celebrating halloween with value village

halloween is just around the corner;
it seemingly sneaks up on me each year.
costume planning (and shopping) is one
of my favorite fall traditions.
i may or may not want to admit how
much time i recently spent browsing ‘costume ideas’
on pinterest during the month of october
(my halloween board can be found here).
blogs provide a great deal of inspiration, too.
 between pre-packaged and DIY costumes,
a girl has a lot of options.
disclosure: value village graciously provided me with a gift card
to purchase my costume. as per usual, all opinions are my own!
as september came to an end (and the weather
changed (or drastically cooled off)), pumpkins,
apple cider, and halloween costumes
were on my mind. i began asking friends and coworkers
for costume suggestions, but struggled to come
up with something original. i dressed as wendy darling
from the disney movie, peter pan,
last year. my costume was entirely thrifted!
this year, i was eager to visit my local
value village for a bit of halloween prep.
i had a few costume ideas in mind,
but i find it helpful to begin your halloween thrifting
adventure with an open mind. after all, you
never know what your local thrift store will have
in stock. additionally, i take a cursory
glance at my closet: do i have accessories
or a specific item i can style as part of a costume?
ears, a new makeup tutorial, or wig
are potential examples.
i tend to avoid the ready-made,
packaged costumes, as they lack originality.
the costume ‘section’ can be helpful when thrift
shopping, but can appear picked over.
my strategy? walk the store.
look at everything. consult pinterest as
you find clothing, shoes, or accessories that
can be used to create a costume. and
 most of all, have fun!
halloween is an wonderful holiday.
celebrating all things spooky + costumes and
candy galore?! that requires fun, laughter, and creativity.
can you guess my costume? sandy from
‘grease’ meets 1950s pinup girl. a bandana,
high-waisted bottoms, and a glass bottle of coke
were essential. i had so much fun putting
this look together!
when browsing the racks at value village,
i was hoping to find high-waisted
shorts and a gingham or polka dot shirt.
unfortunately, i was unable to find shorts
but fell in love with this polka dot top. i also
stumbled upon this gem of a jacket on
my way to the shoe section. i purchased it
to wear IRL (in real life), but it seemingly goes
well with my costume, too!
the finishing touches were a sleek pair of
heels, a bracelet, bandana, and loose curls.
t-shirt, bracelet, heels, and faux fur jacket: c/o value village.
leggings: american apparel, bandana: fred meyer
you can see previous halloween posts on my
blog here and here. i absolutely love celebrating
halloween (any excuse to dress up and eat chocolate,
right?). do you have any fun plans this year?
what is your costume? if you haven’t begun
planning, make sure to visit your neighborhood
value village for costume ideas and essentials!


the annual ‘spring-cleaning itch’

we experienced a brief glimpse of spring last weekend
(i think a full 24 hours sans rain!); the sun even poked her head out,
albeit brief. the city seemingly comes alive when we transition from 
winter to spring, and i must admit, i couldn’t be happier!
with temperatures in the low 50s, i was beyond eager
to ditch my heavy coat and all-too-familiar rain boots.
each year, as spring approaches, i experience a rather intense
desire to purge my closet. i want it all gone. and clean. and organized.
 i am done with everything warm, thick, waterproof – 
anything that reminds me of winter. black jackets and sweaters? goodbye!
 i want to chuck everything i have lived in for the past several
months and welcome lightweight, colorful and vibrant pieces.
disclosure: value village graciously provided me with a gift card used to purchase some of the 
items worn in this post. as per usual, all opinions are my own!
the spring purge doesn’t mean throwing away clothing,
shoes and accessories (not in the literal sense). instead, 
i separate what i no longer wear or need into distinct piles:
sell, give, and donate. i plan to do an additional blog post detailing
this process (as it has become quite methodical). in general, however,
i choose a few items that are newer and perhaps more ‘trendy’ 
to sell at local consignment shops. i also have a pile
that i offer to my roommates, coworkers, and of course, my mom.
lastly, i donate the remaining items at value village
(you can find the donation site nearest to you here).
and it seems my attempt to purge and de-clutter my closet this
season was futile; unfortunately, i rarely drop off items at value village 
without also bringing one or two (or sometimes, several) 
‘new’ things home. it’s a vicious cycle, i tell you.
while i may have gone into the store several
bags lighter (with a more organized car, bedroom and closet!), 
i came out with a new spring-inspired outfit.
‘you’re only going in to drop these things off, megan.’
this is the mantra that runs through my head upon entering
my local value village. whether or not this repeated mantra actually
works is still up for debate.
blouse: daniel rain (c/o value village), jeans: american eagle,
purse: steve madden (c/o value village), shoes: converse (c/o value village),
bracelet: gift from my parents after their recent trip to mexico, rings: forever 21
and while my meager attempts at keeping my closet
clutter low are seemingly futile, i know that both 
shopping and donating at value village makes a difference.
last year, they kept 650 million pounds of textiles and goods
out of landfills. that’s quite a feat! 
have you experienced the annual spring cleaning itch? 
how do you stay organized, and what do you typically
do with items you no longer wear or need? let me
know in the comments, and happy cleaning (and donating!).

