Sunday, March 30, 2014

Ugly Sweaters and Haunted Handbags...Thrifting: The Movie.

I like the simple things in life: the brown crust at the bottom of the pan when you overcook rice, not having to wait in line at Costco to pump gas, and the thrill of buying worthless shit from thrift stores at rock bottom prices.

After a No-Spend February where I didn't frivolous shop at all and a previous six months of abstaining from from buying junk for my house I've fallen off the wagon.  Or got back on the wagon?  I'm not sure which one...  

Either way I've been hitting the thrifting bottle hard and sluttin' it up in junk stores all across the land.
That's an old X-ray machine in my favorite dive thrift store.

So much cobwebbed junk and dismembered crotches, so little time.  

But I've gotten a lot of really good jazz so let's inventory a bunch of things I bought that I TOTALLY needed in my life.

Scored a sweet little quilted pleather pursette and some Danish salad servers from an estate sale.  I'm really into white right now so this is really working for my white witch Spring look.  And I'm always into 60 yr old Danes so that was a no-brainer.

My favorite sexual position: clumsy dry humping.
I also didn't think twice about this Japanese erotic print for less than $10.  It's not even showing any genitalia so I think it's like the soft focus romantic porn of shunga so it's safe for my walls.  You're welcome, Mom.

I'm a little obsessed with baskets from the thrift stores and I thought this one could work on my dresser for jewelry and sparkly things.  Or for .59 dirty socks or something.

This little vintage birdie is for a Christmas gift (oh yes - I shop early, y'all).  The cool part is that it's from a local non-profit - the Orange Grove Center - which is an organization that helps the developmentally disabled and is a fun piece of local history.

When I got home I flipped it over and saw this sticker...

It says Orange Grove Center for Retarded Children on it... :-///////  

But THIS other piece of pottery doesn't make me uncomfortable at all:

It says 'Made in Italy' on the bottom and I think it's a clumsy Bitossi knockoff but it's super cute and will fit nicely in that cabinet of junk in background.

It's only black and white because all the color pictures looked terrible for some reason.
Ok technically this one isn't from a thrift store BUT I found a knockoff Arne Jacobsen's AJ lamps at a local bargain/closeouts store.  The original is about $900+, the normal knockoff price is $200 on Amazon, this one was marked to $100 at the store with 80% off.  So like $20.  Honestly, I just wanted to brag about the price.  Even the cashier made me ring the 'bargain bell' because it was such a good deal.   

It was probably the best moment of my entire life.

Back to used merchandize...

This tiny cup planter has a cartoon fiddle leaf fig on the front and directions for how to care for one on the back. But a fiddle leaf fig won't fit in the cup so what the...?  I'll put a succulent in it.

Found this 'geode' labelled as 'rock' for $2.  Silly booth owner.  I also couldn't resist this book solely for the bright green cover and embossed image.  I felt immediately it's my new mascot.  

After a little hunting and advice from a smart person, I think it's an image of Branwen which means 'white-breasted raven' or something like that.  I really AM feeling the white lately!  The ancient Welsh worshipped her as the daughter of the sea (but she's a bird?)... I don't know.  It's hard to find information on her because Branwen is the name of some slightly pornographic anime character and that's all that comes up when you google an image. 

Apparently I'm subconsciously all about Japanese erotica lately as well.

I mean, apart from my deep and undying lust for tentacle porn, OBVIOUSLY.

When I'm not channeling my new bird/lady/sea queen, I'm buying even MOAR vintage purses and skulls.

When you see a good skull and grandma purse for cheap, you are physically obligated to take them home with you.

Question: should you smudge a purse that was purchased at an estate sale or at a yard sale from a person that is most likely dead?  I can buy their furniture but things from their closet seems a bit more personal.

Pretty okay with not needing to smudge the skull.

Oh look!  Even more pottery!  It's a problem...

I love to find vintage pottery made by random people - probably your single eccentric aunt in the '70s who also was really into macrame - when they carve their name on the bottom with a toothpick.  Good job, Suzie.

I'm starting to feel the urge to carve my name into something with a toothpick and might end up taking a pottery class soon.  How single eccentric aunt of me!

