End Of Summer S'mores Bar

Labor Day Weekend officially marks the end of Summer Vacation and I definitely have a mixed bag of emotions on the subject. I vote to stay on vacation permanently, but don't we all? So what better way to end summer vacation on a high note than with a S'mores Bars. Who doesn't love a good chocolate, graham cracker and marshmallow combination? While we don't have an outdoor space to roast marshmallows over a fire I found the next best thing on Wayfair, a s'mores & fondue set (you can also make your own gummies with it too!). It basically covers all of the bases on treat concoctions and was the perfect must-have for our S'mores bar. Just plug it in and get toastin'! 

For me, I wanted to step outside the box with our treats so I went ahead and purchased gourmet chocolate chip and caramel peanut butter crunch cookies in addition to classic graham crackers. I also bought a few varieties of chocolates like Kit-Kats, Reese's and Hershey's as well as slicing up some fresh fruit and peanut butter for extra toppings. I personally favored the peanut butter on the graham crackers topped with sliced bananas and a Reese's with a toasted marshmallow. Heavenly! 

Go ahead,  treat yourself to a S'mores Bar to round out your summer vacation! 
This post is sponsored by Wayfair. All opinions are my own. 

No-Sew Easy Little Mermaid Costume

Couple's costuming made easy with Ariel and Eric from The Little Mermaid. While a mermaid tail is super fun I figured it would be even better to go with her new legs. All you need is an oversized white t-shirt, some rope and starfish for her and a white button down, blue slim fitting pants and an old red tee to create his sash.
Fabric Glue or Glue Gun or E6000

With the E6000 attach starfish to comb, let cure for 24 hours.  

Cut the collar off of the white shirt

Mark holes and cut where on the top left shoulder to attach the rope (this saves you from having to randomly wrap the rope around body). Add about 3ft of rope to hole, making the top the center piece.  

Cut a second hole a few inches down near your chest for the front piece of rope.  

Next, on the right shoulder put a hole through the front to back to the shirt to create a cold shoulder effect. Add another 3 feet of rope to wrap around.  

Finally cut seaweed like pieces of fabric from the green shirt and glue around dress. Pieces should be at least 6” long. Use as little or as many as you’d like to finish it.

When putting on the dress wrap the rope around your waist, bust and hips - give the shirt a little tug for the ‘loose sail like’ effect. Add comb to your hair and find your Prince Eric.

Four Ways To Make Road Trips With Kids A Breeze

Thank you Maxi-Cosi for sponsoring this post. Keep your little adventurers comfy, safe & stylish with the Maxi-Cosi Magellan 5-in-1 car seat!
Anyone who has kids can probably tell you how much they dread road trips. For us, car trips are never an easy feat. We have two older children who LOVE to antagonize each other the second they click their seat belt and the added bonus of a baby WHO HATES SPENDING A SECOND IN THE CAR. It's safe to say that it takes a lot of work to keep them content on trips, whether it's an hour on the road or 10.

Ten Dorm Room Essentials Under $50

Ok, so it's been a minute since I walked into a dorm room but let's be real not much has changed. You're short on space and can use all the storage hacks you can take which sounds an awful lot like my current apartment situation in NYC. Some things never change...

Let's be real, whether or not you are settling into your first apartment or dorm room you're going to need to stock up on some of the essentials. Whether they be additional storage options, towels or caffeine. Emphasis on the last one because late-night cram sessions call for a huge cup of joe first thing in the morning. I'll admit the last thing I want to do after a sleepless night is wait to brew a pot of coffee so a little help from an already cold-brewed friend is exactly what the doctor ordered. The less effort the better: A quick walk to the mini fridge for SToK's Cold Brew Un-Sweet Coffee is right up my alley. Just pour, add milk (if desired) and voila! You're ready to figure out your day with coffee in hand, making it number one on my 10 Dorm Room Essentials Under $50. It'll only set you back $5 for a 48oz. bottle at Target, but there's even a 20% off Cartwheel offer (from 8/5-9/8). Win, Win. 

