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Goodwill Keystone Area Fashion Blog

DIY Garden Decor

 

The height of summer is always a beautiful time in my gardens. The flowers are in full bloom and haven’t gotten hit by the heatwaves of late summer. I enjoy adding decorative ornaments to my garden, and recently I decided to make some for my flower beds.

Many of my craft, fashion, and food inspirations come from Pinterest, and this one was no different. I knew what I wanted to do but needed a little guidance. I started by searching “glass garden totems” and “glass garden mushrooms.”

It led me to different variations of building sparkling glass towers to accent my gardens. I chose my signature garden color – cobalt blue and then went shopping.

Almost any Goodwill Keystone Area store you visit will have a fantastic selection of glassware. I chose a variety of clear and blue pieces for my project. Sometimes I carefully played with the elements in the store to see how they’d fit together; other times, I took a chance and just bought pieces I liked.

Most of the instructions I read specified E600 glue. It dries clear, is waterproof, and is easily found at home improvement stores. After dry fitting the pieces (sometimes I took photos to remind myself how they went together), I washed them to remove all dirt and oils and let them air dry completely.

I recommend using the glue in a well-ventilated area and leaving the pieces to dry for at least 24 hours before placing them in your garden.

This was not an expensive project. Most glass pieces were between $0.99 and $3.99. The glue was under $5. Visit your local Goodwill Keystone Area store, choose your favorite colors and get creative!

From my garden to yours,
Kirsten

KirstenBlogHeadShot

About The Blogger

Kirsten is a 40-something mom, wife and marketing professional. She loves all things crafty, tasty and fashionable, especially while being frugal. She enjoys hunting for treasures at her local Goodwill Keystone Area stores to decorate her home and wardrobe.

Christmas in July 2022

 

Although it’s hot, sunny, and in the middle of July, Christmas is less than six months away! Back-to-school may be what you are shopping for and possibly a last-minute bathing suit, but keeping your eye out for Christmas and holiday decor is always an excellent thrift tip!

I’ve been to several Goodwill Keystone Area stores lately, and almost all have a shelf or two of holiday home decor and sometimes a rack of festive clothing. I always look because you never know what treasures you’ll discover for yourself or gifts.

There are several Christmas items I always look for when thrifting. First are festive or “ugly” Christmas sweaters. Whatever you want to call it, I enjoy adding a new one each season to my wardrobe to get into the spirit at work or when out with friends or family. This year I found one featuring a cute little gnome (a current trend), so I snapped it up for $4.99.

I also look for Spode Christmas Tree china and its coordinating items. So far this year, I found a small teddy bear dish, a candy bowl, and a pack of paper napkins (both were new-with tags). It’s great to add to one of my special holiday collections for just a few dollars.

Rounding out my recent purchases are a Mikasa crystal star ornament and a modern glass tree. I like to change up my decor every year. Be sure to donate if you decide to clean out your holiday stash – those items are helpful now. Please don’t wait until December to drop them off at your neighborhood Goodwill.

Start shopping now for the upcoming holidays – including Halloween and Thanksgiving – you can avoid the rush and maybe find some extraordinary presents.

Happy Christmas in July,
Kirsten
KirstenBlogHeadShot

About The Blogger

Kirsten is a 40-something mom, wife and marketing professional. She loves all things crafty, tasty and fashionable, especially while being frugal. She enjoys hunting for treasures at her local Goodwill Keystone Area stores to decorate her home and wardrobe.

Quick Thrift Trip

 

Whenever I only have a few minutes to hit up my local Goodwill Keystone Area store – I head for my favorite sections – the shoes and the dresses. A lightweight dress and comfy sandals are my summer uniform. They are two easy pieces that can adapt to different temperatures and situations in warm summer months. Adding a cardigan or jean jacket nips cool office air conditioning or a chilly evening in the bud.

A recent visit turned up these two dresses (which both had pockets = big bonus!) and sandals. The olive green dress from Lush (A brand found at Saks Fifth Avenue or Nordstrom; Goodwill: $6.99; Retail $59) is light, floaty, and great for work or date night. The cotton plaid Marc by Marc Jacobs rainbow sundress (Goodwill: $6.99; Retail $200) gives me serious 80s vibes. However, it has a more casual feel and would be perfect for brunch with friends. I could layer it over a crisp white fitted t-shirt to change up the look.

I purchased the leopard-print Loft sandals (shown with the olive dress). (Goodwill: $3.99; Retail $69). Sadly, the Toms black leather sandals were not the right size, so I left them behind.

Maybe you’re shopping over a lunch break; maybe you have your kids in tow. When you only have a short amount of time but are on the lookout for Goodwill thrift finds head to your favorite sections. Maybe it’s purses; maybe it’s home goods – whatever it is, make it a fun and quick treasure hunt.

