It’s back to school season! I love this time of year. I’ve always, always felt like this is the real “new year” more so than January 1st. Anyone else? I love the buzz in the air, the school supplies, the change in season and of course… back to school shopping! We are starting a new homeschool journey this year with the girls. We couldn’t be more excited about it!! So even though the girls don’t necessarily have a actual need for back to school clothes- Everyday this summer I’ve looked at them like “how in the world are you guys this big? this grown up?” Crazy! Rowan put on a pair of her jeans the other day and I swear they barely even came to her shins. Everyone needs new clothes for fall. For me, ease is key to shopping for the kids, and that means shopping online. I love when shopping can be easy!! Anyone with small children knows that going to the mall can be a disaster waiting to happen.
We teamed up with Gymboree today to share their new easy to shop, back-to-school bundles. Each bundle was handpicked by a expert stylist, making it easy to find pieces that work well together and cover all the bases on your shopping list. I love seeing the girls styles emerge as they get older. I let them look around the bundles and pick out the outfit they wanted. Finley is always looking for poofy skirts or dresses. Anything pink or purple with glitter and sparkles. Rowan on the other hand is growing in to a much older style. She has ditched the pink and purple and seems to go for denim and blues/greens. So cute!
Make sure to head over to Gymboree and shop all these cute pieces!!!
(p.s. omgosh you guys! If these aren’t the cutest dang pictures of my kids to date!!)
First and foremost… HAPPY BIRTHDAY LAURA!! I LOVE YOU.
Ok, now on to a good ol’ outfit post. Thank you to everyone who left a comment on the post the other day. I love all you guys! and I love hearing from you all. I don’t plan on stopping blogging anytime soon. This has become our family journey and it will always hold a special place in my heart. Not sure what is up this week but I’ve been bitten by the blogging bug. 4 Posts this week so far?? Who am I?
I wore this outfit to church on Sunday and decided to take some outfit pictures when we got home. I wasn’t planning for the girls to be in the pictures but they love the camera (or should I say the remote) and wanted to jump in. I can’t say no to some pictures with my girls. I can’t help but look at Rowan lately and think she is just so grown up! I mean first grade soon?!?! That is crazy. She is so smart, artistic and funny. Love her!
I’ve been trying to only really invest in quality clothes lately for myself. I don’t buy a lot but I buy a few nice items every season. It ends up being the same expense as buying a ton of random things every time I go into old navy, target or forever 21. Most of that stuff doesn’t last and doesn’t fit me great. I am starting to see the value in doing that for the kids as well. The only clothes that are in the boxes downstairs to save or pass on to younger kids are the clothes I spent a little more money for. I search the sale section of Tea Collection, Hanna Andersson and Boden like whoa! Hahahahah. Love a good deal and love the quality of all their kids clothes.
p.s. loving a more straight leg cropped jean this summer!
Guys, I did something crazy. I took away our tv. Like completely got rid of it in the living room. It’s been something I’ve been thinking about for a while, but have always felt too scared to go through with it. How would it go? Would it be too exhausting to entertain the kids alllll day? Would they whine about it? How would I watch the bachelor? I had been having this heavy guilt about it though for about 6 months. Our kids didn’t ever watch a ton of tv, but it was there and when I wanted to get stuff done, I would use it as a tool to give me space. I wholeheartedly believe there is nothing wrong with that- Mom’s need a break too. However, it just wasn’t sitting well with me anymore (again, just for us). I don’t know why? It all the sudden just felt like it was more of my problem then theirs. It was too easy to rely on I guess and I felt like I wanted to change that. I love the idea of letting kids get bored. When the girls would say they were bored, they would ask to watch tv. Like that is what you do when you are bored. I hated that the tv just sat there in the living room staring at them when they were playing. I wanted to create a space that was warm, welcoming and not where the tv was the center of the room. I wanted them to know that if they felt bored and Mommy was doing stuff, they had to figure something out themselves to do. Go color, go build blocks, go ride bikes, go dig in the dirt. I don’t care what it is but they have to figure it out themselves though. It’s a balance because I make sure I am there most of the day to play with them together, but I want them to learn to use their own creativity the other times when I am cooking dinner or nursing the baby or whatever.
