Tagged tips

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.

What's New

Laundry Tips!

What's New

I am not so good in the laundry department.  And this came to “light” as we were working on tagging this past weekend.  So last week Friday, we posted a challenge on our facebook page – give us your best suggestions, and the best idea will win a gift certificate to this coming weekend’s Half-Pint sale!

But your ideas rock, as do your product suggestions.  I plan to implement many!  Here are my favorites (and head to our facebook page to read them all!)

(Winner of the $10 Gift Certificate) – I agree with soaking right away. We also take ALL of our kids clothes and soak them in the sink next to the washer with water and oxi-clean or some similar oxygen based bleach while doing the first load of not-so-likely to be stained items (grown-ups clothes, towels, etc). That way we are pre-treating stains that we might not even know are there. (SP) Editor’s Note – The reason why I love this is that it makes up for the fact that I know that I won’t take the time to pretreat any stains, despite the fact that it probably saves the day in almost all cases.  A little sorting at the washer is about is easy as it might get.

(Solid Runner-up)I love BioKleen! I’ve got a bottle hanging on the laundry hamper, one in the bathroom – for soaking and diapers, and another in the by the washer. (RP) Editor’s Note –  While vinegar, Shout, Biokleen, Ecover, Norwex, and oxy all got great reviews, the part I Love about this is the bottle hanging on the hamper.  Hmmm, I may have to get this a try.

And you gotta love that the thing that got the most reviews is the good ole’ sunshine.


Easy Gifts from the Heart

Have you heard of Buttoned-up?  Seriously great for those of us who really need to get things organized, and well, Buttoned-up.  Every year I make a New Years resolution to take care of this dirty deed, knowing it would be enjoyable and freeing to stay on top of the important matters in my life.  This year, with this great website I think I might have a chance.

They posted some great tips for giving from the heart – and some of them are free!  Lots of cool stuff to make (even for the non-crafty types!)  Wish books, books about yourself to give as keepsakes to your littles, baking, volunteering, freecycle events and more.

Have you run across any more great tips for the holidays?


Thrifty tips for the Holidays

 December is around the corner, and you’re probably thinking about the holidays.  I’ve already re-written my list twice, adding in some more inexpensive AND more meaningful gifts, trying to bridge the difference between what I know my friends and family would love and my budget.

If you happen to get your hands on a copy of this month’s Wisconsin Woman, flip to page 16 and you’ll find our most recent article on a thrifty holidays.  Don’t want to wait that long?  The article is posted below.

Feel free to leave your ideas for a thrifty holidays!   We’ll be posting links in the next few weeks that can help you create more meaning of the days ahead.

-Ellen and Lisa




The holidays are a time when it becomes very easy to completely ignore the budget.  Experts will tell you that the best thing to do is to be cautious, make a list and stick to it, and try and not get lured in by the frenzy of spending..  We have a few more tips that will help you focus on what’s most important this holiday season.

– This is the year to invest time solidifying family traditions that direct attention away from the typical kid-focus on “getting”.  Perhaps it’s setting aside some funds to spend on a charity’s Holiday needs (check out the United Way’s Holiday Wish Book for ideas), or making cookies or holiday treats for your neighbors. In the Carlson family, traditions include baking together, going to the (free) Holiday Fantasy in Lights display at Olin Park and watching  favorite holiday movies.  We also make ornaments for everyone in the family, and write thank you notes to some of the farmers that supplied our holiday meal fixings.

Limit the number of gifts that each person in the family gets, to help control the  over-expectations of what Christmas morning should mean. This was easy in the Seidel household but took a little more encouraging for extended family who eventually agreed to 2 packages to open for each grandchild. Encourage family members to buy “recycled” gifts. Last year the Carson Clan set a limit of $10 per person, and between homemade art and thrift store bargains, the gifts were more meaningful than in years past.

– Give a “green” gift.  Have your child pick out a toy that has been used but not overly-well-loved, and give it as a gift for a friend or cousin who might enjoy the life left in the toy.

– Ask relatives who might spend money on a lot of items you don’t need, to think about gift giving as more long-term.  Suggest a museum membership, or paying for classes (such as music, art, and athletics).  Bonds or contributions to children’s 529 plans are a great investment in a child.

Give the “gift of time” to family and friends. Share a meal together as families in lieu of a gift exchange. Have your neighbors kids over for a sleepover so mom and dad can have a free night out, or offer a skill you can share. We would rather have someone offer to help us salvage our kids terribly-stained clothing than recieve another holiday candle!