Giveaway!!! (Completed as of May 1, 2014

Thursday, May 1, 2014

UPDATE: This giveaway and discount promotion is over as of May 2nd. We will likely be having another Tuff Kookooshka giveaway in the fall. 

Two lucky winners will each receive a $50 gift certificates to Tuff Kookooshka, a maker of adorable kids clothing based locally in Fall River, MA. Tuff Kookooshka is a true family business; the owner started in a Cape Cod basement using remnants and salvaged fabric from Malden Mills in Lawrence, MA. They use the highest quality PolarTec Polar Fleece still produced locally at Malden Mills, with accents and trims made from Luxury Wools out of Prato, Italy.

I fell in love with this brand a few years ago when I found them on Zulily and ordered my son this monster-themed pullover:

They used to be called "Tuff Cookie". Such beautiful quality and attention to detail, as you can see in the photos of my sons and their friends. Right now (through Friday) you can save an extra 15% on anything on with code: samplesalemom15 Their clearance section is already marked down 50% off so this is a killer deal, at much lower than Zulily prices. The red robot pullover my son is wearing in the first photo, for instance, would only be $23.80 with this deal, regular price is $56.

To enter the giveaway to win one of the $50 gift certificates:

1. Go to my facebook page and "like" it

2. go to and find your favorite item. Comment on my giveaway post (on facebook, not this blog) with the name of that item. If you've ordered Tuff KooKooshka before, tell us about your experience too! One comment per person only please. The contest will end Thursday at noon. The promo code samplesalemom15 is good for 15% off everything on the site through Friday at 5:00 pm.

For ANOTHER chance to win some Tuff Kookoosh, check out my friend Lisa's Married to Medicine blog page  - between her giveaway and mine there are four prizes, so your odds of winning are pretty good!

Boden and Mini Boden Clearance Sale Review (Boston, February 1, 2014)

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Post contains affiliate links. If you buy through one of my links, Sample Sale Mom will receive a small percentage of commission. Thanks for supporting Sample Sale Mom!

If you want to read a couple of my other reviews of past Boden sales, you can find them here and here. This time I arrived at the sale earlier than I have in the past. I parked at 7:20 and got in line at about 7:25. This turned out to be a good move - I got in with the first intake (the first group of 75 people in line get let in at 10 for the first few minutes while the others have to wait. After that, 50 to 75 more people get let in every few minutes). The line to get into the sale is inside the building (so no, you don't have to wait out in the cold) and everyone sits down to wait. Most people bring snacks, a water bottle, an iphone and/or a book. Most people sit and talk to the women in line next to them to pass the time. 

Being in the first group in the hall meant that there were only a few of us at the boys table for those first few minutes. I used that time to grab as many boys lined pants as I could in the sizes I was looking for (6 through 10). I also grabbed a swimsuit for my son and a t-shirt for my younger son. I saw a few hoodies and wanted one, but I didn't find one in the right size right away and I primarily was looking for pants so I concentrated on those. The hoodies went very quickly. Last time there was an INCREDIBLE selection of boy's stuff - there were many nice winter parkas and many summer shorts. I saw neither of those this time. Mostly just lots and lots of pants and t-shirts and some long-sleeved shirts. 

This is the updated price list for 2015 (the old 2014 one has changed so I've removed it.)

After filling one of my large bags with stuff for my boys, I decided I had enough for them and wanted to concentrate on items for myself. At this point the hall had filled with women and things were insanely crowded and crazy. A friend of mine who was there grabbed me the EXACT coat I had been looking for, so that was one great steal. I filled a bag with dresses and a few other things, shuttling between the 2/4 table and the 6/8 table since I wear some 4s and some 6s. There was just an enormous amount of stuff - dresses, sweaters, tops, bathing suits. And a vast array of shoes (I didn't go for those this time) I headed to the "try on area". I'm putting that in quotes because really, women try things on everywhere, all over the hall. The few men there must feel a bit uncomfortable when faced with so many half-dressed, frantically-changing women. 

