Frugal · thrift finds

Summer Thrift Finds!

In May, the girls and I went camping at the coast. It was splendid but cold at night! One morning we woke up to heavy fog and everything was so wet we just got in the car and headed for town to thrift shop and find some hot chocolate to warm our insides!

Here are the treasures I found at a few thrift stores by the sea. Everything was about 50 cents or so.

Minus the silver napkin rings!

I have been finding lots of frames for cheap since then! Most of them were under a dollar. A couple were 1.50. I also got the shelf for a couple dollars and the sweet ceramic baby shoe was 49 cents.

This 4!

I found these guys today for a dollar apiece! Along with those silver plated napkin rings which were 1.25 and such a classic find! I am excited about the zebra stripes! I would love a rug but that would be an expensive risk so these cute pillows covers are an affordable risk in case me and the zebras don’t get along. And then the vintage boy in the sailor suit. Oh my!

Couldn’t pass this up! The corner wasn’t cracked when I bought so when I saw that just now, I quickly hung it up so it would not crack any worse. Whew! I’m tired after that mouthful!

This bowl was given to me today. It was my mom’s. She had it on her table.

A good book (I bought it for the home stuff…) bought at a local thrift store and a candy thermometer from the seaside! My pictures could have been better organized but hey.

And on the line today… a nice stripey fabric shower curtain made of cotton. One small, square linen table cloth and three Egyptian cotton pillow cases…I gave them the smell test lol and they passed! So pretty new condition! I don’t intent to use the shower curtain for the shower necessarily but may use for something else. I’ve really been wanting some cotton linens.

These were things I found over the past few weeks and a few trips to the second-hand stores. Found lots of summery things.

Have you been to the second-hand store recently? What have you found??


Do More of What Makes You Happy

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” – Isaiah 30:21

I went through a rough patch a few weeks ago. I felt depressed and was having a hard time pulling out of it. There are reasons connected with the loss of my mother that brought it on.

I prayed about it – asking God what I could do to feel better and I distinctly heard a still small voice say – do more of what makes you happy.

For me, that meant getting fabric and paint and redoing the chair in my living room, getting outside fabric for a couple pillows for my swing and going to second-hand stores. These things brought bursts of joy! And broke that hold gloominess had over me for a few days.

There is sunshine and rain in this life but with God’s help we can get out from under those clouds!

We can pray and ask God for His help and advice in life’s struggles. And sometimes He says – go shop, girl! Make something pretty.

What is God saying to you? What makes you happy?

Poppies at the ocean!
decluttering · home organization

Small “Pantry” Clean Out

I saw a moth.

So that means that cabinet that is our “pantry” might need some work.

I have been putting it off, shoving things in and hurrying to shut the door so everything doesn’t spill out.

Is it really that bad? Why yes, yes it is. I’ve been putting it off for a long time.

Sometimes when something gets this bad you just want to shut he door and try to forget about it and then…

You see a moth. Or smell a smell. Or someone drops by. Or…

And you have a problem and finally decide it’s time to do something about it. I know we all probably have something we are neglecting and putting off. Anything is better than dealing with that one thing or two, right?

I’m not the best organizer. I lack space and discipline to put things back in such a way that lends itself to orderliness. I think the solution for this would be to regularly visit these spaces and tidy them up.

This is something I need to work on. My junk drawer and other drawers need some attention too. But that’ll have to be another day. Today’s the day to conquer that cabinet!

I went in and with my girl’s help we got it done! She was excited! I’d like more containers or baskets but was using what I have on hand.

We threw a lot of outdated food away or stuff that has gone stale. Removed some things to store elsewhere, wiped down the shelves, reorganized and labeled a few things with chalkboard labels from the dollar tree. I cleared the top of the cabinet and set out a few shells and a plant for summer.

“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much…” Luke 16:10

What area in your home or life have you been neglecting?

gardening · home

What’s Happening-Early Summer

Here are a few things happening around the house:

My gallery wall in the hall is starting to take shape. I got good deals on my thrifted frames and now just to find the pictures for them.

This morning I went out to the swing and read a few pages of a book called, “Simple Abundance” a daybook of comfort and joy. I don’t like everything the author has to say but the things about the home are really neat/inspiring. I got it at a second-hand store recently. I had regretted passing that book up a couple years ago and so I jumped on it when I saw it. Sometimes life does give you a second chance! I read about a time the author lived in a tiny place and went crazy with fabric, glue and staples, needle and thread and completely redid that small room she lived in. Loved that!! That’s so me. Also ideas for turning your house into a summer house. Yes, it’s that time of year again and I’m about to bust out my shells.

