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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My Dear Trash Earth Day Book Drive

Writing a press release is a bit like trying to open a can of soup without a can opener; it takes creativity, hard work and an appetite.
But I did it. It took three days, countless rough drafts, proof reads from friends and a few prayers.
I finished the press release for the My Dear Trash Earth Day Book Drive and will start marketing it a.s.a.p (marketing is my favorite).
The book drive starts April 1st and runs through Earth Day, April 22nd.
To read my personal story and motivation behind Earth Day and book drives/literacy events, click here.

I'm thrilled to be working with Changing Hands Bookstore and Bookman's as drop-off sites. I've worked with both bookstores in the past. The people who work in these independent book stores are amazing and so dedicated.
If you do not live in the Phoenix area, but would like to participate in the My Dear Trash Earth Day Book Drive, contact your local library and let them know you'd like to donate your used books in honor of Earth Day. If they can't take them, they will let you know who can. Please share your stories with us by leaving a comment under any blog posting. This will be a fun month with author-signed book give-aways and author features. If you leave your story, you're and become a follower, you're qualified.
So here it is. The infamous press release. If I'm lucky, you'll see it in a newspaper near you.


PRESS RELEASE – For immediate release

Dear Trash on Earth Day Helping the Environment

Mesa, AZ, April 1, 2010 -- What does trash and Earth Day, April 22 have in common? Just ask Laura Lofgreen, writer and blogger at My Dear Trash (

“It’s all about helping the environment,” she says.

So what is it about trash that’s so dear? Lofgreen explains.

“I shops yard sales and thrift stores and purchases what others no longer want. Basically, I buy other people’s trash,” she says with a bit of sarcasm in her voice.

She buys everything from clothing and toys to books and furniture. Buying used helps the environment and saves her money. The surprising thing is she makes money too.

“Depending on what I buy, I use it in my own home with my family or resale it for a profit on EBay or Craig’s List.”

Not only does she make a good income, but this past year My Dear Trash has sponsored a variety of events in the form of community yard sales. In total, they’ve raised $2,600.00 to help pay for a funeral of a friend and to help a spinal-cord survivor pay for physical therapy.

This month My Dear Trash is sponsoring an Earth Day book drive April 1 thru Earth Day, April 22 and is asking valley residences to donate their gently used books.

“The idea behind the book drive is the same philosophy I use at My Dear Trash: take something that someone no longer wants and put it in the hands of someone who needs it,” she adds. “Plus, we all want to do something on Earth Day to help the environment and people in our community.”

All books will be donated to the Friends of the Phoenix Public Library (

Lofgreen and her blogging partner, Kelly Biggs write daily about the trash they find and what they do with it. Their ideas have inspired others to find value where they normally may not see it.

Books for the My Dear Trash Earth Day Book Drive can be any genre, for the young or old. Earth Day is a day to inspire people of the world to help Mother Earth. Don’t let this day pass without doing something significant. Be sure to donate your trash today.

Drop-off locations include:

*Changing Hands Bookstore*

6428 S McClintock Dr
Tempe, AZ 85283


8034 N. 19th Ave.

Phoenix, AZ 85021

*Any Phoenix Library Branch*

The Big Challenge Week 7

Here we are, week 7 of the big challenge to raise $4,000 in 4 months to take the Family to Florida! Ebay, ebay, ebay... Oh how I'll never understand you! It was a very consistent week on ebay, however, there are always surprises with ebay. This week I listed 35 items and relisted 27 items. Here's a few highlights.
This Ann Taylor Ruffle Corduroy skirt is adorable, but in a size 2 I wasn't sure it would do well. It sold for 17.50!These Ambercrombie and Fitch size 4 white capris generated a ton of questions when listed at $5.50- but never received a bid. When relisted for $2.99 they sold for $8.05! This brought this weeks ebay total to $184.76. Craigslist was still a little slow this week, but here's what sold.

