back to school.

29 08 2011

well, i’ve been a lazy sack this summer, and it was AWESOME. i actually read some trashy books, went to the beach, ate ice cream cones, got a terrible sunburn, did some flea marketing… all the best summer cliches, TO THE MAX.

although now that things are cooling down, i’m digging out my sweaters, dreaming of the pumpkin harvest and watching all the kiddos are getting shoveled back into their classrooms (as if that affects me in any way other than the bountiful reaping of cheap composition notebooks). and, i’m feeling ready to get back down to business.

so as of this morning, summer hours are officially closed.

what does this mean for you?

well, it means:

1. more posting! ok, not like that time that i lied to you and told you that i was going to post every day (i’m such a scumbag!)… but definitely more than once a week.

2. new features! i had a brilliant idea for a a new fashion feature, along with some recipes and some other awesome shit. possibly. possibly some other awesome shit.

3. old feautres! hey, whatever happened to the weekend pickthrough? or what about that time i tried to start a “store spotlight” section? and although increasingly this blog has moved away from the coupon factor (best left to maine’s own extreme couponer, i love to gossip), i would like to bring it back some deal hunting in smaller more subtle ways.

4. special events! one of my favorite things about the past year was my chance to be involved in some crazy projects. well, i’m definitely planning on keeping that shit rolling now that i’m done being lazy. there’s another SWAPmaine scheduled for october (we’re still working on the dates & location, but picture BIGGER & BETTER!), another IKEAbus planned for the spring, as well as the revival of the makeup project, and possibly a mystery event/appearance or two.  would anyone be into a cheap beer pub crawl/meetup (perhaps a joint venture with deal me in portland)?

anyway, thank you for weathering the low keyness that was my summer posting schedule. it was much needed, but i’m ready to reanimate. let me know if there’s anything new you’d like to see/old you’d like to see revived/thing you’d love to see more of/thing you never want to see again. or, you can just tell me what you did with your summer vacation.

i should go, because i’m going to be late for work. BUT, i’ll be back tomorrow with a small announcement about a “celebrity” appearance i’ll be making in september.

stuff i’m into today.

28 12 2009

kind of like weekend pickthrough (where did that shit disappear to?), except right now.

krazy coupon lady shows us all how to make $9.02 at rite aid this week.

apparently there is free dish detergent for those of us who got the “home made simple” coupon book (and i did!)

get ready for nivea!(before other people print all the coupons and you don’t get any)

i could spend hours doing this.

best. product. review. ever.

hey. cheap cheerios.

apparently country noel is having a sale. i’m not really the “christmas store” type, but i sure could go for a set of these.

it’s toile about you– and 7 more days of $10 ts.

my new favorite blog. this dame knows how to keep it classy.

my new favorite store.

happy birthday baby jesus, i hope you like crap.

4 12 2009

wordpress usually has some interesting tidbits in the “freshly pressed” section of their home page. so today i’m checking it out, and i see an article entitled “10 Great Host/Hostess Gifts for the Holidays“, and i’m excited because i’m looking for good ideas for my “cheap and lazy xmas” series that i’m running this month- and hostess gifts are always tough. but i wouldn’t be writing this post unless i was either totally amazed, or horribly disappointed by the article. can you guess which one?

the list certainly wasn’t terrible- more criminally average. definitely not worthy of the title “great”, more  like “dr. obvious buys a hostess gift”. um, does anyone really need to be reminded that wine is an appropriate gift? a little zazz please!

1. wine is great and all… but booze is better. nothing says classy like a bottle of really good scotch.  i like johnny walker black.  for about $30 a bottle (750 ml), it will last longer than a bottle of wine, give you a better buzz, and make you look waaaay continental. although if $30 is out of your price range (or your host/ess isn’t worth it), bring beer! with all the other bottles of wine that the host/hostess will get- somebody will be really jazzed to crack into the 30 pack of PBR that you brought.

