Friday, 4 August 2017

Back to School Guide 2017 & Giveaway

I can't believe it's already August! This Summer is going by too quickly and before we know it, it'll be time for the new school year again. Have you got everything already? We still need uniforms and shoes, but I'm saving them for last in case the kids grow out of them (I hope I won't regret this!).

I have however prepared all the stationery and bags the kids will need. They have been going through notebooks, pencils and erasers quicker than ever, so we made sure to stock up on those especially!

While I was hunting down on good quality and fun stationery, I found many that we love and really want to recommend to you because of the quality, idea and/ or cuteness, so I have put together this Back to School guide, with a small giveaway at the end.

Hope you'll find this guide useful and will be able to find something to add to your Back to School shopping!

Back to School, Giveaway, School essential items

Lunch Box:

Back to School, Stationery, Bags, best Bento Box

Back to School, Stationery, Bags, best Bento Box

Back to School, Stationery, Bags, best Bento Box

Back to School, Stationery, Bags, best Bento Box

Petit-Fernand Personalised Lunch Box     £28.00 with Free Delivery

Comes with (from bottom to top):
- Large main container
- 2 removable container that fits into the large main container
- 2-compartments layer that will sit on top of the main container
- Ice pack that will fit under the 2-compartments layer
- Personalisable Lid with steam hole and cover

Total capacity: 1000ml
Dimensions: 21(W) x 85 (H) x 145 (D) mm
BPA Free, microwave and fridge safe

There are 4 colours to choose from, and you can personalise the lid with artwork, as well as changing the font and colour for your text.

This is by far the best lunch/ bento box I have seen out there. It is personalisable, large (the main container and lid alone can fit 2 thickly filled sandwiches), comes with compartments so you can split sweet and savoury, wet and dry food apart, and the ice pack included (big thumbs up for this!) will keep food cold and fresh for longer.

We took the lunchbox out for picnic and if I had more time to plan, I could have filled even more in it. The compartments are really big, which can easily be split further using things like silicone cupcake cases. The removable containers gives you a lot of room for creativity to make really attractive lunches and bentos if you like.

I think the most outstanding feature is the removable ice pack that will fit snugly under the 2-compartments layer. I used to have to put in small ice packs in the kids' bento boxes, but they don't last because they were so small. This is a full size ice pack, and with it fitting under the compartment, it won't be crushing the food underneath.

Counting Down Calendar:

Back to School, Stationery, Bags, best Bento Box

Back to School, Stationery, Bags, best Bento Box

Back to School, Stationery, Bags, best Bento Box

Ackerman Sleepzzz Until... Big School Buddy (Boy)     £15.99 (suitable for children age above 3)

Comes with:
- a cuddly school buddy (girl version with a school dress also available)
- hanging calendar with tear off slips, counting down from 15
- reward stickers for extra special behaviour

I think this cute kit will definitely help little ones look forward to joining a new school! I really love the idea, with a count down calendar for them to tear the slips off, which helps them know exactly how many days are left, and cute reward stickers if they've done something special (you don't have to stick them on the tearable slips of course). The teddy is really soft and cuddly too! It'll be so cute if the child and the teddy goes to school on the first day together!

School Bags:

Back to School, Stationery, Bags, best Bento Box

Back to School, Stationery, Bags, best Bento Box

Paladone DC Comics Backpack     RRP £19.99

- Official DC Comics licensed backpack
- Size (including front pocket): approx. 42(H) x 30(W) x 18(D) cm

This backpack will be perfect for the DC comics fans! Clay is fairly small for his age, and he's just big enough for the backpack, so I think it'll fit for children in KS2 as well as adults.

The backpack is very roomy, so there is plenty of space for school books. The backpack itself is quite light so it won't add a lot of weight on your back or shoulder. The front pocket is very roomy as well and will fit small notebooks and other bits and bobs in it too.

I like it that the design is kept to the minimum, so that kids can keep using it years without growing out from it too quickly!

Back to School, Stationery, Bags, best Bento Box

Back to School, Stationery, Bags, best Bento Box

Sambro Backpack - Shimmer & Shine     RRP £9.99 (target age 4 to 8 years old)

Official Nickelodeon licensed backpack
Size: 33(H) x 27(W) x 2.2(D) cm

I (yea me!) fell in love with Shimmer & Shine ever since I spotted them on TV! The cartoon is absolutely adorable and colourful, and so are their licensed products! This cute little backpack is light weight with lots of room inside, it'll be perfect for any little Shimmer & Shine fans!

