Monday, March 25, 2013

Weekend thrift finds!

Wowsers.  Saturday (two Goodwills and the Rescue Mission thrift) yielded nothing at all, and I was a bit disappointed.  On the other hand, I do have this potential for being a hoarder, so I decided it was a good thing that neither Hubs nor I found anything.  On a positive note, I returned my equipment to the cable company and it took less that 15 minutes, so I'm happy about that.

Then we made our Sunday rounds, and things started picking up.  Hubs is getting really good at spotting cool stuff from across the store, which is paying off well for both of us!  I'm only going to show what I bought, but Hubs got a number of small colored glass pitchers, an enormous amber glass bottle, a smaller blue-green bottle, and I forget whatall else.  Here's my haul:

Stuff too mundane to take a picture of!  I got a couple of paperback books not for reading, but to prop up the head of the bed.  Supposed to help with reflux. I also picked up one of those button attaching gadgets so you don't have to sew on buttons.  That was .99 at Savers.

Gravy boat!  I've been looking for a gravy boat that can go in the microwave.  Unfortunately, 99% of the ones I've seen have a gold or platinum band.  This is (unmarked) melamine in a lovely aqua and white spatter pattern.  We used it last night.  I can't remember what I paid.  Maybe $1.00

Tupperware!  Tupperware sightings have been few around here, so I was really glad to find this set of canisters.  I've been wanting something to keep coffee, brown sugar, and my cereal at work in, and managed to cover all three bases with this one purchase.  They look green, but they're really yellow (I need to stop using the camera in my phone.)  The big one had some grime on the outside that resisted scrubbing and dishwashering, but it succumbed to the mighty Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.  There's still a funky smell inside the big one  and what looks like some residue.  It's soaking in a baking soda solution right now and I think I might scrub it out with some Dip-it as well.  $5.00

Blue bottle!  This is one of the treasures that my wonderful husband found.  If I didn't want it, he was going to keep it for himself, but the color is right up my alley.  I'd say it's a good 18" tall.  It's currently on top of my bureau and it looks great.  There's a small chip on the neck, but it's not noticeable.  I'm pretty sure I've seen this exact bottle (in amber) in an old Montgomery Ward Christmas catalog.  Again, apologies for the crappy pic.  $4.00

Lamps!  These babies were nothing short of a miracle.  I'm always on the lookout for cool lamps, but most of what I find in the thrifts are just downright ugly.  On the off chance that I do find a cool one, it's always a single and I'm always looking for pairs (I like matchy-matchy: sue me.)  Wellsir, we popped into the "Disappointing Goodwill" where we never find anything, and it was here that I managed to snag these lamps and that gravy boat.  This is also where hubby got the gigantic glass bottle.  So you never know.  But aren't they great?  These will go on our nightstands.  And now here's the best part--they were $14.00.  For the pair.

I know!

They need shades, obviously, and I kind of dread doing that because picking lampshades is not a talent I have.  Isn't there some formula for determining the size?  Like "twice as wide and half as high" or something?  Can anyone help?  They're sort of beigey and off white and I put a plain white shade on to see what it looked like, and it looked too white.  So maybe a tan shade?


Linking up to all the creamy goodness at Sir Thrift A Lot

Friday, March 22, 2013

Well, I'm glad that's over...

If you read this post, you know what happened at Chez Fondue yesterday.  I will say that if I had to do it again, I would do it the same way.

I am in no hurry to do it again.

The day started off well when the electrician called to let me know he was on his way.  Shortly after that, the floor/tile dudes showed up and started working.  Shortly after that, the electrician arrived, assessed the situation and quoted me a price.  By about 9:00 there was a flurry of activity here.  Well, except for the Verizon dude, whose window was 8:00-12:00.

I didn't take many pictures, because a floor with the linoleum peeled back is hardly compelling.  The electrical work was somewhat more interesting:

(...but not much.)  This is the output of cutting into the ceiling.  Fascinating, no?

Look!  It's a hole!  In my ceiling!

And now you understand why I didn't take any more pictures.

Well, by 1:00, the kitchen floor and the shower were done.  They told me they probably wouldn't be able to get rid of all of the squeaks in the kitchen, but I'd say they got 95%, and I'm really happy about that (technically, they could fix them all, but it would involve ripping up everything that's there and starting fresh.  Yeah, not happening.)  The new grout in the shower is blindingly white.

By 1:30, the electrician was finished, and I now have three lovely wired ceiling fan boxes--two in the master bedroom and one in the den.  Fans have not been purchased yet, but I'm working on it, and I'll install them myself.

At 2:00 the last scheduled worker (hint: rhymes with horizon...) still wasn't there.  He did finally show up at 2:15, under-informed and ill-prepared.  This should come as no surprise to anyone who has dealt with this company.

He finally finished around 5:00.  Apparently, he would have finished sooner but didn't think to check if maybe some of what he was looking for might be at the other end of the building, which it was.

But it's done.  And I'm glad.  More than that, I'm happy.  I have a much quieter kitchen floor, a newly grouted shower, potential for three ceiling fans, and faster internet.

I did some math (yes!) and once I get the ceiling fans, that'll pretty much use up all my tax refund.  So a few other projects will have to wait.  Like a new rug for the dining room.  And a new rug for the den.  And getting the sofa cleaned.  And new kitchen curtains...

Monday, March 18, 2013

Weekend thrifting finds, and I created a monster...

Well, the weekend had its ups and downs thrift-wise, but overall hubs and I did pretty well.

Before I continue, a word about the Hubster.  Up until about a month ago, (and you might want to sit down for this), The Hubster didn't collect anything.

I know!

Out of the blue, he decided that he was going to start collecting glass barware to display on some shelves in his office.  I think that's great, and now he's started shopping with a vengeance.  Where he used to follow me around in the Goodwill and occasionally chuckle over something I thought was cool, now I can't find him at all because he's run off to find stuff to buy.

He started off just collecting clear glass but soon discovered that that was kind of boring; now he's branched out into colored glassware.  This weekend he bought seven rainbow-colored wine glasses, a vase with three of those stupid champagne flutes that only have a stem, and a gigantic vase that he practically sprinted across the store to grab.

I am getting such a charge out of this! And get this--he's already planning on going thrifting next weekend.  I think I've created a monster.  An adorable monster.

Okay, now for the rest of the story.  We tried the Rescue Mission thrift that our favorite checker at Weis told us about.  There really wasn't much there of interest, other than an end table I would have bought if it had been a pair (did that make any sense?)  Hubs said we could probably skip it next week, but I told him that we have to go back weekly for a while to see how often the stock changes, and he saw the logic in that.

We also went to the new Savers that opened up and enjoyed it immensely. It's huge and very clean and neatly organized.  I wouldn't say the prices are great, but they're okay.  Next time we go, we're going to invest a little more time looking through their Bags O' Random Crap.  There were a zillion of them and it was a little overwhelming.

As for what I bought...

Cooties!   This fake marble sign was in the first Goodwill we visited on Sunday.  How could I not buy it? Hubs and I decided that we need to find two more so we can each have one at work and one at home.  (P.S.  I bought Lifetime Cootie Protection way back in second grade.  Best nickle I ever spent.)  $3.00

Windrift!  I saw what I thought was a jewelry box, but it turned out to be a silver chest.  Well, stainless chest.  I'm not particularly fond of our current "good" flatware (we don't have "good silver" here at Chez Fondue; we have "good stainless") so when I found this treasure, I snapped it up.  The chest contains service for 8 plus the Hostess Set, and I don't think it was ever used.  There isn't a single scratch, scuff, or mark on any of the pieces.  It's made by Oneida and I believe the pattern is Windrift.  The chest is mahogany, I think.  This was my splurge:  $25.00, but totally worth it.

Vase!  I have been lusting over the 2-foot version of this vase for some time now.  This is the one-foot model, and I think it's in danger of disappearing (hubby wants it.)  Sorry about the condition--it still has residue from the price sticker, and I was anxious to take its picture.  Got this at the new Savers.  $7.00.

Update:  Thursday really is going to be interesting because I officially have everyone scheduled to come the same day.  Let's see if I survive...

Linked up with Sir Thrift-A-Lot

Friday, March 15, 2013

Things are going to get interesting around here...

