Archives for January 2013

Consignment Shopping- What to take {Thoughtful Thursday}

Last week we talked about the newness of spring and new-to-me consignment shopping. Today, lets finish prepping ourselves for The Big Sale!

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I would say 98% of the time, I do all my shopping {grocery & otherwise} with my kids. I like it that way; they learn how to shop and I learn patients. BUT when we start talking consignment shopping, clothes trying on three different kids, crowed racks, all among the crazies that are consignment's just silly to try to take your kids.

I also like the idea of shopping with a friend but it never fails, two things happen. First, we either don't get any shopping done because we wanna hang out or we don't end up spending time together. Second, we have awkward conversations about how ugly clothes for each others children or we go home with something we and/or our husbands don't really like {or they do} because have completely different tastes.

This year I have a baby sitter lined up and a shopping date with my hubs planned!

Check List for Children's Consignment Shopping:

  1. Buddy/Spouse
    • When considering who would be a good shopping buddy ask the following questions:
      • do I like what their kids wear
      • do they like consignment shopping
      • will they help you stay within your budget
      • are they willing to help you dig, sort through, and make tough decisions
  2. Vehicle
    • Based on what you plan to buy, make sure you have enough to store all items you intend on buying.
    • Think size if you are planning to get larger toys or baby equipment at the event.
    • Remember to leave room for the driver and any passengers 😉
  3. Portable Container
    • You will be walking in circles around lots of other determined women {and some men}, squeezing between crowded racks, and carrying all your finds. Remember to take something to aid you in this.
      • Stroller- easily maneuvered, as light weight as possible.
      • Hanging Rack {with wheels}- this is best if you have one, are planning to but tons, and are mainly looking for clothing.
      • Laundry basket- possibly with a rope/bungee cord attached to one side so you can pull it when necessary.
      • Tub {small enough to carry when filled & heavy}- this can work like a laundry basket. Both can be put inside a stroller or hooked on the bottom of a rolling rack to help in holding small items.
  4. Measurements/measuring devices
    • Not all clothes are standard so having your child's measurements ahead of time means you don't have to have them with you to try items on, you can just measure clothes themselves.
    • A fabric tape measure can not only help you measure clothing items but also aid when trying to make decisions about furniture, toys, or baby equipment.
  5. Shopping List
    • There are going to be a slew of awesome items. You don't want to go crazy buying up everything in your child's size.
    • Know what you already have/don't need, and exactly what you Do need.
    • Stick to your guns.
    • Don't know how best to create a good shopping list? Read This.
  6. Budgeted Cash
    • Having a budget is key to getting in and out of a consignment event without getting into trouble.
    • Cash helps you stick to your budget way better than checks and definitely more than credit/debit cards.
    • Many events don't take checks or credit/debit anyways. To be safe- take cash. You don't want to have to put back all your awesome finds.
  7. Calculator
    • With so many low prices, it will be easy to feel like your way under your budget.
    • Keeping track as you go {or laying everything out one more time BEFORE you reach the checkout} will make you very aware of how much you're spending and keep you from overspending.What to take when Consignment Event Shopping

The Morning {afternoon/night} of the sale:

It may be a long wait to get in, hours of shopping, and eternal check out. Consider the following 5 tips for your sanity:

  1. Eat a good meal before going so you don't get shaky, grouchy, or mean while shopping.
    Taking a drink/snack with you.
  2. Dress comfortably. Light weight jacket, comfy pants, t-shirt, hat, tennis shoes, pull your hair up and out of your face.
    Avoid carrying excess like a purse or anything else that is now absolutely necessary. As little to keep up with as possible: put keys, phone, money in your pockets or stroller.
  3. Know what time starts. Every state/town has different regulations or times for who can come when. Check their website, Facebook fan page, or other forms of advertisements.
    Arrive early so you have plenty of time to calmly shop but beware, some of these women are for reals about their consignment shopping. If you're not up for tight spaces and pushy mammas, you may not want to be first in line ;O)
  4. Take your phone {ideally a smart phone} so you can call a life line to help make tough decisions: i.e. Family/friend to their opinion on an item, Google regularly priced item.
  5. Take a chill pill. If you don't have any prescribed, {hardy har har} just take a deep breath every time you feel like acting childish and fighting over silly, well-priced items.
    Treat everyone like Christ would, workers & even crazy consignment shoppers.

HAVE FUN! Come back & share your adventure.

