What I’m Looking For

August 19, 2015 — 3 Comments

Vintage denim dress // We So Thrifty

Vintage denim dress // We So Thrifty

Vintage denim dress // We So Thrifty

Leather purse // We So Thrifty

A few weeks ago,Yen, Bekah and I hopped on the highway and headed to a city not too far down the 401. Value Village London was celebrating their grand-reopening, and we were lucky enough to be invited to do some damage in the new store, which was bright, clean, and packed to the brim with freshly-organized thrifted goods. (It was also ALL ABOUT the Halloween life, but I am so so not there yet, even though they had a stinkin’ cute selection of baby costumes. For the love of all that is good and sweaty, let’s not rush summer, okaaaaay?)

Anyhoo, what I loved about going with two serious thrifters was that we, without a parting word, immediately split up, and got to work. We’d occasionally meet in the skirt section, or pass like ships in the night by the change room, but these pros know that thrifting is a solo sport. After an hour or so, we all met up again by the housewares to regroup. We refined our loot, tossed the extras, and headed back to Hamilton.On the drive home, one thing we all remarked on was how attentive the staff were. Not that that’s unusual, but these guys were EXTRA helpful. Around every corner, someone would ask “can I help you find what you’re looking for?” While they certainly meant that question in a general sense, we joked that the thrift store is the only place in which that question almost doesn’t apply. The thrift store is the one place that, most of the time, you have only a vague idea of what you’re looking for. The thrill of the thrift is always in the surprise, and that’s the beauty of it.

I wasn’t looking for a spaghetti strapped medi denim dress, a cheetah print mug, a cozy sweater or a pair of Brazillian sandals, but I headed home with all that an more. So, to the extra-chipper staff at VV London: No, you can’t help me find what I’m looking for, but that’s just the way I like it.

Dress: $12.99 // Value Village
Purse: $3.99 // Value Village (straight-up stolen from Yen’s cart)
Huarache sandals: $30 // The Edit

Barbie Girl

July 20, 2015 — 4 Comments

80s Barbie Dress // We So Thrifty

80s Barbie Dress // We So Thrifty

80s Barbie Dress // We So Thrifty

80s Barbie Dress // We So Thrifty

When I shared this dress straight from the thrift store change room on Instagram, I said it made me feel like I “walked out of the Barbie colouring book I had when I was eight.” I’m happy to report that, upon wearing this dress in the wild, that is still 100% true. In fact, I’m now beginning to suspect this dress has magical Take On Me properties, and when I wear it, the world itself becomes a Barbie colouring book.

I wore this dress to a birthday dinner out on the Hamilton waterfront. While the food was only OK, the atmosphere was incredible—the sun setting on the choppy water, the boats bobbing like birds off in the distance, the warm summer breeze that we all dream about for 9 months out of the year—just the best. After dinner, we took a stroll along the bay, and with each step, a new page of Barbie’s California Dream Colouring Book came to life. There was a roller rink, an ice cream shop, an assortment of adorable dogs, an old-timey trolley giving tours, and if that’s not enough, seniors and hipsters alike chillin’ on the hillside, taking in a free jazz performance (I’d also wager that AT LEAST one of the dudes on the water from the nearby Hamilton Yacht Club is named Ken).

barbiecoloringbook02And because the internet is a blessed-wonderful-nostalgia-giving machine, YOU TOO can relive the joy of a Barbie Colouring Book. Just click on that happy quartet of waspy teens to the left to make all your California dreams come true. (h/t to this blog for the scan!)

Since I can’t wear this dress every day, I think I’ll dust off the ol’ Laurentian pencil crayons and give this page a whirl. Just hoping I’ve still got the crazy skills on display in this photo:

L to R: Adele, Me, Robyn, and Laura, who is too cool to colour, and would rather play with an actual Barbie.

