I'm a diehard thrifter and garage sale addict! I love the thrill of the hunt! And I love making CASH from trash so I also resell on eBay and Etsy. I share my successes to inspire you ... and my failures so you learn from my mistakes. Please join me on this wild and crazy ride of making cash from trash!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tour of UC Berkeley … and a Tea Bar


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This past weekend, DH, DS#1 and I drove north to visit the UC Berkeley campus where DS#1 hopes to transfer to next fall.  We stayed in Oakland and had a great view from our motel room window.

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Our room faced the waterfront and we could walk right out the front door to the marina.

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On Friday evening, we ventured out to Jack London Square.  The tiny cabin pictured below (with DS#1) was created from wood materials from an original Jack London cabin discovered in the Alaskan wilderness.

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We had dinner at Hahn’s Hibachi, a Japanese restaurant.  I had my first-ever taste of green tea ice cream and red bean dessert – tasted much better than it looks.

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The next day Saturday we drove in to Berkeley for our 10:00 a.m. tour of the campus.  There were between 50-60 parents and kids waiting for the tour.  Folks came from all over the US and many came from other countries.

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There were 5 guides – all Berkeley students –and our guide was a graduating senior linguistics major.  This was her final day as she was leaving Berkeley the following Monday to spend two weeks at home before leaving for China.

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DS#1 wants to major in Engineering or Math, and Berkeley is #2 in the country – only after MIT.  Berkeley also has 4-5 Nobel Laureates on their staff – no other college can make this claim!

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After our tour finished, we ventured into the city which has a very bohemian vibe, which suits us just fine.  Sidewalk artists were selling their crafts from jewelry to pottery to clothing. We then found our way to a local toy/game store where we purchased a few souvenirs.  We then ended up in a used bookstore run by the local Friends of the Library.

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DS#1 and I both love to read and we came out of the bookstore with a bagful of books.  We were doing the “happy dance”!

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We also visited a “tea bar”.  I found out DS#1 is also a fledgling tea connoisseur.  He strikes up a conversation with the owners about the different teas he’s tried and the virtues of each one.  I discover that, like wine, teas are also cultivated and nurtured.  The older the tea, the more refined the taste.

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As the owner prepared and served our tea, he also gave us a mini-lesson the tea.  We had several infusions of each tea – and with each one, the strength and hence the taste was different.  I not only learned something new but also shared a unique experience with DS#1 that I will always remember.

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After lunch at a an Indian restaurant, we went back to our motel.  Outside our room, was a small park setting with a picnic bench where DS#1 and I sat to read our new used books and to enjoy the beautiful weather.

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Even our little Chihuahua Mimi enjoyed the view and weather!  Alas, the day ended all too soon and our trip to Oakland-Berkeley was soon over.

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The next day Sunday we took the 7-hour trip south  to our home and brought back memories of the wonderful time we spent together.

Until next time …

Monday, August 17, 2009

Thrift Treasures to Share

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Hello!  It’s that time of the week: Thrifty Treasures at Rhoda’s!  I didn’t go to any yard sales or thrift stores this weekend because we were out of town at Berkeley, CA.  But I do want to share a couple of thrifty finds from the previous week.

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Check out this cute wire carriage-type “basket”.  I’m really not sure what it is, but it reminds me of Cinderella's carriage.  I think I paid $1 for it at GW.  I’m planning to give it to my BFF Viv; she makes the most beautiful floral arrangements using all kinds of containers, even bird cages.

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And, I just fell in love with these two framed cross-stitch pictures that I paid $4 for each at the SA thrift store.  (UPDATE: sold on eBay in 2010 for $35.90)

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I paid $2.80 for this vintage Friley Fistick terra cotta trivet from the 1950s.  It’s part of the Kilnforms company and a good representation of Ohio pottery.  (UPDATE: Sold in 2010)

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I think my favorite find is this set of 3 Russian dolls. They’re not in perfect condition as they are missing some items, but I love their pretty faces.  I paid $3 for each doll – more than I really would have liked but I think they’re great!  (UPDATE Sold these in September for $40.71)

That’s it for today!  Please be sure to visit Rhoda’s Southern Hospitality blog for more great thrifty treasures.  As always …

Happy thrifting and Goodwill Haunting!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Keeping Cool in Big Bear


Went to visit my BFF Brenda in Big Bear this past weekend, and we had a great time – as always!

I just love the mountain community of Big Bear with its lake and am so fortunate to have a great friend who lives there.  It’s a 2-hour drive to get there so I usually spend the night. It’s so peaceful and relaxing – except during the holidays when the tourists take over.  I try to visit her as often as I can during the summer months where it is so much cooler. 

During the winter, however, the drive up the mountain can be difficult.  And when it snows, the roads may be inaccessible.  But once the roads are open, all the city dwellers head to the mountains for skiing, snowboarding, etc.  Not me!  I head out to visit my best friend!




I was up there this past February and experienced my first snowfall!  Here’s a picture of a little quilt store in The Village.  Even the snow couldn’t keep us away from shopping!


 And, here’s a picture of us as we were leaving the parking lot after lunch.  We just stayed too long in town and got caught in the snow storm. 

It’s been so very hot here that I thought I’d share these pictures.  Maybe I can “think” about feeling cooler.

Tomorrow Friday we’ll be heading to Berkeley to take a tour of the UC Berkeley campus on Saturday.  My DS#1 hopes to attend there in the fall and wants to major in engineering.  It’ll be a short trip so we should be back on Sunday.


P.S. Here’s a picture of the little quilt project Brenda and I worked on while I was there.  It’s still not finished but will be a wall hanging once it’s completed.




That's it for now … until next time!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Another Adventure at the Thrift Store


Yesterday was the first Friday of the month and that means 50% off at our local SA thrift stores. It gets very crowded during Friday Madness, but I decided to go later in the day.  Boy, what a difference!  It was still busy but nowhere near the morning madhouse.  And, I still found a ton of thrifty treasures!


Here’s a picture of the mother lode – a total of 53 items!
  • 6 books
  • 2 shirts
  • 2 big bags of plushies
  • 2 cross-stitch framed pictures
  • embroidery software from Viking
  • Tweety Bird vase
  • brand new set of S/P shakers
  • 2 basket purses
  • 4 Toby-like mugs
  • pair of sparkly red shoes (great for a WOZ Dorothy costume) and a few more knickknacks

The plushies account for half of it.  Most of this stuff is inventory for my eBay store, so I'll be busy this weekend.


Check out this plush Pokeman Dragon that recently sold for $25.  I picked him up at a garage sale for $1 and was pictured in a previous post.  Never thought he would sell for as much.  I used to pass up stuffed animals at garage sales, but no more!

Well, that’s it for today.  As always …


Happy thrifting and Goodwill Haunting!