Thursday, April 25, 2013

A Goodwill Discovery & The Accidental Audiophile

Let me preface this post by saying that I was heading to Salvation Army in search of an on-trend Spring wardrobe.

So how did I end up with a fresh stack of records?

Well, I was driving along Lincoln Highway, mere minutes from the Salvation Army, when I spotted something on the opposite side of the road that wasn't there before.

It was a brand spankin' new Goodwill. I got all jittery behind the wheel, realizing I  just discovered new hunting ground. And it was a good thing too, because Salvation Army just had nothing for me today. I gleefully turned around and found myself walking through a clean, organized, fully-stocked Goodwill. 

I had already found a shirt, and a small promotional Benefit makeup bag with new, sealed travel sizes of some of my favorite products inside. But when I spotted another 20-something  thrifter intently bent over the boxes of records, I new it was worth a look. 

Sleeves. As soon as I saw the sheen of those plastic sleeves, I knew I was staring at a stockpile of audio gold. If you spot a stack of LPs in protective sleeves, you just know you've hit the jackpot. The former owner took care of these records. They were  true collectors. I inhaled the vintage aroma, knelt down and readied myself for the magic. 

Gingerly thumbing through the collection, I found record after record from a former owner after my own heart. 

Just look at that shine. There's not a scratch on them. No warping of any kind. Those grooves are just so smooth, I could die. Die to the sweet sounds of Nancy Sinatra. 

$4.23 spent and I scooped up mint condition copies of:

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool
Bob Dylan: Empire Burlesque 
Bob Dylan: John Wesley Harding
Billie Holiday: 4 Record Set 
Prince: Controversy
Prince: Dirty Minds
Carly Simon: Playing Possum
Nancy Sinatra: Boots 
Styx: Kilroy Was Here

Be sure to visit Sir Thrift A Lot for a link-up and see all the loot he's hauled in from the  thrift.  

I may not have a thing to wear. 
But I have music, goddammit. I have music. 

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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Getting Thrifty & Healthy In The Kitchen

In my constant quest to eat healthier, I ran into a familiar foe. And the name of that foe is retail shopping.

It can be quite difficult to cut costs when it comes to food, especially when it comes to special-needs dieting. Of course, I'm an advocate for shopping sales and clipping coupons. But since joining Weight Watchers and having to be mindful of the both the contents of my wallet and my tummy, I've been thinking about how best to utilize my food funds.

Here are just a few tips on how I'm staying thrifty in the kitchen:
  • Instead of going out to your favorite restaurant any time you get a specific craving, try making it at home. I can almost guarantee it will be cheaper when it comes to how many servings you can stretch out of a single recipe...and healthier since you can control exactly what ingredients to use. Those tofu lettuce wraps were inspired by the P.F. Chang's China Bistro menu. Only...I'm convinced mine were better at half the cost for double the servings.

  • In addition to combining sales and coupons, plan your meals ahead whenever possible. If bell peppers are dirt cheap...consider how many recipes can include bell peppers for the entire week. Stir fry, stuffed peppers, pepper steak, salads. You'll never have produce rot in the fridge if you already have plans for it all week long. 

  • Look for cheap recipes with ingredients you can readily buy. Everybody loves those Pinterest recipes, but if you can't find all the organic or ethnic ingredients at your local supermarket, you might want to reconsider the meal.

  • Get to gardening. Tend that soil and grow as many fruits and veggies as you can possibly fit in the ground. And after all your hard work planting, pruning and watering, you'll hit pay dirt when that produce starts sprouting. 

  • Experiment with different spices, herbs, vegetables, fruits and grains. I love cabbage with the combination of lemon and caraway seeds. And green squash stuffed with goat cheese and chopped mint is freakin' out of this world. Learn to love eating healthily and cheaply. 

Well, what are you waiting for?
 Tie on that apron and whip up something thrifty. 

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Friday, April 19, 2013

One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other...

I recently acquired a bunch of snapshots from Etsy, in the hopes of expanding my ever-growing collection of vintage photographs. I was pleasantly surprised by the lot: A handpicked selection of 25 photos of men, women, children, pets and houses of yesteryear, all gems every one. 

