Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Shopping Kids Consignment, Part 1

I am going to do a few (hopefully) informative posts about why you should shop consignment. As I have recently posted, I have  become OBSESSED with shopping consignment sales.

Hello, my name is Mandy, and I am addicted to Children's Consignment Sales.

First off, you should know a little about the consignment sales in your area. I found mine from In my area of Brentwood, TN there are numerous seasonal consignment sales. I will talk more about picking which ones to go to in another post. The first post is about reasons WHY you should shop consignment, and not regular retail.

1. Kids grow up SO FAST. Can I please tell you the amount of clothes I consigned in my first sale that Josh and Jules never, ever even wore? Its terribly sickening. And when you talk about buying things that are sized every three months, there is probably tons that they will never wear. And guess what? Even if it is worn, it "maybe" has been worn only a couple of times. How often can you change the clothes of babies? Like I said before, their closet was full of things, and sometimes we had to (unfortunately) change clothes three times per day, and still didn't wear all they had. It just sickens me as well, because I paid retail for post of those Gymboree dresses and they maybe got worn twice :(  Plus, since most of these sales are seasonal only, you are only buying that season of things. So, its not like you have to stock up on all sizes. For instance, I only bought 18m spring/summer stuff this time. There will be more sales in the fall, so I can buy more then!

2. Bigger, better, more fabulous wardrobe. My kids mostly only wear the cutest, branded clothes. (because, ummm, they are the cutest babies ever, fyi).  If you have only bought retail, you may have a few really cute shoes, clothes, etc at high name brand. At consignment sales, since everything is only 25% of what you would pay retail, just think of all the Gap, Gymboree, Boutique, Janie and Jack, Stride Rite, etc you could buy for the same price. You will have little fashionistas on your hands in no time. There are actually two sales near me that ONLY do higher end brands (no Old Navy, no Target, no Children's Place, etc). You better believe I hit up both of these sales, especially on 50% off day.

3.One stop shopping. I love buying on the internet. I hate shopping at malls - I always have. There are so many more things I would rather do than to do from store to store looking for something. Yet, another reason to love consignment! Where else can you go that has toys, books, strollers, carseats, clothes, etc all in one place from 100+ sellers? Plus, again, I love buying boutique items for my kids, but I don't like shopping in them. The cool thing about consignment I ALWAYS find boutique clothing.

4. You are one of those "green" moms. What better way to be green than to buy pre-owned? Americans throw away 68 pounds of clothing each year (

5. Some things you should never buy new. Its just stupid. Dvds, Books, "seasonal" items (Christmas, Easter, Halloween, winter coats, etc), pricey toys, babys shoes (I only say this because this is the #1 thing I have bought that almost everything is new, and they have a TON of them)

Up Next: How to Shop Consignment - what's your strategy?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Mommy and Me Mondays

One of the blogs I read has created a theme called Mommy and Me Mondays. I absolutely looooovvveeee the concept. She created the theme after she realized she had a gazillion pictures of her kids, and almost none of herself with her kids. (hello? I think we all do this!!) So, I decided to start participating, because I, also, have a gazillion pictures of my kiddos (seriously, a gazillion, I beg you to count them), and a very few of myself. So, here we go. This is moi with Josh in their sunroom/playroom, on his scooter, wearing his converse. Cutie pie. And look at sweet Jules in the background playing with her mailbox. Sweet babes.

Mommy and Me Monday at Really, Are You Serious?

Hosted by Krystyn

Been there, done that, bought a t-shirt

There is nothing more true than this video, and it is hysterical...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

DIY - Photo Canvas

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I found this pretty easy tutorial online here that taught me teh basics, then I kind of rolled with it. It actually was super easy and pretty fun too! And it didn't take very long either!  I am also very impressed with myself that I have officially completed one of my tasks that I set out to do. I got the canvases BOGO at Michael's, so 4 canvases for $8.99. The scrapbook pages were on sale 2/$1. I then blew up 4 8x10 pics of them at Walgreens for $11 (The tutorial said not to print them at home, but I probably could have anyways). Mod Podge, paper cutter, and thats it! Seeing as typical 8x10 photo canvases are $30-40 each, I think this was a marvelous idea! Oh how I *heart* projects!!

I first covered each canvas with Mod Podge. Then, I cut the strips of paper, and pasted them onto each side of the canvas. (cut the strips and the photos a teeny bit shorter - you want there to be white space)
  Then I turned each picture over, coated it with Mod Podge,and carefully applied it to each canvas and smoothed everything out very good. Then I applied Mod Podge to everything. (its white, but dries clear)

Then I took a dry sponge and "sponged" paint onto the white areas of the canvas and along the sides of the picture to kind of "blend" it together so its looks like its not a DIY craft, lol. Its supposed to look antiquey and shabby chic. The tutorial used black - I used white, but you can use any color I'm sure.

Then let dry! All in all, it took about 2 hours to complete,and I couldn't be more happy with it. I also printed out their inital and framed it above the canvases.

Here is the finished project in their nursery! Fabu!

