Even a Mudroom Needs a Facelift

The stenciled walls of the hall - web

So I know this is really not a mudroom – but it is the area in our house that we keep all our stuff….kid’s coats, shoes, backpacks and Linus our dog’s den at night. This summer I spruced up the space by painting it and stenciling it…..

Now, I have to resist the urge to stencil the whole house since I figured out stenciling is really not that hard to do!!!

This hall is a major artery for our house – it is the hall that connects us to the laundry room, my office, the downstairs bathroom and to our garage….can you say “Grand Central?”

Even though this is not the main entrance to our home for guests it is for me and my family – so we deserve a little WOW factor too….that is why I went a little more sophisticated in this area

another view hallway web

This stenciling really turned out better than I thought. I really have fallen in love with the pattern and the color palette we went with which is darker colors than the rest of the house. When I walk to my office everyday or sit at our kitchen table and glance this way it makes me smile.

So since I redid the walls I thought I would spruce up some of the accessories in the room as well. One of the items that drove me crazy was the light fixture. It is just your standard flush mount silver fixture that we put in every hallway in the house.

hallways ligt before web

When building the house there were certain lights I really wanted and others that we had to buy so many of that I just went with what was the easiest and price friendly.  What we ended up with, when the dust settled, was these boob looking mounted light fixtures in all our hallways. Does everyone else think they look weird or is it just me?  Well, that is going to change this year – I am slowly moving these out!

I wanted a mini chandelier in the space – something that looked a little rustic but at the same time was not too tight to the ceiling. There were a couple of hours of googling over a couple of days to find the right one….I really liked this one but it was too expensive, then this one caught my eye, but it was gold – and that would not work…

Finally I found this light – it was the right color and $100 dollars – off to the check out cart it went…It reminds me of a lantern. Installing the light was a funny story – so I think if Steve “The Hubby” is up for writing another blog I will have him put his thoughts together on that one….

New Hallway light

The light looks awesome and actually produces a tremendous amount of light – so this area no longer looks dark – but sparkles in all the wonderful rays of light…

New Hallway light on web

I also updated the material on our message board…before it was a floral that went with the nameless neutral color – but now I wanted something fun.

Message board web

I don’t know if you remember but I originally bought this material to be considered as a curtain for our bathroom – it was a finalist but I went with the floral….

Poll picture of the curtians for master bathweb

This material looked perfect in the area and adds just a little bit of whimsy.

New rug in mudroom

Finally I updated our rug…I love indoor/outdoor rugs….I wanted something that can withstand the traffic of the space but have some funk too…I love Ballard Designs and when the catalog comes in the mail I hit the pause bottom and take a few minutes to look through the catalog. This is my first chevron print in the house. I went with a brown and cream to anchor the whole space – it is a little lighter but again with the walls being so dark is helps brighten up the space.

So even a mudroom – that does not have the pretty of names and usually is the drop zone of your house can have some class …..What does your mudroom look like?


Opportunity Knocks

OK, so Chernee and I decided that it was time for you to meet me.  My name is Steve and I am the “Hubby” Chernee is consistently referencing in this blog.  Before I begin, I thought I should tell you a little bit about myself.  If you believe in the age-old adage, “Opposites Attract”, then you would totally understand our relationship!  I grew up in a house where we NEVER moved the furniture.  Literally, never.  When we finally moved my mom out of the house 38 years later the carpet under the furniture and beds looked brand new.

So, I grew up in a house with little physical change, and I think it is important to mention that I am NOT handy.  My brother seemed to get all that talent and left me with the ability to quickly program a universal remote (I rock at that).

Other than that, I am a typical guy:  I fear change, I enjoy sitting on the couch and watching football, and I do not get all charged up to complete “projects” around the house.  Well, as you can guess, that just doesn’t fly anymore.  J

So, you can imagine my trepidation when Chernee approached me and said, “I want to paint our front door and interior garage door and replace the hardware.”  The painting I knew she would handle easily, but I knew the hardware change was up to me (gulp).

Old door color and hardware


So, off we went to Lowe’s to pick out new paint and door hardware for the front door and garage door.  Now, I will admit, I have replaced interior doorknobs before, and it is a relatively simple process, especially if the door already contains the holes.  So, I knew this one would not reduce me to a blubbering mess.  The difficult part was going to be the front door, as we wanted to install a deadbolt where there was none (drilling – double gulp!).

