A visit to Thriftown

Today my friend Lola came to visit me and, as the kids are out of town, we spent a great day hanging out. We had lunch at Aroma in Castro Valley, did some shopping at Santos Spice Products in San Leandro, and Lola taught me how to do an embroidery stitch – It was the first time I ever embroidered (I made a wobbly “M”) since I was a little kid.
In the afternoon we went to Thriftown, my favorite thrift store. Well, it’s the only thrift store I ever go to. I hadn’t been there in a few weeks, and they changed the lay out and now it looks more open, lighter and more attractive. And the stuff is still impossibly cheap (for the most part).
I like Thriftown because the stuff is not only cheap, but also generally good quality and in usable to great condition. I buy most of my kids’ clothing there, and Mike has had a lot of great finds, from a great jacket to roller skates and other sports equipment. The only thing I usually buy for myself are tea cups, but now with this new lay out, I was actually able to find out quite a lot of things I liked – mostly for the kids, of course, but still, I think I did great. In this visit (and mind you, it was a pretty quick visit), I got:
Magic Hair BeaderA Girl Crush Magic Hair Beader. The kit seems to be in good condition. It was opened, a lot of the beads seem to be missing, but the fasteners and many other beads are there – I think that some of the plastic pony beads I have may also work with it. I still haven’t tried to see if it works. It gets very mixed reviews at Amazon, but it retails for $16+ plus shipping, and I paid $4 for it. Of course, if it doesn’t work at all it’ll be $4 down the drain.
hairwraps.jpgHair Wraps is one of those kits by Klutz that comes with an instruction book and some materials to do something. This one, of course, making hair wraps. It looks pretty cool and I know Mika will LOVE IT. Well, she’ll at least love my making hair wraps on her if they probe to be not too difficult. Wish me luck! šŸ™‚ It retails for about $10, and I paid $3.

fairiesklutz.jpgFairies: Petal People You Make Yourself is another cool kit from Klutz. It seems to have been gently used and to have most of the contents. Basically it’s a little kit that allows you to make tiny fairies. It looks super cute. It retails for about $11 and I paid $2.
jewelflowers.jpgFinally, as far as the kid kits go, I got a Totally Me! Jewel Flowers kit. I couldn’t find anything about it online, and apparently it’s manufactured for Toys R Us Australia (which doesn’t do online sales). Still, not one mention of the product? It’s weird. The package seems to be unopened and I don’t want to open it quite yet.
Indeed, my plan is to put all these kits away before the kids come (so Kathy, don’t tell them I bought it for them), and then take them out one by one during the summer when we’re looking for new activities.
hellokittybag.jpgI got a bunch of other things at Thriftown. A shirt for Mika (shhh!) and a few very cute bags where to put handmade gifts. I got a VERY CUTE Hello Kitty “bag”. Alas, it was a backpack and it’s missing one of the handles, plus it needs to be re-sewn but I think I can do that and turn it into a pillow for Camila (who loves Hello Kitty). I also got a little photo album, and a huge lot of felt left-overs (including five felt sick-on sheets), for $1.50. Now let’s hope I can find reasons to use it.
I think that was it. In all I spent $18 (I had a $3 off coupon) and had a great time.
4/10 Update
I went back to Thrifttown with Mike today and this time I actually decided to look in the kids toy section (which I usually ignore given the dismal state of most of the toys there) for games. Wow, was I lucky! I got three great finds:
illustory.jpgIllustory is an amazing kit which allows you to write and illustrate your own book (it even comes with markers) on special pieces of paper, which you then mail to the publisher who sends you back an actual printed copy of the book you made! Tres cool and I think it’s perfect for what Mika is doing right now (writing lots of stories about girls who babysit difficult kids for money). Of course, Camila and MIka are going to have to figure out a way so that they can collaborate on the book – I do foresee frustration. What is most incredible is that the whole kit was in the box: the order form, the envelope, the forms, even the sealed markers. Somebody wasted $20 šŸ™ I got it for $2.

hullab.jpgHullabaloo is another game by Cranium, this one apparently has you do silly stuff as ordered by a speaker. Whatever, it gets great reviews in Amazon.com, it’s age appropriate for my kids, and, amazingly, the game seems unopened. Of course, that doesn’t mean it works – but hopefully it does. It retails for $30 – I paid $3.
Finally, I got Are You Afraid of the Dark, a game named after an old Nickelodeon program. Mika LOVES Goosebumps, and I’m sure she’ll love the game just as much. Of course, I have no idea what the game is about, but though it’s a couple of decades old most of the pieces seem to be in the box. I think it was also $2.
So off they go to the suitcase where I’m placing all the games and crafts to take out in the summer.


  1. Ali

    The Totally me Jewel Flowers toy is a really fun activity! It was manufactured in 2006 and available in U.S. Toys R Us stores for about a year. I know this because that is me on the box! I am now 14 years old!

    • marga

      You were sooo cute!

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