Thrifting in Chicago!

I used to like going to Goodwill in Ohio, and occasionally in Ft. Wayne when we were visiting, but Chicago is awesome for the variety it offers. In high school I actually found two of my prom dresses at the Bowling Green Goodwill for $5 a piece, and before 4H camp we would descend on the store for costumes that we would wear at campfire and to meals. In college, I would drive friends and international students to the stores looking for sweaters, flannels, and crazy random things. We’d also do clothing swaps a few times a year with the ladies of Cru, and the leftovers were found for months afterwards at the local thrift store. (Have you ever seen something and thought, I have one just like that! only to realize that IS¬†your old shirt/dress/scarf? It’s a weird feeling.)

After cleaning out my closet this weekend, I wanted to check the local thrift stores for flannels and boots. Most of the stores near me have certain colored tags designated for half-off on different days of the month. There’s a chain, Village Discount Outlet, with at least a dozen locations, a more well-kept store called Unique, and a Salvation Army all in reasonable distance of our apartment. Each location has a slightly different type of stock. The store near my gym has a ton of vintage suits, sweaters, and skirts plus a good amount of wool clothes. The only one with fitting rooms-Unique-has more of your season or two old name brand clothes and some more modern shoes. The Salvation Army is hit-or-miss most days. **As the internet is not always friendly, I want to clarify that I am mentioning the brands of things not because I only wear name-brands but to show the craziness of what you can find/how much you can save by thrifting.**

After about two hours of carrying around all kinds of things, I ended up finding a vintage plaid German wool skirt, a New York and Company blouse that actually fits, an L.L. Bean super soft flannel shirt (in the men’s section, but who cares?), a Banana Republic longer women’s flannel, and a mystery flannel with an embroidery style print on the back. I also found replacement tall boots for the ones I’ve entirely worn through at 10% of what they’d be in the store! I know I’m not the only one who finds more than they were looking for when they go shopping. My other goal was to look for baskets to organize my tea & coffee shelf, but the ones of the right size didn’t have tags & they won’t sell them unmarked.

One of these days when we have all of our pictures hung up and the boxes all dealt with, I’m planning to go back and find some fun decorations. Both my mom & MIL have found me fun wreaths that make the front door look more fun, but my current decoration set up consists of my wedding bouquet, two lanterns, and a ton of mostly-burnt candles. The candles are perfectly usable, but not so pretty to look at right when you come in the door. I also have quite a bit of yarn that I don’t have a project for. I only know a handful of crochet stitches and I can only use/give away so many earwarmers.

In other news, I finally got around to sewing the tears in my leggings that have been waiting a long, long time. Unlike the other ladies of my family, sewing and I just don’t get along. Much like my math skills, I can get things done and understand the concepts, but don’t enjoy it. I also don’t know much about the sewing machine I currently have, which is my excuse for not hemming my jeans. Can you stitch through light-weight denim without an industrial machine? Not wanting to find out the hard way, I decided rolling my jeans will work until I get back to Ohio and my mother’s sewing expertise.

Rather than blogging about each week’s highs & lows, I wanted to try writing about themes & topics. I like fashion & cooking, but I’m not sure whether the audience of this blog would have any interest in either of those. Feel free to comment here or on the Facebook post with opinions or any topics you want to hear about. I plan to also write about the new books I’ve been reading after processing them a bit more.

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New & Exciting Changes!

It’s so much easier waiting and being patient when you can see the lovely light at the end of the tunnel! Mark and I have found a new apartment that we can move into on August 1st that is gorgeous and a major step up from our current place. I’ll add photos when we’re moved in, since it’s being repainted & cleaned at the moment. Our current apartment is all clean and organized because we have company! Lizzie & Eli from BG Cru are visiting Chicago & staying with us. We had the best surprise last night when they left for dinner and came back engaged! I’m so excited for them!

Mark and I are waiting for our tickets to Cancun as the date gets closer and closer. Two and a half more weeks to go! It’s going to be a whirlwind getting packed and starting to move between both apartments. The local thrift store chain is having a 1/2 off sale this weekend, so I’m going on a search for a living room rug. The new apartment has almost new hardwood floors and we have heavy furniture, so I’m nervous about scratching up the floors. We learned our lesson last weekend at the thrift store when we decided to wait a bit on a rolling kitchen cart and then saw it being wheeled out by another customer 10 minutes later. I need to be faster at making decisions! (We also have no room for anything anyway…)

Mark has FAFSA mostly filled out with the help of wonderful people at Wright College and is waiting on a few more things to fall in place before he can schedule classes & orientation. It’s hard to believe he’ll be going back to school in about 4 weeks! The campus is great, with lots of grass and trees, and it’s actually closer to our new apartment. He’s been working with a specialist on ADHD techniques and there’s already a noticeable difference. He’s getting things done faster, hardly forgetting anything, and by going to the gym earlier made a new friend. He’s learning to box from the new friend and is pretty excited about it. We received 4 great books on ADD/ADHD also from my aunt and uncle. I’ve been reading through the first one on the train and I think it’s actually having more of an affect on me than Mark. He doesn’t need to understand how ADD works, he lives it. I, however, am getting a better in depth perspective than I got out of my psychology classes.

I also started reading through Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst, and Crazy Love by Francis Chan. It’s an interesting experience reading through both at the same time. They tend to complement each other as they use the same concept to two different ends. Uninvited is about relearning your identity based on Biblical truth instead of past experiences and Crazy Love is about taking a look at God’s identity and how that shows his love for us. If anybody else is reading either, I’d love to hear your thoughts about them. I had the best intentions to read through Uninvited with a friend, but the mailing system & book store craziness that ensued resulted in two books ending up in Ohio and one eventually making it to Chicago that I started reading & gave to my sister, thinking mine would be mailed from Ohio in a few days. Well, I think Chicago USPS ate my book, as it still hasn’t shown up. Luckily, I have plenty of ADD books, plus Crazy Love to finish first.