Archive for November 2017

Mom Hacks for Easier Winter Mornings

November 29, 2017

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Picture this: I’ve just spent two hours getting all three kids fed, dressed, hair brushed, teeth brushed, bags packed….and THEN have struggle for an extra 15 minutes to get them to put on their shoes. Because I have to ask at least 8 times for it to happen. Some days it’s more like 20. But to make matters a little more complicated, let's throw in some bad weather, shall we? Let’s add snow pants, a coat, boots, three sets of hats and mittens into the mix! I'm not an expert by any means, but now that I've made it through a few tough winters with little ones in tow, I thought I would share some of the mom hacks I’ve learned for making those winter mornings run more smoothly. I’ve partnered with FrostGuard® for this post….read on for more details!

1. Buy multiples of everything snow-gear related. The first winter Hudson was able to walk I made the mistake of having just one snow coat, one pair of snow pants etc.....but I quickly realized that was NEVER going to cut it. Little kids fall down and get wet, or want to go outside multiple times a day...and if you have wet snow gear it's zero fun for everyone. So now I've learned my lesson here's what I buy each child: 2 puffy "snow" coats, 2 pairs of snow pants (the overall style), 2 lighter weight fleece coats, 3 hats, 2 scarves, 2 pairs of warm mittens, and 2 pairs of snow/water-proof mittens. With boots it's a little easier, and I usually just have one pair of rain boots and one pair of snow boots per child. It seems like a lot but trust me, it's needed. And here's another tip: buy the snow pants in two different sizes....chances are they will both fit and then the bigger pair will also fit the next year, so you only have to buy one each year.

2. Buy mittens that clip together. Let me repeat, buy mittens that clip together!!!! And clip those babies together as soon as your child takes them off. It always happens that whenever you are running late for something the gloves and mittens suddenly disappear. I can’t tell you how many times I sent Hudson to school last year with mis-matched gloves because I didn’t follow my own advice. So clip them together, they are much less likely to get lost!

3. A staying organized tip: have a basket for each kid where they can keep their hats and mittens and a designated spot to hang their coat. And a separate spot where wet stuff can be put to dry out. Otherwise all the gear ends up on the floor….and with three kids and two adults that can really pile up! We have a mud room in our house and everyone has a cubby to place their things. I’m teaching Hudson to put his stuff away….it turns out he is much like his daddy and prefers to dump it all in on the ground, so it’s taking some work. Miraculously Sadie inherited the clean up gene from me and is a great helper when it comes to putting stuff away (YES!)

4. Have your kids go to the bathroom before gearing up. Trust me on this. It’ s zero fun for everyone to put on snow pants, and a snow coat, and mittens, and gloves just to have to come back inside ten minutes later to frantically strip your toddler down to use the potty. And then put back on ALL THE THINGS. So the rule is, whenever we have snow gear involved, you must sit on the potty first. EVERY TIME. Even if you “just went five minutes ago!”

5. Protect your windshield! The last thing I want to do after finally getting everyone dressed and ready is spend an extra 20 minutes standing in the cold scraping frost and snow off of my car. I’m exhausted just thinking about it! Thankfully, there’s a hack for that too! Enter FrostGuard® the 20-second solution to a 20-minute problem. With FrostGuard, you can skip the scraping! It is a unique winter windshield cover that prevents ice and snow from hindering your morning routine. And it’s so easy to use! Just put FrostGuard on your windshield at night and shake the ice and snow off in the morning.

We have only had one tiny little bit of snow this year and FrostGuard has already come in handy! I’m ordering one for everyone for Christmas too! It protects your primary viewing area so you can just pull it off and drive. No scraping snow or ice! It even comes with covers for your side mirrors. My husband doesn’t have covered parking at work and he already said this would be a lifesaver for him in the winter.

FrostGuard is made with a heavy-weight polyester material and weather-resistant PVC lining. It comes in two different sizes to fit cars, trucks, and SUVs and is available in a variety of colors and prints. FrostGuard is so easy to install and removes in just seconds….shaving precious time off of my morning routine. Just roll it up and put it in the quick-dry storage pouch and you are ready to go! Right now you can save 20% off a FrostGuard Signature Bundle with the code “winter17” from now until December 31, 2017 (some exclusions may apply).

