by Abbie

I’m so excited Allison was nice enough to leave her blogging backdoor unlocked for me so I could slip in and introduce myself today. So, here I am…introducing myself (feel free to imagine me doing a stiff little wave and a half-curtsy because that’s what I just did…at my own computer screen…while I was typing…what a doofus!):

So, hi there! I’m Abbie. Like many of you, I wear so many hats that sometimes I walk out the door with the wrong one on. I’m a follower of Jesus, a mama to three children: Ezra (5), Simon (3 1/2), and Adelaide (9 mos.), a wife to one (no polygamy here…though sometimes I do feel like a http://www.secondhandorbarebottom.com/2011/08/late-for-very-important-date.html“>

blogamist), a fitness instructor, a writer, a DIY fanatic, and a thrifting junkie.

Oh yeah. And I run not one but two blogs (hence the blogamy): http://www.fivedaysfiveways.com/“>Five days…5 ways, my everyday blog where I kind of like my everyday house, and http://www.secondhandorbarebottom.com/“>Secondhand or Bare Bottom—a little more like a vacation house, with a closetful of killer thrifted finds.

At http://www.fivedaysfiveways.com/“>Five days…5 ways, I have a theme for each day of the work-week: 1) http://www.fivedaysfiveways.com/search/label/Move-it%20Monday“>Move-it Monday (fitness), 2) http://www.fivedaysfiveways.com/search/label/Try-it%20Tuesday“>Try-it Tuesday (DIY + tutorials), http://www.fivedaysfiveways.com/search/label/Wardrobe%20Wednesday“>Wardrobe Wednesday (where I showcase my “cheat outfits”—which just means that they’re not 100% thrifted), http://www.fivedaysfiveways.com/search/label/5%20things%20thursday“>Five Things Thursday (a picture diary of five things on my mind), and http://www.fivedaysfiveways.com/search/label/Feature%20Friday“>Feature Friday (could be anything from my life or others’ as long as I feel like featuring it).

Here’s a taste of what’s been going down at my everyday pad, http://www.fivedaysfiveways.com/“>Five days…5 ways:

http://lh6.ggpht.com/-vjCy-Ue1yZw/TjHJLTR3ULI/AAAAAAAABN8/y-ZDQTiy2zE/2011-07-27_thumb%25255B3%25255D.jpg?imgmax=800″ height=”450″ width=”450″ />

Some detail shots to whet your appetite for more. : )

http://lh4.ggpht.com/-ol085_b8QAk/ThyQfMUjK1I/AAAAAAAAA5Y/Wq97x-zs5Kc/IMG_3859_thumb2.jpg?imgmax=800″ height=”450″ width=”340″ />

You can find updated pictures of my entire living room (I’ll even tell you where I bought that fabulous rug…can you tell I get that question a lot?) and other rooms on my blog’s “http://www.fivedaysfiveways.com/p/our-house.html“>Our House” tab.

Speaking of our house, we built 95% of it ourselves (framing, painting, plumbing, electrical, sheetrock, built-ins, flooring…practically everything) because when I say DIY fanatic…I mean fan-a-tic!

    • My daughter, Della’s, nursery:

http://lh5.ggpht.com/-GZq1uelYg18/TlHBydDiVzI/AAAAAAAAAbg/cOb7lsI3ddc/s1600-h/IMG_26395.jpg“>IMG_2639http://lh3.ggpht.com/-R2pDHSzpyG0/TlHB0TDQjII/AAAAAAAAAbk/zhi4gbiUicE/IMG_2639_thumb2.jpg?imgmax=800″ border=”0″ height=”450″ width=”264″ />

http://lh5.ggpht.com/–amKYMykKxg/ThqWpwAHHUI/AAAAAAAAA18/Kyv2b4NqJd4/s1600/IMG_3917-2%25255B9%25255D.jpg” height=”213″ width=”450″ />

http://lh3.ggpht.com/-YNJJ2aUw2bI/TiXWhYwsnuI/AAAAAAAAA9E/L8QWVYwEfNU/IMG_4301_thumb%25255B2%25255D.jpg?imgmax=800″ height=”240″ width=”350″ />

    • A taste of my Wardrobe Wednesday style:

http://lh5.ggpht.com/-HQtczaBHc28/TktTDmgX8pI/AAAAAAAAAWw/s60A_DPk4oA/s1600/IMG_5727%25255B12%25255D.jpg” border=”0″ height=”450″ width=”271″ />

I promise I’m not snooty. The turned-up nose is genetic. (Thanks, Mom, but I would have preferred inheriting your ability to get a tan instead of my current constant state of two shades lighter than pasty).