Steve looking at the door hardware - web

We picked out the hardware Chernee wanted for both doors. For the interior door we went with Kwikset and their smart key system. I replaced the garage door doorknob.  It was simple.  I just removed the old doorknob and hardware and replaced it with the new hardware….easy!  All the holes lined up and the doorknob fit like a charm, now off to the front door.

Changing out the garage door hardware web

So, this was a different issue, as I needed to drill holes in both the door and the frame for the new deadbolt.  When we purchased the hardware at Lowe’s the sales rep that helped us showed us this great template sold by DeWalt that you can attach to the door and it lines up all the holes for you.

DeWalt for the door web

It was very easy to use and helped a ton!  I was able to install the deadbolt and new door latch into the door with little trouble.

Using the drill and the tool - web

For the next part, I was not sure how I was ever going to line up the hole in the frame so that the deadbolt would come out of the door and line up perfectly with the hole in the frame.

Chernee is always telling me “look on Google, look on Google!”  For some reason I seem to view it as stopping for directions.  This time I thought I would give it a try.

Steve researching the door issues web

I searched online for installing a deadbolt and found a really creative idea.  The site said to put some nail polish on the end of the deadbolt, close the door and then firmly engage the deadbolt.  Then, when it hits the doorframe the nail polish will mark exactly where you need to drill the hole in the door frame.

Using nailpolish trick web

It worked!  The nail polish left a perfect red mark on the doorframe; I drilled the hole and, voilà! A newly installed deadbolt!

Finished door handle web

In the end, I enjoyed completing this project with Chernee and the refinished doors look great!  Now, I just got to get back to the couch…….

Fall view of the door with new hardware



Pictures are worth a 1000 words!

Chernee's 42nd bday cards both web2

So one of the reasons when I was younger that I like fall is that September is my birthday month! Now that I am older it could be one of the reasons why I don’t want summer to end.

Birthday’s in my family usually means getting the whole greater family together for a nice big meal, great baked goods that my Mom makes and exchanging of gifts and just hanging out!

Each year my Mom makes our cards – they could be a drawing that she has done about something that you like or a memory from our childhood or a picture of yourself. When I turned 40 my Mom put together a card of important moments of my life in an album.  When Peter, our son, turned the BIG 13 it was a picture of each year.  That one really brought on the tears!

I grew up in a house where pictures of us were covering the walls and all the surfaces. My mom always brings her camera with her – she calls it her “FRIEND”. There are times that we make fun of mom or pick on her for taking all the photos or grunt and grown when we have to gather around for another “family photo”.

Mom and Dad and all the grandkidsHere is the latest family shot on Sunday – kids are stilling smiling!

But this year for my birthday Mom gave me 2 photos of me that I have never seen before.

Chernee dancing as a kids web

One was at our first house and my memory of this space was totally wrong – first of all can you see that 70’s or probably 60’s wallpaper in the background?  WOW there is a lot going on there. I thought this space was painted white – and I thought I had an excellent memory – I am dancing – looking like I was having a good time – I don’t really remember dancing much as a kid.

The other photo was of me at one of my birthdays; maybe I was 6 or 7….Again, a photo that I could not remember – look at that outfit!

Older picture of me as a kids bday web

My Mom of course remembered all the details. It is fun to show your kids that you were small once too.  Anyway, these pictures are priceless. Pictures tell a story – or bring back a memory that was forever forgotten or craft a memory based on pictures you have.

notes from back of cards bday web

So if you are looking for a cool card- and have not gotten to the store as of late – create a photo card – say 1000 words to your friend – create a memory – it is priceless.

Thanks Mom for filling our lives with priceless moments that we will never forgot with all your great photos…now if only I had your camera!

Our Metalic Fall Mantel- White and Gold is the new Orange

Close up of the whole mantel web

I think this year more than any other year I am in denial that Fall is here. I have always loved fall – a crsip fall morning where you can see your breath – riding a horse and seeing all the beautiful colors on the hillside – hot apple cider or apple crisp are some of my favorite things…. But I really enjoyed the ease of summer living this year. Just throwing on a pair of shorts, t-shirt and flip-flops for the day was so refreshing. This was the first time in a long time I was home with the kids this summer – and well I don’t want that sense of ease to go away; or the sunshine!

