Tag Archives: Shopping

Last Haul of the Season

24 Jan

Ah, summer. That magical time when I visited the Farmer’s Market each week and planned our meals accordingly. Now that the market has closed and the local fruit stands have boarded up their windows, I have only my memories and occasional trips to the local remate to tide me over. It’s tough to get there with the kid, and cold and muddy, too, and I have a hard time struggling to carry all those purchases the distance I have to walk back to the car. I can’t wait until May.

These photos are from the last market of the season back in October. This trip was extra special because I was able to fit some thrifting in that day, too.

The plates, bowls and hangers are all thrifted. Purchases that day included green beans, pea shoots, pomegranates, raw almonds, peaches, grape tomatoes, hummus, red pepper tapenade, and a butternut squash.

The sunflower seeds pictured here were actually grown in my garden. Earlier in the season Isobel and I checked out a local nursery’s booth at the Farmer’s Market and they had a display with soil, a little peat pot and seeds. We happened to run into my cousin’s family there, so Isobel and her cousin Victoria got to plant their own sunflower seeds. We watered it and placed it above the sink and two days later it sprouted. It was so magical for Isobel and I to watch. We watched it bloom and eventually cut it down. Isobel helped me pluck the seeds from the flower head. It was incredibly easy and required little more than water on my part.

The amber jar and wooden salt and pepper shakers in the background were also purchased secondhand that day, along with the Pyrex, mushroom cruets, and very awesome (but naturally, inaccurate) vintage dinosaur place mat. I picked up the letter sorter for Isobel and milk glass dish below for a song.

I miss you, summer.

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Little Big Gift Guide: Thrifty Ideas for Stocking Stuffers

12 Dec

Today is the first installment of a three-part series I’m doing on inexpensive, yet still fun and creative and useful, Christmas gifts. The goal is to give items that would be a welcome gift and not just junk that will likely be tossed out at the end of the day. To be included in this gift guide it must be useful, lovely, and budget-friendly. Today, Thrifty Stocking Stuffers, and later this week, Thriftier Stocking Stuffers, and last but not least, Thriftiest Stocking Stuffers.

Instagram magnets: for $14.99 Stickygram will create 9 magnets out of the Instagram photos of your choice. My plan is to do this and split the photo magnets among family members.

Phone cords: for whatever reason, the necessary USB cord for the iPhone seems to always crack and wear, leaving exposed wires that result in a poor connection. I could always use an extra USB cord, and for that matter, extra screen protectors and replacement ear buds (they always find their way to the washing machine at our house) make handy stocking stuffers, as well.

Flash drives: I’m lusting after this key-style flash drive. Particularly useful for students and nerds! Especially useful for nerd-students.

My Etsy shop: Shameless self-promotion time! In my shop I have a number of smaller items that would make excellent stocking stuffers. Support small business and an active reuse market! Also, my thrifting habit.

Books: The thriftiest way to give books is to give away books you no longer want to keep (which I’m cool with as long as the recipient would be interested in it), or to find something while thrifting or at a library book sale. But don’t forget independent book sellers or even mass-market retailers. My dear friend Stefanie loves to give books at holidays and we all look forward to getting them.

Personalized calendar: for as long as my mother has purchased calendars she’s always had a cat calendar every year. Somewhere along the line Anthony and I started purchasing calendars for her as our Christmas present. After a couple years I had the idea of making her a cat calendar using photos I took of her own cats, and she loved it. When Isobel came along we made her cat and granddaughter calendars. She looks forward to this every year.

Shop Etsy faves: If you do happen to have a budget for presents, and the person you are buying for has an etsy account, take a look at items they’ve favorited through their profile for ideas. My friends and I started using Etsy faves as a wishlist and like to buy items off their lists when we can afford it. We know they’ll love whatever we buy them, and since we all know about this idea we include faves at a few pricepoints. We have had the issue of two of us buying the same present for someone only once (since faves aren’t an actual registry, after all) and overall this system works well. I love supporting small biz while making a friend happy.

Magnets: I always need more magnets, Instagram or otherwise, and by this I mean cute magnets, of course.

