Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Thrill of the Hunt

I am a hunter. 
My husband is a gatherer.

There is a difference. I enjoy the thrill of the hunt. Finding a treasure in an unexpected place. Bargaining with the person selling the item, seeking out the best deal on whatever I might be buying.

My husband enjoys acquiring things and having things and having more things. He gathers them around him and keeps them. Lots of them (whatever they might be). The price doesn’t matter. He sees it, he wants it, he buys it.

When we got married we had to blend our shopping styles. The first time he wanted a new pair of jeans and walked into the store and just bought them, I almost fainted. He didn’t check the sale ads. He didn’t look for the clearance rack. He didn’t even check the price tag on the jeans he purchased. He just picked up his size, walked to the cashier and paid for them. The hunter in me flinched. The gatherer in him went home and took the tags off the jeans and put them in the closet with his 100 additional pair of jeans.

Really? That’s how you shop?

I introduced him to auctions. At his first auction he was timid. He wanted a chair he saw, but didn’t understand the bidding process. I explained to him that he needed to decide how much he was willing to pay for the chair, and raise his card up until the chair got to that price. Once it went above the price he had set as what he was willing to pay, he should stop bidding. As a gatherer accustomed to walking into a store and buying things at a fixed price, this idea was difficult for him to grasp. He was used to paying full price for anything he bought without thought to sales or finding a bargain. Imagine his delight when the auctioneer’s hammer came down and he bought his chair for one-third the price he was willing to pay for it! The chair is still in our living room, and I smile every time I see it, remembering his first auction.

He learned about the thrill of the hunt that evening.

I’ve learned to temper my hunting: considering the cost of fuel and time involved in making a purchase and finding “the best price” possible. Sometimes it just isn’t cost effective to drive all over town and spend three hours to save a dollar. When it is a big purchase and there are many dollars to be saved, the fuel costs and time involved are worth the investment.

Online shopping has become an excellent way to comparison shop for most items, and with Ruby Lane and Ruby Plaza I never have to leave the comfort of my home to find exactly what I want – whether it’s a gift, home d├ęcor, art, jewelry, clothing or the perfect addition to my collection of egg-themed items. I can shop at midnight or I can shop at noon. I don’t have to wear makeup! The “make an offer” option allows me to engage in conversation with the shop owner and “hunt” for the best price. I can even Skype with the shop owner if they have that option! I can add the item to my wish list. I can share it on Facebook (with gentle hints to my kids that I’d sure love that item for my birthday!). I can Tweet the item so my followers who collect can find the item easily. The layaway option gives me the opportunity to purchase an item I really want and stay within my monthly shopping budget. Some shop owners even offer gift wrapping, perfect for a busy schedule and last-minute holiday shopping!

Who is ready to join me for an online shopping trip today? As always, it’s come as you are! All you have to do is fire up your computer, and join me on Ruby Lane or Ruby Plaza!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Go crazy, folks! Go crazy!

There is an air of excitement in our Charming Home this week !!!
My beloved St. Louis Cardinals are in the World Series!

I was raised in the Midwest, and am a life-long Cardinals baseball fan.
The Charming Husband is cheering them on, but he's really a Seattle Mariners fan at heart. 

It will be a busy week here ... keeping up with the scores and statistics!

There's nothing, for me, like the excitement of watching the Cardinals play in a World Series game ... and in person the atmosphere is electrifying.

This year, I'll settle for the big screen television, popcorn and cheering on my favorite team!

Let's go, Cardinals!
Let's go !!!

Friday, October 14, 2011


I’ve “discovered” a new social networking tool that works well with Facebook, Twitter and my personal lifestyle.  Not “discovered” as in Columbus discovering The New World, but “discovered” as in found and fell in love with. As a collector and purveyor of vintage goods, I’m always running across something I love and think I can’t live without while searching the internet. I happen across it on the internet, and add it to my bookmarks. Then I forget which website it was on and where I found it, and spend hours scouring my myriad bookmarks and folders. Grumbling and grousing, “now, where was that amazing thing I found?? I know I just saw it online yesterday and now I can’t find it again!”