And speaking of clothes, http://www.secondhandorbarebottom.com/“>Secondhand or Bare Bottom is a 100% thrifted style blog—my creative outlet for my Goodwill obsession finds and my smart-mouthed tendencies (I write a “bit”—part sarcasm, part silliness—to go with each outfit post). What makes this blog unique is that literally every. single. item. (bags, shoes, jewelry, everything) I wear or carry is thrifted or gifted. Here’s a peek at what I wore last week (my style might be best described as Little House on the Prairie meets boho chic):

http://lh5.ggpht.com/-wNPXEqAZDlw/TktTpxkm4QI/AAAAAAAAAXs/dNvhLVWcglY/2011-08-14_thumb%25255B1%25255D.jpg?imgmax=800″ />

And that’s all she wrote, folks! (Ha! If you read my blog, you’ll find out soon enough that it’s never all she wrote!).

Allison, you are a very gracious and brave woman for letting me stop by to blather about my blogs, and I thank you. I hope I’ve behaved myself well enough that you’ll still let me participate in your linkies and ogle your fun projects!

And thank YOU too, House of Hepworth readers. It’s been a pleasure sharing a bit of my corner of the blogosphere with you today. I hope you come by for a visit at either/both of my blogs.

In fact, I’ve got quite the welcome present for you waiting at http://www.fivedaysfiveways.com“>Five days…5 ways:

I’m hosting a giveaway for a $25 shop credit to…wait for it…http://shop.thepleatedpoppy.com/“>The Pleated Poppy!!! You know you love Lindsey’s ridiculously cute wares! Check out the giveaway button in my sidebar for all the details!

Like what you read? Like M is for Mama on facebook (pretty please?):

I love hearing from you guys!

pleated poppy

Hello, Pleated Poppy readers!

Excited does not begin to describe how I feel about getting to chat with you guys today on Lindsey’s awesome blog! Thank you, Lindsey!

Before I tell you a little about myself, I thought you might want to know that I’m hosting a Pleated Poppy giveaway, and you can find out all of the details here.

See? I have my priorities straight!

And now that you’re back…Hi there! My name is Abbie, and I’m a thriftaholic.

Whew! I feel better now that’s off my chest. I missed my Thiftaholics Anonymous meeting this week, but this is kind of like a (really big!) group session, right?

Right.

In addition to being a hardcore thrifter, I’m also a follower of Jesus, a wife, a mama to three kiddos under six, an exercise instructor, a writer, and a DIY fanatic.

Oh yeah. And I run not one but two blogs (I think that makes me a blogamist):

1. Five days…5 ways, my everyday blog where I like creating thrifty projects like these:

2011-06-28

2. Secondhand or Bare Bottom—my smart-mouthed style blog where everything I wear or carry (accessories, bags, shoes, everything) is 100% thrifted.

Obsessed much? Why, yes, I am.

Today, I’m here to share with you my tips for finding thrifted outfits so that instead of this:

IMG_6052

You like?

I know for some of you this is what comes to mind when you think “thrifted,” especially Goodwill!

IMG_6053

There was no way I could pass up an attempt at “The Elaine” while I was wearing this get-up. And yes, I did pay good money for these things at Goodwill. Good thing they have a 7 day exchange policy, huh?

You get this:

IMG_5821

Or is it this?:

IMG_6002-1

One of these outfits is 100% thrifted, and one is 100% retail. Can you tell which is which? Because if you can’t tell the difference, you shouldn’t have to pay for it.

Today is actually the inaugural post of a new series I’m starting on my Wardrobe Wednesday posts at Five days…5 ways.

