Victoria Emerson Columbus Day Weekend BOGO!!!

Friday, October 11, 2019


This post was sponsored by Victoria Emerson and contains affiliate links (I will receive a percentage of commission if you make a purchase through one of my links.) 

Victoria Emerson is having an amazing promo on this holiday weekend - Buy one get one free site-wide! Buy yourself a bracelet and give one as a gift!!! My favorite are the Boho cuff styles. Shown above I'm wearing the Vigo bracelet, goes really nicely with Lilly Pulitzer if you have a vacation coming up! (More Lilly here, and more shell-cuff bracelet options here.)


See the  double-wrap bracelets here. I love the  leopard leather bracelet for a little bit of animal print! 


Lots of pretty signature wrap bracelet options too. Including the neutral toned one I'm wearing, here. These are adjustable so they can fit any sized wrist!

You can shop some of my Victoria Emerson favorites using the little pics below! Also, if you don't already, follow me on  Instagram, and come join us in the  Sample Sale Mom facebook group for discussion and great shopping deals on clothing, (heavy on the boys' stuff!) beauty items, housewares and all sorts of other kids' stuff! We currently have over 100,000 members!

October finds from Carter's (up to size 14!!!)

Tuesday, October 8, 2019


This post was sponsored by Carter's and contains affiliate links (I will receive a percentage of commission if you make a purchase through one of my links.) 

Carter's isn't just for little kids... they make kids clothes up to size 14!!! Yes! Plus you can combine in one cart with OshKosh (also sizes up to 14) to hit the $35+ threshold and get free shipping!

My kids are really (really) into super heroes right now. They're obsessed with their hero fightning video game and we're on our way through every hero movie made in the past decade. So I was excited to find these sequin-flip super hero tees for them, in Batman and Superman. The sequins flip really well/easily so they'd be great for little kids too. Do go up if you're between sizes at all, I'd say they run just a bit small. They have Elsa from Frozen too!


Here are the reverse side of the flips. We paired them with Everyday Pull-on Pants (khaki) and 5-pocket skinny jeans. Note, they don't actually run that skinny - fine for normally-proportioned kids. We also like the Pull-on Denim Pants. (Those come in toddler sizes too.)


I asked the boys to pick out a jacket and Chase immediately said he loved this Varsity style. It's nicely lined, perfect for Fall. Available in baby, toddler and big kid sizes so you could do a match with multiple boys! (Chase is a tall 10 year old and is wearing sz 12 here.)


Alex is wearing this  Sherpa zip-front sweatshirt with a soft lining. The smaller boys sizes have hoods too. 


If you have younger kids, definitely do not miss the sale  fleece Halloween footies (so cute!) - Some  only $17 at post time here. 

Follow me on  Instagram, and come join us in the  Sample Sale Mom facebook group for discussion and great shopping deals on clothing, (heavy on the boys' stuff!) beauty items, housewares and all sorts of other kids' stuff! We currently have over 100,000 members!


Update on Matt (October)

Thursday, October 3, 2019


If you haven't already, you can read my post about Matt's diagnosis with Hodgkin's Lymphoma here. My follow up post from August is here.

I wanted this to be a happy 'we're-in-the-home-stretch' update but unfortunately it's not. It's not too bad either, things are headed in the right direction. Just more slowly than we would prefer. Matt's latest PET scan still shows a little bit of activity in the outer rim of the tumor. We had been hoping the tumor would be completely 'dead' (inactive) by this point. It has shrunk to approximately 2.8 cm in width, from its original 9 cm size.

Matt has now completed nine chemo treatments of the total twelve. (He's had one more treatment done since this latest scan.) Due to the fact that the tumor is still a little bit active and still at 2.8 cm, Matt's doctor thinks he will likely need radiation to completely eradicate the tumor after he finishes chemo.

Radiation will probably be every week day, five days a week, for six weeks. We think he will need to begin some time in early December and continue into January of 2020. This means he likely won't be able to return to work until the new year either. And radiation has some worrisome long term side effects... It's still possible he won't need radiation, but it is most likely he will.

Over the past six weeks since I returned from my trip to Yellowstone with the kids, we've dealt with some other hassles too. Our dog, Felix, developed a bad abscess on his head and had to have major surgery and two follow up procedures. He needed a lot of after-care, but fortunately he and Matt got to be 'recovery buddies', hanging out on the couch together. Felix was in his cone of shame for about three weeks and has a huge scar, but now he's feeling a lot better.


