Some See a Weed, Others See a Table

“Some see a weed, others see a wish,” has also been one of my favourite quotes. The quote shows there are two ways to view dandelions, and it reminds me that there is more than one way to see the world around me. It helps me to make the conscious decision to see the probable in a situation and not just the spoils.

About a month ago, a side table arrived at Community Services Thrift Store. It was one of the older tables I loved with a six-sided top and an intricate wooden stand. I like the ones with character and not just a box with a drawer.

To someone, it was an item to discard. To me, it was beautiful.

The table had been painted white and was chipped. I could have applied another layer and called it good, but I felt like there was more potential there. A wish, if you will.

While I have only started to explore my sketching skills, I decided to turn the hexagon table into a dandelion as if you are looking down on it.

And here is my creative journey:











As I said, some see a weed. Others see a table.

How do you view your world?

Thrift Store Find: Side Tables

On the way to the thrift store to work my volunteer shift, I had the nagging feeling something was missing. A quick glance into my passenger seat confirmed the presence of my purse, wallet and clearly I had my keys.

I looked down at the empty cup holders between the two front seats and realized I left my coffee cup somewhere back at the homestead.

The song playing on the radio during this episode? Simple Minds’ “Don’t You Forget About Me.”

True story.

Another true story is that I have been scouring the local buy and sell sites (like in the hopes of finding some side tables for our suite and living room use. A couple of little tables for coffee cups for those times when I am buried under a sleeping cat and the table is too far away for a caffeine fix.

I was working on organizing donated CDs when these two beauties walked in our sifting room door:

I was smitten at first glance.

I paid the cashier and transferred this lovely pieces into the backseat of my car.

I wasn’t going to forget about these.

Transformation coming soon!

Thrift Store Finds: Ripen Avocados with Old Wool Socks

Use Wool Socks to Ripen Hard Avocados

Thrift stores receive several donations of wool socks every year in the fall.

People start to pull out and sort through the plastic bins of their winter wear and woolen socks don’t make the cut. The socks may have a small hole in the toe or maybe they have moved and the temperatures don’t dip as far below zero.

But there is a secret use for those wool socks — avocados. 

My husband and I eat about seven avocados a week — on toast, with homemade food truck tacos or as a topping on baked potatoes. It’s a staple in our vegan-ish diet. 

But they aren’t always eat ready when we purchase them in the grocery store in the small Canadian town we call paradise. That’s where the sock comes in. Putting hard avocados into a wool sock helps them ripen evenly. Some people put one avocado per sock — but we will put three or four into the woolen thigh-high with no problems.

Best part? Wool socks can be purchased for as little as $1 a pair at local thrift stores. 

Thrift Store Find: Pancake Puff Pan

Pancake Puffs Pan As Seen on TV

Breakfast is a thing in our house. A big thing.

So big, in fact, that our wedding reception five years ago was a pancake feed complete with all the toppings!

During the work week, Mike and I have the same old same old breakfast — avocado toast with fresh fruit. It’s when the weekend hits that our mornings take on a different flavour. We make waffles, egg birds nests and pancakes.

I was just starting to think that our weekend breakfast blowouts needed a bit of a change when a new item came into the Community Services Thrift Store sorting room (where I volunteer on Mondays).

That item was a new Pancake Puffs pan, still in the original packaging. What took this item over the top was the sticker on the box that read, “As Seen On TV!”

Pancake Puffs

In short, how could I turn it down?

To maximize space and save on clutter, Mike and I try to stay away from single use items like the famous Quesadilla machine or the classic Sandwich Maker. So, this item was a bit of a splurge for a morning of yummy goodness.

But the price couldn’t be beat.

It took an immeasurable amount of will power to wait until the weekend to fire up the cast iron pan and whip up my fluffy pancake batter.

The puffs made were about the size of a golf ball. Putting them into a bowl smothered in yogurt and berries was just this side of breakfast heaven.

But I didn’t stop there. I decided that the chili I was going to make needed cornbread floaties (my terminology). It was just as easy to create little baked hush puppy-esque garnishes.

Needless to say, this item is far from being a uni-tasker. It is an item we experiment with and create new baked goodness to go with our meals.

Cornbread Hush Puppy - Pancake Puffs

This thrift store find was well worth the fiver spent to add it to our kitchen.


Community Services Thrift Store is located at 731 North Road in Gibsons. Follow the store on Facebook at




#TBT & Thrift Store Finds: The Puka Shell Necklace

TBT Puka Shells - Community Services Thrift StoreWhile pulling my volunteer shift at Community Services Thrift Store in Gibsons, BC, I came across a blast from my past in the $2 jewellery bin: a puka shell necklace.

Puka shell necklaces were THE thing when I was in high school. Guys and girls wore the white shell choker to school everyday. They looked best during September when we all still had our summer tans and the necklaces glowed against our skin.

I went through at least three of the delicately strung beads. They never really suited me. I was too pale with dirty blond hair that hung straight and slightly awkward. I was an introvert, nerdish . . . even bit of an outcast. The shell choker helped to hide my too long giraffe neck.

Needless to say, high school was not my favourite time of my life.

According to WikiPedia, puka shells are “naturally occurring bead-like objects which can be found on some beaches in Hawaii. Each one was the beach-worn apex of a cone snail shell, a kind of seashell from a sea snail. Puka is the Hawaiian word for “hole” and refers to the naturally occurring hole in the middle of these rounded and worn shell fragments often made into necklaces.” The necklaces became popular in the 1960s and, due to tourism and folklore, skyrocketed in the 1970s.

Why the trend in my high school days? Well, there is the theory that fashion sees a rebirth every 20 years, which would put it on mark for making a comeback right about now.

I have another theory.

Working in a thrift store, every volunteer shift is a stroll down memory lane. From Cabbage Patch Kid dolls to the same crock pot my mother had to a set of puka shells, there is also something on the shelves to remind me of a different time where I was different, the world was different and my dreams were different.

It’s interesting to see how I’ve changed while holding an item from my past. It’s almost a window into how I once was but with the vision to see how far I have come from my high school years.

For those wondering, I bought the puka shells. My hair is still straight and slightly awkward. I am a bit more tan now that I live on the coast of BC. Still a bit of an introvert, outcast — but I wear it proudly now.

Needless to say, life got better after high school.

There is something about connecting with that awkward teenager from the 90s. The one who never thought she would be comfortable in her own skin. Paying $2 to realize just how far I’ve come . . . priceless.