Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Pennies Into the Pig: Budgeting for my Wedding

Image courtesy of Dexknows.com

Pennies Into the Pig:
Budgeting for my Wedding

It has to be the least romantic detail of wedding planning: budgeting. No doubt, though, it is of paramount importance. Yet, as TheKnot.com says, 16% of brides surveyed "didn't even have a budget" (CNN Money, 2011).  


I can't imagine trying to do this without planning finances carefully and it's not just because I don't want to overspend--I can't AFFORD to! Therefore, the first thing I did after the excitement from my engagement settled down was start number crunching. Although I'm not sure what my final numbers will be, I can tell you that I'm not planning on spending more than $5000 (honeymoon included) on my wedding. If you consider many people spend over $20,000 on a wedding (dress and ring included) according to polls, than that sounds like a mere fraction of most budgets. Then again, who has $20,000 to spend on a wedding? I don't. I think most people I know end up spending between somewhere in between--usually no less than $1000 on even the most DIY, backyard hitchin', and most of the time, closer to $10,000.

Between the costs of a venue, food, photography and incidentals, the dollars stack up quickly. Therefore I'm trying to budget for the big stuff right away. Though looking at the numbers can be scary for some people, I wanted to get hit in the face with them right away so I can budget and spend that money before it's even in my pocket (Dave Ramsey style).

Without getting too detailed, here are the basics for my PHASE ONE savings plan:

  • All loose change is being saved in a bank for the wedding (to be deposited regularly in to our savings account for the event)
  • My fiance and I are both starting to deposit $10 weekly ($20 collectively) into the savings account as a base, which will balloon as time passes.

Wedding Countdown Ticker

Deposits will increase in amount, and we'll be taking a percentage of tax returns this year, but that is phase one for me! There are 53 weeks left until my wedding, so depositing that amount each week (without figuring in any loose change deposits) only brings us to a fraction of our cost. Therefore, we'll be looking at making that up somewhere along the way, but it's a start!

It's intimidating to think about--but what's the alternative? Burying my head in the proverbial sand and having a huge freakout in the summer next year? HAHA! Let the saving begin.

Also check out the Pinterest board I've made dedicated to saving, "Thrift Trick Thrifty Wedding Pins!"


Looking for all of my wedding related posts in one place? Click on this icon:

Located on my top navigation menu as well!

Monday, September 15, 2014

2014 Lumber Baron's Ball: Let's Get "Hotsy Totsy"!

2014 Lumber Baron's Ball: Let's Get "Hotsy Totsy"!

In case you're wondering, "Hotsy Totsy" is 20s slang for "pleasing to the eye." ;)

I'm so excited to announce that I will be helping to style the 2014 Lumber Baron's Ball for Lakeshore Museum Center again and this year's awesome theme is the 1920's!

I have a few fun DIY's up my sleeve and I'm so excited to attend this year! I'll be covering the event and posting a re-cap as well, so don't miss it and follow along for ideas on how to dress appropriately for this awesome event!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Five Looks from Michael Kors Spring 2015 that you can Thrift or DIY

Five Looks from Michael Kors Spring 2015 
that you can Thrift or DIY

RLWL Michael Kors

1. Crisp white dress shirt, floral skirt, cute knotted belt (instructions here courtesy of FashionRolla.com), sandals.

RLWL Michael Kors

2. Extra long white t-shirt, with sheer or tulle calf length skirt overlay (easy sewing DIY!), cute knotted belt, sandals. 

RLWL Michael Kors

3. Cream or white blazer with chambray blouse, neutral calf length skirt, cute knotted belt, sandals, neutral handbag. 

RLWL Michael Kors

4. White dress shirt under a grey knit OR sweatshirt (DIY rouching?), 3/4 trousers or rolled trousers in a neutral shade, sandals, neutral handbag. 

RLWL Michael Kors

5. The ultimate classic: crisp white dress shirt with a calf length or full length black skirt, plus black sandals or ballet flats.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Makeup Review: Younique Moodstruck Minerals Pigment Powder (and eyeshadow tutorial)!


Makeup Review: Younique Moodstruck Minerals Pigment Powder 
(and eyeshadow tutorial)!

I had an awesome experience reviewing Younique's Moodstruck 3D Fiber lash masara, so I jumped at the chance recently to review another interesting product: Moodstruck Minerals Pigment Powder.

