Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Small Shop Summer Styles

"When you buy from a small business, an actual person does a little happy dance."

I'm sure we've all seen that quote floating around the internet, particularly around Small Business Saturday (the day after Black Friday). For me, shopping small has always been something I enjoyed. I love seeing new businesses open and meeting the owners. I love seeing their faces light up when they talk about this dream they've had that has now come to fruition. 

Supporting small businesses, however, is not confined to one day a year. Those actual people happy dance all year long whenever a customer places an order. Perhaps you're wondering where to start? Searching Etsy can be totally overwhelming. For example, searching the term "Kids Clothes" gets you 102,855 results. So I thought I'd share some of my favorite shops (and provide you with a few discount codes while I'm at it).

Shiloh Z Boutique feeds my need for all things feminine, whimsical, and bohemian. This shop has some of the most beautiful pieces: kimonos, dresses, rompers... And each piece is handmade from the softest fabrics just perfect for summer. My daughter loves wearing the kimonos the best. She says they make her look like a princess. I love them because they add a lightweight layer to protect against the sun if we are outside or a strong AC system when we are indoors. You may actually recognize that lace kimono from The Today Show where it was featured for summer styles for kids!

Another thing I love about Shiloh Z Boutique is that when you make a purchase from them, a portion of that goes to supporting various charities. The shop owner, Elsie, and her husband also make a monthly donation to a precious family in Peru, sponsoring their little girl so she can go to school! As Elsie says on her shop site, "There's a great feeling when we are able to do good for people around us!" You can follow @shilohzboutique on Instagram here. Feel like placing an order? Use code PARKER15 when you do to save 15%! And, as always, free shipping within the US.

2. Mommy and Doodle

Another of my favorite shops and the first shop Sweet P and I ever had the pleasure of working with is Mommy and Doodle. Christine is the cutest mommy ever and makes some of the most darling headbands and bows around! But it doesn't stop there! She has bibs, leggings, bloomers, and skirts, too, with even more coming soon. I love these headbands because they are made with elastic in the back to slide on and off without having to be retied, which is awesome for me because my bow-tying skills are severely lacking! The bows are awesome, too, because they stay in my girl's very fine hair VERY well. Perfect for keeping her hair out of her eyes when she's outside playing in the summer sun! There are so many sizes and styles of these bows, you will definitely be able to find one to go with every outfit. You can follow @mommyanddoodle on Instagram here. On her Etsy page, you can use our discount code, PARKER15, to save 15% on her already low prices.

3. 2 Lil Buggs

Tawny, the owner of 2 Lil Buggs, has some of the most fun, unique fabric you will find on Etsy. Her new line just SCREAMS summertime! Looking for something fun for Memorial Day or the Fourth of July? Check out her Land of the Free line for anything and everything red, white, and blue. Her Summer Fun line is full of florals, fish, and flamingos. There is even a line just for fruity fun fabrics called Fruit for Summer. Her items include dresses, rompers, skirts, shorts, and tops. And if that wasn't enough, she is getting ready to add some amazing new linen dresses that are perfect for a fancy picnic or just playing outside. It literally took my breath away when she sent me a sneak peek! And drop Parker's name on her etsy shop for a 15% discount (code: PARKER), and follow her Instagram page here for the latest news from her shop.

4. Wiggle Baby Shop

Wiggle Baby Shop is like a one-stop-shop for mamas and their littles. Seriously, Gloria makes everything from bedding and changing pads to bibs, baprons, and scarves to dresses, tops, and bottoms. Her line of organic clothing is so soft and made from the best organic cotton. And all of her prints are so fun. These clothes are perfect for summer because of their bright, bold colors and cool cotton knit. I was even able to custom order a dress for my daughter's birthday by picking out a fabric from her separate Etsy page just for her fabric collection: Wiggle Fabric. It was a huge hit; she wanted to wear it morning and night! You can follow her on Instagram here and be sure to use code PARKERFF15 to save 15% when you order from Wiggle Baby Shop on Etsy.

If you follow me on Instagram, you will see items from these shops and more in action. Parker lives in her small shop, handmade items. The quality is so much greater than anything from a retail store. It makes me smile knowing not only where my daughter's clothes come from, but also the sweet mama who made them! The small shop community is awesome, and I am so happy to be supporting it!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

This is not my room

I cleaned your room today.

It was a wreck.

