Are you planning a Nashville road trip with kids?  I’ve got all the tip and tricks for a successful road trip to Nashville including where to stay, where to eat, and more.

Nashville Road Trip with Kids

This year, we kicked off the boys’ summer break with a trip to Nashville. Nashville is a city close to my heart because I’ve been there on several girls’ weekends. It’s a place I knew my kids would love, so I new we couldn’t go wrong.  What made it even better, was Nashville was on the way to Gulf Shores, Alabama, where we were going for a beach vacation.

Nashville mural

Nashville Road Trip – Kid-friendly Activities

After the four-hour drive from St. Louis, we wasted no time heading straight to one of Nashville’s top attractions for families: the Adventure Science Center. It was a great choice for sure!  After being cooped up in the car for so long, my boys ran from one side of the science center to the other. The science center has a ton of hands-on and interactive activities for kiddos of all ages!

Mason’s favorite thing to do was pretending to drive the ambulance, while Logan was fascinated by the exhibit that allowed him to imagine what it would be like to walk on the moon.

Adventure Science Center

The next day we did the Hop on/Hop off Trolley tour of Nashville. If you choose to do this, here’s a tip: tickets for this are less expensive if you purchase online or over the phone than at the ticket booth.

Trolley Nashville

The first time I saw the trolley on previous visits to Nashville, I was dying to get the boys on it.    I knew they would love it and then we have loads of options to explore.  We boarded the trolley at Downtown Broadway. Our first stop was at the Nashville Farmers Market, where there’s plenty of fresh food for sale. There’s a ton of different food vendors, and we went with a brick-oven pizza, which was delicious!

Nashville Parthenon

Next, we stopped at the Nashville Parthenon, which looks exactly like the Parthenon in Greece. It’s an art museum on the inside, with lots of beautiful grounds on the outside, including a playground and lots of open fields. Finally, we stopped at the Gulch to get pics at the famous wings mural, which is just one of many fun murals in Nashville.

Wings mural

Some other fun kid-friendly ideas that we had on our list but swimming at the Drury indoor/outdoor pool won out :  

Nashville Zoo

Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge

The Ryman Tour

Another tip when traveling with kids:  Be flexible.  I had a lot of things planned but ultimately they were begging to swim and Mason fell asleep on the trolley.

Nashville Road Trip – Where We Stayed:  

When it comes to lodging, I’m very particular.  We look for certain amenities that will make the vacation easier for all of us. A hotel breakfast is super important to my kids, and it saves us from having to eat out and spend a lot of money on food the kids may or may not eat. And I like having a separate bedroom with a door, so I’m not forced to go to bed at the same time as the kids. Also, the boys insist on the hotel to have a pool, which is fine by me so they can burn off all their energy.  

I was thrilled to partner with  Drury Plaza Hotel in Franklin, Tennessee, because it was the perfect fit for us.  We absolutely loved it!  Located just 15-20 minutes south of downtown Nashville, so you won’t have any parking hassles or late-night party scene.

The first thing you notice when you enter is the amazing lobby. It’s grand, yet welcoming.  And every afternoon, the scent of fresh popcorn wafts through the air, enticing guests both young and old, to stop and enjoy a quick afternoon snack.

Our room was clean and updated. There was a fridge microwave and sink in the bar area. The bathroom was spacious, featuring a gigantic tub and separate shower, toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, and body wash) in large dispensers inside the shower.  (Check out my Instagram story by clicking the “highlight” button to see the full video)

While our room was wonderful, we certainly not prepared for the value of the breakfast at Drury. There was no shrink-wrapped, slapped-together convenience food—it was a full-blown breakfast with anything you could want!  They served a full spread of hot foods like eggs, biscuits and gravy and sausage and potatoes. Then there was a huge selection of cereals, fresh cut fruit, and yogurt. They even had a station where you could get made-to-order pancakes and another where you could make your own waffles, which the boys loved. The food was all super fresh, and the Kelso Bros Coffee was piping hot.   

