Help me get over the Gap - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 27 Old 02-03-2005, 06:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know about the overseas stuff..I just can't help it. I spend $300 or more bucks on Sophie's clothing each season. She wears ralph lauren, gap, old navy, baby lulu, stride rite, and so on. I can't help it. I have social anxiety and I feel like Sophie has to look perfect or people will judge me. That part goes on but this isn't the mental health forum. Anyhow I just recently for the first time put her in a plain t-shirt. She'd never worn one before. No onesies, no baby stuff. If I wouldn't wear it myself she wouldn't either. As a result I spend a crapload on making her look like a lil ...I don't even know.
I do sew. I've made her some clothes but they are mostly for lounging/sleep or dirty play. I make a promise to myself to sew at least 50% of her wardrobe each season but then I get caught up in shopping. I have started for this spring. I check website, stores. I make sure I find shoes to match etc. Its disgusting.
I only have 2 pairs of jeans and a handful of fitted tee's.:LOL
I need help walking away from the stores, boutique frou frou crap, the matching shoes.
Also what amounts of each sort of thing does a kid need? Sophie has shirts hanging with tags on so I have no clue really.
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#2 of 27 Old 02-03-2005, 06:59 PM
 
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Buy used, mama!

I totally hear you. I'm the same way. My dd has all name brand stuff, too. I tell myself it's because these brands last longer than the cheapie stuff. (It's true. I won't buy it if it's not going to last, even if it *is* some fancy brand.) I buy dd's clothes on EBay, in thrift stores, rummage sales, etc, all used. I make sure there's no stains, rips, etc. I take good care of them when she wears them, and when she's outgrown them, I sell them back on EBay, craig's list, and other places. I just bought a lot of Gap, Gymboree, and other clothes on sale for $70 including shipping, that ranges in size from 12m (her new size) to 2T.

I overbought when she was in 3-6m clothes. Now I only buy what she will wear in one week if I don't do laundry (but like I ever get away with leaving it that long! ). In her current size she's got four pairs of jeans, five sweaters, a few long sleeved onsies, some short sleeved onesies for sleeping, two blanket sleepers, a couple rompers, four t's, a pair of overalls, and three dresses. She's got a pair of purple shoes (not that she needs them, but they keep her feet warm if we leave the house). They don't match everything she has but everyone always compliments them.

They way I look at it (and I may get flamed for this), buying used doesn't benefit the company. I'm not supporting their practices with my money. It's a win win situation.

I hope this helps. (I also only have a few t's and three pairs of jeans. But when I'm with such a cute baby, no one looks at me anyway! )
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#3 of 27 Old 02-04-2005, 12:47 AM
 
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Sounds like you need a hobby. Give yourself a budget for her clothes, meet and stop looking. Start baking bread, walking, going to the park, knitting, sewing, etc... Then you won't have time to shop. I used to shop alot too. Now I don't have time and bc I can't afford it. And, now, it makes me sick that people can spend so much $ on baby/kid clothes, I've started buying used. Sooo cheap!
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#4 of 27 Old 02-04-2005, 12:53 AM
 
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If you feel the label is that important, make yourself a new rule that is: I can buy what ever I want at a thrift store or garage sale.

You'd really be surprised at the nice clothes you can find if you dig (and the digging is half the fun :LOL )
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#5 of 27 Old 02-04-2005, 01:44 AM
 
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Gap, Old Navy, etc. are REALLY common brands. Every thrift and consignment store has them for much cheaper than new. You could post on TP and you'd have oodles of responses with clothes in perfect condition for REALLY cheap!
Then you get the clothes you like, but aren't directly supporting sweat shops, etc. We like those clothes, too. But do have a rule that no store logos can be largely printed on the clothes. I can't handle my kids being advertizements for crappy companies.

