Archives For #HamOnt

The One

September 29, 2017 — 6 Comments

Friends! Family! I’m here! Blogging! What a twist, what a rush, what a revelation.

Just the other day on instagram, I mentioned that we were finally feeling settled in our new place, and, for the sake of my own personal accountability, teased that I might even blog about it. Some of you padded my ego just enough to make sure I followed through with that, so here we are!

First, a little background: for most of last year, Matt and I were looking for a house. 7 offers, 20 + showings, and who knows how many open houses later, we finally landed The One. I feel that phrase is appropriate because, while I’ve never online dated, I’ve concluded that scouring for house listings and swiping left and right on a dating app are pretty much EXACTLY THE SAME.

“…This is the one, I can feel it!”
“Oy. This one looked a lot better in the pictures.”
“I liked it. I just didn’t get that feeeeeling, y’know?”

And then, after looking at way too many, and losing all hope: “SURE. FINE. WHATEVER.”

Thankfully, ladies, I did not have to settle for whoever offered to pay for my overpriced cocktail (this is where the metaphor stops working), because I really love my house. I loved it the moment I stepped into it, to be honest. As we walked through it at the open house, I felt like I had to suppress the goofy grin on my face growing bigger with every room. On the way home, I tried to play it cool and casually asked Matt “…So, what did you think?” He said something akin to “It was fine.” And then I was all “HOW DARE YOU TALK ABOUT OUR FUTURE HOUSE THAT WAY”.

The thing is, Matt has on a very different set of goggles when looking for a house. He needs to let it sit for a bit. He needs to run some numbers. He needs to make sure that it’s sound investment. That it¬†makes sense. It’s actually a very good thing he’s so objective, since I am…not. And, thankfully, after doing his Matt-thing, this house ended up scoring high on both the “feels” and the “facts” charts.

So, we put in an offer.

And we got it.

And we freaked out a bit, because we never get it! And blah blah blah, long story short: we moved!

The thing I like the most about this house it that it’s old, but it’s been so smartly updated. The previous owners pretty much had my exact tastes, and they managed to blend the classic with the modern perfectly. So, it’s perfectly suited to my decor style – which is…whatever! No, seriously: I’ve never been able to fully embrace one dominant decor style. Mid-century modern is a little too cold, boho is too hippy for Matt. Minimalist? Oh yeah right. This house, on the other hand, is a blank canvas for a little bit of everything.

And for a thrifter like me, that’s a dream come true.

A few highlights:

-> That wardrobe directly up top was a Kijiji find. $230. I love it. It gives us extra storage and is probably one the only piece that’s as old as the house: 1930s ish.

-> The big gray couch was our biggest splurge. It’s a Gus* couch, from a furniture dealer in Hamilton: Chaise Musicale. He sells mostly MCM furniture, but also carries some great current lines. This couch is perfect because the colour hides many’a toddler stain, and the microfibre texture isn’t nearly as enticing to Maggie’s claws as our previous couches. I intend to keep it forever and ever. Even if you’re not on the market for any furniture at the moment, you should pop in there sometime, because the owner is just a really cool guy and it’s awesome to chat with him about what he does!

-> Now, since we were a little spendy on the couch, I wanted to complete the living room seating with a more stringent budget. That was proving VERY HARD. Both Matt and I agreed that two chairs opposite the couch would be the best thing for space and function, but ya’ll: chairs are $$$. I looked at kijiji so much I started to dream about it. I was about ready to just start tossing money at IKEA when I spotted these two beauties at a tiny little thrift shop in Collingwood. Actually, I spotted six of them. And, were I not just there on vacation with limited trunk space, I would’ve been tempted to take home all 6. These CHAIRS, you guys: they’re so good! Brass and wood. Vintage Hauser. Newly rehapolsterd. $40 each. So comfortable! And on wheels! That means that whenever I need to get some work done (*cough*download TV shows*cough*) at my desk, I can just wheel one right over. Speaking of that desk…

-> This was another perfect fit for our space. (See below). It’s beautifully refinished by my mother in-law, and the drawer actually opens up and flattens to reveal the keyboard and mouse. So smart!

As for the other bits and bobs around our place, most of it is from the old house or the thrift store, or the mom-store. If you’re curious about any of the items, just ask!


