It’s that time of year again….time to prepare the kids to head back to school! It’s hard to believe that the summer months are coming to an end. However, taking a little time out of your day at the pool to prepare, will ensure your school year starts off smoothly. This year, I wanted to gather some gear that I’m crushing on personally. These are things I’m using and enjoying, even in my grown up office!
Please note I received samples of some of these items in order to be able to write these reviews. My opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.
It’s In The Bag
Sometimes the perfect school bag isn’t even a backpack. For girls who may be a bit older, and a little more fashion aware, the new Cross Body Anchor bag by Sea Bags is PERFECT. (You may remember how much we love Sea Bags from this post.) It’s lightweight so you can stuff it with your phone, pencils, makeup, etc….AND the long strap allows you to carry it hands free. If you do still want to carry a back pack (or tote bag or diaper bag), this is a great compliment. It’s perfect for those long days running errands. I love carrying a tote bag with toys, snacks and lists. However, when I get to the store, I can hop out with this and run my errand with ease. The best part about the bag might be that it’s environmentally friendly as it’s made of recycled sails. It might be that it’s made in the USA. OR, it might be that it’s DURABLE and it can take anything your day throws at it. So while you will want to order one of these for the student in your life, you might just want to add a second one to your cart for yourself. Get them on Sea Bags website here.
This year, make sure everything you buy for your child actually comes home with them at the end of the day. Mabel’s Labels has assembled the Ultimate Back To School Combo. This best-selling combo includes all the durable, waterproof labels needed to keep your things out of the lost and found. Perfect for backpacks, lunch containers, clothes, pencil cases and so much more, these labels are a must have on your back-to-school shopping list! These labels are perfect for letting everyone know, in a cute way, what belongs to your child and ensuring it comes home from school, daycare, or sports. Want to know what’s included?
- 40 Mini Custom Name Stickers: 38mm x 8mm (1-1/2″ x 5/16″)
- 50 Tag Mates™ Stick On Clothing Labels: 21mm x 10mm (13/16″ x 3/8″)
- 16 Custom Shoe Stickers: 33mm (1.3″)
- 2 Personalized Mini Tags: 30mm x 20mm (1-1/4″ x 3/4″)
BIC is the trusted name in school supplies you remember from your school days. Well, their school supplies have gotten a lot cooler over the years, but they are still as reliable as you want them to be. Remember #2 pencils? Well they are way cuter now. This set of striped #2 pencils makes writing easy and effective, even for small hands. Plain pens aren’t plain anymore either. BIC’s Cristal Xtra Precise Pens not only come in blue, black, and red like you remember…they now come in green and purple! Color coding is one of my favorite ways to organize a planner, school work, or even notes to yourself. Instead of having a lot of pens on hand, just use one of BIC’s 4 Color Stylus Pens. With green, red, blue, and black all in one pen, this is a space saver and a life saver! It doesn’t matter how old I get, I’m obsessed with mechanical pencils. I think they write amazingly, and I love using them in my planner so that when plans change, it doesn’t look like a murder scene. I love BIC’s Velocity #2 Side Click Mechanical Pencil; four awesome colors that are easy to find in your bag, perfect writing grip, smooth lead, and extra lead included. For this price, it’s an amazing deal all around.
Pens and Pencils
Pens, pencils, journals, and paper are all back to school essentials. However, they don’t have to LOOK essential (dull). Chronicle Books has some adorable options that will make kids from 5 to 95 smile every single day. I love pencils. I mean, I know it’s a dorky thing to love, but patterned pencils just make me happy. Their Mondrian Pencils are more than colored pencils, they are a work of art. You can kick it up a notch with their Bright Ideas colored pencils, which are way more than primary…they are NEON. If you want something that’s fun for the little ones (or a snore worthy day at the office), check out their faces pencils!
If you want to turn over a new leaf this school year, there’s a journal for you. This journal is not only cute and pun-tastic, it’s inspirational. This makes a perfect teacher gift. (Yes, give teachers a gift at the start of the year…it’s not easy to head back to work with a whole new set of tiny co-workers!) If this is too much seriousness for you, swap it out for Chronicle Book’s Faces Book. Designed to be able to take notes, it’s also awesome for doodling, sketching, and burning off a little steam. The rescued paper journal is just a super cool idea. The sheets are folded and bound so that the blank sides face out for writing, while the previously printed sides face in, offering a peekaboo reveal.
Back to school clothes aren’t just limited to new shoes and backpacks. The fall is about a new schedule, new routines, and for many of us, new workouts. I recently discovered a hidden gem of a workout brand, called In Touch Clothing. Their yoga clothes are super soft, flattering, comfortable, and affordable. Two of my favorite pieces? The Criss Cross Bra is supportive, yet won’t pinch. It will keep you dry, but it’s also comfortable enough to just wear around the house. Their SUZIE capris are a multi tasker….they look cute with a sweater and tee, but they are also tough enough to take you out for your morning run. These capris are perfect to give you the support and control you want, but are still comfortable enough for a Netflix evening on the couch. You’ll want more than one pair!
If you’re heading off to your first apartment, or your first home, you’ll probably be facing some interior design questions you’ve never faced before. Home Decor Cheat Sheets is the perfect book for anyone starting out in their first place. It breaks down the principles of decorating with 300 easy to understand illustrations. The book is small enough to fit even the tiniest apartment, but it’s packed with awesome info. This makes a great gift!
Don’t Forget The Toiletries
After those summer months, it’s easy to think of fall as the time to start preparing to hibernate. In reality, it’s really just an extension of summer. The sun is strong, the days can be be warm, and with sports practices, kids are still spending lots of time outside. It’s important to refresh the sunblock and make sure kids have a full supply to take with them to practice and school. Bare Republic’s sun care line is now available at Target. You’d think this means it’s a discount product right? You’d be wrong. It’s cruelty-free, mineral sunscreen that blends Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide with plant derived antioxidants to nourish and protect you and your family from harmful UVA and UVB rays. It’s effective, smells amazing, and takes care of your skin. It’s a winner all around that won’t break the bank.
Chapstick, the brand you’ve loved your whole life has a new line of all natural Chapsticks. They are made up of 100% naturally sourced ingredients and come in three flavors; Green Tea Mint, Sweet Papaya, and Pink Grapefruit. My favorite? Green Tea Mint, hands down. Stock your kids up on these gems so they stay hydrated, even through the busy school year.