October 26, 2017

5 Halloween/Fall Fest Events Coming Up in our Area This Weekend!

Halloween is in the air and I am planning to take full advantage of the festivities within the next week! McKinley has the most adorable costume (that she fights to have on, but that's beside the point)  and I want her to wear the heck out of it!

I am sharing with you 5 family-fun Halloween events coming up within the next few days that you should check out! Some are free and some have an admission fee that I will disclose below! I hope your families can get out and enjoy one (or more!) of these events with your kiddos!

1. Gymb-O-Ween Party for 0-16 Month Olds, $25- I LOVE that there is an event geared towards this age group and wish it had been around for McKinley when she was that age. Little ones will have activities, open gym, and sweet treats to enjoy at the Gymboree Play & Music Ashburn location on Friday, October 27!

2. Hallowine Trick or Treating at Bluemont Vineyard, $25- This may not be for the ENTIRE family, but who says adults have to be left out of the Trick or Treating fun?! Bluemont is going to have food and wine pairing set up all over their property that will include: truffles, mousse, cider donuts, and more Friday, October 27-Saturday, October 28!

3. CHIBIS Monster Bash, $12-14- We LOVE Chibi's Indoor Playground! It is the perfect size and has a great baby/toddler section. This Sunday, October 29, head on over to Chibi's for Halloween activities, crafts, treats, a parade, and some good ol' fashioned playtime! 

4. Mall-O-Ween at Dulles Town Center, FREE- Head on over to Dulles Town Center Mall on Saturday, October 28 for trick or treating, hay rides, a magic show, and more! This sounds like a lot of fun for all ages! **It looks like there is another "Mall-O-Ween" event ON Halloween at Fair Oaks Mall as well!**

5. 60th Annual Leesburg Halloween Parade, FREE- This is an oldy but a goody! I grew up going to this parade and even had a chance to be in it during high school. This year, they are celebrating their 60th anniversary with a Ghostbusters theme! 

I hope you enjoy this Halloween with your family! 

💗 Lauren

October 23, 2017

My Top 5 Toddler Items

I am not sure about y'all, but ever since McKinley was born, I have felt like I have tried out so many baby/toddler products that have come up short to my expectations. Us mamas need durable, functional, and engaging items for our little ones and there are sometimes too many options to choose from. We have had to go through trial and error to see what works for McKinley, but I have made my top 5 must-haves for our household. These are items we use pretty much every single day and I  cannot what we would do without them!

1) CamelBak Kids Water Bottle-- I have to give a shoutout to my dear friend, Ashley, for introducing this bottle to us. McKinley's water intake has drastically increased since introducing this bottle to her. It holds a lot of water and is great for on-the-go! We have tried so many bottles/cups and this is definitely our top pick for transitioning from a sippy cup! 

2) EZPZ Happy Mat-- This item is GENIUS! Whether you are still using your high chair or now onto a booster seat, this is a great substitute for a plate for your little one. It suctions to table/counter surfaces for mess-free eating. McKinley is notorious for throwing her plates and bowls off of the counter once she is done eating and this eliminates that from happening. 

3) HaloVa Diaper Bag-- Another THANKS goes out to my friend, Kerry, for this find! We had been using a JuJuBe diaper bag since McKinley was born and it was great for storage and worked well for us, until McKinley got a bit bigger and I needed the same function in backpack form. For $35.99...yes, you heard that right, this diaper bag on Amazon is AMAZING! The inside is wipable and has so many pockets. If I would have known about this bag earlier, I would have used it over any other diaper bag in a heartbeat! I love seeing that lots of other mamas have discovered this gem! 

4) California Baby Hair Detangler-- Once curls came into play, shampoo just was not cutting it for McKinley's hair. It became stringy and course. I decided to give this detangler a try and fell in love. It is free of harmful chemicals, contains botanical extracts, and is a cruelty-free product. We now pair it with the conditioner for oh-so-soft baby hair! 

5) Crayola Color Wonder Mess Free Coloring Kit-- Now that McKinley's hands are into EVERYTHING, I needed something that would keep her busy and not create a mess. We now have these on every level of our house and one in her diaper bag. There are so many character options and sizes to pick from, and is a fantastic option for a fine motor activity.

What are some must-haves in your house? Please share! 
💗 Lauren

October 5, 2017

Why I LOVE to Consign for McKinley!

For whatever reason, a lot of consignment sales happen in the fall on baby/kids items. I was lucky enough to go to two separate sales over the course of two weekends (one in Charlottesville and the other in Sterling). I LOVE to scour these sales for items for McKinley because, as you ladies know, baby and kids stuff is SO DANG EXPENSIVE! Don't get me wrong. I will pay full price for certain items that are quality and will be used several times or over the course of several seasons, but I love to find a great deal! Consignment sales are so fun to go to because you can find all sorts of items that are pretty discounted. I also love to look on Facebook Yard Sale sites for items. I am not sure if I am lucky or what, but I have found some GREAT things even when I was particular in brand, color, and condition. It just takes patience 😀. Here are my top 10 finds in no order! 

1. Pottery Barn Kids Bookshelf--This was one of the first things I ever bought for M's nursery and is over $100 brand new. I got it for a FRACTION of the price on a Facebook Yard Sale site. I had one of these on her registry but quickly snatched this up when I saw it for sale! 

2. Pottery Barn Kids Lamp and Lampshades-- Okay, PB lamps are insanely expensive and I was on a mission to find these lamps and the pink shades. I eventually found both of them (separate buyers) and added the green trim myself! 

3. Freshly Picked Moccasins-- I found these cuties on a yard sale site last week for $20!! They were worn by a non walker and are in excellent condition!  

4. North Face Winter Coat--What a great find at the consignment sale last weekend! It is in like new condition with no pilling or loose threads whatsoever!

5. Uggs-- All I have to say is $10. OMG!!!!

6. Mamaroo-- I got this for M at a consignment sale while I was pregnant. It was not the latest model but was in like new condition at over 50% off! We used it a TON!

7. Baby Einstein Jumper--Again, a great find that was $20! McKinley was obsessed with this and was really the first toy she played with! 

8. Aden and Anais Dream Blanket--Originally $50, these babies are oh-so soft and I swear by them. While I didn't get it at 50% off, I got it for $30 which is pretty dang good since it was in like new condition and you hardly ever see these for resale! They are great as stroller blankets but big enough for a toddler bed blanket. McKinley sleeps with hers now and I am on the hunt for another one! 

9. Pottery Barn Retro Kitchen Set-- So my parents actually purchased this for McKinley for their house for $125 after I found it....Do you REALIZE how expensive these are brand new? I think this was played with only a few times since it is in like new condition!

10. Pottery Barn Flamingo Costume--I saw a little girl wearing this costume last year and decided right then and there that McKinley would have that costume this Halloween! When I went to the PB site, they were not making it this year, so what did I do?! I found it in brand new condition with tags for a quarter of the price! I can't wait for her to wear it this year!!!!!

BONUS-- One of the first things I ever got at a consignment sale for McKinley was this framed floral art from a hole-in-the-wall place outside of Lynchburg, VA. It ended up being the inspiration for her nursery, which is by far my favorite room of the entire house! 

What are some of your favorite finds you have discovered consignment shopping for your kiddos? 

💗 Lauren