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Target

Chicago, family, soccer, MLS, All Star Game, Major League Soccer, Target, Youth Soccer

Disclosure: This is a sponsored collaboration with Target but all opinions and the love of soccer are my own.

Chiquitibum a la bim bom ba, chiquitiboom a la bim bom ba, a la bio, a la bao, a la bim bom ba, favorite team name, favorite team name Rah rah rah!!!

This is the siren song of my childhood. Add to that a vuvuzela and you have my countless World Cup experiences. In case you haven’t guessed it, I come from a soccer (futbol if you want to be technically correct) family.

Chicago, family, homegating, soccer, MLS, All Star Game, Major League Soccer, Target, Youth Soccer

I was raised on soccer. My dad and uncles played soccer in Mexico and then, here in the United States, all of my brothers and sisters played soccer, all of my cousins and now all of the nieces and nephews.

Chicago, family, soccer, MLS, All Star Game, Major League Soccer, Target, Youth Soccer, homegating

Even my two ballerinas are known to trade in their pointe shoes for an occasional pair of cleats. Soccer has been coursing through our veins for decades.

Chicago, family, soccer, MLS, All Star Game, Major League Soccer, Target, Youth Soccer, homegating

We’re not alone. Did you know that more than nine million kids played in youth soccer leagues in 2016, making it one of the top youth-participation sports in the country?

Chicago, family, soccer, MLS, All Star Game, Major League Soccer, Target, Youth Soccer, homegating

Soccer matches (here and abroad) were what we watched most weekends. If we weren’t playing soccer, we were watching it at the fields or on television. We love everything about it; the game, the intensity, the skill, the strategy and the stories behind each player. We were invested. Our first hero was Edson Arantes do Nascimento better known as Pele. It’s not just opinion but fact, he was the greatest player of all time.

Chicago, family, soccer, MLS, All Star Game, Major League Soccer, Target, Youth Soccer, homegating

In fact, most Cruz kids who played soccer have played under the numbers 10 or 12. My family has used those numbers from preschool all the way through their days of recruitment to play for the university.

We even have one cousin who played for the MLS before heading overseas to play in Europe. This is not to brag that my family is a bunch of die-hard soccer fans. It’s just a fact.

 

Chicago, family, soccer, MLS, All Star Game, Major League Soccer, Target, Youth Soccer, homegating

The literal motto for our family is play with passion. In fact, do everything in life with passion. Do what you love until your legs are so rubbery below you that you fall to your knees in elated exhaustion. This is something that soccer has taught us and this is how we live our lives. Going for it.all day. Every day.

 

Chicago, family, soccer, MLS, All Star Game, Major League Soccer, Target, Youth Soccer, homegating

You can imagine how excited I was when I learned that one of my favorite brands, Target, is sponsoring this year’s MLS All Star Game in my hometown, Chicago next Wednesday.

Chicago, family, soccer, MLS, All Star Game, Major League Soccer, Target, Youth Soccer, homegating

The All Star game is a celebration of the growing momentum and popularity of soccer in the U.S and Target is proud to be a part of that not only by supporting the MLS but by also. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend but I will be hosting a “homegating” party with my family as we watch the MLS All Star Game on August 2nd.

Are you excited? Will you be watching the Target sponsored MLS All Star Game? What is the one thing that bonds your family through thick and thin throughout time?

 

 

 

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Disclosure: This back-to-school post was sponsored by Target but my love of all things Target are all my own.

Today, I got the email that our school supply list is ready and waiting. How can it be that it’s almost time for back-to-school already? It’s already time to hit Target with my school supply list in hand and start my annual “crazed mom on a mission” scavenger hunt for just the right supplies.

As a child, back-to-school was a favorite time of year for me. I loved the smell of new folders; the chance to shine my personality through with a new Unicorn Trapper Keeper and, of course, back-to-school clothes shopping was my favorite thing to do.

But as a parent, it’s a little different. Every August, I know it’s time to let go just a little bit more. With each passing new beginning, I am painfully aware that I have one less school year with my child. I’m sad about the letting go but so proud of their achievements so I try to make every back-to-school special.

My daughters see things completely different, they are ecstatic about the chance to see their friends again and, even though they won’t admit it, we all look forward to the return of our routine. The new school year is also a chance to reinvent themselves, as far as style and personality are concerned. There’s just one small problem – my girls wear uniforms. But we never let something like school uniform restrictions stop us from letting our personality shine through.

My girls have to wear school-mandated pants, shorts, polos and skirts or jumpers. There is no wiggle room here. This is an absolute. Even a rogue button or pocket is a violation of dress code and can warrant disciplinary actions, so we stay within the uniform guidelines but when it comes to socks, shoes, belts, jewelry, hair baubles, coats and school supplies, that is where the girls can pick what they want. My girls live for shopping for these pieces.

Lucky for us, Target sells uniform pieces and when it comes to accessorizing and dressing up lockers and school supplies, they’ve got that covered too. Talk about one-stop shopping.

While my oldest is excited about shopping for socks, shoes, belts, jewelry, hair baubles and coats to let her real style shine through. She also can’t wait to find the perfect outfit for the first dress down day of the year because it lets everyone know what her “real” style is and when you wear uniforms every day of the year, this is a really big deal.

My youngest, however, is really excited about the Frozen licensed products available this year. Target has Frozen pencils, composition books, notebooks, folders, backpacks and lunch bags. They also have a great selection of Star Wars, Avengers and Minions products for this year’s back-to-school. If you have to buy school supplies anyways, why not get your favorite characters to make it a little more fun?

A few friendly tips that have helped my family get through back-to-school shopping and actually enjoy it:

Start shopping as soon as the school supply list becomes available if you don’t want to end up frustrated with all the masses that waited until the last minute. Been there, done that. Not doing it again.

Go early in the day so the kids are not tired, cranky or wanting to be someplace else.

Feed everyone before you start shopping. Hangry and shopping do not pair well together.

Go with an open heart and mind and let your child allow their personality to shine through. It might just be socks or a folder to you but to your child, it might mean everything.

Enjoy every second of it because it all goes by too quickly. Take the chance to make it a day of bonding with your children. We make a day of it with our girls.

Target always makes it easy for our family to head back to school. This is why Target is my first choice for shopping for all the things my family needs. This year won’t be any different.

How are you preparing for back-to-school this year?

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