From Thrifty Finds

Sale 16

postcard front

Consignor and Volunteer Registration are Open July 15!
Fall – the leaves, the crisp weather!  Doesn’t sound SO awful when the heat and humidity hit.  Either way, we know people are already school shopping (ack!) so we may as well get fall prep underway!
There are a couple new little tidbits that might be of “news” to our returning Consignors.  Read more about these changes on our Consignor Page before you register.
Have you been to Half-Pint Resale? It’s the area’s largest children’s consignment sale, with items for kids ages 0-12, pregnant mommas, and new parents. With tens of thousands of items sold in just three days (see the video), local families can put their gently used goods back into the community and some money back in their pockets, and shoppers get great deals, knowing that their dollars are heading right back into the community.

REGISTER TO CONSIGN

For those of you who are new to consigning, check out the Consigning area of our website for loads of info that will explain how it all works, and learn about all of the fabulous perks of consigning including 70% of your sales (the highest of any other consignment sale in the area and always 70% whether or not you volunteer), and a special pre-sale all for you!

Barcodes you say?  Once you are registered through our online system, you be able to print out barcodes that correspond with your specific Consignor Number and the Price.  Barcodes are then copied easily onto labels.  Labels are affixed to a tag, giving you the flexibility to tag with a glass of wine in front of the TV or with a gaggle of friends (you can see where our priorities continue to lie, hey?).  Don’t worry, we spell it all out for you on our consignor page!

And guess what?  Choose to donate any goods not sold post sale to the non-profits that Half-Pint supports and you will be automatically be eligible to win a $100 Food Fight Gift Certifcate (yum!).

REGISTER TO VOLUNTEER

We have a lot of fun, so you should Join us! Plus, you get in to the first Presale! There are many kinds of volunteer opportunities and a huge variety of times available. Can’t make the presale? You can join us at the Consignor Presale instead!

Be a HALF-PINT SUPPORTER!

Want to get the word out about your family-friendly business/non-profit to area families? Find out more!

If you haven’t already, make sure you join our email list and like us on Facebook so that you can get in on fun contests and find more ways to get your pre-Half-Pint fix!

What's New

Carrier Breakdown

What's New

by Cynthia Bachhuber, Babywearing International of Madison

For all the bouncy seats, swings, baby gyms, and strollers that crowd your house, I’m willing to bet that baby spends much of her time being toted around in-arms. They love it. We love it…sometimes. Other times though, you need a hand for the toddler, or you have to do the dishes, or you just want to make yourself a sandwich. Enter, baby carriers. Parents have been using tools to keep themselves hands-free while carrying babe since the beginning of time. A carrier should definitely be high on your list of baby essentials.

Check out this breakdown of different types of carriers and what you may see at Half Pint. Also, be sure to like Babywearing International of Madison.  We meet monthly to try out carriers and help each other with tips (third Saturday fo the month at Happy Bambino!). All babywearers welcome!  (all of these pictures are of members of the club!)

boba wrap   stretchy wrap

Stretchy Wraps

Stretchy wraps hug your baby to you with three layers of cozy, stretch jersey. Brands you may encounter at Half Pint include Moby, Boba, Sleepy Wrap and K’Tan. There are slight variations in feel, but these all function the same. These types of wraps are great for newborns. They’re soft, snuggly, and very secure. On the other hand, stretchy wraps can feel quite hot (not a big problem for fall/winter babies). They are also only safe for carrying on your front and often feel unsupportive once baby reaches roughly 15 pounds.