Mama of 3 amazingly sweet kids jumpers.gif, living the dream on our urban farm chicken3.gif

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#6 of 27 Old 02-04-2005, 02:38 AM
 
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..Maybe its because my DD is still pretty young, but I don't terribly care if the clothes are going to last, since she has outgrown them so quickly it just doesn't really matter at this point. We are starting to reach the point though where she's worn some of her cheap playclothes long enough that seams are giving, etc, so I can see caring with an older child.

I can't get over how often you find name brand outfits that barely look worn in thrift stores and at yard sales. Sometimes with tags too.

Mightymoo - Mom to DD (6) and DS (4)
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#7 of 27 Old 02-04-2005, 02:56 AM
 
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Mama Barter baby. I have been a member for a long time and I've gotten so many nice things. We trade up, over, etc and everyone is so kind and honest. Tell yourself..I won't use household cash to buy clothes..I will trade, barter, etc to get clothes.
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#8 of 27 Old 02-04-2005, 10:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
But do have a rule that no store logos can be largely printed on the clothes. I can't handle my kids being advertizements for crappy companies.
We don't do any logos or characters. My dad made sure that I never wore them and it has stuck with me that we shouldn't be free walking advertising.
Those are all great ideas everyone. I am so frugal in so many ways but when it comes to Sophie I'm so not frugal. When I had Sophie I sold my horse and got rid of my lil sport car so I could stay at home with her and there went my hobby and my freedom to come and go without having to have the stars properly align.:LOL So I know I do need to find a hobby.

So what amounts of bottoms, tops, and dresses do your children have?
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#9 of 27 Old 02-04-2005, 01:18 PM
 
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I agree on the buy used, you can find some great deals out there.

As far as your need to buy her the "best", just an observation from what I've seen my sil do. She spends tons of money on her kids clothes and always has. She does around $1,000 per kid when school starts and then fills in as the year goes on. These kids have clothes with tags hanging in their closets that they never wear.

My sil feels like she was deprived as a kid. My dh doesn't? I find it fascinating that they feel so differently yet were raised in the same house, by the same parents and are just 18 months apart (sil is older). I think part of it stems from her mother used to do her the same way she does her kids but my mil wasn't that way with my dh. He was spared a certain amount of weirdness just because his sister was favored or his mom tried to live through her, etc. Whatever strange family dynamic existed for them (we all have 'em, huh?).

Sorry to rabbit trail, back on topic. My nephew doesn't seem too affected by it yet, he's 8, but my neice, who is 10, is obsessed with her clothes. She wants only what is the latest and greatest. I hate to see her so upset over something, that in my mind, is so trivial. I'm afraid she might be one of the "popular" girls who will grow up to pick on others. Ugh!!! She is really sweet and I know my sil has taught her how to be kind but because she has such a focus on the material I wonder if she will grow up to feel inadequate in her own skin??? She has total meltdowns in the mornings if she can't find the right outfit (I know this is a part of being a girl, who hasn't had a good cry over not having the right outfit, but her meltdowns happen much too often for me to see them as "normal").

If you can't stop the shopping obsession for yourself, think of what you might be teaching your daughter by example.

Just my $.02 worth.
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#10 of 27 Old 02-04-2005, 02:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Cheshire
She spends tons of money on her kids clothes and always has. She does around $1,000 per kid when school starts and then fills in as the year goes on.
SHEESH!

I just typed a nice long post and DS erased it. ugh.
Well, the skinny of it was this... I know alot of people are turned off by the thought of stepping foot inside a thrift store, or yardsale. Especially if you're used to shopping new at the mall. Consignment stores can be a great option in that case. The prices are slightly higher than thrift stores, but still less than buying new. Their merchandise will be top notch. They won't accept anything with stains, holes, etc. Their stores will also be extremely clean and organized. Another plus of shopping at consignment stores is that you can take in your DD's clothes that she's outgrown to sell or trade in for new ones! Most big cities have consignment stores just for children, too.

As far as how many clothes we have: We have enough for about 1-1/2 weeks of wear. I do laundry every day. But there are just some days when the kids go through more clothes than I'd like to admit!

