Grit & Glitter

a gal with gumption

Where To Thrift, A Pro’s Guide

 

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Have you ever wanted to thrift like a pro, but had no idea where to start? Well it’s your lucky day! I would love to thrift with every single one of you, I mean it is my FAVORITE thing to do aside from snuggling fuzzy baby puppies and binge watching a complete TV series on netflix (can I get an “Amen”?). Unfortunately, we all have jobs and co-thrifting isn’t always a possibility. That’s why I created this little guide to share a few tricks of my trade, so you can thrift like a pro on your lonesome. Now you can hear my shrill little thrifty voice in your head every time you pass a neon yardsale sign. You’re welcome.

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Know Your Market

There are several different types of thrifting. Some prefer to thrift via the comfort of their own homes (a’la craigslist, etsy, and ebay), while others prefer to roll up their sleeves and dig in to heaping piles of dusty old things in person. I am more of a ‘dig in’ type of gal. I find there’s nothing like the thrill of the thrift when you’re digging through a pile of lost and forgotten mumbo jumbo and the Heavens part to shine down on that glorious holy grail of a treasure. However, I do find that Craigslist, Ebay, and Etsy are just what the doctor ordered when it comes to searching for specific items like a matching china set, specific types of furniture, and certain items you’ve been scouring the earth for. To help understand where to look, I have broken my list in to 7 main categories with varying price ranges, time requirements, and amounts of ‘dirty work’ .


 

  •  Estate Sales

For those of you who are unfamiliar with  Estate Sales, I suggest you introduce yourself real quick because buy are you missin’ out! If Estate Sale wrote her number on a bathroom stall, it would read “Call For A Good Time”, just sayin she’s a party animal! So what the heck is an estate sale? Well, if someone is looking to sell a large collection, business, or entire personal estate (as in all of their worldly possessions) they will host an estate sale. Unlike auctions, estate sale items are typically pre-priced like a yardsale. Often times, when an elderly person has passed or is no longer able to care for themselves, the family will host an estate sale to liquidate their belongings. Now don’t let this creep you out or make you sad because estate sales can be very happy places :) Family members light up when they see someone love their grandmother’s milk-glass collection as much as she did, and they will sometimes even give you a great deal because they know it’s going to a great home. I have found some of my favorite items at estate sales, and some of my fondest thrifting memories are of reminiscing with family member about the special moments they and their loved ones shared. Here’s a bit more about how to thrift Estate Sales…

How To Find One: Try Craigslist, AuctionZip.net & Your local Weekend Paper

When To Go: The early bird gets the worm. Be the first one there when the door opens & make sure you go the first day (often times they’re at least 2 days long) to get first pick. If there’s something that catches your eye but leaves you with sticker shock, return the next day. Usually, estate sales reduce their prices the last day of the sale.

Key Tips: Remember this was often a family member’s home, don’t insult the decor or furnishings in front of those operating the estate sale. Don’t be afraid to barter, but don’t offer an insanely low amount on the first day. If a family is smart and they are liquidating a large estate, they often hire someone to appraise and organize the event (i.e. ‘Cash & Carrie’), so those people typically aren’t sticker price illiterate. Also, check the basement & garage if they are open to the public, sometimes they hold wonderful treasures!


 

  •  Yard Sales & Garage Sales

Hello weekend warriors, can I get a “Heck Yessss”? Listen, for those of you who haven’t yet jumped on this band wagon let me tell ‘ya, yard sales are not just for those back-woodsy, penny pinching types any more. I mean when a Good Morning America host writes a book titled ‘I Brake For Yard Sales‘, you know they must be pretty darn good. So what’s so great about yardsales? Unlike estate sales, auctions, thrift stores, and all the virtual marketplaces; people hosting yard sales are typically trying to just get rid of their unwanted junk, instead of looking to make a huge profit off of it. This is GREAT because those people typically just want to see it GONE, and they are more likely to take lower offers or price an item well below its value. Here’s a bit more about how to thrift yard sales…

How To Find One: Try Craigslist, The Local Paper & Neighborhood Yard Sale Signs

When To Go: The early bird gets the worm, I always try to start at 7am or earlier (sometimes people aren’t set up until 8am, and some even start at 6am). Sometimes yard sales start as early as Friday and last through Sunday, but typically Saturdays are the best time to hit the road!

Key Tips: If you think the price is a little high, make an offer. People often over value their items, they may have paid a lot for it when they bought it in the 80′s but that brass vase full of dusty silk magnolias just ain’t what it used to be. Just remember, your motive is to barter, not offend them with a ridiculously low offer.


