Wednesday, March 31, 2010

How to consign clothes

I wanted to take a little time of personal privilege (since it is my site and all :)) and tell you about one of the best ways that I save money on my growing children. 

I consign all their clothes that I can and I buy all of their clothes that I can from consignment sales.

Your area of the country (or of the world) may not work exactly the same as mine, but usually there are a lot of similarities in sales so I'll just tell you how it works around here.  (I just wanted to interject that I have never consigned clothes at a store, just at weekend sales.  So I really can't give advice on using a consignment store.)

How consignment sales work:
 
OK, around here, people organize weekend consignment sales.  They run from Wed or Thurs thru Sat, with Sat being a half-price day.  Each organizer runs 2 sales a year, one in the Spring for Spring and Summer clothes/items and one in the Fall for Fall and Winter clothes/items.  Toys and baby items are sold at both.  As a consignor, you sign up with whoever is running the sale (most of the sales have websites).  They give you a consignor number and directions on preparing your items.  You prepare your items according to their directions (i.e. hanger must turn to left, tag pinned to top right of garment, multiple pieces in a set pinned together, etc).  Then on drop-off day, take your items to the sale site.  They will hang them/sort them/get them set out for the sale.  Usually there are 1-2 days for drop-off before the sale starts.  During the sale, the organizers will keep track of all the tags (which each have your consignor number on it).  At the end you get a percentage of the sales from your items.  The sales that I have participated in have given either 60 or 70% of your sales back to you.  The remainder of the sales go to the organizer.  That's their incentive to hold the event.  Some organizers run sales as fundraisers and some just run it for profit.  At the end of the sale you can either pick up the items that haven't sold and take them back home with you, or you can leave them at the sale site and the organizers will donate them to a charity of their choice.

Which sale do I pick?

Those are the mechanics of the sales.  Now for specifics.  If you have never consigned before, my suggestion is to visit several sales before you pick one to consign at.  While you are there shopping, consider these questions: 

How many items do they have?  The more items, the more draw for people to shop and the better chance you have of your items selling. 

How do they advertise?  Word of mouth is great, but you want to invest in a sale that draws lots of people in.  Look for signs on the side of the road, flyers at preschools/churches.

Where is it held?  Once again, the bigger, the better, in terms of being a consignor.  If the sale is in someone's basement, don't expect a huge turnout.  If they rent out a ballroom at the local conference center, expect a big sale, lots of people and lots of sales for you.

Look at the tags.  They tell you a lot.  Most sales let you choose per item if you want it to sell at half-price on Sat.  Make sure you consign at a sale that does.  Also, you should have the option per item to donate it or pick it back up if it doesn't sell.  You can also tell by the tag whether the organizers use a computer system for you to enter your tag info or if you have to write it yourself.  A computerized system with barcodes on the tags usually makes for a more secure sale (less human error involved in determining which money goes to which consignor).

Remember your goal is to get rid of outgrown/unused items in your house and make a little money in the process.  So as you pick a sale, keep that goal in mind.

Tomorrow I'll let you know the best way to package strange shaped items and what the benefits of consigning are (besides the ones stated above).

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Thanks for the recipes

Thanks so much for all the recipes you sent! I'm going to pick one out to try this week. I'll cook it and serve it to my family and I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks again!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Recipe help

Hello all!

I realized something while I was cooking dinner last week.  As far as dinner is concerned, I'm really boring.  Almost every night we have a meat (chicken, pork or hamburger) with a carb (pasta, rice or potatoes) and veggies (corn, peas, carrots or broccoli).  Granted, my family eats it well and no one complains, but I would really love a new recipe or two to broaden our horizons.

So, what I'd love from you is your favorite recipe.  You can leave it in the comments, email me at catwoman522(at)gmail(dot)com, or blog about it and send me the link.  I'll try them out and tell you how they go.

There are a few requirements though:  No cauliflower, mustard, watermelon or oranges.  That's all the random stuff I'm allergic too.  No mushrooms - I can't stand those.  And I have to either be able to make it within an hour, or to be able to put it in a crockpot.

Not too hard, huh?  I'll be looking for those recipes!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Starry Room

(This is my guest post from Crystal's Craft Spot.  Enjoy!)

