It’s in the family.

Last weekend my cousin Aiden visited! We spent some time with my grandmother, whose retro abode is loaded with antiques and mid-century kitsch. It’s definitely got a vintage feel.

It’s become our habit to do a bit of treasure-hunting whenever we visit our grandmother. She loves passing her old stuff down to us, and, well, we don’t really say no.

Below, Aiden models one of grandma’s gifts: a black vintage purse in nearly mint condition. We can’t quite place the logo. It’s definitely not Chanel.

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She’s also sporting some very cool thrifted slacks from a San Francisco shop called The Wasteland.

During her visit, we went on several thrifting adventures (yard sale, Goodwill, flea market, etc.) in the Rockville, MD area. As can be expected, some trips were more fruitful than others. I ended up coming home with a pretty hand mirror and a brass planter. Here’s a pic of the mirror; I’m saving the brass planter for a future post on my ever-growing indoor garden. ūüôā

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Only spent $3 on this pretty metal reproduction.

After returning home from my weekend at Grandma’s, I was excited to see that my new boots from American Eagle had arrived. I got these on sale for like 60% off! I think I spent around $20 on them total.

IMG_4187.JPGI’ve been wearing them nonstop, as we’ve been having some beautiful Fall weather the past week.

Enjoy your weekend! ūüôā

Long overdue update.

Well, it’s been a while. School started and I got very, very busy.

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Here are a few pics of my classroom. Note the purple rug from IKEA…very frugal buy at a mere $25!

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The sets of plastic drawers were cheap yard sale buys!

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Though¬†I have been pretty occupied, I’ve¬†manage to procure a couple of cool things over the past few weeks…

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Pretty yard sale scarves…25 cents a pop!
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Lovely ceramic vase‚Ķ$4¬†from Ryan’s Relics.
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Just a couple of bucks for blue and white. Gets me every time.

Hoping to go on a thrifting adventure soon. Stay tuned. ūüôā

Jo’s story & fabulous stuff.

Today, enjoy this guest post from my faraway friend, Josephine!

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Jo: I have always been a thrifty person. It may be because my parents grew up in Sweden and England during the second World War (not baby boomers), so frugality was highly praised in my family. My father worked in the hospitality industry and often purchased secondhand furniture from his place of work when they remodelled the lounges or dining rooms. My mom was a self-taught seamstress, upholsterer and furniture refinisher. Our house was always well-decorated with her unique touch. Cushions, curtains, valances, armchairs, sofas, plush headboards, Halloween costumes, prom dresses–my mom could do it all and on a thrifty budget. Of course, my dad also did his share of DIY projects: finished basement, living room extension and an epic two-floor tree house with crows nest lookout and fire escape.

When I look around my condo, which was itself a thrifty find, nestled inside a 1913 character bldg in need of some TLC but in a fantastic neighbourhood, I realize that 90% of my furniture is used or secondhand. Antique markets, Craigslist, Kijiji, Sally Ann, Value Village, MCC thrift, the IKEA As-Is dept and the Old House Revival Co. are my favourite shops in Winnipeg, Canada’s most Cheap and Cheerful bigger city. It’s slightly isolated but with an unparalleled vibrant cultural scene and affordable cost of living (if you can embrace the winters.) Many of my pieces also come from my life abroad in Sweden, France, Morocco, Turkey and Afghanistan.

When I lived in Paris, I was fortunate to get a contract teaching English at Vitra, “manufacturer of the works of many internationally renowned furniture designers” such as Eames, Panton, Saarinen, Citterio, Morrison etc. I had absolutely no knowledge of design at the time and this was a fabulous entry into that world. You can imagine my excitement when I acquired this Saarinen tulip coffee table knock-off at Sally Anne for $10 CDN.

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It looks fabulous with my knock-off Acapulco chairs in my mom’s backyard.

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Since returning to Canada in 2010, I’ve fallen in love with vintage Pyrex bakeware and Norwegian Lotte Figgjo dishes. Here is just a smidgen of my collection.

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Finding the elusive red Primary Colours mixing bowl thus completing my set, has been the highlight of my collecting career so far….and for $8 CDN at the Mulvey Flee Market. The dish rack, a splurge¬†and similar to one I had seen in the Conran Shop, comes from India, ordered from this UK website. http://www.theplaterack.co.uk. ¬†

Pretty nice finds, eh? ūüôā

Outlet haul.

During my beach vacation, I visited the outlet shops and got some really great stuff…at a steal!

