Tuesday, October 18, 2011


In honor of Halloween right around the corner, and knowing how we don't really need the calories that come with candy, I thought we could get our candy fix through cute jewelry! Enjoy!
inspiration candy
Don't forget to hit the subscribe button while you're here! And check out the INSPIRATION tab for more great themes!

Monday, October 17, 2011

halloween shopping pt2: how to do it right!

By now you've all seen the newest segment of INSPIRATION [halloween decor]--right?! If you like anything that pertains to Halloween, you'll love it, or at least be inspired from it! So in part two (part 1 here) of Halloween Shopping done right, I want to show you how you can use the same 'formula' to do your Halloween decorating!

Plan. Plan. Plan.

(Ring a bell?) Start at home, research for inspiration, then go shopping.

1. So here are some of the goodies I dug up around my own home:

halloween items

2. Here is some inspiration I found:

halloween items

3. Want to know what I came up with? Gotta wait until October 30th to find out!
[Insert witches crackle here!]

Sunday, October 16, 2011

QUIZ: What's your pumpkin style?

pumpkin patch dear wallet
Got a bunch of perfectly good pumpkins lazily cluttering up your doorstep with no idea what to do with them? Take this quick quiz to find out your pumpkin style this halloween!

1. Do pumpkin 'innards' make you:
a) Squeamish
b) Hungry
c) Inspired
d) Indifferent

2. Which fall decorating style does your home currently reflect?
a) Elegant Fall
b) Homey Harvest
c) Haunted House
d) Magazine Halloween

3. When do you begin 'prepping' for Halloween?
a) When your favorite magazine sends you their Halloween issue.
b) When Starbucks releases their Pumpkin Spice Latte.
c) When last Halloween ended!
d) When you get around to buying a pumpkin.

4. Who will be decorating and seeing the pumpkins?
a) Adults only
b) Just the family
c) Teens to adults
d) All ages

5. Which trait best describes you?
a) Leader
b) Family person
c) Crafter
d) Decorator

Now tally it up! 
Mostly 'A's: Sophisticated Party Pieces
You take the elegant approach to Halloween, glitter and paint may come in handy if that's what you find in the magazines. Your pumpkins reflect your need for an adult atmosphere, a coat of glitter spray paint, or a simply pinned piece of lace will give your pumpkins the classy and sophisticated look you desire: perfect for the centerpieces at your dinner party!

Mostly 'B's: Pumpkin Menu
Your family man (or woman!) and are more concerned about digging out every seed you can find, than worrying if your pumpkin is structurally sound for a face. Pumpkin pie, roasted seeds, and pumpkin soup are on your menu this year-leave the carving for the kids!

Mostly 'C's: PCA: Pumpkin Carver Anonymous 
You may be so inspired by the pumpkins at your local patch, you get anxiety choosing one! A small one could be a cute 'baby' to the 'mommy' and 'daddy' you found, or a distorted one would make a great monster eating a smaller one. Maybe you could paint it, or glue seeds to its face. Or all of the above. Ketchup and spray paint should probably be on your 'to get' list.

Mostly 'D's: Stencil Carver
You enjoy the fall season, even get into the fun of the Halloween spirit. But between running Susie and Johnny from football to ballet to soccer practice...pumpkin carving isn't your top priority. That's ok. Save the carving for the kids, stencils can be found anywhere, or printed off the internet. It will keep them busy for a few hours, giving you a chance to bake the seeds and enjoy a Pumpkin Spice latte!

Friday, October 14, 2011

DIY PROJECT: Spray Paint a Dress

When you saw my original Halloween how-to post, I know what you were thinking...where did she get such an awesome gray and black striped dress?!

(Oh, you weren't thinking that? Well you're going to find out anyway.) =)

 I found this dress at the Goodwill for $8 LAST YEAR (At Halloween, so everything was 50% off...make that $4)

gangsta dear wallet 


A dress (gray ugly boring one)

Black spray paint (had it on hand)

Masking/painters tape [Thinner the size, the better]


Accessories [To dress up the outfit!]

