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Live SoFab A Real Magazine for Real People BACK TO SCHOOL 2013


for Pre-K to College




Adoration They aren’t only for the teacher

For the Kiddies Caramel apples are always a hit. These candycoated apples are so easy and fun to make!


e just love Back to School time. Although, it’s been quite a few years since we graduated, we still get excited at the start of a new school year. We thoroughly enjoy our summers and are sad to see them end, but it’s good to get back to a routine. And since we are planners at heart, we had to share our notes on prepping for the season. Inside this issue you’ll find pages packed with our tips, ideas and even a few recipes for starting the school year in style (and on the right foot.) Whether your children are heading off to kindergarten or college or anywhere in between, this is a chance to make a fresh start! We hope you find lots of ideas in the following pages to make “Back to School” a success for you and your children! Cheers, Dawn & Elizabeth Dawn Sandomeno and Elizabeth Mascali, lifestyle & entertaining experts, are co-founders of Party Bluprints Inc. and The Party Bluprints Blog and co-authors of Plan to Party. They are on a mission to inspire simple and special home entertaining. Dawn and Elizabeth, have been featured on NBC’s TODAY Show, Good Housekeeping, Kiplinger’s and Redbook magazines, Martha Stewart Living Radio and more.

Caramel Apples (MAKES 6) INGREDIENTS ❑ 6 small Granny Smith apples

❑ 1 - 14 oz. pkg. individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped

❑ 2 Tbs. milk ❑ Crushed toffee candy or sprinkles (optional) ❑ 6 wooden craft sticks INSTRUCTIONS ● Wash and dry apples. Remove stem and insert a stick into the top of each apple. ● Line a baking sheet with waxed or parchment paper. ● Place caramels and milk in a microwave safe bowl, and microwave for 1 minute and stir. ● Continue to heat for another minute, and stir until the caramel is smooth.

A Collective Bias Media Property PUBLISHER: Party Bluprints Inc. EDITORS: Elizabeth Mascali & Dawn Sandomeno DESIGNER: Katie Schlientz 2

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For the >21 Crowd We translated all the fun of a candy-coated apple into a festive cocktail – “Cheers to School.”

Candy Apple Cocktail (MAKES 18 - 1 CUP COCKTAILS) INGREDIENTS ❑ 1 6 cups/1 gallon apple cider

❑ 2 cups butterscotch schnapps ❑ 8 cinnamon sticks INSTRUCTIONS ● Empty all ingredients into crock pot and stir well. ● Put on cover and heat on lowest setting for 2-4 hours. ● With slotted spoon or tongs remove cinnamon sticks. ● Ladle out 1-cup servings in mugs or glass irish coffee mugs and serve warm.

Easy Crock Pot Cocktail   ● Holding apple by stick, spoon melted caramel over apple, rotating until fully coated. Repeat process with remaining apples. ● Optional: place crushed toffee candy, sprinkles or other candy in a bowl and roll the caramel coated apples in it. ● Place apples, stick side up, on the baking sheet and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes. Once set, loosely cover with plastic wrap, enjoy within two days.

Tip: For a tailgate, ladle into insulated thermos and serve in hot cups.

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Ready, Set, Go Getting the Family Organized for a New School Year


t always feels like “Back to School” is the start of a new year. A time to get organized and get life back in order and under control after a fun and freewheeling summer. Having a plan always makes the transition to a routine easier.

6 Tips for Smooth Sailing into the New School Year 1. RISE & SHINE/BEDTIME The lack of schedule during summer can make the alarm clock the enemy come September. Slowly get everyone back on schedule 1-2 weeks before the first day of school by making the wake up call and bedtime hour earlier so kids are back on schedule before school starts. 2. ADDRESS ALLERGIES One of the biggest hurdles with getting your family out the door in the morning can be seasonal allergies. Keep tabs on seasonal allergens with Allegra® + CVS/pharmacy® by signing up for Pollen Text Alerts at www. Don’t forget to stock up on allergy medicine so you can treat allergy symptoms. 3. HEALTHY MEALS Stock up on items for the breakfast table and the lunchbox to reduce stress over what to serve/pack. 4

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Click on SAVE for coupon offers from Allegra.

