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Friday, December 30, 2011

The early bird gets the...

DEALS! Yes, the early bird gets the deals. It dawned on me the other day...I should be shopping year round for the various "drives" we have at work. There's always the food drives, sometimes a drive for the local BETA house, school supplies, and of course Toys for Tots. This year I was very last minute on my Toys for Tots shopping and I didn't get as much as I would have liked because was expensive. So I've already started rounding things up for 2012.

Today I went to Beall's Outlet hoping to snag the remaining FL Gator flags, but alas...I snoozed and losed. No flags. But I snagged a cute sweater for myself - it was 50% off. I had to wander the clearance aisle of course - you just never know what might be there. Frankly, not a lot today. Then I saw the rack of kid stuff on clearance that didn't have a giant "Clearance" sign on it. Sweet!

I picked up a backpack for $3, 3 themed school supply sets for $1.25 each (Spiderman, Dora and Disney Princess), and a mesh bag full of sand toys for $1.79. In the Christmas clearance section I picked up a cute toddler book for Georgia next year. It's My Little Pony Christmas something or other and it has little tiny lights that light up and twinkle in the back. It was $1.49. Picked up a couple of other things for stocking stuffers.I figure I did well - I mean my sweater was originally $16.99...throw in the tax and you're at the $18 I paid for all of it. 

If you support Toys for Tots or pick Angels off the tree, or fill shoe boxes for the homeless or to send goodies overseas for our troops - I highly recommend peeking at what is in the clearance section of the stores you shop in - stores don't always clearance "junk" they clearance "last one" and "returns" and "making room for more new stuff" you just have to look thru the junk to find it - make some one's Christmas!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

So in Pinterest type fashion...

It's only been...ummm well, over a year since I posted about my FREE spindles that I snagged on Craig's List.

You can read (or re-read) that post and my ride on the emotional roller coaster HERE I've had some projects on my mind during this uhhh past year and as any good thrifty trash picker knows, you can't always get what you want. At least not right away. My procrastination wait paid off this week! CEILING FANS! What? Yes, ceiling fans. There were THREE sitting on the curb at a house across the end of our street when I came home from work one night. I know Mr. Paisley hates not being involved in all the fun (ha ha), so I walked in the door and said "I have a project for you! Go get me the fans that are on the curb down the road" - he gave me that WTF know the one.

Yeah, that look.

Then he walked out the door and came back with my treasures. He's a good man...I promise honey - as soon as I dig the spindles out of the storage unit I will have the fan scraps in the trash!

I saw these dragonfly pictures awhile back and thought I'd do a couple of these and then I took some photos of some random things made with spindles at a local antique mall. 

I have a three day weekend coming up - so i'm thinking it may be a spindle kind of day off :-)

I'd do it before then, but we already have plans in place for the weekends between now and then.

Photos to follow...of course.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Wishing my "little" brother a very happy birthday -

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Please donate

'Tis the season -

Earlier this year the wife of one of my colleagues was in the hosptial and it didn't look good. We sent a card wishing them the best for a speedy recovery and offering any help we could provide.

I didn't hear anything else about it. A few months ago this colleague became a coworker. I still didn't hear anything, and frankly, months had gone by and I didn't even remember anything about it.

He attended our department Christmas party with his wife. This was the first time I met Jody Green. Seeing her bandaged up and in a wheelchair still didn't spark my memory of this past spring. She was all dressed up for the holiday, she looked beautiful, she was happy, bubbly and a complete delight! Her eyes sparkled - I remember thinking to myself "I need to tell Jack how sweet and adorable his wife is next time I see him at the office".

Jody is a miracle and she needs our help - as with many people in tight spots, they would never ask for assistance, even though everyone wants to help! She's already reached her lifetime benefit from her health insurance. Everything is an out of pocket expense now. Can you imagine? I can - my husband could have been in the same situation after his accident in January of 2003. I can totally relate to how Jack and his family were feeling when Jody was first taken to the hospital. If you haven't been in that situation, count your blessings.

You can read Jody's story here at The Jody Green Project - you can also donate there or you can contact me.

