Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Shmokin Date Night Dress

Most posts up to this point have featured the fun stuff in my wardrobe, and truthfully the fun stuff makes up about 90 percent of my closet, but every once in awhile a girl wants to look shmokin.....especially if that girl has a date with her hot husband. And since I'm lucky enough to have a hot husband Dion, 10 percent of my wardrobe is bought with him in mind.
I tried this dress on the other day, when taking photos for I guess Owl Pattern Mix.

There's an endless supply of overly frumpy, early 90's dresses on pretty much every thrift store dress rack.  They'll probably be there until 2036.  But with thrifty dedication, we can weed through those floral/denim dinosaurs frocks,  and score a few sweet finds there too.
This dress was 5.99 from Goodwill.

I do have a confession of sorts to make with this particular dress. 

It looked like a few drinks had been spilled dumped on it all over it. It was a little gross, but liking the color and fabric so much, I took a chance. It's been cleaned several times, and it's all good, but I understand that THAT is kinda sorta weird, and that it would be a "no way Jose" even for many of us thrifters.  Yup. This one was outside the box even for me.  But I'd also say it paid off.

The dress had four chains attached.  I unattached them.
It has fringe...not really my thing, but I can't remove the fringe.
Husband Dion doesn't mind the fringe.  
It was a great dress for our 14th anniversary dinner.  We got a babysitter and celebrated with Italian carbs. Lots and lots of delicious Italian carbs. 

Worth it!

If you're needing a new dress for a holiday get-together or formal this season, and you'd rather spend a little extra money on a self-heating, penguin blanket for your great aunt's bull dog, then I highly recommend taking a little extra time to stop by a thrift store en route to Macy's.  

Happy Thanksgiving Day friends!
Outfit Total without shoes/accessories-- 5.99

Bangle bracelets--gift from Dion (JCPenny around 15 dollars?)
Bare feet on this one!  so free--at birth.

"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."-Theodore Roosevelt

Monday, November 24, 2014

I Guess Owl Pattern Mix

Here's what I wore today...

It's a pattern mix!  Both the shirt and skirt were found at Goodwill on the same day.
The skirt is hand made. The shirt is (I just took it off and put it back on again so I could see) Old Navy.
 optional cardigan...
 Another fall bag...
This bag isn't typically something I'd choose...a little too much going on.  BUT I really really REALLY liked the big bag here behind it, scored at TJ Maxx two falls back.  The big huge olive green back from TJ Maxx was 30 dollars, but I went home happy. The following summer I found this smaller bag at a goodwill for 2.99, and decided they should be a matching set, since the colors worked together so perfectly.  right?!
These shoes were listed on a local yard sale fb page last week. They are cuter in real life. This pic is fake life.
The earrings were leftover from another yard sale, and then donated to our yard sale (We raise funds for our daughter's medical expenses.), but they didn't sell.  So I guess I have to keep them.  
Isn't this a fun fall outfit?!  yes it is.

Outfit Total without shoes/accessories: 4.98
Shirt, Old Navy--2.99--Goodwill
Owl skirt, hand-sewn--1.99--Goodwill

Vintage cardigan--3.99--thrift store
Pantyhose--no idea
Shoes--5.00--yard sale site
Smaller olive bag--2.99--goodwill

 "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."-Theodore Roosevelt 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Comfortable Fall: Knit And Lace

This outfit is simple, light, and fall colorish.
Even though my co-workers and I wear uniforms at work, we have a dress code for walking in and out of the building.  No sleeveless, only flats, and small earrings.  Many days these shoes get thrown on with whatever else I'm wearing to work that day. Most of the time, I like how it "works" out. (I know.  I know.)
This was a work day.
Outfit total without shoes/accessories:  11 dollars
Shirt, Eye Candy-- 7 dollars new--Vanity Fair Outlet's Outlet
Skirt, Ocean Drive Clothing Co.-- 3.99-- Goodwill

Shoes and Accessories
Shoes, Old Navy--10 dollars, on sale-- Old Navy

"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."  Theodore Roosevelt 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

On the Thirteenth of November I Bought a Thirteen Dollar Jacket

Last week husband Dion's Aunt Marilyn came for a visit.  I love her.  She's the kind of in-law who comes to your home to enjoy the visit.  She does not come to  judge my mothering flaws, house-keeping abilities, or wife-ing.

She actually does the opposite. She encourages.  Like crazy.  And she's pretty good at it.  Sometimes she makes me blush.  When she en"courage"s, there is something about it, probably her authenticity, that actually gives me courage. That is a gift.

Aunt Marilyn mentioned a trip to a thrift store. Off we went to Goodwill and the Hammers discount clothes store beside it (new clothes...think true, not overpriced, but check it over before you buy because there are no returns outlet).

