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fabkids review at thesoutherninstitute.com

I know, I know, I know! Another service. Trust me, you’re going to love this one (plus you can get 50% off when you sign up over the next few days!) It’s Fabkids and we have been buying adorable outfits for Abby for quite a few months now from Fabkids.com. It was started by a team of parents, including mom and actress Christina Applegate. All of the clothes are made exclusively for Fabkids and they’re all adorable! The only bad thing about them is that they only go up to size 12 and Abby is about to size out of the service.

What’s so great about Fabkids? Here are a few things: Back zipped marled dress

1. You sign up to purchase great two piece outfits for $29.95 each.

2. You fill out a style profile for your child.

3. Each month you receive an email with several fun choices in all different combinations, catered to your child’s style, but you’re not limited to those choices.

4. If you don’t see anything you like, or it’s not in the budget that month, you just pass! No penalty or fee, and no hard feelings.

5. Your outfit ships straight to your door.

That Back Zip Marled Dress and Daisy Leggings in the picture above has been one of Abby’s favorite outfits this season, and it looks adorable on her. The Dots and Stripes Outfit is on its way to us right now.


But Fabkids isn’t just for girls, they have a full range of clothing for boys too!


I’d love to invite you to try Fabkids and for the next few days (through 2/17) you can get 50% off your first outfit! It’s worth a try just to get a great outfit for $15, don’t you think? If you don’t love it, return the outfit for a refund, and cancel your subscription. They won’t bother you again. Easy-peasy! Have fun shopping!

Don’t Forget to Include Your Children!

I don’t know about you, but right about Halloween, when the Thanksgiving and Christmas displays started materializing in stores all over town, I started to get anxious thinking about all that begged to be done to get ready for the holidays.  As our calendar started to fill up I had to remind myself to be sure to include my children in all of the preparations and festivities.  There are many things that they are eager to do and they are more than capable of doing them.  Let’s not forget to schedule some family fun in there too!  Here are a few ways that you can include your children this holiday season.

  1. Let them help out in the kitchen.  Do you make Christmas cookies every year?  Why not make it tradition to make them with your children?  Even better, have a baking party and invite a few friends over!  Make some hot cocoa, put on some holiday music and have a great time together with family and friends.  Don’t forget to “test” the final product (wink wink).
  2. Let them make/buy and wrap gifts.  There is so much emphasis put on what children want to receive… don’t forget to let them be givers too.  Whether store bought or handmade, it’s important to let our children go through the process of stepping outside of themselves and thinking about giving gifts to others.  Help younger ones create a simple craft as a gift.  Maybe an older child has allowance money saved that they can spend on a gift for someone they love.  Let them wrap gifts for the other people in the family too.  Bring out the best papers, ribbons, and bows and let them have fun being creative.  One of my favorite ways to wrap gifts is by creating custom paper with holiday themed rubber stamps.  Basic white, red, or brown craft paper is a great background for this and kids love to make their own paper.
  3. Serve somewhere as a family.  Help out at a local family shelter or visit shut-ins at the nursing home.  Bring a little bit of Christmas cheer to someone in need and let your children see that they can make a difference this holiday season.  Children are naturally inclined to help others, but I fear we don’t give them ample opportunity to stretch those “muscles”.  This is the perfect time to do that as a family.
  4. Get some families together and go Christmas caroling.  I’m pretty sure that most kids love to sing and holiday songs and carols are the most fun when sung with others.  Kids love to sing and they love visiting friends.  This is a great way to get your kids involved in spreading some holiday cheer!
I know that you have more great ideas.  What are some ways that you like to include your children at holiday time?  Do you have any holiday traditions that you’d like to share?  

A Nature Walk Birthday Party.

At the beginning of the month Levi, my baby, turned five years old.  I’m not sure how it happened already, but he’s five now and I have to come to terms with the fact that my youngest son is no longer a baby.  When we were beginning to talk about what he wanted to do for his first real birthday party with friends, he said that he wanted to go to the nature center.  My ears perked up and my eyes brightened!  I was delighted that I wasn’t going to have to talk him out of going to a bouncy house place or Chuckie Cheese!  

Nashville is home to many wonderful parks, one of them being Edwin Warner Park.  Edwin Warner Park has a great nature center that offers programs for kids all year long.  They have a great facility with a big outdoor nature play area, a creek, and plenty of trails.  Levi decided he wanted to go there with some friends and his cousins to go on a nature walk.  I bought several cardboard boxes for them to collect their treasures in as they walked and let them decorate them with crayons, stickers, and gems beforehand.    

nature walk birthday party at thesoutherninstitute.com

We had talked in the days leading up to the party about our treasure hunt and what kinds of things we could look for on our hunt.  We made a list including twigs, acorns, red and orange leaves, pine cones, rocks, and things like that.

nature walk birthday party at thesoutherninstitute.com

nature walk party at thesoutherninstitute.com

We stopped at the pond and observed the tadpoles and fish.  There were stepping stones that led across the pond.  Believe it or not, only one little boy ended up wet up to his little tush.

nature walk party at thesoutherninstitute.com

Of course there were crackers, juice and cupcakes after the hike.  The weather was a bit chilly, but it was the perfect way to celebrate  Levi’s 5th birthday and enjoy the beautiful autumn colors!

Of course, we brought a trash bag and followed our family rule to “Leave the area better than it was when we got there”.  We were so happy with the way the party turned out.  The kids were outside, learning about the seasons, enjoying nature, and getting fresh air in their lungs.  Everyone had a wonderful time!  What are the chances he’ll want to do this again next year?