Sleep & Play for the Win!

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Over the past five years, I have given birth to four children (yes, my hands are full). I have learned a lot while raising my little tribe of misfits 😜, and I feel quite confident in my abilities to build a comprehensive wardrobe for a newborn.

With that said, one of my absolute favorite pieces for a baby is the Sleep & Play (also known as a footed 1-piece and very similar yet not identical to footed pajamas). They are so easy and versatile, as they work for both daytime and bedtime (hence the name). I have been through my fair share of brands, styles, and fabrics, and I definitely have my favorites! The best part about Sleep & Plays, you ask?

No.👏 Lost.👏 Socks.👏

If you are having a baby or know someone who is having a baby in the near future, I highly suggest you get your hands on a few of these for yourself or for the mother-to-be. They are without a doubt my number one wardrobe staple for baby. Below you will find some of my top choices organized by category, and at the end of this post I will share my all-around favorite Sleep & Play.

 Feminine & Floral

Gap First Favorite Floral Footed One-Piece

Organic

  Little Planet™ Organic by carter's® Floral Footie        Little Planet™ Organic by carter's® Floral Sleep N' Play in Pink

Kimono-Style

ideal for a newborn’s healing umbilical stump

Janie and Jack STRIPED ELEPHANT KIMONO FOOTED 1-PIECE

Fabric

Terry- Like a soft beach towel

Thermal- Super soft and breathable waffle-like material

Fleece- Warm & snuggly. Perfect for cold winter weather.

Quilted- If only this came in adult sizes… I literally can’t think of anything more comfortable.

Muslin- Breathable, soft and comfy

With Accessories

perfect for hospital stays or coming home outfits

Magnolia Baby

 Yes, you read that right. Chip & Joanna have a line of baby clothes, because Of. Course. They. Do. And I am obsessed. These pieces are sweet, Southern, and classic.

 

Overall Favorite

This footed one-piece from Old Navy is my absolute favorite for a few reasons. For starters, the fabric is incredibly soft. The sleeves also fold over at the wrist to form mitts around the hands, which is so helpful with a newborn. The mitts protect their faces from scratches and they can’t fall off like other baby mitts do. Best of all, Old Navy’s footed one-piece is zip up, which is crucial when changing a fussy baby during the middle of the night.

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Valentine’s Day Lookbook 2019

Valentine’s Day is about a month away, which means it’s time to start shopping for an outfit for the big day. Although I am personally not a huge fan of the holiday & my husband and I usually skip out on the forced romance of it all, my kids love it. Probably has something to do with all of the candy they get to eat! #duh

I have to admit that Valentine’s Day is more enjoyable now that I have kids, but isn’t every holiday?!? And would I really be doing my job as a parent if I didn’t drench them in head to toe hearts for their classroom parties? The answer is no, I would not.

Below are some of my top picks for this year. My advice is to shop early before the inventory is low and you are left with a less than stellar choice. Been there, done that (sorry kids)!

Happy Shopping!

This post contains affiliate links. That means if you click on my link and buy something, I will earn a small commission from the advertiser at no additional cost to you.

 Gap

I love Gap because they frequently have sales (oftentimes up to 40% off). I rarely purchase anything at Gap for full price. If you would like sale alerts, be sure to sign up for our newsletter. 

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This is my all around favorite Valentine’s Day outfit for a baby. 

The perfect set to coordinate sisters. I would pair the onesie with these ruffle trim leggings to keep baby warm.

A practical choice for your little one. 

Old Navy

Like Gap, Old Navy always has a sale of some sort going on. I like Old Navy when I am looking for something cute & affordable.

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This dress is perfect for a party or the playground! You can find the matching shoes here.

All of the pieces below were selected to be a complete outfit. At the time of publishing, the ENTIRE outfit cost less than $20! 

Janie and Jack 

Although not always practical, Janie and Jack never disappoints in the ultra-adorable department. 

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 These pieces are all the heart eyes! 😍😍😍 Pair with some red Mary Janes and it’s amore!

A daintier version of the Gap footed 1-piece. I love the sweet, girly details. 

I’d describe this dress as “sporty chic.” Pair with these socks and these white shoes (less expensive option here) for a winning combination. It comes in sizes 3M-12Y, so it is also a great option if you like to dress your daughters alike. #twinning

I love the quilted heart pattern on this matching set. If Don Draper had a baby girl, she would most certainly wear this outfit on Valentine’s Day. 

Boutique Selections

Because sometimes it’s fun to shop off the beaten path.

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This is a more low-key V-day look that will work for spring and summer, too. I love the ruffled leggings to keep your girl warm during the cold winter months.

  

How cute is this smocked dress? I’d pair with a big red bow to complete the look.

etc.

A girl can never have too many accessories, amiright? I’m also including two options for the boys in your life.

