Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Little Dude!

Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day!

 Usually every year I am way behind on Valentine's Day jammies and a shirt for Sammy. I like to get him holiday clothing while he is little and will still wear it. I was just telling my husband I needed to get on that. Today I did some online shopping to see where I should focus. Honestly I did not see a ton out yet that I really love. Gap had about four pairs of jammies that are simply amazing. I will probably splurge on those.

The Gap jammies and Osh Kosh shirt are so far what I am thinking I will get for him. My other option might be to get something off of Etsy. I guess time will tell!
 1. Heart Breaker Shirt from Carters! Really cute and reasonably priced.
2. Romeo Shirt from Sizing can by funny on this brand. I usually size down.
3. Jammies from Gap. These are very cute. Buy when they have a deal and size up. These run small. I really like them and will probably get these.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Travel Tips for Toddlers

Well... We're home. Came back on Friday and saw our home and nearly passed out from joy. Traveling with a toddler is not for the faint of heart. Here are a few tips we tried and liked.

First would be to plan your trip with a break in mind. On the way down we stopped half way and ate at a sit down restaurant. He got a nice break from being in the car. But if you are planning on flying with a bunch of time in the airport- just find a way to take a break from it all. It could be breaking out the coloring books or a special walk around the terminal. Just do something to have fun.

This one is so obvious but check the weather and plan accordingly. Then plan if they are wrong. The weather forecast is always wrong in my book. Also pack 2-3 more outfits than you think you need. If you change your mind or need something dressier- you have it. Also kids make messes and you might not have access to a washing machine.

Bring anything that makes you feel at home and really happy taking care of your toddler. For me- that is my Aden + Anais skin and hair care stuff. We really love the scent and it works well. It helps me feel a little like normal! Also bring along a few door knob covers and electrical outlets. Door latches or anything like that can be a life saver. It is a really nice feeling to not have to watching them 100% of the time.

We packed one pair of shoes and multiples of socks and his bogs. Hat and Gloves- basically anything we figured he could need. I just brought him his own suitcase and made a packing list so we didn't forget anything.

Sleep Arrangements...

Toddlers and Babies need safe places to sleep. We had the hardest time figuring out what to get for Sammy while out of town. My grandfather has been sick so we've been traveling more than usual. We decided to get the Joovy Moon Room because it did not have a weight limit and Sammy had outgrown his standard pack and play. We had Amazon ship it to my grandparents house so he has a place to sleep and we don't have to stress about it. It comes with a sheet and we generally bring a pillow. I bring his Aden and Anais dream and a couple swaddle blankets so he feels at home and really cozy.

Bring your monitor. It is a hassle but just bring it.

Odds and Ends

Bring toys if the place you are heading does not have any they can play with. Plan some activities for when things get stressful. Does the town you are visiting have a mall? They probably have a toddler play area or a local library sometimes are great places to go and hang out. Just figure out 2-3 little things you can do to give everyone a break and give you a break.

Don't be afraid to be mean about their schedule. No one is going to make those plans for you- no one thinks about that little kid that needs that nap or needs to get to bed before too much longer. One night Sammy was up all night because his sleep schedule was so off. That was a fun next day for sure...

The biggest thing I did to make travel easy was that I came home on a Friday so Sammy had a couple of days to rest up and get back onto schedule for school. I am so glad I did that because it really made a difference. He needed that rest badly.

Hope your travels are great! Planning ahead a bit can make the difference between a disaster and a fun time away from home.

Week of Clothing Christmas!

Week of Clothing Christmas!

Christmas was a whirlwind. I wanted to keep everything pretty basic so it was easy to pack. And I wanted to keep things pretty color coordinated so I could grab something easily each day for Sammy to wear. I focused on brighter outfits on days that we would be photographed more heavily. 
Monday I knew we'd be seeing family so I wanted to give Sammy something cute and soft. I wanted to layer so if he was running around and became warm, I could remove some clothing and still have a fun shirt. We used the same pair of shoes all week so I did not have to pack multiples. And after I lost those Dr Seuss converse.. I am on the alert!
Tuesday it was rainy and I wanted something that would keep him warm and could cover his head. The camo makes it a bit fun. A stranger told us- I just love his britches! Ha!
Wednesday for Christmas I wanted something dressy and fun. These bright Carters pants are cute and roomy. He can move in these and are chinos so feel pretty jean like. The shirt is also Carters and you know I love it! I try to include it because it photographs well and is comfy. This little vest is a nice layer and is really warm.
Thursday we opened presents and I wanted a pop of color for pictures. The Gap skinny jeans are mustard and the Target Cherokee shirt ties in well. They are still comfy for stair climbing and playing but it is an adorable outfit. 
Friday we were driving  home and I needed something he could relax in. These pants are lined and the shirt is warm but really soft. He spent a good amount of time in his carseat. 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Week of Clothing will resume

Week of clothing is late. I should have published last week. It's been chaotic with the holidays. I have two scheduled when I am back in town. A vacation one and a post holiday clothes version. 

Hope your season has been merry and bright!

Hold onto your Pennies!

You are probably going to get a million and one pre-Christmas emails for sales. Read through them and if something is great - get it. If it's not this isn't an awesome time to stock up. Their stock is low so sizes are running out. They need to sell at some point but I'm hedging my bets for after the first of the year. 

Stick those dollars into a savings account. Nothing is more fashionable than education. After you get all of those holiday gift cards go to town. 

Notable things... Genuine kids at Target is to die for. Carter's has colored denim and Gap is always on sale. 

Happy holidays!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Toddler Hair!

So sad they took away my little red head's adorable mop. It will grow back :)

OshKosh Target is Trying to Bankrupt Me.

OK. Maybe I am dramatic. I was grocery shopping and they had a ton of great pieces for little ones. I had about ten pieces of clothing in my buggy and had to fight myself down to two. Darned Budget.

They do a horrible job of showing off these clothes in person. I bought Sammy this one. I really wanted this button down.This one is pretty cute too- not sure about the hue of the blue.

They had some great pants- colored denim. Really great stuff! Don't take all of your spending cash with you. There was a bunch of great stuff!

I did not take my own advice

I should have known better. A few weeks ago, we went to take Sammy to get a little trim. He has longer hair and it was getting shaggy. I needed it trimed.

There are a few things I did wrong here. First, I did not go to the same girl. I just let them work us in. She was new and let's face it- awful. Sammy freaks out and sometimes I have to leave the salon so he will cooperate better. The husbo is no fashionista and has no idea of my hair vision only that we don't want it "too short".

I showed the lady a picture of the style I was going for and felt like she was on board. I left to get us hot chocolate and came back to basically a disaster.

What I could have done better.
1) Made an appointment with his regular stylist. She has vision and passion. She looks at my pinterest board for ideas and listens to me when I tell her how I see this going.
2) Picked a less busy time. She rushed and Sammy was playing and having a great time before the cut- just kind of setup for a bad experience.
3) Brought along a toy to keep him occupied.
4) Not left. I should have stayed there and fought for a great haircut. Especially this close to Christmas.

