heads up: empty the nest’s biggest sale ever

One of the questions I’m most often asked by blog readers, twitter followers and friends is “which thrift store has the best selection of furniture?” And most often, my recommendation is to hit up estate or garage sales. Except for this weekend….this weekend, my advice for those of you on the hunt for furniture, would be to head to Empty the Nest’s weekend-long blow-out, “the biggest sale we’ve ever had,” according to Co-owner Kris Youn. “We have the most inventory of any sale we’ve done…furniture is stacked on top of furniture up to the ceiling!” This over-abundance of stock has forced the Empty the Nest-ers to slash prices to crazy low levels. Like how low? $200 for high-end, mint condition leather couches, vintage steamer trunks for $50, end tables and stools for $20 or less. This sale has a special emphasis on seasonal items, too, so if you’re looking for vintage lawn furniture, wicker porch sets, planters, plant stands, lawn and garden accessories, etc, you’re in luck. The ephemera collector in me is super excited too about their collection of photos, paper, postcards and posters—all vintage. There truly is something for everyone at their events.

But don’t take my word for it…see for yourself!

Where: Empty The Nest ReHome Center, 1163 East Cliff Road, Burnsville
When: Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Do they take credit cards: Yes!
Pro tip: Get there early! And sign up for their mailing list, so you’re in the know about next month’s sale!

Happy hunting!



P.S. The winner of this week’s giveaway is…..Ashley Boman!! Congrats little lady! I’ll be in touch today to grab your contact info. And of course, thank you to everyone who entered. I loved hearing about your fun summer plans. Stay tuned for another rad giveaway coming up in the next couple of weeks…

recently thrifted

Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? I have a short little list I’m working on. In addition to the usual (drink more water, etc.), I have a couple thrifting-related goals. Towards the end of last year, I was alarmed at how thrifting, something I enjoyed so much, started to feel like work, now that it actually is, well, my work. I missed the old, pre-reselling days when I simply shopped at thrifts for fun—no pressure, no competitive feelings—just a girl in search of a good old-fashioned bargain or vintage gem. So, my no. 1 resolution, thrifting-wise, is to recapture the joy of the hunt.

With the intention of getting back to that happy place in 2012, I’ve changed both my mindset and a few of my shopping habits. Visiting estate sales on Sundays is one such tweak. I have one firm (FIRM!) day off a week—Sunday—that I spend however I want. And sometimes all I want to do is visit an estate sale! So last Sunday morning, I did. Over the course of the weekend, I could see that the sale had been ravaged—the rooms were all nearly bare, the carpet littered with leaves and debris. With my old mindset, I might have been disappointed by how empty it was, sad over all the finds I missed. But somehow, knowing that I had chosen to be there on my day of leisure set my mind right. I contentedly made my way around each room, digging through boxes, opening drawers, eyes open. It felt like the old days, like progress was being made. And of course, I found some things I’m excited about.

This class photo, featuring the home’s owner (the teacher, pictured in the top left corner), was tossed on a bed with towels and linens. Easily overlooked by others; a gem to me.

I have a horrible habit of leaving a trail of jewelry around my house. In nearly every room sits a bangle, a pair of earrings, a brooch, a necklace or some combination thereof. Meaning, I never pass up the opportunity to pick up a pretty vintage catch-all or box. This one, adorned with cute little forget-me-nots, now sits atop my commode.

A couple vintage hymnals to add to my collection. The one on the right bears an inscription from 1913!

It’s likely that this stunning crewel pillow will end up at shop, not because I don’t love it, but because it doesn’t go with my living room’s color scheme. It has the most gorgeous detail!

I was so happy to find this vintage Salton bun warmer for mama Kate. She complimented mine at a soup swap I hosted last fall, and I’ve been on the hunt for her ever since. P.S. If you ever find one of these at the thrifts, buy it! They’re wonderful, especially in the winter.

 Other things I came home with, not pictured: some vintage stationery and postcards, a cool tiny hand-carved cactus knick-knack & a couple more pieces of sheet music. My grand total was $5, but enjoying the fun of the search…well that was simply priceless.



estate sale finds

Hi y’all! Happy Monday!

I hit up a neighborhood estate sale this weekend and left with a box stuffed to the brim, along with something else awesome (keep reading!). Am I the only one who enjoys the challenge “fill a box for $5” presents? Probably not. Anyway, here’s the box.

And here’s some of what I got!

My most exciting find isn’t pictured, though. I’ve been searching for a couple new (used) dresses for my bedroom and I finally found one! It’s tall and it’s sturdy and I think it will fit my lofty upstairs space perfectly. I can’t show it off yet because it’s stuck in the back of my truck until my boyfriend comes over and moves it for me. After weeks of living out of laundry baskets and messy suitcases I can’t tell you how excited I am to finally have some DRAWERS!



handy iPhone apps for thrifters

Happy Monday my dears!

