Ting's Mom

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Saving Money {and Making It Too} at Rhea Lana's of El Dorado

This post is written on behalf of Rhea Lana's of El Dorado. I received an early shopping pass (aka, Rhea Lana gold) in exchange for my post. No other compensation was received. All photos used with permission of Rhea Lana's of El Dorado.

Ting was only a few months old when I spotted the first Rhea Lana's advertisement in El Dorado. I thought I'd check it out and see what it had to offer. My mom, Ting, and I headed to El Dorado to a small building at the fair grounds and did a little shopping. I still remember that little pink Gap sweater that had a white flower on it. I paid less than $5 for it and it was in perfect condition. That was the day I became a dedicated Rhea Lana's shopper!

This Spring the Rhea Lana's of El Dorado Consignment Sale is celebrating it's tenth event. I have not missed a single sale, and I can tell you from experience that this event just keeps getting bigger and better. After having the events at various locations in El Dorado, Melissa Polk (franchise owner) finally landed at the El Dorado Conference Center, and it seems to me that this has become the perfect location for this semi-annual sale.

For the first seven sales I simply shopped. Each sale I would print the shopping pass posted to Facebook (these days we can just show the pass on our phone) and my mom and I would head to El Dorado and get in line. The simple sight of moms lined up with their shopping bags and baskets is testament to the quality of items that can be purchased at Rhea Lana's Consignment sales.

Once inside the door, we always head straight to the racks that hold the current sizes of my kids and start loading our own baskets. I'm a bargain shopper so I spend my time analyzing the items and calculating the prices to ensure that I'm getting a good deal. Each event we come away with two huge bags full of clothes, and spend around $150. The Rhea Lana's event is the source for about 95% of my kids' wardrobe, and I always look forward to coming home to brag to Hubby about the great deals I've gotten.

These days I also consign. The Rhea Lana's site has an awesome portal for consignors (along with detailed prep instructions), and makes it super easy to sale your gently used items at the events as well. Although the preparation, tagging, and dropping off can be a lot of work, I learned very quickly that it is well worth the time spent doing it. Logging into the site and looking at our current sales has become a highly anticipated event at our house during the event week. The past two sales I have received a check that was more than double what I actually spent at the sale. I call that a win!

This sale I am taking advantage of the VIP option. I never actually knew this was an option, but I am so glad I noticed it this year. Hubby and I are trying to purge our house and we had several years' worth of kid clothes in the storage building. I washed and sorted them all, and then handed them over to one of the Rhea Lana's volunteers. They have done all the prep work for me. Although I am only getting 40% of my sales (regular consignors earn 70%), it has been a huge stress relief for me. There was no way I would have ever gotten everything done in time.

One of the other things I love about Rhea Lana's events is their commitment to local organizations in need. At the end of each sale, unsold items are donated to local programs in need (moms do have the option to get their unsold items back rather than donate). Just check out all these items that benefited deserving individuals in South Arkansas after the last sale.

So now that you are ready to shop, what do you need to know?

The Spring event starts Sunday, March 1 at 11am. The sale runs through the week with the half-price sale taking place on Friday, March 6 and Saturday, March 7. You can get the full detailed scheduled by clicking here. You can pay by cash, check, or major credit cards - but be prepared to show ID if you are using something other than cash.

When you show up to shop, bring a big bag. Some moms even bring laundry baskets. You will want something big - I promise. And also, leave your kids at home. Not only will they distract you from being able to shop, but cranky moms like me like the idea of a kid-free night of shopping!

Also, there is so much more than just clothes at the Rhea Lana's sale. Think toys, books, gear, and more. The year I was pregnant with Bug, I scored a $300 stroller for less than $50 - true story!

And last, but not least, be prepared to be amazed. The Rhea Lana's folks have perfected the consignment sale business. You will not find a more friendly or organized place to shop for your kids. Everything is clean, neat, and efficient as you shop and check out.

If you are in the South Arkansas area, make it a date to come shop. Maybe I'll see you there! If you are not in the area, check out the Rhea Lana's site. With events in 24 states, there is probably one near you.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

AR Women Bloggers | Work Day

Any time I get to see my blogging buddies is a good day for me. I love all the ladies I have met through Arkansas Women Bloggers, but the women in Southwest Arkansas have become some of my best friends.

So when AR Women Bloggers announced that we were going to have a work day in various locations throughout the state, I immediately got excited about spending the day with my friends - not to mention we were going to be blogging. Win, Win, Win.

The Hampton Inn & Suites in Hope, AR was kind enough to provide a meeting space for the Southwest group. We arrived early that morning (by Saturday standards) and immediately got to work dug into the donuts!

hampton inn hope arkansas

This is where I need to tell you that the Hampton Inn & Suites in Hope is beautiful. Not only does it have the amazing design that has come to be expected from the Hampton Inn line, but I don't think there was a spec of dust in the entire building. It was immaculate.

women bloggers working

We did eventually get to work, and spent the day discussing platforms, resources, and share buttons. The thing I love about this group is that every single time we all get together, I learn something. Sometimes I learn about blogging, sometimes about social media, or something related to parenting or life in general - but I always learn something valuable to me.