Well.  I seem to be in an all-fired hurry to spend my tax refund.  I'm pretty much spending it all on Chez Fondue and here's the breakdown so far:
  • Electrician is coming out to tell me how much $ to install some boxes and wiring for ceiling fans.   Should the price be acceptable, he will then do the work right then and there, which is kind of awesome.
  • Guy is coming out to fix my squeaky kitchen floor; this has been driving me absolutely crazy for quite some time now.  Really, you've no idea how irritating the sound is.
  • A different guy (I think) is coming out to re-grout my shower.  I could certainly do this myself, but in reading up about the job it looks messy and tedious enough to be worth paying someone else to do it,
  • Verizon dude is coming out to install FiOS.  I have resisted this for quite some time, but they threw a deal at me yesterday that I couldn't turn down:  $59.00 (plus taxes and surcharges, so it's really $77.00) for phone and much faster Internet than I have now, and they're throwing in TV for another 10 bucks a month.  Total is about what I'm paying now for everything, but I get a much better Internet connection in the deal.  Price is good for 2 years.
So here's the kicker:  I'm trying to get everyone out on the same day.  That sounds insane at first blush, but I'm of the opinion that it's better to get everything done at once in one hellish day than to spread it out.  Rip that Band-Aid off.

Unfortunately, I can't figure out where I'm going to hang out while everyone is here working:  I can't use the bedroom or den because--theoretically, anyway--the electrician will be sawing holes in my ceiling.  Verizon guy will be in the guest room installing the FiOS router, so that's out.  One has to go through the kitchen to get to the family room, so I can't do that either.  Living room and dining room are both free, but they're right smack in the middle of things and I kind of want to hide while everyone's there.  So I may end up on the floor in the utility room.  Wherever I end up, there will be a weiner dog on my lap.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the electrical work will be affordable because I really want some ceiling fans.  I even sort of have one picked out:

Marta ceiling fan

Final decision hasn't been made yet, and it would be nice to find a somewhat cheaper one I like since I'll need three of them.

But I'm not going to worry about that just yet. First I need to get through Installation/Repair Day without losing my $hit...

Monday, March 11, 2013

Thrifted finds!

I often lament the fact that I hardly ever find anything at the Goodwill.  Maybe every 20th trip or so I'll find something that's worth buying.  I can't complain too much, though, because space in my house is limited and I have definite hoarder tendencies anyway, so I'm probably better off with things the way they are.
So what changed this weekend?  I found several things at a couple of different Goodwills, something that never happens.  Sorry for the varying quality of pictures; sometimes my phone takes really good pictures, other times not so much.

First up:

Shiny Brites!  Can you believe it?  First sighting in a GW ever.  There's a nice purple one in the group (Hubby's fave color) so I think I'm going to keep these rather than resell 'em.  Not sure how I feel about the netting, but I think it'll be okay.  $3.00

Kromex!  This little covered bowl fits the middle of a lazy susan I already have (also thrifted) that I actually use for entertaining, so I'm keeping it.  $3.00

Pyrex!  Made two huge mistakes with these suckers.  First, I went out to the car to get my $5.00 coupon and while doing that, some old guy beat me to the biggest container of the set.  Lesson learned:  grab first.  Later, I looked at a Pyrex book and the author said (and this is almost a direct quote)  "Nobody collects this pattern because nobody likes it."  Yikes.  Well, I guess I'll eventually throw 'em up on ebay unless I hear from someone who wants them.  Kind of a shame really.  Though they're really not my style, wouldn't they have looked great in Betty Draper's knotty pine kitchen?  $2.00 each for the small ones, $3.00 for the big one.

Floorbuster!  Wow, this picture came out really bad, and I'm not sure why.  Anyhoo, this baby was absolutely immaculate, which is why I bought it; the thought of using someone else's grungy old vacuum kinda skeeves me out.  I'm guessing it was a wedding gift used once to try it out, then tucked away. We had one of these years ago and it was really handy; Mom used it when lugging out the big vacuum got to be too much for her.  It's got a beater brush so it does a decent job on carpets if you just want to give them a quick once-over.  Came with two sets of batteries and a charger, but I fear the batteries are no good.  I'll have to buy some replacements but I don't mind because Black & Decker discontinued this some time ago and you can't get it any more.  $15.00, but I used my $5.00 coupon on it.

