August 06, 2013

Resale sundae

The glasses sitting upside down in the cupboard.

I love resale shops, estate sales, garage sales, Goodwill, Craigslist etc. When I look around my house and my closet, large amounts of what I see came from these sources — not junk, mind you, but genuine finds of great stuff. I like both saving money, and recycling. Plus, adding previously well-loved pieces to my household makes me feel like I'm part of a continuum. I hope the things I no longer need or want find their way into the hands of someone who cares for them as much as I did. At this point, having been collecting for so long, I'm pretty discriminating, and buy very little of what I see, because I don't have much room to add possessions. Still, that doesn't keep me from 'looking', and selecting a few things here and there.

There's one phenomenon that strikes me as humorous — and potentially dangerous for a restrained collector — and it happens whenever I see something that I covetously desired at an earlier time in my life, but no longer need or want. I'll see the object, experience the thrill of a great find, then suddenly remind myself I no longer want it — like a round oak table, for example. There was a time in my life when I coveted an antique round oak dining table, but was foiled in my desire by parents who moved to another state, and wanted me to take their beloved mahogany dining table because it wouldn't fit into their new condo. I didn't want it, but we actually drove it 900 miles in a U-haul to our house, to make my parents happy. And dragged it along every time we moved, except the last time to Seattle. I no longer want a round oak table, but every so often when I see a particularly fetching one, there's a moment when I forget.

They are cute, aren't they?

This is what must have happened when I was in a resale shop last year, and spied a set of fluted sundae glasses. "Oh, I've always wanted a set of these," I thought. "Wouldn't it be fun to serve ice cream sundaes in 'real' sundae glasses." The size was just perfect, too — petite. Never mind that I never serve ice cream sundaes, and have never actually been in a situation where I wished I had sundae glasses. Still, they had been on my wish list at one time. But I came to my senses, and left the shop without them. The shop's sales support cancer research (good reason to buy stuff, right?), and a friend of mine was managing the shop at the time, and I mentioned to her my misplaced desire for the glasses. Every time I saw her I asked if they were still there.

One day I walked into the shop, and the glasses were on the reduced rack, having been there such a long time, because, obviously, no one needs sundae glasses. The price was so low I finally succumbed and bought them — and my friend wrapped them up and gave them to me as a gift. I had a high, empty cupboard shelf in the kitchen, and the glasses fit in perfectly. And they sat there.


Until now. I finally served ice cream sundaes at a family dinner! Layers of dairy-free ice cream, fresh sliced strawberries, and chocolate ganache. Oo la la!

Are you a resale shopper? Do you strictly limit what you buy? Do you have moments where you stop yourself before buying a coveted item?

21 comments:

  1. What a great post, Andrea! Thankfully for us in the NYC area, we know a place who serves ice cream TO us in fabulous glasses such as these ;-)

    I am not a resale shopper, but I am a sale shopper. To pay full price would be a defeat! It also helps that I abhor clutter and place sentimentality on inanimate objects. Translation: what I've got is staying and there's not much room for more.

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    1. Thank you. I'm a sale shopper, too, and I also hate clutter. It's a tough situation to love sales and re-sales and not collect things. But, I can do it. Especially now that I keep my clutter in another state. (Attachment to inanimate items does compound the problem.)

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  2. That's a good question! I'm a bit of both resale and sale shopper due to food styling. Sometimes, there are old dishes, boards, pots and utensils to be used for styling, etc. but I wouldn't use them for daily use. And now .... I want to make raw banana ice cream now!

    www.veganmiam.com

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    1. Yes. I'm trying not to collect things I can't use due to storage issues, or I'd have tons of props! You'll see the same things used over and over in my photos — but I've come to an uneasy peace about it. :)

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    2. And I love the glasses, Andrea ^_^ Me too, I get easily bored with props I have used in photos and sometimes, you always need to get more. I think it's really worth collecting things you will use! :)

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  3. I used to be a resale shopper and actually was a donations/sorting supervisor at Goodwill for a while. It was a fun job! I don't know how, but I got out of shopping that way and would like to get back into it. I do limit what a purchase and usually make myself wait before getting something, although I used to be a big impulse shopper!

