Tips for the Thrift Pt. 1

If you know me at all, you know I love to thrift. I started thrifting in early high school and my love for it has only grown. I love that thrifting is economical, sustainable and it encourages me to try new things with fashion.

Even though it does mean setting aside a couple hours and looking through racks upon racks of clothing and knick-knacks, the end result is totally worth it and I would recommend it to anyone.

If you are new to thrifting, you might be intimidated and confused on where to start or how to do it. In this blog post, I will be sharing with you a few tips and tricks on how I tackle a thrift store and I will also share how I styled one of my favorite pieces that I have found from shopping second-hand!

Tip #1: Know that there is not one “right” way to thrift. Thrifting is so unique for everyone, because it depends on where you live, what store you shop at and what items you are searching for. If you are worried that you will not be as “successful” as other thrifters, know that there is not a single definition for “success” at a thrift store and that everyones’ experiences are going to be different!

Tip #2: Look up days local thrift stores have sales. Almost all thrift stores have percentage-off days throughout the week, so take note and try to go on one of those days! Some of the deals can be as amazing as 50% everything, so take advantage of the sales!

Tip #3: Go thrifting with someone. Especially if you have never gone before, try to go with someone who also wants to try it out, or has already been. They can help you find pieces and tell you their honest opinion about something you find, plus it makes it so much more fun and you’ll feel more comfortable.

Tip #4: Go up and down every aisle. Yes, look at the men’s section, the shoes, the tank tops in the dead of winter and even the kid’s section! Look at the places and sections others may avoid. Sometimes that is where you can find the best stuff. Even if you aren’t searching through every rack and every article of clothing, feel the different fabrics and take a glance at the patterns to see if anything catches your eye.

Tip #5: Don’t rush. This is closely connected with the last tip, but give yourself time to look through the store completely. Don’t expect to be out of the store in 30 minutes, or in some stores, even an hour. Set aside a couple hours for when you want to go thrifting, even if it means going less often.

Tip #6: Don’t pay too much attention to sizes. Sizes are practically irrelevant in thrift stores. Something can be labelled as “XL” but it could fit as an “XS.” Forget about the number that the tag or sign says and gauge it based on how the garment looks, but be ready to try on.

Tip #7: Be Adventurous. You will find pieces and items in a thrift store that you cannot find anywhere else. With that being said, if you find a piece that is out of your comfort zone but captures your interest, try it on. Pick up the piece that you can’t stop looking at and carry it around the store with you. As I mentioned before, one of the many benefits of thrifting is that you find pieces that you cannot find anywhere else and that no one else will have. So try on the thing that you normally wouldn’t and bring it home if you love it!

This is a piece that I found at the thrift store that is totally out of my comfort zone: a bright fire-truck-red, corduroy jacket. It is a statement piece for sure, but I am in love with it. I loved being able to pair it with a simple graphic tee and high-waisted jeans, while also putting it over a black-and-white polka-dot dress for a more classic color combination.

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I hope you found some inspiration and helpful tips to want to start thrifting and shopping second-hand. Stay tuned for another blog post (coming soon!) on a different, and somewhat easier, way to thrift.

And to all my fellow thrift-lovers, what is your favorite piece that you’ve ever found at the thrift store?

Love,

Jennifer

All pictures taken by Meredith Amadee. She was a wonderful photographer to work with and I’m obsessed with how these photos turned out! 🙂

January 2018 Playlist

I’ve found a lot of new music lately, from suggestions from other people, mindlessly searching through Spotify playlists, and from rediscovering old jams I used to love.

I thought I would share it with you all, to give you all something new to listen to or a new artist to check out! New year, new music!

