Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Week in Gatlinburg!

We just got back a few days ago from Christmas in Gatlinburg, TN. We stayed at a large cabin and had a wonderful time! It was really fun to be in such a beautiful location for the Holidays and be surrounded by loved ones.

I wanted to hop on here and bring up some supplies we had on hand to make our travels a bit easier and a whole lot safer! First off- my son is now old enough to traverse the stairs on his own with supervision. We haven't ventured into letting him really have time alone with stairs and if he's going it alone he usually slides down on his behind.

That being said- a traveling stair gate is a great idea. We didn't have to bring one but they are flat and don't take a ton of room up. Try to find one without a bottom border. They are kind of a tripping hazard. Lots of grown ups have a tough time with babyproofing items so that is one I try to really be wary of.

We had three balconies and they backed up to the mountain. The cliffs and valleys on this location are insane and we needed to ensure that Sammy wasn't outside even for a second without an adult. Bringing door covers is a great idea. We had one on each of the balcony doors and also on the stairs going to the basement which is more enclosed than the upstairs.

I am really a stickler on safe places for little ones to sleep. When you are asleep you aren't supervising your child. There were bunk beds for the children and I honestly did not feel safe having Sammy sleep there. Not only was there a balcony and hot tub there within a door's reach- but also pool table and bar stools. He could easily wake and get into all kinds of expensive trouble. We generally bring the Joovy Moon Room with us anytime we need to spend the night. It is a gigantic pack and play. We can put in a pillow and all of his blankets and it feels cozy and he is secure. It's tall enough he can't actually get out of there!

My husband and I did not bring our video monitor as there was no wifi. We both have iphones and can use the Baby Monitor app to link the phones and create a monitor while Sammy is asleep before we get into the room. We usually only need this for two or three hours at the most and then we don't have the video monitor to take down and set up again when we get home. It's a decent option. Just remember to charge your phone!

Lastly we always bring Sammy's shampoo. It works for shampoo and body wash. I just think a flare up of skin issues isn't welcome on a vacation so might as well pack it. I started using the Shea Nation Carrots and Mango shampoo for him and we really like the scent. Bonus that scent hangs on so his hair smells amazing for two days!

Happy Travels!

Days of Christmas 11

Days of Christmas 11

I love this Boden shirt for New Year's Eve because that guy clearly has his party hat on! The deal with New Year's Eve is to keep it simple and festive... And keep it PJ like. You might be transferring from the car to bed and you want to have something you can have your kiddo sleep in.
The sweats are so adorable on. They have kind of an interesting feel but are still extremely comfy. I love the moccs with these pants and know I've already done a look involving the two. They slip on and off easily and are so chic for a little dude. 
We're Cajun- not sure if I have mentioned that. We will have a family gathering with a nice pot of Gumbo and some black eyed peas for good luck!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Days of Christmas 10

Days of Christmas 10

Happy Christmas Eve!!! This Train shirt is a hit for obvious reasons to every mom who has a train obsessed little boy. I love the texture in these pants coupled with the boots from Carters. 
Hope everyone is enjoying their last day before Christmas!! I am going to save 1-2 days of this whole Christmas thing until New Years for some different looks!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Days of Christmas 9

Days of Christmas 9

I love this Gap sweater. I love classics after a couple days of trendier items. These flannel lined jeans are from Boden and I am of course all in on some colored jeans. I got Sammy these duck boots from Gap on sale and with a big time coupon. Still though I think Gap has all of my love for the past year. Boden is killing me with nothing really I have to have... They usually have tons of shirts I am pining over. Carters feels too babyish this year and we've only gotten very few things. Hopefully I discover a fun new brand so I can have some variety on here. But this is real life where I am busy and order things online and this is what I like right now.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Days of Christmas 8

Days of Christmas 8

We are getting so close to Christmas! Mix of my faves. H&M suspenders. I do like them but prefer Zara. Gap Vest and Tea Collection shirt. (Pro Tip... Line dry your tea collection)
Hope Christmas shopping is wrapped up for everyone.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Days of Christmas 7

Days of Christmas 7

This shirt is from Walmart of all places. I love it! H&M cargo pants are so cute. I of course use basically any excuse to use Sammy's Hunter boots because I adore them. If only I had this much fun dressing myself!
A word on that actually. So I am going to focus on not buying so much for Sammy in the coming months clothing wise. I am mainly a pajama addict but I do need to focus on buying myself more clothing. It is sad but I honestly would rather buy him cute things. So... After Christmas we're focusing on creating looks from what we already have. A capsule wardrobe for preschoolers... How novel. Just kidding. That idea is so silly to me but I am going to be using existing pieces and trying to create several looks from each piece. Sammy is also starting a new adventure where he may need to wear clothes that he can really get dirty. Be looking forward to this new project!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The School Drop Off Blues

Drop offs this week have been soul crushing. Usually my kiddo is racing out of the car to see friends. This week however something has changed and he is extremely sad that we are not staying home.

I'm not sure what is going on. I noticed a little boy in the class was aggressive with Sammy about stickers last week and I am thinking maybe some of these kids are getting a little more in his face as they age. Sammy is not a kid that wants other children to be right in his face and pulling on him. He needs his space. A hug from a nice friend is good- anything more is really pushing it.

So that has been so stressful. Hearing him call out for Mama while I am leaving is pretty hard. I would say that is my least favorite thing about preschool in general. He only has another three weeks at this school. (More on this later!)

