Happy Easter!

easter

Wishing you, your family and loved ones a very blessed Easter!

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Earning Pennies & “Decrapifying”

I’ve always been semi-frugal, not wanting to spend a lot, couponing, waiting for sales, shopping the clearance racks first, etc. so this isn’t new to me. Spring can mean spring cleaning to some and I’ve been doing some major decluttering (one of my favorite bloggers, thriftydecorchick, called it “decrapifying” – love that term!) I’ve been getting clothes out of my closet that I’ve been holding onto for way too long and the children’s closets have followed suit. My youngest tween son has had an incredible growth spurt, which pleases him immensely (hello, puberty!), but with that comes high water pants and tight waists. So I have had no choice but to buy him some new clothes.

Earning some money for the son's college fund!

Earning some money for the son’s college fund & new clothes!

The old ones, however, are not going to just go in one of those pink bags that get picked up at the end of my driveway every other month or so. No. I’ve got to try and make some money off of them! I’ve done some eBay-ing (is that even a word? Or did I make it a verb?) and that has gone quite well, particularly for the Nike, Under Armour and Vans brands. It just takes FOREVER to get things posted and my phone is no longer linking up to my dropbox account which makes it quite inconvenient. Last resort unless I have the time., which I guess one posting a week isn’t too bad.

Next try: consignment shops. We have a couple of teen consignment shops which are quite handy but we usually use Plato’s Closet. It’s really hit or miss with their pricing and what they’ll take so I’ve have been known to take in the same merchandise over several trips to actually get money for them. I just keep a bag at the bottom of the closet and when it’s full, I take it in and try again! I also use Trendy Tots for smaller children’s clothing, shoes and toys. They give more for in-store credit vs. cash payment but I find their prices very reasonable. Too bad I can’t shop there anymore for my son but they don’t have size 16! (They go up to size 14.)

One of our main go-to consignment shops.

One of our main go-to consignment shops.

Consignment sales? Yes, please! Or, at least when the kids wore smaller sizes they worked well. I liked Just Between Friends and Britches and Lace but they don’t work for us any more. At one point Britches and Lace did junior clothing but they discontinued that portion. Oh well, Plato’s works nicely.

Garage sales? Last resort. You don’t get much money at garage sales for clothing but whatever doesn’t sell in the consignment shops will end up there. Soooo much work for so little money. And the bartering, really? A quarter isn’t cheap enough? Although, the way I figure it is if I get more for it at a consignment shop than I would at a garage sale, then I’m doing all right. So I have one planned for June to off-load some more things that the shops didn’t want and home items that they wouldn’t take anyway. Then I’ll go through them again and decide if it’s worth the pink bag (Amvets picks these up) and tax deduction to keep them out of my basement again.

I find it invigorating decluttering, cleaning, and purging. I’m wanting to focus on “clean” living in more than one way and getting rid of things (or to use thriftydecorchick’s word – decrapify) definitely is refreshing. Maybe if you can’t get motivated to do it yourself, have a friend help you. Or maybe the pink bags work best for you to just get it out of there. I promise, you’ll feel so much better clearing out. I just like having some extra money for my son who’s growing and my other son who’ll be attending college this fall.

Or are you keeping it? Be honest!

Or are you keeping it? Be honest!

Is it to go? Is it to go?

Fabulous 40?!

So many people have been telling me that 40 is the new 30 but I’ll admit, I was dreading my 40th birthday. I don’t really feel old and although the gray hairs are coming faster and faster and the wrinkles around my eyes more prominent, I don’t think I look that old either. So why does the calendar says 40?

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about why I’ve been dreading this birthday. It’s not because I haven’t accomplished a lot so far in my life. I have a wonderful husband and children, a caring and supportive family, and my dream job that I love (most of the time). I’ve traveled, although there are many other places I’d like to go, and done some challenging things like the 39.3 mile Avon Walk for Breast Cancer and a 1/2 marathon race. So why am I so apprehensive?  Even today it’s closing in on a month since my birthday and this has been in my draft box for several weeks!

I’ve decided that 40 is just a number.  It doesn’t dictate who I am and what I’m going to do with the rest of my life.  I’m going to live each day for what it offers, try to make a difference, and enjoy my family and friends.  I am going to take a deep breath and try not to stress as much over the little things.  I continue to be amazed at how fast the years have gone so I’m going to make the best of what’s to come!

good riddance 2011

Ever had one of those years where nothing seemed to go right?  It was just one thing after another after another.  It was a bad, bad year.  The only good thing is, it’s over.  Instead of rehashing all of those bad things, I’m going to wave them goodbye, and hope that all of those things did indeed make me a stronger person.  Because surely, something good had to come out of that mess, right?

 
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11

What happened to spring?

Well, you can definitely tell we’re in Kansas. Something about a snowstorm in March just doesn’t sound right but lo and behold, sleet moved in on Friday afternoon. The drive home was slick and it pelted the windows all last night. This morning it sleeted more then eventually turned to snow. Now the sun is out and most of it, if not all, will be gone by sundown tomorrow. Weird.
buddy-firedogs

Buddy had the right idea getting as close to the fire as he could.  Right, these are my two solar dogs that sit on our back deck, right at the top of the stairs.  You can see where the sleet got them, the sleet/snow drift, and the ice running vertically on the deck post.

Yeah, a loooooong weekend!

I am so excited about this upcoming long weekend. Unfortunately, my plans for sleeping in this morning didn’t work since Taylor was up in the night complaining about not being able to breathe. Alth.ough I wasn’t up at my usual 5:30, I was out of bed by 7:30. Yes, all three kids were already up and were jumping on the trampoline outside. (I don’t usually let them play outside prior to 8am because they’re usually way too loud for so early in the morning!) I’m going to try my best NOT to get too stressed out about doing the chores and getting the house organized. I have 3 days off before I go back for an inservice and I’m going to try to relax even though I have a long to-do list. Maybe I’ll get the chance to do some scrapbooking. Or just flip through a magazine. Or enjoy a Starbucks. Now THAT sounds like a good weekend . . .