I tried Thred Up, this is what happened…

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So… I really try to make the best, eco friendly, organic decisions that I possibly can. You know those funny videos that mock moms for packing the eco friendly packaged, vegan, organic snacks? I am that mom. I don’t really care about the jokes people make, what people think. I stand by what I do and I truly believe I am doing the best I can to reduce my family’s carbon footprint, make smart educated decisions and live a happy healthy life.

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When it came to clothes however, I have to admit I was a bit of a snob. I have hated the fact that the places I like to shop at for my son are not great for the environment or as cost effective as I would like. The stores I shop at dont sell clothes with organic cotton or eco friendly packaging. What can you do? Those boutiques are expensive and with a rambunctious little boy who likes to be in the dirt and lay on the floor, a good size wardrobe with durable clothing is necessary!! All of this and at a great price, not too much to ask right?? Before my son was born he had a larger wardrobe than I did. We didn’t have hardly anything used aside from a few hand-me-downs from a close friend. I didn’t know of a place where I could get high quality second hand clothes that didn’t smell thrifty and look ratty. It kind of freaked me out.

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This has all changed now. First of all I heard of Thred up on a Facebook ad. Usually I ignore these ads but I saw a cool video advertisement and thought wow that’s kind of cool! I was always looking for places to bring my clothes that I had gotten sick of or weren’t in style anymore and once I had my son, clothes that didn’t fit any longer! This site made it look incredibly easy, which for a busy working mom, seemed PERFECT!

So I gave it a try and sent in a nice big bag! To start, I have to be honest many of the things I sent in, were not really the quality for resale but I wanted to see what happened and I didn’t really care what they did with the items they didn’t accept. I sent in a combination of women’s clothes and baby clothes. Some items were definitely not in season, some items were missing the bottoms to a set or the top. So I was not surprised when my total for the bad of probably 35 items was about $10. I had wished I could get a little more but I had no idea how far $10 could go on Thred Up!

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So when it came time for me to spend that $10 I was so excited! As I started looking through the toddler boy clothes I was ASTOUNDED seeing gorgeous khaki pants from reputable children’s clothing companies for $2.99, $4.99 and $5.99!! I saw nice dress pants for a fraction of what they usually cost!! I saw amazing companies like Crew Kids, Tea, Gap and more, I just kept adding to my cart! After shopping I had a ton of clothes in my cart. Luckily there was a coupon on the site and I used my $10 credit too!

My total for about 12 items was about $28!!! I was stunned! My only concern was that I would get these items in the mail and they would be so clearly worn, used and not what I wanted. I could not have been more wrong! When my packages came in the mail, I got them in three disbursements, two in envelopes and one in a box. The reason for this is that some of the items were coming from different warehouse locations. The clothes were neatly folded and wrapped in tissue paper with a Thred Up sticker, they smelled nice and clean and absolutely no sign of heavy use wear or tear. I was so so happy and excited!

Needless to say, I will be sending more clothes in and shopping there more as well!! With kids, there are always stains, accidents, messy crafts and more. It feels so good to order clothes that are cute and look good but given new life after being used and then re-bought and used again! I honestly feel like every mom at-least even if she doesn’t want to shop here for herself should try it for her kids. This is an amazing company and these clothes are clean and in great shape!! I don’t worry as much if my son stains a shirt if it cost me $4 on Thred Up!! I definitely love to dress my son up for special occasions and this site has awesome items for those special moments! My son wore some khakis from Thred Up on his birthday!! Definitely try this site because you won’t be disappointed!!

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Eco-Friendly Birthday Party on a Budget | 5 Easy Tips to Follow

Birthday parties, they are so fun, so meaningful, but also… so wasteful. From paper plates, plastic cups to disposable cutlery sets, there is a lot of waste. So what can we do? No one wants to wash dishes for a large party, is there a way to throw a birthday cookout on a budget and still have everything looking classy?

Well you guessed it!! THAT is exactly my mission with my sons second birthday!! So we have decided on a TinkerBell and Peter Pan theme. He loves the TinkerBell movies and Peter Pan is such a timeless and classic theme. The first thing I did, the first place I started was with the disposable plates, cups and cutlery.

