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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?

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

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

I’ve been getting my craft on.

Finally!

I received a sewing machine for Christmas, and just fired it at the end of July.

Yeah, I’m a little embarrassed about that, but on the upside, I’ve been making cute burp cloths!

Since we go through like toliet paper around here, I thought at least I could have cute ones. So I made these:

Isn’t that whale adorable? He’s not perfect (I had a hard time sewing around the tail and the stitches don’t line up perfectly), but I love him. Yesterday I made a sun, with little triangle rays, a “C”, and one with Colton’s monogram.

Making the appliques was a pretty simple process, thanks to Google and some Heat n’ Bond. The Heat n’ Bond is really what holds them in place – the stitching just makes them look cuter and ensures that the applique won’t come up after it’s been washed dozens of times.

In fact, the process was so simple and fun, that I decided to make some as gifts! A little girl was born just six days after Colton. Since her parents didn’t find out what they were having, we’re having a “Welcome Baby” party for them. A set of four burp cloths is part of my gift:

I especially love how the “E” turned out! Here they are all ready to be opened:

I know they aren’t perfect, but I love them and think I’ve found my new nap-time hobby. I’ve got a lot of burp cloths to prettify!

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.

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.