back to school with walmart

Bear started school last Wednesday and Boone starts Mother’s Day Out this Tuesday, so we’re heavy in the throws of all things “back to school”. Y’all know how much I love Walmart and take advantage of their free 2 day shipping on order over $35 any chance I get. The boys needed new school clothes and I was SO excited to find them some matching sets! Comfort/cute is our jam when it comes to their clothes since these little boys like to play but Mommy still wants them looking presentable, and Walmart has so many affordable sets for boys of all ages.
I also wanted to really get organized since organization went out the window all summer, and want Bear to have a great workspace to do his homework. He prefers to work at our kitchen bar, but I don’t like leaving out a mess of markers, crayons, and paper every evening. We found a great solution of a “homework bin” (this $3 basket is perfect for holding all his supplies) that we’ll store in the pantry whenever it’s not in use. Boonester also got a Baby Shark Color Wonder pack that’s perfect for toddlers! Safe to say these boys are set for school.

Bear’s outfit set ($11 for both!)
Boone’s outfit set ($8 for both!)
Crayon box | dry erase board | gold magazine holder | gold baskets | grey basket | Crayola Baby Shark Set | desk calendar

I also picked up a few office supplies for myself because I knew these baskets would be perfect for my office. Something about school starting makes me crave organization around the house…anyone else?! I’ve been meaning to get a dry erase board for our fridge for months now; I wanted to keep track of lists in a central place we all could utilize. We ordered this dry erase board and are loving it! Such a simple way to keep track of things.
I’m a big believer that kids’ success in school starts at home. We need to build them up, prepare our kids mentally and emotionally in order for them to have a great year. On the first day of school, our normal 5 minute drive to Bear’s school took around 40 minutes with traffic. During those long 40 minutes, I told Bear what a great year he’s going to have. How smart he is and how easily he’ll make friends, in attempt to build his confidence. Because if our kids don’t hear it from us, where will they hear it? Success in school goes beyond homework and reading at home (while those things are very important!). Behind every happy little kid is a parent cheering them on from the sidelines, letting them know they’re loved and supported every step of the way. I hope Bear and Boone always know that.
Sending all of you mamas and your littles a big hug as you start a new and exciting school year. You got this!
xo, Britt

*Thank you to Walmart for sponsoring this post. As always, all thoughts & opinions are my own.

5 ways to get back into a school routine

It’s almost here- Bear starts first grade in one week and my mama heart can hardly take it. Where did the summer go? It’s absolutely flown by and while I’m ready to get back in a routine, I’m going to miss having Bear at home sleeping in till 10am every day. We’ve traveled a lot this summer and that will slow down once school starts. But I also know he’s going to have a big year full of fun and learning, which requires some new back to school items. Boone is also going to start Mother’s Day Out sometime this year (probably closer to age 2) so we went ahead and ordered both boys their their picks from Pottery Barn Kids and it’s safe to say we have 2 happy little boys! Boonester’s not sure what he’s excited about; he’s just happy to be doing the same as big brother :).

photos by Ban Avenue Photography

Bear’s backpack | lunch box | pencil pouch | water bottle
Boone’s backpack | lunch box | water bottle
food storage containers

Since we just got home from vacation, we have some serious adjusting to do before school starts. As I stated above, we’ve been staying up late and sleeping in pretty much every day. Bear has kept up with his Summer Learning Packet his kindergarten teacher gave and he’s been reading, but next week will hit us hard if we don’t go ahead and make some changes now. Growing up with two parents as teachers, summer coming to a close was a big change for all of us. Here are some practices below that should help get back into the swing of things when school starts:

