Silly’s A Portland Taste Adventure

July 9, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Posted in Food and Drink, FRIENDS, NEAT STUFF | Leave a comment
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Friday night, after checking out the Congress Street portion of Portland’s 1st Friday ArtWalk, we walked over to Silly’s on Washington street. It was not a walk for the faint of heart. If I had known how far away it was from High street (where my car was parked in a parking garage that charged by the hour $$$!), I would have gone back for my car and driven there. Seriously, it was like 2 sweaty, hot, hungry miles from where we were. However, the food, friends, and funky atmosphere made it all worthwhile! Each table has a Silly’s lunchbox on it – the plastic kind that held your peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in first grade. Inside are menus and extra napkins and games you can play while you wait for your food. I was too busy talking to play any but I did spy an Uno deck in there. The walls are covered in framed photos of people posing with Silly’s bumper stickers taken in different states and countries. The rest of the decor is funky and quirky and totally lives up to the restaurant’s name. The food was AWESOME! The menu has countless options so you can add to or alter the available menu options anyway you like. I had a “gut buster” burger with guacamole and it came with homemade sweet potato fries. I also ordered a side of fried pickles. I wanted to try the sliced variety since the last ones I tried were pickle spears. They come with this pink horseradish sauce that is out of this world! I ended up dipping my sweet potato fries and bites of my burger in it too. Sitting here thinking about it, my mouth is totally watering – no lie. They also have homemade shakes that you can customize with about 60 different ingredient choices. My daughter ordered a chocolate caramel BACON shake. She loved it and the extra mound of bacon at the bottom was soooo good. I want to try making bacon soaked in chocolate sauce at home sometime. It sounds bizarro but was AMAZING. Seriously. No lie. I would go back just for that. So, if you find yourself hungry in Portland, you gotta give Silly’s a try. I can’t wait to go back!

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Getting Rid of That Thrift Store Smell

June 23, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Posted in auction, budget, CLEANING, coffee, flea market, Goodwill, NEAT STUFF, shopping, SUPPLIES, thrifting, thrifty, Uncategorized, Vintage | 7 Comments
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If you love thrifting like I do, chances are you will bring home something that has that awful musty smell. Sometimes it’s a book. Sometimes it’s a vintage suitcase. It could be a dresser or other piece of furniture. Mold, mildew, mustiness, cigarette smoke, moth balls, old lady perfume, or someone just used too much fragranced detergent. Whatever the unpleasant smell is, if you thrift, you know what I’m talking about. Sometimes that great item from a yard sale, eBay, Etsy, Goodwill, or inherited from your great aunt Sally, just smells BAD. And life is too short to live with bad smells. Ick.

I found some great tips for getting rid of that awfulness. Depending on how powerful the smell is and how saturated the item is, you may need to use more than one of these tips to totally rid it of the funk. I’ve tried a lot of these but a couple were new to me too!

