Thift Shop Goodness

Like Music to My Ears

Posted in 1 by Lisa Twillie on December 18, 2009

Is there nothing more calming than a screaming baby? Seriously, nothing adds to mexican food more than a screaming baby.  Ok, ok, ok…I maybe am being a little sarcastic and maybe a little UN-understanding…or am I?

Last night my daughter, Robert and myself all decided to grab dinner at a local Mexican food restaurant. It is a family restaurant, I have no problems with that aspect – I promise. But what I do have a problem with, is when parents bring their screaming babies along and act as if THAT IS TOTALLY OK?!! Seriously?

I look at it like this…my daughter was once a baby.  I have done my time eating at home, KNOWING, that she is cranky in the evenings. I simply didn’t want to put other paying customers through my daughters crying, so we stayed home. Quite honestly, babies aren’t babies forever, there will be time enough for restaurants when they get older.

Anyhoo, I was kind enough to capture a few seconds to share:

One aspect of this issue that I would like to point out is that the nature of a baby crying induces a certain amount of stress. I remember when I was a new Mother and I was breast feeding my daughter. I would get a few precious hours away from my baby. However, God forbid I get near someone else’s crying baby because the cries of a baby would trigger my letdown response. So there I would be with a soaked shirt because another parent felt it was A-ok for everyone else to endure their crying baby.

All I ask is that we all strive to be mindful of each other.


Merry “Thriftmas”

Posted in 1 by Lisa Twillie on December 17, 2009

It’s that time of year! Time to deck the halls, time to hang those lights and decorate our trees.  But most of all, it is time to hit the thrift shop for some cheap and wonderful Christmas decorations. I personally love digging through Christmas decorations in hopes of acquiring some awesome vintage Christmas goodness.

Just check out the visual cornucopia:

This was just one of the many tables filled with Christmas goodness

Although I typically find some pretty cool stuff, some of it is often quite questionable…and I MUST share:


Creepy Laser Beam Eyes

Posted in 1 by Lisa Twillie on December 17, 2009

A couple of pictures of my dogs and their creepy laser beam eyes.


Watch out! When the laser hits your shins it stings!

Coco’s creepy laser eyes:

Coco's lasers are very handy for lighting candles and the occasional pilot light on the stove.

Lunch time at Saver’s

Posted in 1 by Lisa Twillie on December 4, 2009

Yesterday I spent my lunch time at Saver’s. (giant thrift shop) Because I went there during my lunch break, I really didn’t have a ton of time to look at everything, not that there was very much to look at yesterday. Saver’s really is a hit or miss store. They stay relatively picked over. Not to mention that their “sale” items are kind of a joke. Yesterday all blue tagged items were 50% off…but I never found anything with a blue tag.  Mostly my brother and I spent our time laughing at various odds and ends. I am not really sure what was going on yesterday, but for some reason the staff and the patrons all seemed a little on the creepy side. I was basically weirded out by the rough looking Saver’s staff and other customers with no sense of personal boundaries.

Like I said, the store is pretty picked over…

Oh, there I full of soon to be crushed anticipation.

Cha-cha-cha-chia!  Or well, the ceramic part of the chia. Lame. Kinda pointless without the stuff you need to actually grow the plant stuff.

A naked chia pet

I really hope there is a Saver’s employee somewhere laughing about this.

Man dolls.

Someone is gonna buy this…

Needful things

A story that has nothing to do with thrift shopping

Posted in 1 by Lisa Twillie on December 3, 2009

Yesterday I attended an award ceremony for the Psi Chi Honor Society here at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR). A friend of mine was being inducted into the organization. At the ceremony there was a guest speaker. (I am terrible with names, so unfortunately I cannot remember his name) He is a practicing psychologist and he told a story about a circus elephant that I have never heard before. So here goes…

In the circus when they get a baby elephant they band one of its legs and then chain the band to a stake in the ground. No matter how much the baby elephant tries to pull free it just cannot. And as the elephant grows, the band on its foot is replaced with a bigger band. And while the elephant is still small, eventually it gives up trying to break free. All the while the stake in the ground is the same. Once the elephant is full grown, it still thinks that the stake will keep it from getting free. The elephant gave up a long time ago and does not realize that it has grown more powerful and stronger than the stake.

I really like this story. It makes me think of all the things in my past that I think are still bigger than me. It made me think of all the ways that I have grown as a person and how I have held onto bad experiences that serve no relevance to who I am now.

Cheap and Easy Outdoor Christmas Trees

Posted in 1 by Lisa Twillie on November 25, 2009

This past weekend I began decorating the exterior of my house for Christmas. (agnostic peeps can still really dig the whole Christmas thing!)

I must give credit for the following idea to my Mom. She is the one that made the tomato stand trees first…and well, I just love them! So this year, I decided to make my own.

Here is what you need:


  • Wire tomato stands
  • Garland
  • Some wire

Tomato plant stand:

The stand that I used for my trees, were dug out of a neighbor’s garbage.

The first thing you will need to do is turn the stand upside down. Then with some wire, wire the three prongs together. Making the stand into a cone shape.

Next you wrap the cone that you made with your garland. (make sure to use a little wire every now and again to secure your garland to your frame, to prevent slippage)

I have two concrete planters that I used to secure my trees into place.

I buried the bottom portion of the wire cone under some top soil, in order to make the tree more secure.




