Friday, March 23, 2012

Spring has sprung!

...and thankfully so has the Rhea Lana's sale. The public sale starts Sunday, March 25th at the ASU Convocation Center, from 12-9 pm.
I am in desperate need of some spring clothes for Ez, since spring has sprung so early this year. He is currently wearing 18 month clothes (yes, he is 28 months now, the little squirt!) and almost all of his clothes are jeans and long sleeves. I bought him some summer clothes at an outlet last year, but they are all 24 months. I tried to let him wear one of his 24 mo. outfits the other day and he just couldn't keep the pants up, bless his heart! I was able to get him some really cute stuff during the Fall Rhea Lana's sale, including some new GAP pants and Gymboree shirt, some Christmas-themed pajamas, Paul Frank rainboots, brand new Converse All-Star high tops (which Ez was able to wear in my sister's wedding, just like all the big boys) and a St. Louis Cardinals shirt and shortalls set (in all my searching for Cardinals-themed clothes, I had never seen these, so I was pretty psyched). I also scored some cloth diapers (6 for Ez, 6 girly ones--for Ellie now, although I wasn't even expecting at the time--it was just such an incredible deal) and they ended up being great!
In addition to getting Ez some seasonally appropriate clothes that actually fit, I'm also hoping to get some baby gear at great prices. I kept pretty much everything from Ez, but I'd love to find a double jogging stroller (or maybe even a regular double stroller) for the kiddos. I'm also interested in getting a co-sleeper for Ellie. I saw one at the Fall sale, but I wasn't quite ready to buy that big a piece of gear without even being pregnant, ha!
If you are a Consignor, you get to get in early to scope out the deals (both on the regular sale and 1/2 price sale)!
If you want to get in even earlier, you can volunteer to work a shift before, during, or after the sale. Check out this link for volunteer opportunities. Not enough time or not the right times for your schedule available? You can still help! They are always looking for people to bring snacks and food for the workers, and will give you a volunteer pass for bringing something by! Just make sure to contact Lauren (email, beforehand to see about the types of things to bring and when!
Consignors and Volunteers aren't the only lucky ducks to get in early to the sale. Moms-to-be also get in early (Saturday, from 6-10 pm). You can sign up here if you are a mom-to-be so you can get some awesome deals!
If none of these apply to you, don't worry--us early birds won't scoop up all the deals--there are plenty to go around! And, hey, if you know someone who is consigning or volunteering, you may be able to grab a guest pass from them!
Happy shopping! Please let me know about all the awesome deals you find! :)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I am...

alive...but just barely. Just kidding--sort of. Potty training is seriously intense! Read on to see what else "I am..."

tired...It amazes me just how tiring it is to focus every single ounce of your brainpower on an active toddler--but take your eyes (or even your thoughts) off of my little guy for a minute, and you're going to see pee!

desperate...What does it look like outside? Are there trees? Sky? Grass? I'm just kidding again--well, kinda. We did go outside a little bit on Monday and Tuesday, but the neighborhood kids were just way too distracting for him to remember he needed to go to the potty, plus I just about never got him to go back inside! Wednesday was gloomy and rainy (and it looks like today won't be much better) so we stayed inside and watched "Frosty the Snowman" (his choice, not mine--I think he has a new obsession).

alone...Being holed up in the house is not just getting to me, but him too. I think he was so sick of me and all the 'potty talk' Tuesday that he was just about insane, but he seemed better yesterday (I think day 3 of the training was the 'rebellious' stage).

in the trenches...My SIL and I are both in the potty training trenches together right now, but she is across town and even though we occasionally text, we both know we can't do that much or we will be mopping up pee (or worse) in a matter of minutes (sometimes seconds)!

suffering from this moment. I have been so tired this week. The majority of accidents occurred when I was at my most tired and least alert. Anyway, I woke up to change Ez since he had wet the bed and couldn't get back to sleep no matter how hard I tried, so I have been up writing this blog entry (and writing a letter, but let's save that one for a later post).

stressed...all I can think is, I am going back to school on Monday...what if he's not potty trained by then?! I don't want him to be one of those kids who takes months to train! If we don't do this now, we never will because we'll have a new baby here and we'll all be crazy! If I was just not working now, I wouldn't have to worry so much....I'm so tired....The baby is so heavy and I hurt so much if I stand up for too long (I think this may be more related to the fact that I've been scooping up a toddler and running for the toilet at 30 weeks pregnant) --how am I supposed to go back to school and teach another two months?! (insert various work stresses here)

calling out...for help. From the Only One who can actually give it. I realize that I haven't been praying over this situation as I should, but it has been hard since my brain is Jello lately. So, I prayed while lying in bed and God told me to get up, write that letter, write this blog, and then go back to bed once my brain finally hushed. more ways than one, ha! My brain has hushed, I am heading back to bed to cuddle with the world's sweetest little boy and pray for a day of potty-related victories, patience, and positive attitudes. I'm going to need it after sacrificing this precious sleep....Then again, I should sleep better now that my spirit has been lifted and my brain has been hushed by The One who hears my call and comforts me in all situations--even potty training a toddler while a few days less than 8 months along with a less than comfortable pregnancy (that's another post in itself--and may never get written)!

