A Lesson in Back-to-School Must-Haves at #MomtrendsSchool

Okay, guys. Imma get real and raw here for a minute (wouldn’t the first time… probably won’t the be the last). Truth is: I’m having a really hard time swallowing the fact that my first baby, my big boy, the little dude that made me a mama is going to be in Kindergarten come September.

Wasn’t it just yesterday that I dropped him off in his two-and-a-half hour Pre-K program for that much-anticipated first day? Now, in just a little over a month, I’m going to send him to elementary school until almost 3 PM every day, Monday through Friday. I could cry just thinking about it. But I know he’s going to be great and do great and enjoy every educational moment… And I might get more consecutive hours of work done than I have in years – ha!

Still, I have a lot to learn about sending a big kid off to Kindergarten, and that’s why I was so excited to go back to #MomtrendsSchool earlier this week.

Momtrends invited a few of our favorite brands and some VIP NYC bloggers and influencers to be schooled in the latest and greatest must-haves for the back-to-school season.

Better yet, we’re going to send YOU to virtual Momtrends School and give you a freebie lesson, via this blog post, in everything you and your kiddos will want and need to go to the head of the class. So without further adieu…

Ozery Bakery: My early-morning weekday breakfast woes have been solved, thanks to Ozery Bakery’s “Morning Rounds.” These delicious, wholesome breakfast breads are baked with hearty whole grains, fruits, and seeds for a satisfying, flavorful start to the day. Their “One Buns” are pre-sliced for your lunch-packing convenience, and, better yet, chock-full of fiber and protein. The “Snack Rounds” and “Brioche Bites” are the perfect after school snacks for hungry kiddos and moms alike.


Luv 2 Nosh: So you know those cracker-cookies you give your baby? This is that, but better–because they’re organic and available in so many unique and delicious flavors. Nosh has munchables, melties, and individual serving puff packets. My babe loves all of their “goodies” and even my soon-to-be Kindergartener asks for a “Nosh” cookie. Since there’s practically nothing in them, it’s a “treat” we can both feel good about.


Kite Hill: I have to admit, as a regular milk and cheese eater, I was skeptical of trying a dairy-alternative product. But Kite Hill’s artisanal delicacies are made with the simplest ingredients, and their best selling nut milk yogurts, and awarding winning cream cheese style spreads are actually insanely good. I’m sold, and I’ll definitely be packing these delights in my big boy’s lunchbox.


Name Bubbles: I would lose my head if it wasn’t attached to my body… and I’m starting to recognize that my son may have inherited my knack for, well, misplacing personal items. We have already had to buy multiple thermoses and backpacks and sneaker sets. Ugh. Well, Name Bubbles to the rescue. Their goal is to keep your kids’ items OUT of the lost & found with customizable, colorful, and cute name labels that withstand the test of time.

We had our own version of a Lost & Found box at our own Momtrends School event, where bloggers had to find and fish their own “name bubbled” item. It took me back to my childhood. Except this time, there was no question which item was mine!


Raisels: My guy loves sour candy. But I don’t particularly like how it’s loaded with all sorts of mystery ingredients and food dyes. But Raisels are a great alternative I can feel good about. Their golden raisins are sprinkled with sour fruity flavoring so they taste like candy, but they’re really just fruit! I can’t wait to break these out for our next movie night.

Hasbro: We love to play board games in our home. Pizza, some games, and quality time together is how I plan to spend our first Friday night of the school year! These Hasbro games (which we all went home with!) are going to be such a bit, and I’m looking forward to surprising my little guy and rewarding him for a successful first week of school.

Staples: Staples is our one-stop-shop for all the functional and fashionable school supplies a budding scholar could ever ask for. With emoji-inspired essentials, fun flamingo backpacks, and even donut and macaron mini erasers, Staples once again brings the cool back to school… as always!

Twelve Little: I’ve been a fan of Twelve Little’s incredibly chic and practical diaper bags for some time now; and I couldn’t be more excited about their totally awesome backpacks and lunch bags. The comfortable and clean designs look good and the functionality can’t be beat. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Momtrends event without a fun activation; so we customized lunch bags with iron-on patches and then challenged our bloggers to pack them with all the good foods they collected throughout the night.

