Wednesday, August 29, 2012

6 Benefits of choosing your favorite thrift stores

If choosing your favorite thrift store seems useless to you - read on! Here are my top 6 reasons for choosing your favorite store:
1. If you shop somewhere often, stay awhile, and usually spend money (doesn't have to be a lot), the owners will start to recognize you. When they recognize you they get chatty, splurge on days when donations are usually made, how often their biggest donators stop by, tell you way early when specials are on their way, occasionally give you a few dollars off if you're hesitant on a purchase, and even write your number down when you're looking for something specific! Do you need any more reasons??

2. Spending less time driving around, and more time shopping at once store will allow you to thoroughly search the racks for an amazing item. Usually the best stuff gets buried, so take your time, and if you know which shops have the hidden treasures-why bother going elsewhere? Not to mention, the less driving, the less money on gas you're wasting!

3. Spending a whole day thrifting sounds like a fun day, but its tiring and sometimes you end up buying things you don't really need or want, simply because of the thrill. Part of that thrill is walking into a store with no expectations and finding a fabulous deal-and when you only have 1 or 2 items, you feel more guilt about leaving the fabulous find behind. Which means that every time you walk into a new store, you have potential to fall victim to this feeling. Narrow down the number of shops you walk into, and it cuts down that potential. Now when you have a pile of goodies at one shop, you're more inclined to narrow it down, rather than splurge because its only a single item.

4. Many people set budgets, say $20 per store. If you are hitting up 10-15 shops, you have potential to spend $300! Budgets are a great idea for shopping, but if you stick to 5 or less stores in a day, you'll be sure to spend less than $100. Plus, going back to #3, when you have a pile of items at a shop, you're more likely to put some back before heading to the check out which means you'll be less inclined to over spend.

5. Let's face it, one of the benefits of thrifting in general is saving money. So when you choose your favorite shops, one thing you are sure to take into consideration is pricing. If there is a shop out of your price range, take it off your list- and you'll be sure to never overspend at that shop again!

6. Thrift stores tend to have a focus, such as clothes, or home decor. If you head out to accessorize your living room, choose your favorite shop that focuses on home decor. If you walk into a shop that has clothes, you will almost certainly get distracted by a cute top and buy items you didn't head out to shop for!

How I decide: I shop there a minimum of 3 times within 2-3 months. Go on random days, like a Monday, Thursday and a Saturday. That way you know if they don't have much inventory on Monday, it might the day before they accept donations or the day after a sale. If you go on Thursday and there's no inventory either, it might something to consider. If you go to a thrift store 3-5 times and come out empty handed each time -don't go back! If you find something once, there's potential, but if you find the prices too be too high, the stock to be too dirty, or the shop to be smelly, then don't bother! 

Do you choose favorite thrift stores? What are your guidelines and reasoning?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Unfortunately Summer is well on its way out, as a last ditch effort to bring the beach home with us, I decided to do an INSPIRATION using shells. Another fabulous (and FREE) nature item, that provides beautiful texture and color to anything, and welcomes summer all year round! 
FRAMES: These frames are so cute, and the perfect way to bring your summer vacation home with you all year! Grab a few of your favorite shells, along with a jar of sand and a shadow box frame or a frame without glass! First super glue your shells in the frame, make sure you are liberal with the glue and wait until they are properly adhered. Then slather on a thick amount of modpodge and pour the sand on, wait for it dry and shake off the excess. Once you have it ready (and no more sand falls off) hang on the wall, or sit up on a desk and remember your vacation forever!

FLIP FLIPS: I know, I know, once winter comes flip flops become a thing of the past. But if you wear them around the house, or just want a way to remember your summer vacation (in a functional way), these are perfect! Grab a couple shells, if they have a way to weave twine (or hemp or your favorite string) through, great! If they don't, use a drill bit made for ceramics to drill a small hole! Use the twine to weave or macrome the shells onto your cheap flip flips and whola! Cute, functional, and easy to change out if you feel so inclined!