I’ve been thinking about thrifting a lot lately. Thrifting in Tennessee to be exact. You see, in a just a few short weeks, my honey and I are leaving on an eight-day road trip. I’m so excited to hit up some small-town thrifts along the way, but I don’t want to spend hours upon hours researching store locations or combing through Craigslist, looking for estate sales in the area. And so, I’ve turned to my trusty iPhone. Over the past couple of weeks, I test drove a couple apps that you, my fellow thrift-a-holics, might find handy.

 GSALR finds garage, yard and estate sales close to where you are. Uh, helpful much? Here’s a screen shot taken this weekend, showing a handful of sales happening in South Minnie.

When you click on the red squares, a teaser about each sale will pop up, including important info like the sale’s address and dates it’s happening.

One tap from here will get you more details, directions or allow you to favorite the sale. This app is available here for 99 cents.

Thrift Buddy taps into a list of 10,000 thrift and charity shops and it can also pull up sales listed on Craigslist, too. Talk about a one-two punch! Here’s a screen shot of the app’s map function.

Hit one of these green pins and like magic, up pops info about that thrift. Hit it again, and you’ll be directed to more details including the shop’s address, hours, phone number and approximate distance from where you are.

The main problem I’ve noticed with this app is that some of the listings are out-of-date. For example, the Bethesda Thrift Shop moved to Minnetonka more than a year ago, but the app still indicates that it’s located in downtown Hopkins. That said, I’m still pretty confident it’ll be a handy tool for our trip. If nothing else you can call the thrift and see if the address listed is correct, right? Thrift Buddy is a free app (a pro upgrade is available for $1.99) available here.

Have you tried either of these apps? Are there other ones you find handy when you’re out and about thrifting or garage sale-ing? Fill me in!



recently thrifted

Well, hello there!

I stopped by an estate sale in Edina last Saturday on my way to my big brother’s house. It was crowded and slightly claustrophobic, as estate sales on Saturday afternoons typically are. I’ll never understand how seemingly polite people can get so pushy. I mean geez, there’s a whole house full of stuff to go around! Calm the hell down, you know? Anyway, here are a few of the pretties I found…

Six vintage slates, made in Portugal, $2 each

A prom souvenir plate from 1977, $1

Handmade denim rag rug, $2

About the sheets I used as a backdrop, aren’t they lovely? I got the set (fitted and flat sheets, two pillowcases) at Salvation Army for around $6 all together. The print is slightly Liberty of London-ish, isn’t it?

Anyway, if you have the hankering to do some treasure-hutning of your own this weekend, here are a handful of estate sales happening around the metro area…8836 7th Ave. N., Golden Valley, 2420 Irving Ave. S., Minneapolis4514 So. Mallard Trail, Eagan7510 Cahill Road, #220, Edina, 4105 Vera Cruz Ave. N, Robbinsdale.

And with that, I’m off to drink drinks at Haute Dish with Angie.



friday estate sale finds

I woke up last Friday and wanted nothing more than to lounge in bed all day long. It was one of those chilly, rainy days that are made to be spent inside under a quilt, curled up with a stack of books and an ever-full cup of tea. (Kind of like today, which I also would have preferred to have spent in bed.) But, my mortgage doesn’t pay itself, so work-bound I was.

But, when I noticed two bedraggled red balloons, lamely dangling from the chain link fence across the street and a sign that read: Estate Sale, 8-5–instant excitement! I quickly grabbed my wallet, slipped on my flips and dashed through the rain to see what I could find. I came back with a slightly lighter wallet, but with a couple cool things I’d like to share.

Cross-stitch runner ($1) and container with teeny spoon ($1)

Vintage linens make me happy, and I love the simple, folksy floral design on this pretty little runner. My household is currently lacking any kind of salt shaker, so when I spotted this mint green Asian-inspired container, I knew exactly what I’d use it for. I love crossing things off my thrifting wish list! Plus, it fits in perfectly on my tray of vases.

Big chunk of coral (10 cents)

When my boyfriend picked this sucker up and said “This is cool!,” I had to smile. Because not all of my thrifted goods (ahem, my Sears donut machine, which I heart greatly), gets his stamp of approval. I’m glad he appreciates coral’s awesomeness. I found the “Pray for Surf” button at the Salvation Army in Blaine for 60 cents. I loves it!

Pretty wool scarf (50 cents)

A lady can never have too many scarves, I say. Especially ones with roses.

Well, I’m off to a very overdue dinner date with my sweet little Jess. It’s possible that I may squeeze her until she pops. I’ve missed her that much.



