Mexico thrift store style

After spending a few days in Mexico I had to share with you one of my favorite outfits that was 100% from thrift stores!  No, it did not happen in one trip, this was a collaboration of different thrift stores over the past 6 months.

  1. Goodwill,  hat $3.99
  2. Family Thrift Outlet,  blouse $2.00
  3. Cottage Thrift Shop, necklace $4.50  (check out our thrift shopping day we found amazing finds all over Houston)
  4. Goodwill,  woven clutch $3.99
  5. Family Thrift Outlet,  Jack Rogers sandals $2.00
  6. Family Thrift Outlet, Lucky Jeans $2.00

TOTAL:  $18.48

mexico sunset

We had a last minute cancellation with one of our recent contest winners and, looking through the entries, one story stood out.  Candyce was starting her career as an Academic Director and needed a mature, professional look.  We thought this was quite appropriate, considering it was in August, right before school was going to start and teacher style is our #1 request.

Candyce was so bubbly and enthusiastic about life, I knew the second I met her that she would be fun to shop with!   As we started shopping, she kept saying things weren’t her style UNTIL I started showing her similar outfits on Pinterest.  Then she started getting really excited about all of the possibilities!   She decided that she loves sun dresses, cardigans, leggings and longer, loose blouses.

Here is a picture of her talking about everything that we found and how we used these photo’s for inspiration!

thrift store wardrobe style fashion lookbook pinterest

family thrift contest school teacher wardrobe

thrift store teacher style

teacher style family thrift store shop blog style teacher

To top it off we found this pair of COACH blue flats in excellent condition, these retail for $150+.

family thrift store outlet shop blue coach ballet flat shoes

Candyce has her own blog and here she shares part of her story.  It was meant to be to shop with her!

“Ok so here’s how it all happened. About a month ago I was talking to one of my best friends Ramona about revamping and maturing my look. I stated that I need to start dressing like an almost 30 year old Academic Director. She told me that I have a unique style and that I should still embrace it but enhance it with matured pieces. So I said you’re right and I pray that I could get help from someone to find those pieces to complete my matured look. On my phone when you go to google search it will post random post from sites that you have visited before. So last Monday I saw a post from Too Cheap Blondes about a contest that they were having and to submit a small paragraph stating why you should win. I stated that I need help maturing my look and how much I respect and love what they do etc.. I wrote it down on my Tuesday to-do list and sent it off with a prayer Tuesday morning. A couple of hours later, I received a text from Pippa asking if I could meet her to shop with her. So after I stopped screaming with excitement I texted her back saying yes ma’am! I thought it was a joke at first LOL! So on Wednesday morning, still clueless that I won the contest, I woke up energized and excited to receive help shopping. God always supplies your needs and desires that He sees fit to bless you with when you are doing your part. He will bless you in abundance!

I am beyond grateful and thankful to Pippa, Michelle and Jennifer that gave their time to help me out and for others as well. You ladies really touched my heart ♡! It wasn’t until the very end that I realized that I won the contest, I thought that she was just going to give me some shopping pointers and help select outfits for me to purchase. Pippa selected dresses and other items that I would of never took the time to look at because it wasn’t my “normal” style. I thought about how God does the same thing with us when He designed and created us for our purpose. Many times we “look past” things that we think don’t fit our feelings and way of life and end up missing out on those hidden treasures that God created just for us. Pippa found a nice pair of Coach shoes that were my size and I would of never found them if it hadn’t been for her. The funny part about those shoes was I passed right by them and they were right in front of my face the whole time. ” 

To read her entire article on her blog click HERE.

family thrift contest outlet cheap blondes school

(Jen was out of town that week and wasn’t able to make it)

college room budget thrift store cheap

Moving in to your first dorm or apartment and decorating it completely from scratch can be a daunting and expensive task!  Most dorm rooms are decorated with whatever furniture and accessories the teenager can get their hands on for free or really cheap.  But, if you know where to shop and are willing to get a little crafty, you can put together a nicely decorated dorm room on a college student-budget.

Our first step in decorating this dorm room was finding this fabulous upholstered headboard and bed frame for $79.99 at a Goodwill store.  This was the foundation piece for the room.  Once we had our show piece, we were able to look for neutral color items that would complement.  Over the next several weeks, we would drop into different thrift stores to see if anything caught our eye.  Some of our favorite finds were the Bella Notte duvet cover ($29.99) and Pottery Barn drapes ($6.99 each panel) that were both brand new in the package at Goodwill!  These items would have cost us hundreds of dollars if we purchased them retail.

goodwill thrift store cheap blog bedding

Next, we needed a dresser, desk, mirror and bedside table.  Since we were running out of time before school would start, we decided to forego driving from thrift store to thrift store looking for these items and turned to local online garage sale groups on Facebook (there are also Buy/Sell/Trade groups).   Within a few minutes, we had found what we were looking for, negotiated the prices, and went to pick up the pieces.  Super simple and a big time saver.

online garage sale bombay chest cheap thrift blog

college desk thrift store shop blog

chalk paint mirror cheap blog thrift

thrift store shop dresser makeover

chair thrift store shop find

Now that we had all the items, we needed to make them match, so we choose a few colors and got to work.  We had read about chalk paint and how easy it was to use.  No primer or sanding needed.   After watching several tutorials on YouTube, we felt confident that it was almost impossible to mess up and it would make a fun project for the whole family to get involved with.   We even painted over the fabric on the chair!   You simply seal it with a light coat of wax and it feels like a heavy duty oilcloth.   The Bombay chest was a combination of the paint colors we had and we created the “dots” with the eraser on the end of a pencil.