Dress: Salvation Army | $6
Shoes: Payless | $25
Sunglasses: The Edit | $15

Committed

July 10, 2015 — 6 Comments

Black floral dress // We So Thrifty

Black floral dress // We So Thrifty

Black floral dress // We So Thrifty

Black floral dress // We So Thrifty

I’m here, guys! Still here! While I have no plans to let this blog die, I also have no plans to increase my sporadic post-per-month rate. So, it’s best if you just view this blog like a surprise Beyoncé album: There is no predicting its arrival, so just enjoy it once it’s here. (Did I just compare myself to Beyoncé?)

Hyperbolic comparisons aside, I had to post this dress because it’s my favourite thrifted thing in a long, long time. AND, I worked hard for it. Yes, thrifting can be hard work. Sometimes I find what I’m looking for without even trying, but other times, I have to visit every thrift store in town twice in the span of two weeks before I find it. “It,” this time around, was a dress for my dear friend’s wedding.  Not just any dear friend, either: I played a role in setting up this dear friend with her now-dearly-beloved husband (and don’t you think I didn’t brag about that all day: Matt had to tell me to scale it back when I boldly announced “LOOK at what I have CREATED!” upon entering the ceremony).

But back to the dress: I’m not exaggerating when I say I really, truely hit up every thrift/resale/consignment/vintage spot in town: Value Village, twice. Salvation Army, twice. The Edit, once, Bibles for Missions, once. I could go on! It was my second trip in as many weeks to Talize that finally yielded this winner. It hit every note: colourful, fun, comfortable, and, most importantly, wearable without the aid of any sort of special undergarment. The holy grail!

So there you go. I suppose the take away from this post is that you should never, ever give up on your dream*,  and that I am, more or less, Beyoncé.

_

Dress: Talize | $17
Clutch: Clothing Swap | $0.25
Shoes: Payless | $25

*You are allowed to give up on your dream if your dream is finding thrifted wedding shoes the day of the wedding, but there’s nothing in your size at Value Village, so you just have to go to Payless and be done with it, because your hair doesn’t curl itself.

 

 

The Simple Life

May 13, 2015 — 5 Comments

Vintage blue day dress // We So Thrifty  Vintage blue day dress // We So Thrifty

Vintage blue day dress // We So Thrifty

Friends! This is going to be brief, for several reasons. The first of which is tucked into my bosom courtesy of an ergo carrier and may wake up any second. But even if my baby wasn’t in that “ticking cry bomb” stage, I don’t think I’d have much to say about this dress – and that’s exactly why I like it. This $3.50 vintage beauty is as simple as getting dressed gets:

Step 1) button up;
Step 2) add belt;
Step 3) eat brunch;
Step 4) put leftovers in ample-sized pockets.

Yep. I think I like the simple life.

Dress: Salvation Army | $3.50
Belt: Salvation Army | $2
Huarache sandals (like the Beach Boy song!): The Edit| $30

Baby Blue

April 20, 2015 — 7 Comments

Denim jacket + white dress + slip on sneakers // We So Thrifty

Denim jacket + white dress + vintage back pack // We So Thrifty

Denim jacket + white dress + slip on sneakers // We So Thrifty

Denim jacket + white dress + vintage back pack // We So Thrifty

Denim jacket + white dress + slip on sneakers // We So Thrifty

Matching thrifted denim // We So Thrifty

babyjeans1

I know, I know. Connor and I entered a “Who Wore it Better?” contest and I LOST BY A WIDE MARGIN.

This post not only settles that score, but it also settles the “what is the world’s most versatile garment?” argument. You may say “what argument?” To which I say: “This is the internet. There are arguments wherever you choose to find them. What a time to be alive!”

And so, I’d like to publicly declare the jean jacket as the World’s Most Versatile-and-Consistently-Age-Appropriate Garment. I challenge you to find any other item that would look as good on a 28 year old and a 3-month old. I’m telling you right now, I have a pair of onesie pajamas, and the site of me as a giant teletubby would haunt your dreams forever.

Just last friday, when catching up with my sister Robyn, she mentioned that her eldest is now a total grown-up because she requested a jean jacket all on her own. She too ended up with a thrifted Gap jacket like mine – way to go, niece!

So there you have it. One argument settled on the internet, one bajillion to go.

