Thursday, March 27, 2014

Rhea Lana's Spring 2014 Sale in Richmond-Rosenberg

I'm all about recycling, reducing, and reusing all sorts of things. Although I don't have a child (yet), I do appreciate great deals and understand the importance of budgeting within a family, no matter how large or small. My husband's aunt has been organizing and running Rhea Lana's in the Richmond/Rosenberg area, a twice-yearly children's consignment sale, and this week she'll be opening the doors to hundreds of families for some amazing deals.

While helping with prepping items for the sale over the last couple of weeks, I experienced some crazy baby fever just by looking at all of the super cute outfits and amazing prices on high-quality items. From playpens marked at only $75 to adorable outfits for only $3, the savings add up big time and tons of families are benefiting. Not only can you get great deals on these items, but you can also make upwards of 70% if you consign, too. 

I'm budget-conscious and consider myself financially-savvy, so when I started to learn more about the sale, I knew I wanted to spread the word about this awesome event. Below are the details about this event, and while it's here in the Richmond/Rosenberg, TX area, there are Rhea Lana's consignment sale events across the US! Check out the full sale event list here.

2014 Spring Event Schedule
Saturday, March 29 to Thursday, April 3
5150 Avenue H Rosenberg, Texas

Public Sale
Saturday, March 29th 10a-7p 
Sunday, March 30th 12p-6p
Monday, March 31st 10a-7p
Tuesday, April 1st 10a-3p

Half-Price Sale
Wednesday, April 2nd 10a-7p
Thursday, April 3rd 10a-5p

Helpful Links

A note from Karen, shared on the Rhea Lana's Facebook page recently:

Who is Rhea Lana’s of Richmond/Rosenberg?

I’m Karen Chierighino, owner of Rhea Lana’s of Richmond/Rosenberg. Some ask if I travel all around holding events like these, but actually I live right here in the Pecan Grove community! I was raised in Alvin, Texas and graduated from Wharton County Junior College with an Associates Degree in Medical Lab Technology. I’m a busy mom to four adult children and two at home (14 and 15) and enjoy being active in my church and community. When I’m not in the thick of Rhea Lana season, I like to help with my husband's professional real estate inspection business.

I strongly feel my call was to serve and when I learned I could serve moms through Rhea Lana’s Children’s Consignment event I thought it was a match made in heaven! Over the last three years I have become passionate about showing moms how they can MAKE money and SAVE money with Rhea Lana’s! 

I have many favorite things about Rhea Lana’s, but a couple of them would be how 70% of every dollar spent goes right back into the pocket of a mom in the Richmond/Rosenberg community! And hearing how our events are able to bless grandparents raising grandchildren, single mothers, or foster parents. As a mother of six, I understand the importance of being able to dress your child in quality clothing at affordable prices!

- Karen

From left: Candace, Karen, Corey, Ryan, Ricky, Conald, Amanda, and Kaley

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Why I Had to Trade in The Stratus for Kia Rio

This post is long overdue (by over four months!!!). While I've been settling in to my new job, I have finally been able to wrap my head around my new life and all of the exciting developments. A little over four months ago, I was driving through a parking lot in my 2001 Dodge Stratus, my first car, and the only car I had known for 11 long years. As my car creaked and groaned, people darted out of the way and looked terrified by the noises that were coming from my direction.

I knew I needed a new car. We had been paying down the student loan debt for months at this point, and a "new" car was in the back of my mind, although not something I had planned on purchasing anytime soon. All of my babysitting cash was deposited every week directly into my savings account and I had been tucking the money away for months. I also set up an auto-deposit from my checking into my savings for $50 every two weeks. Over the months, it added up, and I finally had upwards of 5,000 in my savings account.

Skipping ahead so I don't bore anyone with the details, I ended up with a 2012 Kia Rio hatchback which had 34,000. I traded in my old Stratus for $750 off the "new" car, and put $4,000 down. I regret it now, but at the time, I went ahead and purchased the maintenance plan and warranty for up to 100k miles. The car payment is set at $307 per month for 36 months. Once we pay off the student loans (which will be April 10th), I'll then shift my focus to this car loan and my husband's car loan (more on that later!).

After four months of driving my "new" car, I have to admit that I'm pleased with my purchase. Sure, it has more bells and whistles than I really need, but this car will be paid off within the next twelve months. That's right—I'll own this car soon enough! We're on track to be student debt-free in three weeks, and then we'll have $1,200+ freed up for other debt. At the moment, we're currently paying $600 each week towards those student loans to get rid of them.

