Back To School: Best Buys for Girls at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale #NSALE

Friday, July 29, 2016
While I'm not ready to fully immerse myself in all things back-to-school, I do love to save a buck or two, especially when it comes to back to school shopping. And that's exactly what you'll do when you shop the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.

There are tons and tons of fall and winter items on sale. While it seems it's not the right time to buy a a pair of boots when it's 90 degrees outside, you'll be glad you did when December rolls around and you can think back to how you saved close to $40 on your daughter's Stuart Weitzman riding boots.

Here are my top picks for back-to-school savings for girls at the #NSALE.

SHOP THE LOOK: Backpack | Leggings | Sweater | Sneakers

This casual outfit is super cute and comfy. Elastic waist leggings are soft and stretchy and offer maximum comfort. Perfect for a long day of school.

For days when your girl is feeling dressier, a dress is always a good idea. These dresses have a casual flair and are certainly comfortable enough for all day wear.

SHOP THE LOOK: Top | Jeans | Booties | Vest | Backpack

If your girl has to have the latest trends, then this outfit is for her. She'll be styling in skinny jeans and ankle booties.

SHOP THE LOOK: Cardigan | Skirt | Top | Sandals

If anyone can pull off the boho look it's a little girl. How cute is this outfit? I wish the skirt came in women's sizes.

SHOP THIS LOOK: Pants | Jacket | Friday Sweatshirt | Sneakers

Looking cute on gym day has never been easier!

Didn't find the outfit that you were looking for? Shop the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale here.


Best Online Reads

Thursday, July 28, 2016

The ten stories from around the web that I am loving this week:

1. Is spinning actually a good workout via MindBodyGreen.

2. Ways that paint can transform anything via Real Simple.

3. Eleven Netflix documentaries that will change the way you see the world via Self.

4. I love the idea behind these Homesick candles.
5. Frosé (have you heard of it?) is sure to become my new favorite summer cocktail via Food52.
6. The 50 most beautiful places in America via Condé Nast Traveler.

7. How to go camping and actually enjoy it via Cup of Jo.

8. Reasons to feel hopeful during a tough month via Huffington Post.

9. What it's like to attend a 10-day silent retreat via Buzzfeed.

10. The $10 lipstick that lasts all day and flatters everybody via Refinery29.

Bed Wetting: A Common Sign and Symptom of Type 1 Diabetes

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

One of the most frequently asked questions I get as a parent of a child with type 1 diabetes is, "How did you know?"

The honest answer is "I didn't". I mean, I didn't know exactly what was wrong with her, but I knew definitively that something was wrong. We may not always be completely in tune with our children, but as parents, we know when something isn't right. I had that feeling with Harper, and when it kept getting stronger rather than waning, I knew it was time to do something about it.

Type 1 diabetes often goes misdiagnosed due to the symptoms being similar to those of the flu. Many pediatricians dismiss it as the flu and send patients home to wait out the symptoms. When type 1 diabetes goes undiagnosed, the condition worsens quickly and can be fatal.

In Harper's case, there were obvious physical changes and some less apparent emotional ones too. But the signs were all there, and we made particular note of each and everyone of them so that when we arrived at our pediatrician's office, we were able to articulate them clearly.

The most obvious symptom we noticed was bed wetting. Harper was 8 years old when she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and she had long been potty trained. You can imagine how concerning it was to discover that she started wetting the bed after 5 years.

At first we brushed off the bed wetting thinking that maybe she had too much to drink the night prior. Then we eliminated drinks after 7 pm on most nights. But still, she continued to wet the bed even after we took drastic measures.

The bed wetting was taking an emotional toll on Harper. She was feeling embarrassed and fearful of ruining her bed. I headed to my Walmart Neighborhood Market® to grab a box of GoodNites®, bedtime pants. Not only did GoodNites® keep the bed dry, but they also restored my daughter's confidence. GoodNites® feature a 5-layer protection system to help protect against overnight accidents. The insert and leak guards provide additional wetness support.

GoodNites® are available in two different sizes to accommodate the big kids and feature super stretchy sides to keep your child comfortable all night long. GoodNites® offer zoned protection to keep girls dry where they need it most.

Harper has attended sleepovers with confidence knowing that she won't wet a friend's bed when she's wearing GoodNites®. She packs one discreetly in her overnight bag and puts it on when she changes into her pajamas. For us, GoodNites® have been a lifesaver. They've been the difference between worrying all night long and soundly sleeping know that Harper will be dry and protected through the night.

