Shopping to Save


I can’t resist retail therapy. It’s practically programmed into my DNA.  My Mom taught me to bargain shop when I was a little girl. I’ve always had my eyes peeled for a good deal. You can find me poking around in shops like T.J. Maxx or Marshalls, as well as consignment shops — especially when I’m not looking for anything in particular. That’s when you find the best stuff!

thredUP is one of my favorite sites to shop online. It’s like a consignment store with a twist. We have some great consignment shops here in Newburyport, but when I shop thredUP I can click around from the comfort of my couch. I love quality brands like Lululemon, Free People, Paige Denim, J.Crew, and Ella Moss at 90% off retail and in great condition. I’ve never seen my favorite thredUP purchases at the mall because the clothes come from all over the country.

The selection of kids’ clothes on thredUP is awesome. It’s a perfect opportunity to teach kids about sustainability and re-using things (yes, there are teachable moments in shopping!). Bean and Sweet Pea scroll through their size in the thredUP iPad app and choose what catches their eye. One time Bean found a favorite sweatshirt that she had outgrown in the next size; total score! I love saving money on clothes because you know stains and tears happen easily, no matter how much you pay for them.

Here are some tips to help you be successful on your first thredUP shopping adventure:

  1. Download the app to receive pop up discount codes for 10-20% off.
  2. Select “exclude tiny flaw” in your searches. Since you can’t inspect items yourself, I only recommend buying items thredUP deems “practically new.”
  3. Know what styles fit you best and start there.
  4. Search the site multiple ways. I look under my size in women, X collection, new with tags, stylish mama, etc. You can also save personal shops with your preferences.
  5. Jeans are already broken in…and sometimes shortened, which is great for me but definitely not for everyone so check the length!
  6. Accessories always fit. I’ve found the best scarves on thredUP!
  7. Shop brands you love first; then start to seek out new brands. You can always return.
  8. When you select an item that you like, click to see other items from that family. If you like one thing they sent in, maybe you’ll like other items.
  9. Clothes stay in your cart for 24 hours. Fill up your cart; then go back later for a second look before deciding what to purchase. 
  10. I don’t have a #10. Just wanted to even it out here…

Be green and reduce your family’s carbon footprint by sending clothes you no longer need to thredUP. It’s a super easy way to clean out your closet and make some extra money. Fill their fun polka dot bag and ship it back for free. I’ve sent in a few bags of our stuff and got paid between $50-85. You can cash out via PayPal, use the money as credit for future shopping, or fundraise for a cause (think PTA or disaster relief – very cool). Actually, it’s about time for me to order a polka dot bag. Watch out closets!

Check back soon to see some of my recent thredUP purchases. In the meantime, use this link to receive $10 off your first purchase!

Note: This post was not sponsored by thredUP. I’ve been shopping with them for years with great style, success, and savings. I will receive a referral credit if you sign up through the links on this page.

Ski Town Style

Rackscarf2New Wool Hat :: Pistil  {similar – purchased at Shaw’s General Store in Stowe last week}
Favorite Coat :: Patagonia
Fringe Infinity Scarf :: 14th & Union  {on sale for $4.49 – seriously!}
Location :: Antique Canadian front door at Stowe Meadows in Elmore, VT

Sorelboots2New Black Boots :: Sorel  {also purchased at Shaw’s General Store in Stowe last week; already have brown and LIVE in them}
Location :: Outside Plate in Stowe, VT with freshly falling snow

Zaradress2Wool Dress :: Zara  {the one I told you about!}
Necklace :: a gift from Mom a few years back
Fleece Lined Leggings :: Heat Holders  {the warmest winter leggings}
Location :: Hen of the Wood in Waterbury, VT after an outstanding dinner

GAPthredUP2Navy Boatneck Top :: GAP
Beige Leather Clutch :: Garnet Hill
Paisley Skirt :: Tinley Road from thredUP
Navy Leggings :: Splendid
Suede Boots :: UGG {similar}
Location :: Topnotch Spa in Stowe, VT after massage and Tai Chi class


Wool Hat :: Pistil  {in love with this hat}
Cozy Sweater :: Victoria Secret  {practically vintage}
Beige Leather Clutch :: Garnet Hill
Location :: Black Cap Coffee in Stowe, VT for my daily chai

Rainy Day Sisters

Under the Monkey Bars

Raincoats :: Hatley
Backpack :: Land’s End
Skinny jeans :: GAP
Bean’s Boots :: Mini Boden
Sweet Pea’s Sneakers :: Saucony Jazz

School mornings are crazy at our house.  I would imagine that’s true in most homes across the country.  Making breakfast, getting dressed, putting together lunches, refereeing sibling arguments, and somehow getting the kids through the school doors without a tardy slip, or as Sweet Pea calls it: a ticket (and yes, she has belly crawled by the office before!).

Sometimes there are moments that make you stop amid the hustle and bustle…and smile.  Yesterday I had one of those priceless moments.  Chaos hit the mudroom when we realized it was raining, scrambling to find umbrellas.  There are only ten steps from the car to the school door, but we definitely can’t miss a chance to accessorize.  I finally put my shoes and coat on, rush out the door and stop.  I’m so glad I did because what I saw absolutely made my day.

There in our driveway stood a big sister holding an umbrella for her little sister, shielding her from the rain and everything else in the world.  But that wasn’t even the best part.  When I picked up the girls at school, they were waiting for me in this exact position: face to face, sharing an umbrella, and their love….and melting my heart.

