Saturday, September 21, 2013

Junk Market / Thrifting / Swap Meet Adventures

Last weekend while running errands, we saw a sign on the road for a junk market.  I was so excited and looked forward to it all week.  We used to go to the swap meet in Annandale almost every Saturday growing up.  Every once in a while, we would even sell stuff, but that wasn't as fun.

I have memories of 50¢ Amish moonie pies (aka whoopie pies, but these were ah-mah-zing and impossible to duplicate), snow cones, TY beanie babies, looking at the puppies, and I even got a bunny named Sunny once.  My dad love auctions, junk, and having his garage full of STUFF.  My mom likes decorating, old things, and furniture.  I realize now...I'm turning into my parents!

This is getting scary, y'all!!

Mike told me in the middle of this week not to get my hopes up {I was realllly excited} and he didn't want me to be disappointed.  Sometimes I get a little overzealous.  I told him we were getting up at 8am to get the good stuff.  He HATES getting up early on the weekends...his response...
"I'll go whenever you want to go, honey."  GAWD I love him!  Seriously, so lucky.

So this morning, we were out of the house before 9am, and headed to the "junk market".
It.was.AWESOME!  After my mini vintage-hunting with my mom over labor day weekend, I've been itching to shop at anything other than an actual store.  This was in a parking lot, the weather was beyond amazing, and after only 2 hours, less than $40, including some sweet edibles and coffee, we were headed home with some sweet scores!

There were vendors (Norwex, Mary Kay...which I avoided), small vendors with garage sale/personal things, and small businesses such as jewelry makers, purses, etc.  Pretty much everything you could ask for. I had my eye out for decorative things for the house, furniture, and jewelry.  I did pretty well!

I also got some cards and flyers for upcoming barn sales, more markets, and store fronts to check out. If you are interested, let me know, and we can go shopping together!  But seriously, I'm going to a barn sale on October 19th if you'd like to join me.  I talked to a lot of owners and made some connections to keep my eyes on this little world of "junkers".  I think I found a new hobby!

I couldn't wait to get home and tell my mom about our adventure.  Her and my dad taught me to haggle, and I almost went all out when I saw a lady with the vintage wine box I had my eyes on.  It's common to buy items even from other customers, something my mom does all the time!

It's been hard to find good places to "shop" around here, but now I'm ready to roll.  Too bad the season's almost over!  I'll be more prepared for next summer.  I now have my mom going to a barn sale for me next weekend, because I'll be up north at a wedding.  She knows what I like, and she got me into it, so I'm sure she'll find us some good stuff!

We also got side-tracked to an estate sale.  By this time it was almost noon, so it was pretty picked over, but we found a few things, and now we have another thing to keep our eyes out for!

Here are some pictures:

Part of a business couple's sign for their company
A glimpse of the action
Food truck, best wontons of my life!
Some of my loot.  Mostly decorative things, but jewelry and a wallet as well!
Handmade glass jewelry
If you are interested in any of the local businesses, or would like to join me next time, just ask!

Friday, September 20, 2013

How to Host a Book Exchange

I have been reading a lot this summer.  I just finished my ninth book.  I’m very proud of that!  I go in cycles over time; I will read a lot, and then not read for many months.  Currently, I’m in read-like-a-crazy-woman mode.  I read at work, on the weekends, and before bed.  

My mom is a super reader, and has always had a book in her hand ever since I can remember.  She can read ANYWHERE.  It’s kind of fascinating, she's talented.  Maybe this is me turning more into my mother?  On that note…I’m quitting!  Hah!

My mom has books piled all over the house, and since she generally knows what I like to read, every time she comes to visit, she brings a few with, and so far, she’s been rocking it!  Plus…free books, yes please.  

So now that I had a good stack of books I had read, I wanted to share the wealth {and score some new ones}.  So I thought of a book exchange.   Like a potluck, but with books!  Bring one, take a new one.  Tah-daaah!  

I planned a casual book exchange with friends, and it was pretty successful!

