Monday, June 29, 2015

Cole Haan Sunglasses + 4 Tips for Shopping for Sunglasses

I was on a mission to find a nice pair of sunglasses but
I just wasn't going to pay a lot of money.
I'm too afraid of loosing them or breaking them. But I really needed to upgrade from the $5, crooked, peeling sunglasses I was currently wearing. 

So off to T.J. Maxx I went on this mission. I'm really happy with my find, a pair of Cole Haan aviator style sunglasses that retailed for $98. I walked out paying $16.99 for them.

A few tips from my search on scoring higher end sunglasses at a great price:

1. Look at every pair: I went shopping by myself and took the time to look at every pair of sunglasses on the three displays. I wanted to make sure I didn't miss any good finds.

2. Know your brands: There are plenty of sunglasses from brands like Jessica Simpson, Nine West and  Betsey Johnson. And while those are nice brands, their sunglasses aren't super great quality.

3. Google Search: If you are unsure of where a brand stands on quality, whip out your phone really quick and Google them to see what their sunglasses sell for. That's what I did for a pair of Seven for All Mankind sunglasses. I knew the brand was higher end but I didn't know where their sunglasses ranked...I did a little Google search and saw they retailed for around $80-$90 dollars.

4. "Retail for $34+" means better quality: This is specifically something I noticed at T.J. Maxx. I realized that all of the brands that were higher end or better quality stated on the tag that the retail price was $34+. This could be a quick guide to help you narrow down your picks.

There you have it. Just a few tips for scoring some higher quality sunglasses at a great price!
Most sunglasses are priced around $12.99 and with just a little bit of patience you can easily spend a few dollars more for a much high quality pair of shades!

P.S. This was not sponsored by T.J. Maxx. I just think this is a great, budget friendly place to shop for quality sunglasses.

Do you have any favorite places to grab sunglasses? Or any tips on how you save money when on the hunt for new shades?

Friday, June 26, 2015

6.26.15 // High Five for {the little things} Friday!

Hi! It's Friday... *does a little dance*.
Yeah, let's just get right to it. Here are some of my favorite things from this past week!

1. We took the kids to the local petting farm and it was so much fun! Milking cows, catching ducks and chickens, holding baby ducks and chicks, feeding pigs and sheep...we loved it!

2. My daughter turned two last week, so over the weekend we had a bunny party complete with bunny cupcakes. It was just close family but it was great! I shared details on the party here as well as how I made the bunny cupcakes here.

3. Since Sunday was Father's day, we had my husband's family over for brunch and I made sausage, biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs, hash browns and fruit for everyone. And then we just hung out and chatted. I also gifted my husband a really cute photo from the kids... <3
{inspiration for our photo from here}

4. I've been trying to make it a nightly thing that I read a book to the kids after bath time each night. Even though they can't always sit still, it has been such an enjoyable time for me! When we missed a day because sometimes the evenings get so crazy, my son even pointed out that we forgot to read a book!

5. I stopped into Bath and Body Works and grabbed a wall plug-in refill in Tiki Beach. I am LOVING the way it is making our house smell! The plug-ins are still just $3 in store and I believe they have a few other items in this scent as well.


How has your week been? Looking forward to anything over the weekend? 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Store Bought Cupcakes Turned Bunny Cupcakes

So, here is part two of my bunny party posts. The cupcakes!!

Now look, I love to try and make things from scratch but this past week it was just not going to happen. I ended up ordering a dozen cupcakes from our local grocery store (Publix). I went with vanilla cake, custard filling and a strawberry flavored buttercream icing.

