Entries from March 2011

Books of March

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wow how months fly by so fast. I thought this month was going to end with me only reading one and a half, maaaaybe two books. But I pulled through in the end (again) and added a couple more to the list!
Finished up:
I found it at the bins and just couldn’t help buy it even though paperbacks are now $1 instead of fiddy cent… I mean $.50, my bad. I knew it was going to be a fast read. It looked like chick lit and by golly it was a whole lot like the Shopaholic book series (I haven’t seen the movie and hear it’s nothing like the books so even though I love Amy I’m staying away from it). Should you buy it for more than $1, probably not. Was it worth the $1 I paid, maybe. I did enjoy it  but I could have spent that time reading other books too. Eh.
Started and finished in March:
Stephen King’s The Dark Tower Series Book IV
Glorious book. Made me want to cry in some parts because there was a bit of romance. I’m definitely a softy. Seriously though, good good read. Took me forever but I finally finished it half way through March!
Yes this series has come to an end. I was so sad to see it go. Totally bubblegum chick lit at its finest. I read every word! 🙂 Many I love me some Lauren Conrad. P.S. paid about $3 for the book at Urban Outfitter! SCORE!

How Starbucks Saved My Life
This man’s story of how he went from hero to 0 and then got offered a job at Starbucks and how it changed his life. I have a lot of friends who have worked for Starbucks in the past and their reviews of the place were no where near as happy and lighthearted but I guess it depends on where you are at in your life… and, I’m a sucker for a happy reawakening story. It was definitely that!

This is a very short book. It’s actually a speech (address) that she gave to a graduating class. It was a good read (from the first page to the last) and definitely had a couple of different parts that are really good to remember as I go forward, now and forever. Technically it probably doesn’t count by official 52 by 52 rules but I’m counting it anyway. Yeah, how do you like dem apples?!
Official Book Club Selection
Kathy Griffin’s memoir is quite funny. I read it in 2 days! I saw this at Goodwill (sorry Kathy, if you’re reading this, someone did give it up BUT, good news, I then purchased it and read it) and for some reason couldn’t leave it behind. Probably because she’s a female comedian and a redhead… best part, I bought the book and the next day I was watching a roast of Joan Rivers and Kathy was hosting it. So then I dove into the book.
This months reading has inspired me to pick up a couple of Ernest Hemingway’s books and I want to get a bio or even autobio of Joan Rivers as well as Barbara Walters. More to look for at the Goodwill along with my continuing search for Miles to Go for under $2.
52 in 52 count: 19/52
What have you read this month?
*all images are google search of the title

To Make You Think!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My favorite picture from Hearst Castle. I what I call “I am here” shots!
Today Elizabeth Haley posted 5 questions to make you think and I decide to answer them myself! Go visit her blog, it’s quite cute and fun!
1. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
Either Argentina or Spain. Not forever but for at least 6 months. I’m in love with Argentina and need to get back as soon as possible! I want to fully experience it and finally, finally become fluent in Spanish. 
2. Are you happy with where you live?
I am very happy with the fact that I live in Portland, OR right now. I just moved almost two months ago (gosh time flies) and have been loving just about every minute of being here. On April 1st I will be moving into my very own one bedroom apartment!!!!! I’m so excited. I feel like I can actually do the things I want to do here. There are still nagging worries at the back of my mind but I’m really inspired to become the best me I can. 
3. How often do you go on vacation?
At least once a year since I started college. I count moving as vacations too because when I move I take the time to see everything I want to on the way. I did a mini vacation (weekend getaway) to Palm Springs last spring and hit up San Francisco a couple of times, I even came up to Portland about a year ago to see everyone. Little did I know… 🙂
I love vacations and even if they are just a day or two they make me happy. 
4. If you could change your profession & start all over, what would you do?
I’m not sure I would change anything. I loved my classes, I loved my Major, I met great, great people through college and I’m a little confused as to what’s next but I’m living and I don’t regret my past so I guess that’s better than nothing. I don’t have one set dream of what I want to “be.” That makes it hard sometimes (okay a lot of the time) because I mentally go through different options that would be cut and dry to go after but it just doesn’t feel right. I am really big on things feeling right when I do them. 
5. Are you honestly happy right now?
Yes! 100%. It’s amazing. The best part, I would have answered this question in the same way the past 2 months. I’ve been a tad melancholy on days but nothing that I would consider unhappy. I’m really and truly loving life right now. It’s an adventure and I’m starting to really learn about myself and accept myself for who I am. How many people can really, honestly say that at 25?
If you decide to answer these in your blog send me a link!

