Monday, November 25, 2013


Many years ago, while browsing through books at the thrift store, I came across a book that just looked interesting to me. I can't explain why, exactly. I think it was because of the beautiful illustrations....I'm always a sucker for art! So I put it in my cart and then I saw another stack of the same style book, so I just decided to grab them all, something was special about them. That was my first encounter with Serendipity books. I didn't have an online book store at the time, I just wanted these books for myself. I did some research on them and came to find out that they have a huge following of fans. People bidding like crazy for them on Ebay! My kids and I couldn't help ourselves and we read each one and then we understood the love for these books. I have since then had a "Serendipity Radar" I seek these books out and try to always carry a large stock in my SHOP. They continue to be my best sellers.
The illustrations inside are just as charming!
They are written by Steven Cosgrove and illustrated by Robin James. And they always have a moral, such as Crickle Crackle (say no to drugs), because the Crickle Crackle berries make the squirrel go bonkers but he just wants one more....And in Fanny, finding friendship with the disabled....yea..yea...yea, the moral is great and all, but I really love these books for the illustrations, and unusual/creative outlook of life.
The Serendipity books are some of my personal faves. I will continue to blog about a few other favorites in the future, and if you can recommend some great books that I am overlooking, please let me know in the comments!  
Don't forget my coupon code ends in December, hurry up to save 15%! BOOKS4ME HERE
My kids are making me feature this beast. They have been bugging me to share her loveliness with the world.
Look at that ugly puss.
I actually love her because she is so odd, and she is quite a large size lady, about 1 foot tall. Statement piece! However my kids hate her.  Perhaps it is that frozen haunting stare, those gigantic starburst irises, that lipless tight  smile, maybe even that pig nose. When I had it placed her near my photo station for a couple of days, I noticed that my son placed a plastic bag over her head. He said it was to hide her catatonic glare, but I think he was trying to suffocate her. I have had sick mom fantasies about laying her in bed next to my sleeping son to get a hilarious Youtube video the next morning. But I know that would probably cause severe psychological trauma and make him hate me for life.  So for now, its just a fun but very, very wrong thought.
If you love "Graduation Girl" as much as I do, or you want to prank your kids or significant other.....get her HERE
Beauty is only skin deep.
Finally, as you know, I will be featuring a independent small business every week for the holiday season. This week I want to give a shout out to Ed at Zip StampZ. He sells custom stamps for all occasions, which are especially perfect for this time of year!
He can help you will any of your marketing needs to give your shop a nice personal touch. He can design a custom stamp for your wedding invites....and then hook you up for those baby shower invites that may soon  follow.
He has also helped me save money on packing and shipping supplies, which as you know in this business is a must!
So this week, my shout out is to Ed and Zip StampZ!  Just in time for those holiday cards....
Any small biz shout outs? Any sales and promos at your small biz? Share the love and comment!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

What a Crazy Weekend!

So, my shops have been picking up traffic for the holidays and I have had to make the time to do more shopping. Friday, I headed out to one of my favorite Thrift Shops that I haven't been to in awhile. So as the elderly gentleman was ringing up my great purchases, I noticed there was a new lady working at the counter. I always do my best to be very friendly to the staff at these establishments for two reasons: 1) they are usually nice volunteers, and 2) makes it easier for me to get a deal.
This new lady working, I'm guessing about 80 years old, and she was all glammed up. She had her hair put in a bun, and had on shimmery blue eye shadow, orange lipstick, giant plastic earrings. She reminded me of Mrs. Roper. It was about 9:30am. So I said to her "My, don't you look lovely! So early too, I don't know how you find the time to get so beautified!" And she scowled at me, in a heavy Russian accent " Because I AM A WOMAN! WHAT'S YOUR EXCUSE?!" And then she proceeded to scold me in her heavy accent, waving her finger at me, " I live in a house with 11 family members, and 2 of them are disabled, and I make the time, because I am a woman!! I come to this country and I know who I am, I make the time for being a woman!....." and on and on, waving her finger at me the whole time. Mind you, I didn't even look particularly bad that day. I had on makeup, hair in a pony tail, jeans and a cute shirt. She then followed me out the door, yapping at me..."Next time I see you in here, I don't want to hear any excuses, because you are a woman!!" Seriously, wtf, Lady!? At least I don't have wrinkles!
So, the next day, as my family and I were coming home from our yearly fundraiser, FARE, (Food Allergy Research and Education), there was a church rummage sale. I remembered this one from the previous year as being pretty good. I asked my husband to stop and he begrudgingly did. We were all hot and tired and my daughter would stop asking for more food. And I only had $2 on me. So I go check it out. And holy crap, it was a bonanza of goods! Then I saw all this Garfield stuff (boxes and boxes full). My son, Evan is the worlds biggest Garfield fan, so I went back to the car and got him, and we walked to the corner ATM. Now I had money for his stuff and mine!
These are the only ones he kept, there were about 50 in the box!
These are just a few more...seriously, both my shops will be full of plush Garfields and collectibles.
This is only about a third of the loot! And the man who donated all the Garfield stuff wanted to meet my son. I think he was really happy to see his collection go to a good home. It was really cool to see his reaction, because he obviously was a huge fan!
Now remember, I mentioned that there was all sorts of other cool stuff there!
I love this mid century candy bowl!

