The ultimate guide to buying used CDs, DVDs, and cassette tapes at the thrift store

Joni Mitchell blue on denim jacket

One of my biggest barriers to ever becoming a true minimalist is my love for hoarding physical media. I’m incurably obsessed with secondhand shopping for CDs and DVDs. Holding a tangible CD or DVD case in my hands makes me feel like an archivist of a waning culture. (And when I’m collecting cassette tapes, a … Read more

Why you should always check out your local Friends of the Library book sale

Library card on books

I simply adore libraries. They’re such wonderful third spaces for free community events, workshops, and resources. And of course, there are the books. Whether you’re partial to obscure antiquarian reads or the latest BookTok titles, you can enjoy everything for free. As a thrifty bookworm, I also love checking out library book sales, which are usually … Read more

Modesto’s Mad Monk Vintage: A CD and DVD collector’s slice of paradise

Mad Monk storefront

As the rain hammered down this past gray February weekend, I made my quarterly pilgrimage to Modesto for a much-needed thrifting trip out of town. I didn’t find much at Goodwill, but I had a blast yet again perusing the endless aisles at the Mad Monk.  I first came across Mad Monk when I lived … Read more

Decluttering a (mostly) thrifted wardrobe

Foliage speckled maxi dress

It’s that time of year again, when I experience cabin fever from endless rainy days spent inside and begin decluttering with reckless abandon. I’m too attached to my trinkets and tchotchkes to part ways with them right now, but my clothes have been fair game for purging these past few weeks.  Lately, I’ve become fond … Read more

Thrifting for a festive Lunar New Year celebration

Bowl with yellow dragon motif

Since moving to the Central Valley, I haven’t observed Tet or Lunar New Year with vibrant community celebrations. Growing up with a huge extended Vietnamese family, I have to admit that I miss the New Year brouhaha — the sound of older relatives cackling as they gamble, the feel of thick red envelopes padded with … Read more

Treasuring hand-me-downs and re-gifted pieces

Heart pendant necklace in a vintage tray

I’ve been in a real John Prine phase lately, and one of my favorite discoveries is “Souvenirs.” One reason why I love the thrift store is because I am constantly fascinated by the history of the objects that end up there.  Objects can never be experiences, of course, but it stirs something in me to … Read more