Posts Tagged ‘goodwill’

Living Room Make-Over…. TA DA!

December 24, 2014

We painted our entry, front room and stairwell a brown-paper-bag color nine-and-a-half years ago.  I figured out I didn’t like the poopy color before it was dry….. but there it hung for almost ten years. I was swayed by popular color choices… earthy tones and textures… that I never really liked.  They were just IN. I’m not sure why being IN was a concern for me… it’s never been before. It was a dumb decision, but it is now in my past.

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For more than five years I have dreamed of having a light turquoise room in our home for my own eye candy privilege. There’s something delicious about turquoise. To say that I love turquoise would be an understatement. Turquoise is the color of the ocean and Lake Tahoe and Greece and Colombia… all of my favorite places. Those who know how to decorate and coordinate have cautioned me that it could look like a little boy’s room… and quite frankly I don’t care. I just love turquoise. So there.

2014 was a hard year for me. I have not fully recovered from the March 2013 car accident and then my big slip-in-the-mud-cut-my-knee-open episode in October slowed me down even more. Constant low-grade pain wears on you! I didn’t do a creative thing in all of 2014… and creativity makes me happy. I needed some happy. So, in the dark of the night, when Mr. Wallet had his belly full of Mexican food and he was half asleep, I asked if we could paint the living room. He said YES! What he didn’t realize was that “Paint the Living Room” = “Get New Furniture and Wall Decore and Get Rid of EVERYTHING in the Living Room”.  Heh heh heh….and the scheming preparedness began.

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The scouring of magazines commenced. The collection of paint cards grew. The measuring of furniture and walls happened. And then Mr. Wallet escorted me to the paint department of Lowe’s.  Be still my turquoise-loving heart. Painting began.

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Second-hand furniture shopping began for end tables. Then painting furniture commenced.

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A fabric painting tutorial was watched and then BAM, I was painting fabric like a pro.… an unskilled, untrained pro.

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And more projects were found and purchased at Goodwill.

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The entryway was completed first. I was still in hot pursuit of a white couch for $25… well, not exactly but real close. Mr. Wallet likes a good deal.  A REALLLLL good deal.

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Finally, last night, the white couch from my dreams appeared in my turquoise living room and all is well in my world. Merry Caribbean Christmas to me!

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The maps behind the French doors are my favorite. Their order, however, caused some stress for my 10-year-old nephew as they are not all on the same scale and they are definitely NOT in the correct places. He stood there in shock and disgust….”Auntie Linda, Mexico is NOT under England. And the Philippines are WAY too big and shouldn’t be at the top.” His tone implied, “I thought you were a teacher!” I tried to explain that I picked the maps for COLOR… I like turquoise, remember! And I randomly placed them… because I had to do it from the backside. I did make sure the important places are all accounted for: Canada, USA, Colombia, Maui, Greece and the Mediterranean Sea.

Every morning I descend the stairs and I smile. Thank you, Mr. Wallet.

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Daddy’s Being Sly

February 24, 2013

Yesterday we went shopping at Goodwill because it was 50% off day! Whooo Hoooo!  I mean, really.  If you’re going to buy other people’s junk, you might as well go on the day when it is half off.  No, we didn’t pre-shop the sale on Friday night.  We didn’t even line up at 8:30 a.m.  We have relaxed a bit.  We waited until the LONG lines of the morning rush had slightly diminished before we hit the store for the goods.

As I was perusing the women’s clothing for Lands End, Anne Taylor and Coldwater Creek labels, Rick and Nora, the nine-year-old Colombian princess, were in the toy aisle.  Nora spotted a paper doll set that had a gazillion outfits for the three dollies and a Nancy Drew video game, both to die for.  EAch was marked $2, so they would be only one dollar!  Knowing that Daddy would probably make her pay for them with her own hard-earned money, she decided to work him.  “Daddy, if I pay for one will you pay for the other?”  And I’m sure she batted her long eyelashes and flashed her dimples at the weak man.  Of course he agreed, so she dug four quarters out of her wallet and handed them over to him, quite pleased with her negotiating skills.

