You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Top Ten Tuesday’ category.

I may not be a super deal finder or a great haggler, but I like to think I am a fabulous consignment shopper.

Right now, all but four items of Colton’s clothes were either given as gifts, hand-me-downs, or purchased from a consignment store or sale. I purchased maternity clothes and some baby gear this way too.

So, how do I walk away with some super cute clothes at a steal?

See? Super cute outfit, purchased from a huge consignment sale!

The first thing I do is know what I’m looking for. Confession: I have a spreadsheet containing all of Colton’s clothing items, listed by size with a quick description (like red and blue trimmed super baby long sleeved onepiece) that let’s me quickly know what the item is and any predominant colors in it. Yes, I was a little organizing obsessed pre-baby. This list helps me see at a glance what he needs, but so does a quick peek in his drawers.

Once I know what I need, I’m off to the sales! Before I start looking though, I remind myself of what I like. For example, I like my baby boy clothes with classic styling, no recognizable characters (like Pooh, Bob the Builder, etc.), simple, not overly busy but with nice details, a layered look for cooler weather clothes, have crotch snaps, and like them to look like little boy clothes (no graffiti-type things or otherwise older looking). Keeping these things in mind will help me make sure I’m getting clothes I’ll like not only on the hanger, but on my little guy too.

Once there, I’ll find the pertinent section (clothes are most likely organized by size and gender), and do a quick look-through. I don’t scour the racks, just look at the things that catch my eye.

If something that caught my eye seems to fit what I need and what I like, I grab it. You don’t have to look over every inch of it, just go with your gut and grab! This is especially necessary if you are at a large, one-time only sale with a lot of traffic, or in a store that has tightly packed racks.

After I have wandered, looking at what catches my eye, I do a more thorough search through the racks, trying to look at each item. Again, if I see something I like that I think I need, I grab it.

Once I’ve gone through the racks thoroughly (and I might hit some sections twice for a thorough look, or see if anything else catches my eye after my thorough search) it’s time to check out everything I’ve grabbed. To do this, I first find a place to sit and look at everything you’ve pulled. Usually, this is the floor. Sometimes, it’s a very long check-out line.

The first thing I do is look at prices and brands, so it’s very important to know your brands. You don’t necessarily have to know what an item would cost exactly, but it’s good to have a basic knowledge like: Janie and Jack or Polo are upscale, more expensive brands with a slightly higher quality and are worth the few extra bucks. Granimals and Child of Mine are available at Wal-Mart, and will run you between 3 to 6 dollars per piece new. If I know I can get something new for only a few more dollars than I can consignment, I’d prefer to buy it new. If I come across a brand I’m not familiar with, I ask myself “self, will you still love this and love what you paid for it even if you find out you can buy it at a Wal-Mart, Target or TJ Maxx?” If the answer is “yes,” then I go for it.

Once I’ve made sure my prices and brands align and fall into a range I’m comfortable with, I examine each piece of clothing, looking for missing buttons, stains, etc. I also look at the state of wear of each piece; I don’t mind a little wear, but I don’t want tons of piling or a faded look to the clothes. I want baby boy to be dressed well, even though he’s dressed inexpensively. I also reassess the clothes to make sure they fit all my criteria, and are things we really need. It helps me to lay my clothes out and look at them together when I do this. Is there something stylistically doesn’t fit with other things? Do I have things that will mix and match well with each other? Does that shirt look in worse condition than I thought it did when compared with something else? How are things priced? Do I need to get rid of a few things to stay within my budget?

When looking at clothes and prices, don’t forget to consider how many pieces are included in your purchase. I just bought something that was three pieces for seven dollars. A buck-fifty per item? Score! Do you love the shirt, don’t aren’t a fan of the pants that come with it? Skip it! This will ensure you get the maximum number of items that you LOVE at the minimum price. And who doesn’t love that?

Then, it’s off to the register, and home to show off my haul to the Hubby!

What husband would be mad when you told him this entire haul cost less than forty bucks and included a snowsuit? There’s 11 pieces there, bringing my per-piece total in at around $3.5o per item. And I love them all. How great are those elbow patches on the green thermal shirt?

————————————

For more Top Ten Lists (what you didn’t realize this was a list? It is!), check out Top Ten Tuesday at Oh!Amanda!

————————————–

This post also linked to Works for Me Wednesday at We Are THAT Family.

