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Since this week has been a rude wake-up call with the beginnings of the fall schedule, I thought I would let my kids take over “Things We are Loving Right Now…”

the five-year-old…

bigblock

Over the summer, my five-year-old discovered Big Block Sing Song, which has become her absolute favorite thing to sit around watching on the Disney Junior app. And I’ll tell you a secret….I love it too. The songs are ridiculous, but catchy…the animation is simple, but cheery…and a few of the songs even have a message or two. Okay, maybe not the one about how awesome noses are, but the one below called “Brave”? It talks about being brave enough to eat a bite of salad…and my kids need that motivation. Maybe yours do too…

the 7-year-old…

With my older daughter, I never had to convince her to want to read. She just did it…all the time. But it takes a little bit more work to find a book or series to engage my less-than-enthusiastic almost 2nd grader. Enter the world of Ricky Ricotta.

ricotta

He reluctantly picked it out it as his prize for completing his Barnes & Noble summer reading program, because he wasn’t sure if he could read it. Once we jumped in the car, he started reading it, and didn’t stop until he was done! The book was a fun combination of text, cartoons, and brightly-colored pictures, and it was just the right length and difficulty for my summer reader. It inspired him to pick up two additional Ricky books at the library last week, and that? That is happy news to this mom’s ears.

the nine-year-old…

diy

When I asked Madi what she was loving right now, all I could get out of her was “reading”. It’s true…she spent a large portion of her summer with her nose in a book. But she also is in love with the app, DIY. It’s an app for kids where they can be inspired to learn new things, post pictures or videos of what they created, and earn badges for completing tasks. For example, she earned the photographer badge for shooting a portrait, making trick photography, and photographing a landscape.

photo

 

Her “trick photography” picture earned her 97 likes and 8 comments, which leads me to a note of caution. Kids have to sign up with a parent and they have disguised identities, but they can chat with other users inside the app. We had to have a serious conversation about what she was allowed to do in that context, which was probably a good thing. It’s a great app, but it needs a certain level of maturity!

Rachel Signature Random.jpg

PEACH DIY 6

Summer fruit is at its best right now at most farmers markets around the country.  I found some little dishtowels online a few weeks ago that are truly adorable and celebrate summer at the market, but a little more than I wanted to spend at the time. But, you can make these cute little dishtowels that are inspired by the on-line version to help someone remember the tasty crops of summer all year long!

Peach DIY

Grab your supplies!  And if you’re headed to the market this morning make sure to purchase a few fruits that come in their own little baskets!  Those are a must have for this project.  They make it!

I use those very cheap flour sack dishtowels that you can buy in packs of three or four from Target for this.  Spread them out on a flat surface–make sure you put newspaper or cardboard underneath them as they are thin and the paint will soak through.  My peach/raspberry/orange/blueberry covered driveway can attest to that–as can my husband.  Good times.

First, decide on which fruit you’d like to make.  I really wanted to make peaches so I bent a toilet paper tube into the rough shape of a peach, dipped the end in peach fabric paint, and got started.

PEACH DIY 3

PEACH DIY 4

I added some random little leaves to my peaches.  Rustic is best here.  You’ll never get them perfect so don’t even try.

This is a great craft for kids to involved in too.  They can make these for teachers, grand-parents, a special babysitter, or you!

PEACH DIY 2

Let kids add any embellishments they might want to at the end and let the towels dry overnight.  You could also wash them before gifting them so they’re softer.

PEACH DIY 5

And then package them in your old fruit baskets.

PEACH DIY 7

PEACH DIY 8

 

That’s it!  A fun DIY to remember the best days of summer when it’s snowing in May.  Oh wait–is that only in Michigan.

Signature Maggie

Have you heard of Stitch Fix?  Have you tried it?  The idea of a box of clothing surprises showing up on my door step was something I couldn’t pass up.  I received my first fix back in June and was not that excited about my pieces.  However, I’ve read enough reviews from other shoppers to know that a bad first box is not that uncommon so I soldiered on.  While I was waiting for my second box to come Rachel decided she’d sign up too.  We both received our boxes last week and are here to share the results with you!

But quick–if you’re not familiar with Stitch Fix…a little background.  Stitch Fix is a personal styling service that assigns you to a personal shopper.  You fill out an extremely detailed fashion profile (including a price range scale for what you’d like to spend on various pieces) on their website, select your first delivery date and pay a $20 styling fee.  If you decide to keep any of the items sent to you, that $20 fee gets applied to your purchases.  If you send everything back (which you have three days to do in a pre-paid mailer that they provide for you) you lose that $20 fee.  You can leave detailed notes and feedback for your stylist, make requests, and be brutally honest about what you’re looking for….and what you’re not.

So here we go…..

Rachel’s box:

PIC STITCH 1

PICSTITCH 3

I don’t really consider myself to be very “fashion forward”, which is why I waited so long to try out Stitch Fix. I figured that since I didn’t really know what my “style” was, I wasn’t going to be able to tell someone that I don’t even know what kind of clothes to send me. But after I completed my Stitch Fix profile, where I had to select outfits, colors, and styles that I liked, I started to get excited about my box to arrive. What in the world would they send me?

