From local finds

The 14th Annual Half-Pint Resale is here! Shopping tips inside-

The 14th annual Half-Pint Resale is here!  

Get your resuable bags ready and your cheat sheets complete.  Fall and winter are right around the corner – and my guess is that there are littles (and school-aged bigs) who could use some new-to-you clothing, some toys, and how about a few birthday gifts stashed away – all on a budget?

14th Semi-Annual Fall/Winter Half-Pint Resale
Madison Curling Club

Saturday, September 13, 2014- 8am-7pm
Sunday, September 14, 2014- 8am-1pm (when everything is half off!)

Here are a couple of  things that might help you prepare for the season’s biggest 
shopping extravaganza:

1) Volunteers will be wearing black and will be wearing nametags.  They are here to help you!  There are a couple of volunteers with special duties that will really help you out:  Volunteers in the GEAR/LARGE ITEM AREA will help you purchase large items so you can easily purchase them without hindering the rest of your shopping experience (look for the signs on the wall).  Volunteers with a ASK ME ABOUT BABY CARRIERS sign on their backs are ladies who know a TON about baby carriers and will be hanging around in that area during a few hours of the sale to help you try carriers on and learn about what will be best for you and your baby.    We hope that these folks will help make your shopping experience better.  Read more about the types of baby carriers you might find at Half-Pint Resale on our website, with a guest post by Cynthia Bachhuber, Wraps & Slings South Central Wisconsin.

2) There are two main areas at the Madison Curling Club.  In the lobby area, there are tables, seats, and places to just take a load off!  Feel free to come in and take a seat, nurse your baby, dig into some food from Slide Food Cart (which will be onsite during lunch and dinner hours Friday during the presales).  You are more than welcome to come and hang out – we only ask that you leave all yet-to-be-purchased items on the sales floor.

New this year, early in the sale you’ll also find our new area, BIG EXPRESS, which will feature large items that might not otherwise fit on the sales floor, and that you purchase separately from the items on the main sales floor.  And good news, you can use your credit card to purchase these items.  We’ll hold them there or you can take them right out to the car!

The main sale area is in the arena part of the building.   We will have hold tables where you could bag your items, if you say, need to go sit and nurse your babe or use the restroom.    NOTE:  The temperature in the arena area is similar in temperature to the temperature outside, due to the nature of the space.   Dress in layers!

3) Spend some time reading through our Shopping Tips.   There are a few things to highlight…

4)  Strollers are NOT allowed during peak shopping times (anytime before Noon on Saturday).   It gets crowded and it would be unsafe for everyone.   We also highly recommend you not bring children.  We know – sometimes you have no choice!  But we’ve had several kids get lost (think kids shorter than the racks and at some peak shopping times, several hundred people packing the space).    Finally, Children of any size that are WORN in a carrier are ALWAYS welcome, anytime!  If you do bring kids, please make sure that they do not play with the toys or sit in the gear.  We’ve had kids break things (and then the item is unsellable) or have had people pass over things they want to buy because they think that they are accounted for, only to find out later that the person using the item wasn’t intending to buy it, and then a consignor lost the sale.

5) Check out all of our tips about holding items on our shopping tips page.  PLEASE!  Don’t abandon items on this table!  Shoppers and consignors alike miss out.

6) Don’t forget to come on Sunday during the Half-Price sale!  Everything (excluding rare green-tagged items over $75 that a consignor asked to be excluded from the sale) is half-off!

Fullscreen capture 8252014 105038 PM7)  Do you tweet?  Post on facebook?  Instagram?  Post your #hpscore after the sale and maybe you’ll win some Half-Pint goods!   Also share the event on facebook!

8) Did you know that you can recycle all of your plastic bags after Half-Pint?  If you can’t use them again, check out these tips!

8)  And last, but not least, We only take cash and check!  Keeping consignor checks as high as possible and keeping as much money  in the community as possible.


