Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Shopping Smart for Baby Clothes

I love to shop. Clothes, home decor, furniture, food, baby stuff -- I will browse through it all. I've gotten better since we have bills to pay and college funds to prepare, but I still love a cute outfit, especially for our girls. When people find out we have twin girls, they typically say something like, "I bet you shop all the time for baby clothes! Girls' stuff is so cute!" While that's very true, we can't afford for me to buy every adorable little outfit I see. That would be dangerous.

We love shopping!
Instead, I have learned to shop smarter for our little ladies, especially if I buy any kind of "boutique brand" for them, which is rare. Also, I will preface this information by sharing that I rarely dress our girls in matching outfits. I personally feel it's kind of a waste of money to buy 2 of everything, especially when they grow out of everything so fast at this point.

I'd like to share my favorite brands and a few things I do to get the best deals on baby clothes.

Buy off-season: I do this all the time! The past few times I've been out at our local boutiques (check them out below!), I have picked up items for next summer for the girls. Big brands and boutiques are still having huge sales right now on summer clothes. It can be hit or miss sometimes because sizes have been picked over, but this is a great way to save money, especially if you like boutique brands like Tea, Mud Pie, Mustard Pie, or Kickee Pants.


Lollipop Tree

La Petite Demoiselle 

Get on email lists: I subscribe to several brands' email lists to get sale announcements and coupons. Many send out 20-25% off coupons every few weeks, so if there is an item you've been eyeing for your little one or you need to buy for next season, check to see whether your favorite store has any deals via email. For example, today I got an email from Carter's advertising 60% off Halloween items today only!

Check out resale shops: I have had very good luck shopping in kids' consignment stores. We have a Once Upon a Child store in Evansville and there is also a local boutique consignment store, where I have gotten Zutano clothes for as little as $5! I really like Once Upon a Child because they are picky about quality and always have new merchandise -- plus the prices are great on basics like onesies and sleepers. One piece of advice for shopping these kinds of store is checking in often and taking time to pick through the merchandise. I'd recommend stopping by a resale store when you don't have the kids with you so you don't feel rushed.

Now for a few of my favorite brands:

Carter's - I love this brand because of the clothes are great quality, wash up nicely, stylish, readily available, and they have awesome sales! I mostly shop their website, but we always visit a Carter's store when we can. Most department stores carry Carter's as well.

Rocking our Carter's onesies!
Matilda Jane - This boutique brand is pretty pricey, and most of the time you have to purchase from a Trunk Keeper at a show. However, I came across their sale site awhile back and have made several purchases that way. The site is called Good Luck Trunk  and has these lovely clothes for at least 40% off. There are also Facebook sites and tons of Ebay listings for Matilda Jane if you have a chance to look around for those.

Wish list for next summer!
Gymboree - This is another brand that is really nice quality, very cute, and has terrific sales. I head straight for their sale racks when I'm there because it's too expensive otherwise.

Baby Gap - This one might be my favorite! I LOVE Gap clothes for kids. They are the perfect blend of trendy while still looking like a cute little baby. As much as I love their clothes, I think most of their items are pretty overpriced. However, they always have a sale going on, and regularly do an extra percentage off sale items as well.

Such sweet little outfits!
Where do you shop for your little ones and how to you save while shopping? I'd love to hear any tips you have!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Our First Trip with the Twins!

I hope you all had a wonderful Labor Day weekend! We headed to Lexington, Kentucky on Friday because my husband was in a friend's wedding. We took the little ladies with us and brought my parents as well for help babysitting while we attended the wedding festivities. We had our first date nights since we've had the babies!

It took me 2 days to pack everything, and I quickly realized we no longer have the option of traveling light. I wish I had taken a picture of everything before we loaded the cars -- yes cars plural -- because it was almost comical how much stuff we had to take! Our bags and gear filled our entire foyer.

With kids, I learned you have to think about all the what if's and worst case scenarios, and that leads to over packing. I will say though, we had everything we needed and the girls did great. It definitely wasn't easy to be away from home, but we made it. I can't thank my parents enough for their help.

Lexington is about a 3 hour drive from our house, and at this point, I don't think we'd want to drive any farther. Molly and Maddie definitely got restless and a little fussy after about 2 hours in the car. When we arrived Friday, we got them settled and then got ready for the rehearsal dinner.

We stayed downtown in Lexington, and it was nice that a lot of things were within walking distance, especially Starbucks across the street. The rehearsal dinner was held at a restaurant called Shakespeare & Co. -- a cozy place with a middle eastern and Victorian theme. 

