Thursday, March 29, 2012

Good-bye Sweet Princesses

I remember when I found you.  Randomly thrown about on top of a clothes aisle with all of the other unwanted toys.  Just a leg sticking through other miscellaneous plastic toys, and ragged baby dolls with their hair all cut off.  I pulled you out, I saved  you.  Then I thought, if there is one, maybe, just maybe two? I was a frenzied momma animal looking for her young...and one by one I found you for a total of eight.  Snow White, Cinderella, Ariel, Aurora, Belle, Jasmine, Wendy (peter pan) and last but not least I found the ever lovely Pocahontas!  Seven beautiful princess dolls my daughter would adore!  Oh, we loved our princesses.  Everything about the idea of being a princess...we love, frills, and lace.  Dress up with tutus and gloves. Wands and tiara's!  We didn't have to watch the movies...who had the patience to sit and actually watch movies?  Not my Moo!  We love PLAY!

When I got you all home I was so excited I could barely stand it. Waiting for the time my girl would come home and squeal with delight over these lovelies!  I pick my Maddie up from school, tell her of a surprise when we get home.  She is getting anxious.  I'm extremely giddy.  We get home, she finally gets in to see them...and... who the hell cares.  You would think I would have gotten a small little jump of glee.  I got a "thank you" with a smile.  She kinda played with them and ran outside.  It was a non-event.  

That's the thing about moms.  We fall for the hype.  We are easily excited about "girly" things.  Loving the princesses is a given, right?  Its not my girls fault that she could care less about a bunch of princesses.  The only Disney movie she ever really watched was Tinker Bell.  So why would she care about these dolls?  She likes the idea of princesses, she knows them because of her friends.  But give her a polly pocket or random stuffed animal and she is in heaven.

Non-events like this, is why I love thrifting.  If I would have spent $19.50 a piece on these things I would have cried.  Since I spent next to nothing, it only hurt my pride and not my pocket book. Now, I get to resell them at a Kids Closet Connection  sale.  They are similar to your church resales.  I've done both sales in the past.  This year, this is the one who caught my attention first.  So it's time to purge all my non-event toys and clothes that my boy has worn once and out grew, and clothes Maddie has finally out grown.  

Farewell Sweet Princesses!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hit and misses...

Today Moo girl had a birthday party to attend, so with the extra time I was going to run some errands.  I really didn't feel like thrifting today, but I thought, go ahead and do it.  Blogging is my new gig, and I needed to venture out and find some new stores.  I typically don't shop out of my comfort zone.  I know my local haunts, and I like them.   I did some quick research and came up with 2 thrift stores that were about 20 minutes away.  Further than I wanted to drive for unknown stores, but I needed to take the chance.

So off I went, first to Deja Vu Rack.  It was listed under thrift shop, but I had a feeling it would be a consignment shop, and I was right.  A little disappointed in that fact.  Don't get me wrong, I think consignment has a purpose.  I used to do it for my kids clothes all the time.  Its moms helping moms.  Its all good.  But the thing about women's consignment stores is that it can be expensive.  Typically they are clean, organized and have higher quality clothes.  Which is good.  But since knowing particular brands is their business, they price them accordingly.  You pay for the easier shopping.  At a normal thrift store, they may know the well-known quality brands, but they do not know the boutique high quality brands.

For instance, Jacadi.  To find this in a thrift store it can cost you as little as $3, but find it at a children's consignment store and its going to cost you $15 +.  

This Banana Republic shirt, paid under $5. At a woman's consignment store, they would want $15+.

I thrift for the thrill of the find, for the minimum price.  So I don't find consignment shopping very fun.  Its a personal preference. 

I will say, that this particular woman's consignment shop was designed very well.  I felt like I walked into a boutique.  They had some lovely cocktail dress, jewelry, shoes and purses.  If I wanted a dress for an evening out, or my daughter needed a dress for prom I would highly recommend this shop...but for your everyday clothes.  No.   I have no fancy evening out I left empty handed.

I then traveled down the road to this one.  I was a little taken back since it was called Garden Center Services, and  I saw a lot of planters in the window.  I decided I traveled all this way, I might as well go in.  It looked small, with lots of knick knacks.  I was again disappointed, and felt like this day was a bust.  I glanced down, and I found a wooden Macanudo cigar box, only fifty cents.  So I picked up and kept walking.  Then, I was surprised to see this HUGE room with rows of shoes and clothes.  I glanced quickly over the shoes, and onto the purses.  Something about second hand purses.  I seem to have the best luck finding some real gems.  But, nothing here.  I was losing my mojo.  Kid clothes didn't look all that great either.  But my eyes did land on this...

