Thanksgiving Weekend Sales

I have to admit that I have a weakness when it comes to kids' clothes, and I've definitely taken advantage of the many sales that have been going on this week! If you haven't already, you can sign up for Ebates to get cash back on your purchases at over 1700 stores, including Amazon, Sephora, Nordstrom, etc. This time of year many stores give double cash back, and it really adds up! I'd always forget to use Ebates, but now they have a toolbar that you can install and it will tell you when you're on a site that gives an ebate.

I've purchased things from J Crew (30% off) and Gap's sales (50% off everything + 12% cash back with ebates through tomorrow) this week. Buying "tall" versions of Gap's t-shirts has changed my life because I hate when shirts shrink in the wash and become too short. But what I'm really waiting for is Zara's twice yearly sale that starts Thanksgiving at 8pm EST!

I also love shopping independent stores, and these are some great clothing and toy stores that are having sales. I have purchased from many of the shops below! I'll be updating this list as I come across more!

Baby Go Green - 40% off all apparel through 12/2 with code SHOPSMALL
CagedBirdBlog - 25% off through 11/29 with code BLACKFRIDAY
CarlyMegan - TBA 11/29
CrewandLu - 15% off + free shipping 11/28
DuchessandLion - 25% off while supplies last
ElectricCollective - 30% off with code THANKFUL through 11/28
FinomenonKids - 40% off though 11/27 with code ONEYEAR
Gingiber (plush dolls) - 25% off this week with code TURKEYDAY
GreyhamNYC - 35% off with code BLACKFRIDAY through noon 11/28
HatchforKids - 9pm PST 11/27-11/30
Hello Apparel - 40% off @ 11/27 9pm PST
KenzieJaws - 20% off until 12/1 with code THANKFUL20
Kid and Kind - Up to 50% off
KnoxandLola - 30% off with code 30OFF
Ladida - 40-50% off with code THANKS
LaPina - 20% off with HAPPYTHANKSGIVING
LuluLuvsBrooklyn - 20% off select hair pins, bow ties & scarves through 12/1
LouiseMisha - 20% off with code MILK
MamaCase - Sale TBA 11/28
MiniandMaximus - 30% off with code TURKEY through 11/28
Minijoops - 30% off with code THANKS30, 40% off $300 with code THANKS40
Minikin  - 25% off everything through 12/1 with code MERCI2014
Native Shoes - 30% off Jeffersons with code BLACKFRIDAY
NeveandHawk - 40% off 11/29, 30% off 11/30-12/1
PompKids - Up to 30% off everything
QuinnandFox - 45% off now with code IDONTWAITINLINE
Salt City Emporium - 30% off 12/1
Shop Sweet Lulu (party supplies) - 10% off with TURKEY 11/27; 10% off $25 with PINK10, 15% off $50 with PINK15, 20% off $100 with PINK20 through midnight CST 11/28.
Sleepy King (plush dolls) - 20% off with code HOLIDAYSPARKLE + free shipping
StayandCo - Up to 40% off with code STAYTHANKFUL
Studio Mucci (tassel garlands) - 32% with code HBD32
The House that Lars Built (stationery) - Sale TBA 11/28
ThreePotatoFour (home furnishings) - 30% off with code 3P4THANKS
Tiny Cottons - 30% off Nov 27-29
TribeisAlive - 20-40% off entire inventory, free shipping on orders over $75 with code LHSSHIP 11/28
WelkinNYC - Sale TBA 11/28

Little Hip Squeaks has a great roundup of indie stores with codes specific to LHS so be sure to check that out!

A couple other sales of note include:

- Amazon - $50 off the Stokke Tripp TrappBob Strollers are 30% off, and the BabyBjorn Travel Crib is the lowest it gets.

Boden - 30% off + free s&h Nov 27-30 with cod 3D9Y, 40% + free s&h Dec 1-6 with code 2R8F

The Land of Nod - 15% off + free shipping with code SAVE15

Shutterfly - New customers get $20 off a $60 purchase through Dec 2 with code 20OFF60. All customers receive 25% off on Dec 1 with code CYBER25.

Tiny Prints - 30% off any order + an extra 10% off with codes BLACKFRIDAY + 1128DEAL, 11/28 - 11/30

- Minted - 20% off photo cards over $150 with code 20BF, 15% off $100 with code 15BF through 11/28

If you have a great sale to share, please leave it in the comments!