Drury breakfast

Another great feature was the pool. My kids love to swim no matter where we are, and the pool at Drury didn’t disappoint. It was heated, with a neat indoor/outdoor feature—where you could swim under a large partition to go from one side to another.  There also was a huge hot tub, and an endless supply of high-quality clean towels too.

Drury indoor/outdoor pool

Drury indoor/outdoor pool

What was our favorite thing about Drury? It definitely was something called “kickback hour”.  It’s every evening at  5:30, and to say that it exceeded our wildest expectations, would be putting it lightly.  Even though it’s considered a snack, it’s really more like a full-blown dinner.  It has a full spread of items like baked potatoes, pasta, chicken tenders, a nacho bar, hot dogs, and salad bar. I found this to be a nice touch, and an unexpected surprise, because going out to eat with the kids can be stressful and expensive!  Also, get this, adults can get THREE free drinks during kickback hour. Yes, you read that right, THREE!  Amazing!  

Drury kickback hour

Drury kickback hour

We absolutely LOVED Drury and can’t believe the value and quality offered,  and can’t wait to stay with them again. 

Nashville Road Trip – Where We Ate:

When traveling I like to find out what special food the area is known for.  In talking with some locals the Nashville foods to try are:  hot chicken, biscuits, sweet treats, BBQ, and goo goo cluster bars

Since we regularly ate a huge breakfast at the hotel and appetizers for dinner at the kickback hour, eating around Nashville was more for lunch and progressive-style snacking and treats.  Because vacation calories don’t count right?

Biscuit Love, Immensely popular, known for cuisine centered around biscuits.  Make sure to try a bonut, which is fried biscuit dough topped with Italian cream cheese.  Delish!

Bonut Biscuit Love

Biscuit Love Nashville

Five Daughters Bakery Try and tackle one of their 100 layer donuts, which is a hybrid of a croissant and donut.  Are you kidding me?!

Five daughters Nashville

5 daughters Nashville

Caviar and Bananas This gourmet market and cafe uses only fresh ingredients to deliver a tasty culinary experience.   The decor is as amazing as the food.  This place looks like its right out of a magazine.  Caviar and Bananas

Martin’s BBQ Their specialty item is a Redneck Taco, which is any of their hickory-smoked meats on a corn cake.  Yee haw!

Martin's BBQ Nashville

Other kid-friendly places we wanted to try but didn’t have time:  

Hattie B’s Hot Chicken If you never tried chicken and waffles, this is the place to give a whirl.  Also, the chicken comes in different spice levels; the hottest contains the fire-breathing ghost pepper.  Yikes! Note: When we stopped by this place there was a 45-minute wait outside the building. Be prepared to wait and have something to entertain the kids.  

The Grilled Cheeserie Its humble beginnings was as a popular Nashville food truck, whose menu was created by a master chef.  So, this isn’t your run of the mill sandwich.

The Aquarium Restaurant  A true underwater dining experience, as you’re surrounded by a 200,000-gallon saltwater aquarium.    

The Pancake Pantry You’ll get a full serving of Southern hospitality at this 50 plus year-old Nashville hot spot.

Overall Nashville is such a great town to explore with kids.  We had so much fun, and hope to be back soon.  I hope this helps you plan a fun trip there with your family.

Nashville mural

XOXO  Sarah

We were so grateful to partner with Drury Hotels for this trip, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Staying accountable to self-care over the summer.

Hey ladies.  I feel like I need a vacation from my vacation after being with my boys non-stop for 10 days.  We had so much fun but I’m exhausted.  Since a vacation is not possible my goal this week is all about self-care.  Can anyone relate?

Beach Vacay, Gulf Shores

A few weeks back I co-hosted a brunch for some other 1st-grade mom friends.  I wanted to have an activity that encouraged these moms to engage in a little self-care over the summer. As hectic as mom life is all year ‘round, somehow the summer months always seem to be the most frantic of all. If you’re a stay-at-home mom, you’re suddenly tasked with entertaining your school-aged kids all day, every day—no easy task! And if you’re a working mom, it’s a challenge; I literally made a spreadsheet of what camps Logan will be at each week. You’ve got to schedule camps, sitters, and activities to fill all those hours your kids used to be in school while you’re at work so they are not plugged into the TV all day!

