• The Thrift-Hunter

    Guess who’s back?!?

    So, I have been on a long blog hiatus. Now, I am back.

    You may have noticed that it’s been almost three years since I last updated this blog. When I started, I had this lofty ambition of posting at least once a week. I actually did pretty well for a time but the hustle and bustle of a housewife’s daily life got too much and basically just crippled my – ahem – creativity.  Stepping away was the only option – but I didn’t plan for the long, extended blog holiday that occurred! LOL.

    Well, I’m glad I did it anyway. Taking a break gave me time to relax and reflect about what’s important to me and my life. I don’t know if I can blog regularly but I do know that I’ll be staying because I still have a lot of expeditions to thrift shops and secondhand treasures to discover. As you can see, I’m even thrifty when it comes to words, but basically, what I am saying is — stay tuned 🙂

  • Great Giveaways

    Father’s Day gifts from Zazzle

    Hey guys, how is it going?

    I have a lot of thrift-ed stuff that need posting but that can wait awhile.
    It’s because I’m getting ready for the next big holiday — don’t you know? It’s Father’s Day, of course! It’s time to get ready as I do not want to have a repeat of last year’s Father’s Day when I totally forgot to send my presents to my own dad. Que horror.

    If truth be told, I find it really difficult to look for gifts for the males. It’s very tricky, even. My father, husband, and brothers — they are difficult to buy presents for. My father and husband are both very simple fathers. They don’t care much for the materials things. My father, who is now into his 60s, appreciates a simple phone call to greet him on Father’s day or any other day and it means so much to him. So I try to make it the #1 in my to do-list every year. But when it comes to gifts, I’m totally clueless.

    Luckily for me, the team at Zazzle.com has prepared a wide selection of Father’s Day gift ideas that are sure to appeal to the men in our lives, not only for this very special Father’s Day, but for any other occasion.

    Check out my picks and see how many of you agree:

    I mean, whose dad doesn’t? Lol.
    • Father’s Day cards
      Again, my number one choice is a greeting card.  Still the most popular choice. You can never go wrong with something as simple card with a funny message! I think there’s nothing better than sending your father or husband a card with a heartfelt message and with a bit of humour in it. To me, it’s something personal and oozing with love and affection and perfect for gassy dads (and husbands, too).
    • For the BBQ mafia boss in your backyard.
      For the BBQ mafia boss in your backyard.

      Manly aprons
      Both my father and my husband love BBQing and we do it as much as we can every weekend. When in my parents’ house, my dad, of course is in charge. At home, my husband is definitely the one. I can totally imagine my husband (and my father) in front of the grill wearing this apron with a beer in one hand and a kitchen tong on the other. Truly, they’re both the Grillfathers!

    • Handmade, bound custom journal, made in the USA.
      Handmade, bound custom journal, made in the USA.

      Journals
      If you look at history, most of the great men kept journals. My husband kept a diary when he went on a cycling tour of Western Europe. He had this small notebook and jotted down how far he’s cycled, who did he meet, and other short but meaningful descriptions of all the things he did and the things that happened daily all throughout his tour. I’ve read it and I really loved it, especially the way he interprets and/or comments about the things he encountered. Now that he’s working full-time, he hasn’t done any writing anymore because of his tight schedule. I do however see him write notes from time to time, especially when we travel. A new journal like this one would probably spark anew his journaling habit. What do you think? The text on the cover can be changed according to your preferences and you have a choice of blank, lined, checklist or grid page inserts.

    • Sturdy messenger bag that can carry heavy stuff.
      Sturdy messenger bag that can carry heavy stuff.

      Messenger bag
      My husband is a school-teacher and finding a professional-looking and functional work bag is a challenge. He’s got lots of papers and books, too much to be carried around. I think the answer is this messenger bag – great in heavy canvas material and in either black or khaki colour. It looks hip and very versatile as well, can be used as a a work bag, to an overnight, travel bag.