Hi, y'all.  I'm Cathy from Stay in the Car Mom.  I'm excited to be guest blogging for Crystal.  This is my very first guest blog post (I'm a little nervous!).  I have a great, hard-working husband, and two (most of the time) adorable children :).  Julie is 6 and in first grade and David is 4 and in preschool.

(Look past my shiny forehead.  We don't get too many pictures of the 4 of us together.)
Over at my blog you can find craft ideas, little girl hair-dos as well as general mommy stories and woes.  You can visit my hair ideas page, find an easy craft idea to do with your kids, or read about the interesting ideas that come out of my 4 year old's brain.

When you come visit, be sure to check out the make-over I did to my son's room 2 years ago.  Today I'm going to tell you how I updated my daughter's room.  It's a fun and easy way to update a room.

What you'll need:
a stencil or two
painter's tape
pencil
foam brush
paint

When Julie was almost 2 and I was pregnant with David, we painted her room light purple and made it cheery with butterflies and flowers.  It was great while she was younger, but now, at 6, she wanted a new theme in her room - High School Musical.  I didn't want to repaint the whole thing since the paint was still in pretty good shape and I really liked the color, so I decided we would add some stars and hearts to the walls to make it a "superstar" HSM room.  She had just gotten wall stickers for her birthday, so there were a lot of HSM stickers on the wall already. 

Her room before:
I started by picking up a star/heart stencil set at Michaels.  Then I used a pencil to draw the hearts and stars where I wanted them on the wall.  
I wanted them to be somewhat sporadic and only in a few places.

Then I used painter's tape to tape around the shape (let me tell you - the heart with the curves was HARD to do.  Next time I will only use shapes with straight lines!!).

Now for the easiest part, use the foam brush to dab paint inside the shapes.  What color did we use?  Hot pink, of course!  I did have to do 3 coats on it since it was in the red family.

Then just (carefully) peel off the tape and ta-da, your room is done.

A sprinkling of hearts and stars to go along with the HSM stickers on the walls, a new valance and bedspread (bought on clearance at Walmart) and her room gets a whole new look.

Disclaimer:  If she were younger and less opinionated, I would have had a lot more creative control of this room and put the stickers in better spots.  But, since she is very independent, the stickers look a little busy on the walls.  Just look past that :).

Hope you enjoyed the tutorial.  Have a great day and come visit me at my blog when you get the chance. 

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Guest posting

I'm guest posting today on Crystal's Craft Spot.  Go check it out.

Monday, March 22, 2010

I won a contest!

Guess what? I won a contest.

I didn't know that I won until I got my prize today in the mail.
A brand new book by Jill Savage, the founder of Hearts at Home, a great resource for stay-at-home moms.  I have been reading Jill's blog and some of her other books for a while and I always find them encouraging and full of great ideas.  To promote her new book, Jill asked readers to tell a money saving tip that they have found.  I submitted a comment about saving on prescription drugs.  You can see it here.  I won as a runner up and got a copy of her new book.  I plan to devour it and then I'll tell you all about it.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hug your child today

I just wanted to write a quick post today and remind you to hug your child, spouse, anyone you love today.

Recently in our area a mother of 9 was killed in a car wreck.  Her 18 year old daughter was driving, they were on the interstate and the daughter just lost control.  Their car hit a tree in the center of the median.  She lost control at the wrong time and in the wrong place.  Any other place and there wouldn't have been a tree there.

I didn't know the mother very well, but we worked out at the same gym and took the same classes there.

Even so, this has hit me kind of hard.  I can't bear the thought of being separated from my own 2 kids by death.  I can't imagine how the 9 she has will survive, especially the daughter that was driving the car.  It justs reminds me to tell my children and my husband that I love them every day, because life is short.

I hope this didn't make you sad, but reminded you of the happiness in your life.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My hectic, crazy life

Well, here it is again - almost a week since my last post.

That's because I have had a CRAZY, BUSY, HECTIC, LONG week!