(showing the sides of the canvas)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I Heart Faces - A Slice of Life

This is fun! This week's contest on I Heart Faces is called "slice of life". And this pic makes me giggle. Jules and Josh did a Valentine's Day art project. We had to let them paint one at a time (for obvious reasons).


Thought I would give the old blog a little bit of a facelift, just for funsies.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Slideshow 13-14 Months Old

14 Months - Update on the Babes

14 Months old!!

Ooooohhhhhh! They are getting so big!! So, so, so, so big! We are almost in 18 month clothes. Josh can easily wear 18 months shirts, but still needs 12 month pants. Jules can wear some 18 month dresses, but she will probably be in most 12m things for a while. She's teeny tiny. We are still in size 4 diapers, but are wearing size 5 at night for bedtime. They are EVERYWHERE right now. Little curious cats.

Feedings: We are slowly working on self feeding with spoons. This has been much harder that I thought. I wish I had started this earlier - hindsight is 20/20! We don't eat a ton of things for them to use their spoon with, so really we are just doing oatmeal and yogurt. Jules would still prefer to sick her hands in it each time, and Josh would just prefer to chew on the spoon. *sigh* We're getting there. We also....tumtumtum.... tried peanut butter and strawberries - and we are A-Ok here! i had been worried, with the dairy allergies and all, that they might be allergic. But, nope! They don't love it yet, probably due to textures, and we're working on it. we are also migrating from bottles to straight sippys. I'm sure we can do it, I just know they usually don't drink as much out of their sippys as they do from bottles. But, I think its probably time.

Waketime/Napping: Still working on moving to one nap per day. I think Josh is ready. On Friday and Saturday he did not take his afternoon nap. But Jules is not ready. So, I think we are going to do one nap a day on Wednesdays (library day) and Sundays (when we do church) and see how that goes, and if all is well, we will drop it. Expect next month's update to be free of two naps! Its all going so fast!!

Nightime: Doing good here, but for some reason Josh has been waking up at 6:45 for the past week or so. Hmmm, not sure what this is about, and I gotta say I don't like it. I am thinking it has something to do with daylight savings.

Our Schedule:

7:15- wake/feed 8oz each whole milk for Josh & Jules then cereal with fruit or waffle with cream cheese spread
9:30 - nap (hopefully at least 1.5 hours)
11:30 - feed - 6oz each bottle/sippy, then lunch a little later. Lunch is either a pasta, ( I have found Annie's Organic boxed pasta and they love it! You can sneak in some veggies here too) beans, rice, usually avocado. I try to have a little bit of the biggies: whole grain, fruit, veggie, protein.
3:00 - feed 6-7oz for each + "dinner" This is either some of a pasta I have in the fridge, or toast with hummus and fruit. There also might be cut up tofu, cut up string cheese, chicken, cut up veggies, beans, or rice. I try to keep some easy things in the fridge to grab. My Twin Friend Maggie recently posted on her blog how to shop the grocery for easy finger food ideas, and its great!
5:00 - sometimes a snack. I usually forget. I try to do water or milk and something light. 6:30/6:45 - I still feed another meal here, but they usually just pick at it. Their appetite really drops here.
7:00-7:30 - baths, a sippy cup of milk, story/bedtime

Outing/Events: LOVE being outside in this beautiful weather!! We have been to the park several times. They love to swing, and they have begun to slide down the slide all by themselves! Then they usually just run around EVERYWHERE. Its a good workout for me, too. lol. We have also been to the zoo, which is ok. Its not great yet, but hopefully, they will get used to it and thinks its cool to see the animals. Right now, they don't really get it. Plus, they are at a stage now, since they have been walking, that they don't like being confined in the stroller as much, which is AWESOME FUN, let me tell you. Now that its getting closer to summer, I am looking into doing some swimming with them and checking out the Gymboree classes possibly.

Structured Playtime: Hmmm, haven't done much here yet. We're getting to it. Jeez, how has it already been a month later?

Diet: I did the three day Tuns Fish Diet, and lost three pounds. Go me! I like it b/c usually I can do anything for three days. Then you can go back to regular eating for the next four. So, now I am on it again for three days. Its "supposed" to jump start your metabolism.

Milestones: My Lord, these babies are the funniest, smartest babies ever!! They just crack me up. They are walking everywhere, and sometimes Josh can run a little bit. They love playing chase. They love reading books. Jules can now point to certain characters in the books (Elmo, Pooh, Mickey Mouse, etc). She is all about pointing now, and points to things, like she is counting them too. Josh is all of a sudden obsessed with balls, and has one in his hand all the time, much to the pleasure of Jake. We got him a mini golf set and mini baseball set. So cute!! They love being outside and in their playroom. They are talking a little more, but still not saying much, just mostly babbling. They babble all the time. "doh" is everything according to Jules. She points at everything and says "Doh". They both say mama, dada, bye. Josh says ball alot. Jules loves sitting in your lap to read books. Josh will usually sit in the corner of your knee so he can be involved as well. He also "backs up" to sit on your knee, which is beyond hysterical. He may start walking backwards from across the room - its so funny. We are working on body parts. They know their tummy, ear, hat, head, feet etc. We are working on others. They LOVE, LOVE to dance. Jules loves to help me "put stuff away". She can put her toys, shoes, clothes, away in drawers and baskets. i cannot believe she knows how to do this. She just amazes me sometimes. Life is good!!!

