not perfect but perfectly happy

It was a dark and stormy night…  Okay, it wasn’t stormy and it was only kind of dark.  But it was an  evening of fate back in December of 2008 when I told my husband we should live a year on The Compact.  We started the year with our best intentions and a pretty strong resolve.  We are almost two thirds of the way through the year and I’d have to say I’m pretty happy with what we’ve accomplished.

Much to his own surprise I think, the husband has become a true clothes hunter.  He runs for the children’s section of any thrift store we enter.  I am happy to let him shop while I peruse kitchen and housewares.  All of the birthday gifts we have needed thus far have been purchased second hand.  That’s not to say they were all used items, just that they were purchased at a consignment or thrift store.  But that issue is for another post.  Today I’m looking at what came from the other stores.  You know the ones.  They have shelves chock full of stuff that has never been outside it’s packaging.  Yup, those stores.

What have I bought?

And why?


clear plastic bins – We needed to store the clothes Toddler L has grown out of.  I don’t like cardboard boxes for a myriad of reasons and I couldn’t find anything close to this by the usual “used goods” route.  These allow me to sort the clothes by size, see the contents and they will make moving easy.  They will also be with us for many, many years to come.


glassware & pizza peel – I broke one of our juice glasses (the short glass in the picture).  This was a pretty big deal for me because I like things to match and I like complete sets.  I’m kind of OCD about it.  I know it and I’m okay with it.  So the missing glass bugged me.  As soon as I was given a Crate & Barrel gift card I ran over to replace my broken glass.  And I bought the pizza peel which gets used every Wednesday for pizza night.  It’s a must have.  I love gift cards.


shelves & brackets – This one is a bit harder to justify.  If that’s what I’m doing.  We needed shelves in the nursery to store Baby S’s stuff.  Babies have a lot of stuff.  Diapers, cloths, creams, clothes…  We had these brackets already in the room for Toddler L’s stuff.  Toddlers have a lot of stuff too.  I like things to match, see above.  I decided I would prefer to go back to the source and get the same brackets even though it would be a non-Compact purchase.  I’m still okay with that decision.  And the room looks nice too.


Cambro container – I searched for almost two months in all of our thrift stores for a container that would hold my Artisan Bread dough.  I kept coming up empty handed.  It was really quite frustrating.  I even searched online for used restaurant supplies.  With all the restaurants that don’t seem to make it I still couldn’t find a used Cambro.  Considering I finally bought a new 6 quart one for about $4 with the lid I guess there wasn’t much profit in selling used ones.  Too bad, I would have been happy to put my dough where someone had once stored coleslaw.  I had been using a large glass container (it was actually a flower/candle holder vase thingy) with a pot lid.  It worked but was incredibly heavy and not terribly safe since Toddler L learned how to open the fridge to get whatever he thought he needed.


tank tops – I will be nursing Baby S for at least another year.  That means nursing bras every day.  Since I also have him in a wrap most days the easiest thing to wear is a tank top.  It’s not easy to find stretchy tank tops that haven’t lost their stretch at the Goodwill.  At Christmas I got a gift card for Banana Republic (thanks Grandma and Grandpa!).  I saved it to splurge on post maternity clothes.  Finally, I’m post maternity.  So I splurged.  I bought a couple new tops which I will wear almost every single day for the next year.  Then I got an offer for 30% off and another offer of free shipping.  As the tanks were already on sale at a huge discount I went off Compact and bought 2 more.  Since I will be wearing them almost every single day for the next year I’m okay with that.  (and no, that is not me modeling my new tank top.  But I do have brown hair.)


wedding gift – I claim no real responsibility for this purchase.  The husband’s family decided to do a group gift for a family wedding.  The choice was his & hers gift cards from the wedding couples registry, we chipped in our share and were grateful to pass on the shopping.  At least the idea of his and hers is cute right?

So these are my “not used” purchases for the past 7 months.  Am I a perfect Compacter?  No.  Am I perfectly happy with my Compact year so far?  Yup.  Tell me if you think I should get kicked off the island.

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2 Comments to “not perfect but perfectly happy”

  1. Hey Leigh- I think you’re doing great! For me, the purpose of the Compact is a shift in our thinking. After this year, if I go off the Compact, I’ll never be able to purchase new goods without considering the possibility of used or doing without, etc.


    p.s. I would consider tank tops almost like bras- I’ve traded them with girlfriends but don’t know if I’d really want to buy one used.

  2. Hey Leigh- come over to my blog to pick up your “blogging award.”

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