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.

Giveaway

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
College Bound, Healthy Living, Parenting

Finally, The College Student First Aid Kit with Mom-Approved Items

With one son back home after 4 years at College and continuing online, we have an 11 year old on his heels. I learned a lot as a College parent. I bought many things that turned out unnecessary and then there were the things I never thought of that became an instant need.

We spend about 18 years cooking for them, caring for them, cleaning scrapes, spooning medicine and now who will have eyes on them? Who will make sure they can take care of themselves? No one will! This is it and all you can do is send them off with the right tools and let them be little adults now. I bought a shallow tote on our son’s first year. It was low enough to slip under his dorm bed. In it were band-aids, medicine, Kleenex and all he’d need with a label that read -‘when you get sick’. It was the best I could leave him with.

Had I known about The College Student First Aid Kit that would have been so much better! Even a shallow tote took up too much room in that small space. The College Student First Aid Kit has everything but the kitchen sink (and the good brands too) in a small box. It was created by Beth Palmer Stewart, a Nurse practitioner with over 25 years of experience working with children, adolescents and young adults.

She also became a college Mom who quickly realized the struggle of finding first aid kits to leave with her student that wasn’t full of generic brands and wasn’t missing crucial items. She went to great lengths to research the best possible kits bundled into convenient sizes for dorm spaces and every student needs one as they head off to their new life.

I remember our son saying things like “..there is a student store if I need anything” or “…a Walmart is right down the street”. What they don’t realize is that when sickness hits you, that is one long drive to the store when you don’t feel like leaving your bed. Also, the student store was so far across campus and they lived at the bottom of campus hill and in the snow that town got, winter ailments were horrible if you needed to walk or find a parking space near that store. They need to have these essentials in the room and ready to go.

There are 3 sizes of kits to choose from. The most thorough is the Premium Plus Kit. With over 50 different medications, ointments, creams, drops, tools, and wound care items they will be taken care of just fine, Mom and Dad! Don’t worry. Before you know it 4 years have passed and you’ll be a pro at this. Visit College First Aid Kit to keep them prepared.

College Bound, Home

Ambiance Lighting with SKYlite Laser Galaxy Projector – BlissLights

Dorm Room Fun with SKYlite Laser Galaxy Projector - BlissLights

Last week I went to the door to grab my packages. As I opened one of the boxes and pulled out my SKYlite from Blisslights my 11 year old grabbed it to observe then got very excited, “I have always wanted lights like this for my game room! They make the room more fun…”. So he immediately adopted this little white box that makes his own personal galaxy appear on the walls and ceiling.

I thought of all the teens gathering items for their College dorms this fall and how fun would this ambiance lighting be in the room? The unit is small enough to not be intrusive in a small room and it is such a calming ambiance.

It appears as drifting green stars against a moving blue nebula. the titling design allows you to shine the effect on walls or ceiling. Easily adjust light settings and effects with simple button controls. 

BlissLights also have more indoor and outdoor lighting options to rally transform spaces you want to light up. From instant holiday decor to revolutionary landscape lighting to lively party atmosphere, BlissLights products are perfect for any occasion and lifestyle.

See the selection at BlissLights.com

College Bound, Gift Guides

3 Unique Graduation Gifts that Promote Safety on College Campus

Sending one off to College? Scary, isn’t it? All we can do is help make sure they have all they need and let them go. For our own piece of mind, we can make sure we set leave them on campus as safely prepared as possible.

These Unique Graduation Gifts that Promote Safety on College Campus are great to give and in a time when needed, they will be so appreciative you made them available for them to use.

1. The Bunk Trunk

This is the best space-saver gift you can buy a grad heading off to a small dorm in College! If you have someone graduating High School and heading off to a College campus in a few months this is a gift that will get a lot of use! Dorm rooms are small and furniture just makes it smaller, so the Bunk Trunk is several spaces in one.

It is a safe/locker, nightstand and work surface all in one. But you can’t mount things or drill into the walls of a dorm room per the rules? There is no mounting hardware! It easily fits above the top bunk in college dorm rooms or under the bed. The BunkTrunk has a digital combo, so you never have to worry about losing a key. It even has a power strip with USB ports to charge your gear when it’s locked away.

The Bunk Trunk protects your valuables while you get to know your roommates and their friends. When student leaves their dorm room, they lock up their Bunk Trunk and take the key with them. Keeping valuables safe is on every students mind and this is a space saver and peace of mind for them. This is your must gift that you can buy HERE!

2. SABRE Pepper Spray Keychain for Women

Mom and Dad, take a breath! Remember putting your daughter on the bus for the first time and not letting out a breath until that little girl walked back off of it hours later? That doesn’t compare to leaving her behind on a big and scary campus! Leave her with SABRE!

Every female student (and males too) should carry a safe protection for themselves. I know a pepper spray is not cool-lookimg to carry around, so how about a pink one with quick release maximum police strength OC Spray. It also has finger grip for accuracy, 10-foot range with 25 bursts. So no one is messing with her now! This can be ordered right now on Amazon!

3. Securityman 2-in-1 Adjustable Door Knob Jammer

This is great for all dorm rooms. Not only does it keep intruders out, but there is no hardware installation needed which most dorms will not allow and it is easily removed in a fire or other emergencies where they need to leave in a hurry.

Whether they are in a co-ed building and needs that extra intruder safety or there is a campus-wide intruder alert they can safely barricade inside. Grips to hard floor surfaces or carpet. Available on Amazon.