Gift cards: Gift cards aren’t an usual gift idea, but when times are tough sometimes the best gift someone can receive is a gift card for some much-needed clothes or a luxury they wouldn’t purchase for themselves otherwise. When my cousin had her second child, my Aunt Kay said she’d by her the gift card of her choice: a mani-pedi, a massage, or one month’s worth of a housecleaning service. (For the record, my cousin chose housekeeping. I would have, too!) I like to buy gift cards for iTunes, Target, Amazon, Old Navy, or our local favorite sushi restaurant.

Dishtowels: It’s common knowledge that I’m a dishtowel junkie. They are an inexpensive way add style to a kitchen—a room that’s hard to change without major remodeling. And they fit in a stocking perfectly, too.

Mouse pad: It seems like mouse pads have a short shelf life before they get all faded and gross-looking. Adorable options abound on Etsy.

Photo books: After Isobel was born I scraped together the three brain cells I had left and made a photo book for each Grandmother. I bought inexpensive photo albums at Michael’s and filled them with photos of Isobel, starting with a shot of my giant pregnant belly and ending with Isobel at three months old. In my mom’s book I included photos of her holding Isobel plus other shots of the family, and vice versa for my mother in law. We had these ready in time for Mother’s Day and they were a huge hit. The grandmothers had their books on them at all times so when people asked about their grandchild they could proudly show off their photos. After all was said and done they cost less than ten bucks each. You can always go to one of those photo sites for a more professional looking book, but they loved their albums and still treasure them. I ended up using a photo book service to make a Friends of Isobel book, which we created to help introduce Isobel to our friends that she might not see that often. (You can read about that here.)

Cute socks: Perfect for winter, warm, cute socks are always welcome in a stocking.

Today’s installment was for those of you lucky enough to have a budget, but what if your budget too strict for this gift guide? Never fear, later this week I’ll be coming out with two more gift guides for really-low and even no budget gifts that still meet the lovely and useful criteria. Stay tuned!

Little Big Shop Sale!

10 Dec

Here’s what’s up in the shop!

Recent Additions to the Little Big Shop:

Embroidered Vintage Clutch, granny chic.

Daisy Wall Plaque, your bathroom needs this.

Thrift Store Gore – White Elephant Gift Exchange Gifts:

(Confused about this section of the store? This should clear it up.)

Frightening Anne Geddes Bear.

Handcrafted Abalone Lamp.

Instructional Romance Book.

Speaking of the Grandchildren Photo Album.

Burned Down Schoolhouse Commemorative Plate.

Remember! Lucky buyers of Thrift Store Gore will get a photo of drunk Santa for your troubles. Someone’s been naughty this year! SPOILER ALERT: It’s Santa.

Little Big Shop Sale Items:

Designer Chrysanthemum Mug, price lowered by $6.00!

Vintage Baby Book, price lowered by $10.00!

Copper Parthenon Ashtray, price lowered by $6.00!

Vintage Glass Storage Jars, price lowered by $10.00!

Keep checking back as I’m adding more items all the time! Sale ends in a week or so or when I remember to change it back.

Little Big Shop Update & Cyber Monday Sale

26 Nov

I am currently updating my shop in the hopes that I’ll have new goodies up in time for Cyber Monday. I hope everyone had a great weekend (and a great Thanksgiving, if you’re American!) and will be back to my regularly scheduled posts tomorrow. In the mean time, watch the shop for new arrivals!

Edit:

As I’m working on this project I’m realizing it might be further into the week before I can make substantial additions to the shop. I really want to do something special for Cyber Monday so along with adding items (slowly but surely), I’m having a sale!

There’s no codes to put in, or math for you to do: if an item is marked SALE I’ve already reduced the price. I’ll keep prices lowered for a week or so before ending the sale.

Here’s what’s up in the shop:

Vintage Aluminum Storage Canisters, for kitchen staples, toys, or craft and office supplies.

Red, White & Blue Travel Pouch, I like to keep a pouch in my purse that holds all my essentials. When I want to change purses quickly, I just move my pouch and I’m ready to go.

Here are my first Cyber Monday Sale picks:

Designer Chrysanthemum Mug, price lowered by $6.00!

Vintage Baby Book, price lowered by $10.00!

Lemon Drop Glass Bowl, price lowered by $6.00!

Copper Parthenon Ashtray, price lowered by $6.00!

Vintage Glass Storage Jars, price lowered by $10.00!

Keep checking in all this week, because I’ll be listing more items and adding to the sale. Thank you for supporting small business!

