Friday, August 31, 2012

friday philosophy

sometimes i come across a quote that bears some kind of significance and i want to share it with you dear readers.  sometimes it's based on where i am in life or a certain event, sometimes a quote just reminds me of a friend, or sometimes it makes me think.  it's called 'friday philosophy' and i'm gonna keep it up weekly. (or try to!)

{image via}

i have learned a lot in my adult life.  mostly about life-stuff that's hard to learn until it's really applicable.  and one of the most valuable lessons i've learned is that if you want something, you have to earn it:  you work for it and save for it before you buy it.  period.  

i've touched on my financial struggles before, but have never really given you the 'whole story'.  i've been working on a post on that for awhile...but i want to get it just right before i share it with you.  it's got important stuff in there.  stuff i learned the hard way that i think can help others.  so hang tight on that.

in the meantime, i'm going to tell you about my car situation.  my car is a 1999 honda cr-v.  i bought her (yes, i did that) almost five and a half years ago.  she was quite used, but she would suit my needs.  i had a budget, wanted all-wheel-drive, and she fit the bill.

i bought her at a point in my life when i was racking up credit card debt and was trying to tackle it on my own...with little success.  i had gotten rid of a new car to buy my used cr-v...but after a couple years, my car was getting older and was needing a little $170 repair here and $210 repair there.  most recently, it was one thing, then another, then while it was up on the lift it was clear those things were less neccesary than this other new repair.

i was feeling like a crazy person.  i don't know much about how cars work (yeah, i work at a dealership...not in service!) it was so frustrating that the occasional repair was turning into a laundry list of crap my car needed to be safe.

it was time.  time for my cr-v to go.

but since i depleted my savings trying to fix the am i going to make this work??  i need a car...i can afford a payment, but don't want to if i don't have to.  i'm thisclose to paying off all my debt that i want to plug away at that before i commit a monthly payment to something else too.

let me rewind a little.  (just for a minute.)

when i was 15 i remember starting to get more interested in cars...mostly because the magical year of 16 was coming and i knew i'd earn my driving i was always on the lookout for a car.

a car that i never got.

i was so disappointed.  as a teenager, you're learning to gain your own independence...but if i didn't have a vehicle to get me to this wonderful world of independence...i'd surely die, right?

well, i'm still here.  i made it through my teenage years without a car.

and today, i'll shout it from the rooftops:

mom & dad - thank you for not buying me a car when i was sixteen!!!!!

why so enthusiastic?

because this weekend, my parents are giving me a very generous gift.

and no, i'm not just getting a car.

i'm buying a car.  (i'm buying my mom's 2006 honda cr-v.)

and she's giving me a great deal.  like significantly-less-than-its-value kinda good deal.

and you know why she's doing it?  (other than her unconditional love for her only child?)

because i have earned it.  i have worked very, very hard.  i have pinched pennies and paid off debts.  i have proved to her that now is the time that i need a little break in the car department.

and i couldn't be more grateful.

so let me tell you...i may have had to wait for a 'little break in the car department' for 15 years...but considering everything i've been through and learned in those 15 years...i know this is the break i earned.  (with the generosity of my parents as well!)

just think about it...

that t.v. you really want for your new apartment?  it can wait until you have every dollar saved.  (trust me...we did it.  it feels good to save for something.)

that shopping trip to the mall with your friends?  take only the extra cash you have to spend.  it's not worth sacrificing your heating bill.  that new pair of shoes isn't going to keep you warm in january.  and isn't it about spending time with your friends anyway?

that weekend getaway you want to book on your credit card rightthisveryminute?  put it off until you have actual greenbacks to pay off the charge.  there are plenty of romantic things you can do without going away.  you have to think creatively!

that tattoo you've drawn out and can practically see on your skin?  make sure you're not sacrificing too much for a little ink.  having a roof over your head is more important than decorating your body.

that new car you think you can make work with your budget?  make sure you're not looking through rose-colored glasses.  having something new is nice, but make sure it fits your needs (more than your wants) and you can easily budget the purchase.  if you're making excuses to make it work...put it off or think about another, less expensive option.  it's only temporary.

i can't express it enough:  it's only temporary.

sacrifice is only temporary.

just keep telling yourself that if you're in over your head trying to crawl yourself out.

cutting back and pinching pennies is only temporary.  there will be a time when you've learned your'll have money saved...and then when you want a new t.v., or want to go shopping with your friends, or want to go on a weekend getaway with your other half, or you want that new tattoo or vehicle or whatever...

you'll have the money.

you'll have earned it.

so once again...

mom & dad - thank you for not buying me a car when i was sixteen!!!!!  i didn't deserve it then.

and i'm very, very grateful now. 

trust me...after years of struggling...and now years of pinching and saving...i can say i've made progress.

and i earn what i get.

the hard way.

by working hard and saving.

and you know what?  it's totally worth it.

happy labor day weekend everyone!

