Friday, October 2, 2015

I'm Coming Home to You

Hey everyone! How the heck are you? 
I know that I have been a little MIA lately - life has taken all sorts of crazy turns! I am officially done with my volunteer service year - it was certainly year of growth and new experiences ending with a bang spending a week in North Carolina at the confrence I was planning for 900 Older Adults! I was literally the youngest person there! They were a really fun group, that's for sure! 
So, you might wonder what I'm doing now. Well, I am living in Pittsburgh! I moved into the tiny studio that my honey was living in the last year! We are going to start looking for something a little bigger soon! Right now I am job searching and am excited to see what the future holds- lots of more outfit photos now that I have a live-in photographer, so stay tuned for that! Any good thrifting recommendations in the Pittsburgh area? 

Monday, August 31, 2015

Late Night Rambles about Vintage Household Items

I should be going to bed - I know that. But, instead I have words that are just pleading to come out of my heart and onto a screen. I’m sitting here in the darkened kitchen of my community house - this room won’t be used anymore this night. My soul longs to be here tonight however, ignoring my body’s call to snuggle under my blankets. The reason why is a result of a couple of simple items sitting in a plastic white dish drainer, letting the air eliminate any of the rinse water that is left on them. These items were purchased in the past couple of weeks from yard sales and estate sales; they were sitting in my room waiting to be dragged upstairs to the kitchen and be given new life. 

They are now sitting there clean after a couple hours of work, while I am tired, wearing an over-sized men’s T-shirt that still has a band of water across my stomach from leaning against the sink, leggings, and a polka dotted head scarf. Whoever thinks that thrifting is this glamorous, easy, Macklemore filled pastime, needs to get their head out of a Plato’s Closet. Thrifting, like any passion in life, is hard, sweaty, and frustrating at times. But dammit, that is why I love it. 

I don’t mind the dishwater hands because it means that the decorative 1960’s cutting board that proudly states “Food should be cooked with butter and love” is clean. The dust has been removed, very carefully as to not remove the 50 year old paint. I think about where this cutsey kitchen decoration came from - an estate sale where I literally had to stop myself from buying everything, because I’m pretty sure this little old lady and I are style soul sisters. One of the workers told me that they were moving because she had cancer. I think about her and her family’s hard time and sadness.

This snarky cutting board sits next to a metal cone sieve - something that I has been on my Thrift Hunt List for quite some time. I think about what they both stand for: they remind me of home - of growing up in Pennsylvania Dutch culture in Central PA. Of my childhood. Of my grandmother’s kitchen.The sieve reminds me of standing on a stool next to my mother, using the wooden turner to squish the hot apples placed inside and be amazed at the pink applesauce that was being oozed into a yellow Pyrex dish. However, the specific sieve of those memories is over 700 miles away in a cupboard in Pennsylvania. This sieve - my sieve - the one that I cringed at as I washed out the dead bugs that were chilling at the bottom, making sure that I scrubbed really hard to get clean, this one is just waiting for some new memories. 

The sieve and the three yellow Melmac mixing bowls took the most time to clean, so they provided plenty of time to think about life. As I scrubbed each plastic bowl, making sure to get every nook around the handle spotless and putting in more elbow grease to get the address label removed of its previous owner, I think about their upcoming adventure. After they dry, they will be packed away. A new address label cannot be stuck on because their new home has not been decided yet (also because those stickers are a bitch to get off). After a couple of weeks, they will be placed into a car and travel to a new land called Pittsburgh. They will be added along many similar plastic vintage dishware that has been collected over the years. Will they stand out because of the hour I spent cleaning them, making sure that they were as perfect as something with a past can be? Will they get used any more than the others because of that time put in to give them new life? I can’t answer that. However, I do know they will stand out for quite some time because of the hope that they gave me. I do not know the address of where they will land up. But, I can imagine it. Not what it looks like, but the feeling that it gives me. The feeling of home. I can imagine this feeling resulting in 12:00 a.m. brownie baking with the love of my life, where more batter ends up on the floor, our faces, and on the outside of these yellow plastic bowls than actually in a pan. I imagine the bowl with the chip around the rim, being sanded down, filled with pretzels to snack on, and then moved to the floor to prevent being knocked over by the intense game of Dutch Blitz going on with friends - new or old - that results in many screams, laughs, cussing, and maybe a few bitter neighbors. I imagine the smallest bowl being filled with leftovers and covered with aluminum foiled and given to my mom and dad to snack on as they make the four drive home with promises to get it back when I am back in my hometown in the coming weeks for some various family celebration. 

