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Archive for the ‘cheat sheet’ Category

from the what i wore posts, it’s pretty obvious that you know that my love for colors is deep and unending, like my love for sneezing pandas or oberweis chocolate milkshakes. but i do get it: color is SCARY. and figuring out which colors go with which can be a process that can make you want to rip your hair out and wear black for the rest of your life.

but never fear! i have a handy-dandy list of resources that can help you – yes, you! – conquer your fears and dip your toe into a whole new world of fashion possibilities. and the best part is that these resources are great for a shot of instant inspiration too.

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forgive the somewhat cryptic title. i was all set to write a post on how your significant other views your style and how their opinions, in turn, influence the wardrobe choices you make in the morning. but i made the mistake of trying to ask the boy questions about this Very Serious Subject Matter after we’d been obsessing over this clip and had been using “CHICKEN TETRAZZINI!” as a reply to every-damn-thing (“what channel is hell’s kitchen on?” “CHICKEN TETRAZZINI!”). (of course, watching hell’s kitchen after watching the clip just made it worse. try imagining gordon ramsay asking for chicken tetrazzini.)

this means that the boy, when asked, told me that my style was very “feminine and easy and carefree CHICKEN TETRAZZINI,” which i told him was absolutely useless. i shall try again today.

THAT means that instead of the Very Serious Subject Matter post, you shall, instead, get a cheat sheet of where i get goodies online! several people have mailed in to ask me such things, and i thought, well hey, if THEY want to know, surely some others may want to know as well. so here it is.

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i’ll let you in on a secret: i like quality, but i like quality even better when it’s cheap. so when we decided our summer vaycay would involve a roadtrip, i knew camping, even with the additional expense of purchasing equipment, would be cheaper than hotel-hopping in touristy spots in the summer time (believe me, i know – i checked prices). and if we were SMART about our equipment hunting, we would come out winners.

how i did it: craigslist.org. i know, i know – lots of people are a little wary of craigslist, and with good reason. but you just have to know a couple of little tips and tricks before you set out into the wonderful world of meeting up with strangers and buying their stuff. trust me, it’s not so bad! you’ll see.

tent: eureka sunrise 9
amazon.com price: $209.95
what i paid: $30, plus the guy threw in a coleman camping chair (amazon.com value $34.67) and a full-sized air mattress and pump (price varies, but probably around the $25 mark) for free.
savings: $239.62

  • appearances are everything. i am a grammar and spelling snob, and am far more likely to buy from someone who looks like they took some care in putting their ad together – none of this textspeak U want 2 buy my stuff? LOLz nonsense. i also mistrust ads with no pictures – what do you have to hide?
  • communication. you can tell a lot by a seller by how well they communicate with you. do they answer your questions honestly? are they willing to negotiate?
  • find out WHY sellers are giving you such a good deal. sometimes, things are too good to be true, and you could be getting a good deal because the equipment is somehow defective. sometimes, they have a good reason – like this poor man, who was giving up the camping life because his wife-to-be just didn’t enjoy such things.
  • area. thrifting rules apply: if they’re based in an affluent neighborhood, chances are the deal is real (hey, that rhymed!).

camping stove: coleman perfectflow insta-start two-burner stove
amazon price: $69.99
what i paid: $20
savings: $49.99

  • negotiate. we drove all the way out to a ritzy glitzy neighborhood to get to this thing, and on the way i thought, hmm. if they are willing to let go a brand-new-in-box stove that has never been used, then they are probably willing to take less than what they asked for. the whole situation just smacked of ‘i bought this and don’t need it, so please get it off my hands.’ lo and behold, i asked, and the lady gave it to me for $20. which was about $15 less than she originally asked for. never be afraid to haggle.

still not enough? other tips to take with you for the road:

  • ask for the brand and model of the equipment, then dig up some info online to see if you’re getting a good deal. if the price is too high, name one that you feel is more suitable, based on ebay and amazon marketplace prices. if it is too low, ask why. it pays to do your homework.
  • NEVER allow craigslist sellers to know where you live. always meet in a neutral area, or drive to where they are. and always go with someone else, never on your own.

with two huge and expensive pieces of equipment off my checklist, a combination of target/walmart combing, thrifting, and amazon marketplace-ing was enough to outfit the rest of my gear, for hundreds of dollars in savings. and with campground fees so low compared to hotels, i can’t help but pat myself on the back. this vacation is going to ROCK.

have i convinced you to craigslist it yet?

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if you’ve never been to a thrift store, it can be a daunting place. and like any intrepid explorer, you should take a cue from the boy scouts and BE PREPARED. sure, lots of blogs have told you HOW to thrift — but how many have told you about the special species of people you’ll encounter? none, that’s how many! so i present to you, my intrepid thrift store indiana joneses, with your guide to the people you may or may not meet at thrift stores! remember, don’t feed them or poke them with sticks – they may bite you.

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