Balancing Activities {& Tea Collection Giveaway!}

Activewear c/o Tea Collection

Activewear c/o Tea Collection

Ahhh, spring and all the activities it brings.

Before my kids were in school, I decided I would not EVER be the family that over-schedules. Why do so many things when kids just really want to be kids and play creatively and freely?

My opinion about activities has adjusted through the years. The truth is: kids can really thrive when they take classes, and I am happy to be able to have them pursuing passions and learning new things in a class form. Also, in our case, THEY LOVE IT. 

We discussed so many options for the spring activity list as a family, and then Brian and I had to really talk through it all... 

  • How active is active enough?
  • How active is too active?
  • How many classes should I have my kids be taking?
  • Do I let them pick or do I decide for them?
  • Are these even the right choices?

I don't know the answer to the last question, but we feel good so far.

For us, swimming is the essential... the no-brainer... the safety-first activity. Brian and I want water-proficient kids... not just kids who can paddle mostly without sinking, but kids who can swim laps easily. We're there with Sophie (she's just fine-tuning her stroke form), and Maggie has improved dramatically, but we're keeping them in for a bit longer. We don't want to mess with water hazards and we're near pools and beaches as much as possible during the summer.

All year we put a ton of mileage on swimwear. I'm so glad Tea Collection launches swimwear early in the year. We're at lessons every week, and my kiddos needed some good updates to their swimwear (particularly Maggie, who had a great growth spurt since last summer and was constantly tugging on her suits during class!) We've found some of our favorite suits for class or for the beach, year after year at Tea Collection. Maggie loves one-pieces and Sophie loves tankinis, so we ordered this and this to start the spring summer season (and plan to order THIS for additional beach-day sun protection!).

-- keep reading for a giveaway at the bottom of the post to win any of these!

Side note: THE PHOTOGRAPHY!! I'm loving the new Tea Catalog with all these gorgeous images!!

Side note: THE PHOTOGRAPHY!! I'm loving the new Tea Catalog with all these gorgeous images!!

Sea Fan Rash Guard . Callala Bay Halter

Noosa Swim TrunksEsperance Rash Guard . Snapper Rocks Swim Trunks

Bloomin' One Piece . Curl Curl Baby One Piece . Tallow Beach Swim Trunks

We want our girls to also to do a sport regularly. Neither of them particularly liked soccer (Maggie wanted to bail on every game halfway through), but the Steph Curry/KD Warriors madness around here gets them into basketball, so we signed them right up. Maggie is a little young, so we may just wait a year (she can't reach the basket with the ball and that can be discouraging for her), but Sophie is into it! She's doing her footwork, dribbling, and shooting skills every week, but her favorite part of practice is the competitive sprint time. She LOVES winning the races (and has been telling me that her oversized pants were what were holding her back, haaaa). 

Both girls had a number one activity choice and it was dance. Hiphop, to be specific. We found a class that they can take together twice a week after school. THEY LOVE IT.

They also started getting particular about what they wear those days of the week. "No jeans today, mommy! I need to be able to dance!!" 

The other day, we got a box in the mail with pieces from Tea Collection's new active wear for girls. My girls went nuts. I mean, they love any packages that come in the mail, but this one was like an urgent, "I need to try these outfits right now!" kind of excitement.

Sophie got active leggings and a tank, (which is exactly what she's been wanting and asking me to get for her!), and as soon the box arrived she changed into her clothes and took off sprinting down our SF hallway. "I'm faster mom!! I'll be able to win when we race this week!! And can I please also wear this to school so I can dance better after school?" Yes, and yes, (and looks like we may need to place another order so I don't have to be washing these three times per week)! 

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Maggie changed into her joggers and tee (with a koala on it!!) and started dancing right away, as she does. "These are PERFECT" (I wish you could hear the way she pronounces the word 'perfect.' It is my favorite). 

The joggers really are perfect. They're ideal for transitioning from a cute school outfit to one that moves easily while she practices her hiphop moves. She named the koala on her shirt Rainbow, and has worn it multiple times already this week. 

So much good activewear on the site, so I'm giving you a peek below:

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We're obviously excited about the active wear and that we now have a go-to spot to find athletic gear that fits and breathes as the kids move.

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I always read blogs and have the nagging question about sizing, so here's what I'll give you: As a sizing reference, Sophie generally wears size 5's in jeans, size 7's in leggings, and these we got in size 6 and they fit perfectly. She's tiny in weight and average in height, according to the pediatrician's charts. Some activewear falls as she runs (which drives her nuts because it messes with her running speed! ha!), but these stay up on her waist easily. Her top is a size 7, and fits great, though she also could have definitely worked with a size 6 for a more fitted look. Hoodies are perfectly true to size.

Maggie's sizing is more true to her age-- she's truly average height, exactly 50%, and slightly below average weight at her checkups. Her joggers run slightly big. We got a size 5 and she usually does 4/5 in jeans-- these were on the looser side, but we just folded the waist down once and they look exactly right and stay in place (no bunching. I would tell you if there was). I love it that they're slightly big in this case because it'll keep her wearing them longer, but if you're between sizes looking for an exact fit, I'd recommend sizing down.  

