Sprouting Threads

Disclosure: This complimentary box was received for review purposes. All opinions are my own and no compensation was received.

Raise your hand if you are a busy mama?! I’m pretty sure that the word busy is synonymous with the word mom. In fact I don’t know a single mom that claims to have “spare” time. Being busy just goes with the territory I guess!

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That’s why I was so excited to learn about Sprouting Threads, a new solution to buying kid’s clothing. Sure it’s easy buying clothes when babes are young, but once they get older (and have an opinion of their own!) it gets much harder!

Ari is at an awkward size lately. He’s in between a 4 and a 5 and certainly has an opinion on the clothes he wears. Wrangling him into a fitting room to try on clothing while his sister runs amok isn’t exactly at the top of my todo list.

Sprouting Threads is the perfect solution to this! Similar to Stitch Fix for adults Sprouting Threadsis for kids ages 2-8 and allows you to try on hand selected clothing in the comfort of your own home. Keep what you like and send back what you don’t! Members are also given the option to “rethread” (or send pieces back after their child outgrows them) for store credit.  A $20 styling fee is refunded when keeping 2 or more new pieces. Prices vary depending on what is kept. Free shipping both ways.

The process was so simple. I filled out a style profile for Ari, added his stats, and then gave a little description of his clothing interests. You can select how often you want the clothes to arrive and how many outfits you want. They have 4 main style profiles; sporty, vintage, classic, and funky. We got an outfit from each category!

The box arrived super fast and everything was packaged so nice!

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Based on your needs you can receive clothing from 4 different categories; Sporty, Vintage, Classic, & Funky. We received an outfit from each category.

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Ari immediately wanted to try on his “Sporty” outfit because little man is all about being cozy. We got Go Gently pencil pants ($38) and a Wes & Willy Moose pullover hoodie ($38). This outfit was the perfect comfy outfit while still looking cool! Ari loved it!

The next outfit he tried on was his “Vintage” look. The shirt was a Wheat Is button down ($52) and Viera Rose suspender jeans ($56). I can’t tell you how much I adore these skinny jeans. They are just what I have been looking for for quite some time! They fit him perfect and I am SO glad these were picked out for him! I think these jeans were MY personal favorite item of the whole box!

Next he tried on his “Funky” outfit and I think he enjoyed this one the most!! The sweater/shirt from Mini Shatsu ($42) was made to look like a cardigan with a bow tie and the red Tooby skinny jeans ($42) were the perfect fit for him. He immediately told me he could wear these to preschool! Ari normally doesn’t like jeans if they fit too tight so I put that on his style profile. I also put that he was in between sizes and Sprouting Threads knew which pants to send in a 4 and which to send in a 5!

Last up he tried his “Classic” outfit. The Andy & Evan open check shirt ($39.90) was meant to be worn under the Andy & Evan bicycle sweater ($46) with the dark elastic waist Kitestrings jeans ($44). I didn’t think I would care much for the classic outfit but I was incredibly impressed with the fit! Ari LOVED the elastic waist jeans and kept them on the rest of the day! The leather elbow patches were just adorable too!

 The whole experience was very smooth and I really enjoyed seeing what someone else would pick for my son! With the holidays coming I thought how great this subscription would be as a gift!

You can opt for monthly or seasonal deliveries and can get between 2 and 5 outfits per delivery (your choice). Read more about the company here. If you want to give it a try go ahead and sign up here for your risk free box! The $20 styling fee will go towards any items you keep and now through December 15 you can save an additional 25% with the code BESTDRESSED25!

 

 

Be Who You Are…and let your kids too!

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I am lucky enough to be raising two very independent children.  At the young ages they are both of them know what they want and won’t back down until they get it. Sometimes it’s frustrating for me, but just recently it taught me a very important lesson.

