Rose Bowl Flea Market December 2014


It happened again.

I got up before the crack of dawn.

To shop, of course.

What else is worth getting up early on a weekend for?


My husband and I both love going to The Rose Bowl Flea Market in December. The weather is nice and cool. Cold but not too cold. The vendors are a little more jolly. It is just a nice time to go. Plus, it is fun to pick up unusual one of a kind Christmas gifts for people who will truly appreciate them.


We have now worked out what is most enjoyable for us when we go to the flea market. We like to get there early and leave early. We got there at 7:05 and left at 9:05. Well, we left the first time at 9:05 and the second time at 10:05. But that is a long story involving me thinking we had lost a piece to an item only to come to the conclusion it had always been missing. You know, because items that are old… Vintage… They are always in pristine condition and you should never inspect them before you buy. Or always inspect them. It is one of those for sure.

There were so many amazing items there this time. We saw a beautiful library cabinet. It was too expensive for us, but I am sure someone grabbed it. And, of course, we did not get a picture of the beautiful piece.


An Indian wedding bench from a wedding house. Actually two of them. And the third one, a blue one, had just sold. They were $350 each. They were so beautiful they made my heart ache. I have absolutely nowhere to put them. The sweet owner said I could treat them and put them outside to which I not jokingly replied I would move my bed out there first. I would never ruin such beauties with the outdoor elements.


This green laundry bin was really cool. I have enough laundry bins. But I had not seen one like this before. And I am not quite sure it was a laundry bin, but it was perfect for the task. I hope it went to a good home. It even had wheels.


I ended up taking this old game wheel home… I know. But my bleary (not Beery) eyes fell in love.

It was probably from some hometown carnival many years ago. It was not a professional wheel, but I loved the colors and the sentiment of it. Now where to put it? I had originally planned on hanging it above my daughter’s bed. Then the grogginess of the morning wore off and I once again became aware that we live in earthquake country. Probably not the wisest move to hang a heavy wooden object with rusty metal above your kid’s bed. It is a good thing I do not make most of my life decisions at dawn.


I loved this old, I believe it was from Nepal but I could be wrong, alter. It was from the 1800s and very pretty.


Of course, I had to take pictures of the unusual, too. This old Hamburger symbol. It was huge. I do not know what someone would do with it, but I had to take a picture of it after that dream I had a few months ago.


Dolls. Dolls. Dolls.

They are watching me.


With hungry eyes.


I do not know why, but this sign made me giggle. I just pictured giving it to someone as a gift. I have since learned it was an old time actor. But I thought it was a bar sign. Both cases make me smile.


In my hoarder’s ultimate fantasy, I would have a room filled with these metal letters. And I could reach in and grab handfuls at a time and they would slip through my fingers. And whatever letters were left would be my fortune for the day.

And that would make as much sense as a bar sign advertising Beery. Which, by the way, would always be my fortune of the day.


I did not buy any of these letters, but they were neat. It was an overwhelming amount of choices.


The coat is Anthropologie Tartan Blanket Coat (previously styled here).

There is a man at the flea market that sells exotic textiles whom I think has the best taste. He was there again on Sunday. He was selling the most beautiful blanket. It was like a kantha, but unlike any kantha I had ever seen. It was white with red and blue stitching. It had patches of kantha-like material. It was subtle but beautiful. I wanted it desperately. But my sweet husband really wanted to buy me a coat at another vendor because he thought it was perfect for me and I would wear it and think of him and so he did for Christmas. And the blanket had to give for the coat. I took a picture of the blanket in my mind. The coat will stay on my body and in my heart… When I get it.


I picked up this fun little chest covered in fish for $20.


I also purchased three of these afghan cardigans. Two for me and one for my daughter. I did not really think she would like them, but my husband was insistent that she would. What would be your guess? Would a teenage girl wear one of these?

I do know the answer.

Just like I did before the purchase was made. ; )


I saw this dog and I thought it was a perfect cross of what Ollie and Murphy would look like if they had a love child.


What would one would do with these geese? They looked interesting. Almost like they were from a set of a 1940s movie. They were also in pristine condition. I would have loved to have learned what the purchaser was planning on doing with them.

Remember when that man asked me if I was looking for an iceberg detector the last time I went to the flea market? Well, my husband recognized him again right away in his booth. He actually had glowing devices and was asking people as they walked by, “Do you need an iceberg detector?”

He added a new part to the line this time, too, “Or a zombie zapper?” So, if you are looking for either of those devices, look no further. But best to have some beery before your first use.