Completing the look with décor is the fun part.   A picture of silver trays on Pinterest was the inspiration for the platters over her desk.  They were randomly picked up here and there for a few dollars each, this wall was put together for only $21.   They can also be used as a magnetized display board.   We added a few burlap flowers to an old milk bottle and there you have it!  A dorm room put together for under $320!

  • Headboard + frame              $79.99
  • Duvet Cover                           $29.99
  • Pillows                                    $  9.00
  • Bombay Chest                       $25.00
  • Pottery Barn Mirror            $45.00
  • Pier 1 desk                             $60.00
  • Chair                                       $  6.99
  • Dresser                                    $25.00
  • Pottery Barn Drapes            $13.98
  • Milk Bottle                             $  1.00
  • Silver Platters                        $22.00

$317.95

thrift store chalk paint

Thank you mom for helping!

Thank you mom for helping!

dorm room cheap thrift store

We used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint for our project.  The colors we used were:

  • French Linen   (dresser, desk and fabric)
  • Aubusson Blue   (chair)
  • Old White    (mirror)
  • Clear Wax
  • Dark Wax

The Bombay chest was a combination of Aubusson Blue and Old White.

We used Annie Sloan chalk paint for this project

We used Annie Sloan chalk paint for this project

ps … we are putting this at the end because we did not find this at a thrift store or online garage sale/trading site but it is still a great budget saving tip.  We found this flokati faux fur area rug at Walmart for $19.96.   To transform it into pillows was as easy as cutting it in half, it had a cotton backing so it already was a “pillow case” that needed to be closed up.  Stuffing in an old standard sleeping pillow, taking a needle and thread to whip stitch it shut in about 60 seconds!

walmart fluffy faux fur rug pillow makeover cheap blog thrift

 

 

Building a professional wardrobe may feel a bit overwhelming at first, especially since a limited budget is usually what most people have to deal with.  We are going to share with you how we put together an  professional closet at a fraction of the retail cost!  We found almost $2,000 worth of name brand clothing for under $100 at Goodwill!

We recently worked with Goodwill Houston and “Check This Out Houston” to help a worthy military veteran put together an unbelievable professional wardrobe.   She works in a conservative work environment and needs to dress the part, so with that in mind, here are a few of our pointers we shared with her.

1.  Start by looking for high quality fabrics and lined clothing that is constructed properly, these will hang better on you.

2.  Start with these basic essential pieces that you can build on and change up with accessories.
  • Power suit
  • Blazer
  • Pencil skirt
  • Silk blouse
  • Sheath dress
3.  Every professional woman must have one statement power suit in her wardrobe.   Our veteran immediately fell in love with this blue/gray suit.  The color looked dynamite with her coloring and fit her like it was custom made, priced at only $14.99!
thrift store shop houston cheap
Next we found the invaluable, chic black dress . . . remember the majority of dresses are priced at $9.99 at Goodwill, but we found this amazing David Meister dress in the boutique section for $19.99, retails around $300.
 houston goodwill thrift store shop cheap
This stunning silk suit by Albert Nipon was only $14.99!   It can we worn together or as seperates.
houston thrift store shop blog cheap
The perfect silk button-up blouse is a professional staple.  It can be worn alone or under a jacket, $5.99.
houston thrift store shop goodwill
More essentials, like this black silk knit Dana Buchman sweater and a Tahari pencil skirt, were found for $5.99 and $6.99, respectively.  Her dynamic black pumps by Anne Klein were only $7.99.
houston goodwill veteran blog fashion cheap style professional
Considering her job requirements and what she is realistically expected to carry around every day, this rolling briefcase for $14.99 is perfect.  It is something a competent, confident professional can use on a daily basis and avoids havoc on her back!
 fashion style blog cheap goodwill houston thrift store shop

You can find equally amazing fabulous deals for the men at Goodwill.  Here is a Jones New York suit for $14.99, Brooks Brothers dress shirt for $5.99 and a silk tie for $2.99.

build professional wardrobe cheap budget blog style

Did you know that Goodwill Houston is one of the top resources in our area that helps veterans as they re-integrate into the civilian labor market after military service or face some other barrier to conventional employment?   Most people don’t and neither did this bubbly, vivacious veteran!   She has had quite a few struggles the past few years, her daughter and her were even homeless for a period of time.  She was shopping in Goodwill one day and read about the services that Goodwill offers to veterans.   Watch her full story May 9th on “Check This Out Houston” on ABC 13 at noon . . . make sure you have a tissue, it is a tear jerker.   You could see her countenance change when she put on a high-quality suit, she not only looked amazing but you could tell she felt confident!   We helped find her a high-end, high-quality wardrobe that is perfect for her job in a law office and as she studies to take her bar exam.