How we are going to fix this. Well.. that's tougher. Hair doesn't reappear and you can't make it come back instantly. We're just waiting it out. I use some of the colder weather hats to help and honestly- its not THAT bad. Just way shorter than I would have liked and the layering and structure of the cut is not good. So it pretty much falls into his face dorkily. The back appears to be slightly uneven. I will go back probably Thursday night and have them even it out and give it a little bit better cut so I can brush it across his face or spike it slightly to make it more "Sammy" and his style.

Next time I will stick to my guns and follow my plan for success. Little boy hair is unexpectedly hard.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Week of Clothing Wednesday!

Week of Clothing Wednesday!

Monday :) Easy layered shirt from Carters with khakis from Old Navy. Easy and cute!
Tuesday- Carters lined flannel and some lined pants. Sammy's class sometimes can go outside in the winter. The temp this way was iffy so I went ahead and planned for the cold. (He stayed inside!)
Wednesday- OshKosh for Target sweater with Cherokee jeans. I had his boots on today since it is coooollld here. 
Thursday will be a nice graphic tee from Boden and some Caters Camo lined pants. Really easy and warm. Bodens shirts have a nice thickness to them! If I can find his Dr Seuss converse shoes they will go with this. They are still lost sadly.
Friday just a nice striped warm sweater. With the weather we've been doing some big time layering. It is cold and windy. These lined pants are nice and warm. 
So much of Sammy's winter stuff has an extra layer and I am seriously grateful. Look to Carters for help with that. They sell a ton of stuff that has a little extra stuffing or another fleece layer. They just get so cold and quickly! 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Bogs... Are they worth $50 for your toddler.

In a word... Yes!

I wanted to get these boots a good testing before I started recommending them. I really feel like so many people tell you they love something and have used it about a week. That is not a tried and true review.

Here we have icy & snow this week. When looking around for boots I really wanted something that could pull double duty. I needed a boot that would work in the wet and rain and also for snow. Since we're discussing a toddler here, it needs to be made so that he can actually run and play in these boots.

I found Bogs. They are very cute and durable. Made of something that looks mostly like a thick wetsuit with some sherpa like lining inside but not too long looking. The bottom is unique- kind of like a pool toy almost. But functions very well.

A nice bonus is that Sammy can get these on and off by himself. They have nice handles and a wide opening for him to use. They are very warm and don't come up super high so he can run and play easily. They protect against rain and snow very well so we don't need a pair of rainboots and a separate pair of snow boots.

The price isn't awful. I feel that $50 is semi reasonable when considering that you can wear them from Fall to the next spring- just size a bit larger and wear bigger socks. We bought a full size up and this turned out just fine. I will add a picture in when I get them edited :)

Friday, December 6, 2013

Colored Jeans... Sans the Overpowering!

So I may not be the only mom here that worries about going too big kid fashion, or just too fashionable overall for a little kid. He's not a doll and I don't want to draw a ton of attention to a piece of his clothing.

I love it when people notice Sammy is adorable. Sammy, not his jeans. I want items to look like him and a cute adorable version of him. Colored jeans can kind of cross that line for me. The line where his teacher is saying- What great jeans or wow Sammy those are some bright jeans. I don't give a ton of thought to what other people think - I just want to keep his overall clothing to be kind of age appropriate and maximize on the baby cuteness while he's still a little one.

I posted a little outfit idea that kind of shows how we work colored denim into his wardrobe. Basically I follow a couple of rules.
1) Nothing else loud. I like solid or lightly striped tops. Nothing really bold because the jeans are already eye catching.
2) The colored pants need to be fitted but not super skinny. This is kind of the colored jeans style but he's a toddler and needs to run and play.
3) I don't pair the jeans with a top containing the same color.

Those are really my only rules. This is fashion and should be fun! I try to treat them like any other pair of jeans after those points. I love red jeans on a little dude. So cute! I like to pair with this great denim shirt I found at Carters- it is the one in the set. It's still on sale today at Carters. Please ask for link if you need it! Then Carters has these little adorable boots. If I had unlimited money I would get those, but alas... We use the ones he has from Target or Stride Rite.

The second shirt combo is a little hoodie from OshKosh and just an undershirt. I love putting his little high top converse with that. (They are currently missing! Please Lord let me find those before he outgrows them!) Just a little bit more casual and funky with his chucks.

I  hope this inspires you to take a bit of a chance with your child's wardrobe and see how pieces you already have can work in this look to create a new fun one. Gap, H&M, and Old Navy are all great places to look for affordable ones.

Bonus- if you are getting photos taken as a family- colored jeans on a toddler is a really great photo outfit look.

Colored Jeans! Outfit Idea

Colored Jeans!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

My House is Messy.

Sad but true. My house is just not where I need it to be to feel comfortable. I love order and clean. My house is for sure not those things.

I'd love to be one of those moms that always has breakfast ready for her child and wakes them up with plenty of time in the mornings- but I am really struggling being clothed before my son even wakes up. I know I need to suck it up and deep clean the house this weekend and get up on time. I know the solution but getting there seems to be a gigantic hurdle for me.

My kitchen is probably one of the top three offenders- the laundry probably being the second, and my bedroom being the third. I have a large kitchen and feel like I am always in rush mode. I know how we got to the messy kitchen problem. We have the hardest water ever! Seriously limescale is a part of my daily life. Our water softener ran out of water and no one noticed. Suddenly an entire load of the dishwasher was covered in limescale. Pretty much the only thing that removes this is vinegar. I had to soak everything in the sink to remove it then rewash and put away. On top of that I cook pretty much every single meal and don't put pots and pans OR tupperware into the dishwasher. So basically this built up into pure chaos.

The laundry has been out of control since we went to the first Polar Express. I can wash and dry but man putting up is pretty much beyond me. Add to that we cloth diaper and that sometimes can create a stall in things. I need to do enough washes that they are clean and that (because I work out of the house) can take a while. Between a messy toddler and a messy husband I am up against a lot.

So all excuses, I could stay up all night and clean but I just have not had the motivation. SO... My house is a disaster. It should be clean. I feel like things are not settled at home because of the mess and hopefully I get that solved this weekend. Cross everything for me! I seriously need a miracle.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Stylish toddler!

Sammy @ 3!

I really want to have a nice way to remember all of the amazing things that Sammy does at this age. I need to start writing it down and keeping a journal of sorts- I just decided to do it here and hope that everyone will indulge me!

Sammy is so funny and extremely bright! He loves to say "I will!". It is darned cute. If you ask him to do something, chances are that is what he will say.

He puts so much enthusiasm into everything. His rendition of ABCs is very boisterous. I love it!

He is serious at times which is really great. He is a thinker and considers things before answering. Not too many things are lost on him. I really think he is like his dad that way. He is just so family centric and really interested in how the world works around him! Maybe an Engineer like daddy?

I feel like so far three has been a lot easier than two. Sammy was the easiest baby ever but about 11 months he decided to become whiny and pretty much stayed that way until recently. I feel like we are gaining some traction with his defiance.

Sammy loves to sing and dance. He is starting to tell jokes and pretend. Everything is trains right now. He feels Santa should bring Ferdinand and Luke. We talk a lot about trains and play. I sometimes feel bad that he does not have other kids at home to play with. I often have to cook or clean when we get home and I wish I could drop everything and play with him. I often do.

Being a mom to this little one is the greatest gift I have ever been given and I am so proud if him!

Week of Clothing Wednesday!

Week of Clothing Wednesday!

