Shopping with Sheaffer & Shay: Back to School Edition

For this edition of Shopping with Sheaffer and Shay, we decided to focus on back to school.  Our game plan was for me to find girl stuff and Sheaffer to find boy stuff…plus, we both decided that moms needed a little back to school love too!  
Our day was filled with kids’ clothes, lady clothes, Starbucks, laughing, stares from strangers, erasing 867 pictures off my i-Phone of Sheaffer, tacos, and one jump in a window display…you know, basic stuff you do when you shop for back to school clothes.
My pics are up today and then Sheaffer’s will be up August 20 (because next week is Sheaffer’s big blog birthday celebration week!).   
First, a few of my rules for back to school shopping:
1. I try and buy things that layer easily and can be worn all year long.  A cotton dress is perfect because you can include leggings and a jacket for cooler weather or keep legs bare for warmer weather.  Layering saves me money with kids’ clothes!
2. Money is well spent on good quality shoes.  I have wasted more money on less-expensive shoes but honestly, if you invest in a good pair of shoes, it will last your kid all year.  
3. I only buy shoes at Nordstrom for my kids because of their fabulous return policy.  They will exchange or let you return shoes even if your kids have worn them several times, if their shoes start looking distressed, they will replace them for you (like Toms).  Honestly, they are wonderful in the kids’ shoe department about exchanges and returns, so that’s where I try and shop exclusively for my kids’ shoes.
Here are my picks for girl back to school clothes (with a few mommy items thrown in for fun!)…
1. Your girl needs a light-weight coat she can wear everyday:
The first thing I saw was this cute military jacket!  I bought Kensington one last spring and she wore it all the time.  It’s light-weight and goes with practically everything.  They have it from baby all the way through big girl sizes.
They don’t sell this one that I bought for K in the spring any more, but I think the one at Nordstrom is a very close match (plus, I love the little yellow zipper details on it so much!).
And to me, there is nothing more classic than a denim jacket!  This one comes in toddler sizes through big kid sizes too.  I always buy a size up when purchasing outerwear.  This way, we have room to layer underneath, plus then Kensington can wear the jacket for two years instead of one.  If the sleeves are a little long with the bigger size, just roll them up!
These little jackets are great for those school mornings when the weather is cool at drop-off and warm at pick-up because they’re just so easy to layer!  Click here to see other big kid jacket options and here to see other toddler jacket options.
2. Your girl needs good quality shoes that will last her all year long:
Kensington is really easy to dress in the morning until it comes to her shoes.  She doesn’t want them to pinch, rub, hurt, cause a blister, etc. (which I understand), but she hits the panic button if she gets the idea in her head that a certain pair of shoes will hurt (before even putting them on her feet!).  So, I’ve searched long and hard for a few pair of staple shoes she can wear over and over again that look good and will not hurt her in the least bit.
 (All of the following shoes come from tiny baby girl sizes through big girl sizes as well!)

