Couple’s Staycation – Houston, TX

IMG_6858 (1)

Couple’s Staycation in Houston, TX

Let’s face it, we could all use a little break these days. Whether you’re a parent, wife, husband, single, you name it, a getaway right about now is good for the soul! My husband and I decided to take a staycation in our city of Houston to reconnect and recharge. It’s so important to protect our relationship during these crazy times.

We aren’t comfortable just yet traveling on a plane, so we decided to keep it close with a staycation instead. And the mom in me could relax more knowing baby girl was only about 20 minutes away. We were able to keep it safe and budget-friendly all while having a complete blast together. Keep reading to find out all we did!

Where to stay, what to do, and where to eat

                                                                   …………………………………………♥…………………………………

Right now is the perfect time for a getaway as lots of hotels are offering great deals on your stay. We went with Hotel Alessandra in downtown Houston after hearing good things about it. With a restaurant, bar, and pool you really don’t have to leave the hotel at all. We requested a corner room, and the views of downtown were amazing. There weren’t a lot of people staying there which made it easy to social distance. It was such a nice hotel! Everything was very clean, and the employees were all wearing masks throughout the hotel. Right now they have rates at 25% off so definitely check them out.

H_Pool_Day_NoLift_1600x988
Hotel Pool

So to be honest, we didn’t do much outside of eating and hanging out at the pool. The whole goal this weekend was to reconnect and recharge, which is exactly what we did. We did do a little sightseeing and checked out a few of Houston’s beautiful murals. It’s amazing just how many there are around the city. If you check the Houston Mural Map website, you’ll find out just where to locate them and create your own mural scavenger hunt!

houstonmural

micos

We went the takeout route the whole weekend. This was not only because of COVID, but really we just wanted chill out in our room. Mico’s Hot Chicken is a Nashville inspired and black owned restaurant that has been on my list of places to try for a while. Their chicken sandwiches come highly recommended, and they did not disappoint! The food was good and affordable (my favorite combo). You can have the option to take it to-go or sit outside under their covered patio. There is no indoor seating. This place is a must-try!

buffbrew
Buffalo Bayou Brewing

Houston has so many great breweries in the area, but the view at Buffalo Bayou Brewing is hard to beat. They have an amazing rooftop patio that has great views of downtown. As far as COVID goes, they do have to-go food and drinks. The patio tables are spread out as well, and they’re only using plastic cups for drinks. The only thing that was disappointing was that they aren’t doing flights right now, which I love to get at breweries. Our nice waitress did let us try out some samples though. This is a great spot if you’re like us and still have some reservations about being out, but you’re craving a change in scenery. Also, I highly recommend the Dreamsicle beer. It’s perfect for this Houston heat!

 

Budget Friendly Holiday Activities

The holiday season is here! It’s that time of year for family, new and old traditions, and making lots of great memories.

I will admit that I can sometimes be a grinch during the holiday season, but not this year! I’m excited to celebrate Journee’s first Christmas with all our family and friends. I’ve made a list of holiday activities that I’m going to attempt to do before the month is out. Most of these are budget friendly ideas, and baby friendly (minus the boozy hot chocolate!).

1. Christmas crafts- baby’s first ornament

2. A night in with matching PJs and Christmas stories

3. Take Christmas themed pictures

4. Send out Christmas cards

5. Visit tree farm

6. Ugly Christmas sweater party

7. Sensory boxes with bows and wrapping paper

8. Find some holiday lights throughout the city

9. Bake Christmas cookies

10. Visit hotel with Christmas decorations

11. Christmas themed day at library

12. Play Christmas music

13. Unplug and enjoy family time

14. Find boozy hot chocolate recipe

15. Binge on classic Christmas movies

Am I missing anything? Let me know your favorite holiday activities below!

Baby Fall Fashion

So I’ve been on the hunt lately for more fall clothes for Journee. The weather has been up and down here in Texas for the past month at least. Lately thought it’s been more down so I’ve noticed just how sad her fall wardrobe is!  I wanted to share with you guys a few places I’ve had the best luck.

Walmart

So I haven’t been shopping at Walmart very long, but I’ve definitely been missing out! They have lots of options that are super affordable.  My favorite is their baby sweatsuits.  You can usually get the top and pants for about $9, and a lot of them are lined with fleece to keep them extra warm.  I decided to go up a size for Journee to give her a little room to grow in them this season. The only problem I’ve had with Walmart is finding her size.  If you don’t have any luck in the store, be sure to check online!

80A19BD5-DA8A-4101-89C0-6A4588FC9D4B

Kohls

I just recently checked out Kohls for baby fashion.  It’s not somewhere I normally shop, but I got a coupon in the mail and decided to check them out.  The great thing about Kohls is that you can use multiple coupons (paper or digital) on the same purchase.  For example, on my last visit I used a $10 off paper coupon, $10 off $25 digital coupon, and a 15% off digital coupon! You can’t beat that.  It was all Carter’s brand items, and everything I bought was on sale to begin with.  With those kind of deals, I will definitely add Kohls to my regular shopping list for baby clothes.

 

F7F5BC7C-B9E7-4DFB-9630-0AE6B387F049.jpeg

Better Baby Boutique

So I discovered this boutique on Instagram a few months ago, and I’m so happy I did.  They have the most chic baby clothes! They have sizes from newborn to toddler.  I can usually get most of their stuff for $10 or less, and their clothes are true to size.  It’s nice to have some one-of-kind items that you can’t just get anywhere.  So check them out and be sure to use code “JOURNEESAVE25” to save 25% off your next purchase!

