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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Vintage Aprons & The Girl On Fire

This past week i found a bunch of adorable aprons at a thrift shop! I was so excited! I love aprons and had never found any vintage ones in decent condition. They were $1 a piece but i had a credit because i bought a faulty item a few weeks ago so i got them all for nothing - can't beat that!

I can't choose a favorite, but the pineapple holds a special place in my heart!

Friday night i had tickets to see The Hunger Games with my mom, aunt, and cousin. We got there a half hour early and still ended up sitting only three rows from the front. (I even ended up in the seat against the theater wall...) I went into the theater expecting AMAZING because of all the great reviews i had heard and ended up being just a teensy bit dissapointed. I thought they left out a few small but important details from the book. Even so, the movie was great and we had some great debates on it on the drive home. I'm already making plans to see it again next week so i guess i couldn't have been that disappointed, huh? 

Before we left for the movie I was at my cousin's salon waiting for her to get off work and one of the stylists asked if he could "borrow" my face to practice some makeup styles he'd learned. He wanted to practice a technique with orange and it ended up working out well because it looked like i was attempting to be "the girl on fire". It was far more makeup than i ever wear, but it was fun for a night - even if i was only in a dark theater.

A bit of shocking news for anyone who knows me personally - one of our dogs, Dolce, is a bit overweight after a winter of hibernation so we are trying to walk her as often as possible. I figured it would be a good excuse to get myself in gear for shorts weather so i've taken to walking her in the mornings. I even run with her for a short distance! This is huge for me because i am not in the least bit athletic, have awful strange legs, and asthma - but i'm doing it! 

My "too-early-sunscreen-only" workout face.

My saturday has so far been filled with breakfast buffets with Christopher, my brother, and mom, thrifting for records, lamp lusting at home stores, and two drive bye's to the house that we are looking into. The house is so perfect and i can feel my hopes rising by the moment. I can just tell that this is going to fall through, the perfect houses always do!

 Keep your fingers and toes crossed for me!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Currently -

Happy Friday! The weather in New England is still unseasonably warm and it has put me in the most amazing mood. I feel like a new woman! The same things that made me want to cry with frustration last week are rolling off my back now! Who can be upset with a warm breeze blowing? And in March no less! Here is a little peek inside my brain today. Don't worry, it's all rainbows in there!

Loving- My spray tan. My cousin's salon has an estetitian that does them - no machine's! I was completely caught off guard with this warm weather and my body was less than ready to come out of hiding. My legs look fabulous and the fact that i say that means something because my legs are my least favorite feature.

Thinking about- A particular house that caught my eye. House hunting is stressful and difficult. Maybe i'm too picky but i feel like this is something that i need to be picky with! I'm dreaming of this house but i haven't seen it in person yet. Clever photography can make any house look good online so i'm not holding out hope - plus it's a little out of our price range.

Anticipating- The Hunger Games tonight! I am so prepared. I re-read the first book and did some online reasearch on all the actors. I'm such a nerd but i am oh so proud. I wish i were able to go to a midnight premiere, but since i was just offered 8 more hours on Friday's, i couldn't really come in to work late.

Listening to- Fun. It is so rare that i find a new band that i love. This CD is amazing with the exception of just one song that i always find myself skipping over. They are amazingly similar to Queen without being an irritating band trying to sound like Queen. (Does that make any sense?) This song has been on repeat.

Eating- Peanut butter. I always love peanut butter, but lately it's been number one in my book. I haven't even bothered with toast, I just eat it by the spoonful. Christopher always jokes that he'll know i'm pregnant when i stop having weird food cravings.

Wishing- I could find some great vintage to put up on my Etsy! Everything i have found thrifting lately has been so adorable, i've kept it for myself. I have a problem!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Art of Thrifting - Tips

Thrifting is one of my favorite hobbies. Right now, i average in at about five stores a week. After countless stops into stores to browse and relax after a long day of work and almost every weekend dedicated to scouting out the best shops in the state, i've pretty much got the process down pat. So often, people are shocked and ask why they never find great things like i do - especially since many of them shop at the same stores as me. Here are some things i've learned along the way - some things i wish i had figured out long before i did.

