Tag Archives: thrift stores

Guest Post: How to Live Like a Crazy Cat Lady (Minus the Animal Hoarding Thing)

16 Jul

[tweetmeme source=”talkthirtytome” only_single=false]

Amber of Monk and Mao is simply amazing. As she states in her post, we met her through Twitter, and she’s become one of the best people in our lives.  Sport came up with this idea to give a little blog love to others that have kindled the spark we have for blogging, writing, sharing, loving, and all of the heady stuff in between. So we’ve decided to give you some Amber today.

One of the reasons we’re doing this new feature is to show people that there’s so many facets of living the 30s. We also want to expose people to the out-of-the-ordinary that’s just as incredible as the day-to-day goings-on of our lives.  Without rambling too much, here’s Monk, Mao, and Amber.

Eleanor Abernathy
is kind of my hero. She was a genius kid. She went on to
earn degrees from Harvard and Yale. Then, at age 32, she freaked out
and discovered booze and kittens. Her life changed forever.

Eleanor Abernathy

Like Eleanor, I was an extremely smart kid. I was always in the honors
classes. I even won the gold medal in a state-wide analogy competition
when I was in third grade. Yeah, I was just that awesome. Sure, I went
through a goth phase in high school where I wore lingerie over
dresses, listened to bands I’m not going to admit to listening to and
ditched all of my core classes to hang out in the darkroom and process
photos, but I somehow managed to graduate. Then, for reasons that are
still a mystery to me, I decided that I wanted to go to college to
become an accountant.

I went to college. I got a full-time job as a bookkeeper. I dropped
out of school. I went back. I got promoted to Controller. I bought a
condo and a Benz. And some golf clubs, because accountants have to
have golf clubs, right? Then I dropped out again. A few years later,
when I was 27, I went back. Three weeks into the semester, I walked
out. Then I freaked out. I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do with
my life. I just knew I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life in an
office. I went back to being a bookkeeper, but cut my schedule to 20
hours a week. Then I started drinking. I’m not an alcoholic by any
means. (Sure, I’m writing this on a Thursday night after three beers
and two shots of Jäger, but don’t all great creative minds do their
best work after a few drinks?!) Yeah, I was starting to figure out
what I wanted to do lose my mind. It felt fucking amazing.

Now I’m nearing 30, and you know what? I’m happy. Painfully happy. I
have time to do pretty much whatever I want to do. I go running,
practice yoga, take way too many pictures and try to go on lots of
weekend trips to the coast… But mostly, I hang out with my cats,
Monk and Mao. Maybe I’ll dress them up in silly costumes. Sometimes I
sing to them. I even named my neglected Etsy shop after the cute little
bastards. Kitty lovin’ is in my blood. My mom is currently the mother
of ten rescue cats and I blame her for passing the crazy cat lady gene
down to me. I’ve accepted that this is my future and I wouldn’t really
have it any other way. Are you jealous yet? Well, darlin’, you
shouldn’t be. You can be a crazy cat lady, too.

Obviously, you’ll need a cat or two. Let’s not be hoarders here. If
you don’t already have a cat, PLEASE adopt from a shelter like ARAS Colorado. Fuck pet stores
and breeders. Also, get your kitties fixed and DO NOT LET THEM
OUTSIDE. If I find out your cat is in heat and wandering around the
neighborhood, I’ll cut you. Real cat ladies are responsible pet owners
because they love their cats more than anything. Assuming you have a
cat (because you’d be a fool not to), let’s move on.

It is essential that you dress appropriately if you want to be taken
seriously as a crazy cat lady. The thrift store is about to become
your best friend. Old lady cardigans? Check. Strange floral patterns?
Check. Vintage lingerie? You bet your sweet ass. Dresses that fall at
an awkward length? Yup, they’ve got ‘em. And most importantly,
pockets. Pockets are key. How are you going to carry kittens around
with you if you don’t have pockets? Now, start layering.


Remember, you can still look hot! Let a little bit of lace from a
vintage slip peek out the bottom of your muumuu. I also suggest
wearing a lot of black and acting like you’ve never heard of a lint
roller. You’ll be surprised how many people notice and comment on your
hairiness. Wear that shit like a badge of honor, baby.

