My January Gwynnie Bee Box

All my life I’ve been taller and bigger than other girls. The tallest girl in cheer, biggest girl in dance, I always felt like all eyes were on me and my clumsy limbs. Growing up (and even still!), buying a top is always a gamble because though it may fit in the store, after one or two washes, it will become a crop top on my long torso. I’ve lost many a great shirt to my need for tall sizes. And even now as an adult woman, I sometimes get self conscious when I wear pumps in public. Just a couple short inches lifts me to an easy six feet tall, towering over even most men. I’ve always worn larger sizes and since having babies, I’ve been bumped into the plus sized class. For someone who has always struggled to find properly fitting clothing, I was surprised to see just how few plus sized options for women are.

With the new subscription box craze, I’ve watched enviously as my friends post their clothing finds each month and get to wear items that make them feel confident and beautiful while I shop the plus sized aisles at Target and Old Navy hoping that this time the shirt will be long enough or the pants won’t end up as capris on my long legs. Every subscription service I’ve looked into has been for smaller women. Normal women, I guess? And I’m just not normal. Never have been and (I’m just starting to really truly accept this) never will be. I mean, you guys, if anyone needs a personal shopper to help them choose clothing and new pieces that flatter their body, it’s plus sized women. Why are we not being included? We have money. We have bodies that need to be clothed.

In all of my feverish research, I’ve found only one company that caters to my tall, apple shaped body. And as a plus sized lady with a public blog, I thought I’d give them a whirl and share my finds with you. Because I know several of you who read this and are my friends, are also fabulous as f*ck plus sized ladies who love clothing and being a girl as much as I do.

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Gwynnie Bee is a monthly clothing subscription service for sizes 10-32. To start, you choose how many items you’d like to check out at a time (I started with three out at a time) and then you browse through all the top plus sized brands that they work with, adding things you like to your, “closet”. GB mails you your choices based on what’s available at the time, so it’s kind of a fun surprise when you open your box each month. I’m sharing the three pieces that were in my January Gwynnie Bee box and my experiences with each item.

XTWO Valora Blouse

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When I saw this blouse, I loved the color, but I wasn’t fond of the pattern. My comfort zone is neutral solids, florals, and leopard print when it comes to my tops. But this is another reason I’m excited about this service from GB, because I can try new things without committing to buying them, unless I want to of course! I wasn’t thrilled with how this fit my body. I wasn’t comfortable in it and I think that was reflected in my confidence level when I wore it. This one is most definitely going back.

Isabel + Alice Printed Sweet Heart Peplum Top

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Of course I added this floral beauty to my closet when I saw it! Bright red makes me feel like if I wear this out in public, people will automatically look at me, but I’ve been wanting to see how a peplum top fits on me and this is all about expanding my style horizons, right? For this bright top, I paired it with jeans to tone it down a bit and make myself feel more comfortable. Since peplum tops make me think fancy, I wanted to try a more casual feel that I’m most comfortable in. As a tall gal, I have a hard time finding shirts, especially peplum tops, that are long enough to cover my torso and this one was pleasantly lengthy. The chest area was rather loose and made me feel like I was going to pop out when I bent over…and then I did once or twice, to the delight of my husband. I liked the color, which was surprising because red isn’t my usual choice. And of course, any rose floral print is positively lovely in my book. However, I felt it made me look like I was wearing maternity wear and that I’d most definitely get asked when I was due if I wore this out. Sending back.

Modamix Pleat Front Blouse in Violet

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This was an item I added to my GB closet because it hits all my sweet spots: long, dark neutral color, pleats. Plus I love a good flowy feeling top. My usual day to day style is jeans and a top, so I wore this with jeans, but it would look great with black slacks for a more professional environment. This fit perfectly. The arms, the length, everything! I’m super excited about this top because it’s versatile and makes me feel feminine. The pleats on the sleeves made my arms appear more slender, which was serious bonus points for this blouse. I’m considering keeping this one, but as a thrifty shopper, the $52 price tag (after my GB discount) is a bit steep. I have the rest of the month to think it over, though.

I’m looking forward to my next box and getting more into doing something just for me. Plus I’m just really excited to have found something that is for plus sized women to enjoy. I’m fabulous too, fashion world! While this is not a sponsored post, I can share my Gwynnie Bee referral link with you guys for a free month to try it out. If you’re a size 10 or above, this is such a great resource for you to try new things and get clothes that actually FIT. The struggle is real, right curvy friends?

