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Supply lists! Sneaker shopping! Last-minute doctor appointments! No wonder many parents feel like pulling out their hair this time of year.We can help. Here’s our A-to-Z guide filled with tips and ideas that will make things run a little smoother.A is for Alarm clock. Even kindergartners can use an alarm clock with some practice. Imagine the fun they will have picking on…

A cargo jacket over a floral dress. Denim jeggings with wedge sneakers. Leopard-print pants with a plaid shirt.This fall, the back-to-school crowd may give new meaning to the phrase mix and match.“Galactic leggings with a bunny sweater? Uh, yeah. Normal is boring. Embrace your inner weird!” suggests dELiA’s, the retailer that dresses young teen girls, on its website.…

Sweater watchAs wardrobes begin to transition to cooler weather, one trend to watch for is the mixed-media sweater. Gap sells a knit color-block crewneck with mesh sleeves and V-shaped patch at the center of the neckline. The mesh accents are nice for showing a peek of pattern underneath. Other brands show knit pullovers with lace fronts, cardigans with contrasting sleeves…

No one is trying to rush into fall here, but before long, days will grow cooler, summer staples will feel too beach-y, and newly arrived printed pumps will catch your eye at the shopping mall.Well, your summer sandals are looking a little tired.What to wear? If you’re beginning to think about how to shift your summer wardrobe into early fall, we’ve dug up some tips for…

Canine designs promise to go far beyond the dog days of summer. Already fetching on decorative items for the home, as well as on some apparel, man’s best friend is moving into fall collections as well.We sniffed out just a few options available now or coming soon.Mutt shot: The Charmix dog sweater, $39, is part of the Joe Fresh fall collection expected in September at J.…

July is National Ice Cream Month and it’s been so ever since President Ronald Reagan endorsed it in 1984. But let’s talk now. • Besides indulging in your favorite flavors, you can also find ice-cream-themed home decor, clothing and accessories that provide a visual treat for no calories. You can go subtle – sundae motifs on a dish towel, perhaps – or all out. T…

Color on topOne of the simplest ways for a man to add some color to his casual summer wardrobe is to pop on a new polo shirt. Among the shades shown this season: Atlas Yellow, Pink Breeze and Fresh Grass from Lands’ End, www.landsend.com (one polo style is shown right); Turquoise Water and Dazzling Neon Pink from American Eagle, www.ae.com; Winter Surf, Pure Orange and I…

When the temperature rises and the layers come off, the bracelets come out. Bracelets always are a popular accessory in summer. Especially this summer.“So many people are wearing bracelets now. People call it ‘charmed arm,’ ” said Lauren Topliffe, who works at Eastern Hills Mall in Clarence.Bracelets simply make sense in warm weather, some women say.“I always wea…

The way we see it, sunglasses go far beyond the face. Their likenesses make a light-hearted addition to textiles and decorative items, whether it’s one large image or an all-over pattern. Moving toward fall, sunglasses may be replaced by reading glasses as a motif, but the humor remains.Totally turquoise: Outdoor polyester pillow will make a splash on porch or patio. Spo…

Dear Vicki: I love to sew, and I am always looking for new things that I can make for gifts. Right now I would like to make something for my bridesmaids and other women in my family. Just a little something that is useful, but not for the kitchen and not anything for them to wear, because there is such a difference in age and size range. Give me a suggestion, please. – S…

Now is the season when women take their freshly pedicured toes al fresco, often courtesy of strappy high-heel sandals or open-toed pumps that look fabulous but sometimes feel like the masochistic torture tools that many podiatrists insist they are.Michael Liebow, a podiatrist in Bethesda, Md., pulls out a wince-inducing photograph of a foot X-rayed in a high-heel shoe: It …

The one-piece bathing suit is having its moment in the sun.Once a staple more common for grandmas and swim teams than sunbathing celebs, the one-piece has been updated and refreshed by designers to make it trendy, super-flattering, and even sexy.Women who prefer a little more modesty at the beach or pool – or who just want to have fun in the water without worrying about …

Festive touchHere’s an idea shown in photo from Lowe’s, left, for your backyard Fourth of July barbecue: Stuff individual Ball canning jars with a red or navy bandana-print napkin and silverware for each guest and place around the picnic table or anywhere they’ll be sitting. The jars can double as drinking glasses.Something else to keep in mind for the Fourth: Better…

If it’s time to get serious about your summer wardrobe, the first piece of advice is this: Don’t get too serious.This summer season is filled with casual dresses, breezy skirts, fun prints, bright accessories, floppy hats and other styles that may convince you that, yes, it’s time to lighten things up.“Summer is all about sunshine and fun. The season is short, and …