Here is what the finished product looks like:

Ta-da! this “tree” was made using a wire tomato plant stand! It looks pretty great with or without decorations. (and lets keep our focus on the tree and not the dirty stairs that so badly need to be power washed)








Thifting in the Rock

Posted in 1 by Lisa Twillie on November 20, 2009

My brother asked me to lunch yesterday, and what that typically translates into is a lunchtime adventure. My brother proposed that we hit up the Salvation Army store over on 65th street.

Salvation Army Thrift Store, 65th Street, Little Rock, AR

This is probably my brother’s favorite thrift store, mostly because he thinks that there are not many people that know about it. (I think he forgets that the store is located directly across from a trailer park)

This particular thrift store isn’t my favorite but it is very organized, which is a pleasant surprise in the world of thrifting. Thanks to my brother this trip was pretty well documented. Here is what we saw:

1. The first item that my brother took a picture of…I am not sure what it is, but I think it is a piece of machinery from a dry cleaners? (like something used for ironing?)

Ironing contraption?

2. Party starter?

So, can the person that donated this to the Salvation Army, can they call themselves an organ donor?

The organ actually looks kinda fun. (until it starts an electrical fire, as my very astute brother pointed out)

3. Pretty cool teacup and saucer.

Black and white teacup and saucer.

I found a pretty cool teacup and saucer for $1.56. I have made the “life style change” from drinking diet sodas to drinking tea. Since I have made this transition, my daughter has become quite the little tea drinker as well. I think she will enjoy having her very own tea cup. (I hope the glaze isn’t poisonous)

4. This was pretty funky.

The mermaid.

Unfortunately, it was priced at not $20.00, but $19.99, which not only did I find interesting, but a little high for a thrift shop. This was an original piece of artwork, that was signed and dated on the back. It is actually a wall hanging made out of carved wood and then painted. I would have bought it, had it not been so terribly over priced, but I thought it was worth noting.

5. Not really sure what this is…


6. Dude, there are always so many wedding dresses at thrift shops…

Honestly, we all know their fate is to be revampled into Halloween costumes.

It is fun to pick through them though…from the puffy sleeves of the 80’s to the sleevless high necked 90’s. Each of these dresses at one point brought tears the Mothers of each bride that wore them.

7. I kinda liked this one…

Pretty little vintage gem

This is the sort of dress that if I were actually looking for a wedding dress I would never be able to find. Not to mention it was also priced at $19.99.

Thrifting in Conway, Arkansas

Posted in 1 by Lisa Twillie on November 17, 2009

This past weekend I decided to venture outside of my city and go thrifting in a neighboring city. So my brother, daughter, boyfriend and I loaded up and drove to Conway, Arkansas.

Our first stop was the Goodwill Store in Conway, located near a Wal-mart. I wasn’t sure what the thrift shop scene was in Conway. So needless to say I was surprised to find a completely full parking lot and a jam packed thrift store. People were everywhere! I took this to be either a really good thing or a really bad thing. Either the selection would be really awesome (because why else would all these people be here). Or the selection would be severely picked over. Well, needless to say, I was very pleasantly surprised by the clothing selection. My boyfriend found several dress shirts (all name brand), that are just gorgeous. I also found great stuff for my daughter and myself…some still with tags!

All in all, the Goodwill Store in Conway, was totally worth the drive!

Big Empty Boxes

Posted in 1 by Lisa Twillie on November 5, 2009

When a big box store closes its doors, what is left behind is a giant carcass of a building.  While, I admit for some of these empty stores, there will be churches that move in and make use of a few of these empty buildings. But what about the rest? How many businesses need that much space? Once the store goes out of business or moves to a bigger, “better” and newer location; the community is left is one GIANT eyesore.

empty circut city

On a deeper, more philosophic level, what does the architecture of the big box stores say about people living in the big box era? After all, these buildings are giant, windowless, concrete and metal structures. Nothing about an empty Circuit City is beautiful. Lets pretend that Target and Wal-mart built buildings resembled the Basilica San Marco in Venice. What if these stores were built to facilitate community and reflected the character and culture of the community it resides in.? How would this affect people on a personal level?basilica

How would that positively affect the psyche of entire communities? I argue that the current architecture (warehouses) emits the message that “we as a people do not deserve beauty for we are as temporary as the buildings we are surrounded by”.  That our lives are meaningless and un-unique, just like the cookie cutter big box stores.

I believe in the sense of well being and community created by well crafted buildings.  As humans we respond positively to beauty, just as we respond negatively to ugliness. I think we deserve beauty. Humans don’t deserve to be inundated by these big metal boxes littering our communities.

Have Second Hand Clothes Lost Their Stigma

Posted in 1 by Lisa Twillie on November 4, 2009

Yes, there is a theme in today’s postings. I am all about discussing the stigma surrounding shopping second hand. Usually I am met with excitement when share about my incredible thrift store finds…but yesterday was I was completely taken aback by the reaction of a co-worker of mine. I have written it off as an insecurity thing. She is one of those that have to have the best of everything (as compared to those around her). Anyhoo…here is an excerpt from a fantastic article about the eco-friendliness of shopping and swapping second hand. 250909poshswaps
“Consumer behaviour is changing as people move away from fast fashion instead opting for higher quality clothes that are made to last. Women in particular are doing their own thing. Instead of just following the trends dictated by the fashion industry, they are making their own trends. Women are becoming more confident in finding pieces of clothing that suit their colouring, figure, personality, lifestyle and budget (greengirlsglobal, 2009).”