SEE KAI RUN STYLES SPRING SUMMER 2016

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Best for Baby, Fashion and Outfits, PHOTO, Photo Stories, PRODUCTS, TODDLER

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Given how much we love See Kai Run shoes, Lexi and I went out with some of our favorite styles and did a little look book for the blog featuring spring/summer sneakers, sandals and water shoes.

Now that Lexi is older, I can actually ask her for a detailed opinion on things she wears and plays with, so I think from now on, I will include two sections: mom’s opinion and Lexi’s opinion.

Mom’s opinion:

See Kai Run have always been one of the two brands that I got for Lexi because of the good fit and comfort. However, I am also incredibly impressed with original designs they come out with every season. My biggest soft spot is for their sneakers. The combination of patterns and colors is nothing that you normally see in footwear. I would personally wear them if they came in a larger size ( See Kai Run, please?) I have always disliked the look of tennis shoes for any situation other than the gym and these sneakers cut that perfect line between being sporty, comfy and yet stylish.

It also helps that See Kai Run has sales regularly and you can get their shoes for a really good price.

Lexi’s Opinion:

From her behavior I have noticed that she really prefers sandals. First, they are very easy to put on ( velcro!), so she can do it herself. She is a girly girl when it comes to fashion (skirts and sandals are her staples), so of course she prefers more girly options. This year See Kai Run has really nice water shoes ( machine washable and safe for water) and it has thrilled her to such a degree to be able to attack any puddle she comes across in these shoes. “Mom, are these water shoes? Can I jump?”

Out of Lexi’s mouth: ” I really like sandals better because they are like flip flops, easy to put on. ”

( all outfits are by Lourdes)


 

So enjoy the visuals below and enter the giveaway. Check out the upcoming sales –

  • For Memorial Day, See Kai Run has 30% off Spring Summer Sneakers.
  • Starting June 1st, they will be adding Spring Summer Sandals to the 30% off sale.
  • On June 8th, the savings get even bigger with 30% off all other Spring Summer styles. The 30% off ends on June 14th.
  • Be on the lookout in June for their Clearance Page Sale, where we will be offering big discounts on past season styles. You will be able to “Find your size and save BIG!”

Be sure to sign up for the See Kai Run newsletter at their website so you can be the first to know about special products, promotions and sales. You get 10% off your next purchase of $40.00 or more when you sign up as well.

GIVEAWAY

You can enter a giveaway for 1 pair of See Kai Run shoes below ( 2 winners)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Noel

Peyton

  

Mykah

Kira

Poppy Avalon

Magnuson

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My new business, Melody Lane, and how it started.

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, BUMP UPDATES, Daily, EVERYTHING ELSE, Fashion and Outfits, FOR MOMS, Friday Finds, Fun as a Toddler Mom, FUN TIMES, GET FIT, Health and Fitness, LIFE, My Pregnancy, New Mom Experience, Nursery, Other Recommendations, PHOTO, Photo Stories, Pre-CONCEPTION, PREGNANCY, PREGNANCY FASHION, Pregnancy Q of the week, Pregnant With Style, PRODUCTS, TODDLER, Tried and True

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THE WHOLE STORY

Some of you who follow me on IG might have noticed me mentioning Melody Lane  a few times and I am sure you saw the announcement  and I have finally found the time to talk about it and give you some background information on how it came to life and what it is. ( and a coupon just for my readers at the end)

Let’s go camping in Florida and a $50 camping card giveaway

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in 52 Weeks of Experiences, Adventures, Florida, FOR MOMS, Fun as a Toddler Mom, Life as a Toddler, Other Recommendations, PRODUCTS, TODDLER, TRAVEL

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Note: Kohl’s has provided us with a $50 gift card for the giveaway and the products listed above.

The Backstory

With spring approaching and Lexi getting older, I have been thinking a lot about taking her camping. She keeps seeing camping references in books she reads and shows she watches and has become pretty interested in it. While we were in Chattanooga on a press trip ( post coming up), she bought a little lantern at Ruby Falls and has been inseparable with it, talking about camping with her lantern. Now my experience with camping equals to zero. I grew up in a city and during my adult life never had anyone who was even remotely interested in going camping (and who wants to go alone?). So I always wished I could camp, but never had the opportunity to make it happen. Andrew always said “ugh, bugs mosquitoes, why???”.

Despite all that, I have planned out all the camping spots I wanted to go to years ago and have had that on my to do list periodically looking it over.

