baby · holiday · kids · recommendations

Holly Jolly Kids Outfits

Holly Jolly Outfits

Santa Hat Dress // polka dot santa dress // striped deer shirt and pants // knitted deer romper // You Serious Clark? // Fair Isle leggings and ruffle shirt // CC beanie // Dinosaur shirt // earflap hat // cloth diaper // Christmas socks // hoodie outfit // bandana bibs //

Hopefully there is something there for everyone. If that Santa hat dress came in my size, I’d wear it all December long.

Someone better put their babe in that YOU SERIOUS CLARK? outfit. Mine are all too big, and it’s too good.

Happy Wednesday!! We are halfway to the weekend!

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deals and steals · holiday · recommendations

Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday

 

Lego sets up to 30% off

Instant Pot (I’d love to hear what you think if you have one.)

Kindle Fire 7 ONLY $29.99

Kids Kindle Fire  We are buying these headphones

Edifier Headphones (fit kids and adults)

Crazy Vitamix Sale

Nursery Items Sale

TOOLS— the easiest husband gift

Lightning deal on building discs (will run out soon)

Really great deals on Hasbro GAMES and toys

Apple Macbook

Melissa & Doug train set

Micro Mini Scooter

Cars track set

Interlocking builder blocks

 

cybermonday

 

Gathre mats 15% off and free shipping            Code: MONDAY

Free shipping on Nickel and Suede

Lily Jade on sale

Tubby Todd 15% off  SOO good for eczema

CUTEST mugs by Rachel Allene 30% off with code CYBER30

June and January

 

I’ll add more to the list throughout the day if I find more deals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

allergies · family life · natural living · recommendations · Uncategorized

Seventh Generation and Earth Month

Since becoming a mother, I have done my research on what chemicals that I bring into my home; from food to cleaning products.

Did you know that the air INSIDE of your home is 2-5X more polluted than the air outside of your home! That’s scary to think about; especially in the winter when you are shut inside of your home for so long. Since this is Earth Month (Earth Day is the 22nd!) I thought it was a great time to share about my favorite brand–

Seventh Generation

Their brand is environmentally responsible and is true to their word.

diapers // wipes // diaper cream // laundry detergent // bathroom cleaner // dishwasher soap // dish soap

You can download an app called Think Dirty if you have a smart phone. It allows you to scan products in the grocery store and find out what they rate. 10 is incredibly toxic, so the lower the number the better. I am so thankful for this app because it allowed me to discover just how bad some of the so-called clean brands really are. Seventh Generation has passed the test!

I joined Seventh Generation’s Generation Good and have enjoyed getting tips on cleaning up my home even more; along with learning more about the importance of doing so. I enjoy being part of a community that has some of the same concerns and passions as I do.

Their diapers are made from sustainably sourced materials, which I think is great. We cloth diaper most of the time, but do use disposables at night, when we are out and about, and when we travel. Their diapers used to just be brown, but they have recently added these fun prints. (You can learn more about WHY here.) Their wipes are so thick and get the job done; every mother’s dream! Plus, they don’t irritate my extremely sensitive daughter’s skin. Win-win!

Their cleaning products actually WORK! For a long time, I was left disappointed by how poorly natural products performed. Then, I tried Seventh Generation and was hooked.

Seventh Generation products are easy to find in stores, but they are also available on Amazon, which I love. If you have prime, you can subscribe and save even more. They don’t even know I exist, aside from being a part of generation good, so this is not paid. I genuinely love the brand and their products. Everything I have linked to is something that I have tried and loved. I would never recommend a product that I don’t absolutely love! 

Have you ever tried Seventh Generation products? If not, what are you waiting for?

 

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baby · Friday Favorites · recommendations · Uncategorized

Bathtime Favorites

 

Bath time was always one of my favorite times with my kids. They loved to play in the tub. Actually, they still love it. Chloe will stay in the bath the longest just playing away.

There are so many bath toys that it is overwhelming. The problem is that many of these have little holes that allow water to get inside. Then, you know what happens. Mold. Mold everywhere. It’s gross and frustrating. So, I am going to share my favorite bath toys (and other supplies) that have been loved by toddlers-6 year olds.

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Munchkin Bath Caddy: This is so handy to STORE all of the toys. It sits across the tub, so the water drips out and down the drain. When there are two kids in the tub at once, I put it in the center as a dividing line so that no one hogs the tub. Usually, they like to take a bath alone.

Boon Creatures: These are super fun. They are interchangeable, so your little ones can create different sea creatures.

