Fall Wish List

School starts in just under a week, and I. AM. PUMPED.  I’m serious!  I am very excited to meet my new students, and I am in pretty in love with my new school so far.  I kind of think my new vice principal wants to be best friends for life (in a completely platonic way).

Going back to school wouldn’t be complete without a little perusing of the fall fashions, and there are a few pieces I would love to get my hands on:

1.  Thick black leggings/jeggings

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My post on not understanding leggings as pants is one of my post popular posts (you all need to lay off looking for photos of people’s bums through see-through leggings…), but this is different.  I have a problem with thin leggings as pants.  Thick ones, as long as you can rock them with confidence, are fine with me.  Really.  I want a pair that I am not afraid to show my bum in, so they have to be thick material.  Anyone have any good places to look?

2.  Black riding boots

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I am in shoe love with riding boots.  My brown ones were definitely worn a LOT last year, and I would love to expand my boot collection with a pair of black or gray boots.

3.  Fall dresses

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Pinterest does two things to me:  makes me hungry and makes me wish I could shop without money being an issue.  I see all of these beautiful fall dresses that inspire me, and I want them all!  Just look at how scrumptious these dresses are.  Don’t you want them, too?  No?  Well, you could always buy them for me then.  Just a thought.

4.  Chambray shirt

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This trend totally got me today.  During my district new teacher orientation, one of the special education directors was wearing a gorgeous tailored chambray shirt.  I was sold.  Please find me one, oh fashion gods.  For next to nothing, if you could.

If only we didn’t need to budget so much and save money… Maybe I’ll find some this weekend when B and I hit the thrift stores in the Boston area this weekend!

What are you loving this fall?

How Do You Shoe?

It is a rare day for me when I can walk into a Goodwill and find shoes that both A) fit me and my size 10 feet and B) are stylish.  Heck, it’s a rare day for me to walk into most stores and find shoes that fit those criteria.  It’s like all the people who share my foot size keep their shoes until they are worn to pieces.  Honestly, I don’t blame them.  Good looking size 10 shoes are hard to come by at a good price.  I wear mine until I just cannot wear them anymore.

But that rare day occurred!  It did!  It really did!  I was stopping by Goodwill to drop off my second load of stuff in our “we’re moving so we need to go through everything to purge when we don’t need” apartment cleaning.  Of course, I had to go in to see if they had a whiteboard for a craft project I am making for B, which of course led me to the shoe department.

Holy mecca of shoes day.  I think I tried on around 8 pairs of shoes, all of which could have been contenders (except for the first pair of Bass shoes I tried on… someone put a pair of 8.5s in the 9.5 section), but money and space are both issues.  I ended up picking two pairs that will look great as my new “school” shoes.  It wouldn’t be a new school year without having something I could point to and say, “These are my new shoes for school!”  You know what I am talking about.

So what are my new school shoes?  Check them out.

These are my soft, purpley-brown Bass shoes.  Bass, like the company that asks you to pay $90 a pair.  Many of their women’s shoe choices are at least $99 each.  My price?  $4.99… that’s it.  And check out the soles.  They are barely worn!

The second pair was a double score.  If you have heard anything about the upcoming fall footwear trends, you may have heard that loafers are making a casual comeback.  To get into the spirit with a cheap pair, I snatched up these AK Anne Klein babies.  They had a gray tag on them, so even though they were marked at a mere $2.99 originally, I scooped them up for $1.50!  Not bad for costing around $79 at a retail store.Look at that little tassel!  So cute!

The shoes I left behind would have been nice, especially those tall black boots made for the snow, but to be fair, we’re moving.  I need to be realistic (and remember that my shoe bin has zero room as it is!).

Have you found any shoes lately?

Pre-Birthday Date Goodwilling

My husband is ridiculously adorable.  For the past two years, he has taken it upon himself to plan a special date day for me right before my birthday (April 28, for those of you who are counting).  My birthday is two days after my younger sister’s, so we have to share our birthdays typically.  My actual birthday is either a weekday, so no real time to go out and celebrate, or taken over with family plans because of the double birthday.  I certainly don’t mind celebrating double birthdays with my family, but it’s so nice to have a great day out with B.