I know I shared my favorite consignment event in the last Thoughtful Thursday but just in case you don't have one in your area, here is an online consignment shop: "ThredUp". And you can get $10 off your first order using the code: GIMME10! Have fun!!! {valid thru 2-22-13 midnight}
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Just another Tuesday in the Rothacher house…

This morning Matt headed out to yet another couple meetings out of town. I thought about showering but then remember the chaos that was my day and chose to get started & trudge through with a greasy head. So, with a grungy preschooler in my bed watching Cat in the Hat, I put on a bra {sorry, TMI for some but you mamma's know this is only prep for visitors 😉 } and hustled downstairs. You see, we've been non-stop traveling and I failed to do any of my child's preschool work last week...our "HIPPY lady" was coming today...10 O'Clock to be was 7:30.

Just another Tuesday in the Rothacher house...

I grabbed our new favorite cereal, Berry Berry Kix {thank you WIC}, a handful of bowls, and our HIPPY backpack full of supplies and work. I know, know. My class factor here is on the rise! I dealt the bowls like a deck of cards, chucking piles of cereal in each one Knowing at least one child would decide they didn't like this kind of cereal today. Next, I quickly reading through the entire weeks worth of school work, highlighted directions for quick labor, ready the necessary supplies, and decide what really has to be fill out/done. Don't judge... HIPPY parents, you know you've done this at least once- determine the possible pull sheets and do those first!

I ran back upstairs just in time to her The Cat and his lil friends say they'd see us next time and I click off the TV. Thank you PBS for entertaining my 4 {and now in the bed 3} year old! Like the fancy people we are, I march my kids downstairs still in their PJs after grabbing lil brother out of his crib. Going straight to the table, the excitement and grouching  begins. Mags is ecstatic about finally getting to "do school" and guess who complains about the Berry Berry Kix? Iz the Biz! Two of the 3 eat their cereal dry while the particular one selects multigrain Cheerios and asks for milk. Settled now, I began swiftly moving through each day's lesson, markers marking, crayon's coloring, scissors...scissoring. Even with reading silly detailed directions in a couple of places we owned that homework in like 30 minutes! For Real! New personal record 😉 {Sorry Heather...I promise we do the lessons more vigorously every other week I mean... on weeks we're not traveling naw, just some times. We get bored with repetition}

Now that breakfast and school were done, the kids marched happily to the playroom and I began checking email and texts {yeah...I'm bad about keeping up with my phone}. All while doing this my kids started playing a new game they created all by themselves! It was called: How many bad choices can we make in less than 2 hours {bonus points for including as many screaming siblings as possible}. Sounds fun huh! This included but was definitely not limited to slapping, pushing, stealing, running someone else's extremities over with a power wheel scooter, drawing on the table with marker right next to the paper provided, using glue as chapstick, screaming {both fun and out of anger or pain}, as well as getting everyone naked {"suPize" -says Jamin} for pretend "mud" play. I probably missed something fun. I'll find evidence of it somewhere near the pile of hair I ripped out of my head later.

This day only got better with a little

  1. rushed lunch of leftovers in order to be ready for HIPPY & baby-watching
  2. bribery with stickers for napping {mainly for the 4-year-old}
  3. finally did the postponed HIPPY meeting I panicked to get ready for about 2 hours later
  4. babysitting an adorable 9-month-old {its been a while...} who was so snuggly but I felt awful because he
    • was overstimulated by my abundance of littles
    • needed to poop
    • is teething
    • was wicked sleepy {but that just made for more snuggles 😉 }
    • and didn't like my mistaken combination of his juice cup & formula {told ya its been a while...}
  5. amped up kids who apparently need to
    • get out more OR
    • stay home more... that's a tough one
  6. hubs who's meeting went longer than I thought
  7. amped even more with energy when daddy got home
  8. make-shift of THIS using leftovers
  9. more playing their new-found game
  10. 10 minute time out with a tantrum throwing 3-year-old
  11. waiting out the tornado in a pantry
  12. aaaaand now I'm talking typing to you about to head to bed {9:45} because the crazy of this week hasn't even begun.

See ya lay-ta! What did your Tuesday look like?

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Lego Learning!

This blog has a really cool LEGO Unit & Lapbook using these Lego Bricks & More LEGO Creative Bucket. I think my nephew would LOVE this and thought maybe someone you know would to. Below is a link to where you can buy the simple brick Legos for more creative, thought-provoking, learning play.

Bricks & More

LEGO® Creative Bucket

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3 Cheese Bow Ties {recipe}

Some days I just am plain tired of picking what to make for meals. I don't really mind cooking. I just hate coming up with what to cook. During one of these many nights as I stared at the fridge, then at the pantry shelves with utter disappointment. I decided to get a little creative. I had grown weary of the same ole menu so I kinda combined a few recipes that are staples at our house to come up with a not so fancy meal but it was a winner with the entire family!

