North to Thrift: “Yosi Samra Flats, Green J.Crew Blazer & Patagonia Synchilla”


Find My Finds: Amazon ~ Etsy ~ Bonanza ~ Ecrater ~ Poshmark ~ Threadflip

I headed up north to my favorite of all of the vicinity’s shops.  Again, I hadn’t been up there in two weeks due to my children’s school break.  I quickly filled a basked with the 1982 Cabbage Patch Preemie for $2.50, the Lady Lovely Locks Puzzle for 50¢, the Barbie Birthday Puzzle for 50¢, the Big Comfy Couch Puzzle for 50¢, the two Barbies – one a vintage Malibu Sun Set Barbie from 1970 – each for $3, the pile of Little Golden Books – some from the ’50’s – for 50¢ each, the fish and dolphin stickers at $1 a pack, the Cherry Merry Muffin Peach Perfection doll with Chocolottie’s dress at $1, the Sarah Kay mug for 50¢, all of the McDonalds Happy Meal toys at a quarter each, the Cherished Teddies ink Stamp for $1 and the three fabric pieces at $1.50 each.  Oh, and the Ernie and Oscar the Grouch finger puppets and Snuffleupagus Fisher Price Little People figure, a hefty price tag at 50% off of $3.25.  I spent around $30.

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Down the street they had a rack outside of Clearance $5 coats which is where I found the brown and tan Patagonia Synchilla.  I also picked up the Yosi Samra Ballet Flats at $3 and the Sesame Street Zoe plush for $1.

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Then I took a break and headed to the local Outlet Mall where the Ann Taylor Factory Store was having a sale of 70% off Clearance and I bought 6 tops for $56.

Back to my regular route, I was on to the Goodwill where I found the green J. Crew velvet blazer, the white leather Banana Republic purse and the Horsman Mary Poppins doll at half price, total of $15 spent there.

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$54 total spent on the resale inventory.  $540 potential gain.

Find My Finds: Amazon ~ Etsy ~ Bonanza ~ Ecrater ~ Poshmark ~ Threadflip


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Platt & Munk and Sifo Puzzles of the 1950’s & 60’S


Cruising the web to find items to resell, I spotted these four puzzles, each with their own listing at $2, but all from the same seller.  I contacted her to ask if she could do combined shipping and she said, “sure.”  In the end I spent about $4.50 with shipping, on each, which is more than I was hoping.  But I do find them amazingly cute with their vintage graphics.  I wanted to find out more about the Platt & Munk puzzles from 1952 and Sifo puzzles from 1965.    Platt & Munk are a publishing company who has long published Children’s books (and puzzles), including one of my favorites, the “Tasha Tudor Fairy Tales.”  I can find evidence of their published books as early as 1928:

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The Sifo Company can be found on Wikipedia:

The Sifo Company (which did business as Sifo’s Toys and The Sifo Novelty Company) was a maker of children’s toys located in St. Paul, MN that was in business from 1944 until 1975. Their niche was early educational toys catalogs of the period emphasized the various properties of their toys that would entertain and educate children. Their toys were largely made of wood, with the wood milled and rendered into parts at a facility in Norway, MI and final assembly and finishing taking place at the St. Paul headquarters and factory located at 353 Rosabel Street (now Wall Street). The Saint Paul factory was razed and is now a parking lot. Sifo’s best known products were the Timmy Time Clock Children’s game and the Kinder City city play set. They also made “Bill Ding” stacking clowns whose physical design, but not characterization, can be seen in the Schylling company’s “Wood Stacking Robots.”

