Thursday, January 28, 2010

Day 18

Destination - Tutoring, Newspaper, and Observation at the High School
Thrift Items - 2

High Waisted Skirt by Worthington (with pockets) - Orig. $45
Goodwill - 25c (quarter day)

Black Top by Rue 21 - Orig. - $20
Goodwill - $3.38

Total Savings - $61.37

18 Down, 347 to go

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Day 17

Destination - Tutoring, Class, Observation at the High School
Thrift Items - 3

Red Sweater by Relativity - Orig. $10
Goodwill - $3.38

Zebra Lace Trim Top by Worthington - Orig. $30
Goodwill - $3.38

Black Dress Pants by Worthington - Orig. $36
Goodwill - $3.38

Total Savings - $65.86

17 down, 348 to go

Day 16

Destination - Tutoring, Class, Newspaper
Thrift Items - 1

Blue Cotton Top by Arizona Jean - Orig. $30-$35
Goodwill - $3.38

Total Savings - $26.62-$31.62

The Bling - Matching Cross Necklace and Earings from my Uncle Terry and Aunt Sheryll

16 down, 349 to go

Day 15

Destination - College, Observing at the High School
Thrift Items - 1

Black and White Striped Top by The Limited - Orig. $45
Goodwill - $3.38

Total Savings - $41.62

(Each link if this necklace is a strand of multiple little wooden beads. I love it! It's very earthy/hardrock)

15 down, 350 to go

Day 14

Destination - Church
Thrift Items - 2

Red Top by Gap - Orig. $40
Goodwill - $3.38

Black and Red High Waisted Floral Skirt by Trixxi - Orig. $35
Goodwill - $3.38

Total Savings - $68.24

14 down, 351 to go

Ice Storm Freezes Java Update

Dear Devoted Readers,

Because of a recent snow storm I have been unable to access the wireless internet from my house for three consecutive days.

What I learned from this Experience: Lack of internet connection increases time spent studying and conversing with my parents.

Though snow continues to fall from the sky, I can only pray for spring to arrive soon!

As always, enjoy JavaJournal


Friday, January 22, 2010

Day 13

Destination - Tutoring, Exploring Teaching at the High School
Thrift Items - 2

White Stag Khaki Skirt - Orig - $15
Goodwill - $3.38

Yellow Sweater by Faded Glory - Orig - $15
Goodwill - $3.38

I bought the scarf onsale from Younkers!

Total Savings - $23.24

13 down, 352 to go

p.s. I recently taught myself how to knit leg warmers!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Day 12

Destination - Class, Newspaper, Observing at the High School
Thrift Items - 2

Red and Blue Cardigan by Kathy Ireland - $ Unknown (I can't find her online clothes anywhere!)
Goodwill - 25c (quarter day)

Cameo Locket - $ unknown
Antique Mall - $7

Total Cost - $7.25

12 down, 353 to go

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Day 11

Destination - nowhere, ICE STORM

Thrift Items - 1

Workout Top - Orig - unknown
Goodwill - 25c

Does anyone recognize this brand?

11 down, 354 to go

2 Additional Articles Have Been Published

Hey everyone! From writing articles for and because YOU have been amazing supporters, I have made $5 so far. I recently completed Knitting: How to Cast on article, and it was published online today. Another article, Satisfy Your Superbowl Hunger, was just published as well. I included recipes from a treasured cookbook my Aunt Sheryll composed for me as a Christmas gift. Thanks everyone for the support. Here are the links to the articles:

Enjoy JavaJournal!

p.s. You can now check me out at LaJavaJournal

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Day 10

Destination - Tutoring, Phi Theta Kappa Meeting, Newspaper, and Observing in a High School Classroom

Thrift Items - 4

Top by Apt. 9 - Orig - $30

Goodwill - $3.38

Striped Top by EXPRESS - Orig - $50

Goodwill - $3.38

Brown Alligator Skin Heels by Nine West - Orig - $90

Goodwill - $4.38

Vintage Necklace - Orig - unknown
Total Saved - $158.56

10 down, 355 to go

Day 9

Destination - Helping Katy move back into her dorm
Thrift Items - 1

Sweatshirt - free

One night of fair, I borrowed this sweatshirt from my friend Mindy who had borrowed it from another friend. This was over two years ago, and it still remains in my wardrobe. I don't even play that's thrifty. :)

