06.22.2017

11 Simple Items to pack for a Pool day with Toddlers (Plus 7 Healthy Snack Ideas)

Vivian Poolside

A Day at the Pool

Spending the day by the pool is what the littles and I do best. We have a community pool and we use it daily. It’s just two blocks from our house, so we load up the stroller and walk. Having things for the pool that fit in our stroller basket is essential! I only have so many hands to get two toddlers, myself and all our pool stuff there and back without a meltdown (on my behalf!) Even though we are just a walk from the house I always want Henry and Vivian to have the option of a healthy snack.  Below you can find seven of our favorite healthy snacks (toddler and mom approved!)

UPPAbaby Vista Stroller

I have to mention our stroller has a huge basket below which makes it really easy to bring everything we need for the pool.  We have the UPPAbaby Vista stroller and have the rumble seat to make it a double stroller (it’s the best!)

Packing' for the Pool

Pool Essentials

Cute Swimwear- Obviously, looking cute by the pool is our main priority.  Minnow is one of our favorite swimwear shops for littles! Their Swimwear is made and designed in California and are to-die-for cute! For more options, here is my complete guide for Baby and Toddler Swimwear.

Baby/Toddler Unicorn Float- There are a million and one baby floats to choose from, but what makes this unique is it doesn’t take much to blow up and its spring coil frame helps it fold back up into a small carrying case!

Sunscreen- Eczema/Sensitive skin friendly! Henry has severe eczema on his legs and we tried many different sunscreens (that dried out his skin and make his eczema even worse.)  This is what his allergist recommended and we really like this for both the kids bodies!

Sunscreen Face Stick- I like to use this stick for their faces because it’s easy to apply on squirmy babes!

Water Bottles- Cambelbak water bottles have been a lifesaver in keeping my littles hydrated! Even my exclusively breastfed toddler likes drinking water from her Camelback!

Life Jacket- Whoever invented the Puddle Jumper life jacket is genius! And I owe a big “thank you” to them! My toddler actually asks to wear his and loves swimming in it! The Puddle Jumper is Coast Guard approved and perfect for kids 30-50lbs.

Hooded Towel Cover Up’s- These are awesome because they can still walk without the towel dragging on the ground and it’s easy to get them buckled in the stroller if you’re headed home!

Swim Diapers- I’ve tried the reusable swim diapers and they aren’t for me.  Huggies Little Swimmers is the brand I trust for zero leaks and swelling.

Pool Toys- Below are our favorite three:

Water Squirter

Pool Balls

Sifting Funnel  (Vivian’s Favorite!)

Vivian with Watermelon

 

Poolside Snack Ideas

Carrots and Hummus

Fruit Kabobs

Mini Cucumbers (they have no seeds!) and Dip

Turkey and Cheese Roll-ups

Roasted Chickpeas (my favorite!)

Pretzels with Laughing Cow Cheese

Chunky Monkey Banana Popsicles

Henry’s Boardies

Vivian’s Bandeau Bikini 

 

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06.17.2017

Summer Time Twisted Pigtail Braid Tutorial

Summer Time Braid Tutorial

Summer Time Hair Style

I’m a huge fan of throwing on a hat (baseball cap or sunhat) to hide hair that isn’t perfect looking or hasn’t been washed in a few days.  This is one of my favorite braid styles this summer especially when I don’t feel like spending too much time on my hair, but want something more than a bun on top of my head.  The hat I have on in the pictures below, $5 for Target ‘dollar spot,’ score!

Step-by-Step Guide:

step by step braid guide1. Don’t worry about your hair being washed or perfect (the “dirtier” the better, it will hold the braid!)  Separate your hair into two even sections aka pigtails.  Leave out any hair in the front that you want to stay out.

 

step by step braid guide

2. Above the first binder separate your hair into two parts, loop the pony tail through the part and pull completely through.  Do this to both pigtails.

 

step by step braid guide

3. Add another binder about an inch below the first binder and separate into two parts.

 

step by step braid guide

4. Pull the end of the pony tail completely through. Repeat this step over and over until you are at the end of your pigtail. Now, repeat those same steps on your second pigtail!

