Thursday, February 23, 2017

Three Dollar Leather Skirt

Yes, you read that right! This skirt cost me a whopping three bucks. Oh, charity shops, you just have the best stuff always. And when I walk out, I feel good for two reasons; the items were cheap AND I donated to a good cause (if you're curious if you're in a charity shop, read on for clues and tips).


Practically everything in this outfit was thrifted, how lucky am I? Seasoned thrifters will know that as much as we love to find bargains, sometimes thrift shopping can be hit and miss. Really successful thrifters go frequently. They find out when new stuff is being rolled out and they also know when there are special sales (blue tags half off, for example).


But --- even knowing all that, thrifting can be a gamble sometimes. One of the things I miss most living over here in Hong Kong is having a favorite thrift shop that I can poke into weekly for bargains. It's been a number of years since our local Salvation Army Store in Stanley closed down, but I still have some treasures that I scored there.


Last Christmas on our trip to Los Angeles, I decided to explore some of the thrift shops in the area. I went to two different Savers, and I popped into a few charity shops as well. It was at the Children's Hospital charity shop that I scored big time. Among other things, I snagged this leather skirt.


Here's the best part of the story, though. The store was having a sale on blue tags, all 50% off! This leather skirt was already a steal at six dollars, but paying only three dollars for in the end was ridiculous!


Some other good finds this Christmas include that fabulous ring and the suede peep toe Nine West heels, both from Savers.


So, how do you know you're in a charity shop? First off, you should be able to find signs and info about the charity the shop supports and the staff who volunteer their time there will be able to elaborate on how your contribution helps the charity. Always ask, you'll feel good. Sometimes you'll even see little donation boxes for you to leave extra monetary donations. Another clue is that you'll sometimes find pamphlets at the check out as well.

So there you have it. I think I'll save the tips for another post.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Do you Valentine? (Links a la Mode, February 16th)

So, Valentine's Day.  Who knew it could be such a polarizing day? People either love it or hate it, am I right? It's just another day, but it gets so much hype. Does it really deserve it? I guess it depends what your experience is and what you expect. I won't judge.


Valentine's Day came and went this week in much the same way that it has for the last twenty years. No fuss. Since having a family, the hubby and I have taken to celebrating the family by writing little sneaky valentines to exchange on the morning. I like the idea of making my kiddos aware of the importance of pausing to appreciate each other.


I guess I'm lucky that my hubby is quite demonstrative about his emotions. I never have to question his feelings. He is supportive and involved and is the most thoughtful gift giver, ever. That said, he's not a schmoopsy kind of hubby with the flowers and chocolates and all that bit. And I'm glad he's not. That's a bit unoriginal, you know? I always find Valentine's evening a bit humorous with couple after couple walking arm in arm, the woman clutching a giant bear in one arm and a bouquet of roses in the other.


I like to think that the most romantic gestures are often the smallest ones. Bringing you home your favorite treat from the grocery store, asking if you want to stop in for a good cup of coffee when running errands, and more. My teenage son this week groaned, you shouldn't need a piece of paper to tell someone how you feel! I had to smile later when his little girlfriend spent a lot of time to make him a lovely valentine and how tickled he was when I bumped into him later and couldn't wait to show me.


Taking the time to write out little messages for each person in the family teaches us that small actions remind family members that we love each other, too. Hopefully they will take these experiences onto their adult lives and remember that you do what it takes to make someone feel loved, on Valentine's Day and everyday.

***I didn't wear this outfit on Valentine's Day, but the red velvet seemed festive for a post about this topic, don't you think?

Read some other posts from this week's Independent Fashion Bloggers round up, Links a la Mode, which will get you thinking about love in new ways. 



Links à la Mode, February 16th
SPONSOR: Shopbop Marc Jacobs, Soludos Shoes, Tumi Shoulder Bags, Fred and Sibel, Gucci
, Castaner, Embroidered, Poplin Blouses, Tassel Earrings, Men's Arc'teryx Veilance

Monday, February 13, 2017

Monday Blues

Why are some weekends shorter than others? I think weekends would be much nicer if they were three days, really.



Especially this one. Good hangs with friends and the littlest girl's 8th birthday party on the beach. We scored with lovely weather.  It seemed a shame for it to come to an end.


Nevertheless, it did.

And while I didn't wear this outfit today, I did notice when I looked back and realized I hadn't posted them yet; I have a tendency to wear blue on Mondays.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Links a la Mode, February 9th & January 19th

Your weekend reading is sorted! Here are two Links a la Mode blogger round ups to browse through while you lounge on the couch. Saturday morning has not looked better than this. Oh, and two of my posts made these round ups.  Thanks Independent Fashion Bloggers for creating such a fab community to be a part of!



Links à la Mode, January 19th
SPONSOR: Shopbop James Jeans, Chan Luu, Red Carter Swimwear, Rejina Pyo, Sam Edelman, Soave Oro, Trench Coats, Turtlenecks, Carry On Bags, Men's AMI


Links à la Mode, February 9th
SPONSOR: Amazon's Shopbop Victoria Victoria Beckham, Aquazzura Sandals, Loeffler Randall Bags, Hadid Eyewear, Olympia Le-Tan, Z Supply, Light Pink Dresses, Frayed Hem Jeans, Espadrille Sneakers, Men's Sunspel

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Netflix & Chill (no, not that!!)

