Wednesday, November 18, 2009
The crankiness is not so bueno for my mood to go hunting for used stuff. Ugh. I just wanna throw my hands in the air and go buy a bunch of STUFF from Target. So I have sometimes. I have cheated big time on my own rules. Oh well. Things I have bought whilst cheating: new pregnancy jeans. I did look at goodwill, no dice. A coupla books from Barnes and Nobles. There, I said it. And it will probably happen again. Some birthday presents for people. I should have looked on ebay, or etsy, but have I mentioned I am a procrastinator?
Oh well. And to be fair, I will admit that new things will be bought for Christmas. I really want to get the babe a train set, but I have looked over and over at Once Upon a Child, and they NEVER have it. And also we'll probably end up getting some new stuff for our family. But we are going to be getting items that donate a percentage to charity. There's a lot of cool stuff out there that does this- google it, people. And lastly, we pick a needy person or two off the tree at church every year, and I am not going to give this person or child something used. I think it's important to give something they themselves could not go out and get.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
In light of this huge baby boom, I had to come up with something to give people that followed the "rules." This is hard because people generally don't enjoy the combination of new baby and used stuff. I totally understand this. My solution was to go to Once Upon a Child, buy a bunch of barely used baby onesies, and embroider the names of the babies on them! They turned out so cute and got such a good reception, that I decided to branch out and do a bunch for a craft fair this past weekend. My very awesome cousin, Laura, sent me a humungeous box of onesies (some brand new!) that I made great use of. I made about 20 girl/boy/unisex to put out, and optimistically printed out 50 order forms for people who would like to customize.
What an utter failure. The day started out with a downpour, which quickly turned into blazing humid heat, accompanied with winds that could rip yer panties right off. There were maybe 10 people who blew past my booth. Of those 10, maybe around 3 took an order form. Of those 3, ONE person bought a onesie. Yes, I sold a grand total of one onesie. Sigh.
My next move is to sell them online. Sometime this week I'll set up a store on etsy.com and see how it goes. In the meantime, does anyone need a onesie?
Monday, July 13, 2009
Just kidding, folks! We have a house built in 1865 with the original tub. That means generations of babies probably pooed in it. Which gives it character, when you really think about it.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
So it's been about 6 months into our life experiment! Yay, half-way done with the year. And June just flew by. It was a busy month and I can't believe we're wading into the deeper end of July. My workload increased so we hired a part-time nanny, which just makes me feel old saying that. It doesn't seem that long ago that I was the babysitter.
Our baby turn ONE YEAR OLD!! Unbelievable. I feel like we *just* had a newborn, and now we have a toddler. Well, a pseudo-toddler since he refuses to do any unaided toddling. We had an awesome birthday party with awesome friends and family. We asked on the invitation for people to consider bringing imperishables for the local food pantry instead of presents. (Poor baby- but he doesn't know any better yet!) He still got quite a few gifts, but our food pantry donation idea was a success! This was our little way to force some of our rules on friends and family, who apparently like to watch us do it, but don't like to participate in general.
To review the last 6 months, I think we've stuck to our rules pretty well. I will admit I may have wandered too close to the dollar bins at Target (they sing a siren song to me...) and we have on occasion bent a rule to fit in something we needed. Grill cover? Sure, that's "something for the upkeep of the house." New dog bed? Well, where the heck do you find a decent used one?? Gross. Storage containers? I did look online. No luck! And how else do I store all the baby clothes? I won't even begin on the amount of new stuff bought to rebuild our deck (again, upkeep of the house, right?). And we totally went off our rule book for our trip to Japan. So maybe we could have done better, but we could have done a heck of a lot worse. We have not purchased new clothes, new books, new movies, new home decor, etc. We have borrowed, found, fixed, and bought used a lot of things that last year we would have bought new. So half-way through I say not too shabby! I just need to be prepared for 6 more months.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
We also had to get something for baby and for... US! I haven't bought anything new in so long, and I forgot that shopping "high" that I get. Not pretty. It's that edge of greedy, greedy, mine, mine, mine feeling that lasts until you unload the bags from your car. I have to say I didn't miss that feeling. I do love the feeling I get when I pick out gifts for other people, though. That's a fun one. Because you get to feel the pleasure of trying to choose something you think they'd enjoy, and then the pleasure of giving it to them. We kept the souvenirs for ourselves to a minimum, and chose to take a ton of pictures instead. We got a wall hanging that we are planning to put over the bed, and we got husband and baby matching happi coats, which are festival wear. Just in time for baby's first birthday!
But I think that will be the end of new things bought for us for quite a while. I have to go get baby some toys for his first birthday- Once Upon a Child style.
p.s. the pictures above include one of the busiest shopping areas in Tokyo, and a couple of beautiful gardens, which I preferred to be honest.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
So back in high school, my favorite store was Goodwill. Now, this was back when the whole grunge scene was going strong. And I thought it was really cool to dress like a homeless person. I bought lots of flannel, old man sweaters, and corduroy pants with random holes. Yes, an occasional hole in the crotch did nothing to deter me. And all of these for about $1 a piece! Such a steal to buy used clothes some stinky old man used to wear! I will give the caveat that I made sure to WASH these clothes. I may have wanted to look homeless, but I didn't want to smell homeless. And while I wore these awesomely fashionable clothes, I still did my hair and makeup, and bathed every day, so I can't say I was a "true" follower of the grunge movement. My mother actually told me that I would "look so butch" if it weren't for my "pretty face." Whatever mom. Okay, so she was right as it turns out. So to sum it up, I loved Goodwill and pretty much shopped there at least once a month. But I stopped going once I graduated from high school and haven't been back.
