Spring Shopping

Where has March and April gone?  Here it is May and I have found so many new spots that I have a renewed energy for shopping and junking as well as thrifting.  Although the weather has not cooperated with the weekends, there have been some real finds as well as some real dogs.  Let’s start with a FUN FUN FUN new store located in Uptown, Minneapolis.  When I drove past this store on Hennepin, I literally had to drive around the block and get a meter (love the new meters in Minneapolis) and go in.  They really have a cool vibe and lots of neat furniture products.  This is not for the faint of heart in the pricing department.  The prices for a coffee table are $200 and a shelf runs about the same however they have some really unusual one of a kind type items as well as great ideas for your own future garage saling items

Nadeau – Furniture with a Soul

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Junking at Junk Market

I don’t remember when I first went to the JunkMarket.  Originally it was a big warehouse in Long Lake with occasional sales with “Junk” reconditioned into stylish housewares and furniture.  My first visits were great.  I bought a lot of things that I have until this day.  The sales were crowded but the prices were great and the selection amazing.  They had come up with a new way of taking junk and making it sustainable.  They found things across the county from abandoned warehouses to old estates.  It was Martha Stewart meet American Pickers.  It was one of the best resources I knew. 

 As time progressed the sales became more expensive and crowded and then one day they were moved.locations and I eventually lost track until I found out that they were having a Junk Market bonanza at Medina ballroom.  There was a charge to get in but the sale was great.  I think at that time Ki and Sue (the owners) had just written a book.  I was in love again.  This time they had brought in additional vendors and had interesting new items from industrial baking pans converted to wall art to wine racks.  But alas the sad news I learned is that Sue and Ki had “broken” up.  I couldn’t believe it!  I never heard the details.  The good news is that both of them to continue to embrace the junk lifestyle. 

Sue Whitney has continued her mission with Junk Market Style.  She is doing shows and is the editor at large for Country Home.  Her upcoming show is this weekend.  Details:

JUNKMARKET Under Glass “MARCH MADNESS” 

March 1, 2 & 3, 2012

Otten Bros. Garden Center and Landscaping is located at 2350 West Wayzata Blvd, Long Lake MN. JUNKMARKET Under Glass hours will be start Thursday at 8-10am with Early Bird Shopping.  Beat the crowd and get the great buys before anyone else.  Remember, the early bird gets the worm!  Early Bird Shopping admission is $20 which is good for all three days!  Regular shopping hours start Thursday from 10am-6pm, Friday and Saturday 10am-5pm. Regular Admission is $5 for each day.

 So what has become of Ki Clayton, the other half of Junkmarket?  If you are old school Southdale shopper, you will remember the “dress” shop of the same name.  It was by far one of my most favorite dress stores, back in the day when they put plastic dress shields over the most exquisite silk dresses. I still to this day have fond memories of a red and white dress with bows that I wore everywhere.
 
Well Junk Bonanza is still Ki’s baby and she is the editor of a fabulous magazine called Flea Market Style.  If you haven’t yet seen this magazine, I highly recommend it!  Junk bonanza is in September.  Check it out.  It’s not inexpensive but a great place for ideas.

Black Friday Unplugged and Weekend Update Updated!

Just in time for Holiday Giving!

So I didn’t go shopping on Black Friday which I refer to as Good Friday.  It’s not because I don’t like shopping because obviously I wouldn’t have a blog about it if that were the case.  It’s not that I don’t like waiting in line.  I have done that more than a few times this year.  Once for 2 iPads (3 days, numerous stories) and Once for the Cities Sampler (next year I am going to go at 7:50am and take my chances).  But I find the deals not that exciting and I really don’t need a $50 laptop or a flat panel TV.  So I unplugged and went the Muppet Movie.  However that is not to say I didn’t shop.  I did minimal online shopping and was impressed with the delivery and prices.  I won’t go into the details but I now understand why my husband is addicted to Sierra Trading Post.  Their sales are worth waiting for. 

This weekend there a couple must do’s!!

