Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What They Wore

The weather here in Iowa has been very mild so far this fall (today's high temp is going to be around 77 degrees which makes this cold weather hater happy!) so the kids have been able to get even more use out of their summer wardrobes this year.  That pleases me since I was able to score some great deals on summer clothes at the end of the season.  I was a bit worried that living here in the midwest they might only get to wear my late summer bargains for a few weeks, but it's almost November and the weather has been cooperating nicely.  Some mornings we (we being the girls) do need a little something warmer so we throw a cardy over their outfits and they're ready to go!

Here are a few photos of what the kids have been wearing lately:

Target top, baby Gap skirt

baby Gap shirt, Old Navy cargos

One of my late summer bargains -
Persnickety top and coolots

Plaid shirt by Fore!!Axel and Hudson, white tee from Target,
Old Navy cargos

Another late summer deal -
Persnickety top and coolots

An e-bay deal!
Matilda Jane Peppermint dress
Apparently I don't know how to rotate photos so I apologize!
Old Navy top, flower pin from Claire's, Matilda Jane Gentry skirt

Matilda Jane Milky Way tee and Dairy Queen skirt.  

I'm trying to do a better job of remembering to take photos of the kids actually wearing the clothes!  

I'm sure that Mother Nature will show her true colors soon and we'll finally be able to break out some of our Fall Fashions, but for now I'm enjoying the warmer temps and the prolonged use of our summer wardrobes!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Party Picks

Once upon a time (a long, long time ago) I wrote this post about the infinite party theme ideas that swim around in my head continuously, and my intention was to make it a regular thing but somewhere along the way that idea was lost.  Lucky for you, I found it:)

The Little Man's 3rd birthday is fast approaching and even though a theme has already been chosen I couldn't help but to peek around the web at a few other fun ideas for boys.

Check out these amazing birthday party ideas for boys!
Rainbow art party seen on Project Nursery.
Super hero theme with fresh and unexpected colors featured on Amy Atlas.
Full party details here.
A fun and unique "One-Eyed Monster" theme featured on Amy Atlas.
More pictures and details here.

How amazing is this table inspired by the movie Cars 2?
Check out the full post here.

Construction Zone party (our choice this year!) featured
on Amy Atlas.  Check it out here.

Awesome Lego party from Anders Ruff.

How fun are those???  And don't worry, I've got lots of equally awesome theme ideas for girls too and I'll be sharing some of them soon!

Monday, October 1, 2012

What We {THEY} Wore

I really liked the way that the 3 W's in the title "What We Wore" looked and sounded, but then I realized that "we" generally includes the "me" or "I" that is speaking/writing and since I prefer not to flaunt photos of myself in my various sweatpant/t-shirt combos there really is no "we" here.  So this is a post about what THEY wore.

And actually it's not so much a post as it is some photos, so enjoy!

Rylee's 1st day of school outfit - shirt and skirt from Gymboree,
shoes by Nina kids.

Addyson's 1st day of school outfit - dress from Seaside Swank collection
by Swanky Baby Vintage, leggings from baby Gap and Lelli Kelly shoes.

Rosette dress from Candy Coated Carnival collection
by Swanky Baby Vintage, leggings from baby Gap. 

Top and pants from Candy Coated Carnival collection by
Swanky Baby Vintage.

I forgot to photograph the child actually wearing this outfit - oops!
Matilda Jane "Emilia" dress and "Scrappy" leggings.

Another childless outfit!
Shirt from Old Navy, skirt by Persnickety Clothing.