2. if you must bring a kitchen gadget, skip the william sonoma and go for something with a little more personality. i heart anything by alessi, but you could also go for some sassy refrigerator decals, or an amazing serving tray.  too much $$$? go vintage with something unexpected. you really want to go for that “holy shit that’s the awesomest thing ever”, not so much the ” i got the same one for my mom last year at bed bath & beyond”.

3. survivor style. bring some crazy foreign food with you. i tried pickled walnuts last year at xmas (sort of mushy and sour). do you know that they make kit kats in crazy flavors like ginger ale and sweet potato in japan? how about hitting the asian market for some seaweed flavored chips? or going all tophats and monocles with some caviar? i like to pick something that’s kind of gross/weird, but that people will be willing to try. hilarity ensues, i promise.

4.  games! it’s tough if you don’t know the host/hostess very well because you don’t want to give them something they already have. however, sometimes a fun group game like balderdash or apples to apples is a great way to loosen up a lame fete. want something less structured? try a really good book of party games .

5. kick ass holiday mix tape. i made my dad a mix cd  called “no more manheim steamroller please” a few years ago, and it’s still in heavy xmas rotation. holiday music doesn’t have to be grating and sing songy (or weird and new agey if you’re my dad). there is a crapload of amazing holiday music out in the world right now that doesn’t have anything to do with bing crosby (although i do love to throw a few classics into the mix). pick a playlist appropriate to the tone of the party (maybe not “oi to the world” for the office holiday party).  some suggestions: sufjan stevens put out an incredible xmas album (my favorite is “come on! let’s boogey to the elf dance!), i listen to “donna & blitzen” from badly drawn boy year round, and what party doesn’t need “yellin at the christmas tree” by billy idol?

6. some down time. maybe if your host and/hostess has spent a lot of time on the preparation/throwing of the party, it might be nice to give them something to do/watch/read when it’s all over and they finally get a chance to sit down. i can’t recommend hard enough my very favorite xmas book “holidays on ice” by david sedaris, or my all time favorite xmas movie “scrooged” (bill murray when he was still funny!),  but really any good book or movie (holiday or non) will do. sharing something that you love is pretty much always a good gift.

7. you. whether it’s taking over the bar and mixing everyone up cilantro stingers while the host is manically chopping crudite… playing master dj when the shuffle setting on the party ipod hits a deep pocket of yani… or  staying late to help clean up before the cup rings settle in permanently… if you have no money- just show up to a party and be helpful as hell. they won’t remember who bought which bottle of moderately priced wine, but they will remember what a rockstar you are.

as always, remember that it isn’t the dollar amount, it’s the thought you put into it. and also, what lame holiday parties really need isn’t more wine, it’s laughter, good conversation, and possibly a pair of helpful hands… oh, and definitely NOT more scented candles. (seriously, go put those back).

bunk friday.

30 11 2009

yikes. admittedly, i probably should have skipped out on black friday this year… life in costume hell isn’t exactly allowing me for proper eating, sleep, and human interaction- maybe a 4 am big time shopping expedition amidst COMPLETE CHAOS wasn’t the most prudent choice. but since when have i ever been prudent?

1st stop- walmart. apparently the super walmart in scarborough opened at midnight and nobody thought to tell us. by 4 am the parking lot is almost completely full, and lines for big tvs and zhu zhu hamsters are snaking through the stores cutting off access to the less exciting goods. we were promised 100 titles of $2 movies.  by the time we arrive, there are about 4 titles left. sorry “the mummy- curse of the dragon emperor” you suck. young frankenstein and a few other decent titles were still around, but there was NO WAY IN HELL that we were waiting in that behemoth line for $8 worth of dvds. we high tailed it out of there empty handed.

unfazed, we were on to target! we arrived just as they were letting people inside and streamed in with the rest at the tail of the line. dvds were located conveniently in the women’s clothing section. MOB SCENE! the boyfriend grabbed a couple of cheap box sets (30 rock, psych), and i got my $3.99 copy of baby mama, and that’s all.  better luck at the mall?

