Thursday, August 8, 2019

Back-To-School Favorites

We're less than a week from our first day of school and we are in FULL ON PREP mode over here.  I'm back at school every day and have been spending my evenings getting uniforms ready, backpacks cleaned and my planners organized.  

Today I'm going to share a few of my back-to-school favorites as a mom and a teacher!

First up - backpacks....

Both Luke and Griffin are going on their 3rd years with the same backpacks.  Mason would have been on year 4 with his North Face backpack but a TCU backpack was high up on his birthday wishlist.  We've been so impressed with the quality of the North Face backpacks and even though Mason isn't using his for school it's still in great shape and we'll hold onto it for times we need an extra.

As far as lunches go we're still HUGE fans of the YumBox.  Essentially, Yumboxes are bento boxes that are TRULY leak proof.  They seal tight and things like sauces, dips, yogurts, etc. can't leak between compartments.  My kids have each had one of the  standard sized boxes as well as one of the  snack sized boxes and they've used them multiple years.  Last year I got each of us one of the  tapas boxes that's a little bit larger...

Original Box on the left / Tapas box on the right

We opted for the larger size because it can hold an entire sandwich without having to cut it up and the larger size is great.

Here are a couple of super simple lunch ideas...

You can check out  THIS POST from two years ago for more ideas of how I packed their lunches in Yumboxes.

The ONLY problem with the larger size yumbox was finding a lunchbox big enough for it.  Last year I bought the Yumbox brand box made to hold it and while they did last until the end of the school year they don't have another year left in them so I was super excited to find  these...

I love that they have the long shoulder strap and their really roomy. 

This is how the larger box fits inside...

... and how I would do the smaller box with a Thermos.  We've been using these same thermoses for about 4 years and LOVE THEM!  If my kids have a thermos of leftover ravioli or something like that I'll still do a yumbox with their fruit, some yogurt, dessert, etc. 

And there would still be room for a juice on top of the Yumbox.

And we're all about lunch box notes :)  Here are a few of our favorites...

... and yes, sometimes there is no note and other days it's a sticky but these are great for some days :)

We didn't need new water bottles there for the first time in EVER and I'm so excited!  Here's what we bought last year and they've held up SO WELL considering that my kids used them every single day.

Since my kids wear uniforms the only other thing they really needed were shoes.

Mason picked out these...

And Griffin  picked this pair....

For personal organization this planner is my personal favorite. It's simple and easy to use and I love it!  I had it in a different pattern and spilled an entire cup of tea ALL OVER IT and replaced it with this cute gingham one. (I can't find the gingham one online but  here it is in a similar print - if it helps I found mine at Walgreens and it was only $10!)

Look at all of these cute planners and pens!!

For school organization I keep a separate planner in my classroom and you can click HERE to read about the planner I've used in the past.  This year I received a copy of  The Simplified Teacher Planner to use and review and I'm so excited to give it a try!

I used the Simplified Planner years ago and love their happy stripe covers...

This planner comes with all sorts of fun stickers...

A great section for substitute info...

 And I think I'm going to be able to use the layout similarly to how I've used my previous planner.  I haven't started filling it out yet since my class schedule isn't set in stone but I'm excited! :)

I love the pocket folder in the back...

... awesome tabs...

... and it's just so pretty!

I'll report back as I use it to let y'all know what I think but you can click  HERE to grab one for yourself and head over to my Instagram today because I'm going to give one away!

August is always where I feel super organized and when we start "Fresh" and so I wanted to mention  these drawers again because they make the PERFECT spot for us to house the kids important papers and homework and other things without creating a pile on the kitchen counter :)

So there you have it!  We're back-to-school ready!  Is your family ready for back-to-school or are you still in full summer mode? 

Happy THURSDAY, friends!!!

PS  - this post contained affiliate links... thank you so much for reading and supporting my blog!


  1. Oh my goodness that teacher planner looks amazing! The stickers alone make it ; ) Happy back to school prep to you and yours xo

  2. The teacher planner looks great! The "make copies" stickers cracked me up, they could just pre-print that on every day of the week.
    Thanks for sharing the lunch box info, I'm still shopping for stuff my son can open on his own.

  3. So happy you blogged on a Thursday! And such a happy post to boot. :)

  4. I loved my NorthFace backpack in college!

  5. Out of this whole post of cute and useful things, I am the most jealous over your ice machine.

  6. You help me every time you post!

  7. What size water bottle does Griffin have? how many ounces did you get her?


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