Yesterday morning my son, Ari, woke up a little cranky before it was time to go to preschool. He had an empty paper towel roll but somehow it had been “smushed” during the night by our giant dog. He was crabbing and I was trying to get everyone out the door on time. Before we left Ari insisted I give him some string so that he could make a necklace out of his paper towel roll. Since the morning was already a little rocky I went with it. I knew if I didn’t it would take us even longer to get out the door. So I helped him quickly make a necklace that was about the width of his entire body. It literally took me 30 seconds and in an instant his entire mood changed. Ari was so proud of what he had made.

 

We brought the necklace in the car, but I was secretly hoping he would forget about it by the time we got to preschool. Silly me to think he would forget about such a creation. As we were getting out of the car I kept asking him “Are you sure you want to bring that in?”. Confidently he said “Yes”. Ari is one of the youngest children in his entire preschool program so I was a little nervous for the outcome. In the back of my mind I kept worrying what others would think… Are the kids going to make fun of him? He was wearing a paper towel roll around his neck! What will his teachers think of this necklace? Will he get his feelings hurt?

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Little man was not taking no for an answer, though. He strolled into preschool confident as ever wearing his paper towel necklace.  A few other boys greeted him and started talking about their plans for a playdate that night while I put his things away.  As Ari was sitting down to eat breakfast a few little boys started asking him about his “tube” and where he got it. They wanted one like him. As I was watching them talk I couldn’t help but notice the pride and confidence my son was exuding. Ari was smiling from ear to ear telling his friends about his necklace that he made.

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We live in a time where image is everything. Every single life event is photographed and uploaded. Social media feeds are plastered with images of how people should look. As parents, its all to easy to get wrapped up in that when it comes to raising our little ones. I find myself all too guilty of trying to create the perfect image. My children are always dressed to perfection and forget about letting them leave the house in something that isn’t photo worthy. Today, though, made me realize that isn’t what’s important.  All this pressure we put on ourselves is silly. Sometimes I need to stop and remember that these little babes I am raising are both unique humans with their own BIG ideas. Who am I to prevent them from just being themselves?

Instead of helping them look the best they can… I need to help them BE the best they can.

Even if it means allowing them to dress silly and wear paper towel necklaces to preschool.

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The Best Path

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The day has come.  Tomorrow my son is off to preschool! It marks his first time packing a lunch, his first time going to school without a parent, and his first real taste of independence.  He’s been anxiously awaiting this day for quite some time now and you know what?  I am right there with him!! I’m not sad to let him go.  In fact I am so excited for what’s in store this year and everything he is going to experience. 

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For a long time I worried thinking about how a brand new 3 year old would be able to handle full day preschool. Reality is, though, that my husband and I both work so it was full day or nothing.  After going back and forth about our decision we settled on 2 full days a week at a local school with an entire early childhood wing. He will be in a class with other 3 and 4 year olds and expected to be pretty independent throughout the day.  It’s a little nerve wracking thinking of him doing everything on his own, but here I am on the eve of his first day very confident this is exactly what he needs.

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Ari loves to learn and he’s very social.  He thrives with structure and is a sponge when he is around older children.  Last year we went to a Parent & Me class in the evening and he looked forward to it every week.  He was down right disappointed on the weeks we didn’t have class. Seeing his attitude towards school last year I knew that if he didn’t go to school this year, I would be letting him down.  He would be missing out on experiences that he would enjoy so much.

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I subscribe to several parenting blogs and often read diverse opinions and points of view when it comes to parenting.  Although parenting styles can range drastically across the board, I find that every single parent strives for the same thing; the best path for their child.  No two children will travel the same path and that’s ok, but what is important is that every parent find a way to keep their child on their best path possible. Sometimes its scary and sometimes it takes sacrifice, but in the end, it’s so worth it.

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This upcoming year is going to have its ups and downs, but I am confident that this is the best path for Ari and his future!