    Friends, all the items above (as in any other products at Zazzle) are highly-customisable. You can set your preferences yourself and the team at Zazzle will do the rest.

    My first two choices are intended for my father but all of the items are my choices for my husband. I hope my stepdaughter is reading this so she can get an idea what to give her dad.

    I have to say though that it’s not the gifts that count the most. It’s the thought.
    Happy Father’s Day to everyone, in advance. May you not forget the significance of the day.

     

  • Great Giveaways

    Mother’s Day gift ideas from Zazzle (and a giveaway!)

    Hey, hey, hey!
    Mother’s Day is just around the corner and are you running out of ideas and time?
    No worries, my friends. You are not alone. I am in a similar dilemma myself, having just returned from a holiday (we celebrated Khmer New Year last week) in the beachtown of Kep and still trying to warm up my crafting-mojo.

    I know that making homemade stuff/DIY projects are the better way to go but if there’s time pressure involved, there are thousands of options out there you can pick from. Here are a few of my recommended  Mother’s Day gift ideas from Zazzle that are unique and special, most of which can be personalised any way you want to, to suit your preferences.

    Recommended Mother's Day gift ideas from Zazzle. All photos, except for the bouquet of flowers, were from Zazzle.com.
    Recommended Mother’s Day gift ideas from Zazzle. All photos, except for the bouquet of flowers, were from Zazzle.com.
    • A bouquet of flowers
      Flowers are still the most popular gifts for mums on Mother’s day. Colourful and freshly-cut, they are guaranteed to cheer her up and brighten her day. Send her a bouquet of her favourite flowers with a love note, I’m sure all mums will adore it.
    • A stylish tote bag with a funny message
      For most mums, there’s never too many bags to hold their stuff. This tote bag is perfect for everything, from everyday grocery shopping to a lunch date with her amigas. I love the saying printed on the bag – maybe a little snarky but yet so true, no? What do you think? Don’t like it? No worries, as I’ve said before, this product is customisable.
    • Best wedge-pillow
      Or in my mum’s case, I call it her “crochet-pillow”. It comes very handy when she’s crocheting mostly as she likes to put the pillow wedged between her back and the back of the sofa. For those mothers out there who loves reading and needle work, this pillow (with customisable prints) gives back and upper torso support and makes reading and doing your needlework more comfortable.
    • Mother’s Day Cards
      Cards remain one of the most popular traditional gifts, along with flowers. Mums love it when you show her and tell her your love, care and appreciation. But what if you’re the kind of person who’s not really vocal about your feelings, or in some cases, the cat just got your tongue. No worries, there are lots of Mother’s Day cards with lovely designs to write your words on 🙂

    So there you have it, my recommended gift ideas for Mother’s Day from Zazzle. For more gift ideas, kindly check Zazzle’s site (click on any of highlighted texts above). In my opinion, these kinds of gifts that take extra thought and effort mean the most 🙂

    Before I go, l’m happy to tell you that I, in collaboration with Zazzle.com, is hosting an exciting giveaway! Zazzle.com has generously offered a $25 gift certificate which will be sent to the lucky winner by email. This gift certificate can go a long way with the current 60% sale at Zazzle.com.

    To join, the rules are very simple. Just tell me which of the Mother’s Day gift ideas from Zazzle would you choose. You can also include other Mother’s Day gift ideas from Zazzle’s site and leave your choices in this post’s comment section (2 entries). You can also increase your chances of winning by doing any of the following:

    • follow Good ThriftHunting via RSSFeeds (3 entries)
    • follow Good ThriftHunting on Twitter       (3 entries)
    • if you have a Facebook account, share this giveaway and link to this post. (2 entries per account)

    *This is my first time to host a giveaway so please bear with me 🙂

    Do let me know if you have done any or all of the above.
    This promo is open to everybody who has a valid mailing address, and yes, including international readers, and will end on the 10th of May, 11:59PM, Phnom Penh, Cambodia time. The winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter and will be notified via email. It is important to note that the giveaway prize is a gift certificate. Any fees, shipping and custom duties/taxes, that will be charged once the gift certificate is used will be shouldered by the winner.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • Great Giveaways,  The Thrift-Hunter

    Exciting news from Zazzle.com!