Let’s move on to your home. My living room is very cat-friendly, yes?

cat hoarding

Wait, I mean…

Living Room

Again, the thrift store is your friend, especially when it comes to
buying furniture. Please don’t spend $1,000 on a couch. It’s just
going to end up with a hairball barfed onto it. Probably on a weekly
basis. You can find some pretty awesome stuff for under $500 if you’re
patient and willing to explore. I found my vintage couch at the
Salvation Army for $60 and I adore the thing. Ooh, and accessories?
Screw the cruel animal hoarding. This is where you really become a
hoarder, or, as I like to call myself, a collector. Yes, I buy every
old, blue, pre-1950 book I find. I also have more gaudy gold
candelabras than I’d like to admit. A dozen large ornately framed
mirrors? I needed every single one of them. In short, if it makes you
think of an 80-year-old Catholic woman, buy it and display it.

You’ll need a few hobbies to enjoy while you’re sitting at home
petting your cat. I’ve chosen embroidery (because I’m secretly an old
lady) and photography (because it makes me abnormally happy). Until
recently, my cats were the only subjects willing to let me take
pictures of them, resulting in probably 2,500 photos of Miss Monk and
Mr. Mao on my computer. Excessive? Fuck yeah. But look at how cute
they are!

Handsome Mao

Oh, and spend a lot of time on the internet. Especially twitter. How
else are you going to meet people crazy enough to let you use their

blog to preach your cat lady ways to the world?


From the Broke Files

24 Jun

By Sara Downey
Blogger of meanest look

Budgeting is not my strong suit. Saving is not my strong suit. Spending is. But this economic reality demands that I watch my pennies. As a result, I’ve gotten good at a few things.

Bargain shopping– like so many of the ladies, and honorary ladies, I la la love to shop. Especially for housewares or clothes. Shoes piss me off. Mostly because I think of them as little orphaned pets in a rescue and I can’t take them all home. So I feel about shoes the same way I feel about puppies and kittens-screw ’em, if I can’t have them all, then I don’t want to visit the pound.

Even at the most wallet-friendly stores, shopping can add up. This is not groundbreaking knowledge, people, just facts. And if you throw my new “I must have it if it says it’s green” compulsion in the mix, then my shit will be broke in no time flat. My solution? Thrift stores, garage sales and estate sales for those oh so green and oh so cute vintage pieces that make my house a home.

And for my clothes addiction? “You just have to look for the sales,” says Maria, a fellow shopper who does wonders with her budgeting.

This is no joke. Maria finds the sales that make me weak in the knees. Seriously, I’ve never seen someone who can sniff out a clearance item- that actually fits – at Anthropologie like Maria.

Happy Hours– I really enjoy driniking. Not in a worried that I’m an alcoholic way, but just in the mojitos on a summer afternoon FTW sort of way.

But 8 dollar mojitos can suck my wallet dry as I wet my whistle. My bottom line is a little thing called “drink specials!”

If you’re a lady, you already know about the disgusting practice known as Ladies’ Night where bars pour us weak drinks and use us as lure for sex starved rejects from Jersey Shore. Ahhh Ladies’ Night.

At many gay clubs there’s one better called “free drinks from 9-10” where the idea is to get the kids there, lube them up with free booze and start the dance party early. It works and is awesome. Although, I’m not gonna lie, I don’t dance before that last free drink at 10. Budgeting.

My favorite of all drink specials is happy hour. Late night or after work, happy hours are the best. Cheap food, cheap drinks and a perfectly acceptable way to order two drinks at the same time to beat the clock. Hell, one place in Denver even brings you both drinks on their 2 for 1 menu at the same time whether you want them to or not.

Free Events– Related to drinking cheaply, there is one way to entertain yourself without spending a dime: free shit!

And here’s the real treat, there are free events on a daily basis if your city is big enough. For example in Denver, there is pretty much always something to do that won’t cost a dime. Everything from free days at the zoo to art gallery openings, guarantee free entertainment. Summer seems to be the season for the most free entertainment with events like movies in the park, and free days at national parks.

The biggest score in Denver is the little known Fresh City Life put on by Denver Public Library. They have a singles club, writing workshops, movie nights, and crafting events all for free all the time.

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