Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

Small-Budget Crushes 12.18.16

Sunday, December 18th, 2016

Treat Yo Self Bag

treat yo self bag

Classic Chambray Shirt

classic chambray shirt, two washes

Richie Tenebaum II

Richie Tenebaum II print

book-covered-matchboxes

book covered matchboxes

Crosley Ranchero Tabletop Radio

crosley ranchero tabletop radio

Literary Tea Collection

literary tea collection

fell-asleep-here-bookmark

fell asleep here bookmark

Cross-Back Lace Bralettes

cross-back lace bralettes 

Les Miserables

les miserables

Knitting Needle Gauge

knitting needle gauge

Champagne Bar Bell

champagne bar bell

Keep on window shopping by visiting all of my Small-Budget Crushes. This post contains affiliate links that help our site! Thank you for supporting me! xoxo 

 

Small-Budget Crushes 12.11.16

Sunday, December 11th, 2016

Notre Dame Wine Glass

notre dame wine glass (pick a map of your own!)

Cozy Parka Jacket

cozy parka jacket

Jane Austen Books

jane austen books

Jensen Turntable With Radio

jensen turntable with radio (perfect for NPR in the morning!)

Weaving Loom Kit

weaving loom kit

fantastic cities coloring book

fantastic cities coloring book

fair isle sweater

fair isle sweater

library card socks

library card socks

On Your Bust Behavior

on your bust behavior

alexander hamilton book bag

hamilton book bag

Keep on window shopping by visiting all of my Small-Budget Crushes. This post contains affiliate links that help our site! Thank you for supporting me! xoxo 

Our Hamilton Chicago Family Review and Experience

Monday, December 5th, 2016

Our Hamilton Chicago Family Review and Experience

It’s 4:30 in the morning and I just can’t sleep. I can admit that I am still riding on quite the high after returning last night from a, TRULY, unforgettable weekend with my family. For those of you that follow me on the interwebz, you already know why it was so exciting, but if you are just catching up, I wanted to share with you the surprise getaway I pulled off to see Hamilton in Chicago with my kids. So many people have been messaging me and asking us questions about our experience that I thought I would share it with you so that others could replicate all the fun that we had!

How We Caught the Hamilton Bug

We caught the Hamilton bug a little later than most of my friends, but when we caught it,  we we fell fast and hard for Hamilton. During a marathon on a puzzle, over our Fall break, we started listening to the soundtrack with our kids. As soon as it finished, they begged to listen to it all over again…and again…and again. It happened to be around the time of the PBS documentary, so we curled up on a couch with them and watched that too. As we drove home from our holiday (blasting Hamilton at full volume), we asked the kids IF (and this was a big IF) we could get tickets to Hamilton, would they be interested in doing this for Christmas. Our family is BIG on experiences and not big on crap in our house so this was, of course, a welcome and familiar idea for our kids.  In fact, we have done a couple of our very own Choose Your Own Adventure Christmas gifts that have been an incredible way to give the gift of experience to our children.

We did not talk about it again with them and pretended like this would never happen in a million years. In fact, they did not know until the morning we left where we were even headed, not only because we wanted to surprise them, but because it didn’t even feel real to us.

hamilton

How Did We Get Tickets!?!

We are known for being frugal so thinking about buying tickets when balcony seats are going for $600 (or more!) seemed way out of our comfort zone for pricing. This month was a crazy month for us though on the site thanks to Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the holiday content I had written. We doubled our ad revenue this past month, thanks to that burst in traffic, and we had more sales than we have ever had through the site, sometimes in just a single day!  Each time you make a purchase, we make a small commision off your purchases.  This passive revenue is nothing I ever bank on, it is always just a really happy surprise.

Basically, THANK YOU!

Just in case, I glossed over the whole the site did great stuff, this was the most work I have ever put into it this season. I actually went four days without sleep or a shower, we ate cereal for a week so I could hang out online tracking stuff, and I was pretty awful to everyone around me.

I like to live in a truthful place.

In the end, we pretended like that extra money did not exist and set that amount aside to give our family an experience of a lifetime. It was money that we did not bank upon so it made that a wee bit easier to spend.

 

Privatebank Theater Seating

Just because you have the money though doesn’t make it easier to spend especially if you are unfamiliar with a theater or its seating. PrivateBank Theater  (formerly Bank of America Theatre- VERY CONFUSING!) has some really good seats and some REALLY terrible seats.  My worst fear is to spend a ridiculous amount of money only to find that we can’t see a thing when we got there.

I spent a month scoping out tickets, but also asked for advice from a friend who frequently buys concert tickets and is just a guru in general on ticket buying. His advice was to wait until the last possible minute to insure the best deal on the tickets.

