Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Favorite Children's Clothing Brands

A couple of weeks ago, I tried my best to hit up some of the back-to-school sales at our local mall.  It just so happened to also be tax free weekend, which was a nice bonus.  I picked up a few things for the kids for next summer {trying to take advantage of the end of season clearance prices} and some jeans for the fall, so I was pretty pleased.



Today, I thought it would be fun to talk favorite children's clothes brands.  Whether we are buying brand new or from consignment sales or consignment stores, these are always my "go-to" brands.  We are definitely not brand snobs and have just about every brand in the children's closets, but these are just my favorites.


$5 and up doorbusters

Carter's
The kids tend to wear more Carter's clothing when they are babies {12 months or younger mostly}.  I don't really know why, now that I think about it.  I'm not quite sure how high their sizes go, but for some reason we transition more to other brands the older they get.  I think their stuff is precious and is fairly affordable too.  We don't have a Carter's store nearby, but I love hitting up the Carter's outlet when we are at the outlet mall.


Gymboree
If I had to choose, Gymboree is probably my favorite brand.  The clothes hold up really well and I always drool over the cute patterns and bright colors.  They are pricey for brand new, but they do have some good sales if you keep your eyes peeled.  {I actually adore Janie & Jack as well, but hardly ever get my hands on their clothes, so I opted to not include them}.


Crazy 8
I didn't discover Crazy 8 until a couple of years ago.  A sweet friend from church passed along a brand new winter coat for Savannah when she was about a year old.  She had purchased it for her little girl, but realized it wasn't going to fit and thought Savannah might be able to use it instead.  I was shocked when she told me how little she paid for it.  They have some cute stuff and have some fabulous sale/clearance prices.    




Old Navy/Gap
I'm including these 2 together because I love them for much of the same reason...the cute preppy outfits.  The prices at Old Navy are much better on my wallet and when I hit them up at the right time, I can score some cute new stuff for close to what I would pay if I bought them used.  Gap is a different story. :-(  I think I've purchased 1 brand new outfit there and it was when we had been given a sizeable gift card.  I had fun spending it, but it was probably one of the only times I've bought new items at Gap.  If I see Gap at consignment stores, I get happy!


Circo® Infant Toddler Girls' Tunic and Legging Set

Circo/Target
I think Target has some cute clothes, but the kids mostly wear these for casual and play clothes.  If I keep my eyes peeled, I can usually score some decent deals when they run sales and have Cartwheel coupons or when they are ending the seasons.  I always head straight to the clearance racks first!

I think I enjoy shopping for the kids almost as much as I enjoy shopping for myself {or maybe even a little more}.  My clothing budget keeps me in check, otherwise their closets would be bursting!

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What are your favorite children's clothing brands or stores?



{Note:  This post contains affiliate links.  Thanks for supporting this site!}



Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Grocery University

Are you a veteran when it comes to coupons or a newbie who is just starting out?  Are you looking for ways to save money on your grocery bill or are you just needing some extra inspiration to get back into it?  If so, then READ ON!

I recently received an email from Crystal Paine over at Moneysavingmom.com about a great product called Grocery University that she will now be offering for purchase.  Here's a little bit about it in her own words.
"One of my big goals through my blog, MoneySavingMom.com, is to give you really practical tools and tactics to help you cut your grocery bill. And that’s why I’m so excited to let you know that we recently purchased the rights to Grocery University, a course produced by my friend, Carrie Isaac.
This course is packed with valuable information and step-by-step help for families who want to lower their grocery budget. And Carrie is the perfect person to produce this course—she’s a mom of five and owner of Colorado Bargains. She’s a long-time friend of mine and has been a true inspiration to me in so many areas, especially in the area of keeping your grocery budget low!
Carrie produced this course in 2010 and sold it successfully to thousands of people. When I found out that Carrie was planning to discontinue selling Grocery University because her plate was too full, I approached her and asked if we could buy the rights to the course.
We’ve been working on tweaking and updating the course over the past few months and it’s finally ready to be re-launched."  --Crystal Paine
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While I may not know Crystal personally, I have so much respect for her as a blogger and a frugal mom.  She has been a huge inspiration to me as we try to navigate living within our means and stretching our income.