This year, B surprised me with a day out in Portland.  We started off by going to the Goodwill Buy the Pound location, which really says something about how much B loves me.  He detests thrifting because it takes so much time and it’s not organized.  But for me, he made an exception.

For some reason, the bins seemed to be filled with only children’s clothing.  Good for people with kids, but people, I’m only turning 26.  Is this some sort of cosmic sign from our mothers?  Erin, see?  Look at all of the little clothing at Goodwill.  You know you want to create a person to go into them!  Um, not now, universal messages.  I’ve got some clothing to dig through.  This is what I found after some major digging:

Dexter bronze ballet flats: Retail: $22.99

Brand new with tags still on them!  Who says you can’t find new stuff at Goodwill?

Nine West cross-body white leather with gold chain purse: Retail : $69

Nine West chestnut brown satchel: Retail: $89

Nine West chocolate brown tote bag: Retail: $109

Nine West purple purse: Retail:  $69

Estee Lauder camel colored large tote:  Retail: ~$30

Belts! (Two colorful random ones and a Banana Republic leather red one):  Retail: ~$15 + $50 + ~$15 = ~$80

Bonjour colorblocking in that last one!  Love it!

Scarves! Dark purple pashmina, brown printed pashmina, mint green linen infinity scarf, Apt. 9 box blocked scarf:  Retail: ~$15 + ~$15 + ~$15 + ~$20 = ~$65

Mint green!  I found something in that color!  Weeeeee!  The last scarf is super soft and for B.  He’s a very dapper gentleman.

Express navy blue cable knit V-neck sweater:  Retail: $59

I know it seems kind of silly to be getting sweaters right now, but the three that I got were too good to pass up.  You never know, I could still face sweater weather here in Maine before summer actually begins.

Soffe baby blue sports skirt: Retail: $8.99

No brand magenta summer cover-up dress: Retail: ~$20

The tags were all cut out, but with a belt, this dress will be great for summer.  Without a belt, it kind of does a tent number off from my chest.  I’m wondering if I should make the neckline into a V neck.

GAP cream crew neck sweater: Retail: $59

Express red silk mix V-neck sweater: Retail: $59

All told, I think we made out brilliantly.  B also picked up a copy of the Bible to do some reading as he prepares for graduate work.  I suppose some spiritual work may come out of it, too.  So what was the damage?  Well, check this out:

What I would have paid shopping retail:  ~$749.98      What we paid at Goodwill:  $15

DIFFERENCE:  ~$734.98

Beck also got me this awesome blue NAS clutch/purse for Easter.

NAS cobalt blue clutch (style number 370GY):  Paid: $2.49 / Retail: ~$30

PEOPLE!  Why isn’t everyone thrift shopping?  I get to be a name brand snot AND not pay much at all.  You can be really picky about clothing and purse conditions and still get great stuff.

After our Goodwill run, B whisked me away to the Portland Art Museum.  They currently have some great exhibits, my favorite being one where a woman went into the homes of every person she’s friends with on Facebook to photograph them in real life.  The concept between real friends and online friends and how they seem to have replaced each other is fascinating (that may be my psychology minor talking).  The photos were intense.  And, like every single time I go into an art museum, I got yelled at.  What did I do wrong this time?  I wasn’t carrying my purse far enough forward on my body.  Yep.  I get yelled at for dumb stuff in art museums.  Some gelato after totally made up for it.

We also decided that we had enough time to run by the Maine Mall (yes, that really is its name.  Maine doesn’t have a ton of malls.  Live with it.) and I browsed Forever 21 because I had a gift card from a birthday probably three years ago.  I was determined not to spend more than what the card had on it ($10), so I got these two pieces:

Price: $6.80

Price: $1.50

Seriously, who can resist a little neon yellow locket?  I thought it was too cute to pass up – especially after the bracelets ended up being far too big for my gumby hands.

