I AM (the) MOANA (of thrift shopping)!

In the same way that Moana comes from voyagers, I come from dumpster divers. My Great Granny Florence would go “shopping” at the dumpsters in Alexandria, VA and bring home any and every item that was in reasonable and recognizable condition. My first jewelry box was a mini wooden wardrobe-style contraption (like, 11 inches tall) that she rescued from one such dumpster. It made.my.life. and I still have it.  The things she didn’t gift or use for herself, she cleaned, laundered, and donated to the Goodwill. Amazing, right?!

Florence was a thrifty caretaker which might have come from raising six children by herself during WWII and having to stretch every resource as far as she possibly could.  It also could have just been her nature.  It’s surprising – or maybe not? – that her daughter (my dad’s mom) was the exact opposite, indulging in the finest clothes, etc. Well, I always loved the excitement and passion that I saw on Great Granny’s face when she showed us the treasures that she found and imagined the ways that they would be used in their next life.  As I grew up, learned about the world, and was responsible for buying my own clothes, I quickly realized that thrift shopping was made for me: I can thrift clothes that are higher quality than those I could afford new, and I get a warm gushy feeling inside from saving someone else’s well-loved items from going into a landfill. And when I want to update my wardrobe? I can take the high quality, well-loved pieces back to a Goodwill for their next journey!

I went shopping last week for the first time in a li’l while and it was a smashing success! I hit up the fancy Goodwill (in Westport, CT) with the goal of tackling the pants situation. Pants and I have a thing. But y’all it paid off! $60 later and this was my haul.

Yes, I took individual photos of each item. And yes, I learned adobe photoshop so that I could make this collage. #goals #motivation #marketableskills #someoneplzhireme Clockwise from top left: Jeanne Pierre cotton brick red sweater (obsessed with the texture); Ann Taylor Loft black and white geometric sweater shirt; Abercrombie&Fitch pink crop sweater with moose detail (moose’s have my heart); Levi’s distressed, cropped denim; Talbot’s cropped blue pants; plaid sweater with pink stripe from unknown brand.

The Levi’s were $25 which is more than I’ve spent on a single item of clothing in a really long time.* But they made me feel SO GOOD that I decided to go for it. I can’t explain it. I haven’t worn an outfit this deliberately shapeless in a long time but something about The Pants feels absolutely magical. I love the rise, I love the wash, and there’s a certain other je ne sais quois that puts some extra pep in my step.

Denim and sweater from Westport Goodwill, thrifted teal, Talbot’s peacoat from Charlottesville Goodwill, white headscarf from http://www.sleepandsparkle.com, shoes by Naturalizer via Nordstrom’s semi-annual sale.

The Talbot’s pants were $11.99. I saw the shade of blue and immediately recognized them as being the match to a Talbot’s skirt I thrifted about 5 years ago in Charlottesville. It was the first skirt I bought in my adult life that fit my curves in all the right places so I was thrilled to see a matching pair of pants!

The bears and I had a post-nap dance party. Everything piece of this outfit brings me intense joy.
Grand Central Terminal
My dear friend Hannah and me in the Grand Central Terminal after a restaurant week double date with our favorite people. I’m wearing my new fave Talbot’s pants.  (Hannah’s style has always been #goals for me!)

Moral of the story? Go in with a goal. Y’all I tried on 75% of the pants that were in the Goodwill. And 99.99% of those fit like a joke. But I was so excited about the two pairs I bought that I wore them the same day I bought them and without laundering them. *gasp* And those baggy Levi’s and that red sweater? I wore them 3 days in a row without a second thought! If the clothes don’t make me want to dance (I had a good 45 minute post-shopping-nap dance party) then they don’t come home with me.

The headscarves are, of course, from http://www.sleepandsparkle.com. I hope that people pass my scarves down for generations the way that I pass on my favorite clothes and accessories!

*Note: All of my shoes – except for a pair of steel toe cowboy boots that I bought at a thrift store in Laramie, Wyoming – come from retail stores. I wear a women’s 12.5 which I can’t reliably thrift.

Scenes from a Christmas in Manhattan

When we looked at the forecast we realized we needed to wear ALL of our clothes.  We had this fantasy that we were going to wander up 5th Avenue, looking at the holiday window displays, with a hot chocolate in our hands.  But the reality is that our hands were too cold to take out of our gloves and our snot froze inside our noses.  Glamorous, right? This was the second year that D and I spent Christmas day in Manhattan and the coldest by maybe 20 degrees.

We had 5pm dinner reservations at a Lebanese-Armenian restaurant called Almayass so we didn’t want to eat a big lunch.  After stopping by Rockefeller Center to admire the tree, Mom found a fab diner on 6th Avenue, just as we were turning into human popsicles, and so we stopped into the Astro Restaurant.

We planned our route south to Almayass over fries and hot beverages which is when we found the National Museum of Mathematics.  If you know me at all, you know I started frothing at the mouth as soon as this popped up on google maps.  And since I only seem to hang out with folks who get as excited as me about things like Math museums, it became our obvious next stop.  On the way down, we stopped to see the Macy’s windows which I have to say I like at least one order of magnitude more than the Saks windows.  I found the Saks Disney theme to be grossly white and just generally too homogenous, heteronormative, etc.  It’s 2017, not 1940. Step it up. Know what I mean?

And then the National Museum of Math! *swoon* It was like a giant adult (and kid) playground with math in motion. Getting the chance to ride a bike with square wheels was my high school dream come true! There were puzzles and games and interactive physical experiences that made abstract math concepts come to life.  We spent two hours in Utopia before heading to our Christmas feast.

Walking into Almayass was like walking into a giant hug.  The decor was classy, quirky, and oh so welcoming. It was busy enough to provide that exciting, bustling atmosphere but not too crowded as to compromise the experience.  Our menu strategy was to order all of our Armenian favorites, and by the time we did that we only needed to order one actual entree to make it a complete meal.  We ordered the classic hummus, tabouleh, dolmas, and lentil soup.  Y’all, the lentil soup was to die for.  And then we ordered the lamb.  I think it’s weird to walk you through exactly what we ordered and how long it took us to eat each course, so unless you comment and tell me that would make your day, I’m going to end this post by saying, WOOHOO CHRISTMAS IN MANHATTAN WOOHOO!


The Narcolepsy Princess