Oh and a wonderful boyfriend [best friends/sisters/and moms work too!]

First wash the dress-you know, with my fancy little cleaning guide!

Simply place the tape vertically down the dress.

Perfection is impossible, so try not to worry about it. I only had thick tape on hand, so I used scissors to cut the tape down the middle to make two strips.

gangsta dear wallet

Once it was all attached, take it outside and spray paint away!

I let it dry for an hour or two before removing the tape.

gangsta dear wallet

Then I left it a day before washing in HOT water (to set the paint). After it dried I washed it again using dishsoap to make it less crinkly (and smell good!)

gangsta dear wallet

I accessorized the dress using a black high waist belt, stockings and fedora.

Instant Gangsta just add spray paint!

Total cost (for me) $4 [For the dress!]

Have a question? Let me know! I'd be happy to answer it!--I guess you know which costume I WONT be this year ;)

EDIT// I got an email asking what my boyfriends costume is. He was Clark Kent with his super hero costume on underneath.

superman dear wallet

Thursday, October 13, 2011


I know, I know why am I posting an INSPIRATION post today right? Because I couldn't resist the glitter.
Trust me, I know what they say. Glitter is the herpes of the crafting world. But I looooooove me some glitter!
I do try to stay away from it, but I can't help it if it calls to me with its shiny goodness! Plus I know you feel the same. So this INSPIRATION segment is all about glitter accessories.

inspiration glitter

Questions or comments? Let me know! Interested in how to get the zebra bangle look? Make sure you hit the subscribed button at the bottom of the page because that tutorial is coming up! =)
And make sure you check out the INSPIRATION tab for more great inspiring looks!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What's in your toolbox?

Yes it crossed my mind to name this post "what's in your wallet" as inspired by the Capital One commercial slogan. But I decided against it for two reasons. 1) this post was titled by a reader when she emailed asking 'whats in your toolbox?' 2) it would be really difficult to fit all these items in a wallet. That said, you're welcome to try and I encourage you to email me a picture of the outcome! ;)

Did I mention I love mail? No? Well I do, so email away! Questions, comments, and pictures are always welcome and encouraged! =)

Back to the question at hand:
Dear Wallet,
What's in your toolbox for thrifting construction and renovation? What 'tools of the trade' do you find most useful in your thrifting adventures?
Sally B.

First off, I love that Sally titled it 'dear wallet' ♥! Secondly, I encourage you to check out my thrift clothes cleaning post if you haven't already. It's a gem of information and already gives you some of the items I'm about to mention. Stay tuned for November when the thrift furniture cleaning post comes out!
toolbox dear wallet

Thrift Clothes Restoration & Decoration Toolbox
[is this name too long??]

Sewing Kit: I'm not a sewer myself, but I do have a little travel sewing kit which makes mending tiny holes, or replacing buttons easy.
Bleach Pen: This can save a white item from the trash bin, or can make bland shirts/pants awesome!
Plastic Kitchen Tub: [See cleaning post for this, and other cleaning items]
 Jewelry Pliers: To fix loose or damaged jewelry or just to make your own statement pieces! [See Guest post coming October 23rd!]
Leather Cleaner: Not only to help clean a leather item, but to moisturize it and give it new life!
Permanent Markers: [white, brown, and black] To fix scuffs and small marks on shoes and bags!
• Guerrilla glue:  To fix just about anything!
Rhinestones, pearls and glitter: To make anything shiny and glamourous!
Safety Pins: Keep things together, or give it a punk look!
Fabric Glue and Pens:  Give things new life by attaching things, or decorating them!
Beads Buttons, and studs: Always fun for decorating or making jewelry!
• Ribbon: Makes great trim, patches and decoration!

Thrift Furniture Restoration & Decoration Toolbox
[is this name even longer??]

