Who doesn’t love a splash of colour to brighten up a dull week?! I was told wearing this outfit that I would “stop traffic” but I take that as a compliment. This lovely rich sherbet orange blouse by Joe Fresh is instantly uplifting and soft to the touch. The blazer is a recent thrift find by Forever 21, so unique I couldn’t pass it up!
There are two brands that always seem to capture my eye, Forever 21 and H&M. There is something about their colours and prints that are so captivating and unique. More often than not if I’m searching through racks and engaged by a floral top, its always one of these two brands! This look is one of my new favourites. My coworker had brought in this blazer by Forever 21 for consignment, it was love at first sight. The colours, the print the intricate little bead details… just beautiful.
The beauty of being just a two hour drive from a major city is a lot more options for a half price day shopping excursion! This time I was accompanied by my mother (and assistant photographer!) Value Village’s half price sale was this past Monday and what a gorgeous day for it! Sunshine, clear dry roads and not too many traffic complaints. Save for the occasional: “What the hell is this guy doing?!” remark.
This trip was more focused on finding new spring product for the Store rather than my own interests but I did find a couple real gems including these amazing ankle boots! I am not able to read the label on them but you’d be surprised how comfortable they are. I think my smile doubled in size when I saw that they were a 6! Can you believe these were only $5?!
All they needed was a little TLC, easily achieved by painting up the toes to make them crisp and new! Now I’m very excited for warmer weather so I can wear them around!
February is a difficult month in Canada, hence the nickname: the winter blues. Freezing temperatures, high utility bills and dark dreary days. Fortunately there is no law against dressing in such a way that it combats the grey blah’s that winter brings.
This month’s favourite looks were a very similar setup with decorative scarves, bold jewellery and lots of layering. Little jackets or cardigans combined with my Cougar boots and wrapping my neck with a scarf I was able to keep warm yet stylish.
The furniture section of Value Village is a deadly place for me some days. I love to rotate my home furnishings almost as much as my closet. I walked by this little white cubby unit for $6 and thought it was definitely “me”. Lately anything “me” just means it’s white!
I set it on top of my sewing cabinet in my dressing room and had originally visualized it for holding my summer flats. I had recently installed a hanging canvas organizer on my closet door for these but I thought perhaps this would be more appealing. When I finally got it installed I actually didn’t find it all that nice for footwear but it might be perfect for my ever-growing scarf collection!
I have tried many scarf holders, from the crochet style to metal hangers and nothing really shows them nicely. I find myself more frustrated with the hanger than anything else. This cubby is absolutely perfect in the space and I can easily see all the scarves!
I purchased two wood framed coffee tables when I first arrived in Medicine Hat two years ago from a couple on Kijiji. They have been a great fit for all of my apartments out west but lately I’ve been finding they just aren’t needed in my current decor. I decided to try selling them on Facebook classifieds groups as well as Kijiji. All I ended up with is a ton of no-shows and wasted time.
Today I got out the white paint to do some touch ups around the house and got the crazy idea of painting one of them to make it blend into my decor a little better. I was amazed at the result, its really quite a cool looking table now. I may switch up the furniture in the living room now to make better use of this cool table.
It has been decided that my home is a source of work to my family, not often do they come by for a nice visit with a cup of tea and relaxation. It seems to always been that there is a task I need assistance with. While most people have bigger eyes than their stomachs, I have bigger ideas than my hands can create… every now and again.
My latest source of thrifty enjoyment is reupholstering furniture. This most recent project, or series of projects was actually inspired by my sister, who had been inspired by my altering clothing… a lovely creative cycle! She recovered her desk chair with a lovely black and white damask fabric to cover up all the “art” her cat had made with her claws into the original fabric. In her own way she came up with a plan for the pattern, purchased the fabric she wanted to use and completed the recovering using a method of elastic that would hug the fabric to the seat underneath.
When I was sifting through the fabric at Value Village recently with my parents, intending to find some fabric my mother could use to make yoga bags – I found this beautiful celery green fabric – and a lot of it! It dawned on me that maybe I could use this to recover my wingback chair in my living room that I had thrifted for $20 last summer. It seemed as though the more it was used the worst it looked, including the fact that it cannot be cleaned – soap simply makes it an ungodly disaster.
There appeared to be an endless amount of this fabric for $10, first pitching the idea to my mother to see what she thought. It was an instant hit with her as well! Little did I know, this project was a massive 3 day undertaking. I am not sure exactly what I had thought (aside from the giddy childlike oggling of my favourite colour) but seemed to think it would be a one evening stapling type of job. My mother in her own way, a perfectionist and master of the hand stitch. Her plan was a little more realistic.
