Friday, October 31, 2014

Thrift Challenge No.11: Thrift Wish List

Happy Halloween! First and foremost, a winner was chosen via for the Halloween Thrift Challenge... congratulations to Elastigirl aka Jenniva! You won the Halloween thrift challenge. A huge 'thank you' to all of the participants; I admire your creativity!

For November, Katie thought it would be a good idea to share our thrift wish lists and attempt to check some things off. One of the most important tips that we teach in our workshops is to create a list while thrifting. It helps you stay organized and avoid buying things you don't need.

Here's a breakdown of what I'm looking for:

  • Ranger Hat (for Trail Magic)
  • Beat up Keds (for Trail Magic)
  • Cabbie Hat (for Trail Magic)
  • Reporter Hat (for Trail Magic)
  • A fitted plaid pencil skirt 
  • A striped dress
  • Leopard print ankle boots

I bet you're wondering why I have a ranger and reporter hat on my list. I teamed up with the super talented storytellers at Wandering Aesthetics to help out with the costumes for their upcoming productions. I'm working on finding items for their November performance titled Trail Magic, a story about Emma "Grandma" Gatewood who hiked the Appalachian Trail. Check them out on Facebook.

Head over to Something to be Found to see her thrift list! We will reveal the results at the end of November.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Thrift Challenge No.10: Halloween

October's thrift challenge was not only a Halloween theme but it was a special reader's challenge! We asked you to submit your adult thrifted costumes to Dina's Days and kids costumes to Something to be Found to win a prize. Thank you to everyone who submitted photos!

For this challenge, I set out to thrift my Carmen Miranda costume, also known as Lady with the Tutti Frutti Hat.  This was a ridiculously fun costume to thrift because I love anything bold and I already owned about 90% of the pieces. First, I shopped my closet and wore an embellished bra that I featured in my Moroccan Holiday collection and paired it with the green skirt that Katie wore to the fashion show this year; both thrifted. I piled on the necklaces like Carmen and busted out my box of bangles for an arm party. The fact that I already own this stuff is sort of frightening.

The fruit hat was the most fun. The thrift store always carries vases of fake fruit for some reason. I scored this hideous vase at Goodwill for $3.80. After spending an hour or so disinfecting the fake fruit I created a hat by attaching the fruit to my turban; also thrifted.

Voila! I'm ready for a tropical party.

The Details: 
Fruit Hat: DIY from a fake fruit vase | Thrifted | Goodwill | $3.80
Necklaces & Bracelets: Already owned; some thrifted some not
Bra: Thrifted | Village Discount Outlet  | $4
Skirt: Thrifted | Salvation Army | $5
Shoes: Target | $10
Scarf: Thrifted | $1

Now let's get to the awesome reader submissions!

Tina from Akron, Ohio: Nintendo Controller

She made this entire Nintendo controller costume out of foam wood, duct tape, and paint!

Jenniva,  Akron ( Elastigirl 

Jenniva's kids wanted to be The Incredibles for Halloween so she thrifted, shopped her closet, and DIY'd her Elastigirl costume. She thrifted the shirt, already owned the leggings and boots, made the tutu out of tulle fabric, and the symbol out of felt fabric.

Abby, Akron ( Rosie the Riveter 

Abby thrifted, swapped, and thrifted her way through to create this costume.  She is wearing a jumpsuit she bought at a charity shop in France for 5 Euros, a hand-me-down shirt, swapped boots, and borrowed bandana - for a total of $6.35! 

I loved every single one of these! A winner will be chosen at random to win this prize and will be announced on Halloween day. Head over to Something to be Found to see how Katie thrifted costumes for her kids and to see her reader submissions!

Thanks again to these creative ladies for participating!
Click here to read about the Thrift Challenge 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Goodwill Akron Thrift Night Out

If you couldn't tell just by reading the Thrift Challenge, Katie and I are very passionate about inspiring our readers, friends, and family to thrift shop. We are especially excited when we can inspire those who have never thrifted before to get into the spirit of thrift shopping! In an effort to do so, we recruited 11 of our friends and hosted a private Thrift Night Out event on Saturday night. Our goal was to make it a fun evening complete with dinner, drinks, dessert, and of course shopping. We started off at Bricco in Kent then headed over to the Goodwill on 59 where we taught our Thrifting 101 workshop. We then hit the racks to score some deals. We really had a BLAST! Everyone found really cool things including furniture, vinyl records, clothing, and housewares.

We asked the girls to bring a photo of an outfit or home decor idea they love so we could try to replicate it at Goodwill. Katie's friend Laura had a few of her favorite outfits bookmarked in a magazine and used that as her starting point (a tip we teach at our workshops).

