Saturday, October 22, 2011

Night on the Town

I am normally not a huge fan of "bubble dresses". I tend to gravitate toward more classic styles and this particular design feels a bit too trend-of-the-day for my taste. When I saw this dress at Consignment Originals, however, the vibrant color and silky fabric were simply too enticing for me to pass it by. When I tried it on at home (more often than not I break the "ALWAYS try it on before you buy" rule...particularly with consignment items that can't be returned. My rebellious nature at work!), I was SO pleased that I didn't pass this beauty by. It looks pretty darn good!

Eliza J: royal blue cocktail dress~ $5.80 (Retail: $138)

Retail Cost: $138
My Total Cost: $5.80
Savings: 96%


LOVE this retro-60's look! I would pair this fabulous dress with a pair of black tights and ankle boots.

Max Studio: geometric dress~ $5.20 (Retail: $198)

Retail Cost: $198
My Total Cost: $5.20
Savings: 97%

Friday, October 21, 2011

Boho Chic

This is one of my favorite...and most exciting...finds from Consignment Originals. The top is very flowing and feminine. I saw the embroidered jeans (Zac Posen for 7 For All Mankind) and thought they were fun & flirty, but nearly fainted when I discovered the original retail cost! Normally, I wouldn't spend more than a few dollars for previously owned jeans, but these are really unique and the retail cost inspired me to stretch my typical spending limit.

Tramp: lavender peasant top~ $2 (Retail: $68)
Zac Posen: "Havana" embroidered jeans~ $6.40 (I still can't get over this, but there were only 250 pairs made, exclusively for Neiman Marcus. Retail: $700...Yup, you read correctly...$700!)

Retail Cost: $768
My Total Cost: $8.40
Savings: 99% WOOHOO!!!

Transitional Fall Outfit

I bought all of these pieces at Consignment Originals. This is a terrific "transitional" outfit (Translation: it can carry you over through those in-between times, when the seasons change, by adding a piece for a layered effect). The top and skirt, worn with a pair of sandals or flats, are perfect for the spring/ summer months. For the fall, I would add the jacket and a pair of tights & boots. The vibrant coral color works perfectly for the warmer weather and the neutral khaki jacket tones it down a bit for the fall.

Max Studio: coral sleeveless top~ $1.60 (Retail: $79)
J Crew: coral floral print, A-line skirt~ $2.40 (Retail: $138)
Old Navy: tan cotton peacoat~ $1.60 (Retail: $68)

Retail Cost: $285
My Total Cost: $5.60
Savings: 98%

Thursday, October 20, 2011

New Direction

In my typical "here today, gone tomorrow" style, I have...once again...allowed life's busyness to overcome my ability to put "me time" anywhere on the list of daily to-do's. Thus, my absence from blogland. Also typical of me, the absence of these connections leaves a distinct void in my daily routine. Don't get me wrong: I ADORE my husband (and can hardly believe that we're creeping up on our first anniversary), my step-daughter fills my heart with joy (and lots of laughter) and my own children (the ones I birthed) are adjusting beautifully to the wonderful town we now call home: Cheshire, CT. Segue to my new adventure...
One of the first things I set out to do, in Cheshire, was to scout out the local thrift/ consignment shops. Surprise, surprise! Fortunately, I didn't have far to look. There is THE most fabulous consignment shop right around the corner from our house: aptly named, "Consignment Originals". I personally think that's a bit of a misnomer and would rename it "Soup to Nuts Consignments" if anyone was seeking my humble opinion...which they're not. At any rate, Consignment Originals carries EVERYTHING you would find in a Salvation Army or Goodwill, with a few MAJOR differences: they are HIGHLY selective about what they accept, the store is organized & clean and the staff is fairly knowledgeable about the stock they carry. There are some other terrific, local places to hunt for treasures, but it looks like this post is leaning toward being a CO devotional.
With the economy showing little evidence of a dramatic turnaround, I've really noticed an influx of people willing to put aside their prejudices against second hand shopping, in lieu of jumping on the "less is more" (when it comes to spending money) bandwagon. IT'S ABOUT TIME! Anyone who knows me, even casually, will attest to the fact that I wouldn't abandon the thrill of bargain hunting for anything. An aside: I'd be happy to put that proclamation to the test by volunteering to win the Powerball jackpot of 148 million dollars this Saturday!
I must admit that I practice a bit of reverse snobbery when I see these articles or news segments on high-end fashions for less and am scoffing at the "amazing finds" they pull together for "only a few hundred dollars". I am fairly confident that I could outfit my entire family of five, for at least a season, for less than $300. Okay, realistically...not counting shoes, but that's primarily due to the fact that neither my husband nor my children relish the idea of slipping their puddies into footwear that has been gently loved by someone else.
I thought I'd shift the focus of my blog ramblings (was there ever truly a set focus to my blog???) to some of my fashion finds.

