Cars.com Helps Choose the Right Vehicle for your Carseat

This is a sponsored post.

Car seats have always been very important to me because we drive a lot. We live in an area that to get most anywhere we have to get in the car so from the time my kids were infants to now, rarely a day goes by that they don’t get in the car.

But when you have your first baby choosing a car seat, knowing how to install it properly and making sure your child is safe in it can be really overwhelming.

Nevermind the fact that going to your local baby store has more options that most of our brains can compute.

Photo from Cars.Com

Cars.com is trying to help families by scoring cars and giving them car seat ratings and ultimately creating an honor roll of vehicles. This means that they install a rear facing convertible seat, a forward facing convertible seat, an infant seat and a booster into vehicles and then rate them for space, the LATCH system and how well it works and the ease of installation.

It’s super helpful to know where your car stands as far as carseat installation because every car is different and what might fit perfectly in a minivan might not fit so perfectly in a compact car.

You can watch a quick video over on cars.com for Cars.Com’s Car Seat Honor Roll for 2017.

Have you ever car shopped with a car seat in mind? What kind of car works best for your family? 

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of cars.com. All opinions expressed are mine. 

My 14th Stitch Fix

A few weeks back I got a mailer in the mail from Stitch Fix offering me a FREE fix. Meaning no $20 styling fee. It had been several months since my last fix and I wasn’t really sure I wanted to do another.

As I’ve been cleaning out my closet, I’ve noticed sometimes I impulsively choose to keep Stitch Fix items, wear them once or twice and then leave them hanging for months on end until they make it to the donate pile so as I looked at this fix I wanted to be intentional with anything that I would keep. Meaning I wanted to keep items that make sense long term in my closet and not just for an occasional wear.

Truth be told it’s been a long time since I’ve been this disappointed with a fix.

Here’s what I got:

Q&A Marsala Split Neck Blouse $64

I thought this top was adorable and could absolutely see myself wearing it for a night out or even Thanksgiving. That said- $64!! Too much to justify keeping it.

Decision: RETURN

41Hawthorn Zoe Ankle Zip Skinny Pant $88

I actually really like the 41Hawthorn brand and maybe even would have been interested in these pants if my Stitch Fix profile didn’t say “No pants, please.”

Decision: RETURN

Le Lis Covington One Pocket Top $58

This was a cute, fun, flannel that’s very much in style but I couldn’t find any reason it would be different than a flannel I could buy at Old Navy or Target for much less.

Decision: RETURN

Evolution by Cyrus Leesa Hooded Cardigan $88

I actually LOVE this sweater. It is totally my style, so much so that I already have one very similar. If I didn’t, I’d be tempted to keep it, though again, the price point is much higher than I’d want to spend.

Decision: RETURN

Olive and Oak Marsella Star Print Pullover Sweater $58

It’s just not me.

Decision: RETURN

All in all, I was disappointed. Not because they didn’t send me nice items but because none of the items were things I either preferred or requested and also, I felt like the price points were high. I felt like the stylist quickly did a once over on my profile and threw things together without really taking the time to look at my profile, what I’ve bought in the past and also what I’ve pinned on pinterest.

I may give Evereve’s Trendsend program another whirl but I think this might be it for me and Stitch Fix for awhile.

Related Posts:

My First Stitch Fix
My Second Stitch Fix
My Third Stitch Fix
My Fourth Stitch Fix

My 5th Stitch Fix
My 6th Stitch Fix
My 7th Stitch Fix
My 8th Stitch Fix
My 9th Stitch Fix
My 10th Stitch Fix
My 11th Stitch Fix
My 12th Stitch Fix
My 13th Stitch Fix

Have you tried Stitch Fix out yet? What have you liked or not liked? If you haven’t signed up yet what are you waiting for?

For a $20 styling fee, you fill out a questionnaire and all of your likes/dislikes when it comes to clothing, style, price points etc and a stylist puts together five pieces they think you might like. Hate it all? The only cost is the style fee. Love it?  Your $20 style fee goes towards your purchase and if you buy all five items you receive a 25% discount.