current obsession: the bomber jacket

here, there, everywhere – bomber jackets are making an appearance!
whether you’re browsing pinterest, or looking through the racks of your
favorite department store, bomber jackets are a fan favorite. 
while i appreciated this particular style of jacket last season, 
i have to admit, i didn’t purchase a bomber jacket until earlier this year, 
when an army green style arrived in my monthly stitch fix
(in case you missed it, i recently styled the jacket on my blog here).
whether it’s paired with a light sweater, wrap dress, or a simple tee,
let your bomber make a statement. i like the versatility of my 
chic, green coat, but the embroidered floral print makes this jacket 
(and the rest of my outfit) pop; remember, it’s all about the details!
i picked up these distressed, patched jeans at the zara
end-of-season clearance earlier this year, and while i typically
prefer darker denim, i love this light wash for spring. the boyfriend
style will be perfect with sandals (if the weather ever warms up –
i’m beginning to lose faith!).
in true seattle fashion, it absolutely poured rain when trying
to take these photos. thankfully, the very patient and talented karya 
suggested we pop over to the sky-bridge between nordstrom and pacific
place. it was a much appreciated reprieve from the rain and cold temperatures.
jacket: zara (thrifted via seattle goodwill), t-shirt: j.crew,
jeans: zara (similar here), purse & sunnies: forever 21, 
shoes: nine west
and believe it or not, i thrifted this bomber at my local goodwill
for $15! if you’re eager to try a new trend, but don’t want to 
burden your wallet, be sure to check a nearby thrift store.
you can likely find a jacket (and other items, too) from last season,
at a fraction of the cost! i’ve linked a few additional jackets i’m
lusting after below:
1 // 2 // 3 
who else is ready for the weekend?
this week has felt especially long. my birthday is on sunday,
so i’ll be over here eating far too many donuts, cookies, and 
cupcakes galore. after all, you’re allowed to eat all your favorite
treats on your birthday, right?! thankfully, these boyfriend jeans have a bit 
of extra room, as i’ll certainly be needing it!

thriftaholic: tips & tricks for your next thrifting adventure

if you’ve been a reader of diary of this girl for some time, 
then you know i am a thriftaholic! many of my clothes, shoes and handbags
 were purchased second-hand (including these flats, this sweater and 
this dress). thrift and consignment shopping is a 
passion of mine – i love the thrill of thrift shopping; you just never know 
what you’ll find! 
putting together outfits to share on my blog is a wonderful hobby,
but keeping up with current trends, while also providing new
content (and thus, new outfits!), is expensive. i can’t always
justify purchasing those new ankle boots or that faux fur vest.
however, when purchasing items second-hand, and at a
much lower price point, i feel like i’m being kinder to my wallet.
while i typically find fun pieces when thrifting, there are days 
i come home empty-handed. unfortunately, it all depends on what’s 
available at your local thrift or consignment shop. some days are better
than others, and it’s important to go back (again and again!).
a few areas of the thrift store i always make sure to check?
shoes, handbags, sweaters, skirts and dresses! 
if i have extra time, i also look through the shirts
and blouses, and i sometimes browse the men’s section
(some of my favorite flannels were purchased in the men’s department).
when thrifting, allow yourself plenty of time!
thrift and consignment shopping requires patience. you often
have to dig (and dig!) through the racks and of course, try on any 
items that end up in your cart. check for major holes and/or snags. 
minor adjustments, such as hemming skirts
or pants, can be made. i’ve also bought tops that were 
missing a button because this is a quick and easy fix.
additionally, don’t be afraid to look at items outside of your usual
size range. for example, i like to browse sizes small through large,
as vintage pieces are generally sized larger (and fit smaller)
 and clothing may or may not be mixed up.
and now, for a few of my favorite thrifting destinations!
for years, i have been an avid supporter of goodwill. while i 
have found great designer items at a variety of goodwill locations, 
the redmond store (located here), the ballard store (located here)
and the capitol hill store (located here) are where i typically
have the best luck!
located in the university district, buffalo exchange
is where i often sell gently-used items from my closet. while i’m
waiting for the staff to look through my clothing, i subsequently browse 
(and often purchase!) from here as well. 
when visiting my parents on weekends, i make sure to 
stop by gigi’s closet, located in mukilteo. it’s a small, locally owned
consignment shop for women. their merchandise varies, 
but i’ve found several pairs of shoes and jackets for work.