_

Banana Republic Dress: $14.99 | Value Village
Gap Jean Jacket: $29.95 | Second Chance Consignment
Shoes: $10 | Target
Backpack: Thrifted gift from Mom

Comeback

April 8, 2015 — 8 Comments

Printed thrifted dress // We So Thrifty

Printed thrifted dress // We So Thrifty

Printed thrifted dress // We So Thrifty

Printed thrifted dress // We So Thrifty

Printed thrifted dress // We So Thrifty

Ahoy! Or, more appropriately, hola! (The reason for that will reveal itself in a few sentences).

This post is my glorious, much-anticipated return to blogging. I’d compare it to that time Jay Z or Cher came out of their retirements, but they don’t have the following I do.

You’ll notice that my affinity for sarcasm is still here, as is my love for tacos and pretty thrifted dresses. Let’s break the latter down a bit more: This brand-new American Rag dress is from Value Village, and the first piece of post-pregnancy clothing I treated myself to. It’s a bit ironic because I actually could be super pregnant in this dress – it’s roomy. I think I got used to looking specifically for belly-friendly items – but hey! More room for tacos! (You could say “more room for baby number two!”, but if I ever get around to writing about my labour, you’ll understand why it will be some time before our little banana gets an apple or an orange to play with.)

Now, the tacos part: In keeping with post-pregnancy firsts, I wore this dress on my first date with Jentine since the B.C. era (Before Connor). It was predictably grand – we ate tacos and drank margaritas  and took pictures of our not-at-all-seasonally-appropriate attire while curious strangers looked on. I’m happy to report that hamming it up in front of a camera is very much like riding a bike: you feel a little wobbly at first, but you’ll be poppin’ that hip  in no time.

And now that I’ve muddied up a metaphor, I’ve hit every requirement for a typical post. I’d say that makes me officially back in the game.

_

Dress: Value Village | $24.99
Clutch: Winners | $7.99
Boots: Target | END OF DAYS CLEARANCE PRICE.

Lately

March 10, 2015 — 5 Comments

Well hello there long lost friends! Can I still call you my friends? Even though I haven’t texted, called, or blogged lately? Yes? Oh, that’s very kind of you. As most of you know, I do have a pretty great excuse for my little mid-winter blog hiatus, and his name is Connor.

connor blog

This little man stormed into our lives on January 22, 2015, and he’s amazing. I’ve opened up a draft post so many times since then – and nothing ever came of it for a few reasons 1) Time is no longer something I have in abundance and 2) There is just TOO MUCH to say. Parenthood is a wonderful and crazy and tiring and magical journey, and every time I tried to write about, it ended up a lot like this sentence – rambling and full of cliches that didn’t do justice to the experience. So, I’m going to put all of those thoughts on ice for a bit, and just say “hi!” from our new little family of three.

Lest this blog become a mommy blog, I’m going to point all of you to my instagram account for the baby picture spam. And spam there will be! Because he’s the cutest baby that ever was! (Sorry, I thought I could get through this post without doing that but turns out NOPE). But seriously, spring will be upon us soon, and my post-preggo thrift trips have already yeilded some great finds. So, stay tuned, stay warm, and I’ll see you all in a little while. :)

 

Past Due

January 15, 2015 — 5 Comments

Slouchy gray sweater + toque // We So Thrifty

Slouchy gray sweater + toque // We So Thrifty

Slouchy gray sweater, knitted bag + toque // We So Thrifty

Slouchy gray sweater + toque // We So Thrifty

I’ll be honest: I knew my previous post wouldn’t be my last one before D-Day. I had a real strong feeling this little fella/bella would be kickin’ around for, minimum, a few days after my due date. I’ve long expected to be a long-expectant momma, and that’s actually been incredibly healthy for my mental state. It means I’m less “GET THIS BABY OUTTA ME!” and more “I guess I’ll make brownies?” I’ve been assuming this babe will take it’s sweet time, and that a due date is just a marker to make sure you’ve done all the important laundry. So, here I am, two days after my due date, and still no strong signs of labour. But I’m good with it! Really! I’ve even kicked myself off of the “let’s read about the WORST CASE SCENARIO” message boards. The oddly-comforting reality is that there is nothing I can do about how this baby comes into the world, and anyway/time that gets it here safely is the right way/time. Whoa! Look at me getting all advice-y and evolved. Must be the brownies! (Also, remind of these words when I’m, like, 12 days overdue).

