Marketplace Finds, Cooking Mishaps and More for May

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One of my favorite things to do on weekends is to browse antique malls, flea markets, estate sales, and anywhere else where you can get cool vintage finds, super good bargains, or otherwise unique items. My husband and I have done some major home renovations in the last few years, and the majority of the furniture and decor in our house is thrifted in some way.
Other than shopping in person, Facebook Marketplace has some amazing deals if you’re willing to put in a little bit of effort. We’ve found all kinds of cool things on Marketplace and Craigslist, but in the last few weeks we have hit the jackpot in Marketplace finds.
My favorite (maybe of all time!) is this Breville Oracle Espresso Machine that we got for $500. It’s a fully automatic machine, so it takes literally minutes to make a cappuccino worthy of my favorite coffee shop. I’ve had my eye on a high-end Breville espresso machine for a while now, so to say I’m thrilled with this is an understatement.
Other finds this month – this fiddle leaf fig, in a giant pot for $30. If you’re a plant person, you know that the plant itself is a steal, but having looked at giant pots for an indoor tree recently, the pot alone is probably worth hundreds brand new.
I also got a box of 6 new Bath and Body Works candles  — you know the ones they sell for $25 — for $10. Since I burn candles almost every day, this is a steal. And included was this Coffee & Whiskey scent, which are two of my favorite things ever. So score!
Over the last few years, we’ve gotten furniture, home accessories, plants, electronics, clothes (I’ve got a decent Lululemon wardrobe for pennies!) and so much more. It’s like a giant, virtual garage sale, and new things are added all day every day.
Other than finding amazing deals online, I’ve been trying to get back into heavy-duty cooking recently after suffering from some really bad back pain. My pain has gotten better, but it sometimes seems like my cooking skills have gotten worse.
Two instances come to mind. First, I have tried to make brioche from my sourdough starter twice, and both times were a spectacular failure. The first time, I burned out the motor on my KitchenAid stand mixer. My husband fixed it, and the second time seemed to go better until it just did not rise at all. I’ve had problems making stiff bread doughs in the past — my mixer literally jumped off the counter when making Thanksgiving dinner rolls — so this is not too surprising, but disappointing for sure. I’m currently saving up for this shiny yellow Ankarsrum mixer, which is supposedly a beast when it comes to super stiff, enriched doughs.
Next, I had the amazing idea to make homemade pizzas for some friends one weekend. I’m talking about everything from scratch — dough, sauce, mozzarella.
Every single part went wrong in every way. The dough didn’t rise, the sauce was flavorless (despite using my fave San Marzano tomatoes) and the cheese didn’t come together at all. The night ended with takeout pizza but was still a lot of fun. I’m gonna try again, and will hopefully have some success, but it may be a while before I do.
Other things on my radar:
These OXO good grips nesting beakers  – You can’t have enough small measuring devices in your kitchen, and this seems perfect.
This sleeper speaker – I wear my Airpods to sleep, and for the most part they are fine, but sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night with a sore ear, or one Airpod missing. This seems like a good solution.
All-Clad Waffle Maker I love making waffles, so much so that my old waffle iron got such a workout that I had to throw it away.
This rose gold strawberry necklace – I don’t wear tons of jewelry, but I love some of the jewelry from this site. The doughnut jewelry intrigues me as well, in case anyone is listening ????
Birkenstock Madrid Big Buckle Birkenstocks are my fave shoes ever, and I already have a bunch of pairs. But can you have too many? I think I’m on the verge of finding out.
Recipes I’m still loving:

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