Overall verdict?  Birthday date 2012 was a complete success!  B can plan dates with the best of them.  I plan on going to Goodwill on my birthday this week because I get 25% off on the actual day of my birthday, and I know what I’ll be looking for:  jewelry.  I am on an accessories kick right now.

Have you gone thrifting lately?  What did you find?  If you don’t thrift, what are you waiting for?!  Go, go, go!

Love VoxBox Review

A while ago, I received my first VoxBox in the mail.  For those of you who haven’t heard of VoxBoxes, it is a small box of products that want people to test out new items and then talk about them online.  It’s run through Influenster, and you have to fill out different surveys about yourself to get “badges” about what you do, stand for, have habits for, etc.  For example, I have a Twitter badge because I have a Twitter account and an outdoor badge because I love doing outdoor activities.  I have a bunch more, but you get the idea. 

My first VoxBox was sent a couple weeks after Valentine’s Day (I know, a while ago!), and it was all love themed.  I was super excited to get it in the mail (and stalked everyone else’s posts on Twitter and whined about not getting mine because of big snowstorms), so when I got it, I ripped into it with B.  Here’s what we found:

1.  A product card – The card tells you A) the theme of your VoxBox and B) what the products in the box are (and how much they will probably cost at your local store).  It’s pretty helpful to get a good description of each product and an idea of what you will be reviewing.

2.  Ghirardelli Gourmet Milk Creamy Devotion Bar – So I totally ate this (and I even shared with B!) and B threw out the box before I could take a photo of it.  Oops.  But the picture is of the coupon!  It came with a great coupon, which is very nice.  The chocolate itself is incredibly milky and creamy.  If you are a dark chocolate fiend, this is not for you.  If you love milk chocolate, however, have at it!  It was absolutely delicious.  It wasn’t too sweet, which is always a concern of mine with milk chocolate bars.  I would definitely recommend this for killing your chocolate craving.

3.  Gillette Venus and Olay Razor – Good. Ness.  This razor makes you ridiculously smooth and you barely need any shave cream. Perfect for the upcoming beach season!  I loved Venus razors before, but this one is the best I have tried thus far.  Run to go get one if you need a new razor.

4.  Kiss Nail Design – Fashion That Sticks – Someone knew what he/she was doing when he/she sent me the box with leopard print nail stickers.  I love me some leopard print.  I’m not going to lie; I was a little doubtful when I first looked at these.  My nails chip faster than you could paint your nails, or in this case, put on stickers.  I am tough on my nails.  These lasted pretty well (around 4-5 days), and I really liked the print a lot.  They say that you can put them on your toes, but I must have a really big big toe nail because none of them were large enough.  Story of my feet.  Nothing is big enough to fit.

5.  Stash Tea Herbal Tea Sampler – I’m not always a tea lover, but the flavors in this box are pretty yummy.  I need a lot of flavor payoff in my teas, and these seem to be pretty good hot and cold.  I really like how they list every single flavor and each component within the flavors.  As someone with a food allergy, individual lists are incredibly appreciated. 

6. Truvia Natural Sweetener – I loved their first jingle.  Now that it’s to the tune of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” I’m a little bummed.  But the actual product is pretty fair.  It’s a basic sweetener, and I seem to be okay with it.  I am okay with Splenda, so I guess my taste buds seem to jive with anything without aspartame.  The little packets didn’t make this ideal for baking, though (but I know that was only because they were sending samples, which is very very nice of them).

Overall, I was really pleased with the products I got in my first VoxBox.  I would definitely encourage you to sign up to check out how VoxBoxes work and become a part if you want to be product testers and talkers.  I certainly don’t get paid (besides being paid in products to try the goods), but if you want to get some samples and give some reviews, go to Influenster and create an account.  It’s totally free!  Who doesn’t like getting goodies in the mail?

