Get Styled for School with Gymboree and Stitch Fix

This post has been compensated and contains affiliate links. All opinions are 100% my own.

With school starting up soon, one of the struggles I have on a daily basis with my school-aged daughter is picking out her outfit each day. It is a delicate balance between letting her style herself and making sure that her clothes are functional enough to get through the school day. This year, Stitch Fix has teamed with Gymboree to make the process a lot easier. The site, well known for effortless styling for women, has done the same for kids.

I have always loved being able to go into a Gymboree and find a complete, coordinating outfit for my girls — not only tops and bottoms, but even with the little details like hair bows and matching shoes, without much effort on my part.  That was sufficient enough when my oldest was a young girl, but now that she’s older she wants to be able to pick out her own outfits.  The Stitch Fix bundles are cool and stylish enough for her, and she loves that they were put together by real stylists (not Mom).  Here are our favorite picks:

 

Mom’s choice ~

Gymboree Stitch Fix my pick

This bundle looked like something that my daughter would love to wear — the jacket/skirt combo, sparkly tights, ballet flats, and even a matching bracelet.  I love that they paired jeggings with it to be able to switch it up for the colder months.

Addyson’s choice ~

Gymboree Stitch Fix Addyson's pick

Her favorite parts are the colors and the boots.  All of these pieces would look great on her, and give her a few different outfit options.  I love that she could pick any of them without needing my help, and still have a perfect outfit for school.

 

I encourage you to visit the site and see all the different bundles they have put together.  They are also all on sale right now, so it’s the perfect time to get prepared for back to school!

Check Out The Girls Back to School Bundles Created by Stitch Fix at Gymboree

They haven’t left out the boys either. Check out all the stylish options available:

Check Out The Boys Back to School Bundles Created by Stitch Fix at Gymboree

 

Mind, Body, Babies  receives compensation for review posts and purchases from affiliate links.  All opinions expressed are my own and were not influenced by any form of compensation. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Piperoos #Giveaway

Piperoos are the best thing that has so many different uses. The uses are to be used as a parent or as a pet owner. These were created in 2014. When the creator had her baby, she received gifts that were homemade cotton pads. She found so many uses for them that she wanted to make them available to every parent. Piperoos are located in Los Angeles, California. She, Sara Masterson, started up the company in in 2014 with the environment in mind. They are made of cotton. She had the environment in mind for babies and parents of the future.

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Piperoos can be purchased here. They can also be found on Amazon and purchased here.

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As a mom with a newborn, changing pads are something we go through on a daily basis. I would love to have a few of these available for my baby. I especially love that they are eco-friendly in addition to cute.

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Here is your chance to win your very own set of 3 Piperoos!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Disclosure: This blog did not receive compensation for this giveaway. Facebook, Twitter, & Pinterest are in no way associated with this sweepstakes. Sponsor is responsible for prize.

Would you like to have your products featured in a giveaway event? Want to increase your social media exposure? Contact lavonnia1978@gmail.com to see how I can help YOUR company today!

Summer Movies for Kids

Looking for something fun to do this summer in North Iowa with the family that won’t break the bank?  Take a hiatus from the heat and enjoy an excursion to the movie theatre.

Again this year, CEC Theaters in Mason City will be showing kid-friendly movies on Wednesday mornings.  Each ticket is only $2, and it is an environment where others don’t tend to mind a little bit of noise and/or restlessness from other little ones.  My toddler was a little too young for these last year at only 1 year old, but we are excited to try them again now that she is 2.  Her big sister, who is 9, loves a chance to see a movie any chance she gets.  We also haven’t seen many of the options this year yet, so it will be fun to check them out.

The series is as follows:

Image from CEC Theaters
Image from CEC Theaters

6/15 ~ Norm of the North

6/22 ~ Pan

6/27 ~ Hotel Transylvania 2

7/6 ~ Home

7/13 ~ Goosebumps

7/20 ~ The Peanuts Movie

7/27 ~ Alvin & The Chipmunks: The Road Chip

Add on a Kiddi Combo for a snack, and this is the perfect way to spend a hot, summer morning before your kids head off to other activities.  For more details, see the Cinema West page.  