Both companies produce adorable puzzles that have become collectible heirlooms.  Singularly, they usually run in the $15-$20 range:

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You can find mine in my shop on Etsy!:
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Posted by on March 3, 2015 in Bargain-Hunting, Toys

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Latest Thrift Store Trip: “The Anthropologie Jacket, Coach Tote & Happy Meal Toys”


Find My Finds: Amazon ~ Etsy ~ Bonanza ~ Ecrater ~ Poshmark ~ Threadflip

I hadn’t been back to my favorite thrift store in two weeks due to my children’s schools’ ski week.  As a result, there was a whole new plethora of merchandise for me to hunt through.  Starting with the grab bags, I picked up two for 99¢ filled with McDonalds and Burger King toys still sealed in their packaging, piles of Hallmark Bridge Playing Cards, Tallies and Scorepads at 45¢ per bag, a bag full of a children’s baking set for $1.98, a bag of tiny millinery satin roses for 99¢, a bag of stuffed animals including two Shining Stars Owls (one of which has already sold) for 99¢, and each of the Hallmark Dad, Mom and Son ornaments for 99¢.

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In other toys I found the singing/moving Christmas Tree Moose for 99¢, the fancy Furby that works for 99¢, the Furreal Friends Lu Lu Cat for $2.98 and the Dept. 56 Ted D. Fisherman Bear that came along in the bag with the owls.

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In Housewares, I spotted the Vandor Chef Pig Trivet for 99¢, the Hallmark Mitford Snowman Plate for 99¢, the Crush lunchbox for $1.98, the Waechtersbach teapot and cup marked down 75% to a dollar, the Holly Hobbie Coca Cola Christmas glass from 1977 for 99¢, the tiny Monika Heller Cole cat plate from Germany for 25¢, and the adorable Kissing Angels from Fine Quality A Japan at $1.98 for the two (I think I’ll keep them).

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If anyone has seen those penguins before, please message me, I can’t find them anywhere.  On to Clothing, etc.:


Awesome Anthropologie Twill 22 Khaki jacket for $2.98, very pretty Zara Woman twill jacket for $2.98, Sand/Yellow patent Coach Gallery Tote at $2.98, fantastic Aerosoles Gather Round Black Suede Wedge Boots for $5, Donegal Tweed by Shandon of Cork Green Cap for $1.98, Pink & Purple Houndstooth scarf by V. Fraas of Germany for $1.98, Multi-color Striped Scarf by Pistil from $1.98, a vintage Banana Republic Safari Trading Co. Waffle Henly for $1.98, lovely pink floral fabric the size of a girl’s twin size bed from $1.98, a vintage Christmas tablecloth and apron that came in another grab bag for $1.98.

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I had to get help out to my car with all of this stuff and because they made me go to the side of the store to the boutique register.  Usually I can muscle it out on my own if I’m at a register by the door.  Total Spent: $65.  Total Potential Gain: $785.

Find My Finds: Amazon ~ Etsy ~ Bonanza ~ Ecrater ~ Poshmark ~ Threadflip


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Japanese Pose Dolls


The other weekend I picked up some Duchess Dolls and then, at the last moment, gave in and also picked up the strange little doll with the blue hair and the dog.  In my research I found that this is a Japanese Pose Doll. There are various makers and you can find people that are big collectors of these dolls.  The more recognizable might be the big eye Bradley dolls which I always found a bit scary.

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But the one I found I thought was somewhat cute, especially because of the dog which makes it a “dog walker” version.  It sold on Etsy after only a couple of days.

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There is quite a wide variation of the dolls and therefore a wide variation in prices:

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And, of course, there are websites and blogs dedicated to these dolls:

There is even a book about them:

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So if you see one or more for a good price, don’t shy away.  Pick it up because there are collectors out there willing to pay more for it than you did.


Posted by on February 27, 2015 in Bargain-Hunting, Dolls

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Petites Choses Gold Metal Wreaths


I picked up this metal wreath out of the “FREE” box at a garage sale the other weekend.  It reminded me of an all holiday metal wreath my mother-in-law had displayed at holiday time.  Sure enough, it was made by the same company, Petites Choses.


Additional information on the company was provided by an Etsy Blog which found, “I did a bit of research and learned that this is a Petites Choses All-Holiday Wreath. I have been told that these wreaths came in two or three sizes and were made in the 1980s during the height of the American Country decorating trend. The company was known for their whimsical designs and high quality methods of construction, and the images on the wreath were actually cast in brass from antique candy molds.”