Sambro has a wide range of licensed backpacks, from Despicable Me 3 to Disney characters etc, and they have just launched the 3D and plush backpacks range too, which can be found at

Planners and Notebooks:

Back to School, Stationery, Bags, best Bento Box
Right: Find each month easily by the colour

Back to School, Stationery, Bags, best Bento Box

Back to School, Stationery, Bags, best Bento Box

Back to School, Stationery, Bags, best Bento Box

Back to School, Stationery, Bags, best Bento Box

Back to School, Stationery, Bags, best Bento Box

Back to School, Stationery, Bags, best Bento Box

Personal Planner - Design your own Planner     From £18.90 including shipping

The ring bound planner featured here has the following personalised details (please refer to pictures for the details):

- Size: A5 (5 sizes to choose from) at £22.90
- Front and back transparent protection covers (standard)
- Front and back cover: A design theme
(you have a choice of your own uploaded picture, plain colour, patterns and design theme)
- Front cover text: 2 lines, placed at bottom right corner
- 12 months planner starting month and year: September 2017
- Elastic closure colour: Grey

- Planner language: British (this will include all British holidays dates)
- Planner layout: 4 days on 1 page (last square is an empty space for notes); 4 layouts to choose from
- Writing space customisation: None (you can add lines or colour alternative spacings)
- Planner ruler: Yes (a removable plastic ruler)
- Daily details: Weather box
- Personal Dates: Yes (can be added to your account, and once checked, will automatically add all birth dates and special dates into the planner, appearing like public holidays)
- Design theme on spread: bird (the banner on the top of each week)
- Modules (check lists at the bottom of each week): To do, blank, blank
- 48 back pages: 2017 year overview, 2018 year overview, grid pages, Sudoku pages
(you can also add colouring pages and map, etc)
- Greeting page (first page): Title - Hi Abby (poo emojis; her choice!)
Text: Today's gonna be a good day! (pig emoji)     Extra text: blank
- Plastic pocket (standard)
- Sticker sheet x 1 (standard. The one with the emojis in the pictures)

Elastic closure (blue) £1.95
Stickers (the cool colours one in the picture) £2.95
(Other accessories like pens are also available)

Personal Planner has certainly pushed customisation to the maximum, and that's why I love their planners! Their paper quality is amazing, with a good thickness and are very smooth. The ink saturation is great, especially for the front and back covers, which are laminated cards.

My favourite customisation is the your own special dates being printed on the planner, which appear on the planner like all the other public holidays, so you won't have to fill them in yourself. Since those dates won't change and are stored in your account, every time you get a new planner through Personal Planner, you can just add them with 1 click, instead of having to type/ write all of them over again!

Also worth noting is the planner stickers. I never knew that people use planner stickers until the beginning of last year, and they have made planning 100 times more fun! The stickers Personal Planner included in their planner (sold separately as well) are bold and bright, with emoji ones too, which will certainly brighten up your days.

Abby had lots of fun personalising her own planner, and is looking forward to using it in the new year (she's a bit disappointed that the planner didn't start in August as she can't really use it at the moment haha).

Back to School, tartan cloth notebook, genuine scotland tartan
Right: Written on Isle of Skye notebook is the tartan design name of the notebook that is sitting on top of it

Back to School, tartan cloth notebook, genuine scotland tartan

Back to School, tartan cloth notebook, genuine scotland tartan

Back to School, tartan cloth notebook, genuine scotland tartan

Back to School, tartan cloth notebook, genuine scotland tartan

Waverley Scotland Tartan Commonplace Notebooks     £7.99/ £9.99/ £14.99

- Bound using genuine tartan cloth supplied by Kinlock Anderson, Scotland
- Each comes with an elastic closure, ribbon marker and expandable inner note holder
- Pocket size (£9.99, 14 x 9cm) has 32 designs
- Pocket size Scottish Traditions range has 8 designs, using Kinlock Anderson's 'house tartans'
- Large (£14.99, 21 x 13cm) has 6 designs
- Both pockets and large formats also include a removable information booklet and bookmark
- Mini (£7.99, 10.5 x 7.5cm) with Pen (retractable ball point) is the latest range with 8 designs

Pictures feature:
Isle of Skye Large Format Notebook
Heather Pocket
Thistle Pocket
Rowanberry Pocket
Rowanberry Mini with Pen

I'm a big fan of tartan, but I've never seen anything like this before! These notebooks feature some of my favourite tartan designs, but they aren't just a printed copy. These are genuine tartan cloth made in Scotland, so you can't get them any more real than this! The tartan cloth give the notebooks a very luxurious feel, both by look and touch, and they are definitely showstoppers! I couldn't resist stroken them either!

The paper is nice to write on, and I love that they included a folder at the back of each notebook to keep little slips inside. The mini pen that came with the Mini notebooks are very pretty and bright. For the price, I think it writes quite well.

If you are into matching your stationery to the seasons, Rowanberry has a stunning fiery colour that will be perfect for the start of the school year. I'm normally one who goes for cooler colours, but even I couldn't resist Rowanberry!

