Saturday, January 24, 2015

6 Frugal Name Brand Shopping Tips

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We just love Gymboree (and Crazy 8) around here.
I will not lie, with my first daughter
I enjoyed buying customs and boutique style clothes for her,
but now with three very active and busy kids who
prefer being comfy and playing for hours outside,
I do not have the time (to shop or launder) or the funds
for the frilly looks. ..
especially the double outfits for the sister look!
 (I will keep buying those  until they just flat out refuse to wear them.)
Plus, my tastes have changed or
maybe it is just their personalities!

At any rate, we love our Gymbo clothes and
 I get asked all the time "where did you get that?"
Which is quickly followed by,
"but their stuff is so pricey!"
We are a proud debt free, single income family...
so, I have learned a few tricks for
dressing my kiddos in their crazy, cute Gymboree
 and other name brand attire.

So here are my best tips for shopping frugal
 for name brand clothes...
Keep in mind these tips will also work for
 Gap, H & M, Carter's
 and other name brands as well.
 #1: Know Your Store
It pays (literally) to know the ends and outs
 of your favorite store.
For example, I live 15 minutes
 from a Gymboree outlet store.
The outlet may or may not have the same sale
 you see on line or in a regular retail store. 
Gymboree outlets, also offer completely
 different lines than the retail store.
  I even discovered that if you see six orange dots on a tag...
 it is from the outlet, not the retail store! 
Also, brush up on their sales.
I started doing this by just receiving their emails,
and pretty soon I started tracking them.
For example...Crazy 8 has had a blue jean sale
 near back to school time for $8.88.
 (photo credit
Also, know their "rewards program" 
 Gymboree has both a reward card,
but even better you can earn GYMBUCKS!
I almost always only shop retail (or outlet)
 when I can either earn or spend GYMBUCKS!
This is my most recent purchase with GYMBUCKS.
My MIL bought the kids a each an outfit
before Christmas and earned 50 GYMBUCKS,
which she kindly shared with me.
I spent $100 at the outlet, but with my GYMBUCKS
I only paid $50.  Can you believe that got us...
two dresses, 6 shirts, 3 shorts, a skirt,
a pair of shorts, and a gumball bracelet!
 (Gap also has a similar program, as well as Carter's!)
#2: EBay
Now, I know this is not a news flash,
but if you have not been on EBay for
 name brand children's clothes lately,
 you have to take a look!
Every year we go to a strawberry farm,
and I just love taking pretty photos of the kids
picking the berries and playing on the farm.
This outfit above was an EBay purchase
for Molly to wear this spring when we go.
Here is what I did to find this...
First, I searched
for their strawberry lines.
 Then I searched the specific line and size on Ebay.
I also, refine my search to "auction" and
 "time ending soonest".
I will then add items that are in
 EUC (excellent Used Condition) to my watch list. 
I am also, careful to look at the posted shipping cost.
For the strawberry outfit (that looks brand new)
I paid $3.00 and about the same to ship.
You may not realize that there are hundreds of listings
for brand new with tags (NWT) items on Ebay.
The above picture is Addy's birthday outfit.
It is from an old Gymboree line.
The socks and hat were "new with tags",
and the skirt and top were "excellent used condition".
I never could have found such an adorable outfit
 with all those pieces, for the price I paid on EBay...
much less something as adorable and
appropriate for her Art Party!!

If you have tried to find nice, good quality clothes
 for big boys (Mike is a 7/8) then you know even Target
doesn't cut it.  This handsome Gymboree sweater was
one in a lot of four Gymboree sweaters. 
I paid $22 for the lot... that included shipping!
#3 Garage Sale Sites
My third tip is to search out some garage sale sites.
My particular favorite is
This site works for me because the mommies
 in my town created a page on it.
We have well over 2,000 members.
There are also many other garage sale pages on Facebook...
do a search or ask some local friends to
 add you to the pages they are on.
I was thrilled to get these two Gymboree tops
on my local VarageSale page.
They came with four pair of target shorts
 and some MUDD sandals.
All for $12!!