Oh! This dining set was also one of my better finds: $250. In perfect condition. 6 chairs with two extra leaves so we can host lots of happy meals ūüôā


The other work in progress is our basement. I thought it would be the perfect place to gather up a lot of the vintage ads I already had, and we’ve got wall space to keep that collection going. Also, please enjoy the shaggy rug you see here, because Maggie has destroyed it with her all-powerful-cat-pee and it’s currently rolled up in storage because I don’t want to admit I for sure have to throw it out:

I think that will be it for now. I didn’t show you any of the upstairs rooms, because truth be told they are all in varying states of Hot-Mess-dom. But thankfully, there’s a pretty hard deadline on getting those rooms in order: March 2018. ūüėČ


Wrapped in Courage

November 7, 2016 — 4 Comments


Hey guys!

I’m back. And this time with something legitimately important to write about.¬†I don’t blame you for not¬†immediately buying that, because I’ve been know to treat cheesy dips and Netflix binges as issues of¬†EXTREME importance. Really, this blog is an extended version of “The Girl Who Cried IMPORTANT.”

But this time? I actually mean it. This is important.

For the next few weeks, I’ll be participating in the #WrapHerInCourage campaign, organized by Missions Services. What’s that mean? It’s simple: All November long, you can buy a purple scarf from me, just like the one I’m wearing here, and 100% of what you spend will¬†go directly to Inasmuch House in Hamilton, Ontario.

Inasmuch House a part of the Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses, and devoted to giving women who have experienced violence and abuse a safe place to stay while they rebuild their lives and return to the community. Their goal isn’t just to house women, but to help them regain the confidence and strength to live a healthy and independent life again. Through this campaign, you can participate in this truly-life changing work just by purchasing a $15 scarf.

If that alone isn’t enough to move you, here’s the context in which Inasmuch House operates¬†every single day:

On average 20-30 women a year are murdered in the province of Ontario alone. It is the number two reason for calls to the emergency police services. Additionally, it overwhelmingly affects children in the areas of: focus at school; relationships with peers and adults; increased risk of participating in high risk behaviours such as substance abuse; and increased risk of anxiety and depression.

 During the month of November, everyone across Ontario is invited to participate in showing abused women across the province that they have our support. The United Nations has designated November 25th (the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) as the first of 16 days of Action to eliminate Violence Against Women across the world. We are asking Ontarians to wear our purple scarf especially on these days to show your courage to abused women and their children that their community supports them and they are not alone.

The issue of women abuse beyond hard. It’s beyond complicated. But the¬†Wrapped In Courage campaign gives you an easy and¬†simple way to support these women, and seek justice for those whose lives have been marred by abuse.

If you’re local to the Hamilton area, and interested in purchasing a scarf, please get in touch with me!¬†PM me on Instagram. Message me on Facebook, or even just write your email address as a comment on this entry, and I promise I’ll be in touch.

Thanks for reading, and I hope to hear from you soon!

– Julie

Barbie Girl

July 20, 2015 — 6 Comments

80s Barbie Dress // We So Thrifty

80s Barbie Dress // We So Thrifty

80s Barbie Dress // We So Thrifty

80s Barbie Dress // We So Thrifty

When I shared this dress straight¬†from the thrift store change room on Instagram, I said it made me feel like I “walked out of the Barbie colouring book I had when I was eight.” I’m happy to report that, upon wearing this dress in the wild, that is¬†still 100% true. In fact, I’m now beginning to suspect this dress has magical Take On Me properties, and when I wear it, the world itself becomes a Barbie colouring book.

I wore this dress to a birthday dinner out on the Hamilton waterfront. While the food was only¬†OK, the atmosphere was incredible‚ÄĒthe sun setting on the choppy water, the boats bobbing like birds off in the distance, the warm summer breeze that we all dream about for 9¬†months out of the year‚ÄĒjust the best.¬†After dinner, we took a stroll along the bay, and with each step, a new page of Barbie’s California Dream Colouring Book came to life. There was a roller rink, an ice cream shop, an assortment of adorable dogs, an old-timey trolley giving tours, and if that’s not enough, seniors and hipsters¬†alike chillin’ on the hillside, taking in a free jazz performance (I’d also wager that AT LEAST one of the dudes on the water from the nearby Hamilton Yacht Club is named Ken).

barbiecoloringbook02And because the internet is a blessed-wonderful-nostalgia-giving machine, YOU TOO can relive the joy of a Barbie Colouring Book. Just click on that happy quartet of waspy teens to the left to make all your California dreams come true. (h/t to this blog for the scan!)

