Great Expectations

or “My Life in Blog Sounds Much Cooler Than It Really Is”

Archive for the ‘Shopping’ Category

Preppy Pony….

Posted by mandyhuckins on February 19, 2010

Please do not think for a momentt that I neglected to buy Dancer a little something special from Equifest.  Here she is after our ride last night enjoying her dinner and modeling her new preppy cooler.  It has matching leg wraps too.  I don’t think she is a real fan of this blanket.  When I first brought it out to try it on her, she turned her head all the way around as if to get a good look at it, then she faced the front, hung her head low, put her ears half-way back and cut her eyes at me.  The look on her face was pretty clear, “I am NOT a preppy pony!”  But, I pay the bills, and I think she looks very cute.


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Posted by mandyhuckins on February 16, 2010

This weekend, Wichita hosted Equifest, which is an equestrian exhibition with vendors, clinicians, lectures and exhibits.  It was really fun.  Although I kept hearing people say that it was better/bigger/more well attended in previous years, it was fun for me because it was my first time.  I really enjoyed seeing Kay Meredith’s clinic on Saturday about dressage.  And, of course I enjoyed the shopping.  Here is the one thing I bought for myself:

This came from South Pointe Equestrian Jewelry.  Their stuff was gorgeous and it was so difficult to make a final choice.  Another lady and I were shopping at the same time and as I often do, I started commenting on what I thought SHE should buy.  At one point, we even exchanged necklaces, but ending up trading back for our final purchase.  Her husband had been hanging back, waiting for her to make her final selection.  She called him up when it was time to pay.  I was hanging back and continuing to browse while the husband paid for his wife’s purchase.  Unbeknownst to me, the lady working in the booth mistakenly assumed that we were all together, since she had seen me helping the lady choose her necklace.  She started to ring up both of our choices for the gentleman to pay for!  He said, “I didn’t realize she was going to pick more than one…but, whatever she wants, I guess.”  Isn’t that sweet?  Unfortunately, we discovered what had happened and I didn’t get a free necklace that day.  Darn.

You can’t see them in this picture, but I have the perfect pair of earrings to go with this necklace.  They are delicate pieces of turquoise my sister bought me on a business trip to New Mexico.  I love it when new things you bring in complement and enhance things you already own.

(Note: what is up with the double chin in this picture????)

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Retail therapy….

Posted by mandyhuckins on February 16, 2010

***NOTE***This post was originally written on January 21st, but because I couldn’t find my camera, wasn’t completed until February 16th.

Ok, so I can’t afford the Jason Wu dress from yesterday’s post, but this weekend I did indulge in some retail therapy.  I have been feeling blue lately and I just thought I would go look at the Dillard’s shoe department.  This is what I decided I couldn’t live without:

They are really cute!  I wear a lot of brown, so I thought they would actually go with a lot of things in my closet.  I was wearing a pair of dark wash jeans when I was at the store, and these little pointy toes peaking out from under my jeans were really cute.  They will also be good for brown pants and a camel colored sweater for work or a brown skirt or dress (both of which I already own).  They were even on sale.  How could I resist?

Then, I walked by a rack of handbags that had been marked down 50%.  One in particular caught my eye.  I picked it up and put it on my arm.  I looked in the mirror.  I loved it.  I bought it, but I am having a bit of buyer’s remorse.  I haven’t cut the tag off yet, because I am trying to decide if I should return it.  I don’t need it – I just love it.

***END NOTE*** Obviously, I decided to keep the purse.  🙂

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I wish it were spring…

Posted by mandyhuckins on January 26, 2010

Two weeks ago, I was out doing some retail therapy (wrote a post about it, but I can’t finish it because I can’t find my camera – so frustrating!) and I saw these.

Honestly, how could anyone feel blue with these sunny little numbers on her feet?

Those are going on my wish list – along with this beautiful dress from J Crew:

Hurry up spring!

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The Great Panty Debacle….