Heather (pictured above) has been having some challenges styling a navy blazer so she brought it with her. She ended up finding an entire outfit to go with her blazer including a pair of mustard skinny jeans and a ruffle top. Total score!

I found a super cool retro chair and a bohemian inspired maxi skirt for summer. All under $10!

The best part about the entire night is that the girls left feeling totally inspired to thrift shop again. When we introduced ourselves at the beginning of the night, nearly every single girl said she wasn't a thrifter. By the end of the evening we all wished we had more time to shop! Nothing makes me happier than to hear a non-thrifter say, "I can't wait to thrift again."

Thank you to Goodwill Akron for hosting us and allowing us to go bonkers in the store. If you are interested in hosting a private class / shopping event for you and your girlfriends, let us know! It's so much fun!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

How To Shop for Cozy Oversized Sweaters at the Thrift Store

Cozy, oversized or "chunky" sweaters are not only fashionable but are almost a necessity if you experience NE Ohio like temperatures. Chunky sweaters can run upwards of $60 at most retail stores but you can easily find racks upon racks of them at local thrift stores. I'm not joking, there are so many thick wool sweaters available that I don't even know where to begin sometimes. If you've ever felt overwhelmed shopping for a cozy sweater at the thrift store, here are a few tips to help steer you in the right direction:

Be inspired. 

image via

A simple "cozy sweater' search on Pinterest will yield hundreds if not thousands of results. Go ahead, try it. Take a screen shot of your favorite one and use that as a guide when you go to the thrift store next time. Although every girl on Pinterest makes styling a cozy sweater look effortless, it can be a little tricky sometimes.  I like to keep my bottoms slim and depending on how big the sweater is, sometimes I prefer platform booties as opposed to flat ones so I'm not drowning in sweater. It all depends on the style you choose. Play around with it until you feel comfortable. Because that's the whole point, cozy sweaters are meant to be comfy.

Be Bold. 

An oversized sweater will serve as the focal point of your outfit so why not go for a cool, unique pattern? The thrift store carries tons of one-of-a-kind textures and prints that can elevate a casual look. Personally, I'm a huge fan of 1980s or Cliff Huxtable chunky sweaters. Some sweaters may look awful on the hanger but don't be afraid to try things on! You will be surprised how different they can feel and look once you style them.

Be Basic. 

Whether or not you're not sold on the Cliff Huxtable look, stock up on a couple oversized cozy sweaters in cream and gray. These neutral colors will work well with practically anything you own. You can throw on a pair of black skinnies, jeans or even tights. 

Be like the Boys. 

Steal your grandpa's style and take a walk over to the men's department for an even bigger variety of cozy sweaters. Pick a style you like and make it your own. 

Thrift shopping tip: Most thrift stores, especially in the Akron and surrounding area organize their sweaters by color which makes it much easier to narrow down your selection. Also, most of these sweaters can be machine washed. I've washed the one pictured above several times. I usually lay them flat to dry. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Easy Chicken & Ranch Pizza

There's something very comforting about making and baking dough. It always seems intimidating but is surprisingly a very simple process.  Because of that this recipe is great for kids; my nephew loves to get his hands dirty and kneads the dough.  I also love making pizza at home because the possibilities are endless! In addition to this white pizza, we made a red sauce pizza with traditional toppings. Next up on my list: replicating Gasoline Alley's ground beef pizza.

What you need

1 packet of fast rising yeast. You can find these at most grocery stores
1 tsp. sugar
2 tbls. olive oil
3 1/2 cup warm water
2 tsp salt

1 bag shredded mozzarella 
1 -2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Ranch dressing

Dried Oregano 
Italian Seasoning
Dried Rosemary

What you need to do:

1. Mix water, yeast and sugar in a bowl

2. Cover with a towel and let it rise for 10 minutes

3. Once the yeast rises, mix it with the flour, oil, and salt. 

If you have a Kitchen Aid, use the hook to mix everything together, it will also knead your dough. Knead on medium speed for about 5 minutes or until it forms into a ball. Make sure it's not sticky.

 If you don't have a Kitchen Aid, knead with your knuckles and form into a ball. Add flour gradually if it's still sticky. Place ball of dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a towel and let it rise for 1/2 hour. 

4. While your dough is rising, prepare the chicken in a non-stick skillet.

5. Once your dough rises, punch it to get the air out. Roll out your dough into a square with a rolling pin. 

6. I used a round pizza crisper, but you can use a regular baking sheet. Spread dough evenly, while folding over the edges to form a crust. 

7. Drizzle ranch over dough (this is your pizza sauce) add chicken, toppings, cheese, and dried herbs. 

8. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes