A Spoonful of Spring

Once upon a time there was a mom and her son, it just so happened that the time was the second day of spring.  What does spring mean?  Cleaning!  Well, I’m really not that motivated to clean all that much, it takes some serious convincing from myself to get in gear and actually do it.  Mostly because I’m tired a lot and taking care of my 5 month old is time consuming.

I did, however, go through my clothes in the closet today.  I pulled anything that I never felt like wearing or hadn’t worn in months and it went into a box, a few pair of shoes went in the donation box too.  I had a full box when I finished and a lot of newly empty hangers.

Getting the baby ready for a car ride was easy and we headed over to the local Salvation Army to drop off our box and two bags of plastic bags.  After we dropped off our donations we pulled around to the front of the building and headed into the store to look around for about a half an hour.  As we walked into the store there were major major differences!  The store had, it looked like, new racking, it was cleaner, it was brighter and all the clothes were organized a little better.

Searching through the two racks of jeans, I was looking for a specific brand, Silvers, but only found two pair and although they are the brand I was looking for, I am sad to say, that I cannot fit into a 25/31.  I’m not sure I’ve ever been able to fit into that small of a size, but those were the only two I found of Silvers.

Spring is the time of mud and puddles here in Minnesota, so the main clothes that I wanted to look for were zip up hoodies because as soon as I can I want to ditch my winter coat.  I feel like the sooner I can do that, the sooner the warmer weather might actually arrive.  One can dream right?

I found 3 hoodies that I liked that were also not stained.  I found a green zip up sweater from Vanity for $2.99.

A Disney World hoodie for $3.99.

Annnd a cream colored zip up from the Gap for $3.99.

I normally don’t like picking up knickknacks, although I made an exception today because I found a really cute little planter and a holiday horse for a Christmas decoration.  Really, I don’t get pictures from thrift stores either, but I figured that this one was cute and I could get a new frame for it.

One thing is for sure, I really need to find a tutorial on how to make a light box in order to take better pictures of my finds from the thrift stores.

And perhaps not use my cellphone as my camera to take them, considering we have a pretty nice digital camera that I could use to take these pictures.  All of the knickknack items were $3.99 except the drawing which was half off of $2.99, so it was only $1.50.

Hope everyone has a great start to the new spring season, don’t forget to donate to your local thrift stores and have a great time finding the rare finds!

Happy Thrifting!

 

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and then there were three

Since my last post back in September of 2010 my little family of just me and my husband-creature has turned into a little family of three.  We welcomed to the universe our little baby boy in October, hence my hiatus from blogging about my thrifting finds, it’s a little difficult to bring a newborn to Salvation Army and Goodwill.

But that is just what we did yesterday!  Although, baby boy is not a newborn anymore at 4 months, so we loaded him up in the car and went to the Coon Rapids Goodwill.  We were there because it was 25% off day.  We combed through dresses, and clothes for a good while.  All the time, my son was just hanging out in the stroller, quietly looking around (he finally drifted off into a nap about an hour or so into our trip).

Cool thing about the stuff I bought yesterday?  It all fits me.  Yeah.  Without trying them on.  Awesome Sauce!  Gotta love it when that happens.  I don’t like trying stuff on at thrift stores, well, really anywhere.  So, onto the haul!

I was actually thinking about taking a few of the dresses to the tailor to fix a few things on them.  One of the dresses, the buttons could use to be re-sewn on, and the black dress is missing one bead in the back.  But since they all fit me, I may still bring them to the tailor and the dry cleaner, but I’m definitely keeping at least the black dress!

Pictures are worth a thousand words right?  Forgive the lighting in them, we have a pretty dark house and it’s gloomy and foggy outside.  Does not bode well for taking quality photographs, you know?

Tommy Hilfiger Orange purse, the color is a lot better in person.  It’s not a big purse, more of a handbag, basically big enough to hold a wallet and a few essentials, but it’s a nice color and has no spots on it and is in great condition.

 

 

This dress is a size 6.  It’s a little tight on me around the waist, but the belt hides that.  This is the dress that I think the buttons could use to be re-sewn on.  It’s Ann Taylor and is made out of silk so it could use a cleaning and steaming to get out the wrinkles in the skirt.  It’s actually a little long for me, since I am only 5’2″.  Longer dresses make me look like I have stubby little legs, and although that much is probably true, I don’t need help looking like it.  All of the clothes need to be washed to get the “Goodwill” smell out of them.

 

 

This dress looks weird on the mannequin.  It fits me, but it’s made of this flowing silk mix that is super staticky.  I’m not sure I will actually want to keep this one.  I might put it up for sale on my storefront on Etsy.  I’ve never actually sold anything on Etsy, if anyone has tips on it, feel free to comment or email me.

Anyway, it looks way better actually on me than on the mannequin, and it would look a lot better worn with some sort of heels.  It feels more like a dancers outfit to me.

 

 

This is a decorated tank top.  It was cheap and it’s only missing one bead, and you probably wouldn’t notice it unless you were specifically looking (which I was).  It will be great for layering, so that is why I went ahead and bought it.  It’s not that exciting, and honestly I don’t want to keep talking about it because since I forgot to take a picture of the sweat shirt that I got, I can move onto the totally awesome dress that I found.

O.o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This dress looks amazing on me.  Slinky and sexy.  It’s only missing one of the beads from the bottom hem, and it’s missing in the back.  I’m sure it’s easy to fix.  I tried getting a picture of it on me, but the lighting makes it impossible in here.  I hope that my husband-creature and I can eventually celebrate Valentine’s day, perhaps this weekend, and maybe I can wear this dress.  I’ll have to find awesome heels to wear with it, and pray that it doesn’t get too cold again.  The challenges of living in Minnesota!

Happy Thrifting Ya’all!

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Raindrops in Autumn

It’s been raining here in Minnesota all day, all night even.  It started yesterday and has been a constant drizzle at the very least and ramps up to a downpour every now and again.  My plan for today was to go visit my parents’ house because I had told my Mother that I would help her set up her PaperBackSwap account and get her books posted on there.

I drove over to her house this morning right before noon and we spent the early afternoon doing just that!  We went through about 6 grocery bags full of books and posted about 26 of them onto her account, the remainder she is bringing into the bookstore in Elk River to get trade credit for.  It’s a lot easier to post books that you have a higher likelihood of actually sending out to someone than randomly picking books off the shelf at Salvation Army like I tend to do, but I also buy a lot less books than my Mother does because she has a “collecting” habit (read: compulsion 🙂 )

In any case, we had only had everything posted on her account for about 20 minutes it seemed before she suddenly had 9 requests already!  How unfair!  Oh well, that’s why we checked each book before we posted them!  We got those ready and then took them to the post office, and then had breakfast food for dinner at IHOP.  Scrumptious.

After that we happened to stop by Caribou and I tried the seasonal Pumpkin Latte, which was decent, for coffee.  🙂  I’m not much of a coffee drinker, so really, I rarely get it.  We went to Salvation Army where I picked up three pair of exercise/sweat pants for cheap ($8.00) and several books to post on PBS.

No hardcovers this time, only paperbacks.

The Vampire Lestat, Interview with the Vampire, and Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice, The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan, The Ghost by Robert Harris, How toBeguile a Beauty by Kasey Michaels, Don’t Bargain With the Devil by Sabrina Jeffries, and The Talismans of Shannara by Terry Brooks.

Last but not least I bought a Nine West handbag for $4.99.

It’s still raining outside and since I’m unbearably uncomfortable now that I’m 37 weeks pregnant (as of today), I think I may go take a bath and read some of Personal Demon by Kelley Armstrong so that I may soon actually have something to review for my other blog ( http://demureconnoisseur.wordpress.com )!

Happy Hunting Thrifters!

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Cop’s Visit the Salvation Army

While I was at the Salvation Army today, I was standing in line waiting to pay for my little treasures, a kid came running in and asked how much the cheapest bike was out front.  The cashier looked at him and said, “Go look, the prices are on them.”

