Category Archives: Under $10

Thrifting tips & latest thrift haul

Hello, is it me you’re looking for? See what I did there? I made a Lionel Richie reference because for goodness sake, THIS IS NEW ZEALAND – LAND OF THE FREE!. *Insert Bald Eagle picture with American flag as the background*.

This week has definitely been an exciting one for the Haus of “Van”. We’ve got some pretty exciting and scary things being thrown into the pipelines, so until then – I’ll update your pretty faces with my latest thrifting haul and of course, my well used thrifting tips 🙂


* Leave the kids at home – Lets face it, thrifting takes time, energy and patience. Taking my mini tornado into a thrift store is like taking a bull into a China shop. Not only do I miss out on the things I usually need to spend time scouring through, I find myself apologising to people, picking displays up off the floor, or actually losing her in clothing racks.

* Wear a “Thrifting Uniform”. For me, this either means an easy slip on dress, slip on shoes, or leggings and an oversized shirt. Anything you can easily change out of… but only if you’re trying on clothes. It’d just be weird if you weren’t…

* Set a budget – Depending on what I’m looking for, I’ll set myself a budget and I’ll stick to it. It’s so easy to get a basket full of loot, only to reach the counter and find yourself $50 out of pocket. Unless you’ve scored some amazingly underpriced silver bounty – for me it just takes the thrill out of thrifting. It’s supposed to be cheap right?!

* Have a running list of things you want or need – I’ve done this for years now. If I’m wanting a vintage leather tooled bag, every thrift store I go into – I know that the first place I need to check is the bag section.
Write it down or make a mental note – IT REALLY DOES PAY OFF!

* Buy only what you love and be realistic about making alterations or doing a D.I.Y project. You don’t want to end up as “that person” on the front page of the local newspaper that everyone writes to the council about because your yard is so full of abandoned projects and unwanted things that it is literally moving and rippling with local critters and bacterial colonies. Ecosystems become built. Mayors get elected. Feuds between rival gangs breakout, innocent bacterial and critter-like bystanders get caught in the crossfire. Your home then becomes a crime scene and you will feature on COPS. Messy. It’s just messy. You don’t want to be “that” person.

* Be open minded. Try to match things with what you already have in your house / wardrobe. Shop for quality. Frequent the shops on a regular basis – more often than not, new stock is added daily.

* Donate. I go through my stuff at least once every 6 months and ‘give back’ the things I didn’t end up using. Not only does it feel good making room, it means room for MORE STUFF!! woo! 😛 *”It’s the cirrrrcle of liiiiiife….”*



5 things I love

Hello fine faces!

Here are 5 things I’m loving this week:

1. WEDDING ANNIVERSARIES – Seven years ago yesterday, the man of my dreams and I jumped the broom into wedded bliss!
He still won’t put his washing in the laundry. I still don’t rinse my coffee cup. I can’t wait till we get to the age where we wiggle our dentures at each other, or when he wears his pants up to his nipples and I wear my lipstick on my teeth. Love you babe!
We celebrated with mussells, a movie and a cheeky wee family photo 🙂

2. HOME GROWN PLUMS IN BROWN PAPER BAGS – These things are so expensive right now, they’re like the Caviar of the fruit section at the Supermarket. No doubt there is a thriving underground market based in Calcutta for this type of commodity.

3. REARRANGING MY PERSONAL SPACE: My cute Nana gave me the coolest painting that I’ve used to update my dressing table. Little two year old hands keep shuffling and stashing my things in toy boxes so I decided it was time to change things up a bit. I like minimalism (unless it has anything to do with dessert), so in this instance, I climbed it like a tree.

4. IMPROMPTU PHOTO SHOOTS WITH MY BABY LADY: How is it that laid back Dan and I are the parents to the most social, lively personality we’ve ever seen in a child. She says “Hi!” in the most excited little voice to everyone she walks past (not an exaggeration), twirls and dances at every given opportunity, sings at the top of her lungs in the supermarket and is either constant noise or is silent with sleep. Who is this little girl going to grow up to be?! No we don’t load her up on sugar, yes we’re firm on her with boundaries – she is just being who she was made to be! (Her name DOES mean ‘Lively’ after all)

5. THRIFT STORE SPOILS: Gotta say, my sad face comes out when I see just how much my fave thrift store has hiked up their prices – but in saying so, I do manage to find the odd bit of trusty loot here and there.
My three dollar “Anything” jar – I’m using this to record all the encouraging words or prophetic words people give to me throughout the year. It’s also recording the prophetic words or pictures I am shown. Can’t wait to be rockin ‘Fonz’ thumbs over my year when I finally read them all.
$1 records and $0.30 classic books – you can’t go wrong with Kantong!

Well love letter, I hope your week is wonderful and that you ponder at least a couple of things in your everyday that you are loving or are grateful for!


