heads up: memorial day sales

Tomorrow is Memorial Day, which means that thrift stores (that are open) are going to have sweet sales…sales that would make any bargain-lover’s heart go all a’flutter!

For example.

50% off savings at Salvation Army (open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.), Goodwill (open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Valu Thrift, Unique Thrift, ARC’s Value Village stores (Open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.), Treasures Thrift Store in Savage (open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and Savers (open early at 7 a.m. until 9 p.m.) Take 10% off any purchase of $10+, 20% of a purchase of $20+ and so on up to 50% at Family Pathways stores. (Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.)


That said, some thrifts will be closed tomorrow, so when in doubt, make a quick call before you go. Shops that are for sure not open… Hope Chest for Breast Cancer shops, the East Side Thrift Store and Bibles for Missions in Crystal.

I’ll update this list as I learn of new sales and closures.

An extra day off and major deals at the thrifts. What more could a girl want in a weekend?



clickin’ around, vol. 10

 It’s Bob Dylan’s birthday! Here he is with Kris Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge, photo found via When You Awake. And for my Minneapolis locals, here are 17 ways to celebrate his birthday.

 Tips for channeling your inner Kayne, c/o Stylish Thought.

 I’m green with envy over this collection of ’70s tears from Glamour Maegan’s mom’s held on to.

 Homemade. Freezer. Burritos. A genius idea blogged by momma-to-be Talia Christine!

Vicki’s gorgeous mixed media collages are so dreamy. How sweet is this pink Doris Day one for example?

Loved this slideshow covering 25 years of Oprah’s fashion hits and misses.

How to tie a scarf video tutorial, c/o The Girls With Glasses Show blog.

This week’s baking project = salted fudge brownies, c/o Eating for England. Yum!

An essential summer read: Hannah’s ideas for healthy, fancy flavored waters.



get in shape, girl!

 I’m going to my first-ever ballet booty barre class this morning and I’m more than a little reluctant. How did I, queen of the laze, wind up with this a.m. agenda? Well, in a moment of extreme ambition, I purchased a Groupon to a fancy yoga/Pilates studio in town. I’ve since put off using it for literal months and it’s about to expire. Seeing as nothing irks me more than wasting my hard-earned pennies, I’m off to activate it today (along with some muscles I’ve probably forgotten I had). Wish me luck? I so need it.



P.S. Did any of y’all ’80s babies have Get in Shape, Girl! books, cassettes or any of their other pastel paraphernalia? I remember doing leg lifts on the carpet of my childhood bedroom, staring at the cassette player and being supremely bored. Lazy 4 life, that’s me!

C.L.A.P. zine giveaway winners

Good afternoon, folks!

It’s my pleasure to announce the winners of the C.L.A.P. zine giveaway.

The two lucky ladies, picked at random, are Jen…

and Shannon!

Gals, email me your mailing addresses and I’ll get you your copies of the premiere issue of C.L.A.P. ASAP! A special thank you to everyone who entered—if you live in the Twin Cities metro area and didn’t win, stop by Everyday People or Yeti Records and pick up a copy. You’ll love it, I promise!



brand bias: vera neumann

Long before Lilly, Tory and Kate, there was Vera.

Brand Name: The Vera Company

Years in business: 1946-present day

Headquartered: Ossing, New York

8 Things You Should Know About Vera Neumann

The brand’s namesake creator, Vera Neumann (née Salaff), was born in 1907 in Stamford, Connecticut. Bolstered by her parents encouragement, she pursued her passion—drawing and painting—getting formal training at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art and the Traphagen School of Design.

In 1938, she met and married George Neumann, who had a background in textiles. They moved into a small NYC apartment and together started a company, Printex, that merged textiles and art. They built a small silkscreen press to fit on their dining room table which was only large enough to produce linen placemats, which they cured in their oven. Cute! The power couple hired a sales guy, who nabbed them their first deal—1,500 placemats for B. Altman Department Store.

Vera’s nature-inspired designs caught the eye of Schumacher linens and they asked her to design some fabric for them. She worked up several patterns for them in the coming years—including “Jack-in-the-Pulpit,” that was personally chosen by First Lady Bess Truman to decorate the third-floor solarium in the White House, pictured below.

With WWII in full swing and linen supplies dwindling, Vera started hunting for alternative materials. After coming across some parachute silk in an army surplus store, she shifted her attention from linens to silk scarves.

With a foundational belief that that fine art shouldn’t just be for the wealthy, Vera’s designs allowed ladies of all incomes to incorporate beauty into their everyday. They were an instant hit, and she amassed legions of fans, some famous (Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe) and most not.

