Friday, October 30, 2009

Thrift Store buys from this week

The above pic is the stuff I bought yesterday. Sweat pants for Jacob $1.50, Tiffany tray $2, bag of thread on wooden spools $1, baggy of 4 matchboxes .25, Starbucks mug .50, Wits End sign .50

When I was around 12 or 13 I started collecting matchbooks. That was back in the good ole days when restaurants and weddings used to give out matchbooks. Weddings?? If you don't remember that - a lot of wedding couples would have personalized matchbooks. Some matchbooks had a line where the bride would write on them for the guests to use as a place card. (It was mostly the high class weddings had personalized matchbooks, and the super high class weddings not only had personalized matchbooks, but a polka band as the entertainment. I will have to show you my wedding matches someday. Jersey Polka Richie rocks!)

So needless to say, I have tons of matchbooks. New advertising type matchbooks are pretty hard to come by since businesses just don't do that anymore. So even tho I don't necessarily collect matchBOXES, I bought them since they were only .25 for 4 (and a couple were advertising ones)

My collection is just stored in various (and numerous) shoe boxes. Back in 1990 when my DH started work at the nuke plant, the company paid professional movers to pack us up in Charleston SC to move to Maryland. When the movers were packing up my kitchen junk drawer, they got my attention told me I had to remove the 2 or 3 matchbooks I had kept in the kitchen to use to light candles etc, since they couldn't move them.

I remember thinking "I hope they don't start looking in those shoeboxes!". And they didn't. Oye. Thankfully, nothing bad happened.

And on Wednesday I found a bunch of vintage postcards at one of my other thrifts. They were .25 each - including the booklets of postcards. Some of the postcards include Marineland, University of West Virginia, St. Augustine Florida, Story Book Land in PA

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cheeseburger in Paradise

I am feeling stuffed. Pigged out totally at Cheeseburger in Paradise I'm on their email list and got an invitation to go to tonight to sample their new menu (free of charge). They just kept bringing out food and drinks, and more food, more drinks. Jacob mainly only eats chicken strips when we eat out in restaurants so we asked to start a tab for that and they covered that too.

My Alli diet has got to start soon.

Went to Smile today and bought a Starbucks Washington DC Cherry Blossom mug for .50, baggy full of thread on wooden spools $1, a ceramic sign with an arrow on it that says "The Wit's End", a small Tiffany tray in Tiffany felt bag for $2

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hoarders TV Show

A few months ago I mentioned a new show on A&E called Hoarders. Hoarders Website

Out of the blue, they sent me an email the other day. Their new season is starting at the end of November and they wanted to know if I knew of any yardsale people who have turned their collections into hoarding. They are particularly looking for yardsale people on the younger side (like 20's, 30's) but I think they would probably be interested in hearing from all ages.

Hoarders Submission Form
Hoarders Main Page

I would so do it if I thought I had a problem with hoarding. But I don't. I swear. So what that I have several tubes of Super Poligrip and a ton of cat treats in my house. And I don't need either. But they were free, so how can I turn it down???? And that my son is 9 years old and I still have 99% of the clothes he has worn from birth til now. That's normal, right? Just say yes.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Perpetuating a Yardsale Myth

In yesterday's Parade magazine, there was an article about shopping, read the full article here

But what caught my eye was this:

Not a fan of this shopping expert Dr. Donald W. Black. I'm a compulsive shopping expert too (I have years and years of hands on experience) and I say that people with many resources quench their shopping addictions at garage sales too. The article is trying to perpetuate the myth that only poor people go yardsaling. While I acknowledge that a certain percentage of yardsale shoppers have few resources (that must be the politically correct way of saying "poor"), I would bet that many yardsale shoppers have mega resources BECAUSE they shop garage sale and aren't spending big bucks at the mall all the time.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Boo at the Zoo Review (National Zoo, Washington DC)

Last night we went to the Boo at the Zoo event at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington DC. I won 4 tickets thru a contest that was in the newspaper, and the tickets also came with a parking pass which was good. The price of the tickets was $25 each. Kid tickets were also $25. Personally, I would never have paid $75 for our family to go trick or treating. (I told them to keep the 4th ticket since we only needed 3). We have a local trick or treat event sponsored by numerous businesses that is affiliated with the Smithsonian - Annmarie Garden and that only costs $1 a person. Granted, the treats aren't as good, but it's a fun, cheap event. So I figured this Boo at the Zoo would be a once in a lifetime event and we would get tons of *good* treats.

