i’ll always love a carpetbag

all black all black all black I’m not one for designer purses, but my BFF on the other hand, she loves her Gucci and Chanel (and all those other fancy brands). My purse of choice is usually a vintage carpet bag or tapestry bag. I have a nice collection of them, and sometimes I think it’s time to move some on (I try not to be a hoarder), but then I can’t get myself to do it.

I’m wearing a black sweater dress that I picked up from the thrift store. I had been eyeing a couple sweater dresses from some shops online (this and this one), but I had a feeling I could find something similar enough at the thrift store. Then one day I saw this one, and I knew the thrifting fairies were smiling down upon me. It needed a little bit of adjusting as the sleeves were way long, so I chopped it off and hemmed them. The dress was also a very faded black, so I used a bottle or Rit Dye and brought it back to a nice black. I loved how it turned out and it only cost me $4 (and a bottle of dye). Not bad, eh?

on me: boots, zara (sold out, but these are similar). dress, thrifted. carpet bag, vintage (similar here, here, and here).

 

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#passthebag with schoola

#passthebag #passthebag #passthebag We are partnering with Schoola for their #PasstheBag campaign. Schoola is an online gently used clothing retailer for women (coming this spring) and children. The clothes they sell have been donated by parents and $2 out of every $5 spent on Schoola goods goes right back to the schools. Schoola reached out to see if I wanted to be part of their #PasstheBag campaign, and we are always purging through stuff here, so this was definitely something I was on board with. It was easy to gather a bag full of stuff to donate (I already had a large full of stuff waiting in my closet)!

If you want to #PasstheBag too, follow these easy steps:
Step 1: Go online to Schoola and request a donation bag here.
Step 2: Fill it, and send it in for the benefit of your child’s school. Schoola is now accepting women’s as well as children’s clothing, so if you have some things you aren’t using, send them over to Schoola.
Step 3: Challenge at least 3 friends or family members to do the same by posting on Facebook or Twitter and using the hashtag #PasstheBag.

#passthebag #passthebag #passthebag Schoola also gave me a chance to try their ordering system myself and there are definitely lots of gems to be found. Another plus is that their prices are very fair and reasonable. Most everything that the girls are wearing (except their shoes and Glow and Soul’s shirts) are from Schoola! You will even find a few vintage items in their stock too, like Brave and Glow’s dress, or True’s denim jacket. Brave’s prized find from Schoola is a Spider-Man army jacket (not pictured). Also, this spring Schoola will be launching a women’s category, so watch out for that. I filled up my donation bag with some skirts, tops, and a pair of shoes, so I’m sure those will be appearing on their site sometime in the next couple months.

Obviously my girls don’t go to a traditional school, but the charter school we are part of was listed in Schoola, so I’m glad this is a way to support them. As one who purges often, I like that schools can benefit from clothes we move on.

on me: dress, sweater, jeans, and shoes, all thrifted. on true: shirt, vintage denim jacket, skirt, c/o schoola. biker boots, gap kids. on brave: shirt and vintage dress, c/o schoola. doc martens, shoes.com. on soul: shirt, old navy. jacket and skirt, c/o schoola. boots, thrifted. on glow: shirt, misha lulu. dress, c/o schoola. shoes, minnetonka moccasin.

This post is sponsored by Schoola. Join the #PasstheBag campaign and request your donation bag hereThank you for your continuous support of this space and the brands I partner with!

 

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diy: new year’s eve party hats

new year's eve party hats new year's eve party hats New Year’s Eve Party Hats
inspired by these cool vintage party hats

Supplies:
Party Hat template
Colorful cardstock (bought in the scrapbooking section)
Glitter stickers
Crepe paper streamers
Glue gun & glue stick
Round elastic cording
Hole punch
Sewing machine
Coordinating thread
Fringe scissors
Scissors

Directions:
1. Using the template, cut out your party hat. Make sure to cut the slit on the hat for the tab to go through. Then, add your saying or design. To create the cone shape, insert the tab through the slit, glue to secure cone close.

new year's eve party hats 2. Cut three – 24″ strips of crepe paper, sew down the center of the entire length. Fold in half, and using your fringe scissors, cut a fringe on your crepe paper strip. Cut towards the center, but don’t cut all the way through. Glue fringe all along the bottom of the hat, wrapping around twice. With your hand, brush the fringe upward to make it fuller.