Would you be excited or sad to get a gift from a flea market? I only purchased gifts for people there who I knew would like them. If I gave certain people a used item, I would never ever ever hear the end of it. I will show the pictures of the gifts I bought in “Keepin’ It Real” at the end of the month. July’s Rose Bowl Flea Market trip can be viewed here.

P.S. I shared this on Savvy Southern Style.

Would You Rather? And A Silly Little Spontaneous Giveaway: NOW CLOSED!

First: I apologize for not posting on Monday and Tuesday. I plan to be on schedule, posting daily from here on out unless another emergency pops up.

I blame the gnomes. I think they are letting in some nonsense.

I am sorry. I imagine dangling them by their wee little toes over Ollie might be a fair punishment.

Now, I could use some fun. How ’bout you?:

If there ever was a game to describe America, it wouldn’t be football. It wouldn’t be Scrabble. It wouldn’t be Blackjack.


It would be “would you rather?”.



The winner is Sally Steele Corbett! Congratulations! Please contact me so I can mail you your prize! : )

My family and I play this game far too often. And even though I have many other posts that could go up today, I thought it would be more fun to play a game. I could really, really use a laugh and a smile. Winner gets their very own Predict-A-Pen and a $10 gift card to Target. ‘Cause I love me some silly fun.

You only need to answer three out of the eight questions to enter for a chance to win!


Get set.


Would you rather sleep in the rain with no covers while Pee Wee Herman sang to you all night long or take a drink from a rain puddle on a New York City street after the rain has fallen?

Would you rather have the super power of flying or invisibility?

Would you rather live one hundred years of a boring life or forty years of a fun one?

Would you rather chew a piece of used gum you found on the ground from Ryan Gosling’s mouth or drink a glass of two week old milk in Ryan Gosling’s bed?

Would you rather be in the real life scenario of the movie “Jaws” (on the water) or be in the movie “Jurassic Park” (on the island)?

Would you rather live in a world with magic, dragons and fairies or own Apple?

Would you rather win one million dollars or have one completely perfect day once a year for the rest of your life (and, no, you cannot win one million dollars on your perfect day)?

Would you rather be a prince/princess or a merman/mermaid?


I’ll update with my own answers after the giveaway ends in my comments here. I’ll respond as Gnome Lover. I can’t wait to see your replies! Please feel free to elaborate why you chose your answer. That’s what makes it fun. I will be picking one winner at random. This contest is open for today only (5/21/2014) from 12:00 a.m. PST to 11:59 p.m. PST for you sweet folks who happened to click over to visit on this very random Wednesday. I will announce the winner tomorrow around noon PST on this post.

Good luck! Have fun!

*Negative comments will be deleted at the discretion of the owner of this blog and the entry will be forfeit.

Modcloth Lately

First, thank you all for your kindness yesterday. I really do very much appreciate it. Thank you.

You guys are the best.

Let’s start the day with a light hearted shopping post, shall we:

My sweet mom gave me a generous gift card for Christmas to Modcloth. It came at the perfect time, because I had a cart full of items I had been wanting and a 20% off my entire order code.


The items all came on Tuesday and I am so excited to share. Some of these items are on such a good sale and if Modcloth sent you a discount code like they did for me, you can get some steals!


I bought the Kick, Woof, Coast Necklace I had been wanting forever. It did not disappoint. This is such a well made little piece. It even comes with instructions from the company on how to send it back if it ever needs repairs.



I had been watching the Pastime and Present Dress for awhile. Then it went 50% + my 20% off making it around $33.60. I love that this dress ranges in sizes XS -4X. Modcloth does it right. I purchased my usual size medium and it fits great. I do not know why I am holding the dress so oddly. It really does hang well.

It reminded me of what Goldilocks would have worn to hang out with the bears. I plan on wearing this with my Kick, Woof, Coast Necklace above, leggings and brown vintage boots. Watch out bears! Here I come! And I happen to like porridge (much to my husband’s chagrin).


More gnome socks. make-yourself-gnome-socks. Of course!


Retro Rosie Earrings in red. I all ready owned these in white and wear them all of the time. They are a good substantial size.


I’m Game Necklace. Also 50% off. This was $8 after my discount.


The Loveliest Of All Earrings. They’re unicorns! So sweet!



The Wizard of Ostrich Sweater in a size Large, because the medium I had ordered previously was teeny tiny and immediately went back. I had given up on this sweater after my sizing dilemma, but when it went 50% off plus my extra 20% plus a gift card, I had to try it again.