Toys laid on the floor from where you had stopped playing with them to move on to something else. Books were strewn across your bed from the night before. Clothes were everywhere. You must have tried three different outfits before you finally found one that suited your taste today. The others were laying across chairs and stuffed animals.

What a mess you'd made. I had taken such pride in creating this room- the room my baby would have. And as I was going through it all, I looked around and realized this was no longer my room.

 A crib used to be here. Right here in this corner. It was a crib we picked out after lots of research of what would be the best. It was a cherry wood color that would grow with you: moving from a crib to a toddler bed, to a full-sized bed. I bought a mirror and painted it to match your décor. It hung above the crib. When you would cry at night, I would come in and pick you up from that crib, soothing you with hushed whispers. In the glow of your nightlight, I would look at us in the mirror, slowly swaying back and forth until you fell back to sleep. Then with a last look, I would lay you back down on your yellow striped sheet with your breathable bumper and a thin blanket to cover you.

Now, this corner is the space where we play games. It's home to your art work and some of mine that I made for you ("Draw an elephant, Mommy!"). Your crib was taken down years ago. After the mattress had been lowered all the way to the floor, you still managed to climb the rails and flip head-over-heels out of it to come find me in the living room. I remember looking at you with shock and amazement as you came toddling down the hall after escaping from your crib. You looked so proud of yourself and so happy to see me. The crib came down that day and was tucked safely away under my bed where it still is today, having not been used since.

A rocking recliner used to sit here. A very old, but very well-taken-care-of rocking recliner. It used to rock your dad when he was a baby. We used it to rock you. You ate nearly every meal in that chair for the first year of your life. Your feeding sessions were so fun. I fed you a bottle and rocked while your dad read your bed time story. That chair was also where you sat on the 6th of each month so we could take your picture with the same three stuffed bears and see how much you'd grown. Sometimes that chair was a bed when you couldn't sleep without being held. Those nights seemed so long and at times we never thought you'd sleep on your own.

But one night you did. And you stopped eating bottles. And the chair sat unused and taking up space.  Now this corner is home to your collection of stuffed animals: Paw Patrols pups, a fluffy pink cat, the world's largest stuffed Olaf. And elephants. SO many elephants. And a little red rocking chair that belonged to my dad. You sit there and read your books to yourself now, looking at the pictures and making up words to go along with them. You stand in the chair and look out the window at the sunset, checking to see if the sky is purple because that's your favorite color. The chair is in the playroom now, and to be honest, I can't remember the last time it was used.

Your closet still holds your clothes, but oh, how big they've gotten. I stocked up on newborn clothes and clothes sized by the month. We got so many little outfits at baby showers, and my favorite thing to do was take them home, wash them in Dreft baby detergent, and hang them carefully in the closet, grouped by size. I picked every outfit for you after you were born. I loved dressing you up.

The top of your closet was where we stored boxes of diapers and wipes. The bottom of your closet held shelves with a few books, some pictures, a couple of toys. The tops of the shelves had decorations and notes and cards displayed on top; the clothes were small enough that there was plenty of space below them. Your closet was so pretty, we took the doors off to show it off and make the room feel a little bigger.

Now, your clothes hang much lower than they used to because they are much bigger than they used to be. One of the bookshelves had to relocate to the playroom so we could have more space. The other bookshelf is filled to bursting with stories of princesses and potions, animals and adventures. The top of the closet is filled with boxes of clothes you've outgrown: some of the same pieces that I had carefully washed and hung up so many years ago... Until one day, I washed them one more time and instead of hanging them back up, I folded them, tucked them in a box, and put them away. Just like I know, one day, sooner than I'd like, I'll do with some of the clothes you wear now. Because they'll have gotten too small, too. We are running out of room in there, and it's not as carefully organized as it once was. We actually probably ought to put the doors back up. And you are much less inclined to let me dress you however I want. You have a personality and you love to dress to reflect that. Miss Independent.

This wall. This wall was so time-consuming, but I had to have it. Chevron stripes were THE thing in 2012-2013. I wanted it to be perfect, so I used contractor's chalk and meticulously measured every space and angle. This was the wall where your changing table was. I bought it at a thrift store and painted it to match your crib. Above it hung a wooden cross I'd found at a craft show, and later one of your one-year pictures took its place. Now, on that same hook, hangs a very crooked Beauty and the Beast poster. We watch Beauty and the Beast nearly every day right now. I wonder what movie you'll obsess over next and what will eventually take a turn hanging on that hook.

