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7 Reasons to love “Rent The Runway”

This post contains affiliate links. 

I have rented dresses from Rent the Runway several times and each time I am more convinced that I need to tell everyone about it! It saves me time, money, and space while taking my wardrobe up a notch. In summary I spend less money, and look better – needless to say, my husband is a big fan too! Rent the Runway is officially one of my favorite life hacks and here’s why.

1. Save on closet space.

About a year ago I decided I was done having a ton of clothes in my closet. I want to keep a current and practical wardrobe for my present stage of life. I was tired of having piles and piles of clothes, many of which I wouldn’t miss for months if they didn’t make it through the laundry. It was hard to find outfits, drawer space, and keep my room clean. On top of that I had another closet in the house dedicated to all of my dresses. All of the weddings, bridal showers, baby showers, rehearsal dinners, Christmas parties, New Years Eve events, work conferences etc…so many special occasion dresses! I am tired of storing a million dresses that I will never wear again. With my new goal of having a wardrobe full of quality and not quantity Rent The Runway is perfect! I get to pick out something new that is a current style and I don’t have to store it after the fact.

Over the last 3 years I had two babies and your body goes through a lot of changes during that process. Life doesn’t stop happening and you still need to get dulled up even though its the last thing you feel like doing. It is frustrating to spend money on a dress that you won’t wear again because your body will change. It is also frustrating digging through old things and settling for something not flattering simply because you don’t want to spend the money on something new and then add it to the ever growing collection of clothes in that extra closet. RTR is perfect for those of us in a stage of life where our bodies are changing. Get something that works for you now and send it back!

2. Spend less money.

Remember all those dresses I am storing in the extra closet of my house? How much did I spend on those special occasion dresses?! I usually start at the discount stores looking for a good deal and work my way up to the higher end stores as my desperation to find something increases. With Rent The Runway I spend about half of what I would normally spend on a dress. The dresses from RTR retail for about 10 times the amount I rent them for. Yup, that’s right – I am spending 50% less and wearing a dress that cost 10x what I am renting it for! Check out their selection of designer dresses starting at $30!

3. Save time.

Back to that dress shopping experience I referenced earlier…starting with the discount stores and working my way from one store to the next. That takes time, a lot of time. And it is really hard to do, especially when you have kids! You might be wondering how ordering a dress from Rent The Runway is any different from shopping online which could also solve this problem. Well let me tell you! Dresses are really difficult to purchase without trying them on. The fit seems to be so unique based on each person’s body shape.

The BEST feature of Rent The Runway is the reviews. People post pictures of themselves in the dress along with their weight, height, and measurements and they describe the fit of the dress. This has made all the difference for me and one of the main reasons I am an advocate for Rent The Runway. I get all the benefits of online shopping as well as details about the fit. From the pictures and reviews I am able to gather where the length will hit on me, what size I should order, if the material will hold wrinkles, if the bust is tight, if the dress is itchy, and even the types of compliments the dress receives. The customer pictures and reviews will tell you all you need to know and more, to find the perfect dress for your body type.

4. Dress like a celebrity!

The quality of the dresses on Rent The Runway are beyond anything I’ve ever worn. The dresses retail for hundreds and even thousands of dollars. Besides just feeling cool because I am wearing a designer dress there is an obvious quality to the fabric and fit of the dresses. You can wear a bodycon and feel comfortable because the fabric is so thick that it will hide all the lines and bumps. I rented a lace dress that had a silk slip under it. The slip alone was beautiful and the detail and make of the lace overlay was gorgeous. I feel like a total celebrity in RTR dresses! You can even shop your favorite looks from The Bachelorette at Rent The Runway! I don’t watch that show, but you probably do. 😉

5. Huge selection.

Rent The Runway has a huge selection of dresses and therefore its a one stop shop for any style and occasion. They have casual sundresses and formal gowns. They carry tons of different designers and have options for all four seasons. There’s no need to shop around at various stores or websites. They literally have it all. They also have accessories which are fun to add to a purchase. I once rented a handbag to go with my dress and another time I rented a necklace to match my dress (in picture below). Shop their accessories here!