-Ellen and Lisa

PS – Half-Pint is only possible because of the tremendous community we are a part of.  Say thank to these folks next time you see them

PPS – Save a couple of bucks for some super awesome Half-Pint goods such as our awesome Midwest Clay Project handmade mugs (tees and reusable bags still available as wellYou can carry the Half-Pint love with you year round.

Shop Independent and Local – and Win!

I know at Half-Pint we talk a lot about saving money – we are constantly on the look out for a thrifty buy or a good deal.  But of the many reasons buying thrifty is important to us?  It allows us to save enough money to buy other high quality items new.

To us, Just as important as buying green is buying independent and local.   

Each time money is spent at a locally-owned business, the taxes stay in your community, and support needed resources such as schools, parks…and much more.  Local businesses employ local people.  Money spent at these stores and businesses supports your neighbors and friends who own them and are employed by them.

We know, we know – it’s hard to pass up all of the good deals on Black Friday, and we’re not admonishing you for shopping.  But what we’re hoping is that with all of the money you’ve saved being thrifty over the year, you can spend some this holiday season at a local and independent business.  It will be just as good for the community.

Do you know about Small Business Saturday?  You may have seen it advertised:  the idea is – specifically on Saturday of this week, go check-out some great small, independent stores in your community and find a few things for someone special on your list.

So we need your help.  

You live all of our community, and you have favorite independent, local stores.   We’d love to have a “half-pint” list of favorite local, independent stores.  And this is where you come in!

Share with the Half-Pint community your favorite independent, local stores.   Comment on our blog or respond to our facebook post with the following information, and we will pick one person to win a $100 gift certificate to the store in their comment/post.  

Name of Store and website (if they have one), the general location

Why you love it!   What kinds of stuff do you buy there, and for who?

Some small print – 1) if your store doesn’t offer gift cards, we’ll offer the ‘reward’ through a American Express or VISA Gift Card, 2) only independent, local stores are eligible!, 3) You can reply as often as you like, but one ‘entry’ per person.

Deadline:  Monday, November 26th, 11:59pm

To get you started, here are some of our favorites:


1 –  Fromagination (located on the Capitol Square) – I can put together treat baskets for friends and coworkers that are artisan as well as local.  Wisconsin cheeses, Madison’s own Quince and Apple preserves, some Gail Ambrosius chocolates, and Potter’s Crackers.  Yum.

2 – Iconi Interiors (West Washington, downtown Madison) – It’s an awesome mixture of new and upcycled mid-century modern home decor.  It’s full of treasures, most of which I can’t seem to do without whenever I’m in the store.


1 – Absolutely Art (Atwood Ave)– When I need a gift, I always head there first.  From practical to whimsical, I love buying things that are handmade from a business that is so involved in the community, including supporting our local schools.

2 – La Lingerie Shop (Johnson Street, near east side of Madison) – This gem of a store is someplace you might not consider going- after all, do you need a specialty bra?  The answer is yes, yes you do.  Her amazing fitting tips are invaluable AND she has CHOICES of beautiful bras for every size.  And she has nursing bras!  Make the appointment!  Get the foundation layer right, so everything else can look great!

3 – Happy Bambino (Monona Dr) – I would hope you all know about HB.  What you may not know is how much of their lives the folks who own that place have given up in order to give such a valuable resource to the community.  Their carefully curated selection of goods and their commitment to the community should make this top on your list of places to go for baby needs.


(fabulous Volunteer Co-Coordinator Extra-ordinaire)

1 – Playthings (in Hilldale mall).  They carry unique and creative toys, games and gadgets. It’s a fun and colorful store with good knowledgable staff. It’s great for birthday presents that I know will be well loved and reliable and different. They also carry some beautiful clothing for babies and toddlers

2 – Change (On Williamson St) – It’s a new women’s clothing and accessories store owned and operated by a local mom. She buys only fair trade and offers beautiful items that are good quality and wearable. The store is bright and easy to shop!  Check out this recent review in Madison Magazine.


Think Pizza: Outside the Box


We get hungry with all of that shopping.  We need know we need nourishment to hunt down all of those details.  So we asked our great friends over at La Fortuna if they would come over and wood-fire some of their awesome pizza, right on site, and sell it to all of our fabulous shoppers.

