Apron DIY

April 18, 2014

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When I turned 30 on Wednesday, it just so happened that my twin sister also turned 30- crazy, right? For her birthday she asked me to sew her an apron. I was all, no problem-o! That should be like 10 minutes to make, tops. So we went to grab some fabric and Laura went for floral and polka dots in the same violet color palette. Mixed media on an apron?! I was on all for it.

The next step was to assemble the fabric and binding into an adorable apron. Easy! Ok, not so easy. I had forgotten how long it had been since I had sewed something! I literally had to wipe the dust off my sewing machine (I wish I was kidding). First I figured I would take out one of my aprons and try to copy how it was made.

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I put my apron over the floral fabric and traced out the shape.

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Then I cut it out very carefully (mostly trying not to cut myself, that thing is sharp!)

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Once I got my basic shape cut out it was time to add the binding. I literally had to look up a youtube video to remember how to do it, and this was the part that took the longest to finish (about one episode of Law & Order SVU).

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The next step was getting the pockets sewn on. I cut out some pocket shapes on the polka dot fabric and then eyeballed where to put them on the apron.

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Once the pockets were secure I made the straps by rolling the polka dot fabric over twice, ironing it, and then sewing it right down the center.

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I sewed the straps onto the back of the apron, two for her neck and two for her waist, and POOF! An apron for Laura was born.

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All in all this took about one evening after work for me to accomplish. It was actually a really nice way to spend the night, catching up on my favorite shows and working on something special for my favorite sister.

Enjoy your weekend!!

Birthday Girl

April 16, 2014

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That’s right everyone. I am now 30 years old, and still as thrifty as ever. Is it possible that thriftiness levels increase as we age? My guess is a very strong probably. I can’t seem to drive by a thrift store without my body taking over and turning the wheel towards the parking lot. It’s not my fault, my body made me do it. My mind was on board too, but that’s besides the point.

I had a very lovely weekend celebrating this momentous occasion with family and friends. We BBQed, we drank delicious beers, we hung out in the beautiful weather (ps- mother nature, what happened??) and just straight up relaxed. I even decided to wear a crop top! I’m in my 30s now, guys. I just don’t give a you-know-what! I think I’m going to like this next decade.   

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Crop top: Target, Midi skirt: Modcloth, Wedges: TJ Maxx,

Gold reversible bag: Thrifted (only $5!), Sunnies: Old Navy, Lion Necklace: Analog

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Yes those are petals in my hair. The cherry blossoms are beautiful, but don’t try to eat under them or you will eat approximately 10,000 petals. Just another lesson learned as I grow up in this crazy and wonderful world.

 

 

 

 

Scallop Everything

April 11, 2014

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Have you guys been seeing scallop details on like, everything, lately? I feel like it’s everywhere! Here and here and over here too! They are so delicate and sweet looking, I think I’m starting to become obsessed with them.

So when I saw this scallop crossbody bag from Sammydress  in pastel pink, I knew it had to be mine.       Plus, it only costs under $10!! That just blows my mind. It feels like thrift store prices for new, trendy pieces. Can’t beat that.

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Peplum top: Banana Republic (on major sale), Jeans: Target, Cross body bag: Sammydress, Flats: Vintage via Etsy, Glasses: ZenniOptical, Necklaces: Etsy and gifted, Watch: Guess

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Next time you see me, it’s possible I’ll be wearing scalloped everything- scallops on my top, scallops on my shorts, scallops on my shoes. Good thing I have this new bag to top it all off. Is this conversation making anyone else hungry for some pan seared scallops?? Just me? Look at that, it’s lunch time. Scallop ya later!

Enjoy your weekend :)

West Coast Weekend

April 9, 2014

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How was your weekend? Pretty good? Well, mine was GREAT. Not only did my weekend begin on Thursday (score!) but I also flew across the country to Arizona to hang out with some old friends and celebrate my buddy Hayley’s wedding. I’ve never been to Arizona before, so I didn’t know quite what to expect. It. was. BEAUTIFUL!

