Back-To-School Supplies for Moms

Be a back to school hero with | The Champagne Supernova

Back to School Supplies for Moms | The Champagne Supernova

This post is sponsored by All sarcasm is my own. Special thanks for fans of The Champagne Supernova’s Facebook page for helping to create this post. 

The end of summer signals the beginning of long lines at local retail stores.

Spiral notebooks.

Loose leaf paper.


Ti83 calculators.

Compasses and protractors.

If you’re like me, you miss the days of the psychedelic Trapper Keepers, but I digress.

Vintage Trapper Keeper from the 1980s | The Champagne Supernova

I owned a Trapper Keeper with this exact same pattern when I was in Ms. Kincaid’s Second Grade class at Bunnell Elementary School. Yes, I went to elementary school in Bunnell, which explains my backwoods roots.

At the front of the line is usually a mom who is seen reluctantly coughing up her credit card at the end of the transaction.

She does all of the work, but what is the glory?

It’s a quiet house between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.

And this got me thinking.

Why don’t moms get lists of supplies they need to celebrate commiserate with their friends about their kids returning to school?

If there was a back-to-school for moms list, this is what it would look like:

Barrels of wine.

Shoot, an entire winery where we can go barefoot in the barrels (while also drinking wine) a-la Lucy and Ethel.


A blanket for a much-needed (and uninterrupted nap).

A gourmet lunch that is not the kids’ unfinished mac and cheese, PB&J, or soggy Cheerios.

A purse that contains only lipstick, an ID, and credit card. No bug spray, sunscreen, hand sanitizer, goggles, boogie wipes, or extra undies for in-case-of-an-accident.

(Ask me about the time a police officer removed a pair of little girls’ Barbie underwear from my purse when I was going through the security line one busy morning at the courthouse. Not awkward. Not awkward at all.)

The highest pair of stiletto heels known to man that you can wear to prance around town. Cuz Lord knows you wear flip flops, sneakers, and, God forbid, Crocs as part your normal “Mom Uniform.”

A stack of magazines you ordinarily have no time to read.

R-rated movies.

Ear plugs. Someone’s screaming? It’s not your kid, so it doesn’t matter.

Permanent markers. That you can use and color on whatever the heck you want. Don’t worry, you can re-hide them before you pick up the kids.


You know you’ll miss them.

Here’s to a great start to the new school year.


Make your volunteer life easier with | The Champagne Supernova


    Adventures in Lawyering: Being Right

    Photograph from To Kill a Mockingbird from

    I got sucked into one of my more notable cases shortly after I finished law school and entered the work force.

    It involved feuding next door neighbors and was venued in Miami-Dade county, which meant I had the treat of riding on planes, staying the night in swanky hotels, and eating at fancy restaurants when I had to travel from Tampa for hearings and other case-related events.

    Both of these neighbors were wealthy beyond comprehension and had money to burn on legal fees and costs.

    We will call them Hatfield and McCoy.

    Hatfield grew up poor and made a ton of money in the phosphate industry in the early 1990s. He was dishonest, generally disliked, and was on his fifth marriage by the time I got involved in the case.

    Hatfield accompanied his wife to her deposition (along with their private chauffeur), and introduced her to the group as “Lydia… my Trophy Wife.”

    (Lydia looked like a Playboy Bunny, so I guess she really was his Trophy Wife.)

    Hatfield only stayed at this home in Miami for two months out of the year and lived in California for the remainder. It was my understanding he also owned property in Martha’s Vineyard.


      Back to School: Carmex Lip Balm is the Bomb

      Which lip balms to use for returning to school |The Champagne Supernova

      This blog post was proudly sponsored by Carmex. Per usual, all opinions are my own.

      It never fails.

      Despite me begging and pleading for her to stop picking, my five year-old daughter routinely has dry, chapped lips.

      Even in the hot, Florida summertime.

      This habit is easy for me to prevent at home, but not so easy when she’s away from me at school.