Have you tried any of these products?  What do you think?

Off From Lent!

When Easter rolled around, I was SO READY to be done with Lent.  I had given up shopping for clothing, and after watching so many haul videos on YouTube (why do I watch those?!  They are so addicting!), I was ready to see what I could find with some of the current trends.

I went to Goodwill with a gift card I had, and I ended up making out pretty well!  And, because I wanted to try it again (and look dorky), I decided to give the whole YouTube haul video a try again.  Egads.  Good luck watching it!

What have you purchased lately?

The Search Is On!

With Easter finally hopping in tomorrow, Lent is coming to a close.  Thank goodness!  I gave up thrift shopping for Lent because it was something that I loved to do, and to me, I find it important to give up something you really like or love in order to show your sacrifice.  For me, that was thrifting.  But now that it’s over, I feel like I have put thrifting back into perspective.  I can’t afford to shop all the time, and when I do shop, I need to keep it within certain restrictions.

That being said, I do have some trends and pieces that I want to try and find in my next Goodwill excursions.

1.  Mint and coral

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Mint and coral colors are very very in right now, and I would love to jump onto the bandwagon.  I could very easily turn these colors into work appropriate pieces, summer pieces, and generally great-for-any-time pieces.  Sounds like a win!

2.  Handbags

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I have such a craving for different handbags.  I am the type of person who gets stuck in a rut with handbags because I almost never change the one I have every day.  Shame on me…  I really need to get better about that.  I am on the hunt for handbags with color, structure, and just all around appeal.

3.  Dresses

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I want some spring and summer dresses because, well, I want the warm weather we got a little taste of back.  Now, please!  I love the feminine touches dresses bring to a season, and I want some that aren’t incredibly dressy.  I mean, I’m not going to cocktail parties all summer, and even if I was, a girl needs some variety, am I right?

4.  Jewelry

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Like handbags, I am craving some bracelets and necklaces.  I want different pieces that bring a little bit more intrigue to an outfit.  I tend to get compliments on my jewelry the most at work, and I can tell you that most of my collection is super cheap costume jewelry.  Why not see what else I can add to it?

5.  Sunglasses

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It’s getting brighter.  A girl needs glasses.  Enough said.

6.  Sandals

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This, of course, means I need to give myself a pedicure, STAT.  But who doesn’t want to have colorful feet that are cool and comfy?

I guess the longer I stay away from shopping, the more time I have for window shopping.  That may not have been a good thing… Time to go clean out my closet!

What are you on the hunt for lately?

Feedback, Jack

Lately, there seems to be a lot of feedback coming my way about my blog here.  I find it interesting because (A) people are reading my writing when I am posting (woohoo!) and (B) a lot of what I have heard has been from… men.  Maybe I was completely naive to think that the majority of my readers would be women, but when you write about fashion, the stereotypical reader is of the female persuasion.  But I guess I should listen to my own lessons in my classroom.  Stereotypes are bad, no matter how flattering they appear on the outside; someone always gets hurt with stereotypes.  Bad Erin…

When writing a blog, you always hope that someone is out there reading it.  Sometimes, it’s just your mom.  I don’t think it’s my mom, though, because I’m not entirely sure she knows I have this blog.  She found it funny that I stumbled across a way to blog for Goodwill.  I guess it never really occurred to her that I must have a way to get their attention in the first place.  In the beginning, it was just B.  Then I posted to Facebook, and my readers grew.  Then I got Twitter.  Then I was “hired” by Goodwill.  Now?  Now I’m getting feedback at work from coworkers who happen to click on my blog link when I post to Facebook (hey, guys!), which is both flattering and cool.  I’m also getting attention from a couple of angry men who seem to be totally swept up in the leggings as pants trend.  Who knew?

