Sunday, April 6, 2014

Thrifting With Nic

Yesterday I had an opportunity to attend Nic's meetup at The Goodwill. I was super excited when Nic actually posted the event because I knew it'd be my first chance to thrift with her.

The morning started off with a light breakfast and although I'm 'trying' to eat a bit healthy, I couldn't resist the pink and green doughnut.

There were several ladies attending which included some of my fav blogging buddies, Vivi and Waverly. Nic began her presentation by passing around items of hers and asked which ones we thought were thrifted. Two of the three items were different but all were in great shape. She did the exercise to let everyone know that you never know what kind of gem you can find at the thrift store. 

Nic's Tips to successfully thrift were:

-Make a List
-Have a Budget
-Make Time
-Pack Light/Dress Comfortably
-Bring a Friend
-Throw it in the Bag
-Be Patient
-Have Fun 

After she shared a few of her tips, it was time for us to put them in use and shop. I personally try to cross reference with a few of my fav style magazines to see what I need to look out for on the low. One current trend that I've been in to this season is the structured bag. I luckily found one in a bright statement color. The bag was the perfect size for a cute spring cross body. Unfortunately, there was a stain near the top of the bag that couldn't be covered or able to be removed; so it didn't come home with me. However, it did make my thrifting outfit pop for this pic!!!

Kristin's Tip- Inspect All Items Carefully
This makes sure that you aren't wasting fund$ on an item that can't be restored or saved. 

For the longest I was in the market for a cute dressor and this could have been the perfect solution if IKEA hadn't won. This beauty was actually on sale for $25. With a simple coat of paint and fixture change you'd be able to customize this anyway you'd like. 

Kristin's Tip- When purchasing furniture or designer items, go on the stores actual customer appreciation day. That way you'll score an even deeper discount.

Waverly was able to channel her inner Pharrell with this hat. I won't lie we all were 'happy' with the items we found.

Kristin's Tip- Let the accessory counter be the first area you check. Often times you're able to find one-of-a-kind unique pieces.

Nic's husband was super excited to find a grey suit less than $20 that was on his list. Can you say score?

Kristin's Tip- Don't forget to check out other departments in the thrift store. You never know when someone hides or misplaces a gem of an item.

Look at Vivi's thrifted blazers she wore, cute and floral never goes out of style.

I had such an awesome time thrifting with Nic and the other ladies that attended. If you are in the DMV area and would like to check out this particular Goodwill, they are located at 7931 Colombia Pike Annandale, Va. If you're looking for a deeper discount, be sure to visit then on Tuesday's and receive an additional 25% off. 

How did I forget my purchases!!! I only decided on 3 things since I put back my picnic basket (I'm obsessed with them) and gave Waverly the Dooney. My total came to an astounding $14.27, definitely beating out the $25 budget I'd set in my mind earlier. 

The picture doesn't do this skirt any justice, with it's silk like material and radiant orchid color. I will be wearing this on a sunny springy day next week.

This Nine West dress is sooo pretty. Can you say Easter dress, I kid, I kid!!! I was a bit disappointed with the price though 8.98. I feel like I could have purchased something brand new from Ross for that amount... I digress.

I absolutely LOVE this sweater with the polka dot detail. I can already imagine sooo many looks in my head. 

I had been in a thrift funk for a while now, but this visit actually put me in the mood to go out and experience a few new thrift stores. I may just stop by the coveted 2nd Ave Thrift Store in Colombia that everyone has been raving about on Sunday.

Until next time, thrift and you shall find...

Friday, April 4, 2014

From Unemployed to Employed...

Exactly 1 year, 2 months, and 14 days is how long it took me to find a full time job *insert praise dance*. All I can say is what an experience. I remember the first lay off from my previous company and my exact thoughts were I don't know what I'd do if I got laid off... And then I got laid off, and what I did was survive. Times were hard in regard to my stress level. It seemed like when it rained, it poured... But somehow everything always seemed to work itself out. And after 14 months, 14 days, and 4 interviews, I'm ecstatic that I have a job. 

This morning Isaiah 43:19 resonated with me as I got ready for work. If I told you half of the things that took place last year you probably wouldn't believe it. I know that it was God that was working things out behind the scenes on my behalf. 

