>> Friday, February 26

A few days ago, I came across the word "thrifting." Not knowing exactly what it meant, I looked it up in Wikipedia.
This is what I found:
Thrifting refers to the act of shopping at a thrift store, flea market, garage sale, or a shop of a charitable organization, usually with the intent of finding interesting items at a cheap price.
A larger philosophy permeates the act of thrifting which celebrates the recycling of formerly-owned items, finding new use and new love for vintage material goods which had been thrown out, and the thrill of imagining what the former life of the item was like.

Then it struck me: I have been thrifting for many many years and these days, it has finally become fashionable!
When my brother, mom and I arrived to the US over 20 years ago, we had 3 suitcases of clothes and some mementos with us and nothing else. We arrived in Reno, Nevada in March and it was still winter. We were ill-prepared for the snow and the cold.
Quickly we learned of the downtown Salvation Army. My mom and I were amazed and delighted at all the fabulous bargains we found, some at only 10 cents each!
A short conversation with the Salvation Army cashier revealed that all the items in the thrift store were donated by people who no longer needed or wanted them. It was a novel concept for all of us.
We stocked up on the basics: plates, kitchen ware, beddings, furniture and of course, winter clothing.
We happily trudged in the snow from the bus stop carrying our brown paper bags full of "thrifted" items. We needed all of them. Our apartment was bare.
My brother and I had our first "dinner" of Hunt's pork and beans with on a Salvation Army plate. Well, he didn't even use a plate really. All he needed was a can opener.
Many of the ingenious finds from more than 20 years ago survive today and have found a home here in Florida. I never stopped thrifting.
Here are some of the treasures I have found over the years:


Practical Joke

Yesterday, I had an "oh, shoot!" moment. I found the following blue screen of death on my PC screen. I called my husband to the rescue who after a few minutes found its source. He was puzzled saying that it was an jpeg of the BSOD.
I then asked my 13 year old son if he had downloaded anything on my computer.
With a sheepish grin (and a silent sigh of relief on my part), he admitted to this practical joke on mom.


Movie Review: Behaving Badly

Plot summary found on

Based on a book by Catherine Heath (who co-wrote the film script) - Dench plays a stiff, upper-class wife who breaks down after learning of her husband's extramarital affair. After several years accepting her fate living in a small flat, working part-time and going to evening classes, she draws on her inner strength and decides to start behaving badly by making bold and risky changes in the way she lives her life. This includes moving back in with her ex-husband and his new wife, and then falling in love with a young man.

The miniseries concept allows for the story to build slowly - but perhaps a little too slowly in parts (especially if you're watching in one big block). Despite my admiration of any work that Judi Dench does, even I found the four hours a bit tiresome and was forced to fast forward some parts. In particular, the scenes featuring Gwen Watfordias as the former mother-in-law of Dench’s character were very annoying as the part is in no way an appealing one. Similarly, Joely Richardson’s supporting role as a nervous and stressed teacher grates on the nerves rather quickly too.

Behaving Badly is firmly pitched at a female audience (let's face it, how many blokes really want to sit through a story about a woman gaining control over her life and gaining the confidence to make her own decisions??).


When my mom came over for a visit last fall, she borrowed the movie "Behaving Badly" from the library. She started watching it alone but slowly, the kids and I sat down beside her to watch too. Yes, the movie was slow and sometimes boring and decidedly British but at the end of the first 2 episodes, we were all hooked! So hooked that we had to rush to the library to borrow the next episodes!
If you are not in the mood for vampires or violent movies or run of the mill comedies, borrow these movies. You will either fall asleep or after four hours or so, will want to know if there are more sequels!


New Goodies!


The Graphics Fairy

>> Thursday, February 25

Why have I not discovered this blog yet?
Karen, of the Graphics Fairy has offered free vintage images for download!
Below are just some of the amazing images she has available for free!
These are my favorites:


Hello Spring!


I'm A Crazy Person, New Etsy Treasury

A new Etsy Treasury, curated at the late hours of the night "I'm A Crazy Person," abimonroe!

My Corporate Gray Brooch is in the top left. Thanks Abi!
See her shop here.


