Archives For christmas

White Christmas

December 13, 2013 — 10 Comments

Just like that, it’s mid December. We’re all humming and hawing over whether it’s too early to watch the stop animation version of Rudolph and BAM, it might be TOO LATE. Well, luckily, I had my act together early this year, and my Christmas tree has already been up for a few weeks. That’s a good thing, too, because the craziness of Christmas kicks into high-gear this weekend, bringing in a steady stream of parties, potlucks, and pot roast. While I love that the rest of December is an eat-a-thon, I know I won’t have a whole lot of time to blog. That’s too bad, as December is the funnest time to thrift. It’s hard to thrift for practical things, it’s easy to thrift for pretty things. At Christmas, you finally get to wear the pretty things.  If you don’t believe me, I’ve pulled out a few of my favourite thrifted fancies, alongside hypothetical scenarios to wear them, to inspire you to thrift some holiday glamour of your own.

New Year's Eve dress // We So Thrifty

New Year's Eve dress // We So Thrifty

OK so I won’t be wearing this on NYE in real life (BECAUSE MY SISTER IS GETTING MARRIED!), but if I didn’t have other plans, I totally would. I found this perfectly pretty cupcake of a dress from the Salvation Army for, like $8, and I think it’d make anyone feel like the belle of the ball.

Office party dress // We So Thrifty

Office party dress // We So Thrifty

I won’t be wearing this to my work Christmas party, simply because we don’t have one. We have a potluck that my co-worker lovingly deems “The Feeding Trough.” But if you are lucky enough to work with somebody that at all resembles Harvey Specter, this is the kind of dress you need. Yen found this dress at Valu Village for $12, and she knew it was a steal of a deal given the Lida Baday label. She didn’t know, though, until after she’d given it to me (evil grin), that it originally retailed for $(%)! Whoops that’s what happens when I try to capslock $950! Yep, that’s right, almost $1000 FOR A DRESS. You actually need to be a fictional lawyer on a TV to afford this brand-new.

Winter lace // We So Thrifty

Winter lace // We So Thrifty

All you need for Christmas day is a little lace dress. That’s also all you need for summer, so maybe that’s all you need ever? And if you’re lucky like me, it’ll only cost you $7. While this LOFT by Anne Taylor dress could easily be styled for summer, I plan to wear it with black tights, booties, a blazer and some red lipstick.

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I told ya: ’tis the season to be thrifting. Falalalalalalalala BYE!

Jingle All the Way

December 24, 2012 — 15 Comments

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What am I going to do when Christmas is over and I’ll have to come up with titles for my posts that aren’t just pulled from Christmas songs? Ugh. That’s future Julie’s problem! For now, all I have to contend with is making sure I don’t overdue it on the cheese tray this year, and hope we sing my favourite carols in church. It’s Christmas time, ya’ll! So let’s get festive!

Over the course of this year, I’ve thrifted things because they’re closet staples I can wear over and over. This is not one of those things. This is one of those things I know I’ll only wear once or twice, but the sheer joy it brings me over those few days is will worth the $12.99 price tag. This wool Eddie Bauer plaid jumper from Talize is just about the most Christmassy thing I can imagine wearing, and hereby signifies my shift into FULL CHRISTMAS MODE. I’m only seeing things in the following colours: red, green, or SPARKLES. So without saying too much more, I encourage all of you to bust out your holiday duds and suds, and start Binging the night away. We’ve only got a few more days left, so go! Jingle all the way!

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But one tip from me to you before you hop on a sleigh ride of any kind: do wear a coat. Otherwise you go for “cute and windblown”, but end up with something else entirely. Baby, it’s cold outside.

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May that expression float in your heads alongside visions of SO MANY sugarplums. Merry Christmas readers! May your days be merry and bright!

Christmas Party Hop

December 22, 2012 — 11 Comments

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I did it, you guys. I survived a marathon of Christmasing. Cousin parties, potlucks, festive feasts, and high school reunions have eaten up my December weekends (…or have I eaten them?). I played host a few times, guest a few more, and I now find myself with an overwhelming amount of gratitude for the family and friends in my life. (What is this sappiness? It’s not even Christmas yet! Sheesh!). The success of these various events often hinged on the same things: Good food (IE: cheese, cheese, and cheese); beverages that made me feel warm and cozy (eggnog + rum, and my new favourite Sangria recipe); and the ability to walk into my closet and pull out a bevy of festive frocks for each new occasion.

Today, you’re looking at the dress I wore to play host. This particular gathering brought together all of my husband’s former college roommates (and, more recently, his baseball team).  The origins of this evening go back nearly 5 years, when two of Matt’s roommates got some really sweet deal on a giant roast, and threw an impromptu “Family Dinner”. The tradition has morphed a little over time, and this year Matt and I provided the turkey.  Well, Matt provided the turkey. I provided booze and boardgames.