These high pigment powders interested me for a few reasons. First of all, they have all kinds of fun names rather than hues; "Playful", "Heartbroken" and "Corrupted", to name a few! I was able to choose four colors for my review, and I chose the following shades (shown in the same order below as pictured by photos on the website): Famous, Sexy, Curious and Dignified. They are $10 each. Shop for the pigments here!

Are you 'moodstruck' yet?    Are you 'moodstruck' yet?    Are you 'moodstruck' yet?     Are you 'moodstruck' yet?

Cool facts about the pigments: They are 100% natural, chemical-free, mineral-based pigment powders, free of talc, oils, preservatives, perfumes, synthetic dyes, and parabens! (And you can mix them with anything...and that's where the fun starts).




Here's what I noticed right away:

--The pigments arrived in handy little pots with locking systems.

--The colors really ARE high pigment; a little shake goes a very long way. 

--The colors blend smoothly with other products (lotions, water, mascaras). PERFECT for ladies who want to create their own makeup shades, tinted moisturizers, temporary hair streaks, tinted nail polish, tinted lip gloss, eyeshadows and eyeliners...the list GOES ON!

--I love the coverage and application of the colors. They lasted a long time and I still can't believe how far a little bit stretched (even when added to nail polish!)



Once my other makeup was done and my eyelids were primed and powdered, I took the following steps to acheive the look above!


1.) I applied a sheer layer of "Curious" pigment over my entire eyelid, using a large, flat, eyeshadow shading brush, including the inner corners of my eye. 


2.) lined my eyes with black eyeliner to provide a solid line and dark focal point for the bright liner (which I mixed myself) to compliment.


3.) Using just a couple shakes of "Dignified" on to a small mixing tray, I added a few drops of water, and blended with a thin lining brush. An eyeliner brush, small angled brush or even another eyeliner tool from a pot (cleaned, of course) would work well for this job!


4.) Following the black eyeliner as a guide, I painted a parallel line over each eye using the "Dignified" eyeliner paste. The pigment was actually quite pronounced with just one line, but I allowed it to dry and painted a second for extra coverage. Be patient waiting for the pigment paste to dry. I then followed up my normal mascara with a layer of Younique 3D Fiber Lash mascara!

The coolest finshing touch?

After my makeup was done, I decided to add a few shakes of the same pigment to a small mixing tray with about 5-6 drops of top coat nail polish, and I matched my exact nail shade to my eyeliner! I was shocked at how well a few sprinkles of pigment covered my nails when mixed with the polish. I could have easily done one coat--the color was totally rich! I loved having nails that matched my eyeliner so well.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Each pigment pot might cost a little more than individual eyeshadows at the drug store, but the color goes a long way. For me, a definite selling point is the natural, paraben free state of the pigment, as well. It's nice to know that a product that you can add to your other products doesn't contain any harmful chemicals, fragrance or even talc! Not only are the colors safe, but they lasted all night as I rode bikes in the warm sun, without melting away or smudging. I'm sold on these products and I would definitely recommend them!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Fall Looks: Cropped sweater with boots

FALL LOOKS: Cropped Sweater with Boots

I loved cropped sweaters and vintage Liz Claiborne (the striped knit above was both!) I purchased it for $2 at Lakeshore Rescue Mission Thrift in Grand Haven and I knew that it would pair nicely with black, brown and this thrifted Guess handbag. Here in Michigan, it seems we've been having "fall" weather all summer, so cropped sweaters have actually been pretty appropriate for both day and evening wear! There are so many cute looks out there like this black and white look from Fashion Bomb Daily and this cute outfit from LoveMaegan.com!

Moral of the story? You need to find a cropped sweater for your fall wardrobe, and why not thrift one? It looks fantastic over a long cami or even better yet, a dress shirt. Or be bold and bare some skin by pairing it with high waisted shorts, pants or a maxi skirt.





Wednesday, September 3, 2014

BODY IMAGE: What I think about Lena Dunham (and myself) naked.

Image courtesy of Shopping With Girls

BODY IMAGE: What I think about Lena Dunham (and myself) naked.