For the last 6 nights I have had something I was obligated to do.  Some were fun things - like the TobyMac concert on Saturday - and some were more work - like the VBS training session I led last night.  During the days, I was preparing all our outgrown toys, clothes and books for the huge consignment sale in our town, getting both of our cars repaired and battling a nice little sinus infection.  (I have to admit, I did skip one night's obligation because of the sinus infection.)

In all this craziness, did I learn anything?

Of course!

1)  You can burn up to 700 calories dancing at a concert (or anywhere) for an hour!!  Enough for a nice big snack when you get home.
2)  It takes hours of work to prepare for a consignment sale, but usually the payoff is worth it (I'm preparing a consignment how-to post for later this week).
3)  When your van is in the shop, don't roll down the windows of your husband's car, because they might not roll up again!!
4)  It costs more to fix a window motor than it does to install new brakes in a van - a LOT more!
5)  Having an emergency fund really pays off when both your cars need to be fixed in the same week.
6)  When teaching adults about VBS, don't ask them to scramble around the floor to play the "Let's make a s'more" game, especially if they are older than you - a lot older.
7)  The allergist is much more likely to prescribe an antibiotic over the phone than my regular physician is.

Have a great day and may your day be filled with life's little lessons as well!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wednesday

I was kind of at a loss of what to title this post, so there it is, just "Wednesday."

I just wanted to show you the newest member of our family - my new nephew, Chase.  He spent some time in the NICU after birth, but is home now and doing good.  We got to see him for the first time (except seeing him through the glass at the hospital) on Thursday and hold him.  Here he is.
 
Isn't he cute?!  As my hubby would say "He looks just like a baby."


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Vday hairstyles

Once again, I'm behind in showing you fun stuff.

Oh well :).

Here is the belated fun stuff for today - Valentine's Day hairstyle.  Since Valentine's Day was a Sunday this year, we could go fancier, so I chose the french braid heart.  Find the tutorial here.

 

Hairstyle #2 - this was just done on a school day and was super easy.  I think the tutorial had 4 flip-under ponies, but I only did three.  The Princess Hairstyles blogger also did more fancy stuff after putting the ribbon in.  I just went for simple that day.  You can find the tutorial here.

 
 
  
  

Enjoy!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Spring has Sprung!!

I am so excited.

Spring is on it's way.

Know what I love best about Spring?
Yes, I love the sunshine and sending the kids out to play.
But what I love best are Spring flowers.

Look what I saw in my yard today...
 
And these below are the beginnings of my tulips!!  My very favorite flower of all!!

Enjoy and may Spring come early where-ever you are!!

Friday, March 5, 2010

And the winner is...

Drumroll, please.

(Imagine a drumroll here :))

The winner, using www.random.org is, commenter #16:
Crystal from The Harris Family who said
"I follow your blog"

Way to go, Crystal.  I'll email you with more information.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A little hitch in getting my button

It has been called to my attention that there is a little hitch in getting my button for your blog.  Because of the design on my blog by Designer Blogs, there is a copyright on everything on the blog.  That means that if you try to highlight the text under my button and right click to copy it, you'll get a pop-up box that won't allow you to copy it.  Instead, you'll need to highlight it, then type ctrl-C to copy.  You should be able to copy it that way.  Let me know if you still have problems.  Thanks.

The little dancer

Enter my giveaway here.
******************************************************
The little dancer slowly pulls on her leotard and tights and gathers her dance shoes into her bag.  Tonight is dance class and she is willing, if not happy to go.  She thinks back over her dance career so far.  She has had a love/hate relationship with dance all throughout her young life.

It all started back when she was 4.  She had seen some girls dancing and begged her mom to take lessons.  Her mom, being the wise woman she was, researched dance classes, evaluating them for class size, facilities and patience of the teachers.  After picking the smallest class, the one that would best suit her daughter, the mother enrolled the little dancer and the once a week dance classes started.

The first year was bliss.  The little dancer loved to go to class.  Oh, there were a few days of complaining, but overall dance was still fun.  With the end of year recital, the little girl's passion for dance was rekindled.  She loved being on stage.  Her loving mother happily enrolled her in classes for the next year.

