Samantha's Picks: What She Scored at Tea Collection's Massive Summer Sale...

We did it. We snagged our top choices and in preferred sizes during Tea Collection's seriously discounted summer sale. If you've ever shopped for not one but two children and needed to find clothing for both (four years apart in age) you'll know this was definitely a fist bump from the good Lord above. Right?

My oldest has quite a strong sense of personal style (not surprisingly) and has a very clear vision of how she wants to present herself. She quickly sussed out her Tea favorites and nudged me towards pieces I didn't notice. We're featuring the final selections here and giving a bit of insight into what we both love about our seriously discounted haul. 

What she loves about the brand: Pretty designs in comfortable fabrics. End of story. Samantha shares that she feels girly in her Tea dresses & leggings but can still have fun at the park. 

What I love about the brand: high quality construction, terrific fabrics, durable pieces, mix and match opportunities and perfect price points. Did I mention I can order online and it arrives quickly via free shipping? Hallelujah. 

So what did we buy? Some very cute summer outfits for both girls that are easy to mix and match. This flexibility means our outfits are multiplied because we can get creative with our pairings. Striped leggings are a mainstay for us, especially with a swingy floral print dress. We also snagged a few leggings with gold accents to liven up the mix. Seems gold is appealing to girls of all ages. 

We also invested in a perfect cream cardigan because it was significantly marked down it is always smart use of resources to add classics to the closet. Cool fall nights will arrive before you know it and pieces like this last for many years. On that note: Tea does a lovely job of slowly transitioning colors from season to season, meaning these summer coordinates will blend well with the upcoming fall collection pieces and those fall looks will ease us into the spring 2016 colorway. I've always appreciated this "build as you go" approach to children's clothing. Tea wins major points for me here. 

No coupon code is needed to shop the sale, but I suggest you make selections before your sizes vanish - never to be seen again. Also note: we just discovered Salt Water shoes and have fallen in love with these sandals for my littlest. Made from waterproof leather that gets better when it gets wet? I and my puddle jumping toddler will take them. Tea has Salt Water, and you can also also find them at Nordstrom. Happy hunting!  


A bit of backstory: I discovered Tea Collection when my oldest (now 7) was about 18 months old. At the time it was very much a boutique brand and was difficult to find. Over the years their reach and customer base has grown. Each "collection" of fabrics is inspired by a different global location with silhouettes largely remaining the same and a few special occasion dresses mixed in.

The shapes evolve slightly over the years, but we always return for their easy swingy dresses and super soft leggings. While I do focus on the looks for girls, their quality is unrivaled when it comes to durable boy's clothing. Those twill shorts and cotton shirts feel as though they are made from military-grade fabrics. If long-term use is a goal (and for families with boys, a summer feels quite long) this brand is a winner. 


Tot Fashion: Samantha's Spring Picks....

Samantha's style picks are always a hit. We thought we'd launch into spring and summer dressing with some of her favorite selections from J. Crew. But first... what does my precocious 7-year old pine for in an outfit? I'll allow her to elaborate... 

Q: Tell us about your style...
A: I'm kind of feminine and sporty at the same time. It's important to be girly and fun when you're a little girl. 

Q: On a typical day, what do you wear? 
A: Most days I wear leggings and a tunic or dress. I like the idea of having modesty and style at the same time. 

Q: Your sister is three. Do you two dress alike? 
A: Sometimes. We have some matching outfits, but not everything is alike. We love to match but some things don't come in mine or my sister's sizes. 

Q: What are your favorite brands?
A: Tea Collection, J. Crew, Kate Mack and Lilly Pulitzer for outfits. Most of these make it easy for my sister and I to find matchers. Sperry, Sam Edelman and Pediped for shoes. But winter is great when I can wear my Timberland boots!

Q: Let's talk hair. Headband, bow or ponytail for you? 
A: I like headbands the most because they are cute. They keep my hair back from my face. It's perfect for the playground. 

Q. Fashion icons: Which Disney princess do you think would have the best closet ever? 
A. I think Jasmine would have the best closet ever. Her dad was the Sultan and she sleeps in a red velvet bed. You know her closet would be great! Her dresses are amazing and she would have lots of gold and glitter on everything. Jasmine!

Q: Why are you shopping J. Crew for spring and what are you loving?
A. I like how bright and happy their dresses are. They have lots of color and happy patterns. Color and style equal one thing: cuteness! Also, they have sizes my sister and I can both wear. 

With that... here are some of her favorite looks - all on sale presently for an extra 30% off with code TIMETOSHOP. 

Neon Floral Tank Dress // Mila Cap Toe Ballet Flats // Peony Headband


This outfit scores high points for it's on point preppy matching. The shoes really seal the deal on selling us on the fashion value of color coordination. Love that the dress could be dressed down with flip flops or make an appearance in Sunday church. Toss on navy leggings and it takes the playground by storm. Love this look!  

Embroidered Butterfly Dress // Capri Leggings // Neon Citron Headband // Silver Gladiator Sandals


This is one of those fun looks with amazing details. Samantha loves the embroidered design on the dress and those unexpected pops of neon. Capri leggings make this dress more casual and practical. Add metallic sandals and a floral headband and you're set for the day. 

Sundress in Flipped Hearts // Capri Leggings in Gold Foil // Cyrpus Sandals // Glitter Sunnies


Gold, gold, gold! This look is fun and fab all in one. This featherlight dress with gold and neon hearts in a (somehow) subtle pattern pair with these fun metallic leggings. Why stop here? Rock shimmering shoes and a fancy headband just to show the world you got this. 

The takeaway? A mix of girly details and practical styling makes it easy to dress little girls in fashion they love to wear. You can have your glitter and wear it too if you just know how to mix it up.  Stay tuned for more of Samantha's chic picks. 

Tot Decor: Regal Favorites from 9 by Novogratz

We recently discovered the newest collection of home goods by Bob & Cortney Novogratz. Known for their transformative renovations and artsy vintage-modern interiors, this talented couple already has established lines at Macy's and CB2.

9 by Novogratz is the dynamic duo's latest foray into the product design market, this time available exclusively through Wal-Mart. This collection is so visually exuberant that it easily translates to teens, tweens and young adults - but we could see daring "kids at heart" of all ages loving many of these pieces. Bold colors, artistic flair and graphic appeal make the entire collection a home run for anyone looking to outfit their digs in style at attainable price points. 

What I have always admired about Bob & Cortney is their family-friendly aesthetic and integrated lifestyle. From the very first episode of 9 by Design (how I miss that show!) it was clear that there were no clear lines of demarkation between work life and home life. This beautifully blended approach to life is expressed in everything they create, and this line of bed and bath goods celebrates the "embrace life" youthfulness they radiate. 

Since I'm mom to two very young girls, we viewed this through the lens of my oldest's eyes. She was given free rein to choose her favorites. Mere seconds later, my princess in training has mapped out a solid path to "cool bedroom" perfection. Here are Samantha's picks:

Striped Chair // Upholstered Headboard // Tufted Ottoman // Bath Set // Queen & King Pillows

While we opted to style this through very young pink-loving eyes, 9 by Novogratz strikes us as the perfect blend of cool for expressive teens and college aged young adults. Sofa sleepers and arm chairs offer plenty of laid back styling options for beyond the bedroom. The kaleidoscope of colors makes it a great fit for those of who crave bold color & strong geometry. 

On a personal note, I'll be interviewing Bob & Cortney for an upcoming post. I cannot wait to dig in and ask about their work-life balance (is there any such thing?) and learn more about the world through their brightly shining eyes. This is just one of many interviews you can expect to see here on the new blog. Enjoy!