I like it. I paired it with my black skirt, black tights, brown boots and fun earrings. With jeans, I feel it is too short. I am very glad I tried this sweater again in a different size. I could not get the ostrich out of my head. Now that’s a line you don’t read every day.


My mom also surprised me with these All Abuzz Earrings from Modcloth. I had wanted them, because they reminded me of my grandma. So sweet!

Thank you Mom! I love you! I cannot wait to wear all of my goodies! I will think of you when I do.

Have you purchased anything from Modcloth recently? What is on your wishlist?

* P.S. I shared this on The Pleated Poppy!

My Shopping Tips And Reviews Of The Stores I Love


Okay. I admit it. I am a shopaholic. Thankfully, I am also practical. Otherwise, it would be easy to go overboard. I made a shopping guide and critique for the four stores I frequent most often based on my experiences. With that said, your experience might be different. But I hope it helps! Warning: this is a very long post!

Shopping Free people:

The good:

Free Shipping over $100 (always)
Free People Me Community
Fantastic App
Customer Service is amazing
Online Customer Service is also fantastic
Your birthday discount is good for any time in the entire year
Price adjustments within 14 days
Respect (I genuinely feel the people behind this store care about their customers)
They know their layering
Their clothing is cut beautifully to drape in a flattering way

The bad:

30 day return policy (after being used to Anthropologie’s amazing no restrictions return policy, this took some getting used to.)
Other retailers sell a lot of their merchandise. Sometimes, it is much cheaper elsewhere.
First cuts on merchandise are often small
Do not have online additional % off sales (but do have in store)
No alternative sizing (petites and plus sizes)

This store has my whole entire heart. This is because they have the best customer service out there. If there is a problem with your order or item, they go above and beyond for you. An example: I received a dress. It sat in my closet for over a month unworn because I was waiting for the weather to change. It finally did, but when I went to put it on, I discovered a gaping hole in the seam. I had not noticed it before. The dress was sold out (exclusive). Even if I had wanted to return it (and I did not), Free People has a 30 day return window. I was out of it. I emailed them pictures of the item and explained that I would have to get it fixed, but I still loved it. They gave me 25% off the item. I took the dress to be fixed. It cost $8. It looks brand new. They more than compensated me for the fix and they made me feel good that they understood the inconvenience. They created a loyal customer for life in me with a simple act of understanding and generosity.

Another example of them wanting their shoppers to be part of their brand is their Free People Me category. Shoppers (like me) upload pictures of how they styled the item. It is helpful. It is fun. And for participating last year, they sent me the sweetest gift in the mail. It was a handmade “Free People Me” flag and a beautiful necklace.

They truly appreciate their customers.

With that said, I do have some shopping tips I stick to. If it is not “exclusive” (an item will say this in the description if it is. This means it is only sold through Free People), I always hold out. This is from experience. It will probably either go on clearance there or show up at Nordstrom Rack. I cannot tell you how many Free People items I have purchased for 60% off or more from other retailers that were still showing full price on Free People’s website.

I will say, though, if you love it, and it is an exclusive: The item will usually hold out much longer for sale or completely sell out. That is a dilemma you have to wage with yourself. The “waiting game.” I think exclusives tend to sell out at full price rather quickly. So play at your own risk.

I also think they have some fantastic pieces of clothing for under $100.

Free People does markdowns sporadically. I had thought they were usually on Saturdays (that I had noticed). But then they will do a random markdown and blow my theory. Usually they do not mark an item down as generously as Anthropologie does. It is typical for an item to just be marked down 20-25% at first.

I am not thrilled with them for not having alternative sizing. I think it is something they need to work on.


Shopping Nordstrom Rack:

The good:

Consistently amazing deals
Merchandise changes constantly
Huge selection
Name brands

If you have a Nordstrom Debit or Credit Card: you earn points when you make purchases towards $20 Notes (store credit).
Free tailoring! ($100-300 worth of yearly alterations on clothes that did not have to be purchased there. Amount allowed depends on your rating. Your rating is based on how much you spend a year.)

The bad:

Must make quick decisions
Strict 30 day return policy
Competing with resellers
You have to look and you have to compromise (check sizes not your own. I will repeat what I have said before: Oftentimes an item of clothing made it to sale because it was sized wrong. I just scored an amazing Free People top 61% off. It was an XS. It fits me like a dream. The XS gals had passed it up, because it was too large. Score for me! This has worked for me with larger sizes as well.)
They do not hold items
You need a lot of random luck
They do price adjustments, but it would be next to impossible to figure out if your one item got cut more (without being annoying and super persistent. I am guessing if you took your items in every 14 days, they could rescan them to check. But I have no idea. They are very crowded and very busy!)

