Happy Planner Update

Remember my Happy Planner Haul post last year?  I was tempted to get a brand new Happy Planner to start using this August.  But frugal living is the main name of my game, sooooo I did the responsible thing and used the 6 month extender I purchased last year.
So the other day it looked like this:
So I decided it was a great time to get to work on my planner.
My Happy Planner is an 18 month planner (July ’16 to Dec ’17), so I purchased a 6 month extension packet to get two full years out of my planner.  It didn’t seem to make much sense to let a few months go to waste, even though I was tempted to get a fancy and cute new planner with the numbers already all filled in for me.
Since my yard was flooding, I began to meticulously put the stickers onto the planner on the appropriate days, using the calendar on my computer as a guide.  It actually went really fast, and though this is plain, I can really spruce it up with stickers and little bits of artwork.  I want to try to make my planner more artistic, as that idea kind of fell to he wayside as I got busier in my life.

But looking at a colorful planner, makes me, well… happy!  So my plan is to collage it a bit, and doodle, and maybe use it as a “smash” journal to add some ideas.  I wanted to do more memory keeping, since I do love going back to see what was going on a year ago on that day!

Did you know that you could purchase this 6 month extension, and save money getting two years out of your planner?  It had stickers for the tabs, full month calendar view, and the individual days.

Shop online craft stores, and be sure to use your coupons, and competitor coupons if you need to purchase an extension, or a new happy planner.
Update to original post:  I still LOVE this Happy Planner.  It has so much space to write in all my lists and ideas, and plenty of space to jazz it up.  It really held up in my purse with some minimal wear to the edges of the cover.  I take it everywhere!  To lighten the load of taking it everywhere, I took out every month leading up to June ’17.


Stage Makeup Tutorial


The ladies at my studio are going to be gracing the stage soon and needed some help with their stage makeup so I created this tutorial for them.  It’s been a little while since I did a tutorial so I hope all will enjoy.  As always, I’m using drugstore beauty products that are affordable and easy to find.

This is a double winged basic cat eye that I added a little color to for some extra zip.  Any color would look great, and any embellishments like rhinestones and glitter.  Is there such a thing as too much glitter?  (ok yes, yes there is….)

Good Luck Ladies!

The Nicolyndime Thrifter’s Group Premium Stuff. Is that all you get for your money?

Advertising is well under way for the Nicolyndime Thrifter’s Group located on the Florida Space Coast.  We are the first, and right now the only!  The OG.. woot woot!!  I’m trying to sneak this into conversation pretty much with everyone I meet because I want this group to be successful, not only for my own selfish reasons, but because the 11 stores that have put their belief in me, and the various Space Coast people who love to thrift, deserve it.
I don’t often market a product before actually making one.  When I began introducing this idea to thrift stores, there was a clear distinction between those who “got it” and who didn’t.  There was no gray area.  I got, “this is such a great idea” or I got blank, puzzled, and vacant stares.  The ones that got it and believed in it are the ones you see advertised HERE.
That being said, I concocted this idea to make a key tag, without fully knowing that it would work out the way I had planned it.  But good news… those key tags are a lot stronger than I thought they would be, and it worked on the very first try!!!  It was meant to be.
I hand make each membership key tag and ID card when they are ordered, then I send it off in happy mail.  Who wouldn’t love seeing a decorated envelope in their mail among bills and junk?  From the moment you get your membership, I want it to bring a smile to your face!
You get your key tag, all prepped with a key ring so you can just pop that right on and get to saving.  You also get a wallet ID card, in case your tag meets an ill fate.  You also receive a welcome letter, terms and conditions page, a sticker, and a little piece of art from me to you!
That’s what you get in the tangible sense.  But what else do you get?
You get access to a super cool thrifting group that is a community to shop and share.
You get discounts at the Nicolyndime Thrifter’s Group participating stores.
You get out of the house, socializing during our monthly meetups
You get to save the environment by shopping at thrift stores.
You get to keep money local, benefiting local charities and groups, improving the very town in which you live.
You get more money in your pocket.
You get more people to help you find what you love.  More eyes in the field mean that you can get the best finds.  At our meetups, I have you pick a buddy to share what they are looking for.  If you see it, flag down your thrifting buddy to let them know!
I’ve got more ideas for the future too… but I’m keeping those cards hidden for now.  (Spoiler alert: Giveaways you are automatically entered into with your membership ID number.)
Interested?  Order your membership here
Please spread the word, share this page, tell your friends, tell the person in line with you at the grocery checkout, so we can get this group a movin and a shakin.


Pamela The Living Doll

When I was little I had the Pamela the Living Doll.  Today I still have the Pamela the Living Doll BUT I didn’t have the stickers that go with the books to the Pamela the Living Doll.

Let me explain.  In the 80’s this “Living Doll” was pretty revolutionary for the time.  Pamela said phrases when you touched her belly, mouth, eyes, etc.  Sold separately, you could purchase Pamela play books that came with reusable decal stickers and voice cards, that when pressed into her chip reading system, allowed her to discuss the adventure theme of the book.  I had several of the books, and if anyone has ever played with reusable decals, then you know that there’s no efficient way to store them.

I stored them stacked on top of one another, in case they wouldn’t stick to the board book.  Somewhere along the lines, my grandmother, who raised me, decided that I wasn’t properly taking care of these stickers, and “threw them out.”  I’m not sure if she really did, but she claimed they were a rumpled mess.  She stored the doll away for me, and actually kept the empty board books too.  When she passed on in 2010, I packed up her apartment and came across my beloved Pamela doll and books.  Actually Pamela was displayed for the seasons in a Christmas and Spring dress… but the books were packed away.

I opened the books and stared at the barren setting of the Pamela worlds.  Her empty mall was devoid of shoppers, the zoo held no animals, and the restaurant looked like it was about to go out of business.  I vowed then to someday own the stickers again.

I’d occasionally look on ebay, and over the past 7 years it was always in the back of my mind.
One day not long ago, I got serious about purchasing the complete books.  After a few searches on ebay, I found a lot that was about $150 for the doll in her box, and a ton of books, most of them duplicates, to go with.  I was pretty serious about purchasing that lot, and even called the seller’s store to inquire.  But in my continuing search, I found another lot that was more my speed.

This one had a well loved, out of the box Pamela, and all of her books with stickers (except for the birthday book which was missing a few) and her nearly complete outfits.  This lot was only about $50 and since I set out for only the books purchased this lot.  To meet the missing stickers needed for the birthday book, I ended up finding a brand new, still in the package, birthday book for only $16, also on ebay.  Isn’t the Ames sticker still on there just darling?

(not the pamela I remember in this ad, but interesting I got her for a better deal now then I would have then!)
My Pamela doll is still packed away, but I now have my set all together once again, and no longer have to stare at barren wastelands once occupied with stickers.  I actually ended up getting a few items that I never had with my original doll, like the beach book, and Pamela’s play outfit, along with her sneakers and headband.

So that is how an adult scouts out the doll she had when she was a kid, and memories come flooding back when she plays with (yes plays with) those sticker scenes.
I was going to post the original commercial here, but I CANNOT because the commercial is disturbing to me (glad I just now saw it in my thirties and not as a child), and I won’t do that to you.  Oddly enough however, a talking and “living” doll does not have me disturbed.  If you want to view the creepfest commercial, where Pamela is left all alone in the woods to encounter an entire UFO filled with aliens (Remember everyone was loving E.T.) then go to youtube and search it.  You’re on your own though because I just had some flashbacks of Unsolved Mysteries…..