My favorite jewelery sale is going on.  Don’t miss it.  See post from February if you need details.  JJamz is the distributor.  Sale is Thursday, Friday, Sat Feb 10-12 from 10am to 4pm every day.121 Chesire Lane, Suite 500, Minnetonka, MN 55305

News Alert!!  My favorite Jewelry Sale is expanded.  It will take place Thursday December 8 through the 10 from 10-4pm and Monday December 12 through Saturday December 17 10-4.  Prices are up slightly to all items $7 or less up from $4 which is still a great deal!!

JJamz Inc./Punch Fashions, 121 Cheshire Lane Suite 500, Minnetonka MN 55305.

Also my favorite give away product is back but only for a church sale!  It the owner of Extra Dough! and she is back with her delicious Key Lime Bark.  So beautiful and everyone loves it!  I am hoping she has my favorite Amaretto Cake too!

Holiday Boutique
Pax Christi Catholic Community
Saturday, December 3rd
9:00am to 5:00pm
12100 Pioneer Trail, Eden Prairie

Also the Cottage House is open this weekend and they have great prices and an interesting selection of antiques and new items.

WWW.THECOTTAGEHOUSEMPLS.COM

This is another place that has changed slightly.  It used to be called The Cottage. 

The Bee Cottage Occasional Sale Saturday, Dec 3 9:00a to 5:00p at The Bee Cottage, Excelsior, MN

Nestled in the heart of Excelsior on the banks of Lake Minnetonka, The Bee Cottage delights the senses with it’s monthly mix of old and new, vintage, repurposed, and flea market finds, guaranteed to decorate your home in a delightful fashion. Open just one weekend a month, starting on the 2nd Wednesday of each month, you will be inspired by the fresh and imaginative themes in each room of this quaint, historic house.

Bulking up for a Minnesota Winter

I am bulking up to get ready for a Minnesota Winter and I don’t mean working out, doing weights and gaining poundage (although that does appear a natural progression in the North). No I am buying buying buying to get ready for the impending winter.  I started this weekend with the purchase of 15 books.  Of course I always can rationalize a book purchase, what else am I going to do over the long cold winter?  Plus I always have the urge to redecorate during this time of year and cook and buy things for my kitchen.  I don’t know why but I am doing some serious nesting.  I even cooked…that will come later.  So I participated in my two favorite Sales of the year. 

First I met my extended family at the First Congregational Church in Minneapolis.  Do not miss this next year.  I repeat, do not miss this.  It is the most inexpensive fun you can have.  It is a church sale that sells soup.  It’s crazy good.  It’s right near the U of MN campus and they have everything from Antiques to Books to Furniture.  It is a bit odd since they sell the furniture in the pews of the church however they price on the fly and most things are a quarter.  I bought a pair of Lucky Brand Jeans for $2.  It’s clean, it’s fun, and you can have soup after your are done shopping.  My father loved this sale.  He would go first thing in the morning and go back in the afternoon for soup.

The second sale was frankly a disappointment this year.  This is the Thymes Warehouse Sale which is bath, soaps, and air fresheners.  This year they had pretty marginal products and the prices were not reduced on the last day.  Come on Thymes people, get your act together and put out some Fraser Fir and discount your products!! Nobody and I mean nobody wants Eucalyptus.

As far as cooking I had a major success in the Risotto department.  This is not about cooking but it just makes a good day of shopping even better.  Here is the recipe:

Recipe: Easy Parmesan “risotto”
Ina Garten’s “Barefoot Contessa: How Easy Is That?” cookbook
Ingredients

* 1.5 cups Arborio rice
* 5 cups simmering chicken stock, preferably homemade, divided
* 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
* 1/2 cup dry white wine
* 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
* 2 teaspoons kosher salt
* 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 1 cup frozen peas

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the rice and 4 cups of the chicken stock in a Dutch oven, such as Le Creuset. Cover and bake for 45 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente. Remove from the oven, add the remaining cup of chicken stock, the Parmesan, wine, butter, salt and pepper, and stir vigorously for two to three minutes, until the rice is thick and creamy. Add the peas and stir until heated through. Serve hot.

Autumn in the City – Or things to do besides going to HugeDale.