And the drive into DC is half the fun (or stress). I just wonder how many speeding tickets we are going to get in the mail now. That has happened before when we drove to DC. Surprise, you get a ticket in the mail showing a picture of your license plate and vehicle taken by a speed camera.

Got to see lots of monuments along the way (pics aren't too great, all taken from a moving vehicle using my cell camera).

Jefferson Memorial. We tried to stop here afterward. But DH overshot the parking and we looped around and missed it. I was there eons ago once at nighttime back in my single days, and its just gorgeous at night.

Washington Monument

Driving underneath the overhang thing at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

The infamous Watergate Hotel

Big turtles at the National Zoo (they had some animals available for viewing, but not all).

Boo at the Zoo

Our stuffed loot bags

And our loot. It was split about half and half. Half junk food and half healthy organic stuff. And this of course doesn't show the Turkey Hill ice cream cups we ate while there, the Ice Age popsicles, and Krispy Kreme donuts. Click on the pic to enlarge it. Hard to see everyhing, but in that mix is 3 bars of some goat milk soap, boxes of rice, 7th Generation cleaning samples, etc etc. It was a fun event - but like I said, probaby just a one time event for us, unless I win tickets again.

I have good news, and I have bad news.

First, the bad news. The bad news is that math skills have never been that great. (I get easily confused with helping Jacob with his 4th grade math homework). Yesterday when I had my official proclamation that it was my 10 year anniversary, I was off by a little. 365 days to be exact. I recently had to pay the annual domain name registration and I saw that the creation date was 24-Oct-2000. And now the expiration date is Oct. 2010. So.....that is how I came up with yesterday as being my 10 year anniversary. Doh!

So now the good news you have a whole year to plan what you plan on giving me in celebration of my 10 year anniversary in 2010. The queen likes jewels. And small bills, you know the kind with Benjamin Franklin's picture on it. Just a few ideas, for starters.
Will be posting again soon. Gonna give my Review of the Boo at the Zoo.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Thank you Lord for Nuclear Power

"And Lord, we are especially thankful for nuclear power, the cleanest, safest energy source there is. Except for solar, which is just a pipe dream." - Homer Simpson

If you've been following my blog for a while, you know we love us some nuclear power here at the castle. Last evening we attended a picnic for the best darn nuke plant there is here in Maryland. Best part? unlimited spicy shrimp and no kids allowed. (For those taking notes, I still haven't started my Alli diet.)

And I'm proud to say I am no longer a rock wall virgin. I tried rock wall climbing for the first time yesterday. The queen needs practice. Maybe I should plan another Royal Caribbean cruise (a ship with a rock wall of course to get some practice. Last fall when I went on a cruise, the seas were too rocky so the rock wall remained closed). Or maybe I should just start off by practicing on the new kiddie rockwall at Jacob's school.

All the Maryland crabs you wanted. They even had a politically correct Non-Seafood tent area, so those who were allergic - or perhaps just wanted to eat your hamburgers/hotdogs/sausages on a clean table, there was space.

Besides the rock wall, there was a mechanical bull (no didn't try it), faux casino style games (and everyone got a faux $25K to play with), remote control cars, volleyball, DJ and door prizes galore (only employees could win, not spouses). DH won a $50 GC to a local grocery store. The last time they had a picnic like this, you were given a limited # of drink coupons good for either a beer or glass of wine. This time they only offered beer. (and unlimited soda & water). No wine this time. Whine - I wonder who I need to contact to complain about that injustice. Just kidding. As a diet soda addict, unlimited free diet pepsi ranks pretty high in my book.

Above: Maryland crabs getting ready to hit the tables
Below: Part of my dinner. Eating Maryland style is messy. (That is cocktail sauce - not ketchup. Although I do think ketchup goes with practically everything).

Rock wall on the left.