i started out taking care of burlesqe business at lane bryant. remember that time they said 40% off the whole store? apparently, that meant EVERYTHING BUT UNDERWEAR! which was the one thing i needed. $27 down on plus size ruffle butts. FUCK YOU.

maybe the gap will be better? bogo sweaters were overpriced and not that cute. not a thing i couldn’t live without.

dejected, i limp on to jc penny to try on a pair of $29.99 boots that i saw in their black friday flier. shockingly, they are cute, leather-free, and comfortable.  despite their list price of $85 (for PVC boots! outrageous), they don’t seem like that great a deal, but i buy them anyway. i’m feeling sorry for myself.

overtired feeling low, i go to forever 21 for some more retail therapy. nothing. i don’t even think anything was on sale.

outraged, i stomp over to h&m and buy a very cute but only marginally on sale  (25% off any one item) puffer jacket and i sweater i’ve been eyeballing for months that is not on sale at all. $90 disappear from my broken bank account without a single thought.

finally, the boyfriend arrives laden down with more cheap dvd sets from best buy, and a present for me (coraline!), and we’re finally ready to get the hell out of the mall area.

unfortunately, i need to go to joann fabrics to pick up some fabric i need for the show… BAD IDEA. those fabric bitches are BATSHIT CRAZY!! i don’t entirely know what was on sale (although there was a pretty hot 20% off your total purchase coupon going around), but those ladies had shopping carts full to overflowing with bolts upon bolts of fabric (mostly fleece with sports logos grossly enough). i grabbed my 2 bolts and headed to the cutting counter. they were serivng 99…. and i was number 128… mercifully, i found a “3 cuts or less” line with only 5 people in it. less fortunately, it was manned by the SLOWEST CUTTER IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND.  finally, i was at the front of the line. slow as hell, AND she charged me for the two extra inches there were on the bolt over the 2 yards i asked for. BITCH PLEASE! i was out. they were still on number 113 by the time i sailed out the door.

and that was it. we got breakfast (during which both of us almost passed out into our french toast), and went home to pass out in our disappointment and regret. it had been my hope that i could score the rite aid and cvs deals to even out the failure- but no go. this weekend only had room for sleeping and sewing. and sucking. lots of sucking. oh, and did i mention that i saw baby mama at big lots later that day for only $3? WHY AM I SO BAD AT THIS?!

weekend pickthrough- thanksgiving yo. (now with extra exclamation points)

20 11 2009

drink your tofurkey!

turkey is way overrated.

beeewaaaare of black friday!!!

while everyone else is bludgeoning each other to get to the cheap electronics, i’ll be stuffing my pockets with $2 dvds!!

nothing says holiday spirit like discount star wars toys!

screw black friday- everybody gets records!

could people please stop adding the suffix -palooza to things? i’m sure that’s not what perry farrell had in mind…

get lit. (and then get lit)

weekend pickthrough- spooky edition

30 10 2009

12487it’s halloween yo. there’s things to do of varying price ranges and family friendlinesses all around the city (and surrounding metro-area). also, there’s some other stuff worth checking out that’s not halloween related. and here it is:

the best southern maine (well, mostly portland) halloween jazz on friday and saturday for under $10:

spend the ghost hour under the stars.
take a walk among the shadows of the old eastern cemetery.
ride the ghost train.
dance with the dead.
shocking secrets! tragic deaths! despicable villains!
baltic cyborg blisters.
get lost.
get your fortune told and your fancy tickled at the halloween carnival.
nothing scarier than devo! covers.

some unhalloweeny deals & entertainment to help massage your candy hangover:

i’ve always wanted to know how to become a secret shopper.
i will be loading right the hell up on cheap ass cheese this week.
why wait for coupons to come to you? go out and get them!
get knocked up on the cheap.
stock your local food bank.
why did i no know about snackpicks?
$.99 potatoes!