thrifting for dummies

January 21, 2018

     Thrifting is not for the faint of heart. It had its moment in 2012 (thanks, Macklemore), but I feel like the hype has cooled severely which leaves all of those gems to those willing to slug through the mush. To this day people seem to find it mindboggling when I tell them that a. the outfit they just complimented was in fact thrifted and b. everything is dirt cheap if you know where to go. Since I enjoy thrifting, here is my two cents on how to make away with tons of things while thrifting.
1. Find a friend.
     You can’t thrift by yourself! Having a friend that's willing to spend hours sifting through racks is essential whether it be to laugh at a goofy find or to encourage you to at least try on that bright yellow windbreaker (trust me, you’ll love it).
2. Have a few places to hit.
     You need to know where to go. You can never predict what and where things are while thrifting so the only option is to visit everywhere. I have a few places that I love and produce consistent and beautiful finds, and some places I skip entirely. You have to try it to know.
3. Open-mindedness.
     When I go to the mall I usually have a clear idea (or at least a misty one) of what I want to come away with. This doesn’t work with thrifting. Be prepared to look at EVERYTHING. In my experience nowhere is off limit except usually the kid's section because they just won't fit. Typically the men’s section is my favorite to look for things like sweaters, comfy things, and t-shirts. I really love that oversized look.
4. Practicality
     Obviously, thrift stores have a ton of junk. Don’t come home with a ton of junk. Just because its cheap doesn’t mean you have to buy it so, look at what you pick, maybe even try things on to make sure you aren’t loading yourself with a ton of trash to take home. Also, try to keep an eye out for the tags. Some thrift stores have certain days where say a certain color is discounted, these can come in handy. Finally, also keep in mind that you actually might find new things because sometimes businesses just donate things that didn’t sell.
5. Random!
     - Hand sanitizer/ lotion - Touching a ton of things while thrifting makes my hands smell weird and feel gross so this is a must.
     - If you have to try pants on but there are no dressing rooms you can either do the neck trick (wrap the waistline of your pants around your neck, if it fits they'll fit on you), or you can put on a random long skirt and try the pants on underneath.
     - Always give five minutes to look over everything you've picked for holes, tears, or stains.

Mini Thrift Haul
Of course, I had to include the finds from the trip that inspired this post.
Found in the men's department, this is the fuzziest thing I own. I can't wait to spend the rest of winter bundled up in this. 

These are pictures of me unveiling the new iPhone at an Apple Keynote event/ being the Rock. In all seriousness, I'm super excited for all the ways this black turtleneck can be styled. With a little red lipstick and some black shoes, I feel like it could look pretty Parisian, or just being a staple piece in a capsule closet.

This is my color of the year! In order to fully embody sunshine this year, donning myself entirely in the hue is the perfect way to start. I can't wait to take full advantage of this shirt in early spring.

Number four of my raincoat collection, I can't wait to take advantage of this color and jacket in the spring (and anytime else to be honest). Its so girly and cute and will be perfect for brightening up many all black outfits.

Although my mom says I buy too many jackets, I don't quite believe there actually is such a thing. If Sherlock Holmes has a younger sister, this would be her jacket. This will be my go-to in March when it's not quite coat nor t-shirt weather.

Not going to lie, I mostly got this because it's maroon and those are my future school colors (Go Maroons). This will be perfect to lounge around in, but also maybe wear with a jacket, some tights, and some heels.

The best part about all of this is that all of this cost only 16! Hope you can pop some tags with these tips!
Thanks for reading!


You Don't Need A Vacation To Be "Off"

November 05, 2017

When my phone died two minutes into my nightly post-dinner chores I’ll admit I panicked a little. Of course, I could’ve run upstairs, grabbed my charger, and resumed business as usual, but it made no sense. My hands were already covered in suds and a watery mixture of tonight's dinner. So, I accepted my fate and commenced my definite 30-45 minutes of hell in my silenced kitchen. It was almost seamless how my psyche changes as soon as I let it go. I was “off”. 
You Don't Need A Vacation To Be "Off".png

It’s almost as if my mind was designed to function without a phone strapped to my hand at every second. Absentmindedly, I instantly turned to singing and thinking about my day, but there was a difference. I realize that difference was mindfulness. Instead of the singing that I do in the car or the singing I do while moving from one task to another, I was using my brain to be meticulous about the notes I places and conscious of my breathing. Instead of thinking about my day as a vague to do list of checked and unchecked items, I was reflecting on the contents of my day, what it had meant, and what tomorrow count possibly entail and mean.

style sneakers.png At a time in my life where it feels like everyone is rushing and hustling to this end destination and nobody has informed me on what we’re doing and where we’re going, I realized the missing piece to my sanity was mindfulness. This reason why I have no real drive to get these college essays done, or no motivation to put my all into the last few remaining high school classes I have, and the reason I feel overwhelmed every single moment of the day. It’s like I’ve let myself be a backseat passenger in the most important part of my life thus far. All this time I was wishing for some kind of magical three day vacation away from my life that would surely get me on track and have me in the right headspace, but I realize all I really need is a step back from my life, aka my phone, for at least a few minutes every day to have my head right. So in the spirit of that, I’ll make a list of some life changes written in the third person that I bet will be applicable to most people, or at least seniors going through college mayhem.