Are you a plus sized shopper? I’d love to hear your favorite places to shop! I’m always looking for fabulous curvy resources. Be sure to follow Our Holly Days via Pinterest for my fashion faves and more plus size inspiration.

Top 10 Holiday Stocking Stuffers For Tween Girls

My two stepdaughters are in that in-between age where they still enjoy toys, but are also interested in being treated older. You know, the tween age. One is a little more girly and the other a little more trendy cool. They’re hard to shop for during the holidays since we don’t have them full time and mostly only during the summer and school breaks. But this year I armed myself with a guaranteed tween pleaser: Justice. With Justice in my arsenal, I knew that anything I bought would be a stepdaughter win. Here are a few of the stocking stuffers I grabbed for them. I hope it will inspire you when filling your tweenie’s stocking this year.

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1 // Googly Eye Anti-Bac from Justice   2 // Wizard’s Potion from Justice   3 // Vanilla Frosting Mist from Justice
4 // Seamless Bikini Undies from Justice   5 // Knee Socks from Justice   6 // Unicorn Beanie Boo from Justice
7 // 
Pink Cheetah Insulated Water Bottle from Justice   8 // Printed LED Watch from Justice
9 // Printed Stretchy Headwrap from Justice   10 // Rainbow Sunnies from Justice

With five kids to shop for at Christmastime, I abide by the want, need, wear, read method of gift giving. This method gives one gift for each category and helps keep the gifts from getting out of control or uneven between kiddos. I loved that I could grab clothing for my stepdaughters from Justice knowing they’d love it (because JUSTICE!!!) and I was happy because it’s all very affordable. I can’t wait to see them sporting their new Emoji Tops and new jeans and tear into their stockings to find these fabulous accessories. The best part was that I did this all from home (at their online site) in my yoga pants and going-on-two-days-of-no-wash-hair. My holiday to do list is so long that I loved being able to cross this off without leaving my house.

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Maximize your savings with Justice with their Style Perks. Beginning 11/26, Justice shoppers will receive Style Perks with every purchase. Style Perks offer $15 off any purchase of $40 or more and are redeemable through the new year! Learn more here.

Enter the Justice Wishes Sweepstakes to win prizes from Justice for your tween like the Ultimate Justice VIP Experience complete with an iPad and shopping spree! Just snap a photo of your tween’s holiday wish to enter between 12/1 through 12/24 for fabulous weekly prizes like $250 Justice gift cards.

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Be sure to check out the Justice Holiday Gift Guide to discover gifts geared toward your tween, whether she’s a mega athlete, girly girl, or trendsetter, they’ve got it all, friends!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Evelyn’s Christmas Style

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My holiday freak flag doesn’t stop at baking and home decorations. No, friends, I bleed glitter and patterns and holiday love. My kids get special outfits for every holiday and Christmas is no exception. My style rule when it comes to holiday style is simply this: be festive! Few things are more adorable than a puffy-diaper-bootied toddler helping to decorate Christmas cookies or hang ornaments on the tree while wearing little holiday leggings and a giant red bow in her curly locks. These pieces from LaureLeaf Creations (via Etsy) are right up my alley when it comes to dressing my kiddos in Christmas style during the holidays.

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christmas style6Christmas leggings c/o LaureLeaf Creations

For more holiday pieces, you’ve got to check out these: red snowflake leggings from LaureLeaf Creations, Santa dress from LaureLeaf Creations, and this holiday dress from LaureLeaf Creations.

Evelyn’s crazy cute Minnie Mouse dress from Halloween is also from LaureLeaf Creations and she nailed it!
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Supporting small businesses is important, but women-run at-home business have a special place in my heart because my blog is my at-home business and I can appreciate the hustle and dedication a lady like Laurel has when it comes to her business. This holiday season, remember the small businesses ran by moms like you. You’re not just paying for rad holiday stuff, but you’re supporting another family’s Christmas too. Be sure to visit LaureLeaf Creations on Facebook and Instagram for all the latest in adorable microfashion.

Do you dress your kiddos in festive clothing during the holidays? What’s your favorite piece from LaureLeaf Creations? I’d love to see yours in the comments below.

Thoughtful Stocking Stuffers for Mom

This post is sponsored by oNecklace. Thank you to oNecklace for partnering with me. And thank you readers for supporting the brands that support this blog and my family.

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This year, my husband and I decided to each fill a stocking for the other person. We usually have a hard time keeping gifts a secret, but when Christmas morning rolls around and neither of us has anything to open, our kids notice, so this was our solution to be involved with the kids on our annual present opening tradition.

