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THE SWITCH WITCH

Monday, November 2, 2015 11:52:52 AM America/New_York

Halloween is over and it is time to assess the collateral damage.   The kids, still in their costumes, are passed out on the floor amongst piles of candy and discarded wrappers.   For now, the sugar high has faded, but tomorrow brings another day.   We still have tons of Halloween candy leftover, and I am not looking forward to the constant drone of begging for “just one more piece” that will start as soon as my children wake up. 

When I was a child, the dentist told my parents to let me eat as much candy as I wanted on Halloween night, but then to throw the rest away.   Apparently, it is the prolonged exposure (day after day) to sugar that rots their teeth.  Teeth aside, we are not even going to mention the behavior issues associated with excessive sugar consumption. 

With this is mind Bagsy presents the “SWITCH WITCH.”

The Switch Witch appears on Halloween Eve to relieve you of all your sugar problems.   After your ghosts and goblins have gone to sleep, the Switch Witch rides in on her broom and steals all of remaining Halloween candy in your house.  Before you start to worry about your child’s reaction to the loss of the fruits of their labor, please know the Switch Witch comes bearing gifts.  In return for the Halloween treats, the Switch Witch leaves a single parting Halloween gift.  Perhaps a Barbie or a new Nerf gun will ease the pain of the candy lost.  Of course, your child’s gift is at the discretion of his or her own Switch Witch.

Best of luck to each of you in the aftermath of the sugar rush.  Now on to Thanksgiving…

Disclaimer:  Information included in this blog may lead to high volumes of candy at your place of work.  Bagsy, LLC is indemnified against any claims pertaining to excessive weight gain and/or high dental bills for said switch witch.  Proceed with caution. 

 

Posted By Jenny Stickley

STAIN REMOVAL 101

Sunday, October 25, 2015 7:32:24 PM America/New_York

I recently decided it was time to sell some of my babies’ clothes. (sniff!) I hauled the Rubbermaid totes from the attic and started sorting – a flood of memories washing over me with each box. There were bins full of itsy bitsy baby gowns from their first months of life, and smocked bubbles I could barely snap around their chubby little legs.

I was nostalgic.   I was also frustrated because roughly half of these endearingly tiny clothes were sporting at least one stain. As I stared at the heap of defunct heirlooms, I couldn’t help but feel a bit laundry incompetent.

In my defense, old stains reappear over time and they were faint. But when my oldest was born, my mom brought a plastic tub filled with hand sewn, cotton batiste dresses not only from my babyhood, but hers. My grandmother – a master of preservation – was probably rolling over in her grave. Not only did I neglect tissue paper, cedar balls or, um, folding – it looked as though I’d forgotten to wash them!

Over the years, I’ve become somewhat philosophical about stained clothes. Life is messy! These imperfect outfits are evidence that we’re truly living – we’re painting pictures, playing in mud, rolling in the grass. These stains are a virtue, not a shortcoming.

But the truth is, I’ve tried and failed at stain removal. I’ve sprayed Shout, rubbed with Oxy Gel Stick, and soaked in Biz. No pre-wash ritual at my house has ever been succesful. Usually,  I would just throw the clothes in the washing machine and pray the Magic Stain Fairy and Almighty Tide would do their job. Obviously, not the best strategy.

I decided it was time to get serious about learning the eternal mysteries of stain removal. I wanted to become (drumroll) a STAIN REMOVAL MASTER. So I did what any skilled researcher would do when seeking higher learning – I turned to Facebook.

