Back to school faves
As sad as it is to see summer go, we all get excited for a new school year in our house. My kids are young enough that they delight in a new schedule and setting. And let's be real: I can finally stop feeling guilty about letting them binge watch Teen Titans while I try to get work done.
When Cameron got on the bus for kindergarten I was all choked up about my baby going to school. The milestones always get me but you won't see me shedding tears this year. There will be a giant smile on my face when that bus comes around the corner to pick Cameron up. He was in camp this summer but it ended THREE WEEKS ago and Terry and I have been taking turns dragging him to work or trying to find things to do with him since the end of July!
Amen! School is starting! Horray! Other than having meaningful structure back in my child's life here are by back to school faves!
1: New school supplies!
I have always been a nerd when it comes to school supplies. It is exhilarating to have fresh sets of markers, crisp new notebooks, and new boxes of pencils that smell like wood. Maybe that is why I went to school until I was 25 years old.
I take time to sit with the kids and label their new stuff and chat with them about the year ahead. They like to tell me about their lives and what they’re excited about in the upcoming year. It's both entertaining and fascinating to step into their social worlds for a bit.
This year we ordered Cameron’s supplies online through our school district. Best decision ever. It saved so much time. Instead of running around Target in August with half of America, I calmly sat at home with a cup of coffee and opened this box with my son.
2: My favorite fall candle!
I really love fall, but for where I live it means that six months of icy tundra is not far behind. This past winter stretched right up until May 1 and I feel like all the Mamas up here have post traumatic stress about heading into back into a season where we have to deal with wet coats and lost gloves again.
To get myself in an upbeat mood about turning the page on summer, I focus on making our home a cozy reprieve from the cold. I feel like school starting is the first indicator of the impending change so I always get myself my favorite fall candle: Autumn Wreath. It is the perfect fall smell. Lighting this candle puts me in an instant good mood. This fall scent combined with the sound of the marching band practicing in the background is a little slice of suburban heaven, even if I know the other shoe (snow boot) is going to drop before I am ready for it.
Here is is with my summer seashells because I made it until August 15 before I lit it this year. This is an accomplishment for me, but it was a slippery slope from there. I lit this candle and started going through my fall decor bins the next day!
3. Fun lunch box swag
I often wonder how many years Terry and I will "make it" packing lunches before we give up and tell the kids to buy lunch or starve. Packing lunches is a pain in the neck.
In an effort to be a more environmentally friendly inhabitant of the world, I also am trying to use fewer plastic baggies. It’s hard when you’re packing lunches! I got these adorable snack bags from my 31 rep. You can check out her page here. They just make me happy!
I know they are currently "out of season" but 31 has all bag solutions to problems you didn't even realize you had.
I know there is all kinds of cool stuff out there to replace plastic baggies. What do you guys use? Anything you love?
Anyone else about to put $300 in their kid's school lunch account and call it a day?
4. Label mania!
I blogged about these labels in one of my first ever posts but this one is such a good one, I have to mention it again. You can find my original post here.
These clothing and shoe labels are amazing. They stay on the clothes and the shoes. That should not be such an amazing point but if you have ever tried clothing labels, iron ons, or shoe labels you know that they peel, fade, and rub off.
I have been a faithful customer ever since my first order. Heading back to school usually means ordering a new crop to make sure that I don't run out during the school year. On the photo below I even use them on the snack bags.
Kudos to the Mamas who invented these. Kids walk into school shedding all the stuff you bought them like snake skins. They throw it down and lose it. The way I look at it, at least there is a sliver of a chance that it will return to you when it has your kid's name on it.
I have the site information and all about these labels here.
5. New chalkboard wall art!
We renovated our kitchen after we moved into this awesome 1980’s house, and decided to paint some of the kitchen walls with chalk paint. We all love it. It has been such a blast drawing on the walls!
I like to celebrate the change of seasons with a fresh design and this year we are all reading and watching (well, Madeline is only watching) Harry Potter. I used the series for inspiration to get the kids excited about heading back to school.
It’s not entirely accurate from a literary standpoint as my son pointed out (child of two lawyers and he trolls us constantly), but you get the point!
I have shared my back to school favorites with you - what do you love about sending the kids back to school? (Other than, hello - the kids are back in school!)
Finally, for all of my teacher friends, school employees, and just anyone who loves a great parody: