I understand I am a Jill-come-lately with this one, this photo has now circulated and has been blog recycled ad infinitum by fashionistas on the web all over. Be that as it may, I still love this outfit ensemble completed at the House of Diane Von Furstenburg which is 70’s inspired but with a fresher approach. I love the casual quality; the simple and clean colors of the soft denim blue and the crisp white top makes this all flow beautifully. The ease by which this is presented is class in motion!

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Venturing out to consignment store/s and finding good deals is pleasurable to me. Today, I was on the hunt for long skirts because I miss wearing them. I head out for the Goodwill Superstore in our town and I found nice skirts while at the clothes section. However, today’s activity won’t just be spent at this section because invariably, I will detour to the Home Section where there is a candy-store-to-a-child appeal to me there. The routine that usually works for me for a day like this is as follows:

Clothes – this can take up to 1 to 1.5 hours because one must fastidiously inspect second-hand clothes not just for holes, stains, wear and tear, but also for uhmm, brands, (please forget I said that, I am not a brand worshipper, honest!). And just like when I shop at the mall, I have to visualize how many outfits would go well with an item that I buy. Matching tops with pants, skirts etc. My finds today are dark teal (pic 1) and green (pic 3) long skirts with ethnic prints, a Jones NY asymmetrical top and a new (un-used) white, stretch, long-sleeve shirt still with tags (not featured).

Then, it’s off to the shoes section, this only takes a few minutes because sadly, shoes are the hardest of the items to find a good deal on at consignments. Most donated shoes are really worn out, stinky and the newer ones are either poorly made or ill-fitting, hence they are given away. However, a person may find one that’s worth it. Tip: I saw a pair of Popov Tsubo Crocs-like mule and a Michael Kors before. Cole Haan and the other Cole (Kenneth) as well as Guess shoes are mainstays here too!

Next stop: the home items; as previously mentioned, this section of the consignment/thrift/second-hand store is fun to me. When I see fine china, bone china and porcelain material, my eyes lock on to them like an F14’s missile launcher would lock on to a MiG 21 on hostile airspace during the Cold War – with precision. My excitement builds up as I approach the item, and as I lift the it up, I hold my breath, if it’s Bavarian-made, I let out a sheepish smile (you naughty little tea cup, you..). If it’s English – I have a treat! And if I see a particular brand at it’s bottom, like Wedgewood for instance, my mouth waters and I am not exaggerating, I feel mini-butterflies up and down my back. I will confess though, that I am yet to get my hands on some Royal Albert tea set designs, there is an endless supply of the old country rose design but that is not the one I want.  I have argued to myself before to just buy it new; but really, the story behind that acquisition won’t be as interesting. Portugal-made ceramics can be found but not always, complete dinnerware sets from Japan (Noritake), China and the USA, Cornings and Corelles are always available. On one occasion, I found this complete set of earthen dinnerware made by Heath but I didn’t get it; I have been into white-colored dinnerware for a few years now. Today’s finds are: a Theodore Haviland tea cup (2), Portmeiron olive and vinegar bottles (4) and a Pier One incense holder (6). Yay!

Books are touch and go; sometimes there are good ones, but mostly the shelves contain romance novels with Fabio on the all covers but with different outfits. This Fabio dude is one prolific romance novel writer *wink.  Today, my book finds were a hardbound, illustrated copy of “The Secret Garden” and a light-read about a chef and his advice for a beginner chef, titled “Letters to a Young Chef” by Daniel Boulud (5). Maybe this chef is the Rilke of chefs.  One thing curious I found with this book; there was an inscription at the back flap which read:

“There is nothing which every man/woman is so afraid as getting to know how enormously much he/she is capable of doing and becoming.

Proud of you kid.

Much love w/ everything you decide to do.”

I would like to speculate that this was given by a grandfather to his grandson before the latter entered culinary school. I wonder what the real story behind this book really is (need to see “Serendipity” again).

My consignment soiree for the day is almost over, I head for the Cashier ‘s area but not before a brief stop at the bags section. I will say, the more seasoned bargain hunters get the deals before I ever do with bags. Because in my days of second hand shopping, I have only found something worthwhile once in this section. Today, there was a Kenneth Cole school style bag, still pristine, which I could’ve gotten but I did not need it. We have to be practical after all. After paying for my plunder I head for home.

… and so goes one relaxing day for a shopaholic on a budget like me. I’ve had my therapy for the biweekly but unlike shopaholics who hasn’t undergone consignment store intervention yet, I only paid $34.25 for my treatment today!