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We reconnoitered at the check-out and made it painlessly through the line.  On the way to the car, Nora confronted her father, “Dad, I gave you the money for my doll set but you did not use the quarters to pay for it.  My quarters are still in your pocket.”  This is called hyper-vigilant, which means that she is VERY aware of ALL that is going on around her at ALL times.  From what I’ve read, it is common with adoptive children.  Patiently Rick explained that he had her quarters but he paid with bills from his wallet.  She responded, “I know…… can I please have my money back?”  Oh did we howl.  We tried to explain it over and over but there was no comprendo on her part AT ALL.  She still thinks daddy pulled one over on her!

Good times at Goodwill!

The Old has become New

January 6, 2012

Remember back in April when I spent all my birthday money at Goodwill on 50% off day with visions of a shabby chic backyard?  Well, it is slowly materializing!  Finally!  I found this top from a girl’s bedroom set… maybe from the bed or a desk hutch… and I could envision a garden shelf dealie to stack my pots and hang my tools.

Then I looked for MONTHS for a bottom piece to store my dirt and fertilizer and turtle kneeling pad.  I think it was in August or September that I happened on this gem at Goodwill… on another 50% off day!  Sweet mother of baby Jesus!  It was perfect.  The guy at the store told me that it came in from a monastery full of religious books all in Chinese.  So half of the finished product was in the ministry.  :o) 

After much painting and sanding and hammering 1×4’s on the back so it doesn’t fall and kill a small child or dog… it is finished!  My husband took one look at the finished product and asked, “So you had all that junk?”  Nice, eh?  Yes, I did… and one man’s junk is his wife’s treasure.  I actually will use the junk, well, most of it.  The ceramic butterfly in the center was handmade by my six-year-old self in Renton, Washington in a ceramics class at a neighbor’s house.  The rest is truly junk.  Not the butterfly.

We did have a near catastrophe whilst waiting for the 1×4’s to be nailed on the back.  I had it set up in the middle of our back porch… clearly capable of falling and killing a small child or dog.  The wind whipped up a gale to behold and knocked the top right off.  It fell backwards, hit the NEW, glass patio table, got a big bash-in on the back piece and fell to the ground.  Shoot.  I put the big tin plate on the top shelf in front of the bash-in evidence.  All is well now.  Why would anyone need this in their yard, you ask?  Because now my gardening gloves won’t get chewed and buried by the dogs.  That’s really what this was all about…. me having to repeatedly replace my flimsy gardening gloves from the dollar store.  See, all is well now. (I have since planted those violas in those six pots in the little green stand on the right.  They are darling.)

Thankfully November is Here!

November 1, 2011

When the scary ghosts and goblins start leaving the neighbors’ yards I’m always thankful.  Someone told me that Halloween spending is second only to Christmas… really?  We spend no money for Oct. 31st.  If the kids want to dress up and gather candy (that I secretly throw away in small chunks over time) that is fine and even fun, but we’re not spending a dime on costumes.  This drives my children’s creative genes…. as you will see in the picture that follows.

Austin (my personal favorite this year) was Nacho Libre, the luchador, in his stretchy pants.  He already had the mask and he made the rest of the costume from a blue t-shirt and a red under armor long sleeve hockey shirt….. AND the glue gun.  It made me laugh… several times last night.

Larisa (who spent her own money on a Goodwill dress) was Marilyn Monroe… not the scandalous Marilyn, she explained to me…. the musical participant Marilyn.  Sure.  Every year Larisa works a costume around those false eyelashes.  :o)

Nora (her FIRST Halloween!) loved being Belle from Beauty and the Beast.  She had never been trick-or-treating, so that was fun, other than her princess shoes hurting her tootsies.  Thankfully we live in Phoenix and it was warm enough to go barefoot!

Keeve (decided to dress up five minutes before we were leaving) went out to the dress-up box and pulled out the Yoda costume from 2001.  It’s a mini-skirt now, but the mask works.  He quickly sawed off a broom handle and had a cane.

November is here and I am thankful!

Cuteness in the Backyard!

May 19, 2011

When I first laid eyes on this idea in a magazine, I was sold.  It’s been about two years since I ripped that page right out of that magazine…. and put it in my Idea Binder.  I’ve been waiting for the right chair ever since.  Several prerequisites for the chair were established in my mind: sturdy, wide seat, easily removable seat and CUTE!  The one in the magazine was an old ladder back chair with straight lines and no frills.

Fast forward to 8:45 pm on the Friday night before the 50% off sale day at Goodwill.  I was preshopping the sale for the next day with my husband by my side.  I spied this chair and my heart pitter-pattered a little faster than usual.  I knew it was MY chair for the flower pot idea.  It had a cane seat and darling flowers carved on the legs, seat and back.  The cane had a tear in it… hence the $6 price.

That night Larisa had her friend Sarah sleeping over and I talked them into going with me to Goodwill in the morning…. to stand in line so as to be ready for the mad dash.  As we waited in line, I explained everyone’s role: Larisa was to take Nora, get a cart and head for electronics. (That is where I hid small stuff.)  Sarah was to go directly to furniture, grab the chair and head for electronics.  I explained the chair in detail, so as not to get the wrong chair.  I was bee-lining to electronics.  I told them that as soon as the doors open, there would be an announcement over the loud speaker that says “Please do not run!” I confirmed, “Do not listen to it! … RUN!”

All went as planned and now I have a pretty potted chair in the backyard!

For those DIY-ers, I cut out the cain seat.  Painted the brown chair white.  Sanded the decorative carvings. Then I stapled chicken wire to the bottom of the frame in the shape of a bowl.  I bought one of those basket liner replacements that are an inch thick and made of coconut hair.  I had to cut some triangles out of the edges to get it to fit in the seat.  I wanted it on the patio, but it will drip everytime I water it, so it is on the rocky border next to the patio.  TA DA!

Minor Victory in my Post Adoption Life

May 16, 2011

As I have confessed here before, my life is so much different now that I have four children.  This week we will have been home from Colombia with the Colombian princess for five months… also marking HALF A YEAR that she has been our girl.  My, does time fly when you’re having fun coping issues. :o)  But a light has begun to shine at the end of the tunnel for me.  I’m back on top in a few areas that I feel are worth sharing for my own cathartic needs.

1.  I am back to being a coupon queen.  With the aid of my son (who loathes de-collating coupon books, but loves his mama) my coupons are all up to date in the file box.  I spent about a half hour making a list and checking it twice and headed off to do BIG saving shopping at Fry’s grocery store.  When it all came down, I filled two carts (mainly because I stocked up on paper towel) and the total would have been $280, but after my coupons I paid $106.  My pantry was bare-er than it has ever been in the past four years, but I remedied that in one trip!  My children are much happier now that they see a supply of food that will last more than two days!  Nora could not believe how much stuff I bought!  And she doesn’t even understand the savings yet!

2.  My Tupperware cupboard is cleaned out!  This is almost a miracle.  When do I have time to do mundane chores like that?  Hardly ever!  But this week, with the help of the same son and my little new helper, everything blinkin’ plastic thing was pulled from the cupboard and MATCHED with its lid!  Whoa!  I know!  We filled the recycle bin twice with those containers that were partner-less.  It makes me happy simply to open the cupboard door and look at the tidiness.

