Wednesday, November 25, 2015

What's Up Wednesday and KID'S TOYS

Hey Everybody! 
Today is What's Up Wednesday with Shay and Mel!
Please join us and let everybody know
 WHAT'S UP with you this fine Wednesday!

Lots and lots of pie.
The end.

Speaking of pie.
I ate a piece of pie last year that changed my life.
I can't even being to put into words what this pie tastes like.
Oh wait, yes I can.  It tastes like Christmas.  Seriously.
Let's dive in a little deeper, shall we?
It tastes like JOY and MERRIMENT.
You might think I'm over-selling this, but I promise I'm not.
Let's just say it's a good dang thing it's only available after Thanksgiving through the beginning of January, because if available all year long, it's very possible that I would now weigh approximately 937 pounds.

If you are local, go eat this pie at Emporium Pies on the square (there is also a location in the Bishop Arts District in Dallas).  It's called "Father Christmas" and it's a peppermint cream pie with a chocolate cookie crust.  I KNOW.
If you're not local, I'm sorry.
If you go there, tell them Pinterest Told Me To sent you.
You won't get anything, and they won't have any idea who you are talking about...
but maybe if enough people mention me , the good people at Emporium Pies would reward me.
With pie.
Here's hoping.

Having the week off with my little fella!  I love snuggling late and sleeping in!

Shay and I have been working hard on the Five Days of Fabulous Week!
We are so incredibely excited about what we've put together for the week.

Well, I've been behind the scenes already working on my Black Friday and Cyber Monday posts.
I don't go out and fight the crowds, but I do shop up a storm from a couch at the ranch!
And I'm doing everything I can to help make your online shopping experience as easy as possible!
So wherever you are, make sure you come back here on Black Friday and Cyber Monday before you do your shopping.  Throw on your pajamas, grab a cup of hot chocolate, plop yourself down on the couch and we will go shopping together!  I have already started working on the post, and I will continue to do so even after it goes live...updating it with new items that I find or that y'all tell me about!  I will be highlighting TONS of retailers in hopes to streamline your online shopping and make it as easy and stress free as possible.

It's almost time to bring out my favorite craft that we have EVER done over here at the Sims casa.
Now, to be fair, we don't do many crafts around here, but these are ones that I treasure.
They are the first decorations I put up every Christmas and the last decorations I take down.

First step:  just by the canvas sizes you like.  The tree is a 16x20, the Santa is an 8x10, and the snowmen  canvas is 14x14.  The Christmas tree is probably my favorite. 
 I love all of his 3 year old little hands stacked on top of each other.  They really tug on this mama's heart.  How did we do it?  Easy Peasy.  I just used a pencil to do a rough sketch of about what size I wanted the tree to be.  The two bottom rows are both made up of 5 handprints, I just overlapped them more on the 2nd row. I then had him do 4 handprints, then 3, then 2, then 1.
I painted the tree trunk and the star.
I drew the light string with a sharpie marker, and the colored lights are...wait for it....
That was my own idea.
I impressed myself with that one.

Click HERE if you want to read how we did the ones below.
And yes, that's my foot, Carter's foot, and Chris's foot.  And all of the accessories are scrapbook paper!

I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned this on the blog, but I watch General Hospital.
Any other GH fans out there?
I've watched it for as long as I can remember, and I can't get enough of Port Charles and all the crazies that live there.
It's particularly good right now with the whole Jake Doe is really Jason storyline!

A Quiet House because the boys are both asleep.
It's okay to be jealous.

I'll be at the ranch house with my family and Chris's extended family hanging with all the cousins!

Since I'll be at the ranch, and it's supposed to be cold, it's a pretty good bet you'll find me in my leggings and my new UGG boots , and THIS.  There's nothing better than being all snuggly and warm at the ranch, watching the cousin's play, with some sort of festive adult beverage in hand.  ;)

And in an effort to extended the legging wearing fun....I think I'm going to wear this outfit on Thanksgiving Day....
But I'm probably going to be wearing my original MUST HAVE leggings  (make sure you are paying attention to if "regular" or "plus size" are marked, because for some reason the link is connecting to the "plus size" first) instead of the LOFT leggings pictured.  Why?  Because the originals are a little bit looser around my waist, and I'm thinking I might need the extra room.