-----GIVEAWAY TIME:

So how can you get in on these goods? Enter my giveaway! I'm giving away your choice of either a Play Set <for boys, girls, baby boys, or baby girls, and there are swim sets as options!> OR your choice of four pieces of the new activewear line. Here's how to enter:

  1. Follow me on Instagram. (one entry)
  2. Follow Tea Collection on Instagram. (one entry)
  3. Comment below OR on my Tea Instagram post (coming soon) to let me know your favorite piece(s) from the Australia Spring/Summer line at teacollection.com. (one entry)

MOST IMPORTANTLY: let me know how many entries I owe you for the follows either below in the comment section OR on my Instagram post. So simple, yes? Happy Monday!

Giveaway ends Sunday, Feb. 5 at 11:59PST and will be announced on this blog post and IG Monday Feb. 6 at noon PST. Check back to see if you've won! If on IG, I'll be sure to tag you. 18 or older only. Not affiliated with IG. Thank you to Tea Collection for collaborating. All opinions are my own.  

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Mini Boden to the Rescue {book writing & giveaway!}

A couple things happened this week at just the same time... the kiddos received a REALLY fun package from Mini Boden, and my at-home-try-on glasses arrived (because the last pair of glasses I ordered was from 2008, and it's time!!). 

Boden's spring line just so happens to have the most adorable adventure / superhero / to-the-rescue theme... and the girls just so happened to love trying my glasses to pretend they were in disguise. (They also appreciated having solidarity with Jack, because he recently got his own real pair!). 

The Boden outfits plus the glasses gave gave us an idea: we will write a mystery book! The story is inspired by their cute Boden clothes, and they are the detectives trying to solve the mystery in their book, using glasses as their disguises.

Copyright 2017

Copyright 2017

The girls BLEW ME AWAY. We haven't finished our story yet (it may take a month, to be honest!!), but it has been so much fun to brainstorm and write and illustrate together!! Sophie is in charge of the story, and I am her editor. Maggie is in charge of illustrations, and Sophie and I are her assistants.

The story stems from a concept on Maggie's new sweater: a picture of a kitty ... saying WOOF! We decided that just like the picture, the culprit is a dog disguised as a kitty so he can sneak ingredients from the ice cream shop.

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So our story's setting begins in the shop (inspired by Powder shaved snow, which we got this weekend and WILL get again!): 

Sneak Peek: Copyright 2017 ;)

Sneak Peek: Copyright 2017 ;)

We're drafting the whole story together, and then we'll do a final copy. We're loving the project. We have so much SF inspiration to pull from, so we're using it! I'm enjoying watching the skills they are learning at school applied in their storytelling. :) Kids are just amazing and are far more capable than I give them credit for.

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StyleSmaller // #minibodentotherescue
StyleSmaller #minibodentotherescue

Here's a little info on the outfits we put together from Boden, and in case you'd like to shop them for yourselves, be sure to use our 15% off coupon: 2E9T on any full-priced items, and also includes free shipping and returns on items over $49 (expires 1/29/17).

StyleSmaller + Mini Boden // #stylesmaller #miniboden
StyleSmaller + Boden // #miniboden #stylesmaller

Sunglasses . Lucinda Jacket . Vintage Dress . Leather Boots

I also promised a giveaway, and it's a good one!!! 

We've teamed up with a few of our favorite blogs to celebrate the new Mini Boden line and to host this fun giveaway. Be sure to visit their sites for more cute styles and heroic fun. The Chirping Moms have a DIY cardboard rescue boat and superhero accessories. To go along with the accessories, Lay Baby Lay and Hello Baby Brown have DIY superhero capes. Hello Happiness visited local heroes to say thank you, and I Love You More Than Carrots has a yummy rescue themed snack and hero masks. Seven Graces is sharing why her kids are her heroes. For more spring style inspiration, visit Jordan & Co, Fancy Ashley, and Walking in Memphis in Heels

#minibodentotherescue 

*Product was provided in exchange for post. All opinions are our own.

I joined a gym

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I've joined a gym.

The shoes pictured above are mine and are about 6 years old when neon pink was a big thing (believe me, I have no clue what is big these days), and they're almost as shiny and new today as the day I got them.

I am not a workout person, clearly.

Gyms are accountability, and historically, I don't like them. I want that blissful "don't weigh in, don't worry about it" mentality to carry me through life. WHY would I want to go and feel like an inadequate athlete watching responsible people take care of their health and well-being when I can stay home and eat warmed tortillas on rainy days?

(Context to that: yes, I did just warm a tortilla for a 10:30am snack, and no I don't regret it, and yes, I want seconds).

So why did I join a gym when I have such an aversion to them? Well, I'm turning 35 in 2017 (cue tears and a grand goodbye to my youth). Granted, my birthday is not until October, but let's be straight here: I don't have much longer to fit in that 20-35 target market bracket, and my metabolism will likely break in the next couple years. All the wise people out there say "build healthy habits while you're young!" and... well..., "young's" expiration date is looming far too close for comfort for me. 

SO. I've set child care for today as a sure way to get my unmotivated self to the gym, and I'll be off. I'm looking forward to seeing many New Year's resolution athletes like myself, but unlike all of them, I'm going to keep my membership past March this year. I'm going to use it. Yes. I am. 

Thanks in advance, 2017, for being the year I become as agile and fit as I was in 1997.