judy lee jewelry

I’m no expert, but from what I’ve seen first-hand, most baubles bought at  contemporary jewelry fêtes fall into one of two categories: “fake bling tacky” and “just plain blah.” Oh, how I wish Judy Lee Jewelry was still around.

Back in my grandma’s days, these costume jewels were sold at in-home, Tupperware-like parties. Known for the use of high-quality rhinestones, the Chicago-based line also had some pretty, sophisticated designs.


Nice, right? Pretty as it is, Judy Lee isn’t widely collected (yet), so you can find it at thrifts and antique malls (and Etsy and Ebay, of course) for pretty reasonable prices. To identify, look for the small, script-y Judy Lee signature, as seen on the back of this pair of earrings.

{Click images to jump to the source!}





recently thrifted

Well, hello there!

I stopped by an estate sale in Edina last Saturday on my way to my big brother’s house. It was crowded and slightly claustrophobic, as estate sales on Saturday afternoons typically are. I’ll never understand how seemingly polite people can get so pushy. I mean geez, there’s a whole house full of stuff to go around! Calm the hell down, you know? Anyway, here are a few of the pretties I found…

Six vintage slates, made in Portugal, $2 each

A prom souvenir plate from 1977, $1

Handmade denim rag rug, $2

About the sheets I used as a backdrop, aren’t they lovely? I got the set (fitted and flat sheets, two pillowcases) at Salvation Army for around $6 all together. The print is slightly Liberty of London-ish, isn’t it?

Anyway, if you have the hankering to do some treasure-hutning of your own this weekend, here are a handful of estate sales happening around the metro area…8836 7th Ave. N., Golden Valley, 2420 Irving Ave. S., Minneapolis4514 So. Mallard Trail, Eagan7510 Cahill Road, #220, Edina, 4105 Vera Cruz Ave. N, Robbinsdale.

And with that, I’m off to drink drinks at Haute Dish with Angie.



beating the midwinter blues

Winter is serious business in Minnesota.

Exhibit A, taken last Friday morning:

Brutal right? Besides being cold, snowy and dark, winter is mentally tiring. Come January, there seems to be two options: You can bitch and moan your way through April, hating every second, or see the months ahead as a challenge and do everything you can to make the most of it. The past few years I’ve been choosing the latter. Here are some things that help get me through this hellacious season.

Wearing sparkly things always cheers me up. Whether it’s a sequined sweater or glittery heels, a little bit of razzle-dazzle never hurt anyone.

Indulging in comfort foods like mac ‘n’ cheese, nachos, cheesy breakfast burritos and these babies.

Get exercise! Yoga class, quick walks around the block with Finn, swimming laps in Northeast with Andrea, Wii parties, sledding…anything to keep moving.

Having little at-home dates with pals. Whether you cook a meal, order pizza, listen to records or watch a movie…time in with your girls is priceless.

Tea = hydrating and warming. Therefore, I drink it all. the. time. I want to make this honey-sweetened ginger tea soon! It sounds so yummy.


My mom got me these sheets for Christmas and they’ve made my bed infinitely more cozy. Because goodness knows we all spend more time there than in the summer.


Go on some weekend-long thrifting adventures. If the roads are good, it can be so mind-clearing to get out of the house and spend an afternoon exploring a new town and thrifts.

Fill your drawers with cozy lounge wear. (Just don’t wear it outside the house.) I can’t imagine getting through winter without my multiple pairs of these and these. Love, love, love.


{For more ideas, check out Decor8’s Dreary Day Inspiration.}

What do you do to survive winter? Any tips or ideas to share?



P.S. Be sure to check out Beauty Bets tomorrow. I wrote about an ah-mazing drugstore foundation that I can’t imagine my beauty bag being without!

quick thrift tip: unique/valu thrift VIP days

A few of you have tweeted or texted regarding what days each Unique/Valu Thrift Stores have their VIP savings days, so I thought I’d do a quick little post on the subject. And if you don’t have an “I M Unique” savings card yet, here’s why you should!!

It’s free to sign up! All you have to do is provide a little bit of basic info, including your email address. The entire process takes less than five minutes, and you can sign up at the front of any store. READ: You cannot sign up for the card the day of the a VIP-only sale, whether it’s a sale day or holiday. I’ve seen people try, and they are strict about this!

Once you’ve signed up, you’ll save 25 percent off your purchases one day a week at all Unique and Valu Thrifts stores.

