3 Best Places to Find Blue and White Chinoiserie


Y'all know that I love blue and white porcelain, but I have to tell you that my best pieces did not come from a retail store. Shocked?

I'm not saying that you can't find good pieces at retail stores. I'm saying that you can find REALLY NICE pieces at other places. Let me tell you about three places where you can find the best blue and white porcelain.

#1 The Thrift Store

If you know anything about me, you should have known that I was going to say that the thrift store was one of the best places to find blue and white porcelain. I've found so many great pieces at Goodwill and other out of the way thrift stores. When I see a blue and white ginger jar at a thrift store, I'm in disbelief at how it ended up there. Who would give that away? What's going on in their life that they no longer have love for this ginger jar? Earth to Caron! Come in, Caron!

Where was I? Oh, yeah. Ginger jar at thrift store. Yes. I spy with my little eye something blue and white on a shelf. I slide over to the ginger jar or lamp or whatever blue and white piece it is, and snatch it off the shelf!  

A few weeks ago, this very same scenario played out in my local Goodwill. This time it was a blue and white floral lamp in the shape of a large ginger jar. I saw it up ahead in the aisle and I left my cart unattended and literally ran up the aisle to grab it. I apologize if you were the woman that I startled as I made the grab, but I was on a mission!

I think I paid $8 for it. Good prices. Unique finds. That's what I like about the thrift store. 

#2 Consignment Shop

Let me tell you a little about consignment shops. Consignment shops are similar to thrift stores, except they are usually not charity-based. In fact, the inventory at consignment shops belongs to sellers who agree to pay the shop owner a fee or percentage of the sale price. Inventory is usually more upscale and in better shape than at a thrift store. Usually. 

Prices are much higher than at a thrift store. But, like a thrift store, you can find really unique pieces. People bring in unwanted family heirlooms hoping to get a good deal. I've shopped at consignment stores over the years and I like the experience. 

One thing that I've done at a consignment store that I've never tried at a thrift store is haggle. You don't usually haggle at the thrift store. The price is the price. I understand that and know that most of the proceeds will go back into the community, so I'm okay with that. 

On the other hand, the whole premise of the consignment arrangement is to get the best deal for the seller, so in my mind, that means that there is room for negotiation. Never be afraid to ask for a price break.

I found a consignment store listing on Craigslist that turned out to be goldmine of blue and white chinoiserie. I located the place on a map and grabbed my coffee. It was a few towns over. Apparently, someone was consolidating a relative's home and they had a boatload of blue and white decor. Everything was turned over to the consignment shop. I haggled a little and ended up buying a beautiful blue and white chinoiserie bird cage. 

#3 Yard Sale, Flea Market

Going to yard sales is one of my favorite pastimes. You are bound to find almost anything at a yard sale.  Sometimes the stuff is free. People just want to get rid of stuff, so there is always room to haggle. 

I remember driving through New Haven, CT and stopping at a light. While sitting in traffic, hubby spotted a yard sale. No, what he really spotted was a table full of blue and white. We pulled over and I think I jumped out before the car had even come to a full stop! Then I chilled. I didn't want the seller to see how excited I was.

What was before me was a bucket of blue and white ceramic orbs. Various sizes. I struck up a deal with the seller to buy them all. I think there was 18 in total. We hit a snag when I realized that hubby and I had no cash on us. This was critical! I quickly sent hubby on a ATM run. I couldn't let this deal fall apart!

Cash is king when it comes to yard sales and flea markets. I could have easily lost my blue and white orbs if we had not found an ATM. There's no "please hold this for me until tomorrow" going on a yard sale. Had this been a planned yard sale trip, believe me, I would have made sure to have cash on hand. 

Recently a rare Ming dynasty cobalt blue and white floral bowl was found at a yard sale in New Haven. The buyer snagged it for $35 and it later sold at auction for over $722,000. What an awesome find! 

Check out my Youtube video where I talk more about finding awesome blue and white pieces.

Now, I can't guarantee that you will find any rare pieces at your local thrift store, consignment store or yard sale. But you can find unique designs, great pieces at great prices. If by chance, you happen on a Ming-dynasty era bowl, that's icing on your blue and white cake! 

Disclosure: Links may contain affiliates. When you buy through one of our links we will receive a commission. This is at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting Life on Greenwood and allowing me to continue to bring you valuable content.

Why You Should Use The Right Garden Tool For the Job

Do you love gardening but hate the thought of the aches and pains that follows after all that bending and kneeling? I understand.

Picture this. You're basking in what I call the "after-gardening glow".  I mean, you have the satisfaction of having made good progress in your garden. A lot of digging and pulling. You're on a natural high from destroying a gazillion weeds. 

You've planted seeds. Your endorphins are through the roof!  You sit back and say, "I did good"!  The after-gardening glow is Real!

And then, BAM! 

It sets in. You become stiff.  Every muscle in your body aches. 

Sound familiar?  

Does it make good sense to do all that work in your garden and be laid up and unable to move afterward? No, I don't think so.

