Winter Wonderland: Adorable Coats to Get Your Little One Ready for Snow

 Ariana, nearly two years of age, was all bundled up while enjoying her first snow.

Ariana, nearly two years of age, was all bundled up while enjoying her first snow.

Now that we've relocated to a city with warmer climate, we no longer have to deal with snow and frigid temperatures. Expectedly, Mommy, who's built for sunshine, is happy. Daddy, whose idea of a happy place involves sunsets and tiki bars on the beach, is living his slice of paradise. But the little one, who once had a taste of the joys of playing in the snow, has forever protested at the idea of moving to a place without snowflakes or Frosty the snowman.

While I recalled how glorious it was to first experience snow and marvel at its beauty when branches were covered with fluffy flakes, I personally do not miss the shivering cold and the morning routine of defrosting the car windows before heading out to work. But if there's one thing I miss, it's the chance to wear the always-luxurious winter fashion. I miss the lovely winter coats, adorable scarves and pretty pair of boots, most especially on Ariana whose lambie winter hat and furry coat way back when were too adorable for words. 

So even when it's no longer required, I still browse through the winter essentials for kids to remind us of what we're missing and that winter, if only for its fashion, is not that bad after all.

 

 Clockwise: Gray Hooded Cape | Pink Knit Coat | Long fleecy bomber jacket | photos and jackets by  Zara

Clockwise: Gray Hooded Cape | Pink Knit Coat | Long fleecy bomber jacket | photos and jackets by Zara

 clockwise: Nautical button 3/4 length coat | furry hooded coat | colorful faux fur jacket |  photos and jackets by  Zara

clockwise: Nautical button 3/4 length coat | furry hooded coat | colorful faux fur jacket |  photos and jackets by Zara

Pretty in Prints

Prints are easy like Sunday morning. The right prints can add a pop of color to your work style and make it playful enough for weekend dressing. Although my aesthetics tend to be more clean and minimalist (I love to horde white shirts as well as pairs of nude cropped pants and black slacks), I also enjoy the occasional surprise of a lovely printed pencil skirt or a floral A-line dress. 

When shopping for Ariana's clothes, I tend to do the samefavoring neutrals for the most part, but snatching adorable finds with prints on several occasions. What's the best way to wear prints? Let me count the ways:

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Fashion Choice #1: If you tend to be a little apprehensive about committing a style misstep when it comes to prints, stay on the safe side: Wear a patterned skirt, for instance, with something plain or neutral. I kept this weekend look easy by pairing my printed Anthropologie skirt with a plain tee but in a bright lime color to add just the right amount of pop.

  ARIANA'S STYLE:  H&M  STRIPE SHIRT AND H&M FLORAL PRINTED JEANS | MOMMY'S STYLE:  THE LIMITED  SHIRT AND  ANTHROPOLOGIE  SKIRT

ARIANA'S STYLE: H&M STRIPE SHIRT AND H&M FLORAL PRINTED JEANS | MOMMY'S STYLE: THE LIMITED SHIRT AND ANTHROPOLOGIE SKIRT

Fashion Choice #2: With the right kind of shape and design, stripes may go very well with prints. For her weekend look, Ariana kept it playful and casual by matching a pair of floral jeans with a stripe shirt. To create a cohesive look despite the mismatched prints, we picked a shirt with the same color as the floral design on her pants.

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Fashion Choice #3: Pair prints with patterns. There, I said it. Don't be scared to wear patterns with prints. It's bold, unexpected and refreshing. If you're worried that you may end up looking like a walking shower curtain, choose a sophisticated silhouette to create a more polished look.

Have you seen some lust-worthy prints in one of your shopping trips lately? Here are a few of our favorites: 

  Clockwise:  Berlin Midi Skirt | Garden Party Skirt | Harvest Bloom Skirt | Pilato Maxi Skirt | PHOTOS BY  ANTHROPOLOGIE

Clockwise: Berlin Midi Skirt | Garden Party Skirt | Harvest Bloom Skirt | Pilato Maxi Skirt | PHOTOS BY ANTHROPOLOGIE

 PHOTOS BY  KIDS H&M

PHOTOS BY KIDS H&M

Style & Sea: DIY Ariel Mermaid Dress

Who doesn't want to be a mermaid princess? Most girls dream of becoming a mermaid at one point in their fantasy-filled livesthanks to Ariel's flowing red hair, carefree adventures and an underwater kingdom full of magic. So when Storybook Parade rolled around the corner at Ariana's school, she naturally wanted to be Ariel.

