I think it is safe to say that back to school is when the motivation to dress up is at an all time high. I've spent the last few weeks browsing online, and found a few products I think are worth sharing with all of you. I so wish I could buy all the products I've mentioned, but my increasing student debts have me a little more cautious about my online spending these days. I haven't used all these products (unless otherwise stated) but they are absolutely perfect for back to school and I think they are worth looking into!
I don't know about you, but I can not survive without a planner. If I don't write out my months in advance I will never get around to starting any of my assignments. I originally looked into the Day Designer but couldn't justify spending that much money on a planner (at least not yet). If any of you have used one, I'd love to hear your feedback! I purchased a Bando planner for a friend (reminds me a lot of the Lilly Pulitzer ones) and they are so so colourful and fun! If you want something a bit more minimalistic, the Rifle Paper Co. planners are perfect!!! I just bought one for myself, and the inner stationary lover in me is screaming like a little kid in a candy store. I can't wait to use it. I swear, it's the only reason I'm even a little excited to go back to school. If you're someone who loves "to-do lists" you'll love the layout of this planner.
Similar to the Kate Spade agendas, all the pages are a creamy white colour with motivational quotes in the top right corner of every page. Unfortunately, the pages are a little thin so if you are keen on using super inky pens, this might not be the planner for you. For all you Canadian readers, you can find the Bando, Kate Spade, and Riffle Paper Co. planners all at Indigo!
Shoulder bags are cute, but not all that practical if you carry a lot of stuff during the school year. Therefore, backpacks have been a back to school essential for as long as I can remember. Unfortunately, most of them are super chunky and oversized for no good reason. Everyone has different needs, but here are some of my favourites.
First off, we have the Pika Daypack by Mountain Equipment Co-op. I've used the Pika Daypack ($15) for the past two years at University. It is extremely lightweight and small but still manages to fit my 13 inch Macbook Pro along with a few textbooks, and other essentials for a successful day around campus. It also makes for the perfect travel carry on. Sadly, my bag has retired it's time with me and is accompanying my big brother on his journey through life. My Pika Daypack is currently at Black Rock City, and is witnessing the craziness of Burning Man. I'm so jealous. I use to always tell my parents how fun it'd be to be a backpack. Imagine being the backpack of a globe trotter. How fun (hehe!)
Downfall: The bag is super light, and therefore isn't very waterproof. If you are going to be carrying your laptop in it without an additional sleeve I'd be careful of water damage to your electronics. Especially when it rains.
UMMMMMMMM... for some odd reason MEC doesn't seem to sell the Pika Plus Daypacks any longer?!?!?!?! I have no idea why they've stopped. I just realized right now as I was trying to find a link for you guys. I can't find it on their site anywhere. I really hope it's just a glitch of some sort. Does anyone else know what's up? Here are some pictures of the last version of the Pika Plus daypacks I found via Google. I wonder why they don't sell them anymore, they were a great hit. As a MEC lover I'm actually very surprised and quite disappointed.
I'm actually thinking of calling the store....... I DON'T GET IT. WHY WOULD MEC DO SUCH A THING?!?! Regardless, MEC makes great quality items. Here are some other backpacks by MEC that look aesthetically pleasing. I haven't used them personally so I'm not sure how great they are for everyday use. But, if any of you are looking for a new bag, MEC is worth looking into!
Here is the MEC Cloud Nine Daypacks ($49):
Here is the MEC High Jinx 16 Daypack (Unisex) ($28):
Be sure to check mec.ca for more daypacks! #BRINGBACKPIKAPLUS
I have recently been into pieces by Matt&Nat, and let's just say if you are willing to spend a bit more money you can get your hands on some classy backpacks. Matt&Nat is a Canadian company based in Montreal, and does not use any leather or animal based materials. If you want to know more about their brand, click here.
Matt&Nat offers a great selection of backpacks, and I'm sure all you pastel lovers will love their colour options. Here are my top 3 favourite backpacks from Matt& Nat from least to most expensive.
If you like the Matt&Nat bags but want something a little less pricey the Double Zip Backpack by Indigo is a great alternative!
Ok. I have had the worst possible luck when it comes to printers and I KNOW I am not the only one. I use to hate the thought of printing anything because it was almost certain that my printer would do everything (make noises in the middle of the night, run out of ink before my exams, jam up, etc.) other than what it was intended to do - print! I was first introduced to a Brother printer by my older brother (lol the irony) and let me just say that my printer has never let me down. There are quite a few laser printer options from Brother, so I'd suggest doing some further research of your own to find the right one for your specific needs. The one I use is the Brother HL-2270 DW series ($89.99). If you need to print a lot of notes throughout the school year and don't need colour ink, this printer is a great option. With the toner that comes with the printer you'll be able to print roughly 700 pages. With a DR420 Drum unit you'll be able to print roughly 12,000 pages.
Be sure to check stores such as Best Buy and Staples, these printers do go on sale from time. Don't forget to check Costco! With this printer you will not stress another day about printing your notes. My favourite feature is how easy printing double sided becomes (no more having to do it manually, that shit is confusing!). Here is the link to the specific laser printer I use. Be sure to check brother.ca for more options!
With that, I just want to say good-luck to all of you heading back to school. For all my munchkins off to first year, you guys are going to rock it! It doesn't matter if you have a bookbag, a shoulder bag, an eraser, a pencil, a pen, an agenda, or absolutely nothing. None of that matters. Just remember to foster the relationships around you, and respect those you meet. Enjoy every minute of it, they really do fly by! x
A 24 year old Canadian living (& teaching) in Shenzhen, China.