Beauty Find Friday: Thrifty Finds

Last week, a friend we hadn’t seen all summer dropped by to catch up with us. We sat around the living room and talked; actually, we listened, our friend did most of the talking. We knew there were major, difficult changes going on in their life, but that’s not what they talked about. Lots of “Remember when…” but nothing deep. When they left, in a way I felt like we hadn’t really caught up at all. 
Which I totally understand. I’m in a similar place – there’s so much going on inside my head and heart, I’m struggling to put words to it. Hence, I’ve been a little light on the blogging here lately. I’ll be back to three times a week soon, I promise. I have so much to say that I haven’t had time or energy to say, I might actually post more than that!
Even though I feel like I haven’t caught you up here, I have been busy talking about other things elsewhere. I was interviewed on Sage Grayson Coaching and I wrote an article for Sweet and Sage, and this next week, I have a guest post by Alana of Sparrow and Grace here on Monday and I’ll be on her blog on Wednesday. She is sharing here about how she finds beauty in everyday, and I’m sharing there about contentment and my confidence journey. You won’t want to miss next week!
This week was hard, emotionally and mentally, so yesterday I decided to do something just for fun. I haven’t gone thrifting for ages! It was the perfect cure. 
I know some people would love to have a shiny gold snakeskin bag like the one above. It looks pretty similar to this bag by Ralph Lauren for $158.

I’ve seen dozens of DIY tutorials for making these macrame plant holders. Unfortunately, I don’t have plants, and so, no use for it. 

Someone decided to get rid of their NSYNC posters. Is that Justin Timberlake?!

Aladdin slippers! These are the real deal. Unfortunately, I didn’t find a flying carpet to go with them. I’ll have to try again next week.

I brought home a navy blue Banana Republic tee, a GAP black and white tee, and a fold-over clutch. The tees were $5 each, and the clutch was 70 cents! I wanted to make my own fold-over clutch when they first became super popular using A Beautiful Mess’s tutorial, but you just can’t beat that price!
By the way, Brian is recovering well from having his wisdom teeth removed. He’s eating solid food again!

Next weekend, I’m going to a clothing swap for the first time! I’m getting rid of 18 tops, four bottoms, and seven accessories, and I’m not planning to bring that much home with me. I’ll have to do an outfit post before too long to show you what I find!

Speaking of finds, have you discovered any treasures thrifting lately? Let me know what you found in the comments so I can ooh and ahh with you!

Follow on Bloglovin

Beauty Find Friday: My Latest Thrifted Finds

Like I mentioned Monday, I found some fantastic finds thrifting in Iowa. After lunch at the local taco establishment, my friend and I went to Goodwill, as is our tradition. I’d been looking for a big black purse for some time, so this jumped out at me: 
A purse like this at Target would cost around $30, so when I found out it cost $3, I had to get it!

It’s in almost new condition, and since it’s super roomy inside, it worked perfectly for carrying my magazines and books on the plane.

Then I saw this…

Just kidding! This was so crazy, I had to take a picture of it, but even I would not attempt a project that daring. I’ll let Marisa handle that!

 I also found this belt. I’ve never really seen anything like it, and I debated about getting it. But since it was only $1.50, I splurged and bought it.

Last Sunday, this is what I wore to church:

The necklace you’ll recognize from Noonday Collection, with the thrifted belt, and the thrifted cardigan from Savers a couple weeks ago, and a black dress from Sears.

(Also, notice the fighter jet calendar in the background. Brian and I have different ideas when it comes to bedroom decor!)
My former voice coach and friend from church spotted these at another local thrift store, and since she’d seen my living room decor post, said “Emily must have these!”

Right now, they’re chilling in the dining room until I find the perfect spot, and the perfect candles.

Aren’t they perfect though?! I love that they don’t match, because most of my blue and white stuff doesn’t match, so it fits perfectly!

Have you found anything awesome thrifting recently? Last night Brian and I found some great stuff at Target on clearance, but I’m saving that for the bedroom/bathroom reveal post!

Happy thrifting adventures, and have a beautiful weekend!

