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Save Art in our Schools with Schoola

Every child deserves an active, happy and creative childhood, one that involves safe and secure environment to create with friends and classmates. Some schools are able to provide a wide array of activities, classes and courses for their students. But budget constraints prohibit some school districts from providing the additional funds needed for play equipment, materials for art programs and instruments for music classes. Schoola is stepping in to help with this very problem.

Schoola is an online shopping destination where a family can turn their children’s outgrown clothing into money for their school.  Donated clothing is sold and a percentage of your sale is given directly to your school of choice. Families can clean our closets, shop for non-stop growing kids and benefit their community in just a few easy steps.

Save Art in Schools with #clothes4school

Yick Wo Elementary School in California has had to do without Art Class.  Art is special for developing minds. It teaches children to follow what is in their heart, self-expression and independence. Art and creative classes aren’t a luxury, they are needed to help sculpt the strengths and skills in our children’s minds. Art has been proven to improve enhance test scores, social skills, critical thinking, collaboration and problem solving.  Yick Wo Elementary students come from a multitude of cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. Providing a creative space where everyone can work and learn equally brings them together with no boundaries or expectations.

“School has a lot of rules to follow but in art you can be free. You can see what you have in front of you and then turn that into something different,” says fourth-grader Orly.

Saving Art Class at Yick Wo Elementary School with

Shop on today a you’ll be giving back directly to Yick Wo Elementary. For every transaction made from this post $1 will sent to support those students art program.

Do you have a clothing donation to make?  Request a Schoola donation bag(postage is covered) from here and Schoola will donate $1 to the Yick Wo fund. PLUS 40%  made on the sale of your clothing donation will go back to the school of YOUR choice. That’s a Win/win in my book.

All children deserve the opportunities to reach high, create big and learn from each other. Help Yick Wo Elementary School or even your own school with some simple shopping this Back to School season.

Give Your Clothes New Life with Swapdom

2014 disclosureI love to shop but I especially love to shop thrift and consignment. I have no problem with used clothing and accessories or even decor for the home, that’s why soap was invented. So when I was introduced to Swapdom I was intrigued. Swapdom intends to make trading clothing and accessories easier between groups of people.

In traditional swaps, Megan might want something Alex has, but Alex isn’t interested in Megan’s items, so no swap is made. Alex does however, want something Doris has.

At Swapdom, we connect Megan to Alex to Doris and circle back to Megan, so everyone gets what they want.

All you have to do is tell us what you’d offer for your requested item and ship it off once we find a swap.

Couldn’t get any easier, really!

Swapdom – How it works from Swapdom on Vimeo.

With Swapdom you search among the uploaded images and find what appeals to you. Shop for what you like and then offer items you want to let go of. Swapdom then works behind the scenes to match up the offers and requests and in the end you wind up with something new to you to relove.

Right now I have 8-10 items uploaded that I cleaned out from my closet. Some of them I’ve never worn, worn a couple of times and some I just won’t wear anymore. Everything is in great condition. Swapdom isn’t just for me though. They’ve recently started a kid’s swap section too.This section lets you purge your child’s closet of outgrown items in search for something new.

The swap process isn’t quick though. It could take at least 10 days to find that just right circle of swaps. Be patient, keep your items uploaded and offered, you aren’t using them anyway right.

First 3 months of SwapdomFor the month of March Swapdom has announced the Befriend a Trend Contest. For the entire month of March, we’re giving away a $25 Etsy gift card per week to one lucky, randomly selected person who shares a Swapdom item that embodies the spring trend they most want to try. Get the details here, and good luck!Befriend a Trend Contest @Swapdom

Embrace your inner fashionista and start a swap on Swapdom today.

JCPenney Holiday Fashions for the Family

What are the holiday fashion plans for you and the family?  JCPenney has options for everyone to stay within your budget while maintaining style and comfort.

Do you keep it casual? Do you take the opportunity to dress up everyone for a rare family photo? Do you coordinate all the outfits for let each person’s style come through?  Whatever you decide JCPenney has choices for every member of the family for head to toe.