Boon Stacking boats: Boats in the tub. Enough said.

Boon Pipes: I do not actually own these, so I cannot speak about how well they work. Boon quality is amazing, so I have no doubts. I definitely want to get them for my kids. They look so fun. The water bugs and fishing pole look fun also!

Shae Moisture baby wash: This is my favorite baby wash. A friend recommended it to me and I LOVE it. It smells so good, and is super clean (no harmful ingredients). If you have big kids, their shampoo and conditioner are great as well. I use the baby wash for Harper and as a body wash for the big girls. The big girls use the shampoo and conditioner.

Tubby Todd lotion: I have every cream/lotion that they make. Addi and Harper have eczema, and this is the only thing that has helped keep it away. I have their dream cream, all over ointment, and lotion. It’s all great and smells amazing. As long as I stay on top of it, I only need the lotion daily and use the others to spot treat if it flares. The weather changes typically cause a flare.

Whale Rinser: Rinsing hair.. I hate it. With three girls, I rinse a lot of hair! This whale has been a life saver for the past several years. It forms to your child’s forehead, so there is less chance of getting soapy water in their eyes. I say less chance because my kids always move as soon as I start dumping water.

Bath Mat: I like the stability that this mat offers. The dots are raised a little bit, and help stop your child from slipping even more than a regular bath mat.

 

Do you have anything that you would add to this list? Have you tried anything from this list? I’d love to hear your opinions!

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This post contains affiliate links, but was not sponsored in any way.

baby · family life · kids · natural living · recommendations · Uncategorized

5 Sustainable Baby/Toddler Options

My passion for sustainability started at a strange time. After Scott and I first got married, I was taking Interior Design classes at Missouri State University. (HIGHLY recommend them, if that is your passion.) I remember a professor saying that part of being a designer was being responsibility. Re-using furniture and decor whenever possible; or repurposing it. Another thing she mentioned was starting off using things that were made to last. It really struck a chord with me, and I was hooked.

For some reason, you tend to get laughed out of town for being a “tree hugger”. As a Christian, did God not call us to be good stewards? Wouldn’t that include this beautiful earth that he created for us to care for and enjoy? (Here is a good list to help answer that.)

If we make wise decisions from the beginning, we will waste so much less money and resources.

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Pura Insulated Bottle– These bottles are so great!! They are made from stainless steel, so you don’t have to worry about the chemicals in plastic. It does have a hefty price tag, but you can replace the nipple with a soft sippy tip, a straw, and a flip top. It lasts FOREVER and grows with your child. If you have multiples, or just want some extra padding, you can purchase silicone sleeves to customize your bottle/cup some more.

Re-Play Recyled– This brand has EVERYTHING! Sippy cups, plates, bowls, flatware, you name it. There is even more than I realized! I have these snack containers and love them. It’s nice to stack a snack for each girl when we all go out, or just have individual snacks during the rare one on one outing. You can read more about their company here.

Cloth Diapers– Cloth diapering is not only earth friendly, but SO budget friendly. I was really intimidated by the idea of cloth diapering, but now I wish I had done it sooner. Don’t let it be intimidating. I love my bum-genius diapers the most, but I also have Alva baby and really like them also. (Babies R Us usually has coupons for Bum Genius.) You can check out my pinterest board if you need some information to help you get started, because it can certainly be overwhelming in the beginning. (My younger sister even made her own wipes, so you can even go as far as that!)

Green Toys– I love this brand! Everything is so cute and well-made. The toys are made from 100% recycled plastic, which is awesome. (Image source) You can see more about how they make their products here.

Refillable Baby Food Pouches– These are amazing! I own a different brand, but the zipper is extremely difficult to zip. These have really good reviews, plus there are lots of others out there. I loved making my own baby food. I knew exactly what was going into it, it was a huge money saver, and I could make a wider variety for my babies to try. I still fill these pouches with applesauce for outings, and they come in very handy when a stomach bug has invaded your home and no one has the strength to sit up.

Another great tip is to buy quality. I have said this before, so I may sound like a broken record. Buy items that will last. Check re-sale shops and B/S/T pages on Facebook and you can find quality items at a much lower price. You don’t HAVE TO pay full price. Check for deals! Amazon sometimes has products that have been opened before for significantly cheaper, even though they are still in perfect condition. That is how we got our high chair for such a steal!!

I have loved this journey of finding sustainability; especially as a family of five. If we can reduce our footprint, even by a fraction, then I will be pleased.

