I have been an avid thrifter for as long as I can remember. Rummaging through miles and miles of used clothes was one of the best skills my mom taught me....and I've saved so much money re-using clothes and furniture through the years. I also love that it is more sustainable, and I donate all of my clothes when I'm done using them so another happy thrifter can benefit from them.
Over the years, I've been asked, "how do you find cute stuff while thrifting?" It's true, thousands of items of clothes, often crammed together and lacking the right size tags can be super overwhelming, but if you're committed to getting a good deal and shopping sustainably, it can be a fun treasure hunt! (don't give me crazy eyes....it's true!)
Come along with as I thrift shopped last week and hear a couple tips that might help you too!
Here are some of my tips from the video (and a few more I added in!)
1. Have patience and look through everything!
Push all the hangers down as far as they can go. This way you can go through them one at a time. Move quickly....your eye can generally catch a cute color or pattern you like. This will keep you on time, but still seeing everything so nothing is missed. Allot a good amount of time for thrifting....you'll need at least a couple hours to find good stuff. Thrifting shouldn't happen on a day you feel rushed, because it takes patience!
2. Have intention when you shop
If you know what you're looking for, you'll be more apt to find something like it. I don't typically know exactly the style I want, but I usually know that I am looking for a certain color or a type of clothes (like a dress, shoe, or pant). This helps me intentionally go where those things are, so I don't feel super overwhelmed with all the stuff.
3. Find out when your thrift shop re-stocks or when their big drop offs come in
Big drop offs typically happen after holidays or Mondays after everyone went through their clothes on the weekend. And certain thrift shops re-stock or get things in on certain days. If you can find out when those times are, you can show up before other thrifters snag the great stuff.
4. Check out thrift shops in more high end neighborhoods
When doing this, you can often find name brands and higher end clothes. (But don't discount your thrift shop just because it isn't in a good area. There can be great stuff anywhere!)
5. Try on EVERYTHING and take risks!
You never know if something will look great until you try it on. So try on more then you would at a regular store! I also find that taking risks is more fun with thrifted clothes. I don't want to spend $40 on something that is a statement but I maybe won't wear all the time, but I will spend $5.99 on it. :)
6. Go on sale days!
You can find out by asking when your sale days are at your local thrift shops. They normally discount certain color tags.....and discounts on thrift clothes make them even MORE affordable!
7. Be creative, have fun, and buy sustainably or fair trade whenever you can!
This is my most favorite way to wear my hair! I've had friends ask how I get it so curly, so here's a quick tutorial on what I use. I feel like I channel my inner 'Mamma Mia' when I do my hair like this....and it's totally one of my most favorite movies. :)
Curling Wand Used Here
I also used.... Not Your Mother's Dry Shampoo and Frizz Ease Hairspray
We were hoping to get maternity photos done in our last month of pregnancy, but funds were limited. So we decided to take our own maternity photos, with the awesome help of our amazing sister. It was such a fun day of running back and forth to look through the camera to see if they came out and then run back to posing. People probably thought we were a little crazy, but I am so happy we have these sweet memories together. <3
These were shot at about 36 weeks and my good friend loaned me some denim overalls that are my absolute fave of all time. (Eeek, overalls forevs). This pregnancy has flown by and I'm so happy to have these sweet photos to document how much I love Ryan and the little baby we made together.
See you in a couple weeks, Amelia!
And most of them, you can find at Target!! Whoop whoop!
I often get questions on Instagram about what beauty products I use. Not because I'm super great at make up, because I'm really not. (For that, ask my sister. She'll teach you how to do a sassy wing like nobody's business :). But I do try to be more simple and natural in the products I use. So I figured I'd put together a short blog post with some of my faves.
I've tried over the last few years to convert my beauty items to be more natural products. Because more natural products are a bit more expensive, it forces me to cut down on how much I buy and keep it minimal. I can't just buy stuff I don't use. And using the app that rates beauty products Think Dirty (that name 😂) has helped me find items that don't contain so much junk. If I'm slathering something all over my face, I want it to actually be good for me and not just smell good. :)
So here's a list of my top favorite things I've found over the last year in trying to convert my beauty drawer to things that are better for me and the environment.