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The Home We Live In

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By Aimee Tafreshi

Today was a momentous day. Today we closed on a house in Midland, Texas. Now, if you know anything about the housing market in Midland, you would know this is an enormous feat. But if you are not familiar with this area known as the Permian Basin, please let me fill you in. The rents here rival San Francisco’s, and it’s not because of the panoramic views of trash blowing along the highway or the smell of carbon emissions from the jacked up trucks clogging the roads. This flat and desert-like area in West Texas is in the midst of a huge oil boom, bringing workers in every day from places like Canada, Louisiana or in our case, Amelia Island, Florida.

Our family’s road to home ownership in Midland was a rocky one. The first hurdle was to sell our home in Florida. When we first listed our home for sale in the early summer, I assumed the house would sell in about a week. According to our realtor, our house was priced to sell, and we agreed with her assessment. When we bought our family home in 2013—the first home my husband and I had ever purchased—Florida’s real estate market was still recovering from the Great Recession. The house had been sitting as a spec home for about a year and was within our modest budget. After being a seasoned student of real estate prices in my hometown of Austin, we jumped on the purchase price and were newly minted homeowners.

The two-story, stucco home on Amelia Island sat in a quaint neighborhood of exactly three streets. The house with its porch and columns resembled a Craftsman style home with a Florida vibe. It was perfect for our then family of five—the updated kitchen opened up to the family room, which contained high ceilings and a sliding glass door to the patio and backyard. A separate living area greeted guests upon entry into the house, which later became a quiet spot to work, read a book on the couch or host a relative on the pull-out sofa. I jokingly referred to the front room as the “blue room,” with its soothing ocean-hued couch and abstract paintings decorating the walls.

Our master bedroom was situated downstairs, while the three secondary bedrooms were upstairs with a loft in the middle, which served as an additional living room for the kids. (This play area usually bought us a little more sleep in the morning pre-twins). When we moved into the home, it was the summer of 2013, and our youngest had just turned one. We also had a two-year-old son and rising kindergartener. We were in the toddler/young children years, and my husband Alex was about to start a grueling sea tour in the Navy. My daughter attended her first day of kindergarten at the local elementary school as we were moving in, and we found a great Mother’s Day Out program for the boys. The pristine beach and local YMCA were a short bike ride away.

We spent five years in that wonderful home, the most time I have ever spent in one house in my life. During that period, Alex had several months’ long deployments. We visited Disney World for the first time ever. We welcomed two rescue dogs to our family, Faith the German Shepherd and Dolly the Great Dane mix. Our kindergartner grew up into a rising fifth grader, with long limbs and glasses, but maintaining her red hair and creativity. And our youngest baby graduated from Pre-K (twice!) and was finally ready to begin his own kindergarten journey. In our last year in the house, we brought home boy/girl twins, the first babies of ours not born on Texas soil. Our oldest football-loving son was convinced they were destined to be Florida Gators. Our daughter helpfully suggested, “Let’s just tell them they were born in Texas.”

After five years in the same spot, we knew most neighbors and celebrated various birthdays and some holidays together. When the twins were newborns, they pitched in to help with driving the older kids and walking them to and from the bus stop. Our extended families were thousands of miles away, but we had created our very own village in Florida.

As we made the difficult decision for Alex to leave the submarine force after 12 years of service, I was torn between wanting to stay on Amelia Island or return home to Texas. He job hunted in both areas, as well as the Southeast, and I mentally prepared myself that the odds of staying on our little island were slim. On the occasional night out, filled with merriment and a little booze, I was fond of declaring, “I’m never leaving the island!” Many came to our little island for a slower way of life; few left it willingly.

As the final months elapsed, we tackled some fun things on what I thought of as my Florida bucket list. Alex surprised me with a trip to swim with the manatees at Crystal River for my fortieth birthday, an excursion I had coveted before I ever lived in the Sunshine State. My daughter and I explored the (man-made) tropical paradise Discovery Cove to celebrate her tenth birthday and swam with a dolphin. We never did make it to the Food & Wine Festival at Epcot, the Florida Keys or the Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, which boasts live mermaid shows.

When we decided on a job offer in Midland, and the “For Sale” sign went up in the yard, I remember thinking that one day, this would be the house that we “used to live in.” We would drive by and say to the children, “Look, we used to live there.” My present was about to become my past, and the thought made me sad and nostalgic. Change is hard and also reminds us that our time on earth is fleeting and impermanent. During my evening walks with the dogs, I would take in the dense trees, circling hawks, lizards scampering on the sidewalks and honking geese dining on the field behind our fence. I know now that Midland does have some trees and nature but Florida is exploding with natural beauty.

When it was finally time to leave, our chaotic departure felt like a surreal break-up with little closure. A few days before vacating our home, we celebrated my son’s sixth birthday with my in-laws at their rented beach condo, and then the twins’ first birthday at our favorite Mexican restaurant where they always treated us like family. While the movers packed and loaded, we stayed at a VRBO property near the beach, where we walked on the shore for the last time. I wondered when I would walk on the beach again. I took in the constantly churning water, the soft sand, the thousands of little shells, the carefree feelings of my children. They had no idea what the future held. The innocence of children is perhaps a great coping mechanism. It is not their job to worry about moving logistics and real estate. They simply live in the moment, enjoying the experience only for what it’s worth.