Today is pretty grey, cloudy. Just went to one yardsale. I spent $2 on a new reed diffuser scent thing - its a huge bottle - scent: Wisteria.

10 Year Yardsalequeen Anniversary

Big congrats to me. Ten years ago today, I purchased the domain name "". But that wasn't the beginning - my website roots date back to 1997 when my little garage sale tips homepage was being hosted first by free homepage making sites angelfire and then by Geocities (For the heck of it, I just went to geocities and see that they are shutting down in two days!) Funny how the word "homepage" isn't used anymore. And back in 1997, is when I first started a message board. I can still remember my DH telling me, "you know you may even get strangers visiting it". (As opposed to just people I know in real life).

Then after getting the domain, I figured why not also get but someone else had it already. Bummer. But they weren't really using it, so every few months I would check to see if it became available and then one day out of the blue, it was.

well...its Saturday that means I got places I gotta go now!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Assroted Winter Wear at my Walgreens

Well let's catch up for the past few days. I had a good dental visit - no probs. I went to some thrift stores (as usual). I passed on buying Assroted Winter Wear at Walgreens.

I won free tickets to an event called Boo at the Zoo - $25/ticket trick or treating event at the National Zoo in DC. For that price, I think they are going to being giving out *nice* free samples and stuff. So if the weather is nice, I'm gonna force DH to drive us to DC (the free tickets also came with a parking pass) this weekend. I don't like driving to DC, I mean, I've done it before, but avoid it if I can.

Speaking of assroted winter wear, I did buy a coat at Smile today. Too small for me, but I had to buy it (for ebay). I just loved the labels on it (at the neckline it said "wear in good health" and the other inside label said this:

Health to wear this -
strength to tear this -
and wealth to buy a new one

Hopefully, when I put it on ebay, it will increase my wealth. I paid $4 for it.

Nothing much going on really. I need to get more ebay stuff listed.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

It's ain't easy being Queen

As yardsalequeen, not only do I have to deal with regular spam, I get other emails that are intended for others - for people who have a very similar yardsalequeen related email address. But they goof it up and use MY address as their own, or else they think they know someone's email address but instead put mine. And then there are people so out of it that they think my address is theirs and they don't even know their own correct email.


Today I got a Southwest ticket confirmation sent to my yardsalequeen hotmail address - apparently for Nancy B. who is flying from Nashville to Jacksonville on December 3 and returning on December 6. She paid $202.70 and put it on her Visa. Maybe I should do the ticketless check-in for her when the time is ready.

A person named Lori from Lincoln County High School in Nebraska signed up on and used my yardsalequeen address. So now I get updates from Classmates regarding the goings-on at Lincoln High School. That reminds me, I need to update Lori's profile there again and let people know her latest adventures.

I got an invitation from to attend Debbie and Ron's 30th Anniversary Party in Eugene, Oregon. I don't know Debbie and Ron in Eugene, Oregon (or whatever it was). On the site you get to say whether you are a "yes" "no" or "maybe". I put myself as a "maybe" since I said I was ready for a roadtrip and liked free food. Shortly afterward they rescinded my invitation (those party poopers!)

Wendy in Murfreesboro, Tennessee sent me this pic (along with several others) of her and her new boyfriend since she thought I would be interested in seeing him. I replied back "WHO are you???" She told me to disregard. And shame on Wendy for using her work email for non-work related purposes!!!!

It rained all weekend. I went to one rain or shine yardsale yesterday and spent $5. Got: 2 shirts for me, a set of 6 decorative shotglasses, a Weight Watchers scale (ebay), a metal thing for outside that moves in the wind (NOT a windchime. windchimes = noise pollution) and a commemorative local coin from 1984.

Congrats to Zhu Zhu Pet Winner

Thanks to all who entered out of the 39 entries (I deleted the last entry since it was submitted after October 17), it was Leslie in Idaho whose number got chosen. She has already responded back, and was thrilled since she says she never wins anything.

Friday, October 16, 2009

My Gas Bargain from Yesterday $1.13 gallon

I forgot to mention that yesterday I bought gas for $1.13 a gallon. My grocery store has a deal that for every $100 you spend, you get .20 off per gallon of gas. I got a $1.20 discount off my gas $2.34 - $1.20 = $1.13 gallon. Normally a person would have had to spend $600 in groceries over the past 30 days to get that discount.