Posted by mandyhuckins on September 9, 2009

I really love a good sale, so on Monday, I hit the local shopping center to see if anyone had any exciting Labor Day discounts.  Victoria’s Secret came through.  They had bins full of bras marked down to $12.99.  I found one I liked (original price $45!) and then scoured the store to find undies to match (I know, I know, I am weird like that.)  Also, on a  strange side note, I was looking for some undies to match a light green bra I purchased a while ago.  For some reason, I can’t find 3 pairs of underwear I purchased to go with that bra.  It is really weird.  Anyway, I left the store with a bra and 10 pairs of panties.  

When I got home, I realized that I had been charged full price ($12) for a pair of underwear that I had pulled out of the sale bin and were marked $5.99.  So, I left everything in the bag and went back today to let them know that I had accidentally been overcharged.  The nice ladies working in the store apologized and worked to correct the discrepancy.  Meanwhile, I decided to spin through the sale bins again – I mean, $12.99 for a bra – come on!  That is a good deal.  Today, I found two additional bras and 4 pairs of underwear.  While checking out, they credited the $12 back to me and re-charged me the $5.99 for the panties that I purchased on Monday.  They put everything (3 bras and all the assorted underwear) back into the same bag.

I got home and took everything out.  I clipped all the tags off and before I threw them away, I decided to just add everything up quickly to see how much I saved ($268 original retail price – $126 sale price!)  That is when I noticed that I was again charged $14 and $12 for the panties I purchased today that should have rung up at $5.99.  Seriously?  Who is more stupid – Victoria’s Secret for ringing up wrong prices two times in a row or me for not double checking this while I was still in the store?  To add insult to injury, one of the pairs of underwear didn’t even make it in the bag!  Ah!

I am so irritated that I have to go back there again.  Wonder what the odds are that I can make it out of there without purchasing additional merchandise….

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More yard sales…

Posted by mandyhuckins on June 1, 2009

It is time for the weekly edition of other people’s trash to Mandy’s treasure!

Despite the fact that I am suffering from a summer cold (hate those!), I managed to get out of bed on Saturday morning and head over to a neighborhood yard sale.  If it hadn’t been a neighborhood wide event, I probably would have skipped yard-saleing this weekend.  I also had to make an appearance at a barn work-day, so I couldn’t spend the day lounging in bed as I would have liked.  As it was, I got a late start (after 7:00!) heading to the yard sales and I was worried that I might have already missed out on everything. 

I hit many, many sales – I think eight or nine in all.  Sometimes I found a few things, other times I did not.  I did not find the elusive belgian waffle-maker, but never fear – I am sure persistance will pay off in the end.  Here is what I did find:


Two gold plastic chargers for $.75 each.  I use these alot during the holidays as underplates at the table or candleholders.


A set of ceramic pumpkin salt and pepper shakers and a little ceramic lidded pumpkin designed to hold a tealight inside.  This will go great in my fall decorations and I LOVE all things pumpkin.  $.75 for all.  This was also the sale where I gave the cutest little girl one dollar for the tiniest, yet tartest cup of lemonade.  I am a sucker for cute kids selling un-palatable drinks.


Costume jewelry set of pearls for $.75.  I love pearls – but already have several strands.  I am thinking of giving these as a gift or using them in some other creative way.  Wrapped around a package?  Especially a wedding shower gift?  If you have any other great ideas, be sure to let me know in the comments section.


This cute little lamp for $3.00.  I have been on the lookout for cute little lamps – now I have two.  (I found a little pineapple one last weekend.)  I feel a change of lampshade coming on, but the base is cute as is.


How many of these cheese servers are out there?   I have seen them many times in the past and on many of your blogs.  Of course, I bought it for the glass dome (the wooden base will probably be trashed).  There are so many cute uses for cloches out there.   Now I have one to use when the inspiration strikes me.  $2.00


These little sherbert dishes were only $.10 each.  In my best blog-stalking, copycatting mode, I plan to use them to create pedestal dishes the way I have seen many of you more creative bloggers doing.  Now I am on the lookout for cute (paintable) dishes. 