Click HERE for details on the next 2 outfits on the 1 CARDIGAN, 4 WAYS POST!
Or I might wear it like this...with jeans and leopard booties...
Because let's be honest, these leopard booties make everything look good. ;) Remember, if you buy the booties, go up 1/2 a size.

That's easy!
Christmas morning!
Watching Carter open his presents is one of my favorite days of the year.

Speaking of Carter and presents, Nordstrom asked me to review their selection of kid's toys like I did last year!    I know that some of you are saying "WHAT?  Nordstrom carries toys?
They actually carry AWESOME toys!!!
And remember, Nordstrom has free shipping and returns!
Which means I can stay out of Toys R' Us.

Click HERE for all toys if you just want to browse around yourself.
toys under $25 HERE
 /boy toys HERE / sports fan gear HERE / girl toys HERE / toys for little ones HERE

I'm  going to start out with one of Carter's favorites:

Here's Carter with one of his school friends and our little neighbor friend playing with his Magformers last year.
I'm telling you that on play dates, with a room full of toys, the boys ALWAYS go for the Magnaforms first.  Girls definitely enjoy them too (so do adults, if we're being honest!), but boys go crazy for them.
They are pricey, but they are SO worth it.
They ignite the imagination and keep the kiddos busy for a long while!
The box says for ages 6+, but Carter has been actively playing with these since he was about 3 years old.  I would say that most kids need to be at least 4 to follow the directions booklets to build certain things (which Carter loves doing), but he also has just as much just using his imagination and building his own creations!  I'm telling you, these blocks are awesome.
They are definitely in Carter's TOP 5 toys of all times.
Here's Carter with one of his Magformer rocketship creations.

So yeah, if you have a boy between 3-8 years of age, I can guarantee you that Magformers will make a fantastic gift.  Your kid will love them, and you will too!!!

Whenever we travel (to the ranch, to the grandparent's house, etc.), we always take the Magformers with us.  We store them in these little $5 containers from Target, and the containers make them very easy to clean up at home as well as super portable and easy throw in the car whenever we need to!
Here are the Magformers available, just click on what you are interested in:

We got this precious stuffed dog for Carter's nursery before he was even born!  It stood by his crib and then it moved into his big boy room!
Click HERE for the stuffed dog!
Real dog not for sale. ;)
 I mean, precious.

Here's a toy I wish we we have bought Carter when he was younger.
Click HERE for the Strider Sport Balance Bike.
When working on this post and going through all of the toys online, the moment I saw this bike I texted my friend Betsy because I thought that her son had one when he was younger, and I was right.
Betsy and her hubby Steven are both cyclists, and here's what she had to say about it:
"Hands down best purchase of his little life.  He never needed training wheels because of the balance bike and could ride a real bike at 3.  We even let him ride it in the house!  He still rides it  (some) even though he can ride a real bike."  Now THAT'S a glowing recommendation!
Here is their son Lou at his first bike rice, at just over 2 years old.

And here he is in action!  Look at Lou go!
Click HERE for the balance bike.
Thank you Betsy for sending the video and the pic!

And check out THIS set I bought Carter for Christmas this year, but we went ahead and broke it out the other day after he had been sick.
He had so much fun!  And truth be told, Chris and I kind of got into it as well.
Did any of you ladies have sets like this when you were younger?
I don't mean to brag, but my sister and I even had sparkly and glittery spin art t-shirts that we made at the mall.  We wore them with leggings and those little plastic things that would tie up one side.
Click HERE for the spin art set.
We tried different techniques, we mixed colors together to create new colors, and just had a bawl.
Click HERE for all the sets similar to this one!  I love these interactive toys for kids
 that are a bit older!

And did you know that Nordstrom carries Melissa and Doug toys, because they do!
Click HERE for all Melissa and Doug toys!

And Nordstrom even carries LEGOs now!
Click HERE to see the selection for both boys and girls!