    I have an announcement to make…

    I’m about to host my first ever goodies giveaway! I am so happy to announce that Zazzle.com has given me an opportunity to host a Mother’s Day giveaway.

    Zazzle.com has a wide variety of gift ideas for Mother's Day. Go check it out!
    Zazzle.com has a wide variety of gift ideas for Mother’s Day. Go check it out!

     

    Zazzle.com has offered to give a $25 worth of goodies to one of my blog followers. I have yet to finalise the details and have the post up so, please, come by again for an update. Meantime, if you’re looking for special gifts for your Mums, I’d recommend you to check out the  Mother’s Day Gift Ideas from Zazzle.

    See you soon!

     

  • Crafts and Everything HandMade,  Fab Finds

    Zazzle’s new custom fabric

    Wow, I was away for far too long!
    I took a break from blogging but I really didn’t plan it to last longer than I expected!
    My apologies for my absence for — ulk! three years?!?!

    2013 and 2014 were huge years for me and my husband.
    I got a job in 2013 which consumed all my time (and eventually quit 8 months later) and we acquired a lease for a beautiful wooden house in the suburbs. We didn’t actually move out of our apartment. We just moved some furniture to the wooden house and kept the others in the apartment for yobo’s evening classes. We have since returned to the apartment. Because I had so much stuff going on, I wasn’t able to really go back to blogging as soon as I wanted to. It was difficult to find time to balance house chores, hobbies, and work. Now that I already stopped working, I am happy to announce that it’s all systems go for regular blogging!

    So many things to blog about but let me just say, Gong Xi Fa Cai! It’s the Chinese New Year here in Cambodia and it’s quite  big celebration, really. The streets are empty because most of the Cambodians returned to their hometowns to celebrate the occasion with their families. Work will resume next Monday.

    I did go for thrift-hunts but not as much as I used to. Perhaps I can do more now that I have extra time.
    My interests have also expanded to include calligraphy and some artwork. I know, I’m quite surprised myself that I find myself dabbling in the arts. I wasn’t that interested in it way back when I was in school but as the wise folks say, it’s better late than never. I also did a bit of sewing – a sundress top and a passport sleeve, just to name a few. I used some scrap fabrics that I thrifted at O’Russei market.

    But what excites me the most now is my recent discovery – Zazzle, the provider of unique and customized gifts and accessories, has launched its newest product – the custom fabric! This is exciting for news for all sewing and DIY addicts out there. Lots of fabric types are available, to name a few – cotton, polyester, linen (my favourite) – they all have it. I know I’m blabbering but this newly introduced product excites me. I checked them out and I’m blown away – there is some thing for everyone. You can search by pattern, theme, or holiday, and you can also have a look at the featured design and designers. How good is that?

    Check this out:

    Custom fabric by Zazzle.com
    Pale blue shabby chic polka dot and white pink floral fabric by Zazzle custom fabric.

    I love this gorgeous shabby chic fabric. I can see pillow cases or throws, or even a tote bag.

    Vintage bicycles fabric.
    Vintage bicycles fabric.
    Kids Christmas typography.
    Kids Christmas typography.

    The above two designs appeal to me right now because bicycles and typography are what I love. My husband and I love cycling and we ride around our neighbourhood from time to time. Someday, we are planning to go on a cycling tour of England and France. I also picked this typography design as I’m currently obsessed with lettering and calligraphy. These are bookmarked for the near future. And if you can’t find anything, you can design your own!

  • My Thrift Loots,  Thrifting-for-the Kitchen

    So it’s already mid-December

    Although I haven’t been to thrift shops the past weeks I still have lots of goodies to share. So I’m not exactly experiencing a so-called “dry-spell”; I’m just being lazy again.

