Wednesday, September 5, 2018

THE STRUGGLE IS REAL

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

THE NEW GYMBOREE WILL MAKE YOU SMILE

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!
THE NEW GYMBOREE WILL MAKE YOU SMILE

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

SPRING PICTURES

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.

Friday, June 8, 2018

SUMMER BUCKET LIST

We’ve never been a bucket list kind of family but I thought it might be fun for the kids (and us) to do one this summer. And because it’s what all of the mom bloggers do, so why not? Let’s jump on the summer bucket list band wagon.

Summer in Arizona is HOT. Really hot. In addition to some of the more traditional summer activities, we also have to find fun ways to beat the heat indoors.  Here’s our 2018 summer bucket list:summer bucket list

Some of these are things we will do a million times, like going swimming.  Others are a little (okay a lot harder) like getting ice cream from an ice cream truck.  This one is really a hail mary since we don’t have ice cream trucks here (such a shame).  I’m really hoping there will be one while we are in Michigan this summer.  I’ll be sure  to have a few dollars ready just in case!  Another one I will be really impressed if we can check off is the dive-in movie nights.  I really think this would be so fun and memorable for the kids, but have to figure out how to safely project a movie outside by the pool.  If you have any suggestions, let me know!

What’s on your summer bucket list?  I’ve created a blank summer bucket list printable that you can get here in case you want to make one for your family as well.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

WISH LIST FOR MAMA

Happy Wednesday Friends! Or in Lexi’s world, the day before gymnastics. She’s been asking to be signed up for gymnastics for the last few months and I had been putting it off until we had Dylan’s hockey schedule for the summer.  She finally had her first class last week and she couldn’t love it more! Her teacher was impressed with how well she did having never done gymnastics before and the pep never left her step for the whole hour. She’s been SO excited to go back and is counting down the days to Thursday, otherwise known as gymnastics day!

I’ve been trying really hard to up my style game this spring (more on that another time) and will be sharing more mama fashion here on on the blog.  So I thought I’d kick it off with this fun wish list for a few fun summer pieces for mama.

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.wish list for mama

blue striped shirt | cover-up | pajama top| pajama shorts | earrings | bag

I’ve been trying really hard to break out of my black t-shirt rut and really love these Madewell shirts.  They come in a handful of colors, they fit really well and look super cute and put together with both jeans and shorts.  A new staple in my closet for sure.  I love this blue and white stripe for summer!  It’s so cute with both denim and white denim, a new favorite!

I always love a fun swim cover-up and these pom-poms add just the right amount of fun to this otherwise classic cover up.  Cover-ups are a place in my wardrobe I like to add a little more fun than I would in my regular clothing.

I really need new pajamas and this cute cherry set is perfect for summer!  I really like that they are cute enough to wear around the house without being self-conscious that you’re in pajamas.

The double disk earrings are a fun change from traditional hoops or studs and go with so many things this summer.  They also some in gold and rose gold.

I really love this bag!  The color is the perfect golden brown, it has a cross body strap and the cinched top gives it a little more interest.  This is the medium size, it also comes in a larger size and in black.