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Unfinished Business







Vest? Thrifted
Maxi dress? Lida Baday, thrifted
Boots? Cole Haan, thrifted
Shirt? Gap
Belts? Thrifted

I took these pictures (yes... me! Lots of swearing and learning was happening) in the attic of our new house. It might be my favourite place in the house and it won't even be completed for a long time. Our goal is to have a finished attic in 5 years but we'll see how that goes. We're better with short term goals, like finishing a bag of chips in one sitting, then we are with expensive house plans. Regardless of its unfinished state, it makes me happy to be in our attic, it's such a great space... the former home owner got the attic framed up as a huge bedroom/closet/en suite but the word man cave has been floating around...?

I wanted to take pictures up in the space before we insulate it soon. Something about efficiency and lower heating bills... blah, blah, blah. I'll be a little sad when the exposed beams are covered with spray insulation.

Another good thing about the attic, is that we were left with an ancient rowing machine up there. I don't think it was left out of concern for my ticker; it was just too heavy to move. The former home owners also left us with a government regulated boiler inspection that was 6 months overdue and we didn't know about it, so we came home to our gas turned off BUT lets focus on the good stuff they left us. Which is a rowing machine! It happens to be the only piece of exercise equipment I tolerate. Matt hooked up our old TV in the attic for his #1 sweetie (that's me, not the cat, Kyle) and now I can watch Springer and work off that bag of chips I ate in one sitting. Look at me...accomplishing my goals!



This Just Happened





Dress? Jones New York, thrifted
Tights? Betsey Johnson, Winners
Boots? Aldo
Clutch? Hilary Radley, StyleSense

I'm going to go ahead and say the obvious about these pictures. It must have struck you immediately that this is the second time I am wearing these tights. It doesn't happen often that I keep tights run-free; this is a big deal.

A little bit less obvious is the fact that this dress matches the wall...perfectly. It's pretty subtle, so you may have missed it. Go ahead and scroll back up... maybe even take out your Pantone colour swatches... I've written before that sometimes a bit of doubt creeps in my mind about why I do this blog thing, but when I found a whole building painted in the same colour as my dress, I had a bit of a revelation. My city has my back... buildings are being painted to match what I wear. I will know that I have really made it when I find a wall covered in sequins. How will you know you made it?



Thanksgiving Thursday

It's Thanksgiving and Thrift Thursday is taking a week off.
Yes, yes... in Canada we already had our turkey but I'm celebrating with our friends across the border in spirit by eating too much and hugging the fam damily. Or... I am working last minute to finish a final project for my night class but whatever...
Either way... No Thrift Thursday but I do want to take a moment and say Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! to this beauty...


(I stole this photo off her awesome blog... now she is going to sick her cats on me. I can handle it.)

You may have noticed my blog got a make-over. It was probably way overdue. I've been frustrated for a long time that my blog had no cohesive look, and that it was hard to see at first glance what this blog and I are all about. Now I am no longer just the chick on the suitcase (though I love the pic but it's from the old house and to be honest, those jeans I was wearing have always pinched...)...
I am a sad representative of my tech savvy generation and after beating myself up for a long time over my lack of computer skills, I came to terms with the fact that I can't do it all. And so, I turned to the person who does do it all and that is how Merl gets all the credit for the new blog look. I sent Merl a scratchy sketch and a tearful plea and 48 emails and she made some blog magic. Merl, I love you.
When I check the blog, I have to do a double take before I realize this fanciness is actually my blog. It looks so professional that I am thinking of becoming a professional blogger. I am not sure what that entails exactly... but you know what they say about turning pro... you can't qualify for the Olympics anymore.

Merl... have I said thank-you yet?


In the 80's They Called This Soft Focus






Skirt? A.B.S. Allen Schwartz
Shirt? Gap
Jacket? Zara
Tights? Winners
Boots? Charles David, thrifted
Belt? Thrifted
Another mishmash of my favourite things, ... reminds me of this outfit but this time around I added sweater tights. Who invented sweater tights? Someone smart... probably Canadian... after all, we brought the world the telephone and then Celine Dion... and warm tights just seems like the next logical Canadian invention.

We had a few precious minutes to catch some outfit shots before the sun set for yet another short autumn day. And then we got stopped in the parking lot by an aquaintance and before I knew it, we were having the whole 'let's discuss all that happened to you in 2010 and reminisce fondly about 2009 while we are at it' talk and I was desperately trying to be polite, while anxiously glancing at the sun sliding further away. And I watched that sun fade and I stayed to talk because he was a really nice guy and I can't blow off real life for blogging (at least not too much). I wanted to show crisp detail but nevertheless the pictures still turned out pretty moody and cool... once again we threw on the high beams of the vehicle and used every light particle remaining to get what we could. I just hope if you ever see me strut on by with purpose in my eye... don't stop me to chat. I'm chasing that sun.



My Sweatpants






Dress? Gap
Cardi? Thrifted
Boots? Kenneth Cole
Necklace? h&m
Sunglasses? Vintage Steffi Graf, gifted
Belt? Thrifted
Purse? Thrifted

I wore my ruffled silk dress to go to the grocery store. I suppose that's not completely unnatural. I started a blog and I started over dressing...