Aside from the brew, I put together a list of my favorite dorm room and small-space essentials for under $50 from one of our favorite retailers, Target. Shop & see why they made the cut below...

Ten Dorm Room Essentials Under $50

Pour & Enjoy. 

These utility carts are great for just about anything, from a makeshift coffee bar, to a dresser it has the ability to suit any needs. We have two in our apartment. One, the boys use to organize their toys and legos, and the second one is in the kitchen for the blender, recycling and storage. They're also made of steel, so go ahead and add a cute little magnetic succulent or polaroids of your adventures. 

3. Storage Baskets, $25-$30
My all-time favorite storage solution? Baskets. I am constantly buying baskets for shoes, bags, toys and even diapers. They're stylish enough to be spotted in broad-daylight and functional AF. so go ahead: store your purses, beauty products and towels. Top Three Picks: Large Round, Oval Open Weave Basket, & Collapsible Seagrass Basket with Handles.

4. Corner Shelf, $19.99 Each
Take advantage of the empty wall space with corner shelves! Sure, they're not huge but they can hold a few of your favorite things, like your Instax SQ6.

5. Bowls, Plates & Drinkware, $.99 - $2.99
I highly recommend Melamine plates for dorm-rooms. One, because they're easy to clean and two, they don't break as easily as ceramic. These Opalhouse plates and bowls are not only functional, but they pack so much style! Most stylish dorm room plates? I think yessss. Of course you need cups and glasses to stock your utility cart and for your SToK Cold Brew. I love these stemless wine glasses (for water!), short glass tumblers and Opalhouse glass tumblers (so fun!). Perk: you can buy them individually without having to buy a set of four. 

6. Bathware, $4.00-12.99
Why be boring when you can stand out? Grab some towels that match your style. I personally love these Ikat Border Fringed Towels (I have the matching shower curtain, pictured above as a table cloth). Of course you're going to need something to tote your products from your room to shower, this bath caddy is a whopping $4 and will do the trick. 

7. Bedding, $26.99 - $31.99 
Sheets and Bedding are essential. There's nothing like coming home and sliding into a freshly made bed with your favorite sheets. Sure, you don't have a lot of say in your dorm's layout, but you do have a say when it comes to bedding. These sheets are my favorite and who can resist a pop of style with this comforter

8. Lighting, $24.99 
Give those late night cram sessions & your desk some style with this thin taper task lamp

9. Seating, $49.99
Ok you're going to need somewhere to sit, whether it's lounging, working at your desk or entertaining. I love these stackable stools that double as end tables. They come in a set of two for $40 and have 6 colors to choose from!

10. Accent Rug 
Nothing ties the room together more than a great rug. It's magical and gives you that 'at-home' feel. I love this bright 4x6 Shapes Rug for $27!

- Shop The Essentials -

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SToK Cold Brew Coffee.  The opinions and text are all mine.

PureGoals With Pampers Pure

This post is sponsored by Pampers Pure. All opinions are my own. 
Being a mom means finding the perfect balance of what you think is best for your baby and what is physically possible. Trust me on this one, we can't do it all (or the very least all at once). We sure think we can, but when it comes down to the nitty gritty of accomplishing a million things at once, a few things fall through the cracks, like our sanity on occasion. But we'll move mountains when it comes to doing what's best for our kids, right? ABSOLUTELY.

Enter #PureGoals.

