Friday, 22 August 2014

San Fran Thrift-Score

One of my favourite things to do anytime when travelling is checking out the local thrift stores!  Almost every little town has one and on my recent getaway to San Francisco and Napa Valley, there were more thrifty options than I had time to consider!  But when you're dedicated like me,  you'll even take time away from wine tours to thrift!!  I managed to shop three different locations and had success, of course.   My husband was quite accommodating; as long as he got to go to Boccalone,
he was happy to tag along wherever I wanted - after all, it was last year on our anniversary date that he found Hugo Boss blazers and became a thrift-shopping convert!  Without further ado, here is a recap of my Northern California thrifting adventures!

We walked to this thrift shop after visiting the famous crooked Lombard Street, and it is a true thrift store with a mission that I can get behind!
I like going to this kind of thrift shop.  The bigger thrift shops (which I also love, don't get me wrong) sometimes feel like the Winners of thrift shops.  These little ones often have better prices and unique finds even if there is less selection and more, er, mission (which is even better to support IMHO).
I found one vintage dress but ultimately decided to leave it behind...
If I was a petite, this top would have got its Canadian Citizenship.

I didn't have time to try stuff on (and I might have skipped that anyway!), but I ended up coming home with 3 tops for $10, no tax (another benefit of non-profit thrift shops), to be featured here soon!
How could I leave a colourful long lightweight STRIPED sweater behind?!  Especially for $3!!
Loved the counter message from San Francisco City Impact!

The next day, Mr. Style indulged my need to hit a bigger store so we went to a nearby Goodwill.
This sight warms my road-tripping heart.
I could have spent all day here...
Basic black pumps are on my hunting list, so I cried that these were not in my size.

However, these Vince Camuto shoes were in my size!
Unfortunately they were the "barely walkable" style and my suitcase was too small to bring them home.
But I enjoyed standing in them a while.
I wanted to wear this yesterday, unfortunately, Fall hit Edmonton.  
Everly is becoming a favourite thrifted brand!
Silk J Crew dress with pockets for $5.50!!!!!  I don't know when I'm going to wear this, but I had to have it.
Especially since someone else was stalking it.  YNTBTFO
There were so many denim options that I began to feel blasé about Seven for all Mankind.
I took these Citizen of Humanity crops home!  And the top too!
Thrifting Regret Syndrome, TRS, is when you leave something you should have thrifted behind.
This blush leather coat was maybe a bit small and maybe needed some TLC, but still... sniff..
Plaid Fossil bag for $8.50 coordinates perfectly with my bird scarf.

We did take a mid-wine-tour thrifting break on Sunday, National Thrift Shop Day but all the shops were closed!  So the next morning I hit the local Community Projects, and good thing I waited because it was 50% off day and the place was hopping!
This shop was huge!  A great place for home decor when you're not packing a carry-on.
And this was "full" price.
I heart local thrift shops!
My fitting room stash...
This top is a little *too* vintage and the skirt is a little too middle slit.
Oxblood button-down is on trend for fall, and only one dollar!
Red boxy top is lacking in my wardrobe, till now!!
These two vintage dresses had potential but the pouffy sleeves on the floral were quite something 
and the buttons on the blue popped with every movement.  It's "popping tags" not "popping buttons."

Community Projects is an amazing place!  It is staffed by 125 volunteers and they donate profits to the tune of $50 000 a month to local organizations.  The volunteers meet and vote on applications and all agree where monthly funding should go.  So awesome!  It was the perfect end to my thrifting adventures!  

On the way to the airport, we stopped by an outlet mall and I wasn't the least bit tempted.  Outlet shopping can't compete with thrifting!  Where's the thrill of the hunt?  Where's the creativity in finding treasures and thinking what you can do with them?!  How can outlet "bargains" compete with $1 pieces where the profit goes to local good?!!  Thrifting all the way!

Thursday, 21 August 2014

San Francisco Style

In case you didn't hear, I recently got back from a little getaway to San Francisco and Napa Valley - five days, just me and my hubby in honour of our 15th anniversary.
This is the first time we have gone away together without our three children, basically since 2005.  I didn't have a ton of time to pack - even though just the two of us were going on vacation, I still had to get the kids all packed up and ready to go.  I should have let them pack themselves to add extra thrills to Nana's time with them (1000 Lego and no underwear?), but instead I did all their laundry, packed 3 seasons worth of clothes for them, then had 10 minutes to decide what to bring for myself.  Since I had a few dresses in the queue waiting to be featured here, I decided to keep it simple and pack dresses

Here is what I packed:
  • a dress for every day (5) plus one for evening and an extra (which I didn't use because I didn't have my kids with me to get me dirty)
  • 2 pairs of leggings for layering - black and patterned
  • 2 cardis for layering - black and peach
  • 2 scarves for layering
  • 2 belts for finishing
  • denim jacket
  • one bag
  • accessories via She Does Create and VV Boutique
  • 4 pairs of shoes (I *needed* them all!)
The dress approach worked well for me.  I didn't have to worry about packing options for separates, and so didn't feel all the sad little eyes of my wardrobe on my back, silently pleading to come along. 

