400 Dresses

26 September 2012

Well dear friends...

Here we are. 400 followers. Holy Moses. 

The last time I offered a giveaway from Shabby Apple, I was just hitting 250 followers. 150 later, they reached out to me again and graciously offered another opportunity for readers to score some beautiful dresses with a $50 gift card!

Shabby Apple is an online boutique that caters to those of us who appreciate the style, grace and quality of a time past, where women never felt dressed without a swipe of lipstick, a tailored dress and a can of Aqua Net. Not to say they are stuck in the past. Their dresses don't require a coverup, slip or cardigan. They make beautiful, quality pieces that are an outfit in and of themselves:

"A return to what dresses were always meant to be — a one-piece outfit. No need to add anything...no tank tops, no cardigans, nothing (except accessories, of course!)."

Their pieces are beautiful, modest, and Mad Men-esque without being even a hint of matronly. They also have a fabulous Fit to Flatter tool that allows you to find the perfect dress to fit your shape with 3 easy questions.
 Now, if you aren't a big vintage lover, no worries. They're stocked with maxi dresses, shirt dresses and a lace dress here and there.
As my favorite red heeled lady would say "Vintage dresses, retro dresses, modern dresses, oh my!"

Also, for all my bargain lovers out there: If the giveaway isn't enough incentive, there is a 10% discount when you enter thesecondhandmagpie10off at checkout. 

{To enter, you must}
Be a follower of Secondhand Magpie on Google Friend Connect
Follow Shabby Apple's Facebook page
(This giveaway is for US residents only. Sorry trans Atlantic friends!)
When you enter, visit their page and let me know what your favorite dress or item is in the comment

{Additional Entries}
Follow Secondhand Magpie on Bloglovin
Like Secondhand Magpie on Facebook
Follow Secondhand Magpie on Instagram
Follow Secondhand Magpie on Twitter
Tweet about the giveaway

**Leave a separate comment for EACH entry, as each comment counts as a separate entry**

Humble Brag

18 September 2012

Aside from my ever growing home and closet improvement projects, I've been warming up my camera skills after nearly a month of neglect. 

After doing my original post on Max's Haus in New Braunfels, I was invited back by Norma, the owner of the shop, to take some updated photos of the store. She not only asked me to return every couple of weeks to take updated photos of stock, but she asked that I help run the photo section of the shop's website and Facebook. I was beyond flattered, and couldn't believe my little old photos made the cut! 

To add to the excitement, she wants to compile my best photos and submit them to Texas Monthly for a feature on her store! I was completely speechless when she delivered the offer. Granted, even if the photos never make it past the website, I'm beyond honored that she saw something worth representing her beautiful little space.

If you find yourself 'round these parts and have a need for some antique lovelies, check her out. 

This is the new shop kitty. She needs a name.
Sleep tight, shop kitty.

Oh, Baby.

17 September 2012

I originally had another post for today, but something happened in my life and I had to share. 

On Friday I got a call from my oldest and closest friend. She broke the news that she's expecting her first child, due this spring. As soon as I saw her name pop up on my phone, my pulse started racing and I just knew she was calling with the news. I had to hold back tears of joy the entire phone call, as I probably used up all of my allotted crying at her wedding. I'm beyond thankful they didn't have a videographer!

After hanging up the phone, I instantly started cleaning anything I could get my hands on. I dusted, swept, scrubbed sinks, whatever I could to get myself together. That wasn't working, so I called my mother and promptly burst into tears. Shit just got real.

Just as the wedding mania has settled down in my circle of friends, I find myself surrounded by babies. Cousins, old roommates, best friends. All making and having babies. This might sound funny, but for me, marriage is big, but babies are huge. We date, breakup, and meet new people. We practice this ritual until we think we have it right. At some point, we finally pick one person that we know we can be with for the rest of our lives. The good, the bad, the ugly. We know them before we commit, so we're prepared for life with another person. That person.
Making babies is an entirely different thing. It's bringing someone into this world that we know nothing about. We have never met them, spoken to them, touched them. We aren't guaranteed their health, their happiness, their success or their affection. We aren't combining two lives; we're making a completely new one from scratch. There is a hell of a lot of responsibility in not only making a new life, but guiding and protecting it until our last breath. As women, we give not only our hearts, our time and our freedom to this new person, but our bodies as well. This person we know nothing about moves in us and pushes our limits far before we ever lay eyes on their face. That's a lot to be in charge of, and it scares the living daylights out of me.