Anyways, seeing as I’ve had some time to kill lately, I’ve made sure to visit all four of the main thrift spots in Hamilton over the past few weeks (Talize, Salvation Army, Valu Village, and Bibles for Missions). The outfit above is 100% Bibles for Missions. I found the sweater for $6, the hat for $2, and the boots for $10. I was immediately pleased with the way the gray sweater and red and white stripes went together, but couldn’t figure out why. When I got home, I figured out why: It’s because I look like those socks, and, by extension, those sock monkeys. You call it a coincidence, I call it the easiest Halloween costume ever!

In this look, I also fit quite nicely into the palette I set for our nursery. “Setting a palette” almost sounds too fussy for how I approached decorating the space. I just wanted it to be FUN, full of primary reds, blues, and yellows. And you know what? Fun it is! Matt, with the help of his Dad, cousin, and a few handy friends, really did all the hard work in prepping this space: He created a brand-new room out of our way-too-large living space  – walls went up, trim went down, and paint went on. All I had to do was fill the room with furniture and the fill the walls warmth and whimsy.

nursery12

The first decorative items I received for the nursery were these beautiful paintings by my sister Laura. Matt, ever the thoughtful one, commissioned some artwork from her for our fifth anniversary in the summer. Laura had heard a few things about my “vision” (again, that sounds too fussy) for the room, and she completely nailed it. I really did use those paintings as a launchpad for everything else in the room: the patterns and stripes, the golden yellows and punchy reds – it’s all there. I was able to take that influence, and fill the rest of the room with gifts from friends and family, items I already had, and new buys from Ikea and Target (I’ll miss you, boo!). OH, and so much Kijiji:

Nursery in primary colours // We So Thrifty

Nursery in primary colours // We So Thrifty

Nursery in primary colours // We So Thrifty

Nursery in primary colours // We So Thrifty

Nursery in primary colours // We So Thrifty

 

More pics and such below!
Continue Reading…

Final Stretch

January 7, 2015 — 33 Comments

Vintage blazer, knitted toque, riding boots // We So Thrifty

Vintage blazer, knitted toque, riding boots // We So Thrifty

Vintage blazer, knitted toque, riding boots // We So Thrifty

Vintage blazer, knitted toque, riding boots // We So Thrifty

Vintage blazer, knitted toque // We So Thrifty

Happy 2015 friends! We’re all but a week into January, and the weather has finally decided to go all “Canada” on us at at last – it is cold and it is terrible. The above photos are not at all indicative of what it presently looks like outside, nor what one needs to wear in order to GO outside (never forget).

Since I’ve now granted all of you your customary blogger weather update, we can talk about the more obvious things on the agenda: I’m havin’ a baby soon!  Relatively speaking, of course. As you can see, the baby is bigger. It’s also incredibly comfortable in its cozy uterine apartment, and will most likely stay a few days passed its eviction notice (January 13). SO FAR, I’m ok with that. There are still things I’d like to get done, and I’m really enjoying this time to squeeze in a few more dinners with friends and daytime errands, etc.

I think they also say this is about the time I’m supposed to enter hyperactive “nesting” mode, which I’m not sure actually exists. Oh, I organized the heck out f my kitchen yesterday, but that’s because I’m usually not home enough to truly look at my kitchen/the general disarray of our abode. It’s not so much “nesting” as it is “you have to live in this mess now so maybe you should clean it you slob?” Also, my iMac is broken, so that too has contributed to my willingness to clean.

