Prepping For School with Jasmine Crockett
Founder of the popular XO Jasmine blog, Jasmine Crockett inspires her community of over 200k women and modern moms to maintain well-lived, well-styled and well-traveled lives. Along with blogging, Crockett works as a marketing/public relations professional and freelance writer for esteemed outlets, including: Eater Atlanta, The Huffington Post, and more. Originally from Montgomery, Al., Jasmine currently lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband Marcus, 3-year-old son KJ and 3-month-old daughter Brooklyn. Jasmine has partnered with Zulily to curate a collection of must-have products and to share her school prep tips with The Find.
Hi Jasmine! Thanks for chatting with The Find. How do you simplify the morning routine to get out the door on time (parenting hacks, must-have products, etc.)?
Prep the night before. Prep for the week. Those two things help, big time. I usually have all school outfits for the week ironed and put in a spot, so we already know what clothes we’re wearing for that week. There’s no long fuss in the morning about not wanting to wear something because we know how kids can be fussy and sleepy in the morning. I also like to prepare what I can each night before the next day: lunch bags packed, snacks packed, book bags, work bags — everything placed in a spot right in our walkway we use to leave each morning. This helps so we’re not looking all over, wasting time for things.
What are your top pantry organization tips for school days?
Taking inventory of what you have is important. This allows you to see what can be categorized together and what you’re actually using. When you pull everything out you may realize those snack bars or fruit juices you just knew were going to be a hit — you and your family tried once and never touched them again. Go ahead and toss that. From there, you can start to place everything in your pantry how you use them. Depending on your pantry size/design, I like to have the things we use/pull the most in the center/towards the front and the less-used items on the bottom or further back. I also think it’s important to label which makes grabbing what you need quick and seamless.
How does having an organized pantry make getting ready for school easier?
An organized pantry can make everything easier because you save time trying to get lunch boxes, snacks and even breakfast ready. You don’t have to search for what you need because everything has a place. With everything labeled it makes it easy to create a designated section (for example, afternoon snacks or breakfast bars). That way, you and your family know exactly where to go when needing things and you don’t run late trying to piece items together.
What are your favorite styling tips for your kids?
If we’re being honest, getting kids dressed isn’t the easiest thing, so when it comes to styling and picking outfits for my kids, I think getting them involved makes it easier. I love to let my son help me pick his outfits based on items I’ve already pre-selected. One, he feels like he’s being a big kid and taking the lead, and two, it gets him excited about wanting to get dressed for the day. When styling and buying for them, I like to buy what they are currently interested in, like my son who’s currently loving dinosaurs, monster trucks, baseball and basketball. So, with those interests, I try to find pieces that have those designs or reflect his interest in some way.
How do you encourage creativity in your kids when it comes to fashion?
By truly letting them be themselves. I let my son show his interest through his fashion so anything he’s loving at the moment; I make sure he has a few pieces of clothing that reflect that, whether it be dinosaurs on his button-down to baseballs on his socks.
What tips do you have for kids that are afraid to embrace their creativity and style?
I would say for anyone afraid to embrace their creativity and style to remember that there’s only one of you and you weren’t born to be like everyone else. Stay true to yourself and do what makes you happy. You don’t adapt to everyone else; they need to adapt to you.
How do you get your kids excited and feeling ready for the new school year?
With anything new, I love to get my son involved. So, all things school-related — whether it be shopping for a new book bag, his supplies, clothes, whatever it is — I let him help me pick things so he’s excited and knows these things are for school. We also make it a habit to talk about school in a fun and positive way, so he’s excited to experience it for himself.
What do you think is the most stressful part of the back-to-school season?
I think the most stressful part of the back-to-school season is definitely getting everyone back on schedule: the early wake-ups, school drop-offs, pick-ups, activities, etc.
What are your must-haves for new and exciting school supplies for kids?
I love a good backpack. I remember as a child that it wasn’t a new school year without having a new backpack.
What role does your child play in back-to-school shopping (pick out the clothes and supplies, bring you a list, buy it themselves, etc.)?
I let my son be involved in everything that he can for his age. I think it helps with expressing not only his creativity but helps with building independence.