RIP Ol’ Blue 4/18/13

I’m sad to report that my beloved bicycle, Ol’ Blue, was stolen from me last Thursday. It happened in the wee hours of the evening right on the side of my house. I even had a U-lock on and they still managed to break through it :(

I’ve had Ol’ Blue for 2 and a half years and it has been with me through the hard times and the good. It was even stolen once before and retrieved at a local Antique store down the street. That time I was able to find out who stole it and made a police report, this time around I have not been so lucky.

Ol’ Blue wasn’t the most flashy of bikes, but I loved it dearly and felt it had become a part of me. It was the perfect blend of vintage (old Schwin) and modern, with it’s white basket and bell. I’d say it’s persona was like mine, classic yet new.

The day before the bike was stolen, the May issue of Sac Mag had come out showcasing me on Ol’ Blue. When I left my house Thursday morning, (magazine in hand) I stepped out to an empty poll with only the remnants of my beloved. As I stood starring, I began to cry. I’ve learned through the years that to stay angry only hurts myself, but in that fleeting moment I was mad. I just don’t understand why people do such things. In the end, I can only hope and pray that what ever it is that makes people steal bikes will hopefully leave them so they, too, can live a better and more admirable life.

I gathered myself and walked to work. I realized that this was only a bump in the road and that things were going to be ok. My problems were minor compared to what was going on in the rest of the world at that moment.

This past weekend I got a new bike and she’s a beauty. People really blow my mind sometimes with their generosity. It warms and touches my heart. I was surprised with a bike and instead of tears of sadness I smiled ear to ear with happiness and gratitude – thank you kind friend :)

I’ll miss Ol’ Blue… But, I’ll admit that my new bike is a pretty darn good replacement for my old one. I have yet to come up with a name for her, but I’ll let you know when I do! It’s so fancy, I even have fenders – say what?!!! Side note: A lady bug flew on me while photographing with my new bike, I take that as a good sign… :)

Outfit: Vintage dress (Freestyle, $12) Ninewest heels (Goodwill, $12.50) and earrings my Momma made.

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Ol’ Blue, you’ll always be loved:

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My 60’s obsession continues…

Recently I went to Freestyle Clothing Exchange (big surprise!) and stumbled upon the most mesmerizing vintage dress. Believe it or not, Freestyle actually has an outstanding vintage section. Next time you’re in there, make sure to ask where the vintage is and check it out! I swear, I’ve been finding the most amazing pieces lately. (primarily of the 60’s era)

Back to the dress, it was love at first sight! It has that beautiful Shift (A-line) quality to it, which is very typical for a dress of the era. What I love most is the print for one, and second, the collar. It reminds me of a Peter Pan collar, but exaggerated. The colors are orange and brown, which are more Fall like. But, I put my styling thinking cap on and realized that splashes of white would Spring it up just perfectly. Great thing about this dress is that it still had the original tags! Always love researching the vintage brands to authenticate the era and to also find out a bit of some fashion history :) The label is a Mar Tee Original and after doing some investigation it is my belief that it’s an authentic dress from the 60’s. Love that! I swear, I get so much satisfaction from my vintage dresses knowing that they are historic pieces of fashion with stories behind them. I just find it so interesting and love knowing that they are virtually one of a kinds. I think it’s nice to stand out from the crowd every now and then…

The day I wore this dress to work (minus the floppy hat) I came across this structure (see photo below) near the Downtown Mall. Once again, I encourage all to pay attention to what’s around you. So much inspiration around us all the time!

I thought the hat here was fun and added a little bit of Spring/Summer flair. Kind of puts a bit of a 70’s kick to it as well.

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My outfit:

Vintage dress, Ninewest heels, Banana Republic leather purse, (was new w/ tags on and retailed at $150) and ring all from Freestyle ($15, $15, $25, and ring was $5)

Floppy summer hat, SPCA thrift, $8

White necklace, Deseret Industries thrift, $1.99

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My article in the May issue of Sacramento Magazine is out! (pg 29 and 30)

I have been waiting to write about this for quite some time now. Sacramento Magazine had asked me about 3 months ago if they could do a feature article on me and my thrifitng. I gladly accepted! This past week was an emotional week for me on many levels, but having the article come out Tuesday was definitely the pinnacle of my thrifting career thus far.

Emotions can run rampant sometimes, we are only human right? My emotions came from a place of remembering what it was like and what it is like now. 2 1/2 years ago I could have never imagined that someone, let alone Sacramento Magazine, would ever want to have anything to do with me. When I made the leap to finally change my life, I was then able to start mending the broken pieces that had kept me down for so long. With each piece mended, I got stronger and more confident. In 2 short years I’ve accomplished so much more than I ever knew possible. I hope that I can inspire anyone out there having a difficult time with life that things really can turn around.

