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?

Celebrating in Edited Style

A couple days after my dad’s birthday, there was another birthday to celebrate.  My grandmother was turning the big 8-0, and we knew as a family that we needed to do something more than just a cake and a big happy birthday.  We had started planning months before the big day; we had people involved, we had a location secured, and we had a food plan.  What we hadn’t planned on was my uncle losing the lower half of his left leg in a motorcycle accident on June 10.

It was around 9 PM, and my uncle decided to ride into town on his motorcycle, just two or three miles down the road.  My dad said that if he could have foreseen what would happen, he would have driven to his house and slashed his tires.  On his way back, my uncle’s motorcycle was clipped by a woman in an SUV who apparently didn’t see him (how do you not see an on-coming headlight?!).  I won’t get graphic with the rest of the details, but his lower left leg was severed on scene and everyone considered it a miracle he’s still with us.  After numerous surgeries and a month and a half in the hospital, he was finally able to go home at the beginning of August.  His struggle is anything but over, but going home is at least one little start.

Needless to say, this whole situation put a damper on our family, and as a secondary thought, the party planning.  It certainly took an emotional toll on everyone, so instead of pushing everything along and acting like we’re all in the mood for a large room of people, we decided to have a smaller party, one that would involve my uncle in his new rehab hospital he was in at that point.

So what is a girl to wear to a surprise party at a hospital?  I thought something festive but casual.  Something like this:The tank top is from Gap Outlet for $5 (on sale at the time), and the skirt was from Goodwill for $4.99.  The hair flower was something I had already made for our wedding rehearsal dinner back in 2010.  The colors would work well with the party attitude, and the skirt made it a little more formal.  I paired it with navy blue flip flops to round out the casual vibe.  The party was pretty successful.  Tons of Chinese food and cake were eaten, presents were opened, and my grandmother was surprised.  Was it the party we wanted to give her?  No.  Definitely not when compared to what we originally had planned.  But sometimes life needs to be edited in order to celebrate what you have.  Sometimes you just never know.  So we celebrated a big birthday and celebrated being a family. 

That’s what’s important.

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?

Back on Track

Right, where were we?  Ah, right before my birthday with a pre-birthday Goodwill haul.  B is so good at planning birthday dates, and that one was an excellent one to be sure.  My actual birthday was a bit chilly, and, dare I say, a bit less fun.  Thanks to hormones and some untimely not-so-kind words, I was upset, and nothing seemed to go right.  People were too cold at the baseball game.  The restaurant I picked didn’t suit everyone.  I ended up crying in front of everyone and feeling stupid.  It was not the best birthday.  There were, however, some excellent highlights, like seeing these people:

and getting my new baby, a sewing machine!  B and my parents had pooled their birthday funds and purchased an AWESOME sewing machine for me!  I need to take a class to get myself started, but I cannot wait to start creating!

I also made a stop by Goodwill to use my birthday 25% discount with my Goodwill card.  I only ended up picking up a few necklaces because we were in a time crunch to get to the baseball game, but it was kind of fun to tell the cashier it was my birthday.  Yes, I am one of those people who loves to tell others that it’s her birthday.  I have a countdown starting April 1.  B is well aware of when my birthday is, and there is little opportunity for him to forget when my birthday is because I refuse to stop reminding him.  I wouldn’t say I nag, per se, I just like to get excited about events.  I had a day-by-day countdown for our wedding.  I keep countdowns for trips or when people come to visit (and I also post them on those people’s Facebook walls for good measure).  I just like getting enthusiastic!  All of you Debbie Downers can exit here.

But fear not!  Even with my blah birthday, I am bound and determined to make year 26 pretty darn great.  And you know what?  So far, it hasn’t treated me too badly.  I have, after all, done a bit of traveling…

But those are all stories for another day!

Have a wonderful (hopefully less humid) week, everyone!

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!

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?

What’s Up, Wife?: Oh, You’re An Adult?

Not a list today, but I thought I would take some time to reflect on fashion and clothing choices in a different way.  You’ll love it… or you won’t.  Either way, it’s all good.

That title?  I get that a lot.  This past weekend, we discovered that one of the judges for the One Act Festival thought I was a student director.  She even renamed me Josephine.  Very pretty, but I am neither a student, nor am I Josephine, though I may make that my new alias. 

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I have almost always had one of those young faces.  People would always look at me twice when I told them how old I was.  I guess I am more mature than my age but don’t appear to be anywhere near my maturity or real age.  Oops.  My sister, who is three years younger than me, started being called the older sister around the time I was 17 and she was 14.  She tends to wear more makeup than I do, which may add to looking older, and her style does come off a little more older-confident.  My clothing growing up was baggy (I was a chubber) and nondescript because of how uncomfortable I was with my size and my body.  My sister could rock anything, and I felt like I was stuck in paper bag-shaped outfits.