6. Teach your kids to put on their own snow gear. This comes in handy once your child is in school and needs to be able to put on his or her own stuff. It’s a little hard for littler ones, but Hudson (who is five) is almost a pro now. He has a little trouble with the zipper on his coat, but otherwise he’s got it down to a science!

7. Stock up on supplies so you don’t have to run out with kids in tow when the weather is bad. It’s so important to sock up on supplies, just in case there is a storm and the roads are bad. I try to make sure we are always stock piled with plenty of food, snacks, wipes, and diapers! And I always aim to keep my gas tank filled at least half way. If my husband is reading this he would laugh out loud at that statement….because he’s always always on my case whenever I forget this…which is often!

Check out my video of FrostGuard in action!

What are your winter morning hacks? This post is sponsored by FrostGuard, all opinions are my own.

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Healthy Hair Tips for Busy Moms

November 28, 2017

1. Dirty hair is the new black. Yep, I said it. Dirty hair is the way to go as a busy mom. In order to make this look work for you, you have to train your hair to go without washing. Because who has time to wash their hair every day? I certainly do not. Before kids, I washed my hair every other day. On day two my hair was greasy and gross so I always washed it. Then, when I got pregnant with my first, I started stretching it out to every three days. And now that I have three kids it's more like I wash it once every 5 days! But this takes time. Start slow by adding just one day. After two weeks try adding in another day. Your hair will adjust to less washings over time and it will actually be healthier! This tip saves me SO much time!

2. Pick products that are good for you and your hair. There is no way I would be able to go so long without washing my hair without an amazing shampoo and conditioner. I recently stopped using conventional shampoos and conditioners and made the switch to more natural products. I currently use Everyone™ Balance products to help bring my oily or dry (depends on the day!) hair back into balance and I really love it! Everyone™ products are made with plant-based ingredients and 100% pure essential oils to support nourished, bolder, and more beautifully balanced hair.

3. Invest in the right tools. Buy yourself a nice blow dryer that will cut down on your drying time. Invest in a curling iron that will hold up to multiple uses and doesn't damage your hair. I like the Hot Tools brand.

4. Have a rotation that works for you. I have a typical routine with my hair. The first day it's clean I curl it with a curling iron and set it with hair spray. I try to leave it down and not mess with it too much the first day so the curls stay intact. On day two, I touch up the curls with the curling iron. On day three, I usually brush through the curls with my fingers for a softer look. On day four, I usually style it in a low or high pony tail, depending on my mood. Which brings me to day 5.....

5. Love the top not. Need I say more? Some days you just have to throw your hair up in a top not or bun and call it good. I rock this looks frequently these much so that I wore my hair down yesterday and Sadie couldn't stop touching it and asking to brush it. That right there tells you how often I wear it down.

6. Make time for a haircut! This one is tough, but it's so important. As a busy mom I'm constantly shedding hair thanks to all those fabulous hormones! My stylist knows this and knows just how to cut my hair so that it still works even though I'm shedding like a dog.

7. Cut yourself some slack. Your hair doesn't always have to be perfect. Some days it looks a hot mess. But what matters most is that you make time to take care of yourself...and that you learn to love your hair.

 Everyone™ products are researched, developed, formulated, and bottled in a zero waste, certified organic, and cruelty free manufacturing facility in California. EO Products believes in full transparency about the people and processes behind their products. I love that the EO products are safe for my whole family and don’t break the bank. This family-owned, natural body care brand can be found at your local Walmart.  I love that I don't have to choose between a product I can afford and a product that’s good for me and my family. 

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Guide to Successful Breastfeeding: Tips from a Third Time Mom

November 27, 2017

If you've been a long time reader here, you know that I used to talk about breastfeeding. A lot. Like every week. I surprised myself when I first had Hudson by absolutely falling in love with breastfeeding. So much so that I started a Breastfeeding Diaries series, where each week a mom wrote a guest post detailing her breastfeeding journey. You all taught me so much. And it was amazing. 

