Matching Boots & an Orange Experiment


 Claire and I have matching boots.

This delights us. Her and me. Matching. Oh, yes.

We are also both wearing orange. I point this out to her, and that’s how she smiles when she realizes she matches mommy.

This wearing orange…it’s a new thing for me…

I used to be afraid of orange. Or hate it. Or something. I never, ever wore it. I thought it wasn’t my color. But part of my personal style revolution has been understanding how I really feel about colors. I’d never paint my kitchen orange…

…But when I saw this spunky, orange-striped cardigan at the thrift store, I couldn’t resist seeing if orange felt good on me.

Here’s the style board (from my pinterest fashion board) that inspired this outfit:


Sweater: thrift store $3
Dress: thrift store $4
Belt: thrift store $0.25
Scarf: VanHussen, $10
Necklace: Dayspring
Leggings: thrift store $2
Boots: Born



So, what was the result of the Orange Experiment?

I found I absolutely LOVE wearing orange. This photo says it all.

Trina’s fashion tip for the day: Use the cheap deals you can find at the thrift store to experience with colors and styles that you *think* are outside your comfort zone. You may be delightfully surprised.

Have you made any fashion discoveries this fall? What’s new in your wardrobe that you’re absolutely lovin’?Do you wear orange?







My Easter Outift

 I found the hat at the salvation army two weeks ago. I was so excited, but restrained myself from jumping up and down in public.  It didn’t occur to me until Saturday night that I should wear it for Easter Sunday (it wouldn’t be the first time I used Easter Sunday as an excuse to wear a hat!)

I sacrificed sleeping in Sunday morning and did my hair in a vintage style using this awesome Youtube tutorial. 
I will be refining this technique to wear to a friend’s vintage wedding later this year. (Sarah, what did you do to your hair for your sister’s wedding?)

Kristina, the dress was thrifted but I LOVE it and have wanted to copy it. Thankfully, I don’t have to -a friend just loaned me a  pattern that’s nearly identical – Simplicity 3877, view A. I would like to make myself several – it’s nursing friendly and has subtle, vintage flair when worn with the right accessories - don’t you think? I chose my pearl earrings from my English grandmother, with the matching strand that Jeremy gave me.

I have learned in whatsoever state I am…

…to buy maternity clothes.

(This is not an announcement – I am not pregnant!)

I’m 5’9″, so pants only look right if I get them extra long. Thus, I’ve worn highwaters through all three of my pregnancies. I hate feeling frumpy when I’m pregnant. So, my new policy is to buy cute maternity clothes whenever I find them.

In the past I have put something I liked back on the rack ’cause I was no where near a need for elastic waist bands, and didn’t want to think about wearing maternity clothes. But now, having endured a third pregnancy in frumpyness and highwater pants, and I’m not gonna do that again.

Now, of course, I shop almost exclusively at thrift stores, and I’m not anywhere near average, meaning it’s only a few times a year that I actually find something that fits my criteria. So I don’t have a huge closet full of cute maternity clothes. No, but I do have a new pair of Black pinstripe, Extra long, Gap Maternity dress pants in stretch cotton for $1, thanks to the local hole-in-the-wall thrift store and my Company Policy.

(I repeat, this is not an announcement!)

What about you? Do you buy clothes out of season (summer clothes in winter) or maternity clothes even when you’re not pregnant? What’s your latest, greatest thrift store find?

6 Things I’ve Having A Blast With This Week

1. I was privileged to be one of the recipe testers for Kate’s soon-to-be-released e-cookbook, “Against the Grain” Delicious recipes for the Whole Food and Grain-Free Diet. It was a blast helping her test and refine a few of the recipes – first, because it was like someone else took over menu planning for me for a few nights (the hardest part of putting food on the table for me), and second, because the recipes were so good and required no reverse-engineering or substituting ingredients to bring them up to my nutrition standards. Oh, and they were delicious. Wow. I totally recommend the book when it comes out. See more details here.

2. Traveling South. Jeremy took me with him on quick business trip to Philadelphia at the beginning of the week. I took the opportunity to visit some stores they don’t have in our area.

A friend of mine spoke truth when she said, “Everyone should have the chance to visit IKEA at such a young age!” I was 28 years behind, but it was awesome!

I know what you are thinking. “What! Trina eats fast food!???” Yup. There is a time and season for everything, folks. I like to say I eat well at home so I can afford the occasional splurge or treat when out and about. Chick-fil-A is my fast food of choice -when the time and place call for a quick bite of fast food, I love me a good chickfillet sandwich. Think about it – It’s a business that honors the Lord’s day (closed on Sundays), plays Christian music in the restaurant, always has FRESH FLOWERS on the tables, and supports marriage counseling and 7 other outreaches with some of their proceeds…If I’m gonna do fast food, this is where I’m gonna eat.
I just blocked my mind to the fact that every single item on the menu has sugar, and all but the fruit cup have soy in it. And that my kidney’s positively ached after that vanilla milkshake….