JCPenney Holiday Fashions for the FamilyBlog Post Disclosure

The babies and kids stay stylish while maintaining an appropriate look for their age in patterns and designs that fit the season perfectly.

It’s time for Mom, Dad and the Grandparents to put away the comfort and dazzle the rest of the family with choices that stand out and make a statement.

This is just a sampling of all the smart, chic and stylish choices that can be found on or in your local stores.

Gymboree Fall Fashions Shopping

It has unofficially turned into fall in our home.  Back to school time doesn’t immediately mean the kids are sporting jeans, sweaters and warmer clothing but since we are seeing cool temps in the morning they are scrambling to keep off the chill.  We did Shae’s back to school shopping at Gymboree using a $100 GC they provided.  I’ve been enjoying this store more lately, picking up things here and there that catch my eye.

This year’s collections capture the sweetness and innocence of kids.  Gymboree stays trendy and stylish without losing its audience. You won’t find midriff baring tops, too short skirts or inappropriate sayings on graphic tees.  Florals, plaids and bright colors make your children stand out.

Shae picked out a few pieces all on her own on this shopping trip. These Gem Dot Cuff jeans and Playing in the Rain tee is a perfect outfit of a rainy school day.  She picked these jeans because of the embellished polka dots and loose fit. She’s not a fan of tight jeans.

Gymboree for Girls #fashion

The Gem Safari Flower Caftan was a huge hit.  It was bought with fitted black pants but this pink skirt already in her wardrobe is a perfect match.  I think it was the gems that attracted Shae in the first place.

Gymboree for Girls #fashion

Shop Gymboree for boys and girls when you want to keep the kids looking their age. They specialize in the clothes and accessories that show off kid’s best features.

Shopping @Gymboree Again plus #Giveaway

This spring I was given the so hard and arduous task of shopping Gymboree 🙂 I have to honestly say that I haven’t stepped foot in a Gymboree store since Sabreena was a baby. The store is in the same spot in our mall as it’s always been for the last 18 years but there is something that doesn’t steer me through the doors. I said yes because I know Gymboree is very popular but wanted to know why it wasn’t catching my attention.

I started looking online and found prices that ranged from “high” to “expected” for name brands.  Their sale section was really good, like stocking up prices. There was a variety of colors and sizes and designs  but I wasn’t looking for winter clothes at this time so off to the mall I went.

Rob and I spent a good time looking at all of their collections and settled on Blooming Nautical and Tea Time Afternoon as our favorites because of the bold colors and cute designs. We walked out with 2 complete outfits, 1 basic tee and 2 leggings.  I was excited to show Shae her new duds.

gymboree clothes for spring

She loved Corsage Poppy tee. I was excited because it’s something I saw online and fell in love with.  I did notice after it came out of the wash the blue was faded but I’m not sure if it was always like that.  I wish it was a more vibrant saturated hue like the brink pink poppy flower in the girl’s hair.  The skirt maintained the bright pink that I was originally drawn to.  The pastels of the Tea Time Afternoon separates didn’t loose any color after washing. The material maintained it’s structure and shape, something that doesn’t always happen with kid’s clothes.

gymboree tee Corsage Poppy

Corsage Poppy Tee

I think I had an image of Gymboree in my head of having very preppy stiff designs; clothing with no character. I was wrong, dead wrong.  I also need to realize that Shae can give life to a burlap sack. Will I go back to Gymboree? Probably. I do like the more trendy vibrant collections so will definitely keep my eyes open for key items that Shae can rock with style.

Do you want to check out Gymboree for  yourself and win a $75 GC?  Tell me what pieces you’d like to shop for.

Gymboree Gift Card Giveaway

To receive these extra opportunities for entries, you must fulfill the first REQUIRED entry above. Please note the changes to the entries and frequency, entries that don’t follow rules may be disregarded/ignored/deleted.

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Your entries must follow the rules or they won’t be eligible for prizes. This contest ends 11:59 pm, Tuesday, March 26, 2013. The winners will be emailed and will have 48 hours to claim their prize. This contest is open to Contiguous US residents, age 18 or over. For complete rules please read our blog contest rules page.

