Thursday, June 19, 2014

Thrifty Thursday: Vintage Formal Gown

I am really excited about today's Thrifty Thursday post and I really have no idea why it's taken me so long to get around to writing this particular one because it's been 'brewing' in my head for 43 weeks!
I know it was 43 weeks because that what it says on the Instagram post.

Anyway, late last summer I made my daughters go to one of my favorite local thrift stores with me and we spent a significant amount of time there looking through all the things.

I was rummaging through their mile long rack of dresses when I came across something so fantastically wonderful that I gasped very loudly and upset my 16 year old because she startles easily.
But I really couldn't help it because look!


It was a vintage formal gown in perfect condition in my daughter's size and it was only $14.51 and no I didn't mistype the decimal!

Model face

Trying it on the day we bought it.

Knowing she would need at least one formal dress for her upcoming Senior year activities and events, my daughter was equally excited that we had already found something so amazing by complete accident.

We had to make a couple of small, easy alterations for a truly perfect fit but it looked gorgeous on her!
(And we never had to worry about someone else having an identical dress, of course.)

At her Senior night event.

She also ended up wearing it for some of her Senior portraits
 (which were taken by my wonderfully talented cousin.)

Doesn't everyone wear a formal gown on a swampy bridge?

Every time I see this dress I am still in shock that we were able to find such a great timeless piece for less than $20!

À la vie et à l'amour

Friday, June 13, 2014

Crazy Dog Lady

Have you ever done something that you knew was completely insane but entirely necessary?

On Monday I was at the lake houses with my daughter.  
We were close to finishing up our day and happened to be driving down the road when we saw 7-8 very young black lab mix puppies and some other tiny cat-dog-rat looking thing scampering along behind them.

I immediately stopped the car and ran towards the skin and bones creature with my daughter shouting from the car, "YOU CAN'T SAVE ALL OF THEM! THERE ARE TOO MANY!"

I handed her the flea-covered 'chupacabra' and replied, "No, but I can save this one."

We gave him some water, a quick sink bath (to remove the fleas), a few pieces of some crackers we had on hand and drove him to our house 2 hours away.

Flea removal and lots of tail wags.

Potential audition footage for a sad Sarah Maclachlan commercial.

Although it's tough to tell from the photos, he's very tiny.
He weighs only about 4 pounds and is nothing but skin and bones.
And flea bites.

We took him to the vet the next day to determine if he was healthy enough to 'adopt' into our family since we have 2 other dogs and 3 kids who are very attached to our pets.
Surprisingly, he only had some minor issues that are easily (and fairly inexpensively) treated.

The vet thinks he is close to 12 weeks old and likely a mix of terrier, chihuahua, and probably some sort of bull dog breed...
he's very ECLECTIC.
She expects him to stay pretty small even when he's fully grown.

Our 11 pound mini dachshund, Gidget, and the tinier chupacabra. Also a lovely photo of my hideous floors.

So we named him Winston and now he's part of the family.

And I'm the 'crazy dog lady.'

Belly rubs.


My daughter's graduation night and a congratulations from Winston.


It would be entirely irresponsible for me to post this without reminding you to please spay and neuter your pets.
Also, we should sign a petition that if someone doesn't spay and neuter their pets, they should be forced to sit and watch that sad Sarah Maclachlan commercial for 8 hours straight.

À la vie et à l'amour

Friday, June 6, 2014

Style File: Kimono

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I have become entirely obsessed with the magic of Swapdom.

The main reason I signed up for it right away, after browsing for only a few minutes, was because of this:

The moment I saw this kimono I knew I had to have it!
The colors, the pattern, the lightweight rayon fabric...
also it's got a bohemian vibe but is still sophisticated enough for a woman who's about to turn 40.

So I requested it and offered up all of my items and ended up making an even swap with a pair of shoes that were a bit too snug on my feet (and had only been worn once) to get my kimono.
Shipping was about $12 and I have already worn it 4 times so if you average the 'per wear' cost it's $3 per wear and I have gotten so many compliments on it so it's practically paid for itself in that sense alone!

Yesterday's outfit

Hair bun, gold hoops... just need a head scarf and a crystal ball.

I might have stolen this owl necklace from my daughter's jewelry stash because it goes perfectly with my kimono and now they love each other and are BFFs.