9 down, 356 to go

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Day 8

Destination - Church
Thrift Items - 2

China Decor Patterned Skirt by Briggs - Orig- $40
Goodwill - $3.38

Black 1/4 length sleeve top by Cyrus - Orig - $90
Goodwill - $3.38

Silver Leaf Bracelet - Orig - unknown
Goodwill - $3.38

Total Savings - $123.24

Better is a little with righteousness than great income with injustice.
Proverbs 16:8
8 down, 357 to go

Day 7

Destination - Babysitting Gig
Thrift Items - 1

Cream Fur Lined Hoodie by Green Tea - Orig - unknown (cannot find this brand online)

Goodwill - $3.38

7 down, 358 to go

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Day 6

Destination - Dinner Downtown at Woodfire with my girl Katy

Thrift Items - 2

Wet Seal silk top with fluorescent beading - Orig - $25-$30

Goodwill - $3.38

Brown Sweater from The Loft by Ann Taylor - Orig - $40-$50

Goodwill - $3.38

Total Thrift Savings - $58.24-$73.24

p.s. The scarf is by Nine West originally $40 on sale for $12!

The chunky bracelet is from Dillard's on sale for $3

6 down, 359 to go

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Day 5

Destination - Class and Meeting with my new Newspaper Staff

Thrift Items - 1

Cato Sweater Orgin. - $25

Goodwill Price - $3.38

Total Savings - $21.62
5 down, 360 to go

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Day 4

Destination - First Day of Spring Semester
Number of Thrift Items - 1

Maurices Sweater Orig - $35-$40

Goodwill Price - $3.38

Total Savings - $31.62-$36.62

Accessorized with bangles and charm necklace from Forever21; a Christmas gift from my cousins Chris and Amy :)

4 down, 361 to go

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Day 3

Destination - Dinner at Mongolian Grill with friends

Number of thrift items - 1

Merona Sweater Orig. - $20

Goodwill - $3.38

Total Savings - $16.62

JavaJournal is Published on the Internet

I recently joined a website called Life123 which allows everyone the opportunity to submit their own written work to be edited and chosen for publication. This morning I just receieved an email stating my article about Goodwill Shopping is officially published! The article will appear on almost every search engine on the internet. There is money involved as well, but only with your help. The number of people who visit my site at Life123 determines how much I am paid for each article. Please join in on the fun by visiting and subscribing to my account "JavaJournal" at

Simply visit the website and in the the search engine located on the home page type in JavaJournal. There you will find my Goodwill to Men article and future articles! I am excited about this new found journalism journey, and I give Him all the thanks and the glory.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Goodwill to Men Day 2

Destination - College Book Store and Meeting with Friends
Thrift Items - 3

American Eagle White Cotton Tank - Orig. $20
Goodwill - $3.38
New York & Company Argyle Sweater - Orig. $45
Goodwill - $3.38

Chunky Textured Bracelet - Orig. unknown
Goodwill - $1.38

Total Original Price - $65

Total Goodwill Price - $8.14

Total Saved - $56.86

Two down, 363 to go

Crap, Where's my cell phone?

Today I experienced what it means to discover how much you love something until it’s lost. The lost love happens to be my cell phone, well “happened” to be. Stop the judging, for I only love my cell phone when it’s necessary to make a phone call or send a quick text. Forget the flashy gadgets and applications. I have enough entertainment outside my kitchen window. No, Kanye West does not live in my backyard. But just so you know, Beyonce was the best neighbor of all time. Anyways…off the tangent…This morning I went to work. As for work, I clean horse stalls by shoveling manure in a wheel barrel and hauling it through a foot of snow to the manure pile. Classy. After cleaning each stall I proceeded to dump bags of fresh bedding into each of the stalls. I then reached into my pocket to check the, what? What?! Where is my cell phone? Oh no. I begin the search. Another tidbit about my cell phone—its expresso brown. I work in a barn that has a brown dirt floor, with stalls lacking any ray of lighting, and where horses poop piles of brown manure. Need I remind you that I just finished putting down new bedding. I rechecked my pockets, pants, and coat 4xs over. I begin praying. Pray before panic.

