Gap and Ann Taylor Warm Weather Wear

I for some reason have been forgetting to dig to the bottom of my sweater drawer and just keep taking from the top of the pile and reusing the same 5 over and over again, forgetting the treasures buried underneath.  Maybe this is because it has been arctically cold, a major cold front just finishing passing through, and I am so desperate for warmth that I grab the closest thing.  Could be it.  Either way, the front is thawing out slightly, and I once again had time to go to the bottom of my pile, and in doing so I found this warm gem:

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Purchased pre any crazy cold weather, when I first moved back to CT, in October.
 
 I got it for $5.99 and it is Ann Taylor. I love nice big chunky sweaters, and especially the white to match all the beautiful snow covered grounds.  I wore it this afternoon with my brand new jeans, purchased just this afternoon.  
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Gap skinny flare, for $5.32, including tax. 
 
Sometimes when I go to Goodwill everything that I pick up just happens to be the color of the week, i.e. half off, without me even consciously looking for the color, other times, nothing I pick up is, and it’s all full price.  And then other times, like today, it’s about half and half color of the week and not, and I pass on the ones that aren’t.  Somehow these almost perfect condition Gap jeans have been looked over for three whole weeks at the store and made it to be half off and in my arms. 
 
They had a boutique price on them of $9.99, instead of the regular general pants price of $5.99.  And then after half off, they were a mere $4.99 plus tax.  $5.32 big American ones.  
 That makes my whole warm cozy winter wearer outfit $11.  Can’t beat it.  
 
 

Two-Trip Day

Katie at Thriftyourheartout (www.thriftyourheartout.wordpress.com) was talking about how she needed to make a list of things she needed to look for when she went thrifting.

Well, the only thing I need right now is socks…or to do more laundry:), and I draw the line at buying certian things at Goodwill, and under-under garments make the cut.

So I will continue my aimless perusing, and find great things like these…

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an authentic from Ireland purple and pink houndstooth wool coat for $24.99!!!  I could’ve never known beforehand how badly I needed just that!

If you asked me the one place I would want to go anywhere in the world, my answer will and has always been Ireland.  One of these days I need to bite the bullet (or the airplane) and just go!

But until then, I get to wear this great coat.

(Don’t mind the mismatched colors in the top pic…I’ll remember to wear more neutral colors on future trips)

I also got this great blouse

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$4.99, originally from Target by Mossimo.

Being the country singing fashion gal that I am (you can check me and some of my originals out at www.reverbnation.com/jaimenelson:), I couldn’t pass this up.

I actually had it once, the exact same shirt, but it was a little big.  This one fits like a glove, so I bought it up!

those were on my first trip….

on my second, I picked up…

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a $3 scarf from the Gap that I had found on my first trip and decided I needed to go back for,

and a $3.99 flowery top from Forever 21 to add to my growing collection that I found as a result.

I am very happy with my two trip day to Goodwill and my finds.

I hope you have all had success lately in your trips!

Until next time, peace and love,

Jaime

Happy Feet and Happy Birthday to Me!

For the first half of my Saturday, I sported these Goodwill finds…

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You may remember me getting these sweet little things a week or two back, but I got to finally wear them for the first time yesterday.  The frigid temperatures in CT climbed up into the 40’s on Saturday for a pleasant yet short reprieve.  So I was able to slip my feet into these bright spots.

When I wear a bright piece such as those shoes, I like to try and keep the rest of my outfit prety neutral, yet still fun.  So I paired it with dark blue jeans and an off white lacy loose sweater.  It really let the shoes shine.  And it worked.  When I met with my future roommate that morning to look at an apt, I got a quick “I like your shoes!”  Mission accomplished.

I didn’t tell her just yet that they are Goodwill…she’ll find out about my obsession…soon enough.  I don’t think she shares it, but she is still a pretty cool girl.  Actually more than a cool girl, we get along pretty well.

For the second half of the day I have this Goodwill gem for you…

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Awesome wine markers for $1.00.  Each strip wraps snuggly around the stem of the glass and has descriptive terms on each that can be used both for wine…and people.  Always makes for some fun while drinking and gathering.

