pinned it, made it: sage smudge sticks

Facing an abundance of Russian sage in my garden this summer, I knew come autumn, I’d need to figure out a way to preserve it. I pinned this handy how-to from You Grow Girl, one of my favorite resources for garden-related DIYs, btw.

How To Make Your Own Smudge Sticks

A few weekends back, I harvested said sage and bound it into little bunches to give as smudge-stick gifts. Tying them together was such wonderful aromatherapy, making the mess I made on my living room floor well worth it.

high plains thrifter // diy smudge sticksOf course I had to test one out for myself…

high plains thrifter // diy smudge stickAre you doing anything to preserve the late-summer bounty? If so, I’d love to hear what projects you’re tackling!

xo,

Meghan

Top photo c/o: You Grow Girl.

heads up: columbus day savings at savers

1896949_10152053404403773_948611411_n Whether you’re celebrating Columbus or Indigenous Peoples’ Day, tomorrow brings big savings at Savers thrift stores throughout the metro area. All men’s, women’s, kids’ clothing, shoes and accessories, plus bed and bath items will be a whopping HALF-OFF! This one-day-only discount cannot be combined with other coupons or offers. New merchandise is also off-limits, when it comes to the 50% savings.

Happy hunting!

xo,

Meghan

Photo c/o: Savers' Facebook.

9 essentials i’m thrifting this fall

 It’s the same old story each and every autumn: the air turns crisp, leaves drop, days shorten and pumpkin spice lattes and apple orchard adventures overtake my Instagram feed. As soon as the annual chill arrives, without fail, my practically Pavlovian-style response is to run out (or hop online) and spruce up my wardrobe. And now that I’ve completed a fall closet clean-out, giving my unwanted goods to Savers, there’s actually a wee bit of room to squeeze in some new goods!

To keep me focused as I browse the thrift-store racks, I honed in on the pieces I was missing (so easy to do after a thorough closet clean-out) and inspiration, both old and new, I can’t get out of my brain. By refining my thoughts and making a list, I’ll save time when thrifting big stores like Savers and money I may have accidentally spent on items I don’t need. Below are the essentials that made the cut!

fall trends collage 1Dark florals: I feel more than a small twinge of sadness when it comes time to pack up my favorite summer florals. Fortunately, thrift-store racks boast plenty of saturated prints and I plan on sussing out at least a dress, blouse, skirt or scarf before the snow flies.

Jeans to destroy: “Oh hell no!” = my instant reaction to the prices I’ve seen on tattered denim ($148 for the pair of jeans pictured above, OMG!). I figure if I thrift a few pairs that fit  well and screw one up in the distressing process, no bigs, I’ll still be about $130 ahead.

Black denim jacket: Seeing as I wear my denim jacket four out of seven days a week, seeking out a black one seems kind of like a no-brainer. To me, a good denim jacket fits like I borrowed it from my boyfriend, so I’ll definitely be combing the men’s section at the thrifts for this.

Photos c/o: Let it Be / Nasty Gal / Free People

fall trends collage 2Midi skirts: My love of midis will not wane, so what? But truly though, what’s not to appreciate. They’re an acceptable length to wear to work, warm and, perhaps best of all, super easy to thrift. For fall, I look for wool or wool blend midis, and maybe a poly option or two.

Turtleneck sweater: Ever since elementary school, turtlenecks and I have kept our distance, but I’m feeling like this year is THE year to get over my aversion. If I can find one that’s a fun color, like the nubby Orla Kiely beauty pictured above, I’ll be in cozy town in no time.

Vests: This summer I wore two denim vests so much, it made me realize how more  belong in my closet. I love how they can introduce another texture to an outfit, plus, they’re warm! From suede to crochet, fur to wool, I know I’ll have lots of luck finding some solid options secondhand.

Photos c/o: B. Jones Style / Orly Kiely / Waiste

fall trends collage 3A bold coat: Green, black, green, black, navy. That’s my coat collection in a nutshell. This fall, I’m on the hunt for something bright and something bold. Mustard, emerald, red, baby blue, oxblood, pink…as long as it’s not black, green or navy, I’m game!

A simple shift: Solids are out of my comfort zone, but the big-haired beauty above has given me hope that I can wear a non-printed dress and not feel totally drab. If I follow in her footsteps, pairing it with some huge hair and a killer bag, this staple just might work!