Originally, it was a joke between Kendi and I... this whole idea of wearing fancy clothing to perform mundane tasks. She wore her fanciest 30 for 30 dress to the post office and got hit on by a 90 year old man. Nothing that exciting happened to me when I wore this dress BUT... I am pretty sure a 9 year old boy down the street from where I work has a crush on me. I was driving a big lawn tractor the other day and he was impressed. He told me he had $400 in the bank, I told him I have a mortgage... Anyways, that story has nothing to do with this post, I'm just keeping my ego inflated.... thanks for reading...

And then, what started out as a joke but it became a little bit more. We're kind of settled into the new house (new to us... it's actually over 80 years old)... it's been a week of mini breakdowns (uhhh... yeah, that would be me...), cleaning, packing and crappy food. I'm tired and I just want to eat fruit, veggies and bran until Christmas. So getting dressed nicely after a week of half-assed dressing and going out to get good, healthy groceries felt like a new start. A fresh start at a new address.



Thrift Thursday. The Foundation.

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I am so thrilled with the response over the beginning of Thrift Thursday and also with the united bitching concerning some second-hand store pricing. I said it last week, but after your input, my mind is spinning even more wildly with ideas ... I'm a little afraid you have released the beast. The hardest thing will be to pace myself with all this thrift blabber. I have to remember that I am a blogger writing short posts, not a novelist like Lauren Conrad or George W. Bush (And you never thought that those two would be in the same sentence... but it just happened. right here.).
So much to say but I have to start by laying the thrift foundation. The most important ingredient for successful thrifting is a good attitude. Yeah... it sounds pretty lame, like this is the kindergarten of thrifting up in here or something... I feel lame writing it too but it's the truth. I have gone thrifting with many friends who, within five minutes of entering the store, are looking at me with frustration, hands on their hips and whining about how I always find the good stuff. A few things to note about this scenario...

1. I have friends.
2. Their hands are on their hips.
3. They are giving me eye contact.

Hands on hips aren't moving the hangers over one-by-one as they should be. And eye contact is an absolute no-no. Eyes in a thrift store need to be searching for treasure, not expressing feelings.

When you go thrifting you need to really, really look. Sometimes things will jump out at you like a little thrift gift...


... this shirt did...
...but in general, finding that vintage dress means combing through 67 dresses with stains, triple shoulder pads and Christmas beading first. So, if you are new to thrifting or slightly overwhelmed by the whole idea, go on a day when you are in a good mood. If you are feeling crabby and lamely attempt to thrift, you will find nothing, declare that certain thrift store a dud and leave all the good stuff for me. Thank-you in advance.

A little story (that I've told before but it was a long time ago and I am getting old so I am entitled to a repeat)... in university I went thrifting with a friend and found the most perfect Marni cargo pants.



The best hardware, over-all straps, crisp cotton... perfection. In my excitement, I yelled 'Linda! Look! Marni!' only to discover Linda was way across the store and I was yelling at a stranger beside me. But I had the right attitude, I was so focused on the search that I wasn't aware Linda had left me.

If you are new to thrifting or just ready to try again, make sure you are
1)well-fed (for most hungry equals angry)
2)inspired (check blogs to find inspiration for what to look out for... I've heard of this great one called MyEdit... she thrifts a lot and she's really humble. Has she ever told you how humble she is?)
3)having a good day. You need to be patient because you will need to kiss a lot of frogs before you get your prince. Don't think too deeply about that analogy...

And thus concludes the first lesson on thrifting. If you managed to make it through, you have now passed Thrift Kindergarten. Hopefully next week will not be so elementary.


*Yes, the first sneak peak at the closet in our new house. We're moving this week (so tired...) and the closet is the only thing partially organized... shame on me...









Jones New York , Winners
Sweater? Thrifted
Boots? Stuart Weitzman, Winners
Purse? Roots, bought with birthday GCs.

If I remember correctly, I saw the ombre trend on a In/Out list in a magazine and it was decidedly on the Out side of the column. Not that I care, a pretty skirt is a pretty skirt... besides this gives me another chance to prove my rebellious nature. And let me tell you exactly how much I of a rebel I can be... in my senior year of high school, the whole class decided to skip school on the final day and go to the beach. I finished up some student's council stuff in the morning and then called my Mom to ask if I could skip school in the afternoon. Pretty bad ass...

Who listens to those lists anyways? I officially declared Ugg boots out in 2004 and we all know how that went...


Is it bad that this is my favourite picture? I was trying to get all fancy for the pictures and I smoked my head off the beam... Matt caught the moment. Everytime I scroll up and see the picture, I have to giggle...


Happy But Mad







Silk blouse? i.d., Winners
Cardi? Tory Burch, thrifted
Jeans? J Brand, holt Renfrew Last Call
Clutch? Hilary Radley, Style Sense
Shoes? Kate Spade, thrifted
Brooches? Large starburst borrowed from the Mama, the rest are thrifted

I might just love this outfit. It's casual but fun and so darn sassy. Sadly I can't wear this sweater and not get my britches in a knot because when I thrifted this cardigan, it was the day I nearly lost all faith in Value Village (also known as Savers to my U.S. of A. reader...).