Little Big Shop

12 Nov

Here’s what’s up in the shop:

Cheese platter, very necessary if you love cheese (and vintage!) as much as I do.

Zodiac Bowl, your horoscope says you will buy this bowl today. Then live happily ever after.

Vintage Jewelry Crafting Book, are you leaning towards having a handmade Christmas? Necklaces fit everyone.

Set of Glass Canisters, airtight and lovely.

Set of four cloth napkins, sustainable style for your dinner table.

Little Big Shop

29 Oct

Here’s what’s up in the shop:

Daisy Mug Set, two is better than one.

Five Turquoise Flower Mugs, five, however, is best of all.

Vintage Poppy Mug, who doesn’t like poppies? Murderers. That’s who.

Japanese Stripe Mug, this mug is cooler than I am.

Chrysanthemum Designer Mug, this mug has a signature on its bottom. Like a Cabbage Patch Kid you can drink out of.

Follow Friday: Grocery Store

7 Oct

Here I am, taking photos of my kid in the grocery store. Again. Enjoy!

What is Follow Friday? It’s a Twitter meme that I have taken a couple steps further.  Learn more about it in my FAQ. See my nomination for a Shorty Award for Follow Friday here. You can read more Follow Friday goodness here.

rstevens The glass can be half-full, but my battery will always be half-empty.

keli_h oh, nothing … just sitting here eating cold leftover rotisserie chicken out of a baggie.

lovegrrbottle So we thought the giant metal contraption left in our garage was a large composter, but turns out it’s a large bingo wheel. We win?

thegrumbles model home toilets DO work. #tipoftheday

theleanover Prof just walked by and looked at my screen: Twitter, Favstar, Night Court. I’m now out of the B range.

allisonthemeep Audrey is saying, “meow” and pointing at the computer. Time for some serious kitty video watching on youtube, you guys.

trumpetcake My hand puppet doesn’t take requests, it only sings “Moon River” at the top of its lungs. Everyone in this Bloodmobile is loving it!

Athenabee Autocorrect correct just made me sign an email message as Mafia Brocus 😡

lovegrrbottle @Cre8BeautyDaily @milonguera there was the time I taught my little brother to say “I wanna be a stripper!” when he grew up.

MeganBoley Goals: pay bills. Procure Chipotle. #aimhigh

EvenMoreSarah Apple introduced a new phone. If you like Apple, you may be interested. If you don’t, you may not be. There. That’s a whole day of tweets.

ProfessorSnack Like the premium cable companies, I will start offering new tweet content on a limited basis every 1 1/2 years. We’re between seasons now.

MrWordsWorth That bag of Doritos was the second best lover I ever had.

steenyweeny why is my eyeball quivering? what does it know that my brain does not?

GoonSquadSarah If a bowl of Count Chocula has 10% the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C, then I need to eat 10 bowls of it. Right?

hotdogsladies My benchmarks say iPhone 4 is now getting “accidentally dropped on the sidewalk” 46% more often than previous things we don’t tell our wife.

MassageByTed A lot of people in the Midwest seem to think that it’s possible to dress up a sweatshirt.

johnmoe Little known fact: Chris Christie’s full name is Christopher Chris Christo Topher Kristofferson Christie Kristi Vicki Barcelona.

adiopink The only time the front doorbell rings is when someone is selling something. I should probably take the insincere “Welcome” plaque down.

slackmistress I love when @betheboy & I tag-team dinner. (By that I mean we individually have sex with our dinner.)

PlumeriaSprite @exlibris You need a black widow killing Helper Roomba.

maggiesox I am so very glad we didn’t watch Dexter during dinner.

mermaidpants Someone in the library is singing “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King.”

80sMomKara Hipsters: Now you pretend to not care how silly you look. When you get to be my age, you won’t care for real.

ProfessorSnack According to Twitter, “The” appears to be the most popular first name given to babies for the last couple of decades.

Angel__Bee Nothing says professionalism like finding peanut butter in your work bag.

real_danimal Some days it is Difficult. You may find it hard to Do Things. Here is a slogan you may want to repeat: Proceed As If Not Doomed.

bitchylibrarian I just found chocolate on my forehead. So THAT’S where that went.

eihposa Peggy Bundy is my spirit animal

OngoingBS Rappers are soft. I wish I only had 99 problems.