My fellow Stain Fighting Samauris were generous with their knowledge. After sifting through the 21 comments (thank you friends) here is what I’ve learned so far:

  1. Fels-Naptha is a 120-year-old laundry soap marketed for pre-treating, and is said to be particularly effective with baby formula (score). My friend said it had gotten out year-old stains, so it was my first plan of attack. It’s also super cheap (under $3). It removed maybe half the old stains, and significantly lightened the others. Directions say to wet stain, rub the bar on it, let sit for one minute and wash. I added a step by rinsing and rubbing the stain before throwing in wash and I think that helped. Since then I’ve used it to get out marker and other unidentifiable food stains and they’ve disappeared like magic. Amazing how well something will work if the stain hasn’t sat for several years….
  2. Biz has always been on my laundry shelf, but only for soaking stains before washing. Someone suggested adding it to the wash as a booster, and I do think I’ve noticed a difference on more broad stains, like dirty socks. (I’m not spot-treating the bottoms of socks. I just have bigger things to worry about).
  3. OxiClean ranks on par or even below Biz in my humble opinion. Sorry, but I just don’t see the magic happen. But someone suggested soaking 24 hours in OxiClean, laying it in the sun to dry, soaking AGAIN in OxiClean then washing. Following that she wrote, “but who really has time for that with kids.” Exactly. But I’ve heard elsewhere the sun does wonders, so maybe on really special items I’ll try? Other mamas swear by the OxiClean spray.
  4. Borax is still a bit of a mystery to me, but a friend swears by using it to soak stains two to three days before washing. Apparently she keeps a bucket in her laundry room and throws stained clothes in as she goes. I like this strategy because even a laundry novice like me knows the earlier the better with stains. Plus, call me lazy, but I am NOT picking through each piece of clothing while sorting to look for stains. HOME EC 1 says to use 1 TBSP Borax per gallon of water. (Possible answer for my dirty sock syndrome?)
  5. Laundry, Love & Science is a Facebook group nearly 50,000 members strong that can answer any cleaning question you have. These Ninja Stain Warriors are in a completely different stratosphere than me, posting things I didn’t even know existed like “stripping” clothes for hard water and fabric softener build-up. Once you join, you can post any question you like to the group or search for key terms. I’m almost afraid to get started for fear of falling into a deep-clean rabbit hole, but working my way up to my first post.

My spirit stain quest is just beginning, and I am optimistic. I’ll definitely stick with Fels-Naptha, will probably buy Borax, and just might one day try “sunning” or “stripping.”

I think my most valuable laundry strategy however has nothing to do with soap. Going forward, I think I’ll bring a change of clothes to all events and rip the nice outfits off their bodies as soon as possible so that markers, mustard or even mud don’t cause panic attacks.

Some stains are permanent – that’s life with kids. But as long as the majority of my kids’ nice clothes have heirloom/resale value, I’m happy. I still have a lot to learn, but I do know that a relaxed and happy mama is better than a clean and “perfect” mama any day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted By Merrell

COSTUME CONTEST

Monday, October 19, 2015 6:53:21 AM America/New_York

It’s that time of year again – Halloween Decision Time. As a mom it’s hard not to feel a little mental anguish around mid-October. The waffling. The begging in the costume aisle. The last minute negotiation when they refuse to wear the $40 costume they just HAD to have last week.

And if it weren’t hard enough, now there’s THIS.

 

 

That’s right folks - the FAMILY costumes. Here are a few more pictures for your viewing pleasure…

 

These moms not only rallied their whole troop to agree on one theme, they probably spent untold hours making them from scratch. I mean, you’re not finding THIS yellow body suit at Party City.

 

Don't get us wrong, we LOVE a good homemade costume.  Show us your best, most creative costumes (especially if you have a family one) by posting pictures on our facebook page HERE or on your Instagram feed with #BagsyBoo in the comments.

Happy Halloween!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted By Merrell

THE MISSING TOOTH

Saturday, October 10, 2015 9:09:09 PM America/New_York

I never knew I had a tooth phobia until my firstborn’s front bottom tooth started to wiggle.

It was cute at first, but as my toddler wiggled that tooth proudly and that little white piece of enamel became looser, a feeling of repulsion began to develop inside me.  Now, I am not squeamish at the sight of blood, nor do I have a problem at the doctor’s office, but there is something about a wiggly tooth hanging by a thread of connective tissue from a child’s mouth that makes me lose it.  For me, a loose tooth or any tooth no longer attached to a child’s gums ranks right up there with fingernails on the chalkboard.

