Thursday, July 29, 2010

Smart Shopping for Kids

I shop a lot for Hazel. I don't always buy but when I do, it's most often something that's on sale. Right now there are a ton of end of summer sales so you can shop for next year in the next size or think about t-shirts, tank tops or dresses you can pair with long sleeve shirts. Shorts can also be worn with leggings or tights.

Email shopping clubs are huge right now. They offer substantial discounts on clothing, accessories and gear. There are a couple that specialize in children's items. Zulily is one and The Mini Social is another. Both of these clubs have multiple sale shops available ever day. Haute Look is another email sale. It's not specifically for kids but they often offer one to two kid's sales a day. Baby Steals and Mamabargains have one large item a day and it can sell out fast but the deal is usually pretty good. I prefer Baby Steals.

Here are a few of the online shops I like visiting.

For shoes I love Livie & Luca and See Kai Run. Livie & Luca has a more whimsical approach to their designs while See Kai Run is more practical but both companies provide well made leather shoes that stand up to toddler abuse. A couple of times a year, they have 50% off sales which I try to take advantage of. Target is also a great place to get kid's shoes. I love their Converse sneakers. They are a fraction of the cost of regular Converse.
Livie & Luca

See Kai Run

Target Converse

While in NY I came across a great Japanese kids store called Bit'Z Kids. It took a while but they finally got a online store. Their clothes and accessories are adorable and a lot of fun though they do run small so I'd say buy a size or two up.
Bit'Z Kids

Speesees makes organic clothing of really high quality. I love their shirts. They come in great colors and are excellent basic additions to any kid's wardrobe. My coupon code "beens" will provide you with15% off on all items you purchase.

naartjie is great. Their clothes are soft and comfortable and they're extremely reasonably priced. On Tuesdays they have "mystery items" which are discounted an extra percentage. The images of the kids on their website turned me off at first because they layer so many patterns but once I looked past that I found they have some great stuff. Their clothing run a little large so keep that in mind if you want your kids to wear them right away.

I love Mini Boden. These clothes will last a long time. They wear well. Mini Boden's full price items can be pretty expensive but they often offer discounts through their catalog and the clearance sales are great (check out the one going on now). Free shipping and free returns are also usually available.
Mini Boden

Garnet Hill is a store I check almost daily. Aside from their regular fully stocked sale section, they have special clearance items every day (look under sale of the day). Their clothing is good quality and their sheets, towels and bedding are the best I've bought.

Garnet Hill

tada!shop is basically a one-stop shop for a great number of stores. Most of the brands are luxury ones unaffordable (at least to me) at their full price, especially when Hazel's going to get tomato sauce all over the shirt or grow out of it in a few months. The positive is that they list all of the sales from the various stores through their one site. The negative is that to purchase items you are redirected to the specific online storefront of the brand you are interested in. While it's great to have a resource for multiple shops, it can be a pain to pay various shipping costs. It's unclear from the homepage of tada!shop that this is the case so I'm laying it out there now.

Old Navy is my standby. They often have cute clothes at much lower prices than most other stores and their designs are patterned after what's hot now (and we all know how toddlers are so into "what's hot") so you can get similar styles. I specifically love their pajamas. The quality may not be as great but I was still able to pass on most of Hazel's Old Navy clothes to my sister's daughter. They still look new.

Old Navy

I recommend getting on the email list of any company whose clothing you like. You can find out about sales ahead of time without expending your own energy to search for them.

I was able to get a $39 dress from Tea Collection for $10 because I was on their mailing list.
Tea Collection
If I'm buying at full price, I always check RetailMeNot before completing the purchase. Often times there are discount codes available.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Baby Kitties

When we ask Hazel what she dreams about, she always says "kitties". I thought this was her canned response and that she didn't really understand dreams or have the ability to express what hers were. I was proven wrong the other night when Hazel woke herself up yelling "BABY KITTY!"

This was the start of a three night (so far) waking cycle. Every two hours, Hazel's up. She's either mumbling incoherently, asking to eat or wanting to "get out" of bed.

We've had these periods of unrest before, usually they proceed some milestone or are related to teething. Hazel walks, she talks, she has all of her teeth, she can eat with a utensil (though she often chooses not to)...what milestone is this? Will she wake up on Sunday doing complex calculus or be self toiled trained?

God I hope so.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

To toddler bed or not to toddler bed

Hazel is still in a crib and we're debating when to move her to a bed. I'm thinking it would be better to move right to a twin size bed and skip the toddler bed all together. Why transition twice? I'm still on the fence about it though. Some people say to wait as long as possible, even until your child starts to try to climb out of their crib.

What if she NEVER tries to climb out of her crib?!

There's a wide range of beds out there, many of which we can't afford (or are really nutso). Here are some of the examples I've found:

This is one of the more reasonable choices.

It's from KidKraft and retails for less than $200. It's clean an modern looking and has a little bench at the end so kids can sit and read or put their shoes on there.

Flexa also makes fairly reasonable beds
with fun add-ons like curtains and slides.

Matrix makes beds with slides as well, though their beds are a bit more finished looking than Flexa. They might be a little too precious for us.

There's always good ol' IKEA

This loft bed is reversible, the bed can either go at the top or the bottom so it grows with your child (if it lasts the rebuilding process). I love this starry tent. I think I would have really enjoyed this bed when I was little.

I love this Oeuf Sparrow trundle bed.For over $1000 (trundle price included) it's a high price to pay for style (for me at least).

Nurseryworks makes a bunk bed with a lot of extra storage but it's a little too modern for my tastes.

I've found some beautiful antique beds on ebay, like this French one. As you can see, it would require supports, it's basically just a frame but it would be nice to get something unique that has character.

Perhaps we'll just get Hazel this little cottage bed from PoshTots.It's only $14,450 but hey, Hazel's worth it.

Adorn your little girl

I saw Decor8's Take 5 Tuesday post and fell in love with Nest Pretty Things. Then I realized that Tamar makes accessories for kids and I was truly smitten.

I started looking fr other kid's accessories and found these great felt barrettes from May Crimson.

I also found gorgeous feather hair accessories at Neva Plume

and check out the ponytail holders from lulu blu.

Now if only Hazel would let me decorate her.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Here comes Hazel cotton tail

This weekend I made Hazel a bunny tail, inspired by Curly Birds made possible by my preteen years of making pom-poms for my ice skates.