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Thrift Store Treasure Hunting

The idea of second-hand stores is daunting to some. Items that have been worn and used by other people are seen as disgusting and dirty. There will always be unwanted items in a thrift store, but among the masses of less than desirable clothes, there are plenty of interesting items just waiting to be found.

Platform boots for $3, no big deal

Thrift stores are becoming more popular, due to both the state of the economy and peoples’ realizations that vintage clothing is taking a turn for the trendy. Instead of going to a major retail outlet and purchasing something that everyone else on the street will be wearing because it’s ‘in’, the clothes, shoes and bags in thrift stores are now unique. They may have been popular months or years ago, but by now you’ll have the chance to flaunt them and be special.

The misconception that only ‘poor people’ shop at thrift stores couldn’t be farther from the truth. Celebrities such as Katie Holmes, Reese Witherspoon even Zac Efron (for the “perfect vintage suit”) have been seen at second-hand stores. Drew Barrymore says “I shop at thrift stores because I will always find something different,” proof that ‘recycled fashion’ is hitting it big with a lot of fashionistas. It’s not just about the money – it’s about discovering something unique and versatile.

Yet needless to say, despite other benefits, the prices can’t be beat. You can

Hollister cropped jean jacket for $5

find a Calvin Klein top for $2, a Chanel bag for $10 – I’ve even found a pair of Nine West heels for $5! To say you pay a fraction of the price would be an understatement. The thrill of buying something brand new from an expensive store is great, but it’s not always the best option for your wallet. Plus, you feel just as proud knowing what a bargain you found.

Also, remember that whatever you buy at a thrift store is helping your community. The money you spend goes to charity, helping out those who really need it. It’s a double bonus; you get new clothes, and you’re doing a good deed!

Wearing vintage is like wearing living art. You never know the story behind the shirt you just bought, how much it could have meant to someone, or the adventures they had in it. You get the change to re-use and bring it back into style.

Here are some tips for successful thrift store surfing:

  • Skim through the racks. Don’t look at every single item of clothing, as this will take all day. Walk past the clothes, and only pick out materials or patterns that catch your eye.

    My favorite oversized crochet top, $2

  • Look out for brand names. Believe it or not, thrift stores carry a wide variety of designer items. These will generally be in better condition, and will last you longer.
  • Get rid of that fear. People wash their clothes before donating them, and those that smell or are in terrible condition are often not even displayed by the thrift store. They have an image to uphold too!
  • Be open-minded. Just because something has a small tear or a missing button doesn’t mean it doesn’t have potential. If you don’t like the sleeves, cut them off. If you don’t like the embellishments, you can sew on new ones. It’s all about your imagination.
Happy hunting!
Tell me about it: Have you guys found any good closet staples at a thrift store?
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The Perfect Pops

It's okay Popsicle, I like you!

As the days get hotter, everyone is looking for that ice cool treat. Most people turn to ice cream, but it’s not the best solution. Filled with fat and sugar, ice cream is easily beat by a nice refreshing ice pop. However, the ones you buy in stores or from the ice cream truck may be low in fat and calories, but they are very high in sugar. So here are two types of pops that I make at home: neither has any added sugar, and both are super satisfying. And not only are they a healthy treat for you to enjoy, but they are so easy to make!

To make your own popsicles, all you need are some basic ingredients and an ice pop mold (which can be purchased for less than $2 from any supermarket).

#1: The Milkshake Pop

This pop is completely homemade, yet takes less than 5 minutes to whip together.  All you need is 1 cup plain non fat yogurt, 2 sliced bananas, 1/2 cup skim milk, honey and cinnamon. Put the ingredients into a blender for 2 or 3 minutes and pour into the mold. The amount of honey you use depends on how sweet you want your pops – I use 2 tablespoons. You can also add other fruits, such as strawberries or melon. You’ll have 8 pops at 50 cal each!

#2: The Pudding Pop

This pop is made using sugar free pudding mix. There are so many flavors by Jell-O that you won’t get bored – experiment a little!  You’ll need 1 box Jell-O Sugar Free Fat Free Pudding, 2 cups fat free milk. Simply prepare the pudding by whisking the powder with the milk and pour into your popsicle molds. You’ll have 8 pops at 35 cal each!

Holey (Healthy) Donut!

Is it a bird? A plane? A low fat donut!

June 3rd is National Donut Day. Many chains are giving out free donuts, such as Dunkin’ Donuts when you buy any drink. It’s said that this day was created by the Salvation Army to honor the females during WW1 who served donuts to soldiers. However, like many other ‘national holidays’, today is probably just focused on eating (similar to how Memorial Day is an excuse to drink).

But I’m not complaining about the morale behind the holiday, I’m obviously going to put down donuts because of their nutritional value- or lack of it. First off, donuts are FRIED, not baked like many people believe. They are then coated in glaze, frosting, chocolate or filled with goopy calories.