Annnyshways, seeing as this could be the last maternity outfit you see, I think it’s actually a fitting summary of what’s got me through these past few months. Nearly everyday for the last 5 months or so, I’ve worn the same H&M stretchy tank dress (which is now a tank top), with either black leggings or stretchy black pants It’s the under armour to all my attire. I hardly wear any of the three “maternity” pieces I bought, so my advice is avoid that overpriced, boring stuff as much as you can. Instead, I’ve managed to have some good luck buying big, buying stretchy, and buying vintage or secondhand when I can. I bought this stretchy tunic from the Salvation Army a few weeks ago, and it sits alongside many similar items in my closet. It’s not “maternity” – it’s just XXL and contains a decent amount of lyrca.

If that sounds incredibly boring (it does, doesn’t it?) keep the fun stuff to items you know you’ll wear post-pregnancy, like my big-ass pop-pom toque! I got the last one from The Edit’s stash from last winter. It’s glorious and warm (but impossible to wear inside a low-ceiling vehicle). It also balances out the giant beach ball I’m smuggling. Symmetry!

That’s about all I have to offer in terms of advice, and I’m coming close to the end of my patience with using a track pad laptop that’s not mine, so that’s where I’ll end it today. If I don’t pop in before I...pop (#nailedit), thank you truly for kind comments and well-wishes on this blog and instagram over these past few months! Everyone has just been a total peach – both in real and internet-life. You guys rule!

Blazer: Salvation Army | $3.50
Tunic: Salvation Army | $5.99
Toque: The Edit | $40
Boots: Hudson’s Bay | On sale $130
Handmade leather tote: Gift from Mom that she got for FREE from one of her thrifting spots! She’s still the champ.

Weird Science

December 30, 2014 — 12 Comments

Polka dots + leather jacket // We So Thrifty

Polka dots + leather jacket // We So Thrifty

Polka dots + leather jacket // We So Thrifty

Polka dots + leather jacket // We So Thrifty

First off, there is some strange magic in this top. I’mma tell you right now my belly is about 200% bigger than it appears on screen. Something about the pattern on this blouse is spinning you a web of LIES. Lies that will come crashing down as soon as you see a side profile. But hey! I’ll take it!

I found this blouse in one of my regular visits to Yen’s shop. The tag on it read “oversized vintage sheer blouse,” and at first I was like “who you callin’ oversized TAG?” And then I realized this blouse fits a 6ft1 8.5-months-pregnant lady, so yes, it is definitely oversized. And for that I’m grateful.

The other item of note in this outfit is my new (p)leather jacket. All you have to do is scroll through the past six months of entries on this blog, and you’ll understand why I needed a new one (I’ll save you the trouble: I wore my old one every day and now it’s gross). I took a trip to the Salvation Army on their 50% boxing day sale (still wearing my old gross one), and this one jumped off the rack. It’s not real leather, so I’ll keep that dream alive, but it did feel like a step up from the cheap bombers you’d find at a place like Sirens or Stitches or wherever the cheap teen clothes are sold these days. It said it was designed in Canada, and even provided instructions on how to care for the fake leatha. It was certainly worth the $7.50 investment, and who knows! I may even be able to zip it up in a few months!

The greatest thing about this find didn’t reveal itself until I had a chance to Google the label though (isn’t that often the case?). This jacket is from a clothier called AbbyShot. AbbyShot creates only the finest replica wear from your favourite sci-fi movies, tv shows, games and anime. It’s geek wear! All geek wear! Which is just fantastic. 

I looked over their website, and their jackets go from $100-$500, all from a little Canadian company operating out of Newfoundland, Canada. So, obviously, I need to go to there.

The only missing piece in this wonderfully nerdy puzzle is I don’t know what movie/tv show/multiverse my jacket is from. It’s not anywhere on their website, and my searches have turned up fruitless. So, my fellow dorks, please take a close look and let me know who I am in this jacket, so that I may I know what kind of magic abilities or mega-cool weaponry I can pretend to have. I’ll be delivering a human in 2-3 weeks, and any additional superpowers would be most appreciated. ;)

Jacket: Salvation Army | $7.50
Blouse: The Edit | $26
Pants: Talize | $7
Clutch: Salvation Army | $5