Wanna be styled by me, BeBe? Umm...you will have to get permission from her!
Not only am I the blogger behind the pretty face of Nappy Model, I'm also her personal shopper. So, I thrift the stuff, she puts it all together, and then looks cute for the camera. Simple as that!
Wanna be styled by me, BeBe? Umm...you will have to get permission from her!
Loris and I have loved thrifting for many years, but due to the increased prices of second-hand items at local thrift stores (which are way past insane), we've decided to spend our dollars elsewhere, and a lot more of them.
Ahhh, the joys of retail shopping: clean environment, friendly employees who rely on sales commissions, and items that you can actually return for a full refund. There are sales racks with additional discounts off the sale prices like the awesome deal on Vera Bradley that I enjoyed this past Friday at Dillard's. Used Vera Bradley bags at thrift stores can range from $9.99 to $19.99 and even higher. Now, why would anyone pay this price for used VB bags, when Dillard's crossbody hipster bags were marked down to $22.00, plus an additional 20% off with a 30 day return policy? With savings like those, I purchased a crossbody bag (retail $45.00), lunchbox (retail $34.00), and backpack (retail $104.00) for less than $85.00 Wow!
It makes perfect sense to do the math first, and thrift store prices may not be such a great deal after all! And..Dillard's gives back to the community by supporting our job readiness training workshops!
We're spending more of our dollars where it counts the most...maybe you should try it!
Yesterday was dark and cloudy; a day for staying in your jammies and enjoying a good book but not for this Alabaster City Schools teacher who found her rays of sunshine with Brighton accessories and a much needed shopping spree at Nordstrom Rack.
Her outfit consisted of:
Black and white striped turtleneck from Kohls
Waxed skinny jeans: Thrifted
Black/animal print loafers: Sam Edelman (Belk)
Camel corduroy blazer: Thrifted
Cranberry wool beret: Express (Thrifted)
Brighton backpack: Thrifted
Brighton belt: Thrifted
Brighton stackable bangles: Gifted
Chase those clouds away with Brighton' accessories!
You really ought to do your research before donating to a charity store. Why?
She's an evening manager at a local thrift store. While pretending to straighten the racks, she is actually selecting the items that she wants, enough clothing to dress the entire family plus grandkids, along with home furnishings for pickup after the day shift has gone. Later, when the coast is clear, a family member casually loads them into a shopping cart and out of the store. And...guess who you'll see selling these same items at weekend yard sales? You guessed it!
A lady in Chicago noticed that when certain employees were present, nice purses were absent, But, on their "off" days, she was able to find nice purses at prices as low as $6.99. When, she brought this to the the attention of the store manager, he asked if she was reselling the purses that she bought. Her answer was "no", but she noticed that the nice purses went from hanging on the walls at $6.99 to being locked in display cases with prices from $69.99 to $89.99 to a whopping $129.99! These prices are for used handbags (retired patterns), not new with tags, but visibly worn bags that can be purchased "new" at, near, or below thrift store prices. That's price gouging and I sincerely hope that none of those overpriced bags sell!
Do you see why it matters where your donations go? If you're donating for a good cause, be sure that cause is being addressed. Ask the management about their "so-called" charitable donations. What are they doing for the community other than hiring individuals who are severely overworked and underpaid? Do a walk through inspection. Are their prices fair or inflated? Would the less fortunate benefit from that particular store or fair better shopping at a discount chain?
Do your research. If your donations are not helping the disadvantaged, they are only feeding the insatiable greed and thrift store theft!
Wait before you donate!
A few ladies and I were discussing the use of Dryel, an at-home dry cleaning kit, for second hand clothes and here's why it might not be the best idea for your initial cleaning method. Just ask anyone who works in the processing area of a thrift store about the donations that they receive and watch your stomach get all queasy. Clothes are covered in pet hair, underwear with unidentifiable and identifiable stains, mold, mildew...I'm sorry,,,did you just lose your breakfast? As this particular worker shared her processing experiences, I asked why wasn't she wearing a mask and gloves up to her elbows. Her response was "Oh, I'm use to it now!"
Back to cleaning. You know that the good stuff gets thrown in with the bad, right? Would you really want to toss your thrifted items into the dryer with the equivalent of a fabric sheet knowing that your prized piece once snuggled with musty, rank, stained, and possibly critter infested clothing? Okay, now you're thinking like me. Those clothes need a "professional" cleaning or at least a good hand washing in the tub!
Told ya the story was sordid!
From the onset of puberty, until we breathe our last breath, our lives are filled with "freak out" moments...like the first day of our menstrual cycles, our first pimple, our first expression line (wrinkle), our first gray hair, our first chin hair, our first gray chin hair...are you freakin' out yet?
As I type this post, my skin is tingling from over exfoliation. I'm freakin' out over aging skin and my my simple mind thought that it might be a good thing to exfoliate with a white bath cloth and African black soap for the second time this week. Exfoliation is for the removal of dead skin, key word "dead" and my face ain't dying off that fast! That's not the only treatment I've subjected my skin to this week either. There were mud masks, aloe vera, olive oil, and my favorite anti-aging device, FaceFX by Silk'n which I call "the flat iron for my skin". So, you can say that I've really socked it to aging skin this week, but am I going too far?