crossroads trading:
crossroads trading, located on capitol hill (not
far from urban outfitters!) is full of vintage, gently-used
and new clothing, shoes and accessories. i can spend forever
looking through everything, and my favorite pair of distressed
madewell jeans were purchased at crossroads!

my love for thrifting began in college. we would
visit the local value village for vintage sweatshirts and
halloween costumes each year. i soon realized everything else value 
village had to offer, and my loyalty has continued!
i prefer the lake city, lynnwood and redmond locations.
where are some of your favorite places to thrift
or consignment shop? i’m always looking for new places to visit!

p.s. the jumpsuit i’m wearing in the photos above is a thrifted find 
at goodwill by my photographer, elizabeth!

wear to work

with my recent career change – i previously 
worked as a preschool teacher and am now 
an office professional for a finance company – my wardrobe
subsequently underwent a dramatic transition. i used to live in my 
denim, leggings, and all things comfortable (and i may
or may not have worn ripped jeans a few times each week). 
i would arrive home after a long day with dried remnants of lunch, snot, 
and dirt from the playground ‘decorating’ my outfit. 
it certainly made for good story telling, and my clothing
was washed often (very often!). 
dressing ‘fancy’ was never a priority. the ability to chase after 
and keep up with ten toddlers took precedence. while i greatly miss the kids, 
i don’t necessarily mind staying clean throughout the day 😉
**disclosure: coach graciously sent me the handbag featured in this post.
all opinions are my own!
i’ve always been drawn to skirts and dresses,
and i find myself wearing a sweater or blazer with my skirts
and dresses most often. our office culture requires ‘business 
professional’ attire (and ‘business casual’ on friday’s).
working in a professional office, however, 
doesn’t mean i want to change or sacrifice my style – 
after all, style is a form of self-expression!
patterns, prints and statement pieces are still important.
while it is sometimes more difficult to put together 
outfits during the work week (and look office-appropriate),
i welcome the challenge.
^^^ and whether it’s tuesday or saturday, coffee is imperative ^^^
this sweater and skirt combination is something i recently 
wore to work. i thought it would be fun to showcase my work style
here on my blog! to add a bit of flare to this look, i chose my 
leopard print flats. i kept my accessories to a minimum 
with delicate rings and traded my usual tote for a coach crossbody bag. 
sweater: loft (similar here), skirt: loft, leopard flats: thrifted (via seattle goodwill)
rings: target, crossbody bag: c/o coach (exact here)
how do you dress for work?
where do you like to shop for work attire? i’m always
looking for new ideas and inspiration!

merry thriftmas!

merry thriftmas, everyone!

it’s that time of year – time to dig out your ugliest 
(and tackiest and most ridiculous) of sweaters to wear for your 
upcoming holiday celebrations. 
don’t have one in your closet?
you can do what i did and visit your local value village.
i found some terribly tacky (but equally wonderful) sweaters
in both the holiday and general sweater section. 
^^^ this particular sweater has a cottage, hearts, flowers, snowflakes, 
a snowman, and a christmas tree all in one! i don’t think it could 
be any more festive! ^^^
while i could have emphasized the tackiness even more (perhaps
pairing the sweater with printed leggings or red and green tights), 
i decided to go a different route by wearing my favorite tulle skirt
and chambray. this allows the sweater to be the focal point of my outfit.
dress: target (similar here), chambray: nordstrom, sweater & heels: c/o value village
when planning my recent trip to value village,
i made sure to first clean out my closet. it was in desperate need
of a thorough clean, and i was eager to donate my unused
clothing, outerwear and shoes – and as per usual, i brought home more
then just my ugly sweater when thrifting. the store closest to my house
always has the best selection!
do you have any ugly sweater party coming up?
what do you plan to wear? tulle, sequins, or faux leather
leggings would be a fun, yet stylish addition to your outfit!
and of course, if you’re shopping for a fun (and tacky!) holiday sweater, 
don’t forget to shop value village. their new and used holiday items 
are half-off december 18 – 24th; happy thrifting!
**this is a sponsored post. a very special thank
you to value village for providing me with the gift card
used to purchase this sweater. all opinions are my own!