Steam Cleaner: Give new life to upholstered furniture by steam cleaning it.
Tape Measure: You know, to make sure it fits...
Dust rags & Q-Tips: Used for dusting, staining and painting.
Wood Oil: Give new life to old wood!
Wood Stain: Bring something from another century, into this one!
Spray Paint/Can: Hello to a new life!
Sandpaper in varying types: So you can stain, oil and paint your new goodies!
Leather Cleaner: To make your goodies shine like new, and keep them healthy for a long time!
Permanent Markers: To fix small scratches or scuffs.
Walnut: (Yes, the nut) Try it, use it on a wooden surface with knicks! It fills it in, even colors it. A little touch up stain and you're good to go!
• Wood Glue: To put things back together.
• Light Bulbs & Batteries: You know, to get these things to work!
• Screws, Nails and a general toolbox: For all the little things. No fancy tools, just a hammer, screw driver, and mallet.

Do you have more to add? Let me know what my toolbox is missing!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

INSPIRATION [halloween decor]

In keeping with the Halloween theme, I decided to branch off of general halloween inspiration, and bring some decor to the table (er..blog).
Have a question, or finished a project? Let me know! I'd love to see and share your outcomes! Contact me today!
INSPIRATION halloween decor
As always, these prices are based on thrifty shopping, at places like Walmart, Dollar Tree, and Goodwill!
Check out other great INSPIRATION themes in the INSPIRATION tab, and check back each Tuesday to see what theme is next!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Thrifting Adventures

I like to call my thrift purchases 'projects'. Why? Because whether it's a nice cleaning, or sewing buttons on, or spray painting it, there's always something to be done. Therefore mini projects! Today's thrift adventure features three items I found recently during my excursions. So meet my new projects:

First is this adorable yellow cropped jacket, I have always wanted one. Why, I don't know. But I did and it was cute-did I mention it was only $4?

This gem is H&M, found at Deja Vu in a Dress, in Roseville, CA.
cropped jack dear wallet I love the pleated arms and the large button. Unfortunately as you can see it's not only missing a button, but the top one fell off shortly after this picture was taken. TLC time!
cropped jacket dear wallet

My second find that day is a cute little scarf, perfect for a fall day where you need something to keep the warmth in, but not really 'keep you warm'. Hand knit in all it's imperfection glory, this find was just $2 at the American Cancer Society Discovery Shop in Roseville, CA.
knit scarf dear walletMy last find was actually  purchased a week before the others, while shopping in Auburn, CA Goodwill. $1 for an owl toothbrush holder. Hasn't been cleaned yet (other than a quick soap and water rinse), and it's definitely not in use yet either. Did I mention I LOVE all things owl? This little guy is no exception!  Kudos to my friend who found it for me!
owl toothbrush holder dear wallet Make sure you check out my thrift post on how to clean your purchases! What thrifty goodies have you picked up recently?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Halloween Shopping: How to do it right!

I walked in Target recently and was bombarded with all things orange, black, cute and spooky! I love Halloween! It's my favorite time of the year (as is Christmas, New Years and my dogs birthday...but that's a different story)! I love the bold contrasting colors, (orange and black, or green and black), the ambiance, the underlining excitement, the changing weather (yay scarves and jackets!), black cats, pumpkin carving, hot chocolate, pixi stix...what was this post about again? Fortunately, or unfortunately, its the one time of year its not cohesively 'frowned' upon to shop thrift. In fact thrift stores as a whole rank number 1 this time of year in sales. The good news is, you can shop with pride, knowing exactly where to look and be in and out quickly (why would you want to?!). The bad news is, things get picked over quickly, lines are long, merchandise gets trashed and prices tend to hike. So how do you use that to your advantage?


1. Whether you're looking for holiday decor, party items or your costume-START AT HOME. Haul out everything from your shed, kitchen and closet for an in-depth look. Many might want to do this second, but if you already know what you have, you may look at something from a different perspective and see potential in other items in your research!