From my closet to yours,
Kirsten

Dresses: $6.99 each
Sandals: $3.99
Goodwill: $17.97
Retail: $328

KirstenBlogHeadShot

About The Blogger

Kirsten is a 40-something mom, wife and marketing professional. She loves all things crafty, tasty and fashionable, especially while being frugal. She enjoys hunting for treasures at her local Goodwill Keystone Area stores to decorate her home and wardrobe.

Thrifting Among Friends

 

My friends always seem to appreciate getting a thrifted gift from me. And on some occasions, my close friends, who know my taste and style, give me a thrifted gift! And that makes those items even more special.

My friend Kristan picked up this treasure for me at a local Goodwill Keystone Area store. This dusty pink vinyl geometric bag, a replica of a Bao Bao Issey Miyake style (retail $350), is a great little summer bag. It has a herringbone lining and zippered pockets inside. It was the inspiration for this outfit.

I added a floral split-neck Loft dress (Goodwill: $6.99; Retail: $79) which features summery shades of pink, orange and blue. I can wear it as is or layer it on a cooler day with a cardigan or jacket.

I shared a DIY version a few weeks ago but found a new with-tags Denizen from Levi’s black cropped denim jacket on a recent outing. (Goodwill: $12.99; Retail: $49) It’s made of a lightweight stretch denim and has a fun silhouette for warmer days.

My flip-flops are more substantial than dollar store versions, which are much better for your feet. These white leather ones from B.O.C. Born Concept have a nice padded foot bed and a slightly stacked heel. Similar styles sell for $55, but these were only $7.47 at Goodwill.

The old saying that “It’s the thought that counts” definitely applies when giving or getting a thrifted gift from Goodwill Keystone Area Stores!

From my closet to yours,
Kirsten

Dress: $6.99
Jacket: $12.99
Shoes: $7.47
Bag: gifted
Total: $27.45
Retail: $200+

KirstenBlogHeadShot

About The Blogger

Kirsten is a 40-something mom, wife and marketing professional. She loves all things crafty, tasty and fashionable, especially while being frugal. She enjoys hunting for treasures at her local Goodwill Keystone Area stores to decorate her home and wardrobe.

Goodwill Gal-a

 

I’ve been a Goodwill gal for a long time, but this is the first time I got to shop for a gala outfit in a while. I work for a non-profit special education school, and our first large gala in a few years is happening soon. It’s a major fundraiser for us, so it is an actual gala with beautiful decor, delicious food, fantastic auction items, and a musical performance by our students and adult participants.

Of course, I headed to Goodwill Keystone Area for my outfit. Since I am working the event, I needed something comfortable, stylish, and maybe a little sparkly. An obvious choice was an “lbd” (little black dress). In this case, it is a lace overlay shift-style from Ann Taylor. (Goodwill: $6.99; Retail: $79). The only thing that would have made this dress more perfect work have been pockets!

The next important item was footwear. I needed shoes that were comfortable but wanted something fun. The rose-gold wedges from New York Transit were a great find. The sturdy wedge will help me run around all evening assisting guests, and the neutral color elongates the leg, making this petite girl appear a bit taller! (Goodwill: $7.47; Retail: $69)

Accessories included a rose-gold beaded necklace from the Goodwill Keystone Area Boutique in the Phoenixville Store ($4.99) and a striped Loft clutch, found new-with-tags for $6.97. (Retail: $49).

Goodwill should be your first choice when looking for formalwear. For something you only wear for one or maybe two events, thrifting fancy duds is a great way to save money and help your community and environment. Goodwill Keystone Area offers so many different options for your wardrobe – from extremely casual to black tie, and it should be your go-to for whatever your closet needs!

From my closet to yours,
Kirsten

Dress: $6.99
Shoes: $7.47
Necklace: $4.99
Clutch: $6.97
Total: $26.42
Retail: $230+

KirstenBlogHeadShot

About The Blogger

Kirsten is a 40-something mom, wife and marketing professional. She loves all things crafty, tasty and fashionable, especially while being frugal. She enjoys hunting for treasures at her local Goodwill Keystone Area stores to decorate her home and wardrobe.

Edgy Denim

 

Spring is the perfect time for a denim DIY project or two. And Goodwill Keystone Area is the ideal place to pick up some pieces to get crafty without spending a lot!

Raw hems on jeans have been popular for several years now. Being petite, I LOVE this trend since I could alter my denim without sewing. Skinny jeans were the jeans of choice for several years, but I have recently seen cropped flares or kick crops. They are a fun alternative to a tapered hem.