It’s called Thrifted or Grifted.

Thrifted: (adj.): previously loved and ridiculously cheap…aka Secondhand

Grifted: {(adj.): swindled or cheated…aka Retail

And yes, I know that not all retail is a swindle. I’m a happy clearance rack browser myself, but it makes the title rhyme, so I’m going with it.

The coolest part?

Thrifted or Grifted is interactive! Just click on the link and place your vote for which of the above outfits you think is thrifted and which is retail. I’ll post the tally and and reveal which is which before my 5 Things Thursday tomorrow!

So, how DO you score awesome thrifted finds?**

    1) Go early, go often, and go long. My specialty is Goodwill, and I like to go on Mondays/Tuesdays in the morning because they’ve had time to get themselves organized from the weekend rush. DON’T go on a Saturday at 11 or you’ll get nothing but picked-over racks and a headache. I usually go once a week if I’m doing “focused” shopping or once a month if I’m just browsing. Frequency definitely yields better results. I hardly ever get out of there in less than two hours (with three munchkins in tow), but one hour could produce some pretty fantastic deals.

    2) In the case of Goodwill, ignore the racks that are always there at first, and, if your store has them, start with the ones they roll out on the floor every 45 minutes or so. Some stores will even make announcements when they roll out new racks so you can do your best Usain Bolt impression beating all the other bargain-obsessed chicks to that adorable Anthropologie skirt huddled behind those maroon pleated polyester pants from 1984.

    3) Don’t be afraid to haggle. Most thrift-store items are reasonably priced to begin with, but many times, the items are priced by separate people in the back who sometimes get bitten by the random bug and pop a $10 price tag on a pair of cute-but-hardly-worth-it flip-flops. If you find something you think is overpriced, don’t be afraid to ask management to lower it. Especially if you have a comparable item that is already marked lower that you can show them. Also, learn which stores have bargain days. Stores like Salvation Army often have brown bag days specials when everything you can fit in one bag is one low price.

    4) If you find something you love that has a flaw, ask yourself these two questions: 1) Can I fix it/how long will it take me?, and 2) How much can I get them to lower the price because of the flaw? If the answers are A) Yes/not too long, and B) Enough that it’s dirt-cheap…buy it and turn it into a project!

    5) What about shoes? Aren’t they gross?—Shoes can be tricky for the germ/other people’s feet averse. I’m not really one of those, but I only buy the ones that are in great condition, and I keep a big, fat can of Lysol waiting for them when I get home!

    **Disclaimer: I neither hold a degree in thrifting nor have I taken an online course. The above are just some methods that work for me.

    Here’s a glimpse of a portion of my Goodwill shoe collection:

    IMG_4768

And here are of some of my favorite 100% thrifted outfits that I’ve put together:

2011-07-15

Have I convinced you to give thrifting a shot, yet? It’s quite the thrill when you score that mint condition Marc Jacobs skirt (it’s right there in the bottom left corner of the collage) for $4.

You’ll be hooked in no time!

Which means that I’ll be seeing you at the next Thrifters Anonymous meeting! I’ll save a cookie for you.

Oh, and I really hope I get to “meet” you in person at Five days…5 ways and/or Secondhand or Bare Bottom. I’d love to have you by for a visit!

Like what you read? Like M is for Mama on facebook (pretty please?):

I love hearing from you guys!

I’m so excited Allison was nice enough to leave her blogging backdoor unlocked for me so I could slip in and introduce myself today.  So, here I am…introducing myself (feel free to imagine me doing a stiff little wave and a half-curtsy because that’s what I just did…at my own computer screen…while I was typing…what a doofus!):

So, hi there! I’m Abbie. Like many of you, I wear so many hats that sometimes I walk out the door with the wrong one on.  I’m a follower of Jesus, a mama to three children: Ezra (5), Simon (3 1/2), and Adelaide (9 mos.), a wife to one (no polygamy here…though sometimes I do feel like a blogamist), a fitness instructor, a writer, a DIY fanatic, and a thrifting junkie.

Oh yeah. And I run not one but two blogs (hence the blogamy): Five days…5 ways, which is kind of like my everyday house, and Secondhand or Bare Bottom—a little more like a vacation house, with a closetful of killer thrifted finds. 

