Thursday, December 1, 2016

From Ponte Knit to Fringe to A Cotton Target Tee, How This Mom Does Holiday Style - A $250 Nordstrom Giveaway!

Today, I'm really excited to be teaming up with the fabulous and fashionable girls over at Take Time For Style to share my take on how "Moms Do Holiday Style." 

I had grand plans to talk a bit more about what I wore for our family pictures but then thought maybe I'd write about my favorite new style item, the frindged-capelet, but as I was uploading some photos, it got me thinking- not only will there be plenty of glitz and glam shared by some fantastic ladies during the next few weeks (many whom are much more fashionable than I), but since I spend the majority of my day in jeans and t-shirts, why not share a holiday twist on my every day look? 

At first is was ponte knit pants and a dolman-sleeve sweater for family photos, paired with my all-time favorite pair of booties...

And then it was almost a fringed capelet (which totally feels like you're wearing a warm blanket) paired once again with my favorite favorite ankle boots... 

And yes, this is what it's really like taking pictures with our family. 

But ultimately, it's function over fashion that always wins out, so jeans and a santa silhouette t-shirt is what I decided to go with for today's post.

What prompted this fun and festive purchase, you might be wondering? The answer is simple. As room mom for my oldest's Kindergarten class, I wanted something merry and whimsical to wear for his upcoming class party. I first wanted to buy this shirt when it rolled out in early November but couldn't bring myself to pull the trigger before Thanksgiving. Thankfully there was a whole entire rack left when I went back to Target this week for, you guessed it, bread and laundry detergent. 

Because when does one EVER walk into Target to buy just what's on their list, especially during a holiday season? As soon as Carter saw me in this shirt, he immediately exclaimed, "Mom, you could TOTALLY be one of Santa's elves wearing that!" 

Nailed it. This year? This is how I'll be doing Mom's Holiday Style. (Just don't tell my Cyber Monday JCrew Factory purchase that...) 

T-shirt: Target
Jeans: JCrew Factory
Wellie Boots: Hunter (from $79!)

Be sure to tune in all month long to Take Time For Style's Mom's Do Holiday Fashion collaboration and check out all the many different styles shared. 

Before you go, click here to enter to 
win $250 to Nordstrom!

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A Gift Guide: What To Buy For The Toddler Boy (Ages 2-4)

A Real Dustbuster \ Plasma Car and Helmet \ Sprout Channel Tablet

Step2 Flip and Doodle Desk \ T-Ball Set \ Thomas the Tank Engine Ride-on Coaster

Table and Chair Set \ Superhero Dress Up Set

1. Laugh if you must but there will absolutely be a real dustbuster beneath the tree for our 2yo this year. Honestly? I should probably wrap a second one for my 4yo as it's been a beloved toy when we visit both my parents and our friends who have one- the best part? It actually works and costs about the same (if not less) than a "working" toy vacuum. 

2. This isn't the first time I raved about our plasma cars. Four years running, these are the MOST-PLAYED with toy in our entire house. All three of my boys have one and they spend hours racing them up and down our sidewalk. Don't forget your helmet!

3. My older boys already have Kindles and while they're great and perfectly age-appropriate for 6.5 and 4.5, I love that the Sprout Channel tablet comes pre-loaded with over 40 of your  toddler's favorite Sprout TV shows. There's games, crafts, coloring pages and more! The price point and rubber casing sweeten its appeal.

4. I love the idea of a little art station tucked away in the corner of a playroom. For years I've allowed the boys to use their kid-sized table and chairs set for arts & crafts and truth be told, they've ruined it with paint, markers and stickers. This is a great alternative to creating a safe space for little artists.

5. Another one of my 2.5yo's favorites- the T-ball set! Sure, we've probably been watching too much of The Sandlot but he loves playing baseball and running the bases in the backyard with his brothers!