It occurs to me that my husband and I may not be the only couples that fill stockings for each other, so I thought I’d share some thoughtful jewelry picks that are affordable, keepsake quality, and perfect to stuff inside your Christmas stockings.

Engraved rings necklace from oNecklace

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I actually own this lovely necklace and adore it. You can use as little or as many rings as you need. Thankfully there was an option for five rings, so all five of my children (step and biological) could be represented.

Vertical bar necklace from oNecklace

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My sister recently graduated from college and worked harder than I can even fathom for this achievement. She did it all online with two babies and a husband who works several days away from home at a time. I wanted to give her a gift to let her know I was proud of her and admired her girl power, so I got this necklace engraved with her children’s names. She adores it and wears it all the time, which makes me feel like I’ve got gift-giving superpowers.

Angel wing bracelet from oNecklace

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If your partner experienced a loss this year, this would be such a thoughtful gift. I lost a grandparent late last year and this would be such a lovely way to commemorate her.

Stud monogram earrings from oNecklace

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Monograms are a huge trend right now and these are darling little accessories that show off your initials.

Layered name rings from oNecklace

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I’m obsessed with these thin layering rings. Since I already have my kids on a necklace, I would probably have these engraved with favorite Bible verses or inspiring words for me to remember. If you’re a husband buying these for your wife, I’d try thinking of three words that describe her and having those engraved on them as a constant reminder of your love and admiration.

Husbands, this post is mostly for you. Take note of these thoughtful gifts because I promise your wife will love the sentiment. Personalized jewelry is such a sweet gift and at oNecklace, it’s an affordable choice this holiday season.

Do you and your spouse have any holiday traditions? I’d love to hear your special sentiments in the comments below.

A Desert Country Sunday

It’s been a long week and I feel like I’ve been playing catch up after our Halloween extravaganza in Big Bear. November is now here and I’m resisting the urge to string up twinkle lights and deck the halls because my husband’s furrowed brow demands that I respect Thanksgiving before going full throttle Holly-Days on him. I took my time taking down the Halloween decorations and made myself purchase a harvest garland to hang over the fireplace so that I wouldn’t dig the Santa one out of the shed. Laundry is finally caught up, costumes are tucked away, and I’m wearing my Thanksgiving baseball tee to appease my husband who doesn’t agree with my Thanksgiving and Christmas are separate but one in the same holiday theory.

Sundays are usually lazy around these parts. But since I was going on two days without a shower, I knew I’d need to accomplish at least that today. Sometimes a hot shower breathes new life into me and that’s what happened when I emerged with freshly shaved legs and a happier attitude. I picked up the house after our long weekend without Dad, who has been on a retreat with our church.

After tornado-ing through the house picking up toys, wiping down counters, and putting laundry away, the kids, who were reading the previous day’s library book discoveries, alerted me to Dad’s arrival home. While I was freshly showered and dressed in my Sunday casual best, the kids were still rocking bedhead, one in just a diaper, and the other in his chonies and tank top. But the house was clean. I call that a victory.

We ventured out for an early dinner together to reconnect after a weekend away from each other. Our small town doesn’t have a lot of options, but the few we do have are simple and satisfy. One place, Cafe 247, is a kitschy road side diner that we visit for spontaneous family fry dates.

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Evelyn’s tee is from Lil Jo Peep via Etsy and we have been rocking the hell out of it lately. We also have this one and this one. A one mama shop ran out of Amy’s home, she sort of reminds me of our little diner. Small and maybe even a little bit country, but leaves a lasting impression. Be sure to visit Amy’s shop and support a mama doing the boss lady thing from home.

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Something tells me this is the calm before the storm. With a now turned six year old to celebrate this weekend and then Thanksgiving shortly after, I feel like I’ll be playing catch up until the end of the year.

Handwriting Jewelry, a Holiday Gift to Treasure

I was not financially compensated for this post, however I did receive the jewelry pictured to facilitate this post. Thank you to Centime Gifts for partnering with me. And thank you readers for supporting the brands that support this blog and my family.

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Last December, my family lost our matriarch, my grandmother, Eilene. She was deeply loved by her family and she deeply loved us, with each grandchild born the smartest and prettiest yet, she saw the best in every single one of her four children, ten grandchildren, and fifteen great grandchildren. At her memorial, nearly everyone spoke about how she made them feel like her favorite and how they felt her genuine unconditional love. Her loss left a hole in all of our hearts. We each lost our biggest fan.