How would you describe your friends in wine terms??:)  And for just $1.00

What was the reason to celebrate you ask?  My birthday!  29th:)  It was actually on Thursday, but I celebrated it last night by having a little gathering at my house where I made the best flat breads (no pictures, sorry! :-/) ever.  One was gorgonzola cheese with spinach and  cremini mushrooms, and the other was good ol fashioned fresh mozzarella and pepperoni!  Then we went to a local comedy club, Brew Haha, that is attached to a brewery- two of my favorite things!  Laughs and microbrewed beer!  It was a great night.  The comics were absolutely hilarious and yet still respectful in their jokes, for the most part.  The main guy was Rodney Laney, you should definitely check him out if you want a laugh.

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No flashes allowed!  Hence, picture by candlelight.  My friend may have told them I was turning 30 instead of 29 to get them to do something for me or she just wanted me to be embarrassed on stage…and I don’t know if that’s why I got this cake or not, but it was amazing.  I would say the best ice cream cake ever, if my Mom hadn’t just made an equally amazing one the night before with strawberry cake crust and oreo ice cream and hot fudge on top.

After the comedy club we stopped by one of my new favorite restaurants in downtown Hartford, Max Downtown, to have some of the best calamari ever and a rosemary lemontini.  I’d been dreaming about that lemontini since my friend had one a few weeks earlier.  She made the better choice getting that drink that night, and I couldn’t wait to make it as well!

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These are most of the participants that night, fresh from laughing our faces off.

Oh look at that, those earrings I am wearing are from Goodwill!  Phew, I was afraid that nothing in my outfit was from Goodwill.  Its rare, but that does happen.  They were $2.00.  From Target.  Silver hoops with light orange small balls hanging from the bottom.

The lady on the right is my thrifting friend Rachel.  Her beautiful blazer is from the Goodwill as well.  I can’t remember how much she said it was though.

Thanks for stopping by!  Happy thrifting!

-Jaime

Do you get scared by birthdays or accept them happily, thankful you made it another year?

Do you enjoy a good comedy club as much as I do?

Purses, Khakis and Home Decor for the soul…

Purses, khakis and home decor for the soul….

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Awesome wooden purse with top metal clasp, $6.99

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 New from Target Mossimo fun pinkish red khakis with belt and tags, $4.99

(that light follows me around…you’ll notice)

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J. Crew wide leg flat front khakis, perfect condition, $7.99

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Large framed flower Wall Art, $20

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Retro diner statement wall art, $9.99

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Mint Condition Vera Bradley quilted purse, $17.99

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Find of the year…Computer table (slash excess of jewelry and hat table in my house….), $12.99.

I did not purchase either one of the purses, but thought I should still share with you what amazing stuff you can find there.  The wood purse is truly one of a kind being all solid wood, and such a nice pattern engraved all over the outside, for only $6.99.  The Vera Bradley is a steal as well, as her purses start at $50 and up.   I already have this same exact purse (thanks Mom) in another pattern, so didn’t really feel spending $18 on another was completely necessary.

I love my new pink khakis.  There is really not much more I can say about that.  I’ve worn them two days in a row, the first two days that I owned them, and they are now in the wash.  I would like to point out that the lovely J.Crew blue striped blouse I am wearing with them I purchased, not at Goodwill, but at Savers, another thrift store (I do shop elsewhere) for $4.99.  The whole outfit was under $10.00.

Speaking of ‘ol J.Crew, I also love my J.Crew khakis.  When will you ever find J.Crew khakis for $7.99??  Such a good deal.  I especially loved when I found these because I had just gotten a job at a school and felt I needed more than just jeans to wear, so I went to Goodwill looking specifically for khakis and slacks, rather than perusing the aisles for whatever treasures I can find.  And I found these that could not have been more perfect for what I was looking for.  Goodwill wins again.