Gladly designs

With all that madness going on, it’s so easy to put ourselves last. Many of us can’t remember the last time we took five minutes to decompress and just, well, think our thoughts. With that in mind, I partnered with Gladly Designs to create a stack of beautiful note cards for my event. Then, at the brunch, I handed a card to each mom and asked her to write down at least one personal goal she wanted to complete over the summer or a self-care task that she’d like to accomplish. Maybe that’s meeting up for a summer MNO happy hour, going to yoga, or getting a pedicure; whatever their goal was, I asked the moms to write it on their card, address it to themselves.

Gladly designs

Gladly designs

The activity was a challenge for some and fun for others.  I loved hearing what they are willing to commit to doing for themselves. At the end of the summer, I’ll mail each of the moms her card so she’ll get a chance to check in with herself and see if she completed her task. I can only hope that they all do.

My question for you is:  What self-care do you want to commit to doing for yourself this summer?  You deserve it.  Here are a few of mine:

Meet with my health coach
Try a new yoga class
Float in a float tank
Get a facial

Thank you to Gladly designs for partnering on this activity.  To see all her amazing design work check out the Etsy shop here and be sure to sign up for a discount coupon on your first order.

Below are a few things she designed for the party and if you missed the brunch details check them out here.

Gladly Designs

Gladly Designs

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On Sunday, May 6th, with the help of my fabulous co-hosts Jen Znosko, Amy Schuster, and Julie Fowler, I hosted a Mother’s Day brunch to benefit Westchester elementary.  It was a fun way to raise money for the school while also taking time to celebrate moms who work so hard for their families and communities. The goal of the party was to allow moms to have fun and celebrate Mother’s Day free of distractions for a few hours.

Just like the selfie scavenger hunt we hosted back in April, this was also a fundraising sign-up party. In honor of the beautiful spring weather, we created a light brunch menu. First up were some cute “mom-osas” served with pink-and-white straws and “spa” water (fruit-infused water). Along with plenty of brunch finger foods, a simply decadent chocolate tasting courtesy of Bissinger’s Chocolates was a perfect way to round out the menu.

Mom-osa brunch

We wanted to keep the brunch menu simple yet delicious, so we chose finger foods and appetizers that everyone was sure to enjoy. Nothing is more simple and scrumptious brunch food than skewers. You’ll see there were several on the Mother’s Day brunch menu, and they certainly didn’t disappoint!

Here’s what was on the menu:

“Mom-osas”

The perfect fun brunch drink to celebrate amongst fellow hard working moms.  The stunning signs were done by Elizabeth at Gladly Designs.

Mom-osa brunch

Momosa brunch

Spa Water

We loved having two different types of infused water to keep things fresh and light. My favorites were Detox Cucumber (cucumber infused water) and Citrus (oranges, lemons, and basil).  These H2Os were beautiful and refreshing!

Veggie Cups and Dip

Veggie cups

The veggie cups with dip were simple, delicious and healthy; a can’t-miss brunch food idea!  Simply put some dip in the bottom of clear plastic cups, then place carrot and celery sticks, broccoli and a tiny skewer of grape tomatoes in the cup on top of the dip. These made such a bright, colorful, and fun addition to our brunch food.

Bacon Skewers

Bacon Skewers

If you want an amazing brunch item that looks simple but is anything but simple in the taste department, then trust me—these bacon skewers MUST for your next gathering! They were spicy, sweet and simply amazing! Amy found these taste bud electrifiers on Pinterest, and I couldn’t stop eating them. Get the recipe here

Yogurt parfaits with Irene’s granola

Irene's granola parfait

Here’s another simple brunch food idea that was beautiful and easy to assemble. For our yogurt parfaits, we simply layered yogurt over fresh-cut fruit, then topped it off with Irene’s soft granola for a little bowl of heaven!  Irene’s granola is made locally in Kirkwood and is amazing.