We barely had time to say goodbye to our friends, neighbors or church, where we were baptized as adults. And our house hadn’t sold yet. Alex reassured me, when a family looks at our home, they will make an offer. The current crop of retirees scheduling showings didn’t appreciate the stairs or proximity to schools, but we knew a family would.

When we finally arrived in Midland after a very dramatic cross-country drive, involving an unexpected pit stop in New Orleans, we were fortunate to stay in a corporate rental, a new construction home in a booming neighborhood filled with young families following the smell of oil.

Fast forward to today, and we have now spent four months in the temporary house about half the size of our old one. We are all sharing rooms, and most of our worldly possessions sit in storage. A family of five finally checked out our house in Florida, and they jumped on it. From the looks of their Facebook posts (I’m not stalking them, I swear! We have a friend in common, so I happened upon it in my Newsfeed), they look ecstatic in their photos, holding up a picture of their new home, the house we used to live in.

And in the crazy real estate market they call Midland, we found a house of our own. After months of searching and losing out on listings, we were finally in a position to buy. As of today, we are the proud owners of a sprawling ranch style home in an established neighborhood with mature trees. In Florida, we took trees for granted; here, one is lucky to own a single tree; the newer neighborhoods boast beds of multi-colored pebbles. Walking through our new home over the past month to figure out tile backsplash and paint colors, I felt a sense of excitement and hope as I watched my now young toddlers walk briskly in circles around the house and shut themselves into bedrooms. The bigger kids excitedly picked out their new bedrooms and weighed in on wall colors. I noticed the Halloween and then Thanksgiving and now Christmas decorations adorning our future neighbors’ front lawns. Baby swings suspended from tree limbs dot the street.

I miss our curated village and house on Amelia Island. And I hope our old neighbors let us tag along to the annual Food & Wine Festival next year (hint, hint). But I’m ready to turn the Midland house into the home we live in.

The Daily Six: November 9th

Kids Clothes

$19.99 and Under at Gymboree

Holly Dress– $16.99 Perfect for the Holiday Season

 

Shop all Gymboree sale here.

Mama’s Wardrobe

Nordstrom Fall Clearance

Pair with skinnies and booties (or sneakers) for an easy fall look. This tiered long sleeve tee by Caslon is on sale for $23! Comes in a variety of colors.

 

Shop Nordstrom Fall Clearance here.

Baby Gear

LILLEbaby Early Black Friday Sale

Up to 50% Off Select Ring Slings and All Season Carriers

  

Shop LILLEbaby sale here.

For the Home

25% Off Entire Store at Kirkland’s

Cozy up by your glowing fireplace all day long with this Red and White Snowflake Sweater Throw! You will love the woven texture of this lovely blanket.

 

Toys

Design & Build Water Blocks– $19.99

Turn any water play area into the perfect space for creative building!

Wildcard

Buy 1, Give 1 at Zulily

Do some good while you shop this holiday season. Click banner for link.

 

 

Happy Shopping!!

*This post contains affiliate links*

The Daily Six: November 8th

I am a mom who wants it all. I want my house to be beautifully decorated (so that my kids can destroy it- ha!). I want to feel good in the clothes that I wear and I want to feel good about what my kids wear to school everyday, too. I want nice makeup, though I rarely have time to put it on, and I want all of the best baby gear so that my baby will thrive.

The caveat of course is that I don’t want to spend an arm and a leg purchasing all of these things, so I love to find a good deal. I spend more time than I should hunting for sales and my inbox is overflowing with promo emails from almost every retailer you can imagine. So why not share my passion for a good deal with fellow mamas? Below you will find my top picks for today! This post contains affiliate links.

Kids Clothes

25% Off Nike at JCPenney

My boys LIVE in Nike and Under Armour… These pants sets are perfect for fall and winter!

nike pant set   

Shop all Nike boy here.

Mama’s Wardrobe

40% Off with Promo Code WORKIT at Loft

I am loving these Mixed Media Shirttail Tees & Sweaters for my postpartum bod. They are flattering, forgiving, and oh so cute!

    

Shop all Mixed Media Shirttail Tees & Sweaters here.

Baby Gear

DOCKATOT DELUXE+ DOCK for $138.75 (normally $185)

Meet the game changer in infant & toddler comfort!

For the Home

25% Off Entire Store at Kirkland’s with code VETSDAY

A unique twist on the traditional holiday wreath

  

Toys

Krate and Kids Ikat Playhouse- Sale $89.40 reg. $149.00

This sturdy white playhouse will provide the perfect foundation for any kid’s imaginary adventures.

 

Wildcard

Kohl’s- 40% Off Matching Family PJS

Happy holidays! Share laughter and love with your matching family in these Jammies For Your Families matching pajamas.

Shop all matching pajama sets here.

Happy Shopping!!