Saturday, November 7, 2015

Winter Boots

Zuzu's school has some serious rules. Like only grown ups can open the front door. Your Native American Naming Necklace stays at school in your drawer. If you have to go inside to go to the bathroom, you need to get a Bathroom Necklace from the teacher. And in the winter, you have to have proper apparel to go outside in the cold and the snow--including a pair of snow boots that stay at school AND that she can put on by herself.

I got Zu a pair of snow boots last year that I think she wore once. Maybe twice. So there's no way I was spending much money on snow boots.

Today I left work a little early to hit a few of consignment shops on the hunt for girls snow boots. We all know that resale shops can be totally hit or miss, so I figured I'd have to check out a few of them to find what I was looking for. Since I have no time to shop alone, I really needed to make this couple of hours count between leaving work and picking up the girls. I was on a mission.

Zu currently wears a size 8 shoe, but if I were going to buy her a new pair, I'd buy 9s, so I decided to look for size 9 boots since she could be wearing them into March, depending on how crazy the winter gets.

I started out at a resale shop near my work, which had a pair of boots in size 9 that I didn't really like (they were white), and the boots had toggles that I didn't think she could operate on her own.

The shop also had an adorable Christmas outfit marked down because it had a small spot on the front (which I rationalized by saying that this way I wouldn't be upset when Zuzu stained it, but it actually came right out with oxyclean) and a size 4 Matilda Jane sundress at a bargain price. (I know, I was looking for boots, but I'm helpless to resist MJ dresses...)

After those unplanned purchases, I swore off buying anything other than boots and drove to another consignment shop closer to Zuzu's school that had no boots in her size and was totally weak in the 3T and 4T department, so I left empty-handed.

I hit consignment shop number three, struck out in the boot department, but did purchase a Hanna Andersson night gown. Zuzu has been sleeping in this sleeveless night shirt from Wal-Mart that's two sizes too big for her. She loves it because it goes down past her knees and therefore is "like a princess dress." I knew that this nightgown would be a total score, and well worth the $6.99 I paid for it. (Side note: I don't usually buy pajamas second hand... I'm not sure why it just feels different to me. But Hanna Andersson nightgowns are like $50 because they are well-made and cute and last forever, and that's outside my kids pajamas budget, so this seemed like the time to bend my own unwritten rule).

I was feeling pretty happy about my purchases, but also bummed and frustrated about the boot situation. Even at Target they are $30 or $35, Ebay wasn't much of a deal because they are bulky and heavy and therefore shipping is expensive, and I had arbitrarily decided I didn't want to pay more than $20.

I figured I'd have to call it day and go pick up Zuzu. Then I remembered there was one other shop on my way to her school that sold monogram stuff in the front and resale clothes in the back. I stopped in, and lo and behold, they had pink Lands End snow boots in a size 8 and a size 9. And all their stuff was an extra 20% off.

But then I couldn't pull the trigger on the size 9 boots because they looked HUGE. So I wondered if I should get the 8s. But how mad would I be if a month from now they were too small? I decided Zu would have to try them on, so I picked her up, circled BACK to the shop, and had her put a boot on each foot.

I asked her if they were too tight or just right. She said that both were just right. So I had her put on the size 9s and walk in them. I asked her if they flopped like a flip flop or fit just like a shoe. She said like a shoe. I couldn't feel her toes through the thick boot, but she was able to get them on and off herself, and walked in them without falling down. I called my mom so that she could reassure me that all snow boots look enormous and they would be fine. They were 20% off $15, so for a pair of snow boots that will live at school and maybe get worn a handful of times this winter, I was pleased with my purchase.

These boots are made for stompin'.
Tonight I wrote her name on the black soles with a white paint pen and stuck laundry name labels inside her coats. It's a simple chore that always makes me feel like such a mom, and always gives me a heart-pang because I will never stop wishing that I were labeling stuff with Eliza's name.

So my quest for winter boots ended up bringing home a Christmas outfit, a sundress, a night gown, and a pair of boots. Not too bad for a whirlwind tour of consignment shops on a Thursday afternoon!


  1. We have a few resale shops here and I love finding those deals!

    It my heart ache when you mentioned wanting to label things with Eliza's name.

    I didn't know you liked Matilda Jane ;) My 5 year old's closet is filled with it! (In that defense, I stopped buying retail and always resell it, I got tons on discount and consignment.) Did you hear about the warehouse sale? I live here in IN in the town where MJ is...the owner passed away from ovarian cancer. So sad :( They built a Habitat for Humanity park in her honor (she was HUGE in giving back, aka even built a school in Africa!) Sorry for that rambling but I am passionate about companies who give back so much!

    Score on the snow boots!

    1. Well, just let me know if you want to consign some of those MJ dresses my way!

      i didn't know that the owner was such a charitable giver, but that will help me justify future purchases, so thank you. :)

    2. I will for sure! ;) I have some size 4's left and will eventually have 6's too. I have dressees tops and just a few pants (she is too hard on the pants lately.)

      Yes, Denise was incredibly giving. Her dream was building the school in Africa, she flew there several times to meet the kids and be with them. They (MJ) also built homes for Habitat. Her dream was to step down from MJ and give more. And she did. She was the most down to earth person with so much success I have ever had the pleasure of meeting, just for a few minutes years ago. So yes I am a proud MJ Mama :)

  2. We have some size 11 and 12's you can use, maybe next year. They are super nice, so don't buy ahead. Do you have to have snow pants too? Our school requires them, they go outside no matter the temperatures, and snow pants are great because your clothes stay dry.

    Also, can I just say how admirable it is that you can hunt all this stuff down? I wish I had more patience. I just order it and am done with it. The worst thing to shop for is tights - I did that last weekend and gave up. I ordered seven colors of them from Hanna Andersson and moved on to something else. They have great tights too, and everything is on sale right now.

    1. Tights are hard to find on consignment because they do get worn out--Zuzu is so hard on clothes. I want to be cheap and buy Old Navy ones, but I expect the pricier brands like Mini Boden and Hanna Andersson will end up being worth the investment because last so much longer and look so much better after being worn and washed.

      And yes, we have hand-me-down snow pants because they do go outside in all temps. Which is good for Zu.

  3. Not buying that nightgown would have been criminal. ADORABLE. I love consignment shopping. And also have a hard time with sticking to the list!

  4. That doesn't even look like Zuzu in the picture! Maybe it's the lighting that's making her hair look lighter, but she looks like such a grown little girl - like a 5/6 year old there!

    Yay for good finds, but boo for not posting a picture of said boots!

  5. I buy a lot of our kids' clothes and stuff used but very rarely do I find what I am looking for at the time... It's lots of buying ahead! I know you don't do Facebook, but we have some great buying and selling walls and I have had a lot of luck writing "in search of" posts!