And from another blog, “From what we’ve gathered, it came from either a company called Petites Choses (meaning “small things” in French) or a company called Dresden. These All-Holiday Wreaths were made in the 1980s, out of either antique candy molds (Petites Choses) or leftover ornaments (Dresden), and they came in several sizes. They are meant to be put up year round, and you are supposed to weave real foliage and flowers in and around it to make it like a real wreath.”

They go for a pretty penny when you can find them:

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I can’t find an example of this holly one I have found that needs a bit of cleaning for all of the tarnish. It is on the smaller side but maybe the more rare?  Keep your eye out for these metal wreaths, especially if they’re in the Free Box!


Posted by on February 26, 2015 in Bargain-Hunting, Holidays

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When Everyone Can See Your Website… But You

What a day it is when in the morning you can get on your website and in the early afternoon you cannot. You can’t get on WordPress, you can’t get on your host’s control panel, you can’t get on your Twitter and you can’t get on your own website. But you can get on everything else. What the heck. I started by clearing cache in all of my browsers. That didn’t work. I tried restarting my computer. Nope. I tried unplugging my modem. Nah-ah. I tried unplugging my airport express. No cigar. So then I tried calling my host, HostGator. At first, I tried the online chat. The first gentleman had me go to my traceroute by plugging in my website into my Network Utility. It was showing that my website was timing out at Comcast. So that was surmised to be the problem. I called Comcast. After a multitude of questions and minutes on hold multiple times: nope, wasn’t them either.

So back to HostGator. This time I called. This next gentleman had me type in “” which is supposed to let me see my website as if I were on another computer. That didn’t work either. Then he asked if I had any security software. I said I had Norton Security. He said that was probably the problem. I needed to check if it was blocking my site. Okay, fine. I finally figured out how to find the “DeepSight” that showed me which IP’s were blocked. Darn it. Mine wasn’t one of them. Then I just uninstalled the whole Norton Security. Then I checked my traceroute again. Now I was getting several more lines, ending in a What the heck was that? After searching the web a bit, I found a HostGator forum that tried to explain a problem that looked similar to the one I was having. So it was back to square one and the third time’s the charm, Live Chatting with HostGator Gentleman #3. I just laid it all out there in my initial question, complete with my traceroute. Here’s the total convo:

Chat: Question: I’ve already spoken to HostGator Support on the phone and in a Live Chat today. I am unable to see my websites on my computer or use WordPress using any browser after clearing cache and restarting modem, airport express, computer, etc. HostGator Support on the phone said it was my Norton Security Software which I uninstalled which did not work. HostGator Live Chat had me look at traceroute, which at the time ended with Comcast and Live Chat said I should call them. I called Comcast, after a multitude of questions, it is not them. After disabling Norton, my traceroute now ends with which I have seen on some forum is originating with HostGator and has to do with reverse DNS entries? Here is the traceroute:

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(4:07:33pm)System:Customer has entered chat and is waiting for an agent.
(4:08:25pm)System:Thank you for verifying your billing account!
(4:08:44pm)System:Welcome to HostGator Live Chat. Please allow me a moment to review your initial question so that I may assist you accordingly. Thank you kindly for your patience in advance.
(4:11:36pm)System:So I’ve heard some reports of issues getting to our sites with Comcast, trying to look into it further.
(4:12:37pm)MBH:Everyone else can see my websites, but I cannot.
(4:12:57pm)MBH:Here is the link to the HostGator forum discussing
(4:16:10pm)System:Ok, that link I don’t think is what we’re seeing here.
(4:18:15pm)MBH:Any idea what we might be seeing?
(4:19:05pm)System:Not yet, still digging into this.
(4:20:49pm)MBH:If it helps, it seems I can’t get onto any website associated with my websites – no bookmarks for Twitter or even my control panel for HostGator will work. All other bookmarks and websites work.
(4:21:31pm)System:Ok. We’re still checking things on our side to see what is going on.
(4:25:24pm)System.:Still checking on things, passed your traceroute on to our Admins.
(4:25:36pm)MBH:Thank you
(4:25:55pm)System:Sure. Let me have you test the site again please.
(4:26:23pm)MBH:What was wrong?
(4:27:24pm)System:I’m not sure yet, but it’ appears to be working for now. Not sure it’s fully “fixed”
(4:27:49pm)MBH:If you could please ask them. I’ve spent four hours on this today.
(4:28:06pm)System:I understand, waiting for an update.
(4:30:00pm)System:Checking to see if we’re going to get a forum post on this.
(4:30:28pm)MBH:Why? Has it been a common problem?
(4:31:19pm)System:We’re not sure yet, but it’s a big enough issue they’re asking for hte traceroutes.
(4:38:55pm)System: Ok, so it does look like any issue on our side is cleared up. They didn’t see anything they can pinpoint, it’s possible it was a comcast issue.
(4:39:45pm)MBH:Do you understand what that means?
(4:40:17pm)System:They didn’t see the issue coming from inside our network.
(4:41:39pm)MBH:Huh. Okay… well… thank them for fixing it, though I wish I had more information after spending so much time on it.
(4:42:07pm)System:Sure, I understand.
x 1 2 3 4 5
34:57 Verified!

