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5 Winter Essentials You can SCORE at (almost) ANY Thrift Store

It’s January and it’s cold.  Sadly, RVA is getting cold rain and not snow this month.  Since I started school again, I realized how expensive textbooks were.  I spent almost $900 on textbooks alone.  YIKES!

So, I can’t afford to get some new layering pieces for this winter.  Instead, I went to some of my favorite thrift stores in RVA.  Goodwill and Diversity Thrift.  As the temperatures start dropping in to the low 30s and 20s, I’ll be ready.  This winter I’m going to stay warm while being bundled up with some of my favorite winter essentials that you can score at a thrift store!

My Five Winter Essentials

One

This first one is my personal favorite (and weakness): Sweaters.  I love sweaters.  Sweaters are an absolute winter essential in my book.  I have at least 15 sweaters (or possibly more…I don’t think I want to count).  For $5-$7, I can get a super chic sweater from Banana Republic, JCREW, Forever 21 and some random brands I haven’t even heard of before.  You can find thick knit, thin knit, handmade, and every type of sweater there is at the thrift store.  Just remember to check the sweater for loose threads, holes, or stains.

Two

Jeans.  Not only are they winter essentials but they’re wardrobe essentials.  So, it’s worthwhile to find a good pair.  I know some people that hate looking for jeans at a thrift store.  But I’ve honestly found a ton of good ones.  You just need to have some patience and take the time to try them on.  Because some jeans like Vintage Levi’s or Lei’s jeans are sized differently than they are now.  Not only can you find a a huge variety of vintage jeans but you can also find more modern fits like skinny jeans from American Eagle, Hollister, Abercrombie and Fitch, AEROpostale, PACSUN, you name it they probably have it.  In the past, I have found Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, 7 for all mankind, and Lucky Brand at the thrift store.

Three

Turtlenecks are making a comeback people and they are quickly becoming winter essentials.  Turtlenecks are great for layering.  They look great layered under summer dresses or worn on their own with a cool pair of jeans.  Trust me, when you walk in to a thrift store it’s like walking through the 80s and 90s (which is not always a bad thing).  Especially if you love that 90s look.  And guess what the 80s and 90s have a lot of.  TURTLENECKS.  Go to the long-sleeve section of your thrift store and start treasure hunting.

Four

There are always a HUGE pile of scarves, so get ready to dig.  Blanket scarves are definitely winter essentials, especially when the weather starts to drop to the teens.  I’ve found two blanket scarves at Goodwill that I’m absolutely in love with.  One was only $3.50 and the other was $5.  They’re both great deals, super soft, and super warm.

Five

If you love a good deal, you definitely need to check out the jacket section at your local thrift store.  They sometimes have trendy puffer jackets, classic denim jackets, and sometimes even a cool leather jacket.  My friend actually scored a genuine leather jacket for $20 at Goodwill!  It’s slightly cropped and absolutely adorable.  For me, denim jackets are where it’s at.  I love seeing the patched denim jackets on Pinterest and the ones with cool banners on the back.  So, I’ve been hunting for loose-fitting boxy cut denim jackets ever since.  I’ve actually collected three of them already.

Whenever you go to a thrift store, just remember to have fun. Take each aisle one by one and don’t get overwhelmed.  There’s a lot of stuff.  Underneath all the stuff, your treasure awaits.

Quick tip: Remember if you like it, buy it.

You can always alter it, distress it, or customize it.

My top 3 Thrifting Tips will be coming soon to the blog!

It’s also FRIYAY! So if you’re in VA, check out this linkup!

3 Ways to Cook Ground Beef (less) Meat

Here are some easy recipes that take only 20 minutes or less to make from start to finish.  Whether you a vegetarian or a meat-lover this is the perfect recipe for you.  These dishes are flavorful and taste delicious paired with rice, pasta, over a salad, or in-between two tortillas for a delicious quesadilla.

For each recipe:

  • Pour in 5 teaspoons of oil for cooking (so nothing sticks)
  • For the sauce or paste, use 5 teaspoons unless otherwise stated
  • This recipe calls for 2 cups of meat or meat substitute
  • Add salt or pepper to taste

*Cooking Tips: always wait for the pan to heat up before pouring in the meat or vegetables.

Korean Style Ground Beef (or Beef-less)

ground beef Korean style

One of my favorite ways to cook ground beef is with spice-packed Korean Gojuchang paste.  For more flavor, heat up sesame oil in a pan.  Once the pan is hot, pour in the ground beef (or meat substitute-whatever you’re using). While the meat is cooking, add in the Gojuchang paste and mix well (If you don’t want the dish to be spicy, use only 3 teaspoons of the paste).  Once the meat is cooked (or heated through-for the meat substitute), crack in an egg.  When everything is cooked, add in some kimchi for some true Korean flavor!

Chinese Style Ground Beef (or Beef-less)

ground beef Chinese style

For a taste of home, I love cooking my meat substitute with a mixture of oyster sauce and soy sauce.  This combination gives you the perfect sweet and savory flavor!  And I love adding Bok Choy or Cabbage to the dish for some extra crunch!  Once the meat is cooked, add two cups of vegetables in.

*Cooking Tip: Remember vegetables shrink when cooked, so adding two cups is really not that much once it cooks and condenses down.

