Thoughts

Holiday Housekeeping

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

“Happy Holidays!”

Doesn’t that sound weird? And a little premature? It does to me, but I was reminded yesterday that Thanksgiving is four weeks away, and Christmas is eight weeks away, which is just a little frightening. 

Isn’t it crazy how the time between Halloween and New Years Eve goes by in the blink of an eye. Cah-ray-zee! I love this season more than any other but it always seems so rushed unless I make serious efforts to plan ahead. I wrote an article on holiday housekeeping last year as a reminder that I need to start pacing myself in October and get to planning.  I revisited the topic again over coffee this morning and thought I’d share.  Here is a condensed version of last year’s article with a few tips for holiday housekeeping:  

I was at Michaels today and noticed already Halloween is on clearance and the flashy Christmas decorations are all on display. And it’s still October. This is no surprise, it happens earlier every year, but there’s still that moment of “O.M.GEE, it’s almost Christmas!" that makes my head spin. I’ll look on the bright side and interpret all those sparkly ornaments as a nudging reminder that the holiday season is about to descend with all of its magic and mayhem.   

In the last few years, I’ve learned (the hard way) that this season is far more joyous the better prepared I am, so I’m taking some steps in the next two weeks to brace prepare myself for the frenzy:  

1. Swap out the Wardrobe.  I still need to put all the summer attire away in baskets and clear out the shelves of any summer footwear (me thinks it’s this weekend’s project…)  I find having a closet consisting of only cold weather clothing helps me keep it cleaner and more organized.  As the temperatures drop, the entire family will be needing to keep their toes warm.  Matching up all the lonely socks is a laborious task that I would gladly trade with anyone who needs something painted.  Any takers?  :Dwinter sweaters country living

 

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Where I Was

Sunday, September 11th, 2011

My parents generation will never forget where they were the moment they heard that JFK was shot. This generation will never forget where we were on September 11, 2001. 

On September 9, 2001, we boarded a plane bound for Puerto Rico.  We originally had plans to spend September in New York City but switched our plans earlier that month and decided to visit New York City later in the fall instead. 

I distinctly remember going through security at the San Francisco International Airport and both of us noticed and commented that the security agents weren’t paying attention to the items under surveillance, they were more interested in their own conversation.  It was disturbing, but all we could do was shrug our shoulders and continue on our vacation.

Then came September 11th, 2001.

We’re west coasters, but that morning we were on east coast time having arrived in Puerto Rico two days before.  That morning, I went to the hotel’s workout facility, placed my headphones on my ears, and started my run on the treadmill.  I looked up to see the television in the corner of the room and saw what looked like an airplane that had hit a tall skyscraper.  I thought to myself Hollywood was trying to market another blockbuster movie with an airplane that hit a building and it was some sort of evil character involved.  I kept running on the treadmill.  It never crossed my mind that it could possibly be real. 

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Thrifting 101

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Happy Monday everyone!  We spent the weekend working outdoors on our patio, more to come on that project later this week.   Meanwhile, I thought I’d offer up my very best tips for thrifting, plus a peek at my latest thrift store before and after. 

There are plenty of people who don’t care to shop thrift stores.  Perhaps they dislike or are afraid of used goods, or their local thrift stores carry nothing but useless junk.  I’ve seen my share of thrift stores that carried mostly unusable items, but I’ve also scored a few finds in thrift stores that could be resold for hundreds of dollars.  It all depends on the particular store, they’re all so very different.  I’m asked now and then for my best advice on thrifting, so I thought it time to put them all in one place!

Here are a few of my tips for shopping thrift stores:

Stay Focused.   When you find a great thrift store, it’s like shopping in any second hand forum.  Your visit can quickly turn into ”Hey that’s cute” or “Oooh, I like that too!” and before you know it, your tab has climbed higher than you planned, and you’ve brought home things you don’t really need.  Before you walk through the door, remember what you’re there for.  Stay focused on your needs and your budget.    

Know The Sales Days.  Find out when your local store has sales and show up early.  My local St. Vincent de Paul has furniture sales when they have too much in stock (typically after a big donation weekend) so I’m in the habit of stopping in every Monday or Tuesday to see what’s new.  My mom loves to shop at the Goodwill on Tuesdays when anyone over 55 gets a 25% discount.  She’s found so many designer labels and even items that are brand new and have never been worn, you just never know what you’ll find!  It pays to know when your local store offers discounts. 

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