This jacket was at the discount store for 13 dollars.
The sweater underneath is a hand-me-down from Aunt Marilyn. Aw man, it's too big.  I will probably sell it.  The sweater from this post will work better.
As mentioned in my first post, "Where to Start", I've been taking these photos on my way out the door. I may put on a scarf that may not look just right, or throw on a pair of shoes that could've "went" better. Honestly, I don't put too much time into it most days, as I'm usually running late.

These leather boots, mentioned here. were ebay. They were a reward to myself for going back to work full time.

The bag was found at Goodwill a few weeks ago.  It was
It had a matching bag, and I was pretty proud of myself for choosing one and not both.  Then nobody had to go and buy it, so there it was on our shopping day.  It looked sad, so for 2.99 it was reunited with its mother bag.  It has a few small spots on the front flap (probably from the crying), but it'll come out.

So both happy bags, with tags on, were 6.98.  The handles are a dark brown.
This is another favorite fall bag.  It's vintage and was also 2.99 at a goodwill.

 And here is another.
At the discount store Aunt Marilyn found boot socks and kindly offered to buy me a pair!  This is the pair she bought for me.  I've decided they also make great arm warmers.  
By now you can probably tell that my fashion sense has more to do with fun.   I don't take it too seriously.

Outfit total without shoes/accessories: 21 dollars
Jacket--13 dollars-- Hammers (discount store)
Sweater--free-- hand-me-down
Jeans--7.99-- Vanity Fair Outlet

Scarf-- 99 cents-- Goodwill
Large Bag--3.99 new-- Goodwill
Boot socks--8.99-- Hammers (discount store)
Boots, Borne-- 80 with shipping (I have to say "with shipping" as it feels like a better value that way.)

I featured this outfit in the sidebar ad for my other storybook-cottage blog (here).  I like it.

"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."-Theodore Roosevelt

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Keen for Green and Butterfly Weengs

I'm pretty excited about this post, since these outfit colors are some of my favorites recently.

This green shirt (The Limited) was found for 1.99 at Goodwill this summer.  The skirt was I think 3.99 at a Goodwill two years back. Sometimes I wear an orange pull-over sweater, over top of a button up, collared shirt with this skirt.  But this green is so pretty and the shirt feminine. 

Earlier this month, this similar-colored cardigan was on Ebay.  I did not win.  I lost.  I was a loser. boo. But THEN I received an email saying I became eligible for a second chance offer!  yay. Now I am a winner!  (thank goodness)  It came in the mail Friday and it is EVERYTHING a green cardigan should be.  Here's the listing...
"I win!"
These earrings are so great!  
Almost two years ago, our family was given an amazing gift.  The Marcel at Gramercy  gifted us a one night stay, with a view of the Empire State Building in NYC.

That night, Valentine's day night, husband Dion stayed back with the girls, enjoying the hotel and the little cupcakes brought to their room, so that I could walk to Irving Plaza for a Fiction Family/Lone Bellow concert.

The following day our family took a taxi to the American Museum of Natural History, tickets also gifted.  One of the exhibits there is the Butterfly Conservatory.  

There was also this incredible IMAX movie showing. It was every bit as inspirational as it was educational.  Highly recommend. Here's the trailer:
The movie is about Fred Urquhart's life work, mapping the flight path of the monarch butterfly.  He calls on others to help him tag the monarchs every year, trying to uncover the mystery of how and where the monarchs migrate.

Watching the story of the Urquhart family's passion and lifetime investment into this specific study, and then seeing the pay-off in the end was miraculous, and the imagery stunning.

As we exited through the gift shop, there these were, this one pair locked in a case all to themselves, a display light shining down on them.  Like art in a museum.  They are butterfly wings!

No worries, butterflies were not harmed.  The company that makes these, Silver Trade Designs, practices fair trade.  This is what they say about the butterfly wings.
"Most are collected from the warm tropical region of Peru in the Amazon basin, where they are bred in large netted enclosures.  The collection of the wings are a byproduct of the breeding, which also attracts local tourism to the area and ensures bio-diversity and research of the butterfly species.  The butterflies are not killed for their wings, their lifespan is usually short and they are collected when their life comes to an end, making it sustainable.  It is also enables the generation of income in rural Amazonian communities, which since the decline in the logging industry have suffered depression and poverty."
Look at that detail!  They are just amazing.

Orders can be placed here at Silver Tree Designs, (200 dollar minimum).  They also list their retailers, some who sell online. They are available in sterling or silver plated, as well as many wing varieties and earring shapes.

What I love about these besides that they are fair trade, is that each is its own unique bit of the Creator's art.

These were the only ones calling to me that day, as they remind me of a sunset over the mountains by a shimmering blue lake, and I like all of those things. 