See pgs. 8 -9 for some Lunchbox Basics

4. WEATHER Back to School weather can give you a headache when it comes time to dress your kids to send them off to school. Is it a pants, shorts, jacket, short-sleeved day? Avoid being unprepared by organizing the closets with items for hot, warm and cool days making it easy for you or your kids to grab and get dressed.

Get a weather app to put the weather forecast at your fingertips (if you have older children, have them download a weather app on their phone so they can check it first thing in the morning) Visit to: ● Sign up for local pollen alerts ● Get tips on managing allergies for you and your kids ● Get coupons for Allegra

5. SCHOOL SCHEDULE Sign up for your school’s instant alert/ emails/newsletters so you can keep on top of school announcements, events, closings, etc. 6. FAMILY CALENDAR The new school year brings many dates for school events, activities, and sports. Keep a central family calendar so you know where the family needs to be and when to avoid missed appointments, events or double bookings. This will also allow you to easily identify in advance when you need help (playdates, carpools, babysitting.)


There’s an interactive Beauty Game

Don’t forget to schedule in some F UN

Click here for additional info and offers

Use only as directed.

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TRENDYtransition 5 Tips for Stepping into Fall

1 2

Start incorporating fall hues and patterns, like Dark Burgundy and Plaids, into your wardrobe. Add a dark layer like a navy blazer or denim jacket over a summer staple (tank, crisp white shirt, etc.) to add a few months to your summer “go-to” tops.

3 4

Extend the shelf life for your favorite summer dresses by adding tights. Use a scarf as an easy transitional piece to take your look from summer to fall in a snap.


Grab your ankle boot or moto boot to kickoff your “transitional look” in September.

For the latest trends, fashion coupons and more tips you can afford to try go to 6

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Still loving the wedge


Keep the crisp white shirt from your su mmer closet alive by layering with a cardigan.

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Kids Picks

It’s time for Back to School and back to packing school lunches. Before you get into a rut of packing lunches, talk to your child about options for the lunchbox.

5 Basics for the Lunchbox: 1. HEALTHY SNACK Wash and dry fruit before packing. Make sure to pack fruit so it doesn’t get bruised or squashed in transit. Leave the more delicate fruits for the breakfast table or after school snack.

2. SANDWICH Use a large cookie cutter to transform a basic sandwich into something exciting. Perfect for those who won’t eat the crust.

We asked…

What’s going in the lunchbox? Parents answered…Clear favorites - PB&J sandwich and fruit!

What is your child’s favorite type of sandwich to have in their lunchbox?


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3. DRINK Pack a beverage with a resealable lid. If your child doesn’t finish their drink, they can screw the cap back on and save it for later.

New product alert: Capri Sun Big Pouch available at Walmart – it’s the Capri Sun you know and love, in a larger and reclosable pouch. Each reclosable, singleserve pouch holds 11.2 ounces so you can sip some now and save some for later. Capri Sun products contain no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives and is available in three refreshing flavors: Fruit Punch, Maui Cooler and Strawberry Kiwi! ®

For more info and fun, click here

4. HOMEMADE TREAT There’s nothing like opening your lunch to find a homemade treat packed inside. Bake up a batch of chocolate chip cookies, allow them to cool and pack them up in sealable plastic bags (2-3 cookies/bag) and store in the freezer. Just pop a bag of cookies in the lunchbox and by lunchtime it will be thawed.

5. SALTY SNACK Pretzels are always a good “go-to” item. Plus, they’re an easy pantry staple to keep stocked.

What is your student’s favorite healthy snack?

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Smart Talk

3 Bloggers share how they connect and save money with Walmart Family Mobile


ack to School is the perfect time to evaluate the monthly services you use that keep you connected. Ask yourself: 1. Are happy with the service you are receiving? 2. Can you get a better price for same or similar or even better service? 3. Bottom line: Are you getting value? Staying connected is important and we place a high priority given our busy lifestyles on being connected. Technology, specifically mobile phones, has presented us with the next best thing to actually being with someone – we can talk wherever we are 10

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and wherever we go, we can take a snapshot of a moment and share it, and with certain smartphones we can virtually “beam” someone in so we can see their face while we chat. Mobile phones are addicting, once you experience all the amazing capabilities that allow you to connect with others, it’s hard to go back, despite the cost involved. Let’s face it, the mobile phone and all its services have become a monthly expense. So do your research to evaluate how you can get the best service for an affordable monthly fee. If you can lower your current fees, you will have some “found money”, which you can earmark for a family vacation, home project, etc.