It's definitely not a full list, and I of course still have some items that aren't fully natural. But my hope is that I can slowly find cost effective and natural products over time that will replace all of my non-natural make up.
Hope this helps!
1. Pacifica Face Wipes & Facial Cleanser (Rose Water Wipes & Kale Detox Cleanser)
I love this brand. My favorite thing to do after a long day is to sit on the couch, watch the Office, and take all of my make up off with a wipe. Finding these wipes has been awesome, because they are WAY softer than others and make my face feel like I just had a spa treatment. I have to be conservative when using them though, because I could use three a night. ;)
The cleansers are also super gentle on my skin and a little goes a long way!
I've used lots of their wipes, and my favorites are the Rose Water & Cactus Water.
I used the Kale Detox Facial Cleanser.
2. Love Beauty and Planet Shampoo & Conditioner (Hope & Repair)
I recently grabbed these at Target and love them so much. They are expensive, but my hair felt amazing and I got a bajillion comments on how good it smelled.
They aren't quite fragrance free (esp. due to how great it smells. ;) But paraben and sulfate free is cool too. Also, their bottles are made out of recyclable materials.
3. Root Pretty Mascara + Eye Shadow
I used to wake up with my eyes swollen every morning and could never figure out why. I'd always have a little excess mascara under my eyes, from not quite rubbing it all off and it was definitely aggravating my sensitive eyes. I switched to this mascara and literally have not had the swollen eye issue once. Kind of freaks me out that I had been putting so much gunk that was hurting my eyes for so long! Root Pretty's stuff is organic and fragrance free.
Their eye shadow is also super pretty, and I have some of their gold and pink colors.
I may just have sensitive eyes, but I do love the Root Pretty brand and am SO glad I switched to using them. (and it smells yummy too!)
4. Purely & Jordan Essentials Lipsticks
I own a bunch of Purely's lip therapy chapsticks and I LOVE Jordan Essentials lipsticks. I have the worst chapped lips ever. It's basically impossible for me to wear lipstick and both of these products are made well and ease my chronic-ly peely lips. ;)
I own Pink Champagne and Bravo Brown from Jordan Essentials. And basically all the lip therapy chapsticks from Purely. :)
5. Young Living Oils mixed with simple face lotion
I love many of Young Living's oils. As my pregnancy has progressed, I've noticed my scars and blemishes becoming more apparent on my face, and so frankincense and lavender have helped ease my breakouts and spots.
I mix a few drops into Shea Moisture facial lotion that also has rose oil in it (link to that above). It calms my face so much and I put it on every night. I got this lotion at Target. :)
6. Gabriel Foundation
I love this foundation! It's rated super good for having no icky stuff in it on the Think Dirty app, and it's not super oily and has decent coverage! I generally wear it over a BB cream.
7. Tom's Deodorant
Normal deodorant makes me itchy. (It actually makes Ryan break out in a rash!). This is nice because it's better for you and keeps you from being stinky. :)
I got mine at a local grocery store, but you can grab them at Target too.
8. Burt's Bees Lipsticks - Blush Basin
Again, I have the worst chapped lips. And the Burt's Bees lipsticks are SO nice to put on and don't aggravate my lips. (It actually hides the peely chappedness of my lips quite a bit, which is awesome).
Being pregnant and fashionable feels really hard. For me, it's not so much the getting bigger. I've maintained a slow and healthy weight gain, so I haven't needed to buy many new clothes quite yet. But it's mostly because your body just feels....different.
Especially if you're dealing with morning sickness, bloating, and just being creakier feeling then normal, picking out the most fashion forward outfit is just not always my first priority.