We are a two hour drive away from Chicago so we knew we could do that.

 

vivd-seats-2

After searching on a million sites, we ended up going with VividSeats for two reasons. The first reason was that they actually had the lowest priced tickets after hunting all of the other usual suspect sites. The second was that they offered a 100% buyer guarantee on those seats and it felt less risky than doing something like buying them on eBay.

I used the site,  A View From My Seat to help us figure out if our seats would be good or not. This is a great tool for ANY event you are going to and can help determine if your tickets are a good value or not. Basically, people take a quick phone shot from their seat and tell you whether it is a good one or not. This was the shot that I found from the tickets we were looking at which said, “Limited View.” Because the view was limited, it lowered the value on the tickets and gave us seats in Orchestra Row F for $300 each which ended up being less than the nosebleed seats. Spoiler alert:  the seats were fantastic and better than we could hope for! More on that later…

hamilton-day

Was the process smooth? No, thanks to the seller we bought them from. Waiting until last minute yielded great prices and a panic attack until they arrived. I logged in to check that the tickets had been sent out and Wednesday evening they still had not been sent out for us to leave on Saturday morning. I called VividSeats where I talked to a real-life person who put me on hold, called the seller on another line, and discovered he had not sent them out like he was supposed to. We made alternate back-up arrangements to have them shipped directly to our hotel and she assured me that I would be getting my tickets as soon as possible.

The tickets were overnighted and arrived on my doorstep at 4:30 PM the night before we left. I was so thankful to have them in my hands and practically kissed the delivery man who looked bewildered at the unshowered woman in her pajamas having a near meltdown at the front door. I really appreciated that VividSeats was quick to action and that they made sure that they honored their buyer guarantee to have them to us before our event.

We woke them in the morning and I think they were just stunned. I had packed their bags for them and we were a little disappointed they weren’t losing it about all of this. It wasn’t until we pulled up to the hotel that they were BESIDE THEMSELVES. Much like us, seeing is believing!
thewit chicago

thewit chicago

Where Did We Stay for Hamilton Chicago?

This was our first overnight with our kids in Chicago, but not my own first overnight there. When I did a girl’s trip, one of the gals arranged our stay at theWit. We got the room for a steal and had a really enjoyable stay so it seemed like a great place to try again. The best part is that it was within walking distance of everything so after I booked our tickets, I booked a stay again at theWit. Definitely check for deals through sites like Booking.com, Hotels.com, or TripAdvisor for scoring a really good rate.

Staying for a girl’s trip is a lot different than staying somewhere with your kids though. I was shocked when the concierge emailed me and said that he saw were coming with our children and wanted to be available to me to answer any questions. We knew our kids would love getting Chicago pizza so I emailed a request for a nearby option for gluten-free pizza. They emailed their pick (it was PERFECTION!) and a menu so we could look it over before we came.

The night before arriving the concierge called again to make sure we had everything in place. He explained the valet parking option ($65 overnight and they park it for you!), went over what time we would be arriving so our room would be ready, and assured us they were available moving forward for anything and gave me his number to call if anything came up.

Um, awesome!

We ended up getting there an hour earlier than we said and the staff was apologetic that the room was just being inspected and not ready. After we threw our diva fit about it being unacceptable (JUST KIDDING!)  they got us water and snacks and a few short minutes later, we had keys and headed up to our beautiful room. After breakfast, we came back to a gorgeous complimentary fruit platter welcoming us which was, seriously, the nicest thing ever.

This location was about a 10-15 minute walk to theater and on the way we could see all the beautiful holiday displays in the windows!
Hamilton Chicago Family Review

Hamilton Chicago Family Review

Hamilton Chicago Family Review

What Did We Think of Hamilton Chicago?

As we headed into the theater, an older couple asked if my husband and I were aware of the content in Hamilton since we came with our kids. He grinned and said that they had heard the soundtrack many a time and that we were very aware of what we were taking them to.

There are a couple of f-bombs in the show and there is a sexy number, when Hamilton is involved in a torrid affair,  that is pretty sultry. There are also a few sexual innuendos and such that I doubt went completely over their heads.

Here is what I will say about this. I’m a Christian and we have kept our kids very sheltered from a lot in life. At the same time, there are a few things that have recently happened that gave us confidence that our children had the maturity to see this show.

The first is that they are both in middle school now.

Do you remember middle school?

Hard knock life, yo!

They are already hearing this stuff from their peers and what they saw on stage, I doubt, is any worse than they get to experience on a bus ride.

I’m just having a little flashback to a good Christian girl getting down to Humpty Dance repeatedly at dances reminds me that I’m not too worried about seeing a musical with my kids- hahaha!