So one of my friends commented a few days ago that I have been very remiss in my blogging over the summer.  Wow is it September already?  I have been extremely busy this past summer with tons of road trips.  I have many places to tell you about in the upcoming weeks but let me start with my new favorite find!!

I had heard about the Annandale Flea Market but could never find it or was never in Annandale before noon.  One summer weekend I made my way out there and it was much better than I expected.  We spent about 3 hours shopping the market and found some great things including kettle corn and vegetables as well as some great antiques.  I believe it is coming to an end of the season but I wouldn’t miss it next year.

On the way home we hit one of the coolest, most unusual shops I have seen in years!!  I can’t wait to go back to it.  It’s in Maple Lake and it’s called “Olde Town Creamery” in the Olde Town Creamery ironically.  It’s located in downtown Maple Lake and their site is www.otc-antiques.com.  Great site but an even better store.  It reminds me of American Pickers but with better prices.  They are actually friends of the Pickers  (LeClaire, Iowa just one of my road trips this summer) and have reconstructed an old barber shop in one of the rooms.

If you are out this way here are some other places to stop:

Annandale has a great butcher.  Just sort of good sausage and brats.  It’s Called Petty Brothers Meat.

The vintage market in Annandale is also in a creamery and it has great things antiques and vintage clothing.  The Vintage Farmer is interesting.  There is a really cool clothing store there but for the life of me I can never remember the name. 

Happy Autumn Shopping.

Garage Sale-ing Part II

I know I oversell the concept of garage sale-ing, rummaging, and flea markets, but to me that is summer in Minneapolis.  This summer it may be the best part until the weather starts cooperating.  Here are some additional lists and tools to assist you with your garage sale-ing.  Happy Trails.

BEST TOOLS FOR GARAGE SALE-ING

http://www.yardsalesearch.com/yss_events.jsp?a=MINE

Droid phone has garage sale rover (not great) and Yard Sale Treasure Map (I like this better).  iPad/iPhone has an application called Garage Sale Tracker, Garage Sale Mobile, and Garage Sale for iPhone.

Craig’s List is the best source for Garage Sales by day!

BEST NEIGHBORHOOD FOR GARAGE SALES – 2008 (This I stole from another WordPress Page.  I need to verify/validate this list)

“Macalester-Groveland”

A veteran garage sale expert knows how to case a neighborhood by population data. Usually the study is more informal, but hard numbers as well as experience back up our choice. The Macalester-Groveland neighborhood boasts that 64 percent of its residents have college degrees. The median income is 17 grand higher than St. Paul as a whole. That leads to two things—higher quality items and more frequent garage sales, as residents shuffle off last year’s crap to make room for new models. With an average of only 2.22 people per household, you’ll see fewer sales bloated with that bane of garage salers, baby clothes. And let’s not forget those fat cats lining Summit Avenue, who admittedly rarely choose an avenue so pedestrian as a garage sale to rid themselves of excess stuff—but when they do, it’s a secondhand shopper’s dream.

I would definitely check out this area but I also think Edina meets the above criteria.  If you go down France/Penn/Xerxes on any given day you will see tons of a garage and estate sale signs.  I have always had good luck in this area.

I will admit for summer fun, garage sales in MN are the best.  However when it turns cold and the garages are converted to summer furniture storage, Estate Sales are you next best bet for bargain shopping. 

In some respects I enjoy Estate Sale shopping more than garage sales because it is a full history of a person’s life.  You have insight into what was important to them and what they valued.  Some are filthy and junky and some look like a museum.  Whatever the condition, I rarely walk away without some treasures. 

The important thing to keep in mind is that look at everything!  Especially items that don’t seem to fit in with the rest of the items.  Buy what you love.  Even if it is a deal, it won’t be for you if you never use it or get rid of it.  Finally certain Estate Sale companies are better than others.  I personally love Bonnie’s Vintage Estate Sales.  They show pictures of their items and the dates of their upcoming sales on their site.  http://bonniesvintageinc.com/

Bonnie is usually at the Sales and I find her to be very friendly and fair with the prices.  The other big learning of the week is don’t by plates, glasses, silverware, etc unless there is at least 8 of the same items.  It’s important.  You won’t use just 4 or 2 of anything.  Take my word.

