• shopping,  Thriftstore Thursday

    Thrifty Thursday! Edition 3: STUFF, when is it too much?

    thrift store loot

    The other night I woke up in the middle of my night for some reason or another and ended up walking into my office to work on my laptop. (I do that to cure insomnia. It works like a charm.) Somewhere between my bedroom and the dining room, I stubbed my toe on a box of something I had out in preparation for the big princess party. I stopped, grabbed my toe in pain and looked around me in the dark. I was suddenly overcome with how much stuff I had in my house. Even in the dark (or maybe more so because it was dark) I could see shadows of stuff EVERYWHERE.

    How is it that in one month I have fillled up an entire mobile home with STUFF? It made me sick.

    Granted, it’s a small mobile home and I had a lot of things out and about that I was using to set up for the big birthday bash but still. When I moved in here it was empty. I didn’t even have a bed. It seemed huge. There were cupboards and drawers everywhere completely empty. I’ve never had a place to myself before and for the last five years I haven’t even had a room or a closet that I could call my own. So it seemed like an incredible luxury of space.

    How is it that I have filled up this space in just one month? It took me aback.

    This got me to worrying. Shopping for all that furniture at once was a heady thing for me. I’ve never had that much money at my disposal all at one time before. On top of the Ikea shopping and the thrift store shopping I was also setting up new accounts for internet and utilities, gardeners and a new dog that required things. It kinda felt like money was flying out of my bank accounts like leaves from a leaf blower. Sure, I wasn’t out blowing crazy money with credit cards or anything but it was A LOT of shopping for me. I’ve been scrimping and saving for a long time. This was a big change in behavior. Enough to kind of scare me.

    So it is with that new fear that I bring you today’s post. When is stuff too much stuff?

    Today we hit the mother load of stuff at thrift stores. Lots of neat stuff. Stuff that maybe I don’t even need and I’m willing to sell if anyone takes a fancy to anything. I’m trying to figure out what is valuable and what I just really like. I wish I had a huge warehouse where I could keep every random thing I take a fancy to and then maybe someday someone would hire me to decorate their house for them. I’d get a call and then I could go find that perfect thing in my well-organized and cataloged warehouse. I’d have sections set up by genre, time period, color etc etc… Oh what a dream that would be! I could be the Queen of Stuff! Ha!

    But the reality is I can’t do that. At least not now. I like a home that is a little on the sparse side. So the stuff needs to be curbed. I’m not renting any storage space. That’s not in my budget or my life plan.

    Onwards! Shall we?

    new end table! and a mexican blanket

    First I found this end table. I couldn’t even believe it. This is exactly what I had been looking for for weeks to put beside my bed to put a lamp on. I had scoured Ikea in vain. Thrift stores had nothing. Why is it that now that I have settled for an old red metal toolbox for a bedside table that I find the PERFECT side table? It’s small! It has straight lines! It’s mid-century or something near that! Why?! Why? I shouldn’t have bought it. But it was only $20. I figured I could fit it somewhere. So now I have a table that I don’t entirely need. It’s not that big so I’m sure it will fit somewhere without me stubbing my toe on it but the warning alarms have started ringing. This might be a sign of a problem.

    And hey! It came with a Mexican blanket or serape in the drawer!

    Mexican blanket

    Just kidding. I bought the blanket separately and stuck it in the drawer. I don’t feel too bad about this blanket because it cost two bucks and I’d been wanting to buy one ever since we threw the Actually’s their Mexican-themed farewell party. I wanted to make throw pillows out of one but I just couldn’t justify cutting up a blanket I spent $30-40 on. Well, now I can! A two-buck blanket can get cut up. Unless of course it looks prettier all in one piece which this one might. I’m kinda digging it. I don’t need it but I do love it.

    red shoes!

    And then I found these shoes. Swooni-swoon-swoon.

    red loafers

    You know how I am about red shoes…

    Valentine's Day Shoes

    These are so red and so shiny and sooooooo not my size.


    Kill me now. Should I have left them there to rot with all the other outcast misfit shoes: the awful chunky ankle boots, Grandma Edna’s nurse shoes and the leopard printed stripper heels? Would someone who does wear a very narrow eight and a half come along and buy them and maybe land that job because they looked so smart? In the sticks? Not likely.

    Nobody but me knows the real value of these wonderful red shoes. I must buy them!!! So I did. And now I have to sell them. Because even though I can fit them on my feet and admire their beauty, I cannot really walk in them because I will trip. I wear a size seven. I really wear a size six and a half so an eight and a half is just plain clown-shoe silly on me. Just like my friend Deb always says, “Josephine crying in a bucket!” That’s me. I am crying in a bucket over these shoes.

    Hopefully these will be listed in Etsy (if I can call them vintage, not sure) or ebay tomorrow after I measure them and document every last scratch and scuff.


    I also bought this belt. It’s nice. I don’t really wear belts but maybe I should. It doesn’t take up much room so my guilt meter is low on this one. I should illustrate that. Maybe that will be a regular feature from now on.


    There. That should come in handy in the future.


    Next up: tongs. Boring but I totally needed them! They’re heavier and nicer than any I’ve seen in stores too so, no guilt here.


    Phew. If I was smart this is all I would have come home with. But what kind of post would that have made? Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz……….

    Paris teapot


    Next, I bought this teapot. I bought this purely to resell. I love the color but I’m not really decorating my house with turquoise right now like everyone else is. My only problem is, it looks kind of cute on my Paris cafe shelf. I don’t know… I think I should etsy this one. I just need to research and see how valuable it is. Same with the funny green pitcher and the yellow bowl and green cup from the top photo. Though, I am getting my groove on with the 70’s green in my trailer these days. It’s very trailer chic. Everything was very cheap of course. Under $5. Some of it is Bauer, some just stamped with USA so I need to read up on my pottery.

    new dress


    And lastly, we have this yellow sundress. I wish it was vintage but its H&M. Oh well, cute is where you find it, right? And I will need a sundress out here in the sticks where it’s 80 degrees in January!

    summer dress is it Summer?

