We are now half way through the summer holidays and already it feels like there is still so much time left to go, but that it has already gone really quickly. I always think that the summer holidays seems quite daunting/exciting when the end of term is looming- 6 whole weeks off school. But actually the reality is that all too soon we will be back at school and embarking on yet another school year.
It still feels like yesterday I was sending Maddie off on her first day of reception. Then two years later her little sister joined her, and now I find it baffling that my little girls will be going into year 3 and year 1. I want to grab time with both hands and tell it to slow down. It is such a cliche but that saying ‘the days are long but the years are short’ is so true- I just know that all too soon I am going to be sending my baby boy off to school and not too much farther on being one of those crying mothers on Maddie’s leavers day when she goes to secondary school.
I am in no rush for the summer holidays to be over. While logistically it is a challenge having two parents who work from home and no immediate childcare available bar the odd helping hand from kind hearted grandparents, we also know how lucky we are to be able to have time at home with the children over summer. I prefer the summer, I like that we don’t have to rush around and worry about the school runs- everything just seems to relax a little with routines going out of the window- late summer evenings, happy memories and of course the odd meltdown (from the children and me haha).
However I am a MASSIVE culprit of leaving things till the last minute. Last year I was the mum who was rushing round labelling uniform with a sharpie the day before school started and I managed to order their branded school jumpers after they had been back at school a couple of weeks, when the price had gone up and the special offers had ended. However there is one thing that I have managed to get organised with (but only really with the help of Next!) and that is school uniform.
Next asked us if we wanted to work with them on a back to school campaign. Now obviously I said yes because a) Next genuinely is up there with one of my all time favourite brands, I reckon 90% of my kids clothes come from there and b) anything to help me get organised early. I know from experience they have a great range of school uniform so I picked out some new school uniform for my girls. We have always had Next school uniform, back when Maddie was in her first year of school. Firstly it washes so incredibly well, as do all Next clothes, you can wash again and again and it still looks great, secondly we find it to be really hard wearing and also comfortable for the girls, the quality is great and thirdly I think they have the best styles. Maddie and Lottie won’t wear dresses or skirts and Next always do the best shorts for girls too. They also appear to have massively upped their game when it comes to school shoes now- there is a really great selection on their website and I love the chunky patent ones we picked out for the girls.
Not only that they also do Next day delivery (which you can also get to a store of your choice) which has been a life saver for me on many occasions, whether I need a bit of school uniform in a hurry or a sneaky holiday outfit the day before we travel. I think their delivery service is one of the best I know.
I took the girls out to try on some of their new school uniform. It’s safe to say they love it and I think it looks so incredibly cute on them. I love all these photos so much, I really enjoyed getting my ‘big camera’ out and dusting it off and taking some lovely photos of them having fun. The only funny thing was on the way back from where we took photos we bumped into our neighbours who asked us if they had fallen asleep and September had rolled around- I am guessing it was quite strange to see two little girls kitted out in full school uniform in the middle of a hot and sunny August Saturday.
These girls make me so proud!
Next have an amazing range of bags for back to school- how cute is Lottie’s rocket rucksack and how cool is Maddie’s shiny silver bag? Both are from the boys range but we don’t mind at all.
Like I said above their grey school shorts are so adorable- you wouldn’t believe it but it is actually quite hard to find cute school shorts for girls. Next have nailed it with these and we have bought them every year (they don’t seem to have changed the style luckily). They are made with stain-stopping Teflon so kids can get messy but they are easy to wash and also they have an adjustable waist, which is definitely worth mentioning as I am yet to find any school uniform that isn’t too big for my girls!
I was really surprised by the fantastic range of school shoes they had on their website. I opted for these chunky black patent ones in the hope that they won’t scuff them in the first week like they always do. They still have the velcro fastening though which is what you need at their age. They have bouncy memory foam and a grippy sole so they are comfy but perfect for children who like to jump, skip and run. Or play football in my girls case.
They had very similar coats last year (also from Next) which lasted a whole year. These navy puffa style jackets are great, easy to wipe clean for the odd mud stain, but also really durable to chuck in the wash countless times. Plus it is great value, starting at just £20.
I adore this photo of my girl. She looks so grown up. Next school term she will be 8 and that is something that makes me feel immensely proud and also a bit sad at the same time. Stop growing up so quick Mads!
Maddie put this little school cardigan on and claimed ‘it was the most snuggly thing ever’ which personally I think is high praise indeed. She isn’t wrong it really is a very soft material. Obviously the shirts and cardi’s come in all different colours.
I personally think they look very smart. As I said above Next is one of my very favourite brands so it has been an honour to work with them on their Back to School campaign. I now feel very organised and ready for September (although someone remind me I NEED TO LABEL THEM!).
NB- We are working with Next on their back to school #testedbytearaways campaign. However all words, opinion and content are entirely my own.2