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    Throw an All-Thrifty Baby Shower

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    Some college girlfriends called me a few months back and wanted to arrange a baby shower back in my hometown. I was thrilled and excited at a chance to see everyone and show off the bump, but talk of showers always leads to talk of registries. I have to admit– the thought of registering made me a little bit queasy. Babies need so much stuff– but does it all really need to be new?

    So when I flew back to Missouri last weekend, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But I have to hand it to my friends and family– they know me better than I ever imagined. I was treated to a brunch with good friends, family, food, generosity, crafts, love and THRIFTY gifts!

    I was told that guests were asked to go to their local Goodwill® or secondhand store and come up with an outfit for a baby fashion show. As each person arrived, they handed over their bags and before I knew it, little baby mannequin figures were appearing in a lineup in the living room, all decked out in thrifty baby cuteness!

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    Each person talked about their outfit and we had so much fun coming up with names for each of them. There was beachy baby, compete with Hawaiian shirt. There was Georgetown baby, who looked quite preppy with a little popped collar. There was camping baby with tiny fleece pants, puffer jacket and hunting cap. A Paddington baby with the cutest little hooded brown coat. A biker baby with Harley gear, a rave baby that would have looked totally comfortable holding a tiny little glow stick, and a safari baby with a hat and elephant overalls. A ski baby with gloves and boots looked ready to hit the slopes.

    In addition to the fashion show, guests gave used baby books, clothes, bibs and the like. But the greatest gift to me was hearing all of them talking about the fun they had picking their outfits out and bragging about how little they spent!

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    So a big shout out to my friends and family for starting off this kid right — with lots of secondhand love!  And if you’re expecting and thinking the same thing I was, pitch a thrifty baby shower as an idea!  It sure beats tasting baby food and eating melted Snickers out of diapers!

    Jenna Isaacson
    is a journalist, Midwesterner and thrift addict. She started her project All Thrifty States, in 2010. In 2011, with support from Goodwill and Kickstarter, she spent 52 days traveling 10,000 miles in an RV documenting items, people and scenes from thrift stores in 30 states. Now with 40 states complete, she intends to publish a book when it's complete. She lives in Washington, DC with a very patient husband.
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