Eco Friendly Supplies:

I scoured Amazon for eco-friendly, biodegradable materials. I found a set of plates for under $6 for 50 plates! They are wheat straw fiber plates and they are completely biodegradable, earth friendly and natural. I then moved on to plastic cups, I found completely compostable plant based plastic cups that are sturdy. The set of 50 cups was $6.69 Lastly, I chose a wooden disposable cutlery set with 100 forks, 100 knives, and 50 spoons. This set being only $9.99 it was frugal and economical.

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Don’t buy certain materials:

So there are certain things I won’t use and wont buy for birthdays. Mostly these items are really terrible for the environment when discarded. First one is balloons, I will not buy balloons anymore for parties. If the balloons are let go into the atmosphere and then popped and back into the earth as trash they are very damaging to animals and our environment. I just do not see them being worth it for the damage they cause. Another item I will no longer buy is confetti or glitter. In the past I was all about the glitter and sparkly confetti for parties but after learning how damaging these microscopic pieces of plastic are, they have made it on to the “no buy” list. If I do purchase glitter I will look for something made from plants, something eco-friendly and biodegradable. A great example is the image below, biodegradable star confetti. Just making better choices can lead to unique and original decorations and also better results for our earth too!

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Reduce Reuse Recycle:

Another thing I do very often for parties is I reuse things I already have at home. I am a big crafter so chances are I have things I can fashion into any theme around my home. I have fabric, notions, twinkle lights, paint, markers, printing paper, all kinds of craft paper and much more!! I do not buy anything that I might already have or that I can make myself. For Augustus’ birthday this year I made my own Tinker Bell stickers using this print and stick paper I got FREE at a yard sale!! This was one of the coolest things I did, I really enjoyed the way it came out when I was done. I used some of these stickers to press on mason jars (recycled from jars of sauce or salsa) that I filled with mini light sets and tulle. The rest of the stickers I bought will be stuck on a fairy forest backdrop I bought on Amazon for $13. This will create a scene with the characters from the theme we are using and be a fun backdrop for photos! Being a photographer I know I will use this backdrop later! I can’t wait to see how these things come together this weekend!

Skip the cheap breakable favors:

We all know the items I am talking about, those cheap sets for like $10 with 50 party favors and decorations. Whistles, plastic rings, Stamps, keychains… does anyone even keep these items after the party? If your child received these items at a party would you be ready and excited to dispose of them once the novelty was over? Getting nice party favors can be expensive sometimes, creating decor that’s classy and nice looking without being wasteful and excessive can be a challenge too. I decided to skip the cheap crap for our goodie bags and have the kids who attend create something themselves that they can keep and that parents wont be totally disgusted by! I bought a bunch of mini wooden chests for the kids to decorate, they were only $1 each!! I already have tons of materials for them to use to decorate so that part was easy! I also threw some other cute items in the bag that are useful and fun. So once they finish their chest and it dries they can take it home in their Tinker Bell goodie bag! I think this is going to be really fun!

For decor, get creative think outside of the box:

So aside from my awesome DIY stickers and the backdrop I ordered, I have a few other ideas up my sleeve to add to the fun atmosphere. I took some wooden frames ($1 at michaels) and printed out some cool Peter Pan art from online and framed them. What a cute thing and its going to really make the decorations even better! I also printed out a sketched map of “Neverland” and framed that as well. These are simple ideas and easy to incorporate into your decorating skills. I then used some scrapbooking stickers to write “Peter Pan” on one frame and “You can fly!” on another. These frames can also be painted, you can use stickers there are endless possibilities but I kept it simple because the natural wood look goes really well with my theme!

I also used felt. Felt is really inexpensive and I made flowers, leaves and a leafy garland for the party. I think this is going to add a lot of color and fun!

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So, I shared most of my ideas I am using for the upcoming birthday party this Saturday! Its really possible and even easy to have a tight budget and still make really amazing original decorations! Just having a little creativity using ideas from Pinterest you can really impress your guests! What do you do for birthday parties? Do you make your own decorations? I would love to hear more about what other people are doing to create awesome creative DIY party decor! Stay tuned for a post with pictures from the party and details about how it went!!! Cant wait to share!