Many of the photographs featured a handful of the same family members in what spanned over a decade of time. But these two shots are really fascinating to me.

Just look at that sweet elderly woman, with her hand-darned pillow and floral printed frock, sitting pretty in that leather chair. Wait...

It's the same pose. It's the same dress. And it's obviously that same leather chair. But despite the same sweet ol' granny, check out all the differences. 

Isn't it odd that she appears exactly the same, but there are so many differences between the two photographs? 

It's a vintage photo hunt! 
How many differences can you spot between the two photos? 
Leave your comment below and let's see how many we can find. 

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Bagels & Bargains: The In-Store Thrift Event

A lovely curated collection 

On Saturday, April 6th I was invited as a special guest to the Impact Thrift Store in Feasterville, PA.

Of course, I never need an invitation to feel welcome at Impact, as I'm recognized on the regular basis as "the thrift blogger" by a number of the employees.  Since interviewing the staff prior to the Impact grand opening almost a year ago , I thought I'd eventually be just another eager shopper scavenging for secondhand deals.  So, imagine my delight and surprise to be a blogger invited to another Impact in-store event.

I arrived at Impact at 8 am, when the 20 or so bloggers, crafters and invited guests walked through the doors an hour before the store opened. Given first dibs on the merchandise and fun prizes, we were all wide awake despite the early hours. In a partnership with Denise Sabia of The Painted Home crafting and design website, the Bagels and Bargains event featured curated items fresh from the Impact donation warehouse, 25% off coupons, craft supply goody bags and much more. And all of this swag was provided to promote the Impact ECOfest Home Show on April 27th, another event which I also plan on attending.  

But I couldn't afford to be distracted by all of the glitz and the glamour. I was in a thrift store, prior to opening. It was go time. 

I decided to skip the complimentary breakfast, for the time being. Instead I managed to politely socialize with other bloggers, photograph the things I loved and prowled the store for savings. And all the while I was fascinated by the fact that I hadn't seen it so desolate since my behind-the-scenes Impact tour. 

After stuffing a few small finds into my cart, we gathered around Denise for a game of The Thrifted Price Is Right.

Jackie Jardine, come on down!!! 

The rules were simple: The first person to shout out the correct price for some of her curated thrift finds was the winner.

And when the time came to price that lovely framed  photograph from better believe I stepped up my game.


I shouted and hit the price right on the nose, winning myself a $25 gift certificate. Man, let me tell you. It was almost like I won a car from Drew Carey...almost.

After a few more rounds of pricing and some raffle prizes, we were encouraged to roam around. The small crowd immediately swelled, gravitating to the selection of curated lovelies that Denise had handpicked. But I pushed forward as all of the stools and suitcases were grabbed, and got my fingers around what I knew I was meant to buy from the beginning...that very antique framed photograph that I had correctly priced.

It's the perfect addition to my collection of vintage photographs. 

I made several trips around the store, carefully searching each aisle for a hidden treasure. And it didn't seem like long before the doors were opened to the public, and our little private shopping event came to an end. But I was by no means, disappointed. I received a goody bag of paints and supplies that will soon come in handy for some repurposing projects in the works. I got a 25% off my total order coupon and won a $25 gift certificate. 

Of course, I grabbed a bagel for the road.

After thanking the hostess for her hospitality and saying my goodbyes to the staff, I drove back home with thrift scores in tow. 

It really was a great day, one that I needed. I met other bloggers with a similar passion for thrifting, won some prizes, got some much-needed repurposing advice from an expert in design, was again recognized as the girl behind Let's Go Thrifting. And on top of all that, I scored some sweet thrifted loot.


A little wicker and wood curio cabinet, a wooden owl pin, a vintage white doily, Sex In History book and the antique 1902 framed graduation portrait. And with the combined savings of the 25% coupon and the $25 gift certificate...not only was this all free...but I have $4 to spare in certificate spending. I went to the Bagels and Bargains event and actually earned thrift money!

Do I love being a thrift blogger, or what? 

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