A confession: when our Rack opened, I did not “get it.” It was overwhelming. Row upon row of, well, racks. Then a friend of mine took me shopping with her. And it has never been the same for me. She informed me that if you see a rack with tons of the same thing on it, it is not special. That is just Nordstrom’s brand of clothing. Yawn. Move along. A lot of times, things will hit sale. There are exceptions. Think my favorite: “Free People.”

As I mentioned above, Free People has its own large rack at our store. It is always in the same place (so if there is another designer that you love, look for that rack. You will always know where to look when going to the store. It will be less overwhelming). Sometimes there will be an additional rack of Free People dresses in the dress section. Right now, there is an additional rack stocked with Free People winter coats and sweaters. Free People items are generally marked 60% off or more at Nordstrom Rack.

If you like something, get it. It probably will not be there when you go back for it. I am always shocked how quickly things sell at Nordstrom Rack. There is such limited stock, it is next to impossible to play the sale guessing game. I went there last year and saw three displays of tall Hunter rain boots in a multitude of colors. I believe they were $75. They were awesome. I decided to go home and think about it. I realized I wanted a pair. I went back the next day, every single pair was gone. It was a great price and savvier shoppers (or eBay sellers) than me, knew that, too.

That’s right. Not only are you competing against other fashionistas, but you are also competing against resellers. And they know their stuff. And they will buy it. And they will sell it… For a profit.

Now, there have been many, many instances where I walk into Nordstrom Rack and there is absolutely nothing “good.” That’s okay. There are far too many times that they have awesome stuff.

Keep checking!

They do not get new shipments in on Sundays and Mondays. They get new merchandise in every day Tuesday-Saturday. Once, they forgot to give me a dress I paid for (it fell out of the bag). I called when I got home. They held it for me. I went back five hours later. There were more items out on the floor. They are constantly pulling things from the back all day. Often there is just one of that item from a particular designer or franchise.

You have to be lucky.

Nordstrom Rack is an excellent place to purchase designer jeans. I got a pair of Mother’s jeans (my favorite) for 75% off. And some Paige corduroy skinnies for 50%. They consistently have Joe’s (which I have not had luck with for my body).

It is also a wonderful place to purchase designer sun glasses. I am always losing my sunglasses. It is just not something that I care to invest money in. But I want good ones for eye protection, especially as I get older. I have bought both pairs of my sunglasses here for $17 and $33 and they both retailed for over $130 a piece.


Shopping Anthropologie:

The good:

Unique items
Fantastic home selection
Store displays are enchanting
Great sale prices
Amazing return policy
Wonderful in-store customer service
Price adjustments within 14 days
Used clothing can generally be resold for a decent price
Petite sizing

The bad:

It is hard to buy something full price, when you know it will almost always hit sale.
Shipping prices are outrageous
Online and phone customer service have not been good for me
Items are frequently cancelled after ordering (so do not get your hopes up. Do not expect sympathy or an apology either.)
Long wait for shipping
Competing with resellers
No plus sizes and lower stock of larger sizes
Their website needs some work

Anthropologie is magical. It is wonderful. Their merchandise is like noone elses. And neither are their sales.

Anthropologie has a sale almost every Monday. Sunday night, Roxy of Effortless Anthropologie plays a Sales Guessing game with her readers. Everyone (other girls who also love the brand) waits up Sunday night to snag the first of the deals. It is usually 12:00 a.m. for west coasters and 3:00 a.m. for east coasters (although lately they have been an hour and a half early).

I think most of Anthropologie’s items I have watched have made it to sale. The exception to this for me was the Ping Maxi Skirt. I purchased it with a discount (thankfully) and it had sold out in my size long before it hit 50% off. 50% off is generally what the item goes immediately to on sale. This is called first cut. The next cut would take it to 50% off of the sale price. This is called second cut. And then it goes is 50% off that price. This is the rare third cut. Pieces almost always get marked to this. But by that time, the item has usually all ready sold out. Items can even get as low as $9.99 and $19.99. Add that to their additional % sales and you can score big savings.

This is when having a GIGANTIC wishlist pays off. I have a 10 page wishlist on Anthropologie’s website. I check it daily. People return items every day. You can sometimes get things from your wishlist for amazing prices. I got a cardigan a couple of months ago for $8. Normally $89. And I just snagged a shirt I had been watching for months for $20, originally $120. Roxy also does a post on this once a week called “Friday Popbacks.” Awesome readers post the finds that do not fit them or they do not want from their wishlist with a link. This allows someone in the “community” to grab it.