I love how the GoodNites® in the larger size don't feature a juvenile design. At this age, girls want GoodNites® to be more representative of their age and their interests. The packages that we have purchased in the past feature age-appropriate designs such as hearts and butterflies.

Today, two and half years after she was initially diagnosed, the bed wetting has ceased for the most part. But there are still occasions where Harper could possibly wet the bed. If she has a blood sugar spike during the middle of the night, it could cause her to wet the bed. So, we are careful to keep a stash of GoodNites® on hand at all times.

Some nights we place GoodNites® on Harper's nightstand in the event that her blood sugar is high at bedtime. This way, if she is prepared.

Because testing blood sugar can sometimes be a messy process, I keep a supply of Huggies® Wipes within arm's reach. They help to clean up small messes and spills as well as overactive finger pricks.

Visit you local Walmart Neighborhood Market® to pick up a box of GoodNites® for your big kid. In addition to Walmart's low prices, save even more by downloading a coupon for GoodNites®.

If you have a toddler, you can download a coupon for Pullups® or if you have a baby in the house, download a coupon for Huggies® diapers.

Shop your nearest Walmart Neighborhood Market® for all your baby, toddler, and child care needs at low prices that you can only expect from a Walmart Supercenter.


Fab Find of the Week: Concrete Candle and Matches

I have a weakness for candles. However, I am very discerning about the candles I like and buy. Last week after we had brunch at Toast in Asbury Park, we walked up the street and wandered into Foolish Ginger where I found the most perfect selection of candles. I wanted to buy every candle in the store, but I limited myself to two and made a promise to myself to return to buy more.

This concrete candle from Paddywax not only smells amazing, but looks unique, too. I love the rustic detail of the concrete. I picked up a box of matches because I thought it was the cutest pairing ever.

Buy the items here: Paddywax Tobacco + Patchouli candle | Box of Nautical Shells Matches

Uncommon and Fun Gifts For Children and Babies

Monday, July 25, 2016
This post was written in partnership with Uncommon Goods.

Between both of my daughters, they attend and subsequently buy presents for many birthday parties each year. With each party, I seem to struggle with ideas for what to buy. I prefer to buy a gift rather than go the gift card route. Gifts are more personal, and they show that you've put some thought into what the recipient wants and likes.

It's hard to know exactly what each recipient likes and wants, and it's tough to be on my creative A game every time a birthday rolls around. But once I discovered Uncommon Goods, shopping for gifts for everyone on my list became super easy and fun, and least of all a last-minute hassle.

I was drawn to Uncommon Goods after reading their company mission. It was so similar to my own personal mission, and I couldn't help but to immediately relate. It is a company that wants to change the workplace and world in positive, morale-boosting ways by offering its employees the best benefits, flexibility in the workplace, and more.

Uncommon Goods prides itself on helping its customers understand the social and environmental impacts of their purchases. Uncommon Goods is focused on social good and promoting artisans and crafters who have deep passions for their handmade goods and who focus on creating handmade, recycled, and organic products.

Finding unique gifts for kids was super easy. Uncommon Goods has done an amazing job of curating the best (and cutest) gifts for kids of all ages and interests.

Here are three gifts from Uncommon Goods we are considering for upcoming birthday parties:

My girls love to watch stop animation videos on YouTube. If you know a kid who loves to dabble in film making, this stop motion animation kit makes the perfect gift.

I don't know a kid who doesn't love to go for a bike ride or draw with sidewalk chalk. Now, they can do both at the same time with the bike chalk trail kit. How cool is this? I wish this was around when I was a kid. I rode circles around our driveway, and I could have made incredible designs with this.

For older kids (like my teenager), games that test knowledge are preferred. When we go out to restaurants, she loves to play the electronic trivia games at the table. But you don't have to wait until you are out to dinner to enjoy a game of trivia. Kwizniac trivia game allows the whole family to play at home. Perfect for family game night or for a sleepover with friends.

We are attending a baby shower at the end of the summer, and I have been racking my brain trying to find a gift that is unique and meaningful. I want to purchase a gift that no one else will give and one that will long be remembered and will be the topic of conversation for years to come.

Uncommon Goods has an unbeatable selection of baby gifts that match my criteria. I've narrowed down my choices to these three gifts.

As a new parent, I could never seem to have enough onesies. My girls went through 3 or 4 per day, and it was anyone's guess when I was going to have a chance to do laundry. I was grateful for every last onesie I received from well wishers. This diaper loading bodysuit is by far one of the best and funniest that I've ever seen. Who wouldn't get a kick of it?