Marilyn “wearing” a Vera scarf

An ever-increasing demand required that the couple move from their apartment to a larger facility. They got out of the city and bought a derelict mansion in Ossing, New York. The couple claimed four of the rooms for themselves and the rest became a studio and printing facility. Soon Vera was cranking out 500-600 designs a year.

Vera expanded into clothing design in 1960. Blouses and dresses were the creative offspring off the textile designs, with the scarves serving as the starting point for every design. Fun fashion fact: Perry Ellis started working for Vera in 1974 as merchandise manager, but soon moved into designing pieces for the line. He worked alongside Vera for three years before launching his own eponymous line.

Other interesting tidbits: Vera put prints on bedsheets before anyone else was. Another innovation? Limiting the number of colors on scarves to three or four to make them more outfit-friendly.

Tips for Identifying & Finding Veras…

It’s easy! Just look for her signature. The line’s branding changed subtly through the years, but it’s still pretty easy to spot her signature. Pictured below are some examples from the 1970s. (For more tips on identifying Vera designs, check out this comprehensive guide.)

Vera scarves on Etsy range from $7 to $52, depending on how rare the pattern is. It’s also an easy brand to look for at thrifts. My pal Andrea just picked up a mint condition Vera shift from the ’60s for $6 at the Bryn Mawr garage sales a few weekends back.

Getting familiar with the brand’s aesthetic and most-used colors and patterns will help up the odds of you being able to identify a Vera in a crowd. This Flickr page has a ton of examples of her designs. (The brand’s Tumblr is also a must-follow.)



P.S. Click the photos to get to the original sources!

C.L.A.P. zine giveaway!!!

Creativity has always been a touchy subject for me. While I come from a family of ridiculously artistic women, I can’t draw, dance, paint or sing. For the longest time, I figured the C-gene skipped me, and I sort of grew to be fine with that. (Sort of.) As I got older, I realized that creativity exhibits itself in all kinds of different ways. (Duh!) I’ll probably never ever like being on stage or able to harmonize worth a darn, but shoot, I can dream up marketing ideas for days, whip up a meal out of whatever scraps are in the fridge and always find the bright side of any bad situation…and that counts for something!

So, when I got my hands on very first edition of C.L.A.P. (Creative Ladies Are Powerful), I couldn’t help but get excited as I read it cover to cover. The zine, created by Holly Hilgenberg and Lisa Luck, sets out to celebrate women in all forms of creative living, not just the (somewhat limited) realms of visual, literary or performing arts. Teachers, writers, educators, nonprofit folks, hair stylists and artists are all welcome as contributors—and the resulting publication is fresh, fun and exciting. Retailed locally at Yeti Records and Everyday People, the first issue is packed with inspiring creative exercises, articles, recipes (vegan marble cake!), illustrations, jokes, how-tos (disco perm anyone?), playlists, quotes and cheap and easy DIY ideas.

Holly was kind enough to sit down and share a bit about history and mission of C.L.A.P. the zine…

C.L.A.P. originally started as a creative women’s collective in spring of 2007 by several of my lady friends and me. It sort of fell to the wayside for many of the women involved, but I kept trying to do things like craft nights (and I don’t even like crafts!) to have an excuse to get ladies together in a creative capacity. Last year, I returned to the idea of C.L.A.P. and thought it would be interesting/fun to start the group up again, with more of a focus on supporting creative women. I was finishing up my Masters degree at the time and my main partner in crime on this project, Lisa Luck, was preparing for her wedding and opening up Yeti Records with her soon-to-be husband, so again, C.L.A.P. was put on hold.

Over this past winter, Lisa and I would meet and talk about our various creative endeavors and seeing a local music zine at her shop sparked an idea in me—we should restart C.L.A.P., but as a publication. I love independent publications and magazines and have always wanted to start my own, so it seemed like a perfect fit.

I put out a call for submissions from the ladies I knew around town and was amazed at the interest in the project. Ladies were definitely excited to have a space to share their knowledge and experiences and to have an outlet to express themselves. Though I want to grow the publication in its reach and it’s presentation, it is really important to me that C.L.A.P. is a welcoming space for ladies that want to share their stores. It is also worth noting that the focus of the zine is not just on women involved in traditionally creative fields such as the visual, literary and performance arts, but also includes women who utilize creativity in other fields like teaching, nonprofit and entrepreneurial work, food, etc.

Interior photos courtesy of C.L.A.P.

Want to win one of two copies I’m giving away?

Of course you do! To enter, leave me comment telling me about a recent creative accomplishment. (For an extra chance to win, tweet or blog about the giveaway and enter the link to your tweet/blog in a separate comment!) To read excerpts from the issue, order copies directly or learn about subscriptions and submission guidelines, visit  C.L.A.P.’s website here.

I’ll be picking the winners on Friday, so get on it!!