Monday I did a cute little OshKosh grey sweater. I got it from Target and it's still in stock- still current lineup. Great deal. Just some Boden jeans with it.The sweater is cut well and he can move well (a nice undershirt does not hurt!)

Tuesday I just did jeans and a tee. I forgot his coat in my husband's car so it was a ordeal. I had another hoodie and a lighter fleece on him too for playtime outside- so he was kind of the Michelin kid yesterday.

Today I kind of went all out. Khakis from Old Navy (these kind of run small!) and a plaid shirt from Carters. Over that a fleece vest because it is oddly supposed to be kind of warm here today. I wanted to layer so he could take off things as he warmed up.

Tomorrow I am going to break out the Cherokee jeans. They are pretty great actually- and the price is very right. Matching that will be his Wild man Records shirt from Cherokee/Target. Of course red chucks have to go with that.

Friday will be his Gap sweatshirt with some nice pants that are warm. It is supposed to snow on Friday. We can't have great weather too long of course. He will probably have to break out his Bogs. He is not a fan of anything like that- but snow on the ground will leave us few choices.

He's been having to wear his Stride Rite shoes often due to the ankle injury. He is fine but I want to make sure he has great support. I was kind of out of love with that brand overall to be quite honest. Their quality is really amazing but their pricing really sucks.

Accessories are keeping his whole look still in the sweet little one category. And his darling face! He's precious. I feel like as we get out of the Carters sets and start getting into the separates full time- he's kind of looking just like a little boy. (He's 3- why is this a newsflash to me?!) I am using them to keep these looks a bit younger. So fun hats and mittens are key right now. And seriously fun socks - that is just my joy!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Note to Mom Shoppers!

Boden and Carters are both having some killer sales! Don't be shy! Get those deals :)

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours! We had a lovely day with relatives. This is a special holiday because my dad's side has always gotten together to celebrate. My grandmother had surgery and could not attend. It was nice to still be together in some semblance of normal. Hopefully she's back next year! 

Sammy wore some camo! He only ate mac & cheese and drank water. I got this sweater for $5 at Gap last year. He wore it last year too - it was too big but worked. :) 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Week of Clothing Wednesday!

Week of Clothing Wednesday!

Monday I decided to dress Sammy up! I did a button up under a vest. I got this one from Thredup for about $2. I paired it with a pair of skinny jeans from Gap.
Tuesday since we were dealing with his foot issues I was glad we just had a pair of jeans with a layered tee. It was warm and easy. He started out the day in these shoes from Target, but ended up in some from Stride Rite. I like the price on the Target way better!
Wednesday it has been cold so I have this tee from Target. The version we have is layered and pretty warm and cute. I have some Carters pants with a liner and some boots. Warm socks are a must right now!
Thanksgiving! I will put Sammy in the lined camo pants my brother in law gave Sammy. That with a grey sweater and some boots. It will be adorable! (Pics to follow!)
Friday I am planning on staying in. Probably some blue pants from Carters and a graphic tee. Easy and pretty warm. 
I am still really loving layered tees for Sammy. Very easy to make a statement. I have some great ones from Target and from Carters. 

Break in Regularily Scheduled Programming!

This week has taken me by storm. Sammy fell and sprained his ankle. We had a couple of mad rush around town days dealing with that.

Made me do some thinking about priorites. When you have to miss work due to a child's illness-  you kind of see things in a new light. Who is supportive and who you have supported in the past. How everything seems to kind of fade away when you have to get your child seen at their pediatrician or they really need you. My first priority is to be a great mom. I do try to place my marriage above everything else in my life but so often my husband needs me to be a good wife by taking off of work to care for our son. Just interesting feelings.

Sammy is back in action. We went to Stride Rite to get a pair of very supportive shoes. Of course right- I was worried his Target boots could exacerbate the problem. That was a total experience. Seriously this world needs more trained & knowledgeable people regarding shoes. But all in all we were able to get him a pair of supportive shoes and out of there back for a nap. They were $51. I did not have a coupon, and I was not happy camper.

Luckily Thanksgiving is coming up. I have some great ideas for Sammy's outfit and can't wait to share!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Carters Sale this Weekend!

I received a coupon for Carter's 30% off. Now is the time to go and save. I plan on spending about $100. I save $30 when I do that and hope to use coupons to get the rest down. I will post a video of the haul tomorrow. This is the time to really save. They have a mix of short and long sleeves so if you get some great items you will get that next size knocked out!

This shirt is really cute!
These green chinos are a must!
This windbreaker is adorable. Size up and wear for two years!
These jammies are so cute on!
This plaid shirt is really flexible. Chinos or jeans would look great.

Sorry about the links! Carters is not letting me use their photos. If anyone knows a way around that- shout it out!

Head over to the store! Get yourself some goodies. I know I will!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Week of Clothing Wednesday!

Week of Clothing Wednesday!

This week we were really low key. Since its the big birthday! I wanted things to be easy because I had prep work to do in so many other areas. I am really big into the layered shirt look for Sammy. It just is his style. I love it with his chucks or boots with red laces. Friday I will do a button down to break it up a bit. 
I realized I forgot to put him in his birthday shirt. I am really annoyed at myself. I will stick it on Saturday when we're having a very small family party. Monday's shirt I really love from Target. I had to have that when I saw it. It looks great on. I ordered a pair of Gap skinnies for him so be on the lookout for that. Both outfits I am hoping to do more of an in depth post on.
This week is kind of getting the best of me. The laundry sitch at our house is bad. I have a ton of dirty clothes, and clean clothes that need to be put away. Towels are dirty and need to be washed but I want to get the clothes done first. Sammy grew out of some of his cloth diapers so those have to be sanitized and put away for when we decide to have another kiddo. So... crazytown at my place. We'll get it. I am trying to focus on having a good week so we're just in dig out of the laundry basket with a smile on your face mode right now. 
This post is actually a day late. I wanted to spent time doing this- and I am not attempting to do this on my ipad... So when I had some free time today at the desktop was my better bet. I thought I would make it great instead of make it fast! 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Sammy & Bee!


Weekend Recap.

This weekend we were insanely lazy. Saturday we trekked an hour away to the mall in a nearby town. I had a gift card for yarn I needed to use for Christmas Knitting. Score there!

Then we walked around the mall a bit. I brought Sammy in the Bugaboo Bee and fell in love with it all over again. It has the rider board behind it. He won't sit in the stroller anymore so this is basically a life saver. He did dart off, and Tim was pretty mad but overall it really helps him stay with us while granting a bit of freedom. Sammy will get there.

On Saturday he just wore a pair of Carters jeans and red sweatshirt from Target. I stuck his little red chucks on and called it a day. We hit up Old Navy and they had socks for $1. I got 5 because we've been running out lately. They didn't have anything else worth calling home about boy section wise. I honestly had carte blanche to spend and got nothing. Says something about Old Navy for little boys. Or nothing because that's about how much energy I feel they spend into boy clothing. How are they so closely related to Gap where I find way more.

Yesterday Sammy was inside all day- we had a lazy Saturday and he wore his diaper. Pretty much all day after taking off jammies. Can't get more real than that. Cannot believe tomorrow I will have a three year old. Where does the time go. He's getting a LeapPad2- I need something entertainment wise for the car and this seemed decent. And it fit into his hands. We have a very long car trip coming up for Christmas.