Mama of 3 amazingly sweet kids jumpers.gif, living the dream on our urban farm chicken3.gif

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#11 of 27 Old 02-04-2005, 03:05 PM
 
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Check Ebay if garage sales/thrift stores creep you out.
You may be able to get those brands that you love, in great condition, but at half the price. How much does a kid need? Well, it depends partly on how much you wash. They need enough seasonal appropriate clothes to make it easily from one wash to the next- so that depends on how many outfits she goes through a day, too, plus an extra outfit or two for diaper bags and backup. More than that is really unnecessary unles she needs special clothes for certain things- ie dressy dress for church, etc. Two or three pair of shoes is plenty. Sell those unused (and good condition used) clothes to buy her new ones for the next season. You might even be able to get her whole wardrobe from the money you make!
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#12 of 27 Old 02-04-2005, 03:23 PM
 
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I have never ever bought either of my kids a single stitch of new clothing, so I don't know if I can be of help to you, but I'll try anyway.

First, as far as your being judged by what your child wears, the only judgement that goes through my head when I see a small child in designer clothes is, "What a waste of money."

Second, I go out of my way to avoid dressing my kids in name-brand clothes. I don't want my kids to feel that what they wear and how much it's perceived to cost has any bearing on their worth as a person. They do have some name-brand things that they got as gifts, but if we receive name-brand things that are gaudily emblazoned, I return them or sell them or donate them. I'm not a fashionista myself. I buy 2 or 3 things for myself from the thrift store every year, and my in-laws buy me clothes for Christmas and my birthday, but I'm also still wearing things I wore in high school (and I graduated 14 years ago). I am almost completely function over form. I want the kids (and myself) to be comfortable and not ever have to worry about "ruining" some expensive piece of clothing.

Third, I'd say that kids need a week's worth of clothing, and a few extras (like a nice outfit for special occasions or some extra-grubby clothes for super-messy play or gardening, etc.) I always end up with way more than we need because my SIL and my best friend give us hand-me-downs and the in-laws deluge the kids with new clothes, but the kids usually only wear (on a regular basis) a small percentage of what we have. If I were buying clothes for my kids, I would make sure they had 4 or 5 bottoms (both shorts and pants) and about 5-6 long-sleeved and 5-6 short-sleeved shirts, a few (2?) sweaters, 2 or so dresses (for my daughter, who prefers pants even though I'd prefer to dress her in dresses), a dress outfit, and two pairs of shoes. My son, who arrived in November, has one pair of shoes (sneakers). I was going to buy him a pair of dress shoes, but so far we haven't needed them, so I haven't bothered. My daughter has a pair of nice sneakers and a pair of play sneakers. She also has a pair of boots (shoe-kind, not outdoor-kind) that a friend gave her. They each have snow boots. When summer comes, I'll get each kid a pair of sandals.

I agree with previous suggestions. Set a reasonable (low) budget for clothes and don't go over it. Buy brand names in thrift stores (I know you are in my area, and Once Upon a Child has some very nice stuff). Just don't go to the mall, and then you won't be near the Gap.

Today we went to a Valentine's party and my daughter wore a red turtleneck that someone gave me for my son and a pair of blue corduroy pants, with her black and orange Halloween socks. She's often seen wearing her halloween shirt (orange) with her pink pants with flowers on them. That's another reason I don't bother much with clothes. My daughter's idea of what looks good together is totally her own, and I figure that most people who have had toddlers won't think twice about my daughter's plaid-and-polka dots fashion sense!

Namaste!
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#13 of 27 Old 02-04-2005, 03:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Check Ebay if garage sales/thrift stores creep you out.
I'm not creeped out by them at all. I like thrifting. I got Sophie a sweater once from one.:LOL Sorry thats my bad humor attempt.

