Bohemianhippiechick’s Blog

{May 23, 2009}   Not another income loss!

            My husband and I have lost 2 sources of income in a 60 day period.  Does that suck.  The first source of income was by choice, the second source of income was NOT by choice.  I was in total shock and extremely concerned about my families financial future when I learned of our further diminishing monetary situation.  It seems like so many people I know are out of work.  It is everywhere, on the faces of my friends and coworkers, on the radio, plastered across the newspaper, and on the 10 o’clock news.  It is like a horrific disease that is spreading rapidly, far quicker than even the dreaded swine flu.

            I had to really give myself a reality check or I knew that I could potentially get consumed in negativity.  My family has their health and we have a warm cozy house to sleep in at night.  We have a lot more than many people, so I took a deep breath and counted my blessings.  Then I decided all the groovy recycling, freecycling, and diving that I was going to have to accelerate in order to help to make up our new personal budget deficit. 

            Already I am in full swing coming up with creative and inventive way to glean stuff for my family for free or very cheaply. Today was a good day full of huge successes!  Here is a list of our bounty ~


  1. HUGE afghan:   (FREE)
  2. 2 bags full of women’s clothing (Some things fit me others do not.  What doesn’t fit me I will be giving to my sister.  She recently lost not 1 but 2 jobs herself!):  FREE
  3. 1 brand new tennis ball: FREE
  4. Bohemian blanket:  $1
  5. Metal bowl from India:  $1
  6. Dress, hat, and bloomers for my daughter:  .50 cents
  7. Flowers:  FREE


It is often difficult to focus on the positive when one has been perpetually slapped in the face by reality.  But it is during difficult times that a person HAS to focus on the positive.  When I go through hard times I always remind myself that we grow the most during trials and tribulations!  Besides, it will make for a fantastic story years from now!  Stay tuned for job loss advice!


Peace ~


{May 12, 2009}   What is your addiction?

            We all have them, admit it!  The majority of United States citizens are addicted to some type of material good; something we must buy, something that we must consume, something that we can’t live without, something we crave.  I am going to have to safely say that my addition is not Starbucks Coffee, (although I am a Coke addict), no is it expensive jewelry, my definite addiction is and always will be books.  It is the ONE reason I can’t live off the grid.  I have to be able to buy books (OK there are other reason too but this is a main one).

            I have been addicted to books since I was very young.  I would read one, only to be enchanted with another that I would quickly consume with my fast moving eyes.  The addiction only worsened as I aged.  I now have books in every room in my house.  Some have cozy, warm homes on book shelves, others are spewing across my cherry wood desk, or heaped upon my bed side tables, still others are nested on my entertainment center, coffee table, and waiting patiently to be read in a few chests I have, still others ride every day with me to and from work.  My love of books is quite evident.  I buy books at yard sales, I trade books on line, I check books out at the library, I borrow books from friends, and yes I purchase hundreds upon hundreds of dollars of books.  I try to buy used but this is an area that I will buy new.  I can’t help it, knowledge is power…education as I so often say is the key to everything and this is a resource that I will never be able or willing to give up.

            One of my first words out of my daughter’s mouth was “book!”  She happily tells me “book” as she thrusts one of her well loved board books on my lap as I happily read it over and over and over again to her.  Already my addiction is quickly becoming my daughters.  I don’t feel all addictions are bad, in a sense if anything I feel that loving books is a “good” retail addiction.  At least it is educational, but I digress.

            Book buying only leads to more book buying and a tremendous sense of guilt afterwards that remains in the pit of my belly.  After all spending money is still spending money, regardless of what it is on.  But truly I can not help it. There is no “book readers anonymous” so I guess I am stuck with my addiction to books.  It is an addiction that I relish with extreme enthusiasm and delight.  Now if I could just get Barnes and Noble to give me a bigger discount I would be set.  Now just what is your addiction?

