Tag Archives: shop

Love Your Clothes Again + Shopping Checklist Printable

I posted this a couple of years ago but it is still relevant and I thought it could bear repeating. At the end of the post you can find two free Shopping Checklist Printables.

Everyone gets tired of their wardrobe from time to time. Clothing options can sometimes become boring for me even after it seems like I just shopped the mother lode. Right now I have other things I have to spend money on. Sigh. But if I had extra money to spend right now, and I were going to do some clothes shopping, here are two outfits I would put right in my closet.



If you’re in the same boat ~ tired of your wardrobe, getting the itch to buy some new clothes but it’s not in the budget ~ allow me to share a tip I have used to reignite my enthusiasm for the clothing and accessories I have to work with. This is a great winter weekend project. You’ll need to allow about two hours (give or take) to do this exercise but it will be so worth it.

1. Pull out 4 or 5 of your favorite layering tops (underneath layer). Choose tops that have some kind of detail front and center like lace, shirring, cutouts, etc.

2. Pull out 4 or 5 top layer pieces > jackets, see-through tops, button-down shirts, low-cut tops, etc.

3. Decide if you want to put together dressy outfits or casual (or both) and choose 4 or 5 bottom pieces accordingly (pants, skirts, shorts, jeans).

4. Now comes the fun part. Take each top layer piece and pair it with any of the under layer pieces that coordinate in color or style, keeping them on the hangers or laying them down in sets.

5. Add a bottom layer piece to each paired combo.

6. This step is crucial and I urge you not to skip it: Try them on! Yes it will take time but think of it as a shopping trip. Combinations that look good on the hangers might not look great on you, and vice versa. Things like length of top, cling factor, fullness and structure dictate how they will fall and mesh together. This is where it takes patience but once you find a combo that works you’ll have an outfit that flatters and you will feel great in it.

7. In my experience, some pieces go with everything and some don’t work with anything. Those in the second category (I call them loners) are pieces that I either get rid of or, if it’s something I really love, make a note to find something to pair it with next time I go shopping.

8. This might be my favorite part of the whole process. Once you have decided what works together, lay out your winning outfits and go to your jewelry stash. Play around with different pieces, try out-of-the-box color combinations, layer up on necklaces and bracelets. Take a fresh look at your cache and use it to the fullest to bling up your outfit.

9. At this point in the process, it may be a good idea to take pictures of your outfits, because if you’re like me, once everything is back in the closet you’re likely to forget (or not see) the exact combinations you put together.

10. You will be amazed at the new outfits you discover if you think outside the box. Now you can look forward to the next event in your life, be it coffee with the girls, date night or Sunday church, knowing you will feel pulled together and polished.

Just because you don’t have any immediate plans to go on a shopping spree, that doesn’t mean you’ll never buy anything new again. With the eventual shopping splurge in mind, I created two shopping checklists ~ one for your clothing and one for your accessories ~ for you to print and keep handy to stay tuned in to your closet and accessory “inventory”.

Use this checklist to take inventory before you shop. Just write “Have” or “Need” in the spaces to help you decide what CLOTHING to buy.


Use this checklist to take inventory before you shop. Just write “Have” or “Need” in the spaces to help you decide what ACCESSORIES to buy.

Do you have any tips for overcoming boredom with your wardrobe? Do share!


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Sugarplum Festival + A Little Bird Told Me

In case you were thinking that I’m ready to start talking about Christmas, I’m so not! I do however want to let you know about an event that I’ll be selling at. Sugarplum Festival is St. Joseph, Missouri’s annual kick off to the holiday season held at the Albrecht Kemper Museum of Art.

Great shopping, a “Deck the Halls” auction, wine tasting and a lunch café will get shoppers going on their lists for gifts and décor. I will be selling my jewelry and a few other goodies including these wood slice ornaments.

I may be back later with a tutorial on these ornaments.

And now it’s time for A Little Bird Told Me where I share a weekly tip from my own bag of tricks.

You’ll save many a calorie this way!


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I Went to the Flea Market and All I Spent Was $9

It has to be a record for me. I went to the semi annual flea market in our area last week. The flea market that I look forward to every spring and every fall. It’s a must-do event. But this year was very different for a few reasons.

For one, my friend that I have gone with every single time for umpteen years was sick and couldn’t go. I knew it wouldn’t be the same without her but I would go it alone. Another hindrance to my shopfest was the fact that I had just purged a LOT of stuff in my garage sale and the thought of bringing a bunch of stuff back in when I don’t sell anymore put a damper on grabbing up finds.

And then there was the heat. And humidity. There have been plenty of times that we’ve gone and shopped in scorching weather. But without my buddy, a record short time of three hours shopping in 90+ weather was all I had in me.

I only spent $9! But I did bring home three items I love.

A uniquely shaped, tall skinny birdcage.

A monogrammed, footed silver tray. I love its long, thin shape.

And a snakeskin box purse. The straps are worn worse than the rest of the purse so I will replace them with black or dark brown leather straps. I might touch up a few worn spots on the purse with shoe polish. Then I will put it in my rotation of vintage purses that I actually carry on occasion.