One of the most important things to me is raising loving sisters.  I want that for my girls more than anything.  Sometimes Bean and Sweet Pea fight more than usual, and at those times, I refuse to set up play dates.  They are forced to play together, read together, and love each other.  It works like a charm.

These are the moments that seal themselves in our memories for a lifetime.  Cherish them….and don’t forget to pull out your phone to take a quick picture!

Note:  This is not a sponsored post.

My Favorite Fall Outfit

Under the Monkey BarsUnder the Monkey BarsUnder the Monkey Bars

Leather Jacket :: Levi’s {similar}Sweater :: Free People {last season}
Wide Strap Tank :: Zara
Leggings :: BCBGMAXAZRIABoots :: Frye
Watch :: Michele Chronograph

It’s funny how fate can jump right into your inbox.  The day I decided to start this blog I received an email from Kelly Mintz at SEE Shore Photography looking for a model for a teaching shoot.  Not having any good pictures of myself was on my list of excuses as to why I couldn’t start a blog.  Here we go…

On the day of the shoot, I realized pretty quickly that the photography student, Vicki Hendrix, was really talented.  It was fun to model for Vicki while listening to Kelly teach.

For the shoot, we went to Spencer-Pierce-Little Farm in Newbury, a historical 230-acre farm that was home to a Lithuanian family for most of the twentieth century.  I wasn’t aware of the history of the farm until I just googled it now.  See, I’m half Lithuanian.  Pretty cool connection! This little farm is full of old world charm, New England style, and I totally love that.

I chose this outfit for the shoot because it is truly me.  It’s comfortable, and it can go anywhere at anytime.  The true test of a good outfit, don’t you think?  I could never go into a store and buy an “outfit.”  To me, an outfit comes from various sources and becomes uniquely your own.  I love to bring clothes home and see what pops out of my closet to create a unique outfit.  I have less time to put things together these days, which makes it even more of a challenge.

The girls and I sometimes have “fashion challenges” where we wear clothes or accessories we haven’t worn in a while.…or ever.  It’s a fantastic closet cleaning game.  Try it in your closet.  It’s amazing what treasures you can find in there!


Note: This is not a sponsored post.

Nordstrom Kids’ Fashion Show

Nordstrom Show

I can’t tell you how excited I was when the girls were asked to be in the Nordstrom Kids’ Fashion Show at the North Shore Mall.  Bean wants to be a fashion designer and Sweet Pea has been in a fashion funk so the opportunity came at just the right time.

The event was really well coordinated and executed, not surprisingly.  We set up an appointment at the store a week before the show for the girls to choose their outfits and understand the set up of the show.

I was curious to see what outfit Sweet Pea would put together because for the past few months, she has been wearing jeans and plain shirts.  Totally not Sweet Pea at all.  Everyone knows that she is all about dresses, accessories, and jewelry.  Something must have happened at school because this started back in September…

After choosing jeans and a plain white T-shirt for the show, Sweet Pea sat in the corner of the dressing room sulking.  We had a little talk, and I could see her coming around.  She stood up tall and told me that she was going to be herself.  She marched out of the dressing room and chose a dress that was so her, it could have been made for her.  When I saw Sweet Pea looking at herself in the mirror, I could almost see her glow.

It’s important to me that the girls are comfortable being themselves.  In the car ride home after choosing outfits for the fashion show, Sweet Pea said, “I’m looking out at the clouds thinking about how lucky I am.  I’m so happy to be me!”  Mission accomplished!

Under the Monkey Bars

A week later, we arrived at Nordstrom on a Saturday at 8:30am for the show.  The girls got dressed in their outfits, then had their makeup done.  Makeup is super duper exciting for them.  They have worn makeup only for Halloween and end of year dance shows.  I brought my own Tarte makeup to ensure it was gluten free and safe for them to wear.

The show was only for family and friends, so it wasn’t overwhelming at all.  When the kids walked down the runway, one of the store managers talked about their outfit and said what they wanted to be when they grow up.  Ages ranged from toddlers to 12, with careers including museum curator, veterinarian, and car wash guy (I thought that was hysterical).  The show was both adorable and entertaining.

Under the Monkey Bars

Under the Monkey Bars

Bean and Sweet Pea were a little nervous before the show started.  They had some time to sit and color Frozen pictures, which was a really sweet touch.  When it was finally their turns, Bean went first without any hesitation.  She even threw her arms up and posed!  Then Sweet Pea rocked the runway with her giant smile.  What a way to build self confidence and conquer fears!

It’s been great to see Sweet Pea’s confidence shine since the show.  She has become more comfortable expressing herself through fashion.  She is back to wearing dresses to school and is no longer giving us a hard time choosing her outfits for school.  I could never have imagined that a fashion show would have such an impact on my girls.  It was a wonderful experience, and they have definitely gotten good use of the outfits they chose.  A win-win for all three of us fashionistas!

Under the Monkey Bars

Bean :: Wants to be a fashion designer, spy, food critic, and wildlife biologist.
Pom-Pom Hat :: Tucker + Tate
Infinity Scarf :: Tucker + Tate
Lace Sweatshirt Dress :: Ben Sherman
Leggings :: Tucker + Tate
Bailey Button Boots :: UGG

Under the Monkey Bars

Sweet Pea :: Wants to own a barn and teach kids how to ride horses.
Knit Beanie :: Tucker + Tate
Parisian Charm Necklace :: Stella & Dot
Animal Print Dress :: W girl
Patent Boots :: Primigi


Note: This post was not sponsored by Nordstrom.  Bean and Sweet Pea styled themselves with some help from Lisa Finn in the Kids’ Department.