Friday, May 29, 2009

This and That

Just a few little things to show you today.

My $1 garage sale birdcage went from thisIMG_2763

to thisIMG_2783Much better!

My couch went from thisIMG_2622

to thisIMG_2785 I finally painted the feet and Craig put them back on. They were a really light color, about the color of the walls. I think this looks way better.

Here’s another little project I did.IMG_2781This is a chair that goes with my grandma’s ice cream table. I had Craig kick out the rotting old seat and we put one of those coco-lined baskets down in it. Voila! A charming planter! Hopefully, the impatiens will soon be in full bloom (this side of the house gets a little morning sun, and then shade the rest of the day, so the impatiens should be okay).

Wait, one more thing. Look at these little bunnies Craig and I saw a couple weeks ago in the teeny weeny strip of grass between Quizno’s and the parking lot.IMG00397 Awwww! Don't you want to pick one up? I really wanted to, but didn't. Your babies are safe, mama bunny!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thrift Store Thursday

Let me explain: lately I’ve been liking more and more a decorating style that incorporates vintage pieces. Not shabby chic, not really even cottage, but just some cool old accent items with character.

So when I saw this old stool at the thrift store, I was immediately drawn to it. It was $9.90, though, a little more than I really wanted to spend on it, so I went home and slept on it over the holiday weekend. Tuesday I went back and got it, and it’s been in the trunk until this morning.IMG_2771 When I got it out to take this photo, I thought “What was I thinking?”. Okay, I still think it’s pretty cool, but it’s going to take a little more work than I originally considered to get it fit to have in the house. The seat is split right in half and the varnish is flaking, the legs are bent and rusty, but I think there’s potential here.

Friday I picked up these two beauties at a garage sale.IMG_2772 They are each 54” tall by 28” wide, and have the original wood on one side and paint on the other. I’ve got an idea for these, but will have some major cleaning to do first, as they are some kind of filthy. And how much did I pay, you ask? Five dollars. For the pair!

Lastly, a special little treasure that I found at United Volunteers for about $.20.IMG_2775 This is a little story book I had as a child. I actually still have my copy, but it is torn and I thought had some pages missing. The copyright on this book is 1950 and 1966, so I don’t even know if it was originally mine, or an older sibling’s.

It’s a sweet little story about some kittens that are born in Mr. Dobby’s candy store. The mama is his mouser, so she stays, but he sells the kittens to the children for $.15. But nobody wants poor scrawny Peppermint. Then one day there’s going to be a cat show at school. The children are excited, but one little girl “in a worn-out sweater” is sad. She doesn’t have a cat. Mr. Dobby gives her Peppermint.

Barbara takes her home to show her mother, who is doing laundry.IMG_2779 Oh no! Barbara knows Peppermint is ruined! (Read about bluing here.) But the next day at the cat show…IMG_2778 Peppermint and Barbara win first prize! Sigh. I love a happy ending.

Okay, I’m still having trouble with Mr. Linky, so here’s what we’re going to do. Leave your link in the comments, and then I will edit my post and add your name and link right to the main content.

Check out these thrifty finds!
  1. Barbara Jean
  2. Kali
  3. Renee
  4. Lucy
  5. Tricia
  6. Mandi
  7. Amy
  8. The Queen of Fifty Cents
  9. Martha
  10. Gina

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

WFMW—DIY Swiffer WetJet Refill

WFMW blog I’ve had my Swiffer Wet Jet for a long time (hence, the photo of the old model). It has not replaced my steam mop, but it’s great for spills or a quick once-over. They want you to believe that the solution bottle is not refillable and that you must buy a new one every time you run out.swiffer2 But we are not that gullible, are we? No, we are not. Just take a vise grip to the white cap and wrench it off (or have your hubby do it, which is how it works around here). Then fill it up with your choice of solution. I use Armstrong floor cleaner, which is what I used to use for mopping before I got my steam mop. I believe the ratio is about 1/8 cup of the cleaner and then fill the bottle up with water. Next time I run out of Armstrong, I’m going to try Dr Bronner’s Sal Suds.