LAMP: This lamp has so many possibilities! Grab your favorite shape from the thrift store, it can be traditional, or funky, or modern! As long as you like it, it's perfect! Then grab an assortment of shells (or all the same) and use hot glue or super glue to attach. Play with the placement, you can put as many or as little on as you like! When its all finished and dry, you can leave it natural to bring in those great colors, or spray paint your favorite color and leave the texture to speak for itself!

EARRINGS: My favorite accessory, I love earrings, and if I took a vacation to the beach, these would be my preferred way of saving the memento! Choose shells with natural holes, or use a drill bit made for ceramics to create a small one. Then attach a chain to your favorite earring backs (posts or hooks) and use 'O' rings to attach the shells to the chain! Custom, cute and colorful!

Have you tried one of these projects or techniques? I'd love to see it! Send me a link or picture so I can feature it on my blog!
To find out information about the products used, please click the image to head to Polyvore!
•This may be posted to any of the link parties


Friday, August 24, 2012

DIY PROJECT: Memo Board Part One: The Calendar

The long awaited DIY project -better be good right? Well here was my dilemma. I originally thought up this idea in response the the Dollar Store Craft Challenge (on the 1st of this month…). I needed something to organize all of my thoughts and office stuff so it seemed like the perfect opportunity. The problem was I was unsure how I wanted to do it-so I kept going back and forth, even after I purchased the supplies. Then something came up so I couldn't post it in time for the challenge anyway. Then I was lazy and a 3 hour project suddenly became a 3 week project. Finally my last issue was, I wasn't sure how to post it because ultimately I was doing 3 projects, and it may be long for one post. Long story short, I've finally decided to break it up over 3 posts. 
 Part 1: The Calendar 
I needed a calendar desperately. Something big and easy to see that I didn't need to flip through pages in a book or a binder. So I could keep track of the generic things, like concerts and doctor appointments! This seemed like a no-brainer to me. 
Frame-if you have one at home, use it! Mine was from the Dollar Store
  Spray Paint-I had extra on hand in white
  Scrapbook Paper-I had this on hand, but any paper, or wrapping paper you like will work
  Paint brush-a foam brush will work even better, you can get these at the Dollar Store
  Etching Solution-had this on hand as well.
 My cost: $1 

I started this project out by painting the frame, I used spray paint and it ended up using 3 coats-which I will explain later in my third post. I used the paper inside the frame to measure and cut my scrapbook paper to the size needed. Since my office is gray, pink and yellow-I chose a cute pink pattern, the pattern you use should not be bold or distracting, try subdued patterns (tone on tone) or plain colors. 
 Next I measured out lines on the back of the page from the frame to create the basis of the calendar on. I measured in half an inch from either side to create a border, then measured what was left and divided by 5 (for horizontal). Then I taped it to the back of the glass. Using masking tape (or whatever you have on hand) I placed the tape along the lines on the other side of the glass, leaving about an 1/8th of an inch between them. Using a ruler and exacto knife, I cut off the excess to create that border. 
 Measuring again I made the same divisions going down, dividing by 7 (for vertical). I left about 1/8th of an inch again between the boxes, and use the ruler and exacto to cut evenly. 
 Once my calendar was created via tape, I opened the etch solution and began dabbing it on. A foam brush would have worked better to create even strokes and fill it faster. Make sure you apply quickly and liberally. As you can see I did not and mine wasn't as even in the end result. Wait about 5-10 minutes before washing off. 

 After it's dry replace in the frame, placing the paper behind it as a backdrop. You will have a perfect calendar border with a cute interchangeable background!
Now you can write on it with white board pens, and erase when you're done to change the dates every month! Plus, you can purchase the markers at the dollar Store!
Stay tuned next week, for the next part of my office organization!  
•This may be shared on any of the link parties page•


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Christmas Price Check FREE Printable

 Told you more Christmas Goodies were coming, and here's the next edition! Possibly my favorite-probably because I love lists AND saving money, so this is a double winner in my book! Once upon a time I was shopping online for a very expensive item, I found a place offering it a LOT cheaper than others, but the shipping was twice the amount as the other places. Thus I created this very sheet to help me tally the prices and therefore save money! I've turned it into a festive, but not too festive worksheet so you guys can keep track of your Christmas shopping prices, allowing you to shop around when you have time, and ensure you get the best price you can!

