Monday, March 7, 2016

Dollar Store Makeup

So, historically I've steered clear of stores like Deals and Dollar Tree but in recent years I've begun to see that they offer value and convenience. They are both MUCH smaller (square footage-wise) than Wal-Mart which allows me to get in and out quickly. This past summer I was able to get 75% of my son's school supplies at Deals which saved me a ton of $. We even got his back-pack there and it's still holding up well.

On a recent trip I noticed their makeup selection. At $1 for each item I figured I'd try a lip, cheek and eye product just to see what they were like. My makeup supply needs a Spring freshening so I went for pastels.

The eye shadow and blush were great. Look at how many great new options I have now for my eyes!!! It was A DOLLAR! The blush is quite pigmented, so a little goes a long way. Using my new elf makeup brushes to apply the eyeshadow and blush makes me feel like a professional make-up artist. I became aware of the elf(Eyes Lips Face) line via a few makeup bloggers: here and here

Next:  the lip gloss. The above pictured lip gloss didn't work for me primarily because it literally STINKS! The smell of this product is repulsive. It's a shame because the color was nice but I couldn't stand to have it on for more than 10 seconds. While shopping I noticed they had elf lip gloss but resisted. So, the next trip there I picked up the elf lip gloss pictured below.

I love it! The color was a nice spring pink and the fragrance was just fine. It feels good on my lips and provides good moisture. After looking online, it comes in five different colors, all of which have men's first names (??).  It costs $2 online, but I paid $1. 
So, for $3 total (not counting the dud lip gloss), I was able to add some fresh colors to my makeup collection for Spring. Yay! Check out the Deals near you and let me know your experience.
Happy (almost) Spring!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Frugal Yoga Wear

Yoga clothing can be pretty darn expensive. I've browsed basic black yoga pants online and about fell off my chair when I saw the sticker price of $70 per pair. The yoga studio at which I teach,
Studio Gaia, has a free-cycle clothing rack that I've gleaned a few gems from. My friends at the studio know I'm always "shopping" on the free-cycle rack before my class starts. So, when my friend E offered to let me look through her donate bag before she donated it, I said YES! Check out these awesome new finds:

Brand names include Calvin Klein, Jockey and Fabletics

Seven "new" yoga pants and six new shirts/tanks!!!!!!!!!! BOOM!
These combined with my current inventory means that I won't need to buy yoga clothing for about 10 years. This just brings home the point that I learned by reading The Tightwad Gazette back in the 90's. Always say yes when someone offers you hand-me-downs.
You never know what might be in the bag.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Freecycle Rocks

My local yoga studio, Studio Gaia, has a clothing rack in the entry way which is a "Freecycle" rack. There's a little sign that says "free to a good home" above it. For the past 3 months I've just kind of browsed it and not had any luck. But last month I found this gem:

It works as a yoga top, or I can wear it to work, or even salsa dancing! I also found a gray zipped "yoga" hoodie by Green Apple. Come to think of it, I also found a tie-dyed tank top for yoga. I hit the motherload!  I'm currently taking Yoga Teacher Training for my 200 hr RYT at Studio Gaia. What a transformative experience this has been for me. We attend classes one weekend a month for 10 months. Not only are we learning about yoga asanas, meditations, chakras, we are also learning about nutrition, ayurveda, Thai yoga massage and much more! I hope to eventually be able to offer yoga to kids and young families. In fact, I'm teaching my first yoga class this weekend on a camping trip that several families from our church are attending. So far I have one student! That's OK, it's a start. The journey of a lifetime begins with a single step.

How about you? Do you have any experience with Freecycle at all?
I have donated a few items to the rack. The owner of the studio informed me that at the end of each month the clothing items that are not claimed are taken to a local church. Yay!
It's fast. It's frugal. It's fashion. Have a great week!

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Dance

I've always loved dancing. Mom enrolled me in ballet/tap/jazz as a girl and I stuck with it a few years. But ballroom/social dancing always looked infinitely more cool to me. My first taste of that was as a 16 yr old at my first prom when our high school band director asked me to dance and he effortlessly led me in my first swing dance ever. I was hooked. Later I dated a German man who was quite good at ballroom dancing. What fun we had! After professional school (when i had my life back) ballroom dancing lessons were available at the local university. My husband and I tried it out without much success. Then Dancing With The Stars came on television and reignited my interest.

Years later (January 2014) my friend B called and said "we're going salsa dancing". I joined the crowd that night and my life has been forever changed. The $5 lesson was fun and we learned so much in only an hour. The teacher was starting up a new beginner session that month.  I started taking lessons and have learned so much and have made some very cool friends along the way. There was a core group of students who kept progressing through Salsa I, Salsa II, Salsa III, then eventually Rueda. We even took part in the International Rueda Flash Mob day on March 28, 2015!! We were on TV and in the newspaper!

Alas, our teacher is leaving the area. I'm so grateful to him for all I've learned and for the new circle of friends I have because of his classes. I know this is not goodbye, rather a 'see you later'. A new creative vein has been tapped in my brain and I feel so lucky for this awakening.