 

  • Auctions

Oh boy, do I have a bad case of trigger finger! At my first estate auction, I bid so much that I ended up with two truck loads! I mean everything was so cheap, why wasn’t anyone else bidding? Don’t even get me started on the rush that comes when you’re in a bidding war. It’s addictive! So what exactly goes on at an auction, we’ll it’s pretty much like thrifting at a live rap concert. An auctioneer stands on a stage and someone hands him an item. He then poetically describes the item as if it was the most beautiful thing he had even seen, all while spitting out verbage at the speed of Iggy Azalea. You’re hooked, you didn’t think you needed an old potato sack but OMG he just sold you on it and next thing you know you’re swinging your numbered auction fan harder than a pro-leaguer and his Louisville slugger bat. So how do you get in on this action? Well here’s the scoop…

How To Find One: Try Craigslist, The Local Paper & AuctionZip.com (also ask around and google your zip code, there are often local auctioneers and auction houses that host weekly or monthly auctions)

When To Go: Get there before the auction to scope out the loot, auctions can be long events so you want to make sure you’re not just waiting around for a bunch of things you aren’t even interested in. Also, you will typically have to wait in line to sign up and receive a bidder’s # before the auction begins. Allow yourself plenty of time to sign in and scope it out.

Key Tips: Scope out your wanted items & then PAY ATTENTION! Remember, these guys are bustin’ out items & spittin’ out  words faster than a Kardashian marriage & divorce. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve missed out on a great item because I was yakking away with someone next to me or staring down at the screen of my iPhone. Know when to pull the trigger, and know when to back out of a fight. When you scope out your wanted items, assign your top dollar amount before hand so you know when to back out of a bidding war, then stick to your guns! Your top dollar may not be someone else’s, so know when to give up the fight. P.S. Many auctions will post their items online prior to the auction via their website, facebook, or instagram to allow for absentee bidding. With absentee bidding you can  call ahead of time and assign a price and during the items auction someone will stand in for you to bid until that max amount is reached. This is great for out of towner’s who just cant make the trip unless they know the item is a done deal!


 

  • Thrift Stores & Charity Stores

Thanks to Macklemore, Mad Men,Wes Anderson, and hipsters everywhere; thrift store’s are no longer just for die hard vintage enthusiasts, home-schoolers and the homeless. This is a 2 sided street for lifelong thrifters like me. In one respect I’m thrilled that others are enjoying the thrills of poppin’ tags, color coded weekly discounts and dirty ‘fur fox skins’. Yet on the other hand, it kind of sucks. Gone are the days of dirt cheap prices as these stores wise up and hire managers that actually post items to ebay. I mean what? As interest and pricing wisdom have escalated, so has my sticker shock. Yet, I still LOVE my local thrift stores. Here’s how to shop, despite the rising tag prices…

How To Find One: Keep an eye out as you drive around town, ask around, and look online for tried and true stores like Goodwill, Salvation Army, and Habitat For Humanity’s Re-Sale stores.

When To Go: Go early to mid week and GO OFTEN! Once you’ve found your favorite honey holes, visit them weekly to stay in the loop. Also, many thrift stores have a weekly color (or sticker date) coded discount. When an item comes in to the store’s inventory, it is assigned a tag or sticker showing the date it was placed into inventory. Each week a color or date range is discounted to move through older items and make way for newer items.

Key Tips: Sometimes thrift stores are all business in the front & party in the back, meaning their back room is stocked full of items to rummage through. I visited my local Salvation Army for almost 2 years before I realized that they had an ENORMOUS airplane hanger sized back room just waiting for me to get my thrifty little hands on. Dig in, sometimes you’ve got to dig through piles of grubby clothes and dingy dishes to find that needle in a haystack. Super pro tip: I carry hand sanitizer with me to use in between thrift stops because nothing makes me feel ickier than someone else’s dirt under my nails!


  • Flea Markets

Flea Markets are like the County Fair of thrifting; come one, come all. It’s a little bit country, a little bit rock & roll. You may find a Velvet Elvis next to a $3,000 vase (and that’s just one booth). There are several types of Flea Markets. First you have your traditional outdoor flea markets held weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or annually. For instance the Nashville Flea Market is held one weekend per month, while The Fall Flea is held annually. Outdoor Flea markets may be my favorite. Okay, I know, I’ve already said that twice but seriously…. Outdoor Flea Markets Rock! Sunshine, crappy fair food, insanely cool junk, it just doesn’t get any better!

How To Find One: Follow thrifty bloggers in your area (like me), and follow the flea markets they frequent on social media or sign up for the market’s newsletters. Often times flea markets will promote one another, because they’re just ‘good peoples’. Also, check with your local state or county fairground, as they are typically the locations that host such events (however, some are also held on farms or at roadside attractions).