So come, and save an appetite to eat!  They’ll be there while Volunteers wait in line for the presale on Friday, and even after your shop if you power through.  And they’ll be around during lunch time on Saturday, too.  Most pizzas are only $7 (for a personal-sized pizza -a meal for 1 or a snack if shared).  There will even be a Meal Deal of any 4 pizzas for $25- so grab a friend.  Pizzas cook fast – only about 90 seconds!  And cash or checks only (just like Half-Pint).

Friday, September 8 (11am-2pm)
Saturday, September 9 (10:30am-2pm)

the Amazing Supporters of Half-Pint

The thing that we love best about Half-Pint is that it’s a place that builds community.  From families passing on their beloved clothes and baby goods, to sharing community resources with each other – it’s all of you helping each other out.  Making this parenting thing not so lonely.

Another thing that that we love is how so many businesses and groups come together to help make Half-Pint happen.  We want to take a minute to say THANKS to all of you who make this crazy thing that we all do twice a year possible.   So go Check out these great family resources!

Midwest Clay Project is a magical place for kids and their parents alike to explore making things with clay!   With programming designed to support everyone from the novice to the professional, Midwest Clay Project provides a dynamic and inspirational place for people of all ages and abilities to work in clay.  It’s one of my kid’s favorite places to create.  Read about our experience here!   Find them on Facebook.


The Madison, WI Chapter of Holistic Moms Network is a support, education and social network for parents interested in green living, alternative health care, and gentle, responsive parenting. We are a warm and inclusive group, and welcome you to join us wherever you are on the holistic path in an environment that does not judge.  We welcome moms and dads with children of any age, and future parents as well. We have events and activities for both working and stay at home parents. Children are welcome at all HMN events.   Find them on Facebook.


We have sung the praises of Swim East  and Swim West for years, and are continuing to do so.  Only a few years into swimming, the eldest of our kids can be found doing backstroke the length of the pool.  And we’ve seen the magic first hand that turns a child that transforms from hating the water to laughing and giggling all throughout class.  Find them on Facebook.


OOH MAMA!  The Out of Hospital Madison Area Midwives Association is a group of individuals who provide home birth maternity care for the community.   Find out more about their services at the sale!


Why should you love YumTum? Because they make feeding your baby and toddler delicious and nutritious food easy!   YumTum gently steams and minimally processes the ingredients to maintain as many nutrients as possible and they combine ingredients such as beans and rice to provide a complete protein in your baby’s meal, and more.  YumTum’s food grows with your baby, so they will love to eat the Tummy Grubs and snacks well into their toddler years.  Find them on Facebook. (where they are currently listing where you can buy their goods ON SALE!)


Holy Cross Lutheran Preschool – LIttle minds need greatschools and teachers!  Holy Cross offers a robust 4Kprogram that might be just right for you.  Located on Milwaukee Street on the East side of Madison, their programming includes everything from spanish, to music and science,to  reading and religious education.  Find them on Facebook.


Tenney Nursery and Parent Center – TNPC is a preschool and parent cooperative that offers several preschool classes and a parent/child playgroup (a great way to get introduced to this creative and play-based center).  Due to the cooperative nature, parents work closely with the staff and ED and help mold their child’s education.  Visit and see it in action!  Find them on Facebook.


Do you have a will?  If you have children, you should have a will!  Attorney Heather Hazelwood is an associate specializing in personal and business services at Hurley, Burish & Stanton, focusing on estate planning, family law, and Guardian ad Litem  appointments.  Heather is passionate about working with clients to help them plan for the future and manage life’s transitions.  Meet her at the sale!  Find her on Facebook.



Madison Children’s Museum – I know you’ve heard of them.  But have you tried them out yet?  Better yet, have you become a member? We’ve found the ability, because of our membership, to get discounted parking at the museum and to pop in and out as we please to be worth our membership’s weight in gold.   We love the museum year round, but as we’re heading into the summer months, I love all of the summer programming that they have, and it’s always great to have a humid day option where the kids can play hard and stay cool.  Find them on Facebook.