value village’s runway reimagined!

eco fashion week took place in seattle a few weeks ago – november 1st-4th –
and it was an inspiring success, as per usual.
i’ve attended the value village fashion show in years past;
unfortunately, i was unable to attend this year, but i greatly enjoyed looking
at the unique (and thrifted!) creations depicted in these gorgeous photos by 
photographer, peter jensen. 
the ‘rethink, reuse’ campaign encourages consumers to 
recycle unused closing and household items instead of throwing
them in the trash. sadly, the average american produces 81 pounds of textile
waste each year! the runway reimagined fashion show demonstrates 
how thrifted (or unused) clothing and textiles can be refashioned to create gorgeous, 
trendy outfits.
^^^ i want this outfit for work! ^^^
this year, designers were presented the challenge of using 81 pounds
of textiles and clothing from value village and putting together a runway 
collection – their creations are incredible! 
local designers and stylists for the 2016 challenge include: 
(designers) fair weathers clothing, boho republic, recycle runway, 
klad apparel and house of 1000 corsets;
(stylists) heidi valencia, jason pillay, mark humphreys, jerome insorio 
and tannya bernadette.
^^^ a plaid jacket is on my fall // winter wish list this year! ^^^
photos by peter jensen
you can read more about eco fashion week and runway reimagined 
here. thank you value village for sharing these photos, 
and i look forward to attending the fashion show next year!
now, i’m ready to go thrifting (!!!).

give a sh!rt with value village

happy national thrift shop day, everyone!
if you read this blog regularly, you know i am an avid thrift shopper
(you can see a few of my favorite thrifted outfits herehere and here).
i love to visit local thrift and consignment shops throughout the
seattle area. i thought it only appropriate to celebrate today with a thrifted t-shirt.

summer has seemingly flown by, and ‘back to school’ season is upon us!
while i’m no longer in school (unfortunately, i don’t know if working
in a preschool counts), i sure don’t mind taking this opportunity to clean 
out and update my closet for fall. i have a few items
on my wish list (including brown ankle booties and a faux leather jacket)
and plan to donate the clothing and accessories i no longer wear. 
each year, people consume over 80 billion pieces of clothing, 
which causes the clothing industry to be one of the world’s biggest polluters!

t-shirt: thrifted (value village), sunglasses: h&m, jeans: american eagle

while i love shopping the big department stores, as well as 
the more affordable retailers (such as target or fred meyer), 
thrifting remains one of my favorite weekend activities.
i love the thrill of finding a beautiful handbag, dress or pair of shoes
that are well-within my budget!
a few ‘back to school’ shopping statistics for you:
the average t-shirt from value village will cost $2.49, while
low-tier retailers (such as target or walmart) will charge $6.50.
high end retailers (such as macy’s or nordstrom) will charge an average of $32.49.
and those ankle boots i desperately want? $6.99 from value village;
$20.88 from a low-tier retailer; $64.95 from a high end retailer.
these cost differences are substantial, especially when you consider other
‘back to school’ essentials – a warm coat, classroom supplies, textbooks, etc.
a shirt is a terrible thing to waste!
north americans send more than 10.5 million tons of 
clothing to landfills every year, 95% of which could be recycled.
this year, i challenge you to both shop and donate to your local value village
for ‘back to school’ clothing items! this not only 
saves your budget, but also benefits our local community and makes a
positive environmental difference.
happy thrifting!