The second thing is that this political season has been a doozy and they have been exposed to a lot of garbage thanks to that. Many things happened that I wished I could have sheltered them from, but they still heard all that stuff from their peers, on their news at school in the mornings, and what they have heard on NPR.  This election season, as awful as it was, has created a really honest dialogue with our children about politics and our beliefs. Hamilton is about politics and it is also about a revolution.

You know, our kids are living through a revolution right now and we wanted them to see what happens when people become a part of that narrative for change.

We want to raise kids that are part of the change, part of the good, part of the narrative.

The only worry we had about the Pence drama, by the way, was that it would raise the price of our tickets.

If you thought that might be a worry for us, I encourage you to get to know our family better!

Namaste.

Hamilton Chicago Cast

source: chicago sun times

Being familiar with the original cast doesn’t insure anything though, does it? I have gone to many shows where the current cast was a world away from the original cast. Here is what I want to say, this cast is as incredible as the original cast and does not AT ALL feel like a second-rate show. Being as close to the stage as we were, certainly gave us a very personal perspective of the acting to really witness every nuance and every facial expression. I can’t begin to tell you how moving and how incredibly well done this production is.

Lin-Manuel handpicked their next lead for Hamilton and this is the first leading role for Miguel. You would have never known he hadn’t been the lead in everything he has done and Miguel adds his own flavor to Hamilton, never feeling like a Lin-Manuel knockoff ever at any point in this show.

Every single actor is incredible so it feels unkind to single any out, but I have to do it.

Joshua Henry is one of the most incredible talents I have ever seen on the stage. He played Burr in such a controlled way and the emotions he displayed had me absolutely weeping through much of the show. His voice was unreal good and a perfect rendering needed for Burr.

Ari Afasar’s performance as Eliza was the one that I was most worried about. Phillipa Soo’s voice doesn’t seem like a voice that can be replicated, but Ari’s performance was astounding and perfectly pitched too. It was so much better than I could have ever expected.

Karen Olivo made from an incredible Angelica. There is this point in the show, after her toast to the bride and groom, where the emotion is rawly displayed on her face at this union between her sister & Hamilton. For me, it was one of the moments that made the whole show. In fact, I could burst into tears again thinking about it. That one moment, for me, really showed off what caliber of actress she was.

Hamilton Chicago Cast

source: chicago times

Chris De’Sean Lee plays both Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson and adds humor and heart to this performance. He soars in, “What’d I Miss?” and had my kids belly-laughing through his portions in the show.

Alex Gemignani as King George could not have been more pitch perfect. There is so much about his part that you don’t get to hear on the soundtrack and he adds so much hilarity to an often serious show. In fact, King George ended up being both kid’s favorite in the show.

Even the stage was so cleverly constructed and set designer, David  Korins, shared that they even tried 33 different colors of brick before they found the one that matched the costumes best. Not a detail was spared on this project and it shows.

At the angle we were seated, we could look into the wing of the theater as the actors exited and entered on stage. I have done so many shows during my own time of theater so I was curiously watching them while trying to take in the show. They never once broke character, not once. Each face you would gaze upon was completely in that moment on stage and never strayed. I think that also says a lot!

Generously, after our performance, Alex shared that they were raising money to assist those with HIV. Several members of their cast stood with buckets to take our donations and it was incredibly moving as a fan to get to say, “YOU WERE AMAZING,” in a really intense stalker kind of way to them.

I hope we didn’t scare them.

As soon as we left, my wish was to do it all over again. The show felt like minutes for me, my son, and my husband. My daughter, however, was satisfied with the first act and it took a forty dollar soda to get her back in her seat for the second act.

She loved it, it was just a long day of travel and excitement for her!

At ten and fourteen, I do believe they loved and appreciated this experience. It’s like Disney…you want them to be old enough to appreciate it so you feel like you made a good investment. We really felt like this was a great age for that.

The Art Institute of Chicago

What Else Did We Do After Hamilton Chicago?

The kids were pretty wiped after the show and we were really glad we picked the 2PM one and not the evening performance because of that. We packed a collection of our favorite Christmas movies (these two for them and this one for us!) and scored a DVD player through the guest services at our hotel. We ordered our yummy pizza, got in our pajamas, and had a Christmas movie marathon.

After a lazy morning, we headed over to The Art Institute of Chicago for the day and got to see some REALLY incredible art (it was also within walking distance of our hotel!)If you haven’t been, it’s an incredible museum filled with more art than you can ever imagine. They also have a beautiful cafe to sip some warm drinks in between.