But last week they had a special that if you bought 4 items from participating brands - you got a bonus .20 discount off gas. So I stocked up on Old El Paso taco and chili seasonings at $1 each and that's how I got the huge gas discount.

And since we eat tacos and chili pretty often, it won't go to waste.

I could have gotten the gas cheaper if I bought it last week (since gas was down to $2.29 but now its at $2.34). But I didn't need gas last week so I waited until the gas tank was empty to fill-up. One cashier told me that she talked to another customer who had enough discounts last week to buy gas at .09 a gallon!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Surprise surprise - I went thrifting today

DH gets back from his Vegas mancation later tonight. And surprise, I continued to do some shopping today.

I went back to Penney's to get more of the underwear that I bought on Monday (I bought 3 pair for $1.27 each.) I wanted to make sure I had the right size and make sure I liked them before I bought more. Well they were all gone. You snooze, you lose. And I lost. On Monday, I should have bought some, then taken them into the ladie's room to try to them on to make sure I liked them. Then I could have gone back and stocked up that day. Oh well. I didn't buy anything there today. Just goes to show you, timing is everything when you find a bargain.

Near the Penney's is a very small independent grocery store so I stopped in since I saw a big "one day meat sale" sign. Didn't buy any meat. But I did buy this:

This reminds me of my childhood - while growing up, I used to eat this all time. Just spread on a Ritz crackers and enjoy. My regular big chain grocery stores don't sell this. It was $2.89 for 5 oz. But of course, you get a free drinking glass :) As a kid, that is what we used - either these little glasses or else it was a Welch's grape jelly "Archie's" glass.

I think I am going to just make my own version - I think I can just take some cream cheese, sugar, salt and some pineapple and blend it all together using my $8 KitchenAid mixer.

And some of the other stuff I bought today:

$5 old printer's wall decoration/display thing
$2 Marilyn Monroe paper dolls
.25 Jungle Book (Jacob is into this movie lately)
.50 Registered Nut House sign
$1 each - tacky vintage potholder decoration dolls. Totally useless since the potholders are so loosely knitted that if you used them, you would burn your hand on whatever you are holding
$1 Art S. Buck nude male artist model (this should sell well on ebay)
.25 small Bath & Body works container (will gift it this Xmas season - I have some travel B&BW products that I received free so I can put them in it)
.25 vintage tablecloth package
$1 Nautica tie for DH.
.25 Mr. Rogers talks about divorce book
.25 each Martha Stewart Food Magazines
.25 Adorn magazine
$1.50 Ipod Nano metal case. I think this will fit DH's nano.

Win free Zhu Zhu Pet contest ending soon

Just a reminder that my blog contest to win a Zhu Zhu Pet ends in a few days (10/17/09). Read the details here

Also a reminder - that once I get the winner's details, I will send that info to the Zhu Zhu media person who is handling Zhu Zhu Pet bloggy winners. I have no idea how fast or slow the prize will be sent. And there is no choice on which particular Zhu Zhu the winner will receive.

Monday, October 12, 2009

What a crazy good retail shopping day today

The above pic is not a pic I took while shopping. Nope, the picture was taken at home - it's *some* of the stuff I bought today. I had to put it on my yardsale clothing rack in order to take a pic. (I didn't photograph the underwear I bought for myself. But I can...for the right price, of course).

There were some awesome Columbus Day sales going on at JC Penneys. So much stuff was ringing up cheaper than what the price tag said, so I had to go back a second time and buy more. Some of which may go up on eBay (like the Van's shorts - normally $38 - I paid $2.52 each). Total spent: $34.84 for 20 items. The best buy for me was the Warners $29 bra - I paid $2.96 for it - I would have totally stocked up on them but it was the only one they had in my size.

Then it was onto Staples. As I've mentioned before, every month I recycle 10 inkjet cartridges to receive a $30 check to use at Staples. Most times I buy random inkjet cartridges at yardsales for .50 - $1 each - and sometimes less, like .25 each.

