Going to yard sales this weekend? Here are some helpful tips.

My parents spend most Saturday mornings on the yard sale circuit. Trust me, it’s a thing. I’m a fan myself although I don’t go as often as they do. Maybe someday. My husband and I did make a pit stop to the annual ten-mile yard sale in Cornville on our way up to The Forks last spring. It’s one of those must do destinations for yard sale aficionados.

While we never did find the main drag, we spent a few enjoyable hours poking around some of the side roads leading up to the sale as we passed through Skowhegan. I even scored a $5 pair of ice skates and a $2 DVD of The Purge so the hunt was successful. Although after watching the Purge, I’m not sure it was a complete win.

This weekend marks the 35th anniversary of the 10 mile yard sale. The weather isn’t looking promising but that doesn’t stop the bargain hunters. The sale goes on rain or shine.

Thinking of going to a few yard sales? Here are some things to keep in mind if you do:

  • Hydrate. Be sure to bring water with you on the trip. It’s easy to lose track of time when wandering through tables of treasures. Snacks are always good too.
  • Bring Bug Spray and Sunscreen. Or, bring an umbrella and mud boots. Keep an eye on the weather and adjust accordingly.
  • Wear a Hat. I actually forgot this one on our trip, but serendipity stepped in and I found someone selling a new one with tags for $.50. Perfect timing!
  • Carry Small Bills and Change. There’s nothing worse than finding that must have item but the seller can’t make change.
  • Take a Reusable Shopping Bag. You need to be able to carry all your purchases.
  • Buy Only What You Need. The prices can be amazing at yard sales, but it’s not a bargain if you don’t need it.
  • Prepare for Lemonade Stands and Bake Sales. I always bringing a little extra cash to buy from the cutest little entrepreneurs out there.
  • Barter only if overpriced. This is a personal choice. I’m not a fan of haggling unless I truly feel something is overpriced by yard sale standards. I’ve been on the other side of yard sales. They are a lot of work and generally things are already priced incredibly low.
  • Know Your Sizes. If you’re looking for something for a specific space or place in your home, write down the sizes and bring a measuring tape. Using your best guess may work but it’s risky.
  • Think Creatively. My favorite part of going to tag sales is finding something that can be re-purposed or reused in a new way.

There are many other tips and tricks to successful yard sale excursions but there’s truly only one tip that you need to know. Have fun!

Do you like to go to yard sales?

Holiday Adventures | My list of things I want to do this December.

‘Tis the season that always seems to go by in a blur. My house is currently covered in boxes filled with Christmas decorations waiting to be unpacked. Decorating is a multi-week endeavor for me. While there never seems to be enough time to do everything on my holiday list, I’m going to give it a shot this year. We’ll see where the holiday spirit takes me and what I can squeeze in this coming month. Below are a few things I’m hoping to do.

Check out some Local Artisans.  I have a brown felt covered advent calendar with perfectly symmetrical numbered tags hanging from hooks on which we place ornaments to count down the days until Christmas. I made it during a crafting weekend with a friend who brought her sizzix die cutting machine and let me play with it. I  often blog about my love for crafting and always get to a few craft shows each season. It’s the best place to find something unique and personal. Continue reading

Celebrating small, local businesses with the microMaine Trolley Tour

What do beer, bitters, wool felting, pie and qigong have in common? They were all things we got to try on a unique tour  hosted by Benchmark Residential & Investment Real Estate which focused on micro living in Portland. The tour highlighted smaller local businesses so was different from typical city tours.

The tour started at the Press Hotel which is a cozy themed hotel on Exchange Street. This past March, we did Spirit Quest for Maine Restaurant Week and the Press Hotel had my favorite tasting and cocktail combination. This micro tour also had a food component as we were treated to Korean BBQ vegetable chips and house made carrot & ginger effervescence shooters upon arrival. The carrot and ginger juice, was especially amazing. Continue reading

T is for Tree + Vine | Costumes that match a child’s imagination.

I have owned a sewing machine since I was thirteen. My Mom handed her’s down to me in almost new condition. It was a Singer and came with a cabinet so you could put it away when not in use. It was a workhorse that stayed with me through multiple apartments and homes. It finally died but it was a slow death. My grandmother, who was an amazing seamstress and quilted right up until her death at 93, knew a repair guy who could fix my sewing machine. He did. He fixed it many times. But, he was also in his nineties and eventually passed away. I could never find anyone else able to repair it.

Eventually, someone bought it at one of our yard sales. I hope they know someone with that special touch who might be able to breathe life into it again. I miss that sewing machine. It was the one I learned to sew on. My other grandmother taught me. We made a Gunny Sack dress that I adored and wore for years. We also made pink satin shorts and a matching jacket because I was in love with Shaun Cassidy of Hardy Boys fame and he wore a satin jacket. The shorts were a bonus. Continue reading