Here's what they looked like when I picked them up. But I wanted to turn them into little bunnies.
I found this great idea and followed it as my guide. (The from scratch coconut cupcakes she made sound awesome if you want to give those a shot! )

What you need:
Bag of sweetened coconut flakes (small bag was just enough for the 12 cupcakes)
Small bag of large marshmallows
Pink sugar sprinkles 

You can click through the above link for a picture step by step but here is what I did.
  • Sprinkle coconut flakes over the icing. You have to lightly push down to get the flakes to stay. I ended up pouring the coconut flakes into a plastic bowl so they were easier to get to and the coconut that didn't stick could fall back into the bowl.
  • Cut marshmallows in half diagonally.
  • Dip sticky side into pink sugar sprinkles.
  • Insert toothpicks into bottom of marshmallow ear and stick into cupcakes.

And there you have it. Super cute, spruced up store bought bunny cupcakes!
You could always do a white icing (vanilla or cream cheese) but I was stuck on the strawberry icing and was fine with them being slightly pink bunny cupcakes.

In total, the cupcakes with the added decorations cost under $15 for a dozen. 
Side note: I did end up getting the cupcakes for FREE from the grocery store because they couldn't find my order. I had to wait for them to remake the cupcakes and the bakery manager felt bad and sent me home with them at no cost. AWESOME customer service!

Think you'll be making these soon just because they are cute and yummy?! Oh, and totally easy.
Linking Up with:

Monday, June 22, 2015

Bunny Party Table Decor {for under $17}

So the 2nd birthday bunny party is over and turned out great! After the first birthday, I've tried to keep the birthday parties more simple with family only. We like to take the kids to a special place and then theme a small party at home around where we took them. I also like to keep the decor in one area, so typically we keep decorations on and around one table.

This year for my daughter we took her to the local petting farm. I knew there were bunnies at this petting farm, so that is where the idea of the bunny party came from. I was able to pull the decorations off for under $17 because I used a lot of items from around my house, made things from leftover craft supplies and gathered all of the bunnies my mom, mother-in-law and I had around our houses. All items purchased were from Dollar Tree, Michael's and Wal-Mart. 

 Table Decor 
White Plates $1 // Pink Cake Plates $1
(3) Pack green baskets $1 // White Table Cloth $1
Orange Straws $.50

The table runner was made from craft paper I had at the house. I cut a piece about half the length of the table, cut it in half long ways and taped it together to create a runner.
All of the bunnies, plastic cups, bucket for the straws, plants and serving ware I already had.
You can also see in the last picture below that I had one of the bunnies on the left sitting on something. I used an old sage green square fabric box that we had, flipped it upside down and used it as a little shelf for the bunny.

(4) Heart Balloons $4 // (2) Silver balloon weights $2

Carrot Utensils
(2) bags of green silverware $2 // Pack of orange napkins $1
Green curling ribbon - on hand // Basket - on hand

These 'carrot' utensils were simple and such a cute touch. I got the idea from this website although I couldn't find great step by step directions on how they were rolled up. I just played around with it until I got them rolled the way I liked it. The goal was to try and end up with a 'V' design at the front top. Tie with green or even orange ribbon and you are done. 

"Some Bunny is Two"  Sign
Black Posterboard $.97 // White Paint Pen $1.97
Cotton Balls & Construction Paper (on hand)

I printed this bunny template out and used it to trace the bunnies onto pink construction paper.
I looked at some fonts online in order to draw out the 'Some Bunny is 2" letters with the paint pen. Lastly, I took cotton balls and lightly pulled on them to puff them out like a tail and hot glued them on. Beware: if you have animals in your home you might want to hide your sign until it's party time! Either my dog or cat chewed the cotton balls off the night before the party. lol

 Window Detail
Tulle: Leftover from her 1st birthday.
Triangle Banner: made with construction paper and pink ribbon I had on hand. I just created a triangle template, cut out the pieces, put two hole punches in the top and strung the ribbon through them. Once I had them spaced evenly I taped the ribbon to the back of each piece of construction paper.
Tassel Garland: made from some bright green yarn I had on hand from a previous project using these instructions as a guide.