As for the article, I am SO happy with it! Amy Ekhart (photographer) did a fantastic job representing my collection of thrifted pieces. (both vintage and newer pieces) I also loved how she was able to capture how proud I am to be riding my bike with heels and a dress on! Love the quote on the bottom of page 29,’I’m not going to sacrifice fashion just because I have to bike.’ Heck yeah! Also, HUGE shout out to Mari Tzikas for the wonderful article. Mari did a wonderful job describing my history with thrifting, collection, styling studio, and inspiration for it all. Thank you for mentioning my mom Mari, she really is my true inspiration and I feel so lucky to have such an artist for a mother. She is my number one fashion Guru. Oh hail to Ms Deborah/Momma ;) I’d also like to pay thanks to Mike O’Brien for giving little ol’ me a chance to show off what I love at the very core of who I am. Thrifting has become my art and finding incredible pieces for next to nothing has become my game. I love that I was able to share my thrifting tips to the great people of Sacramento. Hopefully they will find some great pieces as well! Big thanks to my make up artist Andrea Lewis too! Girl, you did a great job! You can find her business page here:

https://www.facebook.com/MakeupByAJ

If anyone is a lover of thrifting or interested in learning how to be frugal and fabulous, please save the date and take my thrifting class on May 30th. You can purchase tickets here and some of the proceeds go to WEAVE. Now that’s a feel good class all around!

http://www.eventbrite.com/event/5981489797/eorg

Here are some pictures of the photo shoot and the magazine:

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1960’s revival? Yes please!

Hello readers! My apologies for being absent this past week. It was a crazy busy week full of highs and lows. I have a lot to catch up on!

Ok, from time to time I become completely and utterly obsessive about certain styles of clothing, eras in particular. Can you guess what era I’m obsessed with right now? The 60’s! I’ve always adored 60’s fashion, but what really took me from ‘like’ to ‘obsessed’ recently was Louis Vuitton’s Spring 2013 60’s inspired lineup (please see image below) and a purchase of an original 1966 Vogue magazine from the Sacramento Antique Faire. The Vogue magazine is one of the most amazing finds I’ve ever purchased. INCREDIBLE incredible fashion, photography, history, the list goes on! (I’ll post more about it later)

I’ve been so obsessed, that I based my recent Charity Fashion show at Lucca Restaurant on the 60’s primarily. I love the vibrant colors, make up, hair styles, and Shift dresses that became popular because of Mary Quant. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Quant)ImageShe was a revolutionary and believed that it was time for young women in that era to develop their own look; treat fashion as a game. Love that!

I’m all for being modern, but I constantly look back in fashion for inspiration. The 60’s were a time when fashion went from the conservative dresses of the 50’s (I still like those, too) to the mini skirt! Women dared to play different and bend the rules. I like to fancy myself a lady who bends the rules from time to time with the intention of being different and hopefully inspiring others…

Louis Vuitton Spring 2013 looks and 1966 Vogue that inspired me:

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My 60’s look: Vintage 60’s inspired dress from the Sacramento Antique Faire for $5!!! Shirt, necklace, and shoes thrifted too ($5, $1.99, & $15) I love this little dress because it can be worn for the work environment and evening. Love a versatile dress!

TIPS: The tights I have on are from Forever21. (great tights, great prices – typically $5) Like the cat eye liner I have on? Would you believe it’s by Wet & Wild? It is! It’s their liquid liner that comes in a tube with a variety of colors. (under $3) Also, don’t forget to check out the Sacramento Antique Faire the 2nd Sunday of the month under the freeway at 21st and X street.

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Be inspired…

As I bike to work every day, I gaze around and constantly feel inspired by what I see, whether it’s nature, people or buildings. Biking these past few years has really transformed the way I see and appreciate things. Just yesterday I found myself inspired by a homeless lady that I passed. She was wearing the most fantastic leopard print top and seemed proud to be wearing it. A couple of weeks ago I rode past a building that was reminiscent of a Mondrian painting and it got me thinking about the prints and shapes in my wardrobe. These types of experiences are why I encourage people to broaden their horizons, open their eyes and let the world around us inspire!

The pairing of the turquoise necklace and magenta romper came to me last year when I saw a beautiful woman walking by wearing the same color combo. I stopped in my tracks and was wowed by the beautiful collaboration of the two colors. I am thankful I had my eyes open that day to be inspired by the passer by with the beautiful ensemble. To this day, it is still one of my favorite color combinations. 