Need to redecorate or decorate for the first time?  Goodwill has ya!  These two pieces, both very different, are awesome!  Just like the purses, I did not get either one because I am about to get a roommate and I am not sure exactly what her tastes are yet or what kind of art she even needs.  But I would have gone for the retro diner shot if I had because…A) It’s the cheaper one B) It’s the more fun one:)

I DID, however, buy. this. desk. $12.99!!! Are you joking??  Goodwill sometimes doesn’t quite hit the mark in it’s pricing.  Sometimes it is in your favor and sometimes not.  This price, $12.99 for a dark mahogany computer desk with a working sliding drawer, was definitely a price miss, and in my favor.  If there hadn’t been three of the same price tag on it, I would have assumed a stray price tag had landed on it.  But it didn’t, and now I am super organized and productive now that I have it…I mean, I will be:)  It’s only been two days.  And it is very nice that my computer (and hats and bracelets) now has a place to call home, in addition to my bed and the floor.  It is no longer in danger of being sleepily stepped on in the morning.  Happy day for him.  My computer is a male apparently….

So happy with all my finds lately!! I hope you enjoyed looking at them!

Are you a treasure hunter, or do you go thrifting on a mission looking for something specific each time?  I am very impressed if you do!

Happy thrifting,

-Jaime

Vintage wonderfulness and Plaid

$16.73 for all of the following finds…

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I got this awesome flowery, short sleeve vintage top by Frejani with puffed sleeves, shoulder pads, and a thick black elastic band around the waist and the outer half of the sleeves.  So cute.  I’m not sure what decade this hails from, but I love it.  Here is a close up of the tag and the pattern:

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I also got this great eye glasses pin, $3, I am in love with it, it even has the little fake string to hold eye glasses around your neck!

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I should have taken a picture of me wearing it to show the full size, but it is no more than 2″ across.  Not too large.  And now my bosom will be able to see oh so well:)  20/20 I hope.

H&M plaid shirt, $4.99:

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I thought you might want a few different angles.  Dizzy yet? 🙂

I love the blue color, it really makes my eyes POP.  And you can’t beat the price, as always.

My last purchase was a great faux leather brown purse, with a gold placard on the outside pocket:

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And me modeling it very well.  I think I missed my calling as a purse model…

I only got this purse to get myself up to a $20 total.  This is because I have a 25% off discount off of one purchase over $20 because it is my birthday month (yay!).  Now because I find such great deals, I don’t go over $20 a lot in one purchase, so since I was already buying everything else for $15, I knew that (being the math prodigy I am) 25% off of 20 was the same as $15.  So whatever else I picked out I would basically be getting for free (if it was around $5).  This purse was $6, so it seemed as good as any, if not better!

Lastly, I forgot to take a picture, but I got a large hard cover book about photography for $3.  It is old enough that it doesn’t even have tips for digital cameras in it, but I still thought I could garner some basic photography information from it.

So the grand total for all of the above items….was, drumroll……

$16.73!!! (after 25% birthday discount).

Not bad for two shirts (one authentic vintage), an awesome pin, a great bag, and a photography book.

If last week was half off week (everything I bought was the half off color of the week and therefore super super cheap), this week was the EXACT opposite.  Everything I got had a blue tag on it, which is the color of all the NEW stuff arriving at that Goodwill this week.  Meaning, it has two more weeks after this one before it is the half off color of the week.  Too long to wait for such cool stuff.  Too long.

Thanks for stopping by.  Happy thrifting!  Please go out and support shopping second hand, your fashion addictions, and all the good causes that Goodwill and thrift stores in general support in so many ways.

Love, Jaime

Great Jeans!!! (if I do say so myself…)

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Disclaimer:  I did not get all items pictured above.

