Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My Daughter's Sense of Style

It is almost time to send the kids back to school and shop for school clothes. This summer is slipping from my hands like grains of sand. Getting ready for school marks the end of summer for us - no more beach trips or weekends at the campground. Instead we get ready for football season, science projects, and evening study time. It looks like this fall will be the start of dance lessons for my daughter too. After having 3 boy and finally a girl, I am loving all the girlie, frilly, and pink clothes that I get to buy. But I fear my choices in what she wears is slowly coming to an end. She is now vocal about what she wants and what she does not like. She is 3 and is claiming her style independence much sooner than any of my boys did. My oldest boy was close to 12 before he found his style with baggy jeans and over sized tee shirts (He is now 21 and has grown out of that style)- I fought that one tooth and nail. My next son, who is now 19, followed the "athletic" style... jerseys, team sports apparel, and the newest and coolest sneakers (which I don't think they call them sneakers anymore, ha ha). When he got into high school he had to get what everyone else was wearing and refused to wear any of the new clothes I had just bought.... I was not a happy camper. From then on, I told him he was allowed a certain dollar amount for school clothes and if he wanted something more expensive or out of the budget, he had to pay for it with his own money from his job. He wanted name brands I could not afford (as a single mother) at the time. He also had to have his hair styled and expensive cologne - He was a fashionisto before his time. My third son just turned 10, and like his oldest brother, he really doesn't care what he wears as long as it is comfortable. He still enjoys the character clothing such as Star Wars and Pokemon. One thing he does ask for is skater shoes, he likes to skateboard.

So, as you can see, I was so excited when I learned a girl was coming. I dreamed of pink, dresses, ribbons, and hair accessories. And it has been that way, up until now. Her Dad loves to dress her up in the cool retro 80's clothes with checkered shoes, rock band tees, and mini skirts with leggings. She no longer wants any part of that. If she thinks it belongs on a boy, she will not wear it (willingly). Her jeans have to have embroidered flowers or hearts on them, but she would much rather fancy a tutu or a beautiful dress. She tells me I have to fix her hair because in the morning she has "crazy hair". For a 3 year old, she has an extensive vocabulary and can relay her opinions quite well. And she is very opinionated! I am embracing every moment of it, and letting her express her individuality. I can not wait to see the young woman she will become.

School shopping was always a chore, because the boys all wanted different styles of clothing. Some things we had to get at specialty stores. My first stop every year is JC Penny. They have a wide range of athletic and dress shoes as well as clothes for all ages and styles. My 10 year old can pick out some trendy skater wear and my darling daughter can find the perfect dress. I still pick up outfits for my older boys occasionally, or I will purchase a JC Penny gift card for them to shop themselves. Everyone is happy and I don't have to make more trips shopping than I have to. And the bonus, I earn JC Penny rewards for shopping there!! Yay! They also offer convenient online shopping and customer service on their website

What are your kids' individual styles and where do you shop for their clothes? I would love to hear about it, leave me a comment below! Enjoy what is left of your summer and happy Back to School shopping!!

**Please note: “I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and jcpenney blogging program, for a gift card worth $50. For more information on how you can participate, click here ."

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Make Life Easier and More Efficient while on the Go

Many of us are often "on the go" with work, family, and social engagements. Everyone needs to be somewhere but not at the same place at the same time. My kids are on summer vacation and you would think the running around would slow down a bit, but it hasn't. I still need to get work and errands done, but the kids want to be entertained or dropped off at a friends, the park, or the pool. Some days I feel like I am on auto pilot, just going and going. Thank goodness for Seattles Best Coffee Iced Lattes, they keep me going when I'm on the go! I have already been to Chicago this summer to pick up my son from Navy training school and I took my Iced Latte with me. If I can squeeze in another "short-cation", I would take Seattles Best Coffee Iced Lattes with me to Cincinnati. Where would you take your Iced Latte?