Until recently, that is. With our new rules firmly in place, and feeling not so new anymore, I realized I could really use a new pair of jeans. I won't even mention my post-baby body, but let's just say the old jeans just aren't as comfy. There is a brand new Goodwill right down the road so I decided to check it out. Let me just say that this store is miles away from what I remember in high school. Gone is the acrid smell of smoke, cats, and old man. The clothes smell fresh, and apparently they are laundered on site. The store is arranged in a very easy to navigate fashion, and sizes are clearly marked. I started perusing the racks and found a gold mine. I found a gap shirt, old navy jeans for me AND my husband, a couple of summery tops, and a cute shirt from new york & company with the tags still on (see picture)! I also got a couple of brand new jewelry sets (still in the box) as presents for the future. All of this for.... $50. It's true. And there was a lot more I could have talked myself into buying. I could not believe some of the name brands - if you are interested in that sort of thing. Seeing as how I shop at Target a lot, it really doesn't make a difference to me. But it's amazing the amount of clothing I came across that still had the original tags. Unbelievable!
On the other side of the store were racks upon racks of STUFF. I stayed away, I promise.
p.s. Oh, also, I still have my old man Izod sweater cardigan that I bought at Goodwill when I was 16. And yes, I still wear it all the time. And yes, it is back in fashion again. And no, it no longer smells like old man.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
In our attempt to purge our STUFF that we have sitting around, we looked at our clothes that we don't wear. And there it was. One of the doozies. I am partly to blame for this particular article of clothing, though. Let me explain. My husband and I were visiting Stratford, Ontario for the Shakespeare festival a few years back. If you've never heard of it, it's a great place to visit and see some shows. There are all these really unique shops in the town, and we love poking around all of them when we're there. This particular day, we had perhaps a few too many beers at the Boar's Head Pub, and were feeling happy. We wandered into a speciality clothing shop where this really wackado woman hand made all the clothes she sold. The clothes were a cross between a renaissance faire (with an "e" please note) and a "Hot Topic." My husband found this velvet jacket with a fleur de lis embroidered on it. Well, just check out the picture. Nuf' said. At the time we both thought it was a great idea. It seemed the perfect length for his kilts, and it was black and it was velvet, yeah! Ok, maybe we were flat out drunk, I'm not sure. Long story short, we bought it for an unseemly sum.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Monday, March 9, 2009
And then... I remembered a gift card I had gotten at Christmas!! Would this be cheating? I deliberated, and decided, NO! And it just so happens that the gift card is to Barnes and Noble. And it just so happens that my husband and I are notorious book-givers to children. I know, I know. They want toys. But that's what everyone else gets them, we rationalize! And we're both English majors, so it feels like it's our civic duty or something. So I do decide it's not cheating, because it's like recycling another gift.
As I walk down the aisles of the bookstore, I realize I have no idea what an 8 year old reads. I try to think back, but let's face it, those memories are all but gone. I have vague recollections of Sounder, Old Yeller, Bridge to Teribithia... soooo depressing. I stop in front of a Hanna Montana rack of stuff. There are pens there that when you press a button, it sings like Hanna Montana. I figure this is golden. It sings a song called Rock Star or something like that and I grab it! Ok, so it was a moment of weakness, but I want her to have something fun. Now on to books. I wander around aimlessly until I find someone to ask. What do 8 year olds like to read? She points me to Junie B books. I have never heard of these books, but I take her advice and pick up a boxed set. I feel relief, satisfaction, and cheerful that I have gotten her something I know she'll enjoy, and something I hope she'll enjoy.
Last report: she liked the books fine, but the pen was so cool! So that wasn't so bad. Next up is my birthday... wonder how my husband will handle that.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
But first a little background. I love to shop. I mean, it is my therapy and did I mention I love it? It doesn't really matter what I'm shopping for, I just love it. The object of most of my love is Target. Target is my happy place, meditative zone, and basically where I can find anything I want. My closet is overflowing with clothes I haven't worn in over a year (maternity clothes, and then stopped working in an office...). And don't get me started on my shoes. I actually own shoes with tags still on them. Ugh. Pathetic. And then there are the nicknacks. I am not guilty here (mostly) and neither is my husband. My mom is a nicknack buyer. Kitchen nicknacks ,(what do I need with a zester anyway?) living room nicknacks (we're supposed to hang THAT picture in our livingroom?) etc. Ok, so I'm shuffling blame, but it's true. My husband owns every tool that you would ever need, but yet needs more on a continual basis. Any new job around the house demands a new tool to match. And with a baby, it just never ends what must be bought.
The ground rules:
- We will not buy anything new for a year.
- Exceptions to the first rule: consumables (like food, beverages, diapers) and necessities for the upkeep of our home.
- To maintain this rule, we will buy only used or recycled non-consumables (clothes, gifts, books).
- We will either sell or give away all the extras sitting around the house.
So wish me luck. We have already run into problems and I've had some tantrums, and baby is getting sick of hand me downs (ok, so he doesn't notice, but I do!). But that will wait for the next post.