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Category : Back to School

As a parent, back-to-school means the daily tasks of folder checking, homework monitoring, and the dreaded lunchbox packing also resume. Packing lunch is tough enough as a parent —  Are you sending in enough lunch? A healthy lunch? A sandwich in the shape of a princess with a sparkly cheese crown? Throw in a food allergy or two and that task can sometimes seem overwhelming. Whether its your own child you have a concern for, or a classmate, packing an allergy-free lunch to keep everyone safe, happy, and fed during the school day is always on your mind. From gluten-free to completely allergy-free, we have found some simple and yummy ways to pack that lunch box.

Allergy-Free Lunch Ideas for Kids

What’s on the allergy-free menu

Long gone are the days of scouring each and every label in the grocery store to find even just a few items that might be free of gluten, dairy, peanuts, or any of the other common food allergies. Now, entire aisles are dedicated to allergy-free foods, and several allergy conscience brands have emerged to help make the task of packing allergy free lunch boxes much less daunting. We’ve found that brands such as Enjoy Life, Go Organically, and Go Raw (just to name a few) are kid-tested, kid-approved when it comes to even the pickiest of eaters, and that, my mommy friends, is lunch box gold.

In addition to creating yummy grab-and-go allergy-free foods, we love that certain allergy conscience brands, like Crispy Green, are creating community awareness with amazing back to school programs. Crispy Green has the Produce for Kids, Power Your Lunchbox campaign. This program is in its second year and helps promotes proactive eating habits while donating $1 to Feeding America for every parent that takes the Power Your Lunchbox pledge. Knowing that you are able to help others while helping your own children enjoy allergy-free foods simply makes lunchtime that much sweeter.

Here are just a few of our favorite easy allergy free lunch box ideas.

Allergy-Free Lunch Ideas

Lunch Idea #1:

– Non-peanut butter roll ups (made with Sunbutter & Udi’s Fajitas)
– Go Raw Sprouted Flax Snack in Zesty Pizza
– Go Organically Fruit Medley fruit snacks
– Blueberries
– Enjoy Life Crunchy Minis in Chocolate Chip

Allergy free: gluten, dairy, tree nuts, soy, & wheat

allergyfree4

Lunch Idea #2: 

– Turkey meatballs
Ginger’s Healthy Habits Veggie Trail Mix in Pepperoni Pizza*
– Enjoy Life Caramel Apple granola bar
– Strawberry and blueberry fruit mix
– So Delicious Yogurt Alternative

Allergy free:  gluten, dairy, peanuts, soy, wheat, & egg
*contains almonds and cashews

allergyfree6

Lunch Idea #3:

– Turkey and ham roll-ups
– Raw baby carrots and hummus*
– Red grapes
– Go Raw Apricot Chewy Bars

Allergy free: gluten, dairy, tree nuts, wheat, soy, & egg
*look for hummus without the ingredient tahini

allergyfree3

Lunch Idea #4: 

– Turkey roll-ups
– 1 serving of strawberries
– Enjoy Life Plentils in Garlic Parmesan
– Go Organically Tropical Fruit Snacks
– Go Raw Lemon Sprouted Cookies

Allergy free: gluten, dairy, wheat, soy, tree nuts & egg

allergyfree5

Lunch Idea #5: 

– Faux peanut butter and jelly sandwich (made with Sunbutter and All But Gluten Bread)
– Crispy Greens Fruit (We mixed the apple and bananas, but there are SO many good flavors available!)
– Watermelon
– Enjoy Life Soft Baked Chocolate Chip Cookies
– Enjoy Life Fruit and Seed Mix

Allergy free: gluten, dairy, wheat, & tree nuts

In addition to our lunch box ideas, check out our allergy free lunch inspiration board on Pinterest.

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What are some of your allergy free lunch box ideas?
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Summer is officially coming to a close after this weekend and that means back-to-school is in full-swing, from coast to coast. Whether you’re just diving into your child’s meet-and-greet to kick off the school year or you’re already a few weeks in, these back-to-school gift baskets for teachers are a simple way to show your new teacher just how excited you are to be in their class.