  1. BAKING SODA — This is usually the first thing I try. There is always some in the house and it requires almost no effort. If the smell is in a book, you need to put the book into some sort of container with a lid first. A large cooking pot works. Vintage tins would work too. Leave the book inside the container with an open box of baking soda or put the soda into a small dixie cup next to the book. If the smell is in furniture, you’ll need more than one box baking soda. If it is a dresser, you can use individual open boxes in each drawer or pour a bit into a bowl or small open container and leave it inside the drawer for a few days. Depending on the power of the smell, you may need to leave it for weeks. (If you aren’t going to use the furniture for a while, you just set it up and forget about it for awhile.)
  2. DAMPRID — This product is great for sucking moisture out of the air in a closet or other swampy area of your house. It also works to get rid of smells that are moisture based like mold or mildew. You can usually find it at the dollar store, but if not, you can usually find it at larger grocery stores or Walmart. First clean off any mold or mildew from the surface of the object. Then use the Damprid just like you would use Baking Soda. It’s just a more powerful option which is great if you are impatient like me.
  3. SUNLIGHT — Leaving your laundry out on the line to dry makes it smell great – fresh and clean. This works for musty tablecloths or garments that the previous owner stored in mothballs. I also hate when I buy a piece of clothing and it was washed and dried with WAY TOO MUCH fabric softener. Since I’m allergic to fabric softener and lots of fragrances, this is especially annoying. If you don’t have a clothesline, put the fabric item on a hanger and hang it in the sunshine on a tree or porch railing. As long as air and sunlight can get to it for a large part of the day. Again, depending on the saturation, this could take anywhere from a few hours to multiple days.
  4. PINESOLOkay, personally I can’t stand the stuff. It burns my nose and sinuses and so you’ll never find the stuff anywhere near my house. (the product tagline is “The powerful scent of real clean.”) But some folks swear by the stuff. If you like the smell, more power to you. Folks say that you can water it down a bit and scrub the item with a brush to really get into the crevices. Be sure to let the item dry thoroughly though or you’ll have new smells due to excess moisture. Kinda defeats the purpose if your cleaning method makes things worse.)  So…..If you can stand the stuff, go for it!
  5. COFFEE GROUNDS (or beans) — Personally, I can’t see wasting perfectly good coffee this way but I suppose you could buy a really cheap brand of ground coffee just for this purpose. I would never drink pre-ground coffee. For shame! (yes, I’m a coffee snob) If you’ve ever shopped for perfume, you may have had the salesperson hand you a small cup of coffee beans to cleanse your palette between different fragrances. Same principle.
  6. DRYER SHEETS — Since this is another item I never use due to allergies, it’s not a method I use. Plus, a lot of times they really just cover up the underlying smell. Sort of like spraying “air freshener” after someone stinks up your bathroom. You still have toilet stink but the air freshener fragrance sort of adds to it. In my book this is just worse. Again, you might love dryer sheets and this is the perfect product for you. If so, rub the dryer sheet all over the surface of the item or put the dryer sheet into a closed container with the the item (or inside a drawer) just like the baking soda method.
  7.  SCENTED CANDLE — Basically this is just like the dryer sheet; it covers up the smell but doesn’t get rid of it entirely. You burn a scented candle in close proximity to the item.
  8. LAUNDERING — Don’t underestimate the power of your washing machine. Add Oxyclean (or equivalent) to the wash. It is great for dissolving oils, stains and scents. Just remember NOT to wash the item with your normal laundry. If it requires more than one cycle to rid it of the smell, it can add the horrible smell to the rest of your clothes. I learned this one the hard way. Also, make sure the machine isn’t totally loaded up. The smaller the load, the more effective the Oxyclean is. If running it through your machine isn’t working, you can also dissolve a bunch of the Oxyclean into a large bowl or plastic bucket and then add the item. Let it soak for a few hours or days, depending on how bad it is. Oxyclean is seriously my best friend. It rocks.
  9. HOT MILK – Some people say this works like baking soda to absorb bad smells. Frankly, I wouldn’t want to waste the milk. That stuff costs more than gasoline!
  10. VINEGAR — You can add vinegar to your regular wash and it will act like dryer sheets to make your stuff softer. But the vinegar smell doesn’t always wash out so this isn’t a method I usually use. Vinegar cleans all kinds of stuff. It gets rid of water scale in your coffee maker or funk in your dishwasher. But again, you have to rinse it SO MUCH to get rid of the vinegar smell. I used it to clean a coffee maker once and mistakenly made coffee thinking the vinegar smell was gone. SO GROSS. It seriously takes a lot of rinsing. Other folks say you can but heated up vinegar nearby the object to absorb the smell. I’m just not a big fan of vinegar smell so….yeah, it might work if you aren’t lazy like me. Okay, enough about vinegar.
  11. MURPHY’S OIL SOAP – This is great for cleaning musty furniture. And it smells a heck of a lot better than nasty ol’ Pinesol. Just spray it on or dunk the item in a bucket of the diluted soap (same mixture that you’d use to clean a hardwood floor). Then just give it a really good scrub.
  12. ENZYME PET SPRAY – The sprays that you use to get pet urine smells and stains out of fabrics or hard surfaces also works to rid the item of other smells. It can cost a bit (I get mine really cheap at Big Lots or a local salvage store) but you can’t beat it for speed or easiness.
  13. RANDOM OTHER STUFF — Other folks swear by this other stuff but since I’ve never tried them, I can’t attest to how well they work. If you try one of them and it works out, lemme know! TEA TREE OIL, CARPET FRESHENER, ACTIVATED CHARCOAL (or charcoal for barbecue grills), WADDED UP NEWSPAPER (changed daily), KITTY LITTER, PAINTING IT WITH HEAVY PRIMER, VANILLA EXTRACT, CEDAR CHIPS (the kind from the pet store for the bottom of cages is an inexpensive source), BORAX, BLEACH (using bleach scares me because I’ve ruined lots of stuff because I didn’t add the right ratio of water), TILEX, VODKA (seriously? $$$!), LEMONS, APPLES (sliced), POTATOS, and BARS OF SOAP.

