Thursday, February 13, 2014

Thrifty Thursday: Buffalo Exchange

Who remembers the difference between thrift and consignment? 


That's right! Thrift stores feature donated goods in all manner of conditions, while consignment stores take only gently-used items, and they generally pay the donors. Consignment stores are usually more expensive, but because everything there is in good condition, it can be worth the upcharge. Can be. 

I used to frequent Plato's Closet, but their selection doesn't move me anymore. The clothes are too preppy and label-slavey for my tastes (though it's a great place to get jeans). For years, my favorite consignment shop was the branch of Psycho Sisters on Killian Hill, but it closed when I was in college. Their Little Five location is cool, but the clothes are more outlandish and very expensive. Little Five also features a Rag-O-Rama, which is always worth a visit, but legend has it that they are not great neighbors. Last year, Little Five got a new option: Buffalo Exchange.

Buffalo Exchange
Not all rompers are created equal.

Buffalo Exchange
This one was ADORABLE, and I really regret not buying it. WHAT WAS I THINKING?

Buffalo Exchange
I'm a star.

Buffalo Exchange
And you love me.

Buffalo Exchange
Starship Trooper Crawley, reporting for duty.

Buffalo Exchange
This dress is so sweet, but I need another vintage circle-skirted dress
like I need a massive stroke.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Fashionable Friday: Your Make-up Is Not Frivolous

Uugh, I am SCREAMING AND CLAPPING AND YELLING over here, because Anais Mathers, one of the best people I have ever found on the internet, has done it again - she's expressed Myself:

"For as long as I could remember, my guilty pleasure was beauty. Haircuts, hair products, moisturizers, eye cream, lipsticks and eye shadow and blush in every color, as far as the eye could see. I loved editorial hair and makeup and I loved the way a well made shirt hung and how a shirt you found thrifting could fit just as well* and the fact that I could put on characters and I could be more myself in looking different or just with mascara on. Even now, I still feel like I’m going to bore my husband by being excited about finding a new lipstick I’m obsessed with, that he’ll suddenly think I’m a vapid idiot, as if loving one thing negates everything else about you. It’s weird how society pushes you towards all these things you’re supposed to like and do as a woman but there’s a shame about it, you should do the things you need to do to be beautiful but you shouldn’t talk about it, you shouldn’t be excited about it, you shouldn’t have any control over it at all. Well, quite simply, no. I don’t do my hair and paint my nails and wear a variety of red lipstick (“but they all look the same,” says my husband when they obviously don’t) for anyone but me. I do it because I like to try things on and express myself and I like to play with the idea that I can be whoever I want on any day I choose. There’s nothing shallow or self-centered about exploring who you are, about feeling good and pretty, that’s just what they want you to think, that caring for yourself, whether that means a perfect cat eye or skipping makeup, is something you should feel guilty about. Fuck that and don’t let anyone make you feel bad for what you love and how you show it, especially all over your goddamn face. Femininity isn’t awful and vapid, society making us think that’s the case is."

*I mean, right?

Your assignment for this February Day: perform a phenomenal Act of Self-Care. Take a shower, get dressed-up, or drink a glass of water every hour on the hour - take your pick. Celebrate your body, because you are your greatest love affair (at least, you should be).

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Thrifty Thursday: Get Premium Denim for Nearly Nothing

I want to talk about jeans. Before we begin I will encourage you to take half a Xanex and grab a glass of wine - this is a stressful topic.

I've never met a woman who likes shopping for denim. Actually, everyone I know loathes it. For such a wardrobe staple, that's really pretty strange. Everyone wears jeans (at least every now and then) but they are ridiculously hard to shop for.

When I was a teenager, my go-to brand was Old Navy. They fit me like a glove, and their denim blends were nice and soft - just how I like them. But midway though college, their whole line went through a major restructuring, and suddenly the waistbands all seemed to hit in funny places. Plus, as I was getting older, my ass was getting larger - REAL TALK. The super-ultra-low rise pants of my teen years now showed an unholy amount of buttcrack.

I suffered through a few pairs of okay jeans before I finally found my denim soulmate at Plato's Closet: 7 For All Mankind Kimmie Bootcut, size 26. 

The first time I put them on, I understood how a pair of jeans can make you look like an actual rockstar. Remember Liz Lemon and her "Made in USA" revelation? These jeans became my favorite piece of clothing.

But then disaster struck; only six months later, the fabric split at the crotch. 

I was in shock. I refused to throw them away, choosing instead to wear them with really dark underwear, and only when running errands. I'm not proud, but GUYS THEY ARE SO COMFORTABLE, I JUST COULDN'T BEAR TO GET RID OF THEM. Forget about replacing them - 7 For All Mankind is a premium brand, retailing for almost $200.

For months, I've scoured the racks at my favorite discount stores, hoping to strike gold a second time. It's been futile. When the solution hit me, it seemed so obvious - how had it taken me so long to get there?


If you know your preferred brand, size, and style, eBay is the perfect place to look. I ran several searches on variations of "7 For All Mankind Kimmie Bootcut 26," and within 15 minutes I had two great options - a Buy Now for $15, no shipping, and an auction at $1 with $4 for shipping. When the auction closed the next day, I had agreed to pay $10 for the pants. 

For less than $30, I bought two pairs of jeans - they both arrived with the tags ON.

And, if I do say so myself, they look fantastic.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Quinoa with White Onion and Tomato REDUX

Remember this disaster? Well Deb gave it such a good write-up that I had to give it another go. If she thought it was worth making, then I owed it to myself to try again.

I'm really glad I trusted her, because this stuff is DELICIOUS.

It's hearty enough to be a main course, but also mild enough to play sidekick. Plus, it keeps really well in the fridge. I'll make up a big batch on Sunday and then eat it for lunch all week. I like to bake a few chicken breasts to eat alongside (or I shred them and mix it all up).

How would you spice it up? Another protein? Or maybe a veggie?