Easy and Quick Teacher Gift Basket Ideas

Setting the tone

Being a former teacher, I think I really have a greater appreciation for teachers and love to spoil them with little gifts throughout the year. They have such an important job to help shape the future of our little ones! Going a little above and beyond is our way to show them how much we appreciate all of their hard work and dedication to our kids. Lots of people do holiday gifts and end-of-year gifts, but we like to set the tone for a new school year with a back-to-school gift. We’ve come to learn that Meet & Greet can be a pretty hectic day, so what better way to leave a lasting impression with your new teacher than to leave them with a special treat!

What goes inside

I began making these back-to-school gift baskets for teachers a few years ago and they were such a hit that I have made it a tradition every year. The kids and I pick out items like fun pens, colored notepads, hand sanitizer, gum, chapstick and really anything else that we think they may enjoy.

What to include in a back-to-school teacher gift basket

Mini bottles of pain reliever are also always included in our baskets. I’d like to think that my kids’ classrooms will be quiet and calm at all times, but chances are that at some point during the school year the kids are sure to give the teacher a headache. Hopefully the teachers will stick these away somewhere in their classroom so that they will be prepared for that day!

After all of our items are gathered, I let the kids help put them in cute plastic containers or baskets. I also have my kids write a note telling their teacher just how excited they are to be in their class. We include the notes in the basket and then I wrap it up in clear cellophane and tie it with a cute ribbon.

Back-to-School Teacher Gift Basket Ideas

Ice breaker

Some kids might feel nervous about going back to school, starting a new grade, and meeting a new teacher. These teacher gift baskets are a great ice breaker! Holding the basket gives the kids something to do with their hands and it gives them motivation to walk into their new classrooms proudly because they are excited to give their teachers the gift.

Teacher Gift Baskets are a Great Back-to-School Icebreaker

It is always a pleasant surprise for the teachers and they are just delighted to be given something by one of their students. They love being shown how much we appreciate them from day one and it puts a smile on their face, which is exactly why we do it!

backtoschoolgiftbaskets

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First Day of School Photo Ideas
No matter what grade your child is entering, the first day of school is a big deal. If your friends are like ours, your social media channels will be full of first day of school photos. We have put together some idea to document the first day of school in new and unique ways to make you stand out from the crowd! Depending on what grade your child is in, you can begin taking the same first day of school photo every year. Whether it be on your front lawn beside a big tree, on your front steps, or standing in front of the school, it’s fun to see the same photo every year in the same place!

DIY frames

Each year in my house, I engage in a little DIY by making photo frames for back to school. While he has clearly grown from year to year, I like the idea of a special photo that states what class he’s are going into. I also like that the frame is the same size each year, so it gives you an idea of how much they have grown. This year, I will be making a new kindergarten one for Jonah and Addison will get to use the pre-nursery sign.

To create this frame, I used a simple wood frame, scrapbooking paper, and wood letters, but there are so many ways to customize these frames to make them your own. You can make them out of Bristol board, bulletin borders from a teacher resource store, and even construction paper. The possibilities are endless!

First Day of School Chalkboard Sign

Chalk it up

Pick up some chalk and go wild! Write your child’s grade on the sidewalk or your driveway and encourage them to help to make it a special and memorable tradition, which will make it more exciting for them when you take their picture. They can look back at it and remember the experience and creating their back to school photo backdrop with you! If you have a chalkboard at home, write some school days information down on a chalkboard and take a picture of your child sitting next to it. Include them in the fun by having them write their name or grade themselves… it will be fun to see how their handwriting changes over the years.

Back to School Bio Boards

Plan ahead to go custom

Bio Boards are the perfect way document any milestone. At Addison’s baby naming, I displayed a bio board From Baby Bio Boards with all of her birth information including her weight, length, and time of birth. This year, I am using them to document her first day back to school! Bio Boards are completely customizable you so you can include any information you want to make their first day of school photos special. Make them fun by adding in what they want to be when they grow up or what their favorite song is. The more specific, the more fun they will be to look at years from now!

