2. Click here to complete the process. Sac Thrift Chick

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Nar, Go National and The Knockoffs at Old Ironsides


A Perfect Thrifting Day

I had the perfect thrfiting experience the other day. I walked into Thrift Town armed with $5 off a $10 purchase VIP coupon and a list in my head of the three pieces my wardrobe just wasn't complete without -- clothes that used to be staples in my wardrobe, but I had since outgrown (literally).

Upon entering the store, I quickly found one of the coveted items: a plaid school-girl type skirt. It looked to be my size, so I took it off its hanger and moved onto the racks of dresses.

There, I found a halter-top sundress, with polka dots. I don't care how many polka-dot dresses I have; it's never enough. The tag read a size too big, but the dress looked to run small, so I decided to give it a try.

On the way to the dressing room, I quickly flipped through the "finer" clothes section. My fingers paused on a pair of DKNY dark wash crop pants, not only in my size, but with a "P" next to the number, ideal for shortie like myself.

The stars aligned that day because all three items from my wish-list fit.

To top off my purchase, I added a Jodi Picoult book. With my $5 off coupon, I spent $13 total.

Top and Mary Jane heels also from Thrift Town. Outfit roughly $10.

With $10 heels from Payless and $0.99 top from Thrift Town.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

From Kitchens to Closets: Thrifty Organizational Tricks


In my old kitchen, I had some major pet peeves: Searching for matching food storage and drink lids were at that top of that list. Sponges knocked into the sink was another annoyance.

Now I use baskets and food containers to keep everything in place. 

 All I have to do is pull out the basket in the cup cupboard, and I can easily find the lid to keep my coffee from spilling all over me when I'm half asleep and in serious need of caffeine.

Sponges go in a basket. Loose food storage lids go in a basket. I've also invested in the Rubbermaid Easy Find Lids set, which is just plain awesome. The lids snap together and two sizes fit the entire set.

I use food storage containers to group similar items, such as my measuring cups and measuring spoons.

Baking/frosting supplies go together in one container -- no more rifling through the cabinet trying to find that tiny bottle of lemon extract or those candles I know we still have.

My new kitchen is smaller than my old, so some organizational tricks grew from necessity. I added small shelves to a narrow cupboard to hold food storage wrap and lunch bags.

Magnetic hooks on the fridge hold cutting boards, pot holders and my apron.  Grabbing a pot holder off the fridge is just so much more convenient than grabbing it from a drawer.


I hate a mess of shoes and jackets by the front door. I trip over my own feet, so a pile of shoes is an injury waiting to happen. 
Luckily my new house had a small accordion closet near the front door perfect for turning into a mud room closet.

We added a coat rack to hold jackets and hats, individual hooks on the sides for bags, and we turned a freebie shelf into a shoe rack below.

The shelf above has two specifically-purposed baskets from the 99 Cent Store. One holds the things we use on a regular basis: sunglasses, lights for walking the dog at night and packs of gum. The other holds things we sometimes need on our way out the door, such as sunblock, headphones and small notebooks.


Across the hallway, we have a larger closet, in which we keep heavier jackets and those coats not used regularly. Hanging closet drawers hold our large collection of scarves, gloves, warm hats and far too many umbrellas.

In my bedroom closet, I found a wire rack does an excellent job of organizing my belts.


Maybe you are naturally blessed with a clutter-free home. I am not. 

To keep the small clutter contained, I swear by baskets. Baskets everywhere! 

Since I don't have a proper nightstand, and I hate searching through drawers,  I use a decorative basket by my bedside to hold all those little things that would otherwise end up scattered around the room: deodorant, nightly medications, tissue, lip balm, reading light, etc. 
For a clutter-free bathroom counter, we toss the everyday items into a basket. No more toothpaste tubes and hairbrushes on my counters! And my husband does actually put every item back into the basket, right after he uses it. After years of his mess on the counter, I can't believe I didn't use a basket sooner.
At my desk, I have a coupon basket and a "I don't know where to put this paper/I don't want to put it away this second" basket. When the basket is full, I put the papers and random items away.

A basket holds the CDs my husband listens to in the kitchen. When the basket is full, he knows it's time to put some CDs away before pulling out new ones. We use a basket with a lid on the coffee table to hold the remotes and keep pens handy. My husband has his own clutter basket. I don't care what he puts in it; I'm just happy it's in his basket and not scattered across the kitchen table.

I love baskets.

An Easter basket holds the mail and keys.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Mad Men Party Ideas: Celebrate Season 7 Premiere

The final season of "Mad Men" premieres next Sunday, on April 13. What better way to celebrate Don, Peggy, Roger, Joan and Pete returning to our TV screens than with a Mad Men premiere party?

Here are some ideas from my Mad Men party a couple years ago:

Mad Men Yourself for your e-vite.

Ads, ads and more ads! Go with icon Sterling & Cooper accounts: Lucky Strike, Heineken, Belle Jolie and Kodak.
I also set out bestselling books from the era and put my record player front and center.