In this week's ad, I saw they had a $79 chair on sale for $29.99. I figured it would be cheap and junky. But I tried it out and it was actually very sturdy and comfortable. I also bought a package of packing paper (for ebay items) and a universal remove (which I will submit online for a $10 rebate). I also bought a nice big cardboard box for something I need to mail on ebay. (the box is not in the pic. When I mail ebay items, a lot of time I crunch up tissue paper (bought at 90% off at Target after Christmas.) But this packing paper is much more sturdier and can also be used for crumpling up and using it as filler in packages.

So....after two $30 coupons were deducted...I paid .81!!! And don't forget, I will be getting a $10 rebate too!

I think I know a little boy who is gonna be excited to open up a new office chair on Christmas morning. Isn't that what all boys dream about getting for Christmas??? Jacob currently uses a $2 yardsale office chair, but the back doesn't adjust and its pretty uncomfortable.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Yardsale buys and ebay selling

click on the above pic to enlarge it.

Video Link

My house is about to explode from my shopping trips so I gotta resume selling on ebay. I put up a few auctions the other day (including stuff I bought yesterday). I already have a $51 bid on the $2 Bose Equalizer I bought yesterday and $19.99 for the Coors Light Beer tap (I paid $2 for).

I've been making excuses for not doing any eBay selling lately (had visitors coming, having to clean house for that, trips to NY, etc etc). So now I got nothing going on until Christmas so I should have stuff constantly listed until then. If not, you all need to start giving me crap about being lazy and not listing anything. But I don't really think I am "lazy", it's just that I like doing the shopping part a lot better than the selling part.

The link to my ebay auctions is over there to the left.

Above is a pic and video of what I bought yesterday. And I left out a bunch of little stuff. Also bought a Game Boy Advance with 4 games for $5 (will resell on ebay or Play N Trade). I love the Swiss Gear rolling computer case for $4. Seller originally had $20 on it, then reduced to $10, then $7, and then $4 according to the price stickers on it. It was a moving sale, and they had other sales over the summer so I think it was something that hadn't sold at previous sales. She said her husband never used it, but inside I found several of his business cards AND 2 rechargeable batteries (which we use). The sale was a little off the beaten path so that is why I think it hadn't sold earlier.

Another good buy was at one yardsale where nothing was priced. I gathered up a stack of 10 vintage pennants (Washington Senators, Baltimore Colts etc), an unused Revell model, a Washington Senators mini-bat, and a vintage Cleveland Browns pillow. When I asked the price, the seller asked if $3 for it all would be too much. Nope, not at all.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Zhu Zhu Pets Hamster Review & Contest Giveaway - CONTEST ENDED!!!!

A few months ago I had the opportunity to receive a new toy for me (and Jacob) to try out and test. I received it back in August but with so much going on (MIL visiting, back to school, weddings etc) I haven't had time to write about it until now.

I've loved hamsters ever since I was in elementary school and we had a live hamster in Mr. Steven's class. Charlie was a very kid friendly hamster since he was always getting played with. So then I convinced my parents to let me buy a real hamster. And guess what? My real hamster wasn't as friendly as Charlie. I found out that real hamsters have sharp teeth and can bite. Plus I had to clean the cage with all those poopies, feed him, listen to him running on his wheel all night long. Worry about him when we went on vacation etc etc. Then have to deal with him when he died, since live hamsters generally only live a few years.

So I guess what I liked was the *idea* of having a hamster, but what I really wanted was all those fancy Habitrail tubes and fun gadgets for it, but without the hassle. But my parents were too frugal to let me buy all those cool Habitrail tubes and such. (So I saved empty paper towel rolls and tried to make my own version - but it didn't last long since, duh, live hamsters like to chew.

So...when I heard about the opportunity to test out a new toy hamster, I jumped at the opportunity and the company sent me (I mean Jacob) two Zhu Zhu pets (Mr. Squiggles and Chunk) plus a ton of accessories.

They're for age 4 and up (so I fall into the "and up" category). Best part? They don't bite, they don't stink, they are cute, they don't die (you can always replace the 2 AA batteries), you don't need a pet-sitter when you go on vacation. No food to buy. No cage to clean. Jacob is 9 but he likes playing with them (when I'm not.)