=) andrea

Thursday, August 30, 2012


you know that shirt you love...or the earrings that are your go-to pair...maybe it's a necklace that's your signature piece...or a comfy pair of shoes that are just your favorite.

i have a ring i absolutely love.  well, i should say 'had'.  i had a ring i absolutely love.  loved.  it was a gift from my best friend about 4 or 5 years ago.  i wore it every day and received countless compliments on it (not that that is the reason for wearing it, it just loved attention).  i wore it a couple weeks ago to a party and took it off when i went to bed.  in the morning, i put the ring in my bag, along with my favorite (white gold) hoop earrings (that were a christmas gift from my mom about 12 years ago) and my collection of bangles, all because my hungover fingers were too swollen for the ring.

fast forward to the next day...i head out the door to get some groceries.  i get to the store, get out of the car, grab a cart that's nearby, plop my bag down and head inside.  about two minutes into my shopping trip, while in the produce department, all my bangles fall into the bottom of the cart and jingle their way around.

i panicked.

i grabbed the bangles, put them on my wrist, and immediately pawed through my bag like a mad lady.  another lady nearby, who had heard the bangles jingle as they fell into the cart, said something like, "oh no..."

yeah lady...oh no is right.

they were gone.  my ring and earrings had disappeared.  i went back outside to backtrack my steps...i found a chapstick and a mint that had also fallen from my stupid floppy bag...

but no ring or earrings.

r.i.p. favorite ring.

{image via}

i'll be saving my pennies to replace you.

it's from the sundance catalog.  and it's $98.  

total bummer, right?

oh i said, i'm saving my pennies.  literally.

=) andrea  

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

more progress!

remember my little green onions?

i put my cut green onions in water and just plopped it on the windowsill...within a couple days, they had actually started growing and looked like this:

and now...they look like this:

isn't that totally awesome?!  they're actual green onions again!!

this is probably the easiest thing i've ever tried to grow.  i highly recommend it!

=) andrea 

pretending to be a tourist

it's really easy to forget about little treasures in your own know, because you live there and everything ends up seeming kinda the same.  but since yesterday i shared with you all the devastation from irene...i figured i'd show you something a little less...damaged.

so, the other day, mike and i decided to have a little adventure, pretending to be tourists, at the quechee antique mall in quechee, vt.  it's only about 10 minutes from our apartment and since we love just browsing around, we decided pretending to be tourists in our own area sounded like a great outing.  and because i'm a good blogger (who is trying relentlessly to get more pictures of everything), i took pictures of the treasures i liked to share with you.  we didn't end up actually purchasing anything...but there's always next time!

welcome to quechee, vt!

the last time we tried to browse at the antique mall, we got about one aisle in and the place started shutting down.  they're pretty strict about clearing customers out before they actually close, so we were certain to show up with plenty of time this time around!  this time when we showed up there were additional vendors outside in a flea there was certainly plenty to look at!  and plenty of time to do so!

i'll start with fiestaware...there was a ton of and old.  since i'm a lifelong fiesta lover and collector...i couldn't help myself but look at all the colorful dishes...

this was actually the first piece of fiestaware i saw of the day.  it's vintage and the new sugar bowl is very different.  i liked this one's vintage flair and the happy sunshine yellow color.
i don't have any pink....yet!

i like a dish with two compartments...for veggies or whatever! =)

i liked these little 'mini disk' pitchers.  i have a red full-sized one, but the little ones are cute!

i don't have a vase...and i like the simplicity of these fiesta vases that are just one solid color...

i found a matching creamer container to the vintage sugar bowl!

chips and dip set?!  cute!  i already have a deviled egg tray!

that's mike 'vanna white'-ing the sugar caddies!

see...i really need a vase.
 onto things that are a little less colorful...

wouldn't this vintage pyrex beaker make a cute little bud vase?

for $650, i thought this desk was pretty cool.  it's high enough that it's comfortable to stand at...and it was just darn good looking.  when we have a house and i have a craft room to put together, this is the kind of find that i'll be giddy over!
my parents have a west highland white terrier, maisie, and this looks just like her.  with a good scrub down and a coat of crisp white paint, it would be a cute addition to my mom's garden.  like maisie is laying in the flowers!

i didn't get the best look at this lantern, but i have a small one from pier one with similar shape and glass...just much smaller (and newer).  someday i'd love to have a sunroom with lots of lanterns hung around, kinda moroccan looking...the colored glass reflecting light...or a nice romantic ambiance with candles...
i liked the retro look of this lamp.  it had a long brass cord that could easily be painted white or black...i liked the bright orange and yellow swirls all over this orb.

this lamp caught my was at eye level and it was turned on.  the glass was really pretty with spring tones of green and yellow.  it was a bit old fashioned for my taste...and the $1,800 price tag left a little something to be least for my budget.
if you played the guitar, these guitar-shaped bottles would be a great addition to a music room!

who doesn't love old soda crates?

mike 'vanna white'-ing a very tiny manicure set.

these tin panels were really pretty.  a little beat-up, but pretty.  would be a nice accent above a desk or in a laundry room.
globes are trendy...and i really wanna get one...and do something cool and unexpected to it.  stay tuned...this will happen! 

this glass and pitcher set was fantastic.  each glass had it's own cork-lined silver (maybe stainless steel) koozie!!!  i'm a big fan of koozies, so this struck my fancy.

owls are also trendy...and adorable.  if i was one to incorporate gold into my decor, and if owls were my favorite, i may have tried to snatch these bad boys up.

this large 'planters' brand glass jar was terrific.  if we had a more 'formal' bar area, this would be there.  full of peanuts.  (only planters brand, obv.)

mike liked these old lanterns.  my parents have a couple that could use a friendly coat of happy paint.  like these that mike is again, 'vanna white'-ing.

in this picture, i was trying to capture both the dark green plant stand (that's crying out to be painted bright white or a fun orange) and the wooden coat rack.  i have an obsession with coat racks.  i feel like it's a great solution for guests' coats.  if you live there, your coat should be in the closet...if you're a guest...having a coat rack takes the 'guess' out of being a 'guest'.  (yeah, that was pretty corny.)

mrs. butterworths?!  i love the idea of a vintage looking would be fun to decorate it with vintage finds like this...
...and this!  i used to have barnum's animal crackers all. the. time.  they were my favorite!
there were a couple of big areas full of buttons...

mike spotted this really heavy old mask.  it must be for diving or something.  i thought it was photo-worthy!
...and at $2,450, i guess it may be!
have i told you that giraffes are my favorite?
aren't these happy little yellow chairs?  i thought they were adorable!  and could easily be changed to another color with a little paint!
i was also kinda fond of this little bamboo-inspired side table.  it would be great on my porch!
mike and i have a thing for trunks.  while he's deceiving you by holding that jug in this picture, we were really looking at the trunk.  i like that its narrow so it could double as a bench.
this pipe-holder made me laugh out loud.
this wire bird caught my eye because it thought it would be a fun addition to a room if it were, say, bright red?!

with a little t.l.c...(or maybe a coat of paint) this little brass hooter would be cute perched up on a shelf.
and last, but not least...these ridiculously adorable doll-house sized vintage kitchen items.  reminds me of a certain totally awesome handmade doll house a la clara petersik...or maybe that should read a la john and sherry petersik...since they're the ones that built it! =)

so how's that for an antique mall browsing extravaganza?!  

oh, that's not all...

we also visited a handmade furniture shop...

i just loved the little tree trunk stool out front...

there's also a distillery, vermont spirits.  of course...we went in for the free samples...

they distill two types of vodka:  white and gold. 

{image via}

the 'vermont white vodka' description from their website:

"vermont white is triple distilled in small batches from pure milk sugar and local spring water. the vodka is lightly charcoal filtered after the distiller selects the center cut of each distillation according to incomparabily exacting standards. vermont white is crystal clear, smooth with a delicate nose. vermont white is excellent straight with a twist, or lightly chilled in your favorite cocktail. vermont white is lactose free."

i thought the white vodka was slightly sweet and definitely a lot more easily palatable than other vodkas i've had.
the 'vermont gold vodka' description from their website:

'vermont gold vodka is pure, delicate, unflavored vodka, handmade in small batches from the sugar of maple sap, the very essence of vermont. each spring in new england, freezing nights and warm sunny days allow the mature maple trees to pump out the sugar which has been converted from starch and stored during the dormant winter season. the trees release this sugar as sap which flows for less than six weeks a year. our distiller takes over from there. 

vermont gold is triple-distilled and lightly filtered to allow the distinctive quality of the maple fermentation to come through. that quality combines a fragrant nose with smoothness in the mouth and a slight warmth that delights the true lover of vodka. only the techniques of artisan distilling, constant vigilance and highly accurate, laboratory-quality stills would allow the subtlety of these differences to shine through.

it is the "single-malt" of vodka, a pure expression of the state of vermont.'

i thought the gold vodka was slightly sweeter than the white vodka, with a flavor that reminded me of butterscotch.

in the picture above, i'm next to a little whiteboard with a cocktail recipe that i was tasting at the time...they called it the quechee quencher!  here's a close-up of the recipe!

let me tell was delicious and quite thirst quenching! =)

so we had quite an eventful visit to the quechee antique mall.  this fall my bff and i have plans to visit more antique stores in new hampshire and vermont...there are plenty of them, that's for sure!

have you found any unexpected treasures lately?

=) andrea

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