2016 North Iowa Citywide Garage Sales

Garage

 

I love garage sale season, and finding a great deal, especially for baby stuff.  Here in North Iowa, almost every city has a dedicated day and/or weekend for citywide sales, so shoppers can hit a bunch of sales all at once.  I will keep a running list all year so you can make sure to take advantage of these:

 

April

16 ~ Rockford

22-23~ Mason City

22-23~ Nashua

29-30~ Osage

29-30~ Sheffield

29-30~ Forest City

30~ St. Ansgar

 

May

6-7~ Buffalo Center

6-7~ Hampton

6-7~ Garner

7~ Parkersburg

7-8~ Greene

13-14~ Kanawha

13-14~ Grafton

14~ Clear Lake

14~ Clarksville

27-28~ Britt

 

June

4~ Aplington

18~ Clear Lake

24-25~ Nora Springs

 

July

2~ Shell Rock

9~ Dumont

 

August

13~ Clear Lake

 

September

1-3~ Hwy 3

24-25~ Greene

 

October 

8~ Clarksville

 

What great deals have you found at a garage sale recently?

Newborn Essentials

This post has been compensated. All opinions are 100% my own

 

Everyone loves to get newborn babies cute little outfits, and Gymboree has added a new line of newborn essentials that would be that perfect first gift. I brought my first baby home from the hospital in an adorable outfit from Gymboree, and they have always been a brand that I have liked and respected.

For Baby Girls

The baby girl line features a soft pink and cute giraffes. The collection includes everything that would be not only cute, but comfortable as well, for a new little baby girl born this spring or summer. This includes soft bodysuits and pants, one-piece outfits and pjs, as well as matching towels, hate, burp cloths, and even a lovey. Each item has yellow, teal, and grey accents, which are perfect together. With my girls, they basically lived in onesies and footed pjs the first few months, and everything in this collection is perfect for that. Leave the frilly stuff for when they get older and aren’t sleeping 20+ hours a day.

Gymboree Baby Girl

For Baby Boys

The baby boy collection is a bright teal color, featuring a tiger and other zoo animal theme. The accents are orange, grey, and bright green. Again, it’s perfect for spring or summer, with a variety of matching clothing items and accessories. One of my favorites is a bodysuit that says “mommies are for hugging.” That will be put on my wish list for sure if my baby due this summer ends up being a boy (or even if she is a girl). The teal color would be cute for either gender.

Gymboree Baby Boy

Unisex Options

I am a person who doesn’t find out the sex of my babies before they are born, and there are so few items out there that are gender neutral, yet cute at the same time. This collection not only features the zoo animal theme items that would be perfect for either a newborn girl or boy, but also some items in grey that feature a zebra theme. I love having a few items on hand to bring baby home those first few days/weeks, when all you want to do is recover at home and not worry about going out shopping. These would be perfect for those who keep baby’s gender a surprise, or don’t always want to have a pink/blue outfit on baby.

Gymboree Unisex

Overall, I love the collection, and can’t wait to get to a Gymboree to see the entire collection in person. It is so convenient to be able to shop online, however, and right now everything in the newborn essential collection is 30% off, so it’s a great time to stock up for your own little one, or for those baby gifts. I know that you know at least someone having a new baby coming up soon! If not, I’d be happy with gifts from the line as well. 😉

   Adorable Gifts for New Arrivals at Gymboree!

 

Mind, Body, Babies  receives compensation for review posts and purchases from affiliate links.  All opinions expressed are my own and were not influenced by any form of compensation. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Lenava Ovia Baby Video Monitor Giveaway

A baby monitor is a must-have for many families with new babies. The best ones are video monitors, allowing new parents to not only hear, but also see their precious child. Here is your chance to win one of your own:

 

Welcome to the Levana Ovia Baby Video Monitor Giveaway!
Hosted By: Nanny to Mommy
Ovia™ (O-via)
Meaning: Egg

Seize the day and do more while keeping a close eye on baby with Levana Ovia PTZ Baby Monitor. Intuitive touch panel controls and silent pan/tilt/zoom camera mean that a full view of every nook & cranny of your baby’s nursery is just a touch away. Save photos and video to the included micro SD card and upload them to your computer, or view them directly on Ovia’s large 4.3” LCD screen. With Talk to Baby™ two-way communication, 8-hour battery life and invisible night vision LEDs, both you and baby will find a lot to love while getting more done with Ovia.

Just The Facts:
– 4.3” LCD Screen & Touch Panel Controls
– Whisper-quiet Pan/Tilt/Zoom Camera
– Record Video & Snap Photos
– 8-hour Battery Life in PEEP Mode
– Secure 750ft ClearVu® Digital Signal
– Talk to Baby™ Two-way Communication
– Invisible LEDs Keep the Nursery Dark
– Smart LED Indicator Ring
– 3 Remote-Controlled Lullabies
– Expandable up to 4 Cameras

 