First Day of Kindergarten Photos

A special side for each kid

If you were part of our #SavvySassySchoolDays Twitter Party, then you know how much we love the Little Partners Tri-Side Learn and Play Art Center. Not only do we love it for playtime, but it inspired us to create some fun first day of school pictures. With three different sides, you can create multiple photo backgrounds for multiple kids — use a different side of the easel for each photo — paint a sign with your child, write it on the chalk board, or use magnetic letters it spell it out. Your child can grow with the easel and each side can be adjusted individually so children of different heights can use it at the same time. And, the best part? You can use it year after year to announce their return to school!

First Day of School Balloons

Say it with a pop!

Keep it simple yet fun with a balloon for first day of school pictures. This idea is especially great for your littlest ones, since holding a balloon in their hand will keep them distracted long enough to get a few photographs before they are over it and ready to move on. Add letters or numbers to a helium-filled balloon is quite easy… just make sure you blow up the balloon first!

Back to School cards

Make the memories last

Once you’ve taken all of the photos you desire to document that first day of school, what do you do with them? Do you post one on social media and then upload the rest to your computer? That’s typically the routine around here! They sit on my computer until they make it into a photo book months later (if I’m lucky).

This year, I made back-to-school cards with Mpix and sent them to all of our family and friends. Not only do they have a picture of my kids on them, but you can add in all of the additional information such as their school, grade, and teachers name. With so many options to choose from, I found myself creating cards for both of my kids both together and separately as well as one with my daughter and her best friend! Mpix offers cards for all occasions, as well as photobooks and photo gifts, making it easy to make use of all of your pictures!

How will you document your child’s first day of school?
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I sent my oldest off to kindergarten last year, and while that in no way qualifies me as an expert, I still feel compelled to share what I’ve learned… from one mom to another. Last year at this time I was a little anxious and navigating so many firsts preparing my son for kindergarten. I found the most reassurance and helpful tips came from other moms. So in no particular order, here are 12 tips I want to pass along:

12 Tips for a First-Time Kindergarten Mom

1. Give the bus a try from the beginning

If you are going to have your kiddo ride the bus at all during the year, have them start from the very beginning.  At least in our school system, the start of the school year is a time when they have additional adult support/guidance on each bus and have the kindergartners ride in the front. In the beginning of the year school, all the bus drivers and school staff have a heightened awareness of making sure the kids are comfortable and in the right place.

 2. Size up with the backpack

From our experience, in kindergarten you can no longer get away with the adorable, yet tiny, character packs. We found that our son needed a much bigger backpack than we would have anticipated. Between take home folders, library books, projects/artwork, a change of shoes, water bottles, and snow gear (which takes up a ton of room and for such a long season here in Maine!), we opted for a large backpack that he could still manage on his own.

3. Appropriate footwear your kiddo can manage independently

My son lives in sneakers, so not an issue for him, but our teacher was constantly reminding families to send kiddos in appropriate footwear. They had PE twice a week and three recesses throughout the day that required sensible and safe footwear. It’s also important that your child can be independent with their shoes. If he has not mastered laces, stick to Velcro.

4. Keep an open mind about your child’s teacher

In our little town, teacher assignments are sent home in the mail the same time every year, and we all run to the mailbox in anticipation. As parents, we get excited and we love to compare notes which is great, but one thing I’ve learned thus far is to keep an open mind about our assigned teacher. Every kiddo and every family is different, and no one’s experience will be the same.

