3 Before You Shop Back-To-School Tips with Dick's Sporting Goods + 5 Giftcard Giveaway


 this post is sponsored by Dick's Sporting Goods® and VocalPoint.  all opinions and photos are my own!

welp, we made it through the very first week of school, y'all!  hoping and praying that us newbies, veterans-- everyone has a fantastic school year.  my Kindergartener was crazy excited and prepared for his very first day and beyond, thanks to Dick's Sporting Goods®!DSC_0921-01this Fall 2016, six locations will open up in/around the Houston area:

Baybrook Mall

Deerbrook Mall

First Colony Mall

The Woodlands Mall

Willowbrook Mall

we stopped by one of the largest locations to come above, The Shoppes at ParkWest (across I10 from Katy Mills Mall) for a quick pic, and we can't wait to actually go inside soon!Processed with VSCOuntil then, online back-to-school shopping it was.  less stress for me = no gas used, no getting in and out of the Texas heat, and no lines to stand in with 2 rambunctious boys and a baby bump. Processed with VSCObesides, what kid doesn't love to receive packages in the mail and tear open their 'gifts'!? everything was for Chiso's big Kinder debut, but of course we've gotta involve lil' bro.Processed with VSCO he chose a fresh pair of kicks,DSC_0874-01a super-fly book bag, and a lunch box to match. 

3 money-saving before-you-shop tips:

  • shop your child's closet with them and take inventory of what they already have.  i wanted to make our online experience fun and let Chiso pick things he loved, but i made sure he knew we were only purchasing items we truly needed for the new school year.
  • buy with 'hand-me-down' in mind (especially if you have younger siblings of the same gender of course).  i try not to buy super trendy items (ex. t-shirts with current sayings, sneakers with outlandish colors/patterns, etc.) and stick to classic colors and designs for the most part.  i'm not saying i don't ever buy those types of items because that's no fun, but they are rare and usually reserved for special occasions.  i should definitely credit Hubs for that tip, so i will ;) Dego (2) has plenty to mix and match from for a good while!
  • splurge on the high quality, durable items that will be used daily.  else you'll possibly be buying those same items several times a year.  this might be a no brainer, but i think of the things Chiso will be carrying daily (lunch box, back pack) and how often they get thrown around, banged up, and used in general.  i treat those items just like i would my sports bra purchases.  when i buy them cheap, i can't be mad when the support is basically non-existent after a couple uses and washes!  it's something i truly need and use daily, so spending the money on a few quality bras is the best investment.   the same applies here.

20160822_080018-01ready.20160822_080623-01i was too!  #NoTears20160822_080519-01off he went.  1 week down, 17 years left to go, haha.

shop DSG for back-to-school for book bags, lunch boxes, casual to athletic sneakers & clothes and beyond!  i do believe this will help ;)

we are giving away 5, yes, * F I V E * 50.00 Dick's Sporting Goods® gift cards to * F I V E * readers!!


 a Rafflecopter giveaway

K E E P   U P   W I T H   U S !



he's on a horse + crunchy almond butter brown rice crispy treats

happy mothers day!! i mean, wait... wrong sunday. ah well, i was honored and grateful to participate in my very 2nd MD.


this is one of my fave pics of two of my fave people.  7 day old Chiso and his new Granny.

Scan 131320001

Sonny treated the special ladies in his life (l to r: our moms and i) to a SCRUMPTIOUS dinner at Capital Grille.  excuse the crappy pic- ALL of our phone batteries were too low to use the flash, smh. 4 outta 4. what are the odds.... so our waiter used the restaurant's digital camera and even printed us all hard copies. what a nice touch to our special date!

IMG_20130512_211500yes, yes, yes, and yes.  lobster mac n' cheese, my mom's pan seared chilean sea bass with citrus and pea tendrils, creamed spinach, and of course i got the salmon which had green beans and onions on the side.  everything was cooked and flavored to peeeeerfection.


so beautiful and true.  i love when my own little family can all sit down and eat a meal together, but  i definitely miss eating at home with my 'rents.... i often find myself reminiscing about my childhood memories when hanging out with Chiso.

anyway, that creamed spinach and mac n cheese had my tummy upset with me until about wednesday!  i've been keeping my dairy consumption super low, but i went HAM that afternoon. i had to.


however these guys helped me forget aaaall about my tummy troubles! i love, love, LOVE receiving health and fitness gear for any occasion! do you even need a reason?! thanks hubby!


so that was last weekend.  THIS weekend, i had been to the gym all week and didn't want to go anywhere near one saturday morning. i stepped outside instead! Chiso and i had some birthday parties to attend, so i ran to Walgreens (yes, last minute as always) to get some cards.  Walgreens is about 3 miles away, so i ran there and back. literally.  it's always great to switch things up a bit.


 one of our events for the day was Rilee's 1 1/2 birthday fun fest!  this was our first 1 1/2 party and i thought it was the coolest idea ever.  i love when people do their own thing!  Kudos to Tinnell and Marcus.


Chiso had THE time of his lil' life lol.  he went from the bounce house, to the petting zoo, to stuffing his face with James Coney Island hotdogs and fries nonstop from start to finish.


and he even got to experience his first pony ride!


sooo about the ebook!!!!! the sweetest girl in entire world, Ogechi, came over to proofread it for me again.  i claimed May for the book's completion date and i'm sticking to that. for one of the books anyway;)   i posted about the sweet snack above on IG- they are crunchy almond butter brown rice crispy treats and taste DARN GOOD. see for yourself!  i made some of them for us to snack on, yum.

crunchy almond butter brown rice crispy treats

the stuff: 

  • 1/4 cup brown rice syrup
  • 1/4 cup crunchy almond butter or cashew butter
  • 1 tbsp Enjoy Life dairy-free dark chocolate chips or plain dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp Walden Farms Pancake Syrup
  • 2 cups gluten-free crispy brown rice

do this:

in a medium pot, set your burner to medium heat.

add brown rice syrup, vanilla, Walden Farms syrup, and almond butter together and stir until well combined.

shut off the fire and add in your cereal.

mix well and transfer to a pan that has been sprayed with no stick cooking spray (rectangle, circle, square, don't matter) and press the cereal flat into an even layer.

refrigerate for at least an hour so it can firm up before you cut it in squares.

gluten-free and dairy-free treat!  as always, sprinkles are optional but you gotta have'em.

makes: 10 bars. serving size: 1 bar. 79 cals - 1g fat - 66mg sodium - 18g carbs - 9g sugar - 1g protein.

it wasn't as crowded as expected for our Mothers day date this year.  just curious, where did you celebrate ? (celebrate = eat) answer below!

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