I’m always looking for ways to teach my kids how to take responsibility for their belongings, for teaching them some age-appropriate household tasks, and learning good behavior. It is usually easier to do during the school year because we have such a regular routine and schedule. On weekends things get a little lax as far as cleaning up after ourselves or staying on task — and that’s ok. And sometimes I realize we’ve gotten out of regular habits of chores or behavior charts due to our busy schedules. So I’m trying to get prepared for the summer, when I want to take advantage of a more laid-back schedule to implement more age-appropriate chores for the boys and a regular routine of cleaning up after themselves and being responsible for their own belongings. I also want to set clear expectations for them and for myself. I found a few things that I think will help us to stay organized and on task this summer without getting out my whistle and implementing a military-style strategy, ala The Sound of Music.
Chore and behavior charts are great in theory, but I’ve yet to find one that really works for us and that we stick to for longer than a week. I think it is partially because we don’t have a consistent routine of checking off boxes or getting stickers for each category successfully completed. I also think it is because I’ve only really used one for my oldest son. I got these behavior charts from Pickett’s Press that you can customize with both behavior and chores or tasks and personalize for each child. I had one made for each of my boys and plan to hang them in a very prominent place in the kitchen where we will see our progress and remember to track and reward timely. I love that the styles are so cute and aren’t an eyesore hanging in my kitchen. I think they will really help my 7 year old keep a consistent behavior routine and remember expectations (which we need because we are navigating what we think is ADHD with him and consistency is huge). My 4 year old will benefit from a behavior chart as well, though he doesn’t need one to motivate good behavior as much as his older brother. And my 2 year old will want one just because his brothers have one 🙂
Another thing I stocked up on are personalized bookplates. The mess of books in our house is a problem. I love that my kids love books and want to read them so much, but I cannot handle the piles of them left out and the fight over who made the mess. So I’m putting bookplates in my kids’ books. Each are personalized by color and name so that they can lift the cover and see who is responsible for putting that particular book away. And at the end of the day if there is a pile left out I will put the books in “jail” and the owner will have to earn them back. We’ll see if that works…
I’m not a stickler for continuing school work when we’re on break, but I do like to encourage writing and reading in the course of our play. Charlie loves to write stories and books, Calvin has started practicing writing because he wants to be like Charlie. And Quincy loves to color. So I got each kid a personalized journal so we can do “journal time” over the summer. Charlie might write down his ideas and thoughts, or dedicate the journal to just one story (he’s very particular about his writing and “books” that he writes). Calvin and Quincy will likely just scribble in them. But my thought is that I’ll write the dates and save them from each summer to see what we did and worked on at that time.
Those are a few of the ways I plan to stay somewhat organized and on task with my kids this summer. I mostly hope to relax and have fun and just play outside in our backyard, gardening and learning through play. But using those tools will help to keep some consistency and routine that will help us transition back into our regular routine once school starts again.
What is your summer vacation style? Are you laid back, do you through structure out the window, or do you try to keep a consistent routine? What tools help you?
This post is sponsored by Pickett’s Press, which is also included in Chandra’s Favorite’s Guide. But the opinions are my own and the love is real.
This post was created in partnership with Ebay Home. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who help me bring you content here on Oh Lovely Day.
Since moving into a new home nine months ago I’ve been planning, designing, styling, pinning, shopping, and searching for the perfect products and pieces to include in each room. Home design and styling is a personal passion and hobby for me — I love the hunt of finding the perfect rug, the dreamiest bedding, and the perfect full-length mirror. But sometimes my style tastes are bigger than my budget and I’ve had to get creative and learn patience when it comes to hunting for the perfect pieces. But, I’ve found a source for my high-style tastes that fall within my budget-friendly constraints: eBay.
One of my favorite updates in our master bedroom is our rug. Rug shopping is always depressing for me because the rugs I love are usually WAY out of my price range. And when you need a large area rug, the prices can be astronomical. So, I comparison shopped and looked in places you might not think of looking — and I found my dream rug within my realistic budget on eBay. It is a beautiful, high quality rug and it is the perfect size to cover most of our master hardwood floor, leaving 1-2 feet of wood border all around the perimeter of the room. And best of all, the rug was around 80% cheaper than everywhere else I had looked. Oh, and it shipped for free, as most of their large items do. They actually have over 900k rugs in their inventory and 90% of them ship for free. Score!