Since I can’t wear this dress every day, I think I’ll dust off the ol’ Laurentian pencil crayons and give this page a whirl. Just hoping I’ve still got the crazy skills on display in this photo:

L to R: Adele, Me, Robyn, and Laura, who is too cool to colour, and would rather play with an actual Barbie.

Dress: Salvation Army | $6
Shoes: Payless | $25
Sunglasses: The Edit | $15


July 10, 2015 — 6 Comments

Black floral dress // We So Thrifty

Black floral dress // We So Thrifty

Black floral dress // We So Thrifty

Black floral dress // We So Thrifty

I’m here, guys! Still here! While I have no plans to let this blog die, I also have no plans to¬†increase my sporadic¬†post-per-month rate. So, it’s best if you just view this blog like a surprise¬†Beyonc√© album: There is no predicting its arrival, so just enjoy it once it’s here.¬†(Did I just compare myself to Beyonc√©?)

Hyperbolic¬†comparisons aside, I had to post this dress because it’s my favourite thrifted thing in a long, long time. AND, I worked hard for it. Yes, thrifting can be¬†hard work. Sometimes I find what I’m looking for without even trying, but other times, I have to visit every thrift store in town twice in the span of two weeks before I find it. “It,” this time around, was a dress for my dear friend’s wedding. ¬†Not just any dear friend, either: I played a role in setting up this dear friend with her now-dearly-beloved husband (and don’t you think I didn’t brag about that all day:¬†Matt had to tell me to scale it back when I boldly announced “LOOK at what I have CREATED!” upon entering the ceremony).

But back to the dress: I’m not exaggerating when I say I really, truely hit up every thrift/resale/consignment/vintage spot in town: Value Village, twice. Salvation Army, twice. The Edit, once, Bibles for Missions, once.¬†I could go on! It was my second trip in as many weeks to Talize that finally yielded this winner. It hit every note: colourful, fun, comfortable, and, most importantly, wearable without the aid of any sort of special undergarment. The holy grail!

So there you go. I suppose the take away from this post is that you should never, ever give up on your dream*,  and that I am, more or less, Beyoncé.


Dress: Talize | $17
Clutch: Clothing Swap | $0.25
Shoes: Payless | $25

*You are allowed to give up on your dream if your dream is finding thrifted wedding shoes the day of the wedding,¬†but there’s nothing in your size at Value Village,¬†so you just have to go to Payless and be done with it, because your hair doesn’t curl itself.



Past Due

January 15, 2015 — 6 Comments

Slouchy gray sweater + toque // We So Thrifty

Slouchy gray sweater + toque // We So Thrifty

Slouchy gray sweater, knitted bag + toque // We So Thrifty

Slouchy gray sweater + toque // We So Thrifty

I’ll be honest:¬†I knew my previous post wouldn’t be my¬†last one before D-Day. I had a real strong feeling this little fella/bella would be kickin’ around for, minimum, a few days after my due date. I’ve long expected to be a long-expectant momma, and that’s actually been incredibly healthy for my mental state. It means I’m less “GET THIS BABY OUTTA ME!” and more “I guess I’ll make brownies?” I’ve been assuming this babe will take it’s sweet time, and that a due date is just a marker¬†to make sure you’ve done all the important laundry. So, here I am, two days after my due date, and still no strong¬†signs of labour. But I’m good with it! Really! I’ve even kicked myself off of the “let’s read about the WORST CASE SCENARIO” message boards. The oddly-comforting reality is that there is nothing I can do about how this baby comes into the world, and anyway/time that gets it here safely is the right way/time. Whoa! Look at me getting all advice-y and evolved. Must be the brownies! (Also, remind of these words when I’m, like, 12 days overdue).

Anyways, seeing as I’ve had¬†some time to kill lately, I’ve made sure to visit all four of the main thrift spots in Hamilton over the past few weeks (Talize, Salvation Army, Valu Village, and Bibles for Missions). The outfit above is 100% Bibles for Missions. I found the sweater for $6, the hat for $2, and the boots for $10. I was immediately pleased with the way the gray sweater and red and white stripes went together, but couldn’t figure out why. When I got home, I figured out why: It’s because I look like those socks, and, by extension, those sock monkeys.¬†You call it a coincidence, I call it the easiest Halloween costume ever!