2. Then begin your RESEARCH. Whether it's google or pinterest to find your inspiration-do it! Head to Target, Walmart or the mall. Take pictures on your cell phone of anything you like, or that inspires you.

3. Figure out what you need based on what you already have and then go SHOPPING!

Here's how I do it:

1. Home. I looked around and found some cute dresses I could use as potential costumes.  I use a board called Polyvore, I like it because you can 'pin' things like pinterest but you can also compile them to create layouts for things as well. (INSPIRATION threads are created using Polyvore!) I found similar items to the ones I had at home and put them on this board.
potential halloween costumes

2. Research.Using polyvore again, I began compiling ideas of what could be fun. Here's my 'inspiration' put together with what I have!
potential halloween costumes

3. Shopping. Want to see what I came up with and how much it cost? Have to wait! Coming soon though! ;) Which costume do YOU like?

Friday, October 7, 2011

DIY Project: Mail Organizer

Dear Wallet,

I lost the mail today. And then the car keys, and then my shoes. Oops.

Signed, Aria

First ever DIY project on Dear Wallet,! Not to be a killjoy, but it's not a brand new tutorial. In fact it comes from my OLD blog (Lillian Pearl Designs). You can check out the orignal post there, as well as a few others that may or may not eventually make their way over to this blog! I have a long list of to-do's, but wanted to start you out with something that's not only cheap and easy but super helpful as well!

mail organizer dearwallet, Insert the Mail Organizer. I know what you're thinking, a DIY project to organize the MALE in my life?!Oh you weren't thinking that? Oh the other thing...that those stacks of unopened mail that you have in every corner is not only cute (hello free decor..!) but also aids in the avoidance of bills (yay...more bills?)..ya..me too. I too have fallen victim to the adorableness that is junk mail, until I realized if I put it somewhere that created an eyesore I tended to do something about it. Like pay the bills and throw away said junk mail.*shockterrorblasphemy*  It sounds crazy, but it works! I tried a basket, which worked just fine. Until I needed the I needed the real estate for my growing vase collection. So I wanted something for the wall. I googled, and goodwilled, and shopped till my head hurt (is that possible?). But then one day I found a frame, and it all fell into place.

mail organizer frame dearwallet

Insert old ugly frame lacking glass. For some reason this gem was still sitting in my craft box waiting to bethrown away DIYed into a new life. Here's what you need:

Frame (mine was 11.5"x9.5"-but your's can be whatever works for you)
I needed sand paper, nails and wood glue because it was falling apart
Spray paint (I used white)
Screw hooks (I used four)
Cardboard/mat board
Spray mount
Fabric and scrapbook paper
Hot glue (or guerilla glue, or your favorite strong glue!)

Said frame was made of wood laminate and falling apart. So the first thing I did was sanded it lightly for prepping and used the nails and wood glue to put it back together. After which I reattached the hanging hook so it could hang in the correct format (horizontal). I placed the screw hooks by eyeballing it, however I suggest measuring. After this I took it outside for a coat or two of spray paint.

mail organizer dearwallet

While the frame was drying I started on the inside of the frame. First measure the opening of the frame and cut a piece of cardboard to fit. I used spray mount to place scrapbook paper on it, folding it over the back and gluing in place. (Like a present!)

mail organizer dearwallet

Then I cut two more pieces of cardboard half the size of the orignal, height wise. (Mine were 3.5"x9" each), then get your fabric out. Lay it out and spray mount the cardboard on one side, pressing it on the fabric. Then spray the other side and fold the fabric over so it fits tightly on the 'top' edge, and leaves about an inch overlap on the bottom, and side edges.

mail organizer dearwallet

When everything is dry you can begin assembling. First measure where you want your 'files' to go. I decided since mine were 3.5" high, to measure 3" from the bottom of the frame so the top file would hide slightly in the bottom file-I used a pencil to draw a line. Using the glue, I attached the 1" overlap of fabric to the board above the line (so that the board edge was touching the line, and the fabric was flat above it-see pictures)! The bottom piece will attach on the very  bottom of the bigger board in the same way.