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A few bargain highlights:

  • From Old Navy outlet:¬†basic tank tops, $8 each (one white, one black, and one teal)
  • From LOFT outlet:¬†Pair of casual jeans for $22,¬†scarf for $16 (They were having a 40% off sale, and I ended up signing up for the rewards card, which meant another 15% off!)
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Old Navy tank, LOFT scarf

I absolutely love the floral print on this scarf. It’s super lightweight, which makes it great for the Spring and also the Summer –> Fall transition. It can easily be dressed up or down, depending on how it’s styled.

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Scarf close-up!

Here are the LOFT jeans. Lose-fitting, comfy, casual.

I wish there were outlets closer to my home, but my wallet is also grateful that there aren’t! ūüôā

Lady in Red.

Just got back from my weekend beach trip! The weather was on our side and we had a great time.

Here’s a photo of Carisa modeling a cute red blouse that I picked up at a yard sale for $5.

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Hanging out at the Rehoboth Beach outlets. 

I gave¬†it to her for keeps because it definitely suited it her more than it did me. The fit and fabric render it dressy enough for a night out, but also casual enough for daytime wear (depending on how you style it). Definitely a steal! ‚̧

#tbt: A *tote*al bargain.

Did I mention I was a professional punster in my past life? ūüėõ

I’m heading to the beach this weekend and I couldn’t be more excited;¬†I’ve been looking forward to this getaway all summer. Right now, the weather forecast shows thunderstorms, but I’m going to pretend it doesn’t and hope for the best.

So…here’s my beach tote.¬†

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When I found this bag hanging out on the $5 clearance rack at Aerie a couple of summers ago, I couldn’t say no. I mean, it’s pretty plain, I guess, but it does the job. And I think simple yet sophisticated is a good look.

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I’m not sure exactly what it’s made of–some type of woven material. It came with a matching pouch inside, which is super convenient for storing a phone or similar item that could use some extra protection from the elements.

That’s all for today. If you need me, I’ll be praying to the weather gods.

Making a statement.

I hadn’t planned on dedicating an entire blog post to this beautiful new¬†ring, but it proved¬†popular on my Instagram, so here you go.

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I purchased it for¬†$15 a¬†couple of days ago from a local shop called Caravanserai.¬†Colorful, exotic, bohemian…I absolutely love everything in this shop! It reminds me of my years living in Turkey, and how much I came to love the artistic style there, both past and present.

Normally, I wouldn’t call this a “steal.” But,¬†when you think about it, 15 bucks is pretty good for such an impressionable piece of foreign jewelry! Actually,¬†I was hesitant at first because it is such an eye-catching¬†statement piece, and I’ve never worn anything like it before, but hey: I have long fingers, so I can rock it, right? ¬†ūüėČ

Help wanted.

Okay, I’ll get right to it: a couple of years ago, I scored this adorable blouse¬†from the clearance rack at¬†a local boutique¬†(orig. $48, sale price $20! ).¬†

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Super cute, right? The soft blush tone against the unexpected snazzy collar…

Well, I’m ashamed to admit that I haven’t worn it ONCE since I bought it. Literally, the tag is still attached! It’s not that I don’t like it, it’s just that I’ve never been able to figure out how to wear it. Like, what do I pair¬†with it? Pants? Skirt? What kind? How long? What color? Tucked in, or loose? And for what type of occasion?

After scoring such a good deal on this top, I’m determined to wear it at least once this summer! Please, please, PLEASE comment with any and all styling advice. Do this bargain justice.

Merci  ♥  (I feel like this blouse would speak French)

Finding a hidden gem.

I recently had the pleasure of checking out an awesome boutique called Milk and Ice Vintage. Great name, right? While the highlights seem to be clothing and accessories, the space also features some pretty neat antiques.

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On this particular day, they had a $5 sale bin sitting right outside the store. At first, I hesitated; could there really be anything that spectacular in the bargain bin? Still, I crouched down and began carefully sifting through the items.

And then I found this.

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It had my name written all over it in invisible marker. Seriously.

Such a cute little bag! The inside tag indicates that it’s originally from Nordstrom. Not that that matters.

Let’s look at it again.

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Basic, yet versatile. Great as a cross-body bag or just hanging off the shoulder. Moreover, the compact size makes it ideal for a summer evening out with friends or a daytime festival that begs for something lightweight and hassle-free.

I’m usually a same-purse-all-the-time kind of gal, but this steal makes me excited to switch things up a bit!¬†Oh, and did I mention it was only $5?? ¬†ūüôā