July 30, 2014

Summer Picnic: Fun in Loose Park


There is nothing better than picnics in the summertime... expect when the weather is unseasonably cool and you can really sit outside and enjoy!  We've been SO lucky to be hit with low 80s, so we've been spending as much time outside as possible.  In Kansas City, we have this great park near our house called Loose Park, complete with a rose garden, pond, ducks, playground, tennis courts, splash pad (which we still need to try!) and expansive lawn.  

So, a couple Saturday mornings ago, we packed up an easy picnic lunch of PB&J and fruit, and headed for the park.  After playing on the playground, we found a great spot all by itself to spread out, eat our lunch and nap (well, Nora).  Liam searched for sticks and once Nora woke up, she scooted all around. I just so enjoyed spending time with my little family, away from all the electronics that rule our days (except I did take these pictures and sneak an Instagram... does that count?). After our picnic, we headed to the pond to feed the ducks our left overs and got to see a mama and her ducklings swimming along.  

With only a few more weeks of summer, I'm getting antsy to revel in more days spent like this.  Here are a few pictures our little morning at the park.



{My Outfit Details: Most comfy dress everrrrrrr; Hat; Sandals - Old Navy (last year or two, similar - under $40!); Made in KC bag; Watch; Necklace - Standard Boutique in KC (love this one!)}

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July 28, 2014

12 Things to Buy at Target RIGHT NOW!


You all get it, you go to Target for eggs, shampoo and a birthday card and you come out with a cart full of loads of other stuff.  It's hard not to when the prices are affordable and their clothing, accessories and home decor are so cute.  Well, I found myself in all the wrong departments on my last Target run and had to share some serious awesome finds with you all.

1. This dress would go well into Fall with the addition of a jean or leather moto jacket.

2. This picture does not do this lace tank justice.  I own it and love it, wore it here.  A total must buy!

3.  We bought this cheerful yellow quilt for when we have guests, but I'm temped to put in our own room.  It's the happiest yellow.

4.  I thought once my school days were over, so would my backpack-wearing, but I've dug out my old one for toting my work and kid stuff around a lot lately.  Now I need a cute one like this mint backpack.

5. I'm a sucker for graphic, casual ts - especially simple ones, like this Love tee.  Then I pair them with a dressier skirt for a more unique look, yet it still ends up being super comfy!

6. Speaking of comfy... this loose, wide leg patterned soft pants would look great topped with the above tee!

7.  My favorite length of skirt or dress is the midi. This is a great midi for all seasons.

8. I love fresh, new sheets every now and again - it makes climbing into bed even more rewarding.  This stripe bedding set is amazing.

9. Never can you have too many pretty, simple and breezy summer dresses, like this mint dress.

10.  This leopard peplum looks 3x more expensive than it is!

11. I have these sandals in a glittery strap, and love the two-toned contrasting look of these ones.

12.  What an awesome weekender bag - now time for a weekend getaway?

Shop this post:


What are you loving from Target right now?

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July 25, 2014

What to pack when Road Tripping with a Toddler!


A few weeks ago, we packed all our bags, and the thousands of other things you have to bring when traveling with kiddos, and headed to Colorado for a little vacay (which you can read all about here and here). First of all, full disclosure... my parents road tripped with our toddler, while we flew with our infant (I know, we owe them!).  

Through this 10 hour trip and other 3 hour trips we've taken in the past, we've learned a lot and I've gathered some tips to share for whenever you (or someone else on your behalf) drives your toddler across any sort of state for any amount of time over a couple hours.  A road trip with a toddler requires a bit of planning ahead, flexibility and a little extra time... but totally doable (right, mom?!).


Plan ahead:
Pack a car-bag full of car-time activities.  We gathered together some of his very favorite books and toys, and sprinkled in a few new items to pull out sporadically over the trip to keep him from getting too bored.  The key is having a variety of things to do!