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Tea Collection, South Africa Designs on Shae

Can you imagine the amount of clothing we have to buy each season? This means I’m keeping track of brands that are classic and durable while still be being fashionable.  Tea Collection is always at the top of my list.  Their most current collection, South Africa is my favorite so far.  The bright hues of pink, orange and blue are perfect for the upcoming spring season.

Tea Collection is smart with their brand. They stick to basic silhouettes but integrate fun details and new fabrics for each season.  This allows me to know what looks good and fits well year after year which means less guessing and less unworn clothing.

The wardrobe sets are the best thing for moms like me, indecisive. I’m that person that loads up a shopping cart with individual pieces than struggles to complete outfits at the end of the day.  The wardrobe sets are put together to complement each other and pieces from other collections.  Stripes and flowers go together so well!.

tea collection South Africa Collection

If you ever have a question about fit, proportion or styling visit their Facebook page or the product page on  They respond to all questions with expert advice.

Take a trip to South Africa and see what inspired their newest color scheme and designs.
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Tea Collection Clothes from Around the World

tea collection logoShae is getting older and much more independent. She likes to pick out what she wears, her shoes and even her accessories. In order for this to go smoothly and ensure she doesn’t walk out of the house looking like a clown (every time) I like to make sure she has great choices.

This is why I love Tea Collection clothing. The styles are appropriate for children but constructed like top designer clothing. The inspiration of their designs comes from around the world. This season Shae is sporting the colors and patterns of Denmark, Sweden and Finland with bold rich colors, delicate florals and eye catching graphics.

We already had a Plum/Wine color pair of pants from last year that match wonderfully with the Forget Me Not Layer Dress. Pairing it with these boot cut pants gives the dress a tunic look instead and goes great with sneakers or casual shoes.

tea collection nordic She loves dresses but the winter months can make it hard to keep warm and look cute. Coordinating leggings with dresses is a great way to keep the kids warm without ruining the look of an outfit. Shae added tall boots and high socks on this rainy day.

tea collection flora fest dresstea collection flora fest dress

Tea Collection may be higher priced than department store clothing but I find that they last longer, can be handed down to siblings or friends and even saved as keepsakes because the quality is far superior than discount clothing.

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Clothes that Fit Me from Kiyonna

I know Blogher was several weeks ago but I wanted to share with you what I wore to one of the parties.

The dress is from Kiyonna, on online plus size dress retailer. I found them accidently while searching for wrap dresses. I’m shaped weird. I’m a size 12 on the bottom but closer to a 16 on top. My belly is high so I don’t like fitted tops. In fact I’ll wear a loose tee any chance I can get. I joke and call my body shape lollipop.

When I stumbled on Kiyonna I fell in love with the many different styles of dresses and tops for women just like me. I knew even though I wasn’t a traditional plus size woman these dresses would be a perfect match for my body. I was sent the Legacy Wrap Dress. I had trouble picking between the Legacy and the Whimsy. They are both similar but the Whimsy has a ruffle along the bottom open edge. I think I would’ve been happy with either choice honestly. There are so many other dress choices that I really loved.

kiyonna collage

i wish i knew how to pose like this

Wrap dresses tend to offer a forgiving fit but I was worried about the coverage up top. I like cleavage, I think mine is good looking but i didn’t want to be inappropriate. i didn’t have to adjust my dress once that night and the night i wore this dress was a hectic one. The dress was overall very flattering, had a great fit, covered everywhere it was supposed to and was a gorgeous color. The color is called navy put it leaned a little to the violet side.

I also received this Polka Dot Abby Twist Front Top. This is something I’ve worn about 5 times with everything from jeans to capris to skirts. The flowy stretchy fabric is very comfortable and the flirty silouette is feminine without looking like a toddler’s top. The plunging neck was a little to much for me so I put in one tiny stitch to close it up about an 1 inch higher and haven’t had any issues at all. I’ve gotten more compliments wearing this top than with anything else I own.
abby polka dot shirt
I can’t wait to scour Kiyonna’s site for their newest styles and pieces.