The condition said VGUC...
but I would add another VERY
in front... what a steal!
#4 Flash Sales
Eeek... this is my favorite way to shop!
I can't believe I did not know these
Face Book groups existed a year ago.
So here is how a flash sale site works... basically.
Members, can simply host a quick sale of there "stock"
by posting an opening photo.  Usually it is of a pile of clothes
or a photo of their own child wearing an adorable out fit.
They will often let you know
when the sale will begin, what sizes, the seasons,
and maybe the lines of the clothes that will be included.
Most also including how they will handle the shipping cost.
At this point, you can choose to follow the sale by
 adding a comment or
selecting "get notifications" at the top of the post.
When the sale begins, the seller will simply
add photos to the comments.
Each photo will include a number and
a listing of condition, size, and cost.
If you see something you like, you add a comment saying
 the number and "SOLD" with your email address.
At the end of the sale, the seller will email you
 an invoice from PayPal.
Then faster than retail shipping,
 you will get your clothes in the mail!

It really is as fun as it sounds
and I have made some pretty great scores.
The last two photos are of my latest flash sale purchases.
A few of the groups I am in are
 Gymboree Flash Sales, Vintage Gymboree,
 Vintage Gymboree 2, Gymbo Addicts...
They have these for Carters, Gap, and H & M as well.
There are even a few that do general brand sales!
Just search for the brand and "flash sale". 
Once you get into one group you will find out about more!
Another plus to these Face Book pages,
is that you can also search "In Search Of" posts. (ISO)
This precious sweater on Molly was one I found this way.
Adelyn had the same one, but I gave it away thinking we were done having babies.
As soon as I found out we were having another girl,
 I started re-buying favorite pieces.

(This outfit is from The Gap not Gymboree)
#5 Just ASK
Another great way to get name brand clothes for free
 or more affordably is to just ask for hand-me-downs.
We are so blessed to get passed lots of cute clothes this way.
I have also traded and bought Gymboree outfits from friends.

(photo credit
We all have a friend or two whose children
 are often seen in Face Book photos
 or in real life wearing the style of clothes we love.
Several times, I have just private messaged 
my friends offering to purchase an outfit or two
 when they are done with them.
Some just laugh me off, but some are more than willing
 to box up a few out fits and mail them to me for a small price.
Personally, I like doing this with my favorite pieces because
I get so much joy in seeing a friends baby wearing some
 old favorites that my girls wore!
#6 Burlington Coat Factory
I am not sure how they do it, but Burlington Coat Factory
 will have some Gymboree in stock.
Yup, new with tags Gymbo at great prices!
I have also found several Carter's brand
 clothes at TJMaxx and Marshall's.
It is like a treasure hunt!

So there they are, my tips for buying Gymboree or
 other name brand clothes for great prices.
I just love these two fall sweaters
 I bought second hand for my girls.
Retail they would have cost $50 or $60 for both...
and really Addy's sweater couldn't be bought retail
 because it was from an old line....
Molly's dress was $8 and Addy's sweater was $10,
add in shipping and I paid less than $25 for these sweaters!
Best of all I will save Addy's for Molly some day,
and sell Molly's to recoup some money back!
I would love to add to my treasure chest of tips...
Let me know in the comments if you shop in a similar fashion
 or have another tip I can use!

Monday, January 19, 2015

We Are Back!!

Happy New Year!
I am sure some of you have been
wondering where in heck I went.
Well, let me tell you...
Yes, we went for #3!
You can call her Mommy's Bright Idea!
Although she was very much planned,
the extreme morning sickness I suffered for 28 weeks was not!
So that is why I was forced to take a sudden bloggy break.

So here she is... meet our #3!
Molly Ann
Oh wait, you did the math, huh?
Yes, the bloggy break was much more than 9 months!

As a matter of fact she is 14 months...
and no matter how experienced and prepared we were,
going from 2 to 3 was VERY hard for us!
and unfortunately,  I could hardly keep up with laundry,
 much less start blogging again.
and although, my hands are still full...
as you can see,
I am thrilled to give blogging a go again.

Clearly, I can't make any promises and
I have learned to let go of setting my plans in stone,
and my family will remain my full time job,
but I am SO thrilled to be back!

Thanks for sticking with me...
and I hope you like seeing these faces and
 continue to stop by and check us out!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Chevron and Burlap

I had a few pieces of scrap wood ,
some adorable new chevron paper,
and two friends who needed special gifts...
 After a quick spray of Heirloom White,
I used modge podge to cover the front side of the blocks.
For the frame block, I attached the Tim Holtz clips
with E-6000 and added a burlap bow.
For the monogram block,
I used the cricut to cut the letter and decoupaged it on.
I just tied the burlap in a simple knot to top it off.