Each stall was sifted through and inspected countless times as well as the perimeter and interior of the dim- lit-dirt-floor-barn. No dice. An hour later I run home, and call my mother. Voicemail. I call my grandma, she answers! After explaining the situation I return to work and wait for the phone to vibrate. I stand in each stall…wait…nothing…I stand in the tack room…nothing…I stand in the hay…nothing. Taking a chance and begin the trek to the manure pile…kneel down and listen. Wait! Without a care I start digging through the manure pile…with my sleeve covered hand. The vibrate stops…I wait…It starts once more, and I finally discover my cell phone hidden beneath frost covered clumps of manure! What an answered prayer. Holy piles of horse manure, I am reunited with my manure exresso brown cell phone!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Vow Do You Do?

I have discovered my New Year's Resolution. For the entire year of 2010-2011 (Twenty-Ten, Two Thousand and Ten?) I vow to wear, everyday, at least one piece of clothing that has been purchased at a thrift store. Whether it be to class, work, the mall, or visiting family, I will be donning a thrift -store -purchased- piece- of -clothing (say that 3x's fast). "Why?" you ask. Why not? Through this resolution I will be triumphing multiple resolutions. "How?" you ask. Money donated through Goodwill purchases is used to, " help fund job training programs, employment placement services and other community-based programs for people who have disabilities, lack education or job experience, or face employment challenges." This year I will be donating to charity, serving the community, shopping wisely, saving money, and looking good doing it! :) Sounds like one productive year to me.

Day 1
January 10, 2009
Destination - Church
Thrift Store Items - 3

*Because of the cold weather, I added a scarf to the attire.

Bellini Heels, Dark Blue Snake Skin – $40
Goodwill – $4.38

White Stag Khaki Skirt – $15.00
Goodwill – $3.38

Express Cotton Dress Shirt - $50
Goodwill – 3.38

Total Original Price – $105

Total Goodwill Price – $11.06

Total Saved – $93.94

(original prices are an approximation based on current items found on each brand's website)

1 down, 364 to go

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Finding great deals is my specialty. Managing my budget is necessary. Goodwill shopping is a necessity. There are very few places that I could have walked out of with three name brand sweaters for a total cost of $10.14. I’m not poor by any means, nor am I wealthy. But I am conscientious and practical. I absolutely love bargain hunting, for it gives me a sort of thrill. I literally drool over Quarter Day. “In your face department stores!” always seems to come to mind when thrift shopping. My pocket book reads second- hand- bargains, but my attire says otherwise. I do have a keen sense of fashion…ahem, if I do say so myself. Friends wouldn’t lie about my creative fashion sense…would they? I’ll let you be the judge of that.

Goodwill Haul

White Sweater- Merona (Target) $3.38

Argyle Patterned Sweater – New York & Company $3.38
(has yet to meet an iron)

Pink Sweater – Maurices $3.38

Let’s shop…thrifty that is.

10 Goodwill Shopping Tips:

#1 – Have an idea of the time frame allowed for shopping. Goodwill is not like other department stores. There are multiple clothing racks and shelves full of different genres and styles of clothing from every decade, literally. (Including the oversized color-blocked styles of the 90’s)

#2 – Find out the official day of the week for Quarter Day. During Quarter day, all clothing with a specific colored tag only costs a small price of 25c. Score! This is a great time to load up on t-shirts and sweatshirts. Challenge your creativity by purchasing quarter clothing that can be later altered to your liking. –cuff pants into capris -trim skirt or dress –cut off sleeves –add buttons (I think another blog idea is brewing)

#3 – Never underestimate the good ol’ saying, “Early bird get’s the worm”. Clothing racks are replenished daily. The earlier in the day you arrive, the higher your chances of finding a bargain.
[side story] A few women from my church (myself included) went on a shopping trip to a nearby Goodwill. The store doors were scheduled to open around 9 a.m. When we arrived in the parking lot a little before opening hours, there was a group of woman standing in front of the closed doors waiting eagerly for them to open. Now that’s devotion. A little bit hardcore if you ask me. Needless to say, we laughed.