I was slightly sad about letting my Stratus go, but this car is a long-term investment that will be completely paid off and way more reliable that my Stratus! And now, some pics to commemorate the event.

The "new" car, a 2012 Kia Rio hatchback.

The keys to the heart of my Stratus.
The last photo of my Stratus. RIP. I'm sure it was crushed, as it was no longer fit to drive!

Our zombie family and my brother's band, American Fangs.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Renting a Room and Keeping it Minimalist

When we first moved in with my husband's cousin at the beginning of the year, we didn't really know how long we would be here. Would it be just a quick pit stop while we looked for our sixth apartment in 8 years? Where would we even begin to look? After a couple of weeks, it seemed that everything was working out just fine. With his permission, we began slowly moving our items into the house that we now shared.

As a reminder, we literally moved on New Year's Day and shoved every single box that we owned into my parent's garage while we figured everything out. I would rummage through all of the boxes, open each one, and mark with more detail what was contained inside them. Now, instead of simply labeling one as "Kitchen", I now knew if there were cups, bowls, or forks inside. Once you've opened a box five or more times, you begin to create a system that makes more sense!

I began bringing items back to our new home that I had carefully selected from the boxes in my parent's garage to piece together our bedroom. This exercise really made me reconsider what was important to me, and I was surprised to see that I had even more items to add to my donate pile. Before we moved out of Austin, I decluttered many areas of the apartment, but not that it was clear we'd be living elsewhere for a while, the decision to toss another shirt into the donation box was that much easier.

Each time I visit my parents now (which is way more often than I can ever remember in year!), I go through another box and really think about what I can do without. My wardrobe has been pared down yet again and my husband now owns more clothing that I do! Our favorite decor is adorning the walls of our bedroom, and we added some kitchen items to the household inventory for communal use. Check out some of our setup, and let me know what you think! I'm loving the simplicity of the room, and know that it's the perfect amount of items for us.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Minimalist Living Room Decor and Makeover

When we moved in with my husband's cousin a couple of months ago, I was completely grateful for the living arrangement that we had. We're currently renting out a room, and he has a house full of furniture and decor that had a bachelor pad feel to it. And hey, that's what he was! So once we finally "settled in", I was careful to toss around the idea of redecorating and moving items to give the place a fresh new look.

During a weekend conversation before he was heading out for the evening, we began discussing his living room and the possibilities of decor ideas. I had some ideas in mind and quickly sketched out a floorplan that could work a little better than the current setup. After agreeing on the setup, our roommate mentioned that it looked like a "weekend project". If you know me, you'll know that I like a good challenge. I told him I'd have it done by the time he got back to the house (within two hours).

Without spending a dime (and actually finding a lot of loose change in the process), I completely revamped the living room in just under the two hours. I completely rotated that massive rug and moved around furniture myself like nobody's business. I feel it opened up the space and really took the living room to a totally different level of comfort.

Check out how moving just a few pieces of furniture and rearranging some items can do to a room!


Monday, March 10, 2014

New Roomie: This House Just Become More Like Home

I had been counting down the days and waiting for weeks for our newest roommate, my husband's cousin. While we prepared for his arrival, I wanted to make his homecoming something he wouldn't forget. I'm all about a challenge, and I knew I had to budget to make his home something really nice while working with what we already have. I've been making over the house we're currently renting with my husband's cousin (our new roomie's bro), and steadily have been making it a little more cozy.

I started off thinking about what all would be needed but also wanted to make the room a little minimalist. This would give him a good welcome home and at the same time provide some flexibility if he wanted to "make it his own". I thought about a budget for this, and figured about $35 would do the trick. We had the bed and bedding, but aside from that, the room was bare. I'll just jump right into the photos, and then we'll talk numbers.

Picture frame (Target) -- $1.99
Chair and pillow -- $0 (owned by roomate, free)
Laundry basket (Target) -- $3
Fake succulent (Target) -- $3
Lamp (Ikea) -- $0 (owned previously)
Bedding/bed -- $0 (previously owned)
Curtain rod/curtains (Ross) -- $20 
Clock (Target) -- $5
TOTAL --> $33

I feel like it turned out pretty nice, and our new roommate LOVED his room. Simple and minimalist, but it looked great. I'm becoming a big fan of less is more, and especially renting just one room can really make you appreciate the items that you have with you even more!