Monday Fave Rave: Back to School 2016

Hallelujah it's back to school time! Today B starts his first day at a new preschool and my nerves are shot already.  He's not a huge fan of change or new situations and gets anxiety at drop-off even if he is comfortable with his surroundings so today is a big day for both of us. I will try not to cry too much.  As always, I want to share some of our must haves for school and let you all know how I prepare for Back-to-School as a single Jedi parent of a young Padawan in training.

I like to lay all of his stuff out after he falls asleep and make it a surprise when he wakes up.  It gets him excited and motivated to put it all on and get ready for the day.  THis worked so well this morning.  He had no anxiety at all, didn't fuss over getting dressed or leaving the house.  I was also able to snap off a few cute pics to share.

Here's a list of our must have items for school:

1. Name Bubbles for labeling everything...and I mean everything we send or wear to school.  It's way easier than labeling with a sharpie like my parents did or losing uber cool items to the lost-and-found bin.  I keep the clothes labels in his drawers so I can just pop one on to his shirts and shorts when we lay clothes out for the day.

2. Shoes! We buy two new pairs of shoes at the beginning of each school year.  I typically let B pick his out, too.  In the past we have been a huge fan of Stride Rite. They are great for  early preschoolers.  This year we chose to go with a more athletic shoe from Nike.  I know it can be very pricy to buy name brands but try shopping at Shoe Carnival or Famous Footwear for discounts.  (Also, the Name Bubble mentioned above have shoe labels! Sweet!)

3. Clothes: Well of course my child will basically only wear clothes with his favorite characters on them, including his underwear.  Ugh.  I have found great success with Hanna Andersson for everything from socks and undies to back packs.  Their shorts and pants are amazing! Thanks to European sizing and attention to detail their clothes will last forever.  Organic material, adjustable, washable and durable...all of the things you're looking for when's you spend good money on school clothes.  (Check out the PJs cute!) I like to have him help me pick his clothes out the night before and lay them out for him to see.  It makes getting dressed in the morning a lot faster and he feels more confident when he picks the outfit.

4. Lunches: We have a variety of lunch boxes from Thermos.  I like to switch it up. Because my little guys is more of a snack eater I pack a selection of little things for him to pick and choose from.  Typically he will eat most of what I pack.  Hummus, yogurt, and cheese are good protein options along with a fruit (he likes apple slices, strawberries or grapes) in these cool camp tins from PB Kids.  I alway include a juice and a surprise treat like nut free cookies, gummie bunnies, organic chocolate cookies, Yummy Earth treat for fun.  Add a cute little Star Wars note to make his day or a sticker to keep him smiling. I prepack lunch boxes as soon as we get home from school.  It helps me just stay on top of that task and I am not scrambling to pack it all in the morning.

5. Nap Mat: This is our first time having to bring a nap mat to school.  He's not a napper so...good luck with that, teacher.  Getting B to take a nap is like getting anything done with a toddler at home...nearly impossible.  I decided to go the discount route when purchasing the nap mat for fear that he may not use it and it will end up a wasted chunk of change. Zulily  had really cute Robot nap mat by Olive Kids that we are going to try out.  Kiddo has already been laying it out on the floor and reading books on it so maybe it will work for quiet time at school.  Fingers Crossed.

6. And last but not least a cool back to school Star Wars themed printable for uber cute pics!

So, there you have it.  Our MLR Back to School list for 2016.  Wish us luck on our new journey at a new school. We are very excited to be attending Bright Horizons this school year.  I was pretty impressed with the tour of the facility, the teachers all seemed really great and they plan a full day of learning from my little preschooler.

Good luck to all you parents braving the back-to-school crazy this week!

Just remember...


Monday Fave Rave: Faves for Babes

Some of us feel a little clueless when it comes to what you what you need for babies. What is trendy is not always best. What we are wasting our money on for baby?  It's all very confusing.  Our personal story is that we traveled A LOT in Boo's first year, back and forth between sunny, car-dependent, hot and humid Florida and cold, snowy, stroller-loving, brownstone-living Brooklyn.  Two totally different worlds.  I feel like that first year was a complete test in "let's see how much this poor bitch can handle." In that time I think I came up with a pretty great list of stuff that worked for us that I like to share with people whenever they are expecting or having just welcomed baby and have no f*#$ing clue what you need to have and what you should just go ahead and donate now or get out of your damn way.  Here is a little list of what I think made my life as a single mom just a little easier in my rookie year.

