Archive for June, 2008

Another Reason to Shop at Goodwill

This is an awesome story! 

An old painting dropped off at a rural Maryland Goodwill store turned out to be a work by a French Impressionist. And now, thanks to the sharp eye of a store employee, the charitable organization is $40,000 richer.   Read the rest of the story HERE.

Wish I could find a Goodwill treasure like that.  That beats my $16 Birkenstocks

Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs


 Just a quick post today.  I bought some new light bulbs today and since I have been wanting to make the change to CFLs, I went ahead and picked up a 5 pack of them at Ace Hardware for $9.99.  What makes them better?  Well . . . read this fact that I found on the web:

If every American home replaced just one light bulb with an ENERGY STAR qualified bulb, we would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes for a year, more than $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of more than 800,000 cars.

CFLs will save you time and money in the long run.  The initial investment is more than a regular bulb, but it will save you on your electric costs.  And the bulbs last an average of 4 years so you will not have to spend money on bulbs as often!  It seems that in our house, once one goes they all start to go!  

So I’ve switched a few of mine so far.  There is one important thing to know about them though.  You shouldn’t put them in your regular trash.  They contain a very small, harmless amount of mercury but it can seep into the ground and into the water system if it’s thrown in the trash.  I just found out tonight that Home Depot will recycle your bulbs for you.  Now hopefully I’ll remember that in 4 years when all the CFL bulbs blow! 

My Summer Top 10

Since I really don’t have anything else to blog about tonight, I’ll play along with Mama’s Nest and Flip Flop Mamma.  Here’s my Summer Top 10 in no particular order:

1.  Fresh strawberry and banana smoothies 
2.  Sandals, flip flops, or just plain old barefeet!
3.  Bike rides to the ice cream shop
4.  Trips to the library with the girls
5.  Annual trip to the beach (in 3 weeks!  Woot woot!)
6.  Grilled chicken.  Yum-O. 
7.  Music Festivals (going to Floyd Fest this year!)
8.  Lawn Parties (gotta be from the Valley to know about that!) and the County Fair
9.  Long warm days
10.  Going to the creek and putting my feet in the cold cold water!

What’s your Summer Time Top 10?  Anyone else looking forward to Vacation this year?!?! 

What I Threw Away Today


Wow … two posts in one day.  Lucky you!

I have been on a cleaning and organizing and simplifying frenzy!  I am a self proclaimed sentimental pack rat.  Now I try to donate or reuse as many things around the house as possible.  But somethings just have to be thrown away.  And today I threw away:

  • a canvas Christmas tree bag that we no longer use and that was infested with ants (YUCK!)
  • 8 manuals to various electrical items and toys that we no longer have
  • the back part of about 15 cards (I am reusing the front so don’t be surprised if you get a card from me and it’s just the front!)

And today I donated lots and lots of stuff including:

  • 4 boxes of household items
  • a light fixture that used to be in my old house
  • a car seat that Madalyn outgrew 1.5 years ago
  • a huge box full of various cassette tapes (I found them in the shed and didn’t even open the box because I knew I’d be tempted to keep them!)
  • A Swiffer wet jet that I never use
  • a box full of books
  • a bag full  of toys that the kids have outgrown

And I have various other things lying around that I am giving away to friends (mostly baby clothes and toys) and another van load of stuff that Aaron and I are taking by Goodwill tomorrow night when we go out on a date.  What exactly is a date?  Aaron said something about going on one and I can’t remember what that is?!  We are going to see “The Happening”–the new M. Night Shyamalan movie with my man Marky Mark in it!  Uh, uh, uh . . . can’t wait to see it!   

Mark Wahlberg

My Most Awesome Deal EVER . . . oh yeah. And a confession.

If you read my other blog, you know I’ve been trying to lose some weight.  I had decided that when I reached 25 pounds I would buy myself some new shoes–either Birkenstocks or Simples.  I am a few pounds shy of that goal–I’m down 16.4 now.  However, I found a deal today that I couldn’t pass.  The girls and I went to town and decided to eat at the Wood Grill.  It doesn’t open until 11am and we had about 30 minutes to kill.  So we visited this little thrift store called Tried and True.  I can’t believe after 8 years in the area I have never once been to this store! 

We went in and looked around a little and were about to head to the register when I spotted them.  A like brand-new pair of brown leather Birkenstocks in a size 38–my size!–for $16.50!!!!  I had picked out this exact same pair online and they were $110!  This was a steal!  I was absolutely giddy!  I could hardly contain my excitement!  They honestly look brand new.  No wear and tear at all–even around the buckles which is where sandals seem to wear at the quickest.  The soles have no worn areas on them either.  The cool thing about Birks is that they mold to your feet and these don’t look like anyone has worn them for any length of time because there is really no ‘molding’ on the inside! 

I guess when I do get to 25 pounds, I’ll have to find another treat or reward because I’m not waiting until then to wear these!   In fact, we got in the van and I promptly removed my new kicks from the bag and put them right on.  (My sister-in-law is shuddering right now at the thought of wearing someone else’s shoes.   It’s okay Misty.  Really.  If I get a foot fungus you can say “I told you so”!)  So here are some photos because I just had to share!

I truly believe that when I find good deals like this it is a blessing from God.  People may think that is crazy but I often say a little prayer before I go shopping or to get groceries thanking God for his blessings and asking him with help me 1) not waste my money! and 2) find good deals so that I may use his blessings wisely. 