My mom bought Kensington her first pair of Uggs on her first birthday…and then every year since then.  
Just last week, my mom asked me if I was sure she should buy her yet another pair and my answer was, “YES!”.  They are always comfy for her, they are easy for her to put on and take off, they look cute with jeans tucked in and with leggings, they keep her feet warm, she can run around like crazy and be hard on them and they still look good…they are her very favorite shoe!  
This new style with the bow are my new faves (take note mom!).  They come in 5 different colors and I love them all.   I realize that they are an investment, but my daughter wears them probably 4 out of 7 days a week for 7 months…I feel like we get our money out of them.
She loves her Uggs :).
I’ve told you ladies about these Crocs before!  These little shoes are often my lifesaver in the mornings.  When nothing else works, we put on our Crocs.  I love them because they’re rubber, so I can just wash them off and they look great again, they’re closed-toe (so perfect for school), and they are so simple and fast for Kensington to do herself!  We have the pink but they also come in a fun purple color too! 
And look at these Leopard Flats!  Kensington has already worn them twice!  I keep telling you girls that leopard is a neutral and that rule applies to little ones too!  They look cute with bare legs, leggings and jeans.
Toms are a kid staple in my opinion.  Again, perfect for school, easy to put on, and cute with everything!
Sperry’s are so popular for grown-ups that I decided to check them out for girls as well.  I am so in love with the purple sparkle ones!  From little feet to big feet, these shoes will be cute on any girl!
3. Your younger girl needs simple dresses and leggings:
I’m a sucker for a simple dress and leggings…like I said before, they’re easy to layer and can last all year.  I also love them because they wash, dry and wear so well.  Here are some of my favorites from this shopping trip for girls 2T to 5T…
I think this dress would be so cute in the fall or the spring.  It’s the perfect school-year dress!
I love Gap’s dresses for girls.  This pink and grey dress comes in 2 other colors and would look so cute by itself or with leggings.  I, of course, would go for the two different patterns mixed together, but they have solid colors as well :). 
 I also love this other style of dress too with the fun leggings.  I’m pretty obsessed with Gap dresses for your girls…click here to see them all!
4. Your older girl needs colored denim:
  I love colored jeans on young girls!  (Let’s be honest, I love wearing them too!).  They’re fresh and fun without looking too grown-up.  These jeans come in 5 different colors and honestly, I love each color so much, I don’t know which I would pick?!?!
To go with her colored jeans, she needs a fun graphic-tee
I love a little girl with a sweet message on her shirt :).
5. Your girl needs a cute backpack:
Let’s face it, I could try and find a lot of other backpacks but honestly, I’m pretty sure almost everyone loves the Pottery Barn Kids’ backpack.  Not only do they come in different sizes for different kiddos, but they also come in a wide variety of fun patterns and prints.  And the best part of all…they last and last and last…for years and years and years.  They’re my top pick for a backpack!
6. Your girl needs great bows:
My cousin’s wife Casey (a mom to 2 year old Paisley) left her career owning a retail store last year to start a bow business.  Every.single.bow you have ever seen Kensington in was handmade by Casey.  One Stop Bow Shop is of course my recommendation for back to school bows.  And make sure you check out her new holiday bows (I’ve already placed my order for some fun Halloween bows!).
7. A few things for us moms:
I think we have our girls covered from head to toe (or bow to shoes), so I thought I’d throw in a few things for us moms too.  
I fell in love with this leopard skirt at first sight!  A pencil skirt is such a staple in my wardrobe for church, work outside the home or any occasion when I need to dress up a bit.  I love them because you can pair a pencil skirt with strappy sandals for spring and summer or tights and boots for fall and winter.  They really do work year around.  Loft also has some other new cute pencil skirts this season if leopard isn’t your thing (but really, how could it not be your thing???).

 When I was in Gap looking at girl clothes, I headed over to the ladies’ side to look at some staple items for my fall wardrobe: striped shirts and jeans.
Let’s be real.  It doesn’t take much to pull yourself together for school drop-off…just throw on some cool jeans and a fun tee and you’re set.  Right now, everything at Gap is 35% off, so it’s the perfect time to refresh your mom wardrobe.
I adore these jeans.  They fit great (with a little stretch to them), they’re a little tattered (which just looks cool) and they stop at the ankle (so they would look so great with ballet flats or my new favorite camo Toms).  Throw on a striped tee with these jeans and I’m good to go!

I’ve blogged before about my ditching the sweats as a mom revelation and putting on some jeans and a tee instead (because honestly, it’s just as easy and looks so much better!).  Here are a few other things I like right now that (especially 35% off) would be such a better alternative to my sweats…
These cords come in 8 different colors and look so polished and fun!  
Throw your cords on with one of these striped tees and you’re feeling better about the carpool line already!
Top it off with a denim jacket and you’re one pulled together mama!
Whew!  That was fun!  Back to School Shopping for girls and moms by Shay :).
OK…the party wouldn’t be over if I didn’t share with you some of our outtake photos…
For some reason, Sheaffer cannot take a picture next to me.  We take one and she deletes it. We take another one and she deletes that too.  We were sitting in Starbucks just trying to get one picture taken and she must have deleted 875.  Oh my heavens!  Half the time, she wouldn’t even look at the picture before she deleted it.  Finally, I grabbed my phone away from her and just started snapping away…
This is Sheaffer panicking at me snapping her photo.
Then, she took my camera back and tried to take one of herself and accidentally had the camera flipped around and took this picture of me instead…
This pretty much sums up things.
We never got a picture of us together (that she didn’t immediately delete).  So on our way out, we passed by Loft again and I told her to take my picture to represent our day…
Happy, with a Gap bag and Starbucks.  Back to School shopping has never been so fun!
Don’t forget, Sheaffer’s post on boy stuff will be up August 20th!
And today on the foodie blog, easy and yummy Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes
And the two winners of my Lovely Lace Leggings Giveway are AmyJo Jeans and Cassandra Criswell!
Congratulations ladies!  Email me at to claim your prize!
Find me on Twitter here.
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Find me on Pinterest here.
Find me on Instagram  @mixandmatchmama

Have a great weekend!

