Too Thrifty Chicks

Think.Thrift.Create


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1500+ miles, unpacking, and grocery shopping (or, my first week in Memphis)

So….I left D.C. just over a week ago. since then, I’ve unpacked about 20 boxes, assembled bookshelves, shopped at three grocery stores (only one of which I like), made far too many trips to Target, and took a weekend trip to St. Louis to participate in my friend’s beautiful wedding. And somewhere in there, I had time to breathe and realize I might like this city.

Let me be real: I had no expectations. None. Not good. Not bad. Just neutral. I was excited about the job opportunity but since I had only visited Memphis once (and that was for the job interview), I had no idea if I would like the city….and coming from the D.C. area (which I love), I was a little nervous.

So far, so good.image_7

I live in a part of town called Midtown that is going through a lot of changes. I bet once I read up on the city and it’s history, I may find that it is undergoing gentrification like many neighborhoods I’m familiar with in D.C. But from what I know so far, I love it. Bike lanes, good restaurants, Overton Park, and cool little shops like the Square Olive, a store that sells amazing variations of olive oil. It’s also close to a couple yoga and pilates studios that I plan to try.

I am pleasantly surprised with how at home I feel. My godparents stopped by for a visit yesterday on their way back to Texas, and I was so happy to show them my place (which I am happy to show you more of soon) and try a neighborhood restaurant. Maybe more than any other place I’ve lived, I feel like I am more likely to become part of the neighborhood…..which, as someone who does neighborhood research for a living, is an interesting process.

Memphis isn’t a pretty city and who knows if I will love it or hate it long term?  I’m not concerned about that, though. The city has some nice quirks that I am interested in exploring…and I plan to enjoy the process. So, for now, I’m super duper excited about my storage bed being delivered tomorrow and my sofa being delivered on Friday! So far, three DIY projects are pending. I bet you’re ready to see them….I hope so. I’m ready to play in paint! ;-) For now, here are a few snapshots of my apartment as a nearly blank canvas.

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Before I go, big shout out to Ricks, my person-in-crime. She’s here with me helping me get settled and explore the city. I know this process would have been much different without her.

Until next time,

-Reesey


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Forward, Not Forgotten

I took down the photo of me and my big sister who I consider a role model. The picture of my mom wearing a sombrero on her birthday a couple years back. The picture of me pretending to play drums with my mouth wide open because I’m laughing so hard. The black and white picture of me looking dwarfed next to the word “BELIEVE” painted on a wall, and the photo of Ricks and me displaying satisfied, mimosa-induced smiles after her birthday brunch last year. Then finally, the photos of friends-turned-family tacked to a tiny board behind my desk. It is my last day of work, and it is official. I am moving to Memphis for a new job.I am SO glad I don’t share an office or work in a cubicle, because I had a good ol’ cry session this morning.

 

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I have to admit. This is hard. D.C. is the first home that has felt like home; a place where I feel like I could live permanently. And even as I type that, I remember the essence of a quote from Dr. Maya Angelou where she says she doesn’t believe that one can never go home again, because you always carry home with you.

Well, since I can’t carry ALL of the D.C. with me, I’ll carry a few things: memories of late night/early morning conversations, new friends that feel like soul mates, wine-filled nights, tattoos, and bonding. I’ll carry the person I am into a new adventure that will continue to shape the person I’m becoming.

And I’ll remember today when I said to a group of my friends, “I am having a hard day,” and they all responded with loving reassurance (and feigned jealousy of my yet-to-be new friends)…actually, it might not be feigned. I have a whole list of “dos” and “donts” for my new friends…lol….and Keila, who is not a fan of Memphis (and that’s putting it mildly), finally said she will come visit me after months of saying she wouldn’t. Yes, Keila…I have it in writing and now EVERYONE knows you’re coming to Memphis.  Today, I am a little melancholy as I wrap up my time here, but I am happy and at peace with knowing that I live by the words  I surrounded myself with in my office, including these from The Angry Therapist:

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Memphis….another adventure. Join me, yes?

-A.Reese

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Farewell 5509

Today Team Too Thrifty handed over the keys to the place that has been our home, 5509 Holmes Run Parkway, to our property manager.

How bittersweet a moment it was.

The relinquishing of those keys marks the official start of our new journeys — Reese to Memphis and me, to parts yet unknown — and an ending of sorts to the journey we’ve been on over the last year and a half together.

