Friday, September 21, 2018


This post has been sponsored by Basic Invite.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

As a lover of stationary and paper products, when Basic Invite reached out and asked if I wanted to work with them I couldn’t say yes fast enough. Contrary to their name, Basic Invite is anything but basic!  From business cards to holiday cards and everything in between, Basic Invite has you covered!

Basic Invite has fully customizable traditional business cards to the coolest clear business cards.  With Basic Invite you have the ability to order a sample of your actual card so you can see exactly how it will print as well as the paper quality before committing to an order.  They are so unique I had to get my hands on one.  They are just as pretty in person and the printing is impeccable. They look and feel really special.

Basic Invite

photo courtesy of Basic Invite

Speaking of business cards, I used their business card template to design some cards for Sequins and Sandcastles.  It could not have been an easier experience and I am so happy with how they turned out.  Since they have almost unlimited color options with instant online previews I was able to play with my cards to make them just right before ordering.  I was really impressed with being able to change the text to suit my wants and needs on my card.  There were fields I chose to eliminate (for privacy reasons) and it didn’t impact the design at all. In case you’re wondering, I chose the Modern Hello design and printed them on smooth coated paper.  I really like the semi gloss look and feel of the cards and the color is vibrant and rich, just what I was looking for.  I love them!


photo courtesy of Basic Invite

While playing around on their website I stumbled onto the cutest Halloween invitations; how cute are they for a Halloween party?  I know my kids would be SO excited to hand these out to their friends.  We might have to throw a Halloween party now.  With their fast shipping, I know I would receive them in plenty of time to get them out to all of the kids’ friends.


photo courtesy of Basic Invite

With the holidays on the horizon, I had to check out their vintage holiday cards.  Basic Invite has so many great options for holiday cards that it’s going to be hard to choose just one.  I spent a lot longer than I care to admit going through their holiday card options.  I love sending a unique card and with Basic Invite’s customization ability I know I can do just that. In addition to being able to customize your card, you can also choose from over 40 different colors of envelopes that are peel and stick!


photo courtesy of Basic Invite

They also have an address capturing service that allows you to simply share a link on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other form of social media to request addresses from friends and family which will then be stored in your account and can be selected during the design process.  Basic Invite offers recipient address printing at no cost on all Christmas card orders.  How great is that?

Right now Basic Invite is offering 15% off with coupon code: 15FF51

Monday, September 17, 2018


It’s hard to believe it’s time to think about Halloween again but it will be here before you know it and my kids are VERY excited for all things holiday and Halloween.  Lexi’s told me about thirty five different things she wants to be for Halloween, I think a dog is the current front runner, but it changes multiple times a day.  Dylan hasn’t said what he wants to be but I am sure he will also change his mind a million times before making a final decision.

We’re going to Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland in a couple of weeks and Lexi and I were discussing costumes for Disneyland at Dylan’s hockey practice yesterday; I think she’s decided on Alice from Alice in Wonderland which is perfect since it will likely be pretty warm.  I need to help Dylan come up with something.  My matching loving heart would LOVE for him to be the Mad Hatter, but I highly doubt that will happen.  One can dream…

What will happen though is matching, errr coordinating, Halloween pajamas!  We LOVE matching pajamas.  I not so secretly love that my kids like to match their pajamas.  It makes me so happy that they still get excited when they have pajamas that match or coordinate.  Now that Dylan has outgrown the toddler section of our favorite stores it’s made it a little harder to find cute pajamas in bigger sizes and pajamas that match or coordinate with Lexi but I’ve found a few and can’t wait to get them on the kids; more importantly, they can’t wait to wear them!

This post contains affiliate links. That means if you click on a link and make a purchase from the site, I will earn a small commission from the sale.


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**updated 9/19/18 (affiliate link)

You can now save 30% off new fall styles plus get free shipping at Gymboree starting today, 9/19/19  through 9/30/18 click here to shop!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018


photo by Jenni Khoury

I don’t really even know what to call this post, but calling it the struggle is real is pretty spot on.  Long before I ever bought my domain or published the first post, I knew I wanted to blog.  At the time, I read very few blogs but my absolute favorite was a blog simply documenting life with their little boy with a few fashion or beauty posts thrown in and I loved it.  It was before Reward Style and before affiliate marketing was as big as it was today.  It was seemingly much more real.  I wanted to blog before Instagram was a ‘thing’, maybe even before there was an Instagram.

I’ve always struggled with how much to share.  Until recently, that first post didn’t even have Dylan’s real name in it.  I’ve heard enough horror stories in my day job to have just enough fear in what I put online.  I don’t want my kids looking back embarrassed by what’s in the pages of this blog but I want to be able to come back and have it take me right back to that place in time.  I want our out of state family to be able to stay connected if they choose to do so and I hope to inspire other moms along the way.  I love sharing cute kids clothes and accessories and practical things for myself in beauty and fashion.   Sometimes the journey of being a mom is long and lonely and I love having an outlet that is mine.

