Thursday, May 23, 2013

Back in the USA

I'm back! I am SO tired! I got home last night around 7 and was so tired, I just stayed at my parent's place. I have a lot of photos (1500 or so?) to sort through so it might be a bit before I get posts up. I really hope to get through 1 or 2 this weekend! What would be more interesting to all of you? Just general stories of what we did or specific place names and recommendations?

I hope you all enjoyed the guest posts and I would like to thank all those lovely ladies one more time for sharing their stories with you. Have a great Memorial Day weekend and I'll be back next week with some new posts!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

How I Thrift Shop - Part 2

Back with another installment of your favorite saga, How the World (according to Erin) Turns. This section relates to how I choose what to buy once I get into the dressing room.

1. I look for things that fit perfectly right off the bat. This is more rare than you get in a regular store with standard sizing. I have to be in the mood to thrift shop because it can get discouraging to have item after item not fit. Look for something that fits like a glove and it makes the decision to get it even easier!

2.  I look for items that I like and can be easily changed. Is the pattern on a skirt great but it is just too long? Is the top really cute but just a bit wide? If it is something that I know right off the bat how to fix, I will buy it. I end up with a mend pile but that's ok with me. :)

3.  I will not buy something if there are things I can't fix. This may be a no-brainer to you but this took me a while to figure out.  I would buy anything and everything and never fix it. I have a really cute robe type thing that I thought "I'll just shorten it, take off the sleeves, add elastic, etc" Still hasn't happened. This also applies when the garment is ripped, stained or has holes. Even thought things are less expensive, if they need a lot of work, leave them behind.

Take the 3 shirts below.

My favorite is the blue and white checked one. However, it was too wide and the poof on the shoulders was way too low. It looked huge. I could take in the sides but I have no idea how to fix the sleeves. So, I left it there. The pastel shirt was wide at the top and a bit tight on my hips (story of my life), so that got left behind there as well.  I ended up getting the shirt on the top left. Do I need another plaid shirt with a navy base? Nope but I liked it and it fit so I picked it up! It has a lot of colors that aren't in my other shirts so that was enough for me to pull the trigger.

4. Check the tags.  This is where I contradict myself. I don't normally check the tags before I try stuff on but I do check them before I buy. What is the item made of? Is it worth the price that's on it? Is it vintage or just a new shirt pretending to be vintage? Does it have a cool brand that would be fun to brag about?

If it is a good quality material, vintage or a brand name I recognize... I will pay a bit more for that. If it is lower quality material, new,etc. I will put some of those away if they are priced too high. For some reason, the thrift stores seem to be charging more for "vintage" these days. Also, things from Target seem to be more than if you got them on clearance. Thrift store pricing can be baffling so just keep these things in mind!

Hopefully this information has been helpful! Let me know if you have any questions!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Vacation Guest Post - A Wild Tonic

While I'm away, I've lined up some lovely ladies to tide you all over until I get back! Today we have Lauren from A Wild Tonic. She not only has a great blog but also runs an Etsy shop! I had the pleasure of meeting her in person while I was in NYC and she is the sweetest! Please pop by her blog here and her Etsy shop here and say hi! Thanks again Lauren!

Hello there, lovely Babes in Thriftland readers. I'm Lauren, a blogger and vintage & handmade shop owner on Etsy. You may recognize my work from right here on Erin's blog. My handmade work is a series of prints on upcycled maps. The quotes on the prints are mostly inspirational and travel-related, so I call them my Wanderlust Prints. Each print is completely unique as they are printed right on the map paper! I had the idea one day when my dad was cleaning out his car and found some old maps. I feel like not many people use paper maps anymore in this age of GPSs and map apps on our phones. Instead of throwing his maps into recycling, I decided to start the print shop. I LOVE traveling and having new experiences, and my prints are a celebration of the wanderlust spirit.

Erin has a collection of three prints that she loves (right, Erin?) and to celebrate Erin's birthday and big trip...I'm here today to offer a print to one lucky reader! Read below for how to enter. Happy Travels, Erin! :)

To enter the giveaway:
1. Be a follower of A Wild Tonic
2. Be a follower of Babes in Thriftland on either Bloglovin' or GFC
3. Leave a comment with a way to contact you.

