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11 Gift Ideas for your 11 year old Daughter (or niece, sister, granddaughter, Godchild, etc)



Hey there!  In honor of my daughter's 11th birthday (and because I have spent so much free time browsing gift ideas in this particular category for the last few weeks), I'm giving you a list of fantastic gift ideas for an 11 year old!  Obviously these are going to be great for anyone around that age as well... some of them my 8 year old also loves, and some of them my 15 year old would probably still enjoy, so use this list for ideas for anyone in this "tween" stage I suppose?

All of the items have links to help you find them for purchase! A small commission may be paid to me if you choose to purchase from some of them.


Hoverboard


1.) Hoverboard

My daughters got these for Christmas actually, and LOVE THEM SO MUCH.  I love them so much.  I have been zipping around the kitchen on it while they are at school- sure makes sweeping the floor more fun!  I love when I can think of a big gift idea for my kids- so much easier than a bunch of small things.  This would be a great "big gift" for any kid- boy or girl- and such a span of ages would enjoy it!


Roller skates


2.) Roller Skates

Another item that has been used in my kitchen constantly for the last few days.  My daughter received these from her grandparents and hasn't barely had a waking moment without them on.  Of course, they will be more fun in the Spring when she can bust them outside, but for now she's enjoying her laps around the kitchen island for practice.


basketball


3.) Cute colored basketball

This pink and purple basketball is super cute!  We got this one for her birthday as well, and there are a lot of fun colors and designs online (Amazon...).


furry pillow


4.) Fluffy Backrest Pillow

This is so perfect for my kids!  They sit up in bed every night to read, and usually weekend mornings to draw or color or just chitchat with each other.  This pillow is going to make it so much more comfortable!  Bonus, it's super cute and fluffy, and that scores major point with my 11 year old for sure.


Rush Hour Game



5.) Rush Hour Game

This game is super fun! My daughter actually has it in her classroom at school and asked for it at home.  It can be played alone, or as a group effort.  Our family loves it, and my husband and I have found ourselves playing it after the kids are off to bed!  Honestly, my 60-something year old father said he wants one to play in the evenings after seeing it at our house! Fun for all ages I guess.


Tenzi Dice Game


6.) Tenzi

My daughter has actually had this game for about a year, but totally loves it.  It has been a big hit for birthday party gifts for her friends as well.  It's basically just a pack of colorful dice, with a variety of ways to use them for fun little games.  It's easy enough for her younger siblings to play with her, and fun enough for my husband and I to not mind when she asks us to play the 1000th game of the week!


Draw Cute Animals

Draw Cute Stuff



7.) How To Draw Cute Stuff book

My daughter loooooves drawing.  So much so, that one of her main Christmas requests this past year was a 3 ring binder to keep her artwork in, as well as page protectors and other things of that sort.  After laughing with my husband that most of her list requires a shopping trip to Office Max- we went out and found her a cute binder and page protectors- but included a fun drawing book with it!  We got How to Draw Cute Animals, and then followed up with How to Draw Cute Stuff for her birthday after it was a big hit.


Pink Llama Slippers


8.) Slippers

My other kids bought a pair of Llama slippers for my 11 year old's birthday gift this year, since "Llama" was her theme of choice.  (See the photo of the Llama cake we made her in this post.)  I also considered a cute pair of  moccasin style slippers for her, prior to my other kids finding these Llama ones, but I think the moccasins are super cute and stylish, and feel like the level of "maturity" that my 11 year old wants when she doesn't prefer big pink llamas on her feet! (They are so back and forth at this age, right?!)


Sisters Grimm book series boxed set


9.)  Book Series

My daughter received The Sisters Grimm book series for her birthday, but there are so many good ones out there for this age!  It's fun to get a few as a gift to get a good start on the series if you don't want to do the entire thing.  I've done the first 3 in many different book series for my kids before just to give them a few to get into.


