Schoola Blog

School Fundraising Tips & Success Stories from Schoola

Month: January 2015

Game Day Grub: Kid-Friendly Super Bowl Recipes

You’ve invited all your friends over, you can’t wait to watch the game, and yet you have no idea what to serve your friends and family. When it comes to Super Bowl menus, easy and munchy comfort food is the right play.

We rounded up our fave Super Bowl recipes from around the web. Eat ’em up!

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1. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Footballs from Life, Love, & Sugar. Um, how cute and delicious do these look? Seriously?

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2. Best Ever Queso Cheese Sauce from A Spicy Perspective. Homemade nacho sauce? Yes, please! Make this even more kid-friendly by ditching the jalapeños.

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3. Super Bowl Cookies & Cream Dip from Creative Juice. You can tell we have a sweet tooth, right? Also, we can’t resist football shaped foods.

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4. Stuffed Cucumber Cups from Black and White Obsession. We know, we know, we have to remember to eat our veggies. But on game day it’s okay to have a little bacon with our cucumber, right?

5. And finally, we have a couple easy dip recipes straight from our Schoola staff!

First up, Kelly’s Famous Dip: Combine equal parts salsa, sour cream, and shredded cheese. Sprinkle a layer of cheese on top and heat in microwave or oven until cheese is melted.

And last but not least, David’s Buffalo Dip: Combine 2 8oz cream cheeses, 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar, 1 cup ranch, ¾ cup buffalo sauce, 1-1.5 cups shredded chicken. Bake for about 20 minutes.

What are your go-to Super Bowl recipes that your whole family loves? Please share your secrets!

New Year, New Schedule: Keeping up With the Kids After the Holidays

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We asked mommy blogger Karianna of (Best) Bib and Tucker Blog to give us some tips on getting back into the swing of things with your family after the new year. We’ll let her take it from here!

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Ah, the New Year! A time for starting over, making plans, changing habits, getting organized… Having three children, two of whom are in school, I get asked a lot how I am able to get things done and out of the house in the morning. My honest answer? We live by routines and time management tools. My husband usually leaves for work about an hour before we leave for school so it’s usually just me and kiddos in the morning.

For me, it really comes down to managing your time wisely, and I’d like to share my favorite time management tips for those busy weeks:

Write it down

This is the number one and most important tip. Write everything down. If you try to keep it all in your head, you will forget something (or someone!)

Some people love digital calendars, like a synced iCal or the Cozi app, but I am an old-fashioned paper planner girl. This is of my Erin Condren Life Planner (ECLP) (see photo above) and it serves as my journal, meal plan, blog calendar, schedule keeper, address book… you name it, it’s in there.

Meal Plan

After school on Fridays is movie afternoon for the girls. While they settle in to watch a film, I settle down with the calendar and plan lunches and dinners for the following week. I take into consideration our schedules and what I already have in the freezer and fridge and what we should be receiving in our CSA box. I usually plan dinners first because many of the girls’ lunches are based off of leftover dinners. Our Dinner menu gets written on the kitchen chalkboard and into the ECLP and the lunch menu goes on this cute printable that I found and had laminated, but you could easily just put them on a paper calendar or your phone. You may have noticed that I don’t have side dishes listed on the chalkboard, mostly because I like more of a clean board. Our sides are usually complementary fruits and veggies.
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Decide on Outfits for the Week

My girls’ school has a uniform code (red, black or white on top; black or khaki on bottom) so this is my simplest step. Picking out their clothes for the week on Sunday evening and sticking them in a clothes organizer allows them to get dressed right away when they wake up, saving precious minutes in the morning. If you have no need for a kids’ uniform, just have them pick out their tops and bottoms for the week. This is also a great tip for moms and dads! I, for sure, do have a “Mom Uniform,” usually leggings or skinny jeans and a tunic top, and I do mix it up with dresses when weather permits. If you have an idea of what you are going to wear for the day, you are less likely to have that panic moment of “What am I going to wear??”

