Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Measuring Success and Bumpdate 10/31/17

Happy Halloween folks! It's officially the last day of October! Which means tomorrow is Wednesday, the first of November. Tomorrow I'm going to tell you all the amzing things that happen in November that you should check out, but today is bumpdate day!



How far along: 22 weeks

Size of Baby: Spaghetti squash

Cravings: I'm just going to go ahead and say Fruity Pebbles. I eat it at least once a day. I miss it when I run out of a milk. It's a problem. And still sweets.  I also want nothing to do with wings. Every time Aaron suggests them for dinner, it sounds terrible. No clue why, I just don't want them.

Weird stuff: Nothing specific. I think I'm just now in the random bouts of uncomfort part of the pregnancy. I've had hip joint pain, back pain. Other than that, I've felt pretty good!

Fun stuff: We know we're having a little man! That's fun and exiting! And I am pretty sure I can feel him moving and kicking. Like little thumps on the inside. It's kinda weird at first, but then oddly reassuring. I feel him mostly in the morning, which means he's a morning person. Did not get that mess from me.  And I feel him when I eat.  We've also moved furniture around so the baby's room is empty and Aaron has started painting! I'm super excited for that project to take shape!

Weight gained: I'm up 15 pounds total. Which is more than I wanted to be. I've been eating like total crap lately. I don't even know that I've seen an actual vegetable in weeks. Mostly, it's been pasta, quick dinners and fast food. I haven't meal planned in a long time either. Starting this week, I'm going back to eating like I used to: healthy! I made sure every meal this week had at least one vegetable in it when meal planning. I also planned healthy snacks.  So at least I'm making some progress.

Exercise: In my last post, I was doing 4-5 classes a week. If I'm honest, I'm probably at 3-4 classes a week now. There's a lot going on and I don't always feel great or have a ton of energy. I'm pretty proud I'm still at 3 classes a week.  My gym has added warm yoga and pilates fusion to the class list. I've been doing both. I've really missed yoga and am so happy to have it back once a week!

Endurance: It's about the same, but still slowly leaving me. I'm burning about 300-350 calories a class, even in boot camp and spin. It doesn't take much to completely wipe me out.  We moved offices last week and even though I didn't do a lot of heavy moving, it still wiped me out.  I came home and took an hour and a half nap that night and still went to bed at my normal time. I'm still listening to my body and take it easy when I need to. I can still run in class, but I'm dead last and that's about all the running I do. At this point, I'm still pretty proud of what I'm able to do and will just continue to listen to my body and do what makes sense. 

Classes/Exercises: The schedule has changed some, so I'm doing more spin classes than I was before. Like I said earlier, I'm happy to be adding warm yoga and pilates fusion into my class mix.  I'm still trying to do boot camp/HIIT at least once a week, but we'll see how long that lasts.  

Overall, I honestly feel great.  I don't have anything to complain about. I expect to continue to tire out easily and just plan to take things a day at a time.  How'd your month go?!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Lately: Overwhelmed

Let's be real. If you can't be real on your blog, on your space, where can you be? Life is crazy. It's beautiful, complicated, messy, hard. All of those things and more. And when you add in major life changes like weddings and babies, it's even more of all those things.  It's overwhelming.


The past few weeks have been kind of hard for me. It's not been one thing or another, but rather an accumulation.  We've had a lot going on. I'm hiring for a position at work. We're rearringing rooms at the house so Aaron can start painting. We're moving my office this week at work. We had a wedding last weekend. And then all the other regular life stuff. It became a lot. I felt like walls were closing in on me. Because apparently, when you're pregnant, you lose your coping skills.  Normally, I'm a champ under stress.  Thrive on it, even. But right now? Not so much.  I've had to find new ways to cope. I take short walks at work, just to walk away. And I've been easier on myself, let myself miss a few gym and such.

And blogging has taken a back seat. As you've probably noticed. Because I can't do it all and I'm not going to lose my sanity. But it's still important to me, so I'm still going to try and post at least twice a week. It's good for my sanity and soul.

