Valentine’s Day Fiesta

I’m actually not a huge fan of Valentine’s Day. I feel it’s very commercialized. We weren’t really planning on doing anything but when my mom offered to babysit, we took advantage of it.

Tony took me out for sushi and he did buy me a gift. He bought me a very simple pair of diamond stud earrings. I really wanted a pair when we first got together, but then Ava came along and my priorities changed. It was very sweet that he remembered what I wanted. They are not flashy, which is perfect. Flashy is not me.

He then surprised me with a trip to Goodwill. Any time I get to go there without a toddler is awesome. Ava is my little BFF, but she’s a horrible Goodwill companion. Hopefully that will change one day.

I found some random things and then I spotted this!

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Gorgeous turquoise Fiestaware! I’m obsessed if you can’t tell. I have a few pieces and it’s always awesome to find pieces at thrift stores.

It wasn’t this beautiful when I found it. It had a really horrible 1980s mauve floral arrangement coming out the top. I took it out as soon as I got home and forgot to take a picture. It was bad.

I now have this beautiful teapot to add to my collection. It is missing its lid. Hopefully I’ll find one on eBay.

Best Valentine’s Day EVER!

Food Waste Friday Is Back

FoodWasteFriday After years of wasting hundreds, if not thousands of dollars of food, we are attempting to reduce our food waste. I will post a photo each week of our food waste and I will link up with Food Waste Friday over at The Frugal Girl.

Since I’m finally in control of the groceries once again, Food Waste Friday is back!  When we moved into our new place, I decided a few things right off the bat.  First, I would do everything in my power to have zero food waste.  Second was to start a compost bin.

We have been in our new place for two weeks now.  We love it, even though it’s more space than we need or want.  It’s even bigger now that Rylan (our nephew) went back home.

Since Ava and I are home all the time, we are on leftover patrol.  I’ve taken it upon myself to eat any leftovers so they do not go bad.  So far, so good!

I am pleased to report that they only thing that went into the compost pile were a few pieces of moldy sweet peppers.  My mother-in-law sent them (not moldy) with us from her house when we moved.  By the time I got around to using them, a few of them were starting to grow mold.  No big deal.

Frozen Sweet Peppers in a Jar

I cut the mold off and decided to cut and freeze the rest of them to be on the safe side.  I love freezing peppers.  I love having them on hand.  I just pull the jar out of the freezer and pick a few out.  Easy peasy.  We also saved some very brown organic bananas by making some of my Nana’s delicious banana bread.  It didn’t last very long.

Coffee Jug

I’ve got my recycled jug in the fridge for any leftover coffee. (I got all fancy and wrote it on with a sharpie.) Just add milk and sugar and you have iced coffee.  No waste!  Speaking of coffee, I just bought this coffee pot…. for $3.73!

Thrift Store Coffee Pot

I’ve been looking for one at Goodwill but they’re either not the right size/style/color, over priced, or just flat-out nasty.  I spotted this one a few days ago.  It’s the exact one we had in Alaska (only paid $5 on Craigslist for that one) and was clean and an additional 30% off.  My patience paid off!

Storage Container Compost Bin

I did manage to start my compost bin.  It’s actually looking pretty great, if I must say so myself.  Check out all the kitchen scraps I need to add!

Kitchen Scraps for Compost

I keep a bin in the door of the fridge.  My bin is an aluminum loaf pan with a plastic produce bag.  Eventually I’ll be able to grow new food from these scraps, and that makes me very happy!

Did you waste any food this week?

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If I Only Had A Place To Put It

I suckered Tony into going to The Salvation Army thrift store this week.  The key to that was making him think the trip was for him.  He does need more work pants, so I told him we should look there.  I just like to see what kind of treasures I can find.

The first treasure I found, but I didn’t get a picture of, is one of those Fisher Price stacking ring baby toys.  Ava doesn’t have one and for 50 cents, she had to have it.  Happy Birthday Ava!  The next thing I found was this awesome rocking horse.  I was all about buying it, as was Ava, until I realized one of its rockers was broken.  So now it was a project… and it didn’t have a price.  So I found someone who worked there and found out it was $7.50.  After thinking about it, I decided that my threshold was $5.00, and they weren’t moving.  Boo.

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After perusing the store, I also found a wallet for 50 cents.  The wallet is for a project for Ava.  I also found a really cute winter hat for Ava for $1.  Tony was trying to coax me out of the store when I saw this:

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That is a 1934 Wurlitzer studio piano.  Now, I’m no Elton John, but I have high hopes for Ava.  I can’t lie, I can only play one song on the piano… and it’s from a beginner piano book.  Fail.  Tony on the other hand can play.  He carries all the musical talent in the family.  So hopefully Ava will pick up piano, drums, saxophone, or some other random assortment of instruments that Daddy plays.

I was in love.  It did need some restorations, but it was in good condition and had tons of character.  It could be all ours for the price of $200.  Don’t worry, we didn’t come home with a piano.  We don’t have room for it right now, but as soon as we buy a house, the piano hunt begins again.  So we parted ways, leaving The Salvation Army spending only $2.00, all on Ava (big shock).

