Holiday Fun

Yes, I am aware that it is January, and the holidays are close to being long gone, but being that I work at a nice restaurant, December was our BUSY (to say the least) month where a lot of people have their holiday parties and get togethers.  So Pornkin (what we call our holiday party- its a combination of Pumpkin and corn…didja get that??? Ingenious if you ask me…) fell by the way side, and we thought January 28 sounded MUCH better.  It basically consists of everyone brining a different dish, and we eat and get prizes and go home full. 

I brought my award winning* Chess Cake:

Crust:

1 stick butter, melted

1 egg

1 box yellow cake mix

Mix these three ingredients togther with an electric mixer, until combined, and spread in the bottom of a 9×13 pan.

Topping:

3 eggs

1 bag (8 oz) confectioners sugar

8 oz cream cheese, softened (leave out for 1-2 hours room temp)

Blend these three items together until smooth, and pour over the crust. 

Bake at a lovely 350 degrees for about 40 minutes, or until sides are just beginning to turn brown and pull away from the edge. 

And enjoy a slice of heaven in your mouth!!  I have yet to meet anyone that eats this and does not like it.

Anyway, in the spirit of Thanksgiving and Christmas, I wore fall colors- burnt orange and yellow:

 

The necklace is courtesy of Goodwill, $2.99.

My coworker and friend, the lovely Danielle. 

This is the only pic I snapped.  But it is appropriate becuase people mix us up all the time.  We’re both blonde and have awesome personalities, so I get it:)  Even the guy I’m dating, who also works with us (I guess I never got the memo to not mix business with pleasure) mixes us up sometimes, and will start conversations with her before realizing its not me…

Well this girl needs to sleep, I ran 5.2 miles today and 3.7 yesterday, and I’d like to rest.  I’m still talking myself into the full marathon instead of the half in April.

“Halves are for lamos!!!!”

Nope…I’ll have to try harder than that.

Maybe the endorphins will talk me into it, they are quite friendly you know:)

 

Did you have any cool Christmas work parties?  Did you wear any Goodwill items to any important events?

What is your favorite dessert to make?

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Goodwill Instinct- Use it or Lose it

“We need to get one of those key holder things to hang on the wall” says my roommate Kristen the other day.

This comment is prompted by two days of me borrowing HER keys, because when I came home the other night from the lovely dragon tattoo movie, I put my keys down……

somewhere…

and they have yet to be seen since. 

Maybe Lisbeth Salander has them.  Maybe.

Now, ya’ll MAY remember what the ONLY item was that I passed up on purchasing on my Goodwill trip this past Sunday….

Oh, look at that, it’s a key holder! 

And this is where it should be, mocking me everyday as I walk by….

 

It says, “You could be about to use your remote entry key fob, but no, you didn’t buy me.  So now you have to walk UP to your car, stick you’re lone spare key in, twist and remove like normal, unmagical folk.  Maybe next time you will listen to your Goodwill insticts.  (or the goodwill hunting gene as my sister calls it:)

I sure hope so.  The Goodwill instinct is a gift, and it must not be wasted, or it will be lost.  This will serve as a good reminder, sen sai.

However, in a pathetic attempt to redeem myself, and a bad case of too little too late, I stopped by Goodwill the other day, hoping it would still be sitting there with a wise smirk on its face saying,

“Lesson learned?”

It wasn’t there, but lesson still learned.  Don’t pass up a good, cute adorable key holder when it is staring you in the face.  Because three days later you will lose your keys. 

On a sidenote, my roommate found them yesterday.  She had accidentally put them in her purse:)

Also, I thought I’d mention, that I looked up the Melie Bianco purse I found for 7.99 the other day online and…

Look at that beauty.  Mmmm.

I found it on www.purseboutique.com for $88!!!

That is a discount of….. 91%!!!  Granted, there are a few signs of wear, but well worth a 91% discount. 

Hopefully that makes up the key holder incident to the Goodwill Gods and I’ve got a few more lives still left in me:)

Q: What are some items you knew you should get, but didn’t and really regretted it later?

