summer clothes for boys!

One of the most frequently asked questions I get in emails and blog comments is, “Where do you shop for your boys?”

I have to admit that when I first found out that I was expecting a boy when I was pregnant with Hudson, I didn’t really know where to start. I’ve written before about shopping for a baby boy, which is really oh so much fun! You can read that post here. Most of my choices for baby boys have stayed the same over the last four years. (Four years! How did that happen?)

So I just thought I’d share some of my favorite brands and places to shop for my little guys. Now that Hayes is a full blown toddler (wearing a size 2T and 3T) and Hudson is a preschooler, my shopping choices have changed a little bit.

The most wonderful thing about when boys start to wear separates in the summer (as opposed to John Johns and bubbles), is that they can wear them for at least two seasons. Hudson is even wearing some clothes this summer that I bought for him when he turned 2! (When they lose that baby belly, the shirts can be worn longer and the shorts start below the knee and end up slightly above the knee, which I think is so cute!)

boys swimwear

 

For swimwear, I have found some really cute things. Hayes wears Hudson’s hand-me-downs, of course. But Hudson has some suits this year from Vineyard Vines, Ragsland, and Shrimp & Grits Kids. I also found a pair of matching swim trunks from Zulily that I purchased with credits. Another great brand is Funtasia Too! They usually have really cute appliqué tees that go with the swim trunks.

I prefer shorter trunks for little boys, as opposed to board shorts or trunks that come past the knee. Just my personal preference.

kelly's kids boys

 

Another one of my absolute favorite resources for shopping for my boys is Kelly’s Kids. I wore Kelly’s Kids when I was little and my boys wear it, too. I think the quality is absolutely fantastic. It’s a little bit pricey, but like I said before, when they’re wearing separates, they can wear them for at least two summers. And then Hayes gets Hudson’s hand-me-downs.

I love these matching brother outfits! Hayes still wears John Johns and shortalls for Sundays, but I mostly keep him in separates during the week.

kelly's kids boys 2

 

Another couple of adorable Kelly’s Kids outfits for this summer. Those white shorts are one of my favorite things. You can cinch up the waist and let it out so they can wear it for a couple of years. And I love that I can mix and match the shorts with different color polos.

mini boden choices for boys

 

We just love Mini Boden. I love the big appliqué tees, the soft pullovers, the comfortable polos, and even the cute little soft shorts. (I like shorter shorts on little boys just because their legs are so short and Mini Boden does have a few options for shorter shorts for boys.)

ragsland boys

I always joke that my boys wear a little uniform of white appliqué tees and gingham seersucker shorts. I also love little smocked tee shirts. It’s says “little boy” without being too stuffy and it’s easy for them to play. Ragsland has a fantastic selection of separates and absolutely adorable clothes.

honey bee tees boy clothes

Perhaps my absolute favorite place to shop for summer play clothes for my boys is Honey Bee Tees. Darby’s blog, Fly Through Our Window, is one of my all time favorites, and her shop is also a favorite. The t-shirts are so soft and I just love the sweet, simple designs. And that red crab hat has hardly left Hudson’s head so far this summer!

vineyard vines boys

 

One of my favorites for Hudson has been Vineyard Vines. It is definitely pricey, but we got him a couple of button down shirts, a couple pair of chinos, and he just alternates those for Sunday mornings. I also love pairing the button down shirt with those awesome white shorts from Kelly’s Kids. And that Vineyard Vines Shep pullover is the absolute cutest thing! Hudson loves his VV t-shirts to wear to the pool and just around the yard on Saturdays.

 

Other Great Resources

I also love to shop through my friend, Ashley’s shop, She She Made. She makes the most adorable custom outfits for boys and girls, but I have especially loved the separates she has done for Hayes over the last year. So cute! (She also has a Facebook page where she hosts sales and you can follow her on Instagram @sheshemade.)

Another couple of great resources for basic polos, solid tees, and solid shorts (that aren’t too long) are GAP and Old Navy. I’m really particular about pants, but every boy needs a pair of comfortable khaki shorts and just some basic tee shirts.

I go to a lot of trunk shows in the spring and fall and that’s where we get most of our boys’ clothes. My favorites are Hannah Kate, Kelly’s Kids, Shrimp & Grits Kids, Blessed Be The Name, and Orient Expressed.

So I think I’ve successfully shared my favorites for shopping for boys. I’m super thankful that we have two boys and all the boys clothes make their way through two little guys!

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Read, Build, & Win!

I am so excited about today’s review and giveaway! This review was really done by Hudson, so that’s what has me so excited. Hudson is in this really fun stage where he is just a sponge. He never stops talking. He loves hands-on activities and loves to make things. He loves to learn, and he especially loves to read!

Hudson and I were given the opportunity to review the new LEGO DUPLO Read & Build Set. LEGO DUPLO is introducing its new line of Read & Build products. These sets come with bricks (or LEGOs) that allow preschool aged kids like Hudson to engage with the book storyline in a hands on way, which helps them learn to read.

The set comes in a box with a sturdy board book and twelve bricks. Hudson absolutely loves books and he loves to build things. He is constantly stacking things and using LEGO bricks at home. So I knew he would get so excited about this set!

He immediately wanted to start putting things together using the bricks, so I started reading the book to him. The story was about a girl named Penny and a boy named Joe. Penny needed an airplane, and the story told us how to put together the airplane. It shows you the picture of all the different bricks you need and how to put them together.