Our large area rug was the piece that pulled our whole master together. We already had furniture and bedding. Now all we needed were a few small pieces to complete the styling of the room. Since I had such luck finding our rug, I looked for some small decor items on eBay Home as well. I added a Himalayan Salt Lamp and a giant Palm Leaf to the room to give warmth and texture. Salt Lamps work as natural air purifiers, so they are great to include in bedrooms in combination with plants or on their own. And I typically am not a fan of fake plants (to me they create and collect dust instead of helping to clean the air like live house plants). But I loved the addition of the giant palm leaf — it is easy to dust and lasts forever vs. a cut leaf that would die.
Another item that you should definitely check for on eBay is luxury bedding. Pottery Barn sheets are my absolute favorite and I was able to find my favorite ones brand new at discounted prices on eBay. Category pages make it easy to browse and shop for your favorite brands, find on-trend pieces and the best price.
And don’t forget to check their decor section for affordable frames for photography and artwork you want to hang in your space. The addition of those items that are all available on eBay provided the perfect updates to complete our master bedroom. I’m still hunting for the perfect end-of-the-bed bench and I’m hopeful I’ll have luck finding it on eBay as well thanks to their large selection of furniture from brands like Design Within Reach, IKEA, and Restoration Hardware.
Did you know that you could find such a broad selection of home items on eBay? Have you sourced any products for your home from there? Do you plan to? The selection, value, free shipping and ease of shopping made me feel like this was a secret source that I never knew about and now I’m sharing it with everyone and can’t wait to share more eBay finds with you all.
This post was written on behalf of Ebay but the opinions expressed are my own.
I’m a minimalist when it comes to my jewelry style, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want high quality materials and high style. In fact, I’d venture to say that my jewelry style is simple but expensive 🙂 My wedding ring is a simple eternity band; my engagement ring a round solitaire diamond. I don’t love a ton of jewelry, big chunky or flashy pieces (I like them on others, but not on myself), and I don’t tend to change out my jewelry often. I love simple classic pieces. Heirloom pieces. Forever pieces. So when I found out about AUrate New York, I felt like I struck gold! And I did, because AUrate is a fine jewelry brand that has no concessions. They have beautifully designed pieces that are unique and stunning in their simplicity. They source the best materials and follow the highest human rights, environmental, and social responsibility standards. They are so confident in the quality of the products that they offer a lifetime guarantee for every single piece, no questions asked. And even though the pieces are high quality and beautifully made, they don’t cost a fortune because AUrate eliminates the ugly supply chain most jewelers use. I am especially crushing on their collection of necklaces.
I have been wearing their Mini Gold Letter Charm Pendant and Mini Gold Bar Earrings for about a month and I absolutely love them. I chose the rose gold chain with black diamonds and it is so pretty and delicate and just a tiny bit edgy while still being classic. I hadn’t worn earrings in over seven years — I got very annoyed by earrings after I had my first baby and between him reaching for them and my feeling them when I laid down to get what very little sleep I was getting at the time, I took them out and just never put any back in. But I haven’t taken the bar earrings out since I first put them in and I don’t even feel them. They are delicate and I don’t even notice I’m wearing them — until I look in the mirror. I’ve received so many compliments on them too. And because they are made of high quality and real gold, they don’t make my ears itch or break out like some jewelry can.
One last reason I’m crushing on AUrate is the fact that the brand supports literacy of students here in the US — for every purchase you make, you put a book directly into the hands of a child that needs it. Brands that give back are always crush-worthy.
I think AUrate’s pieces make great gift ideas for things like Mother’s Day, the birth of a new baby, or a wedding gift in addition to the usual birthday or anniversary gift. The style, quality, and design of the jewelry make them a new favorite go-to for my own wishlist!
This post was sponsored by AUrate, but the opinions are my own.
This post is written in partnership with Baby Dove, but the opinions and experience are my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors who help me to bring you content here at Oh Lovely Day.
