Christmas Spending and Kombucha

Before we begin, I have to tell you that I was compelled to stop mid-Costco and take a photo of a book I never, ever want to receive. Ugh, Jeffrey. 


Ok, now I’m ready. Hello and welcome back, I’ve missed you! We’ve had a season of learning how to handle something called Reactive Hypoglycemia. It’s a whopper of a mess and I’ll talk about it another time because I have something way more fun to share. Once again Mom, no I’m not pregnant. Two is good.

Ah, the holiday season, November and December are so precious.  These months are the time of the year when I score a Pottery Barn tree skirt for $6, schmancy candlestick holders for $3 and more miscellaneous Christmas crap than our home can handle for a few bucks more.  When my favorite thrift store brings out all they have stored for the past 11 months, everything hits the fan. EVERYTHING.


This even lacks a bit of Christmas spirit, so I added some festive hats to lighten the mood.  This year, I was 15th out of about 100 in the line which forms an hour before the 400 square foot second-hand store opens. 40 people and their empty boxes are allowed in the store at once.  At this point, we all forget that we are celebrating Jesus and pretend the apocalypse is tomorrow and our family’s only chance of survival depends on THAT gold trimmed placemat set. You want those Spode Christmas plates? You best be prepared to knuckle fight Grandma for them, and she don’t mess. 

That said,  I friggin’ love that sale. 

In an almost easier shopping story, I bought a new car. I mean, um…I bought a new car with my husband’s money. Ugh. I picked out a car and he went to buy it. Don’t kick me out of Pantsuit Nation. (Spoiler alert, I voted for Hills).

I’m obsessed with my new car, but we can’t live in it if we need to. I’m fairly sure that’s not supposed to be the measure of a good vehicle. But honey, let me tell you, if you haven never owned a minivan, you don’t understand that secret sense of security when thinking of possible zombie invasions and the like. The idea of a car large enough to stand in, lie down in and carry a couch in is a tough one to release. So ya, I miss the minivan life, but I don’t miss the threat of my kid’s door falling off, the knocking from the vent, the crappy brakes and the rest. 


Are you totally ready for the best thing I have purchased this month? You is gonna die. 

Maybe you won’t. But you know who will? My brother, Ron. Now that I think about it, maybe my brother Matt will too. Definitely my mom.

If you can withstand it, let me tell you the story. 

My friend Jody and I love to drive a good 20+ miles for our favorite cup of coffee, an Iced Mint Mojito from Philz in Oakland. I’ve written of this concotion more than once, you should be familar. No booze in the cup, just muddled mint, 2 T. brown sugar, straight up cream, coffee and ice. It’s amazing and I have no caloric regret afterward. I should, but don’t. 


When time allows, we often venture to nearby shops and explore. We’ve found all kinds of treasures, including a secret hipster nook of Oakland, Temescal Alley, a stop for all things stylish, overpriced and millenial. If you like to have your non-dairy ice cream scooped for you by a 20-something with ZERO shame over her long armpit-hair in a tank top, visit Curbside Creamery and bring about $8.

This week we found Preserved Goods,

a kitchen shop focused on traditional methods of preserving. Think of us as a hardware store for developing your pantry. We provide a community-oriented space to learn, share and shop for healthful products and do-it-yourself supplies. 

Pickling, kefir grains, sourdough bread starters, cultured food, kitchen supplies for the homesteader, butter jars. This store is the most exciting place I’ve been all month. (Comments to yourself, friend).

I know that churning your own butter is probably a clearly paved path to hipsterville, but it’s also so dang delicuous, so what’s a girl to do?  

Fine, I’ve never churned my own butter, that was a lie.  I just need you to believe me that this store is so, so much fun. Ok, here’s my favorite purchase of the season….a Kombucha starter set!


Kombucha is brewed and sweetened black tea, that sits out for 7-21 days to ferment with the help of a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast). It sounds like something you are supposed to avoid, right? The gal at Preserved Goods gave us a taste of her homemade Kombucha and it was better than any I have ever tried. I can’t wait to report back and let you guys know how it turns out.  Tell me this wasn’t the best purchase? Wait, you don’t have to, my brother will for you. 

Happy Holidays Friends!

Leave a Comment