Obviously when Lexi was little, going on my own first camping trip was out of the question. Now that she is 4 and is herself interested in it, it would be a shame not to get it going. Two females against one male. We know who wins there. So we started shopping on Kohl’s for their camping sale event.

Tom’s of Maine Made to Matter coming to Target

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Green Products, PRODUCTS

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Tom’s of Maine. All opinions are 100% mine.

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I’ve been using Tom’s of Maine products for a few years now. I use their SLS-free fluoridated toothpaste exclusively, I have used Tom’s of Maine Deodorant. They have recently come out with a new Baby Care Line. So it is a company that I have been going to for more natural products for a long time now.

And in light of the upcoming Earth Day, Tom’s of Maine has released a Made to Matter collection, available exclusively at Target ( the store every mom seems to be obsessed with, so isn’t it perfect?)

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The Made to Matter collection consists of:

  • Luminous White: Tom’s of Maine  most advanced natural whitening toothpaste that is safe for enamel, and gluten and is paraben free. Note: it has SLS and fluoride. But it’s an excellent choice for those who want whiter teeth while still avoiding most of the chemicals that conventional toothpastes have.
  • Wicked Cool!: Their 1st natural deodorant made just for boys and girls, rather than adults, providing 24-hour odor protection and free of aluminum, parabens, and artificial fragrances. It doesn’t provide wetness protection, but is a great stepping stone for older kids who are active and want to smell good and maybe be a little bit like their parents.
  • North Woods: Their first natural antiperspirant made for men that provides all day odor and wetness protection without petrochemicals, artificial fragrances, or irritation. This anti-antiperspirant does contain aluminum, which is what provides the odor protection, but to be honest I found that for some people, especially those constantly active, this ingredient is the only one that will keep up with the sweating.

When I last checked ( April 7th, 2016), the products in the collection were on sale at Target and you can save additional 10% with the cartwheel offer for Made to Matter collection.

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With the Earth Day coming up, it’s a good way to start thinking about ways everyone can be good to our bodies and our planet. I guess I find that the older I get, the more conscious I become. While before my focus was to take care of what I put in my body, which is a way of also honoring our nature, now I am thinking and paying more attention to what each company does in terms of staying green, eco-friendly and conscious. To me it shows how much a company cares. And if someone cares of the earth, they tend to care about its people.

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Visit Sponsors Site

How I took my sleep back and what you can do, too

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Fun as a Toddler Mom, Green Products, New Mom Experience, PRODUCTS, TODDLER, Tried and True

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I will start this post with a few words that will hopefully get the right people to read the rest of it: THIS MATTRESS SAVED MY BACK

If that phrase brings up ANY kind of emotions in you, if you wake up sore or with a painful back, then you need to continue reading. If you don’t, read up anyways, just in case you’re ever in this situation.
I know it slightly sounds like an ad, and, while technically any review is an ad, every single word I am about to write is coming from me and my experience. Pinky promise.

Big Announcement!

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in 52 Weeks of Experiences, Adventures, BABY, Best for Baby, Birthdays, BUMP UPDATES, BUSY MOM TIPS, Cooking, Daily, Disney, EVERYTHING ELSE, Fashion and Outfits, Florida, FOR MOMS, Friday Finds, Fun as a Toddler Mom, FUN TIMES, GET FIT, Green Products, HEALTH, Health and Fitness, Letters to Lexi, LIFE, Life as a Toddler, Monthly Updates, My Pregnancy, New Mom Experience, Nursery, Other Recommendations, Parenting, PHOTO, Photo Stories, Photography for Mommies Tutorials, Pre-CONCEPTION, PREGNANCY, PREGNANCY FASHION, Pregnancy Q of the week, Pregnant With Style, PRODUCTS, Real Life Photos, TODDLER, TRAVEL, Tried and True, VIDEO

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BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!

Some of you, who follow me on social media, might have noticed that for the last 6 months I have been working on a few projects. I am ready to officially announce the first one.

Together with a friend of mine, I started a new business, Melody Lane, a clothing store that is focused on making sure that women in all stages of their lives have access to comfortable, affordable and most importantly versatile clothing. (see below on details of a $500 giveaway!)

Pregnancy, motherhood, nursing, party, fitness, vacation, career, school – it’s amazing how many stages we go through as women that require a completely different wardrobe. So our goal is to offer clothing with versatility and affordability in mind. Items you could wear for several occasions and during several stages of your life. Clothing that is comfortable, yet still looks good, because I have to admit that since becoming a mother, comfort trumps looks, however I still want to look good.