To make your fringe topper, cut three – 4″ strips of crepe paper, sew the center width-wise, and cut each end with the fringe scissors toward the center. Pinch the center together and glue to the top of the hat. Another topper option is to cut several thin 12″ strips of crepe paper (in various colors), pinch the end together, and glue to the top of the hat.

Punch a small hole on on each side of the hat to string your elastic through, and knot on each side. Our elastic was 15″ long and with it tied on both sides, and it was the perfect fit for my girls.

new year's eve party hats new year's eve party hats new year's eve party hats new year's eve party hats new year's eve party hats new year's eve party hats new year's eve party hats new year's eve party hats new year's eve party hats The girls picked their New Year’s party dresses from Old Navy (there are lots of fun ones to choose from). I love Brave’s plaid denim dress, it’s nice and thick, and such a cute cut. I would totally wear it. In fact, I would totally wear Soul’s too. She is such a girly girl in stripes and leopard shoes. Her criteria for her dresses are… the skirt must be above the knee and no sleeves to her hands. Good thing I make them wear shorts under their dresses all the time. Soul is the most difficult when it comes to getting herself dressed (she changes so many times before settling on an outfit). She didn’t want to wear the party hat at first because she liked her headband, but after seeing how much fun the other girls were having wearing their hats, she finally wanted to join in the fun. True picked her pink dress because she said, “Mommy, it’s good for twirling.” Glow will still wear what mommy wants her to wear (thankfully), and I think it’s cute how her dress looks like it would be a fabric of a floral sofa. Now that I think of it, I think she would totally match my mom’s sofa! Then, topped with their party hats, my girls will be ready to ring in the New Year with our traditional Bratcher Dance Party. But first, we will happily get through Christmas, and Christmas Day is for wearing pajamas all day long!

on true: pink tiered dress & marled socks, c/o old navy. biker boots, gap kids. on brave: plaid denim dress, c/o old navy. boots, doc martens. on soul: striped dress (similar here), headband, and leopard ballet slippers (we cut off the elastic band), c/o old navy. on glow: floral dress, c/o old navy. shoes, minnetonka moccasin.

This post is sponsored by Old Navy. I’m continuously thankful for the support you give me and the brands I partner with!

 

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loving: jean jean vintage

jean jean vintage I’ve been a fan of Jean Jean Vintage for a long time, and check the shop almost daily (thanks to all the peeks she shares on Instagram) to see what goodies are up for sale. I’ll  make little inquiries about certain pieces that come in here and there, and I’m always bummed out when they sell before Ben has a chance to snatch it up to surprise me (hint, hint, Ben). You know my love for vintage clothing and furniture, but I rarely talk about my love for vintage jewelry in this space. I tell you, it’s a dangerous thing to love, but so fun. I love looking at pieces and wondering about its history. Antique jewelry is like art to me.

Duff is the wonderful lady behind the shop, and Jean is her middle name. When she was a little girl, her dad called her “Jean Jean” sometimes. Her father passed away ten years ago, and when it came to thinking up a name for her shop, Jean Jean seemed most fitting. Duff had an itching to start a small business, and with her BA in Archeology, coupled with her love for rocks, fossils, and antiquities, naturally, this led to her to sell antique jewelry. Initially, she started off selling costume jewelry, and now also sells fine jewelry too. If you’ve checked out her shop before, you know how exquisite her pieces are. This one has been a favorite of mine for a long time!

I asked Duff what were some pieces that get her really excited and she said… “I love Victorian moonstone rings, lockets with name and date engravings, and simple Art Deco 22K gold bands. I also have a thing for 1930s Czech glass necklaces. But engraved signet seals are really my current jam, both to sell and to collect for myself. I’m having one set for myself right now. Merry Christmas to me!”

jean jean vintage jean jean vintage I looked into the history of my etsy purchases, and my first purchase from Jean Jean Vintage was four years ago when I got the triangle shaped locket. A couple years later, when Glow was added to the family, I got the black one from her too (it’s one of the necklaces I wear most often). I’ve been wanting to get a vintage monogrammed locket, and have had my eye on this (or this) one. Also, I  wouldn’t be opposed if Santa left this diamond ring in my stocking (it would be great for stacking with my current rings!).