It was so simple that Hudson was able to figure out how to do it by himself. And he was so very excited that he built something that looked exactly like what he saw in the book! He kept walking around showing everyone the picture of the airplane in the book and showing us that he made one that looked just like it.

Then we built the car for Joe. Hudson kept wanting to play with the airplane and the car, but he only wanted to play with them if we could read the book at the same time. I’m excited that Hudson is learning more and more about reading. He recognizes some sight words and has learned all of his phonics over the last year. It’s fun to show him new ways to learn to read, so I’m really happy that LEGO DUPLO has introduced this new product line to help engage kids with reading.

For a chance to win a $100 LEGO gift card, tell me how do you think Lego Duplo Read & Build will help your child learn to read?

Visit LEGO.com to see other Read & Build sets and order online. Check out BlogHer.com to find other reviews and more ways you can enter to win.

Sweepstakes Rules:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
b) Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 7/11 – 8/19/12.

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the boy mom’s bookshelf

I have a thing for other boy moms. If I hear someone say that they have all boys, I want to be her friend. I want to pick her brain and share stories and laugh and cry and sip Diet Cokes. I just think there’s something that boy moms share.

And today I wanted to share what our favorite “boy books” are. I’ve had to learn a lot of this stuff along the way. Some of my favorite books for Hudson and Hayes were some of my favorite books. But there are a lot of great books for boys that I’d never heard of before having my own boys.

We love to read books, so please chime in and let me know what your favorite boy books are. And if you’re a girl mom, go ahead and list your favorite books, too, so the other girl moms can find them in the comments.

In the beginning, when Hudson was a baby, we read Goodnight Moon about 10 times a day. He loved it so much and still sometimes asks for it. He knew it by heart. Hayes’s bed time book is Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See?

The Little Blue Truck is our current favorite. Our boy book flavor of the week, you could say.

How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight, How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon, and How Do Dinosaurs Go to School (and there are many more of the How Do Dinosaurs… books that I’d love to add to our collection)

Chugga Chugga Choo Choo, not to be confused with Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, which is also a great book that we love

The Matthew Van Fleet books are all great, but we love Dog and Heads

Two great lift-the-flap books are Elmo’s Big Lift and Look Book and Little People Let’s Go To The Farm

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and If You Give a Cat a Cupcake (We have all of the books in this series, but these two are Hudson’s favorites)

Of course we love Green Eggs and Ham and my childhood favorite, The Cat In The Hat Comes Back

Eight Silly Monkeys

The Jan Pienkowski books were favorites of mine as a kid, even though the pop up illustrations are kind of scary. Hudson loves Dinnertime and Little Monsters

This Is My Tractor is lots of fun and has a little button that makes a tractor sound. Fun!

We also love all of the Karen Katz books and the Fiona Watt “That’s Not My…” books for babies. And Hayes’s current favorite book is Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?

So, boy moms, what are you favorite books? We need more animal, dinosaur, and transportation books. And girl moms, share your favorites, too!

 

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Selecting the Diaper Bag

 

One of the things I was most excited about when I found out I was pregnant with Hudson was getting to pick out a diaper bag. For some, it’s just a diaper bag. But for me, it was another excuse to buy an accessory. And I knew that this particular accessory and I would be spending a lot of time together over the years. I had a solid list of the things I wanted in my diaper bag.

I wanted it to be stylish. And I wanted it to match my style. I didn’t want a baby bag. I wanted a bag that I would enjoy carrying. After all, it wasn’t going to be my baby’s accessory, it was my accessory. It needed to be neutral enough to match my ever-changing wardrobe. I didn’t want a pink or blue bag that screamed “baby.”

While I wanted my bag to be stylish, I wanted it to be practical. I wanted to buy an actual diaper bag. It was important to me that I could empty the bag and wipe it out with a wet wipe to clean it all out. If a bottle or sippy cup spilled in the bag, I didn’t want to be crying because my bag was ruined! I wanted it to be designed to handle any messes that come from baby and toddler gear.

It needed to be slightly man-friendly. There would be the chance that Todd would have to carry it on occasion, so I wanted him to feel comfortable carrying it. But I still wanted it to be stylish for me. The bag needed to be comfortable. It was really important to me to go to the store and try the bag on. It needed to feel comfortable on my shoulder and needed to have easy access. So I pretended to hold a baby with my right arm while the bag sat on my left shoulder. I attempted to access the inside of the bag while just using my left hand and not using my right hand. Some of my favorite bags were a tote style, and I couldn’t get inside the bag without taking it off my arm.

The final thing I was looking for was lots of pockets. I need to be able to put my keys and cell phone in an outside pocket so I can easily access them. I also wanted to have two outside pockets for bottles or sippy cups. Inside the bag, I wanted at least one zipper pocket and then two or three more pockets/compartments to help organize and divide up the necessities.

I ultimately decided that a stylish, nylon-lined, messenger-style bag was the perfect one for me. It was a little bit man-friendly. The black and white pattern was neutral enough to go with lots of different outfits. The inside is nylon, so it could be easily wiped out when messes occur. The flap closure and long shoulder strap make it extremely easy to access while I hold one of my kids with the other arm. There are plenty of pockets for keys, cell phones, bottles on the outside and lots of great pockets on the inside. I’ve carried this bag every single day for the last three years. I still love it!

What kind of diaper bag did you look for? What was most important to you when choosing a bag?

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