Every new baby needs a mobile. Not only are they cute and a great decor piece for the nursery, but they also provide endless entertainment and distraction (much needed!). I love this whimsical taco dreams mobile. How cute!

I have always been a big proponent of developing a love of reading early in a child. Starting with reading to your baby, introducing books at an early age is important. However, babies and books don't always mix. They have a tendency to tear and chew pages. This indestructible nursery rhyme book set is the BEST option for little hands and little mouths. Not only are they drool and tear-proof, but they are washable too!

Some of the very best gifts I have ever received are personalized baby gifts. Personalized gifts have an added touch. They are collectibles to be cherished forever. Now that my daughters are getting older, they are growing to love the personalized gifts that bear their names and birth details.

As a parent, I know how special baby photo albums are. I love to sit down and look through my daughters' books. It's a walk down memory lane, and as they grow older, the books become more cherished. This personalized baby photo album will capture and hold all the moments new parents hold dear.

I absolutely adore this personalized coat of arms birth announcement. I love how this keepsake has all the most precious information (name, weight, zodiac sign, place and date of birth, and parents' names) about the special little one in one place and in the cutest design.

One of my fondest childhood memories is of my dad measuring me in the warehouse at the hardware store he owned. I loved to go back to see all the tick marks over the years. It was a special moment my father and I shared. We both delighted in the ritual of his measuring me and recording it. This personalized family growth chart can hold the same memories for you and your children.
To purchase these gifts and shop for more, visit Uncommon Goods.

Thanks to Uncommon Goods for sponsoring this discussion. All opinions are my own.

Menu Plan Monday :: 7.25.2016

After our camping trip and our weekend at my sister's house, I decided to take a break from menu planning last week. Plus, H (the Hubs, whose name is Henry) was out of town most of last week, and we always end up eating at off times when he's not home. Sometimes we eat lunch at 3 pm and have a light snack for dinner.

But now I am back and ready to dive into meal planning again.

Monday - Buccatini puttanesca. I made this recipe two weeks ago when I saw it on the cover of a Cooking Light magazine. It was such a hit that I had requests to make it again. Plus, it's a one-pot meal which means easy cleanup!
Photo credit: Cooking Light

Tuesday - Steak kabobs with tomato salad and grilled bread. I picked up a copy of Savory magazine at my local Stop & Shop and this recipe was on the cover and looked so yummy.
Photo credit: Stop & Shop

Wednesday - Mexican shredded chicken tacos. Tacos are always a big hit in our house. They are easy to make and they are a great opportunity to get everyone in the kitchen. Give each family member a task (chopping toppings and assembling the fixings). Many hands make light work!
Photo credit: What's Gaby Cooking

Thursday - Bowtie chicken Caesar salad. This is a recipe that I pinned at the beginning of summer and somehow had forgotten about it. Not sure how that happened because this recipe seriously looking amazing...and kid-friendly!!
Photo credit: The Girl Who Ate Everything
Friday - Take out or dinner out. Taking a break from cooking for the night.

Saturday - Caprese salad. This is a meal? Yes! It is, and it's one of my favorites. It's light and perfect for hot summer nights when you have no desire to spend a ton of time in a hot kitchen. Serve it with crusty bread, and you'll be full and satisfied in no time. Can't find kumatos? Substitute tomatoes.

Sunday - Butter steak lettuce wraps. This is one of our all-time favorite recipes. Although the recipe calls for flank steak, we always prepare it with butter steak. Lots of scallions and lime juice are a must!!!
Photo credit: Food Network
What's on your plate this week? To view all of my menu planning posts, click here. Visit my What's For DinnerPasta, and Soups On! Pinterest boards for even more ideas.


Friday Fresh Picks ~ Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Under $75

Friday, July 22, 2016
Today the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale opens up to the general public. For the past week, only Nordstrom cardholders have enjoyed access to the sale, but as of today, it's game on!

In today's Friday Fresh Picks, I'm sharing my favorite and fabulous finds from this epic (a.k.a., not to be missed) sale, and all are under $75!! But first, let's rewind. If you are new to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, let me fill you in. This sale features newly released fall merchandise at rock bottom prices BEFORE the season. Most sales happen post-season when the retailer is trying to unload extra inventory. But not this sale!! That's what makes it EPIC, my friends. It's your chance to save BIG on new fall arrivals in order to jumpstart that fabulous fall wardrobe.

