Spring 2015 – Children’s Consignment Sale Haul

One of the most common questions I get about shopping a children’s consignment sale is: what types of things do you usually buy? The answer I always give is, “pretty much everything”. Over the past six years I’ve scored great deals on clothing shoes, baby gear, toys, diaper bags, carriers, shoes … the whole nine yards. As my kids get older though, the amount of items I come home with has dwindled. Obviously, I’m still not shopping for backyard Playskool equipment, or ride-on toys for the house anymore – but I still go to stock up on clothing for the season, as well as shoes and books.

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This past trip was a smaller haul, but a really good one nonetheless. Here’s the clothing I brought home for the boys:

8 – Pairs of shorts
5 – Tees
3 – Rash guards
1 – Pair of swim trucks
2 – Pair of flip flops (brand new)

Total for clothing: $51

Not pictured above that I also bought: 7 books ($8 total – 3 picture, 4 chapter) and 2 Skylanders SwapForce characters ($7 total – going into the Mouse’s Easter basket).

It was a good haul – I got a lot of really nice staples that I know they’ll wear, at really amazing prices (um, that Texas Rangers tee was $1.50). I might not be coming home with a trunk load of items anymore, but I’m still grabbing up really great deals to get my kids through the season without breaking my bank!

If you’re interested in either selling or shopping at your local consignment sale, make sure you check out my consignment cycle series that takes you through the entire process from start to finish!





Roasted Sausage and Veggie Balsamic Vinegar Casserole

The Dallas/Ft. Worth area has seen some pretty crazy weather this past week – sleet, ice, snow … it’s been ridiculous. Especially since this metroplex isn’t equipped (at all) to deal with winter shenanigans and so winter has pretty much sent everyone here into an uproar. School has been cancelled more than it’s been in session this week, I’ve worked from home for a good part of it, and when I’m at home in the cold, I crave good, hot, comfort food.

I found this recipe from Kayotic Kitchen through Pinterest last year and since then it’s my go-to recipe for cold days when we’re all laying around wanting something warm to fill us up. It’s a great dinner to put together when you’re going to be at home all afternoon, and want to smell something amazing cooking to get you all geared up for dinnertime. It takes a little longer than most recipes I use, but it’s REALLY easy – which is my number one requirement. Plus, it’s a relatively healthy meal (at least by our standards), and the kids like it.

WINNING. Here’s my variation of this sausage and veggie casserole:

Sausage Veggie Casserole Balsamic Vinegar

YOU’LL NEED:

Your choice of sausage – I usually use one pack of fresh brats, and a half package of turkey sausage for the kids
Your choice of veggies – I usually throw in golden potatoes, baby carrots, Brussels sprouts (cut in half), 1/2 of both a red/green bell pepper, 1/2 an onion (but you can really use any type of veggie you like)
2 – 3 chopped/minced garlic cloves
2 tbsp of olive oil
1 1/2 tsp of Italian herbs
1/2 cup chicken broth
5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Freshly cracked pepper
Kosher salt

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 450*. Wash/chop all the veggies and throw them into a roasting pan. Find a small mixing bowl and combine chicken broth, oil, Italian herbs, and garlic. Pour mixture over veggies and toss so that everything is coated evenly. Season with pepper and salt (I get pretty generous here). Cover with foil and stick it into the preheated oven for 45 min, or until everything is soft and tender.

Balsamic Vinegar Sausage Veggie Casserole

While veggies are cooking, brown sausages on all sides, and cut them all into manageable sizes. Set aside.

Once veggies are tender, pull them out, add the sausage pieces and then cover everything with the balsamic vinegar (NOM). Pop everything back into the oven (uncovered) for 25(ish) minutes. Pull pan out one more time, flip sausages, ladle some of those yummy juices at the bottom on top of everything, and stick back in the oven for 10-15 minutes.

sunday sausage casserole

Enjoy!

Making a Retail Schedule Work to Our Advantage

Every family has its obstacles. Finances, health concerns, and crazy jobs – and our family fits within that last category. I’ve written before about the Husband working retail and how that has effected our holiday schedule, and since I get questions every once in a while about how we make a retail schedule work, I thought I would expand on this issue a little more.

The Husband has worked retail for as long as I’ve known him – and after fifteen years, he’s quite good at it. He makes a great living from it. It makes him happy. But from day one, even when we were young and had 1000% less responsibility than we do now, his “weird” schedule has driven me crazy. The late nights at work, working weekends and holidays, the ever-changing schedule … it drove my little obsessive-compulsive organizer’s heart absolutely insane.