Goodbye and goodnight! ...or good nap? :)


Sunday, March 18, 2012

VIP--Is it for me?

Whenever I think of "VIP," I am reminded of the show, "My Super Sweet Sixteen" on MTV. That show used to really annoy me, because for the most part, the kids were completely spoiled brats who needed to hear the word, "no," more than they needed a new Mercedes!

Well, this year, when I started getting emails from Rhea Lana's for the Spring Sale, they mentioned a "VIP Consignor" option. When I saw the "VIP," I assumed it was for people who had sold items with them for many years or who volunteered a lot--they had to do something to earn it, surely.

However, as more details were revealed, I realized it was actually a service to help moms who were just too busy to sort, tag, and hang all their clothes and items for the sale themselves. As a working mom myself (who is considerably more swamped at work this time around than I was for the Fall event), I was more than a little interested. I figured consignors probably had to pay some sort of fee for the service, though, and I wanted to make every penny possible.

Finally, all the details were confirmed. Surprisingly, there weren't any huge fees and it was open to anyone who wanted to participate. Here are the details, straight from Lauren (the owner of the Jonesboro event)...

Consignors give us their clothing on hangers and in tubs (for toys and accessories) with their names on them and we pick them up at a mutually agreed upon time. We enter the items and label them and take them to the event for them. We price the items and they still have the option of whether or not the items will go half price at the end of the sale or if they want to donate items. They can still track their sales live and pick them up at the end of the event, with their check. Or we can return them in the days following the event. The consignor earns 50%, still gets to shop with consignors, and gets a check the day of consignor pick up!
It's a unique service only rhea Lana's of Jonesboro offers. We enjoy offering this to moms in NEA!

So my final verdict on this service is if you want to consign, but just don't think you have enough time, go for the VIP option! I did consider the fact that you make a slightly lower percentage on your items than if you do all the work yourself, but if you don't have time to do it yourself, you're going to make...well, nothing! :)

And please, before you think, "What do you mean I don't make as much? I bet I could do better in a yard sale if that's so," you need to read my first post about this sale. You will definitely make more than you would in a yard sale!

First of all, many more people will be seeing your items--try thousands! This means you aren't waiting around all day for that perfect person to come by and see a certain item (this always happened to me when I did yard sales--sometimes I would be tempted to mark things down just so they would sell, even though I knew someone who liked a certain theme, etc. would pay me more for it).

Second, the shoppers at Rhea Lana's are willing to pay more than yard sale prices for quality items. I remember getting offended when people would ask if I would take a quarter (or some similarly ridiculous offer) for really nice baby clothes. I would think, "Seriously?! That's a {insert name brand here} and it cost WAY more than that! Plus it looks brand new!" In some cases, it actually was brand new! If you are wondering about having someone else price your items, I say look at it this way--who else knows this sale better than the Rhea Lana's team?! They will make sure you get fair prices on your items, while also avoiding over- or under-pricing items that you may not be so sure about. Who better to trust than someone who has been with the sale for years and understands the supply and demand of certain items as well as recognizes the quality and value of yours?

For these reasons, I think the VIP option would definitely be worth it! VIP consigning is closed for this sale, but I wanted to let all the extremely busy moms know about this very valuable service. I think it has the potential to really help out those moms who would like to consign but just don't have the time!

Remember, the Spring Jonesboro Rhea Lana's sale is March 25th through the 27th at the ASU Convocation Center (there's another perk--a very easy to find location for all the people who will be browsing over your items).

Spring Sale Dates:

Early Worker's Pre-Sale

Saturday, March 24th12:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Worker's Pre-Sale

Saturday, March 24th2:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Consignor's Pre-Sale

No Strollers, Wagons, or Children please!Saturday, March 24th4:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Moms-to-Be Pre-Sale

No Strollers, Wagons, or Children please!Saturday, March 24th6:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Guest Pre-Sale

No Strollers, Wagons, or Children please!Saturday, March 24th8:00 PM to 10:00 PM


Sunday, March 25th12:00 PM to 9:00 PMMonday, March 26th9:00 AM to 6:00 PM


(Bring Pass!)Monday, March 26th6:00 PM to 10:00 PM


(Bring Pass!)Monday, March 26th7:00 PM to 10:00 PM


(Moms To Be May Also Attend!)Monday, March 26th8:00 PM to 10:00 PM


(Many Items Half Price)Tuesday, March 27th9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

...For more information, please visit the Jonesboro Rhea Lana's Sale website, here, or join their Facebook page, here.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Yard Sale? No sell! I've found a better way!