For Extra Entries (leave a separate comment for each) :
1. Follow A Wild Tonic on Twitter
2. Follow Babes in Thriftland on Twitter
3. Share the giveaway on Facebook, Twitter or your own blog!

Good luck! Lauren has been generous enough to open the giveaway to all readers!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Vacation Guest Post - Two Birds

While I'm away in Europe, I've lined up some lovely ladies to write posts for all of you! Today we have a guest post from Megan and Nora of Two Birds. I know both of these lovely ladies in real life and I am proud to call both of them friends. Enjoy their post and pop by their blog here and say hi!

hi there! we're megan and nora of two birds. we are happy to write a little post for erin while she is on her amazing trip! while we are not huge jet setters, we have had a few chances to take some amazing trips, so we thought we'd offer our most sage advice on traveling.
1. if your boyfriend's favorite movie is moulin rouge, go to moulin rouge...even if it takes you seven buses and miles of walking to find it. never mind that you decided to wear your cutest heeled boots while in france, keep walking cause it's his favorite movie. you can question why moulin rouge is his favorite movie later, for now, just take a photo.
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2. always wear comfortable shoes. seriously, do it. i didn't and i paid the price. i wore 4" heels almost every day. and there were days that we walked miles and miles of cobblestone streets. and honestly, when i go back to europe, i will most likely do it again. call me stupid, but i like me some heels.
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3. when in rome, eat some good italian food. but also, eat some indian food. i ate both, and i have to tell you, it was the best indian food i have ever tasted.
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4. visit all the popular landmarks, but also just walk around and enjoy yourself. don't try to fit too much into your vacation, you don't want it to feel like work. so walk around, snap some photos and have a glass of wine. that's what it's all about!
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we hope you're having a blast erin. take lots of pictures and drink lots of wine!!!

two birds

Friday, May 10, 2013

Another Decade

The thing that inspired my big trip is my big birthday! Today is my 30th birthday and I'm both excited and terrified at the same time. 30 just seems so old but I don't feel old at all. The birthday of contradictions. It has been a really great 30 years, lots of ups and some downs. I can't wait to see what this decade will bring!

I recently scanned a bunch of pictures that were at my grandma's house and thought I would share.

I'm in the south of France right now soaking up the European life and some sun! I can't believe that I made one of my birthday dreams come true and this will be a birthday I will never forget!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

How I Thrift Shop - Part One

While I'm on my birthday vacation,  I wanted to share a couple posts on how I thrift.

I'm putting a disclaimer on this post. I don't know how you're supposed to shop at the thrift store. I've read many a post that I'm sure will be much more informative than mine about feeling for quality material, checking tags, etc. I love reading those posts and like to implement some of their suggestions in my own shopping. However, I don't sell clothes online (yet) or need everything I buy to be vintage. To be honest, I buy what I like. I have a technique that I feel would be good for someone just getting into thrift shopping or someone who wants to do it just for fun like I do. I love a good bargain and finding unique things so thrift shopping is perfect for me. It's not for everyone and not everyone shops the same way. That's why I wanted to call this post how I thrift shop, not how to thrift shop.

All that being said, I hope this post helps you and is somewhat informative :)

First things first. Shopping at the thrift store can be really intimidating. Some stores aren't organized at all and good things are everywhere. If you are new to thrifting, I suggest going to a store with some semblance of order. I like Saver's because they are sorted by size so it takes me a lot less time to find what I want. Goodwill I've found is only sorted by color which can get frustrating if you keep finding cute things that aren't in your size. Most stores are at least sorted by clothing type which is will help you to narrow your search (which I will talk about in a sec).  

1. I go to the store with a plan:  this may seem like a no brainer but bear with me. Thrift stores do not have fancy merchandising people that edit the collect down to the most desirable items and place them in aesthetically pleasing ways for you to browse at your leisure. This is a "throw all the skirts on a rack and call it a day" type store. I run out of steam after a couple of racks so I make sure to an idea in mind of what I'm looking for. If you don't want to think that hard, proceed to step 2.