I wanted to save this thrift pricing rant for an upcoming Thrift Thursday... but I can't sit on this frustration. I understand that when I shop at larger thrift stores the prices are a bit higher. I can handle it; with patience there are always treasures to be found and I know that with large real estate and high overhead, I can expect to pay a bit more. But lately, especially with Value Village (I hate to name names but really...), the prices have gotten unreal.

It started with a Fossil cross body bag. It was cute.. leather and nude coloured (blah, blah, blah trendy...). It had some wear around the front flap and a huge mark across the front that I thought could erased with the magic of Norwex and it was.... $25!!!! Really? At a thrift store? And then just to ruin my shopping experience, an in-store advertisement featured a lady talking about the leather purse she got for $5. Honestly, I did not see a single purse, pleather or otherwise that was under $5...

But what seemed most ridiculous was the $80 Bench sweater/coat in the showcase. I don't care about Bench... I am no longer a teenager looking for peer approval (ha... just a blogger looking for... what exactly?) so I don't need to buy a Bench sweater in the quest for a boyfriend, but for all the teenagers out there just trying to get through high school, I was upset. When I was in high school, I used to go to thrift shopping in order to find clothes to fit in. Mama and Papa took good care of this kid but they weren't ready to go into debt for their only daughter who just wanted to be cool and wear Gap. And so, if I wore Gap, it was only if I found it super discounted or second hand. That's why I was upset to see Bench for $80, some kid thrifting is getting ripped off... it wasn't pristine either... these laser eyes saw wear on the collar.

Is anyone else angry about rising prices at their favourite thrift stores? And has anyone else found a Tory Burch cardigan for $5 to ease the pain? Yup, the thrift store price kings know all about Bench but are clueless about Tory Burch... yay for me... boo for highschool kids.


A New Tradition...

It might surprise you but I actually don't like the word thrifting. It's not a real word... If it annoys me, I can only imagine those who are grammatically inclined grinding their teeth while reading my blog. I wish there was a better way to say it but 'going shopping at second-hand stores in order to get ridiculously good deals' is not quite as succinct. Until a better made-up word is found, thrifting stays.
And while I dislike the word (or non-word), I definitely don't dislike the activity it describes...

thrift collage1
(thrifted- L-here-skirt, top, bag, C-here-dress, R-here-dress, clutch)

... you may have noticed...

thrift collage2
(thrifted L-here-dress, C-here-coat, boots, R-here-sequin vest, shoes)

... I find it hard to avoid.
I've been wanting to take my blog in a clear thrift direction for a while. Yes, I still shop at other discount stores because I'm equal opportunity like that, but for me these last few years, thrift stores and fashion have gone together like balsamic Triscuits and slices of cucumber (try it... amazing). This summer was stupid busy and I didn't want to commit to regular thrift posts on the blog and fail but now that the schedule has eased a bit... I am pleased to announce...

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Of course, it's Thrift Thursdays! Usually I spend my Thursdays organizing the fridge by sodium content but I can switch days for that because in the end, you have to choose the day that works best for alliterations. Honestly, my heart is beating fast with excitement (calm down Mr. Ticker... I need you) over thrift post ideas. I always get questions about thrifting and as I seem to be able to post about 3X a week and write about nothing, I figured I could commit to actually writing about something. Some of you already are masters of the art but I promise to spend all week thinking of jokes and throwing in the occasional bit of nudity to keep it interesting (kidding... at least about the jokes part).

I would love to hear your thoughts or ideas or sweet nothings whispered in my ear... you can even send it to that new fangled thing I have called an email address... it's My email is usually on the sidebar but my blog is under construction right now as it is getting a facelift. Yup, a lot of changes going on. But at the end of the day it'll be mostly the same... I'll still waste your time.


Another Day, Another Way






Leather skirt? Thrifted
Tights? Betsey Johnson, Winners
Clutch? Thrifted
Taken from an old dress and worn backwards
Shoes? French Connection warehouse sale

Yesterday I was being a needy person and text whining (not wine texting Ke$ha!) to a friend about my woes. She gently told me to get a grip. And then to make me smile, she told me that she was wearing a rather 80's inspired sweatshirt and her husband was currently dancing around to Maniac in homage to the sweater. Today, in return I brightened her day by telling her of my disastrous morning... I woke up at 6:13 a.m. instead or 6:03 a.m., spilled my smoothie twice, punched in late to work by 1 freaking minute and then raked myself across the face... Not sure how I did that last one but it's a true story. Laughter and Tylenol 3's are the best medicine and I hope everyone has a friend with a dancing husband or rake difficulties...

I also hope everyone spent some time this weekend putting holes in the side seams of their capes. I am clearly still riding high on the genius of this little trick. I just wore the cape in a more casual way with layers and denim and now I am getting all fancy on you with high heels and patterned tights. What's next for The Adventures of Jentine and the Amazing Cape? Challenge me!!!