One of my daily rituals includes watching “The Nate Berkus Show,” just because he’s funny and entertaining and he loves to use vintage items in his design work. He repurposes and upcycles, and sometimes he even keeps vintage items true to their original form and style. “Vintage is the new green,” he touts. I’m fascinated by his use of design boards, with scraps of fabric, paint colors, sketches, and samples. One particular afternoon, he shared a new website with his audience. The website is

The concept behind Pinterest is building visual bulletin boards online. Pictures of items we find that strike our fancy are “pinned” to boards we create. Remember when you were a teenager and had a bulletin board in your bedroom? You’d cut pictures out of a magazine of a hairstyle you liked, a dress you wanted for prom, or the latest teen heart-throb and thumbtack them to your bulletin board.

Pinterest works in the same way, but in a virtual space. No more searching among hundreds of bookmarks on my computer for the name of a website. Instead I sign into my account on the Pinterest website and bring up my page of bulletin boards and find an image of the item I'm looking for and click on it and go right to the item's website !!! As I'm surfing the internet and find something I really like, I use the Pinterest button added right to my browser. Using what they call their "bookmarkit", I can pin any item to one of my boards on the Pinterest site. Easy as a couple clicks of the mouse. I can share my boards and allow other people to post to them, or I can make them private so only I can post to them.

The question becomes how to use Pinterest without it becoming shameless self-promotion of my items for sale. From Pinterest’s etiquette page we are told “Avoid Self Promotion:” Pinterest is designed to curate and share things you love. If there is a photo or project you’re proud of, pin away! However, try not to use Pinterest purely as a tool for self-promotion. (

I’ve built a few boards while learning how to use Pinterest. One is Vintage Costume Jewelry, which has links to pages I use for researching costume jewelry, websites that specialize in vintage costume jewelry, and pieces of vintage costume jewelry I’ve found that I love on Ruby Lane and Ruby Plaza. Another board is devoted to “Things I Covet,” and has links to all kinds of things I find while researching and shopping and surfing. I’ve also got a board for our “Dream Home” ideas for the retirement home we plan to build. Of course, my Pinterest boards wouldn’t be complete without “Great ideas I didn’t come up with,” “Just Funny”, and “Food Glorious Food.”

Follow my Pinterest Boards here:

As a member of the Ruby Lane and Ruby Plaza groups on The Vintage Village, I’d like to build a network of sellers who promote each other’s items on Pinterest boards devoted to shopping/collecting/decorating. A consortium of sellers, if you like.

Join us on The Vintage Village !!!

I’ll pin your items if you’ll pin mine!

Pre-Holiday Extravaganza on The Vintage Village

This Sunday kicks off an amazing shopping event on The Vintage Village !!!

October 16 through October 23 is our Pre-Holiday Extravaganza.
Members of The Vintage Village (and we're one of the proud members!) will feature awesome sale items on the website.

As always, we're open 24 hours a day 7 days a week! 
It's come as you are, stay as long as you like!
Look around! Explore!
Shoes are optional!
Jammies are welcome !!

Join us at The Vintage Village for our Pre-Holiday Extravaganza.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fall has Fell

Fall has arrived here in Southern Maryland. It went from 90 degrees one day to 50 degrees the next. Time to dig out the sweaters! Beef stew in the crockpot. A fire in the woodstove. Time to cozy up.

My son shared this recipe for Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese that I might just have to try out:

A new friend introduced me to a new website, offering me HOPE for my slovenly ways: 


Today, I am a FlyBaby. Trying to whip this house into submission before the holidays arrive. Can it be done? We can hope! If I can organize my house, I can organize my business ... right?

Check out the Flylady website. I think you'll love it!

For my birthday, my Charming Husband gave me a Kindle (of course, the week before all the announcements about the latest and greatest Kindles, but I'm loving mine!). I've downloaded some all time favorites. I also downloaded the Flylady books "Sink Reflections" and "Body Clutter". Trying to stay motivated and on-track.

I've been playing with my Pinterest boards, and having a lot of fun! If you haven't checked it out yet, I highly recommend you do ... be sure to follow Charmed Living on Pinterest.

Ok, time to set my timer and shine my sink!