Savers Summer Style: Little Printed Daisy Dress

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Savers. The opinions and text are all mine.
It's been pretty well established that I'm a huge Savers fan. Walking into the store is like walking into an instant treasure hunt. You never know what you're going to walk out with, and without dropping a ton of cash. Nearly everything is under $7! It's always a fresh shopping experience- you never see the same items from a previous shopping day and one department may be more packed with finds than the previous visit. I always make it a point to pop over to housewares and see what kind of unique and fun pieces I can add to our abode. Usually it's colorful, vintage glasses that I insist on collecting for entertaining. This time was a little different when I stumbled upon this picnic basket stacked on the top shelf. Swoon. It's in perfect condition and set me back a whopping $4. A steal doesn't even to begin to sum up my love for this unique accessories find. Additionally, I almost bought the larger version seen in my stories (It's highlighted - in case you missed it!) but I decided on a cuter, more rounded version. It's safe to say I'm ready to finish out summer with these little statement makers. Biggest perk? They're treasures that won't be seen in bulk walking down the streets of NYC. Little pleasures of shopping at Savers.

Three 15 Minute Makeup Routines That Pop

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Burt’s Bees. All opinions are 100% mine.
For me, when it comes to makeup and hair routines - the quicker the better. Whether you're heading to your first class of the day, making a quick run for dorm supplies, or grabbing coffee just because, chances are you want to look fresh and lightly made up. I know I do when I'm rolling out of bed in the morning... 

Six Tips For Visiting Kalahari Resorts

A couple of weeks back you might have caught that we found ourselves in the Poconos for a weekend of fun at the Kalahari Resort. It's impossible to say who had more fun, but I think it's safe to say that as a whole we had a blast. We're already talking about our next trip during the fall...
We learned a lot over the two-day stay at the resort and found our experience to be pretty great and would absolutely recommend you check out one of their resorts if you're in the market for an adventure with the kids.

If you're new to Kalahari, it's America's Largest Indoor Waterpark, Resort and Convention Center. It not only has an Indoor/Outdoor waterpark, but also has a ton of alternate experiences from arcades, bowling, mini golf to movie theaters and spa treatments. It has options for all walks of life and lifestyles under one roof. We spent the majority of our time at the waterparks, coming up for air only for meals and sleep. It was a great experience for both the big and little kids in our family. They have an incredible variety of slides; from small ones for the little ones, to extreme attractions for our 9 year old. We even got our 7 year old to muster up the courage and ride along on a few - he loved it! I was so relieved to see that there was just as much stuff for the baby to do as the older kids. It's possible he had the most fun during our stay.
I've acquired a handful of tips and tricks for planning an amazing visit for you and your family. Scroll down to check out how to make your experience the best experience...

Six Tips For Visiting Kalahari Resorts

The Wristbands 
When you check-in you have the option to link your wristband to your credit card during your stay. I highly recommend you do this. Not only do you get to ditch your wallet during your visit to the water park, it also makes things a lot easier. We used it for everything from locker rentals to coffee in the morning and all of our meals. It made things a breeze during our stay with just a swipe of the wrist. Note: the card activated bands will be blue while the other guests, ie: the kids will be white.
If there's one thing Kalahari and I are on the same page with it's water safety. They do not play when it comes to kids and water safety. First off, all children under 48" are required to wear a life vest throughout their time at the park. There are several lifeguards stationed at each attraction and they take their job very seriously. They're helpful, informed and watch kids like a hawk. We spent about two hours in the lazy river with Indy napping on our laps and each life guard we passed was always checking for people under tubes or underwater. It was extremely reassuring to a neurotic mom who worries nonstop about kids and water.
I was pleasantly surprised with the accommodations at Kalahari, a Desert room on a Friday night ran about $299 and included 4 Guests (and the baby - children under 3 are FREE) to the water park for the day of our stay and the check out day. Think about it: two days at an amusement park for 4 will set you back about that much without a hotel room stay. It's huge bang for your buck. The rooms are clean and large; and the staff is extremely friendly, especially considering the volume of people that go through on a daily basis. Everyone was polite, helpful and considerate.
Dining Options 
Kalahari has several dining options throughout the resort and the park. There are a couple of options inside the park itself, but found that we preferred to go out into the resort/hotel area for a sit-down restaurant setting with more options. The prices are reasonable and you can go right back down to the waterpark after you eat. Don't get me wrong, I love a good chicken tender basket with fries! And we totally had it for lunch the first day, but after a few sittings of fried goodness one kind of starts to need a salad to munch on. Plus, some of the dining options have a kids eat free special at certain times so it pays to skip the "fast food" in favor of other options. We loved the Ivory Coast Restaurant & frequented the Java Manjaro for our caffeine and breakfast-on-the go fix. They also have room service which we used to order a surprisingly delicious pizza on our first night at around 11pm. Win! 