Isle of Skye, Thistle and Heather are of my favourite colour schemes, but each of them are so different too.

With a total of 38 designs to choose from, there is definitely something for everyone. The question is, which ones to collect?!

Back to School, Stationery, Bags, best Bento Box

Back to School, Stationery, Bags, best Bento Box

Back to School, Stationery, Bags, best Bento Box

Paladone Disney Princess Belle A6 Notebook     RRP £8.99

- Official Disney licensed product
- 200 pages A6 notebook that comes with a pencil (unsharpened)
- Gold foil cover details and page edges

I'm not sure if my pictures does the notebook justice, but it's beautiful with a dreamy design! Belle is gold foiled, making the notebook look even more lush. The design is carried on inside the notebook's first and last page, with lilac pages in between. The paper quality is quite good too!

With the A6 size, it's easy for Beauty and the Beast fans to carry it around for journalling or taking notes.

Writing Stationery:

Back to School, Stationery, Bags, best Bento Box

Back to School, Stationery, Bags, best Bento Box

Back to School, Stationery, Bags, best Bento Box

Back to School, Stationery, Bags, best Bento Box

Swordfish Omnipoint Mechanical Pencil Sharpener     £15.49 on Amazon UK

- Suitable for pencils between 8mm (standard) to 12mm (thick) in diameter
- Comes with a desk clamp
- Adjustable pencil point to select sharpness of the pencil
- Large shaving tray
- Non slip base
- Replaceable blade

I know it must sound really weird, but I'm really excited about this mechanical pencil sharpener! I used to have a really good one for a very long time, but then I had to change back to normal sharpeners, and I did not like it! I just couldn't find another good and affordable one, until now!

The Swordfish Omnipoint Mechanical Pencil Sharpener looks and feels professional, is very easy to use (you press a button on the side and push it out to hold the pencil in place, ready for sharpening), and you can even adjust how sharp or dull you want the pencil to come out! I can even make a very sharp pencil more dull, although I do prefer mine very sharp.

The capacity of the shaving tray is very impressive as well. I sharpened 3 pencils and there seem to be hardly anything in it! I think the kids will love sharpening their pencils with this from now on, even Clay who is left-handed can use it.

Back to School, Stationery, Bags, best Bento Box

Swordfish Spaceship Combo Pencil Sharpener & Eraser   £1.50 from The Works

Comes in 4 colours
Each has a single sharpener in the middle with container
Removable eraser surrounds the sharpener

Aren't these sharpener and eraser duo cute?! The colours are bright and attractive, and they are certainly a space saver (what did I just do?) in your pencil cases. Although my kids aren't using them at the moment (it is still holiday after all), they still like to play with them! It makes a very nice table ornament too.

It erases well, but if you want to preserve the shape and not have it looking like a crashed spaceship, you might not want to use it like us!

Back to School, Stationery, Bags, best Bento Box

Back to School, Stationery, Bags, best Bento Box

Swordfish Twin Combo Pencil Sharpener & Eraser   £3.20 from Amazon UK

- Comes with a removable eraser and duo size sharpener attached on each end
- 4 colours available

If you want to have something that look more serious and functionality is your priority, I would highly recommend Swordfish's Twin Combo Pencil Sharpener and Eraser. The eraser has been our go to eraser for some serious erasing while doing homework, and since it doesn't affect the look of the eraser/ sharpener, we just erase away! It does a brilliant job at it too. Look at our blue one going down already. The sharpener is very handy to have too while you work hard, to keep your writing neat, and it has 2 sizes as well.

The case makes it easier to hold them, and I love the colour choices as well.

Back to School, Stationery, Bags, best Bento Box

Back to School, Stationery, Bags, best Bento Box

Snopake Twin Tip Clear Adhesive Glue     £2.43

- 28ml
- Fine tip for precision and broad tip for larger area
- For paper, card, Art & Craft

There are so many glues out there, and I have bought over 10 different ones myself, but none keeps me happy. It used to be so easy to find one, but whatever I was used to are either not around anymore (seriously.. feeling old..), or they just don't stick as well as they did in the past! So when I found out that Snopake did a twin tip clear glue, I had to give it a try even though it doesn't look quite right on a Back to School Guide. It's glue (but still a very useful stationery)!

I'm so glad I tried it out because I will happily recommend it to any of you.

First of all, the glue stick has 2 ends, one fine one broad, so you can glue detailed little things (just be gentle with the squeezing) as well as covering a larger area in a short time without needing to pour the glue out and get a brush. One of the cap is flat, so it allows the stick to stand than having it rolling around on the table (my problem with glue pens).

My usual problem is dried up glue in fine tips, and leaky ones with broad tips. I don't have either problem with Snopake Twin Tip. The fine tip is fine but not so fine that you can't unclog it (none of the tips has clogged up so far by the way), and with the transparent tube and tip, you can easily see how it's stuck, which help with unclogging it.