When To Go: Go early in the day! Beat the heat, outdoor markets can really suck the life outta ‘ya when high noon hits, it gets all ‘The Good, The Bad & The Ugly’ real quick. Tumbleweeds start rolling, you start seeing mirages of cool pools of water as you lose consciousness from heat exhaustion (read below to avoid this).

Key Tips: STAY HYDRATED! Bring bottled water, nothing is worse than getting dehydrated in a sea full of vintage treasures. It’s a little like Aerials treasure trove meets Old Greg’s cavern when you try to thrift an outdoor  market without water; you go a little cooky and start brushing your long locks with silver forks and wearing seaweed as a weave. How are you going to cart your water around? You need a market cart! Make sure you line yours with a market bag or liner full of snacks as well, you will definitely work up an appetite!


  • Peddlers Malls

I’ll be honest, peddlers malls are pretty much an easy egg hunt. Every time I go to the peddlers mall I leave with at least 3 things. Milkglass (check). Brass (check). Lucite (check). They’ve got it all. Peddlers Malls are a lot like indoor Flea Markets, except they’re usually a little less curated. A vendor pays a monthly fee to haul all of their treasures in to a booth, and a really good vendor will actually replenish and curate their booths. Some do it to make money, some do it to mark up their items at incredibly high prices & hoard their collections, and others use it as a 24/7 yardsale where they dump all of their old underwear and tupperware. It’s a really a free for all in there, but you’ll rarely come out empty handed!

How To Find One: Drive around town. I’ve spotted most of my frequent stops while running errands. Often you will find them in strip malls or old run down former department stores. Occasionally you will find a HUGE peddler’s mall off the interstate, super thrifty little roadside attractions. Again, ask around town & google your zip code. Super pro tip: If you’re new to the area (or even if its your neighborhood) stop in a local coffee shop & ask them where to find a good thrift stop. All of us coffee lovin’ hipsters typically thrift ourselves, or we know a local Macklemore who rocks those fur fox skins like a pro. 

When To Go: Try to go during the afternoon, and go often. Sometimes you will even find vendors at their booths, you may even be able to talk them down on that bar cart you’re eyeing.

Key Tips: Canvass the joint. Peddler’s malls can be pretty big places and they usually don’t have shopping carts. Make your first pass of the mall and look for bigs (furniture, wall art, lamps, BIG pieces), when you find a piece you love take a picture on your phone of the item & booth number to remember where it is. Go to the front desk and tell them you want the item. Sometimes they will grab them for you, and sometimes they will want you to get them yourself. Make a second pass and look for smalls (glassware, trinkets, and if you’re like me tiny little brass accessories), then take your entire loot to the front to purchase. Most peddler’s malls allow you to make an offer on a item, don’t completely low ball them because they typically have to call the vendor and that’s just a waste of everyone’s time. Make sure you make your offers to vendors after your first pass around the place, so they have time to make the call on your second pass. P.S. Peddler’s Malls are always more fun with a friend (that way you can inappropriately scoff at funny nude paintings & giant Jesus blankets).


 

  • Antique Shops

Oh little shops of antiquities, how I love/hate thee. Sometimes, for a thrifter, antique shops are a little like  window shopping at Saks with an empty bank account. Thrilling, inspiring, and all together depressing. I still love them, despite the ridiculously accurate market value prices. You see, I don’t like market value, I’m cheap (thus I thrift). Antique shops are still super fun, and they’re also a great way to learn the current value of your collected treasures. Here are a few tips…

How To Find One: Google search & word of mouth are your best bet. Also, a lot of antique shops tend to be in the heart of town squares or quirky neighborhoods. It’s pretty much a sure bet to find at least one antique shop in a midwestern town square or around their “Main Street”.

When To Go: Try to visit on a weekday, you will often find the owner there and they offer a wealth of knowledge (as well as full bargaining power).

Key Tips: Don’t scoff at the prices and yell out to your thrifting buddy across the room “Did you see how much this is? That’s CRAZY!“. A.) That’s offensive to the owner,  B.) It makes you look totally uneducated on market value and current vintage & antique prices, and C.)  You have lost all bartering power on any purchase. Who would want to accept a lower offer from someone who completely scoffs at their prices? not me!


  • Craigslist

Oh Craig, you are my cyber lover. I’m pretty sure we are going steady, I mean we hang out at least 3 times a week and we’ve even pulled a few all nighters. Here are a few reasons why you rock my socks. 1.) You are a cheap date, I mean sometimes you’re even FREE (talk about a good time). 2.) You post so many pictures, I felt like I knew you even before I even met you. Granted, sometimes those photos were taken in a creepy unfinished basement or a hap hazard garage, but at least I know what I was getting in to before going to meet you. 3.) You are only occasionally a murderer.

