Too Thrifty Chicks

Think.Thrift.Create


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A Thrifty Birthday + Give Away: The Too Thrifty Chicks Blog Turns 1!

Hi Gang!

We’re coming at you really quick to ask, “Do you know what today is?” It’s TTC’s birthday! We’re officially one today!!! happybirthdayGIF

On this day last year, this blog began — a few days after our very first thrifting adventure when we rode around Maryland suburbs on an overcast day looking for Columbus Day bargains at every Value Village we could get to. We spent hours — seriously like 5 plus hours — going through every rack with a fine tooth comb. By the time we came up for air and Indian food a friendship was born. A few days later, this blog was born. We never imagined this blog would become what it is. We were both simply looking for a creative outlet to share our writing and adventures. But through this blog, we’ve met cool people, gotten great encouragement, and deepened our offline bond.

To celebrate, we went out for Indian food and a little thrifting to celebrate. When you get a chance, we hope you’ll hit up the racks of your local thrift store in our honor.

We also decided we wanted to show our appreciation for one of our most loyal followers. Seriously, this lady comments on every posts and shares them regularly on her Facebook page. Everybody put your hands together and show TOSHA some much deserved love!

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She’ll receive this studded top from Reese’s personal collection, and a pair of handmade

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Everybody else, stay tuned. More give aways in November and more fun and adventures to come in this new year!

1043877_10101575920175405_815990422_n— R&R


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A Too Thrifty Update

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From Ricks’ 34th Birthday Brunch Shenanigans!

Hey boos! Today is Friday and this should be a Food for Thought post but it has been a rough and tumble week! Reese is off to the Food for Black Thought conference in Austin, Texas getting her nerd on. Catch her tweeting at @toothrftychks.

I’m holding things down in the D.C. metro area. The government shutdown has put the kabash on my freelance federal work, but the universe provides and I am happily working my temp job. Catch me if you can at the Petworth Community Market this evening from 4 to 8 p.m. I will be checking out what promises to be cool vintage threads and whatnot. Address is 4130 9th St., N.W. Washington, D.C. Hope to see you there.

We promised to introduce you to some of the amazing person pairs we know and that is a promise we intend to keep! Once we are back in the same place, at the same, time we will crank out those posts.

Until then, have a great weekend!

R & R


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She ain’t heavy…she’s my person.

IMG_4851If you are a Grey’s Anatomy fan, you know what it means to be someone’s “person”. Hat tip to Shonda Rhimes for introducing the world to the relationship between Drs. Meredith Grey and Cristina Yang and the idea of what it means to be so real and so transparent with a female friend that sometimes it takes your breath away. That’s the kind of relationships that the Too Thrifty Chicks think we have and we’ve noticed that a lot of the women that we know and call friends have similar kinds of relationships too.

We like to call  these relationships “personships” because there really is just no other way to describe them. We read somewhere that it’s National Girlfriend Month so in honor of that and the anniversary of our becoming friends and subsequently starting this blog, we’re sharing our story of personship, and that of a few of our friends. We live in an age where reality television shows abound with fake friendships that form and dissolve from episode to episode, and lest you be deceived, we want to introduce you to real women and real personships including our own.

Person: (n.) 1. Someone who is divinely assigned to walk through the journey of your life for a season or a lifetime. 2. Someone who will chase you down at a bus stop to be your friend. 3. Someone with whom you can share the most intimate details of your life and not be judged. 4. She is theThelma to your Louise. 5. She is the other pea in your pod. 6. She is the person that would help you hide the body if you committed a murder.

Being someone’s person is more than being their best friend. We don’t discount the value of best friends. We each have or had someone in our lives we consider to be our best friend. For both of us that person is or was a childhood friend who knows what we look like either before puberty or shortly there after.  They know about every adolescent crush, the first time either of us were kissed and the first time we had our heart broken. But our best friends aren’t our person and our person is not our best friend. Get it?

Personships are sometimes more rewarding than your romantic relationships and close friendships. Sometimes you just want to hang out with your person more than you want to IMG_4962hang out with your boo, or that really good friend that wants to spend a lot of time with you or plan a trip with you. It doesn’t mean you don’t love your boo, or your good friend, but it might, however, mean that you don’t feel like you can always be your whole self with that person and that can make things awkward in ways that they are not with your person.