These things aren’t important because of what they are - do I need them? Not really. Could I live without them? Probably. But like many of the secondhand things that I discover and purchase, they are unique. They have a past that I don’t know too much about beside what I can imagine. They are not perfect and may show that they have been used for 30, 40, 50+ years. However, they have quality and durability that cannot be beat. They help me remember that my life will not always be perfect - in fact, having these things in my life will not make it more perfect in any way. It is how I use these items that counts: to create a life that is not perfect, but more sustainable, open to hospitality and fellowship, remembers the history of people and things that I encounter, and one that is full of stories of the past, to teach the present on how to make a better future.



Wednesday, August 5, 2015


Hey everyone! 

How in the world is it August already? Sheesh! I spent a lot of July traveling - back to Pennsylvania for a quick trip and down to Florida for my church's Annual Conference - all in all it was a pretty good month!

Especially since I had this amazing dress to go along with it! Technically, this dress was a birthday gift from my sister back in April, but I needed a different size, so I didn't actually get a hold of it until I made my trip to PA. The dress has little Minnie Mouses on it - it is a part of Lauren Conrad's Kohl's line; I think that this the first "new" item of clothing that I got in a long time. It is a really great dress - super twirly, which is always tons of fun! Plus, I love cutouts for summer! 

I took these pictures before a pizza and ice cream night out with some housemates - that was super fun! Things are certainly changing around here - I only have about a month and a half left here in Illinois! Some of my housemates are already done with their year of service, so they are moving out and we will be getting some new people soon! Everything is changing and it is crazy! It feels like I just moved here! Now, I'm making plans to move out of my house, travel back to PA, move the stuff out of my parents house and trek 4 hours away to live in Pittsburgh! Life is happening, and even though it is scary, I'm really excited too! 

Do you all have any major changes going on in your life?

Dress: Gift from my sister: LC Lauren Conrad for Kohls - apparently it isn't online anymore, but I bet it is still in stores. Also, eBay
Sandals: Hand Me Down from a co-worker: Originally from Target
Ring: Gift from the boyfriend: Hot Topic 
Earrings: Yard Sale or Thrifted - I can't remember!
Necklace: Used to be my mom's. 



Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Copyright 1990

Answer me this: how in the world did it get to be July already?! It seemed like April was moving along at turtle speed and suddenly, it is July!  My time here in Illinois is coming closer to an end, which honestly is hard to believe. Only two months and some odd days before I start my next big adventure. (Just don't ask me what that is yet, I'm still working on it. #volunteerproblems.)

Honestly, except for this stupid illness I've been fighting for the past couple days, life has been pretty grand! I got to see my family in June, I got a new haircut (after these photos were taken), going on ice cream and thrifting adventures with housemates, and I even got to take a quick weekend trip to Pittsburgh to see my boyfriend! No complaints here. 

Even the weather is gorgeous - I'm not a fan of extreme weather so somewhere between 50-80 degrees is perfect for me. So, even those these pictures are from a bit ago - quite a bit actually, I would probably still be able to wear this in this cooler weather we are having. Also, because this sweater is THE BOMB. I grabbed this from a dollar basement at one of my favorite thrifts at home. A dollar! For all those sparkles! And the tag says that it is copyrighted in 1990. Yeah. Didn't know that was a thing, either, but I'll take it! I mean, did you see those sequins? 

Sweater - Thrifted ($1)
The brand of the sweater is called "Bonnie and Bill by Holly" You can find some more of their 90's tastic sweaters on Etsy. 
Jeans - Gap - Thrifted ($3)
Shoes - Target - Thrifted ($5.99)
Gold half hoops - Thrifted ($.50)
Lipstick - Urban Decay 'Catfight'



Monday, April 27, 2015

Castle Exploration

Hi there everyone!

I hope that you are all having a wonderful evening!

These pictures are from a couple of weeks ago when my wonderful friend Katie was visiting. Katie and I met about two years ago when we roomed together at a blogger meet-up in Pittsburgh! We had a grand old time getting lost in the city and talking about our favorite blogs.

Now, we don't live far apart at all, which is very exciting! So, she came to visit and stay at my house one weekend. We just talked, did some thrifting, watched movies, and ate lots of donuts. 

We also planned to do a photo shoot and I had the perfect place in mind! I discovered on my town's Instagram that there was a random castle along the river! A castle. So, of course that needed to happen.

It was quite a fun adventure exploring the random castle area. There was a moat and everything - which was super scary, especially since Katie was wearing heels. (I definitely went into my "mother" mode during that one.) But, it was a gorgeous day and a wonderful spot, and no one fell in the moat so all was well. 

I can't wait until Katie and I get together again soon - she and I always have a blast! 

You should definitely head on over to Katie's blog and check out what she was wearing that lovely day! 

I love this outfit too - this is a pretty typical work outfit, but one that makes me feel really awesome. This vintage skirt is just so perfect - if I could I would want this shape of skirt in a bunch of different patterns. I wasn't a huge fan when I bought it, but I think I'm becoming an old lady because I'm liking longer lengths more and more. 

