Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Thrifting 101: Shopping Often

Inspiration photo via 
Navigating a thrift store is a unique task, but not an impossible one.  After many years of thrift shopping,  I've found that the secret is, there is no big secret. Rather, I follow a few simple tips and guidelines that have helped me develop successful thrifting habits and allowed me to replicate outfits from the runway and fashion magazines at a fraction of the cost!

Tip: Shop Often
If you ever find yourself roaming around aimlessly at Goodwill,  don't worry you're not alone. A way to avoid this it to shop often.  I'm certainly not encouraging you to spend money frivolously on items you don't need. But in order to feel more comfortable navigating a thrift store it really helps to visit Goodwill on a regular basis. I recommend going at least twice a month. You don't necessarily have to buy something each time, but walking around and familiarizing yourself with the store will help you develop stronger thrifting skills. When you visit or shop often, you become more comfortable and familiar with things like the store layout, the tagging system, and special discounts. Sometimes it takes several trips to find what you're looking for, but I'd argue that  it takes a little persistence regardless of where you like to shop, whether that would be a department or regular retail store.  Don't let the first unsuccessful trip discourage you from going back.

The Outfit: Pinterest Inspired
I'm always looking for ankle pants for workwear so I was thrilled when I found a pair of burgundy Target brand ankle pants with the tags still attached. These retail for $30 and I scored them at Goodwill for $8!  Once I took the pants home, I turned to Pinterest for inspiration on how to style them. There were dozens of ideas but I was drawn to the black and burgundy combo from this beautiful blogger. Because I wanted something a little cozier than a blazer and because I love making old things new again, I opted for an oversized 1980s sweater from Goodwill for $3.

The Thrifty Details: 
Sweater | Goodwill in North Olmsted | $3
Pants | Goodwill in North Olmsted | $8
Boots | Goodwill in Canal Fulton | $5
Clutch | Goodwill in Canal Fulton | $2

Store Spotlight: North Olmsted: 
Living in Akron, I don't always get to make it up north to thrift shop often. However, when I do, I love to go to the North Olmsted store (23100 Lorain Rd). This location is huge yet extremely organized. The toy section was also a family favorite; my sister found several toys for my niece and nephew for less than $5.

You can follow Goodwill Industries of Greater Cleveland and East Central Ohio here:
To find a Goodwill Cleveland & Canton store, click here.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Shop 'Spice' by Dina's Days at Blue, a Goodwill Boutique

I'm very excited to finally share my recent collaboration with Goodwill Industries of Akron! Goodwill opened their first boutique featuring upscale clothing and accessories in downtown Kent called Blue where you can also shop my pop-up collection, Spice by Dina's Days. I've handpicked some of my favorite thrift and vintage pieces including faux fur and leather vests and skirts, ponchos and shawls, jewel tone dresses, velvet tops, and so much more. Everything in my collection is under $30 so you can stock up on your favorite finds. I've seen the boutique develop over the last few months and I'm still in awe at how well it all came together. It's absolutely fantastic! It's huge and located in the heart of downtown next to Acorn Alley on Main Street. A grand opening event is in the works for the spring, but for now I hope you will visit and shop both the Spice and Goodwill collections!

shop faux leather vests and jackets from the Spice by Dina's Days collection
Lots of faux fur! 

Of course, a Dina's Days collection wouldn't be complete without sequins 

lots of pops of color
All DIY decor

drawer full of scarves 

Blue, a Goodwill Boutique 
118 E. Main Street, Kent, Ohio 44240
Phone: 330-677-2525
Store Hours: Monday - Thursday: 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Friday- Saturday: 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Sunday: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Lipsticks I love: Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick

A photo posted by dinasdays (@dinasdays) on

I'm a matte lipcolor kind of girl. I don't like gloss or shine and shudder at the thought of shimmer anywhere near my face. In addition to the Revlon matte color that I blogged about last year, Kat Von D's liquid lipstick makes my absolute, hell yeah must-have list. 