And check out these toys from our childhood.
simon memory game HERE / etch a sketch HERE sold out /  lite brite toy HERE


AMAZING play tents HERE (ranging in price from $60-$269).
Costumes HERE
If you have a dinosaur lover, click HERE for all things dinosaur (including stamps, floor puzzles, and figures to play with)!
Educational Toys HERE.
Also, you can click HERE for a grouping of BEST SELLERS!
And if you look down the left-hand side bar, you can see toys divided into the following other groups:  boys, girls, wow-factor toys, and toys under $25.
Thank you to Nordstrom for sponsoring the KID'S TOYS portion of this post!

And here's a parent tip that I'm sure most of you already use...I also like to buy a new pair of shoes, a coat, or something else my kiddo needs to put under the tree.  He needs the item anyway, and it's another gift to unwrap!  Here are some shoe options:

Don't forget that I'm having a Christmas shopping party at Accessory Concierge on Thursday, December 10th from 7:00-9:00.
I think you should make it a fun night with girlfriends.
Go to dinner before, head to Accessory Concierge for wine and shopping, get some Christmas shopping done, and maybe even buy something for yourself.

And please remember to bring clothing donations for The Samaritan Inn.
My dear friend Brennan (who is one of the sweetest and most lovely people you could ever hope to know) is now the new Volunteer Coordinator for The Samaritan Inn.  
I want to encourage all of you who come to the party to do a bit of a closet clean out and bring your gently worn clothes to the party!  I will get them to The Samaritan Inn!


This is an easy one.
My favorite Christmas tradition by far is going to church for the Christmas Eve service. 
I love being there with my people and soaking in the reason for the season.
Opening presents on Christmas morning and shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday is fun....
but the birth of our Savior that lived as a man and died for our sins is the most precious gift of all.

See y'all back here on Friday!
I can promise you I will have created a SUPER COMPREHENSIVE guide to help make your Black Friday shopping as easy as possible.
In fact, I will even be highlighting stores I don't normally shop, just because I know some of you do.
It will be a ONE STOP SHOP!


Sheaffer :)

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Monday, November 23, 2015

A Study in Northface Jackets ;)

So if you've been reading the blog for a bit, or even if you just saw my post last Friday, then you know that my husband has kind of a thing thing for men's North Face jackets and pullovers.
He has 5 jackets and 2 pullovers.
He seriously couldn't live without them.
He throws one on when he runs to take Carter to school.
He wears them to football games.
He takes 2 to the ranch every single time he goes.
You get the idea.
They keep him warm without being too bulky, and from a wife's perspective, I love them because
he just looks cute in them!
I also love them because you can wash them at home.  In the regular ol' washing machine.
And they come out looking like new.
Even if they went in covered with mud and with the smell of a campfire.
Click HERE to see the specific items I highlighted with Chris on Friday on his

A couple of weeks ago Nordstrom reached out and asked me to talk about North Face gear for the whole family. Because it's not just guy's items they are known for....they actually have everyone covered with the best outdoor gear for extreme conditions (realllly wet and wintry)....or just a regular day where you want to stay dry and warm.

Personally, I was really excited about this collaboration, because I'm obviously a believer in the brand and was looking forward to finally purchasing something for myself for the project!
And with the holidays right around the corner, I thought you might want to learn a little bit more about the brand, because North Face items make great gifts.
Click HERE to learn more about the technology behind their clothing. It's pretty amazing.

I hopped online and immediately started looking around for me.
I ordered 3.
I liked all 3 of them.
But THIS was the one I kept.
What can I say?  The pink spoke to me, and I love how the collar stands up.
Click HERE for the Apex Bionic jacket!
It also comes in a light grey and a light blue.
And it has FANTASTIC reviews.
For size reference, I'm wearing a medium.
(I found that I needed to size up in most of the North Face jackets.)
This was me running up to school last week to volunteer at Carter's school.
Had I worked out?
Um, no.
But it appeared that I had.
Which I hear is almost just as good as the real thing.  ;)
jacket / black Nike v-neck / Zella LIVE IN leggings / sunglasses / similar shoes (but I like the look of them even better than my own!) / light pink $8 earrings

You can see the contrasting lining here and get a good idea for the fit.
Again, I'm wearing a medium in the jacket.
I'm wearing a small in the top  and the leggings.
Get The Look For Yourself Here:

Here's another one of the jackets I ordered to the house.  I didn't keep this one, but it was a great jacket as well.
Click HERE for the Calentito 2 soft shell jacket.
For size reference, I'm wearing a medium.
And for the last jacket I ordered to the house, click HERE for the Maddie Raschel Soft Shell Jacket.
For size reference, I'm wearing a medium.
This one has a fleece lining and a hood and is super warm!