The Little Gym – Little people need a gym all their size – that is where the Little Gym comes in.   They encourage playful development, and non-competitive serious play.  A perfect way to start an active life!  Find them on Facebook.


Kindred Kids – We’re once again partnering with one of the greatest kid-focused non-profits around.  An organization that strives to let kids help kids, Kindred Kids is worth the drive to Columbus, just to hang out and be around these amazing people (which is something you can do!)  ”We chose the name “Kindred Kids” because there are commonalities shared by all kids. They really are all Kindred. Their differing abilities may make some of their needs different but their needs as children are the same.”  Find them on Facebook.


Mother Nature’s Diaper Service – Little bums love keeping the environment clean, and Mother Nature’s Diaper Service is here to help!  They deliver clean cloth diapers right to your door – Sounds dreamy!  Find them on Facebook.


First Moments Photography is the official photographer of the Spring 2012 Half-Pint!  I had our first family pictures taken by Danielle, and she managed to get great shots even though my child kept yelling “NO PICTURES!” We’re excited to have her on board.  Find her on Facebook.

-EC and LS

Shopping Tips for Fall 2011 Half-Pint Resale

Let’s do it!

This coming weekend is the 8th annual Half-Pint Resale, the area’s largest (and entirely local) children’s consignment sale.  With only a few days left before the sale, we hope you’ve got your resuable bags ready and your cheat sheets complete.

Here are a couple of other things that might help you with your shopping extravaganza:

1) Volunteers will be wearing black and will be wearing nametags.  They are here to help you!  There are a couple of volunteers with special duties that will really help you out:  Volunteers with a GEAR VOLUNTEER sign on their backs will help you purchase large items in the gear room/area so you can easily purchase them without hindering the rest of your shopping experience.    (For at least Friday, Gear will have it’s own special room off of the front lobby, so watch for it!)  Volunteers with a ASK ME ABOUT BABY CARRIERS sign on their backs are ladies who know a TON about baby carriers and will be hanging around in that area during a few hours of the sale to help you try carriers on and learn about what will be best for you and your baby.    We hope that these folks will help make your shopping experience better.  As always, we’d love to hear if it was a help!

2) Who are those folks selling delicious food/coffee of hot coffee outside our sale doors and in the Cafe on the other side of the Goodman Center building?  Why, it’s the ever delicious and socially conscious Ironworks Cafe. Trying to decide to buy or not to buy?  Just remember that every purchase helps teens learn important skills regarding running a business – or perhaps is even making a future chef!

3) Parking! We talk about alot about parking because it isn’t plentiful at the Goodman Community Center.  However, the staff there are truly fabulous and have worked with other businesses around the area to have overflow parking.   You’ll want to take a look at this post and map, but also be watchful for signs as you get to the center, as there may be signs out leading you to the jewel of the parking world.    And please, we are begging you NOT to park in anything labeled “fire lane”, “seniors only”, or  “no parking”, and in the Madison Kipp lot that is right across the railroad tracks from the GCC lot. (Danke!)

4) Spend some time reading through our Shopping Tips.   There are a few things to highlight…

5)  Strollers are NOT allowed during peak shopping times (anything before 5pm on Friday).   It gets so crowded and it would be unsafe for everyone.   We also highly recommend you not bring children.  We know – sometimes you have no choice!  But we’ve had several kids get lost (think kids shorter than the racks and at some peak shopping times, several hundred people packing the space).    Finally, Children of any size that are WORN in a carrier are ALWAYS welcome, anytime!  If you do bring kids, please make sure that they aren’t playing with the toys or sitting in the gear.  We’ve had kids break things which they become unsellable.  Thanks for understanding!

6) Like the last sale, there will not be an Express Lane at this sale...  I don’t imagine there are too many people saying boohoo because for those of you who have waited in that Express Lane earlier in the sale when the lines are longer, you know that it didn’t actually get you through any faster and was hard to manage.   We will continue to manage lines as best as possible and think you’ll find our new bagging system swift and our hard-working volunteers fabulous.

