We interrupt your regularly scheduled Back to School Freak Out to suggest that you stop frantically sharpening pencils and preemptively cutting apple slices and think about what's going to happen in the weeks after school starts. You're going to get busy. Like really busy. So, give your future self a break and do these Five Things That Are Guaranteed To Make Your Fall Less Hectic. We promise, your October/November self will thank you. And us.
Get Their Hair Cut. Okay, we know this isn’t the most exciting thing in the world but it is necessary and it is important and also, WHY do they go to bed one night and their hair is fine and the next day it’s shaggy and you can’t take it anymore? So, just do it. Make the appointment and go to the brand new Cookie Cutters in Mahwah or one of these 7 salons where they make the cut fun for the kids which, by extension, makes the cut fun for you too!
Book Your Halloween Excursions. No, listen! We know you haven’t even gone apple picking yet and we’re not saying you have to start eating bite sized Milky Ways just yet. But the tickets for the brand new and frightfully scary Haunted Orchards at Demarest Farms are on sale now and tix for the can’t miss Pumpkin Blaze in Sleepy Hollow are going on sale on September 4th and you know they’re going to sell out quickly. So set a reminder on your phone and don’t miss out!
Order Your Kids’ Halloween Costumes. We know, we know. But trust us, you’ll be happy you did. What’s hot this year? Hands down, you can expect to see more Incredibles than you could ever imagine (we in particular love the Frozone costume!). But Disney’s Zombies and Descendants 2, Vampirina, and Villains, plus Marvel Infinity Wars, and Harry Potter will also be well represented. Top sites like Chasing Fireflies, Party City, Spirit Halloween and halloweencostumes.com have good selections at the moment, but don’t wait or you’ll be stuck trying to figure out how to make your kids old long johns look like a Dash costume at midnight on October 30th (turns out, there's a blog for that).
Arrange For Your Holiday Photos. Before your Saturdays get so packed that you never even get out of your car as you race from soccer game to basketball practice to dance rehearsal, make a plan to get that holiday photo taken. Overwhelmed with the when, where and what to wear questions? Local photographer Melanie-Amber Ruane has this advice:
- The best time of day to shoot is the “golden hour” an hour before sunset. The light at that time is soft and warm which gives pictures a dramatic, romantic look. If this doesn’t work for families with littles, early in the morning works instead!
- When it comes to locations, think outside the box but be true to your family. Got a group of soccer players? Why not take pics on the soccer field? Kids love to hang upside down? Head to the playground. BONUS: When you take pics in locations like these, you are less tempted to go with the straight line pose. Natural, action shots give friends and family a glimpse of your family in its natural habitat.
- Wardrobe can make or break a shoot. Look for a photographer (like Melanie) who can help plan your outfits through the use of inspiration boards from stores with on-trend color palettes. Melanie suggests staying in the same color family but using different textures and an unexpected twist. She also suggests staying away from matching outfits.
Want to book your family photo session with Melanie? Visit her website, follow her @lamarstudio on Insta, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Mention Bergen Mama when you book and you’ll get a 25% discount on all fall and holiday sessions.
Give Yourself a Break. Okay, we know this list is probably already making your neck tight and your eye twitch. But we promise, it will all be worse if you wait. No, wait that’s not what we meant to say. What we meant to say is, you got this. And when you need a break or a helping hand, hire a babysitter and take you and your sweetie out on a date. Or, just hire a driver to schlep your kids so you can sit at home and catch up on the TV (Sharp Objects, OMG!!!) you missed over the summer.