Kindle e reader


10.) Kindle (Reader, not tablet)

We actually gave one of these to two of our daughters for Christmas this year.  They have been super fun so far, and such a big hit with my girls.  We bought a few books for them on it as well, but have been enjoying some that come free on Kindle Unlimited as well.  It certainly hasn't taken the place of them reading regular books (see above suggestion for actual paperback books), but is a fun option for car rides, at a siblings sport to pass the time, and in bed, for example.  My daughters share a bedroom, so it's been super handy that one can read while the other falls asleep without needing a lamp on since they are backlit!  (I have a post of free books for kids on Kindle Unlimited that we have either read, or plan to look into reading!  Click here if you need it!)  We also gave a set of blue-tooth headphones along with it, so they can be used to audio books as well, and we opted to skip any case for now, based on the reviews on Amazon.


Macaroons

11.) Something to DO

I love giving the gift of an activity.  It's even better received as the kids get a little older.  We bounced around a lot of these ideas this year.  Some of our thoughts were movie theater, pottery shop, baking class, tickets to a show/concert together, ice skating, or online painting/doodling classes.  I think depending on the amount, it might be fun to do a little compilation of a few so they are set with fun activities to do for a while!  This feels especially helpful for a January birthday in Minnesota- like my daughter has.  The winter gets long and the cabin fever gets real- it's nice to get out and do something!  On a smaller scale- if you're looking for a gift for a friend/birthday party- we love to do a DQ giftcard as a gift with a small doo-dad along with it.  Helps us keep around our $10-$15 budget that we usually do for birthday party gifts, and it's something different than another art kit!

What are your favorite gift ideas for this age range? Help us all out and leave some ideas in the comments!



Best Kindle Unlimited Books for Elementary and Middle School Kids

Kids Books on Kindle Unlimited



A few of my daughters received Kindle readers for Christmas this past year and have been really enjoying them!  We did the basic readers, not the tablet version for a multitude of reasons.  The main one being, of course, that these are intended for reading on only.  They have other devices to play games on, but we wanted these to just be for reading.

The fact that they are so small, lightweight, and back-lit has really been great for car rides, siblings sports practices or events that have wait time, waiting rooms at the doctor, etc.  I've loved the lighting feature for bed time since our daughters share a bedroom.  It really makes it easy for one daughter to stay up later and read if the other needs to fall asleep, without a disturbing lamp or booklight on.

We had an offer for a free month of Kindle Unlimited when purchasing the Kindles, but have since seen offers for a free YEAR of it if you purchase the Kids Kindle edition, and probably would go that route if we had a redo.

I scoured the Kindle Unlimited section on Amazon for books that we love, or are going to give a try for their Kindles, and hope it's helpful for you if you have little kindle reading kids as well! 

I do think that this is just a great list of books to enjoy for kids without a kindle as well, you'd just need to secure a copy at the library or order them off Amazon, at your local bookstore, or however you shop for books! 

The Sisters Grimm

1. The Sisters Grimm Series


This series is so much fun! My daughters absolutely love it.  It is considered a middle-level book for interest and reading ability.  My daughter is in 5th grade and zips through them with no issue.  If you are familiar with the Accelerated Reader (AR) book levels, most of the books fall between a 4.5 and 5.5 reading level, so use that to decide if it's in their range or not.  If you aren't familiar, it basically puts them in a 4th to 5th grade reading level.


Anne of Green Gables

2. Anne of Green Gables Graphic Novel

This one looks super cute.  We haven't read it yet, but I added it to their libraries on their Kindles for whenever they are ready for a new book.  I did an entire post on graphic novels (linked here), because my kids go absolutely bonkers for any graphic novel they can get their hands on, so I think they will enjoy this for sure.

Inside Out and Back Again

3. Inside Out & Back Again

We own this book in paperback.  It's really lovely and has won tons of awards.  It's written at a 4th or 5th grade reading level, and in verse form, but would be interesting for any middle level aged child. 

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

4. Harry Potter

Super exciting that the Harry Potter books are all included in Kindle Unlimited! There are a lot of good resources out there regarding when to start reading these books.  I think they are a fun read aloud, as well as reading once they hit the appropriate reading ability (they're considered like a 6th grade reading level, but keep in mind that children hit that at a variety of ages.)
Love That Dog

5. Love That Dog

This is a super fun looking book of poetry.  I can't wait to read through more of it! The premise is a boy learning to write poetry despite thinking it is "for girls" or "he can't do it" and ends up really finding his voice and enjoying it.  It looks like a cute read for kids and adults alike!