mail organizer dearwallet

Once the pieces are assembled and dry, place it inside your frame. Carefully pull the files out of the frame through the front, until they are where you want them.  (Mine are no more than an inch away from the board, it creates a tight pocket with plenty of opening to place stuff). Cut the fabric down in the back (if needed) and glue into place. Close the frame up, and attach to the wall!

mail organizer dearwallet

You could easily add ribbons, buttons, and tabs to further customize this project! The project cost me NOTHING, because I had everything on hand! Now let me see your versions!

mail organizer dearwallet,

Thursday, October 6, 2011

How to tell if your thrifty designer finds are real or fake!

So today during an exciting thrifting expedition I encountered a Prada purse I couldn't leave behind. I'm not usually a Prada fan but I am a fan of purses (check), and uniquely shaped ones at that (double check). I had no idea if it was real, but at $7 it was safe to assume not and I snatched it up for my cute-purse-collection. When I got home I began researching it, and unfortunately I was correct. But that doesn't mean every purse in a thrift store falls subject to being a fake! In fact I've gotten lucky with a Coach (.50 cents!), and a Gucci's ($5!).

prada purse dear wallet

We see them every so often; dusty and cracked in the corners of thrift shops, under dirty clothes at yard sales and ridiculously priced at flea markets. But if you're not a designer-die-hard-super-know-it-all, how are you suppose to know what's real, and what's fake? I've compiled a few general tips to take into consideration when thriftin' designer items.

1.Search for an authenticity card. Usually, these are leather tags sewn into the inside of the purse with serial numbers. This should be the first thing you try, but remember not every designer uses them, not every bag style has one, outlet bags don't always have them, and vintage bags especially usually won't have them.  The tags can also be faked.
2. Look at the stitching. Designer bags are known for their quality, stitching will always be meticulously straight and even.
3. Look at the logo. Something will be off, if you are familiar with most designers this will be easy. The font will be slightly different, somethings things will be spelled oddly. For example, in Prada the 'R's leg will be straight (fake) instead of curved (real), on a Coach the 'C' on signature fabric will be more of 'G'. 
4. Any leather bag will be genuine leather, no pleather!
5. Most designers have their name engraved on the hardware, note not all do, and not all bag styles will though.  

Want to know a little more about a specific bag? Here are a few tips direct from representatives for the top 9 designer bags (In no particular order).
Have a different designer you're curious about-email me, I will do what I can to answer your questions!

1. 'G' placement in the signature fabric is meticulous, any imperfection is a dead giveaway. 'G's will always be touching, but not overlapping.
2. Real bags hardware are metal, no plastic!
3. The bottom of any Gucci bag will have a seam stitch going straight through the bottom. No stitch=fake!

1. On the Signature fabric the 'C' will be meticulous, no 'G's, the pattern will start in the dead center and feather out perfectly.
2. Tags on the handles will be leather stamped with the same color as the tag, or metal, embedded. Metal will not be shiny.
3. Signature bags will never have a signature lining. It may be solid, striped or say 'Coach' but never signature on signature.

1. All the hardware will have the Prada name on it.
2. Inside tag will have 'PRADA MADE IN ITALY' on it.
3. Lining may be solid, striped or read 'Prada', but will never read anything else. (Fake's might say 'Italy')

1. Logo will be engrained into leather-no imprints.
2. All Fendi hardware has their name on it.
3. Threads will be never be a contrasting color as the bag.

1. Signature prints start dead center and feather out evenly.
2.  Stitching will always be consistent on the handles. For example, hardware sewed on might have five stitches along the top, 5 along the bottom, and 5 along each side.
3. Since the 80s, LV's have come with date stamps under the D ring. In the 80s it was a 2-3 letter + 2-4 number code (IE: ABC1234), in the 90s and beyond it has changed to 2 letters + 4 numbers (IE: AB1234)

1. All Chanel bags have serial numbers, google the number on the bag, Chanel has used the same numbers for over 25 years. Any variation of those numbers is a definite fake.
2.All hardware on the strap has name engraved on it.
3. Patterns will always line up perfectly at the seams.