 

step by step braid guide

5. Once both your pigtails are “braided,” loosely pull apart your hair (starting from the top.)  This will make your pigtails appear more full!

 

step by step braid guide

6. Voila! You’te done, toss on a hat or rock them the way they are!

 

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06.03.2017

The Ultimate Amazon Prime Father’s Day Gift Guide

fathers day gift guide

This post contains affiliate links.

Free 2-Day Shipping & Everything Under the Sun

I always tease my husband that he loves shopping more than I do.  Almost every day a package arrives that he ordered from Amazon using our free 2-day shipping feature, which I must admit is Ah-mazing!  Especially, when you’re like me and wait till last minute to buy a gift, oops. When you’re my husband you use it for everything from batteries to a belt organizer (these are two things that arrived at our house this week.)

I must admit, our Prime membership pays for itself within a few weeks easily. If you don’t have it yet, you can get a free 30-day trail, here.  Or, take the plunge (and thank me later) and sign up for Amazon Prime, here.

Gift Guide

Back to why you’re here, Father’s Day gift ideas.  Below is what my husband recommends to all women out there struggling to find the perfect Father’s Day gift, from the Amazon Prime expert himself.

$25 and Under Father's Day Gifts

Gifts $25 and Under

1.AmazonBasics Capacitive Stylus for Touch Screen Devices ($7.95)

2.Baxter of California Men’s Exfoliating Bar ($17)

3.Cards Against Humanity ($25)

4.YETI Rambler 20oz Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulted Tumbler with Lid ($22.49)

5.K. Bell Socks Men’s Food and Drink Novelty Crew Socks ($11.40) 

6.Tommy Hilfiger Men’s Tristan Dad Baseball CapTommy Hilfiger Men’s Tristan Dad Baseball Cap ($19.99)

7.Lacoste Men’s 3-Pack Essentials Cotton Trunk ($23.99)

$25-$100 Father's Day Gifts

Gifts $25-$100

1.TaylorMade 2017 TP5 Golf Balls- One Dozen ($44.99)

2.Adidas Defender II Duffel Bag- Jersey Onix Medium ($40)

3.Tile Mate 1-pack and Tile Mate Adhesive 3-pack Bundle ($32.98)

4.Fossil Men’s Kenny Rfid Large Coin Pocket Bifold ($65)

5.Nike Men’s Roshe Two Running Shoe Black ($80-$85)

6.Bevel Shave System Kit ($75.17)

7.Original Penguin Men’s Earl Polo ($48.12)

$100 and up Fathers Day Gifts

Gifts $100 & Up

1.Kindle PaperWhit Bundle ($199.97)

2.Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones, Noise Cancelling – Black ($349)

3.Weber 47510001 Spirit E310 Natural Gas Grill, Black ($547.69)

4.Hammaka Trailer Hitch Stand and Cradle Chairs Combo – Blue ($219.99)

5.DEWALT DCF885C2 20-Volt MAX Lithium Ion 1/4-Inch 1.5 Ah Impact Driver Kit ($167.99)

6.TCL 55S405 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV (2017 Model) ($499.99)

7.Fitbit Blaze Smart Fitness Watch, Black, Silver, Large (US Version) ($198.95)

 

Other Posts You May Like:

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05.31.2017

Show Off Those Shoulders: 10 Off-the-Shoulder Tops Under $40

must have off the shoulder tops for chic moms under $40

Finding the Perfect Summer Top

Summer is (unofficially) here and shoulders are ready to be shown off!  I don’t think there is anything more feminine than showing off a little shoulder and totally “mom appropriate!”  Chasing around little ones and need something with a little more support?  Check out the ‘Cold Shoulder’ style, you’ll love it! Oh, and did I mention they are all under $40, score!

