Wednesday 30 July 2014

DIY Denim Vest

I was driving through Red Deer the other day and *happened* to pop into VV Boutique for half an hour and *happened* to score a couple great finds including a $3 denim vest.
Eddie Bauer means quality.  I'm guessing this is from the early 90's... because I had one just like it in the early 90's.

I have been hunting for a vest for some time and have never found one that had any possibility... till now!  I'm not a huge vest fan.  I have a couple and like them to achieve three layers but still tend to wear them less often than other pieces in my closet.  The denim vests I've been seeing around tend to be a lighter wash, and my Pinterest search confirmed it.  So, I got to work making this vest meet its potential!
First I used sand paper to sand it all over.
Happened to be sitting on my steps during this stage, so I laid it on the edge to get some extra distressing in random spots.
The end result of sand paper.  It was nice and soft by this point with a couple holes just starting.
Next up, I put bleach and water in my sink then added the vest.  

Then friends arrived and I needed to set the kids up with water activities and before I knew it, I left the vest in a little longer than planned.  In the end, however, I was pleased with the results.  Late that night after washing and drying it, I couldn't wait to try it on with my thrifted OOTD (consigned olive skirt $13.60 reFined, floral tank $3.75 VV Boutique).
The look on the left is lacking a third interesting layer then TA DA!
The vest finishes the ensemble whether the tank is loose or tucked.
I could even wear this vest as a top like I did in the 90s.  It's true, with black polyester pants when I wanted to be fancy.

It is quite soft and bleached but looks contemporary AND looks great with mustard and tomatoes...
Mustard tank $4.20, Everly tomato skirt $4.90 VV Boutique
Necklace $1 Hope Missions Bargain Shoppe, shoes from my closet

In fact, I think this vest is going to look great with a lot of outfits, and to prove my point, I made my friends* try it on with their outfits.
*sooner or later, my friends end up on the blog.  Thanks!! xoxoxo
 The denim vest looks great with a maxi, with a short dress or with a tank and shorts.

Me in my natural habitat shopping to use my filled Shop Hop passport for 30% off!

I will definitely get way more than 3 styles per cost out of this vest which makes it yet another VV Boutique treasure!
What do you think?  Is this DIY denim vest a hit or miss?!

Sunday 27 July 2014

Roadtrip Reading

In the midst of my "no service" vacation earlier in July, I managed to read several books off my shelf including my latest Book Look Blogger selection, How High Will You Climb? by John C. Maxwell.

Why did I choose this book: 

The subtitle of this book again caught my eye: "Determine your success by cultivating the right attitude."  In 2011, "attitude" was my One Little Word for the year.  I chose this word after reading a quote by Charles Swindoll that had a significant impact on me...
After a busy few years of lots of unexpected things being added to my plate, I felt it was time to revisit "attitude" and wanted to read what Maxwell had to say about it.

  • The running analogy throughout the book is airplane "attitude" - whether you're pointing up or down determines how high you'll climb, how much success you'll have.
  • There were many nuggets of wisdom throughout the book.  For example, Maxwell discusses that the difference between an opportunity and an obstacle is your attitude towards it.  Another, "Wrong attitudes in our lives will block the blessings of God and cause us to live below God's potential for our lives."  Avoid close relationships with people with a poor attitude...  Have a positive attitude towards your marriage and relationships in order to have successful relationships...  They are simple points but nonetheless speak truth.
  • I liked the affirmation Maxwell offers about the "storms of life" which, with the right attitude, can strengthen us and lead us to our "second wind", and that we "conquer by continuing."  In fact, I had many underlines throughout the book.
  • Regarding problems, I loved this quote: "What can be changed for the best, we must change.  When that is impossible, we must adjust to the circumstances in a positive way."
  • Maxwell includes in the book prompts and space to work through some attitude exercises.  He encourages readers that we ARE able to change any attitude, that we have a choice to change!  No matter the circumstances (as it says in scripture), we can cultivate a godly attitude, and that whenever we feel we are lacking, we need only ask for help from the One who created us.
  • Despite the almost-commonsense message of this book, it is a worthwhile read for the reminders.  After all, if we were all practiced at having a good godly attitude, we would worry much less and respond to the storms of life in a consistently calm manner.  I know I'm not there yet, though I'm much better than I used to be!  
Bottom line:
Maxwell's book is grounded in scripture and he emphasizes several times that we were all created for great heights!  He offers an antidote to Murphy's law, cleverly called Maxwell's Law
Nothing is as hard as it looks; everything is more rewarding than you expect; and if anything can go right, it will and at the best possible moment.
Doesn't that sound like a great attitude to live with?  I believe it is, and I for one will keep pulling out this book in my effort to do so!

I am a member of  BookLook Bloggers.
In exchange for writing a review, I received this book for free.