This pair of paintings was $2.00.  I bought them for their gorgeous frames:


I wasted no time in popping the paintings out and covering them with chalkboard paint.  Now I have two of these:


Some of you might remember this – I picked it up a few weeks ago for $10 at a yard sale.


(sorry about the fact that this picture is so huge compared to the others in this post – I must have been feeling generous when I took this one!)

I removed the mirror and covered the painted back of it with chalkboard paint (I am hoping this holds up).  I removed the hardware, lightly sanded the piece and spraypainted it a light green color. 


It looks good from far away, but up close there are two spots that look like this:


The paint is all buckled and crackled.  This didn’t happen until I applied a top coat of poly.  My other foray into spray painting yard sale finds was a valet for my husband.  I did many light coats of a brown spray paint.  It wasn’t until the very last coat (no poly involved) that this happened:


Has this happned to anyone else?  Can anyone help me?  You all make spray painting look like a cinch. 

Oh, one other thing – I found this sitting out by the road on trash pick up day.  I thought it would make a nice printer stand in my office.   Of course, it needs a fresh coat of paint, so I need to be schooled on my painting skills before I tackle it.


Of course,  I am linking my finds with the fabulous Southern Hospitality blog’s .  Man, she found some AMAZING stuff this weekend.

Posted in Decorating, Shopping | Tagged: , | 11 Comments »

The lust list…green is my favorite color…

Posted by mandyhuckins on May 28, 2009

I recently read an article…somewhere…(if you read it – tell me and I will give credit where credit is due, but I honestly can’t remember) that talked about getting a shopping high without spending any money.  My trick for this used to be going shopping with someone who had more money than I did (or was just more willing to part with it).  One memorable shopping trip to Milan (yes, the real Milan in Italy!) comes to mind when my very good girlfriend and fun shopping buddy decided to buy a handbag at Prada.  Helping her pick it out and flitting around telling her she should try this one and that one while a very cute, very young Italian man rushed to help us with our every desire was perfection!  And, my husband wasn’t mad at me when I got home.  🙂 

Anyway….the point of this article was that sometimes the act of shopping is just as fun as actually buying something.  Hmmm….I am not so sure about that.  But, I do enjoy shopping, even when I am helping someone else find what they are looking for.  I also like creating wish lists.  And, I have seen many bloggers out there highlighting things they like.  So, drumroll please…..introducing “The Lust List.”  These posts will highlight things I have found that I love.  Some of the things might actually end up being purchased by me, but I imagine that most of the things will remain tucked away like little jewels here in the blog.  I will just have to get back to you on whether or not the pleasure level to collect them here is equal to actually purchasing them.

I am dedicating the first installment of TLL to my favorite color: green.  To kick it off, here is a delicious apple green tote from Cole Haan.  Sometimes I forget about Cole Haan, but they make a high quality product – and sometimes it is SO me!  I would look adorable using this as a carry-on or running to the library to bring home a load of reading material.  It is big enought to hold a laptop!  Retail price on this was $375 and it was posted on eBay for $280 or best offer.  I know in time, it will come down, so maybe there is a chance.

How about these lovelies from Christian Louboutin?  Is your heart beating faster?  Mine is.  Retail was $795 at Bergdorf Goodman, but they were on sale for $385.  Good thing they are sold out.

Christian Louboutin Satin Slingback - photo


Alexa from J Crew….retail $225…..


Here is a lovely necklace made of one of my favorite stones, chalcedony.  It comes from an Etsy seller – YSDesigns.  She has beautiful things.   This retails for $185.

Melissa - Necklace

Also from Etsy and something I might actually be able to afford…the Chloe Vintage Apron from Boojiboo – retails for $28.75.  And, you really should go check her out – she has SO many cute aprons in several styles and many different fabric choices.