Well, the kids are back in school and it is already mid Septemeber so I need to face the fact that Fall is here.

So when I was changing out my mantel I wanted to keep some of that summer lovin’ in the mix and not the “traditional” fall colors even though it would look awesome in my livingroom.

I wanted my mantel to have hints of fall without saying FALL – if you know what I mean. I really have fallen in love with my oval mirror I redid last Spring – you can see how I did it here.

So I decided to go with a gold and white color scheme. When I was at Marshall’s I saw this cute little owl in white and gold that really inspired my color scheme – isn’t he cute?

Gold and White owl - web

Then I found these awesome gold pine cone candle holders that I can use for Fall and even over the holidays too. I picked those up at Homegoods.

candle sticks gold mantel web

Then I found this arrangement of wheat – my son Peter was with me and he said  “Mom why are you buying hay?” Too cute. I thought the neutral color of the wheat balanced out the gold and white and added some texture too.

Wheat and candlestick web

I found this interesting candle stick (I guess you would call it that) with this gold/silver pumpkin on it that just adds a little hint of fall to the fireplace.

Then to anchor the whole space I remembered this red steel vase we brought back from Australia.  i paired that with these leaves that I found at Michael’s. There is a fair amount of red and that is something I was trying to avoid, but there is some gold as well and it does bring your eye down to the fireplace level.

Whole view of the mantel with flowers web

I like to try different design ideas and you can bring fall into your house in so many ways and colors…

upward facing view of the mantel web

When you are thinking about a design think outside the box – how can I say fall without saying fall – what other colors represent fall other than red, yellow and orange…?

Left view of the mantel web

So here is my fall mantel – reminds me of what is to come but also reminds me of the nice relaxing summer we had as well. A nice blend of colors and symbolizes all things fall to me this year.

Left hand side of the mantel

Are you ready for fall – what items remind you of the season?

We will be linking up with:


Give me the Goods Link Party

Winthrop Chronicles

Thrifty Decor Chick

It’s Overflowing – Share your Creativity

Link Party Palooza

Conquering the art of Stenciling- Casablanca Trellis Moroccan Style

Do you like to stencil?  I my opinion it really is a form of art. It is one of the DIY projects where you really have to think out your plan and process before you begin. Which is not how I usually do a project; I just jump right in.

So a couple of months ago I tried my hand at stenciling. Emma and I were going to stencil the drawers of this dresser in my room. It was a total disaster and we only finished one drawer. Which by the way I think looks really cool. I made so many mistakes it is hard to list them all. But my two major takeaways were:

1). Invest in a good stencil. I have used Royal Design Studio’s and really like their products.
2). Plot out the area you are going to be stenciling first, and understand your stencil’s patterns in order to repeat the pattern effectively.

So one of my summer projects was to spruce up my “mudroom hall” as a I like to call it. The is the entry point of our house from the garage – and a huge traffic area for us.

Layout of the mudroom hall web

It’s also the wing of the house that has our 1/2 bath, laundry room and office, plus a huge closet for all the kid’s jackets and shoes and where we store our backpacks and have our message boards. Plus our little dog Linus sleeps in this area at night. It has a lot going on.

Another view of the hall with bathroom and office view before web

It was painted this unknown neutral that I have mentioned before. It is too light for this space and shows all the scuffs and fingerprints of the kids. I must use a one of those fabulous Mr Clean bars monthly on these walls – so enough is enough.

My original thought was to add bead board to the walls and do a two toned look. Like I saw here on Pinterest. But after thinking it over and doing some more research on bead boarding I think we are going to try it in our powder room – it already has that shabby chic vibe. So I decided to take on stenciling instead.

I purchased this great pattern from Royal Design Studios  – their site is http://www.royaldesignstudio.com it is called Casablanca Trellis Moroccan. It comes in a21x28.75 overlay size sheet – pretty nice size. And really holds up well through the whole process.

I then was thinking about color – I really wanted something funky when you enter the house, so I went with Sparrow from Benjamin Moore. I was helping my brother and sister-in-law with their kitchen colors this winter and came across this color on Benjamin Moore’s web site.

Kitchen_3_round 1


It was painted on a buffet and it really caught my eye… Here is the picture. Their kitchen came out awesome. When looking on their site they recommended camouflage as well as a complimentary color they also used in their kitchen. You can see their suggested color here. So I went with sparrow on the  walls and camouflage as the stencil.