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Terry Rich Australia, Swim Robes

YAY! We made it to summer with barely a showing of spring. We literally went from cold to hot in what seemed like a couple if weeks. Rob took the kids to buy bathing suits, the beach towels are washed, the sand toys are unearthed from the garage, the sunscreen supply is stocked and we are ready to hit the pool and beach.

We recently received another summer treat in the mail all the way from Australia. Terry Rich is a producer of some of the HIGHEST quality beach products I’ve ever felt. Shae was sent a Swim Robe that rivals some of my biggest, thickest, thirstiest beach towels. Each product from their swim robes to their towels to their beach totes are made with the best ingredients so their customers receive the best product available

Terry Rich, Whale Beach Australia

terry rich towels swim robe beach bags australia
We haven’t gotten the chance to hit the pool yet but we have been playing in the yard with hose, baby pool and toys. The first thing Shae asked for when she knew we were headed out to play in the water was her pool robe. She has already been wearing it around the house because it was cozy and soft.
candy beach pool swim robe terry rich Australia
As she came out of the water she put the robe on, put the hood on, zipped it up and didn’t need anything else. Her feet dried in the sun so she was ready to head in the house. Normally I wouldn’t let the kids in the house wet but the Terry Rich Swim Robe sucked all the water off of her body. We set it out to dry like the other towels and it’s was hanging on her doorknob the same day.

I liked the plastic zipper. No metal to worry about rusting. The hood was deep and covered her eyes from the sun and the little pocket is a great spot for goggles. The colors are bright and will easily stand out in a crowd.

TerryRich Swim Robes some in sizes for toddlers to big kids and can easily be passed down from one child to another as they grow. The thickness and softness really impressed me.

Shop Terry Rich directly from Australia with super fast shipping at a flat rate.

Dickies, More than Workwear

This winter we were approached by Dickies offering to clothe our entire family. When Rob first mentioned this to me I just gave him a look. I really didn’t feel like wearing work pants and a frumpy flannel and I was sure Sabreena wouldn’t be too thrilled either. He told me that they were sure we would all find something we like and to just give them a chance.

After taking a look at their online catalog I was surprised to find such a variety of outerwear and casual clothing for women. Jeans were a must for Sabreena and I figured I would go the same route. We both chose a slim fit boot cut jean and our regular size but had to exchange for smaller sizes. The updated jeans were a much better fit in the waist but not really a super slim fit. It seems every time Sabreena wears hers I ask what jeans she is wearing. There is something about them that looks really good on her that I always notice.
dickies for kids
I also got a pink and brown plaid shirt. This winter I’ve purchased 2 plaid shirts and this one definitely has a better fit; it’s made to look good on a woman. I like that it has snap closure front and pockets. The material is thinner than flannel but softer than a poplin shirt. It’s withstanding laundry quite well; getting comfier each time.
dickies jeans coats
Rob got a pair of straight leg jeans. I think they look awesome on him. His whole outfit in fact is one of favorites. It’s simple but suits him perfectly; black thermal long sleeve shirt and dark wash jeans. Shaun and Shae got clothing that is more school related. Shaun lives in jeans and sweats so I opted for a pair of double knee pants. I knew due to its construction the pants would hold up to bike riding, hill rolling, playground climbing and the rest of things that 8 year old boys do.

Shae’s outfit was something I thought would come in handy for the holidays that just passed. Black slim fit pants and a cranberry colored button down sweater. The 1st pair of pants we chose was too big in the waist, legs and length. We went down 2 sizes and the waist is still too big. I’m surprised at the sizing issue we dealt with. My kids aren’t little so I’m quite surprised that some of things we received were sized too big.
dickies clothes for kids
Sabreena and I received Sanded Duck Hooded Jackets. They are lined and thick and warm; perfect for early morning waiting at the bus stop or late runs to the convenience store. Shae, Shaun and Rob got lighter weight jackets, more appropriate for fall and spring. Shaun especially loves his Eisenhower Jacket because it looks just like his Uncle Matt’s who works as a mechanic.

Overall we’ve been greatly impressed with the styles from Dickies. It was very different from what I expected and I’m glad I gave them a chance. Besides for some sizing issues which won’t be an issue if you shop in a brick and mortar store the clothing fits well and is well made.

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