3. Letter Writing. My soldier wrote me back! Wow, I was so blessed that my brother used  a few of his precious free moments to send me a letter from boot camp.

He was so thankful I had written, so, of course, I sat down immediately to write him again. I am reveling in reviving the lost art of letter wrting around here. I think receiving a personal letter in the mail is so often the highlight of that day or week because it is a gift of TIME – pure, undiluted, quality, intentional time…

  • Letter writing is something you can’t multitask while doing.
  • It takes longer than any other form of communication.
  • It produces something tangible for the recipient. 

It is a gift worth the time.

4. I’ve been sewing. It’s too soon to tell you exactly what, but I’m thinking a another tutorial (like this one) might be on it’s way. I’ve had such a breakthrough in the sewing room, I just have to share it with you. Get ready – gather some old t-shirts or raid the plus-sized section of the thrift store!

5. I’ve been playing in the kitchen. My absolute favorite thing in the kitchen is transformations. I love baking ’cause you turn a sloppy, gloppy liquid (dough) into a light, airy, dry texture (bread!). You take solids and make them liquid, liquids to solids, colors and textures change – it’s all so exciting.

So this week I was practicing my mozzerella cheese making again. And it failed. Again. BUT, I think I’m on the right track. I tried not to let the failure get to me, and turned around to make the leftover whey into ricotta (something I’ve always had success with after failed mozz.) Well, that failed, too.

Then I was mad.

Wow, I can’t believe I’m putting this photo up here for all the blog-world to see. This is me, with my failed clump of mozzerella cheese right before I threw it in the garbage.

 6. So, I turned to pasta making. That was a huge success. And so much fun.  I have the extruder attachment for my kitchen aide

It’s like the ultimate play-dough experience – except you get to eat it when you’re done. (and it doesn’t have that awful saltiness, either! :))

First successful elbow noodle experiment.

Now I need to get off the computer and work on the next thing – lasagna noodles!

What have you been doing this week? Is it spring where you are?

Expanding into Unknown Regions

I was disturbed this week as I brought out my treasured summer maternity bin to find that more than half of the items are too small. How did this happen??? Suddenly, I went to “all set for summer” to “I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR!!!” and the ensuing tears and panic. That’s why when we were scheduled to be at our Christian Radio station’s Sharathon at 6 yesterday, I asked Jeremy if we could leave early enough to hit the Bath Salvation Army for ’1/2 off’ day. They have such a nice, big maternity section, I was sure to find something.

I found a single pair of capris. Extra Large. I’ve never been extra large in anything! I tried not to panic and headed to the Plus Sized Section.

Shopping in the Plus Size section of the thrift store can be scary. Shirts 4 feet wide. Pants that require 2 hangers. It’s enough to make you never eat another potato chip. Yet I have found this aisle to be a good source for fabric and items that can be custom fitted and refashioned with just a few quick zips on the serger. Also, more often than not, my long arms require an extra large to get the right length, so I have been shopping in the plus section frequently in the past year. Now I was looking for summer tops that had potential as maternity wear. I found about 8 tops, tried them on, and took home 2.

The basic rules for turning plus sizes into maternity styles are…

1. Don’t go too big. A 3x is gonna need to be completely cut apart and redesigned – and I don’t have that kind of time or energy right now. Stick to items that are just one or two sizes above your normal size.

2. Make sure it’s long enough. This rule cut down my possibilities in the dressing room by %75. They just didn’t cover the belly enough – or, the ‘projected belly size’ through the end of July.

3. Sleeves are an easy fix. My arms are the one thing that hasn’t gained circumference in this pregnancy (thank heavens!), so I do not need a sleeve hole the size of my thigh! If the shirt is long enough, and not too wide across the shoulders and neck, but the sleeves or sleeve holes seem ginormous, a custom fit can easily be achieved by taking in the under arm seam, tapering out gradually to meet the side seam just above the waist.

I’ll show you what I do with my finds next week….

You can hear our little interview on Family Life Network here. Scroll down, it’s the last interview on the April 7th list. The voices are those of my father-in-law, husband, and myself. It was freaky to be behind the mic on live radio, but I made myself do it just to prove (to myself) that I could! LOL

Waiting for Spring

Have you noticed a theme on the blog this month? It was not planned or scheduled…I just have spring on the mind. Better celebrate it on the blog now, ’cause when it does come, we’ll be too busy dancing under the apple blossoms in the orchard to be on the computer!!!
This is the month’s thrifted treasure. Do you know what it is? 
It’s a bud vase. For those little smushed dandelions with 1 1/2 inch stems that my son faithfully brings me every time he has been playing in the yard. I’ll just fill it with water and set it on my windowsill above the sink and it will be ready for the little buds and blossoms (hopefully more of the latter) that my darling children will bring me come spring. 
Come, Spring!!!!