Books to read about starting kindergarten
5. Read books and watch shows that talk about the transition

The start of kindergarten is a big transition for our little people. Every kiddo is different — some, like my son, are beyond eager to jump in full speed ahead, but others need extra reassurance. I’m certainly no expert, but I think all kids can benefit from talking about the transition ahead. There are many great books out there to help with the dialogue,  like Wemberly Worried and Kindergarten Rocks!and some favorite shows like Daniel Tiger have some great episodes helping kiddos through change by example

6. Label everything

We lost countless hats, mittens, and water bottles last year, but on many occasions, labeling saved the day. No matter how hard you try to find unique items, you will be surprised how many other kids have the same thing. Label everything… shoes included! There are lots of great options out there for labeling and monogramming.

7. Lead by example: show them excitement not anxiety

Show your child that you’re comfortable with with her starting school to help her feel more at ease. Certainly it’s a great time to have open dialogues with your kiddo about the transition and any of their fears, but show confidence in them and the experience. Try not to stress out about where you’re child is at in terms of skill set. My son literally could not write his name when he started Kindergarten, but he picked it up in no time.

12 Back-to-School Tips for Kindergarten Moms

8. Choose an easy-to-navigate lunchbox

Many new kindergartners haven’t had to navigate a lunch box on their own before. To help them with this transition, pick a lunch box that is easy for them to open and navigate. For us, a bento box style works best as it’s easy and efficient for my little guy to manage and also gives him variety. Also, don’t stress out if the lunch box comes back full in the beginning. Lunch time at school is short and they’re learning how to balance their social time and eating. They will figure it out and they will eat, but don’t be surprised if “I’m starving” is the fist thing they say when they get off the bus.

9. Go to all the school orientations, meet and greets, and play dates that you can

This seems like a no-brainer, but schedule permitting, try to get to all the school functions and orientations that you can. Many classes will organize a few summer play dates to get to know each other; definitely look into this or work on organizing one yourself. When school does start, be sure to check your child’s backpack daily and read everything that comes home.

10. Encourage independence

You might be having a hard time letting go — especially if this is your first kiddo — but as summer is winding down, be sure to encourage your child to try things on their own and give them a little extra responsibility. Picking out their outfit, regular chores around the house, reading time, packing their bag, labeling their gear are great places to start at this age.

11. Start your routine early

Kindergarten (especially if you have full-day, like we do) is a long day. These kids will be pooped, making sleep and routine key. If you’re like us, bed times have often been pushed later on these beautiful summer nights. Now is the time to starting shifting back to earlier bed times. It’s also good to start other elements of your school days routine before school actually starts, like having your child lay out an outfit the night before, working together to prep lunches and snacks, establishing a grooming routine, and practicing being all the way ready to leave by the time you would need to be out the door.

12. Ask your child more specific questions

Remember that your kiddo has had a long day, they will be tired (especially in the beginning!), and not always wanting to chat. With that said, I’ve learned that you get more information when you ask more specific questions. Who was your reading partner today? What was your special today? What sport did you play at recess?  In the beginning I would say, How as school today? and my son would give me a quick “good” and move right along. His amazing teacher sent parents weekly questions to ask that were probing and more likely to get the dialogue flowing, and it was a huge help.

 

What’s your best tip for newbie kindergarten moms? If you’re a newbie yourself, what has you most anxious?

 

 

This post was contributed by Rebecca Spear as part of Savvy Sassy Moms Product Scouts. You can find more from Rebecca on her blog, Mainely Mama.

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It’s a parenting fact of life that some kids just don’t like drinking water. For some reason, who knows why, there is just some aversion to it and it makes you crazy. This is my 6-year-old. We have gotten to the point where she gets dehydration sores in her mouth and UTIs too often to mention, all from not being properly hydrated. So, what’s a mom to do? One day, I was handed the Gululu Interactive Water Bottle and something miraculous happened — she actually drank water. And drank. And drank. Until I had to forcibly cut her off for the day, and she hasn’t stopped since.

Gululu Interactive Water Bottle for Kids
What’s a Gululu?