Q: Do you lose your keys on a regular basis?

leave me some love! xoxo

Goodwill and the Dragon Tattoo

After weeks of trying, and I’m ashamed to say months of ME trying to read the book (it really never picked up my interest!!), Ben and I finally made it to see the Girl with the Dragonfly Tattoo.  Man, did she impress.  I would say I want to be her, but I KIND of don’t.  And at 10:20 on a Wednesday night, I had a good feeling we would be the ONLY people in the theater.  My feeling was correct:

That’s me.  Alone.  In the theater.  We did our best with our phone technologies in the battle of Android Vs. Theater Level Darkness.

This was a first for Ben, having the theater to himself, and he felt the need to document it:)  Fine with me and my blogging tendencies.  Too bad he couldn’t be in the picture as well for all you fine folks.  Now, this could have been really romantic, right?  All alone, theater to ourselves.  Well, its too bad we weren’t seeing the lates Nicholas Sparks novel brought to life on screen.  No, my two words to describe this movie are

GRA-PHIC.

And distubing, and suspenseful, and sometimes hard to understand the swedish accents.  (I thought the 50% swedish in me might put me at an advantage.  Heck, I half thought about seeing the original Swedish version with no subtitles simply due to my heritage.)

I could barely make it throught the accents.  Lets just say its a good thing I made it through as much of the book as I did.  I got to sound smart and explain to Ben.  He hates that. 

The story line wasn’t horrible, and the acting was superb.  (Way to go dragonfly girl, you rock!), but I have don’t think I have ever been so disturbed by a movie viewing experience in my life.  At least I had Ben there to freak out to.  He handled it like a champ. 

I also had these great Goodwill earrings on to keep me safe and ward off all danger:

Who could hurt me with these beautiful earrings on?  I’m pretty sure whoever tried would stop and ask me where they were from and then immediately head to their local Goodwill instead.  That may just be me.

The second picture may not have been completely necessary, but I thought it was cool with the mirror in the background. 

It ended, and I fled walked calmly out of the theater, with images of Katherine Heigl’s next feel good movie, coming out shortly, playing in my mind. 

All in all, it was a good experience.  As I told Ben, one of my FAVORITE  things on this green earth is seeing books brought to life on screen:)  I feel a list coming on!!!….E.g.

 The Nanny Diaries (lackluster imo)

The Help (!!!!!awesome!!!!)

Confessions of a Shopaholic (who doesn’t LOVE Amy Adams?)

Twilight Series (need I even mention…..although I have yet to see the latest one…)

Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks

That is all I have right now.  But I do hope to see some of my favorites coming to life sometime soon.  Cane River or Fortune’s Rocks would be at the top of my list, if any publishers happen to be listening/reading:)  And I try and make it a point to read the book before I see a movie that was a book first, because then you can be that really cool person that says,

“The book was sooo much better”. 

Preferably say it while holding a biscotti and tea, and in a snotty manner, for increased effect.  Just my two cents.

That’s all for toooooday!  I’m off to the torture room gym for a nice dose of endorphins, and then some homemade cooking by and for Yours Truly. 

Happy Goodwilling. 

-Jaime

Q: Are you generally disappointed with ‘books brought to life’ as I like to call it?  Or happy either way?

A:  I’m pretty happy either way.  You may have noticed this about me by now.  It doesn’t take much.  Just say some words from the book and assume the setting, and I’ll be good.

Q:  What is your favorite bold color accessory to wear?

A: Turquoise has been making me VERY happy lately. 

 

“Its What’s on the Inside That Counts” Sunday Trip Part Deux

You didn’t think I’d keep you waiting too long did you?:)

Purses.  A girl can never have too many.

Ooohhhhh, I love Love!  Melie Bianco Brown Oversized Purse, $7.99.  Gotta love the polka dot party on the inside:)

This purse has TWO great parts:

1) The bottom has a zipper all along it that you can unzip to make it BIGGER, kinda like luggage you bring to the airport.  Its about time they crossed over that technology.  Now I’ll never have to worry about finding anything ever again!  Actually, I made sure it had enough pockets on the inside and out to take care of that problem:)  Not a fan of one pocket big purses.

2) The long strap is adjustable, so it doesn’t always have to look all hipster like like that.  But it can if I want it to.  That’s how the adjustable thing works, if you didn’t know already. 

Now, a Goodwill miracle happened while I was looking at this purse at the counter (yes, this purse was so nice they had it BEHIND the counter:), a lady worker came up to me and said

“I’ll give it to you for $7”. 

