College Bound, Fashion, Giveaways, Kids, Money Saver, Reviews by Anthony, School, Tips and Tricks

5 Reasons You Should Thrift Shop for Back to School #Giveaway (Wa. State)

I graduated high school in 1995 and I remember the stigma around ‘Goodwill clothes’ as a teen. Back then it was not considered cool to thrift shop. You were singled out as ‘poor’ or teased for wearing worn clothing. You felt that not only was name brand what you needed, but it was also where you bought it. Had I known back then the tips to thrift shopping, no one would have ever known where I bought the name brands I was wearing. Today is different!

Today, thrift shopping is trendy. That is because the styles are lose, colorful and a step back to the ‘Stranger Things 80’s’. Recently, Anthony and I attended a media fashion event at our local Goodwill store. This invent included teen models and aspiring fashion students who were able to talk to Mom’s about the in’s and out’s of todays fashion and how Goodwill offers the choices needed to put together your child’s style. From ripped jeans to Converse, we saw it all there.

So, how do you thrift shop? We were not caught dead in a thrift store 25 years ago and now our kids style tells us to shop here. It can be overwhelming to step inside a thrift store to racks and racks of clothes. Where do you start? Anthony and his school friend paired up with a College student for the shopping experience at our local Goodwill. Here is what he (and I) learned.

You will find what you are looking for! Because donations come in daily, the clothing arrives on the racks daily. If you become a frequent Goodwill shopper you will find yourself coming back more than once a week at times because you realize how quickly new stuff arrives on the rack. If you have a list of wants and needs for your kids, you can get it all and keep checking back to fulfill their lists.

You save more than you think you would! We all know that thrift stores prices are low due to the clothing being pre-owned and sometimes never even pre-worn. We found a lot of items with new tags still attached on the racks. On top of the everyday thrift prices, they have tag sales. When we were there Goodwill had 2 different tag sales – a yellow .99Cent and a red 50% off. On top of lower thrift prices and tag sales, most Goodwill regions offer discount calendar days like Student Sundays, Senior Tuesdays, Military Wednesday and Fan Fridays for additional savings on most items. It doesn’t stop there! Our local (South West Washington) Goodwill stores have a Denim BOGO (buy one, get one) coupon runs Aug 19 – Sept 1 (and) a BOGO mug for college students that expires Aug 17 (Coupon).

Thrift shopping relieves daily pressures! If you have older kids you may realize that as they move through high school and into College their style changes. It almost relaxes. They hit years of harder homework, tighter deadlines and now jobs and having to spend their own money so suddenly cheap and comfy is in. It is in because it is easy. They stayed up all night getting that assignment done and nothing feels better than a favorite pair of sweats and hoodie in the morning to head out the door. Goodwill is a place to offer these options for your older teen. Comfy, big and worry-free from high prices.

Thrift shopping teaches a budgeting lesson! What is that lesson? There are options with your money. At age 15, all parents are ‘loaded’ and wanting the big brands at large department stores is no skin off their back because they have no clue. If you walk into a thrift store and hand them an envelope and challenge them to check everything off their list and stay within that budget it is fun to see what they can put together. If they really want ‘name brand’ head to the mall after the thrift store and hand them the same envelope (as a tool) and challenge them to spend the same $50 or $100 there). These are teens, they don’t get it until they see it actually drawn or played out. Reminding them they are getting 2 items at that department store versus 10 is the difference that opens their eyes. It did for Anthony.

The last reason for thrift shopping is that your clothes are already worn in! No multiple washing or the discomfort of new and stiff. Whether you find a great pair of jeans or new jacket, it has the break in already and nothing feels better than a great, relaxed pair of jeans ready to bring you comfort all day right from the start.

These local teens made thrift shopping fun and cool! One of these gals has even been noticed by the European fashion community for her tips and topics as she makes finding trends in Goodwill enticing. You now see celebrities and Instagramers thrifting and it is now OK to be seen in Goodwill, so take advantage of that. You’re wallet will thank you. Make sure you sign up for the deals and offer announcements.

One more way to save that I forgot to mention is to donate! Bring those old items in and grab your 30% off 1 item so that when you find that piece you like and it is not currently on sale you have a coupon.

Looking through displays like our Goodwill store has of outfits and styles is great inspiration like the ones in the above collage that our student models picked out around the store. They found styles from the Skater, to the Stranger Things 80’s, casual and the soft female. Don’t forget the backpack, dorm supplies and school supplies while there. They have it all and Goodwill has a Back to School DIY page for inspiration.


1 lucky Western Washington reader will win a $50 Goodwill Gift Card. (see this store locator to see if your area qualifies, note Seattle and North does not qualify). Giveaway ends on 8/27. Enter below and good luck!

