Category Archives: Uncategorized

Perennial Fall Classics

 

Fall will be here any moment now. School is back in session, days are getting shorter and cooler, and my thoughts are turning to autumnal fashion.

I can still remember from my junior high days the thrill of going to the mall to look at the latest offerings from Gap (a gold standard in my teen years in the 80s), Esprit, and Bennetton. The popped collars, the pegged jeans (little did we know then that this trend would take on a life of its own as skinny jeans), and v-neck cable sweaters could all be seen in the hallways of my school. Bold colors, plaid patterns, and textured fabrics, including corduroy, are still among my favorite styles.

Luckily, Goodwill Keystone Area stores offer all these items and so much more. I decided to recreate a look from my teen years, but give it a modern spin, when I found these yellow suede, tasseled loafers from Coach. 15-year-old Kirsten would have loved these as much as 48-year-old Kirsten does. They were a splurge at $19.99 (retail: $195), but they are timeless and will be a unique addition to my closet.

Since the shoes are a very specific color, I looked around for a sweater or blouse to coordinate with them. When I found the yellow plaid blouse, with front ruffled detail from Gap, I knew I had a winner. This piece would have also been an 80s-approved look. My cost was $4.99, retail was $69.

Instead of skinny jeans, I wanted a different silhouette so the Heartbreaker High Rise Bootcut jeans from Hudson were perfect. They have a unique cut hem that will look even better with heeled booties. Hudson is another premium denim brand I love finding at Goodwill. My cost was $7.25, but you can still buy this style for $185.

To finish off the outfit, I added a hunter green bag from Relic. Relic is a brand owned by Fossil (who made watches and accessories starting in 1984), so this was the perfect finishing touch for my 80s homage look. (Goodwill: $9.99; Retail: $50).

What goes around, comes around, and updating styles from your younger days adds a layer of fun and nostalgia to your wardrobe. Goodwill Keystone Area makes it easy and affordable to channel whatever look you are going for.

From my closet to yours,
Kirsten

Loafers: $19.99
Blouse: $4.99
Jeans: $7.25
Bag: $9.99

Total: $42.22
Retail: $500

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.

Trickle-Down Effect

 

A back-to-school staple for any active girl (or mom-on-the-go) is athletic leggings. But not just any leggings anymore – the kind with pockets are game-changers. Thrown them on to wear to school with a sweatshirt and sneakers, or for most sports practices, yoga classes, a simple jog in the park, or like me – a walk around the neighborhood with my pup, Penny.

As with any trend – good, bad, or with practical features like leggings with pockets – it eventually makes its way to Goodwill Keystone Area stores, and recently I easily snapped up three pairs of these fabulously utilitarian and comfortable wardrobe staples.

No more sticking a key in your shoe for a run, or looking for a fanny pack to tuck your phone into. These pockets hold all that and more.

Ask any woman what her wardrobe needs, and the answer may be pockets. I’ve seen wedding dresses with pockets, and it always feels like a win when you find a casual dress with them. They make life a whole lot more convenient.

The pair featured in the photos is from Calia from Carrie Underwood. They retailed for about $60, but my Goodwill cost was $4.95. I wasn’t real familiar with Calia, but their website states “ We believe it’s the smallest details that make the biggest impact in your everyday. Like stay-put waistbands, clothes that are easy to care for, and styles that fit seamlessly into whatever you’re doing, in and out of the gym. It’s fitness apparel designed for your life, so you never have to sacrifice fashion for function or your lifestyle for your workout.”

The other leggings with pockets pictured include the black and gray color block ones from Reebok (Goodwill: $4.95; retail: $55) and the green camouflage from All In Motion (a Target brand – Goodwill: $4.95; retail: $35).

The pandemic has made athleisure pieces such as these leggings a necessity. With Zoom meetings, you could be wearing a blouse or blazer for the camera, but be super comfortable with leggings underneath. Or, if you’re back to work in an office and dressing up, you may reach for these and a t-shirt as soon as you get home.

No matter what trend you are looking for, it eventually makes its way to your local Goodwill Keystone Area store. Keep thrifting and today’s fashions are tomorrow’s treasures at Goodwill.

From my closet to yours,
Kirsten

Leggings: $4.95 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.