The accessories include ramps and slides, balls, garage & cars, etc etc etc. Setting up the accessories needs help from an adult. And of course an adult needs to remove the Zhu Zhu from the packaging due to the tie-wraps in the packaging. The Zhu Zhus explore better on hard floors than carpeting.

Toys R Us has announced Zhu Zhu Pets as one of the Hot Holiday toys for 2009

The Zhu Zhu company is allowing me to run a contest here on my blog to giveaway one Zhu Zhu hamster plus a slide/ramp. There is about 10 different Zhu Zhu hamsters, all with their own personality and name.

To enter, just post a response to this posting and tell me who you would give your Zhu Zhu to, or if you would keep it for yourself. And also post your email address if you are posting anonymously - so that I have an easy way of contacting you via email. If I don't see an easy way to contact the winner, I will draw another number and try again. Enter by midnight (EST) October 17. One entry per person. USA only. The winner will have to provide me with your name & address which I will pass onto the promotions company for Zhu Zhu Pets. The Zhu Zhu will be mailed directly from them.

IF YOU ARE ONE OF THE FIRST 10 PEOPLE TO RESPOND - you are entitled to come back later before the contest ends and post a SECOND time to increase your chances of winning. This is for the first 10 who respond only. Everyone else just gets one chance to win.

One winner will be chosen randomly on October 18 and notified that day.

p.s. Here is a video that I took of my Zhu Zhus enjoying life here at the castle - so you know they really do what they do in the commercial.


Thursday, October 08, 2009

Saved almost $600 the other day

Our monthly cable/internet bill has been constantly increasing. We gotta have HBO for DH to watch Entourage, we have to have Showtime to watch Dexter. And of course gotta have DVR and high def. Just recently, the bill climbed up to $172.66 a month.

So I called and asked if there was any special promotions going on or anything that can be done to make the bill more economical. They transferred me to the promo dept where I got disconnected. So last week I called again - and again, when I got transferred the line disconnected. So two nights ago I called yet again and asked to speak to the promotion department and told how I kept getting disconnected and this time they stayed on the line until I got thru.

Our bill will be reduced by almost $50 per month AND we are getting additional channels and keeping all of our current services.

Yesterday at Walgreens there was a one day special to make a photo DVD with music for $1 (normally $19.99) - I made a photo DVD of my niece's wedding which I will mail to her.

Making regular photos at Walgreens is pretty neat. You can order pics and have them picked up at another location. For instance after my niece's wedding in NY - I uploaded my pics to the Walgreen's photo website, selected the ones I wanted printed, paid for them online, and told them I wanted them to be picked up at the Walgreens near my sister's house in NY. So all my sister had to do is go to the Walgreens and pick up the photos. It saved me from having to mail them.

Coming soon - a contest to win a Zhu Zhu pet - which I've read is going to be one of the hottest toys this Christmas season. I already have two Zhu Zhu pets - oops I mean Jacob already has two Zhu Zhu pets.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Junk Sale, Adult Treasure Chest, Japanese Wii, miscellaneous

Today's post is just a mishmash of various things. I finally uploaded my cellphone pics from the past month.

I took the above pic in a women's room at BWI airport last month. Really BWI? Are you so strapped for cash that you have to sell adult novelties in the ladies room where children go? And then call it an enticing "treasure chest"???? Every kid who sees that is gonna want a .75 Treasure Chest.

Here's an honest seller - they have junk and they know it. (Prince Fred is short for Prince Frederick - the name of a town).


DH painted the exhaust hood of our stove (it was beige before). He did a great job and much cheaper than replacing the thing to have it match the stove.


I don't buy every clearance item I see. This package of clearance raw frozen seafood parts kinda makes me gag a little. I did not buy it.


DH setting up our Japanese Wii. Looks simple, doesn't it?


A pic taken at a garage sale in NY. I normally don't see tons and tons of skis here in Maryland.


Pics from a yardsale held in a field next to a firehouse (firehouse fundraising yardsale). Everyone was complaining about how high the grass was. Me included. As a shopper, it was a pain to walk around in the tall dewy grass.