Outfit:

Bebe romper, Freestyle Clothing Exchange, $18

Diane Von Furstenberg jacket, Freestyle Clothing Exchange, $13

Ninewest heels, Freestyle Clothing Exchange, $15

Turquoise necklace, My Momma made!

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With tangerine trees and marmalade skies…

One of my favorite songs as a kid was the Beatles’,  Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. I remember whenever the skies were a glow with the color of orange my mom would sing to me some of the lyrics, ‘with tangerine trees and marmalade skies.’ We’d sit there and look up into the sky and smile. Awww, I love my Momma! I just got nostalgic for my younger years. My mom raised me all by herself and did such a great job. Being a single parent is not an easy task and I have such a deep love and respect for all that she did for me. Momma, if you’re reading this, I heart you :) 

Ok, getting back to my fashion! One of my favorite colors (if not favorite) is orange. I loved pairing my pale orange top with my very graphic black and white Express skirt. The back drop was pretty perfect too, right?! My ensemble combined with the mural really did bring me back to my child hood with the tangerine trees and marmalade skies. Funny how we forget things sometimes, so happy to have been reminded of this happy memory from my childhood. It’s the little things in life that are the most important….

Outfit:

Orange blouse, Freestyle, $10

Express skirt, Thrift Town, $4.99

Ninewest heels, Freestyle, $15 

Necklace, my wonderful co-worker Michele made it! 

Tip: Download the Thrift Town app on your iphone or smartphone and get notified daily of the sales and contests/events. Also, when you sign up and become a VIP, you get a $5 coupon towards your next purchase. I suggest liking them on Facebook too! Great thrift store, great merchandise, and especially great prices! 

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Vintage threesome

Have you ever had the desire to have a threesome? A vintage threesome? Well, I have, and I did ;)

I know, I like vintage, but it’s not all I like I swear. When I find good vintage pieces though, I get REALLY really excited. My vintage threesome was a match made in fashion heaven. The whole ensemble started with the dress. I found it at a local Goodwill on their 1/2 off day some months back, followed by the vintage hat at the Sac Antique Faire, and (drum roll please) the shoes! I swear I have a fashion guardian angel that directs me to the most amazing unique finds. When I saw these shoes I squealed, I literally squealed in SPCA thrift store. The shoes match the dress so perfectly! I just squealed again.

I guess that’s the way fashion works, or at least my thrifting fashions. I go out shopping not quite knowing what I’ll find and leave it up to chance in the hopes that I’ll find something special. I’d say that all three of my pieces are pretty darn special. Having the shoes match the dress was such a happy coincidence…

Outfit:

Vintage dress, Goodwill, $4.50

Vintage hat, Sacramento Antique Faire, $10

Vintage shoes, SPCA thrift, $5.99

Earrings, my Momma made!

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Connecting the dots: one shirt, two shoes, and tie at a time…

I love polka dots, you love polka dots, we ALL love polka dots! Or maybe I’m just making an assumption, but by the looks of all the magazines, blogs, and people around me, it seems we all be lovin’ us some polka dots. I guarantee if someone said they hated polka dots and wouldn’t be caught dead in them, we’d find out later that they secretly loved them and had actually been wearing polka undies and socks ;) 

For me, polka dots are very playful, bold, perfect with many colors, and most of all, they make me happy when wearing the print. I feel like twirling around, or in the case of my photos below, laughing out loud like a child. Maybe that’s what it is, the polka dot reverts me back to adolescence, when everything was carefree and easy.

Though I’m super feminine, I do like playing around with some masculine pieces in my wardrobe. For example, I like to wear some of my broaches as bow ties and from time to time, sport a tie. The polka dot blouse, shoes, and tie seemed like it would have been over kill with the print, but I felt it worked well. I especially thought it worked with the bright green pop of color in the skirt, made for a nice contrast. 

I had a lot of fun with this outfit and loved loved loved that a mural by my house matched the skirt perfectly!!! I mean, was that meant to be or what? It just amazes me how many beautiful things are around us if we just open our eyes to them. I am finding myself constantly inspired these days…

Outfit:

Ralph Lauren blouse, Goodwill, $10

Tie, Deseret Industries, $1.99

Green suede skirt, free at a clothing swap

Shoes, SPCA thrift, $2.50

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Letting loose: Casual Monday attire and hair

Alright, I understand that my version of casual may seem a little dressy. This past Monday’s outfit was more of a comfy, let my curly hair be free kind of a day. I’m pretty much most comfortable in dresses and this silk Theory dress takes the cake in the comfortable department.

