Going Back To School In Style

It’s that time again, when the kids head back to school.
With the shift from leisurely summer days, to a jam packed schedule, comes the need for tools to allow the kids to perform at their best.
Often when heading out to fill the supply list, one is bombarded by name brands, poor quality and over designed options. My boys and I have found solutions that have become useful, beautiful, economical, essential objects for living. I wanted to share a few of our favorite back to school choices.
Muji at MOMA
Aluminum Pencil Case
“The name "MUJI" is derived from the Japanese phrase "Mujirushi Ryohin," meaning "No Brand Goods." Over the last 20 years, they have developed a worldwide following with a guiding philosophy that emphasizes innovative and simple materials, processes, and packaging. The resulting products are streamlined, environmentally friendly, and beautiful in their simplicity”.
MUJI's emphasis on high quality but inexpensive raw materials, including remnants and otherwise disposable materials, results in products that are economical and environmentally friendly. These ideals are upheld in MUJI's manufacturing systems as well, in their attempt to streamline the design process and eliminate over-manufacturing. Even the packaging stresses restraint, uniformity and a commitment to reducing waste.
Aluminum Mechanical Pencil
This 0.5mm lead mechanical pencil is made entirely of aluminum for a durable feel and features a large cover cap for protecting the lead tip.
Colored Pencil Set
The set includes 36 vibrantly-colored pencils in a handy recycled cardboard storage tube.
Getting Organized
This clean, modern and typographically bold printable 2010 calendar provides monthly inspiration for the creative mind. Quotes include thoughts from Buckminster Fuller, Brenda Ueland and Ray Bradbury to name a few. Easy on your ink cartridges, and your time, just download and print this letter size calendar.

Mimobot® USB Flash Drives
Founded by Miami-based artists Sam Borkson and Arturo Sandoval, FriendsWithYou is an art collective promoting the message "magic, luck, and friendship". A union of art and technology, these USB flash drives transport data—music, pictures, documents—with fun and style.
Moleskine Journals
For two centuries, Moleskine was the legendary notebook used by European artists and intellectuals, from Vincent van Gogh, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso, to André Breton and Ernest Hemingway. This discreet keeper of an extraordinary tradition was recently reintroduced by the Italian company Modo & Modo.

Manhattan Portage West Side Backpack
These Manhattan Portage bags are a family favorite. They are durable, well designed and created to last for years to come. They are timeless, simple and beautiful.
Klean Kanteen® is a back to school staple, made from high quality, 18/8, food-grade stainless steel – a metal superior in both strength and safety that contains no harmful chemicals or toxins.
This year, I picked up a couple of great accessory products as well. The Built Sleeve, to absorb condensation and relieve the teacher of the startling crash as it often falls to the floor.
Also, the new Kanteen® Carabiner is the perfect accessory for clipping your Klean Kanteen® to your backpack.
Cool, contemporary Modern lunch boxes by Oots, come with their own containers. Cleaning is easy and the use of space is optimal with custom containers that comfortably fit inside. The lid of the Lunchbox is shaped to keep a water bottle in place, under an elastic strap. The upright design prevents food from being tossed around. 

 All materials used are food safe and kid-friendly: made of BPA-free and phthalate-free polypropylene plastic, and safety tested for lead. The Lunchbox comes in three different color combinations: Blue, Green and Orange.
Give them a big squeeze as they head out the door armed with well designed, effective and efficient tools for their first day.
Images borrowed from www.momastore.org, www.manhattanportage.com, www.kleankanteen.com, www.madebyoots.com, www.empapers.com

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