And though you had me wondering if you'd be going to kindergarten wearing diapers, you eventually got the hang of using a potty and wearing "big girl panties." I haven't changed your diaper for over a year. So we got rid of the dresser, exchanged it for a chest of drawers, and put it against another wall so you'd have more room to play. And where your dresser once stood now stands a twin bed, covered in a handmade quilt and topped with a dozen of your favorite elephants. This is where I read to you every night. Where you make room for me so I can lay down with you. You bounce on top of it and get that quilt all messed up. And you are actually getting a new quilt soon. With elephants on it. Purple, of course, since that's your favorite color. And my yellow chevron stripe? Over the summer, it will be painted purple, too, because that's what you chose.

And as you continue to grow, your room will continue to change. And while I used to rock you to sleep in here, and while I now watch you play on this floor, I know in a few years, we will be picking out your clothes for your first date. Getting you dressed for your first school dance. The decorations I picked out which have now been replaced with elephants and Beauty and the Beast will change again as you find your new favorite things. You will continue to grow, and your bedroom will be a reflection of that.

So as I cleaned this room today, I realized it wasn't my room anymore. It was your big girl room. As much time as I had put into planning it out and decorating it to my exact specifications, it was never supposed to stay that way- mine; a reflection of my tastes. The way it was was beautiful, but the way it is now? That's all you. And the way it will be will be all you, too. The memories made in this room I will treasure forever. But I know the memories that we will make will be just as wonderful.

I love you with my whole, whole heart.
Love, Mommy.

Friday, October 21, 2016

What I Learned on the Other Side of the Camera

So I was minding my own business when I got this text from my college roommate and friend of ten years as we were planning our girls' weekend...

"When we get together, can we take pretty pictures of each other?"

Woah, now. Hold up....

I have to go ahead and tell you, my friend is gorgeous. Tan, blonde, toned... She's a total knock out. I mean, look at her...
Real-life Disney Princess, yall.

Me, on the other hand?

Now in my defense, there were bugs. And I'm about as outdoorsy as an artificial topiary. She was lucky I was out there at all.

Taking pictures is the easy part. I control the lighting, the angle... everything. And it was so easy to take pictures of my friend. She has an effortless confidence that literally jumps out of the screen.
Then it was my turn. And I was terrified.

I am not tan.  My skin was once called "porcelain" by a friend trying to make me feel good and "really, really, really white" by my husband (who was just coming out of anesthesia at the time).

I am not blonde. My hair gets done *maybe* once a year.  I've actually had it cut TWICE this year! By professionals!

I am certainly not toned. Although I prefer to say that instead of being out of shape, I have simply "rearranged." Things wiggle that didn't used to wiggle. There are curves where there used to not be curves. I'm not fat, but I'm certainly not fit. I'm in that awkward in-between where my chin kind of multiplies when I'm looking down, and if I'm not careful, the "muffin top" is going to turn into a "jelly roll."

Being in a picture itself wasn't scary.  I've been in engagement pictures, wedding pictures, maternity pictures, and countless family photo sessions.  My husband and I even donned our wedding attire for some fifth anniversary photos. I love taking pictures.

So what was the problem? Why was I having SUCH a hard time with this?

Because it was me. Not me and my husband. Not me and my daughter.  Not even me and a baby bump. Just me. That was my problem. These weren't pictures of me being "the band director's wife" or "Parker's Mom" or even "Mrs. Poe." With all my labels, I haven't been "Rebekah" in a while.

But my friend wouldn't take "no" for an answer. It was my turn to be in pictures. So, I did my make up. And I don't mean I threw on mascara and Parker's Minnie Mouse chapstick like I usually do.  I really put on make up.  And I did my hair, making sure to take longer than five minutes. And I stood in front of the camera with nothing and no one to hide behind.

Later, as I was looking at the shots from the afternoon, I noticed something.  I'm not tan. But my skin really glows in the sunlight.

I'm not blonde, and my hair does what it wants.  But it sure is shiny.

And I'm not toned. But I have been blessed to have carried a beautiful baby girl who is my entire world.