Budget-Friendly Menu
Pigs in a blanket
Deviled eggs
Chips and dip
Veggies and dip
Cheese and crackers

And, if you want to be as fabulous a host as Megan, you have to do fondue. If you want to be more like the first (well, second, technically) Mrs. Draper, set out the china.

Martinis are a must.
Sprite or 7-Up with cherries make good nonalcoholic options.
A full drink cart with ice in the bucket will really sell the experience. Check out the official Mad Men Cocktail Guide.

Charades with clues from the Mad Men era will break the ice.
A Hula Hoop or Limbo competition will get everyone laughing like they've inhaled one of Stan's herbal cigarettes ...
This 60s Slogans and Taglines quiz is a toughie, or at least it was for my friends -- before our time. (For easier play, adapt the game to play in teams.)

Photo Backdrop
Snap photos of guests against a Mad Men backdrop. A Man Men or Sterling & Cooper sign, New York buildings or the ad agency's offices will do the trick.

And don't forget, have a drink and cigarette in hand at all times. In Sacramento, you'll find a selection of classic candy cigarettes at the candy stores in Old Sacramento. I got mine at Candy Heaven.

Book-Themed Baby Shower on a Budget

I love to throw themed parties, and I love to throw parties for other people. One of my favorites was the book-themed baby shower I co-hosted for my friend Nicki, who was pregnant with her first child, a baby boy. Nicki requested a co-ed baby shower without a lot of cheesy baby shower games. My co-host and I kept costs down by making it a backyard potluck. Although a potluck might not be an appropriate choice in all circles, it was perfect for this large guest list

  • DIY cardstock invitations set the theme with a simple request that guests sign a favorite book instead of a card
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar fed a group hungry for sweets. The cake was a great focal point, and simple to create: 23 frosted cupcakes for the body and and one round cake for the head. With black licorice, the caterpillar sprouted legs and antenna. 
  • A sheet cake decorated as the title page from "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" provided extra servings.
If you look closely, you can see the White Rabbit from "Alice in Wonderland" chilling on the far right.
  • Favorite kid's lit characters -- in stuffed animal form -- joined the guests. (Winnie the Pooh, Corduroy the bear and Curious George, to name a few.)
  • Hardcover children's books sat on each seat. These books gave guests something to look through as everyone arrived; they also served as writing surfaces for the pen-and-paper games.  
  • Onesies (picked up for free on Craigslist) hung on twine made a banner above the guests of honor.
  • A little crate paper, balloons and plastic table cloths tied the baby's room colors into the party. White string lights added sparkle.

Baby's uncles battle it out.

  • Fill-in-the-blank trivia on classic children's books kept the theme going. 
 The other activities were more for laughs:
  • A contest to see who could cloth diaper baby the fastest. (Make sure to pit mom against dad at a co-ed party.)
  • Taste and guess baby food flavors. (Probably the least popular activity for our mixed crowd. It wasn't a game Grandpa was going to participate in.)
  • Guess mom's belly size by sheets of toilet paper. (Never not funny.)
  • Present Bingo: To keep guests from boredom during the present parade, they fill out a Bingo card with predictions of what the parents will receive. The first guest to get five in a row (or blackout the playing card) gets a prize and bragging rights. 
  • Decorate onesies with fabric paint. This was the costlier part of the shower, but totally worth it. The results were hilarious.
It helps if your guests are awesome.

Produce box covered in wrapping paper, adorned with a bow.
  •  Guests took home goodie bags with baby-themed candies: Baby Ruth, Sugar Daddies, Sugar Babies, etc.
  • Classic rock with some alternative and a sprinkle of local favorites sounded in the background. Baby, boys and love were key subjects.

Baby Avin is now 4 years old, and his super cool mom throws him a super cool birthday party every year. Nicki's themed parties are so legendary, they've been featured on Apartment Therapy, and she has her own party-planning business. Check her out.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Sacramento Museum Day is Saturday

California Automobile Museum, 2012

It's that time of year in Sacramento: 30 museums will offer free or half-price admission on Saturday, Feb. 1. Check out Sacramento365 for a list of participating museums and all pertinent details.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

DIY Valentine's Day Gift: Love Note Playing Cards

I will admit something. I was mad at my husband around Valentine's Day of last year. Why? I don't remember. I just remember that I procrastinated on making his gift because I wasn't feeling very lovey-dovey.

But then I got over myself and wrote down 56 reasons why I love my husband and pasted said reasons onto a deck of cards for this simple DIY Valentine's Day gift.

As I wrote each reason, I smiled more and more. I have one pretty amazing partner. And he absolutely loved my last-minute gift.

If you want to make this gift yourself and add to the package, consider buying a poker set for your guy. I actually used the cards from the poker set I bought Aaron for our one-year wedding anniversary, so I really upped the ante on the sentimental value. 

Warning: Sexy, hot strip-poker may ensue.