I love when two for my biggest crushes collide...
chevron and burlap!
Such a fun personalized gift,
I made myself one!
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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Low Carb Turkey Rolls

We just love these turkey rolls!
My mom has made them for years...
They are easy, low card, and wheat free!
All you need is love,
turkey (or ham) slices,
1 block of cream cheese,
and a bundle of green onions.

Chop your onions and mix them with the cream cheese.
This works best when the cheese is at room temperature.

Spread about a tablespoon of the mixture
onto a turkey slice.

Roll 'em up!
We store them in a plastic tub...
kinda grab and go!

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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

New Recipe With Extra Veggies

We have been trying lots of new recipes,
since we started our wheat free lifestyle.
We have also tried to double our vegetable intake
and even gone back to meatless Mondays.
This dish- hits all three!
I was inspired by this one HERE
on my pinterest board from Perry's Plate.
(super yummy blog!)

So here is my take on the...
 Veggie Enchilada Casserole

1 poblano chile, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped
1 medium onion, sliced

1/2 bag frozen corn
3 T olive oil

1 1/2 tsp cumin
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and black pepper
2 cups pico de gallo
2 ounces baby spinach

9-10 corn tortillas, halved
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
green onions for garnish

Preheat the oven to 425'. Lightly oil a large cookie sheet.
Place poblanos, bell peppers, cauliflower, onion, and corn kernels (any other veggies you like) onto cookie sheet. Drizzle on the olive oil and coat with cumin, garlic, salt and pepper. Toss them well,so that it is nice and covered. Lay the vegetables evenly in the pan. Roast for 30 minutes. You can turn or mix the veggies half way through. (PS. we love our veggies just like this, but keep going...)

Reduce the oven to 350' degrees.
Spray your casserole dish with pam or coat in olive oil. Spread 1/4 cup of pico into the bottom of the baking pan. Now start layering... tortillas, veggies, spinach, cheese! Top with with a layer of tortillas, extra cheese, and the green onions. Bake for 20 minutes or until it is heated all the way.We had ours topped with avacado and sour cream!

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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Magnetic File Folder

I have a love/ hate relationship with
sticking papers on my refridgerator.
I love having the reminder in clear view
and I love the ease of looking at the school calenders,
but I hate the clutter and it always looks messy.
Enter the new Front Porch Kit...
"Say Cheese"!
I am so blessed to design for these scrapbook kits...
they really bring out my creativity!
This kit came with an accordion style file folder.
As soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted it in my kitchen!
I covered it with scrapbook paper and chevron fabric. 
It turned out so cute I almost want to keep it
on the front of the fridge, not on the side!

I just love the layered ruffles and button embellishments!
It is the details that make this project
 look like decor and not a clutter hider!
And would you believe that this label is made from chalkboard paper!
I can easily change the title out...
recipes, schedules, receipts, stuff, etc.
What a fix, right?
If you need a few more details on how to make one.
come on over to my scrappin' blog...
and if you want to purchase the kit,
head on over HERE!
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Friday, March 1, 2013

What in the world...

...have we been up to?
Mostly just delighting in these two!
Are they getting big or what?
Would you believe, we had 4 Valentine's Parties!
That was alot of candy and a lot of fun!
I got such a kick out of Mike writing each card to his friends-
It was very serious work.
I re-opened the Etsy shop and I am currently filling orders
 and coming up with new designs.
What a blessing this shop has been to our family!

We have also started trying out a little more
"home school" type stuff.
Unlike Mike at 3- Adelyn loves "working"
She knows all her letters, shapes, colors, numbers,
 and even most of the letter sounds.
The dentist knows our family really well this year...
we all had check ups.
Mike and I had to go back...
He had to get TWO teeth pulled because
new ones were already coming in.
Me? Ummmm.... I had a cavity.
Redoing Adelyn's room has turned into the project that never ends.
We are currently repainting EVERYTHING
and this Texas weather is not helping,
but on a high note-
my neighbors have been helping!
I can't wait for it to be finished- you will love it!

It is also time for a new Front Porch Kit!!!!
and I have been scrappin' away!
Be sure to come back for my
"clear the clutter" project...
it is darling, if I do say so myself!

We have also been delighting in our church more...
I am teaching Sunday school and
it feels so good to put that hat on again!
Adam has been helping out in the garden and
has a pretty bad case of spring fever!
Tonight, Grandma is keeping the kiddos and
we get to go hear Joe McGee!
We are making it a date night!!
SO... I promise to blog more...
well, I promise to TRY to blog more ;)

Let's go make something,


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