I remember walking around our home a few days after we adopted our second dog, Prana. I kept saying to Micah, "I can't believe she's ours. It's hard to believe that she really will be with us until she leaves this world." It was such a change to have another life that Micah and I were now responsible for protecting and providing for, as well as a change in the dynamic of our home. Granted, this is only a dog we're talking about, but it was an adjustment nonetheless.

I guess I find myself a little in shock. Sure, a large majority of my friends are now married. As am I. For me, it felt like we all just had our permanent relationships in place. No more breakups, no more horrific dates, and another pair we could count in for a couple's trip or date nights. Babies change up the game plan. They really make us 'grow up'. We have to become infinitely less selfish, with toys scattering the floor instead of discarded heels from a night out, a car seat in the now Cheerio dusted car, a vast knowledge of PBS Sprout programming. It is no longer just people in love who decided to make it more than Facebook official. It's a new life with a new title.

Parent. Mom. Dad. Grown Up.

In all, it just seems to be the final step in growing up. It's the most exhilarating and terrifying step to make and I applaud anyone who makes the decision to do so. I can't say this is something that I want for my own life, and maybe one day I will explain why. But for now, I stand here with my semi-grown up pants on, watching the rest of my friends make those last big steps toward marriage and parenthood. My role for now? Babysitter, extra set of hands, crazy aunt. And I couldn't be happier.

Also, this Tumblr pretty much makes my life right now. Perfect for anyone who isn't a smug married person with 2.5 kids in the 'burbs. And maybe for them too. 

Instagram Catch Up

14 September 2012

As I have been shopping for and working on the multiple house projects, I have neglected my beloved camera. In replacement of the camera has been my trusty Instagram. I figured that it isn't the best, but it will at least go to show that I am in fact alive and am actually leaving my house. Thank heavens for camera phones, or else I'd have zero proof that I have regressed into a full blown decor hermit.

So, here's a little catch up of what's been happening for the last month or so.

Gird your loins. This is a fun filled montage.

Clockwise from top left:  Domino, my love. |  Antiques Roadshow on the bike |  Painting day |
Color planning | Cutest alarm clock ever | Meeting Kenley Lane Foster
| 3 generations of bling | That's some meatloaf |

Mojo MIA

13 September 2012

As you may have well known, I have taken what seems to be an eternal break from blogging. 

It's been surprisingly hard to get back into the groove of outfit posts, weekly thrift store rounds and remembering to pick up my camera when I find myself inspired. The other day after work, I found myself in need of some retail therapy, which could be promising for some new outfit posts. So I headed to my local Savers, which many of you may be familiar with if you were part of TxSC 2012 here in Austin. It's full of thrifty gems, and this trip looked promising. Theory silk skirts for $6, butter soft dark wide leg jeans, a fabulous vintage coat. Did I buy any of these? 


I couldn't do it. I simply could not will myself to take the items to the dressing room and try them on. Images of chair upholstery, DIY lampshade tutorials and cane chairs danced in my head, not fall clothing. Fall is my most favorite season. Ever. In Texas, it doesn't really start until late November, but hey, I love it anyway. I also love the jeans, the blazers, the scarves... the boots. Sigh. But nope. Not today. All I wanted was to get home to my paint samples and fabric swatches and plan.
I have lost my mojo. It seems that I simply cannot balance home decor lust and closet lust. This proves to be terrible timing, as stores are flooding themselves with the equivalent to clothing crack: colored jeans, blazers and boots. I have driven past outlet malls 3 times in the last two weeks, one being the world's largest, and haven't even glanced that way. I was too busy Googling thrift stores in the area. 

So, this is proof that in between ordering fabric samples at 1am and being on a first name basis with the paint guy at Home Depot, I'm dressing myself in more than stained workout shorts and college t shirts.

Stay tuned.

{Beauty Mark} Neutrogena Ageless Intensives Serum

12 September 2012

I'm a big proponent of prevention and preservation. It is much easier to maintain a healthy state of being, whether that be health, weight or skin than to constantly fluctuate, or to fight against neglect. Get regular check ups, be in tune with your body, and know what you put in it. It's much easier to prevent than undo. 

As far as my skin goes, I'm kind of a nut. I'm the un-fun friend at the beach with the big hat, large sunglasses, muumuu and SPF 70 sunscreen. I get cranky in the sun, and prefer air conditioning at all costs. I'm also the color of paper. So, skincare is important for me, as I'm going to age as well 'as a yellow rose in a tornado' without a heck of a lot of prevention. Was that old southern lady enough for ya? You're welcome.