I started in the upper most right corner of the room. And worked my way down and then over like this.

Process of stenciling mudroom eb

I read a couple of posts first and they really recommend using a roller which I did and really worked well. The trick is to not put a lot of paint on the roller and either take the excess paint off by rolling on a paper towel or I just went a couple of more times on the tray. I also taped the stencil secure to the wall with painting tape. One of the other lessons I learned is if you don’t adequately secure the stencil you will increase the chances of the pattern smudging and the stencil moving.

matching pattern web

By not having a lot of paint on the roller it allows the paint to dry faster. I probably waited about 5 minutes or so in between sections to apply the paint. Now for my first room to stencil I thought this was going to be quick and not take much time at all – even though it was a small space with all the door ways which there were 4 plus the double closet it took about 5 hours or so. There were so many nooks and crannies that really took time planning and working around the security system and motion system.

The space really turned out great. I was really pleased with the color. I only had to apply one coat of the sparrow.

Walls just painted sparrow

There were a few spots that the camouflage ran so I just used a small brush with the left over sparrow paint and touched it up. I let the corners fade for effect as well. Now the space looks like wallpaper, which I love. In our 1st house I had an artist Aimee Freeling stripe our walls. I always loved that look and now I was able to do something similar.

The stenciled walls of the hall - web

I was a little concerned at first about painting such a narrow and unlit space a dark color but with the lighting and the white trim and doors for contrast the area does not feel dark at all.

Corner of the stenciled wall web

So my advice when stenciling is take your time. Invest in a really good stencil and be ready to think and use some math!! But in the end you will feel a huge sense of accomplishment and have great looking walls.

Where have tried stenciling in your house – where do you like to buy your stencils from? What design do you like the best?

Who Painted Pepto Bismol all over Emma’s Walls?

So – I have mentioned a couple of times this summer that one of our projects was painting and updating Emma’s room from a pre teen room to a Teenager Diva room.

As a parent you have to pick your battles. My daughter and I  both have strong personalities – so this could have been the battle of the will  – but I decided this was Emma’s room and really let her drive many of the design decisions with her room – and you know what – she really has great ideas!

This spring when I was out at a local vintage shop I came across this great chair, we had been looking for a colored office chair for Emma’s desk – it was really the stepping of point for the whole color theme of Emma’s room.

Emma's desk chair web

The chair was an awesome purplish/pinkish color, and it was only $19 dollars, the dealer said he had it in the store less than 20 hours.

So when I brought it home – Emma loved it! So we decided to pick colors around this chair – as I have mentioned before – when you are starting to design a space you need a jumping off point – and this was it!

Emma’s all along wanted a colorful room – she loves to paint and is very artistic and loves fashion – so loud colors are her thing.

We were thinking of painting the room a solid pink color and then have a feature wall – see what is a feature wall here – of stripes and different shades of pinks and purples. That was the plan for about 2 months. Then I stenciled our downstairs mudroom and Emma helped me with this project – stay tuned to see how the mudroom turned out next week, and came up with the idea of stenciling flowers in her room. Emma loves drawing flowers – that is one of her signature paintings so it fit her personality.

We went on Royal Design Studio and came up with this pattern for the flowers, Big Bloomers Stencil Design. So instead of different color stripes we are going to do different color flower blooms.

Well, the original color was going to be Pink Chintz by Behr – during the summer I got a head start in painting Emma’s furniture. I wanted the furniture to be all different colors to create a vintage eclectic vibe in the space. Emma loves pulling different pieces together that normally would not go…and what we have spoken about before as long as there is a common thread that can work in the space.

So when we finally went to Lowes (Emma loves looking at paint swatches) we went in with a plan that Pink Chintz by Behr was going to be the main color. As I was speaking with the individual at the paint counter she had a change of heart and we moved to Pink Carnation by Pantone Universe as the main color. Since I was in the middle of a conversation I quickly glanced at the color and thought it would go ok.

So Labor day weekend I got up really early and decided to take on her room – with the help of my hubby we moved all her stuff (which is a ton) to the middle of her room. We had some patching to do. This was my first patching job, which went ok. Emma likes to tack things up on her wall, plus there was some house settling that occurred.