Photo Credit : x-entertainment.com, metv.com

Easy Gnome Garden

Have I mentioned only about a trillion zillion times I’m completely gaga over Aldi?  Among the low price, great quality foods, they also have weekly specials of “things” that fit a seasonal bill.  So think things like cleaning equipment in the Spring, holiday storage solutions in the Winter, and other useful seasonal goodies.  The trick with Aldi is, if you want it you better get it while you see it.
Awhile back I saw this cute fairy garden kit in the email flyers I get.  Grocery day was the very next day, and I was so crazy about the idea of getting a little gnome garden that I asked the employee if they had them in stock yet.  She went in the back to check, and she had them, and left me to pick which one I wanted out of three different sets to choose from.

Let me digress to remind you of my obsession with gnomes and fairies and magical creatures.  When I was a wee child my mom would tell me tales of gnomes that lived in the bathtub drain.  (We lived in an apartment.)  She weaved these glorious tales about how they would visit her at night, and she would put makeup on the girls and teach them to do their makeup.  I’d make them little scenes with my dollhouse furniture, and later there would be small treasures tucked away from the gnome folk to me.  To this day I’m not sure these tales were entirely made up, because if anyone possessed the magical power to communicate with the gnome folk, it was her.  Pair this with the imagination of a young child watching “David the Gnome” and “Maya the Bee” growing up, and you get a 30 something with the idea that these mystical hidden worlds really do exist.


Anyway, I selected the gnome kit, only to find out that there was some reason why the code was saying they couldn’t sell it to me.  I was upset, but she took my name and number to let me know if she could get it in the system.  You know, they don’t always call you, especially over a gnome kit…..
But this is a story about how I LOVE Aldi, and of course they did not disappoint.  Within hours, she called me and left me a voicemail saying my kit was tucked safely in the office with my name on it.  I got it later that week.
I’ll admit I didn’t have a vision for this kit.  I figured I’d get a vision from the box, but I didn’t want to put it outside, and then I didn’t want all that dirt inside.

But I have these plants that are thriving inside, so I decided to spruce that up a bit.


See that crazy mini kalanchoe?  I had no idea you had to prune a mini kalanchoe, and if you’re wondering what one looks like if left to run wild…well there ya go.  After doing a tad bit of research (that thing was getting out of control) I found I could cut off the top and start a new plant.  It’s doing well, and I plan to make a few more from that vine I had growing there.

I like that from far away, you can only see the fence, and it’s not until you come closer to investigate the tiny magical realm, that you see my little gnome is hard at work shoveling.

He’s got a mini pet sheep, grazing at his side.


This little gnome world could easily get out of control, and take over the whole table.  I’m prepared to let my imagination run wild, and see what gets added to this tiny world.
If you want to create your own little magical world, you can get similar items at Hobby Lobby, or other craft stores, and be sure to take a nature walk to add some authentic and free elements to your scene.  This would be so cute with some herbs in small pots too.  The plate can be thrifted, but this one came from the Dollar Tree, and so did the plastic pots.   Now go out and create your little magical worlds!


A Dog Friendly Birthday Cake Recipe

There are tons of dog friendly recipes out there, but I think I’m a little overly protective of what my furchild eats.  I felt bad the other day because I gave her some canned peas, then later researched it on the internet and started to panic because there’s sodium in canned peas.  I only gave her a few peas, but still felt really bad about the unnecessary sodium.
So when I told hubby I was having a cake for furbaby’s 10th B-day and he asked if it was going to be a doggie cake, and I replied yes, then he asked from where, I scoffed.  “From where???”, I retorted, “I’m going to make it of course!”

I looked up a few recipes to get an idea of the amounts, but in all honesty, just winged it.  Density, and other frivolousness, is reserved for humans with preconceived notions about how should look.  But furbabe doesn’t know what cake should be like.  She just knows if it’s good, she eats it.  And it must have been pretty good!
This cake has no baking soda, baking powder, or anything else added as a leavening agent, so….it’s a brick.  I do not suggest giving this whole cake all at once.  Think treat size pieces.  No need for overwhelmed tummies and sicknesses.  I also left out the “oil” that most recipes call to use.

