Thursday, September 18, 2014

Bebe... It's Cold Outside

Bebe... It's Cold Outside
Here are the pieces we've decided on for Fall. Full disclosure... I had some Gap rewards and some 40% off coupons that made this possible. I don't have a clothing budget that allows for full price for these items. (I paid like $25 for each coat and less for the vest)
First off is the Zara cardigan. It was pretty much love at first sight. I love it and know I can resell it someday so the $56 pricepoint wasn't my favorite but I know it will be high quality and since I was able to save other places. It's not the end of the world. But still- $30 would have been so much easier to swallow. 
Going to the right, the bomber brown coat from Gap is very nice. The color brown is great so I know I can get some wonderful snapshots outside picking apples and playing with leaves. The quilting really speaks to me.  
The mustard color warmest vest from Gap is well made and feels great. The details are well thought out and I feel like Gap does an amazing job of little boy's clothing. The color is perfect and goes well with a large range of colors so I don't have to worry about that while pairing with jeans.
Finally, the green dream coat. (OK, that is my name for it, but I love this thing!) Gap wins again. I got this because I had a 40% discount, got the cardmember rewards and had some gapcash. I usually get a coat for Sammy every February because they go on sale and I am able to get a great deal. This year however we had the Polar Vortex and deals were not so plentiful. And getting to the mall in the snow wasn't on the list of priorities. I got a great deal on this coat. 
This past I made the decision to get a synthetic fill coat instead of the down filled option we usually purchase. Mainly because I have a hard time washing the down coat and with Sammy being at school and playing outside during recess- it just has to be something that can easily be washed. I also like having two actual winter coats. It is a personal thing- some people would never feel the need but I like having two so one can be in the wash and one in use. I've just found that can be a concern with Sammy getting his clothing dirty. We have a long cold season ahead with reports that this could be a very harsh winter. I just don't want to put myself in a situation where I am stressed to complete the laundry and machine dry something I prefer to line dry. 
Lastly- keep checking for those sales. Carters has an amazing sale this weekend. 60% off and an additional 25% friends and family. They have some nice coats this year. North Face and Target also have some really standout coats. Don't be afraid to look around- but I recommend getting your choices made and get those coats home. I would just hate for the choices to be limited for a stylish little dude, and for a mom to feel like she didn't get exactly what she wanted! 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Preschool Table Favorites

Preschool Table Favorites

Here are some of our favorite items for Sammy to use while eating & drinking. No secret that I love baby gear, I have sussed out some things I love and I will share some of the brands that just didn't work out for us. 
Starting with plates. Most plates will work fine. I love the skip hop zoo line. (1)We have a few of these. You can't microwave them and I do handwash. They've held up for almost three years now and the colors look great. I think it helps with serving sizes and they are pretty durable. I haven't had many issues with it sliding around. I also really like the Tommee Tippee (6) line. These are great for travel and I never feel bad sticking one of these in the microwave. I tend to like the divided plates because Sammy is such a picky eater and often he'll really want a ton of ketchup and this way I can make it look like he has more than he actually does.
Sippy Cups and Drinking Cups were some of the most bought items in my home. Mostly because they get used all of the time. Sammy ended his love affair with the bottle at 12 months. My husband was determined he was getting his son off of the bottle before it became too difficult. Same with the pacifier. Tommee Tippee (3) has always been our first go to line. They are durable and tended to be leak proof for us. Sammy can throw a sippy. The seals were also pretty easy to clean. Now that Sammy is nearing four we use the coffee cup like version pictured. I didn't care too much for the straw model though because it was a bear to clean. The avent is pretty nice and I really like it. We use it for water on the go and is a nice trainer. (2)
The Ikea sippy cups are so loved they inspired this post. The are the Smaska line by Ikea (7) is a favorite of mine. They are not leak proof. We use them to sort of work towards completely regular glasses. We do sometimes use a small child size glass at dinner- but more often than not it is spilled. This is nice because Sammy can get a small serving of milk in the cup and we're talking more like 4 oz than 16 which the larger sippy cups can  hold. It is much easier to say drink your cup of milk and we're moving on to water. While I do believe dairy is a good part of our balanced diet, we try to consume whole foods and the vitamin D milk contains a good amount of calories. For a child that doesn't eat a balanced meal - that can be good and bad. I just don't want him drinking 16 oz of milk and there is no desire left for some veggies. 
Lastly silverware. Skip the skip hop brand. (hehe) We have never put them in the dishwasher and only use method detergent and the designs wipe right off. We have a LOT of this silverware because skip hop actually sent us replacements for the three sets we purchased and the replacements did the same thing. Now I just use them as travel silverware. I purchased the Ikea set (4) of silverware because I really wanted a set I could hang onto that would last. Sort of one day I will be a grandparent and hope to have little kiddos eating a meal at my house and having the honor of telling them that their dad used these when he was little. The plastic ones I used were totally not going to work for that purpose. These were very inexpensive and I plan to go back and maybe get a second set. The sugarbooger sets are pretty nice.(5) They have held up far better than any other plastic brand.  They look great and are a nice size. I really recommend them for day to day use.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Outfits for Later!

Outfits for Later!