Growing up, we had a yard sale every summer. When we were older, Mom would let us put old toys and clothes in it and sometimes we got to keep some of the money. I love the idea of getting rid of things you no longer need and getting money for new things. So much less wasteful than throwing things away.
Nowadays, I don't have much time for yard sales. I always hear of people getting amazing deals at them, but I usually think of them after the early morning hours are gone on Saturdays. My sister-in-law, Meggan, and I attempted a yard sale once this past fall and I made about $20. We didn't advertise or anything, so we didn't expect a lot, but thought we'd do it again the next week or two. Life happened, so we didn't ever get around to it, and now I have a garage filled with yard sale items, oops!
On the other hand, consignment sales, I can make time for! :) I'd never been to one until I had a baby. When I was pregnant with Ezra, my sister-in-law, Sarah (pregnant with my nephew), and my mother-in-law, Julia, went to one of the first consignment sales in Jonesboro (I'm not sure if these sales were new to our area, or if we had just never paid attention since we didn't have kids, ha). I didn't really know anything about events like this, but they raved about the deals they found, and they were able to get a Pack and Play for me for $60 (it's really nice too--it vibrates, lights up, plays music, and has a changing table and bassinet attachment). When the sale came around the next year, we were able to go together since I was living in Northeast Arkansas again, and we found some pretty good deals for the boys.
I never really considered being a consignor in one of these sales, but I wanted to make sure I didn't miss another great sale like this, and at some point after shopping, I signed up for the Rhea Lana's newsletter (and 'liked' their Facebook page). When it was close to time for Rhea Lana's to have their fall sale, they started sending me e-mails about the dates and encouraged people to try consigning to make more money than a yard sale and find great deals for themselves at the same time. It all sounded so easy and simple, I thought, "Why not?" I had tried selling baby clothes at a flea market and found that people would hardly spend more than a dollar or two, even if the clothes were very high quality and basically new (I was lucky to have a kid that never spit up and we take great care of our clothes, plus babies don't stay in sizes long enough to wear them out).
I weeded through the boxes of baby clothes I had put up when Ez had outgrown them. Then I went through and put items together if needed (like pairing up onesies and other small items so they could be sold together) and put them in a stack beside me on the couch. I would enter an item and stack it in a box as I went. I didn't have my tags at first, so I had to go back and put numbered tags on the items later, but it still didn't take too much time overall. I probably worked on my items 2 or 3 nights after work, plus the extra night to get the tags pinned on them and hang all the items on hangers, since I didn't do that as I went.
The best decision I ended up making was who I consigned with. Rhea Lana's was very explanatory, and they are the only consignment sale around that guarantees your items. [In order for your items to be guaranteed, you must print your tag labels at the sale site and tag them there. I didn't have enough time to go get labels and print them myself, so I figured I'd just do it there. Little did I know how thankful I would be for that decision later!]
When I got there to unload and tag my items, there was no shortage of items! In fact, they were having to bring in more racks the night I was dropping my load off. The staff was very helpful in getting me started (pretty simple--they printed the labels, then I just matched the tag to each item and put the items on the racks, which were labeled by size).
One of the biggest perks of consigning is that you get to shop early! The first night, Sarah and I were browsing when I heard the amazing words, "Hey, aren't those cloth diapers?" escape her mouth. I got two packs of 6 diapers for next to nothing and they were SO cute! I was pleased to see that they all looked brand new and had no issues once-soever when I got home. I even bought one pack that had girly diapers, despite not being pregnant yet (this was between my miscarriage and getting pregnant with Ellie)!
Another thing I enjoyed as a consignor was tracking my sales live online. It was so cool to see your profits growing each day! I remember being jealous of Sarah since she had a smart phone and could check her sales anytime on their mobile site.
I ended up selling about half of my items. I wished I'd sold more, but I knew I'd made more on half of those items than I would have made on everything in a yard sale or flea market. Remember when I said Rhea Lana's is the only consignment sale around that guarantees your items? I was about to find out how important that is! When I went to pick up my items, I found I was missing some items. I was a little upset, but remembered the guarantee and was hoping they would stand behind it.
Bless her heart, Lauren (the head honcho of Rhea Lana's of Jonesboro), had been through a lot by the time I got to her in the line for lost items, etc. There was some lady who was trying to pick up a big check for someone else and a few other people who were trying to find certain items. I've worked retail and I know how tiring it can be to try and keep everyone happy, so I was smiling and trying not to seem too nervous when I explained that several of my items had 'disappeared.' She apologized for the confusion and they printed a second check to cover the lost items right away.
I was SO thankful! For once, me running short on time had led to a good thing, ha! I haven't consigned with any other sales since, because I know what could happen now. Even if someone didn't accidentally take my clothes, the potential for theft or tags coming unattached and items being lost is always there. I felt very blessed to have consigned with a sale that guarantees items, and I don't think I'll be using anyone else anytime soon. :)
Rhea Lana's is coming back to Jonesboro for their Spring sale March 25-27 at the ASU Convocation Center. I'm not sure if I'll have the time to enter many items before then because the next two weeks, I am SUPER booked between my sister's wedding, chaperoning a youth trip, and potty training Ezra over Spring Break (3 Day Method-bound!), but I will definitely be attending and seeing what deals I can get a hold of for Ezra and Ellie! I'm crossing my fingers that I can find a double jogging stroller and a few spring/summer outfits for both kiddos.
If you are in need (or want ;) ) of some great, quality kid's items for amazing prices, you need to check them out! Hint: Their Facebook page has lots of insider info, as well as their newsletter--be sure to sign up for it, and don't worry--they don't spam you like some places tend to.
Happy shopping and saving!