If one method isn’t working or you don’t have the patience to let that method work it’s magic, try another. I’ve been told that TIME rids all things of smell but I’ve never found this to be true. The quicker you tackle the smell, the less chances you have of it migrating to other stuff.

HAPPY THRIFING!!

GOODWILL OUTLET

June 8, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Posted in budget, Goodwill, NEAT STUFF, recycle, shopping, thrifting, thrifty, treasure hunting, Vintage | Leave a comment
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So here and there I’ve mentioned Maine’s first Goodwill Outlet called “Buy-The-Pound”. It’s located in the Gorham Industrial Park, off route 25.

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The wonderful thing that differentiates the outlet from the standard gw location is that the more you buy, the cheaper it is! Here is the basic pricing structure:

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If you find something wonderful but unusually heavy (and not cloth), ask an employee for a price. They are super nice. The furniture and appliances usually have a WHITE price tag with the outlet price. If you see a price tag of any other color, just ignore it. Those are the old prices from when they were for sale at the original GW location.

Here is a series of photos taken from the vantage point just inside the entrance looking from left to right.

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The bag bin contains purses, totes, hats, gloves, scarves, belts, and other random accessories.

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There is a set of large double doors at the back of this wall and as they open, you can watch them roll out the newly refilled bins. They emerge to replace a few of the existing long bins every couple hours.

The two bins of each row, closest to the entrance are taken away every couple of  hours. Then the two bins at the back of the row are pushed over to replace the ones toward the entrance. Then they will bring out two new bins to fill in the row. This is important to know because you will want to look through the bins that are about to be taken away. You will also want to pay attention when they start to roll away the “old” bins because, as soon as they are gone, the new “fresh”, refilled bins will be emerging soon!

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There are lightbulbs and empty outlets for you to test anything with a plug. I’ve purchased lamps, a breadmaker, and other items from these shelves and every one of them worked Great!

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This includes toys, pictures, kitchen items, you name it – anything that isn’t cloth.

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Once the bins have been picked over, any remaining pots & pans, rugs, dishes, pictures, books, stuffed toys, and luggage are taken out and put into their respective areas of the store.

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The restrooms have always been neat and clean. You go out the “exit” door into the main part of the warehouse and follow the green and white tape on the floor to find the restrooms.

You’ll notice in this photo that there are several filled shopping carts along the wall. STAY AWAY from them! These are the treasures that other people have gathered. If you fill a cart but have more treasures yet to gather, you park your full cart there so that you can get yourself another one and continue shopping. (Word to the wise…. You may want to cover your full cart with a sheet or blanket so that your treasures don’t tempt anyone. Out of sight, out of mind.)

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(This is one of my fav treasures found there.)

Happy Thrifting!!