Ella Enchanted

6. Ella Enchanted

Such a fantastic book.  I'm so excited that this is included in Kindle Unlimited, and cannot wait for my girls to read it! It is considered a "4th grade" reading level, which makes it a great level for my 3rd and 5th grade daughters to both enjoy!  If you aren't familiar (where have you been!), it's a Newberry medal winning novel about a girl who was "gifted" obedience at her birth, but is too strong willed to accept it, and seeks out to break the curse.  It's a lovely fairy-tale and so much fun.

Laugh Out Loud Jokes

7. Laugh Out Loud Jokes

My kids love a good joke book!  Be prepared for a nonstop stream of jokes to come your way once they have this one, but so much fun.  It's also a good one to have on the Kindle to be able to pop in and read a few if they just have short snippets of time and don't want to get started on a chapter of a novel, or whatever.

Spiderwick Chronicles

8. Spiderwick Chronicles

We have not gotten into this fantasy series as of yet, but I do know there are movie adaptations as well.  It looks like a really fun series that my kids would enjoy, so we are planning to venture into it pretty soon! It's also written around a 4th grade reading level, which is really appropriate for a wide variety of elementary and middle level kids, in my opinion.
Sarah Plain and Tall

9. Sarah, Plain & Tall

This was such a staple required reading during my childhood! We were assigned it in elementary at some point, and it's a fun historical fiction read about a pioneering family for elementary aged kids.  I think my 3rd and 5th grader would thoroughly enjoy it, as they love this type of setting for stories.

Riddle Book

10. Difficult Riddles for Smart Kids

This is another one of those fun, family activity books that we just love around here.  My kids are so happy to have something like this to ask us about, and it's a fun way to have something to do with your kids when you have a few minutes to kill, or around the dinner table, or any time you just need a fun activity to engage with your kids.

There a a lot of kid books to choose from on Kindle Unlimited, and browsing through the list can take an eternity!  Hopefully this gives you a few to choose from without spending countless hours clicking through Amazon!

I may update with more titles as we sift through them all! Happy reading!

alison signature

January Beauty Favorites to Get Through Winter



Hi Friends! I'm not sure where you're reading this from- I really hope it's somewhere warmer and sunnier than us!  We are in Minnesota, and the month of January has been mildly cold and super cloudy.  The winter weather always wreaks havoc on my skin and hair for sure, so I compiled a list of my beauty faves from the month of January that have seemed to help keep some of the winter side effects at bay at least a little!

These are all items that you can pretty much find at your local Target, drugstore, or even toss in your virtual shopping cart and have delivered right with your groceries for convenience sake!  I love being able to add these to my weekly grocery pick up if needed- or for a quick Amazon Prime delivery. Also, while I love some higher end items, and think it can be worth it for some things,  I also love to find some that are more budget friendly as well- and these picks all do their job well at a great price point in my opinion!

*Please note that some of these links include affiliate links. If you make a purchase through my affiliate link I may earn a commission. This is provided at no extra cost to you. All opinions are my own.





1.) Biore Charcoal Scrub

This charcoal face scrub is fantastic!  Even though my skin gets dry, I can still be prone to breakouts here and there and this face scrub helps so much!  If I am starting to see a breakout I will make sure to let it sit on my skin longer while I am in the shower, almost like a mask, to really let it do it's job.  My husband actually likes it as well so that's been great.


2.) Kristen Ess Signature Shampoo and Conditioner 

The Kristen Ess line at Target always draws me in.  I love the smell, I love the packaging, and thankfully they work great in my hair!  I love the basic shampoo and conditioner and swear they help the overall feel and quality of my hair- it's not just because of the yummy smell or pretty bottles in my shower!


3.) Jason Coconut Oil Moisturizer

Coconut Oil is my whole world (dramatic much?) - in the winter especially.  I slather it on my face as a makeup remover, after I wash it as a moisturizer, on my lips, my hands, etc.  If my children complain about dry lips or hands or any ailment whatsoever, I pass them the jar.  Funny tangent- I always think that coconut oil is to me, what Windex is to that family in the Greek wedding movies.  Do you remember that?  I swear I only saw the movie once but that Windex thing really stuck with me?!