Friday 25 July 2014

Grey All the Way

It's Friday Fashion Day!  Check out today's Edmonton Journal to read all about the Value Village Edmonton Shop Hop!  Did YOU fill a passport?!  I know I can't wait to use my 30% off... because I could really use some more skirts and dresses.  (insert big smiley)    

I calculated that 90% of my dresses are thrifted and I would estimate that or more applies to the rest of my wardrobe.  If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I make some exceptions to my commitment to secondhand shopping.  I support my sister, She Does Create - is it my fault I have a sister who happens to be a jewelry designer?  What's a girl to do?!!  I also do what I can to support local talent and this week that meant buying a couple more Flatter:Me belts!
I've been waiting a long time to get the Shanghai Red and absolutely could not resist the newest shade, Good Greycious!

These belts were designed by Edmontonian Claire Theaker-Brown and are manufactured ethically in China, but besides all that, they look great and are FUNCTIONAL!  They are perfect for holding up pants that gape in the back or stretch out, and they look fab as part of your outfit!  They are $34 including shipping and have been a lifesaver for me with my thrifted pants; even if the pants don't fit perfectly, I know my Flatter:Me belt will make those $4 pants work!  I had a hard time deciding which belt to wear first but ended up going grey all the way!
J Crew cardi $4.90, El Naturalista shoes $10.80  both from VV Boutique
The day started chilly but quickly warmed up!
This necklace is from my closet B.T. (Before Thrifting) from The Avenue Clothing Co. on Whyte
 These shoes were unworn. They're leather and have a sparkly accent in another fave colour - green!

FYI, I just took the time to look up the spelling difference and of course, Claire has it right!  GrEy is used in UK and the like and grAy is used in the US.  Now you know.
The Flatter:Me belt helps me to fulfill the "Rule of 3!"

Grey is my comfort colour.  I love it!  I always feel like grey looks like a hug waiting to happen... so I got myself a hug from the latest super huggable baby in my life...
Meet River, our adorable fluffy 10-week-old puppy!
I'm getting my holding hugs while I can!  Won't be long till I can't lift her!

Grey is also good for disguising puppy paw prints!  Back to fashion!!  I hear a rumour that there *might* be a birthday contest on Flatter:Me belts coming soon, so stay tuned!  I should clarify, I just love these belts, and Claire too!  Just sharing the love, not an official sponsor though I am an official self-appointed endorser(insert big smiley)  Today's a rainy GREY day - perfect for some online GREY shopping?!

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Skirts with Pockets Rock

Yesterday was a gorgeous day for a Backyard Boutique!
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Shannon and I had a great set up with over 200 pieces ranging from shoes to bags to pants to skirts to dresses - and of course She Does Create accessories!  I was so happy to meet some of the wonderful women who read VV Boutique Style and connect with old friends!  Thank you all for a fabulous day!  For anyone who wasn't able to make it, don't despair!  Sister Thrifters will hold another Backyard Boutique and meanwhile you can find excellent online thrift shopping through our Instagram and Facebook - and there are big tech plans to get the pieces on the Sister Thrifters website as well so stay tuned!

We had a pretty swank dressing room set-up, if I do say so myself.  (Um, on behalf of Shannon since I didn't do much but offer my height.)
Perfect opportunity to capture my OOTD!
Lace tee $4, gray tank $4.20, floral skirt $7 all VV Boutique
Shoes from my closet, B.T. (Before Thrifting)
Accessory trifecta by She Does Create
Sunglasses don't always hide crazy eyes.
I wore this skirt for the Backyard Boutique Sale because it has pockets.
I now wonder if I can live without pockets in my skirts and dresses...

It was a busy day once we officially opened the, uh, alley (!) so I didn't have the opportunity to capture everyone on film but here are some highlights!
My friend and colleague Stephanie scored a skirt with pockets along with other dresses that show off her slimming-summer figure!
This pretty lady scored many great pieces including one of my fave dresses that I had to pass on because I'm not 39 anymore.
My pal Janelle from Riverbend Gardens scored this Kimchi Blue skirt - it was perfect on her!
Janelle looked like an Amazonian goddess in these wedges but left them behind.
However, she didn't leave in the dress she wore to the Boutique.  It was that kind of sale.
This vintage dress is a one-of-a-kind score and fit Alex from the Edmonton Journal perfectly!
Seeing it on her made me realize it could never work for anyone else!
My favourite moment of the day was seeing Jodie from the Edmonton Journal in this vintage Ungaro silk dress.
Every detail of this dress is stunning, right down to the buttons!
I would wear this with strappy sandals or nude pumps or coloured pumps!
I would dress it down with a belt or let it flow in all its Parisian wonderfulness!

All in all, I couldn't have asked for a better day!  Thanks again to everyone who came out to support Sister Thrifters!

Monday 21 July 2014

Backyard Boutique Sale Tuesday!!