Quiche

Momosa brunch

You can’t host a brunch without serving quiche, right? It’s a great brunch food since it’s filling, but pairs perfectly with finger foods and appetizers. For our quiche, we decided to offer some variety with a two-pack from Costco. We chose the spinach-artichoke and cheddar-broccoli flavors from La Terra Fina, and we were super pleased.  They were healthy and delicious!  Check out their site for a coupon.  My friend Jen said the spinach-artichoke dip is amazing.  I can’t wait to try that too!

Fruit Kabobs

fruit kabobs

Who doesn’t love a fruit kabobs?   These little gems were on our brunch menu! So light, so delicious, and so easy! Cut the fruit and skewer.

Donut Hole pops

Donut Pops

This was an easy brunch treat to assemble and provided such a fun presentation.  My friend Julie bought a box of Munchkins donut holes from Dunkin Donuts.  We skewered each one and served.  Perfection!

All these foods were super easy for a busy mom who doesn’t have time to be slaving away in the kitchen.  These would be great ideas if you are hosting a baby or wedding shower, graduation parties or having brunch with your favorite girls.  Whatever your event, this easy and simple menu will give you more time to toast with your friends.  Cheers!

XOXO

Sarah~

Special thanks to my co-hostesses Jen, Amy, and Julie.
The businesses who made this party special:  Elizabeth from Gladly designs for all the beautiful signs and food tents, Irene’s granola for the amazing granola.

Photos from @missverajeanae_

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Stikwood focal wall

Looking for an easy way to spruce up a boring wall?  Stikwood tiles is the perfect solution!   This easy DIY Stikwood Tile Focal Wall tutorial is the perfect way to transform a blank wall into a masterpiece.

A couple weeks ago I reached out to Stephanie Pohlman @stephniepohlmandesigns to discuss some spring updates for my home.  I definitely wanted to paint my front door, but also wanted Stephanie’s suggestions for a few more updates. Stephanie had made an Instagram post about these amazing wood focal walls she had done.  So, I asked her to bring some samples. As soon as I saw them in-person, I became obsessed, and knew this was the perfect product for my spring refresh!

Check out the before and after photos.

Before photo:

Living room before

After photos with the Stikwood tiles.

Stikwood wall

Stikwood is a peel-and-stick wood plank product that’s made from reclaimed lumber.  The company was started by Jerry and Laura McCall of Sacramento, California in 2012.  Jerry is a master woodworker, so the couple wanted to combine his skills with Laura’s creative vision to make an eye-catching décor product that also reuses natural resources.

Most U.S. family rooms have large flat screen TVs that dominate a wall.  While our family room has a mantle and fireplace directly under the TV, I still wanted another element that would direct visitor’s eyes away from the entertainment component.   

Stikwood was the perfect product!

Stikwood wall

While paint and wallpaper can add a perceived texture to walls, what I like best about Stikwood, is it adds physical texture which can’t be achieved with other products.  Monochromatic is very popular now in interior design, so that’s why I chose white to go with our mantle, and a herringbone design to make a big statement.  Go to Stikwood’s website to check out the wide variety of colors and textures available, all of which will add a lot of “wow” factor to your living space.  Stikwood has also been featured on HGTV’s show Property Brothers.  Stikwood products can only be purchased on the company’s website http://www.stikwood.com

Stikwood wall

While Stikwood is a D.I.Y. product, my obsession with herringbone required professional help to make it happen.  I chose to hire a local contractor to install it because I herringbone requires a lot of precise cutting, especially around windows and mantles.  If you live in the St. Louis metro area, I highly recommend One and Done Contracting. Their customer service and attention to detail were amazing!  Check out the time lapse video below to see the crew work their magic.

I was ecstatic with how everything turned out!  Plus, Stephanie helped me add some small details like new pillows, blanket ladder, ottomans and a fun chair that updated and pulled the room together.  It’s totally magazine-worthy room by my favorite designer Stephanie Pohlman.