How Not To Get A Traffic Ticket

>> Tuesday, February 23

The last traffic ticket that I got was in 1992. I was living in California then, driving from Visalia to Los Angeles, in the long lazy stretch of highway past Bakersfield. I was driving my brand new electric blue Toyota Paseo with "Sweet Child O'Mine" by Guns N' Roses blasting on my stereo. Before I know it, my sweet soprano was interrupted by flashing lights in my rear view mirror. Yup, I was speeding. Not badly, about 10 mph over the limit. My excuse, my lame excuse? I was making sure my speedometer was correctly functioning. No kidding. I actually told that to the Highway Patrol guy.
In the ensuing 18 years, I have gotten a ticket again. The closest call was kinda funny. Different car, different state.
I was driving home from KFC with my 2 year old son in my cherry red 2-seater Honda del sol convertible. No blaring music this time. My son was strapped to his baby booster next to me with a bucket of chicken on his lap.
I was driving through Atlantic Beach, FL with its many 4 way stops. I stopped a full 5 seconds (okay, maybe 2) at every stop sign and again saw some flashing lights. I was not speeding, far from that. I was actually very cautious. I had been a converted cautious driver since the birth of my kids.
The cop sidled up beside my window and the sight to him may have been amusing. Me, clearly a mom rushing home to get "dinner" to the table, the smell of delicious Colonel chicken wafting out the window.
My driver's license and registration yielded my ticket-less for many years state.
Apparently I had a busted tail light. I got away with a warning and my baby thoroughly enjoyed the show.

So here is what I have learned:
1. Do not speed! I always think that speeding will save me a few minutes and I will get to my destination sooner especially when I am running late. But the hundred some dollar ticket is absolutely not worth it. I am very good at apologizing for my tardiness.

2. Do not switch lanes! Decide on your lane and if you know what lane you need to be, stick to it. If you think you can speed up your journey by switching lanes, see number 1.

3. It is okay to drive a red convertible. Small red car does not equal police magnet. I am living proof of that.

And lastly:
4. Always, always, always wear your seat belt. My aforementioned blue Toyota was totaled in an accident (the hazards of the Tulle fog, a thick fog that envelopes the Central Valley in CA certain times of the year). My seat belt saved my life.


Featured in a Blog!

>> Monday, February 22

I first "met" Ceci a few month ago via Etsy. I was stalking the forums at night as usual (my way to relax) and we had a conversation. I featured her shop and her beautiful paintings here.
Since then she has sold this Impressionist Horse Painting:

She had also started a blog!
Ande best of all, she featured me on her blog. Read about it here.
And okay, if you are too occupied to click (as in cheetos/cheetos dust in one hand, soda in another, here's the transcript:

Hello! My name is Nina Sabangan and I live in the almost perpetually sunny city of Ponte Vedra Beach next to metropolitan Jacksonville in Florida. I think, I live, I breathe creating. I am always thinking of a new item to create! I think this creative passion shows in my shop- I have more than 500 items listed right now!
I started making jewelry about 6 years ago as a past time. Back then I was working at a pretty stressful job and it would relax me to string beads together at 11 pm before going to bed. Over time, my tastes and styles have evolved from gemstone chips to fabric and feathers.
The biggest learning curve I had to go through was photography. I started with a home made cardboard light box, progressed to a fancy schmancy dog house like collapsible ebay bought light box and discovered that the best pictures I took were at the window seat in our bedroom. There are some small trees and shrubs right outside our window and those create a sun dappled effect to my pictures depending on what time of day I take them. In the summer, there is abundant sunlight from about 8 am until about 8 pm! I try to use varied backgrounds (I have a stack of scrap booking paper in different colors and designs) but the best backgrounds I have used so far are vintage, falling apart books, small vintage boxes, my badly painted green vintage toolbox and antique postcards. I use Picassa for editing and I hardly edit my pictures. Just to add a bit more light sometimes or add a soft glow. Picassa is much better, faster and simpler than the old Photoshop program that I used.
Creating pieces is touch and go, sometimes it takes me weeks to figure out how to create a piece and sometimes, in seconds, I have it all worked out! For example, I have a ton of vintage brooches and I want to integrate feathers into them. I cannot for the life of me create a prototype! Feathers can be really hard to work with.
I do a have a personal life. I have 2 boys, a 9 year old and a teenager. I have been married to a supportive and gorgeous guy for the last 15 some years. Although we have had some rough patches, we are still together, trying to make work the most important and difficult relationships of our lives - marriage and parenthood.
For materials, I make regular trips to our local flea market where nothing would delight me more to find a beautiful piece of fabric, a discarded dress with a broken zipper or forlorn necklaces, brooches and earrings for less than a dollar! My mother-in-law is my staunch ally in this. She loves perusing, shopping, bargaining and not a week goes by that she does not bring me some piece of fabric or broken jewelry to use! Yesterday, she brought me 4 little girl’s dresses with elaborate tulle and beading. She got them at a yard sale for 50 cents a piece! I can’t wait to create something out of these ready to be discarded items!
I have a keen knack in finding the deals though. One time there was this lady at the flea market, an art teacher she said and she had boxes and boxes of craft material. She was selling them for $1-2 a box. Boy, did I jump on that one! Last weekend I was at Old Navy and they had an additional 50% off already clearance’d items. I bought 4 tank tops at $1.50 each (I got my sons 4 hoodie jackets at I kid you not, $3.25 each!). I thought I would buy more and embellish them with hand made flower rosettes and sell them! But, alas, I don’t have the storage space for a project into the future.
I also have a vintage shop on Etsy, that I have been neglecting lately. I was going to take a bunch of pictures today and so… I gotta go!
I want to thank CeCi for this honor of being featured in her blog.