Trade me?

August 3, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Posted in budget, flea market, NEAT STUFF, recycle, thrifting, thrifty, trade, treasure hunting | Leave a comment
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I found an interesting recycling site today. The premise is, if you have stuff you don’t want, you take a photo and add it to the rehash site. They have an area for clothes and one for books and one more (can’t remember what it’s for).  You sign up for free. You list your item and tell them what you would like to exchange it or sell it for. Then someone looks at your listing and decides if they would like to trade you something for it or buy it. Very cool idea!

So has anyone tried this site before? What was your experience with it?

http://rehashclothes.com/

Also, another site I also found today (Yes, I’m so VERY busy) where neighbors and friends and social groups trade stuff, borrow stuff, and last but not least, sell stuff to people nearby. (I signed up) It just launched officially last week so it really needs a bunch of people to sign up to get the ball rolling. Wanna join and swap stuff with me? You can borrow art that won’t fit on my walls and loan me junk jewelry that you don’t wear anymore. Whaddya say?

http://neighborgoods.net

Grinny Grin Grin

July 29, 2008 at 11:02 am | Posted in NEAT STUFF | Leave a comment

SmileBlue A friend of mine sent me this link and at first I was like, “oh man….yet ANOTHER stupid thing to waste time on” but it really was pretty awesome. So here it is:


http://www.vimeo.com/1211060


I don’t know about you but I can’t imagine ANYONE not grinning by the end….

Read all those blogs you just can’t seem to keep up with!

June 30, 2008 at 11:23 pm | Posted in NEAT STUFF | Leave a comment

I Listen To Bands... Print - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever


Today I feel like bragging about my two favorite websites….okay, maybe ‘bragging’ isn’t really the word I’m looking for here since I had absolutely no involvement in their creation. I just think they are awesome and I find that it hightens my own percepted value of myself that I know about them and use them so frequently.


‘CAUSE I ROCK


Sometimes it just feels so good to put that out there…oh yeah, man, in case you don’t already know or need reminding, I TOTALLY ROCK!!!!


So, anyway…oh yeah….the websites. They are rss fwd   and dictionary.com


http://rssfwd.com is awesome because you just cut and paste the url of that website that you keep meaning to read and keep up with but keep forgetting about (what, she is back from vacation, is a vegetarian and has a kid now?? How many posts did I miss???) and then you feed it your email address….takes like a minute, okay, maybe two minutes, tops.


Then it sends you emails when the site is updated. You can have it send you plain text emails or include all the photos and what-nots that are on the site that day.


LOVE. IT.


You should see the myriad of icons I have on my desktop belonging to artists’ sites that I adore and keep meaning to check out on a more frequent basis. But, invariably, they get visually buried under whatever I am working on at the moment and I forget all about them and how awesome they are. No more!


And well, http://www.dictionary.com is just awesome because I hate using spellchecker and when I know that I am absolutely, without a doubt, mangling (verb; to injure severely, disfigure, or mutilate by cutting, slashing, or crushing) a word, I just pop on over and find out how many letters I was off from the actual spelling. It also links up to a thesauras thesaurus and some other handy stuff….


Have you ever heard that song, “Hipster Girl” by MC Lars? It describes a girl who sees all the underground movies and goes to see all the Indy bands play that no one has ever heard of yet and wears politically vibrant t-shirts and has an ‘educated’ opinion about EVERYTHING and she is just SO COOL, knowing all this stuff before anybody else has been exposed to it yet, THAT NO ONE HAS ANY CLUE WHAT SHE IS EVER TALKING ABOUT….I grin like a madwoman everytime it comes out of my earphones and pumps into my brain….Sometimes I still want to BE the hipster girl though….I think the other song that really speaks to me right now is Psycho by Puddle of Mudd….if you have ever really listened to the lyrics….well, ’nuff said.


 


P.S. I am totally curious about who in (or nearby) Park Ridge, IL is checking up on my little ol’ blog. Who are you? Drop me a comment!