When someone you love dies, you scramble to hold onto any little piece of them you can. My grandfather laid out all her costume jewelry for his daughters, granddaughters, and great granddaughters to choose from. Several of us took as many pieces as we could, none worth anything to anyone but each other. I’ve worn several pieces since then and they make me feel closer to her somehow.

For some time, I’ve wanted to tattoo her signature on my wrist, but I haven’t had the time. Her signature seems like a piece of her that lives forever. It’s her handwriting forever preserved and it gives me a sense of closeness with her while reminding me to be more like her. When I found Centime Gifts and saw that they take signatures and turn them into jewelry, it wasn’t even a question, I knew I wanted a bracelet with grandma’s lovely cursive.

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Ordering the bracelet was somewhat therapeutic for me. tracing her signature with my fingers, thinking about her through her handwriting, something so personal, was healing. Centime Gifts is absolutely onto something with this heartfelt idea of preserving handwriting and signatures through a piece of treasured jewelry. My bracelet will be a keepsake I can hand down to Evelyn, preserving our family history and memories through.

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Offering a wide variety of personalized jewelry, Centime Gifts shares a unique and special keepsake gift this holiday season. They offer handwriting jewelry like mine, coordinates jewelry, and even delicate stackable name rings all at an affordable price point that ensures you’re giving a gift of warmth and love.

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For more jewelry pieces, ideas, and ways you can customize this keepsake jewelry, be sure to check out Centime Gifts on Facebook.

October Empties & Style Faves

This post may contain affiliate links.

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For those of you who are all, “what even is an empties?” it’s a term beauty bloggers and vloggers use when sharing products that they love and use so much that they empty the bottle in it’s entirety. Today, I’ve got several October Empties that I want to share with you along with my favorite October style pieces. Brace yourself, basic bitch is in full force here and I don’t even care.

1. Herbal Essence Naked Dry Shampoo

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I was sent a sample of this Herbal Essence Naked Dry Shampoo about six months back and have gone through two or three full sized bottles since then. Dry shampoo and I have had such a love/hate relationship over the years and I’ve gone from powders to mousse to sprays. This is a pressurized dry shampoo that goes on without any residue or overwhelming smell. It works wonders and I’ve gone a full week and a half without a wash thanks to this stuff (don’t worry, I showered). My only complaint is that the full sized bottles don’t last very long, but I have yet to find anything comparable to this awesome stuff.

2. Leggings

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What girls doesn’t look forward to fall so she can wear leggings and boots? It’s the official fall uniform and the most comfortable outfit you can wear while also being fashion-forward. These leggings were sent to me from White Plum and I’m forever grateful because thee’s no dreaded underwear sheen. You know what I’m talking about, ladies? When you wear leggings, but there is still that sheen underneath where you can see your chonies? If you’ve got that issue, try a pair from White Plum. They’ve got several patterns available. Mine can be found here. Get 20% off your entire White Plum purchase with code HD20 until 10/17.

3. Perfect Autumn Day Fine Fragrance Mist

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I haven’t shopped at Bath & Body Works since I was a high school girl hell bent on her Cucumber Melon lotion. Recently, my mom received some coupons in the mail and invited me along. It was a festival of fall scented goodness. I picked up a bottle of this Perfect Autumn Day Body Spray (which now they’re calling Fine Fragrance Mist?) and have worn it every single day since. Don’t worry, it doesn’t smell like pumpkin (though they had several options). It smells slightly floral. Maybe some apple? Maybe some fall leaves? Whatever the case, it’s just enough to smell like fall without smelling like a candle.

4. Over the knee boots

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I’ve never owned over the knee boots. Partly because I have wide calves and need special boots and partly because I’ve never been brave enough. But something came over me and I recently tried JustFab, which has several wide calf options, and it was the perfect storm. I ordered these Coremma boots and I love them. I love them so hard. I can wear them with my beloved leggings or jeans. They’re different and even a little sexy.

Its’ pretty clear I’m loving this type of post and format because I genuinely enjoy sharing products I love and use with you guys in a more organic platform. What do you think about me bringing this back once a month? I’d love your thoughts on Empties posts and what you’d like to see from them.

What are your October Empties? I’d love to hear about your current favorite things in the comments below.

3 Ways to Wear Plaid, My Chic Fall Staple

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #RinseMadeRad #CollectiveBias

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For me, fall fashion is all about chic lumberjack plaid, knit textures, tall boots, and gold jewelry. One of my favorite (and coziest!) fall outfits incorporates all of these in one glorious autumn-embracing ensemble. If it were socially acceptable, I’d probably wear it every single day. But it’s not socially acceptable and I think after a few days, I’d be pretty stinky. However, I’ve recently been inspired by the new plaid LISTERINE® bottles and created three ways to wear plaid.