Goodwill Industries of Houston combines employment services with family financial strengthening services for veterans and their households.   They also assist female homeless veterans and homeless veterans with dependent children by providing employment services and referrals to housing and supportive services.  Goodwill also provides case management and temporary financial assistance for low-income veteran families who are homeless or at risk of being homeless. Financial assistance for child care, transportation, rental assistance, utility-fee payment assistance, security deposits, utility deposits, moving costs, and emergency supplies are also available for eligible veterans.  Assistance also includes applying for VA benefits and other programs.  Goodwill also helps homeless veterans (unsheltered, temporary housing, facing eviction) find employment, as well as provides employment services to veterans who are currently incarcerated and are within 18 months of release, or have been released from incarceration in the last 6 months.  For more information click HERE.

Donate + Shop = Jobs!

One of the winners of our recent Sneak Preview Grand Opening shopping contest admitted that she was a complete novice thrift store shopper.   She was quite elated about winning the contest and having us help her shop for several reasons, #1 she has lost 85 pounds this past year, and #2 she recently lost her job.  Needing a new, smaller size wardrobe, but also staying within a very tight budget, she was anxious to learn how to shop at a thrift store.

Here is her amazing before and after photo!

before after thrift store makeover

We wanted to help her find clothes that she felt confident in, and that also showed off her new figure.   Knowing she was working with a limited income, we came up with a plan for some wardrobe basics, the building blocks, that she could mix and match and that would give her the most bang for her buck.

Our first tip was to decide what your style is and assess your environment.  What is your typical day like, does it require professional or casual dress, or are you a stay-at-home mom who needs more practical, yet still stylish clothing?

Wardrobe Basics that Everyone Needs

  • A great pair of jeans (both dark and white)
  • Crew-neck sweater
  • Cardigan sweater
  • Well-fitting blazer
  • Quality white tee shirt
  • Versatile dress in a solid color
  • White button-down blouse
  • Pencil skirt
  • Trench coat
Focus on your core wardrobe pieces, then build the rest of your wardrobe around that with fun, colorful, modern and less expensive items.
  • Find style inspiration with Pinterest or magazines
  • Come up with a color palette
  • Choose staple pieces that you can change throughout the season
  • Shop with a list of items that will help you expand your wardrobe
  • Look for quality pieces
  • Re-style your classic items
  • Add a statement piece of jewelry or a scarf to change it up
  • There are many options to save money while shopping: thrift stores, online trading sites, eBay, garage sales and closet exchanges are just a few

A great resource for thrift shopping is thethriftshopper.com.  The next time you want to find a new thrift store in your area, or anywhere else, just enter the zip code on thethriftshopper.com.  The site lists all of the stores in that area, complete with their hours, location, how to sign up for their mailing lists, and even reviews from other shoppers.

For more tips and tricks, check out our “11 Thrift Store Tips”.

Remember, this whole process takes time so have fun!

Interested in signing up for our next shopping contest CLICK HERE

The holidays are the time of the year when you reconnect with family and friends.  I love getting Christmas cards and seeing how kids change so much each year.  This year, when I opened up an annual Christmas card from an old friend, I immediately noticed from their family picture that they doubled in size with more kids and it was not a multiple birth situation.  Of course, I had to call and ask what happened.  They shared with me how they have opened up their hearts and home to children in the foster care system.  I immediately thought of how Jen and I can help them with our “thrifting talents.”  We tasked ourselves with finding name brand clothing that was in perfect condition, with no stains, tears or obvious wear to donate to this deserving family.  What better place to look for these items than the Family Thrift Outlet Stores, where everything is priced at only $2!   Click HERE for a map of their locations, all over Texas and St Louis, MO.

Kids grow really fast. Sometimes it seems like they wear an item one time before it’s already too small.  One of the best ways to spend less on clothes for children is to buy secondhand. Kids aren’t likely to notice when things are gently used, and chances are that you are purchasing an items that has also only been worn one time.

A few of the name brands that we found include:

  • North Face
  • Nike
  • Carters
  • Patagonia
  • Lands End
  • Calvin Klein

(we found these at the Hillcroft store)

Save money on children's clothing at Family Thrift Stores.

Save money on children’s clothing at Family Thrift Outlet Stores ($2 each).

Look for higher end name brands and fabrics, they wear better.  Click HERE for more of our Thrift Tips.

When I asked my friends how they had come to the decision to open their home, they had an answer that I just had to share with all of you!

“We are beyond blessed by you thinking of us and our kids and so thankful! God really nudged our hearts about 3 or 4 years ago for orphans in our community. James describes true religion as caring for widows and orphans and we knew that answering the call to say “yes” to orphans and foster kids in our community was God’s will and the best way to live out our faith as a family. Every child deserves to feel the love of a Mom and Dad and family and so many kids are in foster care not by any fault of their own! Our hearts have been broken, and forever changed when we said “yes” to the call of God to step up and help kids in our community! It’s been a yes that has not been “convenient” or easy, but has brought such joy and blessing and eternal rewards! We are so thankful and blessed beyond measure to answer the call!”