Sophie S.

Spring Cleaning, and Buying…

In Clothing, Projects on April 5, 2011 at 5:50 pm

I”m not sure about everyone else, but the fresh Spokane bursts of sunshine have inspired me to clean out my closets and switch out my winter clothes for my summer and spring ware.  As I was loading up my closet, I realized how many sweaters I never wore this season, and was looking at some of the spring gear which, I knew was something that would not fit with some winter weight I’d added on.

By the end of the transition, I had a Rubbermaid tub filled with clothes I wanted to get rid of.  I had a hard time considering donating these classics to Goodwill, because many of them were perfectly good clothes that I’d hardly worn and would like to get some money out of.

Plato's Closet is a great place to seek out the newest trends, or even inspiration with the quirky displays, constantly changing within the stores.

I’ve heard ads for a store called Plato’s Closet where they take gently used clothing for resale.  There is an ethical, earth conscious argument for supporting such stores in that clothes aren’t wasted after only being worn a few times.  I definitely agree with this. However, resale stores like Plato’s Closet and Fringe & Fray work by weeding out some of the scuzzier used clothing, and pull out the fashionable, in-style clothes and sell them for a small percentage of what they originally were.

I brought my bin to Plato’s Closet to see what they would take.  I expected, since most of my clothes were new, had no stains, weren’t worn or frayed, and some even had tags on them, that I’d be able to either trade them for newer clothes, or get cash for my trade in.

These are the standards for Plato’s Closet Trade ins:

  • Bring in gently used clothing, preferrably name brand
  • The buyers in the store will review the clothes and find which are useable for the store.  They accept all sizes and clothes for all seasons (meaning they’ll buy your sweaters, even in August).
  • The buyer will then create an offer based on which clothes they’ll take based on the current styles and what stock the store can handle.
  • Generally offers increase by 10 percent if you’re willing to take in-store credit instead of cash.

When I brought my big tub of clothes in, I walked around the store finding some cute new sundresses, shoes and light jackets that were in style and much cheaper than if I’d bought them new.  Sometimes, Plato’s Closet will have clearance racks; these are pure gold in value.  I found some fantastic Tommy Hilfiger and Nordstrom brand shirts and skirts for $2 each.

I left the store with clothes that were new to me and in great condition.

Unfortunately, in my whole tub of clothes, the buyer only pulled out six items because many of my clothes were “too dressy,” “not geared to a teen audience” or “not in style anymore.” It stung. It was frustrating too because I only had $17 to spend on the rest of the clothes I’d picked up.

If I would have looked on Plato’s Closet’s website and sorted through my clothes to seek out the Most Wanted Items, I probably could have saved some time. Still though, I walked out of the store with five new items after trading in six.


Big drinks, big music, big foot

In Bar, Food, Games, Music, Uncategorized on March 8, 2011 at 4:28 am

The Bigfoot is an eyesore when driving down Division street in the north end of Spokane.  A giant gorilla grabs attentions of drivers passing by.  Who would have guessed though, that within the crumbly exterior are some of the best values in Spokane.

A simple bar, to be honest.  Nothing screams extremely unique from within the bar; it simply is an atmosphere for cultivating fun.

When walking in, patrons will be overpowered by the sounds of Karaoke.  A few nights each week, the bar offers free singing for anyone willing to come up and sing.  Generally, later in the evening, takers are abundant and listeners may hear anything from classic rock to modern pop. There are 10,000 different songs to choose from.

While relaxing to a group of college students belting out chords from Journey, go to the bar and get a drink. While domestic and imported beers are abundant by the cold glass and pitcher, some of the magic appears in the cocktails.  Generally, mixed drinks range from $5 to $7 and are masterfully made by one of the most skilled bartenders I’ve ever met.  The bartender’s name is Hannah.  Hannah gets to know her customers by asking what their preferences are when it comes to drinks; fruity, sweet, bitter, sour, etc.  Once Hannah has the profile in order, she “throws a bunch of s*** together” until she creates something she knows her customers will like. Thus, when going to the The Bigfoot, you are guaranteed to test something new and different if willing to try. If you’re lucky, she may even let you name your own drink.

Popcorn, the most buttery and salty popcorn ever created, is free for patrons, but the menu is extensive as well.  Delicious fried foods like chicken wings and mozzarella sticks are available until late in the night and are a wonderful compliment to some sweet drinks.

After some singing and some tasty munchies, try shooting some pool.  Only one dollar a round on one of the four tables.

The budget for a sample evening at “The Foot”

  • One “fruity” drink – $5.00
  • Popcorn – free
  • Two rounds of pool  – $2.00
  • Three songs on Karaoke – free
  • One order of mozzarella sticks – $5.00
  • Tip for Hannah – $3.00

Try a fun Thursday night at the Bigfoot with your friends.  It will be worth your while.  Please drink responsibly and declare a designated driver before heading out.

Affordable Fine Dining, Really

In Books, Coffee, Food, Uncategorized on March 2, 2011 at 8:42 am

The sharp contrast when coming off the streets of downtown Spokane into the exquisite interior of Sante’s Restaurant is incredible.

Immediately, the busy sounds of traffic are left on the streets and an overwhelming calm washes over customers stepping into Sante.  White walls with sophisticated photography encourages a sense of peace as delicious smells waft throughout the restaurant.

Sante, short for Votre Sante, or ‘to your health,’ is a humble eatery and coffee shop connected to Auntie’s Bookstore.

Offering exquisite French cuisine is what makes this downtown restaurant stand out.  The authentic foods served are so mouth watering and decadent, I’ve not been able to stop thinking about them since I ate there last.

While some menu items seem expensive, almost uncomfortably so, knowing how to order keeps the elite five-star food at reach.

Sharing is the best plan to keep when going to a less afordable location. Bring a friend when exploring the menu; it will allow you both to try a few different options, share the bill and leave feeling full.

When I went, my friend and I had one of the appetizer platters featuring baked baguette bread, Brie cheese, duck proscutto and apple compote.  The flavors were so complex we were both fairly full before even starting on our main course; a beautiful sandwich with some of their signature cheeses and salami meats and a hand-crafted seeded mustard, with a salad and home-made dressing on the side. Yes, it was good.

The staff at Sante had no problem splitting the meal for two and it provided a filling meal for $18 exactly.  No, it wasn’t ove budget though, because it was just $9.00 each.

If not time for a full meal, Sante offers their meats and cheeses for customers to buy by the pound. Don’t miss out on the rich French press coffee as well! The coffees are so original it makes customers want to try some of the crazy concoctions.  A mandarin orange white mocha sounded odd…fruit, coffee and chocolate. However, the creamy, delicate latte was so delicious each different taste bud comes alive.

Spend an afternoon at Sante! To your health, everyone!