‘Exsqueeeze me?” (I replied in the voice of Jack McFarland from Will and Grace).

I guess good things do happen to good people. 

I hadn’t even asked for a better price!  The asking price of 9.99 was PERFECTLY reasonable for me.  But I wasn’t one to argue, $7 it was and not a dollar more!  Except when the lady ringing me up said that by $7 she meant $7.99.  I argued then.  I get it from my mom. And then I stopped.  Someone just gave me a discount for no reason.  Quit while you’re ahead, Jaime.  I learned that from my mom as well:)

Anyway, in all reality, I have been VERY proud of myself over the past year.  I dont think I have bought ONE new purse. (And by new, of course i’m including from Goodwill- its new to me:)

Proving to you that my nose did not just grow.  Coincidentally also proving that the quality self portraits are clearly not an important part of this blog.  

Also, the sweater in this picture was a purchase from yesterday, a longer knit cardigan, 5.99. 

There it is.

But really, this last year has not been normal for me, I think I pursed myself out in 2010.  I used a purse I bought last december for aWHILE and when I got sick of it, used this past find at Goodwill for the rest of the time:

100% leather Medium sized purse from The Gap.  Also pretty on the inside. 

**Sidenote- A little ink on leather removal tip- the day I bought this I was wearing a new apparently cheap shirt (sorry, Target) and the purple ink rubbed off all over one side of the purse.  Not very nice.  So I looked up online how to remove ink and it said to spray hairspray on it.  It worked!  So keep that in mind. 

I GUESS they assume people who can buy 100% leather purses from The Gap can also afford shirts where the ink will not rub off on them.  Well, you know what they say about assumptions!  Well, they’re assumptions, that’s all.  They’re not fact.

Purse #2

Large Teal emille m. Purse.  again, way to go with the ‘business on the outside, party on the inside’ emille:) I like.

$14.99

The same magical price negotiation happened with this purse.  “I’ll give it to you for 14” she says, (which we know I later learned meant 14.99….whatever cashier lady, I still took it. Still better than $19.99).  I’d like to think it was just my lucky day, but maybe it is because I spend half my income at that store, and people are beginning to notice.  Either way.  I’m fine with that.

So to get back to the title of this post, both of these purses are prettier on the inside, and I know it will put a little smile on my face every time I go in there.  So remember men everyone out there; no matter how beautiful or not beautiful you find someone, its what is on the insde that counts.  Truly.  No one likes a pretty girl or guy with a stinky attitude.  Just sayin’.  I think we can say that is pretty universally true.

Now, this bracelet is just pretty:

I’ve had this bracelet for about five years.  I got it at my hometown Goodwill for I think $2.99.  And I love it just as much today as I did when I got it.  Unfortunately, signs of aging are beginning to show, kind of like its owner:) 

Inside!  Inside!!

I’ve got to remember that:)

One last item:

Cute little key holder wall art thing.  But, I have two roommates, and I didn’t think they would like this very much, so I passed. 

Well, I’m off to hopefully check out a movie with the boy.  I’m so out of it, I don’t even know what is in theaters anymore.  Is Bridesmaids still out?  Oh, no, that’s right, its currently in my VCR on repeat.  Did I just say VCR?  wow.  Alzheimer’s is setting in early.  You’ll have to forgive these age comments, my birthday was only 6 days ago.  I need some time. 

Happy Monday all!  And happy Goodwill shopping!  Go out and support your Goodwill’s local mission and your local shopping habit. 

Are you a purse fanatic?  Or do you prefer to keep it simple?

What good movies have you seen lately?

 

Sunday Funday:)

Ok, get your coffee, get your newspaper…I mean, no newspaper, but brace yourself, cause I FOUND some stuff today!! 

And I’m showing it ALL to you!

Today was Sunday, which meant church at Crosspoint (www.crosspoint.tv.com), this amazing church in Nashville, TN that I love so much, and then Goodwill after.  This tradition began when I was living with my mom and stepdad….after college:) when I was 23/24.  We would make a little trip after we left church, and this worked out because Sunday was .99 day on the color of the week. 