What are some things that I could add to this list?

family life · kids · recommendations · Uncategorized

5 Favorite Diaper Bags

Mamas, we carry a diaper bag FOR-EVER. Even when your child is done with diapers it seems that you are carrying their stuff.. well, Chloe is six and I’m still carrying things for her.. So, forever. In my opinion, diaper bags need to be functional (obviously) and it’s a huge bonus if they are pretty. When you just have a baby, you typically don’t feel at your most beautiful. (You just gave birth to a human, you ARE  a rockstar.) It can get old to carry a gross looking diaper bag around. You are a mom, but you are still a woman.

My first diaper bag screamed MOM and I loved it at first because I was a new mom. I wanted the world to know. But, the baby does that for you and I really couldn’t wait to carry a pretty bag again. Well, when you find out that you are pregnant again with a 6 month old baby, you realize you will never carry anything pretty (besides your babes) again.

Enter: the diaper bags in disguise. I feel like many of these bags don’t scream “I’M A DIAPER BAG” but are still super functional and will last well beyond the baby years. (sob) Obviously, do not break the bank to buy a diaper bag. Maybe add a nice one to your baby registry. There is typically someone who is willing to spend more for a baby shower. If not, gift cards and those handy coupons they give you to spend on what remains on your registry. Bingo!

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  1. Lily Jade You really can’t go wrong with any style that they have. I won a bag in a giveaway earlier this year. I picked the Shaylee because it was in stock. Seriously, it is beautiful. But, the function for me just never quite fit. I found a buy, sell, trade group on Facebook and was able to trade for an Elizabeth. It has been a match made in heaven. Functional pockets galore, and it’s beautiful!

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2. Petunia Pickle Bottom Altogether Tote This tote may be the most fun bag on the planet. I wear pretty much all neutrals. Black, grey, and white with dark blue or black denim with a little chambray pretty much sum up my wardrobe. A fun pop of color is great. If a bright color isn’t your thing, it comes in many other colors; including neutrals.

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3. Skip Hop- Grand Central I saw a mama carrying this bag a few weeks ago. It caught my eye and I think it is so cute!! Outer pockets are a huge bonus! They can carry bottles and sippy cups without spilling all over the contents of your bag!

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4. Skip Hop Chelsea Skip Hop is really an awesome brand that last without completely breaking the bank! This bag easily will last through the baby years and beyond!! The color is so beautiful and classic (and also comes in black if you are worried about stains). Look at allllllllllll of those pockets!

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5. Timi & Leslie Charlie Y’all, this is a SEVEN piece set. I have heard nothing but good things about these bags, though I have personally never tried them. It is one that I drooled over while I was pregnant with Harper, but never ended up deciding on a bag. This bag is huge and an obviously hold a ton! The added stroller clips are just a huge bonus to me. I love being able to easily attach my diaper bag to the stroller (or shopping cart) and go.

**For the record, I use Think King stroller hooks and LOVE them.

 

 

This post is not sponsored by any of the above brands. All Amazon links are affiliate links, and you can see my full disclosure statement on the “referral links” page. Thank you for supporting me while I help support my family.
family life · holiday · kids · Ramblings · recommendations · Uncategorized

Our Favorite Books for Halloween

I LOVE children’s books. Back when I was an elementary education/early childhood education major at BBC, I joined a children’s book club. I got most of the Dr. Seuss books, Bernstein Bears, Rainbow Fish (one of my favorites as a child), and so many others. Then, I became a preschool teacher. Look out. Buy alllll the books!!!

When Chloe was born, we made frequent trips to Target. For some reason, that was the ONLY store that she wouldn’t scream through. I still don’t fully understand that one. They used to have board books in their dollar section all the time. I would buy a new one each time. Soon after, we moved to Burton and Addi was born. The only place with carts big enough for 2 under 2 was Sam’s club. So, guess where we went? You guessed it.. Sam’s Club always has such good prices on their books. I used to buy them too frequently.

Our bookshelves are now STUFFED with books. Overflowing, really. They are in every nook and cranny of all of the bedrooms.