4.) L'oreal True Match Lumi Foundation

This foundation has been my favorite for 2 winters in a row!  I hardly wear foundation as it is, and even less so in the summer months, but come winter and I'm reaching for this one for sure.  Like I said, I don't wear foundation on a daily basis by any means, typically just concealer on a regular day at home or picking up groceries, but if I have any sort of plans with the hubby, friends, school events, womens group, etc... I usually throw this one on.  I like it especially in the winter because it is so moisturizing.  Even if I have dry patches on my face (which definitely happens in the winter for me), it glides on smoothly and doesn't get gross and flaky, or draw any extra attention to those spots like a lot of foundations can tend to do. 


5.) Lavender Chamomile Tea

 I'm not sure if you'd consider this a beauty product exactly but.. it does make a huge difference in my beauty sleep?  I've been making a habit of getting my comfies on (current faves from Walmart linked here- so good!)  and making a mug of this chamomile and lavender tea every night when I get the kids jammied up, to help myself wind out and be ready for bed shortly after their bedtime, and it has helped immensely!  I really like the taste and coziness of it, and I have heard that this is a good brand of tea from a health standpoint... meaning they don't use plastic in bearothe tea bags, pesticides, etc.

What are your tried and true winter products?  Do you tend to use the same stuff year round, or have seasonal favorites like me? Leave it in the comments!




Weekly Dinner Plan 1/27 to 2/2




Weekly Dinner Plan for January 27th

Another full week of dinners at home!  During other seasons of the year/life we have busy weeks that require quick dinners, dinner on the go with fast food or packed snacky stuff for sports, or heading out to eat with family or something on the weekend, but lately it's been a lot of at home dinners! It's cold outside, and we are between sports (or at least the ones we have don't fall over the dinner hour...) so we are pretty happy to hibernate at home and enjoy a more relaxed pace for dinner while it lasts!

Monday:  Burritos

I typically make these burritos to use up leftover taco meat and just add in beans, salsa, cheese, etc.  We all really love them.  I may do a post soon with more details- they're a super handy, quick dinner to have in your docket and a great way to use up leftovers in a little bit different way.

Tuesday: Shrimp Alfredo

Tuesday is my daughter's 11th birthday, and as the tradition goes in our house, she gets to pick whatever she'd like for dinner.  Her favorite is when my husband cooks shrimp alfredo, so it's a win for me too!  I'll be in charge of garlic bread and salad only!

She has also requested a Llama cake for after dinner when family comes over to celebrate, so my hubby and I will teamwork that one.

(update- here's the final product! Not too shabby if I do say... we are NOT professionals and just wing it for the kids sake!)


Wednesday: Beef Stirfry and Rice

I am trying a new recipe for beef stirfry using a packaged veggie and sauce mix from the produce section.  I honestly just stumbled upon it randomly while doing my online grocery pickup and decided to give it a whirl!

Thursday: French toast and sausage

Brinner is a big hit at our house and we end up doing it almost weekly!  This time we are opting for french toast, and will make sausage/eggs/fruit to go with it, depending on time and mood!

Friday: Pizza Picnic and Movie!

We are just opting for plain old take and bake pizza this Friday.  We have not landed on a movie yet but might go with our second choice from last week!  We had narrowed it down to the old Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory or the new Dora in The Jungle (or whatever?) and Dora won out!  I think I'm going to make the decision for Willy this Friday because I haven't watched it in FOREVER!

Saturday:  Shredded Turkey sandwiches and cold veggies/chips.

Honestly, I'm just throwing this in the crockpot and having easy sides because I'm planning on Saturday being kind of busy with home projects and whatnot.  Either way, happy to have a pretty hands-off dinner on a Saturday!

Sunday: Crockpot beef roast and roasted veggies.

Not much to say about this one, just one of our favorites for a Sunday family dinner, and super handy to pop in the crockpot before church in the morning!


Happy meal planning! 
See the rest of my weekly meal planning here.


