Tagged local

Join us at the 12th Annual Half-Pint Resale!

It’s time for the 12th annual Half-Pint Resale!   (Find all of the times on our Upcoming Sale page)

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This coming weekend is the 12th annual Half-Pint Resale, the area’s largest 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.  Cool nights and crisp fall leaves are around the corner– and my guess is that there are littles (and school-aged bigs) who could use some new-to-you clothing, some gear, some toys, and how about a few holiday or birthday gifts stashed away – all on a budget?!

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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 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.

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 this sale’s Food Carts (which will be during lunch and dinner hours Friday-Sunday).  You are more than welcome to come and hang out – we only ask that you leave all unpurchased items on the sales floor.  Thanks!

The 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.   It may be warm, it may be cool, it all depends!

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 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 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.  THANKS for understanding!!

5) 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!

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

7)  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.

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Looking forward to seeing you:
Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013- 8am-7pm (new later hours)
Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013- 8am-1pm when everything is half off!

-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 new awesome Midwest Clay Project handmade mugs (tees and reuseable bags still availble 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.


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.


Love them!

We know you love Half-Pint.  and we have to tell you, Half-Pint wouldn’t be around if it wasn’t for these following businesses.  We’re not big in the advertising department, but Seriously folks, Half-Pint wouldn’t be possible for us to continue without the amazing local businesses who come forward to say HEY! WE LOVE HALF-PINT, TOO!  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!
Connor Health and Family Wellness – We met these folks at the Atwood Summerfest and they handed us this green seaweed drink that filled us with health and energy for hours!  They focus on alot of the things that new parents need help with – chronic pain, nutritional deficiencies and more.  Dr. Laura Connor is a Chiropractor by trade, and also a momma!

Fitzgerald Photography– Mallory, of Fitzgerald Photography, has been the official Half-Pint photographer for several sales.  When she first came to us, she was just starting out her business, but now, she has even announced that she is moving beyond just (as if this is a just) photographing babies and family’s in their natural settings – but now she is also doing event photography!  Think capturing the perfect moments at your child’s first or fifth or tenth birthday, or how about your trip to the Pumpkin Patch this fall?  (Just think, you, too, the family photography could be IN the pictures for once.  Seems like you should make up an occasion just so you can finally take your place in your family’s photographic history!)

Stroller Strides – I have several friends who are workout fiends.  We all know, post-baby – it’s hard to get back into the swing of things.  So when when they all said “HOLY COW!  Those Stroller Stride workouts are kicking my Butt…” I knew it was the real thing.  Want to get back in shape but have baby in tow?  Perfect!  Pack em up in their stroller and go!  You’ll both love it.

Midwest Clay Project – 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).   Their goal is to more than just hook people up to some clay and a wheel (ceramics, to be specific!).  The studio will be designed to be inspirational and dynamic for people of all abilities (novice to professional).  On top of all of this (and here are all of my favorite parts) – they are set up to accommodate children and adults with a wide range of physical abilities and special needs and will have a wheelchair accessible wheel!  AND they are going to have a sales gallery with a  shelf of objects for children to buy that are under a dollar.  I’m in love (do you think they’ll let me move in?).  Their website will be up in just a week or two, so check back!

Swim East – Both Lisa and I have sent our kids to Swim East.  My son, who last 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 just yesterday he said to me -“Hey, Mom, when am I going to swimming lessons again?  I loved swimming lessons.  They taught me cool tricks about swimming and I need to learn more.”   Yes, the glory of Swim East.

Mother Nature’s Diapers – Cloth Diapering isn’t easy.  Mother Nature’s Diapers, who is back sponsoring us for a second year, makes cloth diapering almost a snap. Not only are they saving the world by offering a non-disposable alternative for busy families, but using a commercial service actually saves water and energy.

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?  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).  OH!  And they are going to have a huge giveaway AND chocolate at their table.

Natale Photography – Pregnant Momma bellies are gorgeous.  Both times I was pregnant, I wore bikinis All summer.  It was the first  and second time I’ve ever worn a bikini.  Oh, bellies!!!!!  Natale Photography takes GORGEOUS shots of bellies.  It’s one of those times that you’ll look back on some day and realize that, even though it felt like a long 9 months, it is gone so fast.  I wish I had taken the time to Love my belly more and capture it in all it’s glory and beauty.  Do it.

Bloom Bakeshop -My fulltime daytime gig is in Middleton, just a block away from Bloom Bakeshop.  It’s one of those things that you might think is a curse of sorts (such temptation), but when you find out what they make their bakery from, well, you realize you’ve just hit the jackpot as far as work locations.  Everything they make is from REAL ingredients.  You might remember, that before ingredients that only sounded like food existed, people actually baked with real honest-to-goodness food. And it’s DELICIOUS. They even have a whole line of yummy goodness that is dairy and/or gluten free so if you are a nursing momma or have a kiddo with allergies, this is your Bakery.  Did I mention that they are a pickup point for a local Egg CSA?