Even on my drive in, I was able to find time for a selfie!!!

(This post was written March 31st but didn't upload correctly)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Oh My Gratis...

One of my favorite things about working part-time is all of the freebies AKA gratis!!! I actually put the freebies and the quality of goods into consideration when I initially applied for part-time work. Why work for a company and not love their products. Luckily for me my company is owned by the great L'oréal. If you don't know much about L'oréal, this would be the perfect time to google them. There are sooo many brands (luxury & drugstore) that fall under the Brand that is  L'oréal. Enough about that, let's get into some of the gratis that I chose for this quarter.

Essie brand nail polish falls under L'oréaI am sooo happy for this because Essie has some of the best colors in the nail game (with my personal favorite being Bikini So Teeny). After going through my stash and process of elimination, these were just a few colors I knew I needed to add. The colors I chose were (l-r) Blanc, Merino Cool, Brooch The Subject, Limited Addiction, and E-Nuff is E-Nuff. Today I decided to use 'blanc' to paint my nails. I was going for an opaque white color and since 'marshmallow' didn't do the trick this color was next in line. I'm sooo happy with the outcome.

If you are interested in Essie nail polish, you can find them at your local drugstore, Walmart, or Target. Each nail polish retails for around $8.50. 

I was in the market for a new body wash as well as a eye makeup remover; so I decided to try out a few items from The Body Shop. I haven't yet used either product but being the nerd that I am, after reading all of the reviews I know I made the right choice.

The Olive shower gel is actually on sale right now for $4.00. This particular product is said to have a neutral fresh scent and I can't wait to use it after I finish my current body wash. I usually prefer eye makeup remover in a lotion form (Avon has a great product). I decided on Camomille Makeup Remover one because Camomille is known to be soothing and calming. This makeup remover retails for $15.50. The Body Shop products can be found at their retail locations or you can order directly from them online. Also, if you're a game for a coupon, check Groupon out because I've seen The Body Shop have deals on there more then twice.

Lord knows I LOVE a good blush. I get the majority of my blushes from my gratis each quarter (such a lucky girl I am). Theses blushes go on very smooth and have a great color payoff. You can find the L'oréal True Match blush at any drugstore, Walmart, Target, or local retailer. The price on this item will usually vary by store so be sure to check your Sunday paper ( I LOVE the Sunday paper for deals and coupons).

Since there is only an allotted amount for gratis, I had to be a bit crafty in terms of spending. I usually choose my must haves first and then just throw in whatever to get me to that amount. The next product isn't something that I really use at all, but the price was right. 

You really can't go wrong with an eyelash curler but being the low maintenance chick that I am, I just rely solely on mascara. I have used an eyelash curler in the past and noticed somewhat of a difference so why not have it for my stash. I'm sure you can also find this product at a drugstore, Walmart, Target, or local retailer.

The last items that I'll be showing you were actually the first items that I chose. If you are into YouTube as I am then I know the name Michelle Phan rings a bell. My co-workers an I were super excited to see her new line 'em' added to the gratis list. I didn't get any eyeshadow palette or lip products but I did get the Shade Play concealer color mixing palette and the Love Me For Me flawless finish powder compact. I haven't tried them yet because I can't get over how cute the packaging is. You know how something is just sooo cute that you don't want to touch it (for fear that it'll lose it's cuteness). I really hope the colors in each palette work for me because they do seem just a bit light. I really expected the concealer palette's darkest color to be dark so that I could have a new contour but it basically matches my skin tone. Hopefully I'll be able to make the under eye and highlight colors work. Nonetheless, I can always find a cute way to display them if they don't work...or *sigh* give them away. Take a look yourself to see the cuteness!!!

Do any of you work for companies that gift you with freebies? What are some of your favorites? I always say that if you're in the market for a part-time job, make sure it's a company that you can work for and that can 'work' for you.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Are You Celebrating Lent?