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  • Aubrey August 9, 2013 at 11:13 am

    Our philosophy on dressing our girls is EXACTLY ALIKE despite the fact that we live in completely different climates. Add some Hunter wellies and a great raincoat and Kensington would be all set for a trip to cold, dark, rainy England. πŸ™‚

    P.S. The best part about having THREE girls is that all that cute stuff gets worn thrice!

  • Kelly Jo August 9, 2013 at 11:25 am

    I am so excited for back to school shopping!!! Love this post!

  • Danielle August 9, 2013 at 11:37 am

    I love your picks! I want to go shopping now! I think I've said it before but you seriously need to be my personal shopper! New business to add maybe πŸ˜‰

  • Sheaffer {Pinterest Told Me To} August 9, 2013 at 11:39 am

    Oh my goodness! This post was PACKED FULL of information. I've got a lot to live up to with the boys! Soooo glad you got that pencil skirt. It screams "SHAY!". And those little girl's shoes? Precious! And the colored cords at GAP? How have I not tried those on yet? I sure am going to miss our Tuesdays at the mall once school starts! πŸ™

  • Kristen Boyle August 9, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    Love your blog!! Question for you re: Tom's, do you find your kids slip out the back? Do you size them down? I have a pair and my 5yo would love a pair-not sure how to size her. Thanks-great style!!!

  • Mix and Match Mama August 9, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    Toms do stretch out, so I always make sure they're really snug on my kids. Kensington wears an 11 but her Toms are 10s.

  • Amy Lynn August 9, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    Where did you get those white sandals you're wearing in the Loft picture? Sorry if you've mentioned it already. And what is the shirt that you are wearing with the pencil skirt? I like pencil skirts, but I never know what to wear with them. Thanks, Shay!

  • Mix and Match Mama August 9, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Amy Lynn! Email me and I'll give you all the info! πŸ™‚

  • aprilparrish August 9, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    Love the leopard print pencil skirt on you! We always purchase ll bean book bags so I will have to check out your suggestion for pottery barn! Thanks πŸ™‚

  • Aubs August 9, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    So fun!! I can't even begin to imagine the fun I would have shopping for a girl!! I've been MIA for a few weeks and I'm so behind on my blog reading ~ I've missed keeping up with you and I'm looking forward to getting caught up!! =)

  • Jaren August 9, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    Love all those choices! Looks like a really fun day! I think I might get my oldest some of those cute leopard sperrys for school.

  • Anonymous August 9, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Hi! Wondering what you do so that your kids don't lose their clothes. (i.e. a nice denim jacket) Do you write their name on the inside?

  • Olivia August 9, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    I was wondering the same thing about your shirt with the pencil skirt. I am really like 3/4 sleeve shirts that can go with a lot of bottoms! Thanks

  • Amy McCown August 9, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    Oh my goodness I love that leopard skirt so much I may have to buy it – even though I am pregnant and won't be able to wear it until next spring. In my opionion leopard really never goes out of style or is at least back every few years, so if I see an awesome leopard piece I just buy it.

  • Shesabigstar August 9, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    We love PBK backpacks but I've found that they don't wash well, which is such a bummer! My daughter got the backpack on wheels and it's impossible to run that through the washer. Rolling down the school hallways and the bus, it gets dirty and I have no way to wash it… so we got very limited use out of that, which was such a bummer for the money that I spent. Also, the matching lunch bag that we got to go with it, I've washed that numerous times and it just won't come clean. So disappointed!

  • Lynn {A Taste of Country} August 9, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    I have a pair of the pink Mary Jane crocs for myself to wear on float trips. They're great on the river because they're easy to slip on & off, & they don't absorb a ton of water like other shoes would. Plus, Crocs are just comfortable..I have 2 pairs of their flip flops, too!

    The pics you two took of each other are hilarious! What kind of leg exercises do you do? I've got scrawny little legs, so I'm always looking for ways to build the muscle in my calves.

  • Anonymous August 9, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    I love the Pottery Barn backpacks. I just got my 6 year old son the Batman one with the matching lunch bag. I had his name embroidered on both and they are SO CUTE! They are very high quality too! Loved this post! You have great style!

  • Katriel-Maria Berbert August 9, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    I love this post so much! This is super helpful!
    I don't actually have any kids yet, but I'm pinning this and saving it for later πŸ™‚

  • Melanie Lien August 9, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    So when are you going to tell us what you do at the gym? Because your calves look awesome!

    I love love LOVE the pencil skirt! I am always looking for trendy cute clothes to wear to work that meet our conservative dress code. I will def be ordering one of those!

  • Mix and Match Mama August 9, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    For my fitness routine, check out 52 Shades of Shay: Fitness!

