Independence Day Ready! Red, White and Blue, with a bit of Turquoise too!

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July,4 is one of my favorite holidays! And today I am going to share my Independence Day outfit variation! I hope you enjoy it! I wore this to work today, because like I mentioned in my last post, I am letting my cute clothes out of the closet! And you should too!

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SkirtVintage, thrifted,Goodwill // TopGap, thrifted, Savers // SandalsMossimo, Target // BeltSam’s ;) // WatchMarc by Marc Jacobs // Necklacethrifted, Steeple People

Have a great Independence Day and don’t forget to check out my new blog called Story and a Half of Our Life – dedicated to our new house, all related DIY and home decor projects! All refashions, beauty, style and thrift related posts will stay on BeingZhenya!

Xo,

Z


$$$ It’s all about the money, or is it? $$$

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Today’s post is probably not going to be something you usually see on my blog! I am sure by now some of you have the impression that I am a girl who spends all of her paychecks thrifting! And I can see where this can come from! I’ve been posting a lot of hauls and outfits lately! Let’s be honest, I do sometimes get carried away at a thrift store, and I need to watch my budget, but most of the time it really is not that much compared to a grand scheme of things, or let’s say a recent study by InStyle magazine that says – An average woman spends about $15,000 on makeup during her lifetime, and that’s not including skincare!

Before Sam and I got married, I lived on the East Coast nannying for some families. I wasn’t making a lot of money, in fact I was barely making anything (I never thought of myself or my family as rich or poor, I knew I had enough, and I think that attitude helped me a lot in life) through the Cultural Care Au Pair program, but I had my ways! When I moved to New York, I learned about Freecycle.org, and almost all of my clothes, books and health care products came from there! I also went to monthly swap meet ups organized by GrowNYC, where I would bring all the stuff I didn’t want, and go home with something I liked. Sam had a hard time believing I had all that clothes, without spending as much as a couple bucks on the subway ride, but I had my savings account to speak for me!

I was an Au Pair for 2 years, making under $200 a week, this is the time when Sam and I were in a long distant relationship. So even though I didn’t get to see him that often, I spent a lot of money flying to Minnesota almost every other month! But by the time we got engaged I had saved up over $12,000. Then I went to Russia for 10 months, where I was able to work from home and add on to the savings.

Now that we are looking into buying our first house, having saved enough for a downpayment, I reflect on where I came from and can’t express how thankful I am for everything I’ve been given!

I was born in a small town 3 hours east of Moscow. My mother was a civil engineer, my dad was a college drop out. My grandfather was a retired military man, a former KGB agent as I discovered later in life, my grandmother was a pediatrician, and if you ask me, the biggest workaholic I’ve ever known! We never had much! When I was in 6th or 7th grade I wore the same pair of jeans, the same turtleneck and the same sweater my mother knitted for me to school every day! And I couldn’t care less, until one of my friends, who was a year older than me came up and asked why I was wearing the same clothes everyday. To this point I am still grateful for that comment! This is when thrifting and hand-made clothing came into my life! My mom went above and beyond herself knitting and sewing outfits for me! Going to fabric stores was exciting! Going to thrift stores was an adventure!

By the time I was in 9th grade I was getting constant compliments on my outfits from peers and even teachers, even though I had the same pair of jeans as one of the guys in class! But that’s when unisex was in, so I didn’t care! I also never said no to hand-me-downs, and even though I didn’t have older siblings, I had plenty of friends and knew enough Missionaries who always left clothes behind!

College came around, and I made sure I got good grades to get a monthly stipend through the University. Yes, I got paid to go to school! This is probably going to fall into the “Only in Russia…” category. This was also the time when more and more thrift stores popped up all over our town, and they often had great sales, that I couldn’t resist!

Thrifting is what helped me continually save up money for my trips to Europe and the States, and now that I live here, it’s becoming my meal ticket! Finding a great thrift store takes time, so today I am going to share some of my favorite locations here in the Twin Cities, and the best times to shop there!

