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Starting school is an exciting time for everyone, but with every change comes anxiety… for both you and your little one! Here are some quick tips on how to make the transition for those first few weeks into school a smooth one.

Back-to-school transitions made easy… with helpful teacher tips
Tip No. 1: Dive into friendships

Start by talking about all of the new friends your child has met and is still going to make at his new school as the year progresses. If possible, access a class list or do some networking during drop-off and pick-up to set up play dates with friends, both new and old. Play dates are such a great way for your child to become familiar with the other children in the class to begin fostering these friendships.

Tip No. 2: Pack your calendar

Go to every event you can! If there is a school barbecue or class get together, try to attend. This way your child has the opportunity to acclimatize to the school, teacher, classroom environment and all of their new friends.Books for Back to School

Tip No. 3: Use books as a tool

Read books daily about your child’s feelings about school-related activities to stimulate conversation and talk about anything they aren’t sure about. Read your child’s favorites again and again!

Here are few that are tried, true and tested;

A Good Day, K, Henkes
Franklin Goes To School, P. Bourgeois
Friends, E. Carle
Let’s Play, H. Tullet
My Teacher is a Monster, P. Brown
Noni is Nervous, H. Hartt-Sussman
Oddrey and the New Kid, D. Whamond
Read To Your Bunny, R. Wells
Ready for School Murphy? B. Murphy
The Kissing Hand, A. Penn

Tip No. 4: Help your child become autonomous

Routines are key! Check and prepare your child’s backpack daily. Help them identify their cup, coat, extra clothes and belongings by sharing in this packing process. Invite your child to help you select and prepare the items to bring to school. Label all of your belongings with your child’s favorite decal or back to school labels.

Begin supporting your child with dressing themselves. Show them what goes on first, next and last to instill order of the process and foster independence. Practice daily and praise all efforts, this is hard work and a ton to remember! Keep a bin of dress up clothing available for your child to practice these newfound skills.

Establish independent eating routines at home to help your child gain control of utensils, foster independence and feel secure with new skills.

Tip No. 5: Set them up for success

We know the mornings can get crazy and that’s when the anxiety levels rise. Here are a few things to keep in mind to make mornings easier.

Prepare as much as you can the night before. This includes packing lunches, picking out clothes for the next day, putting their shoes out at the front door and packing their backpack to ensure they aren’t running around the house just before it’s time to leave.

In the morning, give yourself lots of time. Plan to leave early because chances are you will leave late! Planning to leave early gives your child time for an unexpected bathroom visit or an extra-long breakfast without feeling pressured. If you truly end up leaving on time, great! This will give your child a few extra minutes to run around before school starts. Arriving on time for school is essential for your child to start the day off on the right foot. When they arrive on time, they enter the class with their peers instead of after them which allows them all to participate in the morning routine together.

Consistency and patience are essential! It is important to communicate all of the new skills that you are working on at home with your child’s classroom teacher so they can continue to foster your child’s development at school.

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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.

allergyfree7

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.

Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 12.36.55 PM

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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A new school year is about to start and that means back to schedules, carpooling, and packing lunches everyday. It also means a whole new classroom full of moms to get to know. I always think it’s great to know the other parents in my child’s classroom. One, because I’m overly social, but also because we have to have each other’s backs. We all need help with this crazy thing called parenting. I’m a firm believer that it takes a village and the parents in my child’s classroom are a great addition to mine.

5 Tips for connecting with moms at school

But, that raises the question: How do I connect with the other moms at school? I’m sure there are a lot of ways, but these are my best tips for connecting with the other moms and growing my own village.

1. Don’t be scared to break the ice.

Yes, this seems obvious, but I have witnessed a bunch of moms just standing in a room not talking. Don’t be afraid to be the talker. Say hi and tell everyone your name. Tell them which child is yours. Tell them why they should be your best friend and you should go have a glass of wine after this insane parent meeting.

2. Be yourself.

Again, this seems like a guide for middle schoolers, but I think moms seem to revert back to their childhood when it comes to connecting with other parents. You can’t expect to start a good relationship based on your fake alter ego. Don’t pretend you love to throw class parties or craft cute teacher gifts if you don’t really love to do that. Maybe your talent is writing great class newsletters, picking up the store-bought cupcakes, or just being the life of the party. Here’s a time when you shouldn’t fake it. Be true to who you are. People will like the real you better than the miserable fake you.

