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Great back to school supply ideas for your student

Carmex, Zebra Sarasa, Venta Airwasher, Blackwing Pencils, Terracycle, ScreenGuardz, Stuck on You, Dell, Tedy Tank, Penny Scallan, V.Alrt, Remington Hair Accessories, Keds, Keurig Mini


Kids are still enjoying summer activities and vacation but school is looming on the horizon. Here’s a few suggestions for some cool gadgets and accessories for your child this school year.

Fall is nearing and if you don’t want chapped lips, then stock up on some Carmex Moisture Plus fashion lip balm. Carmex Mosture Plus is a clear gloss that includes sunscreen protection (15 SPF) as well as aloe and vitamin E. My tester really liked the lip balm’s vanilla flavor. These limited edition lip balms are available in six different patterns. STARS: ****1/2

Time to stock up on some pencils and pens. Zebra Sarasa pens boast rapid dry ink technology, according to the company. Available in14 different colors, the Zebra Sarasa pens feature gel ink and were easy to use providing even writing and for my kid testers great coloring and drawing. Available for purchase at Walmart, Costco and Staples. STARS: ****

Blackwing Pencils have a long history. First established in the 1930s, the brand was revived in 2010 and are according to the company, “genuine incense-cedar pencils that feature Japanese graphite cores.” Known for its distinct shape and replaceable eraser the Blackwing 602 has been a favorite among legendary songwriters, journalists and artists. Your child can be inspired too this school year. Available for purchase at, my kid tester enjoyed practicing her writing and doodling using the Blackwing 602. STARS: ****

Looking for a journal this school year? Leuchtturm1917 journal includes numbered pages as well as a table of contents. A great gift for your student to chronicle his/her school year – or a great organizer for class notes. The Leuchtturm1917 journal features Whitelines Link technology. Users simply download the Whitelines Link App and they can scan their notes written in their journal for later use. STARS: ****

TerraCycle is a recycling and upcycling company that offers supplies that allow students to express their personalities while also being mindful of the environment. The company has a variety of cool, eco-friendly school supplies such as its iPad/Tablet Case which is made from a retired US Mail Bag. This retro case is unique and includes a large exterior pocket with grommets but soft interior to store your tablet. My tester loved the look of the case and enjoys its history. TerraCycle has a number of products available for purchase at www. STARS: *****

Tablets have become big part of the education process. Schools are being outfitted with iPads and how to better protect your investment than with a Bodyguardz ScreenGuardz Pure protector. According to the company, the ScreenGuardz Pure is chemically treated for maximium strength. Ultra-thin, this tempered glass screen protector is easy to install and also has an anti smudge coating. The ScreenGuardz Pure package also comes with home button stickers, microfiber cleaning cloth, application instructions, squeegee card and alcohol wipe. My tester installed the ScreenGuardz on his wife’s iPad and she didn’t notice a difference – she just thought someone had cleaned her screen! It should be noted that my tester's sample did not include the suction cups but he was still able to install it. STARS: *****

Looking for a cute lunch box for your child? Check out Stuck on You’s collection. The company’s Penny Scallan Embroidered Lunchbox can be personalized and is fully insulated and is easy to wipe clean. The Penny Scallen Lunchbox also sports a reinforced handle and durable poly canvas. My kid tester fell in love with the cute pink and bird print. The company also has a great assortment of personalized water bottles that are spill proof and BPA free. Want to order your own personalized water bottle? Simply choose your design and insert your child’s name in the required field. Simply adorable. STARS: ****

Penny Scallan’s cute backpacks are great options for little ones; the perfect size to fit a preschooler or kindergartener. These backpacks are available in a variety of designs and can be personalized. Featuring two front pockets and a side pocket to fit a drink bottle, the Penny Scallan also comes with a matching bag tag. My little kid tester thought she looked very grown up sporting the Penny Scallan’s Chirpy Bird backpack. Made from 100 percent cotton canvas with a water repellant coating that makes cleaning easy. STARS: ****

Parents of preschool or elementary aged kids will appreciate the V.ALRT, a small wearable device that can easily be slipped into a pocket or bag, worn on the wrist, or around the neck as a pendant. V.ALRT allows its users to simply press the button to call for help. How does it work? According to the company, “V.Alrt uses Bluetooth SMART (4.0 LE) technology along with a mobile applications provided by VSN Mobil (Android and iOS) and connects with the user’s smartphone and sends personalized text messages, phone calls, or location information (with GPS on) to three pre-selected contacts indicating help is needed.” V.ALRT provides up to a year of use on a single battery and is available for purchase at and and comes with no monthly or service fees of any kind. Readers interested in purchasing the V.Alrt can get 30 percent off for a limited time through the VSN Mobil website by using promo code: valrt30. STARS: ***1/2