This is a cool thing Goodwill does.  All their clothes and items’ price tags are color coded with five or so different colors.  Each week, the oldest color goes half off, and Sunday the items are .99.  This is a genius way to move inventory.  Another reason I love me some Goodwill:)  So smaht they are.

So I leave church, and head down the street to Goodwill.  Literally down the street about half a mile.  I always seem to make my life very convenient, and live within about a ten minute drive from anywhere I may need to go.  Works for me.

So I pass McDonald’s on the way and stop for an Iced Coffee.  I am addicted to Iced Coffees, and dont like to think what my monthly expenditure on them may be.  Lets just say Dave Ramsey and Suze Orman wouldn’t probably not approve.  I don’t care:)

I do prefer my Starbucks.  They are a tad more expensive, but I’m not one of those people who acts like its completely overpriced.  Its about .80 more, but I think it really does taste better.  But McDonald’s was on the way.  McDonald’s it was! 

I have to mention though, when the lady handed me my coffee there was no ice in it:)  I pointed it out and she said, you’re right!  And put ice in it.  I’m not saying it goes as smoothly as Starbucks.

 

Coffee in cart, ready to go!  Watch out people!  Jaime is in the store! 

Did I mention one of the workers greeted me by name when I walked in?  I’m not saying I’m VIP…but I kind of am…

First sighting:

Two cute green lamps.  12.99 Each.  I considered them.  But I already have a lamp.  Also from Goodwill.  (See, ‘things from my shelf’ post).  So I passed.  I’m sure they will make somebody else very happy.  I have a feeling about this. 

Then I made my way back to the dresses. 

 

I.N.C. by Macy’s animal print dress.  Wonderful, beautiful.  Size small:(  That sad face means I am not a small. 

Who’s that you ask?  A friend I went shopping with? 

No.  That is the competition.  Similar age.  Similar style.  No, she will NOT get to the cute stuff before I do!  Its on!

I told you I had a competitive streak.

Clearly, she lost.  These were still sitting on the shoe rack when I got there.  Or maybe she has huge, ugly feet that wouldn’t fit into these cutie booties.

$7.99.  Size 7 1/2.  Be still my beating heart.  Well, not literaly, it would kind of take the fun out of finding them if I went and died right after.  Anyway, these literaly have NO brand label, but they look really quality made.  And they’re cute, and they fit.  That’s all that really matters, and the fitting part is even questionable.  Let’s just be honest with ourselves.

And literally two pairs down from that just hanging out were….

these black boots.

I have actually been needing a pair of these.  I have brown ones, but nothing to wear when I need black.  These are by the brand Bamboo, which I almost just purchased at the boutique Apricot Lane in Nashville before Christmas for at lesat $40.  I would say the price on that little orange price tag of 9.99 is a little better:)  Call me a math wizzzz!  No, really, you should call me that. 

Then I decided to peruse .99 racks.  Yes, Goodwill is so great that it actually gathers all the .99 stuff and puts them on racks all by themselves for us to look through. 

Now, Goodwill can also be decieving sometimes.  A) the hanger says XL.  Now, this could have been the end, because thanks to LOTS of running, seeing that size tag at G-dub no longer warms the cockles of my heart, I prefer more of an ‘M’ these days, but I wouldn’t let it go, so I checked the tag.  M- just right.  and deception letter B) I found it on this rack:

Now, that means it should be .99 right?  No, thanks to fourth grade art class I’m pretty sure that this tag is not yellow:

Meaning its also not .99:(  Eh, 4.49 is still not bad for such a lacy piece of amazingness, and helping me look like this:

And I even get to use my cool green flower pin to keep it together.  Problem open cardigan resolved. 

After I finished dodging Goodwill’s deceptions, I remembered a blog I recently found where the girl modeled a blazer she found in the…..kid’s section!  It looked so good on her.  I have always prided myself on my bargain huntng abilties.  I regularly shop in the kids’ shoe section at Target because of my small feet.  My favorite brown boots are a kids size 5 becuase the are $7 cheaper!  Never has it crossed my mind to look in the kid’s section at Goodwill….

Maybe it is because I am a 5’7″ twenty- eight year old? Maybe…

But she did it, so can I.  So here I went…

NOT a preteen. 

Someone who is not good at making awkward faces, yes.  Preteen, No.

I found nothing.  Surprise of surprises!

