A Few of My Favorite Things for Back-to-School 2015

  • Back-to-school is in full swing! Here are my favorite things for back-to-school 2015!

When I was a student, back-to-school shopping was my favorite thing ever. Not necessarily the clothes but the school supplies, the smell of new books and brand new notepads, plus it always felt like a fresh start, it still does. The back-to-school season is in full swing, whether you’re a student, parent or adult like me, you’re likely feeling the pressure to get organized, get educated and achieve some big goals this year. I know I am.

My Favorite Things Right Now

It's back-to-school things - Express Yourself MapGerm Magazine is amazing. I love this magazine! Their writing is real, their content is rich, and they encourage girls of all ages to write about what they’re passionate about.  Why’d they name it Germ? Germ [noun] — the origin of something; a thing that may serve as the basis of further growth or development (as in “a germ of happiness”). How RAD is that?!

The mission of Germ is to provide young people– high school age and beyond– with relevant, reliable, and factual information on a wide variety of topics: love, life, health, home, the world, school, career, the future, all things safety, the lighter issues and the harder ones.


Germ Giveaway of Express Yourself on Instagram

Germ is giving away my book Express Yourself from now until September 8th!
Here are the guidelines:
Check out their Instagram
Repost their photo of Express Yourself to your Instagram
Add a caption telling us your favorite way to express yourself
Use the hashtag #ExpressYourself
The giveaway will run from September 1st to September 8th. Good luck!

A Back-to-School Read for Parents

Go get this book now. Like right this moment (okay finish reading this article first, then go). The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed is one of the best books I’ve ever read.

Back-to-School Things - The Gift of Failure by Jessica LaheyJessica Lahey is a genius. I’ve not only had the pleasure of meeting her and getting to know her, but I’ve had the luxury of reading her new book The Gift of Failure.  Parents, teachers, counselors and therapists–really anyone who cares about kids–has to get their hands on this book. You will not be disappointed.

Modern parenting is defined by an unprecedented level of over-protectiveness: parents who rush to school at the whim of a phone call to deliver forgotten assignments, who challenge teachers on report card disappointments, mastermind children’s friendships, and interfere on the playing field. As teacher, writer, and mother Jessica Lahey explains, even though these parents see themselves as being highly responsive to their children’s well being, they aren’t giving them the chance to experience failure—or the opportunity to learn to solve their own problems, which leads to difficulties in adulthood.

Lahey provides compassion, research and advice for handling homework, report cards, social dynamics, and sports. Most importantly, she sets forth a plan to help parents learn to step back and embrace their children’s failures.

Must Haves for Back-to-School Organization

Back-To-School Things - Calendar - PlannerI used to hate, loathe, I mean really detest the agenda’s at school. They made no sense, at least not for my brain.  I finally learned how to organize my week effectively and efficiently in college, and I still use a planner and pen to this day. It’s so important for me to see what I have coming up and to maximize my time, so this planner is one of my favorites.

House of Doolittle 2015 – 2016 Academic Year Planner: Weekly & Monthly

This weekly planner includes a monthly planning section, word of the week and inspirational quotes, metric conversions, commonly confused words, punctuation (which I love/need),  government branches, presidents, states and capitals, common formulas and exam/quiz/project record space. The image below shows how each day is set up, don’t you love the times?? It helps me stay on my schedule. Also there is a weekly and monthly view to put your future assignments and dates in. Super easy and functional! Plus all of their products are manufactured in the USA and are FSC certified. Since 1989 House of Doolittle has donated 5% of its profits to organizations that are working to create a more sustainable environment, amazing right?

Back-to-school - Calendar - Planner Inside

It sounds simple, but a good pen can make my day! I love Paper Mate Flair Pens! These pens are always within my reach.

Back-to-school Things - Colored PencilIn college I would do my notes with different colors to break-up the content. Visually it helped me focus and remember the information with ease (smart right?!). Even now when I’m making lists or writing notes for an upcoming project I use color!  It allows me to enjoy what I’m doing and breaks up information so I can remember what I need to do. These pens are the best because there are so many colors to pick from and their tips are felt so they are easy to write or draw with.

The Best Book for Tidying Up

I’m kind of obsessed with The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.
Back-to-School Things - The life-changing magic of tidying up

I’m a “piler”. I admit it, I make piles of things and then never really organize them.  It makes my place look terrible, but what’s even worse, I feel super disorganized and frustrated. Plus my bedroom looked like my closet vomited everywhere. My jewelry was tangled and clothes were wrinkled. So lately I’ve become obsessed with Marie Kondo’s new book . It has a cult following.  I mean she’s sold two million of these bad boys!  Okay, enough with the hype, the cool part is that the organization makes sense. It’s uses mindfulness and a category system to keep your stuff neat and tidy. I actually become more mindful when I’m folding clothes or organizing an area of my home (which is super rare for me in general!).

Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it , again.  It’s about keeping what you vibe with and tossing the stuff that doesn’t make you smile. Plus her organizational tips for maximizing space and finding things is awesome. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach

The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo’s clients have lapsed (and she still has a three-month waiting list). Before I started her method for folding clothes (see the picture below) looking for my shirts or pants would leave me annoyed, this method works, even for a “piler” like me. Back-to-School things - Clothing Shirts

Back-to-School & Sleep

Back-to-school means back to a sleep schedule. Not just for students but for all of us who’ve had more flexibility this summer. I love these sleep hypnosis by Jody Whiteley. As heady as it sounds, I can turn off my mind when I’m listening to a gentle voice guide me to sleep and so do a lot of others Her video’s have millions of views. Even my boyfriend has become a believer (just don’t tell him I told you so). We listen to her hypnosis videos and guided relaxation videos before bed.  It helps us both fall asleep faster which leads to a way better morning.

What are some of your favorite things for back-to-school this year? Let us know and have a fantastic 2015-2016 school year!


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Emily Roberts MA, LPC is The Guidance Girl. Her goal is to help YOU become the most confident person you know! Emily is an award-winning author Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Becoming Who You Are, Psychotherapist, TV & Media Contributor, Educational Speaker, and parenting consultant. She travels around the country educating girls, women, and parents. Express Yourself is available at bookstores nationwide and on Amazon. To learn more about Emily click here.

About the Author:

Emily Roberts, M.A., LPC is a Psychotherapist, Parenting Consultant, Educational Speaker and Published Author. Her Book Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Becoming Who You Are was published by New Harbinger Publications. The Guidance Girl is a concept created by Emily as an innovative, powerful approach to help you achieve goals and feel your best by redefining traditional therapy for the girls and women of today.

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