Then life got busy when baby #2 came along and I had to let the series go. But I think that breastfeeding is such a sensitive topic for so many people...and I totally get it. I'm here to tell you that if you are reading this and are struggling, it's okay. Breastfeeding is hard work. In my opinion it's a learned skill. And once you and your baby learn how to do it, it gets so much easier. Breastfeeding all three of my babies is hands down the BEST decision I have ever made. For them and for me. I now breastfeed baby #3 with zero issues...and have since day one. (Well, unless you count how many times she's bitten me....because that is SO not cool.) My second and third babies were so easy to breastfeed. Not because anything changed with my body, but because I knew what I was doing and, most importantly, I didn't stress about it! It's crazy how much stress we put on ourselves as moms. Not stressing about breastfeeding made it 1000 times easier.

So today I'm going to share some of my breastfeeding tips for any mom who might have questions or be struggling. 

1. Feed on demand. During those first weeks with a new baby, I feed them whenever they are hungry....usually every 2-3 hours. You will have a night or two where your baby just wants to use you as a pacifier and be on your breast ALL NIGHT LONG. That is normal. And I promise you it will pass. Now that my third baby is 8 months old, she typically eats every 2-4 hours, but she only feeds for about 4-5 minutes. She's fast! I used to spend 20 minutes to an hour feeding my baby. See, I told you it gets better! She also sleeps 12 hours straight at night. I wish I could tell you how I got her to do this but I really have no clue. She's just a good sleeper and it has nothing to do with me.

2. Drink lots of water. Remember how you were chugging water like a pro when you were pregnant? Well, that was nothing. Have a water bottle on you at all never know when you'll suddenly be dying of thirst. A good job for your husband is to fill up several water bottles and stash them in your favorite nursing spots for you before he goes to work. That way you'll always have one handy! Whenever I don't drink enough water I notice a drop in my milk supply.

3. Eat protein. Your body needs the energy to support you during those long days and nights....and it helps you maintain your milk supply too! Breastfeeding burns a ton of calories, so make sure you are eating enough.

4. Say no to pacifiers until breastfeeding is well established. This usually takes about 3 weeks or so. I know you are probably anxious to try out all your new pacifiers with your baby (or use them to STOP THE CRYING) but try to resist. Baby needs to learn he gets his nourishment and comfort from you. Once you have established nursing then you can try a pacifier. Hudson and Sadie couldn't care less about a pacifier. Belle (#3) is the same but unlike the other two she's a thumb sucker.

5. Don't pump just yet. Unless you have to, obviously. (If you are in the hospital and your baby is in the NICU ask for a pump asap!) This advice is for healthy, full-term babies. You may be anxious to start pumping so that you can get a break from all the feedings.....but try to resist until you have established breastfeeding. Pumping can be overwhelming. I waited until Hudson was 4 weeks old and I felt a little more like myself to give it a go. Our wedding anniversary was coming up and I wanted to be able to go out to dinner with my husband. I gave myself a week to learn how to pump so that I wasn't too stressed. Pumping that first time was awful. But it got easier!

6. Don't skip a feeding. If your baby has a bottle of pumped milk your body still needs to replace that feeding. You may think it's awesome that you can sleep in one day while your husband feeds the baby. Don't get me is totally awesome....but you need to replace that feeding. Any time you skip feedings your brain is sending a message to your body that you can make less milk. It's probably not a big deal if this only happens occasionally, but if it is frequent then your body may start to make less and less milk. So....either nurse the baby or pump. Your choice.

7. Wet and poopy diapers + weight gain = baby is getting enough. At some point during those first weeks you will probably worry about if your baby is getting enough to eat. Baby should have at least 5-6 soaking wet diapers a day and about 3-4 yellow poops a day. If your baby is peeing and pooping enough it is totally a sign that he is getting enough to eat. My kids have always had way more dirty diapers than this so I never really kept track. Also, talk to your pediatrician about how much weight your baby should be gaining. If the numbers on the scale are going up it means baby is also getting enough to eat.