I'm really happy with how this turned out! I definitely learned to save things from previous parties and projects because you can use them again  in a whole new way! It was amazing how much stuff I had that I could use which largely cut down on my decorating cost.
Linking Up with:

Friday, June 19, 2015

6.19.15 // High Five for {the little things} Friday!

Happy Friday everyone! Sorry there weren't any posts this week (besides today). It's been busy with working on wedding invitations, birthday party decor and Father's Day planning. And I'm sure this weekend will be just as busy as this week has been. But there have been some fun little things this week so here we go...

1. We finally got to take the kids to Seaworld with our annual/preschool passes. It's been awhile and I really want to make sure we start getting good use out of the passes. We giggled so much over the dolphins and we are planning out or next trip already.

2. We're taking our family to the local petting farm for my daughter's birthday this weekend and I had been looking for a coupon or discount. What do you know...on Monday a Groupon for half off admission popped up. Love when that happens!

3. I'm always super nervous buying things online, especially when it's clothing. I decided to just go for it when I saw that American Eagle was having a clearance sale plus freeing shipping this week and I knew I could return what I didn't like in store. I bought these high-waist bathing suit bottoms in two sizes in my journey for a two piece, high waist suit that fits comfortably. We'll see how it goes!

4. The summer programs have kicked off at the local library and the theme is heroes. I took the kids to the first event where they got to speak with a nurse and learn about working in the hospital. So fun! Can't wait to take them to the other events in the upcoming weeks.

5. OK, so this wasn't exactly funny at the moment it happened but now I can look back and laugh. I tried to bring in ALL of my groceries from Aldi in at one time and well....that didn't work too well. Both handles just completely fell off!! Thankfully no food was harmed in this incident but now I owe my mom a new shopping bag! (She left it at my house ...sorry mom!)

How has the week been for you? 

Friday, June 12, 2015

6.12.15 // High Five for {the little things} Friday!

Good Morning! It's been...just another week. The week's just kind of fly by for me going through our daily routine. Out the door around 7a, work all day, home with the kids by 6:30p, cook, eat, clean, shower, go to bed and do it all over again! Whew...let's get to it. Here are my favorite little things from this past week.

1. Got to take my kids to the park for the first time in weeks! My son has been sick and has not been allowed to be too active per doctors orders so parks, bounce houses and the like have been off limits.

2. Culver's just opened in our area so I took the kids for ice cream after the park. We got the flavor of the day, Really Reese's. We'll definitely be back for some more Flavor of the Day's and some Wisconsin Cheese Curds!

3. I found these beautiful candle sticks at Goodwill for my brother and his fiance's wedding. They are doing a Great Gatsby/1920's theme and I thought these would be so pretty to display with white candles and some pearls on one of the tables. They were $4 each.

4. I picked up a couple more party decor items for my daughter's 2nd birthday. Her birthday is Monday but we'll be celebrating next Saturday with a bunny theme and a trip to the petting farm. Speaking of birthday parties, I posted some details from her 1st party that we put together over here.

5. I'm actually making the invitations for my brother's wedding and was having such a hard time finding lace (that we are using to band the invitations) that wasn't going to cost an arm and a leg. I was finally able to score some on Amazon for a great price and I just got it in the mail yesterday...from China! They gave a delivery date of 6/8-6/22 so the fact that I got it so early made me super happy.

How did this last week treat you? Any highlights to your week? 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

High Waist Bikini Bottoms Under $30

So, I thought I was all ready to go this summer with my new high-waist bathing suit from Target. Come to find out when I went to wear it, the bottoms were actually a Medium with a Large tag attached to it. And I already took the tags off and put them on before I realized that. I'm pretty sure I did in fact need the Large as I didn't feel like the bottoms 
covered my bottom enough.

So now I'm half-way back to square one looking for another pair of 
high-waist bathing suit bottoms.

I think the high-waist bikini is so flattering, fun and gives anyone a chance to wear a two piece who may be uncomfortable with their lower stomach (ME!). There are all kinds of rises, from below the belly button to over the belly button. 

