4 Gifts 2015 {Wear}

I'm hooking up with Alyson M for her "4 Gifts" series. 
If you are visiting from the link up, Welcome.

It's week three, and today is all about "Wear". This subject in the "4 Gift" series can get a little out of hand if you are not careful. Some years our "wear" turned out to be pajamas. Some years it's coats. One year it was tiny velour track suits. This year our "wear" is going to be Vans. The kids have been asking for Vans for months now. We were going to go that route for Back to School, but never got around to visiting the Vans store here in town. I’m always leery of buying shoes online, because as my luck has it, they usually don’t fit. So I skipped out on the Vans then, but not now… 

While I was preparing this post, I spent some time on Polyvore and time got away from me. At one point I had added twenty pair! Crazy right? I love Vans and I love the patterns and colors that can capture just about any one's style. The new Disney collection is amazing, but I will always be a sucker for animal prints and cats. Yes, there is a cat pair in that picture! I'm also a classics kind of girl and think that I'll need to reinvest in the classic checkerboard slip-ons of my youth. My girls would love any of these, but if I had to choose for them, I'm pretty sure Caitlin would get the cats pictured on the bottom, and Mackenzie would choose the princess hi tops. 

4 Gifts 2015: Wear

Today's post is short and sweet because as you are reading this it's Thanksgiving. I'll be shopping for Van's similar to this, eating Paleo Apple Crisp, and being a couch potato for most of the day. Have a Happy Thanksgiving friends and be sure to stop by Alyson's blog for the "4 Gifts" giveaway. Check it out below!

Christmas Giveaway!
$165 Target Gift Card  ||  $25 World Market Gift Card  ||  Lace Arm Warmers - Forgotten Cotton  ||  Personalized Cutting Board (9x12") - Laserworkz  ||  Gypsy Dreamcatcher Necklace - Gypsies Box Jewelry  ||  $30 Credit for Keep Collective with Kassie  ||  Adult Coloring Book - This Girl's Doodles

4 Gifts 2015: Need

This is a 4 Gifts post with Alyson M. This post was not sponsored by Old Navy. I just love their clothes and their prices. They are my go to when it comes to kids clothes. 

The countdown to Christmas is on, and I’m getting nervous. What do you buy for the children that have everything? I’m not even joking. I’ve spent the better part of my Sundays cleaning closets, dressers, and rooms filled to the top with too much stuff. That’s why I love “4 Gifts”, it helps me narrow down the choices, and it also helps me focus on what my kids really need. Now in an effort not to be a super Grinch, the “Need” part of “4 Gifts” seems to be the hardest. What do my kids really need? Socks, underwear, coats, or shoes. Those are usually on the list. But seriously? Who wants just socks and underwear? Coats seems reasonable since they usually only get coats at Christmas. It must be a California thing, because we only need them here in Fresno for such a short time! Plus the coats that I have found at Old Navy are so cute, I think they will actually be well received by two children who are only anticipating toys under our tree.
I haven’t bought winter coats in years, because one, like I said before, it’s California, and two we are usually lucky to be blessed with hand me downs. Maybe it’s time to wrap up a warm coat and put it under the tree. The kids always need a warm coat, and layering sweatshirts gets old after awhile. My girls don't like anything too puffy or too stiff, so I thought my best selection would be at Old Navy since they use soft materials like their micro fleece when making their coats.

For Caitlin I picked out some of the items that are on trend for this season. An Army Green Parka, on sale now for $55. Then I loved the red and black plaid wool blended jacket that is only $38. Finally I choose a plum fleece hoodie that looks so comfy and warm, and it’s only $25! I know I can only pick one, but this is a great start. My heart says Plum Fleece, but I really think she’d adore the parka with the furry hood!

For Mackenzie, I’ve stayed neutral and simple. Mac cannot do ruffles or fluff when it comes to jackets. Recently she asked for a jean jacket, which isn’t the warmest for winter, but we can layer if we have to. Plus at only $21, how can I really resist? Then I picked a fleece Anorak in navy blue, that is get this, only $18! That is crazy! Finally I picked a similar wool blend, but for Mackenzie I choose black and white. She’s conservative like that.

The “Need” prompt of “4 Gifts” is always a tough one for me, because I feel like my kids rarely need anything. They have more than enough on most days, but if I can get some useful gifts for school like warm coats, then it’s like two birds one stone. I try my best to stay within the guidelines of “4 Gifts”, it helps me stay within my budget, it helps me gift items that will actually get used, and it helps cut down on the excess toys that, usually get forgotten by New Year’s.