These pictures make me feel beautiful. I look happy. I look confident. I look like myself, flaws and all. I want to raise my daughter to possess all of these attributes. In order to do that, I need to be her example. She needs to see her mom not afraid to take center-stage. She needs to see me taking care of myself. She needs to see me

And my husband, my sweet husband. He needs to see me like this, too. I want to show him that even though we have aged (almost ten years), and even though life's responsibilities have kicked into high gear... Even though I don't often "dress up" and even though we have crazy, hectic schedules... the girl he first fell in love with is still in there. We are "Mr. and Mrs. Poe" at work and "Mommy and Daddy" at home, but we are also Andrew and Rebekah, day-dreaming about the future.  

So to all the women who feel less than perfect-
To all the moms who feel like "moms"-
To those of you who feel frumpy-
To those of you who have gotten lost in all your "labels"-

Don't forget who you are. You are more than mom; more than wife; more than employee. Don't be afraid to just be yourself sometimes. You are you. And being YOU is a very good person to be.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

If You Tell a Three-Year-Old to Go to Bed... Based on a True Story

If you tell a three-year-old to go to bed, she's going to have to use the potty first.

When she uses the potty, she is going to ask for a reward (even though she hasn't had one in the many months that have occurred between potty-training and now).

If she asks for a reward, she will likely want it to be a marshmallow.

After she eats the marshmallow, she will have to brush her teeth.

When she brushes her teeth, she will get some toothpaste on her shirt.

She cannot possibly sleep in a shirt that has toothpaste on it, so she will ask you to get her a new one.

When you change her shirt, you will also have to change her pants (because Paw Patrol pants DO NOT go with a Frozen shirt).

When her pajamas are on, she will crawl into the bed.

Once she's in bed, she will ask for a bed time story... and another... and another.

The denial of the fourth bed time story will cue her to start to cry (because four is her "favorite number").

When she cries, she is going to need a tissue.

You will get her a tissue and blow her nose.

You will read the fourth bed time story, The Pout-Pout Fish.

Seeing the water in the story will remind her that she's thirsty, so she'll ask you for a drink.

And chances are, if you give her a drink, she's going to need to go potty.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Cheesy broccoli chicken soup

I am so excited for fall to almost be here. I love everything it brings: cooler weather, football, sweaters, and almost-most-importantly SOUP! 

Cheesy Broccoli Chicken Soup

1 large chicken breast (2 if they're small)
Butter for sautéing the chicken
Salt and pepper
Diced carrots
1 c chicken broth
Garlic powder, onion powder, and seasoned salt

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and brown it in the butter over a medium-high skillet. 
Remove chicken and finish cooking in the oven while you make the rest of the soup. 
In the same pan you used for the chicken, add carrots, chicken broth, and other seasonings. This can be over seasoned because you'll add it to the soup later on. Allow carrots to cook until soft while you make the rest of the soup. 

3 tbs butter
1/4 c flour
3 c chicken broth
2 c half and half
Seasonings to taste
A "handful" of shredded Colby jack cheese (I never measure cheese or seasonings)
Carrots in the broth 
2 cups (ish) Frozen broccoli
Chicken breasts from part one, shredded

Cook broccoli according to package directions and set aside. 
Melt the butter in a large pot. Add flour and combine. Allow to cook for a few minutes until slightly golden. Add chicken broth a little at a time and whisk well. Bring to boil to thicken. Reduce heat.  Add carrots and broth. Add half and half. Allow to simmer to thicken, but stir frequently so it doesn't burn. Add cheese, broccoli, and chicken. Season to taste. Add chicken broth as needed if it gets too thick. 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

#GOMO: our new motto

How in the world is it my last week of summer vacation!?!? One week from today, I will be back at work. It feels like school just ended, and we are already gearing up to start a new year.

My husband and I were determined that this summer was not going to be a summer of sitting around. Our daughter is three, which is the PERFECT age in my opinion.  She is able to go with us and do more things and actually enjoy herself, letting all of us have a more fun experience.

I'm sure many of you have heard of the term FOMO: fear of missing out.  It became so widespread that it can now be found in the dictionary as a real word! FOMO is usually brought about by seeing or hearing about all the fun stuff other people are doing through social media. Now, our family had not been on a vacation since 2013! We went to Florida and stayed with family when our Sweet P was around three months old. There wasn't a whole lot we could do with an infant. Talk about some serious FOMO. This summer, however, was to be our summer of GOMO: going out more often. And boy, did we! Well, I actually kicked things off by myself...

