Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sensible Splurges

Do you use google reader to read blogs? There's a box on the right side that randomly shows 'recommended' blogs. I'd never paid attention before until sometime this summer I noticed my cousins' collaborative cooking blog featured. I was intrigued and wondered how a blog gets 'featured', so clicked on the next one in the list. How adorable is she? The latest post happened to be on estate sales and I fell in love with the milk glass she found. And I JUST realized that I ended up finding the exact same one, ha ha! Anyway, J has always loved garage sales and would usually just take Abbey because I wasn't that interested. Well, after seeing Leslie's post, I got interested! Plus I knew it would be something great to do together. The man seriously loves to find a deal. Let me show you a little sample of some of the pretties I found this summer:



It occurred to me that I could find framed prints, preferably in odd sizes, and have my own pictures printed to go in the frame. (found this one for $3) A few times I've been nervous as I'm taking out (and likely throwing away) prints that have certificates of authenticity on the back. I really hope I don't find out they were precious works of art some day. Although, I really doubt it. Who's Andy Warhol?



One day, my friend Melody, (who I unreservedly trust with any design decision) mentioned I should find some sea glass for my bathroom. It's so funny how once you get an idea in your head, all of a sudden, you realize a lot of garage sales have them! I found the three matching ones from a woman whose mother got them as a wedding present. I felt bad she didn't find that sentimental, but I did! Even if it's someone else's mother :) And it's the perfect place to keep my wedding ring--I was always misplacing it when I didn't have a designated spot. Then the second and fourth one I bought from a woman who blows glass herself and sells them at art festivals. She was just getting rid of inventory and I was happy to take it off her hands (along with some bright green pieces that look great in my bathroom!)


Remember the chairs? Remember how I had grand plans of fun color schemes? The man at Sherwin Williams squashed the dream. I already had a gallon of paint and thought I could split it into quarts and have them tinted different colors. The guy was quite abrasive and condescending and I can't describe the confrontation very well, but I felt really stupid and really pressured to make a decision and ended up tinting the entire gallon 'spa' blue. I used a little over a quart for the piano... So... Two little chairs are blue now. One black. Two red. They look cute together. And SO cute with my preschoolers sitting in a row (who DO fight for the red ones, Melissa! You nailed it.)


the day j found the chairs (I think all 5 for $5) was the day he found:
abbey's first mac


J mostly keeps an eye out for toys for the kids. Then his favorite thing to do is to come home and look up the retail prices online.


I've also been keeping my eye out for fun dishes to use at parties. Found a set of these cute plates and saucers for a few dollars.

I also have plans to do an Alice in Wonderland tea party for the girls' birthdays this spring. So I've been spotting fun tea sets for that. I hope their little boy friends (boy friends, not boyfriends) don't mind the seriously girly theme.



And then I love just finding random little things like this for a quarter. Don't you think that would be cute, filled with fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies as a thank you gift?

That's just the start. I'll do a whole other post on the stuff J found for the girls' room.

Does this all make me seem cheap? Tacky? I used to hate garage sales, I felt yucky. Recently a friend told me how her husband doesn't like to buy things on sale because it makes him feel cheap. I'm so opposite now. It is a thrill for me to find a great deal on something I adore. So maybe I shouldn't be announcing my cheapness or excitingly telling someone how cheap I found my girls' clothes. It's a compulsion.


Barbara said...

Ah total envy. Look at all those great steals!

I also used to be freaked out by yard and garage sales. I felt like I was homeless shopping at the D.I etc. and almost felt like I was stealing from the poor. But for some reason I got over it and now I love it!!

The only thing I can connect with my new frugalness is the fact that I'm now a mom, and not bringing in much mula. I feel like I have to get a great deal or I feel a huge burdon of buyers remorse afterwards.

I love google reader. i have found so many cool sites, I'll have to share them with you (since you are my one and only follower). You do the same ok?

Congrats on all your great finds! Cant wait to see the new things for your girls rooms.

woah long comment, sorry i got a little carried away.

val said...

keep it up. ps i want to be you. :)

Allison and Noah Riley said...

I love, love those dishes! Especially the green ones! Oooh, come to NY!! We'll go thrifting now that I know where the flea markets are!

michelle said...

lol one of my best friend LOVES yard sales. she would totally compare pricing notes with you. personally, i like having yard sales bc all my junk can find happy new homes with someone else. as long as you arent the crazy person who fills every open space in your car with yard sale deals, i think you're ok :)

Nicole said...