I'm also pretty stoked about this brass planter WITH LITTLE TINY LEGS.  


So much squee.

In related brassitude, I had to have the picture solely for the frame.

Sorry, terrible 1992 boat picture of random origin. You're gonna get the boot soon and replaced with something probably black and abstract.

But it's not all house stuff.  I have picked up a few vintage dresses.

Those midi-length dresses that are making the rounds are really piquing my interest and, low and behold, vintage dresses are the perfect length!  I've yet to wear them out but I think they might see the light of day again this Spring.

But some things have to stay packed away until next winter...

How am I supposed to resist a sweater with mirrors?!?!?!?

Please someone have a terrible white person ugly sweater party so I have a reason to wear this.  I can't tell if it'd be ironic or unironic but it has shoulder pads and I have leggings so...

Aaaand now I'm done shopping for a while.  

Unless something else has REALLY TINY BRASS LEGS and then I'm not responsible for what happens to my wallet.

But thrifting isn't all about ugly sweaters and haunted handbags, it's about friendship.

Here's Buford.  My new best friend that lives at one of my junk malls.  She happily climbed on my finger and promptly said 'peekaboo' to me a few times and then my heart melted and died next to a table of vintage Pyrex.  The store owner was nice enough to snap a picture of Buford giving me kisses on my cheek and it literally made my entire month.

See?  Thrifting isn't always about the dirty dealings of money.  It's about friendship and playing peekaboo with animals.

And also cheap cow skullz.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

I never knew the value of wheels or a dedicated caffeine area.

Alert the internet gawds because I'm feeling quite design bloggery this week!  Earlier I had one too many grapefruit chia seed white wine spritzers in a DIY'ed gradient glass and passed out headfirst into a bowl of avocado toast and glitter.  I've also been thrifting like mad, starting some DIY projects and gotten googly-eyed over a bar cart.

WHO AM I?!?!?!?

A Beautiful Mess
Something about this cute little coffee station is hitting me right in my design feels.  My personal design no-nos are chalkboard walls (which the background might be...?) and bar carts and this picture appears to have both.  And yet I've stared at it for at least seven consecutive minutes this week.

Did you even KNOW you wanted a Mason jar of coffee stirrers until you saw this pic?  I sure didn't.

Maybe it's the organization... maybe it's the idea of having options for amazing coffee every morning instead of the terrible skunk tar that my office serves... maybe it's the two - TWO - bouquets of flowers...  I don't know but it makes me want to work on jazzing up my kitchen with a legit fancy coffee station.  I currently have a tray and some things but nothing that's even Instagram worthy.  I feel ashamed.

As a general rule I need to jazz up my house for guests with, like, fancy guest towels and sachets and shit because right now the only thing they can count on when they come over is a funky smell and lots of cat hair.

Look, the smell stays until I can refinish the hardwoods but the coffee station and cat hair I can totally - probably - maybe -  take care of.

A Beautiful Mess
Here's another coffee station ALSO from A Beautiful Mess the year before.  It's less my style but damn, this girl is really into styling caffeine stations.  Mad respect.  

PS Are vintage Thermoses (Thermosi?) the new Mason jar?  I could get behind that in a Moonrise Kingdom kind of way.  But not if Gawd and everybody is gonna do it too...

The other kind of cart that's been on my radar this week (I told you I'm crazy high on Design Bloggerz Lifestyles of the Middle Class and Internet Famous) is this cute little bastard.
Succulents and Sunshine
AKA the other time this week I stopped dead in my Pinterest scrolling.  Not only is it well done - the blogger is THE succulent queen and has several very affordable ebooks written about them which I MUST purchase immediately - but it solves a plant problem for me.

Not the problem where I kill 87% of my plants (although her books might help!) but the problem of wintering my succulents!  

This Little Street
I actually did a good job of sustaining a succulent container garden last year on my patio but then when cold weather got here I realized I was up cactus creek without a paddle.  I had no plan.  I brought everything inside and tried to find windowsills and tile corners where I could water and not ruin anything but it was very tense.