2. I know where I usually find the best things and go to those racks first. I wear a lot of dresses and skirts and those tend to elicit the best finds when I'm thrifting so I make a beeline to those racks. I also like Saver's because they have a vintage rack. Most stores will have vintage items mixed in with everything else which makes my shopping harder. On my favorite racks, I will look through every item so I don't miss anything. I tend not to do this with the rest of the store...

3. I have developed a patent pending scanning technique. First, I go to my size and start from there. I also like to look the size above and the size below.  Then, I look for color and pattern.  I'm sure most of you have patterns and colors that you know look good on you or you are drawn to. I love blue and green, stripes, polka dots and plaid. I like to say that I've never met a plaid (or striped) shirt I didn't like.  Also, if I go in with a plan (i.e. I'm looking for a white button up shirt), I can scan the racks pretty easily by keeping these things in mind. It's sort of like speed reading but for clothes. Even by looking at just this picture, I know I would only look at that royal blue shirt and the black and white striped one. 

4. I only further examine the items that I have pre-selected in the scan.  Like I said earlier, I run out of steam fast. I get really excited to thrift shop, get to the store, look through my favorite racks and then start to get tired. This is why a plan works for me. If I want records or books, I make sure to use all of my "examine each item" juice on those areas first. If I go in with no plan, I usually start with this scanning method first.

5. I always check the size above and the size below my own size. You never know what will be stuck where. Plus, a vintage 10 is a lot smaller than a modern day 10 so be sure to look a couple sizes up to find something that will fit. I like to hold stuff up to myself (not the best technique mind you) to make sure it isn't crazy small or WAY too big. Plus, stuff can be mislabeled. See below! The takes me to my next point...

6. If I like the item, I always try it on. I'll get into this more in the next post but my philosophy always is, "It doesn't hurt to try it on"  I fall in love with things this way. Like I said before, you never know how something will fit based on the tag. If you are thrifting for the first time, look a lots of different sizes and try them all on. I know some brands I fit into an 8 and other brands a 12 is too small.  More importantly, I weed out stuff that doesn't fit or look flattering from a cart like this.

I'll be back next time with what I look for while in the dressing room and more specifics on how I pick items to buy. I hope you enjoyed this first post!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Vacation Guest Post - A Little Slice of Special

While I'm away, I've lined up some of my favorite blogger ladies to keep you company! Today we are joined by Lori of A Little Slice of Special. I'm happy to call Lori my friend and I hope you stop by her blog and say hi!
The best trip of my life was also quite possibly the time I dressed the worst. Ever.  Did how I dressed make my trip any less enjoyable? No, not one bit BUT it does make me cringe every time I look back at pictures.  Now I'm going to give you my top ten tips of what NOT to pack when you're getting ready for an awesome backpacking adventure.  But first...some background...
Back in 2006 I took a month long trip to Australia and a 10 day trip to New Zealand.  I had one small backpacking backpack and I'd never been camping, in my life, for reals.  I prepared for 20+ days of camping, hiking, and exploring with the instruction from our professors to focus on comfort and to bring stuff that I'd be ok with throwing out.  I might have taken  took that WAY to seriously.  But now you can can use my mistake as a learning experience?!  At least that's what I"m going to tell myself.  If nothing else you should get a laugh?!  Fingers goes:
1.  Avoid Trends, especially when packing space is limited.  Back in the '06 Gauchos were really trendy.  I actually brought two pairs with me thinking I could "dress" them up.  Number 1 could also be never wear gauchos.  What the eff was I thinking?!
2.  Consider lack of laundry opportunities when putting together outfits.  When it's been a while, you will end up with nothing clean left besides brown and black or teal and forest green.
3.  Temperature changes...don't just think about what coordinates within the temperature range your expecting to be out in public in but also how warmer and cooler options go together.  Otherwise you end up with hodgepodge outfits just to stay warm.
4.  Green hats.  They apparently match with next to nothing.
5.  Oy with the gauchos, also polos and crop sweat pants. Just don't.
7.  Crop wet suits...not flattering...just embrace it.
8.  Check weather trends more closely.  Otherwise you will look like Ralphie's brother in A Christmas Story when you have to pile everything you own on.
9.  Basketball shorts...great for working out and for hanging around camp...not really ok for days of sightseeing.
10.  Embrace all of the awesome moments that your adventure brings, like when you're given ice talons, boots, and told to tuck your pants into your socks.  I mean, when else are you going to get to do that except when you're climbing a glacier?! Epic.
Not everything I brought and wore made me look like a total spaz, thankfully.  Still not some of my proudest moments but the times things didn't turn out so badly I learned a few things too:
1.  When space is limited stick to solid colors, they are easier to match.  The more neutral the better.
2.  Bring a few tops that you can dress up and dress down.
3.  Bring one skirt.  That way at least a few of the times you go out to nicer places, you can match neutrals to that skirt and feel more...civilized?!
4.  Try to pack tops that are lightweight, layerable, and can easily be layered.
5.  When it comes to packing bottoms, stick to things like jeans and other neutral and brown can be hard to mix and match.  
I will say, since this trip I have fallen in love with camping and embrace getting away from my usual routine of girly skirts and dresses.  I still find it tough to pack lightly for trips because I do love getting dressed and more importantly I adore layering but after a month of living out of a backpack, you start to be more conscious of what you're putting in your bag and packing for the unexpected.