The Gululu Interactive Water Bottle is an ingenious BPA-free, kids water bottle that makes developing healthy hydration habits fun and easy. They do this by incorporating a small screen with a cartoon character who moves, laughs, cries and plays simply by shaking, patting, rubbing and drinking from the bottle, even making sounds (loud enough to hear but not loud enough to be obnoxious). The more you drink, the more it does. Having only been playing with this for a few days, we’ve seen her cry when she sits for awhile without being used, she gets dizzy when you drop or shake it, rubbing the bottle on one side makes her jump and she’s even ticklish. And yes, I did say “she” because there are three characters to choose from. My daughter chose the adorable pink fish and named her “Bella.” We are deep into this at this point. (She even visits Bella on the charging station.)

The parent’s app

This is an obvious home run for the kids, but Mom and Dad, Gululu also went out of their way to make the app as functional as possible for you too. The initial set up was so easy and worked perfectly, which usually is the hitch with products like this, but not Gululu. Once it’s downloaded and connected to your phone via its own Wifi connection, it will have you enter specifics for your child, including birthday, weight, and gender, giving you a personalized hydration goal for your child. For my 43 pound 6-year-old, the goal was 40 ounces daily, which sounded like a lot to me, yet she now exceeds this daily. Once your child’s bottle is connected to the Wifi, it will send you their drinking totals via the cloud so you’re always in the know. The Gululu app not only tells me accurately how much water she’s drinking, but also at what time, and will keep a 7-day record. Parents, don’t think your kids can pull a fast one on you either by watering the plants with their water bottle, oh no, IT. KNOWS. 

Gululu app 2

My one concern was this bottle being at school and having it be a distraction, but through the app you can set a school timer which will turn the bottles interactive features off during school hours, on at lunch, and then off again until school ends. It even has a bedtime timer where the moon rises and Bella will put herself to sleep. If your child has a friend with a Gululu bottle, shake them next to each other and the characters will jump screens and play with each other. You can also, share progress and encourage friends to meet their goals via the app.

The details

Each Gululu Interactive Water Bottle is 13.5 ounce, BPA-free, completely waterproof (I tested it), shockproof, 6-year-old kid-proof and has a rubbery feeling outer shell which is easy to hold for small hands. The spout comes apart in two pieces for full and complete washing and they are also replaceable — no chance for hidden gunk and grossness you find with other water bottles. And with the lid on, the bottle is 100% leak-proof. The Gululu sits on a dock for completely wireless charging, so no ports to worry about on the bottle itself. They say the bottle will last 2-3 days on a full charge but I think my kid plays with it a lot so we find we have to dock it every night, which is fine and has become her thing at bedtime. Gululu Interactive Water Bottles comes in five colors, three characters, and endless possibilities.

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I really can’t say enough good things about this water bottle and the instant impact it had on my daughter’s hydration levels. It’s not gimmicky, it’s not flimsy, it does everything it says it’s going to — even the box and story booklet that come with it is fancy. You’re going to love it! Gululu Interactive Water Bottles are available for pre-order now through their Indiegogo campaign. Get it quick before they run out!

You can win your own Gululu Interactive Water Bottle in our Savvy Sassy School Days Giveaway!

Which Gululu feature impresses you the most? For me, it was the school and sleep timer!
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This year my 6-year-old changed schools from a Montessori school to a traditional academy. One of the reasons for our switch was that we really wanted her in a school that requires uniforms as a dress code. Hallelujah, parents! No more arguing about whether or not cat pants match shirts with mice on them because everyone knows cats and mice are friends, therefore, matching. Uniforms are just one more way to take the hassle out of the morning rush out the door. So after I signed her name on the dotted line I knew French Toast would be my next stop for everything we would ever need to outfit her for a successful school year.

You can win a year of uniforms from French Toast in our #SavvySassySchoolDays Giveaway!

 

French Toast is a one-stop online uniform retailer that has everything you need, in every color style and size, from 2T up. Easily search for your uniforms by color, style, and even by school or zip code. And everything you buy from French Toast comes with a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee and no hassle returns — it’s really a no-brainer. In addition to all that greatness, French Toast also offers fundraising programs for your child’s school and if you sign up for their email list you will receive discount codes on a weekly basis for keeping up on their uniform needs throughout the school year, too. Now Mom is happy, kids are dapper, all it right with the world.