Cake:  1 cup whole wheat flour, 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter, 1/2 heaping cup applesauce, 1/2 cup pumpkin puree, 1 egg.
“Frosting”: I large Sweet Potato, 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Combine peanut butter, applesauce, and pumpkin puree in bowl.  Lightly beat egg and add to mixture.  Last add the flour and mix well.  Mixture will be dense.  Spray pan with oil and flour with whole wheat flour.  Shake out excess.  Add your batter.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Baking times will vary.
“Frosting”  Microwave your sweet potato until a fork inserted in center pierces through.  Carefully cut the potato in half and scoop out potato.  Mash in bowl, and add pumpkin puree to desired consistency.

Once your cake has cooled you can get creative.  I made a two layer cake with a layer of low sodium Braunschweiger (Liverwurst) in the center.  Then the top tier had the “frosting” in the center of that.  I basically just coated the whole thing in the mashed sweet potato mixture.

The cut out treats are another recipe for another time, and are equally simple.  I made some cake decorations with those, including the 10.

She didn’t know what was going on, but leaned in for a nibble, figuring she wasn’t told to leave it.  Then I cut her a proper slice, which was quickly gobbled up.

Yummy!  Celebrate!


Thrift Store Meetup Group | Nicolyndime Thrifter’s Group

Nicolyndime Thrifter's Group Header
Last year this time I was brewing up ideas to marry my love of thrift store shopping with my blog.  I saw them as ideas that were running in the same vein, but it was hard for me to communicate my vision.  I even sought out creative business coaches, who quickly marketed their packages to me, without really giving me an idea that MY idea could get off the ground.
I let that idea marinate for a year, and kept it simmering on the back burner.  Instead I focused in on teaching dance.  I had enough to keep me busy, teaching dance at the college level, while also teaching aerial dance, and my dance studio job with children.
Once Spring break rolled around, my ideas turned to Summer break.  I ALWAYS have to have some sort of creative thing happening, and I’m happy when I have a lot of ideas swirling around.  Among those ideas were my rental space at a vintage emporium that I discussed last week.
Another idea came to me like a bolt of lightening, and really manifested on it’s own.  There MUST be other people out there like me that love to thrift shop, and there are a ton of thrift stores here, on the Florida Space Coast.  When I first moved here from Pittsburgh, I was unaware of many of them, and I’d happen upon one when taking a new route, then have to remember a landmark to google the location.
Most of them were great, but some of them were downright scary, or not worth my time at all.  Here I was, gathering all this knowledge on thrift store shopping, that I sure wish I would have known when I first moved here!
Knowledge is power right?!
SO let me get to the point….

I’m announcing the Nicolyndime Thrifter’s Group!!!

Yes, you can thrift with me!!!
Here’s how it works.  Meetup.com will be a source for information regarding meetups.  Anyone can join meetup.com absolutely free.  And it’s free to join the Nicolyndime thrifting community too.
Once a month I will notify the members in the group, via meetup and the mailing list, when and where our merry band of thrifters will be meeting, and the treasure hunt will ensue.
Make friends, get out of the house, share your passions, have an extra set of eyes looking for your collections, and of course the most important parts of it all are; keeping money local, reducing the impact on the environment, and supporting some awesome charities.
But wait there’s more.  I’ve been hitting the pavement, and I have shopped at every store on our participating thrift stores list.  I went in, all super secret shopper style, and evaluated thrift stores.  If they met my standards, I invited them to be a part of our group to get more shoppers in their stores and promoted among the community.  In return I asked if they would offer an exclusive discount to our members, and the stores in the “participating thrift stores” section here have agreed.  SOOOO
Yearly Memberships for these discounts can be purchased by sending a request to me here.
Or by visiting this link to go right to a checkout.

Nicolyndime Thrifter’s Group Membership!?  But what do I get?  I’m so glad you asked!