 

Ari J…and then he was 3

 On July 24, 2011 my life changed in ways I never knew possible.  My heart grew to a size I never imagined and in a single instant I went from being Heidi to being Mom.  That moment was filled the most intense emotions I have ever felt.  This was the day I met Ari.

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Towards the end of my pregnancy I was swollen and hot and just when I thought I couldn’t make it another day here he was.

8 lbs, 8 oz of perfection and he was all mine.

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Looking back from last year to this year SO much has changed.  The progression from 2 to 3 was gradual.  He changed a little each day but BOY did this little boy turn into a kid (OR for those that know me in real life) more like a mini Mike.   Ari has the most contagious personality.  You can’t be around him without wanting to smile.  I dare you.  Seriously.  Come have a meal or a conversation with him and I bet he can make you crack up.

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At age 3, here are a few things about Ari….

He has the biggest heart.  We cannot leave daycare without him giving his friends and his teachers a hug.  Some even get a kiss on the cheek “we only kiss our family on the lips” is what he says.  When I tell him to tell his friends to have a good night.  What does he say?  “Have a good evening everyone”.  His vocabulary is ridiculous and he loves using new words every chance he gets.

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He’s become a master negotiator.  Whenever he wants something he uses please.  But when that doesn’t work he throws in a “Is that a good deal?  Mamma?”. Wheeling and dealing already and has me wrapped around his finger.

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Ari just adores his sister.  Their relationship has been so amazing to watch from last year to this year.  Every morning when it’s time to go to daycare Ari goes in Giada’s crib to wake her up.  She saves her biggest smiles for him.  On most nights he’s hanging out next to her high chair “sharing” a yogurt with her and spooning it into her mouth.  He talks to her like she’s on his same level and watching them interact is one of my favorite things to do.

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He loves strings.  Cell phone chargers…. belts…. straps for bags…. regular old string… you name it, he will find it and play with it.   We will be at friend’s houses and he will somehow find strings at their house to play with too.  Not sure the significance of the strings…but whenever I am missing a belt or shoelaces, I know who to ask!

Ari has quite the memory.  If I tell him he was going to do something or I need him to remind me to get something specific at Target the next time we go, you better believe he will not forget.  In fact most times he remembers my Target list better than I do!

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This year I’ve watched him make friends.  Like really make friends, not just arranged play dates.   He has conversations with them, plays pretend with them, and asks to go to their houses.  Luckily I just so happen to get along great with his friends’ moms!

Being his mom I’ve learned never to underestimate him.  He’s capable of so much and shows that everyday.  Over the past 3 years he’s taught me so many things and made me see the world in a better way.

Happy Birthday Ari Joseph, We LOVE YOU!!!!!

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Top 10 Tips for Dressing the Littles

It’s no secret I’m into dressing my kids. I take pride when I get compliments on their appearance. Yes I try to dress them as cute as possible, but NO I do not break the bank in doing so. Here are my top 10 tips for dressing your kids on a dime.

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1.) MOM2MOM Sales. I cannot stress this enough!!! I go all the time and make sure I am lined up before the doors open for early bird. Good stuff will go quick. I have found almost new Ugg boots, Ralph Lauren shoes, baby gap clothes, and other staples for their wardrobes. I usually end up spending $1-$2 per item!!

2.) NEVER buy brand new jammies. Seriously. My kids do not leave the house in their jammies so I refuse to spend more than $1 on a sleeper. Refer to point #1. I always shop ahead at mom2mom’s. I know there is a mom out there that will sell me her hardly used sleepers for $1 a piece and when I find them I stock up. Think about it. Instead of spending anywhere between $50-$100 per size, I spend about $10 TOTAL for each of my kids to have a set of jammies. It’s a no brainer to me. Then I can turn around and be a lot more creative with the $90 I saved!

3.) Shop clearance. I’m lucky my kids have always been true to size. At the end of each season Target clearances their clothes for 70% off!!  Add that to my red card discount and any other cartwheel deals at the time and I am getting some items for under $2! If something is a good deal, I always buy it and store it away.