Thrifting: My Tale

Monday, March 21, 2011

As mentioned in the money post I have a severe addiction to thrifting. It wasn’t always like this. I would go into thrift stores and Goodwills and even the bins and come out with nothing or when I did leave with something I would wonder why I bought it about a week later.
Working at Buffulo Exchange planted the seed to change all that. Because I was working there I didn’t have to scour the racks all the time. Part of my job was making sure the racks were properly sized so while doing that I would come across things that I would have never thought to see if I had just been a customer. My previous way of shopping was to look over the racks real quick and if nothing caught my eye then I would move on to another store. Definitely a mall style of shopping… that is, before the days of Forever 21 and H&M.
I think maybe the seed for thrifting was planted even before Buffalo now that I think about it. I mean, Forever 21 was awesome in high school but it was only awesome when you took the time to look through at just about every rack to see all the different pieces they had. It didn’t mean to be a one off store but with how crazy the organization was (or lack there of) it kinda was.
Tangent… whoo, back to point…
So with Forever 21 in high school and then Buffalo Exchange, I definitely grew the inclination to thrift but still was quite shabby at it. I wanted to like it but still couldn’t spend very much time in a thrift shop. Then something switched. I don’t know when or how or why but during my time in Chula Vista I went to this one thrift shop that Unicorn Sparkle(bottom)s swore by and which I swore I would never name. There, maybe the second or third time visiting something clicked. I finally took the time to look at most of the sweaters instead of just walking through the racks hoping something would jump out and grab me. I looked through all of the stationary just in case some pieces suited my fancy. I stopped looking at books because I already had too many. My transformation had begun!
When I moved back to Portland it was on! For the last month or so I have been thrifting like crazy. Nicole is quite the enabler in this addiction, or maybe I’m her enabler… We hit the bins for hours, sometimes waking up at 6am to do so! We’ve spent many a weekend going from one thrift store to the next to quench our special-find thirst. Really, it’s a sickness. But I won’t stop!
When I first arrived and took a look around the shops with Nicole I was quite grabby. Strawberries painted on just about anything got my attention. Then I started getting a tad more picky. I’ve found a couple of blankets I couldn’t live with out and a couple of cameras. I found a good amount of dishes to stock my place when I move in (April 1st cross my fingers), and I’ve found some awesome decorations.
I have things I specifically look for now that the grabbies are out of the way. I look for the perfect vintage/retro thermos or the next book in my Dark Tower series. A goal I have yet to meet is to find Miles to Go, Miley Cyrus’s autobiography for $2 or less. I won’t buy it unless it for less than two dollars so when I’m at the bins I mentally cross my fingers. I’ve found it at Goodwill but never for under $3 so I had to walk away.
The good thing about thrifting is I get use to low prices. This helps keep me from buying a lot of expensive things in other shops. I now ignore the main portion of Urban Outfitter and go for the sale items. While I use to think Powell’s had good prices I now find myself turning up my nose at the prices of books at Goodwill. Plus you can’t find the treasures in regular retail stores that you find at the bins or the regular Goodwill stores. I know find myself getting frustrated when I think about something I need and realize I can’t find it at the Goodwill. It’s almost silly but helpful in money matters. My shopping addiction is still in tact but I put a dollar limit on most of my purchases and stick to a mental list.
While I am by no means an expert, nor do I make any sort of a living at this I would like to end this post with a few tips I’ve come to learn. Most are the sage wisdom of my enabler Nicole.
-Take your time
Even the best thrift shops or perfectly maintained Goodwill’s make mistakes. If you are there before the rush of the day then you don’t have to worry as much about things being out of place but make sure to at least briefly glance over areas you wouldn’t normally explore. Mine is usually the sports and/or glass section of Goodwill, BUT I found an awesome camera on a random shelf with all the glass cups one time and now I don’t ignore an aisle.
Look closely
What appears to be an ugly thing could have promise or what seems to be a great thing could have holes. Go back to previous tip when looking over items.
Grab first, assess later
This is 100% necessary at the bins. If you don’t grab what you even kinda
-Be picky with prices
I don’t know if this is as much of a problem in other places as it is in Portland but goodness the Goodwill has started charging more. I remember the day of getting clothes for a couple of bucks, now sweaters are up to $15 if not more. I think thrift stores are trying to hire people with some fashion and trend knowledge now so they can get more money out of their customers. I’m a bit miffed at that but it hasn’t stopped me from going. (obviously)
If you find something and it seems great but the price seems a little high it’s usually best to hold off. You didn’t come into a Goodwill store to buy something at almost full price. If something seems a little more than it should be to you then it probably will to others too and if you’re lucky it will stay on Goodwill shelves for a few weeks and then get marked down.
Have fun!
Above all make these trips fun. Take pictures of weird stuff you find so you can laugh about it later or send it to a friend. Think of thrifting as an adventure and then it doesn’t seem like as much of a chore. Don’t expect to find anything good so that you are happily surprised when you do.
Nicole and I have had days where every shop we went into was a bit of a bust. I still managed a good amount of purchases that day but overall it wasn’t a winning streak. That was the day we ventured out of the Goodwill thrift stores. We weren’t completely discouraged though, we learned valuable knowledge (like not to waste our time at the Salvation Army in far out SE Portland) and I did find a cool old Polaroid camera.
Go with friends… but friends that are willing to keep an open mind. If someone is a germ-a-phobe or just doesn’t have an easily sparked sense of humor then I wouldn’t go thrifting with them. You have to want to laugh.
That’s what I have thus far! I’ll be sharing some of my thrifting adventures as soon as I get my own place!
Happy Thrifting!