We were lucky to have Mr. Paisley's employer behind us - they took care of a lot of things while he was off his feet for 6 months - 6 months, try to imagine waking up one morning and going about your regular business and just a few hours later something happens and you can't do anything for yourself for weeks...then months. Add to that not being able to work during that time. Then your insurance runs out. What would you do? How do you choose what bills get paid? How do you pay for surgery? Medication? How do you pay for home renovations now that you have to use a wheelchair? (again, Mr. P was lucky that he got OUT of his wheelchair, but when he was in it, we moved out of the Paisley Cottage and moved in with my parents - taking over their master bedroom - why? A wheel chair won't fit thru doorways in a 1940's house -) Obviously, not everyone has that luxury and in today's economy, i'm not sure we would have had the same financial support from Mr. P's company -

Enough rambling from me - if you can donate anything, please do.

Monday, December 26, 2011

All that glitters...

All that glitters is not gold...except when it is! I needed shirt boxes to finish my Christmas wrapping so I hopped in my trusty blue steed and ran up to the Dollar Tree to pick some up - as luck would have it, the shopping plaza wasn't particularly busy and I parked right in front of the store. Crazy!

After grabbing my boxes, I decided to bebop on in to Ross next door and see what I could see. Good decision on my part - I scored a Quicksilver tee for my brother for $6.99 and 2 Guayabera shirts for my grandfather - he loves those things. Both on clearance for $13.99 ($60 retail for each). One is black with 4 cream stripes in the front, the other is dark brown with 2 cream stripes. Nice looking shirts I have to say...and can't beat the price. 


 Evidently these are like a Charlie Sheen thing? Maybe he wore them on whatever that show was that he got himself booted off of...I never watched it.

Moseying on down the plaza I checked out the Beall's Outlet and scored myself a new Florida Gator flag - funny, just this last week I said "I need a new Gator flag" - my blue and orange flag is now faded purple and peach - compliments of the Florida sun. I found my new one in the men's underwear section in a bunch of clearance items. It had a pink "dot" so it was 50% off...$6. Sold! I will probably go back up there Friday (I get an additional 15% off on Fridays) and pick up the other 2 if they're still there - hello e-bay :-) 

After that, I went to Goodwill - because you never know. I made my regular rounds looking for my usual items of interest and found nothing...then I was sort of forced down the chrome rack "aisle" because of the party of 12 that shops together and stands there not knowing what to do. This aisle usually has broken stuff, open packages and the stuff from Target on it. I stopped in my tracks. A pair of sparkling gold finials (not sure what else I would call them) - sort of like mercury glass. $1.99 each. MINE! 

 Not overly exciting (to most) but I also scored 3 bundles of wood "clip" hangers - the type for pants and skirts. I hang most of my clothing to dry to keep it from shrinking, to save money and to keep the color longer and using the plastic hangers that the stores send home with you is all well and good, but the Florida sun is a killer on the plastic. They get brittle and break really fast so when I spied the wood and metal hangers - 3 bundles of 5 for $1.99 each bundle, SOLD. Love them - I found them on a website for $2.95 for a set of two. 

Hangers make me happy. :-)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

To all my readers...

Saturday, December 24, 2011


Nothing says "Happy Holidays" like a snake moving into your walls. Yes, you read that right.

Mr. Paisley and I went out to dinner last night and upon our return I went to unlock the front door while he dragged the trash cans to the curb. It's yard trash day :-) Go green!

Currently there's a black, vintage milk can sitting to the left of the front door at the Cottage. The Cottage was built in the 40s and the exterior walls are essentially 2x4 studs clad in wood "novelty siding" on the outside and drywall or paneling on the inside. Most of the walls don't have insulation in them either. There are some places that do - any time we have had to pull off siding for one reason or another, we've insulated, but we're not at 100% yet. 

Anywho - because of the siding, the corners of the house have 1x4 trim boards wrapping around them. The front door is nearly at the corner of the house. It was almost 10pm and it was dark, with only the light from the Christmas lights behind me. I noticed the "mass" but frankly, up until  3 or 4 days ago, one of my fake black ravens from my fall decorating was still perched on top of the milk can - roughly the same spot as this slithering creature. It finally dawned on me that it was a snake. I don't like snakes. Thus I'm standing at the door, keys in hand and yelling "snake...snake...SNAKE!" and Mr. Paisley ignored me. I have a mini Mag-lite on my key ring and I turned it on, aimed at the wiggly mass and it backed into the "hole" - the hole being where the notch at the top of the siding board goes under the next board - leaving a "hole" so to speak...I don't know what kind of snake it is. I do know that it's NOT a black racer. It was lighter colored (maybe red? maybe brown?) with a pattern down it's back.