Shake Shack

Shake Shack

We finished our trip with our first visit to a Shake Shack (which was right across the street from the museum!)  and I really hope it isn’t our last. HOLY YUM!! You can get their patties wrapped in lettuce if you are gluten-free. The shakes are divine and a midday glass of wine hit the spot too for this tired mama!

Unfortunately, the weather took an awful turn and my poor husband had to get us back in the middle of a whiteout and slick roads. We were all so thankful to be home after seeing so many people in accidents. Had the weather not done that, the entire weekend would have been absolutely perfect.

The Hamilton Mixtape

We managed to make it through that awful weather thanks, in part,  to The Hamilton Mixtape that came out giving us a chance to hear songs from the show in an entirely different way. If you haven’t heard it yet, you are in for a real treat. Artists like Sia, Nas, Alicia Keys, Andra Day, Jimmy Fallon, The Roots and so many other incredible talents put their own personal spin on songs from the musical. You also get to hear the original demos as well as some original music that was created and mixed just for this project. You must, must, must listen to it!

hamilton-chicago-family-review

This Christmas will definitely go down in our memory books as one of the best we have ever had. Thank you to the incredible cast of Hamilton Chicago for making it an experience we shall never forget and making an incredible family memory that I hope will last a lifetime!

Thanks so much for letting us share about our experience with you!

Have questions? Ask me!

This post contains affiliate links that help our site! Thank you for supporting me! xoxo 

 

Real Simple Magazine $5 for a Year (and more book deals!!)

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

Real Simple Magazine

I hope you guys got some incredible deals yesterday!  I tallied up how many books were downloaded yesterday and there were 175 digital books sold in a single day. I am pretty sure that is a record for this site! The two most downloaded books were The Two-Family House & The Magnolia Story. What great picks! Thank you for your purchases that help support this site.

I’m not normally a deal hunter, but there are just a couple of other sales that are still running right now that would make for some fantastic gifts.

Magazine Deal

Real Simple Magazine is offering subscriptions at just $5 for the whole year today! It remains one of my favorite magazines and would make a wonderful gift for someone you love!

If you missed out on yesterday’s book deals, I went back and checked what was still available and I’m sharing a few others today!

Kindle Deals

Book Deals Still Offered

Only a few expired their deep discounts so if you missed it yesterday, here is what is still available. Check the sale page for more great books!

THE WONDER, $3.99

THE TWO-FAMILY HOUSE, $2.99

BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, $2.99 (this is my TOP thriller I read this year!)

PRETTY GIRLS, $3.99

THE GOOD GIRL, $3.99 (I interviewed Mary Kubica and it is one of our most visited author interviews)

THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS, $3.99 (I got a rare opportunity to interview M.R. Carey about this incredible read)

YES, PLEASE, $3.99

THE MAGNOLIA STORY, $4.99

GAME OF THRONES (bucket list read) BOOK 1, $1.99

ORPHAN TRAIN, $1.99

THE AMERICAN HEIRESS (bucket list read), $2.99

TRULY MADLY GUILTY, $2.99

THE HUNGER GAMES, $2.99

DUMPLIN, (bucket list read), $2.99

I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN, $1.99 (read my interview with Jandy Nelson and hear why this book made my top ten last year!)

Other Great Book Deals (never miss a day of deals by joining our FB book club group!)

PRESENT OVER PERFECT, $4.99

FURIOUSLY HAPPY, $3.99

FALLING FREE, $2.99

THE HUSBAND’S SECRET, $4.99

SERENA, $1.99

BEYOND BELIEF, $1.99

DON’T YOU CRY, $2.99

THE ROUND HOUSE, $2.99

THE MUSE, $2.99

THE SECRETS OF MIDWIVES, $2.99

APPETITE, $.99

THE CURIOUS CHARMS OF ARTHUR PEPPER, $2.99

THE GIRL FROM THE SAVOY, $1.99

SECRETS OF NANREATH HALL, $1.99

THE OUTLIERS, $1.99 (a solid YA read and you can read my author interview over here)

ESCAPE FROM ASYLUM, $1.99

ORPHAN #8, $1.99

BELONG TO ME, $1.99

A STEP TOWARD FALLING, $1.99

THE CROWN’S GAME, $2.99

THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US, $1.99 (a clean YA read for your teen!)

THE MAN FROM ST. PETERSBURG, $1.99

sorel-boots

A Few Other Good Buys

Half off on these Sorel Boots- they are gorgeous!!!! Here are some other pairs that are on sale with Cyber Monday extension.

Amazon Devices are still discounted!

Shutterfly is still honoring their Cyber Monday prices! 50% off plus 25% off EXTRA. Use coupon code CYBER25 (I ordered my cards using this deal and paid WAY less than last year!)