1.Diors are only manufactured in Italy. Inside tag will read 'Christian Dior Paris', and the backside will say 'Made in Italy' any variation is fake.
2. All Dior's have a 6 digital serial number.
3. All Dior bags have a dark nylon lining, no other lining style or fabric is used.

1. All D&G hardware is engraved and imprinted with logo.
2. A D&G is meticulously made, and each can stand up on it's own even after years of use. (Empty, not full)
3. Threadwork, purse color, zippers, and lining will always blend well together. No contrasting colors.

1. All lines in pattern will align perfectly with the seams of the purse.
2. All Burberry's have gold or silver hardware, no bronze or nickel plated.
3.  The inside tag says 'Burberry London', the underside will say 'Made in Italy'.

Still unsure about your purchase? Take it to any dealer, they can authenticate right there! Many designers have hologram stickers that can only be read by a dealer. Sometimes searching a serial number on the bags website can help as well. Just remember, while you can get lucky sometimes, don't count on it. If you see a cute, cheap bag-pick it up because it's cute and cheap. Not because it might be real. I'm not a purse expert, these tips are were compiled after research. For real verification please see your local designer dealer.
Happy shopping!
Don't forget, after you've purchased your sweet find, check out my cleaning post to get it looking shiny new!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Bathroom cupboard into yarn storage

Once upon a time there was a girl with a rather large collection of yarn. After purchasing a few cabinets that were quickly overthrown with skeins, the yarn ended up in a trash bag. Then one day the girls mother went yard sale-ing and came home with a bathroom cabinet that happened to match the girl's other cabinets. And that is where this story begins...

It's true, I see potential in everything and therefore yarn becomes mine maybe a little too fast...Nonetheless, when my mother [I know, I know, how awesome is my mom?!] brought me this cabinet, I was skeptical my yarn collection would fit. Super Thrifty Mom to the rescue found this gem at a yard sale in South Auburn, it was the bottom half of a two-part bathroom cabinet set up for $25. She simply ASKED if she could take the bottom half and the lady said 'sure, $10'. Hello awesome! Similar sets run between $80 and $200!

Cute right? 19"x9.5"x36.5" I had the perfect little spot under my coat rack. I love the glass on one door, and the beadboard detail on the other!

white cupboard dear wallet

Unfortunately as you can see something sitting on the bottom shelf had destroyed the top coat and torn it right off!

So here's how I fixed it:
First do your usual dusting, and regular cleaning. I used Simple Green.
Then I used diluted bleach to sanitize the whole piece, after which I used sand paper to smooth the bottom shelves damage.
A quick coat of white paint and whoa-la!  Good as new!

Getting back to my story, cute cupboard + trashbag of yarn = Perfectly adorable yarn storage! (yes they actually all fit, I even have room for a few more skeins--shh! Don't tell my boyfriend! ;))

white cupboard dear wallet

I'm thinking I need some cute crystal doornobs! What do you guys think? 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Save the ta-ta's

Dear Wallet,

Please help me 'save the ta-ta's'. I need something pink to match my...um...pink stuff. It's for a great cause...!
Signed, Aria


As many of you know October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. What you don't know is how Breast Cancer has affected my family, friends' and clients. Take a moment to thank WHOEVER for all the loved ones in your life, and to keep them safe. Some statisics you might not know:
-1 in 8 women in the US will be  diagnosed with Breast Cancer in her lifetime
-In the US, breast cancer has the highest rate of deaths for women than any other cancer type.
-MEN CAN GET BREAST CANCER but less that 1% of diagnosed patients are men.
There are more than 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the US! <3
 (statistics from breastcancer.org, 2011)

So how can you help? You can start by donating directly:
Susan G. Komen for the Cure
Join the Sacramento Komen Race for the Cure in 2012
Or join the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure in 2011 & 2012-all over the US!

