Thrift Store Shenanigans

As usual, my sis Beans and I can’t resist finding ridiculous things at the thrift store. Since she LOVES TIGERS!!! we notice lots of things in that category.

Beans was visibly excited about this find, but fortunately, so decided to leave it behind.

This is Wetherbee. He’s missing both legs, and sadly we couldn’t recover them. Beans started speaking for Wetherbee, using a Scottish accent, and it was hilarious. She even wrote a story about how he lost his legs! Look for it in and upcoming post.

Thrift stores provide hours of entertainment for us.

November 29, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , . Random typing, Thriftiness is Cool. Leave a comment.

Why my folks are cool

My parents are cool. Not only did they create me and Beans, which makes them cool by association, they give me weird stuff all the time. You know how much I love free stuff!

That’s right, Ronald Reagan paper dolls complete with an original Reagan-Bush campaign sticker from 1984! This is going on eBay immediately.

My Dad, The Intrepid Traveler, (who has been blogging much longer than I have) brought me a bottle of vodka from Russia! Only the best parents in the world buy booze for their kids.

I don’t have a name for this adorable little guy yet, but he has a home with my demented ceramic animal collection, featured in my third blog post ever.

I just love his fat little cheeks! Pictures can’t capture how hilarious he really is. These next couple of pics may not seem that exciting, but trust me, they are.

This quilt has returned home! Mi Madre did all the quilting on her machine, but couldn’t quite manage the corners:

I will cover that in the final installment of one of my earliest blog posts, about repairing this exact quilt. It’s all coming full circle, as though I planned it all out!!

A sack of pine cones!!! Also, seemingly not exciting, but it’s not every mom that would hike around on her farm gathering crafting supplies for her kid in the fickle Texas heat/cold. Yes, my parents live on a real farm in Texas. My mother has pet sheep that follow her around, and we regularly end phone conversations when she says, “Shoot, a calf got in the orchard. I have to let you go”. She then calls the dogs to herd the calf out the gate.

It’s funny because I used to get irritated when people think all Texans conform to the stereotypes, with farms, cows, knowing how to ride horses, etc. I had a conversation with a girl at a party once, expressing my irritation. She asked “Well do you know how to ride a horse?”, and I said “Yeah”. “Do you own cows?”, “My parents do.” Her snarkily raised eyebrow almost shut me up, but it’s me, so we know shutting up is rare. “We’re not typical!” She kind of snickered. What do you say to that???

Anyway, my folks gave me all kinds of useful stuff, like clothes, books, and craft supplies, and even gave me some stuff for my friends. Don’t be jealous of my cool parents; just befriend me and wait for the bounty to trickle down to you. Good minions will be rewarded.

November 27, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . Random typing, Thriftiness is Cool. 4 comments.

Bathroom Deep Clean

This is a continuation of what I was calling Deep Clean Week, but has turned into Deep Clean Eternity. Our bathroom has been shamefully disorganized since the day we moved in. We just gradually tossed things into the cabinets as we unpacked them. The other day I got thoroughly sick of it, and pulled everything out of the cabinets. Here’s a before picture:

This is a picture, without the flash, to show how dark the cabinets are on the inside. This drives me nuts, and makes it much harder to find things. I had some extra Killz paint laying around, so I decided to paint the inside of the cabinets white. I took everything out of all the cabinets, wiped them down with a dry cloth, then with a damp cloth. Once the surfaces were dry, I coated everything with white.

Here’s the after for this cabinet. It makes quite a difference light-wise, and looks so much cleaner.

So pretty! (If you ignore the dirty carpet. I vacuumed immediately after this).

The cabinets weren’t really the only issue. Of course, once I pulled everything out of the cabinets there was clutter everywhere, but the counter was already pretty cluttered:

It’s frightening, I know. I even opened all the drawers, emptied them, and vacuumed them out. There was unidentifiable dirt from the previous home owners in there I had to get rid of. It’s bad enough they chose to carpet the bathroom, I don’t need their spilled baby powder and what-not getting my stuff dirty.

Once everything was organized and put away, I cleaned the mirror and counter, and even the toilet! I won’t show you a picture of that, even though it was pretty spectacular.

I took everything that was in our bathroom and sorted it into groups: dental, lotions, bath stuff (like body wash and bath crystals), medical (everything from first aid to cold medicine), sun (sun screen and aloe gel), hair care, face stuff (scrubs and peels and other girlie things), make up, eye stuff (contacts and glasses), vitamins, and travel stuff (travel size things).