This press board TV stand was just taking up room in my in-laws rental. I listed it for $10 3 weeks ago. When lowered to $5 it sold in 1 day.
This nightstand, that we no longer needed, took 4 weeks to sell, but it finally added $40 to the Florida fund.
Here's the Ariels magic talking kitchen I picked up last weekend for $15. This sold for a little girls birthday for $40. I have 12 items currently listed with craigslist, so I'm hoping to really boost my Florida total. The key I've learned is consistency. Some weeks I really just want to give up, dip into the saving account and pay for the trip- But then I add up my totals and realize slowly but surely we're getting there. Love, Kelly

Ebay Profits: This week: 184.56 Challenge Total: 1013.92
Craigslist Profits: This week $85.00 Challenge Total: 935.00
This weeks Costs: -25.00 (clothes) -30.00 (ebay fees) -18.57(paypal fees) -15.00 (Cost to buy craigslist items)
Total Challenge Costs: 571.31
Total Profit: 1377.61

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

When Life Gives You Broken China, Make A Mosaic

I was at a yard sale a few weeks ago and purchased this amazing hope chest for $40.00.

The woman who sold it to me asked for my name and phone number.

“I know I have the key and original paper work on it, so I’ll contact you when I find them,” she said.

Wouldn’t you know it, about a week later I received a phone call from Loretta.

“Can you come over this weekend to pick up the key and paper work on the hope chest,” she said. “I’m moving on Sunday to Seattle and want to make sure you have it.”

Mayer and Reef and I drove over to her place. Loretta was so sweet to us. After she gave me the key and paper work she took me into the garage.

“Anything in here you can just take,” she said.

Mayer and Reef instantly ran to a bucket of trucks and balls she had in the corner. Loretta pulled me aside, anxious to show me something that was obviously important to her.

“This is my box of broken china,” she said as she opened several drawers.

“I make mosaics and this is my collection of broken crystals, china and pottery. I want you to have it because there’s no way I can take it with me.”

Now I know nothing about mosaics, but I loved what I saw. I felt a new passion burning just looking at the different pieces.

“I could learn how to make mosaics,” I thought to myself.

So, I brought home about 100 pounds of broken china and here it sits in my garage. Everytime I pass it I have the thought, “When life gives you broken china, make a mosaic.”

This Sunday, the counselor’s sister, Amber and her boyfriend Stuart came over for dinner. Amber plays so sweet with Reef. They sat on the floor and played with this straw and a raisin for about an hour.

Later, Reef decided to do a little male-bonding with Stuart; soccer punch style.

Due to my current huge belly, I haven’t done much grocery shopping , so dinner was a bit sparse.

I suggest hamburgers, certain I had meat, buns and condiments to spare.

Well, I pulled out the ground turkey, lettuce (a little wilted on the edges, but no one seemed to notice), purple onion, tomatoes, pickles, cheddar cheese, but to my horror . . . I only had squished hot dog buns.

“Don’t sweat it,” Stuart said as he took charge in the kitchen. “I’ll make the hamburgers in the shape of hotdogs.”

He did just that and they were delicious.

I had the thought “When life gives you hot dog buns, shape your hamburger meat into the shape of hotdogs.”

With this in mind, I thought I’d share some of my highs and lows from EBay this past week because when life gives you a bad EBay sale you have a great one to contradict it.

I found this Coldwater Creek dress for $1.00 and posted it on EBay for $9.99. It didn't sell the first week, so I dropped the price to .99 cents. IT DIDN"T EVEN SELL. I might play the game, but I don't make the rules.

These Gap XL overalls were purchased at Goodwill on 1/2 off day for $3.50. They sold on EBay for $27.99. Oddly enough, I wasn't too surprised. Overalls are always an instant hit on EBay.

I found this Coldwater Creek outfit on $1.00 day at Goodwill. The entire outfit was $1.00. It sold for $14.99. Lucky for me.

Hanna Andersson is usually a big sale, but this darling little baby boy outfit didn't budge. Better luck next time.