Our plan is just to listen and let him feel whatever it is that he is feeling. I don't think there are any quick fixes and I think there is some merit to Sammy fixing his own problems even at 4. If this is a social problem- getting in there and solving it will do nothing to strengthen his ability to make friends and interact well in groups. He is extremely social and has had several friends for a couple of years now so I am confident this will work itself out. And by the time it does we can say goodbye to his current school and integrate ourselves into a new place.

Days of Christmas 6

Days of Christmas 6

This OshKosh shirt is a favorite of mine. The fit is nice. In the past their clothes have been baggy and we just can't have that! The sweats are so popular now. And I love them because they add a little something to the outfit and are still totally comfy. I have to admit I don't let Sammy wear this type of pant when I know he's out and about on the playground... He can blow out a knee with a quickness. The mocs are my solution for loving the style of them mocc but knowing he needs something with an actual sole. (Freshly Picked with a sole would be my uber first choice) So these are cute and will hold up much better. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Days of Christmas 5

Days of Christmas 5

I am really loving cords for this season. I love these flannel lined ones from Boden. This shirt is from Gap and I am pretty much obsessed. It is part of the "over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house we go"... Sending my kiddo over to his grandparents house with this shirt on is an instant win It is navy and not black.
Getting a ton of mileage (see what I did there!) of these tea boots. Of course we need a hat! Merry Christmas!
Is anyone else simply exhausted?! I cannot sleep enough. (Not pregnant) I am going to start lobbying against late Thanksgivings. They throw me off.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Days of Christmas 4

Days of Christmas 4

So this shirt pretty much had legs and came home with me. I sing the song Moon River to Sammy often. It reminds me often that he's my sidekick in our adventures. Kids have to be comfy sometimes too right?!
Yesterday we explored the zoo. After three hours he was just done. We decided to hang out in the car and wait for everyone else. Sunday adventures are the best.

Days of Christmas 3

Days of Christmas 3

Today Sammy is sick... Boo. Real life- sometimes you have to put on cute fox slippers and recoup. Pray for us. I slept about twenty minutes last night.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Days of Christmas

Days of Christmas

Day Two. I am in love with this sweater from Gap. I have a really similar one from Osh Kosh last  year so I am holding off actually buying this one. I may buy in a size 5 to have around for next year. Typically I can get around two winter's worth of use from sweaters. Cardigans are really good for this because they are more forgiving in the size department. 
Yellow jeans are a must have. They are so easy and really make everything look great. This shirt is from Zara. I love it. They have excellent tees because they fit well. Baggy isn't really out style. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Days of Christmas

Days of Christmas

For Christmas I decided I am going to do twelve festive looks. Not necessarily the twelve days of Christmas that bloggers are fond of. I think that may actually start after Christmas but don't quote me on that. I have 15 days until Christmas ( is that all  take me out of my misery now. I need a solid month). 
I am loving plaid this year. This look is dual plaid with a nice cable sweater over everything. These boots are from Tea collection. Everything else is Gap. Shocker right?! They are my go to place this year. Carter ended up being pants only and Boden didn't really have much I had to have. So... Gap it is. At least I am inching closer to the famed Gap silver card where if you spend enough they give you free shipping for the year.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Christmas Traditions

The holidays are the best time of year for me. Ok so I pretty much love every holiday the most! Halloween, 4th of July. Easter. Valentine's Day. I love holidays.

What are some of everyone's favorite holiday traditions?!

Thanksgiving: We love to see a movie. This year we're seeing the new Katniss movie. My dad is babysitting and I am thrilled! We also watch Home Alone. It is clearly the best movie to get us into the Christmas spirit.

Christmas: We love to open presents on Christmas Day. I make some polar express hot chocolate and we hang out in jammies and all spend time together. Nothing too formal but just low key and happy. This year we're incorporating more yoga and reflective time. It is really helpful for me because I get worked up easily and I need something to decompress. Sammy does too and Preschooler Downward Dog is pretty adorable!

Fighting Consumerism During the Holidays

I am pretty adamant that I don't want to raise spoiled kiddos. I think getting 20+ presents during the holidays is pretty insane. What better way to kill an imagination than to have everything possible in front of their eyes- no pretend play involved. We limit gift giving to make sure that giving is the reason for the season not getting.

Here are some tips that we use if you are so inclined.

1. Jesus got three presents. Maybe you don't need 10. Generally we give three. Something to play with, something necessary, and then something to learn from. I do allow for one Santa present. The focus is on presents that will last- generally wooden toys that inspire creative play.

2. Don't buy toys every time you visit the grocery/general goods store. There are a bunch of times each year that Sammy is given presents. His birthday, grandparents coming to town, Easter, Valentine's Day... Ect. It seems like gifts are given a lot more for our kids than they were when we were growing up. If your child gets a toy each time they leave the house the excitement of wanting something and then receiving it is gone. Also it teaches delayed gratification. Sometimes wanting something is more fun than actually having that item.

3. Stick a couple of things away for later in the year. If the relatives give a nice toy but it is getting lost in the crowd- put it away and bring it out on a rainy day or when you hear the I'm bored whine. That present gets the limelight that day and it helps them use what they've been given.

4. Pump your kiddos up about giving. Involve them in the process of selecting presents for their parent, their sibling, grandparents, ect... Give them an opportunity to see how great it feels to have someone unwrap something you've gifted them. This year we've adopted a child to bless and shopping for that child will be great.