Sammy & the Pink Panther

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Mom Tip

Sammy growing up has been so bittersweet. On one hand I feel so blessed to see him grow and learn- and on the other- I feel sad that I will never have the time again. This tiny little being's time with me is limited and that is a hard pill to swallow. Clothing seems to really tie into that for me. Getting rid of favorite outfits has been hard since the old NB & 0-3 days. So I started doing something right away that has really helped that anxiety. And this is not a money saving tip.

I buy at least the next size up in everything I really love. When I have to put something away- I know I have the exact same item in the size I need. It costs money that I do budget for and since I usually have clothes ahead of time- it works out well and doesn't cost me a fortune. If I really love it, I probably will get every size they make. (My husband is off somewhere praying for a second boy when the time comes so we can use those clothes again... He is very supportive but probably sometimes think I am a little crazy.)

Skull Prints & Your Little Dude

Skull Prints. I think you either love them or hate them. We love pirate type things. We had an all out pirate themed first birthday for Sammy. You know the over the top pinterest kind that really get other moms up in arms.

 It just is fun and a bit rock and roll. I think you have to be careful buying little boy clothing with too much skull on it, because it can turn into a "too adult" quickly and kind of take over the overall look of your child's wardrobe. I honestly found that we were better able to pull it off the younger Sammy was. Now that he is older, we have to be more careful because he's not infant cute to balance it out. I feel it is kind of going a bit out of style unless incorporated into a wardrobe with just and hint and pop of it there.

 For example, Gap does a great job of adding in pops of skull prints without it being too overwhelming. I like for the overall look of Sammy's wardrobe to be varied and unexpected. The shirt below is by Amy Coe. She has a line in Babies R Us. I really do like the line. The price is higher than I like to pay. If its on sale, or I find something I just have to have, I grab it and use their 20% off coupons. But I prefer BuyBuyBaby and don't go in there too often these days. The quality is good, this shirt is very soft and has held up really well. There is an attention to detail that I admire about that brand, this shirt the back is printed as well. The little tag on the sleeve gives it a little something extra. I'd say if you are drawn to skulls- check her out. And give Gap a whirl. There's always a sale online at Gap.

Week of Clothing Wednesday!

Week of Clothing Wednesday!

Week of Clothing #3! I've had a blast dressing Sammy this week. He is so darned cute. Every mom thinks that I know! Monday it was still nice enough out that he didn't need to bundle up. I just had him in a little pair of jeans and a graphic tee. The one shown is from Boden, but I think ours was from Target. Similar but I saved $! I love vests as we all know! They really are a great layering piece. Tuesday was pretty laid back- hoodie and navy pants with some red chucks. Fairly certain the socks were dump trucks that probably did not match!
Wednesday I went all out! This morning I put him in a pair of cords with a cute OshKosh button down. I put a sweatshirt on over for added warmth. It was like 24 this morning. Tomorrow will be some grey jeans with a graphic tee and Friday sweater with jeans! Pretty easy this week. I've been happy with the clothes I selected and felt like we're easing into the 3T size well. I put the Carters jeans on just to see and they are much larger than the Boden's we love and longer as well. So they are probably going to sit in the closet for a while.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Well... Train Plans Derailed.

I intended to post today about Sammy's train outfit. I wanted to show you how adorable he looked in those red jammies with the red lightening McQueen slippers that he loves so much- but plans change sometimes.

Friday we headed down to the town that hosts the Polar Express event. We were so excited. After checking into the hotel- my dad let me know he was going to the ticket office early to get our tickets so we could relax and not fuss after dinner and rush.

My dad calls to let me know the lady he spoke to earlier in the month had given him the wrong date- that we were to go December 8th not November 8th. The train sells out months in advance- there is nothing they can do for us. I felt horrible for my dad. And really scared Sammy would get upset after we've told him all week that he was riding the train. He's three- he does not understand these kinds of things.

So... We told him the train had an ouchie. We took him to see the train right after it came in from the last ride- he didn't get that the other kids were getting off, he thought they were there to see it same as he was. It worked out pretty well. He loved seeing the train and was excited that he could come back when the train was "all better". We ended up going to dinner and enjoying ourselves with some delish Chicago style pizza. Sammy ran from room to room in the hotel and we gleaned some fabulous tips to make our December trip amazing. It really was nice to have a practice run. And honestly my whole family needed time away.

On Saturday we woke up and headed back to the train before it started running for the day. Sammy was able to see the train and cars, caboose and hop onto all of the platforms. I was so happy we decided to stick it out and make his trip as special as possible during both trips. From a little guy's perspective- it was all to plan and he had a blast. <3 Just goes to show you that kids are generally ok if you are.

Sammy wore his moose hat with an OshKosh vest. I put him in a Thomas shirt with some Cherokee green pants. He ended up being plenty warm for the 50 degree weather and looked adorable. Warning on the Thomas shirt currently available from Target - the arms are crazy long. Longer then the rest of it really - fits everywhere but the arms. I am really loving these vests. He can move freely but they are warm!

Sammy at the Polar Express!

Tuesday Tip!

Think OFF season! Right now its not  yet cruise time and its too cold most places to swim. This is a perfect time to grab a couple pairs of discounted swim trunks. Boden has some right now for $14.40 and its 22% off there this week.

Always build the next size up while you can save. Keep the tags on! Most places will give you a year to return (esp Boden) and if you get the hint your kiddo is up sizing past one size in a year you can return and start again using some of the savings tips I've mentioned.

Hope this helps!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Playing at the Library!

Reindeer Hat! I love these little vests. Perfect for that 50 degree weather where he'd be roasting in a coat. Layering is a fun way to express style and customize outfits for the weather. This ensures he's warm but not too warm and can move and play freely!

Follow us on Instagram! Xoxoandrea82!

Follow us! I love to post pics of Sammy in his every day life- and you can see more of the full story!

Week of Clothing Wednesday!

Week of Clothing Wednesday!

Monday started out pretty cold. I paired a nice sweater from Oshkosh with jeans and red shoes. I put a little red shirt under in case he was too warm. This sweater is currently at Target. Tuesday was just a simple outfit from Carters- khakis and a graphic tee. I really love anything bear or fox related right now. (Hartley has some to die for cute bear jammies I am lusting over) Wednesday is a simple grey sweater- I have a similar one to this from OshKosh Target. I just put it with dark pants and lighter boots. This sweater pictured is from Boden. I like those boots but be careful with a pull on. Sometimes with little feet it can be quite the feat. Thursday is a set from Carters. I will put him in this tomorrow. Easy and cute. The pants are very comfortable. I will probably put his red converse with this to give it a pop of color and a bit of creativity. Friday Sammy will be wearing his pajamas on the train! I could not find the exact ones we have- actually it was hard to find anything similar. His are red Thomas ones and I will do a little post on them probably Saturday.

Mom tip! Bogs. A friend of mine recommended these to me, she is from the Pacific Northwest and it rains and gets quite cold there. I knew I needed something for the snow and rain here, our climate is very unpredictable. These bogs are kind of a rain boot/snow boot combo. I like that they are flexible and he can move around quite well, and they keep his feet toasty. Good buy. Pricey but well worth it. And since you only need one pair- its not AS bad. :)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Easy Outfit!