But a cart. A CART!  That I could move around inside, outside, to the window, to the wall, til the water drips down the pots into easy-to-care-for metal shelves...  

I probably wouldn't pick this color or paint racing stripes on it but I'm just showing you the good things other people are doing.

This IKE-Rah cart is EVERWHAR.  A laundry cart does give me some good ideas...

Livet Hemma
I don't think I'd actually purchase Mr. Raskog but I do like the grey better.  The color would set off the succulents nicely though, huh?

How often can you say succulents without sounding like you're trying to badly sext someone?  I don't know if saying it more will help or hurt...

Fancy Farmgirl Photography I think...
Regardless, a plant cart of any sort makes a lot of sense for me.  Also, when August turns drought time I can just gently wheel everything in under the patio roof in the shade to save my babies.

Someone mentioned to me last year about getting an old kitchen baker's rack to use outside for plants and I thought that was genius.  I couldn't roll it anywhere but I have a lot of space that needs filling.

That sounded almost as bad as sexting 'succulents' over and over...

Suvi Sur Le Vif
Do you know how hard it is to find an inspiration image of a cart that's NOT used as a bar cart?  People are going insane with their bar carts.  I challenge every bar cart owner to make me three different cocktails using the ingredients on your cart RIGHT NOW!

Same source as above? I give up...
YOU LOSE.  Thanks for playing.

That's literally all the inspiration carts I could find on Pinterest.  

After searching for seven minutes... 

I started to do a shopping round-up of carts for us and our new coffee station/plant trolleys but realized I can find carts almost weekly at thrift stores and junk stores for less than new ones so you're on your own!

However, I did stumble on these Jayden metal shelves from World Market and at $64 and $80 these seemed like reasonable options for an industrial/creepy medical look which is hard to find on the cheap at the thrift store.

They can hold lots of coffee stirrers, succulents or bone saws til your heart's content.

If I actually do create (possibly non-mobile) coffee station or a garden cart I'll let you know.

Until then, try not to create a scene fighting over metal furniture at the Goodwill.

Monday, March 24, 2014

A Madame's Toolbox: Travel, Wellness and Moisturization Edition

It takes a lot of product and expertise to keep me barely functioning being fabulous.  Since I hit 30ish it seems to require MOAR product and MOAR expertise.  But this Fall and Sprinter I've been making sure to take some extra care of myself especially since I've been traveling a fair amount.

So let's take a look at some of the things that have become essential to my health and well-being at home and while traveling.  Sorry, I'm a Virgo -  I just looove telling you what to do when it comes to mucusy things and/or organization.

First off, I've been a neti pot convert for a while and kinda rely on it for, you know, breathing.  But then I heard that if you don't use filtered/boiled water worms will infect your brain and you'll die.  Now, I'm pretty sure that in thousands of years not many people got brain worms (or maybe they did?) so I wasn't toooo worried about it but we can all agree that neti pots aren't the most sexy or convenient things.  

But you know what IS sexy?

Buy a set of six here for $18. Don't worry, you'll use them.
I said goodbye to my forced nose pee and said hello to snorting saltwater.  Spray in the morning, spray in the evening, spray all fucking day - it's just saline so it's Jeezus and Gaia approved.  

You know how you always have a slight but consistent nose leak the entire winter?  Well since I'm a doctor of medikal scienze for the duration of this blog post and I can tell you it's because your nose is dry and irritated and your membranes are probably over compensating with mucus... I don't know, sounds legit, right?  Anyway, this soothes and moisturizes and cleanses your face holes and gets rid of nasal leakage, pinkie swear.  Remember this come pollen season (which is tomorrow), Southerners.

Also, I used it every twenty minutes while flying and no more stuffy nose.  My seat neighbors probably thought I was disgusting but I was breathing like a dream.  

Speaking of travel and moisturization, I can no longer rely on my body to properly maintain hydration levels anymore and once I get 30 ft above sea level my cells just shrivel up like pale raisins.  I've started drinking bottles - BOTTLES - of water while flying and for the first time ever I felt chipper getting off that last overseas flight I took.  I don't think I've ever been chipper at any point in my life but even the flight attendant applauded my water intake and evangelized the gospel of liquid salvation to me for a bit as she refilled my double-fisted bottles. 