a very simple DIY creation

^^^ for the not-so-savvy DIY’ers (like myself!) ^^^
a few weeks ago, i had the pleasure of attending ‘house of style’ – 
a thrifting and DIY fashion event, hosted by sydney mintle of gossip & glamour 
and seattle goodwill (and in case you missed it, 
i shared a recap of the event on my blog here). it was an event that included 
some of my favorite things! fellow bloggers, thrifting, crafting, 
and of course, enjoying delicious treats. 
goodwill graciously provided each guest with a gift card to purchase
an item (or in my case, items!) to decorate later in the evening. 
i bought a hooded grey sweatshirt and chambray button-up blouse.
i may or may not have also purchased two striped tops. you can never
own too many striped clothing options, right?
i should probably admit that i am not a very crafty girl.
i cannot sew. i cannot paint. i rarely DIY. instead, i lust after pinterest tutorials
and utter (dishearteningly) under my breath, ‘i must learn how to do that!’ 
when i bought the sweatshirt and chambray top, i had no idea
how to repurpose or DIY either item. after digging through the craft supplies, 
however, i decided to focus on the chambray top. i found several vintage
buttons and earrings that i liked. i added them to the collar of my top.
the adorable (and very kind!) katrina, from the demure muse
helped me sew a bit of lace ribbon above the left pocket. 
the black star button, located on the left center pocket, is simply glued on.
the gold, black and pearl piece is a vintage clip-on earring that 
i secured to the right pocket (covering the original button). 
though simple, and quite easy for those ‘aspiringly crafty’ ladies, like myself, 
these touches add spunk and excitement to an otherwise plain chambray top. 
i love the lighter, worn-out looking wash of this particular 
chambray. originally from nordstrom, i simply couldn’t pass it up.
and for $6, my wallet and goodwill gift card were thrilled, too!
the lighter wash of this top makes it incredibly versatile;
pair it with your dark denim, white shorts, or over almost any
color dress! i wore a basic blue, sleeveless dress, my favorite black flats
and added a red cross-body bag for a pop of color. 
photos, makeup and hair by elizabeth kathryn photography
chambray top: thrifted (c/o goodwill), dress: american eagle, 
purse: target (exact here), flats: thrifted, bracelet: urban outfitters, ring: old navy (old)
are you a DIY’er? i still need to repurpose my hooded grey sweatshirt,
so if you have any tips or recommendations, please let 
this craft-challenged girl know.
and a very special thank you to my local goodwill for inviting 
me to the ‘house of style’ event and providing the gift card and craft supplies 
used to create this look!

house of style

last week i had the pleasure of attending ‘house of style,’ a fashion and DIY
inspired event, hosted by sydney mintle of gossip & glamour and seattle goodwill
the event featured thrift shopping (my favorite!), crafting and DIY galore,
and delicious eats alongside fellow bloggers. 
i can’t think of anything more perfect, can you?!
^^^ designer jordan christianson of jonquil & mr. black (middle)
and sydney mintle of gossip & glamour (right) ^^^
^^^ with summer vacation right around the corner, i’m trying to load up
on smoothies and juices. i loved trying suja’s ‘green delight’ juice! ^^^
^^^ two of my favorite bloggers –
jenn from hello rigby and katrina from the demure muse!
we sat next to one another and had a great time digging through
pins, earrings, and other accessories to embellish our thrifted items. ^^^
^^^ ‘so, jordan, what should i do with this?’ 
gaining insight and inspiration from the design expert himself! ^^^
seattle goodwill graciously provided each of us with a gift card to 
purchase clothing and/or accessories to decorate, embellish and repurpose.
i bought a chambray top and grey hooded sweatshirt (of course, 
i also purchased a striped peplum top and printed dress because i have no 
self-restraint when it comes to thrift shopping. these items aren’t for 
repurposing, but simply to enjoy and share with you!).
additionally, jordan highlighted his incredible design skills by showing 
the bloggers a few items he had redone. 
^^^ jordan added rhinestones and lace to the hem of these floral shorts ^^^
^^^ he also added the lace detail to this vintage denim vest ^^^
^^^ jordan turned this pair of jeans into cut-off shorts. he cut
a heart out of the extra fabric and added silver studs. the hem of the shorts
and heart frayed after washing ^^^
i had a wonderful time attending the ‘house of style’ event last week –
any excuse to shop at goodwill and catch up with fellow bloggers is a win in my book.
and although i am not the most creative DIY-er (goal: must learn to sew!), 
i am excited to share my newly decorated chambray top on my blog soon!

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