Christmas on a Friday in July

Find My Finds:  Etsy

I was up a bit late for this repeat sale from the weekend before, but no matter, no one had spotted the huge storage bin of ornaments and asked their price. $1 each.  Woohoo!  I picked out every Hallmark and Enesco ornament, all of which were vintage (20 years or older).  Plus the Ernest Balancing Bear from Schylling.  $19 for the whole lot.  Potential gain of $300 in one stop on a Friday.


Posted by on July 28, 2017 in Christmas

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Disneyland & California Disney Pros & Cons 2017

Years ago I published many a post on the finer points of Disney World, and I have to say, in reading them back, I was quite the little writer back then.  I really need to get some of that old mojo back:

Disney World Recap #1: The Sheriff, Pluto, Tom and Kermit

Disney World Recap #2: The Not So Joyous Journey Home

Disney World Recap #3: Best Tips Including Pin Trading, Fast Passes & Meeting Characters

Disney World Recap #4: Theme Parks One By One

Disney World Recap #5: Disney Dining Tips Including The Disney Dining Plan

Disney World Recap #6: Dining By The Restaurant


Last week, my family had the pleasure to visit Disneyland and California Disney for one evening and then one full day.  On the first evening we hit Disneyland to catch some rides in the later hours with the shortest lines, as well as the Electric Light Parade and some Fantasmic action.  The second day we arrived upon the opening, started at California Disney and then bounced back and forth between parks until the wee hours of the night.  I don’t believe my family has been to the parks in many years, having to refer to photographs to remember when the last time was.  Many things have changed and many things have not, but I thought it well worthwhile to give you the Pros and Cons we recognized during this brief but busy trip.

Disneyland Cons:

Trash Pick-Up: While in my past visits I was amazed at the constant clean-up by the white-clad crew buzzing about with their brooms and dustpans, I think I only saw one this entire experience.  There was trash in the corners of wait lines for rides, specifically Pirates of the Caribbean.

Late Night Herding: Returning from California Disney as it closed at 10:00 with the hopes of hitting a few more rides until Disneyland’s closure at midnight, almost everyone else was doing the same thing. So they had cast members stationed with their glow lights herding everyone like sheep or cattle, you choose, all in the one designated narrow direction.  If you have claustrophobia, do not get stuck in this.  It was demeaning, uncomfortable and unhealthy.

Fast Pass for Night Shows: If you do not have a Fast Pass for the evening shows, cast members with glow lights will actually physically push you along so that you cannot watch the shows outside of the roped area. You could almost file a lawsuit for battery.  I paid almost a thousand dollars for my family to be at the park and I’m not allowed to watch a show from the walkway?

Surveys: I was approached by a nice gentleman cast member and was asked to do a survey about my dining experiences in Disneyland.  I said no problem and gave him my email address.  However, he failed to tell me that I had a time limit in which to take the survey which was all of 2 days.  When I went to the survey, it said the time limit had passed.

Disneyland Pros:

Dining at Blue Bayou:  We were able to sneak in a table without a reservation (which is usually recommended a month in advance according to the maitre d’), and had an amazing meal.  Our server was fantastic and he surprised me by refilling our glasses of mint juleps, lemonades, etc. from identical silver water pitchers.  I jumped, afraid he was refilling my mint julep glass with water, but this was not his first rodeo.  Of course it was a pitcher of mint juleps, denoted by the glowing green cube inside the pitcher.  Experiencing deja vu, I’m pretty sure the same thing happened to me on my last visit and I felt like an idiot. Regardless, I had one of the better Rib Eye Steaks I’ve had in a long time.  My son loved his salmon, my daughter her salad and Portobello Mushroom, and my husband loved the shrimp.

Soarin’ Over the World:  This used to be California Soarin’ and the update to Soarin’ Over the World is a positive change.

Jungle Cruise:  That ride still has it.  I don’t know if they ever change the jokes, but my teenage son was cracking up.  Always well worth the trip.

Indiana Jones:  Still the best ride I think the ride creators have come up with.  It is on such a grand scale that little compares.  I like it over every ride, and if I had gone to Guardians of the Galaxy, I’m pretty sure it would still be the best when you consider innovation, creativity, imagination, etc.

California Disney Cons:

Dining at Carthay Circle:  While the Lounge is delightful where Bobbie the Bartender will listen to all of your problems, the meal in the fancy dining room upstairs was less than stellar.  We were told that the wings and the biscuits were two of the top ten food items in the park.  I highly disagree.  They were both overly spicy and not particularly tasty.  I ordered the ravioli and joked with my son that I would probably only receive six on the plate. In actuality, I only received four.  Pathetic for the $30 price tag.