             My friends and I are still talking about our hugely successful clothing swap party that took place on Friday night.  We are wearing our items to work and the guys are now threatening to have a clothing swap party of their own!  (We want to be invited to that one!!!)  Which got me to thinking, perhaps I should lay out the guidelines of how we threw our own party.  If anyone is interested in having their own clothing swap soirée you can follow the following steps if you want ~


  1. Send your invitations out via email (it saves trees and is free!). If you must send a hard copy invite out use your computer to make it.  The cost is so much cheaper than store bought invitations.  Microsoft has fun pictures under “clip art” that you can insert into your invitations to customize them. 
  2. On your invitation, list everything that people can bring to the swap:  shirts, dresses, jewelry, shoes, jackets, etc.  This will make it easier for the guests when going through their closets. 
  3. Invite approximately 15 – 20 guests.  Many people will not show up so you want to make sure that you are going to have enough clothing and people.
  4. Have the party in a location that allows clothing to be piled up.  I find a room with ample floor and couch space is fabulous.
  5. Be sure that a full length mirror is available for guests.
  6. If each person brings 3 bags + each person can take as much as they want.  Don’t worry about someone taking everything. 
  7. Have wine (lots of it) and cheese and crackers.  The cheese and crackers are easy to eat and don’t make a mess.  The wine is just a given.  J  Have everyone bring something so that the hostess is not the one paying for everything. 
  8. The person in charge of the left over clothing can offer it to other friends or family before donating it all to charity. 
  9. Plan on having another one 6 months later (or whenever the seasons change dramatically). 
  10. Put a bag at the bottom of your closet to save all your “unwanteds” for the next swap!!


Clothing swap parties are fabulous fun and help keep unwanted clothing out of landfills.  With so many people out of work and being laid off now is not the time to consume even more luxuries such as clothing.  A clothing swap party allows you to update your wardrobe for the cost of a bottle of cheap wine or crackers. 


Peace ~



{May 5, 2009}   Not just another drone

I strongly feel that many whom “love” capitalism are more enslaved than in love.  They are in love with shopping and consuming period end of story.  Happiness is being sold don’t you know and its all pre-packed here for you with a pretty red bow ready for you to pluck it off the shelf and buy.  Capitalism has the allure of the new much needed item that will make all of your worries, fears, feelings of inadequacy, or other neurosis disappear like mist in the wind.  At least that’s what big business wants you to believe.  Consumers are persuaded by the monopolization and lies of big business.  Big business feeds into our inadequacies, making us feel less than if we don’t have the new car, the new wrinkle cream, or the perfect body.  Thus, so many individuals, I feel, have become enslaved to the earn ~ buy ~ toss cycle.  People earn money only to spend it and then throw their goods away without a moment’s hesitation. 

I would love to live off the grid!!!  Love it to the very depths of my soul!  But I have to admit that I don’t.  There are things I do like to spend money on.  I love buying my daughter’s baby formula, countless books to read, and the inexpensive meal out with my husband.  Other than small purchases that I truly and absolutely LOVE and enjoy I try to borrow, find, or scavenge everything else.  I spend my money on things that I enrich mine and my family’s life.  I don’t care if it hurts big business ~ what has big business done for any of us?  I often find it difficult in So Cal to find certain things I need but I continue my quest day after day determined to utilize the money I do make for the highest good of my family instead of squandering all of my pretty green money like a drone of society.



{May 3, 2009}   Tiki God

            Today the neighbors across the street from us had a small yard sale.  The yard sale was nothing fabulous, just a few desperate and sad looking items spewed forth upon their brown, dry lawn.  There were clothes, vases, pictures, water skis, and mattresses.  Only a few people wandered into their yard and left with little or nothing.  I was shocked and dismayed when at 3 pm the woman that lives there began stuffing bags upon bags of clothing into the TRASH!  I was so sad to see so many usable items go into a landfill.  All of their yard sale items went out to the curb:  water skis, the mattress ~ all of it!  I even heard all of her collectibles shatter as she threw them and pushed them down farther into the trash can!!!!

