Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Kews And Ehs #4: Goodwill, Chocolate, and 3" Heels

 Do you have any advice on shopping at thrift/goodwill stores? What do you usually look for and/or avoid?

Thrift stores are wonderful. Some of the most stylish people I know shop almost exclusively at Goodwill. It does take a little bit of discernment, but finding things is a skill that is well worth a few mistakes. :D I guess my biggest tip is: Have an open mind. You seriously *have* to have the attitude of “How can I make this work?” instead of “who would wear that!” I challenge myself to try and come up with a way of making every piece work. For example, take one of those short, floppy 90’s shirts. I think, “okay, well, to make this flattering, we need to wear a tight tank underneath this shirt with either a slimming pair of jeans or a non-flouffy skirt.”

Or how about a shirt that you absolutely love the collar of, but it’s like 10” too long and too big in the waist?  Simple sewing fixes! Seriously, I don’t pay *that* much attention to size- I pay attention to elements of design, fabric quality, stains, and brand.  Shoulder alterations are my least-favorite, so I try and buy things that don’t need fixed in that way. 

Brand is important- when I head into the masses of racks at Goodwill, I first quickly scan the racks for brand name clothes, and then, depending on my time limit, go looking for lesser-known brands, but pay special attention to, like I said, the different elements. 

Some of our favorite shirts my sisters have cringed at when I showed it to them in the store. “You can’t be serious” are the looks they give me. I always reply, “Trust me!” and they roll their eyes. :D I will admit to the two 40-gallon Rubbermaids in the basement full of 25 cent “to fix/use as fabric” items that I will probably never get around to. My philosophy, however, (maybe unfortunately ;)) is that it’s better to get it and not need it/ not be able to use it than to not get it and wished you had. That is, if it’s less than $5. :D 

So, overall tip: Have an open mind.

Have you always been homeschooled? 
Yes! My mom started homeschooling me in kindergarten. :) I'm just finishing up a not-so-favorite math credit and then I'll get my highschool diploma... 'bout time, right? :P I absolutely LOVED being homeschooled and, except for about 8 months during my pre-teen years, I've never wished to be educated any other way. I wake every morning *so* thankful for the blessed life I've been given. Especially when I hear the poor neighbor children on their way to school at 6:30 every morning. :P Plus, the quality of the things I've been able to study is something that I wouldn't trade for anything.

A lot of you moms have asked for curriculum advice... there are so many blogs out there for homeschooling, that I don't feel it would be worth my time to say what we've used (soooo many different things), since every family is different, but I would like to mention the highschool history/ moral philosophy program that literally changed my worldview and helped me really understand what it means to think like a Christian. They're a series of lectures by Dr. George Grant and I could not more highly recommend them! Here's a link.

Do you like German or Swiss chocolate? 
Wow. What a question! I honestly don't know the difference... although I'm not a fan of Swiss Miss. ;) I once had a blast in Belgium buying boxes of chocolate and it was mighty tasty. :D 
Do you have a favorite country (besides the USA); if so, what one? 
I really haven't studied many other countries, but I looooved Holland's countryside when I visited there in 2008. 

Of course, the only picture of me I have *with* the countryside of Holland also has a tractor. I didn't even know I liked tractors back then! or maybe I did in my heart of hearts.... ;)

Do you like to draw?  
Not especially. Artistic talent runs in my family, but I've never really cultivated it in myself.  

Are you on pinterest? 

What are some of your favorite craft projects? 
Hmmm... I'm a normal girl... I like jewelry making and paper crafts and glitter and recycling and coffee filters and sewing and the like. :D I really don't do much "crafting" anymore- sewing is my passion!

Have you watched the tv series "Foyle's War"; if so, did you like it?
Haven't seen it... so I don't know if I would or not. :D Is it similar to Horatio Hornblower? I liked the couple episodes of that I saw.

What's the most drastic change that's happened to you, clothes-wise or otherwise, since moving to Tennessee almost 2.5 years ago?

Haha, wow! I seriously feel like a different person than the prissy pearls girl who literally packed the furniture into our moving truck in 3" heeled suede boots in the melting snow. Hardest month of work in my life up to that point.

I could go on for hours about all the spiritual, emotional, physical, relational, and otherwise ational changes that have occurred, but I won't. :) Clothing-wise, though, it has been an adventure! I didn't own a denim skirt, leather boots, or a cowgirl hat when we arrived in Tennessee. I swore I'd never be one of those long-denim-skirt-wearing-girls. Ha. I didn't plan on giving up my pearls, heels, or curls. Not that I have given those up, but I have put them in their proper place. :) I knew my style was going to change a little bit, moving to the South and all, but I certainly didn't expect to become more practical. That's like... so not me. :P
{Two sets of chunky necklaces, jeans tucked into boots} :) 
But, I've realized, beauty is not defined by trends. And practicality does not have to be ugly- there is a timeless, hopeful beauty in the simple.
My closet now has 7 denim skirts- 5 of them long. I love my leather work boots, and I have two cowgirl hats. I wear skirts nearly every day now, and I find them rather practical. I don't go on walks around the neighborhood in heels anymore- flipflops or barefoot is just fine. Instead of having one set of work clothes, we now have about a Rubbermaid's worth.
I think I've mellowed. I think I've become more practical. I think I understand true beauty more. Maybe all this just comes with the growing up I've done since I was 17, but I think I've learned to live with imperfectness. I think I've learned to appreciate quality more. I've learned that mud washes out of everything, unless it's red mud. That never comes out. :P Definitely a change for the better, I'd say. :)

In other news, this is my 100th post!! Rather hard to believe. Thanks for your unending, kind support, y'all. 