P.S. A big happy birthday to Butch Trucks, who turned 63 today. Watching good drummers do their thing one of my top small joys in life, so naturally, this vid of Butchie getting heavy on some cymbals (and a freakin’ tympani!!) warms my heart. I hope you enjoy it too.

“The band director gave three of us sticks and said, ‘Play me something.’ I just kind of played a long roll. He said ‘Whoa, you ever played, boy?’ I said, ‘No,’ and he said, ‘Well you’re playing drums!'”

-Trucks talking about picking up drumming in the eighth grade, an excerpt from this.

wardrobe remix: Annie D’Souza

Happy Friday y’all!

I’m proud to present you with my first outfit profile. My goal with these is to introduce you to thrifty Twincy residents with unique styles that are complemented with thrift-store finds. Truth be told, I’m kind of a lazy dresser by nature, but I’ve learned a lot by seeing how other people, more motivated than me, put their ensembles together. Hopefully these posts will provide you with some creative inspiration, too.

Anyway, let’s get on with it, shall we?

The stylish lady pictured is Annie D’Souza, who, when she’s not trotting off to India or flash mobbing at the Vancouver Olympics, runs a blog about fashion, music and food. And writes. And does yoga. And while we may not have the same opinions on music (see below), we definitely share the view that thrifting= awesome.

Outfit Details

’80s silk blouse: Savers on Lake Street
Skirt: clothing swap
Frye wedge heels: clothing swap
Belt: ValuThrift in East St. Paul
Red purse by Francesco Biasia: My Sister’s Closet on Grand Ave.
Necklace: Rewind Vintage
Serpent earrings and ring: estate sale
Bracelet: garage sale

Me: Where would you wear this outfit?
Annie: A downtown happy hour where I pretend that I don’t work from home in my pajamas all day.

Me: What’s your favorite thrift store in town? Why?
Annie: I love Rewind Vintage, especially for jewelry, purses and belts. I always leave with something that I convince myself I need. I also like digging through the big places like Savers, Value Village and ValuThrift because you never know when a pair of designer jeans or a smart vintage dress is going to pop up for $9.99!

Me: What trends are you hating right now? Which ones are you loving?
Annie: I hate fake glasses. Why?! Just, why? And, although I’m scared to admit this, I kind of like shoulder pads.

Me: Any tips for successful thrifting?
Annie: Don’t rush it. You never know what you will find (or won’t find), so have patience and a free afternoon. It’s also nice to go with a friend whose style differs from yours so that you won’t be drawn to exactly the same things.

Me:  What’s your favorite classic rock album?
Annie: I’m not a fan of classic rock (High Plains Thrifter heresy, I know). I have been rocking a lot of classic ’60s bossa nova and French folk lately. For me, Astrud Gilberto and Françoise Hardy are musical and style icons.

Me: What are your favorite springtime activities?
Annie: The St. Paul Farmer’s Market, fish tacos at Sea Salt, garage sales…the concert calendars start to pick up in the spring too!

photos: louisa marion photography

Well, there you have it! Many thanks to Annie for playing along and Louisa for snapping the pics.

If you live in the Twin Cities and would like to be  “remixed,” email me!

I would love, love, love to hear from you!


I hope the fleeting hours of the work week go quickly and easily for y’all. Anyone have fun Easter-weekend plans? I’m going to try to: not go overboard on these, play with the should-I-buy-this camera, thrift Saturday morning (working on my big bro’s b-day present), have Ashley over for coffee, not have petty arguments with my mom and maybe, if I can kick this stupid cold, head down to First Avenue to see this band tomorrow (Hint: They’re not Spoon!).



beauty & the baton

Yesterday, my pal Jessi & I hit up an estate sale in Burnsville. My favorite purchase of the day was a book of photographs of the home’s owner, all from the ’40s.

Apparently, she was quite a badass baton twirler. Isn’t she pretty?

I love the pics from the parades she was in. This one was taken in Red Wing in June, 1949. I love the blurriness.

I think the shots of her practicing in the backyard are also awesome. I wonder who this guy is?

Also: her bathing suit? Love.

Here she is at a fancy dinner. I Googled NADAA (see bottom left corner) it stands for National Association of Dance Affiliated Arts. I think her date’s the dude with the shades on, which makes me love her even a little bit more.

It broke my heart to see a huge box of albums, all packed with gems like this. I wonder how these precious photos can wind up left behind? I’ll treasure and appreciate them, but wouldn’t her family do the same? Anyway, it’s hard to go to any estate sale and not experience at least a few twinges of sadness. Kinda goes with the territory, ya know? If you’re interested in going, the sale’s still on, and today, everything’s half-0ff. Details, including directions, can be found here.

I’ll be back tomorrow with a couple behind-the-scene peeks at my first shoot for my soon-to-be-open Etsy shop. Happy Saturday all!