Another pair of Gap overalls, another success story. This pair of large overalls sold for $26.00.

I found this women's Harley Davidson Medium Shirt. On most days, this would have sold for at least $9.99, but this week it didn't even sell for .99 cents.

These Old Navy Size 20 Board shorts seem like nothing too special, but they sold for $15.50. Let the summer begin.

Ebay has its good days and bad days, but in the end, I always come out ahead. Even with my non-sales, my profit for the week was over $200.00. How can you argue with that! Don't worry. I'll relist the other items. They'll sell and that will be a whole other experience for me to write about.

This Weeks Garaging Finds

Another great week of garaging- Gotta love the spring in Arizona. Here's this weeks trash!This screen was just $10 and will be great in my craft room. Can't wait to show you how I'll make her over.
I picked up this little tikes wagon for $4- put it on craigslist for $25. However, I used it to take my kids on a walk and discovered one of the front wheels is loose and when weight is added to the wagon the wheel drags instead of rolls- such a bummer as I had already had several calls and emails of people interested! I'll have to reduce the price to $10 and describe the problem.This little chandelier is so adorable- It was just $4 and included the black check shades. I'm not sure if this is a craigslist item or a keeper.

This New Fiskars shape cutter sells for over $20- I know because I bought one to make the lollipop invites for Laura's shower. This one was just $2 and comes with replacement blades! The little shelf was $3, The primitive lamb was $1.75, the ornate frame $1.00 and the embroidered set of Family, Love, Faith was $3.These Heritage Mint Canadian Maple baskets were .50 each and will make great gift baskets. The heavy black tub with fruit candles was just $1.00

I fell in love with this vintage reproduction airplane toy- It's solid wood and will be a great accessory in my TV room. At just $3, it was a steal!

This vintage R-B Company rolling cart with handle was $5- I just love the look of it! The muffin tins were $1 each- you can never have enough cupcake pans. What a fun weekend it was finding all of these treasures. Hope yours was the same. Love, Kelly

Monday, March 29, 2010

Falling in Love & Recognizing It Later

I have a picture of the counselor framed in a Christmas ornament that hangs from the lamp next to my computer.

The photograph was taken early in our marriage. I remember the moment exactly. Our first child, Chandler was a week old. The counselor was holding him, sitting next to his dad, Chandler’s grandpa. It was one of the moments, when he looked at me and we communicated without words.

“I love you.”

“I love you too.”

“We have a child together.”

“And he looks like you. Isn’t it wonderful?”

“This is what I’ve always wanted.”

“You make my dreams come true.”

And then he smiled for the picture.

I find myself staring at this photograph when I’m working. It fills me with love.

The counselor and I were friends for several months before we officially started dating. I was a student at ASU and lived in Tempe just minutes from campus. We meet at church one evening in the parking lot and exchanged phone numbers. He was the type of friend who surprised me with yellow balloons on my bicycle handlebars, homemade cookies at my doorstep and hand-written poetry in my mailbox. Of course I wasn’t interested in him romantically, I mean he was just a friend. It took a while before I really saw what was happening.

I remember the moment I fell in love with him. It was four months after we met. He was at my apartment and we were making a salad for lunch; two friends who liked to hang out and be together. He was standing in front of me and suddenly he looked different. His eyes were so blue, his shoulders so broad and he was tall, really tall. He was beautiful, actually, with wonderful wavy hair and the sweetest lips I’d ever seen. For the first time, I thought with my heart instead with my mind. I literally attacked him with kisses and we’ve been kissing ever since.

The counselor later told me the first time he saw me in the church parking lot it was love at first sight. This is the most romantic thing anyone has ever said to me.

I’m so glad he waited for me to come around. He’s given me a beautiful life, rich and full of immeasurable joy.

The counselor worked on Saturday and boys and I went to see him at his office during his break. I haven’t been to his office for quite sometime and had to laugh when we all went inside. He’s office is furnished with trash; the most professional trash you can imagine.

I found this sand tray several years ago.