It was too dark for a picture...and I was too freaked out to have taken one anyway. Plus the snake chose not to stick around. every time I walk to the front door I'll be watching the corner for that dang serpent to pop out! 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Get your GroupOn....

Do you shop Groupon? If you don't you should.  Go here to sign up - it's FREE, it just gives you access to good deals. Trust me - totally worth it!

I used Groupon to do some of my Christmas shopping. What? Yep - they had a deal for 50% off at Old Navy. Well, really it was pay $10 for a Groupon worth $20 in-store. Gladly! I bought 2 (there was a limit).

Groupon - it's a cross between Group and Coupon. Basically, they throw an offer out there and when enough people buy into it, it's "on" - in the event that there aren't enough people buying in to it, you just don't get charged for it. They also have awesome customer service, so no worries!

Mr. Paisley and I will also be going over to Deland to visit the reptile house - with a Groupon that is good for 2-for-1 admission. 

Other recent deals I have taken advantage of:

$5 for $10 at our local Dairy Queen
$10 for $20 at our local Dairy Queen (will be using that for a birthday cake - mmm ice cream cake!)
$10 for $20 at our new Twistee Treat (this one you actually take the Groupon and they give you a gift card, most of the time the Groupon is used more like a coupon and you have to use the full value in one transaction)
$10 for $20 at Bento Cafe (I got here for lunch frequently, if I get a Bento Box and a side of edamme it's $16 so even if I don't spend the $20, I still saved $6)

They do all kinds of offers, in cities across America - see if they're up and running near you! I check out the deals here in Central FL and near the Robin's Nest in TN.  

Some deals I've gotten thru Groupon for TN have been 2-for-1 admission to Country Tonite show and $10 for 2 adult movie tickets, 2 large drinks and 1 large popcorn at the little movie theater right down the street (which is awesome by they way - not only are the concession prices reasonable, but they also have $.25 refills on the drinks AND popcorn - ANY SIZE! - I don't know about your part of the world, but here in Central Florida - it would cost Mr. Paisley and I $30 for 2 movie tickets, 2 drinks and a popcorn - which is why we never go LOL)

PS today's Groupon is $10 for $20 at Old Navy again ;-) RUN


It's never too early to start stocking up on freebies for stocking stuffers! Here a couple of freebies - as with any offer, they may be "out" of samples or end the offer at any time. So grab them while you can!

Dove Nourishing Oil Care - help fight frizz!

Bird Watching Calendar - compliments of Cornell

Biker or Not sticker - got a motorcyclist on your list?

David Yerman perfume sample - click the "request sample" button bottom right

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Do you Freecycle?

Do you Freecycle? If you don't, the short version is - it's kind of like Craig's List - only everything is free. It's based in Yahoo Groups, you join the group in your area. Some kind souls are forum moderators who spend their free time granting requests to join, blocking people, deleting inappropriate posts, etc. For the most part, it's a people getting rid of more or less good stuff. Stuff they no longer need, but that isn't really ready for the landfill. Go green right?

I was on the Central Florida group for awhile, but the emails got overwhelming and frankly, I got tired of all the requests. Sure, it never hurts to ask, but really? You *need* a laptop, and it has to be new, with Windows 7. Really? I need one of those too...

On the flip side, I used it to give away a lot of stuff. If your house needs a good purge - go for it. It's like the FREE section of Craig's List.

At any rate, in the spirit of the season - and I know it's down to the wire, but I read this 'tidbit' and thought i'd bump my planned post for something that might just make someone else's holiday. 

Be a Freecycle Santa.

Read about it here. Freecycle Santa 

We all know the economy is so-so and lots of folks are without jobs. Maybe that old (still working) iPod in your desk drawer would make some kid happy. 

I'm not a good candidate for electronics. We don't have ANY game consoles. I have a 2nd generation iPod that I still use - it's bigger and heavier than my smart's also bigger than my external hard drive - funny since that's pretty much what it is. While my degrees are in IT, I no longer keep up with it. As you know, i'm a bargain shopper. $100 isn't much in the grand scheme of things, but $200 for an iPod (in 2004) was crazy and if Mr. Paisley hadn't bought it for me for my birthday, chances are I wouldn't own one period.   But since he spent the money on it, I use it and I enjoy it...and I will use it until it works no more...because i'm cheap and i'm not going to spend $100 on a nano or whatever the latest and greatest iPod is...this one works. Why does it need to be replaced? I know i'm not normal in that respect, I know lots of folks have last year's model tossed aside for the new one. Why not pass it along if that person is you? 