But let's talk fun stuff. Let's talk the fun things that are going on!  We finished our baby registries! Woo! Talk about overwhelming.  There are so many choices and things. Like you could fill your entire house with baby things. I'm going to do my best not to do that. And we've picked out a theme for the baby's room. And I am so. freakin. excited for it! Still no name yet, though.

We've also worked on a few house projects. Nesting is real. We've been moving stuff from the office to the guest room to get the office ready for painting. We also worked on Aaron's man cave. A couple weeks ago, Target had a deal where you got a $10 gift card if you spent $50 on household decor. So I bought these floating bookshelves for Aaron's room.  The Pop! Funko characters fit perfectly on them.

Aaron's Fast and Furious Pop! Collection. Shelves from Target

I also picked up a new black frame for the last print so we could hang these babies up.



These are water colors that I found at the Holly Day Fair in Fayetteville a few years ago.  The guy also sells them on Etsy.  His Etsy shop is AmourableArt.  I started with the four Avengers, but found Deadpool last year.  All of this stuff has been chilling on the floor in Aaron's man cave for at least a year or two.  We still have a Spiderman print to frame and a puzzle to finish and frame and then this room will be done!  Here's the whole thing so far.  You can see the half-finished puzzle in the corner.


I also picked up this super cute mail sorter from Target.  We'd been piling the mail up on the counter and I wanted to free up some more counter space, so I picked this guy up to get my $10 gift card I mentioned above. I also got some chalkboard markers at Michael's to write on the labels.  The markers are great because they only wipe off with water.

Mail sorter from Target
We also replaced my grandma's china cabinet.  It was all glass and didn't have a lot of extra storage, which I wanted for my table linens.  I've been running upstairs every time I wanted to change the linens out and that's annoying. And too much effort. We found this beautiful hutch (I call it the Great Wall of China) on NextDoor for $200. It matches our dining room set perfectly and I have storage to spare!

Original china cabinet

New hutch with our dining room. Sorry for lack of light!
Our next project is the backsplash in the kitchen.  My goal is to get as many projects done as I can before little man gets here. I figure those projects will pretty much halt then.

So yeah. There ya go. That's life lately. Am I the only one that's super overwhelmed in this whole pregnancy thing? Please tell me I'm not!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Dressing the Bump Part II: Maternity Clothes for the First Half of Pregnancy

Welcome to Dressing the Bump Part II, where I'll be talking about the maternity clothes I bought and wore in the first half of my pregnancy.  You can read Part I, where I talked about non-maternity clothes I've been wearing, here.


Buying maternity clothes is not the easiest.  First, you don't want to buy too many because you'll only be able to wear them a short amount of time. Second, the sizing can be weird. And the fit. Finding fitting maternity pieces has been pretty hit or miss for me, so I'm going to share some of my favorites and some of the things I tried and didn't work. Again, every pregnant body is different. This is just what has worked (or not) for me.

Maternity Tops
In my last post, I said that you can pretty much get away with only buying basic t-shirts and tanks and wear them with cardigans for most of your pregnancy. Especially if you're pregnant during the cooler months. And it's true.  The majority of my maternity tops are basic t-shirts and tanks. I do think that these items are pretty essential mostly because you'll outgrow your regular tees and tanks. That long tank top that used to come almost to your hips and cover your back? Not anymore!  Here are my favorite tanks I've bought.

Motherhood Maternity V-Neck Side Ruched Maternity Tee (photo by Motherhood Maternity)
I personally prefer v-neck tees, so that's what most of these will be, but they also come in different necklines. I picked this tee up from Motherhood Maternity on sale for $8.  I wish I had bought more because they are amazing. They are a nice material, nice enough that you can wear them alone without a tank underneath or under a cardi or jacket. And they are long enough! I found a very similar top at Target under the Ingrid and Isabel line that was only $12.99.  Either of these tops are great layering pieces. I have a black and a white and will be adding at least one more color too my collection.

