Thrifted Thursday- Tips & Advice

For this Thrifted Thursday, we have an extra special treat- a guest post!! I asked my mother-in-law, Myrtis Caudill, to share some tips about thrifting. She is one of the people who influenced me to really start thrifting seriously. We'd go visit N's family & I'd see all of the really nice, high quality things they'd found at thrift stores and yard sales and it really inspired me to try out thrifting more seriously for myself. I'm really excited to share her tips with you!


From my mom-in-law:

I have been thrifting for all of my adult life. I would say that I thrifted when thrifting wasn't cool. Today thrifting is cool and most people have done it one way or another.

There are three F's that I use to describe thrifting.

1. Fun. Thrifting can be a fun thing to do. One never knows what is lurking on the shelves, in boxes or on the hangers. I have found so many unique items for myself as well as for family members. Recently at a garage sale I found a brand new homemade item that I am going to give to my favorite daughter-in-law. I know that she likes this item and when I saw it I just had to get it for her. The material to make this item would cost about 10 times what I paid for it already made. That has happened so often, finding things for others more often than for myself. I love it!!

2. Frugal. Saving money is always in style. Being a frugal shopper makes me feel good about spending the money. The quality does not suffer, in fact most things that are thrifted are better quality than some department store items. Just be sure to look it over very well. There could be some cuts, tears or stains and that is not being frugal if you have to throw it out. Recently I bought a nice jacket for my granddaughter thinking it was perfect. After getting home and looking it over, I realized that the inside of the jacket had skulls and crossbones. No way am I going to let her wear that even when she tried to convince me that no one would see it. The jacket went back into the donation box.

3. Fantastic. I love the fantastic feeling I get when I find something that I have been looking for and the price is just pennies on the dollar for that same item brand new. If you look carefully you can go home with a high end, name brand, pricey item for very little money.

That's just a few thoughts from this grandma who has been thrifting for a long, long time. I hope you have enjoyed my musings.

Church Pajamas

Who: J
When: 5/23/12
Where: Mid-week service at church
What: *Top- Beall's Outlet *Tank- Walmart *Skirt- made from maxi dress *Sandals- Beall's Outlet *Necklace- Walmart

Last Wednesday evening, I was feeling a little under the weather, but there were several things I was supposed to do at church that night, so I felt like I HAD to go. So, I wore what I call "church pajamas"... this outfit is SOOO comfy! The top is really soft and I really love how comfy this dress-turned-skirt is. And I don't think it looks TOO much like I just didn't care that night... ;) And, in case you're wondering, I started feeling better almost immediately once I actually got to church. I think I just got too hot and once I got in the air conditioning (our house has swamp coolers), I felt better.

Fifth Degree Red Belt

Who: M
When: 5/20/12
Where: Church, lunch at a friend's house, soul winning
What: *Shirt-Surburia (Mexican department store) $9 *Skirt- tailor-made $14 *Red belt-gift ( came in a bunch of clothes given to the cildren's home and Hna. Elena gave it to me) *Shoes-gift *Flower, grey necklace, bracelet, and earrings-gifts

First, let me say that I look awfully oily in these pictures because I took them at the end of a VERY hot Sunday... that being said, the next important thing to say is, I LOVE this outfit!! The funny thing is that on this Sunday, three other women wore this same skirt...which is slightly irritating, but to be expected since we had them made for one of the singing groups and 10 ladies have this exact same skirt!
The blessing of this outfit is that the red belt was given to me- I have been wanting a red belt, but have not had time or money to look for it, but God provided one for me!! These shoes are the same ones from way back in February, in the Red and Pink Together post- I've included a close up of them.

Never Forget The Price of Freedom

Who: J
When: 5/27/12
Where: Memorial Day services at church
What: *White jacket- Target *Navy top- thrifted, $2.50 *Grey skirt- Penney's *Shoes- Payless *Silver belt- thrifted, $1.50 *Necklace- New York & Co., gift from M

Ok, I have a tiny little confession to make.... yesterday, we had a long morning at church, so when I got home I just changed really quickly to some cooler clothes... and completely forgot to take outfit pics!! Grrrr! I really liked the patriotic outfit I put together, so this morning, I asked my dear sweet husband if he would take pictures for me if I put my outfit from yesterday back on. He gave me a strange look, but agreed. So, that's why my hair and makeup are a little sketchy :)! But, I got the outfit pics!! 