#4 – Look for signs in the store that might display any sales or ½ price deals for specified tag colors.

#5 – Before sifting through the clothing racks push the clothing adorned hangers down the rack so they becomes a bit scrunched together. This allows more leave way for you to whip through each shirt/dress.

#6 – Bring a pair of socks if you are planning on trying on footwear such as sneakers, boots, and/or ice skates.

#7 – In reference to clothing: You can never pull too many pieces off of the rack. However, when trying on clothes in the dressing rooms keep a mental note of how much you are spending/saving. This will help with deciding which pieces to keep, or leave behind.

#8 – If you are accompanied by children while Goodwill shopping, be weary of the toys they are playing with. That aisle is germville.

#9 – Goodwill has auction items allowing everyone the opportunity to make a bid. Highest bid wins. There was once a Prada Purse up for bid. Don’t ask me if it was the real deal or a knock off. The bidders apparently didn’t mind.

#10 – Donate! Many Goodwill stores will give you an appropriate refund for the item(s) that you donate. It’s almost as if you’re getting paid to shop there. Now that’s a bargain!

Happy Goodwill Hunting

Upcoming Blog Sneak Peak – One Goodwill Sweater, Three Fashionably Good Ways

Friday, January 8, 2010


Healthy new lifestyles, dieting, and exercise are only a few of the ever-so-popular goals found on every New Year Resolution List. Let's take a glance at the most important meal of the day. For breakfast, cereal and other carb composed foods have never quite settled right or have failed to sustain my hunger until lunchtime. Can you relate? Share with me a new discovery. May I introduce, The Egg.

A single large egg (50g) contains approximately 77 calories, 5 grams of fat, 1 gram of sugar, 6 grams of protein, calcium, iron, and vitamin A. Their multiple ways of preparation influence me to believe that the egg is one of the most versatile foods for breakfast. When pared with vegetables and mixed fruit (mixed-in or as side dishes) you have composed one healthy breakfast. Score! You are one step closer to crossing off "eating healthy" from that pesky Resolution List.

One of my favorite ways to fry an egg is sunny side up. Care to join me? Here's how:
What You'll Need:
A skillet or cooking pan
Pam Cooking Spray (optional)
Egg(s) (I prefer farm fresh)
Salt and Pepper to season

Step 1 : Choose your poison aka the desired egg(s) I have chosen farm fresh eggs compliments of my chickens (we call them "The Girls").

Step 2 : Place skillet over medium/low heat. Add 2-3 teaspoons of water to the skillet followed by a layer of Pam spray. This prevents the egg(s) from sticking to the pan or skillet.

Step 3 - Crack Egg(s) into skillet. Lower heat after about 1-2 minutes.

Step 4 - Cover skillet with lid so the trapped heat allows the yolk of the egg to cook.

Step 5 - Approximately 2-3 minutes later depending on the heat of the burner, remove the lid and season egg(s) if desired. My personal favorites include cracked pepper and Italian seasoning.

Step 6 - Determining when the egg is "done" will vary with the likes and preferences of each person. Test the consistency of the yolk by poking it with a fork, tooth pick, and etc.

Step 7 - Remove egg(s) with a spatula and place on desired dish.

Bon Appetit!

