Archives For July 2013

That Dress I Like

July 31, 2013 — 6 Comments

Light blue mini // We So Thrifty

Light blue mini // We So Thrifty

Light blue mini // We So Thrifty

Light blue mini // We So Thrifty


– Me, in Grade 7, upon noticing my friend Erin had written “Julie Loves Justin Timberlake” on the back of my school-issued agenda.

Erin, being the pesty bestie that she was, knew just how push my buttons. As I was a sworn member of the Backstreet Boys alliance, she knew that nothing would annoy me more than the implication that I thought baby-faced JT was attractive. UGH! HIS HAIR LOOKS LIKE MR. NOODLES!

So, I scribbled it out, for fear anyone else would get ideas about which boy band ruled in my heart. Fast-forward a few short months to me in Grade 8. A group of us were heading to the mall (we probably had to refill our supply of tattoo choker necklaces), and the new N*SYNC song, “Bye Bye Bye” came on the radio. It was insanely catchy. That was the first crack in my resolve. The second crack came when I saw Justin’s gray and burgundy shirt in the video (it’s just doing really good things to his arms, OKAY?), and by the time the “it’s gunna be MAY” video came out, it had all but crumbled. The next thing you know, I’m saving up my pennies for No Strings Attached. It was with a mingled sense of shame and excitement that I made the purchase. I couldn’t even write about my betrayal in my journal journal, because Kevin’s disapproving eyebrows were more than I could stand. Of course, within a year, I’d enter high school and deny ever having loved any boy band at all.

Thinking back to my grade 7 self, I first thought she’d be horrified that I spent a big sum of money on the Jay Z and Justin Timberlake Legends of Summer concert two weeks ago. She’d wonder why I got all dressed up for that noodle-headed sissy (though that was a small sum: $8), and then she’d go back to dreaming about the day Brian Litrell would finally take her away. Or Nick Carter. Depended on the day, really.

However, any Backstreet Boy purist would eventually realize that Justin Timberlake’s success has at long last cemented BSB at the One True Boy Band. While BSB continues to tour and make music (I think?), N*SYNC, and their unnecessary asterisk, are forever relegated to the “we are never ever getting back together” category. The men of Backstreet are still making bank and selling out arenas, while the remaining members of N*SYNC probably meet up twice a month to brainstorm ways to finally get Justin to come to their Christmas Reunion party: “I’ll make taco dip this year! He loves taco dip!” – Chris Kirkpatrick.

Justin, on the other hand, has moved so far beyond the boy band days of his youth (and mine), it’s astounding. Perhaps the most significant thing I can say about the concert (that I thrifted this silvery blue dress for) is that he’s a performer worthy of sharing the stage with Jay Z. Justin’s on his way to legend status, but Jay’s been there for years. Seeing the two of them together was the best kind of collision, with no BSB guilt whatsoever. I can have my limo and eat it too. That doesn’t make a lick of sense, but you get the idea.


Dress: Salvation Army | $7.99
Necklace: Salvation Army | $4.99
Sandals: Talize | $4.99
Clutch: Clothing swap | $0.50

The Gift of Thrift

July 25, 2013 — 17 Comments

Emerald vintage, citrus purse // We So Thrifty

Emerald vintage, citrus purse // We So Thrifty

Emerald vintage, citrus purse // We So Thrifty

Thrifting takes practice. Since I practice thrifting far more than I’ve ever practiced any sport, activity, or musical instrument, I’ve gotten pretty good at it (my guitar, meanwhile, sits stringless in my parents’ basement). As with any sport or practice, there should always be new challenges to try and and new levels to reach. For example, I someday hope to go to yoga and not laugh laugh like a loser when someone involuntarily passes gas (actually, that’s a life goal: don’t laugh at farts or fart jokes).

BACK to the point of the matter: If you’re a thrifter, there are several milestones on the way to masterful thriftdom: Thrift something high-end for the first time, learn to spot good vintage, work the sales days to your benefit, all that jazz. But perhaps the greatest example of a a truly seasoned thrifter is the ability to thrift for other people. I don’t just mean thrifting something intentionally awful for the staff party Christmas gift exchange, I mean thrifting something that you know the recipient with A) fit and B) love.

Well, lucky for me, I’m friends with one of the most accomplished thrifters this side of the border (and likely beyond it, too). Jentine thrifted this lovely, vintage, emerald dress for my birthday from Revolving Closet on Ottawa Street, and she totally nailed it. She thought about my style, she thought about my size, and she resisted the temptation to keep it for herself, even though she said she wanted to.

If you, too, love the idea of a thrifted gift, but are intimidated, you can always do what my sister Laura did, and just shadow me while I thrift, then offer to buy the first thing I really like. That’s just what happened with the citrus Aldo purse on my shoulder. I saw it on the mannequin, said “I LOVE THAT” and she said “Cool. It’s your birthday present.”

