Vacation and it feels so good!

I am writing you from….vacation!!!

Ahh, so nice, so relaxing.

I work at a school, and it is currently February break, one week of glorious nothingness.  I was going to stay in my home state and relax and ‘get stuff done’ there…

but the second day in, decided a 16 hour drive to TN, Nashville, to visit friends where I used to live, and Knoxville where a friend moved, sounded MUCH better.

Indeed.  I impressively made the first 13 hour stretch in one piece, driving through the night- a FIRST for me, I usually give up after about 4 hours of driving and hand the wheel to someone else.  But the adrenaline really kicked in, and I made it til 3 am from 2:45 p.m. with no problem, and then had to take a few hourly stops to finish out the trip.

But I  made it to my first stop, Knoxville, in one piece where my friend Matt lives.

I crashed for a few hours and then we enjoyed a couple glasses of wine on his back patio, in a dress I found at Goodwill last Fall, wearing it here for the first time:

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I may not be in Florida or the Caribbean, but if I can enjoy a glass of wine on a back patio outside, it’s vacation.  Gotta have my iced coffee too.

Here’s some more pictures for ya:

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A Target dress by Mossimo, new from the store, for $5.99.  Oh look at those eyelets.

Gotta have a nice shot by the bird bath.

I also made it to Goodwill this past Saturday and did very well.

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My loot.

Two of those are gifts for other people.  So generous I am 🙂

A shirt for one of my nieces, whichever one it fits, an adorable little flowery peasant top from Italy half off for $2.00

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It says for a six year old, but it looks a teensy small so it may go to the fiver, Anna.

And also a shirt from a spa in Norwich for my Mom, half off for $2.00.  I know she’s never been there, but it has a pretty design I knew she would love, and I have distinct memories of her workout sweater when I was child being from a college I’m sure she never attended, so I knew she wouldn’t mind.

Sure enough when she saw it, she said, “Now I can pretend I’ve been there.”  Ha.  What did I say?  Or think….

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Ain’t it purty?

Don’t worry, I didn’t forget about  myself…

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American Eagle jeans for $9.99 in pretty good condition- and they’re long enough!!!! It’s a miracle.

To go with a burnt orange Calvin Klein 3/4 tee with rouching beneath the chest and button classps on the bottom of the sleeves, also $9.99

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There’s a few more goodies in there that will have to wait for next time…:)  I’m planning on wearing at least one this week…weather permitting.

I’ve got to go enjoy my wine and company!

Enjoy your presidents week wherever you are :0)

Peace and Happy thrifting,

Jaime

“It’s your path… not theirs”

Valentine’s Day Surprise and Cheesecake

Disclaimer: This find IS NOT my own.

K, I’m glad we got that out of the way.

But it was given to me by the One who was half responsible for making me aka my MOM.  So it counts.  And it’s hanging in my room now too along with my other lovely things.

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My mom (and anyone else who talks to me for five minutes) knows that I love flowers and music.  Not necessarily in that order.  Safe to say 3/4 of my clothing probably have flowers on it, as well as my hoome decor.  I am not ashamed or scared to admit that fact.  Yes, I am also 29 years old.  Not six or seven like the kids in the classroom that I work in.  I think it would be safe to say I would have been a ‘flower’ child had I lived in that decade.  Well, maybe.  I’m not so sure about the lifestyle, just the title.

Anyway, I digress.  In addition to flowers, I love music.  I have played piano since I was 5, and sang for even longer.  Suffice to say it is beyond my passion, and I just spent three years in Nashville trying to make it my career.  Another self plug- you can hear a couple of my songs at www.reverbnation.com/jaimenelson.  I hope you enjoy.

So the mother of all mothers saw this frame, while looking for Valentine’s gifts for my wonderful nieces and nephew, her grandchildren (crazy how I made that connection, huh???I know) and added it to her pile to leave waiting for me Valentine’s Day morning.

What a lady.  Who needs a boyfriend?

Well, that may be a stretch…I take that back.  I would like one.  For sure.

I really do love this canvas though, so pretty.

And I just realized, it has a THIRD thing that I love.  Fancy writing in a foreign language (French??).  Making me have absolutely no idea what it is saying, but I can only assume it is something beautiful and heartwarming.

It could be saying, “you suck” for all I know.

But it sure looks nice.

I hope you all had a beautiful Valentine’s Day.  I assume you are all the type of people that don’t get hung up on the fact of having or not having a ‘boyfriend’ to share the day with.  There are so many wonderful types of love in the world to celebrate on such a day to be depressed over not having just one specific kind.

Make yourself a cake,

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as I did, and move on.  How can you be sad with this in your life???

Looks delicious, right??  Well, it was.  Raspberry white chocolate cheesecake with chocolate wafer crust.  All of those words should not be in the same title.  Too much goodness.  But its not.  It’s heavenly and perfect.

Here is the ‘quick’ recipe:

Crust:

2 cups chocolate cookie crushed mixed with 6 T melted buttteerrrrrr yummm

Raspberry swirl:

2 T cornstarch, 2 T sugar, 1/2 water, and 10 oz frozen raspberries brought to a boil together in a saucepan for 5 minutes until thick.

