Monday, September 24, 2012

Consignment Fun - The Hanger

When I find out a new consignment store is opening in my town, I get ever-so-slightly excited.

Ok, a lot excited.

I've mentioned I like consignment and resale shopping, right?


The Hanger in Chanhassen is a new favorite place!

See what a big, bright, pretty place it is?

You can find them online at

But for pete's sake, go in!

It's located on the main drag of Chanhassen (West 78th Street), in the same strip mall as Byerly's, on the other end.

If you have things to sell, they are a traditional consignment store - bring in your fabulous items (no appointment necessary) and then you will receive 40% of the selling price - easy!

But hey, I am a shopper for the most part, so let's get to that.

The owners, Rena and Tina, are incredibly friendly and fun, not to mention helpful.  Their merchandising is amazing!  The young woman I've met who assembles ensembles and dresses the mannequins is SO talented.

Look at this wall of cuteness:

Yep, they put together the whole outfit including dress, jacket, scarf, jewelry and bags.  You'll find displays that include shoes in the mix.  Great for the "what goes with what?" challenge we all face.

I have bought skirts, jackets, jewelry, shoes, bags, jeans, pants and a winter coat at The Hanger.  All top name brand, all in terrific condition, all current and stylish and - hello! - a GREAT price.  As in up to 75% off regular retail prices.

Banana Republic, Calvin Klein, Ann Taylor, Loft, Polo, Guess, and on and on.

Oh!  They have men's and teen's and kid's clothing, too!

So go visit.  Bring a girlfriend or two (I sure have, right Sarah, Sherri, Steph, and Liese!), or even bring your man because there's an incredibly comfortable sofa and chair for your relaxing needs.  Great mirrors, great lighting, easy to shop and find just what you need.  The Hanger is open every day of the week.

Have fun, and tell them Sassy sent you  :-)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Thai Peanut Chicken & Rice Slaw

Not an easy title for a recipe.

But it's a really really tasty salad.

I got a general idea of the recipe from the Aug/Sept issue of "Taste of Home" magazine.  Then I used all home made ingredients, added a few extras, and changed some amounts.

I sauteed the chicken in a skillet with butter and oil, some salt and pepper, and fresh squeezed lime juice.  You can use any kind of chicken you prefer, have leftover, or feel like putting together.

Peanut sauce is simple to make.  You can make it sweeter or spicier or thicker or tangier, all depending on your tastes.  You don't have to use coconut milk, you can just use more water.  Do, however, try to make your own before you go and buy a bottle of MSG at the store with a Thai Peanut Sauce label on it.


This makes a HUGE bowl of salad.  Halve the recipe if you like, or plan to serve it to a crowd, or plan to eat it for a few days.  It won't spoil, it'll probably just get better in the fridge!

Thai Peanut Chicken & Rice Slaw

4 cups cooked and cooled long grain white or brown rice
1 cup Thai Peanut Sauce (recipe follows)
1 package coleslaw mix, or broccoli slaw mix
12 ounces cooked chicken breast meat
1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped green onions (scallions)
1 1/2 cups dry roasted, salted peanuts
red chile flakes to taste
a big squeeze of lime juice (one lime) just before serving

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss well.

Thai Peanut Sauce

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce (may omit)
1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon Asian hot sauce or chile paste (your heat preference)
juice from one large lime
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 crushed garlic clove
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Whisk all ingredients together in a medium bowl.  Depending on your peanut butter brand, and your desire for sweetness, a bit of sugar or honey may be added.  Taste it first!

The sauce recipe makes more than you need for the salad.  Save it for another day and make some Thai peanut noodles with either chicken or shrimp.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Laursen Piano Service - Keeping us Tuned!

Many years ago, my mom found a new piano tuner.

Her former one, long gone now, was named Charlie and he smoked cigars and tuned the dickens out of her simple upright piano and then played a long and mean and lowdown boogie-woogie before he left.

Hard to replace a good guy.

She did find one though!  His name is Steve Laursen, and he and his wife Judy run their own business, tuning pianos in homes, schools, churches, theaters, etc.  is the web site address.

They're right here in Minnetonka, Minnesota.

Their phone number is 952-988-9363.

I grew up playing the piano.  Then for years as an adult didn't own one.  One of those priority issues, you know, like diapers and groceries and mortgage nonsense.

