Friday, May 4, 2012

Cheese.




Yep.
That about sums it up. :)

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

TTT: Fighting the Thrift Whooze

Definition of Thrift Whooze:
A feeling one may experience while thrifting when the room begins to spin because there is just so much stuff.


Now Thirft Whooze is tricky because it has a tendency to sneak up on you.  Typically it goes something like this:

You're walking through the parking lot, thinking you're hot stuff - you're gonna go in there and getcha some wicked awesome deals because, gosh darnit, you deserve it!
You take one step through the doors, a quick look around and BAM!
Workers are calling for clean up on aisle 3 and other shoppers can be found circled around you taking pictures to later post on Pinterest with the caption "Thrifting: Nailed it!" underneath.



Dr. Amy's 3-Step RX for Staving Off Thirft Whooze:
 (p.s. not actually a doctor.)

Step 1:
  • Make sure you've eaten in the past 3-ish or so hours.
Not that that's ever been an issue for me or anything...
But just so we're clear, passing out is not cute.


Step 2:
  • Take an inventory of your closet before you go. 
I can't tell you how many times I've caught Mr. Wonderful headed to try on a shirt he already has at home.

I won't lie though, I do like watching his cute-self walk over to the dressing room.  If I can catch his eye, he'll usually wink at me.  :)

::sigh::
He's dreamy...

Uh-hem.
As I was saying...


Step 3:
  • Make a list of needs and then wants before you go.

There's something magical about lists.  They make "Maybe I'll try to get to this" plans so much more concrete because they're always sitting there, staring back at you, judging you...
That is, until you're able to check an item off, and then it's like "Sweet!  I accomplished something!"

Note, I purposely wrote "needs and then wants" on this step - not a typo or coincidence.  Always shop needs before wants.  It'll make you and your budget happy. :)



Wednesday, May 2, 2012

WIWW: Officially Color Blocked

Outfit Details:
  • Cardigan:  Thrifted
  • Dress:  TJMaxx
  • Belt:  Thrifted
  • Shoes:  Gift (they're Daisy Bluefins and they're the most comfortable shoes EVA!)
  • Dogs:  Rescued :)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

TT: 3 Simple Steps to Color Blocking

I have a thing for color.

In fact, I'm pretty positive if I let my creative juices flow to their lil' hearts content, I'd probably end up looking like a mash up of:

Lisa Frank:


 

And Rainbow Brite:
 

Which, you and I both know would be awesome, but apparently not appropriate for the workplace.
So, instead, I color block. :)


Step 1:  Grab your handy-dandy color wheel:

I'm a visual person, so being able to actually see color pairings together helps me avoid raiding my closet.
(As a bonus, Mr. Wonderful doesn't come home to a house that looks like a clothes bomb went off inside.)

Just to give you a sneak peek into my nerdtastic color-obsessed self, in addition to my handy-dandy color wheel, I also have my side of the closet divided by color.  As crazy as it may sound, it really does help when it comes to putting outfits together.


Step 2:  Decide how you'd like to pair colors.
Some options are:

-Neighboring
This is a grouping of 3 colors found side-by-side on the color wheel, like red, orange and yellow.
-Monochromatic
This is one color in a variety of intensities.
*Neighboring and monochromatic tend to be calmer ways to color block.*
 

-Complimentary
These are the colors you find directly across from each other on the color wheel, like purple and yellow.
-Triads
These are 3 colors equally spaced apart on the color wheel, like blue, red, and yellow.
*Complimentary and Triads tend to give a more dramatic look.*


Step 3:  Try it on.
For me, color blocking is all about how the color makes you FEEL. 
Maybe you put together a super cute orange top and an awesome blue skirt, BUT once you've put it on, you realize you just don't feel comfortable rocking blue and orange that day. 
No worries!
You can always re-try that color combo later.
Green is an excellent example of this for me.  Some days I can wear it, but other days, green refuses to work with my skin tone.   As my mom always says, "work with what you've got instead of trying to fight it."
  

Life's too short to be in a bad mood, so use your favorite colors to help brighten everyday.