Well, anyway, I best get to bed - work tomorrow and all that. 

Good night lovelies! 

Vintage sweater - Gift from a friend's grandmother 
Vintage skirt, Target booties, Pennsylvania dutch necklace, and tights- Thrifted 
Purse - Thrifted ($2.00)
Belt - from another thrifted dress


Friday, April 17, 2015

Pink and Blue Easter

Hey there everyone! 

I'm finally getting around to posting my Easter pictures! I got to go home thanks to my daddy and the wonder of cheap flights; I flew into Pittsburgh super late at night (when the Pittsburgh airport is pretty popular - I don't understand?) and then the boyfriend and I got to make the four hour drive to our hometown for a great weekend of seeing friends, thrifting, and family celebrations!

I have both a happy and crappy about these photos. First, the crappy because it is rather minor. This dress might look a tad familiar because I wore pretty much the same outfit for Easter last year. I did have a different dress that I had gotten at an Elgin thrift store a couple weeks before, but when I tried it on at home it just didn't fit right at all. I'm thinking (read: hoping) that it got futzed up in the wash. And when I went in search of a church appropriate, spring colored dress, this is the only one that I could fine that I left at my parent's house. Kate Sanders would call me an outfit repeater. Hopefully no one at church was an outfit rememberer? But whatever, I got to wear my lovely Emilio Pucci wedges that I got from my friend Hannah, so that is definitely a happy in my book.

Another happy is that Kuchanda and I finally got non-selfie photos. It may have been windy, we may look like goobers in some of them, but they were not taken on a cell phone and that makes me really really happy!

I remember when he and I first started dating, my friend Sharon texted me and said, "you need to have couple outfit photos - THE WORLD DEMANDS IT." I am proud to say that we have finally met the world's (and Sharon's) demands. Sharon, I dedicate this post to you! (Seriously though, I miss you!)

Things have been pretty routine around here - I actually have an April funk right now, which is weird for me, because I usually love April. There is just a lot going on right now in my life. I'm prepping for work events that are happening in May and I'm ready for them to just get here. Plus, I'm started planning next life steps and it is scary, crazy, and exciting! But, also really difficult when you are making these plans with the one you love over FaceTime. Definitely not the most ideal, especially when it adds a little extra stress and sadness to your life, just by being a reminder of being three states apart.

My family birthday celebration during Easter (my actual birthday was on the 12th) felt a little rushed this year, since we needed to head back to Pittsburgh so that I could catch my early morning flight on Monday. My actual birthday was very chill, with some really wonderful parts throughout the weekend like estate sale shopping, donut eating, moving watching, and cake eating; my housemates made it a great weekend!

So, I'm looking forward to a relaxing weekend to sort of break me out of this funk and focusing on the little things that are making me happy: Marina and the Diamond's Froot album, Kate Spade note cards my cousin got me for my birthday, and chocolate milk. Those little things make life a lot better.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Dress - Vintage - Thrifted ($3)
Shoes - Emilio Pucci - gift 
Cardigan - men's H&M - thrifted ($1.49)
Belt - from another thrifted dress 
Lipstick - Urban Decay's "Catfight" - Valentine's gift from Kuchanda 

(In case you are wondering, I got Kuchanda's tie at an Elgin thrift store for $.50. I would ask him where he got his other clothes, but I am writing this at one a.m. his time and he's an old man. <3 )

Also, this might be my favorite picture ever. 



Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Then and Now

Hey everyone!

Hope that you are all doing well and are having some sort of Spring weather popping up! We had two weeks of gorgeousness...and then we got six inches of snow yesterday. I was not a happy camper. 

Anyway, this dress is one of my favorites! I wear it to the office a lot usually with the same shoes and tights - yikes, I might need to mix it up a little. (Leave me some other styling suggestions in the comments!) 

But, the main reason that I love this dress is that it was my mom's! I swear every time that I head home, I find some of her clothes hidden somewhere in her house. The time that I found this dress though was when I needed the old clothing rack in the basement, so I helped her clean off "all the old coats" that were on it. Old coat! Pftsh - I found some of her high school dresses and some amazing 1970's bridesmaids gowns. And they all fit freakishly well. Genes are weird and amazing things. 

I think that this is the best kind of "thrifting"; when you find some amazing vintage things in loved ones closets because you get the story behind it! When I wear this, I don't just picture myself wearing it typing away at my computer in my office. I can also picture my mom wearing it, typing away at a typewriter in her high school typing class or working on a piece for the high school newspaper. While I can imagine wearing this for a casual Saturday date with Kuchanda, I can also picture my mom wearing this out when she met my dad. 

And that is what makes vintage clothes so awesome. 

Dress - Mom's 
Belt - Vintage - Given to me from my sister-in-law; it was her grandmother's. 
Gold bracelets - Consignment store - $5
Shoes - Thrifted - $.75