Target Ingrid and Isabel Maternity Flutter Sleeve Top (photo from Target.com)
This was the first maternity top I bought for myself. I liked that it didn't look super maternity and that it had some fun detailing. This is a great top that you can wear in the early to mid-stages of pregnancy and after because the ruching isn't there.  Also, it's only $22.99 which makes it totally worth it!

I've also tried other tops in the Ingrid and Isabel line and they just don't work and I'm so sad about it! The line is so cute, but the fabric doesn't give and I either have gigantic arms or they assume everyone has sticks for arms. Either way, the rest of the tops, besides the one above and the tees, haven't worked out for me. Bummer.

Motherhood Maternity Keyhole Side Ruched Maternity Tee (photo from Motherhood.com)
I also bought myself two work tees from Motherhood that are a super soft cotton texture with 3/4 length sleeves.  I have the above top in black and white. I got it on clearance at Motherhood (I'm not trying to spend a ton of money here). These are great work tops because they're comfortable and easy to layer with a jacket or a cardi when you need to look a little more put together. I have two like this and I rotate them every week. They're very versatile and comfy enough to be worn on the weekend too.

Jeans
Jeans have been the worst thing for me to find. The first few weeks, maybe months even, you can do the hair tie trick. This allows you to stay in your jeans and not have to buy maternity jeans immediately. This worked for up until about 10-12 weeks. I don't wear low-cut jeans. I wear jeans that hit right below my belly button, so once they hit about one to two inches from being able to close, I gave up the hair tie. 

I tried a belly band. I hate the belly band. Others swear by it and, if you can make it work, that is awesome for you. But I hate it. My pants would need to be adjusted every time I sat down or got up, then I'd have to adjust the belly band, then my jeans and even then it didn't feel right. Half the time, I felt that they were sliding down me worse than maternity jeans! So, this post will not give you a bellyband because I have yet to find one I don't hate. 

Maternity jeans. It has teaken me a while to figure this out, but I feel like a semi-expert now. I have four pairs of jeans. Two full panel, one with inserts and one demi panel.  Here's my hard-earned experience. You are welcome.

Demi Panel and Inserts
Until you get a full pregnant belly (I'm just now starting to get there), the full panel is going to be useless and those jeans are going to wiggle down your body non-stop. Either the demi panel or jeans with inserts are going to be your best bet. Unfortunately, these bands cut right in the middle of your tummy, so they will give you a bit of a fat roll or muffin top. Just stick with looser tops and cardis and you'll be fine. For me, comfort and not pulling my pants up every five steps was worth wearing a looser top. These are the two I own and love.

Target Ingrid and Isabel Maternity Inset Panel Jeggings (photo from Target.com)
These were my first pair of maternity pants (bought with the pink top above).  I wasn't ready for the full panel yet, but the hair tie wasn't working, so I went for these. There are elastic inset panels at the waist, allowing the jeggings to grow with you.  I'm a size 12 and got these in a size 12. They still fit, but are a little more snug than they were before!

Gap Maternity Demi Panel Baby Boot Jeans (photo from Gap.com)
Gap jeans are the best maternity jeans. These babies don't budge, they stay in place all day without me having to yank them up once. It's honestly a big of a miracle. I sized up to a 14 in these jeans since Gap runs a little smaller on me than other brands. I bought these on sale with multiple discounts and rewards and ended up only paying $15 out of pocket for them. I love them so much, I just ordered a second pair!

Full Panel
Loft has been my favorite brand for jeans for a long time, so when I was having trouble finding jeans that fit and stayed in place, I looked for maternity jeans there.  I actually found my pair on Poshmark. They are this same rinse, which is great for work, but they are bootcut.  I didn't find the exact same pair online, but their jeans all fit about the same, to me. I have a 12 in these jeans and they fit perfectly! They slid a little in the beginning, not nearly as bad as the Motherhood Maternity jeans. Now that my belly is fuller, they are fitting perfectly and not slipping at all!