  1. Please use your planner. You even got a cute one!! You can’t possibly remember everything you have coming up, everything you have to do, and plan things that you don’t even know you have to do yet without it. It’ll literally save your life, and your grades, and your sanity.
  2. Make time for more beautiful things. Take some pictures, take a second to look at the leaves, drive around town you (hopefully) won’t be living here next year.
  3. Drink smartly. Coffee that is. You’ve been getting into coffee recently and it's actually kind of worrying. Maybe try getting some sleep?
  4. Clean! Get your space together once and for all so it doesn’t bug you every day and so you do the “I’m anxious about everything, so I’m going to clean to regain a tiny bit of control” clean.
  5. Go out with your friends, even if it is hours in Starbucks writing essays together at least you can suffer together.
  6. Get off your phone once in awhile! You’ll be surprised how clear you think when you aren’t preoccupied with checking twitter, or sending a streak on snapchat, or texting back someone. No more mindless scrolling. Things can wait.
  7. Fill random extra minutes with something constructive. Rather than five minutes of twitter time, you could have five minutes of conversation with a friend or even a stranger, or five minutes of journaling.
  8. Try not to procrastinate on college stuff. It’s pretty destructive, but set aside hours when you’re not tired, not stressed, and just work it out. You’ll be thankful for it come deadlines.


basic macrame project

July 30, 2017

If you've been on Pinterest at all in the past year, you've definitely seen some sort of macrame project. These mystical pinterest people have found a way to cover nearly everything in these woven fibers. In  quick search you could find anything from pot holders, to rugs, to tapestries. In my quest (and infatuation) to become one of these fairytale pinterest people I added macrame to my summer bucketlist, so here's how I did it. 

The materials needed were pretty accessible and inexpensive for my wall hanging. All in all this project cost between 10 and 15 dollars, but since I can't remember the price of the copper rod (I bought it 6 months ago on impulse) I can't give you an exact number.
  • clothesline 
  • copper rod (I actually already had this from Home Depot)

The next step of this project was research. I spent a good amount of time researching macrame projects other people have done and how to do the knots and I finally settled on recreating something similar to this:

Here are some of the helpful things I found along the way.

 Since I had no intention of using a pattern, I decided to make this as simple as possible for my first macrame project ever and used one knot only-- the double half hitch stitch you can learn from both videos.

I started with 10 strands attached to the rod with the larks head knot and then got to business making the double half hitch stitches diagonally so that they would meet in the middle. Once I completed this section, I cut two more pieces of chlothesline which I attached both to the center of the project and to the opposite ends of the pole. On each strand, I attached more strands to hang like fringe with the larks head knot. Once I had enough tied on to achieve my intended look, I cleaned up my work by cutting the stands to taper in the middle and burned the ends to seal them.

This project took maybe two hours total and was the perfect rainy day activity to do while watching Netflix or listening to music. Thank you for reading!


48 hours in Chicago

July 27, 2017

There's just something about great cities. Each one has a unique distinct flavor, a taste, that makes them so intoxicating. I was remarkably blessed to have the opportunity to visit one of my favorites for a few college visits. Over two driving packed days we visited the University of Notre Dame, University of Chicago and Northwestern University. I thought I was insane for scheduling back to back visits — Notre Dame on Thursday and UChicago and Northwestern on Friday, 45 minutes apart I might add —but it turned out other people had the same idea. We saw some of the same people both days at each of the colleges at exactly the same times even though Hyde Park and Evanston are nowhere near 45 minutes apart with traffic. All in all, I had an amazing time visiting these incredible schools, so here are my stressful 48 hours in Chicago.
University of Notre Dame

 Notre Dame was pretty interesting as my first official college visit ever. I have obviously been on several college campuses and even been a student at two, but visiting and not camouflaging into the student body was nerve-wracking. Like all the other schools I intend on visiting, what drew me to Notre Dame was its reputation as an academically strong school. The campus was beautiful and located in a small college town which makes it a different than most of my top schools. Here are my quick notes from the information session and tour.

After we finished the tour we had the rest of the day to do whatever we wanted, which wasn't much because we were all so wiped. We continued our drive to Chicago and spent the rest of the evening relaxing in our hotel rooms. I really wish this could have been an extended visit, not only for how much I love Chicago, but this hotel was one of my favorites I've ever stayed at. The decor was amazing, the location was amazing right overlooking Navy Pier, it was an all around cool place to be. Too bad I spent most of my time here sleeping.

the view from our room

The University of Chicago
 The next day we were up bright and early to visit school number two — The University of Chicago. I knew I had strong feelings about UChicago and had it placed as my number two dream school, but this visit placed it at number 1 (at least until I visit Columbia University in a week). The energy and mission of the school seeemed to exemplefy me completely. The school is one that is unconventional and unique in its aura and is driven toward encouraging minds that break from the norm and are motivated by questioning and moulding their surroundings. Touring the campus and hearing from current students and their lives and experiences on campus reinforced everything I knew about the school, and made my heart yearn for it that much more.

Quick Notes:

Northwestern University
For this leg of our trip, we had to speed from Hyde Park to Evanston, Illinois for our trip to Northwestern University. The major thing I noticed about Northwestern was that it gave off a relaxed vibe. This is probably because we visited during the summer with practically no students on campus, but the fact that it was in a smaller town reminded me of home, which I guess isn't a bad thing all of the time. I really loved that the campus was on the water (maybe the Michigan River) and the greenery. Being located in a small town and a Division 1 sports school, I also got a nice school spirit vibe which brings added another homey element.

Day One Outfit:

- Navy Aeropostale Striped Onsie
- Black Old Navy Jeans
- White Converse
-Navy Thrifted Raincoat

Day Two Outfit:

- Thrifted Denim Jacket
-Black Old Navy Dress
-White Converse

I was going to wear these flats, but I switched them out for better walking shoes.

Once we finished up our hectic few days we had a nice late lunch at Giordanos and I can finally say I understand the hype. This was honestly some of the best Italian food I've ever had.

Thank you all for reading all about some of the busiest two days of my life. I really got a taste for how valuble my time is and how productive I can be and I actually loved how it felt to be on top of my game like that. Till next time!

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