Californian Hotel Lobby:  We went to check out this mammoth Craftsman style hotel to see what it was all about and enjoy a bit of air conditioning.  Finding a spot to sit in the lobby, I noticed the cushions on most of the chairs were flattened, faded and some near threadbare.  What was worse, the one in which I personally sat, had a distinctive odor that was so off-putting I had to get up and move.  I won’t tell you what it smelled like.  And they were doing construction which made the entire lobby unpleasant, even though there was a pianist playing over the table saws.

World of Color:  This is an evening light show for which you’ll need a Fast Pass to view.  And Carthay Circle was even trying to pass off a prixe fixe menu with which you received “exceptional” reserved seats for the show. (We passed on that menu, though spent plenty of money there anyway.)  I wasn’t impressed by the show. Every show, okay well maybe just also Fantasmic, is all about spewing smoke and water into the air and then projecting images upon them in the dark.  Sure there are some different colored lights, maybe some bursts of fire, maybe a firework or two, but it just didn’t float my boat.

California Disney Pros:

Singles Line at the Cars Ride:  Whatever the ride is called…Radiator Springs Racers, I wasn’t too excited about waiting in a 60 minute line because we couldn’t get the Fast Passes working properly.  Then my husband discovered the ride had a Singles Line.  We raced all the way up to the front and got on immediately, though obviously in different cars of 6.  The ride is pretty good, my husband loved it so much that we went on again right after the first time, getting right up to the front once again. There are several other rides in both parks that have singles lines, but the later it gets in the day, the more people figure it out, and by the time we arrived at the Indiana Jones ride we were told that the Singles Line was as long as the regular line.

Mariachi Divas:  They play every hour on the hour in the middle of Pacific Wharf near the middle of the day. Quite possibly my favorite part of the entire day’s experience is a margarita from Rita’s Baja Blenders and listening to those ladies.

Grizzly Rapids:  This is the river rafting ride with the round rafts.  If you’re hot, hit this one.  They even have a single rider line (but you have to get a pass from the cast member at the front), so if you need a quick splash, this is your go-to.  It’s most fun to ride with your companions, but even if you do the Single Rider, you meet some very nice people.  You can tell them to put their feet up on the little ledge below the seats so their shoes don’t get soaked and they’ll love you forever.

Enchanted Tiki Bar at the Disney Hotel Cons:

This is just a tiny little place but there were four or five bartenders working.  I sat down while my husband used the facilities and expected at least a greeting within the first few minutes.  Nothing.  Not even a look.  I think maybe they were all suffering from the extreme heat and humidity in the place as one of the servers continually asked if she could keep a door open and they had to tell her that wasn’t allowed because of the incoming flies. Probably ten minutes went by and still nothing.  I started making comments much to my husband’s chagrin, and still nothing.  Extremely poor service. We attempted to then move outside, but there were no tables in the shade.  So we left and went to the Rainforest Cafe in Downtown Disney.


If you pay an extra $10 (because you haven’t spent enough already) you can add the MaxPass to your smartphone’s Disneyland App.  This is supposed to allow you to be able to schedule FastPasses on your phone for your family after scanning in your tickets and creating an account.  If it worked properly, my children should have been able to schedule FastPasses during an hour window while us parents should have been able to schedule different FastPasses during the same time because we had different tickets.  However, instead, if any one of us had a FastPass for a certain hour, no one else could make a FastPass during that time.  We consulted Guest Services and they said, “there have been some glitches.”


Call around.  Disney quoted me over $1,400.00 for two nights at the Californian, the ONLY room left available. I called ten other hotels in the area and was quoted from $400-$600+ per night. Finally, I called the Red Lion Hotel, about a 15-20 minute walk from the entrance and was quoted a $200-$260 price.  We were able to get a suite with two rooms, kitchenette, sofabed and rollaway.  Realize that if you’re going to Disney, you will likely only spend time in your room to sleep and get ready, so the more you save there, the more you don’t feel so bad about how much you’re spending at the parks.

All in all, it was an excellent 20 hours total spent at the parks.  We felt we did almost all we could do.  My kids are self-sufficient teenagers and I worried that they would be bored.  Instead they went off on their own and had a great time.  Which left their parents to have a great time on their own, as well.  It was a great release for the whole family and memories made for a lifetime.