Being someone’s person is just different.  Your person is someone you’ve met in the fullness of your adulthood who just gets everything about you. From your weird hangups about, well, everything to the things that really burn your biscuits, this person gets it and doesn’t think any less of you. Your person is someone who can be brutally honest with you, but because they love you dearly, it doesn’t sting as much as if that same honesty came from a best friend, a sibling or a  parent. If there is someone like this in your life, this is your person. She’s not your bestie, but you trust her with your life. At least that’s how we see it.

IMG_4802When Reese walked up to me last year at an event and told me she had a dream that she was planning my wedding, though she’d never actually met me, I didn’t think anything of it. Never mind the fact that I wasn’t dating anyone and that if I got married, I’d probably elope. I just asked her to tell me what the dream was about. After that, the universe kept putting us together. Whether it was making signs for a upcoming race, traveling with friends to Atlanta for a running event and Reese coming to visit my church because she saw a picture of me in jeans and a t-shirt, the universe kept conspiring to put us together.

We officially knew that our personship and the Too Thrifty Chicks was born during a five-hour thrifting adventure that culminated in our shared love of Indian food. The sign that let us know we’d found a kindred spirit? We had been hanging out for hours and we weren’t tired of each other yet. That’s pretty big for a bonafide introvert (Ricks) and the most introverted extrovert/extroverted introvert (Reese). Our personship has only blossomed in the year that IMG_5633we’ve been roommates sharing our hopes, dreams, fears, tears and most dramatic moments. We have inside jokes. We finish each others sentences. We see eye-to-eye about a lot of things, but we do disagree from time to time. Most importantly, we want the very best for each other. Period.

Finding your person is almost as important as finding the love of your life. Why? There is a good chance that your relationship with your person will last a lot longer. Think about it. You know of plenty of friendships and personships that have outlasted romantic relationships and marriages. If you haven’t found your person, don’t despair. We believe that the universe will send your person when you need her most. In fact, she might already be in your inner circle. We have been pleasantly surprised to find that we’re connected to amazing women who have found the Cristina Yang to their Meredith Grey, the Gayle King to their Oprah Winfrey and we’ll introduce you to them throughout the month.

Until next time get your person or a bunch your girlfriends together and celebrate. Happy National Girlfriend Month!

— R&R


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Tidbit Tuesday: Thrifty Travels to Toronto

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We’re back from Toronto, and can we just say we absolutely loved Caribana and the city?! The Caribbean pride coupled with beautiful architecture, walkable streets, and good food captured our hearts.

We arrived on Thursday evening, checked into our hotel and decided to stay in. Our 8 hour drive stretched into 12 hours due to construction and traffic, so we were pooped. Friday, we set out early to have breakfast at Sunset Grill (yummy local option), walked around downtown a bit, then settled into an evening of festivities as we enjoyed the music at a day party and then the live steelpan band performances at Panalive. Saturday  we  spent the majority of the day at the Caribana parade and spent the evening walking and resting. Sunday, we stopped at Niagara Falls before heading home.

20130803_125835We planned to travel with two other friends, but each had to bow out of the trip for different reasons. Of course having two other people share the cost would have saved money, but even photo (15)with the two of us we made the trip happen for $547 per person, which included hotel, gas, food, hotel parking (which was ridiculously expensive), tickets to the day party, tickets to Panalive steel drum competition, a little shopping, and souvenirs. We wish you could have seen the 15 second dance party we had when we realized we stayed UNDER budget! Woop Woop!

Costs add up quickly, and sometimes it may feel like you have little control over how much you spend…but don’t fret! Before you plan your next trip, consider these tips to keep you under budget.

