We Love Hannas

It’s official. After being invited to be another blogger’s guest at a Hanna Andersson event this week, I have a new addiction. The twins and I? We love Hannas.

We love Hannas so much that I couldn’t stop tweeting and Instagramming about how excited I was to be at their pre-Grand Opening celebration (thanks for the invite, Rachel!). This led to some friends asking me…

What is Hannas?

I’ll probably make all the VIPs who were in line with me (and were super nice and held Isla for a bit) shake their heads, but I’d never heard of Hanna Andersson until Rachel asked me to go to the event as her guest. Seriously. I’d apparently been living under a rock, because what seemed like over 1,000 other Pittsburgh moms were at the event, hoping to avoid the weekend rush at Ross Park Mall and get some adorable clothing that they’d been ordering online for years now in a brick and mortar store.

From hannaandersson.com

Well. Maybe now’s also the time to admit that I don’t spend money on clothes. Legit. Like…if I buy myself a shirt, pants, or dress, they are usually under $20. And the kids? My mom raised me to be a bargain shopper, so spending more than $5 on a shirt or pants for gooey kid stuff to like get on them makes me anxious. So, because I wasn’t at the event on “official business”, I didn’t do my homework before and just figured I’d go, get a free pair of long johns (like everyone else that attended the event, blogger or not) see the store, eat a cupcake, and leave. When I arrived, you can imagine that the budget shopper in me had some sticker shock, but after touching the long johns…I.was.hooked.

First off, the sizing isn’t “Small, Medium, Large”. It’s numbers by 10, because according to their Size Chart:

We still use the European way of sizing by height in centimeters because it’s easy and makes good sense – since every child grows at their own pace all you need to do is measure their height for a good fit.

I had to think about how tall my kids were and went with a 120 for Arianna, a 90 for Evan, and 60 for the twins.

Then the feel. I want my own Hannas because they are sooooooo (there’s not enough o’s) soft. The seams aren’t rigid. And best off? They are made from organic cotton. (Hence the sooooooo soft.) Good thing they also sell women’s clothing, right?

After standing in line, I got to meet the Director of Stores, Jessica, and she was amazing. Truly. She took Isla and basically gave me and the girls a personal shopping experience. We picked out pajamas for the girls (because they are buy one get one free through Monday, October 12, 2015 at the Ross Park Mall’s brand new Hanna Andersson). While we were looking at pajamas, I tried not to put everything in my bag, but did fall in love with a screen-printed shirt for the girls that then became the inspiration for the clothes the kids will be wearing in our fall family photo.

I was so excited to check out and get the clothes back to show the big kids, but unfortunately there were so many VIPs of past and FUTURE there that the line was a bit long (but customer service was to the MAX). Case in point? I got to meet the CEO, Adam Stone, while we waited (and later he’d come back to talk to us and Ava was super charmed). After that, I asked if I could come back in a little bit to make my purchase (cause the girls needed to eat) and Jessica showed me to their mother’s room. It’s a mother’s room that I NEED in my life. I sat on a padded bench, making it SUPER easy to feed both girls and get back out to the store in no time. I’m so floored by their care for customers that it makes my heart swell.

Oh, #ilovemyhannas! I can't wait to show you what we bought tonight @happyhannas in #Pittsburgh!

While I won’t be showing you all the photos of the clothes that I bought for the big kids (and they were worth every penny, I tell you), I will show you the twins in their pajamas. When I pulled them out, I was worried because I saw a size 60 is also for 6-9 months, which they are, but they are still peanuts. Luckily, because they are tall, we picked right and they are just too cute for words, right?

hanna andersson

Thank you, again, to Rachel for the invite and to Jessica, Mindy (Store Manager), Adam, and the entire team that was there to support the opening of Hanna Andersson. You’ve gained a new family to your’s!

If you are in Pittsburgh, the Grand Opening celebration continues from Saturday 10/10 to Monday 10/12 with BOGO PJ’s and 30% off the whole store. There are even some specials for being the first customers through the door those days and the chance to win a gift card (which we all are gonna need now that we can see the clothes in person / for the first time). Swoon. You can find out more about this company on their website, hannaandersson.com, or follow along on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook with #ILoveMyHannas. 

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I received product as a guest of Hanna Andersson with no obligation to blog about the event. All opinions are 100% my own.

 

A Change in Traditions (Black Friday)

Every year since I was a tween, I’ve “had” to go out Black Friday shopping.