I have one piece of advice: USE THE RIGHT TOOL FOR THE JOB.

Invest in a good garden workbench or stool and give your body a break. You need one that can hold your weight and hold a few hand tools. I found mine online. I'll link it here:

This one is sturdy enough to hold my husband who weighs about 200 lbs. and it folds easily into a padded kneeler. That soft padding makes a difference when sitting or kneeling for extended periods of time. 

When folded as a kneeler, the legs of this garden workbench serve as side handles to help you steady yourself as you stand up.  I've used it both ways and it's great!  I'll link my Youtube video where I show more details of this workbench. 

It comes with two removable pouches that can hold all the gardening hand tools you need for the task. This was an awesome find! Your back will thank you!

I hope this was helpful. Contact me if have questions. Happy Gardening!

Disclosure: Links may contain affiliates. When you buy through one of our links, we will receive a commission. This is at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting Life on Greenwood and allowing me to continue to bring you valuable content.

Awesome Thrift Haul Dresses From Goodwill

There are so many great buys at the thrift store! I recently made my way to my local Goodwill and came away with some awesome finds, including six dresses.

I'm a big proponent of recycling clothing and even household goods, where it makes sense. It's good for the environment, not to mention that your dollar goes far at a second-hand store. Don't sleep on the thrift, Y'all!

Here are few pics from a recent Goodwill thrift haul. Don't you just love the hat? 

One of my finds was a Free People dress. I considered re-selling it.  Free People merchandise does well on the re-sale market, but I think I'm going to keep it.  I'm thinking of closing my Poshmark closet, but we'll see. Maybe I'll address that in separate blog post.

I'm so excited about my latest thrift finds and I can't wait to style them!

The full video is on my Youtube channel. Here's the link:

Disclosure: Links may contain affiliates. When you buy through one of our links we will receive a commission. This is at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting Life on Greenwood and allowing me to continue to bring you valuable content

3 Different Meals That POP With Kim's Magic Pop


I want to share three of my favorite ways to eat Kim's Magic Pop. If you're not familiar with Kim's Magic Pop, allow me to introduce you. Kim's Magic Pop is a light, crispy bread-cracker rice cake thing that I use sometimes as a substitute for, you guessed it, bread or crackers. 

The packaging states that it's made of a mixture of popped wheat, brown rice and corn. It's vegan and gluten-free. Low in fat and carbs, which I like. I know that when I'm eating it, I'm doing a good thing because I'm not eating bread.

Kim's Magic Pop offers many flavors, including Onion, Strawberry, Original, Cheddar Cheese, Wheat, Honey Wheat, Cinnamon, Salted Caramel, Dark Chocolate, Chickpea and Lentil, to name a few. I've seen only Whole Wheat and Onion in my local supermarket. I love the onion flavored! 

Tap the product link above to shop the product.  Honestly, I'll be shopping the site today because I see that I've been missing out on what sounds like some really delicious flavors!

Here are three of the fun ways I've learned to prepare meals with Kim's Magic Pop: 

#1 Tuna Salad on Kim's Magic Pop

  • Mix one can of tuna (in water) in a bowl with a chopped boiled egg.  Add celery seeds, chopped onion, mayo, salt and pepper to taste. Serve on a bed of lettuce on top of an onion flavored Kim's Magic Pop

#2 Kim's Magic Pop with a side of Veggie Scrambled Eggs

  • Chop onion, green peppers, red peppers, fresh tomatoes and sauté in a frying pan with a drop of vegetable oil or Pam.  Scramble in two eggs and season with minced garlic, salt and pepper. Serve with Kim's Magic Pop and garnish with grapes or apple slices. You can find a video of this recipe on my Youtube channel.

#3 Turkey Sausage and Egg Whites on Kim's Magic Pop

  • Cook two turkey Brown-N-Serve link sausages. Cut into small chunks. Pour egg whites in frying pan. Add sausage pieces. Scramble and serve over Kim's Magic Pop

I can't wait to try the Cheddar Cheese flavor. I can almost taste them topped with scrambled eggs! Or how about topped with ground chicken and mixed peppers? Yum!

Please drop me a line if you've tried Kim's Magic Pop. If you haven't tried them yet, what are you waiting for?

Disclosure: Links may contain affiliates. When you buy through one of our links we will receive a commission. This is at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting Life on Greenwood and allowing me to continue to bring you valuable content.

Relax, Unwind and Breathe for Good Mental Health

When I worked in corporate America, I used to have a Friday after-work ritual. First, let me back up and lay the groundwork.

For most of my career, I commuted out of state for work. Needless to say, by Friday, I was fried. 

My Go-To Routine

After work, I would stop at the supermarket and pick up the goodies to get my evening started right! This would include cheese, crackers, grapes, shrimp, nuts--cashews preferably and sparkling cider.  

I don't drink alcohol...Lord knows I could have used a drink after commuting and dealing with people all week...but I digress. As I was saying, I'm not a drinker, so my drink of choice is usually sparkling juice or cider or one of a variety of sparkling waters.