    Anyways, the other week my husband and I went to the Japan Toto Recycle shop to get those small ceramic bowls for the candles, I was happily looking at the tablewares section keeping an eye on vintage china when I found this Tweety bird mugs. My younger sister loves Tweety bird and I knew right there and then I had to get this pair for her:

    A closer look at the Tweety Bird mugs.

    Tweety Bird is delightfully cute, isn’t it? I mean, who wouldn’t fall in love with this feathered creature? You would, too, wouldn’t you? So anyway, for only $2.40 for the pair, they went to directly my cart without batting an eyelash.

    Last Saturday, I was wrapping presents to be sent to the Philippines through my younger brother who’s leaving that day. Kramas (multi-purpose scarf) are really great as presents because they are something that’s totally Cambodian (people back home are crazy over anything Khmer) and they have many uses. Apart from that, they’re cheap! I was enjoying wrapping all the stuff using just a small piece of wax paper and tied with a yarn. Easy-peasy and very nice to look at. But then when I came to the mugs — ngyehhhhhh! It was very challenging!

    These are some of the stuff I bought to be sent as Christmas pressies.

    What I did is wrap it in crumpled newspaper and tie it with ribbon. Hahaha. I think it looked cute. Sorry I forgot to take photos though but you can take my word for it.

    Hopefully next year there’ll be lots of awesome thrift store finds to share here.

  • Best Buys,  My Thrift Loots

    Share-a-Thrift-hunt 015: Fox Motocross Hoodie

    GOTH-Meme-Badge

    It’s been awhile since I last posted an entry for the Share-a-Thrift-Hunt meme by my friend, Girl-on-a-Thrift-Hunt. I still have loads of awesome thrifted items but, you know, when the lazy-bug bites you, there’s no escaping its after-effect – laziness.

    So I just twiddled-and-twaddled till the laziness subsided. Meanwhile thrifted stuff keeps on piling. Now that I’m ready to blog again, I’m sharing you this nifty hoodie that I scored at the Japanese Sakura Recycle Shop in Russei Keo. This is an original Fox racing patrol jacket

    Front and left views of the jacket.

    It is made of 100% polyester, long-sleeved with a hood and front zipper, and in black and (silver) grey combo of colours. As you can see, the embroidered Fox logo is in front. It is creased alright but upon closer inspection it is very much unused and unworn as the tag is still intact. I turned it inside out and there were no signs of wear, tear, and stains. This jacket is pretty much lightweight and water resistant and, for only $30, it is absolutely a steal! I checked Amazon for similar types of clothing just for comparison:

    Left: Fox Racing Dawn Patrol Jacket – Men’s, $69.99-$127.77; Centre: Fox Racing MX Fluid Jacket Men’s Off-Road Motorcycle Rain Gear – Clear / Small, $29.95; Right: Fox MX Fluid Jacket Jacket, $29.99.

    My husband is currently training for a long-distance cycling route. With the monsoon season upon us while he’s in the middle of his training, I think this rain jacket is just perfect!

  • A-Vintage-ous!,  Thrift-hunter's Paradise

    Nifty thrifting

    Did I ever tell you that I so love everything vintage, especially vintage clothes?

    The vintage look is very stylish these days; fashionistas everywhere seem to be sporting delicate lace-lined dresses, fur shawls and amber brooches. And what better place to shop than in thrift stores where you’re guaranteed to find an authentic garment with a bit of history and character. Plus, in this economic climate, thrift shops are the best way to stretch your dollars.

    This photo was taken at the Japanese Toto Recylcle and Thrift Shop along French Street.

    Some people have never really got into thrift shopping and much prefer to order clothes online while they’re listening to music. But believe it or not, sifting your way through racks of old clothes is actually quite interesting and exciting; you never know what you’ll stumble across and it might even be a designer name. If you are thinking about going thrift shopping for the first time, then below are a few hints and tips to help you out.

    Know what you’re shopping for
    Thrift shops are not famed for their organised layout and neat rails, which means everything tends to be in a bit of a mess. It will take you ages to rummage through items if you don’t really know what you’re looking for, so have a garment in mind to keep you more focused.