P.S. I do Walmart Grocery Pickup for the bulk of my shopping list- total game changer and I can't recommend it enough! (HELLO- grocery shopping in my jammies at night.)  If you haven't tried it before, use my referral code for $10 off your first purchase.



Favorite Graphic Novels for Elementary Kids




Do your children have a love for the "graphic novel" style books as well? Graphic novels have honestly been a game changer in our household.  You may not know them as "graphic novels" specifically, but basically any book with "comic" type pictures, or a lot of fun pictures, fonts, etc. are included in my loose definition of a graphic novel for our purposes!  My children love them, and they make a very easy transition into chapter books, especially when your child may be at a higher reading level than the easy readers, but not willing to give up the pictures, the colors, and all the fun things.  Of course picture books come at every level, and I am always a fan of those... but regardless, these books I'm listing really helped my kids enjoy reading and kept them excited.  They also love that they are quick reads, and they can bust through them rather quickly, which is always a bigger deal for kids, right?  My kids tend to want to finish things quickly, unless of course it's something like getting their socks and shoes on for school... that tends to fully encourage them to slow down and notice all the things around them.

As a note, graphic novels come at every age level.  Just because a book is at their reading level and has fun pictures, may not mean it's at their maturity level.  As always, check it out before they read it to make sure the content is appropriate and in line with the types of things you want them to read!  Some graphic novels are much more geared towards teens or even adults so.. there's my tidbit on that!

If you haven't given graphic novels a whirl yet, I recommend trying any of these.  I do think they are a great option to get some children interested in reading that otherwise are not the most interested.  They have seriously helped with some of ours!  Hope it does the trick for you too!




1.) Babysitters Club and Babysitters Little Sister


My daughters LOVE these.  So fun to see a series that I enjoyed so much as a kid being reinvented as a graphic novel for them.  I'm super excited that the Little Sister ones are now being released as well, it's a much better age and interest level for my younger daughters.  


2.) Geronimo and Thea Stilton books


There are so many of these and a lot of subcategories of them as well.  These have been such a big hit with each of my daughters and I'm fully confident that my son will enjoy them as well when he hits that age- so this is a good one for boys and girls alike!  The books are super fun, the stories are interesting and attention-holding, and the pictures and fun fonts make it much more appealing at younger ages.  There are really a variety of reading levels in these as well, shorter/easier ones that my kids could read at the end of kindergarten/first grade, and much longer/more difficult ones that are still interesting to them (and at their level) through 4th or 5th grade. 


3.) Owl Diaries and Unicorn Diaries


These books are adorable.  The Unicorn Diaries is a new series, and are awaiting the first book to arrive from the school book order, but we own Owl Diaries through book 11!  These are very easy readers, and worked well in kindergarten and first grade for my kids.. however, they love the stories so much, and really enjoy having such a large series to follow the characters through, that they request to read the new ones as they come out, even as a 3rd or 4th grader!  I encourage them to read books below their level if they enjoy them for sure, so I think it's great to have a quick, fun, read that basically reads as quickly as a picture book now that they are at a higher reading level.


4.) Phoebe and Her Unicorn


We just recently found a couple of these for my 8 year old daughter who LOVES unicorns.  If you have a unicorn lover as well, and honestly, based on the amount of unicorn products out there, a lot of people must... these would be a fun option!  

5.) Smile, Guts, Sisters, etc.


Another big hit at our house.  My oldest daughter who is now in high school first discovered these around middle school age and really enjoyed them.  She is not a big reader, no matter how hard we try, and these are some that she really enjoyed and couldn't wait to buy or check out.  During a time where it was difficult to get her to read for enjoyment, these were really helpful and it was lovely to see her with a book in her hand that she did not want to put down!  Since then, my younger daughters have really enjoyed them.  They do talk more about middle school type stuff, but none of it has felt inappropriate for our 3rd and 5th grader.  Use your best judgement.


6.) Anne of Green Gables


This is new to me! I found it while browsing the free Kindle Unlimited books on Amazon, and can't wait to check it out!  It's the classic Anne of Green Gables, remade into a graphic novel, and I have very high hopes for it!  Leave me a comment if you or your children have read this yet!?  I'm excitied to see what it's like.





Let me know in the comments if you have any other graphic novels that your kids love! We are always looking for more around here.  