The other day, I treated myself to a little self-love by laying out a really nice cheese board. I paired it with a corked bottle of Val de France Organic Sparkling Apple Pear Juice.  I had been dying to try this non-alcoholic beverage. They make a variety of flavors. It's a little pricier than Welch's, but I did enjoy the taste.  I'm saving a bottle of apple pomegranate for a future self-love session. I'll link this Val de France sparkling beverage here:

I took my time and savored every slice of cheese, every grape, every pretzel, EVERYTHING.

I cannot tell you how refreshing it was to slowly sip my sparkling beverage! Did I mention that I served it in a wine glass? I did!  I felt like I was pampering myself. It was so good! 

I miss those evenings when this was part of my regimen. 

Make Time For Yourself

We should make more time for ourselves. I believe I may have been in a rut, but I'm climbing out. I'm going to carve out some special time every once in a while to re-charge. Put on some oldies, take a bubble bath and just chill.  

By the way, let me recommend a fantastic bottle opener to pop the cork on your next bottle of bubbly. I tried the Crenova Electric Wine Opener and it was so easy to use.  Just press a button and it pops the cork right out of the bottle. Simple as that. 

The wine opener is part of a set that includes a stopper, charging cord and few other attachments. It makes a nice gift if you're in the market for something in the $25 - $30 range. Here's a link for your convenience

Crenova Wine Opener Gift Set

Take a Breather

Everyone could use a little down time, right? Close your eyes right now for a few seconds and breathe. Just breathe. Take a few deep breaths and enjoy the feeling of air flowing through your lungs.

I hope you're inclined to give yourself a breather. It's so important for mental health. Besides, you deserve it!

Disclosure: Links contain affiliates. When you buy through one of our links we will receive a commission. This is at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting Life on Greenwood and allowing me to continue to bring you valuable content.

Home Improvement Prep - Avoiding The Rabbit Hole

Isn't it funny that as soon as you start one project, it leads to another project, and then another? It never fails. You think you're going to touch up the paint on a wall and you end up painting the entire room. And not just painting the room, but painting it a whole different color. 

The Rabbit Hole

And now that you've re-painted the room, the drapes no longer match. So you have to replace the drapes. And you can't just replace the drapes in your living room without replacing the drapes in your dining room because the two rooms are connected and you must have a consistent flow. Right?

Oh, and you noticed that the rug is just a tad too beige or gray and is throwing off  the blue in your new drapes. What to do? What to do?

So now, you're down a rabbit hole that could possibly lead to endless home improvements.  Who can relate?

I had to stop myself the other day as I was about to go down this road again. 

Make a Plan

So before I picked up a paint brush and hammer, I started a spreadsheet of all the things that I wanted or needed to do in my home, room by room. I even listed furnishings and other improvements that I wanted for each room. I tried to prioritize the list as well. I kept it very simple.

You can do the same, regardless of your budget. If you're thinking of making any changes in your home, large or small, try planning ahead by creating a project plan or wish list. Here's a sample of what you might include on a project plan for your living room: 

This was a very helpful exercise for me. I constantly refer to it. It also comes in handy when hubby asks me what I'm planning for the house. 

Again, if your budget is $50 or $50,000, believe me, it pays to plan. If you do this, you're less likely to go off on tangents or get caught up in budget-busting random shopping.  

I hope this was helpful. 

Have you ever been down the home improvement rabbit hole?

Disclosure: Links contain affiliates. When you buy through one of our links we will receive a commission. This is at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting Life on Greenwood and allowing me to continue to bring you valuable content.

Lemon Decor Dollar Tree Tablescape and Review

I finally found a full set of those Dollar Tree lemon plates and it only took me five years! I went to, whew, I don't know how many Dollar Tree stores trying to complete the set! I had previously collected a few saucers,  mugs and glasses or stemware a couple of years ago but I could not find the plates. 

Two years ago, I found a single plate. Last year, nothing.

What's So Nice About Dollar Tree Lemon Dishes

This year I was successful!  I found plates and bowls. I was so happy! Just so you know, these dishes are not cheap-looking. The colors are vibrant. The dishes (bowls, mugs, plates) have substantial weight to them. I know they're only a dollar, but I'd say they look just as good as other pricier merchandise out there.  

So I did a lemon-themed tablescape that included green glassware and dishes that I had found at my local thrift stores. It felt so good to finally unpack my old lemon pieces and display them with my new stuff. My table looked awesome!

For more on my how you can do a lemon-themed tablescape, check out my Youtube video:

Don't wait to hit Dollar Tree for these dishes. You may have to go to more than one store to get a complete set, but it will be worth it!

Note: Dollar Tree has an online store, but you usually have to buy items in multiples.

Disclosure: Links contain affiliates. When you buy through one of our links we will receive a commission. This is at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting Life on Greenwood and allowing me to continue to bring you valuable content.



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