What we did:

Drew numbers for who would pick first.  Number one got first choice of the books on the table. I believe we had about 15 books and 6 people.  Then,  number two got to choose, and so on…

After the first round, we started back at number one.  If you brought two books, then you got to choose another book during the second round.  After that, the left over books were put up as a free-for-all.  

It was quick, easy, FREE, and everyone left with some new books.  And there were brownies…yum.

I walked away with Water for Elephants, Committed, and Saving CeeCee Honeycutt.

What I would do with more time:

*I would encourage more people to come.  More books, more variety, more fun!  

*I would make signs to separate fiction and non-fiction, and somewhat sort the books.  

*I would have a cute small card for each book, and the owner would write a synopsis of the book and place it inside.  

My grand scheme would be people drinking wine and socializing, while the person choosing their book on their turn would peruse the choices and have time to read the synopses and make their decisions.

Have fun with your next book exchange!  

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Wisconsin Camping Trip

I haven't blogged in ages.  Almost a month...
My bad.

While winding down summer, it's been hard to sit and contemplate a new post.  I have a few on the horizon.  Until then, I will recount some of my adventures.

In August, I planned a surprise camping trip to Wisconsin for Mike and I.  I told him to take off work, and did everything for preparation by myself.  I'm very proud of that because I SUCK at surprises and I always want to tell Mike what's going on.  When you live with someone, it's hard not to share your excitement!  I arranged a bunny sitter, bought some necessities, planned meals, and made all the reservations.

I guess you could say the trip was inspired by my URBAN GLAMPING night.  Check that post out HERE.  I also grew up camping tons of weekends in the summer and have been missing it.  We have gotten some gear for gifts and I wanted to put it to good use.  Plus, who doesn't want to spend a weekend in the woods with their new hubby?!

I reserved two nights at Interstate State Park in Wisconsin, and one night at Pleasant Lake B&B.  I would suggest both accommodations, especially the B&B.  I must say, I rock at planning getaways. The campsite we got was on the end of it's own culdesac, very private, and had its own trails right to the river.  It was really big and a great site.

Starting the weekend!
Huge site!
Camping life.
We arrived Thursday night, set up camp, started a fire, and commenced with drinking and s'mores. Yes, I had s'mores before dinner.  I had to get in as many as I could!  We had hobo dinners, more s'mores, and played mancala.  We also slept on a twin air mattress, because our tent is only 5x7! We've slept in many small beds in our time, so we made it work.  It was cool at night, so snuggling was a good way to warm up.

S'mores all day.
Over the course of the weekend, we visited a few wineries, Wild Mountain for the alpine slide, took in Franconia Sculpture Park, ate at a few outdoor restaurants, enjoyed ice cream from the ice cream shop, hiked, played bags in our campsite, read, and enjoyed spending time together away from work, home, and internet.  I absolutely loved it.   

Hiking at the Dalles
Hiking, awesome trails there!
Watching the sun set at the vineyard
My lovely man

At the river right by our campsite

I hope you get this reference!
Franconia, amazing place!

The bed and breakfast was our first time at one.  Rich and Char were great, and my favorite part was the lake.  There are only about 5 houses on it, and you can use their paddle boat any time you want. We spent an hour out there, watching the sun go down, floating, talking to the fishies, and enjoying each other's company. We followed that with a 30 minute soak in their double whirlpool tub.  I literally had to hold on to the sides because it was so big.  It felt fantastic, especially after camping, hiking, and sleeping in a tent!

After dinner in town, we had one of my favorite moments together in over five years.  We sat on our balcony in the moonlight, under a blanket, looking at the lake, and drank a bottle of wine.  It was SO peaceful, romantic, and memorable for me.  I won't forget that night...just being together, talking quietly, enjoying some red wine.  Perfect.  Remember to make special moments with your husband!

The next day, we had breakfast at the house, which was delicious, and fun talking with our housemates and 'innkeepers'.  We went into town to see the waterfall, and took the backroads home.

It was a fantastic weekend, with perfect weather, fun activities, wine (what could be better), being outdoors, being out of the city, and being together.  I love my man, and spending time doing something a little different was a perfect way to become even closer.