I'M NOT A BIG TV PERSON. In fact, I'm not really a "little" tv person. The truth is, I barely watch television at all. Despite enjoying a WTF Marc Maron podcast from last spring that writer and director Lena Dunham had appeared on, I really hadn't given any amount of time to the HBO series Girls until my fiancé talked me into watching the pilot episode with him a few weeks ago...and I decided to give it a chance. (For the record, I fully recognize how BEHIND the times I am--both in the spectrum of this series and, well, the modern tv watching world). I actually connected quickly with the show--it reminded me of a hipper, more pared down and relatable Sex In the City.  I liked the quirky characters and though I haven't always approved of their development (major "what the hell" moment when Jessa married the weirdo businessman, and irritation at multiple terrible "fake crying" moments from varying cast members), the show makes me think. About myself. And body image. A lot. Particularly because Hannah, the main character who is based primarily on Lena Dunham herself, is clumsy, a little overweight and naked on screen. All the time. (No judgment, just arbitrary fact).

Recently, we made it to the episode where Lena's character Hannah awkwardly seduces an attractive and much older (not to mention RICH) doctor "Joshua" (played by Patrick Wilson) in his home after a random encounter in the coffee shop she works at. It wasn't my favorite episode--it seemed a little contrived and I had a hard time finding it believable. Critics tore it apart on multiple occassions (as I discovered today in my research) and echoed my thoughts about the storyline and mistmatching of Hannah and Joshua's characters... BUT...how much of that unwillingness to accept the convention was my own unrealistic viewpoint on physical attraction and body image?

When it comes to unlikely pairs, I've seen it all (and I'm sure you have, too!). In this modern world, we're always shockingly impressed when two people are attracted to eachother without an epicenter of physical perfection and ultimate aesthethic beauty between them--right? "How can she even KISS him? He's not in her league!" or "Have you seen his girlfriend? She's FAT!"

I won't tell you that I think that the episode of Girls I'm referring to was the best written, or that it went down the way I would have preferred. I do know one thing, though, and I'm certain of this: watching Lena Dunham bounce around in a short romper as a somewhat plump and less than ostentatious twenty-something (and seeing her stripped to bare flesh on the regular) made me a little uncomfortable, initially, because of one thing and one thing only: expectations, and projection of my own naked insecurities.

At first, in the HBO series, I convinced myself that I was embarrassed for her nudity and seeming naivete because of how awkward she appeared, but I knew that morally and ethically, I should champion both Hannah's character and Lena Dunham personally, because, well, what she was doing took guts. Major guts. And her figure is that of an everage woman--relatable, normal, and flawed! So, why not show it?

Yet, I found myself mortified for her as she rolled around with her lovers, or ripped her shirt clean off mid-program. I remembered Dunham's expression in WTF with Marc Maron of how frequently people questioned why she had to be "naked so much". I wondered if people would file the same complaints to Heidi Klum or Beyoncé. I couldn't help speculating that the answer would be a resounding "NO!". Standards aside, and no matter what you think of Dunham's body, you certainly can't deny how comfortable she looks in it.

That's when I realized that my discomfort was clearly about my own body.

Hannah playing naked ping pong, Hannah sitting on a counter in short shorts, Hannah walking around in comfortable draw string pants without spanx on or bothering to suck in her tummy, Hannah ripping her clothes off in front of her lovers without reaching for the blankets to conceal love handles, dimples, or fat rolls. Hannah, uncut.

My distress in these things wasn't nearly as diplomatic as I initially contemplated: "You know, she's a cute girl, but that outfit is unflattering!" or "Oh-m-gosh that was bold...but I wouldn't want my body to look like that in the broad daylight. I would be careful to {position, conceal, hide}."

What I'm bringing to light here isn't a complete death sentence in terms of positive body image (though my journey has definitely been about the process and not the product, and I'm far from finished). It is, however, a full admission of my innermost thoughts (and not the dialogue I'd normally put OUT there that sounds more like, "It's great that non-traditional women are writing and producing realistic love scenes with average bodies!"). That's right--I'm talking about what my BRAIN is saying to me...that internal dialogue that no one else can hear...the one that says, "Judge her body, and hers, too!"

Trying to quiet this voice and lead her to a place of healing has been a huge part of my journey in accepting my body (and subsequently, others!). Therefore, it is my challenge to you to ask yourself: can you honestly say that your viewpoints of other women (and their bodies) aren't a manifestation of your own insecurities? If the answer is yes (and I'm skeptical that anyone would be able to claim otherwise), what can you do to change that?