There was a period of time when I was whining pretty much every day for him to find a different job. A “normal” career – one with a 9 to 5 schedule where he could be home with me and the babies every night and weekend and holiday from then on. I wanted to be able to schedule something on a Tuesday evening without having to worry about whether or not someone would be there to watch the boys. I wanted to plan Christmas Eve without worrying whether or not one of his employees would call in and cause him to cover the store. Mostly, I just wanted “normalcy”.

And then our little family began to evolve. The boys got older, and easier to handle by myself. The Husband went further in his career, which made it easier for him to form his schedule around our needs. We started communicating between ourselves and planning routines out in advance.

All of a sudden, the Husband having a “weird” schedule became really convenient. Doctor’s appointments in the middle of the week could happen without me having to take time off work. Errands got done during the week so I didn’t have to worry about them on the weekends. Sick kiddos could stay home with daddy when they couldn’t go to school. In short, shit was getting done that wouldn’t have happened if he was working the same “normal” schedule that I was.

retail_schedule_advantage

There are still times when having a spouse in retail drives me insane (the holidays are one of those major “times”). But here’s the thing – the key to overcoming any obstacle is to take a step back, and make it work to your advantage. I think, for the most part, we’ve done that – and we’ll continue to do that, for as long as we need to.

What to Pack for a Crazy-Long International Flight

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Maybe you’re a completely normal person who doesn’t sign up for a crazy long flight to Asia and then immediately start obsessing over how to survive it — I am not one of those people. Upon booking my flight from DFW to Singapore, I immediately started wondering, “oh holy hell, this is a 16.5 hour […]

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Singapore Skyline

When I think back to where I was in my life three years ago, I really feel the need to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming. And while it’s really easy to look at photos like these and think, ‘well, of course she loves her job – look at the traveling she does!’ […]

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Things Learned in 2014

Some people are starting the #Whole30. Some people are purging to create capsule wardrobes. Me? I’m sitting in bed in three layers of clothing while snarfing popcorn. (You’re welcome for that mental image). To celebrate my inability to commit to popular resolutions, I’ve decided to kick off my 2015 posts with a look back at […]

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How to Make an Infinity Scarf

Just so we’re all clear – this whole “how-to make an infinity scarf” post is all because I am probably the biggest nerd in the whole world. Several weeks ago I went looking for a Deathly Hallows infinity scarf on Etsy, and I just couldn’t really find one I liked. But then I found this […]

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Thoughts that old people have

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Some people don’t like birthday, but I was really excited to turn 30 years old. I felt like “30″ finally made me an adult – no matter that I already had a college degree, a husband, a mortgage, a job, and a kid BEFORE 30 – in my mind 30 was the real deal. I […]

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Things I Learned From Traveling with My Six Year Old

Last Month I traveled alone with my six-year-old son, the Mouse, to Washington DC. The trip was a success for a number of reasons, and we had a fantastic time, but there were definitely a few things I learned about what to, and what not to do while traveling with an elementary-aged kiddo. 1. Explain […]

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The Yin to my Yang & Supplies for the Zombie Apocalypse

When I was in college and dating, I thought that one of the most important things in the world was to not be a “girly girl”. I wanted to be the “cool girl” – the girl who watched Tarantino flicks, the girl who ate nachos, the girl who played video games. I remember once, the […]

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Mini Pumpkin Spiders!

I know this is last minute, but I couldn’t help sharing this SUPER cute Halloween decorating idea – mini pumpkin spiders! I pinned a version of this a few weeks ago, and promised myself I would get my act together and make these guys happen. And lookie there, I actually followed through on something! I […]

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Stitch Fix Review: Box #8

I’ve been meaning to do another one of these Stitch Fix box reviews – and then, well, life. I’ve had more than a couple show up since the last time I blogged about a fix I received – some have been really great, some … not so much. BUT – I’ve stuck with it, and […]

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Kid’s Turkey Craft and Feather Hunt

This is a post I’ve wanted to write for almost a year – I wanted to blog about it last year after it happened, but realistically, who wants to read about a Thanksgiving craft in December? Exactly. So, here it is … apologies for jumping the gun before Halloween, but I need to get it […]

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Paper Plate Candy Corn Pennants!

With temperatures still ranging from the mid 70s to the mid 90s – it’s sometimes hard for this Texan (who was raised on the East Coast) to believe it’s almost Halloween (or even fall). But it is – and with my parents in this past weekend for a quick visit, we broke out a fun […]

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Trip to Washington DC in Photos

It’s taken me a week to get this blog post up not because I had too many photos, or wasn’t sure what to write, but because I arrived home and was thrown into single-parenthood since the Husband left for a work trip the afternoon before I got home. It’s been a crazy week, but I’m […]

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