 

Forever21 Crochet off-th-shoulder top

Forever 21; Crochet Off-the-Shoulder Top ($17.90)

 

Francescas Boutique Dale Cold Shoulder Ruffle Button Down Top

Francesca’s: Oxford Blue Cold Shoulder Ruffle Button Down Top ($34.00)

 

 

Provence Off The Shoulder Top Lavender

Primp Boutique: Provence Off the Shoulder Top Lavender ($34.00)

 

 

Ruby Claire Boutique Madrid Top

Ruby Claire Boutique: Madrid Top ($37.00)

 

 

The Blue Door Boutique Striped and Slanted Top

The Blue Door Boutique: Striped and Slanted Top ($29.00)

 

 

HM Knit open-Shoulder Sweater

H&M: Knit Open-Shoulder Sweater (34.99)

 

Zara Off-the-shoulder womens blouse

Zara: Off-the-Shoulder Blouse ($39.90)

 

Lulu's Fashions Lounge Got Me Movin' Golden Yellow Off-The-Shoulder-Top

Lulu’s Fashion Lounge: Got Me Moving Golden Yellow Off-The-Shoulder Top ($28)

 

Vici Eva Off The Shoulder Ruffle Top

Vici: Eva Off The Shoulder Ruffle Top ($38)

Madewell Denim Azalea off the shoulder top

Madewell: Denim Azalea Off-the-Shoulder Top ($39.99)

 

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05.22.2017

Baby Girls Nursery Reveal: A Soft & Feminine Floral Nursery

Soft & Feminine Nursery Pin Pinterest Baby Girls Nursery Reveal Soft Feminine Floral Nursery

A huge thank you to DaVinci Baby, Delta Children, UrbanWalls, Caden Lane, Safavieh, and Blue House Joys for sponsoring this post.

Before Nursery Reveal

The Big Nursery Reveal

Since our move, I’ve slowly been working on the nursery and over the past couple weeks I feel it’s really come together.  I envisioned a soft and feminine floral nursery, and here it is! Our Vivian is not a tiny baby anymore. (*Tears*) I wanted her nursery to be functional and be able to grow with her.  Above is what the room looked like when we moved in (it was a teenage boys room, if you couldn’t tell.)  Also, take note of the outdated ceiling fan.

Closest doors before

UrbanWalls Peonies Baby Girls Nursery Reveal Soft Feminine Floral Nursery

 

Paint Color, Trim & Wall Decals

There is only one window in the nursery, by choosing Sherwin Williams ‘Spinach White’ it kept the room feeling light and airy.  After painting I still felt that the oak trim was too dark and I decided to go ahead and paint the trim and closet doors white.  I am so happy I did! It changed the whole look of the room (for the better!) Apologies to our cat and kids, I went ahead and did our whole house, but thats for another post…

After painting the nursery and the trim, I was still looking for something to make the nursery unique.  I looked into wallpaper, but felt defeated.  Every style that I was interested in was extremely expensive and to be honest I’ve never applied wallpaper and wasn’t sure I would be able to up to quality.  This would mean an added cost of hiring a professional. That’s when I came across UrbanWalls.  Their giant peony decals were everything I was looking for. What you see in the nursery is a full order of peonies for a fraction of the price of wallpaper and I applied them by myself with no problems!

Paint Color: Sherwin Williams ‘Spinach White’

Trim Color: Behr Ultra Pure White

Wall Decals: UrbanWalls Full Set ‘Peonies’

Crib Bedding & Nursery Furniture

While choosing furniture I tried to find pieces that can grow with Vivian.  The Jenny Lind Crib can convert into a toddler bed and day bed. Also, Her dresser is neutral and will work with her room even if we change things up as she grows. Most of all a comfortable and quality rocker was important to me because Vivian still gets up multiple times at night to nurse.  Having a comfortable place to sit and feed your baby (bottle or breast) is so important!  I’m not alone in stating that adorable crib bedding is a must.  In our nursery at our old house we also had Caden Lane bedding, so I knew exactly where I would shop for new bedding!

Crib Sheet: ‘Cora’ Collection Taupe Dot

Lace Crib Skirt:  Double Ruffle Vintage Lace ‘Cora’ Collection

Rocker: Delta Children-Emma in Dove Grey

Crib: DaVinci Baby Jenny Lind White

Dresser: Kalani 6 drawer white

Reading Nook & Canopy

The canopy & reading nook is Vivian’s favorite part of her room (Henry also likes to hide and read in the canopy!)  I hung the book sling at her height and she loves picking out her own books, it’s so cute! By adding the floral garland around the top of the canopy, it helped separate the canopy from the curtains and added just a little more feminine touch to the whole reading nook.

