Back To School Cool

Summer is officially winding down.  Vacations are coming to an end and the new school year is starting.  The weather is finally beginning to cool off and people race to enjoy those last few days of sunny skies before the chill of fall sets in for good.

I, for one, love this time of year.

When I was a kid (and an adult), there was nothing better than getting a new outfit for the first day of school or the excitement of new classes with new teachers, subjects, and peers.  It was a fun time and now that I’m no longer in school, I miss those anxious little butterflies fluttering around in my stomach.

So, to stir up memories of pep rallies and blue book exams, I present a list of all of the things that remind me of a scholastic new start.

For the Taste Buds:

Unlike black-and-white sitcom families of the 1950s, a weekday breakfast was not a smorgasboard at my home.  I did not come downstairs to a dining table covered with plates filled with eggs and stacks of pancakes dripping with maple syrup.  No, it was more “Grab something and grab something quick.”  Toasted or right out of the foil package, Pop-Tarts were a breakfast staple in my house.  Never had a Pop-Tart?  Oh, you’re missing out!

These breakfast treats came in a small variety of flavors: frosted strawberry, brown sugar cinnamon, cherry, chocolate fudge, mixed berry, and my personal favorite, s’mores.  Decades later, the Pop-Tart empire has expanded their shelf space at the grocery store with such crazy flavors as hot fudge sundae, strawberry milkshake, and chocolate chip cookie dough.  Breakfast has never been the same.

For the Desk:

I am not a person who loves to shop, but when it comes to buying school or office supplies, I could do it forever.  Be it the smell of fresh ink from a new pen or new calendar pages for an agenda book, I am obsessed with the tools that lead to productivity and organization.  An Office Depot catalog sends me into a complete state of bliss as I imagine how neat and tidy my life could be with the help of some file folders and post-its.

I lived for school supply lists and would spend hours pouring over the various pencil boxes to hold all my scholastic treasures.  Getting a new box of markers was like winning the kid lottery.  Especially if they were the scented ones.  How many of us would color a patch of skin so that it would smell like watermelon or black licorice?  Instant perfume!

For the Soul:

This time of year makes me want to pull out a classic novel and read the story for enjoyment, not a class.  In grade school, we read the Little House on the Prairie books, The Secret Garden, and anything written by Beverly Cleary, Roald Dahl, or E.B. White (though I took a special liking to The Baby-Sitters Club series).  High school focused on more of the accepted classics like 1984, The Great Gatsby, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Pride and Prejudice.  As a college English major, I read from practically every literary period from Beowulf to The Remains of the Day.

Now that I know I won’t be asked to identify particular character flaws or talk about the significance of inanimate objects, I can enjoy these great books that have withstood the test of time.  I have loved The Catcher in the Rye since I first read it back in high school and then read it again in college.  Slowly, but surely, I’m making my way through Jane Austen’s novels.  Last year, I finally got around to Jane Eyre.  Without the pressure of deadlines and essays, you can actually find out how great these stories are and how much they mean to you, not your professor.

For the Inner Private School Girl:

No, I’m not going to going to list flannel skirts or saddle shoes here.  Dark red nail polish is the epitome of the good little school girl with the hidden saucy flare.  Whether on your fingers or toes, deep crimson is just the perfect color for this time of year.  It’s classic, classy, and never goes out of style.

The brand of the polish… purely coincidence. 😉

Are you all ready for the back-to-school season yet?  What if I told you that you could win everything I’ve mentioned on this month’s Wonderland Registry?

This giveaway is now closed.  Thanks to all for playing!

That’s right.  It’s time for another Wonderland Giveaway!  Cue the applause.

I will be giving out two prize bundles that include:

  • A box of Pop-Tarts
  • School/office supplies
  • A classic novel
  • Dark red nail polish (alternate prize will be given in the event a gentleman wins, unless he wants the polish—no judgment!)
  • A few other surprise goodies.

Now, I’m going to do things a bit differently this time around.  Inspired by my blog soul mate Stephanie, I’ll be giving people multiple chances to win the coveted prize.  Winners will be chosen at random from a bag of entry tickets.  You can get one ticket for each of the following:

  1. Like this post.  (See how easy I make it?)
  2. Leave a comment with your favorite Pop-Tart flavor.
  3. Leave a comment with the name of a classic novel you have always wanted to read but never have.  (This can be included in the above comment.)
  4. Like Defining Wonderland on Facebook.