French Toast Uniforms Make Back-to-School Easy

Easy all-in-one

This is the adorable dress (2-in-1 Pleated Dress, $15) that my daughter picked out to wear for the first day of school if that tells you anything about how much she loved it. The entire outfit comes in one piece and is easy to get on and off, making it impossible to mess up, even on the most hectic of mornings. The cute layered look consists of a starched cotton button up shirt attached to the softest cotton blend sweater material, and then a polyester skirt that is pleated all the way around. Keep in mind that my daughter is a petite size 5 in everything else and this outfit is a size 6, so French Toast seems to run on the small size — good to note when ordering. 

Uniform Styles for Back-to-School
All in the details

The one thing that I have noticed about everything we’ve ordered from French Toast is that they have an eye for sweet little details, and this dress (Pleated Hem Jumper, $14) is no exception. From the short pleats that go all the way around, to the dainty little bow at the drop-waist, it’s all cute as can be. The surprisingly lightweight jumper is made from Crinkle No More cotton and polyester blend fabric, which makes it easy to care for and no ironing!

Where to Get the Best School Uniforms for Girls
Pretty perfect

This one, I have to admit, is my personal favorite because again with the details. From the adorable Peter Pan collar on the white cotton shirt to the perfect pleats and side-zipper on the polyester skirt (Front Pleated Skirt with Tabs, $11-13), topped off with the seriously soft and cozy sweater (Pom Pom Zip-Up Sweater, $17) with fun little pom-poms dangling from the zipper, it’s all just so well done. Thankfully, this skirt does have an adjustable waist which is pulled to its maximum in the back, meaning we will be able to fit this skirt for the foreseeable future.

Even if your child doesn’t require uniforms, French Toast has a ton of non-uniform styles to choose from, too. Because when you look good, you feel good, and when you feel good, you do good… and she looks like she feels great in her new uniforms. Here’s to a great school year!

What kind of uniforms does your school require?
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Earth's Best healthy frozen snacks

While back-to-school means new clothes, pristine boxes of crayons and fresh notebooks, it also means mom’s in charge of packing lunches and being prepared for ravenous kids needing quick  and healthy after-school snacks. Thankfully, the amazing team at Earth’s Best has a new line of frozen foods that are quick, delicious and healthy. Not only will these fun snacks satisfy hungry kids, but since they’re organic and nutritious, they’ll also make moms feel great about serving them.

Earth's Best healthy after school snack options

The Best From The Earth

Since the company’s inception over 30 years ago, Earth’s Best has been recognized as a brand dedicated to offering wholesome, safe products for little ones. Their products are made with the best ingredients – all organic with no GMOs, artificial colors or preservatives added. Earth’s Best believes that kids deserve nutritious fruits handpicked from organic orchards, vegetables grown in nature’s soil, and foods that are made without pesticides or genetically engineered ingredients. From their formulas and baby food, through their toddler food and frozen breakfasts and entrees, Earth’s Best is committed to providing delicious, healthy, wholesome and fun options for kids of all ages.

Earth's Best Organic Nutty Bars Earth's Best nutty snack bars for kids

Packable Snacks for Lunches

The newest line of products from Earth’s Best is perfect for back-to-school season and must have been designed for busy moms searching high and low for quick, healthy and convenient snacks. Included in the line are two flavors of Organic Fruit Cups (Berry Blend and Mango Berry Blend) and two flavors of Nutty Snack Bars (Peanut Butter & Cocoa and Peanut, Almond & Cashew Butter with Golden Raisins). These products were designed to be packed in a lunch frozen and perfectly thawed and ready to eat by lunchtime. The fruit cups are packed with berries and each come with their own spoon. The snack bars are delicious, filling and packed with protein.