What exactly to post has been a struggle from the start and if you look at the history of posts, you can tell I will blog in bursts and then not again for quite some time.  This isn’t because I don’t want to blog, but because I struggle: Am I posting something too personal?  Will my kids be embarrassed?  Is the item I’m linking to too expensive?  I don’t have good enough photos to accompany the post.  The list of the struggles goes on, but at the end of the day, when I take a break, I find myself missing the blog.  Missing what I set out to do but didn’t do well.  I’m throwing it all out the window, well except I’m still not going to post things that will embarrass my kids.  You’ll see everyday life, even if it’s not Pinterest worthy, and collages will be a mix of things we love and own and also things I lust after.

I chose Sequins & Sandcastles as a name because I wanted this to be a place for me and all things girly – the sequins – and Dylan (at the time) and any future children we might have and all things related to their childhoods – the sandcastles.  I love creating the shopping collages.  It’s fun to sit in front of the TV in the evening and put them together or to share when I’m planning outfits for the kids (or myself), but I don’t want this to be a shopping blog or just about kids clothes.  They are easier posts for me to put together since I don’t have to have Pinterest worthy pictures of my kids and and by default, what I’ve turned to for the last little while.

It seems as though most of the “mommy” bloggers I follow are stay at home moms which leads to more time to get that picture perfect snapshot or that fun outing everyday.  Real life over here is the kids are out the door after I’ve already started working and (until recently) weren’t home until dinnertime during the week.  This makes it so much harder to get those great pictures you see all over Instagram.  When I think about the future of Sequins & Sandcastles, I go back to those roots of what I really wanted when I bought the domain and hit publish for the first time and that’s still what I want.  I want that place that documents my kids lives, shares cute kids clothes and a few mama things in there too.  I hope you find something inspiring and like getting a peek into our lives.

Friday, July 27, 2018


This post contains affiliate links. That means if you click on a link and make a purchase from the site, I will earn a small commission from the sale. I’ve received compensation for this post. All content and opinions are my own.

Have you seen the new Gymboree? They recently launched their brand new refresh line and it’s SO good! I was blown away with how many cute things they released and couldn’t wait to make a trip into our local store to check it out in person.  Last weekend Lexi and I popped into Gymboree and were both very excited about what we saw.  Her favorite thing may be the kitty ear headband that came home with us and makes us both smile every time she wears it.

Gymboree Sale On Now!

So whats new? In short, everything!  Gymboree asked modern moms what they were looking for in kids clothing and delivered big time.  With changes like:

  • mix and match clothing – making it easy for kids to dress themselves
  • the best kids’ jeans – super comfortable, soft and durable
  • more cozy, high quality pieces for babies
  • a more modern sense of style
  • increased comfort, softness and attention to detail

Gymboree wants to be known for quality once again and I’d say they are on the right track!

cherry tee | rainbow raincoat | kitty ear headband | pink hoodie | rainbow top |shorts | camo culottes

Watching Lexi develop her own personal style makes me smile.  She’s only four but definitely has opinions on what she likes to wear and likes to come up with her outfits on her own.  The days of me dressing her are quickly disappearing.

Luckily, we both agree that Gymboree has some really great pieces for her closet for back to school.  A few of my favorites are this rainbow top, the camo culottes and this sweatshirt.  She LOVES the kitty ear headband (ok, maybe I’ve been converted and love it now too), this skirt and this skirt.  We both love the cherry graphic tee!  This raincoat is adorable, I wish this jacket came in her size and this hoodie is a must because she’s always cold.

In addition to the kitty ear headband, we took advantage of the 2/$24 graphic tee promotion and brought this one and this one home with us! They are super soft and I know she will get a lot of wear out of them.

We decided to let Dylan choose a few new things himself (we want to make him smile too), when we go back to school shopping but I thought I would share a few of my favorites for boys with you.THE NEW GYMBOREE WILL MAKE YOU SMILE

fun times tee | long sleeve tee | button down | basketball tee | jacket | jeans | camo sneakers

For Dylan, I love this look and asked him what he thought of it and was surprised when he said he liked it and would wear everything, including the camo sneakers.GYMBOREE MADE YOU SMILEimage via Gymboree

His closet always makes me smile because it only has things he wears and loves and nothing else.  I love this tee and am considering it for both of them….matching makes us smile over here!

Dylan’s closet is mostly graphic tee’s, long sleeve shirts like this one and the softest slim fit jeans I can find. I am excited for him to try these jeans and the camo slip on’s are a fun change from his regular sneakers.  A light jacket is a closet staple and something he is in need of and this button up is perfect for layering, a dressier occasion or for some pictures on the beach; which ALWAYS make me smile.

Adding quality, versatile pieces to their closets is important to me and I am excited to add a few more of the new Gymboree pieces to each of their wardrobes for back to school and beyond.  Follow us on Instagram to see how we’re living in and loving new pieces from the brand new Gymboree; it’s sure to make you smile.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018


I am a sucker for photos of my kids. Beach photos will always have my heart, but I really love a cute set up too!

I stumbled onto Lauren a few years ago when she had the cutest Anthropologie like trees for her holiday mini sessions and have been in love with her work ever since.

This spring she had the cutest set up with a white bed and floating vases and I couldn’t book a session for the kids fast enough.  Here are a few of my favorites from our Spring photos with Lauren.  If you’re local, you can find future sessions on her Instagram here.