  • “Ain’t It Fun” — Paramore: This song has always been and will always be one of my favorite songs to listen and jam out to. It talks about the reality of growing up and realizing that adulting is full of bittersweet moments, and at this age, I am learning this to be true more and more each day.
  • “I Will” — Michael Bernard Fitzgerald: Everyone loves a love song. I love the simplicity of this song and I can’t get enough of this artist’s unique voice.
  • “Wake Me” — The Bleachers: just a quality song that I’ve been listening to over five times a day because it is only 2 minutes and 30 seconds long
  • “Buttercup” — Hippo Campus: Recently discovered this band and I like them a lot!  Not gonna lie, I started listening to them because I loved their punny band name. This was the first song that I listened to by the band and now I can’t stop.
  • “Waste a Moment” — Kings of Leon: Recently rediscovered this old favorite of mine (old as in last year) and I love it for all the same reasons. Also, it is just a reminder that I can take time to “waste” time, or, in other words, live in the moment.
  • “Capable” — The Wild Reeds: This is the year I turn 21 and this song references a girl who is 21 and how she is capable of much more than she thinks. That’s the kind of attitude I want to go into my 21st year with.
  • “That’s What I Like” — Bruno Mars: it’s a really catchy song that makes me want to dance (but we all know that wouldn’t be a good idea)
  • “So Will I (100 Billion X)” — Hillsong United: This song says what my heart often fails to, “I will praise you because of who You are, what You have done for me, and because You loved me first.”

Those are my top songs that I have been listening to on repeat for the last couple of days and that I will most likely be choosing to listen to for the rest of this month! What are some songs you have been loving lately? I would love a song suggestion or two!

Love,

Jennifer

Why I’m Not Setting Goals for 2018

This post might be quite different than the other posts that you can find on the internet at this time of year, but that is kind of the point.

For the last couple Decembers, I have set lofty goals for the 365-days that followed. Some of these goals I completed, but most of them I failed to complete, and by the end of the year, I was disappointed in myself that I couldn’t accomplish all that I had wanted to.

The underlying problem is that I was focused on what I failed to do rather than acknowledging all the things I did accomplish.

For the next year, I am determined to change this negative cycle. Instead of setting a long list of goals, I am reflecting on and reevaluating my priorities.

Priorities, to me, surpass goals. Priorities establish what takes precedence in your schedule and determine how you use your energy. Setting priorities inform what goals you will and won’t accomplish. 

So, as we quickly approach the new year, here are the list of my top 5 priorities in order  of importance that I hope to keep at the forefront of my mind in 2018:

1) to serve God in everything I am, everything I say, and everything I do 

2) to grow in my relationships with others, as a daughter, as a sister, as a friend and as a sister in Christ

3) to love and treat myself well–physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally and intellectually 

4) to grow as a content creator and create the content I desire to create 

5) to take joy in the everyday, messy and sweet moments 

I trust that God will grow, challenge and stretch me this year, as well as continue to show me His unfailing love and grace for me. I pray that these priorities will not get overshadowed by worldly distractions, insecurities and frustrations, but I also pray that I will learn to give myself grace more and more each day, knowing that nothing I do or don’t do will reflect how much the Father loves and cares for me.

Happy New Year loves!

Jennifer

A Year in Review: 2017

Twenty-seventeen was a year with some high “highs” and low “lows.” Here is a list of the ones I remember.

  • I started the year off in Hawaii with my family.
  • I started a blog (the one you are reading!)
  • I told my friends about this blog.
  • I drove to California three times with the same two friends.
  • I drank at least one cup of coffee everyday.
  • I went to brunch at least a dozen times. Some of my favorite places were The Henry, Prep and Pastry, and Goodness.
  • I volunteered in a fifth grade classroom for a semester.
  • I struggled with comparing myself to others and to the person who I have always wanted to be.
  • I began to work out and exercise in order to be healthy and strong, not skinny.
  • I read over 20 books for fun.
  • I worked my first black Friday shift at a busy retail store.
  • I procrastinated on too many projects and papers.
  • I got my passport renewed.
  • I realized I am more sensitive and prone to feel emotions than I thought I was.
  • I turned 20 years old.
  • I went to Disneyland with two of my best friends.
  • I found myself seeking contentment and satisfaction in things that were not satisfying, such as relationships, experiences and physical stuff.
  • I had to take my car in for car-related things (still don’t know much about cars) at least 5 times.
  • I took quite a few road trips with friends (Sedona, Disneyland, Los Angeles, Pason, etc.)
  • My friend visited me from Chicago and I got to show her around my state. Around 5 months later, I visited her in Chicago and she showed me around hers.
  • I got a camera and took over 4,000 photos.
  • I got in a car accident. It was my fault, but no one was hurt.
  • I met other bloggers from Tucson.
  • I went to at least three concerts.
  • I filled two journals.
  • I became a Bible study leader.
  • I struggled with anxiety and experienced my first panic attack.
  • I started working at Anthropologie.
  • Several brands including Jord watches, Tobi and Bootay Bag reached out to me and I was able to collaborate with them.
  • I went kayaking twice.
  • I struggled with singleness and I desired to be known, pursued, and loved.
  • I went to Guatemala and got to share the love of Christ with kids while I was there.
  • I stood by my sister as she got married.
  • I went to three weddings.
  • I started being a part of my worship team at my church.