Orchestra: We had a few of our bloggers’ kids on hand to model some of the super-charming styles from Orchestra, a European brand making its way to the United States. With wardrobe staples for kids from ages newborn to 14, it’s got a classic vibe with a bit of edge.

American Girl: Growing up isn’t easy. Kids and tweens these days have a lot to deal with on a daily basis. And they don’t always want to listen to mom and dad’s words of wisdom. That’s why we adore the advice series from American Girl. These books offer practical, useful, and digestible nugget for girls about everything from bullying to digital overload. (I think I might even need that one.)

Bath and Body Works: These luxurious lotions, potions, creams, and soaps from Bath  and Body Works are amazing for the home, for dorm rooms, guest bathrooms, and everything in between. And that hooray candle is necessary – along with a bubble bath and a glass of vino – after  a long hard work and school week. (Fri-Yay!)

 

JC’s Pie Bites: We love treating the kids (and ourselves) after a long hard day hitting the books–and JC’s Pie Bites are creamy and lush on the inside with a punch of crunch on the outside. Perfect for an end of day goodie.

As always, our #MomtrendsSchool students left with some hefty homework… in the form of three amazing gift bags, including an adorable backpack courtesy of Staples and lots of swag! School isn’t easy, but it sure is rewarding.

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are our own.

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How to shop online for Back to School

It always sneaks up on me. I am super organized and live by a calendar, but when it comes to back to school shopping, there never seems to be enough time. The school countdown has begun in our house and I am feeling a bit overwhelmed at all the shopping I need to do. All the commercials and ads are yelling at me to get off my couch and get going. There are sales everywhere and they keep warning me about  missing out on all the savings. But, truth be told, the mere thought of traipsing from store to store gets me dizzy. To me, there’s only one answer: No need for me to rush anywhere, I will shop online for back to school.

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But navigating the internet for back to school shopping can be just as daunting as heading to the mall, right? How do you shop online and get everything you need without the headache? This year, we took the stress out of shopping for back to school and went to FreeShipping.com. It was so easy to shop online for back to school needs, and even better, I earned rewards, cash back and rebates for free shipping charges!

FreeShipping.com is a subscription-based shopping site that offers members 10% cash back, free shipping and returns, exclusive coupons, and price protection at over 1,000 top online retailers. Among the most popular retailers on their site are Walmart, Kohl’s, Target, Best Buy, Staples, and Kmart.

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I had to cover a lot of bases to get ready for back to school. The kids needed school supplies, the hubs needed some new athletic apparel and my littlest one is starting preschool, so, of course, she needed to wear some “cutie patooties” outfits.  I accomplished all of this while sipping my coffee, lounging outside watching my children play. I didn’t have to experience any crowds, rush or stress.  With FreeShipping.com, I was able to shop the brands I know and love (they have partnered with over a thousand brands) right from the comfort of my home and I earned rewards by doing so!

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It is so simple to use FreeShipping.com: simply search for a specific item or search by retailer and click the “visit store” button to complete your shopping as you normally do.  FreeShipping.com stores all of your purchases in one spot so you can see your rewards growing. The best part of back to school shopping with FreeShipping.com is that right now, through August 12, you can earn 20% cash back at 30 popular retailers.  If you sign up for FreeShipping.com right now, membership is only $9.97 a month, rather than $12.97. Be sure to sign up HERE, at FreeShipping.com.

Saving on all your online shopping and shipping needs through FreeShipping.com couldn’t be easier.  You’ll get Cash BackShipping Rebates and if you’re not satisfied with your purchase,you can use your Return Shipping Rebates and get Free Return Shipping via FedEx Ground®.  My three favorite benefits that FreeShipping.com has to offer are the available couponsprice protection, and the easy-to-use search and price comparison tool.

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I have never been a coupon girl, but that’s not to say I don’t like saving money. I love that FreeShipping.com organizes all of the available coupons for each retailer in one spot so I don’t forget to use them. When I shop online, there’s no disappointment of finding the crumpled coupon in the bottom of my purse as I unpack the day’s purchases.  With FreeShipping.com all I have to do is just search for a retailer and the coupons pop up right before me. It is so easy to shop, insert the coupon codes and viola’, more savings for me.

Of course, there’s nothing worse than finding out that the things you already bought, were cheaper somewhere else. I used the comparison-shopping tool offered by FreeShipping.com and could compare the prices for the same items right in front of me. No running ragged for this mama.