6. Great customer service!

The first time I rented a dress from Rent The Runway, I woke up to an ice storm on the day the dress was due in the mail. Panicking about the late fees, my husband got in the car to try to make it to the UPS dropbox. He made it the first stop sign at the end of our street and slid right through it and spun out. He walked back to our house and told me there is no way he can make it. I hopped online and chatted with a friendly RTR representative. They confirmed that there was an ice storm in my area, looked up my order and worked with me to determine the soonest possible time I could drop off the dress. They waived the late fee and couldn’t have been more helpful.

Another time I received a handbag with a broken piece on it. Once again, I hopped online and chatted with a RTR representative. We discussed time frames for them overnighting a new one to my door. They were able to have it to me by noon the next day. Pretty impressive! Unfortunately, we were leaving at 9 am the next day for the event so they credited my account for the full amount of the handbag rental. It is comforting knowing that the customer service team is responsive and willing to work with you to solve any issues that may arise. This gives me confidence to continue to rely on RTR!

7. They’ve thought of it all!

You might still have a few doubts. What if I order the wrong size? What if it comes and I hate it? What if the person who previously had it doesn’t return it on time? What if I accidentally damage the dress? RTR has you covered, they’ve thought of it all! When you place the order you can pick two sizes, the back up size is free. Amazing! If one of the two sizes doesn’t fit or you hate it contact them and they will overnight a new style to you. In case something happens with your dress you pick a backup style at check out of any value. There is a $5 insurance fee that gives you peace of mind regarding stains and minor damage. No need to dry clean the item. And you get to keep the hangers!

Have I convinced you yet?!? I hope you try it and love it as much as I do! I get to dress like a super star, spend less money and time. My husband loves it because he thinks I look great in everything I get from Rent The Runway (these high end designers know what they are doing!). So guys click here and try it, you will love it!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive compensation if you make a purchase using the links.

Faith Mom Life Our Home

Teaching Toddlers the Bible – Tool Kit & Resources

This past fall my husband and I joined a bible study based on the book Kingdom Kids by Tony Evans. At the time I had a 2 year old and a new born. I went into it assuming we were ahead of the game and everything we learned would be good to store away for the future. I assumed none of it would apply to us at this stage because our kids are too young to learn about Christianity. I was wrong. I had two major realizations during that bible study that stuck with me.

1. I must be intentional about handing down my faith to my kids. 

I was under the misconception that because my husband and I are Christians my children would be Christians too. This bible study helped me understand the importance of taking time to teach our children about God, teach them scripture, tell them stories of what God has done in our lives, and openly share our daily walk with them.

It is important for our kids to see us living out our faith and serving God. But more importantly, they need to understand WHY we are living for Christ. I assumed that somehow they would automatically “get it” by observing our lives. I now realize that is naive and unrealistic. As parents, we have a responsibility to be intentional in filling our children’s hearts and minds with God’s truth.

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11

2. It is NOT too soon to teach my kids about God. 

I thought I would teach my kids about Jesus and scripture later in life when they could fully understand it. We said prayers at bedtime and I thought that was enough for now. During the study I was convicted and realized it is not too soon!

  • If he can recite movie lines then he can recite scripture!
  • If he can learn kids songs then he can learn children’s bible songs!
  • If he loves to read books then we can find an age appropriate devotional!
  • If he can adopt actions and attitudes of tv characters then he can learn the actions and attitudes of people in the bible!

It is my responsibility to teach my kids God’s truth with age appropriate content they can enjoy and understand. It is not enough to rely on the church program they attend once a week. That will reinforce what is being taught by you at home but it will not get the job done.

I have to be intentional about passing on my faith and it is not too soon to start! 