How to Thrift for Spring Trends

I’m planning a more in-depth post about this Spring’s trends and where you can shop for fair trade and ethical clothing to fit the trends, but Saturday I went thrift store shopping with a couple friends, and I’m super excited about what I found! Using Pinterest for inspiration and to narrow my focus, I came home with two tops that are exactly what I wanted.

Stripes

Stripes are a major trend this spring! As you know, I’m addicted to stripes, so I’m looking forward to seeing them everywhere. After my last closet clean out and reading The No Brainer Wardrobe e-book, I’ve been hunting for a black and white striped top. I pinned these to my style boards, and kept my eyes peeled for something similar:

Source: arielleeliseblog.com via Emily on Pinterest

When I saw this BCBC tee on the rack at Savers, I snatched it up.

However, after trying it on and debating with myself for some time, I decided not to get it. Mainly because then I saw this:

It’s a little too big, unfortunately, but nothing I can’t fix. I’m going to use a similar alteration method I used on my bridesmaid dress last summer, and use a well fitting tee as a guide.

The fabric is in perfect shape, and although it’s a little thick, I think I’ll be able to wear it a few times before summer, and then all through fall and winter. I’m positive it will become my new favorite top.

Lace

Another popular trend that I LOVE this spring is lace. I’ve been pinning lacy dresses and tops like crazy, which was the inspiration behind this DIY Embellished Lace Dolman.

I also pinned these lacy items on my boards that I wanted to find something similar at Savers:

Source: etsy.com via Emily on Pinterest
Source: rstyle.me via Emily on Pinterest

This gorgeous New York & Company sweater caught my eye:

I loved the color and the lace right away, but I was a little unsure about the puffed sleeves. In the end, I decided they didn’t bother me enough to not get it. It will be perfect for a date night with skinny jeans and my blue ballet flats, or adding a pop of color to a little black dress.

Totally unrelated to spring trends, I also found these:

Total spent: $19.54. I call that a success!

To recap:

  1. Use Pinterest to save your style inspiration. Identify aspects of your pins that you like, such as color, sleeve length, pattern, fabric, etc. 
  2. Shop your thrift stores with an open mind. Does this fit some of the aspects of your pins? Does it fit well enough to be worth it, or will it just sit in your closet unworn? If it needs minor alterations, are you willing to do it yourself or take it to someone who will? Ask yourself these questions to avoid bringing home something that might be a good deal, but you won’t actually wear.

What spring trends are you excited about? What have you recently scored at your thrift store? Share it in the comments!

DIY Kate Spade Book Clutch for $5

A few months ago, I discovered Kate Spade’s ingenius book clutches: book on the outside, clutch on the inside! As a bibliophile (book-lover) who often carries a book around in my purse anyway, I really loved this idea. It’s nerd meets chic!
However, I didn’t love the price: $325! So, I set about making my own own, which I’m going to share with you today!

Read More

Thrifting, Iowa Style

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen sneak peaks of my thrift store finds while I’ve been in Iowa. Here’s the full story.  While I’m in my home town in Iowa for my best friend’s wedding, I wanted to do a little thrift store shopping. My mother-in-law, some friends from church, and I visited two thrift stores in our area, and WOW. I can’t believe all the cool stuff I found, and the low prices!
I took pictures of all the awesome stuff that I would love to buy, but knew I couldn’t fit in my suitcase. 
I saw this beauty right when I walked through the door, for all of $2. 

This green leather pouf was going for $7.

These would be perfect for my painted mugs, especially at 25 cents each!

Check this out! It’s a bowl and nut crackers! There was no price on it. I put it in my bag to ask about at the front. 

How cute are these canisters?

A little spray paint, and this mirror would be fabulous, especially for $3.

This is a big Van Gogh style painting, for a couple bucks.

This set of four midcentury modern-ish chairs were in great condition.

This like-new hair curler set was $2.

I thought about buying this skirt, since I liked the pattern and it had an elastic waist. It was several sizes too big though, and I decided against taking on another sewing project.

I love this vintage suitcase.