8. See a lactation consultant. This is one of the best things I did. Ask to see one in the hospital as soon as you have that baby. Even if you are not having difficulty breastfeeding, it's always nice to hear that you are doing it right. New moms (and new breastfeeders) need lots of re-assurance! Also, a lactation consultant will weigh your baby before and after your you'll know roughly how many ounces he is eating. Husbands usually like to know this type of info! Ask your baby's pediatrician for a referral, or call the hospital where you delivered (usually they send you home with this info).

9. Find a breastfeeding mentor/cheerleader. I was lucky that my mom is a nurse and very pro-breastfeeding, so I turned to her with most of my questions and for support. And my husband was (and still is) extremely supportive of breastfeeding. He was there when my boobs were rock hard and hurt...and he was there when my baby just wanted to be attached to me all night long.

10. Don't feel pressured to give your baby formula unless it's medically necessary. Trust your mom gut on this one. Also, keep in mind that many pediatricians are not very educated in the area of breastfeeding. Their focus is on the health of your baby...not the ins and outs of breastfeeding. Pediatricians know breast milk is best for the baby, but usually they are sort of wishy washy about it and may suggest supplementing with formula before you really need to. Obviously if your baby is struggling this does not apply. Make sure you see a lactation consultant asap. They know more about breastfeeding and can help you.

11. Make sure you baby's gut is healthy. Every mother wants to give her baby all that she needs to grow up healthy and strong. We all do. I recently was introduced to Evivo, the first and only probiotic that is clinically proven to restore a baby’s gut microbiome to its original, natural state.

The results of over a decade of research and clinical trials at The University of California created Evivo. They learned that the presence of B. infantis, the good bacteria, reduces the potentially harmful bacteria linked to eczema, allergies, diabetes and obesity.  Unfortunately, due to modern medical practices and lifestyles, the vast majority of American babies no longer have it. And that’s why moms like me want to find a way to restore it in my baby’s gut right from the start, so my baby can be healthy from day 1.

The first and only baby probiotic of its kind, Evivo is clinically proven to restore a healthy gut in your baby. Evivo is a daily probiotic powder that you mix with breast milk and feed it to your baby. It helps release nutrients in breast milk to create a protective internal environment in your baby’s gut. It also helps develop baby’s metabolism and immune system and builds the foundation for good health that can last a lifetime.

No wonder Evivo is the best probiotic for babies! You can feed your baby Evivo every day for as long as he or she is consuming breast milk.

Want to try Evivo? Use code BLOG4131 for $10 off an Evivo Probiotics Starter Kit of 4 weeks or more!
Or, use code BLOG4132 for  $20 off a 12, 20, or 24-week starter kit!

Codes expire 1/30/18

If you want to read more about breastfeeding, be sure to check out my Breastfeeding Diaries landing page here

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Must Have Gifts for Her

November 24, 2017

My must have top picks for her are here!!! I searched and searched my favorite stores to find the cutest and most amazing gifts for yourself, your mom, your sister, or your girlfriend! Each guide is broken down by price so that you can find the perfect gift for any one on your shopping list, whether you are spending $15, $25, or $50. 

1. Willow Crowns Stella headband. I own this headband and LOVE it. It helps me feel a little put together, even when I'm not. It's even prettier in person. I have my eye on the Daisy next (I was going to say "hint hint" to my husband but it's on sale today, so I just went ahead and bought one! Check out her Instagram @willowcrowns for the code). 

2. Gold Bar Necklace. I have one that is similar to this and I wear it ALL the time! It's less than $8 right now and would be perfect for your girlfriends!

3. Plaid Monogram Mug. This mug is only $4.50 right now!!! I snagged one for Hudson's teacher and one for myself! They would make great co-worker gifts or married couple gifts in a basket with some hot chocolate and a Redbox gift card. 

4. A Thought a Day Journal. My mom gave this journal to me 4 years ago and it is one of my most favorite things. It is a five year journal and on each page you just write something down for that day. There are only a few lines so you don't feel like you have to write everything down. Just a thought, something cute your child said, what you did that day etc. Then as the years go on you can see what you wrote that exact date a year, two years, or five years later. This would be an amazing gift for a busy mom!