Since we love holiday books, I thought I would share some of our favorite Halloween books! I know that Halloween is not until the end of next month, but I like to plan ahead. 🙂

  1. Room on the Broom.
    This book is easily our favorite Halloween book. It is so sweet and fun to read. The girls love saying WOOOSH with me. (The DVD is also adorable.)
  2. Big Pumpkin.
    This book is so fun! If you can find it at the library with the CD that reads it aloud, do it!! I laughed way too much! Who wouldn’t want a giant pumpkin to make pumpkin pie with?
  3. Ghost in the House
    I have to be honest, I have never read the “lift the flap” version. I cannot find the version that we have read. If you have toddlers that love to rip..err, lift.. the flaps, this version would be perfect! Yet another silly book that left us laughing.
  4. Halloween Hustle
    Since our girls are homeschooled, we don’t get book fairs. Thankfully, I’ve always had friends who work in the school and invite me to theirs. Last year, I picked this book up from the fair and loved it. I am a huge fan of books that are fun to read. Chances are good that your kids will want you to read them over and over again. This one is fun!
  5. Spooky Pookie
    This is another of the girls’ favorites. We have read it so much that they have it memorized. 🙂 Sandra Boynton is a genius at writing (and illustrating) and I love it!!
  6. Eek, Halloween!
    This is a new release from Sandra Boynton. As usual, I love it! Harper loved it. The older two haven’t been able to enjoy it yet (any tips for getting kids to clean up their messes?!) but I know that they will also. Chickens afraid of Halloween? Obviously.
  7. Frankenstein
    I really enjoy Baby Lit books. This is the one that I find the girls reaching for the most. It is an anatomy primer, so it teaches basic body parts while introducing your child to classic literature.
  8. Where is Baby’s Pumpkin?
    Honestly, this one isn’t anything super special. It’s really cute. Chloe (six years old) still loves it. This is another tearlift-the-flap book that toddlers love. Ours is totally taped back together a million times over. One of the closet doors has disappeared and so has the last flap.
  9. Goodnight Goon
    If you love Goodnight Moon, you will like this book. It’s so funny. Goodnight Moon is the book that Scott read to Chloe every night while she was in my tummy. When I found out that their was a spooky twist, I jumped on it. The pictures are a little scarier than the other children’s books, just to give you a fair warning. My kids are not afraid of them, but some may be.

 

None of these books are scary. I enjoy the silly fun of Halloween, and make sure that my kids know that it is all pretend. Almost every one of these books is totally silly and makes my kids giggle up a storm. I want them to enjoy reading as much as Scott and I do, so I try my hardest to make it fun and read to them often. Also, I like to use holiday themed books as decorations. Win-win!

**All links above are amazon affiliate links. For full disclosure, see “referral links” tab. Thank you for helping me support our family.**

holiday · home · kids · natural living · recommendations · Uncategorized

Favorite Things- Earth Day Edition

Happy Fri-YAY! Usually, Fridays are extra thrilling around here, because it is actually the start of our weekend. Scott typically has Friday off, which is his only FULL day off. He had to take Monday off for Harper’s eye appointment, so he is working today. Sad. Really sad, because I am T-I-R-E-D. But, I am so thankful for the flexibility of his work schedule (especially because the girls were CRAZY on Monday at the eye doctor).

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So, here are some awesome products and links to check out on this earth day!

If you have kids, you are probably overwhelmed with snack cups, sippy cups, plates, and on and on. Have you seen the brand Re-Play yet? They have EVERYTHING. It is all made from recycled milk jugs, AND is BPA, Phthalate, PVC and Melamine FREE!!!! How awesome is that?! We have to pack dinner every Wednesday for the girls to eat at church. I am really thinking about this three pack snack stack

Also for kids, I really Green Toys. They are also made from recycled milk jugs!! I really want to get this big pink dump truck for the girls to play with! They love cars, but we don’t really have any big ones.

I have become really interested in composting. I know that growing your own food is best, but if your soil is completely deprived of any nutrients, so will your food. I like how this chart breaks it down. However, if a cockroach comes crawling out of my compost pile one day, I’m out. (Kidding.. I think.)

I don’t wear a lot of makeup. In fact, I usually only wear makeup on Sundays. I love EcoTools line. I have their makeup brushes and LOVE them. They are so soft. Plus, I love the look of bamboo. Bamboo grows very quickly, so it’s a much more sustainable wood than other types.

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I really love Grove Co.  Above is my most recent order. Their products are amazing, and by shopping through them, you are helping save the planet!! Here is my referral link that you can use to get $10 off your first purchase. You aren’t obligated to buy something every month, and you can buy as little or as much, as you’d like. I love the Full Circle brand of cleaning tools! (Can you tell I am trying to pick which toothpaste I like?)

This book looks adorable to teach kids about recycling. There are actually a lot of cute books.