3 cheese bow tie yumminess

Find the recipe where I shared it on the Homemaker's Challenge.

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How-to Consignment Shop withOUT Kids {Thoughtful Thursday}

I have to remind myself, "It is coming. It Is coming. Spring time is coming!"

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I am so ready for some color sprinkled all over the ground, warmer {not hot} days, and the general cheeriness of the spring season. Another thing I love about season change is consignment shopping. Eek! My fave? Duck Duck Goose, the "BIG Sale" in Little Rock, AR!

Don't get me wrong, I don't really like spending money on clothes I just LOVE a great deal. We haven't had to spend much over the past few years due to God's blessing of hand-me-downs from friends and family as well as within our own closely born babes! This year though...this year, the year of limbo and growth, has brought us to the place where Every child needs nearly an entire spring/summer wardrobe. My kids are eating like there's a famine coming and sleeping like its going out of style- that's coming, too. The Growth Spurts! This year I plan to be proactive in this inevitable circumstance.

I need to be able to shop in a reasonable amount of time, thinking through purchases, as well as get all the things I need for the season without duplicates. Soooo, I'm fixing all of that. How am I going to get the right sizes without taking the kids, you ask? THAT is what I want to share with you today. I think this could work for consignment shopping or clothes shopping in general.

Check list for prepping to go
Children's Clothes Shopping:

{note: I'm not a genius, these tips come from years of watching the experts 😛 }

  1. Purge
    • Set aside all clothes for that current season {for me right now Winter}. The kids will still need these a bit longer.
    • Then pull out all clothes that are the next season that will not fit {spring/summer for me}. I'm talking, if you have to, do a fashion show, try on all clothes that may be on the line of not fitting {if and When they have that next growth spurt}.
    • Next, identify all clothes that you haven't been putting on your child due to them being stained, shrunk, stretched out, holey, whatever.
    • Finally, depending on if it just doesn't fit or if it's really used: Consign, pass down to the next child, or pass along all those clothes to a friend, family member, clothes closet, etc. Don't allow them back in the closet or dresser. It will only be misguiding when you go to dress you child.
  2. Take inventory of each child's closets and dressers.
    • For real, write down exactly how many of each item they have, their size, and even the color.
    • When you go shopping you will know you don't need a pair of pink shorts, black tennis shoes in size 6, or 2 more green sun dresses.
  3. Make a shopping list
      • List the things they will need for the next season.
      • Look at your calendar to be reminded of events/holidays coming up: Easter, swimming, birthday parties were some of the things I am considering.
      • Compared to what's left in the closet/dresser, how many items to they really need. Do Not waste money on a gazillion outfits for each child. They will use them and then grow out of them.
      • We try and keep it down around 5-10 mix & match shirts/shorts/pants and maybe 5 dressier items per child. Some days, even that many gets overwhelming: laundry, stain busting, consigning later, and then we all know family/friends will get them items for holidays, plus my girls share most of their clothes right now.
        Shop a Consignment Event withOUT Your Children- shoping list
  4. Measure each child. They will think this is fun.
    • Feet
      1. Use a piece of paper {card stock or constructions paper holds up the best} and trace one foot of each child.
      2. If your kids have feet that are different sized, fit differently in shoes, etc you might want to do both.
      3. I just did one foot for each child because I have three kids I'm shopping for at once and the things you have to carry around add up quickly.
      4. I also cut out each foot for more convenience.
    • Body
        1. Torso {shoulders to hips}
        2. Legs {hips to floor}
        3. Tummy {largest part around their midsection}
        4. Waist {where pants will need to fit}

      Bottom {largest circumference around toosh}

        • option: fabric tape: measure each child and write down the sized on the back of your "shopping list".
        • option: different color ribbon for each child. Measure and make them on the with a marker or pen on the ribbon {label what each line is}

Shop a Consignment Event withOUT Your Children- take measurements
{I punched a hole in each foot as well as the ribbon so I could hook them on a big ring for easier carrying.}

That sounds like a lot of stuff to think through but it's really not. I just tried to be very detailed for anyone who had never done this AND this is helping me think through what I need for next week's undertaking. If you're like me, you don't get too many chances to go shopping. And on top of that, these consignment sales don't come around but maybe twice a year. 😉

Next Thursday, I'll be back with a check list for taking with you to a Consignment Event! {link live next Thursday}

Share your tips & tricks for consignment shopping! We love to hear your favorite finds as well 🙂

I know I shared my favorite consignment event above but just in case you don't have one in your area, here is an online consignment shop: "ThredUp". And you can get $10 off your first order using the code: GIMME10! Have fun!!! {valid thru 2-22-13 midnight}
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