If you sign up and use my link I receive referral credit {it costs you nothing more or less by using my link, I’m just disclosing that I will receive credit}.

Save Money with Groupon Coupons

By now we’ve all used our share of Groupon’s for various events and activities and attractions but have you ever used Groupon Coupons?

Many of the retailers you shop from everyday include exclusive discounts or deals right from Groupon. For me there’s nothing worse than shopping and finding out later that you could have saved money on the purchase so this is a no brainer to check first.

A few weeks back a bad storm took out our two year old trampoline so we’ve begun the hunt for a
replacement. Our original trampoline was from Toys R’ Us so I immediately thought we should start looking there so I was excited to see that Groupon Coupons has Toys R’ Us coupons and discounts available right on their site that can be used both online and IN STORE.


A quick scroll through Groupon Coupons and there are tons of other options to check out, including Amazon, Target, Walmart and more.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Groupon. 

Field to Fork 2017 at Wolfcreek Dairy

A few weeks back, J and I were thrilled to go to a Field to Fork dinner with Common Ground Minnesota at Wolfcreek Dairy Farm in Dundas, Minnesota.

When I say we were thrilled, I mean that J saw the invite and literally CLEARED his schedule to make it happen. He so enjoyed the event last year that he knew we had to go again this year.

Common Ground Minnesota is an organization of farm women who volunteer their time to share information about farming and food. Together, this group of women raises a variety of conventional and organic crops, livestock and produce.

They host various events to help share their experiences as well as science and research to help us as consumers sort through myths and misinformation surrounding food and farming.

This is the second Common Ground Field to Fork dinner that we’ve attended and both have been so interesting and inspiring to learn about ways farmers right here in Minnesota are growing our food.

The event at Dundas Dairy Farm included a tour throughout their farm and learning about the way the family farms. Jeff and I were able to ask all sorts of questions about the milking process, how many babies are born each year and even lay eyes on a set of calf twins born earlier that day.

In addition to learning more about dairy farming we were able to talk to other farm women who were hosting the event who farm cattle, wheat, grain, etc.

All in all it was a really fun night. The atmosphere is so beautiful and the dinner is always amazing. We love learning more about where are food comes from and in the end it makes us much more intentional shoppers.

Special thanks to Common Ground for inviting us. Thankful for the work you do.

A Twin Cities Staycation: TownePlace Suites Mall of America

Over the long 4th of July weekend, we had the opportunity to enjoy a little stay cation at TownePlace Suites Mall of America.

I’m not sure we’ve ever stayed at a TownePlace Suites but they are owned by Marriott and I know we’ve stayed at Marriott’s before.

We loved our overnight. First of all my kids are hotel junkies. Staying overnight at a hotel is literally one of their all time favorite things to do. Miss F was practically beside herself when we pulled up and told the kids, “surprise, we’re staying here overnight!”

They hadn’t even seen the room yet and were pumped but once we arrived at our room, their excitement skyrocketed because it wasn’t just any old hotel room, it was a two bedroom suite, complete with a kitchen and living room.

Sometimes staying at hotels can be tricky for our family, especially when it’s all 7 of us, so the idea of having a two bedroom suite so everyone has their own space is perfect.

I love having a kitchen at hotels to keep snacks and some simple foods in. As the kids are getting older they are getting more self sufficient so can get their own breakfast started while we sleep in. That’s always a win.

TownePlace Suites is located directly across the street from the Mall of America which is perfect for a little stay cation with the family.

After spending the day shopping and riding rides, you can walk across the street and enjoy a swim in the indoor pool or relax outside by the fire and watch the planes take off.

We so enjoyed our overnight at TownePlace Suites! Convenient location, amazing accommodations [including a free breakfast!] and the friendliest hotel staff. Thanks for a great overnight!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. TownePlace Suites invited our family to spend the night at their property in exchange for our honest review shared here. All opinions and photos are mine.