Lights in Childrens Canopy

night time reading nook

**Add battery-operated twinkling lights to the inside of the canopy to create a favorite night time reading spot!

Play Canopy in White

Book Sling in Subtle Gold Shimmer(Mini)

Creme Magnolia Garland

 

Finishing Touches

The nursery has carpet flooring, but by adding a lighter shag rug on top of the carpet it added texture and warmth to the room. Also, the light in the room was lackluster to say the least (an older fan with a plain “boob” light.)  By changing out the light to a neutral colored beaded chandelier it pulled the whole room together. Lighting is something I think a lot of people forget about or try to avoid changing out, but it really updates (or dates) a room.  Some the last things I added to the room were pictures, throw pillows, fresh flowers, a lamp and a night light.  Finally, don’t skip on a side table next to the rocker, as every parent will need a spot to set down their coffee, water, or book.

Grey Beaded Chandelier

Sweet Dreams’ throw pillow

‘Snow’ Shag Rug

Side Table

 

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05.16.2017

Tips For Choosing a Quality Battery-Operated Children’s Car

Tips for Finding aBattery-OperatedKids Car

 

Kids Vintage Mercedes Battery CarThis is not a sponsored post, but may contain affiliate links.

Birthday Present or Bust

For Henry’s second birthday Derek and I decided to get him a battery operated car/truck.  I have to say my husband did a great job into looking into reviews and things to look for to find a quality battery operated kids vehicle.  Below are my (his) best tips and also a link to the car we chose.

Henry and Vivian Last Summer

This was the day Henry got his car (August ’16) he would be two in just a few days.  And cue the tears, Vivian was just little peanut, where did my little gremlin baby go?!

Two Toddlers Driving Mercedes Vintage Battery Car

One Seater or Two

One of the first things you need to decide is if you are looking for a single driver car or two seater.  To be upfront and honest, our car is not meant to be a two seater.  We were looking for two seater when we bought Henry’s car and this car is a bit deceiving because it has two fake seats for looks, but the car is small and the steering wheel is in the middle.  We asked the seller; and they told us it could fit two small children.  Luckily, Vivian is a peanut and can squeeze next to Henry just fine.

Kids Battery Operated Car Remote for Adults

Age Appropriate

I was confident that Henry would know how to drive the car, but oh, I was wrong! I’m so happy my husband convinced me otherwise and we picked out a car that came with a remote. I didn’t even know this was a thing!  Also, Henry is tall for his age and I didn’t think height was going to be an issue, but even if he knew how to drive he could barley touch the pedal.  The remote for anyone with a child under 2.5 is a lifesaver!

Vintage Mercedes Kids Power Wheels

Size Matters

Get your head out of the gutter, I’m talking about batteries.  I had no idea there are different sized batteries for kids cars.  6V or 12V. Our little car has a 12V and I am so happy as it can drive on grass without stopping, we can go on a long walk without the battery dying, and it can make it up a paved hill.  After reading many reviews I have come to the conclusion that a 6V battery car is only meant for driving on a flat paved surface for 15 minutes at a time.  If your looking for more, 12V is for you.

Mercedes Vintage Kids ride-on

Accessories

Who knew kids ride-on battery cars had accessories?  A real radio? Check. Flashing Lights? Check. MP3 slot? Check. Trunk for storing toys? Check.  I’m not saying these things are important, but they are fun and I’m not going to lie, I enjoy listening to the radio when we go for long walks/drives. Here is a little clip from my Instagram “stories” of us enjoying the radio (Any Ed Sheeran fans?)

Mercedes Vintage Power wheels kids driving

The Right Price

Shop around, especially online, as most places offer free shipping too!  I’ve found Amazon is easy to find a lot of options and even easier to compare prices.  Our car was purchased from off of Amazon, it wasn’t eligible for Amazon Prime 2-day shipping, but it came within a week or so and was still free! We scored our car for $217.97 including shipping.

 

Recommended Cars

Our exact car is currently out of stock on amazon, but I’ll keep an eye on it and post here if it comes back!   I’ve linked a few other cars that are the same brand, a great price, and have the same accessories and power as our car.