TIP: Make sure you look around for coupons every chance you get to help you save even more money! 

The worksheet is easy (and free as always!), once you've decided on a gift for someone simply fill it in the item spot. Then find 2-3 stores offering it, record the cost + shipping cost, and total it up. Once you've price checked around a few times (and looked for coupons to lower them even more)! Then choose the best spot for you to purchase from! Keep in mind shipping times as well. For example Amazon offers free shipping on certain items, but it takes a month to receive it. If you have an event you need the item for coming up, make sure you choose the shipping options that works best for you!  

Rules for the download: please, please, PLEASE make sure you subscribe to the blog by GFC, RSS, or bloglovin and share on Facebook or Pinterest to send your friends-Dear Wallet Printables are for followers only! Do not reproduce, or claim as your own, all rights belong to Silver Daisies Studios and Ariana Neala. Thanks so much, click the image to begin download! 
*//EDIT: I truly love that so many of you are loving these printables enough to download, but please take an extra second or two to follow! Thank you! =)

Blue Christmas

Jingle Bells
Sleigh Rides

•This may be shared on any of the link parties page•
**Background is freebie from Design House Digital**

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Organizing my Vanity | Arm Candy Edition

**Before you guys get too concerned, I do have an article coming this week, I just messed around with the schedule of my posts to try something new! I also have a DIY project coming up-so stay tuned, and hit that follow button on the sidebar to stay up-to-date!**

I'm in the process of updating my vanity, now by vanity I mean my dresser top (obviously! ;)) because I have ZERO room for an actual vanity (someday...). You may remember my fun post for a Ring Display! Well now I will introduce my bangle display!
Here was my dilemma, I love bangles. I have many, and I tend to buy more and more every time I go thrifting (oops)! For a long time I stored them on long neck wine bottles (on top of my dresser). I also stored bouquets for my photography business in them as well. It worked because it kept them out of the way and they were nicely displayed. The problem was if I wanted to wear one near the bottom I would either have to (take out the bouquets) pour them all off, or skip it. I wanted needed something that was easier.
I spent some time on Pinterest, and google, sketching ideas, and finally decided that a bowl would be the easiest and cheapest route. I made plans for the potential bowl I was going to create (yes DIY)-and then I went thrifting. And found a bowl that only dreams are made of. Ok, maybe not. But I do love it, and when I saw it I had to have it!
I've done some research on it, and it is certainly quite common (especially on etsy). Frustratingly, there are varying facts on it-an 80's Canadian designer versus a 60's Italian designer. While I'd love to know who made it, I love it regardless. Plus-who can pass it up for $1.99!
It works perfect for my bangles, which by the way, after I took these pictures I found the other half of my collection. Turns out not only was it time consuming to take them off the wine bottles-but to put them back as well!
So how do you guys like it? What do you use to hold your bracelets?
•This may be posted to Wednesday of the link parties


Tuesday, August 21, 2012


I love nature, twigs being my favorite part. Something about the texture, and the smells, and the flexibility. Or maybe its just because they are so perfectly imperfectly organic (um does that even make sense??). Regardless, a shot of color can bring a beautiful balance of all things cohesive and modern to a timeless (organic) piece like twigs. (Did you learn nothing from last week's INSPIRATION wild in white??)!
TWIG PLATE: I love the beautiful texture this can bring to any room, bringing almost a rustic chic, or even flowing perfectly with a beachy theme. The original is made of sanded willow branches woven together. For your own imperfect version why not grab some local branches in your yard, and layer them to your liking! I suggest using the bottom (not the top) of a can (such as olives-or something larger) to create a base to grow off of. It gives just enough height to keep it from laying flat, and a small enough base to keep it from moving. Use superglue (or hot glue) to attach and finish it off with a coat of your favorite color spray paint!