      No more, I say!

      I finally found a remedy that should be able to get me through the school year.

      These Carmex products can easily fit in the my daughter’s backpack or lunch box so she has them handy at school when she needs them.

      Be sure to include Carmex products on your back-to-school shopping lists!

      While Carmex has several products in their lip balm line, my two personal favorites are the Classic Lip Balms in a Tube and the Comfort Care Lip Balms.

      Carmex lip balms are great for chapped lips and for kids | The Champagne Supernova

      The Carmex Classic Lip Balm in a Tube provides soothing relief that facilitates moisture and leaves a sensation on your lips that is not too thick or too waxy.

      (Let’s be real, my daughter would never keep it on if that were the case.- and she loves the cherry flavor because it reminds her of her favorite drinks- Shirley Temples!)

      This lip balm is formulated to provide cooling relief to the worst of chapped lips and has a SPF of 15 to help prevent sun damage.

      The Carmex Comfort Care Lip Balm is formulated with natural colloidal oatmeal which has been used for centuries to soothe the lips and promote softer, more hydrated skin. This lip balm is available in a variety of flavors such as mixed berry, sugar plum, and watermelon blast, and contains antioxidant-rich fruit seed oil to help restore lips’ natural beauty.

      Not only does the Comfort Care Lip Balm provide the ultimate in hydration, but it also helps defend against free radicals that accelerate the appearance of aging.

      These particular Carmex products do not contain harmful toxins such as parabens. This is very important to me as a mom and as a consumer.

      Carmex lip balms | The Champagne Supernova

      My three year-old enjoys Carmex products as well.

      The Carmex lip balm line is available at most retail stores and the products are super affordable and under $4.00. Even better, one jar or tube of lip balm will last a couple months (if the kiddos don’t lose it, because #momlife!)

      Cheers to making back-to-school shopping easier with Carmex.

      Wishing everyone a successful transition to the new school year.


        Kitchen Remodel: White Kitchen

        White kitchen remodel before and after | The Champagne Supernova

        Since we moved into our home in 2010, we have been less than excited about our kitchen. While it was spacious and modern-ish (the house was built in 2007), we weren’t in love with the light colored wood cabinets and dark granite countertops.

        As we didn’t see ourselves living in the house for a long time, we held off on updating the kitchen until we recently decided to give it a face lift, in hopes that it would add value to the house over time. (And also because we decided we are staying put in the house.)

        Luckily, we didn’t need to undertake major structural changes such as knocking down walls or relocating appliances. This project was entirely cosmetic.

        I’ve always loved a white kitchen, but didn’t want to paint the existing cabinets because it can be easy to mess up and the quality of the work is typically poor. (You can sometimes see streaks of paint.)


          Adventures in Lawyering Part Deux: Cleanup in the Garden Center

          Funny moments stories about being a lawyer | The Champagne Supernova

          Disclaimer. This story is crude and disgusting. But I just report the facts. 

          Where many attorneys feel they are “too good” to work on the less “sexy” cases like slip and fall matters, I have a confession: They are not beneath me and I love them.

          99% of the time, slip and fall cases don’t involve sad things like death or catastrophic injuries. The person falls down, goes boom, gets back up, hires an attorney three days later, and starts treating with a chiropractor for “soft tissue injuries.”

          Absent complicated health issues or outrageously high medical bills, slip and fall cases usually aren’t stressful and are a nice respite from the fatality, traumatic brain injury cases, or child molestation cases that are also found in my assignment list.

          So I’ll take ’em with a smile.

          Slip and fall plaintiffs are often “career plaintiffs” who make nice little wads of cash making claims in connection with other accidents including fender benders and other premises liability issues.

          Why work when you can get something for free? (I once had a plaintiff tell me it was foolish for him to work when he received disability benefits and could sit on the couch all day. He was young and fully capable of working a desk job but I guess he had a point…)

          Reading through their medical records is equally hilarious.