Here's a quick rundown on what the Grocery University course includes.

- 139 minutes of audio MP3 files - there is no reading!
- 40 page student workbook {PDF} with more tips, visual aids, and example scenarios.
- BONUS! The Grocery University Rock Bottom Price Database PDF



Well, today is the day for the re-launch and they are offering a crazy, special, you-won't-want-to-miss sale.  In this case, the early bird really does get the worm!


Starting at 5am CT {or 6am ET}, the pricing kicks off at $2.97.

Every 3 hours until 11pm CT, the price will increase by $1, so the sooner you purchase, the better!!

The everyday price will be $9.97.

Click HERE to purchase or for more information!  I can't wait to get started myself!

{Note:  This post contains affiliate links.  Thanks for supporting this site!}

Monday, August 18, 2014

What I Love About Being a Girl Mom

Happy Monday!  

We had a busy weekend and I was completely worn out by the end of it, hence why today's post wasn't written last night and published earlier today!  We enjoyed a nice day with Kev on Saturday even though he was technically "on duty" for his drill weekend.  It was family day, so we got to see the armory and see him in formation before a nice lunch together.  We're so proud of him!


I don't know if it's hormones or what, but I've been a little sentimental when it comes to the kids lately.  It happens with both of them, but there have been distinct moments lately when I look at Savannah and I feel my heart immediately start to melt.  In those moments, I try to slow down and take a mental snapshot because I don't want to ever forget the amazing, beautiful, funny little girl that I see before me.  Sometimes I get up and grab the camera for a quick picture if I can!  My little girl is growing up before my very eyes and it is sometimes too much for my heart to even handle.

I absolutely LOVE being a girl mom.  When we lost Andrew, I couldn't even imagine life with a little girl.  My heart was so set on him and it was hard to transition to the thought of having a little girl.  I always knew I wanted one, it's just that I had anticipated Andrew's arrival for so long that it was hard to get used to the idea of bringing home a baby girl first.  

But, God knew that Savannah was exactly what I needed and what our family needed and I'm so thankful to be a girl mom.  Here are a few of my favorite things about being a girl mom to a toddler.

Hair
I could not wait for Savannah to grow some hair.  I look back at pictures of her at 12 months, when I thought she was finally getting some thick hair in, and the reality was that she had hardly any!  It's funny how your perspective changes.

She definitely has hair now and I'm loving it.  There are many days when we are doing well to just get a brush through it, but it is fun to experiment with different things when we have the time.  At this point, she is in a braid phase and asks for them most of the time.  She's pretty good about letting me put in bows, but she's becoming more opinionated which can be a challenge at times.  I haven't done much with curls, but we'll get there at some point.

Overall though, it's so much fun to play with her hair.  I enjoy doing her hair more than my own!  :-)


Girl Things
It's been so fun to start doing girl things together.  Savannah enjoys watching me put on makeup in the mornings and often asks for me to put some on her as well.  Sometimes I'll sprinkle on a little powder or blush for fun and let her put on some lip balm.  She thinks it's the best thing in the world.  I always tell her that she doesn't need it because she's already beautiful, but it's fun to have some girl moments when I'm getting ready in the morning.

I've been painting my nails more often lately and Savannah always makes comments about how pretty they are.  I've painted her nails a few times as well and she adores it.  I make her sit with her hands on a towel so they can dry and she looks so grown up!

She is also becoming quite the little shopper.  This summer, we've gone out shopping a couple of times just the two of us and she is so much fun!  She loves picking out clothes she likes and helps me pick out gifts for other people as well.  I'm looking forward to having a shopping buddy as she gets older.