5. Jingle Bell Bottle Opener. This is too cute and would make the cutest gift with some wine!

6. Coasters. I've had my eye on these cute wood and marble coasters. They are only $10!

7. Pom Hat. Love love love this hat. It's on my wish list!

8. Pajamas. These are super cute and frequently on sale. Plus they come in tall sizes!

9. Glitter House Ornament. This would be a darling gift for anyone...especially your mom or mother-in-law.

10. Set of Four Christmas Plates. How cute are these? Totally on my list! (I'll take 3 sets please!)

11. Slippers. I love getting new slippers at Christmas and these are cute and the price is right. 

1. Monogram Cheese Board. Such a cute hostess gift!

2. Sip by Swell Travel Mug. I have a Swell water bottle and love how it keeps your drink cold or hot....and now that I've started drinking coffee every now and then this would come in handy. And it's so cute!

3. Let's Cuddle Sign. We have this and it's my favorite! I love everything by Salty Bison. 

4. Star Garland. So so cute and would go with so many different decorating schemes. 

5. Kitty Mug. I mean. 

6. Home Sweet Home Door Mat. I've seen this door mat in the small size several times and loved it, but when I discovered it in a larger size I got so excited! If my mother-in-law is reading this, I want this!

7. Monogram Keychain. So pretty! This would be such a cute gift for your girlfriends or sister-in-law. 

8. Mason Jar Drink Dispenser. My mom has this and we both love it. Perfect for someone who does a little entertaining. 

9. Long Sweater. This color is gorgeous and I love the length! It fit's true to size. 

10. Mini Glitter Studs. Another cute gift for your friend or sister! These are the mini version of the Kate Spade famous glitter studs and I think they could work for anyone!

11. Polka Dot Bowls. I want these so much. They are just darling!

1. Initial Necklace. I have this in the "A" for Annabelle and it is so pretty and delicate! It would make an amazing gift for a mom and comes in gold, silver, and rose gold. I have the "S" for Sadie in rose gold on my wish list. 

2. Sugar Lip Collection. I've tried one of these before and they are AMAZING! This little trio is so cute. 

3. Sun Glasses. I have these in another color and they are one of my favorites! Right now they are $55 but I've seen them go on sale, so I want to include them!

4. Throw Blanket. I haven't seen this in person but it looks so soft and the reviews are great. 

5. Large Lantern. I feel like this could be a good gift for anyone on your list. Who doesn't love a pretty lantern? I for one would love the small and large!

6. Reversible Faux Leather Tote. I have this in a different print and it is my go-to bag. Plus it's reversible! It looks way more expensive than it's price tag. Plus this one is blush, and so pretty!

7. Hand Held Vacuum. Get this. I know it's not glamorous but I have it and use it every day!

8. Mac Lip Gloss Trio. Mac makes amazing lip gloss and the colors in this trio would look good on almost anyone. 

9. Serving Tray. I bought this for myself and it's love. It looks high-end but is less than $30. Get this for your mom or mother-in-law!

10. Capri Blue Candle. This is the scent EVERYONE loves. Plus it's in a pretty jar. Wrap it up and give it as a nice gift to basically anyone. Trust me. 

11. 3 Tier Serving Tray. I have one similar to this and whenever it's shown in my Instagram stories or someone comes over to my house I always get lots of questions. It's a favorite and I think anyone would love it! Plus you can easily score a coupon for 20% off!

What's on your wish list this year? This post contains affiliate links. 

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Christmas Gift Guide for Girls

November 22, 2017

A few days ago I shared my gift guide for boys (be sure to check it out!) and today I'm sharing a few ideas for the little lady in your life! All of these are either Sadie (2 years old) approved or are on her wish list for Christmas! Sadie is a very girly, fair warning!

1. Rapunzel doll. Sadie has this doll only the Princess Sophia version and she loves it! It's well made and cute. She's going to be so excited to see "punzel" on Christmas morning!

2. Picture Mosaic. Hudson has a few of these are they are SO fun! Plus, he can sit down and do them on his own. It's a peel and stick type of craft, so I'm not expecting Sadie to be able to do this on her own, but I think it will be a fun activity we can do together. If your daughter is 4 or older this is a MUST have!