Turns out, they had been placed in the display case backwards. This side was the back of the earrings, with the front looking completely different. But they're easy to flip around.  Sometimes I wear them this way and then with other outfits the other way.  At 50 dollars, they are the most expensive earrings I own.
Outfit Total without shoes/accessories-- 5.98  
Shirt, The Limited-- 1.99 --Goodwill
Skirt--3.99-- Goodwill

Earrings, Silver Tree Designs, 50 dollars
Shoes-- 4.99--Goodwill

"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."   Theodore Roosevelt

Friday, November 14, 2014

Mirror Mirror On The Wall, Which One Is Less Dirty Of All

First I tried this mirror. It had little smudges all over.
 Then I tried this mirror. It was dusty.
 Then I asked Sara to be my photographer again.
Outside was not spotty or dusty.
I see now my scarf is crooked. I see now that one of my socks is up and one is down.  Really leggings or tights would work better with this get-up.
This vintage navy leather bag opens and closes at the top kinda like a briefcase. It smelled like smoke, so they let me buy it half off. 

After washing it well, letting it dry, spraying odor removing stuff, then sitting it out in the sun and rain (oops) for weeks days, it was fine. The inside is worn-looking from the extended sun bath, but I treasure it.

I do spend money on cardigans.  They're versatile and easy to mix/match with thrifty finds, so paying a little more for a good fit is worth it.  I also pick them up at thrift stores when they're in my size. Matter of fact, today my aunt and I found a navy one at Goodwill. She actually found it.....because she is awesome.
These Borne boots are so great.  They are one of the most expensive things I own. They were "won" on ebay for 80 dollars including shipping.  I love love love their shoes, but their boots usually fall somewhere in the 200 dollar range. They're leather and comfortable and unique. Even so, that was a strrrrrreeeeeeetch for me.  

"I win!"

I see now I should wipe them off, as well as every mirror in our house.

Besides, you know that if I didn't try for them, I'd spend the rest of my life looking for them in every thrift store, ebay auction, yard sale, outlet, and department store, while wishing I would have tried to win.

So really, factoring in that kind of time loss, all the emotional letdowns, as well as the money spent to keep buying the cheaper quality "almosts but not quites", let us consider it a smart move. And who doesn't like to "win"?! nobody.  even losers like to win.
Outfit Total without shoes/accessories-- around 20 dollars
Dress-- 4.99-- goodwill
Cardigan-- 15 dollars-- Hammer's (discount store)

Sunglasses-- 1.88-- Hammer's
Necklace, handmade-- free-- yard sale leftovers that didn't sell
Scarf-- gift-- handmade from friend
Belt-- 1 dollar-- goodwill
Mega big brown hoop earrings-- 3.99-- Cato
Lopsided socks--probably in a pack for a few dollars from Walmart
Stinky but awesome vintage bag-- 2.99-- goodwill
Boots, Borne-- 80 dollars (including shipping..."including shipping" makes me feel better about it)-- ebay

This font makes all the ones look like sevens, and that may just drive me somewhat batty, since husband Dion says clarification is one of my strongest core needs. Those are ones!

      "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." -Theodore Roosevelt

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Orange You Glad It's November?!

A few weeks ago there was a 10 mile yard sale by our house.  I'm not a good morning getter upper. Like I'm REALLY bad at it.  But my sister-in-law and I got up in the still morning time and had time for one stop with multiple sales and then one more along the road. I found this great, fall sweater.  The skirt has a texture that's sorta difficult to see in the photos.
The bag was found at a beloved St. Vincent De Paul Thrift Store in Pennsylvania many many years ago, for 50 cents!  Of all the thrift stores I've been to, it is no doubt the one I miss the most.  I mean I actually miss the store. 

Mostly because it was best friend Gretchen who took me there for the first time.  It had this amazing upstairs vintage section, not only clothes, but dishes and furniture. 

The upstairs was only open Tuesdays and Thursdays.  We have so many fun memories trying on our vintage finds.  I dream (like real dream at night) about that store. We had four amazing years of it before I up and got married and moved far far away.
Outfit total without shoes/accessories-- 5.50
Sweater, Old College Inn Clothing Co.-- 1.50-- yard sale
Skirt,Van Heusen-- 3.99-- Goodwill

shoes and accessories
Shoes--  3.99-- thrift store
Belt-- 1.00-- Goodwill
Bag, vintage-- .50-- favorite thrift store ever
Necklace-- gift from husband Dion-- at JcPenny, 12 dollars I think

 Bonus outfit today: The pattern on this maxi is fun and fall, and a person made it, not a factory.   It's soooo long.  The person also made the belt.
Outfit total without accessories-- 5 dollars
Dress, hand sewn--5 dollars-- thrift store

Isn't that fabric fun?  silky smooth.

"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." - Theodore Roosevelt