But spending $20 or more on a poorly made costume is not really Mommy's style. So what's a crafty (translation: cheap) mom has to do? But of course, take out the sewing kit and do it herself! 

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Step 1: Find an old costume or dress you can recycle. Ariana happened to have an old Elsa dress which she wore until its seams were all tattered. I was ready to toss it out to the bin when I realized I can salvage a few pieces of its fabric to recreate the Ariel costume she needed for her Storybook Parade. I disassembled the pieces and decided to use the top while its cape and organza lining were recycled as part of the mermaid tail. If you don't have an old costume to recycle, get creative. For instance, a plain white shirt will easily make a base for your top.

Step 2: To create the illusion of a skin tone, I cut out the spandex inner lining of Ariana's old swimsuit. Because I don't have a sewing machine, I had to manually sew the lining on to the top. Whoever said motherhood is easy clearly hasn't tried hand-sewing their kid's costume on a Saturday afternoonI can't tell you how many times I've pricked my finger doing it!

Step 3: Now here's the only purchase I made. I bought a half yard of the metallic foil green fabric at Walmart, which cost me about $2.75. The fabric made a perfect mermaid tail. Living close to the beach means we have sea shells laying around the house, which I used as accent pieces, so zero moolah was spent on those!  

Step 4: After I've measured Ariana for her tail, I folded the fabric in half and cut out a slight V-shape in the back to create the illusion of a tail. I then attached the fabric which used to be Elsa's dress cape. At the bottom, I used the organza fabric that layered the old Elsa dress to create a full tail.

Step 5: I cut out two sea shell-shaped fabrics and attached on to the top. I added a sea shell in the middle of the top and used the pink sea shell as an accent to Ariana's hand-made headpiece. I opted to make the matching headpiece after reading all the ingredients in those temporary hair sprays sold in stores, which had all the nasty ingredients, including formaldehyde. So uhmm, no thank youthis mermaid is not wearing a red hair!

All in all, this was such an easy projecteven easier had I actually had a sewing machine! It took me a quick Saturday afternoon to put together this costume. But what was most priceless was that this labor of love was rewarded with a shrill of joy after Ariana saw the finished Ariel dress!

How about you? Have you ever recycled an old princess costume? Let us know in the comment box below.

Wild Side

It takes a brave mommy-and-daughter duo to pull off a twinning look of animal prints. After all, wildlife spots are not easy to wear, especially since this choice of prints can quickly go from classy-to-scary in one quick fashion faux pas. But there are ways to make the look edgyas long as you keep it classy.

TIP 1: Whether it's a leopard-print dress or a boho-inspired vest, wear animal prints with confidence. Nothing makes a lady feel elegant than confidence itself, so be bold when you step out into the world. It's your birthright, proclaim it: "I am woman. Hear me roar!"

TIP 2: Tone down the wild print with something neutral, like a pair of black stilettos or a nude pair of flats. It's very difficult to pull off a head-to-toe animal print style without looking like a female counterpart of Tarzan lost in an urban jungle. 

   Ariana's Style:  H&M Vest, Carter's Corduroy Pants, H&M Flat Shoes with Bow Detail

Ariana's Style: H&M Vest, Carter's Corduroy Pants, H&M Flat Shoes with Bow Detail

TIP 3: An exception to tip #2 is if you are an adorable five-year-oldso yeah, be extra playful! Cheetah is one of Ariana's favorite animals (next to unicorns, she says), so she's all about wearing animal prints from vest down to her adorable ballet flats.

TIP 4: Pare down the accessories. It's often difficult to self-edit when dressing up, but that's exactly what you need to do with animal prints. Don't overdo with chunky accessories and oversized purses. Instead, keep everything else simple to keep the look minimal and allow the print to speak your style.

How about you? How do you like to wear your spots and stripes? Let's chat, leave us some style ideas in the comment box.

Click for Ariana's shopping inspirations:

Youngland Drop-waist Dress with Animal Purse

Carter's Animal Print Slip-On

Click for Mommy's shopping inspirations:

Marc Fisher United Pump

Marta Leopard Knit Dress

The Limited Printed Snap Front Coat