Thursday, February 26, 2015

Thrifty Thursday: Workout Clothes That Don't Look Like Workout Clothes

Comfortable and cute are two words that don't go together often enough in fashion.
I have skinny jeans, that while my vanity loves the look, my gut hates the squeeze. Those skinny jeans and the like are the clothes that send me straight from entering the front door to exiting out of the pants and changing into lounge pants at lightning speed. I'm pretty sure 20 male comics have made jokes on the subject of a woman's rush to make the drawstring pant change. 

But this thrifty outfit is so comfortable and stretchy, I literally did yoga in it earlier today. And if I actually had anywhere to be, I could totally pair it with heels to instantly dress up.

The top is a 99 Cent Sweater Sale find from Thrift Town, and the jeggings are my newish pair from Ross. The embellished Rocket Dog shoes are probably 9 years old, a super great $10 clearance find from Famous Footwear.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Thrifty Thursday: Mid-Century Craigslist Scores

When it comes to acquiring new furniture for the house, I have two rules I almost always follow.

  1. The new piece has to be free or under $11.
  2. Otherwise, I have to sell something I already have to pay for the new piece. And then it still has to be a stellar deal.

For example:

When I wanted a different chair in the family room, I sold our rocking chair (picked up for free, 5 minutes away) for $35 and bought this cushy, zebra print chair for $20.

Because I'm diligent about following my self-imposed rules, I sometimes wait a bit to get what I want, especially since I'm picky and obsessive-compulsive about matching.

Lately, I've been frustrated using with my hope chest as a coffee table in the living room.

We use baskets and decorative boxes to hold all our stuff, but those storage containers take up a lot of space atop the chest. That's space where our feet and cups like to go. And even with the top of the chest cleared, we still have limited to space to both kick up our feet. Basically, we have to sit close together to stretch out.

Not to mention, the chest is kind of a pain to move, and we have to move it several times a week to exercise.

I wanted a coffee table that would be longer than the hope chest, have a drawer, and be simple to move around.

Finding something on the inexpensive side that would match the shade and style of our cherry mid-century furniture proved to be a challenge. 

Until it didn't.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Thrifty Thursday: Early Valentine's Day Date

Early Valentine's Day is the way to go. There's less pressure, no crowds and you don't have to pay jacked up prices.

We went out on Thrifty Thursday, which is why this blog is coming a bit late. I was busy with my sweetie all day.

We started the day with presents. Aaron had already received his main gift early: three small Venus flytraps. He has this thing for carnivorous plants. Plus, I'm always saying, "Feeeed me, Seymour!" because the hungrier I get, the harder it is for me to actually find and prepare food.

I also gave him The Essential Weird Al Yankovik. Weird Al was one of his favorite musicians as a kid, and we saw him at the California State Fair a few years back.

On my end, I helped Aaron out by pinning jewelry I liked and by browsing jewelry in store together. Better to be thorough than to be disappointed!

I really wanted a right-hand ring, and not only did I get a sparkly infinity ring, but I also opened a necklace and pair of earrings to match.

He even surprised me with a Gilmore Girls tee on my favorite cobalt blue.

And I still have flowers to look forward to on Saturday.

For our date, we used gift cards from Christmas to finally see Birdman. It was really interesting and different in a refreshing way, and we got to watch it with the entire theater to ourselves.

I'm a big fan of Century Roseville for this reason. I guess it doesn't bode well for the business that it's so empty during the week, but that, the film selections and the laid-back staff keep us coming back, even though we have another Century minutes from our house.

After the film, we had a quick dinner at Olive Garden; we were too stuffed from candy and soda to eat much at the restaurant.

Since it was 9 p.m. on a Thursday night, the restaurant was fairly quiet, we were seated immediately and food arrived promptly. I think our server was also able to be more attentive to our little group of tables than she'd be able to come Saturday, when there's going to be a line out the door. Early Valentine's, it's the best!

For our relaxed date, I kept it simple. Warmth and comfort are my priorities when I go to the movies.

I wore one of my favorite more casual dresses, a black and white polka dot halter top from Thrift Town, paired with my new-to-me teal sweater from the recent $0.99 Thrift Town sale. Thick black leggings, plus my long, dress coat used as a blanket kept me cozy during the film.