EARRINGS: These are too cute and fun, not to do! Grab a couple small twigs and strip them of extra branches creating two long branches. The key to this project is finding branches the same length/width and still alive! Soak them in water if they are too dry for 12-24 hours before bending. To keep the shape glue together to create the circle, and let dry for 24 hours. I would also dip in a sealant (such as polyurethane) to keep it from getting too dry and brittle later. When its dry attach earrings hooks or posts, and paint with your favorite nail polish to give some color!

CANDLESTICKS: I'm not going to lie, I saw these on High Low Project, and fell in love so I had to share this idea! Sabrina Soto found large branches with some weight to them, and sanded to create a beautiful sculptural feel. She used a double edge screw in the top, tied to a string, then poured water and paint into a bin to drunk the branch to give it a watery silver look. Unfortunately this means you waste a lot of paint. So here's another suggestion for the same look. Instead of a double sided screw (to screw the candle on), if you find one thick enough, you can drill into it to create a hole to stick the candles into! Finish off with a coat of spray paint and perfection!

TWIG VOTIVE: Grab another can of olives and grab the bottom part again, then use those twigs to create a ring around the top of it, using hot glue (or superglue) to attach. I love how the original has movement to it, but attach to your preference! Place a votive inside and you have a beautiful centerpiece! You could even finish it off with your favorite spray paint for a truly personal look!

BOWL: Soak your twigs in water for 12-24 hours to get them nice and flexible. Turn a bowl over, cover with saran wrap, and begin playing with placement of the twigs. When you have your preference (use as many or as little as you like) begin hot gluing the pieces together. Try adding layers for dimension and added texture! I would add a bowl of the same size on top of it after the glue has dried, and keep it there for about 24 hours. Long enough for the twigs to dry and keep them down from popping out of place. When its done, you could seal it using polyurethane and finish off with a coat of spray paint!

Have you tried one of these projects or techniques? I'd love to see it! Send me a link or picture so I can feature it on my blog!
To find out information about the products used, please click the image to head to Polyvore!
•This may be posted to Tuesday-Wednesday of the link parties

Saturday, August 18, 2012

First Day of School FREEBIE Printable!

I was originally going to save this post for next week, but since so many have started school already, there is no need for me to hold it hostage! This is an oldie-but-goodie! I created this page originally for my clients (I'm a photographer) with kids, as something (free) and fun they could print out and put in a frame (8x10) and glue on their favorite school photo! Later, they could save the page to place in an album to keep! 

The best part is, your child can fill it out (or you can fill it out for them), so not only do you get to saver their precious childhood through a school photo-but their life, through their own words! The template hole for a photo is 4x6, but you can easily place a smaller image centered and have a cute border around it!

Rules for the download: please, please, PLEASE make sure you subscribe to the blog by GFC, RSS, or bloglovin and share on Facebook or Pinterest to send your friends-Dear Wallet Printables are for followers only! Do not reproduce, or claim as your own, all rights belong to Silver Daisies Studios and Ariana Neala. Thanks so much, click the image to begin download!

If you use it, be sure to take a picture of it in the frame all filled out, to share with me! I'd love to see your child's answers!
•This may be shared on Sunday-Wednesday link parties page•
**Background is freebie from Design House Digital**
*For those wondering, this is not a layered PS file, it is a PDF for the purpose of printing, and handwriting before placing in a frame!*

Thursday, August 16, 2012

MY THRIFTED OUTFIT garden edition

Now this is going to come as a huge surprise...but I am NOT a photogenic person. As a photographer by trade, I definitely belong on the opposite side of the camera. But that's a given. This months MY THRIFTED OUTFIT was inspired by a day of thrifting of course! And as always, everything seen was thrifted (even the table in the picture-but that's a different story)! 
 What I'm Wearing:
Top: Ambiance originally $15- I paid $3 at Discovery Shop Auburn
Jacket: Old Navy originally $45 -I paid $6 at Goodwill Roseville
Skirt: Fang originally $32-I paid $4 at Goodwill Roseville
Shoes: Miss Me originally $60-I paid $7 at Discovery Shop Auburn
Purse: (fake) Coach originally $40-I paid $.50 at a garage sale
Necklace: No name originally $10-I paid $2 at garage sale
Earrings: No name-I paid $1 at garage sale
Originally worth $202+, I paid $23.50!!!