Make One Breakfast for the Week and Prep Lunch Add-ins: Sunday Night

I like to give the kids a substantial, protein-filled, breakfast in the morning, but I will tell you, I found myself running out of time in the morning and just reaching for a cereal bar as we raced out of the door! Then I had a lightbulb moment: Make breakfast on Sunday FOR THE WEEK. After dinner Sunday evenings, while hubs gets the kids in bed (or after they are in bed if he’s traveling) I’ll make muffins to serve with nut butter (recipe below) and/or prep an egg strata to pop into the oven in the morning, to serve for the week. The strata bakes for about 45 minutes while we get ready in the morning and then I am able to microwave portions for the other mornings. Another good option for a “make once, microwave the rest” breakfast is Steel Cut Oats in the crockpot, or to hard-boil a dozen eggs to serve throughout the week. If your kids like more variety, serve the prepped meal 3 days and on the other two days? Cold Cereal or Instant Oatmeal and Fruit.

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As to the kids’ lunches, since most of my lunch mains come from dinner the night before, I just have to prep the sides for the week. In addition to the main dish, I add a fruit, some vegetables, something crunchy (think nuts or popcorn) and some dairy (yogurt or cheese.) I wash and portion the fruits and vegetables for their lunches, make sure that their milk and juice boxes are in the refrigerator and get the snacky things ready to toss into their lunches in the morning.

Keep Supplies Handy and Chores Visible

Mornings can be hectic, but I’ll tell you, homework time can be worse! There is nothing harder than having to, at the last minute, scramble for art supplies or pencils or construction paper! One of the easiest ways to take the headache out of homework time it to make sure that you have a dedicated homework supply section. Keeping pencils, crayons, sharpeners, markers, glue and the like in dedicated containers makes those supplies easy to find and use. Because a huge part of time management is making sure all of your ducks are in a row and one way that I do that is to keep my personal chore list visible and doable. I use this checklist from Making Home Base but you could easily mock up your own.
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Karianna is a wife and mother living in sunny Pasadena, CA. She loves style, fabric and yarn, can wield a hot glue gun with finesse and can make something out of those meal leftovers. When not creating or volunteering, you can find her reading the latest true crime novel or painting her nails. Come visit her at (Best) Bib and Tucker Blog or on Instagram/Twitter.

You Rock! Get $5 Off Your Next Order

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Yup, that’s right, you made an impact this year by donating to and shopping at Schoola, so we’re giving you a shoutout with $5 to spend at Schoola. Simply use the code ‘2015’ at checkout to reap the rewards. (Update: this offer has expired.)

Now for the gushy stuff! In 2014 we helped kids by:

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1) Increasing the number of schools we work with from 5 to 7,000. Wowza!!

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2) Putting paintbrushes into the hands of 4,486 aspiring artists!

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3) Recycling clothing, and saving 14.5 million gallons of water*. That’s a lot!

In 2015 we plan to keep up the good work. Join us in supporting schools!

*Water savings estimated by National Geographic

#PasstheBag and Make a Positive Impact on Schools!

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The new year is a great time to clean out your closet and donate outgrown or unwanted items to benefit your school. We’re on track to double the amount of money raised for schools this quarter vs last, and would like to keep the strong momentum going into 2015. We’re asking our community to request a postage prepaid donation bag and #PasstheBag to at least three friends or family members by tagging them on social media. First you donate, then you #PasstheBag!

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Here’s how you can participate:

Step 1: Go online to Schoola and request a donation bag.

Step 2: Fill it, and send it in for the benefit of your school. Psst, Schoola is now accepting women’s as well as children’s clothing, so use this as an opportunity to clean out your closet and start the new year off fresh!

Step 3: Challenge at least 3 friends or family members to do the same by posting on Facebook or Twitter and using the hashtag #PasstheBag. Here’s some sample text to make it even easier:

Facebook:
I just requested a donation bag from @Schoola to support my school and now I’m going to #PasstheBag and challenge X, Y and Z! It’s time to clean out your closet and give back—$2 of every $5 spent on Schoola is donated to schools. Let’s do this—request your bag here: http://bit.ly/1tyzZ7s

Twitter:
I requested a bag from @Schoola & now I’ll #PasstheBag and challenge X, Y and Z! Donate clothes and give back to schools. Get your bag here! http://bit.ly/1tyzZ7s

And if you have pictures to share of you/your family filling a bag or a pile of clothes to donate we’d love to see them so be sure to include them in your social media update!

Step 4: Pat yourself on the back; not only did you request a bag to donate on behalf of your school, but by challenging others you also helped spread the word about the only online marketplace that supports art, music, and P.E. in schools!

The more people who donate, the more your school can raise so please share with everyone you know! Join us in creating momentum around this clean closet #PasstheBag challenge.

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