Our favorite winter styles by See Kai Run and a Giveaway

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Best for Baby, Fashion and Outfits, Life as a Toddler, PHOTO, Photo Stories, PRODUCTS, TODDLER

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If you ever want some eye candy, all you have to do is check out See Kai Run shoes. I am amazed every season at how they manage to come out with the cutest designs.

There is one particular type of shoe that I am most in love with. It’s a high top sneaker, and every season See Kai Run manages to do something amazing with the patterns. It’s the single most complimented shoe since day 1 (different seasons and styles). Every season it’s a different pattern, but same compliments. The most unique shoe in the history of kids footwear.

The reason I am writing this post, however, is to let you guys know three things:

The scooter family is back.

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Best for Baby, Fun as a Toddler Mom, Life as a Toddler, PRODUCTS, TODDLER

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I remember when Lexi was first born, her development focus was on the visual aspect of her surroundings. She wanted to stay on my shoulder for hours just looking around, and as soon as I would try to put her down, she would fuss until she was up high and looking again. For months she seemed to not be interested in moving as much as she was in seeing. Rolling to a toy was just not of interest until much much later.

Then things changed, and suddenly she just wanted to be everywhere and it didn’t end till she started walking. She didn’t start walking, I am sorry. Let me correct myself: she started runfalling, a process of falling and catching yourself so fast on repeat that you end up running. That’s what she did. Suddenly everything that had to do with physical activity was the shit. Scooters, bikes, climbers- she wanted to move. We got her a scooter. She loved it. Earlier than expected, but she did.

These are the pictures of Lexi lending Alexa her Micro Mini and riding together around the parking lot.

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Then came an era that confused me completely. She refused to use anything on wheels: scooters, bikes, motorcycles, even motorized riding toys. Just NO! She wanted to stay home and play pretend, play role playing games, play with her characters. That lasted a long time. At least it seems like it did for me. While her friends would ride bikes and scooters around the neighborhood, she would demand to play at home, with those same friends.

Now recently I am seeing the shift again. Bicycles are cool again, scooters are no problem, throwing a ball is fun. It’s confusing, but it’s certainly how it’s been happening all along. So tonight as I was going through my photo library I saw these photos. Lexi and me having fun on our scooters at the outdoor shopping mall. And it made me think of the amazing role that we have as parents to expose them and to encourage them to do varied activities. I have a scooter too, and so does Andrew. Mine is a white  Micro Kickboard scooter (seen below), and Andrew’s is a black one. They are pretty hot looking, sleek, solid. I’ve seen Brad Pitt and Angelina ride those with their kids.

And they are fun! Much more fun to ride than I ever thought it would be. And look cool. I feel kind of bad-ass riding a scooter…. skater girl-ish without the skateboard. haha

Sometimes, I take my white scooter out, put Lexi on the front and we go racing around the golf course.

Anyways, I just wanted to share a little piece of our life and activities we do here. Maybe someone will think it sounds like a fun idea. That would make me happy. No one likes to be that left out parent who is bored while their kid is having fun riding a scooter, right? We certainly love being a Micro Scooter family (this should be a hashtag).

Question 1: Would you consider riding an adult scooter with your kid next to your riding theirs?

Question 2: Have you noticed similar eb and flow of the preferred activities (physical vs mental) in your children, like I described above?

Think these scooters are cool? You can check them out and buy them here:

Learn about Micro Kickboard | Buy: Adult Scooter | Mini Micro

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Unique Christmas Wish List: Tried and True

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in PRODUCTS, Tried and True

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So my wish list for Christmas is very difficult to compile. I usually get what I need/want throughout the year, so Christmas becomes a time of really large purchases. Like a computer or a camera.

However, I wanted to put together a list of items that we own or already got for Christmas that I would really love to receive as a gift, had I not had them.

So it’s like

TRIED AND TRUE: Christmas Edition.

I’ll separate these lists into two categories: Elena and Lexi. Some of the items for Lexi we have already bought but she hasn’t received yet, so I don’t have the photos for except for stock images.

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Unique  Christmas Wish List

Elena

I am notoriously hard to shop for, because I just don’t want anything.

Here are some of the items I would gladly receive without question every holiday in any quantity.

High end Skincare: Vine Vera

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I’ve been a fan for the last few years when I first tried Zinfandel and saw amazing improvement in my skin tone. Vine Vera has a line of creams made with reservatol, an ingredient derived from the skin of red grapes and is one of the most powerful anti-oxidants found in nature. Zinfandel line , my favorite, is designed to brighten and lighten your skin tone and it truly works. The new line I’ve been using, Vitamin C, is infused with Vitamin C, Vitamin A (Retinol) and Resveratrol.