Sound easy? Well, it is! Not to mention thrilling.

I will admit that I very rarely buy an item not on sale at this store. My exception is something unique or something I think is going to sell out. Like the Sketchbook Shirt Dress or the Toadstool Blouse. I splurged on both of these with the 15% discount (I never wore the first two I purchased and returned them). They were both so unique and whimsical, it was worth the splurge for me. An example of something I am holding out on would be the Wonderland Tunic. I am waiting for sale on this. And I think it will sell out before it hits sale in my size. We will see! But on this, I am holding firm.

I will also splurge on things that do not have a high price tag to begin with like two of the Creature Feature Tops. Sure, they are spendy for a t-shirt. But I will get so much wear out of them for the small amount of difference between the sale price that it will eventually go to and the starting point. It is not worth it to me to wait.

If something hits sale and it is not on my wishlist, I always ignore it. If I did not like it at full price, I will not even look at it on sale. I always stick to my wishlist. My exception to this are pants and jeans. There are just so many of them. I could not possibly put them all on my wishlist. Last week I scored three pairs of JBrand Moto Zipped Crops (2 for me and 1 for my daughter). They retailed for $242 each. I scooped them up at $19.99 a piece.

This does not mean I purchase everything on my wishlist. Today a dress “popped back” on my wishlist. It retailed for $188. It was now $29.99. I just did not want it any more. This happens quite often. I would say I end of purchasing 10-15% of the items I save in my wishlist. I am fickle. And I like to gamble. I like to play “how low will it go?” The house usually wins. And I move along.

Anthropologie has an amazing home section. To me, this is their strongest asset above the other stores. Their items end up in fashion magazines and home magazines. The home pieces are amazing. So quirky, fun and beautiful. I could spend hours in their home section.

Also, I am not petite, but I am ecstatic that not only does Anthropologie offer petite sizing in many items now, but that they are also opening petite stores. Good for them!

However, Anthropologie’s lack of understanding in regards to the larger-than-average sized girl is high on my peeves. Anthropologie frequently sells out of size XL and size 14-16 first. Plus sized gals almost always have to buy things full price from Anthropologie (I know from experience. Waiting for sale seemed so odd and wonderful to me when I started shopping for smaller sizes). Usually the larger sizes will not hit sale. There is not enough inventory. It is not fair. Anthropologie has not “gotten it” yet. See my Modcloth review to learn how a company does it right.

Shopping Modcloth:

I love the quirky items at this store. Sometimes they can be a bit too quirky for me. I have found I do not wear my items from this store as often as I do items from other stores. This leads me to not shop here very often. But when I do, there are things I have learned.

The good:

Unique, fun pieces of clothing
Plus sizes!!!
Stylish Surprise
FREE SHIPPING AND RETURNS OVER $50! Sorry to shout. But that is so fantastic. Again they know their customer and they respect them.
Clothing arrives in a whimsical blue printed box with some sort of product sample (eg: Tom’s toothpaste).

The bad (very few. It really is a great company):

I sometimes find the quality is not on point with the price of an item.
Very rarely will an item make it to sale from my wishlist (good for them!)
30 day return policy

One of my main reasons for supporting Modcloth is their respect for women of all sizes. I can not express how much it irks me that other franchises do not respect the larger girl. Think the petite line at Anthropologie (which is so great for petites, but sizes should also go the other way). As a former plus size wearer, I feel so much gratitude towards this company for “getting it.” Women come in all forms. I love that they embrace this. They always show beautiful plus sized models along with the petite and average models. I realize this is rather long. But it is something that is very close to my heart.

Modcloth stocks XS-3X in many items of clothing. For the petite gals, there are many pieces from Europe that are sized for smaller bodies. And for the plus size there are exclusives. I love this!

Bravo Modcloth!

They also do a fun thing called “Stylish Surprise.” For $15 they will pick out an article of clothing (it could literally be anything) for you. The item you receive is guaranteed to be priced at $29.99 or more. It is not returnable. Think “mystery bag.” I read one girl got an amazing winter coat! I am not very brave. I have only done this once. I got an amazing dress that I love. These surprises happen every couple of months throughout the year.


There are so many things that I adore about all of these stores. And some things I would love to see changed. I strive to be honest with my opinions and my tips. I hope my long post helped! I want people to score amazing deals. What is the best deal you have gotten? What is your favorite store to shop at? Do you have additional tips to share? Feel free to comment.