However, all donuts were not created equal. Instead of blowing your healthy habits, you can instead order from Holey Donuts. These donuts are low fat and have far fewer calories than the normal fried fiends.

How Holey Donuts compares with donut chains

You can also save money by baking your own donuts, as told here at Health.com. These could be an activity to make with family, friends or that special someone, and it’s also really fun to decorate them yourself.

So go on, celebrate this ‘holiday,’ but do it the healthy way!

Twist Your Trunk!

I recently came across a post about Lady Gaga’s Workout and Diet on FitnessMagazine.com, and the slide that really caught my eye was the Trunk Twist. Since bikini season is looming close, I thought I’d share it with all of you. Just spreadin’ the tummy love!

p.s. I trust this move if Gaga does it, because have you SEEN her body recently?!

  • Sit on the floor with legs extended in front of you, knees slightly bent.
  • Hold a dumbbell with both hands and arms extended.
  • Lean back slightly and twist torso to the left, bringing dumbbell toward the floor near your hip on the left. Immediately twist to the right, keeping spine neutral and abs tight.
  • Continue, alternating 10 times per side.
Photo and steps courtesy of FitnessMagazine.com

Feeling Low? Fashion Show!

When I need a motivational boost sometimes, I go shopping. It makes me feel trendy to try on clothes and add things to my closet, and it makes me feel a lot better about myself when I can fit into the sizes I want 😀 It’s definitely positive motivation to stop snacking, which I’ve been doing a lot the past few days.

You may be saying “I don’t have the money to go shopping whenever I feel down,” and trust me, neither do I. I’m a student lacking the funds to by Prada and Pucci, but this doesn’t stop me from hitting the sales wrack at Forever 21, H&M and department stores like Sears and Macy’s.

Shopping also burns a LOT of calories. You’re standing up, walking around, looking through the wracks and working your arms. As long as you avoid the mall food court and stick to the stores, you’ll be doing your body a favor while you’re having tons of fun!

I bought these cute summer shorts today. They are loose and flowing and so comfortable. I bought the top a few months ago but haven’t worn it much, just once to an internship interview in New York. Both of these pieces are from Sears, and the ring is from eBay.

This cropped lace top is by Apostrophe, and I fell in love with it the minute I saw it. It’s light and breezy, perfect for hot summer days, and can be worn either during the day by the lake or to the clubs at night! The shorts are from H&M Germany.

All of these jewelry items are from Forever 21. I’ve had the ring for months and the bracelet for a few weeks, and today I found the elephant necklace and was so happy that it was in the same colors. Now I have a set!


I didn’t buy any of this stuff today, but since I was in the catwalk mood I decided to show you them anyway! I got the purple scallop skirt from Forever 21 last year, for only $6 (told you I work those sale racks). The shoes are from a thrift store – thrifting is even more fun cos the bargains are RIDICULOUS and you find so many unique things.


I got these studs from H&M. They’re only $3.95 each, and since I’m always losing my earrings I really needed to stock up. Really recommend them!

Stop moping around the house in sweat pants or pajamas. Get out there, get some new garments and feel fabulous!

What do you guys do to feel better on a lousy day??

Be-YOU-tiful

Good morning everybody,

There are so many people who aren’t happy with themselves, and a lot of this unhappiness stems out of body image issues. So here is something I thought everyone should see, and something that I think it so true.

Of course we all wish we could have these features wrapped up into one amazing body, but most of us don’t. We are beautiful because we are different. Heck, most of the time I wish I had the abs of a lesbian gym owner (that one cracked me up) and various other features that are not mine … but I was given this body and it is my vessel for life.

Treat yourself right and be proud of what your mama gave ya!

Super Spaghetti Squash

I love pasta, but I try as much as possible to avoid it. There are 200 calories in one serving of this carb-filled ‘staple’, but hardly anyone stops there. The average pasta dish in a restaurant is 3 or 4 servings, and even people who make it at home use more than one handful-sized serving. So when I found this recipe for spaghetti made out of a vegetable … I was amused, but pretty skeptical. Squash = spaghetti? Can it be? IT CAN. I made this today and it tasted like a slightly crunchier version of spaghetti, with an amazing taste. And at only 45 calories a cup, it can’t be beat! Plus, the cooking process is so easy. With only three ingredients and NO added oil/ butter/ salt, there is no pasta dish simpler and healthier than this.

Step 1) Scoop all seeds out of half of squash and fill the space with 1/3 cup water. Microwave on high for 8 minutes.

Step 2) Bring pasta sauce to a simmer. I use Classico’s Florentine Spinach and Cheese tomato sauce. It has 80 cal per 1/2 cup, but I’m going to try and find a lower cal sauce next time I go shopping. This tastes really yummy though! 

Step 3) Remove squash from microwave and scoop out flesh with a fork (it will automatically take the shape of spaghetti). Top with sauce and sprinkle with cheese.

– 125 cal –