4.) With all the buying you need to have a good system for organizing. Each of my kids have 3 “extra bins” going at all times with 3 sizes up from their current. The tubs are clear and I use post its to mark the size on the outside. As soon as I buy something new, I go and put it in the correct size bin. Once that bin is filled to the brim, I know I need to stop with that size.

5.) LAYER! My son wears button down shirts almost everyday. I pair his shirts under sweaters for a preppy look or rolled under t-shirts for a more hipster look. He even wears his button downs in the summer with shorts. I can make them last longer this way too. Sleeves are too short? Doesn’t matter because they are rolled anyways. Same goes for my little girl. If I buy dresses for her I’m not at all concerned with the season.  She can pretty much wear any dress in colder weather just by adding tights and a cardigan.

6.) DO NOT treat carters as a one stop shop!! Sure they have adorable little getups but every toddler on the block wears them. Mix and match brands for a more authentic look.

7.) Invest in a few nice pairs of shoes. As kids get older its hard to buy shoes second hand. I use the money I save in other areas to buy my kids a couple of pairs of nice shoes because they last longer.

8.) Shop all over! You’d be surprised what you can find at Kohls, Meijer, H&M, even Salvation Army. I am literally always scanning the kid’s departments for cool items for my kids.

9.) Instagram. There is a whole community on IG that buys and sells new and used kid’s clothes. The moms out there are very fashion forward and inspire a lot of my outfits. I have bought a ton of cute second hand items from moms on IG!

10.) Last tip, and probably my number one rule I live by? Dress them like a mini adult!! I always ask myself “would my husband wear this?” If the answer is no, then I won’t put my son in it!

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**follow my instagram account @bestdressedbabes for plenty of clothing ideas!

Dude, wait for it.

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I’m convinced my children’s generation will no longer understand the meaning of the word wait.  My son literally expects to wait for nothing.  In his world everything happens (or should) in an instant.  For example as soon as we get in the car it never fails “Timber!! Timber!! I want Timber!!” After I ignore his impolite request then I get “Please mumma, can I have some Timber?”.  I try to tell him that Timber isn’t on the radio at that moment, we need to WAIT for it to come on.  “Just play it on your phone”.  And just like that my son will never know what it used to be like when you had to catch your favorite song on the radio.  Oh really, you want Timber?  Give me .03 seconds and it’s on my man.  Want it played 10 times in a row?  Anything for you.

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Same goes for TV.  Growing up we had to come in from outside at a specific time if we wanted to catch Doug aka Quail Man’s latest adventures.  AND wait for it… sit through commercials?!?!?!  What’s a commercial?  Every single day Ari needs to watch Mickey Mouse and lucky for him I have 10 episodes dvr’d at all times so when he says “Meeska, Mouska, Mickey MOUSE” its on in .02 seconds flat.  Oh yea and he has to have a fruit snack while he watches.  He doesn’t understand how he can watch Mickey without them.

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Don’t even get me started on how the video monitor now works to his advantage.  Sometimes he reminds me of Will Pharrell in Wedding Crashers “MOMMMMM, turn the camera” “MOM! Bring me my baby” “MOM!! Sing me Twinkle Twinkle THROUGH the camera”.  This dude knows we are there on the other end and if we want him to stay in his bed we are going to do whatever he asks us to do. Immediately.

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I can’t blame the little man for his behavior, though.  I’m the one that’s fueling his fire.  But, after listening to Timber entirely too many times recently, I am on a mission to teach him the meaning of the word wait.  I’m starting with dinner.  Every night we sit and eat dinner as a family, and if he wants to get down for whatever reason he has concocted, I’ve decided he’s going to learn to wait.  This week I have given him 2 choices when he’s finished 1.  sit and talk with us and just wait or 2. read a book at the table while the rest of us finish.  He’s chosen the book each time and you know what?  He has been learning to “wait” for the rest of us.