Posts Categorized: Julie Cole

Forget Christmas. Back-to-school season is truly the most wonderful time of the year!

Find our Handy-Dandy Back-to-School Checklists at your local Walmart Canada!

Don’t get me wrong – the slowed down pace of summer coupled with not having to pack school lunches makes summer pure joy. But, it’s been eight weeks now and it’s time to outsource the bickering siblings to our kind government for six hours a day. Like any change of pace, summer was refreshing but I welcome the routine and structure that the school year offers.

Back to school also makes me feel nostalgic. As I prep my six kids heading off to elementary school, memories of this season come flooding back. Without question, the very BEST part of back-to-school season is all those shiny new school supplies. We head off to the shops with our school supply lists in hand, eagerly filling our shopping cart.

Nothing says “fresh start” like crisp white paper, clean colourful binders, sharp pencils and backpacks that don’t have a squashed banana at the bottom. To me, new school supplies bring hope and promise. Hope for academic success in the next grade. And the promise of a more organized school year.

Having a good list is key. My kids range in age from Junior Kindergarten to Gr. 8, so there are very different supplies required. While everyone needs paper, pencils and erasers – when do calculators and geometry sets enter the scene? It’s best to have an understanding of what each kid needs before heading off into the mayhem of the shopping centers to face the other back-to-school shoppers.

In my many years of back-to-school planning, I’ve learned a thing or two. And now I love to share my tips and advice with other parents about the topic. So, although the long weekend is known as Labour Day, here at Mabel’s Labels, we celebrate “Label Day Weekend”. There’s a lot going on, including a Facebook & Twitter event on September 2nd, from 9pm-11pm where I’ll be chatting with other parents about back to school. (There might even be some giveaways…) Hope you can make it!

What memories do you have from your back to school days? Did you like the feeling of fresh paper under your fingertips, or was having a sniff of the liquid paper more your thing?

We have amazing prizing from Mabel’s Labels and Hilroy up for grabs during Label Day Weekend! Join us for the fun on Facebook, Twitter @mabelhood and Instagram @mabelslabels!


About the Author:

Julie Cole Mabel's Labels

Julie Cole

Julie Cole is co-founder of Mabel’s Labels Inc., the leading provider of kids’ labels, and a proud mom of six. Back to school is around the corner – have you got your school labels yet? The Ultimate Back-to-School Combo is here!

Roughing it in the Bush

My family and I just had our annual week at the cottage. Now that my kids are getting older, cottage life has gotten easier. No longer do I wish for a baby gate around the lake and gone are the days of me following toddlers around the entire week.

But we certainly don’t have this safety thing all wrapped up just because they’re older. Older kids are more independent and mine like to go off exploring and visiting little friends around the lake. This year I felt like I had to keep an eye on my headcount. The thought of one of them getting lost in the woods makes me shudder.

So, I set up a few simple rules & tools that helped keep my stress levels down and my kiddos all accounted for:

  • If going exploring, don’t go alone. Always bring a sibling and if you happen to get lost, you STAY TOGETHER.
  • I reminded them of the “Hug a Tree” program. When a child is lost in the woods, they tend to wander, bringing them further away from home.  I advised my kids that the moment they feel lost, they find a comfortable tree and stay with it. Chances are, they are not far from the cottage and it’s easier to find a non-moving target!
  • My kids don’t have cell phones, but even if they did, we are so far in the bush that there’s no reception. We use walkie talkies, which are both fun and a great way to stay connected if there is a problem.
  • When you hear the bell, you head home. We have a big dinner bell that echoes through the lake. When I feel like I have not seen a child for a while, I ring the bell and they wander back. I count six little heads and send them back off to their adventures.
  • If a kid is going off exploring, have them wear a whistle around their neck. It’s a great way to locate them if they go off track, and whistles are good for scaring off the bears as well.

In the end, we survived the week and I managed to bring home the same six kids I left with.

Are you a family that camps or cottages? What measures do you put in place to ensure their safety in the bush?


About the Author:

Julie Cole Mabel's Labels

Julie Cole

Julie Cole is co-founder of Mabel’s Labels Inc., the leading provider of kids’ labels, and a proud mom of six. Back to school is around the corner – have you got your school labels yet? The Ultimate Back-to-School Combo is here!



This Mama of Many is Getting Ready for Back-to-School

The time has finally come. I can hardly believe it. This September, all six of my children will be in school.

Many years ago, I said I was going to host a champagne breakfast on the day that my last child goes to school. It shocks me that my champagne breakfast is in the very near future.

So this is the lay of the land. My little guy starts JK, and the others are going into grades 2, 3, 6, 7 and 8. Six kids in elementary school.

Getting them ready for this season is always a bit of fun. And by fun, I mean not fun. At all.

But, being organized is a must in my busy house. Here’s what we do to get ready.

On the last day of school in June, we salvage what school supplies can be used again the following year. The pencil crayons get sharpened and other items get inspected and cleaned up. I also avoid the back to school shopping when everyone else is doing it. It’s not an August activity for me. Buying off season means you’re more likely to get the items you need without being met with “Sold Out” signs.

For obvious reasons, my kids are extremely well trained at labeling their school gear and also knowing how to hunt things down when they go missing. They pride themselves on never having lost anything to the lost and found closet for more than a few hours. And as this back to school season is upon us, I now have my last little person to train in the labeling department. Six kids means a lot of gear and a lot of expense, so my Mabel’s Labels are my cheap insurance policy.

How trained are your kids about labeling? What have been your lost and found experiences? Share a lost and found story or simply let us know you’d love to get some labels in the comments and you’ll have a shot at winning an Ultimate Back-To-School Combo.


***Giveaway is now closed. Thanks for sharing all your stories! Congratulations Meghan!***

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