Back-To-School, Apartment Edition

 

August is all about back-to-school! Clothing, new shoes, school supplies, and much more! I may not have small children buying a new box of crayons and lunch bags, but I do have older children that still need school supplies and eventually, some new clothes. And Goodwill Keystone Area is always our favorite place to search for whatever they might need.

My oldest, a college junior, is moving into an apartment with three other friends. They wisely created a spreadsheet to decide who was bringing what. Among the things she was tasked with supplying, was a set of dishes and a few miscellaneous kitchen supplies.

She could have easily gone to a big box store and quickly picked up a standard set of dishes and probably not spent that much. However, she likes a more vintage aesthetic and is already a fan of thrift shopping and other sustainable activities.

We hit up the largest store in our area – the Shillington Goodwill store. There are aisles of home goods – all sorted by color – like most stores are. It was easy to check the aisles of the colors she liked. We passed over the pink and purple sections and concentrated on the white, yellow, and orange sections.

After some deliberation and comparing how some pieces would look together, she decided on this Hearthside Garden Festival Prarie Flower pattern set for $9.99. The set included a platter, seven large plates, seven small plates, two bowls, eight saucers, and another bowl. There was also a covered dish, being sold separately, that matched the set she selected for $3.99. If you are keeping track, that’s 26 pieces for $13 or .50 cents per piece.

Not only is she helping her local community by supporting Goodwill with her purchases, but she is also keeping items out of a landfill, and she got a much higher quality product than she could have on her budget.

Most college students have a mug collection, so she knew her friends would bring their own. After combing the aisles a few more times, she also chose this Frida Kahlo mug for $1.99 and another vintage piece – a funky chicken trivet for .99 cents.

Goodwill Keystone Area should always be your first choice for homewares. I love that my daughters embrace and choose thrift shopping for items at Goodwill versus going to the mall or large department stores. Now we have to start shopping for their new wardrobes. I’m sure that’s going to take a lot longer than just half an hour!

From my closet to yours,
Kirsten

Dishes: $9.99
Covered Dish: $2.99
Mug: $1.99
Trivet: .99

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.

Staycation Style

 

My family and I have still been sticking close to home this summer, but we have been doing some exploring in our back yard, visiting sites in our county we may have not seen before. It’s surprising how many local attractions, shops, restaurants and more that we had not had the chance to visit yet. The pandemic made me realize that my county (Berks) is full of unique architecture, lots of history, beautiful vistas, and much more.

Touring the towns, neighborhoods, and countryside close to home, even if just for a few hours, might help you reminisce about childhood memories, provide more background about your local history and heritage and give you more pride about where you live. Do an internet search for your city, town, or county’s attractions and explore the results! You may find a few things you didn’t know were so close by. Don’t forget to think like a tourist!

On a recent visit to Reading, I coordinated a blog outfit for a site-seeing excursion. We’ve been battling our way through a hot, humid summer, so comfortable and lightweight are must-haves every day lately. I’m ready for fall fashions, but we still have July and August to get through!

This navy floral blouse from Loft (Goodwill: $4.95; Retail: $59) just skimmed my frame and didn’t cling to me. Come fall, I can add a cardigan or jacket and extend this summer staple into a new season. InStyle just shared an article that dark florals will be popular this autumn and winter. Why not start adding some to your wardrobe now?

Who doesn’t love denim shorts? You can dress them up or down, wear them out or mow your lawn. These classics from Gap (Goodwill: $4.99; Retail: $49) are perfect for any summer occasion.

Comfortable shoes are a must and these Bandolino navy sandals (Goodwill: $7.47; Retail: $79) worked well for a cruise around some historic neighborhoods. I definitely would have worn something sturdier if we had been walking farther. But, these work well for a casual tour or a day at work, or a night out.

For a final pop of color, I added a large tote from Kate Spade(Goodwill: $20; Retail: $300). I splurged on this at $20 at my local Goodwill Keystone Area store, but it was well worth it. After checking it over for authenticity, I knew I would get my money’s worth from the investment. It held all my necessities – sunscreen, water bottles, and snacks.

When exploring, don’t forget to Google the locations of all your nearby Goodwill Keystone Area stores! You need a souvenir of your travels, and I can’t think of a better place to get something special to remind you of your staycation!