  

Because of my phobia, one of my children ran around for several weeks withher top front tooth hanging by a thread, perched twisted and hanging at an angle in the middle of her smile.  As much as that tooth drove me nuts, there was no way I was going to pull it.The final motivator for that tooth was money.  We happened to be on a ski vacation and the ski instructor told my daughter that the “Colorado Tooth Fairy” paid big money.  Needless to say, after a month of dangling, that tooth came out that day.  Too bad that ski instructor was not there to play tooth fairy.

 

With a house full of kids attending 3 different schools in different parts of town, our mornings are often (well always) chaotic.   In fact, the chaos is not saved just for the AM, but often stretches into the evening hours as well.   When my middle school child lost a tooth recently, I cringed and turned my back.  “Put it in a Ziploc bag, please,” I instructed him.  Off he went to the kitchen dutifully.   That night, we looked and looked for the bag with the tooth so that he could put the tooth under his pillow. 

That plastic bag was NOWHERE to be found.  

He swore he left it in a Ziploc bag on the kitchen counter.  I assumed the tooth had fallen prey to a frenzied cleaning of the kitchen, in spite of the fact that we could not find the bag in the trash, either.  He is in middle school after all (an age not known for responsibility), and I was not too worried about finding the tooth, as he knows where that coin under the pillow is coming from. 

It was the next day when I got a call from my youngest child’s elementary school, that the mystery was solved. 

“Hi Mrs. Smith,” the school secretary said with a laugh.  “We are here with the PTA volunteers processing the payments we received today (for the school fundraiser) in the kids’ backpacks.  Do you happen to be missing a tooth?” 

I almost lost it – clearly my older son had put his tooth in the plastic bag on the counter that his brother’s elementary school had sent home – the bag with his brother’s name written boldly in sharpie.  It appears those volunteers got quite a surprise (and an even bigger laugh) when they opened the plastic bag with my 2nd grader’s name on it expecting to find money.  They found money all right, AND A BIG WHITE MOLAR.

To make things worse, the volunteers assumed the tooth belonged to my son and called him to the office.  There they put the tooth inside a plastic “tooth necklace” for him to wear proudly the rest of the day.  Knowing it was not his, but too shy to say anything, he took it.   Having no particular attachment to it, he passed the tooth (still inside the necklace) to a classmate.  It was then that his teacher new something was up and I received a call.

Like most families with young children, there is rarely a dull moment in our house!  While it may be a busy time of life, the humor that comes from the chaos makes all the effort worth it.

 

 

Posted By Jenny

THE JOKER

Saturday, October 3, 2015 11:29:48 AM America/New_York

All kids have a mind of their own – I get that.  BUT – I have always wanted a daughter, more specifically, I have always wanted a daughter of my own that I could dress in cute clothes and put her hair in pigtails, etc.  I got my sweet girl, but no one warned me that she would come with her own opinions at such a young age!   We have survived many a fashion tussle, but the older she gets, the more resolute she becomes. 
 
My daughter turned 9 this summer.  It is fun having a little person around, and although she would rather wear Nike shorts and a t-shirt every day of her life, we have found common ground with a weekly schedule of what days she has to “dress decently”  (notice I did not say “nice”) for school, and other days that she gets to pick her own outfit. 
 
As Halloween approaches, we have begun negotiations on this year’s costume.  She asked if we could go online together and “shop” for her ensemble this year.  While I waited for her swim practice to end, I searched Pinterest for the perfect ensemble.  I found several adorable options that I knew she would LOVE.

 The Morton Salt Girl: 

       

A Gumball Machine:

  

And my favorite, the American Girl Doll, still in the packaging:

 

What 9 year old girl wouldn’t love these choices!  I was so excited to show her my “creative genius” (aka Pinterest pics) when we got home.  
 
Uhm….. that is boring mom,”  is all she said.
 
