Monday, January 31, 2011

Menu Planning Monday-January 31st

I made it halfway through last week's menu and lost steam after my business paperwork dominated my energy and time. This week looks much calmer.

Here's what we're having for dinner.

Garlic Bread

Vietnamese Banh Mi Sandwiches (Steamy Kitchen cookbook)


Baked Crispy Chicken with Citrus Teriyaki Sauce (Steamy Kitchen cookbook)

Fish & Chips

Crockpot chili


There are many more menu planning ideas at The Organizing Junkie.

Good news: I've been thrifting! Bad news: I'm getting caught up on everything else that was ignored while I was doing paperwork. Look for a post next Monday on my thrifted finds.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Menu Plan Monday-January 24th

Well, we made it through all of the recipes on last week's menu plan. This is quite a feat as sometimes I just don't feel like cooking and we end up dining out. This week will be quite busy as my business state sales taxes are due next Monday. So it is crunch time. Pun intended.

Here's what we're having:

Garlic Bread

Tamale Pie (Make It Fast, Cook It Slow cookbook)

Vietnamese Banh Mi Sandwiches (Steamy Kitchen cookbook)


Baked Crispy Chicken with Citrus Teriyaki Sauce (Steamy Kitchen cookbook)

Fish and Chips

Angel Hair Pasta with Alfredo Sauce & Shrimp

For more menu planning ideas, be sure to stop by The Organizing Junkie.

No thrift share post this week.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


From January 21st (this Friday) to January 31st, 2011, the Vintage Market Team will be hosting an end-of-season sale.

Almost everything at Pardon My Past will be 25% off!

And everything over at My Wandering Wardrobe will be 15% off.

Many VMTeam shops will be participating. Be sure to search vmteamsoldes in the Etsy search.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Thrift Share Monday-First Sale of the Year

During the winter months, rummage and yard sales are few and far between. There might be the occasional moving sale and such but that's about it. So when I saw a rummage sale in the online classifieds happening this Friday, I couldn't dust off my reusable bags fast enough.

My DH and I had a date night in another part of town later in the day, so I took him to work and then headed to the sale. I had 8 hours that I could dedicate to thrifting! It was raining cats and dogs when I arrived. The sale was held in a small building with two rooms crammed with stuff. There were already about 20 people shopping when I arrived. There was another gal shopping for vintage as she had a darling navy blue train case in one hand and an awesome looking chair in another. I could feel my competitive side coming out and I resisted the urge to start madly and quickly shopping so I would find the rest of the treasures. Shopping erratically means more than likely I'd miss more things being in a rush. Before heading into a thrift store or sale, I remind myself that whatever is meant to be found by me will be waiting for me when I go in there. It gives me a sense of calmness before heading in and not getting caught up in a frenzy. I could definitely tell who the dealers and other resellers were. They reminded me of village pillagers, swooping in, grabbing everything their arms could hold and leaving a mess in their wake. It took me about four or five turns around the rooms to go through everything. At one point the other vintie was at my elbow as I was crouched down going through bags under the tables. She was really nice and waited patiently until I finished going through them and then asked if I was done once I set it aside. By steadily and cautiously going through everything, I found these gems.

Vintage aqua ornaments. This is one of my favorite colors. I'm keeping these.

Metal file box

Vintage patterns.

Vintage cinch belt.

From the free box: free tissue paper (to use for Etsy orders), strappy sandals (heading to the consignment store this spring) and brown boots like thesewhich my oldest kiddo claimed.

An interesting music montage throughout the rest of my day as I made my stops.

Globus Gateway bag (headed for Etsy)

Tops for myself $4.99 and $3.99

Vintage 70s jacket

Vintage mini dress

Vintage children's books

Magazines from the friends of the library shelf. 10 cents each.

My favorite find of all:

DH and I had a great date night. We saw True Grit and had Italia for dinner.

For more thrifting shares, stop by Apron Thrift Girl's Thrift Share Monday.

Year of Buying Nothing New-Some Second Thoughts

This morning, my friend Selena left a comment under my recent year without buying new post.

