Saturday, November 23, 2013

Birthday Thrifting! - November 23, 2013

So I turned 40 last week and the biggest adjustment has been hearing that number come out of my mouth, over and over and over. Rolling it around on my tongue and trying to reconcile my notions of what 40 should be with what 40 is for me. It's fine, I'm fine, I'm learning.

To extend my celebration a bit longer, I planned a thrifty day with Amy. Well, I also needed to get away for a little bit. Things have been tricky with the kid's school and she also had a stomach bug hit her pretty hard (I blamed it on "food poisoning" until I found out that other kids in her class were similarly afflicted). I take my breaks as I can get them.

After fueling up at Dunkin Donuts, where I cashed in my free birthday drink coupon on a french vanilla coffee with skim milk and sugar and threw in a chocolate donut for nostalgia's sake (DD = Boston = home), we hit our favorite spots. The kid's wardrobe recently grew incrementally thanks to some gift cards and some store sales, so she didn't need much. Technically I didn't need much either, but I also was finding myself wearing the same things over and over.

OK, also, the first store we went to - an indie store that supports the community - was having BOGO on all adult clothing. All adult clothing is normally $2 or $3 a piece. YES PLEASE.

Two side notes: This store definitely goes in cycles and for the past...year? I hadn't found anything appealing. But the last time we went and this time I found so many things. SO MANY. And also, I used to walk into thrift stores and stare at the racks of clothing - particularly if the store was having any sort of sale at all - and go blank, wander over to the books, and buy those instead. It has been a long, slow process to me buying clothing for myself that does include my weight loss but also a sort of comfort in my body and my own style. (I still worry that someone out there is waiting to make fun of me for what I'm wearing - thank you, junior high school/high school - but thanks to the Internet and seeing so many people making so many choices, I'm more comfortable just letting myself wear whatever the fuck I want to wear.)

I considered hanging up everything all nice to take pictures and then I realized nobody's looking anyway so whatever. These pictures are terrible and my blog will never be famous for its photography. Hey camera makers, if you ever want to send a DSLR to test and review, I'd gladly accept - I'll even take two so I can do a fabulous giveaway! Ha.

I do use these thrifting posts a lot for my own reasons though - to look back and see what I've bought, what I need, what I bought but never wore, what I wear all the time, and also to check pricing because I do occasionally resell things and I want to see what to set prices at.

Anyhoo, let's get to the pictures!

I could not resist two copies of Cricket magazine from the 70s. I was a subscriber when I was a kid and for a while I had a huge collection. Eventually my mother made me throw it all away, but somewhere in her house (or maybe my dad's house?) there is a box that contains the very first issue of Cricket, the 100th issue, the 10th anniversary, and possibly some other milestone issues. These were 50 cents each.

Kid clothes are a dollar each. I had just bought my kid a shirt at Gymboree that looks very similar to these designs. These are Carters, though, and they seem nearly new to me.

Women's sleeveless tops are $2 each, and they were BOGO so $1. This tank top is to go under a sweater that I'll show you in a minute.

I bought this without trying it on - it's Ann Taylor and it's really cute and it was just a dollar so I figured, why not.

Next up, four skirts. Normally $3/each, but BOGO, so $1.50 each.

Old Navy. Swingy and cute!

H&M. Stretchy and fun!

Express! Swooshy and sweet. Very lightweight and despite what my camera really wants you to think, more of a blue/purple. Loved this one - fully lined and sort of a faux wraparound without the drama of trying to keep the wrap...around.

More Old Navy (I bought a LOT of Old Navy stuff). I really liked this one too.

Old Navy. Fuzzy and lightweight and a tiny bit see through. Remember that tank top I just showed you? That's for under this.

Don't be surprised...this is also Old Navy.
And some odds and ends.

Target skinny jeans. These are "long" but I think I can fold them a bit to tuck into boots. They fit really well otherwise although I also know that Target jeans stretch out and get saggy really fast. For $1.50 I can handle it, and I liked the metal studs around the pockets.

Gap T-shirt.
Brand I don't recognize, plain black turtleneck cotton sweater.

New York & Company. I wasn't sure about it but Amy liked it and hey, $1.50 and I needed an even number of things so I got it. I've bought other tops in this style before and I never wear them but maybe this time?
Grand total with tax? $21.40.

Next up, other favorite indie store that supports a no-kill animal shelter. As I've said many times, I don't fully understand their pricing all the time, but I'll try to tell you what I paid because you care. Right? RIGHT?

Threadless shirt! - I think this was a dollar.

Another Threadless shirt! Also maybe a dollar?

