Workin’ It Wednesdays: Back to School!

Workin' It Wednesdays

It’s Workin’ It Wednesday!

The second Wednesday of every month, Erika and I host a link up where we talk about how we’re workin’ it in certain areas of our life (and then ask you to share your advice/tips/tricks on the subject too).

So far this year, we’ve discussed these topics:

January: Keeping our New Year’s Goals
February: Keeping our marriages strong
March: Balancing work and home life 
April: Spring cleaning
May: Planning/prepping for your summer vacation
July: What you do on your weekends

and today…

Back to school!


This was Ashby last year on the first day of school right after we dropped off the big kids and were walking out.  This is how I feel right this second.


To be fair, as much as I love summer break and the relaxed time with my family, I do already have my calendar marked with the day that I’m going to decorate for fall…so, that always cheers me up 🙂 .

Most of the kids in Texas are headed back next week or the week after that…but here in McKinney, we have a weird schedule this year and we don’t go back until the 28th.  So, even though we still have a few more weeks, I know a lot of other people who are going back really soon, so today’s post is right on target!

Over the years, we have developed a few back to school traditions and routines.  These are things my kiddos look forward to all year long!  I’m going to share ours and then I hope you comment and share yours too!  Here we go…


Ah!  First day of kindergarten and first grade in August 2015.

Every year, we have this for breakfast on the first day of school…
I make them for St. Paddy’s Day and my kids love them so much that they request them for other special days (always green mind you).  So, it has become a first day of school tradition for us.
We take our annual front door pic :).  (This sign came off of Etsy a few years ago.  There are a wide variety of them on there now!)
We take a picture of their big kid back packs
…we always buy the backpacks from PB Kids.  Do you think they’ll let me take this pic when they’re 17 & 18?
…and then we drop off as a family…
I also asked them these questions on their first day…
1. How old are you?
2. What is your favorite color?
3. What is your favorite food?
4. What is your favorite TV show?
5. What is your favorite holiday?
6. What is your favorite thing to do with Mom?
7. What is your favorite thing to do with Dad?
8. What is your favorite thing to do with Kensington/Smith?
9. What is your favorite thing to do with Ashby?
10. What are you most excited about this year in school?
11. What are you most nervous about this year in school?
12. What do you want to be when you grow up?
13. What is your favorite movie?
14. What is your favorite toy/stuffed animal?
15. What is your favorite thing to wear?
16. Who are you going to marry when you grow up?
17. What are you going to name your kids when you grow up?

After school, we always have their favorite cookies waiting and we sit at the bar and talk about their first day.

Also on the first day of school, after drop off, many of the moms and younger siblings meet up for breakfast at our favorite local diner…


…because coffee and pancakes helps us get out of that melancholy first day of school mood 🙂 .

Also, you can find my First Day of School Menu HERE.  It’s a menu mom’s will love to make and kids will love to eat!

And here’s my Back to School Pinterest board

Follow Shay Shull’s board Back to School on Pinterest.

So, what are your back to school/first day of school traditions?  I know you ladies have some!!  Please comment and share!   
Next month, our topic is: transitioning your wardrobe for fall! And then coming up this year…

Workin' it topics

If you blogged Workin’ It Wednesday today too, make sure you link up below!

Have a great Wednesday, friends!  Enjoy your last days of summer!


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  • Reply Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog August 9, 2017 at 4:51 am

    Omg, that picture of Ashby crying is heartbreaking! Shows how much she loves her siblings though!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  • Reply Francie August 9, 2017 at 5:03 am

    Love all your first day of school traditions, especially the mom get together on the first day of school. www. supersimpleways. com

  • Reply Elizabeth Feldpausch August 9, 2017 at 5:13 am

    My daughter is going to preschool this year so we will need to start some of our own traditions but growing up we always went out to a fancy back to school dinner (we get to keep doing it with my parents because my little [I mean younger] brother is still in college!)

  • Reply Erika Slaughter August 9, 2017 at 5:32 am

    I always decorate the front door on the first day of school. It’s super cheesy but something they look forward to at the end of the first day. 🙂

    • Reply Meagan Ruse August 9, 2017 at 7:39 am

      Good idea! I always decorate our sidewalk so while we walk to school it’s kind of happy.

  • Reply Carrie August 9, 2017 at 5:38 am

    I started a tradition in which we actually take the first day and last day of school pictures before that day. We usually try for the Sunday before and fake it. This makes the last day or first day so much more relaxed. I know it is cheating a little but it really works! My kids wear the same outfits on the first and last day of school. We are actually doing an experiment, my Mom bought my youngest a $12 Target cat book bag for Kindergarten and my oldest has a high quality landsend back pack. We are trying to see which one lasts longer!! So far the Target bag which can go in the washing machine looks brand new! The lands end is going strong but can’t be washed. We keep the book bags until they need to be replaced.