  1. Use Hotwire to find hotels:  If you’re not familiar with Hotwire, you should be! The way it works is you search for hotels in a particular area. Hotwire will show you rates for anonymous hotels with different star ratings, and you pick one. Once you pay, they reveal the hotel. Yes, we know that’s scary for some folks, but have the thrifty chicks ever steered you wrong? So far, we have a 100% success rate with Hotwire.  We stayed at the Eaton Chelsea on Gerrard Street, which is right downtown. Total hotel cost with travel insurance: $298 for three nights.
  2.  If you’re close, drive: Full disclosure: driving can be a pain, and when we go back to Toronto, we’ll likely fly. With that 20130802_164826being said, however, it was a cheap way to get there and aside from annoying construction and a little traffic, it was relatively uneventful.  The good: driving gave us the flexibility to leave when we wanted to, which was a godsend because Ricks was sick the night before. The bad: driving takes a LOT out of you. Once we got to Toronto, we didn’t have the energy to do much the first evening.  But it was cheap…we drove to Toronto and back to Virginia for $180.
  3. Try walking before taking a cab: We probably walked about 20 miles while we were in Toronto. Besides the streets being walkable, we did our research and learned that Toronto is a really safe city, with crime rates lower than where we live. Because we were staying downtown, we were able to walk to nearly every place we wanted to be and only took a cab twice. Cabs in Toronto were really expensive, so we opted to walk instead, which gave us an opportunity to see more of the city, get some exercise, and save money.
  4. 20130803_195819When in doubt, ask about portion sizes: We didn’t spend a ton on food over the weekend, but there were definitely times when we wasted food because we ordered too much. For example, at Panalive, we each bought curry chicken and rice for $10 at the stadium, but ended up eating only half of it because it was so much. We definitely could have split it.  Consider ordering less and sharing. Worst case scenario? You’re still hungry and you order more food.
  5. Plan to splurge: The thrifty chicks love sushi, and we give mad side eye to sketchy looking sushi places. While in Toronto, we realized we have sushi on nearly every trip we take. This is our thing. We might eat fairly inexpensive meals for most of the trip, but we give ourselves room to splurge on a really nice sushi meal.
  6. If the forecast says rain, believe it: So, we knew there was a chance of rain. We also knew Toronto has a milder temperature than D.C. Ask us did we pack umbrellas or jackets….go ahead. ask. hmm? No, we did not. We packed cardigans, which worked well against the chilliness, but our trusty denim jackets would have been better. It rained during the day party, and with no umbrellas, we got a little wet. Wishing for sunshine might work, but you should be prepared if it doesn’t.

20130804_115317We’re going back to Caribana next year with umbrellas, rain jackets, and a crew of our sister-friends! We had a great time in the city and looking forward to even better times on the next trip.

Do you have thrifty traveling tips? Share with us!

Until next time,

R&R


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Mellow Yellow: A Little Touch of Sunshine

When one of my favorite people in the world let me know that her boo “Liked it and put a ring on it,” I wanted to turn cartwheels. When she told me soon after that she and said boo had no plans to wait and were getting married in Las Vegas in July, I almost fainted. Not because of the quick turnaround, but…Las Vegas…in JULY?! There was no doubt that I was going to be at the ceremony, but Jesus be a fence, a bottle of water, a kiddie pool and a sprinkler.

If you’ve never been to Las Vegas in the summer, you don’t know about the triple digit heat that cools down to 99 degrees when the sun goes down. The only thing that is remotely equivalent is if you stood in front of your oven, turned it up as high as it could go and then opened the door. It is that HOT! How were we going to keep from dying of heat stroke? Could we be sweaty and cute? But more importantly, what in the name of all that is holy was I going to wear?

Operation Do Better was already being thrown a curveball by the unexpected trip and I knew that buying a dress to wear for the ceremony was out of the question. Enter Reese and her giveaway pile of clothes. My roomie extraordinaire just happened to be chucking this adorable yellow dress that she liked, but didn’t really love. She suggested that I give it a try before I broke down and bought something new. Lo and behold it looked great. All I needed to do was take it in around the bust area.

Check out these snaps of me rocking the frock and me and the newly made missus, Tia C. Harris-Kinard!

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Me and Mrs. Tia C. Harris-Kinard. This was taken before the actual deed was done, but isn’t she lovely? 🙂

I always thought orange and red were my favorite colors, but I think yellow is my ministry. This sunny shade pops off my skin and just makes me feel really beautiful. The light, airiness of the dress was perfect for letting me get a little ventilation without looking under dressed for the occasion.

Speaking of yellow — I bought a little something at the 1st Annual FABULOUS Second-Hand/Vintage Clothing Pop-Up Shop that we blogged about in June. I never got a chance to show you all the fabulous find I snagged from Patrice “Patty B” Boone of The Prissy Tomboy and BTwenty3.