When To Go: DO NOT MEET A CRAIGSLISTER AFTER DARK. I don’t care if they’re selling freaking gold bricks for a dollar, nothing is worth risking your safety. On that note, meet somewhere in a public place with one to two other people with you. If you must go to their house use your best judgment. If you’re going down a rural dirt road, with no one to be seen for miles, and you hear a chainsaw in the distance just turn around and leave that gold brick in the dust.  

Key Tips: Looking for something specific like a tulip dining table, lucite coffee table, or Eames chairs? Check several times a week. These things go fast! Also, expand your search to surrounding areas (for instance I search both Louisville & Cincinnati on the regular).


  •  Etsy & Ebay

These are two TOTALLY different sites, but I have a similar approach to both. I visit ONLY if I am in the market for something totally specific that I haven’t found anywhere else, or if I’m looking for the current market value for one of my items I may be looking to sell. Why am I not visiting these sites more often? They re just way too addictive! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve visited etsy to purchase a very specific vintage item and come away with 2 glittery headbands, a kleenex box cover, and a collection of handmade unicorn necklaces to only wonder “Oh dear Lord, what have I done?” an hour later. Don’t even get me started on Ebay. Remember how I stated earlier that I have tripper finger, well turns out online auctions are even worse than live auctions. I leave the online auction portion of our business up to my Mother, because the first step is admitting you have a problem…

Key Tips: Don’t fall into the rabbit hole, go in knowing exactly what you want and don’t come out with an unplanned collection of kleenex box covers (true story). Also, beware of WHERE exactly these vendors are shipping from. I once bought a vintage mailbox on etsy and in a moment of excitement overlooked the fact that the vendor was located in Bali. I paid double the item’s cost in shipping fees and four months later guess what, no mailbox.

FULL LIST OF MY FAVORITE LOCAL (LOUISVILLE) THRIFTING SPOTS COMING SOON, STAY TUNED…

Pretty Little Piña

Screen Shot 2014-05-30 at 7.47.41 PMScreen Shot 2014-05-30 at 7.46.45 PMWhen I visited Charleston last fall I fell in love with the trendiest fruit of all: PINEAPPLES! Growing up on the Mason Dixon line, I had always wondered why Pineapples were everywhere. Brass door knockers, wallpaper borders, realtor’s logos, South Carolina bumper stickers, welcome mats, the list goes on. I mean, I knew that we weren’t growing pineapples and they certainly weren’t  indigenous to the mainland, so it just didn’t add up!

And then whilst on a tour of Boone Hall in Charleston, I heard the tradition of the pineapple for the first time and I fell head over heels with the fruit.

The History Of The Pineapple:

Christopher Columbus brought the succulent prickly fruit back to Europe in 1493 after his second voyage of discovery in Guadeloupe. Its similar shape and rough, spiky surface caused the Spaniards to name it piña, after the pine cone. The English noted the same resemblance, hence our word “pineapple”. To the Caribs (Natives of Guadalupe), the pineapple symbolized hospitality, and the Spaniards soon learned they were welcome if a pineapple was placed by the entrance to a village. This symbolism spread to Europe, then to Colonial North America, where it became the custom to carve the shape of a pineapple into the columns at the entrance of a plantation.

As tradition would have it, a pineapple was served or placed in an arrangement at every meal when a guest was visiting your home or plantation. Pineapples were very rare and hard to attain in colonial and early plantation life, hence it was a sign that you were truly welcome and your presence was celebrated. Traveling was a great feat in the days before gas powered engines, the journey to and from could take weeks on end (major childhood road-trip NIGHTMARE). Therefore guests would stay for extended visits, and once the pineapple was removed from the serving table they would know it was time to leave.

Once I learned the history behind the tradition of the pineapple it all made sense! I love to entertain, and was raised in a home where my momma taught me to be warm and welcoming, even if your ex-boyfriend shows up at your  family’s Thanksgiving dinner (true story). Although on that very particular Thanksgiving, if there were any pineapples on the table she would have probably have quickly chucked them in the garbage as soon as he entered the room.

As you can see, I am all about the Pineapple craze. As soon as I returned from the Carolinas I thrifted an adorable little brass pineapple that sits on my entry console to greet guests at the front door. I haven’t had to remove it yet, but if you notice me hiding my brass pineapple behind a pillow when you knock on my front door, you best make the visit brief :)

How ’bout them pineapples?

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5 Things Creative People Should Stop Doing Right Now

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Sometimes, actually most of the time, it’s hard to be a creative individual. You can’t hold a steady day job, your mind is reeling at a million ideas per second (or you feel you have no ideas at all), you’re constantly wondering “Am I good enough”, or  “Am I crazy”, or my personal favorite “AM I THE ONLY ONE!?!”