Willowpads – We love things that are reusable (oh, you could tell?)  The folks over at the Willow Store and Willowpads are LOCAL, they are USA made, and they are pure awesome quality.  From diapers to feminine hygiene products, to reusable wipes.    Made with organic cotton and hemp you’ll be treating yourself and your baby well.

EnAct – EnAct is a program to help you live a greener, more sustainable life and to build community. Using their book as a guide, you can work on your own or create a team of friends, coworkers, or neighbors.   Together, you will discover more than 1,000 actions to conserve energy, waste less, save water, drive less, eat well, and save money!  All things we all care about.

Madison Waldorf  School
– Waldorf education is such a beautiful thing.  It addresses children’s intellectual capacities with lessons that reach their heart, head and hands, but also encourages their sense of wonder and joy in being alive in the world today.  Joy of being alive!!!!!!!!  What a nurturing way to raise your child.  The cool thing about the Madison Waldorf school is that they are growing in size each year as their first class ages.  And on top of that, they have toddler playgroups where children play with playsilks, make crowns from nature objects, and bake together in a communal baking project.

Madison Smile Solutions – Children and babies need dental visits, too!  The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that babies have their first visit by their first birthday – and Madison Smile Solutions offers these visits for FREE!  They are parents themselves (and even have  a new baby) and care greatly about families and children – so much so that they even have a section on their website dedicated to the issues that you and your children should care about.

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 visited last year.  Check it out!


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!


Half-Pint Tees are here!

You have been asking for them, so we jumped through many-a-hoop to make it happen. Original designed, hand screen-printed T-SHIRTS ARE HERE!  (We can’t help ourselves,  we have to do it Right.)

Let me tell you, though, it was a lot of fun.

First, we searched high and low and these two awesome guys, Drew Garza and Scott Pauli, took up our cause to design some original and graphic Half-Pint Tees (see below for their information).  SUCH NICE GUYS to work with, and holy cats, as creative as all get out.  After a few email chats, they set to work, and came up with designs that are beyond cool, beyond perfect.

They then set us up with Screen Door Studio, this great shop on Williamson Street that prints everything by hand.  They ordered us samples, gave us a lot of direction (since we had never done this before) and even let us come in to watch them print the tees (they called it a Press Check – which seemed all official from a customer point of view – but as a creative type, I was thrilled that they let me observe them in action!)

And between Scott and Drew, and Dorla and Scott and their crew at Screen Door,  we are THRILLED to show you the results of the work.

Tees will be on sale at Half-Pint in just three weeks – we had contemplated doing presales, and pickups, and web orders, and so and so and so, but we have so much to do to get ready for the sale we gave up that Ghost.  But we’re confident you are going to luuuuuvvvvv them so much you will still remember to tack one on to your purchase.

We also want to tell you that we are selling the tee’s at (basically) our cost.   Good, quality shirts, and good quality artistic efforts require Good Quality pricing.    We hope you’ll agree!    After seeing them meticulously print each shirt, We’re  even more convinced that we got a steal and that you’ll adore the product.  We did a small print run on these, so they are limited edition!

Treat yourself! (and since so many of you asked for these, here is hoping you really WILL want to buy them!)

– Paprika short sleeved tone-on-tone shirts (Gildan soft-spun)  are in Adult (general Sizing) – S, M, L, and XL – $12
– Grey on Black long sleeved (Bella) are in Women’s sizing, Small and Large (but trust us, these shirts STRETCH so they fit a WIDE range of sizes) – $15
– Two-Toned trike on Black long sleeved (Baby Bella) are in baby/kid sizes, 3-6 month, 6-12 month, 2T, 3T and 4T – $10

Scott and Drew are people you want to hire.    I know the shirts speak for themselves, but they got DIRECTLY at the essence of what we were looking for.  And on top of that, why would you not want to work with folks who would donate their time to the Half-Pint Cause?  You can contact them at paulidesign at gmail dot com.

And Screen Door Studios – oh, how we love thee!  We can’t wait to take them another project.  To be able to work with a printer who would give us that kind of personal attention and let us do several small print runs without batting an eye…   Unheard of.  Give them a try!  A Madison original.

-Ellen and Lisa

5 days of free stuff at Happy Bambino

Most people ask for gifts for their birthday.  Not Happy Bambino!   They are turning 5 this week, and with true local love, they are giving away $5000 worth of goodies in five days.  (Can you believe it?!?!?!)  The great part is that there are lots of prizes over several days, so your odds of winning are much higher if you hang out with HB for the next few days and participate.

How to find out how to win all of this amazing stuff?  Join their mailing list or check out their website.

Each day of the five days they are posting info on their site as well as sending out an email with instructions on your job for the day.   Yesterday, all I had to do is look at these amazing packages and decide which I loved most.

Hard, I know.

So, join the fun!  Happy Bambino is an amazing resource for local families, and we would NEVER miss a good party.

-Ellen and Lisa