Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I heart Groupon

In my quest to be more frugal this year, I signed up for Groupon. And Living Social. And some others. But it's not the coupons that have me swooning. Frankly, it's the writing at Groupon that has me hooked. Although I've purchased only a few Groupons, I read each one. Recently I saw that they were hiring freelance writers. They asked for applicants to write a sample Groupon based on a real company called Sea Kayak Georgia -- the deal was for a $25 Groupon for a guided tour. I though it would be fun to try my hand at writing a Groupon.[me, eating cupcakes, not writing or being witty whatsoever]

Finding yourself up a creek without a paddle might sound like a bad spot, but when you’ve got Sea Kayak Georgia’s seasoned guides and naturalists by your side, you’re in good hands. Use today’s Groupon — $25 for a half-day tour (a $55 value) — to amaze your friends with your command of Pirate lingo and tales of adventures at sea. Sorry, at this time the offer is not available to swashbucklers, crimps, scurvy dogs, hornswagglers, or scallywags.

From landlubbers to those firmly planted on sea legs, Sea Kayak Georgia has been offering paddling adventures amidst the beauty and majesty of the George coast, Tybee Island, and the inland rivers of south Georgia since 1994. Grab your mateys and choose from a relaxing river ride or an exhilarating day on Coastal Georgia’s warm waters and rollicking waves. A paddling trip is an experience that won’t soon be forgotten, especially if you drop your camera in the water or fall face first in the sand as you step out of your kayak. Best yet, Sea Kayak Georgia can customize tours for groups such as scouts, schools, corporate teams, and families.

Discover the joy, fun, and relaxation kayaking offers. Sea Kayak Georgia owners Marsha Henson and Ronnie Kemp reside on Tybee Island and are certified instructors in sea kayaking and canoeing. With such knowledgeable owners and staff, who knows what sort of sunken treasure may be discovered. Get ready to set sail and discover your inner skimmer.

How do you think I did? Should I apply?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Knitting Dresses for Babies and Girls

I found this adorable vintage girl's dress pattern in a book I picked up at the thrift store this week. I fell in love with the white edging and the buttons down the front. I haven't knitted any dresses yet, so I'm super excited to get started.

I scanned in the pattern but I'm not sure you'll be able to use it...

So I hunted for some other free knitting patterns for dresses for babies and girls. Now I have my work cut out for me!
Here are my current favorites:
Do you have any recommended girl dress patterns to recommend? As if I need any more...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thrifty Thursday

I had to change the title of this series because this week, it's all about a fabulous estate sale and not about a thrift store. I hit this sale during my usual Thursday lunch hour, and although I got completely lost, managed to make it back to work on time. Phew! If any of you are looking for gift ideas for me, I think a GPS is in order as I got totally lost on my way to an estate sale today, too. Anyway, here's last week's score!

Gorgeous rabbit fur earmuffs

"Chicken legs" bright yellow thigh high stockings new in the package

Gorgeous vintage velvet beaded jacket

Super awesome teal and navy poncho with fringe

Long patchwork hippie skirt

Beaded foldover clutch (SOLD)

Black velvet pageboy knickers with buttons at the knee

Great bold floral print long hippie skirt

Any great buys in your area this week? I hit a thrift store today and got the cutest vintage knitting pattern book. I'll scan the girl's dress I want to knit for a post for another day. I guess that was the one bonus of getting lost...I found my way back by my awesome thrift-dar (or should I say that I can navigate based on the fact that I know how to get to or from almost any thrift store in town...scary!).

Friday, February 11, 2011

Save-o-rama rama

This year, I've set out to save money. Normally I feel like I'm half tightwad, half impulsive shopper. I'm trying to give the angel on my shoulder a little more airtime this year, and silence the devil with "but I have bills to pay off, dammit!" And won't it feel good to pay them off. My hubby and I are extremely good with our money, but everyone can leave further below their means. And, I have this crazy dream that some day, we can be totally and completely debt free, including our mortgage(s).