Not long ago, I posed a question on Twitter: How many skirts/pants/dresses do you have?  I asked this because I had just finished counting my skirts.  I don't know what possessed me but I was genuinely surprised to learn I had THIRTY skirts.  3-0.  I have no idea where this ranks in relation to other women's closets, and I suppose it doesn't really matter.  For ME, my closet is big enough and all but a few were thrifted so my budget is big enough too.  What bothers me is that it is hard to give satisfactory "air time" to all those beautiful skirts!  So, I decided to make some hard decisions and edit out any pieces that aren't favourites - for whatever reason - and I'm putting them in the Sister Thrifters Backyard Boutique Sale Tuesday afternoon from 3pm - 8pm.
I have many pieces, Shannon has many pieces - in a range of sizes (so don't think you have to be our body doubles to come by) and of course, all the Sister Thrifters stock will be available including an AMAZING dress I just picked up at the Shop Hop
Minuet is a Modcloth/Anthro brand!!  Swoon!
No amount of zero-point soup is getting me into it, so instead I will offer it to some lucky lady!  

There will be handbags, some shoes and fab She Does Create accessoriesSigh, it's been a while since I "earned" some jewelry from my sister...
 Getting my pieces ready for their new homes...

All in all, the Backyard Boutique Sale is just a casual opportunity to shop for new-to-you pieces at great prices!  I plan to go all Livingston-Community-Closet on my items - and there is nothing wrong with them!  I just want to give my new wardrobe friends some time to shine!  Head on over to the Sister Thrifters Facebook page for the Backyard Boutique address and photos of many of the pieces...  But there will be more, never-seen-before pieces too!!  Basically, you don't want to miss it.  Please share the word and help make this event a success so that we can do it again soon!!  Did I mention there *might* be wine?!! 

Saturday 19 July 2014

Edmonton Shop Hop

I am pretty sure this will be a day of running behind my proposed Shop Hop itinerary!  I'm still hunting for a tee that says "I'll be late."  Meanwhile, I had a great first stop at the Sherwood Park Value Village.
Two of my friends met up with me...
Julie almost bought this handmade hooded vintage dress (?) but alas too big! Lol!
Joyce is beating me! She had already been to the South side location...
Where she and her daughter both scored Toms!

As for me, well...
My name is Nicole and I have a skirt issue. 
I love you vintage midi with pockets but I already have that niche filled!
However I don't have green suede shoes!!
Love these and look what they go with perfectly!
Nordstrom's brand dress...
And I found another dress with pockets!!
And stripes!! I heart stripes!

I had fun dressing Julie in small dresses...
Top Shop!!
Jessica Simpson!!

Okay, I'm off to the North East location!! Stay tuned!!
Nice to meet you Fort Road VV!  
My name is Nicole and I have dress issues!!
I didn't get this vintage dress but that doesn't stop me from loving it!
This dress was $22 for a good reason...
Still a great deal but not something that meets my wardrobe needs.
However, I *needed* this dress!  Look at those colours!  Look at the pattern!!
$7 floral jeggings? Yes please especially because...
And my last score was another pair of like-new-condition leather shoes...
GRAY El Naturalista with a green jewel on top!! Pretty sure they were destined for moi!  

Now I'm sitting in front of the downtown location ready to go in!! What will I find here?!!

Let's catch up!  Stops #3 (downtown) and #4 (Mayfield Common) were relatively quick, not because I couldn't find anything but because I wanted to leave plenty of time to chat with Alex from the Edmonton Journal at stop #5!! Downtown, I got a FABULOUS dress for the Sister Thrifters Backyard Boutique Sale on Tuesday!! It's for the boutique sale because it didn't fit me. Boo. At Mayfield Common, I scored some leather gladiator style sandals...
Then it was onto Whyte Ave which was hopping!! My friend Lisa joined me and found several comfy summer staples.
Leggings, hoodies, shorts and a striped dress that can be layered up for some pattern mixing!  

My other pals Colleen, Susan and Heidi joined us too and we all scored great pieces!  Here are my finds...
Such a pretty dress!!
Oh look!  Another pretty black dress, *totally* different!!  
I said on Twitter that it was a dilemma, but really I just bought them both!  For 25% off, 5th store!!!
My name is Nicole and I have issues with trying on dresses that are too short.
I did find a stiped skirt!!!!! 
It was too big... Sigh
And the silver ballet flats ended up having a couple flaws so I left them behind.  Sigh.

However I had a lovely chat with Alex and even found her a navy J Crew dress!
I can't help it, I match thrifted pieces with the right woman!!

I also saw Joyce again!  She and her family filled their whole Shop Hop passport and outfitted a family of 6!!!  Thanks Joyce for showing so much thrift love!!

I'm at my last stop, 34th Ave, then it's margarita time!!
 RW tee with cobalt, navy and mustard!
 Black sheer tee and pretty floral skirt WITH POCKETS so I definitely need it.
Everly skirt with tomatoes, because it's important to have lots of lycopene.
I liked this maxi dress but it was just a bit too long.
Another location, another dress that is too short.
Joelle from Clothes But Not Quite joined up for the last stop and found this dress in a beautiful blue!
Perfect shirt for Joelle!
 Colleen and I both loved this dress but neither of us is 39 anymore.

The last stop was fruitful and landed me a full passport!!
And a good reason to shop again before the end of the month!
A great day of thrifting is a great thing to celebrate!