How can you use the image of Lena Dunham, comfortably playing ping-pong naked in all of her soft, common glory to become more content with your own, stripped down self? 

I have a mind to believe that exposure therapy is a good place to start, and for that reason (no matter how I feel about the storylines or character development), I'll be glad to embrace Lena's nakedness on screen with an increasingly fresh perspective. Can I find that same peace, in my most vulnerable and pared down moments?

The answer is in the future, so you'll have to tune in. (And you don't even need to turn on the tv.)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

How to Style Your Kimono Into Fall: Thrifted Fashion


How to Style Your Kimono Into Fall: Thrifted Fashion

Confession: the piece I'm wearing above isn't a real "kimono"--in the sense that I thrifted it for $1 as a sheer seperate that was paired with a dress about five sizes too big for me! Basically, it was a perfect "kimono-inspired" piece, which was EXACTLY what I was looking for! In fact, that same day, I bought another floral "kimono" just like it at Use it Again Thrift Shop in Muskegon, Michigan.

Unfortunately, my dedication to finding a second-hand piece rather than rushing out to buy a brand new item came a little later than this spring/summer trend began, but that wasn't of much concern to me--I knew I could easily style it into fall!

For those of you who might have a kimono in your summer wardrobe, have no fear--you can transition this item in to your autumn rotation easily! Tips are bulleted below!




  • Pair your kimono with a longer item with more coverage, such as a long maxi dress (as I did)
  • Use a belt or other items to add extra layers (such as scarves, hats, etc.) to create texture and warmth
  • Try pairing your kimono with jeans and boots rather than shorts and sandals
  • Pair a kimono with a long sleeved shirt and a heavier bib necklace for an autumnal "boho" look
  • If you want to keep the shorts with your kimono, add tights and boots or closed toed shoes like Oxfords or flats
  • Add your kimono under a fur vest or another warm piece to add depth, length and warmth to your existing outfit


Looking for more tips on how to work your summer wardrobe in to fall? Check out this video from stylist Lindsey Albanese on EOnline.  Also, as this article from FashionMagazine.com states, it's really just about "adding on" to your staple pieces until you have a weather appropriate ensemble!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Dog Days of Garage Sales



The dog days of summer draw to an end; never mind a "woof!"-- I'm thinking more about a tortured howl, echoing down the streets and cul-de-sacs for miles around, dripping with the melancholy torment of someone who didn't hit anywhere NEAR the amount of yard sales she wanted to this year!

Oh, well. If I'd had my druthers, I would have pulled over at every single sale I saw on the side of the road this season (and in my head, I did!) but time simply didn't allow for it.

I did, however, make it to a few last weekend, and these are some of the simple treasures I found along the way for a mere $5. (Not pictured are three rings: one huge and fun rhinestone piece, and two other unusual costume rings). What can I say? I'm a sucker for vintage jewelry at .25 each and iconic religious art of all kinds. Usually I give it away to friends who collect, but this fabric oil painting was just weird enough to keep (it was bedazzled, OK?)! And...triangle earrings.


I decided to erect the art in my living room with a little shrine, surrounded by potted mint, succulents, and other oddities.


Enjoy these final dog days of summer, friends. 
Screw it, pull over and dig.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Pretty Pale Pink: Street Fashion in Grand Rapids


Street Fashion In Grand Rapids

Meet Katie! She was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan, but recently relocated to San Fransisco, California. I met Katie while volunteering for an amazing summer camp for girls in Grand Rapids called "Girls Rock Grand Rapids". Each year, this camp hosts a slew of spunky, creative young girls who are budding musicians and not only provides a safe space and instruments for them to create music with, but also helps the process along with inspirational and caring coaches and camp counselors! Within the camp roster, girls not only form bands but by the end of the week, they enjoy recording their original compositions and even performing them on stage! Just like last year, I taught a songwriting, singing and guitar workshop for the girls and then hung around to take photos and soak up all of the positive energy.

Katie complimented me on a pair of saddle shoes that I had recently thrifted at Seconds on Third and we got to talking about her outfit, which was also entirely thrifted, gifted, and hand made (her jewelry was both secondhand and handmade by a friend). Her favorite place to thrift is Salvation Army, or any other cheap mission thrift (my kinda gal!). I loved her shell pink hair and relaxed summer outfit. Check out the fashion highlights below!