Its a Guess summer black/white polka dot shirt.  I couldn't get the best photo...but trust me when I say its really cute.  If any of you are familiar with the pillow case dresses for little girls...this top is similar to that.  So you can adjust the neckline to what ever you are comfortable with.  Unfortunately this shirt will not fit me, but I really liked it, and I have someone else in mind for it.  I glanced around a little more, but nothing really interested me too much.  So off I went.

When I turned the corner, I saw this little store... did a u-turn and parked it.  It looked promising from the outside, but not so much once I was inside.  The store couldn't figure out if it wanted to be vintage or thrift.  They had some really nice vintage china, and knick knacks.  But then some odd looking costume jewelry, and some new reseller junk.  Which was a shame.

Today wasn't a complete bust.  I did get that awesome Guess shirt. I did get on an email list to the Garden Center Thrift store so I can get updates on new furniture and sales.  I don't see myself going back to any of these stores soon, unless, of course, I get a hot date then I may go back to Deja Vu.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Daddy Daughter Dance 2012

I am easily excited when it comes to stuff for my kids.  The daddy daughter dance holds a special place in my heart.  It's a special memory between dad and daughter.

I love that my little girl gets to go to this glamorous event with her dad.  And it is GLAMOROUS! This event sells out.  It is something I look forward to every year.  The dads all wear their Sunday best, the girls can wear something as simple as a pretty spring dress, to an elegant gown.  The age range is typically 3-18 yrs old.  This year they did a winter wonderland theme.  And pictures do not give it justice.  The entry way had white branches with snowflakes hanging down with white lights.  They had made a castle, had huge polar bears, and had penguin balloons all throughout the auditorium.  It truly was a wonderland.

I'm not going to lie and say this night went off without a hitch.  Oh...those damn shoes.  

Yes, its true, I go crazy with the accessories.

I want it to be perfect.  I want this night to run smoothly, and magically, the way fairy tales should be.

I believe in all the magical stuff...knowing that shoes will be taken off within 15 seconds of entry, that the coat, cover-up & purse will be handed to me while we are waiting in line for the professional photo, then after the photo, the headband will be handed to me and if I'm lucky Maddie will come home with only one stain on the dress, two earrings and a pearl bracelet.

Knowing all this...I stand there with, jacket, cover-up, purse, shoes, and headband...and its all worth it to watch her grab her dads hand and say "come on dad lets go!" 

These shoes were NOT made for walkin'

I get this thought in my head...and I don't let it go.  Any other sane mother would have given up on those pink shoes.  They would have went and bought a pretty pair that fit their daughter correctly.  But I'm not sane.  I'm crafty.

Those damn shoes were going to work. I made them pretty, but unfortunately I couldn't make maddie's feet grow.  So, I go and buy a bunch of stuff to make these shoes work...sure steps so she doesn't slip on her butt, foam padding for the inside of her shoe, along with a lot of fleece in the toe bed...

After all this...the shoes were still flipping off her foot.  UGH!  I stared at these shoes, I had to walk away from these shoes...and instead of hurling them through my living room, I realize, its the ankle strap!  As beautiful as that string of pearls gives no anchorage for the shoe.    This causes another dilemma...what the hell do I do now?!?!  I again stare at these crafty little shoes that I'm starting to hate...and it hits me...ELASTIC!  This was no easy feat...I decide to make a satin covering for the elastic, then I have to thread it through the little back strap and then sew the elastic and covering together while connected to the shoe.  I someone how managed this...and got these little pretties...

I high-fived myself and went the headband

After an hour of twirling this satin to look just so...its done!  Looks pretty doesn't it?

One problem...
It looks like a cupcake on her head!

No problem!  Remember these beauties?  One of them is now a headband, and I made miniature ones for earrings to complete her ensemble.  Its all good.

Now all we have to do is wait...and wait...poor Maddie was just beside herself...she wants to go!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The why's, why not's and the forget-me-not's

My boy needed shorts.  I cringe when I see him wearing shorts that outline his shape.  He of course is clueless.  If they fit around his waist he's good...who cares if they creep up because they can always be pulled out...continuously. all. day. long.