The design of the broad tip and cap stops glue flowing out from the tip, so even if the glue stick topples over, I wouldn't need to run to it and straighten it up in case it leaks. I'm not sure if it will clog up, but even if it does, I can remove the whole broad tip off the glue stick and clean it up easily.

So although it's just a stick of glue, the design of the tube and tips make a big difference, and for that price, I'll be more than happy to stock up on them. Oh, and because it glues well of course!

Back to School, Stationery, Bags, best Bento Box

Back to School, Stationery, Bags, best Bento Box

Back to School, Stationery, Bags, best Bento Box

Back to School, Stationery, Bags, best Bento Box

Sambro Shimmer & Shine Stationery
- 3 Pencils with Toppers Set
- 5 Piece Stationery Set
- Mini Erasers Pack

These Shimmer & Shine stationery packs by Sambro are so cute! I think any of the sets will make Shimmer & Shine fans happy.

The thing is, these stationery aren't just cute! I don't normally expect a lot from novelty stationery, especially erasers, but these are actually good enough to use! I mean, for us parents, we wouldn't just want to buy pretty and cute stationery, so even though the kids might not want to use them, knowing that they work well is definitely a bonus to me.

I'm not sure if they are still being sold at stationery or toy shops, but Sambro has released a new range of stationery recently, so do keep an eye out for their licensed cartoon character ones.

Back to School, Stationery, Bags, best Bento Box

Back to School, Stationery, Bags, best Bento Box

Sambro Shimmer & Shine Poster Art Set

- Comes with 6 colour pencils
- Sticker sheet
- 6 colouring sheets

Technically not a Back to School item, but wouldn't it be nice for little ones to have fun with colouring their favourite characters while waiting for the new year to start? Together with other stationery and the bag from the same brand, it'll certainly make a lovely Back to School pack to help little ones look forward to the new school year.

The colour pencils colour well, and all the colours (except flesh) that came with the set works with the Shimmer & Shine characters too.


I've got a little giveaway to gift to 3 of you, thanks to the following brands:

Snopake Brands
Little Brian

They are fantastic brands that make quality products, and I'm sure you'll love any of the prize they have kindly offered!

Good luck and have a lovely Friday! xx


1. Snopake Brands Back to School Pack

The prize includes everything that you can see in the picture, how amazing is that? You'll be all sorted with stationery for the year!

Back to School, Stationery, Bags, best Bento Box

2. Petit-Fernand £20 voucher

We've reviewed their sticker labels before and we love them! They are so easy to use, especially the clothes stick ons, with great quality and quick delivery. We also think that their lunch box is one of the best out there!

£20 got us a lot of stick on labels, it'll definitely help you label all the clothes for the new school year!

Back to School, Stationery, Bags, best Bento Box

3. Little Brian Classic Paint Sticks (12 pack)

I met Little Brian at the Toy Fair in January, and their paint sticks are really creamy with high intensity. They look like crayons but are actually paint. I'm sure children will love drawing with these mess free paints. And with 12 classic colours in the pack, there will be plenty of drawing and painting to do!

To enter: You can do any of the options in the Rafflecopter widget below to enter! There is no mandatory entry option, and you don't have to do all of the options either, but every one of them are easy to do, so why not get your chances higher?

Giveaway ends: Sunday 20th August 2017 Midnight (where 00:01am is Monday)

Terms & Conditions:
  • The giveaway is open to the UK only
  • The prize cannot be exchanged and no cash alternative will be offered.
  • To leave a comment, simply do so by either leaving it in this post's comment section (Disqus) or on Facebook under the giveaway's post. For Disqus, please make sure that you are not leaving comment as Anonymous, as I will not be able to check whether you've left one. If you have to comment as Anonymous, or if your Disqus ID is different from your Rafflecopter entry name, please add a means of ID on your comment that I can use to link it to your Rafflecopter entry. Unfortunately if I can't, your entry won't be counted.
  • Please make sure that your email account used to enter the Rafflecopter is active, and you do check the spam folder in case the email I sent you ended up there
  • All entries will be checked.
  • Winners will be drawn by the Rafflecopter randomly, with the first name pulled winning the first prize, and so on
  • Winners will be announced by Wednesday 23rd August 2017 on here, Twitter and Facebook.
  • Winners will have to respond to my email by Tuesday 29th August 2017 noon. A new winner will be chosen after the deadline.
  • The prizes will be posted or emailed by the PR. I cannot be held responsible for missing parcels, but if you have any enquiry do let me know and I'll try my best to help
  • You can visit Di Coke's Rafflecopter Guide for Rafflecopter instructions
  • Please read Rafflecopter's privacy policy as well

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is also listed on:

Super Lucky's Blog
ThePrizeFinder - UK Competitions