I remember my first big experience…I scored Adidas windpants in navy blue and a pair of teal Airwalk skater shoes (my first real stick out name brand items) that I always wore…together. Yup, no shame in admitting my crazy here. 

The year Arianna was born, Mallory was working so I strapped Arianna to me in her carrier and we braved Toys R Us.

Last year, I met my neighbors shopping in the middle of the night and they helped me navigate a mixed up map  the store provided. I shopped most of the night, slept 3 hours, then put in a full 8 the next day at work. Dedication.

This year, however, I have a feeling things are going to be a bit different, a change in traditions. You see, I’ve heard that a lot of stores are opening on Thanksgiving. That day is going to be busy for me as it is, but there’s a bit of anxiety for me this year when it comes to shopping on Black Friday.

It seems I am not alone when it comes to shopping anxiety.

A new survey by Kelton Research for T-Mobile uncovered that early 9 in 10 (88%) people find winter holiday shopping stressful, with close to half (42%) saying it’s due to trying to find a good deal on gifts for others.

This study also found that:

  • More 50+ Americans are not excited about the prospect of holiday shopping vs. 18-49-year-olds (61% vs. 36%)
  • Almost 9 in 10 (89%) have encountered a gift priced too high, while 72% would sacrifice at least one thing to get a good deal on a winter holiday gift, 47% of them would even give up half of all their presents
  • 43% find shopping for technology more confusing than putting together a child’s toy with multiple parts. Yet, 69% would like to receive something wireless, like a tablet or smartphone, this holiday season
  • 67% of people have participated in Black Friday at least once in their lives, but participation is less common in the West than in the rest of the country (58% vs. 69%)
  • 63% say they have seen people getting pushed or shoved, and 44% say they’ve seen people stealing a place in line while Black Friday shopping

Wow! So, I am with 36% of people my age who aren’t excited about holiday shopping (I really just want to avoid crowds and have been working on shopping throughout the year). Thank goodness I don’t find technology all that confusing! And yes, I’ve seen people get pushed and shoved as well as stealing a place in line, which is part of the reason why staying home might just be worth more to me.

Plus, with technology, there are all kinds of options for shopping from the comfort of my couch this year. T-Mobile has a way for you to avoid the bustle this holiday season and shop early!

On November 16-17, T‑Mobile is offering a better-than-Black-Friday deal — a week early. During the ‘Samsung Pre-Holiday 4G Smartphone Sale,’ customers can purchase any Samsung 4G smartphone, including the Samsung Galaxy S® III, for free or $0.00 down on qualifying Classic or Unlimited Value™ plans, after mail-in rebate card.

You know, I wish Santa would bring me a few things, including the Samsung Galaxy S® III, so if you have an in with Santa or want this deal for yourself this weekend, click here http://t-mo.co/REeges for details about this special promotion. Plus, they sent over this fun infographic about holiday shopping, “HOHOHO or NONONO” (click here for the large version).

 

Thanks to T-Mobile for sharing these metrics with us! I love numbers, shopping, and deals. If you’re a betting person, what do you think the odds are that I’ll continue my tradition and be back to Black Friday shopping next week? 😉 

School Shopping Date

Yesterday after my tantrum, I decided it would be a grand idea to get out of the house and do something fun. ‘lil Miss A has demanded a pretty fun party for her birthday this year (btw, if you are wondering, it will be the Friday night of her birthday and she is SERIOUSLY counting down until October), and I want to make her a cool outfit for the photos beforehand. Twitter told me I can do this myself, and Hobby Lobby happened to have a sale on exactly what I needed, so it just made sense.

Greg opted not to join us because by the time A and I were showered, it was after one and he needed to be back for poker night by 6. Smart man, because any trip the ‘lil Burghers take over to Robinson usually ends up being an all day affair.

So, we set out to have some fun. I had no clue where the day would take us, but I grabbed all gift cards I could find, the Entertainment Book, and Kids Stuff book (coupon books which came in handy), and off we went.

Hobby Lobby was a major score for us, and I even picked up extras to make ‘lil Miss A a special Steelers outfit–problem is, she has demanded it for the pre-season game tonight. We shall see. Remember when I blogged about the canvas print? Well, my thank you sort of got mis-interpreted, and I ended up with a rolled canvas instead of one I could stretch. Turns out, Hobby Lobby can help me with framing options, so next time I am out there, I need to remember to bring it with me. Score! We’ll finally have a wedding photo hanging in our living room, you know, 3 and a half years later.