It’s taken some getting used to on all parts. And there is definitely a detox period. It worked out that we were in Florida for 2 weeks and were super busy out doing stuff pretty much everyday. The girls hardly watched tv at all while we were there, so when we came home I knew it was time. I didn’t want to fall back into old habits so out the tv went. I rearranged the living room, made a small play area off the kitchen and brought up a few toys from the basement (blocks, legos, doll house) and that was that. No more tv. So far so good. The girls have been playing so well together. Their attitudes are better overall and it has been awesome seeing what they come up with when they play. Rowan ended up creating all these birthday cards the other day, that Finley and her went door to door to sell around our neighborhood. Hahaha. Kev was such a good sport, he went with them. They knocked on all our neighbor’s doors and made like $7 bucks. We sure have some sweet neighbors! It was so cute. Rowan worked really hard and spent her time coming up and executing the whole thing and we wanted to honor her creativity. That’s what makes my heart full, seeing them use their little imaginations!
I will say that it does make more of a mess not having a tv. hahaha. Playing and finding fun makes much more of a mess than sitting in front of the tv. It’s a small price to pay though, right? Don’t get me wrong, it’s been an adjustment for me as well. I’ve never been someone who loves to watch tv but it’s been an adjustment to not turn it on for the kids. There are moments when I want so badly for everyone to stop touching me, asking me questions or fighting and I want to turn the tv on for them so badly. It’s an exercise for myself as well. To work on being the kind of Mom I want to be. I loved this post a while back on Monica’s blog about expanding. It’s true. I think when we get to the point where we think we can’t take anymore, if we stop, take a deep breath, pray a little and move forward we can expand a bit more for our children. I know I have a shorter fuse with them then say a friend. Why is that? Anyway- this is a chance for me to look at my own short comings and expand as well. In full disclosure I didn’t throw out the tv. It’s up in our room for maybe a movie on the weekend or special occasions like the Olympics, but day to day during the week there is no tv allowed.
Annnnnnd Spring/Summer is here guys! This makes life sooooooo much easier, am I right? Who needs a tv when the warm weather is here. Long days outside in the sun does the soul good. We love heading out and finding fun wherever the day leads us. We teamed up with Zappos and Crocs for this post and are loving these super comfy jellies for all our summer adventures. Like these are seriously the most comfortable shoes I own. I’ve never owned a pair of Crocs before! I was pleasantly surprised by how many different styles they have to offer. I also got this pair for Kev for when he hikes and cliff jumps up in the Adirondacks, and this pair for myself for gardening!
It’s Easter Week!! Yay! There are 2 special occasions every year I look forward to buying a new outfit for the kids. Christmas and Easter! I try to not go crazy and keep it to a reasonable price but I am always on the look out for really special and cute items. It’s an extra bonus when those things go hand in hand! That’s why I love T.J.Maxx and Marshalls. They have the cutest Easter dresses for the girls (and outfits for the whole family!)- like we could hardly narrow it down. Rowan had a bit of a meltdown because… “I can’t choose between all the beautiful dresses” she said. hahaha. Poor girl. Plus! Look at our handsome little Easter man. He kills me in that outfit.
We are laying low for Easter like we usually do. I have to decorate for Good Friday and Easter services at church. We have been making time to do a special Holy week devotional with the kids this week. Today we made a cute palm Sunday craft (even though it was yesterday) that the girl’s hung up in their room. I am also hoping to make them something for their Easter baskets. We don’t do a lot of candy- just a few items. This year I got them a book, a new Klean Kanteen, some Yummy Earth Organic Lollipops and fingers crossed, a homemade stuffed bunny. Butttttt realistically not sure that will happen. I can dream right?
Our sweet little Orion is falling into his big sister’s foot steps and refusing a bottle. I seem to grow stubborn little babies (I wonder where they get that from?? Definitely not me! Insert winky face here) It’s been hard to create one on one time with the girls when I am attached at the hip to the little man. However, now that he is getting a bit older and on a tiny bit of schedule, I am making more of an effort to take the girls on dates. Girls Night Out! Or well afternoon, or morning or whenever we can fit it in. Nothing big or over the top yet. We only have about 2-3 hours before we need to be back home again, but we have fun and I love the time with them. Their all the sudden super grown up to me now that Orion is here. Ahhh how are they so big?!?!! They’re my best little buddies. For this particular date we just headed out for some frozen yogurt. We got out of our pajamas (because let’s face it, we’re always in our pjs if we’re at home) and put on our new favorite items from Abercrombie. They have some of the best denim I’ve ever tried. The perfect skinny leg, with the perfect amount of stretch and the perfect high waist. My favorite jeans by far ( I do size up just for reference!). I also LOVE the abercrombie kids line. They have some of the cutest sweaters and denim for the kids too. I mean look at how awesome that skirt is that Rowan is wearing or that little chambray shirt finely has on… *swoon. SO CUTE!!