5. Have an activity at Christmas that does not involve playing with toys. Baking and decorating sugar cookies, a gingerbread house, or an arts and craft activity that they can delve into to give their mind a break from the "Oh my goodness TOYSSSS'' chaos that always comes with opening presents. Show them that Christmas is not about things but people and spending time together.

6. Finally set a good example. Say Thank You. Work on Thank you notes together. Take a walk. Sammy and I are going to do some really nice Yoga Gratitude Sessions together where we talk about how it feels to be with family during special times.

7. Scale back on the amount of relatives you exchange gifts with. Nothing is worse than an hour plus of everyone opening things. I don't exchange with my sister. I think she is wonderful but it is easier to just buy for the kiddos and not worry about wrapping another thing.
Hope this helps! I like to scale it back during Christmas because spending thousands can be really stressful. No one should go into debt to celebrate!

Monday, November 17, 2014


Today my little one turned four. I have always wanted to be a mother, and pictured my family in my head a million times before I was married. I always wondered if the reality would be as magical as my imaginings. Would I have a boy and a girl? Would they be kind and sweet or spunky and wild? Or all of that? My greatest wish was for a sweet and affectionate child. Just someone who was good and saw the wonder in the world. My wish was granted the moment Samuel came into this world.

He came into this world talking. He has always been making noise and checking things out. Looking for the root of things- finding out what makes things work and enjoying every second of learning and interacting. He also is deeply kind. The other night I asked him what he was most thankful for after a long day of fun and his birthday party- he simply said..."You". He told me his wish to Santa was to have Grandpa come back from Heaven. And I know that isn't what he truly wants but what he wants for me. I feel like we've done something right to have such a deeply empathetic human on our hands. He is such a sweet and happy child.

He also knows his own mind. He isn't afraid to tell you what he's thinking or ask for what he really wants. He can share and take turns - and is so amazing to watch while he is playing with other children. I love that he is always gentle. If another child is crying he will try to help. He always does his best in every situation. 

Sammy loves his family so much. He always wants to facetime his Aunt Ashwee. He wants to go see Papa and Grandma. The dogs are like his siblings and he tirelessly advocates for their extra food and extra time outside. He knows what makes them happy and if he can get it for them- that is his mission.

In a few weeks we send Sammy off to his first academic experience. He will attend a Montessori school hopefully until it is time for middle school. We are so excited to see how he blossoms in his new environment. He is thrilled to pack his lunch.

Samuel Tiberius. You are such a wonderful addition to our lives and such a blessing from God. We could not have imagined a more special and loved son. It is our mission as parents to see you have whatever you need from us to do your life's work- whatever you decide that it should be. We could not be more proud of the person you are and that you are becoming. I'll eat you up I love you so!

Walking Around...

Walking Around...
Here are the choices we've made this year for Winter boots. First are the Gap Duck Boots. I am in love with these (maybe because I have a similar pair and we can be twinsies!) I love the durability and the classic look. I know these will hold their value well and I can spice them up with some red laces. They also are very warm and perfect for building a snowman. These are our choice for actual play outside.
If we just need to run an errand or hop towards school- the Hunter boots are our pick. Sammy has these in yellow and they are amazing. Worth every penny. I recently purchased the cobalt blue mustache liner for the boots so they transition into Winter well. He can put these on himself, they towel dry if you need them to go on top of a cubby- and a generally no muss no fuss. Excellent for anything where we might be trekking through the snow for under fifteen minutes. 
Last year we got the bogs and while I love them... They're $50. I got the Gap boots for $22 ($44 with 50% off coupon) and the Hunter Boots were $35 on sale. I just can't justify paying more money for something that has a bit of a younger look to it. They were warm and lovely just expensive. 
Happy First Snow!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Spending Sunday Together

Sunday has become our day. My husband works third shift these days. He is a Mechanical Engineer and they need support from his team overnight so right now he needs to sleep during the day on Sunday. Any other day we make it work easily- but Sunday became an issue.

Sammy seems to wake my husband on Sundays when we were hanging in the house. He would get the dogs all crazy and sleep became impossible. I decided we would get out of the house and do an activity every Sunday to let him sleep.

So far we've done a train ride, the zoo, children's museum, and a hike. Now that the weather has started to turn we are pretty limited in the activities we can do outside. We also have a membership to the Y so we can swim or play games there. Could be much worse!

It's kind of nice to have a day where I can schedule things with friends and not miss time with my husband. I can also spend time with my sister and brother in law and know Sammy is deepening his family ties. It's nice to have a day where I basically have to not be home.

I also don't have Sunday to clean... I feel like my cleaning woes are just never-ending. I have to get smarter about things but I assigned the hubs some more chores and have decided that we're working on decluttering our home and getting rid of the things we don't use any more. That should help me keep things cleaned up. Sunday mornings I have to make sure the laundry is done so we can have clothes for the week, the groceries need to be purchased and all bills/mail need to be prepared so Monday can come with some grace.

As I become better at this dance I will report back some tips and tricks for making this work for us. We try to be really socially active in our community and I am finding we just don't have enough time in the day. That's true for everyone I think!