  1. Kickee Pants Basic Footies with Paws These are so awesome.  First, they are made from bamboo! Soft, sustainable and easy to wash! They also have hand covers to prevent scratching, lined feet for warm tootsies, and they come in cute colors (not just pink and blue!!)  They also grow well with baby.  They stay pretty true to size and you really want these to fit closely to the body for warmth but also to keep little one cool as well! Babies overheat easily the pjs are really breathable.
  2. MD Moms Baby Sunscreen Wipes  I love all of the products by MD Moms because as doctors and mothers they really have created products for babies and kids that are user friendly and healthy for the entire family.  I have been using this on my Boo since he was 6 weeks old (checked with my doc) and continue using these now that he's older.
  3. Honest Company Diapers and Wipes  Let's face it…because they come in really cute prints were my initial motivation.  I soon realized my sons sensitive skin was no longer bothered and these plant based, biodegradable diapers are better for the environment than other disposables on the market.  Honestly, the cute prints had me hooked though.
  4. I highly suggest a backpack diaper bag, especially if you're alone and need free hands. I like Petunia Picklebottom's Boxy Backpack.  It’s not unusual to think you need everything but the kitchen sink in the diaper bag, but you really don't.  A few diapers, some wipes, one extra outfit, one extra light blanket, feeding supplies, one extra shirt for grown up (trust me…spit up doesn't wear well.)
  5. Love this Ergo Baby Carrier!! I found it more comfortable and breathable than other brands.
  6. I literally love everything made by Holy Lamb Organics.  I made the decision to purchase the crib mattress for Boo.  These mattresses are chemical free and naturally water-resistant.  It should be a serious consideration.  The chemicals in our furniture are no joke!
  7. This One Step Babyfood Maker by Baby Brezza is so dope! I loved making Boo's baby food.  This little contraption made it so easy.  It steams, blends all in one step.  Just load, select the appraise setting for the food you're making, push start and walk away.
  8. Stroller Hooks are a total must.  You can hang shopping bags, or the diaper bag.
  9. Function and fashion meet with these Chewbeads.  When baby is teething he or she will want to put anything and everything in sight into their mouths.  These cute accessories are perfect for Mom and baby alike.
  10. And last but not least…this mamaRoo swing by 4moms is absolutely amazing.  Boo lived in this thing for 6 months.  It’s adjustable and pretty indestructible.  Hook up your iPod with soothing tunes and baby will easily nap in comfort.  Look on eBay or consignment if you can't justify paying a pretty penny for this, but trust me when I say it is a godsend.

Hope these are helpful!

W and Boo

Monday Fave Rave: Hanna Andersson

Welcome to our first Monday Fave Rave! Every Monday we will be spotlighting one or a few of our favorite brands or products to share with you.  Boo and I have lived in both Florida and Brooklyn NY so we have had access to great products and over the last three years I have become a real "pro" at testing the tried and true performance of everything from mattresses to toys.  I'm excited to share our faves with you every week and look forward to hearing from you about some NEW things we can test out.  So let's get down to it. This weeks Fave Rave is all about Hanna Andersson brand clothes and shoes.  We absolutely adore this quality, functional and fashionable clothing line! From their use of organic cotton to toddler friendly zippers and velcro, I have found this brand to be our "go to" when shopping for school, camp or special occasions.  The brand has Swedish roots and European sizing so their focus on color and durability and long-lasting wearability helps justify the higher price point. Also, if you really love to dress your family up in coordinating PJs or outfits for holiday pictures the FAMILY SHOP offers everything you need for a totally awesome snapshot for this year's cards and gifts for Grandparents!

Our fave of this fave rave are Hanna Andersson's shorty pjs, amazing rash guards and swim trunks, and completely and undeniably adorable undies!



unique designs, bold colors, classic prints and limited edition collections with recognizable characters such as Star Wars, Disney, DC Comics, Peanuts, Pippi Longstocking, etc.

Euro sizing goes by height (waistbands are adjustable) so finding the best fit is easy.

Organic cotton!

And as an added bonus they have an unconditional guarantee and 20% off when you refer a friend.  Sweet!



Brick and mortar retail locations are few and far between so online and catalogues are pretty much the only options for ordering.  (Some people need to see and feel the product before they buy, personally, I do not.)