Back to School Giveaway … and How to Survive an SMT

Not a bad gig. I talk about what I do to get my kids ready for back to school and about trends for the tweens. The main crux of the gig was going to NYC and doing what is called a satellite media tour. This is when you see a personality in a faux room on local news. People, like myself, are speaking to Chattanooga, then Toledo, then Houston — quick way to get around the country.  They can see me, I cannot see them. I am told their name so I can say things like, “That’s right, Joanne, shopping with your kid can be stressful, but here is my advice…” Of course, going to is on the to-do list (kept dropping that middle ‘s’ when I try to go and that doesn’t work).

On set, we taped this vid where I give my other pointers AND at the end, I tell you how to get a back to school outfit for your tween.

What I learned from doing this SMT?  Bad idea to have insomnia the night before. Ugh. The smoked salmon sandwich they brought me really kept me going. Bad idea to travel back home the same day as 26 interviews; it’s a tad tiring.

I brought Vivien with me to NYC and that was so wonderful. But that’s another post.

Finding the Good in Back To School (sponsored)

Can you smell it?  Can you smell the tension of trying to get your kids dressed, hair brushed and “for the love of God, put on your shoes” as you try not to get a tardy?  You’d think it was my report card at stake.
Yes, I can smell back to school time is close.  Oh, those last gleeful moments of summer.  Outdoor dining in the back yard, staying up late and mosquito bites. Lathering up the kids with sunblock, glasses, sun hat and the rose of summer: Cherries!


I know some parents think summer creates more work for them, but I have really enjoyed it this year.  But, I have to look for the bright side as summer wanes.

Brightside #1

When Rex starts his two day a week school I will have two mornings I can work out and get into supermodel shape…if you can with two days a week workout.

Brightside #2 when it gets dark earlier, I get the kids to sleep sooner thereby leaving more time to read ( also known as watch DVR’d “House Hunter International”)

Brightside #3 Continuing the tradition of “Day Outs”.  When I was growing up my mom took each of us on our own day out with mom.  We bought our school clothes and then got to pick where we would go to eat for lunch.

“Anywhere you want!”  She would say.  Did I pick legendary restaurants of LA that are long shuttered?  Scandia, Chasen’s, Brown Derby?  No.

“Howard Johnsons!”

Last year was the first year I started it with Vivien.  It is magical being the mom in this equation as it was being the daughter.  I love our time together.  When we shop we discuss likes and dislikes, style and what is appropriate.  She is no longer at the age that I can dress her up like a paper doll, but is not giving me the sullen teen push back.  I know which colors she gravitates too.

But, since she is still a little kid I can’t wear her out and risk a meltdown mid “happy day”.  So I’m doing my research before we set out.  I know from my niece ( 10) the kids are still digging the Peace signs and graphic tees.  Denim is hot, check.  Sears Style helps you do your homework so you know what the kids are into.  I do prefer to go to a place I can pick up a few t- shirts for my stepson as well.  ( sidebar, there was the cutest yellow dress with white lace in the junior department that I wonder if my childbearing hips could fit into).  Sears also has a Sears Personal Shopper app this year for iPhone and Android’s (my phone) that I want to use.  Snap a picture of something you want for back to school and expert shoppers find it and contact you on where you can get it, even if it’s not at Sears.
I smell smart shopping.

This is one of three posts sponsored by Sears.  I was pleased to be asked to be a spokesperson for their back to school tween clothing.  Next post: favorites from the media tour.