Monday, November 3, 2014



I am just in love with these amazing Zara quilted trousers. They are pretty adorable! Paired them with a flannel from Gap. This one is really color saturated and I liked that against the muted pants. I think a really traditional plaid would be great too. I have some boots with this look from Carters. I like the hipster vibe this morning I guess! I also have some chucks and some Livie and Luca shoes that would be good too. At first I thought these pants would be hard to get to look right on Sammy- but after playing with them I think they are pretty easy to rock!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide- #4 Backpacks

Holiday Gift Guide- #4 Backpacks

1) Skip Hop. I love these little things. They are a great size for a little adventure or a couple of items sent to school. I think these a better for 5 and under where they don't have actual books that need to come home. 
2) Fjallraven Mini Kanken. These are very cute and hot right now! Sammy is getting one of these for Christmas. I love that the bag is really stuffable.
3) Land's End. These are kind of iconic I think. They have new cute prints and the quality is amazing. 
4) Land of Nod. These are new this year and very cute. I love the whimsical look. Kind of like the skip hop this is best for a younger child as a toddler/preschooler backpack.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide #3 Toys

Holiday Gift Guide #3 Toys

1) Playmags. These are something that Sammy's class at school use and they are obsessed. I confirmed with his teacher that it has been like this for months and the magnetic toys are a total hit. I found these on Amazon and there a few sizes of the sets. If you are a grandparent looking for an educational toy - get this.

2) Balancing Cactus. This is from Plan Toys and can be found on their website or Amazon. This is pretty and made of wood so it is a great unique toy. This really stimulates their creative brains!

3) Melissa and Doug Airplane Set. I love these sets, they hold up really well and make stunning gifts. We're not super fond of plastic things at our house so these are cool and colorful enough for even the most imaginative kiddo.

4) Plan Toys Fire Engine. I like this one because it is simple. And there are not a million small plastic pieces that are going to get totally broken off.

5) Hape Happy Family Car. I got this from Amazon. This is one of Sammy's Christmas presents (don't tell him!) I think this is freaking adorable! Just so cute and I like that he can pretend with it being a family car. Just seems so sweet. Sammy has an affinity for a barbie car so I wanted to get him something all of his own. My husband is evolved but the giant bubble gum pink barbie Beetle is not his favorite thing ever...

These are just a few of the items I really like that I've seen in the natural eco friendly kiddo section. I probably am not the greatest authority on toys since we don't watch TV and I have not seen a commercial in years. But if you're looking for a toy that is natural, sustainable, and really cool consider these. There is nothing at all wrong with plastic toys - we just try to avoid them because they are not always make to be hand me downs. I try to find things that are well made and look great.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide- #2 Accessories

Holiday Gift Guide- #2 Accessories

Welcome to part two of my little holiday series. This series is basically aimed at gift giving for fun little boys and their moms! These are all items that I intend on buying for Sammy or items that are similar to gift we've gotten and loved.
1. These slippers are so freaking adorable! They are from Hanna Andersson who has some great stuff out this year. Usually I skip that place right on by but they are really amazing this season. 
2. These gloves are great. They would photograph amazingly for holiday photos and add a little something to your cold winter mornings. From Hanna Andersson as well/ 
3. This hat is simple but packs an amazing punch. The design could not be more fun. Old Navy! 
4. Flannel PJs make a great gift. These are a favorite with moms because you can usually get quite a bit of wear out of these and in transition months put a tee on with the pants and that look is pretty darned cute as well! These are from Gap. Carters has some great ones out (deer antlers) and Gap has several great pairs. Pottery Barn has them but they aren't my style but cute none-the-less!
Happy Holiday Shopping!

Friday, October 24, 2014

We're One!!! Plus a Giveaway!

Happy One Year to Pinwheels and Trains! I am so excited to be here at this moment!! I could go on and on but let's cut to the chase! A giveaway! This is an adorable Fox hat I found at Target! Please enter for a chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Holiday Gift Guide- #1 Tees

Holiday Gift Guide- #1 Tees
Row #1- Tea Collection. These are great for gifts. The brand is luxurious and really holds up well. Moms love this brand! The colors are so saturated and look great in pictures and with so many outfits.
Row #2 Gap. They have a bunch of great new shirts in. They are a fabulous place to look. I really love the two here and will probably pick them up! These shirts are just cool. Totally a nice casual addition to any wardrobe and like Gap is know for lately- give it that special edge!
Row #3- Hanna Andersson. She is totally on her game this season and I could blow $1K in there easily. Second is Boden. They have a few good things in there this season. This one is really cool and would look nice in photos!

Announcing Holiday Gift Guide Series!

Hello! With the holidays fast approaching I decided to start a little holiday gift giving guide. (To the naysayers that this is before Halloween even... I know a LOT of us need to have Christmas gifts done and dusted before everything gets crazy!) Stay tuned for several gift guides for the little dudes in your life. I will start out with different types of clothing that I've found here and there that I think would make great gifts!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Sorry for the lack of posting. I try to be more regular but things have been a little chaotic in my life. I have posted here that my Grandfather was sick from Pancreatic Cancer and that I was scared he didn't have long left.

Sadly he died last Saturday. It was a really nice day out with my family. Saturday is our family day as my husband's work schedule is limiting. We went to Target and Best Buy. We were heading for some lunch at Firehouse subs when my mom called. I kinda knew. He died at noon. Very peacefully which is a relief.  He was on some anxiety and pain medicine and I know that really helped everyone. Suffering is horrible to watch and cancer is pretty horrible.

All in all I feel pretty robbed by cancer if I am telling you the truth. He was so fit. Still so active until about a  year and a half ago. He could mend anything- put together anything and repair everything. He was probably one the smartest people I ever will know. I had never considered my children not knowing my Grandfather or him seeing them grow up. I have an eleven year old cousin that he won't see graduate middle school and another not yet done with high school. I know we all loved each other the best we possibly could. I believe that he's in Heaven so there is a lot of peace in that.