A wide-brimmed hat: Turns out, I’m kind of picky about hats! Disappointed by the quality of the ones I’ve found at the mall, and reluctant to shell out for one, I’m going to keep my eyes peeled at the thrifts, shopping both the men’s and women’s departments ’til I find the perfect one.

Photos c/o: Jalouse / my tumblr / Bohemian Diesel

Are you hot on the trail of particular items this fall? Does making a checklist help keep you focused? If you’ve got any fall shopping routines or tips, I’d love to hear ‘em!

xoxo,

Meghan

P.S. My friends at Savers sponsored this post; all opinions are my own.

recently thrifted

Just popping in after a long day to share a few functional finds from the past couple weeks!

My old mat had worn out its welcome, so I scooped up this beauty at the Goodwill on Nicollet Avenue. Originally priced at $9.99, I got it for half of that because it was a green tag sale day. I LOVE when that happens!

welcome mat // goodwill Another Nicollet Goodwill find = this woven basket-turned-plant-holder. It’s in perfect shape, and only set me back $1.99!

plant hanger I leave a trail of jewelry around my house, and it’s such a horrible habit! This old ashtray makes the perfect bracelet-catcher, and the souvenir Minnesota dish holds my rings beautifully. Both were found for a song at the Salvation Army in Norfolk, Nebraska.

ashtrays I’ve been on the hunt for an affordable set of Christmas glasses and I found ‘em in Norfolk! These aren’t super old (mid-’80s, I’m guessing) but they are in great shape, and cost 14-and-a-half cents a piece, meaning the set of eight cost just over a dollar!

xmas glasses In the clothes department, Norfolk’s Salvation Army was refreshingly not picked over. I found tons of beautiful ’50s, ’60s and ’70s items, but settled on two ’60s-era shifts (one store-bought, the other homemade), a white ’90s maxi and a classic plaid Western snap front. (Sorry for the horrifically lazy photo!)

clothesBeen out to the thrifts lately? If so, I’d love to hear what you’ve found!

Wishing you a restful eve!!

xo,

Meghan

before & after: cabin furniture edition

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetAll excuses aside, the summer of 2014 was not a banner season for DIYs. My most significant undertaking—reupholstering a set of vintage furniture that’s been at my family’s cabin for eons—wasn’t actually mine at all. I outsourced it to a pro, Helen Miller of Miller Upholstering. With a reputation for great work and love for vintage designs, tasking Helen with this project was a total no-brainer.

While it took convincing to get some members of my family on board with the reupholstering vs. buying new, Helen got it from the get-go. She immediately recognized the set’s manufacturer (Cushman’s Colonial Creations), and went the distance when it came to finding fabric samples in line with the furniture’s unique design (drums, drumsticks and eagles) and our utilitarian needs (stain and sun resistance, etc.). Fearlessly, she sewed 10 cushions based on my, MEGHAN’S, measurements. And you know what? They fit perfectly.

When all was said and done, on the couch I went with a stain and waterproof navy fabric for the base cushions and a large, buffalo-style check for the uppers…please note how the plaid lines up perfectly (thanks, Helen!).

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetThe chairs got the same durable base, and Federal-era cream and navy rose print uppers.

Processed with VSCOcam with f3 presetAll in all, I couldn’t be more pleased with the final product or the process. If your vintage or thrifted furniture is in need of upholstery assistance, and you want to work with a lady who gets it and who will go beyond to give you the best possible service, look Ms. Miller up. (She’s on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest too!)

xoxo,

Meghan

plain talk

photo(56)It’s my opinion that the best road trips leave you feeling equal parts exhausted and exhilarated. After a quick out-and-back to Nebraska for the Harvest the Hope benefit, my brain is pooped, but my soul, soothed. The full day of music and wonderful company deserve kudos for much of that, but so do the miles of rolling scenery I enjoyed from the cushy comfort of the passenger seat. The picturesque prairie sunsets and acres of crispy farmland reminded me of a beautiful passage of the Stegner masterpiece I’m currently making my way through, so much so that I had to share it here, with you.

“It was very big; she felt she could see a long way, even into the future, and she felt how the world rolled under her. After she had watched the summer plains for a long time, and the smarting under her lids passed, a meadowlark sang sharp and pure from a fencepost, and she began to think that the future into which this new world of her choosing moved with her could hardly be unfriendly, could hardly be anything but good.”