It also looked kinda like I was on another planet. It is so different from what I’m used to seeing everyday here in Virginia. I mean, the front lawns were full of rocks. Rocks! It was cray. After I got used to the new terrain, I had a really awesome time. We hiked in Sedona, rode on pink Jeeps, ordered cosmos and mai tai’s at the Dry Bar and ultimately partied our tails off at the wedding.

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We hiked Devil’s Bridge! (Definitely not Devil’s Backbone, which is what I kept calling it by mistake…)

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The Pink Jeep Tour was super fun. Like SUPER fun.  

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The view wasn’t half bad either.

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Post blow out from the Scottsdale Dry Bar! (I ordered a mix between the mai tai and the straight up).

Romper: Current Boutique, Jean Jacket & Sparkle sandals: Target, Cobalt tote: Baghaus

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The view of the Arizona landscape at the ceremony was BREATH TAKING. I got light headed it took my breath away so hard.

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For the wedding I wore a dress I bought at the Old Town Boutique Warehouse Sale which I got for an incredible deal, and I love everything about it- the bright orange-coral color, the pleats, the cut. The one thing I didn’t love was having about 5 or 6 Marilyn moments. Pretty sure I flashed some random dudes when signing the guest book. I was in a different area code so I’m pretty sure that means it didn’t really happen, right? If you ever make it out to the Phoenix area I guaruntee you will have an excellent time.

Double Up

April 1, 2014

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One downside to my job is that I’m not always able to wear exactly what I want to work each day. Being a social worker, you have to make sure you’re dressing professionally and in no way provacatively. Especially since I work with older adults- I don’t want anyone getting the wrong idea for why I’m showing up at their house unannounced. No, sir, I’m not your birthday surprise. I’m actually here to make sure you have electricity and are taking your medications. Sorry for the confusion.

So sometimes, just for fun, when I get home from work I’ll change into something I might have chosen if I was working in a more, shall we say, creative office. The sheer nature of my top would be a definite no-no, and high heels are just not practical (although that doesn’t always stop me). So instead I wore this to go grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s.

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Coat, studs & animal print button down: Target, Leopard print heels: DSW (similar),

Tuxedo stripe pants: Old navy, Glasses: ZenniOptical

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Luckily, it does not appear that any of my clients do their shopping at TJ’s, so I was able to get away with pretending this was the look I sported all day.

Purple Velvet Thongs and Gold Sequined Tank Tops: A Guide to Men’s Fashion from a Guy Who’s Married to a Gal Who Knows about Fashion

March 27, 2014

Hello, thrifty friends! I apologize for the radio silence you’ve been experiencing over here on T&S, I try my best to post as consistently as possible to quench your thrifty appetite as best I can, but lately I have been a little busy with some work related stuff.

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As the ever devoted husband he is, Mike offered to do a guest post to relieve my non-posting anxiety. What a sweetheart! Here’s his take on being a thrifty guy doing thrifty guy things- enjoy!

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I know what you’re thinking – Steph talks about Mike all the time, how he’s a really great guy, super hilarious and dashing, so on and so forth, but can he really write? Well guess what folks, I’m not just some piece of arm candy that Steph totes around like one of her high-fashioned hand bags; I can write good too! In fact, I am such a great writer that Steph has refrained from letting me guest post on Thrift and Style all of these years for fear that the deluge of traffic would crash her site (or at least that’s what she’s told me). But after wearing her down for so long, then waiting until she fell asleep and stealing her computer, I am finally able to make my voice heard here on T&S.
 
Now that I’ve got the spotlight, I’d like to talk a bit about men’s fashion as it relates to thrifting, which is to say, is practically nonexistent. You see, the thing that you need to understand about men is that when we find a good article of clothing, we wear it until it falls apart, and THEN we donate it. The only other times men’s clothing gets donated is if it doesn’t fit or after a funeral when the widow cleans out her spouse’s closet. So that leaves excessively worn, excessively huge, or excessively dead guy fashions, which are great for costume parties, but not much else. Sure, you hipsters have a great selection of ironic t-shirts – “Fairfax Youth Bowling Regional Champs 1982”, or fifteen identical “Xerox Corporate Teambuilding Retreat” polo shirts. But thrifting truly stylish men’s fashion is prohibitively difficult, which means you have to get creative.