Sammy has on his striped GAP tee with Boden jeans cuffed and target bought red laced boots. 

He's super comfy! Watching Polar Express and playing cars & trains. These gap tees look great even after a hard day playing at school. 

Save a few Pennies!

Any moms looking for colored jeans- H&M has several pairs for $10-15. You can even get them online. I am thrilled because I need a pair for Sammy and H&M is downtown in the mall I never go to.

Sign up and receive their emails- I got a 20% off coupon code. Unfortunately no free shipping!

Also Boden is sending out free $10 vouchers! They can be combined with other deals. I JUST got an email for 15% off and free shipping so on Friday I hope there will be a new cool shirt from Boden on my doorstep!

Where to Find Great Little Boy Jammies!

We use a ton of pajamas! You would think that I never do laundry. Well that is not quite true! I find that the pants and shirts walk away from each other and I end up needing more than I thought I did to get through the week. I am a working mom (redundant phrase!) and after work I typically don't do laundry. And putting it away is pretty much the bane of my existence. So I am going to share how many jammies we end up needing per size, and where we find cute items that I enjoy putting my son into.

We typically get ours from Carters. They have held up wonderfully and the fleece looks great even after they're outgrown. Hand me down quality. Their sets of two are great too- you just need to size up, they run about a size small I've found. Target and Walmart both carry great lines and the quality appears to be very similar to the Carters retail line. I have found the fleece footed jammies from these places does run a bit smaller- but not much. Again this is good to know when kids are growing and need to start sizing up. That next size in Target or Walmart Carters will fit before the retail Carters.

Old Navy and Gap have really adorable jammies too. But the price point is a bit higher. The quality isn't quite as great so I usually pass. If that have a really cute pair or I have a coupon that really helps.

If your son is around potty training age- you might want to reconsider the fleece footed jammies. They make a shirt with fleece bottoms for older kids that might work better. Fleece holds in moisture so its kinda nice to have a extra layer from your sheets as boys get older and wake up wet sometimes. Sammy isn't to keen on this potty learning thing so... we use the fleece footed jammies.

Don't buy anything without a dedicated mate. The three pack with shorts, pants, and one shirt is pretty much the most aggravating idea ever. Unless its on a great sale, or you have a shirt you'd like to use already- waste of a garment. Just buy the two sets of jammies package.

Extra mom tip* If your child has a cough- vicks vapor rub really helps. I use that and rub generously on his feet and stick those fleece jammies on over. The warmth is good to help him sleep and he can't get it off like he can with socks.

We typically buy
4 Fleece Footed Jammies! I like for at least one to have crazy feet.
2 packages of the two packs in shorts & short sleeved shirts. For hot nights.
3 packages of the two packs in long sleeves almost always from Carters!
1 Christmas set of Jammies. We celebrate and this is important for Polar Express.

** The Christmas jammies I buy in a larger size and we wear for two years. They're red Thomas the Tank jammies  that are adorable. Hopefully I get some great pics of those this weekend. We are taking Sammy on the Polar Express train ride and he could not be more excited!

A few great places to find jammies!
* Hatley
* Boden
* Babies R Us
* Target
* Walmart

Monday, November 4, 2013

Review! Pottery Barn Kids Halloween Costume.

This year we purchased our Halloween costume from Pottery Barn Kids. I was skeptical because they are kinda pricey. Each costume is only used once (most of the time) and doesn't come large enough to wear again the next year.

I love the book, Where the Wild Things Are and knew that I wanted Sammy to be Max just once before he had his own opinion. Pottery Barn was one of the only places that actually have the costume so we knew we had to get it there. I kind of wish we'd waited a bit because the sales came closer to Halloween - but I didn;t know sizing and also wasn't sure how many of each were stocked. So we've had the costume about a month.

Honestly- it was worth it. The costume is hand me down quality. It was warm and held up great. I know I can wash it and use it again if we have the opportunity. The little treat bag we ordered was great also. The sizing was a bit small- my son is in a 3T and the 2-3T was just perfect. If your child has been in the 3T for longer you'd need to size up. Since the costume had little feet I knew we had to be pretty close on this one.

PBKs gets two thumbs up! Pics are posted below of Sammy enjoying his time out as Max!

Monday Quick Save Tip!

Happy Monday!

Today's Quick Savings Tip is to sign up on the actual manufacturer's website. Never buy from a third party. Every layer you add includes a markup. Example- I saw some really great blankets on Zutano. This one in fact- must have. And I signed up for their newsletter and will receive 15% off when I go to buy it.

That works for most every kiddo clothing brand- sign up and receive their notifications on coupons and sales. Know what you can save at each place before taking the plunge.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Week of Clothing Wednesday!

Week of Clothing Wednesday!

This is pretty much what Sammy wore/is wearing this week. We love our chucks! They give every outfit that genuine cool feeling. Notable new fave is the Friday shirt from Target. $8.00 and it looks awesome on. Not generously sized but really cute. We're loving our OshKosh vests for this fall/rainy weather. Monday's Boden shirt is so great on. I really love their stuff. The monkey shirt was a must have from Carters along with Thursdays rocket shirt from there too. Sammy is just about to turn three. We are pretty solidly in the last bit of 2Ts from Carters and OshKosh which give us a bit more length. We will move to our Children's place denim and pants with special cuffs soon. Stay tuned for Sammy's Halloween costume reveal later this week. They moved Trick or Treating to Friday so I should have those up Saturday. My mom is visiting so hopefully I will have some time to myself! 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Easy and Cute Toddler Halloween!

Halloween is very nearly here! We are so excited. Honestly I could have written this post a couple of weeks ago and probably done someone some good- but put this away in your mind for next year.

In the Midwest, Halloween is cold. I find that the "all over" costumes are best. Look at Carters and Target and you'll find some great ones that come with a bit of padding for warmth. They are so easy. You can add a pair of knit pants and long sleeved shirt to make even warmer depending on how cold it is on the actual day you Trick or Treat. And they are still pretty comfortable.

Pottery Barn Kids has AMAZING costumes. We got ours there this year and really love it. We got it early because we thought it would more than likely be sold out in the 2T-3T size. So we wasted $. We could have waited and got it for $20 less. They are still in stock. I am not giving away his darling costume just yet- but we are SO excited. Hopefully he cooperates for some great pics. My mom- Sammy's Mimi- is coming to Trick or Treat with us this year. She's flying in that day. We have pumpkins and all sorts of decorations to make it memorable! Pottery Barn Kids is slightly smaller sized. Target, Carters, Babies R Us, they all seem to be sized a bit more generously.

Generally on costumes- don't wait. If it's cute- it's gone. Unless its priced really high. (cough cough PBKs $100 for costume and treat bag). Always be looking for coupons and discounts. We at least got 10% off through an online code. But keep your eyes peeled. Now would probably be a great time to get your kid's costume for next year. Especially if they are a toddler and won't have an opinion on the topic. Might as well save and get a great one.

After Halloween, feel free to sell your costume on ebay or donate to a store. We've saved them and I cannot imagine we'll ever use them again. Here is Sammy in last year's costume - a bear- which we purchased from Target for $25.00. It was warm and easy!

Tips for Little Dude Winter Coats

Winter Tip!