Two pivotal things happened that next year to create the perfect dance storm.  The first was that the little girl started kindergarten.  Long days, no naps, and less playtime led to a cranky child most evenings.  At the same time, the patient, older dance teacher decided that the studio should put on a Christmas recital this year instead of just the spring recital as in years past.  Knowing that the little girl thrived on recitals, at first the mother was excited... but then the extra rehearsals started.  Twice a week, the little girl had to attend dance class after a long day at school.  The crankiness got worse. The complaining grew and the mother vowed that after the recital was over, the little dancer would no longer dance.

True to her word, the mother allowed the dancer to stop dancing for 6 months...and then...

The little dancer saw her best friend in Showtime, the area's community musical show.  Oh, the little girl was re-inspired at once.  She wanted to dance again because she wanted to be in Showtime too.  Against her better judgment the mother re-enrolled her daughter in dance classes, this time at a different studio.  The daughter, now 6, enjoyed dance class again.  The mother paid the recital fees for the Spring and paid for her daughter's costume. 

The little dancer looked forward to going to class, and enjoyed being with her friends...for a while.  Until the complaining began, once again.

Like the last time, the little girl begged to stay home, to not have to go to class.  This time the mother was wiser.  Instead of trying to use logic to convince the daughter to go, she decided to teach her about the cost of her decisions.  She told the daughter that each class was $10 and if the daughter would prefer not to go to class, she could instead reimburse the mother so she could stay home.

After counting her money and weighing her options, the little girl decided that she preferred to keep her money.

So now the little dancer willingly, if not cheerfully, dons her dance clothes and attends her dance class weekly, waiting for the day the recital is over and she can end her dance career.  The wise and sometimes weary mother waits along with her daughter for that day, knowing that this time her dance career will be over for good.


Monday, March 1, 2010

Giveaway Time!

What do you get when you cross a great online store with an excited blogger?

My very first giveaway!

Just before Christmas, I discovered a set of great online stores that provides anything and everything you might need to buy - kids bedding, clocks, luggage and over 200 other stores to choose from.  What store is this?

You guessed it, it's CSN Stores.com.

I have browsed through their websites, bought Christmas presents from them and still have barely scratched the surface of all they have to offer!!

Recently I was contacted by a CSN representative who asked if I would like to host a giveaway from one of their sites.   Hmmm, let me think...something free for one of my great readers. YES!!!!

So I scoured a few of their stores to find the perfect item to giveaway.  When I saw this item at the toys and games online site I knew it was just the thing.

So without further ado, here is what you can win for your family.

Thames and Kosmos Little Labs: Stepping Into Science Kit

This kit has 25 fun experiments - great for a rainy or snowy day.  Your little scientist(s) can learn about nature, physics, chemistry, air and water with step-by-step hands on experiments.  Learn what plants need to grow, build a barometer, see how water climbs, watch plants sweat, and investigate plant propagation. Discover how a magnifying glass enlarges, how colors mix, how static electricity attracts, how sundials tell time, and how a motion picture works. Investigate air pressure, air flow, hovercraft, paper airplanes, and suction.  (Kit is suitable for children aged 5 to 7.)

(I do need to insert here, that due to international shipping charges, this giveaway is only available for US and Canadian readers.  Sorry, Aussie friends.) 

How do you win this great educational toy???

It's easy.

Required entry:
Visit www.csnstores.com then come back here and leave me a comment letting me know which product you would love to own.

For additional entries:
  • Become my follower - 1 entry - Leave me a comment letting me know you are my follower.
  • Put my brand-new button on your blog - 2 entries - Leave me 2 comments about this.
  • Blog about my giveaway - 2 entries - Leave me 2 comments with the url of your post.  (If you don't have a blog, you can put up a Facebook status update about the giveaway for 2 additional entries.  Be sure to comment twice about that and friend me on FB so I can see the updates.)
  • Tweet about the giveaway and link it to my **Brand-new Twitter account** - 1 entry - Copy and paste Enter to win a child's science kit @stayinthecarmom http://bit.ly/buCg2m - Leave me a comment that you tweeted, include your Twitter username.   
This giveaway will last until 10 PM EST on Thursday, March 4.  I'll randomly select a winner and announce it on Friday March 5.  Have fun and good luck!

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