Advertisements

Lately, I’ve been contemplating lots of different things, like:

  • How in the world do I have a 1 month old son!?
  • Emotional abuse. Specifically, withholding: Withholding is another form of denying. Withholding includes refusing to listen, refusing to communicate, and emotionally withdrawing as punishment. This is sometimes called the “silent treatment.” I’ve been thinking about how the effects of this kind of abuse continue past when the abuse lessens or stops, and the effects it has on even those who weren’t abused. And how heart-breaking it is to hear someone say “if I did XXX, my father wouldn’t love me; he would disown me and never have anything to do with me.”
  • I don’t use cloth diapers, but if I did, I think I would use EnviBums. I especially love their Mom-to-Mom diaper, since you can just rinse off the cover or wipe it down, put in a new insert, and use it over and over.
  • My new “Mom” look – jeans, t-shirt, cardigan. Easy, quick, and hopefully it covers some of the not-so-nice bits of my body.
  • My daily routine and goals. So far, my personal goal is to shower every morning. I’ve managed to do this every day since we’ve been home! Now, though, I’m thinking of adding put on make-up to my list of things to do for myself. I think I will feel more like my pre-baby self.
  • Sewing. Saturday I surprised everyone by storming our upstairs with a cleaning frenzy. Now, just about everything is cleaned and organized and I have a spot to sew! Now, I just have to get the guts to sew again – it’s been too long since my last sewing project.
  • My milk supply. I upped my herb intake (3 capsules of one, 2 of another, and 1 of a third, three times a day), and have seen an increase in my milk supply. For the past week, I’m consistently pumping 9 ounces each day. While I’m super happy with this, I’d love to be able to get up to 10 ounces each day. I’m thinking about adding these cookies to my diet also to see if I can get up to that. Of course, the fact that chocolate is involved is making me more eager to try this!
  • Communicating with Hubby. I think we have a lovely relationship, but anytime we disagree, we tend to get into a very large argument, not because of the issue at hand, but because we communicate so differently we just can’t understand where the other is coming from. The other day, we discussed something and I thought we were totally on the same page on the issues, only to find out later Hubby didn’t understand what I had going on, and I had no idea he was so clueless!
  • The photos I took of Colton recently. Some of them include his bear butt, but I think they’re super cute and tasteful. I’m trying to decide though if I want to post them on his blog. I think at least they’ll make it here!
  • Who to get to take photos of Colton. There are two people I’m considering who both charge the same amount and have similar styles. One is a lady I’ve never met who has taken LOTS of photos of babies, the other is a guy I know who doesn’t have a lot of experience with photographing small children. I’ve worked with the guy (he volunteered with my job), and he isn’t my favorite person to work with. But, I’ve never worked with the lady, so I don’t know how she would be. Both give you edited images on CD to print on your own, but while she gives you all the photos, he will only give you up to 45 of the best photos. This is probably plenty, but I don’t know what to do! On the one hand, I want to support him because I know him, but on the other, while I like his pictures, he isn’t my favorite person to work with. What to do, what to do…
  • Deadliest Catch. I love, love the show (and miss Captain Phil, my favorite), but I find it hard to just watch without doing something else. Why is this?

Okay, so I am contemplating more than just these things (like will the hydrogen peroxide I’m using in place of bleach get my sheets as white as bleach? Is putting into the ‘bleach’ space in my washer the thing to do?), these are the ones that are in the forefront of my mind.

———————————-

Linked up to Top Ten Tuesday at Amanda’s, even though this is technically 11 things, I think. I’m not actually sure – I had a really hard time counting this list. Anyway, go check out some Top Ten’s with more point than mine. That actually only list 10 things.

Even though I’m pretty sure Junie has enough clothes right now, thanks to friends, family, co-workers and my consignment shopping, I still love trolling etsy for cute clothes and other baby items. After all, I still don’t have enough clothes for Junie to have an outfit for everyday he can fit in 3-6 month clothes! So far, here are some of my favorites I’ve found so far.

Stroller Cover — to protect that expensive investment and keep it clean for future users!

Guitar Beanie — So, so cute!

Patchwork Jumper — I adore this jumper! I can’t decide if it would look good with a monogram, or if that would make me like it less.

Handpainted Picture Frame — I love the alien! This would go wonderfully with Junie’s rocket and space room, without being super matchy.

Needle Felted Wooly Ball Toys — Have you seen anything cuter? And they’d be easy for baby to grab onto and play with.

Love You to the Moon Locket — Okay, this is totally for me, but I love it, its technically baby related, and this is my blog, so it goes on the list. The “Love you to the moon and back” saying is perfect for what we’ve chosen for the room, and will always represent my first baby to me. I’m not sure what I would have engraved on the inside, but I know I love it.