Quote:
I am almost completely function over form. I want the kids (and myself) to be comfortable and not ever have to worry about "ruining" some expensive piece of clothing.
I never worry about what she does to her clothes. Many times we have gone to my inlaws with her wearing something brand new and it'll be grass stained and food stained before we leave. I don't get upset or tell her to stop playing. Its just not something either of us worry about.
As far as the judging thing I have loads of irrational, unfounded fears. Its just one of those things..I don't look down on kids/adults/whomever and what they wear. I know I must sound snobby but I'm not. I had a really rough, poor childhood and I just want Sophie to have nice things that I never did. I think half this thread is about my mental health.:LOL I'm sorry for that part.
Anyhow tonight I'm going thrifting with my $5 off a $5 purchase coupon. If its her size and not stained or torn I'll get it and use it and be happy. Its my goal anyhow.
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#14 of 27 Old 02-04-2005, 03:37 PM
 
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ok I just got erin some (badly needed) clothes this morning from www.basicbrilliance.com.

Kristin -- mom of Erin (11/5/02) and Leah (9/29/05)
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#15 of 27 Old 02-04-2005, 03:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetfeet
Its my goal anyhow.
We'd never get anywhere without goals!

I hope my post didn't sound harsh. Sometimes when I am trying to explain myself I think I sound kind-of blunt, but I'm also one of those people who thinks that what I think and do is merely what I think and do, not necessarily what's the only right thing to think or do. That's why I wrote a novel, to explain myself and why we do things the way we do. I wasn't trying to be mean!

Let us know how the thrifting goes! Where's the coupon for? Can I find one?

Namaste!
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#16 of 27 Old 02-04-2005, 05:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I hope my post didn't sound harsh. Sometimes when I am trying to explain myself I think I sound kind-of blunt, but I'm also one of those people who thinks that what I think and do is merely what I think and do, not necessarily what's the only right thing to think or do. That's why I wrote a novel, to explain myself and why we do things the way we do. I wasn't trying to be mean!
I like blunt. No really I didn't see your post as rude I just realized that people probably think I'm a total snob. I just wanted to make clear that I'm not. In fact I gravitate towards people who aren't into brands/labels/etc because its what I aspire to if that makes sense.
The coupon is for Valley thrift off of patterson (I think). You know where the flat roofed houses are.:LOL Anyhow thats probably my favorite thrift. Goodwill is way overpriced unless you get the stuff 50% off. Anyhow the coupon was in Sundays paper 2-3 weeks ago. Know of any other decent thrifts?
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#17 of 27 Old 02-04-2005, 06:29 PM
 
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If I ever meet you in person, I'll make sure I and my kids are wearing our very grungiest thrift-store grunge.

Valley Thrift is very close to where we live. Village Thrift isn't too far away. I like both of them, and the St. Francis near us isn't bad, either. There's a new one across the street from St. F, that I think is called Harvest, that I have been meaning to go into, but I haven't made it there yet. Kidz Again used to be near us but now it's moved closer to you. Also, the Goodwill downtown on 5th Street (Oregon District) is pretty groovy, and the prices are cheaper than the two other GW's we go to.

Namaste!
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#18 of 27 Old 02-05-2005, 12:27 AM
 
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Many churches and LLL have great kid's sales in the spring.
You may want to ask around in the tribal forum in your area.
(pm me for info on a great sale in Dayton,oh in this spring!)

Sounds like you are trying to wean yourself off of particular brands for $ sake;
social activism (pro textile worker rights) sake; and to counter balance
percieved social pressure. Whew! Wean as is take a gradual approach
at first if needed. Make yourself a ratio of new vs. used clothes that
you can live with. Then adjust it back a bit when you feel ready. Ask for gift cards for birthdays so if you do splurge it will be only for a gift card amount.
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#19 of 27 Old 02-05-2005, 03:45 AM
 