  • Shop often. You can't pop into your local Goodwill once a month and expect to hit a goldmine of vintage dresses and Pyrex lined shelves! Of course, luck could strike, but the majority of thrifters find their treasures with time. Many trips will end with empty hands. Make a weekend of it, stop in after work, go as often as you can manage!
  • Really look. Crouch down and peek at those bottom shelves, sort through stacks of ugly dishes, open up cardboard boxes tucked on the top shelf. Extra tip - browse through the "No Thanks" rack by the dressing rooms. Employees havn't sorted those back to their original spots yet and someone could have tried on and then passed on something great.

  • Don't discriminate. Size is nothing but a number. Look in every section, or at least the size up or down from yours as well as your own. Shoppers constantly pull things out, show their friends, and then stick it back on the closest rack so you may find things in your size in other parts of the store. Another reason to check those other sections - vintage! Vintage sizes are so different from modern. Last weekend i found a gorgeous 1970's sundress in with the larges because it was labeled a 10. I usually fit into a size 2-4 and the dress fits me like a glove!
  • Be aware of sales. Thrift shops will often have sales to get merchandise moving. My local Goodwill stores have a barb tag of the week. All barbs matching that weeks color are half off. When shopping in the top section of Goodwill, i exclusively look for that weeks color barb. Who wants to pay $4.99 for such a tiny piece of fabric? $2.50, on the other hand, is reasonable. Goodwill also offers discount cards for $10 a year. You get 10% off every purchase. For me, my card payed for itself in one weekend. My local Salvation Army has days where certain store sections are a percentage off - keep an eye out! 

  • Dress like a pro. Many thrift stores do not offer dressing rooms to try things on. Even worse, most do not offer a return policy. If they do have dressing rooms, you deal with lines. If you're like me, you will fill your cart to the brim - and who really wants to try on 20 tops inside a cramped dressing room with bad lighting? Dress so that you can easily test things out right on the floor. Leggings, button up sweaters, and slip on shoes are all excellent for a quick try on!
  • Don't go in with a list. Of course, everyone has their dream thrift finds. (A cardboard box full of 60's crystal glasses in perfect condition, a designer dress in your size, a vintage couch in that exact shade of aqua!) Thrifting is like treasure hunting, you don't know what you will find. Check every section of the store. This afternoon, i found 7 vintage aprons stuffed into a basket in the lingerie section. Scope out the jewelry counter, the kids section, books, furniture, etc. Keep an open mind!

  • Don't go price crazy. Just because those jeans are only $4.99, does not mean you need twelve pairs. If you do it right and shop often, the perfect pair will come your way. Don't lose all your cash just because things are inexpensive. 
  • Look for quality. Yes, that designer dress is gorgeous. But, it's stained, torn, and three sizes too big. You do not have to buy it just because you found Coach or Michael Kors at a thrift shop. It's cool, but you will never get use out of it. Snap a photo on your phone for bragging rights and move on. On the other hand, don't be afraid to ask for a discount if you see a stain or tear that you think you can fix. I once found a gold Betsey Johnson dress with a ripped seam and when i asked if i could have it for less, the woman gave it to me! 

  • When in doubt, alter. Not every piece is going to fit like it was tailored to your body. If you are in love with the print on a dress but it's too long for your tastes, consider having it altered! This is especially true when shopping for vintage. Clothing styles have changed over the years and dresses down to your shins are not always flattering. A simple alter and you could have the perfect mini dress! 

Has anyone found any good tricks while thrifting? Share away so i can add to own!

    Friday, March 9, 2012

    A Day off & Some Thrifted Finds

    I always have Fridays off from work. But it seems that i'm always going into the office anyway. If they want to pay me for the hours and i have nothing else to do, i may as well right? Well today i decided to really use my Friday off. Except i got a call only a couple hours into it and found out that i had to call in for a conference call that ended up lasting for over and hour and half smack dab in the middle of my day of rest, cleaning, and body maintenance (meaning the face mask, body lotion, and leg shaving that never ends up happening during the week). Even so, i ended up having a decent day off. 

    I cleaned up my closet and gathered a bunch of clothes that need to be mended, altered, or button replacements. These are a couple of dresses that i found thrifting recently. The aqua and floral one is a handmade vintage piece that i absolutely fell in love with! The other is a suede-like cut out dress from French Connection. They are both far too big for me - by at least 4 sizes, but they were each $4.99! 

