saturday morning, for the first time since before ramona was born, i went estate sale shopping with my friend amanda, from the petrichor.

oh my. i used to do this every weekend but it’s rather hard to do when loading and unloading a baby at every stop. also, try lugging a baby around while searching for treasures in a house filled with other scavengers. impossible. so ramona spent the morning with jp’s parents and amanda and i followed the route we had mapped out the day before.

my loot was good. i was pleased. it felt good to get back out but, still, i was a bit rusty. my plan is to make this an at-least-once-a-month event. which means i may be revamping my etsy shop. again. or starting another one. bc, for me, it’s the hunt that is so much fun. my little house does not have enough room or wall space for all the treasures i bring back. so take a look around. let me know if there’s something you have your eye on. make me a deal. buy my stuff! (email me if you have more questions about any specific item).

the loot. twas a successful thrifting saturday morning.

clockwise from left: nude drawing $40, mexican print $20, oil on canvas $30

mexican rag dolls, $10 each ($5 for the little one); dhurri/kilim rug, $40

clockwise starting at top: woven purse, $30; woven bag, $15; woven basket, $8

here are some estate sale-ing tips:

  • use websites like to find out about local estate sales going on. craigslist can be good too, esp for estate sales not run by third parties.
  • map out a route beforehand. maximize your time and miles by sticking to one or two neighborhoods. if it’s yard sale season, sometimes you can squeeze these in between stops. just look for neon signs on the corner.
  • don’t be afraid to do the slow drive-by for yard sales. don’t waste your time getting out if the yard sale is really just a bunch of junk that should’ve been donated or junked years ago.
  • always carry cash. in many denominations.
  • when you enter the house, quickly familiarize yourself with the organizers’ rules. do they take only cash? can you bargain? it helps to know how they like to run the show.
  • do a quick walk through when you get inside the house. stop only for the goods that immediately catch your attention.
  • then after this, go through more meticulously only if the house seems to hold promise for what you are looking for.
  • always check the basement for hidden goodies. and the garage. some of my favorite finds come from these places usually overrun by weird men looking for tools.
  • don’t be afraid to bargain. most people are down for knocking some bucks off, esp if you’ve got a lot of goodies. besides, the worse they can say is no.
  • know what price you are willing to pay for something and walk away if you can’t get it. if you don’t follow this rule, you will end up with a lot of junk and spend too much money.

if you’ll click through to my etsy shop, ollie’s vintage, you’ll notice two things. one, the banner says “home wares and knick knacks.” two, i am no longer selling home wares and knick knacks.

ollie’s vintage is now selling vintage baby clothing! just like when i was sifting through thrift stores and estate sales for goods for my home and found goodies i wanted to pass on, i’m doing the same with children’s clothing. in my search for unique finds for ramona bean, i’m finding excellent pieces that need to be rescued and passed on to mamas (and papas!) and little ones that have an appreciation for a one-of-a-kind fashion sense.

so though my banner needs some updating (i, of course, am absolutely worthless when it comes to any sort of computer or web design) my shop is ready to go. i’m adding a couple of pieces a day as the kids’ naps and my daily to-do allow. but it sure is nice to be back on the etsy storefront. it’s a great source for beer money 😉

here are a couple of my favorite pieces. (click on them for more info or to make a purchase!) 

(psst. mention A Denver Home Companion when you check-out and get a 10% discount good through the month of june)

thanks to tessa for taking these photos, showing me how to take photos when she’s not here, and how to efficiently edit them. that help is what i needed to get my butt in gear to get this going!


recently i went through ramona’s clothes to see what still fit and what was still weather appropriate. she was still wearing cold-weather clothes even though the temps have been in the 80s. to boot, she had outgrown most of her warm-weather clothes. seeing how it’s been six months since it’s been consistently warm weather, i’m not sure why i found this surprising. she was in need of some airy dresses and lighter bloomers.

to the thrift store we went! and i think we cleaned up. for no more than $15 i got all of this loot:

my two favorite pieces are the orange tunic with wood buttons (made in india) and the vintage chambray jumper with orange stitching.

what i learned on this thrifting outing was that it doesn’t hurt to look in the boys section. i always take a quick peek in the boys clothes in case i find something for max or august or one of the three baby boys expected to arrive in august (all of my friends are pregnant, it feels like). i found this tunic and knew immediately it’d be going into mo’s dresser.

another tip for baby clothes (which breaks my rule of looking for thrift store clothes for yourself) is to quickly browse through other sizes as well. often baby clothes get mislabeled and can be found in the size sections three months up or down from where your baby is at. vintage clothes, especially, often don’t have tags on them so the workers seem to eyeball it and often don’t eyeball it too well. i’ve even looked up in 2T and found some things that ramona has rocked. i never spend too much time in these sections, though. just a quick glance to see if there are any fabrics or colors that catch my eye.

here’s ramona in that tunic over the weekend:

happy thrifting!


line dry your laundry. it’s easy, relaxing, efficient. the clothes smell amazing afterward, there’s nary a wrinkle to contend with (though, dress shirts will, for eternity, be a pain in my ass) and the sun helps to bleach out spots. my whites have never been whiter and my clothes hold up a lot longer. laundry day is saturday and it’s a great excuse to get outside and make sure i’m getting some sun.

it doesn’t make for the most interesting photo-op but it’s one of my favorite chores (if only i could get to likin’ putting the clothes away).

psst. see the yellow dress, striped bloomers, and quilted jacket in the second-to-last photo? recent thrifted finds for ramona bean! these $5 sanita clogs in the above photo didn’t hurt the wallet either 😉


i don’t care who or what gender your baby is. you put a white onesie on that little cuddle butt and he or she is just about the cutest thing around. forget those ruffles and polka dots and stripes and lace and patches and unnecessary hullabaloo. babies are cute no matter how they are dressed so maybe start considering simplifying their wardrobe. add a bow in the hair if you’re worried about gender differentiation. you will save a lot of money on clothes that are just going to get dirtied from introducing solids and crawling around on the belly, if you opt to go for a simple, white onesie most days.

my friend, tessa, knows this and shows this well with her little boy, august. max and ramona were recently caught doing the same. her and i are both of the stance that babies, if the weather is right, should just be crawling around naked anyway.