The CHLOE Vintage Inspired AMY BUTLER Water Garden Full Apron

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A yard sale with benefits…

Posted by mandyhuckins on May 24, 2009

Rain was forecast all weekend – so, not the best time for yard-saleing.  However, a local church was having an indoor yard sale – with the proceeds to benefit missions.  I ask you, what can be better than great deals for oneself while at the same time benefiting others?  I set out early this morning quivering with delight at the thought of treasures to be discovered.  I was vaguely disappointed in the selection, but managed to come away with a few finds nonetheless.


I found this little pheasant salt or pepper shaker (I am sure once part of a set).  I thought it might look cute as a part of a fall/Thanksgiving themed table.  Plus, my husband likes pheasants – well, he likes to kill them and eat them.  I have never eaten a pheasant, and anyway, I prefer the porcelain kind.  I paid $2.00 total for this little guy, a canning jar  for my grandmother-in-law and the framed picture below.


This olive picture will work perfectly in my Tuscany themed bathroom.  I even have an olive oil soap/lotion dispenser set that looks as if they were made to go with this picture.  It is in such good shape that I don’t even have to do any work to it to start using it.

As  I was checking out, I saw this old metal flower frog sitting up by the register.  I asked if anyone had already claimed it – the kind lady said she didn’t think so and went ahead and sold it to me for $2.


And, finally, on my way out the door – this little lamp caught my eye.  As I have been reading about the benefits of lamplight vs. overhead lighting in beautifying a home,  I have been on the lookout for little lamps that can go in unexpected places (i.e. the bathroom, the kitchen counter, even a bookshelf).  Please visit the Nester’s blog for more information on lamps and how to use them.  I also watched a little video tutorial online today ( and am inspired to look around my house to see what I might have to use – or to keep my eyes open for lamp worthy items at future yard sales.  It came with the cheesy looking green shade, but I think using one of the left over black and gold chandelier shades I found last week (10 for $3.00) will give it a sleeker more modern look.  I am even contemplating spray painting the whole thing – maybe flat black.


One of the things I am scouting for as I hit these sales is an old style Belgian waffle maker.  My mom makes delicious waffles for our family whenever we get together and I want to be able to do the same thing.  However, the cheap version I bought at Target just doesn’t work well.  I noticed one of you bloggers out there found one at a thrift store – I am so jealous.  So, imagine my excitement when I saw one peeping out of a box full of junk.  I ran over and grabbed it up, but it was not the deeper-welled Belgian waffle style – and I decided to put it back and wait for the right one to come along.  I have faith!

This sale also had something else that I really want – cardboard shoe holders.  I bought some of these years and years ago (like maybe 10+) to hold shoes and they have been doing their duty ever since.  If you want to see what I am talking about, look at this postwhen I re-organized my closet.  There were two of these (in green, no less!) but they already had someone’s name on them.  Drat!  It gives me hope though that I might be able to find some more – I have looked for them new everywhere, but apparently, they are no longer being produced.

On Friday morning, I stopped in at a small garage sale on my way to the stable and found this:


It is one of those plastic jewelry holders with clear pockets that fastens onto a hanger and lets you see all of your jewelry at a glance.  I really need one of these and have been wanting one ever since my friend Becky mentioned it to me last year.  Now I need to find another one that I can send to her!  For $1!  I am not going to tackle this project until after our move in June – no need to get all the jewelry out of boxes and organized only to have to put it back in boxes in a week.  So, stay tuned. 

I am getting rather excited about the challenge of fixing up my new house.  And, it will be a challenge as we will be living in the rather old-fashioned and unexciting government housing.  So, stay tuned for before and after pictures to come in June.

