I love stationary, I love art shops, I love Muji and I really really love Paperchase.
It's a family thing.
The children and I could happily spend a whole day perusing the pens, paper and filing options in just about any well stocked store. So why wouldn't I attempt to get over the whole school uniform trauma with a bit of the stuff that really matters?
If you are new to school, changing school or just back to school this is my ultimate non uniform shopping guide.
1. Dodo Acad Pad from Dodo Pad
I'm a Dodo addict anyway and I wouldn't give up my regular yearly Dodo Pad diary or wall planner for anyone or anything but I do appreciate that that there are lots of people out there who are about to embark on their very first year as the parent of a school age child. You can't see it now but organisation and preparation are the only things that are going to see you through till Christmas.
If you have more than one child it goes without saying that you need a Dodo Acad Pad mid year organiser. I've tried it without and it wasn't pretty.
If you have older children with timetable's to get to grips with, the Mini Acad Pad is the perfect back to school companion. Small enough to pop into a school bag - or a handbag for that matter and at £8.75 it's a bargain to boot.
The lovely Lord Dodo is offering my readers a 10% discount on all orders placed on their website by 30/9/11, just use the promo code 11PR at the checkout.
2. Sharpies Laundry Pen
If you're one of the smug early uniform purchasers you can simply move on. This is for us hardcore, live by the seat of our pants, forgot to shop types because actually considering that name labels were needed never even entered our heads.
This is the simple, easy fix solution. One pen fits all - no need for fiddly threading or hours of sewing. Don't sweat it - the kids will loose everything anyway named or not.
£2.48 from Amazon
3. A Pencil Case Set
No matter how many pencil cases or pen sets you have in the house, everyone knows that the new school year = new start. This is your one opportunity to ditch last years tepid property in favour of this term's hot new thing and The Disney Store has some Back To School Offers that are too good to be missed.
This Tangled set is packed full of multi coloured goodies and is on offer at £7 or for the boys take a look at the cool Cars 2 set, also £7. Both items can be personalised to keep your little chimps happy!
4. A New Lunchbox
I like boxes, especially plastic food containers and when I saw these fab Toy Story Lunch boxes from Asda I did get a little over excited. They're so cute and only £9, not sure I'd be able to choose between them!
The girls love, love, love this Retro Doll Lunchbox £4.95 from dotcomgiftshop. It's a good size if you're only packing a mini lunch but not roomy enough for my lunch monsters!
5. Pens, pens and more pens!
Who doesn't need a rainbow flash of colour in the form of Sharpies Limited Edition 80's Glam pen set?
Twenty four fine point, quick drying permanent markers to brighten up any project.
£16.66 from I Love Pens!
We're doing our final school shopping trip tomorrow and i'm sure we'll come back with some more ideas.