[MS Sidebar: Ahem... Now is probably the time to review the Five Stages of Urinary Grief...]

However, my face skin needed a little more help than Dasani can provide so I brought a sample size of this awesomesauce:
Hydrating Treatment $36
It's a gel but 100 times more moisturizing than you think a gel would be.  There are lots of guides about beauty while flying but I can't pack 13 bottles of goo onto a carry-on bag and this did me alright.  And yes, I took my makeup off when I got on the plane.  I'm ALL about having a clean face for an overnight flight and then getting your ass up to brush your teeth and put more makeup on in the "morning."  It's so worth it to me.

A product I WISH that I did smuggle on the plane?

$8 at Amazon but I think it's cheaper in a store.
I've become addicted to rosewater this year like Olivia Pope is addicted to ivory and melodrama.  It's light, refreshing and NOT a Bath and Body Works perfumed poison splash.  I keep a bottle at home, in the car and at my desk at work.  I spray it whenever I need some fairy inspiration, a person walks by I don't like or I just need to feel like a flower sneezed on my face.  This brand has "magnetized and vortexed" water so that must be some good shit... *makes jacking off hand motion*

But three bottles wasn't enough for me so I have the Mario Badescu aloe version for $7 that I spray onto my face immediately after I cleanse/shower to keep moisture on my face while I lotion up my bod-ay until I can moisturize my face.

I swear it helps.  


But it feels like a facial and smells divine so that's good enough for me.  Mario Badescu life partner.

I can't wait to mist my face the next time I'm on a plane.  Seat neighbor will be shooting daggers with her eyes I can already feel it.

Next time I travel I'm also bringing some old-fashioned epsom salts with me.  My favorite way to learn a new city is on foot so after nine hours of convention center then a full night of exploring the city during my recent trip to Germany, my feet and ankles looked practically elephantine.  On my next to last day I finally stopped at a drugstore and bought these tiny packets of epsom salts for a good soak:

Only in Germany, friends.
So amazing.  I should have done this every night.  

These were so amazing that I dumped about 4 into the hotel bathtub for a full body soak.  But then I wondered what fake balsam scent and green dye would do the pH levels of my traveling vagina and got out pretty fast.  My suitcase is prepared for dry skin emergencies but not for lady infections.

I couldn't find these balsam-scented ones here in the States but these are pretty similar and are $6 for six packets. Or get one of those 5lb cardboard milk cartons of it at Walgreens (if you don't already) and put that shit in a ziploc baggie if you're a walker like me.  Be a grandma.  It's cool.  It's Normcore.

Now, I'll never be the girl who can skip washing her hair but I do harness the power of a particular dry shampoo just for styling purposes.  BECAUSE IT HAS GLITTER IN IT!

That's straight up blonde glitter in the bottom there.
Changing continents, altitudes, time zones or just cardinal directions confuses my hair.  It gets very sad and forlorn and overnight air travel is like the kiss of greasy death.  I give it some glittery dry shampoo courtesy of Keratin Complex for blondes ($35 - yeah, little pricey) to wake it back up again until we have a few showers to acclimate.  Let's try to look as perky as possible standing in that passport line.

If you're not traveling and just normally have fine, limp, easily confused hair it also works great if you get home from work and you're going out again and don't want people to think you're a homeless person but also don't want to wash your hair again because you'd rather just start drinking early.  Head glitter makes everything right with the world again.

If you're a dude and hate dry shampoo and moisturizer, wake up!  You can pay attention again.  

For any gender I would highly recommend getting some packing cubes like these:
Ebags packing cubes set of 3 for $27
These little nylon bags look like no big deal but will absolutely SAVE your sanity while traveling.  Keep your panties and manties and socks and shirts and toiletries and sex toys all separate from each other.  It saves space and time and prevents your luggage from looking like it has an exploding panty problem.

Because it's ALWAYS the panties that escape in the most embarrassing situations...