I decided what went in each cabinet by deciding who would need it more; hair spray goes on my side, hair clippers go on Hubby’s. For things like lotion and bath salts, where there were multiples, I put the one with the least in it in front so I can use it up first. And just so everyone knows, I have plenty of lotion, body wash, and bath crystals, for probably the next 6 years. Please don’t buy me any more. Just give me cash. 😀

Here’s the final result! I got a couple cute pink bins at Goodwill for a buck each. If I need something I can just pull the whole bin out instead of having to dig around in the cabinet and knock things over. I’m glad I finally tackled this project. I’ve already finished off one of the containers of bath salts! But still, do not buy any for me.

November 25, 2011. Tags: , , , , . House Stuff. Leave a comment.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Our fridge, Horatio, tries his best, but he’s so full of wine right now I’m surprised he even got this close to spelling this right. (Oh who am I kidding. I put that on the fridge. I saw it immediately, and I just thought it was funny so I left it. I was only a little buzzed at the time”.

I’ve decided the reason we all skip over Thanksgiving and go straight to Christmas is that there’s no Thanksgiving music. We all jump straight to Bing Crosby. Have a happy Thanksgiving, and good luck to anyone braving the black Friday sales. Stay hydrated, and wear close-toed shoes.

Happy Holidays!

November 24, 2011. Tags: , , , , . Random typing. Leave a comment.

Travel Food

Hubby and I are going to the Texas Renaissance Festival this weekend, and planning on actually camping out overnight. We’ve never done this before, and I’ve heard it gets kind of crazy. We’re going to party like it’s the 14th through the 17th century!

The thing is, I don’t want to be hampered by a cooler and ice, and all the mess that entails. Maybe it’s just me, but some package of food always ends up open and floating in the slush water, getting all disgusting and damp and making all the ice water icky. I can’t handle it!! So what are non-refridgerated food options, that are not entirely terrible for you? (Meaning I will not try to survive on gummi bears)

Fruit: Oranges, apples, and pears (I almost wrote “bears” haha! Oh, the incompetence) don’t need to be refridgerated, at least for a couple days. There are also fruit cups, but I don’t feel like packing plasticware in addition to all the other junk we’ll need.

Granola bars: You could also carry pop tarts, and baggies of cereal if you want, but pop tarts aren’t very good for you, and I don’t want little loose things going every where.

Tuna: If you look around in the tuna section of the grocery store, there are several kinds of little lunch kits that come with tuna and crackers and don’t need to be in the fridge. Back in the day, when I used to hand out lunches to homeless people, these were a staple. They come with everything you need in them, and are easy to transport.

Trail mix: Any kind of nut snack, dried fruit, or trail mix is a great snack, and can be carried in your bag as you go site-seeing. If it’s going to be hot, I would avoid mixes that have chocolate.

Veggies: Carrot sticks and celery will be fine, at least for a day or so. If you don’t want to eat plain veggies, they sell individual dressing packets on the dressing aisle at the store, or you can just collect them from fast food joints, when you go.

Beef jerky: This is another good high protein food, but it can be pricey. It is easy to transport in purses and bags, though.

Protein bars: Again, these can be expensive, but waaaayyyy cheaper than a turkey leg. Let’s face it, the food at these things is generally a rip-off.

Unhealthy options: peanut butter crackers, popcorn, and pop tarts (as mentioned). There are tons of packaged foods that don’t need to be kept cool, but are basically junk food.

Okay, so those are mostly lunch/dinner/snack foods. What about breakfast, and namely WHAT ABOUT COFFEE?? The Renaissance Festival does actually have a coffee shop, but I opted for bringing my own diet cherry Pepsi, and drinking several of those over the weekend. I got twelve sodas for less than one cup of coffee would have cost. I…

Just now I accidentally ate a really hot pepper while I was typing this. I tried to drink some diet coke to tone it down, but the carbonation apparently forced the spice into my sinus cavity. Now my nose is running, my toungue is burning, and my whole face feels hot. I have no idea what I was about to write up there. I’m distracted by my upper lip sweating! Ok…more diet coke seems to have – nope nevermind. The burning has returned and now I’m coughing. Who would do this to themselves on purpose????