Cute Clothes
When I was pregnant with Savannah, everyone always told me that girl clothes were so much more fun to buy than boy clothes.  I honestly think that both are fun {I die every time I see preppy boy clothes}, but girl clothes are definitely adorable in their own way.  I have to watch myself when I'm buying her clothes because it's so easy to keep buying "one more outfit."

Savannah is getting more opinionated about her clothes and we've had some battles over the fact that she can't wear the same three dresses all summer long, but it's still so much fun to buy clothes for her and try to put cut outfits together.


Having a Mini-Me
Everyone says that Savannah looks just like Kevin, but I'm seeing her display more and more of my characteristics.  This could certainly change as she grows and develops, but for now, I see so much of myself in her {or at least what I've told about how I was as a child}.

She is very tenderhearted, which has meant that we have to be careful with our tone when we discipline her.  I try hard to explain to her that I'm not angry with her, but that I still expect her to listen and obey.  Sometimes I think she confuses a firm tone with anger.  She also gets embarrassed when others correct her or when she is corrected in front of others.  I remember holding back tears at the dinner table when I was disciplined....so that is me to a "t."

She also tends to be shy with strangers.  I know this can be common with a lot of children her age, but it's still so interesting to watch.  In the car on the way to places, she will talk non-stop, but then the second we walk in somewhere new or with people who are less familiar, she gets quiet and answers with nods.  I was told I never spoke to strangers as a young child...to the point where people thought I was being rude.  :-(  I guess she gets it honest.

What I look forward to...
Lots of girl talk
I have always had a very open relationship with my mother.  I would come home from dates or nights out with friends during high school and would talk her ear off!  I hope that Savannah will do the same with me.  She talks my ear off now, and I hope that it will continue for years to come.    

Transitioning from Mom to friend {hopefully}
I count my mom as one of my best friends.  I don't really even recall when it happened, but I remember talking to her on the phone one day and realizing that our relationship had changed from a parent relationship to more of a friend relationship.  I know she'll always be my mother, but it's been fun to see how our relationship has transitioned.

Teaching her what it means to be a godly woman & watching it unfold
I really take this responsibility seriously but look forward to it at the same time.  I want to teach Savannah to be strong and confident in the woman God created her to be and know that ultimately her worth comes from Him.  I hope to be able to teach her what it means to be a godly wife and mother as well, should the Lord choose for her to fulfill those roles someday.  I love watching her motherly instincts kick in even at such a young age.  


What scares me...
Messing it all up
I'm sure I'm not the only mother who feels this way, but there are days when I just cry out to the Lord because I fear I'm messing it all up.  There have been moments when I've had to stop and apologize to Savannah and ask for her forgiveness for being frustrated or not handling something properly.  Even though I know God doesn't expect me to "have it all together" as a mom, I am so thankful for His grace in those moments when I totally mess up.  Savannah often acts as the hands of Jesus to me, so quick to forgive and tell me it's okay.  But, I still fear that I'm going to get in the way of what God wants to teach her.

Her getting hurt
Even now, so early on, my heart hurts when Savannah's heart hurts.  It's instinctual for me to want to shelter and protect her from any harm or danger, whether it be physical or emotional.  I know she will learn and grow from some of those hurts, but I still hate the thought of her having to go through them.


I am so thankful that God chose me to be Brady and Savannah's mom.  It's an honor and privilege to parent them both and I pray everyday for wisdom as I learn as I go.  There's nothing that could have prepared me for the responsibility, but also nothing that could have prepared me for the amount of love that would fill my heart.  Don't be surprised if you see a post about what I love about being a boy mom at some point!
   
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What do you love most about being a girl mom?


Linking up with:
Emily for Create Link Inspire
Kathy for Titus 2 Tuesday
Kelly for Whimsy Wednesdays
Rachel for Wednesday Whatsits

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