Thrifting for Baby!

When my son was born I will be honest, I didn’t really think too much about the cost of items because we had so many generous family and friends who bought us just about everything we needed.  As my son grew older however I started to realize how crazy expensive kids are. Now that I am pregnant (almost 9 months) with baby #2 and little man will be starting pre-school in a few months, I am determined to save as much money as I can.

I am actually pretty addicted to thrifting. I mostly blame my mom because she used to drag me on trips to Goodwill so often. I hated it. Of course I would become my mothers daughter and I now drag my son there, although he loves it and thinks we can buy everything from the thrift store.

I’ve compiled a list of how to thrift and get the best deals on your baby gear! The great thing about thrifting for kids is that you can thrift just about anything. Toys, books, baby gear, clothing, furniture; but there are also things that you should never thrift for.

Before Thrifting:
1.  Make a list of ALL the things you want to buy or need for baby
2.  Do your research on all those items
3.  Know the cost when bought brand new
4.  Check to see if the on sale price is comparable or better than second hand
5.  Check to see that the items meets the safety standards
6.  Check to see if item has been recalled

Where to thrift:
1. Craigslist or similar listing sites
Specific and takes a lot of time
2. Thrift Stores – local (churches, organizations)
Hit or miss with variety or selection
3. Thrift Stores – Chain (Goodwill, Savers, Value Village, Etc.)
Better Selection and variety
4. Garage Sales/ Yard Sales
Hit or miss with variety or selection, time waster
5. Specialty Consignment Stores for Kids
Large selection and hand bought to quality is decent to excellent

Never Thrift For:
Too much liability, better to be safe than sorry
-Stuffed Animals
Notorious for being the home to dust mites and bed bugs and are ridiculously hard to clean
-Car Seats
Along the same lines as cribs, once a car seat has been in a car accident its’ safety has been compromised and you don’t know what the previous owner has put that seat through. They also go through a pretty quick safety standard update and every year there is a newer model that has been updated to be safer. Be safe not sorry.
-Bath Toys
Bath toys can have hidden mold and mold is disgusting.

Use Caution when Thrifting for:
-Pack and Plays
-Baby Bath Tubs
These things are hard to sanitize and clean, although it can be done, it is a pain. Bath tubs also get deep scratches where mold and mildew live and it can be hard to get those things completely clean.

General Rules when thrifting for items:
-Ask yourself if it can be CLEANED, WASHED, and/or SANITIZED?
If the answer is no, do not buy the item obviously.
-Make sure there are no missing parts or pieces, no broken parts or pieces, no chips, and if it has batteries check the battery compartment to see if there is corrosion.

Definitely Thrift for:
Make sure there are no broken or missing parts and pieces and that sounds and lights work with batteries. Plastic toys are best but don’t avoid wooden toys, they can be cleaned! Just make sure the paint is not peeling and there is no chips in the wood.
No missing pages, board books are the best to thrift because they are easy to clean!
-Gear: Strollers, Bouncers, Jumpers, Baby Carriers
No broken or missing parts or pieces, can the fabric be washed/cleaned, no stains rips or tears, and for strollers check the brakes and make sure the ride is smooth.
-Nursing Covers/ Car Seat Canopies
No stains, rips, or tears
-Receiving Blankets
No stains, rips or tears
-Clothing (especially dressy clothes)
No stains, rips, tears, or that the item is not overly stretched out if it has elastic. Especially thrift for dressy items that kids hardly use and newborn clothing.  More often than not, those items will be brand new and gently used when they show up at the thrift store.

After you thrift:
-wash your hands, use some hand sanitizer
-take a black garbage bag and put your items in the bag and in your trunk
-clean, wash, and santize your items ASAP. I will be the first to admit that germs will probably be on the item.
-if you can’t get to the item right away, leave it in a black garbage bag and in the garage until you can clean it properly.

