Our Favorite Gear For Back To School, 2023 Back To School Shopping Guide

    girl drinking Vitapod bottle

    I don’t know who pushed fast forward on summer, but you are fired! While Mother Nature is still throwing the heat waves, the school buses are almost ready to roll. And, some of you are on the verge of becoming empty nesters. The beginning of school is the perfect time for a blank slate, a time to work on good habits like self-care, healthy sleep routines, hydration and more.

    Sleep Is Key To Success In School and Life- Honeydew Sleep Body Pillow

    For the kid that’s leaving home for the first time heading away to college, give them a soft landing out of the nest with the Honeydew Sleep Body Pillow. This pillow is great for snuggling or hugging and provides some extra comfort for the homesick freshman. Also perfect for someone used to sleeping with their dog, and now sleeping alone for the first time. Although, its so comfortable, our dog has been fighting us over snuggle time with the body pillow. I love that these pillows are handmade in California with 100% CertiPUR-US certified virgin gel.

    Oliver on body pillow
    Our Border Collie loves the body pillow

    With our Texas temps in the 100s, it’s hard to sleep at night. Sleeping with the refrigerator door open, is not a solution but Honeydew’s 100% organic bamboo sheets are a better solution for those hot nights. Soft, cool and made to stay on the bed Honeydew sheets have corner straps to prevent your sheets from coming off the mattress. Since trying bamboo sheets, we’ll never go back to cotton. By the way, Honeydew Sleep has a 60 Night Trial & 3 Year Warranty.

    Manta Sleep Mask

    All parents know the challenge of getting kids to return to routines and a normal sleep schedule when school starts back. Once you have teens the challenge of getting them to maintain a sleep schedule is even bigger. Our teen son seemed to be having the most issues, so Manta sent us a sleep mask to test.

    He loves that he can adjust the eye cups and the strap. With the Manta sleep mask on, 100% of light is blocked making it easier to sleep even when it’s still light at bedtime, or perfect for travel. When we travel our son often complains about the light from the television, but with the Manta sleep mask on, no more complaints. I was concerned it would take time for him to adjust to the eye cups, but with the zero pressure he forgets he’s wearing the mask.


    Say Goodbye To Dirty Clothes In Their School Backpack-STNKY Laundry Bag

    laundry basket
    Everything in the laundry basket fits into the XL STNKY bag


    Is your kid moving into a dorm or apartment nearby but planning to come home on weekends for home cooked meals and laundry? Get them a STNKY washable laundry bag. This is also perfect for the teens that put their stinky, sweaty, germy gym clothes in their locker or backpack. Give them a STNKY bag to keep their dirty clothes away from their books, laptop and lunch. The bag locks in odors and moisture, and can be washed! No more pulling gross socks out of the dark corners of the gym bag, just grab their STNKY bag, unzip the bottom and dump everything into the washer, including the bag. This is also perfect for travel, no more grocery bags of dirty laundry in your carry-on. The bag is available in two sizes a standard ($28) and XL ($35), we preferred the larger bag.

    Eliminate Room Smells With PURGGO air eco-purifier & freshener

    Purggo air ffrshener

    Research shows a stinky room will cause anxiety and stress, which will negatively impact sleep quality. Of course, it’s difficult to sleep with your Mom nagging you to do your laundry, clean your room, and wash your dog.

    Our teens like to just spritz fabric & deodorizer sprays in their room to mask the odors, making things worse. With the all-natural PURGGO air eco-purifier & freshener, made with pure and sustainable natural bamboo charcoal, which absorbs & eliminates odor instead of masking it we can hang it on the back of their room door with no effort. Even better the PURGGO is all-natural, non-toxic, and 100% asthma and allergy friendly with no fragrances to irritate the dog.

    Plus, it lasts for 365+ days (longer lasting than any product available worldwide) and works continuously in the background! Recharging is simple: place PURGGO in the sun for one hour every month to two months. Allowing excess moisture to evaporate restores its ability to purify air. Oh and if you have a kid with their own car, hang one of these on the headrest in their car, it helps with those odors from their stinky gear, leftover fast food trash and more.

    Hydration, Energy and Nutrients With Vitapod Go

    watermelon slice and Vitapod bottle
    Vitapod go bottle is perfect for staying hydrated Photo M. Barclay

    Our kids each have water bottles they carry with them everywhere they go, but they aren’t always filled with water. Neither of them drink soda, so it’s usually water or a sports beverage. With the Vitapod Go, we can make sure they’re staying hydrated and getting essential nutrients in place of sugar. Like most kids, ours are picky and so I worried they wouldn’t like the flavors available or wouldn’t know how to use the pods.

    Surprisingly, the Vitapod has been a huge hit in our house and increased our fluid consumption. While the pods don’t contain sugar they are sweet and flavorful, and there’s no powdery taste in our drinks like with other products on the market. I’ve never liked those powdery drink mixes, but I’m loving the Vitapods.

    The pods contain a proprietary blend of electrolytes, vitamins, minerals and polyphenols. You can choose from pods to help hydration status, boost immune system, or increase your energy and focus. Vitapod Go is a great gift for students of all ages as well as teachers. Also perfect for traveling as they’re easy to pack, don’t take much space and are perfect for those long flights or cross country road trips. It fit in our vehicle’s cup holder with no issues.

    Bose QuietComfort 45 Headphones

    With two teens in the house, noise canceling headphones are a must for our students. We’ve tried many pairs by many brands and none have performed as well or been as reliable as the Bose QuietComfort headphones. We even bought a pair of Sony headphones that some reviewers said were better, but they did not hold up as well as our Bose. Yes, they’re expensive but it helps kids stay focused on their schoolwork. It also prevent them from arguing about how they can hear the others music.

    This article may contain affiliate links, which just means if you purchase something through out link we might get a small commission, but you pay the same price.

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    Kristin Barclay
    Kristin Barclay graduated from the University of South Carolina with a major in Journalism and Advertising. Throughout her career, Kristin has demonstrated a passion for storytelling and a commitment to providing accurate, timely, and informative news coverage. She has a deep understanding of the issues and concerns facing local communities and has earned a reputation as a trusted source for reliable news and information. In addition to her work as an editor and journalist, Kristin is also a skilled writer and has written articles on a wide range of topics, including politics, business, education, and culture. She has a keen eye for detail and a talent for crafting compelling stories that engage and inform readers. Kristin is also an active member of the community and has volunteered her time and resources to numerous organizations and causes. She believes in the importance of giving back and making a positive impact on the world around us. In addition to her professional accomplishments, Kristin Barclay is also a passionate advocate for local journalism and the role it plays in keeping communities informed and engaged. She believes strongly in the importance of supporting local news outlets and is dedicated to ensuring that quality journalism remains a vital part of our society. Outside of work, Kristin enjoys traveling both for business and pleasure. She loves exploring new places, meeting new people, and experiencing different cultures. Whether she's on a business trip or a vacation, Kristin is always eager to discover what makes each place unique and special. Kristin's passions include boots, bourbon, dogs and college football. She is a self-proclaimed boot aficionado and has an impressive collection of cowboy boots that she wears with pride. She also enjoys sipping on a good bourbon and spending time with her husband and beloved border collies. Last but certainly not least, Kristin is the proud mother of two children who bring joy and meaning to her life. She is deeply committed to being a loving and supportive parent, and her children are her greatest source of inspiration and motivation