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Back to School Tips: Fun Lunches, Fall Fashion, & More!

“When you know better you do better.” –  Maya Angelou… This quote applies just as much to us moms as it does to kids gearing up for a new school year – There’s always something new to learn and discover, whether it’s a new word or skill at school, or a great tip to help calm the chaos of motherhood. So, while you’re helping your kiddos prepare to go back to school, I’m here to help you prepare too – with some super helpful ideas: Shopping, lunch prep, fashion, and more. Keep reading to check them out – and be sure to pin your favorites to refer to again later.

Back to school tips: Packing fun lunches

Back to school tips: Packing fun lunches

This will be the first year that we’ll be packing lunches. My nephews were here all summer with me – and once school starts, they’re here every morning to catch the bus, as well as each afternoon after school. Little Guy is seriously crazy-excited about getting to bring his lunch to school – he has been asking me if I can put his lunch in his new back to school lunchbag from Marshalls! He’s so funny :) So, I’ve been looking for new ideas to make lunches fun, check out some of my favorites:

To see more cool ideas – follow my Bento Box lunch board on Pinterest. And – a couple more tips: Make lunches based on your kids favorite books, favorite movies, subjects they’re learning in school, or favorite colors. Freeze a Capri Sun or juice box to put in their lunch in the morning – it’ll keep it cold all day, and will be drinkable by afternoon. And be sure to check out your local Marshalls or T.J.Maxx for awesome lunch bags and gear at the best prices!

Back to school tip Have fun

Back to School Tip: Have fun!

In between all of the craziness of back to school prep, it’s important to remember that it’s not just about the serious stuff like school supplies, making sure kids are at the right skill level, or ensuring you’ve bought the best supplies – it’s also about having fun! Kids can’t learn without a little bit of whimsy, right? They need some fun to balance things during their increasingly intensive school days – so brings some sunshine into their days:

Pair some fun crafty projects, cool printables, and awesome games and adventures – and have a rockin’ back to school season that’s sure to get any kiddo ready for a new year of learning.
Back to School Fashion Tips - Layering

Back to School Fashion Tips: Layering

I love fashion. You might not know it if you see me in my usual “work from home mom of a toddler” uniform of yoga pants, off the shoulder tees, and messy bun – But in a former life, I was actually quite trendy :) I worked in merchandising and fashion merchandising for over 10 years, and loved it. I’m so drawn to anything creative – design, texture, color – and fashion has always been fun for me. So I love helping to pick out new school clothes for the kids – and love being able to find pieces that mix and match easily, to create a ton of outfits from just a few great items. And one way to really stretch your wardrobe is to use layering to make the “same old” from last year look new again!

  • Layer unexpectedly: Most people would layer a button up shirt over a tee – but how great does this look with it layered underneath instead? You can also layer polo shirts under tees too – very fun for little guys.
  • Best pieces for girls: For girls, light cardigan sweaters are my FAVORITE layering piece! You can put them over a tank and cinch at the waist with a belt. Toss them over summer dresses to bring them into fall. And short sleeve cardis look great over a long sleeve top – very on trend, but still comfy for the playground.
  • Extend summer faves: Use basic long-sleeve t-shirts to take favorite tees from summer into fall – just layer them underneath. You can usually find basic long sleeve tees super cheap – or, buy whatever you find on the clearance rack. Even if the kids don’t like the brand/character/design, it doesn’t matter, since you’ll be covering it up with another shirt anyway. They also work great under short sleeve polos or plaid shirts too.
  • Accessories: Ok, this mostly applies to girls, I know. But a few fun accessories can seriously make last year’s pieces more fun. You can do it DIY style – adding patches, using fabric to extend the length of jeans – no sewing required!, or taking the kids to a fabric store to pick out ribbons, new buttons, or trimmings to add to old clothes. Or, use inexpensive pieces purchased at places like Marshalls or T.J.Maxx – things like scarves, gloves, hats, shoes, jewelry, belts, ties, hair clips and bands – they all add up to a fresh new style!

Once you start thinking about it – you’ll find all types of things to jazz up your kids wardrobe. Layering old with new, finding cool new pieces to update what you already have, or adding a cute accessory or two to make something feel new – they all save you big bucks versus buying a whole new wardrobe.

Back to school tips Saving big on school shopping

Back to school tips Saving big on school shopping 

Ok – now that we’ve talked about all of the things you need to do and buy before school starts – let’s talk about how to SAVE on all of that gear! I did a HUGE shopping trip for the kiddos – My nephews –  Little Guy, andBig Guy – and then my own Abby, who’ll start pre-school this winter. {See her over-the-top adorable big-girl outfit here} And, you can see our whole back to school shopping trip online, and see what sweet deals we found, and learn about my secret deal-scoring tricks. We shopped at my fave retailers – T.J.Maxx, and Marshalls, and here’s the breakdown of the deals:

  • Total shopping trip:
  • Regular retail price: 345.99
  • My price at T.J.Maxx and Marshalls: $161.88
  • Total savings: $184.11 – more than half!!!

Super cool, right? Check them out online to find where your own closest sweet-deal stores are located: Marshalls, and T.J.Maxx.  If you’re ready to save big for back to school – and the rest of the year too! – Be sure to pin this post to Pinterest: Pin me here. Share it to Twitter and Facebook.

Thank you to Marshalls and T.J.Maxx for giving the opportunity to check out their new fall selection for back to school and share it with you guys. I received a complimentary gift card to help with my post. All opinions and photos are 100% my own – as always!



  1. I spent over a month creating different lunch ideas for my husband and daughter. You might enjoy looking at them, or passing on this link to your readers.

    Packing lunches doesn’t have to be too hard!

  2. Thanks so much for sharing my back to school printables! New fan for sure! Loving your site!


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