We traveled to Atlanta to see my mom and grandmother. It was surreal to be in their home without him there any longer. My parents moved around so often that my grandparents home really represents my childhood home most of all- more memories and good times there. It was hard but I feel like we're all processing and moving forward as these things go. Sammy has been so much help. I just wanted to get this out there- two relatives passing away within a month of each other has been draining and I feel like I've been running a marathon. My to do list will one day get shorter and this season will pass. I am really ready for this one to pass.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Fall Pictures

Fall Pictures
Fall pictures are some of my favorite. I love the colors! Here are some of my best tips for great school pictures.
1. Pick something that is pretty neutral colored. You never know what kind of crazy background they are working with for school/preschool pictures. 
2. You want your kiddo to be comfy. They are going to be at school all day. I like to do an outfit that is pretty much an everyday outfit- just styled up a notch to look nice and interesting without being formal.
3. Add in interesting details that can be left out. Here the plaid shirt can be folded down and hidden if it contrasts too much with the background. I just let his teacher or the photographer know. A vest or a hat. Something with some personality but nothing that can't be removed if it does not work out.
4. Hair needs to be something they can mess up a bit and still look nice. If I full on gel Sammy's hair I know it won't be too great when they finally take him back. I try to use a pomade to get it mostly looking decent and instruct his teacher to comb it a bit and wet it if there is an issue. Pictures after lunch are pretty much a disaster!
5. Skip trendy/prints/patters/characters... unless you absolutely want to look back on that photo in 20 years and see the outfit and not the child.
6. Keep in mind your child's coloring. If they look great in blue make sure there is some blue near their face. If they look washed out in orange skip it for pictures.
7. Finally remember that you don't have to buy them if they turn out badly. We got three prints last time and just used an actual photographer. I think the cost was pretty similar but you mainly want to take the pressure off of yourself. With this digital picture age, you likely have thousands of great shots to remember these days by- hating a school photo won't be a big deal.
8. If you have instructions write them on a card and hand them to the teacher. Such as - wet hair if sticking up and comb down. leave off blue shirt if clashes with the background. please dont force smiles want a natural look. Just little instructions that might help the pictures go better since you can't be there.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014



First quad is from Gap. Set from Carters. Peanut tee: Target. Boots & yellow shirt: Tea.

Truthfully. I did find a lot of great stuff that was interesting. There isn't a bunch at Target I just have to have right now. They usually kill me in the Genuine Kids label but there isn't anything I really would buy without a 50% markdown. 
Tea has just what I put here. Maybe a Patagonia jacket but I can't really justify the price when I have more than enough. 
Carters sets interestingly enough will probably be my next splurge/major buy. They have a bunch that I am interested in. And they only go to a 4T so this will be my last size run for Sammy in these. Kind of sad, but again time prepares us for changes because we've really moved on a lot of the things we bought there. When he was small almost everything came from there. 
We've been really loving skinny jeans for this time of year. Sammy is pretty solidly into a 4T in those. Funny how items meant to fit close to him we're truer to size. If it's baggy we can fit into smaller sizes because he's just a skinny kiddo. 
My process is usually to identify the things I think should be purchased. Then I wait. I won't pay more than 50% MSRP. And no where near that on the Old Navy and Carters stuff. Tea I will pay more because I can resell that on one of the Tea BST resell pages on Facebook. Gap too for the most part. So far I have been hanging onto all clothes for an eventual second child- but I know at some point I will be doing a massive online destash and hopefully sending some of these great pieces onto new homes. 

Tripp Trapp....

Tripp Trapp....

Our highchair journey was pretty intense. We started out having a counter height table and our options were very limited. We ended up first with the Fisher Price Space Saver highchair. It was fine. More than fine. The issue ended up being that my son pushed himself off of the table and landed onto the ground. Anyone that knows Sammy knows that he can be accident prone. We didn't need the stress of another injury.

Even before we purchased the space saver - I just could not find a highchair I really loved. I thought the Stokke would be too expensive and I wasn't sure if the features were really for me. I thought it was cute but not sure it was the best choice. And of course at first we were very limited in what would extend to a tall table. 

To solve this problem I started researching. I moved us over to the smaller table that was normal height. At this point Sammy was nearly two and we really needed something that we could justify purchasing. The highchair we did have did nothing to prevent him pushing back. Relying on a toddler to not hurt himself isn't a go-to plan. After much research we landed on the Tripp Trapp by Stokke. It is a classic and can last Sammy until he's an adult. The features of this high chair directly addressed our two main concerns- will this purchase be worth the money long term? And- will this chair prevent him from tipping back and hurting himself?

First off the chair is rated to 300 lbs. It configures itself in a few ways so that we will be able to use this for a long time.The chair isn't distracting. It blends in with our furniture and Sammy is so proud to be sitting right up at the table. The footrest is very adjustable and we move it around as he grows. It was $150 and worth every penny. It still looks brand new.

There are special feet that prevent tipping. You can see them on the image on the right on the bottom of the chair at the end. Any force that pushes the chair backwards forces the chair to just slide backwards rather than tipping with these little feet placed correctly. I did a little research and all reviews I found with issues, the owner had not correctly installed this attachment.(There were a few ominous YouTube videos where the kid pushes against the table and the dad pushes the child back with his foot... no attachment).