The Goodwill Keystone Area outlets are the best place to get clothing to experiment on, whether it be tie-dye, bleach dye, or chopping off of hems or sleeves. These Calvin Klein flairs were a great bin find at less than one dollar and the perfect width at the bottom to cut. I looked at a couple of online versions of kick crops to decide on my length. I marked the length with a pencil and started cutting. Next, I got a stiff wire brush and gave the edge a good scrubbing. Washing and drying will soften the edges. And if you want them shorter, it’s as easy as cutting another inch or two off and repeating the process.

This spring, another denim DIY trend I saw on Instagram is a denim jacket hack. I looked up a few examples and got to work again. This time I cut off the collar, bottom, and sleeves of a Gap jacket I got at a Goodwill retail store for $10.25. I was a little more nervous with this one since I’ve never chopped up a jacket before, but I think it turned out fantastic after cutting and roughing the edges up. I feel like it’s a trendy little Channel jean jacket!

Don’t be afraid to hack your denim! Goodwill Keystone Area makes it easy and affordable to try a few new techniques! If you need some inspiration, go to https://www.pastemagazine.com/design/10-ways-to-diy-your-denim/ 

WATCH KIRSTEN’S DIY DENIM VIDEO

From my close to yours,
Kirsten

KirstenBlogHeadShot

About The Blogger

Kirsten is a 40-something mom, wife and marketing professional. She loves all things crafty, tasty and fashionable, especially while being frugal. She enjoys hunting for treasures at her local Goodwill Keystone Area stores to decorate her home and wardrobe.

Wearing & Saving Green

 

With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner and falling on a weekday, I decided to pull together an office-appropriate look for this week’s blog.

Of course, the outfit had to start with green! The background of the floral, bell-sleeve blouse from Loft was a deep hunter green. I love the drapey, lightweight fabric that is perfect for this time of year when the temperatures can swing pretty easily during the day. (Goodwill: $6.99; Retail $64.50)

I used the colors on the floral print to choose the rest of the outfit. The light-khaki capris (also from Loft) are a wardrobe staple for office workers in the spring and summer months. Their neutral tone lends itself to being paired with about any other color. (Goodwill: $6.99; Retail $69)

The black Mary Jane wedges are classic and comfortable. They’ve resided in my closet for several years and can go from dressy to casual quite easily. (Goodwill: $7.47; Retail: $79) The bag from Relic provides another pop of hunter green. (Goodwill: $6.97; Retail $59)

Lastly, the statement necklace from Stella and Dot was a splurge purchase for $15 from the boutique in the Phoenixville Goodwill Keystone Area store. However, I didn’t mind paying that price since a quick search revealed it was $139 when new!

Not only does shopping at Goodwill Keystone Area stores save me green, but it’s also good for our environment and community. It doesn’t take luck to be thrifty! Visit your local Goodwill store today!

From my closet to yours,
Kirsten

Goodwill: $43.42
Retail: $410

KirstenBlogHeadShot

About The Blogger

Kirsten is a 40-something mom, wife and marketing professional. She loves all things crafty, tasty and fashionable, especially while being frugal. She enjoys hunting for treasures at her local Goodwill Keystone Area stores to decorate her home and wardrobe.

Cooking Up Something Good(will)

 

I know this is usually a fashion blog, but Goodwill Keystone Area stores sell so much more than just clothing and accessories! I have recently been on the hunt for new additions to my kitchen, so today, this is more of a food blog.

My sister is also a Goodwill thrifter and has found some fantastic things. A few years ago, she gifted me three Le Creuset pans (she was lucky enough to find a whole set at a Goodwill outlet!). She gave me two small turquoise skillets and a yellow grill pan. They are high-quality, sturdy cookware that will last a lifetime.

Recently I came across two sets of the bright red Le Creuset ramekins and snapped them up, knowing one set would be for me and one for her. Since it is almost Valentine’s Day, I decided to whip up a batch of chocolate lava cakes to give them a test run. The ceramic ramekins cooked evenly and quickly. I can’t wait to give a set to her. I know she’ll make something delicious in them! The set of 8 was $4.99, and the set of 4 was $2.99 – a fantastic bargain knowing they retail for much more.

I’ve included my recipe for the Chocolate Lava Cakes below if you want to give it a try. The secret is to undertake them just a bit, so your interior stays molten and delicious.

Goodwill Keystone Area stores help you spice up your wardrobe and your kitchen! Don’t forget to check out the houseware aisles when you visit! Every item you buy at Goodwill benefits your community and the environment.

Chocolate Lava Cakes

Ingredients

  • 4 oz chocolate (milk, bittersweet or semi-sweet – use your favorite and you can even use chocolate chips)
  • 4 oz butter (1 stick)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon Instant coffee or espresso powder (optional, but makes it extra rich!)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Generously butter and dust 6 (4 oz) ramekins with cocoa powder or sugar; set aside.
  • In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate and butter in 30-second increments.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and sugar until pale and fluffy. Fold in the melted chocolate along with the flour, vanilla, and instant coffee if desired. Whisk until smooth and creamy.
  • Divide batter into ramekins and place them on a baking sheet. Bake 12 minutes or until the edges begin to pull away from the ramekins but the center is still jiggly.
  • Remove from oven and serve immediately with ice cream, whipped cream or berries.