Ok I need milk. I’m pretty sure I covered everything. Now I tried to blow my nose, and that seems to have forced more spiciness into my sinuses! I have to go handle this crisis, so The End.

November 23, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . Thriftiness is Cool. Leave a comment.

More Necklaces!!

I still have more buttons laying around, and more storage space for jewelry. The day I run out of space will be a weird day. I had both of these things that I decided were just too shiny and pretty for me. How should I darken them up?

NAIL POLISH. I don’t just use it so much because I like the smell. I painted some on this metal heart, then rubbed it off with a napkin.

I love this because it looks like tarnished silver, instead of bright shiny new craft store metal.

I followed the same process with this one. I painted on some black nail polish, then rubbed it off. Rather than paint the whole thing black at once, I did each piece in thirds.

I love how the black really defines the detail on the rose, and makes the individual petals visible.

What else was I fooling around with? Nail polish and bottle caps!

I poured a little black nail polish in there, and swirled it around, gently. I used the brush to make sure it coated the sides completely. I love this stuff, because it gives you such a shiny, enameled look.

And here we see the final products: top left is a ceramic star I made and just finally glued a necklace thing onto, top right is a cute chick cut out of a magazine and glued into the black bottle cap (see this tutorial for bottle cap necklaces), bottom left is the swallow button glued onto the back of a black bottle cap, and bottom right is the filigree heart with skull and cross bones! I love having a mess of new jewelry to wear! It’s almost better than new clothes.

November 21, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Arts and Crafts. Leave a comment.

The Kiss of Death

I seem to be some kind of curse. Three of the places I’ve reviewed on the blog have closed down, only one of which I gave a bad review. I’m starting to worry that I’m some kind of anti-cool: the minute I like something, everyone decides it’s not cool, and quits going. I’m a bit worried, and hesitant to blog about places I like. On the other hand…

  
THE POWER.

  
I can go to restaurants and demand free stuff! If they don’t provide it, I’ll just write a fantastic review, then their business will dry up! Boutiques will have to give me presents and jewelry to ensure my favor! I DEMAND TRIBUTE.

I tried to use my power for good. I gave DiMassi’s a less than stellar review, and I was gleeful when they shut down. But they have opened back up! They have signs out that say “Grand Opening”! They didn’t even change the sign! You can see I have no choice but to use this for my own gain.

But before you judge me, think about this: I make take some of you minions with me to exploit this. We could be up to our ears in crab cakes and fashionable accessories!! Being a minion does have its benefits. So you guys just keep sucking up, and we’ll see what freebies trickle down to you. In the meantime, I’m going to go check on all my favorite restaurants and make sure they’re still open.

November 19, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , . Random typing, Restaurant Reviews. 2 comments.

Dominican Joe

I ended up at Dominican Joe for several hours a couple weeks ago. A friend was driving me to Houston, but had to go to a pizza contest for work, and I had no where else to go. That’s the kind of slightly bizarre events that make up my existence.

Dominican Joe has the best coffee I’ve ever tasted, with all the obscure fixin’s you could hope for: stevia, sugar in the raw, agave nectar, soy milk, whole milk, skim milk, plus your usual splenda, sugar, half & half, at no charge.

In addition to being smooth and delicious, the coffee is all organic and cheaper than Starbucks. Cardboard to-go cups with compostable lids are the foam on the latte, so to speak. There were plenty of options on the menu, including some snacks that looked tasty, without being overwhelming. Plus, they call the coffee “DoJo”, which made me giggle.

The set up inside is comfy and work-friendly, with a variety of ambiences. You can sit in a broody, dark corner, writing gothic poetry, or at a well-lit table, writing gothic poetry. You can sit smack in the middle of the place directly in front of the door so your friend who’s coming to get you can spot you easily, not realizing the fact that being surrounded by 8 duffel bags and resembling a back-packing hoarder makes you easy to spot, and also an object of staring and confusion. I wish I was joking.

There’s also an ample supply of local free newspapers to keep you occupied in case you didn’t pack a library in your ample luggage. On the Clever Chick Scale it gets a “I wish I lived closer because I’d have a new hang out”.

November 17, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . Restaurant Reviews. Leave a comment.

I cut my hair!

For quite awhile my bangs have been kind of long and parted on the side, like so:

I knew I was going to be Elvira for Halloween, and her bangs are much shorter than mine, so I cut them.

I cut them myself! They came out so cute, I just love them!