Matt doesn't really feel like posing for photos these days, so here's a pic of Felix. Isn't he the cutest? It's hard to tell from the pic, but Felix had his head shaved for his operation. Matt is so funny, he joked that Felix was the only one who shaved his head in solidarity with him. (Yes, he asked the boys if they wanted to shave their heads. They said absolutely not.)

Matt is generally feeling okay, just tired, but the chemo seems to have a cumulative effect, and each time is a little bit harder than the last. His fingertips are numb all the time, he gets headaches, and there are occasional days where he needs to sleep almost all day. So, now we have to wait and see how the next scans look in another couple of months once Matt is finished with chemo. Cancer involves a lot of waiting.

If you are a member of my facebook group and are one of the many people who have sent a nice message or sent me good deals and products to post, thank you so much! Please keep sending those! 
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For anyone who doesn't already - you can also follow me on Instagram, here.

Fall Booties!

Monday, September 23, 2019


This post was sponsored by Walmart and contains affiliate links (I will receive a percentage of commission if you make a purchase through one of my links.) 

Fall is officially here and it's time for booties!!! My pair above are just the right heel-height - they look great on but aren't so high that you wobble in them. They're available in black also, and run  slightly small. If in doubt at all, go up half a size.


Oh, and they're vegan (so no cows have to give their lives for your booties!) Paired here with Sofía Vergara cropped jeans and this cute black top. Note that the jeans come slightly frayed, and will fray a little more with each wash. I've probably washed them about 15 times to get this look. You can get all three pieces exclusively at Walmart. While you're there check out lots of other bootie options too!




Shop bootie options in the pics below!

Follow me on Instagram, and come join us in the Sample Sale Mom facebook group for discussion and great shopping deals on clothing, (heavy on the boys' stuff!) beauty items, housewares and all sorts of other kids' stuff! We currently have over 100,000 members!

Casual Outdoor Clothing - Yellowstone and Grand Teton Trip

Monday, September 9, 2019


This post contains affiliate links (I will receive a percentage of commission if you make a purchase through one of my links.) 


In August I took the boys to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park with my parents. Gorgeous views, incredible wildlife and scenery... a great trip if you don't mind 'roughing it' a bit. Highly recommend staying at Jackson Lake Lodge (photos on their site are terrible - they do not begin to do it justice - one of those most beautiful places I've ever stayed.)

I won't give an entire rundown of our trip, just wanted to quickly talk about what I packed for clothes and link to my outfits. Mostly it was in the 50s and 60s - but it ranged from down near freezing at night to the 70s on the hotter days. I feel like I packed well for this one!

Pictured above:
Eric Javitz hat - a splurge but 100% worth it. I've tried so many hats and this is the only brand I've fallen in love with. I take them on every sunny vacation with me.
North Face insulated hoodie (I'm wearing last year's version and linking to this years.) Nicely fitted, good for wind protection and packs up very small for when you aren't using it.
Sofia Vergara jeans - These are budget at $22.50 AND they look/fit amazing. True to size, and I love the frayed hems.


Pictured above:
Same jeans and hat linked on the previous pic.
Athleta tank top. Love that these are long in length yet slim!
Patagonia 26L backpack. See more shots of this below
Ray Ban pink sunglasses
Keen Hiking Boots. These are a men's style but fit me better than any of the womens styles they had in the store where I bought them. Plus I think they look good. (Can't go wrong with black/grey.)


Pictured above:
Same hatbackpack and sunglasses linked on the previous pic.
These are my favorite jeans EVER! 
Tank top is an amazon steal - long, comfy, really cute, runs slightly big.


Pictured above:
Same backpack and sunglasses linked on the previous pic. Plus my favorite jeans again.
North Face Crescent jacket. If you are an XS you can get an incredible deal on last year's version.


Pictured above:
Same North Face Crescent jacket (shown above, zipped and here, open.) Top is from Title Nine, here. Pink Ray-Ban sunglasses again.


Pictured above:
Same hat and backpack linked in some of the pics above. My favorite jeans again. This top is also from Title Nine. Super soft and it's nice and LONG (I have it tucked up into my waistband here but it's plenty long enough to wear with leggings too.) If you're tall, you absolutely, positively want to check out Title Nine because it's one of the only sites I know of that carries a great, wide selection of colorful long tops and tunics year-round. Both long and short sleeved styles. They are great about returns and have amazing customer service too!