IMG_9310 IMG_9320 IMG_9315 IMG_9322 IMG_9307

What We Can Learn From Katie:

--Stripes are always in. Always.

--Mix Pink and Red

--Add pops of unexpected color, like the seafoam green plugs in Katie's ear that contrast the pretty pink hair!

--Mix 'n' Match chunky silver rings or stack them 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Special Delivery: Playing catch up!


I've been a little irritated lately with the terribly sporadic delivery of Feedburner's email subscription for Thrift Trick! Getting blog posts delivered to your inbox is so darn convenient and wonderful...when it WORKS. If you've missed the last few entries I've posted, it could be because delivery has somehow been compromised. I've tweaked a few things and hope that it has fixed the problem, but unfortunately, this seems to be a recurring theme for me lately while using Feedburner's service. Do you have any advice to offer? Please leave a comment below!

PLAYING CATCH  UP: Here's what you may have missed!

With Product 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Younique Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes: Makeup Review

With Product

Younique Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes
Makeup Review

Love it. I love this product! But let's go back in time for a second...

A few weeks ago, an independent Younique consultant contacted me to ask if I would be interested in reviewing Younique Moodstruck 3D Fiber lashes. Of course, one of the main themes of my blog is being thrifty and buying secondhand or vintage. Naturally, I never buy used makeup! But I AM always looking for a deal. Rarely am I willing to shuck out the extra bucks unless I feel a product is WORTH it. When it comes to cosmetics, there are things I will and I won't pay extra for. 

This product IS worth it!

At $29 dollars, it won't break the bank, but definitely exceeds the price of drugstore mascara. And it won't replace your regular mascara, as it is meant to be added on to an existing product. However, the results are totally dramatic and instant, and I fell in love with the first use! Read about my experience, application tips, and how to order below! Look for another Younique product review coming soon from Thrift Trick. =)


Younique Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes arrived in a snazzy little case, complete with a set of instructions. The internet is exploding with tips and tutorial videos, like this one from Younique, so it isn't hard to find information on how to enhance your experience with the product.



Transplanting Gel and Natural Fibers picture courtesy of Younique

Here's how I did it: I applied all of my makeup, as normal. Here's what my eyes look like with NO mascara.

No mascara

I applied my normal brand of mascara. My absolute favorite (and what I used here) is L'Oreal Voluminous in Carbon Black. I made sure to apply carefully so that my lashes were as seperated as possible ahead of time. One coat, and I wiggled my application brush back and forth as I applied upwards to ensure good coverage. I let it dry--thoroughly!

regular mascara

I used the Transplanting Gel and Natural Fibers on one eye at a time, ONLY to my upper lashes. My personal preference was that it looked like a little too much when I applied to top and bottom lashes, and though I didn't experience much flaking or any eye irritation, I DID notice that applying the fibers to my bottom lashes increased this problem and looked less natural. When I applied the gel, I made sure the application was quick and not too thick. Afterwards, I carefully applied the Natural Fibers using brisk, upward movements to create length that didn't clump or gather too much in between individual lashes.


I used a cotton swab, rather than an eyelash comb, to remove the extra fibers. I found this to be more effective and less damaging to the fibers than an eyelash comb, though some people prefer to comb lashes afterward. I found that combing through reduced some of the dramatic look that I actually liked, but using a cotton swab instead removed excess fly-a-way fibers very well. I also used a cotton swab, slightly dampened, along the inner rim of my upper and lower lashes to ensure no fibers were trapped. (Expect a few fibers to fall while you apply this product). Throughout the day, I did not experience an excess of falling fibers, though there were a few. Nothing that would prevent me from using the product, and nothing that fell into my eyes or irritated them.

Just eyes


eyes mobile

A few mobile shots of my awesome results! 


-- If you are looking for a dramatic yet natural lash with little less clumping, apply this product to only your upper lashes, as I did.

--Apply to only one eye at a time, so that you have proper time to carefully (and quickly) apply the Natural Fibers. 

--Use a cotton swab, rather than an eyelash comb, to remove excess fibers and clumping. (I found the comb downplayed my results a bit).

--Make sure your initial application of mascara is as seperated and dry as possible before beginning applicaton.

Interested in buying this product? 

Order it here, through Younique representative Mindelei Wuori.

Also check out Younique's other products here, 
through my referral link: Younique

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