Fine Print: Giveaway open to subscribers only. So if you want to win and you’re not subscribed, hit that little button to follow Defining Wonderland.  Contest will be open until 5pm (PST) Sunday, September 2nd and the winner will be announced Tuesday, September 4th.  If you are uncomfortable with leaving a comment, you may email me your answers or send me a Facebook message.

I better not see any of you in the principal’s office.

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21 thoughts on “Back To School Cool

  1. L says:

    S’mores Poptarts all the way! Also I’ve always wanted to read Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass”. Kind of embarrassed I haven’t already actually. Yay for giveaways! I’m doing my own this week as well… my post will come out this afternoon so check it out!

    • Jessica says:

      You can’t go wrong with chocolately-marshmallowy frosted goodness! Through the Looking Glass is a really good story! There are so many books that I haven’t gotten around to reading yet; it’s hard to find time to get to them all. Today is a great day for giveaways! I’ll be sure to check yours out.

  2. thoughtsappear says:

    If anybody says they’ve never had a Pop-Tart, please let me know. You and I should form some type of Pop-Tartless People Support Group.

    It’s too hard to pick a favorite Pop-Tart flavor for me. Sometimes I’m all about the smores or cookies and cream, and other times I like to feel like I’m being healthy by eating a blueberry or cherry.

    • Jessica says:

      Pop-Tartless People Support Group?! Thoughtsy, you crack me up! In my Wiki-search, I was surprised that the markets were only United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and Ireland. How could they not have Pop-Tarts in more countries?!?! Granted, you can’t always believe Wikipedia.

      As the reigning Pop-Tart Queen, I knew you would have a hard time picking a favorite. It’s a good thing there are so many flavors. One for every mood.

    • Jessica says:

      Be sure to subscribe to the blog, Thoughtsy. I didn’t see you on my list of followers and don’t want you to miss out on a chance for free Pop-Tarts. 🙂

  3. Simply Stephanie says:

    Liked, Liked, follower of course because you and I are like peanut butter and jelly! (Love the shot out, btw). That being said, do you know I tried Pop tarts for the 1st time this year….yucky! If I had to eat them, they better be gooey delicious strawberry with icing of some sort smother on top! I have wanted to read Sense & Sensibility since grade school, and never have. I own it (bought it a few years ago) and still have not read it. Shame! Yay for super fun giveaways! 🙂

    • Jessica says:

      We are like peanut butter and jelly! I have had Sense and Sensibility (the book and the DVD) and have never gotten around to either. What Pop-Tart flavor did you try? You must have just gotten a bad flavor. It’s not like Pop-Tarts are gourmet delciousness, but they are pretty tasty.

    • Jessica says:

      Ok, Cécile, if you win I promise to send you an alternative prize since Pop-Tarts aren’t your thing (and you still get an extra entry). I am nothing if not accommodating. 🙂 Pride and Prejudice is one of my all-time favorite books! Good luck in the giveaway!!!

  4. Truth and Cake says:

    I’ve always wanted to read Anna Karenina, but it’s so freaking long. And I already know how it ends 😉 Strawberry is my fave flavor, plain, no frosting. I also adore “back-to-school time, even though my school days are long behind me (for now). Have a great Labor Day weekend, Jessica!

    • Jessica says:

      Anna Karenina is a good one! I’ve wanted to read that too, but I’ve never had good luck with Russian novelists (I blame Dostoyevsky). Someday I hope to get over my issues and tackle Lolita, but there are just so many other books in the queue.

      I hope you have a fantastic holiday weekend as well, Rian! xoxo

  5. happygrape2 says:

    Liked (yes it was easy! thanks :P). My favorite Pop Tart flavor is probably those s’mores ones… mmm…
    I think I have always wanted to read Pride and Prejudice to see what all the girls were talking about, but never did!
    Last, I liked you on facebook!

    Thank you so much for the awesomely themed giveaway; it’s such a cool idea!

    • Jessica says:

      Welcome to the Wonderlings, Happy Grape! Great name by the way. 🙂 Pride and Prejudice is one of my all-time favorites! It’s definitely worth reading. Or at the very least, see the BBC mini-series with Colin Firth.

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