It's not just electronics - anything goes. Have a toddler quickly outgrowing clothes and shoes? There's probably a single mom near you that can't afford those things for her kids. Pass them on to someone who can use them. It'll make you feel good. It will make them feel good. 

It's Christmas time...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I love moments like these...

Mr. Paisley and I were out Christmas shopping and we popped into a super fantastic store that i've mentioned here before - Lightstyle of Orlando. Aside from the most amazing selection of lighting, they also have artwork, some furniture, accessories, really never know what you're going to find, but it will be great. There are also some smokin' deals to be had in the clearance section. This particular day there were some fantastic pendant lights for under $20 (among many other things). I was looking for candle sconces, but didn't find exactly what I was looking for...but I did find this -

Look familiar? Unexpected Score - indeed.  Please note that Lightstyle had it on sale for $49.95. I bought it back in July...for $6.99 at Ross.

I love finding things that give me that "atta boy!" affirmation of my mad shopping skills...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Make a fun Santa video for...well...anyone!

Portable North Pole allows you to make a free personalized video (though there are some limitations - on names - you just have to try it out).

Click here- PNP

I made one for Mr. can watch it here - Mr. Paisley's Video  tee hee...

Monday, December 19, 2011

Last Minute Deals!

Need to do some last minute shopping? Want to pick up a few things for yourself?

Here's a printable coupon for Old Navy - 30% off your entire purchase - expires 12/21 so hurry up! Too bad I didn't find this before I spent $100 there on Sunday! *ugh*

Old Navy

Here's one for Bath & Body Works. Free Item with $10 purchase - good in-store and online - check coupon for online code.

How about Kohl's?   20% off your order  - use coupon code PRESENTS4U
If you have a Kohl's charge card you can STACK (use both) that code online with coupon code GIFT4KC and get FREE shipping - no minimum purchase required.

Victoria's Secret - you can usually stack 3 codes.  Try SHIPVS2DAY for free 2 day express shipping on orders over $100, plus DRESSY30 for 30% off Sweater dresses, and code PERFUME for a freebie with a sleep purchase.

Don't forget to earn your cash back using Mr. Rebates - if you don't have an account, click the goofy little guy below and sign up! No strings attached! I currently have $53 (almost $54) sitting in my account waiting for me to click the "request check" button. Get it on the action!

Mr. Rebates

Visiting Orlando?

If you're coming to Central Florida any time soon, check out the MagiCard (it's free!) - it gets you discounts on lots of things. Food, attractions, shopping, even travel to Orlando on Amtrak!

This one expires in March 31, 2012, I would bet there will be a new one available after that.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Pinterest #4 - clean silver quick

Greetings oh so patient blog readers. I have returned. I can't believe how fast time flies and that it has been nearly a month since my last post. Bad blogger, bad!

Well, Mr. P is working all weekend, so aside from catching up around the cottage since we've been out of town, I thought it was time for another Pinterest Post.

This one involves the dreaded task of polishing silver jewelry. I'd sooner slam my finger in the car door. Again.

I pinned a link to Crafted Love on how to make that task less painful.

First I gathered a few pieces of jewelry that I want to wear in the near future. Nice and tarnished....and a nightmare to polish.

Then I grabbed a glass pie plate
And added foil

Then I put the water on to boil
Then I dumped some baking soda on the foil
And laid my silver in
The key is for the silver to be touching the foil - everywhere.
This was taken with the flash on - the heart on my Tiffany bracelet there is indeed THAT dark. Sad I know.

Then when the water was boiling, I poured it over the jewelry

 You can already see the heart and clasp turning all shiny and bright!
Then you get hit with the stench of rotten eggs...two cheers for chemistry!
As you can see in the photo above, most of the chain links weren't touching the foil enough so I did another round and...ta da! No more tarnish!
Rinse off the baking soda residue and dry with a soft cloth - then slap that shiny goodness on and wear it proudly.