Category Archive: Shopping

Backroads Bookscouting

I should make it clear from the beginning that the way we do this isn’t the way real bookscouts do it.
The real ones—the ones who do it for a living—play hardball. For them it’s business. They have a set route of places they go to check for books, they’ve got client lists and handheld barcode scanners and a budget. Oh, don’t get me wrong. Professional bookscouts still love books—no one goes into the book business that doesn’t love books, the margins are too low. But it’s a business for the working bookscouts, they have bills to pay. For me and my wife, it’s just a hobby.

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Halloween Costumes Made Easy

Halloween is our favorite holiday, even in those years when we can’t afford to drop a lot of money on costumes and decor items or don’t have time to create elaborate pieces.

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Holiday Gift Guide – part 1

We’ve made no secret of our distaste for the annual descent into madness known as Black Friday, and this year it’s even worse, with many of the big box retailers starting the money-grubbing on Thanksgiving morning. Now, we could write a long and cranky screed about how many kinds of wrong this is, but instead, we’re going to be positive here.

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Gorilla My Dreams

The day after Halloween is the perfect time to stock up on supplies for next year. All the decorations, costumes and accessories go on clearance! Go get yourself some new bats and rats and skeletons marked down and put them in an appropriately labeled box so you can find them next year. As you are …

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Regret-Free Shopping? It’s a Mystery!

My lovely new necklace. I may be traveling back east next month for a business meeting and will be trading my usual work uniform of pajamas (working at home) or jeans and tees (archery range) for something a little more appropriate for east coast corporate. I wanted something bright and cheerful that would add a …

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DIY Monday: Recondition Cast Iron Cookware

One of the best, most useful items you can have in your kitchen is a good cast iron skillet. Nothing cooks like cast iron, and as we learned in Disney’s Tangled, it also makes a pretty good weapon. Cast iron cookware also happens to be one of those items people tend to pass by at …

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DIY Monday: From Phone Stand to Side Table

It’s time to start a few regular features here at Blue Collar, Black Tie, and the first theme is the venerable Do-It-Yourself project. Every Monday we’ll post a link to a project you can do at home for very little money and a reasonable amount of time. For our first project, we’ll rely on good …

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Take Glinda Home!

Disney’s Oz, the Great and Powerful comes out on DVD and Blu-Ray today, and to celebrate, we’re giving away a Glinda doll! All you need to do is wait until after midnight tonight (or come back tomorrow), fill out the form below and meet the simple conditions listed, which are (a) answer a simple question, …

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Descoware

When we visit thrift stores, my husband tends to spend most of his time browsing the electronics, gadgets, knick-knacks and other dust-catchers while I’m looking at clothes. (His helpful tip for today is to always take a look at the kitchen section of the Goodwill; the things you find there are almost always items you …

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Finding My Joy

At last I can say I truly have joy. Joy of Cooking, that is. One of the best-selling cookbooks of all time, yet I never had my own copy. Still wearing its $35.00 price sticker from Williams-Sonoma, I found it at my local Goodwill for $5.99. The Joy of Cooking was first published in 1936 …

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