DIY Printable Watercolor Advent Calendar

With December just around the corner, I thought I would share with you this printable watercolor illustrated advent calendar to make each day until Christmas more fun. This is something that your older kids can help you put together, and the artsy boxes can be displayed on a table with other Christmas decorations or stacked against the wall. You can print these individual boxes or I created one more option where you can print the numbers on sticker paper (or regular paper and glue them) and buy already made boxes.  

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21 Quality Wind Instruments for toddlers and children

As Christmas draws closer and closer, I've been looking for musical instruments. Sure, everyone from Fisher Price, to Doug and Melissa, to even the fancier European wooden toy companies offer musical toys. But I'm looking at things that transcend the idea of a musical noise maker that's only good from ages 3-6. So here I begin my roundup of the very best child-friendly instruments I can find - they will have great sound quality, they will often be Fair Trade, and they can even be used by adults. My first installment will be wind instruments. Many are ages 3 and up, some are 6 and up, but some could certainly be used with supervision in younger children.

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Sharing Newborn Night Duty

I recently shared what a 24 hour period is like for us right now with 4 week old twins. What I didn't get into is how Mr. H and I are choosing to divide up baby duties overnight.

The first few nights at home with the twins were rough. The babies were up non-stop, Mr. H and I were exhausted, and we alternated between stumbling around in exhaustion to bickering with one another in frustration. It wasn't good! Finally, we hatched a plan that would help us each get a long stretch of sleep.

I also try and get sleep during the day when I can!

Around 6/6:30pm we start getting all of the kids ready for bed. We've found it's easiest to divide and conquer: one of us will focus on getting Miss H ready for bed (potty, teeth, tub, pajamas, stories, bed) while the other will focus on the twins (pajamas, bottles, swaddles, and into rock-n-plays).

After prepping a pitcher of formula and filling some bottles for overnight, along with any other kitchen clean up that's needed, I get ready for bed. My goal is to be in bed and asleep by 8pm. From that point, this is what we do (this is an example schedule if things are perfect):

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25 DIY Advent Calendars

I have never done an advent calendar before. Truthfully I never even heard of one until a few years ago. But now that I have kids, every holiday seems more fun and magical, and at this age it's fun to see their excitement and anticipation build for these special celebrations. Drake has been talking about Christmas, especially his elf who is scheduled to visit again after Thanksgiving since early October, so I feel like this year he really understands the idea of the coming holidays. He is learning months and days of the week at school so that helps when we tell him Christmas only happens in December and he knows December follows after November. I would love to try an advent calendar with Drake & Juliet and I always love a good DIY, so I have been scouring the web to look for ideas.

I love this muffin tin advent simply because it's simple. I already own a muffin tin and a hole punch so it wouldn't take me long to whip up at all. I found these tiny little animal erasers on Amazon and think this might be perfect for my animal loving Drake. I can't imagine his anticipation everyday to see what new animal shows up in his tin. I don't love the idea of doing little gifts every Christmas since Christmas is already pretty gift laden, but I also know the wonder of childhood will only last so long too, so maybe it's best to enjoy it when they are young enough to still appreciate the magic as well.

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What To Do About Winter Hat Hair

Winter hat hair. It's sorta like a big messy Monday that happens almost everyday of the winter - it's unavoidable and inevitable. So after, blankity-blank (I'm modest like that) years "enjoying" (cough) winters, I have sorta figured out how to deal with messy winter hair. Or at least how to ignore it, but ignoring is still a coping skill, and when it comes to hair I don't think it's an unhealthy one. *The above image is from Cara Loren, who makes winter hat hair look pretty darn amazing.

Here are a few great hairstyles to help with that that inevitable hat hair....

- This is a great style if you wear a lot of scarves. Keep that hair off your neck to avoid that nape of the neck hair bird's nest. I know you know what I'm talking about. If your hair isn't crazy thick (and if it is, I'm personally very jealous), this should fit nicely under a winter hat and stay pretty well intact all day. And hey look, there is even a tutorial from Camille Styles.

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10 Minute Salted Caramel Popcorn

Mr. O and I have a wicked sweet tooth, and we're always on the lookout for new snack ideas. While I'm always game for a batch of chocolate chip cookies or a heaping bowl of ice cream, sometimes I'm craving something a little bit different. I came across this recipe for salted caramel popcorn from Gordon Ramsey, and after seeing the ingredients required (only 6!) and the time needed (10 minutes!), I knew I had to give it a try. And while the instructions might sound a bit complicated, I promise, once you've tried it, you'll be whipping up caramel corn for every occasion.

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