I’m starting a new series this fall that I think will be fun. It just may show up in my very next post. Here’s a little tease…

Thanks for stopping by! Come back soon!


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My Ironstone Bowl Has a Secret

I have loved and collected ironstone for several years. My collection is a moderate size because I rarely pay more than $5 for any one item. Many of the pieces I have bought can be easily found at a higher price but if I’m patient I can find the types of pieces I love in that price range.

This bowl is just such a piece. I purchased it last month at the flea market for $5. Oh happy day! I almost walked right past it. I was on the lookout for plain white ironstone and this bowl was not that.

This bowl had big red flowers on it ~ poppies I believe? Not a problem I told myself. I will just place it on a shelf with the flowers turned to the back, or as my friend suggested sand the floral design off. Are you cringing? Would that be a terrible thing to do? I don’t think so. On the other hand there might come a day when the floral design works in just the right setting. What would you do?

I’m very happy to say that my breakfast nook makeover is (basically) complete. Monday I’ll show you before and after photos of the space. Woop!


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My Flea Market Finds

I’m getting ready to have a yard sale at the end of the month and will be clearing out a bunch of stuff! I will be making room for some of the new old stuff I found recently at the flea market. Twice a year, in the spring and fall my friend Joyce and I have a standing date to hit the flea market together in the nearby town of Sparks, KS. Here are some (almost all) of my flea market finds this spring.

Kitties always find the smell irresistible. My neighbor’s cat, Bella comes to see me almost every day. Sometimes I think about getting another cat but Bella’s visits give me the benefit of enjoying her company without the responsibilities that cat ownership has.

I don’t have a “Bethany” but for $1 I wasn’t about to pass up this ironstone plate. The name + the cracked place + the brown staining add tons of character!

bottles_flea_market_findsThe bottles and rusty iron screen will easily find their way into the rustic French farmhouse style I’m bringing into my décor.

If only my feet were a size 6! I would wear these vintage rubber boots in a heartbeat! I’ll have to display them instead. I think they’ll be perfect in one of the guest bedrooms when we get around to that project.

There’s a lot of cleaning to be done to these dusty treasures, especially the rustic wood box. It will make a great magazine or tp holder in the bathroom. Or maybe filled with flowers for a table centerpiece.

My irises are in full bloom now. They bloomed just a few days after I showed them in their budding state. My peonies will be in full bloom in the next day or two. What perfect timing for Mother’s Day weekend! My mother is not living but if yours is I hope you are able to enjoy the day with her. I will enjoy the day with my kids. Happy Mother’s Day!


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Thrifting Tips, Tricks and Secrets

I love thrift shopping and today I want to share with you some of my best thrifting tips! I’m using the word thrifting to include shopping at yard sales, thrift shops, estate sales, flea markets and even antique shops. After years of having this activity occupy my time as a business, a hobby and a way to furnish my entire house I have learned a few things, things that I would love to share with you! Rather than listing some of the more obvious tips such as getting to sales early and hunting often, I have compiled a list of things that I have gleaned through my own experience and observations. These are the tried and true methods that have worked for me. Of course nothing is fail-proof and luck plays a large part in finding the goods.

Search as if someone hid a treasure and dared
you to find it.

A lovely heart shaped chair might be concealed behind a big sloppy piece of upholstery tacked on loosely, when closer inspection reveals its true shape.

Don’t overlook piles of new when looking for vintage.
Hidden treasure can be found in unlikely places. Never assume a collection of items on a table that looks like all new doesn’t have a vintage piece mixed in. Sometimes it pays to take a closer look.

Keep an open mind and try to see potential.
A dirty, grimy trophy vase bought for a dollar can be shined up to become the perfect vessel for a bouquet of pink peonies.



Scan each room with your eyes before looking intently at smaller sections of space.
Time is of the essence! This will enable you to zero in on specific areas of interest before methodically walking through.

Don’t get caught up in the frenzy. Take a deep breath!
I’ve seen frantic people with similar interests as me pass right on by items that I was able to pick up by remaining more calm and clear headed.

Leave no stone unturned.
Look under tables at items on the floor. I once found two gorgeous architectural pieces dated 1905 under a table on day three of an estate sale for $5 a piece.

Yes, it’s true. When I saw the pair of heart shaped French chairs at a flea market, they were completely camoflauged by pieces of needlepoint canvas that someone had tacked on. They appeared to have square backs and seats but when I peeled back the canvas just a little I could see the heart shaped seat and back. I wonder how many people walked right by them before I got there! I found the architectural pieces when I walked into a very picked-over estate sale. I looked under one of the tables and saw them. I was sure they must’ve been put there on hold for someone. So I asked about them and was told that they weren’t sold. My lucky day!

Have you developed your own strategy for scoring great finds? I would love to hear about them (if you want to reveal your secrets). And for more tips, check out this article that I was invited to contribute to.

Happy thrifting!


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