Yes, you read that correctly-the Coach is fake and I only paid $.50! I get compliments everywhere on it, its big and spacious and a unique color! I find that sometimes its worth paying more for something if I find it worth it. Such as if its really comfortable, I've been looking for it for a long time, or I need it immediately etc. For example, the skirt and jacket were purchased for a photoshoot I was doing that day, turns out after the fact (and the failed photoshoot) I really liked the items and they stayed in my closet! The necklace you can't see, but its advertised as a bronze vintage jeweled owl necklace.

Remember to check out my thrifty clothes cleaning post to find out how to get your items in new condition again!

I take no credit for these glamorous photos! Taken by my mother, whom I'm currently teaching photography to! Cropped and edited by yours truly, and unfortunately that 15 year old looking kid is me (although I'm 24 not 15)!
•Post may be linked up to any of the link parties

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

INSPIRATION [wild in white]

I'm a huge fan of white, especially in high gloss. A quick coat or two of high gloss white adds instant glam and sophistication to anything. Since animal figurines at always popular and easy to collect I decided to do a wild in white theme for this weeks Inspiration post!

INSPIRATION wild in white

WHEN PIGS FLY: Such a cute, whimsical touch to any room without being overbearing or juvenile. The white adds an adult spin to the fun nature of the statue! Depending on the size you choose, you could grab a ceramic piggy bank, or go smaller with a plastic figurine from your local craft store. Add wings from any craft section (feather, wood, metal or even try jewelry pieces)! Use super glue to attach, grab a dowel rod and wood block to finish it off. If you are using heavier pieces, drilling holes to attach the pig to the dowel to the wood will be necessary! The finishing touch is white paint to bring it all together!

BUNNY LOVE: Another cute touch to a room, subtle but a great accessory to complete it! Grab a couple bunnies in different sizes or stances and glue together in a loving position. If you use plastic figurines, a tacky glue or even superglue and hot glue will work. If you go with ceramic figurines, make sure you use an epoxy made for that! Finish it off with high gloss white spray paint!

ANIMAL NAPKIN RINGS: These are so cute for your next party, or for every day use! Grab a cardboard toilet paper roll (or paper towel) and wrap sculpey clay around it, be creative to create shapes that resemble animals like owls and snails! Abstract is fun, stay basic with your shapes to keep it easy! Slide the clay off the rolls to bake (follow the instructions on the package!)-when its cool, paint it-but be careful, use food-safe paint since your napkin (which touches your mouth!!) will be touching it!

RABBIT CANDLESTICK: There are a lot of ways to create something fun like this, if you want to use heavy duty pieces (ceramic and porcelain) then grab a drill and use a metal rod to create the structure. If you want something a little lighter, grab a heavy base animal figurine (to weigh it down), and use plastic kids tea cups to build up the candle stick. If you are not using a rod to create the structure I suggest piling straight up, rather than creating the fun shape shown here. To top it off, cut off the top of a candle stick holder (a cheap one from the thrift store) and spray paint. You can get fire-safe paint, for this project I would suggest it! Have fun with your piling, be creative and get some fun shapes!

Have you tried one of these projects or techniques? I'd love to see it! Send me a link or picture so I can feature it on my blog!