  • Reply Sara August 9, 2017 at 5:44 am

    Which print did Smith get this year?? None of the boys prints have me too excited this year!

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama August 9, 2017 at 6:07 am

      He picked blue camo again!

      • Reply LeAnna McKinney August 9, 2017 at 7:25 am

        My kids get PB backpacks too every year and my 2nd grader had blue camo last year as well. We chose one off PB teen this year since they had more designs. They had grey camo with lime green outline As well as other cool ones! They have the best backpacks and lunch boxes!

        • Reply Leslee August 9, 2017 at 7:55 am

          My kids get PB backpacks too, but they last so well we only get them every 2 years!

      • Reply Hillary August 9, 2017 at 6:38 pm

        The same exact one? Or is it a different pattern? I think if I would buy the same exact one two years in a row, I’d go slightly…but hey, whatever will keep them from complaining!

        • Reply Mix and Match Mama August 10, 2017 at 5:24 am

          He had blue camo in kinder and dino last year. It’s like a blue camo this year with skateboards on it…so, it’s different.

  • Reply Courtney August 9, 2017 at 5:49 am

    Those PB bags are adorable! I’m looking forward to seeing their new ones this year.

  • Reply Bethany August 9, 2017 at 6:11 am

    I love the traditions! I do not think I look forward to the heart ache of these days!

  • Reply Elspeth Mizner August 9, 2017 at 6:20 am

    So sweet and great memories! Also great way to see how they grow and change each year with the questions and pictures!

  • Reply Lauren August 9, 2017 at 6:42 am

    When do you usually decorate for fall?

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama August 9, 2017 at 7:10 am

      This year, I’m going to on September 1st!

  • Reply Sheaffer Sims August 9, 2017 at 7:02 am

    How can it be?!? This summer has absolutely flown by! But now I’m thinking about breakfast at Spoon’s. #migas

  • Reply Wilma August 9, 2017 at 7:03 am

    One more question we asked? What was your blessing today?

  • Reply Dustie Day August 9, 2017 at 7:03 am

    I’m sending my first one to Kindergarten on the 22nd. He’s excited but boy am I struggling! Any tips for the mama heart to get through this? ; )

    • Reply Julie Thrapp August 9, 2017 at 10:55 am

      Schedule coffee with a good friend (at a park if you have other littles). I did that for years and it really helped–it gave me something to look forward to, gave me somewhere to go instead of to a quiet(er) house, and because it was with a good friend they understood if I cried a little. You’ll be able to spend good time with any younger kids and when you send the last one off to school, more time with friends….and a house that stays clean a bit longer. My kids are older and I get to enjoy going to coffee/shopping with my 21yo daughter, floating the river, kayaking, playing tennis and going to coffee with my 2 high school and 1 middle school sons. I love it–very good times are ahead!

  • Reply Danielle Rigg August 9, 2017 at 7:07 am

    Love making family traditions. I have them hold a sign as well but also a poster we make together from a template off the computer. It’s super cute and so easy . It basically like the questions you ask them but there on the poster we keep forever. We also have a family dinner, we all say our rose (the best part of your day) and a thorn (sad/bad – I don’t like using the word bad lol). We do this every night at dinner. The kids look forward to it as do we, great way to get them talking about their days.

  • Reply LeAnne August 9, 2017 at 7:26 am

    My kids have already been back in school for a few days. It’s been SO hard to get back into the routine! I did get my first grader a Yumbox and it’s making packing his lunch a little easier and more fun. Thanks for the recommendation!

  • Reply Liza August 9, 2017 at 7:29 am

    What size PB book bag for a Kindergartner? We’ve not had one before and I don’t want to get the wrong size with his name on it.

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama August 9, 2017 at 7:33 am

      I would say small for a kinder kid. Not preschool sized but the small size.

      • Reply Liza August 9, 2017 at 10:06 am

        Thank you Shay!

    • Reply Gabi Barrick August 9, 2017 at 8:08 am

      We went ahead and bought the large size for our kids when they start kinder because they do last much longer than one year. It looks “big” on them (which I think is so stinking precious), but you can adjust the straps so they fit comfortably. Also – it’s big enough to fit their take home folders without bending up the corners, but Kinders barely bring anything back and forth to school in our area, so it’s not like their packs become too full and heavy to manage.