The day school let out, I got in my car and drove the two hours to my best friend and former college roommate's apartment. We try to have a girls' weekend once a year with just us. No hubby or baby allowed! We got dressed up and went out on the town. We checked out new restaurants, new food, and new local musicians.  We wasted enough time in college being lazy (and broke) and hanging out around the dorm. GOMO with this girl allows us to catch up and try new experiences... And take fun pictures so we can look back when we are old and wrinkly and remember how gorgeous we used to be ;)

In June, it was time for GOMO with my family. My husband is a band director, so his summer is always cut short by band camps. June is really our time to be together as a family. Like I said before, our daughter is three-years-old now.  She is spunky and energetic... I couldn't bare to keep her stuck in the house. We finally booked our first REAL vacation as a family and set off for the BEACH!

I promise she was more excited than she looks! The whole week leading up to the trip, she kept asking about going to the beach.  And do you know what she was most excited to do? Play in the sand. Go swimming in the "big pool." Hunt for hermit crabs.  All EXPERIENCES. So often, we get caught up in material things.  We are constantly bombarded with commercials advertising the next "can't-live-without" item. But really, what I can't imagine living without is the memory of seeing my daughter's face the first time she saw the beach. I can't imagine living without stories to tell of our experiences. I can't imagine living without GOMO!

 That break was just what we needed to reconnect as a family and unplug from media and technology. We focused on spending real, quality time together... Not just in the same room watching Netflix or something. We went out! We experienced life together. And it was the best money I've ever spent.

In July, we knew we wanted to go somewhere to watch fireworks.  Last year, we went to a local church's fireworks show, and it was nice, but this summer is about GOMO! So, oh, did we go! We googled the best fireworks show in the area, which is of course Thunder on the Mountain at Vulcan Park.

There are websites you can use to find events near you, too, like Eventbrite. Going to their website, you can see popular featured events in your area, and even create your own event as well. You can also type in the kind of event you are looking for, add in your location, and you'll get a list of everything that's happening. For example, I just looked up "music" in my town and found out that there is a free night of the best gospel music Birmingham has to offer coming up in just a couple weeks! I can even reserve my ticket right from the Eventbrite website! No more FOMO for me, thank you very much!

So even though summer is ending, and I am dreading the early mornings and long days that are fast approaching, I am looking back on this summer without feeling like I wasted my days and let summer pass us by. It was our summer of GOMO, and I loved every second of it!

Monday, July 18, 2016

How to Dress Your Child on a Zero Dollar Budget

With school preparing to start back much more quickly than I'd like, I've found myself being bombarded with back-to-school ads.  My daughter is starting "actual" preschool this fall.  She was in a K2/Mother's Day Out class last year and loved it, but there's something that is tugging at my heart about her official start of preschool. Oh, how I wish I could make time slow down, but it keeps going, and she keeps growing, and my heart overflows at how blessed I am to be her mommy.

But speaking of her growing...

I have always been shocked by the large price tags that accompany the tiniest clothing. Typically, kids grow about a size each year.  That's a lot of clothes to buy and then have to replace so quickly. I can't justify paying so much for something she may only wear for a season. I know I'm not the only one.  But I also know that I do not want to sacrifice dressing her in cute clothes. Not to toot my own horn, but I think my daughter is pretty much the most adorable thing in the world. I love dressing her up just as much as she loves to wear pretty things. It's a win-win. And I think I've found the winning-est combination of ways to make sure that she looks stylish without breaking the bank... Or really spending any money at all.

So here are my four ways to dress your child on a ZERO DOLLAR budget.

1. Hand-me-downs

We are blessed to attend a wonderful church filled with families with young children.  We have made some of our best friends through attending our church, and Parker loves going to Sunday School with "the boys and girls," as she calls them.   In the three year old group, she is the only girl. Many of our friends have daughters who are a few years older.  And many more have daughters a few years older than that. These girls have been passing clothes back and forth for years. Now Parker has gotten added to the list. There are some other outfits that have been passed along from some other friends, too.

All of these were handed down from friends. The black and white outfit was one of my favorites when she was little bitty. The blue dress is one she wore at our church's Easter egg hunt. The Christmas dress came from a secretary at school. She bought it for her granddaughter, but it was too small.  She passed it along to Parker brand new!
We always make sure to take extra care of hand-me-downs. That's how they last so long, and they may be passed along again one day!
2. Homemade clothing

I will let you in on a secret: I cannot sew.  I cannot knit. I cannot crochet.