    I found this last sculpture thrifting last night after work with my Mom. I passed by it - tried to take it down from the shelf it was on way up above my head and decided not to since it was really heavy. After walking around i decided to go back for it and get some help taking it down. It's odd, but i think it's just weird enough for my tastes. I ended up paying $6.50 for it. It has a name and date scratched into the side  - it was done in 1980. I'm going to do some research and see what else i can find out. 

    I got both of these a while back and they've had a main spot in our room ever since. Most things that i pick up end up wrapped in a box within days. Christopher and i are still house hunting and since i've been buying things left and right for "one day", we quickly ran out of room. This painted canister and the set of cat nesting dolls, however were too cute to pack away just yet!

    Here's to days off, even though for me they end up boring and lonely far too quickly.

    Meet Virginia Design

    What's in my bag?

    What's in my bag posts are always some of my favorites. Maybe i'm nosey or maybe i just like to see that most girls are alike - we carry most of the same stuff and a few things that are completely out of the box. A woman's purse is almost like a diary in some ways. It's off limits. I hate to go into other peoples bags! I'm not even sure why, it just seems like i'm invading their privacy! Anyway, here is what you might find in my bag on any given day - or more specifically today. 

    1. - My day planner. My iphone is amazing, but i've never been able to get rid of this thing. I write everything in it - appointments, reminders, birthdays. It also holds my receipts, notes, and business cards. (Why do i have so many pens?)

    2. - Silver clutch. This was a freebie my cousin was giving out at her salon a few years ago to customers who spent a certain amount of money on hair product. I snagged one and have been using it ever since to hold all of the things that get lost in the bottom of my bag. 

    3. - Headband. Since cutting my hair short, headbands or bobby pins are necessary for the days that i don't wash or blow dry. 

    4. - My inhaler. I've had asthma since i was really young. It's under control now and i really only feel like i need it when it's especially cold, hot, or i'm pushing myself too hard but i always like to have my inhaler handy. 

    5. - Hand sanitizer. This is a red apple scented one from Bath & Body Works. After sifting through wracks of gross smelly jeans or musty records at thrift stores, this is a must for me until i can get to a sink. 

    6. - Floss. I'm terrified of the dentist and avoid going at all costs so i try to keep up with my teeth. Even so, i still end up with cavities. 

    7. - Mini hair brush. Self explanatory. I have fine short hair that likes to tangle and look gross if the wind even considers blowing...and i drive a convertible.

    8. - Keys to my '87 Volkswagen Cabriolet. Her name is Lady Goodman and she is one of the main loves of my life. Keychains include a purple Buddha man and Gigi from Kiki's Delivery Service. This ring also has keys to both of my jobs so even though i carpool during the week (and all winter for the most part), i always keep my keys with me.

    9. - Red lip stain. This is the Revlon Just Bitten one. FYI - I started using a lot of Revlon when i started to use exclusively cruelty free products. There has since been some controversy over if they really don't test on animals. I need to do some research on that.

    10. - Roll on perfume. I got this one on sale at Anthropologie in New York City. It's labeled "extract of poppy". I can't remember to put perfume on before i leave the house. Ever.

    11. - Burt's Bee's lip balm. It's a must.

    12. - Eye drops. For when i wear contacts and realize that i have a giant smudge on one after i leave the house. 

    13. - Notebook. I'm a list person and i write everything out. Mostly, this is for writing down all the vintage dish ware pieces i buy so that i remember what pieces i still need to complete sets. (I'm currently in need of large dinner plates in the Butterfly Gold pattern, but have 15 tea cup plates - do NOT buy more tea cup plates.) I also write down how much i pay for things while thrifting/antiquing so that i can figure out how much profit i make if i end up listing it on my Etsy.

    14. - Wallet. Nothing special. I think this is an XOXO brand one with a snake print texture that i got on sale at Marshalls. It's got my credit cards, license, checkbook, and discount cards in it. 

    15. - Iphone. I love this thing...Instagram and Draw Something are my favorites right now.