Your family is confused by your ‘Job Title’, everyone thinks you’re flighty because you’re constantly ‘working on a new project’ and you wonder if you will ever be able to afford to pay your bills on time (let alone be able to take ‘paid vacations’ or afford an insurance plan). Even though you work full time for the man and plug away at your own personal creative endeavors on in to the wee hours of the night and through the weekends, you’re still getting nowhere. You’re exhausted mentally, physically, and emotionally.

Most of your friends don’t get you, and the ones who do have no advice to offer because they themselves are rapidly approaching a breakdown.

And then there’s the dark hole of social media. It reels you in like an episode of Real Housewives, and 6 hours after landing on an episode while channel surfing you are still glued to the TV just begging for one more glimpse in to the the lifestyle’s of the rich and socially famous. You’re pouring over instagram posts of macaroons, Louie Vuitton’s, margaritas on the beach and marbled kitchen renos; all while eating your easy mac lunch at your particle board cubicle desk and wondering “How the heck can they afford this?”

You are green with envy yet full of passion and admiration. You’re full of dreams, yet stuck making someone else’s dream come true 4o hours a week, 52 weeks a year.

If that’s you, please join me in raising that microwavable easy mac in the air and proudly boasting “I AM NOT ALONE!”

If you want to make YOUR dreams come true, here are 5 Things to STOP doing right now!

(P.S. This is exactly what I’m stopping RIGHT NOW in my own life)

#1- Stop eating easy mac, nourish yourself. Take your health and your well being seriously. Make your personal health and wellness a priority. Pursue a healthy lifestyle in every aspect and form of your health: emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual.

#2- Stop working for the man. Don’t quit your daydream. Believe and invest in your intellectual and creative property and stop working 40 hours a week to build someone else’s dream of a company. Hustle every day, just don’t let anyone pimp you out. Do your own thang’, GET IT GIRL!

#3- Stop trying to explain yourself. If you have to go in to a long explanation as to ‘why you do what you do’ every time you share your ambitions and ideas with a certain person, stop talking to them about your creative aspirations or business pursuits. Whether they are your mother, sister, best friend or husband; if they aren’t offering support, silence their voice in that particular aspect of your life. This is by far the hardest thing for me to do, I over-share about 90% of the time. I’m constantly looking for other’s support, approval, and opinions. Many times this has proven to be detrimental to my dreams. Instead surround yourself with people who ‘get you’. These are people who believe in you, encourage you, and understand that you’re not a nine to fiver. Don’t let anyone make you feel that you have to push yourself to to be a square peg in a round hole. If you haven’t found a place that you fit professionally or creatively, maybe that’s because YOU must create that place. Break the mold and be who you are, you’ll find that you are not alone in your uniqueness.

#4- Stop Giving 100% all the time. Give 100%, 50% of the time. As creatives, we often try to give 100% ALL OF THE TIME. The truth is, unfortunately we are human and we CAN NOT (and should not) require ourselves to work 24/7 365 and expect to produce great results. We’ll be left feeling drained of all energy and creative inspiration. Instead, find ways to work smarter, not harder. For instance, I tend to think I can do it all. Recently I agreed to take on a project that required me to work 40 hours a week. I knew in my heart of hearts that this wasn’t right for me but I thought “Hey it’s a great team, I’ll gain great experience and it’ll be great to have the extra money”. Fast forward a few months later and I was commuting 8+ hours every week, working over 80 hours a week including the time spent working on my own business and all the while taking no days off and working through the weekend. I was trying to give 100%, a hundred percent of the time and I had absolutely nothing left to give. I crashed and burned because I didn’t allow myself to rest and rejuvenate.

#5- Stop trying to please ANYONE. What? That’s selfish! No, you know what IS selfish? Trying to be everyone’s problem solver. Stop feeding off the high that comes from fulfilling another’s needs and desires and find out what YOU need. You will never find fulfillment in the least if you are pursuing other’s approval. Granted, this is all relative. If your own needs and desires are born of a selfish or destructive place you should go back to #1, put down that unhealthy lifestyle  and pursue a lifestyle that feeds your soul and builds upon a healthy mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual foundation. I am naturally a people pleaser, sometimes it comes as easily to me as breathing. I am a “yes” man. I so desperately want to please others that I have come to believe what pleases them pleases me, and that is not the case. Before saying “yes” I must first ask myself, “Is this going to fulfill me mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually?” If the answer to that question is “no“, then your answer to their request is “No!” (Granted, please use tact and decline gracefully. Don’t just scream “NO!”, a healthy lonely person is probably still not very fulfilled. Don’t forget that you must invest in your relationships, but you must FIRST invest in yourself. Otherwise will have nothing to offer.)

