When the calendar is screaming back to school, moms are usually charged with the shopping, organizing and general overseeing of the various must-haves for September, aka, the other January. But who’s taking care of the moms? Who’s shopping for their new routines? We’ll leave it to our cultural norms to answer those burning questions, in the meantime we’ve curated an in app collection where moms (and their loved ones!) can find some inspiration during this busy transitional time.

Candace, Bennett and Graham in full-on snuggle mode.

To get to the bottom of what moms really need to sail through the seasonal switch we asked Candace Thomas, the force behind Luxe With Kids to collaborate with us on choosing her back to school musts. On her blog, Candace (mom to Bennett, 8 and Graham, 6) is all about how to do everything from travel to cooking to fitness in style and with mindfulness, a combo we love. From her top pampering picks (yes, there’s wine) to her secrets for inspired meal planning, we’ve got all the tips. “There are things to buy and haircuts and new shoes, plus you’re remembering or creating new routines, which can feel overwhelming,” Candace says. “It’s important to model mindfulness for our kids and attribute a little self care for ourselves.” Amen, sister!

Candace told us she loves craft cocktails, floral/herbal/rose scents, organic beauty products and good chocolates, so our ace curators went to town finding the go-to’s that would match her preferences. First up, mouth.com’s sparkling cocktail kit

A mouth.com kit that speaks to Candace’s yen for craft cocktails and all things bubbly.

A genius meal planning pad and perforated shopping list.

CELEBRATE “You have to celebrate a little bit,” Candace advises, “because you  survived the summer months, you did it. Whether that’s with a girlfriend or spouse, it’s a new year and a new chapter, it’s something to be celebrated, and not with the kids. I love to indulge in a glass of wine and a cocktail. I love to share a bottle of wine with friends, that’s a great afternoon or evening, and you deserve it.”

GET INSPIRED “I love to cook but I really need to find inspiration. Just one new recipe can inspire me in so many ways. One little thing leads to a lot of other good decisions when it comes to meal planning.  That’s why I’m excited about the Food52 book!” says Candace. We also found this awesome meal planner pad from Rifle Paper Co. to help avoid the proverbial weekday dinner rut. Candace’s go-to family meal? Deconstructed tacos! “The kids love anything buffet style and interactive. I’m vegetarian, one son eats no veggies, one is lactose intolerant, tacos are great because everyone can get what they need and want on there.” 

Candace loves facial mists for a moment of zen in a hectic day.

TREAT YO SELFI can very easily get stressed out with too many things on my list, and mists are one of those things that stop you in your tracks,” Candace says. “It’s so weird to spray yourself in the face! But I love mists and I look at it as a tool to take a minute, this is going to force me into a moment of mindfulness. It’s a luxurious way to give yourself a break.” This One Love Organics Vitamin D moisture mist balances, hydrates and provides a much-needed moment of peace in a chaotic season.

To see all of Candace’s Picks, go to the Back to School for Moms collection in the dearduck app. Candace’s Picks will have a little photo of her so they’ll be easy to spot. And whether you’re shopping for yourself or the major moms in your life, take a few minutes to fill out your Picks (it’s fun, we promise!) so we can find presents that are just right for you.


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