Back to school shopping is exciting and daunting at the same time. Keds has some cute shoes this fall. The company has partnered with Taylor Swift to design approximately 18 cute fashionable shoes. The Taylor Swift for Keds Collection is available in multiple colors and prints including champion finches, rally metallic dot, champion bleach denim, champion bleach denim floral, champion dots, champion sunpie, and champion bow stripe, Just as comfortable as they are cute, the Taylor Swift for Keds shoes are a great addition to your child’s closet this fall. STARS: ****

Remington Hair Accessories has a wide variety of options for your daughter including bobby pins, elastics and headwraps. Appropriate for kids in elementary school all the way to up to college. Available in multiple colors and styles, Remington Hair Accessories are sold at Target. My kid tester’s favorite was a turquoise braided perfect fit headwrap; while her mom’s favorite was the anywear hair elastics. STARS: ****

Packing your child up for college? Then consider a Keurig MINI. Designed to be perfectly sized for campus dorm rooms, the Keurig MINI makes coffee, tea, hot cocoa or iced beverage in under two minutes. Users can choose between three cup sizes. Easy to use, the user simply adds fresh water into the single-use reservoir, choose his/her favorite K-Cup pack, brew and enjoy. The Keurig MINI includes a six count Keurig variety sampler. Available in multiple colors as well as select college decals, the Keurig MINI is sold in major retailers including COSTCO, Macy’s and Target. Its convenience, easy clean up and reliability to produce a good cup of coffee (or tea or hot cocoa) are a few of the product’s top selling points. STARS: ****

When going away to college, it’s often the first time kids live away from their families. Sometimes it’s a different state they are moving to or if they are living in a dorm, a new roommate situation. Whatever the case, consider sending your child off with a Venta Airwasher LW15 to help neutralize any unwanted odors. According to the company, “the Venta Airwasher LW15 removes dust, particles, and allergens from the air you breathe.” Utilizing filterless technology, the LW15 is a humidifier and purifier; it’s also light and portable. Designed for rooms up to 200 square feet, the LW15 has two different speeds and comes in either Anthracite grey or white. The LW15 is also energy efficient and very low maintenance….just add water – auto shut-off feature and low water warnings. The Venta LW15 isn’t just for dorm rooms, it can also be used in your child’s bedroom (great idea for teens) or even a nursery. STARS: ****

Another great accessory for college kids is Umbra’s Flip Three Hook rack. Available for purchase at, the Umbra Flip Three Hook rack is made of real wood with metal hooks that flip out when needed, this is a space saver as well as functional and modern. Easy to install, it comes with a wall mount template that helps to level and install the rack, my tester really liked that she could flip the hooks down when needed and back up when she didn’t. Screws are included. STARS: ****

Another cool accessory for a college dorm room (or child’s bedroom) is the Teddy Tank -- also a great idea for a care package. The Teddy Tank comes in 12 different stuffed animal versions including a dog, penguin, monkey and unicorn. You can stuff your Teddy Tank with a beta fish or opt for something more traditional like snacks, toys or coins. Consider loading a Teddy Tank up with your college age child’s favorite sweets and sending it off in a big old box as a reminder that mom and/or dad are thinking of them. Sold at Target, Walmart Walgreens or CVS. STARS: ****

Looking for a computer for your child this school year? Dell’s XPS 12 is a two for one. What? Yes, you read that correctly. Well two for one in the sense that the Dell XPS 12 computer is able to transform itself from a computer to tablet mode seamlessly especially since the XPS 12 has touch screen. Is’ a computer; now it’s a tablet; back to a computer, that’s the Dell XPS 12. The computer’s unique flip hinge design helps transform this computer into tablet mode. The Dell XPS 12 features over eight hours of battery life, 4 GB of memory and 4th Gen Intel Core processors as well as Windows 8.1. The computer’s 12.5 inch high definition screen and its ability to transform itself from computer to tablet mode makes the XPS 12 a great buy for your student. My tester loved the size of the XPS 12 and its versatility. STARS: *****

Disclaimer: I and/or my kid testers, or product testers were provided with product samples or loaner products but all opinions are solely mine and/or my kid testers and product testers.

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