If you desire to be a successful entrepreneur, freelancer, artist, or creative professional please join me and stop living a life that is not fulfilling your dreams and desires. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. There are so many other people out there who struggle with breaking the same mold. We are all striving to make a way for ourselves, and find the “I’m Possible” in the impossible. No, we don’t all live in Los Angeles, Nashville, or New York. We’re sprinkled throughout the midwest, from the Podunk towns with one caution light to the big city corporate offices and all across the globe. It’s time to stop feeling like we are square pegs in a round hole, rather we need to stop trying to fit in to a mold that we were never made for. If you can’t find your place, join others like me and create it!

 

Life Via Instagram: Vintage Hoarding & Pre-Spring Musings

I have always been a collector, it began with my Caboodles and Little Miss Pet Shop collections as a child  and gradually grew in to full blown vintage ‘hoarding’ status as an adult. My mother and I are known as ‘Vintage Hoarders Extraordinaire’. When we started our vintage rentals company The Southern Soirée, we were convinced that we were too organized and systematic to be considered hoarders. That was until I was watching that all too famous show earlier last week and this particular episode featured a woman who meticulously organized her colossal hoard of collections in neatly stacked & labeled plastic boxes. Each time I hear the doorbell ring, I now fear that the producers of ‘Hoarders’ have now come a knockin’.

In the meantime, before my Hoarders episode airs, here’s a sneak peek in to my collection of recent acquisitions.

Lazy Sunday reading, enjoying my fresh stack of #vintage #design magz & feeling all warm & fuzzy inside! #midcentury #hollywoodregency

Lazy Sunday reading, enjoying my fresh stack of #vintage #design magz & feeling all warm & fuzzy inside! #midcentury #hollywoodregency

My gorgeous ghost chairs are finally here! Thanks to @hunted_interior for the tip off, can't wait to style these beauties under my #vintage #industrial table I picked up at an estate sale last fall! #spookygooddeal

My gorgeous ghost chairs are finally here! Thanks to @hunted_interior for the tip off, can’t wait to style these beauties under my #vintage #industrial table I picked up at an estate sale last fall! #spookygooddeal

Can't wait to put these vintage copper lookers to good use, for rent at @thesouthernsoiree

Can’t wait to put these vintage copper lookers to good use, for rent at @thesouthernsoiree

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Ready to remix the living room, no amount of snow & ice can come between me and my brass fascination! #oopsiwentthrifting

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Oops, I went thrifting. Should we welcome these guys in to @thesouthernsoiree do give your input. Thrift or Toss?

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#flashback to our Valentines shoot, can’t wait to share our dreamy images ❤

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Brunch @thesouthernsoiree style! #snowday

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Shooting for @thesouthernsoiree with my dream team today, running on sugar and 4 hours of sleep and couldn’t be happier!#lovewhatyoudo

You can follow my hoarding tendencies over on my instagram account under the name: gritandglitter

http://instagram.com/gritandglitter

P.S. If you live in the Louisville area and you love to thrift, hoard, and admire vintage treasures hit me up. I love digging through piles of dusty old things with likeminded treasure seekers!

3 Simples Ways To Style Your Bar Cart For A Party

As the co-owner of The Southern Soirée, I have been fully drawn in to the bar cart craze. This trendy subject excites me for two reasons: 1.) It gives me an excuse to play with my fancy dishes [a la 'grown up tea party'], and 2.) This is a huge nod to the mid century era, when hosting a small get together was all the rage and entertaining was an art form.

So with all the new bar carts popping up everywhere from Macy’s to Target, I thought I would share a few styling tips that can make a stylish impact on most any budget! Here are 3 simple (and cost effective) ways to style your bar cart for a party…

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bar 2

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Cupid’s Little Wish List

As Valentine’s Day approaches I can’t help but wish Cupid would take a shot at these oh so stylish (and cost effective) gift ideas. Alas I will probably receive mounds of chocolate in place of Lulu Frost and scented nail polish, but I ain’t complainin’! I will gladly accept all forms of candy, and maybe even grab a few of these lovelies for myself; because after all it is about love and what says L.O.V.E. like a self bought ‘wifey’ sweatshirt?

P.S. Honey if you read this, I really do like the kitten calendar you made me last year, but how cute are those Loly In The Sky flats? (wink, wink)

Cupids wish list

No 1: I NEED these arrows, I’m not 100% sure why exactly I need them (archery is not on my resume) but they would be such great conversational pieces arranged in a vintage vase next to my golden Statue David bust! ( Ahalife Arrows)

No 2: Although pet names freak me out and make me cringe and giggle, I am a ‘wifey’. This could be a segue in to the whole “We use pet names in public” thing. (Wifey Sweatshirt)

No 3: I am really in to using essential oils as of late and this scent sounds deliciously tantalizing. (Millefiore Vanilla Flower Fragrance)

No 4: A few days after watching ‘American Hustle’ I was flipping through a glossy style mag at the salon and literally burst out laughing when I saw an ad for Revlon’s new scented nail polish. All I gotta say is Jennifer Lawrence sold me on it; hook, line, and sinker. (Revlon Parfumerie Scented Nail Enamel)

No 5: Lulu Frost tugs at my heart strings with every piece of vintage fabulous, gem encrusted, off beat item she creates. These numbered bracelets reeled me in like a bait and tackle. So pretty! (Lulu Frost Bracelet)

No 6: Loly In The Sky, I love you. I mean you just crawled right in to my dreams and plucked these gahhwgous flirty little flats straight from my vintage 60′s dream closet! (Giusy Loafers)

No 7: My love affair with brass continues, and this table’s arrow base detail reminds me of  Scalamandre’s Zebra pattern (which is in my humble opinion,  the sistine chapel of prints). I’m sold! (Arthur Glass Table)

Shock & Strut, How To Wear Color & Leather

I have never been one to shy away from graphic prints, bold colors, or quirky trends. As someone who was raised by a professional clown, yes I know that explains a lot, I have wholeheartedly embraced the fact that I am just not going to fit in to the crowd. Once you’re no longer afraid of standing out, it’s so much easier to take risks. Whether in life, love, or fashion; when you dance to the beat of your own drum there will always be people who respect your individuality, and then there will be those who just don’t get it. The joy of embracing your individuality is that other people don’t have to get it, but when you meet someone who does it’s magical. The more you follow your dreams, take risks, and embrace your own individuality; the more the world opens up and life becomes more beautiful.

I knew I wanted to shoot this look with Tabitha. It’s very quirky, trendy, and oh so colorful. I knew she would get it, because she gets me. I am very much like this look. A little tough at the core, but all sunshine and rainbows on the outside.

When balancing color, pattern, and texture it is good to have an anchor piece that ties the whole look together. In this case my leather skirt anchors the look and draws the eye down to my black boots and back up to the black in my pom pom leopard toboggan. Now this is not a fashion rule, because fashion rules (like most rules) were made to be broken, but rather this is a guide to help you figure out what the heck you’re going to wear when you pushed the snooze button 10 times too many and have less than 5 minutes to get dressed in the morning. No rules, just time savers.

Another time cruncher’s fashion tip, Jewel Tones are like the BFF’s of the color world. Much like the Jersey Shore cast embers these hues are bold, usually loud and boisterous, great party animals, and although these members may clash they’re always going to be there for one another when the cameras are rolling. Amethyst, Sapphire, Emerald, Peridot, Citrine, Turquoise, Topaz, Garnet, and Amber are great for color blocking. These rich hues can mingle together to create some amazing ensembles.

Add a dash of powdery white snow and you have a colorful gem against a gorgeous canvas.

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Photography By: Tabitha Prevett Photography

Leopard Toboggan: Betsy Johnson via Nordstrom Rack, Citron Sweater: Target, Faux Leather Skirt: Nordstrom Rack, Emerald Tights: Target, Boots: Lucky Brand, Assorted Bracelets: Dress & Dwell/Vintage/Dillards

Snow Leopard

For over a year I have been on the prowl for the perfect leopard coat. Much like the search for the epic North American Bigfoot, all I had to show for my efforts were a few late night photos that lead nowhere. Either the coats were too expensive, too cheap, or just nowhere to be found. The truth is, a good leopard pattern can be unbelievably luxe, but the wrong pattern can leave you looking like a 12 year old Jersey girl. I am very picky when it comes to my spots, I may have a lot of leopard but you will never see me sporting a bad faux (or ever a real fur for that matter).

So I was borrowing returning some clothing in my sisters closet when a clear plastic garment bag began to sway in the drafty basement breeze. I turned my head and lowe and behold, it was the coat I had been painstakingly longing for. Turns out, the reason I couldn’t find it was that it was gloriously vintage. The faux fur was pristine, and the pattern was insanely gorgeous. It was spot on, pun intended. So I made my sister an offer she couldn’t refuse and pretty much haven’t taken this coat off since.

The other week we had the most unbelievable snowfall, and my gorgeous blonde bombshell of a photographer (aka the best harsh weather braving buddy EVER), stopped by and captured this coat in its natural habitat.

Voila, the Snow Leopard!

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Photography By: Tabitha Prevett Photography

Coat: Vintage, Sweater: Vintage/Thrifted, Necklace: Dillards, Sequin Shorts: Vintage/Thrifted, Boots: Lucky Brand

Bedroom Blues

Since it’s colder here than the polar ice cap,  it’s got me thinking a lot about cozy-ing up our little bedroom. This fall we took the plunge and painted our bedroom a dark flat navy, which really makes  my grandma’s white mid-century dresser  and our white leather headboard pop like a crisp clean linen hanging against a warm summer sky. But aside from these lovely color combinations, our bedroom still needs a TON of help. Unfinished projects, like the brass mid-century light fixture I picked up at a rummage sale, are lying around creating heaps of clutter and utterly un-cozy-ing up the space.