Levana Knows Safety Matters!
At Levana, we place the utmost importance on the security and safety of your baby. To deter all potential hacking, Levana baby monitors transmit all video and audio data on small, private and local networks. To further increase security, paired monitors and cameras hop between 19 channels simultaneously so attempts to access the signal are disrupted. This increases the overall security of our monitors and ensures they are only used for their intended purpose, empowering you and delivering peace of mind.Enter to WIN
One lucky Nanny to Mommy reader will win a Ovia™ PTZ Baby Video Monitor in Giftbox, RV $224.99, but on sale for $149.99! Entry is simple, just follow the prompts on the Rafflecopter below. Open to US Residents, must be 18+ to enter. Make sure to follow us on Facebook so you can stay up to date with our current giveaways. Good luck!a Rafflecopter giveaway
Nanny to Mommy received complimentary products to provide this review and giveaway. Nanny to Mommy is not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations. This giveaway is open to US only, must be 18+ to enter. Cannot be shipped to P.O. boxes. One entry per household/IP address. No social media was involved in this giveaway in any way. Winner is chosen via Random.org through Rafflecopter. ALL winning entries ARE verified. Winner will have 48 hours to respond with all information in email or another winner will be chosen. If you would like to see your product featured in our upcoming Baby Shower Gift Guide or sponsor a giveaway event, please contact us.

Can I Caucus with Kids?

This post may contain affiliate links. However, all opinions are 100% my own.

caucusing with kids

As Iowans, we have the chance to kick off the 2016 presidential election season with the Iowa Caucus.  Many parents have a newfound interest in the outcome of political decisions once they have children, as so many issues affect our family’s future.  However, it isn’t as easy to participate in the political process with little ones in tow.  If you don’t have a reliable teenage babysitter on speed dial, and think that your only option is to skip it this year, you are wrong.  Here’s a few tips for bringing your kids along to the caucus:

1. Babywear
If you are bringing along an infant, a carrier or sling will be your perfect accessory. During the caucus, supporters are gathered in a large room (our location is a school gymnasium) and pick a designated area to stand in support of their chosen candidate. The trick is to get other people to join your group, which involves walking around, having conversations, and it can get a big crowded. Pushing around a stroller would be pretty difficult, and not very appreciated by other attendees.    During the 2008 caucus, I wore my daughter in a sling, who was 9 months old at the time, and it worked great.  She was able to stay close to me where she was comfortable, yet watch everything that was going on.  If you get lucky enough for your little one to take a nap in the carrier, that’s even better.

2. Come Early
Even though our caucus location is only about a few minutes from our home, we plan to get there a half our early. Who knows what the parking situation is, how far we will have to walk, and how long it will take to get inside, checked in, and settled. With kids, no matter how early you plan to be, something can always come up too, so leaving with plenty of time to spare is essential. The event starts promptly at 7pm, and doors close at that time, so there is no one walking in late. You don’t want to get prepared to go, only to have something come up which causes you to run a few minutes behind, and then you miss the entire thing.

3Come Prepared
Just as you would with any outing with little ones, it’s helpful to come prepared.  Toddlers and preschoolers can be easily entertained with simple books and toys, which can also encourage them to stay put if you are “in your corner” for a while.  Even something new from the dollar store could go a long way.  I have seen many posts encouraging parents to bring along plenty of snacks and drinks.  We will be packing our favorite no-spill sippy cup and fruit snacks, so the school janitor isn’t cleaning up our crumbs after the event.

4. Enjoy Sharing the Experience
No matter how hectic it can get, this experience is not one that many kids will get to have in their lifetimes. There is a special energy surrounding the Iowa caucuses, and we get to share that with our kids. How great to be able to teach them about the politics first hand, which can be a dry subject. I know that I have enjoyed taking my daughter to see political candidates who have been here in the last couple months, right here in our hometown. I hope this is something both of my girls can grow up to remember (or at least see in photos) how we participated. I want my girls to know change starts with us, and the only way to do that is to exercise our right to vote!

 

Are you participating in the caucus and bringing your children?

 

MindBodyBabies.com receives compensation for product purchases from affiliate links.  All opinions expressed are my own and were not influenced by any form of compensation.  This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Multicultural Children’s Book Day

I have received a complementary book to facilitate my review, however all opinions are 100% my own.  This post may contain affiliate links.

MCBookDay-white-2

I was privileged to be able to review a children’s book for this year’s Multicultural Children’s Book Day, which we celebrate today.  As a lover of Children’s Literature, I am so excited to be able to participate in this event, and will be sharing it with my own children, as well as my students when I substitute teach.

Our Mission: The MCCBD team’s mission to spread the word and raise awareness about the importance of diversity in children’s literature. Our young readers need to see themselves within the pages of a book and experience other cultures, languages, traditions and religions within the pages of a book. We encourage readers, parents, teachers, caregivers and librarians to follow along the fun book reviews, author visits, event details, a multicultural children’s book linky and via our hashtag (#ReadYourWorld) on Twitter and other social media.