Do you have a favorite country besides the USA?
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  1. I don't know if "Foyle's War" is like "Horatio Hornblower" (I've never watched the latter). You can read a bit about it here: http://be-thou-my-vision.blogspot.com/2012/03/linking-up_11.html.

    My favorite country (besides the US) is Norway. :) It's so beautiful and plus I have a good friend who lives there. Sadly, I've never been there. Maybe my honeymoon.... ;)


    1. Norway? We have a family friend whose last name is Norway! We tease them from time to time about not flying a Norway flag above their house or my dad commonly asks, "Norways? Are you from Norway?"

    2. haha, really? :) That's cool! :)

  2. My favorite non-US country is Israel. :)

  3. My favorite country is the Philippines! And that's probably cause my family comes from there. :)

  4. Loved your answers to the first and last questions. I also liked the last picture. My favorite country would probably be Ireland.
    Love, Katie

  5. Great post! I enjoyed "getting to know you".
    A Modest Fashion Blog:

  6. Gosh, isn't just crazy how you can go one day saying "that'll never be me" and then the next it IS you? I've done that and it's not an easy nor enjoyable memory sometimes.

    After seeing all the cute outfits you've posted on this blog you look so beautiful in your skirts, I hardly recognized you in the jeans! I've made the same process in the last two years, we've switched from jeans to denim skirts in less than a week, it started by throwing out all our pants except maybe one pair so we wouldn't be tempted to put them on. I'm a tomboy and I hated it at first, I threw fits sometimes and said that I hate all the "girlyness" the skirts and dresses brought, but guess what? I'm wearing them! I ate my words and now, just because I'm not wearing jeans doesn't mean I had to change my style, I'm more comfortable in a denim skirt, t-shirt and a my tennis shoes than in a pair of jeans, honestly I can't believe I use to love them, there's so uncomfortable now.

    Okay, I over extended this comment. Sorry ;P

    1. Haha, well, I'm glad you're comfortable in skirts now! Throwing out your jeans was a huge step! I don't think I could do that. :)

  7. How does sharing clothing with 2 sisters work? Is it just who ever gets ready first has first pick or do you have it like okay I wore it last so you can wear it this time? I share clothing with my only sibling(sister) and we always have problems with who gets to wear what.

    Have any tips on how to share?

    1. I'll add this question to the Q&A post line up. :)

  8. I love your blog! I thought of a question I'd like to ask, I see in your Sunday posts that you wear hats to Church. I do too, but what do you do about weddings? I wouldn't want to wear a big showy hat but my normal Church hat doesn't seem posh enough so we don't wear anything. I love getting fashion tips from you, and I have one style inspired by you that I wear at least once a week :).
    God bless,

    1. Lizzy, I have to admit- I've only been to 3 weddings. :P And, I'm wracking and wracking my brain as to what I wore to them, but I can only remember one. :P I wore this headscarf: http://freshmodesty.blogspot.com/2011/05/polkadots-stripes-and-floral.html
      But, it was an outdoor, spring wedding held in an Ag pavilion, so I can't exactly vouch for it's dressiness. :)
      A lot of hats can be dressed up by the way you dress or with a safety-pinned flower, and shiny scarves with an up-do are definitely posh. :) Doilies and cotton scarves are probably too casual for weddings, though. Hope that helped- I have a wedding to go to this summer so I'm starting to think though my outfit. :)
      Thanks for you comment!

    2. Thanks! I'll look forward to seeing your outfit :)

  9. JMJ
    Ireland. :)
    Thanks for the thrift store tips!
    In Christ,

  10. I always love reading your answers! Thanks for the thrift store advice, I'll have to use that next time I go shopping.
    my favorite country (really it's countries) are England, Ireland, Scotland, and France. I want to visit all of them someday. :)
    Oh, and I have a few questions that I'd like to ask you but I thought that you might like to put them into your Q&A posts. Would you like me to leave them in a comment, or e-mail them to you? I don't mind doing them either way.
    Have a blessed week!

    1. If you'd like to use the "contact me" form, that'd be awesome. Thanks!

  11. i loved reading your answers! I shop at thrift stores alot too! actually a few days ago i found a sweat shirt that looked brand new and felt like it was never washed! the funniest thing was that it had the same team logo on it that my friend swims for and she paid like 35 - 40 $$ for hers and i got mine for $5!!!! whoop whoop!!! ;D
    my favorite country would have to be (besides The USA! ;)) ITIALY!!! i want to go so bad!!! thats where my great great somebody came from so we are part italian :) And i LOVE italian food!! mmmm!! :D

  12. These are really fun to read, I like "there is timeless hopeful beauty in the simple, and p.s. I love how you noted to notice the chickens in the bottom post, we have three and are getting chicks, also it was just as fun to read about your Lent sunday as it was to see your outfit with sipping mint tea and such. Isn't this life something special to enjoy?


Fresh Modesty is fashion blog which encourages girls to "Dress outside your box, but inside His Book!" I allow anonymous comments so those without accounts can comment, but I would really appreciate it if you would identify yourself by some form of a name. :) Thank you for taking the time to comment!