Jewelry box!  I have been looking forever for a plain, simple jewelry box that isn't A) ugly or B) girly.  It's been a longer quest that you'd think.  I came across this beauty in one of the carts of stuff that hadn't been put on shelves yet. The lady in front of me at checkout said that if she had seen it first, she'd have pounced on it.  It's beautiful burled wood (elm?) with a simple inlaid border.  It's way bigger than I need, but I couldn't pass it up.  Like almost everything I picked up this weekend, it looks to be unused.  $8.00.

Hoping I can talk the hub into going thrifting again this weekend, as we have a couple new places to try. There's a Savers opening up in the area (the first one) and it's right on our regular thrifting route.  Also, while we were doing the marketing, our favorite checker at Weis told us about a mission thrift store that I never knew about, so we're going to hit that one, too.

Friday, March 8, 2013

It's back!

Okay, kind of a weird thing to get excited about, but Jubilee Kitchen Wax is back!

It's now made by Malco Products Inc., and at this point you can only order it by the case (12 bottles for $45.00.)  I emailed the company and they assure me that they "hope to have distribution in the grocery and hardware stores in the near future."

My grandma used this stuff, my mom used it and now I'd like to use it. Originally it was meant for appliances to keep them nice and clean, but then people started finding other uses for it. Mom used to use it on doors and woodwork to keep the grimy fingerprints of two small boys at bay (I will use it for that same purpose, though the culprits are two grown men.) I also want to use it on the vanity in the bathroom, as the wax in it helps keep things (toothpaste) from sticking. I have also heard of people using it on bathroom tiles to keep soap scum from forming, but I don't know if I'd have the patience to apply it to my whole shower.  It's good for windowsills, too.

I love this commercial with Jane Wyatt (one of Mom's faves) making everything in her kitchen nice and shiny:

Nobody believes you cleaned your own kitchen, Jane.

By the way, nobody paid me to say all this--it was my own idea and all opinions are my own.  So there.

Monday, March 4, 2013

New toy!

I've wanted a Kitchenaid mixer for some time now, probably since I saw Julia Child use one on The French Chef back in the '60s.  Unfortunately, I am unwilling to "pay price."  Three hundred or more bucks for a mixer is just crazy.  And I'm not lucky like a friend of mine, who found one at the St. Vincent de Paul thrift for ten bucks.

Ten.  Bucks.

And really, I don't actually need one.  I don't bake all that much, and at Christmastime I make a triple batch of M&M cookies, which is the biggest baking I do all year.  For the last few years, I've borrowed my friend's Kitchenaid, and it's worked out fine.

So last Christmas Eve I was looking at the mixers at Sears and decided that I liked the Kenmore more than the Kitchenaid:  more powerful motor, light in the bowl, uses all the KA attachments, and best of all, it's a lot cheaper.  Told myself that if I got a decent tax refund, and if it went on sale for my target price ($175.00), I'd get it.

Well, between a sale and a special coupon code, it went down to $178.00 with free shipping so I bought it.

Isn't it pretty?

I was making Red Velvet cake at the time.  I love the way it lights up the bowl so you have a good view of what's going on in there.  Seems nice and sturdy, and not too loud, given that it's a pretty big honkin' machine.

I'm seeing a lot more baking in my future, which is kind of unfortunate since I weigh more today than I have in quite some time.  Oh, well.  Gotta play with the toys, right?

Stuff I didn't buy

I plan on posting pictures of stuff I pick up at the various thrift stores, but those pictures will probably be few and far between.  I seem to have terrible luck at the thrifts.  I read all these other blogs where people come home with good stuff all the time but for me, if I get something every 20th time, I'm doing well.
And that's okay, as I have a new hobby:  I love taking pictures of weird/ugly/crazy stuff and texting them to The Girl Child.  Here are a few of the gems I've come across that I didn't buy:
I don't know what this is, but I don't like it.

This doll was about 4 feet tall.  Hubs and I called her Miss Havisham:

Wow.  Just wow.

Because everyone wants a statuette of Quasimodo

More to come as I download pictures off my phone!

Well, here we are!

I’ve had a number of people tell me that I should have a blog.  I’m not sure why they tell me that.  Maybe it’s in hope of my shutting up for five minutes.  Dunno.
Anyhoo, here I am, wondering if I’m going to have the energy to keep this up.  Being a basically lazy person, I’m kind of doubtful, but who knows?
Stay tuned!