            Another neighbor sent his son over to retrieve the water skis and I walked over to retrieve 2 matching 70’s wood beach scenic pictures.  Although they were scratched they look fabulous in my retro bar.  I wondered why this woman did not put these things on or set them outside with a “FREE” sign displayed on them instead of throwing so many useful things into the trash.  We as a society are so wasteful.  What we throw away could help millions of people all over the world.  I strongly feel that we as a nation really need to change our thinking when it comes to consumerism, which leads me to tonight’s escapades. 

            Typically Sunday night is scavenger night for me.  My friend and I usually jump into his little white hatch back right after the baby has fallen to sleep.  We drive around town and pick up things from, scavenge fruit, or check out and see if anyone has brought anything interesting to the curb to toss.  Tonight we were on a mission to retrieve a stuffed bear from a freecycler.  As luck would have it the bear was scented and I seem to be allergic to it.  No matter I was planning to put it on a gift.  Anyhow ~ I convinced my friend to wander over to a more affluent part of our city.

            After 45 minutes of scavenging we found “him” on the side of the road lying down face down in the street.  I quickly instructed my friend to pull over and he jumped out of the car, noting the huge figure.  Lying face down was a 9 foot painted Tiki Idol made out of a coconut tree.  We quickly picked him up and realized there was no way Tiki Man was going to fit into the tiny hatch back.  We carefully hid “him” behind an army of trash cans. 

            Thank god my husband was on “stand by” in case we found something amazing that needed to be picked up via truck.  We quickly hurried home and my friend and husband went and got Tiki Man.   On more careful inspection this Tiki God is a one of a kind piece of artwork and was hand made by someone.  It is, to say the least, a fabulous piece of art.  I teasingly asked my husband, whom is part Hawaiian, if Tiki Man would be the guest of honor at our yard sale on Friday.  My husband quickly told me that “NO!” Tiki Man would now be a permanent resident in our backyard, which is fine by me.  Again I am absolutely amazed what people throw away.  If you don’t believe me take a look around your neighborhood and see for yourself.  Who knows, Sunday night might be scavenger night for you too!




{May 2, 2009}   Clothing Swap Party

          Last night’s clothing swap party was a huge success!!  I spent a wonderful evening with friends and the night was super cheap (I brought a bottle of $7 wine).  Basically a clothing swap party is when a bunch of ladies bring all of the clothing that no longer fits them or they no longer want and they trade.  It is a simple concept that keeps clothing out of landfills, out of your closets, and you get a bunch of clothing for nothing!!!!  Although we invited over 15 ladies, only 4 of us showed up, which in hind sight was a perfect number.  However another girl did donate clothing to our party but was unable to show, we but clothing aside for her. We actually range in sizes from size 5ish – 13is yet it was still a huge success! 

          Here is the bounty that I received from the swap ~

  1. Pair of knee high chocolate brown boots
  2. Brown purse
  3. 35 bangle bracelets
  4. Shell Belt
  5. Jean Jacket
  6. Black pants
  7. Red printed tee shirt
  8. Shorts
  9. Jean skirt
  10. Pink and Black Dress
  11. Pink Hippie Poncho (WOO WHOO)
  12. Green Hippie Poncho (WOO WHOO)
  13. Long Black Dress (I think this is my favorite thing)
  14. Brown Hippie Shirt
  15. White Hippie Shirt
  16. White Skirt
  17. Chocolate Brown Pencil Skirt
  18. Black Light Sweater
  19. Blue Tee Shirt
  20. Sky Blue Tee Shirt (Most comfortable tee shirt I have ever put on)

The only thing I wanted that I didn’t get was a brown honey colored sweater, but it is promised to me next swap!  I would recommend this to anyone and everyone!  It is a night of fun and everyone takes home something!  Remember, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.


Here are some websites that may help you plan your next clothing swap ~


Happy Swapping!



et cetera