This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FallIntoClean #CollectiveBias

The shift that comes in August is unmistakable, don’t you think? Even the light starts to look different, gently signaling that summer is coming to an end.

And though from the outside I’m holding fast to our summertime routine, inside I’m starting to plan for fall – and the return to school, a more structured work schedule – you know, “everything”.

easy crafts back to school #shop

One main difference in our routine comes with the weekend. During the summer we are outside – at the beach – all weekend long. The days are open-ended, and my kitchen is as spotless come Sunday night as I left it on Saturday morning. But cool weather weekends find us doing all kinds of projects – baking, science experiments and crafts galore. And of course all kinds of messes ensue.

Which is why I’m a big big fan of Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day® products – and have been for years!

mrs. meyers #shop

These are my two favorites, and you will see them on my counter – and “at work” – pretty much every day.

As a food blogger I make a LOT of messes – and used to have a headache at the end of a day of constant clean-up using other products. But Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day® Dish Soap in Lemon Verbena (my favorite) smells divine (when was the last time you said that about a cleaning product?). Same for the Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day® Multi-Surface Spray in Lemon Verbena.

I am so pleased to partner with Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day® and Whole Foods Market on this post. Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day® is a proud sponsor of Whole Kids Foundation, and will donate $1 for each of the first 25,000 cleaning products purchased between 8/24/16 and 9/13/16. The foundation will invest the $25,000 donation to support edible learning gardens and salad bars at schools (this offer is valid on all scents of Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day® Multi-Surface Spray, Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day® Dish Soap, Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day® Multi-Surface Concentrate, Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day® Toilet Bowl Cleaner and Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day® Auto Dish Soap).

To learn more, visit the Whole Kids Foundation website, and take a look at the “About Us” video.

The Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day® Just Keep Making Campaign celebrates the idea that we need to get over the hump of “perfection” and just try. Get inspired. Try something new.

And in this spirit I stepped outside my comfort zone of cooking and baking, and dipped a toe back into the “DIY” zone – with three easy upcycled projects using everybody’s favorite crafting materials: washi tape, chalkboard paint and mason jars!

I stocked up on my cleaning products at Whole Foods Market and got to work.

mrs meyers whole foods #shop

I wanted to create some easy, do-it-yourself projects that put some color and fun into the notion of “back-to-everything” – and I think you’re going to love them.

First up? Washi tape pencils!

washi tape pencils #shop

There’s nothing like a jar of brand new, freshly sharpened pencils to get one in the spirit of back-to-work and school. And washi tape – with its hundreds of colors and patterns – takes the “plain-old” right out of that box of Ticonderogas.

I love the idea of customizing even the most mundane of desk supplies – and this project couldn’t be easier.

washi tape pencils #shop

Simply cut a strip of washi tape the length of your pencil – from the unsharpened end to the bottom of the metal. Wrap the pencil, being careful to eliminate any bubbles or wrinkles. If your tape isn’t wide enough to go all the way around, repeat with another piece.

washi tape pencils #shop

Sharpen them up and they’re ready to go!

These would make a sweet teacher gift for the first day of school, don’t you think?

And speaking of………

lunchbox chalkboard #shop

I’m smitten with this lunchbox chalkboard.

Use chalkboard paint to create a reusable surface for daily notes to your kiddos. Of course you can paint directly on the underside of the lunchbox lid but I found it easier to cut a piece of cardboard to fit – and placed some magnetic tape on the back to keep it in place.

lunchbox chalkboard #shop

Just trace the lid on a sheet of paper to use as a template, and cut out the shape (about 1/4″ smaller all around) from a piece of cardboard. Paint according to directions and let dry overnight. Attach the magnet strips (if using) and get writing!

lunchbox chalkboard #shop

lunchbox chalkboard #shop

And last but not least – mason jars!

mason jar meals and snacks #shop

I have a TON of mason jars – of all shapes and sizes. #foodbloggerproblems

And no – I am not suggesting you send your third-grader to school with a glass jar full of pudding in her lunchbox. You can easily use a plastic jar or insulated thermos instead.

Let’s start with lunch – layered salads are all the rage these days and this one is my fave. Simply put some Italian dressing at the bottom of your jar and layer cooked and cooled tortellini (tossed with a bit of oil to prevent sticking), fresh basil, grape tomatoes and mozzarella balls. Turn the jar upside down shortly before lunch so that the dressing works its way to the top.

mason jar meals and snacks #shop

“Carrots and hummus” are a staple snack around here.

mason jar meals and snacks #shop

Placing the hummus at the bottom of a lidded jar – followed by carrot and celery sticks – now makes it totally portable and mess-free!

mason jar meals and snacks #shop

Finally – what’s better than a cup of dirt?

mason jar meals and snacks #shop

A cup of dirt with worms….

Whisk 2 cups of cold milk with a 4-ounce package of instant chocolate pudding. Let it sit for 5 minutes and crush a 14-ounce package of Oreos (I use a gallon-size Ziploc and a rolling pin). Fold in half the Oreo crumbs and an 8-ounce container of thawed whipped topping. Refrigerate for one hour. Spoon into individual jars, bowls or cups, layering with the remaining Oreo crumbs. Top with gummy worms.

For more inspiration check out the Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day® website and blog, as well as the Whole Foods Market Channel. And be sure to follow Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day® on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram!

How do you get ready for back-to-“everything”?


  1. JanetGoingCrazy on August 23, 2016 at 9:41 am

    These are some fun back to school crafts and I love hearing about great new cleaning products! [client]

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