Loft Maternity Skinny Jeans in Dark Rinse (photo from Loft.com)
Work Pants
I said in my last post that you could probably get by with mostly wearing stretchy skirts and dresses. And it's true, you can. But deep down, I'm a pants girl. I've bought three pairs of maternity work pants and two of them were from a consignment sale. One was a pair of black slacks from Gap and one was a pair of gray with light pink pinstripes from Liz Lange. I think I paid $15 for them together and they've been a great addition. However, my ultimate favorite pants are from Loft. And they are the same style as my regular pair of work pants. 

Loft Maternity Riviera Pants (photo from Loft.com)
The Riviera Pant from Loft is actually a crop pant, however, when you're short like me, you can wear them year-round as regular pants (I'm wearing a red pair today!). They are all on super sale right now (40% off clearance) and final sale, so you have to find them when they are in season (spring and summer). But seriously, best. pants. ever. They have the full panel, and unlike jeans, they have fit and stayed in place since day 1.  I've been wearing my current pair since I was around 11 weeks. I'm normally a 12 in these pants and I wear a 12 in the maternity ones as well.  My favorite part about them is the fabric. It's a thicker woven material that also has some stretch, so it's very flattering. If you can find these babies while you're pregnant, they are worth the money!

Final Thoughts
Those are my main maternity purchases. I will say that I do think it's helpful to have a belly band handy. I hate mine, but other than the times I've tried to make it work, I've worn it once to make a suit work for interviews at work. It's a nice option. 

The main thing to remember about maternity clothes is that they make you look pregnant. That's their job. Which is super helpful in that "is she pregnant or did she eat too much Cookout?" phase. However, it's not helpful once you've given birth. My goal is to buy as few maternity pieces as possible while still having good options. I want to feel pretty and attractive and put together, but I also don't want to spend a fortune on pieces that I'll wear for a few months.  I've done a lot of sale and consignment shopping and on Poshmark. Old Navy and Gap have some great basic pieces, jeans and workout wear (once you need it) with awesome sales. Motherhood has some cute options too, but try to find their sales! Mostly, buy what makes you feel good and be smart about it. Comfort and not going broke are the most important parts! 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Dressing the Bump Part I: Non-Maternity Clothes for the First Half of Pregnancy

When I first got pregnant, I went back and forth on a lot of things. Was I excited or terrified? Both. I was, and still am, both. I wanted to buy all the things and then none of the things. It was, and still is, pretty overwhelming.  Even if you've always dreamed about being pregnant, which I haven't, there is a lot to get use to. A lot to figure out. Your body does weird, strange things and those things will be different than what your mom and other friends experienced. And on top of all that, your body undergoes this crazy change in how it looks. You're bloated and feel fat, but you don't really look pregnant yet. Some days I still don't look pregnant, others I look super pregnant. It has taken me a while to figure out this whole dressing the bump thing, so I thought I would share what's worked for me. I make no guarantees it will work for you, but here's what's worked best in the first half of my pregnancy.  Also, while there are links in this post, they aren't affiliate posts nor am I being compensated in any way for these items.


In this post, I'm going to talk about non-maternity clothes. Because most of what I wear is actually non-maternity. 

Bras
Everyone tells you to get a maternity bra. First off, I think they are ugly and don't give a lot of support, at least not the ones that I have seen.  I'm actually still in my regular bra.  I was already a larger cup size, so I haven't gained much in that arena.  In addition, I was on the tightest hooks, so I've had soome room to grow and am now back on the loosest hooks. I have outgrown about 4 of my sports bras, but most are still fitting me.  The key to a good bra in the first few months is comfort and the ability to expand.  I have found that I almost always want to wear a bra of some sort now as the support is necessary. Here are some of my favorites that I'm wearing right now.

