Saturday, June 29, 2013

Stranger shoot

Monumental shoot last night---my first shoot of complete strangers! They told me that their old photographer had moved away and that she recommended my facebook page to them because she had seen it and thought I did good work. Very cool!

They were a very sweet family and their little guy was too cute. I had raided my parents' house for some more props---the crate and rocking horse are from there---good having parents with lots of antiques!

Here are just a couple...











You can see more pics on my photography page in this album ;-)

(And don't miss my wedding dress shoot with Raya from yesterday!)  And now we're off this morning to meet blogger friend Mrs. Mommy, yay!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Window to the future....

Awhile back on Pinterest there was a picture floating around that a mom took of her young daughter wearing her wedding dress. She was going to display the wedding someday at her daughter's future wedding. I LOVED this idea. I decided today that Raya was the perfect age to do this with (I will do Brielle when she's a little older). So we took my wedding dress and headpiece to the backyard and snapped a few photos.

My girlie girl was in HEAVEN playing dress up with mommy's wedding dress.

And let it be said that I can't believe how gorgeous she looks, and am somewhat upset that my 4-year-old can so easily upstage me in my own gown haha. She is going to make a beautiful bride one day (if she so chooses :-)













Found her feet!!! She was worried about them haha

That's one pretty little girl---not that I'm bias or anything ;-)

Here is a picture of *me* wearing my dress, over 5 years ago! It will be fun to display them all side by side after I do Brielle's eventually.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My second-hand secret ;-)

I had nothing to blog about today...between preparing for our weekend meet-up with bloggy friend Mrs. Mommy (yay!) and cleaning house (boo!) for our good friends who are coming to stay over the 4th, as well as taking some Etsy orders and booking photography sessions (I have sessions scheduled for Friday, Sunday, and Tuesday!) I have been staying busy!

So today I'm going to blog about a question that I've actually been asked a few times now---how do I score so many good deals on used kids clothes for the girls?

Now many people don't like buying used clothes, and personally for myself I don't buy used. However for my clothes I buy cheap, basic items and I wear the crap outta them haha. So buying used basics just doesn't make much sense.

However for the girls (in case you haven't discovered this) I am a little obsessed with their clothes ;-) Thankfully Lee has a nice job that allows me to stay home with the girls, but we don't have piles of extra money laying around haha....so in order for me to dress them in such an obscene amount of clothing I have to get creative---welcome used clothing!

Here is my big DON'T of buying used.
1) I don't do garage sales. Now my parents find some great items from time to time and I love them---but in general at garage sales you find brands like Carters, Target, Walmart, etc....which don't typically hold up to wear all that well, so they usually have lots of fade/wash wear/etc. And people who take awesome care of their kids clothes don't usually garage sale it---they sell online or consign. So overall garage sales just aren't going to score you that many awesome deals.

2) Don't buy used if you are extremely picky ;-) I'd say 90% of my purchases have been just as described, but every once in awhile I buy something that was described as excellent condition and then it comes with a stain. This is really annoying, but I almost always can get the stain out myself, and everything I buy is really cheap anyways for the most part. If you feel something was grossly misrepresented though every selling forum has people you can report too and they are good about clearing out the bad eggs.

Here are my DO'S of buying used.
1) Look for local consignment stores or "just between friends" sales. People (like me) who have nice clothing to sell are going to take their clothes here, if they don't ebay it. Some consignment stores are yucky (in my experience) but some are amazing. You have to shop around. My favorite local shop only takes name brand items and they are super picky and don't accept anything with a mark or stain. After one month the items are marked down 25%, then 50% after two months, and 75% after three months, and $1 after 4 months. I always shop the sales, never full price. You would be shocked how many brand new with tag Gymboree items I've gotten for $1!

Just between friend sales are sales that run for a weekend or whatever. People tag and price their own items and then a big sale is held. I've never attended a sale like this but they are quite popular and if you volunteer to work the sale one night then you get to shop early and have first pick of the items.

2) Shop ebay. Now ebay annoys me much of the time because I hate getting outbid at the last minute, etc. The way *I* shop is ebay is I periodical search for a particular brand and narrow the search to include only "buy it now" listings...and I search so the newest listings show up first. This way if someone lists something awesome at an abnormally low price you can quick buy it right away! The two Matilda Jane items we have were won that way. I got them for waaaay less than what they normally go for, so when we are done I will actually be able to sell them and probably make a profit.

The other way I shop ebay is to periodically search for the listings ending soonest to see if there is anything good that people just haven't bid on....one time I found a new with tags Naartjie outfit that was about to end with no bids, and I got it at a great price.