"I believe in pink.  I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner.  I believe in kissing, kissing a lot.  I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong.  I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls.  I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles."
-Audrey Hepburn



Monday, April 30, 2012

MMMH: Long Overdue Color Blocking

color blocking essential



Sorry for the late post today!
Mr. Wonderful and I spent this past weekend with my family and it's throwing me off a bit.

BUT,
it was such a good time. :)

The whole reason for the visit was because my mom wanted a family picture.
The planning of it went something like this:
Mom: I've been thinking about maybe talking to everyone to see if we could have a family portrait done.  What do you think?
Me:  Okay, sure.  When were you thinking?
Mom:  Hmmm... I don't know.  Maybe in a month or so?
Me:  That sounds good.  Just let me know and we'll try to be there.
2 minutes later...
Mom:  The picture is going to be two weeks from today at 3pm!  Tell Mr. Wonderful he has to take off work!
Me:  Um, okay... I'll let him know, but I can't guarantee he'll be able to.
Mom (who has suddenly adopted The Hulk's voice):  He HAS to take off work.  Two weeks from today.  3pm.  You WILL be there.  (and now back to regular sweet mom voice) EEE!  I'm so excited!!!

::Smiles::
Lemme 'splain.
We hadn't had a family picture taken since I was in junior high... 
and I'm 26 now.
 My brother, who lives out in D.C., also came back for it.
 It was the first time he's been home in two years.
Needless to say, we were all thinking my mom would definitely want us to somehow color coordinate.  I mean, this picture was sorta kinda a HUGE deal right??!!

WRONG.

She just wanted the memory of us all together.
'Cuz she's amazing like that. :)

What's weird though, without planning anything, we all actually ended up color coordinating anyway.  LOVE my family. :)

Friday, April 27, 2012

On Repeat at Radio Amy

Parachute - Something to Believe In


Because they're awesome.


Have a great weekend everyone!!!



Thursday, April 26, 2012

TTT: The Cart Wars

Photo from versacart.com


...The cart...

Thrift store tool debated for centuries.


Okay, well maybe not centuries, but at least a few years maybe??
Hmmm....

Anywho.

There's an issue.
A Battle Royale, if you will, between...

Dun, Dun, DUUUUUN!!!!

The Carters and the No-Carters


On the side of the Carters you have:
  • Sir Handsfree, who provides the ability to continue delving into uncharted spaces with both hands in order to discover hidden treasures.
  • Apothecary Large Quantity,  who enables large amounts of items to be claimed.
  • Prince Still Feel Your Arms, who... is pretty self-explanatory I think.

On the side of the No-Carters you have:
  • Squire Takes-up Space, who frequently demonstrates excellent personal space invasion tactics.
  • Sir Might B. Taken, a thief who has no problem raiding your cart while you're in the dressing room or have your back turned.
  • Lord Over Budget, who denies you the ability to properly estimate the total cost of your items due to cart stockpiling.


So, young thrifter,
only one question remains...

Which side are you on?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

WIWW: Simple Pleasures and Photo-tastic-ness

As a style blogger, professional quality outfit photos are a must.

Hmm... Apparently I didn't get that memo.

FACT: I have a major tendency towards all things awkward.
Example:  I made my niece's birthday cake this past weekend and thought it would be fun to include cake balls with the cake itself.  No big deal.  Well, about two-thirds of the way through the drive to her party, I noticed the sunlight had started to cause some issues with condensation.  I, of course, being the wonderfully naive person I am, proceeded to exclaim, "Oh no!  My balls are sweating!"
.
.
.
Yep.
Needless to say, after that, my face matched my hair color and Mister Wonderful didn't stop laughing for the rest of the trip.


My awkwardness is actually a quality I'm pretty proud of, but in this blog's case, it makes things... difficult.  Instead of the lovely professional-style outfit photos most style bloggers post, I typically end up with something more along the lines of this:




Oh well.
At least my pups take pretty great pictures. :)
Outfit Details:
  • Hair Bow:  Self-Made
  • Cardigan:  Thrifted (originally from H&M)
  • "Superior Hog Handling" Graphic Tee:  Thrifted
  • Skinny Jeans:  Target
  • Black & White Polka Dot Flats:  Walmart

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

TT: How to ..um... do something

Three weeks in and I'm already slacking.