Best Time To Go 
While I loved our experience I found that certain times and dates are more crowded than others. We checked in on a Friday morning and found the day to be a breeze when it came to getting on slides and around the park. There was rarely a 10 minute wait and plenty of places to sit during the day. I noticed during certain times the park emptied out for lunch and dinner, at around 2pm and 6pm. After 7:45pm was like having the park to ourselves, the kids LOVED IT. The older two insisted on staying up until the park closed at 10pm. We made it to about 9:15pm before they realized how exhausted they were. The next day, Saturday, was a whole different experience. But I have to say for a weekend it wasn't nearly as crowded as I expected it to be. The wait for slides was a little longer, but not more than 25 minutes or so. It was extremely manageable and comfortable. I would recommend, if you can, going on a weekday. It's a way different experience, especially if you're bringing your family along.
Packing and Storage
Official hotel check-in at Kalahari is 4pm. However, you can come as early as 9:30 to pre-register and enjoy the park. They alert you via text when your room is ready, which turned out to be around 3pm. Before that, we just kept our bags in the car and David brought them up to the room when we got the text; then came right back to the park. It took about 20 minutes total. You use your wristband to enter your room and it's a breeze.  As for the waterpark, I definitely went with the option to rent a locker each day. It's $10 for a small (and $25 for a jumbo) locker that fit the diaper bag, all of our shoes, phones, coverups and extra water bottles. It was in close proximity to the rides so if we needed a water break, diaper change or whatever, it was easily accessible. $20 well-spent to be free of any loose articles.

As far as packing goes, I highly recommend you bring a suit for each day at the waterpark and a couple of extra outfits for meals if you would rather not show up in your bathing suit- which you totally can. It's a casual enough environment where you don't have to go over the top with outfit packing. Even if you're a blogger and insist on several outfit changes a day (wink).

Been to Kalahari? Share your tips in the comment section below!

This post is sponsored by Kalahari Resorts. As always, all opinions are my own. 

Yellow Eyelet Swing Dress

Earlier this summer we talked about my favorite eyelet pieces and this one was definitely at the top of 25 pieces listed. Over a month later my love for this bright pop of sunshine is still going strong. I don't know if it's the easy to wear swing shape or the vibrant lemon hue but it is giving me all sorts of sunshine on this rainy day. I love it with these Sorel sandals but it looks equally as amazing with sneakers and ankle strap heels...

Kimono + Light Denim

One of my favorite things about spring and summer in the NYC is the blooms spread throughout the city. Initially you wouldn't think that New York had very many trees, plants and flowers but after looking past the skyscrapers one finds tons of fruiting plants and gardens throughout the neighborhoods. My neighborhood in particular has everything from figs to apricots to apple and cherry trees. For me, I find it fascinating to be in such an urban environment with so much surrounding nature. I love it.  Of course there's tons of flowering trees and plants along the sidewalks making for the perfect backdrop for summer styles. This particular tree had me swooning with it's lush white blooms that matched the flowers on my kimono to a T. 

Off The Shoulder Striped Midi

Sometimes you need something extra colorful to get you through the week. I personally love the oversized fit on this off the shoulder WWW striped dress. You saw me wear it with red sandals here with Jackie but I have to say I am loving them with sneakers. It's the perfect outfit for trucking around the city with the boys...