The sweater had few imperfections from wear, but nothing needle and thread couldn't fix in a few minutes. I don't mind having to sew a little when the price is right.

My attempt to show off my new jewelry.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Thrifty Thursday: Getting My Prep On

I admit it. Sometimes I dig the prep look, especially when it's the preppy sailing style. 

I also appreciate the simple sophistication a blazer adds to an outfit.

My prep-inspired outfit was for a Saturday shopping date with the husband. I like to think that if I dress a little nicer, employees will treat me a little better when I'm out shopping, but this theory has yet to be proven.

When you look as young as I do, employees have this way of ignoring you while offering assistance to customers who appear older. I guess adding a blazer to an outfit isn't enough to overcome my baby face. But I digress ...

I paired this Jones Studio blazer from Thrift Town ($4) with an AB Studio top (gift from Kohl's), Merona skinny jeans ($12 Target), shiny black ballet flats (Payless) and shiny black Esprit hand bag (Thrift Town, $2, I believe).

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Thrifty Thursday: Pretty Cute Petites

This Thrifty Thursday, I'm thankful for sunshine, feeling (mostly) better and finding petites at Thrift Town.

I probably sound like a shallow Buzzfeed article, and this complaint would definitely be filed under #firstworldproblems, but as a short girl, the struggle is real.

Unless I buy petite-sized pants, my legs are going to be drowning in extra length. And finding cute, age-appropriate petite pants is not always easy.

The petite section at department stores generally caters to older ladies. So whenever I find a pair of petite pants that meet the fit, style and price categories, I practically do a happy dance in the dressing room.

These petite Style & Co. tummy-control jeans from Thrift Town hit all of the criteria, and I want to say I spent $4 on them a few years ago. These same pants were selling at Macys for an original sticker price of $50 when I bought them. Score!

Although I can wear regular-size tops, petites definitely fit better. And this polka dot blouse with tie in front is also a petite, from designer Sunny Leigh, and purchased from Thrift Town for a few bucks.

The polka-dot shoes were around $8 at Walmart, and my polka-dot sunglasses were a few bucks after SYW surprise points at Sears. 

Tomorrow (Friday, Jan. 30) is the 99 cent sweater sale at Thrift Town. Next week I'll share my finds. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Thrifty Thursday: Sick Days

As luck would have it, I've been sick since my last blog post. My throat started hurting Thursday and when I woke up on Friday, it was obvious: I was sick.

Luckily I had recently ordered myself goodies with Christmas gift cards and my first present had just arrived. So I spent the next few days playing Kirby's Epic Yarn on Wii and doing not much else, and that includes getting dressed.

I've basically lived in pajamas the last week, so I don't have any cute, thrifty outfits to share. I've been coughing so hard I've thrown up in the disgustingly full kitchen trash, on my blankets, on my robe, and in the toilet I sure wish was cleaner.

So really, wearing anything other than pajamas has been pointless. I'm a sneezing, snot-dripping, choke-coughing, disgusting body of germs. Although, I am starting to feel better.

Still, there is that old advice that if you shower and get dressed, you'll feel better. I generally find this to be a lie, but after my shower yesterday, I did make the effort to put on "real" clothes.

It didn't make me feel any better, but it did give me at least one cozy outfit with thrifted tops to post.

Star tee: $0.99 Thrift Town

Gray fuzzy sweater w/embroided flowers: $0.99
Thrift Town

Yoga pants: Gift

Those $0.99 sales at Thrift Town are seriously some of my favorite days of the year.

I am feeling marginally better today. And I've lost weight, so yay for that.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Thrifty Thursday: Sweater Love

In keeping with my resolution to blog more, I'm instituting Thrifty Thursdays, where I'll show off my thrifted outfits for the past week or any cool, new thrift finds.

Last Thursday, Aaron and I ran a bunch of errands and whilst out, I picked up this red sweater with faux pearl buttons for $0.99 at Thrift Town.

It's actually a truer, darker red in person, and exactly what I've been looking for, although in pretty worn and stretched out condition. I need to take the sleeves in so it looks less frumpy.