The last several months I’ve been going through various books, cd’s, and videos to find tools for teaching a 3 year old scripture. I am happy with what we are using right now and it has been really effective for teaching Timmy. Hopefully you will find this helpful and easy to implement with your little ones too!

I created a ‘Tool Kit’ that has all the resources we need:

1. CD player and two cd’s.

We received these two books for Timmy’s birthday from Dollar Tree! The cd’s are included in the books. They have all the classic children’s church songs. They are fun and easy to follow versions. I enjoy them too! I bought a few cd’s like this for his Easter basket that were a total fail. These are great! And I found a set of four on Amazon for $2.50! Grab these here, you won’t regret it.

2. ABC Scripture Memory Cards.

I really wanted these! This is the main content I am relying on to teach scripture. I looked through many versions of ‘ABC scripture flash cards’. It was hard to find a set with scripture that wasn’t too lengthy or with words that aren’t too big for a 3 year old. I was about to give up and make my own when I stumbled upon this set from Unoriginal Mom. Read the entire post because she also gives great advice on how to use the cards with your little one. I had them printed and laminated, love them!

3. Chalkboard for writing and reading our memory verses.

I had plans of a DIY chalkboard wall and luckily I stumbled upon this chalkboard at Hobby Lobby on sale for $40. The tin pales are also from Hobby Lobby. The chalkboard is great for writing out scripture as we recite it. This is helping Timmy identify certain letters and words. I used different colors and sizes for the words so he can remember that yellow says, “LORD” and blue says “GOOD”.

4. Age appropriate devotional!

We went through about 3 or 4 devotionals before finding this one. This one is perfect! It is short, holds his attention, and references life scenarios he can relate to. There is one for girls and one for boys! Get it here!

Teaching Timmy scripture is helping me memorize more scripture too! As a result, I don’t get tired of going over the verses with him. What ideas or resources have you used to teach your little ones about God? I would love more ideas!

Mom Life

Timmy’s Dinosaur Themed Birthday Party

Today I am sharing all the details of Timmy’s Dinosaur Themed Birthday Party. It was so fun to plan and he had such a special day. I’m thankful to our friends and family who came and loved on him for his birthday. Check out this video of his Dinosaur Themed Party!

This is Charlie’s year for a big birthday party since he is turning one this summer. Timmy’s birthday rolled around and I thought it would be fun to have a few of his favorite little friends over to play and celebrate with him. He really wanted a Dinosaur birthday cake which turned this into a themed playdate. Well I couldn’t stop there…I found myself on Oriental Trading with a cart full of dinosaur themed party stuff. Then I started talking menu ideas with my mom and she loves a themed party even more than me, one thing led to another, and we ended up with a full blown birthday party. The guest list remained small and we had a great time celebrating!

I ordered all the party supplies from Oriental Trading. They have tons of cute stuff for a dinosaur themed party. My only complaint about Oriental Trading is they run minimal promotions. I’m on the email list and I’ve been watching their email promotions over the last few months. The best you can hope for is free shipping and once in a blue moon there is a $10 off coupon.

Timmy loved the large cardboard dinosaurs that we put all over the house. He insisted we leave them up. They are heavy so they eventually fell, packing tape didn’t cut it.

Here’s my patient husband blowing up inflatable dinosaurs at 1 am the night before the party.

Party hats, sticker sheets, and cute baby Chars! 🙂

The menu consisted of pulled pork sandwiches, buffalo chicken dip, and dinosaur chicken nuggets for the carnivores. For the herbivores we had fruit, veggies, dinosaur fruit snacks, and dinosaur footprint cookies. My mom made the watermelon and it turned out great. She used marshmallows and olives for the eyes. She also made the cake! She was this creative long before Pinterest ever existed.