I happen to know insect jewelry is big right now, and this bumble bee necklace is right on trend.

A beautiful coffee table…

And another one….plus I love the lamp!

This rocking chair was going for $25.

This beautiful chair was only $10.

These matching mirrors were $25 each.

This jacket was under $5.

In the end, my mother-in-law bought me the jacket and another tunic top for my birthday.

I bought a black pencil skirt, some mustard yellow velvet ribbon for 50 cents, and the nut cracker set.

It was only $1!!!

I’m linking up today at Simple Design, check out the other thrift store finds there and get inspired to check out your neighborhood shops! 

Got it at Goodwill: Steve Madden Shoes

As I mentioned Friday, I decided to walk to Goodwill so that I wouldn’t be tempted to buy too much. I could only take home what I could carry, although I was reminded on Twitter that you can carry a lot if you really want to! Several items did tempt me, like this awesome chair.

I know the fabric is dated, but it was super comfortable and in great shape, and only $30.
I’m not sure what this thing is, but it’s definitely cool! 
At first I thought it was a plant stand, but now I wonder if it’s a stand for a gigantic globe? It looks too fancy for plants!

I almost carried this home for $4. It’s a vintage diagram of helicopter systems. I sent Brian a picture of it and asked him if he wanted it. He asked me how big it was, and we decided it was too big to carry home. Besides, we’re hesitant to get too much more stuff, since we plan to move in September. 

But the shoes I could not resist. 

 I tried on a black pencil skirt and three pairs of black heels. One pair of heels were too big, one was too high, and one was just right!

This sunny floral dress caught my eye.

I decided against it, since it was a few sizes too big. At the time, I didn’t feel up to another dress re-make, especially trying to navigate making the fitted bodice fit. Once I got home and looked at this picture of it, I kicked myself for not getting it. The fabric is awesome! It would have made a great skirt, or at least some really darling pillows!

Since I’m the “puppet master” for our church’s summer Bible program, I bought some assorted toddler clothes for the puppets. Those clothes and the shoes were all I had to carry home.

Kopek approves. 

I paid $5.99 for these. I’m pleased!

What’s the latest greatest thing you’ve found from thrifting? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Check out other thrifting sprees at Simple Design. 

My Thrifty Dress Re-Make

I’m famous! Well, at least, I feel like it!

Saturday, the lovely Marisa from New Dress A Day featured my dress re-model. I took it from this $5 Goodwill dress:

To this summery frock:

Check out the full post for how I did it, and while you’re there, check out all of Marisa’s amazing creations! With $365, she creates 365 outfits. You’ll love her thrifty finds and her sense of humor!

Hmm, this might just be the perfect dress to wear to a Memorial Day barbecue this evening! Brian and I  are planning to spend the evening with some friends of ours, so the guys can talk and we ladies can scrapbook.

While I’m all for enjoying the day off, remember that Memorial Day is more than sales and good food. Take time today to thank those who have served, remember those that have given their lives, and pray for those who are in harms way.

pleated poppy

Treasure Hunt: Goodwill Shopping Haul

I went to find three skirts and two pairs of jeans; four hours later, I almost left with Kenneth Cole shoes and a chandelier. And I did leave with $342.96 in estimated savings. 
This was my most epic Goodwill trip yet. You might remember my other posts about Goodwill shopping when we lived in an apartment with a Goodwill just down the street. I was really sad when we moved away, but last November, a brand-new Goodwill opened just down the street from our house! Saturday was the first time I’d had a chance to check it out. 
I was looking for three skirts in denim or khaki to wear on the missions trip to Mexico I’m planning to go on in March. They have a dress code, and my only denim skirt isn’t long enough, and skinny jeans aren’t allowed, hence the two pairs of jeans. 

Once I filled my cart with skirts, I headed to the dressing room. On the way, a few shirts and shoes caught my eye, so I took them along with me.

None of the skirts really worked for me, unfortunately. But check out these nude heels!

I looked online, and Kenneth Cole leather heels range around $178 new. These were in excellent condition, no scuffs or scratches, but used, and were $5. Unfortunately, they didn’t fit me. So I put them back. 