The big sister to stretchy wraps is woven wraps. These wraps are woven, not knit, and therefore do not have the same give that allows you to pre-tie a stretchy wrap and pop baby in and out. However, woven wraps are much more supportive, retain less heat, and will last throughout your babywearing days. With a woven, you can tie it in innumerable ways to carry baby on your front, hip or back. Wovens are much less common at Half Pint, but you might come across one (look for brands like Wrapsody, Dolcino, Storchenwiege, or Didymos).

sling

Slings

There are two types of slings: ring slings and pouch slings. Of these, a ring sling is a much more versatile and long-lasting choice. Ring slings are AMAZING at what they do. Lovely for tiny newborns, the easiest carrier for nursing, and perfect for toddlers who want up and down all the time. Ring slings are quick and infinitely adjustable for the perfect fit at any age. The down side is that it is a one-shoulder carry, so it’s not good for hiking or long-term wear with a heavier child.

Pouch slings are basically ring slings with the adjustability taken out. Common brands include Seven Slings and Peanut Shell. They fold up very small, and are easy to toss in a diaper bag or a glove compartment. However, since they are sized, it’s hard to share one sling between partners. Also, pouch slings work better for older babies with head control and who can easily sit on your hip.

soft structured wrap

Soft Structured Carriers


SSCs go FAST at Half Pint, so if you’re hoping to score one, head to the baby carrier section first. The most ubiquitous brand we see is the ErgoBaby, but other brands such as the Beco, Boba, and Tula are fantastic choices too. SSCs are quick, convenient, and intuitive to use – if you can wear a backpack, you can figure out an SSC. Babies can grow from an infant riding on your front to a toddler riding piggyback and enjoying the view. You can make an SSC work with for newborn, but they are much more functional when baby reaches 4-months or so.

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Mei Tais


Mei tais are awesome! They’re similar to an SSC, but instead of a waist strap that clicks and backpack-style arm straps, they have a tie waist and long shoulder straps that you wrap around yourself and tie. This allows mei tais to be shared between partners easily because you never have to readjust the sizing. You also tend to get a snugger, tighter carry than with an SSC. They straddle the gulf between wraps and SSCs. Pretty convenient, but also nice and cozy. Mei tais can be used from birth and can position baby on your front, hip or back. Brands you might find at Half Pint include Infantino, BabyHawk, and CatBird.

 

Front Packs


Front packs or narrow-based carriers are the term for the ubiquitous harness-style baby carriers (Bjorn and Snuggli are two brands you’re sure to see). These packs are safe, but most parents discover that they become uncomfortable quickly. They also generally do not provide great head support for young infants, so you may find that these are more like one-handed carriers than hands-free. That said, you can usually scoop up one of these for a song, and with an easy hack, it can become a budget-friendly, comfortable carrier. (Hack, you say? Check it out here: http://www.fineandfairblog.com/2013/12/narrow-based-carrier-scarf-hack.html)

frame backpack

Frame Backpacks

You’ll find a whole host of frame packs by brands like Kelty at Half Pint. These are too cumbersome for day-to-day wear (try to stash that in your stroller basket or diaper bag), but they are a great choice if you’re doing some true hiking. Frame packs give babies a great view of their surroundings, keep you and baby separate so you’re not sweating on each other, and often include some storage. Due to their construction, frame backpacks are only for older babies starting at 10-12 months.

On great thing to remember is that baby carriers tend to have very good resale value. So don’t be too afraid of making the “wrong” choice. If you want to try something else down the road, you can easily sell what isn’t working anymore. Happy shopping and happy wearing!

Half-Pint Supports Kindred Kids

We really love Kindred Kids.  Yep, we love it because one of our fabulous volunteers started the non-profit after she saw a need in the community.  And we love it because it helps families of children with differing needs.  We love that it involves kids in helping kids, and that they find creative ways to involve the community.  We love it for all of those things – and we love it because it’s the thrifty thing to do.

You should check out Kindred Kids new website (some students from MATC designed it – not too shabby, eh?!) and read all about their mission.  But you should also check out Kindred Kids because they have a toy lending library for all kids.   And it’s only $5 a month.  WHAT you say?  I was surprised the first time I heard about it, too.  But it’s such an awesome idea.  Your kids love new toys, but your budget doesn’t. For only $5 you can go to Kindred Kids and borrow toys. Just return them a month later, and get some new ones!  New toys every month for a total of $60 a year, the price of two toys at Toys’R Us.  That certainly is thrifty!  The toy lending library is free for any children of differing abilities.