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Thus far, I have really only had success with thrifted pieces in wearing them under some other piece of clothing so that only a hint of the thrifted piece shows. For example, those excessively huge button-downs go great under a nice sweater where only the collar pokes through just enough to get a flavor of the pattern, but not enough to notice the awkward bulgy folds of empty fabric that once concealed someone else’s flappy saddle-bags.  If you’re really adventurous, you can try your hand at tailoring the pieces down to size, but I am not very adept with the sewing machine and my wife is too busy making her own creations to attend to mine. And paying someone else to do it makes it just as expensive as buying something that fits you correctly the first time. So thrift stores aren’t ideal for guys, but being thrifty doesn’t mean you have to only shop at thrift stores; there are plenty of great deals to be had elsewhere.

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For example, I love-love-loved the department store, Syms before they went out of business. If you’re not familiar, they were the sister store of Filene’s Basement and both went out of business in 2011. Syms had a great selection of “last year’s fashion lines” at crazy low prices and their tagline was “An educated consumer is our best customer.” I guess it’s saying something that they went out of business… 
 
So now I have to hunt down my deals where I can find them, but you always have to be wary of the tricksters. The following stores are total baloney: Men’s Wearhouse, Joseph A. Banks, and any other store that offers you deals like “Buy 1 get 45 free!” which sounds like a stellar deal until you look at the price of one unit and it costs the same as 46 units or more. So you end up paying the same amount for the “in-store” brand that you could have just paid for a name brand elsewhere.
 
But good deals are there to be had. I have ordered shirts from Paul Frederick before and loved them. And they always advertise deals for shirts for $20, which is ridiculously low considering you get to custom order it. I’ve also heard good things about Charles Tyrwhitt but I have yet to order anything from them. Lastly, another place that I’ve never tried but have heard is the total bomb-diggity is Suit Supply. Warning: their website has naked chicks on it, but that’s how you know it’s legit right? If you have any recommendations on other hot spots for men’s clothing at hot prices, let me know. I’m sure Steph would appreciate it as well since she’s the one that has to look at me all the time.

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Ok, so maybe I don’t have the same thrifty skillset for fashion that my wife does, but darn it I’m trying! Perhaps I should just give up and let Steph dress me from now on. I’ll just be an adult baby. That’s a thing, right?

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Thanks again to my adult baby husband for taking the time to write up this very informative, excessively awesome post on a guide to thrifty men’s fashion. You da best, boo! I will (hopefully) be back to our regular scheduled programming of style for the ladies, of the thrifty variety, sometime next week.

Balancing Act

March 18, 2014

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Before we got MORE snow (I’m grimacing while even typing that) I got dressed for a Sunday full of running errands with Mike. It was definitely not as pleasant out as it had been on Saturday, but there was a little chill in the air. I decided the best course of action is the old standby- LAYER UP.

Under my thrifted lace dress I wore my trusty Modcloth slip, over the dress I threw on a long cardigan and topped it all off with a useful hooded utility coat. It was also the first day I got to debut my newly thrifted military style lace up boots- they are super comfy and I really like how they balance out my feminine lace dress with their hard, let’s get to business and run some errands demeanor.

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Dress & Boots: Thrfted via Unique, Cardigan (similar), tights & coat: Target, Scarf: Stitch Fix,

Ear warmers: Etsy, Earrings: Ruche, Canvas bag: Thrifted in Stockholm

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Hopefully this time next week I can start debuting my more springlike gear. Who’s with me?

Heeling Vibes

March 14, 2014

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Have you ever bought some awesome heels, loved them to death, and then realized you actually are putting them in their shoe grave? This happened to me with some Ruche heels I bought over a year ago (see above). I wasn’t really sure why only the right heel was looking so lack luster, and then I realized, that’s my driving foot. I had unknowingly scuffed my beloved heel whenever I climbed behind the wheel.

