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