Back to School Tips – KEEN Kids Giveaway


back to school tips

I don’t know about you, but Back to School really snuck up on me this year. I felt like I needed another month or so of summer.. or at least a few more weeks. I think I was feeling a little sentimental and refusing to accept the fact that our youngest was heading to first grade. Which means she’s now gone all day, and I’m no longer a Mom at home with young kids. Ahh.. big changes and shifts that I like and don’t like all at once. Anyhow, now that school has been back in session for a couple of weeks I thought I would share a few tips and tricks that help make being back in school a little easier around here.

back to school - routine

1. Establish a Routine

To make the transition easy on both you and your kids school schedule start establishing a bedtime routine at least a week before heading back to school. That means bedtime earlier so you can get up earlier as well. Lay out clothes + shoes for the next day, as well as gather any items (soccer cleats, ballet leotard etc.) that they may need for any after school activities or extra curricular’s they have the next day. That way they are prepared not only for their upcoming school day but after school as well!

back to school - homework station

2. Set up a Homework station

Help your kids stay organized and on top of their homework by creating an area in your home where they have all they need to stay focused and on task. We use a basket for homework packets that are sent home at the beginning of the week and not turned in until the end. As well as any papers that may need signatures or notes to be read by a parent. We have a small caddy full of everything they need to complete their homework assignments; pencils, erasers, scissors, glue sticks, colored pencils, markers, crayons etc. on the same shelf as well so it’s all easily accessible. Another caddy with extra supplies and a basket to hold library books (so they’re not lost or forgotten each week) finish off our simple homework station.

back to school tip - snack drawer

3. Create a Self-Serve Snack / Easy Breakfast Drawer

We have always tried to adopt the idea that children feel empowered when they can serve and help themselves. By creating a snack drawer you not only do just that but also help your kids develop a healthy relationship with food. We keep different types of bars, from protein to granola, and instant oatmeal in ours. That way they can help themselves to their own healthy breakfast, a quick after school snack or add one to their lunches.

4. Make Packing Lunches Easy

We love having easy to pack lunch items on hand for our kids to help in or fully pack their own lunches. Things like pre hard boiled eggs, yogurt tubes and individually packed portions of turkey breast are perfect easy proteins. Squeeze pouches of fruits + vegetables or petite sized fresh fruits are also great for smaller appetites and ensure less waste. Tip: We love to freeze our yogurt tubes and pack them frozen in lunches. By the time lunch rolls around they’re perfectly cold and have kept the rest of the lunch chilled as well.

back to school - keen hikeport

5. Wear Good Shoes! Seriously!

One of my most favorite and fond memories growing up was my annual trip to the department store with my Dad for new school shoes. He was, and still is a firm believer that wearing good shoes as a growing child makes all the difference! And I’ve adopted the same feelings. There is nothing better than finding a good solid shoe that is comfortable, supportive, easy for my kids to take on and off, plus super fun and stylish on top of it!

KEEN Kids is known for it’s great summer sandals and is the “go-to” summer camp and adventure footwear brand for the whole family. As seasons change and families transition to fall and back to school, KEEN Kids offers a great functional and quality product for that transition time. We love KEEN Kids shoes because they check off all of our requirements from above, work perfectly for both school + play and can be styled with a variety of outfits. See below for some outfit inspiration featuring KEEN Kids Moxie in both the Moxie Flat and Moxie Mary Jane styles for girls. And the Hikeport +  Jasper styles for boys. All styles my kids have, wear everyday, and LOVE! 

Best back to school shoes - keen

We’re so happy to team up with a great group of bloggers to share lots of KEEN styles for kids AND an awesome giveaway. TEN lucky winners will receive a pair of KEEN shoes for school (select from New Arrivals). Please enter using the Rafflecopter below.

Don’t forget to visit all of the participating blogs too! They all have KEEN shoe styles to share as well as great tips and ideas for school:

The Chirping Moms // Wanderlust Crew // Suburban Wife, City Life // Girl in the Red Shoes //Marino Bambinos // The Love Designed Life // Momfessionals // Munchkins and Moms // Being Brickner // Thrifty Nifty Mommy

Giveaway: Enter using the form below


a Rafflecopter giveaway

ixchel triangle // giveaway



Hello there! It’s been a minute (or months) since I’ve blogged and figured it was time to come back with an amazing little giveaway for you all!

I absolutely love it when I find a company that produces lovely products with a genuine story and passion. And that’s exactly what I found when I happened upon Tory and her company Ixchel Triangle. When I was first introduced to Tory I asked her if she would share a bit with me about her company and how it came about. The following is what she shared, and why I’m so excited to share her products with you!

“My grandma moved to Guatemala when i was a little girl and i have been in love with the Mayan culture, including the amazing weavings she would send me, for years. Once i started going to Guatemala i saw not only the beauty of this country and the Mayan people but also a great need to educate the indigenous people and preserve their heritage. The idea to start a business working with indigenous men and woman came a few years ago but at that time i still had my “day job”. I taught bakery occupations to inmates in county prison, in the hopes of rehabilitation and reduced recidivism. I absolutely loved this job and the work the Lord was doing in my life and the inmates lives at this time. But we ultimately decided the best thing for our family was to have me stay home with our girls. once i “retired” to stay home with my three daughters (9, 5, & 3)  i was finally able to start Ixchel Triangle ( pronounced E-Shell).

