Author Archives: yourg724

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.

Christmas Gifts, Decor and More!

 

Where can you go to purchase holiday décor, presents, and maybe even a surfing Santa Hawaiian shirt? Well, Goodwill Keystone Area, of course! Goodwill is a one-stop-shop when it comes to most of your shopping needs. They even sell snacks at some of the ones I frequent! You almost don’t need to go anywhere else.

I always do a lot of my holiday shopping at Goodwill. I begin looking at the Christmas wares and apparel as soon as they hit the shelves.

The very festive surfing Santa Hawaiian shirt is a fun piece for me to model, but would also make a great gift for a dad, grandfather, or another man in your life. It certainly is a conversation starter, and for $4.99, it is a great novelty gift.

Accessories are always good presents, and I picked this scarf and hat combo at the Goodwill outlet. Scarves are great pieces to liven up a simple outfit, especially when they are a bold color or a festive pattern.

My daughters often go thrifting with me, and on Black Friday we visited a Goodwill store. They picked out a few things for me to tuck away for Christmas. My oldest daughter chose the framed butterfly (Goodwill $1.99; Retail $30), and my youngest chose a stack of books.

As for décor, the shelves have been full of colorful baubles, housewares, and decorations for several months now. I always look for something to catch my eye, and on my latest trip, I found the outdoor Snoopy flag and something I was very excited about finding – a Margaret Furlong porcelain ornament. I have collected these seashell-themed ornaments for years. They regularly sell for $30 – $60, but my Goodwill find was just $2.99!

Put Goodwill Keystone Area at the top of your list when shopping this holiday season. Besides providing economical items for yourself and your loved ones, your purchases benefit your local community and the environment.

Happy holidays from my family to yours,
Kirsten

Santa Hawaiian shirt: $4.99
Hat & scarf: $1.99
Snoopy flag: $1.99
Angel ornament: $2.99
Framed Butterfly: $1.99
Books: $1.99 each

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 on a Dollar

 

The holiday season has begun! Lights, decorations, shopping! My gift list includes my husband, my girls, close family, and friends, and I’ve already found a few gifts for each of them at my local Goodwill Keystone Area stores. But, I also like to pick up a few festive additions to my wardrobe. Since the holiday season is so short, I don’t like to pay a lot for clothing that might only be worn for a month.

Goodwill already has great prices on Christmas sweaters, pajamas, and the like. But, a visit to the Goodwill Keystone Area outlet in Reading provided me with several holiday sweaters, a scarf, and a dress suitable for New Year’s Eve for under $5! (This haul also included a Gap jean jacket and tie-dye hoodie I save for later posts).

Holiday sweaters are easy to spot in the bins of clothing. Two bright red Talbots sweaters and a fluffy chenille scarf were quickly snagged up and placed into my cart. Sorting through bins of asserting clothing may not be for the novice thrifter, but I enjoy the thrill of the hunt! The Nine West sparkly dress was also an easy find. It was missing its belt, but those are easy to replace and customize.

After a wash and dry, my sweaters made their debut at two of our annual family outings. The first was our trip to a Christmas tree farm. We always get our tree early since my oldest daughter had to go back to college, and I wore the snowflake sweater along with a coordinating scarf.

The next event was an “Evening of Joy” at a local greenhouse. The Fair Isle-inspired sweater had accents of black and white and a delicate beaded accent.

Wearing bright red at the holidays is an easy way to get in the spirit. I got several compliments on each sweater, and people are always impressed when I proudly tell them they came from Goodwill.

Whether you venture to the outlets or stick to the regular stores, don’t forget to pick up a few festive additions to your holiday wardrobe. You’re helping your community and the environment, and that’s a great feeling this time of year!

From my closet to yours,
Kirsten

Sweaters: less than $1
Scarf: $0.50
Retail: Sweaters $90 each

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.

Mad for Fall Plaid

 

Every autumn this type of outfit shows up on my feed in slightly different variations – dark windowpane plaid pants (in whatever the popular style happens to be) and a solid top featuring one of the colors in the plaid.

Earlier this season, I saw this exact outfit at a mall store. I knew it would be easy to replicate with pieces from Goodwill Keystone Area, and I had honestly been hunting for this type of pants for several years now.

This outfit came together as mine usually do when I am searching the aisles at Goodwill: I start with the pants or skirts, find a pattern I like and then head to the tops to find a coordinating piece. (Or sometimes I start with the patterned top). Either way, I know I will have something that works and not take home an orphan piece of clothing that will never get worn.

I love these pants because they are cozy and flattering. Covid has made me realize I want to be comfortable in my clothing, and items that pinch, bind, or otherwise make me feel bad have no room in my closet.

Stretch fabrics are forgiving, and pairing these classic pants from Attyre (Goodwill: $5.29; Retail: $50) with a well-cut, structured sweatshirt from Aerie (Goodwill: $4.99; Retail: $50) make it even more perfect of an outfit. And navy and burgundy are always a perfect fall color combo.

As for accessories, I pulled a few classic pieces from my closet purchased years ago from Goodwill, but regularly reused and loved: Kate Spade patent leather wedges, a Banana Republic bag, and a vintage gold necklace.

All of these pieces together make this the perfect autumn outfit. The fact that it is from Goodwill Keystone Area is even better. Every day, your purchases at Goodwill help your local community and keep items out of landfills. It’s a win-win!

From my closet to yours,
Kirsten

Pants: $5.29
Shirt: $4.99
Shoes: $19.99
Bag: $6.97
Necklace: $3.97
Total: $41.21
Retail: $450
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.

October = Breast Cancer Awareness Month

 

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of styling two models for the Breast Cancer Support Services of Berks County fashion show in completely thrifted outfits from Goodwill Keystone Area.

Featured models in the fashion show were all breast cancer survivors. Each of them had amazing stories of how their cancer was discovered, their treatment, and their recovery. They glowed as they walked the runway cheered on by family and friends. One of my models, Tracey, graciously offered to pose and be featured on this blog. Tracey was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer at age 42 in 2018. She is now cancer-free and living life to the fullest. She’s grateful for the support she received from her friends and family, her mother, Marge (also a survivor) and her husband, Matt

Tracey’s casual date-night or weekend brunch look is 100% thrifted from Goodwill Keystone Area. The sheer floral blouse is from Forever 21. We layered it over an orange tank top for an extra dose of color. Chico’s Perfect Stretch pants are a great staple for her wardrobe. To add more autumnal hues, we added an olive jacket from Michael Kors, and a Universal Thread bag in a beautiful pumpkin shade. Purple loafers from Vionic completed the look. Tracey’s complete look was only $37 but retailed for over $400.

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women, and about 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 13%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifetime. I had my own brush with a potential breast cancer diagnosis earlier this year, but diligent doctors and regular mammograms revealed all was well. I am grateful for the dedicated medical professionals who advocate for women’s health. Breast cancer awareness isn’t just wearing pink – it’s something we all should be aware of, if not for us, for the women in our lives. I’m grateful to Goodwill Keystone Area for supporting my models and helping them look great for less!

From my closet 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.