Percussive rhythms of my youth
Are awakening
Left brain gives way to right
Order and expression marry
In beautiful silent communication
Listening with fingertips, eyes and hips
Salsa, Cha Cha, Merengue, Rueda
The Dance is infinite
Joyful gratitude abounds.

Thanks for the memories K.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Fine Frugal Jewelry or My Mom Gifts Me GREAT Jewelry!

Hello all! Sorry I've been gone so long. Let's make up for lost time!!! While deciding what jewelry to put on the other morning with my outfit, I reflected on the fact that I don't have a lot of 'fine' jewelry. I tend to purchase costume jewelry for myself at resale shops/thrift stores. That way, I can have more variety at a lower price. The fine pieces I do have usually are gifted from either my mother or my husband. I have received some great pieces from my mom over the last 30 years. Feast your eyes:

This silver and pearl ring with a few diamond accents is awesome.
I wear it both for work and dressing up.

This gold and marquis garnet ring is a classic piece I get a lot of wear out of.
I wear it at work and for dressing up. Garnet is my birthstone. Yay Mom!

This garnet is great for casual. It has a more modern look than the ring above. 

This Y shaped gold necklace came from Mom in the late 90's. Love it! Great for work/casual/dress-up.

This infinity necklace was a recent gift from Mom. I love it! Great for work/dressing up.

Mom worked at a jewelry store during my high school/college years. I think some of the rings came from there. It was a great little  jewelry shop in the old downtown of my home town. A place where you were personally greeted upon entering. The jeweler could repair just about anything. They were an authorized "Add-a pearl" dealer. My Aunt started me an add-a-pearl necklace when I was a girl. I cherish that necklace.

Having family members gift you great jewelry is a frugal and fashionable way to accessorize any outfit. Plus the sentimental value is priceless. Yay for Moms with great taste in jewelry! Thanks Mom you're the best!

What about you all? Do you have family members/friends that seem to always hit the nail on the head when it comes to gifts of jewelry? Please share in the comments below. I love to hear from viewers!
Have a great week everyone!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Five Fall Faves

Happy (almost) Fall!!! As the leaves start to change and the temperature cools here in the midwest my thoughts turn to my favorite pieces for casual outfits. My strategy is pretty straightforward.  Start with a foundation of a fitted tee and skinny jeans. Then add either black flats, ankle boots or riding boots. The "third layer" could be a soft cardigan, or a vegan leather jacket for a more edgy look. Add a scarf to jazz it up and your Fall Look is complete!
scarf, New York and Co.
fitted tee, Hollister, Karma Resale
skinny jeans, Levi's The Skinny, Walmart
ankle boots, Old Navy
cardigan, Old Navy
my FAVE black purse, Coach, featured in this post

My favorite way to wear a cardigan in "iffy" weather

Vegan leather jacket, JCPenney

As you turn your thoughts toward your own Fall Faves don't forget those gift cards that still may be lurking around the house from last Christmas, your last birthday, or maybe even 2 or 3 Christmases ago!!! Sometimes the gift cards we get aren't for a store that we frequent so they sit there not being put to good use. The folks at have come up with a way to sell your unwanted gift cards here: Site users are also able to buy gift cards at a discount  I've got a Coldwater Creek gift card I'm going to sell. I've got my eye on either an AMC Theaters card at a 16% discount (cha-ching!) or an Old Navy card at a 10% discount (woot-woot!) What a great idea for us Frugal Fashionistas!
Leave me a comment letting me know your Five Fall Faves or what gift cards you plan to buy/sell and remember, you're beautiful!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Timeless Combination

Hello all! I've been on hiatus in the last few months due to planning and executing a trip to England for 5 in June, then life took over. Well, I'm happy to be back! Recently a good friend of mine and I took off on a road trip and ended up at this winery with the most awesome view, Aeries Winery in Grafton, IL. They had a great menu with live music. A little factoid:  the place you are viewing is the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers.

Black ballet top, Limited, decades old
White skinny-ish jeans, Lauren Conrad, Kohl's, 2 yrs old
Summer purse, Cato, resale shop
Noat sandals, black, old
This outfit is just classic, in my, white and a punch of red works on most skin tones/hair colors. It also fits with one of my main fashion mantras: stick with solid color, classic pieces that can be mixed and matched & punched up with different accessories such as jewelry, purses, scarves, or a denim jacket. I believe it was Coco Chanel who said before you walk out the door, take one piece off.  For instance, I could've worn one of my many silver bracelets on the right wrist, but I chose not to to simplify the look. Less is more.

My friend and I had such fun on this outing! We ate at the winery, then indulged in ice cream and fudge, walked around down by the river and talked about the best way to stake tomato plants. We've been good friends since high school. Thanks S, you made my day!

Hey blog viewers.......I love to hear from you. Feel free to comment below. Do you have a favorite classic outfit color combination? Do you have a friend you've known for decades? Let me know below in the comments. Toodles!