Oh, it's always so hard to go back to work after being on holiday, right? Being off for a week for Chinese New Year, but not actually going away on holiday means a week of relaxing at home. Bliss.
It's a great time for catching up. . . on sleep, with friends, on reading, and even on binge watching our favorite shows on Netflix.

My littles sat around the breakfast table before school yesterday and said how sad they were not to be spending the morning watching a few episodes of Full House. They've been super into that old show, and I secretly am glad they're loving it. I'm always amused when I come in the room to discover they're watching an episode I remember. Good times.

A week off at home is perfect for catching up on grown up TV, too. Any parent can relate when I say that once you have kids, grown up TV shows become a bit of a luxury. I'm well versed in kid characters and shows, but a relative new comer to the popular TV shows for adults.


That said, I've got two that I'd watch with any spare time I have. First is Stranger Things which indulges my 80s trend obsession and Winona Ryder fan girl fix. But, truth be told, I'm a fraidy cat so I can't watch that all the time.  The other show is Brooklyn Nine Nine. Pure comedy. I haven't laughed this hard since discovering New Girl, another fave.


So, even though I'm back at work, I'll be thinking of the next time I can snuggle on the couch with my hubby in my comfy cotton pajama pants, wool socks and an old tee with a glass of white to binge watch those shows. While the weather is cold (and in Hong Kong that means cold inside), I'll be bundling up under our fuzzy Steelers blanket. When it gets warmer, I can see myself lounging in some of this cute sleepwear from Adore Me. Check out their Instagram page.


What is your favorite show to watch on Netflix? I'm always up for recommendations.

***Thanks for the idea for this post, Adore Me.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Graphic Tees: What would yours say?

I don't know what it is, but I've been wearing more t-shirts lately. Maybe it's a more concerted effort to get my casual look more defined. Perhaps I can wear jeans and a t-shirt! But, I also like the statement that graphic tees can make, too.


Whatever it is, I seem to be gathering a little collection of them. The latest acquisitions, this lightning bolt tee, an old Labour in Vain tee and my Give a Damn tee, are all courtesy of my hubby.  The first two are his hand-me-downs, the last was his gift to me. Each of them speaks to me.


That Give a Damn tee, which I wore to the Women's March in Macau a couple of weeks ago here, gets right to the heart of how I feel about most things. At some point giving a damn goes beyond talk and moves into action. I think I'll be getting a lot of use out of it given the issues we face these days, don't you?


This lightning bolt tee is a funky print (and I love prints) and it has a kind of rocker vibe that I keep coming back to again and again. I especially love the little pink lightning bolt in among all the yellow ones. It's a subtle visual reminder that standing out from the crowd, whether it be your style or your beliefs, is a good thing. Don't be afraid to be unique because conformity is boring. Take a risk. 
Be yourself.


That motto is another one that motivates me. If you've read my blog long enough you'll know that I like to push the boundaries, more comfortably now as an adult. I spent too much of my awkward teenage years worried about what others thought -- knee high socks and wing tip eyeliner got me voted Most Unique in high school.


These days, I just wake up and think can I wear a beanie with this vintage dress? 
Why not!

So, graphic tees.  They have a message and I see more tees (and messages) in my future. What would your graphic tee say?

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Clothing Confession

I need to come clean. I went against my conscience buying this lacey mesh dress from the Zara at the airport last month and it's kind of eating at me. I mean, I never go into Zara. I don't mean that to sound snobby and judgemental, not at all. I hardly shop at any retail stores these days because I pretty much wear second hand and vintage exclusively. When I'm not, I usually wear clothing that supports local and independent designers. H&M is the only fast fashion store I still pop into once every few months, just to look, and that's mainly because they have their Conscious Collection and because their clothes for kids are really cool.


Lately, I've been bringing clothes to donate to H&M's clothes recycling program. Sorting through clothing is an ongoing job in our house. I make piles: hand-me-down clothes for the kids of neighbours and friends, clothes to fix up or alter and make wearable again, clothes to sell or upcycle, and finally clothes that really need to be thrown out (old socks, torn shorts, etc). The pile to be thrown out can actually be taken to H&M to be recycled. Read about their sustainable initiatives here. The best thing is, you get a coupon for 10% off when you do. I have to say, when looking for new things for the kiddos (like school pants), those coupons come in handy. Otherwise, I've been encouraging them to wear second hand as well. They love to hit up thrift shops with me.


I've been making these choices for so long now that they've become part of the core of who I am. My motto. I wrote about it here. So needless to say, I had a good dose of shopper's remorse after I bought this dress.


After doing some thinking about it, I decided that I needed to give myself a break. If I liked the dress so much to "go against" my usual instincts and buy it, then theoretically it should be a dress I can put in the rotation and wear 30+ times in it's lifetime to make it a sustainable piece. 

Okay then, enough said. Challenge accepted. I'll work on restyling this piece once a month to post on my Instagram account with the hashtag #makeitsustainable.  Anyone else have a piece they'd like to challenge themselves to wear each month with me?  Let me know. 

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