Back-to-school. It’s a term you either love or hate but either way it’s coming quickly. I’ve completed my back-to-school shopping early this year and wanted to share with you the best of what I found.
I’m not just telling you about it but giving you the chance to win a backpack FULL of all my favourite things in my BIG back-to-school giveaway with prizes valued at over $500.
Backpacks and Lunchbags From Chapters Indigo
A few weeks ago, the kids and I headed to Ottawa. Next to our hotel was a great Chapters. It was then I noticed how awesome their back-to-school gear was. I decided to seize the day and grabbed some amazing stuff. You can see the entire back-to-school collection here.
PARKLAND BAYSIDE BACKPACK
I’m a huge fan of cute backpacks and fell hard for the Parkland Bayside Packpacks available from Chapters Indigo. Charlie loved the mint colour (Jawbreaker) and Will immediately picked out the camo bag (Geo Camo). My kids aren’t lugging too much back and forth yet so these bags are a perfect size especially since we walk to school. The large mesh pocket on the side is a major plus for storing water bottles and Will’s favourite school necessity, his handball.
Win my BIG back-to-school giveaway and you’ll score two Parkland Bayside Backpacks; one in Jawbreaker and one in Geo Camo (exclusive to Indigo)! Value: $39.95 each.
MONBENTO TRESOR BENTO BOX
Bento boxes are all the rage for school lunches and there’s no doubting why. They are perfect for sending small portions of your kids’ favourite foods to school. I couldn’t help but smile checking out the brightly coloured Monbento Tresor boxes and imagining what food I could pack up in them. Each box includes a bottom container (450 ml) and two food cups (150 ml each) that are microwave-safe and airtight, BPA-Free, food grade materials, Freezer safe and Dishwasher safe.
My BIG back-to-school giveaway includes two Monbento Tresor boxes in Blueberry and Raspberry! Value: $29.95 each.
MONBENTO SQUARE BENTO BOX
As a mom, I know I can never have enough bento boxes, or big enough ones. I love the Monbento Square Bento Box for days your kids simply need more food. It has two airtight containers, one inner food container to separate parts of their meal and one large and one small elastic band so you can use it as a one-level or two-level bento box. Made from high-quality food-grade plastic with a “soft-touch” finish, it’s 100% airtight and fully microwavable (thanks to small silicone caps in the intermediary lids). It’s also BPA-free, microwave and dishwasher safe and freezer-safe. Score.
My BIG back-to-school giveaway includes one Monbento Square Bento Box in Black! Value: $45
TAKENAKA SINGLE BENTO BOX
This bento box changes to accommodate whatever snack your kids come up with. The inner partition moves for equal size snacks on each size or something more like carrots and dip. It stays shut with a secure band that wraps around the outside. Also BPA-free, lead-free, microwave and dishwasher safe!
My BIG back-to-school giveaway includes one Monbento Takenaka Single Bento Box in Pink! Value: $38
MONBENTO ELEMENT INSULATED BENTO BOX
The final lunchbox staple that I love is the Monbento Element Insulated Bento Box. Perfect for pastas, soups, chili and more. This additional to your school lunch arsenal will help you defeat the “I don’t want another sandwich” days. The Monbento Element insulated bento box keeps your meals warm or cold for up to 5 hours and is food grade, BPA free, insulated and dishwasher safe.
My BIG back-to-school giveaway includes one Monbento Element Insulated Bento Box in Silver! Value: $55
Known for having the best back-to-school ads ever, Staples is well– a staple in my shopping. I love the store layout and they really do have everything you need to get your kids ready for to head back to school.
EMOTICON MAGNETS AND EMOJI PENCILS AND ERASERS
This year, my favourite find for the kids was a series of Emoticon magnets and Emoji pencils and erasers. Will and Charlie loved picking all their favourites and I think they will be a huge hit at school.
To make sure you pick the exact ones that will make your kids smile, my BIG back-to-school giveaway includes a $25 gift card to any Staples in Canada! Value: $25
A long long time ago, my backpack for school was constantly filled with Mr. Sketch markers. I’m glad my kids share this fascination. Mr. Sketch has come out with some incredibly cool stuff for the upcoming school year.
MR. SKETCH SCENTED GEL CRAYONS
Forget your kids, when you see these crayons you are going to want to keep them for yourself. They look sort of like lip gloss and smell amazing. They are so much fun to colour with I’ve confiscated the pack I got for the kids to up my colouring game.
MR. SKETCH ICE CREAM STIX AND CHISEL TIP MARKERS
Summer is ending but that doesn’t mean all things ice cream need to go away. These markers are cute as can be and will keep your kids daydreaming of summer straight through the school year. Scents include Bubble Gum, Chocolate, Mint Chocolate Chip, Lemon Ice, Strawberry and Stinky Cheese.