I recently went to my pal Lisa’s shop Analog to do a little shopping when it occurred to me that she might have some ideas about how to rejuvinate my sad heel since she is always reviving vintage finds for her store.  She suggested trying to clean the problem area with watered down dish soap and/or vinegar, which sounded like a plan to me!

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I basically went back and forth, using both concoctions until the dark mark seemed to disappear. Then I put miss rightfoot out to dry outside. I let her partner, mister leftshoe, keep her company to give her support.

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After I gave it about 45 minutes to dry out, she looked as good as new! Success!

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I’m looking forward to putting these good looking friends back in to rotation, now that they have fully healed and recovered.

Enjoy your weekend!

The Lion, The Pickle & My Wardrobe

March 11, 2014

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A few points about this outfit. Point number one: I’m exposing my toes! The weather is finally getting to toe exposing temperatures, and for that, I am thrilled. Point number two: The title of this post is mostly a reference to my awesome necklaces, one is of the Leo symbol that I got at Analog last week (and I have worn it almost every day since), the other one reminds Mike of a pickle so it has so been dubbed, the pickle necklace which I got a few months ago from UDOP.

Third point: I’m wearing my sweater backwards. Because sometimes when I get bored with things in my wardrobe I make executive decisions to copy weird trends from the 1990s.

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 Lion + Pickle  

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Sweater, sunnies & Heels: Target, Black skinnies: H&M, Bag: Stitch Fix,

Leo necklace: Beltway Vintage, Cuttlefish necklace: UDOP Jewelry

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Trends are cyclical, so, once you turn your back they’re here again.. see what I did there??

Stitch Fix

March 7, 2014

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So I found out about Stitch Fix through Jen‘s blog a while back, and I thought it might be fun to give it a try so that I can write up a little review for you guys! I shop just for all of you, because you’re worth it. And because I have a shopping addiction. The first step is recognizing it! The second step is ignoring it. Moving on. 

Jen described Stitch Fix as “super fun and awesome for Moms who don’t have time to go shopping for themselves” which I realize doesn’t really apply to me, since the only one who calls me mom is my little fur baby, but I was intrigued. So I decided to check it out. Basically they ask you to fill out a style profile and then send you 5 items to try on, giving you three days to decide what to keep. There’s a $20 styling fee to get sent the items BUT they use that $20 as a credit to whatever you decide to buy. And if you decide to buy everything the whole kit and caboodle is 25% off!! Woot! I hope I spelled caboodle correctly!!

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What an adorable little box!

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omg there are clothes & accessories in there!

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They even give you a little how-to card for ideas about how to style each item- so bueno!

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The next step of the process is to try everything on, see how much each item costs, decide what to keep and what to send back in the already labeled bag they provide. SO easy. Then you go to their website to let them know what you’re keeping and give feedback about your fix.

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You can ask for one fix and call it a day, or you can set it up to get one each month. I have to admit it’s pretty fun seeing the package on my doorstep waiting for me to unwrap my fix like a crazy wide-eyed child, just like when I was doing Le Tote. There were a few things I didn’t really like, the main thing being the prices of the items. In my style profile I listed that I wanted most things to cost on the lower end of the spectrum, and in general that’s what they gave me. But I’m so used to buying things at super low price places like thrift stores, TJ Maxx, Target and Old Navy, that it’s hard for me to pony up the cash for things that are higher prices than I’m used to. (I never ended up buying all 5 things from any of my fixes).

Also, I really enjoy styling myself! I’m one of those weirdos that gets super excited to go shopping- in real stores and online- and pick out clothes to join the party in my wardrobe, so, having someone else style for me was fun for a bit but in the end I’d rather do it myself. BUT, if you are a super busy mom (human mom or pet mom), someone who hates to go shopping or just want to try something new, you should totally give Stitch Fix a try! If you don’t shop as often as I do then it’s worth it to spend a little more money on quality, adorable clothes for yourself if you stay within your budget! If you do give it a try, I hope you’ll let me know how it goes! Ok, end of spiel.

Now, go enjoy your weekend!