All toys and clothing not purchased that is donated at the end of the sale goes to this great non-profit.  They sell the clothing cheap (not only as a resource for families, but to help them raise funds for the services they offer), and they add the toys into the lending library.   Kindred Kids even purchases items at Half-Pint to add to their resource area for families with children of different abilities to use (for example, chairs like bumbos are great for kids who have a hard time sitting up).

When I asked Wendy, their director, what Kindred Kids was up to since we last visited, she had a lot to say!

“So much has changed!  We’ve moved down the street – now we are much bigger (5400+ sq feet compared to 1700 at the old location!)  We have a retail area with a snack bar in case the little ones get hungry for a healthy snack.  We even have carts to push  and cars for the kiddos to ride around in!!!

The building has several different areas, which is great because we used to have to drive from storage unit to storage unit to pick up the specialized equipment that families needed.    Now one area in the building stores all of those items.  We also now we have one area that is the toy library, another area that is a play room that has a party room attached to it.  There is a nice sized community resource room and library, and another whole room devoted to just kids gear.

Starting the first saturday in April we are expanding our ours and will be open 12-5 tues-fri and 10-1 on saturdays.   Thursday nights we have a ladies volunteer group.  It’s always drop in and project focused so that  mamma’s can stop in after 6pm for munchies and conversation while we work together on a variety of volunteer projects.  Nursing babies are welcome, too!  We are also gearing up for a Tuesday morning playgroup to start sometime in the next few months.

Our new addy is 951 W. James street,which is right next to Dollar General… a Columbus landmark on the main drag that is easy to find.  We also have tons of parking in our lot that is not next to a major highway so it is convenient and safe for moms and kiddos.”

Lots of folks really love to get their items back post sale (no problem, happy to do it) but if you are considering donating unsold items, Kindred Kids will be thrilled to accept the donation.  “Half-Pint Resale is such a blessing for our organization,” says Wendy.

No, Wendy, Kindred Kids is such a blessing for our community!  We – and the Half-Pint Community – are happy to help.

-EC and LS

Birthday Party WonderLand (on sale?!)

I don’t know about you, but birthday parties bring me a fair amount of anxiety. My family loves to celebrate, and we love parties.  But kid’s birthday parties, to me, bring an extra dose of exhaustion.  We live in a small house, so the question always begs – do we have it here?  How many kids do we  invite?  Will their parents fit, and if they don’t, how many kids can I actually watch at once?  Do I make the cake?   And then there is the trip to the party store for the decorations, the craft store for the activity materials  that I don’t plan until the days  before, and the food, and the party bags, and don’t forget to grab balloons the day of the party…    Before you know it, the cheap, easy little party you were planning has consumed your week and budget, and the kids haven’t even arrived yet.

Certainly we all LOVE to celebrate our little’s birthdays, and we want them have fun, memorable celebrations.  How do it and still stay sane?

We think we may have found the answer.

Did you know that our top ranked Madison Children’s Museum now offers birthday party packages?  BINGO!

Yep, there are a lot of different fun places around town that offer birthday party packages.  But I think that this one offers one of the best deals in town, hands down.     For a comparable price to other packages in town, you get:

  • Museum admission for up to 12 children and their adults.    This might be enough right here – 12 kids playing at the Children’s Museum (arguably the most fun place in town and certainly the one that my kids ask for the most) AND their adults.  No more worry about whether or not you will be able to track down 12 squirrely kids, cause the adults can come for free.    Pick a time slot earlier in the day and those 12 kids and their adults can stay the rest of he day to explore the museum.  It’s like a giant free gift for your birthday party attendees.
  • Birthday cupcakes and Beverages.  And guess what?  The cupcakes are made by Bean Sprouts Cafe, which means that it’s more than just yummy, it’s good for you, and YOU didn’t have to try and figure out how to hide the carrots or beets in the cake.
  • A free Children’s Museum Tee for your kiddo.  (Happy Birthday from the Museum!)
  • Tableware, Decorations, Set-up, Clean-up, Take down.  All of those details that aren’t exactly fun.  You didn’t have to bring a thing, and you don’t need to make a trip to the party store.   And you don’t need to clean up the green frosting your son smashed all over the floor.
  • A “Funstigator” .  Which means you don’t necessarily have to be the life of the party and you can keep your clown nose at home.
  • Lots of additional add-on options, including party bags, healthy snacks or lunch items, and party themes (complete with a cool activity – see the “Activity Party” heading, or voila, the “Cooking Party” heading!!)

A Half-Pint mom recently shared with us why they held their 7 year old daughter’s last party there.  “The new museum is her favorite place and we wanted to do something extra special for her this year and we knew she and her friends would have a very fun and memorable experience.”  What was her favorite part of the party?  “The whole thing was awesome, but I’d have to say that the scavenger hunt activity was really great. Emmie and her guests were detectives solving the mystery of the missing cupcakes by gathering clues scattered throughout the museum. The kids even made mustaches and detective badges for the hunt! They really ate it all up!”

(Aside – I don’t know about you,  but I can’t imagine how long it would take me to come up with a full scavenger hunt, and honestly, would I want my child and 11 of his friends running around my house unearthing Gosh only knows what finding things?  No thank you)

So on top of it already being a good deal…

When you come to Half-Pint Resale next week, you’ll be able to SCORE a $15 off-a-party coupon, thanks to the awesome generosity of the museum, a Half-Pint Resale Sponsor. Already a member at the museum – which I would personally recommend-  Get $25 off!

And for those of you who have been *thinking* about purchasing a membership, I personally can’t recommend it highly enough.  With so much to do for our entire family (even us) it’s become a favorite destination.  My almost-6 year old likes it as much – if not more – than our 2 year old, and I adore going because I feel artistically inspired every time I’m there.  I also personally love sitting at the bottom of the Hodgepodge Mahal.)   Between the classes, the discounts around town (which I didn’t even know about until today!) check out their prices online – and did you know that they offer reduced-fee memberships to people who qualify?)

So don’t forget to pick up your coupon when you are at the sale next week.  It will add an extra dose of thriftyness you can’t get anywhere else-

-EC

They make Half-Pint Resale Happen

When Half-Pint set out to find community sponsors, we did so with One main rule in mind.  We wanted our fabulous sponsors (who honestly make Half-Pint possible, and if you think I’m kidding…  well…. I’m not) to be RESOURCES for you, our Super Shoppers and Consignors.  We didn’t want to overwhelm you with stuff you don’t need.  Instead we wanted to share with you parenting and life resources that have made Us better parents, better moms, better community members;  that in short have made life better in some way.

So here we are, at our seventh sale.  With well over 250 consignors expected to register (we’re already cruising quicly past 100, and consignor registration has only been open a week!), with thousands of shoppers expected to attend and purchase the over 15,000 items we’ll have for sale, I sometimes can’t believe how much we’ve grown.  We’re thankful to have all of your continued support in spreading the news about the parenting, budgeting and (hopefully) sanity-saving resource that has become Half-Pint Resale.  And we want to invite you to become a sponsor or to help us get the word out by offering up a partnership trade.

What are all of these options, you ask?  It’s no secret!  Just click here, and send us a note (we’re not hard to find) or give us a call if you’re interested!

And while you are at it, take a gander at the fabulous FABULOUS folks we had for our last sale.   We still love them all as much as we did then, and maybe even more!!!

-Ellen and Lisa

PS And has someone sent you are way, but you’re still a little confused on how this all works?  See for yourself, or check out some insider info here.