You can also do little things, like make your regular purchases from places who donate to research and awareness! In fact, if your local thrift store is a non-profit, chances are they have 'specials' running right now for donations! Check out their websites, call them up, or just go in and ask! Usually 'anything pink' goes towards donations! Not sure if you'll find anything for you though? Check out some of my recent 'pink' finds!
Charlotte Russe hot pink heels, minor scuffing but barely noticeable! $5 at Auburn, CA Goodwill!

pink heels dear wallet charlotte russe
Express brand new hot pink top $5! From Piece For Peace in Auburn, CA!
express pink shirt dear wallet
Brand NEW hot Pink Old Navy peacoat $17 + 10% off from Chic Boutique in Auburn, Ca! (regularly $60!)
pink jacket dear wallet breast cancer

Cute stuff (did I mention it's PINK?!), at amazing prices that donates to charity? Count me in!
REMEMBER: wear pink all throughout October! <3 

Monday, October 3, 2011

INSPIRATION [halloween]

Welcome to the first installment of INSPIRATION. Where I find cute trendy or designer items, and figure out simple ways to remake them on a budget inspired by creativity.

This week's inspiration comes from Halloween theme. With a cute spider choker, spooky halloween curtain, and some HAWT Christian Loubotin wiggly eye heels! Check it out!
INSPIRATION | halloween

Click the image to go to Polyvore and find out information on the items!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Graphic Print Accessories

Graphic accessories are IN right now. Normally I'm not much a trend chaser, but I've always had a soft spot in my heart for bold, chunky graphics: so being trendy right now means they are easy to find in every price range. Recently I hit up my local Goodwill [Grass Valley HWY, Auburn, CA] to see what kind of goodies I could find. Of course Goodwill is over thrown with Halloween stuff right now, but you never know what you'll find. Unfortunately I didn't score much, but I did find a chunky bangle in teal with a lotus motif overlay print. .99 ¢! 
dear wallet bangle lotus lace

October is a great time to visit thrift stores, they usually stock up for this time of year and unleash bigger and bigger discounts until Halloween so they can rid all of the stock! Make sure you check back often as the merchandise is circulated from location to location weekly, and the deeper into October you get, the higher the discounts! I've said it before, and I will say it hundred more times:
if you want to save money when shopping, know what you're looking for before you go.

This is true no matter where you shop. Local thriftstore, or Neiman and Marcus! Have an idea in your mind of what you need/want and start there. Sure you'll probably find other goodies along the way, but having a goal in your mind makes it easier to say NO when you get to the counter.

Following the graphic prints theme I made a quick wishlist of graphic stuff that I'm keeping my eyes peeled for!
What are you looking for?


Click the image to go to Polyvore and find out who made these totally cute items!

How to clean your thrifted [clothes]

Dear Wallet,

You have a stain. It might be from the waterworks episode after my last shopping spree at the mall. But it's not very becoming on you. Please remove it. Thanks.

Signed, Aria

The infamous question of thrift shopping: is it clean and sanitary?
The answer? In general, no more or less than shopping at the mall. 

Here's why:
1. At the mall you can expect that 3-5 people are trying on a given shirt/pants/shoes each day. How long it lasts on the shelf can be 3 hours, to 3 months. It's not worth doing the math here. Never washed-only to collect the same sanitary concerns you were worried about. But here's the kicker: it's brand new with tags on it, so most people never bother to wash it before the first wear. ew...
2. At a thrift store you expect it to be dirty, and therefore never wear something without cleaning it first [1-thriftstore, 0-big box store]
3.  Chances are the person who wore the shirt/pants last, washed it and then decided to get rid of it. You can usually tell by the amount of stains/rips and smells expelling from it. And let's face it, if it's in horrible shape you're probably not going to buy it anyway. Something well taken care of and in good shape has probably been washed before.

