Great Back-To-School Product And Gear Picks For 2013


Great Back-To-School Product And Gear Picks For 2013

back-to-school gear

The Mama of Many’s Top BTS Product And Gear Picks For 2013

Ready, Set, Go Out the Door!

Going from summer to school schedules can be tough. Especially since little guys can’t tell time yet. Luckily, there’s a tool that helps us train them about asleep and awake times. The Zazoo Photo Clock shows a day-time “awake” photo to indicate to the child that it is time to start the day. A night-time “sleep” photo display assures the child that it’s time to rest.

The Ready Set Go Board a big fan of setting kids up for independence. I use this tool with my little ones so they can manage their morning routines. The picture icons are perfect for pre-readers and children feel pretty darn good about themselves when they have big kid responsibilities.

Litterless Lunches

Litterless lunches are the way to go, and the Laptop Lunch System makes it a snap. While I still wish all those lunches would just pack themselves, having Laptop Lunches reusable containers to work with is the next best thing.

The Balanced Day Lunch Kit is a 2-sided insulated lunch bag that helps you organize your child’s food. You can separate hot from cold, lunch from snacks and it’s designed to keep drinks standing upright to avoid spills.

Want to make sure all your lunch gear comes home? Make sure you use Mabel’s Labels for containers and everything else that leaves the house. Label clothes, shoes, backpacks and all other belongings to avoid the Lost and Found blues.

Don’t forget your lunchtime manners! Send the kids to school with adorable reusable napkins. Check out Funkins to see the range of amazing patterns.

Cut the Complaints

The Knot Genie™ Detangling Brush was created for every mom that has endured the foot stomping and screaming matches that come with brushing their child's hair. I have three girls who stomp and scream. The knot genie has been a very welcome member in our family.

You don’t want to hear “I don’t feel well” on that first day of school. Keep those kids off the couch and in the classroom with IronKid Gummies. They’re so yummy that you’ll get no complaints from the kids about taking their vitamins.

Cute Totes: It IS Easy Being Green

Green School I use a lot of their products, but my favourite is the one that helps me deal with the ridiculous number of forms sent home from school. I’m always sending in forms and money for trips, pizza days, milk and fundraising.  I use the Green School mini-tote to ensure it all gets returned to school safely and doesn’t get lost in the bottom of the knapsack black hole.

Sending someone off to kindergarten? You’ll also need to send a spare set of clothes, because guess what? They have the odd accident. Avoid the plastic bag of shame. My Stow-n-Tow has a range of gorgeous fabrics and the inside is waterproof. Wet clothes come home in it and you just throw it in the washing machine. There are 3 sizes for a variety of purposes.

Kicking it Old School?

There are many apps and online calendars families can share, but many families are still kicking it old school with the family calendar. More Organized Mom has created a great one — available at Costco.

Many moms out there are picking up small businesses when the kids head back to school. They either launch their own or they get involved with selling Avon, Pampered Chef, Arbonne or Tupperware. The Simplicity Principle system is a calendar and organizer that helps you keep track of your small business finances. They have a coupon code on right now for over 30% off. The code is BTSwithJulie.

If you like to leave a cute little note in your kid’s lunchbox, check out Love Notes for Totes from Everyday Grace.  There’s a sweet message on one side and room on the other side for you to write a little hello.

Mom’s Corner

Net Nanny is an authority on internet security for families, protecting viewers from porn, cyber bullying, online predators and more. Start the new school year feeling confident that your kids are safe online.

If you are a PTA parent, you need to know about VolunteerSpot. If you’ve ever tried to organize a class event or party, you know the “reply all” email list gets ridiculous! VolunteerSpot is a free site that lets you set up an event and people can sign up for time slots or say what they’re going to contribute. So easy!


TIME Cover Says: Having It All Means NOT Having Kids

Is 'having it all' only attainable if you choose to forgo parenthood?

TIME Cover Says: Having It All Means NOT Having Kids

Time Magazine having it all

The recent cover on TIME magazine portrays a childless couple lying leisurely on the beach. The title THE CHILDLESS COUPLE: When Having It All Means Not Having Children proposes that “having it all” is attainable only by those who choose to forgo parenthood.

I found the cover—both the photo and words—disturbing on a few levels:

Is this the way “childless by choice” couples spend their time? I have many childless friends who do not pass their time lounging on beaches. Like most responsible adults, they have jobs, care for their elderly parents, are hands-on aunts and uncles, take care of pets, do volunteer work, maintain their homes, etc. The cover presents childless couples as self-indulgent and self-centered, which is an offensive and unfair stereotype that we need to move past.

How does this make couples with fertility issues feel? My friends, who have had to deal with infertility, aren’t lounging on beaches either. And they certainly don’t feel like they “have it all.” Their time is spent at clinics having invasive procedures done. Those who have gone down the adoption road have had to jump through hoops and travel long and difficult roads to bring their children home. Hardly a day at the beach, if you ask me.

And what about parents? How did that cover make me feel? It tells me I cannot have a full life because I chose to bring other people into it. Most parents, myself included, can’t imagine life without their children. So the cover really gets nothing more than an exasperated eye roll.

What does “having to all” mean anyway? I’ve heard it said that you can have it all, but never all at once. I disagree. Even with the mayhem and chaos of raising six kids and running a business, I’ve long felt like I have it all. I’ve often wondered if “having it all” is just simpler for me than it is for others. It must mean different things for different people.

What does “having it all” mean to you? Is there really such a thing?