 

Midwest Clay Project

From the beginning of Half-Pint, we’ve had an amazing friend in Jennifer Lapham.  She’s been more than a consignor and volunteer, she’s been a friend who has stayed late and helped our brain-dead heads stay in the game to get things prepped for each sale.

And now that same amazing Jennifer has started her own fabulous business that we can’t rave enough about!  (and not just us; read about them on Madison.com)

Midwest Clay Project is “A place to work in clay for people of all ages and abilities”.  And it really is!  My kids and I could best be described as a giant tornado.  And you generally don’t allow tornados at clay studios.  But that isn’t the case at Midwest Clay Project.  Jennifer and her awesome staff have created a place for all ages – from my two year old little (who exlaims everytime we go, “I cut!”) and my five year old boy (who has more energy than can be stored in his body), to adults of all ages.  Neither myself nor my children know anything about clay, but so far we’ve successfully created little snowmen, beads and other assorted “modern” pieces.

For just $10, your child  can hang out and play with clay for over an hour.  Then, their pieces are fired, and they can go back and paint on an underglaze (that is similar to the final color),  for no cost.  The pieces are then dipped in a glaze, put through the kiln, and then ready for pickup!   (Kids under the age of three are free and welcome as well, as long as they don’t eat the clay.)

So today, on this snowy MLK day, my family (minus the two year old, but plus another 5 year old friend) went back to the beautiful and brightly painted studio.  The H-Man was busy creating a new clay piece (a “spiral cup”), and our little lady friend was busy painting her fired pieces.   There was another family in the studio while we were there – a mom and her two middle schoolers, who exclaimed “There aren’t many places to bring kids this age, so this place is amazing.”  There were also a few adults busy working on the wheels.

With classes for people of all ages and abilities, with a space that accepts all kids they way they are, with a place that invites in the whole community – how could it not be enormously successful?

So go in and try it out.  If you think you might make a habit of it (which you should, and your kids will want to), you can buy a punch card for $50, and get 6 sessions!   I love knowing that it’s there waiting for us.

Check out their website for information on classes (including information on kid’s open studio), visiting nationally known instructors, gallery events, and more.  Or just hop on over and stop in!  (You can’t miss it – they are conveniently located next to Madison Sourdough on Willy Street…  Before you leave, don’t forget to pop into MSCo for a 55cent chocolate cherry cookie; it’s a good way to refuel after so much creative work…)

And make sure you your kids bring some extra change from their piggy bank, because for only fifty cents, they can shop the “kids shelf” in the gallery area and bring home a little piece of art, all their own.

Oompa, Loompa! & Last day to register to consign!

I just wandered over to Oompa, the great children’s store right off the beltline in Middleton (which makes it a short trip for most anyone, really).  They are giving out a 20% coupon to their store JUST for registering to consign.  Bingo!  Good stuff, hey?  Speaking of consigning, TODAY is your LAST day to register to consign.  The magics of our form system will TURN OFF at midnight tonight.  Make the move!

And speaking of Oompa, they are having a great event tomorrow (Saturday, Sept. 11th, 1-3pm)  in honor of Grandparent’s Day! We’re talking a Book signing and activity with local author Ellie Schatz.   Check out Oompa’s other free activities that are coming up as well!

-Ellen

Eating for Cheap

Last week my family and I went on a much needed vacation. My goal? To relax as much as is possible (given that I have two small boys, this seemed like a huge hurdle to cross). and TWO – to go through my entire pile of outdated magazines. This was quite the pile.

And now I have quite the stack of torn out somethings. Recipes, Quotes, Craft ideas, House color ideas, House design ideas. Ranging from the practical (but who has time to do it) to the Totally Impractical (but all of the more appealing).

In my stack, though, I found two themes that I think we can all resonate with. Fast and Cheap. I have more advice about cheap than I do fast. Let me know if you know of good fast advice.

