Valentine’s Day Playlist

FebruaryPlaylistIt’s hard to believe that Valentine’s Day is just a few days away. With that in mind, we’ve decided to create a playlist all about love and picked our top 14 “love” songs for you to listen to this February 14th. With some classic love songs and some contemporary hits, this playlist has a song for every love!

  1. Matt White | Love
  2. Maroon 5 | Sugar
  3. Ellie Goulding | Love Me Like You Do
  4. Boyz II Men | I’ll Make Love To You
  5. Echosmith | Bright
  6. Ed Sheeran | Thinking Out Loud
  7. Katy Perry | Unconditionally
  8. Ray LaMontagne | Hold You in My Arms
  9. N’Sync | This I Promise You
  10. Good Old War | Amazing Eyes
  11. Joe | I Wanna Know
  12. Brian McKnight | Back At One
  13. Ben Howard | Only Love
  14. Celine Dion | Because You Loved Me

Thrift Tips

I have been an avid thrifter for years. I became hooked in 9th grade after scoring the most perfect 90s Betsey Johnson floral romper and have been frequenting thrift stores ever since. It definitely took some trial and error to perfect “Goodwill Hunting” (as my dad calls it). I went through a period in my thrifting misadventures where I would buy anything with a designer label, no matter how awful or dated it may be. There was also my “DIY Era” when I would buy seemingly ugly things in hopes of turning them into something fabulous, but after hours of seam-ripping, bleaching, dying, studding, sewing, etc., really only ended up with something slightly less ugly (I’m not quite sure I’m totally over this phase). To help you avoid some of these missteps, here are ten helpful tips to navigate the labrynth that is the thrift store.

1. Take your time
Make sure you have plenty of time to look around. It definitely takes more than ten minutes to shop a thrift store. Some of my best finds were stumbled upon while looking around for something else.

2. Try everything on
You can’t always trust the size marked on the tag. Older sizing is much different than today’s; for instance, if you are a size 4 today, you could be anywhere from an 8-12 in older styles, so make sure to try everything on to make sure it fits the way you want it to.

3. Pay attention to sales
Many thrift stores have daily or weekly sales. For instance, most Goodwills have a “Color of the Week” when that specific color tag is 50% off. Other thrift stores have half-off Saturday sales. Savers offers 50% off your purchase when you bring in a donation. Being aware of these sales can make an already great deal that much sweeter.

4. Assume all stains are permanent
For the most part, everything in a thrift store has been worn and washed. This means that any stains you find are most likely set in and permanent. No matter how good a deal it may be, it’s still not worth buying something you won’t be able to wear. However, with that being said…

5. Don’t overlook easy fixes
I mentioned earlier my pension for DIY projects. This doesn’t mean remaking an entire garment, but easy fixes such as taking out shoulder pads, hemming, dyeing, or adding new buttons to an item can completely transform it. I recently found a simple white cotton dress that I loved. It fit perfectly and for only $3 I was smitten. That is until I noticed a weird yellow stain on the back of it (I don’t even want to know what it was). I decided to buy the dress anyway and dyed it black, turning my stained $3 dress into a perfectly easy $6 dress, sans stain. One thing I advise staying away from is broken zippers. Unless you’re a sewing wiz, zippers are a pain in the ass to replace, and not worth the hassle!

6. Check out every department
Don’t rule out anything! I can say from experience that I’ve found great things in every section of the thrift store. Make sure to check out the men’s department for perfectly worn in tees and flannels and the housewares department for unique trinkets (one of my favorite things to thrift are little bowls to use as catch-alls for rings, keys, etc.). Other great things to keep an eye out for are vintage textiles, which can be used as curtains, pillows, rugs, throws, and re-upholstery to bring new life into old furniture. In college, I found a piece of this gorgeous vintage brocade scrap fabric that I made into a cushion to transform an old trunk into a bench.

7. Think outside the box
Drawn to a funky printed skirt, but it’s 3 sizes too big? Why not find a cool vintage frame and display the fabric on your gallery wall? Or make it into a throw pillow to spice up your bed or couch?

8. Bring along a thrifty friend
Or go alone. There’s nothing worse than having to drag someone around a thrift store. Bring someone who knows their way around and meet in the middle to share your awesome finds. Bonus points if said friend knows your taste and acts as an extra pair of eyes when scouring the racks!