I know, I know.  I'm sorry.

"But, but, but.... why?" you ask?

Well because if I didn't do this, I'd most likely have written a tutorial on something like "The Top 10 Ways To Avoid Committing a Violent Crime During Your Aunt Flow's Visit" kind of post and we all know things could get pretty ugly with that soooo....

Here are my top 4 ('cuz I gotta be different like that) favorite DIY projects out there at the moment:


1. Terrariums (aka plants that even I would have a hard time killing.)
Photo via National Geographic Kids

 Mister Wonderful and I watched a segment about terrariums on CBS Sunday Morning a few weeks back and I have been obsessed ever since.  I love the idea of being able to bring the outdoors in without having to have a green thumb. :)



2. Recycled Light Bulb Hot Air Balloons
Photo via Dollar Store Crafts
How cute are these??!!  I don't have any munchkins of my own yet, but these would definitely need to be hanging from the ceiling in their room if I did. :)



3. S'more Teacher Appreciation Bags
Photo from Dollhouse Bake Shoppe
Mr. Wonderful is a middle school teacher so I'm always on the lookout for fun and simple ways to let him know how amazing he is.  He likes to take s'mores up a notch, so I'd just need to switch out the Hershey's for some Reese's and he'd be one happy man.



4. Repurposed T-shirt Pillows
Photo from Better Homes & Gardens
If you haven't noticed by now, you probably will soon, but I love me some random sayings tees.  And the possibility of making them into cozy household items just makes me smile.



Monday, April 23, 2012

MMMH.: Simple Pleasures

C.C.C.




Recipe for a Happy Amy:
  • 1 Mister Wonderful
  • 2 sweet black lab mix pups
  • 1 cup of coffee (with a bit of milk and sugar)
  • 1 (or one hundred) slice(s) of Marie Callender's Razzleberry Pie
  • 1 blanket
Place ingredients on couch. 
Add some Paul Simon to taste.



Mister Wonderful and I attempted a movie date on Friday night...


But first we were late (I always take longer than I plan for, one would think I would plan for that).
Then, we were drenched in rain as we made the trip through the parking lot.
And finally, the fancy automated ticket seller machine refused to take our money.


So we walked our happy little water-soaked selves back through the rain to the car and began our half an hour journey over to the video store - all the while belting out various totally boss songs from the 80's.

Soo much better. :)

"Sometimes things fall apart so better things can fall together."
-Marilyn Monroe

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thrift Tip Thursday: "CHECK" Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

"Yeah, I don't think the shirt is supposed to fit like that.  Pretty sure Mr. Gadget must have worn that last."


Don't become the subject of this thrifting-gone-bad conversation.

Always CHECK yourself before you wreck yourself.


C.are Instructions
-Always check the care instructions on a garment before you buy it.  If you're not willing to do what it says, pass it up.  In my case, no matter how cheap the price, I'm positive I'm not going to wanna to shell out the extra dough necessary to have something dry cleaned so I pass.

H.oles
-I know what you're thinking.  "Duh Amy."  But holes can be tricky lil' buggers - especially the small ones, so keep a watchful eye.

E.rror(s) in Seaming
-Unless you're looking at something that's deliberately high/low style, most items should have the same length in the front as they do in the back.  If it doesn't fit properly in the store, odds are it won't at home either... no matter how many times you iron it.

C.olor
-Always do a once over to check for stains, fading, makeup smudges, etc.  If you're unsure, hold it up to the light to get a better look.

K.ind of material
-This step is part personal preference, part quality check.  You want to make sure it won't pill or unravel or wrinkle too easily.  Basically, just ask yourself, will that fabric work for my lifestyle?  If the answer is yes, then awesome, you just scored a new top, dress, skirt, etc.!  But if the answer if no, then pass.  But it's only $3 you say!?  Don't care, you won't wear it so it'll be a waste of $3.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What I'm Wearing Wednesday

Outfit Details:
  • Leather Headband - Broken, but re-purposed bracelet from Joyce Meyer Women's Conference 2011
  • Feather Earrings - Self Made (check them out in My Shop)
  • Dress - Thrifted
  • Sandals - Target

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tutorial Tuesday: Good as Gold

I hate throwing things away.
Granted, I'm not exactly to hoarder status yet, but you could certainly classify me as a Pack-rat.