My 13th Stitch Fix

My 13th Stitch Fix came over the weekend and it was a good one! I was excited to see some things right away in the box that I knew I would love. Now comes the hard part- making decisions!!

Here’s what I got:

41Hawthorn Carla Crochet Detail Blouse $58

I have a few other tops by this brand and love them. I initially was skeptical about the red as I don’t wear a lot of red but once I tried it on, I was convinced it had a place in my closet.

Decision: Keep

Market and Spruce Jannice Knit Dress $58

I really, really liked this. It fits well, it’s flowy. It’d be perfect for summer…but I’m waffling. I don’t love the back- halter straps aren’t my thing.

Decision: Undecided

Market and Spruce Girona Eyelet Detail Top $64

This was one that as soon as I laid eyes on it I knew it had to be mine- it’s SO me. I am fairly certain you will see me in this all summer long.

Decision: Keep

Hailey23 Kodi Jersey Maxi Dress $78

I do love this but I also just bought a maxi dress right before Easter and don’t feel the need to add another floral maxi to my closet right now.

Decision: Return

Renee C Arlette Skirt $54

Another item I was skeptical about but I did like it. That said I wouldn’t get enough wear out of it.

Decision: Return

All in all, this fix was a win! When I have to struggle making decisions of what to keep and what to send back, it’s a good one! What do you think of my items this month? Love ’em? Hate ’em? Am I making the right choices?
My past fixes:

My First Stitch Fix
My Second Stitch Fix
My Third Stitch Fix
My Fourth Stitch Fix

My 5th Stitch Fix
My 6th Stitch Fix
My 7th Stitch Fix
My 8th Stitch Fix
My 9th Stitch Fix
My 10th Stitch Fix
My 11th Stitch Fix
My 12th Stitch Fix

Have you tried Stitch Fix out yet? What have you liked or not liked? If you haven’t signed up yet what are you waiting for?

For a $20 styling fee, you fill out a questionnaire and all of your likes/dislikes when it comes to clothing, style, price points etc and a stylist puts together five pieces they think you might like. Hate it all? The only cost is the style fee. Love it?  Your $20 style fee goes towards your purchase and if you buy all five items you receive a 25% discount.

If you sign up and use my link I receive referral credit {it costs you nothing more or less by using my link, I’m just disclosing that I will receive credit}.

Three Things To Know Before You Go: A Year with Frog and Toad at Children’s Theatre Company

This past weekend my little girls and I had the opportunity to attend opening night of A Year with Frog and Toad at Children’s Theatre Company. We are huge fans of both CTC and Arnold Lopel’s Frog and Toad books so we were pretty excited.

In true form, Children’s Theatre Company did NOT disappoint. It was a fantastic show- complete with plenty of bouts of laughter. I’d recommend the show to all families with children of all ages- both my three year old and my eight year old enjoyed it immensely.

Here’s a few things to know before you go:

  1. There’s no frog or toad costumes. The two main characters are played by two adult men who do an incredible job, physical humor an all, as Frog and Toad. But beware, they aren’t walking around in a frog or toad costume. It’s a ‘use your imagination’ sort of play. [You’ll recognize company actor Reed Sigmund as Toad and as always, he plays his role in a completely believable way. He makes a great toad!]

  1. The Snail who delivers the mail absolutely steals the show. Every scene he was in, he owned the stage and the audience was fully engaged with his part of the story.

  1. There are just FIVE people in the cast which is really fun to see them transform from birds to turtles to snails and more.

As always, plan on arriving early. There are plenty of Frog and Toad mementos to choose from in the gift shop if that’s your thing. We always pre-order our admission treats so that we don’t have to wait in line. Cookies are $3.

The show is about an hour and 45 minutes with a 15 minute intermission.

A Year with Frog and Toad runs until June 18th and tickets are available right here.

 

[Disclosure: Thanks to Children’s Theatre Company for inviting us to opening night. All opinions expressed are mine. Photos used with permission from CTC.]