After we checked out, A asked what was next. A quick look in her laundry told me this kid was in need of fall clothes for school, and I happened to have a pretty sweet coupon in my email for The Children’s Place, so I decided the mall was a good place to head to. We scored big at TCP for A…there were several clearance items for $1.99 and lots of other steals plus my coupon and additional discount. She fell in love with a pair of glittery high tops, but I wouldn’t let her buy them because they were $30 and I knew her ‘lil feet would outgrow them quickly. She did get away with buying a pair of neon orange sandals…we’ll see what she pairs those with, ha.

After TCP, we walked the mall and window shopped. Before a stop to get pretzels, we came across a kiosk that boasted it could tell you the right sizes to look for at stores. I decided to give it a shot. Besides, I need to know what size I am now to help “seeing is believing” in this whole journey. Three times in the “tube”, and the thing either kept malfunctioning or I am too big for it to get a good reading. Well, humpfh! Maybe I’ll try another time.

After our snack break, A decided we needed to go downstairs because she noticed a playground area. Not so thrilled about this idea, I said we needed to walk the other half of the mall first.

As we walked past a store that sells “pink” goodies,  I kept walking, but noticed out of the corner of my eye they were doing fittings. As we circled back past, I decided to stop in. Let me tell you, it’s been over 10 years since I’ve really been of a size to purchase from there, so I was hesitant. That, and I had the kids with me. I asked an associate if they thought they could help me out, and for once in my life I was quickly wisked back to the fitting room. They must have upped their sizes, I told myself. A quick measurement and the associate proclaimed music to my ears. Not only did they have my size, I was actually not in the biggest size they carry AND they had  not upped their sizes. Multiple items were handed to me, and I was in awe. They were running a special this weekend and I took part in it, but was nervous. The last time I bought “bottoms” there, an XL was the option and they stopped (and no longer carry it). Well…another associate helped me out here…and she looked at me like I was crazy when I told her the pant size match to the bottom match would never work out, I would just pick a pair and find a friend to hand them to. Uh, people? She did not lead me astray, so don’t come asking if you can have my freebie bottoms. They are occupied, ahem. I felt like I was on Cloud 9 and proudly flaunted my pink bag around that mall.

After I was on my high, we were walking and A loudly proclaimed that someone smelled good, just like her Uncle Ja does. Then we did go to the playground, but I am going to blog about that one later. Humpfh.

Shoe shopping came next, and A made out like a bandit. She even asked to wear one of her finds (knock-off glittery Toms) out of the store and was over the moon when they said yes. As we picked out shoes for ‘lil Man, she found a pair of shoes that apparently looked just like Aunt Rin’s shoes and got ticked off at me when I said she couldn’t buy them. The kid doesn’t understand that an 8.5 (when did her feet get so big?) in toddler is not the same as an 8 in kids. At least number recognition didn’t slip this summer. I picked up a few new shoes–boat shoes, knock-off non-glittery Toms, and a pair of dress shoes to match some pants from a neighbor–and off we went.

Our day at the mall almost complete, I decided to check on a haircut. Not that I need one or want one at the moment (I tracked down my stylist from MC at her new location!), but this cut was a steal and came with a styling lesson. One look at the kids and the hostess was all, oh…our next appointment is at 8:15 (it was just after 7). Well, sorry for you, lady. What you don’t know is I saw your stylists sitting around and you could’ve taken me. I would’ve plopped A over at Giggles n’ Smiles and you would’ve had another customer to fill an empty chair. Anyways.

We made a stop at Party City to browse favors and ‘lil Man lost his mind over “pops”–Frooties from Tootsie Rolls. To the people in line behind me criticizing my parenting choice to feed the kids sugar at such an hour–you were parents once. Good luck with your snarky pre-teen as she hits high school, ok?

Pumped on green apple sugar (4 of them babies have 170 calories, so none for Mama), we made our final stop, Target. Perhaps you saw me tweet this and wondered what I was talking about:

Well, I have pics to prove it, just send me a message if you wanna see. Anyhow (she who calls out snark must know snark herself, ahem), we raided the clearance zone of women’s clothes (no more plus size shopping there for me, thank you very much) and A proclaimed it was messy, who did she need to talk to for clean up in the aisle?!??! Dear Burgher who laughed with me, thank you! While I was trying on the clothes, A made me cry (but more on that in another post, it’s too dear to add to this already long one). We browsed shoes, found a first day of school outfit (she demanded her dress be from the clearance rack, my kind of girl–you can preview it on a post I’ll be posting to Life With Levi this week–did you know I was writing there, too?), and even scored a few cute shirts for ‘lil Man.