3. My master bedroom closet is clean!!!  That means I finally hauled out all the Christmas decorations, wrap and bows that were thrown in there in early January!  I also went through my clothes and threw out items that should have been thrown out years ago.  I also put together a BIG bag for Goodwill.  And filled the garbage can twice!  This does not mean that I touched any of Rick’s clothes or junk quality paraphernalia.  But I did count his t-shirts….. 33.  Why in heaven’s name does any grown man need 33 t-shirts.  They don’t.  That is on the agenda for today! (Don’t tell!)

I’m feeling almost close to normal… about three minutes off.

Backyard Update

April 26, 2011

Sadly, I can’t even get out in the backyard every day to finish my 27 projects.  Slow and steady wins the race. I know. I know.  But slow and steady also leads me into the broiling temperatures of summer in Phoenix. So the pressure is on!

The resurrected gazebo is coming right along…. other than being upside down, on the grass, and not painted. This is the one that flew over the fence and was a mangled mess of canvas and metal. 

My beloved royal blue lobelia are absolutely their happiest right now…. but they won’t last much longer in this heat.

The garden is coming right along…. beans are winning the growing race at the moment, but the zucchini is in a close second.

Lastly, for your viewing pleasure, I scored six of these lovelies at 50% Off Goodwill last Saturday… YES!  Rick scrunched up his nose too at the thought of candles in the backyard, but last night I lit them all and he did think it was lovely, even though he never used the word lovely.

It’s Connie’s Fault

March 30, 2011

Connie is my friend.  We’ve been friends since we were single and had no kids.  Now we have eight kids between us. (This may seem like a repeat of the last blog, but the ending is even better!)  We have many similar addictions, including but not limited to: collecting Fiestaware dishes, garage saling, loving a blue and yellow kitchen, chotshky old quilts, re-upholstering furniture, gardening, homeschooling, scrapbooking, playing games, framing pictures of our kids and she is the one who introduced me to Goodwill.  (Even before Darla!)

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That’s all well and good, but Connie also introduced Larisa, my then 13-year-old non-thrift-store-shopper, to Goodwill and boy, did we have a laugh-til-you-cry time of it! At the mention of a Goodwill store, Larisa’s lips turned up a bit, like when you’re smelling a distasteful odor, but you can’t quite figure out where it’s coming from.  She had never shopped at a USED clothing store.  She was grossed out at the thought of wearing pre-owned clothing.  You would have thought we told her that we were going to pick through a garbage dump in Mexico!  So we made the most of it. (I’ll admit that I originally fostered the same feelings and lip-curling, but I had been won over by this point in time.)

We were heading to the mecca of recycled merchandise with Connie and her three daughters who were quite accustomed to shopping at Goodwill.  Larisa’s lips were stuck in the “bad smell” position.  Larisa started asking questions like, “Do you try on the clothes in the store?” (…. and the F U N began…..)  I don’t quite remember which of us gave the terrifying answers to Larisa, but we all joined in the mortifying fun without cracking a smile! 

Us: “Yes, but there are no fitting rooms.”

Larisa: “Then where do you try them on?”

Us: “You try them on over a bathing suit.”

Larisa, horrified: “WHERE?”

Us: “Right in the aisles.”

Long pause for embarrassing mental images on Larisa’s part.

Us, reassuringly, “Don’t worry, we stand close and make a circle around you so no one sees.”

Another one of us:  “Didn’t you wear your bathing suit underneath your clothes?”

Larisa: “NO!!!”

Us: “Don’t worry, we’ll get you one there, so you can try on the clothes.”

Larisa: “…. um….  ewww…..”

And we let her believe it all until we were in the store and she saw the dressing rooms.  It was priceless.  To this day, when we are heading to Goodwill, with Connie and her girls, or Darla and her girls, we ask Larisa if she has on her bathing suit so she can try on the clothes.  Bwahahahahahahaha!

Larisa has come a long way… last weekend, she wasn’t impressed when I ventured off to TWO Goodwill stores without her… on 50% off day!!!  So she jumped in the car and went by herself!  Thatta girl!