Its Winter- its cold and your child needs a warm coat. Here are a couple of tips that I use to save money, time, and get a great coat that I really love!

Style wise- get something that looks good with brown and black. I usually get green. I also try to get something that has a removable hood. I sometimes cannot stand a hood. I like for it to be not crazy poofy because they're outside playing and need to be able to run around. You want something that will be warm and be functional.

First - I use the same brand as often as I can for coats. Hawke & Co. I buy it every year in January for the next size. The coat Sammy is using I bought last year at Von Maur for $19. It was 75% off. They are very warm and really cute. I did the same thing the year before and was so glad to have found that deal and way of preparing ourselves for winter. I am able to get a great coat at a really great price. To be quite honest, I would not pay for that full price so Sammy gets a nicer coat this way.

You probably want to check in a couple of times to make sure they still have coats. The idea is to get them right before they get the Spring merchandise and are putting coats on sale to get rid of them. Hence the 75% off. 

Same goes for Carters. I find that coats fit generously and getting the year before usually works out just fine. I get Sammy a coat and a fleece. Since I love him to have a North Face fleece I always get after its been marked down and used more often than not! We also use vests from Osh Kosh and generally get a fleece vest from Carters too. I like to have a couple of options because our weather is really strange.

Target, Carters, and Etsy are great places for hats. Buy one that comes down over the ears so you don't need extra coverage such as ear muffs that will never stay on. Their hands are still really small but Carters and Target both have mittens and gloves for wee hands. Get the toddler size in the hat so you can use it a couple of  years. They wash pretty well- just don't use the dryer! I do generally buy a couple of hats. They are cute and I cannot  help myself.

Planning ahead is really your friend here! I don't have two coats for Sammy, I usually have two of everything so one can be in the wash and the other can be in use "just in case". <-- That is the story of my life! But I usually get just one coat.

Please also remember coats and seatbelts don't mix. I have a remote start and start the car before we get in. I put his hat and mittens on and a blanket. Then put his coat on like a blanket. We put it on right before we get out of the car. Sammy is still rear-facing so it all stays tucked in pretty well. I hope forward facing I am not picking it up a bunch.

Sammy in his Hawes  & Co coat with a Target hat!

Don't forget sunglasses. Snow can make things very bright! Also please consider donating your child's coat to a charity that speaks to you, after they outgrow it! There are too many kiddos without warm winter gear.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday Outfit Idea! Osh Kosh Bomber!

Toddler Bomber Jacket Outfit
Target has a great bomber jacket from OshKosh. Get them soon because there was only one in my store. Trying might be a safer bet. I love Carters jeans right now- just a little touch of detail to make them fun. I got Sammy a cute pair of shoes similar to these but grey with red laces from Target. They were $25.00. They look great. And photograph well which is important to me. Thermals are wonderful because they layer or add warmth alone. I love the look they give. Some great ones are at Target. Lots of great things there for dudes in fall. Saving money is looking pretty good!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Gap Clothing Review/ Clothing Haul

Gap was having a 40% off sale last week so I splurged and got Sammy two graphic tees and a sweatshirt. The prices were pretty decent and the styling was really amazing. We got this nautical shirt. This red birthday shirt, and this great sweatshirt.

The fit on these is pretty great. Arm length wise we have about 2 inches of room to grow. That's ok because I really want these to fit through spring. The length overall was great. I think a taller kid is probably going to be best sizing up to give six months in the shirt, but we all know I like tighter clothes so I stayed true to size.

The nautical shirt. Amazing. Fit is great. A little bit of stretch and the colors are so bold and bright. The arms rolled back a bit looked darling - the stripes just gave it that intentional look. Really cute. This would look great with a pair of colored skinny jeans. I am thinking of getting Sammy some yellow ones to pair. For the first time I used a pair of green cargo pants from Cherokee and they worked great. Truly a versatile piece.

Red shirts and red heads can be hit or miss. The birthday shirt turned out pretty well. The print is great- excellent styling. Again bold and bright. Fit is the same as the other graphic tee. We will use this for his actual birthday coming in November so be expecting some pics of it then! We felt the price was well worth the really cute print and bold red color. Sometimes it can be really hard to tell the vibrancy of the red online. Our only Gap is 40 minutes away and honestly- I usually shop there online because I hate going to that particular mall.

Finally the sweatshirt. The color is subtle- very pale grey/blue. Neutral and will go with anything (except khakis). The sleeves are a bit long- probably two-three inches of room to grow after one wash. It could shrink further and that number could change but after washing it looked like we had a bit of room to grow. The graphic on this is really cute in person. Glad we went with the ship version. We debated a bit. (yes the hubs for sure has an opinion on clothing for the wee one)

Sammy is still rearfacing in his carseat and hoods present a problem for us. It really is too much fabric in that general area so I skip hoods. I was really excited to find a layering piece that didn't have one attached. Plus I love knitting up great winter scarves for him and hats. Just our spin on it- and I feel safer in the car.

All in all- glad we shopped there and got three pieces to add to his fall/winter wardrobe for $42.00.

Keeping Socks Together! And Other Sock tips

Socks. Seriously how many does one kiddo need? And where do the missing ones go? Socks can be that last problem to be solved before you're heading out the door.

We have had the toughest time keeping Sammy's socks together and easily located to get out the door in the morning. After three years of this rigamarole - I have a couple of tips that I use to keep my sanity. When you are a mom - a plan for the details is vital to keep you calm and on time.

1) When taking off socks, roll them together as you would to store in sock drawer. Just place like that in the laundry. This keeps them together through the wash. They usually dry up fine for me and get very clean. We have a front loader and I use Tide powder. If they don't dry completely- I usually just throw in the dryer again to get the next load.

2) After your child has thrown them across the car, pick them up. This seems so simple but it is really easy to just get them out of the car and deal with that later on. I just grab them really fast, ball them up, and put into the laundry pile. Mentally keep track of them so you can make sure you're getting dirty clothes put up daily.

3) Keep a few neutral pairs downstairs or in a secondary location. We have a second floor and going upstairs quickly is a challenge. I cloth diaper and I keep 2-3 pairs of socks in my downstairs diaper stash so I can just grab and go when in a hurry. If Sammy is coming upstairs too- we have a serious delay because Thomas must be turned on and we have to lay down in Mommy's bed.

4) Lay out the whole outfit the night before. I usually put socks and shoes on our shoe mat because I have a sock and shoe removing kiddo. He could get off a straightjacket so socks are no issue for him. Just having his things ready to go saves us so much time.

5) Clean out couch weekly. I find so many under the couch. Our littles spend a bunch of time on the floor so their things tend to end up underneath the furniture- and in it!

Another problem we've had is ankle socks during Summer. I prefer the "no show" look. Target has them in the bigger boy section. I think before they hit about three- sandals in the summer is probably the only option other than sizing down and having them just be smaller. Some socks seem to do this ok.

Great sock brands- Carters! We have wood flooring so I love having the gripper. We also love the Gap socks. They usually are pretty cute and hold up well. I think the hanes brand is just fine, not as great for wash and wear but cost a ton less. Circo brand are ok but they have that nylon liner inside and no gripper. Not my fave but we have a set of Thomas ones and some monsters that are fun. Generally I like them to be from Carters or Gap due to the wash and wear and stretch. We have some 24 month that are still hanging in there and Sammy wears a size 9 toddler shoe. They also size 2-4 so they have a more generous fit. Gap is 2-3 so less generous but you can single socks which is nice for when you see something nice. 

