Consciously Collecting

When Justin and I moved to New York City, Jack was two years old and Zoe was toddling around at 9 months. We packed all of our belongings into a small moving van; a couch given to us from a dear aunt, our dining table and matching hutch that was handed down from Justin’s parents, and a crib that belonged to a family friend and a toddler bed that we acquired from a garage sale. Our kitchen basics, beautiful dishes, silverware and pans that we received as wedding gifts withstood the test of time and travel for many years. Boxes of toys and clothes came along too of course, but we had to really make sure that we brought the bare minimum, the most important pieces that would maintain our little family throughout our journey through dental school.


We’ve moved our little family around four different times throughout our 8 years of marriage, and we have begun to prepare for yet another one this summer. As a young married couple and with a blossoming lifestyle and family, we continue to prepare for both the immediate and the long term. I try to buy things that will withstand the test of time as well as those that will get used and abused and recycled time and again throughout the daily routines that now cycle through 6 family members and two pets. As the matriarch of our family and the one that makes the majority of our household purchases, I have developed a philosophy about when, where and how to spend money in a way that makes the most sense for our family and lifestyles. I will invest in things like cookware, furniture and clothing, and then there are times when I will look for deals on things that will likely not be around for very long. Learning tips and tricks of this trade is something that has, for me, come with time and experience. Shopping at Ross Dress for Less has become something of a habit for me, especially in the housewares department when I’m able to find high quality, trusted name brand products at a fraction of their standard cost.

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On any given day, my kids will run inside and tread on the rugs with muddy shoes despite our no-shoe policy. The dishes, placemats and towels will get dropped and cracked, stained and splattered from frequent use by hurried or little hands. These things that cycle through our lives as fleeting, but necessary afterthoughts, things that need to be a part of our lives but really don’t ever last that long. I’ve made it a point to make lists built on needs for these things and an aesthetic that I’ve created around the house for specific trips to Ross. I’m thrilled to be partnered with Ross on their Bargain Hunters Program, where I’ll be showcasing my finds here and on social media and sharing the excitement of the hunt for household items at great prices, anywhere from 20% to 60% off department store prices. I’m pretty specific about what I like and have a predetermined budget for these various different items, and that really helps when it comes to these shopping adventures.

With our hectic lifestyle and constantly rotating items that make everything possible, I’m constantly on the hunt for things that function well to meet our needs at a decent price. I don’t want to have to think too much about it, that silent trust that certain brands and items offer (best case scenario) is a key in my parenting toolbelt. I’m happy to have a resource like Ross where I can be sure to find deals on these everyday necessities.

Now through Sunday Ross Dress for Less is kicking off this campaign with a Step into Spring Shoe promotion, where users will be asked to comment and engage for entries into the contest. 2 winners will be selected each week of the promotion. To enter on Instagram, upload a picture of shoes you found at Ross and use hashtags #RossShoeSelfie and #Sweeps (no brand names can be shown). One entry per person per day. Good luck!

Join the Conversation


  • We are in a similar boat- 4 moves in 4 years of marriage, next move in the summer. Love that your little guy is holding a buzz lightyear- my 2 1/2 yr old is obsessed with him right now. Good luck in the new move, preparing for it, and more!

  • Did you say above you are moving this Summer?. I love visiting Santa Cruz but I do not think I would live there. .

  • Can’t wait to see what you find. Always love seeing other people’s bargains and I think I need to start adopting your mindset on the things I buy for our family too.

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