And yes, my son does wear clothes and I will be taking photos of him too for future posts.  I don't always have my camera handy and my kids don't always cooperate so I have to work with what I have for now, but stayed tuned for more "What We They Wore" posts!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Deals and Steals

Who doesn't love a good deal?  Am I right?  Of course I'm right.  Duh.  I'm always on the look out for a good deal, but I'm especially frugal when it comes to buying things for myself for a few reasons:

1.  I think we've established that I enjoy shopping for my kids waaaaay more than I enjoy shopping for myself (and yes, I know that seems to crazy to most people but I'm ok with that).  This means that I also spend more money on their wardrobes than I spend on my own, so I have to be on the look out for bargains.
2.  My mom "uniform" consists mostly of sweatpants, leggings and a few pairs of jeans, along with some oversized t-shirts and sweatshirts and a few hoodies.  If I'm at home (or even out running errands) I insist on being comfortable.  Believe it or not, I do not roam around my home or Wal-Mart decked out in trendy outfits and fancy shoes with a full set of accessories adorning my neck, wrists and ears.  Most days make-up doesn't make it onto my face and there seems to be a bobby pin permanently attached to my bangs.  Don't get me wrong, I love all things fashion but I'm no Emily Maynard all dolled up in the car line or on the sidelines at the soccer game.
I'm sure that when I tell people that my degree is in fashion merchandising they think that I am lying through my teeth.  In my defense, I do make sure that my sweatpants/shirt/shoes coordinate somewhat and that I'm not wearing anything dirty or ripped:)  And I have never worn slippers or actual pajama garments out in public.  If I happen to be making an appearance at one of the kid's schools or actually spending time with other grown ups (you know - like going out to dinner or having drinks or something fun like that?) then I always make an effort to look put together and fashionable, but any other time it's full on comfort for this momma!
What was the point to reason #2???  Oh yeah, basically the moral of the story is this:  since I rarely "dress up" I prefer not to spend a lot of money on articles of clothing (or shoes or accessories) that will not be worn frequently.  If I'm going to spend a large sum of money on an item, then it needs to be a staple piece in my wardrobe and be worn often.  Gone are the days of purchasing a new outfit every weekend so as not to be seen wearing the same thing twice!  Items must be practical, versatile and reasonably priced for me to buy them!

This post is a little wordy considering that my point in writing it was simply to show off a few of the deals and steals that I've brought home recently, so without further ado here you go:

Expres handbag - regular price $59.90, MY price $17.99.

Target earrings - regular price $7.99, MY price $3.98.

Big Buddha shoes - regular price $39.99, MY price $13.99.

And of course, some things for the kiddos (or just Cooper in this case):

"Charlie Brown" shirt by Fore!!Axel and Hudson - regular price $38, MY price $18.

"Midnight" sweater by Fore!!Axel and Hudson - regular price $38, MY price $18.

"El Ace 2" by Puma - regular price $42, MY price $9.97 (these were actually
on sale for $24.99 but I used an Amazon gift card to lower the price even more).

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Back to School {continued}

Our 1st days of school were a success!  Rylee is officially a 1st grader and Addyson is off to Pre-K!  Even though Addyson hadn't attended her 1st day of school yet and I didn't have all of my photos uploaded I wrote this post last week sharing some fun Back to School ideas.  Now that the 1st days for both girls are behind us I have some more photos to share.

Here are our 1st Day of School photos:

Rylee the 1st grader!

Addyson the Pre-Kindergardener! 

And here are some photos of our special Back to School breakfast table set-up:

Each of the girls got a new book and a card from Mommy and Daddy.

DIY placemats, pencil bundles and an apple
at each place setting.
Last year when I was the Chair of the Parent/Teacher Committee at our preschool I purchased this printable party package to use for a Welcome Back breakfast for the staff.  One of the great things about these printable packages is that you can save the files and use them later too:)  So that's what I did!  The patterned paper on the placemats is from the printable package.  I just glued it to a sheet of yellow construction paper - and voila!  A fun placemat!

Another element from the package was an alphabet pennant banner.  I only used some of the letters because stringing all 26 of them seemed like too much work the night before school was set to start.  I used some twine to string the letters A-H along with the apple pennants on each end and I hung the banner on our bannister.  Perfect for picture taking!

Unfortunately you can't see the banner that well but it's there:)
And the kids thought it was fun!