Don't make the same mistake I did and assume liquid lipstick is the same thing as lip gloss. The consistency is much thinner so you can't just slap this on your lips. The first time I applied this like lip gloss without looking in the mirror, it ended up all over my face and teeth. With that said, it's not an overly complicated lipstick like some of the MAC lipsticks I've tried. It's actually very easy to apply.  It's a highly pigmented, full coverage color that goes on glossy and dries flat. Remember, a little goes a long way. When applying, I like to remove the excess from my brush and start light and add lipstick carefully as I go along. Once you apply, just let it dry on it's own. This lipstick will easily last 5-8 hours. Although the last few hours the lipstick will look more like a tint. The shade my friend gave me is Bachelorette. It's vibrant dark reddish fuchsia. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

How To: Thrift Jeans

I've always found shopping for jeans to be the most overwhelming shopping experience; both at thrift and department stores. Because of this, I've developed a strategy over the years that seems to make thrifting jeans a little easier. Follow these tips to score a great deal on quality denim:

1. Take your time:  Similar to a department store, thrift shopping jeans can be time consuming.  If you set aside a little extra time for jeans, you are bound to score a deal on a great pair. Taking your time is probably the most important tip of all. When I'm in need of new denim, I set aside a special trip just for jeans. Try going on a day where you know you will have time to look around and try on.

2. Figure out where you need to be. Figure out how your thrift store organizes denim. Some do it by size and others don't. Goodwill Akron sorts jeans by "small / medium / large" sections. Check the racks to make sure you're in the right aisle. If you're not sure, simply ask an employee to point you in the right direction.

3. Touch. You can feel the difference between quality denim and cheap denim by touching the jeans. Doing this while you browse will help you cut back on time and effort. That's exactly how I found these J.Crew wide leg jeans. Although I couldn't really see the jeans entirely on the rack, I instantly noticed how soft the jeans felt on my hands. Because of that, I was drawn to pull them off the rack only to find out they retailed for over $100.

4. Look at the hems rather than waist. This saves me so much time! I'm usually on the hunt for a particular style of jeans so looking at the cuffs or hems helps narrow it down to the styles I perter.   For example, I can hone in on skinny cut jeans by browsing the cuff because I won't pull a bunch of boot cut jeans off the rack.

5. Try on. There's a possibility that thrifted denim has shrunk, been hemmed or just isn't true to size. Unless it's clearly evident that the jeans are not going to fit you, take your time and try them on. Plus, you don't want to buy a pair of jeans if they don't fit even if they only cost $4. That's how I found these jeans at the Goodwill in Medina. They size on the tag wasn't my usual size but they looked like the could fit, and voila! They did.

The Thrifty Details: 
Blouse | Forever 21 | Goodwill on State Rd $3
Jeans | J.Crew | Goodwill on State Rd $5
Purse | Target | Goodwill at Midway Plaza $3

Thursday, January 15, 2015

How to Disconnect and Unplug

Between my day job as communications manager, Dina's Days, and my personal networks I spend a lot of time online.  Truthfully, I'm connected almost all day.  Although I appreciate and value all of these aspects of  my life, as soon as I get home at night, I often reach a point where I'm repulsed by the simple sound of an email notification. I'm usually pretty good about taking a bi-annual blogcation where I completely disconnect from blogging and social media, but I'm really trying to force myself to disconnect on a regular basis. Here are some ways that have helped me put the iPhone away and turn the computer off:

  • Leave your phone in another room for hours. Unless I'm expecting an important call, I plug my phone in my bedroom after work and leave it there for several hours. It's nice to physically be away from the devices for a few hours. 
  • Borrow a really good book from the library. Nothing beats hours of reading a great book followed by an amazing nap. 
  • Watch a really good series on Netflix. It will be hours before I check my email or social media if I'm in the middle of The Fall or Broadchurch. 
  • Respond to your social media notifications one to two times per day all at once. Who said we need to respond to social media notifications right away? There's no rule that said we need to log on and respond every hour. I've been trying to make more of an effort to check my social media networks a couple times a day. 
  • Put your phone on do not disturb for a few hours at a time. iPhones have an awesome feature where you can put your phone on "do not disturb" (settings, do not disturb). All calls, alerts, and messages will be silenced and when calls come through they go straight to voicemail.  You can set it to where you can receive notifications from certain numbers in case you're expecting an important call. 
  • Log out of e-mail at work. I've said this before in this post and I still believe in this. Nothing - and I mean nothing - is more distracting than e-mails at work. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love the fact that we can accomplish so much via e-mail, but sometimes we just need to 'x' out for blocks at a time to really focus on a project. I try to respond to non-urgent emails at the end of the workday if I'm really busy. 
  • Don't check your phone first thing in the morning. I try to start my day by having a glass of water and drinking a cup of coffee in silence before I check my notifications and emails. This isn't always easy but it feels so great when I do. I figure, I'm going to be connected for the next eight or so hours, what's an hour to myself in the morning? 
How do you like to unplug?