Thrifting Crawl: U Street Style

Is there anything better than real-life blogging friends, shopping, and pretty vintage things? I think not.

Last Saturday afternoon was beautiful and sunny and was a perfect day for a jaunt around U Street to check out consignment shops with Madeline and Stephie. The mission: to find the best store (and, of course, score a few bargains).

Stop number one was Current Boutique (1809 14th Street, NW).

Current Boutique was for sure my favorite stop (Maybe because it's the only place I bought something? Hmmm?) I loved how spacious the store was, so despite being crowded with lots of bargain hunters, I didn't feel cramped. I was a little disheartened when I browsed through the first rack of high-end dresses and found nothing in my price range, but after a little more digging I found a polka dot H&M top for $7.99. Much better! All in all, there is something for everyone at Current Boutique, from clothes and shoes to a huge wall of jewelry and accessories.

Yes, there was an outfit change for Stephie--she couldn't wait to get home to pull out her new romper...and I don't blame her!

Overall grade for Current Boutique: A +

Our next stop was Treasury Vintage (1843 14th Street NW), a tucked away upstairs boutique down the street.

I loved the atmosphere of this place--quiet, small, and lit by beautiful natural light (perfect for taking photos...duh!). It was almost like exploring in someone's attic. 

The only thing I didn't love: the prices. Eeek. There is nothing worse than finding a fabulous floral print dress and glancing at the price tag. 

It's ok. It was too big anyway.

But Stephie found some new statement glasses.

Overall, Treasury Vintage was a nice spot to spend a few minutes browsing, but not somewhere I would go regularly to seek out a deal. I would have to really love something to pay a lot for it, so I would recommend this place if you are searching for the perfect outfit piece or necklace for a special event. The three of us left empty handed.

Overall grade for Treasury Vintage: B.

We made a few more stops at several more shops we stumbled upon along the way, but our last and final shopping stop was Junction (1510 U Street NW).

As far as atmosphere goes, this place was probably my favorite environment. Lots of bright colors, a variety of clothes, accessories, and home decor, and clever suggestions on the clothing tags. The store was on the smaller side, but wasn't too crowded when we were inside so I didn't feel like I was stepping all over anything.

(Photo by Madeline!)

 Junction's clothing was moderately priced--nowhere near was pricy as Treasury, but again, I would have to really love something to have bought it. I would definitely go back to Junction to get my vintage fix (and hopefully buy something next time!).

Overall grade for Junction: A

One thing that I noticed about all three places was the customer service. There is something about having a love for vintage things that brings girls (and guys, if you're into that kind of thing!) together. At all three places we were able to strike up conversation with the employees, and most of them were even quick to offer assistance or suggestions. Love it!

After a long day of consignment crawling, we thrifty gals had to re-hydrate (or....drink beer on a rooftop) at Marvin (2007 14th St NW), which was the perfect spot for some post-shopping chit chat.

 Overall grade for the day: A+! I had a great time with these ladies and I can't wait for many more thrifting adventures to come. 

In the meantime, check out their blogs (Madeline @ Style me Thrifty and Stephie @ Thrift and Style) for their reviews of our consignment crawl.


Strike Out

On Saturday (aka Miracle Hair Day), I needed an outfit that could withstand a hot day of thrifting on U Street with some lovely blogging ladies (and, as it turned out, dinner with a best friend that evening!)

This red skirt is a thrifted find from years and years ago that does more hanging in my closet than being shown off to the world. Mostly because it's one of those that is the perfect size when standing up straight, but when sitting for long lengths of time, or worse, EATING, becomes rather tight and uncomfortable. Eek.

I also wish I would have brought a lighter bag, but alas, a blogger must always be prepared with her camera tucked away! Right? Even when it means sticking it in a huge leathery bag with a strap that digs into your poor sunburned shoulder?

Moral of this story is that when it came to comfort, I sorta striked out here. But at least it was cute.


A Hair Miracle

So just in case you didn't get enough of me complaining about my hair in the previous post, I really miss having bangs. I've always been pretty self conscious about my forehead, and just the size of my head in general, and I loved that having bangs gave some balance and added something interesting to my face. I love how they almost instantly make any outfit look a little more chic.

However, summertime is NOT conducive to bangs. At all. At least for me. I get so mad when I see people walking around in the sweltering heat with perfect bangs in their face that aren't a curly mess. 

Yes, I do love having bangs. However, I did not love caring for them and worrying about keeping them straight on rainy days. 

But you know what I do love? That I have finally found the product that has made me much happier with my hair and how fabulous it makes my curls hold up in humidity, rain, and hot weather. After my raving review of Deva Curl the other day, I got several comments about wanting to see a photo of the results. And friends, I present to you a happy girl with lovely and completely un-photoshopped curls.

I am amazed at how long I can go without shampooing, which has left my hair feeling more healthy and shiny. After a day of thrifting and catching up with friends on an extremely toasty day in DC, it was still looking fairly decent when I got home last night.  In fact, I went to Ulta today and exchanged my failed attempt with Ouidad (another curl-boosting product) for some more Deva Curl products that I can't wait to try.

Also, in case your wondering...this is not a commercial and in no way was I paid to say such fabulous things about this stuff. It really is that. awesome. Now when I see curly haired gals I feel the need to run up to them and ask what they use. Actually, the girl at Ulta who rang me up today looked like she could use some Deva Curl in her life.....

OK. Rave over. You gotta try it!


Curly Hair Problems

My mom and I are always on the hunt for the perfect hair product for our curly hair. Let me tell you, as any of you curly-haired gals out there, it is not easy. 

It took me just about all of middle school and high school to finally embrace my curls. After years of trying to blow dry and straighten, only to be left with a frizzy mess, I finally learned the beauty of giving up using a hair brush and letting my curls air dry the way God intended them. 

However, as any curly-haired girl would also say my curls are so different from everyone else's. They are somewhere between corkscrew curly and wavy, but my hair is so thin that when you hold all of my hair in your hand, it feels like a five year old's. When I grow it long, it looks ratty. When it's short, it's too poofy. If I use too many products, it gets greasy and flat. But if I don't use any, the frizz just takes over.

The weather totally determines what kind of day I'm going to have because my hair is so dependent on it. Sad, but true. If I took the time to flat iron my hair and I go outside to a cloudy sky, I panic. Yes, I own a Chi straightener and I absolutely love it, especially when I had my bangs. However, now that the heat and humidity has taken over, there is just no way that straight hair is going to hold up, even on the brightest and sunniest of days.

I used to love getting my hair cut, mostly because of the way it looked when I left. I loved how they could expertly blow it out and make me look like a model. In fact, I would go without washing it for as long as I possibly could just to maintain the perfect style, because I knew once I tried to do the same thing, it would just all go to hell. Now when I get my hair cut, I almost want to leave with my hair still wet so that I can just style it on my own because they will just never get it right. I cringe when they blow dry it with a round brush and then charge me extra to flat iron. My last haircut was when the girl gave me an angled bob, which looked super cute after styling it pin-straight, but is now starting to grow out into an uneven mess. 

This is an uplifting post, right? I pretty much wrote this because maybe I'm PMS-ing a little bit, but there is actually light at the end of the tunnel to all this, because I think I might have found the perfect product:

My mom discovered Deva Curl a few weeks ago and told me I had to give it a try. She sent me a copy of this book in the mail, and reading it was like an epiphany. The book explains all different types of curls, and then gives you the specific way to wash and style your hair based on the type of curls you have (Turns out I have 'swavy' hair). 

It also stresses the importance of using sulphate-free shampoo (read: nothing that you'll find at Walmart), so after lots of deliberation I bit the bullet and went to Ulta to pick up some Deva No Poo and One Conditioner. For a thrifty chick like me, spending more than five dollars on a bottle of shampoo is sacreligious, but after just a few washes I am really seeing what all the hype is. It's a 'cleanser', not a shampoo, so there is no lather which feels kind of weird. The idea is to cleanse your scalp, and then condition the ends. I finish by drying with an old t shirt rather than a bath towel. After applying gel and letting it air dry, I am really seeing a difference in frizz and softness. Even Ian noticed that I was doing something different the other day!

I'm hesitant to go out and buy the whole system just yet, but for now I am happy to announce that this stuff rocks. 

So for my curly haired girls: what products have been life changing for you? 


More Nutella

Seriously, I kind of feel like I was in the loop long before the blogging world caught on to it. In sixth grade, when we rotated throughout the year to German, Spanish, and French class to decide which language we wanted to continue with, the French teacher was the one who introduced me to Nutella. In fact, I almost went with French as my main subject because I liked the food we had that day. Because, yes, I base major life decisions on food. 

Since I'm the only blogger/Pinterest user in the world who has a recent infatuation with Nutella, and a pre-PMS hankering for something delicious and sweet, I thought I would whip up some crepes for lunch. 

(Another side note: I chose to go with Spanish. More variety with that food, I think.) 

Nutella had been facing some heat from mothers after airing commercials that made the product sound healthy. However, they don't fool me. That's why when you add some fruit and nuts to the mix, you have yourself a nice, well-rounded meal. 

For the crepes, mix 1 egg, 1/3 cup of flour, and 1/2 cup of milk in a bowl and place in the refrigerator for a little while before turning on the stove. Get a small pan nice and hot, spray with a little bit of vegetable oil, and pour just the slightest bit into the pan, swirling around to cover the pan evenly. Flip once it's cooked almost the whole way through, and then stick it on a plate to add your toppings.

This particular recipe made four crepes, perfect for one person (however, judging by the food baby in my stomach and the Saturday afternoon lazy fatigue, it was maybe a little too much).

Can you tell which was the first one I made? 

They were delicious, except for the cutting board that I used to cut the bananas on was the one that was used last night to chop garlic. Every few mouths had a bit of a garlic-y undertone, which was interesting. Oh well, nothing a little more Nutella can't fix.


Little Sister All Grown Up

Lately there have been so many things happening that make me feel all kinds of old. Like almost being married for a whole year. 

Also like my little baby sister graduating from high school last weekend. 

We enjoyed a wonderful weekend in PA where we got to celebrate Emily's graduation and have the entire family together for the first time since last summer. 

The weekend included lots of catching up with family and friends, good food, and Brodie family portraits on Sunday. Obviously this was our favorite:

 As part of Emily's graduation gift I gave her a letter that I wrote her of sisterly wisdom for college. Not that she needs it...she sure is more of a smart cookie going into it than I ever was. While she is following in her big sister's footsteps to Penn State this summer, I know she is going to do amazing as she carves out her own niche for her college career. It seems like just yesterday that we were both little girls putting on plays for our parents in the living room and bickering in the backseat of the car, but I am so proud of the beautiful young lady she has now become and I can't wait to see where life takes her next!


Bump It

Yesterday as I was getting ready for work, my hair just wasn't quite sitting right. It needed a little extra oomph.

So I went ahead and did some teasing action, and next thing I knew I had somewhat of a bouffant. 

The weather around here has really cooperated with me lately which means many-a-good hair day. Which, as we all know, makes me very happy.

This shirt was a hand-me-down from my mom, which is better than thrifting! I already know it'll fit, I didn't have to pay a dime, and there's no speculating about which gross closet it might have come from (although I usually like to keep that in the back of my mind.) 


Finding the Blog-Worthy Moments

Ever since I started blogging, every moment in life suddenly becomes blog-worthy. 

After I tell friends a funny story about, for instance, driving with some friends from work to a Zumba class at a gym that doesn't exist anymore, the first response I get is "that sounds like a blog story". Every time I eat or cook something, I either grab my camera or, if I don't, regret when I'm done that I didn't capture the pretty food. Every event in my life is always followed by me wondering how I'm going to blog about it and most of the time I'll even start crafting the narrative in my head and quickly have to jot it down on a piece of paper or in my phone so that I don't forget.

I think that, while too much focus on blogging about your life rather than living it can be a problem, everyone could benefit from thinking of their life as a story. In seeing beauty in the small moments and finding fun and interesting ways to share your stories. Even if it's simply writing them down in a personal journal, sending someone an email, or starting a blog of your own. 

I guess this explains why yesterday morning when I made myself a fabulous looking egg and cheese bagel sandwich, instead of sinking my teeth into it right away I had to snag a few photos. 


We're Going on a Trip!

We have decided on our anniversary trip location after Ian made another call to Airtran last Friday night to see what might have opened up around the time of our anniversary. We had a few choices, but the flights to New Orleans were right around the time we wanted. Not to mention that both of us have never been there and it seems like such a fun place!

In other news, does anyone else get super anxious about asking for time off from work? I absolutely hate it! I think I am just not yet used to the fact that I am a working woman and am allowed to take a week off (assuming I have saved up my vacation days, of course) to go on a nice trip. Of course, my bosses are very cool and not everyone is that lucky, I guess. Anyway, having the official approval to take time off sure puts my mind at ease and makes me so excited to start planning!

SO, blogging friends, I'm gonna need your help again! Who has been to New Orleans? Who knows where to stay, what to do, and what to see that won't break our bank?

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