Clockwise:

One World maroon tuxedo long sleeve shirt, half off for $3.00

J. Crew grey tuxedo ruffled 3/4 shirt, gift for Mom, half off for $4.49

Flowery/Green see through hippy shirt, $3.99 (did not purchase)

Amazing awesome but heaviest dresser I have ever met, $35 (surprise- also did not purchase, as it would take 5 men to lift it from the store)

Ann Taylor Dark Wash Boot cut/Flare Jeans, $5.99

The shirted listed as ‘for my mom’, I must admit, I wore it for a full half hour, AFTER buying it, before deciding I would actually still give it to her as a gift.  Parting is such sweet sorrow:(  But when it goes to such a lovely lady, its not that hard.  The shirt is a size small, and no one has ever accused me of being a size small at J. Crew, but like Eve, couldn’t resist just one bite…or one try on, just to see, and I kind of loved it.   I originally did pick it off the rack with my mother in mind, whom people have accused of being an xs, and eventually gave in to my origianl desire.  But not without a fight.  God forbid I actually be a good person:)

The jeans I am particularly excited about because they are long enough for me to wear a couple inch heels with and not look like I’m waiting for a flood.  This is a hard thing to find for me at 5’7″.  Everyone has their trouble with jeans shopping, but I am just tall enough that regular length just hits the ground, but if I try to get size Tall to wear with heels, I am swimming in extra fabric.  These are perfect, and looked like brand new, but didn’t have a tag still attached to prove it.  Also, I am kind of an Ann Taylor fanatic and even applied to work there while I was in college.  Denied nonetheless.

I passed on the green ‘hippy’ shirt because it was a little worn, and well, it wasn’t half off.  I’m becoming quite a half off snob.  And if I keep finding such good stuff that is the color of the week, then I’m afraid it just might continue!!

Lastly, the piles of clothes sitting on my bedroom floor will tell anyone I am in need of a second dresser (in addition to my closet:-)…  This one was LOVE at first sight!

Until I tried to quickly lift up ONE end, and my herculean strength didn’t even budge it!  I had to give up on that dresser owning dream pretty quickly thereafter.  The search continues.  And I’m sure you will be notified when it ends:)

Happy thrifting everyone!  Come again soon!

-Jaime

Two different era’s…Downton Abbey meets present day

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Clockwise:

Vintage green dress, $6.99

White Anne Klein heels, $8

Vintage knit sweater, $Can’t remember! $5?

Target Mossimo plaid shirt, $4.99

“One Love” Dark Trouser jeans, $6.99

Green Purse, no brand, $8

I have a love for all things vintage (mostly circa 1920-60’s more or less) and scoop up vintage finds whenever I can at the right price!  I finally got a chance to put one to real use at the advanced season premiere I attended at a theater last night of Downton Abbey, a Masterpiece classics production on CPTV in CT.  If you haven’t seen it yet, you must check it out!  It takes place on a beautiful estate, Downton Abbey in England, and showcases the different lives of the upstairs family of the house, and the downstairs servants, and shows how their lives intertwine and are a part of each others.  The show has great character development and story line and has been a huge hit.  Season 3 starts tonight 1/6/13 on CPTV at 9:00 ET.  You can find season 1 and 2 on Hulu/Netflix like I did and get yourself caught up!  Anyway, it said on the website for the premiere I went to that period dressing was encouraged…I was one of about 3 people to actually heed that note :/  But I didn’t care!  I may have been much more comfortable in boots and jeans, but it is a great dress and needs to be seen:)  And what better of an occasion?!

The first and second outfits are entirely Goodwill- the purse, pants and shirt in the second.  I love it when that happens, and wanted to share it with you even though the shirt was already in a post.

I hope you all had a great first weekend of the new year!  Mine was pretty good and full of relaxation and fun!  Go out and support your local Goodwill/thrift stores, and if you have just one New Years resolution, let more thrifting be it!

Peace and Love…

-Jaime

Pillowcase Gifts…and other fun things

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Clockwise:

Gap navy blue skinny capri khakis, stitching down the front leg, just my size (and taste)! $5.99

Vintage Couture wall art, just my taste! $gifted from my Mom, the original goodwill-aholic {and role model}.

New from Target black Champion fleece jacket, $12

Purple and orange Avia workout pullover hoodie, $3

New from Target brown faux leather boots, just my size, $15

I wore the top outfit to work today, and thought I’d share it with y’all!  The pants and boots were purchased within the past two months at my local Goodwill boutique.

The wall art was sitting on my bed waiting for me when I got home as a gift from my dear Mom.  She knows of my love for all things Vintage and Couture, and so found it hard not to snap these up for me.  Not much better than coming home to gifts sitting on your pillowcase, am I right?