My first full length feature!


Happily Ever After, A New Etsy Treasury

A glorious new treasury, perfect for a romantic spring wedding!
TreasuresRenewed, a new Etsy seller created this treasury for a happily ever after wedding!
She features my Vintage Gloves with Paper White Wild Flowers.
Enjoy her treasury here!
Peruse her shop and her blog!


My Vintage Barbies

>> Sunday, February 21

Growing up as a kid in the Philippines, I did not own a Barbie. My parents gave me a pseudo-Barbie one year for Christmas but it was not the same. She was cute, she was flexible and she had those tiny shoes. But she was not a Barbie. The same year, my brother got a G.I. Joe doll. I would play "dating" games using both of them. My play refrigerator became my doll's closet.
Not that my parents did not want me to have a Barbie, but they were very expensive at that time and imported to boot.
As I got older, I fulfilled my Barbie cravings with several Barbie dolls I had collected. Among them are these ornately dressed collectible Christmas Barbies. I might sell them soon. I have two boys who have absolutely no interest in them. Should I wait until the possibility that I may have a grandchild who might like Barbies? It will be a very very long wait!


Men Talk About Women's Perfumes from

From a recent article in

We surveyed a varied group of guys to find out if men really have strong preferences when it comes to fragrances. Guess what? Not really - they like scents because their girlfriend/wife/ex wore them. Read on for a few of the amusing responses we received, as well as some fragrances we recommend you buy for yourself, because, as we learned, you need to buy it, or at least pick it, yourself. He's not going to.

What's the best perfume you've ever smelled on a woman?

"Chanel No 5. Just a classic and seems to always smell good on any woman."

"Tommy's just deadly"

"My 2 favorites are Chloe, and Issey Miyake. Chloe is strong, but the flavor of the scent is very natural and fresh. Issey Miyake you can barely tell is being worn, but when you get close it is a soft fresh smell. The nice thing about both is that the woman's natural smell is still there and you are not overpowered by the perfume."

"Bond No. 9 China Town and Stila. It was more about who was wearing them than actual scent."

"Calvin Klein Eternity."

"J'Adore from Christian Dior – my girlfriend at the time wore it…mmmm, now when anyone wears it, it's an instant aphrodisiac."

"TOVA, I like the way it smells because it's unique."

"The only perfume I know is that Angel perfume. I know this because it is somewhat common, and Amanda wore it. The smell makes me happy, but not because of anything special about the smell itself, but rather because I really liked her at the time, and have always associated that smell with that girl. Whenever I smell it on another woman, I don't think ‘Oh, wow, that's a great smell,' I think ‘Oh, wow, she smells like Amanda... I really liked Amanda.'"

"Red Door from Elizabeth Arden. It always reminds me of my delightful wife."

"Pink Sugar. I'm not a huge fan of perfume, but I love this one. I just want to keep breathing it in, it's intoxicating."

"This fragrance oil called Egyptian Musk. It just smells really fresh and clean but is also potent."

"Victoria's Secret is not necessarily my favorite, but for some reason all the women I sleep with have that fragrance on."

"I have, on many occasions, noticed when a woman's perfume smelled good. Did I ever then stop to ask her the name of that perfume? Not once."

What do I use?
For years, I used "Beautiful" by Estee Lauder.
Lately, "Very Sexy" by Victoria's Secret. :)

My mother-in-law, not my husband, keeps me "eau de toilette'd" for my birthday every year!

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This blog about my day that includes my Etsy and Artfire shops, newbie and experienced Etsy sellers, helpful business tips, tutorials, Etsy treasuries, Artfire collections, fashion, decorating, inspirational quotes, pictures and music.
For fabric flower brooches, hair pins, bobby pins, jewelry and accessories, please visit my Etsy store and Artfire store.
For vintage housewares, book plates, jewelry and supplies, please visit My Sunshine Vintage and Vintage Charming.
Copyright Nina In Florida 2009-2010 All Rights Reserved
All text and images, unless otherwise, noted are my own. Feel free to use my content as long as you link back to my site and give me credit. Thank you!

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