From my closet to yours,
Kirsten

Top: $4.95
Shorts: $4.99
Sandals: $7.47
Bag: $20.00
Total: $37.41
Retail: $487

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.

Chic in the Heat

 

Summer has arrived in the Goodwill Keystone Area, and it brought its friends – heat and humidity. I expect heat waves in July and August, but this early bout of warm weather has me dressing as light as possible. I want to stay looking stylish and cool, especially now that restrictions are being lifted, and I’m spending more time out and about, not just going to work and the grocery store.

When the temps soar, I don’t reach for shorts and tank tops – my go-to article of clothing is a dress. I love a light A-line cut in the summer – one made of breezy fabric with a floaty hemline. You don’t want anything hugging or clinging to you – you want cotton, linen, or jersey fabrics with simple styles and cuts. Lighter color fabrics also reflect light, keeping you cooler.

Since I’m such a fan of prints, these two Loft dresses (Retail: $79; Goodwill: $7.95)

were obvious choices for my summer wardrobe. With the addition of a few accessories, these dresses are perfect for the office, brunch, or a night on the town. They could even double as bathing suit cover-ups at the beach.

I wore the white floral dress to dinner to celebrate my 25th anniversary recently. I love the cap sleeve and ruffled hem. I added pink and gray snakeskin-print sandals from Bobs (by Sketchers) which are some of the most comfortable shoes I own. (Retail: $50; Goodwill: $7.47) Throw on a coordinating Coach bag (Retail: $200; Goodwill: $12.99), and I’m ready for whatever the heatwave throws at me.

The next look is a graphic red and black print Loft dress with tassels on the neckline. It is extremely lightweight, and I have worn it several times to work with different shoes and even flip-flops. I love the versatility of the style. I added gold sandals from J Crew I featured before and were a great find for $7.47 (Retail: $100). The final touch was a Michael Kors crossbody bag (Retail: $99; Goodwill: $6.99). I like carrying smaller, lighter-weight bags in the summer, so I don’t overload them with unnecessary items. My necessities in the summer, besides the regular items, include a small tube of sunscreen and a hair tie.

No matter the weather, Goodwill Keystone Area has got you covered, or uncovered, whatever the case may be. Feel good about spending your dollars on an organization that keeps your community cool.

Kirsten

Outfit 1:
Dress: $7.95
Sandals: $7.47
Bag: $12.99
Total: $28.41
Retail: $329

Outfit 2:
Dress: $7.95
Sandals: $7.47
Bag: $6.99
Total: $22.41
Retail: $278

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.

Small Thrift Haul

 

On a recent afternoon after work, I decided to head to the Goodwill Keystone Area outlet in Reading. It was around the time I was tie-dyeing, and I was looking for some clothing victims to bleach or dye. I didn’t have an agenda, but I did have a timeline – about 45 minutes.

Goodwill Keystone Outlet stores are very different than their regular retail stores. First of all, the Reading location is huge! Clothing, accessories, and housewares are sold by the pound (which varies as to the class of item). Shoes are a flat rate of $2.75. Merchandise is rotated regularly, and there’s always a rush to get the new bins to discover treasures that were missed from other stores.

Items I typically look for at the outlet include: premium denim (I have found Paige, Hudson, 7 for All Mankind, and more as well as the Citizens of Humanity pair (see below), vintage t-shirts, collegiate sweatshirts for my daughter, and items I can alter without guilt if I mess them up. You can find Christmas items in July and shorts in winter – it’s never the same place twice.

I spent about $8 that day, and this is what I got:

  • Citizens of Humanity Arielle mid-rise slim jeans (Retail: $170)
  • 2015 Vintage Fall Out Boy t-shirt (Retail: $30)
  • Loft beige and pink polka dot blouse (Retail $59)
  • Chico’s Premium Denim shorts (Retail: $65)
  • Turkey Hill Experience t-shirt (Retail: $15)
  • Gap cropped boot cut denim (Retail: 69)
  • Maeve (Anthropologie brand) velvet tunic (Retail: $138)
  • Talbots white denim jacket (Retail: $99)

Retail on all these items when new was about $650! I saved over 98%, helped support my local community and fostered sustainability. Wearing used clothes is a choice I have been making for over 30 years. It makes sense for the environment, and I feel good that my purchases support Goodwill Keystone Area’s mission.