- Salvation Army in the Warehouse district900 N 4th St, Minneapolis, MN  - every day is a 50% off a certain color, so stop by often! Plus they offer 50% off clothing during most major holidays! I am not even going to mention the Target overstock located in the basement – you have to see it for yourselves!

- Steeple People on Lyndale and Franklin – 2004 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN – I blogged about it before, and I will do it again – they have great vintage selection, beautiful artwork and prints, great household section, etc., etc. The only downside is – they only take cash or check!

- Goodwill in Hopkins1025 Hill St, Hopkins, MN - This was my go-to Goodwill when I used to babysit for a family in St.Louis Park! And I always referred to it as the Hopkins Goodwill, or Goodwill on Excelsior Blvd. Now why this particular Goodwill? – It’s cheaper, it has more vintage and authentic items, it’s been good to me! Generous if you want to put it this way! I can always find something that I like there! Now why am I not mentioning the Goodwill in Minnetonka, or Goodwill in Roseville, you may ask? The Minnetonka Goodwill will always be famous in my book for the Xanax pills I found in a pocket of one of the sweaters bought there! And Goodwill in Roseville is too good for me to be sharing it with you, but now I did, and now you know!

- Savers – I am yet to find a Savers that I don’t like! Seriously, they need a Savers in every state and county! They never overprice vintage items, and the only pieces of clothing that can be pricey are the brand new ones, with original tags still attached. And don’t forget to sign up for a Super Savers Club Card, they will send you emails with special promotions and coupons!

So here you have it, the story of my life that revolves around thrifting! And I couldn’t be happier! After all, it’s not all about the money!

Happy Thursday everyone! And don’t forget to stop by tomorrow for a DIY friday fashion and style project and an important BeingZhenya announcement!

XO,

Z

PS. Please keep in mind that my husband and I don’t have any student loans to pay off, our monthly expenses are limited down to rent, groceries, gas and car payments, plus the occasional going out and thrifting shopping sprees!

In the next post on money related subject, we’ll talk about freebies and the best websites where you can get them!

 

Outfit of the Day: Dashing through the Snow

Last Saturday our family had an early Christmas celebration, opening presents, a great dinner, taking family photos by the tree after too many glasses of champagne… The whole 9 yards!

I also got Sam to take a few shots of me, and give or take, my husband is a great photographer! So here we go, my outfit of the day!

Scarf

 

Run

 

Boots: Corso Como $6 – Steeple People

Dress: Anthropologie – $15 – Clothes Mentor

Scarf: Thirfted back in my NYC days

Cardigan: Mossimo $7

So here you have it, my very inexpensive, but fun Christmas outfit! Thrifting will never be  substituted by shopping in my world!

Happy Monday!

Z

Getting Ready for Friday Thrifting

Thursday night.

We just came back from sailing.

I think my face is a little bit sunburnt.

Well it’s probably dehydration as well.

But tomorrow I only work till 2.45 pm.

And my favorite thrift store of all times has a BOGO sale on women’s shoes and clothing.

So I am going!

Straight from work!

But before I go, I need some ideas.

Something specific to look for.

So here it goes!

 

I really hope to score some sweaters tomorrow :) And put outfits together for you!

Xo,

Z


T-shirt Refashion: Part 1

Here is a T-shirt, that I freecycled last week:

 

Please note that I have nothing to do with the church, I do view it as one of the main Minneapolis landmarks, and it’s definitely nice living in the neighborhood around it! I do support their ministry through Steeple People though, it is one of my favorite thrift stores in the area after all!

Now this shirt has a lot going on: stains, holes, etc. So I took my scissors and some supplies:

 

 

 

 

 

… and ended up with this :)

Now let me explain why I am making this a 2 parter, it’s already past midnight, I’ve been working on this for the past two hours, so I am kind of tired, and also missing some ingredients to finish this refashion. Please stay tuned for Part 2, it’s coming up tomorrow :)

xo,

Z

Thrifting for Your Home: It’s easier than you think!

This post is long overdue, but I am glad I am posting it today. You all know I love thrifting, and since we’ve been going to a lot of art events here in the Twin Cities area, I was able to lay my eye on some amazing pieces. The only sad thing is that a lot of times the prices are too high.