Check out our panel of Social Fabric members and their experience with Walmart Family Mobile powered by T-Mobile - unlimited talk, text and web for $39.88 a month.

JEANNETTE FENDER The Adventures of J-Man and MillerBug @ jmanandmillerbug. com



Mommy Testers @

Reality Through My Eyes @ mollymesnick. com




C h e ck it out!

Walmart Family Mobile has a great new smartphone lineup, including the Samsung Galaxy S® 4 and the iPhone 5.

Services that keep you connected Do some research to see if you can get better value ● Mobile Phones, Smartphones, Calling and Data Plans ● Television

For more info click here

● Internet ● Traditional Phone (do you really even need one anymore?) ● Traditional and Digital Subscriptions (magazines, newspapers, movies) PMS 1235

PMS 285


Follow the conversation on Twitter: #FamilyMobileSaves


Walmart Family Mobile is a no contract, post-paid wireless service powered by T-Mobile. We have Walmart’s Lowest Priced Unlimited Plans: Unlimited Talk, Text & Web for $39.88 per month and Unlimited Talk & Text for $29.88 per month. There’s no credit check, no overages, no surprise bills, and it’s all on T-Mobile’s nationwide network. Includes up to 2.5 GB of 3G data. After 2.5 GB, speeds slowed to up to 2G speeds for rest of billing cycle. Limited time offers; subject to change. Plus taxes and fees. No domestic data roaming. Requires a one-time Starter Kit for each line. Maximum 5 lines per account. Taxes, fees and cost of phone additional. Offer subject to change without notice. See Associate for details.

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CARE package

Wrap up some TLC Ask any college student how they feel about receiving mail, let alone a care package. To open a box that has been packed with love and lots of goodies is a thrill. If you don’t have a college student, share some love with a niece, nephew, family friend, or neighbor. Your college student will so appreciate your efforts!

Click here for Peanut Butter Marshmallow Crunch Brownie Recipe 12

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20 College Care Package Ideas ❑ Comfort Food – home baked goodness: Don’t send anything too delicate that will crumble during shipping

❑ Personal Toiletries: Shampoo, conditioner, soap, liquid hand soap, razors, toothbrush and toothpaste

❑ Shower shoes/inexpensive flip flops

❑ Basic Toiletries: Soft toilet paper and moist wipes – upgrade your student from the general issue items in dorm bathroom and provide them a little luxury in the “loo”

❑ Seasonal decorations: Little white lights, colored beads, themed confetti

❑ Gift card(s): Local restaurant, coffee/ice cream shop, pizzeria, school bookstore

❑ Laundry money ❑ Magazines ❑ Pretzels and other salty snacks ❑ Gum & mints ❑ Ceramic mug ❑ Fleece blanket ❑ Cozy socks ❑ Hat and gloves

❑ S carf ❑H  and warmers ❑H  ot chocolate ❑M  ini marshmallows ❑ P eanut butter and crackers ❑H  andwritten notes from you and each family member

Perfect Packing Pick Pack all items in a storage container before putting it in box – take the rolls of toilet paper out of the package and use rolls to cushion items when packing. Once your student unpacks their care package, they can use the container for additional storage.

For more information on the Cottonelle Care Routine with Moist Wipes and Toilet Paper at Target, click here.

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“Education is not filling a pail but the lighting of a fire.” —William Butler Yeats

Live SoFab Back To School Issue  

Inside this issue you’ll find pages packed with tips, ideas and even a few recipes for starting the school year in style. Whether your chil...

Live SoFab Back To School Issue  

Inside this issue you’ll find pages packed with tips, ideas and even a few recipes for starting the school year in style. Whether your chil...