After a long summer with lots of sun, chlorine and ehrm, refreshments, some find themselves a little worse for wear. They're also prepping for colder, drier months ahead with chilly winds and chapped skin and maybe want to try to undo the summer damage and protect through the winter. 
Along with a good diet full of healthy fats, proper hydration and minimal abuse, skin will remain well preserved. Granted, not everyone can live in a humidified dome and feed on a steady diet of avocados and salmon. So things like Neutrogena Ageless Intensives Anti Wrinkle Deep Wrinkle Serum are a lifesaver. It's great for helping refinish the look of your skin by leaving it velvety and moisturized, with a lessened appearance of wrinkles. 

I tend to scowl in my sleep, and wake up with lines between my eyebrows that look like '11', and two horizontal lines across my forehead. I even sleep on a satin pillowcase and yet I still wake up with some serious dents. I use this nightly and I've noticed over the last few months that the '11' looks less severe, and the creases under my eyes have greatly softened. This stuff really helps keep my skin looking glowy and smooth.

This is a mild retinol, so be prepared for some light stinging and peeling the first week. Also, if at all possible, apply this at night before going to bed. Exposure to sunlight combined with the serum can be very harmful to the new layer of skin that's now exposed. Also remember to wear an SPF 15 or higher during the day to protect that new baby skin.

Tuesday's Tips {Beauty}

11 September 2012

My weekends are for a few things:

Making To Do Lists

In that order.

I love a good pedicure or facial as much as the next girl. I also like to eat (see #2). So, in order to be able to afford my beloved fajitas and margaritas, I have some little home tricks to incorporate spa-like treatments into my routine. 
  • Whip an egg white in a bowl and apply the froth to your face. Let it harden and rinse off. The protein in the egg will soften and smooth your skin.
  • Pour 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar into a warm cup of water and pour over your scalp in the shower for a clarifying rinse.
  • If ACV is too harsh, try using 1 Tbsp of baking soda mixed into 1 cup of water and pouring small amounts on to your scalp and massaging in. This will gently scrub your roots and scalp, and provides a gentle alkaline base to the usually hard city water in your tap.
  • Baking soda is also great as a natural tooth polisher/whitener. Sprinkle some onto a toothbrush, add toothpaste, and scrub away!
  • Mix together a little lemon juice, olive oil and baking soda and leave the paste on polish stained nails. Voila! Yellow be gone.
  • A great refresher for your skin: Aloe vera gel. Find the all natural, or even better, organic version and slather on when you're feeling dry.
  • Dry shampoo is a lifesaver. My can runs out quicker than I usually expect, so to substitute in a pinch, I use cornstarch or baby powder. Use sparingly to avoid looking like George Washington.
  • Keep your perfume in the fridge. Not only will it last longer, it will be a cool pick me up when you spritz it on.
  • Use a cheap conditioner to shave your legs. It smells great, costs next to nothing per use, and is more moisturizing and can get up under the hair, leaving behind a close shave with a slightly moisturized coating.

{Sponsor Spot} Meet Ashley

04 September 2012

Question of the Month:
If you could only decorate your home in 1 color, what color would it be, and why?

{Ashley says} This shouldn’t be this easy, but I knew right away what color I would choose!  Gray!  I think it’s so calming and pretty.  It goes with everything and it’s not as harsh as other neutrals.  It may sound dreary, but I think it would be beautiful!  Ask my husband, our bedroom is painted in 2 shades of gray and we love it!  It’s the most relaxing room in our house.

Hi there!  My name is Ashley and I blog over at Pinecone Garden.  While most of my time is spent being a mom and keeping a house seemingly clean, once in a while I will jump on and talk about myself and my family for the entire internet to see!  I have big plans for the future of my blog, so I hope you will stay tuned!  Think recipes, tutorials, DIY beauty recipes, thrifting fun, etc.  I’d love to do an outfit post if I ever leave the house with something that isn’t covered in baby drool!  Maybe I’ll start a new disheveled outfit post trend!  *winks*

More often than I blog, I craft.  Sewing, painting, knitting, what have you.  I love it all.  Sewing has been a long time passion of mine and working with recycled leather has just come into the mix!  My aspirations are more than time allows most days.  But, when I am able to actually finish something and I think others will love it as much as I do, I list it on my Etsy shop.   My shop has evolved so much in the short time I have had it and probably will so much more as I become inspired to try new things.  I hope you stop by and visit my shop and blog soon! 

Britt, thank you so much for having me at Secondhand Magpie.  You’ve been a joy to work with and I hope that we can continue blogging together! 
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