Our upstairs playroom & the everywhere playMAT

What room in our home isn’t a playroom… right?! We’ve done our best since moving in here just over a year ago to separate the kids’ space from our space, but it doesn’t always work. Toys have a way of migrating. Everywhere.

We have an extra bedroom upstairs and when we moved in, that’s what we used it for… a full-sized bed, an empty closet, and… a room that never got used.

We decided to make it a playroom: somewhere for the kids to hang out on the 2nd story AND a way to keep most toys out of their bedrooms so they sleep at night instead of play.

First, we moved out the full-sized bed into Ryan’s room–a BIG boy bed! We took his twin bed and put it in the new playroom and set it up like a daybed with a wall of pillows along the back. It’s next to two little bookcases filled with the kids’ books so it makes the perfect, cozy reading corner!

Then we put a large open bookcase (a vintage market find!) on the opposite wall to fill with baskets and toys. We’re still working on getting more moved in there.

Finally, we wanted a fun rug to cover the floor. It’s a carpeted room, but we all know how kids can be when they play!

playroom playmat

Instead of an area rug, we ended up going with the everywhere playMAT that was sent to us by Prince Lionheart. It is PERFECT.

It’s HUGE, it covers the whole floor area, it’s cushioned, it’s got TWO sides of fun so we can change it up when the kids get bored, it’s easy to clean, and it’s the best TOY in the room.

playroom playmat

One side has a city with tons of places to visit: school, park, ice cream shop, fire station, police station, hospital, pet store, restaurant, and more. There are trees, ponds, stop signs… so much to imagine!

The other side is a zoo, filled with animals… lions, tigers, and bears (oh my)!

playroom playmat

Both of my kids are obsessed with it. Ryan is 4-years-old and spends more time driving cars around and making up stories about where they are going.

Rebecca is 2-years-old and she spends more time pointing out features and naming them. She especially likes to pet and kiss all the animals at the zoo ;)

playroom playmat

It folds up VERY nicely and easily to store away under a bed or in a closet. It’s sturdy enough to fold into a tunnel or fort, too! The play continues ;) Or if you have a smaller space, you could fold over one end of it to make it fit.

You can see our daughter having fun with the playMAT… if she’s not kissing animals or racing cars, she’s jumping and dancing on it, haha. This video will help give a sense of its size, too.

You can read more about the playMAT here and you can buy it for $60. Make sure you also find Prince Lionheart on Twitter and Facebook!

prince lionheart's everywhere playMAT

~Written in partnership with Prince Lionheart. Product was received to facilitate this review. Any opinions are my own!

Upscale resale: get the look for less

When I was little and my mom DRAGGED me shopping, she’d always tell me the day would come that I would LOVE to shop. Nope, never, I pouted.

Ha!

Obviously I now love to shop (too much) and even more so for my two little ones! I always look in their departments first or update their wardrobes before my own. It’s all too cute! And there will come a day when they won’t let me dress them anymore ;)

Kids grow out of sizes so quickly, it’s a shame to spend full price on quality upscale brands–they wear them for such a short time! I am CRAZY over resale shops and you know what I’m even crazier about? The ease of shopping online. It’s nearly impossible for me to shop in-store with a 4- and 2-year-old. Right?!

upscale resale

Moxie Jean is an upscale resale online shop where you can get the look for less! Every item is hand inspected and they carry top brands, high quality and gently used clothing for babies and kids.

upscale resale

You guys, I’m obsessed with checking this site. Thankfully you can sign up for email notifications of new inventory, haha (and signing up gets you 20% off!).

This is awesome for your back-to-school shopping! When I shopped Moxie Jean a few weeks ago, there wasn’t much for school in the sizes I needed (girls 3T and boys 5T), but there is now!!!! There’s a TON. Which only means I need to go shopping again!

upscale resale

I opted for fall pajamas… one of my most favorite things to buy! Back-to-school time also means cooler weather and the pajama sets I found on Moxie Jean for both kids were perfect! Dinosaurs and super heros for Ryan, two of his favorite things ever right now, and polar bears for Rebecca (she’s crazy for animals).

upscale resaleUpscale Resale

Everything arrived tied in cute little bundles and everything looks nearly brand new–one even still had tags on. I was thrilled with every piece, nothing looked used.

Check out my Instagram video of Ryan in his super hero pjs – he loves them, so YES we are walking around a hotel in pajamas, but NO, unfortunately, he cannot fly ;)

upscale resale

Shopping Moxie Jean is super easy. You can sort by boys and girls (designer or not), browse stylist picks for fashionable outfits, search by clothing type, outerwear, sleepwear, season, or brand.

When I made my purchase, I also requested a (free) postage-paid mailer bag so I can send in some of Ryan’s and Rebecca’s old clothes! GREAT way to empty those closets and reduce, reuse, recycle: Moxie Jean donates any unpurchased or lightly damaged items to the Kid’s Pantry in Chicago!

upscale resale

You can shop for 75% or more off retail prices at Moxie Jean and ((hint, hint)) they add hundreds of new outfits every Monday and Thursday! AND use my link to sign up and you’ll get $10 off an order of $20+.

GIVEAWAY: use the form BELOW to enter to win a back-to-school wardrobe from Moxie Jean–a $177.50 value!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Moxie Jean. The opinions and text are all mine.


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Effortless Meals for Moms

~Written in partnership with Coca-Cola. Any opinions are my own.

In the summertime we like to be outside—going for walks, playing at the park, or running through the sprinkler in the backyard. During the school year, I play Taxi and feel like I might as well live in my car. No matter the season, life is busy, right? MOMS are busy.

But every night there has to be dinner on the table… I HATE cooking. I thank my mom for that trait but unfortunately

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Breastfeeding Awareness Month: there’s an app for that

Most of you already know I’m a huge breastfeeding advocate, having nursed our son until he was almost 4 and our daughter until almost 2. I believe that breastfeeding success is largely about SUPPORT so when I discovered an IBCLC that created a helpful breastfeeding app, I had to check it out.

I mean, what else are we doing when we’re up nursing 5 times in the middle of the night? I guess I don’t know about you, but I

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Sensational Memories of Summer

Five hours in the car with my brother… were we fighting or playing games? I can’t even remember that part of it. We probably sat mostly in silence, headphones on our ears, mine blasting some Aerosmith.

We finally get out and stretch. The air is clean and crisp with the deep scent of pine. My dad opens up the cabin and my brother and I run from room to room, throwing our stuff–just like home! A trip to the local grocery

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How to choose a photographer

We have hired MANY different photographers since having kids. Newborn photos, various milestones over the first year, family pictures, maternity sessions, and holidays. We’ve found photographers we’ll never use again and ones we’ll continue to hire… investing that time and money can be hard! I worked with friends at Catalyst Design & Photography in Rockford IL to come up with these tips on how to choose a photographer.

How to choose a photographer:

1. Meet your photographer in person

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My Child Ate….. (Now What?!) poison control resources

I think I’m pretty lucky that in my last 4.5 years of parenting two little ones, I’ve only had to deal with a “my child ate…” moment once. Rebecca grabbed a sunscreen stick and, thinking it was chap stick, put it on her lips and then continued to put it IN her mouth. I think she barely ate any, but still, as a parent you have that NOW WHAT?! moment.

Yea, ya see “poop” on that image above? Not here (KNOCK ON SOME

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