J. Crew Factory is still at 60% off and sale items are an additional 40% off with coupon code HAPPYSALE. (I ended up getting my kiddo’s holiday apparel this year from there and it was comparable to Target pricing!)

Amazon’s Cyber Week Deals Continues- check this page for updates

Samsung Wireless Charger, $19.99

Purchase 3 Movie DVD’s for just $13.99 (lots of great family options- a nice stocking stuffer!)

Back to the Future Box Set, $39.99

6-Quart Instant Pot is still offered at a great deal (I promise, it pays for itself in one week of awesome meals!)

Hoover Carpet Cleaner (65% off!!)

Buy one get one free on shoes

Exploding Kittens (NSFW)- please note this is the ADULT game not for your kiddos, $16.99

Epson Wireless Printer (save $40 today!)

Don’t forget to shop my 2016 MomAdvice Unique Holiday Gift Guide. I am sure that many of the items highlighted are on deep discounts today! Happy holiday shopping!

This post contains affiliate links that help our site! Thank you for supporting me! xoxo 

 

Happy Cyber Monday, Bookworms! Up to 80% off Kindle Books!

Monday, November 28th, 2016

kindle-deals

Oh, it’s a good day to be a bookworm! Amazon is offering over 400 books at up to 85% off today!  If you want to browse around, here is the landing page for all of the deals.

To save you some time hunting, here are my favorite picks from today’s sale!

BEFORE THE FALL, $3.99
THE WONDER (on my reading bucket list for winter!), $3.99
WHERE’D YOU GO, BERNADETTE, $2.99
THE TWO FAMILY HOUSE, $2.99
BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, $2.99
PRETTY GIRLS, $3.99
THE GOOD GIRL, $3.99
THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS, $3.99
YES, PLEASE, $3.99
THE MAGNOLIA STORY (haven’t read yet, but great ratings!), $4.99
THE GIRL WHO WROTE IN SILK (also on my bucket list), $1.99
GAME OF THRONES (bucket list read) BOOK 1, $1.99
ORPHAN TRAIN, $1.99
THE AMERICAN HEIRESS (bucket list read), $2.99
TRULY MADLY GUILTY, $2.99
THE HUNGER GAMES, $2.99
THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS (bucket list read), $1.99
DUMPLIN, (bucket list read), $2.99

I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN, $1.99

Don’t forget to use Promo Code HOLIDAYBOOK to get $10 off a $25 book purchase on Amazon today! Stumped for book choices? Check here!

My Top Picks for Cyber Monday!

As far as Cyber Monday deals go- there is some GOOD STUFF happening today!

These are a few of my favorite picks for shopping!

Family Board Games are on sale & you get an extra 15% off on your entire purchase today at Target
Aromatherapy Diffuser, $28.99
50% off sweaters, shoes, & cold weather accessories at AE along with half-off deals at Aerie
Hunter Boots at Nordstrom, huge discounts
Additional 20% off at Macy’s today
Kindle, $49.99
Blendtec Blender, $237.99
Instant Pot, $49!!!!!
UGG Boots up to 50% off
Samsung Tablet, $149.98
Samsung 65″ Smart TV, $999
Kindle Paperwhite, $99.99
Kitchen Aid Mixer, $189
Black & Decker Cordless Drills $34.99
Roku Streaming Stick $34.99
Sonos Speaker, $149
40% off Sitewide on Crocs
If you are traveling, huge discounts today through Travelocity- 50% off a wide selection of hotel bookings, with an additional 17% off orders over $300
45% off your orders at Lands’ End today (good time to stock up on outerwear for the fam!)
Deepest discounts today at the Levi’s Store

Extra 30% off sale items at Anthropologie using code STACKS

Kindle Deals

Don’t forget to shop my 2016 MomAdvice Unique Holiday Gift Guide. I am sure that many of the items highlighted are on deep discounts today! Happy holiday shopping!

This post contains affiliate links that help our site! Thank you for supporting me! xoxo 

2016 MomAdvice Unique Holiday Gift Guide

Friday, November 25th, 2016

MomAdvice Unique Holiday Gift Guide

Each year I look forward to sharing a few unique gifts to add to your holiday wish list.  If you haven’t caught our It’s the 3 Little Things or our brand new Small-Budget Crushes features, you should tune in weekly to find weekly recommendations of great stuff to enjoy and share throughout the year. Today’s list includes a few I have shared before and LOTS of new things that I think you will love. My promise to you is that I only share gifts that I believe will add value to your home and life, not more items to junk it up.