Before I get into it, two things. 1. A belly band helps all your pants work with you as you grow in size. You can grab one at Target for pretty cheap and they have saved me. Check em out here. 2. Jewelry and accessories make any outfit and I LOVE supporting my fair trade company and our AMAZING artisans by decking out as often as I can in Trades of Hope jewelry, scarves, and bags.
Here's some ways I've made my current wardrobe work and found newer clothes on a budget to make picking an outfit much easier! (Hint hint: lots of thrifting was involved)
1. Thrifted, Oversized Jackets
I LOVE to thrift. Love, love, love it. It's not a quick experience and you need to commit at least an hour to looking through all the racks and finding things to try on and test out. But it's so worth it!
I've got a pretty good system down when it comes to thrifting and I love that I can spend $30 bucks and get 5 things instead of just one thing!
I picked up this boyish blazer (which was a brand popular 20 years ago). I had to cut out the shoulder pads, yes. haha. But I love that it's trendy and a little oversized. It'll fit my pregnant belly for quite some time and dresses up a pair of jeans and white shirt. Not an overly complicated outfit to think through in the morning, which I love.
2. Dresses, dresses, dresses
Dresses are the BEST because you only have to think about wearing ONE thing, not two! Plus, I tend to like my dresses a size too big and a little baggier. This fits perfect as my belly stretches. (My blue dress at the apple orchard was thrifted, others were from TJ Maxx and Shop Stevie).
Patterns have an easy way of making an outfit feel a little more glamorous then it actually is. Florals are super in right now, and they make life more fun and bright.
And, of course, I can't get away from my typical checkered adventury clothes. That's my signature style and I'll never really stray from it. :)
Both of my below tops are thrifted and were under $4.00
Umm, who doesn't love overalls? I wore them nonstop as a kid. I've continued to always have a pair for the last 10 years, when they were out of style and in style too.
Again, I generally buy things a size too big as I like things comfy. My overalls have good give and can stretch a few more inches for my belly.
I have a jean pair and a white pair, but love how the white compliments any shirt or shoe choice. Plus, just like a dress, I only have to think about wearing ONE thing. So much easier. :)
Now that the first trimester is over, I wanted to blog an update to remember all of the
wonderful & weird things that happened during these last few months.
This is my first pregnancy and reaching the second trimester is such a gift. Not only
because I'm hoping the morning sickness will fade, but the pregnancy risk is much
lower and something I won't need to continually fear. Praising God for the protection and continual prayers.
But the last couple months have been exciting ones!
On a hot day in August of 2005, I met Ryan Antos. We were friends at first
and then some years later, he told me he liked me. We were 14 years old, little and awkward, but even in those years, we knew we loved each other so. It's been almost 10 years since the day when we confessed our affection to each other. As a teenager, I was terrified of the day we would separate. I was a realistic kid and I knew it had to come....young love never lasts. And so everyday I would write in my journal that if God could give me anything, I would ask for him.
At 19 years old, Ryan asked me to marry him and my faithful prayers, scribbled in a
worn journal came true.
We've been married over 4 years, and it has been everything I could have dreamed.
We've walked through hard things like everyone, sure. But I have been loved enough to
last me a lifetime and I have loved enough for a lifetime, and to know we still have a
lifetime yet to love one another brings me so much joy.
In June, we had started to talk about kids,
but weren't sure if we were ready yet. We
were both really enjoying our careers and
adventures. We traveled so much and I had
this weird, irrational fear that once a kid
came, all of it was over. So we decided that maybe we would wait another year.
At the end of June, God woke me up in the
middle of night and told me that I needed to start praying for my future baby and for
the faith to not believe my irrational fears.
I don't often have midnight God experiences
(though I wish I did!), so this was pretty
So I committed that every morning, I would take a good chunk of prayer time and pray
for our one day child and that God would prepare my heart and my faith for that time. I knew there'd be fear, but I prayed an end to the fear that kept stopping me from even
considering becoming pregnant. I was praying all of this with 2018 in mind of course, so we weren't taking any big risks and it was all purely for the future. ;)
Fast forward 3 weeks....
