The BEST lunches of the school year!

Is it just me or does your house have that end of Summer “grime” all over. We also live in Charleston where its managed to rain, what feels like EVERYDAY and the humidity isn’t helping me feel any less “grimey”.  We’ve really been good about the kid’s chores this summer, trying to maintain organization. But August is always just a tough month for me- I feel like I’m in slow motion. This week in particular- right before we start back to school- always seems to be the busiest and I’m definitely trying to pack 20lbs of Sh*t in a 10lb bag. Adding to the stress, I’ve done a very poor job of saying “no” and setting any work or volunteer boundaries. So I've managed to over-commit. Then I'm exhausted at the end of every day and I tell myself that I just need to "Netflix & Sofa" because that is my form of "self care". In other words, not everything is getting done. However, I know it will all get done, and everyone will start the first day of school and then, there will be new challenges to tackle. 

So, here’s to that first week of school, where the lunches you pack are perfect, and hoping that you can have the discipline to get the summer grime off of the house!

Tilling tip of the day~

Grow a rose bush in a potato

Not as hard as you think! You can take the trimmings from other roses that you have cut, and stick them into potatoes. Yes, you read that right! Securing the trimming in the potato makes it easier to plant it. Simply dig a small hole in the dirt, stick the potato in the hole, and cover it back up. This avoids the need to buy a rose plant and follow all the rules that come with it.

Teenager tip of day~ Here are some “Back to School” suggestions from Psychology Today on what to say to your tweens & teens on starting a new school year! 

1. “The first tip I would give is to believe in yourself and to try to always do the right thing. Sometimes people will do what is cool as opposed to what is safe or nice.”

2. “Keep your focus on your school work. Pay attention in class and complete your homework.”

3. “Don't procrastinate when it comes to studying and homework.”

4. “Be selective with the friends you choose. Don't befriend someone who is not a good influence on you. Don't judge a person, but if someone makes you feel uncomfortable, or if their definition of right and wrong is different from yours, gently stop spending time with him or her. Surround yourself with people you can grow with in a positive direction.”

5. “Create joy in your life by not beating yourself up. If you’re not doing well with something ask for help. No one is perfect at everything, but everything is perfect about you.”

Decorating with Tweens & Teens

Whenever I go into a new clients "haus" to help them edit, accessorize, and add some new paint and furniture- the first thing we talk about is how they "use" the room. Are you going to entertain in the room, do you have in-door pets, children, wild friends?  My clients come to me because they have small children and want to know how I decorated while having destructive boys (they've gotten better) and a daughter who is STILL making that damn slime (its everywhere and makes me nuts). My decorating philosophy is definitely a mix of "high" & "low" pieces- i.e. buy the highest quality sofa you can, but maybe you get your throw pillows from Homegoods. I also love when people have meaningful collections- and we can display them in a way that has impact. If you look at ANY part of my instagram or facebook- you can tell I am a huge collector of blue & white ginger jars, I have a massive collection of Kentucky Derby glasses, and then I throw in a bunch of Buddha statues and heads. Somehow this eclectic mix has stayed intact (not broken or destroyed) for about the past 2 years. 

There is one item that I refuse to spend a ton of my decorating budget on, especially while there dogs & kiddos here. RUGS. I am sure there are those decorators out there that would EYE ROLL at my cheap rugs- but between 2 cocker spaniels, 3 children, and wine and vodka connoisseurs (and by connoisseurs I mean spills & refills)~   I refuse to invest in something that I'm going to cry over if it gets marked up in anyway. 

I have one AMAZING beautiful cowhide rug that was NOT cheap. It is in our formal living room, and children are in this room sparingly. Ironically, I get a ton of compliments on the rug in the den, all of the rugs in the bedrooms, and the rug in my office. I have NO problem letting them know that they are cheap- and can EASILY be cleaned. Even the HUBS spilled RED WINE on the office rug- and that sh*t came right up and I didn't have to hire a professional. 

For this stage in our lives- I'm keeping my cheap rugs- and I am A-OK with that decision. 

Tilling Tip of the Day~ 

I get asked this question- ALL OF THE TIME! 

Not all hydrangeas grow in the shade. Panicle hydrangeas (Hydrangea paniculata)need sun for best flowering. Some top panicle varieties include 'Limelight', Little Lime, Vanilla Strawberry, and Bombshell.


Teenage Tip of the Day~ 

You might be asking yourself- "Lizz, where do you buy these rugs that you're not afraid to display but your teenagers don't destroy"

Here are my favorite places~

The Dog Days of Summer

If I wanted to homeschool my children- I would.

This is a rant about the Summer math & reading packets. So… bear with me here.

Let me take you back to May 18th~

I remember the last day of school like it was yesterday. I was psyched. I needed a break from the school grind and so did the kids. It felt, almost, idyllic.  I was going to “tackle” this summer and make it “the most productive, best summer ever”.  We were going to keep a strict schedule and wake up early, start every morning with a few chores, eat 3 healthy meals that I made from scratch, and we were going to get a JUMP on that Summer math packet & reading.

It's August 2nd. School starts in less than 3 weeks. The Farmers Almanac defines the ACTUAL “dog days of summer” as the time between July 3rd and August 11th. Ohhhh my friends. We are DEEP in the damn dog days of summer at Casa Schleifer…

 Yesterday we ate pizza bites for lunch. I begged Lola to change her shirt- swear she had worn it for 3 days in a row (yes, even the daughter is lacking in motivation), I’m begging the boys to wake up before noon, even the dogs are going bat-sh*t because IT WON’T stop raining in Charleston. OH- and the Summer math packet and Summer reading- well motivating the children to do that is like trying to bathe a cat. Not Happening.  

Now, let me just make it CRYSTAL, I love the school we chose to send all three children to. However… I hate the Summer math & reading packet. I feel like a nagging teacher. Which is not fun. This is why I do not have the patience or where with all to home school my children.   I think its OK to let Summer BE SUMMER. Don’t quote me statistics about the knowledge they are losing..blah blah blah. I actually saw some Mom brag on the facebook about how they were done with the packet. A few choice words flew out of my mouth about that show-off, windbag. 😉

In the meantime. I’m too tired to make lunch again today, but I’m going to dig deep, and pull some kick ass parenting guilt trip that will get everyone to finish those Summer packets before the first day of school.

Tilling tip of the day~

August is the last month for heavy pruning of hedges and evergreens before they go dormant in November and December. Trimming too late could cause new growth that won't harden off in time for a freeze and will be killed

Teenager tip of the day~

The average amount of sleep that teenagers get is between 7 and 7 ¼ hours. However, they need between 9 and 9 ½ hours (studies show that most teenagers need exactly 9 ¼ hours of sleep). This tip is so I feel better about the fact that all three children are sleeping so much 😊