My Christmas wish list is pretty much filled with antique jewelry pieces. I blame Ben, since he gifted me a victorian turquoise ring a couple years ago, I have been even more obsessed since. If you need help finding something to put on your wish list, I say Jean Jean Vintage is a good place to start. With coupon code CAKIES15, you could get 15% off the Jean Jean Vintage shop through the weekend, so find your favorites, email it to whoever your Santa is and give them the coupon code too. That’s totally what I do to Ben all the time. HA! If you want to keep up with Duff’s new listings, you can follow her Instagram here (@jeanjeanvintage).

row one: edwardian locket, bloodstone ring. row two: pearl midi ring, victorian moonstone necklace. row three: victorian coral ring, mixed cut engagement ring.

 

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diy: some cans, ping pong balls, and fly swatters

game Some Cans, Ping Pong Balls, and Fly Swatters

Supplies:
Cans (or even a box)
Ping pong balls
Fly swatters
Duct tape
Non-stick scissors

some cans, ping pong balls, and fly swatter some cans, ping pong balls, and fly swatter Directions:
Decorate the cans.

To play the game:
Set out the cans on it’s side, give the each player a fly swatter, and the objective is to get the ping pong balls in the can. Another variation, is to gather a few more cans, sit them upright and have children walk and maneuver the balls around the cans.

some cans, ping pong balls, and fly swatter some cans, ping pong balls, and fly swatter some cans, ping pong balls, and fly swatter some cans, ping pong balls, and fly swatter some cans, ping pong balls, and fly swatter some cans, ping pong balls, and fly swatter some cans, ping pong balls, and fly swatter some cans, ping pong balls, and fly swatter some cans, ping pong balls, and fly swatter My girls wanted to draw arrows on the ground so they knew where to aim, and they took turns pairing up trying to get the ping pong balls in the cans. It’s a good activity for developing their hand and eye coordination. I love how something as simple as tin cans, ping pong balls, and fly swatters (we don’t use these to swat flies, but to play games like this) can provide children entertainment. The game was taken from their book Unplugged Play, and this was an activity they picked out to do. I shared about the book here, and it’s one of their favorites to flip through to find projects and activities.

I would totally wear all their outfits in these photos, well, except maybe not the fox tights. I love those tights, but on an adult, I don’t think they would be as cute, at least not on me. The personalities are so evident in the outfits they choose for themselves. Brave is rockin’ that flannel, of course in red and blue (always check the boy section at Old Navy, lots of good stuff for girls too!). Soul, the most girly dresser of them all, must wear a dress (or a skirt), and True likes to mimic the styles I’m into. She knows I love my leopard boots (and sneakers), so this is her way of matching me. I wish her leopard sweater came in my size, so maybe it’s the other way around, and I want to be like True. Glow has started voicing her thoughts on what she wants to wear, so it will be interesting to see how her style evolves since she has three older sisters she can mimic.

on true: leopard sweater, drapey-ankle pants, leopard sneakers, c/o old navy. hat, gap kids. on brave: plaid flannel, denim, c/o old navy. shoes, vans. on soul: ruffled dress, denim jacket, fox tights, c/o old navy. shoes, superga. on glow: striped moto jacket, skinny jeans, high-top sneakers, c/o old navy.

This post is sponsored by Old Navy. Thank you for taking the time to visit this space as I’m very thankful for the support you give me and the brands I partner with.

 

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marching in leopard boots

leopard boots leopard boots leopard boots leopard boots Yup, I’m marching. Sometimes you have to do silly things when taking frivolous outfit pictures for a strange thing called a blog. Plus, wearing leopard boots just make me want to march. Or dance. Basically, I love them.

On Friday, I went to the doctor. Afterwards, I was able to quickly sneak in another visit to a thrift store nearby. I saw lots of good things, but there are some specific things I am looking for, so I passed up on all the pretty things I saw to stick to my list. One of the things on my list was a long black dress, so you can imagine my excitement at finding this one (and for 3 buckaroos!). I saw lots of vintage sweaters there, but it wasn’t on my list, so I resisted. That was tough for this vintage lover! Another thing on my list was a cozy sweater dress, which I did find too (for another $3). I have to alter it a bit to make it wearable, but that’s no big deal since I like altering clothes. I even found a little stocking stuffer for one of the girls.  Last week, was definitely a good thrifting week for me. *high-five*

on me: dress, thrifted. leopard boots, zara.

 

 

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