To find out information about the products used, please click the image to head to Polyvore!
•This may be posted to any of the link parties


Monday, August 13, 2012

Wearable Runway | Fall 2012

Ever look at the seasons newest fashion trends and wonder what people are thinking? This Fall is no exception for me (and apparently others I have discussed it with)! But I see the positive side of it, and see how we can turn something Runway into something wearable (OFF) of it! Here are the Fall 2012 trends that stuck out to me:

Fall 2012 Trends

Marc Jacobs introduced over-sized accessories, paired with large (fun??) hats and brought knitting back into the trend world.
Proenza Schouler made leather shiny.
Giambattista Valli gave the 'ok' to raid our Grandmothers closets for old-school floral's.
And Ralph Lauren brought texture back into wardrobes.
The overwhelming trend for this season appears to be burgundy, or as it has been deemed 'oxblood'. Jewel tones such as hunter green, and navy blue have also made a huge entrance this season.

The big question is, how do you make these trends wearable? Here are my suggestions:
fashion suggestions

Grandma's floral's: not quite ready to jump into her flower dress? Try easing into the trend with floral shoes or accessories! Boots are perfect because they can be carried into the Winter months!
Jewel Tones: Jewel tones are the perfect basics to build any outfit off of! Try a simple dress style or solid toned coat and build your wardrobe over it!
Textures: Grab a tweed pea coat, its the perfect way to compliment those jewel tone basics and bring texture into your wardrobe, plus its great for a day at the office, or a night on the town!
Hats: The trend this season is hats, big, bold and in your face. I can't believe this style will catch on, but smaller hats that compliment face shapes and outfits are always a classy accessory! Try a knitted beret to bring in both the handmade knitted style and the classy hats! 
Shiny Leather: If the shiny leather is pulling your fancy, but you're not brave enough to dive into the full head-to-toe outfits and coats, then try something smaller; belts and a classy clutch is a great way bring the look into your wardrobe!
Oversize Accessories: Big is in; over-sized coats, in-your-face pins, and scarves that swallow your head. Personally I'm not into the swallowed look, but you can get the same bold look by using extra-wide belts, thick scarves, and keeping your accessories minimal but bold!

So what's on your wishlist this season? Any trends that speak to you? What other trends did I not mention that you are going to jump on?
Here's my wishlist, make sure you share yours!
Fall 2012 Wishlist

•This may be shared on any of the link parties page•
To learn more about the items pictured, click on any of the images to be brought to the Polyvore pages! Photobucket

Friday, August 10, 2012

Blog Planner Topic List | FREE Printable

I could be alone, but when it comes to writing a blog-I have no shortage of topics. In fact my only shortage is time! If I had the time I would easily post 1-2 a day, 7 days a week. Maybe someday, and I'm certainly trying to get caught up to posting 3-4 days a week, so if anyone has some extra time they could give me, donations are always welcome! ;)

Anyway, since I always seem to be jotting down ideas and sketching out potential topics, I needed a way to keep those organized. So I created this simple Topic List Organizer to not only allow me to keep my topic ideas organized, but begin the brainstorming for it as well! 
First off, I write down the general idea (the topic), usually its a couple keywords that will inspire me later to do the brainstorming for it. In this example I used Blog Organizer. Under that I label the potential post title, sometimes changing it to the final title once the post has been published so that I can keep track of it. I also write down potential publish dates, followed by changes to the final publish date because I keep these topic lists forever, to refer back to what I may have already covered and when. In the description section I brainstorm exactly what I envision the post including, for example printables, in 3 different versions.

Ready to get your blog organized? Click the image to download your favorite topic list! And leave a comment with your favorite version! If you haven't already, make sure you download a blog calendar planner!

 Rules for the download: please, please, PLEASE make sure you subscribe to the blog by GFC, RSS, or bloglovin and share on Facebook or Pinterest to send your friends-Dear Wallet Printables are for followers only! Do not reproduce, or claim as your own, all rights belong to Dear Wallet and Ariana Neala. Thanks so much, see you next time!

