Back to School, Down to a Science

As head of The Local Moms Network (TLMN) and a mom of three, Layla Lisiewski has a lot going on this back to school season. TLMN is a network of 90+ hyperlocal resource sites and social media platforms in 24 states, all run for and by women; along the way, Layla and co-founders Megan Sullivan and Jessica Blouin have created over 100 flexible entrepreneur opportunities for moms. Even while Layla’s business takes off, she prioritizes her three little ones, Ella (7), Michael (5), and Alexandra (2)—and all the mixed emotions September brings. 

Dudley Stephens fleece

Here are four things she's doing to get her kids (and herself!) ready for the transition:

Stocking Up on Style.

I keep it simple with comfy, durable outfits. I would send my kids to school with Dreft pens if I could, but I have come to grips with the fact that stains are part of everyday life with three kids!  I love that Dudley Stephens fleece is stain-proof, the colors are bright and cheery, and the quality holds up to even the most active little ones. Leggings are my go-to for my girls and Petit Peony makes the perfect pair.

Talking It Out.

Therapist Caitlyn Dunn (LCSW), a new contributor for The Local Moms Network, recently shared that telling your kids stories from your own first days of school can help them feel less nervous. I love this idea and have already started sharing stories with Michael, Ella and Alexandra. Two of them are entering new schools and we visit the playgrounds on occasion to get them used to the environment.

Fall Refreshing.

I do what I can to give my kids (and me) a fresh start to the school year. I always feel better with less clutter, and the back to school season l is usually when I go through toys, clothes, last year’s artwork and more. I donate to Mothers for OthersNeighbor to Neighbor, and Kids in Crisis

Dinner Prepping (with No-Recipe Recipes).

Chicken, salmon and pasta with meatballs are usually the three dinners that kick off our week. By Thursday, I am throwing the marinated pork chops from Mike’s Organic into the oven...and your guess is as good as mine when it comes to dinner Friday through Sunday!

I love to cook, but who has time for a complicated recipe? I tend to make easy recipes like my lemon marsala salmon. Here's the crazy simple explanation:

Layla's Lemon Marsala Salmon

4-5 center-cut salmon fillets

1 lemon

1/2 cup marsala wine

salt & pepper

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut pieces of aluminum foil big enough to wrap salmon.
  3. Drizzle olive oil and marsala wined squeeze lemon evenly on all. Then sprinkle salt, pepper, and capers. 
  4. Wrap salmon in foil packets and cook for 1/2 hour (they’re just as good when cooked on the grill for 12-15 minutes!). I usually serve it with rice and peas.

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