 

 

Mercedes Benz SLR Kids Car

Mercedes Benz SLR Kids Convertible ($229.99)

Aosom 12V Land Rover Defender Kids Electric Ride On Car with MP3 and Remote Control - Black

Land Rover Defender Kids SUV ($289.99)

Mercedes-Benz 722S Kids 12V Electric Ride On Toy Car w/ Parent Remote Control - Red by Aosom

Mercedes Benz 722S Kids Car ($249.99)

 

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05.10.2017

How to Create an Outdoor Living Oasis

How to Turn Your Patio Into an Outdoor Oasis

Extra Living Space, Yes Please.

With spring here we are spending every second we can enjoying the sunshine.  Last year, when we moved into our new home it was late August and our patio was the last “room” I was thinking about.  We had a small patio table and chairs out there and didn’t end up spending too much time out there (probably because it was unwelcoming and we had no privacy from our neighbors.)

This spring I made it my goal to create an outdoor living space that our whole family would enjoy spending time hanging out in.  I knew we needed more privacy and wanted it to feel cozy, yet kid friendly.

Starting from Scratch

Before Patio

Our blank canvas was a small pavered patio. I decided to go with more of a seating/lounging area rather then an eating space.  This is the four piece set from Safavieh, just like any room inside make sure the furniture isn’t going to overpower the space.

Safavieh Patio Furniture

 

Can We Get a Little Privacy?

One side of our patio looks directly at our neighbors patio making it feel like we have little privacy, especially when they are outside.  Creating an outdoor privacy screen changed the whole look and feel of the patio.  For under $75 I created the one below (and it was super easy!) I’ll be sharing a DIY on this shortly!

Creating an Outdoor Privacy Screen

Going Green

I really wanted a raised garden bed on our patio to grow a few veggies and herbs.  I looked at many home improvement stores, but was disappointed in price and selection.  That’s when my sister and I decided to tackle it ourselves, we drew up our plans, headed over to home depot, and built our three tiered raised flower bed.  The best part is, we built it for under $40 (a single raised flower bed at the store was $150!)  I’ll also be sharing the DIY on this shortly too because it’s a must!

Three Tiered Raised Flower Bed

The raised flower bed added color to our patio, but to create an oasis-like feel I had to add more.  I added two hanging fern baskets, flowers, succulents, a potted plant from ikea (only $12) and clematis (climbing vine) that grows purple flowers and should climb up the trellis and create even more privacy.

Kid-Friendly

We specifically went with furniture that didn’t have sharp corners or a glass top coffee table to keep the patio kid-friendly.  I also didn’t want toys to take over the whole space (like everywhere else in our house…)  Trying to avoid a mess of toys, I took our old butcher block from Ikea that was collecting dust in the storage closet and stained it the same color I used on the flower bed.  y adding two plastic bins to get on the shelves that the kids could keep their outdoor toys in it became a great storage piece.  I also poked holes in the bottom of the bins so rain water drains out of them.

Butcher Block Storage

Keeping it Cozy

I added two strands of patio lights, a rug, and throw pillows to complete our outdoor oasis.  The lighting is amazing at night and really makes it feel cozy in the evening.  Adding a rug and throw pillows added texture and warmth to the space, I was originally going to skip the rug, but it brings the whole space together and I’m so happy I didn’t skip it.

Finishing Touches

I’ve said it a million times, but I’m never really finished with a room.  I’m still thinking about adding a small grill, umbrella, or a gas fire pit table.  For now, I’ll just plan and browse until I find the right ones to add to our outdoor oasis.

Outdoor Patio Oasis

Products I Used

Patio Set 

Rug

Throw Pillows

Lights 

Butcher Block Storage

The plants came from a variety of stores including: Home Depot, Menards, Ikea, Green World Green Houses 

 

Other Posts You May Like:

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9 Ways Spring Motivates Moms to Live a Healthier and Happier Lifestyle

Outdoor Scavenger Hunt for Toddlers

 

04.12.2017

Outdoor Scavenger Hunt for Toddlers

Toddler Scavenger Hunt Outdoors

Getting Outside

If your toddler is full of energy like mine, you are so happy warmer weather is here! We’re making sure that we’re spending a lot of our time outside, but going to the park three times a day can get a little repetitive.  I decided to come up with a little scavenger hunt for Henry to do to switch up our daily routine.

