Shop Loehmann’s for Pre-Teen/Teen Boys' Clothing

My middle-schooler can officially fit into men’s clothing sizes. This revelation is both scary and exciting at once: scary because it means he is growing up quickly (having just surpassed me in height); yet exciting because it means we now have a much greater pool of shopping resources for him, where we’d previously hit a wall of limitation with items in the largest boys’ sizes being consistently sold out.

Our first excursion in the land of new shopping possibilities led us to the men’s department at Loehmann’s. The Timonium, MD location had a large selection of items like Calvin Klein cargo shorts, v-neck tees (which he is way into this summer), short sleeved plaid button down shirts and various cuts and styles of jeans. Lots of smaller men’s sizes, ideal for my son’s frame, were in stock.

We were shopping for his weekend away, and ultimately snagged: a pair of Penguin plaid shorts (that he would pair with a Ralph Lauren polo shirt he already owns, and wear to an event at a country club); an argyle patterned v-neck tee and plaid shorts by Michael Kors (that he would wear to a fashion show); a pair of vintage wash Seven jeans with a grey v-neck tee (for wear anytime); and a pair of Cole Haan aviator shades (which you can see him rocking here).


If you have a pre-teen or teenage boy, Loehmann’s is a fantastic resource for quality, classic items. I got all 6 items listed for less than $125. If you have ever shopped men’s clothing, you know what a steal that is! To find Loehmann’s locations near you, click here.


The Hill Consigment

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Recently, GG and I had the pleasure of visiting The Hill Consignment, a quaint little boutique on a quiet corner in the Federal Hill neighborhood of downtown Baltimore. Having had it on my "to visit" list for quite some time, I was delighted to finally find my way into the store.

Though small, The Hill Consignment features a large variety of relatively affordable clothing labels that are synonymous with quality, like Ann Taylor Loft, INC, J. Crew and Ralph Lauren; as well as shoes such as Nine West and Via Spiga--whose basic pumps, at the very least, should be closet staples for anyone who wears professional dress for work. You can also accessorize easily from the selection of bags, scarves and sunglasses; as well as pretty, unique jewelry.

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While I didn't score anything on this visit, G managed to snag a super cute dress for just $15 and a skirt for work that was only $35.

Though The Hill doesn't have a regular re-stocking schedule, they do have plenty of inventory in the basement, and plenty of consignors they can call for more merchandise. I would caution that when visiting this store, one should come prepared to look through absolutely everything as the store is organized by style, not season. However, I absolutely recommend checking it out; especially if you live or work in or near Federal Hill---stop by often to see what great items you can find before anyone else does!

Summer Sporting Checklist for Moms

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Your kids are involved in sports all-year round, but no activity is more of an adventure in extreme mommying than attending an outdoor event in the dead of summer, or the middle of winter. Since temps are rising steadily (I believe we are to hit 102 degrees over the next two days. Eek!) let’s focus on the most important items you’ll need to be prepared to cheer on your little ones in the sweltering heat.


1. Sunscreen – Everyone’s skin will burn when exposed to the sun for extended periods of time, so be sure to slather it on before leaving home. Banana Boat is a great option for kids and adults.


2. Hats – Hats are another shield from the sun. They’ll help protect your skin and shade your eyes from the sun. (I love to rock out my sunglasses, but during long periods in the sun I get sunglasses tan a.k.a. “raccoon eyes”. Not cute! Does this happen to anyone else?) Extra shelter from the sun is especially important for babies whose skin is still wildly sensitive. Urban Outfitters has a large selection of fly summer hats for Mama; while Target has the cutest selection of baby boy and girl hats.


3. Chairs – Lots of sports fields have just a couple of bleachers, so there isn’t room for all the spectators; not to mention, bleachers can be hot to the touch and they get uncomfortable after a long period of sitting. The easiest way to be comfortable is to bring your own portable sports chairs. Dick’s Sporting Goods has fairly inexpensive versions and you can find them in toddler, big kid and adult sizes. You can even get really fancy ones with umbrellas built in; which leads me to the next item on the list: an umbrella.


4. Umbrella – Plant an umbrella in the ground for shade when there isn’t any on the field. Shade also moves with the sun throughout the day, so it’s great to have a little of your own to avoid having to move with it. This Pop Up Leaf is a fun version.


5. Blankets – It’s tough for babies and smaller kids to stay confined to a chair for the entire length of the game; spread blankets out on the ground where they can have a little more freedom of movement and the ability to read books or play with small toys.


6. Water – It’s so important to stay hydrated when it is hot out. It’s best for your player to drink lots of water while playing; sports drinks are great for replenishing nutrients after the game, but drinking it during can cause cramping. So bring lots of water for your little athlete and for the rest of your family as well.


7. Cooler with ice – Bringing a cooler helps to keep your water and other drinks cold. It doesn’t have to be the big monstrous version you use for your backyard barbecues, as that can be overwhelming to lug around. You could use something as small as a lunch cooler and substitute ice packs--as long as there is enough room for water for your whole family.


8. Snacks – Your kids are going to get hungry. Of course you’ve fed them before you left home, but by the time you’ve packed the car and driven to the field they’re ready for a snack. Bring lots of small items like fruit, granola bars and squeezable yogurts that they can grab easily. Be careful of salty snacks as they can increase dehydration. It might also be a fun idea to bring popsicles to help cool them off.


9. Cash – No matter how many snacks you bring, it’s inevitable that your observant little love bugs will see something they like better at the concession stand. Bring a few dollars in cash to avoid the “Can I haves” that are sure to be incited when they see other people purchasing on-site. Additionally, it’s often run by parents or boosters and it’s always great to support your team.

Have I forgotten anything? What else is on your summer sporting checklist?
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