9. Wear comfortable clothes
The majority of thrift stores I’ve been to have very few fitting rooms, if they have them at all. Most likely, you’re going to end up with a cart filled with stuff and nowhere to try it all on. It’s a good idea to wear fitted clothing, like leggings and a tank top, that will easily fit under whatever you’re trying on, so you can avoid stripping down in public. Flip flops or slip on shoes are also great so you’re not untying/zipping/buckling every time you change.

10. Be bold!
Love an item or trend but unsure if you can pull it off? Thrift stores are the best place to experiment with your look! For $5, buy the damn dress and try it out! If it turns out you love it, you got an awesome piece for an even more awesome price. If it turns out it’s just not for you, welp, you only spent $5.

I love a good deal, but more than that, I love the hunt of finding older things with great potential and making them into something amazing! Why buy new stuff when you can save heaps and get something even cooler?! Hopefully this post gave you some ideas and sparked your imagination to go thrifting and get creative! Let us know of any helpful thrift tips you have below!

 

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A Look Back on 2014

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2014 was the year of changes. I started the year living in NYC with a great job surrounded by loved ones. Half way through the year I packed up my bags, quit my job and decided to move across the country to California. This was by far the scariest thing I had ever done in my entire life, but deep down I knew this was something that I had always wanted to do…and something I needed to do. I started a new job, met new friends and got a new apartment. It’s crazy to look back on the past year and see how drastically things have changed. I’ve learned to really treasure the people in my life because when you up and decide to move across the country, those who still keep in contact are the ones who will be there no matter what. I’m so grateful for not only all the old friends, but also the new ones I have made (and some friendships that have been rekindled after years of silence). As challenging at times as this year was, it really helped me to learn to be brave and take risks. If you’re unhappy with something in your life, the only person that can do something about it is you. I’m so happy with where I am with my life, and I have all my wonderful friends and family to thank. As this year comes to an end and we approach another new year, I’m excited to see what new changes and challenges come my way. Wishing you a healthy and happy New Year! xx, E.

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I can’t believe 2014 is over! So much has happened in the past year- my year of service with AmeriCorps came to an end, I adopted a puppy, switched  life paths and enrolled at FIDM, worked on my first movie set, and made some new friendships to last a lifetime. This year has definitely been about self-discovery. As much as I may have complained about AmeriCorps, it taught me so much about myself and about hard work. I’ve always been the type of person to get by with minimum effort, but I learned fairly quickly that that wasn’t going to cut it with my classroom of wild 6th graders. Hard work and pushing boundaries soon became habit, and it has paid off immensely at FIDM, and just life in general. I’ve interned with more people than I can count on one hand, and have had so many amazing experiences and learned so much through them. Another important lesson I’ve discovered this year is about friendship. Since moving to California, I’ve met some awesome ladies who are some of the most hard-working and supportive people I know. It’s an incredible feeling being surrounded by people who do nothing but build you up, inspire you, and truly want to see you succeed. A valuable takeaway from this is to reevaluate your life. Check yourself and your relationships – are you living to your full potential? Are the people in your life helping you achieve your goals? If not, 2015 is a new year! I plan on pushing myself harder than ever and seizing every new opportunity that comes my way. Happy New Year! -v

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DIY Watercolor Word Art

diyWe love the idea of filling your space with words and objects that inspire you. For this DIY project, we will show you how to make beautiful word art that acts as both decoration and a daily spark to keep you motivated.

What you need:
Paper
Watercolor paint
Paintbrush
Pencil
Gold marker (we used the Sharpie oil-based paint pen)
Frame

Directions:

Watercolor11) Choose the colors you want to use and pool them on your paper. We like to add extra water and hold the paper up, spinning it around to mix the colors together and make a circle shape.

watercolor22) Hang your paintings to dry. Don’t worry about them looking perfect, we love the look of the drips.

Watercolor33) Once they are dry, write out your quote or saying in pencil, then trace over it in the gold marker. You can easily erase the pencil lines afterwards.

Watercolor44) I’m no pro at hand lettering, but an easy tip to make the letters look more dimensional is to thicken the downward strokes.

Watercolor55) Add any finishing touches you’d like! We decided to add some gold polka dots to our frame ($3.50 at Hobby Lobby!) for a little something extra.diy

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