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Dressing Florrie…

Friday, a week ago already, saw us traveling down to Somerset Medical center for more blood work for Tate, so of course it would have been silly not to call into Bridgewater Commons Mall… I can quite honestly say that I have only managed to visit 4 or 5 shops in this mall and the food court! I recently discovered that Bridgewater Commons has one of my absolute favorite childrens shops of all times… Naartjjie, and this is as far as I usually get into the mall… Thankfully for my pocket!

In 2005/2006 we were on vacation in California, we visited the Beverley Hills shopping mall and there was this oh so cute children’s clothes shop… Mabel was 4 and Blu was 6 at the time… All I can say is that I fell in love with all the clothes immediately, and of course had to buy a few items of clothing… At the time I thought this shop was higher in price for their apparel, but I have recently discovered they have a clearance rail and even better Memorial Day weekend saw 30% off all their clearance clothes… Yay, fun for a Mommy of a beautiful 3 year old girl and a handsome 2 month old boy!

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Leggings and headband by Naartjie, tutu skirt and top by Cherokee, Target!
Crocs by Crocs for Target!

There is definitely something very different in style about Naartjie, it’s unique style of clothes can be matched together easily with other pieces within the store or put together with clothes from other stores or clothes that you have hanging in your child’s closet! I’ve noticed that across all three age groups the styles are almost identical, for instance a 1-2 year old skirt with attached leggings is made in an older size but without the leggings attached, they also typically use a limited number of color schemes throughout the whole store for girls and the same is said to be true for the boys clothing, so each style of say one top can then be found in the several other color ranges to mix and match together with different items of clothing throughout the store!

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Price range is similar to the Gap, and like the Gap they have a sales and a clearance rail, they also add additional percentage off the clearance clothes regularly, so it’s worth signing up for their emails to know when this happens, this week they have had free shipping online and 40% off a range of clothing within the store… Don’t worry if there isn’t a store near you, like me, my nearest one is a 50 minutes drive away, everything is online and shipping is very reasonable!

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To say I love this store is an understatement… I REALLY love this store and now that I have found it again my two little ones will be dressed Naartjie style much more often!

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When did buying a stroller become so complicated?

I think over the many years since I had my first child, our lives have become busier, I know for sure that I am in a car much more these days than I ever was back in those distant days! As a mother of 7 children soon to be 8, I can say with all honesty that my first three sons in their twenties were fantastic sleepers, the next four that followed were not so great, I am starting to think this is because with my first three children they were not always slumped into car seats, they were laid into Moses baskets, bassinets/cribs and cots to sleep, when we went out they were laid into prams not cradled into car seats and strollers right from the time they were born, meaning that they got used to sleeping flat and not cradled into a womb position almost constantly… So this is why with my new baby boy I have decided to try it old school, go back to the days when babies were laid in prams to sleep, after a lot of research into all these new strollers that have appeared on the market in the last three years since I had Florence, I have chosen a stroller that I am hoping will work for me and give me a good sleeping baby…

The stroller choice is a mine field, with strollers costing $1500, down to car seat frames that are $69, I don’t plan on buying a double stroller for Florence, she is a good walker, but occasionally she gets very tired, so I think the car seat frames won’t work for me, although they are light and easy manoeuvre, I want a stroller that will work for a baby and a two year old, my plan is to baby wear if Florence gets tired so that she can sleep in the stroller if needed, this does not happen very often as she is very independent and loves to walk everywhere, so hopefully this plan should work well! The next type of stroller is the travel system, the car seat clicks onto the stroller, this is what I had for Florence, I loved it as I didn’t have to wake her if she was sleeping in the car, especially as she got older, but the one downside was the weight of the stroller lifting it in and out the car, it was very heavy and to be honest I very rarely used the stroller until she was about a year, also the stroller only faced forward, which is fine for an older baby but I like to have my baby facing me when they are tiny!

I have spent many hours researching my stroller this time and I have finally come up with the perfect stroller for my needs, I love the Contour Bliss stroller, the frame looks stable with big back wheels and easy to manoeuvre front wheels, the actual seat easily converts to a bassinet so that your baby can lay down flat whilst you are out and about, the seat accommodates a newborn baby up-to a 40lbs toddler, it easily forward faces then turns to rear face, it has a big basket for storage! It is also a travel system, the whole seat/bassinet is easily removed so that the car seat adaptor can be fitted, it is a universal adaptor and allows branded seats to sit securely just onto the frame! The one downside is that it is quite bulky when folded down but thankfully we planned for this when we bought our minivan, so hopefully this will work well!

Yesterday I went out just window shopping, planning what stroller and car seat to buy, but being that time of the year when after Christmas Sales are winding down, extra discounts have been applied to clearance items, bargains were abundant…. First on my list was a brand new key fit 30 car seat by Chicco, usually $199 but yesterday I purchased it for $60. Next on my list was looking at strollers, looking at weight, ease of use, practicality, again more reductions so a $399 stroller with 20% off coupon makes the Contour Bliss a perfect choice!

With only 9 weeks to go, I was not planning on actually buying these items quite so soon but sometimes we just have to snap up a bargain when we see one… So this little boy tucked up tightly inside me has most things he needs to come home to now!

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My shop is now open…come on in and take a look around!

After months of thinking, saying and procrastinating over opening an Etsy online shop, I have finally taken one giant leap for this craft loving mommy and actually opened, announced and advertised my shop, I’ve created a page linked to this blog and another one on Facebook… Florrie’s Attic is now open… It may work, or it may not, who knows but it is officially open selling sun hats at the moment!
Please take a look and see what you think, say hi, or stay a while and browse around, everyone is welcome at Florrie’s Attic

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If you also have time come along and join me at my new Florrie’s Attic facebook page and if you love my page please click like and join me along on my new adventures!

My plan is to follow Gordon Ramsey’s advice, I know he is a chef, but his theory for a menu in a restaurant, is to keep it simple, I am thinking this applies to opening a shop too, a few key products to sell in different designs, simple and fun! I have opened my doors with my beloved sun hats, I love creating them and hope that all though there seems to be a lot of competition out there, my hats will stand out for design and quality among others!

My doors are always open… So come on in!