    I think I’ll keep it.

  • Funny Fashion,  party party,  Thriftstore Thursday

    Thrifty Thursday! Edition 2: Costumery!

    funkey town

    If I learned anything today, I learned to NEVER pay full price for costumes. Not that I ever have but when I was at the bounce house rental store the other day, I poked around their costumes thinking I might find something princessy I could wear to Bug’s party this weekend. I am the queen mother after all. I should be dressed appropriately. They had princess costumes for adults alright but they were horrible!

    I don’t know what was worse, being Cinderho with her skirt up to there or the over-pricedness of the crappy fabric! Bagged packets of cheap fabric sewed horribly with scratchy thread, that’s what they were and a lot of them cost upwards of fifty bucks! You know what else? The bags were sealed so you couldn’t try them on. A total waste of money. I’m almost 40, if I’m going to wear a short skirt, I need to try it on first. I figured I could do better at home with an old skirt and a poofy blouse with a tight belt and call myself a peasant.

    Then we hit the thrift stores. Gold mine!! I found that funkytown number you see above for three bucks! Don’t worry, I’m NOT going to be wearing to the princess party. I might be a funky queen mother but I’m not that funky. It was just too good of a deal to pass up. I think I’ll wear it to church. Ha! Maybe not.

    Then hiding amongst the dusty old wedding dresses, I found the most royal of queen mother costumes ever: a velvet bridesmaid dress or maybe a choir costume from the 70’s. Empire waist line, completely modest neckline (for all the bending and scooping I’m going to be doing) and a floor length skirt in flawless purple velvet…it’s so perfect!!! I could swoon.


    I know it’s hard to tell how perfect this dress is because you are so distracted by the awful-bad-hairday-mullet I’ve got going on. I spent the day gardening with my hair pulled back in pigtails then I thought I’d just run a wet comb through it and hit the thrift stores. Wet combing never works. But whatever, I don’t have time for vanity when thrift stores close at five! Also these pictures were taken with my water-proof camera at my aunt’s seamstress shop so they aren’t the best quality and the velvet is a mess of black. You’ll just have to trust me on this. The velvet is not black. It’s a beautiful shade of deep purple.

    myspace angle I think I've found a costume!

    You can kind of tell in these shots where I’m trying to over-compensate for my bad hair and double chin with the classic hold-the-camera-above-your-head photo technique. You’ll see in the photos after the party. It’s the most perfect dress ever.

    Except for one tiny little thing. Just a smidge of an issue. I can’t breath when I wear it. Seriously, this dress was so small on me. I could zipper it but I could only take half breaths because the empire waist was cinching me in half. If I wanted to, I could exhale completely and bust the whole dress off me in one incredible hulk move. It was tempting.

    Good thing I have a seamstress in the family. The dress was only three bucks so I bought it anyway and drove straight to my Aunt’s shop declaring it a fashion emergency.

    fashion emergency

    Auntie Keren to the rescue! My aunt is the bomb. My mom said there weren’t any seam allowances to be let out, my aunt disagreed. She ripped, pulled, sewed and ironed. I tried it on again. Still too small. I slipped her a twenty. She said she’d do something magic and I could pick it up on Friday.

    I’m not worried a bit. She’s Keren!! If anyone can make it happen, she will. She can do anything. I am confident I’ll not only be able to wear it all day, I’ll probably bounce in it in the bounce house in it! I have no idea what she’ll do but I know my aunt. Anything is possible. Besides the dress was so cheap! It’s worth it alone just for the fabric!

    princess linens

    Speaking of fabric, have any of you tried to sew tablecloths lately? My mom and I went to the fabric store with visions of a six-foot princess table covered in a pink cloth trimmed in flounces (ribbon maybe?) and roses on the sides. You know me with my over-the-top visions when it comes to party planning. I wasn’t going to have anything to do with those awful paper/plastic/vinyl table cloths that cost a buck fifty and whip up in the wind and float across the yard. I had bigger ideas.

    I had big ideas until I did the math that is. Nice pink 60-wide fabric is not cheap!!! Even the cheapest would have cost me over thirty dollars. I was so depressed. I can’t spend money like that. It’s just a five-year-old’s birthday party, not a wedding. So I went home with my tail between my legs, dreaming up blog posts where I show you how to sew/tape/glue/whatever paper tablecloths that actually stay ON the tables. It would have been a good idea too. I probably could have even pulled off little paper-vinyl rosettes and flounces with those cheap plastic tablecloths. Who knows maybe I’ll still end up doing that.

    BUT! I found pink tablecloths at the thrift store. Technically one of them is some kind of fancy bed canopy thingy, another one is a bed skirt and one is a lace tablecloth that someone accidentally washed with a very red shirt. I don’t care. They work for me. I think they’ll be perfect for a fancy princess party. Just you wait and see!

    In other news: My backyard is looking fabulous.

    happy seat

    I hired some gardeners and they came secretly while I was gone and mowed everything down. They’re super ninja gardeners. I didn’t see them or hear them. They just got the job done. My backyard wilderness looks like a peaceful park setting!

    brush pile dogs in the shade

    Nevermind the GIANT brush pile and the rolls of chain link laying around. The gardeners say they will be back Friday to remove the brush and the handyman family friend says he’ll be back today or tomorrow to whip the fence up. Or we’ll just discreetly roll the mess of chain link off to the side somewhere. I’m okay with that. It looks good enough to me. We’re ready for a backyard Princess Party!

    it's getting there...