. She started her family early, and had five energetic and creative children, and returned to school when the last one was four. She has fond memories of reading and playing with her children in between hefty amounts of volunteering at church and their schools. Several of her favorite memories are doing writers’ workshop, updating the art docent program, recruiting volunteers, working as the parent liaison for the curriculum team, publishing articles in the newsletter and directing a very popular after-school art club.

Writing was the one constant in her life through all the struggles of single parenthood, stepparent issues and bringing a large family together. She continued to write her brains out in hopes of writing full-time one day. After five years in sales, she quit her well-paying job to write. Her supportive husband is her biggest cheerleader and she frequently acknowledges that she couldn’t have done it without him.

The Project Madison Series is her debut middle-grade series. She organized Project Madison around its release and is donating 10% of her proceeds to the ASPCA®, animal shelters and other programs to benefit homeless or abused animals.

It’s NOT Just A Dog! is perfect for ages 9 to 12, with 184 pages, costs $10.47 and it’s available from April 2014.

You can find It’s NOT Just A Dog! at the online stores like Amazon, Barnes And Noble and IndieBound.

Giveaway!!!

Enter using the form below for a chance to win one of the Prize Packages!

Grand Prize – Set of illustrations signed by the illustrators, set of bookmarks, official Netta recipe card with biscuit mold, full set of magnets, set of stickers, signed hard copies of both books in the series, and a dream catcher.

First Prize – 3 illustrations signed by the illustrators, bookmarks, official Netta recipe card with biscuit mold, full set of magnets, set of stickers, hard copies of both books in the series.

Second Prize – 2 illustrations signed by the illustrators, bookmarks, official Netta recipe card with biscuit mold, full set of magnets, set of stickers, signed hard copies of both books in the series.

Third Prize – 2 illustrations signed by the illustrators, official Netta recipe card with biscuit mold, bookmarks, magnets, stickers, signed hard copies of both books in the series.

Swag Packages – One 5×7 signed illustration, bookmarks, magnets, stickers, an ebook in the format of your choice.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

More chances to win…

Facebook Page Contests – During the month of June the Project Madison Facebook Fan Page will be conducting contests and giveaways, so be sure to check there frequently for a chance to win some great prizes.

Attention Teachers and Parents:

Anyone who emails (torres dot pam3 at gmail dot com) a JPG of a tween holding my book, a student or relative will receive a personalized letter from Madison and signed by Lilly dog.

In addition, they will also be entered into a special drawing for an entire classroom to receive copies of the book and a visit from the author. (Sorry, this is for Washington State Teachers only.) One entry per child, per picture. Be sure to include your school name, teachers name and contact information.

Disclosure – SCM (SocialCafe Magazine) was provided FREE product(s) by the above mentioned company or their PR Representative to complete this review. All of the opinions are strictly of the SCM (SocialCafe Magazine) and SCM (SocialCafe Magazine) staff and no one else. The opinions are honest and not influenced by the monetary compensation in any way.

Around the Web: Father’s Day Recipes

Perfectly Delicious for Father’s Day

Yummy and delicious recipes for a Father’s Day celebration from Around the Web!

Crispy Grilled Chicken Thighs by Food Network

Spicy Black Bean Burgers with Chipotle Mayonnaise by Skinnytaste

Baltimore Beef Bad Boy by Food Network

Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookies by Recipe Girl

S’more Pizza by Food Network

Nutella Hot Chocolate by A Splash of Vanilla