Most of the items I grabbed weren't quite right. However, I got two dresses that fit me beautifully - one summer, patterned maxi dress, and one fall, black, retro style dress. I can't wait to wear them! There are only a few full length mirrors scattered around, so we all had to share. As soon as I discarded items, they were scooped up by other women waiting to try them on. 

There was a special $5 table with select women's items this time. I noticed a lot of women buying those items (there were just a few of several styles). I didn't see exactly what was available there and I sort of forgot about it, so I can't report on that.

In hindsight I probably should have stayed longer and spent more time looking through people's discard piles, but I noticed that a line was beginning to form and I wanted to get out and get home to my family, so I got in line to pay. I only had to wait about one minute... this was at 11:05 so most of the women there were still in crazy-shopping-mode. For a good sense of just HOW crazy, check out this photo by one of my facebook fans, Maribel Carvajal:

The sale was both overwhelming and REALLY fun and I will definitely be going to the next one (for a schedule of upcoming Boden sales check my webpage listing). I have a bunch of tips listed on that page about what to wear, what to bring, and where to park. If you are interested in seeing discussions of each Boston Boden sale, get $5 off coupons for each sale, or find out who to contact about working at a sale, like my facebook page (and message me.)

Last but not least, if you want MORE discounted Boden and Mini Boden and you don't feel like leaving your house, here are a few ways to save money on Boden right at home. 
  1. To get regular updates on Boden coupon codes (I never personally order without at least a 20% off code) - join Sample Sale Mom Deals on Facebook, as I regularly post the current coupon codes.   
  2. Online discounter Zulily sometimes has Boden sales at up to 50% off catalog prices. You can also search in their search bar any time and they often have a few Boden items on sale. To be alerted about upcoming Boden sales on Zulily,you can click the white heart next to "Boden" on the site so that it turns red. They also have sales on plenty of other awesome brands - some of my favorites include Hanna Andersson, Tea Collection, Kate Quinn Organics, Keen & Sophie Catalou.
  3. Several other sites now occasionally sell Boden "vouchers" - For $35 you can buy a $50 Boden voucher good on anything on the site. There is usually a one or two per household restriction, per voucher sale. Sites that sell Boden vouchers include Zulily, and Rue La La, and I post all of these sales by the day they start on my facebook group
  4. If you love Mini Boden, check out Hatley, which is high-quality, (read the reviews) to-die-for cute, and can be much less expensive. 
Post contains affiliate and referral links. If you buy through my links, I will receive a merchandise credit or a small percentage of commission. Thanks for supporting Sample Sale Mom!!

Love Bug Classmate Valentines (Using a Silhouette die-cut machine)

Monday, January 6, 2014

Post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through my links, Sample Sale Mom will be compensated a small percentage of commission. Thanks for supporting Sample Sale Mom!

If you have a die-cutting machine like a Cricut or Silhouette, these Valentines are easy to make! I was inspired by the love bug valentines I saw on pinterest but wanted to take it up a notch and make them a little more artistic. (This post contains affiliate links, I may be compensated a small percentage of your purchase price.)

For this project you will need:

Colored card stock (the kind you would use for scrapbooking)
White card stock
Fuzzy pipe cleaners
Double sided tape or glue
A Die-cut machine - The one I use is the Silhouette, but the Cricut has many fans as well.
Bugs like these
Silver or black marker for your child to write his/her name

The template should include two small slits or holes into which you can insert your pipe cleaner piece to hold the bugs. First, use the colored jar template to make the colored jars and punch out the letters. Next, have your child sign the colored jars. Then attach your bug using the pipe cleaner, twisting at the back. Cut off excess pipe cleaner. Then, after the front is finished, use a second, larger jar template to create a slightly larger white outline/backing layer. Just scaling-up the original jar won't work because it will be uneven - if you are working in adobe illustrator, make a "stroke" around the colored jar template, remove the lettering, and use that to cut the white jars.

The last step is to attach the back and front layers - I like scotch double-sided tape, but you can also use elmers, rubber cement or another adhesive. If your Valentines are put together correctly then the back of them should be solid white and the pipe cleaner shouldn't be sticking out the back.

You can make them all the same color, but for me the fun part was choosing different colors to highlight all the different bugs! More photos below...