At Five days…5 ways, I have a theme for each day of the work-week: 1) Move-it Monday (fitness), 2) Try-it Tuesday (DIY + tutorials), Wardrobe Wednesday (where I showcase my “cheat outfits”—which just means that they’re not 100% thrifted),  Five Things Thursday (a picture diary of five things on my mind), and Feature Friday (could be anything from my life or others’ as long as I feel like featuring it).

Here’s a taste of what’s been going down at my everyday pad, Five days…5 ways:

    • A master closet makeover (that Allison was kind enough to feature a couple of weeks back!) which transformed a sadly underutilized space with lots of potential into my dream dressing room:

Some detail shots to whet your appetite for more. : )

    • A tufted ottoman that I made from a $40 craigslist coffee table (tutorial included):

You can find updated pictures of my entire living room (I’ll even tell you where I bought that fabulous rug…can you tell I get that question a lot?) and other rooms on my blog’s “Our House” tab.

Speaking of our house, we built 95% of it ourselves (framing, painting, plumbing, electrical, sheetrock, built-ins, flooring…practically everything) because when I say DIY fanatic…I mean fan-a-tic!

    • My daughter, Della’s, nursery:

IMG_2639

    • A push-up tutorial (which is the best all-around fitness move out there, I think):

    • A taste of my Wardrobe Wednesday style:

I promise I’m not snooty. The turned-up nose is genetic. (Thanks, Mom, but I would have preferred inheriting your ability to get a tan instead of my current constant state of two shades lighter than pasty).

And speaking of clothes, Secondhand or Bare Bottom is a 100% thrifted style blog—my creative outlet for my Goodwill obsession finds and my smart-mouthed tendencies (I write a “bit”—part sarcasm, part silliness—to go with each outfit post). What makes this blog unique is that literally every. single. item. (bags, shoes, jewelry, everything) I wear or carry is thrifted or gifted.  Here’s a peek at what I wore last week (my style might be best described as Little House on the Prairie meets boho chic):

And that’s all she wrote, folks! (Ha! If you read my blog, you’ll find out soon enough that it’s never all she wrote!). 

Allison, you are a very gracious and brave woman for letting me stop by to blather about my blogs, and I thank you.  I hope I’ve behaved myself well enough that you’ll still let me participate in your linkies and ogle your fun projects!

And thank YOU too, House of Hepworth readers. It’s been a pleasure sharing a bit of my corner of the blogosphere with you today. I hope you come by for a visit at either/both of my blogs. I’d love to “meet” you in person!

Like what you read? Like M is for Mama on facebook (pretty please?):

I love hearing from you guys!

egg crate flower tute

A while back, I stumbled upon this fantastic DIY light fixture by Kristi of Addicted 2 Decorating.

flower-light

I knew I wanted to incorporate the idea of the flowers somewhere in my house, but I didn’t have a spot for a pendant light like this, so I just forgot about it for a while efficiently stored it away in my mental file of things I’d like to try someday.

Then, along came my Master Closet Makeover, and I got a brilliant egg carton flower brainstorm!…that kept getting shoved farther and farther down the closet to-do list, until it finally fell off, at least momentarily. 

But I’d already started a tutorial for you guys, so I finished it up today and will show you how I’m using my flowers until the appropriate time to reveal my brilliant brainstorm (read: whenever I get around to it!).

Like what you read? Like M is for Mama on facebook (pretty please?):

I love hearing from you guys!

Goodwill Hunting

I’m so excited to be guest-blogging for Rachelle and want to say a huge thanks to her for having me here at FOTF!

Before I tell you a little about myself, I thought you might want to know that I’m hosting a Pleated Poppy giveaway, and you can find out all of the details here.

See? I told you you’d want to know!

And now that you’re back…Hi there! My name is Abbie, and I’m a thriftaholic.

But that’s not all I am. I’m also a follower of Jesus, a wife, a mama to three kiddos under six, an exercise instructor, a writer, and a DIY fanatic.