Sports Bra - Under Armour Eclipse Mid Impact
The Under Armour Eclipse Mid Impact sports bra has been one of my favorites for a while now. And don't be fooled by the "mid-impact" label.  I'm a DD and it provides plenty of support for boot camp/HIIT classes, running and spinning. The straps are adjustable and criss-cross, distributing the weight across your back. I also loved the Victoria's Secret Incredible sports bra for the high-impact nature, but it's so restrictive that I can't wear it (and breathe) anymore. This one allows for some expansion while still giving good support.

Bralette/Nursing Bra - Gilligan and O'Malley Lace Back Bralette
I said earlier that I hate ugly bras and it's true. I do. My friend gave me some of her nursing bras and I didn't love them. I'll wear them, but they aren't my favorite.  I found this one, that's very similar, but prettier!, at Target.  The Gilligan and O'Malley Lace Back Bralette has the crossover in the front like a nursing bra, light support/padding, but the straps in the back are a really pretty lace that also happens to be really comfortable. And it's all about comfort! I don't know that it would be enough support for me going out in public, but it's perfect for lounging around after work.  I sized up to an XL so that I would have some room to grow into the bra.

LulaRoe
I'm giving LulaRoe it's own category on this post. When LulaRoe first came out, I swore it was stay-at-home-mom garb (no offense). I didn't think it translated well into the office, but I was wrong. Honestly, it all depends on the print and how you style.  It also greatly depends on the consultant and how good they are at styling outfits for you.  I have three consultants that I stay true to and they all have great inventory and a great eye for outfits.  I already loved Lula by the time I got pregnant, but now? It's been a lifesaver. I get why women are rabid for it. I wear it at least three times a week. I'm still in the same sizes as I wore before and I love knowing that I'll be able to wear them after, so it's not like I'm wasting my money. While I wear other styles as well, here are my go-to styles for the first half of your pregnancy.

Cassie Skirt
I live in this skirt for work. I go between a size medium and large. This skirt has been great because the waist band is very soft and stretchy. I'm still wearing my same size that I was before while I've been out of regular pants since about 10-12 weeks. These are great with a Perfect tee if you're feeling on the bloated side or a tank/tee with a cardigan for a little more pulled together.

Cassie Skirt, Size large at 10 weeks
Cassie Skirt, Size large, 17 weeks
Julia Dress
The Julia is great for when you're pregnant.  It shows off the bump oh so well.  If you aren't comfortable with your bump yet, pair it with a regular cardigan or the Lindsay Kimono to give you some cover.  I wear an XL in the Julia, which is what I wore before.

Julia dress, size XL, 18 weeks
Lindsay Kimono
If kept to my own devices, I would wear nothing but cardigans. All day, every day. They are an amazing layering piece, in my opinion. And the Lindsay is even better, especially those early months of pregnancy, because it's loose and flowy.  It's great for hiding your growing bump when you aren't ready to tell the world and hiding it when you still feel mostly bloated and not pregnant. These are on the pricier side ($54), but they are worth it! I have three now and rotate them constantly. I have a really pretty jacquard, a silky one and a comfy cotton one. I wear a small in these.

Randy T
The Randy was the first piece of Lula I truly loved. I've always been a sucker for a good baseball tee.  The Randy is great when you're pregnant because it's longer, so there's plenty of room for your belly to grow without stretching out the top.  It's also super comfy! I wear a size large in this, the same size as before (see a trend?).

Randy tee, size large
Perfect T
I went back and forth on whether to include this top, but I think it's great for most of the first half of your pregnancy, especially up to month four where you're either hiding your bump or the bloat. It's an A-line top, so it doesn't really accentuate your bump. Depending on how you want to show off your bump, it might be a great long-term solution or early pregnancy solution. I wear either a small or medium in this.

The other style I really want to try, but haven't yet, is the Ana dress. It's a maxi style dress that looks so cute on pregnant ladies! I just haven't found the right pattern yet (or been quick enough to grab it!)