Hopefully this look at my adventures in backpacking and what I've learned not to do will help you in packing for a future trip or at least gave you a good laugh.

I hope this hasn't been style blogger suicide and that you'll come check out my blog A Little Slice of Special sometime!

XO Lori

PS A big giant thanks to Miss Erin for letting me guest post while she gets to go be awesome in Europe!!!!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Vacation Guest Post - Feathers and Freckles

While I'm away, I wanted to have some guest posters share their thoughts on travel with you! Today we have the lovely Megan of Feathers and Freckles! I've gotten to know Megan through her blog and she is the nicest person. Her blog keeps me coming back due to her cute style, hilarious writing and great DIYs. I hope you enjoy her post and go check out her blog and say hi!

Hi! I'm Megan from Feathers & Freckles, and I'm so envious of Erin's European vacation.

When traveling, I'm all about easy, casual clothing. I always pack outfits that I know I'll be comfortable in (flats only!) but that still incorporate fun colors/patterns. It's important to strike a balance between practical and touristy - just because you're in a different country doesn't mean you need a fanny pack and orthopedic sneakers.

If I was in Europe right now, these are the outfits I'd be eating gelato in...






What's your vacation style?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Vacation Guest Post - The Fashionable Adventures of Bethie the Boo

While I'm away, I've asked some of my favorite bloggy ladies to write a post for you! Don't want all of you to get lonely while I'm gone! Today we have Beth! I'm happy to know her in real life and she is just as sweet as she appears in her blog. You've probably seen her comments many times on this blog and it always makes my day when I see them! Take it away Beth!

Hello!  I’m Beth and I blog at The Fashionable Adventures of Bethie the Boo.  I’m excited to talk travel with you all while Erin is off on the trip of a lifetime!  I love to travel – I don’t get a chance to do it as much as I’d like, but I take advantage when I can!  My husband and I love going on road trips and exploring our home state.  One of our favorite places to go is Itasca State Park in Northern Minnesota.  It’s beautiful there!

The one absolute necessity for me when I travel is a good bag.  I don’t mean the suitcase or bag you’re going to pack all your belongings in, but a good traveling purse.  I usually use something much more utilitarian in nature when I travel and last year I stumbled on to quite possibly the perfect purse for traveling.  It’s from Haiku by Sharon Eisenberg and I adore it! Haiku bags are very practical – and yet they’re still stylish and cute.  They’re made of recycled materials which is an added bonus.  They have many sizes and shapes and every bag has TONS of pocket space, which is awesome for collecting little trinkets and things as you go on your travels.

The bag I have is medium sized and is called the To-Go Bag.  It has a long strap that can be worn either crossbody or shortened to be a shoulder bag.  It’s sturdy and easy to clean too.
I used this bag in Itasca this past summer and will take it there again – it was nice to sling it across my body as we explored the many hiking trails and it was still cute enough to take with me on our evening trips into town for dinner.  It’s just an all around great multi-purpose bag!

I link because I love, but definitely check Haiku out; I think you’ll be impressed with what you see!