On Saturday we met up with my dear friend Lynsey and her husband and son and went to the farmers market downtown, then made a stop by my favorite boutique, Monkee's of Lexington. Mama did a little shopping and then we headed over to Hopscotch, a sweet little children's boutique that is right next door to Monkee's. 

Before Josh had to get ready for the wedding, we grabbed lunch at Dudley's on Short. I love this restaurant! They have beautiful artwork everywhere, including many photos of horse farms and horse racing -- makes sense in the horse capital of the world, right? I highly recommend the Crab Cake Benedict off the brunch menu!

That evening we went to the wedding, which was held at the Carrick House. The venue was beautiful and the wedding was so much fun. I even let loose a bit and enjoyed my first glass of wine since last October. I've missed a good glass of chardonnay!!

We were sad to leave Lexington Sunday (after a trip to Graeter's of course), but definitely ready to come home. It was hard to keep our normal feeding schedule for the girls, and I definitely got off my pumping schedule, but we just tried to stay flexible and do our best. A prime example of this is our impromptu trip to Best Buy to buy an outlet converter for my husband's truck, allowing me to pump in an empty parking lot before heading home. Glamorous life of a mom!! 

How was your long weekend? Sometime soon, I'll post my packing essentials for traveling with the girls. 

Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

My Love Affair with a Blender

This past Mother's Day, Josh and the babies got me a Vitamix blender. I had been talking about this blender for almost three years, swooning over it every time we walked through Williams Sonoma or Macy's; and, every time Josh looked at me like I was crazy for wanting such an expensive "toy" -- who spends that kind of money on a blender?? 

I suppose he had a change of heart this spring after our blender broke twice and I was nearing the end of my two months on bedrest (I promise I didn't play the sympathy card!), because my beloved blender showed up on our doorstep! He was still skeptical and just shook his head while I squealed with delight and listed all the things we could make with this bad boy.

So far I have made some pretty incredible smoothies--seriously, they rival Smoothie King--and homemade marinara sauce. I can't wait for cooler weather to make soup, as I've been bookmarking recipes all summer. I also really want to try making peanut or almond butter, and eventually I'll puree fruits and veggies for the girls.

I'd like to share my favorite smoothie recipe with you today. It's an easy, tasty way to get some greens and you can vary the fruit and dairy sources as well. I choose to use Greek yogurt for the extra protein and almond milk because it's supposed to help increase milk production while breastfeeding, and I like the vanilla flavors because they counteract the slight bitterness of the greens. 

Good Morning Green Smoothie

1 cup Silk vanilla almond milk
two handfuls Organic Girl baby spinach/baby kale mix (or whatever greens you prefer)
1 single serve vanilla Greek yogurt (I like both Yoplait and Dannon)
1 banana
approx. 1/4 rolled oats (also supposed to increase milk production!)
handful of ice cubes

Blend until smooth and enjoy! 

This summer I've also enjoyed adding a green apple or fresh peach to the mix. You can substitute berries, but you won't get that nice bright green color for the smoothie. 

I hear babies on the monitor, so I better go get the little ladies for our next feeding! Hope you all have a fantastic day! 

Let me know what kinds of smoothies you're making -- I would love to try some new recipes!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Hi! So glad you're here!

Welcome to The Spilled Milk Mom!

I have been creating this blog in my mind all summer and finally decided to just go for it. As a new mom of twin girls, I've gone from working full time to working part-time from home. I really missed having a creative outlet and interacting with people throughout the day -- there is only so much I can discuss with two 3 months olds and our dog before feeling a little crazy!

I envision this blog being a mix of everything in the "mom lifestyle" -- a little cooking, home decor, and fashion, but mostly baby and kid focused because our little ladies are definitely the center of life right now! I'm learning a lot as we go along on this parenting journey, and I hope to share that with you. I also plan to share all my "spilled milk moments", those times when things aren't perfect or don't go as planned. We've all been there, right?

Here are just a few things to introduce our family to you...

My name is Chelsea, and I'm married to my sweet, handsome husband Josh, who is an engineer for a coal company. We have twin daughters, Molly and Madeline, who were born May 21st. Our first born is Ruby, our spoiled double doodle who believes she still runs the house.

I taught high school English for 4 years before leaving to become a full-time real estate broker, I also manage social media for about 10 agents in my company and write a blog for my company as well. I cut way back when I went on bedrest in March (more on that later).

It really is hard to find time to work and write! In fact, as I type  this post, I am sitting on the floor next to the girls alternating putting pacis back in their mouths and scooting them back in place when they slide down in their Boppy's! I wouldn't have it any other way and feel fortunate to be able to be home with them while they're little.

I hope you'll join me as I navigate this new mom world. I promise to be authentic and honest, sharing both great moments and failures as well. Thank you for visiting!