I made the dinosaur footprint cookies. On pinterest all the posts I saw said to put the dinosaur footprint in the raw cookie dough and then simply bake them. That did not work for me. When the dough was rising as they baked the footprint disappeared. I ended up putting the footprint in the cookie as soon as they came out of the oven. That worked much better. I used an actual dinosaur toy to make the footprint and then filled it in using a paintbrush and green food coloring.

I found a recipe on Pinterest for Raptor Juice that called for sprite, pineapple juice, lemonade, and a lemon-lime kool aid packet. I went to three stores looking for a lemon-lime kool aid packet and I couldn’t find it anywhere. I substituted the kool aid packet with a pack of lime jello. As expected, this punch was tart which I did not like but Timmy and Jordan loved it. I loved the color of this punch and it looked cute on the drink bar. I warned all of the parents that there was an entire pack of jello in it. #sugaroverload

These strawberries were quick to make and cute for the kids. They made me giggle because I’m not sure they look like dinosaurs?! I’m not really sure what they look like?! Timmy asked me what kind of dinosaur they were…we decided on a triceratops?? Haha.

I ordered a box of dinosaur eggs from Oriental Trading to have an egg hunt for the kids. Jordan and I set up the inflatable dinosaurs all around the back area of our basement and hid eggs for the kids to find. We had the bubble machine going and the kids loved it. We let them go wild down there for a little while and burn off some energy. The large red t-rex was a favorite!

Side note: if you have little ones and you don’t have a bubble machine, you need to get one! They are the best thing ever. I can’t believe I ever stood there with the bubble wand, becoming light headed, as I failed at blowing bubbles for the boys. It makes everything more fun. I get it out all the time. I recommend this one from amazon. I got a huge tub of bubbles from Five Below for $3.

Here’s Charlie showing off his new trick (WALKING) at the party!

He only ate the icing. No fork required for that!

Little brother looking adorable in his dinosaur onesie.

And last but not least, the sweetest and cutest Dad ever. <3

Mom Life

Timmy & Charlie: Feb-March 2017

Here’s an update on the Rowdy Routch’s and adventures with Timmy and Charlie. My goal is to write a post like this every month or two so I can look back on how the boys grew.

February was full of days that reached 60+ degrees. It was such a treat and a reminder that it is much easier to entertain little ones when it is nice outside. We snuck in a few days at the park and sometime in the backyard playing in the sandbox and on the swing set.

Jordan worked many long hours during busy season coupled with travel. We missed him a lot and had our bedtime routine via FaceTime many of the evenings. This picture of him at the park with the boys was taken during the only 2 hours we spent with him that week. We are glad he is slowing down at work and home for dinner lately. We are thankful for his work ethic…he’s always hustling whether at home or at the office. He’s the energizer bunny!

Charlie is growing so fast. In the last 2 months he has transitioned from needing to be held by mommy constantly to a little explorer who is gaining independence and curiosity. I used to long for a few minutes to put him down and now I find myself calling for him to come back in the room. Timmy started walking at 9 months and Charlie will be 9 months soon. I realized that Charlie could be running around the house in a few short months. When Timmy started walking the moments of holding him on my lap or hip became few and far between.

I decided about a month ago that everyday I was going to rock Charlie to sleep for his afternoon nap. I really want to be intentional about enjoying this stage. With the second child I can appreciate how quickly it comes and goes. Charlie has been getting a lot of teeth lately. He now has three teeth on top and two on the bottom.

Timmy will be 3 years old in one month. He is becoming his own little person. One of my favorite things lately is holding a conversation with him. I like asking him questions and getting his opinion on things. He can call someone on the phone and chat with them independently without me translating or mediating too much. It is cool to move beyond simple exchanges based on basic needs and encouraging him to share his thoughts and feelings about situations. He still loves all things animals and dinosaurs. We officially quit potty training and will try again this summer. He was getting frustrated and wasn’t making progress. He is really into surprises lately and it doesn’t take much to get him ultra excited. I take every opportunity to create these magical moments over simple things like stickers, ice-cream, or a new book. I love how their excitement level can go from 1 to 10 over simple things, it is one of the best parts about having little ones!