Kite Away Blanket — This blanket (quilt?) is one of the cutest I’ve seen. I’m not sure a baby would care about the kite and adorable little boy, but what mom wouldn’t love to see her adorable baby wrapped in such a soft, cute blankie?

Monkey Lovey — Junie’s already been given a couple of lovies, so we don’t need another, but if we didn’t have one, this would definitely show up on our front porch! The monkey face is too cute, and the orange is gender neutral. Hmm…this might make a great gift for my friend who isn’t finding out what she’s having!

Memory Book — A week ago, I suddenly realized I needed one of these to record all of the adorable things the bambino does (and my handwriting). I couldn’t find a book I liked locally, but I found this one, which I LOVE. I really like that this book has lots of pages, specific for months and milestones, AND it has a 14 month calendar to record little things each day. This one, I think will be making its way to my house.

Monthiversary Onsies — I love the idea of monthly onsies. I’m not sure if I’m sold on them for me yet, but if I did decide to go that route for a monthly picture, I think I would choose something like these robot onsies. I love that they’re a little different than what’s normaly done for boys (cars, trains, dogs, bugs), and that it related to our room without screaming coordination.

I do the very best blog writing in my head. I’ve written dozens upon dozens of brilliant, intelligent, funny posts while I’m in the shower, folding laundry, cooking and grocery shopping.

Most of these I’ve never even attempted to start, probably because I can’t remember what they were about! Some I haven’t written because I’m not sure I could do my feelings justice or because the thought of sharing them makes me a bit nervous, but some I still have dreams of writing. Here are some of the topics that I would jump at the chance to write about:

  • A multi-part series about my time in Africa.
  • How to build a pregnancy wardrobe (I looked for a guide like this before I purchased any maternity wear, and couldn’t find anything like I was looking for.)
  • More about my job and work with the students in my church.
  • The story of my grandmother and her identical twin sister (who just happen to live across the street from each other).
  • The story of the plastic surgery I had when I was 19.
  • A guide to working out when pregnant.
  • The story of one man and one dog he didn’t think he wanted.
  • Reflections as we try to whittle down our monthly expenses and cut back on our grocery bill.
  • A post (or several) from Glacier’s point of view.
  • The story of mine and Hubby’s relationship.

Many of these things reflect the direction I think I want to move in with my blog. I’m still not sure what, if any of these things I ultimately want to write about. I do know I want to write about what you want to read about, so what do you think of this list? Are there things you really want to hear about on here? Things you want to hear about that aren’t here? Let me know!

Also, special thanks to those of you who commented on yesterday’s post. I am thinking about having more posts in this vein, and your comments were so kind and me feel like this is definitely the way to go. Thank you!

——————————–

Check out more lists at Oh!Amanda! I promise, her blog really is a lot of fun!

Today is our big 20-week ultrasound! You know, the one where maybe we can find out if Junie is a boy or a girl! I’m excited to find out, but to be honest, I don’t think I’ll be too bummed if we don’t. It just meas I’ll get to go back again sooner for another look, and I can’t complain about that!

In special honor of this day, here are reasons I would be excited if Junie were a boy or a girl:

If Junie were a boy:

1. FOOTBALL. My brother never played football growing up, but I think it would be oh-so-fun to have a little football player. Hubby could coach him!

2. I’ve always imagined boys to be “easier” than girls. I have no idea if its true or not, but at least if I had a boy, I wouldn’t have to worry about my total lack of hair doing skills.

3. Eventually having a teenager around to help with heavy lifting. And grass cutting.

4. Seeing his Daddy teach him to fix things, make thing, and be a man. Be still my heart.

5. I want a “Mama’s Boy.” Hubby has his Daddy’s Girl in our dog, and I want that! (but only for as long as its appropriate)

If Junie were a girl:

1. Have you seen today’s girl clothes? Too. Stinkin. Cute.!!!

2. Enrolling her in dance class. There isn’t much sweeter than a three year old ballerina.

3. Seeing Hubby with his “little princess.”

4. Someone to go shopping with!

5. Dolls, dollhouses, and Girl Scout cookies!

But, in all honestly, I just want Junie to be healthy! I know that no matter if Junie is a boy or a girl, he or she will be (and already is!) their own person. I may have a girl who’s into weight lifting or a boy who’s into dance. And I will still love them. I just want my child to be happy and feel good about who they are. If that’s true, then I think I’ll be happy.