7) Check out all of our tips about holding items on our shopping tips page.  Remember that items can stay on the Hold table for one hour maximum.  PLEASE!  Don’t abandon items on this table!  Shoppers and consignors alike miss out!

8) Finally, don’t forget to bring a donation for the Goodman Community Center’s Fritz Food Pantry.  Thanks again to the Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream, everyone who donates will be entered to win ICE CREAM FOR A YEAR.    You will find the donation box in the Lobby of the Gymnasium (the location of the sale) Thursday – Saturday.

And last, but not least, We only take cash and check!  Keeping consignor checks as high as possible and keeping as much money  in the community as possible.  Thanks for understanding!

Looking forward to seeing you:
Friday, September 8- 2pm-9pm (new longer hours!), and Saturday, September 9- 9-Noon, and 1pm-5pm (when everything is half off!)

-Ellen and Lisa

PS If you haven’t seen it yet – make sure you check out the VIDEO of the last fall/winters sale in action!

the Amazing Half-Pint Community

We are so thankful for so many people in this community – our volunteers, consignors and shoppers – and we are grateful that there so many top-notch businesses and organizations in this community who make it such a great place to live for families.    Many of these businesses and orgs support Half-Pint Resale, and we wouldn’t be around if it wasn’t for them.    Take a second to learn about all of these amazing places who want to make Half-Pint Resale and buying thrifty possible for you and your family.    They all will have some sort of presence at the sale (a table, a floor sponsorship, a flyer at checkout) so you can learn more about all of them.

The next time you see them or shop at these local businesses, think about how much they care about you and the community.  Say Thanks!

Fitzgerald Photography– Mallory, of Fitzgerald Photography, has been the official Half-Pint photographer for several sales.   We love her work, and we love that she takes such amazing pictures of Half-Pint.  Post sale, check out our blog and maybe you’ll even see your pretty face!

Midwest Clay Project – Oh, how we love Midwest Clay Project.  You can see our blog post about a visit not that long ago and read about it’s wonders.  An awesome Half-Pint friend and volunteer just started up this project/studio on Willy Street on Madison’s east side (918 to be exact, and it’s nestled in between Madison Sourdough and Plan B).   The studio will be designed to be inspirational and dynamic for people of all abilities and all ages  (novice to professional).   The place is DESIGNED for kids to explore, and even to buy (a whole shelf of child-friendly little clay sculptures that they can buy for mere cents!).  I’m in love (do you think they’ll let me move in?).

Swim East
– Both Lisa and I have sent our kids to Swim East.  My son, who a year ago January was Afraid (despite the fact that he had been in the water since birth) of going to the deep end, even with me holding him, was an absolute fish by three weeks into Swim East and now can swim at the age of five across the pool.   My son, who is naturally adverse to many things in life BEGS to go to Swim Lessons.  Yes, the glory of Swim East.

Tenney Nursery and Parent Center
– An enriching, play-based preschool for children 2-6 years of age.  While our kids didn’t attend, we have a gazillion friends whose children did attend, and from all accounts, it’s a beautiful place to be as a child.  Could you want more for your little than to send them to a Preschool where they are taught to grow emotionally and respect their friends?  Plus they have a SUPER (read: awesomely fun) drop-in play time for babes and toddlers!    Good stuff!

Happy Bambino – Madison’s premier place to get  quality pregnancy and parenting resources, safe, green, locally-made products and  caring, hands-on support  – from pre-conception through birth and beyond.  If you are pregnant or a new parent, HB is the place to go. Their parenting resources and groups are out of this world.  They personally helped me through some major breastfeeding struggles, introduced me to several of my bestest friends, and saved my wallet issues (which are great, mind you) with their JuJeBe line.  AND on top of this, they’ve been HUGE Half-Pint supporters and such good friends to Lisa and I (uh oh, I’m getting teary), and they care so much about our community.   And their new location in Monona is Amazing, with a Capitol A.