This is just one thing that makes life easier on the go. Seattles Best Coffee Iced Lattes come in single cans or four packs in three great flavors; Iced Latte, Iced Vanilla Latte, and Iced Mocha. Seattle's Best Coffee makes it so easy to grab and go! No more waiting at the drive thru or in line at a coffee shop! I have several tips to share with you to make your life easier and more efficient while on the go. Here are my ten favorite:

1. Have a kids "emergency" bag packed with wipies, toys, snacks, etc., ready to go or in the car.

2. Use the date calendar on your phone or mobile device and set reminder alerts.

3. Set anything that needs to get returned (i.e. videos, library books) in a spot near the door that is visible so you don't forget them.

4. Buy enough groceries for the entire week to lessen the trips. I always stock up on juice, toilet paper, laundry soap, etc., so I don't have to make emergency trips.

5. Utilize online bill pay when possible. It is safe, secure, and easy to follow up on. No postage stamp or over the phone fee required!

6. I always keep wet ones and a Tide pen in the glove compartment for life's little "OOPS"... they happen at the worst time!

7. Invest in a mini sewing kit to keep in your purse or glove box. It is a life saver! Most provide buttons and small safety pins- handy for immediate wardrobe malfunctions!

8. Before you set out to run errands, make a list of your stops, prepare checks, and have postage ready for mail ~ this greatly shortens time spent running around. And you can drive the most efficient route without backtracking.

9. If you have a mobile device, install traffic and weather apps to keep you informed of any hazards or delays.

10. Confirm appointments a couple days prior to ensure you have the right date and time. Nothing worse than taking a day off to find out it was another date or time!

There are so many ways we can be more efficient and make life easier, what are some tips you can share here? I am a big coffee lover, iced and hot, so I am very thankful that Seattles Best Coffee has provided a product that makes my life easier and puts a smile on my face at the same time :)

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Seattle’s Best Coffee blogging program for a gift card worth $30. For more information on how you can participate, click here."

Monday, July 11, 2011

10 Reasons I Want To Go To Virginia Beach

It is vacation time and I always get asked, "Where do you want to go on vacation?" There are many places I dream of going, but to be practical, I decided that I am much more likely to go on vacation to a U.S. destination. I am a lover of the beach and water so this pick was a no brainer- Virginia Beach. And here is why:

1. Most hotels and resorts are right on the shore front, so nice to just walk to the beach! There are over 50 hotels along Virginia Beach!

2. The boardwalk. Yes! Virginia Beach has a boardwalk!! It stretches from 4th Street to 40th Street and there is a bike path too!

3. The ocean front dining. I am a foodie and dream of eating fresh crab cakes and sushi at casual dining establishments such as Mahi Mah's and Ocean Eddie's.

4. The golf courses. My fiance' is an avid golfer and would love to brag to his friends that he played on the Arnold Palmer Signature Course at Bay Creek. The course is so beautiful! Many golf courses to choose from.

5.The nightlife. You can relax at one of the many bars or clubs along the beach. I wouldn't mind sipping a Fat Tuesday margarita from Guadalajara's Mexican Restaurant while listening to the waves hit shore.

6. The fishing. I would love nothing more than to catch my own tuna. There are many chartered fishing boat services available if you want to go out in the ocean and fish.

7. The attractions. There is a plethora of amusement parks, water parks, and theaters near Virginia Beach. I could really go for a music concert at the Virginia Beach Amphitheater!

8. The water activities. My family could spend all day renting jet skis, para sailing, or surfing. Not a water fan? They also offer mountain bike tours and ballooning!

9. The boat tours. How exciting to go dolphin or whale watching at sunset! I can't think of anything more relaxing than being on a boat enjoying the sunset and seeing the dolphin play. Spectacular.

10. The beach. My idea of a vacation is lounging on the beach let the kids play in the sand while looking out on the ocean. Nothing compares to the salt air, warm sandy beaches, and beautiful blue waters!

Now, how can you tell me you wouldn't want to visit Virginia Beach after reading my reasons? I am fortunate to live close enough to Virginia Beach that we could drive there in about 12 hours. It is a great family getaway or a couple's getaway if you prefer. I am certain it would make for great vacation memories either way! Virginia Beach, I hear you calling me!

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Virginia Beach Tourism blogging program, for a gift card worth $40. For more information on how you can participate, click here."