From my kitchen to yours,
Kirsten

KirstenBlogHeadShot

About The Blogger

Kirsten is a 40-something mom, wife and marketing professional. She loves all things crafty, tasty and fashionable, especially while being frugal. She enjoys hunting for treasures at her local Goodwill Keystone Area stores to decorate her home and wardrobe.

Blue Suede Boots

 

Recently, and quite unexpectedly, I came across one of my holy grail/wish list items – a pair of navy boots. Not only were they navy, but they were also suede cowboy boots that were already broken in! This is a big deal if you are familiar with cowboy boots.

I had a few moments to myself and dashed into the Morgantown Goodwill Keystone Area store. Limited on time, I chose just two departments to focus on – home goods and shoes. I might have found something in the home goods aisles, but I honestly don’t remember since the delight of finding the boots was overwhelming.

Since my purchase, I have found that despite their specific shade, they are surprisingly versatile. The boots go well with dark wash jeans, browns, and gray.

For this look, I styled them with a fantastic print blouse from Matthew Williamson for Macy’s from 2011. (Goodwill: $6.99; Retail: $69) This was a capsule collection he created exclusively for the retailer. An article at the time stated: “Each piece perfectly captures the bold, easy glamour and haute hippie aesthetic that Williamson is known for. Floaty Spring scarves, ruffled blouses, and drool-worthy dresses are punctuated by ’70s-inspired prints and bold pops of color.” I do enjoy this blouse for its uniqueness, and would love to find some other pieces from the original collection.

To tone down the blouse, simple skinny gray cords from Democracy were a perfect choice. (Goodwill: $6.99; Retail: $78). This style “Ab”solution® Corduroy Straight Leg Pant is still available on their website in a variety of colors.

Finally, the boots! A little research on my blue suede boots turned up that they are Vittori Ricci, a luxury brand that was founded in 1975. Their original boutique opened up across from Bloomingdale’s flagship store in NYC. Their billion-dollar brand has been featured in runway shows, publications, and on many well-heeled New Yorkers! Boots on their website sold for up to $1,200. My Goodwill price was $11.47. Not a bad find!

Always keep your eyes open with shopping at Goodwill Keystone Area stores. Even a quick trip can uncover a beloved treasure. These boots will be a wonderful addition to my wardrobe for years to come!

From my closet to yours,
Kirsten

Pants: $6.99
Sweater: $6.99
Boots: $11.47
Total: $25.45
Retail: $750

KirstenBlogHeadShot

About The Blogger

Kirsten is a 40-something mom, wife and marketing professional. She loves all things crafty, tasty and fashionable, especially while being frugal. She enjoys hunting for treasures at her local Goodwill Keystone Area stores to decorate her home and wardrobe.

Make Your Own Sunshine

 

Just because some of these cold winter days can be gray, there is no reason for your wardrobe to be. I thoroughly believe in making my sunshine, and as you can tell, colors and patterns make me happy. I spent too many years trying to fit in, so now I use my clothes to stand out. Working at a school is the perfect place to showcase fun patterns and bright hues.

I recently bought these Loft palazzo pants (Goodwill: $6.99; Retail: $79.00), and instead of saving them for warmer months, I decided to break them out on one of the coldest days we’ve had lately! There are so many colors in the floral, that I easily paired it with a chunky heathered peach sweater, also from Loft (Goodwill: $7.75; Retail: $69.50). Warm socks and neutral boots from Steve Madden (Goodwill: $7.47; Retail: $99.00) rounded out the look.

This cozy sweater is also perfect with skinny dark wash jeans (for contrast) and tall boots. The pants can be a year-round wardrobe addition. The pants work well with blouses, or even a t-shirt and denim vest to make the look more casual. Layer on necklaces and have fun with this outfit.

Visit your local Goodwill Keystone Area store and peruse the aisles for some bright floral prints. Make your own sunshine and wear what makes you happy! Shopping at Goodwill also makes me happy since it benefits your local communities and the environment.

P.S. Don’t forget to BYOB (bring your own bag) or purchase a reusable one when checking out!

From my closet to yours,
Kirsten

Pants: $6.99
Sweater: $7.75
Boots: $7.47

Total: $22.21
Retail: $247.50

KirstenBlogHeadShot

About The Blogger

Kirsten is a 40-something mom, wife and marketing professional. She loves all things crafty, tasty and fashionable, especially while being frugal. She enjoys hunting for treasures at her local Goodwill Keystone Area stores to decorate her home and wardrobe.