There are gifts at all price points so I hope you find a few gift ideas that will inspire you for the giving season!

I am dividing this year’s list into categories for your holiday shopping! I can’t wait to hear what you think of this year’s selections!

For Her

 

botm-holiday-004

book of the month club membership (get or give a gift!)

Heated Throw

heated throw

Children's Drawing Necklace

children’s drawing necklace

DIY Cinema Lightbox

diy cinema lightbox

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

amazon kindle paperwhite (on sale for $99.99 today!!)- pair with a Scribd membership!!

Custom Kindle Book Covers

custom kindle book covers (loads of options!!)

 

Personalized Portrait Pendant

personalized portrait pendant

Canon Rebel T5 with Lens canon rebel t5 with 18-55mm lens, today only $350 SAVINGS!)

ugg slippers

ugg slippers (this style is on sale today for $63.91! check all ugg deals here)

monogram mousepad

monogram mousepad

exerpuetic-folding-stationary-bike-review

foldable exercise bike

Pioneer Woman Tea Organizer

tea organizer

Library Card iPhone Case library card iphone case

Sorel Boots

sorel boots (on sale today for just $108.71- pay attention on recommended sizing!!)

Instant Pot

instant pot (my FAVORITE household gadget- on sale today for $68.95!!!)

Tom's Tassel Booties

toms tassel booties (on sale today with nordstrom!! most comfortable shoes I own!)

 

flannel-drawstring-pants

flannel drawstring pants

single initial clay necklace

single initial clay necklace

hunter-boots

hunter boots (on sale today for $112.50!!!- don’t forget boot socks on sale today for just $37.50. check all hunter deals here)

northface-wind-resistant-jacket

northface wind resistant jacket- marked down to just $71.50 today!!! Check all northface deals here.)

For Him

Bike Taxidermy

bike taxidermy

Work Meeting Mug

work meeting mug

Bicycle Repair Kit

bicycle repair kits

flannel-lined-gloves

flannel lined gloves

bar-tool-set

bleeker ball tool set

Personalized Pocket Beard Comb personalized pocket beard comb

Leather Laptop Messenger Bag

leather messenger bag

Amazon Fire Stick

amazon fire stick (on sale today for $29.99!!)

Standing Laptop Desk

standing laptop desk

Ribbed Cardigan Sweater

ribbed cardigan sweater

 

For the Kids (All Ages)

Giant Steve Coloring Poster

giant minecraft coloring poster

Just Dance 2017 just dance 2017

Amazon Kindle Fire

amazon kindle fire (on sale today for $33.33!!)

Reverse Charades

reverse charades

Personalized Bar Necklace

personalized bar necklace

Personalized Trophy Rack

personalized trophy rack (lots of different sports options)

Picturesque Planning 2017 Coloring Calendar

picturesque planning 2017 coloring calendar

Instamax Mini

instamax mini

Personalized Book Stamp

personalized book stamp

Really Bad Art Board Game

really bad art board game

Beanbag Chair

beanbag chairs (many colors and prints!!)

Weaving Looming Kit

mini weaving looming kit (with classes on Craftsy for learning!)

Spy Gear Video Walkie Talkies

spy gear video walkie talkies

soundPEATS-wireless-bluetooth-headphones-review

wireless bluetooth headphones

knitted-animal-tails

knitted animal tails

Razor Scooter

razor scooter

canvas superstorage lapdesk

canvas superstorage lapdesk

Suspicion Board Game

suspicion board game

trail-mix-energy-bites-12

big fat notebooks series (for middle school kiddos!)

 

Unique Gift Offerings For Everyone

National Parks Explorers Guide

national parks explorers guide

Vintage Camper Bird House

vintage camper bird house

Teacher Gifts

personalized-starbucks-cup

personalized starbucks cups

Grammar Pillow

grammar pillow

Teacher Print

teacher print

One Big Gift

Many families opt for a single gift for the whole family so I did want to provide a few great options for a fun family gift.

sk8swing

Sk8Swing

joola outdoor ping pong table

outdoor ping pong table

xboxone_bundle_minecraft
Xbox One S Bundle

Choose Your Own Adventure

choose your own family adventure

MomAdvice Unique Holiday Gift Guide

Happy holidays!

This post contains affiliate links that help our site! Thank you for supporting me! xoxo 

Small-Budget Crushes 11.20.16

Sunday, November 20th, 2016

Son of a Nutcracker Sweater

son of a nutcracker sweater

Little People Big Dreams Book

little people big dreams book

Eiffel Tower Scissors

eiffel tower scissors

emily & meritt hanging toiletry casse

the emily & meritt hanging toiletry case

Wood Chess Board

wood chess board

Bike Repair Kit

bike repair kit

Golden Elephant Bookends

golden elephant bookends

Milestone Photo Prop

milestone photo prop (months & years!!)