All of the outfits in the picture were from Consignment Originals. The total retail cost (approximately) is just under $2,200. What did I pay, you might be asking yourself? Less than $50!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

TOO Sweet!

This is the first weekend, in a month, that John and I had a "no kids" weekend (it took me years to admit that I do enjoy the weekends when my children are with their dad...and not feel guilty about it). Yesterday, John suggested we stop by an antique show at a local boarding school. Yet another reason I married this amazing man...he truly enjoys rummaging through treasures with me. The show was jam-packed with table after table of over-priced lovelies: fun to look at, but well outside the parameters of "reasonable" impulse purchasing.

One of the last tables we visited had a set of to-die-for red (pink?) and white transfer ware that had me climbing over other (more well-behaved) potential customers to get to. What really caught my eye was a huge pitcher & washbasin that was in the center of the display. I have wanted a set like this for as long as I can remember, but have never seen just the right one...until yesterday. The price on the pitcher was, as I feared, not even close to budget friendly. Sensing my interest, the vendor quickly approached and explained that the price was for the entire set: the pitcher and washbasin, a three-piece soap dish, a cup, a smaller pitcher, a small vase (toothbrush holder? ) and.....a chamber pot (which I had, embarrassingly, mistaken for a one-handled soup tureen. To which the vendor responded: "Remind me not to come to dinner at your house". :::blush:::). Suddenly, the price seemed far more palatable, but still not low enough to actually swallow. I very reluctantly walked away from "my" gorgeous set and proceeded to think/ dream/ ruminate over each & every piece for the remainder of the evening straight through this morning. I am normally such an "out of sight, out of mind" girl, so this obsessing was really out of character for me...a fact that didn't escape John's attention. I must have had a wistful look on my face this morning, because he suggested we got back to the show to fetch my beautiful set. YAY and WOOHOO!!!

When we got to the show, the parking lot was jammed, so I suggested (with no ulterior motive whatsoever) that hubby park the car, while I run in to make sure we could still use our tickets, from Saturday, to get in. I bee-lined it to the table that housed my transfer ware and could see, from across the auditorium, that the set was gone. I didn't even need to approach the table for was just gone. My poor husband walked through the doors at that (untimely) moment and immediately recognized the look on my face was one of bitter disappointment.

Unbeknownst to me, he had another plan, but (wisely) decided he'd better come clean quickly. He handed me a note (too mushy for public consumption), written on...the receipt for the pitcher/ washbasin set, which he had snuck back to buy yesterday afternoon.

What a guy! So far, I've had no luck finding the perfect resting spot for my stunning set. I'm not sure 1.) if I should keep all of the pieces together or 2.) exactly what Emily Post would say about displaying a chamber pot in one's dining room. Decisions, Decisions :-)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Nine Months???

Is it possible that it has been nine months since I last updated my blog? Oh my...
A lot has happened, in my life, since I last visited my own blog. August was a wonderfully exciting month for me (and the kids), so that seems as good a place to begin as any.
On August 19, I got engaged to an amazing man who I had been dating (off and on) for a year and a half. From the moment of our engagement, through New Year's day, life has been an absolute whirlwind of activity. We immediately started searching for a house (to rent) that would accommodate all of us. John has shared custody of his beautiful 10 year old daughter and we needed to find a house with enough space for the 5 of us to live comfortable...add the dog, to the mix, and we were facing a tough challenge. Our house hunt was proving to be a futile & frustrating undertaking and we were ready to give up (and stay in the house John and Tess were renting) when our realtor showed us one last option that turned out to be the home of our dreams...more about that later :-)
John and Tess moved into the new house on October 1. The kids and I followed on October 31 and I've been busily nesting ever since. Nesting was squeezed tightly in between planning our (very small) wedding, preparing for Thanksgiving & Christmas, taking our honeymoon to St. Croix and hosting a family Christmas party on New Year's day. That list is slightly out of order, which shows how my head is STILL spinning. We were married, in NYC, the day after Thanksgiving. The kids were scheduled to be with their other parents on Christmas, so we flew to St. Croix on Christmas Eve morning and celebrated the holiday, with the children, when we returned, on December 29th. PHEW....did you manage to follow any/ all of that?
Since I STILL haven't learned to correctly arrange pictures in my blog entries, I'll post a few wedding pictures now and save the others (house, honeymoon, etc.) for another time.
Oh, how good it feels to get back to blogging! I've truly missed this element of my life and am excited about reconnecting with all of you!