Shopping at outlet stores may be a little more challenging than a typical Goodwill Keystone Area retail store, but the rewards are much bigger I have found some of my best treasures in the bins. Keep digging – you never know what you may find!

From my closet to yours,
Kirsten

Goodwill cost: $8
Retail value: $650
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.

How Does Your Goodwill Garden Grow?

 

If you’re a regular reader of the blog, you know I love a great floral print. However, I don’t just like wearing florals, I enjoy growing flowers and plants of all types.

My outfit is perfect for these warm summer days we’ve been having – a comfortable t-shirt, flowy pants, and golden sandals. The top and pants are from Loft and when I wear it, I feel like I have loungewear on, but it’s dressy enough for my office. The sandals were from J Crew and are a nice neutral gold, which will compliment any outfit from dresses to shorts this summer.

When I shop at my local Goodwill Keystone Area stores, I don’t just look at the fashions. I always check the housewares section and now that spring is here, I keep an eye out for garden items.

I will use the amber glass containers as planters for miniature succulent gardens. Succulents are all the rage right now and you can grow them in almost any kind of container. They would look great in teacups or even vintage cupcake pans.

The first red pot was a Smith & Hawken find. The original price tag was $15.99. I love pops of red in my garden, so that is one color I am on the lookout for when thrifting.

The metal piece with the air plants is probably meant to hold Easter eggs, but it was perfect for showcasing some of my air plants. It is unique and doesn’t take up a lot of space.

One tip I have for chipped pottery is to dig out your nail polish! The textured, bright red planter was new with tags but had a few tiny white chips on the very edge. I sorted through my basket of nail polish and found a red that almost completely matched the pottery. A few careful dabs and the pot was perfect again!

The last pictured pot is made to look like old pottery but is brand new and well suited to one of my Christmas cacti.

Next time you visit your neighborhood Goodwill Keystone Area visit the housewares section and see what you can find to dress up your garden. Maybe it’s a new pot or something you can repurpose into some interesting garden art. Think about an old teak kettle with some leafy plants growing out the top or a large dinner plate made into a tiny birdbath. With Goodwill, your garden can flourish with style and creativity!

From my closet to yours,
Kirsten

Pots – $0.99 – $2.99
T-shirt: $4.95
Pants: $6.50
Sandals: $7.49

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.

Lounging Around

 

Mother’s Day is fast approaching, and if you’re wondering what to get the mom in your life (whoever that person may be to you), my recommendation is loungewear. Moms love to lounge. After a year of being inside and mostly at home, going out is nice, but staying in and being comfortable is still a luxury for moms whose lives are usually so busy and filled with errands, chores, and just life in general.

According to Harvard Business School, sales of pajamas and loungewear have doubled in the last year compared to sales in 2019. All people want to be comfortable, and I’m happy to see that trend continue, even as life is getting back to normal. I miss my fancy clothing but have found that I enjoy my lounging days at home. We’ve all slowed down a little bit, and so has our wardrobe.

I needed some new loungewear that was not old yoga pants and ripped t-shirts and was on the lookout for something appropriate for a walk to my mailbox, yet comfortable enough to sleep in. I was fortunate to find this set at the new Morgantown Goodwill Keystone Area location. Luckily, it had stayed together through the sorting process, and the matching set was priced at $8.50 (Retail $130).

I loved the soft heathered pink color, and I was familiar with the brand – Soma. Their website has a whole section dedicated to everyday loungewear: “Slip into something more comfortable with our loungewear edit. It is home to a range of relaxed pieces, crafted from blissfully soft fabrics that are finished with an accommodating stretch. You’ll find staple separates, such as leggings and tees, as well as plush coverups and knitwear to add instant coziness to your layers.”

Keeping it simple I paired this look with my MOM mug from my oldest daughter’s college. And speaking of mugs, if loungewear is not your mom’s thing, Goodwill Keystone Area stores are filled with options for gifts: scarves, vases (to fill with flowers you pick or buy), photo frames (you can fill with treasured photos), or a new purse or wallet. Or even better, spend some time with your mom and take her shopping at Goodwill for a little quality time searching the racks and aisles for treasures together. It’s not only good for your heart, but it helps the community and other mothers, sisters, daughters, aunts, and friends like her.