White chocolate mix:

Melt 2 cups white chocolate chips with 1/2 cup half and half or heavy cream etc in a double boiler

Cheesecake!!!!:

3 packages cream cheese softened, 3 eggs, 1/2 cup sugar.  Mix this with a blender on high speed, then mix in the white chocolate mixture.

Layer the cream cheese mixture over the crust with 3 drops of 1 T. each of the raspberry swirl twice and then swirl it with a knife all pretty like.

Bake in a 9″ springform pan at 325 for 50-60 minutes.  Open the door and turn off the oven when it’s set on the edges and let it cool in the oven so the top doesn’t crack (too much).

Cool a couple hours and enjoooyyy!!!  I did.  It is delicious.

Lastly, I would like to give a shoutout to some viewers I had the other day all around the world:

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The world is so big and yet so small!!  I love that no matter how far apart we are, and different cultures we live in, we share a similar bond and interest.

Happy thrifting and living!  Please share with me your finds and stories:)  I’d love to hear.

-Jaime

“Life is too short not to spend it smiling.”

First DIY (that I’m sharing)- Picture Frame Earring Holders And….First Giveaway!!!!

I have found the secret to making earring organizers/holders/hangers by yourself, out of old (but still awesome) picture frames, wire mesh and super glue, and that’s it.  And I am going to share it with you.  You’re welcome.

And trust me, if I can do it, y’all can.

I am common sense challenged in this life, and the littlest hiccup in a project will send me reeling and having no idea what to do.  I have succesfully made three of these and they have been functional on my wall for going on four months now.  I would say that means I did it right.  And I will do my best to explain it to you.

Obviously, you’re going to start with your local Goodwill (or another just as awesome thrift shop) for some old picture frames of your choosing, suiting whatever your individual taste is.

These are the three that I have already turned into earring holders, and I will share my two newest frames, soon to be DIY’d, later in this post:

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Did you think I wouldn’t give close ups?

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They go from smaller to larger left to right, although it is probably hard to tell.  They are 3×5, 4×6, and 8×10.  The one on the left stands as well, but I choose to hang it cause I don’t have the largest dresser top.

And thank you, I know, I have an earring problem.  I love jewelry.  I’m a girl.  Duh.

Some of my necklaces hanging on hooks below the frames…

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So that is the great thing- there are so many different style frames out there to choose from, that it completely changes the style and look of each item without having to do any additional work except picking it up off of the shelf.  Pretty easy if you ask me.  You will see the three that I have are all different but each one great in itself.  But depending on your style, you could go industrial looking, plain wood, colorful, vintage…the options are really endless.

So the first step is done, you have found your awesome beautiful frames that will look great hanging or standing somewhere in your I’m sure lovely bedroom (or closet for those really lucky ladies), now you need to buy wire mesh for the hanging part.  I bought literally window screening at my local hardware store, the smallest amount they sold.  I’m not a factory…  They had two options, matte or shiny.  I chose the shiny.  Matte silver tends to just look dirty, and no one wants their earrings hanging on something that looks like its covered in dirt.

Choose said frame that you would like to start with, take out everything from the frame- glass, cardboard,etc, all you need is the outer frame piece, and place the wire mesh over the back and cut out a piece big enough to fit.  Pretty basic.  I think we all started doing similar things in Kindergarten/first grade.

THEN, you take the hot glue gun and put glue around the edge (on the back of the frame where you can’t see), and then press the wire mesh down into the hot glue.  I used my fingertips to press, you have to do this because the wire mesh doesn’t grab to the glue easily because it is so holy.  Then, voila!  You wait for it to dry and then you hang your earrings on it.  And I hung them on the wall with thumb tacks.  Pretty simple.  If you want to stand the frame up, then you can put the back back in that will make it stand, otherwise, no backing is necessary and this leaves more room for the hooks to go in.

If something can’t hang on my wall with thumb tacks, I don’t buy it.  Period.

I hope this is informative, I didn’t have a ton of pictures for each step, I apologize.  I did them like four months ago:)  Just thought I’d share what I could!

Here are my next victims:

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Again, they are both so different, but still so me, and so pretty in their own unique way.  Just like each one of us right? 🙂

I can’t wait to see how they turn out.

But alas, if you don’t have the time/patience/skill level/materials to do this yourself, these are for sale!  Just comment for details.  I guess if I was a really good blogger, I would do a giveaway or something…ok, there you go!  I’m doing a giveaway!  I like to let people see my train of thought as well.  Makes me seem “real”.  haha:)

But the giveaway can’t start yet, these are actualy currently for sale on ebay, so I wouldn’t want to promise one and then have them all sell.  I will notify you on my next post if they are/which ones are still available for the giveaway, and then start it.  Keep your eyes peeled!

I will let the winner choose whichever one they would like (of the three that are finished already)…when it happens, the rules are:

You’ll need to comment on this post.

(Feel free to start commenting in the mean time as I’m sure I will have one or two still available, but just know there is a chance they won’t all be)

That’s it.  I’m not much for rules.