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OK- you do not have to sew half her clothes to be frugal!
BuY USED!!! Many consignment and thrift stores as well as garge sales have brand new name brand clothes at a much lower cost!
And this is what I tell myself!
THE FIRST TIME YOU WASH SOMETHING IT IS USED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
How about putting that extra 1000 in a college fund.
Buy some staples used to start- like the jeans- they hold up great!
And then supplement the wardrobe with "some" new things- new shoes, a few shirts- hair bows- whatever floats you boat.
You will get hooked on this type of shopping too- I promise- and it will be much kinder to your bank account!
I love it- because EVERYDAY there is something new to discover!!!! EVERYDAY!!! and by the money I save- I really can shop- EVERYDAY!!!
Good luck!
Also-I think people who buy all name brand new clothes for their kids are silly and frivolous- so how about that for a complex?
Hugs to you as you battle on!
Emilie
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#20 of 27 Old 02-05-2005, 03:50 AM
 
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You do not want to pass on to Sophie that you must be able to buy expensive things to be worthy tho- right!!!
You can still dress her GREAT!!!! And do it on a shorter budget! I promise!
It takes a little more time- and lots less money! Get out there and have fun!
You will find there are alot more moms just like you!
I get my son basically new shirts from the Gap at Goodwill all the time-
I look forward to your progress reports- I challenge you to go to 2 thrift stores tomorrow and buy at least two outfits!! I see rich looking moms in there all the time- by the way.
have fun!
Emilie
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#21 of 27 Old 02-05-2005, 03:53 AM
 
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My son has 4 pairs of jeans- .50 at a yard sale- brand new
4 pairs of khakis- also .50
navy pants= yard sales or hand me downs.
Countless shirts- hand me downs- or yard sales- I stock up!
For 25-50 you can't beat it!
I occasionally buy him some new clearance clothes from time to time as well. I just got him a grey hoodie for 1$- origanally 8$!
Emilie
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#22 of 27 Old 02-05-2005, 03:59 AM
 
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I think you have passed your own vanity and self-consciousness off to your daughter, and this is not a bad thing!

Let her know what clothes are for play and which are for nice times, and later with some patience, you can pass on your seamstress talents.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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#23 of 27 Old 02-06-2005, 06:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carolsly
Mama Barter baby. I have been a member for a long time and I've gotten so many nice things. We trade up, over, etc and everyone is so kind and honest. Tell yourself..I won't use household cash to buy clothes..I will trade, barter, etc to get clothes.
This is my challenge for this month.

I plan to do this for EVERYTHING with the exception of food and gas.

Wish me luck!

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#24 of 27 Old 02-06-2005, 06:19 PM
 
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Hmmm...you need a hobby, and you love getting brand new stuff for your child.

How about sewing clothes for her instead of buying them?!?!? Then you can make the matching booties (or decorate edges of socks) and scrunchies or hats, whatever, and you can do that out of the scraps rather than spending a fortune on the stuff. You would likely get a lot of satisfaction out of making her a few really cute things, rather than doing so much shopping. A variation of this is to buy really plain things and decorate them, turn t-shirts into dresses, etc.

Another thought, to lessen the economic impact of all that shopping, maybe you should sell the stuff she's outgrown (particularly the stuff with tags on it!!!)

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19 (in Israel for another school year), Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 12(homeschooled)
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#25 of 27 Old 02-07-2005, 04:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I went to the thrift yesterday. I got the cutest Old Navy dress and a pair of Old Navy pj's for Sophie. I found a baby gap one piece for my niece Emma. Total came to $10.66 I paid $5.66 thanks to my coupon. Not too shabby. I really like the stuff that I got. Its soft and in perfect shape. I wish I could've browsed longer but Eric was having issues with Sophie. I had heard "No Sophie!" 200 times and decided to quit.:LOL I want to go back alone sometime this weekend.
Oh and dharmamama they are having a 50% sale for presidents day. On that Monday.
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#26 of 27 Old 02-09-2005, 04:12 AM
 
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Great job, sweetfeet!
I bet you are going to find the thrill of the thrift store hunt is more fun than buying new.

Jenny, proud maker of red things
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#27 of 27 Old 02-09-2005, 09:29 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetfeet
Oh and dharmamama they are having a 50% sale for presidents day. On that Monday.
Yay! Thanks!

Namaste!
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