How are you “celebrating” Earth Day? I think it’s important to teach your kids about recycling and the importance of taking care of this beautiful planet that God created for us.

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**All Amazon links are affiliate links. You can see my disclosure statement in my “referral links” tab.**

 

encouragement · ministry · recommendations · Uncategorized

Unwind

I am currently lounging on my bed while my husband has our girls helping clean up. It is been a day, to say the least. I obviously am writing ahead.

We took it easy this morning and got a slow start. Chloe and I did school while Harper wandered around the house playing and entertaining herself. Addison did her usual “I want to do school work. Just kidding, I’m done.” over and over again.

Lunch was a flop. Naptime was a train wreck. The girls fought and yelled so much that they woke Harper up. Remember, Harper can barely hear.. Dinner time was another flop. I told Scott “I need some time away from them.”

Sometimes, it is important to recognize that we need a break. There’s nothing wrong with needing a break. I figured that I would take some time for my mind to unwind. What do you do to unwind?

I like reading my Bible; especially when the day has been a huge disaster. I need to re-focus on what I am doing; why I LOVE being a mother. Because, I really do, even on the hard days.

Lately though, I feel like my Bible study time has fallen flat. Almost as though it has become just one more thing to check off my list. That is not good. I started searching for a new Bible study that would help me along. I saw on Mandy’s blog that she was reading Pressing Pause. I went ahead and pre-ordered it.

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It just arrived, and I always have to laugh at God’s timing. He knows just what we need, and when we are going to need it!

The book is beautiful, and I really cannot wait to dig deeper into it. I love journaling devotionals. If I just read, I don’t have the tendency to just close the book when I am done and move on to the next thought. I love having the space to write my thoughts about what I just read. I try to keep a notebook with my Bible so that I can write down some thoughts about what I have read for the day.

Since moving, I have completely slacked on that. Everything got packed and I just got lazy. More excuses.

I encourage you to join me. Whether you purchase Pressing Pause for yourself, or just start journaling during your regular Bible study time, make sure that you don’t just let your Bible be another thing to check off the list. Read and experience what God has for you! Spending time with Jesus is the best way to unwind.

recommendations · Uncategorized

Minnetonka Love

Have you heard of Minnetonka Moccasins?  I think Grace was doing a giveaway when I first heard about them. I didn’t win the giveaway, but had been obsessing over them since then.

For Christmas, I told Scott that if anyone asked what I needed or wanted- slippers and black ankle boots. I bought a pair of brown ankle boots from Old Navy towards the end of summer and fell in love, so I wanted a black pair obviously. HA!
I was really excited when Christmas morning rolled around and I found Minnetonka slippers and ankle boots wrapped up for me. Thank you, mom and dad-in-law!!

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I asked for my slippers to be a size up from my normal (normal is a 10!)  because stuff always gets spilled on them, I wash them, they shrink, then I rip the whole toe part of my slipper open after three years of wear. Ok, so that only happened once, but I was very sad. They are so comfortable and warm. I love that the bottom is hard enough to step outside to grab the mail but I can accidentally step on someones finger and not completely crush them.

I wear my ankle boots all the time. They are comfortable without socks. I can wear them all day and not have my feet in pain. They are great. Forgive the cheesy picture. I was laughing about silly Instagram pictures, and this is the only picture that I have of my boots. I love that there is just enough fringe to be fun, but not so much that you hear it flopping with every step you take. I can’t handle that noise.
*Edit: I just found this picture hiding somewhere. The PERFECT fringe:10253986_580095792580_7552392689513429749_n

Minnetonka just dropped their spring line. They always have super cute sandals.  If I weren’t already so tall, the Ashley would be my favorite. I love the look of wedges. I really love the Maui also. These are both back from last season (yep, told you I was obsessed).  My absolute favorite is their brand new Venice Perf. They look so comfortable and breathable. That mint is so subtle that it could go with almost anything. Plus, I could chase down my tiny humans at a moments’ notice. (My birthday is coming up and I wear a size 10 if you were wondering. 😉 )

Because I’m talking about my love for them, you should also know that they have men’s, children’s shoes, and accessories. I should probably look into their product care for my boots! I also just saw this!!!! Who doesn’t need a mini moccasin keychain?! Ok, I don’t need it, but that is really adorable!!

What is an item that you have drooled over for years, but thought you’d never get? I never imagined that I would get TWO pairs of Minnetonka at once; or ever.

 

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This post was not sponsored in any way. I genuinely love Minnetonka, and wanted to share that love with you.