So I went to Once Upon a Child...they are a little more expensive than the average thrift store, but its typically clean (the shoe area is always a disaster) and the clothes are in size order so it makes things easy.  When I go thrifting...I overfill the cart.  Then I go to a quiet area of the store and debate.  So I leave with less than 1/2 of what I originally find.

First go around the clothes are cute, second go around I find holes, stains and realize not as cute as originally thought.  Final go around...can I buy this new at similar cost?  Is this pricing the best bargain for this particular brand?  And no matter how much I like it...will my child wear it?  If the item passes those questions...then its a keeper.

I love kid shoes. Specifically girl shoes.  My daughter has a better shoe collection than anyone I know.  Mainly because she has worn the same size shoe for 2 years, and I keep buying.  But this past year, she has added some inches to her height and a few centimeters to her we can now get new shoes!

Finally, after two fun filled summers...her little red sandals are history, so time for some new ones.

I go to the shoes first... I start off adding shoes to my cart.  I keep going and going...till my basket looks like this.

I then take each one out and contemplate the why...and the why not's. 

Rainboots are a must for Moo Girl...we love our puddles!  Found a cute pair of Tom's at a steal of a deal.  Those blue slip Land's End...size 11 may fit in the fall/winter.  Toe covered gym sandals...a must for the girl who refuses socks and must run continually throughout the day.  The other ones, may be cute...but unnecessary.

Red Shoes!  Satin fancy dress shoes, cute little sandals, and your basic red gym how do you decide?  Maddie has a lot of red in her closet, but she does not need 3 pairs of red shoes.   I am thinking specifically of this cute red dress she has...would look nice with fancy shoes...problem....maddie likes to look fancy, but does not play fancy.  Satin shoes would last one wearing so they are a no.  The cute little red sandals...I debated between them and the gym shoes.  Once Upon wanted $5.50 for those things...I can get Old Navy brand easy, and I can find red sandals similar its a no.  

Why even buy of the generic red gym shoes?  Bottom line they were $1.75 and I have a crafting idea for them, so if it becomes another the good, the bad and the ugly post...I'm out a little under $2 and if it works...they will be super cute!

I also looked at these cute little gymboree sandals...I held onto them for a bit...I liked them, the quality was good, no wear or tear on them.  But decided no.  Why Not?  Because cost was more than I wanted to spend, she didn't have clothes to match these beauties...and I figured the white flower would get dirty and start to look nasty in a few uses.  So no.  

On to the boy sections...Matthew and shoes...gotta buy new.  He has crazy feet that I can never find the correct size, plus at this age and size the shoe selection can be pretty iffy.

But I hit the motherload on shorts and shirts for my son.  My cart was overflowing...10+ prs of shorts with 10+ shirts in the I had to go find my quiet place and contemplate.  Lots of Gymboree and Nike.  It was hard to narrow it down...but again, it maybe cheaper, but it still all adds up.  I narrowed it down to 5 prs of shorts and 4 tops.  I again used my reduction technique...I'd show you pictures, but my phone battery died...which was a real bummer, because I really wanted to show you my loot. But I was able to re-charge the phone and got a quick picture of my son going to school this do you resist Einstein?

and lets remember the forget-me-not's...those lime green gymboree shoes that I passed on...

later on in the day I found this dress with blue and lime green stripes would have been a perfect match for those shoes... I kicked myself for not buying those cute sandals!.

So why don't I go back? Well, these sandals will look just as good!

What have you found thrifting lately?  Anything you regret not buying?

Monday, March 19, 2012

These shoes were made for dancing...

and most likely will be taken off in the first 5 minutes of the Daddy Daughter Dance...but that's ok.

if you remember we started with this...

a little big for my girl, but they still worked...put a little cotton in the toes and she'll be fine. My big idea was to clean them up and add a I got this...

which was very nice, but in my midnight meltdown I turned them into this...

Not good...not good at all.
So back to the drawing board I went.  I stayed away from these shoes, far away, mad because the flower was perfectly fine. You know how I know this...I showed Maddie the new shoes I created...the first thing she says "where's the flower?" my shoulders dropped, a small sigh escaped me...and then she says..."ooohh..look at those" and starts petting the pearls...and all is good again in my crafting world.