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This dress is a mom-find, scored at a $0.99 Salvation Army sale, and offered to the daughter with the highest dress size. I was perfect for a dinner party, chiefly becayse it’s loose on the tummy. While the colour isn’t a traditionally festive tone, it pairs nicely with some cranberry lipstick. With my dress already ready to go long before the event itself, I was able to spend the week prior time thrifting for other dinner party goodies. First, I came across those groovy art-deco sparkly Christmas trees above. Next came a punch bowl big enough to take a bath in, followed by some  lovely toile table runners. I’ll admit I originally picked these up for a friend who loves all things toile, but they looked too good on the table to part with (hey, my Christmas spirit has limits).

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The last item I thrifted for this party was this glorious board game. Ya’ll already know I’m a tad obsessed with 90’s pop culture, so taking this home for a paltry $5 was a no-brainer. As I suspected, THIS GAME IS AWESOME! It’s like playing college Jeopardy in 1997. After we all ate our weight in stuffing, we split into boy/girl teams to give it a try. I’ll admit, I sort of assumed victory was in the bag. I mean, 50% of my blog content is an ode to the 90s. However, while the girls team did perform admirably, we were thwarted by a series of “Events” questions. While we agonized over questions about the 1996 presidential election, the boys ran away with the game after a sweet streak of questions about Full House, Toy Story, and the Simpsons.

I also have to highlight one more particular question, as it ties in nicely to my very thrifty theme. Mid-game, I landed on the “Sports” category. That area is even worse than events, so I just assumed it was a lost cause. However, this particular question had something to do with an Australian golfer, and almost immediately, a light bulb went off in my brain. You see, a few months ago, I thrifted a belt strictly because it had a shark on the buckle. As I Googled for more information about this shark logo, I discovered it was the mark of an Australian golfer by the name of Greg Norman. So, when I responded to the question with a confident “It’s Greg! Greg something! I know from my belt!”, jaws dropped in collective disbelief. I don’t play sports, I don’t like sports, and I certainly don’t make a habit of retaining sports-related facts, so me talking sports is the equivalent to Snooki talking 18th century literature. Sadly, I only got as close as “Greg Norris!”, and all the Party of Five questions in the world couldn’t catch us up to the boys.

While I lost the game, I still think I came out a winner. If a dollar dress, a giant sangria bowl, and two sparkly Christmas trees aren’t enough to ensure I keep up my thrift game well into 2013, the slight chance that it may ensure I win more board games pretty much seals the deal.

Merry Christmas!

It’s December 4, and I’ve already listened to more Christmas music than most people can stand. And I’m not even close to changing the channel, bring on the eggnog!

I seriously love the holiday season. Love it! Oh, sure, the commercialized consumer-fest  is something to lament, but I can’t resist the cozy joy that comes from frequent gatherings with friends and family;  it makes working for the weekend even more rewarding. On Friday, I caroled my wee little heart out over a laptop-assisted Christmas sing-along (to make sure we got all the Frosty lyrics right of course), and on Saturday we wined and dined a group of 15 friends, my husband made a successful turkey, and I got to dress for holiday parties both nights. Oh, Christmas, you’re the best!

Enough with the talky, here are a few pics of one newly-thrifted holiday party outfit. As usual, I didn’t like anything I had in the closet, so I made my way over to the Salvation Army for some last-minute Saturday shoppin. I came upon a houndstooth skirt, which I’m pretty excited about (and yes, I googled “Scottish fabric patterns” in order to come up with the proper term for the pattern. You can’t tell from the pics, but it’s actually a stretchy knit. Which means two very important things: It’s warm, and it’s comfy! I also bought the chunky gold necklace at the same time, to provide a little holiday razzle-dazzle, and added the belt to keep it from getting too office-friendly. I put on some the red lipstick, and whistled for my one-horse open sleigh. Okay, I can’t whistle. But I do have a sleigh, and by sleigh, I mean car.

The following night, we held our annual “family Christmas”.  A few days before the festivities, we did a quick survey of our dish ware, and discovered that we have four wine glasses. Four. Now, four is usually plenty for Friday-night wine nights over some Chinese food and Netflix, but it was far short of the 15 we needed to host all our friends. One day, I may cave and buy a nice-looking set of wine glasses (you know, different shapes for different kids of wine and all that silliness). But for two twenty-somethings with student loans and cat, that is not this day.

Someone suggested I stock my cupboards with Dollarstore glasses while I wait for that day to arrive, but why on earth would I blow a $1.25/glass at the Dollarstore when I can get perfectly good (unmatchy) glasses for $.45/glass at my faithful friend, the Sally-Anne? Well, that’s exactly what I did. And everyone was able to enjoy my Sangria without having to drink it from coffee mugs like last time! Man, when did I become such a grown-up?

Oh, and I also made something. In the oven. With ingredients! They even looked kind of like they were supposed to:

(the original recipe)

I’ve also got to give a shout-out to one of my clients, Cheryl, who did a hilarious post on Christmas baking on her newly-designed blog . It involves boob cookies. Now I know you’re intrigued.

The holidays are here folks. Next up: my entirely thrifted Santa costume!