Hope this helps you get out of the door a bit more quickly!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Help! My Kiddo is Between Sizes

Sammy isn't a huge kid. And I like his clothing to FIT. I like shoulder seams to hit shoulders. I prefer pants to fit lengthwise without needing a cuff.

I find that we generally need to size up before the next size fits. I am sure it is well-intentioned by the clothing companies but it kinda drives me crazy. I hate that couple of months where he is in between sizes and things may not fit yet.

I have a few tips that can help.
1) Be aware of how different things are sized. Carters for example- their jeans run long. The Childrens Place run short. Buy when they have sales but know that you'll use those Carters ones a bit later. I also know I can get the Carters fabric type pants in that smaller size and they'll last longer. I tend to invest in their separates because the length lasts but I know starting off- Children's Place is going to be a staple for awhile. I tend to buy some of each knowing ahead of time how these will get worn.

2) Know your widths! Osh Kosh and Walmart seem to run wider. Since Sammy is cloth diapered but skinny, I know those jeans will fit after his Bodens are too tight. The loose fit seems to give us a couple more inches to play with and may make all of the difference.

3) Shirts are hit or miss. I tend to use the button downs during this time because I can roll the sleeves. They can be tucked in or incorporated with a sweater vest to "shrink" it to fit. My son usually up sizes in the winter so that is probably not a universal tip esp for those kids with birthdays in the summertime. I like shirts to fit tighter so we generally just wait to up size a shirt, they generally fit well after we need a bigger size in pants so I just use them longer. Pants are where the majority of our issues come from.

But again, knowing what sizes run large is great here. Cherokee and some of the Target brands run smaller than Carters, and Childrens Place is smaller as well. I typically can have Sammy wear his Childrens Place stuff first while we are still getting those last uses of Carters in the smaller size.

4) Carters sets are my saving grace during this time. They just run smaller and shorter than their separates. I buy the store out of those! I generally find that our Carters does not stock them in toddler sizes,so I have to get them online. Most of the time, Carters coupons are only for "in store" but sometimes they have online coupons too. When you get that coupon and can afford it, is the time to hit up Carters online. I also find that some of the cuter shirts we like for Carters are only online too.We try to buy all of that online when we have a deal and everything online is 50% off. Their shipping is $6 flat. Carters generally stocks all of the baby stuff in stores but toddler stuff can be hit or miss. We live half an hour away from any Carters so I am not heading up there in my rare free time to not get what I am looking for!

5) Buy jeans that are meant to be cuffed. This doesn't irritate me as much as pants that are not meant for it. Carters has little fabric pants that have fabric underneath and they are meant to be cuffed. Boden usually does too. Carters will have the little plaid cuffed pants. These you can use longer because in the fall they are a bit shorter and you just adjust the cuff as your kiddo grows. Easy peasy and as long as you are careful not to make the outfit too matchy matchy- this can be a big style plus.

Hope this helps- I know I am OCD about some things and fit is one thing that bothers me big time. Knowing how different brands fit your child can save you during the times of transition.

Inexpensive Basics to Make a Wardrobe Pop

Good clothing can be expensive. And giving your child the look you'd like them to have can really get pricey. I generally focus on one thing when I'm dressing Sammy. He will have on great shoes (red laces!) or a cool sweater from Boden. Something special. Generally I go ahead and pair those items with basics so the interesting item can shine. Also my son is cute, as all of our children are- and I don't want the clothes wearing him. I typically tone down anything with pairing it with a basic item.

Some places I like for basics are just everyday stores. The $4 pants from Target, Circo brand. Old Navy has inexpensive jeans during their sales, The Children's Place and Consignment stores are all excellent places to look for timeless pieces you'll get your money out of. I love to get these things the season or year before on clearance. Jeans aren't going out of style. When you have a good coupon make use of it. Always be working on the next size up wardrobe.

Boy fashions I feel, are pretty stable for a while- trends are slow to come and slow to leave. Right now bright colors and pattern are on trend. But these little kiddos need clothing they can wear outside and get dirty. So it serves two purposes to get clothing that you really don't hate to send them to daycare/school in. You are going to let their own cuteness shine, and it won't break your heart when the knees are ripped out.

I hope this helps save a bit of money and helps you feel more in control while shopping. I know we'd all love to just buy out Nordy's and get whatever our hearts' desire but the truth is that when we focus on interesting pieces and use discount tactics to get awesome pieces - we won't feel deprived at all! And the best part is that our kids are amazing human beings that could rock a paper sack.

Sammy is wearing a great button up from Osk Kosh Target. The print is really vibrant. It was $14 which is more than I typically pay for many items. He wears this with some khakis that were gifted and Toms that I got off of Entire outfit cost me under $50 which isn't awful. I like that the print has a lot of colors that i can bring out. I am buying some colored jeans shortly so stay posted! I intend to work in colored pants into a toddler's wardrobe and not let them overwhelm the overall look. <3

Monday, October 21, 2013

Getting a Great Little Boys Haircut!

Getting my son's hair cut has been kind of a nightmare. He has darling red hair and was blessed with a cowlick- right in the front. (Just like mama!)

I have no brothers and have never had any interest in male hair before having my son. I don't understand the use of clippers or any thing not directly related to female hair. I've become better at navigating the waters of little boy haircuts- so I thought I would share!

First- check out the spot before you head in. What kind of toys are there? Will this create a meltdown? Is there a super long wait typically? You need to see it before having your child in there to prevent tantrums and a rough go of it. I find that if I can relax the whole visit goes better.

Ex. Sammy LOVES trains. Adores them. The first spot we used had a train table. Big meltdown every time we went in. He wanted to play, didn't want to leave. I was generally alone with my son and this was embarrassing and just made the whole visit awful. I switched to a new place with a slide. He's entertained for a bit but he can't try to pocket the slide out the door and he's generally ok to leave without a tantrum.

Secondly- Pinterest. Seriously get yourself a visual. You don't speak hair. Get something you can show to the hairstylist and prevent a bad cut.

Make some mental notes of what you like about this haircut- the length on the sides. How long do you like the back? Are you going to use styling products? They will probably need to tailor the picture you bring to your child's hair so its best to know what draws you in. I have a board for my son on Pinterest and I typically pin a couple so she can see the looks I like and we go from there.I try to find something that if it needs a styling product, it looks ok without. I am not gooping up Sammy's hair every day. He has eczema and we can't bathe daily.

Thirdly- Keep going to the same person. This can be hard with the kiddie salons being kind of chaotic- but make an appointment and keep visiting the same person when you find someone you like. Our lady is really nice, totally hyper and high energy. She is great at hair and after a few bad cuts, we're going to stick it out with her.

Lastly- Tip decently and say thank you. We're all busy moms but we really have to take the time to show people we not only see the contributions they make in our lives, but also that we are appreciative of the little things they do to go above and beyond.