  • Anonymous August 9, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    I usually love reading your blog, but today I was so annoyed when you posted you are one of THOSE Nordstrom shoppers who buy shoes and return them after wearing them. I've been to Nordstroms Last Chance Clearance Store where these returns wind up, and it's disgusting to see the shredded/torn/worn out shoes that Nordstrom shoppers return. While the brands are spectacular, they would be worth no more then $1 at a garage sale. It is clear that none of the shoes were returned for a manufacturing flaw, but instead to abuse a generous company policy.

  • Mix and Match Mama August 9, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    To be clear, I only return shoes if there are problems with them. I returned a pair of K's Toms once because the second time she wore them, they came undone at the toe and unraveled. Nordstrom is very generous to correct problems like that. If you feel like you're purchasing shoes from Nordstrom's clearance area that are sub-par, I suggest you email Nordstrom about that situation and not me. They have every right to refuse a return but they simply don't…that is not the consumer's problem, that is the department store's decision. I respect a store that honors their products and corrects issues like this.

  • Kim Kauffman August 9, 2013 at 11:48 pm

    Ok, so much greatness that I don't know where to start. Definitely going to have to check out those Gap girls dresses. Our almost three year old refuses to wear anything but dresses so I'm going to have to stock up for the fall/winter. They are so easy with leggings and boots. And those Uggs and flats… I'm dying – so cute! We are making a trip up to Portland on Sunday so you'd better believe I'm going to be trying on that leopard skirt and the Gap jeans. That skirt is right up my alley! You look great in everything!!

  • Anonymous August 10, 2013 at 1:50 am

    Trust me, I have never and will never buy shoes at Last Chance, I had to walk past them in the store. (I've only shopped there for the runs on Kate Spade bags, when there's been a design flaw in hundreds of the same style.) The reason I responded was the way you came across,"I only buy shoes at Nordstrom for my kids because of their fabulous return policy. They will exchange or let you return shoes even if your kids have worn them several times, if their shoes start looking distressed, they will replace them for you (like Toms).", makes it appear that you find it okay to use and abuse a store policy meant for shoes that have a manufacturing flaw, not just because it's distressed. Just my opinion as a someone who's worked in retail.

  • Mix and Match Mama August 10, 2013 at 3:00 am

    Again, I buy shoes at Nordstrom exclusively for my kids because of their return policy. Buying shoes for kiddos is hard and expensive…Nordstrom makes it easier. You really can't tell how a shoe is going to fit your kid until they wear it…and I think Nordstrom understands that. They absolutely understand customer service if nothing else.

  • Charlotte August 10, 2013 at 5:22 am

    My kids are too young for school, but now I'm looking forward to when I get to start back to school shopping for them! Fun post. Should your other business endeavors not pan out, you could definitely be a personal shopper for people!

  • mel @ the larson lingo August 10, 2013 at 5:57 am

    I want to go shopping with you & Sheaffer!!!! Ahhhh!!!! Love your picks. My girls have serveal things you posted about, Uggs with bows, Glitter Toms, Gap dresses/leggings and the PBK backpack (and lunch box to match!)
    Great list of things@

  • Jenna {Real Simple Girl} August 10, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    What a fun post! Did you find that the leopard skirt from LOFT ran true to size? I couldn't decide if I needed my normal size, or if I should size up. The sales lady talked me into getting my normal size, so hopefully it doesn't look too tight. I probably just need to wear it higher on my waist. It's sooo cute, though!

  • Sarah August 11, 2013 at 12:44 am

    I love your ideas for back to school – especially the dresses with leggings! I wish I had realized earlier how much easier a casual dress is, but I'm glad I finally saw the light! I'm also loving your don't dress in sweats mentality – and you are so right, jeans and a cute tshirt can make all the difference in the world! I feel so much better. πŸ™‚

  • Michelle Bradley August 11, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    Hi shay! So I bought "the shoes" the other day in the putty color and they are so cute only problem is they stretched out and my feet slip to the edge and they are so uncomfortable πŸ™ I normally wear a 6 1/2 and I have very narrow feet. The size 7 were a little wide for my feet and then they stretched the size 6 were very tight. My question is do you think the size 6 will stretch enought to feel comfy? I really want these shoes to work but they might not be the right fit for me sad πŸ™

  • Mix and Match Mama August 11, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    I have a really narrow foot too and mine haven't been slipping. Try the six and see. If you really love them, I would try one more size before giving up!

  • Leanne B August 14, 2013 at 2:56 am

    Love the shoe part for kids! Those are all in our collection uggs, sperrys, toms…our only addition is our Lelli Kelly's!