On the same trip my sister bought me that purse, I also took on the challenge of buying a gift for my husband. Matt and I don’t always agree on items of decor, but I took a chance this time around, and it paid off. As I was digging through the back shelves of the Sally Anne, I came upon a framed print entitled “The Art of Making Money Plenty.” I was nuts about the typography and adorable illustrations, and when I looked at the “translation” on the back, I thought it would be perfect for Matt’s office:

The Art of Making Money Plenty // We So Thrifty

The Art of Making Money Plenty // We So Thrifty


At this time when the general complaint is that money is so scarce it must be an act of kindness to inform the moneyless how they can reinforce their pockets. I will acquaint all with the true secret of money catching, the certain way to fill empty purses and how to keep them always full. Two simple rules well observed will do the business:

1st. Let honesty and labor be thy constant companions;

2nd. Spend one penny every day less than thy clear gains.

Then shall thy pockets soon begin to thrive, thy creditors will never insult thee, nor want oppress, nor hunger bite, nor nakedness freeze thee. The whole hemisphere will shine brighter, and pleasure spring up in every corner of thy heart.

Now thereby embrace these rules and be happy.

So B. Frank suggests these basic tenets for business: Work hard, be honest, and don’t spend more than you have. I can tell you from monthly Mint meetings with Matt, that is his jam right there. He hung the print in his office that very afternoon.

This visual riddle was illustrated by Samuel S. Kilburn, Jr., and published in Gleason’s Pictorial, an illustrated magazine, in 1854. It’s rare to find something that Matt and I so equally appreciate: He loves the sentiment, I love the glimpse into the past this print gives us. Apparently, illustrated magazines were all the rage back then. Sure, people are doing pretty groovy things with iPad mags these days, but the description of the pictorial makes me yearn for days of yore just a bit:

The object of this paper is to present, in the most elegant and available form, a weekly literary melange of notable events of the day. Its columns are devoted to original tales, sketches, and poems, by the best American authors, and the cream of the domestic and foreign news; the whole well spiced with wit and humor.

That sounds like something worth paying for, right? I should mention that had I thrifted this engraving (Holy Dollar Signs Batman!) of the same illustration, Matt’s office walls would be empty, but we’d almost certainly have some really nice new couches.

Anyways, I suppose the real takeaway from this dress, purse, and print is that thrifting, like so many things in life, is something best appreciated when shared with people you love. Now everybody saw “awwwww.”

Dress: Revolving Closet | Gift
Purse: Salvation Army | Gift
Shoes: Salvation Army | $3.99
Bracelets: Cuba and Africa!


July 16, 2013 — 13 Comments

Coral maxi dress // We So Thrifty

Embellished maxi dress // We So Thrifty

Coral maxi dress // We So Thrifty

I turned 27 yesterday. All weekend, I have been milking the “it’s my birthday!” thing for all its worth. My last utterance of the phrase was at ten o’clock last night to avoid cleaning out the garbage.  That phrase has gotten me out of all kinds of household chores over the past few days. I’ve also used it as justification for binge-watching all 24 episodes of Homeland (Carrie! Brody! SAAAAUUUL!), adding a very unnecessary bacon chocolate bar to my Friday meal at Rapscallion, taking pictures in a stranger’s driveway (sorry stranger, but your hydrangeas look great!) and getting myself Burger King on the way home from a pool party on Sunday like a 12 year old.

Since I’ll have to wait 364 more days before I can pull that crap again, I’m sliding in one more “it’s (the day after) my birthday!”

I was too busy aging, so you’re not getting a real post. You’re getting these pictures of my thrifted coral maxi (with special room for bacon chocolate bars), and a thrifted made-in-Italy clutch. I’m now the same age as Amanda Bynes and Lindsay Lohan, so comparatively, I’ve earned a lazy post or two.

Coral maxi dress // We So Thrifty

Coral maxi dress // We So Thrifty

Maxi dress: $12.99 | Talize
Clutch: $4.99 | Talize

Nautical blouse + sailor shorts // We So Thrifty

Nautical blouse // We So Thrifty

Nautical blouse + sailor shorts // We So Thrifty

Dear everyone,

Today is Canada Day. Actually, that’s a big fat lie, today is actually June 29. See, I’m being a responsible blogger, and preparing a post to automatically publish on July 1. Why can’t I publish this post myself on July 1? Because I’ll be on VACATION. ON A BEACH! WITH WATER! SAND! AND SUN! I’m leaving my email, my Facebook, and my Twitter behind (but keeping my Instagram, because one of the perks of a good vacation is being able to brag about it via overly-filtered photograph). What am I taking? This made-in-Italy blouse from the Salvation Army, these made-in-UK shorts from Talize, two bottles of SPF 30, and four bags of candy from Bulk Barn.

While it may not be July 1 as I write this, it will be July 1 as you read this, so perhaps all I’ll say is that this country is the greatest. We have the most Great Lakes, the most hot Ryans (Gosling, Reynolds), and the most outrageous made-in-Canada TV programming. At this point, you may point out that I should probably be wearing items that are made in Canada, but the beauty of this great country is that we don’t care where you’re made – once you’re here, you’re Canadian.

Oh Canada!

Nautical blouse + sailor shorts // We So Thrifty

Nautical blouse + sailor shorts // We So Thrifty

Blouse: Salvation Army | $2.99
Shoes: Talize | $11.99

Photos by Yen!