Still not sold that thrift shopping is eqivalent to mall shopping? Check out these links:
Bedbugs on the rise, close pair of New York clothing stores
Bedbugs bite department stores

The moral of  the story is always clean your purchases, even new-with-tags [NWT]. And here's how:

First off, always read the label of your clothing to find out how to clean it. Certain items and fabrics require hot or cold water, specific soaps, dry cleaning or hand washing. Clean it appropriately to keep your purchase in good condition. For thrift clothes it doesn't hurt to send everything to the dry cleaners the first time. They use an ingrediant in their cleaners that disinfect everything. This can be expensive though, so for those who want the same clean but without the sticker shock read on:


I purchased a plastic kitchen tub that I fill with HOT (scalding hot) water mixed with a capful of baby shampoo and a capful of anti-bacterial hand soap. Soak the clothes in the wash until the water becomes touchable, then take out to look at for stains. Oxyclean is a great soap for stains to clean in a second bath.

 For any clothing machine safe, wash the items a second time in the washer using hot water. For delicates, repeat the first step 1-2 more times, and for items that say dry cleaning use your best judgement.


Yes, even jewelry should be washed! Sanitary wipes, or a quick wipe down with rubbing alcohol will do the trick.
For silver items lay a piece of aluminum foil on the bottom of a pie tin or pot. Sprinkle in some baking soda, place the silver items and pour boiling water over it. Leave for 2-3 minutes, rinse and your items will be sparkly-new! Another way of cleaning silver is using a toothbrush and white toothpaste.


Hat's MUST be cleaned, kits for sanitzing can be purchased but here are a few methods from home.
Felt or wool hats: Use a soft brush to clean, swipe going in the direction the fibers lay. Place the hat on an item that allows it to retain shape (vase, peg, manikin etc). Use warm water with mild soap on a towel to clean the sweatband. Use a steamer to sanitize and shape the hat. Scotchguard after.
Leather hats: Leather must be conditioned once a year (using leather conditioner) to once a month depending on the amount of use. Insiders can be steamed LIGHTLY, or clean the sweatband with warm water and mild soap on a towel. Suede hats can be scotchguarded.
Cloth hats: Most cloth hats can be washed in the sink using the same process for clothing. Check the label to verify. Baseball caps can be washed in the dishwasher, or the washer if you have a cap cage.
Straw hats:  A light rinse, or sponge with warm water, and mild soap can clean the inside and outside of the hat. Scotchguard can also be used to protect it.


Most shoes can be cleaned using rubbing alcohol to sanitize the insole of the shoe. (Test on a small patch before cleaning the whole thing) Check with brand sites to see their preferred cleaning methods for any stains. Typically leather shoes can be cleaned with leather conditioner, fabric shoes can be soaked with water and mild soap and scotchguarded. Check before trying anything though!


Purses work the same as shoes, check the brand site before starting any cleaning project. Typically on fabric purses warm water and mild soap, or fabric cleaner on difficult stains. Leather conditioner will work on leather purses.

 Have a specific item you have a question about? Or have a cleaning tip to share? Let me know!

Saturday, October 1, 2011


Dear Wallet,
It's not that I don't like you, but you cost more than you weigh and I can't justify that anymore. It's not you, it's me. Please understand, it's not personal, I'm sure you'll find someone else. Until then, please consider this your two weeks notice.
Signed, aria

So glad you found your way to my little blog! We are a brand new extension of Silver Daisies Studios, and formerly known as Lillian Pearl Designs, and more recently: found at Dear Wallet on wordpress!.  Dear Wallet is for the frugal, trendy and fashionable in this world! With tips and tricks for saving money everyday on big and little purchases, how to be both trendy and thrifty, even the occasional DIY projects, homemade trials and errors and reviews.

My name is Aria, I'm 23 a full time college student (graphic design and information technology), and full time business owner. You're welcome to check out Dear Wallets affiliate, Silver Daisies Studios. Over there you can expect photo and design goodies, even printables and the occasional recipe!

Without further ado, stay tuned for some fun stuff!
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