The only time I've found anything good at a thrift store or garage/yard sale is when I've been east of Utah. I'm probably in the wrong neighborhood to find great antiques. Those tea sets and the milk glass are beautiful! And I love the little balls of yarn.

The Hodsons said...

No, you don't seem cheap!! I too get a thrill out of finding great deals...or making something not so cute beautiful! Love the photography skillzzzzz!!!!!!!!! Oh, and I like your milk glass collection! I just might have to copy :)

koryn said...

Your deals are exquisite, and I do not use the word lightly. I am sufferring from a total lack of garage sales here and looking at your finds made me feel the withdrawl pains even more. It's ok, as long as you could please send some my way, regardless of postage, thank you. Honestly, the MAC shot of Abbey is darling. Will you please photograph my life so it all looks like a fairy tale somehow?

Joanie said...

Buying stuff on sale makes him feel cheap? Wow. I totally brag everytime I find a deal. It's a talent, really. To be able to find things you need or want for a better price than retail. I'm very impressed. I really should hit some garage sales to find some kid toys. That's the best place to find them. I've tried the DI but the good stuff always goes too fast.

melissa said...

Can I borrow your friend so I know what will look awesome in my house so I know what to LOOK for at garage sales? That's my problem, see. I think it takes a brilliant eye like yours to know what has potential and what is, indeed, crap. Beautiful job, as always. What the Mac for $10?!!

allegra said...

oooh, me likey your first photo Smashley! i need those! i've been collecting plain white and cream pitchers, teacups, and cake platters for awhile, and have quite the collection but haven't come across milkglass stuff yet! gorgeous! i especially like the smaller one with little dots all over it:) i think it's great you guys like garage sales! i should hit them up more often. all my collections thus far have been from home goods or tj maxx, but now i know i can do better, haha.

p.s. in college you were always the thrifty one, not so much J if my memory serves me correctly? i'm thinking you converted him, that's awesome:)

Nolan and Corie said...

Whoa, I am inspired. Usually I just find weird-smelling clothes and lots of filing cabinets. :) I guess I need to be more persistent! I absolutely love your sense of style & decorating, by the way. Very unique... and you have an eye for it. Amazing!

Hawaii Monkeys said...

I think it's awesome you guys go garage selling! I'm totally intimidated by it. cute photos btw!

Melissa said...

You are officially the person I most want to be like. Musical, stylish, decorator and THRIFTY. You'd think you would at least be stuck up, but there you are totally fun and sweet. I love coming to your blog for good ideas and keep watching those beautiful girls grow up.

Katherine said...

No way dude, you two have serious skills. Stand proud.

I love all your cool finds! I can't wait to see your beautiful house some day!

Eugie said...

I love coming to your blog...your pictures are amazing! what kind of camera do you need to teach me your secrets...and your girls are crazy cute!!! My younger sister loves your blog too!

melissa said...

you know my friend barb? how is this? the connections in this world are endless, i'm finding.

last we emailed you guys had been in med school for just a short while, and you were teaching. so you are obviously not teaching anymore, and i'm not at the school of accountancy anymore.

it is so great to see what you're up to. your daughters are beautiful. and that piano, it's killing me it's so wonderful. i actually looked into painting mine a couple months ago. i called around and found it was over $5000 to have someone do it for me, so i asked for a step by step process and vowed to do it one day. did you actually take the thing apart? what did you find hard about it, can you give me a step by step? wow, lots of questions.

it's just great to see you! and by the way, i think it's great to be thrifty. why not be thrifty no matter how much you have. it is so satisfying. and character is worth so much.

Erica said...

I love your blog! I think it should be featured. You have such creative posts and ideas. My inlaws love garage sales too, maybe next time I will have to go with them...

Tristie hearts Dax said...

i love bargain shopping...the thrill of the hunt and the high of the find. so rewarding.

Ash, Dev, & Coop said...

Hi Ashley, my name is Ashlie. I'm a friend of Allison's and a huge fan of your blog. I love your style and all the great things you found! Anyway, thought I'd stop being a blogstalker and introduce myself. :)

Ash, Dev, & Coop said...

Hi Ashley, my name is Ashlie. I'm a friend of Allison's and a huge fan of your blog. I love your style and all the great things you found! Anyway, thought I'd stop being a blogstalker and introduce myself. :)