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Thrift Score Thursday!

September 18, 2014

Okay, I finally know the secret to thrifting in Southern California. Get outta town! Seriously though, going to smaller suburban locales produces many more treasures than hitting the same old picked-over nearby places. I found some really cool stuff for my Etsy shop and some other cool stuff for my permanent collection.

Milk Glass Teacup

Check out these precious mugs and saucers I scored! I don’t know how old they are but I haven’t been able to identify them anywhere. The general shape makes me think that maybe they are older than you’d think– more teacup shaped than mug shaped, and very similar to the pink teacups in my mom’s depression glass collection. The disappointing part was that someone at Salvation Army had written on the bottom of them with a sharpie, “set of 10.” Despite their best efforts three pieces had been separated and I snagged three teacups and four saucers for a discount since it was an odd number. I did get the sharpie off using goo gone, and then later, rubbing alcohol. Definitely keeping these!

Jadeite Bowl

This item I’m on the fence about keeping. I loooove the look of jadeite but this is my first piece, since it’s so rare to find any in thrift stores (gets snatched up too fast!). Should I list it so that someone with an extensive collection can add it to their goods? Or should I begin a jadeite collection of my own? What does a person need with a single cafeteria-sized cereal bowl?

Every Thursday I have had so much fun checking out various bloggers’ scores (or photos of the items that got away). One of the ring leaders is Brynne who I recently started following on twitter. Check out her #thriftscorethursday posts here– 33 weeks running!

Treat Yo Self

September 15, 2014

September is here, and that means it’s my birthday month! I couldn’t come up with much for my birthday list because I’ve been getting in the habit of getting myself small treats here and there.

Mast Bros Chocolate

First up, I have to sing the praises of Mast Brothers chocolate. This chocolate is so dark and potent that a small piece, smaller than a square inch, satisfies my chocolate craving (okay, maybe two pieces). I keep a bar of this in my drawer at work and it helps me get through the afternoon stretch! After becoming so accustomed to Mast Brothers, eating Hershey’s milk chocolate seems like a waste. As a result, I eat less sweets of a better quality. A win-win in my book! You’ve got to get a bar and you’ll see what I mean.

Julep Maven

Second, after I got my new job back in March, I signed up for Julep Maven, a monthly nail polish (and other beauty items) subscription box. I thought getting nail polish month after month would get boring, but each month has new and exciting colors, and I can also swap items out for other things like lotion, lipstick, or restock on base coat (their base coat is seriously amazing) or topcoat. I’ve been pleased with the durability of the polish too, since I was disappointed with the other trendy brand, Essie.

Julep Maven

My first box, last April

My July box got lost in the mail, so customer service credited my account. To make up for the lost box I added on three colors of nail polish. Since I selected three add-ons, they gifted me with two more! So, I got eight colors this month–definitely an early “me-gift” for my birthday! Usually subscribers receive two colors plus another beauty item, or three colors. I look forward to selecting my box each month and have been having so much fun doing my nails before work each week. Something I never dreamed would become part of my routine but I really enjoy it!

If you want to subscribe, click my referral link & use code FREEBOX for your first month free.

Dollar Shave Club

Lastly, I didn’t want Doug to feel left out, and we are constantly out of razors around here (therefore either not shaving or using seriously unhygienic borderline rusty old blades, don’t tell anyone). So I signed him us up for Dollar Shave Club. Each month for $6 they will send us four fresh 4-blade razors. Win! We can select more or less as needed.

I forgot to add on an extra handle so this month Doug gets to be the first to try out the system, but next month I’ll get another handle. Ever since Julep Maven I have been getting on the subscription box train. So convenient and DSC is super affordable, too. Much cheaper than the Schick Quattro’s Doug had been picking up–super expensive even at Costco! If you want to give it a try (you can cancel anytime), use my referral link, and thank me later ;)

Note: The Julep and Dollar Shave Club links earn me a credit to apply to my own subscription. However, I’m only sharing because I’m a true convert, not because I was asked or paid to. 

Portland, Part Two: The Ace Hotel

August 29, 2014

The Portland Ace! If you are an avid a follower of All The Blogs like I am, the Ace will be old hat to you by now. Of course, the Palm Springs Ace is (possibly) the most famous, but Portland was the first, and the minute I found out we were headed to Portland, I begged for a brief stay.

Ace Hotel Portland

Staying at a good hotel has been a priority of mine for a while. No funky smells and no creepy desk employees– very important. Located in a good part of town, with cool amenities (we loved the Saguaro in Palm Springs and The Moonrise in St Louis for the aforementioned reasons) really make the experience worth the extra cost due to saved time and overall enjoyment factor.

Although, I’m a sucker for a free continental breakfast. Something not offered at fancy-schmancy places. Sad face.

We left the wedding reception a bit late, drove an hour, then checked in at The Ace after dark. Even so, I enforced my crazy blogger “put your luggage down and don’t touch anything” rule so I could snap the room before settling in. The photos are a bit grainy since they were taken at night.

Ace Hotel Portland

Holy sliding wood panel, Batman. The barn-door style panel closed over the window, and was a nice touch. Blocked out the light and a lot of the sound. Enhanced the cool factor. Slid smoothly. I also soaked in the antique-style moldings and appreciated the wallpaper made from dictionary pages. Staying in creative places is so inspiring–I found a lot of ideas I’d like to emulate in our own home!

Ace Hotel Portland

Ace Hotel Portland

Small details were appreciated, like the sweets provided at check in (above right) and the extensive snack and drink options. Against our better judgement (I know it would have been cheaper elsewhere) we very thoroughly enjoyed the spring water, corn chips, and salsa.

Here’s the irrational part (we humans tend to be irrational beings). We paid the associated price for having a “cool” hotel, but didn’t even have our own bathroom in the room. Say what?

Ace Hotel Portland

We had a little sink area, perfect for washing up, brushing teeth, putting on and taking off makeup, etc, but the real bathroom part was two doors down and shared by the rooms near us. It was strange, but surprisingly easy to get used to. The shower was super luxurious and I never had to, well, wait in line or anything to use the facilities. What a revolutionary concept! Or, should I say, a throwback concept–the building was really old and this is probably how most hotels used to be, and possibly still are in many parts of the world. Definitely a first for me (barring Hostels) but did not diminish my stay!

The more I thought about it, the more convinced I became that the old loft in Kansas we used to live in was at one point a hotel in this style. In that apartment, each room had a doorway accessing the hallway, and each room was about the same size (if not larger) than the room we stayed in. Epiphanies all over the place!

Of course, we were in one of the cheapest rooms at the Ace. Spend more, get your own bathroom. Such is life.

Ace Hotel Portland

Monday morning we finally got to snag a spot (and a photo) in the iconic (and normally packed) lobby. Adjacent Stumptown Roasters does not have any tables or anything to sit at and enjoy their coffee, so patrons usually relax here. Of course we took some photos in the old-style photobooth as well, which I assume is an Ace staple since the locations in Palm Springs and Downtown Los Angeles have the same thing.

I was about ready to move in permanently! Cool location, cool decor, comfortable bed… and cable? Yeah, I so could have moved in permanently. Highly recommended.

Need a recommendation for where to stay? Check out my Your Turn section.

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