Woot shirt that I absolutely adore. Hard to tell from the pic, but it's S'mores Code! I translated it - can you? Another dollar shirt, I think.
This book was a dollar. It's from 1962 and it's fascinating. I love New York City!

This was complete news to me. The borough was renamed in 1975 - you can look it up for yourself.
Cute little Old Navy shrug with shiny accents. It has a weensy bit of cashmere in it which makes it fancy, I'm pretty sure. This was $2 I think.

Plain but long Old Navy T-shirt. A dollar?

Target T-shirt because, as I've noted, I can never have too many plain black T-shirts. (They all fit in a different way! They all match different things, I swear! Also yay.) Probably a dollar.

The tag was cut out of this squishy lovely sweater so I know nothing about it - size, brand, materials. But I know that I love how it fits and I love the swingy sleeves. Possibly $2.

T-shirt dress from Steve & Barry, a store that apparently went bankrupt about 5 years ago. This dress is cute, sorry S&B for your woes.

Best find of the day, I think - thank you Amy for finding it! It's a Columbia coat that is in perfect condition though I think it's missing a hood, maybe. It was $5.11 - yes, eleven cents - and it fits my kid and she likes it. Hooray!
Grand total, with tax, $18.31.

And finally we went to Value Village just to poke around. I saw an old Palm Pilot and a really cool industrial juicer, but in the end bought nothing for me and just a few things for the kid.

Old Navy adjustable waist cords for my skinny girl. $2.49

Two more cute shirts because apparently all I want my kid to wear (and she approves) is soft cotton shirts with cute designs. $1.49 each, Carters on the left, Old Navy on the right in a design that looks like my kid walking our neighbor's dog.
Hopefully at some point in the future I'll post pictures of me actually wearing some of the things. But first, off to the washing machine they go...!

I found a linky party at A Living Space - and another at Thrifter Maker Fixer Farm. I joined both, I linked up (I hope I did it right), go check it out!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Manifesto for 40 - November 11, 2013

This piece originally appeared at but it was edited and also they don't believe in the serial comma so I am reposting it here the way I want it to appear because this is my blog.

My 40th birthday is this week. I’m still having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that soon I will be an age that as a kid I clearly remember thinking was “old”—yet I don’t feel old at all. It doesn’t actually matter how I feel, though. It’s happening and alas, there’s nothing I can do to stop it. All I can do is embrace it as thoroughly and as happily as I can manage.

Interestingly, what am I finding as I move into this next phase of my life is this: My tolerance for bullshit is dwindling…dwindling…nearly gone.

In the past, I’d let stress about inconsequential things eat away at me. Mostly regarding situations that happened on the Internet—someone breaking rules in a forum, someone leaving a nasty comment on an otherwise interesting article, someone spreading misinformation or half-truths of some sort—but in relation to things that happened offline as well.

But now? Now that I’m hitting the big four-oh? Now I say FUCK ALL OF THAT. Life is too short and too full of things that matter, good and bad, to get wrapped up in these petty concerns. I have big plans – plans to get over all of the nonsense and move right on to the things that matter, the things that are important, and the things that I can really change. For example…

There’s a comment on an article on the Internet that is ignorant or spreading misinformation? Close the browser, go for a run, drink a glass of water, do something other than sit on my ass on my comfy couch and get worked up about something that either does not matter or that I truly do not have the power to change.

Someone on the Internet is breaking the rules somehow, with self promotion or referral links or simple asshattery in a safe zone? I’m not a moderator anywhere online at the moment, so it’s time to step away from the computer completely if I’m upset about something as inconsequential as this. Maybe I should read one of those hundreds of books around my house, maybe?

I’m keeping someone in my life who always makes me feel bad about myself? It’s time to reevaluate that relationship and possibly take a break so that all parties involved can regroup. But spending energy trying to fix an energy leak? I don’t really have time for that right now.

A project I really want to start – business or hobby - is making me whine like my six-year-old daughter whines? No. I need to figure out how to make things happen now, rather than wasting time on the what ifs and the fears. I have to stop worrying about potential failures and just make things happen. At this point in my life, a Greek chorus of cheerleaders isn’t going to appear from the mists to sing a song of the stupidity in my ideas. Either my ideas are sound and will work or they’re not and I’ll try something else.

It’s not easy to let things go but it feels like it’s time, both because of the calendar and because of how I’m feeling. I’m raising a child with a disability. I’m a freelancer married to a freelancer. I’m figuring out big things like where religion fits into my life and whether or not we’ll buy a house. If a jerk in another state wants to feel special by asserting himself anonymously online or if someone makes me feel 2 feet tall, it’s time to raise a glass in that general direction and move on by.