And to get some really great ideas about what you might be able to turn from trash into treasure, please check out the blogs listed on Southern Hospitality

 SouthernHospThriftyTreasures copy

Posted in Decorating, Shopping | 13 Comments »


Posted by mandyhuckins on May 23, 2009

swagbucks-173x63Alt2Have you heard of this yet?  Once you register at Swagbucks, you can download their search engine toolbar and conduct your internet searches through them.  Not always, but sometimes, you will be notified that you earned swagbucks when you conduct a search.  Usually, it is just one, but sometimes it will be two or three and once I even got a fiver!    You save them up and redeem them for prizes.  There are all kinds of prizes, but perhaps one of the most useful is a $5 gift card to Amazon (45 swagbucks).  You can find almost anything on Amazon.  And, if you start collecting swagbucks now, you might have enough saved up by Christmas to get some Amazon (or other retailer) gift cards to give away as gifts.

There are other ways to earn swagbucks too.  One is by recommending it to your friends – or posting a link – like I have done here.  When you click my link and start earning swagbucks, I will earn some too.  It is a wonderful thing.  Happy searching!

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Yard Sale Bonanza…

Posted by mandyhuckins on May 18, 2009

For my entry to Southern Hospitality’s Thrifty Treasures party SouthernHospThriftyTreasures copy (and you really should click over there to check out what Rhoda and all the linkers found this weekend too – so much fun!) I submit the following “treasures”:


I bought 10 of these little lampshades.  I have read several blog posts regarding these little beauties and how they might be painted and have tassels added to be totally transformed.  But, I don’t even mind them the way they are – black faux alligator on the outside and gold on the inside.  I just popped them up in the dining room to show you what they look like, although since we are moving in a few weeks, I will very quickly be taking them down.  Anyway, I got 10 of these for $3.00 – that is 30 cents each! 


I couldn’t pass up this little note card set (11 in all) with coordinating lined envelopes for $1.50.  I can envision hosting a girls night in or a cocktail party or a bachelorette party at some point and these will be perfect!  At the same sale, I also purchased a spool of blue ribbon for $.25 – I really want to bulk up my stash of ribbon for use in wrapping lovely presents.  For examples of what I aspire to create, but really have no hope of reproducing, check out :A Gift Wrapped Life - Gifting Tips, Advice and Inspiration

It is truly divine!


At my third stop (a local subdivision was having a community yard sale day – yay!), I found this shelf for $3.  While it is cute as is, I could paint it – it all depends on where I decide to use it in my new house.


Here is the bread machine I bought.  I just took the picture a few moments ago and as you can see, it is sitting on my kitchen counter – what you cannot see, or more importantly what you cannot smell (and I am sorry about that) is that it is making bread.  I have toyed with the idea of a bread machine for a while and was even thinking about researching them and adding it to my gift wish list.  When I came across this, I thought I should give it a try.  It was priced at $15 and I am sure they would have gone down, but unfortunately, I had run out of cash and I had to ask them to hold it while I went to the ATM.  When I showed back up with a $20, I didn’t think I had a firm bargaining leg to stand on.  Too bad.  But, good lesson learned – not to self: never go out thrifing or yard sale shopping without lots of money in small bills. 

The last stop (with my newly replenished wallet) yielded some fun results.


Basket – Free!


I am thinking that this would be so cute if I painted over the mirror with chalkboard paint, which of course, I learned from reading all of the crafty/decorating blogs out there.  Can I paint directly over glass?  I guess I will find out…I think it will be cute in a kitchen or entry way.  The front has a compartment divided into three spaces that might work for sorting mail or something.

And, finally….


This croquet set, which I thought might be a fun activity in the yard, especially when we have family visiting or are hosting an office party.  I paid $10 for it and when I got in the car, I started wondering if that might have been too much.  I had visions of all the $3 furniture you guys have gotten!  But, when I got home and looked it up online, I saw what appears to be an identical set at LL Bean for $129!  Exciting!

All in all, I spent about $40, but I had a wonderful morning and I think I got some really nice things.  I will let you know how the bread turns out – keep your fingers crossed for me.

Posted in Decorating, Shopping | Tagged: | 7 Comments »