Hello April

How is it already April?! I have been insanely busy at work. Which has got me motivated to breathe life back into this blog! I’m finding some much needed focus. I have a few fun posts in the works and a whole lotta catching up to do! So here are my April favorites. I think this is also my 12 year blogaversary! A whole other post for that is for another day :)

more than a month April 2018

I decided to give this modern classic, Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller a try. I’m actually finding it really difficult to read. I’m still hoping it gets better – I’m just not used to reading stream of thought type of novels. Except that’s what the book is know for!

I’m the kind of person that really enjoys listening to the same old music over and over. So when I accidentally came across the artist Cuco (in an Instagram Story of all randomest places possible), I was instantly hooked! Check out his album here.

My guilty pleasure? Sparkling water from a SodaStream. It seriously is the most refreshing thing ever. I’m trying to convince my coworkers that we need one in our office!

Many years ago, I used to own these high waisted navy blue pants from the Erin Fetherston Target collaboration. (Click here if you want to see an old post with me wearing them.) They’ve been long donated to a thrift store, but I want something like that again. I can’t even tell you how many navy blue pants I’ve tried on in the last few months but nothing, absolutely nothing works! But, I think I may have finally found a pair that works.

I have a confession. I don’t enjoy purchasing things that aren’t clothes/apparel online…I am a firm believer right now that I need to try something before I buy it. So I’m not clueless towards the Glossier phenomenon. But I don’t know anyone personally who had tried any of their products, nor was there anywhere where I could get my hands on samples! So when a pop-up shop opened here in San Francisco, I zipped over! I got a few things, but my favorite right now is the Generation G lip color in Zip! I may have try the other colors eventually because I’m really into a natural looking lip right now. But because I get extreme chapped lips, I need something on my lips at almost all times!

How to have a successful thrifting trip

I’m getting back to the basics here.

Thrift Eye

As a person who just took an almost 2 month long hiatus from thrifting, I came back to it refreshed with some tips! Thrifting can be daunting, exhausting, and sometimes frustrating – even for seasoned veterans! But no worries, as someone who has been expertly thrifting for so long – I have some great tips.

Not all thrift stores are created equal
The more you thrift, the more you will begin to notice certain likes and dislikes about the locations you visit. For example – some may have lots of vintage (you may or may not be into that.) The level of order and neatness is better at some versus others. Sometimes there are no fitting rooms, hmph! Sometimes the prices are just too high. But you may just find that one place that always seems to deliver when you visit. I used to have a place like this, and it was always worth the effort to drive a little out of the way because I knew I would find something great! Which then leads to –

Don’t buy to just to buy
Just because the prices are low, doesn’t mean you have to buy it. This may be the most difficult rule to abide by. When prices are cheap and the selection wide, it is almost impossible to not buy something! But do you really need to buy shoes that are too big or too small just because they’re cute? Or that one thing you already have a bunch of at home? Or maybe that really trendy thing that you’re kinda iffy on wearing BUT it’s so on trend. Perhaps it’s something you really need but in a color you would never be caught wearing. Yeah, all those things are just a few reasons to not buy something. And hey, maybe you have other important things you need to pay and prioritize. I don’t think there have been any documented cases of people dying because they left something behind unpurchased at the thrift store.

Look in areas not marked your size
Some thrift stores try really hard to get organized. A big thank you to them! But like most stores, after many open hours with people shuffling through, things will get moved around. After a few hours, people will try on clothes or contemplate clothes, then drop it off in areas it wasn’t selected from. Which is why it can be so time consuming, you often have to look through the whole store! I actually particularly enjoy looking right around the fitting rooms to see what people have recently tried on but left behind. And hey, it’s sometimes worth looking out of your gender or even in kids/baby clothes! Things really do get mixed up a lot sometimes.

Scout the bonus of the day!
Score! Lot’s of thrift stores have special markdown pieces or colors every day which will sometimes be half off, or even something special like 99 cents! The Savers I would frequent in Las Vegas had a handy little monthly calendar they liked to give out. My mother lives for Senior days at her Veterans thrift store. Goodwill has a daily color but they often have big discounts on holidays.

Buy off season
When do I buy my winter/fall coats? In the summer. Often times, the stores will try to move off season merchandise to make room for in seasonal pieces. I can still recall my mom thinking I was bonkers for buying a wool coat during a heatwave in their LA suburb. But I explained that I wear these coats all the time in San Francisco!