OK, so let's get to it!

Thanks for checking out this week's Friday Fresh Picks. Swing by the rest of the FFP gals to see what they are loving this week.
Friday Fresh Picks are hand-picked favorite items, reviews and highlights from the amazing women you see above.

Visit their websites to learn about other amazing picks from this week!

To view all of my Friday Fresh Picks posts, click here.

Best Online Reads

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The ten stories from around the web that I am loving this week:

1. An ice cube trick that removes wrinkles from clothes in minutes via Good Housekeeping.

2. Fourteen overlooked countries you need to visit via Thrillist.

3. A celebrity trainer's weight loss rule via PopSugar.

4. The 9 most important medical tests for women via Prevention.

5. The one lie to always tell while you are traveling via ZergNet.

6. How to talk yourself down from a self-esteen spiral via Man Repeller.

7. Proof that a haircut can change your life via Refinery 29.

8. Walking s'mores are a game changer via Delish.

9. The cutest personalized canvas tote for beach and farmers' market trips via Mark & Graham.

10. How to break up with a crappy best friend via The Cut.

Fab Find of the Week: Whales Beach Towel & Sling Bag Set

Tuesday, July 19, 2016
My girls are at the ages where they want to carry their own bags to the beach and pool. I'm thrilled because it means my bag isn't weighted down with their excess. They are thrilled because it means they get to choose their own bag. If you have a teen or tween, you know that cuteness is the number one priority when choosing any apparel or accessory item. A beach/pool bag is no exception.

At the beginning of the summer, Emma picked out this beach towel and sling bag set. She loved the whale print (also available in other prints), and as it turns out, the bag has proven to be incredibly functional.

Emma took her bag and towel with her on our camping trip last weekend. The bag doubled as the bag that holds her electronics and accessories for the car ride. When we hit the pool, she stocked it with her towel, sunscreen, and goggles.

The towel is a large (30" x 60") cotton terry velour towel that's soft and comfortable. The sling bag is lightweight and easily accommodates the towels and other pool/beach necessities.

Purchase the towel/bag set here for $25.

Two Delicious Cocktails to Celebrate National Blueberry Month

Friday, July 15, 2016
New Jersey is one of 10 states that account for 98% of blueberries grown in the U.S. So, it's only natural that I love this tasty little berry and make every attempt to use it in any kind of recipe, including cocktails.

Since July is National Blueberry Month, we'll be celebrating by visiting a local farm to pick (and sample) all the blueberry goodness we can get our hands on. And when we return home, I'll treat myself to one of these two tasty cocktails.


1 Part Reisling (3 oz.)
1 Part Pomegranate Blueberry Sparkling Ice (3 oz.)
Pomegranate Seeds
1 Teaspoon Agave
Mint, to garnish
1. Mix all ingredients in a pitcher
2. Pour contents into wine glasses
3. Add mint to garnish

MONTMORENCY (I love any excuse to uncork a bottle of Champagne!)

1 Part Dry Champagne (2 oz.)
1 Part Pomegranate Blueberry Sparkling Ice (2 oz.)
Mint, to garnish
Blueberries, to garnish
1. Mix all ingredients in flutes
2. Add fresh mint and blueberries to garnish


Best Online Reads

Thursday, July 14, 2016
The ten stories from around the web that I am loving this week:

1. 10 things that are impossible to do once you have kids via Scary Mommy.

2. The secrets of people who manage to stick to habit changes via Fast Company.

3. Tips for turning your passion into a business via A Pair & A Spare.

4. OMG! Cast iron chocolate chip cookies. Where do I sign up? via Milking Almonds

5. What to do in Paris when you have only 12 hours in the city via 12 HRS.

6. The most popular wedding songs of 2016 via Buzzfeed.

7. Proof that pink and green is the best color combination ever via Town and Country.

8. Love this DIY pom pom hat via PS I Made This.

9. Five tricks for eating healthy on vacation via Vogue.

10. How to make a Moscow Mule via Real Simple.

5 Floral Dresses Under $50

Wednesday, July 13, 2016
When I think of floral and fashion, the images that come to mind are my grandmothers' blouses dotted with dainty flowers. They are hardly stylish, and not even close to being sexy.

Lucky for us, those floral styles have long been retired to the fashion archives and have been replaced with modern, bold, and sexy florals.

Here are 5 of my current favorites, all under $50.