 

YOU SMELL!!!

April 10, 2008 at 11:18 am | Posted in NEAT STUFF | 6 Comments

Ran across this interesting tidbit today…instead of mass mailing it and annoying everybody I know, I figured I would post it here and just annoy the people that read this…

This info was found at the following website:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/04/10/new-evidence-emphasizing-sense-of-smell-in-sexual-attraction.aspx

New Evidence Emphasizing Sense of Smell in Sexual Attraction

Researchers have recently discovered a “secret sex nerve” that they say may control who you are sexually attracted too. This olfactory nerve may be the route through which pheromones are processed.

Nerve “O” has endings in the nasal cavity, but the fibers go directly to the sexual regions of your brain. Because Nerve O bypasses the olfactory cortex, it does not register a conscious smell, but rather identifies chemical sexual cues.

Research has shown that the unconscious cues processed by Nerve “O” can “make or break a relationship.” For instance, you are more likely to be attracted to people whose scent is dissimilar to your own. Couples who have high levels of chemicals in common are more likely to encounter fertility issues, miscarriage and infidelity.

However, pregnant women are drawn to people with similar chemical makeup. This means that if you are taking a hormonal contraceptive, which fools your body into thinking you are pregnant, you might be more attracted to people with similar chemical makeup. If you were on the pill when you met your mate, you might, therefore, feel less attracted to him when you stop taking it.

Sources:

The good doctor goes on to explain the following:

Pheromones are chemical signals that animals secrete to communicate their gender or reproductive status to other animals. Well, it turns out that you give off pheromones as well, and these chemicals — which you don’t consciously smell or recognize at all — may play a role in helping you find a good partner.

So if you find yourself inexplicably attracted to a stranger you’ve just met, it could very well be their chemical signals that you find irresistible.

Not long ago, scientists were still debating whether humans even noticed chemical signals the way other animals do, but now that is fairly set in stone.

These signals play an important role from a reproductive standpoint in that they help you find a partner who is different, chemically speaking, from yourself. This gives you the best chances of reproducing successfully and even staying together without infidelity.

Chemical signals like pheromones are, in fact, constantly at work in your environment, but they are not only about sexuality. For instance:

  • Women who sniffed fear-induced sweat became more mentally alert and intelligent, according to a study in Chemical Senses.
  • Studies have shown that women can pick a T-shirt worn by their infant from a pile of T-shirts. Babies also respond to the breast pads worn by their own mothers, but not to those worn by other women.
  • The smell of other women’s perspiration causes women’s menstrual cycles to speed up or slow down. This helps explain why women who live together often menstruate at the same time each month.

What about Pheromone-Enriched “Love Potions”?

In recent years, pheromones have become quite trendy, and they’re now showing up in perfumes and colognes that promise to make you more sexually attractive.

Do they work?

Well, some studies have actually found that people wearing these scents are more interesting to the opposite sex, but this could simply be a placebo effect, where the person believes they will be more attractive, and therefore are.

Plus, I would caution against wearing any synthetic perfume or cologne, as they’re almost always loaded with synthetic chemicals that have been linked to cancer, reproductive toxicity, allergies and more.

hmm….very cool

February 23, 2008 at 1:38 pm | Posted in NEAT STUFF | Leave a comment

Giant_robot Screenprint2colors

Just wanted to put a headsup on here for some cool sites I’ve been checking out…. The first one is where the above journals can be found along with neato weirdo stuff….unique t-shirts, moleskine journals, calendars, figurines…just really cool stuff you never realized that you absolutely must have.

http://www.giantrobot.com

Another cool one is http://www.unclutterer.com/

It’s got the obvious ideas for storage and uncluttering, simplifying your home and life and then ideas for neat stuff and links to awesome sites to simplify your life like a link to toy sites where you rent kids toys (like renting movies with netflix) and then send them back when your kids are bored with them (genius!).

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