On a Tuesday night in July....on the way to a photoshoot, I stopped at home because I felt sick. I had a weird thought that I should take a pregnancy test....fully knowing there was no possible way to be pregnant.
But lo and behold.
I didn't really believe it when I saw it. I thought I had taken it wrong. I kind of just
pretended it hadn't happened because I was alone and freaking out, I told my dog,
filmed a quick video just in case it was true, and went on my way.
When Ryan came home later, I dropped the news, he was so shocked and overjoyed, and then we went to Target, where I took a bunch more tests. All positive. It felt a little
surreal. I didn't know how to respond and was just kind of in shock. Especially because only Ryan and I knew what I was praying for. (and of course, I've always prayed for our future kiddos, but this was a much more specific type of prayer that I was coincidentally beginning to pray WHILE I was pregnant). God is cool and weird sometimes.
Check out our pregnancy announcement video here.
I wish I can say the fear went away after
that, but the fear carried on for about 3
weeks. I stuck with my faith prayers and
worked through it. I blogged about some of my specific fears and how I conquered
them over at this blog post.
And I know you never stop being fearful,
but I believe in big faith and targeting
specific fears that cause anxiety, so that's
what I did.
This is something I learned after dealing with trauma and I've taught myself (with some help from good friends) how to heal (continually and in every new season) from the
kind of fear that crosses into unnatural anxiety. It isn't easy, but it's possible.
My fear eased up and faith and confidence started to kick in as we moved forward. Our month was a little crazy after that. 6 days after finding out, I hopped on a plane to host a 500 person event with Trades of Hope and my team. I had many speaking roles and
hosting duties, and it was a little overwhelming with my new-found pregnancy and the onslaught of morning sickness. But all of our Compassionate Entrepreneurs were SO
sweet to me and made it the BEST experience.
A couple months later, we were hit with Hurricane Irma and our entire town shut down for a week. Everyone was hunkering down, boarding up windows, and buying enough junk food to last them to the end of the world. It was a little crazy, but we got through
it and were not negatively impacted other then some flooding on our street. Our poor
town is still recovering though!
Around this time, I began to start to feel super comfortable being pregnant and was
starting to really understand my body and it's needs.
I found that, at least for me:
- I had morning sickness and the throw ups every morning, but it was not as bad as I thought it'd be. Honestly, you get used to everything. As long as I didn't let it interrupt my day and get me down, I could deal with it fine. (TMI: Also, drinking a TON of water as soon as I got up helped me throw up clean and easy without vomiting important calories. I just replaced the water later).
- Swallowing and digesting harsher food was a lot harder, so I need to drink water with every meal or I'd get indigestion. (Something I never had before). I wasn't exhausted or overly emotional like many said I'd be. Honestly, other then feeling a little bloated and having morning sickness, I felt pretty much like Chelsie. And I liked that. So far, so good! Not trying to diminish anyone else's experiences, but I like to share the good just in case it encourages someone too.
- Gaining weight is a lot harder then everyone told me it'd be, just because of my body type. So I have to intentionally go out of the way to eat more foods. I just
really like my fruit, guys!
- Exercising helped being sick, but lifting weights made me dizzy so walking helped a TON.
- Getting good books to research pregnancy INSTEAD of googling (and seeing all those terrifying, fear mongering things) was SUPER helpful in managing fear.
So maybe those will help you! Or maybe they'll just be for me to look back on and
Right at the end of the first trimester and the tailend of Hurricane Irma, we hopped on a plane to Washington D.C. I'm helping homeschool my brother this semester (#homeschoolkidsunite) and we planned a fun trip to help him learn some history. (Plus, it was nice escaping to some AC as we were out of power for a good part of the week).
So Ryan and I had fun galavanting around D.C., visiting our friend Elisabeth, seeing the historical sites, and visiting Mount Vernon. It was here that I was certain I saw my belly bump for the first time. I'm kind of lanky, so it's hard for others to see, but there is
definitely a little something going on.