I found a couple new options below from places I would shop. A few other stores had some options but they were all sold out. Seriously, these are not easy to find, especially at a budget-friendly price. The top below is the one I bought. I love the idea of a solid top (or bottom) so you can do a little mix and matching! 

Top // Target 

1. B&W Braided High-Waist Bikini // Target

2. Shirred High Waist Brief // Target 

3. Rose Print Retro Hipster // JCPenney

4. Beach Floral Bloom High Waist Bikini // LOFT

5. Bright Time Neon High Waist Bikini // Old Navy

Have any of you had any luck with a high-waist bathing suit? Where did you find it? Please share!

Monday, June 8, 2015

1st Birthday Party: Watermelon Picnic Theme

Good Morning! Hope you had a great weekend. Time to kick off another week! 
Since I'm in the middle of putting together a (much smaller) 2nd birthday for my daughter, I thought I'd share some pictures from her 1st birthday. Everything was homemade or purchased at places like Wal-Mart, Dollar Tree, Michael's and Target.
I couldn't decide on a theme but saw a bunch of great ideas with watermelon so I went with a watermelon picnic party theme. (OK and with a splash of tutu fun!) We rented a bounce house with a slide that day but it rained buckets! Some of the kids went in anyway and got soaked but the poor birthday girl missed out.

Warning: Not the best pictures. They were taken in a hurry, bad lighting and I had to crop a bunch of pictures to show specific details.

Watermelon Cakepops
These were made with watermelon cake mix and cream cheese frosting. Dipped in green candy melts and the rind lines were drawn on with this tube icing. Hot pink and green ribbon was then tied in a bow on the sticks.

Tutu Cakepops
My daughter wore a tutu for her birthday party and I just had to make these. They matched the color theme. ;-)  Vanilla cake with cream cheese frosting dipped in hot pink candy melts. Then they were rolled in hot pink sugar and we tied hot pink tulle to the sticks. 

Food Station
Watermelon (duh)
Chips in a basket with a pink towel
Carrots and Celery in small plastic cups with ranch
Goldfish crackers in picnic tablecloth patterned cupcake holders
Cubed Cheese in picnic tablecloth patterned cupcake holders
Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches with watermelon toothpicks
Watermelon toothpicks (similar) and cupcake holders (similar/similar) // Michaels

Serving Station
Paper Plates and napkins // Dollar Tree and Wal-mart.
Silverware // Dollar Tree
Silver buckets with white polka dots // Target Dollar Bin

Party Favors
Note says: Thank you for coming to my birthday picnic, hope you had a TUTU-rific time!
Paper Bags // Wal-Mart
Silver Glitter Washi Tape (bottom of the note) // Target Dollar Bin (similar)
Watermelon Clothespins // Michaels 

We included: bubbles, pink heart wands (seen below), and watermelon lollipops (similar) from Michaels.

Drink Station
We served pink lemonade in this drink dispenser we picked up at Ross.
Pink with white polka dot straws // Target

Lanterns //  Target and Dollar Tree (similar)
Hot Pink Tulle //  Joann Fabrics

 Clusters of hot pink tissue pom pom's //  Made my me
Watermelon Slices //  made by me from construction paper

Smash Cake
We made a homemade cake using Ina Garden's recipe and home made cream cheese icing.
We added strawberry juice to the icing to give it a little pink color.
Hot pink sugar sprinkles around the edge of the cake. This cake was SO DELICIOUS!
Yes, I ate some of my daughters smash cake. lol

We also decorated her high chair with light pink tulle and pink ribbons.

Birthday Accessories
Headband // Dollar Tree (Mother-in-Law added the tulle)
Tutu // Mother-in-Law made by tying on strips tulle and ribbon to a piece of elastic.

So, that's it! A tutu-rific watermelon picnic party!
Like I said, terrible pictures unfortunately but hopefully it can lend a little inspiration if you are party planning anytime in the near future.

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