Once the bottle is refilled, just screw the cap back on tightly and use as before. One precaution: I noticed that for some reason if you store the Wet Jet with the reused solution bottle in it, it tends to evaporate. I solved this problem by just taking the bottle out when I’m done Swiffering, and storing it upright.

Have you noticed that so many times thrifty is green(er)? Works For Me! Next, perhaps I'll try to figure out a reusable cleaning pad.

Visit We Are THAT Family for more tips.

Monday, May 25, 2009


Over the weekend I was given awards by two bloggers, Amanda at Serenity Now and Jenny at Our Nifty Notebook. It happened to be the same award:onelovelyblogaward

Thank you ladies; this is exciting!

Here are the award rules:

  • Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link.
  • Pass the award to several other blogs (I think the original rules said 15, but that just seemed like a lot) that you’ve newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Here are my picks :

Be sure to visit them; they’ve got some cool things going on! And don’t forget to visit Serenity Now and Our Nifty Notebook.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

My Thrift Dollars at Work

Tonight for dinner I made waffles, using the waffle iron I got at the thrift store a couple of weeks ago, for under $4.  My mom occasionally made homemade waffles, and so does my stepmom, but I’ve never made them myself because up until now I didn’t have a waffle maker.

IMG_2767 I served them topped with strawberries, a dusting of powdered sugar, and whipped cream.  I also gritted my teeth and splurged on real maple syrup, which I haven’t purchased in a while because the prices got so high; some members of the family went hogwild and used all the toppings at once, as you can see above.

I used this Whole Grain Waffles recipe from  They were delicious and crispy, and I doubled the recipe so I have some to put in the freezer for easy breakfasts.  I highly recommend picking up a waffle iron at a thrift store or garage sale if you don’t already have one!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Hooked on Mitford

I am a reader. I love fiction (though not all genres). One of my all-time favorite series is the Mitford series by Jan Karon. I’ve read them all several times.


The main character is an Episcopal priest that lives in a small town in the mountains of North Carolina. I know…it didn’t really grab you, did it? But there is just something so charming about these stories that it makes you feel homesick. Like you were meant to live in Mitford but somehow fate dealt you an unlucky blow.

I’ve even wondered if I should switch over to Episcopalianism.

This is well-written Christian fiction. It’s wholesome and clean. It’s funny, cozy, friendly. It will encourage you as a Christian, and make you want to come back.

There are seven books in the series, plus gift books and cookbooks (food factors largely). Ms. Karon has recently started a new series about Father Tim, and the first book, Home to Holly Springs, lived up to it predecessors.

Next time you’re looking for a good read, take a trip to Mitford. Meet you there!

Julia is hosting Hooked on Fridays at her blog Hooked on Houses.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thrift Store Thursday—Garage Sale Edition

Saturday our subdivision had a garage sale. We both bought and sold, so I decided to use that for today’s post. I mainly wanted to sell the couch and a refrigerator; we didn’t have time to go through everything and put out everything we could have, but we did put out a few things.

IMG_2744 Although you can see a little bit of sun in this picture, most of the day was cool and drizzly, so we kept everything in the garage. A neighbor bought the fridge for his garage, but other than that, not much sold.

IMG_2746 These guys did more business than we did.

IMG_2735And my beloved couch? Along with everything else, Craig took it to Goodwill. {sniff, sniff}

Naturally, I drove around the neighborhood. I bought a vacuum to keep upstairs for $5. Next door, I found this birdcage for $1.IMG_2763 I think I may spray it white.

I also got this sterling silver necklace for $.50.IMG_2764

And now, I have a sneak peek for you. Remember the consultation with Layla that I won? This is the coffee table that she suggested:coffee table2It’s from Pottery Barn and the green is on clearance for $299.99. Not too bad, but still more than I could spend. Here’s what I found at the above-mentioned garage sale for $30:IMG_2761 I’ve been looking for one ever since I got Layla’s pictures! And I actually have to give props to Craig, as he is the one that spotted it and sent me back to that garage sale. Even though I had been right next door (where I got the vacuum), this sale didn’t catch my eye and I didn’t even bother to go over there. I haven’t figured out exactly how I’m going to do a green finish yet. Any suggestions?

