uh oh.

4 06 2011

i’m in trouble. not entirely sure how it happened, but my $1,200 post tax season cushion is COMPLETELY GONE, and i have exactly enough money to pay my bills… leaving me about $68 to last me until my next pay day. oh, did i mention that i get paid every TWO WEEKS?


summer is the spendiest time of year for me, filled with after work margaritas, flea marketing and new sun dresses… in the last month, i indiscriminately blew through over $1,000 of  lazy $12 “i forgot to pack my lunch” days, several “OMG this skirt is only  $18” days, and everyone’s favorite “i can’t show up to this brunch without at least $20 worth of champagne and donuts” days… i really have no idea what i bought, but i had a crazy exciting month, so i’m sure it was fabulous.

being broke, markedly less fabulous. Read the rest of this entry »

5 things you’re not looking for at the goodwill.

4 02 2010

it’s been a pretty dry couple of weeks at the good ole goodwill. whether it’s the ebb and flow of donated goods or just bad timing, i had every intention of putting together some hot discount outfits for a little fashion show- but nothing. however, all was not entirely lost. as i was scanning every rack in the house, i made a little mental list of things that i feel are totally awesome but completely overlooked at thrift shops.

1. hand rolled silk scarves. i feel like nobody ever hits the scarf area.  sure, there’s tons of stupid eyelash scarves, nascar bandanas, and shiny poly-satins. but if you just close your eyes and feel around, almost invariably you will find a high end silk number with hand rolled edges tucked in amongst the drek.  i haven’t found an hermes yet (although i won’t give up), but i did find a pretty amazing vintage diane von furstenberg last year.

2. cashmere. using a similar technique to the silk scarf diving, run your hands along the sweater racks and practice your fiber guessing skills. stuffed like little time bombs within the shrunken wools and acrylic xmas sweaters, you’ll find the odd cashmere gem tucked away.  if you’re really lucky, you might actually find something wearable, although they generally tend to be of the “big ole boxy” varitey.  buy them anyway! with a few remedial sewing skills, you can make them into scarves, pillows, blankets, or if you’re slightly more intermediate, you can cut them up and make them into cuter sweaters.

3. mix tapes. that is, if you still have a tape deck. whether taped off of the radio in the early nineties- or made to woo a high school biology lab partner crush, discarded mix tapes from days gone by are nothing short of amazing. with a going rate around $.99 (i generally find the salvation army has a better selection than the goodwill), even if they turn out to be a bette midler/josh groban mastermix- it’s totally worth the price for the adventure.

4. classic books. at any given goodwill in the universe, you’ll find at least 4 copies of “divine secrets of the ya ya sisterhood”. push those out of the way (way out of the way). for every 20 crappy harlequin romance/oprah book/cat who mysteries that clutter up the shelves, there is at least one nearly pristine piece of classic literature (generally cast off by some functionally illiterate college student being forced to take an intro literature class). they’re classic because they’re GOOD people. really good. and for usually about $1.99 (or less), it’s definitely time for you to start building your master library.

5. lingerie. ok, i know this one sounds counter intuitive and kind of gross. i would just like to clarify that i am in no way recommending purchasing USED UNDERWEAR or frankly any lingerie garment with a crotch. yuck. however, because of that ick-factor, the unmentionables section of most thrift stores get much less traffic than the rest of the store. if you’re willing to put away the germaphobia for a second, you’ll find a pretty amazing selection of vintage slips, nighties, and peignoirs dating from the 40s to the 70s. as a bonus, i also routinely find decent looking bras with the tags still on. weird i know, but worth looking!

shopping away the pumpkinfest blues.

21 10 2009

DSCN2108so maybe pumpkinfest was kind of a bust (did i mention that there were NO APPLE DONUTS!), but the power of thrifting pulled me through this one. the truth is that i’m kind of a shopaholic. i love stuff, and i’m an avid collector of many crazy things (as detailed below). therefore, my goal is to limit my spending, without having slow my manic intake of stuff. the boyfriend and i are hardcore flea marketers, so the plan is always (wherever we go) to pull over to the side of the road any time anything looks cool. several pit-stops on our way to/in keene provided the following:

DSCN2148books! one of my many many weaknesses. the first stop was antiques at mayfair in amherst, nh. one of my favorite multi-dealer shops that i don’t get to very often, they have hands down the best selection of vintage/antique jewelry that i’ve ever seen. their prices are totally reasonable, but unfortunately a $75 shell cameo didn’t fit into my budget for the weekend (that is if i was interested in eating- which i absolutely was). what did fit into my budget were 2 “dana girls” books in excellent condition for $3 each. anyone who knows me is aware of my fanatical love for nancy drew, and  the dana girls books were also written by carolyn keene (who isn’t exactly a real person, or even one person, but whatever). 

next stop, homestead books in marlborough, nh. anytime i see a big sign that says “used books”, i pull over. books are something i almost never buy retail, but that i buy constantly. i’m working right now on extremely uneven, but still entertaining “1001 books to read before you die“, so i have much to purchase. also, i’m a sucker for a beautiful vintage paperback (and i’m a hardcore classics junkie), and this place was rife with great titles for low low prices (i didn’t spend more than $1.50 on any of my books):

woman in white by wilkie collins
pride and prejudice by jane austen
war of the worlds by h.g. wells

and not on the 1001 list…
nabokov’s dozen by vladimir nabokov
20,000 leagues under the sea by jules verne
mother night by kurt vonnegut jr.

all in excellent condition, and all for the low low price of $5.

DSCN2143last stop was the keene salvation army, which always turns out to be surprisingly awesome. i picked up an amazing vintage denim vest, a yellow dansk trivet, and a funny blue ceramic statue of a boy praying (it’s sort of complicated, but i have a collection of robins egg blue ceramic stuff to compliment this). total- $4.50.