Birthday T-Shirt Tradition

Every year I buy the boys a higher end t-shirt to wear to their party.  This year was @prefresh.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comWhile I love the super cool, well designed t-shirts that you can find online I can’t usually justify the $30-$40 price tag.  So what I started doing was adding that cost in to their birthday present budget.  Shhhhh, don’t tell them that.  I am sure they don’t really care about a special t-shirt and would much rather have a toy.  But it has become a fun tradition and I love when they wear their shirts through out the rest of the year.  It reminds me of their birthday and how much they are growing up.  My oldest is super particular about what he wears so I can no longer choose for him.  This year I gave him a few options and this is the one he chose.  Prefresh makes very cool stuff and I’m super glad it is part of his wardrobe.  A note on sizing:  buy the next size up.  This is a size 10 and he usually wears a size 7/8.

Every year I buy my son's a cool t-shirt for their birthday.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comFor my youngest, we went with this one from Tiny Whales (although it looks like it might be sold out). I mean, how can you not have this shirt!  I usually try to save them for them to wear to their party if they are having one.  This year, my oldest didn’t want to wait so I let him wear it to school a few days early.  It is a really great way to get some cool shirts in to their rotation without breaking the bank.  Do you have any special birthday traditions?


2013 Gift Guide for the Kids

Welcome to day 2 of my gift guides! I love to put these gift guides together and share the things I think are cool. None of these are sponsored and they are truly things that I would love to give or get!

Amazon is a great resource for gift shopping for the holidays and any time of the year.  Did you know that you can choose a charity to give back to while you shop?  I’ve chosen to link up my Amazon account with Operation Shower to help them raise money that they need to keep the organization going.  Simply head to Amazon Smile and search for Operation Shower (based in St. Louis, MO) and then shop as usual.
for-the-kids-2013-graphicgift guide for kids1: Outside the Lines 2:  Gold Lightening Bolt Shwings  3:  Ninja Champ Shirt  4:  Dude – Hi 5 SetIce Cream Truck Play House  6:  Beanie with Gems  7:  Neon Pink Heart Shwings

My youngest really likes to do activity books.  He gets them out and does them as “homework” right along with his older brother.  He especially likes the ones with shapes and more artistic images.  I’ve ordered (#1) for him and know he will love it!  And how amazing is that Ice Cream Truck Play House(#5)?!   While it is almost as big as our main living room, I can just imagine the imaginative play that the kids would have with it!

2013 holiday gift guide for kids8:  Crystal Saguaro Kit  9:  Owl Hat  10: Make Your Own Chewing Gum Kit 11: Draw Inspire Create 12: Lego Crazy Action Contraptions Kit 13:  Silver Sparkle Jacket  14:  Cool Blocks Set  15: Melissa & Doug Smarty Pants Card Set

I adore this owl hat (#9) from Krochet Kids.  Find out why I love them here.  A friend of mine told me about that Lego book (#12) and my oldest will be getting it.  The small set of Legos that comes with the book can be used to make a bunch of contraptions.  It is a nice change from the huge sets of Legos we have and seems just as fun.

See last year’s Kid’s Gift Guide and Books.

*This post contains affiliate links.  Read more about my editorial policies here.

Give Differently this Holiday with The Grommet

*This is a sponsored post on behalf of The Grommet. The Grommet is the place to Buy Differently and Give Differently this year.


I’m not sure if you guys realize this or not but gift giving is one of those things that makes my world go around.  I LOVE to shop for people and I love to share those finds with you almost as much.  I will be sharing my own gift guides the first week of December but up until then I plan on featuring a few of my favorite gifts and the places to buy them.  Putting together my Holiday Gift Guides requires me to do a ton of online research.  I almost didn’t do them this year because there are few people putting out some REALLY great guides.  The Grommet is one such site.  They have just released their 4th (of 5) gift guide – this one focused on DIY favorites.  Right up my alley, no?   With a focus on products that you don’t find all over the place made by people who you want to buy from, The Grommet will make you feel great about the money you are spending for your friends and family.

holiday gift ideaHow cool is this Homemade Gin kit?  This is totally something that I would buy for myself and other people.  It has all the fun of trying something new but they’ve done the research for you leaving you to enjoy the process and then enjoy the gin.  (You can find some links to some yummy gin drinks in this post).

holiday gift ideaThe kit comes with everything you need to make two batches of gin each with a different flavor profile.  I can think of so many people who would love to get this gift!  These gifts available from The Grommet allow you to be thoughtful and excited about what you are giving.  Their products support larger values, like American made and supporting handcrafted artisans and are chosen by their team who scour the earth to find these things for you.  They spend a crazy amount of time searching for the best items to make available to you so you can feel good about what you are giving.  I know when I go to this site, I will be able to find games and arts and crafts for hands-on fun as well as kits for the cooking enthusiast and SO much more!

grommet-felted-soapThis felted soap would make the perfect stocking stuffer.  It exfoliates and creates a lather scented with essential oils.  There are no additives like in traditional soaps and the wool is naturally antifungal.

grommet-hickies-lacesDon’t tell him, but my oldest son will be getting these super cool Hickies.  They are a great way to customize your sneakers and he is all about showing his personal style.  These are super easy to use and work with any shoe that uses laces.  A totally cool product that he will psyched about.

These are just a few of the amazing finds you’ll find on the site.  Head over to The Grommet to check out all 4 of their holiday gift guides.  And don’t forget to check back for #5!