For a fun Italian twist, I add in olives, celery, oregano, and tomato paste to the ground beef.  Top with fresh pieces of Mozzarella for a deliciously creamy touch!

*Cooking Tip: Put the cheese in when the meat is still smoking, so it melts and infuses through the whole dish!

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From Casual to Formal: 3 Ways to style a Camel Coat

Camel coats are a winter essential!  They are a classic piece that has climbed to the top of the fashion ladder.  Bloggers, models, and designers made camel THE color of the season.  The coat is super versatile.  It can be styled with a t-shirt or dress.  You can wear this coat to school, on a date, or to a wedding.  No matter what you wear with it.  You’ll look chic and stylish.  Bloggers love this coat because its easy, minimal, and chic.  Make this sophisticated look yours too, with these 3 easy ways to style a camel coat.

Camel Coat Casual Look

The first way to style this winter classic is casually with a pair of jeans and a t-shirt.  This polished look will be great for running errands or going out to brunch.  For a cool effortless look, pair the coat with distressed jeans and a  pair of classic heels.

Camel coat look 1

Night Out Look

Another way to style the camel coat is for a night out outfit.  I paired it with all black for an easy and super chic outfit.  This coat would also look great with patterns and colors too.  Since camel is a neutral color, you can use it to tone down bold patterns or bright colors.

Camel coat look 2

Formal Look

For a nice dinner, you can wear the coat over a dress.  I wore my coat over a burgundy colored midi dress for an easy trendy look.    I love the midi dress because I feel instantly more chic once I slip it on.  Plus, the platform wedges elongate my legs, balancing out the longer hem of the dress.

Camel coat look 3

How would you style the camel coat?

Disclaimed: Camel Coat is from DressIn.

I received the product free for styling purposes.

All opinions expressed are mine.

Link to the coat: http://bit.ly/1YVqi3X

DIY Raspberry White Chocolate Mocha

Holiday planning is in full-force now!  While you’re searching for holiday drinks, look no further!  This one is kid-friendly and super yummy.  I mean who doesn’t love white chocolate?  Plus, the raspberry gives the drink a very festive pink color!

DIy White chocolate mocha

For this drink, you need:

  • 5 cups of coffee (optional, we all know kids don’t need any caffeine)
  • 2 bars of white chocolate
  • 1/2 can of sweetened condensed milk (can substitute for: 1 bar of white chocolate)
  • 3 cups of milk
  • Raspberry syrup (to taste, I usually add about 1/2 tablespoon)

Serving size: approximately 10 drinks

This drink is super easy to make.  First, make the coffee.  Then, while the coffee is brewing, pour 3 cups of milk in to a saucepan.

Tip: Slowly stir the milk as it heats up (this prevents that gross film from developing)

Once the milk is steaming, break pieces of white chocolate in to the milk.  Once the white chocolate is fully melted and incorporated in to the milk, add half a can of sweetened condensed milk. This makes the white chocolate milk super creamy and luxurious!  My mouth is watering while typing this….

White chocolate mocha

After everything is blended together, pour the coffee in to the milk.  Stir everything together.  Now, add 1/2 a tablespoon of raspberry syrup for a splash of color and flavor.  And you’re done!

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DIY Halter Crop Top in 9 Easy Steps

DIY Halter top feature image

Feature Monday will start again next week!  Until then, check out this great DIY!

After browsing through Pinterest for almost six hours, I am completely convinced that there is nothing you can’t make from a t-shirt.  So, I’m going to make a halter crop top from two old t-shirts that have been sitting on my floor for the past few months.

For this project, you will need:

  • Two semi-fitted T-shirts
  • scissors
  • needle and thread (or a sewing machine if you have one)
  • an iron and ironing board

Time to complete project:

  • 2 hours with sewing machine
  • 4 hours hand sewing

First step: Take the two shirts and turn them inside out.

Second Step: Cut the sleeves, neckline, and hem off of one of the t-shirts.

(This will be used to cover the neckline and hem of the halter top)

Cut 2 inch strips

IMG_4458

 

 

 

 

 

Third step: Cut FIVE 2-inch strips from this shirt.

IMG_4510

Then cut the loop open, so it becomes one long strip.

Now, let’s create the halter top base with the other t-shirt.
Cut dotted lines

Fourth Step: For the halter top, cut the neckline off and both the sleeves off in a diagonal line.

IMG_4447

Fifth Step: To clean up all those raw edges, take the 2-inch strips and fold the strips down the middle, so no raw edges are showing.

Fold strips down the middle   IMG_4462

  Now, iron the strips to secure the fold.

Sandwich halter top

Sixth Step: Sandwich the raw edge of the halter top.

IMG_4468

Pin the three layers together.

IMG_4520IMG_4522IMG_4519

Seventh Step: When two raw edges meet, cut the excess fabric and fold both of the edges in.  Then, pin the clean edge.

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Eighth Step: Repeat this process for all the raw edges.

IMG_4501

**If you don’t like to sew, you can leave the bottom hem raw.**

Ninth Step: Sew all the edges!
DIY Halter top finished

If you tried this DIY project, don’t forget to post on Instagram with the #LillyRoseJL

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