Do you guys remember this post about our christmas tree mishap? Like seriously! we are doomed every year with bad Christmas tree experiences. EVERY YEAR! Hahahah. Well last year we ended up deciding to forgo the “cutting of the tree” and just go to a lot. It worked out. I mean how much trouble can you get into in a 15 mins max christmas tree getting experience? Since I felt like we sort of broke the curse last year, this year I wanted to try a farm again. This time with no expectations! It’s hard though, I mean you are getting your christmas tree! How do you not have expectations for this annual holiday tradition? I seem to instantly picture cute dressed, well behaved children skipping and holding hands, joking and telling me how much they love me for bringing them to do something so fun and magical. There is of course christmas music playing and hot chocolate, and reindeer to pet, and definitely no one is whiney, or has to go to the potty when you get the furthest point away from any potty and no one is complaining they’re cold and best thing of all… you get that one perfect christmas card photo to capture such a joyous occasion. That can happen right? Well I tried my hardest to push those thoughts away and let the day happen how it may. We did dress cute and we were actually trying to get a photo (which could have gone sooo wrong) but if it wasn’t working I wasn’t going to force it. And guess what guys? It almost, almost all happened! It was like the Christmas stars aligned for us that day. Hip, hip hooray!
There of course was whining about being cold and having to walk so far and you better believe that there was a peeing out in the bushes incident because doh! of course someone had to go when we were about as far as one could have gotten from the potty. But other than that- we did it! We had a really fun time getting our christmas tree! Even little Miss Fin looks happy in most of them, that in and of itself is an accomplishment. Hallelujah!
We teamed up with Abercrombie and Abercrombie Kids to pick outfits for our Christmas card photo this year. Did you know they extended their kids sizes down to 3T now? Let me tell you that Finley in that little puffer vest is about too cute for words. Loved how all the outfits came together. I am not one for matchy, matchy in family photos so I really appreciated all the great options they had for everyone in the family. Kev is looking pretty darn handsome if I do say so myself. And a long flannel tunic top that is loose, soft and comfy is this 8 week postpartum, nursing mama’s best friend!
also don’t get me started on Rowan’s leggings. Love them!
also best way to make sure there isn’t just one person with a silly face in the picture (because of course there will be with small children) is to just all go for the silly face.
also this is like my new favorite picture! How am I the Mom to these 3 kids? Blows my mind.
and since our Christmas stars aligned I was able to get like a billion photos which I couldn’t narrow down because I just love this gang so dang much!
I think it’s safe to say we created a little fashionista out of Rowan. It’s not surprising though, I obviously like fashion a lot and over the years she’s seen me taking a lot of outfit photos for the blog. Many of which she’s been a part of as well. As she gets older though, I do let her call the shots about whether or not she wants to be in the pictures for the blog. When I asked her if she wanted to do her very own What Rowan Wore post for today it was a big “YES, YES, YES!” though.
We teamed up with Stride Rite to introduce you to their new Surprize brand exclusively for US Target locations and Target.com. Since Rowan is all girl (I like to say she is more tomboy princess though) she was in heaven getting to go to Target and try on all the shoes and pick out her very own pair. It was no surprize (wink. wink. see what I did there? Boy, I’m funny) that she went with the pink and purple sparkle running shoe. They fit her great, are super comfortable and totally practical (and durable!) for the playground and running around. Now that’s the making of a great kid shoe!
Rowan knew exactly what she wanted to wear to show you all her new shoes. I think it’s about the cutest little outfit ever. I am especially fond of the tall socks that she matched to the shoes with their purple polka dot tops. Oh man, I love that girl! It’s fun letting her express her creative side with the clothes she chooses.
Which Surprize shoe would your little one love the most?