Tonight, Salt & Pepper Books in Occoquan, VA, hosted a Mystery Readers' Event featuring the authors Krista Davis, Avery Aames, Lucy Burdette, and Sheila Connolly. The store is primarily a cookbook shop, but they also have a nice selection of novels, particularly mystery ones, that have a food focus -- think the mysteries with recipes in the back. The four authors were there promoting their food-related series: Davis' Domestic Diva series set in Alexandria, VA; Aames' Cheese Shop series set in Providence, OH; Burdette's Food Critic series set in Key West, FL; and Connolly's Apple Orchard series set in Granford, MA.
In addition to signing their books, the authors had free goodie bags for all attendees, and Salt & Pepper provided refreshments -- cheese & crackers, juices, and delicious cupcakes.
Read on for photos and lots of details!
Apparently, I've been to Village Thrift at least once each week for the last 10 weeks. I guess my Foursquare Village Thrift mayorship is well deserved! Today was discount day, with three tag colors 50% off and 2 tag colors 33% off. I think I wound up buying more 33% off items than 50% items, but they were all still good deals. Two of the items I got today were brand new, with the original tags still on them, including a pair of pajama pants that I had considered getting my husband for Christmas, but decided against due to their cost. They were a fraction of the original cost at the thrift store!
I snagged a total of 6 items for $30.07, which averages out to $5.01 per item.
Continue reading for all the price and brand info.
I've gotten into the habit of going to Village Thrift, my neighborhood thrift store, once a week, usually on discount Sunday or Monday, just to see if there's anything good. Some days I'll score a big haul -- $50 or more -- but other weeks I'll pick up only a few items (or none at all). Today, I only got a few books and a tank top.
I picked up 4 items for a total of $6.70, about $1.68/item.
Continue reading for the individual prices and other details.
Due to its proximity to my house, Village Thrift has quickly become one of my favorite thrift stores. In the past several months since my first visit to the store, I've tried to check in once every other week or so on half-price Sunday or Monday. Last night, I scooped up one of my smaller Village Thrift hauls, but nabbed the priciest single thrift store clothing item I've ever purchased.
In total, I scored 10 items for $74.50, which is an average of $7/item.
Continue reading for all the price and brand info.
My husband and I spent our New Year's Eve at a party hosted by close friends. Because it was a low-key, informal party, we didn't want to get too dressed up, but we still wanted to dress a little more "special" than usual. I threw together a quick and comfortable outfit that still had a "New Year's Eve" vibe to it:
I had worn the jeans several times before, but last night was the first time I wore the shirt. (I don't go to too many things that call for sparkle.) Both pieces were bought from thrift stores back in August: the jeans were from Salvation Army on 25% off day and the shirt was from Village Thrift on 50% off day. The total cost for the outfit: a mere $8.69, pre-tax. Not too bad for an outfit that netted me several compliments throughout the night.
Both my older sister and my mom received Android smartphones for Christmas, so I figured now was a good time to post my 12 favorite free Android apps. These are all apps that I use on a fairly regular basis (at least once a month), that I have re-installed each time I've reformatted my phone (or left on the phone when I've done app purges), and that I find to be truly useful.
Please Note: While all of these apps are free to download and free to use, they do still use data -- at the very least, to download and install, but most require data connections to work. If you have an unlimited data plan, you have nothing to worry about, but if you have a limited data plan, make sure you monitor your usage and avoid using data-heavy apps when you're near your monthly limit to avoid overage charges. Most of these apps include ads to cover their costs, but ad-free paid versions are usually available separately or as upgrades.
Google's own e-mail service, Gmail, is the default mail service on Android, but it still deserves mention since not everyone realizes the benefits of using Gmail with Android. The Gmail app includes all the functionality of standard Gmail in a format that's optimized for your phone and includes as much -- or as little -- of your Gmail as you want. It's also easier to set up and configure than any other mail system and app for Android.
11. Google Maps
Like Gmail, this app seems like a no-brainer, since it's the pre-installed and fully integrated map app for Android, but many people still don't realize it's full potential or shell out for other services. The Google Maps app has even more functionality than the web site, with text directions, voice navigation (including alternate routes), traffic, place details, and more. I use this app instead of a GPS unit, and the graphics are far superior to and more detailed than most of the GPS units I've seen.