After that awkward attempt at being 15 years younger again, I decided to make my way to the dressing room with my overflowing cart and get to work to see if any of this stuff would actually make its way home with me:

Don’t worry Iced Coffee, I’ll save you!!

Police!  There’s a jailbird on the loose!!

Oh, no, thats just Jaime, shopping at Goodwill again. 

I love this awesome black and white striped sweatshirt, with lowered shouler seems, and it had an orange tag.  the lucky color of the week, meaning it is half off.  Ding Ding!  That makes it a mere 2.14. 

You may notice a white smudge on my leg.  I looked at this picture when I got in my car and literally searched my jeans to find out if I had white paint on them, thinking I must have painted in my sleep without realizing it?  And then I realized, it was a mark on the mirror:)  I said I graduated elementary school, too bad they dont teach common sense. 

And look at that, now I have black boots to wear with it:)

Ok…I think this post has gotten long enough, so I will leave you in suspense until tomorrow with the rest of my ramblings story about my finds today…please, try and get some sleep.  I know it will be hard.

Hope you all had a great Sunday. 

Blessings and love!

Jaime

Are you a competitive shopper? 

Do you love boots as much as I do?

 

Purses, Pillows and Parmesan, Oh My!

Yesterday, I went to my friend Crystal’s house for some yummy homemade eggplant parmesan.  I maypick my friends based on how good or how many homemade meals they will make me…not a bad idea- y’all should try it:)

Isn’t she lovely? 

It was amaaaazing.  Spinach, mozzarella, veggie pasta sauce, and breaded eggplant, all layered and combined and baked at 375 (she said she wanted it bubbly) for about 35 minutes.  Long enough for me to run home and grab the wine my friend had given me for my birthday. 

Cheers!!  We are ready to manja!!

So, dinner/lunch, some would call it Linner, or dunch (it’s gonna catch on…), ended right around 5, and then she had to get ready for her date that night.  So I helped with that.  Mostly by chatting and distracting her as much as I could.  Hey, I didn’t say I was good at it.  And when she was ready to go have a life, I thought, “What could I do until I have a life when I go to my friend’s show later that night?  Well….Goodwill was only a couple blocks away, and it had been at least a week…a quick stop wouldn’t hurt anyone:)  And anyway, I had coveted Crystal’s cute antique recipe box she had taken her eggplant parmesan recipe out of, and I thought maybe that could be the reason for my trip.  Not that you always need one, but sometimes its nice to pretend like you are going in there ACTUALLY looking for something:)

I knew the trip was meant to be when I walked in and immediately saw this:

Just sitting there.  Saying, Hi, jaime, I was waiting for you, so glad you made it. 

Why, you’re welcome lovely yellow clutch.  So nice of you to wait for me.  I will put you in my cart, and later on stuff you full of cards, cash, receipts and who knows what else.  It will be fun.

It was Nine West, 1.99. 

And to the right of that one, I found this- I hadn’t even made two steps inside the store!  As far as Goodwill luck goes, this was so far at the top of my list. 

A leapord print wallet.  The hard kind.  Also 1.99. 

And then immediately after, to the right a little more…

A off white classic looking purse that needs to be mine.  It had zippers, and all sorts of little pockets and everything.  Who needs those luggage type purses with one big pocket, that, yes, you can fit your entire LIFE in, but you also can’t ever find it:)  And for 3.99, theres no reason it shouldn’t be mine.  So classic and cute.  And I used it that night when I went to my friend’s show, who had actually canceled and didn’t tell anyone, but I still got to use my purse:

Thats me and my crafty cool friend Rion.  I ALSO pick my friends based on whether or not their names, like mine, are androgynous and can be both a guy’s or girl’s name.  Its kind of strange, but you have to have some criteria, right? 😉

So you may be wondering what happened with the aforementioned recipe box search….well, I found this:

$0.99.  Soo excited!  Until I turned it over and found that it was just the triangle top to what WAS a recipe box.  The search will continue.  Oh well.  It still caused the trip that got me the purses, and…..these great pillows:

1.99 each.  Its like they were always on my bed, they’re so at home.  So colorful!  Couldn’t be more perfect.  If it were up to me, black would be outlawed.  But God and I haven’t come to an agreement on that yet. 

All in all, a great goodwill trip!  I spent $14, on a purse, 2 wallets, and 2 throw pillows.  I will come again!