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The cream is rich, but absorbs very easily and is incredibly moisturizing. My favorite serum feels like a primer, because it smoothes out pores and makes your skin look perfect for make up application. The Peeling Cream is like a gel and is very gentle and is used once a week. It’s a gel like cream that goes on smoothly on your skin and a few minutes later after you wash it off, reveal brand new skin you won’t believe.

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Since the creams are relatively expensive, this makes for a perfect Christmas preset that you can ask from your loved one, a splurge that actually creates real changes in your life and your appearance.

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Waterproof Camera: Olympus Tough

I have wanted a GOOD waterproof camera for a while now. I’ve gone through different brands and models, unhappy with any of them and their quality. Then a GoPro arrived, but after playing with it, I was still not convinced. So right as I was about to give in and buy a GoPro, I saw Olympus Tough Waterproof Shockproof Camera. After doing some research, I was sold.

  • Bigger camera means slightly better photo and video quality.
  • Wide angle lens without fish eye distortion ( 21mm)
  • 60p movie mode, time lapse and high speed movies
  • Wifi (so you can transfer photos to your phone wirelessly) and GPS ( though I am yet to take the time to figure out the wifi feature)
  • Waterproof to 50ft, Shockproof to 7ft, freeze proof to 14F and crushproof to 220lbs
  • Has a flipout screen and a front shutter button for selfies. This has come in so useful when using a selfiestick because you can see what you’re shooting

I bought it for $290, but it’s on sale right now for $199 ( which sucks, but oh well), so it’s significantly cheaper than a go pro with better features and picture quality than some of GoPros models.

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Bikinis: Khongboon Swimwear

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Don’t laugh. Yes I know, it seems like such a ill-fitting gift for Christmas. Unless you’re giving that gift to me. We do live in Florida and I travel a lot and I enjoy doing things that usually require wearing a swimsuit. A self-proclaimed bikini lover.

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I can never have enough bikinis. So now after discovering Khongboon swimwear on Instagram, I am officially taken. I don’t think you can do better than these swimsuits. Not only do they have unique patterns but the fit is out of this world. I’ve never had a bikini fit me so well or look so good on me.

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Now they have several styles and for my body type ( no boobs, no butt, lean body), the best fitting style is this:

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It goes by different names depending on the pattern style, so you just have to look at pictures to find it.

I just ordered a few more styles (it comes from Thailand so it takes a while), and additional bottoms to bikinis that I already have and I’m super stocked to get them. Eeeeek :) I could receive a Khongboon bikini a day for a whole year a be happy.

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Security: August e-lock

This is an unusual item, but I kept using it and thinking about how awesome it is, so I decided to include it as a recommendation. This could be a present for a guy or a girl. In fact, I’d like to get another one for our other doors.

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August Smart Lock is an electronic lock that is hooked up to an app on your phone using bluetooth. While you can turn it manually, like any door handle, the best feature of August is that you don’t need a key. You can use your phone to open it electronically, give access to other people in your life, track who accesses your home and when, remotely open it (has to be with bluetooth range, like I would open the door for our housekeeper without getting out of bed).

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I can’t tell you how many times I would be returning from our community gym to find the door locked and I don’t have the key. All I ever had to do is open it via my phone. Amazing Gift!

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Fashion: Bandolier (use discount code:  fan16)

Another product that I am a dedicated fan of.

It’s a phone case that doubles as a crossbody purse and a wallet with a pocket for cards and ID in the back, and to be honest, after discovering it, I have started HATING having to carry an actual purse with me.

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Before Bandolier case, I used Pong and Lifeproof depending on the situation. When I first got it, I figured I’d use it to go out where all I need is a license and a card and use other cases at other times. What ended up happening is that I completely switched to this case and refused to take it off.  I discovered the joy of not lugging a massive bag with me everywhere, because let’s admit it, having to keep track of a 3 year old is difficult enough, I don’t need to carry additional 10 pounds of stuff with me.

What happens now is that you’ll see me with this cool looking strap across my body everywhere I go. I no longer wonder where to put my phone, or where I left it, or whether I remembered to bring my wallet. Everything is here inside.

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I have gotten SO many comments on it, I lost count. Aside from being incredibly functional, it just looks really fun on any outfit, especially a black dress. There are multiple styles of the strap and the case to fit everyone’s tastes, but this studded one has always been my favorite.