But it seemed only right to pause and reflect on what 5509 means to us because it wasn’t just a house to us.  It was so much more.

5509 was the place where we slept most nights, often on our sectional couch after too much wine, so much laughter and not a few tears.20140630-184750-67670289.jpg

5509 was the place where we discovered our love for cooking and did our best James Brown impressions across the kitchen floor. It was the place where we often gathered our friends, but also examined the contents of our hearts. It’s the place where we created this blog, dreamed our biggest dreams so far, and created so many shared memories.

It was our home in every since of the word. But it is our physical home no more.

Today the lights are out at 5509, our beloved sectional has a new home and we are no longer the resident inhabitants of what we used to call home. We are in a grateful place of transition.

As we drove away, we gave thanks for the loving sadness that stains our hearts because we know that it comes from a place of knowing what it is like to have a physical home and to carry the memory of it — the peace of it — in our hearts.

We are forever grateful.

- R&R

 

 

 


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Swap it Out!

IMG_9863When in doubt, swap it out.

Spring is quickly giving way to summer, and you already know that in addition to it being toe-out season, it also is spring-summer dress season. Spending money for new-to-us dresses is something we’ll avoid if we can and nothing was more true for us this Easter.

I know you’re all like,  “But Thrifty Chicks, Easter was months ago. Why are we talking about what you wore from way back then?”
Well, because we’re rusty at this blogging thing and because any time is a good time to swap it out. Whether it’s Easter or some other occasion where you want to look cute without cost, swapping can be an even thriftier option than actual thrifting.IMG_9883

Swapping can be as easy as asking to “shop” a friend’s closet, or it can be a more
formal meet-up where everyone brings something to an agreed upon location to swap with everyone else. In fact, it’s a great way to clean out your closet and replenish it at the same time.

Instead of buying new dresses for Easter, we swapped. Our friend Tasha gifted  this fitted floral number to Ricks, and Ricks gifted a yellow frock to Reese. New fashion for each of us. Zero cost.

 

 

 

 

 


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Dear God, I’m Here!

This time last year I had a lot of questions and no answers. I was in a grey place in a romantic relationship….that place where you’re technically broken up, but you’re still going back and forth about whether you did the right thing or if you can do something to make it work. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to finish my PhD. I was tired and directionless. I was feeling envious toward people who were gaining clarity in ways I was not–even though I was doing all the “right” things to get the direction I needed. My National Science Foundation grant funding for my research had ended, but thankfully I got a research job doing something interesting. I was trying to listen to the universe, but I was also very afraid of taking a wrong step.

Fast forward to 2014. I spent my birthday in Johannesburg, South Africa which was amazingly awesome…one of the best birthdays ever (we will have to do a post about the trip at some point). The next day, January 3rd, my sister told me via Facebook that my grandmother, one of the people who raised me, died. We had three days left in our trip, so I locked away the grief until I got home. But even when I returned, I felt not only my grief, but my (perceived and real) isolation from family. In March, our church did a Lenten fast called, “Surprise Me, God!” And oh was I surprised. In six weeks’ time, my car was broken into,  my laptop was stolen, I needed $1000 worth of repairs to my car, and I ended up in the Emergency Room.

March 30th was a Sunday. That morning, I decided I was going to go to church, even if I didn’t feel like it. On the way to church, a good friend texted me and asked if there was anything she could pray for. I responded, “pray that I can be still and know.” Got to church and the text for that day’s sermon was Psalm 46:1-11, which includes the verse, “Be still and know that I am God.” That, for me, was confirmation that though I had had a tumultuous twelve months, and 2014 was off to a rocky start, I was going to be ok. I just had to chill.

The next day I decided three things: 1) I didn’t really want a postdoctoral position I had applied for, even though it was a good fit on paper, 2) I was willing and ready to leave D.C. and 3) I was ready for (and needed) change. Around 4pm that same day, I got a call from the Dean at Rhodes College inviting me to participate in a Skype interview for a job that I thought I wasn’t competitive for, since I hadn’t heard anything in months. To make a long story short, I did the Skype interview, was invited to an on campus interview, and was offered the job in a span of about 2.5 weeks.

I accepted the job and it’s official: I’m moving to Memphis, y’all!