1. Set a sleep schedule. This is a hard one for me, because I am NOT a morning person at all and I’d love to keep staying up late and sleeping in until the last possible day. However, this is not a great choice for Bear since studies show that loss of sleep for kids can negatively impact not only their performance in school, but also their physical and mental health. We’ve set the following sleep schedule up for the next week in order to adjust (we also adjust bedtime a little earlier each night!):
Day 1 – 9:30 am wake-up
Day 2 – 9:00 am wake-up
Day 3 – 8:30 am wake-up
Day 4 – 8:30 am wake-up
Day 5 – 8:00 am wake-up
Day 6 – 7:30 am wake-up
Day 7 – 7:00 am wake-up
2. Plan out lunches ahead of time. Are your kids going to eat in the lunch line everyday? Or do they prefer to pack a lunch? For Bear, it’s the latter, which is why we chose some food storage containers from Pottery Barn Kids. They fit perfectly in the boys’ lunch boxes and are so handy no matter what they I pack. At the beginning of every school year, I hop on Pinterest and try to come up with new ideas for Bear’s lunch. I always try and incorporate:
Fruit and veggie
Drink (water or Capri Sun for special occasions)
Small dessert
Whatever else rounds out the meal
3. Order/buy school supplies. We had the option to order a pack of school supplies online which was waaaaay easier than last year when we went to 5 different stores trying to find everything on the list. If your school offers this, definitely take advantage! Either way, this is a must-do but also lets your child know that it’s time to pick back up on school work again soon. Ordering backpacks and lunch boxes tends to be way more fun; Bear loves picking his out every year and PBK always has the best quality/cutest designs.
4. Get organized. Set up a work space for your child to do their homework. If you have a designated area and start making a habit of your child doing their homework there, they’re more likely to thrive with work at home. For us, this is the bar in the kitchen because Bear likes to do school work while I cook or do dishes.
I also have a basket for all of his important papers that need attention (letters from the teacher, PTO flyers, etc.), and another container for all of his school work we keep. It’s hard to limit this because I want to keep everything he brings home, but staying organized with it from the start helps to weed out papers later.
5. Encourage your child. No-one is super excited about the school year starting (well, I actually always was but more to see my friends than anything) and most kids need some encouragement. All kids (and adults!) have a hard time getting back in the routine of school and letting your child know they’re not alone in this experience makes he or she feel like they’re being heard and understood. This is so important when they’re starting a new school year with a new teacher and so many new classmates. Amongst all that new, it’s our job as parents to make our children feel safe and supported.

How do you feel about school starting soon? Are you hanging onto the last days of summer or ready for routine?
xo, Britt

5 things you didn't know about shark week

It's finally here- my boys' favorite time of the year. Shark Week is July 22nd-29th & we're in serious anticipation of it over here. So much so that we just got to the beach right in the middle of Shark Week and Bear is beside himself with excitement. His love for sharks, and the ocean in general, has helped Zach and I use this as a window of opportunity to teach Bear all about ocean life. He picked out a special shark backpack from Pottery Barn Kids for kindergarten this year and after counting all the sharks on it (there are 31, in case you were wondering), we got curious about how Shark Week even came about. Lots of googling research later, our little family has a whole new appreciation for this animal of the ocean. And thanks to Pottery Barn Kids, Bear & Boone can share their fascination with the world (in the cutest form of clothes, towels, & lots in between!). Safe to say we're beach ready.

photos by Ban Avenue Photography 
shoot location: The Residences at Kirby Collection

Shark Backpacks | Infant Shark Swim Covers | Infant Shark Towel Wrap | Infant Cover Up | Family Shark Towel | Shark Tote | Kid Shark Towel Wrap | Kid Shark Cover Up | Kid Shark Goggles

5 Things You Didn't Know About Shark Week:

1. It started on a napkin. A group of Discovery executives were out with some colleagues when one of them said something like, 'You know what would be awesome? Shark Week!' And somebody in that nexus scribbled it down on a napkin. The rest is history, as Shark Week aired that August of 1988.
2. It's not meant to evoke fear. While sharks can be terrifying animals (the reason Bear loves them so much), the goal of Shark Week is not to cause animosity toward the creatures. Shark Week educates people about the most misunderstood animals on our planet while inspiring them to protect the ocean, which is why this is such a great time to teach our kids and get them involved!
3. It helped prove that sharks jump out of the water. This was new information to me- I had no idea about sharks breaching. Now I'm excited to watch the 2001 documentary "Air Jaws" during Shark Week, which shows actual footage of great whites breaching, captured for the first time on film. Prior to that footage, sharks jumping completely out of the water was reportedly thought to be a rumor.
4. The author of "Jaws" was its first host. Since Jaws was a big part of the launch of Shark Week and America's fascination with the species, it's only fitting that the author, Peter Benchley, would be the first host back in 1994 (when his novel was celebrating its 20th anniversary). 
5. It holds a cable television record. In 2010, Shark Week became the longest-running cable television programming event, and it shows no signs of slowing down. 


Is Shark Week a big deal in your household, too? So excited to spend the next few days with family on the coast!
xo, Britt

*Thank you to Pottery Barn Kids to sponsoring this post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.