Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Moment on My Soap Box

Here is my mailing station, with a wonderful new functional, yet lovely addition.
Can you tell what it is?
I finally broke down and bought some Red & White Bakers Twine!

I have been coveting this twine for some time - ever since I saw it over at Julie's place, and I finally found (what I felt, after much searching) some that did not have an outrageous shipping price. I am a little funny about shipping. Now that I have to ship things all the time, I know more what things cost to ship, and I know what is reasonable and when they are just jacking with the price to make a few more bucks. So when I found what I thought was a good deal, I couldn't click "buy" quick enough. This 2lb roll of twine (perfect for wrapping up my brown bag packages) came from a little online store called and did not break the bank.
Some other fun additions to my world came from a little spontaneous day trip that my Sweet Man and I took on Monday, when we realized that we both had President's Day off, but the kids still had school. Thanks to the in-laws taking care of after-school pick-up time and dinner, we had a day all to ourselves, a rare treat.
Monday morning we hopped on down to Hot Springs where we went to the races (my first time ever - you can see the pictures here) and took a little trip to the Central Station Flea Market right down the road from the track - My Sweet Man hunted for some vintage LP's, while I hunted some good - and practical - deals.

Because we have a smallish house and a smallish budget I try to limit most of my flea market purchases to things that are useful as well as lovely (like this adorable vintage Tupperware double measuring cup that I got for $3.50!)
Also, I firmly believe in thrifting as a form of recycling and a way to support non-profits and small business owners. I feel that if you can buy it second-hand - whether from a thrift store, a garage sale, or a flea market, - you should because the benefits are so tangible, immediate and positive for everyone involved in the transaction.

Here is our ultra-functional purchase of the day, and a great steal at $14.28 for all three canisters. I have seen these canisters a couple of times at the flea market but they were always marked too high, and I really thought we didn't need new canisters. That was until my Sweet Bread Baking Man requested some new ones that would actually function well - not just look pretty. So on Monday I found these (finally!) on sale, and Nathan was with me to test them out for himself to see if they would meet his 3 requirements: 1) They had to actually hold full sized bags of flour and sugar, 2) They have a wide enough opening that Nathan could get his big guitar playing paws into them to scoop out heaping cups of his ingredients and 3) They needed to seal up nicely to ward off the annual visit from the ants that we receive every spring (despite our and our bug mans best efforts to keep them at bay.) We had looked and looked at all the big box stores but could never find anything that fit what these requirements, and our budgets and were pretty enough to please me (I am a strong believe that if you search hard enough you can always marry form & function in one swoop.) So we were both pretty pleased to come across these.

I think that taking this more purposeful approach to shopping helps me learn patience and resourcefulness (I hope!) I have to resist the urge to run right out to a big box store and just pick up "any old thing that will do" when I am in need of something. Now of course, I am a huge fan of several big box stores, and am just as guilty as anyone of falling for things like cute packaging or convenience, or great sales where I buy something just because it is so darn cheap. But I am trying to learn not to be too quick to settle for the instant ease and gratification of just grabbing something for the sake of being done with it, and to take the time to search for something that I really like, really suits our needs and our budgets and maybe does some good for someone else in our community - like putting a few extra bucks into the pockets of people who run flea market booths.
Now of course, I must confess sometimes (often I am sure) I am guilty of buying something from a flea market or thrift store just because it is lovely (like this adorable children's book) and cheap (only 75 cents) but I think that every now and then it is OK to buy something just because you like to look at it, or it makes you smile. Because, that is a tangible benefit too.
It's like Whip Cream; Not necessary, but oh what a sweet happy thing it is!


  1. I love those spools of red twine too. They always look so cute sitting out. Thanks for the info on where to purchase it too.

    How nice to have such a fun little wrapping station.

    and, congrats on your win for the McMaster and Storm giveaway.

  2. Secondhand shopping definitely does make you stop and rethink those visits to Target or Walmart. For me I also find that often times I am perfectly willing to get rid of stuff from the "box store" rather quickly, when I would rather cut off an arm than give away some flea market treasure. LOL

  3. I LOVE my spool of red & white string! I am a hoarder by nature, but I can use this string to my heart's content without the guilt of using and then running out of my stuff. I bought mine from Tilda's Bakeshop and for living in Alaska, I recall the shipping to be fairly reasonable.

    I always try to make a conscious effort to repurpose something I already have before purchasing something new (or used) to suit my needs, which usually involves a storage device of some kind. And, like you, I've also over the years of having regrettable, impulse, purchases, try to now wait until I find just the right thing. Hooray for thriftiness!

  4. Good THAT is a spool of baker's twine :)

  5. I found your blog through your etsy store and am so excited! I love the products in your etsy store and I love your blog! It's so much fun!!!

  6. Love the twine!! Thanks for the link!
    You have found some wonderful things for your home.
    I love seeing what other people find.
    Have a great weekend,

  7. You are going to LOVE your baker's twine. Plus it just looks cute as decor.

  8. I've been looking for that red twine! Thanks for sharing the link.

  9. Awesome twine and wise words. I too live in a small house and share your thoughts on purchasing thrifted... Love all your finds and will use your link. Thanks!


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