Saturday, November 13, 2010

Friday at Four

For my last nine years of life, I have worked at four-o-clock every Friday night at the same place.  (give or take a few nights:)  As of the last month, that is over.  Each Friday since then, I have done my best to take note as to what I was doing when I would normally be headed to work.
The first Friday night off was very un-eventful.  I was questioning my decision as I sat at home watching my dvr and doing laundry.
The second Friday night was spent with my mom and my niece creating "Olivia the pig" out of a pumpkin... which was an amazing success...





The third Friday night was another un-eventful one... I don't know what we did... most likely more dvr and laundry.  :)
The forth Friday at Four was spent in the car, on the way down to Eugene, to have a lovely dinner with a group of amazing people before a Ducks game.  For once I got to be AT the table, rather than wait on them ... it was dreamy.
This Friday at Four, I was at my old elementary school, again with one of my favorite people in the world.  I picked my niece up at school and we stayed to play on the playground... one I hadn't stepped foot on for some 20ish years...



THIS... my friends... is WHY.  This is why it is so important to take the time off... thank you for a wonderful twenty minutes... thank you for the fun... thank you for the flip on that one bar I used to flip on when I was young... (it used to seem so much easier)... thank you for the laughing... thank you for the flowers you picked for me... thank you for the excitement you showed when you saw it was me there to pick you up... thank you for reminding me what it is important in my life... I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else.  :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Little Things

For those of you who know me well, you know that I have worked as both a teacher and restaurant server for years.

The teacher gig gets better as the years go on.  You get more comfortable in your role as "teacher".  You learn more about the tricks of the trade.  And you realize more and more every day that what you do matters.  The kids from years past take time to let you know that you impacted them, and truly... it's a wonderfully rewarding way to make a living.  Just the other day, I was at the doctors office, and as soon as I turned the corner, I child came running towards me and gave me the biggest heart-felt hug before I could even react.  She was in my classes six years ago and she recognized me immediately.  Makes my heart sing!

The restaurant gig has been wonderful for different reasons.  It has made me some of the best friends a girl could ask for.  It has supplied me with "fun money"(and single handedly paid for my wonderful car) for nine years.  It has taught me that there are truly wonderful people all over your community (and some truly awful ones).   It has made me a lot of friends, and brought me back in touch with people I never thought I would see again.  I am always in a good mood once I get there, and I get to work with some wonderful people that I consider family at this point.  Basically, this job has given me another branch on my tree of life.  That I wouldn't change for the world.

That being said, I am happy to announce, that I have cut back a bit, and dropped down to one night a week at the restaurant.  :)

It makes me smile to say it out loud.  Not because I dislike that job, but truly, it's a job that is tough on you. It is hard on your body, and sometimes hard on your mind.  I love that I am still able to work there once a week.  To gather up the money I will use on going out or shopping that weekend.  But it also feels good to know, that I will have some of my free time back.  Friday nights have always been about seeing other people out, celebrating TGIF.  While I get them what they need to enjoy themselves.  Now it's my turn.  And I couldn't be more thrilled about it.

Downfall:  I now have more time AND less money.

Solution:  New ways to get in that decompressing time.  The reason I used to go shopping a lot, is because I
a.) Had the time
&
b.) Had the money.

Since the money is now less and the time is now more,  I have decided to go a little wild and try new places to shop.

First up, garage sales.  I had never really been a garage sale girl.  Never got up early enough, or felt comfortable enough to go sifting through others belongings.  Recently, I HAVE however taken to antiquing.  The little fairs that they have in the summer time make my heart beat.  I am always out looking for that treasure... the same feelings I can find at the Rack really, but on a different level.  (Hoarder alert... I know... but I swear I am totally in control :)  Old things can tell stories.  The same reasons I love pictures and scrapbooks.  I only went Garage Sale-ing once this summer... with two dear friends... and I can't believe I didn't do this sooner!  We had an amazing time and found great things... check it out:

Desk and chair combo for $82... that chair weighs a ton!  I love them together... it's just the space I needed. 

These cute little vintage pilgrims that I bought from a sweet old lady for 75 cents.
Turns out they sell for $15 each on ebay and vintage etsy... nice deal there!

     
April and I each got a mirror... that was golden and pretty ugly... I am in the process of fixing mine up.  Here is the back to see it's color, I forgot to take a "before photo"... and the green I changed it to.  I still need to do the antiquing... you can see the starts of it at the very top.  Then I have to track down the mirror part of this... I left it at April's house when we painted them last weekend.  :)


Second up, Consignment clothes shopping.  Did you know that I have gotten three pairs of designer jeans... ones that fit perfectly... for $32.  AND Did you know that my favorite pair of "like" new Danskos were only $29.  It's truly an amazing feat when I realize that I own very similar Danskos in a different color that I paid $100 MORE for and a similar pair of jeans (or two or three) that I also paid $100 more for.  Makes me feel silly really.  In fact,  I have found that my consignment store finds have almost always become instant favorites.  I find myself wearing them the most.  I think it's because I TRULY loved them when I bought them... you have to in order to buy someone else's clothes I think.  Anyways, I love telling others who compliment me on my finds, where they came from.  They are almost always shocked.  :)



Also, as a side note, I set my favorite searches on Ebay for little things I know I love... like shoes by Miz Mooz.  They are perfect for people like me that require smaller heels or none at all... check out these guys I got in the mail just today... they cost me $27.22.  Not too shabby for a $100+ pair of shoes.  :)
Third up, Goodwill.  I know many of you have heard my Goodwill find stories and just plain can't comprehend.  Some of you have even told me that you have TRIED... given it a good college try... and just HAD to leave.  ick.  That makes me smile... because I get it.  I always wash my hands when I get home too... but to think about the little things I would have missed out on... makes it worth it.  I have seen countless things there that I never buy... but bring back surging memories of childhood.  I have found scrapbooking organization TREASURES... and a few other things along the way.  Not to mention the amazing $4.99 nightstand that I turned into an amazing statement.  I love the thrill of transforming something old and "used" into something better.

Mirror... most expensive thing I have ever bought at Goodwill... $20.  Looks great now... it was white-ish and dirty before. 

Owls... used to be a variety of colors... previously painted to look like real-life owls... (not really) and I altered them to be decorations at my sister's baby shower... cute stuff.

Love this calendar... It is so totally one of my favorite decorations right now... and it was $1.99.


My scrapbooking supplies rack... I forget to use them if I can't see them... $9.99 find

And once again... my $4.99 dream... 

... now with handles... that granted... cost me nearly 3 times as much... but I figured it deserved the splurge.  :)

So, that's it for now.  Saving money has never been so fun.  The last two days has been spent tearing apart and reupholstering a glider for my sister to use with her new baby (that hasn't arrived yet, but we expect to meet any day now)... I truly can't believe that we were able to give new life to a several hundred dollar glider that we found for less than $20.  Love that... love love that.  :)


Thursday, November 4, 2010