At nearly 4 Sammy cannot undo the buckle himself. He still prefers to be buckled in the chair. He claims it is so he won't chase the cat. Preschoolers are basically hilarious. Most of the time he can buckle himself but sometimes needs assistance.

We plan to get a second one of these after we have another child (whenever that way may be) and have a pair of these chairs. They make baby kits so you can use it earlier than we did. The classic design and function of this high chair remind me why I love Stokke. I just wish their cribs were less expensive.

We did purchase the chair from for about $150. We have the natural signature edition and love it. We also purchased a cushion for the chair and have been absolutely pleased with it. Wipes down very easily, stays in place, and is holding up extremely well. It looks brand new.

A couple of little tips from me to you. First, after you are done using the chair- slip the buckles over the sides of the chair so you can easily use them again. They do have a tendency to get tucked in and under your kiddo. Secondly- the bottom buckle is long and will get tucked under your child's bum. Just make sure it is hanging down before they sit down completely.

Monday, September 29, 2014



These early Fall days are harder to get your kiddos ready! Mostly because there can be a large temperature swing. Mornings here are pretty chilly. Afternoons are warm enough for shorts. Getting Sammy dressed for school in the morning knowing he will be outside later in the day can be tricky. Here's how we tackled this issue today. 
We went with a short sleeved shirt and his Zara suspender jeans. He can run and play in this and it won't be too hot if it hits the upper 70s. The zip off jacket from Gap he can take off himself. It is pretty warm but the knit is loose and breathable. I love his chucks because they don't have any lining that traps in heat so it works out pretty well for both extremes of that day. 


I spent all night watching reruns of Parenthood. Does anyone else every basically thumb their nose at being an adult and make stupid decisions?!

So.. that clearly lead to a great morning. Sammy was pretty good, my patience was thin but I was managing. Until he decided that listening is for other kids. We had a nice talk about that we need to listen. When I say talk I more mean lecture. Because he's 3. Which is my basic excuse for all behavior. He is a three year old and we're practicing being a member of society.

Not sure how I will ever get him to listen though. Sage words of advice are always welcome. Timeouts are ok, they are moderately effective but I know we have a great deal of room for growth in the area of listening.

Today was the first day of a full week back to work after my Aunt passed. I feel like I am slogging through sand when walking and thinking. Sleep and a to do list a mile long isn't making for great days. I know I will get it all under control. My fear is that I am going to get it under control just in time for my Grandfather to pass. He doesn't have too long. Maybe we should just hang out in chaos land so I can put it all back together just once. We'll get there. Cycle of life and all that.

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.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Attachment Parenting- Rocking my Toddler.

I have always considered myself an attachment parent and think overall that style/method of parenting has worked well for Sammy. I also consider myself a common sense type of parent and hope to not be raising the most spoiled kid on the planet. So I do find that is a tough line of grey area.

Often when something goes wrong, my husband is more apt to use a timeout. I am more apt to try to distract and comfort out of the situation. I consider my son not getting what he wants/ getting to continue to act up as the natural consequence and my husband considers the time out the actual consequence. Usually we make this work and have a good understanding. I try to be consistent and positive.

This morning Sammy was in full on I don't want to listen mode. Throwing laundry down the stairs, which at the time seemed pretty horrific. He also didn't want to get dressed and did not want to go to school today. Sammy is so similar to me sometimes. We both need a few minutes in the morning to sit in bed and let our brains catch up to our bodies. We need that down time and relaxed morning to ease into the day. Only a few minutes but they are critical. We were not making good time this morning.

After I corrected him for throwing said clothing down the stairs- he started crying. My stress levels were off of the charts. We're going to be late. Why am I so late... All of the negative crap I poison myself with. He sat on my lap for a second and said he needed a blanket. A few second more he hopped down, wrapped himself in his bamboo blanket and said.. "Mama rock me."

So for a  few minutes this morning that all stopped. I  got to rock my sweet little (or not so little) three year old boy. I know these moments are fleeting. There are only so many more times in his life I will get to be a comfort to him in that way. It was heaven. He smiled sweetly and I could see the little baby he once was all snuggled up. I know it will be one of the moments I look back on when he is an adult.

In that moment I was so glad I have done things the way I have. That I have chosen physical comfort in times of intense emotions so that he knows that there is a safe place to come to when things are overwhelming.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Top Threes... for my Three Year Old!

Top Threes... for my Three Year Old!

1) Bear Set Carters 2) Raglan Carterse 3) Sweatshirt Carters 4) Gap 5) Vest Gap 6) Jeans Gap
7) Pirate Shirt Boden 8) Red Pants Boden 8) Sweater Boden

Summer Break

First off, sorry for the lack of posts around here. I try to update 2-3 times a week with something worth reading. I just felt uninspired. I don't know if it is Summer boy's clothing or just too much of a hipster influence/classic influence that were at odds with each other in my mind but I wasn't up for awesome boys clothing. It honestly took everything in me to get Sammy to look cute for the Summer. With the temps being a bit cooler lately I think I am starting to get this back in the right direction.

Second- sick Grandpa. My grandfather is battling Pancreatic Cancer. Well losing to be more exact. If anyone had a chance, I really though it would be him but that is seemingly not the case. He is very thin and I am scared we won't see another Summer with him. I am pretty certain that is the case. I don't have much experience with death at 32. I feel so blessed for that, but I am just out of my depth and very sad.