Yes, YOUR bag can look this good too.
Just look at this suitcase porn.  This blog uses the TravelWise 5-piece set ($30 on Amazon) and it looks like a great deal.  Packing cubes are packing cubes.  I've had the OG Eagle Creek set for almost a decade and it's absolutely worth $30.

One of my favorite finds this last trip was an app (Android and iPhone) called Field Trip.  

Atlas Obscura is my favorite travel site because it has nothing but weird shit that you know is my favorite stuff to see.  I found that they didn't have their own app but are a part of this app along with dozens of other brands like Arch Daily, Architizer, Dezeen, Cool Hunting, Curbed, Zagat, Eater, National Historic Registry and tons of other stuff.  

Do you want to know where abandoned buildings, ghost stories, coffee shops, a bush that's shaped like Gorbachev and awesome museums are?  Well this app will tell you where they are and actually send you push notifications when you're wandering around and get near something else! 

Unfortunately, traveling in a foreign country means my internet service is shit unless I'm physically dry-humping the wifi so I had to roughly plan my route at the hotel beforehand.  However, I found several amazing things I wouldn't have found otherwise.

Even if you're not traveling, play with it in your own city.  You'll be amazed at what places pop up.  Southerners, I now know every Civil War event and market for a 75 mile radius.  After the third day I had to turn off the notifications....

So I'll end this post with something that's not necessarily travel related but it IS related to health and wellness and moisturization: ye olde humidifier.  This is both a positive and negative review.

Crane drop shape humidifier on Amazon
I was a rather sickly kid and among other incredibly nerdy, embarrassing things I did I also regularly used a humidifier.  Well, it was embarrassing back then but now I desperately crave its vapor gifts.

I've had my eye on the award-winning Crane version for the past year or so and just could never make myself spend the money (Um, it's $40...).  But when I saw one for $15 at a bargain store recently I snatched it up.  Thanks, Universe.

I know many people use them all over their houses, I pretty much point it directly on my face at night.  I want an eight hour humidity jizz fest on my face while I sleep.  I'm really glad I bought it because it does help my skin and sinuses.  I'm Team Humidifier despite the fact that you have to clean that shit all the gawddamn time so you don't get BACTERIAL eight hour humidity jizz fest on your face while you sleep.  

However, in the interest of full disclosure - I'm not in love with this humidifier.  Maybe I just haven't used a humidifier in a long time but this "whisper quiet" machine is loud as hell.  I sleep like the walking dead ate a brain full of Nyquil and this thing keeps me up.  It's like a gurgling fountain next to your ear all night long.  

It's so loud I emailed the company to make sure it wasn't defective and they were like "Yep, totes normal.  Have you tried turning it down?"  Um no shit, Cumberbatch.  At no level does it not sound like an animal is drowning deep underwater [slight exaggeration possibly] and turning it up or down doesn't seem to affect the quality of the humidity jizz stream either.  

It doesn't majestically shoot up into the air to be absorbed but instead just sadly billows out and falls down and moistens my nightstand.  My 1980's humidifier had a jet stream so powerful I could set it on a table three feet away and I'd literally wake up in glistening dew on a damp pillow like a woodland nymph.

A kinda nerdy, pretty sickly woodland nymph with dew-kissed skin nevertheless.  

If you have a humidifier that you love - or any product you're loving lately - please share!

I could tell you about products FOREVER but I'll stop there.  

Go forth, my dear friends, and have gorgeous skin, healthy sinuses and many traveling adventures!

It probably doesn't need to be said but I receive no compensation of any kind for any of these recommendations.  Just things I think are cool!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I'll be in the Sprinter nap shed if you need me...

I don't know about y'all but I can't, for the life of me, figure out what gawddamn season we're in.  I switched to my Spring purse and my nose runs a lot but it's cold as all merry fucktown at night and everything in my yard is still brown.  I've named this Spring/Winter/Confused season Sprinter.  

My internal calendar is shot to hell especially because bathing suits are already out now but I still see Christmas stuff on the clearance rack.  WHAT KIND OF WORLD IS THIS AND DO YOU HAVE ANOTHER ONE OF THOSE CANDLE HOLDERS WITH THE REINDEER HORNS?

I think that's why this little shed keeps getting stuck in my brain.