Immediately, she directed the web browser to costumeexpress.com, where she spent some serious time studying and searching the vast inventory of the latest costume arrivals.  After much thought, she informed me that she had never dressed as anything scary for Halloween.  With that in mind, she narrowed her costume choices for presentation.  Here are the two favorite outfits on which she has set her sights:

 

  

 

 

Not what I had in mind, of course.  I can see the Halloween pictures now...  But, what is a mom to do?  Our tastes have collided and there truly is no bridge to reach a common ground.   Although it is hard to let go, this is the age where parents are supposed to give their kids the opportunity to be more responsible - sink or swim, so to speak. 
 
While it is doubtful I am going to spring for either one of these “Joker” costumes, I have a feeling none of my options are up for discussion.  So, I guess I need to start looking for some red and black tights. 
 
The years fly by!  Be sure to shop Bagsy BEFORE your kids are too old to tell you NO!

 

 

Posted By Jenny

SHOPPING

Thursday, September 24, 2015 9:09:24 AM America/New_York

Shopping for and/or with my children is one of my most dreaded household duties. It ranks somewhere between changing dirty diapers and scrubbing toilets. Seriously – it’s bad.

My oldest has had very strong opinions about her wardrobe from an early age. We were doing the old “pick one of two options” trick before age 2. She’s been dressing herself since about 3. For the most part she does OK. But there were days I just had to let it go. 

 

I learned quickly to get her seal of approval on all clothing before purchase. It’s tricky with my “Goldilocks” fashionista….too itchy, too tight, too big. Shopping trips were painful, but so was looking at the new-with-tags outfits languishing in her closet. It always seemed to be the outfits I’d dropped major coin on too.

But as painful as clothes shopping can be, it doesn’t touch navigating the grocery store with my 22-month-old. The girl is Houdini y’all. When she’s had enough, she slips out of the shopping cart belt and stands up in her seat. I rescue her just before a linoleum swan dive and try to reason with her (as if that's actually a thing with toddlers).

"Stay with mommy or back in the cart," I say.

At this point, I know I’m toast and I’ll spend the rest of my shopping trip either playing “catch the toddler” or physically restraining her in the shopping cart, avoiding eye contact while innocent shoppers shrink from her ear piercing screams.

Her sister did the exact. same. thing. at this age. I remember going into some terrible chain store and needing JUST ONE THING in the back of the store. As I carried a screaming toddler in something resembling the Scorpion Death Lock wrestling move, a rather confused older gentleman offered, “You know they have carts up front.”

Yeah, thanks.

At this point you might be trying to trouble shoot the situation...have you tried snacks? What about rewards? You need to leave the store immediately and let her work it out in the car.

Trust me when I say, you just don’t who you're dealing with.

 

I don't mean to be too hard on my children; let's just say "laid back" isn't in their lexicon. But there is light at the end of my very long toddler tunnel: ONLINE SHOPPING.

I’m not going to pretend here folks, I love a good deal. In fact, I love the “best” deal. This has sometimes stood in the way of maximizing my Prime membership. If I can get diapers cheaper at Walmart then I’m going to Wally World, even if I have to schlep my whole crew with me.

I know…it’s a problem.

It was especially a problem with clothes shopping. Sure you can get good deals online, but the “best” are consignment sales. Back in the day when I had one sweet, portable, little baby I would rock the consignment sales. New with tags smocked dresses for $20? Sign me up.

Then I discovered online consignment. Whoa, game changer. I can get my 5-year-old’s approval while baby girl naps and my husband high fives me for being frugal. It’s sort of a wardrobe trifecta. It won’t make my children more laid back, but it just might save my sanity.

And I have hope for the future. My oldest mellowed exponentially around 2 1/2. When most kids are just discovering their “no,” we were negotiating the finer points of our parent/kid contract. Honestly I let her do things her way a lot; but when I say no, by God, Mama means it.

Now in kindergarten she still picks out all her own outfits, but I still do her hair – which is more than my mom can say for me. What’s that saying about pay back?

We've had many discussions over “party dress” vs. “play clothes,” matching tops and bottoms, and the finer points of fashion, like "leggings are not pants." She’s open to my suggestions, but the kiss of death for any outfit is still when I pick it out.