Earth's Best organic fruit cups

After-School Options

For moms looking for a quick, healthy, small-bite option for after-school snacks, Earth’s Best also has two new flavors of Stuffed Pretzels (Cheddar Cheese and Pizza) and two new flavors of Stuffed Bites (Three Cheese and Broccoli, Kale & Cheese). Both options can be quickly heated up in the microwave or oven (toaster oven is my preference) and enjoyed by kids on the go after school, play dates or a day at the park. Both my kids are obsessed with the pizza flavored Stuffed Pretzels and I can’t blame them a bit — they’re delicious — but, the Broccoli, Kale and Cheese stuff mini pocket is my favorite.

Earth's Best stuffed bites for kids

Earth’s Best for all ages

Whether you’re packing a lunch for your school-aged kid or looking for the perfect packable snack for your toddlers, make sure to check out the new line of frozen snacks from Earth’s Best, along with all their other amazing products for kids, toddlers and babies. They can be found at your local Target or grocery store or use the store locator feature on their website to find a retailer near you.

Earth's Best Organic Nutty Snack Bars for Kids

Enter the giveaway to win

Don’t forget to enter the Savvy Sassy School Days Giveaway for your chance to win over $1250 in prizes, including an Earth’s Best prize pack ($150 value). See our original post for all the details. Best of luck and happy snacking!

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Desigual Kids Collection Fall 2015 Savvy Sassy Moms
This summer, our family traveled to Spain for five weeks. If you are following Savvy Sassy Moms on Instagram, you probably saw that I shared some of our adventures in each of the five cities we visited — as well as some of our shopping trips. One of the most popular stores in Spain is Desigual. If you have not heard of them before, you are in for a treat! The company started in Barcelona, Spain in 1985 and has since grown into one of the largest retailers in Europe.

We saw Desigual stores everywhere during our trip. They’re like the Starbucks of Spain — there’s one on every corner! Known for their signature bold prints and colorful designs, Desigual designs clothing for women and men, as well as a full kids’ collection and a coming-soon collection of clothes for infants. You’ll love their shoes, handbags and accessories.

I first discovered Desigual when I was in Barcelona 7 years ago and have been a fan for years. I’ve loved seeing their stores pop up in the United States, While we were in Barcelona, I received an invitation to visit the Desigual flagship store to see the new fall kids’ collection for back-to-school.

To say my daughter was excited would be an understatement!

Desigual Kids Fall Collection
Desigual Girls Fall Collection
POP Princess

Desigual has a clear theme for this latest collection, and it’s all about the ’80s. In fact, they took inspiration from the most famous pop star of all — Madonna, the Material Girl herself.

“Bubblegum pink, black and grey were her favorite colors to wear in those first music videos. Her denim jacket will be the next hit at school with a patchwork of knitted cut-offs and bright colours. The ’80s were characterized by the freedom of mix & match.

Create the effect of volume just like the queen of pop by wearing a down jacket over a glittery skull top. Anything is possible. Flowers with song lyrics, touches of glittery lace and denim… that’s the essence of a Material Girl.”

Desigual Boys Fall Collection

SCI-Fi Super Heros

The boys’ fall collection is a little bit comic book, science fiction and the futuristic all in one! The wild colors and bold prints for boys are certainly just as creative and fun as the girls collection.

“2015 is the year of the ’80s science fiction revival. The universe of George Lucas is back with a new edition of Star Wars. This autumn, Desigual once again brings you its characters Han Solo, Darth Vader, R2-D2 and C-3PO on layered T-shirts and two-tone sweatshirts. They’ve even been turned into comic book characters using the retro design of the time.

It’s also the anniversary of Back to the Future. In 1985, Robert Zemeckis set the film in 2015. What are the similarities between film in 2015. What are the similarities between those two worlds? The famous anorak! The famous anorak worn by Marty McFly is now a reality thanks to Desigual. It’s been modernized with felt cut-offs and sporty letters.”