I also picked up my first ever pair of jeggings at Ross for $11. They are so comfy and unlike the pairs I tried on at Target, I have no worry of flashing crack.

Friday was date night. We finally made it to see Gone Girl at the $4 theater inside Sunrise Mall. Well worth the wait.

For date night, I wore my new jeggings, paired with this striped, stretchy tank top from The Thrift Store (a couple bucks, I would guess) and my fuzzy cranberry-colored sweater that was a past Christmas gift from Kohl's. My red Bongo tennis shoes were free from Sears with Shop Your Way couponing.

Part of date night was a stop at The Thrift Store on Auburn. They have the best sweater selection. I picked up this pristine, Banana Republic sweater made up of a lightweight silk and cotton blend for just $2.80. The polka dots are a subtle gold color with pretty buttons that remind me of abalone shells. I'm in love. Believe it or not, it's my first polka dot sweater.

Today, I wore the sweater with a black $0.99 blouse from Thrift Town, my jeggings and the same style Bongo shoes, only this time in black. I believe I paid $5 for the shoes.

Friday, January 9, 2015

New Year's Resolutions 2015: More, More, More

2014 was not the best year. It wasn't the worst I've faced, but with so many international and national crisis, plus a hard family crisis losing a niece to suicide, not to mention watching my husband struggle daily with his health, 2014 certainly fell in the good riddance pile. 2015 has to be better. Or at least, I resolve to do my best to make it better. And thus, here are my 2015 resolutions, keyword: MORE.

1. Walk the dog more. Goal: 5 days a week. I've only made it 3 days thus far this new year, so as much as I'd like to aim for 7 days a week, I need to be realistic with the weather, my health and my time.

2. Read more. I didn't keep track of what I read last year, but my goal for this year is 20 new books. As part of this resolution, I want to finish Nelson Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom, which I read here and there for about half of last year.

3. Blog more. I'm going to start small with a goal of one post per week. I figure if I start small, I might actually stick with it.

4. Beautify more. I resolve to put a little more effort into my appearance. In one way it's good that on a normal day I really don't care if I leave the house without doing anything with my hair or putting on makeup. When I was younger, I thought mascara was a daily necessity, but my husband finally drilled it into my head that I don't need makeup. On the other hand, I could stand to try a little harder, look a little cuter. And that includes putting more effort into taking better care of my skin, especially now that I'm in my 30s. A little more pretty and a little less grubby might just brighten my days.

5. Give more. Hopefully I can write this without sounding like a humble brag, but in all honestly, when it comes to goods and finances, my husband and I give generously. But when it comes to my time, my service, I haven't been so giving lately. Most of my life, I volunteered my time and talents, and I need to get back to that.

6. Demand more of myself, professionally. I've been really lucky in that most of the gigs -- whether for a private client or a well-known publication -- I've pitched for, applied for, I've received. But, and it's a big one, I haven't tried for nearly enough, and lately I've been doing a lot of for-the-money, I-don't-care-what-I'm-writing-about gigs and that needs to change. I need to find my passion for writing again; write about more interesting subjects.

7. Live more. Get out of the house more. Try new things. Try old favorites again. Have out with friends more. Maybe even travel more. Have more fun in life.

8. Study more. I want to have a more well-rounded knowledge bank, and there are definitely some areas in which I'm lacking. Geography, being one. I've already started studying up a little on world geography by doing a map puzzle, but I need to continue studying subjects I may not be that interested in, but should learn about, nonetheless.

9. Pray more. That one's pretty self-explanatory.

10. Romance more. After 10 years of couplehood, I've gotten a little lazy, as has he. I could linger in that kiss a little longer, cuddle more often, definitely fart less around him.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Organizing Craft Supplies on the Cheap

I pulled out my craft supplies to start on holiday projects and groaned for the umpteenth time at the stuffed mess inside my craft storage totes.

Not only did the small bins hold too much stuff, but they also held some of the wrong stuff. I often resorted to tossing small, random items into the bins when I didn't know what else to do with that stuff. And so my two bins have been a mess since before I lived on my own. In other words, for over a decade.

I finally had had enough and tackled the mess. The biggest job was sorting through all the crayons, markers, colored pencils, pens and pencils at the bottom of this bin.