Have you found any good finds lately?

The Search for a High Chair

One thing that obviously wasn’t going to fit in my suitcase, Ava’s high chair. I knew I would have to buy a new one once we got here. Not new, but new to us.

Oma, Ava, and I went out shopping to find one. Oma and I both have a love of thrift stores and garage sales, so we set out to check out the local shops here in Anchorage.

The first place we stopped was The Salvation Army. I crossed my fingers that they would have any baby stuff. The first thing I spot inside the door was an infant sled. What is an infant sled, you ask? I had no idea they existed either. It’s a baby sized sled that has straps to buckle baby in and a rope to pull her around. FUN! It had no price, but I knew Ava had to have it.

I was getting bummed out because I didn’t see any more baby items. Just as we were about to find out how much the sled was, I spotted them. Two Ikea high chairs, one blue, one red. Perfect! I originally was looking for one of those space-saving high chairs that sit in the dining room chair, but the Ikea high chairs have a very small footprint, so it would work. Again, no price.

We asked the cashier how much. $5 each for the sled and the high chair. That’s right in my budget! Of course then I asked about their discount days. It just happened to be Senior Citizen Day! Yay for bringing Oma, we got an extra 15% off!20121103-183621.jpg

So for $8.50 (no sales tax, remember!), Ava has a new high chair AND a sled. Woo Hoo! Our search didn’t take very long at all.

After I got home, I looked up both of the items to see how much they were new. I found the sled here at Amazon for $23.02! The high chair and the little support pillow that we got with it are right at $30.00 new. I think I made out like a bandit!

Have you found any awesome deals recently?

South Florida Long Weekend

Last weekend I went down to visit my Aunt Sue in Boca Raton with my Mom, Grandma, and Ava. We left Friday afternoon and got down there just in time for a yummy Chinese dinner. Saturday morning, my mom, aunt, and I ran in the March for Hunger 5k in Hollywood. It was a really nice race right on the boardwalk next to the beach.

Aunt Sue, Mom, and Me!

I am very proud of myself for running the entire thing, even though I was sick. This was the first time I was able to run 3 miles straight since Ava was born. I finished in 40:00 (clock time). Not my best time, but I can only improve. After the race, we hit up a restaurant for crepes and then on to a very fancy Goodwill (oxymoron, I know). This Goodwill was nothing like the others I have been to. I found a small round banana leaf basket for $1 and this size 2T Gymboree jumper for $2.

Now I’m on a mission to find all the matching accessories! Even though it was a goodwill, I felt that a lot of the stuff was overpriced.  That evening we all painted our nails with shellac. I had never used shellac before, so we will see how it holds up.

Update: The shellac only lasted a week.  I’m going to try it again and see how it does.

On Sunday we went to Babies R Us and picked up lots of goodies for Ava. That night, we went on a dinner cruise in Fort Lauderdale. Even though it was a little chilly, it was very nice. It was Ava’s first boat ride! We left to come home on Monday morning. We learned on the way down that Ava needs a break from the car. She isn’t going to stay asleep or relaxed for almost 4 hours. Good to know. We had a great time!

What Can You Buy For $1?

So what can you buy for $1. Lots of stuff if you go to a thrift store. On Saturday, before I picked Tony up from the airport, my friend Brittany and I hit up some of the good thrift stores in Tampa. I found a picture frame with a really ugly picture of a boat for $1. I really only wanted the frame, not the ugly picture. Digging a little more into the box of frames, I pulled out a digital picture frame! Yes, you read that correctly, a digital picture frame! It even had a really nice dark wood frame. And to sweeten the deal, it was only 99 cents! What! Okay, yes, it was missing the power cord, but for less than a heart attack inducing McDouble, I would take the chance that it didn’t work. I’m still hunting for a 9v AC adaptor to work with it.  I did have a 12v and I tried it and the screen came on but then went back off.  Tony thinks it will work, but it’s getting too much power.  So the hunt for the 9v adaptor continues.

Also on our trip, I found a cute dark wood basket for $1 and another picture frame for another $1. At the Goodwill in Wesley Chapel, I was peaking back in the unloading area and noticed an entire cart of baby equipment. There was a kiddie pool, a walker, and a Baby Einstein jumper. I asked the girl if they were going to be putting those things out. She went over and asked the guy that was near it. He told me that he would have to ask his manager because they normally don’t sell that stuff. WHAT?!?! He came back and said they could sell the jumper because it was in new condition. Then he said $10! $10, seriously! YES!

At the Salvation Army I found Ava two cute dresses for $3 total. One of them is Ralph Lauren and both look brand new! I feel like I can go shopping all day and buy whatever I want at thrift stores and not spend very much at all. Although, this can also be a problem. When we went to Ikea, all I was thinking was how expensive everything was! I love finding little treasures for next to nothing. And now, I have enough frames to get started on my frame wall project.

Have you found any awesome things at thrift stores recently?