Save the Dates

Mark your calendar for these upcoming Thrifty events in Cleveland and Akron! I'll share more details on each  event in the coming weeks, but for now here's the dates and links if you'd like to save the date. Hope to see you at one or all!

Goodwill Good Style Fashion Show
When: Thursday, May 7 at 6pm
Where: Windows on the River, Cleveland, OH
Cost: $30 on Living Social
6 local fashion bloggers create a collection of thrifted outfits and share them in a runway style fashion show. Dina is one of the bloggers and I'll be modeling an outfit in her "thriftaquarium" collection.

Dina's 2014 Goodwill Fashion Show Collection - The Secret Life of Plants

When: Friday, May 8 at 6pm
Where: Goodwill, 570 E. Waterloo, Akron OH
Cost: Free (registration required)
Dina and I will share our best thrifty tips and tricks for creating a stylish home and wardrobe, and then we'll head out and shop the store! (Dinner and refreshments included!)

Cleveland Flea
When: Saturday, July 11
Where:Tyler Village, 3615 Superior Avenue, Cleveland, OH
Cost: Free
The Cleveland Flea is the 2nd Saturday of every month. I'll be there as a vendor in July!

Five Uses for an Ice Cube Tray

I always loved the “New Uses for Old Things” section of RealSimple Magazine. That’s where I learned to store and hang my ribbon spools on a wire hanger and to use an ice cube to smooth out caulk. Speaking of ice cubes, I bought a brand new ice cube tray at Goodwill Wadsworth for 40 cents. Here are 5 new uses that don’t have anything to do with making ice.

Over time, all of our jars of paint became varying shades of brown as the kids would mindlessly dip their brush from the purple jar, to the green jar, to the blue jar. Separating the paint into the ice cube tray may not prevent mixing of colors, but at least the whole jar won’t turn brown. Plus I can add water on the other side of the tray for easy brush cleaning. Which I am sure they will diligently clean their brushes between each paint dip.

Organize Batteries, clips, loose change, rubber bands, staples, keys, twist ties, and safety pins. Use a bunch of trays if you have a lot of junk!

CafĂ© O’Play  in Stow, Ohio provides their kids lunches in metal muffin trays. The kids LOVED that idea so I adapted that idea and used the ice cube tray for small snacks like raisins, cereal, nuts, carrots, pretzels, and candy.

This may not be the most beautiful thing to display on your dresser top, but tuck it inside your drawer and use it to separate earrings, rings and bracelets. 

I haven’t shown this idea to the boys yet but when I do I can guarantee I will never get the ice cube tray back. This could be a boat in both the bath tub and  the kiddie pool, or it could be a bus, a train, a roller coaster, a rocket ship, or an airplane. 

Any other ideas for using an ice cube tray in an unexpected way? Share in the comments! 

**This post was sponsored by Goodwill Industries of Akron. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

Houseplant Artwork

I've been wanting to add some real plants around the house, but my track record with plants is very bleak. Succulents, which I think are supposed to last FOREVER, die within a few weeks under my care. 

So, what a pleasant surprise it was to come across this book  at Goodwill Eastlake for only $1! It's a Time Life encyclopedia and guide all about house plants!

This book will definitely be a great resource for me if I ever buy a real plant. Until then I'll just play it safe and display pictures of plants from the book in this $3 frame I found at Goodwill Garfield.

I should have no problem keeping these "plants" alive... 

So maybe you're the kind of person that can actually keep a plant alive and you don't need to frame pictures of plants in lieu of the real thing. Good for you... and give me all your tips! But there are plenty of other books you can repurpose into artwork if plants aren't your thing. Here I used clippings from a sports book to create silhouettes of my boys.

Click here for directions on how to make these silhouettes. 

Here I used a page from the children's book "Sesame Street Book of Numbers" to fill an empty frame. 

And here's another picture from that same Sesame Street book. These scruffy dogs reminded me so much of our dog, Sammy.

Next time you are in need of some new artwork (or plants) for your home, stop in at Goodwill and find a book with photographs, illustrations, or artwork that fit your style. Books usually range in price from fifty cents to two dollars, so go wild, buy a few! 

If you give this project a try, I'd love to see pictures!! Email me here.

**This post was sponsored by Goodwill Industries of Greater Cleveland and East Central Ohio, Inc. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

Woven Tray Turned Picture Frame

My decorating style changes from year to year, month to month and week to week. One second I’m painting all my wood furniture in bright colors, the next I’m wanting all my furniture back to natural wood.

The last few years I was all about bright pops of color, boldly painted furniture, and retro-inspired accessories. But my decorating pendulum is swinging back a bit and I’m craving subdued neutral colors and natural textures like wood grain, rope, canvas, linen, burlap, copper, brick, and natural greenery.

I’m slowly refreshing areas of our house to bring in more of these natural elements and I’m currently working on our bedroom.

Having a clear vision of what look/feel I’m going for has made it easy pick up inexpensive accessories at Goodwill to decorate shelves and dresser tops.

On a recent trip to Goodwill Northfield I was able to pick up this wooden lamp base ($7.99) and this circular woven tray ($.80). 

I turned the tray into a picture frame (details below) and paired it and the lamp with some thrifted books and dishes to create this simple display in my new, neutral design palette.

To make this EASY picture frame, follow the steps below:

1: Measure the indented circle on the tray. Mine was about 8.5”.

2 (optional): Bring your photo into a design software (I used InDesign) and place it on an 11x17 sized document (this is the size paper that the print shop would be printing it on). Add an 8.1” circle on top of the photo to serve as a cutting guide. I made it slightly smaller than 8.5” so that I had some wiggle room when placing the final photo into the indent. Export file to PDF and send to the local printer.

3: Cut photo into circle.