Happy New School Year to everyone!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Back To School {Again! and Already?}

Wow! - the summer flew by and here we are again ready for Back to School.  Sort of ready.  School supplies are purchased, ice cream socials have been attended, backpacks and lunchboxes are ready to be filled, the pantry is stocked with goodies for lunches, 1st day outfits have been chosen and I've been mentally preparing myself for earlier and more chaotic mornings for the past several days (somehow just thinking about waking up earlier doesn't make it any easier though).

Today was the big day!  For Rylee anyway.  Addyson has to wait until tomorrow for her 1st day of school (Pre-K!) but she was excited for today anyway:)  She wants so badly to do everything that Rylee does!

We are so blessed that our kids absolutely love school - everything about it really.  Both of the girls love to learn (the little man hasn't started school yet but I hope that he has the same love of learning that his big sisters do) and they adore being around friends.  I am so happy that they have such a great desire to succeed and learn everything that they possibly can at such an early age.

So even though my kids don't necessarily need that extra push to get them excited about school I still try to do some special things to make this time of year as exciting and fun as possible.  Here's what I came up with this year!

Of course we alway take the annual 1st Day of School photos, but last year I found these great printable signs (and they are free!) and I thought it was a cute way to make the photos more special.  Also, this way there is no question about what year it was or how old they were when the photo was taken.  With 3 kids I need all the help I can get!  I even went ahead and downloaded all of the signs (they go all the way up to 12th grade but by then I doubt if my kids will want their pictures taken anymore!) for future use.

I haven't uploaded any pictures from this year yet but here are the girls holding their signs last year:

Free printable signs from I Heart Naptime

This year we also bought each of the girls a new book (school related stories) and left these along with a card at their place setting on the table so that when they sat down for breakfast on the 1st day of school they had a little gift waiting for them.  I dressed up each place setting with a homemade placemat, an apple and a little bundle of pencils tied with red ribbon.  
In the center of the table I used this subway art sign found here.

To make lunchtime extra special I wrote a little note and placed it under the sandwich box and also added a surprise - a small bag of chocolate chip cookies with a tag that says "You're One Smart Cookie".

Since Addyson's 1st day of school isn't until tomorrow I haven't had a chance to upload all of my photos but when I do I will be sure to post them.  In the meantime here are some other cute Back to School ideas:

Photo from eighteen25

Photo from Amy Atlas

Photo from Party Pinching
And check out my Pinterest board for more Back to School (and/or Teacher Appreciation) ideas here.
Wishing everyone a wonderful school year!!!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Designer Spotlight

Here I am again slapping my own hand for taking so much time in between "Designer Spotlight" posts.  The last one that I wrote was back in April - you can check it out here.  I got so wrapped up in planning Addyson's birthday party and then posting about it that I neglected the fashion side of things for awhile, but I'm back again with another "new" designer.

It's hard to focus on writing a post about fall clothing when the temperatures are reaching the high 90's and low 100's most days, but if you read this post from last week then you know that I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of fall and all of the glorious clothing and footwear options that it brings along.  Stirring the pot are various retailers and designers offering pre-orders (genius!) with the option to pay only a small deposit now and then pay the balance later when they actually ship the merchandise to you.  Sign me up!

If you know me at all you know that I care way more (probably too much) about my kids' wardrobes than I do my own, so most of these "Designer Spotlight" posts feature children's clothing.  Just this past spring I came across a company that was new to me and I'm so glad that I discovered this adorable brand!

Truthfully I can't remember (as with so many things that I find on the web) exactly how I came to find Swanky Baby Vintage but if I recall correctly I linked to their site through Facebook somehow.  Seems like all roads lead to Facebook and/or Pinterest these days.  Regardless of how I found this sweet little girls' line, I'm loving their clothing and so are my girls!  Check out their story here.

And here are some photos of their new Fall Collection called Prep School Swank!
P.S. - it's available for pre-order now:)