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.

#Prom21

 

So many things are changing this year, but luckily for my daughter and her friends, a few things are staying the same. Her school is hosting a reimagined Prom. It is an outdoor event with food trucks, yard games, a DJ, and a photo booth. Everything is on the football field and parking lot, and masks are required.

I would do anything for my children, and if my daughter had wanted a fancy dress from a boutique or King of Prussia mall I would have gotten her whatever she wanted. However, she has embraced thrift shopping at our local Goodwill Keystone Area stores. She likes a unique, vintage 90s vibe that isn’t available off the rack.

Several weeks ago, we were shopping at the Shillington location. There was a rack of formal dresses. She passed them all by for the regular dress section where she methodically looked through the long rack of items. If you’ve been to Shillington, you know it is one of the larger stores with an amazing inventory.

She narrowed it down to 4 dresses to take to the fitting room, and although some of the others were nice, this silky black slip dress from Hampton Nites emerged as the winner. The floral pattern and full length made it formal-worthy. Amazingly it almost fit her perfectly and ended up just needing a slight alteration, which a friend completed for just a few dollars. A little research revealed that the brand was popular in the 90s, so it was just what she was looking for!

She paired it with a black leather clutch from WCM (Goodwill: $3.97), her own Steven Madden shoes and jewelry picked up at an antique flea market for a few dollars.

All in all, her complete look (including alterations and jewelry) was about $35. Her prom ticket was twice that, but the memories she’ll make with her friends will be priceless. I’m happy that she appreciates shopping at Goodwill Keystone Area and enjoys hunting for treasured pieces of clothing. If you have a special event coming up, consider your local Goodwill store. They are filled with clothing for every occasion!

From my closet to yours,
Kirsten

Dress: $8.00
Clutch: $3.97
Total: $11.97

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.

Tie Dye 2.0

 

As I keep saying, trends just recycle themselves and everything that is old is new (or never really goes out of style). If you’ve been to any big box store (Target, for example) this spring, tie dye is making a huge comeback. It’s a softer, gentler version with dreamy pastels and water-color inspired patterns.

Knowing that I can easily recreate those styles for pennies on the dollar, I headed to several local Goodwill Keystone Area locations to either find pieces to dye or look for finished items to showcase (in case you aren’t willing to end up with stained fingers like I did!).

For the DIY part of this article, I found a soft heather gray sweatshirt from xhiliration (A Walmart brand) for $5.95and an Old Navy skirt for $4.50. I researched tie dye methods on Pinterest. There’s hundreds of examples and it is much easier than you think!

For the sweatshirt I used blues and purples and used an ice tie dye method. You take your item and gather little “bubbles” of fabric on the piece. Place it in a box with a kitchen cooling rack underneath (to keep the item from sitting in dye). Cover it with ice cubes and sprinkle on powdered dye. I let it sit outside overnight and was as excited as a kid on Christmas morning to see how it turned out! I loved it! It has a soft, dreamy quality to the colors an provided a much more subtle outcome that traditional tie dye.

As for the skirt, I used traditional methods and rolled it up with rubber bands and applied liquid dye. I also let it sit overnight and rinsed and washed them both in the morning. It is a fun, little boho-style skirt that would be great to throw on over a bathing suit or with a tank top and jean jacket this summer.

As for finding finished items, I quickly came across two examples while shopping. First was the reverse tie dyed Everlast sweatshirt. For reverse tie dye, you use a dark or colored item and apply bleach (straight from the bottle). You can find many examples of this on Pinterest as well. For $4.95, it was a great find to stay on trend for many years to come. Bonus was that the sweatshirt was soft and broken in and had a great vintage look.

For a high-end item, I found a Marc Jacobs t-shirt. The flower pattern on the t-shirt still had a tie-dye quality, just in a more methodic way. This find retails for approximately $85, so $6.50 wasn’t a bad investment.

Depending on your crafting ability (or not), you can make or find tie dye items at your neighborhood Goodwill Keystone Area store. White items to dye or pre-done pieces are both easy to spot while perusing the racks. Spring is a great time to add some fun to your wardrobe. Give tie dye a try! Goodwill Keystone Area makes it economical and beneficial to be a on trend!

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.