Okay, so maybe it's not that much of a secret.  However, I am surrounded by amazingly talented women who can do all of these things! Let's start with sewing.

My mother-in-law is a skilled seamstress and quilter. Like, super skilled. And she loves to use her talents for her family.  My sister-in-law and I both have quilts in the works that she is making for us, and they are so beautiful! She also has made Parker some outfits.

She made Parker's first Halloween costume for us. She was the cutest Dorothy ever! She also put aside her feelings and made an Alabama dress for this Alabama mama! I tell you, you know your Auburn-fan mother-in-law likes you when she is willing to make a dress in the fabric of her arch nemesis!

I also said I cannot knit, but my grandmother has been knitting since before I can remember.  She made so many clothes for me (which we will get to in a minute), and she has made so many for her first great-grandchild, too!

Both of these knitted outfits came from my grandmother. The red dress she wore at her first Thanksgiving, and the white one kept her warm during her first snowfall. 
 The third skill I lack, crocheting, is made up for by my awesome sister-in-law, Jessica. Aunt Jessica makes some of the most beautiful things.  And she does it without a pattern! If she sees it, chances are she can make it. Like this outfit:

She made the hat, the cowl, and the skirt.  The skirt has a "draw string" waist with a ribbon, so Parker can wear it year after year. I saw the hat and cowl on Pinterest and sent her pictures of them. They are even more beautiful than the originals!
Handmade clothes are a great way to dress your child, and I think the clothes mean more because every time I see them, I think of the women who made them.

3.  Raid your old clothes

Remember when I said my grandmother had made tons of clothes for me when I was little? I wasn't kidding. And I have a mother who saved them all and kept them in great condition. Check at your parents' house.  I'm sure they saved some of your baby things, too.

The picture on the top is me, and Parker is on the bottom. My grandmother made the dress, hat, and jacket. I can actually remember this dress from when I was little, and seeing it on my daughter makes me smile.

Believe it or not, my grandmother also made this coat and cap for me.  It's knitted with wool, lined on the inside with pink satin, and has a velvet collar. You can't find quality like this in a store, ESPECIALLY on a budget. Raiding my old clothes has produced some of my favorite outfits for Parker to wear. It's nice, too, because my mom and grandmother remember me wearing them, and now they see them on my daughter. Generations of use!
4. Consignment
Oh, I do love consignment.  I have found some amazing deals at our local consignment store, Taylor Bug's.  Brands like Matilda Jane, Mud Pie, Baby Gap, etc. Basically clothes I could otherwise not afford.  You can find name brand clothing for cents on the dollar! CENTS, people! Tiffany is the owner, and she is such a sweetie! Her prices are so fair, and she only accepts high-quality, well-taken-care-of clothing.  I never have to worry about holes or stains. She's worried about it for me. My favorite part of consignment is store credit. I started consigning when Parker started outgrowing her baby clothes that we had gotten as baby shower gifts. I kept the super special ones, but we don't have enough room to store everything. I took them to Taylor Bug's, and she sold them for me. I receive 40% of sales as either cash or store credit. I always take the store credit. And then I wait for her end of season sales where I can get clothes marked up to 90% off! Here's what I do. I take Parker's clothes that she's outgrown at the start of the season (Fall clothes in July, and Spring clothes usually in January). I wait for the clothes to sell. For every $100 in sales, I get $40 in store credit. I use that store credit to buy more clothes for the next season when they go on sale. And a new thing she just started is rewards points. For every dollar spent, I earn a point. Once I reach 150 points, I earn $5 in store credit. The best part is that I am earning points every time I spend my store credit! I can get an entire season's wardrobe without spending any real money. And, my word, the clothes I can get are amazing!


Every single outfit came from the same consignment store, and I didn't pay a dime for any of them out of pocket- just store credit. Easter dresses, boutique clothing... all of it essentially FREE.  Best part is, the ones she outgrew went back to be resold for more store credit. It's a never-ending circle of new clothes for zero dollars!

I won't say I don't ever spend money on her clothes.  But when I do, I do not feel guilty about it. Some outfits are worth the splurge, and I can afford to splurge every now and then if I'm smart about the way I shop all the other times.

Did I miss anything? What are some ways you save money shopping for your kids? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading!