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The Frederick Running Festival Kid’s Fun Run

5 May

This modeling behavior thing for your kids is really working! I’ve enjoyed running lots of races over the years and Jack even joined me at the Baltimore Running Festival in 2017 to do the Kid’s Fun Run race. However, he hasn’t really had much interest since then. It doesn’t help that they discontinued the kid’s race after the one he did in 2017.

So imagine how proud I was when he started talking about wanting to do another run like mommy!

I started looking out for a kid’s run that is 1 mile or less and finally saw that the Frederick Running Festival had their own kid’s run… and the $15 fee included a kid’s Under Armour shirt AND a finishing medal!

I had to work that morning, so I went back and forth on whether I should sign up for the 5k that night. I ended up NOT doing the 5k and we just drove down to the Frederick fairgrounds so Jack could do his run.

They divided the kids into two groups: 7 and under and 8 – 12. The kids who were 7 and under were welcome to have a parent run with them, so Jack asked daddy to run along. They ran the race and I met them both at the finish line. It was only a 1/4 mile race or so, which went very, very quickly. In the future, I’m going to try and find a 1 mile race for him.

Here are some photos from Saturday:

Oh and if you notice, there is something weird going on with Jack’s front tooth. It is literally hanging on by a thread and the kid refuses to pull it out. He keeps doing this gross thing where he pushes it out with his lip in photos and it honestly makes me want to hurl. Yay parenthood!

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Favorite Books for a 7-Year-Old

29 Apr

I mentioned that I picked up a bunch of books for Jack at the thrift store recently, which made me think that it would be fun to share some of his current favorite books. He is in the ‘early reader’ stage where he is getting better and better at reading on his own each week, so by picking books he can read himself with little help it helps raise his confidence.

For the past 7 years, I’ve been reading him a book before bed each night. But for the past month or so, he ALSO reads me a book before bed. It’s enough to make my little bookworm heart grow three sizes!

Here are our current favs:

For Jack to Read To Me


At this point we probably own over a dozen Pete the Cat books (easily), but Jack LOVES them… so if I ever see one we don’t have I tend to snap it up. They range in skill level though, so some of them are ‘mommy read’ books and some are ‘Jack read’ books. All these are books that Jack can read to me with little to no help:

For Me to Read to Jack


What Should Danny Do (The Power to Choose)

My friend Lindsey sent this book over to Jack and he LOVES it and has made me read it to him probably 20 times so far. It is a choose your own adventure book with a twist… Danny can either choose good choices (such as share with his brother) or bad choices (such as destroy his brother’s game) and then you get to see the consequences. When pulling up this book, I saw that there is a second book in the series, What Should Danny Do? School Day, so I immediately ordered it.

Dog Man

Dog Man Lord of the Fleas

If you have a first grader, you MUST check out the Dog Man books. Jack is obsessed with them! They are in comic book format, so most of the scenes are easy to understand even without knowing the big words. We currently own 5 out of 6 Dog Man books and each night will read 2 – 3 chapters. Jack loves them so much that he begs for additional chapters every single night!

Now it’s your turn to share, do you have kid book recommendations?

Disclosure: Pocketful of Joules is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

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Using Poshmark for Kid’s Clothes

5 Apr

I swear this happens once a year and it always throws me off… suddenly Jack has grown out of all his pants. They fit fine one day and then BOOM suddenly there are like 3 inches of ankles showing.

This photo is from September, when he grew out of his last size. Which means that size 6 pants only fit him for 7 months. Sigh.

He is currently in the ‘only wearing track pants’ stage of boy life, so I typically buy him 5 – 6 pairs of Under Armour and Nike pants at TJ Maxx or Marshalls. He will wear them nonstop and then if we are lucky, he’ll go right into shorts for the summer.

I try to keep on top of things and ask for the next size pants for his birthday in February, but this year the pickings were slim. My mom was able to buy some ‘mediums’ but jumping from a kids size 6 to a medium means that the waist is currently too big on him.