Hope this helps some! We had a really bad cut about eight months ago and have been letting it grow ever since. I always fell into the "very short hair for little boys" camp. But given the cowlick, we need the length. I thought I would find that magic cut so I never had to wet Sammy's hair down in the morning and brush it into submission... That day never arrived and I realized I will have to wet it down to get us out of the house. C'iest La Vie!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Saving Money on Kids Clothing

Saving money is a big deal for my family. I'd say we're like most everyone and trying to put as much money back into savings as possible.Saving money when we can is a no brainer, and spending less for the same things is an all around win. I have found in my years shopping for my son, that everything kid related is basically on sale. If you are paying full price- you can probably save if you do some shopping around.

Below is a list of things I do to save on clothing for my son. I will keep adding this list as I have more time and more deals come up. I try to buy a bit from everywhere so I have a good breadth of experience to share. This is a bit disconnected as I intend for this to be a guide and list for each brand.

Carters is basically always on sale. They usually have a promo running. If you can wait until they are 50% off, you are going to save the most. They send out coupons for in store 20% off. Sometimes 25% off. And bring a grandparent on Wednesdays and save another 10%. So for example if you have $100 worth of clothing you will pay $33.75 + tax. Its not 85% off because you'd take 50% off then get a total, then take 25% off of that new total, and 10% off of that new total. But still - really amazing discounts. They also have a rewards program for every $50 you spend you get $10. This is off of your total after coupons.

Their stuff washes up amazing and really wears well. I love the quality and when you hit the trifecta of saving there, you are getting clothing cheaper than you could manage at Walmart. You can easily have two kids in this stuff. Their fit I think is generous and cut well, not too wide. Their sets run a bit smaller than their separates. Carters fitted non fleece jammies (usually in a 4 pack) run a full size smaller than their shirts.

Buy online. They generally have free shipping and some sort of discount. Don't wait at Boden. It if is cute, it runs out of stock very quickly. I only shop there with a coupon code because their stuff is more expensive but I think the quality is really nice. Its "hand me down" quality in my book. They also have resale boards on facebook where you can find gently used clothing. Nordstrom carries this brand but unless you have a discount from them- don't buy there. Boden sizing is sometimes odd and they only have the one line. Sizing is standard no matter where you buy this brand. I find it can run smaller in the pants and larger in the shirts. Sometimes the sleeves are long. Their stuff is really whimsical and worth the money I think. The Baby Boden line kept me pretty poor for awhile!

Old Navy/Gap
Wait for sale and shop early that day online.It runs out if it is cute. Gap is expensive. Their stuff is cute but they always have some sort of 30% or more discount going on online.Their stuff is not great quality in my book. Not much really looked great enough to pass along. Some of the jeans maybe. If you get something you just love from there, only use it for special occasions and pictures- really limiting your washes. The colors don't seem to hold well in my experience. And the brands run small. My son wears a 2T/3T shirt most of the time and is sometimes in a 4T at these stores.

Tea Collection
Their shirts are great. Pants too. But their prices keep us away. I've never noticed a sale great enough that we'd get more than a couple of shirts. I like their shirts for statement type of shirts. They run small and slim. I generally think their stuff is well made and the cotton is dense and durable. The wash and wear quality is good and you'll get 2+ kids through this stuff. Made for the long haul!

Osh Kosh
Fits wide! Saving is the same as Carters - they are the same company. Sizing is quite different. We bought a couple of shirts there and they were made for a chubbier/more muscular child. Sammy is a bit thin and he did not fill out these shirts. Because of that I generally only buy vests, some pants, sweaters, and accessories from the Target line.

Target Brands
Target has their own line of Carters, Circo, Osh Kosh, Cherokee, ect
Cartwheel and Target card will save you! (Target debit is amazing. Everyone needs one for 5% off through your checking account)
Keep an eye out here. The Osh Kosh goes fast if it is cute so you want to get in there fast. They run wide but wear amazingly. We have some well used pants that look brand new. Stains come out well. The 5% off helps and the prices are decent to begin with. Cartwheel is an app that you can clip coupons and stack them on your existing discounts/coupons. I can sometimes get another 5-25% off. When you are getting a great deal like that, that is the time to go get what you like there. I have a grocery budget and will spend whatever I have left over at our SuperTarget while I am there. Its a nice way for me to build up on cute pieces that my son will need. I try to be buying the next size while he is firmly in the one below. I shop clearance racks often there and save more. Boys clothing tends to keep the same trends for a while. You will be fine shopping for a year ahead.

This is a wonderful site. You can send them your used clothing and get in-store credit or cash. They have great brands. I sent in a lot of my old clothing and got about $25 to spend. I was able to get two polo button downs and a polo cable vest for under $20 and they look brand spanking new. I still have some money to spend but they have deals. They often have brand names and still send out coupon codes for more savings. You might not find exactly what you want but I love it for dress up clothing that I want to be nice but will only be worn once or twice.

I will try to keep adding as I find better ways to get the great clothes we all love for our children at good deals. 

Surprising Place for Cute Clothing!

Surprising Place for Cute Clothing!

We recently had to get my husbo an entire work wardrobe in one weekend. He is tall so generally I find great deals as JC Penney. I usually do not shop there for myself. Its just out of the way and I really don't have a ton of time for myself and clothing. I am an online shopper primarily because I can find great deals. Kids clothing and coupons is really a winning combo and if you're doing it right- you have a coupon most of the time.

We found some great basics and tees over at JC Penney in the toddler section. Great colors and fit. Their clothing appears to fit just a slight bit smaller than Carters. They had fresh prints that look great- very whimsical. The price was amazing $7!

I'd give everyone a strong push to check that place out. I found great items there and everything was on sale. Give it a whirl. Don't buy Carters there. The pricing isn't great. Truly your best bet to find a deal on Carters is either go into the store or Meijer grocery store. Other than that - you are overpaying.

Knowing what colors look great on your child is such a help. My son has red hair and red is not really great on him. But BLUE! It makes his hair pop and really shines. I am not a fan of anything baggy on my son, well baggy for a boy. I like it to fit snugly. This shirt is a big more baggy than I really like but he will grow into it and I rolled the sleeves a bit before he went off to school.

Below is the shirt we found. Print is a robin hood bear. Paired with Toms and some Osh Kosh for Target grey pants. Monster socks complete the outfit! LOVE!


Sammy + Trains


This is my son Samuel. He's nearly three. I wanted a place to document his adorableness. And a place to showcase that little boys fashion can be just as fun as little girl fashion. I love dressing him and showing off that awesome kid. We have a ton of interests and I was hesitant about starting a blog about such a topic really. Our lives are short. I want to make the most of it but that being said we're not shallow. He reads a million books (well I read to him but semantics!) There are million topics I am passionate about in regards to parenting. We are actually pretty "crunchy". Sammy is cloth diapered and we do a lot of toddlerwearing.  I am doing this because fashion is something that is fun and accessible for moms. Sometimes after that C section or amazing home birth (we had the former), you don't feel like shopping for yourself. Little kid clothes are always cute, and buying them makes me feel instantly excited to fawn over my offspring!

This is place for me to compare brands and tell others of coupon codes and how I am able to dress Samuel in what I love for less. Fit and sizing are often confusing when online shopping and I hope to DE-mystify that for everyone. Please feel free to reach out for anything. I love sharing the tips I've learned the hard way. I view motherhood as a community and we should strive to lift each other up.