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Garage Sale Weekend Recap: “New Coach Clutch, Moorcroft Pottery & More Bags, Bags, Bags”

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

I was on vacation the week before so I missed out on the prior weekend and was eager to get back to the treasure hunt after a limited night’s sleep.  I revved up my engine with a cup of hot coffee in my travel mug and took off to start my well-mapped-out route.  The first was a repeat sale where I had previously purchased two cuckoo clocks, but they had nothing left or new in which I was interested.  At the next I paid up $2 for vintage Barbie Christmas cards.  Finally, at the third, I picked up the 1992 Clue game and some festive paper garlands, all for a dollar.  Moving on, I found the vintage He Man Two Bad Action figure for 50¢.

It was a half hour to the next sale’s start time, but I was eager to get there because of the pictures in the listing. Luckily, they were open, and there I saw the wall of bags, $3 each, and I started loading up one arm, eight total. Then I found the Moorcroft Pottery covered bowl that I just knew had to be worth something, for $2.  And finally the pretty green pitcher that I will be keeping for $3. The deal was made at $20 for all.

A few blocks away I found the vintage yellow duck Waechtersbach mugs, the vintage Japanese shoes and the two vintage Fisher Price playsets, castle and garage, $4 for all.

In the same neighborhood I found the vintage Vanity Jars set for $1, the “Robin Finds Christmas” book from 1969, and three bags of vintage fabric, embroidered ribbons, baby buttons and a little baby bonnet – if anyone can tell me the potential origin it would be much appreciated.  All for $10.

One last one in the area where I would have purchased shoes, but the older lady with a thick Russian accent only said, “I don’t know!” in a very angry voice when I asked her prices.

Time to move to the middle of town where I majorly scored.  Seeing a purse on the ground, I opened it up to find a Coach Signature Stud Clutch with tag at $268, dust bag and paperwork.  I asked the nice lady in the modest house and she said, “$2.”  Major score.  And across the street I picked up the black Fossil Satchel for a buck.

A few more duds and I was up over the hill for another dud and then making a U-turn to hit one I missed.  There I picked up a vintage Beatrix Potter Christmas ornament and swatch of fabric, both for 60¢.

At the next I met a lovely German woman whose father was there in town from Germany and spoke no English. I picked up three German sweaters she said two of which were hand-knit by the old ladies in Germany who get together and kaffee klatsch while knitting, the other a Giesswein.  She said $5 each, I asked $10 for three, she said $12, and I handed her the money and said, “Dankeschön.”

Two last sales over the freeway where at both I found stickers.  At the first a bunch of large sheets I asked for half price at $5 for all.  And the last, a box of remnants, though some good finds, $2 for the box.

That was the day.  An even $60 spent. Potential $800 gain.

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



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Garage Sale Weekend Recap: “Bags, Bags & More Bags”

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

After the drought of last weekend as it was a holiday, I was eager to get out there and see what there was to be seen. Well… there wasn’t much.  And, as seems usual these days, I picked the wrong place to start.  Though, all the regulars were at that same starting point, so I didn’t feel quite so bad.  Nevertheless, my next to last stop, a community sale, was the best.  I left it for last because for the past few years, there had been next to nothing to be had. But this year was slightly better.  Not great, but better.

Back to the beginning, I started at a block sale with extremely high prices and left with nothing.  Bouncing around in a well-organized fashion, I first purchased 6 bags/purses at a sale, $5 for each large, $2 for the one small.  Funnily (not a word but I like it) enough, the one small bag I got was the light blue Coach and I had that thrown in to pay $25 for the six.  Included were 3 Tignanello’s and 2 B. Makowsky’s.

Sale after sale, prices were too high, the weather’s temperature was too high, and I finally arrived at the community sale.  Initially I found the Tom Clark Gnome sculpture, the Little Puppy book, another Coach bag and the German Easter Egg, all at about $10.

And then I found one of my regulars selling in another nondescript location.  By this time I was hot and exhausted, it was later, and a lot of the great stuff had probably already been sold.  But I made up a pile including See by Chloe suede boots, J. Crew leopard flats, a Native American Indian Girl head vase, a Free People crochet top and leather pouch, a Chala wristlet, a vintage Coach wristlet, two Kangol berets and a Hobo International Basket Woven bag, all for $20.

Not the greatest haul.  $55 spent.  Potential $650 gain.