Stikwood wall Stikwood wall

If you’re building or remodeling a home in the St. Louis area contact Stephanie to schedule a consultation.

Stephanie Pohlman Design: Phone: (314) 954-5095 

DEAL ALERT–Stephanie is offering a special for you to update any of your rooms with a:

1-hour consultation, mood board and links to items to purchase for your room for $125, just mention SarahOutandAbout

IG: @StephaniePohlmanDesigns | FB: StephaniePohlmanDesigns

If you want to get to know Stephanie better check out my mom to mom post on Stephanie.

One and Done Contracting: Phone: (314) 743-6657 | FB: OneAndDoneContracting

   

 

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Meet Stephanie Pohlman from Stephanie Pohlman Designs.
Stephanie has helped me design my entire home.  I love working with her because she designs for spaces that need to be, not only beautiful, but functional for my entire family.  Having two boys doesn’t mean I have to sacrifice on style.

Stephanie Pohlamn Designs

My name is Stephanie Pohlman, and I grew up in Saint Charles, MO!  Ever since “Trading Spaces” and “While you were out” aired on TLC in 2000, I have been obsessed with interior design. I went to Mizzou to follow my passion to be a designer and graduated in 2012. I worked for another designer and a builder before having my baby girl in January of 2017, which led me to start my own business.  After having my daughter, I realized I needed to have more flexibility and control my work hours.  I am married to my best friend, Matt and we have one little girl, Rey who is 15 months old!

Social handles:

IG: StepaniePohlmanDesigns
FB: Pohlman Designs on Facebook
Email: spohlmandesigns@gmail.com

Why/When did you start your Stephanie Pohlman Designs?

In 2016, I was working for a custom home builder part time and decided to start Stephanie Pohlman Designs on the side for some extra cash. After having my baby girl in January 2017, I decided it was the right time to start my business full time to allow for more flexibility with my work schedule. I gave it a shot in May of 2017, and it’s thrived ever since!

What are your favorite things about designing client homes?  

I love to see their reaction when my vision comes to life. My favorite is when my clients let me design while they are gone for the day and come home to a finished product. Receiving a text saying how much they love it, makes all the hard work so worth it! I can easily say I never dread a day of work. I mean I get to shop for a living, it’s pretty much a dream!

What’s the biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge is the very beginning of a job, trying to pinpoint my client’s style exactly. Everyone has something different they want for their own home, and it’s my job to figure that out!

Where do you get your inspiration?

I follow a lot of interior designers on Instagram and love to browse Pinterest. A lot of times, I will be walking through the aisles of Home Goods before I come up with my ideas.

Who are your favorite designers?

Ahh, this is a tough one! Of course, I love Joanna Gaines from Fixer Upper. Who doesn’t? On Instagram, I am obsessed with Studio McGee. Her style is probably more modern than my own, but I love it!

Mom Questions:

How do you balance work and family? 

I try to remove myself from work after 5 and on the weekends, but of course, that isn’t always easy with owning a business. Luckily, my clients are all very understanding and let me choose family first if anything ever comes up. Otherwise, I just make time in the evenings and weekends to spend time with her and my husband.

What are qualities you try and role model for your kids?

I want her to see that you can follow your dream and make a living doing what you truly love!  I also try to live a healthy lifestyle by exercising and staying active.

What would you tell your younger self? 

To take more business classes! Haha

Who inspires you?

My mom, she’s my biggest cheerleader!

The advice you’d give to other working moms?

To try to remove yourself from work while you are with your kiddos, even though I am guilty of this sometimes. We need to embrace every second with them because time flies!

Personal Questions:  

What is your guilty pleasure? 

Reality TV, especially Big Brother and the Bachelor/Bachelorette!

What do you put in your coffee?  

Natural Vanilla Creamer.

Favorite beauty tip?

Drink lots of water. 😊

Favorite beauty product?