My Future Kitchen

Here are the cupboards we got at the auction – all piled in storage like birthday presents hiding in the attic until that special day. See the lovely roping detail? And those mini glass cupboards – there are about 10 of them!

There are two of these corner glass display cupboards…

And TWO lazy susans!

Here’s the whole pile (and the man who will build our dream house someday!)
Read the whole story on how we got these at an auction here.
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Thrifted Thrusdays

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these posts, but I just have to show the Beautiful way the Lord provided for me through the thrift store last month! I have wanted a princess-seamed, black, wool pea-coat since I was 17. Never quite able or willing to buy one new (and unable to find a style I liked anyway) I have canvased thrift stores for years for my Dream Coat. Finally, last month, I found it – black, wool, princess-seamed and fits me like a glove! So what if it wasn’t on sale – what’s $8 to be united with my true love? (oh, wait, my true love is Jeremy – well, he likes the coat, too.). I just have to give the credit to God – how else could the perfect coat show up on the rack at my local thrift store, in just my size? (Wonder why it took 9 years? Talk to God – I’m just glad it’s here at last! :))

This week’s finds included a pair of jeans that fit perfectly – girls, you know how hard it is to find a pair of jeans that feel like their made for you (12 looooong for me) – well, I got lucky this time! I also found a dress to wear to Rachel’s wedding at the end of the month – hooray! It’s from Dress Barn – I found it just after I finished telling my shopping buddy, Alyssa, how I thought I could never wear anything from Dress Barn after hearing Tim Hawkins on the subject. Oh, well. When you see the dress, perhaps you’ll understand why I caved!

Thrifted Thursday

Oh, boy – we made out good this week, and I just had to share!

Found: at the Bed, Bath, and Beyond Clearance store – At last! After 2 1/2 years of marriage, we have full set of dishes! Originally $60, we got the whole box for $13, ’cause the serving bowl was broken. That’s less than $0.25 a piece – better than thrift store prices! They look so good on my blue tile table. :)

Found: At the Salvation Army – the last piece of baby equipment to add to our collection -$22. We borrowed a bassinet for Jesse, but now we have our own for the baby. Yes, I know it’s blue. It doesn’t matter. If we have a girl, I will put a pink ribbon on it, OK?

Most Fun Find: a Ravensburger block puzzle – $2. I had one of these when I was little – a treasured gift from my Aunt Beverly. So, I couldn’t resist getting this for my boy so he could have the same hours of fun.
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Thrifted Thursdays

So, I absolutely love Amy Butler – who doesn’t? Her patterns, her style, and especially, her CLOTH. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, follow the link and feast your eyes. I love her lucious, bold floral prints that seem to be the best of vintage prints re-incarnated with today’s flair. And I love all the crafty things people are making out of her cloth – I see it on show and tell blogs everywhere – bags and aprons and skirts and fun little folders and pin cushions and, oh, it’s all to much for me…I want a bolt of each of her fabrics, and the time to sew it all into lovely creations.

Amy Butler retails for $10 – $16 per yard.
That’s not in the budget. No matter which way you look at it, or how hard you pinch your pennies. :(


(aren’t they the solution to almost everything?)

It happens regularly – I see a cute print as I’m browsing the aisles of my favorite thrift store, grab it up, only to find it’s no where near my size or style. Such a shame…unless you look at it as fabric. And cheap fabric at that! So, I decided, as I set out on my errands yesterday (which included two thrift stores) to keep my eye out for cloth – in the clothing aisle, as well as the remnant bin.

And it worked.

I found a huge, (size 18) pleated skirt, and a very, very small mini skirt, both out of delicious prints that reminded me of Amy Butler style.
I also found two yards of 5o” silk duponi, and 3 yards of a teal cotton.
I looked in the linen section too, and found this old set of sheets…

Talk about bold and beautiful! And true vintage. They are hardly worn, and I think would make up into some adorable aprons!

Total spent: less than $5 for 15+ yards of fabric.
Now, that’s being thrifty!

I began picking apart the large skirt this afternoon. I realized as I set aside the 9 inch invisible zipper to add to my stash (it’s the type of zipper I use most often), that I had gotten 3 yards of 30″ wide fabric for less than the cost of a new zipper. Delightful.

Hint: most hems can be unraveled, rather than unpicked – it’s worth it to find the right thread to pull, it makes converting the skirt to yardage a lot easier!

I can’t wait till my studio is in shape enough to allow for some sewing!

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