Lastly- trying to juggle one million little details and take care of my family. Like everyone else. I am just not doing a great job of it lately. I took on some added responsibility in my extended family and honestly it is more overwhelming than I expected given my limited bandwidth. I am getting there though. I just need to have more time in the day and a clean house.

I do have a few posts planned for this week. What we are getting for Fall, good shoe choices, and online shopping tips for getting great pieces.

Happy Summer! Hope everyone is enjoying these last few weeks and school starting!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Summer Break

sorry for the lack of posts lately. Things are so busy and I know after the 4th things will slow down a bit. I would rather take my time and post good content than rush just for pageviews.


Thursday, June 26, 2014

After School Hangouts

This week has been fairly low key. Until last night. We had a wonderful birthday party starting after I got home from work. I do try to plan a few things after work so that Sammy and I are active when we might otherwise be sitting on the couch. We have plans tonight for Karate! This week is much busier now than when it started.

It does take a lot of extra planning to get us places when we have really limited free time. I have to head home during lunch to get the dogs let out and get them some dinner. I try to take my lunch very late in the day- like 3pm- so I can make this work.

I put the adventure pack in my car so we're not in the pool with zero sunscreen! I also have housework and laundry and meal prep that sometimes just gets let go. I try to make dinner every night and get something packed up for lunches the next day. I failed on both of those fronts last night. Sometimes things just don't matter as much as having a great time with my boy. At least last night they didn't.

Being a working mom- sometimes I don't always have the choice of spend time with Sammy or get things done around the house. I have to multitask. We get home pretty much at 6pm. I have to get dinner started and on the table pretty quickly. Lunches, clothes, necessities for the next day all have to be prepared and usually some sort of laundry needs to be done. I would love to get home and spend the two hours before Sammy goes to bed just hanging out with him - but it doesn't happen as often as I would like for it to. That is another reason I really make an effort to get us out of the house at least one night per work week. I wish it could be more but right now I am really getting by and doing all I can do balance everything.

My living room is a gigantic toy disaster and I have not found the time to clean it- or have Sammy help me clean it. Everywhere else is pretty much ok with the exception of my room which has folded clothes in laundry baskets, stuff on the floor, and a desperate need of the vacuum. One day.

Hoping I find the time and motivation to get the house perfectly clean and keep it that way- but the more days my living room looks like a growing train station... well let's just say I am starting to think a clean house is a myth that Martha Stewart is shilling for pageviews.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Outfits Ideas!

Outfits Ideas!

1- I love this simple striped tee from Carters. Looks really sharp with a nice pair of denim shorts. I try to find some pieces with more shape to them. A lot of boys' shorts are very loose through the leg and that shape is not always the most flattering and fashionable. I do think they are great for playing in - so it's all about balance. 
2- Rainy Summers call for some fun colors. I love this Boden tee. I have been shying away from Boden recently as nothing was really speaking to me. This shirt does in a big way. I love them with these Gap knit pants. Colorful chucks give it a fun finish. I try to find knits with more shape- around the ankle to be precise. You are better off getting something that is not wide leg when it comes to knit pants to give it a current feel.
3- This Gap tee is pretty cute. They have some great tees over there. I liked these seersucker Carters shorts and some sneakers. Sock tip. H&M and Zara both have ankle socks for summer. Try to get these instead of wearing regular socks with lower shoes. Nothing kills the look like tall socks. 
Happy Summer!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Rainy Day Thursday

It's been a tough week. Sammy went to the park Tuesday night and if you follow is on Instagram you know we ended up in urgent care. 

We went to a lovely wooden playset in the next town over. They oiled it - even the plastic slides. Sammy ended up with oil all over him. He slipped on the mulch and hit a wooden pole on the eyebrow. 

A lot of glue later and some tears he's on the mend. Its been rough. I feel pretty traumatized. After it happened we contacted the city and they closed the park for inspection. Thankfully. I don't want any more accidents. 

He's still the most adorable thing on the planet even with a bluish eye.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Outfit Ideas

Week of Clothing!

I have decided to go with fewer looks to give me more space and flexibility to create unique looks. 
The first outfit is meant to be fun for a little guy. Often I get too worked up about my son's clothing and forget that he wants to wear something fun. So a little Buzz and Woody does the trick here. I like this Old Navy version because it isn't over the top or too much. It is simple and sweet. 

I am really into a denim vest. I am sure 10 years ago Andrea is in the corner rolling her eyes but I love them! I paired this with a pair of red cutoffs and the sunray Nike sandals. I like that this gives the look an extra layer. A little tip here is that often the denim vest is in the girls' section. 

Lastly H&M suspenders with a Carters tee. I love this Carters shirt. Inside air condition can be really cold so I do like to sometimes get Sammy in a little more clothing. I don't want him to overheat but it is really cold inside. 

Summer really is going great. We are swimming and enjoying ourselves so much. I wish it could be summer year round sometimes. Then I remember my love for Fall and take it back. But Summer until Fall until Summer would be an acceptable solution.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Fall Roundup

Fall Roundup

Gap has some great stuff for fall. Think about layering so that less overall clothing is needed. Add a long sleeved shirt under a summer tee to give that tee more usage. This heathered cardigan is amazing. The jacket is perfect for Fall as well. The blue track pants are a great bright blue and just perfect for cold days inside. 

H&M continues to impress. This denim shirt is a find. I think paired with a pair of green chinos from last season that were a generous size- it will be a nice mix of style. The jeans are really reasonably priced at $10. I love their suspenders. I do have the Zara pair from Spring. I will use those next year since their sizing is large. 