Anyone who really knows me, knows I am not very good with makeup or beauty products.  So any advice here is welcome! Haha

What is one thing you cannot go to bed without doing?

Brushing my teeth and washing my face.

Best place in the world you have been?  Bucket List travel spot?

Jamaica for my honeymoon was absolutely beautiful. Australia is on my bucket list!

 

Read the other mom to mom questions here.

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Sarah Out and About

Mom to Mom

Hey, I’m Sarah.  I’m a working mom with two high-energy boys in St Louis, Missouri.  I work as a pharmaceutical sales rep for a fortune 500 company. I love spending time with my family and friends, traveling, planning parties and all things style.  Every day I try to find a balance between work/family and live life to the fullest by always have something fun on the horizon.

Social handles:

IG: SarahOutAndAboutBlog
FB:  SarahOutAndAbout
Twitter: @sarahoutandabout
Email:  sarahoutandaboutblog@gmail.com

Blog/Business Questions:

Why did you start your blog?

I wanted a way to connect with other working moms who have similar interests and needed a fun creative outlet away from work.  My goal for the blog is to be a platform where moms can share conversations, tips and tricks, ideas, new hot spots, good deals, like you’d share with your best girlfriends.  As my my 3 year old Mason says “Sharing is caring.”

What are your favorite things about blogging?

A couple of my favorite things about blogging are:   meeting so many new people and learning something new.  Another favorite is brainstorming and coming up with the content to share with you.  

There are a ton of blogs centered around style and travel, but my blog is geared toward the busy/working moms.

Where did you get your IG handle?

I’m always on the go searching for new places to explore, so “Sarah Out And About” seemed perfect.

The advice you would give someone wanting to start a blog?

It is a lot of work.  It is extremely challenging operating a blog but if your blog is about all the things you would genuinely do in your life anyway it is so fun and rewarding sharing your passions and learning from others.  Find your niche and go for it!

Who are your favorite bloggers?

My FAV’s are:  @HiSugarPlum, @LivinginYellow and @LivingwithLandyn

How do you balance work and family?

It’s a daily challenge, but I try to maximize the time I have with my kids and make daily activities special.  We always have several outings planned, so when I get stressed with work, I have something to look forward to that’s a break from my job.  

What are qualities you try and role model for your kids?

  • Always set high goals, and give it your all.
  • Learning is a lifelong practice
  • “YOLO”, so make the most of every opportunity.
  • Failure is part of the journey, expect it and learn from it.  

What would you tell your younger self?

Life won’t always go as you planned.  Embrace the hard times, enjoy the great times, and be grateful for each day.  I’d also tell my younger self to be very particular with who you surround yourself with.  Find your tribe of positive people that bring you joy and energy.

Who inspires you?

My mom. Most amazing lady ever.  Beyond grateful for her.

The advice you’d give to other working moms?

Give yourself a break and don’t expect perfection.    You are doing a great job and don’t compare yourself to others.  Spend time doing the things you enjoy with the people you love.

Make the most of the time you have with your family.  Try to focus on quality time over quantity. I always try to be present, and embrace the individual personalities of my boys.

Personal Questions:

What is your guilty pleasure?

Magazines (LOVE them), Jet’s Pizza with turbo crust (cheap and sooo freeking good) and The cookie skillet dessert at Bricktop’s,

I also LOVE The Bachelor and Real Housewives!!  

A bad habit you want to break?

Drinking Diet Coke

What do you put in your coffee?

During the week just vanilla almond milk.  

On the weekends I add a packet of light hot chocolate to make a skinny mocha

What podcast do you listen to?

“How I Built This” by Guy Raz and “The Influencer podcast” by Julie Solomon

Favorite beauty tip?

My dermatologist told me sunscreen, Retinol, and moisturizer are the most important skin products.  Everything else is just marketing.

Favorite beauty product?

I could use help in the beauty department so I’d say self tanner.  I love a good spray tan from Shine and use the L’Oreal Self-Tanning Towelettes when I need a little glow.

Bucket List travel spot?