I lucked out at Steeple People, especially when it came to Pottery. I scored a hand made mug, that holds more coffee than I’ll ever need in the morning. As well as a Frankoma pitcher! I also got a small bowl for the keys to keep on the table by the door. I got so tired of keys laying around everywhere, and falling between the couch cushions, so this became a perfect solution.

Paintings are always fun, especially when they are nice and affordable! I scored the two for less than $15!

As you could probably tell from the pictures I also bought some books, two of them are on sewing, one on junk style, one on making your own accessories, and one cook book!

I hope this inspired some of you to go check out your local thrift store! Thrifting is fun, easy and green!

xo,

Z

Thrifting for Treasue

My fellow thrifters, I apologize for going MIA, and not going thrifting. I have a new haul for you. I know, FINALLY!

Steeple People has a sale this week, yes, a CLOTHING SALE – 2 for 1, it’s AMAZIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING!

Anyways, since one of my friends said that clothes look better on a pretty hanger than on the floor (see my yesterday’s post about the 7 dresses), I am going to put them on a pretty hanger today!

So here is the scoop:

1. Max Studio print dress, looks so much like DVF wrap!

2. Ellen Tracy cardigan!

3. Calvin Klein Jeans!

4. Some asian skirt (sorry I can’t read hieroglyphics!)

5. Fabric! Oh yeah!

Total: $18

Okay so the hanger thing didn’t really work, so there are my clothes on the floor again, all but one dress!

Here are some of the fabrics that I got, and some of the pieces on me – gray jeans, blue jeans, I bet you can’t tell a difference!

xoxo,

ZhenyAH!

Thrifting for Treasure – Going for the Maxi

I did it, I thrifted to maxi skirts, which I absolutely cannot wait to wear! I also thrifted an amazing blue necklace and the cutest $3 vintage style bag!

Do you know what’s the best thing about thrifting? Striking random conversations with other shoppers.

Tuesday my friend and I went to the Salvation Army at the Warehouse District of Minneapolis and had several people there ask us what language we were speaking! (I do speak Russian to my Russian friends after all :) )

Today as I was trying on a skirt at Steeple People, a lady told me I looked very cute. Steeple people doesn’t have a dressing room – so whatever you try on – you should be trying on over your clothes and in front of everyone else!

I bet you are dying to see what I got! Well, today I decided to surprise you, and put up a video, instead of pictures! So sit back and enjoy the haul!

Have a great rest of your day, wherever you are!

Love,

ZhenyaH

 

Thrifting for Treasure 4: Jewelry (and other stuff)

I did it, I went and bought my first pair of vintage ear-rings. My grandma’s ear rings don’t count, because I didn’t pay a dime ( or a ruble, if you like) for them. Now these were a pair I got from Steeple People. Took my friend Zhanna there today. And she loved it! We also checked out the local Buffalo Exchange and there was a black Coach bag that I fell in love with, and you know how much I love vintage Coach purses, but I wasn’t willing to pay $24 for it. So I walked away from it. I know that it would’ve found a great home with me, but not for this much money.

I was also trying to find some bright colored jeans, and alas – that was unsuccessful.

Anyways – today I got:

1. 1980′s enamel ear rings. Don’t worry, I am going to clean those with rubbing alcohol before putting them on!

(Sorry for the quality of the picture – the writing above the earrings says – 1980′s pierced 2 – ) Yes, these cost me only 2 BUCKS!

2. Crocheted white shawl! I really really REALLY hope it’s hand-made ;)

I know my couch looks good wearing this :) I know my couch looks good wearing this I promise to take pictures wearing it MYSELF!

3. A Crochet Kit! Which I am not going to use the way it’s intended. I have finally decided that I have time to open an etsy shop, so some cool things are about to come :) This is some Victorian stocking pattern, which is just cool to see, because that’s vintage for sure!

4. Some free Star Wars! And a few Economists. This was for Sam. Star Wars were more of a joke, and the Economists were for him to see if he wanted to subscribe to that mag!

What did you thrift today???

Zhenya H