Weekly Dinner Plan 1/20-1/26





Weekly Dinner Plan for January 20th

Monday:

  • Sauteed Sausage/Peppers/Onions
  • Mac and Cheese for kids (and probably hubby too, in all honesty)
  • Salad for me


Tuesday:

  • Taco Tuesday!! (Ground beef, hard shell + toppings)
  • Sauteed veggies with seasonings or rice.

We typically do ground beef tacos, this is my favorite taco seasoning, and then we stuff hard shells with the meat and cheese and bake before eating! Such a life hack for hard shell tacos- they do not break and crack nearly as bad when you bake in the meat and cheese.  Then we add all the other toppings individually as we are filling our plates!

Another note about tacos- they are so versatile and change at our house based on mood/ingredients on hand.  Sometimes we keep the meat pretty plain, but I love to add black beans and salsa while it is cooking as well!

Wednesday:

  • Crockpot beef tips
  • Egg noodles
  • Some veggies... (not sure yet. Steamed broccoli, sauteed veggies, whatever mood strikes me I guess)


Thursday:

  • French toast
  • Fruit or Smoothies


Friday:

  • Pizza roll-ups!
Pizza and movie night! My kids LOVE pizza and movie night, and we try to do in whenever we have a wide open Friday night! We vary between takeout, homemade, or pizza-ish recipes.


Saturday:

  • Chicken strips and waffle fries for the kids
Date night for hubby and I and a few couple-friends we have.  Our oldest will babysit and make chicken and waffle fries for them all.  Hopefully they decide to toss a few veggies and dip along with it or something but.. it's likely to be followed by popcorn and Disney+, who am I kidding?  As long as we get a quickie dinner date with friends, I have learned to let go a little.



Sunday:

  • Crockpot turkey tenderloins
  • Baked potatoes
  • Veggies









Happy meal planning! 

See the rest of my weekly meal planning here.


P.S. I do Walmart Grocery Pickup for the bulk of my shopping list- total game changer and I can't recommend it enough! (HELLO- grocery shopping in my jammies at night.)  If you haven't tried it before, use my referral code for $10 off your first purchase.









An Honest Review of ThredUp - Online Consignment Shopping!








I've been a fan of consignment shopping for a while now.  Our town has a kids store that lets you bring in clothes to sell, and then use store credit to buy new things, and it has been so great! I've been a regular there for years and years (maybe a decade!?) because it is so nice to get kids stuff (clothes and equipment) without exchanging any actual money- just getting rid of the old stuff!  Especially because kids go through sizes like crazy- in the baby stage where they are changing sizes every 3 months- it is fantastic.  They also are great about donating to a fantastic cause, so I typically donate anything I'm not able to sell to them.

Our town, however, does not have any such store for adults!  When I saw ThredUp advertised online, it seemed like something I'd want to try.  I loved consignment shopping for the kids, and figured it would be something I'd enjoy for myself too!  ThredUp is also doing an advertising campaign about how good second-hand shopping is for the planet, which is so true- but honestly not the main reason I considered it in the first place.  I was just looking for budget friendly options, as well as being able to buy higher quality pieces while staying in my budget, so the planet-helping part is just a bonus!







I've placed a couple of orders with ThredUp now, and thought I'd share a few things I've learned, liked, and wish were different with the whole process. (This is not a sponsored post by any means, they have NO CLUE who I am, I just wanted to share a tip or two! However, I do have a link that you could click to receive $10 off your first purchase, and I would get a $10 credit in return!)




First off, my favorite thing to purchase second-hand for myself is jeans.  I actually prefer second-hand shopping for this, because it's so nice to have a variety of brands all in one place.  This way, I can try an assortment of styles to find one that works for me, and it's all in one place instead of trekking to a miscellany of stores to find which brand of jeans I like.  Jeans are like... the universal struggle for fit and sizing... am I right?!  I have found a few brands and fits I like from purchasing through ThredUp, and then I will just search on ThredUp for more of the same brand, or use the info to buy another pair of the same style from the actual retailer (a pair I liked is LOFT for example, so if I search on ThredUp for a bit and come up dry, I can just order the exact same pair from LOFT if I'd like another pair or a different color, etc.)