I work with a co-op of woman weavers, these 10 woman are now able to send ALL of their children to school and teach their traditional style of weaving, using a back-strap loom to the younger generations. This is particularly important because traditional attire of huipil (blouse) and corte (skirt) is becoming less popular and therefore this style of weaving is also. By working with and paying fair wages to the weavers we are insuring the academic education of their children as well as carrying on the Mayan tradition of weaving on a back-strap loom. In the future i would like to multiply the support i am able to give but so far i am currently supporting the education of three children. three might not sound like much but Jose Mario, Emily, and Allen have my heart. I have been blessed to know them and am now happy to aid their future.

The huipil’s themselves take about 3-4 weeks to weave, then it takes our team of 5 men working together, 2 hrs to complete a bag! Everything is done by hand, the only time we use a sewing machine is to sew the leather trim and weaving together. I just had a short video done, which I filmed a few months ago while I was in Guatemala. It shows the weaving and sewing process and just how much skill and time it takes to create every bag we make. The video will be up on my site in the next day or so. I hope it will give people a greater understanding and love for our products and the culture they represent.” ~Tory

I really love her story and passion behind her products. The video she made is now on her site and is a must watch. Every one of her bags are one of a kind, no factories or mass productions are ever used. That means when you get your bag, you know no one will ever have one just like it. Also, with the release of her latest fall line, which now includes diaper bags and a mini bag, every bag is now signed by one of the artisan “finishers” so you can be sure that its authentically handmade. It is Tory’s hope that people will feel more connected to the individuals who have made their bag with love.




Did you know that there are over 20 different mayan languages? I didn’t, but Tory informed me that one of the most common is quiche. So to incorporate Mayan culture in the language of Ixchel Triangles bags, Tory simply named them Nich, which is small, Nim is larger or large, and Qas Nim, which means largest.

Lately, I’ve been adorning my Nich bag and I couldn’t be more in love! It’s the perfect size for everyday use but still has plenty of room for me to stash a sweater or two in it for these cooler fall days. If you follow me on Instagram you’ve most likely seen my beautiful Ixchel Triangle bags in some of my posts. I’ve had my bags for a couple of months now and they just keep getting better and better! The quality and craftsmanship is incredible and I couldn’t be more thrilled to have found the perfect bags. And that’s why I’m giving away a Nich bag (of your choice) to one lucky reader. Here’s how you enter:

~Head to Instagram and make sure that follow button is green on both Ixchel Triangle and my profiles, then follow the instructions on the giveaway post on my feed. (please, don’t forget to do that or we will miss your entry!)

~For an additional entry, (because you want as many as possible, right!) follow both Ixchel Triangle and me too on Pinterest, once you’ve done so come back here and leave me a little comment on this post letting me know you did!

Super easy, right! Also, if you just can’t wait and need to get your hands on an Ixchel Triangle bag right now I’ve got you covered. Use code “miko10” at checkout to receive 10% off your entire purchase now through Monday Oct. 6th at midnight PST, which is also when this contest will end. Winner will be announced on Tuesday Oct. 7th. Good luck friends, and it’s good to be back! xx

Photos: Samantha Broderick Photography 

Blog Launch Giveaway // my favorite things









We have been enjoying the warmer weather we’ve had around and spent some time this weekend wandering the neighborhood, playing in the park and finding little treasures all along the way. Spring is definitely in the air, and I am SO excited to announce my blog launch with my first ever giveaway! It’s a combination of some of my most favorite things.

If you didn’t already know, I’m a huge Hello Apparel fan. I love supporting small businesses and when I discovered Hello Apparel it was love at first sight. From their Adults to kids clothes, everything in their line is unique, fun and beyond comfy. And L loves that we can “be da same.” Who doesn’t love twinning it up occasionally with their little ones. Plus you won’t find better customer service around. All of their pieces are simple and work with everything. Trust me, I should know…we sport some sort of Hello Apparel piece at least 3-4 times a week in this house…and they just get better with time.

I discovered The Mason Bar Company last spring and haven’t put my mason jar down since. I use it everyday. For smoothies, tea (hot or cold), infused water, and just plain ole H2O. I have the 24oz Tumbler with a glass Dharma straw and it goes with me everywhere. In fact I don’t know what I ever did without it! I love drinking water out of it as it is always so fresh tasting (even when I leave it overnight) with no funky leachy plasticy, or aluminumy (I don’t even know if those are words…but you get my point) flavors mixed in. You want one, trust me.

When I opened my package from Maylilies I was immediately taken. Seriously, a darling little box topped with adorable washi tape and wrapped with a simple bakers twine. And then to open it to the most simple, yet classy gold bar bracelet was the complete package! This piece is my new favorite. It adds just the right amount of simple beauty to any outfit.

One lucky reader will receive:

$50 Store Credit to Hello Apparel

$25 Store Credit to The Mason Bar Company

And a Gold Bar bracelet from Maylilies

Plus in the mean time you can use code “TAG” for %15 off from Hello Apparel

use code “MIKOB15” for %15 off from The Mason Bar Company and Maylilies


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Theme by Blogmilk + Coded by Brandi Bernoskie