So, to spur on my design go-getter, here’s a little inspo for my bedroom blues…

bed 1

bed 8

bed 5

bed 2

 

bed 9

 

bed 7

bed 10

My Fashion View

This December I had the pleasure of being chosen by Miranda Rogers McDonals, the voice and fashion icon behind TheChicStreet.com,  for  an interview in our local Voice Tribune. I am truly honored to have the chance to share my Fashion View, and as always I  absolutely loved working with Miranda!

Here’s my Fashion View…

fashion view

 

Interview By MIRANDA ROGERS MCDONALD

 TheChicStreet.com

What is your fashion view?

Fashion is an immediate way for me to express myself. It speaks for me before I even have a chance to open my mouth. I have a lot to say, and fashion is another means of expression. As Coco Chanel once said, “Fashion is in the sky, in the street. Fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”

How do you describe your style?

I would say that my personal style is highly eclectic, vintage and somewhat quirky. I have been known to wear anything from cowboy boots to a Grateful Dead tee in public, all in the same day. Life is about taking risks and making the most of what you have. I may not have the most luxurious and label-lined closet, but I can take that $2 thrifted mumu, pair it with my vintage leather vest and “make it work.” No one should pigeonhole themselves into one genre of fashion. We’re all multifaceted, fascinating individuals and our style should represent those different facets of our personalities.

Where is your favorite place to shop?

Working in a locally-owned boutique, and as a local business owner myself, I have a high respect for local boutiques and thrift stores and try to shop locally as much as possible. Some of my favorite vintage pieces have come from Urban Attic and Mariposa Consignments, while Dress & Dwell is my go-to for each season’s current trends. All that being said, a girl just can’t resist J Crew’s effortless looks and Target’s amazing prices. And, as a former mall rat, I do find myself often perusing through the big chains to find some great bargains while chowing down on a Cinnabon.

What are your favorite pieces?

As much as I would love to rock stilettos and tulle skirts on the daily, my jobs call for high traffic and ready-to-wear comfort. I am often in velvet slippers or riding boots and leather pants or colored denim. I almost always layer, and I try to add as many textures as I can while still looking polished. When the time calls for a more “glam” approach, I head to the back of my closet to raid my vintage dress collection, and I slip into some fun heels and statement jewelry.

Any trends you look forward to wearing for fall and winter?

I am loving the turn to glam this season. I am wholly embracing the sequins and feminine frills, but to keep the look fresh and current I try to tone down the “Gatsby” nod with a more masculine element like pairing a sequin skirt with a plaid top or leather jacket.

Has your career affected your outfit choices?

My career is constantly changing. Every day is different, and my style choices must be versatile and functional as well as fashion forward and professional so that I can meet the task at hand. In just one day I may be styling a photo shoot, meeting with a client, perusing the flea market and attending an antique auction, so unfortunately on most days those heels and frills give way to flats and ready-to-wear ensembles. However, no matter the look I always layer on the jewels to keep my ensemble upbeat and quirky, because nothing takes you from dowdy thrifter to fashion vixen in no time flat like a statement necklace. When it comes to bits and baubles, the more the merrier.

Who is your fashion icon?

Since the first time I laid eyes on Audrey Hepburn, I was mesmerized. Her very being exuded an air of effortless elegance – so iconic, yet utterly approachable. Everything about her presence enchanted me. She had such openness, yet such pride. She was so unsure of herself, yet completely confident and competent. And, atop the list of numerous characteristics, even before her beauty and grace, her crowning merit was her compassion for others and her awareness of the world around her. I think that in this age we could all take a lesson from her, because we are so plugged in, yet so disconnected from the world around us.

Is there anything else that you would like our readers to know about you?

Well, I’m an open book. I often overshare, I laugh too loud in public and my love for felines far surpasses society’s “norm.”  Just like most people my age, I am figuring out who and what I want to be when I grow up, and the best way I’ve found to do that is to find out exactly what and whom I don’t want to be. I’ve been many things, I’ve worn many hats and I’ve found that the one that fits best is the one with no label.

Miranda Rogers McDonald is the author of TheChicStreet.com. When Miranda isn’t blogging about fashion or flexing her social media muscle, she is spending time with her husband and feisty Chihuahua, Niles. She believes in celebrating the smaller things in life, such as good wine and food, an interesting book and sitting on patios while enjoying conversations with her closest friends. She strives to one day join the ranks of the fashion editors that she idolizes, and to show the world that a girl from Kentucky knows a little something about style.

Photo by CHRIS HUMPHREYS | The Voice-Tribune

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