My 12th Stitch Fix

My 12th Stitch Fix came several weeks ago now and I was so excited. It’s that time of year that I’m just a little bit tired of my wardrobe and was so excited to add a few new things to get me through to spring and also get me excited for spring.

I’ll be honest, I was disappointed. Not because I didn’t like the items, I did and I think that in some ways they were “me” but they just weren’t what I was hoping for this go around.

For the second time since I started, I returned everything. Again, not because the items weren’t necessarily me but because they weren’t what I was wanting and needing right now. Also, I’m finding that the sizing is really inconsistent. Specifically, Market and Spruce and Pixley.

Here’s what I got:

Pixley Marabella Textured Knit 2fer Dress $68

NO PHOTO because for lack of better description, I looked like a stuffed sausage.

Market and Spruce Garrity Tie Back Knit Tank Top $44

fix12a

I actually do love the stripes and also really loved the tie in the back. But I also have a lot of tank tops- black, white, stripes and realistically would want to wear this in warm weather so as to show off the back and it’s going to be awhile.

Just Black Adorra Skinny Jeans $88

fix12b

Great fit and I really like them. That said I’ve got several pairs of skinny jeans so I’m set in that department.

Pixley Meryl Split Neck Blouse $54

fix12d

Love this sweet springy sleeveless top and it fits well too [also same size as dress that doesn’t fit above] but $50 plus for a sleeveless top that I won’t wear a ton simply because it’s so bright and unique is too much.

Market and Spruce Adelina Lace Detail Knit Top $54

fix12c

Again, I liked this one but this one was too short. It felt more like a cropped top and either that means it’s too small or just not my style.

So I’ve returned all of it this go and at first I was bummed about the style fee [that I’m paying with credits I have] but after reading The Life changing Magic of Tidying Up last year I’ve really decided that if I don’t LOVE something as far as my clothes go, I shouldn’t keep it because I just won’t wear it enough to make it worth it.

I scheduled another fix for later in April and am going to work on pinning things on Pinterest that I really like.

My past fixes:

My First Stitch Fix
My Second Stitch Fix
My Third Stitch Fix
My Fourth Stitch Fix

My 5th Stitch Fix
My 6th Stitch Fix
My 7th Stitch Fix
My 8th Stitch Fix
My 9th Stitch Fix
My 10th Stitch Fix
My 11th Stitch Fix

Have you tried Stitch Fix out yet? What have you liked or not liked? If you haven’t signed up yet what are you waiting for?

For a $20 styling fee, you fill out a questionnaire and all of your likes/dislikes when it comes to clothing, style, price points etc and a stylist puts together five pieces they think you might like. Hate it all? The only cost is the style fee. Love it?  Your $20 style fee goes towards your purchase and if you buy all five items you receive a 25% discount.

If you sign up and use my link I receive referral credit {it costs you nothing more or less by using my link, I’m just disclosing that I will receive credit}.

The Mitsubishi Outlander SEL Takes Us to Magnolia Market

As Miss E’s 8th birthday approached this past fall, J and I decided that while there are many things we could get her for her birthday one thing that would mean a lot for her would be special one on one time.