How did you fare this week?

1. Please link directly to your Thrift Store Thursday post, not your home page.

2. Please mention and link back to my Thrift Store Thursday post.

3. Please put my button in your post, and I'd really love it if you'd use the code to do so :)

Mr. Linky is having issues today, I guess. He was here, and he's in the html, but he's hiding. If you'd like to join and he's not showing up, put your link in the comments. Thanks!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

WFMW—Crystal Deodorant

wfmwbannerKRISTEN While I certainly have not totally switched over to all natural products in the home, I am making moves in that direction little by little. One of the products I use is Crystal Deodorant.

Crystal Deodorant is made of natural mineral salts, and while it is not an antiperspirant, it prevents, rather than masks, odor. I am not a heavy sweater, so I cannot say how this would work for someone that is, but it works great for me. (At least, no one tells me I stink!)


Regular deodorant/antiperspirants contain aluminum and other potentially harmful ingredients. From the Crystal website:

“Aluminum is a potentially hazardous material regulated by the FDA for its applications in body care products. Studies show that aluminum can accumulate in the brain over time and some health experts are concerned that it may increase the chance of Alzheimer’s disease and breast cancer. “

Personally, I’m not interested in increasing my chances of breast cancer or Alzheimer’s.

The initial outlay for this product is more than one would typically pay for deodorant, about $6-7. But, I have had the above stick for about 2 years, and there are still 2 inches of it left, which should last me many more months.

I use the stick, but it also comes in roll-on and spray. I like that it has no scent (as in, an absence of any scent at all, not “unperfumed” like regular products), but I noticed that it does come with some scent options now. You apply the stick when you get out of the shower and are still damp. It is not sticky, leaves no residue, and doesn’t make white marks on your clothes. For more info, check out the website, and read the reviews at Amazon.

More Works for Me Wednesday tips at We Are THAT Family.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Unequally Yoked

Imagine my surprise when I read my husband's blog post today. I've copied it here with his permission for you to see. Of course, you can also read it at his blog, You Could Call This a Blog.

I'm beginning to wonder if I ever really knew this man that I've been married to for almost 17 years.

Suffering Through The Thrift Store

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I love my wife's ability to sniff out a deal. She has saved us thousands of dollars over many years by being thrifty. I'm proud of her and wish her continued thrifty success. That doesn't change this powerful and undeniable fact.
I hate thrift stores!
You have never been to a thrift store? Well you are in for a treat, grab some coffee (or some other caffeine, or stimulant) and join me on my recent journey to a local thrift store, The Salvation Army's Family Store.
Today at the T.S. (thrift store) all pink tags were 50% off. TSs know how to mark down merchandise. There are usually different colored labels at different discount. Just a little insider info for you.
As we walked in we were greeted by this head. The severed head of a mannequin decapitated many years ago. The lifeless eyes staring at you saying, "buy this old Chicago Bears hat for 40 cents". Notice the safety precautions taken by management by putting a tennis ball on the end. Wouldn't want to poke an eye out.
Moving deeper into the store reveals a great looking wooden doll . A local artisan painted a face on this fine piece. It's as if she is ready to slam dunk a basketball. You might want to consider this item for Fathers day, or maybe an anniversary to say to your spouse, "marrying you was a slam dunk".

One of my favorite parts is the standing around. Here my bride is searching for a treasure, I would help her but somebody has to hold up the walls.

After visiting this aisle, I was given the task of holding the treasure. Today we purchase two heads of lettuce made out of some kind of ceramic or metallic something. Also a glass jar. I believe we also took home this basket.

Another thrift store success! So there you have it, a small glimpse into a typical thrift store. How do you survive thrift shopping?