But what I CAN share with you are a few tidbits I found. One of my favorites is this article on “Top 10 Money-Saving Ingredients“) – not because I didn’t already know what items are cheap at the store (oh, I know), but because there are recipes that are linked to each item. It made me rethink my tagging system in evernote as well.

I’ve got another article on how to eat WELL and cheap – where to scrimp and save, and where to spend the big bucks (when you have a few to spare). Watch for it later this week-

-Ellen

Being thrifty becomes enjoyable, doesn’t it?

Sometimes I wish I had more money.  I get the catalogs, I peer in the windows at Anthropologie, and dream of the day when we suddenly have a fortune so I can buy that new dish set I saw in the “summer section” at Target, or just make that house repair we need without the endless figuring out and calculating of when and how.

When I dream of that world,most of the time I soon will start to think about all of my trips to my favorite thrift stores, and the thrill of the hunt (and the find).  I start to list in my head all of the fabulous things that I’ve gotten that I couldn’t have even gotten in the store.  I think about the things I’ve made, the vintage goods, and the items that I’ve gotten so cheap I shouldn’t even mention it (ok, I will, my favorite ever was the Oink Baby terry cloth orange, blue and brown slim-fitting Romper that Lisa spent a small fortune on using eBay – thinking she was getting a good deal at half-off of retail – but me, oh me!  I got it basically free at the Dig and Save.  Yep, 50 cents a pound on Wednesdays.  Maybe it cost a Quarter?).

I digress.

The thrill of living thrifty – it’s like a game.  A giant treasure hunt.  An inside joke – you know – they all paid full price, but HA!  I’m thrifty.  I got it cheap.  I love it.  I might – just might – love it more than having the ability to buy whatever I need, or well, want.

So if you’re with me (and I’m guessing you are – you shop Half-Pint Resale, after all!) then you’ll really appreciate this article.  Yeah, yeah, she does it all so she can take a lavish vacation.  We’re probably doing it, in some cases, so we can pay for that car repair, or so our daughter can take gymnastics lessons.  But the way she describes the life she’s living, the kick she got out of the expensive boutique coat, well, it will resonate.

Take a read.   What do you think?  Does buying new (or, since some of us are so good at finding new Cheap, shall I say – full price) feel less energetic?  Less imaginative?  Why are you thrifty?

-Ellen

Playing it Safe – for cheap.

This last winter I heard about what might be Madison’s Most Well-Kept thrifty secret – especially if you have babies or children and are interested in keeping them safe. (So, that would be all of us). My kids and I decided to take a little trip downtown and check it out ourselves.


The Kohl’s Safety Center, located inside the American Family Children’s Hospital, could be your one-stop-shop for all things safety related.  Last year, they sold over 1,400 bike helmets, and almost 1000 car seats.

The best part about it?  They sell them all AT COST. They also carry all of the locks and latches you need, bath thermometers and spout covers, electrical outlet and power strip covers, safety gets, bed rails, life jackets, table bumpers, Bike helmets (for toddlers to adults), Multi-Sport helmets, FREE Gun locks, Fire extinguishers, carbon monoxide an smoke alarms, books…  I could keep going, but you get the point.

They have free services – education and demonstrations on proper use/installation on ALL products they offer, helmet fittings, free car seat inspections (by appointment), presentations to groups, and safety advice by phone and email (!).

And because children with special health care needs face increased risk from unintentional injuries, the center created a Safety For Special Kids Committee that reviews and suggests specialized safety products and provides education.  They also help provide these products to special needs families at low or no cost.

Seriously, do you see how amazing this place is?  To find out more, just click here.   They are open Monday-Friday (10am-4pm – these hours aren’t updated on their site yet). To get there, park in the lot, and then head up to the main lobby and take a left and you’ll see a big rack of bike helmets waiting for you!

It’s worth the trip. We got three bike helmets, a few safety items, and a life-jacket all for $50.82. There isn’t an excuse not to be safe anymore.

-EC