Pictured above:
This is the North Face insulated hoodie and from the first pic in this post. Layered on top,  Dylan zip-front Fleece (available in two color options, the white is on sale!)


Pictured above:
Same hat and backpack linked in some of the pics above. Tee from Lululemon. (This is a tech tee, current model is a little different.) While you're there, check out the "We Made Too Much" sale section! Below see the Patagonia backpack - it's very comfy (hip belt, padded shoulders, chest clip), has tons of pockets, water bottle pouch, inner sleeve for your tablet, and many other nice extras. Plus my kids will never lose track of me if I get ahead of them!



One last pic of my son's amazing backpack - a steal on sale right now!!! Looks more turquoise in reality than it does on the website. Tons of pockets and even a whistle.

Patio Decor (and end of season sales!!!)

Monday, September 2, 2019


This post contains affiliate links (I will receive a percentage of commission if you make a purchase through one of my links.) 

We have two cement patios, one on either side of the house. Both are covered and they are nice spots to hang out and listen to the birds sing, watch the dog run around in the yard. Until recently, we had only one old rocker and a plastic storage box on one of them so I decided it was time for an upgrade!

Most shown here are on sale!!!
Wooden Adirondack chairs here (easy to assemble and lovely!)
Chair cushions here in lots of colors
Cement top table currently sold out but likely to restock - similar ones here, here and here.
Vase here in various sizes
Wooden deck box
NuLoom outdoor Rug (in many sizes! 20% comes off at checkout!) I wouldn't recommend this *exact* model rug for an uncovered patio where it gets rained on all the time, since it is thick cotton, but there are TONS of gorgeous rugs in this promo including many outdoor rugs that would work well!! I love this one also - and any of these get the 20% off too!




Wooden deck box for the boys' sports equipment is here. It comes with the top cushion and is plenty sturdy enough for an adult to sit on also!


Interior view. Deck box looks gorgeous and goes nicely with the chairs, even though they were not purchased together.


Felix has fallen in love with the Nuloom outdoor rug. He likes to lie on it and ask for belly rubs while we have our coffee on the deck in the morning.
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If you don't already, follow me on  Instagram, and come join us in the  Sample Sale Mom facebook group for discussion and great shopping deals on clothing, (heavy on the boys' stuff!) home items, and all sorts of kids' stuff! We currently have over 100,000 members!

Victoria Emerson (gorgeous jewelry - Labor Day weekend sale!!!!)

Saturday, August 31, 2019



This post was sponsored by Victoria Emerson and contains affiliate links (I will receive a percentage of commission if you make a purchase through one of my links.) 

I'm excited to partner with Victoria Emerson this month to show you some of their gorgeous jewelry!!! And this weekend everything on their site is 40% off (prices drop at checkout!) Plus you get free shipping! Affordable *and* great quality. These make wonderful holiday gifts too! (Be aware that the inventory changes, and items do sell out - so if you see something you want, grab it quickly!)


My bracelet above is the Catalina. My husband and my older son both complimented me on it! (This is unusual as my son is 12 and generally does not care about women's jewelry.) I especially love these Boho Cuff bracelets because they combine a bunch of coordinating colors/styles of beads (and in some cases, leather.) Earrings are also Victoria Emerson - this style is currently sold out, but check out another pretty style here. Long twist-hem tank is from Nordstrom and you can get it in a bunch of colors here (white is on sale.) Runs big, I'm wearing XS and I'm normally S.


Victoria Emerson also has other styles including wrap bracelets. I like this one. Remember, everything is another 40% off prices shown this holiday weekend!!!


You can shop some of my Victoria Emerson favorites using the little pics below! Also, if you don't already, follow me on  Instagram, and come join us in the  Sample Sale Mom facebook group for discussion and great shopping deals on clothing, (heavy on the boys' stuff!) beauty items, housewares and all sorts of other kids' stuff! We currently have over 100,000 members!


Update on Matt (August)

Tuesday, August 20, 2019


I wanted to update everyone on (my husband) Matt's progress. You can read my original post about his diagnosis with Classic Hodgkin's Lymphoma here. After I posted about this back in June, we heard from at least 20 people in my facebook group who had been through this disease (or in some cases, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma) themselves, or had a sibling, coworker, parent or spouse go through it. A lot of people said the same thing - "It was a long six months." And that turns out to be true for us as well, at only two months in.