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in this blog post are not meant
to represent the views of the author. This is pure fiction.
The time spent with my beautiful wife far outweighed any discomfort,
angst, boredom that may or may not have occurred, if it actually
happened. Which it didn't, maybe.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Happy Homemaker Monday

Last week’s plan was very helpful. I pretty much stuck to the schedule and, for the most part, got everything done. I did peter out by the end of the week and didn’t get to the master bedroom, but I got the kids’ rooms done and their clothing switched out, and that was really the main thing.

Having dinner planned each day was a big relief. In general, that whole time of day was more relaxed. I always knew it would make my life easier to plan ahead, but for some reason never did it.

I’m babysitting again this week, from 8:30-3:30 Monday through Thursday, so I probably won’t be as productive as last week, but I’m going to try this again. I think I’ll focus on one room or chore and do one load of laundry a day.

happy housewife flickr

Mon: kitchen, go to Aldi. Supper: bbq chicken sandwiches

Tue: bathrooms. Supper: tacos/burritos

Wed: wash sofa slipcover, run errands (library, post office). Supper: pasta

Thu: vacuum and dust whole house. Supper: pork chops

Fri: change beds, general tidy. Supper: pizza

I realize this isn’t the most exciting blog reading, but it helps to keep me accountable. Thanks for hanging in there!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Bad Habit

I have recently acquired a bad habit. A habit fueled by the DVR and A&E. In the last couple of months, I’ve discovered CSI: Miami. thumb I’ve never watched a current season. I just watch the out-of-order re-runs which seem to comprise about a third of A&E’s airtime. This isn’t typically my genre. Blood, murder, science…in general, not major interests of mine.

Since the airing order of reruns seems to be totally random, I don’t even know a coherent storyline. I get bits and pieces with every show and try to fit it all together.

It’s formulaic and kind of funny. Horatio’s one-liners are always good for a laugh (“champagne? lipstick? looks like our vic was on a…..killer date!”). There’s always a piece of evidence left right where they can find it, but they rarely find it until their second or third visit. A hair, a toothpick…it always offers up the DNA.5

They almost always interview the killer a couple times before they figure it out. It doesn’t matter how unpracticed (a 16 yr old girl) or hardened (repeat offender) they are, they always calmly and coolly deny everything. The suspects are never nervous or shifty-eyed. But when the team gets it all figured out, the suspect always goes “okay, I did it” and confesses everything.


The scenery is pretty, the colors are saturated, the people involved are attractive, and they always solve the crime. What can I say? I’m hooked!

Visit Hooked on Houses for Julia’s Hooked on Friday party.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Thrift Store Thursday

Saturday I stopped by a couple garage sales and a consignment store. Didn’t find too much, just three things. The cute tiny covered dish (is it a butter dish?) was $2 at the store. The tall glass container was $.50 and the fabric $1, both at a garage sale. The fabric is 2 3/4 yards of pure linen, so it was a good deal. I sort of couldn’t decide if it was hideous or kinda cool. I guess I’m leaning to kinda cool; I’m thinking accent pillows.IMG_2725

So, I thought that was about all I was going to have for today’s post. Then today I popped in to United Volunteers for 25% off. Guess where all the stuff that doesn’t sell at the garage sales is going to? Oh yeah, the thrift stores! It was a bonanza!

IMG_2720 This didn’t photograph very well, but here we go. (These prices are within a few pennies; I made adjustments for the 25% off.) A small white mirror with hooks (will hang in mud room for keys and last minute preening) $2.15. Black ledge shelf (leaning vertically) $1.40. Two white 8x10 frames $.65 each. Two white 8x10 mats, $.20 each. A Belgian waffle maker $3.65.

IMG_2723 A pair of Old Navy capris for Pinkerbelle and a silk top for me, $1.58 each.

IMG_2721This neat old print of a pen and ink drawing was $2.18. I thought it might be an original, but on closer inspection, I doubt it.


I also got this purse, $2. It was a pretty good week…my total was under $20!

Now let’s see your stuff!

1. Please link directly to your Thrift Store Thursday post, not your home page.

2. Please mention and link back to my Thrift Store Thursday post.

3. Please put my button in your post, and I'd really love it if you'd use the code to do so :)