So when he grew out of his pants last week, I tried to find the next size online. I checked TJ Maxx online, Amazon, and even the Under Armour website and online outlet… but I just can’t justify paying over $20 for one pair of kid’s pants. Especially when it’s possible/likely that he may grow out of the next size over the summer!

That brings me to Poshmark!

I’ve used Poshmark lots for myself and have both sold clothing and purchased items. (You can find my 6 Tips for Buying on Poshmark here). However, I’ve never looked for kids clothes before. I did a quick search of “Under Armour Boys Pants 7” and “Nike Boys Pants 7” and it came up with a bunch of options. I narrowed it down to those that were described as “like new” with no holes or wear showing.

Side note: there are a bunch of options marked ‘play clothes’ with holes in them that people are selling. I would have never thought to sell super worn clothes, but it seems like there could be a market for it.

I ended up finding 5 pairs with prices ranging from $6 – $12 per pair. Once you add in the shipping, they cost the same or less as what I would have paid at TJ Maxx.

My orders are trickling in now and I’m SO HAPPY that I thought to use Poshmark! Not only was I able to get exactly the size Jack needs right now, but I was able to take them off other people’s hands that no longer needed them and put a little money in their pockets.

Also, now that I know that there is a market for kid’s clothes, I’m going to collect the outgrown items we have that are still in great condition and list them as bundles. I saw a few bundles where you get a group of a few shirts and pants in a particular size and I totally would have snapped one up if they had the sizes I needed. So, with very little effort from me… maybe Jack’s clothes can find a new home too!

If you’ve been meaning to try out Poshmark, I have a special invite code that you can use. Just open a Poshmark account and enter the code POCKETFULOFJOUL to get $5 off your first order.

Have you used Poshmark to buy kid’s clothes?

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. If you choose to use my special Poshmark code to sign up for an account, you will get $5 off your first order and I will also get $5 off a future order.

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Date Weekend Fun in Northern Virginia

13 Mar

This past weekend, my parents generously kept Jack overnight while Travis and I had ourselves a bit of a date weekend. I HIGHLY recommend getting away for even a night if you can, because even if you are only an hour or so away from home (like we were) it is such a mental refresh!

For our date weekend, I booked us at a Springhill Suites in Northern Virginia. The hotel was super nice and clean… and less than $100 for the night, which included breakfast. Once we arrived, we checked into the hotel and immediately went rummaging for some food nearby.

After filling our bellies at Elevation Burger, we decided to go do some wine and cider tasting at a couple nearby wineries.

First stop was Corcoran Vineyards where we had the choice of tasting their ciders or their wines, so we went with a cider tasting. From there, we went to 8 Chains North where we did a wine tasting and also enjoyed some locally made chocolates!

We started to get a bit hungry again, so we went back to the Loudon One area to buy our movie theater tickets and then went by SlapFish. To be honest, we chose that restaurant because the name made us giggle… but we were too busy making yummy noises to laugh when we got our Clobster Grilled Cheese and Lobster Grinder Roll! HOLY WOW it was soooo good!

After dinner we had some time to kill, so we stopped by B Doughnut, Starbucks and killed some time in the Barnes & Noble.

And THEN… we saw Captain Marvel!

AHHH, so good! I honestly wasn’t sure if I was going to love this one as much as I love the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, Thor: Ragnarok, and Avengers: Infinity War. The bar was set very high, but I LOVED Captain Marvel and it was a fantastic addition to the series!

It was also a great end to our date day! We enjoyed the comfy hotel room and had the free hotel breakfast in the morning — I just love those make-your-own waffle set ups! We hung around the room and watched some HGTV until check out at noon, then hit up Lost Creek Winery for one last tasting.

After our tasting, we stopped at the Roots 657 Café for an AMAZING lunch. I got the country pulled pork sandwich with a side of corn pudding and Travis got the bacon cheeseburger with a side of fries. We did a little splitsy action, so we both got a little of everything and YUM.

All in all, it was a fantastic date weekend and I ate way too much delicious food. So yeah, it was perfect.

Do you go on date weekends?

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