As you can see on the scans above, we are moving in the right direction! Between June 6 and July 8, the tumor in Matt's chest shrunk from a huge 9 cm to 5.29 cm, and vein that had been sticking out on his neck (his one symptom that brought him to the doctor in the first place) returned to normal. I don't have a more recent picture because the last one was a PET scan rather than a CAT scan, but the tumor has shrunk to 4 cm as of early August. The cancer is still active, so he'll go back in September for another scan – at that point we hope to see it totally inactive or "dead", but he will definitely need to continue chemotherapy into December.

Matt's treatments involve going into the hospital every two weeks and getting four chemo drugs via IV, plus benadryl and some anti-nausea drugs. It takes about five hours, but he's put in his own room in a hospital bed, so he's usually able to nap while getting the drugs. At any given time he's on about five different medications. And... not fun, to keep his blood count up and fight off infection, I have to give him Neupogen injections in his stomach every other day after his treatments. I'm pretty tough when it comes to medical stuff, but I do not at all enjoy sticking my husband in the belly with needles. (Pretty sure he doesn't much enjoy it either.)


Long before his diagnosis we had booked our annual trip to Cape Cod. We didn't really want to cancel and unfortunately it didn't align well with Matt's chemo schedule but we made it work. It was... an interesting week. That Saturday afternoon we drove down to the Cape. This was during the heat wave in July and it was somewhere in the high 90s. The AC had a hard time keeping up with the heat at first. On Monday night all our phones pinged and we experienced our first-ever tornado warning! We had to hide out in the basement and my younger son, who enjoys natural disaster documentaries, was in tears convinced we were all going to die. Tuesday morning - another tornado warning. The actual tornado missed us, but our patio umbrella did go flying away, and we had an impressive lightning show and quite a downpour.

Our week at the Cape wasn't the best one we could have picked, but we had fun anyway. Nice day at the beach collecting pretty rocks and getting lunch.

Once it was safe to leave on Tuesday, Matt and I left the boys in the Cape with my dad while we drove up to Boston. That afternoon Matt had an operation where they inserted a 'port' into his chest (another thing I didn't know about cancer until it hit our family - for many types of cancer your chemo goes into a little device called a 'port' which is embedded in your chest, rather than in through a normal IV in your arm). We spent the night at home, then returned to the hospital for several hours on Wednesday so Matt could have his chemo. Then Wednesday night we drove back to the Cape so we could could enjoy the last couple days of vacation. I don't know if 'enjoy' is the right word since poor Matt was wiped out! To cap it off, Chase got stung by a hornet and his arm swelled up for days. But it was still a fun week, surprisingly. We got to hang out for a few days with a good friend we hadn't seen in a while (and our kids got to hang out with hers). Matt liked sitting around the fire pit toasting marshmallows with the boys at night. And our rental had a basketball hoop so he and the boys got in a few games (before the chemo.)

Some things and some days are really good. We have more family meals together, Matt even feels well enough to cook a lot of nights. We can watch movies and play board games with the kids, and if he's feeling up to it, go to the dog park and walk around in the woods with Felix. Sometimes we have visitors come by or head to his relatives' houses - but we stay away from any place crowded or potentially germy since Matt's immune system is low and he could get sick. And he no longer has to stress about little everyday work annoyances since he isn't working. One of my current favorite things is just sitting on the deck with Matt in the morning, drinking coffee and watching the dog running around in the yard - no frantic rush out the door to work/school, just relaxed.

Some days are not so good, as all of us get very cranky, and I feel completely overwhelmed between the housework, the kids, work, and now my dad (who has developed a heart problem - although his treatment is going well so far and it doesn't seem too bad at this point.) Matt sometimes needs to sleep almost all day. He's not having many of the side effects associated with this type of chemo though (yet), other than part time exhaustion. But he feels, understandably, frustrated by a lot of aspects of this - although we both know it could be much, much worse.

That's a three-dimensional pop-up heart on the card. I think Matt's coworkers really miss him!

Friends have been wonderful - thanks to everyone who has brought us food! I really cannot cook well at all and takeout meals get boring. Also, Matt's amazing coworkers at Rue La La brought him the best gift basket I think I've ever seen (unfortunately I didn't get a photo since I was too busy being impressed with all the stuff they thought of to put in there) and made him a gorgeous card, which they all signed. They all went in to get us very generous meal service gift cards and Matt was really touched.