On a more serious note, as we celebrate Memorial Day weekend, let's make sure that we take time to remember the price paid by so many of our brave men and women so that we can free. God bless America, and God bless our troops!

Thrifted Thursday- Crossover

When J had the idea to do a Thrifted Thursday, I thought, "I pretty much do a 'thrifted' everyday..." If you have followed our blog any length of time, you probably have noticed that almost every one of my posts include at least one thrifted item. The item I am sharing today has been featured in several post before (herehere, and here). My thrifted item is my American Eagle cross-body purse. I purchased this purse about 6 years ago. This purse was one of those "I was not looking for it, but so glad I found it" finds! This purse has even traveled with me to China and Mexico. One of the things I love about this purse is that it is a cross-body bag, which were not super in when I bought it but they are now... Living in foreign countries makes one immensely more aware of one's purse because as a foreigner one is more vulnerable to pick-pockets. The strap on this purse is the perfect length. Also it is a good size...not too big, not too small... Also, the purse is made of my favorite material-corduroy!!

J said I needed to share some tips since I love thrifting, so here goes:

1. Plan to spend a good amount of time in the thrift store. Many are not well organized or the shelves and racks are overflowing with "good" stuff...
2. Remember that you may not find exactly what you are looking for right away. Thrift stores are not department stores with a predictable inventory. Some days you may not find ANY good deals or items, and other days you may find EXACTLY what you were looking for and much more!!

Happy thrifting!


Camo Scarf

Who: J
When: 5/16/12
Where: Midweek service at church
What: *Green top- Old Navy, thrifted  *Turquoise tank- Target *Khaki skirt- thrifted *Camo scarf- Kmart *Camo flats- Payless *Tree stump necklace- Lisa Leonard *Watch- borrowed from N *Turquoise bracelet- gift from N from Afghanistan

This was one of those nights when I tried about 200 different outfits on... not really 200, but it felt like it. Do you ever have those days? I had an outfit pictured in my head, but then when I put it on, it wasn't as cute as I thought... so I changed the necklace... then decided to go with a scarf... then added a belt... then added a different belt... then took the belt off... then changed the shirt... get the picture? ;) Like I said, it was one of those nights...

Giant Pink Flower

Who: J
When: 5/20/12
Where: Church
What: *Pink cardigan- Old Navy, thrifted, $4.75 *Green top- Old Navy, thrifted, $4.75 *Skirt- Isaac Mizrahi for Target, maybe $15? *Shoes- Kate Spade, thrifted, $14 *Necklace- gift from M *Ring- Beall's Outlet

I've been thinking about giving this skirt away for a while... Before now, I haven't known what to wear with it, so I've only worn it 2 or 3 times since I bought it about 4 years ago. It's just so pretty, and I kept hoping I'd be able to make it work. Well, as I was going through my closet Saturday night trying to decide what to wear Sunday, I found this cardigan that I bought last fall at Goodwill (and kind of forgot about) & it clicked! Duh! Put the pink cardigan & the pink skirt together!!! After adding a pop of green, and these be-yoo-tee-ful shoes I bought a few weeks ago, I had an outfit that I actually really like a lot. I'm glad I held onto the skirt!

Thrifted Thursday- Skirting the Issue

It's Thursday again!! Time for Thrifted Thursday! Yay! This last week, I've spent quite a bit of time in thrift shops, but I didn't get any clothes or accessories. I've been shopping for a tea set for my niece's birthday, and items for my sister's British themed baby shower... fun, fun!

My thrifted item for today is this purple knit skirt. When I saw it at the store on the hanger, my first thought was that it was kind of frumpy... you know- polyester/ cotton knit, wide elastic waistband, weird length, kind of full... but, it was 1/2 off, so I tried it on. I'm so glad I did! This skirt is so comfy- the fabric has way more cotton than polyester, so it's soft like my favorite tee... and, I realized it would never wrinkle. The waistband can be covered up, and I love the pockets. This is one of my favorite skirts now! I've been reading a vintage inspired clothing blog, Elegant Musings, and I've been wanting to add more vintage-y elements into some outfits, and I think the shape of this skirt worked very well to give this outfit a little dash of vintage.