I have felt so much joy and so much confusion this year. I have laughed until I have cried and cried until I laughed. I have had tough conversations with friends, but the ones who have stuck around have proved to be some of the best friends I could ask for. I learned more about who God is and what His truth says and who He says I am. I have been so strong at times and in deep need of help, guidance, and my mom in other times. I have had great moments, and I have had some sucky moments, but then again, that’s just called life.

How was your 2017?

Love,

Jennifer

Transitional Fall Look Book feat. Tobi

I love this time of year; the air is getting cooler and the holiday season is finally here. I love pretending that a high of 65 degrees is an excuse to pull out the sweaters, scarves and jackets!

Transitional pieces are perfect for this time of year, as the temperature changes everyday. I am loving some specific pieces that I have been able to style in a couple different ways. These types of pieces are probably in most of your closets, so you can recreate these outfit ideas at home!

T-shirt DressI am loving mock neck dresses lately. I have been wearing the heck out of this one from Tobi! It has been such a staple in my fall wardrobe and it is one of the comfiest, most versatile dresses I own. This is probably my favorite item that I received from Tobi!

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For an everyday look, I paired it with this maroon jacket from ThredUp, along with my well-loved black ankle booties from Target. For a colder day, I know that I could warm it up with a chunky scarf, riding boots and a warmer jacket!

Twisted-back Sweater: I have seen these types of sweaters everywhere this season, and up until I received this one in the mail, I wasn’t thrilled about the trend! However, now I am hooked.

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I am loving the dusty rose color of the sweater and I think it looks great paired with something that is olive green or navy blue! For this look, I kept it simple by pairing it with a pair of straight jeans with distressing on the bottom from Anthropologie (old) and my go-to pair of mules from Qupid shoes.

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There are so many ways to dress up this sweater! I would add a chunky necklace, throw a jacket on and change the light-wash denim for a darker, skinnier fit, and keep the shoes for a night out.

High-neck Shift Dress: This dress is the perfect go-to dress for a casual holiday party or special event. It looks so flattering on and again, I am obsessed with the mock-neck/high-neck trend this season.

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Also, if you have been following me for a while, you know I am a sucker for a floral print. The colors on this dress are beautiful, too! I added a long cardigan from Target over the dress, to give it a more casual look. I also added my black booties to make it more appropriate for an ordinary winter day in Arizona.

To dress it up, I would pair it with a black moto jacket, black tights and these same ankle boots! DSC_0948.jpg

What are some of your favorite transitional pieces that you wear in both the fall and winter time?

This post was in collaboration with Tobi however all opinions are my own. 

Love,

Jennifer

pursuing contentment in a consumeristic world

The holiday where we show gratitude and express our appreciation for what we have and who we know is quickly overshadowed by a weekend of wanting, shopping and overspending.

It’s ironic to so quickly forget what we said that we are thankful for in our Instagram caption or on our Facebook status and instead search for and buy things that you didn’t even know you wanted.

Sadly, I’m not immune to this. In fact, I am having a hard time with appreciating what I have instead of focusing on what I want.

Fortunately, I am not the first, nor the last, to struggle with this. Pursuing contentment in a wanting world is no easy job, but I would like to think that it can be done. How? By drawing closer to Jesus, the only One who can satisfy our ever-thirsty hearts.