Emma's room being painted web

Once all the patching dried and we sanded it I started on the walls. I had some helpers – Emma helped roll the paint as well as the Hubby and then I did all the edging.

Emma on her side painting the room

It took 3 coats of paint for her walls – I don’t know if I really like Valspar paint by Lowes. I liked how Sherwin Williams paint covers the walls with less coats.

So the color of the wall – I would describe it as someone spilled Pepto Bismol all over her wall! Can you say PINK – and LOUD PINK – that is how I would describe the color. It sure woke me up that morning! But I had to keep reminding myself that this is Emma’s room not mine. With the change of color – some of the other pinks we chose for furniture clashed with Pink Carnation. So we have some repainting to do there.

Emma's room in process web

We freshened up all the trim in the room – I have painted all the house Journal White by Ralph Lauren. The white really pops off the pink very nicely. Emma wanted to do something different with her doors. She did not want them white – she decided on a shade of purple. We picked Exotic Bloom by Behr for the doors. This took many coats for the door – I think 4 to get the right color of the paint chip and to cover the white! Maybe I should have purchased a primer first – lesson learned.

Emma's purple door web

The stencil arrived yesterday. So this weekend Emma and I will be confirming all the colors we are going to be using for the flower blooms and tackling the stencils for the walls. Looking forward to seeing all the flowers bloom coming to life around her room!

The New Feature Wall is Up! It has Watery all over it!

One of my favorite aspects of our house is the two-story foyer. When we were looking at house plans to build a new house, having a two-story foyer was a requirement.

Foyer 2 story web

I love sitting at the top of our stairs and looking out the window over our front door. It overlooks a valley, and there is so much light filling the space that you can always enjoy a beautiful sunrise or sunset.

Upstair's hall stairway web

So as soon as you enter our house, a staircase and this two-story foyer immediately greet you, and a massive wall displays at the top of the stairs. As I mentioned, we painted all of our hallways and entries a neutral color because the house, for the most part, has an open floor plan.

Of course, being so organized, I have misplaced the name of this color, which is driving me crazy. So, I decided to break up this nameless color madness. The upstairs hallway is fairly open with a long wall that runs the whole length of the upstairs. Plus right in the center of this wall is the doorway to the kids’ bathroom. In thinking how I could change-up this space, I thought I would add a feature wall for some drama.

What is a feature wall? It is one wall in a room that you want to draw interest and depth to. It is usually used in a living room setting when you have a long wall and you want something to standout or in a master bedroom behind the bed. Here is an example of features wall that I have seen.  You want to avoid walls that have a lot of windows and doors because they break up the space too much. Therefore, my upstairs wall fits this definition to the tee!

hdivd1506_kitchen-after_s4x3_lgSource HGTV

You can use many techniques to create a feature wall. Use paint by using a different color from the rest of the room, or you can use wallpaper or photos!

I considered all three avenues, and, of course, which one did I pick? Paint!  I love to paint walls… my mantra as of late.

In looking at colors, I had to take into consideration the kids’ bathroom. Most of the time, the door is open, and we selected this awesome blue called Hydrangea by Eddie Bauer. I love this color! The kid’s bathroom has a nautical feel to it, so I know I won’t be changing that for a long time. (Plus my son does not like change and if I even suggest changing this bathroom, he will go crazy.)

When I was looking at feature wall colors, I was first thinking of using a dark, rich brown. I found a color called Otter, and loved how it made the room feel so rich, and it really made the furniture stand out. In the hall, I have one of my favorite pieces of furniture, a console table from Pottery Barn. I have always loved this table, and it means a lot to me because it was one of the first pieces of furniture that I purchased for this house. (White furniture has to be my all time favorite look!) I also have two frames with silhouettes of my kids when they were in grade school. I had to remember though… my focus was to paint the wall, but I didn’t want to the color to over shadow these sentimental items.  Ultimately, I had to rule out the Otter brown. What to do now? I looked for colors that would complement the bathroom’s blue, and I seem to be in a minty/blue/green/gray phase since this color is similar to our new bathroom but much darker in tone.

left angel of the hall way web

This brought me to Watery by Sherwin Williams, SW 6478. I bought the HGTV paint that they carry; it was on sale, and it came to about $22 for one gallon.

with the blue of the bathroom web

I started this, of course, bright and early one morning! First, I used an edger to help cut into the corners to ensure a perfect edge between the two ceiling and wall colors. It worked really well. Then, I moved on to the walls, and it only took about an hour for each coat. This is the first time I used this brand of paint, and I really liked it. I went with a semi-gloss to provide a little bit of shine to further enhance the feel of the feature wall.

