Top 5 School Supplies for Back to School

Back to School: Top 5 School Supplies - Pink Bows & Twinkle Toes

It’s that time of year again! For me, back-to-school time ranks up there with Christmas and my birthday! There’s just something about pretty pens and new notebooks. I may not be a student anymore, but I still can’t get enough of the supplies! I’ve broken down my top 5 school supplies into categories below. Enjoy!

Back to School: Top 5 School Supplies - Pink Bows & Twinkle Toes

Top 5 School Supplies


1) Notebooks

May Designs - Top 5 School SuppliesMay Designs May Books

I LOVE notebooks from May Designs! If you follow me on Instagram, then you’ve definitely seen my collection before. I have over 20 of these notebooks, so it just makes sense to have them as #1 on my list of top 5 school supplies! Each May Book is completely customizable. You can choose the size of the notebook, the cover art, text on the front, and the inside pages. I wish I had known about these notebooks when I was in school. I’d have had one for each and every subject!

Moleskine Journal - Top 5 School SuppliesMoleskine Cahier Journal

These journals are similar in size to the Classic May Books above. Perfect for slipping in your bag and taking notes on the go! I love the kraft paper cover and how easy they are to decorate on your own. No decoration is necessary though. The kraft paper is classic and chic.

2) Pens & Pencils

Paper Mate InkJoy Gel - Top 5 School SuppliesPaper Mate InkJoy Gel Pens

I’ve been using these pens for years and absolutely love them. The colors are bright and fun. The gel ink is smooth, dries very quickly, and rarely ever smears! Nowadays, I use my black ones the most but like to break out the colored pens for special occasions and birthday cards!

Paper Mate Flair Pens are a lot of fun too! Middle school, high school, and college Natalie got in on the Flair pen action! For a while there, I was using them every single day. There are just so many colors to choose from!

Cynthia Rowley Pens - Top 5 School Supplies

Cynthia Rowley Ballpoint Pens

If gel pens aren’t your thing, which I totally understand, perhaps you’ll like these ballpoint pens. There’s nothing too exciting about how this pen writes. The real excitement is the appearance. Wow, aren’t these gorgeous! They come in silver and rose gold. The silver is nice, but rose gold is my absolute favorite!

U Brands Pens - Top 5 School SuppliesUBrands Ballpoint Pens

Another great option if you prefer ballpoint pens. UBrands has quite a few pattern options when it comes to their pens. I have dotted ones, striped ones, floral ones, and ombre ones. They also offer them in felt tip. I have a few of those and love them too!

Paper Mate Clearpoint - Top 5 School Supplies

Paper Mate Clearpoint Mechanical Pencil

When it comes to crafting, I like to use wooden pencils. When it comes to schoolwork and lengthy writing, I’m all about the mechanical! I think I’ve been using these mechanical pencils since middle school. I’m that big of a fan. I’ve tried others and always come back to the Clearpoint 0.7. There’s just nothing better.

3) Highlighters

Zebra Mildliner Highlighter

I recently discovered these highlighters and absolutely love them! They come in tons of different colors and most of the colors are light enough to be easily seen through. If high school Natalie had known about these, they definitely would’ve been in her pencil pouch!

Bic Brite Liner - Top 5 School SuppliesBic Brite Liner Highlighter

If you’re all business when it comes to highlighters, I get that too. College Natalie used these Bic Brite Liners every single day. They’re inexpensive and work great! You never have to worry about the ink being too dark to see through either. Yellow highlighters are a classic for a reason.

4) Sticky Notes

Post-it Notes - Top 5 School SuppliesPost-it Notes

Over the years, I’ve collected tons of cute, themed sticky notes. Every time I go to use them, I have one problem though. They never seem to stick. And if a sticky note doesn’t stick, what’s it good for? Post-it Notes always stick, and they come in lots of colors. You just can’t go wrong with them!

5) Planners

You can’t go back to school without a good planner! Over the years, I’ve tried out my fair share of planning styles. The below planners and planning styles work best for where I am and what I’m doing in my life right now. Other great planners include the Erin Condren LifePlanner and the Day Designer.

Simplified Planner - Top 5 School SuppliesEmily Ley Simplified Planner

I’ve been using a Simplified Planner for a little over a year now. At work, I use it more as a dated to-do list than a place to keep track of meetings. It has a page for every day (except for the weekend) and lives up to its name when it comes to simplicity. I’m a big fan! I’ll be buying another one in the next few weeks for 2019.