Since I am pretty rough on my possessions that I use frequently, I go through a Bandolier case every 6 months or so. And when I am in between cases, it’s torture. It quickly reminds me to order another one.

If anyone would purchase me a Bandolier for Christmas, I would be ecstatic because I know I’ll need another one in just a short time.

BUY IT | USE CODE FAN16 FOR A 15% DISCOUNT

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Shoes: Brian James

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If you follow me on Periscope, I mentioned a few times that I am obsessed with Brian James shoes and will not wear anything else. It’s sort of hard to move back to the world of uncomfortable shoes once you’ve tried Brian James.

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It’s really no surprise because Brian James comes from the makers of Pediped, but I have never been so comfortable with footwear (which would probably explain why I prefer walking barefoot when I can).

Every single style I’ve tried just fits right and doesn’t rub anywhere. So needless to say, I will never say no to a pair of shoes from Brian James.

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Make up

I did a periscope on this saying how I found three make up products that work so well I am done looking. Usually, I try different make up products and colors till I find something I love.

So at this point my foundation, eyeliner and brow needs are covered with these three products. I discovered them when I was in Hawaii and needed something that would stay on all day  while I am out in the water. The foundation is water-resistant, so it’s perfect for those active days outdoors. The eye liner is waterproof despite being a gel eyeliner. And my favorite discovery, Stila Eyebrow Pencil, is a valuable find for those with light eyebrows who don’t want to look like they have eyebrows drawn on or have an angry eyebrow face. It goes on very lightly with the gel applicator and just enhances the eyebrows. First product that actually works for my face.

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LEXI

This year Lexi made her own Christmas list. She has remembered every single thing she asked for in the last months that we told her to wait for Christmas for and has rattled off the whole list to me   numerous times. Well, this was easy. Like last year, we are doing 12 days of Christmas

Her three obsessions right now are:

  • Legos
  • Inside Out
  • Plants Vs Zombies

Inside Out

TOMY  has a line of Inside Out characters. Lexi is obsessed with any sort of figurines and love Inside Out from the books we have been reading ( even though she refuses to actually watch the movie). Some of the items that she received:

Big Plush Talking Joy

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Anger, Sadness, Fear, Disgust characters

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Joy and the Headquarters playset

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Joy and the Console

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The playset which can be used alone or with the console is designed to actually project the memories from each of the character memory spheres onto the screen of Consciousness on the playset. You can roll the memories down the path of short term memory.

The console requires 4 AAA batteries, but once powered, the figures and the console glow when brought close to the console for a more realistic play experience. It was really magical when she was sitting next to the lit tree in a dim family room and saw Joy light up: “Mommy, mommy, Joy lit up!!!”

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Biscotti and Kate Mack dress

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This is more of a gift from me than one that Lexi requested, however when she saw the dress and tried it on, she couldn’t stop twirling. “I am a princess going to the princess garden”, she danced as we walked into the garden.

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Biscotti has been my go to store for her special outfits for years now. There is something about their dress styles that just works for me personally. Lots of tulle, sparkle and glitter- a perfect combination for any girls who would love to look like a princess.

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BUY IT: Luminous Lace Ballerina Dress

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Lego

Where do I start?

So a few months ago, Lexi accidentally stumbled onto some youtube videos of Friends Lego sets. That started a current full blown addiction to Legos. Since most sets she was interested in were for 8-12 age group, at first she would have us build with her and was only excited about playing with the finished product. We slowly got her more involved with the process by having her help find pieces.

Now she  takes active part in assembling some of the largest sets and enjoys it greatly. She can build smaller sets on her own with our supervision. So that’s ALL she has wanted to do lately. Needless to say, her top  requests were more lego sets. She has asked for bunny house , Heartlake High, Dolphin Cruiser and Skyra’s Mysterious Sky Castle . She has almost completed Heartlake City, there are only a few sets left and she is asking for them for every holiday she can :)

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Plants Vs Zombies

If anyone has ever played Plants vs Zombies knows how addictive this game can be. Lexi  watched us play it for a bit and then started playing herself. At first I was a bit apprehensive about her playing the game, but after I started seeing the defense she was building and the thought and strategy she was putting into it, I was amazed.

So now that she has been playing the game, she asked for a set of Plants vs Zombies character toys. Not sure how she will be playing with them exactly, but it will be fun. She reenacts the peashooters and the zombies at home an it’s hilarious.

BUY IT: Set 1 | Set 2