When I finally received my box, I was pleasantly surprised. They did pretty well picking out things that I would like, which they selected not only based on my profile answers, but my Pinterest fashion page as well. However, where they did not do so well was with the fit of the clothes. They matched up sizes perfectly, but not knowing my body type threw everything off, I think.

Here’s the rundown…

1. Silver hoop earrings: They were earrings that I would definitely wear; I am a hoops kind of girl hands down. They even had some fun detail on them. However, I decided to not keep them, because they were very similar to a pair I own already. Selection was good, but almost too good.

2. Bright pink jeans: I actually thought the jeans were really cute, but I literally couldn’t get them on past my knees. I do not have the twiggy legs that slide effortlessly into skinny jeans, and this pair just wasn’t going to make it. It was too bad, because I liked them a lot, but the fit was not that great.

3. Striped black and white shirt: I liked this shirt as well, and I almost kept it. That is, until I remembered the number of striped shirts I have in my closet, including one I just bought last week. I didn’t keep it…and I might end up regretting it, because it could have been dressed up for work or dressed down with jeans. I think that might be an issue for me…sending things back that would really be good pieces!

4. Patterned brown sleeveless shirt: This shirt was okay, but not stellar. It was also really short, which made it feel and look like it was about two sizes too small. Not a winner…back it goes.

5. Gray cardigan: I decided to keep this sweater. I loved the color, the fit, and the weight. It was pretty light, making it a great fall sweater, and it will go with everything. I can’t wait to pop it on!

So, at the end of it all, I decided to keep…one sweater. This might sound weird, but I call that a success! I didn’t have to physically go out shopping, someone else found what I should try on, and everything was generally in my style arena. Plus, I never actually anticipated buying the entire box, so getting one good piece that I will wear consistently, was perfect in my book. I would have maybe liked it if I could have been able to request the jeans in a larger size, but I’m just happy to think about my next Stitch Fix…scheduled for early October!

Maggie’s Box:

I’d give this box a B- compared to my first box which was a D (however, there’s a dress I didn’t end up keeping from my first box that I regret). The one thing I’ll say that is a different experience than Rachel’s is that I’m shocked at how perfect the fit always is.  It’s almost a little spooky.

1. First up was this navy, pink, and white sweater.  Going back.  Just not my style at all.

2. Next was a red, white, and black tank.  I’m keeping it.  It’s a pretty basic shirt that I liked with my most favorite black belt ever, a black skirt, pants, jeans, whatever and a sweater.  I think I’ll get a lot of use from this tank.  I was excited to like something!

3. Third was a baby blue and gray shapeless shirt that I didn’t even try on I loathed it that much.  It made me sleepy just looking at it.

4. The final thing pictured below was a peach and “peacher” drawstring dress.  It’s not horrible–just not me.  It’s going back too.

5. My fifth item was a pair of black leggings.  I was honestly kind of irritated that I received them–it felt like getting a white t-shirt.  However, I’ll say this–they are crazy thick, warm, and full length making them great for a Michigan winter where I wear black leggings almost daily when I’m not working.  I never expected to keep them, but I did and feel pretty good about it!

PICSTITCH 2

I’m going back for a third time at the end of September.  I have high hopes after leaving some more concrete feedback and requesting some specific pieces.  Fingers crossed.

So what do you think?  Ready to try it?  It’s pretty fun!  We think you should.

Signature Maggie

**The links in this post are affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

Back-to-school clothes shopping is in full swing.  It can feel like a real drain on your wallet, especially knowing that 1/2 of the clothes you buy will have a hole in the knee by the end of September.  You know it’s true.  Sad, but true.

However, TEA collection clothing has amazed me year after year in its durability (on the playground and in the washing machine), color retention, comfort, and style.  When I look at my daughter’s closet at the end of a school year and survey the clothing that has been there, and looks ultimately the same, as it did nine months prior, her TEA clothes are always there, proving they are worth the money.

TEA KINDERCONE

Their fall line is inspired by the graphic designs and colors of Germany.  It does not disappoint.  The patterns and colors are beautiful; of course they are! And to help their shoppers get into the German spirit of back-to-school they are giving away a KinderCone worth $4,000!!!  

What’s a KinderCone??

To alleviate some of the anxiety and put a little fun into the first day of school, there is a tradition in Germany where kids are presented with a large, colorful KinderCone or Schultute (“shool-too-teh”) filled with school supplies, sweet treats and small gifts. This large cardboard, cone of fun helps kids feel a little better about their big day.

Want help with yours? Enter to win the Tea Collection KinderCone Giveaway! One lucky grand prize winner will receive a Tea Collection KinderCone, filled with school supplies and treats, for everyone in their child’s classroom! Plus, the classroom will also receive a collection of 20 National Geographic books! This is a first day of school party for the entire class! Here is what is inside the Tea Collection KinderCone:

One (1) $50 Tea Collection gift certificate
One (1) Germany-inspired activity book from Tea Collection
One (1) custom Tea printed notebook from May Designs
One (1) lunchbox from SoYoung
One (1) set of school and art supplies from Stubby Pencil Studios
One (1) healthy organic snack set from Annie’s Homegrown
One (1) cookie pack from Chateau Bakery
One (1) pair of fun temporary tattoos from Tattly

Tea Collection KinderCone Giveaway only runs until August 17, so be sure to enter today! Viel Glück! (‘Good luck’ in German.)

Signature Maggie

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