Carters doesn't have much yet. We do have some staple pieces from there I will probably keep purchasing like their denim when it goes on sale. They usually don't have great sweaters which is something I will need to pick up as we transition to Winter.

The key to having great style on a budget is making pieces work for you. Grab those statement pieces and make them work within your child's current wardrobe. Think outside of the box- Can this be layered to make it seasonally appropriate? Is it constructed in a way that makes it fit longer and look stylish? Can these be rolled up and paired with tall sneakers for another look when they get shorter? 

Genuine Kids will probably be key as the seasons change. I always like to plan ahead for seasonal changes in clothing as I usually have a hard time finding the perfect thing and I don't want to spend more than $20-$30 at one time. 

Lastly, don't be afraid to join a resale group to sell of clothing that has been outgrown. You can get good prices for clothes and often trade for a bigger size. Thinking creatively about fashion and saving money is key to saving and looking great.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Summer Suncreen Tips

Sammy is clearly very fair. He not only has red hair but also freckles and very light skin. He burns easily and becomes red very quickly. We have never seen a severe burn on his skin. Just 1-2 bad burns before the age of twelve can increase risk of skin cancer by 50%. Those are some serious numbers. We take sun protection seriously.

First apply before you get outside in the sun. For us this means before we head to the pool, I cover anything that will see sunlight. His trunks also ride up a bit so I make sure to get that skin as well. Ears are easily forgotten and the back of the neck so try to make a mental reminder to get everything. I prefer a mineral sunblock like California Baby or Honest Company. I have had excellent results with both. This year we're using Honest Company because it was on sale and I had a coupon.

The FDA regulates sunblock. They will all prevent sunburn when used properly. Any sunblock that is applied correctly is better than the most expensive sunblock applied incorrectly or infrequently. Environmental Working Group also has a great reference for added materials inside of popular sunblock brands. The Babyganics brand was very highly rated last year and we keep that at Sammy's school for recess.

The roll up sticks are great for little spaces like noses and ears. I love that they are extremely portable and nice if you are say going on a hike and need to bring just a little of something with you. 

Make use of hats, rash guards, and longer swimming attire when possible. Sunblock is great but if you can have a swimsuit that has added UPF there is overall less risk of exposure.

Have a plan to reapply. Read the directions and make sure you are applying before it say you need to. We generally reapply every swim break at the pool or every hour when hiking. If I need to set a timer I do, just so that I can remember that Sammy needs more sunblock.

Stash a tube in your purse just in case. Don't be caught outside without it. I have a little adventure pack in my car for emergencies and I find that having a tube in the car and one in my purse means that I am generally covered for anything. Getting one tube is more economical but if you are like me and need duplicates of things just plan ahead and grab a backup.

Hope these tips  help keep you and your family sunburn free this summer. The sun feels wonderful but with skin cancer on the rise slather up and protect yourself!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Week of Clothing Wednesday!

Week of Clothing Wednesday!

Monday- H&M shorts, Gap Tee.
Tuesday- H&M shorts, Gap Tee.. (yikes! I need an intervention with those stores!)
Wednesday- Gap jeans and Carters shirts. They have some really cute whimsical shirts for Summer)
Thursday- Gap through and through. They have a really nice summer collection.
Friday- Cutoffs and a Carters tee. We really are loving those Nike Sunrays!

As Sammy gets older I am really depending less on Carters and more on Gap and Zara. H&M lately has been catching my eye. Zara's items don't export well and most things are shown on hangers which doesn't help us here. They do have some great pieces.

While I adore Carters and think they are the best all-around kids' clothing company - their items run a bit perpendicular to our style. Sometimes we can add a piece or two to give his overall look some cute pieces with a heavy bit of whimsy and playfulness- but often they are too "cutsey" for our purposes. I do really like their basics. Carter's sales beat out everyone else in my opinion. So I am really hoping that turns around and I can continue to get great things there. I do see myself keeping up with them and making good use of their sales for those basic items we need every year.

Happy Beginning of Summer

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Adventure Pack

Adventure Pack

I love these little backpacks from Skip Hop. They are pretty small so I can't pack a ton of things we don't need while out. Summer is coming up and today I thought I would share the things we need on a daily basis for our adventures. Aren't you glad I didn't call them our essentials. 
First off is bug spray. We do a ton of hiking and the ticks are out of control. I really like the California Baby version because it has been very effective so far. I also use the Honest Company's sunblock. It isn't really thick and goopy and I can rub it in easily. Now you can purchase at Buybuybaby so that is really much easier than ordering. 
I like to have sunglasses on hand because sometimes the glare from ponds can be blinding. Sammy is really sensitive to sunlight. I also try to bring a hat along for the same reason. Sammy is very fair skinned and I try to be smart about the sunlight. The toddler area at the pool is also not shaded in the slightest and any bit of coverage I can get from things like hats I take gratefully. 
I try to always have a water bottle for the two of us along. I try to avoid plastics because of the BPA so this glass one from Lifefactory is one of our favorites. The little munchkin bags are to help us not litter and for any kind of dirty clothes we encounter. I keep them in the little jujube quick. I pack a full change of clothes down to socks. That I sometimes leave in the car outside of the pack but try to always have that change of clothes. 
This pack works for us for the pool, hiking, the park, or anything that comes up for us to. We take our adventures very seriously around here.