In my devotional, I read about making the home a happy place and not focusing on what the world thinks about your furniture, etc. Contentment. So all in all a great morning reading.

I went to water and thought I’d show you what’s going on outside.

Just cleaned the porch, here are the pillows I made a couple months back. The plants are thriving and I got a new rubber front door mat. I thought I wouldn’t like it, but I love it! No more stickers and cat hair clinging on for dear life when I sweep…like the old one I had that had that fuzzy stuff on it.

My flamingoes are enjoying all the flowers that are starting to bloom. I planted zinnias and marigolds from seed because they are deer proof. Behind those are a couple clippings from my mom’s geranium bushes she had at her house.

Here’s what’s left of our garden boxes after we had some night visitors. The wire wasn’t around them then! The bottom one is mine and I used to have a couple nice pepper plants and a couple cucumbers and a tomato.

Sometimes life gives you a perfect chance for a new beginning!

Hope you are enjoying these first few days of summer!


House Therapy

It is good to get lost in your house. How’s that Johanna? My house is small.

Get lost like the lost you get in a good book or the lost you get in a second hand shop. Wandering down dusty aisles – hunting for hidden treasure. Sometimes these things can be the best therapy.

First you need a chunk of time – that weekend morning or even a whole day (or days) to focus on deep cleaning, rearranging, or putting together something new in your house. These things are soul refreshing. Add in a few new things and you could be on cloud nine.

I’m sure you’ve all heard that a lot of people clean and organize their homes because it gives them a sense of control in an otherwise out of control world or life. That’s not a bad thing. How many of you clean really good when you’re mad? Funnel all that emotion into something productive and positive for yourself.

I think for many, the keeping of a home, the nest building is a form of therapy. There’s something about a clean house, about a transformed house, that is good for the soul and makes you believe for a few minutes that yes, all is well with the world. The home can be a small retreat and you can get a great sense of accomplishment from the effort you put in.


Decluttering Fantasies and Other Stuff Going On Around the House

There’s lots started but little done.

My house is in dire need of turning it up on one end and dumping the contents into a big dumpster. Anyone else ever have these kinds of fantasies?

And with my mother’s passing came a lot of stuff that isn’t staying but needs to be moved and given to others. And well a lot is staying actually!

We live in a small place with a small storage room divided down the middle. My side resembles a library…well let’s just face it. At the moment you’d have to climb over a huge pile of junk to get to the books! I’m in need of a major decluttering. Oh how the stuff just creeps up on ya.

In other news – I inherited a lawn swing. I made a cushion for it from a lounge chair cushion from Ross and outdoor fabric from Walmart. It turned out great for no sew and low budget! I’ve been trying to find the right pillows and am settling for a couple from Walmart. I am also recovering a couple in outdoor fabric from Walmart. I love that stuff! Way cheaper than trying to buy all new cushions and pillows.

So there’s that. Unfinished project.

Let’s sneak in one more decluttering fantasy real quick. I had the idea that I would just throw everything out in the yard that I wanted to get rid of and take trip after trip after trip to donate it. More doable but really how likely is it that I am actually going to do that?

Haha – major accomplishments happening up in here today! I finally put pictures in my frames that are on my picture ledge! Yes, two whole frames! There may have been a third but… it’s lost in the junk room that I can’t even walk into at the moment! I would like to do a gallery wall in the hall because I want to see my people! That would require another trip to the Goodwilll (which I am happy to do) and maybe a can of spray paint.

Needs that one other frame.

I have lots to do outside and lots to do inside. I feel like I will never be done.

How about you? Are you in control of your house or struggling like me?

What projects are you working on?


Tackling the Toy Room

So there’s that room. Yes, that one. That one everything gets dumped in.

So yesterday was the day I took it back. It’s our school/play room. It’s not that glamorous, really. It’s a small and a bit overstuffed…still.

This corner looks good…haha

It took me all day and that is why I’ve put it off this long. We tackled the junk sitting everywhere and decluttered the obvious stuff. We rearranged and changed some things around. It’s clean and functional as a room now…haha, but it’s not finished yet. The next layer will be sorting through all the books and toys and hopefully letting go of some of that.