Does anyone else feel like when you turn 22, you get lost between the “teen” section and the “35 and older” section in a lot of stores?  You are either wearing the same clothing as your students or the same clothing as your mom (no offense Mom… we have similar style since I tend to give you all of my old clothing anyway…).  Where are the in-between ages supposed to shop?  Sure, there are stores like Ann Taylor Loft, Gap, and I guess Old Navy is pretty good, but prices can get pretty high.  High prices mean less clothing, which leaves a girl searching through and wearing old clothing that makes her look like a high schooler again (but not in the good way).

I think one of the reasons I love thrift shopping and redesigning my style in general is that I finally get to play with who I am.  Clothing is a huge part of looking like an adult, and I feel like I can play up my personality and look more age appropriate without losing myself.  Plus, the prices are so much better.  When you put me in jeans and a t-shirt, I look like my seniors.  That was probably the reason I got mistaken for a student director.  Put me in a dress or shirt and skirt that I thrifted, and I look more put together, more adult-like.  It adds a greater level of confidence.

For now, I’ll stick to working the unique pieces I have from thrifting to bring out my adultness.  One of B’s uncles told me that his niece had to go through a training on how to wear her hair and clothing when she began teaching high school so she would stand out from the students.  Perhaps I should have attended something like that… though I don’t think I want to go high-speed to school marm status. 

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Yikes.

Wow… What Was That?

Holy.  Cats.  Did I even just have a weekend?  I don’t think so.

This past weekend, I took my drama llamas to our regional One Act Drama Festival, and while we didn’t win, all of my kids seemed to have a lot of fun meeting other drama kids of other schools.  The two schools who did win deserved it, hands down, but it did hurt a little not to hear our school’s name called for the awards. I am so proud of my kids and the great job they did in the play.  They were funny, they were polite to other schools, and they represented all of us well.

Another part I am very proud of is the costuming.  The judges were very positive about our costuming, and since the majority of it was made by yours truly, I felt honored.  And you know where I got most of the clothing?  Go on, take a guess…

That’s right!  Who says you can’t get theater costumes on the cheap?  The most expensive outfit was Sleeping Beauty’s blue prom dress, which ran about $9.99.  It was in great shape, and all I had to do was hem it for our actress.  I hand-sewed beads (also from Goodwill in the craft section) into Cinderella’s dress, made three no-sew petticoats, and painted five of my students brown or green.  I plan on taking pictures to show you all of the costumes when my kids perform next week for our school so you can see all of our hard work for costuming!

Now it’s time to catch up on correcting and… oh yeah… sleep.  We got home at 1:00 AM each night, and then Saturday night was daylight savings time.  Who came up with that?  It really needs to stop.  Or change weekends.  Really.

Have you checked out Goodwill for costuming?  Give it a try for your next play or for Halloween!

Salivating Over Salvation Army Finds

Once my goal of only spending $10 a month on clothing was over, I kind of went a little nuts at Salvation Army.  I mean, when the typical person thinks of going nuts while shopping, he or she might think about spending hundreds of dollars.  I think of spending $20.  Yeah… there is a little bit of a difference…

I ended up finding some great pieces for my wardrobe and a couple of pieces to try some Pinterest clothing projects I had tagged for some DIY posts.

Brown faux-snake skin belt:  PRICE ON TAG: $0.99 / PAID: $0.50 / RETAIL: ~$15

Liz Claiborne navy linen button-up:  PRICE ON TAG: $3.99 / PAID: $2 / RETAIL: $74.25

Banana Republic plum button-up: PRICE ON TAG: $4.99 / PAID: $0.99 / RETAIL: $59.50

Faded Glory gray and blue polo for Pinterest project: PRICE ON TAG: $1.99 / PAID: $0.99 / RETAIL: $8.87

Vintage San Moire pink pleated skirt: PRICE ON TAG: $3.49 / PAID: $0.99 / RETAIL: ~$30.00

Old Navy men’s red t-shirt for t-shirt scarf necklace for my cousin Jess:  PRICE ON TAG: $1.99 / PAID: $0.99 / RETAIL: $9.94

Jos A. Bank red with blue pinstripes silk tie for B:  PRICE ON TAG: $0.99 / PAID: $0.99 / RETAIL: $69.50

OTHER COOL ITEMS FROM THE SALVATION ARMY

The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot for my classroom library: PAID: $0.50 / RETAIL: $13.85

Imitation cut glass vase (not heavy enough to be real):  PRICE ON TAG: $3.99 / PAID: $0.99 / RETAIL: ~$20.00

TOTAL:  PRICE ON TAG:  $22.92 / PAID: $8.94 / RETAIL:  $300.91

Savings?  $291.97 without taxes on anything.  You know what?  I’ll take it!  Most of these items have already been worn and loved quite a few times!