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


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Garage Sale Weekend Recap: “Free Coach Bag, Lionel Train Clock & Barbie Safe”

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

There were two block sales that I wanted to hit first.  The initial block sale held an armload of stuff including a vintage Barbie Safe, a stack of Tin Tin books, a vintage Aesop for Children, Hans Christian Anderson Fairy Tales, two Avon Small World Doll bottles, a vintage Dakin Frou Frou and a vintage Commonwealth Thumb Sucking doll.  $13 spent.

Down the street I picked up the Peanuts Nativity Set for $5.

On to the next block sale, I picked up the Lionel Train Clock, the vintage Tea Set and the Jim Shore Easter Egg Basket, all for $12.

Down that street I picked up the free Coach Penelope bag and the $1 Kenneth Cole Satchel.

Across the street I found the Tiny Dreams Play Set, the Minnie Mouse Snow Babies on Skis,  the vintage Hallmark Ornament and the Lenci Doll, all for $11.

A few other random sales brought the box of vintage Christmas Ornaments for $10, the Christopher Radko ornament for $1, the Jewelry Box for $2, the Dream Pets Horse for 25¢ and the Doc Martins and True Religion boots at $5 each.

$65 total spent.  Potential gain of $700.

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


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Garage Sale Weekend Recap: “4 Coach Bags, 2 Cuckoo Clocks & A Dionne Quintuplet Doll”

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

Starting at one of my favorite regular sales, I was slightly disappointed to find that I had previously purchased most of the vintage toys they ever had.  But I did pick up the Tomy Rabbit Pull Toy, the Gymboree Harmonicas, the two Build A Balls, the Fisher Price TV Radio, The Little Tikes Wagon N Friends Animals, the Power Rangers Dino Action Figure, the two Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figures, the Dolce Vita Red Suede Wedges, the Sock A Bye craft, the Dolphin Needlepoint, the American Tourister Train Case and the Coach Chelsea bag.  Total spent: $20.50

Just a house away, I found the Madame Alexander Dionne Quintuplet Doll for $5 and the cool beer stein for $3.

Around the corner I picked up the Cole Haan White Satchel and the small Coach Wristlet, each a dollar.

Moving on over the hill, I bought four bags for $20 including the Capisce Pink Leather bag, the Hogan White Satchel, the Coach Maggie and Coach Signature 9362.

Down the street I picked up the Steve Madden Tipie flats for a buck.

Further down I found the Josef Originals small girl figurine and the vintage Bambi figurine from Japan, each a dollar. Last purchase of the day were the two amazing, large Cuckoo Clocks at only $10 each.

 $71 total spent.  Potential gain of $1,075.


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Garage Sale Weekend Recap: “Shoes, Bags & Action Figures”

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

Because it was the end of school weekend and our town was having its Art & Wine Festival, I figured there really wouldn’t be much.  But I was wrong.  Beginning at the far end of town, I started with a Free People floral dress that sold an hour after I listed it, as well as an Anthropologie sweater.  At the next I picked up a BCBGMaxAzria blue dress.  Spotting a sign in the area, there was a Lions Club sale where I bought a bag of shoes at a dollar each, along with a Roxy wetsuit new with tag, some lacy jeans, a Disney purse and a Betsey Johnson tote.

Then I wanted to head to a church rummage sale which was completely across town.  On the way, I did stop at one sale where I picked up a green canvas messenger bag for $1.  Finally getting to the church sale, some crazy person was trying to sell vintage Barbie cases for $20 each, so I passed and headed inside where one of my regulars had a table.  There I piled up Muppets and Anime action figures, a Power Rangers transformer, a Kermit mug, a Brighton wallet, a Lenox cat and some shoes.  At surrounding tables I found the Kamenstein carousel teapot, the Ugg clogs, the Fossil bag, the Calico Critters house, and the vintage child’s sewing machine.

Moving backward to the remaining sales, I picked up some Lucky Brand booties, a couple of vintage children’s books, a couple of Hummel figurines, a Strawberry Shortcake mug, a Japanese Pose Doll, a Sam Fink lipstick holder, a vintage nursery lamp, a pair of John Fluevog shoes, some Ariat Fat Baby boots, a set of a leather liquor bottle and shot glasses, and a vintage Bossy Bell Fisher Price Cow Pull Toy.

All in all, I spent $115, quite a bit in retrospect.  One dress already sold at $49, potential gain of $1,000.