And then that was it. After our nice little chat I would have thought he would want to ask if I needed anything else and perhaps thank me for my business. Not to mention – do his explanations seem at all vague to you? Like perhaps they were putting the blame on Comcast for something that may have gone wrong on their end? Especially when he’s a bit ironic in saying first that “it does look like any issue on our side is cleared up,” and then saying that they “didn’t see the issue coming from inside our network.”  So where exactly was the issue?

Regardless, after four hours of working it out in my brain who to contact and what to tell them I was happy that HostGator finally brought my websites back to life even though they were living just fine everywhere else but at my house. I just would really like to know what went wrong if only to know how to handle it in the future.


Posted by on February 25, 2015 in Bargain-Hunting, Websites

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Garage Sale Weekend Recap: “The Singing Snowmen, The Franciscan Tumblers & The Fisher Price Little People”


Find My Finds: Amazon ~ Etsy ~ Bonanza ~ Ecrater ~ Poshmark ~ Threadflip

Now this was the typical California winter day of garage sales that I would expect: a bit lackluster with a few good finds.  First stop I picked up all of the shoes and pair of boots, the little people in the front, the Lego set, the fire engine model and the Loony Tunes mug.  All for $12.

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Next stop from a sign I passed, I picked up the new Spaten Coasters, the Pottery Barn Christmas Reindeer Coasters and the three Hallmark musical Snowmen, all for $6.

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Backtracking to one that maybe I should have gone to first, I bought the nice Egyptian Cotton Beach Towel and the four cute black print storage containers, all for $5 because the lady didn’t have change.  Rounding back to my original route, I found a very nice lady who sold me the 6 Franciscan tumblers – I had originally thought there were only 4 in the box, but there were 6 when I got home.  She said each were worth $40, which is not exactly true from my research.  But I did get her down to $20 for the 6 which is an okay deal, but not the $160-$240 gain I was hoping for.  I also picked up the basket of old happy meal toys and bag of old noisemakers. Total: $25.

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I headed out across town to find the Fisher Price Farm, dump truck and bags of Little People, all for $5.

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And then I rounded back to pick up Disney figures that went with the Disney Ride toys I had purchased the week before.  The lady cleverly posted a craigslist ad in garage sales asking “the lady who purchased the Disney toys last weekend” if I wanted the figures that went with them.  I responded yes, of course, and went by to pick them up.  They should add considerable value to the listings.

All spent: $48.  Potentail gain: $800.

Find My Finds: Amazon ~ Etsy ~ Bonanza ~ Ecrater ~ Poshmark ~ Threadflip


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Tyco Quints – New Inventory For Sale

The other weekend I bought a large bin of Tyco Quints toys that turned out to be an entire Playground Playset and various other pieces of furniture.  It reminded me that I had that whole bin of Tyco Quints stuff in my shed that I’d been meaning to have the energy to get out, dig through, research, group together, photograph and list. What the heck, I pulled it out and found that I had multiple sets of dolls, playsets, pieces of furniture, etc., that I figured I may as well list now that I had the handy dandy help of to decipher where everything went and with what.  As it ended up I was able to make twenty-one listings on Etsy with potential revenue of $500.  We shall see how they do….