3) Shop online Buy/sell/trade groups. Did you know there are all kinds of selling groups on Facebook for example? Search for various resale groups and you'll find a ton. People can post pics of what they have and then if you want to buy you just pay with paypal. I have *never* been scammed with an online sale, but if for some reason you are then you have PayPal protections. This is also a really easy way to sell your items when you are done with them! And on these Facebook groups I'd say about 50% or more of the items are NWT, so even if you are really picky and don't like "used" items, there is still a lot of great deals to be had.

There are also various online boards/forums you can join where you can chat about cloths/sales/etc....and most of these have a section for buying and selling too. These are really fun and I have gotten great deals through them as well.

4) Sell your stuff to buy next season! Honestly, I consider a lot of our clothes to be "borrowed" haha. A "normal" person might go spend $50 on 3-4 Target outfits and consider themselves very thrifty, but then the resale on those items is very small---just garage sale prices maybe---so you essentially spending the entire $50 on a clothing budget.

I, on the other hand, might spend $30 on an outfit from NEXT, but then sell it for $20 when I'm done. So my actual cost was only $10 for the outfit. I can buy *five* outfits from NEXT and if I resell them still only spend as much as the person at Target did buying 3-4 outfits. Now granted, I spend my time reselling them, but it's a hobby of mine so I actually find it fun haha. Sometimes I even make a profit and pick up something at the consignment store for $1 and then resell it for $10...that's always super exciting :-)

So there you go---those are my tips and tricks! And yes, I'm a dork about their clothing haha. But they are only going to let me dress them for such a short time, I'm going to enjoy it while I can!!!

And just so we aren't picture-less today, here are a couple outfits that I've gotten used!


This little set was from the local consignment store

This dress was consignment store too---think I only paid $2!

This outfit Brielle is wearing someone gave me for FREE when I bought something else from them on a forum...they said it was really faded and play condition. Looks cute to me for free! ;-)

This Matilda Jane dress was from ebay

Brielle's Naartjie outfit was from an online forum
Brielle Gap outfit is ebay for the shirt and online forum for the jeans
(That's another great thing about buying used...find one piece someplace and then have fun trying to track down a matching item someplace else! :-)
Brielle's dress was NWT bought on a forum, and Raya's Hanna outfit was bought used on a forum too


Going through pics I'm realizing that about 75% of our clothes are bought used/online haha.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Blackmail

Miss Raya has been blackmailing me lately.

You see, back in Ohio she got a belated birthday gift from Aunt Megan and Uncle Shawn....one gift was a tissue paper art kit. Well she has loved making these things, and she made me a flower (and butterfly) to hang on my fridge.

But now she brings up these "gifts" multiple times a day....in true blackmail fashion. Today for example she said, "if you make me take a nap I will never make you a beautiful flower craft again"...and she also says things like "mama, remember when I made you that flower? You better listen to me or I will never ever make one again"  ....obviously in her mind this flower is majorly awesome...and I should be giving into her every demand in fear of losing out on future creations :-P

Some days I can't decide if she's truly an obnoxious diva, or if she's just a typical 4 year old girl LOL.

Anyways, here are a few pics of the girls making these glorious crafts the other day.







And since people seem to enjoy the girls' "modeling", here are a couple outfits from the last few days ;-)


She needed to wear this with capris since it's a tunic length top, but she insisted on the short shorts ...whatever!

This get-up was quite a hit with people in town yesterday during our rain storm....I can't imagine why ;-)

She insisted on wearing the boots, so I picked an outfit to match them lol

Raya decided she needed boots too

I need to burn these giant flower headbands....I'm so tired of them lol


And lastly, this creepy picture. Last night I was printing some photos and ran out of photo paper, so I went and put more in the printer. When I went to get the next photo I saw this---Raya, looking like she should be in a walking dead movie LOL. I had accidentally put the photo paper in upside down and the ink ran like this. Look at her creepy hollow black eyes, her skinny little arm and missing hand, etc. Scared the crap outta me when I picked it up!! haha


Here's the non-creepy version haha


That's all I have for today!

Trendy Tot Tuesday--Raya's Photoshoot

Today I'm linking up with Kelly, Megan, and Lindsay for Trendy Tot Tuesday!

On Sunday evening I took Raya up to the local college (the one I actually attended) and did a photo shoot. I've had a couple clients wonder what a photo shoot up there might look like, so I wanted to have an example session that showed off some of the hot spots ;-) She wasn't really in the mood for photos, so excuse some of her faces lol.

 
For my Trendy Tot Tuesday folks, her outfit is Gymboree! From the recent Surf Adventure line. Gymboree currently has another $12.99 and under sale for the entire store going on, so the perfect time to stock up on more expensive items like dresses! I'm totally shopped out for summer so I'm passing---I'm on to thinking about Raya's back-to-school shopping already ;-)





















Jump!
















We happened to happened to stop at the train bridge right as a train was going under :-)


***And for my regular daily readers, don't miss my update from yesterday afternoon as well!***