  • Reply Angelique August 9, 2017 at 7:31 am

    I love the mom get-together idea! I might have to try to gather some friends for our own later this month. 🙂 I can’t wait to see how Madeleyband Ashby handle drop-off this year. No tears I hope! 🤞

  • Reply Laura August 9, 2017 at 7:31 am

    Aww, the pics of your kids are so sweet! I love your tradition of going out for pancakes that morning and decorating for fall as soon as September hits. Sounds like a great way for moms to enjoy back to school too. 😊

  • Reply Erin August 9, 2017 at 7:35 am

    In NJ we favor a schedule that benefits the shore. So no one goes back before Labor Dat. We have another month before school starts in our town.
    It’s crazy to me how early the south goes back to school!

  • Reply Meagan Ruse August 9, 2017 at 7:41 am

    I’m starting to feel sad about the first day of school, but seeing our annual breakfast on my calendar makes me happy!

  • Reply Alexis deZayas August 9, 2017 at 7:49 am

    Love reading about your back to school traditions! They will have the sweetest memories from them 🙂

  • Reply Laci August 9, 2017 at 7:55 am

    My kids started back to school last week and packing their lunch the night before like everyone suggested on your blog one day has been life changing!!! Thank you!! Headed to check out the lunch menu for ideas.

  • Reply Gabi Barrick August 9, 2017 at 8:05 am

    Love the PB backpacks, although we don’t get a new one each year. In fact, my oldest – who is going into 5th grade – has been using the same PB backpack since he was in Kinder. I wash them on gentle each year at Christmas and after the last day of school and they are still going strong. I offered to get him a new one for 5th grade, as his is definitely looking a little worn after 5 years of heavy use, but he says he wants to finish out his elementary school year with his beloved sharks. Pottery Barn for the win!!!

    In other news – that mom who does the Back to School pics a day early is a genius. I do this with Halloween pictures…. why oh why haven’t I thought to do it with BTS?! Probably because I’m still making their signs and ironing their clothes at 11pm the night before. 😉

  • Reply Chrsi8tine August 9, 2017 at 8:10 am

    How do the PB backpacks hold up, I see you get the kids new ones each year, is that cuz they are a wreck by the end of the year? They are a bit out of my price range but wondering if they would last more then one year? Thank you!

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama August 9, 2017 at 2:46 pm

      They lasted longer before my kids went to school five days a week. They’re a hot mess now by the end of school.

  • Reply sydnee August 9, 2017 at 8:19 am

    PB backpacks and lunchboxes here too! And of course the obligatory first day pictures. They grow up so fast! 🙁

  • Reply Angela Ellingson August 9, 2017 at 8:24 am

    Love these traditions! I was to incorporate more back to school traditions. We always do a first day of school picture with the kids each holding a sign of a few answered questions. Thanks for hosting this link up!

  • Reply Leslie August 9, 2017 at 8:25 am

    Do you use the PBK lunch boxes? I’m looking for a good solution that makes packing lunches easier this year.

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama August 9, 2017 at 2:45 pm

      Yes!! We love them!

  • Reply Sara August 9, 2017 at 8:37 am

    What do you do with the backpacks from the year before? I have been able to reuse mine for at least three school years now, but we also do a university model school where they only go to the classroom two days a week. Curious if your kids just wear their backpacks out from being in five day school or if you’re able to pass them along?

  • Reply Sara August 9, 2017 at 8:38 am

    Ooh! Also, for Kensington you might want to look into the Vera Bradley backpacks! The girls here in Houston are crazy for them, they love all the fun prints. It’s a very “big girl” backpack =) =)

  • Reply Lindsay August 9, 2017 at 8:52 am

    You get new backpacks every year? What do you do with the old ones? My daughters both have PB backpacks and we love them! They are the best! But my daughter is going into 3rd grade and still uses the same one since Pre-K. I wash it in a pillow case and it looks brand new!

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama August 9, 2017 at 2:44 pm

      My kids must be very hard on theirs because they are a disaster at the end of school. We keep them for traveling and stuff but they’re filthy and kind of falling a part a bit.

  • Reply Lauren August 9, 2017 at 9:05 am

    Is it still super hot outside when you decorate for fall? I’m so excited I can barely wait but I know that we have some warmer days ahead. decorating for fall is my favorite thing!!

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama August 9, 2017 at 2:44 pm

      You can’t wait for the weather to cool down here in Texas or it will be Christmas 😉 .

  • Reply Cathryn August 9, 2017 at 9:08 am

    I took first day pics of my kids all the way through high school. When they went off to college they had friends take them for me and sent them to me (on their own). I even have their very last first day pics from their senior year of college! I was so filled with joy when they did that because they knew it meant something to me. Great tradition to have!

  • Reply Elizabeth August 9, 2017 at 9:22 am

    Love all your back to school traditions! What kind of containers do you use for school lunches? I know you have mentioned them in the past but I can’t seem to find it now!!

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama August 9, 2017 at 2:43 pm


  • Reply Susan Jeffries August 9, 2017 at 9:23 am

    My daughter will be a junior this year! I have no clue how that happened! We still love shopping for back to school together. We have just switched from PBK to Kate Spade(: Blessings to your family for a happy and healthy school year!

  • Reply Vanessa August 9, 2017 at 9:24 am

    We are on a weird schedule this year, too…sadly, we are going back a week earlier over here in Prosper:( We start Monday and I’m dreading it! I just broke the news to my youngest (almost 4 years old) that the other two are going to school in a few days and he already broke down crying! It was cute and heartbreaking all at the same time! Last year, he didn’t cry until after we dropped them off, but he knows the drill now and is dreading it like mama;) Enjoy your last couple of weeks! If you start later, are you guys getting out later for summer too? We are the week before Memorial Day, now. I’m still learning the ropes on the Texas school schedules:)

  • Reply Jessie August 9, 2017 at 9:29 am

    My mom made us take those backpack pictures all the way to our Senior year. Many eyes were rolled, but she got her pictures. 😉

  • Reply Lisa August 9, 2017 at 10:00 am

    What are the soft curlers you use for your girls?

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama August 9, 2017 at 2:43 pm

      Sponge rollers! Places like Target sell them :).

  • Reply Laura @ Laura Likes Design August 9, 2017 at 10:25 am

    I loved reading all of your traditions and love the idea of the families going out for breakfast afterwards! So fun!

  • Reply Meredith August 9, 2017 at 10:42 am

    Could your kids be any cuter? Sheesh! Adorable!

  • Reply Emma August 9, 2017 at 11:10 am

    I’m 22 now but every year in grade school, a few days before classes started, my mom would give each of us $100 and told my siblings and I we could spend it however we want, but that was all the money we were getting for back to school clothing. She would then take each of us individually to whatever stores we wanted to spend that money, and then we’d spend the days after modeling our outfits and deciding what to wear! It made the first day of school so exciting and really helped teach me how to budget and use my money properly.

  • Reply Gabrielle Storey August 9, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    Love the new backpacks every year! So cute! Traditions that they’ll pass on to their children!

  • Reply Cindy August 9, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    Hi Shay,

    You need to update the list to have your newest addition to the family’s name on it. I saw Sean last night on the promo for Food Network’s Worst Cooks in America and I pray that he succeeds and wins!!!!

  • Reply Erin Port August 9, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    Great list. Our backpacks are ready to go full of supplies. Now just to get back into a good routine so we are ready to go! xoxo ERIN

  • Reply Jess at Just Jess August 9, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    We always had worms & dirt as our after school snack for the first day of school.

  • Reply Julie August 9, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    When do you decorate for fall? I never know a time to really start!

    Good luck to your kiddos!

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama August 10, 2017 at 5:25 am

      I’m feeling like September 1st is a good day, right?! 🙂

  • Reply Jess August 9, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    Do you buy them a thermos from pbkids as Well? Or can you recommend a brand you use?

  • Reply Lizzie @ This Happy Life August 9, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    Such sweet and simple back to school traditions! I started a special after school treat too and my son loves it!

  • Reply Hillary August 9, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    Do you buy matching lunch boxes? If so what style do you get to fit the yumboxes?

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama August 10, 2017 at 5:23 am

      Yes! We buy the ones that look almost square.

  • Reply Meghan August 10, 2017 at 12:17 am

    Would love a back to school kids wardrobe update!!

  • Reply Karen August 10, 2017 at 10:05 am

    I’m thinking back to late May this year (we end in the middle of June) when my 4th grader was holding his PB backpack by that top little handle since the shoulder straps had seen better days! We went right online and bought a new one for this year. LOVE Pottery Barn Kids but not only do they not really hold up for more than 10 months but it’s fun to have a new, fresh one each year anyway! That is a tradition. We also make a trip to the Tanger Outlets a few weeks prior to the first day and we do a huge BBQ the night before with all their favorite foods. Then when they get off the bus I have some fun sweet treats ready for them!

  • Reply sydnee August 10, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    So bittersweet with the first day of school! I love seeing my kids run off the bus after school, guess that makes up for some of the sadness?!

  • Reply Nicole Robbins August 12, 2017 at 8:35 pm

    Love your moms breakfast idea! We always went clothes/shoes/supplies shopping. I think school starts so early in the south bc it’s SO hot in August/September that kids would rather be in a/c than outside (even the pools/lakes are hot!) then get out early/mid May to enjoy outdoors! Thankfully my first (& only, so far) son just started MDO this summer & we’re both loving it but I don’t even want to think about sending him to school all day everyday *tears!*

  • Reply Vicki Leuck August 18, 2017 at 10:25 am

    You are so smart to go out with your girlfriends. I’m sure being with them squashes the roller-coaster feeling you can get when left to think on your own. You never forget that feeling…

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