1. Board Books (vs. paper, to avoid page rips) - A few current favorites, like Little Blue Truck series and Madeline (he stole these from Nora's bookshelf and has been loving them!) with a new book, It's Vacation Time that I got via Discovery Toys. This books was great to remind him why he was stuck in his carseat longer than he'd like and get him excited about the vacation to come! :)

2. Art Projects - It's hard to do much of this in the car, though we brought crayons, we found that playing with stickers were easier!  I got letter stickers, so he could practice his letter recognition and making words (with the help of my mom riding in back with him).

3.  Games - We brought along this little "Game on the Go" game that we got from Discovery Toys.  This was good for switching things up, using our soundings and tiring out that learning brain of his. :)

4. Videos/Movies - The one time it is a-ok to let your little one zone out, in my opinion.  We had our Kindle Fire that was pre-loaded with 4 Disney movies, as well as a portable DVD player (this one is under $60!) that we brought, along other movies.  Options here, because technology has a way of failing on us when we most need it!  This was another opportunity to bring along some of his favorite movies/videos, and surprise him with a new one (or 10). The movie, Cars was a huge hit.

5.  SNACKS - I'm not suggesting to just keep feeding them, but strategically planning out when snack time will be (at low points, after going through all the toys, books, games, etc) and what kind of snacks (ones that have minimal choking risks, but take longer to eat) can give you a break from being the entertainment!  Liam had trail mix, raisins and other dried fruit to munch on throughout the road trip.

On a sort of side note, Discover Toys is an awesome online shop for really smart play time products for your little ones.  All of their toys have ulterior motives to help your little's brain develop, but totally fun, too!


Be flexible:
Road trips with a toddler is not the time to stick to an aggressive schedule.  We tried to plan when they'd leave around his nap, hoping he'd sleep a good chunk, but Liam ended up not sleeping for any of the road trip, either way!  That's when that bag of fun came into play, and they went through it all!  

Plan a little extra time:
If you can, and my parents did, thus why they volunteered to make the trek with Liam, take some extra time to get to and from you destination.  On the way out, they split the trip into two days, starting out after lunch time (after lots of morning activity to tire the toddler out).  

On the way home, they actually pushed through in one day, and they could tell that was a lot harder on Liam, but they made sure to stop a lot.  They looked for places that had either a park or play ground to let Liam move around more.



Any road trip traveling tips you have to share?  Leave them in the comments below!


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July 23, 2014

Kansas City back to school clothing shopping that will save you money!


As fast as kids grow, you can basically stop putting their clothing away into their dresser drawers and just keep a storage box out in their rooms to which you constantly add clothes.  It's sad when that favorite onesie that both my kids wore no longer fits... but it's even sadder when I open their drawers and there isn't much to choose from.  Nora must be going through a growth spurt, because this is exactly what is happening.

I'm really excited to hit up Rhea Lana's Children's Consignment event in a couple weeks to stock up on gently loved items for my kids before fall - or another growth spurt - hits!  For those of you in the Kansas City area, you'll want to get this on your calendar (phone?) and take note: August 3-9 in the North Kansas City area.  For full details, go here.

If you don't typically shop thrift or consignment shops, or even if you do, Rhea Lana's is an upscale children's consignment sale with the best and biggest selection!  I went to the Prairie Village one a couple years ago and was AMAZED at the selection of clothing, accessories, toys and gear for kids that was spread over an expansive space.  

This is also a great way to MAKE some money if your kids have outgrown their dresser of clothing or have too many toys (hah!).  You make 70% commission off your items, and it totally beats hosting a garage sale or publishing each item one by one online because Rhea does all the work + gets a huge turn out.

Today, I have two $25 gift certificates (that will go so far!) for someone in the Kansas City area (or someone willing to drive in).  Keep in mind, these gift cards can only be redeemed at this upcoming sale.  Just enter through the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

For those of you not in the Kansas City area, make sure to check out their event list to see if their is a Rhea Lana's sale near you!  I'll be posting all my finds on Facebook in early August after I hit up the sale, so be sure to stay tuned.  I look forward to hearing about what you find, too!

Tis post is sponsored by Rhea Lana's, but all opinions are my own and I'm excited to check out the event. Top photo found on Rhea Lana's Facebook page!


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