Hall feacture wall web

Now when you enter our home, your eyes are automatically drawn up to the second floor, you don’t feel like you are surrounded by boring beige in every corner, and it adds a little bit of unexpected brightness to your day!

stairs when u walk in web

Do you have a feature wall in your house? What room would it be in, and what color did you choose?  Tell me about it!

How To Organize “Back To School” for Middle School & High School

Picture of computer and back to school supplies

Where did the summer go? It was a blink of an eye if you ask me. Our summer was good – but not how I thought it would be…. I think the number one reason was the weather – it was colder and rainier than normal. Which lead to less time at the lake as well as pool and boat time – nonetheless it was a great summer and our greater family expanded with the addition of my nephew!

So, it is back to school time – which means getting the kids ready and organized for the year. As we enter a new stage in our family having kids now in High school (OMG) and a 2nd year middle schooler (OMG) you go about organizing your approach differently.

For me there is still a tremendous amount of paper that comes home and I find that school still uses word of mouth a lot for communication – I wish in today’s age they would text and email more – but I think that will change.

Kids backpack web

First off, we invest in really good backpacks – kids these days have to carry around so much stuff with them for their classes it is sometimes hard to go to the locker each time – so for Peter we bought Adidus. We have used Swiss Army in the past and really liked that one as well, but they are rather expensive. Emma is into Vera Bradley – though expensive as well I really like all the pockets that they offer and the cushion that it offers your back – I use their laptop case too – even though it is a bit flowery for Wall Street, when I have my meetings it is functional. What was even cooler was this backpack was 30% off when we bought it – score!

Next at home we use a couple of different workstations for the kids. Mostly the kids use the kitchen table for their homework – I am very lucky I have the kids trained that once they are home they have to do homework before anything else… When they get home I have already checked the school’s web site – which is awesome because it lists their homework assignments for the night.  We find this very helpful when you forget your agenda or don’t understand a certain homework item, I make sure I have plenty of pencils and pens in the kitchen – plus I use a basket stacker that has extra supplies like glue, etc.… so that I can grab items quick for any projects that they have. What I have noticed now they are in higher grades there are more projects that require expensive items.

Storgage for school supplies web

As you know there is a tremendous amount of paper that comes home and it is so hard to manage it all – I have created an inbox for all paper from backpacks – then I sort it and have three folders in my kitchen area – one for each child as well as one for “to be filed.” These folders are great for keeping reference materials for a project or a play they are working on – you know where it is and you can just grab it.

Storage Bins

I also have 2 bulletin boards in the house that we leverage – one in the kitchen for party invites and letters and one in our mudroom that has the kids class schedules and sports calendar information.

We use a central calendar also in the mudroom that I highlight mostly their sport schedule. But, since we are a techie family I also use outlook to organize all other events like sport practices and games, Dr appts and tests for the kids and when projects are due.

Weekly calendar - web

My husband and I send invites to each other so we both have all this information on hand so we are both on the same page…This year we are going to hook up the kids to the calendar as well. Especially for my oldest who is entering High school it is going to be important for him to start managing dates.

I also get their schedules laminated – one for their locker and one for their backpack – that way it can’t get ruined and they have a reference to know where they need to go…

I make sure the house is stacked with extra supplies – paper, extra folders, 3X5 cards and thumb drives for transporting assignments back and forth to school as well as a station for their chargers so that their phones and ipads are always charged.

We try to load backpacks the night before – making sure all homework and papers that need to go back to school the following day are ready – also packing up equipment for sports as well. I try to prep lunches too so there are less things to do in the morning.

Now that they are older I also have a two organizers for them on the back of our basement door for deodorant and other hygiene items in case they forget that we can just grab as we are out the door. In this stage there are not morning folks at all – there is usually a lot of “Mom!”…or rolling of the eyes so any time-saver I can provide is very helpful!

Door organizer web

So my advise to make it through these years – it have as much on hand as possible – there is very little time – try to think ahead, and be able to have items accessible and easy to grab and go!

Here is to a very exciting new school year! How do your keep your teenagers organized?