          I worked at a law firm that represented a large international retail chain. Most of the cases involving this client involved slip and fall events that happened in the stores.


            Adventures in Lawyering: The Porn Star

            Funny stories about being an attorney | The Champagne Supernova

            I’ve got some crazy lawyer stories. This is the first in a series of installments called “Adventures in Lawyering.” 

            Being an attorney ain’t all glitz and glamour.

            In fact, it usually isn’t.

            I’ve been practicing for almost a decade and can’t tell you the number of times I’ve sloshed through mud and debris at a construction site.

            Or the times I’ve had to sift through gory crime scene photographs and then get on an unrelated conference call five minutes later hoping the person on the other end didn’t know I had been crying (or dry heaving).

            The times I’ve received a plaintiff’s gynecology records in response to a subpoena and literally read their handwritten answer of “occasionally” when asked for their sex in an initial patient intake sheet.

            Or the time I went to a junk yard to examine a vehicle that had been involved in a fatal accident the night before. The junk yard worker, through his toothless mouth, looked at me and said:

            Smell that smell? 

            Yes, sir. (Gagging.) It’s putrid.

            That’s brain. Smell it once and you never forget. 

            Trust me, I’ll never forget.

            Autopsy photos.


            Stucco density reports.


            Laboratory results.


            Dealing with irrational south Florida Rambo lawyers.


            Spending time in courthouses where the other individuals walking through the security line made “The People of Wal-Mart” seem like the Rockefellers.



              Guest Bedroom Makeover featuring Establishment Home

              How to give your bedroom an easy and cheap makeover | The Champagne Supernova

              After reading 6 tips for a unified bedroom design, it really inspired me to give my guest bedroom the makeover it deserved! It was the red-headed step-child of the house.

              No offense to red heads.

              Our guest bedroom was an ugly hodgepodge of things we accumulated over the years.

              A rug and chair I found at a garage sale in 2008.

              A Pottery Barn dresser and sleigh bed I purchased from a college student on Craigslist when I moved to Tampa a decade ago. (For a total of $350, this was a steal, even back then.)

              A metal decoration above the bed that a neighbor had given to us before her husband was deployed to Germany.

              A comforter and sheets that were hand-me-downs from my mother.


                Loose Lips Sink Ships: You Can’t Tell a Kid Anything

                Kids have the biggest mouths and will say the most inappropriate things at the worst times | The Champagne Supernova

                Teachers always seem to have the best stories.

                Laughing through tears, one of my longtime friends, an elementary school teacher, told me about how one of her students provided her with a detailed play-by-play of their family vacation the Monday after Spring Break.

                Gory details the student’s parents would likely die if they knew she had disclosed.

                About how dad got locked out of the rental house in his “tightey-whitey” underwear when he went outside in the morning to get the newspaper.

                About how the student hated applying sunscreen to her mother’s back because of “all her moles that look like Cocoa-Krispie cereal.”

                And about how mom and dad got into an argument during dinner and mom called him a “stupid ass clown” in front of the student and her siblings.



                  Photography: How to Style Your Family for Photo Sessions

                  Photo credit: Synthia Therese Photography

                  Let me start by saying that I am not a style blogger and don’t consider myself a fashion icon.

                  Most of my outfits come straight from the sale racks at stores like Nordstrom, Zara, and H&M. (Out of principle, I won’t pay full price for something.)

                  There have been many mornings before work where I’ve worried whether my outfit looked alright and resorted to asking for advice from my husband and two kids.

                  However, I’ve done a ton of family photo sessions over the years and understand the struggle and stress involved with getting out of the house looking presentable and keeping everyone in a good mood so we are happy in front of the camera. Or at least look happy in front of the camera.

                  I’ve blogged about the suckiness of family photo sessions here.

                  Spoiler alert: it ain’t for the faint of heart. On the same token, it gets a lot easier as your kids get older, so moms of really young kids, you’ll be out of the woods soon!


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