Here is the link to check for safety recalls and alerts:

If you would like to see how I clean, wash, and sanitize my thrifted items, make sure to like, comment, follow and subscribe! I hope this video and post helps you to save just a little bit of money!

Check out the video below for other tips on thrifting for baby!


Disneyland Annual Passport VS. Park Tickets -- Your Guide to the costs of both --

Disneyland Annual Passport VS. Park Tickets

Disneyland Annual Passport VS. Park Tickets -- Your Guide to the costs of both --

So you’re planning a trip to Disneyland? I’m so STOKED for you! Beyond excited! I’m so excited there isn’t even a word to describe it! Now that you’ve decided to go to Disneyland, there are so many questions. Where to stay? How long to stay? Visit other attractions? Where to eat? Why is it so expensive? How can I save money?  I’ve done it all from 1/2 a day to a week to lavish or budget. So, I’m here to help you break it down!

For this particular post I’m going to talk about cost of entry to Disneyland.  I’ve seen the prices rise significantly over the past 3 years alone and it’s kind of staggering.  Now, before you get angry, you have to understand that Disneyland IS NOT Disney World.  It is a much smaller resort area only spanning about 160 Acres while Disney World is….wait for it…27,443 ACRES.  Now that it’s put into perspective, annually Disneyworld welcomes over 52 million people and Disneyland welcomes about 22 million. Disneyland is about 0.6% the size of Disneyworld yet it welcomes just under 50% of the same amount of people as Disneyworld.  Don’t believe me? Disneyland has had to close its gates due to capacity and overcrowding a fair amount over the past few years and there is no signs of it slowing down.  Disneyland is an amazing place and I can understand why so many people come to this magical place!  That being said, Disneyland has a serious overcrowding issue and to make crowds more manageable the only way is to figure out how to thin those crowds, and since people are willing (and will probably always be willing) to shell out the money to visit the happiest place on earth, it just makes good business sense.

Disneyland Annual Passport VS. Park Tickets -- Your Guide to the costs of both --

All 3people in this picture LIVE in HAWAII and are ANNUAL PASSHOLDERS!

I practically live in LA. Yes, it’s out of hotel rooms and suitcases BUT, I’m always there whether with family, friends, or solo.  I decided 2 years ago that I would invest in an Annual Pass for Disneyland.  It gave me something to do and honestly I’ve never looked back.  Until this year, I’ve taken pause to actually think about the feasibility of keeping my annual pass. So, this is helping me as much as it’s helping you.

When I first got my annual pass in 2013, I only paid around $650 for a Premium Passport.  The highest tier of passports available at the time, there were some excellent perks. No blackout dates, it included parking, 20% discount on merchandise, 15% discount on food, and a slew of other discounts. Fast forward to 2015 and the my Premium Passport is not available anymore, although I renewed a month before it magically disappeared.  When I renewed in September (and boy am I glad I did) it was $779. In October 2015 Disneyland rolled out 2 NEW passports and discontinued my tier of passport (fear not they are honoring it until it expires). Let’s review the Passport tiers shall we? Continue reading

Baking Fails: Cake Mix Pumpkin Cookies --

Baking Fails: Pumpkin Cake Mix Cookies

When I was about 15 and in high school, I thought I wanted to be a baker when I grew up.  I started taking cooking classes in school and LOVED it. Cooking is so much fun and a great skill to have for life! One thing that I learned was that baking is a science.  Baking requires precise measurements of certain ingredients or it all goes to waste!  Sometimes it requires increasing or decreasing amounts of ingredients to obtain the perfect result.  I just want to share with you some of my baking fails to SAVE you the trouble of making them yourself.