After my trip with Emily to B-Thrifty yesterday, I made a solo trip across the street to Salvation Army to take advantage of 25% off everything for Customer Appreciation Day, which is every Wednesday. My previous visit to this particular Family Store was just a quick trip to check it out, so yesterday was a more thorough visit.
Altogether, I scored 8 items for $23.54 (after taxes); that's an average of less than $3/item!
Continue reading for all the nitty-gritty, like brands and prices.
My friend Emily hadn't used her Groupon to B-Thrifty yet, so today I met up with her at the store for B-Thrifty Groupon round #2. William had purchased a second Groupon voucher for me on the last day it was available since I had enjoyed the first trip, so I was planning to use that today.
When Emily and I arrived, I checked in via my new foursquare account and tweeted that I was in the store. The B-Thrifty social media team were excited to hear I was back (they had liked my first B-Thrifty haul post) and Celina, their web manager, tracked me down while I was sorting through my finds and presented me with $25 B-bucks... what an awesome surprise! (You can check out a photo of me with the B-Thrifty store manager on their Facebook page.) I was able to put the certificate to use right away and only spent about $5 out of pocket. Emily also did well, spending about $5 beyond the $35 value of her Groupon.
I also remembered to sign up for a BiP membership today, which will get me 30% off on Thursdays (although it can't be used in combination with the Groupon). I have a feeling I'll be back soon!
That's a total of 9 items for $33.91... but I put to use the $25 gift certificate B-Thrifty gave me, and paid only $3.91 (plus taxes) out of pocket. That's probably the best deal I've gotten so far!
Continue reading for all the details.
After checking out the new B-Thrifty store (see that haul here), I made a quick stop at the Salvation Army across the street, since I hadn't been in that location before. I focused on belts, because lately I've really been trying (unsuccessfully) to find good belts to wear with dresses and longer shirts, but somehow a bunch of movies snuck into my haul, too; the fact that they're under the glass at the check-out counter probably had something to do with it.
The belts I found, at $3.99/each, were slightly more than I would have liked to spend (and $3/each more than the one I got at B-Thrifty), but they were perfect for my needs and I've had such a hard time finding any at all that I felt they were worth it. Likewise, I usually wouldn't have bought so many movies unless it was a discount day (which, at Salvation Army, is Wednesday), but there was such a good selection and several of the movies are ones that I've been wanting to get on DVD to replace my VHS collection, so I figured they were worth it.
Luckily, I resisted the urge to spend on some items that were quite tempting, but either not necessary or more than I was willing to spend: a tan Gap wool coat for $29.99, a tank top for $6.99, shoes for $11.99, and a whole bunch of tempting winter clothes.
Despite my intention to just run in quickly to check out the location, I wound up spending $30 on 9 items.
Read through for the details on brands and prices.
This week I purchased a Groupon to a new "big box" style thrift store called B-Thrifty. It was a good deal: for $15, I got a voucher for $35 to use at the thrift store (excluding its consignment section and the International Bazaar housed in it). That voucher was burning a hole in my pocket, so I headed over today to check it out. (Little did I know when I left that a tornado watch would go into effect while I was out... just my luck.)
Overall, I enjoyed the B-Thrifty. The store is huge -- I believe my tweet said, "Holy clothing, Batman, this place is enormous!" -- and it's the first thrift store I've seen that actually has as much, if not more, men's clothing as women's. I found many items that were brand new, including the short-sleeve men's polo and the dress I bought, but I was also disappointed to find several significantly stained items as well; in the shoe department, there were like-new dressy high heels next to sneakers that should have been in the trash. So like with most thrift stores, you really need to pay close attention and examine each item.
The aisles are very wide and can more than accommodate the shopping carts; very few thrift stores can fit carts down the aisles at all, so this was a real plus. And as funny as it sounds, I really enjoyed the music selection, which included really well-known classic rock songs.
I'll definitely be going back, and I plan to take advantage of their BiP Member card (for 30% off on Thursdays) and their Federal Holidays discount (50% off).
I wasn't sure how many items I'd be able to get (or would even find) for $35, but I came home with a total of 10 items for $35, which is a good deal. Since I only paid $15 for the Groupon, though, it was really 10 items for $15 for me, which is an even better deal!
Read on for all the details on brands and individual prices.