Desigual Fall Kids Collection
My daughter was totally smitten with Desigual and wanted everything! Our favorite was the reversible sequin shirts. We posted a video on Instagram of this amazing shirt, so you can see the full effect. We had a blast spending the morning in the colorful world of Desigual.
Desigual Store barcelona Spain McKenna

 

What do you think of Desigual Kids?  Have you shopped Desigual?
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Back-to-School with Minted

Our favorite back-to-school Minted picks

There are so, so many good things from Minted for back-to-school this year. With the addition of a brand-new collection of kids’ name labels (they’re waterproof and non-toxic!) alongside all of the classic favorites, such as stationery and personalized notebooks, Minted really is the best of back-to-school shopping destinations.

Here are few favorites we can’t resist for back-to-school:

Minted Back-to-School Essentials for Kids

 

See the entire Minted Kid Essentials Collection to pick your own favorites for back-to-school and be sure to enter our #2Cool4School giveaway to win a $150 Minted Shopping Spree.

Pictured at top:
Gem Custom Name Labels, $12 for 24 labels
Out of Line Custom Name Labels, $12 for 32 labels

Make sure you pop by our #2Cool4School Twitter Party tonight at 6 p.m. PST to chat more about Minted and win a gift certificate to spend on their new collection of back-to-school products.

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Kid-Friendly Lunch Ideas and Free Lunchbox PrintableAt our house, my kids are responsible for making their own lunches. They think I am the worst mother in the world for making them do it, but I think kids need some kind of responsibility. I am there to help them if they need it, but I make them do the majority of the work. At the beginning of the year, I sit down with them and ask them what they would like to eat for lunch so that I can buy those things. Honestly, they would eat the same thing every single day, which is fine with me as long as they follow our lunchbox rules.

Teaching Kids to Make Their Own Lunches (Free Lunchbox Printable!)Our lunchbox rules for packing school lunches

While we have our kids pack their own lunches, they do have to follow a few guidelines. Can you imagine what they’re lunches would look like if we didn’t?

Here’s what they need to include in their lunch:

1 Fruit or vegetable
1 Protein
1 Treat
1 Drink

They have to eat their fruit or vegetable every day. If they don’t, they aren’t allowed to have a treat the next day. They are generally really good about doing this!

Our “rules” are very simple and very easy and I’ve found that it’s the right amount of food for them, too. They don’t get a lot of time to eat at school, so overwhelming them with a bunch of options in their lunchboxes doesn’t help.

Filling their lunchboxes with good eats

I like to keep lots of fruit and other snacks on-hand so that each they can switch it up each day. Annie’s Organic Cheddar Bunnies are a huge hit in our house! I love that they are organic and made with 100% real cheese. I also buy the Bunny Grahams and love them so much that I have a hard time sharing them with my kids!

This year they choose four different meals:


















PB&J: Always a classic, it’s easy for them to make themselves and they can customize it with their favorite kind of jelly!

 

 

Meat, cheese and crackers: Kids love that this is a DIY lunch when they’re at school! They can build their own stacked combos or eat everything on its own. My kids love these Mash-ups by Plum Organics and I love that they are getting fruit and vegetables at the same time and they don’t know it!

Apple, pretzels, peanut butter and string cheese: There’s something about this combo that goes so well together!

Quesadillas: If you don’t have a quesadilla maker you need to get one right now. The kids can just throw a tortilla on there with some cheese and in two-minutes they have a quesadilla! Best invention ever!

Add a little love to their lunchbox

Even though they make their lunch, I want them to know I am thinking about them while they are gone away at school, so I sneak in a cute note into their lunchboxes after they go to bed. I don’t do this everyday, but when I do they always says something about it after school, so I know that they love it and are excited to discover that little note

Click below to print out these cute free lunchbox printables that you can tuck in your kids’ lunchboxes, whether they pack their own lunches or if you’re still on lunch-making duty!

 

This post was contributed as part of the Savvy Sassy Moms Product Scouts Program. Find more from Krystal on her blog, Simply Girly

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