To repeat some important info from my last post - just in case you missed it! You can read more about Hodgkin's here. And please read about the symptoms, here. Don't completely freak out if you have some symptoms. I heard from one of my followers who had multiple Hodgkin's symptoms - she was referred to an oncologist and had a biopsy- but in her case it was it was another lymphatic condition and not cancer. (Huge sigh of relief!) 

*Please, please take ten minutes right now and make any doctors appointments you’ve been putting off.* You'll feel much better and it could potentially save your life. I now have two friends with breast cancer and in both cases it was caught through a routine mammogram. 

If you are a member of my facebook group and are one of the many people who have sent a nice message or sent me good deals and products to post, thank you so much!!!

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For anyone who doesn't already - you can also follow me on Instagram, here.

Cute & Affordable Back to School Outfits from Carter's (up to size 14!!!)

Sunday, August 11, 2019


This post was sponsored by Carter's and contains affiliate links (I will receive a percentage of commission if you make a purchase through one of my links.) 

If you have older kids, prepared to be surprised... Carter's makes kids clothes up to size 14!!! What? I always loved their baby/toddler footies, jammies and outfits when my kids were little, but I assumed that my boys had long since outgrown this line. Nope!!


Stock up for back to school, really affordable styles and free shipping at $35+! Carter's boys shorts are especially good for my tall, skinny kids since they have an adjustable waist!


Alex is wearing this red collared polo (he's wearing size 14) and pull on canvas shorts (size 10/12). Chase is wearing this cotton Captain America tee (size 12) and flat front khaki shorts (they come in navy too.)


Carter's also has cute shoes in sizes up to 3 youth to finish off your look! (unfortunately my big-footed kids are already in men's sizes so we couldn't do these.) And last but not least, we LOVE their 7-packs of underwear here.

Follow me on  Instagram, and come join us in the  Sample Sale Mom facebook group for discussion and great shopping deals on clothing, (heavy on the boys' stuff!) beauty items, housewares and all sorts of other kids' stuff! We currently have over 100,000 members!

Motile - Cool tech accessories!

Monday, July 29, 2019


This post was sponsored by Walmart and contains affiliate links (I will receive a percentage of commission if you make a purchase through one of my links.) 

Check out Motile, the stylish new tech brand exclusively sold at Walmart.com! They sent me this nice power bank and, since I was long overdue for a new iPhone case, I picked up this cool metallic case as well (They make a version for iPhone 8 and 8 plus as well as my X version - only 7– 9 bucks at post time! Nice!)


The power bank can actually charge TWO devices at once if you bring along an extra power cord. The yellow part (note, also comes in white!) plugs directly into your phone/ipad for a quick charge. Or for a more substantial charge, connect your cord to the main unit. The unit is small enough that I can tuck it in my purse and it will be handy for traveling!


The packaging on this line is also gorgeous and makes them appear to be much more expensive than they actually are (translation - they would make great gifts!!)


Get this cool Motile tech by clicking the little pics below! Follow me on  Instagram, and come join us in the  Sample Sale Mom facebook group for discussion and great shopping deals on clothing, beauty items, housewares and kids' stuff! (Currently over 100,000 members!)


Love Slides (EV1 by Ellen Degeneres)

Sunday, July 14, 2019


This post was sponsored by Walmart and contains affiliate links (I will receive a percentage of commission if you make a purchase through one of my links.) 

It's almost time for our beach vacation and I am SO looking forward to it! Check out these cute cute comfy slides (fit true to size and come in navy blue or white)! Only $15 and change! Perfect for the beach or the pool... Jeans and shoes are both from Ellen DeGeneres' collection, EV1 (Check out more of Walmart's affordable lines for moms & kids here.)

If you want a similar option without the side stripe, try the basic Maddie jeans. Go a size down from your normal. And my favorite budget jeans are here and also here on sale in a patchwork pattern - again go down a size from normal (at the time I'm writing this, only the bigger sizes are in stock.)


Get this Summer look by clicking the little pics below! Follow me on  Instagram, and come join us in the  Sample Sale Mom facebook group for discussion and great shopping deals on clothing, beauty items, housewares and kids' stuff! (Currently over 100,000 members!)