In this look, I also fit quite nicely into the palette I set for our nursery. “Setting a palette” almost sounds too fussy for how I approached decorating the¬†space. I just wanted it to be FUN, full of primary reds, blues, and yellows. And you know what? Fun it is! Matt, with the help of his Dad, cousin, and a few handy friends, really did all the hard work in prepping this space: He¬†created a brand-new room out of our¬†way-too-large living space¬† – walls went up, trim went down, and paint went on. All I had to do was fill the room with furniture and the¬†fill the walls warmth and whimsy.


The first decorative items I¬†received for the nursery were these beautiful paintings¬†by my sister Laura. Matt, ever the thoughtful one, commissioned some artwork from her for our fifth anniversary in the summer. Laura had heard a few things about my “vision” (again, that sounds too fussy) for the room, and she completely nailed it. I really did use those paintings as a launchpad for everything else in the room: the patterns and stripes, the golden yellows and punchy reds – it’s all there. I was able to take that influence, and fill the rest of the room with gifts from friends and family, items I already had, and new buys¬†from Ikea and Target (I’ll miss you, boo!). OH, and so much Kijiji:

Nursery in primary colours // We So Thrifty

Nursery in primary colours // We So Thrifty

Nursery in primary colours // We So Thrifty

Nursery in primary colours // We So Thrifty

Nursery in primary colours // We So Thrifty


More pics and such below!
Continue Reading…

The Dog Days are Over

September 5, 2013 — 11 Comments

Vintage gingham + seafoam // We So Thrifty

Summer's end // We So Thrifty

Vintage gingham + seafoam // We So Thrifty

Picnic wear // We So Thrifty

Picnic basket // We So Thrifty

Oh, nuts.

I’ve been trying very, very hard to deny the arrival of fall. Usually I’m all “BRING ON THE PUMPKIN FLAVOURED SCARECROW LEAVES!” or something, but for some reason, I can’t muster up the usual cinnamon spiced-enthusiasm. But I think I’m going to have to board the hay ride sooner rather than later, because as I view the photos posted above, I can’t deny the “final days of summer” vibe they’re giving me.

The context largely contributes to that . Yen snapped these photos at a picnic in the park two weeks back. She prepared some Korean sushi, and we brought along our Matts for the final Seven Sundays concert in Gage Park. She knew this was the last chance we’d have to sit in front of that gorgeous seafoam band shell (colour-coordination accidental!), and I now have to admit that it was probably my last picnic of the year. The roses will keep wilting, the sun will set earlier and earlier, and the nights will soon call for sweaters instead of vintage gingham.¬† Don’t get me wrong: if we do encounter a mid-October heat wave, I’ll break out the cut-offs and margarita mix like it’s July 31, but warm nights like the one in these photos will soon be a rarity rather than the norm.

Since I’ve come to terms with summer’s inevitable demise, I’m glad that I big adieu to it in the right way: I can hardly think of a more “YAY PICNIC! YAY SUMMER!” outfit than the one I’m wearing. I picked up this (reversible) gingham top from New Olds on James Street for $10, this skirt is the summeriest of colours, and I finally got to use this way-too-cute picnic basket my Mom thrifted years ago. It’s like I conducted a mini-purge of my most-summeriest items.

So long, sweet summer. I totally get why Dashboard Confessional got all emo about you. Sing us out, boys.

Vintage gingham // We So Thrifty

Roses are pink // We So Thrifty

Top: New Olds | $10
Skirt: Salvation Army | $5.99
Shoes: Salvation Army | $3.99
Basket: Mom

Daily Dress

May 7, 2013 — 12 Comments

Floral vintage // We So Thrifty


Floral vintage // We So Thrifty

Hi friends! Thank you for all the kind comments on our fanciful photoshoot. We had such fun wearing those beautiful dresses, and I hope I’ve convinced a few more of you to check out the dress sale this weekend. Before that time comes, I’m sneaking in one more White Elephant dress for your viewing pleasure (and a gratuitous picture of a Perrier bottle because I think it looks cool. Now you know how utterly banal my Instagram feed is). If my last post illustrated all the dreamy, fantastical ways of wearing vintage, this one is meant to bring it back to real life. A wedding, a prom, or a party is the perfect occasion for a vintage splurge, but even if you don’t have one of those events coming up, the right piece of vintage can be worn on the daily – no occasion necessary.