Leggings
I didn't include leggings under LulaRoe because I actually wear leggings from more than just LulaRoe. But wherever you get them, leggings are a lifesaver. I have a great pair of black leggings that I wear to work that I got at Nordstrom Rack by Vince Camuto.  I also have LulaRoe leggings that I wear around the house and under dresses.  Leggings, especially when pregnant, are an important layering piece if you're pregnant during the fall and winter.  A lot of my dresses are too short now, so the leggings are helping extend their life! Also, maternity jeans and pants can be hit or miss in the beginning, so utilize those leggings!

Stitch Fix Maeby Dress (L) and OS LulaRoe Leggings. 10 weeks here, I'm wearing the same outfit today at 20 weeks
Cardigans
I have mentioned my love for cardis multiple times already, but I haven't explained why I love them. Simply put: they make your wardrobe last. You can honestly get by without buying more than a few maternity tees and tanks if you have cardigans. I have about 10 right now that I'm rotating through. I have work cardigans, comfy weekend cardigans. I have shorter ones that work great for jeans and work pants, I have long open cardigans that are great with skinny jeans, leggings and skirts. You don't have to close cardigans, so you can still wear the ones you owned before and, if you purchase new ones, you'll be able to wear them after. They are your best friend. Promise. My favorite cardigans are from Target and Stitch Fix. Here are a few examples of ones that I own.  Fair warning, most of these photos are pre-baby me, but I'm still wearing all of them!

Stitch Fix Aubriana Cardigan, large

LulaRoe Lindsay, small
Stitch Fix, Honey Punch Cardigan, Large (13 weeks here)
Tomorrow, I'll talk about the maternity specific items I've purchased and why. What non-maternity clothing did you wear throughout your pregnancy?

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Baby Zinn Gender Reveal - A Simple, Stress Free Reveal

When I got pregnant, I wasn't sure that I wanted to do a gender reveal. It sounded exhausting doing all that planning and I'm really not a surprise kind of person. I knew I would want to know what we were having and that I would be really pissed off if one of my friends knew what I was having before I did. But when we realized that our doctors appointment would fall on a weekend that wasn't covered in weddings or showers, I decided we could do a modified gender reveal.  We basically had our friends over, set off multiple smoke bombs, almost gave it away multiple times and ate lots of awesome food!


We normally try to do potluck parties to help spread out the cost.  But that also sounded like a lot of effort to me, so I pleanned a really simple cookout menu and did everything myself

Baby Zinn Gender Reveal Menu

Grilled Burgers and Hot Dogs
Baked Macaroni and Cheese (similar recipe)
Bush's Maple and Bacon Baked Beans
Fruit Salad with Orange Vanilla Syrup

The mac and cheese recipe is an old famiily recipe that we really don't give out (I can't give away my secret party recipe!), but I've linked to a similar one.  And the fruit salad is one of my absolute favorites! I was able to put everything together ahead of time, so I didn't have a lot of prep work or cooking right before the party. And the best party? All of my serving dishes were in the dishwasher at the end of the night!

For the decorations, I bought some baby pumpkins at the grocery store and painted them with acrylic paint.



I painted them over the course of two days. I did half pink and half blue.  I think they turned out really cute!


For the reveal, I had my friend Sarah make cupcakes.  Then Aaron decided he wanted to do smoke bombs, so we did those too! Here's our video from our reveal.



Not shown in the video, is our friend Josh ready with the hose in case we caught anything on fire!




At the end of the night, I made sure to get a photo of everyone all together. I loved having most of our friends with us to celebrate.  It made an already exciting event that much more special.


Here's to our little man, we can't wait to meet you!


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Tips for First Time Moms Shopping Consignment

I love, love, love a good deal. And babies are expensive, holy crap expensive.  So we've been trying to find ways to lessen the blow some. And consignment sales are the perfect places to get a good deal! Now that I've been to my first round of consignment sales, I thought I'd share some tips for first time moms shopping consignment and how to avoid the "I don't want that stroller" meltdown that happened to me!