It seems like we’re always dealing with skin issues at our house. Between my three kids we have dry skin, sensitive skin, eczema, KP (the chicken skin bumps) and allergies. Since we moved to a new climate, those things have been even worse. I feel like we just got used to the dry winter skin we were dealing with, and now spring and summer are just around the corner, bringing with them a whole new range of skin irritants. Even though I try to use gentle products, all of the sunscreen, bug spray, etc. wreak havoc on their delicate skin. Add to that humidity, hot sun, grass, pollen, sand, dirt — you get the idea. A new environment and new skin issues meant it was time to try some new products to help prepare and protect their skin for the changing seasons.
I think many, especially new parents (or those opinionated grandparents 😉 ) think all skincare is created equal. But that’s simply not true anymore. There are certain brands that will instantly send my middle son into an eczema flare. And some others just don’t do enough to moisturize and protect. But Baby Dove cleansers and lotions are made with 100% skin-natural nutrients for baby’s skin, so they aren’t just mild, but actually help replenish essential moisture and nutrients in baby’s skin. There are no dyes, no parabens, and no phthalates, and Baby Dove’s Sensitive Moisture range is fragrance-free for sensitive skin and hypoallergenic, pH neutral and gentle on eyes. Those things are really important to me because I think it is super important to keep products free of harmful chemicals, especially for our little ones.
Another problem we face as we enter spring and summer and spend more time outside: more frequent baths! In the summertime, my boys need baths daily because they play in the dirt and grass, swim, and get sweaty from playing outside all day. But did you know that frequent bathing actually strips skin of moisture? During a single bath, baby’s skin can lose moisture up to five times faster than an adult’s, making it extra vulnerable to dryness. That’s why Baby Dove Sensitive Moisture Tip to Toe Wash is made with 100% skin-natural nutrients combined with gentle cleansers to minimize damage and replenish skin lipids to keep delicate baby skin nourished and healthy. Follow up with Baby Dove Sensitive Moisture Baby Lotion, which is made with 100% skin-natural nutrients and gentle moisturizers for that provide constant moisture for baby’s skin all day long. And in between baths for diaper changes and minor clean-ups, I love Baby Dove Sensitive Moisture Baby Wipes. They are as gentle as cleansing with water and are fragrance and alcohol-free and hypoallergenic. So many baby wipes out there just dry skin out and actually make things like diaper rash worse, so the Baby Dove Sensitive Moisture Baby Wipes are a much better choice. Baby Dove’s Sensitive Moisture line was even awarded the Seal of Acceptance by the National Eczema Association, which gives me even more confidence in using it on my little ones.
While there’s no right way to parent, there is a superior way to care for baby’s skin. Here’s a coupon to try Baby Dove for yourself (bonus: it doubles when you share it with another mom!), and you can find out more about Baby Dove products by visiting Baby Dove online.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Baby Dove.
I got so much positive feedback on my first capsule wardrobe post from last year and lots of requests for a Spring/Summer version. These posts are A LOT of work, so it has taken me a while but I finally got it done. I stuck to basic pieces that will work from season to season and year to year while throwing in a few fun trends that are budget-friendly. The entire wardrobe is mom-friendly, which means it works for active moms of small kids, has some nursing-friendly options, and is flattering on more types than the teeny moms (which personally I am not and I know it can be frustrating to always see things linked that are too tight or too short or too revealing). I’ve pretty much figured out the perfect uniform for this motherhood phase of life with young kids: comfy but still stylish enough to make you feel put together, extra weight-friendly, affordable, and transitions well from season to season. This isn’t a true capsule wardrobe (in that you don’t get rid of all of your other things and only limit yourself to a specific number of pieces) but more of a “all the versatile basics you need to get you through spring/summer” kind of thing. I do love the idea of investing in well-made basics that you can mix and match and wear over and over that you really love, versus buying lots of “stuff” to wear that you just feel meh about and after you add up all the money you spent on that, you could have invested in a piece you love. But until I’m a size that I want to invest in, I’m sticking to more budget-friendly basics.