Snow Bunny Pillow

snow bunny pillow

Sea Captain Embroidery Kit

sea captain embroidery kit

library-neck-ties

library neckties Polka Dotted Puffer Vest

polka dotted puffer vest

Faux Fur Stocking

faux fur stocking

Divers Art Print

divers art print

pride and prejudice coloring book

pride & prejudice coloring book

 

Keep on window shopping by visiting all of my Small-Budget Crushes. This post contains affiliate links that help our site! Thank you for supporting me! xoxo 

Small-Budget Crushes 11.13.16

Sunday, November 13th, 2016

Origami Kitchen Cart

origami kitchen cart (many colors- this is the one I got) PS- FOLDS FLAT FOR STORAGE!!

holiday-sack

holiday sack

Home Is Where the La Croix Is

a la croix welcome

Camel Cape

camel cape Feminist With a To-Do List

feminist with a to-do list pin

Tassel Earrings

tassel earrings

Fit & Flare Dress

fit & flare dress

Rolling Pin

rolling pin

Faux Fur Scarf

faux fur scarf

Leather Laptop Messenger Bag

leather laptop messenger bag

Dip Dyed Stools

dip dyed stools

Cuddle Weather Pillow

cuddle weather pillow

Silver Cat Stitch Markers

Silver Cat Stitch Markers Kit

necklace

single initial clay necklace

Keep on window shopping by visiting all of my Small-Budget Crushes. This post contains affiliate links that help our site! Thank you for supporting me! xoxo 

 

How Capsule Wardrobes Build Confidence

Sunday, November 6th, 2016

Fall Capsule Wardrobe Ideas from MomAdvice.com

 

This post is sponsored by thredUP. Thank you for supporting the companies that support this site!

In 2014, I discovered the world of Project 333 and decided that I wanted to give a capsule wardrobe a try. It had a way of impacting not only my closet, but impacting my entire life. I realized the beauty in the editing, the simplifying, and the high that comes from discovering how much fun it is to make one piece work in multiple ways.

I also began to realize the importance of investing in good quality pieces since they work so much harder than they used to. The items I have in my closet are primarily from J. Crew, Madewell, Anthropologie, and Banana Republic. You might be surprised to know that I have rarely (if ever) shopped in any of those places though. My discovery of an online consignment resource called thredUP enabled me to make the finer things a part of my life on a Target-sized budget.

Over 80% of my capsule wardrobe has come from this store and I love the company’s mission to not only share great quality clothing for a fraction of the price, but they also love to inspire women with their #badassmoms series. This month, for example, they profiled journalist, Megan Alexander, on how she manages the mom juggle while tackling front-line reporting for Inside Edition and even the Super Bowl. “Hard work, hustle, flexibility, and a positive attitude. It sounds simple but it works,” is her motto for life. These profiles are meant to inspire and encourage women to be their very best.

You really get a sense of the hustle in this piece and the hustle of so many other moms that are making the world a better place while caring for their family.

I love each of these pieces, but Brandi Riley’s story, in particular, resonated with my own journey It isn’t just because she is a blogger, but it is because she is a blogger doing big things for others in her community. She founded a program, Courage to Earn, that lends support to female digital entrepreneurs. It inspires me so much to think outside-the-box with my own business and how I can help support other people around me to reach their own goals.

One of the things that has helped me gain confidence and feel like a #badassmom has been learning to live with less so that we can give more to others. Having a wardrobe that really looks like me and that is easy to pull together adds so much confidence to my life and cuts the clutter in our home.

I get a lot of questions about my capsule wardrobe and what pieces I would recommend so I shopped thredUP to show you some of the beautiful deals I found that would make perfect capsule wardrobe additions to help build your confidence and feel like a #badassmom too!

Must-Have Fall Capsule Wardrobe Basics

white blouse + polka dot scarf + tan bag + tan booties + dark denim

A Good White Blouse

A good collared white blouse is worth its weight in gold, BUT it took me many, many tries before I found the perfect version of it for myself. Ideally, this shirt is wrinkle-resistant, buttery soft, and fits your frame well.  Not only is it a beautiful item on its own, it is the perfect piece to layer over dresses, worn under blazers, can be worn over other shirts in your capsule, can be belted, can be tied, or can hang loose like a jacket. I consider it a must-have for my wardrobe, but you need to find one that feels like YOU. This top is Maeve (from Anthropologie) and was purchased for $32.99.

