Monday, July 30, 2018

Shopping For My Boys

Hi friends! One of the questions I get asked a ton is where I shop for the boys' clothes. I thought I'd share some of my favorite shops and tips + tricks for dressing my boys on a budget!

Online Shops: 

  • Bagsy 
    • I love Bagsy!! It is essentially an online consignment store for boutique brand clothing. You can search by brand, size, product type, etc. It makes it really easy to shop for specific things. Some of my best finds from that site have been several Vineyard Vines Shep Shirts, UGA shirts, and CrewCuts shirts. 
  • Smocked Auctions
    • This is my go to for anything smocked and coordinating. I love that I can pick something for both boys and you really can't beat the prices.
  • Cecil and Lou
    • This is another great online shop that I shop from frequently, especially around the holidays.
  • TBBC
    • I actually haven't ordered anything straight from their website but usually shop it in store at a local children's boutique. These are definitely splurge items for us and not something I typically buy for them. I love their swimsuits, pajamas, and holiday outfits!

Facebook/Instagram Pages

Etsy Shops

  • I already mentioned it above, but my favorite place to get boutique style gingham shorts is from the Etsy shop LazyDayCrafts. Shipping takes about 3 weeks but you just can't beat her price. I have ordered the regular shorts and the bubble shorts and love them!
  • I love Old Navy for basic khaki shorts, pants, and blue jeans. 


I really love dressing my boys and truly consider it one of my hobbies haha I definitely do a lot of mix and match with nicer, more expensive things, and inexpensive things. I typically spend the most money on clothes around the holidays because I usually buy things that are a little nicer during that time. We have a clothing budget for each month and I plan ahead for each season. For example, right now I am looking for things for football season because I know that's mostly what we'll be wearing in the coming months. In September I'll start ordering for Thanksgiving and Christmas. That way I can spread out my purchases and it's not as hard of a hit all at the same time. 

Monday, July 23, 2018

Playroom + Preschool

Our playroom has come a long way. From this...

to this...

You can read all about my journey to a more simple lifestyle HERE.

One of the things I love most about our playroom are the types of toys we have. Most every toy is open-ended. Meaning the boys have to actually play with the toy vs. the toy doing the playing for them. They have tons of balls, trucks, animals, people, etc. They are both very imaginative with their toys. We also don't have just "boy" toys. We have a dollhouse, a baby doll, and a play kitchen. I think it's super important for my boys to be sensitive and caring and a lot of that starts with playing with these types of toys. I love watching them take care of their baby, cook meals, or pretend play in their house.

Thanks to Adam's mom keeping a lot of his books from his childhood plus my love for children's literature the boys have a TON of books. Even though they have a lot of books they do not have access to all of them. I keep them up on a higher shelf (in rainbow color order, obviously) and only have a small basket on the floor. I rotate books based on the season or just whatever they're interested in. They probably have 5-10 books in their basket at a time. I love doing this because it always keeps them interested in what's in the basket and helps them continue to grow a love for reading without overwhelming them with a million different options. It's also fun to see them remember their favorites and specifically ask for them to be put in their basket.

I have also recently started including a lot of educational toys and games for Bennett into our play routine. Being that he is only 3 we are really just beginning to work on things, and it's not anything I force him to do. We spend probably a total of an hour per week on these types of activities. I have started picking themes and choosing activities that he can do to help practice letter and number recognition, cutting, tracing, etc. A lot of these things are things that Shep can play with as well even without the educational purpose. I do a lot of fine motor practice with him, putting different things into bins, sorting, etc. This might seem overwhelming, especially if you're not a teacher, but I get all of the resources from Pinterest or Teachers Pay Teachers and usually find everything for free. I bring home some things from my classroom or purchase cheap supplies on Amazon. The Target dollar spot is the BEST for super simple supplies like themed erasers, cut outs, and window clings. Super simple and easy. It's really fun for me to use my love of teaching for my own kiddos at home. It also gives them something extra to do on the days they are at home during the week or on the weekends. (We are fortunate that they are able to go to pre-school three days a week and then are home with family the other days.)

Something that I think is worth mentioning. Although we are very pro-creative and imaginative play we are not anti-screen time. Our boys watch their fair share of (quality) television and Bennett has an Amazon Fire Kids tablet. However, we are pretty strict on their access and the amount of time they spend in front of a screen. When it comes to t.v. shows we typically only watch shows that are on DVR. We do this so we can fast-forward through commercials and they aren't constantly seeing advertisements for toys they don't need ; ) For Bennett's tablet he can only use it for about 10-15 minutes at a time, a couple times a day. Overall, the boys don't have more than an hour of screen time on most days, unless we are watching a movie as a family, and in that case it's rare that they actually sit through the entire thing anyway! Some days they use the whole hour, other days we don't turn it on at all, it really just depends. As with everything I think you just have to do what works best for your family and your children!

I love that we are really getting into a groove with our more simple lifestyle and the boys are absolutely thriving!

Friday, July 20, 2018

Five on Friday

Hi friends! We have had such a great, relaxing week at home. We have gone HARD this summer and done so many fun things so it was very welcoming to have a full week at home to just be together. I go back to work on Monday so I was soaking in every sweet second with my boys. I thought I'd share five little snippets from my week...

1- The boys and I popped into my classroom earlier this week and I was so excited to see all these supplies + tons more waiting for me. Teacher Christmas!! I am really excited to start back next week!

2- I bought Shep these Keds and I am obsessed with them on him! I know we will get tons of wear out of them this fall. I want to get him a navy pair for his birthday : )

3- Since we've been home I've listened to a lot of Podcasts this week.

  • Journey Women | Wisely Navigating Smartphone Use with Tony Reinke | Ep. 57
    • This one was incredibly timely for me. There were so many great, practical, tips for using Smartphones. One of the things that really jumped out at me was the fact that not everyone needs to be on social media, and not everyone needs to be off of it. For a lot of people it's an area of ministry and the Lord can really use it to draw people closer to him.
  • The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey | Happy Hour #202: Brittany Price Brooker
    • If you follow Brittany on social media or you know her and Daniel's story then you know this one did not disappoint. I don't think I will ever grow tired of hearing her speak and her intense faithfulness in the Lord. I have learned so much from her ability to point to Jesus in all circumstances. 
  • Simple Families | SFP 115: The Benefits of Rowdy Play [with Frances Carlson of Big Body Play]
    • I originally listened to this because #BoyMama but honestly it was so so good for me as a teacher as well! They discussed the reasons why "big body play" is developmentally appropriate, as well as necessary for children. I loved the way they broke down play with children with sensory needs. It was very fascinating and informative!
  • Simply Life on Purpose | Ep. 36 | How to Simplify Meal Planning with Natasha Red
    • This was another very timely podcast as I just posted about our simple meal planning + grocery shopping routine earlier this week. Natasha gave a lot of really great ways to meal plan seasonally. 

4- We have been loving the new season of Outdaughtered. Bennett LOVES to watch it with me. We always laugh because Adam and Danielle are just like Me and my's hilarious to us. Also, seeing how calm and organized Danielle is with the quints + a 7 year old just amazes me!!

5- I can't believe it's already time to start thinking about it, but Shepard's 2nd birthday is about a month and a half away.. I really can't believe it. We don't do big birthday parties (yet) so we're looking forward to celebrating him with a Taco Tuesday Fiesta dinner with our families!