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


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Garage Sale Weekend Recap: “Mrs. Grossman’s Sticker Boxes, Madame Alexander Hallmark Ornaments & A Large Paddington Bear”

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

Honestly, I was out waaaaay too late the night before, though I really didn’t want to be.  And had I known, as I had suspected, that one of our larger neighborhoods would be having their neighborhood sale, I definitely would have gotten more sleep.  But alas, I even woke up late, had to take my son to his baseball game, and then decided to hit the random singular sales near the ballpark. Well, they were weak, and I was telling myself I should have started with another neighborhood sale I had seen actually advertised.  The only things I bought at the random sales were a pair of Born sandals and a Polly Pocket set at a dollar each.

So I headed to the first neighborhood sale and made my way around.  I found a beautiful red vase I will be keeping.  Then two awesome patent leather Hobo International bags in white and blue, the talking Jessie doll, the Disney Infinity figures and game and the cute Gap Academy blazer all for $11.  Another sale in the area had the beautiful glass Christmas ornaments that I couldn’t resist, a small box full for $4. One last sale held the Josef Originals June Girl figurine and the vintage black poodle set, all for $6.

Still dissatisfied, though later in the morning, I decided to tackle the next massive neighborhood sale.  This one spans several very long blocks and can take the entire weekend to cover if you don’t do some drive-by’s. Excitedly, I ran into the guy from whom I had purchased the mother lode of stickers way back when.  He had one more box of Mrs. Grossman’s gift boxes and bags, the whole thing for $10.  He also had a collection of Hallmark Madame Alexander ornaments at $1 per box, a very large Paddington bear and some Nike free runs. I paid him $30 and was happily on my way.

At various other sales I picked up the Coach Sneakers, the clogs, a Steve Madden bag, a vintage Austrian hat, four beer steins, a vintage Christmas reindeer tea set, Donald Art Co Cat prints, a Smith & Hawken wire tree with Crystal and Mercury ornaments all for $10, a few pairs of jeans including an Adriano Goldschmied Tomboy Cropped and a few other items.

A grand day’s expenditures of around $100 could lead to a potential gain of around $1,000.

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



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Latest Trip to the Thrift Store: “Coach Chelsea Jayden Tote, Fossil Patchwork & Knee High Suede Boots”

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

In desired fashion, the Fossil Patchwork Satchel sold before I could publish this post.  I’m still working on the Coach Chelsea Jayden Tote to get it all spruced up for listing.  Both bags were under $3.

While filtering through the jeans, I intermittently glanced over at the boots hanging from the opposing rack and found the Carlos Santana Deseo Brown Suede Studded Boots and the Black Guess Balere Suede Boots, each around $5.


I also came upon a pair of brown heeled loafers by Pikolinos which I knew was a good brand and I only paid a few bucks for the shoes:

In toys, I only found the vintage 1982 Dakin Ludicrous Lion for under a dollar and a bag of souvenir dolls for $2.

And then on to jeans.  I was only looking for pairs in the $3 and under range, so I found a pair of distressed 7 For All Mankind Dojo, Gap Always Skinny in peach, Lucky Brand Sailor Moon Trousers, Paige Denim Foothill, black Earnest Sewn Decca and black Joe’s Jeans Honey.

There we have it.  I spent $45 on 14 items.  Dollar cost average to about $3 per item.  Potential gain (plus the already sold Fossil bag): $500.

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


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Garage Sale Weekend Recap: “Chotchkies, Handbags & Yarn”

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

Memorial Day Weekend would generally say to one contemplating garage sales… “probably not a lot going on.” I had a decent list of sales, but the sales weren’t decent.  I should have bought more at the one where I found all the little chotchkis.   The prices were right and there was some interesting stuff, but sometimes those little doohickeys take forever to sell.  But, then again, sometimes they don’t.  We shall see.

At the first sale I spent $23 buying the Brighton bag, the Michael Michael Kors Green bag, the Pelle Studio Patchwork bag and the Kolf Austrian purse that I will be keeping to add to my weird necessity to have a collection of that stuff.

There were so many sales in between where I purchased nothing that I should just move on in this post to those sales where I did.  The blue baby yarn was free.

And then the chotchkie sale where I picked up a set of Japanese Dachshunds, a Chinese Snuff bottle, a Spanish Sword letter opener, a Wedgwood green vase and an Otagiri wooden music box that works, plays “As Time Goes By” and the wooden man’s head and arms move. Total of $6.  Like I said, I should have bought more.

$29 spent.  Potential gain of $325.

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


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