Weekly Photo Project 5 - Movie Stars

Oh, you guys!! You crack me up, you really do. Mommy couldn't resist going out and getting you guys new sunglasses for summer. You had some last year, but they were baby sunglasses. you needed to step up your game this year and get some super-cool toddler ones. And so far, so good! You love them! You guy are little rock stars, and I coudln't wait to get my camera out and start snapping away.

Oh! You caught me off guard, papazazzi!

This girl

Hav eyou ever seen such a beautiful boy?

Little model!!!

Then, of course, he had to try on Mommy's!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Monday, March 14, 2011

I Heart Faces - Sun Flare

Okay, since I'm working on my photg skills, I thought I would begin participating in these fun contests. I Heart Faces has these weekly, and they are always a different theme. Fun times! This week the theme is Sun Flare. I entered this one of Jules back in September. What a cutie she is.

New things on the horizon

I am in project mode. So, I must document them to stay on track.

1. have some proof on my walls that I do, in fact, have children. I don't have any pictures of my kids on my walls except the newborn one from the hospital. Yes, its really large and framed, but seriously, its sad I don't have more. So, numero uno on my to-do project list is to put up more photos. I am def. going to do photo canvases. I LOVE them to death. However, I can't do them everywhere, so I am thinking of doing one wall of canvases, and makes some framed ones in their rooms. Also, I am stuck between doing canvases of photography family shots throughout their first year, or doing just their photos throughout their first year, like a photo collage, like this. I have compared prices and finally have websites that will do 11x14's pretty reasonable. Or, I could get really crafty and do them myself. I love me some modge podge.

2. Speaking of modge podge, I am also in the process of making them monogrammed, personalized growth charts. I have found some easy ways to do it (not this style, though), and plus, this way I can make them exactly what I want. Some are too cutesy, too plain, too child-like, etc. I like plain and pretty :)

3. backup all the photos of the babes. Whew. What a project this has been, and I really haven't even begun! Since my post about photo storage, you guys have convinced me to do flickr. So, I am now in the very slow process of uploading them a few at a time, when I have time. Then, from there I am going to store as many as I can on memory card, then safebox the memory cards. (Memory cards, although more expensive, seem a quicker option that burning pics onto CD's. I have four CDs made - of ONLY pictures of 0-3 months old. Wow- that would take me forever to catch up).

4. still working on my goals of photography and sewing. The place that the sewing machine was bought offers free classes, but only every once in a while for my specific model. And, I haven't been able to go to those couple of classes yet. So, here's hoping I will soon. Photography is going great though. I love it, and am getting the hang of it. I love Photoshop anyway. I used to own a personalized stationery business, so was pretty graphic design savvy before, which makes editing photos pretty easy to me. Yes, I know, most photographers will tell you that good ones don't need to edit, but I would also say they are lying :)

5. dieting. As most of you know, my abs separated during my pregnancy, and they have been a
b!#$ch to work on and shrink up. Its hard because you CAN'T work them out, because if you aren't doing the proper exercises properly, you are actually making it worse, which I'm sure I have been doing. I have, though, bought a splint, which will hopefully help. We'll see. Oh yeah, and I am also on the three day Tuna Diet, just for funsies.

Weekly Photo Project 4 - our first time behind the wheel

Well, we did it, Josh & Jules! We sort-of successfully made our first trip to the grocery store, all together. Usually, Mommy goes by herself, because she is a smart girl. However, I only needed a few things, so away we went! Luckily, grocery stores now have the super-fun car/carts that you guys could ride in. So, of course, I had to take pictures, even though I only had my crappy camera phone. You guys loved your first ride in the car! Everyone kept stopping us to ask if you were twins, and say how cute you were.

Then, at the end, everyone would just simply say how cute Josh was, because that is the baby they saw first. It wasn't until I pointed you out, Jules, that they understood...Hmmmmm.Yup, Mommy didn't make it the entire trip without having to separate you guys. *sigh*
Which one of these is not likke the other one, not like the other one, not like the other one?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Weekly Photo Project 3 - Books and Smiles

Oh, Ms. Julesy Bear and your love for books! You are your momma's daughter. You have lately gone and picked up books out of the basket and brought them to whomever will possibly read one to you. (usually me). Then you will crawl into our laps for the perfect reading spot. This book you love, even though its for younger babies, b/c Mommy will make animal noises on each page, and its a touch-and-feel. Due to your obsession for books, though, poor Josh doesn't get a turn in Mommy's lap. He just might stand to the side and listen, because you will NOT have anyone else in a lap but you. And you will NOT allow anyone else to turn the pages either. Mommy can't wait for more things like this to happen (note the sarcasm).

Josh, lately you have become quite the little ham. You have now learned what Mommy's camera is, and what to do when she has it up in front of her face. While you don't do this every time, its sure is cute when you do. So, here are a couple of pictures of you "smiling" for the camera.