Remember, stark white blouses aren’t for everyone (something I learned in the Adore Your Wardrobe series) so be sure you pick the right shirt color for your skin tone.

peplum burgundy sweater + mint statement necklace + leopard print belt + ivory shirt + dark denim + tan booties

peplum burgundy sweater + mint statement necklace + leopard print belt + ivory shirt + dark denim + tan booties

A Good Cardigan

In the Midwest, it is all about layers and one of my favorite items for layering are cardigans. Finding the perfect cardigan can be tough and, I have learned, not all cardigan cuts are flattering.  This Fall, I got a J. Crew cardigan from thredUP that became my go-to cardigan. I loved it so much that it is constantly on my radar when I am shopping on thredUP. If you find one you love, you want it in all the colors, and the way I can tell this is my favorite is that the material that is listed is Cotton instead of Wool. Always check the fabric description to ensure a cozy (and not itchy) option for layering.

I love a good flare on anything or any fun details that seem a little out of the ordinary on a sweater. This Free People option ($24.99)  had beautiful buttons and a figure-flattering flare that I loved.

ivory shirt + kimono + tassel necklace + dark denim + tan booties

Although this isn’t a cardigan, a kimono can also be a smart layering piece and this inexpensive offering from Merona has an embroidered detail that can work well with your fall wardrobe basics ($7.99). I added a tassel necklace to break up that neckline and love that this looks pulled together without feeling too fancy for my usual errands.

gray cardigan over gray shirt + black leggings + tan boots + mustard accessories

I also loved this wool option to wear over my fall basics (Banana Republic $22.99). This is still a cardigan, but a completely different shape than the typical boyfriend cardigan I would normally reach for. I slipped a gray shirt underneath to keep this cozy and neutral. These boots are also, in fact, a thredUP find from last year. I get so many compliments on them and they are a brand I would have never been able to afford otherwise.

military jacket + gray shirt + statement necklace + black leggings + tan booties

military jacket + gray shirt + statement necklace + black leggings + tan booties

A Military Jacket

The military trend is still going strong and a good Military jacket can be another great layering option instead of a blazer this year. Pretty much anything olive green makes my short list of smart fall wardrobe basics this year and I found this practically brand-new Banana Republic jacket for a mere $39.99! What a dream! Don’t feel limited to just a jacket though, this same trend can be replicated in vests, pants, and button-down shirts.

flannel shirt + striped dress + statement necklace + nude booties

A Flannel Shirt

There is nothing cozier than flannel and this is one 90’s trend that I can get behind again and again. I remember being a kid and borrowing my dad’s flannel shirts to follow that Nirvana-inspired grunge trend. Did you do that too?  Now I prefer a more tailored look and love flannel options from J. Crew, Old Navy, & Madewell. These button-downs can be tied over a dress, added over a t-shirt, and layered under this year’s sweaters and vests. This cozy Madewell option was just $22.99!

pleated patterned top + leggings + tan booties & bag

Add a Little Pattern

Patterned shirts can add so much to a basic wardrobe and I definitely recommend adding just one shirt to make your wardrobe more interesting. This Mave top ($32.99), has a tie and gorgeous pleated details on it. You can still sit in your comfort zone of neutral tones while still adding a fun pattern to your basic wardrobe style.

Fall Capsule Wardrobe Ideas from MomAdvice.com

I hope these tips inspire you to feel confident and give a capsule wardrobe a spin. For more confidence-building pep talks, be sure to visit thredUP’s #badassmoms series for inspiration!

This post is sponsored by thredUP. Thank you for supporting the companies that support this site!

 

 

Small-Budget Crushes 11.06.16

Sunday, November 6th, 2016

Rustic Wooden Ladders

rustic wooden ladders for your blankets

Monogram Mugs

monogram mugs

Vintage Camper Birdhouses

vintage camper birdhouses

heeled-mule

heeled mule

Canvas Anorak

canvas anorak

Mini Reversible Tote

mini reversible tote

Wooden Bottle Caddy With Opener

wooden bottle caddy with opener

Antler Doormat

antler doormat

Classic Tote

classic tote

Suede Mid-Heel Pump

suede mid-heel pump

Multi-Strand Beaded Necklace

multi-strand beaded necklace (lots of cute colors!)

 

Men's iPhone Case

men’s iphone case

Go-Dry Ear Warmers go-dry ear warmers

 

cake-stand cake stand in gold

Striped Turtleneck

striped turtleneck

Perfect Knit Blazer

perfect knit blazer (I want one in every color!!)

wake. pray. slay.

wake. pray. slay.

 

Keep on window shopping by visiting all of my Small-Budget Crushes. This post contains affiliate links that help our site! Thank you for supporting me! xoxo