    16. - Sunscreen. This one is an SPF 30. Its actually made for babies but it doesn't test on animals, it was on clearance, it had a  high enough SPF level for me, and shockingly it smells nice

    Monday, March 5, 2012

    Sunday Thrifting - Clowns & Betsey Johnson

    Before i ventured out this past Sunday, i dusted off my tripod and "real" camera and took a few photos in my room.
    I love the color of this scarf. $2.00 at JCPenny last Saturday!

    Can you spot the hiding bunny?

    This is my favorite corner because it is so Christopher and I. the guitars, the globe, and the insane computer/tv set up are his, and the mishmash of dreamcatchers, jewelry, and artwork are mine. Let's play a game, how many more books can we fit on those shelves? I'll give you a hint - none. 

    Bo made a guest appearance and hopped onto the stool with me.

    As per usual for Sundays, my mom and i went thrifting around the state. My friend Caitlin tagged along and we had a great day. Thrifting is absolutely my favorite thing to do. I crave it during the week and have to do a few quick stops at my local Goodwill on weeknights to tide me over! This past Sunday was mostly uneventful at first. Someone donated their entire clown collection. The photo below is only a couple of the shelves that held them. Super creepy. I also found shelves full of cat figurines and tea pots. Late winter must be the time to donate collections!

    At our last stop Caitlin spotted a really pretty long sleeved black lace dress that she said would be a good one for me. I loved it and when i went to check the size...i almost fainted. Betsey Johnson. For $4.99. Needless to say i shrieked, hugged her, then ran off to find my mom and brag a little. It fits like a glove, is in almost perfect condition (there is a small run in the slip under the lace, not a big deal at all), and i believe it was from a line she did in the early 90's. I found a similar dress from her Luxe line going for $140.00 on Etsy!

    Now Christopher needs to take me out on the town so i can wear this pretty thing! 

    Meet Virginia Design

    Friday, March 2, 2012

    What I Wore: Friday Edition

    Sweater - $4.99, vintage from Goodwill
    Belt - unknown, it came with another top i have
    Jeggings - $20.00, Target
    Over the knee boots - $20.00, Elle for Kohls

    Christopher and i are at the tail end of our week house sitting and i was alone this afternoon getting ready to go meet my mom and great uncle for some shopping. My uncle is handicapped and in a nursing home and really enjoys getting out so today we took him to the mall. (Note to self: must bring Uncle Donald to the mall during the Christmas shopping rush. Everyone gets out of the way for a girl pushing her uncle around in his wheelchair!) So, since i took my sweet time getting ready i thought i would take advantage of my nearly empty afternoon to take my very first outfit photos!

    I've had a less than stellar week in the confidence department. My hair has refused to style easily, my skin is breaking out, and being away from home has messed with my regular routine a little (I usually share a hair straightener with my brothers girlfriend, for one). Today i decided to distract from my dull skin and attitude with Revlon's Colorburst Lip Butter. I had heard so many people talk about these lip colors, so i had to try one. I went for the brightest red in the bunch, Cherry Tart, and i have to say the hype is deserved! The color is sheer but not invisible like so many other glossy lipsticks. 

    The weekend is here and i've pushed myself a little to try to make a new friend. We have a "date" tomorrow night. I swear meeting new friends is harder than meeting men. 

    Thursday, March 1, 2012

    The storm that brought me home.

    Although i have been wishing for spring, adding endless gardening tips to my springtime boards on Pinterest, and pausing to close my eyes and soak in every bit of sunshine that comes in through my office window while i'm at my desk, i couldn't help but enjoy watching the snow fall in heavy gusts of wind last night. I'm still a child when it comes to weather. I love to watch the rain or snow fall from the sky. Christopher and i have been house/pet sitting for a woman i used to work with a few towns away and i have been missing my own pets and family so much. I'm a true homebody in so many ways. I planned to drive home with my mom after work to visit with the dogs, cats, and bunny and have Christopher pick me up to take me back to the house we are sitting once he got out of work. Since the snow is still coming down and the roads are still a little slick, we decided i should just stay home for the night and guiltily i am loving it. How is it that i am a twenty three year old house hunting adult that can't stand a few days away from the comforts of my home? I miss my mom/best friend! I miss my bed! I miss my routine! What a rebel i am. For tonight, i'm planning on reading, petting my cat, reading my book, and snuggling with a blanket on the couch like the old lady shut i truly am deep down inside.