6. This is a total splurge-worthy gift but at least it doesn't come with a million small pieces, am I right? I've wanted to get the boys one of these ride on roller coasters for years and after both our 2 and 4 year old spent the majority of a recent playdate playing with it? We'll be surprising the boys with one of these next month. If nothing else, it will undoubtedly break up some of the hum-drum winter doldrums in our house!

7. Speaking of a kid-sized table and chairs set, this is one of my favorites and will be set up in Collins' bedroom of our new house- giving him his own little space to sit down, read a book and play with his toys (free from the disturbance of older brothers).

8. All three of the boys received these as birthday party favors and our littlest asks to wear his "supah-hero dress" every day. Any dress-up costume would do but my boys love this set in particular. 

What's on your toddler and/or pre-schooler's list this year?
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Monday, November 28, 2016

Toys to Buy for your Science-Loving Child: A Geeky Gift Guide

The older my first born gets, the more of myself I see in him. Always curious as to how things began, how they work, move and grow, he's very much interested in the mechanics of things and errs toward a love of science more than anything else. As a loud and proud science nerd myself, I'm so excited to encourage this love and show him how cool science can be. 

It's no secret that for Christmas we're paring down on toys as gifts this year-  after packing up our entire house and realizing how inundated we were with all things T-O-Y, it's nothing but educational learning stuff and experiences for the boys this year. (Okay, I'm not entirely horrible- they will each receive one of the toys they included on their Christmas wishlist). 

If you have a science-loving child on your list to buy for, I've rounded up some of the best and most amazing science-minded toys on the market today! I'll be honest, it's going to take a lot for me to not buy my Carter every single thing on this list! (Diggin' Up Dinosaurs, Moon in my Room and Snap Circuits have already been ordered and the Grow & Glow Terrarium is in my cart!) The best part? Everything on this list is under $25! 

1. Kidnoculars / 2. Science Lab Kit / 3. Diggin' Up Dinosaurs

4. Grow & Glow Terrarium / 5. Volcano Set / 6. Snap Circuits
7. Meet Einstein Book / 8. Moon in My Room

1. We go through kid binocular sets like they're going out of style. We've left one behind at a nature center, I accidentally drove over a pair in our driveway and one of our most recent pairs met an unlucky demise at the hands of younger brother. This is one toy that my boys, at various ages, will pick up and play with at least once a day. We take them with us on neighborhood walks, on nature hikes and even road trips.

2. I'm pretty sure in order to be a certified mad scientist, you're going to need your very own lab kit. For the affordable price point, this is one of the best sets I've come across! All that's missing? Your child's very first microscope

3. Ever since our family trip to the Smithsonian last year, my older two boys have been obsessed with any and all things dinosaur bones. Not only will your child be able to chisel away and excavate the bones from the earth but they'll also be able to put together the fossils as they build their very own T-rex!

4. I was torn between getting my oldest a build-your-own weather center and this Grow & Glow terrarium. After reading countless reviews on both, this seemed like the more age-appropriate gift for his 6 years of age. Since he loves planting things and watching them grow, I love that this is something he could do right inside his bedroom during the cold winter months!

5. Because who doesn't want to make their very own volcano erupt? I feel like every parent should get to do this with their kids at least once. It just seems like a rite of passage.

6. I was first introduced to these in my son's STEM lab at school. He really loves the intricacies of how things work and I love that these Snap Circuits will allow him to build his own electronics such as a working radio and doorbell!

7. This is a great introductory book for children to learn all about how science is all around them. Not only is it wonderfully illustrated but it helps them begin to form connections between their environment and science!
8. Last but not least, the Moon in my Room is a great addition to any child's bedroom. My oldest has always had a fascintion with the moon and how it "follows" him around wherever he goes at night. He'll be thrilled to have his very own moon hanging on the wall in his bedroom and I love that it doubles as a nightlight!

Do you have a pint-sized science-lover in your home? What are some of their favorite science-centered toys and games?

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