Buying things is not bad. Having a Christmas wish list is not bad. Looking to the future and saving money for something is not bad. But, when is enough enough? When will we have enough? Is there such a thing as having enough?

Even those who “have it all” want more.

This post is not meant to come to any sort of conclusion, but just to recognize and point out the fallacies that are so often mistaken as “truths” in our world.

I am beginning to look deeper into what God says about contentment and satisfaction, so here are a few truths that I came upon in my quiet time.

  • Psalm 90:14 “Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.”
  • Psalm 107:8-9 “Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! For He satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.”
  • Ecclesiastes 5:10 “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity.”
  • Haggai 1:6 “You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but never have enough; you drink, but never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm.”
  • Joel 2:26 “You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you.”

Dear friends, I pray that we learn to live in a way that pursues peace and contentment rather than living in want. I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic!

Love,

Jennifer

Brighten Your Smile At Home + Giveaway

One of my favorite things to do when I am feeling stressed, overwhelmed or low is to pamper and take care of myself. This doesn’t mean that I go to the spa or even the nail salon; it simply means that I take the time out of my day to do something nice for myself.

I love to paint my nails, put on a face mask, and take a long, hot shower. I had never thought of teeth whitening as a way to “pamper” myself, but after Smile Brilliant reached out to me and I started using their product, I noticed that this is something that has been missing in my self-care routine. After all, nothing like a pearly-white smile to increase your level of confidence!

Having that whiter and brighter smile may seem hard to achieve, but in reality, it really isn’t, especially with companies like Smile Brilliant! They save you the trip to the dentist and the high cost of teeth whitening, as each of their packages are priced under $200!

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The first step in the process is to make the “molds” for your teeth, with the putty included in the package. After sending it off in the pre-paid package, Smile Brilliant mails the custom trays back to your home and they arrive within a couple days. Here comes the fun part: the whitening process!

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To be honest, the process took some getting used to. This is the first whitening product I have ever used, so my teeth and gums were a bit sensitive towards it. However, after shortening the amount of time that I spent whitening my teeth in one sitting and using coconut oil on my gums before and after, I noticed a difference in how my teeth and gums felt after I used the product.

I started using the product nearly every other day, while I was doing chores, working on homework or watching t.v. This process is super user-friendly, as it requires no “extra” time taken out of your day and you can do it all at home! Within a couple uses, I started noticing my teeth looking brighter!

I would recommend this product to anyone who is looking for a simple, easy-to-use and affordable whitening product. This product not only helped my teeth become whiter, it also boosted my confidence and made me want to smile more!

In addition, the customer service behind the company is incredible. I was in contact with someone who gave me tips on how to adjust the process according to my needs and comfort level. They made sure to update me telling me when my trays were shipped and when they would arrive by. They also emailed me to “check-in” and see how the process was going. I felt very appreciated and respected by the Smile Brilliant team as a blogger and as a customer!

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Some helpful tips for those who are interested in trying out this whitening program:

  • Limit the foods that are prone to stain teeth. These are foods and drinks such as barbecue sauce, berries and coffee. If coffee is something that cannot live without, try drinking it out of a straw while taking a part in this whitening process.
  • Stay consistent. It took me a bit of time to find a set schedule or time of day when I would whiten my teeth, but I found that nighttime was the best time for me. Try to pick a time or several days of the week where you know that you will have time to whiten your teeth!
  • Use coconut oil. Your teeth and gums may not be as sensitive as mine are, but it is important to use coconut oil or vaseline to protect the rest of your mouth during this process.

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See the difference?! This whitening kit will transform your smile, causing you to feel more confident in yourself! Just remember, you are never fully dressed without a smile!

One lucky reader will be able to win their own Smile Brilliant Whitening Kit! All other entries will be given a discount at checkout for their purchase too, so everybody wins!

To enter, fill out this form: https://www.smilebrilliant.com/g/herstyledstory 

For $15 off your purchase, use the code “herstyledstory15” at checkout!

Love,

Jennifer


Teeth Whitening Reviews