Now that Charlie is a speed crawler and able to maneuver around the room (holding onto furniture) Timmy is anxious for him to become a playmate. Some of Timmy’s favorite phrases lately are, ‘Chase me Charlie!’; ‘Charlie lets explore!’; ‘Charlie come under the table with me.’ It is so cute and I love watching their brotherly bond grow.

That’s the latest on my little loves. The next update may include Timmy’s 3rd birthday and Charlie walking?!?

Mom Life

Stay-At-Home Mom Hopeful: 4 Steps to Consider

After our second child was born I decided to quit my job to be a stay-at-home mom. Since then several women have told me they have hopes of being a Stay-At-Home mom one day and wanted to know how we were able to make it work financially. In hopes of empowering other families with the freedom to make this choice I am sharing some of the steps we took.

So here it is! Four steps to consider that will help you prepare for being a stay-at-home mom one day. There are certainly many ways to make this happen but here are the steps we took. I hope it helps!

1. Keep your options open.

Motherhood is such a wonderful and exhausting experience. As much as you try to anticipate what it will be like, there is no way to predict how you will feel once you become a mother. Keeping this in mind, the best thing you can do is give yourself options. Continue working full time, working part time, or be a stay-at-home mom…it is hard to predict what the right balance will be for your family until you are living it! My best advice is to put yourself in a position that will make all three a realistic option. This will give you freedom to be the type of mother you want to be and not feel trapped.

Two years before getting pregnant with our first child I intentionally took a job with a small company and planned on making myself a valuable employee to later ask for a more flexible schedule. After having our first son I was able to go back three days a week. Options!

2. Don’t increase your lifestyle with your increased income.

Hopefully as the years pass you and your spouse are in careers that will continue to grow in opportunity and pay. Most people who make more money, spend more money. It’s hard to fight that natural inclination. This vicious cycle stops you from getting ahead or creating a buffer for a lifestyle change later on such as cutting back on hours or going down to one income.

When we were shopping for our first home we mocked up a budget based on my husbands salary only and bought a house we could afford on his salary. We did this to leave room in our finances for me to stop working if I wanted to and if not we would get ahead on paying off our mortgage. That’s a win-win! We also made the commitment to not have car payments. We have an ongoing savings account for a car because we plan to always buy our vehicles with cash. When it was time to buy a kid friendly vehicle we bought a used SUV and paid cash. Our second vehicle is a 2006 Chevy cobalt that has been paid off for like 8 years.

3. Pay off debt ASAP!

It is hard to reach any level of financial freedom until you pay off your debt. The best thing you can do to reach financial freedom for your family is to pay off debt as quickly as possible. We paid off over $100k in debt in 5 years. Before we had children we had two full time incomes and we put every extra penny down on debt. We held our expenses steady for 5 years as our salaries increased. We kept only the bare minimum in the bank for emergencies. Crush that debt immediately and everything will be easier sooner. If you don’t have kids yet you should use this time to pay off credit cards, student loans, car loans etc. This will give you options later. If you already have kids, start now!

4. Get on the same page and stay there. 

Obviously, it is important for you and your spouse to be on the same page when it comes to planning for your future. There needs to be a commitment and dedication from both spouses to create a plan and stick to it. This is not something you can do on your own or figure out when you get there. If you want to have a smooth transition that will not send your family into financial distress, now is the time to get on the same page. It would also be unfair to blindside your partner down the road with your desire to be a stay-at-home mom when your lifestyle is not set up for it. Stress city!

Jordan and I always hoped this would be an option one day. We made it a part of our plan every step of the way. BUT I always told him that we would do the best we could and if it didn’t work I would gladly do what was best for our family. Keep in mind that you need to be gracious towards each other without placing blame or pressure on each other.