Henry walking on Path

Creating the Scavenger Hunt List

Henry is only 2.5, so obviously it all had to be age appropriate.  I did add in a few numbers and shapes to the list to practice these with Henry during our scavenger hunt.  Below is our list; but don’t be afraid to add items that fit the area you’ll be in!  Colors are a good addition too, unfortunately it’s still pretty colorless here in Minnesota right now!

Scavenger Hunt List

The Hunt is On

I read the list to Henry and we headed down a path by our house to start our scavenger hunt.  I let him lead and explore and every once and awhile I reminded him of things we were looking for.  It was fun to see him find things, ask questions, and tell me about them.

Get the Most Out of Your Scavenger Hunt

Here are a few tips that made our scavenger hunt a success:

  1. Let your little one lead!
  2. Ask them questions about colors, sounds, texture etc.
  3. Remind them of the things you’re looking for, but don’t be afraid to stray from the list.
  4. If you have another sibling along, ask them to teach the sibling about what they find.
  5. Give encouragement and show lots of excitement!

Outfit Details

Henry’s Jeans // Henry’s Moccs // Viv’s Moccs // Viv’s Headband // Henry’s Jacket //

** I purchased Vivian’s dress when I was pregnant with her from Gap, unfortunately it is no longer available.

Other Posts You May Like:

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What It’s Really Like with Two Under Two

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04.03.2017

Cute Swimsuits for Toddlers and Babies

Cute Swimwear for Babies &Toddlers

Fun in the Sun

No one else can pull of thigh rolls and a dimpled butt quite like your little one!  That’s what makes swimsuit shopping for them a blast. It’s almost that time of year again where my kids practically turn into fish and/or crustaceans. They grow so fast that every season we invest in a few new suits because they’re practically lived in during the summer. Here are few of my absolute favorite swimwear for little boys & girls! All these shops have other styles too, so don’t forget to check out their whole line of little swimwear!

Minnow Swim

// Buttercream Tie Back Bikini Set // Boys Buttercream Boards //

Rylee & Cru

// Tigers One-Piece // Stars Swim Trunk //

Retro Baby Swimwear 

// Boy Parrot Swim Shorts // Palm Print Girls Swimsuit //

 

 

Tea Collection 

// Shell Beach One-Piece // Winkipop Rash Guard One-Piece //

Olivia + Ocean 

// Yellow One-Piece // Venice Swim Shorts //

Boden Kids

// Floral Rash Guard Two-Piece // Gingham Baby Bathers //

Gap Kids

// Ruffle White One-Piece // Stripe Swim Briefs //

Other Posts You May Like:

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04.02.2017

Free People Look-A-Like Sun Dress for a Fraction of the Price

Shopping on Pinterest

I am constantly looking for outfit inspiration on Pinterest.  But, there is nothing worse then coming across something you fall in love with and then its:

  1. Sold Out
  2. Not linked to anything & no information is given on the brand or store

That’s when I came across the Free People ‘Bloom Dress,’  immediate heart eyes, I needed it in my life.  That’s when I looked and it was sold out everywhere, like seriously, I searched high and low and couldn’t find it in stock anywhere!

ruthie grace boutique

Finding a Look-a-Like

The stars aligned and I came across a look-a-like of the Free People ‘Bloom Dress.’  Dare I say I actually liked it more, it was over half the price, and it was in stock (and still is!)  Head over to Ruthie Grace Boutique to scoop up this dress for under $60!

It’s the perfect dress to dress up or down, wedges, sneakers, clogs, or heels.  This dress can rock it all!

Free People Bloom Dress Look a Like

Playing Trucks with Henry Playing with Henry Outside Sun Dress with Baby Sun Dress Holding Vivian

Outfit Details:

Sun Dress // Sneakers // Hat // Kids Moccs // Vivian’s Dress // Henry’s Shorts // Henry’s Tee

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