1. Sienna Sky Floral Print A-Line Dress $48
Subtle pastel florals paint a pretty scene on this flirty sleeveless dress with a simple cutout neckline.

2. Lush High Neck Maxi Dress $48
This maxi dress can be dressed down (pair with flat sandals) or dressed up (pair with heels and a clutch) for any occasion.

3. Love, Fire Challis Off The Shoulder Dress $48
I am obsessed with everything about this dress. The print, the color, the crochet hem detail on the sleeves are just perfection.

4. Trixxi Embroidered Cold Shoulder Maxi Dress $34.80
Embroidered flowers grace the bodice of this flowy, cold-shoulder maxi dress.

5. Soprano Floral Print Off The Shoulder Dress $46
Lush blue and yellow flowers add an energy to this dress that's unmistakeable.

Shop my favorite floral dresses here:


We're Going Camping!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

On Thursday, the girls and I are leaving for a 3 day camping trip at Knoebels Camping Resort in Pennsylvania.

Yeah, I know. I just said I was going camping!!!! Ahhh, I can hardly believe it myself. It's been something that we've wanted to do for quite a while. In fact, it's on my summer bucket list. I'm certain I'll never go again, but I have to do it at least once.

Just a little background...A camper I am not. I haven't camped since I was a child. I was probably 7 or 8 years old. I was carefree and didn't care if I had a hair dryer, curling rod, or perfect lighting for makeup.

These days things have changed. Although my sense of adventure remains, I have a reliance on everyday luxuries, which I will have to set aside in the name of communing with nature. We are staying in a camper not a cottage or a cabin. We do have electrical hookups at our site, but let's be serious. Am I really going to dry and style my hair? Not likely. So, it's au naturel for a few days.

Knoebels also has an amusement park with plenty of food options, and wait for it...there's a Starbucks!!! I won't be entirely roughing it. I won't have to hop in a canoe and paddle to the middle of a lake to catch my dinner, but the whole aspect of not staying in a plush hotel room will be foreign to me.

I'll be unplugging from my laptop for a few days, but you can find me on Snapchat and Instagram (both @piecesofamom) to follow along with the camping shenanigans!

Meal Plan Monday :: 7.11.2016

Monday, July 11, 2016
These Mondays sure do come around quickly. I feel like I just got through meals for one week when I am planning them for the next week.

This week is cah-razy! We are going camping at the end of the week for a few days. Yes! I said camping!! Epic. I know. I haven't been camping since I was a child, and I know NOTHING about camping. So, this should be very interesting. I won't be blogging about it until after the fact, but you can stay up to date by following along on Snapchat. My user name is piecesofamom.

Anyway, it's a short week, and here's what we'll be eating while we are home this week.

Monday - Shrimp scampi

Tuesday - Lemon pesto penne with a side salad

Wednesday - Lime chicken tacos

Thursday - camping

Friday - camping

Saturday - camping

Sunday - Attending my nephew's birthday party

What's on your plate this week? For more meal time inspiration, visit I'm An Organizing Junkie's Meal Plan Monday linkup.

To view all of my menu planning posts, click here. Visit my What's For DinnerPasta, and Soups On! Pinterest boards for even more ideas.


Friday Fresh Picks: This Week's Favorites

Friday, July 8, 2016
Don't you just love short weeks? This one went particularly fast since we were spending time with family who was visiting from Massachusetts. I love when we have visitors because it gives us a chance to be visitors too. We tried new restaurants. went to the boardwalk and beach, and ate ice cream nightly.

This weekend two of my sisters are coming to visit, so the party continues!

In today's Friday Fresh Picks, I'm sharing some highlights from the past week.

These hydrangeas stopped me in my tracks. I mean how gorgeous are they? They are blooming all over Bay Head, New Jersey, and they are breathtaking.

This was the scene outside Playa Bowls, Bay Head this morning when we went for breakfast. Nothing is better than a coastal scene.

If you go to Playa Bowls, you must try the Electric Mermaid smoothie bowl. Oh. My. God. Unbelievably delicious.

The gorgeous view of the marina at dusk from the deck of Waypoint 622.

The sunsets were phenomenal this week. I was able to catch a cotton candy sky peeking through the trees.

Thanks for checking out this week's Friday Fresh Picks. Swing by the rest of the FFP gals to see what they are loving this week.
Friday Fresh Picks are hand-picked favorite items, reviews and highlights from the amazing women you see above.

Visit their websites to learn about other amazing picks from this week!

To view all of my Friday Fresh Picks posts, click here.