Thursday, July 18, 2013

homesick & spoiled

After a strange bout of homesickness, I decided to retreat to the mountains of my adolescence for a long weekend. My parents are such good parents and they spoil me like the only child I never was when I visit Roanoke. Yummy food, good conversations, fun outings, and the chance to be dependent again for a little while draws me to this place.

My weekend highlights...


I don't have a ton of lasting friendships from my years in Roanoke. Most of them have slowly {or rather quickly} dwindled, so getting the chance to hang out with one of my dearest friends in that town is a really special treat! Susan was my Young Life leader when I was in high school but our friendship has grown along with us. We went to this cute little bakery/restaurant that I had never been to- Wildflour cafe- and it was delicious! She is getting MARRIED this January so we had lots to talk about! I am looking so forward to watching her walk down the aisle. {I am in the stage where it's hard for me to be genuinely happy for someone getting engaged and married when I'm not, but with her it's 100% authentic.} 

..Salem Redsox..

{things to note about this photo: the fantastic mullet on that guy, bacon being sold at the
corn dog stand- naturally- and those people flying down the carnival version of Dropzone...
thanks but no thanks!}

I got some quality one-on-one time with Dad on Friday night when we escaped to a baseball game. It's been raining for 40 days and 40 nights in Roanoke, so when the clouds parted we made a mad dash for some time outside. Not only did we get to see the Redsox play {and it would be an understatement to say that Dad loves baseball}, but the Salem fair just happened to be in town. Needless to say, that provided a lot of added entertainment for us- people watching, elephants, livestock, and the sights and sounds of a good ol' fashioned carnival!

..Pottery Show..

For the past 2 years, my mama has been spending at least one night a week taking pottery classes. Then one Christmas Dad bought her a pottery wheel of her very own and pottery started sneaking into every conversation, free moment, and room and surface in the house {...all of our houses}. So when Mom told me that she was planning to host an open house to sell some of her pieces I really wanted to be there. It worked out and I got to be around for this kind-of-big-deal!! She is one talented mama! 

{I'm working on an Etsy account... if you're interested, her stuff is one-of-a-kind and pretty awesome for gifts... or cereal/ice cream bowls/jewelry holders... that's what I use mine for!}


If I think the thrifting is good in Staunton and Charlottesville, you should see how well I did in a city the size of Roanoke! I made out like a bandit {and found some pretty cute stuff for Mom, too}!
I'm considering a blogging series on my thrifting escapades... we'll see what comes of that idea!


As I was heading out of town I had this odd moment of pull-and-tug as I started to pass my all time favorite wrap and smoothie shop- Elderberry's. To stop or not to stop... it's never even a question! Ever since they came to town when I was in high school, they've been my favorite {way too expensive} treat. I grabbed a Pineapple Berry smoothie and was in heaven for my long ride home. 

Hope your weekends were as full of blessings as mine was! 
So much love, 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

the thrifting game

If you asked me, "Bethany, what are you good at?" I'd probably have a self-deprecating moment of "well, I'm not very good at anything.." and then a smile would cross my face and I'd correct my previous statement. "Actually, I'm really good at thrifting." 

I was raised by a mother who loves a good thrift store, who never met a yard sale she didn't like. I was raised to wonder 'why pay full price?' Let someone else do that, wear it/use it a few times, and then I'll take it off their hands for a fraction of what they paid. Some people get the heebie-jeebies at the thought of wearing someone else's cast offs- not me! 
I say "reduce, reuse, recycle" and I love every minute of it. 

Thrifting has turned into a hobby, a game, for me. But you have to learn the rules of the game to win. I feel the thrill of a win when someone compliments my outfit and I get to tell them that I rescued it from various Goodwill stores {and for less than $7.50 too!}. 

I'm not the least bit ashamed- those are some of my proudest moments! And it's just as fun for me to share my secret locations and tricks-of-the-trade with friends- so I thought that's what I'd do today! 

{My biggest thrifting win so far- a pair of new with-the-tags Banana Republic jeans in just my size. Original price: $89.90, I got them for $3.50}

The top 4 rules to my thrifting game:

1. Patience.
My advice is to go thrifting when you have time to spare. I can't handle walking into a thrift store just to be rushed through the experience. I need time to look through every rack to feel satisfied. Finding treasures is so hit or miss that you really need to see what they have. That being said, I've learned to move fast! No need to linger, you can usually tell by the fabric if it's something you'd be interested in or not. 

2. Be picky (but not too picky).
Rule of thumb: be very careful when buying anything white (especially shirts). Yucky yellow stains are inevitable. 

Don't feel trapped by the size you think you wear. Remember, these clothes have already been worn and washed so it's likely that they wont fit like new. Older clothes {or vintage} were probably made in different sizes too. So if you like it, hold it up, try it on, and go from there.  

Remember it's only $3.50 so live a little! Buy that pair of bright yellow skinny jeans that you might only wear once in a blue moon {see below}! It's okay!!

3. Make good choices. 
If you don't need pants, don't let yourself look at that rack of pants no matter how loudly they're calling your name. On the other hand, if you really need shirts- focus there and you will be rewarded!

If you're not sold on something, don't buy it! There will always be more. 

TRY IT ON!! You really never know if you don't try it on! I promise it's worth it! I get a cart {yes, I'm one of those people}, fill it up with all of my maybes, and then head to the dressing room once. Fun fact about me: I loathe multiple trips, so I do it all in one attempt. Just remember, it seriously never hurts to try! It helps me weed through my mistakes and walk away with only the real winners. 

Current favorites: 
*Charlottesville Goodwill {off Exit 124 on Pantops Rd.}
*Fredericksburg Goodwill Superstore {yes, apparently they have those}
*Staunton Goodwill

**Interesting fact: prices depend on where you are {aka the Waynesboro Goodwill is so much cheaper than Fredericksburg and Richmond} so keep that in mind when traveling.**

I can't wait to hear about all of your finds and thrifting wins! Please, please share them so I can celebrate with you! If you ever need a shopping buddy you know who to call! 

Happy thrifting, friends!