$50 Goodwill Gift Card
2018 Holiday Gifts, Education, Reviews by Anthony, STEM Learning, Toy Reviews

Kiwi Co. The Glow Lab STEM Science Kit

Kiwi Co. The Glow Lab STEM Science Kit

2018 Holiday Gift Guide Feature: The Glow Lab

The Glow Lab is one of the project kits from KiwiCo and will be a hit in homes. In this lab kit you get everything you need to complete 3 experiments: fluorescence, phosphorescence, and chemiluminescence. It is rated for ages 14+ but I tried it (supervised) with Anthony who is 10 1/2 and here is a video below:

At Kiwi Co there are STEM kits and projects for ages 3-teens! The most popular choice are the Kiwi Crates. These are monthly subscriptions you can send once or every month for years. Pick an age (you can change that age at anytime) and they get a new kit every month and the longer you order your subscription for the more you save and even getting science kits sent for under $20!


If a subscription service is not your thing, then you can shop their kits by age and category.

Shopping for Science Kits

Available at Kiwi Co along with more science its for all ages.

Need more gift ideas? Visit the 2018 Holiday Gift Guide!

Gift Guides, Healthy Living, Kids, Reviews, Reviews by Anthony, Summer, Video Reviews by Anthony

The Priority Bicycles Start 20 Kids Bike Review

Thank you to Priority Bicycles for sending the bike for feature

The Priority Start 20 Kids Bike Review

Is it time to introduce a quality bike to enhance riding skills and introduce gears? Are your bike rides hindered by kids bikes that can’t use the same terrain as yours can? If they can fit on a 20″ bike it is time for the Start 20 from Priority Bicycles. This is because you get a quality bike with quality parts at a reasonable price. Let’s take a better look!

Imagine having no more chains and no more grease. The Priority Start 20 kids bicycle has

  • Comfort all-weather grips
  • 3 Speed Shimano hub with grip shifter
  • Comfortable all-weather seat
  • Dual hand brakes
  • Rear free wheel
  • All terrain durable tires
  • Solid platform pedals
  • Rust and grease free belt drive

I worried at first that perhaps with Anthony’s growth spurt that he was a bit tall for the bike, but he says he loves it a bit low. He says he can jump it and turn much easier that way. He hardly rides sitting down as he always lifts up and he has such great comfort in this bike with the grips and shifting is easy.

new bike

This bike makes learning gears easy as I can hear the clicks and catch and can help him out as he learns to shift up and down depending on hills or terrain.

bike rides

Let’s see how the Priority Start 20 rides:

Priority Bicycles has bikes for kids as small as balance starters and 16″ to adults. They really are a fantastically built bike for the price point. The good thing is that my local bike shop says when he wants they can put a higher stem in to raise the handle bars so he can grow with this same bike.

They do 100% of their sales through Just a small NYC company bringing you a comfortable and easy-to-ride bike for all sizes and abilities.

Kids, Reviews, Reviews by Anthony, Toy Reviews

3Doodler is the Newest STEM Gift for the Creative Minds

I have partnered with the following brand for feature

3Doodler is the Newest STEM Gift for the Creative Minds

Anthony is 10 so I asked for the best pen for this age and older and we were sent the 3Doodler Create+ pen. 3Doodler has 3 pen options, the Start pen for ages 6+, Create+ for ages 14+ and the Pro can use 6 types of materials!

Our kit came with everything we need to get started

  • 3Doodler Create+ 3D Printing Pen
  • 3 Packs of refills (75 refills in 15 different colors)
  • Power Adapter
  • Maintenance Tools
  • Quick Start Guide
  • 5 start step-by-step projects
  • Instruction manual

Our 3Doodler Create+ 3D pen is easy to hold and so easy to use. I love the videos they have on their youTube channel because they really help you get to know your pen as well as feature great project ideas and tips.

I took over as the lead in our local High School cafeteria and am in the process of transforming the kitchen. It is so sterile and no one has ever put any effort into the kitchen in the past. I love decor and plan to have fun in that kitchen going forward for the kids. The school initials are OHS so I decided to have some fun and create a standing letter O to keep in the cafeteria.

I found the right shape O in Google images and printed one off. It would seem easy to just do a circle and call it an O, but as you can see in our video. It really helps to have it on paper. It comes out so much cleaner.

Now that I tried it out it was time to have Anthony play around with the pen. St age 10 he did very well. He likes to draw and write so this was so fun for him to see his creations peel right off the paper. There is a slow and fast speed on the pen and starting and stopping is just a 1-click operation.

As for safety! The tip gets hot so be careful and make sure you supervise the little ones. The plastic that comes with it is a no-mess and non-toxic material so it is safe to handle for those reasons.

Anthony printed out a Fortnite character and with some help from me on some curves and cleanup in his lines we created a fun piece and he wants to construct a stand with his LEGOS for it and display in his game room:

Visit 3Doodler to browse the pen options and choose the best one for your needs and users.