It seems like it could work for all seasons and all levels architectural fantasies because it's insanely scrumptious in every way.

Actually, I take that back.  It's missing one thing.  I'd really like it to have a little stove somewhere in the corner so you can snuggle by a fire while you look out over heaven.  That sounds ripe for structural problems and "code issues" but if it's a structure made for napping do "code issues" really even matter???

Ok technically it's not for napping - it's a garden shed and greenhouse designed by Ville Hara and Linda Bergroth of Hel Yes! in Finland.  This one pictured is specified for Linda and is her summer cabin but it's for reals a gardener's customizable wonderland.

Shed or not, I think I'd like to visit a hotel where each rental unit looks just like this.

You could keep your suitcase and junk in the closet.  It'll have communal tables and bathrooms and all... that seems to be how modern travel is these days for hipsters and artists or whatever.  Hell, not only would I share a shower I might even scrub a stranger down if it meant I could wake up like this.


Please note the record player off to the side because OF COURSE there's a record player in this cabin.

Mine would only play Beyonce.

But I'd really rather have a wood stove over Beyonce if that let's you know how serious I am about my glass house napping.  

Check out more pics and info at Dezeen where I swiped these photos.
Also, the likelihood of me figuring out how to type Beyonce with the correct accent over the E is about as likely as me owning one of these fantastic sheds.

Enjoying your Sprinter, dear readers.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Faux fur: when your room needs more implied violence!

I've been digging deep in my Pinterest archives lately for a little bed inspiration.  I call this the very important 'research portion' of my redo.  [MS sidebar: Now accepting government grants for continued research and future implementation.]  I'm probably not going to do all new bedding mostly because I prefer simple bedding like white on white on off-white and I have plenty of that.  Also, budget.

During this UNFUNDED research portion of my work, I noticed a bedding theme that I thought I might be able to accomplish with minimal wallet pain...

B&B Italia's Selene bed
90% of the images that made me tingle had apparently just come back from a hunting expedition.  I may have to jump on the faux murderous bandwagon and get some faux fur for my murderous green bedroom.

It makes sense with the theme.

Fakery and violence?

via PopSugar
Although I have a feeling that some of these people aren't faux murdering...  super sads.

Ivanka Trump's apartment in Elle Decor
Something about fur makes you go big - big art, big windows, big... twigs?  You have to prove exactly how big your bank account and ego is using everything else in the room otherwise the fur just looks like a rabid wolf broke into your room then deflated at the foot of your bed.



But I don't have a big bank account or ego so that's how my bed will look...

via Vogue a sexy deflated wolf.

NZ House and Garden via The Aestate
I can't think of anything more opposite of what my room will look like than this shiny, mirrored thing above.

This feels a lot more manageable.  However, it does look a bit like I skinned a flock of Charlemagnes for my bed which is the kind of morbidity I draw the line at.

White looks really good with Bridget Bardot and peacocks but not for me.  Also, I bought one of those white faux sheepskins from IKEA a few years ago and although it looked good at first (before yellowing...) it really highlighted how dirty and not-white Charlemagne is.  Filthy little glam beast.

via Apartment Therapy
So I'll stick with a color I think.

Started doing a little lite shopping and found a few good options.  Faux fur is everywhere but a decent looking one that doesn't look like a shiny swath of Z Gallerie pubic hair is harder to find than you think.

Champagne close up
I don't think you can really tell about fur without seeing and feeling it in person but this option from Amazon seems not terrible.

All the colors seems nice but that stair rail is so distracting I can' t see straight.

This bed isn't helping either...

Kitt Fox

Platinum Frost
They come in two size - 58x60 for $99 and a 58x84 for $141.  Looks like the items - 58x60 and 58x84 - are also at Overstock for a bit more money (but it's always good to see the reviews).

The McMansion where they shot this entire campaign is making me rethink this whole thing...

photographed by Sam Levin
But then I remember Bridget and how I'll look exactly like this* and I know I'm making the right decision.  

If I can afford it.  Pretty sure I can buy a new duvet and sheets (possibly two) for the price of one fur blanket.  But I've really committed to this theme so...