BillCorbett If you love someone, set them free! (“Them” = all those other people you kidnapped and imprisoned, annoying your loved one.) #grammar #Sting

lindseylu Was eaten by mosquitoes the other night so I guess they’re my boyfriend now.

markleggett Where do burps go? Heaven?

badbanana I ate so much candy corn yesterday, I just pooped a candle.

killorn Of all the things you can say about @courtneystodden, “master of alliteration” is probably the most surprising.

MmeSurly I just pulled way too many muscles to ever be considered young again.

theleanover Went to three art galleries today. Symphony tonight. Just in case you need a reason to beat me up, jocks.

LPCookbook Help I am in Urban Outfitters

Squirreljustice Thinking about moving back to NC and opening a chain of consignment stores called “Play It Again Jorts.”

jonniker If Dexter ruins my crush on Mos Def, I’m going to be PISSED. He’s one of my most sacred longtime fake boyfriends.

Lilacmess Got to hear a 4 yr old sing Flo Rida today at the shooting range. That’s pretty high on the Reno Scale.

theleanover Installed rabbit ears on my mom’s TV. The only channel we get shows football so now I’m being forced into manhood.

UnicornFlavored I like to not look a twitter for 5 hours and then reply to all your old tweets.

shinyinfo Is there cleaning staff on the Enterprise or is there just an army of roombas?

FlyteAphrodite The Time Traveler’s Wife movie has stuff in it I forgot from when I read the book. Apparently there’s a character that travels through time.

ClevelandPoet Not only did I talk to my shoelaces as they came untied but what I said was “are you serious bro?” #wwwyki

bitchylibrarian I just put my hoodie on backwards. It’s going to be that kind of day.

beingthefunmama Anytime I see or hear “Istanbul,” I must sing “Not Constantinople.”

dejah_thoris I think my jeans are finally baggy enough to start that #nerdcore rap career I’ve been threatening to get into.

ecsuperhero I wasn’t sore after running six miles, but after scrubbing the kitchen floor, I can hardly walk. Housework is dumb.

anneheathen Just picked up no fewer than 14 dog toys from the living room. We have 2 dogs. This is what DINKs do.

UnicornFlavored My kid suddenly doesn’t like pizza? I’d send her back, but she’s a lot bigger than she was when she came out.

allisonthemeep “I believe children are the future.” – Whitney Houston. WRONG! It’s robots.

BugginWord OH: Irish fairies are jerks-always kidnapping babies and stuff. Stay away from those woodland creeps. #ILoveBookStores

TheRedQueen Groupon just offered me 82% off a pearl necklace. Slow down, Groupon, you are moving a little fast.

EvenMoreSarah I want a week alone in a hotel room with no obligations outside of drinking and getting my hair highlighted.

Angel__Bee Apparently not one, but two people were brought to my blog through the search “baby hamsters.”

Lilacmess I’m going to write a memoir about my experience here. I’ll call it: “My Life as a PhD Student: Fear, Doubt, Uncertainty, and Syfy TV.”

stevelibrarian Knuffle Bunny #fridayreads

lauracope LOL like nobody’s watching. thanks for making my Friday, dudebrah on the Coupa patio.

crunchyvtmommy I’m giving this baby my phone and spacing out for the next 18 months.

jenstatsky Every rose has its thorn. Every office has its Sheila.

TheRedQueen If I ever figure out who is the one letting their dogs bark all night I will find a way to pipe the sound of my kid screaming in their house.

milonguera A not quite 4 year old’s version of a fire drill is super awesome. Half telling you what to do and lots of THERE WAS NO REAL FIRE soothing.

Mama_Mash So, my husband’s first Klout perk…was a denim trucker hat. WOW.

pistolval Driving by the high school always reminds me to start saving for boarding school.

willradik The world around us exists because some atoms want to give an electron and some want to take it. That’s right. Atoms are doin’ it. #science

helgagrace I love Past Anna. She put M&Ms in my drawer for just this sort of moment.

mat Sometimes, not often, but sometimes, I find myself wishing commenters had to enter a home address to register so I could bring them cookies

sgnp I imagine Heck is a broken-down amusement park version of Hell. Pretty empty, nothing really works. The Darned shuffle lazily, bored.

notthatkendall The fact that working from home and streaming Netflix have grown in popularity at about the same time can’t be a coincidence.

