Gear Up for Back-to-School

I love, love, love the back-to-school season! While my days as a student are in the past, I enjoy checking out cute new school supplies and picking up a few things for my office along the way.

Of course, back-to-school shopping involves a whole lot more than crayons and composition books. Every summer, I enjoy researching and featuring fun new products in television segments. Here a few of the things I am showing this year. Television segments and this post are sponsored by the featured companies.

Amy Sewell

For students who want to replace a thin, lumpy dorm mattress, Mattress Firm has a great deal on this tulo liv “mattress in a box.” Through September 10, you can use your student ID or .edu email address to get this in twin, twin XL, full, or queen size for just $299.

The security features of Nokia’s 4.2 and 2.2 smartphones make them super-attractive for students. Both feature biometric face unlock and, since they are Android One devices, you also get regular security updates and new Google features. A dedicated Google Assistant button also makes it easy to keep track of hectic schedules.

For people with food allergies, MadeGood’s tasty snacks are ideal for lunch boxes or after-school treats. Since they are free of nuts, dairy, eggs, and other common allergans, they are “school-safe” in districts that restrict the types of snacks that can be brought into the classroom. This season, whenever you buy their (yummy!) Crispy Rice Squares, or their Chocolate Chip or Mixed Berry Granola Bars, you get a code for $10 off Mabel’s Labels - making it easy to keep track of water bottles, lunch packs, and more.

When everyone is back to work and back to school, getting dinner on the table at a reasonable hour is sometimes a bit chaotic. To solve this challenge, I am a huge fan of meal kits! You get pre-measured, pre-packaged ingredients delivered to your door - along with recipes - once a week, so all you have to do is open the package, follow the directions, and cook. No shopping, planning, or running to the grocery store involved. Scott and I have used both HelloFresh (pictured above) and EveryPlate. The recipes are amazing and they fit our not-so-traditional schedules. For those weeks when we will not be home in the evenings or might be travelling, we can just skip the week with no problem or cost! As a bonus, meal kits are a great way to try new dishes and recipes that we otherwise might not have tried.

As much as I love to cook, on some busy evenings, the choice is between heating up leftovers in the microwave or getting takeout. For those occasions, Scott and I have several of Omaha Steaks’ new frozen, single-serve meals in the freezer. With savory varieties such as Bourbon-Glazed Brisket with Ancient Grains and Lemon Garlic Shrimp with Bow-Tie Pasta, there is something for just about any taste. On evenings we both work late, whenever we’re ready for dinner, I just pop them in the microwave - and dinner is served in about five minutes!

Sneakers are at the top of many back-to-school lists, and SKECHERS always has super-fun shoes to suit any style. The wide range of light-up shoes is fabulous, but my personal favorites this year are the Twinkle Toes Mix ‘n Patch shoes that come with stick-on emojis you can rearrange to match your mood.

Happy shopping!