———————————-

This post is linked to Top Ten Tuesday at Oh!Amanda! Check out the other lists and her blog!

We do some “not so traditional” Thanksgiving things in my family, and I love them all. I mean, how many people do you know:

1. Eat Thanksgiving lunch outside?

2. Eat cold turkey and ham unless someone killed a pig hunting earlier in the day and you have a pig pickin’?

3. Eat their Thanksgiving meal off of a styrofoam plate while sitting on the ground?

4. Spend Thanksgiving with dozens of other families, some who they know and some they don’t?

5. Eat their meal in a location affectionately known as “The Swamp?”

6. Go watch deer being butchered after they finish eating?

7. Have three aisles, made up of 4 folding tables each of food to choose from, plus two additional tables of desserts?

8. Have only one bathroom to share between well over 150 people?

9. Pose for the annual Thanksgiving photo on a log. Or, better yet, a tractor?

10. Have to plan their wardrobe around the possibility of mud on their shoes and sandspurs?

We may have an unconveintional Thanksgiving, but I love everything about it, and wouldn’t want it any other way.

 —————————————————————–

If you love lists, check out Oh!Amanda! for more, or to get in on the fun!

Yesterday morning I was thinking about how nice it is to have a handy hubby! Of course, then I thought of all of the things that drive me nuts about having a man who likes to relax by playing with power tools. So, this week’s Top Ten list is split:

Top Five Reasons I Love Having a Handy Hubby

1. When I want to put my Christmas tree on a wall where there’s no outlet, Hubby says “piece of cake!” and a few hours later, I have a new outlet and my Christmas tree right where I wanted it!

2. I don’t have to call a professional every time something (like my dishwasher, dryer or microwave) doesn’t work just right.

3. Its super easy to brag on your Hubby when you can say, “Oh, Hubby made all our deck furniture!”

4. I can throw in my two cents whenever I want, and change the direction of a project if needed. Plus, Hubby doesn’t get offended if I stand and watch over his shoulder!

5. Picking out Christmas and birthday gifts is always easy; tool and Lowes or Home Depot gift cards are a guaranteed hit!

Top Five Reasons My Handy Hubby Drives Me Nuts!

1. Sometimes, its easier and faster to call the professionals.

2. The mess, it never seems to end, and our wonder-dog likes to roll around in shop sawdust. Yuck.

3. All the tools needed for soo many different projects can get expensive.

4. Having a super handy Hubby makes my ability to change light bulbs, hang pictures and re-cover chair cushions seem super uh-handy.

5. I HATE all the loud noises when I’m trying to read or watch TV.

I have always had a soft spot for musicals. When I was 11, my mom took me to see my very first — Oklahoma. I remember my jaw dropping open during the opening number; and thus began my obsession. One Christmas, Oklahoma came on at 5:45 Christmas morning. Guess who just HAD to watch? I recall that as one of the best Christmases ever; my parents were less than thrilled. My love of Oklahoma soon carried over into all things musical. Here, in no particular order, are some of my favorites.

1. Oklahoma — Duh. See above.

2. The Producers — The movie was excellent, I adored the Broadway soundtrack (we used to listen to this as a family on car trips), and the movie is fantastic.

3. Rent — I’ve never seen the musical (tear), but I love the movie.

4. Newsies — I think Newsies started my love for musicals, since I had seen it several times before I saw Oklahoma, but Oklahoma was my first live musical. Alas, Newsies has never been anywhere but on the big screen. Even though the movie came out when I was 6, I still know all the words to all the songs.

5. Wicked — Hubby got us tickets to a showing in NC last year, and I think I might love it more than I loved the book.

6. Annie — The Carol Burnett version helped spur my adoration of musicals. I also remember going to see this at my local theater when one of my friends played Pepper.

7. The Sound of Music — Who doesn’t love this musical!?

8. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat — A classic Bible tale set to a wide range of musical styles. Like Rent, this musical is all music — there are no spoken words. Plus, you have to love something with an Elvis-impersonating Pharaoh.

9. Into the Woods — I love the mash-up of fairytale classics. This is an all-around fun musical with a nice moral thrown in for good measure. The balance of classic and quirk make this musical one of my all-time favorites.

10. Fiddler on the Roof — Another classic you can’t help but love (and sing along with!).

Do you love musicals? Do you have any favorites not on my list?

——————————————–

Love lists? Check out Oh!Amanda! to join in the fun.