STAPLE PIECES FOR YOUR MOM-FRIENDLY CAPSULE WARDROBE
1. A great button down shirt.
A button down shirt is a daily staple in my momiform, and there’s not much that is more nursing-friendly. For a capsule wardrobe, you would just pick a couple really versatile ones, so I recommend finding a good white one and a chambray one. Both can be dressed up or down and go with everything. If you’re afraid to do white because of kiddo messes, grey is another great option. Plaid is too limiting — it only goes with certain things and is more easily remembered so you’ll tend to steer clear of it because you’re afraid people will always think you wear the same plaid shirt. But we never worry when we’re wearing simple basics — at least, I don’t 🙂
For spring and summer I love a short sleeve white button down and a long sleeved chambray shirt. I also have a long sleeved white button down and often wear it like a jacket or cardigan on warmer days. I personally love the crisp white button downs from Madewell, but these options are more budget-friendly.
For me, nothing is as versatile in the summer as a maxi dress. You can wear them for any occasion and be comfortable while looking pulled together. I’m not a fan of wearing shorts — I’ve always found them to be uncomfortable and unflattering (on me) so I like wearing lightweight maxi dresses as an alternative. Above are two that I added to my wardrobe this season and I know will be in constant rotation.
3. Denim: A jacket, the perfect cut offs, and a great pair of distressed jeans
Denim is key staple in spring and summer! A great denim jacket is a great maxi dress topper, distressed jeans are a cooler and more casual way to do jeans for summer (think of them as air conditioned 😉 and cut off shorts are a daily staple for hot weather, especially for busy moms who are outdoor adventuring with kiddos. I know, I know — I said I hate shorts. And I do. But many of you don’t and like it or not cut off denim shorts are a summer staple. Plus, I FINALLY found the PERFECT pair! I do a try on of them in my IG stories that you can see. They are flattering in a way most shorts aren’t — fitted but not overly so, longer, and cover what you want covered while still giving you the shape that you need. I see myself wearing them a lot this summer. They are under $20!
If I’m being honest, I’ve always been afraid of white jeans. Between the potential messes with my three boys to feeling like white isn’t the most slimming, I can’t remember the last time I wore white jeans. But I plan to incorporate them into my wardrobe this year because I found a pair I loved and that fit really well (linked below). They really are a staple in summer!
I really love a good midi skirt. They can be worn casually with a tee and sneakers or dressed up with sandals or clogs and paired with a cuter top. They are flattering and you can find really cute ones at pretty affordable prices. I love a good chambray one but even a patterned one could work as a neutral
A midi dress is your versatile summer staple. It dresses you up for a party, girls’ brunch, or baby shower or can be thrown on for a barbecue or day at the beach. Depending on your you style and accessorize it, you can pretty much wear a midi dress for any occasion. These are two I absolutely love (you can see me trying them on in my IG story Try-Ons highlight).
A caftan is so chic and cool, but also the epitome of comfort on hot summer days. Where can you wear one? Think visits to your local farmer’s market, brunch, as a beach coverup, poolside, and pretty much anywhere you want to feel like you’re on vacation in Palm Springs. Both of these are from Sseko Designs and are gorgeous (I also love that the brand gives back and employs and trains local artisans).
8. A Swimsuit You Feel Good In
In case you missed it I publicly declared that I won’t be afraid to wear a swimsuit this year, despite the fact that my body is still not where I was hoping it would be 2+ years post-baby #3. But I want to have fun with my kids and refuse to let bathing stuff anxiety get the best of me. I shared a whole post with 11 swimsuits that are cute and also mom-friendly but I had to mention it here as well because a swimsuit that you feel good in should really be part of your summer capsule. These three are all around $30 and I have the one on the left and in the middle — I even did a try-on of the middle one, which is also saved in my IG stories.
While I often try to keep most of my clothing staples to basics that are good quality and can transition from season to season and year to year, when it comes to accessories I do about 50% versatile and 50% trendy and fun. I never spend a lot of money on the trendy/fun items, because by next season I may not like the item or there will likely be a new trend or item. So below is a mix of classic staple accessories and trendy and fun ones for Summer 2018.
Shop the look:
Cute and comfy sneakers: these are a must and this pair (the blush ones pictured above) are under $20 and the most comfy sneakers I’ve ever had. I got a second pair for when I wear out the first 🙂 I also had and loved these for about three years.