I’ve always hated that I didn’t have stick straight hair, but I suppose the older I got, the more I’ve come to appreciate the curly hair and it’s unruliness. I suppose it’s characteristic of who I am; ever changing, unique, and never the same. It definitely has a mind of it’s own and likes to make a statement from time to time…

Enough about my hair, lets get back to le fashion! This graphic silk Theory dress is such an artsy fartsy dress and a great find at $18. It reminds me of a painting that might be hanging at the MOMA, or maybe even the Crocker, where I work. (hmmm, maybe I should search the Museum to see if there are any paintings that match! – I seem to do that subconsciously sometimes…)

It’s still too chilly to wear as a tank dress, but paired with a light white jacket, brass necklace, and tan pumps makes for a perfect early Spring outfit.

Jacket, Freestyle Clothing, $25 (It was a newer piece that hadn’t been worn – expensive, but worth the price. Well, it was free! because I had trade with them)

Theory dress, Freestyle Clothing, $18 – This dress was a GREAT find and again free with trade.

Necklace, Forever21, $5.99

Nude pumps, Goodwill, $12.50

Tip: Is it Spring cleaning time at your house? Take your gently used clothing to Freestyle (4 locations in Sacramento) and see what they will buy from you. I sell back all the time and get trade. Trade at Freestyle is 50% and allows for me to shop essentially free! That’s some feel good shopping right there!

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Pastel/Easter themed Good Day Sacramento segment and where to find all the thrift stores I mentioned

This past Sunday’s Good Day Sacramento segment was SOOO much fun. It marked my 6th appearance on the show and not only did I have one segment, but two! One segment was clothes and the second was accessories.

The theme was Easter with a pastel twist. I went far and wide to seek out the best thrifted clothes and accessories for it. I absolutely adore pastel colors and had the perfect vision of what I wanted to show. Lately, I’ve been a little obsessed with mint green and light pink. One of the beauties of thrifting is that I never really know what I’m going to find. And when I do find something, boy do I get excited! I loved everything I showed Sunday morning, but I was especially excited about a pair of shoes I found at Freestyle Clothing Exchange. They were, get this, mint green never before worn heels!!! (See picture below) I thought I died and went to high heel heaven. I found a light pink floral dress that had accents of mint in it and a mint green broach from Thrift Town to match. To me, the shoes and floral dress epitomized Easter.

Another beautiful high light from the show was my make up artist and friend Andrea Lewis getting recognized on the show! I love when I get to see an artist use their talent and shine. I know what it’s like to be passionate about something and to see Andrea show off and talk about her passion warmed my heart. I thought she did a great job on my make up! Check out her FB page at : http://www.facebook.com/MakeupByAJ

As promised on the show, I’ve listed all the stores I pulled from for the 2 segments:

1.) Freestyle Clothing Exchange: http://www.freestyleclothing.com/ – they have 4 stores now, but I only go to the one in Midtown on 21st and L street. (I live in Midtown and only bike) They have crazy amazing finds. It’s a buy, sell, or trade place so the merchandise is really good. Love them!

2.) Deseret Industries: 3000 Auburn Blvd – LOVE this thrift store. It’s a huge store, well organized, clean, low prices, and excellent selection. For the people who have asked me where to find plus size clothing, they have an excellent plus size selection!

3.) Thrift Town: http://www.thrifttown.com/ – Thrift Town is great and has multiple stores in the Sacramento area. The nice thing about them is how cheap they are. I found a Gap wrap dress there this weekend for $2.99, I mean come on! Plus, I think they have really great accessories. Also, they have an App now! Down load it on your phone to find out all the great deals/sales, coupons, and contests.

4.) Goodwill: 1621 L street – the one on L street is hands down my favorite Goodwill. It’s a boutique and the best of the best goes there. It’s a little pricier, but still worth it because of the quality. Plus, on most major holidays they are half off starting at 8:30 am, next one is Memorial Day.

6.) The Firefly Exchange: 1910 P street. This is a small thrift store full of goodies and the owner is sweet as can be!

7.) The Sacramento Antique Faire: Sooooooo fun. Make sure to go! It’s the second Sunday of the month under the freeway at 21st and X street. Get there early!

Thanks to everyone who watched the show! Means the world to me :) If anyone has any thrifting or styling questions, please please please feel free to write me. I would be happy to help! The Dress Fiend to the rescue ;)

Below you’ll find the video links for the show and a couple highlight pictures:

http://gooddaysacramento.cbslocal.com/video/8726604-spring-trends-with-fashion-blogger/

http://gooddaysacramento.cbslocal.com/video/8726616-pastel-fashion/

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