If you want to read about people making incredible sacrificing to reduce their debt, right now is a great time to be looking. My favorite blog is Chasing the Fire, because, well, this family has made some seriously admirable moves to pay off a huge amount of debt. It seems like everyone is on budget-watch these days, and it's kind of refreshing to me. I thought I might share some ideas I've gathered up from all my thrifty friends and start to share them here. So here's my first installment of Save-o-rama rama!

Cable for us was an obvious "first luxury to go" item. We don't watch a ton of TV, so we wouldn't really miss it. Not to say that I didn't LOVE having a DVR for the first time, or compulsively watch American Pickers, Storage Wars, Millionaire Matchmaker, Auction Kings and other gems of the cable dial, but I can do without it. And our little pumpkin, who loves Chuggington, Handy Manny, and other cable friends, can too. Who knows, maybe it will force us to go outside more, or play more games as a family.

Instead of cable, we opted for a Wii with streaming Netflix. Here's how the savings breaks down:

--Cost of cable TV = $50/mo. or $600/yr.
--Cost of Wii = $140
--Cost of streaming Netflix = $8/mo. or $96/yr.

Total annual savings = $364 (plus we get to keep the Wii!)

Now of course we also did not HAVE to have the Wii, or streaming Netflix. But it took the sting away of having to give up something we did kinda like. And $364 paid toward a bill is not too shabby for something we now don't really miss at all! We have plenty of movies and cartoons to keep the whole pumpkin crew completely satisfied.

Next installment: crazy coupon lady!

Are you paying off your debt? What are you doing to save this year?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thrift Store Thursday

For this installment of Thrift Store Thursday, I'm going ski crazy despite the predication by Puxatawny Phil that we're expecting an early winter. I'm showcasing something that came from a thrift store ages ago. It's this amazing patriotic ski sweater made by Bemiji Woolen Mills. According to their website, they've been in business for 90 years and now it's being run by the fourth generation. The company was apparently started in 1920 to make clothes for the Minnesota logging industry.

I'm not a skier, but I have enough snow in my yard to need a pair of snowshoes. And I really love the look of ski wear, especially this amazing women's ski shirt, and this adorable sweater with skiers.

Friday, February 04, 2011

This Cowgirl Wants to Git On Down the Road

Remember my friend Sonya? She's raising money to fund her artistic endeavors to travel the world and photograph and write about everything. Yeah, well this is us as teenagers getting the ubiquitous "western photo" taken, I'm assuming at Great America. Didn't these seem really popular back in the 70s and 80s? Everyone had a photo of themselves and their friends or family dressed up in some western clothes, pistol and cowboy hat included, with scowls on their faces? I founds some really cool ones on this Flickr set, so maybe it'll come back into fashion.

Anyway, I digress. Sonya has a new video about her efforts. You should check it out, it's cute. You can see she's sold everything she owns. Scary! But she's sacrificing her comfort for the sake of experience. So cool!

If you know someone who might be able to contribute a bit to her efforts, please spread the word. She's not quite halfway yet, and her deadline is March 8. If she doesn't meet her fundraising goal, all of the money pledged so far is returned and the 86 backers and I am not sure how she'll make her dream come true. Even $1 is not too little. Thanks, ya'll!

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Thrift Store Thursday

Today's collection of vintage finds comes right out of Mr. Pumpkin's closet. His mom had stashed away all these awesome tees from his childhood and of course me, being the hoarder, stashed them away in my own little box of goodies.

He's got little league shirts, shirts from his big biking adventures with his dad called SAGBRAW, and some from vacations.

Some of Mr. Pumpkin's tees made great scores for me, but others are going to be restashed, or passed along to another lucky Etsy shopper.

We got snowed in this week so I didn't get to do my usual thrifting. But I'm hopeful that next week will be balmy and beautiful!