Like I mentioned before, I would say you should probably consider sizing up 1 size in most of the Northface gear.  Still, I've listed my size for each one because they do vary a bit.
And since your needs for a jacket might be different than mine, I tried on a ton for y'all to see!

For size reference, I'm wearing a medium.  It had quite a bit of room, but the small was too fitted for me to put any layers underneath.
If you need a REAL rain coat, take a minute to go read all of the reviews.
People swear by this coat.
Click HERE for the coat, and scroll down for the reviews.
It also comes in white and navy.
Also good reviews.
For size reference, I'm wearing a small in this pic, but I definitely needed a medium.
Click HERE.
 Here in Texas I don't really have a need for coat this heavy duty, but I know that many of you do!

For size reference, I'm wearing a medium.

This jacket is super soft and comfy (see below for the lining), and I love the neck with the three buttons!  See how it looks buttoned up online.  Click HERE.

For size reference, I'm wearing a medium.
The zipper is a bit asymmetrical, which I thought was fun.
I also really loved the shape of the collar and the contrasting fabric lining.
Click HERE.

For size reference, I'm wearing a medium. If you are looking for a SERIOUS COAT, this one might fit the bill.  It also comes in a black, a berry, navy, and white.
Click HERE.

I've shown this next one to you before.
Click HERE for this lightweight packable rain jacket!
For size reference, I'm wearing a small, so I don't think you need to size up in this one.
241 5 Star Reviews.  It also comes in a pretty blue.
Here are some more jacket options for both men and women:

And check this out!!!
The finger tips are made of a special fabric that stills allows you to text and/or access an electronic device while your gloves are on.
I got these for myself (and there might be a pair for my man under the tree)!
Click HERE for e-tip gloves for women.
Click HERE for all e-tip gloves (including men and kids)!
FANTASTIC reviews!!!!

And during the Anniversary Sale, I got a North Face jacket for the little guy!
He loves it because it keeps him very warm, but it's not stiff at all.
As you know, he likes to be comfy. :)
Click HERE for boy's North Face jackets. Click HERE for girl's. Click HERE for babies.

Thank you to Nordstrom for sponsoring the North Face portion of this post!
Here are some of my favorites for kids.


Snce I showed you this Nike pullover above with my work out gear, I thought I would also show you how I wear it with jeans.
It was a bit cooler this week,so I threw this on to take Carter to school on Wednesday.
 I didn't wash my hair or put on make-up all day, and I enjoyed the break!
similar jeans by same maker THIS half zip pullover (comes in other colors HERE and some are on sale) / THESE shoreline converse in "papyrus" (other converse colors HERE). 

And here's the Santa Alert for the day!

If you don't yet have a Clairisonic, go read all of the reviews and I promise you'll want one.
floral clarisonic HERE / grey clarisonic (for guys) HERE / all clarisonic products HERE

I put this jacket on facebook over the weekend asking if anybody had it (since it was haunting me).
Lots of people responded that they have it and love I ordered the black for myself.
Click HERE for the jacket.
Click HERE for the facebook post where lots of readers who own it already commented on it.

Chooka rain boots 30% OFF
At $46.87 they are a great (much more affordable) alternative to Hunter boots!

And both the dress and the leggings were on sale this weekend! Fingers crossed they still are! Denim dress 40% OFF / MUST HAVE LEGGINGS 25% OFF (mine are the graphite heather)

See y'all on Wednesday for What's Up Wednesday and my recommendations for KID'S TOYS!!!
Sheaffer :)

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