The kid ran out and suddenly was surrounded in the parking lot by four different cop cars.  Talk about excitement at the Salvation Army!  It was even from two different precincts!  The teen was arrested, I assume, as they drove away with him in the back of a squad.

I went back to my normal routine of paying for my books and the few items of maternity clothing that I had found on the racks.  My total bill?  About $18.00  I picked up a pair of Khaki maternity pants and two cute maternity shirts.

The books?

Hardcovers:  The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke

Paperbacks: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, Books 5, 6, and 8 of the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind, The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver and Saving Midnight by Emma Holly.

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A Donation Day

I went back to my local Salvation Army store today, mostly because I was going to be dropping off a bag of donations.  Nothing really cool, but definitely stuff we didn’t need anymore.  After I dropped off the one bag, I pulled around front and went in to check out the book section.

It’s a new week!  Blue tags are 50% off.  I didn’t look at clothes because I really didn’t have the time or the money to be spending, even on awesome deals like SA has.  I did however find a couple of hardcover books for the usual $1.99 price, and I picked up two paperbacks.

Hardcovers:

Lord of Chaos by Robert Jordan

Marley and Me by John Grogan

Paperbacks:

The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire

I got home and posted them all on PaperBackSwap, I’ll probably try to read Marley & Me before it goes anywhere, because I’ve seen the movie and it was really good even though it has one of my least favorite actors in it (Owen Wilson, if you are wondering)

I already have someone who wants to order Lord of Chaos from me, and I’m kind of disappointed because the person who had Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris Wish Listed has super strict requests of her books that she orders from people.  They have to be in “Very Good” condition, and although the copy that I picked up is what I would deem “Good” condition, she specifically says she doesn’t want creased covers, and this copy has one significant crease on the cover.  Too bad I guess.  Nothing else is wrong with the copy.

Well, here’s Jayne enjoying my purchases as well!

No other purchases today, or probably the rest of the week, as I am trying to save up money for a puppy at some point.  Most likely a few months after our son is born.

So, to all you other Thrifters out there!  Happy Hunting!

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Lottery Treasure

I planned on winning the lottery last night, but it seems I used up all my luck earlier in the day.  So, what happened?  Well I went to the Salvation Army on my way home from visiting my parents.  Really! It’s on the way home.  If I turn down one street instead of going straight, so, it’s sort of on my way home, depending upon the route I take.  Its not far off the “way home” tracks don’t worry.

Wait, let me start out by saying that I had went to the gas station on my way to my parents’ house to turn in a winning Powerball ticket.  We had won four dollars!  So, I turned around and bought four more Powerball tickets.  I figured I couldn’t lose!  It was my husband’s birthday after all!  I picked out our numbers, basing them on my birthday, his birthday, our anniversary, etc.

Well, we aren’t millionaires.  Too bad too!  I have all sorts of good plans for that money that we were supposed to win.  There’s always Saturday’s drawing, I suppose!

Back to my Thrifting story.  I stopped at Salvation Army to pick up some books.  I hadn’t been there since last week, so this week was a new color of tag that was half price.  Blue!  I made my way to the back corner of the store and perused.  Any book that looked in good condition I picked up and stacked in my arms.  By the time I was ready to check out, I had a stack basically up to my chin and I was regretting not getting a cart as I walked in.

In the end I had 17 books, mostly paperbacks, with the exception of one hardcover.  A good find too.  Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer with a decent dust jacket still intact, plus it was a first printing.  A score for $1.99.

I made my purchases, totalling at around $12.00 and waddled out to my car to head home and spend time with my husband who was having his birthday!

Later, after we had spent some time together, I was going through my books, and posting them up onto http://www.paperbackswap.com, I had just entered ShannonDrake’s Beguiled and thought I saw a bookmark between it’s pages.  Flipping through to the page that was kept, out came not a bookmark, although I’m sure that is what somebody had been using these for, a one-dollar and ten dollar bill!  I found $11 bucks in a book I bought at the Salvation Army for $.49!