ThredUp has a pretty painless return policy, which has already come in handy.  I ordered quite a few items a month or two ago, probably 6 or so, and only ended up liking 2 of them once I tried them all on.  I opted to return the rest for store credit, and used it to buy a few different items that I liked much better, and ended up keeping them all.  I should mention, my return was mostly due to fit issues, and wasn't due to quality or anything like that.  They give pretty accurate descriptions on their website, and will state whether the items are pilled, faded, etc.  The main issue I have is forgetting to read that part- because it's certainly an adjustment to ordering second hand items vs a store's webpage that is all brand new items and are obviously all meant to be is pristine condition.  I only opt to order items from ThredUp that are listed as being "in excellent condition, you might mistake it for brand new" or actually new with tags on it.  That being said, I recently ordered a black J. Crew blazer/jacket type item, without paying attention to the description, and it was more faded than I would have liked, so it went back with my returns.  The rest of my returns were just because I misjudged the size I would need on a few other J.Crew blazer/sweater/jacket items I was looking for, and they looked to big and bulky on me.



The actual return process works like this- you can choose store credit for a full refund- minus a possible restocking fee of $1.99 per item, and free return shipping, or you can receive a refund of your actual money, but are subject to shipping costs to send it back.  They also state that they will make things right if they have listed the item incorrectly, so that's nice to know! I have not had any experience with that part of it- but would hope they live up to that promise.  This return policy could be an issue for some people- paying return shipping to get your money refunded sure feels like a waste of money when so many companies offer free returns with online purchases, however, it doesn't really bother me, because I was happy to just take the store credit and order something else.  



I have appreciated being able to buy nicer brands, like J. Crew for example, for such a fraction of the cost.  I also had a lucky find when a blogger I follow posted about a top she was wearing from J.Crew last year, and it was no longer sold from the retailer.  I was able to search through the "white J.Crew short-sleeved tops" in my size and find one!  I think it is something that will really come in handy when I find an item I like that is sold out at the store or just discontinued- there's always a chance to find it at ThredUp!  Actually the other item I have my eye out for is J.Crew as well, and was recommended by a few other bloggers.  Purchasing it new is WAY out of my price range, but on ThredUp it's not a big deal and costs about the same as buying a sweater at Target or something.



The other thing to know is that the website itself can be overwhelming.  There are a TON of items and it's hard to know where to start.  I typically have gone to the website with a certain item in mind (like the specific J.Crew tops I talked about), or a certain general type of item (like "jeans"), and I will just filter it down by size, a few brands I like, fit options (like skinny leg for example) and browse from there.  Another option is to just shop by brand, and browse through the tops and bottoms in that brand- just make sure to filter it down to your size too so you're only seeing things that are a good option for you.  You can also filter it by selecting only items that are "new with tags" or in "excellent condition", which is another filter I like to have on my searches.  I figure, the more you can filter it down, the better, because I do not have the patience to scroll through 35 pages of things I may not even want, and want to filter it down closest to the items I would consider buying as possible.

The other best tip I have for you, while browsing their website, it to add anything you are even considering to your bag.  Remember, it's not like a regular retailer with a full stock of items, typically there is just 1.  Because of that, I add anything I might consider to my bag, and then when I'm done browsing, I filter through my shopping bag more closely and remove any of the items I really don't need or want.  They will leave items in your bag for 24 hours, but then remove them automatically to open them back up to other customers to purchase, so keep that in mind as well!

I do see that they carry children's clothing as well, but haven't given that a try yet.  I'm so happy with my local kids' store, but may check out the ThredUp selection for more options.

You can sell your old clothes to ThredUp as well, and their are a few options for how to do this.  I can't speak much to how that works, because I have not done it yet.  Have any of you tried this with success?

Have any of you tried ThredUp?  What great things have you found?  Have you had a good experience with them overall?  I've only ordered a few times now, so I am excited to keep trying it.  Share any tips you have for me in the comments please!


Give $10, Get $10

Give $10 to spend and get $10 to shop after a friend places their first order.

Click above for my referral link for ThredUp!  If you click on it, you should be able to get $10 off your first order! Hooray!