Our weather is quite changeable, as Spring is supposed to be, of course. Yesterday, I took my daughter and her friend to the beach after they came back from school. The temperature was in the 70s, it was sunny and felt like Summer. Many kids were playing in the water (even though Puget Sound is cold, especially this time of year), some even had their swimsuits on. Northwesterners are funny that way - you will see both shorts and parkas on the same day. Today, it's again rainy and mild, just like it was a few days ago, when I hit a couple of consignment stores in search of some treasures.
I am really getting into thrift shopping these days. It all started with antique shops. When I just arrived in America a dozen years ago (I forgot to mention it in my blog, but it actually was exactly 12 years in March), I was not crazy about antique shops. They seemed messy and dusty, and smelled bad to me. (Some of them can be that way, though I practically don't notice any bad smell any more... Could be that I first visited an antique mall when I was pregnant, and my sense of smell was really different then.) Then I got interested in collecting little trinket boxes, and antique malls became one of my favorite places to find my treasures. Then I started finding other treasures - mostly home decor stuff. About a couple of years ago I started getting into china, and found quite a few dishes back from 1990s which are not produced any more, tea cups from Limoges or Russia, pitchers from the first half of the last century, vintage tableclothes and other cute kitchen and dining stuff, which I definitely could live without, and my home would have much more space in it then, though it would be a so much less personal, less warm and inviting space. But only during the last few months, I began exploring clothing and jewelry at places like thrift shops (Goodwill and Salvation Army) or even antique malls which, if I understand right, can be similar to what Europeans call flea markets, with a mix of truly valuable collectibles from the past and worthless knick-knacks, one man's trash, another man's treasure... Actually, now when I think of it, in the very beginning of my life here, I did buy some secondhand clothing for me and baby Anya. We used to have a thrift store nearby, which was spacious and clean, and I could just walk there with a stroller (I did not know how to drive when I first came in America, and only received my driving license when Anya was about 6 months old). But then I forgot all about thrift shops for a while.
Now I am rediscovering thrift clothes shopping. I see it as not just smart, but also very fun and more unique way of building my wardrobe. The chances of meeting someone in the clothes you've just bought in a thrift shop are pretty slim, even if the clothes are not exactly vintage. And I always enjoyed looking unique, even if it's in a quiet way. It was one of the main reasons why I learned making my own clothes as a teenager.
Here I am wearing a couple of pieces I found at a consignment shop last week. (Now, those are more expensive then thrift shops, but the average quality of stuff is much higher, and the whole experience is more like boutique shopping.) The sweater is such a stunner, in my opinion. How on earth anybody could get bored with it? It's by Nieman Marcus, 100% cotton, beautifully designed and in an impeccable condition. I just love the sleeves! Interestingly enough, it is labeled as medium size, and I typically need XL, so it is supposed to fit really loosely, I guess. But I love how it fits me, even if it wasn't what the designer aimed for.
The raincoat is by the brand Gallery. It's reversible (the other side is black, which is clever since it would easily pair with any other color), beautifully made and in a great condition as well. I know this one will have a a lot of wear - I love green color and I love plaid. I wore it on a breezy day, and felt quite cozy in it.
Even though I wear quite a few sporty style pieces here, I admit that I am not much of an athlete, but you probably have figured it out about me already, haven't you? :) In fact, I never have been especially sporty (I did play tennis as a teenager though, but that was mostly because I found this sport very attractive, and we had such a fun group where I met good friends too, and it did not hurt that the wrestlers, young guys in the same sport facility, practicing next to us, were oh so cute!). I understand, of course, that since we people are not only mental and spiritual beings, but physical beings as well, so we need to get some of those wiggles out of our system anyway. So I decided for myself that if I just do whatever activity I truly enjoy doing, I will not resent the whole idea of exercising. I love walking and swimming, and occasionally I take yoga classes, but group activities don't keep my interest for very long - after a couple of months, I just get bored as they tend to be extremely repetitive, even with the best instructors which have ever existed on the planet Earth... So very often, I just take myself for a nice long walk. Or I take Justin, or Anya, or a friend. But actually, I enjoy walking by myself - I am a good company, and fresh air and my own natural pace both relax and energize me. These photos were taken on one of such walks with Justin in a village where we spend about thirty percent of our time in the last few months, our second home if you will... So we were told that there were great blue herons' nests in the area. There are many herons around here, and we've seen and photographed them on numerous occasions, living on the beach, but I have never seen so many herons in one spot, and I have never seen them nesting. We counted 16 nests on the top of tall trees. They looked quite flimsy to me, but herons seem not to think so. I don't know exactly how many birds there were, because a lot of times they fly away and back, in circles. It seems like they take turns - some stay and watch out for each other's eggs, while others go find food. They were quite talkative as well, lots of communication going on there. But what was especially sweet, to see them snuggling with each other. They are such huge magnificent creatures. It was really touching to see them being so tender with each other...
Sweater and raincoat - thrifted (consignment store). Pants... can't remember. :)
Shoes - Keds. Purse - Nicole Lee. Infinity scarf - Lane Bryant. Pearl earrings - gift from a friend.
Linking up with Anne's 52 Pick-me-up: Plaid on September 29, 2014