We planned for a full Saturday of sewing beginning at 9:30am. We decided to do the smart thing and create a pattern out of quilt batting… Followed by laying it out on our fabric a few different ways until finally all the pieces fit, save for the back panel. This is why it is usually better to buy 10 metres of fabric rather than piece together using what you’ve randomly found!
By noon my sister had arrived only to ask if we had just started…! I suppose the chair didn’t look like much after 3 hours but we had done plenty of preparatory work! By the end of the day we had about 2 thirds of the chair completed, my assistance ending roughly around the 1 third mark when my mother switched to her hand sewing art. By day 3 all that remained were a few hand stitched details (her perfectionist ways!) and putting a back on it. Fabricland was having a three day sale conveniently so we picked out a similar fabric that we would do the back panel in seeing as we ran out of fabric!
I must say the chair looks far better than I could have ever imagined. We removed the dust ruffle from the base to expose the wood structure, removed the arm rest openings and gave the whole chair a new modern look!
With my first month of my thrift challenge complete, I am already amazed at the results. I budget the rest of my life for essentials but it had not occurred to me that I should be budgeting my entire life including entertainment, not just bills. After mentioning the idea to a few friends and coworkers the general consensus was that I would be shocked when I started seeing the numbers. I try not to think about what I probably spent over the past year and instead focus on what I’ll be saving this year, and from now on.
I had no idea what to start my budget goal at, based on the Thrifty Threads Challenge, I knew $50 was probably too low for a weekly shopper. I set my goal at $80 with the expectation that I would gradually try to lower that amount. I was truly surprised that I just about met my goal save for $2. I was doing really well up until the last trip keeping my totals under $20 and its funny, now I feel like I splurged on the last one at $31. I know there were many occasions last year where I left with $50 worth of merchandise.
It was definitely an eye-opener seeing the amounts I was bringing in that wasn’t perfect. I now am very particular about what I decide to take home with me. I do not shrug when I see a stain or a seam open, I leave it behind. I am no longer willing to bend on damaged goods. I feel as though my closet has become more precious, the space in it only available to the items I really like. If it isn’t easily altered to fit I leave it behind.
I also developed a new outlook on my closet, frequent rotation is not a bad idea. I do tire of things very easily so consignment and donation are great ways I can keep a comfortable amount in my closet. People seem to think I just accumulate but in working in consignment, its pretty easy for me to recycle my unwanted clothing. Now there are plenty of times when my things are too worn, thus the issue a lot of the time with second hand clothing. But there are plenty of items I have bought because I felt attracted to them – only to realize that I liked them for someone, not necessarily me.
In tracking my sales of clothing at the store I was blown away to see the results at the end of the month. $239.25 in just clothing sales alone! I also have the benefit of selling my handcrafted earrings at the store which brought in another $128.25! For a grand total of $367.50! Talk about a great source of additional income or “cushion” as it were. In using only account money towards buying items from the store I am able to keep my paycheques strictly for my billing budget. Brilliant!
Week of January 8, 2015 – Total: $20
Week of January 14, 2015 – Total: $5
Week of January 17, 2015 – Total: $6
Week of January 22, 2015 – Total: $20
Week of January 29, 2015 – Total: $31
January Month End Total: $82 | Goal: $80 | Overbudget: $2
I’ve been having a lot of fun with my scarves and accessories lately. Layering is a great way to add some finesse to your outfits, although it can be tricky to know when is too much. This week I wore my new patterned infinity scarves from Value Village in two fun winter looks.
As pictured above, I decided to be a little more daring and sport my Volcom fedora to bring out the orange in my scarf. It has become apparent that this sherbet orange is my favourite colour recently! Ask me a year ago and I would have been disgusted at the thought of anything orange. It’s amazing how often my tastes can change!
I went for a mix of patterns: floral design jeans from GAP, crochet style sweater by Garage, multi coloured infinity scarf and green vest for warmth. It was a nice splash of colour for a Canadian January. Makes me look forward to being able to wear more of my bright colours in spring!
Today’s outfit was not as bold but featuring the second patterned scarf from the set I purchased last week, complimenting my newly thrifted Fossil necklace perfectly! I wanted a more classic look that was still bright and uplifting. Basic jeans, my new Cougar boots and a crisp white blouse made it all come together nicely.
I also wanted to show a detail of my earrings as I haven’t discussed them in a while. These multi coloured posts were so cool I just couldn’t leave them behind!