Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Build Your Weight Loss Wardrobe With #Thrifted Finds @GoodwillSA

Have you ever been "in between" sizes? Were you at a loss in regards to what to wear everyday?

I am in the process of losing some weight, and now that I have items for my capsule wardrobe (see previous post here), I can concentrate on RIGHT NOW. Right now I am in between sizes and really cannot see myself spending $$$ on clothes that are just for this temporary stage. Of course, Goodwill here in San Antonio has been a great resource for me to find a nice collection of high quality clothing in my current size for LESS $$$. Win!

Just look at these treasures:
Peruvian Connection (where a plain tshirt retails for $50) black sweater tunic. This is gorgeous in person, and feels amazing. It is made of baby alpaca and wool.

BCBG Maz Azria layered shirt (far left). This top has a sheer silk like top layer and a tshirt material tank attached underneath with a ribbed waistband. So comfy!

Loft black and white top (far right)

Talbots blue tshirt and boat sweater

Gap white tee (not pictured)

Boden skirt (my only wildcard here, not sure what I will pair this with but I love this skirt--it even has pockets!)
 $3.99 each. Ya'll. I repeat. $3.99. WHERE ELSE CAN YOU FIND THESE AMAZING PRICES?!
Notice I kept the color scheme mostly black (I will finally admit it, I love to wear black, especially this time of year), blue and neutral. I am pairing most of this with leggings and a pair of very forgiving jeans I have on hand.

Oh! And I found these very comfy non clunky Naturalizer slip ons for $8.99! They were brand new when I thrifted them, I have since been wearing them non stop.

 What do you think? Go find your local Goodwill today and stock up. You won't regret it. To find the Goodwill near you in San Antonio, check out this link.

I was given a gift card to purchase some of the items in this post. All opinions are my own, ya'll know I love a good thrift store!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Best Fall Book (and more!) Releases with a STEM Feminist Twist?

I have a confession to make: my wish list of books grows by the day. Actually, probably by the hour. Being a Barefoot Books Ambassador gives me the inside scoop on lots of great new releases, which only increases my list. Then there are awesome book blogs like Growing Book By Book and others that keep me in the know too. Ahhh...I need all the books. Here is what is on my Barefoot wishlist, and they are going to renew your confidence in quality, diverse literature for children. All of these can be accessed through my website home page. (Affiliate links used, thank you for your support!)

Space Song Rocket Ride: I know my kids will love the singalong and I can't wait to see the educational end notes, they will definitely help us do a unit on learning about space!

Barefoot Book of Wonderful Words: The illustrations in the previews I saw were amazing and it shows moms babywearing while working, among many other wonderful things.

Dinosaur stickers. Because they are $5 and there are 160. Enough said.

The Beeman: I really thought we had this book, but I can't find it. This book "Told from the viewpoint of a child whose Grandpa is a beekeeper, this rhyming text offers an accessible and engaging introduction to the behavior of bees, including: where they live, how honey is made, and what a beekeeper does" There is even a muffin recipe at the end!

Now, drumroll PLEASE. The two princess stories just released by Barefoot are beginner chapter books.
Kirkus review says of Dara's Clever Trap, "Happily-ever-after with a STEM feminist twist: how very timely." Yes, indeed.
Of The Princess of the Springs, Kirkus starts the review, "Venturing past Disney princesses, here is Ibura, Brazilian Princess of the Springs."

Now, these books made me think. Can you imagine what they will do for our children?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Weekly Reading Basket Volume 5 #weeklyreadingbasket

We have had lots going on around here. Lately I have really been lax about reading aloud time with my almost 5 year old and I see a difference in behavior with my son--not for the better. He still spends hours looking at books by himself, but he really does need the closeness and calming effects that reading aloud creates for us. My daughter and I have been reading a lot more than usual and it seems to help her concentrate better when she is perusing books independently.
Our audio book use has gone up, up, up in the past couple of weeks. Madeline has been on repeat...much to my chagrin. While I love the story, the audio version we got from the library this time is quite annoying to me with the two narrators and the cheesy songs..but the kids love it. We all absolutely love Barefoot's new release The Wheels on the Bus (affiliate link). I was hesitant about this book, but as usual its another success from Barefoot. It is set in Guatemala and my daughter loves, loves the pictures (even when the cd is off...although she has figured out how to make the song play repeatedly).
We have very much enjoyed the Grouchy Ladybug, the kids ask each other "hey, wanna fight?" and then burst into laughter. The rhythm, repetition and artistry in this book are just wonderful, its one of my fave read alouds. The Richard Scarry book literally provides hours of entertainment in itself, (although reading it aloud is a challenge, we just read bits and pieces). I want to make sure we read the Kissing Hand this week, we have never read it before. The Little Red Hen  (affiliate link) is amazingly told and illustrated...the illustrations are BREATHTAKING!! "This lively version of the classic tale is given contemporary treatment with dynamic, textured illustrations which consist of collage hung from wires then photographed by artist Kate Slater." Ah! Can you imagine the creative process there?
The Tale of Three Trees is filled with beautiful art and is not too long, sometimes beautiful books recommended by Catholic Mosaic are too lengthy. We have not read it yet this week, but I hear it is a moving tale of three trees whose destinies are not what they wished for but are what God wills for them.