Giddy Garage Sale-ing

A day of Flea Marketing

A day of Flea Marketing

I can’t tell you how much I look forward to this time of year.  Oh yeah, Spring, Summer, blah blah blah but my most favorite part is Garage Sale-ing.  I feel like a school girl.  There is something so exciting about running into an amazing sale accidentally or hitting one along the way to work on those summer days.  I used to go walking every Wednesday night just to see if people were setting up a sale in their garage.    Garage Sale-ing is a verb and I am it’s princess.  Like my husband says, buy it at a garage sale so a year later you can sell it at your own garage sale.  I will be planning to have my own garage sale this year but it’s really just a ruse to stay home and hit the other sales while the hubby watches mine.  It’s the perfect Saturday in May even if the weather is not.

Here are some tools to help you with your garage sale-ing.  (How did we survive without these?)

Here is the Star Tribune Neighborhood List. (It is sadly missing the really good sales)

http://ww2.startribune.com/mcu/projects/g/garagesales/13021198R.pdf

Here is another site on WordPress that knows it’s sales stuff (and a bunch of other weird things)

http://duckduckgrayduck.wordpress.com/2011/04/07/2011-twin-cities-city-wide-garage-sale-calendar/

Estate Sales Abound as well

http://estatesales.org/minneapolis-minnesota-estate-sales

Another bargain shopper in MN

http://www.examiner.com/thrifty-shopping-in-minneapolis/5-chandelier

Springing out your house

Spring cleaning season is here!!  As I look around my house, I think what can I sell and lighten my physical belongings but then again, how do I springify not only my decks but the inside of my house.  My new favorite idea place is the Bachman’s house at the main store on Lyndale.  They do this four times a year and it is this coming week!  In combination they are doing a Gathering of Friends Antiques market.    This takes place on April 7,8,9, and 10.  BRING YOUR CAMERA.  It will give you great ideas at the show home and then you can find great things at the Antiques Market.  I highly recommend this.  It’s the best $5 you will spend this week.

April 7 Ideas House Ticket

Also afterwards I recommend hitting my favorite restaurant in town.  Cafe Maude will soothe your shopping feet and provide you a great chance to discuss your purchases (future or current).

Online Bargain Shopping

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This coupon is on me.

I am not an online shopper.  Seriously.  I really dislike the whole process of going on-line.  I really only go to two online stores, Amazon where I buy and sell books (mostly downloads) and Chico’s sale items.  I really like to be able to touch, smell, and try on a purchase.  Not to mention avoiding those nasty shipping charges.  However many of my friends and family love to online shop and feel there are bargains to be had so here are some sites that a Minnesota Girl who shops may want to try particularly in these depressing not yet spring days.  Keep in mind that most of these sites give you coupons to take to your favorite stores versus actually shopping on them.

http://www.plasticjungle.com/buy-gift-cards – Buy and sell gift cards.  Get a 10% discount on most cards but more or less depending on the seller.

http://homerun.com/?_s=8dd081ad – Different deals available each day but dependant on your city.

www.commonsensewithmoney.com – This is a really interesting site.  You can sign up to get free stuff like a free Pledge Dust Cloth or find coupons for Grocery Stores or Drug stores.  Deals come from other coupon shoppers.

http://thekrazycouponlady.com/beginners/ – This is a lot like common sense with money (above) however the site is easier to navigate and seems to have nicer free stuff.  Also shows you the deals at the big box stores each week as well.

 http://www.bradsdeals.com/ – This is my sister’s favorite online place for shopping and deals.  It has a real variety of items from North Face Jackets to Le Creuset Pans.

www.couponcabin.com – This site tells you prices at more than 2000 retailers.  Also provides coupons for online retailers.

www.giftcardgranny.com – More discounted gift cards…This pulls from a variety of sites and actually gives better than 10% in some cases.

www.pricegrabber.com – Put in what you are looking for and it will give you the best prices.  You can browse by category or create a price alert.  Also has iPhone app.

www.slickdeals.net – Deals and discounts submitted by fellow users.

Don’t forget to sign up for Groupon too…