The Kids Are Back In School…Time For You!

Could it possibly be true? Yes, back-to-school has arrived, and the kids will be out of the house—and out of your hair—for numerous hours each weekday.


After you’ve stopped turning cartwheels (and drinking bloody mary’s at the bus stop—don’t deny it), you finally can get to get back into your well-oiled school-year routine, including squeezing in just a little of precious “me time.”

But back-to-school doesn’t have to mean the same-old, same-old. Here are some ideas to make this year’s routine seems anything but.

1. Get back to your workouts.

No longer will you have to skip your favorite ab-hardening, mind-clarifying yoga class to pick the kids up after a matinee movie. There will be no more (or at least fewer, we hope) calls while you’re on the elliptical machine asking you to retrieve a forgotten retainer at the pool, etc. So it might just be the perfect time to tackle a new, improved workout routine—boot camp, anyone?

2. Catch up with your girlfriends, and treat yourself right.

After your kids get on the school bus, meet the friend you haven’t seen in weeks for long-overdue caramel macchiatos, or lunch at the new place you haven’t gotten a chance to try (hint: Try Wilmette’s Olive Oil or Fuel. Maybe make a spa date or get that mani/pedi you’ve been craving (check out hottest unconventional colors from our fashion editor.

3. Find new volunteer work.

Now that you’ve given your kids back to the school system, perhaps you’d like to do some giving back of another sort? If so, look no further than the opportunities abounding in Chicagoland, provided courtesy of the recession.

You can even enjoy the beautiful weather while you volunteer at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe [LINK]. Or, make life easier for families with sick children by helping out at the Ronald McDonald House in Lincoln Park. Click here for more volunteer opportunities.

4. Spend more time in the kitchen.

With so many different schedules to manage in the summer, family dinners often fall by the wayside. Many North Shore women find back-to-school the perfect time to re-institute gathering everyone around the table each night. And there’s still time to grill and dine al fresco (click here for our list of the best outdoor dining spots on the North Shore).

Feel like you’re in a cooking rut? Our food columnist, Laura Hine, shares a recipe for sweet Italian sausages with hash browns this week. And if you’re looking for even more know-how, check out classes at Winnetka’s Corner Cooks, which is offering “Hands on French Cooking” and “Girls Night Out” this fall, both inspired by the movie “Julie & Julia.”

5. Get organized.

Now that you’re not tripping over Barbie dolls, G.I. Joes and the like, a deeper re-org just might be within sight. But we recommend tackling no more than one small area per day—to avoid Martha Stewart burnout syndrome, of course.

Can’t figure out where, or how, to start? It may be time to hire a professional: Check out our Home Organization resources and you won’t have to dive into that clutter alone.

6. Plan fall outings.

Although no one likes to think about parting with summer, fall means the return of the social and cultural calendar. And that means tons of opportunities to get gussied up and party for a cause; get those galas on your calendar and your friends’ calendars now. Click here to see what’s coming up.