If you can, try it on
I rarely leave a thrift store without trying on my purchases first. I have no room in my closet for things that don’t fit me. I have long legs and a shorter torso with some curves, if I don’t try on pants at a thrift store, I’m saying hello to camel toe fupa wedgie. No thank you. Trying something on also lets you meticulously inspect something before you buy it. Maybe the person donated the thing because it had a stain, rip, tear, broken zipper etc. I’d rather discover it in the store than at home (especially since most thrift stores have a no returns policy.)

Practice Thrift Store Karma
I am the crazy person that makes sure all hanging items are secured on the hanger as I browse. I pick up all things that fall. EVEN if I wasn’t the one that dropped them. If something slips off the hanger, I don’t pretend to not see it or kick it under the rack (as I see almost everyone else do.) I pick these things up and put them back. Not because I’m shaming anyone. I seriously believe that I’m receiving karma for keeping the place neat and clean. It makes shopping more pleasurable for everyone. Plus, the employees work really hard already, I don’t need to make bigger messes.

I have other shopping specific tips I’d like to share in another post for another time! But I’d like to hear any of your tips, if you have any :)

Hello March

I had this idea of a simple way for me to catch up with you guys, as I get all my regular posting back in order. I want to post something like this at the beginning of each month! So I was determined to do this today, even as the clock was ticking and all programs on my computer decided to freeze! I still did it!

march2018

I randomly came across this book when someone else suggested it. And boy, was it surely the strangest book I have read in a good long time!

I’ve been craving new music, but kinda lost on what to listen to right now. So as I’ve been driving around, I’m pleasantly surprised at how much I’ve been enjoying our local jazz radio station!

The Bay Area is eons behind in this match craze. I can only get my fix at certain places.

Since going to Mexico in December (the last time I felt warm) I have wanted to plan another vacation. I’m torn between something fun like NYC or something adventurous and far like Barcelona!

In non-stop rotation – every single pair of black boots in my closet. Because A) Rain B) Cold C) Rain & Cold. I can’t seem to get dressed up or want to ruin my other shoes.

Care to share any of your current cravings too?

Where have I been?

Have I fallen victim to the hamster wheel of blogging? The first rule of blogging I learned was to never apologize about why you weren’t blogging. The second rule was to try to post as much as possible. I broke both of those rules.

This place started out for me, as a journal of sorts, we didn’t know what we were doing or building back then. I was working on my career (transitioning from teaching into libraries.) And then bloggers started popping out of nowhere promoting so much consumption. I was overwhelmed by the wave, and stayed clear on my course. But there was no love for vintage or sustainable fashion when other bloggers wanted you to BUY BUY BUY! There still isn’t really.

I wasn’t young, I wasn’t showing off, I wasn’t thin (then), and worst of all, I didn’t care about being the next Rumi or Bryan Boy. I wanted to be me. So last year, when I took the whole year to find me, this blog really suffered. I didn’t want to only photograph my outfits and just be ME ME ME all the time. I didn’t even want to show my face on Instagram. So I rarely photographed myself last year. I focused on traveling and capturing nature. Focusing on really letting myself learn and cultivate my desire to learn photography and editing.

What I appreciate the most about this blog is that it helped me learn about the sustainability and ugly side of unsustainable fashion. I called it learning about the humanitarian side of fashion. I couldn’t support an industry (both fashion and blogging) which made it seem like real people weren’t making and in some cases, dying to make clothes! I learned so much, and continue to learn so much. It really changed the way I shop. I spent 3 years only buying new clothes that were made in the USA. Only in the last year have I deviated a little bit from that. This challenged me to find and support brands that are creating with a conscience.

What I really miss though, is taking advantage of this space to write. Some of it was not having time. Some was not knowing what to write! How do I articulate any of these thoughts into words? Here I am acting as if I don’t own this space and can write (almost) whatever I want! I went through a similar crisis over on Instagram (which is probably now just as bad in the paid endorsement realm.)

So while 2017 was the year I removed myself from the photos, I was still here thinking. I was typing and photographing, just not publishing. Some days I think about how some people rebranded their blogs and websites…and maybe that’s something I should do? Maybe down the road. Right now, this space is mine to create what I want! Thank you for reading and following along for these years and through this long ass post!