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December Thrift Haul

26 Dec

During the month of December, I only had one day to go thrifting… but I made the most of it with THREE different stops! Of course, with thrifting you can sometimes find a dozen awesome items at one store, or absolutely nothing no matter how many stores you visit. I ended up finding just two items… but I’m pretty happy with them!

{Pssst, you can read about my previous thrifting adventures here}

Item #1: Lou & Grey Sweatshirt, $4.99

I knew that Lou & Grey is a line carried at Loft, but I didn’t realize they have their own website too. This sweatshirt is a super soft cotton fleecy mix. On their websites, similar sweatshirts sell for around $60. This one is kind of cool because it has a zipper up one side.

So you can zip it up just a bit to show off a pop of color on a t-shirt. Or a little puff of love handles if you’re into that kind of thing. It was soft, comfy and new for $5, so it obviously had to come home with me for lounging this winter.

Item #2: J McLaughlin Zebra Wrap dress, $24.99

This is a J McLaughlin 100% silk wrap dress with the original tags for $218 still on it. I’m only familiar with the brand because I thrifted a sweater from them last year and did a little research. Dresses on their website run from about $190 – $250, and they appear to stick with classic silhouettes in fun prints. I tend to love a good black and white print, so this zebra one intrigued me. However, I posted a dressing room photo on my stories and it got very mixed reviews — with 44% voting to buy and 56% voting to pass.

I ended up buying the dress and I think it will be fun to style for work. I can keep it simple with a black blazer, tights and booties. Or add in some color with a bright cardigan and maybe some colorful brooches. All in all, it was a $25 gamble, so we will see if it pays off!

Did you have any luck thrifting this month? Share your scores!

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My Worst Outfits of 2018

13 Dec

Each morning I’ve gotten into the habit of taking a quick outfit photo and posting it to Instagram.

I like doing this for a few reasons.

#1: It helps me see what I’m wearing and NOT wearing. This helps me when it’s time to purge my closet, AND when I’m considering purchasing something new (or new-to-me).

#2: I frequently give presentations and have work events where I see the same group of students throughout the year. I like to mix it up a bit and not accidentally wear the same exact dress every single time.

#3: When I’m lazy, I’ll just look through my Instagram and recreate an outfit I wore and liked.

#4: I like to look every so often to see what worked and what didn’t work.

Often, this helps me fine-tune my style and lean toward the outfits that make me feel confident and happy. After wearing something and NOT loving it, it’s much easier to list the item for sale or donate it. I don’t need that negativity in my life!

I just did a little review of my 2018 OOTD folder and thought it would be interesting to share my WORST outfits, why they suck, and how they can be fixed.

Worst Outfit #1: January 11, 2018

Okay, this outfit isn’t totally TERRIBLE but it’s not great either. I went with a black top, black sweater, black pants and silver shoes. I’m not against wearing all (or mostly) black, but this just doesn’t look great on me. It’s boring. The flowy top melds into the sweater, so my whole middle looks kind of like a blob.

Room for Improvement: So, how could I have made this better? Well, a brighter statement shoe could have helped. Also, I could have switched out the black cardigan with one that was more interesting. And of course, I could add in some color.

Here are some similar outfits I wore in 2018 that worked much better:

Each of these outfits has the same formula of slim pants + flowy blouse + cardigan. However, they also include a bit of fun… whether it be the colorful tank top, or the patterned cardigans with colorful shoes.

Worst Outfit #2: April 17, 2018

The oversized cardigan has its time and place, but for this office look… it is just too much. The proportions are totally off and I look frumpy. When it’s cold outside, who DOESN’T want to wear their pajamas to work? In hindsight, I could have done much better.

Room for Improvement: As you can see, this is the same basic outfit formula as my first example outfits. In fact, it’s using the exact same shirt and pants as one of the ‘better’ outfits. It’s the cardigan that needs to be replaced with one that is much more flattering, but still comfortable.

 Here are some similar outfits I wore in 2018 that worked much better:

For the first two options, we still have the same three pieces: cardigan + top + pants. However, the cardigan is less HUGE, so the whole look works much better. The second cardigan is actually a bit oversized,but it’s length is less sloppy. For the third look, I embraced an oversized sweater but kept the look flattering by doing a little tuck in the front to give it some shape.

 Worst Outfit #3: January 18, 2018

I went with a light grey, dark gray and black look… and it is frankly kind of awful. I think the shoes take it from just ‘ick’ to full-on ‘NOPE’. In this case, a statement shoe is not working for me.

Room for Improvement: If I would have switched to black booties, this outfit would have still been boring, but not as terrible. The sweater doesn’t look that great on me either(which is why it has since been donated back to the thrift store).

Here are some similar outfits I wore in 2018 that worked much better:

As you can see, I’ve revisited the skirt + tucked-in shirt formula many times this year. By keeping the shoes consistent with the color on the lower half, it helps the whole look feel a lot more professional. Where I did use a ‘pop of color’ in the shoe, it was a pointed flat rather than a somewhat country-feeling bootie. The color blocking of gray’s in the first look wasn’t doing it for me… but by adding in patterns you can see that not only is the look a lot more flattering, but I’m much happier too!

I’m sure I will continue to have plenty of ‘worst’ outfits in the future, but by taking a look back at what makes me feel/look good and what doesn’t, I can continue to fine-tune my closet and my style.

Did you find this exercise helpful?

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Reviewing Color Street Nail Polish Strips

10 Dec

In my imagination, I’m one of those people with beautify painted nails. However, in reality… I never really bother with making them pretty. My toenails are painted year-round, but my fingernails are typically just trimmed short without polish.