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I shopped at Staples for the kids’ school supply needs, Target for some essentials, The Children’s Place for stylish digs for my preschooler and Nike for the hubs. I am looking forward to my cash back rewards that will be well over $50! There’s nothing like being rewarded for online shopping, and FreeShipping.com pays out cash back earnings four times a year!  will definitely come in handy when mama needs a little retail therapy. Earning cash rewards certainly justifies a little splurge, no?

Whether you need to shop for back to school or even stock up on the basics, FreeShipping.com is how this mama gets it all done. Shop at over 1,000 top online brands you know and trust, earn cash back, and get free shipping on your purchases.  Who knew it would be this easy?
Be social and become a fan follow freeshipping.com on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and their blog.

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Visit FreeShipping.com’s blog home page to earn an extra entry into our fabulous Back to School Giveaway! (just enter your email in the Pink Box at the top!)

How much did you earn using FreeShipping.com?

This is a sponsored post. All opinions expressed are our own.

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One Stop Shopping with Lands’ End

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For us, the summer is only half way over. There is plenty more summer fun to be had and we are taking full advantage of this.  Time at the beach, playing tourist in our home town and spending lots of time with friends and family.  It is also time for “weekend at Grandpa & Grammy’s”. This is a tradition my parents started and includes each grandchild (there are 10!) getting to spend one-on-one time with G & G. For all the school aged grandkids this also includes a little special Back to School shopping.

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In order to manage this, my parents rely on Lands’ End for school shopping and have for as long as I can remember.  Lands’ End is synonymous with Back to School because you can grab all of the must-haves (but the pencils!) with one-stop stopping.

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I know our family has come to love and trust Lands’ End for three big reasons. One the quality of each and every item. From footwear, to jackets to jeans-their pieces are made from long lasting, durable fabrics that not only look good but feel great.  WE can’t say enough about those Iron Knee® pants for boys. They dramatically reduce the wear and tear on the knee without extra bulk. Say good-bye to torn knees after one round on the playground.

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We also love Lands’ End for the classic style. The pieces are timeless, yet modern and will stay in style long after the trends of today pass. Not to mention that the kids want to wear them! There is something for everyone. I love the graphic t’s paired with leggings and boots for my daughter.

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The layered look works well for my son. You can’t go wrong with a rugby in classic colors pulled over a graphic T, paired with jeans, cool blue shoes and of course, you gotta have the awesome striped socks peeking out.

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I know moms appreciate the offering of “slim”, “husky” and “plus” so that every child gets a “just right” fit.  The last big reason is what got us hooked on Lands’ End in the first place. It is just so easy to grab everything you need to Back to School. Need a backpack?-check lunchbox?check-cool shoes, rain gear, graphic t’s, and jeggings? CHECK! Lands’ End takes the stress out of heading back to school by offering all of your BTS needs.

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Can you believe the gorgeous footwear? I swooned over my daughter’s suede riding boots and the lace-up kicks for my son were cool, calm and collective all rolled into one.

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Whether your child wears a uniform, wants to a little something special on their lunchbox or is like mine is obsessed with their initials, Lands’ End can personalize just about anything. Adding their own individual style completes any look for Back to School.

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Lands’ End is truly a one stop shop for back to school.  Every kid fits at Lands’ End Kids. From size to style, the 2016 Back-to-School collection has something for everyone. Shop the entire back-to-school collection, from backpacks and lunchboxes to apparel, activewear, school uniforms and more at Lands’ End.com

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This is a sponsored post. All opinions expressed are our own.

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Getting Schooled in the Latest and Greatest at the #MomtrendsBTS Event

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A few weeks ago, I attended a Pre-K orientation meeting… It felt very official. My four-year-old son is going off to “real” school. (Okay, fine, it’s the prelude to “real” school, but it’s five days a week and they follow an actual curriculum—so it certainly feels more official than the nurturing baby and nursery programs I’ve sent him to in the past.

He’ll go on field trips, have “homework” in his backpack, and parent-teacher conferences will happen once a semester. He even has a mandatory school-supply list. Yeah, it’s official: my baby is going to big-boy school. Of course, this won’t happen until early September. Phew…

Still, summer is flying by, and I know we’ll have the obligatory “first day” photo shoot (complete with Pinterest-worthy chalkboard signage) in the blink of an eye.