Apparently, I'm now 15 weeks this week, instead of the 14 I thought. We went in for our 2nd appointment and heard the baby's heartbeat again and scheduled our appointment for finding out the gender, which is exciting!
Anyway, that's kind of a recap for you and somewhat for me. I want to remember all of my experiences and I love blogging, so I figured I'd let you in on some of the updates as well.
For the next few months, we have lots of exciting things planned including a trip to the mountains to see the leaves, a birthday/costume party, a gender reveal party, and a
Harry Potter marathon.
And of course, we are still adamantly praying in big faith for our baby and all that
he/she will be one day.
Until the next update. Thanks for reading, sweet friend!
P.S. The formatting is wonky in this blog post. I spent forevs trying to fix it and finally
gave up, but so sorry if it was weird to read because of it. <3
I have had a lot of people ask me "how do you afford to travel so much?" And it's normal that the first thought that pops into someone's mind when they see photos of airplanes and mountains and far off lands is "money." That's what you needed to travel once - so much money. But from my personal experience, I know that this is changing. We live in a day and age where money does not have to be associated with travel, where freedom does not need to be associated with 'rich.'
This misconception of money=freedom=travel stunts so many young people from experiencing the freedom they desire to have. I truly believe that when young people say "I want to make millions" they don't really mean that......they really just mean that they want to have the freedom that millionaires have. And I believe each person can have a taste of that through traveling.
At only the age of 22, I've had the honor to travel the world and the country - making an income that would hardly be considered wealthy and still making it work. And if you would like to do something similar, before you do anything else, you must:
Determine what your values are.
To travel often as teenagers and now twenty somethings, Ryan and I have made choices that lead to the things we love. We don’t spend our money on things we feel don’t get us toward our permanent goal - which we have made travel.
Now, if you truly value other things or even if certain circumstances (bills, school, job) do not allow you to travel, or you are just not in the season of travel due to life, children, etc....there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But we have decided that, as young adults, traveling is a huge value for us. We feel closer to our faith, to each other, and to others when we travel.
So I skip out on things like cable, I shop at goodwill, we drove a beat up old car (darn those brakes), and I choose not to drive my car very often to save gas, I could have afforded a much bigger apartment and yet I choose to live in a smaller apartment. These are things that I am willing to compromise on in order to allow my larger goal to be travel and experiences. Put your money only where your values are.
Here are some simple steps on how to put this in action:
1. Find out what places that you can go to that work around your schedule with job/school/commitments.
Let's face it. Not all of us get to have a job that allows 3 months of backpacking in Europe. I get that. But there are a whole lot of places all around you that you could go on the weekend - hiking, backpacking, tenting, coffee shop exploring. Find some cheap places to stay and make an adventure weekend out of it. A cabin in North Carolina. A kayak trip down the Florida coast. Hiking and tenting in Georgia. A cute little B&B in the town over.
Or, if you want a longer trip.... take a hard look at your calendar and find the two weeks you have off at spring break or the week you could take off from work during the summer. Then, determine where you want to go and start the financial planning process way in advance.
2. Don't let commitments become your excuse for not traveling.
There's always time available for short getaways and for seeing something new within driving distance. You don't always need the big trips to find adventure. Be an adventurer in the little things - like weekend trips and nearby locations.
But either way, if your heart values traveling, near or far, don't let anyone (not even yourself) talk you out of it. There will always be something more important and more responsible to do.
3. Find the things that you can cut out of your life that are less valuable than travel.
Going to Starbucks everyday is not my dream. Really. It isn't. Sorry Starbucks. I love coffee, but I would much rather live out the dream of hiking Mount Kilimanjaro, exploring Galilee, and learning how to make wine in the country of Italy.
So I take steps to cut out what I did not really want. Coffee more than once a week is cut out. I don't go to see movies in the theatre....I waited until they were on netflix or DVD. Chipotle runs are less important.
Ways to save:
Some simple figures
Our apartment was $300 less a month than the average apartment in our city. That's $3600 a year. You’ve got a pretty good chunk of money there you can use for an international trip…and we used that to go to Spain.