Last night my little kiddo used it as a movie theater (movie with lights off), played restaurant and today using it for doing her school work. She is all excited which is cute. And motivates me to really keep this space up and make it even better for her.

It feels so much better to have it done.

What’s that space in your house that needs help?

love the home you have

house love

Synonyms for passion: affection, attachment, devotedness, devotion, fondness, love

I just had to think about what I really enjoy doing. I was watching a video called reignite your passion. This lady was talking about how she loves to paint and draw and how that is therapy for her.

Well, I’m certainly no artist although several of my kids are. I can’t play an instrument, although I’d love to.

So it wasn’t too hard for me to come up with what I do love and am passionate about.

Houses. I love putting rooms together. I think that’s why I love thrift stores because I can find affordable things for my house. I love organizing and decluttering. Even cleaning and putting a room back together is enjoyable to a certain extent. The transformation makes me feel like all is well with the world. I definitely am getting the endorphins flowing when the house comes together.

My only problem is there’s not enough space for all the things I’d like to do, so I’m having to decide what I really like the most and do that. I would like to hang more family photos so I am hoping to have a gallery wall in my hallway. And maybe pop in a picture here or there of what makes life sweet – the people we love.

I love looking through decorating books and magazines, watching YouTube decorating and home tour videos, especially small space because I can glean ideas and solutions on how to make small work.

I think home should be a reflection of you. It should tell your story. It should remind you of the people you love and the things you’ve done and are doing. It should be a place of warmth and love and peace.

It should also function well. So one of my goals in this small mobile home is to get the most I can out of the space. Yes, our table is too big. Two sides are moved against a wall and post so are unusable, but the table is an antique and family heirloom and is meaningful and beautiful. It serves it’s purpose and works for us because there are only three of us that live here now. It can be pulled out to accommodate more people if we need it to. Having the bigger table provides extra meal prep space (since we have very little counter space) and a place for playing games. So although the table is technically too big for the space, it adds lots of necessary functions and beauty to our home, so is worth the space it takes up.

It definitely is a challenge to get this place to work because it is so small and I have a lot of stuff. It is a matter of finding the right solutions for storage and downsizing a bit. But even though it can be frustrating, it’s also enjoyable. As much of life can be.

What are you passionate about? Do you enjoy your home?


You Matter at Home

They tried to replace people with robots at Walmart. Sending around that little box on wheels to do inventory and according to a worker there, they have tons of overstock sitting around. So the robot got the boot and maybe Walmart will realize people are important. Because of the bottom line, I’m sure the push to replace people will continue.

It seems society thinks that moms and homemakers aren’t important. That they can easily be replaced by stand ins and yes, if that stand in is your mother or family member, then that keeps that love flowing. But if it’s just a random person doing a job, that’s exactly what it is. Sometimes they are a loving person, but no one can love your child like you do.

Then after working all day, there’s not a lot left to give. But the dishes and laundry and housekeeping never go away. It’s still up to you to get it all done. So basically two fulltime jobs stuffed into one. I’m not saying this is for everyone. Some need to work or should for various reasons. And that’s ok. My point is is that people realize there is work at home that is important. Mamas taking care of their babies is important. Healthy dinners on the table is important. People’s mental health is important.

You matter at home.


Spring Second-hand Shopping List

At the beginning of the year, I wrote a Second-hand Shopping List here on the blog. I think it’s time for a little update and new list.

I haven’t found any Christmas stuff. Maybe the stores are saving it until Christmas but I’m still keeping my eye out.

I have been able to find some sweet dishes to include with my regular dishes and now they have their own cupboard. It’s fun, we use them for toast and snacks a lot. I am using my pink cups (I already had). I’m so drawn to the old pastels! And what’s even more funny is that, until recently, I had no idea how happy actually using them makes me!

Another thing I’ve been able to find are some table linens – napkins, placemats and runners. So that’s a nice start to getting a more well-rounded table stash.

I still haven’t found any copper, candlesticks and an ottoman or pouf. So those will go back on the list.

Shopping List

  • copper for the kitchen
  • black or brass-ish candle holders (possibly others)
  • yes a pouf or ottoman or even small table
  • more pastel dishes!!!!
  • nice picture frames for a wall or two I want to hand family photos on
  • still more table linens (napkins, placemats, etc.)
  • throw pillows, pillow covers or fabric for pillows
  • things for the yard
  • nice large jars for storage
  • up to date decorating books
  • spring tops
  • stuff I don’t even know I need!

Thanks for reading. What’s on your list?