LisaMcIntire Free campaign idea: send cantaloupes to any candidate or elected official railing against food safety laws.

Athenabee I want to put shock collars on the neighbours that leave their dogs out to bark 20 hours a day. Not the dogs, the actual neighbours.

FlyteAphrodite The question, folks, is whether or not I can locate a building that’s on the same street as my own home.

colsonwhitehead It takes more muscles to frown than to smile. Nothing good comes easy, people.

mikeleffingwell For my audition, I will be doing a monologue from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof: “Meow! Fuck that’s hot! My paw pads! A tin roof? A TIN roof?!”

whithonea I can’t believe my kids want to eat AGAIN. They just had breakfast 5 hours ago.

EmperorNorton Sincere conservatives, broadminded centrists, and thoughtful progressives made this country great. The #teaparty wants to undo that.

elliemce Thanks for holding the door open for me, but I’ve been practicing opening doors for months, so this is kinda supposed to be my moment.

jerryrenek Every generation gets the nip slip it deserves.

slackmistress If you can’t beat ’em, create a master race of tiny robots to destroy them.

MassageByTed Employees must wash hands before fist-bumping.

Greeblemonkey Working on a school project with Dex, where he has to build a model of a building. He chose – wait for it – The Muppet Theater.

WindsorGrace My mom just said her dog is the Jackie Kennedy of dogs.

steenyweeny trying to clean the kitchen from my bed is challenging but i’m pretty sure i can do it.

LouisPeitzman The fact that I’m watching Halloween: Resurrection means that Tyra Banks has already won.

shinyinfo I hope Obama somehow incorporates “Bringing back Arrested Development” into his 2012 campaign.

What is Follow Friday? It’s a Twitter meme that I have taken a couple steps further.  Learn more about it in my FAQ. See my nomination for a Shorty Award for Follow Friday here. You can read more Follow Friday goodness here.

Little Big Shop

3 Sep

Here’s what’s up in the shop:

Vintage Lemondrop Bowl, sunshine-colored bowl looks like it would taste like hard lemon candy. I want to lick it.

Cradle Days Vintage Baby Book, blank and in pristine condition. Click on the link to see the adorable illustrations.

Mid Century Modern Limoncello Bowl, the hand painted designs are somewhere between dandelions and atomic-looking flowers.

Fairytale Wooden Jewelry Box, waiting to hold your treasures.


Hopefully next week I’ll be able to add more items in the shop. I’ve currently been using my Etsy time to redo my storage and shipping areas to make the whole process faster in the future. Thanks for looking!

Little Big Links: The Patio

26 Mar

I’m a little anxious for spring.

Ceylon Pitcher: Remember last year’s obsession with the carafe? This modern one is amazing, and anticipates my desire to make naturally flavored waters.

How To Build A Patio: Our house came with a gravel pit that’s now a gravel-and-weed-pit. I want do to something like this to save it.

Mason Jar Lights: lighting is my most favorite patio item to shop for.

Japanese Rain Chains: I’ve wanted one of these since before I had a house. Now I just need to pick the perfect spot.

Vintage Yellow Lantern: It’s not even in use and already the place feels brighter.

Make Your Own Copper Wind Chimes: I love wind chimes. This looks fun.

Little Big Links: The Kitchen

26 Feb

Time-saving tips for the kitchen – Tips for running a cleaner, more efficient kitchen. I always aspire to do the dishwasher tip, but it doesn’t always happen.

The Picky Eater’s Taste Test – I dread the full-on picky eater years. This is a great strategy to help occasionally introduce new foods in a way kids get excited about.

Handmade Bowl Mug – I can’t decide what I like more, the fact that it’s a bowl-mug, or the deep malachite-like color.

I Eat Local Because I Can Tee Shirt – Finally, your love of canning and puns converge.

Treasure Craft Apple Platter – Shameless self-promotion. I’ve gotten a few emails asking about the size of this platter. Answer: large. I think I’m going to make some crudités for this platter and snap some pictures for scale.

DIY Sprouts – delicious eating from as local as a nearby window sill. Especially great project for those with kids.

Buddha Butter Dish – Fred Flare needs to stop making so many awesome things. (Or not.) Via SwissMiss

 

For more links, follow me on Pinterest.