For the next 40 days I am going to (try) to give up Twitter, Instagram, and any acts of fornication. Are you denying yourself of anything?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Love And Black History

Five days into one of my favorite months and I've yet to write a blog post. If you've been a frequent reader of my blog, then you know how much I love love. Love is just as necessary to life as is food, water, and air. This month I'm going to challenge myself to post about any and every topic related to love. These topics will range from something I love to relationships, and maybe even rants about relationships.

To kick off my challenge I just wanted to share that I LOVE being black. I probably wouldn't change this about me for anything in the world well maybe to obtain a job . To be black to me is to be strong and innovative. I mean think about it. My race has dealt with and still dealing with very difficult challenges. Even with all of the loops and turns that life has dealt us, we have still been able to be innovative and set trends; and I'm definitely not speaking about clothing, music, or hair. I do hope that as a race we can all embrace the 'culture' that is a start acting and behaving as the Kings and Queens that we were before being brought to the USA. Luckily for me, I was raised amongst educators who taught me about the works of black people. Black history has never been a monthly lesson but a lesson 365 days a year. However, since it is black history month, I decided to do a monthly challenge on Instagram where I post pictures daily about black history. Now in the past, I never completed a day over day 3. Fortunately, I've been doing really well so far.  If you're interested in learning more about black history, I encourage you to follow me on Instagram (Akakristin) and also participate in the challenge.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Fab, Fun, Food- The Fresh Market

For the past 3 months that I've lived in Alexandria, I've seen a coming soon sign for The Fresh Market. Today the wait was over and I got to experience everything that The Fresh Market is and isn't. If I had to compare it to anything, it would be a toss up between Whole Foods and Wegman's. I didn't throw in my FAV Trader Joes because I feel as if they are on a different playing field. Now I love Trader Joes, Lord knows I do; but the ambiance they lack Wegman's and The Fresh Market have. However even with the ambiance, I'm not sooo sure that The Fresh Market will be able to pull me away.  
The Fresh Market provides the vibe of a neighborhood grocer combined with an upscale swag (think Take Home Chef). Unfortunately, I think The Fresh Market misses the mark a bit because they don't provide an area to actually eat inside and enjoy all if the wonderfulness prepared. 

Since I'm notorious for hash tagging specialty stores before my visit, I did just that with The Fresh Market.  From my findings last night, I knew that I'd have to keep an eye open for their edible cookie dough, Red Velvet whoopie pies, and their salted caramel crispie cookies. Anything other than those items were just the icing on the cake. In my eyes The Fresh Market takes a bronze medal in regard to Wegman's and Trader Joes. I can definitely see myself going back for items to make specific recipes, but I don't actually see myself doing the bulk of my grocery shopping there. 

Here's just a piece of the grand opening experience that I witnessed:

I really should have picked up the Peppermint Lemonade, it's definitely on the list for the next time.

I always have time for an impromptu wine tasting, and does it hurt to have cute packaging? Each bottle of wine is Sal's art which spreads love, goodwill and positive energy throughout the world.

My love for Red Velvet is real so the whoopie pies went home with me.

I was literally like a kid in a candy store, sooo much to see and taste!!!

The curry chicken salad just kept calling me!!! It would have been a 10 but the almonds kinda messed it up for me, so it was an 8 lol.

After this sample, I knew this crunchy shrimp and crab sushi had to come home with me.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Fab, Fun, Food- Arlington and 14th St.

Do you know what I love more than shopping? Hint, it starts with a nice restaurant, tasty drinks, and a banging entree. Yep, you got it, eating out and trying new food and restaurants is one of my guilty pleasures. I am definitely a self-proclaimed foodie. This past weekend a friend if mine who's also a foodie came to visit and we had an amazing time over food and drinks. Just a little look into my fabulous food filled weekend. 

All of that food over the course of 2 days and for the most part it was all great!!! I also had a chance to discover a new market in DC. Another FAV past time of mine is lane lurking (basically walking the aisles of supermarkets to see what's new). Take a look at this cute wine/mini market that I stumbled upon. I can definitely see myself coming back here for any of there goodies. 

I had to get the fresh milk, something about having milk in a bottle made me forget all about being lactose intolerant. And of course what's milk without a cookie. Let me know if there are any cool, cute, yet tasty and flavorful restaurants around that I should try.