What’s Saving Me This School Year

This season’s must-haves to keep parents and students sane.

Photo credit: Element5 Digital via Unsplash

School’s in session and if you’re like most parents, you’re sprinting to keep up. We feel you. Lunches need to be made, homework turned in and kid’s and caregivers equipped with all the goods to get them through the day effectively. Sharpen your #2 pencils and take note of these seven essentials to help to keep the sanity and peace this school season.

Light + Nine Starter Backpack

Light + Nine offers a variety of backpack sizes from pre-schooler to big-kid in countless color options.

A surprising weight lies on little one’s shoulders, literally and figuratively. Light + Nine takes some of that load off with featherweight materials and smartly constructed bags, tested to ensure minimal strain and maximum support. Made from an EVA / Silicone compound, the rebound material is easy to clean, disinfect and wipe-clean. School germs can stay at school, thank you very much!

Design experts at Light+Nine thought up clever and practical compartments and features in bright, color block designs. Individually and self-expression are achieved thanks to the brand’s DIY NIMIX patches that can be adored with a variety of fun characters, lettering and designs to make each backpack one-of-a-kind. Rainbows and unicorns? Yes, please! In addition to backpacks, the brand sells cross-body bags, totes, lunch options, duffle bags and more.

Price: $74.99
Available: https://lightplusnine.com/

Kizik Hands-Free Shoes

Kizik makes shoe application easy for all ages with a large range of styles.

Every parent knows the battle that can come with getting on and keeping on shoes. Save the morning struggles with Kizik, adaptable footwear that allows the wearer to simply slide their foot into the shoe sans bending, kneeling or sitting. With patents and patents pending, Kizik has changed the footwear game with its internal cage that compresses and springs back for easy application without crushing your shoe’s heel.

Made from a combination of special materials and mechanical engineering which allows for collapsing and expansion, once the foot is in the shoe, it’s secure and snug without the need of laces or straps. Young kids in particular can experience the joy of independence without the need or help or the tying of shoes. A range of styles and colors are available for men, women and children including sneakers, casual shoes and more.

Price: $49+
Available: https://kizik.com/

Quantum Energy Squares

An energy bar made with real food ingredients + caffeine to give the body ‘smooth energy.’

A caffeine boost is a welcome part of a busy school day for parents, teachers or college-age students alike but stopping to make a drink or wait in a crowded cafe line doesn’t always make sense. Enter Quantum Energy Squares. Raw organic green coffee combines with real food ingredients (think fruit, nuts and seeds) to make a tasty on-the-good solution that gives a steady energy boost without any jitters or crash. The caffeine is evenly adsorbed into the body, plus the snack is low-calorie, plant-based, non-GMO and gluten free. Currently available in seven yummy options, one square is the equivalent of a cup of coffee. Coconut Almond Chocolate Chip is our current favorite but we love the variety box to sample all the flavors.

Price: 8-Pack $19.95
Available: HERE

B.Box Lunchbox

A lunchbox that makes designing kid’s lunches and snacks a breeze with adjustable and options and leak-proof components.

It’s been so nice to ditch the plastic baggies for school lunches and park date snacks with B.box, a beloved Australian brand that has recently launched in the states. The B.Box Lunchbox is bento-style with an adjustable divider to fit whole pieces of fruit or entire sandwiches. This feature alone saves loads of unnecessary chopping and prepping time each day.

The design is simple with fun color options and ilarge easy grip clips and handles for tiny hands to maneuver. The set is equipped with a small ice pack to keep food cool, when needed. One favorite features is the leak-proof wet food compartments which features a silicone seal because dips, yogurts, melon and more stay put, without the worry of spills or leaks. In addition to the lunchbox, the brand has great drink, cutlery and snack options to pack the perfect picnic.

Price: $23.95
Available: https://www.bboxbaby.com/collections/lunchbox


Once Upon A Farm Organic and Dairy-Free Coconut Milk Yogurt Alternative Fruit Pouch

A lunchbox staple or after school snack, these snacks are made with coconut milk for a dairy-free option.

I’m convinced one of the secrets to parenthood lies in the management and distribution of snacks. I’ve been a fan of Jennifer Garner’s brand of organic snack pouches for a few years now and we’ve gone bananas for the recent launch, Once Upon a Farm Coconut Milk Yogurt Alternative Fruit Pouches for kids or grownups over 12 months. Available in three delicious flavors: Strawberry Banana, Mixed Berry and Ba-Nilla, these go-to snacks are smooth enough to sip and easy on little tummies with a non-dairy recipe of blended fruits + added probiotics. With no added sugar, kids aren’t crashing, but energized with a boost of natural flavor. We’re looking forward to trying the brand’s latest launch next, Refrigerated Oat Bars!

Price: 16 pack of – $60.64
Available: https://onceuponafarmorganics.com/products/ba-nilla-coconut-milk-yogurt-alternative?variant=40461416464466

Bath & Body Works Special Soap Holders

A vocal reminder or germs being washed away.

We all know from the last few years that the simple act of hand washing is critical for keeping families safe and healthy. Bath & Body Works puts my mother’s mind at ease when they drop noise-making soap holders. Why, you may be asking? Because I can hear from down the hall if my kids are actually washing their hands, thanks to the noise generated holder.

The brand always seems to have a clever holiday-inspired or seasonal option that plays music or other kid-approved noises. We’ve loved our evil-laughing Halloween inspired one this fall. The latest launch is the Holiday Train Soap Holder that tells you exactly how long to wash hands, while playing merry music. Pair the holder with your favorite foaming hand soap scent, and you’re set! We’ve been loving the new refillable options in Mahogany Teakwood and Champagne Toast.

Price: $19.95
Available: https://www.bathandbodyworks.com/p/train-soap-buddy-gentle-foaming-soap-holder-026740727.html?cgid=hand-soap-holders#start=9



Personalized stamps save the headache of lost of clothing items.

It’s incredible the amount of time, money and headache that can be saved by the simple act of labeling. TheNameStamp makes labeling even easier with custom name stamps that can be applied in seconds, easily read and washable up to 50 times. The stamp allows for up to 12 letters on the first line and 10 on the second with options for fun icons to be added as well. All languages are supported along with special letters, numbers and symbols. The stamp itself comes in various colors and animal themes; the kids are fans of their squirrel and dog stamps that display their own names, respectably. Sweaters are spared the lost and found bin for good!

Price: $19.99
Available: https://thenamestamp.com/