Looking for more inspiration? Check out Alyson’s blog where more bloggers are linking their "4 Gifts" post. And be sure to check out an awesome giveaway below!

Christmas Giveaway!
$165 Target Gift Card  ||  $25 World Market Gift Card  ||  Lace Arm Warmers - Forgotten Cotton  ||  Personalized Cutting Board (9x12") - Laserworkz  ||  Gypsy Dreamcatcher Necklace - Gypsies Box Jewelry  ||  $30 Credit for Keep Collective with Kassie  ||  Adult Coloring Book - This Girl's Doodles

Wear To Where {Family Pictures or Tour your City}

I’m participating in the Wear to Where Tour with my friend Katy, who blogs at Wild and Wanderful.
If you are visiting from the link up today, Welcome and thanks for stopping by.

Where does a part time stay at home mama go when she wants a quiet minute to herself? The answer for me is Target, but I’m rarely dressed up when I hit Target by myself. Most times its after morning drop off and I’m in a variation of my pajamas. And why would I bother to blog about that? Well, actually I have been known to do so, but not this time. Today I’m sharing a new outfit of the day that worked for family pictures, will work for date night, and would absolutely work for that time you just want to look like something other than a “mombie” when you go out for coffee and a little quiet time.

These pictures were taken by the fantastic and talented team at Laura Hernandez Photography. Recently Laura was joined by her equally talented daughter Rachel, and their business has taken off. Rightfully so when you see these pictures. I’m lucky that this talented photographer is family! How cute are we, The Hubbs and I? I love that Laura gets The Hubbs to pose like this. We laugh so much during these photo sessions, because this isn’t us at all. We aren't this kind of couple, but when the time comes we have to much fun. Here he was telling me how unnatural it is to walk and hold someone this close at the same time. He’s a champ every year when we do these pictures! He get’s an even bigger laugh when Laura snaps some head shots for this blog! 

A little peek at Laura's magic!

My original prompt for this post was to tour your city, like a restaurant or museum, and I had every intention of doing that. Time got away from me however and with the chance to have some professional pictures taken for this post I jumped at the chance. In a way, I did tour a city. Laura took us on a walking tour of my former hometown. We took pictures right in front of the courthouse, and I walked the downtown streets of what was once home for the first time in probably twenty years! Some things have changed so much, and yet some are still the same. It took everything I had not to walk into Beverly's Fabrics, one of my all time favorites in Downtown Salinas.

Laura Hernandez Photography

On this day, I wasn’t rocking anything super fancy or out of my comfort zone. I’m in some extra comfy jeggings from Kohl’s, they are in the Juniors Department, and are the softest and most comfortable jeggings I have ever owned. The best part is that you can dress them up or down, depending on your mood. Trust me when I tell you they look equally good with a hoodie and Uggs. The top is new from Old Navy and again is both fancy or casual, depending how you wear it. My boots were a great clearance buy last year after Christmas at Target. This outfit was perfect for pictures and the ride home to Fresno. I even wore it to the neighbors house to watch the UFC fight (what an upset!). I’d wear this outfit again for a girls night out, for a date with The Hubbs, or to school for a Holiday Program or awards ceremony. It is officially on my list of outfits to rotate this season, especially if I add in a blazer or heavy sweater coat.

What do you think? Is this something that you could wear out and about, without looking like you tried too hard? Don't be surprised if I show up on the blog in this outfit of the day again!

Don't forget to check out the giveaway HERE!!

Confessions of a Home Gym Addict

I'm participating in Wear to Wear with my friend Katy, who blogs at Wild and Wanderful!
If you are visiting from the link up, welcome and thanks for stopping by!

I'm a person who has a gym membership but never goes to the gym. That doesn't mean that I don't work out... Sometimes. Most mornings you can find me in the comfort of my own home, before the kids get up, in my living room, getting in my morning work out. The best thing about working out at home is that you really can wear your pajamas to work out. I'll be honest, I don't spend a lot of money on workout clothes. For a short time I had a sweet love affair with Fabletics. From time to time I will buy work out clothes on clearance at Target or Old Navy. Not much effort goes into what I wear at my home gym, but some mornings, especially if my neighbor wants to go running, I will put in a bit of effort.

One of my favorite things to wear, now that it's actually Fall in California, are leggings. Usually you'll find me in black or grey, but at Elevate Conference in May, these fantastic leopard print babies (similar pair here) were in my swag bag!