People often ask me if I miss working, especially because I loved my job and I was really nervous to give it up. Surprisingly, I do not miss it at all. I feel so free to make my family my first priority and I don’t have to worry about checking my email or stressing over an upcoming meeting. Every now and then when I’m taking my kids to the park or to the museum in the middle of the week I feel guilty like I am playing hooky!

Being a stay-at-home mom is challenging because it forces me to be more selfless and humble. I serve others all day with my needs coming last. It isn’t easy but I consider it a great blessing. It is yet another way that God is molding me and shaping me to be more like Him.

And guys, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that my husband has been planning for this long before I was. When he was studying in school and choosing his career path, he didn’t base it on his personal interests, but on a steady career path that would provide for his future wife and kids. He has been putting us above himself before he even knew us. Thank you God for this selfless man!

Staying home with our kids has been a huge blessing for our family and if you desire to be a stay-at-home mom I hope you are able to do it one day too!

Mom Life

Crawling and Potty Training!

Charlie just turned 7 months old and month 6 was packed with firsts! I feel like he officially transitioned out of that new baby phase. :’-(

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His bottom two teethe came in, he started crawling, eating baby food, and pulling himself up on everything! Now that is he able to play around on the floor and get around a bit Timmy is all about playing games with him which is adorable. He plays hide and seek, plays animals, sings him songs, dances with him, and tries to wrestle him (with me regulating aka saving Charlie’s life). Timmy really is the sweetest big brother! The first thing he says to him in the morning is, “Good morning handsome Charlie!”.

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So far all of Charlie’s firsts have happened at the same time as Timmy’s. We’ll see if Charlie is able to keep up, I think he wants to start walking immediately to chase his big brother.

Charlie is so smiley and easy going. He goes right to sleep when we lay him in and never fusses. He’s sleeping in till like 9:30 which is great. I think he’s trying to make up for the first 5 months of sleepless nights. It’s pretty amazing have an official bedtime for both boys and not having to get up with them again until morning. Jordan and I got our evening hang out times back!

While Charlie is busy moving all around exploring and putting everything in his mouth, we started potty training Timmy. He is going to be 3 years old in April so I felt like it was time to crack down. We have been trying it for a while but we weren’t fully committed.

A couple weeks ago we removed the diaper and pants for 3 days straight…this was not glamorous. We roped off the carpeted areas of the house and went through a lot of paper towels and disinfectant wipes. A lot of people talk about using this method as a potty train fast method. It definitely helped us get further then all the other methods we tried but what I didn’t realize is this is the introduction and then it goes on and on from there, at least for us. We are still having lots of accidents unless we make him go to the potty like every 30 minutes or so. It is a big commitment. We’ve cut back a lot on the places we normally go during the week like story time at the library, museums, friends houses etc. If you are considering getting serious about potty training you might want to consider doing it during a month that you don’t have a lot going on. Although I’ve heard girls are much easier and faster to catch on!

This is the first time I’m potty training so any words of wisdom from experienced mommas? Please share! 🙂

 

 

 

Mom Life Our Home

Welcome!

Hello Friends! Welcome to a blog about the Rowdy Routch’s. This is not a self proclaimed nickname…this is a name I married into. I haven’t been able to shake it over the last 7 years so it looks like it is going to stick. It started with a nickname my husband was given in college…they started calling him J-Rowdy, Rowdy, Rowdy Routch etc. You know, just guys being guys. The weird part of the story is when my husband decided to get a vanity license plate that says ‘J-Rowdy’…yup it’s true. It’s pretty embarrassing, especially when I have to drive his car. Secretly, I kind of love the corkiness of this but that doesn’t stop me from making fun of him for it every chance I get.

As a result, I have become C-Rowdy; Timmy is T-Rowdy; Charlie is C-Rwody squared…I think you get the point. 🙂 We have a few groupies who are self proclaimed Rowdy’s as well.

I hope you enjoy following along as I share our experiences raising our boys and the fun home decor and DIY stuff that I do with my minimal spare time!