The black fleece has served me very well in my homecoming in September to CT and to a very harsh winter.  I came home from warm TN with not much winter wear to speak of, and Goodwill (plus some great Christmas sales at Old Navy) have helped stock me back up.

Lastly, the Avia workout top was another of my purchases I bought with the grouping I blogged about last night, in “A Smattering of Things”.  I knew there was something missing in that post!  The morning I found and purchased this top, I said to  myself, “I need a workout pullover for when I go to the gym or want to run outside with my dog…”

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(I just happen to have an adorable picture of him.  Baker Jones.  Black lab/Shepherd extraordinairre.  Look, I can spell extraordinairre:)

and in true Goodwill fashion, I found one.  I love when that happens.

Lastly, I will share with you some action shots of my new Forever XXI cropped knitted sweater:

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(You see?  Way in the corner….:)  Watching my adorable and crazy nephew Luke,

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and after a wonderful last minute potluck dinner with friends in the second.  It’s versatile enough for both events.  The mark of a great sweater.

The gal on the left is my thrifting compatriot:)  Her pants (which you can’t see…because I smartly deleted the picture in which you could…) are White House Black Market from Goodwill, for less than $10.  You’ll have to take my word that they look great.

Thanks for stopping by!  Please share with me your finds and thoughts and go out and support shopping second hand, good causes, and saving money!  Experience the thrill of the hunt:)

-Jaime

Successful Research…Jackpot

After writing my blog post yesterday, I decided I needed to go do a little ‘research’ for the next post, and…

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$24.

All.

All of this, pictured above, plus a pair of black strappy sandals.

Well, I should be clear, I got all the tops and the flats pictured by themselves above.

In order from top left, clockwise:

-Maroon knitted cropped Forver 21 sweater, 3.00

-Coral canvas flats (that appear brand new, for those nervous about buying shoes 2nd hand), 4.00

(Same Forver 21 sweater)

-Yellow flowery ruffly tank top, THX, 3.99

-Xhilaration plaid chiffon babydoll top, 4.99

-Ann Taylor Coral Cardigan, 2.00

-Black strappy flat sandals (not pictured) Kelly & Kate, 2.00

I should explain how all of the above was ONLY $24.  That is cheap, even for me.  All of the items, except for the flats and the yellow tank, were the color of the week, and therefore half off.  This means if they hadn’t been half off, my total would have been about $45.  Still good, but not quite as amazing.

It pays to look for that color red…or green…or yellow…or blue…just check the sign when you walk in the door:)

If interested, the necklace worn with the Coral cardigan, I bought at a store in a casino mall in Niagara falls, ON for $5.

The necklace pictured with the maroon sweater I got at MUSE boutique in Nashville, TN, USA with a groupon I had purchased to that boutique.

The bracelet seen in all the pictures is Alex and Ani charm bracelet, gifted from my mother, sold at many different retailers.

I also found out on this trip, being my birthday month, that I have a 25% off over any 20$ purchase that I can use any time this month.  So that is something to look forward to and maybe save for a bigger purchase.  Goodwill always has good surprises for me:).

Happy thrifting and come again soon!

-Jaime

A Smattering of Things…

There will really be no theme to this post…because I have found so much good stuff in the past couple months of working part time (less work = more time to thrift, albeit less money to thrift with…:(, so I will post the stuff I have already taken pictures of, with no rhyme or reason to a theme between the items.

I will start however, with showing you wonderful people, the books.  Good book finds at Goodwill are few and far between, but when they happen, they happen.  These two books are making it to the top of my all time favorites list, and I recommend them to anyone looking for a good read.  And I am also very excited because I have a cool story (at least I think its cool, you can be the judge for yourself 🙂 to go with one of the finds.  I found these two books

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a couple months ago.  (Sidenote- do you love my new bed spread in the background??:)  And as much as I love to read, I haven’t seemed to find the time in the last 6 months or so.  So two plane trips to Nashville and back provided the perfect amount of time to finish both books, almost. The second flight landed a few pages shy of me finishing “How to be Good” 😦 The pilot clearly did not get the memo about the book I was trying to finish and did not circle the runway a few more times for me.  And I have yet to complete it…  But still, both books provided the perfect distraction from small seats and sitting all too close to people I have never met before and generally have no desire to meet again.