Iceland, my new obsession.
My other travel goal is to get my boys to all 50 states before they graduate.  

Best place in the world you have been?  

There are so many places around the world I’ve been that were amazing, but doing a photo safari in South Africa’s Kruger National Park was such a once in a lifetime adventure.  I also love Venice and Paris. As for the United States, I went to Alaska when I was 13, and it was an unbelievable trip. Hiking the Grand Canyon when I was 8 was also a highlight too.  I am at my happiest when I’m traveling to anywhere I have never been before.

Favorite App

Kidzxplor (mom lifesaver!)

Something people don’t know about you.

I grew up in a tiny town Gordonville Mo (population 500) just outside of Cape Girardeau MO

Craziest thing you have ever done?

Shark diving in South Africa

Most exciting moment?

In college, I went with a group of girlfriends to California.  We went to the Price Is Right and I ended up getting on the show and winning the showcase showdown.  Best day ever!!

I hope you enjoyed reading these FAQ and stay tuned for more mom to mom FAQ each week.  Drop me a line and let me know what we have in common.  I’d love to hear from you.

XOXO  Sarah

 

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Is it me, or is it really hard to find the perfect pair of white jeans?  I was determined to update my white jeans for spring, and came up with a solution, despite how crazy it seems.

I got on Nordstrom.com and ordered every single pair of white jeans in the cut I prefer; straight leg, since I’m curvy, that was in my budget.  It was about 15 pair.  (Sounds extreme, I know) I highly recommend doing the same, because Nordstrom offers free shipping and free returns.  One of the best parts about utilizing their online store is it offers more options than their brick-and-mortar locations.  When you’re able to try on the jeans at home, you can see how they look with all your shoes and tops and jackets, allowing you to weed out the combinations that you don’t like.

White Jeans

Since I’m curvy, I find wearing straight leg or boot cut balances out my shape the best.  Other cuts can accentuate the wrong aspects of my body.  Some problems I’ve run into include: the jean is too skinny, the material is not thick enough or the waist is more low-rise than I what I like.  (No Thanks!)

The white jeans I chose are a straight leg cut by NYDJ.  These jeans have “Lift X” technology, which tucks your tummy and lifts the booty.  Perfecto!  They were a bulls-eye in a few of the categories I look for: premium stretch denim, a good weight material, flattering, reasonably priced.  Here are some brands to try.

Keep in mind that what fit works for me will not work for everyone, but I think this approach will save you some time, hassle and avoid the hit-and-miss process while making your choice.  Then you can send all the other pairs back for free and you’re done.  Crazy I know but it will save you time.  (yeah!)

If you give this a try and it helps, please let me know.  I love getting your feedback.  XOXO

If you missed my previous posts about spring trends and wardrobe staples, check it out here.

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Mom’s night out, Fashion talk

After the selfie scavenger hunt we went to the bistro at Nordstrom for a special spring trends presentation by Amber Kemp, the Nordstrom personal stylist.

Amber discussed two topics:

  • Spring trends and pieces to add to your wardrobe
  • A wardrobe staple checklist everyone should invest in.

Amber Kemp Nordstrom personal stylist

If you have not shopped with Amber, you’re missing out.  Her services at Nordstrom are totally free.  She’s a major time-saver because when you work with her she’ll find out what you’re looking for ahead of time, and have everything ready for you in the fitting room.

If you love to shop (but don’t have the time), hate shopping or need help putting outfits together…Amber is your girl.  I’d highly suggest booking an appointment.  She assists people shopping for:

  • Special events
  • Weddings,
  • Finding seasonal updates,
  • Entire wardrobe overhauls
  • Work Trips
  • Vacations
  • Even help to find the perfect pair of denim.

You can even bring in pieces from home you don’t know how to wear, and she’ll help you.  If you’re in the St Louis area, just call her to schedule an appointment:  (314) 452-6589.  Or you can reach her via email: Amber.R.Kemp@nordstrom.com

Amber talked about runway trends for spring that can be turned into wearable pieces for busy on-the-go moms.  When added to a wardrobe, these items make for some fresh updates.  In addition, she shared a short list of wardrobe staples everyone should invest in.