Then suddenly, about 10 years ago, my Aunt Lucy offered me her old piano.  No one used it.  She knew I played.  And I was thrilled at the chance to have a piano again AND the fact that my grandmother and mom both learned to play on that old piano.

Let's just say after moving it and after years of not being used much, it needed some TLC.  Which is when my mom gave me Steve Laursen's phone number.

He fixed it right up!  And I pounded away on it, day after day, finding out that my fingers and brain and heart still had some songs in there.

God bless him, Steve comes back twice a year like a good dentist (ha ha) and puts the piano back in shape. He's smart like that - knows about changes in temperature and humidity and how that affects the sound of a piano.

If Steve and Judy can take such good care of me and my old piano, and help bring music into my house and family, they can certainly help you out.  And a bonus?  Steve is great fun to chat with while he's here.  He's interested in the kids and homeschooling and the new kittens and whatever other kinds of nonsense we've got going on.

Call him.  "You'll note the difference!"

Find him on Facebook.  (

Here's Asher and Elsa - currently taking lessons and making wonderful music for all of us.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Resale Fashion Joy - Part One - Clothes Mentor

Friends are supposed to have your back.  Girlfriends, especially, and no area is more important than men and fashion.

True friends tell you when your boyfriend is a loser, and the truest friend will tell you "yes, honey, those jeans do actually make your butt look big."

My friend Sarah, who is probably one of the dearest, coolest, truest, most laid back and easy going friends I have, came for a visit last week.  A visit to me requires shopping, even when you're Sarah and are not quite as interested in fashion and clothes as I am.  But what a trooper!  She'll follow me around all day, as long as there's a respite at the pub and some Guinness in the ketchup.

In the morning before we set out, we took a walk.  It was cool and lovely and I wanted to show her more of my neighborhood and town.  We chatted our heads off and I maybe was a bit distracting and changed the subject a few times.  Apparently, Sarah meant to tell me something, but forgot when she got whiplash from another subject change.

So we're out shopping.  And I'm wearing a denim skirt and a t-shirt that day.  I come out of the dressing room with my own skirt on and a top I'd tried on.  I'm turning in front of the mirror, you know the way girls do, right?  And I see a HOLE in my SKIRT that is NOT where it should be.  Big ole' rip off the side of the hem.  This skirt is above the knee to begin with, so any extra miles of skin are not the look I am after.

The best part?  When I point it out to my dear, caring, observant friend Sarah - she says - wait for it - "Oh, you know, I noticed that when we were walking, but got distracted and forgot to tell you."

Thanks, pal.

Lucky for me, our next stop was Clothes Mentor, a designer resale boutique I frequent at least monthly.  Mine is in Eden Prairie, but there are other locations around town.  And 59 stores around the country!

Fabulous Rachel was working.  She knows me, knows what I like, what fits, and what looks good on me.  Talk about a true friend.  She knew just the right jean skirt to replace the one that was Sarah's fault somehow.

That's Rachel behind the counter.  She's leaving to work at the new store in Rochester.  I'm trying to forgive her.

I got my new skirt.

If you're a woman, who wants to be current and stylish but not a teenager, and wants the very best quality and designer clothing that has barely been breathed on, Clothes Mentor is your store.  And they are NOT a consignment store - bring in your gently used, name brand or designer clothing and they will buy it from you ON the SPOT.  No waiting for it to sell and then having to pick up your check.

Just look at one of the cute outfits they put together:

I know what I like and what looks good, but am not always sure of what to put with what, or what risks to take when mixing and matching.  Their merchandising is fabulous.  And they don't care a whit if you pull an item or two off a mannequin.  Ha!

I've bought countless items there.  Handbags, shoes, boots, dresses, designer jeans, winter coats, sweaters, blouses, and jewelry.

Purple velvet blazer?  Score.

Shimmery leopard skirt?  Got it.

Black velvet quilted winter coat with a (faux) fur collar?  Mine.

Designer jeans - two pairs?  Couple of weeks ago.

My latest and greatest?  Cole Haan gold metallic handbag - retails at $378 - priced at $67.50 - take 20% off that day - HELLO!

Sarah's a good friend.  I never hold a grudge.

Go to Clothes Mentor.  Tell them you read about it here on Sassy Family.  I promise you will not walk out empty handed, or with an empty wallet!