Although our meeting room was nice and comfortable, we learned on our facility tour that the accommodations upstairs were even better. I could get used to a room that looks like this!

hampton inn and suites hope ar

During the day we got to video chat with the bloggers in the other parts of the state, and got to fill our heads and hearts with all the blogging goodness. It was a fun and amazing day, and exactly what this mommy needed.

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Monday, February 23, 2015

Words to Dream On {Giveaway}

I'm a Tommy Nelson Mommy. I receive products from Tommy Nelson for my kids to use and review. Tommy Nelson also provides the prize for the giveaway. All opinions are my own.

What a better way to spend the last few minutes of the day than snuggled up with your children, pouring God's love into their hearts? Words to Dream On calms, quiets, and opens hearts to hear faith-building Bible stories and prayers. Over 50 stories - from the Old and New Testaments - create an overview of the Bible with a focus on God's love, care, protection, trustworthiness, and power.

My Thoughts:
Bug and I are both loving this book. I'm working my way through the Bible this year, and this book could easily be an equivalent to a preschooler working their way through the Bible as well.

The book consists of shorts stories - two small pages max - that tell the stories of the Bible. It begins with the story of creation and follows the same order as the Bible. The language used is simplified so that a preschooler can easily understand. In addition the fun illustrations help to tell the story.

Each story begins with a scripture reference and then the story. The story ends with a short 2-3 sentence prayer that relates to the story that was just read.

This book is the perfect way to introduce your young child to the Bible and to make a habit of daily Bible stories. Bug asks for his story every night at bedtime and sits very still while I read to him. After I read the story he always looks at the pictures and then tells me what is going on in them. I love that he is so engaged in these stories.

Of course, I couldn't just tell you about this awesome book without giving you an opportunity to get your hands on your own copy. Use the widget below to get entered. A winner will be selected Saturday evening and I will email that person.

boy with words to dream on book

Also, note that I have a cool new option as an entry. If you want to sign up for my Tommy Nelson giveaway notice, I will send you an email every time I have a new Tommy Nelson giveaway go live! I give at least one book away monthly and you could be one of the first to know.

Good luck!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Five on Friday {February 19}

I'm back with Five on Friday this week. This week is about some stuff I've bought lately, and Ting. Two very important topics, haha! Here we go..

At the end of December I started seeing a bunch of Thirty-One reps talking about the new wallets that were coming out, All About the Benjamin. I haven't had a good wallet in years, and they were going to be on special in January. So January 1st I jumped online and ordered one. I also got a new cross-over bag for really cheap with the special. I love my new wallet. I got the green one, and it has a ton of places for debit cards and such, a coin section, and a couple places to put cash, coupons, or whatever you are needing to keep up with.

You may also remember that I picked Patient as my One Word for 2015. Someone posted a picture on Instagram of a necklace with their one word, and (of course) I had to have one. Isn't this awesome?! You can head over to Krafty Kash if you want to order one.

one word necklace from krafty kash

I told you earlier that we were starting Keepers of the Faith with Ting this year. She started the year on a roll and we had our first award presentation a few weeks ago. She earned nine awards in the first month!

little keepers of the faith awards

Ting lost another tooth! She has now lost four teeth, all in front. Eating a few things has become difficult, and she sounds a little funny when she talks!

fourth lost tooth

I can't remember where I first saw the Kinsa thermometers, but I was immediately interested. These thermometers plug into your smart phone or tablet and communicate with an app that you download. You can create profiles for all your family members and then keep up with temps, symptoms, meds, and other things you would like to log. Ours came in this week. I took about three minutes to get it all set up and calibrated with my phone, and then everyone got temp checks. I know this is going to be so handy next time I get a sick kid.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Duck Commander Devotions for Kids {Giveaway}

I'm a Tommy Nelson Mommy! Each month I am provided with review copies of products from Tommy Nelson, and then I get to tell you about them and give away copies to my readers. I receive no further compensation, just awesome products for my kids.

Duck Commander Devotions for Kids
Duck Commander Devotions for Kids will inspire kids to get outside, get involved with their family and their world, and - best of all - get closer to God. Each lively devotion features Scripture, a prayer, real-life humorous stories from the Robertson family, and a Duck Commander in Action application.

Families will appreciate down-to-earth Bible lessons that teach kids how to dig in to God's Word and practical ideas that show kids how to put young faith into action.

Our Thoughts:
I'm not sure there are many southern families that aren't familiar with, and slightly in love with, the Robertson family. Although - like most of America - our first impressions of the Robertson family was through a television show, I have really enjoyed reading about and researching the family that is behind Duck Commander - the brand.