3. Kwik Stix Tempera Painting Kit. This paint dries in 90 seconds and you don't need a brush! It looks at feels just like paint but is way more toddler friendly! Sadie loves to paint so I know she'll love this. Plus I'll love the easy clean up!

4. Cabbage Patch Kids Cuties doll. What's not to love about Cabbage Patch Kids? This one is smaller and is dressed up like a kitty. So I know Sadie will love it! They have a bunch of other options like a cow, a puppy, and a pig. So cute.

5. Pretend Makeup. Sadie loves watching me put on my makeup in the morning and is always asking for some lipgloss or a makeup brush. She is going to flip out over this cute little kit. 

6. Crayola Color Wonder Magic Light Brush and Drawing Pad. Both of my kids love the color wonder line (it's mess free, the markers won't color on skin, furniture, or fabric!) so I know they will love this. It's a pen that magically lights up and shows the paint color. Looks so fun! And for $15 it would make a great gift for a friend at school too. 

7. Click N Play Pretend Donuts. You can snap the frostings on and off of these cute pretend donuts. Sadie loves playing in her kitchen so these are too cute to pass up. 

8. Disney Princess Sparkle Collection. Sadie loves everything princess these days, and she especially loves little dolls like these. 

9. Design Your Own Magical Hairbrush Kit. I thought this was such a cute gift idea for any little girl that loves Rapunzel. You get to decorate and design your own hairbrush. So cute! 

10. Farmer's Market Color Sorting Set. I bought this when Hudson was two years old and it is still one of our most played with toys! The quality is excellent and it's perfect for a play kitchen. It's a huge amount of play food! Plus you can work on learning colors and the names of different foods by sorting each one in to it's correct basket. If you get anything from this list, get this! 

11. Little Adventures Dresses. Sadie has this exact Sophia dress plus Cinderella and Belle and they are so cute. The quality of these dresses is really great and they are not scratchy inside like most princess dress up dresses. Sadie wears one basically every single day and they have held up perfectly. 

12. Dessert Stand. This is one of Sadie's most favorite toys! It's a wooden dessert tray and it is absolutely darling! I love this toy too! It's played with every single day (tea parties are big in our house) so I highly recommend it! If you don't buy the farmer's market set, buy this!!! 

13. Kitty Bracelets! We have these and they are a favorite. Plus they are easy to get on and off. 

14. Three Little Piggies game. This is a logic game for preschoolers and it looks fun. It's a STEM game that even a two year old can enjoy!

15. Kitty Condo. Sadie LOVES kitties. She got this for Christmas last year and still plays with it nearly every day. It's just a soft little house with five kitties stuffed inside. She plays with the kitties and puts them in and out of the house. Simple and cute.

What are you getting your little girl for Christmas?
This post contains affiliate links.

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10 Simple Christmas Traditions to Start with Kids

November 21, 2017

This post is sponsored by Carter’s; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Confession: Recently I was thinking of ways to document Annabelle's little hand print for her first Christmas and I realized I forgot to do the same for Sadie. Somehow it just slipped my mind. And the mom-guilt quickly crept in. And so did the tears. How could I forget something so simple? 

This year I wanted to start a new tradition, so I came up with the idea to make a cookies for Santa plate with all three kids handprints on it every year....but spent several hours throwing a pity party for myself over the fact that I should have started this tradition when Hudson was born. If I would have done that, I would already have 5 plates by now. I don't know why I got so upset over it, but I did. 

But you know what? No one has time for worrying about missed opportunities. Especially during the holidays. Just because I don't have 5 handprint plates from the past years does not mean I can't start the tradition right now! So if you are reading this, and start to feel bad that you haven't been as good at keeping up with your holiday traditions as you always thought you would be, STOP! Give yourself some grace. And start those Christmas traditions now!

The holidays are filled with opportunities to make long lasting memories. The traditions you start today can be simple, fun, and bring your family together. Here are a few traditions I'm planning to do (or start) with my kids:

- Decorate the Christmas tree (the day after Thanksgiving) together as a family and listen to Christmas music

- Paint a handprint "cookies for Santa" plate each year

- Pick out Angel Tree gifts for kids in need

- Get hot chocolate and drive around and look at Christmas lights

- Build a gingerbread house together

- Read a different Christmas book every night

- Pray for each family when we receive their Christmas card in the mail

- Get a new ornament for each kid each year

- Bake Christmas cookies

- Watch a Christmas movie and wear coordinating Christmas pajamas (my favorite!)

