thrift shopping is my fave.

thrifting1

You guys.

Hannah’s finally old enough that 1) she enjothrifting3ys getting out of the house, even for shopping. In fact, some days, she really really needs to get out. And 2) she’s had all her vaccinations and I’m much more confident about bringing her to public places. Even though I go through many-a disinfecting wipe on shopping carts. {yeah. She’s trying to escape because I have my phone out to take a picture and she wants it. :)}
I haven’t done a lot of real thrift shopping since Hannah was born, except a few pop-ins to browse baby stuff. But actual pawing through the racks for stuff for myself.. it’d been a minute. And I have been jonesin’ to go for months. This week we hit up two in my quest to update my spring wardrobe a bit. I’ve got the Frumpy Momdoms going on. And while I am trying not beating myself up for that lingering extra belly squish, I’m not exactly wanting to show it off in my still-too-small pre-pregnancy clothes. Sigh. thrifting2
I scored a few new tops, a purse (I didn’t need one, buuuuuut) and some like-new TOMS (!!). They are these hippie rainbow ones. They are the perfect thing to wear around the house because they are comfy and warm. This might be in my top-ten best thrift scores evah’.
I know it’s easy to want to skip the shoes, but sometimes there are some real gems. I will only buy secondhand shoes if they look like they’ve barely been worn. I’m not above buying used and Lysoling the crap out of them, but even I have standards.
I know there are some expert thrift shoppers out there, and I am not one of those people by any means. I don’t have a great strategy, I don’t haggle. I mean, if there’s a defect I have been known to point it out in hopes I’ll score a discount, but otherwise I am content to pay the already tiny price tag for something I like. But one tip I have, is to avoid getting overwhelmed by hitting only certain areas or looking for (kind of) specific things, rather than browse the whole store (unless you have the time!). It’s easy to get sucked in to certain departments and then leave with nothing you went in for because you lost track of time. These are the items I always look for because I *almost* am always guaranteed to find something good:
my favorite things to find at thrift stores
On my list:
  1. Cool tee-shirts in the little boys section.
  2. Frilly, silky camisoles.
  3. Work-appropriate basic skirts and pants (you’ll find a million pencil skirts).
  4. Basic sweat shirts and sweats.
  5. Pajama pants. My local thrift shops always have tons of Old Navy and Victoria’s Secret pajama bottoms.
  6. Baskets for organizing the house. I have a LOT of baskets and almost all came from thrift shops. This is one of those things I don’t feel like I have to have an immediate need in for in mind to justify buying. I will ALWAYS use another basket.
  7. Tiny plates and dishes. I use these for spoon rests, soap dishes, under plants, to organize jewelry and other small stuff, under candles, etc. I’ve found them for as low as $.10.
  8. Teacups. I don’t have a collection, but I’ve picked up cute ones for organizing. Or you could make fun candles or bird feeders.
  9. Plant pots and pottery. I like to give little potted plants away for gifts in cool pots I find at thrift stores and yard sales. If we exchange gifts and I haven’t given you one as a gift yet, it’s only because I haven’t known you long enough. 🙂
  10. Books. I buy cookbooks and reference-type books, but not many paperbacks, as I would rather borrow and return to the library.
  11. Pyrex. I just recently started to collect and though it’s not super easy to find in thrift stores anymore (people sell on Ebay instead) I’ve found a couple pieces.
  12. Frames for projects. It’s not easy to find perfect as-is frames, but there are a ton of paintable ones or nice frames without glass you can do something with.

Are you into thrift shopping? What are your favorite scores and tips? After writing this post I am anxious to go again!

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updating our spaces (planning post #1)

There have been a lot of changes in-work at our place. In November we recarpeted the house, repainted the formerly teal bedroom a soft, smokey blue (I miss the teal walls, but it works better with our black furniture), and J updated our fireplace with a new tile surround and mantel. We are in the process of finishing our basement (!!), which will eventually serve as our family hang-out space, play room, and office. That requires a whole separate post another day.

A new basement family room means that eventually we will be moving our living room couches, chair, end tables, ottoman, and tv downstairs. We will have a completely blank canvas upstairs to design! With the dark walnut mantel (I just stained it last week), and (eventually) darker cabinets in the kitchen, I will want to keep the furnishings light and airy, with the bigger purchases very neutral. I like to be able to switch up the pillows and art and not be too limited by anything.

I am a very visual person, so I like to create little boards on Polyvore when I’m making decisions for a space. That way I can picture how the things we already have can be best incorporated. It helps me focus and best use our budget. So while I can’t use the exact items I’ve got, I can still get a good idea of the feel of the room with similar items and colors. It works for me. Below is kind of my ultimate plan mood-wise:

living room ideas..
 Of course, this is just for a general idea/vibe I’m going for, using a lot of what we already have. As the budget is tighter than ever, picking a couch gives me anxiety! With dogs and a toddler, I have to be practical. But we also need to think budget-friendly. I am thinking sofas with slipcovers are the way to go. I am really interested in the IKEA EKTORP line of sofas (pictured above). Does anyone have an EKTORP, and would you recommend it? What about slipcovers in general? (BTW I am not anti-laundry. I have white IKEA curtains in most rooms, and we cloth-diaper! But I don’t want to spend hours every week actively maintaining a sofa.)
  • We already have the LACK coffee table and the LACK side tables I modified into a cube table; they have been collecting dust in the basement until we had a room for them.
  • We also already have some glass ball lamps we are using in the bedroom, which I’d be happy to switch up into the living room.
  • The purple chair above represents my fave thrift score that is currently in Hannah’s room. It is a nice small chair perfect for reading and additional seating.

I’ll be on the lookout for:

  • The perfect basic couch. The one above is the IKEA EKTORP but I haven’t decided for sure what I want to get.
  • A hutch for the wall where the tv currently sits. The one above is the IKEA REGISSÖR, which I like size-wise, but will more likely keep hunting for a used piece I can paint. Most of the media in our house will be in the basement, but we will need a place for a few books and toys upstairs.
  • Great curtains. I love the ticking stripe above from Anthropologie, but they never gonna happen. It would be simple enough to add my own pom poms to some stripey curtains if I could find something similar, or sew my own panels.
  • Not pictured, but more seating on the other side of the room. Probably a love seat, but I could be flexible since this will no longer be a lazy tv-watching space. (I want it to be comfy in there, but the seating doesn’t need to be as lounge-around-all-evening-friendly).

The kitchen/living area is all one big open area, so it needs to coordinate. We have some kitchen sprucing in the near-future plans as well. We are going to stain the now cherry alder cabinets a darker walnut color, and paint the island white. Here’s the idea I’ve got in mind for the mood of the kitchen area:

kitchen idea
 The blue rectangle with a chalkboard represents our pantry door, which I would like to paint a fun color. Really, paint and stain are the only required expenses for the kitchen area. I would like to find a great rug, but I am happy with some others I’ve got for now so it will only be if I find an amazing bargain that I will worry about that. I just threw that on there because I like the pop of color. I could work that in anywhere.
I made a board for our dining area a couple of years ago, and though it doesn’t look entirely inspired by this look, it does have a sort of similar mood, in my opinion. I still really like the look of this board, and think it ties nicely in with the living room and kitchen space I have worked up above.
dining room update
You know what is so hard for me? Figuring out what my style is. Even with creating those little collages to capture the look I want, it’s hard for me to not get too easily inspired by other styles. And I’ve been trying to decide what my style would be called. It’s a little boho (but not messy), a little farmhouse (but not country), a little Scandinavian (but not minimalist), a little traditional (but not matchy).