The Movie Night markers were a huge hit with my son Will and I’m sure your kids will love them too. Scents include Yellow Hot Buttery Popcorn, Pink Watermelon Hard Candy, Light Blue Blue Raspberry Slushier, Orange Nacho Cheese, Dark Brown Mint Chocolate Candy, and Light Brown Root Beer.
MR. SKETCH SCENTED TWISTABLE CRAYONS
I’ll admit it, I first bought these crayons because I thought the fact they twisted was cool. I was right. Now when the kids manage to break a small piece off or wear the top off, they simply twist the crayon up to continue drawing. Problem solved.
MR. SKETCH SCENTED WASHABLE MARKERS
These are my go-to for school because my kids’ uniforms are white. Charlie has sufficiently tested the “washable” claim and the scent adds an extra layer of fun to craft time.
PAPER MATE INKJOY GEL PENS IN 14 COLOURS
When I spotted this set of inkjoy gel pens, I knew I needed it for myself. Although the kids each got a few, this rainbow of gel pens now sits on my desk. You should see how good my calendar looks.
My BIG back-to-school giveaway includes one pack of each of my Mr. Sketch and Paper Mate Inkjoy favourites! Value: $105
Well.ca has become one of my online go-tos for school shopping and more especially since shipping is free on orders over $29 (before taxes and shipping). Here are some of our can’t live without ’em products found on the site.
In my humble opinion, S’well water bottles are nearly impossible to beat in quality. I love them because there are no tiny parts to clean or even worse lose; they keep drinks cold for a full 24 hours and hot for 12 and they are most importantly non-toxic, non-leaching and BPA Free. Charlie picked out this dark hearted bottle while I ordered a few extras in fluorescent pink so I don’t have to hear “Where’s my water bottle?” every morning at 7 am.
As some of you know, Charlie has some pretty severe allergies which means we bring snacks and lunch everywhere we go. I started using the Fluf Meow Snack Packs and love them. They are fully machine washable and have a water resistance lining. They are also made with 100% certified organic cotton and a tested food sale lining free of BPA, phthalates and lead. Charlie doesn’t mind bringing them along because she loves the cute designs.
To give you a chance to try out Well.Ca for yourself, my BIG back-to-school giveaway includes a $50 electronic gift card to Well.ca! Value: $50
Made Good Bars
I found Made Good Bars halfway through the school year last year and they were a lifesaver. My kids love all the flavours and I feel good about giving them Made Good Bars for snack time. The best part is Made Good bars and granola minis are free from and made in a facility free from the 8 common allergens: Peanut, Tree Nut, Wheat, Dairy, Egg, Soy, Sesame and Fish. Meaning they are safe not only for my Charlie but the kids in both their classes.
MadeGood Granola Minis and Granola Bars are available at mass retailers across Canada, including Loblaws, Whole Foods, Sobeys, and online at Well.ca
My BIG back-to-school giveaway includes a selection of Made Good bars and granola minis. Value: $15
Hungry Buddha Coconut Chips ***New Addition***
We are currently on a road trip and as I watched my kids devour Hungry Buddha Coconut Chips in the car yesterday, I couldn’t believe I forgot to add them into this list! The coconut chips are sweet enough to taste like a treat while being dairy-free, gluten-free and non-GMO. Now the Canadian company has announced that they are releasing snack packs designed for kids on the go. The snack packs come in four amazing flavours: Classic Coconut, Smokin’ Sriracha, Cheeky Chocolate and Heavenly Honey.
Win my BIG back-to-school giveaway and you’ll win a selection of full size Hungry Buddha Coconut Chips!
The return of school means the return of head lice. The good news is you can be prepared before they strike with the Lice Squad Louse Trap Comb. I picked one up after a family of lice found a comfy place to live in my kids’ hair and haven’t had a problem since. If lice do decide to visit your home, I strongly advise you call the Lice Squad. They are my source for panic and tear free lice removal in our home is 2012.
Win my BIG back-to-school giveaway and you’ll win a Lice Squad Louse Trap Comb! Value: $24.95
The last thing on my list is the one I always order first when it comes to back-to-school shopping; Mabels Labels. These labels literally survive anything my kids do to them and make it so their belongings remain their belongings.
ULTIMATE BACK-TO-SCHOOL COMBO
This year, I picked up the Ultimate Back-to-School combo for both of my kids. The combo includes 40 Mini Custom Name Stickers; 50 Tag Mates™ Stick On Clothing Labels; 16 Custom Shoe Stickers; and 2 Personalized Mini Tags. Last year, this amount of labels got us through school and 6 after-school activities without a single ballet shoe or karate belt being lost.
Win my BIG back-to-school giveaway and you’ll win an Ultimate Back-to-School combo of your own! Value: $42
BIG Back-to-School Giveaway
There you have it folks, everything I love stuff in backpacks and ready to head to your home! Enter here before August 22nd, 2016. Contest open in Canada only (excludes Quebec). Prize value: $500+