Weekly Planner Printable - Top 5 School Supplies - Pink Bows & Twinkle Toes

Planner Printables

If you’re looking for something more economical and customizable, look no further than my free printables! You can find dozens of printables here on my blog that will help you make your perfect planner! If you’re looking for something you can’t find, shoot me a message! I’m always looking for printable suggestions!


I hope you enjoyed my list of top 5 school supplies! Do we have some of the same items on our lists or are your top 5 school supplies completely different than mine?

Is one of your top 5 school supplies something you think I’d enjoy? Share in the comments below! I love discovering new notebooks, pens, pencils, etc.


Top 5 School Supplies - Pink Bows & Twinkle Toes


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POPSUGAR Must Have Review: January 2017

Hello everyone!

My POPSUGAR Must Have box has arrived, and it’s time for my monthly review!

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To receive a fun box of goodies each month like I do, click here.

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Box Contents:

  • Goldfaden MD – Fresh A Peel Multi Acid Resurfacing Peel
  • May Designs – Desk Calendar & Notecard Set
  • Daily Concepts – Your Hair Wrap Towel
  • Manduka – eQua Mat Towel in Playa
  • Sourcebooks, Inc. – Instant Happy Notes
  • Dean & Deluca – Peppermint Loose Leaf Tea
  • Glade – NΒ°3 Free – Coconut and Beach Woods Candle

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Goldfaden MD – Fresh A Peel Multi Acid Resurfacing Peel – Retail Value $85

I received a small face peel sample in my PLAY! by Sephora box a few months back and really liked it.  Because of that, I was pretty pleased to see this product in my box this month.

Unlike the peel from Sephora, I can’t feel the dead skin balling up on my skin when I use this peel.  I know that sounds gross, but when I can feel the balls of skin, I know that the peel is working!

Although I can’t feel my skin peeling, I’m still holding out hope that I will enjoy this product.  Maybe I’ll feel/see some results after a few more uses.

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May Designs – Desk Calendar & Notecard Set – Retail Value $25

Those of you that follow me on Instagram (@pinkbowstwinkletoes) know how much I love May Designs!  So you can probably guess how excited I was to see this calendar in my box!

I was excited for two different reasons.  The first reason was because May Designs is one of my favorite stationery brands!  The second reason is that my mom has had her eye on this calendar for a while now!  I knew the second I saw what it was that I would be gifting it to her!

She was so excited to receive the calendar and already has it set up on her desk!

A fun feature of this calendar is that each month card turns into a note card when the month is over!  Simply cut along a line printed on the back, and there you go!  Functional and cute! That’s a win-win in my book! πŸ™‚

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Daily Concepts – Your Hair Wrap Towel – Retail Value $18

I’ve seen tons of hair wraps like this over the years but have never tried one out.  I wrap my hair in a towel for about a minute maybe two after my shower while I put my pajamas on.

Since I only wrap my hair for short periods, this isn’t the ideal product for me.  It’s fun to experiment with though!  Maybe now that I have one of these, I’ll wrap my hair for longer periods of time.  We will see!

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Manduka – eQua Mat Towel in Playa – Retail Value $38

Although I wish I did, I do not currently do yoga.  I have in the past and plan to again in the future though!

In the meantime, I think I’ll just be using this as a regular towel.  It’s very soft and appears to be quite absorbent!

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Sourcebooks, Inc. – Instant Happy Notes – Retail Value $8.99

This is another product that I gave to my mom this month.  Man, she is making out like a bandit isn’t she?! πŸ™‚

My mom loves leaving little notes for people, so these happy, sticky notes are just perfect for her!

Here are some examples of the notes inside.

Super cute, huh?! πŸ™‚

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Dean & Deluca – Peppermint Loose Leaf Tea – Retail Value $10.75

I love drinking tea, so I was very excited that I saw loose-leaf tea was the snack item included in this month’s box!

This tea is very pepperminty and the perfect afternoon pick-me-up.  I’ve already enjoyed several cups and will enjoy many more in the future!

When I opened the tin, I was pleased to see how much tea was packed inside.  I think I’ll be making cups from this tin for months and months to come!

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Glade – NΒ°3 Free – Coconut and Beach Woods Candle – Retail Value $4.99

My last few years of college I became quite the candle fanatic.  I loved having one lit in my apartment!

Although I do love coconut, I’m not a huge fan of coconut scented items.  That’s okay though.  I have quite a few candle-loving friends that I sure would be willing to take this off my hands!

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The total retail value for this moth’s box is $190.73.  That’s the highest it’s been in a long time!

While this month wasn’t my absolute favorite, there were still some amazing items in this box!

Do you subscribe to POPSUGAR Must Have?!

What do you think of the January box?

<3 Natalie