For me, the trick for bringing vintage into the everyday comes down to the accessories. This dress actually had a coordinating belt with it, but I opted for my trusty Ralph Lauren (via Bibles For Missions) belt. It make the dress feel more casual and wearable. I left a few of the buttons undone, and the look was finished when Yen slipped me her golden loafers and this sweet necklace from Merl.

Vintage can be worn with balloons, flowers, kittens and ice cream, but it can also be worn in the office, on the bus, at home, and at the baseball diamond. I always cringe a little when people say “vintage just isn’t my style,” because “vintage” has no inherent restrictive style – it spans decades of trends, fashions, and fads, all of which can be reclaimed and re-worn with a little help from your favourite belt.

See you at the sale!

Floral vintage // We So Thrifty

Floral vintage // We So Thrifty

Photos by Yen and her bro Henk! Except the Perrier. That piece of art is all mine.

Sunny & Sheer

May 3, 2013 — 18 Comments

Sheer vintage // We So Thrifty

Sheer vintage // We So Thrifty

Sheer vintage // We So Thrifty

Sheer vintage // We So Thrifty

Sheer vintage // We So Thrifty

Just over a week ago, Yen and I spent some time sifting through frocks of tulle, silk, and cotton over at White Elephant. This activity in it self was a dream come true: we were like kids in a candy store. You know what? We don’t even need that metaphor: we were like fashion bloggers in a vintage dress store. That alone should indicate our level of glee.

The lovely ladies of White Elephant are the curators of an amazing collection of vintage from the 40s, 50s, and 60s, and they’re putting it ALL up for sale next weekend. While they put the final touches on their selection, they invited us to take a few of these beauties home and show them a good time.

Narrowing our selection wasn’t easy. It’s like choosing a favourite child! Or cat! But as soon as I stepped into this full skirted lemon yellow number, it was love. Not long after, Yen slipped on a similarly-sheer minty green beauty, and we knew we had our girls.

These dresses look like they belong together. They look like they belong to debutants going to prom; to sisters in a wedding party; to friends meeting up for a night on the town. Simply put, the girls in these dresses look like they are going places.

That idea of a special destination is just what we aimed to capture in the photo shoot that followed. Wearing vintage brings a sense of story and whimsy, and we wanted to play up all of that (we also wanted to make sure we used balloons, because there’s a helium shortage and we’ll need something to show our grand kids when balloons go the way of the 45 record player).

With our dresses in tow, Yen and I let ourselves dream for the next few days. Our vision finally came together when Yen secured the use of her brother Henk’s FABULOUS 1977 Cougar. Look at this car! We weren’t just going places now, we were going places in style. In additional to lending us this sweet ride, Henk also took many of the photos you see here, and didn’t say a word as we primped and preened well into the evening. Thanks Henk!

I won’t say too much more, as I’m hoping the photos will speak for themselves, but I will remind you that these very dresses, and hundreds more, are available at the White Elephant To The Nines dress sale next weekend. This sale has become one of my favourite events in this city. It’s an incredible collection from ladies who love and live vintage, and it doesn’t get much better than that. They are joining forces with Ottawa’s Victoire, so get thee to James Street North on May 10 and 11, and you too can live the dream.

For a closer look at Yen’s dreamy dress, head over My Edit for her side of the story.

Sheer vintage // We So Thrifty

Sheer vintage // We So Thrifty

Sheer vintage // We So Thrifty

Sheer vintage // We So Thrifty

Sunny & Sheer // We So Thrifty

If you follow me on any other medium (Twitter, Facebook, traditional stalking), you’ll know that last Saturday, the ever-wonderful¬†Jentine and I spent the day with several other pretty ladies: these UHMAZING vintage beauties from the loveliest shop in Hamilton, White Elephant. The girls over at White Elephant are gearing up for one of my favourite events of the year, the “To the Nines” vintage dress sale. In order to spread the word, and get all of you a little more aquatinted with the incredible selection that will be on display (and for sale!) next weekend, Yen and I got to live the dream in these dresses for a few short hours, and fall in love with vintage all over again. We’ll both be posting full spreads tomorrow, but in here’s a little sneak peak while you wait!