And sadly, some of the items I keep aren't even things that have nostalgic value.
I mean, I feel bad getting rid of toilet paper rolls.
I know, I know.  That's crazy.
But for me, each time I toss something, I have these "Toy Story 3" moments.  Like the items I'm getting rid of are sitting in some dark, clammy corner of a bin wondering why I don't need them anymore.

OR (one of my more frequent and less crazy thoughts) that a few days will pass and I'll think of something I could have used the item for, but,
WAN, 
WAN, 
WAAAAAA!
stupid me threw it out.

It's a vicious cycle.

But not today!
Today I figured out just what to do with an empty cereal box and a left over piece of scrapbook paper!
Here's what you'll need:



Haha!  Two seemingly useless items down!  Only about a hundred more to go! :)

*Tip: Try coating your earrings with outdoor ModPodge.  It will make them a bit more durable and add a nice shine.

Monday, April 16, 2012

My Monday Must Haves: Go with the Flow-naturale

Go with the Flow



With all of the GORGEOUS sunshine days we've been having lately, I feel like it's high time I channel my inner hippie and pay Mother Nature some much due respect.




But before I do anything, I need to announce the winners from last week's Custom Jewelry Giveaway!!!
 
BRUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM (that's my drumroll impression of course) 


The winners are....


1. Marianne
and
2. Nancy


Congratulations ladies!  Shoot me an email and we'll get started on planning your custom pieces!  I can't wait! :)








Okay, back to Flowerchild Amy mode.

Pardon me while I go hug some trees. :)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Thrift Tip Thursday



Be Prepared:
5 Items to Put in Your Thrift Kit

See?  Even though I'm a girl I know the motto.
I was a boyscout once... well sort of. 
My dad was a troop leader when my bother was in scouts and I actually just got to participate on occasion...

BUT I did earn a badge (earned? given out of pity? Eh, makes no difference) so that makes it official right??

Either way, the same rule applies to thrifting.
And I prepare by bringing my handy dandy thrift kit anytime I go.


1. A list of items you're on the lookout for.
 Think of it as your grocery list of clothes.  The first time you go can be overwhelming and having a list can help narrow down your search.  A word of caution though: you can't go in expecting to come out with everything on your list.  Sometimes thrifting takes patience.  Some days you'll find armfuls, others you walk out with nadda.  That's okay, just keep the list with you for direction and you'll be sure to cross it off soon.

2. A pair of booties.
I'm not talking about you and your friends' groovin' to "Ms. New Booty" around the store... although I'm preaching to the choir 'cuz I've been known to shake it to The Jackson's "Blame It On The Boogie" while shopping on occasion. :)
I mean those little pantyhose booties they have at most shoe stores.   I can never seem to find a trash can at the store, so they usually just end up at the bottom of my purse - which works out well because most thrift stores don't have booties available if you're interested in trying on shoes. 
3. A belt.
I am an intense wear-er of skirts and dresses with belts, so I tend to stash one of my elastic waist belts in my purse for when I'm in the dressing room.  The belts easily help me determine if fabric will bunch up, if the belt won't stay in the correct spot, or if a belt is not the right style for the skirt/dress.  
4. A rewards card.
Interestingly enough, there are quite a few thrift stores with rewards programs be it student discounts, senior discounts, colored tag discounts, or actual rewards cards.  Last week, I received $2 off my purchase because of the reward points I had racked up making my $8 purchase of 2 shirts, a skirt and a pair of shoes that much more of a steal.  Check with the cashiers about possible rewards, sign-up and then keep the card with you.

And finally,  
5. A positive attitude.
Obviously, this won't fit in a nice compact container, but you should still pack it.  Thrifting is all about the hunt and unfortunately, sometimes pieces elude you.  If you don't find the item right away, think in terms of Barney Stinson and make it a "Challenge accepted".  It'll make that moment when you do find it all the sweeter.