We do our best as parents, trying to toe the line between leader and dictator. When other people hear about our wardrobe battles they say, "You’re the parent, what you say goes." But when I was rocking my smocked dresses in kindergarten with the Payless pleather boots my mom bought for me in a weak moment, she was letting me be me. For that, I’m forever grateful.

Now as the parent, I'm finding more and more that if I give my girls enough room to feel a reasonable amount of control, everyone's happier in the end.

For grocery shopping, that looks like this.

For clothes shopping, it looks like this:

 

Posted By Merrell

YONIC

Monday, September 21, 2015 11:47:02 AM America/New_York

School is back in session and the dreaded projects are already coming home.  Mary Handly’s weekend project was to make a “ME” poster.  On Sunday night I laid out the material on our dining room table and asked Mary Handly if she wanted some help.  She refused the help and started the project.  I had serious doubts about her ability to complete the project but didn’t want to be one of those parents.  You know the ones……

I am going to spare you the details here, but let’s just say that the project didn’t go well and ended with Mary Handly face down on the floor of her room screaming bloody murder.  Slightly wondering whether the neighbors were going to report me for child abuse (my girl can really scream), I left the house during her tantrum to run some errands.  I never know how to handle these incidents, so I called my mother and consulted a few friends from the car.  Everyone agreed I should leave her in her bedroom and let her cry.  It is hard though isn’t it?  I know she was just frustrated, and I hate to see her upset.

When I returned home I found her calm on the porch with her dad working on the poster.  I went outside and she asked me for help.  So, we worked on it together.  I really like the way it turned out and even sent my mother a picture.

The next morning, Mary Handly grabbed “OUR” poster and headed to school. 

That evening I attended a PTA meeting at the school.  At the meeting a few parents mentioned the poster in the hall.  Evidently I had not read the directions well and Mary Handly turned the poster in early, leading to the very false impression that I am somehow “on top of it.”  In any event, after the orientation I went outside to admire OUR poster but was surprised….it had changed.  Mary Handly had written the word YONIC all over the poster multiple times in big purple letters.  As I stood there with another parent looking at the poster, my inner voice started criticizing her. 

She can’t spell as well as the other children.  

She is not as smart as the other children.

She never behaves.

What is wrong with her?  Why would she ruin OUR poster??????

 

 

When I returned home from orientation, I showed Mary Handly the picture and asked her, “why did you change OUR poster and what does YONIC mean?”  Mary Handly looked right back at me with her big brown eyes and replied, “that spells UNIQUE.”  I am UNIQUE and there is no one else like me.  Isn’t it great?”

So many times as parents we view our children as reflections of ourselves.   Instead, we need to remember that every child is a unique person.   Evidently, I needed my six year old to remind me of this important lesson, and I am so glad she did!  Instead of thinking of Mary Handly as an extension of me, I vow to get to know her every day as a UNIQUE person.  That is the joy of parenting isn’t it? 

I have an amazing daughter and I love her just the way she is…YONIC.

Posted By Lauren

CATTITUDE

Wednesday, September 9, 2015 10:00:39 AM America/New_York

It is that time of year….Back to school and the power struggles have already started.  My oldest, Mary Handly, has recently gotten very opinionated about her clothes.  I want her to wear a smocked dress with saddle oxford shoes and hair bows.  She wants to wear athletic shorts and tie dye t-shirts.  She quit wearing hair bows last year and her choice footwear is either tennis shoes or flip flops.  Every morning we hold intense negotiations in her closet.  Both of my girls have wardrobes that are to die for and I love to dress them up and take pictures.   Like so many of you, I post only the choicest photos on Facebook.  You know the game. I generally post pictures of my girls in cute outfits with our house looking neat in the background. Hair combed, bows affixed, etc.   Just like the picture I posted below.

 

                                                                                                   Photo credit Bonnie McGhee Photography 

But this is what my kids really look like every day. Tacky bed sheets (unmade), Reindeer Christmas pillow that Mary Handly sleeps with every night and her latest and greatest addition to the (DON'T YOU DARE WEAR THAT OUTSIDE THE HOUSE) collection....her I've got "Cattitude" t-shirt purchased in an incredibly weak moment at (yes you heard me right) Wal-Mart.