I will randomly generate a number, and the commenter who was that number will win!  Pretty easy, and then if you don’t win, you can still follow my blog and get awesome thrift store finds and stories a couple times a week in your e-mail!  And hopefully have some entertainment along the way:) A win-win really.

Lastly, on a totally separate subject, I have been getting compliments like woah on my latest green purse purchase for $8 (obviously from Goodwill).  It seems like everywhere I go someone tells me how much they love it.  It just proves, you can shop cheap, help out a good cause, and look good doing it!  And people will never know the difference.  It’s a great world.  A ‘good’ world if you will:)  And I will.

Peace and love and happy thrifting!

Jaime

I Guess Eyelet You See My Skirt…

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I love a good eyelet covered piece of clothing.

I love it even more when it’s a skirt paired with tights and boots.

I got this skirt at my local Goodwill for $4.99.  It is a boutique Target brand, and was bought new from Target by Goodwill and then purchased and worn by me.  For those of you that don’t read regularly, the boots are also from Goodwill and bought by them from Target.  I bought them new at Goodwill for $15 and wear them regularly.

While wearing this skirt at a coffee shop (you may have heard of it- Starbucks?), I wrote the lyrics to a lovely new song, inspired by an older gentleman sitting by himself and wearing an FDNY cap on his head.  Here is a picture of the lyrics on my lap, read if you’d like:

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I would have snapped a picture of him, believe me I wish I had, but didn’t really find an appropriate time or reason to do so.

You can hear a couple more of my songs…a little self promotion if you will…at www.reverbnation.com/jaimenelson.  Click away!!!:)  I hope to have some more originals, maybe this one? up soon!  I love recording, its one of my favorite things.

I don’t have many new recent purchases in addition to this, so I thought I’d snap a picture of what I see from my desk as I write this to show some of my Goodwill purchases in action making my room look pretty:

This is the view from my desk:

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The picture board and the flower wall art are both from Goodwill.  I can’t remember the price of the flower art, but I’m sure it was around $2-$3, and the picture board was $4.

And you should all remember, my productivity increasing wonder…my $13 computer desk, sitting below it all:

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Oh, I’m not done….

When I turn around, I find…

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My excellent condition vintage (circa 70’s?) end table, $10, last October.

It is holding my pink iPhone dock which charges, plays music from my iPhone, and also has a radio, that I got for $8 last Fall.  Pretty sweet.

In case you all didn’t believe I was really truly completely in mind, body and spirit, obsessed, with Goodwill, now hopefully you do.

The finds there are endless, as I hope you all have or will someday soon realize!

Happy thrifting and may the thrifting force be with you:)

Peace,

Jaime

Happy nieces, happy dog.

Last Saturday I had the pleasure of babysitting my sister’s three absolutely crazy delightfully imaginative, fun and silly children, who I love with all my heart, and more.  It went great.

Afterwards, the eldest and I decided to have her first piano lesson from me.  That she can remember at least.  There are pictures of her and I when she was 6 months at the piano, but its safe to say any of that knowledge is long gone now.  Hopefully this time will be different.  Six is a little young in my opinion, but it all depends how much the child puts into it.  I started at 5 with my Dad, but it did help that we had a piano in our house.  My niece doesn’t, yet.

Anyway, if the girls are in the car with auntie, a trip to Goodwill is bound to ensue- it is close by, and they love it as much as I do.  The younger sister/niece found a pink hat and glove set she could not live without, for $6.

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Look at her.  So happy and pink.  Milk mustache and everything.

The glove is there floating on her left shoulder if you couldn’t see:)  It’s the best I could do…

$6 is higher than I would have probably paid if it were for myself…but the rules don’t really apply for those faces…

…especially when they start to shed the tears…

Game over at that point.  There is no saying no.

The eldest niece got a ‘laptop’…i.e. a Discovery Kids spelling aid laptop shaped toy that she fell in love with.  I would have too at that age.  It would have made me feel very important.  It didn’t, and still doesn’t, take much.

I also got a little something for my black lab mix, Baker.

A toy? No.

A bed? No.

Treats.

Surprising, yes.  But they had a sealed bag of Boots & Barkley dog biscuits from Target for $3.00.  Couldn’t pass that up.

He didn’t cry for it.  But with this face, he doesn’t really have to.

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ALWAYS the concerned one.  I don’t really know why.

But now he can treat his life away on these…until they run out at least:)

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I try and be nice, and put a couple in his crate with him when I have to leave him in there when the house is empty, but he is so resentful of having to be in there, that he will not touch them the whole time he is in there.  He lets them sit there as a statement to how horrible I am.  Or at least that’s probably what he thinks he is doing.

As soon as the door is opened, they are in his mouth being happily chewed away.  It’s like he wants me to know a couple treats couldn’t possibly make up for the injustice I have seemingly just bestowed upon him.

Bitter, resentful one he is.  But oh so beyond happy the rest of the time, it really doesn’t matter.

I love him like my baby.

Well, happy nieces, happy puppy.  A successful day at Goodwill.

Until next time, happy thrifting and bargain hunting!  Please share with me what you find, I always love getting hearing and getting inspired by others’ finds 🙂

Peace always,

Jaime