If you've been a reader for awhile, you know how much I LOVE Christmas pajamas! My joy has spread to my kids and they get SO excited when it's time to reveal their new pajamas for the holidays! It's especially fun now that Annabelle is in the mix!

I really should add "take pj photos" to my list of traditions every year! Carter's makes the most adorable holiday clothes and pajamas for kids and always has a great variety of styles for every holiday moment. I especially love that Carter's makes pajamas in boy, girl, toddler, and baby sizes...that way all three of my kids can match. Hudson always gets excited to match Sadie (it really is the cutest thing) so his eyes got so big when I told him Annabelle gets to match them too! 

You can view more of Carter's pajamas here. They are seriously all so cute! 

My heart could burst, I love them so. 

Carter's clothes and pajamas are not only cute, they are comfy too! Plus they are at a great price point. And what's even more amazing is that they have some really great Black Friday deals starting now! Plus I have a great coupon for you. Take 20% off your purchase of $40 or more in store or online now through 12/31. (some exclusions apply, learn more here). 
In store code: 070716
Online: CART4198

Carter’s and OshKosh B’gosh are giving away over $700,000 in Dash Cash to the first 100 people to visit their local Carter’s or OshKosh B’gosh store for the Dash In to Win Sweepstakes. How fun does that sound? The sweepstakes will be held on Black Friday (11/23 or 11/24 – depending on when the store opens after Thanksgiving). Check out this store locator to confirm what date the sweepstakes will be held at your nearest location. Plus, you will receive a gift from Shutterfly on your $40+ purchase that day. You can find the official rules here.

And quite possibly my favorite thing that Carter’s is doing this season is the Pajama Program! Giving back is truly what the holiday season is all about. Carter’s believes that every child deserves a good night so they are partnering with Pajama Program, an organization that provides children new pajamas from November 1st – December 31st. You can help by donating a pair of new pajamas in store or make a monetary donation at check out (in store or online). Carter’s will match up to 100,000 pairs of pajamas. Your local community benefits directly from your support!

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Christmas Gift Guide for Boys

November 20, 2017

We are just weeks away from Christmas and I am determined to get my shopping done now! I'm always on the lookout for creative and fun gift ideas for kids, so today I thought I'd share some great toys and games for boys ages 5-8! Most of these are on Hudson's wish list this year or are things that we already own and love!

1. Lego Ideas Book. This looks like such a fun idea starter for those legos we happen to have lying all around the house! Hudson is lego obsessed so I know he would LOVE this! This book plus a small lego set would make a great gift for a little boy. 

2. Farts Book. We don't have this one but I have a feeling both of my kids would love it. They think "toots" are hilarious. 

3. Bug Viewer. You can use this toy to catch a bug, examine it, and then release it. Yes!!!

4. Math Dice. Hudson loves to play with dice and has been learning simple math at school. We are so impressed with what he knows already and I have a feeling something simple like this would be fun for him. Great stocking stuffer idea! 

5. Air Hogs Robo Trax. Santa is bringing this toy for Hudson this year. We watched a youtube video of this toy and he lost his mind. It goes over rocks and grass and dirt AND transforms in to a robot who can shoot things. Every little boys dream come true. 

6. Lego Tape. Hudson has this and it's so fun! He loves to put the tape on the walls in his bedroom and build his legos on it. Such a cute gift idea!

7. Superhero Cape Set. Hudson got this set for his birthday and it was a huge hit with all of the kids. We pretty much use these every day...even Sadie loves them! This would be a great gift from grandparents. 

8. Marble Run. This looks so awesome! Hudson loves to build ramps for his marbles so I know he would love this. 

9. Robot Turtles Game. This is a programming game for kids where you can change the level of difficulty based on their ability and age. It looks so fun!