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Just earlier this week, Momtrends hosted our annual Back to School event for local NYC bloggers. We brought together some amazing tried-and-true and new brands with a group of awesome local bloggers. We schmoozed and boozed (Popsicles dipped in champagne—it is July, after all), and learned about all the latest, greatest, and most innovative must-haves for kids. We were treated to foot massages (courtesy of footwear brand, Keen), got our hair braided, thanks to Vamousse, and enjoyed an adorable kiddie fashion show! Meanwhile, our blogger-friends’ children got to stay, snack, and play in the Nanny League Lounge.

It was a fun and fittingly educational evening and I now feel adequately prepared to send my little guy off to his big school (well, maybe not mentally).

Going back to school shopping has never been easier. We’ve rounded up everything you and your little scholars will need heading into the academic year—and a few brands to keep them looking cool in that first-day photo-shoot. (We’ll be checking Instagram.)

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Joules: A British brand, Joules crafts colorful, upbeat, and totally unique styles for children of all ages. The brand’s autumn and winter collection combines playful animal character prints, appliques, and swoon-worthy graphics you and your wee ones will flip over. (And their rain boots are darling too!)

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Keen, Inc.: Inspired by a love of the outdoors, this line of durable, fashion-forward footwear is great for a stylish return to the classroom. Your kids will strut their stuff with confidence and flair in these comfortable, cute, and totally on-tend shoes!

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Yoobi: School supplies should have personality—and Yoobi goodies have some to spare! Plus, for every Yoobi item you purchase, a Yoobi item will also be donated to a U.S. classroom in need.

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Mabel’s Labels: Never label with a permanent marker again! These super-durable and totally adorable labels are dishwasher, microwave, and laundry safe. They’ve also launched a super-fun “My School Year’s” portfolio for keepsake art, projects, and work.

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Vamousse: We regret to inform you that lice will happen. Be prepared for the inevitable classroom outbreak with this effective, safe, and pesticide-free product line.

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Earth’s Best: The original line of organic infant nutrition and care products, Earth’s Best expansive collection is formulated for growing babies, toddlers, and children. Their kid meals and snacks are nutritious, delicious, and easy. We’re pretty excited about their new freezer-to-table snack options—including nutty bars and organic fruit cups.

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Chewbeads: Juniorbeads by Chewbeads features playground-safe jewelry designed for kids ages three and up. These cute designs are not only fashionable, they’re functional too! The tactile sensation can help kids with sensory issues, and also discourage nail-biting, pencil-chewing, and other nervous habits.

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Nalgene: Keep your kids hydrated from the morning bell through lunch all the way to dismissal with this durable, easy-to-clean, reusable water bottle from Naglene. Their lunch boxes and food storage solutions are simple, easy, and great for the cafeteria. (This is a serious upgrade to the brown bag!)

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Hasbro Play-Doh: Nothing keeps kids engaged and entertained for hours like Play-Doh sets. It’s crafty, colorful, and creative play at it’s best.

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WallPops: These totally removable decals can transform any space in minutes. With a line of dry-erase calendars, message boards, maps, and more, these will keep the family organized during the busy school year.

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Paula’s Choice Skincare: Clear skin boosts confidence. No tween wants to go back to school with a breakout (been there). Fortunately, the CLEAR Acne Kit is a three-step collection that’s expertly formulated to banish acne.

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The Nanny League: This elite agency boasts college-educated nannies, personal assistants, tutors, and more. Finding a smart, engaging, and trustworthy sitter has never been easier.

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USANA Health Sciences: The school year is nonstop and it’s hard not get caught up in the stress of it. Keep yourself healthy, happy, and balanced with the MySmartFoods shaker bottle. You can make all sorts of good-for-you protein shakes to keep you energized from the moment your alarm goes off until it’s finally time to tuck the kiddies into bed.

Thank you to our event sponsors:
The Nanny League
Mabel’s Labels
Nalgene
USANA Health Sciences
Vamousse
Hasbro Play-Doh
Chewbeads
Keen, Inc.
WallPops
Paula’s Choice Skincare
Joules
Yoobi
Earth’s Best and Ella’s Kitchen

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are our own.

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