    Look for designer brands
    If you’re lucky you might even stumble across old garments from designer names. You’ll pay a fraction of its original RRP in a thrift shop.

    Try items on
    Just because you have found a cheap garment which seems like excellent value for money, make sure you try it on because otherwise it will be a waste of money. Never buy anything for the sake of it just because it is cheap because you’ll probably only end up throwing it away later on.

    Know when the sale days are
    Some stores have certain sale days so you could save yourself even more money, or buy yourself a few more clothes!

  • Best Buys

    Baking up a storm

    Two weeks flew past me by in a snap, like a seagull diving for its food. During this period, I got busy with a short consultancy project.

    My favourite brand. Never fails me.

    I have also been baking a lot these days… breads and pies, mostly. One time while shopping at the new Thai Huot grocery in Tuol Kork, I came across a shelf with marked down baking items, mostly French brands. I’m just an ordinary housewife who’s always on the lookout for good bargains. The row of marked down items, especially the flour, caught my attention right away. When I saw my favourite brand of flour on sale, I naturally quickened my step to have a look.  I picked up two packs of flour to examine them but there was nothing discernibly wrong with them. No broken seals, no bugs, no funny smells. The expiration date was not until two months after.  At $1.80 per pack per (1kg), originally at $3.60,  I snatched two packs of  Francine Farine de Blé. I am a frequent baker, anyway, I said to myself. Besides I keep them in an air-tight container in the fridge as it slows down the spoilage.

    I wasn’t disappointed with my purchase! I have always liked this brand. My French ami told me that it is just an ordinary wheat flour, nothing special. But I am telling you, the flour is more refined and whiter than other brands I used in the past, and the dough, very, very soft. They were great in making pie shells and bread. Needless to say, the flour was gone waaaay before the expiration date.

    Whenever I’m at Thai Huot I always keep an eye on their marked down French-brand flours. Anyway, here are two photos of the goodies that I made from this flour:

    Homemade French bread. I try to make some at least once a week.
    Homemade raspberry {jam} tart. The shell is buttery and crumbly just like the way I like it!

     

  • A-Vintage-ous!,  Best Buys,  The Thrift-Hunter

    Sew-tastic!

    Okay, okay…
    So I was out of commission lately but I have very good reasons for my long absence. I do not wish to bore you with the details anymore so let me just say that real life took over, lol.  Still vague, eh? Never  you mind.

    I’m just itching to show you what my husband got us, well, for me actually. Tadaaaaaaa!

    Well, my dream of learning sewing is no longer a dream… my very first Singer machine.

    We brought this at one of the blocks of shops near O’Russei Market. It is literally a block of shops selling vintage sewing machines and other sewing materials! I just love anything vintage. The machine itself is not expensive but the wooden sewing table costs a lot. I got mine for a bargain, mind you. It took a bit of haggling on both sides and we were able to agree on a price that we (seller and buyer) were happy about. It just pays to be patient, assertive but not aggressive and remain respectful, and lots of smiles, for in the end, the seller will eventually just give in 🙂

    I’ve been practicing a lot these days and, so far, I think I’m doing good. I downloaded tutorials from the Internet and watched video tuts for added tips on using the machine. I have to admit, though, that even I am exciting about sewing, I still have this fear of machines. The one I have is pedal-powered, so how much more if I have an electric one? Erlack.

    I’m also keeping stock of fabrics, cheap fabrics and I source them at the shops along Street 113. For less than a dollar per metre, acckk, I feel like panic buying every time I visit there.

    Aren’t the prints cute? Now you know I go loca over them!

    As of this writing, I was able to finish a small sling pouch for his marker pens, a passport sleeve and several hemming jobs. I love the feeling of being able to make something productive. It’s a fantastic feeling, really. I’m learning more as I take on more projects that are beyond the easy level. I’ve lined up more projects but you will have to read it on my crafts blog.