Oh yeah. And I run not one but two blogs (I think that makes me a blogamist):

1. Five days…5 ways, my everyday blog where I like creating thrifty projects like these:

2011-06-28

2. Secondhand or Bare Bottom—my smart-mouthed style blog where everything I wear or carry (accessories, bags, shoes, everything) is 100% thrifted.

Obsessed much? Why, yes, I am.

So obsessed, in fact, that I wrote up a little post for you to answer some of the FAQ’s I get on Goodwill Hunting in hopes that you too will join the Super-Thrifty Chicks club (I’m considering making capes! :) ).

1) When do I go?—Early in the week and early in the day. I like to go on Mondays or Tuesdays in the morning since they’ve had time to get themselves organized from the weekend rush. DON’T go on a Saturday at 11 or you’ll get nothing but picked-over racks and a headache.

2) Where do I even begin?—Ignore the racks that are always there at first, and, if your store has them, start with the racks that they roll out on the floor every 45 minutes or so. Some stores will even make announcements when they roll out new racks so you can do your best Usain Bolt impression beating all the other bargain-obsessed chicks to that mint condition Anthropologie skirt huddled behind those pleated maroon polyester pants from 1984.

3) What do I pay?—Most Goodwill items are reasonably priced to begin with, but all of them are priced by separate people in the back who sometimes get bitten by the random bug and pop a $7 price tag on a pair of cute-but-hardly-worth-it flip-flops. If you find something you think is overpriced, don’t be afraid to ask management to lower it. Especially if you have a comparable item that is already marked lower that you can show them.

4) How do I decide?—Goodwill’s return policy only applies to clothing and that can only be exchanged within seven days of its purchase. So, even though you may only be spending $4 on a skirt, it wouldn’t hurt to ask yourself, “Will I REALLY wear this, or am I only buying it because it’s cheap?” Keeping an open open mind is crucial to finding amazing clothes, but try not so open that you get home what you were thinking buying this junk!

5) How often do I go?—It depends. If want to overhaul your closet, once-a-week trips are best since frequency yields the best awesome-finds scores. If you just want a good deal every now and then, wander in on your lunch-break during the week sometime, and see where it goes from there.

6) What if it’s not perfect?—If something I love is flawed, I ask myself two questions: 1) Can I fix it/how long will it take me? and 2) How much can I get them to lower the price because of the flaw? If the answers are 1) Yes/not too long, and 2) Enough that it’s dirt-cheap…I buy it and turn it into a project.

7) How much time should I expect to spend per visit?—I hardly ever get in and out of Goodwill with much to show for it in less than 2 hours. But I almost always have all three of my children with me, which means multiple bathrooms trips, toy aisle browsing, and usually at least one nursing session with the baby. If you’re on your own, an hour of happy browsing could produce some pretty incredible results.

8) Don’t shoes gross you out?—Shoes can be tricky for the germ/other people’s feet averse. I’m not really one of those, but I only buy the ones in great condition and have a big, fat can of Lysol waiting for them when I get home! : )

Here’s a portion of my GW shoe collection. This is just a glimpse of my master closet makeover if you want to see more.

IMG_4768

9) Where do I go?— Wherever’s closest. Don’t assume that, because you live in a small town, your GW isn’t worth checking out. I find almost all of my best treasures in two small-town stores.

10) Can I actually expect to find anything decent?—Yes! It’s amazing what you can stumble upon right in the midst of the kitsch and the appliqued jean jumpers. And if the shoes didn’t convince you, let me treat you to a few more of my favorite 100% (including shoes, bag, and jewelry) Goodwill outfits:

2011-07-15

Have I talked you into give thrifting a shot, yet? It’s quite the thrill when you score that mint condition Marc Jacobs skirt (it’s right there in the bottom left corner of the collage) for $4.

You’ll be hooked in no time!

Just please don’t send me your therapy bills or leave me nasty comments on my blog if you end up as addicted as I am! : )

Speaking of comments, I’d be tickled practically any other color but pink if you’d stop by and say, “Howdy!” at Five days…5 ways and/or Secondhand or Bare Bottom!

Like what you read? Like M is for Mama on facebook (pretty please?):

I love hearing from you guys!