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Posted by on February 23, 2015 in Dolls

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Craigslist Ad: “Polly Pocket, My Little Pony, Littlest Pet Shop”


Find My Finds: Amazon ~ Etsy ~ Bonanza ~ Ecrater ~ Poshmark ~ Threadflip

I don’t know if you know this, but you can get email alerts from craigslist whenever a new listing is posted with your desired search terms.  So I did one for Polly Pocket.  And Littlest Pet Shop.  And My Little Pony.  And then I received an email alert… with all three.  I looked at the photos posted with the listing and commenced research…  17 Polly pockets with a ton of dolls, plus a vintage 1992 Littlest Pet Shop Playset and a vintage 1985 My Little Pony Playset.  They guy wanted $60 and he lived about an hour away.  Was it worth it?  I told myself it was after researching what each was worth.  I could make $750.

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Find My Finds: Amazon ~ Etsy ~ Bonanza ~ Ecrater ~ Poshmark ~ Threadflip


Posted by on February 20, 2015 in Bargain-Hunting


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Epic Garage Sale Day: “The Purses, The Skis & Boots & The Disney Toys”


Find My Finds: Amazon ~ Etsy ~ Bonanza ~ Ecrater ~ Poshmark ~ Threadflip

What a day.  We started (my husband came with me) at a sale not too far from home and it appeared I may have been the first one there.  My eyes widened as I knew I had to quickly pick and choose what I would reserve to buy as surely others would soon arrive.  And they did.  But by that time I had already chosen to buy the three Disney rides all for $10 and the Teddy Ruxpin and his friend, Grubby, also for $10.  One of the three men who showed up then picked up the boxed Zephyr ride and the other two men picked up my Teddy Ruxpin and Grubby.  I had to tell them that I had already bought them.  The one man asked me what I paid for the three Disney pieces.  I thought it a rude question, but I told him.  Then he asked me if I would be interested in selling it!  Which I declined.  And then he asked the lady if she wouldn’t sell the one piece to him for $10!  And she said she couldn’t do that as she had already sold it to me!  The nerve!  The lady there also gave me the stuffed tiger, the Eden Jeremy Fisher frog, the Anton Peck framed picture and I paid for the Gone with the Wind Barbie and the talking/moving Mickey Mouse, $35 total.  And as I was leaving I poked my nose in the free box, only to find THREE COMPLETE POLLY POCKET COMPACTS and a vintage Toy Works mouse!

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On the way to the next stop, my husband spotted a sign for one that was not on my list.  These people must work for a family that gives them all of their cast-offs because that is where we found all of the purses including Dooney & Bourke, Brighton, Banana Republic, Kate Spade, The Sak, Tignanello and Fossil.  Also the purple label Ralph Lauren Shoes, the BCBG Sandals, the Linea Paolo pumps and the Madden Girl Toms-look-a-likes. Plus a Free People Dress still with the $298 price tag, a Banana Republic Black Leather jacket still with the $378 price tag, a Prada puffy jacket, a North Face still with the tags, a Banana Republic dress, a Kate Spade iPhone case and the the skis and boots – the boots still have a price tag of $600.  Grand Total: $60.

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On to our appointed rounds, I picked up the five scarves and two large 222 Fifth Peacock Mugs, all for $10.

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Retreating backwards, the next two only netted the Lenox Mickey & Minnie Mouse Ornament for 50¢.

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Further away, I found the big box of Quints toys, the Duchess Dolls and the Japanese dog walker pose doll in their dusty boxes, $15 for all.

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That was it on the day.  $120 spent, within one day I’ve sold the Free People dress and the Japanese Pose Doll making my money back.  I envision I can make over $1,000 at the very least with the rest…

Find My Finds: Amazon ~ Etsy ~ Bonanza ~ Ecrater ~ Poshmark ~ Threadflip


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