I hope this step by step process to eggcellence will help you in the future. How do you like your eggs? Do share by leaving a comment. As always, keep on the sunny side.

photographs by Lauren.Rachelle

Egg nutrition facts provided by Nutrition Data

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Hounds, Black Cats, and False Alarms

It was the 31st of December. The snow was falling as well as the temperature, but the task was simple. How difficult could it be to deliver Christmas cookies to a neighbor? Well, in Allerton, Iowa a neighbor resides at least a ¼ of a mile away. Decked in layer upon layer of clothing and winter gear, my Uncle Terry and I strolled out into the winter wonderland. After loading the back of the truck with bags of empty pop cans, we set out on our expedition, Christmas cookies and all. Destination- Theresa, a widowed woman in her later years with enough cats to choke out anyone with feline allergies in merely seconds. Driving on the gravel driveway and nearing her old farm house, she is nowhere in sight. No dice. I sprint to the front door while wading through snow and wild barn cats only to find it locked. We begin the trek down the gravel driveway once more, but what’s this? Theresa and her car are nearing the driveway. What luck? She is grateful for the Christmas cookies, but proceeds with a question of, “Would you please lift that blade over there?” My uncle Terry and I look around in the direction of the barn. We’re standing outside of her car, while the snow is falling as well as the temperature. “The blade on my windshield wiper,” she says. After minutes of brushing off snow and chipping away ice, the blade is soon recovered. With a quick exchange of goodbyes my Uncle Terry and I return to the warmth of the truck (heated seats and all) and continue on our expedition.
Only seconds after leaving her driveway, the ever so popular missing basset hound of Allerton, Iowa comes strolling down the highway oblivious of our 4X4 King Ranch Truck heading in his direction. “It’s that darn basset hound!” we say in unison. Well, the bed of the truck is filled with pop cans. Long story short, the basset hound ends up on my lap in the backseat of the truck. What a grease ball. While driving down the dead end road leading towards the home of the basset hound there’s another surprise. He smells. Actually “smells” is an understatement. The hound reeks. As the stench travels to the front of the truck’s cab, my uncle drives faster. Nine-O down the dead end road we’re greeted by another old farmhouse. Accompanying the hound to the front door, his owner bestows us a simple thank you followed by, “I don’t know what I’m going to do with him.” (Well to start, a bath is more than necessary). The snow is falling as well as the temperature, and we head back towards the truck and heated seats. The expedition continues.
After stopping in Allerton at my Uncle’s work site, I look down only to find my brown Carhartt covered in dog hair and smelling like the darn basset hound. Back home we go. Only minutes later while driving down a back alley, a black cat runs out right in front of us. My uncle quickly takes off his ball cap and spits in it in with an attempt to remedy the superstition. After arriving home and exchanging the hound hair covered coat for another, we continue back towards Allerton. The pop can recycling building is closed, enough said.
About 6 hours later… In celebration of New Year’s Eve my Aunt, Uncle, and I enjoy a dinner at a steak house in a neighboring town. We then drive to Centerville to see the new Sherlock Holmes film. (*shout out to Sherlock* if you like mystery novels and /or movies such as “The Prestige” you just might enjoy this film) We arrive at the theater parking lot full of vacant parking places. After finding a convenient parking spot another car wheels in right next to us only inches from taking off the side view mirror. “Do we know them?” “Are they trying to get close so they can say something?” No, they’re just a couple of woman who thought it would be appropriate to prevent all possibilities of getting out of the truck. We find another parking spot.
While sitting in the theater waiting for the movie to begin, guess who walks in a sits right in front of us? Yea, it’s the parking lot female bandits. Greeeeeeeat. Just wait, that’s only the beginning. About 12-15 minutes into the movie an alarm conveniently begins to scream throughout the theater. Oh goodness, it’s the fire alarm. Really? What’s even more peculiar is that everyone just sits there motionless. If this happened to be a test, this has been one epic fail. The siren stops. Nice. The siren begins again. Not so nice. The movie stops, the screen goes black, and everyone finally begins to file out of the theater. Honestly, the movie was good, but not worth getting charred. The entry way of the theater smells of burnt popcorn while the employees scamper quickly behind the counter. Over the commotion, “Start up the movies, start up the movies!!” is heard. “False alarm”, and after filing back into the theater the movie continues. We miss about 10 minutes of it. But what’s worse was the absence of free popcorn, movie tickets or any form of reimbursement. Fail.

Steak Dinners (3) – give or take $50
Movie Tickets (3) - $21
Pop (1) - $3.50

Remembering at the end of the day why I love small town living, priceless.