Ugh, Wally, you just get me/it/everything!

Be back soon to share a few of my small-town Salvation Army finds. I scored some really cute stuff!

xoxo,

Meghan

’tis the season (to clean out your closet)

tumblr_mgs0roXvCe1r2phi9o1_1280With the first days of fall under our belts and the weekend around the corner, it seems like a natural time to get geared up for a closet clean-out. No matter how many purges my wardrobe and I have undertaken together, mentally preparing beforehand continues to be an essential step in the process. Here are the six things I remind myself before embarking on a seasonal mission of minimizing.

1. You’ll need to go it alone. Those articles that encourage you to invite a pal over and open some wine while you go through your closet together…forget that! A closet clean-out is an inherently dirty, personal and emotional task, one that’s best attacked alone. That said, who am I to turn down expert guidance? My friend Sally McGraw authored Already Pretty, an incredibly friendly, honest and uber-positive guide to defining, refining and owning your one-of-a-kind style. To help psych me up, I reread pertinent portions (chapters 2, 5 and 6 if you must know)…there’s something about Sally’s writing and sage advice that keeps me focused on the bigger picture. (Craving hands-on help? She’s available for style and closet consults, either in-person or online, too.)

2. It’s not going to take an afternoon. Sure, if you’re looking to skim off the top and barely make a dent, you’ll probably be set after an hour or two of work. But in case you’re a hoarder like myself, you may have a lot to cull through, and setting a short time limit could add unnecessary pressure, especially if you’re going to try everything on (which you absolutely should). Personally, I prefer to set myself a deadline a week or two out, and then carve out time when my schedule allows. A half-hour here, an afternoon there, just pick a category—pants, purses, accessories, work skirts—and get to work.

3. You’ll need a system. When tackling a wardrobe reboot, I bring an entire BOX of garbage bags upstairs with me, setting aside a bag for items that need dry-cleaning, one for pieces hurting for repair or tailoring, another for clothing that I could potentially resell (or find a new home with a friend) and the rest for items that are destined to be donated. (Clothing that’s worn-out, ratty or ruined is earmarked for the rag pile.)

4. Facts will be faced. Paid top dollar for a pair of boots you’ve only worn once? Scored a gorgeous designer piece that isn’t really your style, but it was SUCH a deal, you can’t bear to let it go? Haven’t fit into your “favorite” pair of jeans in years? Just. Be. Honest. The fact you that once upon a time you were fiscally irresponsible/had bad judgment/size 8 isn’t anything to be ashamed of. We’re only human, y’all! In fact, getting rid of pieces that bring up of feelings of disappointment, shame or self-loathing can be downright cathartic, especially when you consider all the room you’re making for pieces that make you feel AMAZING.

5. Letting go can be hard. One truism from Sally’s book that consistently stands out to me is “Clothing is imbued with emotion, steeped in memory, and parting with it can be downright painful.” Not to mention stressful! Get ready for emotions to arise when making decisions about what to keep and what to part with. One trick that helps me maintain objectivity is asking “If I were to see this item at a store today, would I buy it?” If the answer is no, the attachment is purely sentimental. Take a minute to remember the good times you had together. Then, let go.

6. A good exit strategy is key. Now that you’ve done all the hard work, it’s time to get your unwanted goods out of your house ASAP.  For me and my crazy schedule, finding an organization with convenient drop-off donation service is a must. Savers recently opened eight Donation Drop Stations in Minnesota, including metro-area spots in Robbinsdale, Apple Valley, Columbia Heights and Richfield. Every donation made not only gives gently used goods a second life and keeps them out of landfills, and also supports local nonprofits like the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota, the Lupus Foundation of Minnesota  and Vietnam Veterans of America. Savers pays these local organizations for every single donation made, whether or not it makes it to the sales floor. With locations close by, and convenient drop-off hours (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week), getting your unwanted clothes at Savers makes total sense. (Just don’t forget to ask for a receipt!)

Y’all cleaning your closets out this fall? If so, I’d love to hear your tried-and-true tips for maximum effectiveness. My overstuffed drawers and I could use the advice!!

xoxo,

Meghan

P.S. My friends at Savers sponsored this post, but all opinions are my own.