E5B4D3E3-0361-4D94-8553-BF42EC3AC6D3

Once Upon a Child

This place is definitely my go-to!  I always find the best deals here.  I recently got the cutest fleece pullover my location for $6!  You can also sell your old baby clothes or gear here as well.  I recently sold Journee’s old rocker and used that money to buy her some fall clothes.  Every location is different so you never know what you’re going to find. Be sure to follow your location on social media to keep up with their current sales.

C2D47DC2-5088-478A-970F-D255BDE01E10.jpeg

I hope this helps. Again, these are just some of the places we shop and find great deals. Let me know in the comments where you guys like to shop for your kids!

 

Store Brands: Yay or Nay?

So when it comes to store brands I feel like most people are on one side or the other. Either you’re okay with them or you’re not. I’m okay with it depending on what the item is. I will at the very least try it out.

I recently decided to try out two store brands of baby items I use daily. The first was Target brand diapers, and the second was Sam’s Club (Member’s Mark) advantage formula. So far so good!

With the Target diapers, I haven’t had any problems. No major leaks, no diaper rash, or anything in between. I’m glad I tried them out. Honestly, the price was too tempting. For a box of 104 diapers, I paid $15. If I had stuck with my normal Pampers, I would’ve paid $25. I know $10 doesn’t sound like much, but it all adds up in the end to some really great savings.

Now with the formula I was definitely skeptical. I used to have some Mom guilt once I stopped breastfeeding, and I thought giving her a top brand like Similac Pro would ease some of that guilt. The truth is though Journee is growing and developing just fine. I don’t have to feel guilty about giving her formula. She’s getting fed and that’s all that matters! Any other Mamas with me? 🙂

The Sam’s Club version of Similac Pro Advance is basically the same ingredients. There is some variations, but none that were significant for me. I did my research and I decided it was worth trying. It’s been about 3 weeks and I haven’t noticed any issues from Journee. She hasn’t had any discomfort, and there’s been no changes in her diapers. Price wise it’s a big difference. With Similac we pay about $1.25/ounce and with Sam’s we pay about .50/ounce. So it’s been a substantial amount of savings for us!

So as you can see, I’ve had a pretty positive experience with store brands lately. I’m looking forward to trying more, and potentially saving even more money!

What has been y’all’s experiences with store brands? Any you recommend? Please share!

Nursery Finds…UPDATE

I’m definitely a little late to the nursery party.  It was last on the list after we moved to Houston.  Then every time I thought about getting Journee’s room together, life happened.  So here we are at 5 months and we’re finally tackling it.  Luckily it hasn’t really mattered.  Journee has been sleeping in her bassinet in our room, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.  I’m just now coming around to the idea of her not being next to me 😦

So let me share some of the deals I’ve found so far with you guys (and please let me know if you have any as well!).

First up was the crib.  I don’t know if you guys ever check out Facebook Marketplace, but you can find some great deals on there!  I was able to snag this Jenny Lind crib from a local mom for $40! I’m so happy with it. The fitted sheet is actually from Pottery Barn Kids, but I found it on Ebay for $10! It was in the original packaging, unopened. Can’t beat that!

Next, I purchased this 6 drawer dresser on sale from Walmart for $99. I was concerned about the quality, but it turned out to be pretty sturdy!

Mainstays Dresser – Walmart

Mainstays Dresser

Lastly were these pom pom curtains. I originally saw these at Target for $50, but I found a cheaper alternative. I bought some white blackout curtains from Walmart and then I sewed on some pom pom garland from Hobby Lobby. The garland happened to be on clearance so all in all I spent around $25 instead of $50.

Not too bad huh? Next on the list is a black and white rug. I will say, I’m not having a lot of luck when it comes to deals on rugs. So I still have some researching to do! I’ll be back soon with an update!

Let me know if you guys have any nursery deal ideas!

*Update* 

After some digging, I finally managed to find a decently priced rug from Overstock.  They’re having a great deal on rugs! I went with this black/ivory striped rug for $120.  It’s 6×9 and I absolutely love it.  Click below to check it out!

Black/Ivory Cotton Rug

 

Deals: Baby Clothes

For me, finding deals on baby clothes is a must.  I just can’t bring myself to pay full price for Journee’s clothes, just for her to grow right out of them.  It’s tempting though.  I see SO many cute baby clothes all over Instagram.  I have splurged a couple times, but it’s definitely not something I do on the regular.  I remember these cute little shorts I found online that were $19.  Unfortunately, I think she wore them maybe twice before they were too small.

I’m gonna share with y’all the places I have found the best deals for baby clothes:

  1. Once Upon A Child – You can not only find gently used baby clothes, but you can sell your old clothes as well.  I’ve found rompers as low as $1 here! They also have deals on used cribs, strollers, rockers, etc.
  2.  Lollipop Boutique – This consignment shop is very similar to the above.  You can buy or sell gently used baby clothes or gear.  I also snagged some cute maternity tops from them as well!
  3. Old Navy – I have found some super cute outfits during their sales.  Make sure you sign up for their emails to stay on top of all the deals!
  4.  Marshalls/TJ Maxx – The best thing about these stores is they have deals for the whole family.  You can always find cute baby outfits for less than $10!
Once Upon A Child
Old Navy

You can’t go wrong with any of these places.  Let me know in the comments where you guys shop for your little ones!