Cable is about $100 a month. That is $1200 for a year. That's another really great chunk of money that you could use for an in-country trip…and we used ours to go toward our Washington trip and hiking in the North Cascades.
Let’s use your phone bill as another example. You can get unlimited talk and text on a cheap phone for $25 a month, while many are spending $60-$80 on their phone with data (and the iphone cost too, of course). Ryan chooses to have a cheap phone and we use my phone for data, so he saves about $600 a year on that…..which can be used for various weekend trips, camping trips, and other fun experiences.
There are so many other awesome ways to save money….but you have to understand where your priorities are. What personally makes your life full? You can't have everything so you must pick a couple things you value or your money will be spread thin between too many things.
4. Spend time searching for the cheapest options.
Research: Let's say you decide where you want to go, you start cutting out things to save for the trip, but now you actually have to start buying the plane ticket and booking the hotel.....things get a lot tougher! The problem is that most people just accept that they have to pay a lot of money to go anywhere and they over pay on things...making it truly impossible to ever go anywhere. Most times, spending a few hours doing research (google, baby!) can save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. I have found that tour companies and booking through fancy websites can often pack on the dollars, so research your own trip and do the planning yourself. It may be more work at the beginning, but it's always fun in the end.
You don't have to stay in a $200 hotel in each place. Be creative. When my husband and I travel, we rent vacation homes by owners and try to keep it under $70 night. The result = a whole house that feels luxurious and authentic compared to a hotel room at a portion of the cost. Airbnb is our favorite website for finding affordable home (sometimes even yurts, treehouses, campers, and caves!) that are unique and fun! Other times when we want to go even cheaper, we stay with friends....and sometimes we just rough it and sleep in our car.
Determine your values...again: When you begin to travel you should also determine what your main value is. You can't do everything - so what would make your trip the most full? For me, I love exploring coffee shops and going hiking in the outdoors. You may want a really great spa experience or time on the beach. Maybe you just want to experience the local food and feast the days away. Whatever it is, pick what will make your trip the most full for you and don't spend money on too many other things.
5. Find creative ways to travel
There are so many ways to travel that don't always involve the normal methods. I once traveled out of the country with a tour company after I had won a video contest talking about why I loved to travel. Ha! Don't be afraid to apply to things like this. Submit videos. Get creative. Network with others who like to travel. Teach english in another country. Volunteer with an organization you believe in. Film a travel documentary and fund it using kickstarter or gofundme. Start a business that involves travel. There are so many unique things you can do....don't limit yourself by only thinking in the traditional mindset.
6. Understand that travel teaches you things that nothing else can.
It's easy to think, 'I'll travel when I'm older,' but traveling truly taught me some of the most important lessons of my life. Though I got so much from my college education, nothing could have educated me more than sitting down to a sabbath dinner in the heart of a Jerusalem with newfound friends, hiking through old war bunkers on the border of Syria, learning how to make wine in the vineyards of Tuscany, listening to our Spanish neighbors sing and pray as we fell asleep on the rooftop overlooking the Alhambra, watching the sunset over Morocco, riding in a tap tap in Haiti, holding the hands of a child in an orphanage, laughing with new friends in Israel.
Perspective is everything. And everyone has a different viewpoint and a unique story. Travel allows you to glimpse into another's life for just a moment and see their heart as if it was your own. And when you do this, you learn how to love them. You see them and you love them for their similarities and their differences and you grow more than you ever thought you could.
Since so many of you asked how I curl my short hair, I made a tutorial to help show you the steps I take to make it curly! (and this was the first tutorial I got to film in my camper. Woot woot!) Make sure to subscribe to my youtube channel if you're interested in more tutorials. :)
Love you all!
Because I have no one in my city to yet take photos of...I just keep taking photos of my outfits. (mostly because I was excited about the shorts I made out of old, yard sale jeans for $6.00 :)
Hey, friend! I'm Chelsie!
Stay a while and get comfy. <3