I’d say that was a fortuitous and luck filled stop at the Salvation Army.  But I think I wasted my luck on that $11, because we definitely didn’t win anything on the Powerball Lottery.  That’s okay though, like I said, there’s always the next drawing.

There are two lessons to be learned here.  Number one?  Always check your books for money before donating!  Number two?  Always check books that you buy or look at while at the Thrift Store!   There may be treasure to be found, Mate!  Ar!

In other words, Happy Treasure Hunting!

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Tokens and Treasures, Yesterday’s Pleasures

I got into my car today with no real notion as to what I was going to do, I just knew I really needed to get out of the house for awhile.  That’s what being at home all the time will do to some people!  (Drive you crazy!)  I happened to make it across town to the nearby Goodwill, it’s not where I remember it being, which was in an old Target building.  That old Target building is now torn down, making way for what I assume is low income housing, although I could be wrong.  (It’s been known to happen.)

As I walked into Goodwill, I did notice that there seemed to be a ton of people working, and this is a Friday at bout noon-thirty.  Really, there were 6 people just working in the shirt’s section.  Not to mention there were three people on register and at least a dozen others putting things away and such.

I guess I’ve never really thought about how many people it would take to work at a thrift store, to go through all the donations and sort and put out on the racks in the right sections.  Plus keeping things sorted that were already out on the shelves!

My second impression of this Goodwill was taken after I looked at a few shirts.  The few that caught my eye lost the pretty glimmer that surrounded them when I looked at the price tag.  $3.99, $4.99?  These are used goods people!  I can buy tank tops at Wal-Mart brand new for cheaper than these prices!

No, seriously, if you think about all the clothes that I bought at the Salvation Army, just the other day and compare with Goodwill?  I bought 10 items at Salvation Army in the clothing section for roughly $20.  If I bought 10 items at Goodwill, similar items, I would have spent about  $50.  That’s really not that much of a savings!  Two and half times more expensive at Goodwill than at Salvation Army.

In short, I would say that Salvation Army is greater than Goodwill.

I gave up on finding anything in the clothing section that I would be willing to spend $5 dollars on after swiftly perusing the sleepwear section, belts and purses.  Nothing.  I moved on to walk around the circular racks holding the autumn coats and skimmed through them, finding nothing that even piqued my interest and rolled my cart on through to house wares.

Ah, house wares.  Sometimes walking through the house wares section of thrift stores makes me think of the song from Bedknobs & Broomsticks Portobello Road that has the lyrics, “Anything and everything a chap can unload, is sold off the barrow in Portobello road.  You’ll find what you want in the Portobello road.”  I did like the fact that they had all of their different decorations separated, each holiday seemed to have it’s own little cubby, except Christmas which had several cubbies to itself.  There was a Valentine’s Day cubby with random knickknack heart statues and flags, an Easter section full of beautiful ceramic bunnies and spring flowers.  If I had been looking for Christmas decorations, or ever want to buy some, I think I will go to Goodwill first, rather than spending full exorbitant prices at anywhere even like Target or Wal-Mart.

I was not in the market for any holiday decorations so I skimmed through the frames and picture section, not finding anything really worth buying except one picture and the price was steep ($19.99) for a beat up frame and painting of a landscape that reminded me of Tuscany.

My last stop and the only place that I found something worth buying was the book section.  Their book prices are double what the prices are at the Salvation Army.  Most of the paperback books ranged from $1.99-3.99, and hard covers were from $2.99-4.99.  I perused the one bin that didn’t have a price on them and happened to find a book that was worth buying (to me), Your Pregnancy & Birth, which happened to turn out to be a steal! Coming in at only $.15!  The other book I picked up and bought, because believe it or not I don’t actually own any of these books, was Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling.  It is a hard cover, first American edition with dust jacket in perfect condition.  It’s price? $3.99.  Considering thatoriginally the hard covers of Harry Potter happened to be $25, it’s a pretty good deal!  What’s that? 84% off?

I’m not very good with math.

That’s all I found today at Goodwill!  I think that next week, I’ll try a different Salvation Army!  Or maybe Unique Thrift.

Until then?

Happy Hunting!

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