Come to think of it, that seems to be what has really made me wonder for the past few weeks.  It just started with one comment about how I “shouldn’t expect everyone to dress the same.”  You are absolutely correct, sir, and that’s the whole point of the blog.  I thrift because I want to save money, I want to experiment in creating my own version of fashion, and I want to be unique in how I put outfits together.  Was I missing something?  Did I write something I hadn’t intended?  Then it happened again on Thursday afternoon.  An anonymous gentleman “Mark” asked if I would expect the Rockettes to change their tights just to appear on David Letterman.  No, Mr. Mark, I wouldn’t, but if one of my students showed up to English class in a Rockettes outfit, you better believe he or she would be making a phone call home to put on some appropriate clothing for the school day.  Oh, and please watch the high kicks in my room, thanks so much.

Maybe that’s something I need to tackle, where my true “rules” and inspirations lie.  I want clothing to be appropriate for the occasion.  I want to push the envelope in a way that fits who I am but could play with some of the trends, and I know that I need/want to do more with pieces that I could be a little scared to try out in public, like wearing a maxi skirt.  While that may sound like conformity, I see it as a way of making myself stand out in a good way.  Getting attention for being the girl who wore a bikini to the cocktail party (ha! Like I’m ever invited to those!) isn’t exactly what I am going for. 

You go, Texas bikini girl!  You’re in great shape!  I would have gone with different color shoes, though.

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With the big changes my life will probably be going through in the near future (more info on that one coming up when plans are a little firmer…), I keep coming back to writing because it’s creating talk, talk about fashion and society and expectations.  This is what I teach about!  So keep the comments coming (just be polite, please, even if you don’t like what I have to say).  I am loving it!

How do you think I could make my blog better?  What would you like to see more of, less of, or just plain tweaked?  Let me know!  Inspiration is always appreciated.

Swap With Friends

Have you caught it yet?  Spring cleaning?  You know it will get you as the weather starts to get a little warmer.  I think we all go through times, maybe not even in the spring, when we just have to get rid of the stuff we don’t use anymore.  We have the urge to purge clutter and get something newer and fresher in.  Maybe it’s from staring at it too long during the winter.  Maybe you have changed weight over the winter and need something new.  Maybe you’re moving.  Maybe you are just incredibly bored.  Maybe your students have made your clothing choices into a game to see how many times you wear the same type of pants in a month… oh… that’s just me?

Getting a whole new wardrobe seems out of the question, though.  I mean, with everything I just had to pay for with taxes, there is no way I could ever afford to buy a bunch of new clothing, even at Goodwill and thrift store prices.  A few pieces here or there would be cool, but a full new wardrobe?  My husband would have my head.  So what is a bored girl to do?  Clothing swap!

For those of you who are new to swaps, they are when you bring a bunch of clothing you wish to be rid of and have others do the same.  You then swap your old clothing for new-to-you pieces that others have brought with them.  It’s pretty simple in concept and pretty awesome in execution.  I went to the SwapMaine event last October (can’t wait for their spring event!), and it ROCKED.  I was hooked on swaps from there.

Then, when I was still on that misguided adventure of only spending $10 a month on clothing, my friend Amy sent me a giant box of clothing she didn’t wear anymore.  Amy lives in Texas, and I guess their thrift shops down there just aren’t as great as here, so she thought her clothing would do more good with me here in Maine.  And when I say it was a giant box, I mean giant.  Look, I fit into it!Within that box was a treasure trove of clothing, some of which I have made good use of and some of which will be going to the SwapMaine event for the spring.

New York and Company Streetwear Gray Linen Skirt:  Paid: $0 / Retail: $29.95, on sale right now for $8.98

Verdict?  Keep for now.  I think I can rock this when it gets warmer at work because of its length.  The waistline is a little on the big side, though, so I might pass it on if I reach my lower weight goal.

Gap Tan Bermuda Shorts: Paid: $0 / Retail: $39.95

Gap Black Bermuda Shorts: Paid $0 / Retail: $39.95

Verdict?  Both are keepers.  Again, these are pieces that fit and I can wear to work when it gets warmer.  They are also incredibly soft and in great shape.