You’ll also receive coupons and sale alerts via email. Sometimes the coupons are good for $10 off.

Here’s a run-down of when each store has their savings days…

The Unique Thrift stores in Minneapolis, Crystal, Burnsville and St. Paul offer the discount on FRIDAYS. (Read my review of the Unique Thrift Store in St. Paul here!)

The Valu Thrift in Woodbury has it on THURSDAYS.

I hope you all have had wonderful Thursdays so far. I’m counting down the hours until my post-work yoga session at my favorite studio in town…it’s been so long since I’ve worked out, I’m sort of nervous!



clicking around

Dudes, I’m pooped. I’ve been running on empty the past few days and it blows. Here are some links to reads that have been helping me combat my blahs.

I’m obsessed with Supermarket Sarah’s super-inspiring “walls.” It was a nice surprise to stumble across one created by locals ALL & ETC, aka knitwear designer/girl crush Annie Larson & Eric Carlson (featured above).

A Harper’s Bazaar editorial from 1997 featuring Kate Moss, Sun Records royalty Sam Phillips, an Elvis cut-out & rocker Jerry Lee Lewis?? HOW HAVE I NOT SEEN THIS BEFORE? (via Nasty Gal Vintage)

Speaking of things I should have known about ages ago, go visit Dolly Rocker Girl, my new favorite blog read. (Thanks for the intro, Lucky mag!)

While I was laid up in bed last night, I spent some time two hours watching this show, and am completely addicted to/uplifted by it.
Jill Scott = 100 % goddess. <3 her!

Sometimes my blogging mojo disappears. I’m glad I’m not the only one.

I was delighted to see that my pal (and captain of the High Plains cheer squad) Mary has started to post outfit shots on her rad blog Art of Wore. Exciting!

I think I’m going to make Emma‘s red-velvet brownies with dark chocolate on top sound for this week’s nacho night, since Jamie’s giving me a break from hosting/cooking (thanks, James!). Nummy.





two tuesday finds

Here are a couple of my favorite finds from today…

1. A beautiful 4 x 6 framed photo of some pretty cacti. I love, love, love the desert and this photo reminds me of my uncle’s place in Tucson and the many good times I’ve had there.

2. I got this vintage crocheted turban for $3! Wearing it tonight has helped me feel more glamorous as I do fancy things like eat take-out spring rolls and type up notes from my work conference. Plus, it’s crazy cozy, which’ll come in handy once I’m back in Minnesnowta.

Other sweet finds, not pictured…a rad mink headband, some over-sized sunnies, a ’70s striped cotton romper and a crisp red, white and blue dress from the ’60s. It’s ULTRA cute and I can’t wait to wear it this summer—it’ll be perfect for the 4th!

Well, I’m off to watch some crap TV and hit the hay. I’ve to get up early tomorrow, pack and switch hotels. I’m moving on down the Strip to the Paris for my last night in Vegas!

Nighty night, sweets!



how to: save on dry-cleaning

Do you know what sucks? Paying a triple-digit bill at the dry cleaners. Which is something I was sadly doing way too often, what with all my Mighty Swell cleaning on top of my own stuff. The dent that it put in my checking account stunk, but really, what could I do? It has to be done. Then one day, like a ray of sunshine, my fav employee at my neighborhood cleaner  leaned over and asked, “Have you been to U.S. Cleaners on Hiawatha? They’re really cheap.” Uhh, no, lady, I hadn’t…YET.

Stuck in a strip mall on Hiawatha Avenue between a liquor store and pet-food outlet, this no-frills spot is the bees knees. I don’t know how they do it, but I do not care. Case in point, on trip there last week, I had a moderately small haul of three wool cardis and a couple fancy dresses (both with mammoth stains). My total for all five pieces was $14. Did I mention it was all ready within 24 hours? And those stains? Gone! Including some stubborn wall paint that had accidentally spilled onto a super cute vintage frock. (Please don’t ask!)

Some things to note: Pre-payment is required, you have to hang on to your receipt in order to pick up your goods and they do not clean leather or suede. Also, judging from the abrasive chemical smell that greets you upon entering, I don’t think they’re using the most “green” of cleaners.

U.S. Cleaners
4729 Hiawatha Ave S.
Minneapolis, MN 55406

Hours: Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
Saturday, 7 a.m.-4 p.m.
Sunday, CLOSED

You’re welcome, my dears. Happy saving!