3. Don’t be judge-y.

The other side of being yourself is don’t judge others. Don’t judge them because of the way they parent, the way they love to bake homemade vegan cupcakes, or the fact that they have to work and can never make to any of the class activities. We’re all doing the best we can. If you’re judging everyone, you have no time to really become their friend.

4. Get involved.

This is one my biggest tips to moms looking to make friends. Whether it’s at school, playgroup, church, or even just the gym — get involved with something. You could join the PTA, help out in the classroom, be the room mom (if you’re brave), help out in the teacher workroom. Being active and involved in whatever organization you choose will help you connect with the other moms in that group. It’s basically forced friendship.

5. Just ask.

I’m betting if you just ask another mom at school if they want to hang out, they’ll say yes. If you want to connect with the moms in your child’s class, host a little brunch party at your house, invite someone for coffee after drop-off, or maybe even dinner or drinks one evening. The best way to connect with a new person is to ask!

I hope some of these tips will help you with the start of a new school year!

What tips or ideas have you used to help connect with the moms at school?

This post was contributed by Lindsey McPherson, owner of The Nashville Mom. You can find more from Lindsey on Instagram.

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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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It’s that time again, moms! Back-to-school is upon us and I, for one, could not be more excited. However, with going back to school comes early bedtimes, which leads to early mornings and the inevitable rushing out the door. While I can’t get your kids dressed and out the door for you, I can introduce you to one product that will make at least one part of the morning rush that much easier. Moms, meet Beddy’s.

Beddy's Zippable Bedding for Kids

Manic mornings

Nothing makes a room look clean quickly or creates everyday good habits like making your bed every morning. I do it, my kids do it, it’s just what happens when you get ready for the day. But the struggle is real. No, they don’t go off skipping happily to their rooms to make their beds while telling me how much they appreciate how hard I work to instill good life skills in them during their impressionable young years. It’s more like the five stages of grief, but with more sobbing and yelling. And then, when the 6-year-old upgraded to a loft bed… forget about it.

Finding Beddy’s was a sanity-saver. Not only is it beautiful, high-quality bedding, but my daughter was actually excited to make her bed and it was soooo easy to do — just zip and go.

The Cutest Zippable Bedding for Kids
Zip ’n go

Beddy’s is the dream child of two lovely ladies out of Utah, Angie and Betsy, who knew there had to be an easier way to fight and win the battle of the bed. And, if this story sounds familiar, then you probably watch the show West Texas Investors Club where they absolutely killed it and won investment money for their ingenious product. Beddy’s is an all-in-one bedding set that includes your comforter, fitted sheet and top sheet in a one piece design that zips together for quick and easy bed making. The easiest way to explain it is to think of it like a sleeping bag attached to a fitted sheet, but on steroids.

pillows

Right off the bat, I was blown away by how luxurious the materials were. From the super soft minky fabric used for a top sheet to the cotton used on the outside of the comforters, it was all so posh. Now, I’m one for details when it comes to this type of thing and as much as I searched for somewhere they has skimped, I came up empty. Every ruffle was perfect, every trim was impeccably sewn, even the inside of the fitted sheet, you know, the part you never see, was lined in a coordinating fabric to match. Mind. Blown. And don’t get me started on the throw pillows that have a zipper on the back for easy washing. The throw pillows on my bed don’t have zippers!

Beddys wide
How it works

First thing I did was, of course, throw it in the wash where it came out softer and fluffier than it was before. (Good to note: If you have a small washer like me, the comforter does completely zip off on both sides so I was able to wash the top and the bottom in separate loads.) Then up the bunk bed ladder I went. Like I said, putting the Beddy’s on your child’s bed is as easy as putting on a fitted sheet, and it really was. (Or as easy as putting a fitted sheet on a bunk bed can be, amirite?) Next, I laid the top comforter on top and zipped it up. There are two zippers, one on each side so it doesn’t matter which side you use as the in-n-out side, it’s all accessible. Lastly, I threw the adorable matching pillows up to my 6-year-old to style to her liking and I was done.