Well here she is in all her glory. I wore this vintage jumpsuit in NYC during Blogging While Brown for an advance screening of Fruitvale Station, a must see movie about the death of Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident, who was shot and killed by a Bay Area Rapid Transit officer on New Year’s Day 2009. It is a powerful movie and it is in theaters now. I recommend that you check it out. Me and the roomie plan to go see it again this weekend.

As for the jumpsuit, my goal is to add some straps to the top part since I’m not particularly blessed with enough bust to keep it up, but I look forward to rocking this look many times this summer! Enjoy the view! — R&R

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Hump Day Outtakes

As you can probably imagine, we take tons of photos. Here are some of our faves that didn’t make it into weekly posts. Enjoy!

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Post-Loc Cutting. February 2013

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Umm, I don’t think the car is going to move, Reese.

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Free me from these clothes!

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Wait. It’s cold. Cover me up!

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Safari Time!

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Ricks doing two of her favorite things: picking up rocks and admiring the view.

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Pre-Loc cut off. Enjoying a January day in the sun

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Showing off a soft, silky blouse and a sexy, serious eye.


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Thrifty Transformations: A Multi-purpose Space Makeover

At the Thrifty Palace there is only one place more popular than our kitchen and our couch — our basement. And until recently it was the place where we stored the little bit of junk we have, the place where we worked out and the place where Reese occasionally worked on her dissertation.

What warranted the need for a thrifty transformation? So glad you asked. As you know almost a month ago, I quit my job and decided to give the self-employed life a go. After about two weeks of working from the couch and most nights falling asleep on said couch, I realized I was spending too much freaking time on the couch! At my previous place of employment, I’d had a stand up desk that I utterly loved. In fact, my “office-thigh jiggle,” a condition that I believe office workers develop from sitting at their desks all day, was starting to dissipate because I spent the majority of my day standing up.

I had no plans to develop “couch-thigh jiggle” and wanted to recreate the magic of a stand up work space at home. I decided that the opposite corner of the basement would be as good a place as any to create my own home office, for little to no money. Real talk, stand up desks start at about $500 and can cost more than $1,000. As Sweet Brown said, “Ain’t nobody got time for all that!” Luckily, we had all of what we needed to make such a project possible.

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All you need, really, is some cinder blocks and some left over scrap wood to create a flat surface. We already had a number of Sterilite modular drawers in the basement and I used them to provide further support to the blocks. I covered the scrap wood in leftover fabric. Put up a piece of cork liner, decorated with pictures, quotes and keepsakes and presto! I have an office space I love. The other perk is when I get bored, I can hula hoop or bellydance to pass the time and burn some calories as the majority of the space between my corner of the basement and Reese’s corner is still our personal fitness studio. Total cost: Zero dollars.

Reese had carved out a space for herself to work, but she hadn’t really done anything to make the space personal. I knew that she was going to be on assignment shooting engagement photos for friends and I got a wild hair to really jazz up her side of the room so that she might be inspired to go down there and work. I knew she was tired of her binders full of papers not having a dedicated home, and her small desk was losing valuable real estate to her printer.

20130716_163102Fortunately, we had an extra piece of wood that I knew could be used as a tabletop for her printer and other keepsakes such as framed photos. We had two smaller Sterilite modular drawers, but I didn’t think they would be sturdy enough for the printer. A box of books we are supposed to go through at some point provided the perfect amount of stability. I covered the wood in a leftover piece of fabric from Reese’s window seat project. I also repurposed the extra shutter that she had purchased for her headboard project as a space for her to stick notes and pin pictures.

We picked up some inexpensive metal clips and these cute little buckets  at Target for additional storage. All together this thrifty transformation cost about $10.

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We plan to add more lighting because the basement is rather dark with just two bare bulbs and a lamp. We also plan to add a world map to chart our thrifty travels and to paint vibrant, inspiring quotes on these blank canvases that we call walls. I’d also like to put a cute rug down on my side and I suggested that we add some spray paint, which we have an abundance of, to Reese’s basic black desk.  All mostly inexpensive ways to make our basement a much more user friendly and inviting space. Transforming a space that has multiple uses can be a big, challenging project that is hard to visualize, but my best advice is to always keep in mind what the space will be used for and then decorate with what you’ve got on hand. Besides, if you hate it, you can always change it.

— R&R