Of course, my kids have watched endless hours of the Duck folks on TV and pretty much enjoy anything that features any of the Robertson family. So Ting was pretty excited when the Duck Commander Devotions for Kids arrived at our house.

This book has become an amazing bedtime devotion for her. Since she is learning to read she is excited about anything that she can read for herself. This devotion book features simple language and she has been able to read most of the devotions on her own. The real-life stories of the Robertson family bring each devotion to life and make it very easy to relate the message back to our own family and lessons that Ting can learn.

There are lessons there for mom as well - such as the night the devotion, "Speaking Softly Says a Lot" hit me square in the face. Wow, that was one that many moms could probably relate to as much as our kids.

In addition, the book has really fun graphics that catch our attention, a short prayer that relates to the devotion, and a brief section on how to put each lesson into action in our own lives.

Duck Commander Devotions for Kids | giveaway ends 2.21.15

You can find Duck Commander Devotions for Kids on the Thomas Nelson website, or wherever you typically purchase your faith-based books. OR... you can use the widget below to get entered to win a copy! The giveaway ends on Saturday and I'll email the winner over the weekend. Good luck!

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Monday, February 16, 2015

Valentine's {Birthday} Weekend

Last month when I turned 36, I was sick and Hubby was working out of town. Hubby promised to make it up to me first chance we got, and this weekend turned into the perfect weekend. Because of some plans later in the weekend, the kids were gone for three nights. We took advantage of our situation.

After work on Friday we headed to Texarkana and made our first stop the Longhorn Steakhouse. This is the same place we ate last time we got a night away, but it was so good we had to go back. We both got an amazing steak, and other yummy foods.

my favorite valentine

Then we headed to get checked into our hotel. Every single time we go to Texarkana I am blown away at how much it has grown and changed in recent years. I knew they had built a huge convention center complex on the Texas side, but wasn't aware that they had done the same on the Arkansas side. We ended up staying at the Best Western Plus which is located right next to the Arkansas Convention Center. We also had the new Texarkana waterpark outside our window. That place looks amazing and we are definitely taking the kids back in the summer.

Saturday morning we slept until 9:00am (be jealous, it's okay!). Then we did some shopping. We stopped by Home Depot and bought a HEPA filter for Bug's new allergy-friendly room. Then the Hubby introduced me to Golden Corral. And this is the point I must ask my parents - why have you never taken me to Golden Corral? Oh. My. Word. They had everything to chose from, and I might have tried half of it. It was all amazing. Seriously, I could go on and on. I must go back.

Then we headed to the mall. I have a slightly unhealthy love for some JC Penny, and they were having a sale! I scored two skirts, three tops and a dress at some deep discounts. Hubby even found some shirts and ended up saving more than he spent.

Then we had to head home because Hubby's boss was having a get-together at his house. We headed over there and had a great time catching up with some old friends, and making a few news ones.

We had a perfect Valentine/Birthday weekend, and we were ready to see our babies Sunday morning.

How was your weekend?

BTW, nothing in this post is sponsored. I just had such a great weekend that I felt the need to give you the link to all the places that made it great.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Grasses. And Peanuts. And Trees. Oh, My!

My kids have always been healthy. Healthy to the point that I kind of like to brag about it when I can. Yep, I'm that mom. But from the day Bug has been old enough to eat solid foods, he has always gagged and spit out his food when we tried to give him peanuts, eggs, or peanut butter. I've always just said he didn't like them and never worried about it.

Several weeks ago, though, all that changed. I picked him up from school and was informed that he had a minor reaction to some trail mix during snack time. Nothing life-threatening, but definitely a reaction. I called our doctor on the way home that day and had an appointment the next week. He referred us to an Allergist, and that is where we spent our Monday.

I was initially going to make this trip alone because I honestly though the reaction thing was a fluke and we had nothing to worry about. But, I have been sick for three weeks so my mom offered to ride with us in case I got worn out.

boy with grandma

We arrived at Four Seasons Allergy & Asthma in Little Rock (and I highly recommend them if you need an Allergist) and got all checked in. Dr. Jeffers did a routine check-up, ask me a ton of questions about Bug starting with his birth, and then said she was going to do some allergy testing. Then they went to town on my poor baby's back. Bug screamed his head off - partly from the pain, partly from having to be still, and partly because he was just mad.

Fifteen minutes later we had our answers in the form of lots of whelps and a seriously red back and face. Turns out we have a few allergies: nuts, egg whites, trees, grasses, weeds, dust, dogs, cats. You know, basically South Arkansas!

Y'all, I was in shock. And suddenly very glad my mom had gone with me. Dr. Jeffers went over a ton of information with me. Between the shock and the information overload, it took the entire way home to really start processing it all.

Bug just wanted a nap. And some pancakes. He got both, and we came home. We have some lifestyle changes to make, some education for ourselves and everyone who watches our kids, and a little adjusting to the fact that my kids aren't that perfect picture of health. But we'll make it!

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