I got a gel manicure in September for my brother’s wedding and it looked fantastic, which made me want to be one of those pretty nail girls again. A long, long time ago I tried Jamberry. I liked them fine, but found the removal process tedious. Which brings us to Color Street.

Color Street nail polish strips are actually made out of 100% real nail polish, just in thin strip form. You apply them to your nails much like I did the Jamberry strips, but when it comes time to remove them you just use normal old nail polish.


They were running a buy 3, get 1 free special, so I ordered: Penny Lane, El Dorado, Only in Vegas and Rio Red. They cost $12 per pack for 16 strips. Penny Lane not included in the photo, because I ripped that one open to try.

Once they arrived, I googled around and found this application video. I wiped each nail with the provided alcohol wipe, lined up the polish strip and applied it just like the video. I was able to get two nails out of each strip. So, since there are 16 strips in the pack I can get 2 full manicures and also use the leftovers for accent nails. Which brings the cost per use down to less than $6 for a manicure… not too shabby.

I found that the strips go on quite easy and look A LOT nicer than when I attempt to paint my own nails. Here is it after my very first try of doing a full set:


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By the way, it is REALLY hard to take a good fingernail photo. I even looked up a couple nail polish hashtags to figure out how those ladies do it. This is the Penny Lane color, and I actually really like how it’s kind of subtle with a little shimmer.

Here are my nails exactly one week later:

I totally copied this ‘fingernails on a phone case’ pose from Instagram people… Anyways, as you can see, there was some wear on the tips but no huge chipping issues. Many people say they get 2 – 3 weeks out of their set, but I went ahead and removed them after a 1 ½ weeks. The removal process was just like removing normal nail polish and my cheapo no-name polish remover did a great job.

I was planning to use these before my sister’s wedding on the cruise, but when I went in for a pedicure I splurged and did a gel manicure as well. However, once I rip the gel manicure off (no, I don’t pay to get it removed and yes, I know it ruins your nails to rip it off) I’ll stick some Color Street on my nails until they look pretty again.

Have you tried Color Street nail polish strips? What do you think of them?

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored review. I was not compensated in any way and all opinions are my own.

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Clothing Purge Report: October & November

29 Nov

It’s bimonthly Clothing Purge Report time! Rather than just showing you what I purchase, I also like to show you what items leave my house and how I sell or donate them. I also like to do a purge round-up to keep myself thinking about what else can be purged from my closet!

You can find my previous Clothing Purge Reports here:
Clothing Purge Report: August & September
Clothing Purge Report: June & July
Clothing Purge Report: April & May

Here’s my criteria for where I sell:

  • Poshmark/eBay: items that are in perfect condition.
  • My Instagram page: items that are in perfect or near perfect condition. I’ll typically post a collage of what I’ve listed elsewhere.
  • Facebook Sale Groups: items that are in perfect or near perfect condition in specific brands, such as Anthropologie, Boden, and Stitch Fix.
  • ThredUp Clean Out Bag: items in very good condition, but not perfect enough for me to sell on my own.
  • Donate to Thrift Stores: items in good condition or showing wear.

I had the majority of my sales on Poshmark, with 8 items selling:

I thrifted both green sweaters and decided that I no longer loved them, so I sold them for a profit. The sparkly heels are gorgeous, but I’m at the point where ALL my heels have to go. I bought these at TJMaxx and broke even on the sale. I was going to donate the black flats (I have a replacement pair that I like better), but decided to list them and see what happens. Boom, $12 is better than nothing!

The spotted tote was from Causebox and I knew I’d never use it… so it was nice to get a little of my money back for that (Causebox costs $50 per quarter for the whole box). I’ve had the Fossil organizer for ages and it never met my needs, so that got listed and sold too. I bought the Anthropologie sweater skirt a couple years ago and wore it a handful of times, but it always made me super warm, so I listed and sold that one too.

Now, let’s talk about the bridesmaid dress. It can be so hard to sell items with feelings attached to them. I wore this dress at my brother’s wedding in September and I knew I’d never wear it again… so typically I’d stick it in the back of a closet for a decade before finally getting rid of it. This time, I forced myself to list it ASAP because I figured that since the color is still selling on the David’s Bridal website, there may be another thrifty bridesmaid that could use one at a discount! This dress was originally $180 but I’m pretty sure I got it on sale for 20% off or something. I listed it on Poshmark for $85 and accepted an offer within a week for $75. MUCH better than letting it sit in my closet and take up space!

I ended up making 8 sales and my total earnings were $250 before Poshmark fees (20%).

Facebook Sale Groups
I belong to some brand-specific Facebook groups: Boden Mamas B/S/T, Anthropologie BST, Non Crap Mama Clothes, Rothy’s BST, Stitch Fix b/s/t Large and Stitch Fix B/S/T. If you are interested in joining any of them, you need to submit to join and then the administrator will approve each person (I am not the administrator of any of these groups).

Items sold on Facebook groups:

  • Stitch Fix top – wore a few times last year and no longer love, sold for $29
  • Stitch Fix funnel neck sweater – bought a few years ago and no longer wear, sold for $38

My total earnings for my Facebook sales were $67. I love selling through Facebook Groups because I don’t have to pay any Poshmark or eBay fees, just a small PayPal fee for the sale (usually a couple bucks). So all I have to subtract out is postage costs and the rest is MINE ALL MINE!

How did you like my bi-monthly ‘what I sold’ posts? Did you find them helpful? Do you have any clothes selling tips?

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