Jumpsuits and overalls seem to be a trend that is here to stay for a while, and I’m a fan. While every style doesn’t look great on my body type, I have found a few that work well for me. I love the above pictured overalls — one pair is the super popular Madewell overalls and the other is a dupe from Old Navy that looks almost the exact same, but are 1/3 of the price.
Oh, and while we’re getting some essentials for spring and summer — throw out old underwear and bras that don’t fit and get yourself some new ones! Two tips for restocking your underwear drawer:
Let go of your past bra size and preferred style. Those might not work for you anymore. You have to try out new sizes and style options to see what works best for you. You could either go to a store to try on and be sized (but with baby in tow that’s not that appealing to me). I highly recommend ThirdLove. They have a fit finder to help you find your fit based on your breast shape and fit issues. Then they have a ‘try before you buy’ program where they send you a bra and you can actually try it on and wear it for 30 days. If you don’t love it, you send it back and only pay $2.99 for shipping. Any returned bras are washed and donated to charity. The best part though is that their bras are designed for a better fit, tailored to both size and shape and also come in 1/2 sizes. They use memory foam to form to your breast, making them really comfortable. And they are also really beautiful. I have two and am addicted. They now offer nursing bras that are just as comfy and pretty as the regular bras!
This strapless bra is a summer essential for strappy tops and dresses (unless you can go braless, in which case good for you and I hate you.) I’m a DD and I can wear this and be comfortable.
Revisit your current underwear stock. Which styles do you currently find comfortable? Hipsters? Boy shorts? Briefs? High waisted briefs? Whatever it is, try to stick to that style when you buy yourself new underwear. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it also doesn’t have to be totally cheap. I preferred lace thongs pre-babies and now I hate them. This is my favorite pair of underwear for comfort, quality, and style. And ThirdLove also has underwear (I haven’t tried yet but I’ve heard great things.)
And in case you need help with more options or ideas, I’m sharing more that you can shop directly below. Have you done a capsule wardrobe? What would be your biggest staple pieces to include?
This post includes some affiliate links. If you click on one of these links and purchase the item, I may receive a small commission (at no additional expense to you).
Have you ever wondered if there are little things you can change that make a big impact on the way you spend money or the waste you produce as a family? I often think about the small tweaks we can make that have a lasting effect on things that are important to us, like the environment. As a budget-conscious mom, if those eco-friendly changes also save us money, then even better! One chance we recently made was switching from boxes of tissues to Tissue on a Roll. With three little boys, we go through paper products in our home crazy fast. Between bathroom use, blowing snotty noses, cleaning up messes, and little ones who decide it is fun to pull out an entire tissue box at once, the cost and waste levels are high. So when I discovered Tissue on a Roll I was really intrigued. By replacing one box of tissues with one roll of toilet paper, you save $1.35 (sometimes more) each time. That is a huge savings! And toilet paper is more recyclable than facial tissues.
Tissue on a Roll dispensers make it easy to switch because they allow you the look and design of a tissue box without the additional waste. You simply remove the lid from the dispenser, put in a roll of toilet paper (any size and style works, even the mega rolls!), slide the inner tube out of the toilet paper roll (or to even more eco-friendly, use tubeless toilet paper rolls!), Feed the tissue through the top, and put the lid back on. The toilet paper tears off easily thanks to little teeth in the dispenser hole, so you aren’t wasting a bunch when you pull some out to use it. My kids even help themselves now when they need to wipe their nose or clean up a mess!
I’m pretty picky about style and I love that these match and blend in well in any room. I have one on my bedside table, one in each bathroom, and one in our living room that matches our wall paint! White, black, even two shades of grey (you can never go wrong with grey) — the dispensers are sleek and modern and as stylish as they are functional. I’ll seriously never go back to tissue boxes!
Can you believe such a little thing can make such a big difference? I can’t even imagine how much money we’ll save each year now that we aren’t buying boxes of tissues, not to mention the waste we’ve eliminated. Budget-friendly + eco-friendly = Win Win! So tell me, are you going to make the switch? What little changes have you made that have had a big impact on your budget and/or the environment?
This post was sponsored by Tissue on a Roll, but the opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help me to bring you more content here on Oh Lovely Day.