This post is not intended to be a “life was awful but now it’s good” kind of post. Actually, it’s a “life is always happening…good or bad and you have to roll with it” post. Sometimes crazy shit happens in succession and you cannot believe what is happening in your life. Sometimes good stuff is happening and you feel like, “man, I’m finally living.” But that’s not true. What I have learned over the past year is that you’re always living. Life is always happening. It doesn’t start or stop because something good or bad happens. Life is in all the details. In some ways, I am very excited about this move to Memphis. In other ways, I am pensive. Yet, even though it’s a major change, this year has taught me many things, one of them being that no matter how big or small the change is, I’ll be ok….because life is always changing. Always. I might cry, cuss, scream, smile, laugh, etc. at all the things that are happening, but that’s what we’re supposed to do, isn’t it? It reminds us that we’re present in everything. I look back to a year ago, and I can hardly believe where I am now. But as Miss Celie said as she left one life to start another, “Dear God, I’m here!”

Stay tuned, y’all. I have many stories to tell about trying to figure out this move on a budget….and I KNOW y’all wanna hear about my new place! :-)

-Reese

P.S.-If you know any cool people in Memphis, introduce me!


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Too Thrifty 2.0: We’re Back!

As you all know, the thrifty duo took a much needed break in November after being worn out from working long hours, writing a dissertation, and dealing with many life changes. But we’re rejuvenated and back in action! …and we have a fancy new logo to prove it thanks to Monica Gibbs. Check out her work y’all. She’s a dope artist and very professional. Her design got us hype to start this thing again.

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During our break, we spent some time thinking about and discussing the direction of the blog. We started the blog as a fun, creative outlet and as we approached the one year mark, we each felt a tug towards sharing more than just fashion and thrifty tips. We wanted to share about our struggles and triumphs too as well as our thoughts/actions related to topics that are important to us. So what can you expect from the thrifties now? Everything you always expected! We will blog about fashion, finances, and random adventures. We might also blog more about what we’re reading and what’s we’re thinking about.  We have adopted the tagline Think. Thrift. Create. to encompass more of who we are…and that’s what’s you’ll get (at least what we’re willing to share. Hey…this is still the internet!). We’re so excited to share what’s been happening in the past six months and to bring you along for new adventures.

 

Stay tuned….we have some exciting news to share….and if you haven’t already click that little button that says “follow” so you can stay up to date.

-R&R

 


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Food for Thought Friday: Too Tired Thrifty Chicks

As I write this, I’m sitting at Busboys and Poets, waiting for an 8 p.m. flight to Chicago for another conference. Ricks is working an 11-hour shift at her temp job. Between me working an hour away from home and writing a dissertation, and Ricks working long hours at her temp job and kickstarting her business, life is busy and tiring.  Couple all the changes happening in each of our lives with vexing things like Renisha McBride’s murder (which deeply effected both of us) and you get two tired (and sometimes discouraged) women whose creative juices are running low. All of these things make stepping back and taking stock of every aspect of our lives, including our commitment to this blog, not just a exercise in reflection, but a necessary force for self care.

Our love of thrifting is what initially connected us, and we started this blog because we each wanted a creative outlet that allowed us to freely write in ways that our jobs at the time would not. Over the last year, the blog has served that purpose beautifully. Now — a year later — we’re wondering what we want this blog to be. Our conversations have changed, deepened in some ways, and we’re asking ourselves how do those conversations make it to the blog? In other words, how do we write from “the center of our passion,” as a friend once asked me? We believe we’re pretty honest people, and want more of our whole selves to be reflected in our writing.

So what does this mean? It means that until we figure out the answers to some of these questions we’re taking a break. We are alleviating ourselves from the pressures of one more thing to do — something that the blog was never supposed to become. For the remainder of 2013, you might see a post or two or none at all, depending on what life brings in the coming weeks. In December, we’re heading to South Africa and hope that disconnecting from our current day-to-day lives will inspire us to come back and write with gusto about all the things we’re passionate about.

We’d like the blog to be somewhat of an extension of our couch time — the time we dedicate to talking about life, love, struggles, etc. Of course, we can’t let you in on ALL the conversations (smiles), but we’re hoping to honor our gift of writing not only what makes you smile and laugh but also stimulates your thoughts and encourages discussion. We haven’t figured it all out yet, but we will and when we do, we’ll be back in full swing!

-R&R

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