Chitchat pack 1.5: Back to School, Tech and Fashion Trends to Try

Summer’s drawing to a close and I’m in a late summer panic… not enough hours in the day to make up for all the things I still want to do before my child heads into (gasp) first grade. Where did the last couple of months go? Sure we’ve done some traveling in Europe but for the most part, we’re going to hit the next school year with more traveling ahead (Budapest and repeat trips to Paris, Prague and Vienna) and a lot of experiences to add to our family bucket list (indoor ski/snowboard/skydive!). We’re also mentally steeling ourselves for a new school year with more homework and extra-curricular activities for a little one: sport (equestrian vaulting), fine art/music (Irish dancing, violin). I’m reading that last sentence and breaking out in hives. In all seriousness, I’ve done some light research lately and here are some back to school tech and fashion trends that hit my radar recently. I’m hell-bent to try some ASAP. Sure, it may feel like throwing a bunch of ideas to the wall to see what sticks, but at this point in summer vacation, I’m willing to try just about anything to feel like I’m ahead. 


SLEEP CHALLENGED KIDS & PARENTS:rabbit who wants to fall asleep

I’ve got an early and passionate reader entering first grade. The kind of kid who waits until we think she’s asleep so she can sneak the light back on to read “just one more chapter.” So we’re going to struggle a bit to get her back on track with her sleep cycle… while the sun is still technically up! I stumbled on this lovely book a day or two before I noticed book reviews by NPR, Fortune and Yahoo Health. So for once, I’m ahead of a trend. Or maybe just ahead of mainstream media.

So for your back to school sleep troubles, try reading Carl-Johan Forssén Ehrlin’s The Rabbit who wants to fall asleep. Be prepared to nod off yourself. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

And here’s the link for the free e-book!

TECH TO CHECK OUT:Sworkit fitness app

Fitness App to try: Why wait until the New Year to ramp up a fitness resolution?




Homemade Fruit Roll ups

Sending snacks in with your youngster doesn’t always require a trip down the snack food aisle. Unless your school requires that everything be storebought, grab some fresh fruit and honey (or agave syrup) and a few minutes to prep this super easy recipe. It’s from Megan at What’s Up Moms.

FASHION FOCUS – What’s in your closet this fall?

MINIMALIST Wardrobe FAQ minimalist wardrobe faq

I’ve started downsizing my wardrobe again. I’ve looked at the capsule wardrobe trend–33 pieces per season, basic uniform for the work week, and so on. This article, though a few months old, is one of the BEST I’ve found to help me get through the common troublespots and pitfalls, of wardrobe culling and building. Just in time for the winter season and chunky clothing!



USA: Back to School Style for all ages  A quick video by Darcy Camden, a Seattle TV channel stylist, shows current trends in the US for back to school.


One of the newest additions to my child’s wardrobe is Dutch brand Vingino. She tends to wear the same favorite pieces often until they wear out (or she outgrows them) so I appreciate well-made clothing that’s also super comfortable and stylish. Vingino is the first denim line that she immediately looked at in one of our local stores here in Germany. (She usually doesn’t wear denim)

EUROPE: Fall/ Winter 2015-16 CPM Kids Catwalk

Six international brands presented their Autumn/Winter 15-16 collections at the leading children’s fashion catwalk organised by Children’s Fashion Europe from 24-27 February 2015. Designers at this show included: Blue Seven, Bóboli, Canzitex, Emily Rise, Maria Naumova and Mayoral. These 2 videos are from that show and are fun examples of European kids fashion. 

It’s harder to get some of these fashions in North America, but the styles here in Europe for children reflect a great design aesthetic that wears really well. I’ve noticed that the clothes that tend to get handed down to younger friends (or sold to second hand stores) are the pieces that are well-made from quality materials and they rarely are flash-fashion, cheaper lines. Personally I’d rather promote reuse and upcycling than throwing out clothing that don’t last past one season when my child has outgrown them.  



EUROPE/Commuter Fashion:

Fashion among commuters vary slightly in every city I’ve lived in or visited. When we lived in Japan, I used to gape in awe at the commuters on their bicycles, carrying an umbrella and chatting on a mobilephone. I haven’t noticed fashion take a front seat to practicality on cyclists, whether commuting or exercising. However, in some European cities, some bloggers have taken note of style in their parts of the world. Take a look!

Copenhagen Cycle Chic:copenhagen-cycle-chic

Yes, you can look fab and cycle to work. I love the tag on this page: “Dress for your destination, not your journey.”

Amsterdam Street Style:

After Dark:



Since I missed posting last week due to a last minute trip to Amsterdam (that’s another post), I’m sharing 2 videos this week.

Another Kurt Hugo Schneider video Featuring the Air Wheel (& a great cover of 1D)

And to prep for football season (USA PEEPS), here’s a little OMI for you, courtesy BBCRadio 1Extra Live Lounge.