I’ve been seeing on Pinterest, recipes for making cookies from cake mix, specifically I saw a recipe for 2 ingredient pumpkin cookies. First let me say that when I think cookies, I think soft and chewy cookies OR crunchy cookies. Second, after I started making this recipe I instantly remembered my recipe for pumpkin cake, which is so yummy by the way! You can find that recipe HERE. Continue reading

Recipe: Cinnamon Apple Chips

Apples and Pumpkins are the epitome of Fall.  I have been searching and searching for an apple recipe to try and I decided to go back to this guy.  Apple Chips have been on my mind for a few months now, but I’ve been so afraid to try to make them!  Why? Because you have to leave them in the oven for so long!  Our house would turn into a sauna and with our erratic schedule, I’d probably have to stop baking or worse…forget about them!  It started to cool off a few weeks ago and I had a bunch of days off from work, so I decided to finally give this recipe a try. Continue reading

Island Life: Sea Life Park, Hawaii --

Island Life: Sea Life Park

A couple of weeks ago, I joined a few friends and took our kiddos to Sea Life Park. Sea Life Park has been around since I was a little girl. I’ve seen it go through some major changes over the years. I remember visiting Sea Life Park as a little girl. Prior to this visit, I had taken my son about a year ago, and it was looking run down.  I’m glad to say that the Park is looking MUCH better than in previous years. I don’t know what has inspired the change but, the infrastructure and attractions are getting a MUCH NEEDED makeover and update.

To find out more about about Sea Life Park, CLICK HERE.

Continue reading

Living in a Musical

I can’t sing a lick. Let’s just put it out there. I never have, and…..probably never will.  Has that stopped me from singing? Nope,  I sing in the car, in the shower, to my friends, on snap chat, I sing…horribly, and I am unashamed.  My little man, bless his little heart, loves to hear me sing.  I sing him to sleep and he thinks it’s the most beautiful music he’s ever heard…or he’s bored/tired of listening to me so he falls asleep.  I’m gonna go with the first one.   Continue reading

Toilet Training

There’s this video floating around on the internet about a unicorn pooping ice cream and how to use a “squatty potty.”  It’s pretty hilarious.  It reminded me about the not so distant past,  and that time when I thought, “When do I have to teach you to use the toilet?” which was immediately followed by “Oh shit, I have to teach you to use the toilet!” which was then followed by “How the ef do I teach you to use the toilet?!”

Luckily for me, my little guy told his grandma that he wanted to wear some panties while they were shopping, so she did what any good grandma would do, and bought him some boy underwear! (no not panties, although, in retrospect I would have been pissed but it would have been hilarious to think about)  That’s when the ball started rolling and we figured it was time to teach him how to use the porcelain throne. Continue reading

When Moms Get Sick

I’ve been sick. For about 4 or 5 days now. I got sick while I was at work, so when I got home I was completely useless. Usually I plan my working hours so that I’ll be home for half the day so I can relieve my husband of his fatherly duties for awhile. Oh, and I also plan it so that I’m home when it’s nap time, yes, so I can also take a nap. Naptime is very sacred in our house. Nothing comes between us, (by us, I mean me) and nap time. No tantrum too big, no task too small, nap time will happen!

When moms get sick, you hear about how the kids are running around reeking havoc, house is a mess, chores aren’t done and there mom is, in bed, with no energy, OR trying to do everything with absolutely no energy.  I am the definitely the first one.  I’m the mom in bed with tissues strewn over the sheets and also stuffed up my nose, looking like death. Yup, that’s me. Continue reading

The Lies I Tell…

Being a parent is HARD.  There are parents out there who make it look easy and there are those that make it look like a horror film (I think I’m somewhere in the middle, I hope).    I envy the ones who make it look easy and to the ones who are having a tough time, I tip my hat, because we’ve all been there. Continue reading

Voice Level 100

What is it with kids and talking really, really, really loud? Or is it just my kid? I’m pretty convinced that it’s just my kid. I’m so convinced that my kid is going to be the kid that rally’s up all the other kids at school to do things…which are not always good things…majority of the time it will be bad things that they are doing. It’s like my son has a voice level of 100, and that’s the lowest setting possible. Continue reading