We’ve had the Beddy’s on the bed for about three weeks now and I have yet to have the “go make your bed” fight since. I’m so impressed by the product all around, and as some of you know, I’m pretty picky. I’d have to say, if there is one drawback at all it’s that my 6-year-old now has nicer bedding than I do and while nobody has yet to thank me for those life skills, at least the sobbing and yelling is down to a manageable level, and I can handle that.

Beddy’s bed sets come in sizes to fit toddler mattresses, twin, full, queen and even twin XL, which is perfect for dorm rooms! Matching throw pillows, bed skirts and blankets are also available to match any Beddy’s set you fall in love with.

Which is your favorite Beddy’s collection?
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#2Cool4School Back-to-School Giveaway

School days are here again and we’re celebrating with our friends at Project Junior by featuring some of our back-to-school favorites in our #2Cool4School back-to-school giveaway! With so much to buy during this crazy time of year and with so many options out there, let us help by narrowing down your shopping list. This giveaway is our biggest of the back-to-school season and it’s filled with everything from supplies that your kids will think are super cool to way to ride to school with ease to clothes and shoes that will let them find their own back-to-school style.

Hope your first day of school is a good one!

#2Cool4School Giveaway from Minted

$150 Shopping spree to Minted

Minted has everything you need to send your kids back to school and, more importantly, to make sure their belongings make it back home at the end of the day! Minted’s community of independent artists have designed everything from name labels to custom journals. ($150 value)

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#2Cool4School Giveaway

$150 Shopping spree to Polarn O. Pyret

Every kid looks forward to back-to-school shopping and Polarn O. Pyret knows how to turn kids’ styles up a notch. Polarn O. Pyret holds the philosophy that children’s clothes should look good and allow kids to be kids, a sentiment we stand behind. This stylish line is designed to withhold the daily wear-and-tear kids put their clothes dailyand holds up the fashions trend . So before heading back to class make Polarn o. Pyret your “one-stop shop” to send your kid back to school in style. (A $150 value).

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#2Cool4School Giveaway with Rack Room Shoes

$100 Shopping Spree to Rack Room Shoes

Rack Room Shoes is your one-stop-shop for all your back-to-school shoes needs. Whether you are looking for shoes that your kids can hit the playground with or you want the newest fashion trends, they’ve got your kids’ feet covered. ($100 value)

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#2Cool4School GIveaway with Micro Kickboard

Micro Maxi from Micro Kickboard

How cool would it be to roll into your first day of school?!? The Micro Maxi from Micro Kickboard is the ultimate set of wheels for kids, make getting to and from school a blast. Designed for kids between the ages of 5 and 12, you’ll love the way it helps burn off energy on the way home from school each day. Want to join in on the fun? Be sure to check out their collection for teens and adults! ($130 value)

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#2Cool4School Giveaway with Logitech

Logitech BLOK Ipad Case from Logitech

Does your junior scholar use an iPad for educational learning? If they are bringing their iPad to-and-from school making sure it is protected is a top priority. The BLOK iPad Case from Logitech is designed to absorb the force of impact, even in the hands of the roughest kindergartner. ($69 value)

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#2Cool4School Giveaway with Joovy

Groove Ultra Light  and Bumprider from Joovy

Heading back to school means it’s also time for everyone in the family to get up and get going in the morning… even little ones who aren’t in school yet. If you have younger siblings in tow, Joovy’s Groove Ultralight and Bumprider are must-haves. While it won’t stop the alarm clock from going off before the sun comes up, it will help make the ride to school just a little bit easier… for everyone! ($310 value)

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#2Cool4School GIveaway with Chooze

Backpack + Lunch Bag from Chooze

Chooze backpacks and lunch bags will bring out your student’s bright-side while heading back to class. Chooze signature style is anything but ordinary, making them the perfect way for your kids to express their individual style at school. Their reversible design features two functional sides, giving children the power to choose which print to display so they can change it depending on their mood. ($60 value)

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Enter to win in #2Cool4School

One winner will receive all of the prizes in our #2Cool4School giveaway, a value of over $950.

To enter, please use the giveaway form below.
Giveaway ends Friday, September 18, 2015.
Must be 18 or older to enter & win.

#2Cool4School

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