Adventures in Analog: Solidarity

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I’ve been wanting to share some of my “failed” pictures with you for a while but always hesitate to press the publish button. I usually have a post already done that day or it just doesn’t seem to fit right so I take the excuse and procrastinate more. A while ago one of my favorite bloggers Kyla Roma posted that she was starting a project.
In it she is sharing her successes and mishaps in analog photography. In an attempt at solidarity I too am going to post my successes and mishaps with analog photography.
I must admit this post was already composed, sitting and waiting for the day when I would share it with my dear readers. Finally that day has come, here it is, the Impossible Project mishaps:
I’ve been working with the first run color film and the color push from the Impossible Project and I’ve been having a really, really hard time of it. So far I have had maybe 3 or 4 pictures come out to the point of a stranger knowing what the subject was. I figured for fun I would share the pictures that didn’t come out so well. They are pretty in and of themselves, but they are an expensive pretty.
baby brows
no idea
planter outside
self portrait
fence of bird houses
I’ve been having a tad more luck lately as I have been covering the print RIGHT when it comes out of the  camera. That has helped a bit but I’m still having trouble with inside pictures. Maybe the light in the house is not what the film needs. I’m really not sure but I’ve had a lot of duds and it’s hard not to get frustrated sometimes.
Anybody else had this experience with the first run and the color push film from the Impossible Project?
I will be posting more from time to time now that I have all of my 35mm scanned in.

Hello to those from Sometimes Sweet

Saturday, March 19, 2011

I just wanted to say hi to all of you who have come over here from Sometimes Sweet! I’m so excited to be sponsoring this month. This is the first time I’ve sponsored and I’m really happy with how it is going! Isn’t Dani’s blog just the cutest thing!
So hello, welcome, click around, read some stuff, leave some comments… I would love to check out your blogs!

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