If you want to try and cut your own hair, but are scared, just try it on, say a Friday afternoon. That way you have the whole weekend to get it fixed professionally if you mess it up big-time. I’ve had so many bad hair cuts from professionals that I gave up on them, for the most part. My plan now is to grow my hair out for the next few months, then chop it off into a bob in the summer and donate it all to Wigs for Kids. I can’t wait to be rid of all this hair!

November 15, 2011. Tags: , , , . Random typing, Thriftiness is Cool. Leave a comment.

Glasses Lenses become Necklaces

I found some broken reading glasses at the thrift store and had an idea. Did it involve making jewelry?? What else? Those lenses are like tiny little frames, perfect for a necklace. I found a cool piece of paper in my Box of Interesting Paper Bits, traced the lens onto it with a pencil, and cut it out. I spread silicon glue on the lens with a toothpick, and then squished the paper down onto it. You have to squeeze all the air bubbles out of the glue, so start in the middle, and squeeze outward. Extra glue may ooze out the sides, but that’s fine. Wipe it off with the toothpick. Make sure the edges are thoroughly glued down once you’re done squishing.

Once the glue was dry-ish, I glued metal loops on. Add jump rings, and then you can hang it from a necklace chain, or follow this process for attaching a chain.

I used this glittery fish button to make it just that much fancier! The blue fish really brings out the blue in the pattern.

I love this necklace because it’s creative, but it is also kind of normal. I can wear this to work without people talking about my “crazy” necklaces (which I take as a compliment, by the way). Since this is just paper, I wanted to water proof the back. What’s my magic solution for everything? Nail polish!! This stuff is magic.

This will dry quickly, and prevent sweat, rain, or spilled box wine from ruining my new awesome necklace.

November 13, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , . Arts and Crafts, Thriftiness is Cool. 3 comments.

Asian Fruit Adventure

I wanted to try some new foods the other day, so I went wandering around an Asian grocery store. I found canned lychees, jackfruit, longans, and mangosteens. Hubby and I tried each one.

These are the lychees. They were probably my favorite. The texture is a bit crunchy, reminiscent of onions, but the flavor was similar to canned mandarin oranges, without being citrus-y. They were lightly sweet, and slightly perfumey.

Jackfruit reminded me of mango, but more fibery. These were my second favorite.

These are the mangosteens. They were squishy, like melt in your mouth squishy. The flavor was sweet and light, but the texture was off-putting to me. Hubby liked them though. Some of them had seeds inside, but the seeds were kind of like very soft almonds. They were edible, but I wasn’t a fan. The longans were almost the same as the lychees, just smaller.

The object that inspired the whole adventure was the durian. I read a book that mentioned that an American soldier stationed in Vietnam loved these and had a crate shipped back home to the US. When it got here, the port authority thought it was a box of something rotten and threw it out. Did I take this as a warning? Nope. I thought “Surely it can’t be that bad. Why would people grow and eat it if it was that terrible?”

It looks like mashed up bananas, and the texture is kind of similar. The flavor is lightly sweet and creamy, if you can get past the horrible smell. It smells like the worst, oldest, dirtiest pair of sneakers you can imagine, lit on fire, times a million. I had this box in the freezer, and even though it was wrapped in two layers of plastic, I could smell it in the fridge. My entire kitchen stinks unbearably. We have elected to have the windows open even though it’s 50 degrees outside.

When you taste it, it’s not bad, then the smell invades your nasal cavity and sets up camp. You smell nothing but durian for about 20 minutes, and once it’s faded you keep catching faint whiffs of it. Once that passes, you start burping up durian so you can relive it. Obviously your body is attempting to reject it as quickly as possible, but to no avail. Please, save yourself the misery, and just rest assured that if a food smells like rotten milk burning in a chemical plant, it’s not actually food. I really can’t express how horrid it is. I have had to promise, willingly, never to bring it into the house again. We’re now calling this the Great Durian Disaster. Just looking at the pictures makes my stomach roil.

I had to get that horrible taint out of my mouth, so we ate some smoked gouda, and smoked cheddar from Sprouts, which were both amazing, with a honey crisp apple. The gouda was probably my favorite, and helped erase the memory of the horrendous durian.

If you hate your roommates/family members and want to make them suffer, it is STILL NOT WORTH IT to bring a durian into your home! You have been warned!!

November 11, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . My Quest to be more Interesting. 5 comments.

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