The co-creators of this unique event are Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom and Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book/Audrey Press. You can find a bio for Mia and Valarie here.

   

  Whispers of the Wolf

by Pauline Ts’o

This book is a story about a Pueblo Indian boy who lived in the desert Southwest 500 years ago. Two Birds is somewhat of an outcast, and one day while out with his grandfather, he comes across an abandoned wolf cub. He decides to take it home and care for it, and this leads to interest in him from the other boys who normally don’t have much to do with him. They are impressed that Two Birds can hunt for and communicate with his wolf, a respected creature in their culture. Two Birds shared his stories with his new friends, and they invited him to run with him. His wolf gets older and stronger, and longs to rejoin the other wolves in the wild. Two Birds is afraid that if he lets him go, he may lose his new friends, as well as his animal companion.

I love that the book gives so much factual information about the history of the Pueblo Indians, and the area that they inhabited. I have always been a huge fan of the Southwest, living there for a couple years myself as a young adult, and native american culture. Beyond the story itself are some notes by the author, and a great appendix at the end that explains each illustration in the book and a little background about what that conveys. This is a great learning tool, and a way to enhance the story and still make it relevant for older children.

My favorite things about the book were how the author managed to write a story set 500 years ago that my 8 year old could relate to. The boy in the story seems like any other child who lives today, with similar concerns regarding fitting in with his peer group, and growing up. The illustrations are also amazing, with beautiful color combinations that really give the reader a feel for what life was like in the desert, and the spirit of the Pueblo Indians.

I would recommend this book to share with any child, ages 5 and up.  It would be perfect to share with your local library or school as well.

 

Teachers & Librarians: 

Sign up to receive your own free hardcover copy of Multicultural Children’s book for your classroom library.  Join the Classroom Reading Challenge.

 

Thank you to all of this year’s sponsor’s & co-hosts.  They would appreciate your support.

Multicultural Children’s Book day 2016 Medallion Level Sponsors! #ReadYourWorld

Platinum: Wisdom Tales Press * StoryQuest Books*Lil Libros
Gold: Author Tori Nighthawk*Candlewick Press,* Bharat Babies
Silver: Lee and Low Books*Chronicle Books*Capstone Young Readers T
Tuttle Publishing ,NY Media Works, LLC/KidLit TV
Bronze: Pomelo Books* Author Jacqueline Woodson*Papa Lemon Books* Goosebottom Books*Author Gleeson Rebello*ShoutMouse Press*Author Mahvash Shahegh* China Institute.org*Live Oak Media

Multicultural Children’s Book Day has 12 amazing Co-Host and you can us the links below or view them here.

All Done Monkey* Crafty Moms Share*Educators Spin on it*Growing Book by Book*Imagination Soup*I’m Not the Nanny*InCultural Parent* Kid World Citizen*Mama Smiles*Multicultural Kid Blogs*Spanish Playground

 

MindBodyBabies.com receives free products for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own and were not influenced by any form of compensation. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

2016 Reading Challenge: Book 1

I am making a personal challenge for myself to read at least 30 new books this year.  At least 12 of these will be from my lending library and/or related to my work, and the rest can be just for fun.  I keep track each year of how many books I read, and try to beat that number the following year.  Last year’s was embarrassingly low, so I am trying to get back on track with a number I think that I can reach easily.  Many years I have challenged myself with closer to 50. However, with busy children now, I don’t seem to have as much reading time as I once did.

audio book

The first book that I read was The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks.  This was one of the first movies that had come out where I hadn’t already read the book, so I knew that I would enjoy it.  I was traveling to visit family over winter break after the holidays, which was a 5+ hour drive one way, so I borrowed the audio book version from our local library.  I love to listen to books while I drive — it gives me something productive to do, and seems to calm down my kids as well.  My 8 year old loves to listen along, so I make sure to pick out something that I can enjoy, yet is appropriate enough for her to hear as well.

I knew the basic story already, as I had seen the movie and enjoyed it.  However, the book is different, and I kept listening to it, trying to figure out when it would tie into the movie.  They took an interesting twist to change the story, that’s for sure.  I can see why they did it each way, but most Nicholas Sparks movies follow the book plot pretty closely, so that surprised me.  I enjoyed the narrator’s voice, which kept me sane during the 14+ hours I ended up spending in the car with my kiddos, and then finished the book once I got home.

I would recommend this book to anyone, in whatever form you enjoy best — audio book, hardcover, paperback, or Kindle version.  I am looking forward to the new movie coming out soon, as I haven’t read that book yet.  Maybe that should be next on my list for 2016.

 audio book
 hardcover

 paperback

 Kindle book

What books are you already reading, or looking forward to reading this year?