10. Lego Ninjago set. Hudson has this set and he loves it. You really can't go wrong with any lego set for a little boy. 

11. TumbleBee Remote Control Car. We saw a little boy playing with this toy a few days ago and it looked so fun. The kid kept crashing it and it seemed to hold up really well!

12. Pirate Handle. This thing is SO cool. You can attach any wrapping paper roll to it and you instantly have a pirate sword! Isn't that fun? My friend's brother in law created it and she brought one as a gift to a birthday party recently..and it was a HUGE hit with all of the kids. Hudson and Sadie are each getting one for Christmas!

13. Headphones. These are made especially for kids so they are durable and have volume control. And they come in several different colors. 

14. Zoob Builder Set. I bought several of these to give as birthday gifts this year and they were always a big hit. You can build all sorts of fun things with them and the come in their own storage container. Win!

What is on your little boy's wish list this year?

This post contains affiliate links. 

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DIY Ugly Christmas Sweater For Kids

November 16, 2017

This post is sponsored by Kelley Blue Book; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
DIY Ugly Christmas Sweater For Kids

The calendar may say November, but my heart says CHRISTMAS! I can't help but start to get in to the Christmas spirit a little early....especially when my kids are SO excited for the holiday season! Especially Hudson, my five year old. He has been counting down the days until to Christmas all year long. He's so ready!

So when I asked him if he wanted to make a super special ugly Christmas sweater with me, of course he said YES! Except I didn't call it "ugly"...because that would just break his little five-year-old heart. So we called it a "super fun and silly" Christmas sweater instead. If you're strapped for time to make one of these on your own, Kelley Blue Book is a running fantastic sweepstake where you could win a snazzy KBB Holiday Sweater, read on to find out how!

This is such a fun activity to do with your kids! Hudson loved the one-on-one time with me and we were able to whip up his sweater during his sister's nap time. Here's what you'll need to make one for yourself:

DIY Ugly Christmas Sweater For Kids

- A solid colored sweater (or in sweatshirt) I ordered this one on Amazon.
- pom poms
- felt
- marker 
- fabric scissors
- fabric glue

DIY Ugly Christmas Sweater For Kids

I asked Hudson if he wanted to make a Christmas tree, reindeer, or snowman (mostly because those are the only things I can kind of draw....I am by no means an artist!) and thankfully he chose a Christmas tree! I had him sketch it out with marker on to the felt.

DIY Ugly Christmas Sweater For Kids

He's only five and most definitely inherited my drawing skills. So I had to help him out a lot with this step. He old me what to draw (presents of course!) and I helped/guided him. And then I cut the felt out too (because nobody has time for childproof scissors). 

DIY Ugly Christmas Sweater For Kids

After I cut out all of the pieces (while he had a snack of course) Hudson started placing them on the sweater where he wanted. He could have just played with the felt pieces all afternoon!

DIY Ugly Christmas Sweater For Kids

I loved watching his creativity in action. Once he had everything lined up just how he wanted, he took a break while I glued everything down. 

DIY Ugly Christmas Sweater For Kids

And here's how it turned out! Isn't it adorable? I'm obsessed.

DIY Ugly Christmas Sweater For Kids

And this guy was pretty proud of his work!

DIY Ugly Christmas Sweater For Kids

He's excited to wear his sweater to school during his holiday party! He thinks it's cool that no one else with have a sweater like his. 

DIY Ugly Christmas Sweater For Kids

I asked him to do the Home Alone face and this is what I got. Priceless. And priceless memories made with my sweet boy. 

Do you have an ugly holiday sweater? Or a cute one? I'm thinking I just might need to make one for myself too. 

DIY Ugly Christmas Sweater For Kids

This year Kelley Blue Book is celebrating the holidays by giving away 50 fun holiday sweaters and a brand NEW CAR! Talk about making the season bright! Who doesn’t want a brand new car right in time for the holidays??? Entering the Kelley Blue Book #GiveYourselfABestBuy Sweepstakes is easy! Just take the quiz about the Kelley Best Buy Awards here to enter. 50 entrants will win a KBB holiday sweater and one very lucky winer will receive $35,000 toward the purchase of a Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Award-winning car! The sweepstakes ends November 27th, so get your entry in now! 

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