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As the season starts to change and the weather gets a tad bit chillier, the kiddos make their way back to school for the 2016-2017 year.  I remember as a kid, going back to school was my favorite time of year because it meant that I would have the opportunity to impress a new set of teachers and meet new friends.  My boys returned back to school at the beginning of August and while it has been a busy month so far, we are so excited and they have been absolutely loving school.  Today I share with you a few of their favorite finds for Back to School from affordable selections that we love and a few Celebrity faves.  Since back to school can be a fun time for kids or some may feel a bit uneasy, it’s the perfect time to pick up some new goods that will surely put a smile on your littles’ faces.

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Going back to school after a fun summer break isn’t always easy for littles.  But, finding cool Back to School gear and supplies always make for a great start.  This year I wanted the boys to be able to develop their own sense of style (see the twins with their mohawks and sunglasses in the photo above? lol), but I also wanted them to select basics that would make their year fun and functional.

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A quality made backpack is always an important part of back to school.  My eldest Kevin has a full schedule of classes and a heavy workload and homework sometimes.  It’s important that he has a backpack that can take him to and from school while still offering him the option to use for extra curricular activities and sports.  His choice of gear for this year was the Mountainsmith Approach 25 backpack (retail: $89.95).

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This multi-pocket backpack is perfect for on the go for work and office, school or sports, or for a hike to climb the highest summit.  It features a dual-anel loader system which is idea for travel and trail), a front panel stretch-mesh pocket with daisy chain attachment loops, Anvil Airway ridged EVA back panel padding which make it comfortable on the back no matter what you carry in it, tool / trekking pole carry, side compression straps, dual side-panel mesh pockets, an internal hydration sleeve to hold 3 liters and an eleastic sternum strap and bit valve catch with a safety whistle.

This backpack is sturdy and unisex.  He has it in burgundy with brick red trim and it looks stunning and manly.  It’s comfortable on and Kevin can stuff this backpack with his school supplies and homework without worrying about it falling apart.  It’s a great backpack to have for anyone of any age and is not only for school but anything.  I plan to pick one up for myself as well since it will be great for my forest treks.

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Luke opted for a fun and stylish backpack from Chooze.  Chooze is a brand selected and loved by celebrities alike.  Matthew McConaughey’s little girl is a huge fan of the versatile and affordable clothing and accessories Chooze offers.  Luke wanted the reversible ChoozePack in Quest (retail $43.95).

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These ingenious packs feature a reversible design that has two functional sides to give your kiddos the power to choose which print to display.  It offers padded convertible straps (which Luke says are BOMB because they are so comfortable) and you can flip each strap from side-to-side to provide a different look.

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Of course, no back to school list and gear would be complete without a way to carry your lunch and snack to and from school.  Kevin opted for something he could use for school and sports and went with the Mountainsmith Takeout insulated lunch pack (retailing $17.95).  It is the perfect sized carry-all for school, office and tailgating and has a look that any teen would enjoy.

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To help carry his favorite mom’s delicious soups to school for lunch, he also selected the Hydro Flask Food Flasks.  He has them in the 12 oz. (retails for $29.99) and the 18 oz. (retails for $34.99).  These flasks are perfect to carry his favorite soups or a hot cocoa on those chilly mornings.  They fit perfectly into any lunchbox and are the perfect way to give kids a balanced healthy meal.  They offer improved temperature control technology and can keep hot food items made in the morning steamy until lunchtime.  He also enjoys holding his milk in these and pours a small box of cereal inside for breakfast on the go.

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Luke & Isaiah decided that getting a traditional lunchbox was the way they wanted to go this year.  Each of them selected a Personalized Lunchbox from I See Me! (retailing for $29.99 each, currently on sale for $17.99.  Isaiah chose the Kick, Score, Run Lunchbox and Luke chose the Outerspace Lunchbox.  I See Me! is a brand and leader in personalized storyboks and gifts for kids, offering over 30 customizable book titles.  They also offer lunch boxes, stickers, growth charts, puzzles and so much more.  This fun company is a favorite of celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Alba and Brooke Shields.

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Did I ever mention how much I enjoy Quinoa?  Well, I couldn’t resist putting some of these yummy snacks in the boys lunch boxes.  I Heart Keenwah snacks are perfect for any kiddo on the go or to pack with their lunch.  These Grab n Go (1.5 oz) snacks are great afterschool or lunch treats that taste great and are fun and nutritious.  I Heart Keenwah quinoa Clusters and Puffs are a healthy alternative to chips, crackers or sweets.  They are made of organic, Non-GMO ingredients.  They are a protein-rich superfood snack and gluten-free with the perfect crunch to fill and fuel your little ones bodies.  I love them myself and the boys think they taste great.  We find them at our local Safeway and Wholefoods at a reasonable cost.