Consignment shopping is an art form. You need to know when to go, what you want, what constitutes a deal, and how to shop. It's not like shopping at a regular store. There aren't multiple of the same item and they aren't always in the best shape. That's when knowing your products comes in handy! Here are some tips that I learned myself the hard way!

1. Pick the right shopping partner and be on the same page.
The first time you shop a consignment sale(s) it helps to have a partner. My mom went with me to a smaller one and then Aaron and my friend Sarah went to other sales with me.  Mom was good in that she helped me find a few items, but it was smaller consignment sale and didn't have the big ticket items that I wanted.  My friend Sarah was the best to shop with.  She's had three kids and was able to give me good advice as to what's worth it and what's not.  She also found me a basically brand new convertible car seat for $125. Score.  My husband, however, was the worst to shop with, but only because we were NOT on the same page. He wanted a good deal whereas I wanted to try and find what I wanted for a deal. So we ended up buying this Graco stroller that I don't like and refuse to use because it was $20.  I've told him that is his stroller to use. A ridiculous meltdown and fight ensued, I went to bed crying. It was really bad. Over a $20 stroller. My advice? Take a girlfriend that's had a baby or two and call your hubs with what you find. It's much better that way!

2. Sign up for early access or even volunteer!
A lot of sales will allow first time or expecting moms early entry to the sale. This is key! You can shop all the good big ticket items like strollers and car seats before they are super picked over. I signed up and was able to shop early at all three sales.  Some sales, though, will let you shop even earlier if you volunteer or consign.  Since you don't have anything to consign yet, volunteering is the way to go.

3. Know what you want to look for and have multiple options. 
I went to sales looking for a stroller. I wanted a jogging stroller, knew they were expensive and wanted to try and get one for a good deal. Yes, I know that I'll have showers and stuff, but that's one less thing for someone to buy and more money for them to spend on something else. My first mistake was that I only wanted two brands of strollers (City Mini and UppaBaby) and didn't have other options. I found one stroller at the second sale that was one of the brands, but it was older and dirty looking. I hadn't done any research on any other brands and didn't really feel prepared to just buy whatever.  For the third sale, I knew that I wanted a jogging stroller and had looked at a bunch of other brands and was able to get myself a nice Baby Trend Expedition stroller for $50.

4. Know the layout and get the big stuff first. 
Before my first sale, I did a bunch of research on Pinterest. Shocker, I know. A lot of people recommended getting your big items first and it makes total sense! These are the items that go first, so make sure you look at them.  One consignment sale I went to was at a huge basically abandoned outlet mall and they had a map of where items were.  Research the sale first, find out if there is a map and then map out your hit list. Most places will have either a check out for the big items or a holding room for you. They know how this works!

5. Set a list and a budget.
If you've never been to a consignment sale before, it can be super overwhelming. I've done big sales before, so I had an idea of what I was getting in to, but Aaron was all, "so many deals!" I made a list of the items that I was looking for, the prices I wanted to pay and the budget I had set for myself.  I was looking for maternity clothes (consignment sales are awesome for these, by the way!), stroller, possibly a car seat. We don't know the gender yet, so it was hard to do clothes. And really, people are going to buy you clothes. There were also tons of rock and play/sleepers, boppy pillows, pack and plays, etc. The idea of a consignment sale is to SAVE money, not spend extra. So make a list of what you want to find, set a budget and stick to it!

For this round of consignment shopping, I spent $240 and got:

  • Coach diaper bag ($30)
  • Baby Trend Expedition jogging stroller ($50)
  • Chicco NextFit Car Seat ($125)
  • 2 pairs of maternity work pants ($15)
  • Graco Stroller ($20) 
Make sure to check out Pinterest for other articles about how to measure and size your kids, the best items to shop for at sales, etc. Have you shopped consignment sales before? 

Happy saving!