In other book news, last week I saw this TWADDLE being toted around the house, the Lego book from the library and the Grover book from our pile of books. Both are oddly worded, hard to read, confusing stories. The Grover story seems cute but at first I thought it was missing pages because the story just ends abruptly, and the Lego one is a bit better. These books will be removed ASAP. I am all for letting the kids pick their books but these are just not beautiful, or even have worthwhile plots.

What are your kids reading this week? Use the #weeklyreadingbasket on social media so we can all see!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Capsule Wardrobe Dresses With @GoodwillSA #thrift

As you might know from this post and this post, I am on a mission to have a small, wonderful wardrobe. Most of the clothes in my closet are from Goodwill. Because I change my mind so much and the prices are so great, (I never pay more than $9 for ANY CLOTHING ITEM), I can't resist shopping at Goodwill here in San Antonio before anywhere else.
I have long been searching for the perfect, classic chambray dress. I found it!! For Texas, I feel that the mid weight of the fabric and the cut of this dress are perfect for wear year round. The silver metal buttons, the sleeve detail and the self belt are perfect touches to a classic shape. This was $5.99 at Goodwill.
You can see more of the dress here. Also, I found the bias cut dress from Old Navy, this will be in my storage closet and I will wear it next spring. This dress was also $5.99.

 I have seen that grey is still going to be in this fall, so when I found this soft To The Maxx brand dress with the deep vneck, I knew it would be perfect for fall. Not too short and not too long, this dress hits me at the perfect length. Also, note the sleeves and how they are 3/4 sleeves (perfect for my short arms!) It is a perfect dress to layer with or without leggings, and to add a great statement necklace.

Here we have a sleeveless olive green Gap dress made out of one of my favorite fabrics...rayon. The buttons at the front are great for nursing access and the dress is perfect for one of my special cardigans (I love cardigans). The black and white silk Banana Republic dress is a maybe for my fall capsule. Its tag indicates that it is a summer dress and it is very lightweight. But the colors are timeless and season-less! The dresses were $5.99 each.

So here you go, 3 dresses that will be in my fall capsule wardrobe for sure, and 1 maybe. What do you think? Do you have a classic, versatile dress like the chambray one? What do you think of these awesome prices?!

*I was given a gift card to Goodwill in exchange for this post*

Friday, September 12, 2014

September is Library Card Sign Up Month #SAPLCardRocks

Do you have IT?
Do you?
Do you have your pass to adventure? Fun? Limitless words? 
Did I mention that it's FREE?
I'm talking about a library card, of course.

September is Library Card Sign-up month, a time to celebrate all that your San Antonio Public Library card can do for you!
SAPL has so much to offer! With a SAPL library card you have access to:
·         More than 2 million print books, DVDs , CDs and magazines
·         Over 65,000 eBooks and eAudio books
·         Thousands of movie and television titles
·         Over 8 million songs
·         Programs, and special events for all ages
·         Live homework help and resume assistance
·         High quality subscription databases for genealogical research or learning a foreign language
·         Fitness equipment, walking trails and playgrounds
·         So much more!
SAPL is kicking off its library card sign-up campaign on Facebook and Twitter by inviting current users to submit selfies and “shelfies” (photos taken inside a branch library) to its Facebook and Twitter feeds. We are also encouraging SAPL card users to tag at least three friends in the post and encourage them to sign-up for a SAPL card at a nearby branch location or the Central Library. Photos will be re-shared on social media.
SAPL will also share its list of “20 Things You Can Do with a SAPL Card” on its @Your Library blog on and @mysapl blog on the website. SAPL created #SAPLCardRocks for the campaign and encourages anyone who posts to use the hashtag and to share it throughout social media outlets. We invite you to share your story about how you use the library or what the library means to you.
For more information about the San Antonio Public Library, visit or call 210-207-2500. Be sure to like us on Facebook at or on Twitter @mysapl.

Does everyone in your family have a library card? We are so fortunate to live here in San Antonio, where cards are FREE. That is not the case in all cities. I encourage you to sign up today. No matter how many books you have or can buy, the library system still has more!!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

From the Recycle Bin to the Playroom: Easy Straw Project Play

If you know about our creative play shelves, which I blogged about HERE, (also featured in today's print edition of the San Antonio Express News...check out the new myDIY section) you know that we have a special bin just for recyclables that might be useful for creative play.

The other day, I noticed some straws on the floor and my son was being really quiet in his room. Usually, when the kids are really quiet, a mess of some sort is also involved. Not this time! My son took the following supplies with him to his room from the recycle bin: straws and the plastic packaging that cherry tomatoes come in, and the berry baskets.

He was very carefully, methodically putting the straws inside the tomato container. I was in such awe of his concentration I failed to get a great picture. Here he is below, playing with his creation the next day. I will note he did take a BUNCH of straws out. Also, I thought that he would naturally put the straws in the berry baskets, but he chose the container that doesn't seem as accessible. Interesting.

 How much did this project cost me? ZERO DOLLARS! We have straws to drink from and the tomato container came with food we needed. I didn't even know this was a project...I just kept the materials in an accessible place and let my child's imagination lead the way.Win, Win!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Share Stories, Connect Families, Inspire Children #barefootbooks

Hello!! Today is my second ever VLOG! Can you tell that I am excited?! Today I am highlighting two Barefoot Books (affiliate links, I am a Barefoot Ambassador) titles that are among our favorites AND have special bonuses in the books!

Links directly to the titles I Took the Moon for a Walk, Star Seeker

Let me know what you think, I was recording while my son was hopping around.