Here is what I wore:

dress Beige by eci $14.40, leggings $6, Frye flats $9.10 all VV Boutique  
Gap denim jacket from my closet circa 2002 and patent quilted chain-strap bag handmedown
(er, Shannon, you don't want that bag back, do you?!!) 
Travel-outfit selfie in the Edmonton Airport bathroom.
What else was I to do while waiting an hour to go through customs?
Also, I got up at 4:30am to curl my hair, then forgot my curling iron for upkeep.  
You feel sorry for me, don't you?
Ditched the coat and leggings when we hit Monterey Bay.

Later that evening with my new car.

Day 2
Hotel room selfie.
Just me and Alcatraz.

At Fay Park Garden en route to "Crooked Street."
Pretty sure they put this park there as resting spot so you don't die on the walk up.
Parking garage chic.
I added the printed leggings ($5.60 VV Boutique) and scarf (from my closet) for the walk to dinner.

Day 3
Denim sheath dress $11.90, leather sandals $11 VV Boutique
Brown leather belt from my closet
I *might* have picked up this pretty bird-print scarf from a little boutique called "Splash" on Monterey Bay Fisherman's Warf.  Couldn't help it; am fresh out of bird-print scarves.
Walking along Ocean Beach.  
Seems like a redundant name but who am I to say.
Mr. Style didn't warn me I was about to get a wave up my dress.

Day 4
This dress is light and sheer, and the pretty high-low hem was perfect for a day of wine tours.
Waiting patiently on the gigantic hotel bench for wine tour to start.
Bathroom selfie at our second stop. 
From here on out, the bathroom selfies are a bit blurry.  I have no idea why.

Fancy Dinner Out:
Jacob dress $12.75, Franco Sarto coral peep-toe wedges $7.70 VV Boutique
I had to have at least one day where I changed my dress for dinner to feel like a diva-vacationer.
Love this scarf already!  Perfect light layer for eating on the patio.

Day 5
Black maxi $3 Livingston Community Closet, black leather belt $3.50 VV Boutique
Perfect outfit to look chic all day then travel home...
A good outfit helps to ease the pain of leaving this gorgeous place...
On location at Honig Vineyard and Winery (we *had* to pop back).
Wish I brought my tent, this looks like a good spot.
Wonder if they're looking for an on-sight pediatric Occupational Therapist... probably.

There you have it.  I wore everything I packed except one dress and one scarf that I replaced with the beautiful bird scarf.  I wore the cardis only briefly since my scarves and denim coat kept me perfectly cozy most of the time.  My things fit into a carry-on and I could have squeezed my toiletries in there too if I planned to check it, but since I didn't, I had room for my thrifted finds (coming soon!).  I believe a woman should be able to manage her own luggage (not that I did, and not that I learned that from experience, and not that I'm insinuating a metaphor or anything).  Now for a few more shots of where my fab thrifted dresses went!

Here is where I went:
Monterey Bay Aquarium under-ocean simulator
Oceanside dinner...
Walking back wondering why these ocean-side picnic tables are empty...
Teal, grey and mustard along Monterey Bay...
So much to see here!
Steepest street in SF... barely made it up there alive.

My husband thought I was even more attractive with a wood-burning pizza oven behind me.
Pretty sure our waitress meant "where is that" but she said "WHAT is that?"
My 2-glass answer: Canada is a country.  (But thanks for the photo and excellent meal.)
Awwwww!  Our loving footprints.  Insert angel cherub.
Our winery tour guide and driver, Spencer from PF Wine Tours
indulged my need to thrift on National Thrifting Day and otherwise was exactly what we needed for an incredible day!
Domaine Carneros, where brut at 10:30am is perfectly acceptable.
The owner of Honig Vineyard and Winery came by and introduced himself.  Loved this place!
Spencer selected a lovely picnic.
Olives and grapes grow side-by-side at Honig.

 Larkmead Vineyards were also wonderful!
Fascinating history, and our excellent vineyard host/psychologist Evan was relaxed and inspiring!

I loved Larkmead too, but seem to have fewer photos... maybe because I was so comfy reclining in wicker on the patio.

Pride Mountain Vineyards host Andy explaining all about Sonoma and Napa.
I'm having a hard time concentrating next to VATS of wine.
Standing in Napa Valley AND Sonoma Valley.  I never want to leave.
In the Pride caves!
Everything about Pride was beautiful, from the views to the tasting rooms.
By then, Spencer understood I'm a gal that likes a fun artsy photo.

That concludes the wear and where of my San Francisco/Napa getaway!  I'm back home missing all the beauty but feeling so blessed that we were able to go!  YES I did get some thrifting in and can't wait to share all about that, and in the meantime...
This view from Pride will be in my dreams tonight!