Holistic Mom’s Network – When you become a parent, I think one of the first things you realize is the importance of community and having a network of people who have the same parenting philosophy.  Which is one of the reasons that groups like the HMN is so important.  If you are interested in holistic health and living green (which we know so many of you Half-Pinters are!) then you can’t find a better place to be the first Thursday of every month!  They meet right here at the Goodman Community Center in Boltz B (one of their beautiful rooms inside the building), 6:45pm.

Holy Cross Lutheran Church Preschool – We love when we find preschools right in our neighborhood.  And with so many types of preschools out there, there is one that fits the beliefs of every parent in town.  They have a robust 3K and 4K curriculum that contains a religious and well-rounded focus.  Check them out!

Madison Area Community Land Trust – Their url – – explains it all.  How does this affordable housing non-profit make homes affordable? Very simply, you buy the house (at a price below market-rate) but don’t buy the land. You rent the land from MACLT under a “lease”, which makes the home less expensive to purchase because you don’t have to pay for/finance the cost of the land.  This amazing organization is available for income-qualified individuals and families.  They currently have houses for sale, and are willing to talk to folks who are interested in exploring home ownership through the Land Trust more.  Check out their website or give them a call!  (This might be thrifty at it’s Prime.)

Madison Children’s Museum – A new, and proud!, sponsor of Half-Pint Resale, the Madison Children’s Museum is one of the most amazing destinations for kids in town.  My kids adore the museum, and were (a little too) excited when I told them about the possibility of having a birthday party there.   Check out our birthday party post here, where we also talk the virtues of MCM membership.  For a low-cost, you can use the MCM as your new drop-in play space.  We like to go in between errands or while we are downtown getting dinner or participating in “political activities”.  I’m excited for this summer because we don’t have air conditioning in our house and it might be what gets us through another (hot) summer.  (Oh, and watch for their birthday party coupons at their table!)

Madison Birth Center is Wisconsin’s first free-standing Nationally Accredited Birth Center.   All care is provided by certified nurse-midwives and professional-midwives, using traditional midwifery principles. Midwives are experts in caring for healthy women experiencing normal pregnancies!  They attend births at home and in their unbelievably beautiful birth center.  The care is safe, cost- effective, and empowering.  Sign up and take a tour at Madison Birth Center, mention Half-Pint and your name will be put into a drawing for a Medela Freestyle Hands-Free Breastpump!

Isthmus Parents – Have you checked out their new site?!  I love this site – the blog is funny (I found myself nodding one too many times) and their listings for what is going on around town is easy to read, informative and complete!

UW-Madison Infant Learning Lab conducts research on language development in babies and toddlers. Volunteer 15 minutes of your baby’s time, and receive a children’s book, t-shirt, or $10!  We’ve done these studies ourselves and our kids fine them fun, and we feel like we are doing something important to promote the understanding of our little tykes – Sign up now!

CranioSacral Therapy is a “manual therapy that encourages your own natural health mechanisms to dissipate the negative effects of stress on your central nervous system.”   The therapy helps the body correct restrictions that it has been unable to overcome on its own, with a goal of improving overall health and resistance to disease.   For mommas and babies alike, this therapy can really help folks after birth.  We hear that the benefits of this therapy on babes/toddlers with colic is staggering!  Check out the flyer at the Half-Pint check-out to learn more about a local provider Patricia Smith who also practices with GHC (for those of you who can use their complimentary health benefit!)

Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream is giving away a YEARS SUPPLY OF ICE CREAM to one lucky person who donates to our baby food drive at the sale.   Not that you wouldn’t be generous without it, but it’s sure a nice incentive to remember to bring your donation!  Yum.

Kindred Kids – Our official Half-Pint charity – they are the recipients of all of those items that aren’t sold and are donated by our consignors.   Meeting the needs of family’s who have children with special needs, they are a caring life-line to so many, which is why we are so very proud to be associated with them.  And they have this super cool lending library, which we talk about in this blog post. Check it out!

-Ellen and Lisa