 Paisley Pink
 Green Daisy
 Gray Monotone
**Backgrounds are freebies from Design House Digital**
•This may be shared on any of the link parties page•

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


I may be alone in this, but I love all things shiny. Mirrors add instant glam to any room, and show off a saucy personality!
MIRROR: The great part about this project is not only how customizable it is to your personality, but how cheap it can be to create as well! Find something sturdy for your backing, this will depend entirely on what size your mirror is. You can find them in any size (and shape) at your local thrift store, and even some home improvement stores. A small circle can be found in your local dollar store as well. For a small one you can use foam board, stiff cardboard, and a larger heavier one use wood. Make sure your backing is bigger than the mirror (how big is up to you) find rhinestones, or mirrored pieces at your local craft store, and apply to the backing, around the mirror using tacky glue, or glass epoxy!

CANDLEHOLDER: This candle holder is so cute, so classy, and so cheap to make! Head to your dollar store, find a small circle mirror, and pick up a bag of rhinestones while you're there! Use your hot glue gun to attach around the mirror and add instant pizzaz!

JEWELRY BOX: Find a wooden box, and use the Look Glass Mirror-Like spray paint to create the look. Adorn the top with rhinestones using hot glue-and whola!

FRAME: A cheap boring frame can be instant glam-a-fied by using varying sizes and shapes of rhinestones. Use larger ones to create a unique shape in the corner, and use smaller ones to grow out away from it, filling up the rest of the frame space. If your pieces are large and are over 50% off the frame surface, use a piece of cardboard to make it sturdy from the back. I suggest using modpodge to apply the pieces into place!

Have you tried one of these projects or techniques? I'd love to see it! Send me a link or picture so I can feature it on my blog!

To find out information about the products used, please click the image to head to Polyvore!
•This may be posted to any of the link parties


Monday, August 6, 2012

Shopping and Cleaning Guide for Thrifty Pet Toys

For those without kids, pets are the next best thing. My dog is certainly no exception, and when I head out thrifting (or G-saleing), looking for goodies for him comes as a no-brainer. 
So how does one go about finding these goodies? Creativity, and knowing what you're looking for. All pets are unique, so take their personality into consideration when shopping! 
Important factors to consider: 
Size (are they a big dog or a small kitten?)
Type (Pomeranian's are smaller and timider than a Pitbull!)
Temperature (Do they prefer hot or cold? Chihuahua's get cold easily!)
Playing Habits (Are they a Frisbee catching dog, or ball of yarn type of cat?)

For example: My dog is a chihuahua/terrier mix, which means he's 20 lbs of playing machine, with a fragile body that gets cold easily. He loves tug-of-war over any other game, loves clothes (especially sweaters-no I'm not joking!), and has a collection of collars because he is very proud of his necklaces! ;)
 I carry a paper in my wallet with his measurements, along with a tape measure in case I come across any cute clothes or collars in his size! 
Shopping List: Sweaters, collars, blankets, toys-especially ones with lots of limbs or ropes to hold onto for tug-of-war!