The Sandra Boyton ornaments are my favorites! I was such a fan when I was in middle school. These ornaments are a rare find, and they have a different picture on the other side.
Love the mid century ashtrays too! Ashtrays don't always do so well for me, but I just can't resist them. If you have to smoke, do it in style! (or just throw some paper clips and loose change in them, its all good!)
Giant collection of Annual Best of Sci-Fi books from the 70s-80s. Drool!!
Read yourself silly HERE!
Narnia fans, brace yourself!
This is the highly collectible collection!
My weekend started off with a scolding from an elderly Russian Mrs. Roper wannabe, but ended quite well! I have so much listing to do, my head is spinning! I would like to add, my Evan was really good in dealing with the Garfield windfall. I told him that he could only take out some to keep, and the rest I will list. It took him an hour to decide which ones to keep, He selected 8, which I know was a difficult decision for him. Avery, my daughter who is not into Garfield, wanted to have one also. She selected one and she loves him so!
Any good finds roll in your way lately? Any Russian ladies scold you in recent times? Do tell!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Whatcha Reading?

I am continuing to feature independent small businesses for the holiday season. Its very important to support the small fry, they will give you knowledge, customer service and variety that you will not find at the big box stores. Supporting small businesses also means that you will help their families put a meal on the table as opposed to helping the CEO of Walmart buy another vacation home.
So That being said, I am featuring a few author friends. Oddly enough they both have written Michigan/Detroit based books.....Hmmm...Okay, I'm from Detroit as many of you already know, and as well as supporting small biz, I also like to support Detroit, because I love her so.
First Author is Michael Jay. I came to know him through a Detroit Facebook group. We grew up on the same Street: Faust. We didn't live on the same block, but there is still that connection. His book is a pretty intense story of his life. And his story is a testament about how resilient Detroiters are. I, of course have purchased and read his book...FABULOUS!
Dog Water Free
A Memoir
A coming of age story about an improbable journey to find emotional truth
For further information: Dog Water Free
It will blow your mind!
My next author friend, J. Michael Joslin, has written a historical Michigan book. It sounds so interesting that I am just drooling thinking about it! Especially since it is Plymouth, Michigan history in particular. Plymouth is a city/town right outside Detroit. I had the pleasure of living there for a couple of years and would have never left if I had my choice. Its an old town full of beautiful Victorian homes and cute little coffee shops and art galleries that are a walk away. Its also where my career as an interior designer all began. I will be purchasing this book for family members for holiday gifts.
So Mr. Joslin has the inside scoop about Plymouth! Can't wait to read....

Thank God For Michigan
Company C of the 24th Michigan Infantry regiment of the Iron Brigade
 Available here: Thank God for Michigan
I will be reading it also during the holidays....can't wait!
I also want to add that J. Michael Joslin is multi talented. He also has an Etsy shop. Check out this craftsmanship!
Gorgeous, right?
Where else are you going to find this kind of craftsmanship nowadays? I know where you won't find it: Walmart
Check out his shop here: Ye Old Rebel Workshop
And speaking of Etsy...I can't end this blog without mentioning another shop, also another generous donater to FARE Food Allergy Walk raffle. Every dollar raised is a step towards a cure for my sons life threatening food allergies.
Monique has an Etsy shop called Unique Nique and she is a true artist. She works with glass. Which means extreme heat! Seriously, I cannot even take cookies out of the oven without burning myself. So clearly Monique has a lot of skill, to say the least!
How cool is this??

Perfect holiday gift for the person who has everything. Won't find this a the big box stores! And I would also like to add that Monique is a big cheerleader for all of us independent shop owners. She is about as positive and kind as a human can be without turning into a rainbow.
Get your glass on here: Unique Nique
Next week, I will have support my own business....because I got some cool new items to list in my stores. Be the first to preview the goods and use my coupon codes before they expire and vanish into thin air...poof!
Books4me will getcha 15% off at Vintage Book Market
Vintage4me will save you 10% at Circa Company
Happy Holidays and don't forget to support independent and local shops!
If you are an independent shop owner, please feel free to comment with any specials/promos/deals that you are having for the holiday shopping season. I support what you do, share the love!