These actually did fit me, and they were very comfortable. They looked unworn, and I recognized the brand, ecco, but I didn’t know how much they were worth. I kinda wish I’d bought them, because I looked them up online, and ecco tennis shoes are around $120 new. 

On my way back to the skirt aisle, I spotted the chandelier. It was metal, no crystals, but a beautiful elegant leaf design. It just needed a coat of white paint and some distressing, and it would be good to go. For $12, I almost bought it. But, I decided that since we live in a rental house with no where to put it, it probably wasn’t the best idea. Brian agreed.

But enough about what I didn’t buy. After I filled my cart for the second time, I was more successful. Here’s what I did get:

This scarf first caught my attention because it felt higher quality than many of the others. Then I noticed the signature.
I hadn’t heard of “Ralfeaux” before, but a little sticker left on the scarf from a garage sale said “Designer.” 

For 99 cents, it was definitely worth it. I looked up Ralfeaux, and found out that this scarf is probably a vintage designer scarf worth around $15. 

I finally found a skirt! I looked it up and found an identical one at Target for $24.99. I paid $4.99.

 
If you know me, you might have notice how much I love stripes. I caught a glimpse of this tee in passing, and when I saw it was my size and since yellow tags were half off, it was in my cart before you could blink.
Similar Old Navy Tee, $14. Price for this Old Navy tee, $2.50
At first I thought these would make good work jeans for our projects during the mission trip. But now I’m not so sure. 
These army green pants were SO comfortable, they’re flared and a little loose fitting. And, they are New York and Company brand, and while I couldn’t find any similar pants online, New York and Company sale jeans go for around $30. These were half off, so I paid about $3.50.
Ok, here’s the REALLY exciting part. Speaking of New York and Company, I also bought this blazer.

 It’s in excellent condition, and fit me well. I’ve been looking for a well-fitting blazer for quite some time.

It is a New York and Company blazer, and I actually found the identical one online, for $69.95. I paid $7.99!

I couldn’t decide between that blazer and this one, so I bought them both. It’s a little wrinkled in this picture.

I first noticed the unique stitching and buttons, and then I noticed that the sizes were in European and American. I knew that was a good sign.

And then I saw the brand. It’s a Zara blazer. I was first introduced to this brand by Wendy’s Lookbook fashion blog, and when I looked online, Zara’s black blazers cost between $89 and $99. This one had a yellow tag, so it was half off. I got it for $4.

I also scored a pair of GAP 1969 “Essential” jeans. I looked them up online too, and they sell for $69.99. I paid $7.99. 

And then, THEN. I spotted this little basket!

Blogger still likes to randomly put my pictures sideways

 So cute! I knew it would be perfect for my friend’s wedding next summer. She liked the idea of a little suitcase type box for the wedding cards.

It’s a picnic basket!
The dishes are white plastic, and they’re cute too. I found a similar one on Etsy, with green plaid inside, for $65.95.  I paid $10 for this one.
So let’s summarize all this goodness. 
Vintage Designer Scarf, paid $0.99                Valued: $15
Denim Skirt from Target, paid $4.99              Valued at $24.99
Old Navy Tee, paid $2.50                             Valued at $14
New York and Company pants, paid $3.50   Valued at $30
New York and Company blazer, paid $7.99  Valued at $69.99
Zara blazer, paid $4.00                                  Valued at $95
GAP jeans, paid $7.99                                   Valued at $69.99
Picnic basket, paid $10.00                              Valued at $65.95
Total spent: $41.96     Total value: $384.92

Now, that’s what I call epic!!! 

I told Brian after I finally checked out, “I think I could make a nice income finding designer and high quality items at Goodwill and selling them for more on ebay.”

“Well, why don’t you then?” He asked.

What do you think? If I sold the Zara blazer for even half of a comparable Zara blazer, for maybe $50, I’d still make quite a bit from it, considering that I bought it for $4. What do you think? Should I go into business? If anything, maybe it could fund my penchant for shoe collecting!

A penny for your thoughts? To leave a comment, click on “Links to this Post” below.