Betty’s wagon of thrifty loot: 2

Happy Monday Dashing Doll.

I apologise for lack of entries lately – trying to juggle a home, a baby, business propositions (I’ll get to that sometime soon), friends, other fellowship commitments and a blog can be frickin chicken HARD!

I managed to steal some down time to scrounge the local oppys and a few vintage boutiques with my Mum recently.
I love her.
We have an understanding.
We are women on missions when we shop. In other words, we don’t go opshopping to talk and catch up, we don’t go opshopping to see the other try on clothes, we go opshopping to be completely self absorbed with mute-like tendencies. She goes her way, I go mine. It may appear that nothing much is going on expression wise with us both, but let me tell you, whats happening up in the head space are the goings on that can be compared to ducks feet paddling against a current. A storm is being propelled with purpose.
I totally get my retro love from her. She and my Dad were up until recently Salvation Army Officers. In 2000, they managed the Gosford Salvo store in NSW and it was from there my passion was fueled. So many treasured things so little money in my 14 year old awkard teenager pockets. I worked after school and on Saturdays so I could spend my pingas in the shop.
So here oh here is my recent oppy booty:


Silk “Flappers” dress: $3 (I bought its twin a couple years ago but for $4)

Gold plated brush and mirror set: $7
Gold clock: $6
Sequinned bag: $3
Cluster brooch: $3
Cameo and diamante brooch: $4


Wedgewood box (photo does not do it justice whatsoever): $5


MARBLES!!! Hello 1992! : $6 for the bowl


Retro 60’s candle burner – the colour is so nostalgic of the earlier era: $10

This thing has my opshoppy heart, blue leather briefcase.
It’s as heavy as an old clunker, has that leather interior of an old car smell.
The cherry on top is it is in mint condition and I found it for $30.


Mini clothesline for Miss Laurie: $3

green glass

Beautiful green glassware to be used for the family Christmas celebrations that I’ll be hosting: $20



And my new babies… Flour, Sugar, Tea, Rice containers – they are genuinely born in the 1960’s(III KNOOOOOW!)
Mmm hmm.
I’m officially on opshopping cloud fist pumpin 9!

♦ cause things are still beautiful 2nd time around ♦

The Saturday Salute means Betty’s wagon of thrifty loot

The Saturday Salute
this week, means Thrifty finds…

Oak bedside table for Miss Lauries room:
Loves it.

Typewriter serving as an unconventional centrepiece for the table:

So many people I know HATE fake flowers. I love em. When used properly.
I mean I wouldn’t love them for valentines day.
I would love a Chandelier though.
Jar, filled with my “not in use” pearl necklaces supporting a bouquet of fake flowers:
Jar: $2
Flowers: $1 each

Some charming “Pimpernel” coasters with Australian Fauna artwork on them. (Next to the jar)
Coasters: $2

Herb garden stakes:
$1.20 each

AMAZING makes-my-heart-flutter retro wallpaper that I used as a backdrop for a 1 Corintians 13 scripture ripped out of an old book for Miss Lauries room.
Wallpaper: $2 for the roll.

These genuinely old school spotty glasses:
$1 each!!
You drop em and they DON’T BREAK!
But thats stuff from the old school for ya.
Unless you drop them together.
Or if you put a hammer to them.
Or perhaps if you drop them off a bridge onto the freeway.
Paper lanterns for Miss Lauries room:
$1 each
Patchwork quilt $5

Who needs new stuff when old stuff can be so much more you, and better, and cheaper, and can last so much longer.
Hope your Saturday was a delight.
Sometimes it takes a change in perspective to realise it was so…

♦ cause things are still beautiful 2nd time around ♦

The Jewellery Heist : Bracelet Edition


Anyone that knows me well, know that I have a mac daddy surplus of costume jewellery and accessories, (they also know I will hold a fork to the neck if any of it goes missing) and because one of my main TORMENTS is clutter, it was time for a sort out.



You can’t really see but everything is organised and bound with ribbon according to its colour palate as I find that I usually select accessories by how it either pops or clashes with my outfit. The whole thing can now slide easily under my bed so I can finally free up my dressing table for all the amazing floral arrangements my romantic husband INSISTS on buying me. *coughcough*.

What I used:

♥ 1960’s suitcase – vintage
♥ “Oust 2 in 1” to get the Granpa smell out of it – my own
♥ Pretty floral fabric to line the bottom – vintage
♥ A collection of small plates, saucers, platters to sit the bracelts on – my own
♥ Ribbon to bind the bracelets together – my own
♥ Pages from an old hymn book, various clippings, postcards, stamps and pictures to stick to the inner lid – my own

Total = $10
Time for a hootenanny.

♦ cause things are still beautiful 2nd time around ♦