    The sundae glasses are cute! They remind me of when my parents owned a cafe in upper Michigan because they had some just like that for serving sundaes. :)

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    1. I'd be afraid to be donations supervisor — I might be overly tempted. I make myself wait before buying, too, to see if I still want it, though with second-hand, that doesn't always work since things move so fast.

      I love the glasses though I probably didn't 'need' them. I want to use them to serve layered puddings, or even to serve a cobbler.

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  4. Oh, those are such lovely dishes! I would have snatched them right up, too, especially such a great set. I can usually only get one or two odd dishes, which can make it difficult to complete a photography scene. Second hand stores are still great for prop shopping.

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    1. I now have eight sundae dishes! They are not very useful on a daily basis, but they do add a touch of glamour to a dinner party. :)

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  5. Those sundae dishes are so cute! I think that specialty glassware (and really any specialty kitchen item) can be the trickiest to justify, because there are only so many times you're going to need them. The rest of the time, they're just sitting in the cupboard. Maybe you need to have a sundae social with some friends to justify your new find... :)

    As a food blogger, it's particularly difficult to reign in kitchen desires, since there are always post possibilities and food styling dreams. I feel like I do a good job of limiting the amount of extras that I buy. When we moved from LA, we got rid of the vast majority of our belongings, and it felt so freeing to have less stuff and less clutter. (Plus, as a person who tends to be on the messy side, I find it's a lot easier to keep things neat when there are less items around.) The one problem I've run into is my own pottery. It's filling up quite a bit of cupboard space! And of course, what do I long to buy when I go to craft fairs? Yep. Pottery.

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    1. I probably have to have a lot more dinner parties to justify the purchase, but the cost was under $5 and the cupboard was empty, so I'll live with my guilt. :) Though, I could have stashed a waffle iron up there, I suppose.

      We left most things behind when we moved from Wisconsin, but as you say, it's hard not to be attracted to kitchen items wherever you live. I like our pared-down lifestyle because I hate clutter, but I still want kitchen stuff. And don't get me started about pottery.

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  6. Those glasses look great! I admit that I am constantly looking for new props although I seriously shouldn't. I am glad we don't have many shops like that one around. Otherwise I'd probably need another room for the stuff.

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    1. Here's an idea. Buy the props second-hand, use them a couple of times, then donate them back to the shop. The only catch is not getting attached to them.

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  7. I TRY to be a resale shopper, but I never seem to find anything nearly as good as you do! I check out second hand shops all the time--garage sales too--but everything I find is basically junk...cheap or broken or missing pieces. I love to look and dream about what I hope to find, though... :-)

    Courtney

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    1. Resale shopping is definitely hit or miss — mostly miss. But so is retail shopping. I hardly ever find what I want. Garage sales have been terrible lately, too. I don't mind, though. It makes a good find that much more exciting!

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  8. I'm absolutely with you on this one - I love both getting and giving away stuff with charity shops, boot sales and all that, both for the environmental and general bargain-finding reasons. I love those sundae glasses - we used to have a couple like that as kids and I was heartbroken when I broke one!

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    1. It's just plain fun to go hunting in resale shops. You never know what you'll find — sometimes nothing, and sometimes treasure. And it's recycling, as you said.

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  9. Nice looking sundae. I love the gooey ganache! Never have been a huge ice cream person, though, but I can understand the appeal of wanting a proper serving medium.
    That said, I rarely buy...much of anything. my mother is a packrat (God love her) and usually anything I need is in her basement. I don't like to spend money, and I'd rather find inventive ways to use what I already have. Though when I do buy something, I almost always try a thrift store (or three) before buying new. The selection here isn't all that great, though.

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    1. I'm not a huge ice cream person either (or dessert person for that matter) but it makes for an easy dessert for company, and looks good layered with fruit or whatever. I don't buy much either anymore, but you know how even small purchases add up once you've established a home base. I'm also cheap (the glasses were less than $5) which keeps me in line. Buying the glasses was out of character but I got obsessed with them so now I feel obligated to use them. Now I really want a waffle iron, and if I see one at a good price at Goodwill, I may go for it. I've been wanting one for about a year, so you can see how long it takes me to actually bye something!

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  10. Nice score! Those are beautiful looking glasses! I've been trying hard to not add any more clutter but if I found something like that, it would be very hard to pass up. It's best if I don't go shopping. :-)

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    1. Every so often I HAVE to go to one resale shop or another. I hardly ever buy something, but it's fun to look.

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