In the Bible in the book of James we read:

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”   James 1:17

It says EVERY good gift is from above.  You may think I’m weird but I thank God for a lot of stuff.  I will often pull into a parking lot and if I find a good parking space I’ll sincerely say, “Thank you God for the parking space.”  Or maybe if I an unexpected discount on an item.  For example, last week the girls and I went to Taco Bell and the guy that rang us up only charged us for one order of cinnamon twists although we got three–he said it was “on the house” and I said a little “Thank You” to God for that.  It’s not always big blessings that God gives us, sometimes it’s small ones.  So remember to thank him for the little things in life that make us happy, that make our lives easier, the little things that ROCK.  (Like my new shoes!)

OK, so I do have a confession to make and I wanted to say it outloud and basically for all the world to read.  I was so mean to the lady at Goodwill today.  At least I felt like I was mean and I wanted to totally crawl under a rock after I left there.  In fact, I confessed it to Annagrace right away and told her that I was sorry even though she didn’t hear me.  We went there to drop off a whole van load of stuff (simplifying . . . simplifying!) and when I walked in the back door I saw her standing there and told her that I had some things to drop off.  She dramatically rolled her eyes at me, sighed loudly and begrudingly grabbed a cart to bring outside to help me.  I tried SO SO hard to bite my tongue.  really, I did.  I knew exactly what I was about to say and tried so hard not to say it.  But then it just spilled out of me.  I said, “Well if it’s going to be that big of a problem then we’ll just take the stuff to the other store.  Do you want me to do that?!”  I didn’t say it very nicely either.  She said, “No.  It’s okay.”  And came out to help me.  I felt so bad.  When we got outside I said, “Are ya’ll having a busy day?” and she sorta sighed and said, “Yeah we are.”  I tried to think of something that I could say to her (maybe a ‘sorry’ would’ve been good) but after she took the first cartload in she didn’t come back outside.  Another girl came out and helped me and I gushed and gushed to her about how thankful I was that she was so helpful.

So after I left I totally felt like crap and thought to myself, “What would Jesus have done?”  I know that line is so cliche and overused but I often do ask myself that in various situations.  I think he probably would have given that lady a hug and told her that he loved her.  And what did I do.  Acted like an ass and instead of treating her like I would’ve wanted to be treated. 

God please forgive me for being so unkind.  Thank you for loving me when I don’t act like I love others.  Thank you for not treating me the way I sometimes treat others.  

Whew.  That feels so much better to get that off my back!  (Maybe when I bring the next load of stuff there tomorrow night she will be there and I’ll have a chance to apologize!)

And one last thing to wind up this long post!  Wanted to send out some bloggy love to Denise over at The Centsible Sawyer.  She has linked to me on her blog a few times lately so I’m returning the favor!  I pulled up her blog today and she has an awesome post with links to Organic coupons!  You rock Denise!  I love her blog because she features CVS scenarios and Food Lion tips and deals.  So go check her out!  



Good Reads & Thrift Store Finds

Looking for some good reads for this summer?  My friend Melissa has jumped on the blogging bandwagon and has launched her blog, Now Read This.  I have been telling her she needed to blog about the books she reads–which is many–and so here she goes!  She has a love for all things Harlen Coban.  In fact, I actually picked up one of his books from the free shelf at the library to “try him out” since she loves him so much!

Also have to add–I had a very fruitful day at my favorite store–Goodwill!  My intentions were to get 1)some new pants for me and 2) some shorts for Madalyn.  I came away with 3 pairs of shorts that are like new for Madalyn, a pair of jeans for me (they are actually too small and I bought them for inspiration to keep losing weight!), 2 pairs of shorts for Aaron, a very funky pair of clogs for me, a book for Annagrace and a hand held mirror (which I seriously was just thinking this morning that I needed.  It’s double sided and was only 95 cents!).  All of that for $20!  Not as great as my famous $5 bag store, but still pretty good.  No pics yet cause the clothes are in the wash.  I’ll definitely have to get a photo of those clogs though–they are awesome!  They are pink and flowery and probably a little too young for me but oh well.  I liked them, they fit and they were only $2.50!

Father’s Day Weekend Fun

We have had a busy but fun weekend!  We started out Saturday by taking a short little walk/hike down a local trail.  We ate a picnic lunch in the van and then took off on our little excursion.   Unfortunately, most of the time we had to put up with this:

She was not a happy hiker yesterday!  We did get her to calm down when we climbed down to the river and put our feet in the very, very cold water!  Here are the girls and me–me and Annagrace with our new short haircuts!  My stylist got a little scissor happy with me this time and cut it a little too short!  Oh well–that just means I can stretch out the time in between cuts a little longer!  (Don’t we look tired!)   

 Then last night we took Aaron out to eat and ended up at Dragon Palace (mainly because everywhere else we tried was too crowded!).  I guess it was fitting since the card we gave him was a musical card and it plays “Kung Fu Fighting”!  I hate that this first shot is blurry because I caught Annagrace in a deep belly laugh! (And excuse the poor quality–poor lighting, a noisy (grainy) camera and no post processing on these shots!)

My fortune was a pretty good one:

And then today we went to the local pool for 2 hours!  The girls had a great time!  Our neighbors showed up not long after we got there so they got to play with the 2 kids from across the street.  I think we are going to go back on Wednesday and look into a season pass.  I think in the long run it will be more economical to buy a pass.  I considered buying the kids a pool but #1–I just can’t bring myself to spend the money on it and #2–we had a pool before and it was a pain in the butt and #3–if it gets ruined and we have to throw it out, it isn’t recyclable!  (I have already taken 2 pools to the landfill in my lifetime and I can’t bring myself to take another one there!).

Hope everyone had a great Father’s Day! 

June 2008