I really am excited about Fall and the possibilities a little colder weather brings. Sammy fell and  hurt his forehead about two weeks ago - so we've been hanging out more indoors to give ourselves a little sanity check. Mostly me- Mamas are the ones to feel the pain longer I think with the anxiety something may happen again.
I LOVE this H&M shirt. They have a wonderful line out right now. Very worth a check. Our mornings have been so cool so we need something a little more substantial than a tee and shorts. 
The second outfit is some great layered pieces. The destroyed jeans give it a little pop and the shirt is just fun. I like the color of the jacket. I know I say it a ton but knowing Sammy's coloring is really key. Olive looks great on his shade of red- green looks like Christmas.
Gap skinnies are still my jam! I think they hold up nicely and fit for awhile. This Carters pullover is really cute- the elbow patches give it an unexpected edge. Camo is really on trend this season. It's always on trend at my house with so many hunters and Veterans. 
Hope everyone is easing out of Summer well! Happy shopping!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Layered Fall Outfit

Layered Fall Outfit

I wanted to put together a Fall look perfect for upcoming apple picking excursions... I cannot wait. Fall is my most favorite season. I love the blazer from Gap. It is knit and very soft. I added a red tee because I love the red and gold together. The vest is from Gap but Zara has some great ones this season as well. Carters has some really adorable shoes- I know two pairs are going to come live with us soon. Any jeans will do :) 

Hope everyone is enjoying these last days of Summer. I am over the heat. My hair will probably never recover. Basically my hair belongs in an 80 rock video with acid washed jeans. (trend you won't see here by the way!)

Happy pre Fall outfit creating!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Fall Shopping Tips

Back to school shopping can seem overwhelming. Don't let it become a chore! I have three simple tips to make this time of year rewarding and fun.

1) Figure out what you really need

I have a set number of jeans and pants I like for Sammy to have for each season. I know my own laundry habits and this keeps us stress free. I generally like to have seven pairs of pants and about ten shirts. I know going into each season that is generally what I need to purchase.

2) Back to School doesn't have to be one giant shopping trip. Personally I just cannot afford to buy ten shirts, seven pairs of pants, a jacket, a coat, and shoes on one trip and not be completely tapped out. I buy in stages and get things on sale as I go. When Sammy's 3T wardrobe was done- I started buying 4T. I try to get his jeans used from a consignment online boutique or on heavy markdown from Gap or Carters. Target clearance is a bi-weekly stop for me. When they start marking down a season I am over there checking it out.

Even if used isn't your favorite- some of the older size probably fit for a while. Just get a couple of new things and start working on the rest. Stick a long sleeved plain shirt under a shorter sleeved one when the weather gets cool. You know eventually you will have enough to get you there- just be creative and work within your budget. You don't have a deadline for back to school shopping.

3) Use online wish lists and shopping lists to your advantage. Or the shopping cart if you have to. Gap lets you save items for later once you've placed them in the shopping cart. Carters has a wish list. I will go through the site and put things I like on the wish list. I check back weekly/bi-weekly and see if the item has gone on sale or if I have a nice discount code. I am never going to spend full price but the wish list keeps me organized. I know what I'd like to get, but I know I can't get everything at once. This helps you with a budget in mind, and helps you make sure you really like the item. After seeing it a few weeks in a row- I know if I still like the item it will probably be a pretty good choice.

A few notes. I like to buy higher end kid items so that they hold up well so I can pass down or eventually resell. I know I could go to somewhere cheaper and get everything all at once, or a couple of trips. Buying Gap jeans or Boden jeans makes more sense to me. I can usually get those items discounted and they tend to be hand me down quality.

Full price for clothing is silly. Everywhere offers some sort of discount and you have to get in there and work your coupons. Make those dollars go farther.

Buy when things are on sale and when you can buy at a leisurely pace. Take notice when jeans are starting to get short. If you have a size up already in the closet waiting you aren't forced into taking the full price/lesser discount code price and you can decide what you would like to pay for essentials.

Hope this helps and happy shopping!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Summer Heavy Hitters

Summer Heavy Hitters

Sunray - Nike. These shoes were so great. I wanted to get a pair of Keen but honestly didn't want to spend $50. These were around $30 and I am very pleased with them. Sammy can pull them off and put them on himself. The sheer joy of being able to tell him to go put his shoes on and not have to do that myself is worth every penny. They are made out of a neoprene material so they are extremely durable. They look almost brand new and have been through the washer three times and survived countless hours of hiking and mud. Plus they double as a water shoe. 
Yosemite Carters shirt has been one of my favorites this Summer. It is really cute and an unexpected color for a little boy.
The Beatles Shirt from Zara is so cute. The white with green makes it really fresh for summer. I love it with some striped easy shorts. The fit is nice. I am not a big fan of loose clothing on a little one- they are small and having bigger clothes looks so sloppy. This is fitted and gives a clean look and still a really cool vibe. I have some camo Zara pants that also look great with this. I know I can take a jean jacket for the fall and this will transition nicely.
Honest Company Sunblock. If you remember to apply this about every hour to hour and a half - this stuff is amazing! I have used this and the Babyganics and not had a single issue. 
Lifefactory Glass Bottle. These are great. I think the glass helps keep the water a little cooler and I enjoy not worrying about what is in that old plastic bottle. We have a couple of these now and I am really thrilled with them. They are not delicate and a great size for a long hike. They are heavier than a standard water bottle though. 

Hope everyone's Summer was great. Mine ended up being much busier than I had expected. Mainly due to my Grandfather's illness and stress in general. Now that we are entering School time and Sammy goes back to his regular school routine things will hopefully be much calmer. And not having to remember to bring his swim gear will be such a relief. It's the small things I guess.