"Personally I feel that for people like you and me, buying 2nd hand is our life. I think the benefits for this "buy nothing new" is really for people who are addicted to consumption of new things. For the few new items that I buy each year are that, needed. Or I can make some excuses as to why I wanted to buy them (aka on sale :-). The benefit of living a thrifted life is that even if we realize that we shouldn't have bought something used we can most likely sell it for more than we paid for it. Don't feel any guilt about spending money on new items, especially for your daughter."

In replying to her, I found myself writing what was intended as a short comment was really a post that I'd already been mulling over in my mind.

I agree with what Selena said. And I've been having some second thoughts about doing this challenge. In looking over my purchasing habits (going through receipts for tax purposes), we don't buy a lot of new stuff. We buy new things more during birthdays and Christmas.

Initially, I think signing up for this challenge stemmed from the desire to be more conscientious about using what we already have and the amount of stuff coming into the house.

It's not to say I can't do a year another year without buying new because I could. It's just the amount of new stuff compared to the items we purchase secondhand barely make a blip in the large scheme of things. So I'm shifting gears to this being my year of selling more and simplifying. :)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Menu Plan Monday-Jan. 17th

Weekly menu planning is a good habit I'm trying to get back. I got off track during the holidays. It really saves me the headache by knowing what's for dinner instead of staring blankly at the refrigerator and pantry at 5 o'clock. I plan our meals based on Amy Dacycyzn's pantry principle (as described in her book, The Complete Tightwad Gazette), what's in season and what's on sale. This evening it took me about a half-hour to go through two cookbooks and a couple of store ads.

Here's what we're having for dinner this week:

Spaghetti Pie
Garlic Bread

Spinach Quiche

Fish Tacos


Lemon-Parsley Pork Chops
Mashed Potatoes

Roasted Chicken & Vegetables

Broccoli & Three-Cheese Soup (Crockpot)
Crusty Bread

For more menu planning ideas, stop on over at Organizing Junkie for Menu Planning Monday.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Year of Buying Nothing New-Week 1

I didn't make it even one day into the challenge before buying some new things.

Now, let me explain. I've been helping my youngest kiddo plan her birthday party since before Christmas. There were a number of projects she wanted her party guests to make and do. One of these projects was to make fleece scarves. I figured since I always see fabric remnants or other items that can be re-purposed when I'm thrifting that I'd eventually run across something in the month or so before her party.

Nope. Didn't happen.

So in the last days leading up to her party, I hit every thrift store in town, looking for anything remotely in the neighborhood of party favors. The only thing I found were some Pirates of the Caribbean party supplies. I squinted at the little action figure in the plastic bag that was supposed to resemble Captain Jack Sparrow, turned it around at different angles and decided it would definitely bomb with the over 12-year old crowd.

I schlepped it on over to the nearest craft store to find some fleece for those scarves. This was the last place I wanted to be. I don't do crafts. I don't sew. I don't scrapbook. I don't quilt. I don't make jewelry. I don't knit or crochet. I don't paint. My family's crafting gene skipped me. I can draw stick people and you don't want to be my partner when playing Pictionary. I stepped through the doors and felt like I'd just set foot in the Twilight Zone. I was completely out of my element. Thankfully, the fabric department was in the front of the store, immediately to my right.

Uh.....where was the fleece?

My time was limited as I quickly scanned shelves and signs. It seemed like it took forever and a day to find the fleece. How does anyone get out of that department in a timely manner? $8.99 a yard. Not wanting to appear to be more addle-brained than I already was (I'd had a few store clerks give me odd looks when I was whipping through the rows of fabric and mumbling to myself), I decided to try mentally figuring out how much it would cost and how much fleece I would need, instead of using my calculator. Cringe. The approximate total I came up with would cost me more than what I was spending on the party. I headed back to the clearance fabric section, trying not to get distracted by the dress forms and organizational items area (ooooh pretty!). The only fleece available was in the color pink which my youngest kiddo currently dislikes. A lot. And the price was still cost-prohibitive. Sigh.