Retro Thrifting key tag (2)

You get a key tag and membership card along with a welcome letter mailed to your home address for free.  The key tag holder is entitled to special discounts dictated by each thrift store participating.  Be sure to check out the savings on the list.  You’ll also be added to my Nicolyndime Subscriber list, where you will be notified of exclusive events as they pop up through out the year, automatically be enrolled in giveaways, special holiday promotions, and may receive other offers.
You can even download the Nicolyndime Thrifter’s Group App in Google Play or Itunes.
I am so excited to have you all come thrift with me.  Be sure to send your request to me here, so you can purchase your membership and get all set to thrift!
(Or here to go straight to the checkout!)
The group’s official launch will be August 17th… National Thrift Store Day of course!
Come on thrifter’s, and let’s paint the Space Coast pink!

My Rental Space as a Vendor

Starting small is still starting.  A week ago I finally just did it, and started renting a small space at a local junktique place.  When I say small….I mean you can’t get much smaller.  It’s a shelf, but it’s a great start to see what it’s like.



This place is so cute, and I must have driven past it a million time since we moved here two years ago.  Sometime not long ago, I noticed this cute vintage trailer and stopped in when I saw a yard sale happening outside.


After going inside, I was hooked on this quaint atmosphere.  It smells of essential oils, and creativity!  It’s like being a kid again.




I love browsing all of the vendor spaces.  It’s a medium sized emporium, where I don’t feel lost in a sea of endless vendors.


I forgot to measure my shelf space, but it was hard to imagine how it would all look when I was at home anyway.  I took a few more items than would fit to swap some things out until I got it just so.



I finally settled on this vintage breakfast scheme on the bottom.  You’ve got your casserole dishes, your syrup, your cream for your coffee, orange juice jug, mixing bowl for your pancakes, glasses, and egg carton.


On the top, I put together this little 4th of July vignette.


And at the middle shelf, you can get a gift for someone, or decorate your cakes!


I mean seriously how cute is this awesome little gem along the highway!



$2 Mascara


I needed a new mascara and my all time favorite is Loreal’s Double Extend Beauty Tubes.  Because it works so good, I often have the tubes all over the bathroom sink.  So I wanted a quick one to just throw on my lashes and run out the door.  I was using an e.l.f cosmetics mineral mascara that I really liked, but I didn’t have any trips to Target planned, or an order for the internet.
While at Walgreens I wanted to just check their many choices of drugstore mascara, and I was intrigued when I saw Wet n Wild’s mascara for only $1.89.  I’ll try that!
It claims to condition lashes with proteins and is enriched with acai oil.
I’ve used it twice and here’s what I think:
For under $2 it does the job, but don’t expect to have any huge fake looking lashes.  It doesn’t lengthen, and it doesn’t add volume, but for a natural looking definition, it does the trick.  I think it’s great for everyday.
It removes easily with my facial cleanser and water, and it stay flexible and lightweight through out the day.  No running, and no flaking.  It really DOES feel like it could condition, but that would be a long term assessment.  I give it a thumbs up!
Remember, this is not a sponsored post, and I purchased this with my own hard earned two $1 bills!  These thoughts are my honest opinion… I’d never lie to you.  🙂


Lots of new stuff is brewing

Ahhh… like a nice glass of sweet tea, while you sway on your porch swing…..
I’ve been hustling like a mad woman over here.
I’m working on some really exciting stuff this summer.
I can’t tell you everything yet, and I know I’ve been really tossing some hints out there lately, but I can tell you that it’s got everything to do with thrifting, (my favorite pastime).
In other news, I have decided to make the leap to a vendor rental space at my local junktique.  I’ll be sure to share photos once I have everything set up.  I’m starting out small with only the rental of a shelf, but hoping to grow over time.
I’ll be postponing the etsy  shop for a little while to focus on my “brick and mortar” space.
On top of everything else, I’m still dancing and teaching!
This time two years ago, I sent out ten press kits and prayed to get a return call.  After following up with a few, I got an interview.  I didn’t feel that I was a good fit at the first place, and quickly got discouraged.  A few weeks later, I got another call from my current employer, who needed a quick replacement.  Two years later, I’m still there, plus teaching aerial dance and college dance!  By the grace of God I am pursuing my dreams, and will continue onward!
Never stop believing in the plans that are written for you.