Here’s what’s hot for spring:

  1.  Monochromatic- wearing the same color head-to-toe (all white, all black or all denim), and accessorizing with color.
  2. Pattern mixing- mixing up florals, gingham plaids, and stripes.
  3. A dramatic sleeve
  4. Sheer pieces

My favorite spring trends

 

Staple wardrobe pieces everyone should have:

  1. Classic blazer- perfect for work with a skirt or weekends with distressed jeans and pumps.
  2. White T-shirt- fitted so you can layer or a loose one if wearing alone.
  3. White jeans- lighter wash denim for spring, (try different pairs on to get a good fit and thickness).
  4. Long sleeve basic reversible t-shirt
  5. Bermuda shorts- substitute for what you would wear pants with.  Also try with pumps in summer, or with a blazer.
  6. Denim jacket- always good to have both a fitted and loose one, depending on what you’re wearing.

Here are some of my favorite wardrobe staples here:

While Amber was updating us on spring trends and wardrobe staples we were sipping wine and indulging with our Bissingers gummy pandas. A big thank you to Nordstrom and Amber for orchestrating a fantastic talk and for the beauty bag and for Bissinger’s spoiling us with amazing sweet treats.

Nordstrom spring trends

Nordstrom spring trends

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The winner of the selfie scavenger hunt were these two teams.  Congratulations ladies!  You win Nordstrom gift cards to do some shopping and Bissinger’s truffles.  Enjoy.

Nordstrom spring trends

Selfie Scavenger Hunt

What a fun night.  I had so much fun meeting you all.  What was your favorite part of the night?  Who is ready for another Mom’s night out?

A big thanks to Amber Kemp for putting together an amazing presentation and our sponsors Nordstrom and Bissinger’s.  I appreciate your generosity.   All thoughts are my own.  XOXO

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CoCo Key Water Park Resort

Recently we had an opportunity to stay at the Adam’s Mark Hotel and CoCo Key Water Park in Kansas City during my boys’ spring break.  It’s about a 4-hour drive from St Louis right off Interstate 70, directly across the highway from the Royals’ and Chiefs’ stadiums.  It’s affordable family fun that gets you out of town in a few hours.

We arrived at the Adam’s Mark Hotel the lobby area was updated and inviting.  Our room was clean and simple no-frills accommodations. The outside of the hotel could use some updating, the good news is they currently have plans in place for an outside renovation. All my boys could think about was getting to the waterpark.

CoCo Key Water Park

According to my boys, CoCo Key Water Park was amazing!  Some hotels pools may have a slide or two, but never a full-fledged water park.  Even if you are not staying at the hotel you can still go to the water park.  It was a perfect fit for both of my boys, who are 7 and 3.  Logan, my oldest, was tall enough to ride all the slides.  CoCo Key also features a lazy river, splash area and lily pad adventure for little ones, and even basketball goals.   There were some local residents who were having their birthday party at CoCo Key. There are cabanas along the side of the pools for rent and a restaurant for food and drinks. No outside food is allowed.

The hotel has a huge arcade. In addition, they host several activities throughout the day, such as movie night, dance parties, face painting and appearances from CoCo the Bird.

For all the details check out http://www.cocokeykansascity.com

Logan’s favorite was: The big slides
Mason’s favorite was: The little kid slides
Mom’s favorite was: The boys slept like rocks after spending most of the day there.

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The weather was not so great when we were in Kansas City but it didn’t matter because Coco Key was inside and heated.  It was a fun place to stay for my kiddos while in Kansas City for the weekend that doesn’t break the bank. My boy’s keep asking when we are going back.  If you are needing a quick fun and affordable family getaway, Coco Key will have you kids smiling the entire visit.

Disclaimer: I was a guest of the Adam’s Mark Hotel and Coco Key Water Park, however, all opinions expressed here are my own.

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