Leggings, Workout tank, pullover, running shoes. This is how you will find me at my Home Gym. Some mornings I'll do a little Jillian (if I have a death wish). If I have it available "On Demand", I'll try out some yoga. My favorite workouts are short and to the point, because I don't like to work out or waste any time! Yeah, I'm that kind of girl. The great part is that this outfit is also acceptable at school drop off in the morning, and at Starbucks! I can't lose.

Are you one of those people who are devoted to your Home Gym? Leave me some comments on what work outs or DVDs you use. I'm always looking for new material. And be sure to check out the giveaway on Katy's blog!

Find more sweet leggings like my leopard print pair at Agnes and Dora!

4 Gifts 2015 {Want}

Did you know that there are just six weeks until Christmas? Are you as freaked out as I am? You would think since I'm a retail warrior, and have been setting Christmas ornaments out since October that I'd have a better handle on things. The truth is I don't even have a plan mapped out. I don't even have a list. That's why when my friend Alyson asked if I'd like to join her "4 Gifts" series again this year I jumped at the chance. It's the only way I'm really going to buckle down and think about gifts for my family this year. Plus it's a great way to prioritize what we really want versus what we really need.

 4 Gifts Christmas Blogging Series 2015

Not familiar with "4 Gifts"? It's basically about buckling down and getting the gifts that the people in your life really want. There are four categories: want, need, wear, read. The idea is to buy your family members one item that fits into each category. Last year I really tried to stick with this, and I did pay attention to what my girls really wanted. I was also able to focus on what they really needed, and how to incorporate that into gifts. The "need, wear, and read", is usually pretty simple, but the want is where I tend to go overboard. Participating in this link up will help me focus on what to buy and hopefully help me curb my spending. Which is really what gets me into trouble every year.

So what do the Crutchfields really want this year?

This year my both my girls are obsessed with Shopkins. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, take a moment and thank your stars. Shopkins are these tiny figurines of food, accessories, and kitchen appliances. They have lunch counter sets, shoe store sets, and the highly sought after ice cream truck/bus. This bus has been the talk of this town for months. They each are getting one from Santa, because this mom emailed Santa ages ago about this item.

Caitlin wants the new Text Cool bracelet maker. Do any of you remember that really cool label maker from the 80s? Where you punched the letters out onto plastic that had adhesive on the back? Well I do, and this Text Cool bracelet maker is basically the same idea. But instead of primary colored plastic, you have really cool neon and glitter plastic to make bracelets on. Caitlin promised if Santa delivers one of these she will make me a bracelet that says "#blogger". How on earth can I resist that? Also, I'm pretty sure I'm going to use this bracelet maker more than she will.

Mackenzie decided months ago that she wants the Chocolate Pen. The chocolate is this really fun candy maker, that is basically a pen you can fill with melted chocolate and draw edible pictures on wax paper. I mean really? Who wouldn't want that. I realize that she is five, but I'm pretty sure Mackenzie can handle a Chocolate Pen!

All the Hubbs really wants for Christmas is a clean house. I'm not kidding you. If he could come home to a clean house, every day in December, his Christmas wishes will have come true!

Me? Well there area a few things I want this year, but the one that sticks out the most is this Sunburst Stacking ring from Lisa Leonard. Not only is the ring perfectly dainty, the story behind the ring just got me. This is the quote that you can find on her sight,

"Do you know that feeling; when you're walking through a dark time and you're wondering if hope or joy are even possible? Your heart is grieving. And then you feel it--just a hint of light. The smallest ray of hope. And you hold onto it as tightly as you can".

When I read that my heart almost stopped. I've felt exactly that. All those years ago when I was struggling with motherhood, and then one day there was just this little break in the clouds and I could feel that all was not lost. I really need to get this ring into my life. There is also a sterling silver design as well, if gold just isn't your thing.

That's it for our "wants" this year. Make sure to follow along with us, there are 10 or so bloggers participating this year and we all have great lists of wants, needs, wears and reads. Hopefully our lists can take some of the stress off you, and make your Christmas shopping a little easier.

And because we are a crazy group of bloggers, there's a giveaway too! The giveaway will go on for the next 4 weeks and each week you'll have more chances to enter. Be sure to scroll down and enter for your chance to win! Come back next week when we tackle "Need" in the "4 Gifts" series. 

Christmas Giveaway!

$165 Target Gift Card  ||  $25 World Market Gift Card  ||  Lace Arm Warmers - Forgotten Cotton  ||  Personalized Cutting Board (9x12") - Laserworkz  ||  Gypsy Dreamcatcher Necklace - Gypsies Box Jewelry  ||  $30 Credit for Keep Collective with Kassie  ||  Adult Coloring Book - This Girl's Doodles