She has always been our kid that has craved that individual time and dates with J and I. So I cashed in some miles and booked tickets to Texas so we could enjoy a January trip to the infamous Magnolia Market that Chip and Joanna Gaines from Fixer Upper have created.
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We loved it.
I highly recommend making time for a one on one trip with a child if you are able.
magnolia5
It was so special to be able to have that time with her and also to enjoy something both of us were interested in. {We’re big fans of Fixer Upper at home thanks to Netflix. I also love that it’s a show the entire family can watch, no language and nothing inappropriate.}
We flew in and out of Dallas so we did have one “travel” day when we drove down to Waco. It’s about two hours from Dallas depending on traffic. We lucked out going both directions and traffic wasn’t too bad.
magnolia00
Thanks to a partnership I have with DriveShop we were able to drive the Mitsubishi Outlander SEL and we loved it.
There’s something about a flashy SUV that I could get used to.
magnolia8
I think when you normally drive a mini-van, driving a decked out SUV like the Mitsubishi Outlander feels sporty and dare I say, cool?
The beige leather interior with the black and chrome dashboard looked so classy, I joked that it felt more like driving a sports car than an SUV with seating for 7.
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While it was just Miss E and I on our trip and we could have driven any size vehicle, it was nice to have the room for our luggage [and Magnolia purchases!] with the additional third row that can work for seating or storage.
The Mitsubishi Outlander SEL gets about 30 miles on the highway and 25 in the city, which for an SUV is pretty good.
All the bells and whistles meant that there was a rear view camera and also blind spot warning and lane change assist. I’m not sure I’d ever driven a car with that feature before but definitely a nice feature especially when driving on unfamiliar rides.
magnolia7
Have you ever driven a Mitsubishi Outlander SEL? What features do you love? Better yet, have you ever planned a one on one trip with any of your kids? I highly recommend it.
Disclosure: Thanks to a partnership with DriveShop this is a sponsored post. All opinions and photos are mine. 

My 11th Stitch Fix

My 11th Stitch Fix came over this past weekend. I was extra excited about getting this one because after my last fix I requested a friend of mine to be my StitchFix stylist.

Seriously, if you know someone who is a Stitch Fix stylist, request them to style you. There’s something special about them actually KNOWING what you will and won’t like and your body type.

Here’s what I got:

Emily Rose Macy Open Cardigan $58

sf2017a

I loved this. I don’t really have anything similar to it right now and it fits perfectly. Would be a perfect transition from winter to spring. That said, I can’t spend $58 on a cardigan and I worry about snagging the fabric.

Decision: RETURN

Pixley Martina Slub Knit Open Cardigan $48

sf2017b

If I didn’t have one of these almost identical {the one in my closet has a hood, otherwise exactly. the. same.} I would so be keeping it. So comfy too.

Decision: RETURN

Renee C Jackobie Crew Neck Blouse $44

sf2017d

As soon as I saw this in the box, I knew I would love it and love it I do. It will be perfect this spring and summer for going out or to a meeting or even throwing a cardigan over it.

Decision: KEEP {But first I need to exchange it for a bigger size because it was a little snug}

Colette Chavez Pop Color Cuff Knit Top $48

sf2017e

Another WIN! I recently bought a similar top from Matilda Jane though. {See what I mean about Kim being RIGHT ON with my style?!}

Decision: RETURN

Laila Jayde Bowie Solid Dolman Sleeve Top $58

sf2017c

I don’t have any dolman sleeve tops even though I’ve tried them several times. I really like it, it fit well, the color is something I don’t already have but I couldn’t do $58 for it.

Decision: RETURN

So you might be looking at this thinking what was so great when you’re only keeping ONE item. When I get a Stitch Fix, I am usually only looking to get 1-2 items. They are typically at a higher price point than I would normally spend and it’s more of a treat or a way to complement my wardrobe.

 

My past fixes:

My First Stitch Fix
My Second Stitch Fix
My Third Stitch Fix
My Fourth Stitch Fix

My 5th Stitch Fix
My 6th Stitch Fix
My 7th Stitch Fix
My 8th Stitch Fix
My 9th Stitch Fix
My 10th Stitch Fix

Have you tried Stitch Fix out yet? What have you liked or not liked? If you haven’t signed up yet what are you waiting for?

For a $20 styling fee, you fill out a questionnaire and all of your likes/dislikes when it comes to clothing, style, price points etc and a stylist puts together five pieces they think you might like. Hate it all? The only cost is the style fee. Love it?  Your $20 style fee goes towards your purchase and if you buy all five items you receive a 25% discount.

If you sign up and use my link I receive referral credit {it costs you nothing more or less by using my link, I’m just disclosing that I will receive credit}.