But don't think I'm need a matching hair accessory.  We also need some clip on earrings or Maddie will be very disappointed.  So this week, and preferably before midnight I will be crafting some matching accessories...the dance is this Saturday and I plan on doing a little photo shoot...and as long a I don't have any crafting breakdowns...all will stay good in the world.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Weekend Update

since SNL is a rerun...

What I've learned this week about blogging...
* I can't stay up to 3am and get my daughter to school on time
* I'm not always as funny as I think I am
* I need to learn how to take better pictures
* Need to brush up on my spelling and grammar
* I like twitter
* I really do enjoy blogging

Next week...
If all goes according to plan...
* Finished Daddy Daughter Dance shoes, and possible hair clip, if Maddie will wear it
* Posts about laundry, quality, sizing and my addiction to crochet trim on dresses

and a picture for no reason other than its fun!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Spring is in the air

Not ready to pull out all my summer time clothes yet...but today my family needed shorts!  Chicago land area was gorgeous today!

One great thing about my Maddie Moo girl...she doesn't grow we get lots of wear out of her clothes.  As I was going through the bins I found these beauties...
2 Laura Ashley floral print spring dresses.  I am such a sucker for a floral print.

I love going through the summer bins...its a stroll through memory lane.

Remembering summer nights catching fireflies...I can't wait for summer!

You show me yours...Wednesday!

Today is...You show me yours, I'll show you mine!
Any picture will do...find something great you want to share...please!  
It can be an old find, or a new one.
If you want to send it to me via that would be great, or you can post it on the facebook page, and I can transfer it here...or just leave a link in your comment.  

This is where me being new at this comes into play.  I thought you could insert pic in comments, guess not.  I'll try to figure out what I can do to make this simple until away!!

I found these yesterday when I took a side trip to a second hand store looking for some pearls...
Some great dress up jewelry for Moo girl...we have a slap wrist bracelet, some daisy clip on earrings, and a hot pink stretch, fun, fun!

I'll have more finds to show's yours...

I saw this...but I didn't buy it...but it was oh so cute!

Here are some of my finds from this week...Here's mine

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

Remember the teaser picture from facebook I sent out last night?  
What sweet memories.

Let's start out with the good.   
Started my day by taking a quick run to Hobby Lobby, which always puts me in a great mood.  Still not exactly sure what I was going to do, and knowing I had everything I could possibly need at home, except little pearls...which I found in the bridal section for seventy-five cents.  
I was so excited to start my shoe project, but life happens.  Kids come home from school, gymnastics, and at 11pm I gathered some supplies, I had a vague idea of what I wanted to do...I needed a soy candle, needle/thread, satin...why a candle?  Well, to make satin flowers, you use a candle to keep the edges from fraying...why soy?  Because it doesn't leave the black soot from the flame on your flower.

So as I was staring at the shoe with the pearls in hand...I had no idea what to do.  I knew that I needed a strap for these, I decided a pearl strap would look would look like little ankle bracelets.  Great idea until I realized that I had no idea what size strap I would need.  So I got out my night vision goggles, and sneaked into Maddies room.

And yes, that is a very large, sharp needle by her foot.  Remember it was after 11pm.

The pearl strap looked and worked great.  I used elastic thread so that it would be an easy on and off.
  So now onto the flowers. 

I was pleased.  Not overly impressed, but at least pleased.  So when Moo woke up in the morning I had her model the one shoe I created...
I was so excited!  I was going to finish my blog post, and I was going to look so crafty.
I started my project again about 11pm tonight...gathered some more supplies, this time I was going to take pictures, and it was going to be so pretty...

Then bad things started to happen. I was not liking my flowers.  They didn't look even too me.  They started to look odd.  I still decided to hot glue them on.  I needed to finish.  I had to finish.  I had to POST my beautiful Pinterest inspired shoes!!!  Before I could even take a picture of the final product...I  tore them off.  They were not right.  When I bought these shoes I knew that there where some small holes from the staples that the smart people at the thrift store used to attach the price, but I thought I could cover them up, with the flower.  I kinda did.

That plastic flower embellishment on the shoe...I again thought I could cover it up nicely...I sorta did.  But because of all the covering I had to do, I made these flowers too big.  And so now...we have the ugly...

But that's okay...tomorrow is a new day, I have another thing of bridal pearls, and I have an entirely new idea...