Here's what I ended up buying new:
Winter-themed garland and a large ornament at 75% off (Christmas clearance)
8 pairs of winter gloves out of the craft store $1 bin
8 candy-filled ornaments that were 75% off at the drug store

As for resale shopping, I purchased 4 items. I've sold 10 items so far this week. So more stuff is heading out than coming in.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Thrift Share Monday-Not Paying Full Retail

Last week was very busy getting things cleaned up from my mother-in-law's visit, the kids going back to school after a 2-week vacation and getting ready for my youngest kiddo's sleepover birthday party. The only room with carpet in the house besides a bedroom is my office and the only one large enough to sleep a number of kids. This involved moving everything out of my office and into an adjoining room. I filled some bags of donations and consignment things in the process. I'm taking my time moving everything back as I'm really enjoying all the space in my newly cleaned office.

I had to run party-related errands and squeezed in a couple of quick trips to nearby thrift stores.

Chico's top $4.99

Lane Bryant sweater (new with tags) $7.99. Retailed new for almost $60.

I found these napkins before Christmas. They were 50 cents each. The first set reminds me so much of Vera's designs. They don't have a signature anywhere in the pattern. The second set appeals to my country farm cottage side.

I've added cloth napkins to my 2011 thrifting wishlist. Most of our cloth napkins will be ready for the cleaning rag bin by the end of the year.

There is more thrifted finds over at Apron Thrift Girl's Thrift Share Monday.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Year of Buying Nothing New

From October 2006-October 2007, I did a year with The Compact. It was challenging, eye-opening, liberating and had my family and friends questioning my mental stability. A couple of months ago, I took a voluntary simplicity course that was offered in my area and The Compact was mentioned in the course literature. Since then I've been kicking the idea around of doing another year without shopping. Although I purchase a lot of things secondhand, I've found myself shopping retail much more than I like in the last few years.
In keeping with item number 3 (not procrastinating) on my 2011 resolutions list, I'm jumping right into Van's Buy Nothing New for a Year Challenge over at Thrift Core. Starting tomorrow. :)
Gina over at Lime Kiln Lane was the added inspiration to participate in this challenge. She was around when I did my Compact Year.

My exceptions to the buy nothing new rule:

*Health & beauty items
*Most cleaning supplies (will do a follow-up post on this one)
*Business supplies (mailers & tape)

To make this challenge just a little more challenging for myself, I will be limiting my resale shopping purchases. My office is filled to capacity with inventory. I need to pull my numbers together but basically I will be working toward dollar goals and/or having a certain number of items posted for sale before I shop for resale.

I'll post my progress each week on Friday.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Mother-in-Law Thrifting

Now before anyone gets the wrong idea, I was nor am I thrifting for a new mother-in-law. I love mine dearly and hope to have her for a long time. My mother-in-law (MIL, for short) celebrated the ushering in of 2011 by spending the weekend with us. Yesterday, we ventured out for a late breakfast at one of our favorite eateries and followed it up with a trip to the thrift store. My youngest kiddo and husband went to the pet store next door as they weren't in a shopping mood.
I wasn't even 10 items into the first rack of clothing when my youngest kiddo shocked me out of my shopping zen by appearing at my side unexpectedly. My presence was being requested by my DH next door to look at a dog. It took a lot of self-control not to roll my eyes and sigh. Things are busy enough with our current mini zoo of animals, two cats and a big dog. However, I recently agreed to consider adopting a small dog sometime down the road after a long discussion with my DH. My kiddo and DH started talking at the same time, showing me the cats up for adoption (weren't they soooo cute?)and oh, oh here is the dog! My heart melted when I saw the little Yorkshire Terrier who was the real reason I was brought over. I spoke with the lady from the rescue group that was sponsoring his and the other animals' adoptions to find out his history. He seemed to be a good fit for our current quirky pet society and my DH filled out the paperwork. The main thing going against us is we do not have a fenced-in yard. If we don't hear back within the next 48 hours, then we'll know it wasn't meant to be.
I went back to the thrift store to join up with my MIL and oldest kiddo and tried to not think about the dog. I hoped my DH and kids weren't getting to attached as well.
Pickings were rather slim but I managed to find a jacket and vest for myself for $10, and my MIL found a top for herself.
The jacket is missing the bottom button but I have one that will match the others. I'll be on the hunt this year for versatile wardrobe pieces that I can wear dressed up or dressed down. I had a few occasions last year where I needed to dress up beyond my normal jeans and top and boots and scrounged together outfits at the last minute.

For more thrifting adventures, be sure to stop on over at Apron Thrift Girl's Thrift Share Monday.