Things to keep in mind when shopping: Stay away from plastic buttons and eyes as they can be swallowed, same with bean filling, anything with a zipper, metal piece or battery operated can be dangerous! Stay away from items with cat nip (it may have been filled or mixed with something else, or used to give meds)-always buy cat nip fresh!
What to look for: Pet toys are the obvious answer, but keep in mind kids have small toys-especially the fast food toys- that are the perfect size and safety rules for pets! Rubber toys, things like rubber ducks and tires on toys are great for dogs with bigger jaws. Ropes and string can be turned into cheap and fun toys as well for both dogs and cats! Just keep your pets personality in mind when shopping to ensure you don't waste money on items they will ignore!
So now you've found the perfect toys (at the perfect price!)-now what?
Pet Toy Cleaning Guide
This is a general cleaning guide, good for most toys in fabric, rubber, or plastic. Adjust to what you have on hand, or your comfort level around bleach! Note: Bleach will eat material, some more than others-rubber toys especially so either wash quickly or skip. But it does kill everything so its great for cleaning!
-Bleach (color safe)
-Dawn Dishsoap
-Baking Soda
-Tub/bath tub
-Something to stir with (I used a plastic hanger)
1. Fill a tub with scalding hot water (make sure the area is clean before you start)! Put a spoonful or more of baking soda into the water, stirring to mix. Drop in the toys to let them soak for 2-5 minutes. The baking soda is a deodorizer, if there are no evident smells, or you don't want to do this step then skip it!
2. Depending on how dirty the items are you can empty the tub and start fresh, or move onto this step. This time pour in a cap or so of Dawn dishsoap, using your fancy hanger to mix it up (I may or may not have created bubble hair do's on Betty Boop...;)) I usually leave the toys in the water until the water is about luke warm, anywhere from 5-10 minutes. It gives them a nice long soak to get clean as the soap is antibacterial, plus its great smelling! 
 3. If you aren't comfortable around bleach you can skip this, but it is a great safety precaution. I pour in a drop or two of bleach, mixing it up, making sure the toys are getting a good soak. If you're concerned with colors, you can use color safe as well. Personally I don't mind because its just a pet toy, it will be destroyed soon enough anyway! I wait another 2-5 minutes before emptying the tub. 
4. I squish the water out and rinse for a few minutes. You could certainly stop there, but if you are concerned about left over bleach, you could refill the tub, mix with a tiny amount of dishsoap again, and rewash+re-rinse the toys a last time. Squish the water out, and let dry!
I set the toys outside on a railing in the sun to dry, and my dog impatiently pranced around below the railing keeping guard until he could attack the toys! You have to love getting 5 new pet toys for less than a $1 total! Enjoy! Do you do thrifty pet shopping?
 •This may or may not be linked up to any of the link parties!•


Thursday, August 2, 2012

TREASURE HUNT [the art of life]

Ah Treasure Hunting (also known as thrifting). Not only do the goodies you collect have a story behind their beautiful exterior-but the stories you create as you find them! My thrifting partner in crime is none other than my mother, who taught me all I know, and some of these goodies belong to her!
First up is this adorable beverage table. I'm totally in love with this find! I saw it at a yard sale and drooled extensively. But didn't get it because I had no cash on hand. Luckily my mom headed back up to the yard sale the next day to get the next item on this list, and was able to pick up this little baby for me! I've learned its from the 60s and 'pecan' style-anyone know anything else about it, or where to learn anything?
As promised is this little gem is next, a cute set of nesting tables also found at the same yard sale. One of the legs is broken, though an easy fix. Great sturdy set of tables with amazing potential! 
My next beauty is a candelabra, actually purchased a while ago and I kept promising photos, well I finally thought of it, so here it is. I had big plans for it upon purchase, but I'm not going to lie-I love it as is! There is a minor chip in the gunmetal paint, and one crystal missing, but I haven't been able to find a replacement, or new crystals I like better. Purchased for $7 at Goodwill in Auburn.

This great little candlestick features three monkeys doing "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" -another great find from the yard sale I spoke of earlier (I haven't even photographed half the loot we got there)! This was only $3.

This cute little bag was one of my recent finds, a cute Ikat makeup bag by Estee Lauder for only $1 at Goodwill in Auburn. I love me some Ikat and this I could not pass up (especially at the price). Don't worry, it gets well used!

Next up on our little treasure hunt is the cutest little burlap vanity seat. I love this little thing, unfortunately my mom snatched it up before I could. Found at Renew Boutique in Roseville, lucky for us they were in process of moving to a new location and were eager to sell everything, including the display items! Only $15, it was in perfect condition before my mothers cat got to it! ;)

Last up on our Treasure Hunt is this adorable asian style lantern made of cast iron (it is heavy)! This beauty came from the Discovery Shop in Auburn for only $4! 

This has made me realize that I haven't gone thrifting in much too long! Guess I'll have to remedy that this weekend! ;) So what's your favorite? Have you gone thrifting lately? Post links to your thrift hauls!
..and make sure you read up on how to clean your thrift goodies before you use them!
•Treasure Hunt may or may not be linked up to any of the link parties and THRIFT HAUL !•
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