 

We all know that the greatest gift we can give a child is independence.  Admittedly, I am having a hard time letting go.  Although I absolutely adore classic clothes, there is a time and place for everything.  So for now, the morning negotiations continue but I suspect we will be seeing a whole lot of Nike shorts and tie dye t-shirts.  At the end of the day, I want my girl happy, healthy, and independent even if it comes with a good dose of Cattitude.

 

 

Posted By Lauren

FALL TRUNKS SHOWS!

Saturday, August 8, 2015 3:45:10 PM America/New_York

It’s trunk show season!  Since mid June, (while we were launching this site), we have been visiting trunk shows and checking out the latest fabrics and styles for the Fall/Winter 2015 season.  Here are the highlights of some of our favorites.

Alice Kathleen:  The AK Fall line is adorable.  With all of their fabric choices (more than 70 available) and many trim and applique options, this show can be a little overwhelming.   But, a visit to the AK trunk show is well worth the time and effort!  The AK design team hit a home run this season with the Fall collection.  If you have not seen it, you need to check it out on their website alicekathleen.com. .

kate & libby:  Another show not to miss, k&l keeps it simple with their classic designs and staple pieces.  You cannot go wrong with any of their styles.  They always have beautiful Liberty of London fabrics that coordinate well with the fall cords and ginghams.  They also do a great job with floral fabrics that are not Liberty prints that coordinate well with their other choices.  Some of our stand outs this year were the Tom Liberty and the Phoebe.  Both coordinate well with other fabrics they have chosen for the fall line.   To see the k&l collection, head to kateandlibby.com.  

                                                                 

Two Girls and a Boy:  We love TGAAB!  The designs are decidedly classic and Southern and these clothes look adorable on little ones.  The “Sissy” dress is a must for every season.  Our Christmas dress pic this year was the Perry, made with a simple white broadcloth.  For the ruffle trim and tie accents, we chose a red/green/white tri check .  It is going to be adorable!  Stay tuned for pictures when it arrives.  To check out the TGAAB designs, visit twogirlsandaboyllc.com.

 

 

  


 

Posted By Bagsy

VIVE LA LIBERTE

Friday, August 7, 2015 11:53:22 PM America/New_York

Vive La Liberté

Liberty prints can be found everywhere this season from Alice Kathleen to (yes) Nike tennis shoes.   Originating from the world famous Liberty of London, these gorgeous fabrics feature prints that are inspired by nature, architecture, and heritage. 

Liberty of London (liberty.co.uk) is a department store on Regent Street, based in the West End shopping district of Central London. The department store sells a wide range of luxury goods including women’s, men’s and children’s fashion, cosmetics and fragrances, jewelry, accessories, homeware, furniture, stationery and gifts.

Liberty of London comes out with a new selection of fabrics each season.    The company describes the Autumn/Winter '15, fabric collection as drawing on the fashions of past eras – with the intricate details of Renaissance art acting as a catalyst.  We really love the Kimberley Sarah A & B.  How fabulous are these fabrics:

 

                                                Liberty of London                           Liberty of London

Liberty prints are gorgeous and the perfect addition to your Fall wardrobe.  Liberty prints coordinate well with corduroy and gingham.  Several trunk show lines showcase a selection Liberty prints each season.  Kate & Libby has five Liberty Prints to choose from this season. Our favorites are the Tom and Phoebe pictured below.

 

                                                 Liberty of London                          Liberty of London

 

Alice Kathleen also had a great selection of liberty prints.  We absolutely LOVE their Liberty Lilac Flowers. 

At the end of the day you cannot go wrong with a liberty print!  Whether you are using  them as trim or for an entire piece, Liberty prints are a special addition to your child’s wardrobe.  Be prepared for the price.   These fabrics are not cheap, and most cloithing shows have an upcharge for their Liberty fabrics.

Check out the selection of Liberty print garments at shopBags.com!

Posted By Bagsy
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