Mar 22 2012

Sorting through our clothes and creating a spring/summer clothes shopping list


These unseasonably warm temperatures have had me going through my spring/summer clothes much sooner than I expected. Here’s what I’m doing.

The kids:

I got (mostly) caught up on laundry to asses what we have in its entirety. I sorted out items they’ve outgrown, never wore, were stained beyond repair or were getting too worn. Johnny had a pair of pants that were worn by a bunch of little boys and the fabric was finally starting to wear thin. Time to toss ’em.

I saved the wintery clothes that were still in good condition, for some other little kid (be it mine or a friend’s baby, or selling ’em off in a yard sale some day).

Since it’s still only March, it’s entirely possible we’ll have another cold snap. I kept out a few long-sleeved items and some sweatshirts just in case.

I sorted through the hand-me-downs in the next sizes up and pulled out pieces that are mix-and-matchable or otherwise can make a complete outfit. I had some bottoms for Vivienne that were really cute, but I had absolutely no tops to pair with them. Not gunna work.

For her, I need a swimsuit. I think I’ll go with a two-piece item since that’ll probably fit her longer than a one-piece. I’d like a diaper-cover bottom and a rashguard-type shirt to keep her skin more protected. That’s all I’m going to need for her at this point in the season. Woo!

For Johnny, he’ll also need swim trunks and a rashguard shirt. He has an intense dislike/fear of being in water, so I really won’t want to spend much money on it, in case he doesn’t actually swim or splash this year.

He has plenty of shorts but will need a few more t-shirts in the next sizes up, and also a few items for church.

I’m still checking out area consignment and thrift stores for them, and if I can’t find what I’m seeking there, I’ll go to Kohl’s or Target or something, as well as keeping my eyes out for a good neighborhood yard sale.

Side note:I am really missing St. Vincent de Paul’s in Castle Shannon, PA, and The Has Bin on Rt. 88 for cheap, quality second-hand clothes. :/

My husband:

When it comes to clothes shopping for Shane, he has it so easy. He wears button-down shirts and polos to work, along with khakis or dress pants. On weekends, he’ll wear a polo or t-shirt with jeans. Such an easy formula. All we have to do is cull the fading/worn out items and replace them with colors and patterns he likes.

I spotted a good sale on yesterday (it’s now over). Dress shirts were marked down, and there was a 20% coupon code, free shipping, plus 6% cash back from Ebates. Win! I spent 5 minutes choosing shirts and ordered them. If they don’t work, no trouble — I’ll just return them.

He needs 1-2 pair shorts (a jean and a khaki) and he’ll be good for the season.


Oh, ugh. I’ve been sorting my closet by items I like and sorta like, but don’t wear very often. If a “sorta like” item hasn’t been worn recently, I’m sending it on its merry way to a thrift store. Why keep it around?

I’m back to pre-baby weight and I’m going to need some more bottoms and tops. I really try to do a mix-and-match wardrobe, though I’m still learning how to do this more effectively.

I’ve enjoyed this series on building a remixable wardrobe at Putting Me Together. Choosing versatile pieces really does make a difference!

I still need to make an actual list of what I’ll need to round out my spring and summer closet.

I’m taking a break from online clothes purchases for myself. It seems like I really need to just try things on. So, in the next few days (hopefully) I’ll make a list of what I want for myself and hit the stores.

How ’bout you? What’s your method of getting ready for the changing season?

Mar 19 2012

Monday misc. — updates on chipping counter tops, dropped phone calls, and more


Blossoming pear tree! Photo credit: Me, Kacie of

This is technically still winter. What in the world? We’re enjoying it. I wasn’t expecting such an early spring, and I still have some inside projects I want to do (spring cleaning, painting, organizing paperwork) so maybe we’ll have a few rainy days so I can get to it. I’m not about to spend 70-80 degree non-humid days inside if I can help it!

My tree (pictured) is blossoming. Just a few days ago it was just buds. It smells kinda odd, though.

Counter top update:

EDIT 8/6/13: Please see my updated post here on my negative experience with Giani Granite and how the company offers a refund.

Just about a month after we painted our kitchen countertops with Giani Granite, we noticed some chipping in the paint. You can see our old white countertop underneath. It isn’t so obvious now, but I do notice it if I’m looking for it. I think as time goes on, it’s going to get worse.

The damage is near the sink and above the dishwasher — heavily trafficked areas. Maybe we didn’t let it cure long enough?

While the counters did look neat at first and people who have seen it in person were amazed that we painted it, I just don’t think I can recommend this kit for a kitchen. Kitchen countertops need to be durable! I don’t think this is a long-term solution and I don’t think whenever we go to sell our house someday it’ll work to leave the counters the way they are.

I contacted the company and they were really awesome about wanting to offer a different type of topcoat. The representative I spoke with said for unexplained reasons, some people’s counters chip and need a different seal. They offered to send that at no charge. I’ve yet to say “yes, send it please” because part of me wants to just replace the counters with new laminate.

That would be more expensive, obviously. Shane isn’t wanting to go that route. I just feel like if we’ll need to change the counters eventually or before we sell someday, we might as well do it early on so we can enjoy it.

I’m glad we tried it, though. We did not like the white laminate counters we had and knew we wanted to change them somehow. We just hoped the paint kit would have worked out better. I bet the kit would work better in a guest bathroom or a bar area or somewhere that doesn’t get tons of use. Some people haven’t had a problem with it at all — it really has lots of positive reviews.

Still, I thought I needed to update on our experience.

Magic Jack update:

Not long after I posted my fairly positive review of my Magic Jack Plus, I’ve had a calls drop. Not sure why! Slightly frustrating, though I have calls drop sometimes on my cell phone, too. It’ll happen randomly. It’s enough that I want to put out a strong caution if you’re considering the device for your own use.

I’m keeping ours because it’s still extremely inexpensive. If I’m talking with my mom and the call drops, I’ll just call her back. Easy enough to save a lot of money, even if it can be annoying.

Water stuff:

I read my municipality’s annual water quality report (nerd) and was disappointed to see some violations with regard to the use of chlorine. Gross. I purchased a shower filter at Lowe’s for $18 and I’m amazed at the difference. No dry skin after a shower! No irritated eyes! Probably plenty of health benefits, too, since we’re not breathing chlorine vapors or absorbing it into our skin.

I also purchased a higher-quality filter for our fridge water dispenser via Amazon subscribe & save. It’s not as fancy as a reverse osmosis system or something of the sort, but it’s budget-friendly and better than the stuff straight out of the tap.


Shane is taking some time off next month and we plan to do some fun stuff around central Indiana. At first we thought we’d go somewhere vacation-y, but then we remembered we’d have a 16-month-old who doesn’t sleep well near me or in weird places. She’s still in the ‘crazy stage,’ though she seems to be chilling out. We figured we’d be gentle to ourselves instead of stressing out when we’re really just wanting to relax.

So, we’re looking into some things to do in central Indiana and do a stay-cation. The zoo, Indianapolis Motor Speedway museum and Conner Prairie are on our list…anyone want to give me more ideas?

Hey! I'm Kacie, wife and mother of 3. I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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