Since I work from home 99% of the time, jeans are my wardrobe mainstay but I like to add something to dress them up a bit and feel a bit more polished so this was really a great wardrobe addition for me that I can use year-round.

I can see myself wearing it like this:

In the summer with a t shirt, jean shorts, flip flops, and some accessories handmade by me.

In cooler fall months with a shimmery silver scarf and pink loafers I picked up for $4 at a local thrift store

Another cold season idea paired with wedge boots and some gold jewelry though I might be more likely to wear the jewelry with the pink loafers above and stick the scarf with the boots for wintertime!

I have lots of other ideas on ways I might wear my kimono but you get the general idea.

Also, I was able to trade something I would never wear for something I really love which is the best part!

À la vie et à l'amour

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Thirfty Thursday: Swapdom

So, have you heard of Swapdom yet?
It's basically the most bestest thing since sliced bread or Tom Cruise's assault on Oprah Winfrey's sofa!

Okay, it's actually better than both of those things.
I heard about it through one of the blogs I read.

Here's how it works:
1) You declutter your stuff (clothing, shoes, accessories, baby & kid stuff, and home goods) and you list the items you no longer love, but that are still awesome, on Swapdom for FREE with photos and a description.

2) Then you browse Swapdom and request stuff you want, and you offer up your stuff in return and the Swapdom team goes to work to find a swap for you.
(I think they have tiny gnomes do this part.)

3) Once a swap is found you pay the shipping cost, which includes a small fee that gets paid to Swapdom for their hard work, for the item you are receiving.
Don't worry - you'll know the cost before you request an item so there are no surprises.
(This isn't one of those fancy restaurants with no prices on the menus like you went to for your first Prom that was super awkward because you inadvertently ordered the most expensive thing on the menu but that's a story for a different day.)

4) After everyone has paid, you print a prepaid label from your home printer and ship your item to the winning Swapper.

5) Then you wait (rather impatiently) for your item to arrive in the mail so you can behold it in all its glory and cry little tears of pure joy and then wear it when you go on a date with your husband and again to your son's choir concert the following week and then again on the second to last day of school (today) for no reason at all because you love it so very much!

Be warned though...
Swapdom is highly addictive and you may find yourself considering the idea of purchasing items that you will never use or wear for the sole purpose of listing items that would be perfect for swapping which is actually the complete opposite of what the whole premise of Swapdom is so you really shouldn't do that.

Also, it's a good idea to read the Tips & Tricks page on the Swapdom blog for some really helpful information before you start swapping your life away!

I'm already a lost cause.

À la vie et à l'amour

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Embracing Mediocrity

Through Pinterest and blog reading I have discovered that the world is full of really amazing people who seem to have Midas-like abilities.

They can reach into their pockets, pull out a piece of string, some lint and a spare penny and turn it into a fabulous side table.

And then take magazine spread quality photos of their project that they post on Instagram with a link to their 
eloquently composed blog about such project.

All while I'm still trying to ingest my first pot of coffee.

Outfit of the day... pajamas and old lady slippers paired with a 3rd cup of cheap store bought coffee.

After several months hiatus I recently decided to start blogging again.

As much as I enjoyed blogging I found myself comparing my simple, amateurish blog to that of other bloggers who have professionally designed pages, amazing photos of every meal, room and outfit, and loads of sponsors and advertisers who are paying them with either products or actual money.

I found myself feeling inadequate.
Not only because my blog itself is about as simple as it gets but because I feel no real desire to make it anything more than what it is.

Let me assure you - I am definitely not lazy.
I am simply content with mediocrity.

Because at the end of each day, my family doesn't ask me what I crafted that day using nothing more than an old tire and some used dental floss.

Tassel necklace I made from wooden beads I whittled individually from a tree in my own backyard and thread spun from my exotic neon pink silkworm collection. 
They want to know, "What's for dinner?" 
And then they want to know,

"Can we start eating right away or do we have to wait while you take pictures of dinner for your blog?"

PB & J.  It speaks for itself.

My point is... 
I'm okay being mediocre at certain things because I know that I excel in other areas that are more important to me.

I'm a great mom.
Despite some of my social media user names indicating I'm the World's Okayest Mom. 
And I'm a great wife.

Despite anything my husband might say to the contrary while I'm blogging and ignoring him.

À la vie et à l'amour