Setton Farms International Premium Quality Snacks are also a great buy.  Our favorite are the Creme Brulee Blend that has cashews and toffee peanuts.  The Creme Brulee Blend incorporates all the creamy sweetness and crunch of the traditional Creme Brulee without the spoon.  It combines freshly roasted cashews and toffee peanuts with creamy butterscotch and white chips for an irresistible treat.  They are available in 5 oz resealable bags and available in major grocery store chains across the country – Price Chopper, Market Basket, King Kullen and more.  Setton Farms sent us a variety of treats to try but the Creme Brulee Blend is our favorite.  I hope we can find more of these in our local stores, so far I’ve only found them at http://www.puritan.com/ and I’ll need to be purchasing more soon.

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When it comes to back to school, the boys are simple shoppers which makes my job easiest.  I remember as a child wanting to have all the pretty notebooks and pens for back to school supplies.  This year, when I did the boys school supply shopping, I also took advantage of some discounts for myself too.  Whether it’s Crayons or Pens, Notebooks and Planners or a tablet, the options are endless and come in a variety of price points.  Some of our favorites included:

  • Crayola Crayons 24 Pack – these are perfect on the go or to keep in the desk or at home.  When shopping during the sales you can get these for about $0.25 each.
  • Calendar or Planners – some of my favorites are the Blue Sky Planners from Target.  Of course, you can’t go wrong with an Erin Condren Life Planner, Happy Planner or your traditional binder planners like Kikki K, Filofax or Dokibook.
  • Pens – anyone who knows me, knows that I’m a huge pen collector.  Some of my current favorites include the Paper Mate Ink Joy Gel 0.7mm Pens, Pilot Frixon Pens and Pilot G2.
  • Pencils – Oh, how I love me some pencils.  Currently my favorites at the moment are any type of Mechanical Pencil with 0.5mm lead, BIC Pencil 0.7mm (the metallic ones have won me over), Dixon Ticonderoga #2 Pencils (have you seen the beautiful metallic ones?)  The Ticonderoga pencils are perfect for sketching as well as writing and erase cleanly.
  • Notebooks – Spiral, composition tablet… you name them and they are available in all kinds of paper style and cover design.
  • Folder / Filler Paper – ah, hand me a ream of college ruled please!  The twins use Wide Ruled, Kevin uses College Ruled.  I love that they are available from a variety of brands and price points.
  • Amazon Fire Tablet – for less than $50, you can get your hands on a Tablet that acts as a Reader or Internet hub.  The Amazon Fire Tablet is affordable but gives your student (or you) the option to get online, use amazing apps or just play games.  It’s definitely a great tool to have for the student or the mentor.

Now – you don’t need to pick up these particular items.  Honestly, I just wanted to include some of my favorite school supplies (or mommy supplies) because I was feeling a bit left out. lol

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Last but certainly not least in our Back to School finds are some great threads.  Each child is an individual and I really love seeing them shop and select their own clothing, accessories and shoes – even their own hair cuts.  All three of my boys are simple guys but they do enjoy fun pops of color to their outfits and clothing selections.  Whether it be plaid shorts with a solid color shirt or fun hats and accessories, the boys take pride in finding something to wear that is not only comfortable and functional – but reveals their style.  Isaiah is absolutely enjoying his Rocket in Listen modern sneaker boot style shoes from Chooze ($54.95) and he wanted to show them to our readers today.

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This modern sneaker boot style shoe comes with a side elastic gore added for comfort.  It has a signature dual design with easy access side zipper entry making the shoe easy to take off and put on.  It has padded throat for extra comfort and soft canvas uppers.  The flexible support offers comfort while the removable, padded, anti-stink insoles make these the perfect footwear for an active little guy.  They wipe clean easily with a damp cloth or can be washed in cold water and air dried.  Chooze offers a variety of footwear designs for both girls and boys and they are stylish and fun to allow your child to make a statement all their own.

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Luke likes a shoe that can allow him to run and play with a little swagger and Kevin, well – if he’s not in his Nike Basketball shoes most of the time, you can find him in a pair of flip flops (rubbah slippahs as we call them here in Hawaii) and a cool pair of shades to finish off his look.  The boys were quite ecstatic to return back to school because the new school year meant that they were all beginning their football season for Pop Warner but most importantly, they got to go back to school and learn… I mean, hang out with their friends, just kidding lol.  The boys love school and love learning new things so shopping for new gear for back to school is always a huge highlight.

No matter what you decide to get for your child (or yourself) this Back to School season, make it fun and colorful and let it represent your own individual style.  Have your kiddos gone back to school yet?  If so, do they sport a relaxed and casual style or do they really like to dress up and have some fun?  Wishing all the students a wonderful 2016-2017 school year filled with lots of fun, friendships and learning.  From our house to yours… Aloha!

Signature Honey

Disclaimer:  Some of the products mentioned in this post were sent for review and feature consideration.  All opinions are my own, 100% honest and unbiased and I was not paid to feature these products.  Some products were also purchased with my own money.  Affiliate links are posted through out.