I know you are waiting in anticipation of the ‘cool’ story.  Well, here it is.  On the first flight, I had “The Glass Castle” in my purse and ready to read.  Being the nosy person I am, I noticed the gal sitting directly in front of me was engrossed in a book of her own.  Inconspicuously peering over her shoulder to see what book she is reading, I saw it was none other than the Glass Castle!!  This excites me more than you could know.  I love a good coincidence.  And I have found out since that it is a somewhat popular book, but up until that point, all I knew of it was I picked it up at Goodwill for a $1 because it said something along the lines of “NY Times Bestseller” on the front…a little known qualifier of good writing, you may have heard of it:).  So to see a random girl reading it in front of me was very exciting to me, and I couldn’t wait to share it with you fine people, as I am now.  Of course, being the social person I am, I proceeded to tell her I was about to begin that exact book, and she prompted me that it was a very good book, sad, but good.  I found after reading it that I disagreed.  In my opinion, the Author did not write it in a sad way.  More factual, but with a general feeling of the author overcoming unbeatable odds, ‘horrible parenting’, and with a happy ending if you ask me.  All’s well that ends well, right?  She is a current contributor to CNN and MSNBC, so I can’t say her life ended all that badly.

The second book, I was more than pleasantly surprised with as well.  I read “How to be Good” for the duration of both my flights to Nashville and back, and I have all intentions of finishing it soon.  It is a great look into human nature, and the very subject of “how to be good” as the title says.  It is a funny perspective of a doctor struggling with the fact that she may not be a very good person, compared to her newly spiritually transformed husband, despite having to ‘look at people’s boils’ and such day in and day out.  And she uses the fact that she has to do such things as a leveling ground for any bad thoughts or actions she may have.  It is very interesting, and I reccommend it highly.

Now we are done with the book section of this post, I can move on to the fun stuff…clothes:)  That’s what it’s really all about in the end, right?

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I got this beautiful lime green Ann Taylor Loft sweater for $5.99 in perfect condition at my local Goodwill boutique.  And I have gotten good use out of it so far at work in my sweet little classroom where I work each day:)

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I got this scarf as well for $2 on another trip to the same Goodwill.  Cynthia Rowley from Target.

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Lastly, I got this bracelet along with two other ones of the same style but different color beads that you can wear as a set of 3 for $2 total.  That’s right, $2 total.  The other bracelets not pictured are a coral orange color, and a light purple.  Love.

And all together now…

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🙂

Oh, and that’s my sweet dog admiring my thriftiness and fashion sense.  He wants to be like me.  Someday.

During my last Nashville trip, I had to make sure I visited the Goodwill that kept me well dressed for the last couple of years I was there, and it once again did not dissappoint.  I found three lovely items in one trip.

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A sparkly, warm, brown oversized short sleeve sweater from Express, $5.99.  And the original tag was still on it when I bought it, so it has never been worn before.  Brand new.  I wore it with skinny jeans and brown boots and a long sleeve shirt underneath for a comfy and fashionable look for less!

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A Bar III dress for $5.99.   Can’t wait to put this one to use.

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And a Forver XXI green and white babydoll business casual top, $4.29.  I have worn it to work with a white cardigan and tan slacks with the off-white patent leather Talbots flats I purchased at Goodwill in October for $8. (see Alex’s 6th Birthday Trip Post in October)  Wearing two items in one outfit from Goodwill is always a good day!

Lastly, everyone needs a good Cinderella shoe to put atop their dresser correct?  Correct.  I have yet to figure what I am going to store inside it, although judging by the look of the top of my dresser, I’m sure I could just start there.  I’ll take other suggestions though:)  I got this shoe at a steal for $2.

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I hope you enjoyed looking at and hearing about these finds as I did finding them and using them!  Go out and see what you can find for much, much less!  And tell me about it!