SUPPER was from Wendy’s per A’s request, and we had a dance party riding home. There was a moment of BRAKING IN THE TUNNELS that had me yelling, but I realized an emergency vehicle was trying to enter the roadway and got over it quickly. A spirited rendition of “Home” (Philip Phillips), and we were back in our parking spot just after 10 (PM). People? My kids did not nap for a second! I’d tell you how long they slept in today, but I wrote this while still hyped up from my late dinner (can’t you tell). Both went to bed in their respective bedrooms, and I got to chat with a neighbor about healthy eating and how I am about to fit comfortably in the pants she gave me (even though I told her I never could see myself in that size).

Kids, I enjoyed our date and hope you did, too!

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Dear Mom–I am sure you are probably the only person reading this long memoir by now, ha!–thank you so much for showing me that sometimes Moms and kids need a day of shopping to change up our moods. Thank you for all those times you had amazing stamina and shopped away with us. I don’t know how you put up with it–my feet hurt!–but you did and I am thankful. We made great memories today, and A said the only person she would have rather been shopping with today was you. What a great statement to the mothering you’ve given me! 

If any of my friends or family stuck around for the end, let’s plan a girl’s weekend in Robinson shopping. Please? I promise you we’ll all be broke, tired, and happy by the end of it. Thank goodness we don’t live on that side of town or this would be a regular happening! 😉

For anyone else who stuck around to read this, thank you. Today’s post does have some fun memories in it, and I wanted to go back to my blog roots–this is for the kids to remember. I want them to forget the “mean Mama” they say in the morning and remember the fun we had in the afternoon/evening. Thank you for sticking it out.

Take a Peeq (#Giveaway)!

This giveaway is now closed. Thank you for entering!

Alright, world. I feel like the worlds of crafts, squares, pins and racks just collided and the retail lover inside of me just exploded. Friends, I have discovered sneakpeeq, and I have to say, I am one happy girl.

Sneakpeeq is a Facebook application that showcases micro-boutiques and offers great savings. Once you “like” them and then sign up for the app, you are given 20 “peeqs” at extreme discounts on cute boutique offerings. For instance, last night, I sat for 15 minutes drooling over cupcake/cocktail sprinkles and goodies from Ticings. Each peeq cost me one peeq to see how much my wallet would lighten, but it’s worth it. You get 20 peeqs every day to take a chance at some cute sales.

Because I am a little bit of a dork, I love earning badges for doing stuff. Sneakpeeq rewards you with badges (I currently have four) for shopping and browsing. Looks like there are about 50-some more to earn…who is going to race me? One other great thing? You only pay for shipping once every 24 hours! Sweet!

As you know, there’s got to be something in it for you. When it comes to the ‘lil Burghers/sneakpeeq giveaway, everybody wins! sneakpeeq is giving away 20% off your next purchase just for entering, plus a chance at the Grand Prize!

Prizes:
* sneakpeeq will be awarding a Grand Prize: one winner will receive a $25 gift card to use on your favorite food, style and home products

* One runner-up prize winner will receive a $10 gift card—that goes a long way in sneakpeeq’s amazingly low-priced boutiques!

* Everyone wins with the 20% off just for signing up at http://bit.ly/wZfLIW

Details:
1. Giveaway starts at 12:01 AM, Friday 1/27/2012 and ends at 11:59 PM, Thursday 2/9/12.
2. Winner and runner-up will be chosen via Random.org based on sign ups at sneakpeeq. The winners will be notified via e-mail and they will have 48 hours to respond. sneakpeeq will add your prize to your account.
3. This giveaway is limited to US Residents only, sorry!
4. This giveaway is limited to new sneakpeeq fans only.

How to Enter:

1. Mandatory Entry: Enter the giveaway by clicking on this link: http://bit.ly/wZfLIW and joining sneakpeeq! Leave a comment below letting me know you have done so. Sneakpeeq will be validating this for me.
2. Optional Entry: Follow sneakpeeq on Twitter and leave a comment that you did. (1 entry)
3. Optional Entry: Follow me on Twitter and leave a comment that you did. (1 entry)
4. Optional Entry: Tweet about this giveaway and leave the link in a comment below. (1 entry per day)

Come see all the things you love but haven’t discovered. sneakpeeq only has New Products that you have never seen before! Good luck, and remember, everyone is a winner!

All opinions on sneakpeeq are my own. sneakpeeq provided the gifts for this giveaway, thank you!