I’d like to leave you with this:

A picture from my birthday.  I dont think much really needs to be said about this. 

Except that that s’more was DELICIOUS.  If you can’t already tell. 

Are you a colorful crazy person?  Or do you like to stick to black and basics? 

What are your latest goodwill finds?

 

Thanks for looking! 

Talk to you again soon,

Jaime

Things from my Shelf

I made it to Goodwill today, a common occurrence when I work a ‘double’.  Thats restaurant lingo for working both the lunch and dinner shift.  A dreaded occurrence in most restaurant workers’ lives…or at least mine:)  So, to relieve some customer service induced stress, I moseyed on over to my local Goodwill on Charlotte, perused the aisles, and hopefully find some good treasures.  Today I found something for both work AND pleasure.

I found a button down black shirt.

Hold the phones exciting, right???  I know!!!  Ok, maybe not necessarily, but if you knew how hard it was to find one of these- a women’s long sleeve button down plain black blouse (which is what I am required to wear 35 hours out of every week, kill my colorful artsy soul now…) plain, with NO bells and whistles, then you would appreciate this find.  I swear it is like the Unicorn of clothing items.  I’ve heard of it, but have yet to find it anywhere.  And I got it for the cheap price of $4.29., and wore it to work this evening.  And even better, it still had the drycleaning tag on it, which we are also required to do….and which I never do…shhhh, don’t tell anyone….

No picture at the moment of the shirt, but I do have a picture of me at work today, because my work pants are ALSO from Goodwill, and they fit like a glove!

I know the lighting, isn’t the best, but hopefully you can get the drift…

I also found this cool wood filing cabinet…

If only I had a super important job or life where I had this much to file…I thought about using it for a dresser (now THAT, I have plenty of need for!:)  But, it didn’t fit in my little Civic, so I left it to find another loving home.  This, by the way, is the very reason I want an SUV for my next car.  So I can be more prepared at a moments notice to take cool finds like this home.  Not because I like to do super cool outdoors sports utility type stuff, which I do, but I mean, how much space do my sneakers and maybe a basketball or water bottle take up?? Hahaha, surely not the entire trunk of an SUV.

Now I’ve told you about the work purchase, I can show you the pleasure purchase…a pretty picture frame inscribed Live Simply, Laugh Often (I DO), and Love Much (I try to).  Good words to live by.  And to store on your shelf.  Inside I put a picture from my 24th birthday.  It pains me to say, that in one week, this will be exactly four years ago. Oy Vey.  Apparently I turn Jewish when I am feeling the angst of age.

This frame was 2.99.  And still in plastic wrap when I bought it.

Since I put this on my bookshelf/nightstand, I thought I’d show you some other Goodwill finds that have made their home there as well.  (I just used both versions of ‘their’ in one sentence.  That took some thought as to which was for which.  Thank you first grade teacher, now my bloggers and I are not confused.)

My lamp.  My lovely lamp.  I got this for 4.99 a year ago when I moved into my first apartment.  I love flowery, ornate vintage things.

Another picture frame:  I think this fits the ornate, vintage vibe well.

‘Look at them apples!’

I also have a great golden yellow ceramic coaster, that I got for .99, but the picture came out blurry:(  So you’ll have to take my word for its awesomeness.  Gotta work on those photography skills, and not jumping the gun quite so quickly.

And lastly, not for my shelf, but for my wall,

I can’t remember exactly, but I know it was under $5.  It is cloth based artwork.  For my wall.  They are now in love.

All in all, it was a good goodwill day.  I found my shirt and my frame in under 20 minutes.  Which I would say is pretty good.

Speaking of, I am proud of myself that I actually went to the gym FIRST on my break, leaving the Goodwill trip for just in case I had time.  Thats being a good marathon training girl:)  But, lets be honest, I was gonna make the time.  Who needs that third set of curls, isn’t two sets quite enough??   So, once I got there, I didn’t have a ton of time to lose myself in the aisles, but enough to make two proper finds.  (You couldn’t hear it, but that was said with an English accent).

Happy Goodwilling!! Come again soon.

What are some of your favorite finds for your room or living space??  Any cool artwork that you have found there?

What are some of your favorite times to go to Goodwill?

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