1. Lumberjack plaid with leggings and boots

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2. Plaid tank knotted at the waist with jeans

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3. Button down plaid top with a tulle skirt

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LISTERINE®and Target have always been trendsetters, which is probably why I was so inspired by this, and now through Target’s Mad for Plaid collection, they’ve taken it to a whole ‘nother level. Find a limited-edition bottle of LISTERINE® outfitted in perfect fall plaid at Target from September 13 – October 31. I learned the hard way last week, after my dentist discovered five cavities, that brushing alone misses 75% of your mouth, so it is critical to floss daily and rinse twice-a-day with a therapeutic mouthwash like LISTERINE® optimum oral health. With the new plaid bottles, LISTERINE® helps you achieve better oral health while adding a signature autumn-inspired look to your sink!

Use Cartwheel from now until October 31st for 10% off your chic plaid LISTERINE®.

LISTERINE® is the world’s number one dentist-recommended mouthwash and it carries the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of acceptance. To find out more about LISTERINE® Brand products, visit their website at

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Is plaid a fall staple in your wardrobe? How do you style your lumberjack plaid? Let’s chat Mad for Plaid inspiration in the comments below.


DIY No-Sew Kimono, a Simple Project for the Sewing Impaired

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Friends, you know how much I love my kimonos. I wear them almost everyday and especially during the summer months for that romantic flow that turns any outfit into a dreamy ensemble. I’m not an expert sewer by any means, but I am handy with a sewing machine and have made a couple of my own kimonos by hand. I know lots of people are intimidated by a sewing machine; so I got crafty and dreamed up a simple way you can whip up your own DIY no-sew kimono in literally minutes.


  • fabric of your choice (knits work great since they don’t fray)
  • fabric scissors
  • pins (optional)
  • measuring tape

1. You’ll start with a large piece of fabric. Mine is simply two yards from the fabric store.

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2. Fold the fabric in half and cut down the middle of the top layer only. Tip: Use a measuring tape to find the center and use some pins to mark the length of where you’ll need to cut.

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3. Tie the two bottom corners on each side in a knot.

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4. You’re done. Put on that kimono and rock it, sister!

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How simple was that? Next time you’re envying someone’s flowing kimono, run home and make your own. The best part about this project is that the possibilities are endless. You can choose any fabric (just know that fabrics that aren’t knit may not stand the test of time) and even make holiday ones. I’ve already got some sheer spiderweb fabric I’m going to use to make one for October because I’m holiday-crazed. This project is quite literally one size fits all (I’m a size 18 – plus sized); so it would make a great Christmas gift for any woman!

Does this seem like a DIY you can get behind? Let me know how you liked this simple project in the comments below.

Visit Our Holly Days’s profile on Pinterest.

Back to School Must-Haves for Desert Dwelling Kids

Back to school season is a little different in the desert. We are still battling record temps and protecting our skin, eyes, and head from the sun in August all the way through October. Because of this, desert kids need a couple of essentials that kids from other regions don’t. Here is my list of back to school must-haves for desert dwelling kids.

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  1. Tank tops like this Volcom one from Swim Outlet are perfect back to school tops to wear. In the desert, school starts when temperatures are still in the 100s. Keep your kiddos cool with lightweight clothing.
  2. Water bottles to keep them hydrated. Kids carry one or even two water bottles to school with them out here in the High Desert. Recess can dehydrate an active child quickly if they don’t have a water bottle on hand.
  3. Hats to shield their eyes and face from the hot sun. With little no no cloud coverage during early school months, kids keep cool with hats like this Hurley Boys’ One and Only Hat from Swim Outlet.
  4. Sunglasses to protect their little eyes from damaging UV rays. I keep our child sunglasses purchases affordable by ordering from Swim Outlet.

Collin loves his new Volcom tank; so much so he wanted to wear it on his first day of Kinder.

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With two boys starting Kindergarten this year, I’m really feeling the strain of back to school shopping. Both kiddos need new shoes, new clothes, backpacks, supplies, socks, undies, and the list never ends, you guys. You know this, because you’re feeling it too. To help save some money, I hunt for deals and affordable places to shop online. Last year, I discovered Swim Outlet and loved their prices, options, and name brands at affordable prices; so it was only natural for me to check them out this year.

How do you save during back to school season? Let’s chat school clothes in the comments below. Also, don’t forget to check out for your back to school needs and save!