Some tips I learned from this purchase:

- Be willing to give things a chance- Have an open mind and be willing to think creatively, especially if something is half off! If something is a great price, and anywhere near my size, I try to imagine how the item would work with the right accessories, or refashioned. Try things on- you may end up loving the drape or feel or cut of something ON you way more than you did when it was on the hanger. Having said that, be realistic- if you know that you'll never wear it, or won't get around to "fixing" it, just put it back- it's not a bargain if you'll never wear it!

- When you see something you may like, carry it around with you in the store while you decide. I mentioned this in last week's post, but if you hold on to it for a while, you'll have a chance to decide whether you really like it and will use it. Plus, if you don't grab it, someone else may. There have been several times I saw something I wanted, left it on the rack, and then came back 5 minutes later and it was gone. You can always put something back, but you can't take it out of someone else's cart if you waited to long to grab it (or so I've been told... repeatedly... hee hee).

- If you're trying a new "look" or want to incorporate a trend or vibe into your clothes (vintage, neon, feathers, etc.), check thrift stores! You'll only spend a few dollars or so on trying something new, so if you decided something isn't for you, you won't feel too horribly bad. 

If any of you have any great thrifting treasures from recent shopping trips, feel free to let us know! Who knows? We may feature you on an upcoming Thrifted Thursday!

Happy Thrifting!


All Tied Up

Who: J
When: 5/11/12
Where: Date night with the hubs!!
What: *White top- Walmart *Green tank- Walmart *Tie- borrowed from N, thrifted *Denim skirt- Jessica London *Sandals- I can't remember... maybe Beall's? *Wallet- Kate Spade, gift from M

I went back and forth with myself about posting this outfit (don't judge... you know have conversations with yourself, too! *wink*). I liked it "in person", but as I am looking at the pics, I'm having second thoughts... you know the kind: Does that tie look weird? Can you wear a tank top as a vest-ish type thing? Is that grin in the third picture too fake and cheesy? Etc., etc., etc.! But... I'm going to go ahead and post them because I tried something new. As far as I can remember, I don't think I've worn a tie before.... so, yay for trying new things! ;) AND, our date was fabulous!!! Nothing too terribly spectacular- we went to Applebee's and Starbucks (and didn't pay for anything, thanks to gift cards from some sweet friends), but I always have such a great time with my husband. He is so hilarious... and sweet... and handsome... *dreamy sigh*! Also... Starbucks has their Mocha Coconut drinks back for the summer! Yay!!! :) Hmmm... now that I think about it, this outfit almost looks like a tribute to Starbucks... is that taking my coffee obsession too far?....

Summer Fave

One of my favorite color combinations for summer (ok, any time of the year) is purple & turquoise. Something about it makes me feel instantly cooler... both literally & figuratively! I've put together this look using these colors to help jumpstart my imagination & get me thinking of new ways to wear this combo.... enjoy!                                                                     

Purple & Turquoise

The Rest of the Story

Who: J
When: 5/9/12
Where: Mid-week service at church
What: *Denim jacket- Ross *Purple top- Walmart *Green skirt- (actually a maxi dress)- KMart *Sandals- thrifted *Necklace- Walmart

Last Thursday, I shared pictures of these shoes for Thrifted Thursday. I decided to share the rest of the outfit today. When I took these pictures, El Paso was going through a little bit of a "cold" snap brought on by thunderstorms. Seriously, I didn't even have to turn the swamp coolers on for three whole days! And it was so cold in our house we had to wear hoodies! It was nice while it lasted, but it was nice to see the sun again, too. Crazy Texas weather! ;)

The Park After Dark

Who: M
When: Sometime in March
Where: school, tutoring, "family night"
What: *Black skirt-thrifted, $3 *Undershirt-Kmart, $7 *Sweater-Worthingtons, thrifted $2 *Shoes-Mexico, $5 *Necklace and watch-gift *Earrings-New Mexico gift shop, $5

The Murillos have "adopted" me into their family here in Mexico, so I enjoy family night as much as anyone else in their family!! :) This particular night was a fun one... I LOVE being outside! So I am always up for a trip to the park! Since everything in Mexico starts and ends late, it is not unusual for family night to start at 9 and end WHENEVER! This particular night we did some exercise at the park. We actually walked like a little over a mile...which added to the fact that I already walk about 2 miles everyday brought my mile count up for the day :) Then we did some of my ALL TIME favorite things to do is swing! Not so big on slides, but it made a cute picture! Hope you enjoy my night in the park!