Gap Tan Shorts: Paid: $0 / Retail: $39.95

Gap Brown Shorts: Paid: $0 / Retail: $39.95

Gap Teal Shorts: Paid: $0 / Retail: $39.95

Verdict?  Keep, keep, keep!  I am always in need of different shorts that fit, and these fit the bill.  The teal is also super on trend for the summer, which will add some lovely color to my wardrobe.

Gap Tan Pants: Paid: $0 / Retail: $49.95

Verdict?  Well, originally, it was keep, but now that I have worn them once, they need to go.  I could button them all the way up and then pull them off without undoing anything.  I don’t think that means they fit.  They are great pants, but they could be great pants on someone else.

H&M Gray Wide-Leg Pants: Paid: $0 / Retail: $34.95

Verdict?  These will be leaving me as well, only because the legs are way too wide for my taste.  I like pants with slimmer profiles, and these don’t fit into that category.  They fit okay, but if I don’t like the style, I am sure someone else will get better use of them.

Old Navy Black Side-Zip Trousers: Paid: $0 / Retail: $29.94

Verdict?  Super cute, and they will be staying.  They fill a niche that my other black pants don’t fill, so they add a little bit of variety to my black pants menagerie.  Well… as much as black pants possibly can…

Old Navy Red Terry Cloth Skirt: Paid: $0 / Retail: $26.94

Yuva Wide-Leg Trouser Jeans: Paid: $0 / Retail: $35.00

Verdict?  They’re going.  Both of them are waaayyy too big for me, and with my weight goals, I don’t want to keep any clothes in my wardrobe “in case” I get larger.  No thanks.  I was really hoping that they would both fit, but sadly, they didn’t.  Someone else can rock them!

WWF “Green Chic” T-shirt: Paid: $0 / Retail: $31.00

Verdict?  It’s pretty cute, but the fit isn’t totally what I want.  I’m keeping it for now, but it may end up in the swap pile last minute.  We’ll see.

Iz Black Dress with Studded Belt: Paid: $0 / Retail: $48.00

Verdict?  Keeper!  I know how many black dresses I have, but this (yet again) is a different style.  I like it, and the belt is awesome!  Worst case scenario, I keep the belt and get rid of the dress at some point.

So I got some great pieces for spring and summer just by encouraging people to donate clothing.  Sounds pretty awesome, right?  Well, you can do it too!  Get some friends together and swap!  You can start small with accessories or you can just go for it all at once.  Try it out!  It’s totally worth the effort.

If you would like tips for hosting your own swap party, check out this post on Goodwill New England’s blog (nope, I didn’t write this one!).

So, thanks Amy!  I love the clothes, and the ones I’m not keeping will be loved by someone else as soon as SwapMaine hosts their spring event.

Have you ever gone to a swap event?  What do you do when you get tired of your clothing?

Sightful Sunday: It’s So Easy Being Green

Did everyone survive St. Patrick’s Day yesterday?  I certainly hope so!  B and I went to a hockey game with his parents and did a whole lot of lounging before that.  I know, it sounds so very appropriate for the holiday.  Oh well.

I love St. Patrick’s Day, though, because of the green.  I love the color green, and I wish people would try wearing it a lot more.  Who wouldn’t want to get into some of these looks?

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Maybe it’s easier being green than we thought!  Look out Kermit, here we come!

Have a wonderful week!

Sightful Sunday: Everything’s Coming Up Flowers

Whoa!  Where did that whole time change come from?  I’ve been working with very little sleep this week, thanks to my drama club’s competition, so I just wanted to sleep in this morning.  By the time I woke up, it was already “10:45 AM.”  Ugh, time change… why do you have to be like that?

Either way, we have had a couple of days of spring temperatures this week, so I wanted to celebrate that with a post on the quintessential spring print:  flowers!  Who can resist a great floral print?

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Or, if you don’t really want to wear flowers on your clothing, you could always rock it on your nails!

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Hopefully this will make you so much more excited for spring!

Have a great week, everyone!