6: Affix photo to tray. I used masking tape as to not damage the tray, but you could also use glue.

7: Hook a paperclip through the weavings on the back (or you could use command strips), and hang.

My next area of focus in the bedroom is our bedding. I'm in the market for a new comforter; one that is both light in weight, yet still really warm and cozy. I'm loving the look of this Linen Quilt from West Elm, and this grey striped duvet cover from Ikea. We currently have FIVE layers of bedding; a sheet, a coverall, two down comforters, and a fleece blanket! And yes, we do have heat in our house. Now that we're finally heading into Spring I think I can reduce it down to 3 layers. Any bedding recommendations are welcome! 

**This post was sponsored by Goodwill Industries of Akron. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

If I had a Girl...

I have three boys.

Three boys who like to wear Ohio State jerseys, fleece sweatpants, bathing suit shorts (in the middle of winter), hooded sweatshirts, super hero t-shirts, and their favorite...

No shirts.

Ohhhh what fun it would be to shop for a girl. All the bright colors, the ruffle details, the mini versions of trendy women's clothes (skinny jeans!), the patterns, the tiny embelishments and details -- so much outfit styling fun to be had!

And this mama of three boys deserves to have some shopping fun!

In partnership with Goodwill of Cleveland and East Central Ohio, I went to their Shaker Heights store and experienced what thrift shopping would be like if I had a girl... 

The cuteness!! That blue handmade bird skirt, those gray Baby Gap skinny jeans, that pink Polo dress, annnnd those floral Gymboree shorts! If I had a girl... we'd need to build a few more closets in our house.

But we can leave the hammer in the toolbox,cause it's nothin' but boys around here! So, I put all those girl clothes back on the rack (for anyone who wants to go snatch them up!) and left with my usual gear... a t-shirt and jeans. 

**This post was sponsored by Goodwill Industries of Greater Cleveland and East Central Ohio, Inc. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

Shopping Finds {Thrift Night Out}

*This is not a sponsored post. All opinons are my own.

I'll get to all the fun finds from the Thrift Night Out in just a sec. But first I want to share something about Goodwill that I didn't fully understand until I started working with local Goodwill agencies.

The act of SHOPPING at Goodwill HELPS people in our community.

How? Because a large portion of the revenue from their stores helps fund the extensive job training and other community-based programs/services they provide to people with disabilities and people facing challenges in finding employment.

So, again...

When you SHOP at Goodwill you are HELPING fund Goodwill's programs. 

In other words, by shopping at Goodwill you are doing a good deed.

And shop is just what this group did...  

Sunglasses, baby clothes, men's short, purses, mirrors, women's tops, skirts, vases, jackets, candlesticks, and boots were all purchased by the ladies at our recent Thrift Night Out at Goodwill Akron. Oh, and a BRAND NEW Threshold (Target) Pouf! Carmen snatched this up for just $9.99! A ridiculously great deal since these normally sell at Target for $59.99.

Some other great finds include this head to toe look that Laura put together for an upcoming Cruise-themed fundraiser that she'll be attending. This lightweight, knee-length coat that fits Lisa PERFECTLY. And lots of books for Jeannie (a teacher) to add to her classroom collection.

And here are a few of my favorite treasures from the night: two ironwork bookends, a Threshold vase, and a Gap clutch. I'm collecting neutrals and texture right now as I prepare for our bedroom makeover. Hopefully by the time I get around to actually completing the makeover, I'll still be riding the neutral bandwagon.

Interested in attending a Thrift Night Out event? Contact me or Dina and we'll coordinate a private event for you and your girlfriends.

Twinsie Tuesday: Topenga/Fergie & Granite/Blatt

Twinsie Tuesday is baaaaaaaack!! And I owe it all to 6 year-old C who has inherited his mother's doppelganger spotting talent.

On New Year's Eve (which feels like 10 months ago), we were watching one of Fergie's (pantsless) performances, and he said "She looks like that lady from Girl Meets World." Oh, you mean Topanga!!

And then, not but a week later he sees Matt Granite (WKYC Ways to Save guy) on TV and says "this guy looks like the Cavs coach, David Blatt."

Couldn't be more proud. He is sooo Twinsie Tuesday TALENTED!

Arrows Made from Wooden Spoons | Goodwill Project #26

“I threw it at him so that he would fall in love.” – C's response after throwing his arrow at N.
Prior to making our arrows we did some wikapedia-ing to find out why arrows are used for Valentine’s day. Basically Cupid is the God of desire, erotic love, attraction and affection. His source of power is the bow and arrow, and anyone who is shot by his arrow is filled with uncontrollable desire.
I gave C the G-rated version which was Cupid shoots people with his arrow and they fall in love.
So he went and threw it at his 3 year old brother.

So literal.
So thoughtful.

Thankfully it was just made of a wooden spoon, so he’s fine. And to my knowledge he did not fall in love.

 Here’s how we did it:

1 – Bought 2 wooden spoons at Goodwill Twinsburg for a mere 16 cents each!
2 – Pulled out some craft supplies like felt, feathers, yarn, and glitter.

3. Glued 3-6 feathers to the top side of the spoon.

4. Cut out two felt triangles to use as the arrow tip.

5. Wrapped multiple pieces of colored yarn around the handle and secured in place with glue.

6. Glued the 2 triangle felt pieces together, leaving a small opening to slide about an inch of the handle inside. Secured with more glue.

7. Decorated with gold glitter!

If you don’t have these craft supplies on hand, here are a few alternatives:
Felt  //  Construction Paper   //  Cardboard
Yarn  //  Paint  //  Ribbon  //  Washi Tape
Feathers  //  Felt  //  Tissue Paper  

**This post was sponsored by Goodwill Industries of Akron. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.