Made in the USA

Gifts with Meaning

Practical, Yet Magical

Oh, My DIY Favorites

Krochet Kids Launches Kids Hats with a Party

*Disclosure: My family was invited to a launch party event for the new children’s collection by Krochet Kids and given product.  All opinions are mine.
krochet-kids-hats-youth-for-empowermentThis past weekend my family was invited to view the new children’s collection from Krochet Kids.  Although I had heard of the brand before, I didn’t know the story behind it.  What I thought would be a fun afternoon filled with kid friendly activities turned out to be so much more.

krochet-kids-family-launch-partyFor sure, the kids had an AMAZING time with the activities the Krochet Kids team put together.  The bounce house alone would have kept them entertained but there were a bunch of other stations for the kids to experience.  Who doesn’t love drawing on the floor with chalk! (Does this drawing remind anyone else of ovaries?  No?  Just me then?  He said it was a chicken…) The boys got to make their own homemade play dough and bring it home with them.  And although he made up his own rules, my oldest was deemed hopscotch champion of the world.

activity passportsUpon arrival, the boys were handed paper passports to have stamped as they made their way through the party.  I thought that was such a great idea and I’m probably going to steal this idea for a future birthday party.  It kept them engaged and prompted them to try new things in a fun way.

krochet-kids-headquartersAfter a short video, we heard from Kohl Crecelius of Krochet Kids and Kristen Howerton, the blogger behind Rage Against the Minivan.  This is where the party turned around for me.  The video showed just how the products get made in Uganda and Peru.  It chronicled the process of making the hates and featured some of the women that do the work.  Kohl spoke of how the company got started and you got a true sense of the passion he has for helping others.  Kristen spoke of a recent trip she and her family took to one of the facilities where they got to witness, first hand, the hats being made.  In short, Krochet Kids is doing great things.  They are providing jobs, and a better way of life to so many women who would not otherwise have the opportunity.  Consider me a huge fan.

krochet-kids-m-in-photo-boothNo party is complete without a photo booth.  How absolutely darling is this owl hat?!

krochet-kids-thank-you-stationWhen the kids were done taking their photos, they were brought over to the “thank you” station.  Inside each hat is the signature of the women who made it.  I LOVE this!  You can find profiles of each of the women on the Krochet Kids site and write them a personal note.  How awesome is that.  Not only do these women get a huge sense of pride being able to put their name on their work, but they get appreciated for it too.  The notes are printed out at each facility and the women get to read the kind words from people experiencing their work first hand around the world.  It’s a small thing but means so much.  And I love that it is a super important part of the Krochet Kids process.

cool-kids-beanies-from-krochet-kidsWe were sent home with a few samples and the boys are in love.  These hats are so cute!



I’m not sure if he realizes that his beanie has hearts all over it.  But I think he can kind of pull it off.



M loves his hat too.  I found him wearing it under his helmet the other day.  I can’t wait to wear mine too!

And they don’t just make cool hats for kids and babies.  They make booties too!  The hats and booties would make great gifts for the winter months ahead.  And guess what else?!  They make other products too.  How rad is this Pike Bag?!  And my head would look super cute with The Alice headband.

Thank you for having us, Krochet Kids!  And for sharing your story with my family.  I look forward to following along with your company and the great work that you do.

*Disclosure: My family was invited to a launch party and given samples of product.  Delicious food and use of a bounce house too.  All opinions are my own.

Fashionable Kids in Orange Coast Magazine


orange-coast-1It’s not everyday that your kids get asked to be in a photo shoot for a magazine.  So when Orange Coast Magazine asked if our boys could be in their “cool kids” article we were pretty excited.  They shot it a few months ago at the St. Regis Monarch Beach.  My boys and I got there a bit early so we hung out in the lobby until it was time to get started.

orange coast mag shoot st. regisThe boys were all kinds of interested with the huge fireplace.  The St. Regis is a REALLY nice place and I was so grateful that my littles didn’t run amok.

st. regis hotelThe staff at Orange Coast Magazine provided snacks for the kids and made sure that everything ran really smoothly.  There were something like 30 kids so you can imagine that that could have gone sideways pretty dang easily.

orange coast magazineThe kids made a new friend.  They instantly bonded over her cool shades and rad shoes.

What the boys wore (none of these items are sponsored):

On my youngest (in the middle) : T-shirt by Mini and Maximus (old collection, sold out I think), DC Shoes Jeans, Nike SB P Rod Black and Gold Sneakers, Neon Orange Schwings!

On my oldest (on the right) : Sunglasses from The Children’s Place (similar on sale for $1.99!), Lego Black Flag T-shirt by Hatch For Kids, blue pants from H & M, Vans (similar here).

photographer for orange coast magazineThis is the photographer that was able to get all of the kids to cooperate and get a GREAT picture out of it.  Color me impressed.

orange coast magazine shootI mean…

stylish kidsThe parents also worked really hard to get all the kids to smile, look in one direction and not run away (the littlest kids…and my youngest son.  I’m pretty sure he knew I had Skittles as a bribe in my bag and he was intent on getting them).

magazine photo shootSee that fake sad face on him?  He never once shed a tear but “cried” almost the whole time. Exhausting.

stylish boys And then we grabbed a quick family photo before heading home.  Look who is happy now?  Ain’t no future in yo frontin’, M.

Cover-of-Orange-Coast-MagazineSo if you see this cover, in a store near you, go ahead and thumb through it.

Thank you for having us Orange Coast Magazine!!  It was a really fun experience!