When I was in college, I started collecting quotes. Things that inspired me, touched me, spoke to me, resonated with me or just made me laugh. I haven’t updated that list in a long time, and when I read through it recently several of the quotes no longer resonate with me in the same way, but many I still love. These are some of my favorites from that list, with a few that weren’t on the list I still love thrown in for good measure.

1. “Time you enjoyed wasting is not wasted time.” –T.S. Elliot

2. Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.  –Corrie Ten Boom

3. There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.  –Nelson Mandela

4. Live your life while you have it.  Life is a splendid gift- there is nothing small about it.  –Florence Nightingale

5. There are many things that we would throw away if we were not afraid that others might pick them up.  –Oscar Wilde

6. Aerodynamically the bumblebee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn’t know it so it goes on flying anyway.  – Mary Kay Ash

7. The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.  –Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

8. Now, with God’s help I shall become myself.  –Soren Kierkegaard

9. “I was afflicted with Africa like a bout of a rare disease, from which I have not managed a full recovery.” – Barbara Kingsolver, “The Poisonwood Bible”

10. We are born believing.  A man bears beliefs as a tree bears apples.  –Ralph Waldo Emerson

——————————————-

Love lists? Check out Oh!Amanda! to join in the fun!

We’ve already established that I love to read, but, in addition to ready “adult” books, I also love to read children’s books. And, of course, I have some of my own childhood favorite books. These are the top ten books I would recommend to kids 10 and under.41f-UjuOL5L._SL500_AA240_

1. Little House on the Prairie — I love Laura Ingles Wilder’s series! I think Farmer Boy was my favorite, but I think all girls will fall in love with Laura and the whole Wilder family. And the honesty of the stories give every girl something to identify with.

51rLWHToN8L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_

2. A Series of Unfortunate Events — Lemony Snicket is too funny, and he sneaks a little education into his books as well, which I always love. Plus, this series of 13 novels is all about kids batteling evil (and insipid) adults — always a hit!

3. Pat the Bunny — this was my FAVORITE book when I was little, and I love that the 50’s styling of the book hasn’t changed a bit.

4. American Girl Books — I haven’t met a girl that didn’t love these.

5. Bernstein Bears: New Baby — When I was two, I learned to “read” this book. My parents read it to me soo often, I memorized it word for word, and even had the page turns down. This book is a great way to introduce the idea of the changes that come with the arrival of a new baby.

51643W4P3DL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_

6. Tacky the Penguin — This is a delightful book about a young penguin who is very, very different from all his brothers. Evidently, these stories about being different have been expanded into a series.

7. The Chronicles of Narnia — I started reading these when I was eight, and the stories get richer and richer with each re-reading. Personally, I don’t think you can be too young to start reading (or being read) these novels.

51849349W9L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_

8. Carry on Mr. Bowdich — First published in 1955, I adored this story of a self-taught seaman who pulls himself up through the various sea-ranks and eventually comes to rewrite Maritime Navigation as it had been known.

9. The Mysterious Case of Mr. Pin — I love penguins, and I think this collection of mystery stories helped me fall in love with mysteries.

41HPfECDerL._SL500_AA240_

10. Matilda — Another masterpiece by Roald Dahl.

—————————————————–

Love lists? Check out Oh!Amanda! to join in the fun!

Just a 20-something girl living on the East Coast, trying to figure out life. I'm a wife and mom to two. I'm trying to rediscover my love for long walks, yoga and pilates. But not hiking. I still don't like hills. I was raised at the beach, but I don't like the beach. I like to look at it, but I don't like to swim in it, I'd prefer a pool, thanks. I'm just trying to become the best person I can be -- the woman God wants me to be. That's easier said than done!

E-mail Me!

Contact me at longbrakeliving@gmail.com - I'd love to hear from you!

Hubby is my all-time favorite guy. A perfect mix of serious, sarcastic, laid-back, handy and nerdy, he is the perfect complement to me. I love his strong work-ethic and the way he always loves and supports me through everything. Some of Hubby's favorite things include: hiking, Virginia Tech football, woodworking, and his family. When I married him in July 2007, I had no idea what an amazing journey we were headed on, and how I could come to love him so much more each day.

Our oldest, Colton, is three years old. He is equal parts sassy and hysterical. He loves all things train, car, bus, truck, and machine related. He has a penchant for made-up words and loves to be the clown of his pre-school class. Our younger son, Nathan, was born this May. He is pure joy and full of smiles! He is such a blessing and a perfect fit for our family.