It’s Darla’s Fault

March 28, 2011

Darla is my friend.  We have been friends since we had a combined total of four kids.  Now we have seven kids.  We have multiple similar addictions including, but not limited to: scrapbooking, collecting scrapbooking supplies, visiting voting booths with sick kids, decorating our kids’ rooms, making crafty decor items, killing centipedes, refinishing old furniture, playing games and finding BARGAINS! But most recently, she has led me to my current addiction: shopping at Goodwill on 50% off day.

It all started last summer in the dark of a Friday night when my phone rang.  It was Darla.  In her most sinister voice she asked if I would accompany her the following morning as an accomplice to score some goods.  I agreed.  She had been to Goodwill on Friday night and scoped out some dandy items for her girls’ rooms.  “Pre-shopping the sale” is what this is called. 

This was not a beauty pageant, in fact, I think she asked if I would at least brush my teeth before she picked me up in the get-away car at 0-dark-thirty.  Saturday morning, the alarm rang, I grabbed some sweats, brushed my teeth, found a hat and was out the door.  She looked a little worse than I did, as she had not found a hat.  Her red hair was sticking up a little more than usual.  Possibly it was a scare tactic.

As early as our arrival at the store was, 30 minutes prior to the doors opening, we were not the first people in the race for the 50% off pre-owned merchandise.  There were five people ahead of us.  Darla was eyeing up these early morning shoppers and she figured only one lady with a toddler might cause some grief. She was fairly determined that she could outrun (or trample) her on the way to the furniture section.  She carefully emptied her coffee cup in the bushes by the front door and secured her travel mug in her purse for the pending pursuit.

As we stood in line, Darla outlined the open door procedure for me in a hushed voice.  She had scoped out a shelf, a table and a crib mattress that she was determined to SCORE!  However, the furniture always goes fast, so if she took time to get a cart, one of her items might be grabbed by an offending shopper.  So, Darla instructed me to take her purse, as well as my own, and head straight for the carts.  I was to immediately drive to the furniture section at the far southeast corner of the store.  She would single-handedly seize all three items.

NINE O’CLOCK on the button the doors opened and the stampede began.  Darla was gone in a red-headed flurry.  With both purses encircling my arm, I acquired the first cart I found and bee-lined to the southeast corner.  Darla is good, baby.  Within 27 seconds, she captured the mattress, threw it on her desired table, clutched the shelf in both arms and sat on the mattress on top of the table.  Still makes me giggle thinking about it!  SWEET SUCCESS!  That toddler’s mother still doesn’t know what happened!

Even when Darla and I are off on scrapbooking retreats in Prescott, Arizona, we make sure we hit the Goodwill store on 50% day.  The deals are simply too good to pass up…. and after all, it’s now an addiction.  (I visited two stores this past Saturday…. 50% off day, baby!)

The Play Kitchen is DONE!

January 3, 2011

I discovered this great vanity bench at Goodwill back in the summer.  I don’t understand how Goodwill prices their furniture.  They are WAY too expensive for being in a second-hand store.  Thankfully I was there on 50% off day.  It was still too much, but I had visions of grandeur in my head for a play kitchen for Nora.

For several months I gathered the pieces as I found them…. kitchen sink… stove burners… flower hooks.  I sanded and painted and sanded and painted.  I added a shelf on the support bars underneath, perfect for dishes and cups.  Then I was browsing play kitchens on google and came across several kitchens that had ruffle curtains!  Oh my word.  How adorable.  So, back to the craft store for darling fabric.  I originally planned to put the curtains on dowels, but then I couldn’t figure out how to make them sturdy enough for a vigorous seven-year-old cook.  I ended up putting a strip of wood over the top edge of the fabric and hammering tiny nails all the way across.  Hopefully it will hold through many days of cooking and baking and washing dishes.

Nora loves it, but she did tell me that it is a little too short for her.  She seems to be managing just fine!