I purchased it at a yard sale for $5.00 and the boys used it for awhile. While studying a play therapy manual, the counselor came across the benefits of using sand therapy when counseling young children. He suggested he take the sand tray to his office. The children he counsels love it and I’m so glad I purchased it. You never know what you’ll use something for in the future.

Like this huge amore. I paid $20.00 for it and it took 4 men to move it into our home.

We used it for several years as a computer desk in our living room. When the counselor moved into his new office, he needed storage & shelving. This piece worked out perfectly. He keeps supplies nicely organized inside this beauty.

The couch is from Salvation Army. I paid $60.00 for it and it fits perfectly in this therapeutic space. I love the lines.

His leather chair was purchased for $100.00 at a consignment shop in Sedona this last fall.

The trip was a weekend get-away for the two of us.

We hiked and stared into each other's eyes, but of course I had to do some thrifting while we were there. That's when we found his perfect counseling chair.

Until this weekend, I hadn’t realized the significance of every piece of furniture in his office. Sometimes it surprises me how much trash has blessed my life. It literally is in everything I do and everything I create. Most of the time I don’t see it until it hits me over the head or until I kiss its tender lips. I guess the blessing is eventually, I do see it.

Wicked Weekend

This weekends yard sale finds were WICKED.

If I wasn’t anxious for baby girl before, this gently-used onesie officially put me over the top. Could it be any more adorable?

It was ½ off day at Goodwill. I hardly knew what to do with myself.

My weekend was also full of Braxton-Hicks that went from timid to full-speed ahead. I called the hospital twice and was on the phone with my doctor at one point.

“Only come in if you can no longer walk or talk when you’re having a contraction,” she said.

Well, considering I’d been garaging and thrifting all day despite the painful cramping, I decided to wait a little longer. Wouldn’t you know it, after three days of contractions, they finally went away. UGH!

Mayer's interpretation of my belly is about right.

Since the counselor was working this weekend, I also had four little boys ready to shop. This always throws unexpected twists into the experience. Someone wants to go home, someone’s hungry, someone needs to use the restroom and someone desperately wants these some-what freaky Boo-Baa’s. For $1.00 each, we brought them home.

Reef is totally into tigers.

I found this beauty at a garage sale for $5.00, certain he'd love it.

I don't know, but he seems a little uncertain. Seriously, this thing is too much. At one point, it was on my bed and it totally freaked me out. It looks SO REAL. Chandler said the same thing, so Mr. Huge Tiger will be donated to Goodwill. When garage sale finds frighten your children, it's time to move on.

While shopping at D.I., or maybe I should say while chasing my kids at D.I., I found these amazing shelves in the salvage yard for $5.00 a piece. I'm thinking these could go on Craig's List for $45.00.

I found two of these large plush rugs for $2.00 each. The boys room is all wood, so these look great next to their bed and dressers.

I love this end table, which Kelly thinks could be a Lexington. I'll do some research, but for $15.00 I think it's a great piece. Very heavy and ornate.

Chandler's happy with his finds. This kid is so easy to please.

I found this unique piece at Goodwill and at half-price it was $10.00. I showed it to Kelly over the weekend and she recommended I used it to hold baby girl's blankets. Such a sweet idea, although I'm tempted to see what I could get for it on Craig's List.

Pottery Barn found me again. This little frame was $1.00.

Kelly and her Mr. Right came by and dropped off some furniture she's re-done for the nursery (click here to get a better look at this piece). I love how I'm standing right in front of the beautiful piece she finished for me.

In exchange, I had a plate of cookies to share with them. Somehow it seems like I came out way ahead in this little trade-off. Kelly is so good to me and I love this sweet couple.

Lillian, a dear friend of mine made this beautiful cover for my boy car seat. Isn't it lovely as a girl carseat! I'll be featuring more of her stuff in the future. She's WAY talented.

Reef's certain this gift is all for him.

Garaging and thrifting this weekend had two purposes: finding great trash and getting my labor going. At least one of the two was a success.