My attitude towards Father Time is getting serious. I wanna show him that I ain't no "punk". I'm not going sit back and let him take over my body and not come out slinging shea butter, coconut oil, and Neutrogena all over the place. I'm going to fight him like an intruder invading my personal space and stealing my youth, cell by cell. I'm gonna splash cold water, moisturize with refrigerated aloe vera, and pump my face with leafy greens and moringa. I'm gonna get more exercise, get more rest, and fight, fight, FIGHT for my right to have healthy skin!
Have your "freak out" moment and then hit old age with a left and a right hook!
I was in the gas station paying for gas and joking with the cashiers when one of them asked, "Are you a Delta?" I looked confused because I was wearing all black and the signature colors of the Greek-lettered Delta Sigma Theta sorority are crimson and cream. My outfit consisted of a black blazer, black ribbed turtleneck, black corduroy leggings, with black flats trimmed in gold. My only accessory was a pair of pearl earrings.
I told her that I was not and then asked her "Do I look a sorority girl or something?" "Yeh, you look a Delta", she replied. I left the store in deep thought. What does a Delta woman look like? I searched Google for images which included celebrities who pledged Delta like Angela Bassett, Sheryl Lee Ralph, and Natalie Cole. Are they what a Delta look like? Is that what it was? Did I look like a celebrity?
Then, I read the Delta Sigma Theta mission statement:
"Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated is an organization of college educated women committed to constructive development of its members and to public service with a primary focus on the Black community."
Well,I am a college graduate dedicated to community service but how would she know that? Was she thinking like Sherlock Holmes; using her powers of observation and deductive reasoning? Did she give any consideration to the wise crack that I made about using my friends credit card first which was declined before using my own which was accepted and saying "Now, you know who has the better credit". Dressed nicely with good credit, is that a Delta woman?
It wasn't until I started to go over my outfit in detail to Loris that I knew what made me look a like a sorority woman. It was the Ralph Lauren classic wool blazer with goldtone buttons and signature embroidered logo crest, a symbol of style, elegance, and distinction! Okay, that's why she thought I was a Delta woman...I think!
We rely on the support of local businesses to provide gifts for our job readiness programs and teacher appreciation events and Goody's department store has always been a willing participant. With an "Occasionally Dressed" workshop scheduled for February 7, I wanted to show the ladies at the Calhoun Christian Women's Job Corp love by offering a small bag of beauty samples; however, my on-hand supplies were very limited. With a quick call to Adrienne, manager of Goody's Outlet in Pell City, I received more than I ever imagined! She donated beautiful totes filled with bath and beauty samples which will make great gifts for the attendees,
"Goody" bags! This is how retail chains join forces with community service providers to help those in need!
I'm moving again for the third time in three years which means that I'm packing up those belts, bags, shoes, and all of my other belongings with visions of a bonfire in my head. At some point, you realize that nomadic living and excessive shopping are symptoms of discontentment and dragging junk from place to place does nothing to cure the real problem.
So, what is my real problem? My real problem is that I hate this place. I really do! If it weren't for the fact that my teen loves her high school and is making really good grades right now, I would catch the first thing smoking! I see my life as a seed which has fallen on stony ground; nothing takes root so I'm blown in all directions by a wind not yet strong enough to blow me away from this place!
I'm not happy so I shop; not as much as I use to, but even a single piece brought in every now and then adds up to too much. So, what lesson am I teaching my daughter? When you're sad, shop! When you're bored, shop! When you're lonely, shop! Whenever you have money, shop! What I really want to teach her is that there are better things to do in life than shop! Yes, I said it! How many clothes and accessories do you really need? Why not save some of that shopping money for a weekend trip to the beach and build a happy castle in the sand? Or, take a trip to the mountains and watch the waterfalls cascade into endless possibilities? Or, invest a little more so that you can retire earlier?...
I want my daughter to move through life freely, uninhibited, and not surrounded by boxes and boxes of JUNK!
A recent trip to Nordstrom Rack has almost snatched me back into the retail world of shopping. I mean, the experience in no way compares to the nasty world of thrifting. The store was clean and so was the parking lot (no soiled pampers), it was organized, the employees were friendly (unlike rude thrift store workers), and my returns were hassle-free! There were no stalkers, peeking to see what brands that I purchased so that they could raise the prices later and best of all, it didn't smell like mildew and the items were new!
Publix is the Nordstrom of grocery stores in my neck of the woods. Sure, the prices are higher than Walmart but well worth it! The associates are friendly, the fruits and veggies are fresh, and your purchases are carried to your car which is parked in a litter free parking lot. Apparently, a strict dress code is enforced (no tattoo sleeves or ear gauges) and thank God for that!
Used out-dated shoes for $24.99? Seriously? I'd much rather add $24.99 to that amount so that I can shop Nordstrom....or Publix! I'm not saying that I won't shop at Walmart or thrift stores again, but winning the lottery could easily change that!